Archives for the month of: December, 2015

image

Christmas is done for another year and everyone has gone home, elf has returned and my daughter is now taking full advantage of late to bed and late up.  Six recycling sacks sit in the hallway, I have done the washing up and I’ve moved stuff around the house. Despite my oven blowing up 2 days before Christmas and realising I had 1 teabag left on the morning we pulled it off! The tree, the elf, crackers, turkey, presents, Christmas pudding and party games all get a big tick! My daughter gave me the most loving and thoughtful card I’ve ever had and I’m super pleased with my gorgeous girlfriend one with lots of kisses. The full vision of Christmas was enjoyed as planned.

A friend’s daughter asked for donations of hats and gloves before Christmas so she could hand them out to the homeless in London, inspired by this thoughtful gesture we went yesterday to drop off the food we have also been collecting every week in our food shop to the food bank along with some Christmas goodies we didn’t use for someone else to enjoy. Its just as nice to give as to receive this time of year and is always so gratefully received. Christmas heightens all your feelings, some of those deep personal feelings from present and past have a way of creeping to the surface when we hit post party after Boxing Day. This is because we care and it’s what makes us human, no ones life is perfect but we love it anyway.

I have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it. Salvador Dali, Artist and Writer.

Our cupboards are also far from perfect so the January clear out has started early I have filled 5 black sacks just from my daughters room, the advantage of turning ten is she is now too cool for princess outfits and her toys cars,  Topsy and Tim and the Rainbow Fairies have made the cut too. I feel a bit sad remembering her playing with these but 10 is the new 13 we are now making room for the lava lamp, fur coat, knee high heeled boots and make up, she has now after all these years started to discover brand culture, although thankfully lego is still a brand she loves.

After all the indulges of Christmas I have had a few false starts on the detox and health campaign and tonight is New Year’s Eve! I need to stop living on tree chocolates, left over turkey and biscuit selections! This one will have to wait a day though and be a proper New Year’s resolution along with the rest of the country. Mary Portas showed us last night what we have bought this year and yes I have my ‘Deliciously Ella’ cookbook of healthy recipes and now need to update my wardrobe with trendy athleisurewear, my daughter also wants a spiralizer for our vegetables. This has made me think, here are just a few of my discoveries from this year:

  • Give up trying to get my daughter in to bed by 8.30pm.
  • Loom bands are out.
  • Forget normal TV Amazon prime and Netflix is the way to go.. I highly recommend outlander, hunger games and suits.
  • Say yes more.
  • It’s ok to be nice.
  • Everybody should have someone that makes them feel special.
  • Sit down and relax you will feel better for it.
  • Going out to dinner is not good for the waistline.
  • You can run most of your life from bed on your iPhone and it takes better images than your camera.
  • Less butter less sugar… Apple juice is very bad.
  • Life is about balance, good and bad come in equal measure if one is more than the other something will correct this.
  • A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other…

I lay here at 10am in bed writing with my cat purring on top of me, tomorrow is the start of a New Year and we are in a totally different place now. It’s been a tough one to navigate and I have seen new heights and lows in love, motherhood and friendships this year. There have been a few spanners in the works I didn’t expect but they have confirmed how lucky I am to be loved by those around me which I will always be grateful for this. I get it now love conquers all

Thank you and enjoy your adventures next year… I wish everyone a loving and fabulous 2016 and here is a quote from a guilty pleasure, one of several Christmas films I’ve watched:

You have a brain in your head, and feet in your shoes, so go ahead and seek, whatever direction you chose! Chalet Girl 2011

So from your Writer, Designer, Mother, Daughter, Sister, Gorgeous girlfriend, Best friend, Teenage PA, Cook, Shopper, Cleaner, Decorator, talks too much, should exercise more, must do the washing up and so on again next year… Love always xx

 

 

 

 


IMG_1684

It was almost a year ago that I embarked on a huge rebalancing of my life and finally gave up the fight and accepted part of the reason I was unhappy was being in a marriage without love that wasn’t working and it was time we called it quits. i took myself by surprise at the decisiveness that I took this step and how right it felt to start out again just me and my daughter. As the months went on I decided I wanted to go out and find someone to enjoy what I’d been missing for so long.

So it began, time to make adult conversation and release my inner wit and practise flirting again… Someone to go out to dinner with or see a film, try new things, finally a social life of my own. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy the mum social scene that comes with children but it has its limitations! Fundamentally dating hasn’t really changed from too many years ago when I last took part but now with a few added bits.. An online profile or life cv, mobile numbers, what’s app, smiley faces etc?? After messages with a few people and having a good giggle I realised there is no substitute for meeting in person and finding if the all important attraction is there? So off I went on an actual date!… Or now a coffee date first to see if you want to go on a real date, its surprising though how many people don’t actually drink coffee when you meet.

“Each dating experience provides you with in-the-moment information about your preferences, weaknesses and strengths. If you continue to think and do the same things that you have always thought and experienced, you will remain stuck. Your brain has an extraordinary ability to adapt and grow—if you allow it. For the brain to grow you have to give it new stimulation and new experiences that challenge you on some level. Perhaps there are things that you like or have wanted to try but have been afraid to do so. As long as they reflect your genuine interest, work through the anxiety and put yourself in novel situations where you may meet different kinds of people and experience other aspects of your personality.”

Jill P. Weber, Ph.D.  a clinical psychologist

When I went on one particular date in May this year I wasn’t expecting anything other than more practise. Oh how wrong I was something in his look, I knew within the first hour this time was very different, I wanted to stay here I liked it, a lot and I confess fancied the pants off my new date! I wanted to know more and I wasn’t leaving without a cheeky kiss, and I got it! Albeit a very polite and gentlemanly one, we were keen to hold hands together and smiling a lot, this showed real promise and excitement.

We weren’t wrong, six months on and a lovely surprise bunch of pink roses this week we’re well on our way, it seems we both felt the same on that day. We know so much more about each other now and our feelings have grown into love and care for each other. He has brought me back into a life I want to enjoy every minute of. Trying to remember good places to go, choosing a film for the cinema, thinking of holidays you would like to go on. Discovering each others differences, what flavour crisps you like, what TV you like to watch, what alcohol you drink. With time has come the ability to enjoy being relaxed in each others company, cooking dinner, falling asleep on the sofa, not wearing make up or your best clothes.  Combining two lives, both our families and our ex families too, its no easy task and takes time to create something new and different.

Something’s don’t change though… “It’s your turn, no I did it last night, but I cooked dinner, but I’ve been working all day!” Yes the washing up a test of any relationship! Its funny now how those little niggles start to show, even down to what dishcloth you use, when your older you have your set ways, you bring these to your relationship in equal measure. I find this amusing, which ones you think ok I’ll try your way and others you take no notice of, grin and carry on as always. Christmas is our next milestone, the tree, the dinner, combining even more families into 2 days and getting the presents right, the hardest bit of all.

Miles from where we started the last six months has been exciting, dramatic and also a valuable lesson in how a relationship should be. We are not perfect, I am still working on not receiving comments negatively as I would of done in the past, when I had good reason to and trusting now that I don’t, in the beginning the ghosts of both our pasts still affected our reactions to a situation. Luckily this time round differences resolve themselves easily and quickly and just add to the process of getting to know each other. The main thing I have learn’t this year is to do what makes you happy and be with who makes you happy, don’t settle or do something just because you feel you are expected to, trust your instincts.

A counsellor told me a year ago all good relationships are built on compassion and compromise, you need someone who makes you feel special, which is where I am today! I am looking forward to what the next six months will bring.

Lots of love

Angela

xx

 

 

IMG_1714

Cancer you have tried to hold me back but my Christmas spirit won’t let you. You have taught me what is important, who do I love, who loves me? I still have my ability to love life and those in it. This time of year my Christmas spirit is alive and well…

“Christmas is the day that holds all time together.”  Alexander Smith

Christmas is nearly here and like every year it takes over my life, I will put my heart and soul into it forgetting everything else that’s going on. I have booked the pantomime tickets, the first batch of tree chocolates are on the tree, the Strictly final is a few weeks away and I have ordered my turkey! Discussions have started about what drink and treats will be left Christmas eve for father christmas and his reindeer, definitely mince pies and carrots but the drink is yet to be confirmed, milk or alcohol? The cat will eventually get bored of climbing the Christmas tree, which i will restock with the hidden packet of tree chocolates on Christmas eve! How many turkey dinners out can I chance this year so as not to be fed up with turkey on the day??

Trying to arrange to see friends in December its surprising how little time there is to go out and I already have dates now booked in for January which now seems to be the new December. My daughter has written a very detailed list on the computer for father christmas with every year the presents getting smaller and the cost larger… no more plastic toys in big boxes she has now discovered brand names.

This is a time of year I have never grown out of, Christmas is quality time to spend with your family and loved ones relaxing, watching ‘Elf’ for the 17th time, forgetting to watch the queens speech, eating food at odd times of the day and reconnecting with the sofa. I do love the build up and anticipation, the opportunity to release my inner elf… Although this one will not be sitting on the shelf. Unlike my other elf who has become a huge fan of pinterest and Facebook for inspiring all her naughty antics.

“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is to sing loud for all to hear”           Elf (film) 2003

The Christmas John Lewis ad always serves as a good reminder Christmas is about giving your time, energy, thoughts, love and compassion. A happy picture of kids in Christmas jumpers, Grandad’s asleep in the chair with their cracker hats on, family games and searching the quality streets for the toffee pennies! There is so much emphasis on happy families this time of year that it is easy to forget that it will be hard for some, families come in all shapes and sizes, there are those who will no longer be with us and our thoughts will be with them, those who are here for the first time to spoil and enjoy, those we may disagree with but our love still goes out to them and there are those less fortunate than us who may need our compassion and help.

Every year we go to the children’s nativity service on Christmas eve which reminds us it is a time that is as much about giving as it is receiving and its the time we spend together that we will remember. This year things have changed in our house, the photos will be different, my daughter knows daddy won’t be at her home on Christmas morning she will see him separately this year, I suspect double the amount of presents will go down well but still its a change that is hard to deal with for a 10 year old. Christmas is a time for creating memories, and we can still enjoy our traditions at home together even though the people change, we will still put up our tree, hang our tree chocolates, put out our stocking, leave out our mince pies and carrot and enjoy our day, we may even take a Christmas selfie…

After the turkey sandwiches, turkey curry, turkey and chips we will then clean, de-clutter, exercise more, eat better, forget about our new year’s resolutions and every day life will resume as before, if only we could treat everyday like Christmas.

17 days and counting…

Have a Merry Christmas

Lots of Love

Angela xx

Help! I'm a stay-at-home mum

Be inspired, fulfilled and hold your heads high, stay-at-home mums!

ovaryandout

Great highs, the depths of the lows and why at age 7 do I still have to remind my daughter to say please!

Great highs, the depths of the lows and why at age 7 do I still have to remind my daughter to say please!