Friday, 16 January 2015

Tea, Toast & Blog Posts

I was going to do a Friday Round Up today but it seems so long since I did one that there's more than just a week to catch up on. So here I am, cup of tea and toast (granary with butter and marmalade ... mmmm) to hand and a blank page in front of me. It's going to be a long one, you might want to get yourself some tea and toast too ...

 Forrest came home from nursery with Christmas offerings - a proud 'oh my god, we're really parents!' moment

I'm going to be completely honest and admit that December was not a good month for me. I usually love Christmas, as you may know if you've been around these parts for a while, but this year I just wasn't into it. I was feeling really down, really REALLY down and I just couldn't muster any enthusiasm for Christmas whatsoever. We didn't even get our tree until about two weeks into December. I felt like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders, my head was swimming with dark, confusing thoughts and the thought of co-ordinating a family Christmas just made me want to run and hide. 

bed head

I'd really wanted to get back into blogging regularly in December but I simply had nothing positive to write whatsoever. Every time I tried I found myself re-reading the post, realising that I sounded like a woman on the edge and deleting the whole thing. Then, in the few days before Christmas - you know, those super busy days - I came down with a horrible throat and chest infection. I managed to soldier on through the shopping, the decorating, the present wrapping, preparing the house for guests - hell, I even managed to prepare, cook and clear away Christmas dinner (with a lot of help from my gorgeous sister) before surrendering to illness. 

Best Christmas present

Christmas Night bath 

Forrest got ill too and spent a lot of Christmas throwing up (including his Christmas dinner - lovely) and then Matt got a bug too - and we all know that men suffer FAR more than women when they're ill, right?

I found the perfect christmas card for Matt

So Christmas was actually a total washout. We had a house full of food and drink but no appetite. We had big plans for days out and visiting family but we were too ill. Poorly babies don't tend to sleep well so we were up at all hours with the little fella as well as feeling wrung out already due to our own illnesses so our Christmas break consisted mostly of Netflix, cups of tea and a late night dash to the out of hours GP when I found myself unable to breathe and panicked.

I entered January feeling tired, cheated out of a Christmas, ill and extremely fed up with life. I wrote a horribly bitter, bile-laden blog post about those self-shaming people who bang on about 'dry January' or 'clean January' or how much they have/haven't eaten or how far they have/haven't run and how I can't stand hearing women who are a perfectly healthy weight waxing lyrical about giving up sugar or self-flagellating because they ate a bar of chocolate. It wasn't kind and I've deleted it (although MAN it felt good to get it off my chest)

And then, completely out of the blue, I snapped out of it. I just woke up one day and felt better. I made a little list of small things I could do to make myself happy and I started doing them. I wrote down all the things that I didn't do at Christmas and regretted, so that next year I am armed and ready to do better. I took a good look at the house and started making lists of things that need doing and started doing them too. 

I can't explain what happened to flick the switch back but I feel like the old me again and I'm so very grateful for that. December was a bad month but it's over now and things are looking up. Life looks bright again despite the fact that I'm STILL ill - I just can't shake it off - and the weather is fairly grim (is anyone else freezing ALL the time??)

Anyway, the small things I decided to do to make myself happier? Here they are:

We've lived here for over a year now but because the house is still unfinished we have several rooms full of boxes which have yet to be unpacked. We've nowhere to put the stuff once it's unpacked so it's just stayed where it is. I've realised that if we haven't used that stuff in over a year then there's a good chance that we don't need it anymore. So last weekend we went through the boxes and consigned a lot of stuff to charity, eBay or the bin. 

Book an op
I've needed surgery for a while now but I've been putting it off because it's in a um, delicate area (thank you childbirth) and I'm not looking forward to it. But it needs doing and will be a weight off my mind so I went ahead and booked it. Unfortunately it's now been cancelled due to my still being ill so I've rescheduled it for next month. I now have a whole month to get worked up about it again.

Overhaul my makeup
As part of my declutter I sorted through my make up box and passed a bagful of old makeup and brushes to my sister. I've decided that I'm really too old for a lot of the sparkly eyeshadows and lip glosses which have been hanging around in my stash and I need to have a rethink. I almost never wear a full face of makeup anymore - only for evenings out (and they are like hens teeth these days!) so I've pared my collection right back. I've got £154 on my Boots advantage card so I'm going to head to Meadowhall in the next couple of weeks and restock

Make time to pamper
I noticed that I was taking less and less baths because a shower is quicker and time is precious when you don't have much of it. I was also cutting back on other things to save time - exfoliating and moisturising my body, conditioning my hair, painting my nails - and my self esteem had plummeted. So I have started to have at least two gorgeous, oily baths per week and scrub and moisturise/condition my hair once a week at least. Baby steps. My nails still leave a lot to be desired but maybe I'll get round to it this weekend.

Read more
Reading makes me happy but I never seem to find the time these days. So less iPad time and more kindle time is in order.

Blog more
See above. I am brimming with post ideas at the minute!

Learn a new skill
I've found myself yearning to learn something new and I fancy something a bit crafty - quilting is looking top of the list. Or knitting or sewing. I have no idea how to go about it though, usually when I want to learn something I buy a book, read a couple of pages, decide it's too difficult and give up. Time for a new approach, perhaps??

I'm leaving the fairy lights up indefinitely

We've got a lot to look forward to this year. The cottage is sold in principle - a couple moved in last November. They are renting it from us whilst they raise the funds to buy it. We've been assured that the sale will proceed in the next month or so - we've even taken a deposit - but until the money is in the bank we haven't dared to dream! The money from the sale will allow us to finish this house to the standard we want, as well as buying a new car and a much longed for holiday somewhere hot. So fingers crossed. And once the house is finished then perhaps it will be time for baby number two? I've found myself incredibly broody again in the last couple of weeks, basking in my new found happiness and optimism. As you can see, there's a lot hanging on this house sale!

Forrest in his laundry basket. I can't remember the story behind this!

The work on the current house has plodded on, though precious little has been done by us. We lost our motivation a bit towards the end of last year, Matt particularly was loving spending more time with Forrest and really didn't want to spend weekends working on the house as his business was taking a lot out of him and he was tired. But the joiners have been and shelved out our dressing room and we have a beautiful staircase ready to paint and carpet now, we just need to motivate ourselves to pick up our brushes and get on with it a bit. It's hard when you have a toddler to manage too but I'm hoping we can get a bit done when Forrest spends time with his grandparents.

We both have our birthdays next month so hopefully we'll be able to plan something special to mark them. We didn't make much of Christmas so I think we should really make an effort with our birthdays. This weekend we will be looking at new cars and taking Forrest for a spot of lunch and on Sunday Matt will be tackling the fireplace in what was going to be the snug but is now going to be a playroom. Sacrifices eh?

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend 


  1. First things first, always write the bitchy, bile ridden post. Even if it goes nowhere. That stuff is much better on the screen than swimming around inside you! And secondly take up knitting, hunt on YouTube - seriously, it's about the best stress reliever I've ever found.
    I'm so glad this post ended the way it did, I was worried about you up there ^^ for a while!!
    That's a whole lot of crap to contend with any time but especially over Christmas so huge well done for getting through it.
    M x

  2. You're quite right, I felt better having got it out of my system!

    And thanks for the YouTube tip, I can't believe I didn't think of that myself. It looked a bit dark up there ^^ for a while, didn't it?? All is shiny and happy now though. I am READY TO KNIT! xx

  3. I second the YouTube tip - I look up really random stuff like how to clean the really annoying dirt that's in the viewfinder on my DSLR but not on the photos... and how to fix a washing machine!

    So glad you have your sparkle back!

    Sarah x Escape to the Westcountry

  4. Aww I'm so glad there was a happy ending, I totally get what it's like to feel down in the dumps and being poorly in top of that makes everything 100x worse! Christmas 2011,12 & 13 were all cancelled for me for obvious reasons but this year I went to town, totally ott! I'm sure you'll make up for it with a bloody fabulous Christmas this year, and Forrest will be at such an exciting age by then too! :) Ahh I think I'm going to have to have the same operation as you next month, I also keep putting it off! :(
    Pols xx

  5. I'm sorry December was like that for you but glad they are turning around. I love decluttering in January, I think it can really help start the year off in a refreshing way.

    I hope you manage to arrange something really special for your birthdays, it sounds like you definitely deserve it!


  6. Glad to hear you're feeling better :) it's awful feeling crap around Christmas, I felt particularly stressed and down this time round also. I think because it's the festive season there's all this pressure to feel happy and full of life, which can make you feel even worse!

    Totally jealous of you having so much on your Boots card btw - I can't get mine past a tenner without giving in and spending it!! xx

    Under Blue Lights


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