Joining in with my very favourite blog hop of the week and thinking positive after quite a stressful little occurence in Tesco earlier this evening. Will be the subject of a blog and rant later my dears. This post is about being chirpy.

1. We went to Blackpool illuminations. It was lovely to share something so familiar from childhood with my own children. Even the teenager in training got into the spirit of things and enjoyed it. It was inspiring to see families out having a good time despite probably including a fair few who are struggling in the current economic climate. My youngest son said “I think I have found heaven” and that made the long drive through rain worth it. For anyone even considering thinking snotty thoughts about Blackpool, here is my view. Blackpool is a one-off and if you give into the madness, you can have a fabulous time there. Plus it is the place I first wore make up and got a snog so it is very special to me (and Dean from Sunderland wherever you are now – sorry never got a last name!)

2. I started a new blog hop all about mums getting their groove back and it really seems to have hit a nerve with people out there. Big thanks to those who have joined in with Get Your Groove Back Tuesday and it is definitely here to stay.

3. I lost half a stone in one week. When Michelle posted about her 101b loss recently, that seemed so impossible for me so it just goes to show that with the mind in the right place, anything is possible especially with the back up of the wonderful #mumentum peer support.

4. I spent the morning with my Dad. He makes a trip to the charity shop and the Co-op seem very special indeed. I bought lots of little lovely things that I will be sharing on Monday as part of #MagpieMonday

Well, that is just some of my reasons. Do check out the other entries at or even better join in.

Are you thinking positive?

Love from the Striking Mum x

Does blogging help you feel less alone and isolated?

Does Blogging Make You Feel Less Alone

In my series of interviews with bloggers, I look at the different motivations for blogging and how blogging can help women. Today, Chantelle from Mama Mummy Mum ls us how blogging can help you feel less alone.

Why did you start to blog?

I started my blog as a way of writing down memories. It was never started as a way to earn money, I didn’t even expect anyone to read it really, I guess it was more like an open diary more than anything. My posts were mere sentences long and at the time I didn’t even know about uploading photos, layout or any sort of technical stuff.

How did you feel when you started blogging?

When I started my blog because I guess I felt lonely really. As a stay at home mum I lacked any adult company apart from my husband and writing things down helped ease that feeling somehow.

What is your blog about?

My blog is down as parenting and lifestyle but it is a right old mix of anything I want to talk about but mainly it’s about books, fitness and my kids. The way I see it, it’s my blog so I shall put on there what I want, I’m still not out there to please anyone, I’m not fussed about how many people read each post but if someone gets pleasure from them, or feels like they’ve gained a little bit of help then that’s a nice added bonus.

What is your proudest achievement related to blogging?

Now that’s a tough question. I’m not a ‘professional’ blogger, I haven’t got an abundance of readers and I’ve not gained any big contracts with major companies. I guess my biggest achievement is my little linky Read With Me, I’ve gained a good bunch of bloggers who without fail link up, comment and share the love. Shows in a small way what the blogging community has to offer.

What do you enjoy most about blogging?

As I said in the previous question what I enjoy most about blogging is actually the bloggers themselves. Social media is a huge part of my life now, especially the other bloggers who are on there, I feel less lonely knowing there is always someone around to talk to, to offer advice, the blogging community is generally a very welcoming one and offers more than just the blog posts that they put out into the world.

What do you find most challenging about blogging?

Writers block. Blogging has become rather addictive and I don’t like leaving my blog empty, I prefer having a regular stream of posts going up but this is sometimes hard when nothing is really happening in your life and you feel like you have very little to actually talk about.

What surprised you most about blogging?

What surprised me the most was how addictive it can be. I’ve been blogging since September 2011 and even when I’ve said I’m going to take a break from it all, I quickly find myself writing again.

How do you collaborate or work in partnership with other bloggers?

I’ve never really collaborated with other bloggers as such. I’ve contributed guest posts and vice versa when holidays have been taken and I always link up with certain linkies such as My Sunday Photo and Little Loves and I’m always happy to retweet posts that I think deserve more coverage. I think bloggers work more as a team than we realise when it comes to reading and promoting each others blogs.

What would lead to you giving up blogging?

See I thought I would give up this year as work commitments, doing a teaching assistant course and obviously home life has become rather hectic but I still find time, (even if it is early hours of the morning), to get on with some blogging, I get a feeling of guilt almost when I’m not doing it so I’m not sure anything would make me quit.

Why should I read your blog?

I don’t think you should read my blog, I’d be happy if you did but I don’t think my blog stands out as anything special, not with the amount of blogs there are out there right now.

What are the aims of your blog?

My aims for my blog, just to keep it going, to continue to share my thoughts and ideas and hope that it helps in some way. It’s going to be great to look back on in years to come, I already enjoy looking back at old photographs of the kids, it’s a great memory saver.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Funny that, I share things all the time on my blog and now I’m coming up blank. I guess I’d just like to say thank you to the bloggers and the readers as they’ve all made me feel less alone at times and that is a feeling that I think a lot of people appreciate.

How does blogging help you and would you like to share your story with me?



rack of lamb

Pink Pear Bear

It is Freshers’ Week so it made me think about my first week at university and the things I did during Freshers Week.

1. I cried when my parents left me there.
2. I bumped into a girl literally as we both tried to get to the loss. She is my friend 24 years later.
3. I met a girl from Glasgow and thought she was from overseas as I could not tell a word she was saying. We were friends for many years.
4. I ate spinach and walnut soup – Yuck!
5. I worried that I was the only Northern and working-class person in the place.
6. I discovered a whole new language – bop, bedder, sweaty bop, pigeonhole, supervision etc
7. I got locked in the loo during the Freshers’ Dinner. I bumped into another girl on coming out and we are still friends.
8. I attended the Freshers’ Fair but did not have the confidence to join any societies there.
9. I had a really good buffet lunch at the Christian Union event.
10. I met a girl whose relation was a really famous artist.
11. I felt inadequate as everyone went on about their exciting years off in Peru etc.
12. I developped my first college crush.
13. I visited my first law library.
14. I shopped at the largest bookshop I had every seen.
15. I discovered Nadia’s patisserie.
16. I met a rotten Roman Law teacher.
17. I got hit on the head with a ruler when I fell asleep in a lecture.
18. I saw the Madonna film Desperately Seeking Susan.
19. I went to a pub with people I would never socialise with again.
20. I decided that this was possibly the best move I was every going to make and it was!


So what bargains have I to celebrate this week?

I had a very strange experience last week when I visited a charity shop and bought absolutely nothing. This may be a first. There was the odd thing I fancied but I was put off by a rather officious male member of staff who as well as changing displays around in a weird way was also mouth almighty. I like peace when I am charity-shopping.

So the bargain that I would like to celebrate this week comes from the Netmums UK Nearly New board.

I spent £45 which I grant you is quite a lot of money when you are claiming it is a bargain. In return, I got two huge bundles of clothing that should keep my youngest clothed for the next 2-3 years. I have bought from the seller before and her clothing is always clean and of good quality. We are talking brands such as Gap, Timberland and Next.

For £45, I got 2 dressing gowns, 2 sets of pyjamas, socks, pants, vests, jumpers, cardigans, T-shirts, shirts, trousers, tracksuits and shorts.

I was so keen to share my bounty with you this week in pictures but that blasted camera has let me down again. Hoping I can get pictures up later today or tomorrow at the latest.

So this week, I was very practical in my bargain-hunting so hope to report on some quirky curios next week.

Now check out some rather lovely bloggers and their bargain finds.

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With love from the Striking Mum x

Dear Joan – Thank you for your calm voice and advising me not to scream. Thank you for treating myself, my husband and our new baby as individuals with our own specific needs. Thanks for talking in a down-to-earth and humorous way before during and after my son’s birth.

Dear Daniel – Thank you for being the first to change my son’s nappy. Thank you for telling me it is normal to be tired when you have young children and work too. Thank you for never making me feel stupid even when I was.

Please reflect on #healthworkers and rush over to sign the Save The Children petition.

Visit for more information on little steps you can take to make a huge difference.