Friday, 21 March 2014

A Life Less Ordinary #BYOM

I love odd. I adore weird. I embrace strange. My blog name is Madmumof7 and I'm told it suits me down to the ground - I'm very proud of that.

man with bowl on head
DS#1 Does he look normal to you?
Through my life as a parent, a journalist, a churchgoer and now a blogger I have been lucky to meet lots and lots of people from all walks of life and among them I have met some genuinely peculiar people - and I mean that in a good way. I have just a couple of friends I perceive to be genuine eccentrics  - not always easy to get along with or understand but I do believe it is people like this who make the tapestry of life all the richer.

By eccentric I don't mean just people who have lots of cats (or children?) but people who have a unique way of looking at or enjoying life. I have a friend in her 60's with a fascination for science, tech and sic-fi. I have had some fascinating conversations with her and learned lots of interesting stuff. Members of my own family are not altogether normal -check out how my son posed (left) when I asked him just to hold my new enamel bowls so I could take a picture to send to my mum.


One of my favourite films is "Strictly Ballroom"- the story of Fran, a wallflower amateur who gets to dance with the star of her dance studio, Scott. He wants to dance his own steps in a major competition and none of the other top dancers will partner him. So he ends up teaching Fran. She is shy, and scared of what her strict parents will say if they find out she is learning to  dance with Scott. And in this fabulous story about embracing your own identity and being comfortable and confident with who you are comes one of the best film quotes EVER.

"A life lived in fear is a life half lived."

 It's a sentiment which fits in with my motto for when I'm asked to step out of my comfort zone, I think to myself, what's the worst that can happen? 
We only get one shot at life so why not spread your wings and live it your way, uniquely and fully?


cocktail
Lovely lychee cocktail
 It seems this is a view shared by the online store, notonthehighst.com. *pauses while you all exclaim - "ooh yes, their stuff is lovely"* (well that's the reaction I've had from all my friends when I told them I was writing a blog about the website.)
Anyway, the site which sells every thing from watches to wigwams has a whole section devoted to Mother's day (Sunday March 30) and this week their PR department held a lovely event where lucky party-goers were able to bring their own mothers (#BYOM) to enjoy food, fun and some lovely lychee cocktails in celebration of the amazing role mother's play in our lives.

I was invited by the lovely folk at Mumsnet Towers to join the party in central London. As my own mum lives in Cyprus I took along my good friend who is both too young and too tall to be my actual mother but she was quite happy to step in and enjoy comedy from Shappi Khorsandi, some teeny tiny halloumi burgers and an olive and feta salad she described as "gorgeous." I'll have to trust her on that one - I didn't get a figure like this eating salad -so I went for "proper" burgers, risotto and lots and lots of cake and truffles and mini lemon meringues!

Whilst stuffing our faces we learned that the company's philosophy is all about living a life less ordinary. Certainly you will find some less than ordinary Mothers Day gifts on offer on the website . I particularly loved their floral telephones which are definitely on my wish list!

floral telephone from notonthehighst.com copyright afra willmore
Want it!
I am also coveting almost everything from the jewellery range. Now I normally shie away from "mom" necklaces etc - I think the trail of children in descending heights lagging behind me wherever I go kinda gives away the fact that I'm a mother- but even I was tempted by the beautiful quirky, unique bangles and necklaces on offer.

I especially liked the one pictured below which has inscribed on it: "So, there's this boy who stole my heart and changed my name to MUMMY." Excuse me while I choke back sentimental sobs - I think that is both beautiful and a bit quirky! I love it! And it's a bargain at under £15!

bangle from notonthehighst.com
The company will soon be adding to their range with some unusual "experience" gifts. Forget hot air balloon rides and racing track trips. At the party we were treated to a taster of the sort of sensory experience which will be on offer from perfume expert Odette Toilette.

She passed round huge feathers scented with perfumes from decades ago and spoke to us about how perfume can remind us of fashion, architecture, food, events and personal memories.  It was fascinating.

I confess I snuck a feather into my handbag which now smells divine, and very 1980's as it was scented with Body Shop's "white musk."

blogger with scented feathers afra willmore madmumof7.com copyright
madmumof7 with scented feathers
Obviously the site is not all about Mother's Day - well worth a look if you are stuck for a present (or a treat for yourself or your home!) with an impressive range of prices starting at just a few pounds.  Remember - you only get one life so you might as well make the most of it and if that includes having a flowery phone which makes you smile, even when you answer it and find out it's Bob from Delhi wanting to help you reclaim PPI you never had well, so be it!


Disclaimer: I am a member of the Mumsnet Research Panel, a group of parents who have agreed to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product, or to attend an event. I have full editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.


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