Sunday

2018 // A new chapter

What I really would love to do this year is to focus on myself and do things that make me happy, and that push me and my confidence to do better.
I also want to achieve some of the things that are on my list of Goals/focal points/whatever you want to call them, and make them all a part of my everyday, to focus on each and every year. Because let's face it, we can always be and DO better.
A few things...
I am really wanting to stick to a routine. Olive wakes earlier these days and so I need to go to bed earlier. I would like to give myself a curfew, not a strict one but a vague one, to keep me in check! I have enjoyed reading lately, I find it helps me to switch off so I really want to keep that up, I'm aiming for an hour a day at least.

Which brings me to my next goal of wanting to read more. For years I would choose a terrible but addictive series to watch, especially in the early Breastfeeding days (and basically the entire first six months of motherhood!) instead of picking up a good book. I think I spent 15 months reading the same book until I finally finished it last year. It wasn't that it wasn't good, it's just that other things took preference. However, once I finished that one, I managed to read 3 more books in under 5 months. And I have just finished my first one of 2018. I hope to read 12 books, one book a month.

I really REALLY want to minimise my phone use. I would like to try to schedule social media into my day somehow. There are days where I find myself scrolling through Instagram whilst I'm playing with Olive and when she's a little grumpy she gets frustrated at things and me for not paying her attention. It makes me sad that I chose to pick my phone up whilst we were in the middle of hanging out. I want to give her my full undivided attention when we're doing something together and I can't do that with my phone attached to me. I am also remembering to use my camera more.

I would like to focus on being more creative this year. Instead of attempting handfuls of projects I am going to focus on one, the one that will hopefully see me through to quitting my office job! (*cross fingers*). Therefore leaving all the other ideas I have and want to try, as fun activities. There isn't much time in the day anymore but I would like to utilise the time I DO have much more efficiently and get.it.done!
This goes for blogging too. Perhaps I need to schedule an evening a week so I make myself do it. I am so keen on keeping this little space going.

Talking of organising my time, I am going to start meal planning for Olive again. I want to push myself back into batch cooking, making lovely dishes and delicious snacks for her. I love filling my freezer with organised meals. Mostly because I love to have a 'slow' week now and then where I don't do an awful lot of household tasks/go on playdates etc and can defrost her dinner. I love nothing more than baking up a storm in the kitchen of delicious and healthy foods for my little girl. She loves her snacks too so this way I know that she's getting all the good stuff.

On to more 'good stuff'. My aim this year is to be more ethical with what I am eating, wearing, using and just in general. I'm not big on make up or using skincare but now I'm getting older (and more tired!) I am noticing that I need to be a little kinder to my body (I'm talking to you eye bags!). I have learnt that the majority of my small collection of self care products are not exactly ethical so I'm slowly replacing all my things with cruelty free brands, organic products and all from ethical resources. Just talking about it makes me feel better about the planet in knowing that I'm helping it a teeny tiny bit.
This being said I have also started being so much more focused on zero waste and every tiny or big part I can play in saving the planet.
I would love to say 'I'm going Vegan' but honestly, I would disappoint myself by being unsuccessful at this. I do however want to cut down on eating meat to a point where I can say I am sticking to a plant based diet but with eggs and cheese*. I don't eat a whole lot of meat anyway but I do love eggs and a cheese toastie is the holy grail. I would love to explore cooking a whole lot more and be confident that I can experiment with ingredients to create delicious, healthy meals and snacks. These are more life goals... but starting them in January seems logical, right?
*and Chocolate. I need to train my brain in liking dark chocolate a whole lot more then I'd be more inclined to consider going Vegan. There are just NO yummy Vegan brands accessible near me so I struggle with the thought of converting.

If anyone has any recommendations for ethical clothing brands and household products and magical 'tired eyes' cream, please send them my way!

Decluttering is another big task on my to do list this year. I think it's the whole 'It's January, It's a brand new year' vibe that gets us all post Christmas. We have a desire to get rid of all our 'stuff'. I live in a rented town house (/maisonette) with big rooms and high ceilings and we have managed to fill every space possible and now I'm feeling claustrophobic. I have this deep sensation of throwing everything into the street and starting again ... but of course that's preposterous. So instead I would love to start clearing out all the unwanted things we have no use for (I have far two many tea mugs and drinking glasses. Too many magazines and far too much of everything!). I have a big collection of costume jewellery that I know I can give away because I just don't wear it anymore.

I am also passionate about decluttering my mind too. Lately I have had so much on my plate that I have been getting stressed and anxious about because there is just no room up there to properly think. (Also I'm a big believer that a "tidy house means a tidy mind!" ... which is why I haven't blogged for so long - my desk has been a minefield!).
I would love to start Meditation and introduce some calming yoga sessions at home. I really believe that this will help me control my headspace and help unfold my issues et al. And lead to complete control of myself. Also, self care is a big thing on my "Life To Do" list.

So that's it (she says casually like there are 3 things that are achievable overnight!). All my 2018/Life goals that I have started/want to start all on one big list for me to go back and refer to.
I started this year in a pretty big powerful way thinking "This year is going to be MY year" and I'm ending January in a bit of a mind frazzle due to personal reasons. However I believe that this year can only be MY year if I make it that way. So this post has really helped push me in that mindset and I have some strong Motivational vibes going on right now.
Tell me all about your 2018/Life goals. Oh and any Ethical brand recommendations that you can send me would be so appreciated - Household products, clothing, skincare, make up ... everything!

Happy January to you all and hoping your month has been filled with big cups of tea and cosy candle lit evenings. I'm sure as heck going to make my February pretty much the same, but with heart shaped chocolates and pancakes too.

Monday

2017 // A reflection

As ever my little blog has taken the fall where priorities are concerned. It feels like I rarely have any time for myself anymore. Or at least productive time anyway.
There are so many posts I had wanted to write last year and didn't get around to it. So for my sake I will still post them. Some retrospective posts (Olive's 1st Birthday, my 30th Birthday) as well as some catch up posts (festivities and crafts). I remind myself often that this little place is predominately for me to go back on, for reference, for memories, so it is really important I keep up with this and it doesn't matter if no one views them when I post retrospectively. But it's there if anyone does want to.

Let's get on shall we.

So I started 2018 with a slump. With Olive's birthday 3 days before Christmas, along with the big day it was terribly chaotic. At first it was a bubble of excitement. Presents, cake, family, more presents and just generally ALL the attention was magical to watch and be a part of as parents. But then the present opening didn't stop until days after Christmas and the social aspect of the whole thing got to be quite draining toward the end. Of course, it was all spectacularly magical still, just keeping up appearances and cheer was rather exhausting. I'm very much a 'I need a short break of silence and sleep' when I have been socially active for even a whole day. So imagine how I felt after a week and a half of plans (Don't even get me mentioning that Olive was potty trained and this Mama was a tired, TIRED ol' lady). We all ended up having an early night, asleep before 11pm, on New Years Eve, Olive and I both full of cold and exhaustion.

Therefore I vow that this year will be a quiet one for sure. I spent the month of December having slow days of Christmas crafts and films, dancing around the living room with Olive to festive music. We spent time baking and making gifts. Wrapping and nibbling mince pies. It was blissful. So more of that through the holidays too from now on. Pyjama days, family time, good food and board games. That is all. No more fast paced festivities.
Having such a chaotic festive period I had felt rather muddled with it being a new year and not quite feeling all "Yay, a fresh new year. Time to reflect" or "These are my goals for 2018" like everyone else appeared to be on my Instagram feed. I just felt like hibernating until I felt rested, until I felt better - mentally and physically! Finally by the evening of day 3 it all kicked in. I wrote lists upon lists of things I wanted to achieve, blog posts I wanted to write, things I wanted to try, things I wanted to focus on. All in a brand new notebook. I felt organised, present, focused. For the first time since mid December.
During my 'not feeling the new year' vibe, I thought about how much I felt I hadn't achieved over the last 12 months but then I found my 2017 Goals and felt relieved. Okay I hadn't achieved them all but a good half of them I had.

What I had achieved was the mentality aspect of it all. I succeeded in being happy with less and learning to live slower and being more present. I learnt to rest and make decisions based on what was right for ME and not for others.
I also made the decision to let feelings go. Some majorly suppressed feelings that were eating away at my emotions and taking up valuable head space for a couple of years now. I finally achieved peace with it all and it was so good to let go of the toxicity of the whole situation. It had taken up enough of my time dwelling on things. Which goes hand in hand with 'to invest my time and friendships with those who want to be there'. I did exactly that. But with that I learnt to go at my own pace. Life with a family IS busy, time consuming and very important to me. It's hard to find the balance to spend time with myself, with just my husband, go to work as well as spend time with friends. I learnt that it's okay to be 'busy' and to not fit it all in and the friends that wanted to spend time with me patiently waited for me. It is so important to know that they love me enough to do that for me and to understand that I wasn't as available as they were.
I also fought a hard battle of FOMO. Isn't it the crappiest thing seeing your friends live the life you once had and missed, which had now been turned upside down by a tiny human. I cried alot. My closest friends felt further away than ever before but I gave myself a good talking to. I told myself that THIS is the life I want. Not that one I was missing out on. I DID that already. That was chapter 2008. And I have come so far since then. I am where I am supposed to be. I have a handful of good friends and I don't need to see them every day, every week, every month. But when I do it'll be special. I am not missing out, not one bit. I am so rich in gratitude and love.
The things I hadn't achieved are still VERY much on my 'Goals' list. However I am trying a new direction of thinking. I am going to focus on the process of achieving them. This is in regards to 'the year I leave my office job and finally work for myself'. I am going to focus on finishing one project, instead of five at once. This one project will hopefully open up doors for me and in turn will eventually (hopefully sooner rather than later) lead me to quitting my office job.
Besides Sebastian managed to tick that one off his Goals list so we're already half way there!!

I realise this seems like more of a ranty post but it's good to get it out of my head to free up some space for positive thoughts.
I have a feeling about this year (like I probably do every single year around this time!), like a real empowering feeling, like something big is going to happen. Something so spectacular that I'll be writing my 2018 reflections post and looking back at this one laughing. I sure do hope the dream comes true. I hope the dream comes true for you all. I think we deserve some magic.

Friday

MiniTTDER moments

On those hard, challenging days at work or similar and you feel like you could just cry because you have had enough or simply hormonal and you walk through your front door and your world has been made with such perfect little moments of happiness and magic.

I walked through my door on Monday evening, in from the early dark nighttime sky and into the warm doorway of home. Home where the heart literally is. And on this day especially.
After peeling off the layers and emptying the contents of my bag I stepped over the safety gate, a big grin on my face as I watched my two favourite humans dancing around the living room to Lilo & Stitch "Roller-coaster Ride". If you have heard this song you will know it's impossible not to dance to, and for that reason it is one of my favourite Disney songs.

Olive saw me and came running over to me with the biggest smile, arms stretched out squealing "Mummy's home noww" and gave me the world's biggest, warmest (most needed!) hug and grabbed my hand to dance with her and Sebastian. We all galloped around the room, Sebastian twirling Olive around every now and again. They had been listening to Disney songs for the last hour and I think they are both obsessed!!

Whilst Sebastian went to make tea and get a cup of milk for her, Olive grabbed my hand again and insisted  we go for 'walkens'. Walking hand in hand, from the living room to the hallway and back again we walked to the (imaginary) shops "to get cake", then to the zoo to see "the gorillas, monkeys, rhino and elephants" and then finished at the park. This lasted about 15 minutes, back and forth, hand in hand. Her imagination is coming along so wonderfully. It is absolutely magical to see. 
And what's even more magical is how such tiny special moments can turn your difficult, miserable day around in a blink of an eye.

I had to write this beautiful memory somewhere so I can treasure it forever.