Wednesday, 21 May 2014

The woods are lovely, dark and deep ...

... and I have promises to keep
and miles to go before I sleep

Robert Frost

The poem I pinched those beautiful lines from may have been about winter but even though today could not be more summery, they were the words that entered my head as I wandered into the woods this afternoon

Forrest had a day with his grandma and I have had the loveliest day. I spent the morning catching up on my housewifely chores - I descaled the coffee machine, cleaned the washing machine, vacuumed, mopped, dusted, did three loads of washing, cleaned the bathroom .... and for once I actually enjoyed it. Sometimes I find the mood takes me to clean and I have to take advantage of it, those episodes are few and far between so I make the most of them. It means I can feel less guilty on the days when I really cannot be bothered to clean

I met the estate agent who will be marketing the cottage for us and he took some photos and talked to me about his children (I love hearing men talking about their children - such a different perspective from us women!) then I took the dogs out for a walk

Our local estate opens their woodland from April to September, the woods are closed over the winter for hunting and shooting but during the warmer months the Earl of Yarborough allows the public to wander freely. How wonderfully generous is that? Today I went to Mausoleum Woods, one of my favourite spots

Matt grew up on the estate and knows lots of little hiding places (even some little caves) around the woods but I just like to sit at the top of the hill in front of the mausoleum and gaze at the view. The place has such a beautiful, serene feeling about it and the thought that the mausoleum was built for the first Baron Yarborough's wife gives it a special sort of peace, I think

I did a bit of googling and found this absolutely beautiful picture of the interior. There are tours occasionally, I'm hoping to get chance to go on one this year

When I was pregnant I did hypnotherapy to help me to relax and stay positive and calm about the birth. One of the exercises involved mentally taking oneself away to a 'happy place' and this is the place I used to visualise during my afternoon relaxation sessions

The photos don't do it justice, it really is a beautiful, peaceful place. Did you spot Wilson running up the hill??

He found what can only be described as a lump of tree too, and was immensely happy about it

Jessie wasn't in the mood for sticks today, she just laid down and sunbathed 

That may or may not be a bit of my leg there. And I may or may not be wearing Matt's cargo shorts. This is not an outfit post.

I could have stayed all afternoon but sadly real life called me home to take delivery of groceries and cook some tasty meals for Forrest

Do you have any special local spots that you like to visit?

Monday, 19 May 2014

Shopping Paralysis

Remember last week I took myself off to Meadowhall for a day of heavy duty shopping and came home with a mascara and a packet of painkillers? I'd like to say that's unusual for me but the fact is that it's not. It's fairly standard

I'm an all or nothing kind of gal I suppose. I've been the perpetrator of some pretty epic shopping trips in my time (including one that ran into four figures and involved my ex having his debit card refused at a fuel station on the way home because of 'suspicious activity'!!) but more often than not I come home empty handed or with some token purchase to make me feel better about having driven miles and wasted my time

I've always had a love-hate relationship with shopping for this very reason. And for some inexplicable reason, the more money I have to spend, the harder I find it to actually spend. Does anyone else get this? When I'm skint or trying to save money I can't move for things I want. When I have a bit of 'fun money' for myself I couldn't spend it if you put a gun to my head. Well I could but I already have enough painkillers and I'm good for mascara for the next few months ....

I tend to shop alone for this reason but that makes it worse - I need someone to give me some ideas of what I should be buying and a kick up the bum to make me actually buy it. Fashion is most definitely not my forte. I blame this on a childhood (and early adulthood) spent in jodhpurs, jeans and dirty t shirts - my love of my horses far outweighed any desire to look good and every spare minute I had was spent riding and happily pampering my equine babies and not caring how I looked (or smelled!) My horses may have had the best and most expensive kit but I didn't give a fig what I wore as long as I was warm, dry and comfy

Later on an expensive beauty habit emerged but I never really 'got' fashion. To me, clothes are just something to cover my body with and I own more slouchy jeans, hoodies and trainers than anything smart, although I try to keep a stock 'smart outfit' or two for those occasions when I HAVE to look groomed

Most women complain about the lack of choice when it comes to maternity clothes but I actually found it a blessed relief! Unfortunately I'm still carrying a lot of stubborn baby weight and I've been putting off buying clothes until I got back to my pre-pregnancy weight but now that the weather has warmed up I'm in desperate need of some summer clothes. I'm going to have to swallow my pride and buy some warm-weather clothes in my new, bigger size. Ugh.

So today I'm hitting the internet for some online shopping. I find this easier than 'real' shopping because I get to see the clothes on a person and as part of an outfit, which gives me a bit more of a clue of how to wear them. It also means I get to try them on at my leisure (often a week after they've arrived) rather than going to the faff of getting undressed and re-dressed in a cramped changing room in front of one of those god-awful mirrors. Luckily my sister works in a local boutique so if the situation gets desperate I can always visit her and be styled by someone who actually knows me and isn't afraid to tell me the truth eg 'this would really suit you but you'd never wear it so don't waste your money'

Am I alone in my shopping paralysis? Do you struggle when it comes to buying clothes? Do you have any tips to help me shop better?

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Friday Round Up

cute cafe at windermere - yums - shopping haul
feeding the ducks with forrest - tea time - much-needed coffee delivery
beautiful walk - beautiful dog - a little celebration

instagram - madeupoflittlethings

The first Friday Round Up of May! 

I've spent lot of time in my head the last couple of weeks, debating my return to work. Since I went on maternity leave a new head of department has been recruited, so I have a new boss. I met him last month and he called me a couple of weeks ago to tell me that my request for part time hours has been agreed. I've spent a lot of time thinking about this, whether I can really leave Forrest for three whole days every week, what childcare arrangements we will need to make, how the finances etc will work. I still haven't quite made my mind up how I feel about it all and I'm hoping to get some time with Matt this weekend to talk about it and straighten it out in my head

Speaking of leaving Forrest, I've been practising this lately. He's had a couple of full days with his grandma to give me a bit of a break and although the first time was hard (and I almost dissolved in tears on his return!) my 'day off' this week was much easier, if a bit of a failure. I decided to head to Meadowhall to do some shopping - both Forrest and I desperately need clothes, I had perfumes I needed to sniff and I thought I'd treat my cub to some new toys. Sadly I came away with just two items - not quite the epic shopping trip I'd imagined! I consoled myself with an afternoon nap and an hour in the woods with Jessie, during which my camera battery went flat. Sigh. At least my back benefitted from a break from baby-carrying for the day, so it wasn't a total bust. Next week will be better ...

We went to Windermere earlier this month to mark my Mum's birthday, I love this little tradition and have posted about it before, several times. Sadly it was cold and rained heavily the whole day - it was like mid winter! We still enjoyed ourselves though and managed to make it our usual food-fest. I always get home with indigestion! This trip included lamb casserole, coffee and walnut cake and fish and chips (not all at once ... even I wouldn't do that) We had a lovely day despite the terrible weather

Tonight we consumed an obscene amount of M&S barbecue food (Posh Dogs are my new favourite) and now I'm going to treat myself to a loooong bath with some fancy bath oil and possibly an episode of American Horror Story before crawling to bed for an early night. Forrest has started giving us a 5am wake up call and I need to catch up on some Zs! Tomorrow I'm going to have a lie in with my iPad while Matt gets up and gives Forrest his breakfast - I may even get a cup of tea if I'm lucky!

What do you have planned for tomorrow?

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Round Our Way

Since becoming a mama I've gained a constant companion in Forrest, he's like my right arm. I had imagined popping him in the baby carrier every day to take him out walking with the dogs, so that I could carry on walking in the same places I had always loved - the hills, woods, bridleways and fields  around The Wolds

Sadly, I had reckoned without my near-useless back and pelvis. I've used the baby carrier once and had weeks of physio to repair the damage. These days I leave the baby carrier to Matt and stick to my trusty pushchair when I take Forrest out 

I chose a three wheeler model with inflatable tyres as there aren't many paths around where we live and I expected to be pounding a lot of the bumpy roads and tracks to lose my baby weight. The pushchair is kind of suitable for off road use but pushing it on bumpy, uneven ground is hard work and no good for me so I do tend to stick to the roads. At first I was devastated about missing out on the good walks and thought I'd get bored of walking around the village but I've decided to turn the situation to my advantage and explore some of the other beautiful villages in this area

I took these pictures a month or so ago, during the short spell of beautiful weather - what on earth has happened since then?? I'm pleased I didn't pack my coats and scarves away!

Over the next few months, as the weather (hopefully) improves again, I'm going to make an effort to visit the places I love even though I'll have to stick to the roads and paths

You just came here for the bird pictures? Here you go ...

How cute is he ????

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