VIP invitation to the WORLD'S BIGGEST BABY SHOWER

What advice would YOU give my baby? 

liz surprise lower res.jpg

In about 5 weeks from now, my 4th child will arrive into this world.
And WHAT a world she's coming into.

Twenty years after the birth of her eldest sister, when phones were still attached to the wall, media hadn't become social yet and coffee came in two varieties, black or white, so much has changed in our daily lives - and the lives of our kids growing up among the ever-rolling the fields of insta-filtered smashed avocados and Snapchat selfies, I find it hard to get my old, analogue head around it. 

I love it, and I live it too, almost as much as the next pretty-coffee-snap Insta-over-sharer and Twitter addict. 

BUT . . .  the frenetic, relentless pace of life, the incessant PING! BUZZ! BEEP! of social media, the pressures of consumerism and fake life perfection, are things which sit uneasily with me, both for myself and for the way I see it affect my children, my friendships and my general wellbeing.

It all just seems to have go....TOO MUCH. So like many people know now, I hanker for a more peaceful, true, non-virtual and, maybe....more meaningful existence, in as much as I can create it amongst the cacophony of hashtags and influencers. 

Maybe I'm just getting old, dusty and antiquated, much like my fallopian tubes. 
Or maybe, just maybe, I'm onto something.
Either way, it feels right - and the TIME feels right. 

baby bump

And so to the showering!

Baby Showers have been around for decades, and generally seem to involve mountains of pretty tissue paper, garish balloons, and, increasingly, cakes shaped like penises. 
Because WHO DOESN'T LIKE A PENIS CAKE??

Well, actually, call me an old penis-cake-pooper, but it's not quite my deluxe changing bag. 
I'm more a sit on the sofa with a good friend or a book (often the same thing) than fill my house with giggling mums sharing prosecco-hazed stories of episiotomy disasters and floating waterbirth poos, all tied up with 'It's a Girl!' ribbon.

What I like far more, is the idea of people coming together to share not cupcakes and baby hats, but knowledge, ideas, thoughts, experiences, and . . . LIFE. 

REAL LIFE. Hashtag NOFILTER. 

So I've had a vaguely romantic, dreamy, possibly stupid and hormone-induced thought, that instead of showering my child with THINGS, I want to shower her with

Useful Shit We Have Learned In Our Lives, to pass on to her.

Stuff she can turn to as she grows up, learn from, be inspired by, be helped by and stimulated by...and all from you lovely lot. 

So I'm asking you to shower my baby with your Useful Shit. 
I will write it all down, and yes, probably share it all on social media (ahhh, the beautiful irony) and, maybe even make it into a beautiful little book, for ALL children to be given as they enter this world. 

 It can be anything from:

*Life advice/tips (for any stage of life, from nursery to old age!)
*BOOKS/FILMS they absolutely must read/see (and the age at which they should read/see them)
*Albums/music to see them through life (and when/why you listened to them..?)
*Amazing places they must travel to
*Best things they can ever say to someone
*kick-ass attitude advice to get them through
*How to deal with various  if it happens to them
*Favourite quotes to see them through stages of life

You can be funny, rude, sincere, ballsy...whatever you like!
Swearing is absolutely fine. 
Being an asshole isn't. (That's pretty much my own Rules of Life, really!)

Whether it's about friendship, love, work, wellbeing, music, style, care of self, care of others, food, career, ANYTHING - I want to gather a huge bank of this lovely, useful and inspiring stuff.

I'm ESPECIALLY interested in life and tips from around the world - as regular readers of my waffling know, I'm BIG on the whole 'global village' thing, and the different ways people do things in different countries and cultures.

I want us (and my children!) to be part of the WORLD, not just their tiny little town or country. 

TO TAKE PART, ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS THIS:

Send your pearly words of kick-ass Life Wisdom to me here in the comments, including your NAME, and, if you like, where you live. e.g. Jane, Norwich UK. 

or Tweet them to me @lizfraser1
I will RT anything I love, and start to collate it all. 

You can start right now, and over the coming weeks there will be LIVE BABYSHOWERS on Twitter, Instagram and FB, just as an expiment, to see if people enjoy it. 


Thank you so much! Can't wait to read your words.
I might EVEN learn rather a lot from it myself :)

Is it ever OK to kiss children on the lips?

I'm WAAAAAY behind on all my TV stuff, due to tons and tons of work everywhere, mainly keeping up with Forty Forty Baby blogs and Instas and TV and articles!
Now pregnant with my 4th baby, parenting has come full circle for me, and I'm loving it!

But I need to catch up on all my website stuff now, ahead of lots of exciting book things, podcasts coming etc etc

SO...
This was me on This Morning recently taking about KISSING.
 
And how yes...it is absolutely OK to kiss out own flippin' children on the lips - if THEY are OK with it too!

If a child hates it, obviously don't do it. And most kids don't want it after the age of 5 or so, so just sense what's OK, and stop when it's clearly uncomfortable or not wanted. 

Anyone who thinks there is anything sexual or creepy about it when our children are babies and toddlers really needs to ask themselves some serious questions!

And as for lip-smackers from Great Aunt Gertrude...? 
Yeah, I'd say not. REALLY not. 

What do YOU think? Do you kiss your kids on the mouth? 

Goodbye April

Well. 
I think we can all agree that the less said about the weather in April 2016, the better. 

I shall now leave the month - and you, my friends - with my pictorial highlights of a month which felt like living through the longest, most frustrating strip-tease in Spring History. 

May, no pressure or anything, but you have a LOT resting on your shoulders, my love. 

See you next month! :)

Beautiful things

We interrupt this stream of words to bring you
. . . 

PICTURES

I take a lot of photographs. And I mean LOADS. 

Walking down a street with me is a nightmare; every five seconds I'm crouching down or balancing on a wall on one leg, or squinting into my phone camera, squealing,

'Oooh, wait! Hang on one second...!'

while trying to capture a moment, a scene, a shape I've spotted, and love. 
A little moment I can make into something beautiful, to hold and look at, again and again, in my own time.

Since I got my first little Olympus camera at the age of eight, photography has been something that gives me enormous pleasure, every day.

To do myself, and to enjoy from others.
I see photos everywhere. Lines and shadows, shapes and colours, composition and mood.
It's just how my mind works. 

I don't know quite what it IS about photographs, but there's something about that FREEZE, that ability to capture something real but make it slightly . . unreal, surreal, more than it actually was, that's so mesmerising and addictive. 

And you can keep it forever, and re-live that moment.
It can't be taken away. 

A beautiful photograph isn't 'right' or 'wrong; there are no rules or marking-schemes about it.
It's a thing that's seen in the photographer's mind, FELT by him or her, and created into exactly what they want it to be.
And then shared with others, to experience it however they do.

And HOORAY for Instagram, Photoshop, Snapseed, Lightroom, Bum-Squeeze and Valencia filters!

The fun we can have with them is HUUUUGE.
I LOVE them all. 

When I moved house recently, the first things I moved into it - after 75 gallons of face oils and creams and lotions and potions, OBVIOUSLY - were my photography books.
I need them around me, and they make me happy. 

A bit like dried mango pieces. 

 

Today is a cold, dark, rainy, gloomy, foul excuse for a day.

So I shall inject some colour and warmth into it, to brighten the soul. 

Here are two little moments in my beautiful home-town of Oxford recently, which made me smile:

Holywell Street

Holywell Street

Yellow coat in Brasenose Lane

Yellow coat in Brasenose Lane