Thursday, 29 March 2012

WSPA: Have you seen my horn?

To celebrate my little boy turning one-year-old, I took him and his sister to Colchester Zoo.  Sophia told me with great authority how much she was looking forward to seeing the cats and how Dexter wanted to look at the rhinoceroses.

Rhinos don't tend to be the first animal you think of when you talk about visiting a zoo - I always find lions, tigers, polar bears and elephants are higher up the list - but it turns out that the rhinoceros is a desirable animal..Desirable, that is, for its horns.

These horns were found by the Metropolitan Police's Wildlife Crime Unit in Westminster in the mid 1990s. 

But what's unbelievable, is that criminals are so desperate to get their hands on these horns, they're willing to break into a zoo and saw them off the animals during the night.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

From baby to boy

There's been a transformation in my household.  It happened very suddenly, without warning.  I almost didn't notice.

My baby is a baby no more.  He's now a little boy.  A one-year-old little boy.  A beautiful little boy.  Crawling around, sitting, laughing, playing with his sister.  It's so wonderful to watch.

It seems like yesterday, Dexter joined our family.  And how I have enjoyed watching him grow...

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Fun in the sun


Saturday, 24 March 2012

Making the BiB Award Shortlist

From today, I'm going to be busy writing my best Kate Winslet / Gwyneth Paltrow / general over-emotional woman speech.  Why?  Because - and I can't quite believe I'm writing this - I have been shortlisted for two Brilliance in Blogging awards (BiBs)!

Thank you to everyone who considered my blog worthy enough for such an honour and who nominated me in the first place.  Chez Mummy is *counts on fingers* barely five months old and, although I hoped I might make the shortlist, I never really thought I would.  There are so many great blogs out there, I feel humbled and honoured to be mentioned among them.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Review - The Gruffalo Live

A little girl took a stroll through the deep dark wood,
She spotted a theatre show and thought it might be good.
But what, dear reader, was the show all about?
And did we like it?  Come and find out....

Sophia and I had our own little adventure at the weekend.  We felt brave; we felt courageous; so we packed our bags and went in search of...the Gruffalo!

On the trail of the Gruffalo!

The Gruffalo Live is a stage show of the ever-popular book.  Performed by just three actors, it is currently travelling the UK and tells the story of the mouse that...wait, you don’t need me to tell you what the story’s about, you’ll probably – no, definitely – already know. 

Monday, 19 March 2012

London politicians support WSPA campaign

As you probably know, I've been supporting the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) charity.  At the start of this month they launched a campaign called Cruelty in a Concrete Jungle to call on whomever becomes London Mayor after the May elections to ensure the Metropolitan Police's Wildlife Crime Unit is properly funded and resourced.  The unit does great work to try and stamp out the illegal wildlife trade in London but has suffered from budget cuts and lack of manpower.

WSPA are calling on us to sign their e-petition and pile pressure onto the London Mayoral Candidates to pledge they will raise funding levels once more.  So far, over 7,000 people have supported the campaign and placed their (electronic) signature onto the petition.

And people are taking notice.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Shiny happy people

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Show me the funny

I'm feeling rather low at the moment.  I've written about how hard I'm finding it being back at work full-time and it really is no joke.

I seem to have lost my joie de vivre of late.  Trouble is, I'm not sure how to get it back.

I want to be able to smile, genuinely smile...maybe even laugh.  Even if it's only a small giggle, that brief second of joy would be a welcome relief from my increasingly sombre mood.  You never know, it might make all the difference.  Can you help me?  Go on, tell me your best joke...

Shall we joke?
Image credit

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Belonging: WSPA Cruelty in a Concrete Jungle Campaign

Cats are Sophia's favourite species of animal at the moment.  She absolutely adores them.  We don't have one (yet), but my mum is a cat breeder and Sophia loves nothing more than going to see them.  She has some cuddly cat toys that she loves (although not as much as Barney, her teddy bear) and thinks all things cat-related are fabulous.

That's why she'd be heartbroken to see this.

This is a baby tiger cub, no more than 10 weeks old.  It was caught, killed and stuffed because someone thought it would look nice on a shelf or mantlepiece somewhere. 

Sunday, 11 March 2012

We got teeth!

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Dark days: Searching for a work life balance

This week, I have passed the five week mark of being back at work.  Just over five weeks of being a full-time working mum.  That's over a month of being back in gainful employment.

What did I do to celebrate?  I sat on my bed and cried.  After a while, I moved downstairs to get started on the washing up...and cried again.

If you were looking for some sort of jovial celebration about my ability to combine motherhood and full-time employment, I'm afraid you've come to the wrong place.  If that's what you're looking for, you may want to look away now; I don't want to drag your mood down with mine.

I wrote a guest post a little while ago about whether being a working mother makes me a better parent; a desperate attempt to put a brave face on things, to look on the bright side of life and focus on the positives that come with earning a wage.

But, it's not that easy.  It never is, is it?

Thursday, 8 March 2012

It's a kind of Magix: Photo and video software giveaway

As a fairly new blogger, I've discovered that it can take a lot of work to create an attractive website or blog.  Other, more experienced bloggers can make it look so simple, but I've learnt that their effortless class and style actually involves hard work. 

A major part of this is the use of illustrations.  Of course the words are important - high-quality writing is the most important thing to draw readers in and keep them coming back for more - but it's also important to think about how to illustrate each post, each story.

This has been something I've been trying to think more about.  I'd like to try and make my photographs look at least semi-professional rather than completely, obviously amateur.  And of course, as an increasingly avid and passionate video blogger, I've been looking around to find a professional editing system to help take my videos to 'the next level'.

Enter Magix.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Love you forever, Cafe Bebe

"I'll love you forever,
 I'll like you for always
 As long as I'm living
 my baby you'll be."
                        - "Love You Forever" by Robert Munsch, 1986.

Karin over at Cafe Bebe is running a month-long project called Love You Forever.  Based on the 1986 book of the same name, she has recruited 31 bloggers who, over the course of March, will reveal exactly how they feel about their children.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Eleven times table

I seem to have found myself tagged in the mother of all memes.  Now, I'm not sure what I've done to deserve this but whatever it was, it must have been bad.

This particular challenge involves *takes deep breath* telling you good folk 11 things about myself, answering 11 questions, thinking of 11 more and then tagging 11 other bloggers *exhales sharply*.

Maths was never my strong point at school but even I know that's *counts on fingers* a lot of things to do.  But it doesn't end there.  I have been tagged by two sadistic lovely bloggers - Here Come The Girls and Chelsea Mamma.  So that's double the amount of questions to answer.  I'll still only be thinking of 11 questions for 11 other bloggers (thank goodness, otherwise my brain may just explode!). 

Friday, 2 March 2012

WSPA: Fighting to protect nature's animals

Last Autumn, myself, Sophia and Dexter, along with my parents, took a day trip to the zoo.  Not for any special occasion; it was just a nice day and we wanted to make the most of it.  The zoo is about an hour's drive from my parents house and I was looking forward to taking the children; it used to be my family's annual summer outing when I was growing up and we always had great fun.  I used to love watching their polar bear. But he's not there any more.

This is one of the reasons why...

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