Today Is A Bad One

If you'd asked me a couple of weeks ago how I was doing you'd have got a very positive response - really good, finally at the root of things, handling life, the best I've felt in a while. So why, now, has it all crashed and burned?

The last two weeks have been a rapid downhill spiral into feeling worse than I've felt since I first asked for help those five months ago. I am so so so tired I cannot cope. I need at least twelve hours of sleep not to feel completely exhausted, and even then I have zero energy to do the basic of tasks. Every bit of anything I do is only by forcing myself to move. I constantly have a crashing headache. Most of the time I barely notice it's there, I'm so used to it, but I awake every morning with it seering through my mind.

The fuzziness is back. But now it feels more like I'm just not myself. Like I'm floating above everything, unable to engage, to follow conversations, to focus clearly on much.

My babies have been flung into nursery, as I am unable to cope with them. Two full days. I feel like a terrible mother - why do I deserve them?? So I can throw them at someone else to deal with whenever I am struggling? My little J - only fifteen months and hardly understanding what's going on. Most days I leave him stood in the centre of chaos, in a daze. (note: of course the staff look after him, this is merely my own guilt bearing down on my mind).

And the guilt. That terrible mummy guilt that most of us feel. It is eating me up. Guilt that they're not where they should be, with me, at home. Guilt that when they are with me I barely have the energy to drink the regularly offered air H brings me, or throw the ball J insists on kicking around over and over again. Guilt that Mr H has to pick up my slack - bedtimes, bathtimes, cooking. All this has taken its toll on him too and our house is slowly become bogged down by my own exhaustion, it's almost stifling. Guilt that I snap far too much. Guilt that I sleep far too much. Guilt that I am so self-consumed and need so much time to myself to feel anything that remotely represents a human being.

Why why why won't this horrible illness just leave me be. The heaviness, the tension, the misery. I just want to be free of it. To be light in my steps. To laugh with ease. To sleep soundly.

Round & Round The Garden #6

In my last Round & Round The Garden post a lot had happened. Since then progress has been slow and steady as we only really have the finishing touches to make. The tyres are still plant-less as I am yet to get to a garden centre to get what I need, however I think that really is the final thing to do.

This week I'm going to show you how easy it is to make your own personal paving stones.

I first saw the idea on Pinterest (of course) and after some searching around found a couple that I liked and knew I could adapt to exactly what I wanted.

I also loved this idea of making them glow in the dark so thought I would give that a try too.

What you will need:

Large plant saucers
Paint, if you wish to colour them
Glow in the dark spray paint

How we did it:

First of all my husband made up the cement and poured it into the saucers. We left it for about an hour to set a little, otherwise the imprints would have just disappeared.

After waiting we tested it to make sure it was the right consistency - when we dipped a finger in there was a indentation. Then, one by one, we all pressed our foot into a saucer each. Doing this with the children was a challenge as H wasn't keen on the consistency under her foot, and it was quite cold. Baby J obviously didn't understand to keep his foot still, so it took a couple of tries to get it right. 

I wouldn't say they are perfect, but we were pleased with how they came out. I can't help but laugh at how big Mr H's foot is compared with the rest of us!

After leaving them for two days until we felt they were totally set, we took them out of the saucers. I felt the colour of the concrete was a bit uneven so i bought some grey spray paint and just gave them one coat to get a more balanced colour.

Leaving the paint to dry for 48 hours, I then added the glow in the dark paint. The tin said to do several light coats, which I did, and then left them to dry once more. Once we were satisfied they were completely dry, they were ready to plant. Mr H used a spade to dig a small circle out of the lawn for each stone to sit in.

We then added four sandstone effect solar lights found at Bents Home & Garden Centre. These are £29.99 for a pack of two, and are really lovely lights. I often find solar lights can be a bit cheap-looking and break very quickly, however these ones with their sandstone effect look of good quality and their white LED lights give off a bright glow to the path.

Unfortunately the glow in the dark paint hasn't quite had the desired effect, so I will be adding more spray to them to try and see if that helps. 

Overall, though, I love the personalised stones that added another element to our garden.

*This post is brought to you in association with Bents Home & Garden Centre, for more information please read my disclaimer.

Your Daddy

Dear H & J

Let me tell you a bit about your daddy.

Giveaway - Personal Planner

When I attended Britmums Live in June, one if the things I picked up on was how I wanted to move forward with my blog. I really want to spend more time making it something I can grow into a little business where I can write about what I love and stay at home with the children, as well as feel like I'm contributing to my family. At the event there were little notepads around the venue from Personal Planner, so when I got home and discovered their voucher in my goody bag I decided to give it a try. As I spend more time working I need something to write down all the things I need to do and to be able to plan my working days a little better.

15 Months Old

At the end of this month my little man will be 15 months old. Following his birthday in May times have gone by in a bit of blur so I wanted to write an update of all the things my little man has been doing!

The Hunt for the Perfect Present

Two weeks ago I turned 30 and the question on my mind has been for some while, a gift? I'm not really one for surprises when it come to gifts, especially big ones, I'm a bit of a control freak! After getting an iPhone two years ago and then an iPad not long after I really fancied a MacBook. My laptop is so slow and drives me crazy when I'm trying to upload photos, create collages and write blog posts in the same session. After about half an hour of usage it would just go painfully slow and trying to load photo-heavy pages such as webstagram or snapfish would take an age.

The old laptop had to be used in sync with the iPad

Having not owned a MacBook before I was a bit unsure, so turned to Twitter for some advice. Anyone who owned one instantly said it was the best thing they had bought, so I was convinced!

After doing a lot of research, including visiting Which? for their opinions, asking the techy gurus for advice and sourcing the best prices for laptops and netbooks, I decided on a MacBook Pro 13" with 8MB memory and 750GB hard drive. I take so many photos a week I really need something that can hold a high amount of data, so to me the extra £250 was worth it.

My Macbook arrived two days after my birthday (note: if you know a student, they get 15% off) and it is beautiful. It's lightweight, especially compared to my old laptop, it is shiny and the buttons light up - what more could a girl want?? On a serious note, it is super fast and the picture quality is amazing, everything is so sharp. It may be an expensive present but i know I will get so much use of it, it will definitely be worth it for years to come.

Now I just have to get to grips with a completely new platform!

*This post is brought to you in partnership with John Lewis

The Lookout at The Lowry

Last week we were invited to attend a lovely event at the new Lookout in the Lowry Centre in Manchester. The Lookout is a new space dedicated to under 5's to give them an area to play, create and be inspired by the glorious views of the Quays. The children were shown how to make special War Horse puppets and there was an interactive storytelling session with Alex Winters from Cbeebies

Round And Round The Garden #5

It has been a couple of weeks since I have managed to do my Round And Round The Garden post, mainly due to bad weather, the three peaks walk I did and my birthday. But this week it is back and with a lot to show you!

You may have noticed that we completed the front garden thanks to the Money Supermarket challenge - as usual I used the good old spray paint on the pots and I think they came up a treat.

Upcycling Your Children's Toy Storage Using Decoupage

If you're anything like me and my family, you have kids toys coming out of your ears and no idea where to store them all. When we moved into our new house I was determined to get on top of our toy storage problem, but also create something that looked good and fit in with our interior style. Today I thought I'd share what we went for and how I used decoupage to upcycle it into a beautiful and unique piece of furniture.

Finding Unique Children's Clothes

I am really enjoying my journey with Twitter and one of the elements I love to this online community is coming across unique brands. These online stores stock the most beautiful clothing, often selling ranges from different countries and always styles that you won't find all the children at school swaddled in. Stores such as Kyna Boutique and The Essential One are some of my favourites and I have recently come across Alex and Alexa.

In their online store you can find over 200 fashion, sportswear and toy brands including high end designer wear to niche brands. Here's a few of their products that are top of my list.

For your little superhero
Djeco Ecologist Superhero Set £16
 H loves her funky footwear
Converse Carmine Rose High Tops £28
How cute is this?
Mayoral Blue Oxford Elbow Patch Shirt £25 

Who can resist a sailor dress?
Mayoral Nautical Stripe Dress £28

For your little boy or girl there is definitely a huge selection of unique, quality children's clothing from Mayoral and toys so do have a look at Alex or Alexa.

*This post is brought to you in association with Alex and Alexa

Here's To Turning 30

This weekend I celebrated my thirtieth birthday in style. On Friday we hired a barge for the day, the sub came out and we had a beautiful day sailing down the canal. We sipped bubbly, we pretended we were on the Titanic ( it has to be done right?), we raced down the side of the boat and we all laughed lots.


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