LOCKDOWN life has become way too much of a reality for my liking, but, it’s also been a chance to explore the opportunities out there, open new doors and find comfort in talking to strangers who you can’t help but connect with over this crazy shared experience.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m struggling with this new way of life just as much as the next person, but I’m desperately trying to remain positive.
For me it was a great moment when I was asked to be involved in Joanne Warren Moore‘s amazing photography series raising funds for Smart Works, a UK charity that dresses and coaches unemployed women for their job interview.
After months of being stuck indoors with a hyper toddler and the challenges of homeschooling a tweenager, I was more than ready to put on some lippy and (attempt to) strike a pose! Not to mention the challenge of juggling all that with my ‘day job’ as a journalist AND my clothing and home decor business, By Kala X.
The project is entitled This Woman’s Work and in her own words, Joanne, who is a fellow East Londoner, explained: “I’m an advocate for women supporting women and this project is designed to do just that.”
“Juggling homeschooling, a business & in general keeping everyone alive & well is not easy!”
She went on: “I also want to provide a platform where women can share their strengths in having to adjust during very difficult circumstances and to tell other women of any success stories or top tips in business reform.
“In return for the photography session and images I am asking those that can for a voluntary donation to Smart Works to help support unemployed women into work during the recovery of this pandemic.
“All proceeds raised will go directly to this cause. There will be so many more women in need of support during these uncertain times.”
I couldn’t have put it better myself and to date, Joanne has helped raise over £3,000 for the much-needed organisation.
I loved having the chance to focus on just me for my session with Joanne and as you can tell by the resulting pictures we got on like a house on fire!
And what was my own little Lockdown Lesson, I hear you ask? Read on for my pearls of wisdom…
“I think lockdown has helped thousands of us to realise just how strong we are. Juggling homeschooling, running a business and in general keeping everyone alive and well is not easy!
“For me forward planning went out of the window, but I found it easier to deal with smaller, daily, bite-sized tasks. It felt more manageable and much more of an achievement when completed.
“I’m also very lucky to have a network of friends who regularly remind me to not be too hard on myself.”
To find out more click here.
With the start of the summer holidays, I don’t envy the working mum who has to somehow juggle full-time work with young children looking to be kept animated for seven days each week – luckily, with my little one still at the age of three I can find some comfort in the regular opening hours of the nursery!
And so, the launch of Tickety Toc’s very first toy range could not have come at a better time – and to top it off, taking place in the toy heaven that is Hamleys on Regent Street.
Tommy and Tallulah, stars of the show which screens on both Nick Jr and Channel 5’s Milkshake, were there in all their (bigger than) life-sized glory to greet the VIP testers, who included Denise Van Outen joined by husband Lee Mead and their daughter Betsy.
Other VIPs enjoying a day out with the family included Tamzin Outhwaite, John Sergeant, Laila Rouass, Lauren Crace, Charlie Condou, Shaun Dooley and Luisa Zissman.
The children were all smiles as they joined in with the activities and dancing led by Channel 5’s Milkshake! presenters Kemi and Olivia.
While the obvious point of conversation was the fact that Van Outen and Mead were pictured out together for the first time in months, helping to put to bed rumours of marriage problems – I took the opportunity to chat to TV presenter Kate Garraway and see if she had any tips about the joys of juggling.
Mum to Darcey, seven, and William, three, 45 year old Garraway gave a wry smile when I asked for her words of wisdom.
‘Like alot of parents out there these days I do rely on my own parents – their grandparents – who help to look after the children when I’m working, but when it comes to summer, everyone, even my parents want to take their holidays, so I’d definitely advise people to plan, so no-one gets left in the lurch’.
The Tickety Toc toy range is available from a range of retailers including Argos, Smyths and Amazon and include talking Tommy and Tallulahs, a Clockhouse playset, and a musical Pufferty train, with prices ranging from £6.99 to £30.
THIS week me and the boy have been testing out the Aveeno Baby Dermexa range, in particular the Good Night Emollient Balm and the Daily Emollient Cream.
And I’m not going to lie, the good night balm has been an absolute lifesaver for my little boy as the cold winter nights start to creep in, causing his skin to get drier than usual.
I’ve found the slightly thicker night balm perfect for helping to ease his itchy skin as he sleeps.
I’ve always been a fan of Aveeno for my little one’s skin, and talking to lots of other parents they too are full of praise for the brand – I mean it’s just one less thing to worry about right?
Parenting is hard enough, so it’s something to tick off the list and, the good news is there’s 1/3 off at Boots until November 6. #winning
KIDS’ favourite Fireman Sam and the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) have launched a timely new partnership to help teach youngsters about staying safe during Bonfire Night celebrations.
The Fireman Sam Safety Hero School has launched aimed at getting across key safety messages to pre-schoolers and their families.
Areas include fire safety, water safety, safety in the home, road safety and animal safety.
Children and parents can find a dedicated online platform at www.firemansam.com, where they can download a wealth of information in child-friendly language, including fire safety activity sheets, as well as the chance to watch fire safety videos from the Pontypandy firefighting crew.
The overall aim is to complete all the safety modules, gaining certificates and badges along the way to finally become a Fireman Sam Ultimate Safety Hero.
Such an important topic, so it’s great to see something which makes it simple – and fun! – for little ones.