Reflecting on the last year

Sunday, 20 July 2014

39 weeks pregnant
Me on 12th July 2013-9 days before Ophelia was born. I kinda miss that bump!?

This time last year I awoke in the morning and thought something was different, something was happening, labour was coming- contractions were happening.  It really is difficult for me to comprehend that A WHOLE YEAR has gone by since then. It is an awful cliche but I now understand why; children really are magicians with time- it disappears and leaves you forever questioning how it happened. 

It has been without a doubt a ridiculously tough and emotional year, which I only now feel has plateaued- I would say "have come out the other side of" but I'm always reluctant to say such things because anything  could happen and set the world of kilter again  Good things to have come out of the past year include:
-My self awareness and acceptance.  I feel like I have turned a page with how I see myself and how I like what I see, both inside and out.  I have always been the type of person who strives to better themselves and is their best, I've not been at my best throughout this year and I had to find a way to be okay with that and let it wash over me.  An example of this is my love for exercise; since going back to work I have done very little exercise and this makes me quite upset, however it's not something I have been able to change so i've had to remember there are definitely more important things for me to worry about.  As well, whilst it is frustrating and I hate that I don't look how I want to, I tr to remind myself to just get through this initial period and things will become easier.
-Resilience.  I feel more resilient to certain situations that I would previously struggled with, and I honestly believe this is down to one key moment; the moment when I heard the midwives discussing prepping me for surgery (emergency Ceasarean) but told me to give it one last go pushing and I apparently astounded them by showing a new strength they didn't think I had left.  This, and getting through labour with little pain relief, showed me i'm more resillient than I thought I was, and when I put my mind to it.
-I've learnt to (kind of) function on very small amounts of sleep.
-I've learnt to be more productive with my time (i.e. squeeze more into little time).
-I've lost the guilt of being more boundaried with my time (i.e. not trying to squeeze socialising in on a school night when I don't feel up to after a stressful day).
-Working from home- this has made such a massive difference to my stress levels, for which I am thankful!
-Moving into a bigger home which has very quickly been well received by both cat and baby!

Brighton on the beach with Brighton bloggers

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

On Friday, I was lucky enough to have a great time courtesy of On the beach and Epiphany; we started off with a night watching Steve Cogan at the Brighton Big screen outdoor cinema- we even got to meet him where I proceeded to make an unintentional awful pun regarding dogs and "paw" signature skills.... *face palm*.  We kindly got £10 worth of food provided, but seriously, tell a gal to decide between Meat Liquor and Dead Good Burrito and you may as well just tell me to decide between chocolate or cheese. (I went for DGB btw..just in case I had you peached on the edge of your seat there!).

 After a few glasses of wine and a bit of a catch up with the other Brighton bloggers, we then strolled back to the hotel where we were surprised with a pampering room!! It was just awesome! Personalised dressing gowns lined the bed, hot drinks, many bottles of prosecco, a lush pamper bar area, sweets, crisps and a pile of cupcake.  Rather disappointingly I was still uber full from my double carbing, that didn't stop me filling my pockets with maoam but that actually turned out to be a stupid idea because we got a giant bag in our goodie bag!

 Lyndsay and Michelle putting on the masks- Lyndsay apparently looked like "a different religion" (whatever that means?! Too much neurofen and beer me thinks!) according to Fiona!

At first I was slightly dreading the "pampering" because i'm not usually really into that kinda thing, but this was perfect;we all just tried what we fancied and just relaxed whilst mulling around.  I actually put a face mask on and some stuff (!) on my feet- both of which felt amazing!  I went to bed (and had the best night sleep in about a year!) in my very own hotel room a very relaxed (slightly prosecco dosed up!) gal!

I slept from 1:30am til about 7:50am which is the longest period of continuous sleep I have had since before I was pregnant I think! Breakfast was divine, I definitely ate too much (see a pattern emerging?!) but always seem to when I have good hotel breakfasts- I can't resist it!  Sometimes I realise just how much a creature of predictability I am- I always have to have oj AND coffee with my hotel breakfast!

After breakfast, it was time to get our pottery painting ONNNNN! I love pottery painting so was really looking forward to it! We went to Pottery painting cafe and the girls were so lovely, helpful and knowledgable- I genuinely want to go again already! I think this would make the perfect hen party activity! I painted a heart trinket pot (after struggling to choose between four different things!) and am looking forward to seeing how it actually turns out.  Fingers crossed for success!

It was then time to say goodbye to everyone after what was the best start to the weekend! I really do want to say a massive "Cheers guys" to On the Beach, you are all such wonderfully, friendly, hilarious and great company to be around- you made the time so enjoyable! Funnily enough when I mentioned it to my friend, he said that he had been on holiday with On the Beach and said it was great!

Oh and lastly, thanks to my wonderful Brighton bloggers for providing such good chatter and laughter! If you want to know spy on anyone else that went, you can check out their blogs here-some are from Brighton and others are from London:

                                                              Carrie @ Carrie Brighton

What I wore Wednesday

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

This is what I wore to go to a gig at the Concorde 2 in Brighton last week.  My Mum very kindly bought me the dress and at first I thought it would look awful on, but it actually looks better than I expected! I still have a long way to go until I feel comfortable though!
Dress: Present- George @ Asda.
Bag: Fjallraven Kanken- Amazon.
Shoes: Salt water sandals.
Brooch: Handmade gift.

The week that was captured: last week

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Monday:We had Monday off work as we went to see Naked and Famous at Concorde 2 in Brighton.  We decided to make the most of a relaxing day; so after we dropped Ophelia at Nursery, we headed to Ground coffee shop on Church Road, Hove for some lovely coffee and danishes-is there a better way to start your day?!

The evening sun was so glorious that we decided to head to the beach with a few bottles of wine and plastic wine glasses, to just chat between us and wind down before the gig.  The gig was phenomenal, her voice is just stunning and whilst the audience were a bit flat, I had a great night! We then headed home for pizza and sleeps.

Tuesday: We both had the day off again, so thought it was a great opportunity to try the new cafe thath as opened next to Ophelia's nursery in Hove.  It is glorious and especially great for someone like me; usually demanding strong coffee, exciting cakes and child friendly.  Let me tell you this, some of the best facilities i've seen for an indepedent cafe in Brighton, and cake combinations I have never tried before that make me wish I had bought the whole cake (lime, coconut lemon curd is seen above- HEAVENLY!).  

Thursday:Ophelia and I headed to Worthing to catch up with Lauren and Athena at the park.  Athena was intent on attempting to limb over the top of the pram and Ophelia was like her little shadow, holding onto her to walk after her and banging her bottom like a drum!  

Saturday: Callum's Mum and sister came over to bring our dining table back (Woop!) as well as give us one of Al's many spare rugs; and Ophelia demolished most of Callum's danish pastries! Afterwards we watched the tennis and football.  

Sunday:  My family came over for a bbq (though we didn't actually light the bbq) and to watch the tennnis.  My Dad and Callum put up the stair gates which Inara STILL can't work out how to get over when they're closed!  We finished the day sitting listening to the Inside Lewyn Davis soundtrack and reflecting, at the dining table.

How were your weeks?

I'm linking up to Hannah's:

Craft: sugru necklace

Monday, 30 June 2014

As I mentioned on my last crafty blog post I've been pushing my crafty boundaries by trying something a bit different, using a new-to-me- form-Sugru.  
I'd seen on the Sugru blog that someone had made a necklace and thought this would be the perfect length project for me.  
What you'll need:
Elastic thread
It really is as simple as;
-Rolling the Sugru into whatever shape you desire
-Pierce it using the needle
-Putting it aside to dry
-Cut the elastic to the desired length, thread through the holes and tie.

I really enjoyed working with sugru, it is quite similar to fimo in a way but slightly more elasticated and firm.  A word of warning though, it does have quite a strong smell!
Have you used Sugru for DIY or craft before? What have you been making recently? 

*Sugru was sent to me as a gift but all views my own

Update: Past, present and future

Past: We moved into our new house weekends ago, it was exhausting to say the least! I don't recommend moving when you're both working full time, juggling a daughter and trying to move! We still have boxes everywhere because every night since we moved in, there has been an issue which has taken our attention away from the task in hand; namely Ophelia throwing up all over me (x2) and then plumbing issues in the kitchen which led to a flooded kitchen! However, we are all enjoying have lots of extra space- both the girls have been bounding up and down the stairs after each other and Ophlia has started walking (holding onto my hands) laps of downstairs!  This is cute but also exhausting and she refuses to crawl!

Present: I currently have a cold/and/or hay-fever which is so irritating-hello red, streaming eyes, sneezing, coughing. I'm dosing up on all kinds of treats so fingers crossed it is gone ASAP!  My voice has disappeared (which Callum is thankful for!) but I don't really care! We have two days off at the moment for the gig tonight and tomorrow i'm meant to be going to a Mum's blog event but also need to buy furniture!We had a really nice weekend, my parents helped lots in terms of unpacking and sorting out the garden but we also did a little bit of walking, and then we had Callum's sister and husband over for a catch up.

It was great because for the first weekend in ages we got to just relax and do things we enjoy but in our own time; Callum played a bit of guitar for the first time in ages (which Ophelia LOVED!) and I got to do a tiny bit of crafting and make my new favourite drink (Gin, elderflower, sparkling water, strawberries, cucumber and mint)- so refreshing!

Future: We've got a Summer full of garden BBQs to plan but we have a few events to look forward to as well:
-Naked and Famous at Concorde 2 in Brighton.
-Ophelia's first Birthday!
-Manchester Orchestra.
-Vegfest, London.

Fancy perusing all the Vegan delights and praps even seeing my dear little face at Vegfest? Well it's your lucky day because i'm giving away two tickets to go! I went to Brighton Vegfest  before and posted on here recently about Nakd bars; i'm really keen to write even more about my time there this time and i'm definitely going to buy some raw chocolate and protein bars this time!

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Craft supplies haul

Friday, 20 June 2014

I realised the other day that I've accumilated a good amount of craft goodies recently so thought it was about time I share them with you.
Tapes and ribbon: From my lovely, life long pal Emily of Martha and me for my Birthday.  I love them all! The nautical ones are from Paperchase.
 Roald Dahl papers*: I was kindly given these by the lovely Emma on  behalf of Do Crafts alongside some other bonus goodies.  I love the texture and thickness of these papers; I've already used some to send cards and I used the stamp on the card- it came out really nicely without much ink bleed. 
3D fom adhesives*: These came in the package of goodies from Emma, I've used them before and find them really handy for craft making and scrapbooking.
Do nice, be kind, spread happy stamp*: This is a stamp I personalised after Speedystamps got in contact and asked what I would like on a stamp.  I considered having my blog name on it until I realised that I can't think of anything I would be stamping my blog name on! I used a quote from a book that I have got Ophelia and I'm really glad I chose it because i've found it quite inspirational! The stamp itself is satisfyingly firm to press down on paper and the ink comes out very clear, avoiding that awful bleed or transfer of parts of the stamp that shouldn't (does that make sense?!).   Sugru*: When the people at Sugru got in contact about their product I was intrigued but wondering what the hell I would do with it- curiousity was high in this cat so I've found a few ideas;

I'm actually bloody excited about doing "stuff" with it now! I'll try to remember to blog about it at some point, maybe remind me?! If you fancy trying some, you can get it at Wilkinsons or B&Q!

So there we have it (Phew!), I did also get a glue mouse but am in the midst of packing and seem to have misplaced it! It'll definitely make paper crafting much easier and less messy! 

Have you gained any craft supplies recently?

                                                                                                           *Gifted to me but views my own