Who are you today, mummy?

Author and mum Amy Beeson shares her experiences of looking after a child over the summer holidays whilst launching a new book with workingmums

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After publishing three books with HarperCollins, running my own business and doing the school run I’ve learnt that women maybe multitaskers but focusing on what you want to achieve most of all each day and feeling fulfilled by small achievements is what success looks like for me. Book sales and client wins are fantastic but they’re intangible and can sometimes leave you feeling a bit flat. Focusing on putting on a great book event one day and then making pancakes with my daughter the next morning feels more real than striving for an end goal since I left the corporate world.

The corporate world is playing catch up; they talk about flexible working but we’re actually doing it.

I did find pregnancy and the return to work challenging because becoming a mum changed me. It changed my relationship with work. I love my job but I’ve got at least three full time jobs (I’m a mum, an author and business owner) but I can’t be all three at the same time, not in the way I want to. I ask myself who am I right now? Over the holidays I was a mum all of the time and an author most of the time, because our new book Our Country Nurse was published and my daughter was off school. There wasn’t much space for client work but that’s OK because most of my clients were away.

For me the biggest challenge is still trying to be present in what I’m doing. Not letting mummy guilt creep in whilst I’m writing and not thinking about emails when I’m with my daughter. And it never gets any easier, it’s never going to not be busy. What I’ve discovered over the last few years is that I need to take responsibility for feeling in control.

I’ve learnt so much by connecting with other mums about what works for them and I’ve discovered that being great at your job doesn’t mean you have to work all the time. I work best in bursts of about two hours – I can get a lot done in those two hours! Then it makes complete sense to go for quick walk, eat something nice, or do some yoga – that’s not slacking; it’s giving my mind and body some sustenance so when I come back to do another two hour burst of writing or client consultations I’m at my optimum.

When you’re in an corporate environment most of the time you have to follow someone else’s rules whether they work for you or not. I get to take a fresh look at each day and ask myself what I need to achieve and how best to set myself up to succeed. Flexible working enables you to pick the time and place that means you always do your best work.

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My mum is probably the kindest colleague I’ll ever have. Whoever you work with be a kind boss to yourself.

Once my daughter’s in bed if I’m working towards something big I’ll do another few hours on the laptop but I don’t do that all the time because it’s not healthy. During the run up to Our Country Nurse coming out I was working till midnight and we’ve had lots of book events and PR to do.

My mum said to me, ‘Let’s enjoy this. Let’s not miss out the pleasure of seeing our book come out by letting all the thoughts of what we need to do spoilt it.’ Sarah is always the first person to tell me to not do too much. Sometimes that’s hard to hear because nothing just falls into your lap; it takes hard work, but you have to ask yourself would you expect the same of someone else? I might expect a colleague to do long hours when it was necessary but not very often, so I try not to expect more of myself than I would of others.

When I do have to work long hours I make a deal with myself that I can do this for a week but next week I’ll need to change things because otherwise I’ll burn out. Part of the joy of working for yourself is doing what fulfils you and that changes day by day. Most of all I want to feel happy, to me nowadays that is what success feels like.

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Amy Beeson runs Wordsby Communications and has a successful writing partnership with her mum Sarah Beeson MBE. Their new book Our Country Nurse is set in a country village in 1975 and is bursting with stories of mums journeys during pregnancy and motherhood.

Can parents have great conversations?

By Amy Beeson

Quite a few of my friends and associates from different background are also Coaches. Although they’re incredibly supportive and insightful to talk to, they also don’t pull their punches from pointing out if the person who is holding me back from something is actually me.

When Mumsnet Babyfest connected us with Barefoot Coaching and suggested we check out their Coaching Cards for New Parents I messaged Coaching Friends to ask if they’d come across them. The resounding answer was “Yes, they’re amazing. I trained with them.” And I’m not a girl who asks for professionals opinions and then ignores them.

kindred spirits

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Kim Morgan and Sarah Beeson

My mum and writing partner (Sarah Beeson MBE) and I were invited to a getting to know you breakfast with Kim Morgan the writer of Coaching Cards for New Parents and one the UK’s most esteemed business and personal coaches and her daughter Saira Aspinall who is the Marketing Director of Barefoot Coaching. When we met it was like we were old friends within minutes because we had so much in common on parenting, being working mums and mother and daughter teams. There was a lot of nodding, animated conversation and women’s laughter in the middle of the dining room of a central London hotel that morning.

Saira and I both have a background in marketing and publishing and are trying to balance the whole being good at my job and at being a good mum thing, and confessed that both of our mums’ (Sarah & Kim) were our 24/7 hotline to letting go of mummy guilt.

Kim and Sarah discovered they’d both been greatly influenced by Dr Mia Kellmer Pringle’s work on the emotional needs of children which shaped Sarah’s research for our parenting book Happy Baby, Happy Family. Kellmer Pringle is also a character in Our Country Nurse. 

We left with an advanced pack of Barefoot Coaching Cards For New Parents to take home and play with and couldn’t wait to see what each of the 50 cards within the pack suggested. Saira and Kim were invited to our launch party for our new book Our Country Nurse and it was great to spend more time with them there.

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Sarah and I looked at every card and picked out the top ten cards that resonated with us the most. We came to the conclusion that opportunities for romance may be few and far between with a new baby but trying to be kind to each other and not loosing sight that you’re a partnership as well as parents benefits everyone.

Parents could use Kim Morgan’s Coaching Cards to give themselves time and space to talk about  their lives and share all the lovely moments being a new parent has brought so far. They could also be a tool to start a discussion on any  issues you’re experiencing such as feelings of guilt and self-criticism or feeling under valued by your partner. You might pre-select a card or pick one at random and see where the conversation takes you.

Picking a calm moment and card or two to have an open and kind conversation about your thoughts and feelings since you’ve becoming parents and actively listening to your partner will help you to appreciate how much you’ve already grown as a family.
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Sarah’s favourite coaching card in the pack said, ‘What messages did you receive about yourself as a child? To what extent have these messages stuck with you or become true?’ It’s definitely a theme that runs through our parenting advice and novels. We gave away one of these cards to every reader who came to our book launches for Our Country Nurse and they agreed whoever you are, this question opens  up discussion about your past, present and future.

ASK YOUR PARTNER TO PICK A card

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One evening I got our the pack of Coaching Cards and my husband Takbir and I took turns to pick one each at random. It did give me a opporutnity to talk about some issues I’d been bottling up but also it was good to listen to him. To consider how our very different childhoods are influencing our behaviour as parents and how our greatest strength is working together as a team.

It being the school holidays our daughter Ava had less strict bedtimes and soon wandered into our conversation. She took a turn to pick a card too and asked us questions and answered them herself about her own experiences. As a family it was a lovely way to spend some time together and I noticed we were all very present in the moment. All the devices were turned off and it was nice to have an open discussion about our lives and share in our happiest memories.

great gift for new parents

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Kim asked Sarah if she’d endorse the coaching cards which she did gladly. If you pick up a pack this is the quote you’ll see on the back.

“Using these cards to talk about the highs and lows of parenthood will be good  for you and your family.”
Sarah Beeson MBE, author of Happy Baby, Happy Family

Coaching Cards are designed to make honest, open conversation between new parents easier. They can be dipped into time and again, the cards can be used throughout the first year of parenthood and beyond into the toddler years. Easy to pick up and use, they make a great new baby gift if you’re shopping for a present for new parents or mums to be.

ABOUT BAREFOOT COACHING CARDS FOR NEW PARENTS

Coaching Cards for New Parents by Kim Morgan are available to Buy on Amazon. You can get more information on Barefoot’s Coaching Cards range at Barefootcoachingcards.co.uk and follow them on Twitter and Instagram @barefootcoachingcards.

Behind the Scenes of the BBC (The Archers, BBC Breakfast and BBC Radio 5 Live)

The new iPhone 7 has landed and thank heavens I had my (not new) iPhone on Sunday night because without it I wouldn’t have been able to video, photograph, tweet and navigate my way around Broadcasting House in an evening where I was listening live to The Archers down the pub with Dame Jenni Murray from Woman’s Hour for BBC Breakfast. Then me, Takbir and Ava went up to the studios to talk to Emma Barnett on BBC Radio 5 Live on the top news story of the week for The 5 Live Hit List. Amy x

BBC BREAKFAST

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It was surreal and fabulous in be listening to the radio in the company of other Archers Fans in a cosy pub round the corner from BBC Broadcasting House. As well as me, Takbir and Ava there was Dame Jenny Murri (Woman’s Hour), Claire Cohen (The Telegraph), Lucy Freeman (Radio 4). Polly Neate (Woman’s Aid) and other fans including Sandra Paul, Ursula Knight, Mike Jones and Tom Middlehurst and young listener Annie.

the jury

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We knew all along that Helen was innocent of course but it was rather fun and at times nail-biting to be giving our verdict on The Archers jurors which included Dame Eileen Atkins, Catherine Tate, Nigel Havers, Aimee-Ffion Edwards, Cerith Flinn, Tam Williams and Graham Seed who was formerly Nigel Pargetter in the long running radio soap.

FINAL EPISODE OF tHE ARCHERS TRIAL WEEK

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When we heard Rob Titchener talk to Helen at the end of the episode we all jumped. This is what an Archers fan’s face looks like when they hear his insidious tones. It was a fantastic experience, I hope I get to listen with other fans down the pub again. The hour-long special really kept us on the edge of our seats hoping that Helen would finally be set free.

DR WHO MAGIC AT BROADCASTING HOUSE

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We then raced round the corner for my radio interview at the BBC. Ava skipped into the building (she’s been there before for my interview with Harriet Scott on being a working mum on BBC Radio London) but back then she slept through it in the buggy. Now she was eager to enjoy the sights of the Beeb especially the Tardis and Darlek from Dr Who (she does love that show).

INTERVIEW ON IPHONE 7 AND APPLE BRAND ON RADIO 5 LIVE

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5 LIVE HIT LIST INTERVIEW

You can listen to the interview on the 5 Live Hit List on BBC iPlayer Radio with Emma Barnett, Elinor Mills (Editor The Sunday Times) and author and Wordsby Brand Consultant Amy Beeson. But here’s the highlights. (From 1 hour 46 minutes into the show).

Emma Barnett presents 5 Live’s rundown of the top 30 news, politics, sport and showbiz stories of the week that are making the biggest impact across social media and online. The No. 1 Story of the week shared online was the iPhone 7.

EMMA: It’s the iPhone 7 of course! The latest version was launched this week in San Francisco with the company’s decision to ditch the headphones and socket. Apple says the move was motivated by courage which has brought mixed reactions from many former iPhone fans…Whether you love it or hate it Apple is now arguably the biggest company in the world. The launch of a new iPhone is a major global event but what is it about the company that has given it an almost cultlike following. Elinor Mills is still with me and Amy Beeson who is a brand consultant and author who has been watching the launch for us this week and has more on the most expensive iPhone to date. So, Amy, wireless headphones was it a brave decision or a way to make more money?

AMY: It’s a really tricky question. When I heard about the socket and the headphones I immediately thought not again. I’m going to have to go out and buy all new accessories. My initial reaction was quite a negative reaction. Using  a word like “courage” for this move, as a writer was maybe not the word I would have chosen. I went on watched the actual ad and I remembered the guys and gals who developed it in San Francisco really hold the development of seamless technology in their core brand values. So, on the one hand do we need it? On the other hand, as a brand having seamless technology is the next evolutionary step of the iPhone. It is at such a premium price but Apple is not known as a cheap product.

EMMA: It’s not, it’s a luxury product.  Elinor Mills, when you’re looking at something like this coming out, it’s never on a Sunday these launches. It’s kinda not like any other tech launch is it?

ELINOR: I think it’s fascinating that it’s top of the list and we were all discussing in conference last week that we were going to have something on the iPhone 7 because we know everyone is interested. We know that’s because so many of us spend so much of our lives on these, it’s almost we spend more time with them than we do with our children and anything else, so I think people are very obsessive. On the headphone front I think it’s a disaster. The only way I can find my white headphones in my bag is by pulling the wires. Just two little tiny bits of plastic that sit in my ear I think I would lose them the whole time.

EMMA: You get can big headphones like we’re wearing too and they’ll be wireless.

ELINOR: I also think it’s weird in a brand way because the white headphones was so iconic it was in all their adverts. You’d have people in black with the white wire symbolising the iPod so I think that’s interesting because it maybe wireless technology but the wire they made a real fetish about.

EMMA: A big part of the Apple launches, Amy, are what Tim Cook the CEO has to say. It used to be Steve Jobs. What they seem like is important and him in a car with James Corden doing a bit of Carpool Karaoke to enter the stage. There has been criticism that since Steve Jobs passed away the brand has lost some it’s sheen. Where do you stand on that?

AMY: That’s very true. Where a brand is synonymous with a personality, like Virgin and Richard Branson, it definitely does some damage to the value of that brand. But Apple has never really strayed away from their core brand values that came with Think Different in 1997. Next year it’ll be 20 years since Steve Jobs launched that campaign and it set the bar for what brand is.

ELINOR: I think the problem is though that Apple haven’t really come up with anything new really since Steve Jobs went. He had already got in train the iPhone, iPods were a big success but you could argue that Samsung or those kind of people are doing more innovative stuff.

AMY: I think that’s because Apple have never been about new products, they’re reinventive. So, they’ve always taken someone else’s product and taken it to another level. They weren’t the first people to do MP3s but followed up with the iPod. They put the “I” into that technology, they make it their own and it’s very intuitive technology.

EMMA: There are conspiracy theories. I remember when I used to be a tech correspondent and Steve Jobs passed away there was this whole thing that he had left years of prototypes, that he had left years of what he wanted to come. So, do you think there’s a delay or do you think there’s nothing left in the tank?

ELINOR: I think they’ve run out.

EMMA: You think they have? Amy?

AMY: It’s really tricky. Are you a custodian of that brand or are you leading that brand? And which is worse and which is better? I really don’t know. Steve Jobs is an impossible person to follow, I wouldn’t want to have to do that.

EMMA: You wouldn’t want to have to do that? Now, how do you think people think about Apple apart from expensive?

AMY: Apple really has almost this rock star quality. When they release something like the iPhone 7 it made me think it almost has all the hype around it like Adele’s new album coming out. There’s all the build up towards it, it gets released and they’ll be people queuing up around the block to get one. I know for a fact from a branding point of view they look at music a lot in development. So, not only do we access music through our iPhones as a brand they really draw from music marketing.

ELINOR: I just wonder if the sheen’s coming off a bit? Because the products are really quite cool because Jobs had done them before he went but I don’t think they’ve really come up with anything new and a bit of wireless headphone isn’t really going to cut it. Where’s the new thing? Where’s the new iPad. His was all about creativity and design and giving us objects that we didn’t even know we wanted that would transform our lives in the way that we used technology. I don’t think they’ve had a game changer like that for a long time.

EMMA: The watch was meant to be a big moment wasn’t it?

ELINOR: That was a dud.

EMMA: I don’t see many people wearing them – it’s an anecdotal view. Technology is often very difficult to get right, we saw with Google Glass, somebody wearing something on their face as a glasses wearer that was never going to work out for me. Quick line on that Amy, the double lens camera does that feed into the culture of innovation at all?

AMY: It very key in how people want to use their iPhones. I don’t know how different it is, but in the way the iPhone has become integral in business and personal life it’s definitely going to make things better for them.

EMMA: Definitely going to make things better. Amy Beeson thank you very much for that. Elinor Mills as always a pleasure. That’s it from the 5 Live Hit List tonight.

END. You can listen to the interview 5 Live Hit List on BBC iPlayer Radio

AMY BEESON

Amy Beeson runs Wordsby Communications and has a successful writing partnership with her mum Sarah Beeson MBE. Their new book Our Country Nurse is set in a country village in 1975 and is bursting with stories of mums journeys during pregnancy and motherhood.

Meeting Up With Balham Mums & Discovering Some New Natural & Organic Baby Products

It was lovely to meet new mums and their gorgeous babies at Natures Purest Balham this Autumn.

Author and Baby Expert Sarah Beeson (my mummy) gave the all mums one-to-one free confidential advice whilst Shop Owner Elizabeth and I served up tea and cake (and I had lots of cuddles with everyone’s baby and started to feel very broody).

Sarah signed copies of Happy Baby, Happy Family and The New Arrival Some of the mama’s bought copies for friends who were expecting as well as their own.

Organic Skincare

We met Jennifer Feltham founder of Mia & Dom Organic Skincare and became fans.   

I’ve started using the spearmint and lavender lip balm as part of my skincare routine and we’ve given the bottom balm to new mums to try out too (LO’s way past the nappy rash stage!)

I couldn’t resist doing a bit of shopping

Natures Purest is one of our go-to brands when buying new baby presents. I’ve got my eye on some Natures Knits blue baby bootees and a hat for a friend’s new arrival due this Christmas.

Whilst I was there, I couldn’t resist buying the Pure Love Bamboo Blanket and Greeting Card for another friend’s newborn baby. She said it was, “the softest blanket I’ve ever seen. He adores it.’ 

Always a pleasure taking some time out to talk to lovely mummies about their babies. Thanks Elizabeth for inviting us to your lovely shop filled with gentle natural products from Natures Purest. 

Amy x

Upcoming events

Find about events coming up with Sarah & Amy Beeson.

If you’ve got a question about your LO check out Ask Sarah or get in touch. Sarah Beeson is a former health visitor and author. She writes with her daughter Mumpreneur and writer Amy Beeson.

An Easter Rural Retreat, BBC Radio 4 and Mother-Daughter Shopping

Like most of London on Munday Thursday we wanted to do the big Easter Weekend Getaway but first we had to do a quick TV interview with Good Morning Britain on shared parental leave.

 LO insisted we wear our matching Poppy England Forest dresses for the cameras.   My husband, Takbir and I were interviewed in the kitchen. LO took this photo – not the most flattering angle. Thanks kid! The three of us had a quick game of alphabet cards, like you do before a hectic packing session. LO didn’t bat an eyelid about being in front of the TV cameras but then she did feature on Location Location Location when she was ten months old and wasn’t a smidge of trouble. Packing done, at last we were off in a northerly direction to Staffordshire to my mum, Sarah Beeson for a bit of much-needed family time.

Good Friday was a bit of a wash out. But my mum being the lovely mama she is took LO in the morning and let us have a lie-in. She even brought us breakfast in bed. On Saturday Sarah hosted a lovely lunch for our friends and their gorgeous new baby. I was so pleased to see them using the Faye & Lou rainbow muslins we bought for their new arrival. It made me rather broody. On Easter Sunday LO was thrilled to wear her new Poppy England boat dress, white cardigan and yellow petticoat for the first time. She really loves swishing around in her new petticoat. And she does rather like to jump up and down on her Grandma’s bed (under supervision). It’s quite nostalgic for me to see her lying on the quilt my own Granny made. I thought she might be shy of the lovely ladies from BBC Radio 4 who joined us for our family interfaith celebrations but she was chatting to them happily as soon as they arrived. Going to Broadcasting House for radio interviews with Harriet Scott and Robert Elms on BBC London, BBC Radio Stoke and Hackney Radio stations last year with Mummy and Grandma when The New Arrival came out means she takes TV cameras and radio mics in her stride. My husband’s family arrived for our annual Easter Egg Hunt and lunch. My lovely sister-in-law Nazia even brought these Easter Cupcakes. She’s so clever and is another mumpreneur and runs Cocoas Cupcakes in Birmingham Nazia even made these homemade personalised golden Easter Eggs for all the children. How’s that for creativity at interfaith family celebrations! I was amazed at how easily Sarah talked about our family to BBC Radio 4 producer and presenter whilst preparing the lunch. She looks so at home in her country cottage kitchen in her Poppy England apron we gave her for christmas. I can feeling some weaning advice and recipe videos will be needed when her next book Happy Baby, Happy Family comes out.

LO and her cousins love, love, love our annual Easter Egg Hunt. It just fills you with such joy to see them enjoying themselves and being together as a family.

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Takbir prepared halal lamb for Easter Monday lunch. My mum served up chapatis, riata, quorn and chickpea curry, salad, spiced potatoes and rice followed by a lemon and cream pie. It was all very, very good. We all think good food is one of the benefits of being a culturally rich-mixed family.

Each of the children, even though they are only between three and four years old, loved being interviewed about what they liked about Easter, Christmas and Eid. They just take these events as celebrations and a time to be together as a family, they don’t see that some of them are muslim and some of them are christian.

This year the children were all ready for the egg and spoon race, though I must admit there was a fair bit of cheating.

They all beat the dads in the parent and child race.

Before we waved goodbye to BBC Radio 4 and went on a long country walk through the village we had a family photo. As you might have noticed there’ll be an extra Little One at next year’s gathering (my Sister-in-law Abeda is a pregnant with her second and Nazia and Fateha already have two children each). I wore my Poppy England Forest dress and new yellow cardigan again but followed LO’s example and wore my new yellow petticoat for the first time too – I now want to wear a petticoat everyday – they’re such fun.

On Tuesday Takbir went back to London but LO and I stayed on in the countryside for some clean living. LO and I had a wonderful afternoon exploring one of my favourite places Shugborough Hall. I was hoping to take a few days off; I haven’t had a proper day off since New Year’s Day.

My mum brought me and LO breakfast in bed on Wednesday morning (she really is the best mum ever) and LO had picked me this lovely flower to have on my bedside table. It’s wonderful to feel Spring is really here, such a celebration of new beginnings and family life.

I usually sling a few snacks into the nearest bag when LO are out and about in London but Sarah whipped up in no time a lovely picnic lunch. She put this basket onto the back seat of her car and took us to the playground at Weston for a picnic lunch and running about in the spring sunshine.

It was so lovely to do a bit of mother-daughter shopping at Trentham Gardens. Last year we bought LO a mini doll for her birthday from Natures Purest Trentham. It was so nice to find a mixed race doll and we got her the Papa and Mama & Baby dolls for Christmas. She asked if Mimi could have a sister and now her little World Family will be complete with brother Felix and sister Flora to add to her dolls for her next birthday.

One of my cousin’s has a new baby, who we also sent some blue and white star Faye & Lou muslins. But Sarah being the loving auntie she is, couldn’t resist buying the new baby a bamboo blanket from Zoe at Natures Purest too. We were given one for LO when she was a baby and it really is so soft and snuggly. Another of my cousin’s is expecting – by the end of the year there will be three new babies in the family.

My day off was short-lived as we got a phone call from HarperCollins to tell us the final proofs for Happy Baby, Happy Family were ready. So the rest of the week was spent going through them. Though it’s terribly exciting to see the book come together; it’s off to the printers next week. Less than eight weeks to go now (4 June 2015) and a bit like waiting for a new arrival.

More excitment on Friday when we realised Sarah’s advice on gentle parenting was featured in this month’s Gurgle Magazine.

And our top games to play with new babies are in this month’s Mother & Baby magazine. So, it’s been a great week. Not without its dramas (the washing machine broke) but it’s definitely been a case of Eat, Pray, Love this week for our whole family.

Amy Beeson is working mum. She runs Wordsby Communications and co-writes books with Sarah Beeson MBE. With her husband, writer Takbir Uddin she is part of the Interfaith Marriage Network that supports couples and families who are in interfaith relationships.

(LO was given her boat dress by Poppy England but every other product mentioned in this article we paid for).

Red Nose Day 2015 My Kid Dressed Me and we went to the Science Museum

On Red Nose Day Friday 13 March 2015, I joined in with #MyKidsDressedMe again with mums and dads from across the UK raising money for Comic Relief. Here’s a little a bit about the story behind this viral campaign. And I don’t think LO did too bad a job – though most people wouldn’t have gone for the purple tights.

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Here’s a really short video of the two of us in matching ensembles – LO does love to dress like her mummy. She styled me in a red and white spotted dress, white cardigan with black beadwork, purple tights, red court shoes, a string of pearls and a white ribbon for my hair. We went to London Science Museum and had great fun.

science museum mykidsdressedmeAt lunch at The Deep Blue Diner for our #FunFriday the waiter complimented us on our matching outfits. I don’t know if he believed me when I explained LO had dressed us both for Red Nose Day. Here’s a little message from LO after lunch.

blackboard mykidsdressedmeDo have a look at the fabulous styling of all the mums and dads who took part in #MyKidsDressedMe for Comic Relief over at Story of Mum. And a big fat thank you to everyone who donated.

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Tweet your photos to @RedNoseDay @StoryOfMum @TheBearRabbit @Amyibeeson

Amy Beeson is a writer and brand creative at Wordsby Communications. She is the co-author of The New Arrival: a heartwarming true story of a trainee nurse in 1970s London and Happy Baby, Happy Family: Learning to trust yourself and enjoy your baby.

Friday 13th, Fashion Fiascos and Red Nose Day #MyKidsDressedMe

Friday 13 March is proving unlucky for some parents and carers across the UK but lucky for the millions of people Comic Relief help each year. So throw open your wardrobe doors and put a lock on the dressing up box and let the kids in your life pick your outfit for the day and join in with #MyKidsDressedMe. We had a trial run with this a few weeks ago with LO – like my outfit?

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Join in

Here’s how to join in the fun on Red Nose Day.

1. Let your kid dress you

2. Text FUNNY to 70011 to donate £1

3. Post your photo on Social Media using hashtag #MyKidsDressedMe and #HonkFromHome. Nominatee three friends to do it too and get your family and friends to Text FUNNY to 70011 to donate £1.

Here’s a very short video of me and LO explaining what to do.

 

The Mum Story Behind #MyKidsDressedMe

Pippa Best from Story of Mum was so inspired by Summer Bellessa who let her kid dress her everyday for a week, that Pippa let her 4-year-old daughter pick her outfit for the school run one Friday morning in February. I saw Pippa and commented and she challenged me to let LO dress me too. I accepted the challenge along with other mums and promised I’d go to Mums and Toddlers on Monday dressed by own 3-year-old.

Meanwhile after much hilarity and tweeting Pippa had connected with @EmmaFreud from Comic Relief that we should make this a Red Nose Day Fundraiser for parents everywhere and Ta-Dah! Check out some of the fabulous styling of the countries youngest fashionistas over at Story of Mum and add to the gallery.

On Friday I will post my latest ensemble from LO and I’ve challenged my husband @TakieWordz to join in too.

Tweet your photos to @RedNoseDay @StoryOfMum @TheBearRabbit @Amyibeeson

Amy Beeson is a writer and brand creative at Wordsby Communications. She is the co-author of The New Arrival: a heartwarming true story of a trainee nurse in 1970s London and Happy Baby, Happy Family: Learning to trust yourself and enjoy your baby.

Making Mother-and-Daughter Paper Dolls for some Christmas Magic

We’ve booked to go to Poppy England Pop-Up Shop in Shoreditch this week (19-22 November) to try on some matching mother and daughter dresses. Before I had children that’s something I swore I’d never do, but LO just loves wearing the same colours, necklaces – whatever Mummy does, she wants to do too.

Sarah Beeson MBE author and baby expert (and my Mum) wrote a piece for Tesco Living this month on Christmas Shopping with Little Ones. She suggested getting a bit crafty by cutting pictures from the packet foods you regularly buy and creating a list of items your children will be responsible for finding when you’re there.

So that got me thinking…For LO and I to get the most out of the Poppy Christmas Party, why not choose the dresses we like ahead of time and make some paper dolls of ourselves. LO is a bit under the weather, so this morning seemed like a good time to get making things with paper, scissors, crayons and glue. And this is the result…

Our own Mother-and-Daughter Poppy England Paper Dolls – Tah-dah!

Poppy England Dolls on the bookcaseLO was a little tired so I tucked her up in bed. I was so surprised she started acting out going shopping with her mummy to try on dresses.

Imaginary Play

Poppy Paperdolls in BedThen she asked me to write out the beginning of the story on her blackboard.

Story-time

Poppy Paper Dolls StoryDiscovering new brands

When I’m not writing with my mum (The New Arrival and Your New Arrival:learning to trust yourself and enjoy your baby) I’m working one-to-one with SMEs on passing on my communications know-how in branding and campaigns at Wordsby.

When I first saw the Poppy brand I was really struck with their creative flair. Storytelling through illustration, photography and dress-making is a niche I’m curious about. Clicking on their website and seeing this photo instantly converted me to wanting a dress to match my little girl’s

poppy  mother and daughter

 

It’s brand magic when people you know tell you about the bands they love

Since we published The New Arrival and went straight into the Amazon Charts, I’m always talking about the power of social media. I’d never heard of Poppy England until I saw Pippa from Story of Mum tweet this…

@StoryofMum “Another beach party, another excuse to wear our matching @poppyengland dresses!! I have no shame ;)”

Pippa Poppy

If it wasn’t for LO I don’t think I’d do much craft but sometimes it’s really lovely to get creative. That’s why I’ll be joining the mums for #SoMum tonight on Twitter (19/11/2014 8.30-10pm) @StoryOfMum. Connecting, sharing and taking some time to be creative and think about ourselves.

New Arrival book launch at Baron's CourtAbout Amy Beeson

Amy Beeson co-wrote The New Arrival with her mum Sarah Beeson MBE and runs Wordsby Communications. She works one-to-one with clients to share her creative know-how. Contact Amy to find out more about booking a FREE 1 Hour Consultation.

If you’re looking for a book with plenty of heart and imagination to wile away those long winter evenings – this is it!

By Amy Beeson

Being a working mum I don’t get to indulge my inner bookworm as much as I’d like, but I made reading The Story of Fester Cat by Paul Magrs a priority over the summer and it was an absolute joy.

I was lucky enough to be an Undergraduate at UEA when author Paul Magrs ran the Creative Writing course there. He is one of the contemporary writers I most admire so I was absolutely thrilled to be sent the manuscript of this memoir with a twist and I wasn’t disappointed.

fester cat book cover

The story is told by Fester, a toothless stray moggy who adopts Paul and his partner Jeremy. The opportunity to be, not a fly on the wall, but a cat in the lap, in this literary suburban home in Levenshulme had my neglected bibliophile purring like a kitten.

I took to reading it in the garden while my daughter played and our own cats stretched out in a shady spot, because seeing the world through Fester’s eyes reminded me how much pleasure there is to be had at home. I might have even given my cat the odd nibble of smoked salmon and a few more tickles in the special spot under the chin – Fester made me want to be a better person and cat owner.

paul and festerFester Cat and Paul Magrs

When Fester is taken to Mr Joe at the hairdressers (the vets) to be put to sleep he takes us back through his wondrous life with Paul and Jeremy and the tidbits of tales he has heard of their goings-on Pre-Fester Cat; they are a pair of dafties but he loves them. And I came to love them too, I especially enjoyed the tale of how they met in the cavernous disco at CC Blooms in Edinburgh and discovered that only a few hours earlier by some cosmic coincidence, Jeremy had by pure chance bought Paul’s first novel, only later to reveal he found in the bargain bin at Waterstones just six months after it’d been published!

The tenderness of this book nearly made me cry so many times, not because the cat was going to die but because this genius memoir is filled with a hundred small acts of kindness and love. Just like in his brilliant Brenda and Effie Mysteries, Paul Magrs takes the neglected creatures barely existing in the margins and cherishes them – turning them into heroes who show us what it is to be human.

I felt like I was part of Fester’s household; one of the guests at the feasts they host for friends with 1970s pop in the background; round the kitchen table playing board games at Christmas with a Smörgåsbord laid out; reading in the autumn sun with a scarf round my neck and a cup of hot coffee, lapping up a good mystery book; or best of all sitting on the sofa in the beach house wishing there was a spot for me to write along with them.

And talking of the beach house here’s a real treat for you…My little book worm, Ava, suggested Paul read from his new book Jackanory style from his writing hut. So put the kettle on and enjoy the Paul Magrs reading The Story of Fester Cat.

Screenshot Paul Magrs

 The Story of Fester Cat is available for pre-order on Kindle and in Paperback on Amazon. (Out 4 November 2014)

 

Amy Beeson co-wrote The New Arrival with her mum Sarah Beeson MBE and runs Wordsby Communications. She works one-to-one with clients to share her creative know-how.

On maternity leave and thinking I want to work but I don’t want to go back to the office? So did I.

MLI-19-Amy-BeesonIt was great talking to Soozi Baggs from Maternity Leavers about how having time out of the office with LO changed what I wanted from my work life in this free podcast.

Are you thinking of becoming a Mumpreneur?

Are you on maternity leave? Or did you have a change of direction after becoming a mum?

Share your story on Facebook or tweet @NewArrivalBook or @Amyibeeson.

your personal brandContact Amy

Amy co-wrote The New Arrival with her mum Sarah Beeson MBE and runs Wordsby Communications. She works one-to-one with clients to share her creative know-how.

To find out more or to book a free 1 hour consultation contact Amy today.