Tuesday, 8 April 2014

A sad reminder

I never thought I'd write these words, but Peaches Geldof's death has affected me more than any other celebrity's before. Way more than Nelson Mandela, or others who arguably contributed more to the world than Peaches ever did. Still, the news of her death, and her dad's heartbreaking statement, reduced me to tears.

I guess it's the reminder that nobody is immune - that even a young, beautiful mum and wife who seems to have found meaning and joy in motherhood and family, can wake up one beautiful spring morning for it suddenly all to end, forever. I see my own children in her two little boys and my heart breaks for them. A reminder if ever there was one to live every single day as it if were your last.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Thank you for breastfeeding

I was really sad to hear of the mum in Rugeley who was called a tramp on a public forum for breastfeeding. It's depressing that there is still a cohort of ignorant people who cannot disassociate a woman's breasts from their secondary sexual function and don't know how to respond when they're confronted with a woman using her breasts for their primary purpose. I wished I could take part in the feed-in but sadly it was too far away. I thought about how we could show other mums who are feeding in public that they're actually doing a great job, and came up with the idea of designing some cards that could be quietly handed to a mum who's breastfeeding in public to tell her to keep up the good work - every mum who breastfeeds in public is paving the way for other mums to normalise breastfeeding and remove the stigma.

The artist Katie Berggren, whose beautiful paintings of motherhood and breastfeeding would adorn my whole house if I had my way, very kindly gave us permission to use her images on the cards.

So here they are - print and share and hand them out! You don't need to be a breastfeeding mum to hand these out. They're for everyone - grandmas, grandpas, aunts, brothers, sisters - to use to tell breastfeeding mums that we value what they're doing and support them.

To print them off, click on the images to open them then right click and save. From there you can go into the jpegs and print them off. There's one for the front of the cards and one for the back, thought the backs are only usable for the UK as they have the National Breastfeeding Helpline on them.

Friday, 7 March 2014

New month, new shop...

So here's my new shop. It only has three things in it right now, but I'm going to add more. I've decided to only sell signs - no more blocks, much as people seemed to like them, as they were very time consuming to make, and no more other accessories. Just signs. I've had a few people favouriting my things already, and when I've got time I'll be stocking it up.

Friday, 28 February 2014

Goodbye violetfizz

I've closed Violetfizz on Etsy while I work on streamlining it and rebranding it. I've been thinking of doing this for a while and events conspired last week to confirm this was the right decision. There's too much different stuff in there, with too many different themes, so I'm planning to focus on one product line. The next few months will be spent on making and photographing new products for the new shop - here's a wee preview.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Food I am currently obsessed by

Here are my current food obsessions....am addicted to all these foods, which give the lie to the notion that vegans just eat alfalfa sprouts and Ryvita.

Nutritional yeast. Bear with me, I know the name doesn't inspire confidence. Known as 'nooch' in the vegan community, it's salty, nutty and cheesy all at the same time. I smother my pasta with it the way I used to with cheddar cheese.

Violife cheese slices. Just like cheapo Kraft cheese slices of your childhood, without the sour tang of 'real' cheese.

Dill sandwich slices. These have a really delicious buttery taste alongside the herby dill overtones. My local vegan food shop, the wonderful Quality Vitamins, orders them in for me with their bulk order so I don't pay postage. A packet doesn't last very long in my house.

Spaghetti with courgette, garlic, lemon and chilli. Needs no explanation. Grate a big courgette, fry it up for three minutes or so, add a bit of garlic, lemon and chilli to taste - yum.

Chip butty. I've rediscovered crinkle cut Micro Chips recently, a love affair that began when I was very young. Best in a morning roll with veganaise, salt, vinegar, and a couple of pickled onions. Cold can of Diet Irn Bru is mandatory.

Fry's orange creams. 100% vegan, 100% completely unhealthy, 1000% delicious. I just wish they still made the five flavour version with a different flavour in every segment.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Five resolutions for February

OMG! It's February. How did that happen?

January has been quiet in our house for various reasons. Gastro bugs. Post Christmas skint-ness. Colin having a dry January.

But now it is FEBRUARY, and all that must change. This is what I plan to do in February-

Go to the hairdresser and get something new done. Yes! My appointment is booked and I'm going in three weeks.

Experiment with some new recipes. I've fallen into another cooking rut and have been churning out the same old things both for myself and the kids. This book will change that I hope. Although I did get off to a bad start with the risotto and courgette pie (hard nuggets of semi cooked rice in soggy pastry - yuck), the kale and garlic pasta was amazing and I've made it three times.

Go somewhere new and interesting. Same old rut for visiting places. The next free weekend we have, we'll be going as a family to somewhere none of us have ever been before. Not sure where. Maybe a wee village, up a mountain, or taking a trip to somewhere cultural. Suggestions welcome.

In possibly the shallowest NY resolution ever, I decided I was going to wear nail varnish every day of 2014, and change the shade every month. Mainly because I have a ridiculous amount of nail varnish that sits looking at me balefully. I've stayed true to this in January, and in February will be wearing a Butter London sparkly purple.

Going on a date with my husband to celebrate our anniversary. Not sure where but that doesn't matter as much - the point is we're getting to do date night!

    Us, before marriage and mortgages, when we still looked young and fresh-faced.........

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

A story of loss

Sarah did not know the father of her baby.

The conception was painful, brutal. She fought and wailed, but rough hands held her down. It was not the first time she had become pregnant at the hands of these men, and it would not be the last.

Months passed, and she felt the life in her belly move. More months passed, and she woke to pain, and she knew it was time.

Clumsy, impatient hands pulled her child from her, the same hands as before. Then, her child. A boy. They lay down together, and he fed from her, drinking the milk that was his and his alone for now.

They were left alone for a time, then after some hours had passed, the men returned for her baby. Sarah wailed and called in frantic pain as they bundled her tiny, helpless baby away. She cried with grief, on and on, but they did not bring her baby back the next day, or the next.

Instead, they took her to a room, a room she had visited before, which was dirty, and noisy, and filled with fearful looking machines. Sarah was attached to one of the machines and the milk that was meant for her precious baby, now lost to her forever, was drained from her and put into bottles to be taken for others to drink instead, although those others did not need it.

They just liked the taste.

Sarah is a cow.

Cows form extremely strong bonds with their calves, and are often heard crying out in pain and distress for days after their calves are forcibly removed from them. Sarah's calf would have been slaughtered at as young as three weeks old and cut up and cooked as veal.

If you're not vegan already, and this has touched you in some way, you might want to try the thirty day vegan challenge. You'll feel amazing, both inside and out.