Wednesday

Last week

Last week I chose to spend my time completely devoted to Olive. So much housework, small jobs and getting places take over our days together and with the way I have been feeling lately I just really wanted to take it slow and enjoy moments together.
After Olive's bout of sickness etc last week she has been completely out of sorts. Her routine is off, my routine is off and honestly we have both been very grumpy. I'm extra hormonal, she is extra stroppy and demanding and we're both probably fairly exhausted.
On Wednesday after a little dancing to the radio and blowing bubbles first thing, we got dressed and left the house. I took Olive to the small soft play area in the centre and let her run and bounce some energy around. Thankfully it was quiet so I could just peacefully watch her from the side.
We then walked to the coffee shop hand in hand for a little quality time together. We both had coffees (she had a babyccino but as we're "big girls" she calls it coffee!) and shared a buttered toasted teacake. "Cheers"ing after every other bite. Whilst I was still sipping my vanilla latte she sat cross legged on the floor reading the shop's books and occasionally coming back to finish her colouring in. 
It was one of those 'Proud Mama' moments. She was being so well behaved and lovely and kept saying "Thank you Mummy!". My little aching heart had started glowing a little - like the Grinch's. It was the best date I had had in a long time. My little friend, my little sidekick.
We then went off to buy some fruit and went home for a little sticker book fun before naptime.

Olive had a long 2 hour nap (thank you universe!). After a cuddle on my bed, she had an ice cream whilst we chatted. She helped me to put the washing on the airer and then we painted in her magic colouring book. We had a lovely afternoon of colouring in, free play and dancing together around the living room after dinner. Such a wonderful day. We were both less grumpy and just enjoyed each other's company.
Thursday went a little differently. Olive was not her best self at all, and in turn neither was I. The best part of the day was when we went out for a walk to meet her Gramps and Nanny Leanne for lunch.
On the way there we befriended a cat, smelled some flowers and spied some pigeons. We met my Papa at work and then sat in the park and it was such a lovely hour. Olive was sweet, well behaved and an all round super cutie. However when it was time to go home she was too tired to walk and wanted carrying for most of the way (eek!). The afternoon was very much the same as the morning - a little bit grumpy. After dinner we both did some colouring in and I let Olive have a long play in the bath.
On Friday we popped into town first thing to get some supplies and back home for an early lunch and silly living room dancing together. After nap time and some book reading on the sofa, we popped back out to meet our lovely friends for a playdate. It was a good idea to let Olive run around and let off some steam before heading home for a mini jacket potato and broccoli.
And a good idea for me to see a friend whom I always feel completely at ease with, especially when not feeling my best self. The kind that doesn't out-rightly ask if you're okay, but does it in a way that makes you feel like you want to answer... if that even makes sense! It probably makes zero sense but I know what I mean. She's a kind hearted Mama whom I feel I can cry in front of if necessary.
Saturday, Sebastian took the little lady out to the soft play area and left me at home to get ready in peace. I made us all some lunch and met them in the park where we all sat nicely on a bench. We spied a robin and were surrounded by beautiful plants and flowers. It was the perfect lunchtime with my two favourites. We let Olive run around a bit as she just loves it when we go to a big open space- it makes me feel a little guilty that we don't have a garden for her to explore in. However it does nudge me to take her out more often! ...(and to manifest the heck out of my dream of having our own garden one day!).
We came home and had a chilled afternoon of napping, free play, and cuddles on the sofa. And yes, that is the same outfit as the day before - turns out 2.5 year old's are pretty persistent with their choice of outfits!!
My mama came over on Sunday, whilst Sebastian went to the studio to work. We did a lot of catching up until Olive woke from her nap and then we got started with the baking. We made cheese scones (where Olive mostly whisked the egg wash, played with the flour and ate all the grated cheese!), then whilst she helped me with the washing up my mama basically whizzed up TWO batches of muffins in a flash! We had a batch of blueberry muffins and the other was cherry and white chocolate. SPOILT!
It was a dream afternoon! And honestly I've never seen Olive more excitable. She just loves to help... and to eat!!! "are they ready now, are they ready now!?!" when the buzzer on the oven went for the cheese scones. "Yay! Wahoo!" I love this little darling. She was in a lovely mood. But then again so was I - with the delicious smell and the tupperware boxes stacked high full of treats, it was hard not to be!!

It was so lovely to spend some quality time with Olive this week. She has been so out of sorts over the last few weeks. Clingy too. I suppose she is probably going through some sort of phase or maybe she just feels like she needs to some extra love or attention or both. I keep reminding myself that we all have our 'off' weeks and that we need to be there for each other through all of them. It just so happens that both Olive and I were having one at the same time. But that's okay because there is no one I'd rather hang out with when I feel like this!

Friday

Springtime

Spring, my favourite season. Been and gone in a blink of an eye. Winter dragged out and well and truly out stayed it's welcome and the moment we got some warm spring weather the stormy winds quickly came and took out all the beautiful blossom and freshly bloomed daffodils and tulips. And now it's Summer.
So I thought I'd share some of my favourite moments of Spring whilst I hide inside from the breezeless heat.
Light blue skies and blossom on walks to picnics in the park with a play date for Olive and some Mama catch ups. 
Birthdays. Quietly turning 31 and receiving ALL the beautiful springtime blooms, so much so that I had to improvise with vases! Feeling all the love and gratitude. Homemade millionaire shortbread gifts, strawberry and clotted cream cake, Olive's singing and the biggest birthday morning cuddle ever, thoughtful gifts from my little wishlist and the best pizza lunch date with my two favourites.
Cosy home days with Olive during the April showers. Bambi watching whilst snuggled up on the sofa, bunny dress up and so much colouring in. Baking together with ALL the sprinkles, hot cross bun sharing and peachy pastel daffodil admiring.
Breezy walks and stick collecting, Easter crafts and more colouring in, Easter tree decorating (my first time doing it!) and bonnet making. More hot cross bun nibbling and early morning of The tales of Beatrix Potter watching and special Easter porridge with colourful sprinkles.
Easter gifts of foiled covered white bunnies, dinosaur pyjamas and a lovely dinosaur story book. Being little is so much fun!

I hope you have had a lovely Spring and have some wonderful Summer plans. I hope to have a slow one, with lots of breeze, lots of ice cream, lots of picnics, seaside visits and pretty dress wearing.
What are your plans?

Wednesday

2018 - A mid year reflection

How have we got to June already? Half of a year has almost been and gone already. HALF! It seems the perfect time to sit at the end of my bed, cross legged and reflect at the year so far. I re-read my post that I wrote at the beginning of the year (2018 // A new chapter) with the goals I set myself for the year and went through each of them.
Reading. I am impressed to learn that I am on target. 6 books read out of the 12 I set myself to read within the year. I am hoping to read more than the original goal of 12 but I will be happy if I complete it nevertheless.
This goal has been a turning point for me. I had a blip in April where I read nothing at all but sure enough I kicked myself back into it and I really love the downtime part of it. Especially setting time aside to read in bed before I fall asleep. Much better than falling asleep to Netflix!

Minimise phone use. Since the social media break I gave myself in January, this one has been an easy one to keep up. I am so over the novelty of likes and numbers and frankly it had started giving me serious anxiety. It seemed I was envious of people's adventures, their freedom, their idyllic home life that it was seriously unhealthy for me to keep scrolling. I have become unattached ever since. Thankfully. Plus I missed sharing my little life on here, my safe space, where numbers have NEVER been thought of as a 'thing'. I have missed documenting my memories here (even if no one reads it anymore!).

Being more creative. Half a year in and I have had more or less ZERO creativity. This hasn't helped with my mental health battle (see ramblings in my previous post, here). Creativity is/was a big part of me and I have lost it and thankfully I have noticed this, so I have started writing again and painting too.
I have also decided to start a Gratitude journal. After reading Hannah Bullivant's post Why and How I journal, it really struck a chord, I was inspired. I used to write in journals alot. Growing up it was more of a diary (all the dark times!!!) and through university it was more creative writing and collage. Then blogging became my outlet for documenting my thoughts. I love the idea of keeping a gratitude journal full of great moments that happened each day, to help get through the potential not so great moments of the day. An excellent exercise for focusing on the positives. I also want to incorporate creativity in this too, even if it's including images and gold washi tape.
(Ps I still plan on quitting my office job - I just need a game plan ... and my creative mojo back!!).

Meal planning. Again, due to a slight blip in my mental health, this has fallen by the wayside. I have become lazy. I still feed my child all the good food- homemade healthy chips, vegetables (she LOVES broccoli!!), veggie pasta, sausages (her favourite!) and the like. But I really want to start batch cooking again, especially when we have afternoon playdates and get home close to teatime. Homemade pizza bases, vegetable risottos, chilli, fishcakes, mini quiche snacks etc. Nothing gives me greater satisfaction than a full freezer of homemade food.

More ethical / Zero waste. This I feel I have done fairly well in. I still struggle to buy fruit without the non recyclable plastic packaging as I just can't get to a large supermarket or the market (I must try harder!!). I have however cut down on the waste usage on other household things. We have ditched the dish washing sponges and replaced them with wooden brushes and washable dish cloths. Olive and I use bamboo toothbrushes - and love them! We also have matching gold stainless steel water bottles.
We have nearly replaced all our daily products to cruelty free and ethical brands (We are using everything we already had so to reduce waste). And where we can, use organic and natural based products.

Decluttering.  This process has well and truly begun and it is SUCH a big job, so much so that it overwhelms me. However it is a job that needs to be done now rather than desired as it was before. But more of why in another post!
Sebastian has already successfully sold some things and we have a full weekend planned (sans Olive) so we can both get 'stuck in' without distraction. We'll probably need at least two more weekends to complete it but I just can't wait to see the end result now.

Self care. Something that I need to do more of. Saying no to something I don't want to do and realising that it's completely okay to do so. Taking candle lit bubble baths with a good book before having an early night, after a long day. Choosing to spend time alone when I need it the most and asking for help in order to do so. Spending more time outside (as long as the sun isn't too hot for my pale skin!). Taking a nap where I can if needed. Doing things for me when I can.
Eating healthier and Meditation are things I really want to focus the next half of the year doing. I would like to incorporate Meditation into my daily routine. I think i'll look into taking a couple of classes for practise. As for eating healthier, we all know that good nourishing food helps to keep our energy levels up - something I am seriously lacking of late.
Having a little sit down to reflect has really helped me in my current state. I am actually doing okay with these goals. Much better than I ever thought! Though I haven't been on schedule with all the goals I set myself, there is still so much time to turn it around. The ball is in my court as they say.
I still fully believe that this year is MY year. And I very much need to make this happen. I need to get the ball rolling, the motivation flowing, no one else can do this for me.
But I finally have the momentum to do so. I have no idea where to start or what path will lead me where but I know what I don't want and that is a very good start in my books.