Pippa's blog

Fairy Tale Chocolate Competition

My fairy tale life would definitely include chocolate, so I'm very excited that we have appropriately-themed chocolate goodies from Fairy Tale Gourmet to giveaway this month!

Win chocolate eggs from Fairy Tale Gourmet with Story of Mum

You could win yourself one of two delicious artisan chocolate eggs from Fairytale Gourmet - and this Easter, you could crack open your very own Humpty Dumpty or steal a Golden Egg from the friendly giants in your house...!

These are eggs to hide from the kids... SO well that you get to eat them yourself ;)

This month is all about fairy tales - and we'll be sharing our stories in My Life, the Fairy Tale. We would love to hear yours - and one of the ways you can enter the competition is by sharing it with us!

Your own fairy tale might be life-changing or silly, small or huge - you choose. Head over here and complete seven sentences to tell us a fairy-tale from your not-so-fairy-tale life...

Our daily battles may not always feel epic, but the truth is, they are.  Most importantly, sharing those stories of how we overcame the scary stuff, (eventually!) reminds others that they can make it through - even if today's quest is simply to tackle the never-ending laundry pile...

You can also enter by tweeting and hanging out on facebook, as you do...

Tale Gourmet are an award-winning company producing hand-crafted and ethical high-end chocolates and desserts, inspired by the literature of fairy tales. Go and explore their website - it's imaginative, original and guaranteed to make you drool...

We look forward to hearing your real-life fairy-tales, and eating chocolate together..a Rafflecopter giveaway

Win a Fairytale Gourmet golden egg with Story of Mum

Start your year with joy at our January Mamas' Retreat

Join a Sunday Morning Mamas' Retreat with Story of MumWe'd love you to join us on Sunday 18 January 2015 for a very special Sunday Morning Mamas' Retreat in Penzance, Cornwall. Come start your year with joy! (scroll down to book your tickets below)

Three years old

We're officially three years old today!

To celebrate, we're sharing a couple of stories from Story of Mum mamas about what Story of Mum has meant to them.

Story of Mum is three years old! Hear how the project has helped mums grow.

We are so proud of reaching three years with you all. And of those brave mamas who are sharing their stories here with us today. Thank you.

We'll also be sharing fabulous old posts, and giving away a DIY Mamas' Retreat Kit on twitter (share this post and cc @storyofmum on twitter to enter), and another one on facebook, so look out for the tweets and posts for more info...!

You can also enter to win one by commenting below and sharing your thoughts on Story of Mum... 

That's 3 fabulous chances to win today!

Last but not least, we're celebrating by sharing the picture of us where we look most pretty, (thanks Pat Kelman!)

pippa and penny best, story of mum - credit: Pat Kelman

“I discovered Story of Mum at a time when I was very low and feeling totally isolated. I suffered badly with PND (post natal depression) and had no support other than my husband.

I felt worthless as a woman, a wife and a mother. Connecting with other Mums online through creative activities and discussion helped me realise that I wasn't the only one struggling and feeling like I was failing.

This was the turning point for me as I was no longer alone but part of a friendly, supportive, loving online community. These wonderful ladies are now amongst my closest friends, several of whom I have had the great pleasure to meet.

I highly recommend every aspect of Story of Mum to women everywhere, to help you feel whole again.”

Kat Pearce

Story of Mum Exhibition, The Exchange

““When, in September 2013, I attended my first Story of Mum event - the Mums’ Make Date at The Exchange, Penzance - I had only recently relocated to Cornwall from the West Midlands.  My daughter had started at her first school in Penzance the previous week, and I knew no-one!  I was feeling quite isolated, and having had severe Postnatal Depression after my daughter’s birth, I knew it was not good for me to feel this disconnection.  The Story of Mum flyer had come home in my daughter’s schoolbag, and I promised myself I would summon up the courage to go along.  My goodness how glad I am that I did!    

At the end of that evening the feedback form asked how I was feeling about motherhood… my answer was clear - “Much better than before I came out”. 

That evening, just a brief but eye-opening couple of hours - was the start of a revitalizing journey for me.  Story of Mum, its honest and open approach to motherhood, and all its various madcap, thought-provoking, soul-searching, celebratory activities, has made such a difference in my life as a mum. 

It has helped me to feel “normal” - like I’m not the only one struggling with (whatever this week’s “issue” is) being a parent!  The shared stories - at the exhibition, on the website, on the twitter “Make Dates” - have reassured me, uplifted me, comforted me, inspired me, helped me to laugh at myself, and allowed me to cry – in empathy, in joy, and yes in sadness. 

At times Story of Mum has simply kept me sane!  It has given me more confidence in my abilities as a mum, and helped me to find a balance between being a mum - and being “me”.  I have even felt able (with lots of lovely guilt-free “permission” and encouragement from Story of Mum), to attend a Mamas’ Retreat… 6 months ago I couldn’t have imagined myself ever doing that.     

It has been wonderful to meet, spend precious time with, and share thoughts, ideas, angst, and laughter with such a diverse group of women, face-to-face, and online at the monthly “Mamas Make Dates”.  I have never before been amongst such a group of supportive, non-judgmental mums with not a clique in sight!  I have connected with lots of truly fabulous women, and made friends that I wouldn’t have done otherwise.  Not only has this benefitted me, but also my daughter because of the mums and children that she has connected with, and the happier person that I am.  Truly, Story of Mum is a warm, welcoming and nurturing community which I am immensely glad to feel part of."

Pippa Lilley

I'm a mum and a... 

And as for me? Well, Story of Mum has reconnected me to my creativity, and helped me to find a new identity when I felt lost. It has supported me to make sense of the challenging transition from career woman to mother, and to become passionate about giving invisible mothers a voice.

It has boosted my confidence, got me doing things that terrified me but which felt amazing, and reassured me with humour and honesty when I feel like I'm the only mum in the world who messes up. It has helped me to make time to look after myself, and to overcome bad mummy shame at my horrendously messy house.

Projects like Love Mum Body have helped me to dramatically change my relationship with my body. And I have loved the opportunity to spend time and grow a project with my own inspiring mother (especially when I got to do that in New York...!).

Most of all, Story of Mum has connected me to an amazing global tribe of mamas that support me in feeling like I can do anything I dream of.

I hope it does the same for you, and I am so grateful to all of YOU.

Thank you for joining us on this amazing journey these past three years.

 

Come join our next #somum Make Date on Wednesday 9 April from 8.30 - 10pm GMT (find world times here). We have some more fantastic prizes for you! Find out more here.

 

Thanks to Andra Alexander, Ian Kingsnorth Pat Kelman and Chris Webber for the photos above.

Special events at The Exchange

We've got some more great special events coming up for mums at The Exchange in Penzance this month as part of our travelling exhibition - find out more below.

To book to come along for some networking or retreating, contact [email protected]. Places are limited and going fast, so jump in now!

PS everything is FREE because we love you. The forecast for cake is looking good too.

Find out more about our exhibition here.

flyer for events at the Exchange

Sharing our mama identities at BritMums Live

motherhood exhibitionI've just loaded up all the "I'm a mum and a..." photos I took at BritMums Live this weekend, and the gallery is looking amazing. Let the images scroll on by.

We are the same and we are different and we are all unique. 

It's powerful stuff - funny, thought-provoking, heart-breaking and inspiring, and I'm so grateful to all the mothers (and one brave widower) who have taken part so far.

The gallery will continue to grow day by day as "Story of Mum: Mums making an exhibition of ourselves" travels around England in real life, and the world online. Including a wonderful virtual tour - check out some of the posts so far here.

There are well over 200 contributions to "I'm a mum and a..." now and it's fascinating how some words are starting to come up more often than others...  

Us mums are often also dreamers, crafters, poets and artists, dancers, and there's a wonderful groundswell of writers.

There are nanas, daughters, friends, wives, and referees. 

There are some proud me's reclaiming their identities, and others on a journey to find themselves. 

We're addicted to chocolate, tired and crazy. And we're trying our best.

Visit the gallery here.

Read more about my experience of BritMums Live here.

You can add your own picture at any time by visiting the gallery and clicking on 'join in' (if it still says 'join us' you'll need to register with story of mum first - which doesn't take very long, and means you get to hang out with us some more which can only be a good thing...!)

mum and an ear wiggler   mum and a survivor    mum and bibs award winner    mum and education reformer

PS If you're visiting from BritMums Live! and want to find your own photo to see how absolutely beautiful you look (because, yes, you all did), you can scroll through the gallery or visit the BritMums page here that lists all of the pictures I took there.

PPS If you sign up for our newsletter you get a free book of mums' reward charts. You deserve them. Just saying...

Yes to Yes Vests and Yes Days for Mamas!

Somehow I've managed to speed-storify tonight's lovely #somum Make Date (free mini creative retreats for mamas on twitter...) and here it is!

Making Yes Vests at Story of Mum's #somum Make Date

We talked about what we say yes to, what we'd like to say yes to less, and what we would like to say yes to more.

We imagined our children's dream Yes Days, and pictured our very own: what would we do with a whole day to say yes to our every need? What would you do?

And naturally, we doodled our big fat yes's on vests...

We asked the questions we would ask if we knew the answer would be yes.

And we planned one step we could take tomorrow to bring our day a little bit of mama yes day magic. 

(And of course I reminded everyone about our very special Mamas' Retreats in May, in case they'd like to say yes to that too ;)

Read some of the highlights of our lovely chat, and see lots of gorgeous yes vest doodles below.

There's still lots of time to think about your big fat YES, doodle your own YES VEST, and share it in the gallery.

And you can enter our fabulous competition to win a very special yes necklace of your own over here...

OH YES INDEEDY!

Making Yes Vests at #somum tomorrow!

Say YES to joining our next #somum Make Date on Wednesday 8 April from 8.30 to 10pm UK time, mama (find world times over here).

Make a YES VEST with Story of Mum at #somum on twitter: Weds 8 April 8.30 - 10pm

This month's activity - and this month's Make Date - is all about the joy of saying Yes.

We'll be doodling our own YES VESTS, inspired by a number of Yes-related delights:

-- my favourite necklace made by Stuff Made From Things  (you could win one by joining #somum this month - find out more over here and below...)

-- a lovely free e-course run by Liz Lamoreux called Yes to this Moment

-- my Yes Day with my kids last week - when I said yes to anything they wanted to do (with some restrictions due to budget, distance from home, and things that might make their hacking coughs worse), and we did all of the things on my Yes Vest, and more... 

-- my teenage years growing up in the 80s when people wore T-shirts that started FRANKIE SAYS, and RELAX, and posed looking moody. Feel free to do that too.

Ready to make your own?

Doodle a picture of your very own YES VEST: spell out a big bold black and white YES to the things you want more of in your life. 

Is there anything that makes you do an actual real fist-pump or that thing when you jump in the air and click your heels together at the side…? What brings you joy?

Stick it on your vest…

Share it with us in the gallery, or on Wednesday at #somum!

For more big fat yes inspiration, read this month's lovely newsletter over here.

Win yourself my favourite necklace ever! 

Win a YES necklace from Stuff Made From Things with Story of Mum

No, not my very own one. But yes, the amazing Faye from Stuff Made From Things is giving us one of her beautiful hand-made necklaces to give away this month.

You get extra entries just for being lovely Story of Mum mamas, so head over here to have a chance of winning it for your very self.

Each piece she makes is different, but it will look quite a lot like my one on the right...

You can get 3 free entries for sharing your tweet from #somum over herePlus, the more Yes Vests you share in our gallery, the more entries you'll get :)

We can't wait to see you and have a big fat yes-fest tomorrow! Oh YES!

Never joined us for a #somum Make Date before? Read all about it below...

What is a #somum Make Date?

It's a chance for mums to get together on twitter and tweet while we attempt to do something creative - like doodlingtaking a photowriting poetrymaking stuff or even squidging plasticine.

We give ourselves some creative me-time and connect with other lovely mums. We do it every second Wednesday of the month and we would love you to join us. New friends are always very welcome.

You don't have to be a clever crafter, an artist or wordsmith. We're all about having a go regardless of talent or experience. Most of all, it's about getting together and having fun.

Just add #somum to your tweets so that we can find you, and search for #somum to see what everyone else is tweeting. 

If you just want to chat, that's completely fine. If you just want to make something and lurk and never tell us you're there, that's fine too. We're just happy you're making time for you. 

Win yourself a big fat YES on a chain

The very talented Faye of Stuff Made From Things is giving us one of her beautiful necklaces to give away this month.

Win a YES necklace made by Stuff Made From Things with Story of Mum

It's only my favourite and most inspiring piece of jewellery, that I wear almost every day, and is hand-made by an uber-talented and lovely mama in Cornwall, so that no two pieces are ever exactly alike... it's a one of a kind, mama, just like you.

 This photo is actually of my very own necklace, as Faye is locked away in her studio making the next one, just for us... 

The winner will receive one very very similar... and I'll post a photo here as soon as I have one!

There are all sorts of lovely ways you can enter:

If you're already a member of our Story of Mum community you get 3 free entries, just click on the rafflecopter link below and enter your username.

If you haven't joined us yet, just register now (it's free and quick), and you'll get them too!

Win a YES necklace from Stuff Made With Things via Story of Mum

You can 3 more entries for joining our #somum chat on twitter this month on Wednesday 8 April from 8.30pm to 10pm.

We'll be tweeting about saying yes, and no, and maybe... but mostly YES.

And encouraging each other to doodle our very own YES VESTS in a classic 80s stylie.

Best of all, if you join in our activity this month, and design yourself a YES VEST over here, that'll get you a whopping 5 entries.

In fact you can get 5 entries for every YES VEST you share...

There are all sorts of other easy ways to enter: like visiting faye on facebook, following her on twitter, and tweeting about the giveaway...

Yes, you can try them all!

Will you have a go? Yes yes YES! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Individual and small group Mamas' Retreats announced!

Exciting news! We are hosting a limited number of very special individual or small group retreats between 12 and 14 May at a spectacular Prussia Cove location, and we'd love you to join us!

Join a retreat for mothers with Story of Mum in Cornwall

Why?

You deserve some time for you.

You don’t believe that’s really possible.

You dream of having a room or a bed to yourself. Of having a clear space in your mind to think. Of looking at the sea and feeling the waves crashing below. 

Of stretching your well-used mama body without your children hanging from your arms. Of eating delicious health-giving food.

Of reconnecting with yourself again, in a supportive and creative environment. 

You dream of having the time to remember who you are.

We dream of that too. So we’re making it happen.

A few child-free hours. It’s a lifetime in the world of a mother.

It can change how you feel about yourself.

It can give you focus, reawaken a hidden passion.

It can remind you of what you love about your life. Of what you love about you.

Join us in Cornwall. In a stunningly located house by the sea. To take time for you. 

Join Story of Mum for an individual or small group retreat for mothers in Cornwall.

This year, we're offering a small number of individual or small group Mamas' Retreats between 12 and 14 May in a secluded beautiful coastal location situated between Penzance and Helston in Cornwall.

We’ll be staying in two houses in Prussia Cove: The Haven and The Granary – and using The Haven as our Mamas’ Retreat base. Shown above, The Haven sits looking out over the coast, a moment’s walk from the sea, banked by gorse-covered cliffs and surrounded by stunning walks and beaches.

Join a retreat for mothers with Story of Mum in Cornwall

You don’t need any special skills or experience to join us, you just need to be you. 

Join us at a Mamas' Retreat for:

 *  Space to hear yourself think

 *  Heart-opening creative activities

 *  Good food and laughter

 *  Wild and peaceful nature

 *  Reassurance that you are not alone

 *  A reminder that you are brave and beautiful and wonderful, flaws and all

 *  Delicious vegetarian meals

 *  Support to be heard, make shifts, reconnect with YOU, and move closer towards that life you deeply dream of.

You can choose from a variety of  possible individual or small group retreat formats:

 - Day Retreat: NURTURE

 - Overnight Retreat: NURTURE & NEST

  - The Ultimate Mamas Retreat: NURTURE, NOURISH & NEST

You can find out more about each of these offerings in the PDF attached below, or talk to us to create your own. (Download a high-res version or a low-res version with lower quality images...)

Join a retreat for mothers with Story of mum in Cornwall

If you choose an individual retreat, you’ll be the only participant. All that peace, space, and support just for you.

If you'd prefer a small group retreat, you’ll be able to bring a group of 2 or 3 participants to experience the retreat together, each staying in your own private room. We may be able to link you with others hoping to attend a small group retreat, but even better, how about joining up with some mama friends and all coming together?

At the moment, these are our only individual and small group retreats planned for the year, and we'll be offering a maximum of 3, probably less.

Read on, dream about coming, and then, book your place.

To find out more, read the document below. To book, contact [email protected] 

Let us save a place for you.

Many thanks to Porth-en-Alls, Prussia Cove for the lovely photographs!

Want to know more?

Find more information on the other Mamas' Retreats we offer over here.

If you'd love a retreat, but can't make these dates, register with our lovely free Story of Mum community over here so that you can be the first to hear about any new offers and retreat treats!

Download the PDF document below for more details on the location, content and costs of our individual and small group retreats in May.

My life is nothing like a fairy tale... and yet...

We had another lovely #somum Make Date this week, and some fabulous fairy tales were written as we chatted...

Share your real-life fairy-tale story with Story of Mum

The seven simple story-plotting questions that we asked during the Make Date (and over here on the activity page) are an easy but powerful way to capture the precious stories from our life - to remind us of where we are right now, what we've overcome, and why those challenges were so important.

Have a go, and share your stories with us over here.

We'd love you to doodle a fairy-tale book cover too, there are some crackers below - I'd buy them all!

Visit the gallery and read the storify below to discover the powerful, funny, moving mama stories we've been grateful to read this month - we'd love to read yours...

And don't forget, you could still win yourself a delicious chocolate egg from Fairy Tale Gourmet in our competition this month - enter over here.

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