Archives for September 2013

Silent Sunday





Back already

Well, after that dramatic announcement, I wasn’t even gone for two weeks. Bit embarrassed now but hey, I thought it would be longer and felt you deserved some sort of warning.

The reason I disappeared hasn’t gone away, It’s just starting to get a bit better now. I don’t mean to be mysterious but I can’t really (and don’t want to) explain why, not here, not yet… I may do at some point in the future but for those of you that asked  I’m ok, thanks for your lovely messages! I will reply to you soon if you have sent me a proper email 🙂

So, erm… yeah, I’m back. Good to see you again.

That’s all (for now)!

Mushrooms Mum x

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Advance apologies for my absence

Dear readers,

I am just posting to apologise in advance for an extended period of absence.

That sounds very formal doesn’t it? Hmmm, well, that’s how it came out.

For various reasons, which I’d prefer not to share at the moment (this may change when I return), I will be going offline for a little while. It may be a few weeks and it may be slightly longer.

All I know is that I will be back.

But in the meantime, there will be no blog posts and I won’t be around on twitter either. I will keep an eye on my emails though, so if there is anything you need to contact me about, do email me and I’ll do my best to respond as soon as I can.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Rachael (and Mushroom, who is absolutely fine, in case anyone is wondering)


Alternative uses for your baby sleeping bag

Before the summer started I cleared out Mushroom’s drawers to make way for his summer clothes (it looks like I will shortly be sorting him out again for winter now! The summer never seems to last long enough) and found a couple of 0-6 months sleeping bags. I was planning to put them in storage but for some reason I left them out (I can’t remember why, I expect I was interrupted for something terribly important, in Mushroom’s eyes).

Later that week Mushroom was sick and I had to change his sheets. We didn’t have a clean pillow case so I grabbed one of these sleeping bags and tried it. Perfect fit. It just happened to be an In The Night Garden sleeping bag and Mushroom went back to sleep smiling and talking about Iggle Piggle despite feeling unwell.

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Feeling pleased with myself about coming up with a way of re-using this sleeping bag that made Mushroom so happy, I decided to try and think of other uses for it, rather than storing it away.

The next best use I came up with was as a sunshade. Mushroom’s buggy doesn’t really protect him from the sun (and he often throws his hat off in frustration – ‘head hot Mummy!’) so it worked perfectly to keep him in the shade on really hot days… See?

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I came up with a couple more ideas so thought I would share them here in case you, too, have a couple of old ones lying around.

  • Hygiene mat (for changing tables when you don’t have/have forgotten your own mat)
  • Buggy protector for newly potty trained toddlers (we still sometimes use a slightly heavier (2.5 tog) baby sleeping bag for Mushroom on long journeys

If you think of any more, do comment below to let me know so I can steal your ideas too. Thanks. 😉

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Nature in the city 1: Blackberry picking

This is the first in what will become a series about how Mushroom and I make the most of our green (and not so green!) spaces in the city to interact with nature. I thought I’d start with something seasonal so first up is a post about blackberry picking!

Not far from where we live, there’s a recently renovated park, imaginatively named ‘jubilee gardens’ (no, it’s not the one at the South Bank and yes, I am being a little sarcastic). It’s a lovely park that has been created with an emphasis on making the most of the natural space it occupies. Sort of. But that’s for another post. The reason I mention it here is because you can either walk to it via the main road, passing the usual bus stops and shops on the way, or you can take the back streets…

One of these back streets leads to a wide open field that houses a disused Scout hut. It’s not a route I’d take during the winter months when it’s dark and not many people are using it for safety reasons but during the summer Mushroom and I almost always go this way.

After a short walk past the hut, there is a bit of a path that leads over a river with just a little “dirty water,” (according to Mushroom) and loads of wild flowers. On the corner, just before the river, there is a massive blackberry bush.

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It’s massive. MASSIVE. It goes right round the coner and this photo really doesn’t do it justice

Mushroom and I have been passing this blackberry bush for a while and I explained to him that you can eat the little red berries but that they “are not ready yet.” I told him they would be black when they are ready. This week, I packed a tupperware container without telling him and said we were going for a walk. When we reached the bush he pointed to the bush and said “Mummy? Not ready yet.” I said “Yes, they are ready and we can eat them!” I was rewarded with a massive grin, followed by a look that clearly said “are you sure?” I picked and ate one to show him it was safe and gave him one to try. A slow smile spread across his face as the juicy fruit burst between his teeth and he showed me his berry stained gums. I the got out the container and said we would pick some to take home and he was very excited. It wasn’t long before he was covered in sticky blackberry juice!

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Mushroom eats all the ones he picks and then makes quick work of the ones I was saving!

After about 15 minutes he got fed up so we headed over the river to the park. He kept stopping along the way to pick blackberries from the smaller bushes we saw on our walk and once we reached the park I overheard him saying to another child “berries ready,” as though he was delivering world news. He kept asking for more on the way home so  I never got to make the crumble I’d planned as there wasn’t enough left! However, I’m sure we’ll go blackberry picking again before the end of this month so there’s still time.

I’m linking up with Coombe Mill‘s Country Kids blog linky with this series. To find out more and/or add your own, click on the image below:

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


Moving Fowards – free e-coaching package (limited offer!)

As some of you know, as well as mothering Mushroom, I am also a Writer, Poet and Life Coach (read more here). The coaching has been taking a back seat lately but I’m pleased to say that I am now back in business!

Are you…

Struggling with a particular issue? – this could be to do with work, parenting, family, or any other issue
Wanting to move on but having trouble defining your goals?
Simply ‘feeling stuck’ with life in general?

Would you like to…

Find out what’s holding you back and move past it?
Get a clearer vision of the future you would like to move towards?
Get 1:1 personalised support with a particular issue or to achieve a short or long-term goal?

Do you…

Feel that life coaching would be great but you just don’t have the time?
Feel uncomfortable sharing your deepest dreams and fears in a face to face situation with a stranger?

If any of the above apply, then my new Moving Forwards e-coaching package may be for you.

Silhouette woman run under blue sky with clouds

With my 1:1 clients, I specialise in outcome focused coaching, helping people to move towards their goals. If you are unsure of where to start, part of the coaching includes helping to define what your goals are if they are feeling a little unclear to begin with. For those I have worked with, these goals range from weaning a nursing toddler to improving relationships (at home and/or work) to life-changing career decisions.

The Moving Forwards e-coaching package includes:

  • A free consultation (by phone or skype) to assess your needs and decide whether this method will suit you
  • Four emails (in response to four emails from you, so eight in total). This is the equivalent of four 90 minute face-to-face sessions. I will respond to all emails within seven days or less
  • A personalised guided meditation (audio file)
  • Up to four text messages for when you need extra support. I will respond to all texts within 24 hours
  • A review (by phone or skype) and tips to keep you on track (if you haven’t already achieved your goal/s!)

Want to know the likely return on your investment? Well, here’s what some of my clients say about working with me:

“Working with Rachael helped me to find solutions that suited me and my family and were effective within a short time. I felt I could say anything and there would be no judgement, only support.”

“I had tried to wean J previously but lacked conviction. I just wasn’t sure it was what I wanted/best for both of us. Rachael asked gentle questions that made me think differently about the situation, and helped me to come up with a method for weaning that took both of our needs into account. Most importantly, it was one I felt happy with. J was fully weaned within two days.”

“I have found my coaching sessions with Rachael to be truly inspiring and stimulating and have gained confidence since working with her.”

“I am well on my path to achieving my goals, and changing some deep-seated challenging behaviour.”

As this is a new way of working for me, the first two clients I work with I will do so for free, in return for honest feedback. If you’re interested in taking advantage of this opportunity, get in touch and let’s talk about your needs.

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Silent Sunday