Why I blog

I’d be lying if I said I was a prolific blogger; I used to be, but life changed and so did my priorities. That said, I love having a platform where I can express myself in the way that I feel most comfortable. With words.

I started this blog because I missed writing, I missed cooking and I missed being able to put my work ‘out there’, whatever it might be. So, I wanted to incentivise myself to get out there and do it! However, I find myself writing more about how I feel than my favourite banana bread recipe, but that’s okay and that’s why blogging is so bloody brilliant.

My blog allows me to have a voice. In (my) world where I feel unheard or misunderstood, here I can have my say. It might stay unread (or in some cases, unpublished) but my thoughts are there in text and out of my head, as ‘therapy’ for myself or simply to document moments in my life.

I suppose this brings me to my blogging goals, really. Which makes me laugh because it sounds quite pretentious (coming from me anyway).

I suppose I’m fulfilling my ultimate goal just by writing. It’s doing just what I wanted it to do…it’s given me a platform to share my thoughts and my favourite things. However, I’d love to be able to help others in some way. Maybe writing for charities or raising awareness for important issues that I feel passionate about.

I’d also like to start working hard on recipe development and really improve my photography. In an ideal world, I would love to work from home, run my own business and actually earn from my skills, doing something I love. There’s no such thing as an ideal world but it doesn’t mean we can’t try to get as close to it as possible.

Only I can make my dreams a reality so I am going to work bloody hard to do just that!

Are you a blogger? Why do you blog?

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How I unwind

I feel like a bit of a fraud writing this as I don’t allow myself ‘me time’ anywhere near often enough, but after chatting to my hubby recently where he pointed out that I don’t prioritise myself in my day to day schedule, and I absolutely should for my own well-being.

How right he is and so I decided that it was time to make time for myself. Even if it’s 10 minutes here and there. It’s just so tempting to try and cram everything I need to get done into the few child-free hours I have on a school day.

I came to realise that actually, I should be scheduling my ‘me time’ into those child-free hours instead of trying claw extra time at the end of the day when all I want to do is sleep but can’t.

So here are some things that I do that helps me to unwind or try and forget about the day’s stresses.

Music

I have music on in the background most of the time as I feel better with background noise (plus I can’t hear noise from outside, which believe me, is a blessing) I wrote a post about music as therapy, previously.

Hot bath

Yes, boring but it’s unusual for me to have a looooong soak without someone hammering on the door needing to poop or needing mummy to catch the spider/ check for monsters/ break up world war three that started over who wanted which quilt. Bath oils/ Lush products and candles preferred but not essential; silence is usually sufficient! 😉

Go for a walk or run

Plantar fasciitis allowing, I love running. Although I’m usually limited to a treadmill these days, it sure just helps to burn off excess energy/negativity.

I love going for long walks whatever the weather. Autumn is my absolute favourite time to be. Outdoors. The crisp leaves, the birds, atmosphere and a perfect temperature; chilly but not cold. The kids love being outdoors too, so everyone’s a winner.

Laptop Time

I have not been very well recently, so I can’t lay all the blame on having a family or piss-poor planning, HOWEVER, I worked out that up until approximately 10 days ago, I hadn’t used the laptop/PC in over 4 months!! 4 months!!! How ridiculous is that?! What on Earth was I thinking? It’s not even like my house suddenly became a pristine show home so what the f*ck was I doing with my life? Oh yeah… existing 🙁 I use my phone. Everyday. It’s like it’s been surgically attached to my hand but it’s not quite the same as curling up all cosy with the laptop and a never-ending supply of hot drinks.

Bullet Journaling

I am completely freaking rubbish at this but I love it! I’ve always wanted to be an illustrator and I’ve been a doodler since I could hold a pencil so ‘permission’ to fanny about with fine liners and markers in the name of ‘organisation’ gets my vote! 😉 Joking aside though, the art of bullet journaling is pure genius so if you want to get all your stuff in one place whilst becoming super organised, productive and creative, then give it a go.

Blogging

Sometimes and then not really at times because myself and blogging have a love/hate relationship depending on my current state of mind. But when I’m in a mood like I am tonight, I could write for hours and hours (and I have done just that tonight). Other times I can’t bring myself to even log in, but I’ve learned that that’s absolutely okay.

Watch a movie 

Again it depends on my mood but I love watching movies of all genres. I’m a huge horror fan but I equally enjoy comedies, love stories, action movies, sci-fi, family films…. you name it.

Catching up with TV

I am a soap junkie; my guilty pleasure. I have an eclectic taste in most things and TV is no exception. I love period dramas like Victoria, Real life/reality shows, comedy shows and I am a big fan of The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, Lucifer, House – to name a few.

I also love to watch hospital shows, real life or not… I just love them. I didn’t care that One Born might scare the shit out of me when I was 8 months pregnant, I just had to watch. I also like parenting/lifestyle shows like Supernanny, the 3 day Nanny, obsessive-compulsive cleaners – probably because I’m so bloody nosy!

If anyone has recommendations for new things to watch please let me know!

YouTube

Similarly to TV, I subscribe to hundreds of channels covering all sorts. Beauty, parenting, food, tech, people who make me smile, weep or laugh….you name it. I’ll write a post on my favourite YouTubers as there are soooo many that I love to watch.

Snuggle up with my hubby and or children

I have come to realise that there is absolutely no shame in bundling into the ‘big bed’ in the middle of the afternoon for a nap or to lay together watching movies. In actual fact, I think it’s an occasional necessity.

How do you unwind?

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17 ways to my heart

It’s the little things that make my world go round. I’m lucky to have a husband who knows how to keep me sane and make me feel loved and safe. These are some of the things that make me feel warm and fuzzy.

This post could almost be a ‘letter to my husband’ type post so I feel like this is a good place to say thank you. Thank you to the one person I can always rely on; who makes me happy even when the world feels like such a crazy place. The person who keeps me sane (ok, maybe, sort of), who brings me back down to Earth when I flip out.

Thank you. For everything. For putting up with me, supporting me and holding my hand. Thank you for loving me at my worst and still seeing the best in me.

Thank you for the little things. I love you.

Hug me (if I love you) 

I’m not a hugger AT ALL but I need hugs from those who have my heart (especially my husband) All. Of. The. Time. They make me feel loved and safe and boy I need that.

Surprise me

I’m not materialistic in the slightest but come home early to spend time with me, show up unexpectedly to support me when I’m struggling. That means more to me than any material gift ever could.

Show me you want to spend time with me

Yes, maybe I am needy but there’s nothing that will make my heart sing more than knowing that someone enjoys my company and actually wants to spend their time with lil old me.

Make me laugh

My hubby is amazing at this, fortunately! Anxiety can’t win when laughter is around!

Be honest and loyal

I have no time for anything else. Everyone fibs, that’s human nature but with the big stuff, honesty all the way.

Write to me

I love little letters and notes… just because. The best present I could get is a heartfelt letter full of words and sentiments just for me.

Supply me with fizz

Prosecco. Or Pinot. Or Sauvignon Blanc. Or Gin! I’m not fussy. Well, I am, but if you’d buy it for your favourite aunty then, chances are you’re on to a winner.

Watch movies with me

I love a good horror, but anything with a good storyline will keep my attention. Especially if paired with plenty of snacks and preferably my husband!

Bring me or Bake me Cake

Ideally something despicably gooey and involving chocolate. But, again I’m not fussy. Cake is cake (said no-one ever) Good cake only, please! I have standards! 😉

Listen to me

I don’t just mean let me talk. I mean really listen to me. Even on my batshit crazy days when I’m irrational and emotional, knowing I have someone to listen and care without judgement means the world.

Cook with me

I LOVE cooking, but not on my own. I love to chat and sip wine/coffee/fizzy water as we cook up a feast together.

Let me love you back

As socially awkward as I am, I love deeply. Especially my husband and children, they are my world and I’d go to the ends of the Earth for them. Likewise, if I’m your friend, I’ll be your friend for life. You just got to learn to love the crazy first! 

Let me support you. Even if I’m struggling, please don’t feel like you have to hide your own problems from me. If I can help, I will, and if I can’t…I’ll be there, always.

Buy me stationery

…Or birdie things. I know I said I’m not materialistic but I’ll make an exception here! I love notebooks and journals, lovely pens and birds. Not actual real-life birds, I’m not the pigeon lady! (I totally would be, if I could though! 😂) but prints, pictures… that sort of thing, will take me to my happy place.

Bring me tea

Tea makes the world go round. I have been known as a walking teapot, and I’d say that that is a fairly good description!  Just don’t bring me matcha tea or anything else remotely green. YUK!

Do stuff with me

I don’t mean that kind of stuff 🙄 Minds out of the gutter please! 😉 Unless you’re my hubby then it’s ok! 😝 Anyway, I mean absolutely anything. It doesn’t have to cost any money or involve travelling, just doing the housework with me or running errands with me will make me feel content. I am a homebody but I will go anywhere to spend time with my favourites.

Text me

I don’t think a lot of people understand the power of a simple text. As someone with anxiety, radio silence of any kind allows my brain to kick into overdrive and the negative or irrational thoughts start flooding in. Just a few words by text can change that in an instant as it makes you realise that someone is thinking about you at that very moment. As silly as it sounds, it fills me with instant warmth, and I feel cared for.

Just be there

Knowing you support me, and you have my back means the world. Having you there with me physically too is everything.

 

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Why One Home, Six Hearts?

I thought it might be nice to write a little post about my blog name. “One Home, Six Hearts“.

I wasn’t really sure what sort of blog I wanted to write. If it was going to be a part of ‘me’, then it was definitely going to be a mix of everything – yummy food, stuff about me; things I like, my family…and what’s going on in my stupid head.

In short, “One Home, Six Hearts” is about my life and my loves. Six hearts symbolise the 6 most important people in my life and the home in which we grow together.

Our house is bonkers. It’s noisy and fast and funny and hard work, sometimes, but I love my babies, my husband and the rest of my family so, so much.

“Be Proud Of Yourself And Remember You Are Loved”.

That’s on a sign I have hanging on my door. You can’t help but read it each and every day, and it’s something I want everyone who is welcomed into my home to remember. Even if mummy is grumpy and stomping about, doing her best bear impression – she loves every fibre of your being.

Family is everything to me. From the food I cook, to the laundry I fold. I do it all with love… and if I bake for you, or share my make up, then you obviously hold a special place in my heart 😜

Kisses,

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My Music Playlist

I’ve always been a music lover and I’ll freely admit to having somewhat of an eclectic taste that probably isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. What I am listening to totally reflects my mood. I find it helps me, mentally and emotionally.

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Music helps me to focus or it allows me to distance myself from anxious thoughts. A distraction, if you like. Mindfulness is quite a thing now; you hear about it everywhere and I think most of us would agree that some sort of ‘time-out’ from our own over-thinking minds, can only be a good thing.

Mindfulness enables us to live fully in the present moment; thinking about breathing or focussing on sensations throughout the body whilst letting go of everything else that’s happening around us. Music helps me do this too – On a good day, I can completely close my mind to everything else, and just be.. in that very moment (anxiety allowing).

This theory is backed up by research as talked about here on the  BBC website.   I absolutely believe that this is true, and whilst it’s not a ‘magic’ fix to all ills, it can definitely give me a boost when I need it.

What music inspires you? What music gives you that positive boost or allows you to ‘feel’, if only for a minute?

As I said, my music taste is a mixed bag, but I like music that makes me feels something. I love a good power ballad when I want to shout my feelings from the rooftops, but simply can’t. I like to listen to something with sheer emotion and that helps me cry if I need to, or let my frustrations out by ‘singing’ along (sorry neighbours!) I also have been known to listen to more ’emo’ or darker music when the mood takes me.

On the whole, I’m pretty much a pop music lover. I’m really loving Ed Sheeran and Demi Lovato for some real emosh stuff and I absolutely love Twenty One Pilots for music that says what I’m thinking. The mind can be a scary place sometimes – music for me, is like a journey; a story and I relate to so many of their lyrics. ❤️

Here’s what I’ve been listening to recently:

  • The entire Divide album – Ed Sheeran (Absolutely beautiful emotional rollercoaster)
  • Make Me Wanna DieThe Pretty Reckless
  • Born This WayLady Gaga
  • Fire Meets GasolineSia
  • Wherever You Will GoCharlene Soraia (Never fails to make me cry!)
  • Stone Cold Demi Lovato
  • Nightingale Demi Lovato
  • Stressed Out Twenty One Pilots
  • The Run and Go Twenty One Pilots
  • HurtsEmeli Sande
  • HeavydirtysoulTwenty One Pilots
  • MigraineTwenty One Pilots

Also listening to Panic! At The Disco thanks to my teenager! ❤️

What’s on your music playlist?

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Someone take 2016 outside and give it a talking to

What is it with this year?

2016 has been a steaming pile of brown stuff, and that’s to put it politely. Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse, Trump happened.

2016 has taken too many of our idols…. Bowie, Wilder, Ali, Prince; to name but a few. Terrorist attacks; innocent lives lost in the name of hate. The Brexit….the list goes on.

Sadly, due to the election hysteria, the horrific accident in Croydon this morning was somewhat overlooked by the media. But, it’s with those people who lost their lives, loved ones and the injured that my thoughts are with this evening. I can’t even begin to imagine the heartache and pain that many are feeling right now. I’m praying for you all tonight.

There’s not much left of 2016 and thank goodness for that. I for one will be glad to see the back of it.

On that note, and after yesterday’s promise to try to see the positives, I’m asking ‘What GOOD things have happened this year?‘ Help me out here… I’m struggling.

  1. My plantar fasciitis has (sort of) stabilised. Massive positive!!
  2. My family are happy and healthy – which is all you can wish for, isn’t it!
  3. The kids say Pokemon Go… although, I think the novelty well and truly wore off on that one once Summer was over. But it did get people outside and moving.
  4. Andy Murray won Wimbledon! Yay!!!
  5. My kids met Little Mix – who are awesome and really lovely (A big thanks to Jesy for making my girl feel important to you for that few moments that she had with you. You’ll never know how much that meant to her!)
  6. I’m back blogging! Woop!
  7. Autumn. My favourite season; I love the colours, brisk mornings, hot chocolate and red cups. Snuggly jumpers and comfy boots.

What positives can you add? I think we all need something good to focus on right now!

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Wanderlust

“He’s got the wanderlust, that one.”

That’s something everyone used to say about my Dad. He could never sit still and was always out somewhere. I remember one day when I was very young,  he and my mum had a few cross words and so he decided to go out on his bicycle. Until his accident, the bike was his life; much like a car or motorbike is to some.  I think he felt free; it was his ‘me-time’, an escape from the trials and tribulations of a busy household.

This particular day, he went out and was gone for hours. I remember it was the height of Summer; one of the hottest days I can think of.  In those days, we didn’t have mobile phones – I don’t even think we had a landline. We were worried that he’d had an accident and as the hours passed, we started to fear the worst.

Just before tea time, the back gate went. It was Dad; a very red, glowing version at that. The silly man had cycled all the way into central London which was more miles than I could probably count at that age. He was full of smiles and was oblivious to our concern. Mum was not best pleased but was thankful that he was OK (albeit sunburnt and probably suffering from heatstroke).

He told us all about his journey and that he’d stopped off in Covent Garden for a jug of cloudy lemonade. It sounded rather exciting to us children and I was slightly envious of his wanderlust. I still am, I suppose – I’ve never been that brave.

I see friends amazing photos on Facebook from their holidays. I read about backpacking, glamping and students taking a gap year to see the world. It must be marvelous to up sticks and travel all over with little care about anything other than the next pit stop. I’ve never been brave enough to venture much further afield than my own doorstep.

How about you? Are you an adventurous traveller, or do you rather stay close to home?

I’m taking part in Rosalilium’s Blog Every Day In May challenge. I’m looking forward to reading other #BEDM posts! You can find out more by clicking the badge below:
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My workspace

I don’t really have a physical workspace in all honesty. I steal my husband’s desk when he’s out at work, but other than that my workspace is my iPhone. I’m always on the go, so whatever I’m doing has to be mobile or it has to wait until the end of the day when the children are in bed.  With no beautiful workspace to photograph and share with you, I thought I’d write about what I consider essential items as a blogger/freelancer/creative.

Notebooks, sketchbooks and diaries

I live by lists. Oh, I do love a list!

I have a diary that I use for appointments, plans and blog schedules – my current favourite is my gorgeous Sprinkle Of Glitter Diary.sogoh

I am a complete Youtuber obsessive and I adore Louise. Her diary is upbeat and full of positivity and motivation – something I need a lot of.

I also have zillions of notebooks full of ideas, plans and schedules. I even have one for cleaning which sounds a bit OTT, but I like having a routine for day-to-day things. I rarely get everything done, but that’s just life isn’t it? Never enough hours in the day! I have zero memory so lists are my saviour – I like jotting down something that springs to mind randomly – I can have my best ideas and even ‘write’ posts in my head as I’m walking home from the school run!

I’m also a doodler. I have dreams of becoming an illustrator and I’m always sketching or drawing – I find it quite therapeutic.

Pens and Fineliners

I love pens – always have. Actually all stationery. I don’t know if it’s the same in your house, but we seem to have a phantom pen snatcher. I’m always buying pens but when the phone rings and I need to write down a message, you can bet your bottom dollar that not one can be found. So, I’ve now put a wooden pot next to my paperwork trays with some lovely new pens and fineliners (I draw with them).

A Smartphone

I honestly don’t know how I managed without an iPhone. It has everything together in one easily accessible place; from my calendar to my emails. Social media, to my photos. If I haven’t brought my DSLR out with me, my iPhone can be trusted to take a decent snap, especially outdoors. I can blog on it, answer emails, research posts… pretty much anything that I could do sat in front of a PC or laptop.

Tea

…and lots of it. I simply cannot function before my first cup of tea of the day. Don’t even ask me to try. As the saying goes, “Sometimes all you need is a nice cup of tea” and it’s so true (for me anyway). When things are going tits up and I want to throw things at my computer, I take five, make a brew and drink it while the damn thing’s still hot. Ah… Bisto.

A camera

As mentioned, I have a DSLR for my ‘proper’ photography. I’m still very much an amateur but I’ve taken some shots that I’m really rather proud of. As I say though, my iPhone is a fairly good back-up for quick shots, especially when I’m on the go.

Pretty fabrics

Not really ‘essential’ but great for photography. I use white/cream fabrics as backgrounds when I’m photographing make-up or anything that I want to really stand out.

PicMonkey

I’ve used this online image editing tool since it launched in 2012 (?) and I pay for a Royale plan because in my opinion, it’s totally worth it. It’s easy to use, effective and allows you edit and enhance images, create collages, add text/graphics; in a simple click of a mouse. I totally love it. (Please note, I’m not affiliated with PicMonkey in any way, shape or form; I’m simply a very happy customer.)

Oh…I really want an office now!

I’m taking part in the #BEDM challenge! You can find out more about it by clicking the badge below:
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What’s this ‘date night’ thing, you speak of?

It’s funny that ‘date night’ should be today’s #BEDM topic as I was thinking just the other day about how little ‘couple-time’ we get these days. Little to none really. I see people gushing on social media about ‘date night’ – parents and non-parents alike, and I waver somewhere between feeling insanely jealous, and then giving myself a shake as that’s just life – a sacrifice you happily make as a parent.

Then  I read articles that don’t agree with ‘date nights’ at all; deeming them an excuse to not make an effort the rest of the time. I suppose I see their point, but personally, I’d see a ‘date night’ as ‘me-time’ spent with the one person who truly understands.

In all honesty, by the time the children are asleep, all we want to do is tidy up, eat up and go to bed ourselves. But, we do try to grab ourselves an odd morning together; just the two of us. It might only be a couple of hours between pick ups and work shifts, but it’s our time and I enjoy it.

With this in mind, I thought I’d share some ‘couple-time’ (I think that’s probably a better name for it in our case) ideas for knackered parents.

Go for a coffee – Not romantic in the slightest but it’s a great way to relax and have a good old chat. I love popping to Starbucks/Costa and having a naughty coffee (mine’s a White Chocolate Mocha FYI) so it feels like a treat as well as some well-deserved chilling time with my favourite grown-up.

Catch a daytime movie – Time is usually against us on this one. But visiting the cinema was one of the ‘dates’ we used to enjoy a lot before we had our family, so it makes us feel young and free again!

Eat Alfresco – Breakfast on the balcony, or an impromptu picnic in the park can be equally romantic and if you’re clever, you can whip up some suitable food in no time at all. Obviously not so lovely if it’s the middle of a Winter freeze, but we have been known to wrap up and go for a long walk with a flask of tea!

Cook for each other – Food is a big part of our family and so going to the effort of cooking a special meal for someone means so much. We often do this to mark special occasions – Birthday’s, Valentines, anniversaries.

Go out for breakfast – If you have school age children, and happen to both have a day off together (I know – shock!) then why not take the opportunity to go out for breakfast? OK, it’s not quite the same as going out for dinner, but we really enjoy it! Great food, great company and amazing conversation – what more do you need?

Do you and your partner have Date Nights? What do you do?

I’m taking part in Rosalilium’s Blog Every Day In May challenge. I’m looking forward to reading other #BEDM posts! You can find out more by clicking the badge below:
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What’s in my bag – the mum edition

I can not tell you how pleased I was that I’d cleaned out my bag a few days before seeing that today’s #BEDM prompt is ‘What’s in your bag?’.
That said, I am not going to post images of the horror that was the inside of my bag. No. Just…. No.

Please tell me that I’m not alone in finding small children’s snotty tissues, half eaten apples and bits of popcorn stuck to the bottom? My gorgeous Cath Kidston bag was subjected to all of the above said atrocities, along with 10 billion receipts, several pens that no longer work and more inhalers than my child will ever need in a 24 hour period. I know I never like to be without one, but they seem to be breeding!!

I think the most random thing I found in my bag (and how I hadn’t noticed it when rifling for spare change, I have no idea) was this rather disheveled looking, naked fashion doll. Nobody remembers putting her there so I can only assume that this plastic, popcorn-munching stowaway climbed in all by herself. That’s what my daughter thinks, anyway!

doll

Other items that I do actually consider essential include:
Tissues – a must-have for snotty noses, sticky faces and make-shift doll blankets. Likewise, baby wipes are also universally useful for pretty much everything.
Lip balm – annoyingly, this isn’t even mine. It’s my childs…and it’s a Balmi too!
A manicure kit – Don’t laugh but this has saved my life on many occasion. Last week I snapped my nail backwards whilst trying to grapple with all the gym kits, school bags, coats and other *stuff* the kids plonk at your feet the second they escape from school (ouch!) It broke, and then kept catching on everything I touched which hurt like hell, so out came my trusty little nail kit and I completed minor surgery on myself, right there on the school playing field. It’s also stopped all hell from breaking loose when I couldn’t open a My Little Pony blind bag in the middle of Tesco car park.
Kidilicious snacks – I’m not one to use sweets as a bribe… but fruit snacks that children think are sweets? I have no problem with that 😆
Purse, keys, phone (obviously)
Water bottle – Not that I ever get to drink it myself, but it’s important to keep hydrated!
Pens – preferably ones that work are most useful *rolls eyes*
Notebook – I carry one with me everywhere. I do love a list!
Spare hair bands – I just know that halfway to school my daughter will realise she has sports and needs her hair tied back. I buy millions of the things; usually the big bundle you can buy in Primark for £1. I just pick up a pack everytime I go in there.

Not massively exciting, admittedly! So, what’s in your bag?

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