Humble

I am not sure when it started, but if you have been reading this blog for a while you will know I don’t hold my head high when it comes to friendships and I often wonder if I am good enough or think that people wont be interested in in spending time with me. For the LONGEST time I was unsure of what I was going to do for my recent birthday celebrations, I knew I wanted to do something with mine & Matt’s parents but apart from that I wasn’t sure. However, I bit the bullet and arranged a girls day out in Brighton making sure that the train tickets I booked wouldn’t be void if people dropped out at the last minute. Then, I am not sure what came over me I decided I would have some friends over the day after my birthday for a few drinks and nibbles, I invited quite a few of our close friends and family members but I was sure as hell that not everyone would be able to come along.

Stood in my kitchen Friday night in the middle of celebrations, Matt turned to me and said ‘Em, we have gone from thinking we would have too many chairs to not enough, look how many people are here for you.’ I was so truly shocked and humbled that the majority of people turned up for me, I couldn’t believe it. Then when Sunday rolled around and almost all of my girls were there with me, I had the best chilled out day filled with laughter I took a step back and couldn’t believe how lucky I am.

You all know that I don’t go on Facebook a lot, but I logged in on my birthday knowing that some people will have put a comment on wishing me happy birthday & I wanted to thank them. However when I logged in to see so many comments and kind words I was bowled over by people’s kindness that they were showing to little me – don’t even get me started about the amount of people that sent me gifts!

I have known all along that I have some of the best friends that you could ever ask for, but do know what this birthday really showed me? That there are so many other people who care other than those people right under your nose & that if you let them in you really will have a life that is filled with love, laughter & happiness.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me to celebrate my 30th birthday, I am so humbled by everyone’s generosity, love, kindness & time you have given up to join me!

Sending you all an abundance of love and kisses

xxx

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Reality

Since August 2015 I have attended therapy once a year, not your conventional therapy and its not for everyone. Most of you who know me will know what I am referring to, but for those of you that don’t its a few hours out my schedule with Dimples & Daisies on a Liberty shoot. I wont go into what they are all about, for those of you that have been reading this blog for a long time will have read all about it before & if you scroll up you will see a page dedicated to my posts about my experiences with the team.

As with every shoot, this one was booked spontaneously, I had itchy feet and felt I needed my cup refilling but I wanted this one to be something different, nearing 30 I wanted something to look back on when I am 60 and see just how beautiful I am, naturally.

For those of you that have been reading recently you will know that I am not regularly waxing the beard & that it just gets a trim when I feel its getting ridiculous. So I made the decision that this time I wasn’t going to wax it, booking the shoot just 2 weeks before I knew I didn’t have the money to go to a salon AND I have decided I will never self wax again. Did I have my doubts? Yes, of course even the day before I was thinking is it too late – should I just wax it myself? But in reality, I didn’t want the pain and I thought would I rather have a rash or the hair – weirdly that is a battle the hair won. Getting ready on the day was no different to getting ready for afternoon tea the weekend before, I did my hair and base make up & headed off to the shop.

The shoot was everything it always is, did I get naked? Of course – it wouldn’t be a shoot without it. But do you know what did happen, it wasn’t until I was stood completely starkers in a field full of corn with my arms in the air that I remembered I hadn’t waxed and that I was there feeling as free as a bird & so comfortable in my own skin with excess hair on my face, chest & stomach – partially waxed legs and well I wont talk about anything else. I remember the realization and taking a deep breath, I had shocked myself about how at ease I felt and how easy it was for me to forget that it was there.

The week wait to get my photos went by in a blur, work has been really busy so I didn’t really have time to reflect and think about the shots. However, I did say to at least one of my closest  friends that I probably wouldn’t come away with any photo’s and I would just have the free one this time as I can’t imagine I would like any of them.

I didn’t realise how wrong I could be.

On the way to the shop, I wasn’t bothered about the photo’s it was almost like I was just going through the motions, sat on the sofa with Holly surrounded by women getting ready for their Tribal shoot that evening, I started the mammoth scroll through 40 odd photos. I was maybe 10 photo’s in before I realised & remembered that I hadn’t waxed.

I hadn’t noticed & if I did my brain either didn’t register it or didn’t care.

I could have scrutinized every single photo after that, but I didn’t, I just fell deeper in love with every single one as they all represented the real me. The one that my friends and family see every day & love even with what I feel is something so unsightly. Did I have a little cry? Yes I did & Holly joined in, she then shared my story and why I do Liberty with the girls and they all wanted to see the pictures and of course said how amazing they were.

For the longest time I have felt ugly and I have let the symptoms of my PCOS define who I believe I am, but as I turn 30 in a matter of days, I am feeling more & more comfortable with myself and how I look. I am seeing for the first time what everyone else see’s, yes there will still be people that will judge based on appearance and not like what they see, but do you know what for the first time in around 15 years I am finally able to look at myself with an honest eye and say that no matter what I am proud of who I am.

So, in honor of my impending 30th Birthday, here is the real me…..just not in my birthday suite!

Corn II

I did something a little naughty the other week that if you follow my Instagram story you will have figured out, I spontaneously booked myself for another Liberty shoot with less than 2 weeks to go!

I have been feeling like I need a little pick me up for a while and I knew that some time with the Dimples & Daisies team would do the trick. I wasn’t really sure what to book myself on to or if I even wanted to do another shoot, but trawling through Instagram one caught my eye and I thought sod it, I have enough in the bank and I need this for me. Earlier that day walking round the town centre I decided I was spending too much money on food and that I dont treat myself to something nice very often, so with that in my mind I just booked myself on there and then.

So, the other Sunday afternoon I headed to the Dimples & Daisies studio in Southsea to be glammed up and head over to the Sunflower field with the rest of the girls on the shoot. We were all made up and deciding what clothes to wear when Holly got a call from another photographer to say that the sunflower field was ruined & they were all dead, the pictures were so upsetting! But fear not, they managed to source another option and we headed to Lordington Farm to have some fun in the corn!

Its not my first shoot in the corn, but that was back August 2015 and the photography style has changed so much since then and I am a completely different person now to what I was then.

FLASHBACK

Now before every shoot I would normally wax the beard and get rid of any excess hair that my body seems to love to grow, but I wanted this one to be a little different, I wanted it to be authentic. I wanted to look back on these photo’s in years to come and see the real me, the one that everyone else see’s. Believe me, there is no way to feel more real, authentic and true to yourself than being stood naked in a field of corn!

But do you know what is even stranger? Stood there having my photo’s taken, I was embracing everything the surroundings & the sun beating down on me & blissful peace on the farm. It wasn’t until about 5 minutes in that I realised that I hadn’t waxed & I didn’t feel insecure about my body or appearance at all I felt totally at ease with who I was. Sat writing this, I am in 2 minds about my photos, part of me cant wait to see the pictures, firstly how different they are but also to just see my appearance. However the other part of me is so incredibly anxious, what if I hate the way I look in them, what if it gives me any more issues with my body image and confidence? What if I go back 10 steps?

WHAT IF! 

I mean I don’t have long to wait, I pick up my photos in just over a week’s time, so stay tuned to see how things go!

Emma x

The OG

As most people who have followed this blog since it began a few years ago will know that this started with a Bucket List of 30 things to do before I turned 30. Well, I am turning 30 next month, actually in little over a months time and I got to thinking how much of the list I actually achieved….

1. Go To Vegas – Stayed for a week in April 2015
2. See The Sunrise At The Beach – Saw the sunrise from our hotel room over looking the beach in Mexico Jan 2016
3. Go To A Horse Race – Done On My 25th Birthday, August 2013 then again to the Grand National in 2014 AND then Glorious Goodwood August 2017!
4. Buy My Own Home – Unexpectedly and amazingly achieved this with Matt in December 2016!
5. Go On A Safari Visit A Fortune Teller
6. Buy A Designer Pair Of Sunglasses – Brought Bvlgari pair in 2013
7. Buy A Louis Vuitton Bag
8. Learn Pilates Or Yoga – A couple of classes attended throughout the years, but it never stuck!
9. Go To A Rodeo – Done In Ohio 2014
10. Reach Size 12 and Stay There
11. Fly First Class – We flew Premium with Thomas Cook to Mexico in 2016, which is their highest class, I guess that counts?
12. Grow A Sunflower – I managed to grow 3 in the summer of 2013 & want to plant more in my own garden.
13. Go On A Road Trip – With my parents and godparents we travelled from Indiana To Ohio in 2014
14. Go A Week Without Using Technology – Accomplished in January 2014
15. Run The Race For Life
16. Buy Something At An Auction
17. Visit Boston & Go Whale Watching
18. Be In The Audience Of A TV Show Go To The Mall Of America
19. Have Afternoon Tea At The Ritz – I did much more than that at the Ritz in January 2014
20. Experience Christmas In New York Have A Make Over At A Makeup Counter & Buy The Right Make Up For Me. – Had a full MAC makeover in March 2015, which reminds me I need more foundation!
21. Take My Godchildren Out For The Day By MyselfCelebrate My 30th Birthday In Style – I have some lovely things planned for my birthday including dinner at my favourite restaurant, a party with friends & a day in Brighton with my nearest and dearest.
22. Stay Up All Night Watching Movies
23. Go For A Girly Spa Break – Hayley & I treated ourselves in December 2014 & I had another spa trip for Trina’s hen in 2015!
24. Take A Photo Every Day For A Year
25. Attend A Fashion Show – Steph & I went to London Fashion Week in February 2014 & attended 2 catwalks!
26. Donate Blood –  Oh, I did this 3 times in 2013/2014 and fainted – not for me!
27. Milk A Cow – Loads of you came to watch me do this in March 2014
28. Make My Own Christmas Cards – I got my craft on for Christmas 2014
29. Book A Last Minute Holiday
30. Do A Photo Shoot With My Mum – We got in front of the camera July 2014

Wow a few that I haven’t managed and probably wont now with only a few weeks to go, but there is so much on this list that I have achieved and am proud of. Now, those of you that truly know me, will know that I am organised and have been known to be a planned and a list lover. So now my mind goes to what is next, in 10 years time, I will be sat here almost 40 – I wonder what my life will be like. Will we be married, have kids, own a dog, brought a holiday home? Oh goodness, so much could happen in the next 10 years and I really cannot wait to see what life throws at us and what adventures we go on! So, whilst I dont want to plan the next 10 years of my life or events that may occur, lets look at setting some GOALS that I want to achieve by the time I am 40 – ergh 40, it feels like a life time away!

This is hard, when I set the 30 things to do before I turned 30, I was already 5 years towards my 30th birthday…..this one is over 10 years away. However, with a skydive booked for just under a months time I am feeling a bit more fearless lately so maybe I need to do some more things outside of my comfort zone…..but for now, here are a couple of ideas.

  • Learn how to dive

When we were in Cuba recently, we spent quite a bit of time snorkeling & I really fell in love with the underwater world when we were in Mexico. Snorkeling is great fun and you get to see some wonderful sights, but I would like to go a bit deeper and see what the ocean really has to offer, so for me learning to dive would add something new to every adventure we go on.

  • Do more things for me

This is a weird one, I dont often treat myself when payday comes around, for the past 6 months I have been saying that I want to book myself in for a hot stone massage or a pedicure at one of those foot spa places. Instead I often end up spending my wages on eating out or the odd coffee here and there, don’t get me wrong I am a massive foodie so that would make sense, but by doing that I am not giving myself time to just wind down and really am not looking after me.

  • Go to Texas

This has been on my travel list for the longest of times and I am confident that by the time I am 40 I will have been. I would love to do a little road trip round the big cities, or just spend time in San Antonio on the river walk. I just need to be there and experience it for myself!

  • See Orca’s in the wild

Whale watching has been on the list for a long time too, initially I was happy to see any whales but actually I was settling and no-one should ever settle. Ever since I saw Free Willy when I was a young girl I have had a place in my heart for Orca’s & will often spend an hour on YouTube watching Orca encounters in the wild, so the plan is to head out to the west coast of America or Canada and get out on a whale watching trip or 2 or 3 and spot me some Orca’s!

  • Tour Buckingham Palace

Recently I have had a interest in Queen Victoria, it started after a trip to Windsor Castle. Some of you may be aware that she was the first royal to live in Buckingham Palace, so I would like to go there and be nosy and take a look round the state rooms, see where she lived and where our current monarch lives. I am intrigued by the royal family, I like learning about Queen Victoria and watching the way the current royal family is evolving, so a trip to Buck House is in order

  • See the Rockefeller Christmas Tree

The movie industry has a lot to blame for the fascination of New York at Christmas, I have seen NYC in the winter, we visited during a bitterly cold, snowy January and it was everything I had hope for. However, I didn’t see the tree & as a massive Christmas fiend that is the ultimate Christmas tree. In the past few years I have toyed with getting the first flight to NYC and the last flight home just to spend a few hours in the city seeing the tree and picking up some gifts, but can I really justify the expense?

Well, now you have an idea of some of the goals I want to achieve over the next 10 years, there will be a lot more I am sure, but I am really trying hard not to plan every second of my life and just see how things go!

What would would be on your list of things to achieve? Comment below!

Love

Emma xxx

Confidence

You have probably noticed my silence over the past few weeks, its not because I have had writers block or I have forgotten about my blog. We have been on our first proper holiday since buying the house, we have been in Cuba!

This post isn’t directly about Cuba though, although I am sure I will write one of those soon. Whilst we were sat at the snack bar on our last full day, I was just in my bikini and a tank top, which sat on my hips I realized that for the past 2 weeks at no point have I cared what I looked like. I haven’t thought about how I look in my bikini, I haven’t given any thought as to how my hair looks when I take my hat off, also I have spent most evenings with just a sweep of mascara on my face and nothing else.

Looking around the pool and the beach everyone, myself included, looks confident in their bodies. No one gives the allusion that they care what they look like, its like you step off that plane and all your insecurities are banished.

I mentioned this to Matt and he said to me that it was great that I had felt that way, but if i can feel like that here why cant i feel like that at home? I have been wondering the same….

Well we have been back in the UK now for about a week & there is no way I could be as free here as I was on holiday. I am not sure if you feel the same, but there seems to be a constant need her to look a certain way. I stupidly read a lot of crappy celebrity news articles and do you know what I realized the other day, 99.9% of them are about someones weight, image, clothing etc. so no wonder us normal folk  are so self conscious! Our news, social media feeds, TV & magazines are littered with how celebs look and how we should look.

I don’t buy magazines any more, but stupidly I did in the airport waiting to board to go on holiday. What a stupid decision that was – I should have spend the £5 on magazines on a book! It was littered with articles about celebs and how they look on holiday, a celebrity that lost 10lbs in 2 weeks to get back to pre-pregnancy weight, then in the next breath they are telling you how empowered we should be about our natural bodies and we should need to lose weight, wear make up etc. how confusing is that! No wonder we are awash with insecurities and judgement for others as well as ourselves.

I cant help but question why we don’t just accept ourselves for who we are and not judge ourselves and each other!

Benefits

I recently was awarded my 1 stone award at slimming world, its been a long time coming and I am so pleased to have achieved this before going on our holidays & I am hoping to have my 1.5st award too – but that may be a little too adventurous!

I have been back on this slimming world journey since 1st June 2017, at first I kept quiet wanting to not draw attention, but as time went on I became more open. Its almost taken me a year to get my stone off, but thats because I have still been living a normal life and understood that i cant be on plan all the time and with that will come some gains.

But, I cant help but already see and feel some of the benefits to having 14lb off my body & I wanted to share these with you.

  • My clothes fit better, they arent tight & uncomfortable. I can fit into dresses i havent been able to wear for 2 years, I feel confident to try different styles & although I still see areas I can improve being able to take your jeans off without undoing them is pretty awesome!
  • My excess hair is lighter. My constant battle, is slowly becoming managable I am not sure if its weightloss, metformin or them combined, but the hair is growing back lighter and thinner however I cant comment on the speed as I havent waxed since xmas!
  • I am learning to like myself again. I am starting to like my body and what it does for me if I look after it properly. I dont mind that my legs are thicker than some or that I may have bigger hips. I feel pretty ok about who I am and although I have a way to go to balance my hormones for my PCOS, I can feel that i am starting to accept who I am.
  • My relationship with food is better, I am more inclined to go for healthier options than crisps or chocolate. Dont get me wrong I still have my moments, but I can say no alot more easily now than I used to.

Overall, these 14lbs have been hard to lose probably the hardest its ever taken me & I will admit I am nervous about 2 weeks in cuba and rectifying the gain when I get back. But I know that if I can remember my end goal of getting my body working again and not having to worry about my beard then I am sure I will find that will power again.

For everyone else on a similar journey, dont give up even when the road seems long and never ending. You will get there and the feeling you get when you hit that milestone feels so much more rewarding than the 5 minute satisfaction of that chocolate bar or packet of crisps.

You wont feel guilty for your weightloss, but you will after that takeaway.

Love

Emma xx