Friday 26th June 2015

Twenty-Eight

I was twenty-eight on Monday.

10 years since I was eighteen.

Yep, pretty basic maths… But sometimes I still feel I’m that young, to be honest! (Hopefully that’s not as tragic to say that now, as it will be when I’m forty-eight.) I’m forever referring to people being ‘our age’ when I talk to my friends, when in fact they range from 23-30. And if I’m ever asked my age, my instinct is to say twenty-five. I’ve reached a point where I have to genuinely think about my answer!

I’m pushing thirty, and perhaps I’ll say differently when I get there in a couple of years, but it’s so easy to be negative about birthdays once you’ve passed twenty-five-ish and it’s ridiculous. It’s just a number. Nothing actually changes overnight. And growing old is a privilege, amiright? I had the same sentiments when I turned 26 and again, when I turned 27.

So, here are some great things about being another year older (and wiser!)

1. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.
Honestly and truthfully, I don’t think I’ve ever been this happy. (Well, besides my wedding day and the day Byron was born!) It’s not because of one thing. And it’s not just because of material things either (although we’re still very much loving our new place!) but I’ve got my lovely little family and our move has given us a new little lease of life to make some more time to do things we enjoy. And Byron, while a handful at times, brings me joy (and amazement) every day. He’s so lovely, friendly and smart all at once. It fills my heart with joy when he tells me about the things him and his friends have been doing at preschool that morning. It scares me that we’ll be applying for schools for him this year, but it makes me so happy too!

2. I know myself now, better than ever.
Whoah, deep. It sounds like such a silly and obvious thing to say— “I know myself.” Duh. But over recent years I’ve discovered different things I do or do not like, and here’s the thing now: I don’t care about admitting them. And that makes me happy and free. Years ago there probably would have been that element of not wanting to, but now I think and hope I’ve reached that point where I don’t care so much about what other people think, particularly those who don’t know me. Hurrah!

3. I’m more confident.
I guess this kind of ties in with the theme of not caring so much, but I’m definitely more confident these days with all parts of my life. I think you get to a point where you just think, “Fuck this— I do not have enough time in the day to worry about what other people think.” I’ve had a baby, so I’ve got a bit of a jelly baby. I prefer to spend my Friday nights in my home, than out until 3am with sweaty strangers in a club. I don’t really enjoy the taste of alcohol. And that, is that.

Bring on 29!

Tuesday 23rd June 2015

Life Lately • #032

The sun has been trying it’s hardest to peek through the clouds the last few days. Saturday was one of those dull, grey and drizzly days that makes you want to do nothing but snuggle in a duvet in your pyjamas, watching a chick flick. Well, if you’re anything like me, anyway! It’s quite typical to be honest – it’s my birthday week, so I have the entire week off of work. There are no plans set in stone, but I was looking forward to taking Byron out to a couple of places (mostly outdoors) and it looks like it’s set to be overcast and rainy for most of the week. Grrr!

I thought I’d take the opportunity to start tip-tapping away at the keyboard, whilst Byron was snuggled up on the sofa for a little snooze on Saturday afternoon, though. I had a much appreciated cup of tea, a couple of squares of chocolate and the scent of a ‘Madigascan Vanilla’ candle burning away next to me. And in fact, that was when I started this post. And now it’s Tuesday. Oh, life!

On Sunday, we visited a ‘Classic Car Show’ locally to us, as Byron is car mad! He sat with Ashley, curled up on his lap, whilst watching the cars on their parade and waving at them as they went past. He had a nose in their engines too and pretended to clean them, as we walked around. There’s not a day that goes by that that boy isn’t talking about cars, pretending to be in a car, playing with cars or drawing cars. If he doesn’t work with them at some point in his life, I’d be very surprised!

We followed that up with a lovely barbecue at my parents house to celebrate my birthday and on Monday, my actual birthday, I spent a lovely day with Byron that was tantrum-free— even with a visit to Toys’R’Us. I wish it could be like that everyday! We ate pizza and ice-cream in the evening once Ashley came home and chilled out. It was just perfect.

My mum took myself and Byron out to the garden centre for lunch today (where I had a flatbread to die for!) followed by feeding the ducks. Well, if you call me holding Byron while he was petrified of the pigeons and throwing chunks of bread at the grass, feeding ducks!

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I’ve not posted much recently— and I feel like I’ve said that quite often this year. I have no excuse and to be honest, I don’t really feel like I need one! I post as and when the motivation comes. There’s nothing worse than a forced post and I find it can make writer’s block worse! I’ve had plenty of blog post (and video) ideas, but they always come at the worst time— when I’m cooking lunch, or driving, or playing with Byron, usually. I find it hard to get most things done when he’s around, let alone write something coherent, so I’m probably at my most productive when he’s asleep. However, daytime naps are far and few between these days and by the time bedtime has rolled around, I’m ready to slam my own face in my pillow too!

Saturday 30th May 2015

YouTubin’

I think I was pregnant when I first start ‘getting into’ YouTube; I had already been watching beauty tutorials for years, but I stumbled across this video from Zoe, announcing Louise had gone into labour and it opened up the world of vlogging and ‘chatty’ videos. It was quite old and Louise had already had her daughter, Darcy, by the time I had seen it, so it was like a little peek into my future as a mum. I subscribed to both of the girls channels and gradually started finding more and more, particularly as some of my already fav bloggers, made the move to YouTube too.

I’ve been blogging since 2005, so making the move myself seemed like a natural progression. I’d made (really dodgy looking) tutorials and ‘Get Ready With Me’ style videos in 2008, but never really did much with them. My first vlog came in March 2011 (and little did I know that a year later I’d be a mum too!) and over the next few years I filmed some clips and did a couple of tags, sporadically.

A couple of weeks ago, I made all the old videos private and decided to start a fresh! There are a couple of videos up on my channel now and I have plans for many more. I’ll be making videos about anything and everything, much like I do when I write on my blog. I won’t be giving up blogging and as for vlogging, I’ll do that as and when. It won’t be anything groundbreaking— in a world saturated with social media, I’m not here to be the biggest or the best, with the most original content or win any awards; it’s a hobby. I’ll have my fair share of vlogs, tags, hauls and ‘What’s In My Bag’ videos. If that’s not your thing, cool, but if you’d like to subscribe, then you can do so here!

Wednesday 27th May 2015

When Bricks & Mortar Change Your Life

Okay, that title sounds dramatic. Really dramatic.

But it’s true.

I mean we’re still very much the same people; our little family of three. A hard-working dad, with a love for music, who shares his own sounds with people all over the country (and the world!) A mum who works part-time, with a love for photography and a penchant for blogging. A three-year-old boy, who loves to go to nursery, see his pals and chat about cars. Our routines are basically the same. We still have the same family car. We don’t have new or different jobs to go to. There has been no lottery win. No pay rise.

But three weeks ago, we made the move back to our home town (where our families are too) and it’s changed our lives already. There were so many things we were looking forward to about our move; little things that we’d taken for granted in our family homes, and probably hadn’t thought about as a couple moving into our first home, let alone starting our family there— two flights of stairs to take shopping / a baby / toddler / all the gumf that comes with a small person up (or a child who climbs them at the speed of a snail for fun, usually when you’re carrying a back-breaking amount of shopping!); no windows in the bathroom; a lack of natural light; a post box rather than letters coming straight through our door; a small area of outside space, that was essentially outside somebody else door; the commute from our parents houses to ours being the last thing I wanted to do after a day at work; total first world problems, but problems all the same!

It was a lovely flat and I have so many fond memories there, but it’s only looking back that I realise how much the walls felt like they were closing in. It was a fairly decent size and served us well for over five years, but our collection of stuff was ever-growing. We had a much needed clear out as we moved and everything now has a home in our new place. We both knew that the extra space would be welcomed, but I don’t think we realised how it would change our outlook. We now have a space to eat together as a family that we didn’t have before; we can sit down after a long day at work (or preschool!) and spend some time together. All of Byron’s toys fit nicely in his room, so when he goes to bed, there isn’t a piece of Lego or a tiny car to trip on in sight and we can switch off. There’s lots of room to play, both inside and out. I have a dressing table and we can dig out and actually use the iMac again. We have a home we’re a little more proud of and want to keep clean and tidy. I look forward to going home, getting in the kitchen and making dinner, now that it’s not at one end of our open-plan living room.

I don’t doubt that the lovely sunshine over recent days had had something to do with it, but this move has made us all very happy!

Monday 18th May 2015

25 Things To Do When You Haven’t Got The Kids

I love my son to death. That sounds obvious, but seriously; I sometimes look at him and just want to squish the hell out of him because I love him so. Damn. Much! He has his moments of course— don’t they all— but on the whole, he’s a bloody cute, loving, cheeky little thing.

That said, a little time without him now and again is good for the soul and to clear the mind (or just get shit done.) It’s nothing to do with him as a person, but more about having a little breather from someone who is so dependent on you and can swallow a lot of your time where you are only known as ‘Mum’ and not someone’s daughter or wife or best buddy or just, y’know, Aimee.

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Some mums and dads have never spent a night away from their child or feel guilty doing so, but there’s no time for that in parenting, for me. We’re already made to feel guilty about so many things since the conception of our child (are you taking folic acid? Did you have the nuchal translucency scan? Are you eating properly? Are you having a natural birth? Are you breastfeeding?) and having some “me time” is not something I’m willing to add to that list!

Byron’s time away from home is as much about him as it is me; he loves spending time with his grandparents and aunty (and usually doesn’t want to come home!) just as much as they love having him.

Plus, distance makes the heart grow fonder, right?

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It sounds silly, but it can be a bit of a challenge to find things to do sometimes, when you haven’t got a pair of little feet following you everywhere, so here are 25 things to get you started:

Have a long soak in a hot bubble bath
Read a couple of chapters of your favourite book
Pop on a facemask
Bake a batch of gooey chocolate brownies
Eat those damn brownies
Have a freakin’ nap
Go out for dinner at a restaurant that’s not described as “family-friendly”
Go to the cinema and see a film for grown-ups
Stay up past your bedtime, dammit
Revel in your housework, knowing it’s going to stay like that longer than 10 minutes
Treat yourself to a back massage
Have a haircut, complete with treatments and all that jazz
Go out for a coffee with friends
Listen to loud music, just because you can
Go shopping (at your own leisurely pace)
Go for a wee, solo
Paint your nails or get a mani-pedi
Grab a movie and have a date night in the comfort of your own home
Cook something hot and spicy for tea
Go for a swim
Go for a drive and see where it takes you
Have a little spa weekend
Go for a drink or two, if that floats your boat
Watch what you want on the TV
Do nothing. Sweet, sweet nothing.

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