Pippa's blog

Join us on Weds 12 March for our #somum Make Date

We're celebrating the launch of our DIY Mamas' Retreat Kits with a Mum Trump themed #somum Make Date from 8.30 -10pm, followed by a Mama Self-Care blogging carnival reminding mamas to make time to look after ourselves...

Join our #somum Make Date: make Mum Trumps cards & win a DIY Mamas' Retreat Kit

Because we want you to make time for you, mama!

What's happening on twitter when?

We'll kick off all the fun at our next #somum Make Date on Wednesday 12 March from 8.30 - 10pm UK time (find what time that is for you, wherever you are, here).

Lovely Kate of Kate on Thin Ice will be co-hosting, and we'll be doodling Mum Trumps cards and talking about the special mama skills we could celebrate together...

We'll be using both #somum and #groovymums hashtags to find each other. We'll ask you some questions to get you thinking. Then we'll all doodle a card of our own to share, just like one of these here.

You could win a copy of our beautiful Kit too (featuring fabulous Mum Trump printables amongst many other delights!), designed by the very talented Sam Osborne.

Join our #somum Make Date and win a DIY Mamas' Retreat Kit

If you've already bought one, thank you! (And we'll refund you if you win).

How do I enter the competition?

All you have to do is add #somum to your tweets between 8.30 and 10pm UK time on Wednesday to enter the competition, and we'll use Twitterdraw to choose a random tweeter at the end of the Make Date.

So let's get together on twitter to make time for ourselves, to get creative, and to chat.

We'd love you to join us.

How do I join you?

Just jump on twitter at 8.30pm, add #somum  and #groovymums to your tweets so we can see you, and search for #somum to find us.

And if you're wondering what on earth a #somum Make Date is, you can find out more here.

what's the Mama Self-Care Blogging Carnival

For the rest of the month from 12 to 31 March, we'll be sharing links to some fabulous posts about self-care for mums, from bloggers all over the world: a 'Mama Self-Care Carnival'! Find out more here.

Because we all need reminding.

To nurture your children, you first have to nurture yourself.

Making time for YOU is vital, mama.

So start by coming to play with us on Wednesday...

Mamas need a little bit of love

This month, we got together on twitter at our #somum Make Date to write love letters to ourselves. It was one of our hardest challenges ever.

Mamas writing love letters to ourselves - this one's from Made By Dolly

"To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself."  Thich Nhat Hanh

Why do we find it so hard to say nice things about ourselves, especially publicly?

We can say kind things about other people, we can love our children with all our hearts... but loving ourselves? Is so much harder.

Which is why this month's activity is such an important one. If you haven't tried it yet, have a go.

You can find some ideas of how to get started under 'read more' on the gallery page - or read through the storify below for some questions to get you thinking about how you might be able to try doing this.

love letter in the post

I sent mine to myself the day before Valentines Day and it was wonderful to receive it amongst the horrible bills and scary tax letters!

Somehow opening up a stamp-smudged letter, and reading it with a little bit of distance, made it feel more true.

Thanks so much to all the brave mamas who joined in, even when it was really hard. They shared their letters below in the hope that they will inspire you to write one to yourself too. Join in here!

"Whatever you are doing, love yourself for doing it. Whatever you are feeling, love yourself for feeling it." Thaddeus Golas

Of course, you deserve more than a love letter - you deserve a space on our blissful Mamas' Retreat - there are just two spaces left!



Making sweet #somum love together...!

It's that time of the month again! Join us on Weds 12th Feb from 8.30 - 10pm for our #somum Make Date (world times here) to get self-loved up in time for Valentines Day, and have a go at spreading kind words together...

Join our #somum Make Date on twitter to write love letters to ourselves together

When this month's task popped into my head, I pushed it straight out again. Writing a love letter to myself? Frankly, a bit too scary.

Because I find it easier to walk over my heart on the pavement without noticing...

So... I sat with that feeling for a bit, and I realised that probably meant I needed to do it. And that other mums might find it helpful too. 

Loving our children lies at the heart of our mothering.

And to truly love others, we need to love ourselves first.

So let's write a love letter to ourselves. Because you, and I, are lovely.

Lovely made by Colleen Attara, who, naturally, s also lovelyIf you're very lucky you might even win this gorgeous 'lovely' made from recycled plastic by the very loveable Colleen Attara.

We'll draw a random winner from everyone who uploads a photo of their love letter here this month (you don't have to share any of the words you write, unless you want to).

We have lots of suggestions of how to get started here. But even better, join us on Wednesday and we'll write one together. Got to be easier in a crowd, right?

AND if we post it to ourselves on the 13th, we'll actually get a real-life love letter in the post on Valentines Day. I've never had one of those, and I am very very excited about it...!

Pop over here to find out more about what our #somum Make Dates are all about.

P.S. If you're in need of some full-fat self-care, don't forget our Mamas' Retreat is happening later this month! We have just two slots left at a stunning venue in Cornwall, so jump in now

Competition rules:

  • Duplicate accounts, automated entries, bulk entries or third party entries will be disqualified
  • Winners will be chosen at random from all those uploading a photo that fits the brief described here to this webpage between 12pm BST on 1 February 2014 and midnight BST on 28 February 2013. Please note that you need to join the story of mum community in order to upload a picture or story.
  • The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  • The competition will run from 12pm BST on 1 February 2014 and midnight BST on 28 February 2013 in Great Britain.
  • Story of mum is compliant with the data protection act. While we will share the twitter names of winners and links with great excitement, we will not pass on any other details to any third party without your prior consent.
  • If you don't want to enter the draw, that's absolutely fine. You can still take part in either activity, just contact us to let us know you don't want to be entered in the competition.

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 [email protected]

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...!)

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.


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


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?


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.


Team Honk Penzance - join us Lands End to Truro!

On Sunday 12 January, we’ll be putting our first and second best feet forward as the VERY FIRST LEG of a bonkers bloggers relay to raise funds for Comic Relief/Sports Relief/Red Nose Day...

Team Honk 2014 relay bloggers badge

Find the facebook event page here, say hello and come and join us. All are welcome! 

We really need YOU to come and join in. Firstly, so that I am not limping alone along the prom waving a baton with two grumpy children in tow (my husband is off on holiday that day...!), but more importantly, so that we can raise lots of money to help children that really need it. 

Just slip on a pair of mismatched shoes and waddle, hop or shuffle over to find us at Lands End, Newlyn, Penzance, or on the train to Truro...

So here's the blurb:

Powered by friendship, far-fetched footwear and First Great Western (thank you!), Story of Mum (that's my blogging alias!) and friends will travel the 37.7 mile journey from Lands End to Truro wearing their first and second best shoes (how about a well-loved welly alongside a hoofing great high heel, or a fabulous flip-flop teamed with a sparkling sneaker? Your two feet, your two favourites, the less matched the better…)

first and second best shoesFirst up, fabulous friends are jumping in to save the day, whisking car-less Story of Mum and the baton from Lands End at 9am arriving in Newlyn at 9.45am...

At 9.45 in Newlyn, they’ll all be joined by lots of mums, dads, kids, and random footwear fans (that's YOU), all wearing mismatched shoes, for a wonky walk (stormy Cornish weather permitting!) along the coast from Newlyn Green to Penzance train station. 

At Penzance train station a gang of us wlll jump on an 11am train to Truro to pass the baton to last minute hero Jackie Murray  at 11.45. So if anyone fancies an outing on the train, you would be very very welcome too, quick coffee in Truro??

Jackie will whisk the baton on to fabulous Fiona Cambouropoulos of Coombe Mill (http://www.coombemill.com/ ) and her fancy dress family, passing on to lovely Lara Trewin and her jogging/cycling helmet-light wearing gang beyond that, and many many more... 

So... where can you join in?

1. Put on mismatched shoes
2. 9am: Meet us at Lands End for a high-speed photo opportunity with bad shoes and baton
3. 9.45am: Meet us by the Fishermans' Statue by Newlyn Green to walk from there to Penzance station
4. 11am: Jump on a train to Truro if you fancy it!

Any of the above would be brilliant. Just number 1 on its own doesn't help much, unless you send us a photo and donate some money to Sport Relief instead... HERE'S HOW TO DONATE

And absolutely anyone is welcome. Especially dogs, I'd like to see a dog in mismatched shoes. Anyone? So please tell your friends and invite whoever you like to join us.

Thank you all, and hope to see you and your random shoes there!!

Lovely mums can also share pictures of their shoes here...


PS if you are coming to Lands End, make sure you have your Locals' Pass with you for free parking and 50% off the attractions (not that we'll have time to go on anything, the relay calls us on...!). If you haven't got a pass, you can email [email protected] with your address (it has to be in Cornwall...)

Step out at our #somum Make Date on Weds 8 January

Come join us and this month's lovely co-host @mumplusbusiness on twitter for a chat and a footwear photography challenge from 8.30 - 10pm UK time (find out what time that is in other parts of the world here).

Yes, this month's Mate Date is all about your footwear (sort of...!)

Feet are a bit like an under-appreciated mother... we don't often thank them for all they do, but we'd fall flat on our face without them... So, let's give them some love on Wednesday!

What do your shoes say about who you are?

Where can a good pair take you? And where do you actually want to go...? 

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

As always the plan is to get together on twitter to chat. And our play-along activity this month is taking and sharing photos like this. Two shoes that capture different aspects of YOU.

So get thinking about which pair to share...

It's all about the shoes this month

Team Honk Bloggers Relay

Very excitingly - we are the VERY FIRST official leg of the Team Honk Bloggers' Relay from Lands End to John O'Groats this Sunday, where we'll also be getting everyone to walk a good distance in mismatched shoes - you can find out more here...

Starting next Monday, we're also linking up with some of the lovely mums at Mum Plus Business to share more inspiring Creative-Mama stories in our new interview strand (and hoping they will bravely show us their mismatched shoes in their posts too of course...)

If you enjoy playing along with us today, spare the price of a pair of socks and donate over here?

Come and play!

We would love to see you and your tired old feet on Wednesday!

Just jump on twitter at 8.30pm, add #somum to your tweets so we can see you, and search for #somum to find us.

And if you're wondering what on earth a #somum Make Date is, you can find out more here.

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