My children are everything and I love the bones of them. I wouldn’t swap them for the world but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss certain things from my pre-mum days. And one of those things is being vain.
I miss looking like this. I miss spending 4 hours getting ready for a night out. Or even just a day out. Or actually, even just going to work. I’ve never been what would be described as conventionally beautiful but I’ve always taken care over my appearance. Despite always having been on the heavier side (ok yeah, I mean fat), I care what I look like and love applying make up.
In my pre-children days I would spend 50 minutes in the shower, exfoliating and conditioning to my heart’s content. No rush, I could stay in that bathroom as long as I liked. Then I’d saunter into my bedroom, put some tunes on and spend hours on my make up, literally hours.
First I always tweezed my eyebrows and examined my pores in a magnifying mirror for about 20 minutes. Then I’d prime my face with a moisturiser, eye cream and pore minimiser. Next I’d apply concealer and 3 different foundations followed by setting powder. I’ve always enhanced my eyebrows (even before it was fashionable. I am a victim of the 90’s over plucking phenomena) so I’d spend at least 15 minutes on them. Then the eyes; at least 5 eye-shadows, liquid eye-liner, khol eye-liner and individual false lashes. Then highlighter and bronzer. I’d sculpt my face and keep on sculpting until I was happy with it. Last was always the lips. For some reason I never spent much time on them, usually just a couple of lip glosses would do.
Then onto my hair. Products galore at my disposal, ghd’s and curling wands at the ready, I’d make sure there wasn’t a hair out of place.
These days I’m lucky if I manage a 10 minute shower in peace. Half the time I rush out of the house with 50% wet hair (the other 50% being dry but frizzy). I slap foundation on whilst feeding the baby and hope for the best. I still insist on sorting my eyebrows out (I really can’t go around with sparse eyebrows can I?) but I’m altogether a much less appealing sight than I was before.
I live in denial. Each day I go out looking a mess I vow that it’s the last day it will happen. ‘I’ll get my act together tomorrow and be glam again’ I tell myself. It doesn’t happen. But it will one day. Probably sometime in 2030.
Do any of you have these amazing thoughts in the middle of the night while you’re up feeding the baby or struggling to get to sleep? I don’t know whether it’s boredom or severe sleep deprivation that causes them but I suffer from them badly. Here’s a few recent ones:
1. I’m going to go back to uni to re-train as a doctor. I’ll specialise in paediatric medicine and it’ll be great. (I’m not and it won’t. I’ve got a weak stomach and the sight of blood makes me queasy.)
2. Tomorrow I’m going to go buy some paint and redecorate the living room. I’ll paint over all the crayon drawings on the walls and it will look super. (Not happening. As well as having a 2 year old and a 3 month old to look after and entertain, I’ll be knackered from being awake half the night with the baby and my deluded thoughts.)
3. I’m going to open an Etsy Store and sell lovely bespoke goods, all hand made by clever old me. (Well nope because I’m not actually crafty in the slightest, despite really wishing I was, and I have nothing to offer Etsy other than hard cash when I’m buying stuff other crafty types have made.)
4. I’ll sign up for the London Marathon and run the whole thing and raise loads of money for charity. (Nice idea and perhaps something to aim for but I should probably at least own a pair of trainers before I set my sights on a marathon. The egg and spoon race would actually be beyond my capabilities right now. No really.)
5. I’ll write a novel. It’ll be semi-autobiographical and hilarious of course. Everyone will want to read about the life and times of Me and I’ll get really famous, probably. I’ll end up having to choose between Graham Norton and Alan Carr because I’ll be so popular I simply won’t have time to appear on both of their shows. (I think the fact I’m blogging about my deluded thoughts is evidence enough that any novel written by me is hardly going to become a best seller.)
Come the morning I explain to my middle-of-the-night self why such decisions are ridiculous and must be reversed, never to be thought of again. So my middle-of-the-night self just keeps coming up with new crazy plans each night.
With Christmas fast approaching it’s always good to at least get the stockings sorted before November’s out. Not that my disorganised self has ever managed this in the past, but it’s something to aim for!I always try to support independent retailers where possible and when it comes to gifts I think something more individual shows that you’ve really thought about a present and not just rushed into John Lewis and grabbed something from the first display you’ve seen. Although my kids wouldn’t know (or care less!) where their present has come from (which is Santa, obviously), I still take pleasure in finding lovely little lesser known gifts they (and let’s face it, I) can enjoy.I’ve put together a list of five fabulous stocking fillers I’ve found from independent makers and stockists that aren’t toys but that kids will still love to receive. Whilst toys will usually make up the bulk of a child’s Christmas list, I find that alternative gifts are very much appreciated too, often because they’re unexpected. Plus they’ll probably outlive some of the toys that are opened this Christmas and discarded by Boxing Day!
The goodies I’ve featured are also cool enough to be stand alone gifts for a niece/nephew/friend to.
So here’s my list of lovely pressies:
1. Crayon Box Crayons
These gorgeous handmade crayons would be the perfect stocking filler for any child. With a wide range to choose from (from dinosaurs to Russian dolls to lego men and more) you can definitely find something that would appeal to your little one. You can also order letters to spell out a name; always popular with kids.
Whether your child is already a fan of drawing and colouring, or you’re trying to encourage an interest, these crayons are bound to go down a treat.
They are also so beautifully packaged; you can tell each set has been made with love.
The increasingly popular Tobias & the Bear never fail to disappoint on both design and quality. These gorgeous leggings are currently available for pre-order but will be delivered in December if ordered now.
Available in sizes 3-6 months to 3-4 years the beauty of giving these as a gift for your child is that, like most items of clothing for your bub, they will also feel like a gift for you!
While the leggings are intended to be a snug fit, there can be some shrinking after the first wash according to the website, so I always size up for my 2 year old.
4. Three Piece Cutlery Set by Omm Design – Available from The Pippa & Ike Show
Cutlery is a great idea for a stocking filler because you’d probably have to buy some anyway, right?! This brightly coloured set designed by Ingela P Arrhenius is perfect for little ones to get stuck into their dinner with in style.
The Pippa & Ike Show is a gorgeous independent online store, selling a varied collection of eye-catchingly wonderful treasures for children. As well as this cutlery set, they also stock Omm Design melamine beakers, bowls and plates in the same design, which will cheer up your kitchen and withstand toddler use!
5. Ice Cream LED Light by A Little Lovely Company – Available from This Modern Life
A night-light is another great stocking filler idea and how cute are these?! Choose from white, blue or pink ice-cream to brighten up your child’s room with a tasty-looking pastel lamp.
These ice-cream lamps would look lovely on a shelf or could be used as a reading light next to your child’s bed. They take 3xAA batteries so you don’t need to worry about having a power socket nearby.
This Modern Life is another great independent online store, stocking only the best decor items in terms of design. But browse at your own risk; you’ll probably find yourself wanting to add almost everything you see to your basket!
My two year old slipped on the stairs last Saturday and was left with a huge carpet burn on his face. I’ve been racked with guilt ever since 😔.
For his age he’s really good at climbing, running and generally storming about being boisterous, so he’s been going up and down the stairs unaided for a while. This was the first mis-hap and because it was on my watch I feel like a massive failure 😭.
Why do our kids have the ability to make us feel so bad? He’s not doing it on purpose; he doesn’t know he’s doing it. But every time I look at his perfect little face with a massive scabby burn down the middle I feel terrible. Obviously if this had happened to a friend’s child and she was blaming herself I’d tell her to stop being so ridiculous. But I can’t tell myself that for some reason, so I’ll just have to carry on feeling guilty until the scabs fall off.
Update: the nose scab has fallen off (and is on the loose somewhere in my mum’s house) just leaving the upper lip scab looking like a Charlie Chaplin ‘tache.
My ever loving mother often tells me she’s sure I have Aspergers Syndrome “like her off the Chase”. Whilst I don’t think I do (I’m very social and not intelligent enough for a start) I can’t deny that I have an obsessive nature.
When I become interested in something new it totally dominates and I HAVE to master it/understand it/beat it/constantly read about it/collect it ALL! And I can’t rest until I do! I usually manage to find an enabler who will indulge me, which is nice. They politely listen to me bang on about the current obsession and sometimes I even manage to drag them in too.
Right now, it’s 5am and instead of snoozing straight after feeding my baby at 4am, I opened up the WordPress App on my phone, downloaded a tutorial on WordPress, watched a couple of videos from said tutorial and then spent ages working out how to add a profile photo and then choosing one. Clearly, none of this could’ve waited until sunrise!
So it seems that my current obsession is WordPress. But don’t worry, usually what happens is the obsession peters out to become a normal healthy interest after a few weeks. Previous obsessions are varied and include crochet, Liverpool FC (more specifically Fernando Torres), face contouring, Emma Bridgewater pottery and prams. There are others that are just too strange to list and frankly, might be cause for concern if you don’t personally know me.
Oh dear, I’ve made myself sound very odd haven’t I? 😐
I’ve wanted to start a blog for ages. I thought it would be a great way to use my brain again, which is something I haven’t really done much of since I stopped working in mid-2013 to have a bubba. I also thought I could share my (bound to be wonderful) ideas here and maybe vent the odd frustration or two (or two million). Then a little while ago one of my besties started blogging and she’s great at it; I got blog envy and that’s what made me actually take the plunge.
But now I’m here and wondering what the deuce to blog about! I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it and be producing witty must-reads soon enough. But until then, bear with…