Who is Sian Russell?

I've been blogging for seven years, and somehow I haven't ever taken part in a tag like this! Thanks to the lovely Molly Forbes at Mother's Always Right for tagging me in this one. I hope you all get to know a bit more about me. My blog has taken me through parenting two under two and then attending university, so there's a lot about me as a stressed mature-student of two small children! Perhaps there are things you would like to know though, and I hope you find them out here.

When was the last time you cried?
I didn't used to cry much before I had children, but since them, I cry quite a lot! The last time I cried was on Saturday, when I had a really random email from a photographer who had done a photo shoot for us seven years ago. Sadly we had lost the photos, and the photographer had deleted the hard-drive they were stored on. However, they had found an old disk with all the pictures on, and sent them all to me for free. It was incredible and I cried both happy and sad tears, because there were beautiful pictures of my grandma and the children. She was known to them as super-grandma (because she thought great sounded old). I miss her every single day, and these pictures mean the world to me.

Picture Credit - Paul Joseph Photography

If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself?
As long as I didn't mind that I would rarely text back on time, or reply, then I think I could be a good friend of myself. I like to think that I'm here to listen to others, and I know that I look out for my very closest friends. This year was the first year my best friend had ever had Mother's Day as a single parent, so I made sure that I sent her a beautiful bunch of flowers from her children to let her know that's she's doing an amazing job! She has been there for me for nearly thirty years (wow we're old), and we definitely have each other's backs.

Do you use sarcasm a lot?
It has certainly been known! Although it's meant to be the lowest form of wit, it works well for me, and I am proud that my children are utterly sarcastic too (that wasn't sarcasm)!

What’s the first thing you notice about people?
It has to be their smile. I usually smile at everyone I see, and I tend to notice how a person's smile opens up their face and radiates warmth. Thankfully I live in a very smiley place, and everyone says good morning with a smile on their face. It's amazing how much a smile can change someone's mood.

Scary movie or happy endings?
Happy endings, without fail. I'm not a romantic in the slightest though, and loved the ending to LaLa Land for that very reason. However, I absolutely hate scary movies. Genuinely even scary music freaks me out. I have a totally overactive imagination and I can't deal with the thought of scary or paranormal! I end up freaking myself out and cannot be by myself in the evenings if I have watched anything scary.

Favourite smells?
Freshly cut grass is definitely up there, but I think my absolute favourite smell is books. It doesn't matter if they're old or new, but the smell of books is incredible. I love standing in a university library just inhaling deeply!


What’s the furthest you’ve ever been from home?
I once travelled with my aunt, uncle and one cousin to New Caledonia, which is a French island that is about 750 miles east of Australia. I took the place of my cousin, who wanted to go camping with his friends in Cornwall instead. New Caledonia was incredible. We stayed at a Club Med resort and I tried the flying trapeze, archery, a sea walk on the bottom of the ocean and took a pedalo to a nearby island with my cousin. It was one of the most incredible holidays and I hope that one day my children can experience something similar.

Do you have any special talents?
I can whistle pretty well, which is a bit random. I also play the saxophone, and reached grade 5. I still have a saxophone and I love to get it out and play, but it doesn't happen so often these days sadly.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
Until I was a teenager, I desperately wanted to be a Blue Peter presenter. I guess that's why I enjoy vlogging so much! When I worked at the BBC, I used to go and stand in the gallery and watch it being filmed, and I still love watching it with my children.

How many countries have you been to?
Around 25 I think, although I definitely wish it were more. I would love to properly travel around the world, and I think I now have friends within enough countries around the world that I could make it happen! I just need the money to make it happen now!
Camel riding in Fuerteventura

What was your favourite / worst subject in school?
My favourite subject was Design Technology. I loved designing new ideas and turning a plan into a reality. I am a very practical person, so it really suited me. A close second was French, I absolutely loved learning French, and I once got 100% in a French aural exam. I only wish I could speak it well now as pretty much all my knowledge is gone, leaving me with only basic French! My least favourite subject was history. I think this is largely due to the teacher who told me I was stupid, but I can honestly say I didn't have an interest in it after that moment, and I gave it up as soon as I possibly could.

What is your favourite drink?
I love ginger beer, either alcoholic, or non-alcoholic. I'm a big fan of ginger generally, so that's probably why! My absolute favourite cocktail is a Goldschlager, rum and ginger beer. Absolute perfection in a drink. I'm also partial to a glass of prosecco for special occasions.

What would you have named your children?
I really wanted to have a boy called Emlyn, or Dylan or Aiden, but none of them suited my son. We ended up calling our cat Dylan, when we were confident that we were not having any more children! Zara, Iola and Imogen were names we had on our list for our daughter, but she definitely wasn't any of those when she arrived! With both pregnancies I haven't known whether I was having a boy or a girl, and I had a short-list of around ten names per child. I wanted to see what they looked like, and what sex they were before I named them. I found naming an actual human being quite overwhelming if I am totally honest!

Who are some of your favourite YouTubers?
I don't tend to enjoy questions like this, because people always feel left out. So I'm not going to mention my favourite parenting vloggers as I love so many of them that I couldn't mention them all. So these are my favourites who I have watched for years, Casey Neistat for basically being the King of YouTube, Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart and Mamrie Hart are my absolute favourites for laugh out loud content, and The VlogBrothers for thought-provoking videos!

Mamrie Hart VidCon EU

How many boyfriends have you had?
I met my husband when I was 17 and unashamedly chased him until he gave in! It wasn't necessarily the best plan as we split up after just a month. I only really had two other proper boyfriends, and they were both lovely. I'm still friends with one of them now, and I love seeing how his family grows (we would never have worked out)! My husband and I got back together six months after we split up, and were engaged three weeks later. That was eighteen years ago now, but it doesn't feel like long ago at all!

Favourite memory from childhood?
My funniest childhood memory is from when the circus was in town. My sister and I were in the park, where the circus was based, with two of our best friends. We were just having fun playing in the park when a camel got loose and chased us! My sister and I and our friend Robbie climbed up to the top of the climbing frame and watched as his brother was chased around the park by a camel! Honestly it was one of the funniest things ever, and I remember it fondly, although perhaps Robbie's brother has slightly less fond memories!

Tell us one of your bad habits…
I am not very good at being kind to myself. I'm not sure if that is a bad habit or not, but it's definitely something I would like to change. One of my worst habits which might annoy people though is that I struggle to reply to texts/emails/messages in any kind of reasonable time. I never used to be so bad, but since having children, I struggle to keep my brain in one place!

Now that you know me a little bit better, were there any answers which surprised you? Are there any that you would have answered similarly?

I tag Chloe from Life Unexpected to do the Q&A, and I hope you enjoy her answers too.