Sunshine Blogger Award

Sunshine Blogger Award

I recently received a tweet from Kirsty at Winnettes inviting me to take part in the Sunshine Bloggers Award.  Although not an official award, it’s a lovely way to learn more about the bloggers who complete it. I’ve got to know Kirsty through our shared love of Instagram and have recently started following her blog. If you love cake, cute kids and a friendly chat, be sure to follow her blog and Instagram account!

Kirsty has asked me ten questions and the idea is that I then tag a further five bloggers (what a perfect fit for Topfivemum!) to answer ten questions of my own. Hey, I’m all for breaking the rule of five for moments like these 🙂

  1. What is your favourite film?
    I’ve probably got quiet a few favourites as each one fits various moods. But if I have to pick just one, I have to go back to my childhood and pick a musical called “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”. I doubt (m)any people reading this have even heard of it. It’s about a man called Adam (Howard Keel) with six wild brothers who decides to go and find himself a wife in town. He stumbles upon hard-working and feisty Millie (Jane Powell) and asks her to marry him while she’s milking a cow. ‘I’ll have to finish my chores first’ comes her reply. She didn’t know what she was getting herself into. She ends up taming the seven brothers and teaching them how to woo women. Next thing you know, they go off into town and kidnap all the pretty ladies. Now, this was 1954 when (if you believe the film) women had nothing better to do than hang around waiting for a husband to come along and ‘rescue’ her. Scandalous really, but it always tickled me as it’s so remote to today (or is it…?)
  2. What is your ideal job? If you didn’t have to worry about qualifications or anything
    I’ve always thought it would be amazing to be a doctor working for a charity like Médecins Sans Frontières. Being able to use a skill like medicine to save a life in the most devastating of circumstances must be so difficult but yet so rewarding. However, I was never any good at science at school and while I could remember new languages pretty effortlessly, I could never remember the names of body parts. Yes, for everyone’s sake, it’s a good job I didn’t go down that route!
  3. If you had to move (zombie apocalypse or something) where in the world would you want to live?
    My (French) brother-in-law lives on the French border near Geneva and I’m so envious of their lifestyle. They have the snow in the winter and the lakes in the summer. Our family loves getting outdoors and my hubby loves waterskiing so I think this would be the perfect place for us. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll take the plunge. We’ll have to start playing the lottery.
  4. What is your favourite blog post you have written so far and why?
    I’m still very new to blogging and decided to start at probably the busiest time in my life, with an 18 month old and a newborn (clever, eh?) I’ve only written a handful of posts so far, but I’m most proud of the one I wrote recently to celebrate what would have been my mother’s 70th birthday (she only made it to 54) to raise awareness of hereditary breast cancer. If I can make just one more person aware and potentially save a whole family for generations to come, I know this would have been the best gift I could have given to my mam on her milestone birthday.
  5. What is your first memory?
    I’d love to say it was a happy one, but unfortunately it wasn’t. My earliest memory is of helping my mam make the bed one morning and speaking to my dad on the phone. He was telling me how he’d still come and visit us every Sunday and my mam was crying. I must have been about three at the time they were going through a divorce. I don’t remember anything else about it except for that one moment.
  6. Did you enjoy school?
    All in all, yes. I’d say I went through a glitch when I was about 11-13 when I didn’t really know where I fit in. I struggled to find a group of friends where I felt I could be me and it was a pretty lonely time. But then I met my best friend Laura (we met at the bus stop every morning when I was sporting a dodgy haircut and carried a free Midland Bank bag…says a lot for her taste in friends). We’re still best friends to this day, despite her living in Luxembourg now and me living in London.
  7. What is your greatest achievement to date? Other than beautiful children.
    I got a first in French and German at uni and actually use them (intermittently) in my job.  A couple of years ago I worked on a marketing campaign for a bank in Germany and was so proud to see my ads in German newspapers and on billboards around Hamburg.
  8. What is the hardest and the best part of being a parent?
    The hardest part of parenting is seeing myself in the worst light sometimes. When you’re exhausted, struggling to get your kids to do anything you ask of them and failing miserably to deal with their tantrums, it’s so easy to snap. I really don’t want to be the mum that loses her temper and shouts at her kids. But I suppose we’re only human. Yet no matter how hard the day is, no matter how much little sleep I manage to survive on, I love them unconditionally and a smile from them is all it takes to melt my heart.
  9. Ghosts… real or not?
    I don’t believe in ghosts, but I definitely believe in the tooth fairy! Spookily, I always remember my mam telling me the story of how her clock stopped at the exact same time my grandmother died, one year on. Brrrrr, things like that give me shivers.
  10. What is your favourite season in the year and why?
    It has to be spring for me, although it’s always bittersweet. I lost my mam to breast cancer in April 2000 and our first baby was due in April 2014, but I miscarried just before the three month scan. I think the grey cloud has been burst this year with the arrival of our second baby, Raphaël, and the daffodils and blossom trees remind me that it’s such a hopeful time of year. A time of new beginnings and the promise that the sunshine is coming to tame my frizzy winter hair.

I hope you’ve enjoyed getting a little glimpse into my world, and thanks again to Kirsty for nominating me.

And the nominees are…

I’d like to nominate the following bloggers for the Sunshine Bloggers Award because I’d love to introduce them to you and learn a bit more about them myself (obviously no pressure on you to complete!).

  1. Laura from The Unsung Mum. I’ve recently started stalking her as her posts and drawings are HILARIOUS
  2. Cécile from The Frenchie Mummy. Because she writes the way we speak at home. No, not with loads of swear words, but with a mix of franglais. And she amuses me no end with her tales of Grumpy Boyfriend (it must be a Frenchie thing?)
  3. Mumworthy because I’ve just discovered her amazing posts on baby led weaning (BLW) and I’m going to be following her progress with baby Harrison for inspiration now I’m starting to wean Raphaël
  4. Danielle from Danielle’s Imaginings. I’ve been following Daniella on Instagram for a few months now and she does some hilarious videos with her three boys. She moved over from the US this summer and now lives in Cirencester, so I’m hoping this nomination might spur her on to start blogging again
  5. Andrea from Topsy Turvy Tribe. I’ve recently stumbled upon Andrea’s blog as she’s also got a small age gap between her two boys and we both recently did posts about our youngest boys turning two. She also has some amazing pictures on her blog while she’s house sitting in Portugal (like I’m not jealous of that set up!)

Here are your ten questions ladies:

  1. What’s the one phrase you say that your parents said to you (and you vowed never to repeat)?
  2. What’s your happiest childhood memory?
  3. If you could be any character in a book or film, who would you be and why?
  4. What is generally overrated in life?
  5. I’m buying – what’s your favourite tipple?
  6. Cook from scratch, microwave or takeaway?
  7. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever had?
  8. What message would you give your teenage self?
  9. What was the last place you went on holiday?
  10. What’s the most recent child/parenting problem or symptom you’ve googled?

I look forward to reading your replies soon!

My Petit Canard
Mudpie Fridays
The Pramshed
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
Diary of an imperfect mum
Hot Pink Wellingtons


  1. November 20, 2016 / 22:05

    Lovely to get to know you and totally agree about parenting, in the hard conditions hard not to be grumpy etc happens to the best of us X #kcacols

    • topfivemum
      November 21, 2016 / 23:45

      it’s definitely the hardest job I’ve ever had! xx

  2. November 19, 2016 / 10:29

    I love reading these, it’s great to get to know more about the blogger behind the blog! Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday x

    • topfivemum
      November 21, 2016 / 23:45

      Same here! I’ve found the blogging community so supportive and thanks for being such a welcoming host at #KCACOLS

  3. November 13, 2016 / 18:34

    Some great answers to the questions. Unlike you I do believe in ghosts although not the tooth fairy. My favourite season is autumn although spring comes a close second. It was nice to read more about you
    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday
    Tracey Bowden recently posted…A Hasbro Xmas Round UpMy Profile

    • topfivemum
      November 15, 2016 / 17:03

      thank you Tracey! I must say, we’ve had a lovely autumn haven’t we? And all those gorgeous pumpkin shots in October?! Stunning. Looking forward to linking up again soon!

    • topfivemum
      November 15, 2016 / 17:20

      Haha let me know what you think Jenny!

  4. November 8, 2016 / 17:13

    I would have loved to have been a doctor working with charities too! It seems like such a rewarding way to use a medical qualification!



  5. November 6, 2016 / 23:20

    I really enjoyed reading this and finding out more about you, Ruth. I’m a fellow northerner (Stockton-on-Tees) and there are little hints of northerner shining through this. I remember your post about your mum, too. It sticks in my head. Very moving….

    Lol! I had a free Midland Bank Bag!!!! How funny. Glad you found your groove and have great friends and a lot to feel thankful for. #KCACOLS
    Jane, Maflingo recently posted…It’s time to fill our Christmas shoeboxes!My Profile

  6. November 6, 2016 / 23:16

    My earliest memory wasn’t happy either. I think the strong emotion we felt is why we remember it. Parenting is the hardest thing I’ve done. Maybe because you’re not really appreciated for what you do and you’re affecting other people. Even when I drive my kids, I think, I have their lives in my hands and have to drive carefully.

    • topfivemum
      November 8, 2016 / 01:07

      I agree with you on the parenting thing. For me, it’s less about being appreciated and more about the fact it tests me in ways I never thought possible. How do you convince a toddler to do something simple like brush their teeth/put on shoes/sit down in their chair etc etc (the list goes on!) without losing it? I may not lose it on the outside, but on the inside it can stir up so many difficult emotions. They test you in more ways than I ever thought possible! Good job they’re cute (most of the time LOL)

  7. November 3, 2016 / 17:02

    Hey! Thanks for the shout out! I’ve just moved from Canada, not the US 😘, and I am living in Cheltenham, not Cirencester 😘, but I am glad you enjoy my IG videos. This is such strange timing, as I’ve just begun a new blog to document my time here in England (just 2 days ago). I’m at if you want to check it out. Your blog is lovely and I enjoy your IG posts!

    • topfivemum
      November 4, 2016 / 15:42

      Having ready your new blog, I now know you’re from Canada so apologies for the mistake (oops, it’s like calling a Scotsman English?! Eek) Looking forward to reading more of your blog and getting to know you better. Thanks for popping over, Ruth xx

  8. November 1, 2016 / 11:25

    Love your honesty. Happy to connect with a new (ish) blogger. I’ve been ‘at it’ for 4 months following my mother’s death, also taken by cancer. Big love and positive thoughts being sent from me to you ❤️ Would you take a look at some of mine please? Feedback welcome xxx
    Lisa recently posted…The Unwanted House GuestMy Profile

    • topfivemum
      November 1, 2016 / 15:04

      Hi Lisa and thanks so much for taking the time to read my blog, I really appreciate it. More than happy to read yours and send you some feedback. I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. That’s all so recently too, so it must be hard. We all have different ways of coping with grief and I hope you’re doing ok. Looking forward to reading your blog and getting to know you better xx

  9. October 31, 2016 / 20:15

    Ah I loved this! I actually do know seven brides for seven brothers, not well but I’ve seen it a couple of times when I was younger. What an amazing job that would be! So stressful but so rewarding! Sorry that I made you relive your first memory…. Let me know if you move to the outskirts of Geneva, I might have to come with you, it sounds amazing.
    Thank you for doing this, its been lovely to read.
    kirsty – winnettes recently posted…My October Baking ShowcaseMy Profile

    • topfivemum
      November 1, 2016 / 15:07

      I’m impressed you know that musical Kirsty! And don’t worry about reliving the first memory – I think it’s good to focus on the real life bits and not just the fun/positive things all the time. Luckily I turned out to be pretty balanced (I think…) Geneva would be amazing wouldn’t it? Failing that, somewhere hot and sunny like Australia. I’d hate to be so far away from friends and family though. Thanks again for tagging me!

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