These are a few of my favourite things

So it’s that sodding time of year again. Admittedly I love it but it can get a bit chaotic as a parent and it’s easy for us to get swept under the carpet. You probably all know I’m a massive fan of STUFF and my poor husband is constantly sent links of ‘ideas’ for me so I’ve compiled a list of my top Christmas gift ideas for us. Not the kids. US! We deserve it and these are my fav ideas for a busy lady at Christmas. There was originally supposed to be 5 but I just couldnt whittle it down. 

1) a bathboard. Easily the best £20 I’ve spent on myself this year. At the end of a stressful day half an hour in a hot bath with a glass of wine, some candles and a good book is enough to make me feel human again. Utter bliss! You can now add on a space mask or bathbomb too to complete the perfect gift and these are great for Men too. My husband uses mine for wine and snacks but he’ll kill me for telling people. Everyone deserves a pamper now and again.

 http://bathboards.bigcartel.com/

2) Gin! I couldn’t do a list without mentioning my favourite thing could I? Pickerings to be exact. I recently did a tour at the Pickerings distillery in Edinburgh with Steve and it was such a nice afternoon out. Highly recommended and great value for money. £10 each and included a G&T on arrival. Lets face it you wouldnt get much change off a tenner in Edinburgh for a decent G&T on its own and Summerhall is such an interesting location. 

Obviously we got to sample some of their wares and now I’m hooked. How cute are the little gin baubles? These sold out in in seconds last year so get them on your list sharpish! £30 for 6 and each is a double measure. You can also refill them year after year. Bargain! 

Pickering's Gin Baubles (pack of 6)

3) Blessed in London initial necklace 😍. The minute I saw this I knew I wanted one with the kids initials and I hope I’ve dropped enough hints to Steve. I have the star tassle earring and they go with everything. I always get complimented on them. 

https://www.blessedlondon.co.uk/

4) Its no secret that Im wax melt and candle obsessed. My lovely wax melt lady is closed for a knee op and having a well deserved Christmas break so I’ve treated myself to a candle from a local company called can to candle. They make candles in the cutest little kitsch cans and they smell amazing. I’ll definately be back! Once you try the amazing soy was candles you’ll realise how waxy and synthetic the likes of yankee smell. I’m a convert!

 

http://cantocandle.com/

5) I can cards. These are just so lovely and the ideal price point for a secret Santa gift. It’s basically a little pack of cards full of positive affirmations to remind you how bloody amazing you are. I have the self care pack and it’s fantastic how one positive sentence can just give you that much needed boost. Such a nice gift for someone who just needs to know that they’re fabulous. 

https://icancards.co.uk/

6) When a saw a lovely friend wearring her la pom pom earrings I knew I needed them I’m my life. They definitely get me noticed and they’re just SO cute! There’s something about pom poms that just take me back to my childhood and make me feel carefree (if only!) They also have the sweetest garlands that you can get made in any colour so perfect for any occasion. 

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/LaPomPomShop?ref=seller-platform-mcnav&section_id=22444550

7) Now although this post is one for the adults I had to mention Rosie Girl London dolls. Purely because when I saw that did customer made dolls I knew I wanted an Amy Winehouse made and I was absolutely blow away with the detail. I’m not even going to pretend she was for Joy as I’m a huge Amy fan and love the idea of a doll that’s a bit different to the usual cutesy ones. Rosie does anything from Frieda Kahlo dolls to unicorns  and takes customer orders (at a very reasonable price) so there really is something for everyone. 

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/rosiegirllondon

8) Last but certainly not least Christine Alison is the Queen of eyebrows in Edinburgh. She’s the only person I’ve let near mine in around 6 years and we’ve went from HD brows to semi permanent brows- which I’ve managed to convince Steve saves me (him) money in the long run as I don’t need any products or monthly brow appointment. More importantly as a Mum it saves time and we all know how precious that is. 

Recently dermaplaning has been added to the list of treatments offered here and I got to be one of the first to try it out. Basically using a scalpel all the dead skin is removed from your face, taking any peach fuzz with it. Now as horrendous as a scalpel sounds it’s so gentle and there is zero pain involved. I almost fell asleep and the you get a mask at the end of the treatment to fill your new glowy skin with hyluronic acid to make you look even fresher. I saw an instant glow and my make up sits so nicely on my face. It’s really interesting to see all the junk that’s came off your face at the end. Dermaplaning is usually £65 but will be £50 for the duration of December so get booked in ASAP for all your Christmas parties.

https://christinealison.co.uk/

So what should have been 5 is now 8 but these are my firm favourites so if you’re stuck for a gift I hope I’ve helped a little with ideas. Feel free to forward to your Hubby to give him a nudge. 
It’s important for me to use small businesses where I can and some of those included are local to me so that’s even more special. 

I briefly mentioned my wax melt dealer Gail and although she’s closed for Christmas I’ve included her link so if you want to try out her melts you can do after the year. 

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/SimplyScentedDevon

I hope you get everything you want… and more 😘.

Yvonne 

*This is not a sponsored post*

Who is she? 

Hi I’m Yvonne but you’d be forgiven for knowing me as Lewis’ and Joy’s mum or even Steve’s wife. I am all of those things too but firstly I’m Yvonne. I love long hot baths, reading and dancing in the living room with my husband to 90s dance. Im sarcastic to a fault, Im obsessed with beauty products and you won’t catch me wearing a mama jumper. I’m a proud mother and wife but I refuse to be defined by my children or marital status.

After Lewis (my first) I made the mistake a lot of us do. I thought becoming a mother should change me so when I the urge to skip through a meadow singing the sound of music didn’t take me I really thought I’d failed. The urge to have a social life took me and that made me feel even worse. I forced myself to baby signing, baby reflexology and fucking baby shiatsu (honestly that’s a thing ) in a desperate bid to become more like the Julie Andrews character I thought I should be.

It took time and good advice to realise that wasn’t how it had to be. Once I finally allowed myself to see that I was so relieved. Lewis was relieved too as his Mum was now back firmly in her comfort zone and he didn’t have to attend 18 ridiculous classes a week.

I think we’re all guilty of it but we need to take time to remember who we are. I love my children and I take them to classes I think will benefit them and not bore me to tears but I also have a life of my own. I existed before them and once they’ve flown the nest *sobs* I will continue to exist. I know all the nursery rhymes but also I can drink 5 Sambuca shots and recreate the whole video for single ladies- albeit badly.

I’m not offended when people introduce me as a mum or wife. I do it too. On a recent (rare) drink with some friends I introduced my friend as ‘Archies Mum’ and instandly thought shit! She’s not JUST Archies Mum. She’s Jackie. She loves make up, wine and singing Proud Mary. She’s a person too. In her own right and she deserves to be introduced as one.

So what was my point here? Don’t feel guilty for still being who you were before your children. There’s no doubt having children changes you but we are still entitled some escapism once in a while. Get drunk now and again and have sex on the kitchen floor. Whatever works for you! Never apologise for that. Remember who you are and introduce your friends by their name.

Yvonne x

We are good enough 

when you hear of postnatal depression what do you think of? For many it’s not bonding with your baby instantly after birth. For me that wasn’t the case. You see it’s different for everyone. There isn’t a right way to suffer PND and there certainly isn’t a wrong way. unfortunately you get the version you’re given.

For me I’ve been treated about a year after both my kids. Looking back it reared its head immediately but I soldiered on. I don’t know who I was trying to kid.

The stigma is still there with any mental health issues. People are frightened to speak up for fear of being judged. When you’re already feeling like you’re not good enough the last thing you need is others thinking it too.

I instantly bonded with both my children and it was love at first sight for me. weirdly the case for me- as it is for most is I love them… a bit too much.

Newborns scare me. The anxiety they give me drives me insane. I love the squishy, pink, milky bundles but what about all the other stuff they come with? For example cot death statistics, how much they should be eating, pooing and bloody peeing! Anything I can worry about I would.

When I had my first I slept with the windows locked in a first floor flat all summer. For fear someone would come and take my baby. I called my Nan once to ask her to look after the baby while I had a shower. She suggested I left him to sleep while I showered and I genuinely couldn’t believe she would suggest something so absurd.

When I had Joy, my second I stayed awake for 3 whole days. Even when she slept. For fear of something happening to her if I slept. Of course that didn’t last and I eventually passed out with exhaustion.

Second time round it’s much easier to spot though and  luckily I’m surrounded by love and support. I’m now very good at asking for help if I need it now and I’m aware of the importance of self care. We all need to look after ourselves first. You can’t pour from an empty cup.

The more we talk about these issues the more we educate others. If we normalize talking about mental health then we put people at ease and eliminate ignorance.

My point? Keep talking. If unsure ask questions. Never be ashamed and make sure you have a good GP who understands what’s going on. I can’t stress that enough. These issues are often easily resolved but only once treated. Either it be with counselling, drugs or maybe both. Whatever works for you.

Try not to put too much pressure on yourself. We’re all guilty of it. Some days I can clean the whole house, have 2 playdates, make the dinner and do a food shop. Other days I stay in Pjs and that’s okay too. It’s about balance.

I’ll say it again. Keep talking!

I’ve posted some links below that may be helpful:

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Postnataldepression/Pages/Introduction.aspx
http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Anxiety/Pages/Introduction.aspx
https://insighttimer.com/
Yvonne x

Mothering without a mother 

Recently I’ve seen an influx of Facebook posts about always loving your mother as you never get another. Even when you dont see eye to eye. This may be very true but for some sadly it isn’t this black and white. 

My Mum isn’t dead. Not my biological one anyway. My Nan raised me and she was my ‘real’ Mum and sadly she’s no longer with us. My Biological Mum isn’t part of my life however and won’t ever be. 

I won’t go into it as I have no urge to publicly slate her and have younger siblings I wouldn’t want to hurt. 

She hasn’t met Joy and hasn’t seen Lewis in years. It isn’t a fallout or an argument situation but for the sake of my mental health she will remain an outsider. I wish her well. 

Do I love her? Yes! Am I sad I don’t have a mother around? Of course! This really is the best decision all round and I’ve made peace with that. That has taken a long time but I really have made peace with it. 

That doesn’t mean I don’t get a pang of upset when I see friends Mum’s coo over their gorgeous grandchildren. Or when I’m ill and I could really use a cuddle. You’re really never too old to want your Mum at times. 

I do love it when I see my friends with good relationships with their Mums. Over the years a few of them have played a Mum role to me and that’s helped me build a picture of the type of mother I want to be. 

Having Joy was bittersweet. My Nan died when I was pregnant and to not have a mother to show of my baby too… bloody hurt. I still look at my kids and think ‘wow! I made this!’ I just wish I had my Nan here to gush to at times. 

I’m fiercely independent and this is probably why. It’s a defence mechanism. I’ve not always had the choice. I’ve just had to crack on with it. 

The one good thing to come from the situation is my relationship with my children. I’ll always put them first, do my best to never let them down and love them with every part of me. 

I have a great support network and I’m so grateful. My Auntie Helen, my siblings, my friends, my cousins, my mother in law and obviously my husband. Having a big family does have its perks- sometimes! 

I’m not angry or sad at these Facebook posts. It’s a copy and paste type thing and people are more than entitled to celebrate anyone in their life that they wish. So long as we’re mindful it isn’t the same for everyone. I hope one day my kids can celebrate me in that way. Maybe even throw in a wee afternoon tea. 

If you have your Mum in your life then give her a kiss from me. This mothering lark isn’t easy but a kiss from your child always helps. 

Yvonne x