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Pamper Parcels and Theo Paphitis #SBS

by RosieS on November 22, 2014

Theo Paphitis winners badge

I was planning on writing a post about my relatively new business Pamper Parcels but decided there wasn’t a great deal to say except that three months after launching I’m still enjoying it and there have been some really lovely reviews. Like this one, this one and this one. And also this one, this one and this one too!

Then came a tweet from Theo Paphitis of Dragons’ Den fame telling me I was one of the winners of Small Business Sunday (#SBS on Twitter). It’s something he runs on Twitter each week where he asks people to pitch their business to him in a tweet. He then chooses six winners from all the entries.

Had I been sitting on a chair when the announcement came through, I would have fallen off it. As it was I was busy drying IJ’s hair when my phone beeped with the news. Her hair was then forgotten, in superb parenting style, as Twitter went slightly crazy with lots of congratulations tweets. Ditto Facebook. There might even have been a little celebratory dancing.

Suffice to say I didn’t get much sleep that night as I was buzzing so much with the excitement of it all. It’s been a slightly crazy week.

I’m thrilled to bits that Pamper Parcels has been recognised in this way. It’s been something I’ve been building and nurturing since the beginning of the year. Building a business is hard work and a slow process. Things like this really make it worthwhile.

I’m now part of the #SBS network, which is great. If my head wasn’t quite so all over the place I’d write something about being part of something bigger with like-minded people and all the positives that brings, but I’m still a little dizzy with it all.

So thanks to everyone who has supported the business so far – family, friends, customers and lots of fabulous bloggers.

This is starting to read like an acceptance speech so I’ll bow out now. Special thanks and kisses to you all.

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Normal everyday life

by RosieS on November 13, 2014

Coffee by the fire

It occurred to me, while standing at the bus stop with a group of school kids (only one of them mine), that it’s been a while since I’ve written a proper blog post. ‘Proper’ as in something relating to normal everyday life in the real world rather than in the life of a brand.

Then it occurred to me that there isn’t a lot to say. There’s been a pretty awesome overseas trip, but I’ll be blogging about that in the months to come. I’ve been job hunting recently and I did think of ranting about companies that don’t let you know the outcome of their interview process or who offer you work then disappear, but it all felt too negative. The better news on that front is that I’ve now secured a new job, which I’m delighted about. The hard work starts next week.

Then there’s my sister’s wedding in less than three weeks and my struggles to find a dress. Not that I’ve actually started trying anything on yet. The struggles come from realising my figure’s changed substantially since turning 40 and I really should go to the gym. Again, negative.

Searching around for something positive to add I realised there are plenty of positives in normal everyday life. There’s been a big birthday in the family (Happy Birthday Dad!), IJ is happy and settled at school, my ecommerce business is ticking over nicely, and there’s an exciting trip to London at the weekend to buy flower girl dresses for IJ and my niece.

So after some job-related anxiety over the last few months, all is now well in the Scribble household. Life is calm and we’re enjoying the normal everyday. Usually I’m a fan of the uncertainty and unpredictability of life, but for now this period of calm and normality is exactly what we need. Normal everyday is good.

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Tesco Mum of the Year Awards 2015 shortlist

by RosieS on November 6, 2014

Tesco Mum of the Year shortlist banner

The Tesco Mum of the Year Awards, now in its 10th year, recently announced its 2015 shortlist. 26 mums have been selected from the thousands of entries received.

Each of their individual stories, often difficult to read, show incredible courage and achievement often in the face of huge adversity. Out of huge sadness comes the incredible determination to help and support others, to build on a legacy.

Like Jane Sutton whose son Stephen raised over £5m for the Teenage Cancer Trust after being diagnosed with the disease, making national headlines in the process. Jane is continuing Stephen’s work after his death this May.

LeighAnne Hedges launched her charity, Little Things Angel Clothes, to help grieving parents of stillborn or miscarried babies. LeighAnne provides specialist clothing for the babies as well as support and literature for parents.

Sheila Fairhurst set up The Carly Fund to celebrate the life and memory of her 19-year-old daughter Carly. Carly was killed by her boyfriend in 2006. The charity is dedicated to raising funds for Victim Support Counselling Services to help sufferers of domestic violence.

Sue Stevens, from Burnham-On-Sea, Somerset has dedicated 30 years to helping children in Kenya. Today, Sue helps feed and educate around 700 children through the charity Educate the Kids at their two schools near Mombasa.

It seems wrong to single four out. I’ve done so simply to highlight the variety of incredible stories reflected in the shortlist. Please do take time to read all about all 26 mums yourself.

The winners of the Tesco Mum of the Year Awards will be announced in early 2015. This year all shortlisted mums will receive a £1,000 donation from Tesco to a charity of their choice.

Since the Awards began in 2006, Tesco has helped over 80 mums raise the profiles of their charities and causes and I’m delighted to be supporting the awards as one of their official bloggers.

For more information about the Tesco Mum of the Year Awards, check out Tesco Living.

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The Photo Gallery: Talent

by RosieS on October 22, 2014

The Erechtheion, Athens

During my trip to Athens earlier this year I met a hugely talented Instagrammer called Christian Graham, known as The Pasta Master online.

Christian was a member of our party and as I sat next to him on the outward plane journey, I watched with fascination has he spent literally hours editing his photos before uploading them to his Instragram account, only doing so when they were exactly right.

It became obvious, watching Christian at work over the course of the weekend, that being one of the UK’s top Instagrammers requires commitment, dedication, extreme attention to detail, a drive for perfection, creativity and the ability to spot a photo opportunity where most of us wouldn’t.

I’ve been more than a little addicted to Instragram ever since, and have Christian to thank for that.

I took this photo at the top of the Acropolis during that trip. It’s a steep and slightly precarious climb to the top as you’re walking on very smooth marble a lot of the time. But it’s definitely worth it, not only for the Parthenon but also for the view, which is stunning.

View of Athens

There is so much there to photograph.

The side of the Parthenon

The side of the Parthenon.

The Erechtheion, Athens

The Erechtheion.

Pillars from the Parthenon

Pillars from the Parthenon.

Greek artifacts

Greek artifacts.

Dionysus Theatre, Athens

Dionysus Theatre.

But the photography you really need to check out belongs to Christian here: Instagram.com/thepastamaster

This week’s photo gallery theme is: Talent.

Thanks Christian for the inspiration!

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Are you a slave to your mobile phone?

by RosieS on October 20, 2014

Phone dial with web icons

It’s definitely saying something when your daughter greets you first thing in the morning with the words, ‘I’ve switched your phone on for you.’

That’s exactly what happened this weekend.

It was only a couple of hours later, reading an article in The Times called ‘Free yourself from digital slavery – for a day at least’, that I remembered IJ’s words.

Part of my morning routine, along with my ‘essential-in-order-to-function’ cup of coffee, is to check my phone and make sure the world is still turning and I haven’t missed anything urgent overnight.

I’m able (now) to resist the occasional urge to check my phone in the middle of the night, so I figured I was going pretty well.

But it’s fair to say I rarely do anything without my phone being within reach. The fact I’m typing this post on my phone proves my point.

The Times article stated that ‘digital technology has enslaved many people who would be happier if they gave up mobile phones and emails for one day a week’ according to Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis.

The argument is that the constant need to respond to electronic messages distracts ‘from family life and spiritual reflection’. Without such interruptions we are able to control our own agendas, and enjoy the peace of mind that goes with knowing there’s no expectation to reply to texts, emails or messages.

I’m not sure I could manage a whole day without my phone, although I agree that the ‘always on’ mentality doesn’t allow for any essential quiet time.

I actually like feel connected to my online life. It has to be a case, then, as with everything in life, of striking a healthy balance.

But there’s a problem.

I’ve discovered that while my phone is switched off in order to ‘distract from family time’ IJ, aged eleven, is tapping away on hers.

And THAT, if nothing else, has to be the reason why I now need to spend a lot less time attached to my phone.

Are you a slave to your mobile phone too?

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BEAR partners with the WWF

October 17, 2014

The arrival of a gift from the team at BEAR offered the perfect excuse to get my camera out and photograph my gorgeous niece and nephew, while at the same time boosting my ‘awesome aunty’ status. The brand didn’t exist when IJ was small so we weren’t familiar with it, but my three-year-old nephew is […]

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The Gallery: Eyes #SeeTheMiracle

October 8, 2014

In a hospital in rural Malawi, a grandfather is this morning preparing for life-changing cataract surgery that will restore his sight. This time tomorrow he’ll be waiting to have his bandages removed and see the world clearly for the first time in over a decade. He’ll also see his grandson for the very first time. […]

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For all the bad in the world …

October 4, 2014

After the week of grimmest news both nationally and internationally, it’s easy to dwell on the thought that there’s so much evil in the world. And I found myself doing exactly that this weekend. I can’t say I’m feeling the happiest of people as I pen this post. Yet it’s uplifting and reassuring to think […]

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Sisters

September 17, 2014

When I was eleven years old I got my own real life doll to play with in the form of a baby sister. I’d threatened to leave home if I got another brother, so it was just as well she was a girl. I’d put my foot down and decided that two brothers was enough. […]

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The photo of Alice

September 12, 2014

Not far from where this photo was taken is the image that sticks in my mind when I remember our recent trip to Richmond. There’s no photo to share here though as it didn’t seem appropriate to take one. The image in my mind’s eye is of IJ looking intently at a colour photo of 14 […]

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