Wednesday, 23 July 2014

101 Things in 1001 Days

I love taking part in various projects, whether or not I end up completing them or failing pretty much at the start. The 'Day Zero' project, or '101 things in 1001' days was brought to my attention by my wonderful friend Kara.
After looking into it I remembered making a start on a list like this 8 or 9 years ago and not even completing the list let alone crossing anything off.

I have split my list into certain categories so it's easy to follow and keep up with.
I started my list on July 14th and so far have a couple of the items started or crossed off.




Experience

  1. Go for afternoon tea
  2. Go for a spa day
  3. Go to London with mum
  4. Visit the cinema alone
  5. Eat at a Mexican restaurant
  6. Watch the sunrise
  7. Watch the sunset
  8. Visit Scotland
  9. Have a child-free weekend away
  10. Go on holiday to Somerset
  11. Meet up with/visit 5 blog friends
  12. Watch 10 Tom Hanks films (The Ladykillers)
  13. See an Orang-utan
  14. Do a Segway Experience with mum
  15. Learn how to change a tyre
  16. Visit 5 London Museums
  17. Complete an online course
  18. Visit 5 coffee shops alone
  19. Watch 10 classic films I haven’t watched before
  20. See Blood Brothers on stage
  21. Visit Blickling Hall
  22. Grow Butterflies
  23. Grow Ladybirds
  24. Visit Somerleyton Hall
  25. Watch Banger Racing
  26. Go to a murder mystery event
  27. Make 5 new friends
  28. Hire a bouncy castle for the weekend “just because”
  29. Try Oysters
  30. Take the boys on a road trip
  31. Have our own food festival
  32. Have a coffee and catch up with Sarah
  33. Visit the trout farm
  34. Take the boys to the Panto
  35. See 5 different shows all at different theatres
  36. Go to the cinema with mum
  37. Drive on a motorway
  38. Teach Harry to pedal with stabilisers
  39. Teach Harry to pedal without stabilisers
  40. Teach Charles to pedal without stabilisers.
  41. Go in a hot tub
  42. Have a date night down the beach
  43. Do something special with Dale for our 30th
  44. Do something special for our 10 year wedding anniversary
  45. Do something special for Jonathans 40th.
  46. Read 5 books
  47. Watch 10 films in the dvd drawer that are still in the plastic packaging
  48. Watch 3 Men and a Baby followed by 3 Men and a Little Lady
  49. Learn all the words to Elton John’s ‘Step into Christmas’
  50. Learn the words to Vuelve
  51. Go fruit picking

Purchase

  1. Bike
  2. 40mm lens
  3. New laptop
  4. Cath Kidston dress
  5. 3 statement necklaces
  6. Flowers for myself every month for a year
  7. New curtains for 3 bedrooms and the lounge
  8. Harry’s fingerprint in a charm
  9. Photos for Big Nanny

Creative

  1. Learn how to make Sushi
  2. Learn how to create and edit videos
  3. Make a daisy chain and a flower crown
  4. Photograph a day in my life every week for 7 weeks (1 on a Monday, 1 on a Tuesday etc)
  5. Complete a 1 month self portrait project
  6. Photograph a scene from the same position, on the same date, at the same time, every month for a year. (ie/ on the 10th of each month)
  7. Complete a ‘Where I Stand’ project for a whole month
  8. Make 5 different soups
  9. Create and Complete a photography Scavenger hunt
  10. Take a photo at the same time everyday for a month
  11. Use all the fabric in my current collection
  12. Make a skirt for myself
  13. Paint the rabbit hutch
  14. Get a notebook or scrapbook to document this project
  15. Go on 10 photowalks

Organise

  1. Sort photos on laptop
  2. Sort photos on hard-drive
  3. Print photos of Harry for our photowall
  4. Tidy, organise and add to my Pinterest boards
  5. Write a will
  6. Go for a bra fitting
  7. Sort a seating area in the garden
  8. Sort the top of our wardrobe
  9. Sort Jonathan’s shirts and give some to charity

Blog

  1. Sort sponsored posts
  2. Add tags on posts
  3. Be involved in something BIG
  4. Work with a mental health charity
  5. Start and stick to a blog project for a year
  6. Go to 3 conferences
  7. Complete the “50 Things That Can Free Your Mind” questions
  8. Lose 1 Stone
  9. Perform 5 Random Acts of Kindness
  10. List 101 things that make me happy
  11. Send 5 cards/letters to people who have influenced me or made a difference to my life
  12. Make a list of 25 things I like about myself
  13. Make a list of 15 things I don’t like about myself and make a point of working on what I can change or act on and what I just need to accept
  14. Wear dresses for a month
  15. Complete the 30 day shred
  16. Wear my hair down for a month
  17. Go make up free for a week

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Celebrating Prince George's First Birthday with Frugi

Since becoming part of the Frugi Family earlier this year I have completely fallen in love with the brand. Their designs are fantastic, especially for boys as they tend to stay away from the usual slogan and character styles you see in supermarkets and instead make funky, cool, and pretty items.
The quality is amazing and I think the prices reflect the design and quality.
We are slowly adding to our collection, and since Charles recieved his fantastic outfit to celebrate Frugi's 10th birthday we have purchased the same dinosaur tshirt but for Harry and also the crab print too.

We are big fans of the Royal family *cough our boys names cough* and we celebrated the birth of Prince George last year with a tea party, so this year we didn't want to miss out on any celebrating at all.
When Frugi chose to send us a limited edition 'Prince George and the Dragon' top for Harry, especially made to celebrate Price George's First Birthday, I was over the moon.
The exclusive t-shirts, of which only 60 have been produced, are made from Frugi’s signature super-soft 100% organic cotton interlock, with a beautifully detailed ‘Prince George and the Dragon’ embroidered applique. The tops are sure to be a hit with parents and children alike; as well as being customarily cute they’re also practical with an envelope neck to make it really easy to pop over little heads! The sixty t-shirts will cover ages 0-3 months to 3 years, and Frugi have some very exciting plans for them.

This month Frugi founders Lucy & Kurt Jewson were lucky enough to meet The Queen at Buckingham Palace in recognition of the company’s recent Queen’s Award for Enterprise...which is such fantastic news and very well deserved.
Rumour has it that there is a Limited Edition tshirt in this box to be handed over to Prince George himself.

‘We’re all so excited to win the Queen’s Award and to be visiting the palace that we knew we would have to do something extra special to celebrate’, commented Lucy Jewson, ‘the t-shirt is just gorgeous, and we really hope that the Queen will like it and pass it on to William and Kate.’
photo credit: Poppy Sheen

Although the t-shirts would be prized by collectors, and could retail at a premium price, Frugi have decided to use some for charity auctions and competition winners. Frugi fans should keep a beady eye on their Facebook page and Twitter, as they are sure to be giving one or two away!

There are 10 bloggers in the Frugi Family, visit Karen and family at Would Like to be a Yummy Mummy to see what they have to say about this tshirt.



Monday, 21 July 2014

This is Motherhood. For Your Real Life.

I'm driving along in my car, down a country lane. I pull over at a layby. Stop the car. Undo my seatbelt and get out.
I'm exhausted but I know this needs to happen, I have threatened it enough, I expected changes which didn't happen, simple and easy changes.
I go round to the other side of the car, open the door, unclick the seatbelt and remove Charles from the car. I stand him, safely, next to the car (obviously not the side near the road) and wait. I wait for him to just.stop.crying. To stop moaning. To calm down.

I planned a lovely evening for the boys. We met a friend and her daughter at the zoo, only for a short time as it closed at 5. They played, we talked although not as much as either of us would have liked, and the children put on a pretend show in the area the bird of prey demonstration is usually held.
We notice the time and say it is time to leave.
Charles breaks down. He cries and cries and screams. I ask a member of staff to confirm what time the zoo closes because Charles doesn't believe me. They say in 5 minutes.
He carries on. I show him the sign outside the main entrance and he read it with me "zoo closes at 5pm". He still cried.

We get into the car and he carries on.  My friend is wonderful and tells me that I'm not the only one that goes through this.
It continues and I realise that a few times I have threatened to pull over and take him out of the car until he stops. I realise I need to stop with the empty threats, and at that point I pull over.
I expect to cry but I feel empty. And this is becoming something that happens all too regularly.
I have to keep reminding myself that this is motherhood. It isn't all about the easy life, the fun times, playing, learning, love and cuddles. It's not the image we long for when we fall pregnant or even dream of one day being a parent.
Fun trips to the park followed by ice cream and feeding the ducks.
Picnics and country walks.
Days down at the beach, splashing in the water, building suncastles, eating chips and burying legs in the sand.
The perfect family dinner, where the company was enjoyed to the full, food is enjoyed and a dessert is rewarded.

Motherhood isn't that dream.
Real motherhood is unpredictable. Full of good days and bad days.
Real motherhood is hard. Your emotions are up and down and one minute you are celebrating a good school report and the next you are frustrated and at boiling point because once again simple instruction has been ignored.
One minute you are praising a fantastic sports day and you feel so so proud and the next you are asking your child the same question 5 times because that's how long he tells you the truth.

Both boys are making life hard. And there are days when I want to walk away. When I question whether or not they love or like me...they certainly don't respect me.

I keep blaming myself. I keep blaming them. I make excuses for myself. I make excuses for them.

Maybe sometimes someone is to blame, maybe sometimes the excuses are justified, and maybe sometimes it's just motherhood, nothing else.
Parenting is full of a wide range of "moments". There are those ones which make you wonder why you ever thought you could be a mum. Those moments when you think you are doing everything wrong, and you don't know how to fix it or if it will ever end .
 
And then there are the ones which make you feel like being a mum is made for you and that you can do anything and deal with anything.

I am learning everyday to expect the unexpected, be it in a good way or a bad way.
Not being or feeling able to cope or control situations doesn't make me a bad mother. You can't prepare for every moment, every phase, every difficult situation that you will face.
You won't always react to things the best way, and will quite often look back and realise that you could have handled certain things differently.

Motherhood is all about learning and to learn you have to go through these horrible, hard moments. Moments that make you doubt yourself, moments you think you can't handle. Moments that break you down. And it might take a while to learn, and you may have to go through these things 2, 3, 4 or 10 times until you work out how best to handle it.

To try and resolve those bad moments I always try to have a nice cuddle with the boys at night. Whether or not it's at bedtime or if I see them when they are asleep, or end up waking them up. I hate to go to sleep without being friends or saying I love you.

This is Motherhood.
For your real life.


Sunday, 20 July 2014

Happy Sunday | Week Eighteen

Whether or not you think Sunday is the end of the week, or the beginning of a new one, I thought it would be a nice idea to look back on the week that has just past and to look at the things that have made me happy and made me smile.
I think it can be easy to look back on a hard week and miss out on those things. A week of bad weather for example can really make it seem as though the whole week was a complete fail. But it probably wasn't. We must all smile at least once a day. I know I do, even if I forget it.

Things that made me happy this week:

Different Style

On Sunday we went to a Country Fayre in a town nearish to us. The fayre is held every year at a stately home and I love going. The weather was forecast as rain and storms but it was still hot so I embraced a style I have always envied and went for shorts, a vest and wellies. The shorts are two sizes too big but with a belt were reasonably ok. It actually turned out to be SO hot and I regretted the wellies....and not putting on suncream.

Changes

I hadn't been able to find a before and after photo to show my weight loss and the change in my body shape. So when I tried on this leopard dress to see if it was suitable for our date night I remembered I had posted about it before on Instagram. Seeing the changes made me quite proud...and also surprised me as usually I would look back on photos of me with long hair and want to grow it back, but this made me happy I had it cut short.

Date night

We haven't had a date night in a while and with my husband booked for laser eye surgery on Thursday we wanted to just have a bit of time together to talk about life in general and of course to discuss the surgery too.
We had a wonderful meal and enjoyed a bottle of our favourite Rose Prosecco...which seems to be a tradition for us to purchase when we visit this place.
The view was amazing as we looked over the Norfolk Broads and watched the sun set. We'd finished our meal by 8 o clock so sat in the garden area, by the water (once we managed to find a small spot that didn't have goose poo on it) enjoyed our wine, and a whiskey for him and Baileys for me. It was wonderful.





The Laser <say this in the same style as Dr Evil>

My husband was so so so brave this week and finally took a big step and went for Laser Eye Surgery. We got to shop for some new non-prescription sunglasses for him which was a novelty.
So far things are going great and his eyes seem to be doing well. I'm so proud of him for going through with it, I'm not sure I could!

No33

The day after my husbands eye surgery we had to go to Norwich for him to have a check up. The appointment was at 9 in the morning so we went for some breakfast after. I've always wanted to visit No33 Cafe in Norwich and after finally realising where it is we couldn't walk past and not go in. I had a delicious Salmon Benedict (although it wasn't as good as the one my husband makes) washed down with a big cup of Americano coffee....black with 2 sugars of course.
Hopefully we pop back soon to try some of their cakes which looked amazing!

What made you happy this week?

Linking up to:
The Ordinary Moments: Mummy Daddy Me
My Week That Was: Make, Do and Push
Magic Moments: The Oliver's Madhouse

Saturday, 19 July 2014

She Keeps Leaving

I keep seeing hints of this girl, or woman as I suppose she is now classed as. When I look in the mirror, in photos, and in myself.
That Lauren that I quite like. The one who makes me feel confident, a bit safe, happy and...well....just makes me feel like me.

But she keeps leaving. And I don't know when she will be back. Sometimes just for a day, sometimes for a week or more.
It scares me, and it confuses me. Just as I feel things are getting back on track something happens that ruins it all. The reflection, the girl I recognise and like, is gone. Sometimes I can feel her leaving, and I cling on for as long as I can but then, she's gone.
I've lost her again. And I don't know how to get her back.

I almost beg her not to go. Promise to change and all that jazz but it's too late.
I await her return. I hope and pray that it won't be long because the darkness, emptiness and confusion is all getting too much to cope with.

I feel like a broken record. I *am* a broken record.
And maybe that's why she leaves? Because she doesn't like this me. Maybe she feels that this me is too over-powering. Too much to handle. I understand that. I can feel that. But I try. I try my best to keep her close.
To be her as much as I can.
But sometimes it's so tough and it's beyond my control.

I just want to be her again.
But she keeps leaving.