PrintI am joining in with the Word of the Week linky for the first time in months. It is one I really like as it is about language and life.

My Word of the Week is proactive.

“The adjective proactive can describe a person who get things done. If you are proactive, you make things happen, instead of waiting for them to happen to you.

Active means “doing something.” The prefix pro- means “before.” So if you are proactive, you are ready before something happens. The opposite is being reactive, or waiting for things to unfold before responding. Think about winter cold season. A proactive person washes his hands and takes vitamins; a reactive person gets sick and takes cold medicine.”

Looking back, a lot of the so called impressive things I have done have come about through somebody else suggesting them or showing me the way. A teacher said I had an outside chance of getting into Oxbridge so I applied. My Dad told me perhaps I could help a charity so I visited one and ended up doing 20 years in that field. My blogging achievements certainly come from people believing me and inviting me to get involved in things.

I want to be more proactive because I know it works. My life has changed so much since starting Groovy Mums in late 2011 but there are other things I want to see happening for me. Groovy Mums was very much about taking proactive steps even if baby ones towards our dreams.

So this week, I was proactive. I did research, I learned new things and I reached out for help. This led to me discovering new opportunities and also to setting up Groovy Mums again albeit in a slightly different form. I am so looking forward to the journey ahead because when you get proactive, it is exciting and you can claim the results if things work out well.

Also this week, respect to Him Indoors who instead of handing a phone call straight to his manager, asked some pertinent questions and ended up with a new job as a result. Him Indoors is very much a plodder so this new streak pleases me a lot.

So there you have it – my word of the week is proactive and I for one intend it to become a way of life.

    I have always loved Sweep. I watched Sooty on children’s telly as a child and always preferred Sweep because he got into scrapes and had a naughty steak. I found Sue to be an utterly painful Goody Two Shoes.

    Did you have Sooty and Sweep puppets?

    Mum bought me a Sooty puppet and I remember waltzing around the house saying “Abradcadabra!” at any possible opportunity. Sooty used to come on expeditions to the garden too often wheeled round in my little trolley meant for wooden bricks.

    They were happy days. Mum stayed at home and enjoyed her garden. There were three painted red steps down from the back door. The top area of the garden was flagged and my Dad had built me a “kitchen” area out of paving stones where I used to create all manner of things from mud pies to manky rose petal perfumes.

    There were some little steps down to a lawn and my Mum’s pride and joy was her rockery. I used to have to clamber up the rockery to be thrown over the wall to the sisters Nellie and Bessie who would look after me if my mum had to go somewhere.

    Nellie and Bessie adored me and I used to take full advantage of that. They were like birds in a way. Nellie was always in drab colours and so very kind-hearted. Bessie was glam with bright make-up and flamboyant clothing. Nellie did all the hard work of looking after me but Bessie used to steal the show with her legendary Apricot Pasty.

    When Mum came home, I would be thrown back over the wall. Mum and I would explore looking at the honeysuckle, the fuschia and my personal favourite the busy lizzie,

    You didn’t need to know any of that really did you?

    Isn’t it odd how a little thing can set off a heap of memories?

    Anyway, I always wanted a Sweep bucket and I got one last week in charity shop. Him Indoors looked at me like I was insane (nothing new there) but the children fell in love as soon as they realised Sweep also squeaked.

    So here is Sweep joining the family on a cultural visit to the pub. Can you think of a caption to go with the picture?


    Now go forth and invent captions for other pictures in this fun linky

    Saturday is Caption Day

      How do you fancy winning some Vileda cleaning products?

      Vileda prize image

      With the children going back to school, now is the perfect time to do a big push on the housework front. That can only be easier if you win cleaning products.

      I have tried to keep up with the housework over the school holidays. I have even tried to get the children involved but they prove very reluctant. It can be difficult to juggle everything that needs to be done over the school holidays. As soon as the new term starts, I am going to do a major cleaning and tidying blitz.

      To celebrate the launch of their campaign, ‘Floor Miles’, I’ve teamed up with Vileda, the UK’s leading household cleaning brand. Vileda is offering one lucky reader the chance to win £25 worth of cleaning goodies to get their homes ship shape this summer. Perfect for busy homes, Vileda products are designed to last miles longer and make your cleaning miles easier! You can enter via to win the cleaning products pictured via the Rafflecopter below.

      For more competitions and to find out how to collect Vileda ‘Floor Miles’ and be in with a chance of winning a family eco-holiday, head to the Vileda UK Facebook page.


      a Rafflecopter giveaway

      If you love competitions, check out UK Prizefinder

      Win competitions at

      With love from the Striking Mum x

      Where do you find support for mums?

      Have you heard of or do you remember Groovy Mums?


      It was an initiative I set up when feeling down on myself to pick myself up and hoping that along the way I could off support for mums too,

      We had Twitter parties, the mums who blogged shared their stories and most importantly, both myself and other mums made proactive and positive changes in their lives. It is amazing what you can do when you have a great peer support network behind you.

      Groovy Mums is coming back with a new name and exciting ways to get involved. I think it is a splendid time to relaunch support for mums as children go off to school and mums might have a little more time to focus on their hopes and dreams.

      1. Groovy Mums regularly got criticised for the name so there will be a new name. I do have a name in mind but I am also open to your suggestions too before next week’s post when we really get started on this amazing journey.

      2. People will be able to get more involved by sharing their own stories about how have found themselves, carved out some me time or taken charge of their own destiny.

      3. There will be a collaborative Pinterest board to share positive images of what we get up to.

      4. A weekly linky will be opened on Thursdays will calls to action and inspirational ideas.

      5. There will be a presence on other social media networks.

      6. There will be a new badge and I am looking for a volunteer to design it.

      7. There will be prizes and there will be certificates!

      How you can get involved

      1. You can take part in the weekly linky telling us how you are getting on and/or seeking the support of other mums. If you can add images or video, so much the better. It is good if you can visit the other posts linked up as you can lend your support to other mums and might learn something new too.

      2. You can take part in our regular Twitter parties to share your ideas and offer support for mums.

      3. There are very exciting plans for the new and improved Groovy Mums in 2015 so now is the time to get involved to see what that might be all about.

      Are you on board to take baby steps to make your dreams come true whilst offering support for mums too?

      We had bad news recently and I decided not to blog about it.

      I feel comfortable saying what happened now. After only 5 months in his new job after redundancy and a long period of unemployment, my husband was told he was to lose the new job. He had not done anything wrong. It is just that in the charity world, funding can be cut and his bosses decided it was last in, first out.

      You can imagine how we felt. We had done an expensive move down South and now it all seemed a bit in vain. I certainly felt troubled. By his own admission my husband was not proactive enough about job seeking last time round. I took the strain as he went down emotionally.

      When my husband shared his disappointing news a couple of weeks ago, he also promised me he would take action this time in a positive manner.

      One job application went in straight away and he was rejected even though he met the person specification and had done a strikingly similar job. Sometimes things just don’t make sense.

      Other job applications went in and we were waiting to hear once they close towards the end of August.

      The day before yesterday a recruitment agency telephoned his work and totally by chance he picked up the phone. They were seeking advice on how to recruit a candidate. Miraculously, they were describing my husband’s skills and experience.

      To cut a long story short, he saw the agency yesterday and the employer today. It took them less than a hour to make a decision.

      He starts work next Wednesday.

      It just goes to show what a positive mental attitude and little bit of luck can do not to mention a lot of friends crossing absolutely everything to wish us well.

      Phew and all that!