New year's eve. It's a funny old night. Over the years I have celebrated in many ways. In my mid-teens it was all about getting tanked up on hooch, heading into town in inappropriate clothing and finding the boy you'd fancied all year for a drunken midnight snog. My late teens were characterised by a gloomy lack of interest and a spate of depressing non-celebrations. Things improved in my 20s. There was the new years spent in New Zealand with a midnight game of football, a night playing the Jasper Carrot board game (better than you'd imagine) and 2 new years spent in Amsterdam (one at a house party and one dodging fireworks in the street, both great). After that there was a night of clubbing (underwhelming) which led to the realisation that we'd have a much better time hosting our own party (no crowds, no expensive drinks, no wankers) For the next few years that's what we did - low key but oh so fun.
Happy new year Guatemala!
On our honeymoon we spent a memorable new years in Guatemala, partying with new friends in beautiful surroundings. Last year was my first sensible one for years. Mainly because I was secretly pregnant and there's nothing like 24hr morning sickness to put a dampener on your new year celebrations! We made it out for dinner with sympathetic friends who pretended not to notice my lack of drinking and early bedtime. And now here we are again. Tonight we'll be attending a family friendly party in the early evening before heading home to get E into bed at a reasonable hour. How things have changed. What are you up to?
Elizabeth will be 5 months old tomorrow. This has been quite a month. Those little baby milestones she was on the edge of? Well they happened, all in the space of a week. She can sit unsupported and roll from her tummy to her back. Good. These events coincided with a growth spurt and more teething. Not so good. Let's just say it's been a tiring month. One of the problems is that she rolls onto her tummy and then can't get back. Fine in the day but a pain in the ass at night. We literally have to strap her to the bed (in her swaddle or under a tightly tucked in sheet) to stop her rolling over, getting stuck and crying. Mum friends - how did you cope with this? I don't have a problem with her sleeping on her tummy (that's what we all did afterall) once she can roll all the way over but what to do until then?
Other than endless sleepless nights life is good! Ha. She is a spirited a little thing with a smile for everyone and a shriek of joy for a lucky few. Sitting up means she is engaging with the world and playing more. She's reaching and grabbing at everything. My phone, Matt's beard, my great aunt's jowls. It's all fair game. She has grown bored of her bouncer so she accompanies me most places and either watches what I'm doing or plays. Generally this is all good but it did lead to a minor incident. She fell off our bed head first onto the wooden floor. Apparently something like this happens to every baby but boy was it scary. Luckily no damage was done.
This month she's helped out at two Christmas markets, been to her first party, made some new baby friends, learned to cuddle (so happy about this) and tomorrow will be her first ever Christmas.
I just turned 30. Yay! I say that without a trace of sarcasm. Not that I didn't enjoy my 20s, they were great - turbulent, eventful, fun - everything they should have been. But I'm ready for the next stage of life. My 30-somthing friends tell me this is the best decade yet. You've made your mistakes, you know yourself, you've proved yourself in one way or another. You know what you want. Here are 10 things I want from this decade.
Watch Elizabeth grow up. Be there for all those firsts. It's only been 5 months and there have already been so many. I want to take her on holiday, teach her to swim, to ride a bike. Read her bedtime stories, build her a treehouse, teach her times tables. I know there will be crap bits too and I will be there for them also.
Build a home. I don't mean from scratch, I'm no McCloud. I mean buy a place, do it up, build a home for my family. Enough with rented accommodation. This will be the decade of ownership.
Grow my business. The basics are there but it needs a lot of work. I need to do all the boring bits. Take it seriously. Set some goals.
Blog better. Blog more frequently. Learn how to use my camera. Learn how to use commas. Make this space what I want it to be.
Have another baby. I have a sister. She is awesome. Our shared experience gives us a unique bond. I want that for Elizabeth. And it doubles the chances that someone will look after me when I'm old and incontinent.
Get fit. Find an activity, an outdoor pursuit maybe. I'm the least sporty person I know and I hate competition so it would need to be a solo sport. But I'd like it to be one I could enjoy with other people. Any ideas?
Spend as much time as possible with my friends and family. This one doesn't need explaining.
Superficial but I'd like better skin. I have lines around my eyes and spots on my chin. I'm 30, I can accept the wrinkles but shouldn't teenage skin have ended by now? I'd like to wear less makeup. Sometimes I'd like to wear no makeup at all.
Travel. I travelled a fair bit in my 20s. I even lived abroad but there is still so much to see. New York. Scandinavia. Spain. Morocco. Japan. China. India. Not to mention all the places I'd like to revisit.
Be a better housewife. I know how that sounds but seriously, I am a terrible housewife. I am lazy, don't know how to clean and am a slap-dash cook at best. It's not that I want to be the perfect housewife or I feel I have to be, I just don't want my daughter to live in a messy, disorganised home. Maybe we'll get a cleaner.
That's it. Check back in 10 years to see how I did.
I haven't written a my week/month in photos post since Elizabeth was born. So it's about time I did and December is a good month to start it up again. As always it's been a busy one (work, birthday, wedding anniversary) and we're not at the end of the month yet, but you know, Friday could be the end of the world so why wait? Here are our highlights so far (there might be a few from November too):
Swan / morning cuddles in bed
Visiting auntie ed / panda hand warmers
A birthday present from Elizabeth / Lunch at Allium Brasserie
Happy December! Today I have another shop update. Tiny cats for your ears! They come in black or white, are made from 4mm acrylic and measure approx 10mm x 10mm. Meow.
In other news: I am super busy- making orders, preparing for Christmas
markets and new to this year, changing nappies. I can't help thinking
back to this time last year when I was 8 weeks pregnant, feeling
shocking and struggling through the festive season. So much has changed
since then and I couldn't be happier. Thank you to everyone who has ordered over the past few
weeks. I hope you enjoy wearing your new jewellery as much as I enjoy
making it. Tomorrow is my birthday and I'm taking a break!
I live in the town that has just been voted the number one place in the UK to raise a family and yet there are no baby shops. Not one. Even Brockley, with no supermarket, bank or chemist, had a fancy kids shoe shop! So when I was asked to write a post about home shopping company K&Co I headed straight to the child and baby section of their site. There I found a pleasing number of baby clothes that would suit Elizabeth down to the ground. Here are my favourites.
The rest of the site is pretty good too. They have all manner of clothes and household items with a solid selection of brands (French connection, Cath Kidson, Dr Martins, Nike, Fred Perry to name a few). So if you're stuck in a small town like me or just can't be bothered to leave the sofa (also like me) then this could be for you. This post is sponsored
E's four month update is a bit late. This is because when I should have been writing thison Monday I was recovering from the worst night we've had so far (in a nutshell she cried all night). I didn't want that to over shadow this post as in general we are having a lovely old time. Four months is a great age. She's on the cusp of a few little baby milestones - rolling over, sitting up - and is inquisitive, playful and full of smiles.
Motherhood is becoming what I hoped it would be. The initial shock of birth and responsibility has faded and the fun has begun. My days are spent making her laugh, sharing the details of our life with her, watching the wonder on her face - opening the curtains, walking through doors, going down stairs - all amazing! She is my little buddy and we're having a ball hanging out together.
After her 3 month update I received some kind advice and acting on this we now have a loose routine that involves naps and an early bedtime. We are both happier for it. We still have off days and her sleeping is up and down but it's ok. She's cutting her first teeth and I think that explains a lot. I'm having similar issues with my last wisdom tooth so can totally sympathise! This month she spent her first night away from us, went to her first ever Thanksgiving, visited the animals at the Cotswold wildlife park and made a lot of people smile (ok that happens every month). Way to go Elizabeth.
It's taken an age but I have finally added new items to my shop. Hooray! I'd like to introduce the Pyramid stud. This is the first of four new ear stud designs. The studs are acrylic with silver plated posts and come in a choice of four colours - mirrored gold, mirrored silver, white and black. They are an absolute bargain at £5 a pair and I'm offering free UK postage until Sunday. Perfect for all you Christmas shoppers :)
I got the new camera I have been meaning to buy since we were broken into way back in June. Finally! My justification for this purchase is to photograph my jewellery myself and avoid expensive professional photographer fees. But I reckon a lot of 'practising' is gonna take place on this little lady :-)
It's Elizabeth's first Halloween today and fittingly she is dressed like a pumpkin. Cute eh? I will not be dressing up this year, but will join in festivities by eating a shit load of chocolate and egging my neighbours. Nb I'm not actually going to egg my neighbours.
Today Elizabeth is 3 months old, or 12 weeks depending how you look at it (the wrong way or the right way if you ask Matt).
A LOT has changed since my last baby update. E has gotten so much bigger. People are always shocked when we tell them her age. Even more so when we tell them she is solely breastfed. Breast feeding was one of the things I was initially very worried about, more so than birth (ha, more fool me!), and I count myself very lucky to be having such an overwhelmingly positive experience, I love it. I'm not sure how long we'll continue (kind of missing wine) but I'm hoping we'll make it to 6 months. I'm happy and she's thriving (such a health visitor word!) so why stop.
E is fast becoming a lively, giggly baby. She is happiest when you are smiling and talking to her and her latest skill - standing (supported by a willing volunteer) - elicits shrieks of pure joy. Her motor skills are improving fast. Yesterday she gripped a rattle and brought it to her mouth for a taste. I'm sure this isn't interesting to anyone who doesn't know her but to me it's auh-may-zing. I didn't realise just how fascinating watching your baby develop would be. It's so rewarding to be encouraging and supporting her development.
Sleeping is not so great. Before we moved she had fallen into a bedtime routine all by herself. We'd put her in her moses basket at about 9.30 and by 10 or 10.30 she would have fallen into a deep sleep all by herself with little fuss. Result we thought. Then we moved and it stopped. She would cry furiously when we put her in her basket and only stop when we picked her up. The move has unsettled her we thought. We went back to her newborn routine - feeding her all evening and putting her to bed when we went. Then this stopped working. After reading up on it I think she has developed 'bad sleep associations', so along with a bedtime routine and scheduled daytime naps, we're trying to correct this. It. Is. Hard. Once we've put her down we are up and down stairs constantly trying to settle her. We even tried a bit of sleep training but I'm worried she's too young. Night time is a battle, and with me trying to enforce structured naps daytime is fast becoming one too. I need help. What are your experiences? Is she too young to sleep train? How do you encourage daytime naps? Any advice would be welcome :)
The summer is officially over. Bye bye bleached denim, see ya later dip dyed hair. There's a new season in town. Autumn is my favourite season. I think it's because I'm happiest covered up. I am incredibly pale and hate the faff of fake tan, and now I have a mum tum to boot. So the cold weather suits me just fine. This year I'm all about the easy life so will be updating simple knits with statement jewellery.
Here I've chosen the wildly out of my budget YSL chain necklace. There are loads of cheaper versions out there or you could DIY it. Find tutorials here. I also love this Holly Fulton acrylic and wood cuff. Apparently there's a trend for wearing matching cuffs on each wrist. I'd be happy with one. I would team these with simple pieces like this jumper from The Row and this Zara messenger. Done.
This month we moved house, left the city we called home, and relocated to - wait for it - a town. That's not something I thought I would hear myself saying this soon or, to be frank, ever. My formative years were spent in a town feeling miserable and when I left for the gold paved streets of the city I thought it would be forever. But that was years ago and a lot has changed. Mostly we had a kid but also we'd outgrown the parties and 24hr lifestyle that London afforded. Then Matt got a job offer too good to turn down. The rest, as they say, is history. It's not goodbye forever, we're in the commuter belt to facilitate my return to work next year, but it feels life changing. I'm not sure we've made the right decision and I'm not sure if I'm going to like it, but I will throw myself into town life best I can. I will join mother and baby groups. I will drive a car. I will shop at Waitrose (secretly happy about that). I will hang my washing on an actual washing line in an actual garden. I am suburban woman hear me roar.
This weekend I put some of my maternity clothes on ebay. Only the ones in good condition and not the jeans which I am, sigh, still wearing. If you're preggers I would definitely recommend picking up some second hand maternity clothes. It's worth buying the basics (jeans and jersey) new as you'll get so much use out them (pregnant and postpartum, as I am now discovering) but other stuff just seems a waste of money. Sorting through my maternity clothes made me feel a bit wistful about my pregnancy (I know, I hated every second of it - how quickly you forget) and so I decided to do a little insta-montage of the growing bump. The last picture was taken 3 days before E's birth, it's the only one I have of the full 9 months and as its taken from the front you can't see the full extent of the bump. Trust me, it was huge.
Wowzer. Even with the evidence presented like this it is still surreal to think this adorable little being grew inside my body.
I may have hated it but pregancy is effing amazing.