It Takes A Village

Recently we celebrated my brothers 21st he had a big party with his nearest and dearest. It was lovely to see our family friends, people that have been there through our whole lives.

I have been reflecting on so many of the nice things people were saying about my brother that night and the kind words they said to me as well. I have taken a step back and when I think of everyone that was there that night and on my 21st, each and every one of them have helped my mum and dad mould my brother & I into the people we are today.

That saying it takes a village to raise a child is so true! My parents have been gifted with some phenomenal life long friends & our wider family is one of the closest I have encountered. All of those people have really helped to shape the people we have become.

I then realised that Matt & I are part of other peoples villages. We could and are shaping youngsters that are around us, impacting their lives, helping build their characters. Completely unknowingly we could be playing a part in what their future will be.

How magical is that!

When I think about raising a child, I look around who Matt & I have in our lives and who will be part of our village. I know that we have some of the most wonderful friends and family that we adore & I am confident our village will be the loudest, happiest, funniest & full of love – I cant wait.

But most of all, I hope our village when we need it, will be just like the one that has helped raise me. Because without every single member of the village that has surrounded me with love, I would not be who I am today.

I dont say it enough, but Thank-you!

Emma xxxx

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New Beginnings

Wow, can you believe its November?! It is the 11th Month of the year and for those of us that wanted to achieve great things this year, time is quickly running away from you!

I am super excited that its November, we are closer to being able to play Christmas music, the weather is getting colder (FINALLY) and its even more acceptable to close the door when you get in and not leave the house again until you have to go to work the next day. However, there are a lot more exciting things happening in November & it has dawned on me recently, that its a month of new beginnings!

For me, I have a new start coming at work, I step into a new role for maternity cover. Its still a management position but will give me a new challenges and the opportunity to learn more about the industry that I work in, whilst one of my lovely friends has her first baby and starts a new life as a family of 3 (or 5 if you include the doggies!).

One of my closest friends is starting a new chapter in her life as a married woman, after a whirlwind romance and finally finding her soulmate she is walking down the aisle mid November to the love of her life. I cannot wait to spend the day with them, celebrate their love and wish them well as they step forward together into married life.

For the first time EVER, I am going to have all my Christmas shopping finished and completed by 30th November. I refuse to go into December with presents still to buy. I want everyone crossed off my list so that I can spend December wrapping, writing cards & making the most out of the Christmas month and not being one of those people rushing round at the last minute.

After feeling like I haven’t seen the past few months, I am going to make sure that I take the time to really slow down and enjoy myself this month & make the most of everything that we have planned. I dont want to look back at the end of year and feel like I wasted half of my year on feeling negative.

So November, lets kick start the last part of the year with nothing but happiness and positivity.

Emma x

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

Tell Me

I have decided to write this, not for attention or because I want people to stroke my ego or anything but I just want to write it out and maybe someone will recognize that they feel the same and it may just help them.

I love meeting up with my friends & family especially if its been a while since we have seen each other its great to be in their company and really makes me feel content. However, I cant help but feel that I have nothing to offer them, perhaps that’s the wrong phrase, but I am not sure how else to word it. Every time you see a friend or a family member they ask how you are (easy to answer) and what you have been up to and that is the one I struggle with. I always feel like they have much more excitement going on in their lives that is worth talking about, or more recently I haven’t had any new news to share I am just living my life in my gorgeous little home with my lovely partner – there is nothing new. Its just making me dread being in social situations and really not wanting to talk about myself at all.

Yes, I suppose the biggest news I have is that my driveway is now finished and thats great and after being in our house for just over 2 years and the biggest job its a great feeling to be finished, but thats it. No-one else finds it exciting, yes they will be pleased for me but its not as exciting as a pregnancy, a baby update, a new puppy, wedding plans etc. yes friendship shouldn’t be about competing but it should be about having something to bring to the table surely?

I find myself sitting there around people avoiding questions about me or changing the topic of conversation on to someone else so the attention isn’t on me and my nothing news. Tell me I am not the only one?

On the odd time that I will have news and updates and things to share I get really excited and then come away deflated because my past behaviours that I have mentioned above has meant that people dont expect me to bring anything so I find that they then don’t bother asking me anything. Its really difficult for me as I am finding as I am growing older and really developing into myself especially since moving out, that I am quite a private person and I dont really like to share a lot. For me, I think it stems from past friendships where I have been burnt, let down, used or just abandoned. I know there are 2 sides to both stories and I figure I am not a perfect friend, but those experiences have left me cautious to really show the real me in case it goes wrong again.

I have realised when writing this that I have some sort of lack of confidence in my friendships, I am sat here wondering why anyone is friends with me and then saying to myself that I am being stupid and of course I have things to offer people. I just need to sort my head space out and realise that no matter how much or how little I have to talk about my real, true friends will want to hear it.

I really need to overcome this feeling of rejection that fear that I am not good enough or worthy of their time. Okay, my news might not be as exciting as theirs but they obviously want my company and care about me, so I need to sort this out. I am seeing a friend this weekend (its currently Monday), I have known her for around 7 years now and researchers say that means your friendship will last a life time, so I am going to be more open and try to let go of my fear.

Tell me I am not the only one who fears rejection by their friends. Tell me I am not the only one who worries they aren’t good enough. Tell me I am not the only one who appreciates their privacy.

Tell me I am not the only one who’s partner is their best friend.

Love

Emma xx

 

Adventure

Last weekend I spend some wonderful time with one of my closest friends and her little boy, just before Christmas they moved to the outskirts of London from Liverpool (and Scotland before that) and I was overjoyed that they are that little bit closer and we can spend more time together.

However, when we were planning my little overnight trip up there Vicky let me know that they were now a Vegan household (with the exception of Ernie on occasions), so it would be a meat free weekend! I wasn’t overly fussed and she was kind enough to buy a pint of normal milk so I didn’t have to drink other alternatives if I didn’t want to. When she first told me I thought ‘oooo that’s weird’, but after learning more about it and her reasons behind it and how much more healthier she feels since doing it, I can understand why people follow that way of eating.

However – is if for me? I am not sure, I know a dairy free diet for PCOS suffers is ideal so perhaps that element I could take up, but not eating meat – I just don’t know that I could make that commitment. We always have meat with every dinner and I am not sure how I could cope with making 2 meals every night as there is no way Matt could give up meat.

We went on an adventure on Saturday to Windsor and spent time exploring the Castle with Ernie which was fabulous! We even got to see where Prince Harry & Meghan are getting married and hosting their reception, which was pretty cool. The castle itself is stunning and Ernie was happy to tell both Vicky and I off for taking photographs when it’s very clear that no photography is allowed.

When we stopped for a bit to eat and a coffee, I was surprised at just how easy it is for Vicky to choose something vegan friendly. We took a little break in EAT and with fruit, nuts and crisps on offer Vicky was able to pick from an abundance of things to chose from including a Soya Latte. However, with me on slimming world it was more difficult my only options was a fruit pot and herbal tea if I wanted to keep my choices free of syns (I didn’t – I went for a Chai Latte & Granola Bar!), so I found myself more restricted than she was.

After a look round the shops we headed home via Tesco to pick up some snacks for when Ernie went to bed. Vicky let me know that we had Pizza for tea with picky bits and chips which I was overjoyed at – but none of it was syn free – however all of it is suitable for Vegans. Now, don’t get me wrong I am not saying everyone should follow the Slimming World plan, however it has made me see that it is really restrictive in certain situations and questioning is it the right thing for me? Don’t get me wrong I don’t want to eat Pizza and Chips every night (ok, I am lying I do), but perhaps I need to look at what I am choosing on Slimming World and reinvent the wheel a little bit.

My focus has been on syns and not on how much free food I can have, which we all know the more we focus on free food then less we need the syns. So although the Vegan diet isn’t necessarily one for me, it has led me to consider my own choices and look at what I am fuelling my body with.

Mine and Vicky’s days of booze and a cheeseboard when Ernie has gone to bed may be reduced now, but we can still spend hours chatting over bubbles and enjoy each other’s company. I am really looking forward to spending more time with her now she is down south for a while until her next adventure takes her away again!

Brunch Club

Hayley, Carla & I had our first brunch club of the year last weekend and it was great to catch up, I shared my plans for my 30th Birthday celebrations, Carla gave us some updates on her new job and wedding plans & Hayley (our budding photographer), shared updates on her recent bookings and her plans for my 30th Birthday gift! It was great to have some girly time and some good food!

Our venue of choice this month was Salt Cafe in Portchester Marina, a lovely little cafe on the waterfront – I had heard about it through friends on dog walks and I can imagine its a beautiful place to stop in the summer and watch the boats go by.

We got there just after 9am, so brunch was more breakfast this time, as Carla had work in the afternoon. We sat down and checked out the menu, I was still struggling a bit with a hangover and needed a cold drink so I chose Orange Juice, as did Carla – Hayley treated herself with an Elderflower Presse and a Latte!

Our minds then turned to food, I chose Welsh Rarebit with a fried egg and vine tomatoes, Hayley picked the overnight oats with peanut butter and maple syrup, whilst Carla had what looked like the best Egg, Sausage & Bacon sandwich I have ever seen. I came away stuffed and the walk back to Carla’s was quite nice after a filling breakfast.

We were there for about 2 hours and there was a constant stream of people in and out, a very bustling little cafe. There was even people sat outside with hot drinks, blankets and their pooches! I didnt get a snap, but just as you walked in the door they had ready filled hot water bottles for you to take outside on colder days – how lovely is that!

So, if your in the Portsmouth area and fancy a little treat in a place where you can sit and watch the world go by, head to the Salt Cafe – you wont go wrong!

Love

Emma x

Parties

Wow, can you believe I went to 2 Christmas parties at the weekend and its not even December! It has kick started the festive season off nicely as I now have at least 1 Christmas event each week in the lead up to the big day and I cannot wait!

With that said, this weekends events all revolved around work. Spending time with old friends and celebrating with the current teams! It was great to let my hair down after a busy year and just enjoy getting dressed up, eating food and drinking plenty!

Anyway I wanted to share some pictures with you from my Friday night. Some of you will know that my boss of almost 9 years left the company in April. She grew to be more than just a boss and I am confident that my fellow work buddies and I have missed having her around daily on more than 5 occasions since she left. A month or so ago, we were struggling with various different things and decided that a girls night at Sue’s was just what we needed. So the date was set and we all ended our Friday at work excited for all the food and drink that would be consumed! It was so nice to be around each other again and just enjoy each others company. I haven’t managed to see Sue as much as I would have liked to since April, but she is still an important part of who I have become.

Thank You Sue for a wonderful night!