My favourite chair 🥰🥰🥰 Looking forward to sinking into this shortly after a super busy but (mostly!) fun weekend. THOUGHTS... I’m often accused of being a bit obsessive about the state of our house - by my own husband, most of the time - but actually I’ve realised that even if everywhere isn’t perfectly Marie Kondo’d, it does matter that it’s tidy. Also, I don’t feel bad about insisting on a certain level of tidiness - and neither should you if you’re similarly inclined. It is ok, despite the constant pressure to give our children our undivided attention, to prioritise keeping the home - or at least some bits of it! - clean and orderly. It is ok to ask the kids to amuse themselves for a little while, or indeed to help out with some chores. I’ve occasionally been told not to “drive myself mad” with tidying - but actually I’m far more likely to get anxious and low if I’m living in a space that’s cluttered, dusty and mega disorganised. None of this is to say that my home, or every corner of it, is always calm and pristine. It’s more that - in a very odd kind of way - making sure my house is not a *total* mess, and expecting some help with achieving that - is an important pillar of my self care. Making sure I can feel calm and relaxed in my own space is a way of showing respect for myself, and I’ve finally grown out of feeling that’s somehow weird or unreasonable. And yes. I sometimes do have to remind myself of all this as I don the rubber gloves and get the bleach out... I’m a normal person despite my Monica tendencies, I promise.
Tuesday thoughts ✌️
In February there are days, Blue, and nearly warm, When horses switch their tails and ducks Go quacking through the farm. When everything turns round to feel The sun upon its back - When winter lifts a little bit And spring peeks through the crack. — Dorothy Aldis
HAPPY 31st JANUARY DUDES, we made it through 🙏🙏🙏 To be fair, though, I’ve had a pretty decent one. I haven’t given myself a load of unattainable goals to achieve, or a list of “resolutions” to end up feeling shitty about at what is always a somewhat rubbish time of year. It turns out this was an excellent decision. In fact I’ve spent the past few weeks throwing more and more things into my “fuck it” bucket. It feels MARVELLOUS so far. Every time I chuck something in its general direction I feel like I’m scoring a goal in netball, which to be fair only happened about once in my entire childhood. (Anyone I went to school with will confirm this.) My hope is that the fewer inconsequential bits of nonsense I care about, the more headspace I’ll have for all the big, important things I want to get on with in 2019. Onwards... 👌
🔥Whoa, whoa, whoa 🔥 It’s nearly the end of January, which means a lot of people out there are currently feeling crap about the fact that they’ve “failed” at their latest diet. In years past, I’d almost certainly have been one of them. This year, however, I promised myself I wouldn’t be so mean to me. I’d had enough stuff on my plate in the few months running up to Christmas without then piling on more pressure, more things to worry about and do. I’ve also become more and more disenchanted recently with the cults of wellness, dieting, clean eating, etc. Systems of rules around eating and ascribing moral values to different foods increasingly seem to me just... Not cool. And honestly, I couldn’t be more bored of *talking* about dieting and weight loss. I genuinely find it incredibly dull, to the extent that I’ve started avoiding people who I know are obsessed with discussing what they’ve eaten and how many pounds “off target” they are. Instead of going on a diet this month, I decided to spend January reading and learning about alternative ways of looking at food and weight. I’ve followed @laurathomasphd on here for a while, and her book and podcast are essential media for anyone interested in intuitive eating. This quote, from the podcast episode featuring the frankly badass @isabelfoxenduke really struck home with me this morning. As a (fairly?!) non-fat person, over the past 20 years I’ve still devoted far more time and energy to the pursuit of thinness than can possibly be sane. I’m sharing it in case it gives anyone else a jolt, too. Diet culture and fat phobia are so pervasive, and such critical tools for keeping women busy when they could be creating, LIVING, fighting the patriarchy, etc... We have to stop letting them.
This morning’s skincare bits! Trying to use up odds and ends before I crack into shiny new stuff from Christmas. @clarinsuk eye mask that my skin basically drinks as a moisturiser; @maylindstromskin The Jasmine Garden spritz (glorious); @darphinuk serum - water-like and super hydrating; @originsuk anti-ageing serum (layered on top of the Darphin); @pixibeauty Rose ceramide cream - thicker than the moisturisers I usually go for, but lovely in this cold weather we’ve been having lately ❤️
Happy third birthday (for yesterday!) to this little force of nature. She is everything I ever could have wanted in a daughter and more. Much more 🤣🤣🤣 !!! She tantrums big and she loves big. She’s bright, sensitive, intense, intelligent and strong. She is a beautiful soul, and she’s made me a better (if significantly more knackered) person. She never, ever shuts up. We love you Lulu. Here’s to another year of kindness, cuddles and your own special kind of crazy.
I happily greeted this morning with dear friends, my two crazy kids, my wonderful husband, one tiny dog and this view... As well as a mild fizz hangover. I’m not into all this “new year, new me” bobbins - but nor am I immune to the charms of a fresh page to write on or the lure of new beginnings. I love the simple reassurance of the calendar re-setting: starting back at the beginning again and giving us another chance, another year in which we can choose to do something amazing. I have big plans for 2019. My only resolution is to remember how bloody lucky I am that I am here, healthy and able to make them happen. #newyear #newyearsday #2019 #writersofinsta #amwritingfiction
We said goodbye to the daft fuzzball on the left today. It was so hard and so sad after eight years of loving her. I looked through old snaps of her and was barely able to find one without her silver grey sister in it - because that was how she lived: always so adoring of her best pal. Yes, she was “only” a cat... But there was something beautiful and profound in how utterly and openly she cared for the most important person in her life. It always warmed my cockles when I saw it - and perhaps it’s a reminder just to get on and give to those who matter to us, without fear of rejection or over-exposure. I’m hunkering down for an evening of calm and self-care after a trying day, determined to remember her silliness and sweetness with a smile on my face. Sleep tight Mo, raggediest of cats - we shall miss you ❤️😽
Today was my first Monday at home with this one in two months, and it’s largely been spent doing all the household jobs that didn’t get done last week (thanks for that, winter vomiting bug 🙄). Our Lulu has a rep for being “high maintenance”, which is entirely deserved - but every day she makes sweet, kind little gestures that remind me of her deeper nature: the one that lives beneath the bossiness and temper tantrums which (please, Universe!) will recede as she grows up. Today she made me a necklace from her bead and threading set and brought it to the kitchen where I was chopping veg. Later, at bath time, she cuddled in to me as I helped her to put her pyjamas on and said, “Mummy, you are my best friend.” When I went to put some laundry in her room, I noticed she’d tucked her favourite teddy into her bed like a beloved child. I know she’ll have kissed this slightly mangy stuffed toy goodnight as she gently placed the duvet just-so. I’m posting this a) because she looks ridiculous and cute in this Christmas hat and b) to remind myself that despite her regular and infuriating dramatic moments, these explosive moods are transient. The tenderness is for always ❤️ . #christmashats #already #apparently #eveningtv #peppaagain #bemorelulu
#grateful30 Today’s prompt: #weather Woodland walks with the tiny dog and two kiddos are never textbook or perfect - we had a fair few “moments” during our stroll earlier on today. Not least the one where Lucie announced she needed to be carried half a mile back to the car and I firmly explained that this was neeeeeeeeever gonna happen. That said, what a glorious autumn morning it was: cool sunlight streaming through semi-naked trees decorated in all shades of orange, red and gold. I love this season. I love these (slightly fraught) walks with my little ones, too.
#gratitude30 day 12: #WISDOM This is me taking a cheeky selfie inside a beautiful, golden yellow tree at @chatsworthofficial yesterday. Obviously taking selfies isn’t wise - but observing and enjoying the amazing beauty all around us at this time of year definitely is. Getting out and into nature is a fantastic mood-booster, and I’m definitely guilty of not doing it enough. Yesterday I was once again wowed by the beautiful #peakdistrict . I always am. The other wise thing I did this weekend is get away for a night. Removing yourself from work, home and mum duties is a challenge, but from time to time it’s good to have space to breathe and just be you. Bravo for another lovely visit to Chatsworth, and quality time spent with people I love @carolgrimshaw @t88gep @jomartin_77 ❤️❤️❤️
Today’s #gratitude30 post. The prompt: #memories ... Like the corners of my miiiiiiind. Please enjoy the houmous face photo (Leo) and the angel face photo (Lucie); the blue eyed boy and the brown eyed girl. Lucie’s new “big girl bed” is arriving from @johnlewisandpartners tomorrow. She’s ridiculously excited about sleeping in it for the first time, but it hit me this evening that (disasters notwithstanding) this might be the last night either of my babies ever sleeps in a cot. It’s a little sad and at the same time it’s not. Children grow up, and that’s a beautiful thing: I’m proud of the little humans they’re becoming as well as wistful when I think of their squishier selves. I love them now, and it’s gorgeous to remember them as they were.
“What will survive of us is love.” - Philip Larkin Fellow Midlander, bloody awesome poet, cynic with (I think) a soft centre. #gratitude30 #inspiration . I wrote a poem earlier this year that was directly inspired by these final lines from “An Arundel Tomb”. Maybe I’ll be brave and share it sometime 🙈
I rarely do these Insta challenges, but I came across #gratitude30 via @positivelypresent last night and it kind of appealed. Life is super busy lately, and sometimes stressful - and it’s easy to overlook the things we have to be happy about when just keeping all the balls we’re juggling in the air takes so much time and energy. Yesterday’s prompt was #home , so here are a couple of favourite corners from mine. Yes, I had tidied up before snapping them 😂 Our house is a work in progress and it’ll be years yet before we’re done with renovating - but there’s so much to love about it ❤️ #cornersofmyhome #loafershomes #houserenovtion #georgianhouse
Let me be clear: I am very against putting makeup on small children. Toddlers & Tiaras terrifies the pants off me. But earlier, this happened ➡️➡️➡️ Clearly feeling sorry for me as I tried to buy stuff while also preventing Lulu from absconding for the fiftieth time this afternoon, the lady on the @cliniqueuk counter at @johnlewisandpartners (after asking me first) suggested bribing her with the promise of having some lip gloss put on. All our favourite little madam had to do was stand still and let me pay for my shopping. Thanks to Lucie’s fascination with ALL things makeup and skincare related, it worked a charm. Her face in the final image says it all 🤦♀️😂 #toddlerlife #bribery #itworks #diva
Sometimes it’s the people who look like they’re having the most fun, who are struggling to keep their heads above terrible waves of anxiety, loneliness or depression. Be kind. You never know how shit a person might feel inside despite a sunny exterior. Also - never be afraid to ask someone who seems like a confident swimmer whether they might fancy a break from the water. (And possibly also an ice cream.) #worldmentalhealthday #notwavingbutdrowning #extendedmetaphors #instapoetry