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

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!

Goals For 2018

Mid-December I found myself wanting to set myself some goals to achieve in 2018, not resolutions but things that I want to do to better myself, physically and mentally.

Whilst a lot of people will make resolutions, a lot will also not keep them and fail. I have never really set a resolution, not really, perhaps half-heartedly when I was younger and often said I want to lose weight or save more but like many I have never really kept to it.

However I want 2018 to be better, it’s the year I turn 30. I want to enjoy this year and I want to do things for me and to stop this horrible trait I seem to have picked up of putting others first and forgetting about me. I need to heed my own advice and do more things for me and learn to speak up and say that I am not happy or that I have been hurt.

So I have thought long and hard about the things I want to achieve in 2018 and thought I would share these with you and perhaps inspire you!

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Do More Writing. I love writing and always have done, its part of the reason why I blog. It keeps my mind focused and is a source of release for me. I have always been more creative that intellectual, always into music or reading (not so much art!) and I loved deciphering poetry at school as well. Over the past couple of years I have dabbled in story writing, just little chapters here and there when I have ideas, an avid daydreamer it’s a lovely way to bring stories to life. I would love to one day have something published, I am a long way from that, I am not where near being publish ready, but I want to write more, I want to get my stories out there, I want people to read more. So, my commitment to myself this year is to write. That might be blogs or stories but either way it’s about time that I started to do more of what I enjoy.

Read More. This really goes hand in hand with writing, I find the more I read the more inspired I am, it opens up my imagination and I drift off into another world. There is nothing I love more than to immerse myself into a good book, but I don’t give myself enough of a chance to do it. I am constantly checking my phone for social media updates or reading fake news, it doesn’t make my brain work and it doesn’t inspire my imagination. It’s easy and boring. So this year, I want to read more, I want to lose myself in worlds that talented authors have created, so send me your recommendations!

Be More Proactive. Last year I found myself waiting to be contacted by friends to meet up, not wanting to bother them in their busy lives to see if they have time for me. Then I would get upset if I hadn’t seen people for a long time or worse, I often got upset when I got let down at the last minute as I felt it was me that people didn’t want to see. However, I am starting to ignore the negative feelings that my brain keeps coming up with and remind myself that I am enough and if people don’t want to spend time with me then that is their loss. Although I am not an innocent party in this, as I mentioned above I don’t put myself out there as much as I could, so this year I am going to try to be more proactive put myself out there and arrange more things with my friends. Yes, it may mean I need to take some knock backs but with every knock back you just need to build yourself up stronger. So friends – be aware, I am coming for you!

Stay Healthy. I did a lot of work on myself in 2017 to kick start being healthier, I went back on Metformin to help with my PCOS and I started Slimming World to keep track of my weight. I am really pleased to say that I started 2018 lighter than my first weigh in back in June. I have lost weight, not enough that you would notice, but there has been a decent amount lost. However, my aim is not to lose weight, its to be healthy. So this year, I am going to try to be more active, I am not joining a gym or committing to exercising. However I might take a lunchtime stroll a few times a week, wear my fit bit more so I am aware of activity levels, keep going to slimming world, and drink more water. Those are all the bog standard things you can do, however I want to take care of my mental health too. I am not someone, to my knowledge, who suffers with depression however I have had panic attacks in the past. I just want to make sure that I am happy in my life and to do that sometimes you have to check out mentally. So I am going to take breaks from social media throughout the year, I am going to stop taking my phone to bed and buy an alarm clock, write thank you cards and finally recognize things that I am grateful for.

What are your goals for 2018?

Love

Emma xxx

Friendships

A couple of months ago, for those of you that follow my story will know that I attended my 3rd Liberty Shoot (you can read about it here) and loved every second of it.

I didn’t know anyone, so was forced to make conversation with other women and naturally provide support and encouragement, its just what happens on a shoot, you realise that as women we are there to help, guide and nurture each other not tear each other down.

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Anyway, all of the ladies that I met that day were battling their own demons and I can honestly say they all inspired me in their own way. However, I never expected to see or talk to them again, unless it was another shoot.

I posted my pics in our group and spoke about how much I loved them and what I got from the experience on the beach. I was really shocked to then see a friend request come through on Facebook from Charlotte, one of the ladies I had met that day. We exchanged messages for a while, before we decided we were going to meet up, dates changed due to other things going on but we eventually met up earlier in the week.

I was incredibly nervous the whole day, when you meet someone new and form a friendship as an adult its usually through mutual friends or you become friends through work or children etc. its not often that you meet someone randomly and then arrange to meet for a drink.

On the way I was giving myself a bit of a prep talk, not to be boring, remember to ask questions, not talk about myself too much and listen. Be an active listener.

I really didn’t need to worry, we got on really well, chatted for hours and it was just really natural. It didn’t feel forced and I had a really nice evening and came away feeling like I had made a new friend.

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We all go through seasons of our life where friendships change and it can be really easy to feel like you are alone and have no-one around you. However, I promise that if you just take a step back and look around, there will be people around you that are reaching out to you but you just cant see it because your chasing after a friend that isn’t being there for you.

I am not the most outgoing person and I definitely dont like to be the centre of attention and would prefer to be the care giver, the person that people come to with their problems rather than burden them with mine.

BUT I have learnt more recently that, those behaviours aren’t healthy and that isn’t allowing me to get fulfillment from my friendships. I need people to be there for me too, but I dont allow that. So I am actively trying to change that and whilst it may be difficult for me to open up, I know that it will be ok and I will feel happier.

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I guess what I am trying to say is, yes its weird making new friends as adults, but people come into our lives for a reason. I am not sure what the reason is that Charlotte & I have crossed paths and often you never find out, but I am looking forward to a new friendship and all the fun times that brings!

Emma xxx

Lavender Brunch

It was Brunch Club today with Hayley and Carla! This time was Hayley’s choice of Long Barn just off the A31. Long Barn grows Lavender as well as selling a vast range of products as well, if you were to ask me to describe the venue its almost a garden centre, cross cafe, cross unique shop – it really is something I have never really experienced before.

 

As I pulled into the car park, straight away I was taken aback by how modern but yet, held a country shop vibe it just looked really welcoming! My tummy was rumbling, so I requested we eat first then explore the shop and grounds! We found a seat in the barn and it was just gorgeous, all the seats were like recycled, antique looking metal garden chairs with big chunky wood tables. There was a lot of greenery and just felt really natural and organic.

 

We took a look at the menu, but after walking past the abundance of cake (I didn’t get a snap of that!), I knew it was going to be a case of cake for brunch for me! Luckily I wasn’t on my own and both Hayley and Carla joined me! So what did we have?

Carla had a lovely hot chocolate with loads of mini marshmallows, accompanied by a bakewell slice. Hayley tucked into a coffee with a generous slice of passion fruit & banana gluten free cake. For me, it was a mocha with a chewy pecan slice HEAVEN! We all tucked in a enjoyed our cake breakfast, there was plenty more on offer – but can resist a cake?! We, as always talked for ages about everything from the list of brunch idea’s Hayley has, to Christmas gifts, to Carla’s wedding plans. Its always lovely to spend some time catching up with these ladies!

 

Once we have chewed each others ears off, we took off to explore and found some really cool things! Take a look at some of the snaps I took!

 

So! If your stuck for something to do of a weekend and want somewhere new to explore, head over to Long Barn. They are really welcoming the cake is INSANELY good and the grounds are lovely – I would love to see it when the Lavender is in full bloom!

 

Love

Emma xxx