Blogs

Creative Business-Mamas: Jacy Pulford of Hello Awesome

We have another marvellous Creative Business-Mama for you: self-employed artist and author Jacy Pulford shares her awesome journey towards creating a shop stuffed with inspirational art and gifts...

Jacy Pulford of Hello Awesome shares her creative biz story with Story of Mum

Describe how you are feeling RIGHT NOW in three words? 

Reflective, peaceful and tired

What's the story of your creative business?

I've been an artist all of my life and worked on the side doing various projects. 

It was in 2010 that I was laid off and took it as a sign that I needed to go into business full time.

My passion has always been to be a self-employed artist since the age of 8. Sometimes as adults we let go of childhood dreams but why? I do what I love because I want to use what I have to inspire people. 

 I started with an Etsy shop and slowly moved into Storenvy, just plugging away. Slowly the title of "author" came into play and was able to self-publish a Christian-based book in 2012, the same year I had my son.

What are the worst things about being a mother running a creative business?

Guilt. Expectations. From myself and from others, not to mention the expectations I put on myself/others. That is probably the worst because you can almost feel like you are never doing enough. There will always be work to do, whether in business or in our homes. It's all about balance.

And the best?

The best is the flexibility and being able to close the laptop, snuggle with my boy and read his favorite books. I'm available when he needs me and that means the world. 

Jacy Pulford of Hello Awesome shares her creative biz story with Story of MumTell us about the most difficult day you faced and overcame as a creative working mama.

There was one day I had a couple of articles that needed to be submitted by a certain deadline. Not to mention my own goals for how many articles I pushed myself to write daily.

My toddler was constantly hitting my keyboard, pulling my shirt, playing with the screen...it was frustrating. Especially since I had spent special time with him prior because I wanted to make sure he had "us" time before it was "work" time. 

I remember feeling awful for not paying him much attention but then anxious because I knew work still needed to be done.

I had to decide how much was going to be on my plate. And I choose to take some off by changing my goals because I realized they were not realistic for my lifestyle at the moment. It made me see that I needed to work around my family's schedule and not expect them to work around me. 

What advice would you give a mama starting a creative business?

Family first. You will never feel good about what you are doing in business if you neglect the people you love.

And extend yourself some mercy and grace because mistakes will happen, professionally and personally. Ask an expert or someone you look up to in the business if you have concerns/questions or want guidance.

Never be afraid of the word "no."

Also advertise on blogs, it's worth it!

Jacy Pulford of Hello Awesome shares her creative biz story with Story of MumWhat are you working on right now that you're most excited about?

I'm really excited about getting back to painting and starting to incorporate abstract techniques. I've always painted Realism, objects, people etc. So it's a nice change to let go and be free with colors, paint and brushes.

If there was a Creative Working Mama Fairy, what would you wish for?

Ohhh good one! I would wish for any financial transaction to just magically calculate itself, do all the bookkeeping and just send me a check at the end of the week!!

 

What does being a creative business-mama mean to you?

If you'd like to share your story with us, we'd love to hear from you.

You can read other guest interviews in the Creative Business-Mamas series here.

Guk Guk Guk

Lori Landau performs the communal mums' poem at the Museum of MotherhoodThe lovely Lori Landau brought her own unique take to curating our communal mums' poem at the Museum of Motherhood for our exhibition in New York last year, and I've only just managed to edit the video! 

Lori curated our mums poem as part of our wonderful Make Date with Suzi Banks Baum and Joy Rose - you can read all about that here.

Lori drew together words submitted by mums online and more gathered at the event to create a new communal poem, and encouraged the audience to create their own.

See how she brought us all together and created something beautiful, reminding us of the importance of birthing ourselves before we birth our children, and the value of poetry as a way to discover what truly matters. Even if that is guk.

Settle back and get a taste of our wonderful evening in New York - what a pleasure it was to meet Lori, Suzi, Joy and so many other wonderful visitors.

 

 

You can find the other wonderful versions of the Mums' Poem here:

Hollie McNish

Sally Crabtree

Caroline Davies

Working Mama, Happy Kids: a new workshop

We're excited to announce our next big adventure: Working Mama, Happy Kids.

Building on the success of our Penzance exhibition workshops, we're partnering with B-New and Child and Community Psychologist Dr Emily Jane to answer some big questions that came up...

We're starting in Cornwall, but we'll be going online soon to help working mamas wherever you are.

Working Mama, Happy Kids - A workshop to beat working mama guilt

Working Mama, Happy Kids 

A 2-hour workshop to bust working mama guilt - giving you simple tools to build your confidence, deepen your connection with your kids, and reclaim ‘good enough’.

Wednesday 19 March, 7.30 – 9.30, The Exchange, Penzance

When the school play clashes with a vital meeting, when you miss the call that says they need you? When there aren’t enough hours in the day to be everything you need to be, and you feel a failure at work and mothering? We’ve all been there.

But it doesn’t have to feel like that. Not at all.

What if you knew you were giving your children the self-belief, resilience and love that they need? If you felt able to go to work confident that you were also deeply connected with your secure and happy children?

Join Story of Mum, B-New, and Child and Community Psychologist Dr Emily Jane of Useful Psychology at The Exchange to bust through working-mama guilt with some reassuring evidence. Replace “overstretched and inadequate” with “informed and confident”, and take away easy-to-use tools that answer vital questions:

- How can I best use my time in ways that nurture a happy and confident child?

- How can I tell when I’m connecting effectively with my children?

- How can I release the guilt, and focus on my strengths as a confident ‘good enough’ mama?

Join us and other working mamas for a fun, useful and reassuring workshop. We’ll even play a bit of Bad Mummy Bingo… 

This is a small group workshop with a limited number of tickets available. The normal charge for this workshop would be £10. However, as it's our first go, we're charging £5 and would welcome your feedback and a testimonial (if you find it useful!). To book, contact miranda@digitalpeninsula.com

Tickets: £5

Venue: The Exchange, Princes Street, Penzance TR18 2NL

 

Dr Emily Jane of Useful Psychology is a chartered psychologist who specialises in supporting children and teenagers. She has worked in the youth and community sector and in schools with educational psychology services. She loves helping families to rediscover playfulness and joy, and has two little beauties of her own, aged 3 and 1. 

Story of Mum is a community of supportive mamas doing creative stuff to celebrate the ups and downs of motherhood. Share your everyday story at www.storyofmum.com

B-New is a cross-channel network to support business-women  in the UK and France.  

We are very grateful to The Exchange for their continuing support. 

 

While this particular session is aimed at working mamas or soon-to-be working mamas, we'll be expanding the content to all mamas soon, and taking it online. We all work as mothers. And every mama matters.  

Sign up to our newsletter to hear more news as soon as we have it.

You might also like our Mamas' Retreats.

(PS the photo above was taken by Ian Kingsnorth - it's me and my then 3 month old daughter at the launch of Story of Mum...!)

Creative Business-Mamas: Joanne Glover of Sew Sew Chic

The last of our Mum Plus Business competition winning creative business-mamas is memory-maker Joanne Glover of Sew Sew Chic, sharing how she turned her creative energy into a business.

Jo Glover of Sew Sew Chic shares her Creative Business-Mama tale on Story of Mum

Describe how you are feeling RIGHT NOW in three words? 

Excited, Proud and Motivated

 What's the story of your creative business?

I have never been able to sit still for too long without being creative. As soon as my first daughter was born I was finding lots of creative projects to keep myself busy when she was asleep. I would make cards, decorate the house and sew!

When my maternity leave came to an end I wasn’t ready to go back to work. I wanted to spend more time with my little girl and I’m sure a lot of mothers will agree that childcare costs can swallow up most of your wages.

My friend had asked about Memory Bears - soft bears made with children’s clothing. I’d never seen them before but I attempted to make one with my daughter’s first sleep suits. Honestly, it looked awful. But it gave me so much inspiration. I tried again and the second bear was better than the first. Before I knew it, Friends and family where asking for them, so I made more. It’s true, practice makes perfect!

I set up a Facebook page to share my creations with friends and then an Etsy shop. 1 year later I have made over 70 Memory animals and sold many other handmade creations. Working on new projects, earning a little bit and watching my daughter grow and experiencing each new milestone she met- It was the perfect way to spend the year.

What are the best things about being a mother running a creative business?

I love what I do as a hobby, even more as a career! I can really let my creative juices flow and can earn money at the same time. I like that I can choose my working hours and spend time with my beautiful family.

And the worst?

The difficult part is that I can never turn down an order; I sometimes bite off more than I can chew and have to juggle work and family time in short spaces. I’m very lucky to have such a supportive husband who helps me when I get snowed under!

Tell us about the most difficult day you faced and overcame as a creative working mama

Sew Sew ChicI was running around for weeks trying to organise and make new products to display at my first craft fair.

On the day I had to pick up a table, and set up. Traffic was not on my side so I was a little late, not how I wanted to begin my first craft fair.

Once I was set up and ready to go, I sat down and thought “Calm before the storm, in a minute crowds will be flowing in to look at our lovely products...”

Unfortunately it stayed quiet all day! I spent more than I made. Not so much Difficult, but a disappointing day.

But not all was bad. I met some lovely fellow crafters and gained some good advice.

What advice would you give a mama starting a creative business?

Try not to be disheartened if sales don’t come to you straight away. Most successful businesses will spend time trying to stand out above the crowd before breaking even.

If you don’t sell much at first, don’t give up, keep trying and listen to what your target market want!

 What are you working on right now that you're most excited about?

I am making patchwork cushions and quilts from baby clothes to add to the keepsake collection. I’m also working on a project for Valentine ’s Day, but all will be revealed soon enough, Keep an eye on my Facebook page and blog for more updates!

If there was a Creative Working Mama Fairy, what would you wish for?

A self-replenishing cupboard of craft supplies!

 

If you have a dream of becoming a creative business-mama yourself, you might also like to find out more about our partner in this series this month: Mum Plus Business - a network supporting local mums to form business partnerships.

What does being a creative business-mama mean to you?

If you'd like to share your story with us, we'd love to hear from you.

You can read other guest interviews in the Creative Business-Mamas series here.

Creative Business-Mamas: Lisa Wilmhurst of Mobilampshades

The next Creative Business-Mama in our series also comes to us via Mum Plus Business - it's lovely Lisa Wilmshurst of Mobilampshades with her supremely clever invention - lampshade and adorable mobile in one....

Lisa Wilmhurst of Mobilampshades shares her Creative Business-Mama story

Describe how you are feeling RIGHT NOW in three words? 

Excited, hopeful, enthused

What's the story of your creative business?

Mobilampshades was born when I was decorating my eldest son’s nursery and was looking to buy a lampshade. I love handmade items and had made curtains for the nursery so was looking for a lampshade to match the jungle/animal theme. Whilst looking online I couldn’t find anything I liked, it was either mass produced bland or handmade “grown up” lampshades - so I thought why not make one myself.

I came up with the idea of combining a mobile with a lampshade as I thought my son would like the mobile decorations hanging off the shade. I then enrolled on a lampshade-making course in January 2013 and then spent the first half of the year experimenting with the mobile parts.

From September 2013, I started to sell online on Etsy. I’ve always been crafty - from an early age I  enjoyed sewing and knitting. Mobilampshades was started to fulfil my crafting passion, to have a job that would fit around our home life, and to share my beautiful products with others hoping they would love it as much I enjoy making it.

What are the best things about being a mother running a creative business?

The best thing is that I get to do what I enjoy, making things whilst it can still fit around my “day” job as a full time mother. It enables me to be creative and to pick and choose what I want to make to a certain extent.

And the worst?

The worst thing is finding the time to make and craft. Sacrifices are made such as watching tv in the evenings when the children are in bed. Also starting a creative business can be costly with upfront costs of supplies, setting up websites when you’re not earning any money. 

Tell us about the most difficult day you faced and overcame as a creative working mama...

One of the most difficult days was when we did our first baby show last November. Planning for a baby show/craft show is time consuming and you have to be methodical - thinking about stock levels, how to present your table, making sure you have enough business cards, packaging, taking credit card payments and much, much more.

I decided to sell at a baby show to gauge the interest in Mobilampshades. As I was still breastfeeding my youngest son, the best solution was to have the family together at the show. The show started at 10am but you had to start to set up from 8:30am and it didn’t end until 4pm - so a long day to keep two young boys entertained...

Lisa Wilmhurst of Mobilampshades on Story of Mum

Amazingly the boys were very well behaved, my husband as always was very supportive and did whatever I asked of him, and my in-laws were at hand to help too. I was nervous about selling at the show as I’m not a natural extrovert, but found I was at ease talking to other parents there. 

I had anticipated it to be a “nightmare” day with kids screaming and crying, wanting to go home, but it wasn’t as bad as I feared. All in all, with the support and love from my family, what was anticipated as a difficult day turned out just fine.

What advice would you give a mama starting a creative business?

Test out your product with family and friends, they will be able to give you constructive feedback and different views.

Have a business plan and know what you want to achieve from having a creative business.

Just keep going even when you begin to doubt yourself. It is always difficult at first when you are new to crafting business but you just need to keep on persevering and network as much as possible.

What are you working on right now that you're most excited about?

I’m working on a birdie nursery mobile, so something different. I’m excited about this, as it will be a new product range for mobilampshades. I’m also currently designing a dinosaur mobilampshade, which hopefully will be available from February.

If there was a Creative Working Mama Fairy, what would you wish for?

Can I ask for 3 wishes? My two boys to synchronise their afternoon naps; to have more hours in the day and for the housework to be done as if by magic (oops, it does at times, thank you lovely husband!)

 

If you have a dream of becoming a creative business-mama yourself, you might also like to find out more about our partner in this series this month: Mum Plus Business - a network supporting local mums to form business partnerships.

What does being a creative business-mama mean to you?

If you'd like to share your story with us, we'd love to hear from you.

You can read other guest interviews in the Creative Business-Mamas series here.


Creative Business-Mamas: Lisa Miles of Creative Sofa

Next up in our Creative Business-Mama series is another of Mum Plus Business's competition winners: Lisa Miles of Creative Sofa. Lisa shares her story of combining motherhood with not one, but two businesses...

Lisa Miles of Creative Sofa on Story of Mum

Describe how you are feeling RIGHT NOW in three words?

Sleepy, Optimistic, Hungry

What’s the story of your creative business?

My business has two sides to it. Creative Sofa Graphic Design helps organisations build their brand through logo design, stationery, business cards, leaflets, adverts, online graphics and more. I work with a wide variety of businesses from small start-ups to larger businesses.

The second aspect of my business is Creative Sofa Kids Art which creates Children’s Name Pictures. My selection of picture themes from teddies to trains, jungles, fairies, butterflies and number prints can all be personalised with a name, date of birth or dedication.

I started Creative Sofa Graphic Design and Illustration in 2006 – at the same time as getting married and moving house… that was a busy month. In 2008, after our ‘little bundle of joy’ arrived I was inspired to set up Creative Sofa Kids Art – Children’s Name Pictures.

I started my own business because I was moving house to be with my new hubbie and it was too far to travel to my “proper” job. I decided to set out on my own and become a Freelance Graphic Designer and Illustrator. 

Creative Sofa Kids Art was later set-up as an outlet for my passion for children’s illustration, typography and design.

It was really dull doing the legal set-up of the Creative Sofa plus all the mundane things like insurance and bank accounts. From there I was lucky enough to be ‘ready to go’ straight away – as my first client was my previous employer.

Creative Sofa Kids Art involved many hours of work randomly slotted in to short bursts of time.

Creative Sofa Limited

What are the best things about being a mother running a creative business?

I love the flexibility and variety of running my own business.

I can be working on a huge variety of graphic design projects all in the same week, it keeps me on my toes from a creative sense. I can be flexible with my time too, planning things so I can go to school plays and zumba classes whilst still meeting deadlines. 

And the worst?

Oh the admin stuff! It just never seems to end. I seem to spend most of my time doing everything but designing and illustrating – which is the bit I really enjoy.

Tell us about the most difficult day you faced and overcame as a creative working mama

I single tricky day doesn’t stand out, but tough days usually feature a battle with computer problems and are usually resolved by swearing, coffee and tearful phone calls to technical support!Lisa Law - Creative Sofa Graphic DesignWhat advice would you give a mama starting a creative business?

Schedule (and stick to) child-free time to work on your business. Blurring work and family time is a recipe for disaster with neither being fulfilling.

What are you working on right now that you’re most excited about?

I am working on some new Children’s Name Pictures for Creative Sofa Kids Art. I want to include photos of the children and things that are special to them into the pictures.

If there was a Creative Working Mama Fairy, what would you wish for?

More time (and energy actually) to concentrate on the creative side of my business rather than getting bogged down in the never ending admin.

Fairy, please take away the admin and do it for me!

 

If you have a dream of becoming a creative business-mama yourself, you might also like to find out more about our partner in this series this month: Mum Plus Business - a network supporting local mums to form business partnerships.

What does being a creative business-mama mean to you?

If you'd like to share your story with us, we'd love to hear from you.

You can read other guest interviews in the Creative Business-Mamas series here.

 

Find a profile for Lisa's other business here.

Team Honk, Mamas' Retreats, and Story of Mum in the news!

Thanks to the inspirational Team Honk, and Story of Mum's mama-loving retreat mission, we made it into the local press FOUR times in TWO weeks - that's definitely a record for us!

Story of Mum Team Honk in the Cornishman

It was all in a very good cause, as we launched the Team Honk Relay last weekend, travelling from Lands End to Truro.

From Truro, we passed the baton on to take its long old journey to John O'Groats - you can follow its progress on twitter (a quick search for #teamhonkrelay will find you all the updates you need...) or on the Team Honk facebook page.

You can DONATE HERE.

I think our home-made sign even made it quite far up the line, which is amazing! I wasn't expecting it to last past Cornwall, if that. Last I saw it, it was wet and bendy with lovely Chelsea Mamma.

The joy of being part of a Cornwall team that raised over £500 for Sport Relief (we met our target!!) is almost enough to help me get over the shame of the exact position I am assuming in full frontal local news above. (Be grateful it's a small photo, I am...!)

First up, we were featured in the West Briton encouraging families to come along (it seemed to work), and online for the Cornishman (with a very nice photo from Pat Kelman, thanks Pat - also featured below).

Then came the offending photo above and the very lovely piece below about our Mamas' Retreats. Join us in a magical location in February, there are just 2 places left, but we would LOVE to see you there! You can find out more here

Story of Mum Mamas' Retreats in the Cornishman

Read the post online here.

Team Honk Cornwall in the news

 

Creative Business-Mamas: Kate Sayer of Little Knitted Stars

Next up in our Creative Business-Mama series is another of Mum Plus Business's competition winners: Kate Sayer shares how she moved from academic to mumpreneur, pursuing a creative dream that allowed her more flexible time with her kids.

Kate Sayer of Little Knitted Stars

Describe how you are feeling RIGHT NOW in three words?

Optimistic, thoughtful, excited.

What's the story of your creative business?

I was a Textile Design lecturer at The University of Manchester, specialising in Knitted Textiles. After having my second child, I began to find the commute into the city, running a University degree programme in a changing Academic environment alongside looking after my two girls was not working, so my husband and I thought it best if I left my career in June 2013.

However I wanted something to keep my mind active, and as a creative with a Textile Design degree and years of experience teaching machine knitting, I started thinking of what I could do to utilise my design skills whilst enabling me to do the school run and look after my 2 year old.

As a teenager I had learnt to crochet, and although I hadn’t practiced in years, I quickly worked out and perfected motifs suitable for girls hairclips and hairbands. Two perfect aged in-house models also made trialling products easy!

My parents bought me a second hand knitting machine and I had a clear idea that I wished to create bright, retro, two coloured jacquard cushions. With this, Little Knitted Stars business was born, creating hand crocheted and machine knitted accessories to wear and for the home.

I spent time carefully photographing my first collection and then launched my etsy website. I sold my first accessories in May 2013, not long before I left my lecturing position, and I have become busier month on month.

What are the best things about being a mother running a creative business?

The best things about running my own creative business is being able to do something I really enjoy, utilising my design skills whilst being able to work around my kids hectic lives!

I can make products when my children are at school and playgroup, or in the evening when they are asleep, and craft fairs tend to be in the evening or weekends.

And the worst?

The worst thing I believe is that you never switch off, and tend to work long evenings, particularly in the run up to the busy Xmas period.

You also find that you are working approximately full time hours for a lower income than a full time job. However this is cancelled out by the satisfaction of running your own little venture.

Little Knitted StarsTell us about the most difficult day you faced and overcame as a creative working mama

The most difficult day I think I’ve had so far, was when I had promised to deliver a cushion to a client in the afternoon, and had given myself the morning to sew it up and add the buttons whilst my daughter was in playgroup. This should have given me plenty of time, but disaster struck when I could not get my sewing machine to work properly!

I was trying very hard not to panic and luckily managed to locate a repair man who happened to be the area that morning (extremely lucky!).

It turned out that my machine was just fine and that operator error was the culprit – I had not threaded it up correctly!!

So luckily I ended up only slightly lighter in the pocket and redder in the cheeks, and the cushion was completed for the following morning to a happy customer.

What advice would you give a mama starting a creative business?

My advice would be that if you wish to get rich quick then this is not the route for you.

However if you have a creative eye and a good concept, and are happy to spend a lot of time perfecting ideas and producing products then this is a wonderful thing to do.

What are you working on right now that you're most excited about?

I’m currently working on a lot of heart based ideas for Valentines day and also working on ideas for personalised motifs which could help me break in to a new market. I’m also forming ideas for some new knitted cushions which is exciting!

If there was a Creative Working Mama Fairy, what would you wish for?

That’s easy - three more hours in the day!


To get in the spirit of this month's activity, the lovely Kate has also shared a fabulous Best Foot Forward photo for us!

Best Foot Forward - Kate SayerShe says "The left one represents me as a mum doing the school run, and also me in my business mode, when I am manning a market stall. The other is when I have the chance to take a little break, glam up and go out!"

If you have a dream of becoming a creative business-mama yourself, you might also like to find out more about our partner in this series this month: Mum Plus Business - a network supporting local mums to form business partnerships.

What does being a creative business-mama mean to you?

If you'd like to share your story with us, we'd love to hear from you.

You can read other guest interviews in the Creative Business-Mamas series here.

Show us your shoes, mamas!

Our #somum Make Date last week was all about the shoes - love them or hate them, we all wear them...

(these are Lyndsay's lovely feet...)

"The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art." Leonardo da Vinci

We often neglect our feet, taking them for granted - a bit like mums. This month's Make Date was all about taking a good look at them and seeing what they have to say about us...

Co-hosted by the lovely Esther of Mum Plus Business (whose members are sharing their Creative Business-Mama stories with us, along with their odd shoes, this month), we got together on twitter with mums from all over the world to share the shoes that define us.

Our deliciously contradictory footwear appears in the gallery here, and in the storify below.

From slippers to cat boots, there's something for everyone, read on...!

And if you enjoy our feet, we'd love you to donate the price of a pair of socks to Sport Relief HERE (oh go on, we're nearly at our target - it's very exciting! This Sunday, we persuaded a motley crew of Penzance families in odd shoes to help us start the inspirational Team Honk relay at Lands End to raise funds to help children everywhere - so if you'd like to see more odd combinations of shoes, head on over to see our wonky walk here.

 


Team Honk Penzance does Lands End!

At bathtime tonight, my five year old said to me "this weekend has been like a whole holiday'. And it has. What a flaming crazy honking weekend.

It started with making two cardboard castles and a pirate ship for my three year old daughter's princess-pirate birthday party yesterday (they were ace, but that's another story!), followed by a late night attempt to create a Team Honk signpost (in case we couldn't get to the real one), and then an early morning start to get ourselves to Lands End to begin the Team Honk Bloggers Relay from there to John O Groats, what an honour! A windy wet and cold honour, but an honour none the less!

We'll just put aside the fact that my husband is currently overnighting in an upgraded hotel suite in Paris about to jet-set off to a tropical island 'for work'... (To be fair, my husband did donate to Team Honk (you can do that here, right now) so we'll let him off, for now...)

And instead we'll thank our lucky stars that we weren't lovely Lara Trewin undertaking her full-on cycling and running leg of the relay in North Cornwall as the heavens opened later in the day (my beautiful Lands End sign was beaten by the weather, but the amazing Lara was not, thankfully!). 

So where does this story start? With three inspiring women - Annie Spratt, Tanya Barrow and Penny Alexander, who headed off to Ghana last year to capture amazing stories and make a social media fund-raising splash for Comic Relief with Team Honk - mama activism at its best. This year, they decided to fund-raise again, corraling 150 bloggers across the country into a massive Lands End to John O Groats relay. What a feat! They are amazing.

And somehow, we ended up starting the relay! On 18 December, we heard that Cornwall's leg of the relay would take place on 12 January - so soon, yikes! And then the sad news on 4 January that Annie and Tanya wouldn't be able to make the start date (which I'm still gutted about as I was so looking forward to squeezing them both, although I'm secretly hoping that will still be possible when they award me my OBE for services to Team Honk...).

So naturally, with a birthday party the day before, my husband jetting off that morning, and no car, I said no problem, we'd do it! And then panicked. And then got very very organised. And then started begging my friends.

Team Honk Story of Mum lands End

And oh my goodness did my friends come through! Huge thanks to Steve and Georgia Potter of Apple Crumble who got me and my kids to Lands End early on Sunday morning, without even a breakfast butty to fuel them. And to my in-laws and all the other friends and kids who made it out on a windy cold wet day in Cornwall. We did it!

Story of Mum walking to penzance for Team HonkThe theme for our leg of the relay was odd shoes... and you can see some of the fantastic examples below.

This tied into our activity at Story of Mum this month: Best Foot Forward, where mums share photos of their feet in two different shoes that capture different aspects of their identities - have a look and join in (and feel free to donate the price of a pair of socks to Team Honk as you do... we'd love that!)

Best Foot Forward with Story of Mum Team Honk Relay

Apparently there is footage of me running, (yes running, what was I thinking?) in my red high heel/green sock and welly combination. Sadly that is not footage that you will ever see here. I wouldn't show that to anyone unless there was a humongous £100 donation to Team Honk Cornwall for that sole purpose. For the free version - just picture a mid-sized hippo wearing a Louboutin on two feet, and wellies on the other two, and you get the general idea.

When we finally arrived in Penzance, we jumped on a train to Truro (many thanks, First Great Western!) entertained ourselves (and the rest of the carriage) with some quick-fire bingo and cupcakes, and at last handed over the Flaming Honker (my entry to the name-the-baton competition...) to Jackie Murray...

Story of Mum Team Honk reach Penzance and get the train!
Jackie took the baton up the line to the delightfully bonkers animal-themed quad-biking Fiona and her family of Coombe Mill (read more about what they got up to here) and on to meet Zoe Corkhill and brave runner Lara Trewin (you can read Zoe's story here, Lara is still recovering and will share hers tomorrow).

What a fabulous and inspiring day. We got soaked to our knickers on the way back, but the kids and I spent the evening snuggled up on the sofa drinking hot chocolate and tweeting photos.

I mean, who'd want to be on a tropical island when you can spend the day with fabulous friends doing something hugely valuable for children who really need it - and getting enough exercise to justify eating a lot more cake and drinking beer when you get home?

Thank you Team Honk for this incredible opportunity to be part of this inspirational fund-raising project. Honkity-honkity-honk to you all.

Story of Mum Lands End signGo on, donate a fiver here, and see if you can make me even happier than I already am. A gallumphing mid-sized hippo exploding with happiness, who wouldn't want to see that?

DONATE NOW.

Plus, you too could get this fabulous really-exhausted-but-happy feeling too... The first ever Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games take place from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd March 2014. The public can join the fun and games by running, swimming or cycling their way to raising cash at over a thousand venues around the country, including the landmark events at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

As one of the biggest fundraising events, Sport Relief brings the entire nation together to get active raise cash and change lives. The money raised by the public is spent by Comic Relief to help transform the lives of some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people both at home in the UK and across the world.

 


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