Tag: Food

28 weeks pregnant on the hottest bank holiday…

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So it’s been the hottest early May Bank Holiday on record and i’m officially at my ‘take this baby out of me now’ stage of pregnancy. Yet there’s still 3 months to go! Literally everything is uncomfortable, it feels like I need to just go do a massive shit and then my stomach will have a moment of space to breathe. However instead, my brain and my big mouth are telling me to eat more. I’ve somehow managed to devour 3 cakes this week and that’s not including all the chocolate, sweets and man vs food size portions ive eaten. I forced john to drive me to Tesco because I was really craving a pic n mix and legit

nudged a child out the way of my sour cherries, I was so desperate. But I have become the absolute master of stuffing too much pic n mix into the wrong sized tub and still making the lid fit. The cashier probs just thinks I’m a fat greedy bastard cause my pregnant belly isn’t even that “pregnant looking.” I’m like screaming at John to put more elbow grease into the squishing – there’s always room for another gummy snake! Again though – and I blame the raging hormones – I can’t help but feel cheated and have a little spoilt strop when jaiden asks if he can have some as soon as we get back to the house. Like I can’t exactly say no can I? And he knows it. Why did I become a step mom so young cause i’m not cut out for this sharing malarkey!

On another note, all traces of the blooming season have gone and i’ve returned into a now larger slob with greasy hair and a spotty face. In the second trimester my nails were growing so well but now all of a sudden they’ve just started breaking and refusing to grow back. I’m also experiencing some rather questionable symptoms of having leaky boobs…or at least that’s what I think is happening, cause right now at 28 weeks there’s all kinds of shit escaping my body and for all I know i could be all walking disease cause no one seems to tell you all the gruesome changes your body will make.

I’m still suffering from PTSD in regards to the traumatic heartburn i’ve been getting. I swear if Ophelia don’t come out with long flowing locks like Rapunzel I’ll be furious! The episodes are like an exorcism, hours upon hours of just fire in my chest and throat, trying to spit up anything to eventually (and this is graphic) spew up everything in my body in foaming acid, its so hot it burns and its literally coming from both ends so i’m tryna get to the toilet whilst john balances the sick bowl to catch the chunky vomit which wouldn’t surprise me if it melts the plastic, it’s that acidic. Johns has his tshirt over his face trying to understand how much shit can come out of my tiny body and gagging whilst I’m choking like a cat with a fur ball. Honestly, pregnancy heart burn is the most traumatic experience so far, even worse than the first shit I did after surgery.

My bump is getting bigger everyday and ive come to the conclusion that no matter how good the outfit looks and feels, I just don’t suit having a giant balloon tummy and no

matter how thin/stretchy/loose fitting my clothes are i’m still uncomfortable and losing my breathe for the majority of the time. But I enjoy watching her moving around in my stomach, her kicks are so strong they are coming through my clothes now and at points i’m actually winded by her.

This weekend we made a start on the nursery. The previous owners had left us with dark khaki and cream coloured walls so the first thing we needed to do was white wash it. Which was supposed to be a fun activity for us both but because the temperatures were so hot, john had had too many cold ones and was spilling paint everywhere whilst I was sweating so bad I was just getting my arse stuck to the dust sheets and giving the Severn trent man an eye full of naked pregnant belly when he came to check the drains. We also ran out of white paint trying to cover the vomit coloured walls so that was annoying…

We had spent the weekend with family, Friday was my parents 26th wedding anniversary so we went for a few drinks and had a Chinese at my fave place which we don’t get chance to go to very often anymore but is the only Chinese ive found to sell sex on a plate – Duck wrapped in minced prawn. I’ve been eating for 2…or 4 perhaps..so needless to say I stuffed myself to the point that my belly button could no longer stay an innie. As my bump gets bigger my belly button has been undecided whether it wants to come out or stay in (as creepy as I find that) but the Chinese was the final straw (although weirdly, since it’s returned back in). Then we met up with johns brother and his wife who we haven’t seen since their wedding 6 months ago and proceeded to have more drinks. (They did, I was obvs not drinking, just eating everything I could find like a human dustbin).

The following day we went over to spend the day with Johns family whilst they were in bham and came to the realisation i’m in for some major boot camp training if i’m going to be able to keep up with the kids. Me and john were shattered by 4pm and they were still going, telling me the names of all the dinosaurs, catching frogs out the pond and running around naked in the paddling pool. When I returned home to my moms (where we were stopping for the weekend) I expected a child free relaxing evening with my slippers on and a cup of tea to finally get comfortable and cool. But instead I walked into a shit version of benidorm. Everyone was pissed as fuck, dancing around the fire pit and poking at my pregnant belly warning me how much harder it’s gonna get. (Thanks guys)! But the final tipping point was when I noticed my sister wearing my Katie price sliders and for some reason I just burst into tears. But 5 mins later I joined back in the party all calm and collected again. Bloody hormones.

My baby brain is getting that bad i actually can’t remember what i did on the Sunday

other than do a mad dash to Primark to get some cheap clothing for the last two days of sunshine we were going to get. Which i felt very pleased about because the majority of maternity clothes ive found are very stereotypical of middle aged women, as if younger adults aren’t supposed to be pregnant. It’s all mom jeans and stripey tops, but i managed to find some clothes to fit into that i felt pleased about. However my boobs are still too small for my bump and i ended up with a saggy boob situation in my dress when we went out for a carvery before saying goodbye to John’s brother and family as they left back for Darlington.

Monday we returned home for me to continue to stuff my face with cake and junk food but without the concerning looks and raised eyebrows of my parents. And much of the rest of the week has pretty much been a repetition of eat, sleep, pretend to do some work, eat again, complain about being pregnant, eat again, sleep.

It’s now Friday and i’m not going to lie right now, despite the growing heartburn in my oesophagus all i’m thinking about is how in half an hour ill have allowed myself enough of a break between cake intervals to have yet another slice of angel cake.

Have a good weekend people!

xoxo



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Easy Fisherman’s Pie Recipe

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This is my go to meal for some sustenance, its easy and simple to prepare and is great for both adults and toddlers.

It serves 4 adults (unless you’re greedy like me and john and eat it all) or 6 – 8 toddler meals.

There is also a printable at the end for you to download and print the recipe!

Nutrition (Approx): per serving (4)

  • Kcal: 455
  • Fat: 15.7g
  • Saturates: 7.5g
  • Carbs: 50.5g
  • Sugars: 7g
  • Fibre: 5.7g
  • Protein: 27.1g
  • Salt: 1g

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  • Mashed potato (homemade or ready-made) with preferably no large lumps
  • 25g Butter
  • 25g Flour
  • 400ml Milk
  • 4 Spring Onions (finely sliced)
  • Frozen fish of your choice, skinned and boneless (I used Bass fillets but have previously used haddock) – Around 2 fillets or 250g (approx)
  • Handful of frozen king prawns (pre-cooked not raw) – Around 250g (approx)
  • 1 (dessert/standard) spoon of English Mustard
  • Handful of frozen Sweetcorn (optional)
  • Handful of frozen Peas (Optional)
  • Around 20g of finely sliced Chives
  • Handful of grated Cheddar
  • Handful of  grated Grana Padano
  • Handful of Parsley (fresh or dried – I used dried for convenience)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

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1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180 Fan/ Gas Mark 6.

2. Put the butter and spring onions into a saucepan and heat until the butter has melted.

3. Add the flour and cook for 1 – 2 minutes, stir regularly.

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4. Gradually whisk in the milk and bring to the boil, stir continuously to avoid any lumps and it sticking to the pan. Continue cooking until thickened.

5. Turn down the heat to the lowest setting and add the grated Grana Padano.

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6. Meanwhile, cut up your fish into thick pieces, and add into the pan, followed by the prawns.

7. Stir in peas and sweetcorn (if using) – I didn’t use them in this instance but have done previously.

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8. Sprinkle in the chives and season to your taste with salt and pepper.

9. Add a spoon of the mustard and stir well (if you like a stronger taste i recommend using a little more, i used a heaped spoonful). Stir well.

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10. Take off the heat and spoon the mixture into an oven proof dish or into separate ramekins.

11. Spread the mashed potato on top of the mixture, making sure it’s fully covered.

12.  Sprinkle the grated cheese and parsley over the top.

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13. Cook in the oven for around 20 – 25 minutes , or until the top is golden and the sides are bubbling.

14. Serve with whatever you would like, i served it with a side salad. Always make sure your food is piping hot throughout before serving.

Enjoy!

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*If you use this recipe to make your own be sure to share it with me on social media!

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To download the printable pdf click below!

Fishermans pie Printable PDF

Fishermans pie printable

xoxo

 

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The problem with Big Bloggers

I always find starting a blog post is the hardest part of actually keeping up a blog, finding a theme, setting up your social links and adding pictures is the fun bit. But actually sitting down and thinking of something to say is a completely different thing.2018-03-19 10.38.19 1

I have quite a few people who say to me they’d love to start a blog but they just don’t know what to blog about, truth is, neither do i.

Blogging is half about having a passion and talent for writing and half about building up the confidence to actually share yourself online. You could write a fantastic blog piece about ‘All the reasons kale is good for you’ or ‘How to become a ‘girl boss’ in ten days,’ the typical kind of blog post you’re likely to see get thousands of hits but is it personal? Unless that person is a kale farmer or really is making thousands in a few days, then no it isn’t.

So should you make a blog that’s personal and bare all to the world or should you stick to the generic ‘popular’ posts? I realise I am being very hypocritical here because I, like many others, find myself slipping into the cliché stereotypical blogging category a lot of the time (and probably with this post). But blogging should be a passion, it should be something you are proud of and can happily say ‘I wrote this’ or ‘I made this’ ‘I took this photo’ and people to look at it and know that that is truly you.1521202204118

Trouble is, in the past few months blogging has become a phenomenally large, saturated, hobby,  with hundreds of thousands of people competing for a space on the popular page. Because of this competitiveness the lesser known blogs are pushed under the carpet and just like everything else in society, the blogger behind the page begins to try to conform just to get noticed.

Do we not teach people to be themselves and be honest no matter what other people think? Do we not teach people that looks don’t matter? That we should be individuals?

So why is their post not good enough to get the attention?

Whether you are working on an old school hot pink flip Motorola (always wanted that phone) or a brand new Olympic pen. Or if you walk around with a rucksack of different lenses and a camera that weighs more than your entire body, every single individual puts time and effort into the content they create.

It’s not a secret that I know nothing about photography, but the photos I take I try just as hard to make them look aesthetically pleasing as a professional would do. Sometimes I am lucky enough to get to pick the brains of Hayley and learn a bit more about taking high quality images but a lot of the time my content is mediocre.

It’s also no secret that I have the academic level of a goldfish and sometimes can’t seem to even get my words in the right order before a large cup of tea in the morning, but when I sit and write a post I put myself into it, grammatical errors and all.

IMG_20180317_095610_343The problem is however, in the last few months I put all this effort in and I don’t get anything out of it. Instead I see more and more beautifully taken photos by hired photographers in luxurious backgrounds surrounded by the biggest fruit spread dominating the popular page leading to a blog post on……. ‘How to gain 100k followers by just being you.’ But you read the post, you see the photo and it is completely hypocritical. You’re telling people to hire a photographer, is that being you? You’re saying to travel to these locations [Insert some amazingly expensive holiday you wouldn’t be able to afford to go on even if you sold your soul], is that being you? You’re saying photoshop yourself to show your curves and attract attention, is that being you? You’re advising to remove any necessities that everyone has in everyday life out of the image and only have high end, pretty looking objects in view, is that you? And most of all, is the entire blog post YOU? Because im sure we haven’t slipped into some Charlie brooker fantasy where everyone lives their life in a conformed list of instructions just yet.

It is disheartening when you put your real self out there and yet someone with 500k followers talking some utter shit about something they aren’t passionate about blocks out all your content altogether. Because that’s exactly what happens.

If your image doesn’t get a certain rate of engagement within the first 2 minutes, Instagram then blocks your photo from being discovered by people who haven’t engaged with you either; ever, or within the last 24 hours. That means around 60% of even your1521455157978 followers probably don’t see your posts, let alone finding any new followers. And if like me, you are shadowbanned (Instagram claim this is a glitch on their software) then no hashtags ever work on your photos and no exposure outside of your engaging followers is given. At all.

So ‘what’s the point in doing it?’ People say to me. I’ve heard so many people say ‘ I used to blog but I stopped because no one was reading my posts’ and honestly, I feel ya.

Sometimes I sit here trying to think of witty posts or come up with an idea that covers a topic that’s really popular at the minute in order to gain traffic to my blog or my Instagram, but then I read back and think, this isn’t me, this isn’t personal.

I want to look back in a few years and laugh like, ‘oh remember when we first got luna and she shat on my laptop because I took my favourite bra that she was chewing off her’ or cry because I remember the pain of losing my two babies. I want to look back and go ‘aww look how small they are here, remember when she just started sitting up?’ or ‘Gosh look at me complaining about being tired here when im legit dying of tiredness right now, I didn’t have a clue back then.’ I want to look back and remember my writing fondly, I don’t want to look back and read ‘5 self help books that cured me of depression’ because truth is in the future no one is going to care, I’m the only one who is going to care and im going to regret getting a few thousand views on that verses a funny update that reminds me of a great time or a feeling.

IMG_20180319_212906_025I’m not dissing ‘big’ bloggers, they work hard and they are great at it, they deserve the exposure they get but what i’m trying to say is don’t change yourself or your blog to conform with them just because they are popular.

You wanna write a blog on how your dog’s poo progresses through life? You do it. You want to write a diary entry documenting your mental illness in the most personal way possible? You do it. You want to share you latest tinder date in every gory detail? You do it. You write about what you want to write about, write what you enjoy and what you know that ten years into the future you can look back on and say ‘I’m so glad I wrote that, Id completely forgotten about it!’ Don’t write for someone else.

If your blog isn’t getting great views, that’s okay, it doesn’t mean its shit. It doesn’t mean you should change and fit in to ‘what’s popular.’ So please, please, please, if you want to blog but are scared no one will read it, just do it! Do it for yourself. If you already have a blog and are unmotivated by it and low about it, please keep going because you started it for a reason.  Remember the reason why you considered blogging in the first place? Was it to ‘get rich quick?’ probably not. It was to express yourself, share yourself and have a little place on the internet that’s all yours. It doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks of it.

YOU DO YOU.

 

xoxo

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Ngl, Pregnancy kinda sucks!?

I know its been quite the while since I last posted and promised to be more attentive with the blog but I’ve been fairly busy with my head in a sick bowl.

Whoever said pregnancy is supposed to be the loveliest 9 months of your life was clearly a joker and my previous two pregnancies had me fooled. Now i know the whole concept of pregnancy is so wonderful, a life is growing (extremely slowly and painfully) inside you and your life and body is changing for the better and all that bullshit but to be quite honest, its actually pretty shit isn’t it?

For starters, my handbag has now been emptied of expensive perfume, light coverage makeup for touch ups and all things girly that are assumed to be hiding around in there. Instead I have jars of vitamins, some granny looking headache stick so I don’t go blind from these ‘pregnancy migraines’, foundation thick enough to disguise my appearance completely, and copious amounts of ugly panty liners, cause someones gotta say it, girls the amount of random shit that’s coming out of your vagina is not pre-warned or talked about! Okay you don’t get a period, but you piss yourself every day for  6 months straight if someone makes a joke and lets not discuss the latter. All i’m saying is no period for 9 months is no cause for the sexy thongs, you want those granny pants more than ever!

Every week I get a notification saying what week in my pregnancy I am in and how big the baby is now, which okay is cute, but instead of telling me my baby is now the size of some exotic vegetable ill never eat, how about telling me that at this week my boobs are gonna explode into mismatched bag of potatoes and ill be freeing the nipple for the next 4 months because no bras fit?

You’ll be blooming soon everyone keeps saying, but im struggling to understand how one can bloom without starting the day with a strong coffee or being allowed to devour a whole camembert for lunch?

‘Your skin may start changing now’ the midwife told me at our last appointment to which I was eagerly awaiting the morning I looked in the mirror to discover I was no longer a reincarnated Michael Jackson and my skin was glowing and full of colour. What I seem to have developed instead, is a reptilian trait of shedding my skin every day, my face is literally peeling faster than the snakes that live in the corner of my dressing room. Also, to add to the long list of nice things us pregnant women can’t have, we add hair dye. I was quite happily continuing my façade of being a natural light blonde and ignoring the fact that my hair had turned into a grey brownish colour by keeping up with my roots every few months. The confusion when people tried to work out whether it was my hair or my eyebrows that were the real deal was a much preferred first world problem (both are fake incase you hadn’t worked that out) because now im walking around with proper ‘council house’ hair, it’s a good job its winter because im living in hats so no one knows my true identity. The best thing about us moving to burton is the fact that I am 95% anonymous and I don’t have to bump into anyone I know for them to offer me some change and directions to the nearest St Basils.

We are nearing the midway point of my pregnancy and with that comes the gender reveal, probably the most exciting milestone in the pregnancy and everyone keeps asking me whether I will be finding out. To which the answer is of course I am, I’m not a philistine. I will be spending the rest of my pregnancy hoarding every single gender related item I can, so yes, I will be finding out the sex, (If the second child is a different gender they’ll just have to lump it cause everyone knows you go all out for the first and the second gets the leftovers). However, finding out the gender isn’t all that simple either, especially when your baby thinks your womb is some sort of Guantanamo bay and must escape any detection. It’s hard to tell whether I am feeling them moving, despite the fact the midwife informs me they are constantly wriggling away when she tries to use the doppler, because im not too sure what im expecting to feel? Having Crohns, I have a load of weird feelings inside my body like a Chest-Burster is gonna be born any day (Dropping in Alien references so John shuts the F*&k up) and so its hard to tell what is the baby moving and was is just a fart building up. We have tried many different techniques to try to get the baby to do a 180 just so we can tell the difference between constipation and a baby kick. At around 16 weeks your baby can detect light and will turn away from it, so we have been using our phone torches as some sort of siege to terrorise our child to ‘come out with its hands up.’ (Not literally come out I mean like show yourself, im already having a heart attack thinking about childbirth and ive still got 4 months left).

Finally, its not a secret that with pregnancy comes a whirlwind of hormones, whether it changes physical attributes or your mental state it is important to report any changes to your dr or midwife. But im not sure my midwife was expecting to have such a paranoid pregnant woman on her, when she said you can text me at any time I don’t think she was expecting me to be like a bad smell and be texting her like ‘I’ve had diarrhoea and three farts in one go, is this normal? Is the baby still alive!? Have i gassed them!?’ ‘I’ve got hair growing in weird places, is this normal!?’ ‘I can’t stop eating olives, does this mean my baby will have good skin?’ ‘I rolled onto my back for like 10 seconds, have I killed my child!?” “Can you tell me if it’s a boy or a girl based on my symptoms? Go on! Just give me a guess?!’ Needless to say I bet she is looking forward to me having this baby more than I am. John has gone into a vegetative state of nodding with glazed eyes and saying ‘Yes, everything’s fine, here have some Mcnuggets” (HINT HINT. MCDONALDS SPONSER MY POSTS!)  to shut me up when I’m having a 2007 Britney meltdown.

As usual, I will end the post with a little positive disclaimer, because if you hadn’t already gathered I have a dry sense of humour but some people still seem to think im deadly serious in my posts. Obviously, there are negatives and positives to all pregnancies and I am thoroughly enjoying the experience of becoming a mother and can’t wait for the baby to come despite any nasty symptoms. There are also a hundred different things going on and I cant fit them all into a readable blog post.

*Featured photo designed and shot by Hayley Leaver Photography, click here to see more of her stuff.

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What I Actually Do – Day in the life of a Crohnie

Last week when I was having my 10am trip to the sick bowl, I was watching an interview, or rather a ‘debate’ on This Morning involving two women. One woman was a full time stay at home mom and the other a 9 – 5 working mother, and as much as I applaud the efforts of the working mom she caused a lot of uproar with branding the other as ‘lazy’ and questioning what exactly stay at home mom’s do.
This is a close debate to me because very often some ignorant person slides into my dm’s to ask me exactly ‘what I do?’ and yes I am a self proclaimed lazy arse, but I also work hard and do not do “nothing.” After talking to a lot of other Crohn’s sufferers I find myself telling them to not feel guilty about doing nothing or achieving nothing more than a 6 hour nap on a day they aren’t feeling great and yet I feel myself having to justify what exactly I do still.


So first off I’m going to state that I don’t feel I have to justify myself but there are a lot of you who are non-maliciously, genuinely interested in what a week is like for myself as a Crohn’s sufferer, work from home, M.E diagnosed, pregnant, student.
Already, my illnesses are a type of job, they are something I live with everyday and they can determine the path I go down in my life. A year and a half ago I gave up work to focus on my health and have not returned to a career since, and I do not regret that, nor do I feel like I am lazy or a ‘doll scrounger’ because of my choice to focus on being mentally and physically well over the 9-5 grind. I work hard to do normal tasks some days, sometimes getting dressed is an exhausting task or even a walk with Luna (despite the fact she’s pop-eye on a leash) can tire me out for the entire day and with the build up of my exhaustion comes a flare up, with a flare up comes a debilitating change in life, days in hospital and watching loved ones suffer the thought of what will happen to me this time. So when I say I do not work full time or have a ‘proper career’ I am not ashamed or feel guilty for being a stay at home person and any other chronic illness sufferer should not feel guilty that they too cannot work or cannot pay into the state like many other people in society can and do.
With that said this is what an AVERAGE day (there are obviously days I lie around in a vegetative state with one arm round my sick bowl and the other in a pic n mix tub watching Netflix) looks like for me.0001
I wake up when my natural body clock wakes me up, because if I don’t, boy do I know about it. On the days I have to set an alarm I fight a battle of morning sickness and body fatigue as my digestive system hasn’t clocked in yet, my body has awoken before my functions have and so they work at dysfunctional time differences. So majority of the time I let myself wake up naturally to avoid any premature trips to the toilet and alleviate the chances of a midday nap. I go down to luna, who has already attempted her prison breaks and escapology routines in which she somehow manages to escape her cage even with cable ties and a padlock on (I don’t even know how she does it but I can earn big bucks from her skills, Houdini is shaking in his grave). Feed her some goop whilst trying not to gag and then have a cup of tea, or on a bad sickness day, a cup of boiled water (wild, I know) and then run to the toilet and sick it all back up again…
“Welcome to the second trimester” they said… “Morning sickness will be going now” they said…
Well my stomach and my toilet disagree. So once ive gotten my vomiting out the way I go get dressed, which I think is the actual hardest part of the day. It’s the part where you mentally make the decision that your day is beginning and you mean business, despite feeling like its time to go back to bed already.
0003If it’s a work from home kinda day, then ill be lucky to be arsed to do my makeup cause that is commitment usually only saved for leaving the house. Joggers on, messy bun (that looks more like a sparse turd on my head because my hair is too thin to do a proper messy bun) and eyebrow-less. Our post lady (despite being half blind and unable to tell what number our house actually is) delivers my ‘blogger mail’ (again this is NOT something that happens EVERYDAY) with the same astonished expression that Michael Jackson really hasn’t died and is living at number 11 in her home town when I greet her. I spend a couple hours doing the house work and talking to the dog like a mad woman who has had no human contact in years whilst debuting my new album at top volume and a well-choreographed cordless vacuum dance to accompany it. Then by lunch time I have finished boring mundane chores and sit down to go through my emails. I argue with a few collaborators about how I deserve to be paid for advertising their brand or products and write up briefs or ‘pitches’ to them with my set fee in the hope they accept and delete all the spam about how I need a penis enlargement for my non-existent dick. Then if I have Instagram or blogging jobs to do I try to do them whilst its still light outside, setting up the brands product in some shitty layout and blab on about what I think of them in painstakingly unnecessary detail that the company are happy with. Although this proves to be a lot harder than anticipated because there are only so many flat lays or backgrounds I can use for variety within the four walls of my house (and yknow, eyebrows off means I ain’t leaving the house unless for emergencies).
If I don’t have any blogging or insta jobs to complete then I log onto my student account and do some of my uni work, or rather, I pretend im doing uni work but actually got side tracked by the latest serial killer documentary that I have on in the background and then come deadline day I cry into my laptop until ive finished and then repeat the whole cycle again come next assignment. The great thing about Open uni is its so flexible, if im having an ‘ill’ day, where I don’t get anything done, I’m not reprimanded or lectured, instead offered extra support should I want it. You get out exactly what you put in, and there’s no in-between. If I only do an hour a week of uni then I’m not in trouble for missing online lectures or activities, I just notice a decrease on my own ability come the next marked assignment. You are given your assignment due dates for the whole year when you start so there isn’t really any excuse as to why I could miss my August 2018 deadline because I knew it was coming from October 2017. Still, im a pro at leaving it to the last minute.
When I’ve finished work there is usually only an hour or so before john gets back from 0004work so I usually just chill, watch some shitty American tv show and sleep because by now im exhausted. Im exhausted every hour of the day thanks to Crohn’s but when my tasks are done that’s when I reward myself with a nap (it’s the best part of everyday). When john gets home and ive awoken like someone having a nightmare in a horror film, wondering what year it is and where ive been for the last decade, we take luna out for a run. She has developed a keen talent of finding any way possible to get into the River Trent and swims around for a little bit providing the current isn’t strong. If the current is strong, I turn into a crazed mother running after her screaming like she’s the kittens in the ‘Aristocats’ about to be swept away but she never is because y’know, shes a dog, shes a good swimmer. When ive finished having heart palpitations and accusing john of not caring or getting in the river after her, we head home and argue about what we want for tea. The system is fairly simple, ‘Did we have pasta yesterday?’ ‘No?’ ‘Pasta it is’. If the answer is yes its, ‘Okay think of something today and we’ll have pasta tomorrow’. I cook tea and we watch some shit tv before retiring like an old age pensioner to bed at like 10pm where I kid myself into thinking im going to finish my book tonight but instead end up falling asleep to family guy.
Like I said previously, days differ, sometimes I meet up with friends for a drink, sometimes I have to go to venues for various things, sometimes I am at doctors or hospital appointments or tests, some days I check up on the Etsy shop (full feature coming soon) and some days I do absolutely nothing.
So yeah, I do do ‘nothing’ but I don’t do ‘nothing’ at the same time and I’m not ashamed to not have a full time proper job. Of course on a bad day I think badly of myself, chastise myself for not being stronger or having the motivation to push through and get a 9-5 job and feel guilty that some people don’t have the choice but to work. But everybody has their own guilt battles, mom guilt, breaking a diet guilt, work guilt, not going to the gym guilt, spending money on irrelevant things guilt. It’s a natural part of mental health to feel guilty for things we have or do that we know others may not be as fortunate, but it doesn’t mean we are in the wrong. If you have a chronic illness and cannot work, if you are mentally effected by work or if ‘work’ is deteriorating your own health, there is no shame and nothing wrong with taking the back step. It doesn’t make you ‘lazy’ or a ‘doll scrounger’ or a ‘freeloader.’
In July I will be adding to my list of jobs, I will be a full time stay-at-home mom, and I have no shame in being just that. My life aspiration was to be a mother. So I am proud to be able to achieve that and focus all my energy into being the best full time mom.

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*As you may have noticed some of the photography is 100% better than any of my own, including the main header photo. These photos were taken and are owned by HND Photography student, Hayley Leaver. Click on any of her photos (Watermarked) to check out more of her work and show support. More of her images will be featured in upcoming posts.

xx

 

To check out my previous post Click here

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‘Not Social Media Perfect’

I’ve been trying to start a post for about a week now but I’m so easily distracted by the stupidest things I’ve somehow found hours past and yet no post written. I didn’t want ‘blogging’ to be a chore but as my Instagram and blog have progressed, it has become more of a business/money opportunity (which I am grateful for don’t get me wrong) and thus the hobby has turned into more of a job and well, we all know how shit I am at actually sticking at jobs…

However, 2017 offered me the amazing opportunity to turn my Instagram and blog into a small business and with that I have learned just how difficult it is to live in this ‘blogosphere, perfect lifestyle.’ I am pleased to have developed into the place I am now and hope I can continue to do what I enjoy doing, but I have to acknowledge and take my hat off to every other ‘blogger’ out there. Keeping up the ‘perfect social media life’ is more of a job than you expect it to be. You think it all sunshine and happiness, waking up to the perfect latte with an aesthetically pleasing pattern on the top and a bunch of flowers to place beside for a ‘just woke up’ Instagram shot. Followed by a brand-new delivery of clothing to wear for your ‘ootd’ and then a trip around the town snapping various locations and overpriced meals before you settle back down in some fluffy bed socks to post all about your amazing day on your brand new apple mac.  

Well in reality, it’s winter in England, and you know what that means? It means a disturbing lack of natural light followed by rain, rain, horrific wind and more rain. Any chance of a vibrant picture is a lot harder to recreate when you’re an amateur and mother nature doesn’t want you to go outside. As for the coffee, if I want it, I gotta make it myself so any attempt at a delicate latte art ends up looking like a mushed up version of luna’s turds, not to mention coffee gives me the shits anyway. And receiving promo products everyday? Nope, if you want something you gotta wait for days until you’re lucky enough to be noticed and then you have to spend a further week negotiating with them how you deserve more than a 10ml tester in return for a whole advertising package. The perfect social media life doesn’t exist, I for one wouldn’t class myself as a serious blogger, i don’t own an expensive DSLR, nor do I go location searching in a party outfit to get a good fashion shot and then spend another 5 hours editing it on photoshop because I cant deal with the bags under my eyes. But a lot of your favourite bloggers do. Turning a blog or an Instagram into a business is hard work, the whole con of making money on social media is the concept of illusion. Trying to make your life look amazing is the hardest job of all because nobody is perfect. I for one, am one of the laziest people I know, it is my biggest downfall and do you know how hard it is to complete a job when you’re lazy af? No, but seriously, if you like someone’s Instagram, or their blog post, whether they are a high flying social media star or they post every month as part of a hobby, let them know you like it, let them know you support their work because it is just like any other job, it takes hard work and a lot of effort to achieve the final ‘product’ that you see.

This all sounds like im complaining about it, which I’m not trying to do because I love where I am right now. I love that I am able to pick and chose my work and still have time to binge watch Netflix or that I can work as hard or as little as I like in-between napping like a god. But the first part of wanting to be a ‘blogger’ is stepping back and accepting that it is all an illusion, it is all fake and at the end of the day it is just work and work most commonly turns boring in the end.

So with that said, I intend to start a whole new series, thanks to a fellow blogger, Maddie, who writes and owns Mind A Moment Blog, she encouraged me when I was feeling like I didn’t have much more to give because my life isn’t social media perfect. This series is going to be ‘Not Social Media Perfect’ because I make good content when i’m not massively faking it, when I’m being my lazy self and living a great but ridiculously normal lifestyle. Maddie reminded me to focus on the things I have actually achieved at 22 and how I should be proud to share them with you, not the perfect make up deals or the incredibly fake advertisements which you mainly see on my Instagram because that is my job. Is anybody actually their job? Your job is only one persona and in this new series ‘Not Social Media Perfect’ I will be sharing (when I want to – not forcing anything) tips for real life, share my stories of my boring normalities and take you on a (probably dull) journey from Chloe Dawson, teenager, who started social media in her box room at her parents, to Chloe Dawson, adult, who now earns money on social media, has a mortgage and is starting a family but in the most unglamorous truthful way it is, in its entirety.

The Bell “Apparently”

So back when I became the boring adult age of 22, where no birthday is ever worth the rave until you reach 30 (which is a terrifying concept), me and john spent a few nights in Ticehurst at The Bell ‘Apparently’.

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We booked two nights in their lodge called ‘between the lines,’ each lodge is completely unique and has a different themed design. Between the lines was centred around literature and classics, the country life of sitting by a log fire playing old board games, (John is going to kill me for not being able to name an old fashioned game he played back in the dark ages when he was a child) and reading a romantic novel. The theme is evident throughout along with a cosy romantic vibe, the place was just immaculately beautiful and I can’t wait to book another trip. If you want to book a night or two at The Bell click here, you can book a room in the main hotel or a private lodge, like the one we stayed in.

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On the first day, after 4 hours of praying that kitty (or Jon snow as I like to call it to piss john off) – the car by the way – don’t ask – didn’t break down (very ironic, but that’s for a different day) we spent the time drinking in their bar and retiring to chill out in the lodge. We started up the log fire and john nipped to the shop to get a bottle of whiskey whilst I ran a bath. Anyone who knows us will know that baths are like the number one on our list of luxuries and one of the reasons we ended up together (besides Craig David – again, don’t ask) and seen as john left his copper, roll top, mother-of-all-luxurious bathtubs in the world behind in Kings Heath this was the best bath experience and we were making the fucking most of it. Like parents who have escaped the children for a night, we enjoyed not having Luna cry every time we kiss, or wipe her dirty arse across the carpet, or sit on our heads whilst trying to watch a movie. I lay in the bath and john sat on the balcony beside it, smoking a cigar (Mostly johns part, sorry mom), drinking whiskey and chatting beside the log fire. (As well as fighting over who’s music to listen to as the lodge had built in speakers all around.) It was perfect.

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When it started to get too chilly we ordered a Chinese to the lodge. I made john do the shame walk into the restaurant to ask for plates and cutlery and turns out beside the fact Ticehurst is the most aesthetically pleasing and beautiful, tiny country village, they also do the BEST chicken in black bean sauce dish I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting, (and in 22 years ive had a lot). BUT they didn’t do yuk sung so y’know, point down to the beautiful village we wanted to move to. The village was so ‘British,’ the kind of country village that is portrayed to the rest of the world as what England is actually like, amazing architecture, 70’s cars, farmers delivering eggs fresh in the morning, fish mongers weighing out their fresh fish and a butcher on every corner. Instead of the pouring rain, vomit clogged drains and left over Chicken Balti on the pavement with bottles of bud and empty plastic packets of cocaine that is Birmingham.

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On the second day we took a trip to Hastings, where we took a basket of smoked cheese biscuits and selection of pates intending to eat it on the beach like a 1950’s couple, but instead we found a true crime museum and spent hours sitting in an electric chair, marvelling at preserved evidence from big crime scenes and learning how to make weapons out of plastic spoons. So again another perfect day. (More on Hastings another time).

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That night we ate at The Bells Restaurant and it was like a Michelin star, they really pay attention to detail and the décor of the place is just incredible. Morning, Afternoon and evening they have a centrepiece filled with suitable foods. In the morning is a spread of continental goods, pastries, cereals, fruit, and in the evening is a huge meat joint ready to be carved surrounded with various tapas. The menu’s they offer are ever-changing with the seasons and in pure autumnal country fashion we shared guinea fowl, mushroom arrancini, beetroot soup, braised leg and butter poached breast. It was completely different to what I would usually pick, I’m more of a frutti de mare kinda gal but it was divine and I will definitely be ordering it again. As for breakfast, i’m sure judging by my Instagram it was obvious I was going to have the eggs benedict or royale (I can’t remember which is which – the one with the smoked salmon) as that is my go to brekkie and john being john went with the biggest breakfast he could find…every morning.

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The hotel and lodges themselves are honestly phenomenal and well worth the money, the attention to detail is incredible, every document, tour guide, wine list and lodge guide was addressed personally to me, every day they served homemade cookies in bell jars and loose leaf tea of every single variation possible. The quirkiness of the lodge was so intricate I don’t think we even uncovered all of its magic and I cant wait to book again and try a different lodge out as every one has its own secret. Between the lines had a headboard made from novels and hand drawn images from notebooks. It also had a mezzanine floor with chaise lounges and crates full of records. The artwork throughout the hotel is all one off individual pieces with a story behind them and all the rooms boast their own poetry fitting with the ‘storytelling’ theme they have created. It was like the whole of Alice in Wonderland was compressed into a building.

I can’t really say anymore because i’d be here all day waffling on about how amazing this place is. So with The Bell’s motto “I will always love you, my friend” I bid you farewell.

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