Tag: funny

32 Weeks Pregnant Update

32 weeks pregnant

My face girth is like princess Fiona,

My feet are like giant pig trotters,

My legs feel like they are constantly on a rollercoaster and need a treadmill, but my body wants to sleep for 15+ hours,

And I can’t see my genitals without the use of a handheld light up mirror.

I have officially made it to 32 weeks!

Only 8 more weeks to go until I sit on the corner of my bed crying because she is now overdue. I cannot wait till she arrives but everyone keeps asking if I’m prepared and I don’t think you can ever actually be prepared unless you’ve had billions of kids previously, and even then each one is different. But I am as prepared as a woman who doesn’t know how many muslins is too many or how thick a sanitary pad is gonna cover the amount of blood, can be. But I do have a mini watering can at the ready for that first piss (apparently pouring water over your vag is the best way to go) so y’know.

The nursery is coming along quite slowly because of all the trips to the hospital we’ve been doing and so there’s literally no time to get it done unless I do it alone (which John would have a 2007 Britney meltdown if he came home and id decorated it by myself and he hadn’t got to share the experience). But I will be doing a separate nursery makeover post anyway.

She’s now apparently the size of a coconut but according to the growth scans she’s a bit of a porker and the distance she’s kicking out of my stomach is like a flailing beach whale, so I reckon she’s gonna come out a fatty. A fatty with a tiny head apparently, but it is in the Dawson genes to have tiny heads, there’s a reason we are known as the “Dwarfson’s”

According to the bounty app I’ve been eagerly checking each day, Scientists have found that babies can actually dream at this stage in pregnancy, so god help her if she inherited my overactive brain because my dreams are like full length feature blockbusters every night. Only last night did I dream I was having a long hard chat about my questionable sex life in my teens with Professor Snape on a plummeting helicopter. (Figured you’d rather hear about that than my non-family-friendly dream about Abel Tesfaye).

I’ve noticed I waffle on a lot about the hardships of pregnancy but there are good parts too….

This week I’ve discovered that I am able to fully shave from the eyebrows down, going only by touch and so if I ever go blind at least I know that issue is sorted. I’ve also discovered that despite living 21 years with a full-length intestine (which I now don’t have, as you know) and the inability to eat whatever I want, that I can infact eat EVERYTHING right now. We stopped at my grandparents’ house and I figured one cake wasn’t enough to follow a roast dinner so I had two sponge cakes and a chocolate gateaux to tidy off my meal, which ngl, still wasn’t enough. Another good thing about pregnancy is the sex. A lot of people are weird about having sex when pregnant from fear or anxiety of putting a dick through a hole their child is soon to travel through (didn’t wanna be all formal but also didn’t wanna be too x rated so apologies for the weird description). But I can tell you sex whilst pregnant is amazing, I don’t know how or why but as soon as that second trimester hit I turned into some crazed … (I couldn’t think of a good analogy because all of the things I came up with either made me cringe or made me gag, but you get where im going with this). So moving on from that positive, cause my grandparents read my blog…another positive thing to come from pregnancy is the fact that my boobs no longer resemble those of a prepubescent teen and are actually large enough to not have to wear chicken fillets! Also, my obsessive need to buy shit has escalated, as I now have a whole new market to buy for, and the options out there for babies are far more fulfilling than scouting around Topshop looking for something that ISNT A CROP TOP. Although my bank account and my self esteem don’t agree, as I think I’m turning into an actual stereotypical ‘Mom’ even with the fashion choices I’m making. I find myself looking at a really nice top I would’ve bought straight away and putting it back on the rail saying ‘It’s just not practical’ or ‘I don’t think I can get away with wearing that anymore,’ ‘I’ll be too cold’ and the most realistic of reasons ‘I just don’t have a social life to wear that outfit to anymore.’ I even picked what I thought was a cute outfit for Alex who is only 3 YEARS YOUNGER than me, for her to reply “It’s nice, but it’s just a bit too old for me.” So apparently I have past my prime and soon I will be hearing the phrase “Mutton dressed as Lamb” far too often.

I’m gonna cut this there because I’m starting to waffle on about really uninteresting factors of my premature aging process and its hitting 9:30 pm, which is way past my bedtime, obvs.

Thank you for reading and stay tuned for another update.

Xoxo


 

To read previous posts Click on the images below

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

title with credentials

how i bought a house


 

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest


 

introducing bloggers

Advertisements

28 weeks pregnant on the hottest bank holiday…

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

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



To join my little Facebook community click on the image below!

introducing bloggers


To read previous posts click on the images below!

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

how i bought a house

Processed with VSCO with c7 preset

Home owner at 21 : Getting a mortgage and buying our first home

how i bought a house

Part Two

If you haven’t read Part One Click here

(Images at the end for mobile version)

I was sat in my parents conservatory scrolling through rightmove, zoopla and every estate agent site I could find, realising everything on here is still too far out of our budget. This should’ve been the first red flag to say, ‘just be patient and don’t try to rush things,’ but I ignored every single sign that told me that. I’m not a patient person.

We had booked to view multiple houses, some were lovely but the road they were on wasn’t great and I didn’t know how comfortable i’d feel walking around alone at night, others were just giant sink holes portraying our spirits at the realisation of what we could afford. Sometimes the estate agent didn’t even turn up to show us around and other times we were welcomed in by the home owner themselves and had to listen to them waffle on in every room about all the sentimental things that had occurred in each space. Some were three bed and some were two bed, some had a new fitted kitchen and appliances, some were just utter shite and some looked like it belonged to their grandma only a week ago before she’d passed away leaving her entire life inside the house.

We had been to many but realistically none of which we could afford, as first time buyers we were going to set up a help to buy ISA. This means that whatever you save, the government will give you 25% of that amount towards the purchase of your house, however the maximum you can receive is only £3,000 and one thing they don’t make clear is that this cannot be used for the deposit, the solicitors or any type of fees related to the purchase before the exchanging of contracts! So basically its like a little bonus AFTER you’ve managed to buy your house (.gov).

Another option to look into is the Help to Buy Scheme, these are for new builds predominantly. This is where you can pay only 5% deposit, have a 75% mortgage and the remaining 20% will be an equity loan. This is ideal if you have the funds and the monthly income to be able to have a mortgage (and prove it profusely) but haven’t got the spare cash for a large deposit. Bear in mind, the 20% is a LOAN and will have to be paid back, however you do not have to pay it back within the first 5 years. This is probably the best option, but, and this is a big but, you need to have an absolutely impeccable credit score to be able to secure a 75% mortgage.

It sounds so simple, and you probably think, oh well that’s fine because ive never had a credit card, ive not been behind on any bills, I’ll be fine. No. This is false, that credit score needs to be watched and looked after more than your own child. I have never had any credit cards or been in debt, this is a point down to getting a mortgage because if ive never had to pay anything back that ive borrowed how can I prove I can pay back hundreds of thousands of pounds for a mortgage?

Secondly, they go back five years when assessing you for a mortgage, this means any kind of slip up in payments at all in the last five years is under scrutiny. I am talking payments for pretty much ANYTHING. If you are buying with others, all of theirs will be scrutinised also and one tiny slip up could cost you being accepted for a mortgage. If you have a low income, chances are you aren’t going to be accepted for a substantial mortgage because you need to be able to prove you can pay back the monthly costs and still live a comfortable life, you need to prove this for a minimum of 3 months. If you are a currently a student, the likelihood is you wont get a mortgage, they don’t take into account your student loan payments but they assess any income unrelated to student finance (so a student loan is not classed as your income). When assessing how much you can pay back monthly, it is essential you can prove you can pay back what they assess your mortgage to be, plus interest, plus what the government see fit as a substantial living cost for your age/status/job for a minimum of at least 3 months. You will also have to prove you have had the substantial amount for the deposit in your account for this time also. If you work for an employer, proving your earnings requires a minimum of 3 months, however if you are self employed, you need to prove your earnings for a minimum of 3 years (this posed a problem for me), if you work for an agency things can differ from different banks/building societies/mortgage lenders/etc, but the likelihood – like being a student – is you won’t be accepted for a mortgage.

When March came I’d come across a house I knew we could afford, it was a lovely house with an absolutely huge garden. It was within the outskirts of the area we wanted to move to, not too far from either of our parents and was a price that was exceptional for Birmingham prices. We had decided we would probably have to look at a two bed as it was all we could afford but the bedroom sizes were large and there was no obvious faults with the house. I went with my mom to view the house and despite being distracted by the bright fuchsia lipstick the estate agent was wearing, I was in awe of finally being out of the conservatory and on the way to owning this house. Id already moved in in my head and pictured the entire Ikea catalogue inside the rooms. The lady had informed us that the house had fallen through at the last minute, only a week before contracts were being exchanged (that is the final part of buying a house) so she was extremely keen to sell and would most likely accept less than the asking price. She had also completely refitted and refurbished the attic and fireplace/chimney to fit safety regulations and there was a new heating system fitted, so that night we made an offer of £135,000 (asking price was 140k) and she accepted. I popped the pink prosecco and we celebrated in the garden, thinking this was it.

All we had to do now was secure the mortgage. We had just under the 10% deposit (the standard required deposit, but would have the full amount before the contracts exchanged as the process can take months, so that’s a few more months to put more money aside) what more could go wrong?

But as we frantically applied to bank after bank, different loaners and mortgage lenders we were just being consistently rejected due to the fact we had a ‘low credit score’ and the fact that I was currently a student meant I was viewed as a “dependant” (Meaning they viewed me as a non income earner and took this out of johns monthly payments to ‘sustain’ me as if I was his child). Because I am self employed (I work on social media and blogging) this meant that to not be seen as a ‘dependant’ and as a contributor to the mortgage I had to have been earning a high wage in self-employment for over three years, and provide bank statements going back the whole three years to prove this, which of course I did not have, so there I was now a liability.

We were in desperate need of talking to someone who actually understood all of this and why exactly we were being rejected. We’d never missed a council tax bill, never missed a rent payment, had the 10% required deposit, it was literally beyond me why we couldn’t get this mortgage. It felt like the whole banking system was just like ‘nah, don’t fancy giving you a mortgage tbh’, for no apparent reason. Also, just to have this conversation to fully understand what the situation was and what exactly was going on, was going to cost us hundreds of pounds. One thing for sure is I was studying in the wrong field, I should’ve become a mortgage advisor or a solicitor where i can literally charge hundreds of pounds just to simply answer a one sentence question.

Luckily for us, John had a friend who was infact a mortgage advisor (its not what you know folks, its who you know, if ive learnt anything in life its to go out and search for friends in useful jobs like they are cattle! [im joking…kind of..] although not all is helpful because, GAVIN IM STILL WAITING FOR MY INCREDIBLE INSURANCE DEAL HERE! Id have thought id hit the jackpot being friends with an insurance broker…)

Anyway, we went to see johns friend all hopeful he could finally sort this out for us. He was amazing really, he explained exactly what all the technical mumbojumbo meant, what it was all the mortgage lenders were looking at/for and explained the whole process to us like the retards we are. He set us up a credit score account so we could see a full credit report (usually these cost a couple hundred pounds to obtain) but despite his good cup of tea making and cute dogs, the results were still a negative. We went through the credit reports and he showed us exactly what it was that was costing us our mortgage.

Now, let me take you back to what seemed like a great night a year prior, It was my 20th birthday, id met my friends up town and we had got inexplicably drunk, ending up in snobs to dance on the sticky floor and wait for hours to take a piss, after breaking the seal. God knows what the night entailed cause I was so pissed I cant remember half of it, but I know it resulted in having a pump truck on our front garden and many hungover lodgers to indulge in a greasy breakfast the next morning. At some point throughout the night however, john had gone missing (this isn’t alarming, when everyone’s drunk we don’t really pay attention to what’s going on and mixed with the fact john likes to have a wonder when he’s drunk, we often lose him for half an hr or so). So, john had done his usual wonder off on a drunken adventure whilst we were digging into a dirty kebab and being sick over the pavement. The next morning, we were all worse for wear and john came in and explained how somehow his jeans had ripped completely across the crotch, so somewhere along his little escapade he’d managed to entirely rip through his jeans and stumble back home in his boxers. Few eyebrows raised here but the more pressing point was he had a really shit flip up phone (he hadn’t entered the 21st century until he met me, I can safely say) that was something stupid like £5 a month on contract that had gone missing, it had fallen from the pocket in the jeans which had ripped off (seriously john what the fuck happened in that missing half an hr). This was a completely innocent act and we were more upset that it had nice photos on the phone than the phone itself, but now, flashforward a year and a half later we realised that that stupid nokia was the reason we could not get a mortgage.

Staring at us, on the credit report was three red flags of £5 for that ridiculous flip phone. When he lost the phone, he simply got a new one, it wasn’t worth anything but little did we know that in the crossover between registering a new contract (he’d used a pay as you go untill he actually got a brand new 21st century smartphone) we had missed a couple bill payments for that phone. 5 fucking pound. This meant the credit score was too low. This, added to the other strains on why we couldn’t get a mortgage meant we were being rejected for a 10% deposit, 90% mortgage. The only way to be able to get a mortgage on the house we had put an offer for, was by submitting a 15% deposit and receiving an 85% mortgage with high interest rates. Because we’d made the offer of £135,000 , 10% was £13,500, we now needed 15% which would have been an extra £6,750 to make the £20,250. We didn’t have just an extra £7k lying around (rounded up £6750) and therefore had to pull out of buying the house.

The following few days I spent crying and feeling low thinking how we would be stuck in my mom’s conservatory for another 6 months until we could save up enough to buy a house with 15% deposit. But life goes on, I had my surgery booked in for the summer and being at my moms meant they could look after me, the dates passed by that our two little ones would’ve been arriving into the world and we put it behind us and celebrated with drinks instead of moping about in the sauna attached to mom’s house.

We continued to save a minimum of a thousand pounds a month for the following few months and I was becoming increasingly desperate to find somewhere before the summer ended. I began searching along the Birmingham trainline instead of inside the city itself, scouting the outskirts of the West Midlands. I noticed a railway symbol on the map with a purple ‘Z’ right next to it, so I zoomed in to find a house for sale right next to the train station. After a few clicks I found that the train from the station goes directly to Birmingham centre (where john worked) and so I considered the possibility of maybe living a bit further out.

I was a little irrational at the time and hastily booked a viewing, seeing only the cheap price and the fact It was next to a train station going to bham and then had to explain to john that the house was infact over 20 miles away. But we were optimistic and we both decided what would the harm be in going to look at the house?

John booked the afternoon off work and we caught the train, marvelling at the fact we got offered a cup of tea on this train and pointed out the countryside views that were so different to the cityscape of Aston we usually passed on the train home. When we got off the train the house was less than 5 minutes walk from the station, we looked outside at it and thought, okay not really what we wanted but it looks spacious. We then noticed the neighbours. The house was next door to God. We had a few laughs both being atheists, at the irony of living next to a functioning church, but I noticed they sold cream teas in the church café so I was sold. At least God wouldn’t be the nightmare neighbour from hell. We were a bit early for our viewing so we took a walk around the harbouring streets, nosing at the nearby shops and all the real ale pubs offering beers straight out of the keg, made in the brewery that stood less than a mile from the house.

We returned to view the house with an estate agent and there’s not much I can say to be honest, from the minute we walked through the front door, it didn’t disappoint. Yes it wasn’t decorated to our taste, and yes there was work that needed to be done, but it was literally three times the size of the houses we could afford in Birmingham. It was three bedrooms with a bathroom the size of a double bedroom, a large garden and a fairly modern kitchen with an attaching lean to for a utility. We left feeling we had a huge decision to make, walked back up to the town centre (which was 5 minutes away) and had a drink in a local cocktail bar. The price of the house was the lowest we’d found, the size was bigger than some of the £200k houses we’d looked at in Birmingham and most importantly, we could just about afford 15% deposit on this house. However, it was in a town we had never been to before, 20 miles from home.

But to skip to the point, after visiting the town a few times, doing research on the area, meeting the homeowner and crying stressed tears, we made an offer. And the home owner accepted.

Now again, in my head I thought great, we hand over the money, exchange the contracts and collect the keys, done. Nope.

The process took four months. FOUR MONTHS.

There were searches and surveys done for things I didn’t even understand or realise they needed to do, it goes through one solicitor to another and the time it took was just ridiculous. Who’d have thought a coal mining search needed to be done on the property? The searches (which may be more or less depending on your property) were; Local Authority, Water and Drainage, Environmental, Commons Registration, Coal Mining, Land Charges, Index Map Search, Disadvantaged Areas, Chancel Repair and Indemnity Insurance. Like Wtf?? I hope john understood what all these were because I just smiled and nodded and hoped I wasn’t being ripped off. Check Fridays move for the definition of these conveyancing searches. Then there are surveys, which included; A basic valuation, a house buyers report and inspection and a full structural survey (again surveys may vary). Check Fidler for further definitions on surveys.

Did I mention each one of these costs hundreds? Well, yepp. After all the stress of saving up the deposit, securing the house and the stress of coming to every result of the searches and surveys, not knowing if today would be the day we are told we couldn’t buy the house because of various issues (after we had paid hundreds for the tests to be done) we were handed a huge bill. I’m not going to lie, we knew it was coming, but we weren’t prepared for the entire cost of the whole process. The whole process requires (can be more or less depending on the expertise and services you required) the (15%) deposit (most commonly 10%), estate agent fees if the house you are purchasing is listed with an estate agent, solicitor fees, mortgage advisor fees, search fees, survey fees, stamp duty (depends on your circumstance and the price of the property you are purchasing), land registry, VAT (if you are required to pay stamp duty) and the bills required for general home owning for the month you are moving in. (I.e, set up the water, electricity, etc, bills ready to move in).

This is where we set up a direct debit loan to a family member, because without them we could not cover the expense of the solicitors, estate agent fees, surveys and searches and the basic fee’s as well as paying 15% deposit on a house. So we can only thank them for being able to give us that extra cash when we needed it. We pay that back monthly with no interest and do not miss a payment.

I’m not going to share the exact cost of the purchase but I did say I would be honest and transparent and I know a few of you have actually asked for figures on my Instagram. So the total cost of purchasing our first home, with all fees included was in the ball park of £25k.

In August 2017, I was 21 and 7 weeks post op, we collected the keys to our home, camped on the floor because we had no furniture and had a picnic. Since then, very slowly, we have been doing up the house and making it into our home and I love it.

We were able to buy a bed after a month of sleeping on an airbed and being propelled into the air everytime john moved, and then in December we finally bought a sofa, now we are preparing to decorate our daughters room as we welcome her into the world, celebrating a whole year of owning our own property. Progress is slow, but Rome wasn’t built in a day.

If you want to get onto the property ladder, it is possible, with perseverance and a lot of strawberry daquiris you will get there. Saving money takes dedication but if I can do it (and still stuff my face with unnecessary take-aways) then you can. I understand I am very fortunate to have a partner to support me, as well as an incredible family who I’m lucky to have help me out when I need it and I understand not everyone will have that support network, but you can do it, it just takes time. Me and john are completely financially independent, and I am so so grateful for that, after purchasing the house we literally had to start saving from nothing again, and it is possible to live, play and save at the same time.

I apologise for the length of this post but I wanted to make sure I covered the majority of questions people asked me in regards to purchasing a home.

If you have any other questions relating to buying a house feel free to message me on Instagram.

Thanks for reading

xxx

(Hover on the image to read the caption)

 

Processed with VSCO with  preset

 

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

You-do-you[I do not own this image]

 

As a way for bloggers to gain exposure I have recently started up my ‘Introducing…’ series, so if you are interested in being a guest post on my blog in order to reach a further/different audience please check out my page and show your interest or let know on Instagram.

Thank you to everyone who has already applied to be a part of the series, you guys are what makes it worthwhile!

Introducing Brief

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.

Processed with VSCO with c6 preset

*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

My Instagram

Hayleys Instagram

 

22

IMG-20171015-WA0011

 

I’m not entirely sure what this post is gonna be about or even going to include but I thought I hadn’t written one in a while so imma try whack one out of these chubby little fingers of mine. As you know I turned 22, it was kind of unavoidable considering I’d plastered it all over social media and I’d promised John if he didn’t get the giant balloons so I can sing Taylor Swift ‘22’ and quote it in a cliché insta caption, then his life wouldn’t be worth living. But he pulled it off blaring it at 5am in the morning.

I spent my actual birthday doing the craziest, wildest shit ever, literally the best day of my life, I spent the morning…wait for it…completing a Sudoku. Not just any Sudoku, the extreme level Sudoku in the take a break mag. Really was a wild 22nd. But mom and dad did surprise me by coming to visit in the afternoon and we had cupcakes and did what civilised people do before I got to change into my ‘I don’t have to uphold a reputation and am free to ruin my life’ persona. My friends came over and we stuffed our faces with posh food, talked about politics and drank prosecco, like how 22 year old adults are supposed to act…(That’s adulting, right?) I’m joking I have the mental age of a 16 year old and go out with a man child so it was just like any other day, we were dicks that drank too much, broke the ‘No smoking we are sophisticated adults now’ ban, argued about Donald trump and slavery, cried about how old we are, wondered how the world began, joked about how we manage to hold down respectable careers, argued over who was paying the bill, bitched about our mutual enemies, smothered our dogs, laughed till we peed, shotted Raki till 6am and I shan’t go any further than that cause I’m sure you’d only love to know what Josie (professional accountant by day) gets up to by night…….

Turns out being 22 is the exact same as being 18 except you wake up with a horrible headache, next to the same man as the night before, a dog that’s pissed all over the floor and weep silently because you spent too much and can’t afford the mortgage. Oh, and a parking fine for parking outside your own house and being too fucked to drive it.

Same shit another year.
On the note of birthdays and friends I have a few blog posts coming up in the future (I’m lazy and they are all half-finished so imma say at least sometime before the year is up) about the lodge me and john spent my birthday week at and another one about “real friends” which is a little controversially honest to say the least, but until then, adios amigos.

xoxo

 

2017-10-23 11.30.12 1.jpg

16 Things you didn’t know about Crohns (18+)

Besides the general definition of Crohns Disease which I’ve gone on about and had to describe a billion and one times before I thought I’d make a more cheery (dunno if cheery is the right word but nonetheless its better than putting f*cked up) list of things to expect when you’ve been diagnosed with Crohns or Colitis.

For those who don’t know though here is a quick summary. Crohns disease is an inflammatory bowel disease which causes inflammation anywhere along the gastrointestinal tract – from the mouth to the arse hole, so pretty much anywhere, as well as creating numerous other conditions that can come and go throughout time like anaemia, arthritis, fatigue, etc. Crohn’s is most known for being a “bad stomach ache” which is completely wrong and if you do think that you’re probably one of the idiots that think man flu exists or that Queen Elizabeth is a reptile, so (politely) fuck off.

But anyway, here is my list of things you’ll most likely encounter/have (and probably wont admit to) when suffering with IBD:

 

1.       The most obvious being you shit yourself A LOT.

 

2.       You’ll have done a grand tour of your country’s hospitals, testing each out like a celeb and mentally composing your trip advisor review.

 

3.       Getting drunk is fucking awesome because not only can you be a lightweight, forget all about how you hate your life or be the first to vomit at a party but you can get rid of your constipation by doing a huge vodka shit.

 

4.       Be a twenty year old grandma with arms and legs that don’t bend.

5.       Be wheeled everywhere in a wheelchair when you have a bad flare up and experience what pure luxury is watching someone else suffer pushing you up a hill whilst you chill.

6.       Have a seriously wide knowledge of toilet comforts. (Still waiting for Victoria Plum to respond to my product tester application)

7.       Mastered doing a boss winged eyeliner whilst having an explosive shit.

8.       Not give a fuck about contraception because getting pregnant is FUCKING HARD. (Disclaimer: I’m joking kids, you should always be protected…Alex if you’re reading this, you should just avoid sex altogether.)

9.       Farts probably aren’t just farts but it’s cool cause you wear three pair of granny pants out anyway.

10.   MI5 could hire you for your fast and sly (running to the toilet) exits and skills at convincingly blaming other people for your vile smells.

11.   Prepared with extra coverage foundation for when your face flares and looks like a baboons behind.

12.   Sleep all day everyday.

13.   Having stuff shoved up your arse is just the norm and not a wild Friday night.

14.   Your pet will love you more because you can’t go to work and have to stay with them 24/7.

15.   You have so many pills to take you don’t need breakfast cause they’re practically like a meal.

16.   You’ll probably be a mentally fucked up psycho with no filter and zero fucks given to embarrassing situations but you’re a boss and will slay whatever circumstance life throws at you.

  dont be like the rest of them

 

 

*Disclaimer – [1] these are meant in jest with no harm or offence meant to anyone suffering with or sharing particular similarities to those mentioned in this article. [2] I do not own the ‘don’t be like the rest of them darling’ photo, credit goes to Etsystatic.