Thursday, 3 July 2014

Upcyling Chairs with a Lovely #IkeaHack!

Hey bloggites!


This is going to be a mainly photographic post. I've had a bit of Kirsty Allsop inspiration and decided to UpCycle my old dining room chairs (which I'd bought from an Antiques Market for £40 a couple of years ago) into new funky, bright ones. With a little Ikea Hack thrown in for good measure. Ikea have this new range out which is SO limited addition that it's currently on sale. I LOVE it. Brakig. It's awesome and SO my taste. I'd decorate my whole house in it if I had the time/money. I don't. So I'll make do with some new dining room chairs. OK I bought some of the bowls too....but sssssh! 


I used cream not white but you get the idea! :)
So I've  wanted to paint my chairs for a while but couldn't think what to use to cover the minging old seats with. Then I saw the big cushion covers on sale for FOUR BRITISH POUNDS in Ikea and I thought ...wowsers! One cushion would cover 2 seats at 26'x26'! Cheap as chips! I used some old undercoat on the chairs first. 2 coats of that. Then 2 thin coats of cream gloss...only one small tin's worth £10.99 and that's it! I unscrewed the seat pads. Cut the cushions in two and cut off the seamed edges and zips. Stapled them onto the seat pads and screwed them back into place on the seats....jobs a good 'un! 

*Actually a little confession....my mum helped with *cough* DID *cough* the seat pads.


Ta-da!!!!!!!!! The finished product, side-by-side with the original! I'm a genius, what what? 

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

I have another blog now too! Wanna Meet Him?

Hey lovelies! I have started a new blog over here to deal with the newest, most exciting adventure in my life....a gastric band! Eeeek! I am scaaaaared! But I don't want to bore people who are not interested in weight loss so I decided to remove all my old weight loss posts from here and post them over there....along with the new posts following my HOPEFUL maaaahoooosssive weight loss from the band. 

This photo explains all..........



Monday, 26 May 2014

#TMI Post! Loads MORE things you probably Don't need to know about me....

Hey you guys! I have been tagged not once but TWICE by the lush-a-licious Michelle at The Purple Pumpkin Blog and lush-a-licious Liz at Everything Is Rosy. Because they are as nosy as me....hoorah! Now this is a loooooooooooong post so grab a cuppa & yer phone charger and settle down.....

    
1.   What are you wearing? Me pj's.....a cardie and some thick socks. Sex on (chubby) legs.

2.    Ever been in love?
 
Yes! I am lucky that I’ve been in love twice. My first was a university love, I spent my 20’s effectively single and then at 30 I met my husband, who I love to death!



Our wedding day...in case you didn't guess, like.
 
3.    Ever had a terrible break-up?
 
Yep. With the guy I was at in uni. He broke my heart completely. My world fell apart and I was scarred by that probably for the next 6 years. He didn’t cheat; he fell out of love with me. And I don’t even blame him.... It was my first proper relationship, I was desperately unhappy after moving up to London from South Wales. I worked in the centre and I would leave the house at 6.30-7am and get back at 8pm. We were squashed into a tiny 3 bed with 4 other people; I was miles and miles from all my friends and family. I was so lonely I would buy wine on my one day off a week (when he was in work) and sit in our room and drink and cry. So I became a bitch. I was a horrible, bitter, spoilt bitch and he kicked me to the curb! I came back from work one night and there was a note on the bed...he’d left me. He was at his brother’s and I had to pack up and move. I had nowhere to go, I had to leave my job and move back to Wales. It made me grow up overnight! It was the biggest learning curve of my life. And I am glad it happened. Years of heartbreak but it taught me about myself and it made me stronger. And if it hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t have my amazing husband and babies. No regrets. J
 
4.    How tall are you?  5’5.5”! I used to say 5.6 but I’m not quite. I think I am shrinking too!
 
 5.    How much do you weigh? Ahem. WAY too much. I’m a size 20-22...that’s all I’m saying. (Although if you’re clever enough and really desperate to know....very early posts of this blog were weight loss themed and my starting weight is prob what I am now...)
 
 6.    Any Tattoos?
 
Nope. I used to REALLY want one but now I’ve gone right off them. For me! Like them on others! And I am SO glad I didn’t get one done cos I’d be really regretting it now. Even tho I said earlier no regrets.....er.... ;)
 
7.    Any piercings?
 
Yes. When I was a kid, I wasn’t allowed to have my ears pierced. Even as a teenager! My mum
 
hated it....the thought of having holes in your ears made her feel sick. When I was 24 I went with a friend to get her eyebrow done and on a whim got my nose pierced. Then a few years later, during a bit of a turbulent time in my life
I went thru a bit of an early mid-life crisis... (I was only 28!) I had a nipple pierced ...one of the TWO just in case you thought anything weird was going on there... WOW that HURT! Then last year, for some unknown-even-to-me reason, I decided to get my ears done. And it turned out it was one week before I conceived Joni....I only knew this in retrospect obviously but I was keeping a note of the weeks to see when I could change the studs to something more chunky and fun...and soon those week markings became weeks that I was duffed up too! This was a very long answer to a simple question......
 
Oh but the irony is, my mum had HER ears pierced at the age of 50!!! Hypocrite!!! (Sorry mum! *waves*)
 
8.    OTP (One True Pairing)?
 
OK this refers to Fandom and other geek shiz I know nothing about....but my interpretation of it would be in real life.... (i.e. my fav coupling) Liz Taylor and *swoon* Richard Burton. I’d die to meet either. I want to BE Elizabeth. Except maybe her weird friendship with Michael Jackson. And in fake life, Don and Betty Draper. I’m still hopeful.....


SO much love. 



9.    Favourite show?
 
Right now it’s Mad Men. I can’t get enough of it. But it changes all the time. I watch a whole range of stuff. Mainly tho, it’s either total crap, historical docos/dramas or satirical comedy.
 
 
10.  Favourite bands?
 
I’ve been out of the “scene” for a good few years (#ponce) but I listen to 6music everyday to try and keep a hand in. At the moment I quite like Haim, Django Django and Metronomy but not enough to actually download their albums. Older stuff is more Indie and rock and 60’s/70’s. Probably my all time fav band would be Led Zep tho. And (embarrassingly) from 1996-2203 I was obsessed with the Foo Fighters. Hence my email address being Jess Grohl! I used to pretend I was married to Dave. #pathetic (btw can you even hashtag in your own blog???) (btw#2 my answers are waaaaay to long and you may have died of boredom by the end of this)
 
11.  Something you miss?
 
Rather predictably this is someone who is dead....my nana. Everyday. We were v. Close.
 
12.  Favourite song?
 
Changes allllllllll the time. I was fixated on a Drake song recently..... which was a bit wtf. Then I watched “Silver Linings Playbook” and it was all about Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t you worry bout a thing”.
 
13.  How old are you? 38. Look! A short answer!
 
14.  Zodiac sign? Taurus. Dragon in Chinese horoscope. Charismatic leader that’s full of shit.....that’s me!
 
15.  Quality you look for in a partner? We have to be able to laugh together. Boring but essential. I am not interested in someone who can’t laugh.
 
16.  Favourite quote? "Oh, Edmund, can it be true? that I hold here, in my mortal hand, a nugget of purest green?" 

Percy," Blackadder the Second."
 
17.  Favourite Actor? Like Michelle...it used to be Johnny Depp. I used to feel sick with lust when I saw pics of him and I love almost everything he’s been in.... But now he’s gone a bit old and puffy. I do love a bit of Matt Damon too. But I’d always go back the Burton. That velvety rich Welsh voice....hmmmmmm
 
18.  Favourite colour? Red.
 
19.  Loud Music or soft? Come on....loud of course!!!!
 
20.  Where do you go when you are sad? To my hubs. He’s makes everything alreet.
 
21.  How long does it take you to shower? 5 mins.
 
22.  How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? Er....quite a while. I have to get my 7 month daughter fed, changed and ready for the childminder, 4 yr old fed, dressed and ready for school and me ready for work, with or without make-up/shower/breakfast....depending on how late we are running.... Pre-kids tho.....if I’d had a late one....I’d have a shower before bed and sometimes roll out of bed, fling on clothes, do teeth and be out the door in 10 minutes...just for as much time in bed as poss!
 
23.  Ever been in a physical fight? Twice. Once with my brother....altho he didn’t actually hit me back, quite gallantly considering I’d hit him with a guitar. (alcohol was involved) and once when an old bezzie tried to punch me in a club...after I’d been winding her up aka being a bitch. Alcohol was also involved and by the time I’d got home (we lived in the same house share at the time) we were fine with each other! But I am way too much of a pussy to have a fight with a stranger, I’d have probably cried!  Altho I used to mouth off at blokes ALL the time in my old drinking-in-the-pub days. I was only threatened with a punch from one of them once remarkably.
 
24.  Turn on? This is weird, and I’m not just saying this to sound deliberately wacky and interesting....but I love the smell of garlic on other people’s breath. It actually properly makes me ....well, horny! I think it’s because I had (what I thought) was a super hot Greek boyfriend back in early days of uni and he always smelt of beer, camel cigarettes and garlic. Sounds revolting but it was so sexy. So I think that’s where it comes from.....
 
25.  Turn off? No body hair. I like a man with chest rug. Chest rug plus is a bonus.
 
26.  The reason I started blogging? I wanted something to help motivate me to stick to my diet (as I mentioned earlier). And it worked at the time. I lost a couple of stone. But then I got duffed up and changed it to “another” mummy blog. But I’m not so good at the mummy blogging...mainly cos I’m not so good at being a mummy!
 
27.  Fears? That I’m an uber rubbish mum. Oh and that my children will grow up to be unhappy, drug addled lunatics. You know, the usual.
 
28.  The last thing that made you cry? My own behaviour....lack of patience....
 
29.  The last time you said you loved someone? God, dunno...I say it all the time. Ever since my nana died I’ve been paranoid that I may never have another opportunity to say it (even tho that wasn’t exactly the case with my nana). So I even say it to friend’s I love at the end of phone calls. And I’m not being flippant. I mean it.
 
30.  Meaning behind your blog name? I met my hubs online on MySpace (we bonded over shared childhood memories of Christopher Lilicrap) and his online name was/is Emlyn K Helicopter. I didn’t change my name when we got married because I’m the only person I know who thinks it’s old fashioned and I don’t see the point. But because Helicopter is neither of our real names’, I am happy to adopt it. Plus it’s a funny name. So its cos this blog is a mixture of my large weight and my babies....
 
31.  Last book you read? Snobs by Julian Fellows. Great.
 
32.  The book you are currently reading? The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. It’s literally un-put-downable.
 
33.  Last show you watched? *shame face* The Real Housewives of New Jersey.
 
34.  Last person you talked to? My hubster, sat opposite on his lap top. We’re such losers.
 
35.  The relationship between you and the last person you texted? My Aunty Kimmy....who’s too young to be my Aunty really and it annoys her that I call her Aunty. Hee hee!
 
36.  Favourite food? *stares menacingly at slimfast shake* ANYTHING SOLID! (but really, CHEESE)
 
37.  Place you want to visit? China. Did some travelling back in the day (i.e. pre-kids, and pre-marriage) and went to SE Asia but would LOVE to see China. And I mean like a grand tour where I see all different aspects. I had an obsession with it years ago and read novels set there, written there, about Chinese immigrants, everything and watched Chinese films.....even weird obscure ones I found on t’interwebs. I am a bit obsessive about stuff.....
 
38.  The last place you were? What does this mean?! Like, the toilet or my garden or something?! If it means the last place I went abroad then it was our honeymoon in Sardinia 5 years ago.


As you can see, not beached....
 
39.  Do you have a crush? Wouldn’t it be a bit weird if I said, yeah actually there’s this guy..... oops, hi Emlyn!!!!??? I have a crush on him still. Luckily.
 
40.  Last time you kissed someone? Gus. Not in that way....don’t be gross. A goodnight kiss.
 
41.  Last time you were insulted? Ah probably one of my brothers, Matt, mucking around. Can’t remember.
 
42.  Favourite flavour of sweet? Not a sweet fan. Um, so not sure really. Oh I like Palma Violets.
 
43.  What instruments do you play? I can strum a geeeeeeetar. I used to hide behind it to sing and (excruciatingly) I used to force my friends to listen to my warbling as if I was the next Joni Mitchell. *shudders*
 
This photo is black and white cos my friend was doing photography. not because it actually WAS the 60s! 

44.  Favourite piece of jewellery? Cheese-aroonie but it’s my engagement ring. It was my nana’s and being the little charmer I was as a kid, I used to say to her: Nana, when you die can I have you ring please?! So on her death bed she remembered and gave it to me. Heartbreak city!!!! :’(
 
45.  Last sport you played? Get off. I don’t DO sport.
 
46.  Last song you sung? Dream a Little Dream of Me to my bubba Joni.
 
47.  Favourite chat up line? None, I hate them.
 
48.  Have you ever used it? n/a
 
49.  Last time you hung out with anyone? Hung out with my pal Spooks (Sally) and her girls on sat avo when Emlyn and Gus were away. Girls day!
 
50.  Who should answer the questions next? These lovely ladies are tagged, not sure it’s your cup of tea (or rather in keeping with your blogs) but I am mega nosy and I want to know more about you....PLEASE do it!!!



Steph at Sisterhood & All That
Sam at Up All Hours
Cas (pronouced Casssss if you must know!) at Mummy Never Sleeps;
 Jess at Put Up With Rain.

Do it Do it Do it!!!!!




Thursday, 22 May 2014

#Bentobabies.... Controversial or Not? YOU decide!


So a couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to take part in an article in the local paper The Echo which was about kids' packed lunches. Children's party planner Liz Mullen is hosting an event called Big Lunch which encourages communities to eat together once a year and this inspired the article. I was more than happy to take part because Gus is notoriously fussy. Not so bad anymore but definitely when he was younger he wouldn't eat ANY fruit, veg or salad. Just cheese and some form of carbs...potato waffles, toast (at a push) or pasta and baked beans. Nowadays, as long as I am clever about it, he eats pretty well. But even though some of you may be impressed at the contents of his Thomas and Friends lunch box....remember that this, pasta pesto and chips are pretty much the only savoury things he'll eat IN THE WORLD. So it's actually pretty limiting. 

I mention in the article (which I will post a link to here when it goes online but have a rubbish photo of it for now...) that I got a few ideas from seeing the hashtag #bentobabies trending on Instagram. More specifically I can thank Jade Pirard, a fellow Mummy blogger, for making me aware of the phenomenon by posting lots of lovely photos of the boxes she was making for her son, Ted (e.g. herehere and here). So I poached the idea of cookie cutting sandwiches (which amazingly worked....Gus normally never touches sandwiches!) and spearing little chunks of cheese and fruit on cake topper skewers. 
  


Now not only am I am posting this to shamelessly plug an article I appear in (ha!) it also appears that bento boxes (or creative lunch boxes as Joe Public would call them) are a contentious issue! Grace Hall of Eats Amazing spends her time creating lunch box master pieces. She has featured in the Daily Mail for her creative talents no less but some people have not been so kind. Why anyone would feel the need to attack someone because they choose to make eating easier and more fun for their kid is BEYOND me. But they did. In a very public way. I am not going to post a link to the article but suffice to say Grace was pathetically ridiculed for the fact that she chooses to spend her time making amazing looking lunch boxes and encouraging other parents to do the same. Why are people so childish?! If you click on the links I am pretty sure you will be impressed and inspired and not jealous and cynical...which is the only explanation I can come up with for the nasty response posted on well known Parent site. 

What do YOU think? Have you got a fussy eater? Do you think creating monster shaped food items and alien sandwiches would help your kid eat healthier? I'm pretty sure if I had a Buzz Lightyear cutter, I could make Gus eat anything!

Gus looking like a crazy! 



Super Busy Mum

Sunday, 4 May 2014

What Joni Wore Before She Puked Part 9

Hello you! Well I guess you're here to see some pictures of my gorgeous girly in some pretty clothes, yes?! Well you won't be disappointed.....  







Monday, 21 April 2014

What Joni Wore Today (Before She Puked ...and she did) Part the 8th

Helllooooooooo! 

So beautiful Joni-Jo (nickname, the "Jo" is an optional extra) has reached the tender age of 6 months! Wowsers! She is grooooooown! So to celebrate, we have a special 4 outfits in one post! You lucky dabbers! Here she is.......







Hope you all had a magnificent Easter! Big Kiss from the Helicopter Massive! XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Back to Work Soon BUT I'm GLAD TO BE UNHAPPY!

Hi my lovely strangers! How's it going? Long time no speak eh? Can you believe I have but a few weeks before I tread the boards of work once more?! Yes my maternity leave is coming to an end. And much as I never thought I’d say this, but I’m really sad about it! But I am happy that I am sad. Let me explain.

 I know that it’s the NORMAL reaction. The NORMAL reaction to being ripped away from being with your children 24/7 to shove your nose to the grindstone IS sadness! But. I am not normal. I am someone who finds childcare hard. I mean, of COURSE it’s hard but I think I find it unusually hard. And stressful.  I am very impatient, I have a terrible temper and an increasingly short tolerance for crying (baby or pre-schooler). And a pre-disposition to anxiety when things get too much. And I definitely can’t cope with the unpredictability of childcare. I am far too much of a control freak. I can’t stand the disorder.

Of course, the fact that I am these things and I know these things makes me feel terrible. I feel like the worst mum in the world. I feel pathetic. I can’t cope with my children crying! I can’t cope with not knowing how my day will pan out! I can’t cope with my child saying no to me! So why did I have children?????

I didn’t know that I wasn’t going to be the best mum in the world before I had kids. I actually really arrogantly assumed I would love it and be brilliant at it! I LOVE kids. I have a brother who is 11 years younger than me and from the minute he was born I LOVED looking after him. I loved feeding him, I loved playing with him, I loved reading him stories at night. I loved going to his playgroup as a toddler and playing with his little friends (that sounds so wrong! You know what I mean!). I loved babysitting for my mum’s friends. And my first job was as a childminder. In fact, I would go on to love looking after my friends kids too. I have more photos of my friend Laura’s children than I do of my own! (so far and to be fair, it has been 14 years of photo taking!).
Me (the biggest one) aged 13, my bro in the hat and his buddies.

SO. Lo and behold when I had my first child and I actually wasn’t a natural, amazing mum, it was a HUGE shock to me.  Ok so I had a very rough first pregnancy, then my arrogance of ignoring pre-birth breast feeding advice bit me on the butt when it transpired that actually I was rubbish at it, it DIDN’T “just come naturally” like I’d expected and in the end (after weeks of trying), my child just wasn’t getting anything from me, despite feeding for hours and hours and hours with bleeding nipples and sheets of tears. And even though in my memory the first few months after Gus was born were a lovely if somewhat hazy time, by 4 months I developed crippling anxiety. I was staggering under the weight of responsibility of keeping this little dude alive and I just couldn’t cope. I was desperate to get back to work. To get some normality in my life again. And I’ve always felt massive shame about that. I felt so jealous of people who actively wanted to stay at home longer and be with their babies. Being alone with my baby scared the hell out of me. I feel so guilty even typing that. I would count the hours til my husband got home and hand Gus over to him the minute he walked in the door. That was actually the case on my days alone with him up until he was really quite old I think, maybe 18 months or so?

Gus wasn’t even a difficult baby. Far from it. At 4 months he went through a tough phase because he was starving and we didn’t really understand until I started to lose my mind that actually he just wanted to be weaned. But apart from that he was lovely.  He got into a routine early on and slept well in between.  So I can’t even claim that that was a factor in my inability to cope.

There will be people reading this who just won’t understand at all. They won’t get what I found so hard. They will be thinking, “you just get on with it. Why didn’t you just get on with it”. I don’t know why. I wish I could have “just got on with it”.

I think the main thing I couldn’t cope with was just that the time was no longer my own. Which is so selfish! Of course it’s not my own! It’s completely in the hands of a tiny megalomaniac! And I CHOSE for that to happen!

SOOOOOO the second time around? I really willed for it to be different this time. For me to actually ENJOY my children’s company uninterrupted. To thrive and become the stereotypical "perfect" mummy that every child wants....one who has the patience of a saint, bakes and paints and sings with a lovely soft sheen over everything! (Thanks INSTAGRAM!)  So that my son especially has happy memories of the time his mummy looked after him full time before he went to big school.
Who would not miss these little blighters?!

And we have painted and sung and baked....

But of course having a newborn and a 3.5 yr old was never going to be easy! Especially when the 3.5 yr old has pin-balled from terrible 2’s to threeanger to regressed potty training and full on screaming Noooooooooooooooooo’sssssssssss!!!!!!!

The fear of second time around being as scary as the first however, WAS unfounded. It’s much more physical work for sure but the scary, overwhelming feeling wasn’t there. I am obviously at peace with having the responsibility of other humans now! Hooray! And even though Joni took a loooooong time to get into a routine which didn’t involve screaming for hours in the evening and no sleep in the day (!!!!) it’s much easier emotionally. I did actually have a wobble at 17 weeks where I thought I was going to develop the same anxiety I had with Gus. But I took myself straight off to see my counsellor and nipped it in the bud. Ok I sound flippant here, but she helped me see that I was having meta-anxiety....where you worry about worrying! Overthinking, much?!

But what also helped was that I arranged for me to go back to work 2 months earlier than planned. I had a stretch of months and months ahead of me and I just didn’t feel confident enough to think I could cope, especially when I thought I was going spend everyday fighting off panic attacks whilst trying to do the 2 mile round trip nursery school run in between Joni feeds and Gus tantrums.

Now that date is looming though I am actually quite sad about it. I am only going back 3 days a week so I still get 2 whole days with them to myself but it will be quite surreal to go back to mundane office work rather than having my babies make me laugh my head or shout very loudly! And even more so that Gus will be going to school full time in September so I really will not have this time with him again. And I LOVE his company. He’s such a dude!

But the fact that I am feeling sad makes me happy because it makes me feel normal. Like I am a normal mum! A mum that loves spending time with her kids even though I don’t ALWAYS love spending time with them. Cue perfect opportunity to post this lovely song from the Mamas & the Papas.....

Just to show that I have had a lovely time along with the tantrums and tears, I am going to do a picture post of some of the activities we got up to over my maternity leave in my next post.
Right, this was an uber rambler so if you’re still awake I applaud you! One thing a baby with a more regular routine means is more blog posts...huzzah! So I’ll come back with the funny’s soon! This one was a bit serious for me and I’m not sure I’m that comfortable with it. ;) 

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Ciao for now tho bloggites! Mwah, big kiss! XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX