My mum is a great source of wisdom. When I’m feeling fraught or overwhelmed she has the ability to say exactly the right thing. Recently she reminded me that I’m a perfectionist, often piling pressure on myself to do more and more and more. While this can often be a positive trait (I get shit done) I consider it a big flaw when it comes to my own happiness. I’m the person who finishes a big project and, rather than sitting back and enjoying it, I rush headlong into the next thing. It means my To Do list is never empty and I’m often stressed about the next thing I need to achieve.
With that in mind I thought it might be nice to write a reflective post about some of the things I’ve achieved recently and some of the little things making me happy at the moment. This includes material things, things I’ve done and things I’ve watched. I’ve even done a vlog on the subject too!
Seeing my work in print
It’s easy to get bogged down in work deadlines when you’re time poor (which, working from home with a baby and no childcare I am!) but something that always lifts me is seeing my work in print. Most of the magazine writing I do these days is about interiors and there’s something incredibly satisfying about settling down with a cup of tea to re-read a feature I’ve done in print and to soak up the rest of the magazine. Recently I’ve had pieces in OK! Mum and Baby magazine (a nursery decor feature and home accessories feature) and Essential Kitchen Bedroom and Bathroom.
Continuing with the interiors theme, we’ve been doing some more bits of DIY around the house recently (when are we not?!). This weekend my dad and the NLM laid a beautiful new wood laminate floor in our family/dining room. The carpet had taken a complete battering courtesy of two small girls and was beyond repair. It was soaking up all the light in the room and making it feel dirty and dingy, no matter how many times I scrubbed at the encrusted yoghurt and dried plasticine.
The room isn’t finished yet, but now we have the flooring sorted I have clear ideas of what I need to buy and how I want to upcycle some of the things we already have to turn it into a stylish family space which we can all enjoy.
New baby bits
Last month we were sent a cute, unique baby playmat which also doubles up as a soft toy holder and cushion. It’s called a Peripop Foxey and I like it so much I’ve taken to using it as a little mat or blanket in our front room. One of the girls’ most recent games is “Flying Foxes”, which involves sitting on the fox and pretending to fly around the world in it. Frog is the driver, naturally.
We were also sent a gorgeous romper for Baby Girl from Scarlet Ribbon Merino which features in the video at the top of this post. It’s stunning, made from beautifully soft wool and has a handy zip which means no fiddly poppers. Win!
New mama bag and threads
I make no secret of the fact I’m a sucker for anything Scandinavian, so when Danish brand ByStroom got in touch to see if I’d be interested in their baby change bags and nursing wear it was a no-brainer. I opted for clothes that would usually be impossible to breastfeed in – the Nancy Jumpsuit and the Olga maternity and nursing dress. Both of these items are designed to make discreet, comfortable nursing possible. I also love the soft jersey fabric they’re made from. The jumpsuit particularly has become a wardrobe staple, teamed with a denim shirt and trainers or dressed up with pointy flats and a scarf.
The bag is, unbelievably, a baby change bag. The design of the Bea change bag makes it almost impossible to spot it as a baby bag, but inside it’s full of handy pockets for baby paraphernalia, along with a change mat and longer strap to hang over the handlebars of a buggy. I love the bright burned yellow colour which brightens up a cold wintery day. Yellow gets me every time.
I mentioned in a recent post that I’ve been trying to switch off my computer earlier in the evenings (not always easy when I’m on a deadline!) and make some time for myself to do things that aren’t about work or kids. Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up The Bodies has completely engrossed me. It’s one of those books that lets you slip between its pages, falling into the mind of the lead character (Henry VIII’s right hand man Thomas Cromwell) and sucking you in until you realise it’s way past bedtime.
As ever, Netflix has been an evening companion. The NLM and I are really into new series Narcos at the moment, about the Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar. This has taken up most of our usual Friday and Saturday night viewing together. And last week I finally got around to watching acclaimed documentary Dior & I about Dior’s creative director Raf Simmons and his first haute couture show. It was fascinating, entertaining, funny, emotional – everything I want from a documentary really.
Tell me, what things would be on your November happy list?