mummy-daddy-me-header

A Post About Nothing In Particular.

on Wednesday, 04 March 2015.

Do you know sometimes when you have lots of rambling thoughts and things to say, but they don't quite warrant enough space for a post solely on their own?  That's sort of how I am feeling.  In fact that's kind of how my whole mind is feeling at the moment- it's jumbled up, full of random thoughts and I don't seem to be able to focus on anything in particular depth.  

As a family we are about to embark on some seriously exciting and scary changes.  On Friday morning my husband handed his notice in to his work.  He is our main breadwinner and the one secure salary that we have, but as of eight weeks time when his notice period finishes, he will be joining me in the world of working for yourself.  He has worked on freelance projects in his spare time on and off for a long time, but an unexpected opportunity came up for him to have a six month contract to do some work with a company and after much discussion we decided that it was too good to pass up.  It means that he has a certain amount of stability for six months and it gives him time to build a name for himself, before he is very much on his own and it is up to him to find new clients.  We are actually starting a business together- our skills very much go hand in hand, he is a designer, I work in online marketing, and so it makes sense to combine the two.  I have my freelance life already so that won't change, but I will become a partner in his new company too- it's all very official and exciting, but incredibly scary too.  

I am so excited for him and I am excited for our family.  It isn't something we have entered in to lightly, after all we have two small children and a mortgage to pay.  But if he didn't do it now he would have always been wondering 'what if?'  I know myself, on even a small level, how hard the freelance lifestyle can be sometimes.  Some months I worry about money non stop and some months I have lots coming in- it's certainly unstable at times.  But he is very ambitious and he has his head switched on so I know he will be ok.  It feels like the right step, albeit a slightly daunting one.  

We have decided for six months or so that he will work from home, so it means that it is even more necessary to get our new study done now.  Then after that he may look into getting a little office somewhere.  It is going to take a while to adjust to him being at home, I do rely on him a lot when he is here, so I know that I am going to have to bite my tongue and not ask him to help me with things when he should be working.  The girls and I are out and about most mornings on the days they aren't at nursery anyway, and then on the days when they are we can sit and work together.  I am looking forward to having him home with me, but it's going to take a little getting used to.

IMG 0929

Unrelated photo, but I just love this one of myself and my big girl.

 

Aside from that exciting and rather life changing news, I have been thinking a lot recently about the fact that I don't ever really switch off.  I don't just mean from my 'online life', I mean from life in general.  My brain seems to whirl constantly with thoughts, ideas and just general things, and I never seem to be able to relax anymore.  Even when I am supposed to be relaxing, say for example in the evenings when I am not doing blog stuff, I am looking at my phone- I even take it in the bath.  It is such a stimulus and I have been thinking a lot lately that I need to get a better balance.  The other evening Mr E and I watched a film called 'Disconnect'- it's a drama/thriller all about life online (I definitely recommend watching it, it gave me chills), and that also really made us both think about the way in which social media especially has crept into our lives- how we will occasionally absentmindedly check our phones when we are sat having dinner- what a bad example to set to our girls.  I am by no means terrible or the worst out there, but I do flick and waste a lot of time on social media (especially you instagram!) when I am not even actually responding or commenting on anything.  It's so hard when your work and hobby are all part of being online, but I don't think that what I am doing is all that healthy.

I have decided to make little changes just to try and help me switch off more than I do at the moment.  The biggest one is that Mr E and I are going back to our regularly weekly 'date night'. We started this last year and loved it, but slowly we allowed phone's to creep back in- each week it's someone's turn to 'host' it- it might be make a nice dinner, choose a nice film to watch, or plan a little surprise for the other person, but we make one rule- absolutely no technology whatsoever. (bar the TV!)  I turn my phone off and that's it for the evening.  While I probably only go on my laptop maybe once or twice in the week, as I said before I am on my phone far too much, and our date night is our way of spending quality time together rather than just being semi engaged in each other while spending time on our computers or phones.  

My other big thing is that I have been going to bed far too late.  I have decided that I am going to go to bed at a sensible (ish) time each night and make sure I don't look at my phone in bed, I am going to spend at least half an hour each night reading my book and winding down.  Obviously a phone or iPad is a stimulus and I wonder if that's another reason I don't sleep that well.  I used to read a book a week before children and blogging came into my life, and so this is something I am going to make sure I do every night in the hope that it relaxes me a bit more and helps me switch off.  I am pretty good at not really checking my phone at the weekend as that is our family time, bar putting the odd instagram photo on, but I want to try and reinforce this a little more too.

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Last weekend I went away on a girly weekend with three of my lovely friends Lucy, Morgana and Jenny.  They are all friends that I made via blogging, but friends that I now consider to be close 'real life' friends as well.  I had such a lovely few days, it was the longest I spent away from the girls, and although I missed them terribly, I really needed it.  It was wonderful to be in the company of such kind, yet also inspiring women, and going away and having a bit of girl time and head space made me realise that I need to switch off more and try different ways of relaxing.  On one of the days we went to a yoga class and while Jenny and Lucy often do yoga, Morgana and I were a little cynical- but I actually really loved it and it did help me relax and unwind.  I am going to start trying to do the odd You Tube yoga session in the evenings to help me unwind before bed.  I do online kettlebell workouts and run in the evening a couple of times a week though too, so it's trying to fit it all in.  

What is it about a girly weekend that's good for the soul though?  I came away feeling really inspired in all manner of different ways- inspired by mine and Mr E's new business due to Morgana and her dreams for her shop Little and Fierce, inspired by Jenny and how organised and driven she is, and inspired by Lucy and her ability to switch off and not let things bother her. (oh and inspired by her amazing Mexican Soup recipe too- who would have ever thought I would be inspired to get in the kitchen!)  We laughed non stop, confided in each other and chatting about deep and meaningful stuff- I feel so lucky to have met them all.

friendships

Last year I was heavily involved in my fitness mission and that has helped me feel like a new person.  But since Christmas and our holiday, old habits have been creeping back in and although I did a bit of exercise, I stopped running.  I found myself getting lethargic and a bit snappy, while also putting on a bit of weight as although I was still eating reasonably healthily, I was letting myself have a lot more sweet treats again.  About three weeks ago I decided that I needed to stop or I would end up going back to my old ways.  I have started running again, even joining a running club.  Yesterday morning I got up at 5am and went for a ten mile run- I must be mad.  It's so easy to get back into the habit though, and now I am back training for five races this year- I am also determined to get some ab muscles for the summer!  Excercise makes me feel so much more confident and eating better makes me feel good too. (I will do a fitness update soon!)  I also had my hair cut the other day, I have had my hair the same for so long now, just varying shades of brown, but this time I had some ombre put in the ends- I have been meaning to do it for about two years- and I am really pleased with it.  There's nothing like a slight change of style to help renew a bit of confidence.

ombre hair

New hair. Stupid pose. Never been any good at selfies. ;) 

 

This post doesn't really have any sort of purpose but it was therapeutic writing it all down and giving a bit of a life update!  I feel so genuinely lucky to have the opportunity to do the work I do, both my freelance work and of course blog things as well, and I really am so happy with our life and my little family.  I just want to make simple changes in order to be a better Mummy, wife and become even happier and more motivated in all aspects of my life.  

 

 

 

 

 

{The Ordinary Moments 15} #9 Monday's with Grandma...

on Sunday, 01 March 2015.

For a good year or so now we have dedicated one morning a week to spending time with my Mum.  We both lead busy lives, I obviously work two days a week, the other two days are spent seeing friends or doing jobs, and we found that if we have a day of the week where we see each other then we were less likely to cancel plans.  That day is on a Monday.

For most people Monday is the start of the working week, or if you don't work then it is the first day after the weekend- traditionally Monday is not really a day to particularly look forward to.  But I look forward to it every week and it is actually one of my favourite days.  The girls absolutely love their Grandma to pieces and I love that we have a little routine and structure in place.  Before Christmas, we often went out and about on a Monday- whether that would be running errands in town, out shopping and for a cake, or to the garden centre for lunch and to see the animals.  While this was lovely, my Mum and I found that we were spending lots of money when to be honest we all would be equally happy just to hang out at home.

Therefore since Christmas we have spent the majority of Monday morning's up at her house.  She only lives less than five minutes away from me by car and has the most beautiful home, I definitely get my interior passion from her.  Her home just makes me feel cosy and almost revert back to being my younger self again, even though I have never actually lived there.  I usually bring my laptop and more often than not she will play with the girls while I sit at the dining room table (which looks on to their living room) and do the odd bit of work I need to do.  The girls will get spoilt with Smarties (she seems to have an endless supply of them) and they will play or watch films whilst I chat to them all and get on with bits and bobs.  I have also been known to take a load or two of washing up there and she will sit and do my ironing while we have lunch- she really is a Mummy in a million.

The girls love a good routine as much as I do- it's become a bit of a tradition to have a lunch of 'jammy sandwiches' for Mads and 'peanut butter toast' for LL, all washed down with far too strong juice. (how many times do I need to tell her to only put a couple of drops in?)  I have a diet coke or two and my Mum cooks me a mean beans on toast, she jokes that it's like a cafe as she has to make three separate lunches.  We then head off home about 1.30 for nap time at our house.

It is such a simple Monday, but for some reason the girls and I really look forward to it- in fact LL has started to realise when we are going up there and has taken to squealing in delight when we turn up her road.  My Mum can drive me round the bend at times, probably cause we are so alike, but she really is the best in the world, and I am so lucky to have her.  She helps me out so much and I am so grateful for that.  I hope she loves our Monday mornings just as much as we do!

 

Some iPhone photos of last Monday...

Monday with Grandma 1

Watching them snuggling together in the background whilst I did work.

Monday with Grandma 3

Going to Grandma's is great because she has ridiculously unhealthy yoghurts that I won't let them have at home. ;) 

Monday with Grandma 2

This week was very exciting because her other Grandpa and Nana got Mads some Sylvanian Families bits for Christmas, and it was the first time we had got them out to play with.  Because Mads has her birthday on Christmas Eve, it means that more often that not we stagger her presents so she doesn't get everything all at once.  She absolutely loved them which pleased me no end because I loved mine as a child- I wish my Mum had kept them as I had lots.

Monday with Grandma 4

Doing some drawing.

Monday with Grandma

I love this photo of them- snuggling together and watching The Lion King.

 

Me and Mine: A Family Portrait Project 2015- February.

on Saturday, 28 February 2015.

Whereas January seems to always drag a little bit, February seems to whizz past, and before we know it we are into March- which brings my birthday and the first promise of Spring.  February has been a nice month, we have had a couple of really hectic weeks but on the whole it's been relatively quiet. 

I don't really know how I would sum up this month.  It's been busy during the week- my freelance work is going really well which of course is most welcome, but it has meant that the weeks have blurred into one, especially as I have had meetings and other bits going on- I actually filmed one of our weeks just to look back on what it looked like for us all.  Of course, one of the weeks we had LL's 2nd birthday- a milestone which has hit me particularly hard.  All of a sudden I am so nostalgic about the fact I no longer have a baby, I wouldn't say I am broody, but more feeling a bit sentimental about my own 'babies' not being so little anymore.

A lot of my very limited free time this month has been spent thinking about and planning the girl's new bedroom.  We are moving them into a joint room (something I am SO nervous about) and getting a study back.  I am excited to have two project's to plan for but as usual I have spent most of my time looking at trinkets and finishing touches and not so much at the actual furniture or logistics.  We went to Ikea one weekend day in February, 'just to look', and ended up being in there almost four hours in there and spending a small fortune.  I am excited to start actually getting it sorted, but we need to decorate both rooms first as after being little people's bedrooms for so long, they are looking a bit tatty round the edges.

Other than that the month has just been spent being busy with day to day life and ordinary moments, although we did start off the month at a beautiful little cottage on a weekend away in Norfolk, and this is where our Me and Mine photos were taken.  I was so impressed that for once we didn't leave it until the last minute and took our photos on the 1st day of the month- I think I deserve some sort of prize!  The story behind the photos is that the cottage we were staying in had a very cute little garden and we saw this bench from outside the window.  We thought it would make a really cute backdrop for our photos and of course a nice memory as we had a lovely weekend.

I am actually really pleased with these photos and there is a little secret as to why we are all looking at the camera.  A couple of years ago I bought myself a ridiculously cheap self timer remote off ebay, which promptly broke after about a month of using it.  I ended up never buying another one as I actually don't mind setting the self timer, but the remote has sat in my camera bag ever since.  Mads wasn't too happy about the idea of taking the photos, so I asked her to be my 'helper' which she loves doing.  She held the remote and we kept telling her to look at the camera and press it, even though obviously it was actually the self timer going off rather than her pressing the button.  It worked though and she loved thinking she was taking the photo.

meandminefeb15

meandminefeb15c

meandminefeb15b

meandminefeb15a

Happy memories of a happy weekend away.  

Here's to seeing what March may bring....

 

*****

This month I am sending you over to have a look at Alex's beautiful blog.  She is currently sporting a rather lovely bump and it's lovely that soon her Me and Mine photos will have another addition, just like when I started with LL! :) 

My Little Bits Of Life #7

on Tuesday, 24 February 2015.

I'm well over due a little update on life through the eyes of my iPhone.  I love doing these posts, just capturing little snippets of what we have been up to over the last few weeks.  While I love my big camera, I do find that nowadays I only really take it out when we go away for the weekend or out for the day, or if I know that we have something exciting on.  I know that I will use it more come Spring and Summer when we are outside, but when we just go places indoors I feel a bit of a wally pulling out a massive camera with a big lens on the end.  Therefore my iPhone is being used more and more- and I recently got an upgrade to the rather large iPhone 6.

Here is a fair few bits of life through the eyes of my phone...

littlebitsoflife feb15

 1.  My obsession with taking photos in front of our garage door shows no sign of stopping.  I love that I will be able to look back on them in years to come and notice a real difference in how much they changed and grew.  Plus I love dressing them and it will be great to look back on all their little outfits.  Like these adorable teddy hoodies!

2.  These pretty tulips at my Mum's house made me feel all Spring like.

3.  LL was poorly one day so had to stay off nursery- we had a great day snuggling on the sofa together while I attempted to work on my laptop- we even ate lunch on there which was a real treat.

4.  We are loving our Subaru XV and going on #XVAdventures - it's definitely become part of the family.  I had to snap this photo of it after I got it cleaned, looking all shiny in the morning sunshine.

5.  My girl's favourite kind of lunch is what we call a 'picky picky' lunch- basically a whole load of unhealthy bits and bobs.  I bought these plates from my lovely friend Fritha's shop- they are so bright and colourful which suits me down to a tee.

6.  One weekend we all got dressed and I noticed we were all colour coordinated so I made Mr E take a photo of us- while I often coordinate Mads and LL's outfits, I definitely didn't do this on purpose!

7.  Ever since I was pregnant with Mads I have become obsessed with baths- I love a long soak with bubble bath.  Since we got our bathroom done I love them even more, I love my little floating shelves full of trinkets, the photo of LL is my favourite photo I have taken I think.

8.  We love going to my Mum's on a Monday- we always have a Monday morning date with her but recently in a bid to save money (far too many lunches out!) and in order for me to do a bit of work, we have been going to see her at her house.  I captured this photo of the girl's relaxing and playing with their Toy Story characters- these are the current obsession in our house.

9.  Oh the Gap tights with the bear on the bum- nothing cuter!  Especially when they are colourful and stripy.

10.  If we are not busy or away at the weekend then a carpet picnic has become a tradition- I don't know why but we all love it.  Why is lunch more special when you bring the picnic blanket in?

11.  I love this selfie of myself and Mads.  She is so beautiful, inside and out, and I am so proud of her.  It's still quite hard to get her not to pull a face when I take a photo so I especially love this one.

12.  My fitness mission has gone a little awol the last few weeks- since Christmas and our holiday.  I am back on my running streak which is good news as of the last week or so, but I am also trying to drink more water, so when I spotted this camera beaker I had to get it.  So far I am failing miserably, my diet coke obsession is getting worse, but at least I have a snazzy glass when I do drink water!

13.  Isn't it funny how the weirdest toys become the most popular?  We got this cheap Peppa Pig drawing board for LL on the plane and the Lightening McQueen plastic phone we found in a trolley in Tescos of all places but for some reason these are their favourite things at the moment.  We always 'bring one toy' with us when we leave the house and 9 times out of 10 these are the ones they choose at the moment. 

14.  I love this little black and white outfit of LL's, in case you are wondering it's from Next.  The little brogues and hat are from H and M- we pretty much never leave the house without a hat on nowadays.

15.  As a family, a little tradition of ours is to go for pancakes whenever we go away or have a special occasion- so naturally we love Pancake Day.  But for some reason we are AWFUL at making them, even Mr E who is a pretty good cook, seems to struggle with pancakes.  This year was no exception- but we slathered on loads of Nutella, 'squirty' cream and salted caramel balls, and they still tasted ok.  They just looked like something on the bottom of your shoe.

16.  Not to be outdone on the selfie front, LL and I had to pose for one too.  Love my smiley girl!

17.  Mmmm tapas, one of my favourite type of meals.  I had to go for an all day meeting in Manchester a couple of weeks ago, and I had a impromptu sneaky date with my lovely chum Charlotte.  

18.  Those teddy dresses/skirts again- far too cute!   We bought them before Christmas from Marks and Spencer if you wanted to know, and a couple of people who saw my instagram of these went out and bought them recently- apparently they are now in the sale!  Even better.

19.  I love love love this photo of my twosome- we were going out for the day and they wanted to each pack a little bag with their snacks in, LL is obsessed with Peppa Pig and Mads loves a bit of 1D, so they love taking these little lunch bags out with them.

20.  We were getting ready for nursery one morning when I noticed they had got back into bed and were watching the iPad.  I just thought it looked so cute the way they were lying there together.

21.  I picked up this hat for about £3 from Boo Hoo (it's an adult's one!) but I love it cause we always joke to Mads she is having a bad hair day with her unruly curls.

22.  I think these might be my favourite outfits of theirs at the moment- I just love mustard, it's my favourite colour (well anything Yellow really) and I just think they look so cute all styled together.  I also love Mads hair in little plaits.  Most of the clothes are from Next, bar Mads trousers and boots which are from Zara.  LL's little shoes are from Mothercare.

23.  Yum to breakfast meetings- Caravan is such a great spot to meet if you come in to London at Kings Cross- I have been there for a few meals now.

24.  Happy colours for Spring- loving this red and yellow combo!  I don't think I will ever tire of coordinating these girls although I am sure they will hate it one day.  Until they tell me otherwise I am going to enjoy it though. ;)

 

If you want to see more of my iPhone pics, you can find me over on instagram- I'm @mummydaddyme.

 

PS We paid for all the items in this post, I just wanted to include the links to some things in case people want to know where they are from.

 

 

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