Browsed by
Category: Thoughts

2019 Resolutions, The Law of Attraction and Self-Care

2019 Resolutions, The Law of Attraction and Self-Care

There’s something so definite and final about leaving one year behind and starting afresh, isn’t there? Yes, you don’t have to wait for January to roll around to make a resolution.  But I’m someone who enjoys the idea of a new day, week or month to start something new, so I’ve always looked forward to the idea of setting myself goals, big or small, for the year ahead.  It might be a huge cliche, but I love the idea of a clean slate.  Time to reflect is really positive. While lots of other people are doing it too, you can find inspiration in their resolutions for the coming year.

My resolutions have always been measurable in some way; though whether it’s been to take a photo every single day, lose a specific amount of weight or publish a number of blog posts every week, I don’t think I’ve ever actually achieved one!  I’m too much of a perfectionist and to complete a year of something but having missed a day or two, here and there, doesn’t sit well with me.

‘Change Nothing & Nothing Changes’ print from Designed by Aimee Marie

New Years Resolutions for 2019

This year, my resolutions are more ambiguous and focused on self-improvement, which is near impossible to measure and eradicates that need for facts and figures in my goals, to show success. I don’t have a numbered list of specific things to achieve.

We all have mental health, whether it’s good or bad

In 2018, mental health was discussed a lot more in the media. It’s very easy to think that the term is only applied to those who are struggling with it, but we all have mental health, whether it’s good or bad, just like we all have health in general.  My own mental wellbeing is something I want to keep in check this year.  Despite it not sitting on the ‘bad’ side of the fence, I think it’s important keep tabs on my own happiness and fulfilment.

It’s really easy when you’re a parent to become so focused on your children and their needs, and forget about your own.  Particularly when there’s a baby in your household, you are in a constant cycle of nappies, milk, cuddles and naps.  Little B has come to the end of the newborn phase now.  Quite frankly, you’re lucky if I’ve brushed my hair some days in the last 12 weeks, let alone washed it, applied make-up or pampered myself in any way, shape or form!

Self-care is something that’s at the top of my agenda for this coming year and I love that it can mean anything you want it to mean.  For some, self-care might be having a candlelit bubble bath on a Sunday evening without your children in sight or immersing yourself in a good book.  For others, it might be going to the salon for a blow dry or taking a long walk to blow away the cobwebs.  Self-care comes in all shapes and sizes.

The Law of Attraction

There’s also something to be said about the law of attraction; essentially, you focus on positive thoughts and attract into your life whatever it is you are focusing on.  You might think it’s a load of rubbish and I suppose no one really knows if it works.  But is there harm in thinking positively, rather than focusing on the doom and gloom that may be around you?

I’m going to spend some time focusing on lots of aspects of my life this year, including love, my career and health.  I don’t know exactly what that will look like yet, but I’m looking forward to a positive outlook!

Autumn, You’re Pretty Awesome

Autumn, You’re Pretty Awesome

I’m generally of the opinion that here in England, we have two seasons; a few hotter than average weeks we call ‘summer’ and the rest of the year, known as ‘winter’.

I always thought I was a summer girl, at heart.  Afterall, I love the heat, the sun and the long days.  And it’s my birthday in June, so I’m sure that’s a factor too! If we’re ever lucky enough to have a good summer in the UK (read: more than a week of sunshine), it means numerous trips to the park or the seaside, ice-creams, picnics, holidays abroad and beer gardens. Whether I’m out in it, or looking at it through my window, the sunshine simply puts a smile on my face.  I much prefer a warmer climate.

Until you’re in the thick of the summer though, you forget about the buckets of sweat that you produce every time you move and make it hard to put your make-up on, without it sliding down your face. And what about the gallons of sun cream you need to frequently re-apply? Plus, you need to be scantily-clad to even attempt to keep cool. And let’s not think about the humidity that makes your hair do a Monica.

Winter on the other hand, has the opposite effect. The school run is done as the light is disappearing.  You have to factor in extra time in the mornings to layer up and warm the car, before going anywhere.  It’s usually wet, cold and I generally don’t want to leave my house. The only good thing about those few months is Christmas!

Autumn is Awesome

Spring and autumn have never been a contender for my favourite season, because they’re over so quickly. The last few years however, autumn has popped up on my radar and I’m loving it.

As unpredictable as the days can be weather-wise, I love the happy medium of sunny days where I can still sip on a hot chocolate and snuggle in a scarf. Myself and Big B can get creative with autumn leaves and make a start on Christmas crafts indoors (Pinterest, eat your heart out), but the days aren’t too short and cold to spend time outside. I can invest in cosy jumpers, big scarves, cute gloves and the perfect winter coat without having to wait an age to wear them.  I spend October and the following months looking forward to Christmas.  The build up to it is just as good as the big day (if not better, right?!)

Yep, autumn life is pretty good, it’s just a shame it’s coming to an end! I’m lapping up the last of the sunshine before the frost well and truly settles in.

The Year That Was 2017

The Year That Was 2017

Happy New Year! I hope you had a great evening, whether you decided to celebrate or not. If you’ve been on social media over the last few days, you will have seen an abundance of 2017 round-ups, highlights and #2017bestnine. We all love bit of self-reflection don’t we? Some of us will gush about buying a house, having babies or getting married. Others will reflect on their own personal journey, the people they’ve met and the things they’re grateful for. Either way, it’s a great thing to do, to keep yourself in check (and of course set some new goals for the coming year, if that’s your bag!)

It’s easy to forget that we all portray our best moments on social media, rather than the good, the bad and the ugly (even if we don’t mean to.) We shouldn’t compare our own reality to the highlight reel of our peers.  There will be some years that are naturally quieter and that doesn’t mean it’s been a bad time, or we haven’t achieved anything; we can’t always have huge, exciting milestones every year, after all.

Here are my top moments from the year that was 2017!

Skógafoss, Iceland
Skógafoss, Iceland

2017 Highlights

Travelling to Iceland.  Both myself and Ashley turned 30 this year and we celebrated by doing something we’ve wanted to do for some time, but as parents of a young child, never thought we would, with a long weekend in Iceland. It was truly out of this world (seriously, it felt like another planet at times), dreamy and lovely to spend some time just the two of us (and then bring B to bed with us as soon as we got home, four nights later!)

Christmas. I realise Christmas happens every year, but this year just felt truly magical. B is nearly six now and totally gets it. It was so beautiful to see him completely immerse himself in the festivities and count down the days until Santa arrived. We had a perfect few lazy days at home before the big day to get him excited too!

Career changes. At the start of 2017, I was three months into a new job role and now as we start 2018, I’m three months away from a completely different career path and starting my own business. I thought I’d be in that job for a while, however sometimes things change unexpectedly; but I believe that everything happens for a reason and I’m excited for the journey ahead!

Friendships. I feel like my circle of friends has got stronger and smaller with my closest pals and expanded in others; I have a whole new set of people in my life with the school mums, reconnected with old friends and made other friends along the way too.

Brighton

Days Trips. We’ve had some great days out as a family and I’ve had lovely Mummy Dates with my boy, including an unexpectedly warm trip to Brighton in February, visiting the farm with friends, a day out at Legoland, ice skating, queuing up at the Lego Store & indulging at M&M World and seeing the animals at Port Lympne Safari Park. I’m very much a homebody, but days out near or far from home make a welcome change!

Lego Store, Leicester Square

Bruno Mars. I was extremely lucky when Ashley surprised me with VIP tickets to see Bruno Mars at The O2 in April. It was hands down the best show I’ve ever been to. If you ever get the chance to see Bruno Mars live, you must go!

B completed his first year of school. He’s come on leaps and bounds in just a year and the fact he can just read now still blows my bloody mind. (And it also makes it really difficult to communicate by spelling words out to your husband that you don’t want your child to hear!)

So, here we are. 2018; I can still remember celebrating the turn of the millennium and it doesn’t feel that long ago, if I’m honest! Is this what my dad means when he says he still feels 21?!

Bring on the next 12 months!

7 Questions To Ask Your Child At The End of The School Day

7 Questions To Ask Your Child At The End of The School Day

We’ve been doing this whole school thing for approximately six months now and if there’s one thing I’ve learnt in that time, it’s that children rarely give anything more than one-word answers about their school day.

I’ll pick B up from his grandparents after school and our conversation will usually go something like this:
Me: How was your day?
B: Good.
Me: What did you do today?
B: I can’t remember… And don’t say ‘But you’ve only just got out of school’ because I haven’t, silly!

He’s too smart. (And sassy.)

Their attention span may be short, but five year-old’s can hold on to more information about their school day than we give them credit for; there are an abundance of things that B will talk about regularly that have happened months ago.  And if it’s something he’s excited about, the boy will chew your ear off for a good hour on one subject (and his favourite thing at the moment? Bullet trains.) However five year-old’s can also be super lazy. I’ve found I can get much more conversation out of my son if the questions I ask him are little more direct, to spark further conversation.

Questions to ask about the school day

  • Who did you play with at break time?
  • What games did you play in class?
  • Did anyone make you laugh?
  • Tell me about something you learnt.
  • Did you learn any new letters / words / diagraphs today?
  • What did you eat for lunch? Who did you sit with?
  • Tell me about the best part of your day.

I try to vary what I ask or how I phrase the question, otherwise B is too smart and will always second guess what I’m going to ask him at the end of the school day!

“Isn’t It About Time You Had Another One?” — A Second Child Rant

“Isn’t It About Time You Had Another One?” — A Second Child Rant

I’m not sure when it became anyone’s business about the future activities of my womb and if it’s going to house second child, but if I had a pound for every time someone has asked me this in the last year or so, I could give up my job.

I appreciate questions around motherhood, or being a working mum, or how my son is getting on at school. They’re current. That’s where we’re at. And I love being his mum. Persistence around the whereabouts of baby number two in the future was almost sweet at first, but after a while hearing “When are you popping another one out then?” becomes an annoyance. I’m happy to share that I’d love another baby one day. But people wanting to know when? It’s an intimate, private and personal topic, that not just anyone is going to be privy to.

Having a Second Child

The continuous interrogation started when B turned two or three, but with every milestone over the last year— applying for school; accepting a place; his fourth birthday; starting school; and now approaching the fifth anniversary of his escape from my womb— I’ve had “Isn’t it about time you had another one?” or “When’s baby number two going to happen then?” or my personal favourite, “Ooh, you’d better have a second one soon! You don’t want a huge gap!” ringing in my ears, from the mouths of acquaintances. Not family or close friends. Acquaintances.

It’s on par with people touching your baby bump when you’re pregnant without asking. It’s so intrusive and assuming, and potentially applies a lot of unwanted pressure on a situation that may already be stressful for some couples. People assume you don’t want a gap over five years between your children. They assume you are able to conceive, because you’ve already had one child. They assume you even want a second child! That’s not to say any of those things do or don’t apply to me, but as a couple, we have our plan and that’s it. It’s our plan. If and when we decide to create new life, it will be shared!

People’s obsession with knowing stuff

It all starts when you reach a milestone with your partner, be it a long time together or engagement, marriage, or moving in to your own place. People assume the pitter-patter of tiny feet is on the cards. Once a smoker, but decided to give up? Must be pregnant. Not drinking on a night out, because you’re driving home? Don’t lie, you must be pregnant! Throwing up because you’ve caught a stomach bug? No no, that must be morning sickness.

Having a second child is not a race nor a competition. For some couples, it’s not what they want. For others, they want it but they can’t. So next time you see a mother with a toddler on her hip or holding the hand of a preschooler, don’t make assumptions about the plans for the future of her family.

The whispers of, “I wonder when they’ll have a baby?” started before I’d even taken my wedding dress off!

What’s In & What’s Out #001

What’s In & What’s Out #001

If you’re an avid reader of any blog, then you’ll know that ‘Monthly Favourites’ posts and videos are a content creator’s must. The concept is arguably becoming a little stale, so thought I’d switch things up and try something new (for me, at least); every month or so, I’m going to post about the things I’ve been loving and hating, be it beauty, food or well, just about anything!

Think of it like one of those thermometers you used to get in trashy gossip magazines, that told you what was ‘Hot or Not’ (except better, naturally.)

In

Iceland. (That’s the country, not the food retailer; I’m not in the market for a prawn ring right now.) Myself and my husband, Ashley, are planning a break to Iceland this Summer, for our joint 30th birthday celebrations. It’s totally different to anything we’d normally do. I’m normally a sun-worshipper and could happily spend the entire holiday poolside, without leaving the hotel resort. I’m not a fan of the cold either. However, this trip? I can’t wait! It’ll be lovely to have a few nights sans child and also explore a landscape like I’ve never seen before.

Spring candles. I love a Christmas scent as much as the next person, but candles are not just for winter. In fact, my all-time favourite scent is ‘Clean Cotton.’ I can’t get enough of that fresh, clean washing smell! I’m a big fan of these candle jars from Tesco. They pack a punch and at just £3.50, these medium sized jars are a bargain! As we move closer to springtime, I’m burning the pink ‘Peony Bloom’ one above. It is love.

Blogs. There’s been a YouTube revolution over the last few years, so naturally blogging fell on the back-burner. It seems a lot of content creators have made a new years resolution to write more though and I’m loving seeing posts from my faves again.

Out

Winter. I’m over the short, dark days and bitterly cold mornings now. The time it takes to get myself and B out of the door on a school morning is ever-increasing. It takes much longer than you think to wrap up in your winter woollies and defrost the car!

Oily skin. I’m sure I’ll be thankful for my overly-hydrated skin when I’m older and wrinkle free (although I see you, fine lines!) but for now the oil that is produced throughout my working day is the bane of my life. Going from the bitterly cold outside, into an office with central-heating is playing havoc!

Growing Older and Being Rebellious

Growing Older and Being Rebellious

Most of us had a rebellious stage in our teens. It’s part and parcel of growing older.  Mine involved some underage drinking, house parties (always in someone else’s house, never my own!) and getting my tongue pierced, much to my Dad’s horror.  In comparison to some of the things my friends got up to, my parents got away lightly!

I described myself as an individual.  I can vividly remember it taking centre stage on my MySpace profile.  In fact it was plastered all over my friends profiles too, without a thought as to what it truly meant to be unique.  We all thought we were individual because we were going against the grain with our big side-swept emo fringes, beaded necklaces and deep and meaningful lyrics as our MSN Messenger display names. What we didn’t realise at the time though, is that we were the grain. We weren’t the only ones listening to that new, underground band or sporting that band tee or wearing our pants on show above our baggy jeans.

We cared.  We’d try to deny it and try to convince ourselves that “This is who I am! Take it or leave it!” but we definitely cared what other people thought of our style, our taste in music and our interests.

Turning Thirty

My thirtieth birthday is approaching this summer. I may not be recognisable as that girl dressed head-to-toe in black, sporting fishnet tights and going to gigs every weekend (I’ll stay at home and get an early night, thanks) but I’ve realised that there’s a part of that ‘I-don’t-give-a-fuck’ spirit that has never left me.  And motherhood has played a big part in being able to embrace adulthood with open arms. 

These days, as I’m growing older, I do care less about what other people think.  I’m genuinely comfortable with not enjoying the same things as my peers (see: gin, cats, nights out on the lash) or reaching milestones at the same time as them.  I don’t have that feeling of “I can’t wear that, I’m too old”, because if I like it and it fits, I’m sporting it. In between working and the school run, I quite literally do not have the time to give a fuck.

I hope my children get the opportunity to ‘rebel’ and find themselves too. I feel more empowered and self assured now than I ever have!