So flippin’ good.

Ah, shrove Tuesday, how I love you. Pancake day – a day that I can indulge in my favourite food with no limits or guilt. I have been busy in the kitchen this evening got flipping a batch of American style fluffy pancakes for dinner.

Pancakes with syrup and fruit for myself and pancakes with eggs for Euan. Breakfast for dinner, what more do you want? Below, I will share my recipe and images of my creations for you all to see.

_20180213_204133

Think these take your fancy? Get in the kitchen and give it a try, there’s so little to the method and takes no time at all.

Ingredients:

1 egg

1 cup of milk

1 cup of plain flour

Pinch of salt

Two tbsp sugar

Two tsp baking powder

Two tbsp butter

Pinch of cinnamon

Selection of fruit to top

Syrup to dress

 

_20180213_204150.JPG

Method: Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

Mix milk with egg and butter (melted) and add to the dry mix. Stir together until a paste has formed.

Heat a large skillet or frying pan with a generous amount of oil, I use coconut oil but any will do. Add two to three spoons of mix at a time and heat until bubble form. Flip and serve warm with a selection of choice toppings.

I prefer to top with syrup, fruit and a drizzle of lemon juice. Enjoy!

Yes, babies cry. Deal with it (and love them hard)

I am writing this post having been inspired by a recent trip to the GP for concerns over the health of our baby daughter, Eleanor. A baby who has always been, in my opinion very vocal and dependent. I believe this to stem from her connection with me due to breastfeeding. I could be wrong.

My partner had suggested that we call the GP to make an appointment regarding an issue with our baby who seems to cry constantly and wriggle around in pain. Eleanor has reflux which is currently controlled by medication, however, some days not even medication seems to help.

I called the doctor to make an appointment for as soon as possible. I didn’t want Eleanor to be in pain but nor did I expect much was up. She was after all, just being her usual self.  Euan arrived home to attend the appointment, I discovered that we were taking the car to the GP which is a short distance from home, I became upset and wound up.

You see, this sounds silly but it’s tough for me to get out alone. I spend much of my time alone with her and a lot of this is spent indoors as it’s just too tricky to get out, especially with being in a first floor flat. If I want to go anywhere, there is a whole battle with the Pram getting down stairs and out the door before we even get moving.

Some days it isn’t worth the fight with Eleanor if she is in a particularly sleepy or in a grumpy mood. I find I don’t have the fight in me to battle through the cries very often, blame it on the lack of sleep.

It’s easier for me to simply just return home than to deal with the stares of strangers passing judgment as I still past with my baby screaming out from her Pram. I’m not cut out for public judgement, it brings a great deal of anxiety. So, with that mental image and sound of a babies cry echo through your eardrums, forgive me for getting upset having had my dream of five minutes in the fresh air, shattered.

What might not seem a big deal to some, can be a huge deal for others. Something which I have recently learned. We all handle things differently and lately, I feel like I can barely handle things at all. I spend most days alone and some times I feel as though I am losing my mind. Perhaps I am. Perhaps I lack social interaction.

I understand that my partner has work commitments but a five minute walk is not really going to make such a big difference to the working day when  opposed to three minutes in the car? I feel alone much of the time right now and the inability to get out can lead me to feel like I’m stuck in these four walls, all I wished for was my partner to take a short walk to the GP clinic with me. I was once very active and I crave to lead an active life again.

A life that has more challenging excercise to it than the constant bending to change nappies or emptying the tumble dryer. I need to walk, I need to have fresh air. Without it, I go crazy. I’ve given up on my fitbit for the moment as the step count became so pitiful, I felt ashamed to even track and document it.

Back to the GP, the reasoning of this post, I had a feeling that I knew what the doctor would say, having been in this position before. I’m usually lucky to get an appointment as its normally an automated phone service. Nonetheless, the story never changes and the outcome is always “babies cry, it’s a phase” or something along those lines.

I’m never taken seriously with the GPS and feel as though my worries are over looked and brushed off as though I am a mere hypochondriac. Even if I were, I would expect better care and time in the hands of the professionals than what they tend to give.

There was no answer. Babies cry and that’s just how it is. Some are more vocal than others yes, but it doesn’t mean that anything is wrong. It were suggested that we try control crying.. as if this would help with her round the clock cries. I wasn’t looking for answers of how to get my baby into a night sleep routine, and I didn’t want advice for control crying, I’d get more information from a book to be frank.

I wasn’t looking for anything actually,  I knew all too well how the appointment would go and knew that I would leave feeling stupid. My partner wanted this appointment as he was certain something was up. I merely booked it to prove a point and to show him that what I tell him when I call the GP each time is not a lie. I wanted him to see for himself how it goes. I wanted to prove my point and stamp my feet at the same time. My inner diva was out to play. I fear you not.

Some babies cry more so than others and they want held. This I know to be true with Eleanor. We were told that she was on the top dose for her reflux medication and to keep with this. When solid food becomes more frequent, her reflux should improve. Other than that, deal with the crying and just get on. If I felt it necessary, I could make an appointment to see the Health Visitor for advice on control crying but there was no cause for concern.

This was all said as I sat there choked up and crying spontaneously myself. I was crying because I was mad to have taken the car when I had hopes of fresh air. I was crying because I was drained, physically and emotionally. I was crying because this was the first outing of the week that involved human interaction  and it was now Wednesday afternoon.

I was mad at my partner, Euan for making me book an appointment to which I knew the outcome. I was told that he would get answers and yet here we are, no further than I have ever got before, Eleanor still crying.

I feel an element of guilt. Guilt that I can’t help my crying baby, I can’t take away her reflux and stop the back arching pain soar through her tiny body. I feel guilty that I want so desperately to have a break from her, even just for five minutes of peace. I feel guilty that I feel the need to have a break from her. As her Mother, I shouldn’t want a break from her. Should I?

I often can feel a whole lot of guilt and it seems that my best is never nor ever will be good enough. I ponder over thoughts about my parenting and I wonder if I’m a good Mother. I wonder if my Daughter knows how much I love her and I worry that I am incapable of the around the clock care she requires.

The Gp, I assume was left wondering who the appointment was initially made for. The sobbing mess of a Mother that I presented to her, or the baby sleeping in her car seat as though butter would not melt? Typical.

The thing is, the GP was correct, babies cry and all that we can do is hold them close and love them harder. It’s hard, it’s real tough, especially when you feel so hopeless and can’t help them take the discomfort of reflux away. Or even know the reason behind the cries. Is it reflux, teething, ear ache?

The guilt you feel along with the pain can be overbearing and overwhelming and I forget that as parents, we too are only human and we need to give ourselves a break and cut some slack or we will lose our minds. Its hard to always remain on top on situations and it’s hard to mimic what a baby wants at all times. Some days, there is just no pleasing these tiny humans.

I guess, I should be both grateful and thankful of Eleanor’s super dependent personality. I am lucky that I have my baby to hold and come time, I will look back and miss the cuddles and the closeness of my baby girl.

The days when I’m back at work and wish I could be curled up with her lovingly by my side at home, when she is a stroppy pre teen and I’m no longer cool enough to cuddle. I should take these moments to appreciate my ‘needy and vocal’ baby and love her as hard as I can all while embracing her before it’s too late and she no longer cares for the comfort of my company.

I hope that through weaning, the reflux will ease off. Our journey with food has only just began and we are still on select puree foods. I hope that when we venture into more tastes and textures, introduce baby led weaning her reflux will slowly disappear and we can forget about the difficulties that it has brought. Until then, I will continue to monitor and control it as best as I can with medication and a whole lot of baby cuddles. I hope that as she grows, she will become more independent and less reliant on myself, with this, the tears will stop too.

If you too have the struggle of a very vocal baby, don’t feel so alone. There’s always someone going through the same and there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

We as parents are often too hard on ourselves and can be our own worst enemy, let’s be a little more appreciative of our efforts. After all, we are only doing our best and there are days that push the limits but we have to see past this. Take the good with the bad.

So here I am, sat on the sofa, same spot as always with a lukewarm cup of coffee, staring at a blank screen with a numb buttom from lack of movement,  preaching to all you parents out there, to take your baby and love them hard.

Keren x

Searching for baby day care as I prepare to ‘let go’.

The time has come for me to let go of that ever precious newborn stage and begin to shop around local nurseries to utilise when my maternity leave comes to an end. This is not something that I carry lightly as obviously, I wish for my baby to be in the best hands possible. If I didn’t have to return to work and could spend my time dedicated solemnly for her, I would.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the luxury of being a stay at home Mum, I have to go out to work to earn money and continue to lead a comfortable lifestyle and offer the best that I can for my baby.

Besides, as much as I would love to stay in my baby bubble forever, in order for Eleanor to grow and become independent and strong I need to get over myself and get back to it. To regain a healthy work/life balance.

Plus, I think I need to regain some sanity soon as spending my days alone and chatting to my baby has let this young mind get a little hazy and lost. Even more so than previously. I swear mum brain is a thing, a really bad thing.

My memory is not the same as it once were and I struggle to out sentences together some days. Wether this is a lack of a social life outside of those four walls or sleep deprivation, I don’t know. Regardless, I must return to work and live my life again. Come four months time, my spell of nine months maternity leave will be over and reality has to kick start. Staring with returning to work and having Eleanor into a care routine.

IMG_20180124_114205_306.jpg

I’m well aware that Eleanor needs to start living her life and interact with other babies of her age to learn from them. I can’t offer her everything that she needs on my own and I feel that interaction with other babies and children can only benefit her development and personal growth. I can imagine she will come on leaps and bounds from the day she steps into her first nursery session.

With starting back to work in the pending months, I thought it best to get stuck in early and begin the search for a local nursery that will cater to our needs. I wanted some place close to home and close to my Mum’s all the same, a care centre that provided healthy and home made meals, introduced plenty of play and interactive activities with support from staff around the clock.

I hope to be return to work for three days per week. My Mother will care for Eleanor some of those days and the other days, she will be on the care of a private nursery. I’d happily have my Mother watch her each day I work but I deem it unfair for my Mum as she too works and I would hate for her to struggle with Eleanor on a bad day then have to get ready to go to work in the evening for a twelve hour shift. That isn’t fair.

With that thought, I decided to look local and check out a nursery in Cove Bay. Close by and handy for my Mum should she do the pick up run for whatever reason. I went to view the nursery and meet with staff to get a better idea of the daily running of the centre and the care that the children receive. I must say, I left really pleased with what I seen and the information I received.

There are several rooms for the children, three outdoor play areas all of which were spacious and there were staff around wherever you looked. The manager met with myself and gave the walk around tour with the appropriate information and answered any questions I had. There is a kitchen on site where both a vegetarian and meat option of meals were cooked and snacks were home baked goods with limited salt, sugar and fat content.

I was really pleased with the whole home made food consensus and with Eleanor going to raised as a vegetarian, this too was perfect as it would suit her dietary requirements and I could be at ease knowing she was getting a healthy meal provided. I can’t stress just how important healthy eating is to me and I want my baby to be well catered for with a wide variety of healthy and nutritional foods.

I actually caught feeding time during my visit and it was good to see that the staff were at large and sat with the children, helping to feed when necessary. I also discovered that if Eleanor is still taking her milk, I can provide the nursery with breast milk for her and they would store a supply to give her as she wanted. It was really nice to see how the staff cared for the children and that the meal times were well organised and ran smoothly.

The nursery also has an online journal that is updated daily and gives parents the opportunity to check on what their child has been up to each day and of any news that is new to the nursery. There are day trips out to the local community and local parks and the children are encouraged to go out and play together.

Getting out is something which I too find very important and part of a healthy and active lifestyle. I’d hate to return to work and think that my baby was couped up inside all day, I do not feel that would provide a full release of energy and I imagine come time, Eleanor will be full of plenty of energy!

_20180124_155235.JPG

I felt really content with the nursery and the whole running of it. I liked that healthy food was provided with plenty to choose from, there were staff at hand and the children can play outdoors and get on trips. It makes the day a bit more exciting and offers a little fun for Eleanor. The opportunity to meet and play with other babies will be real great for her and help with learning life lessons and her personal development,  such as sharing and kindness.

I have opted to register Eleanor for this Cove Bay nursery for the days in which she is not at the care of my Mum. I looked online for reviews and input from Mum’s for many nurseries, Clive included and this certainly came out near enough the top of my searches. I’m unsure where I will return back to work, the days of work I will be offered and what days my Mother can care for Eleanor but I’m happy and feeling a little more settled now that I have found a nursery for her to register with and attend for some sessions each month.

The nursery offers morning and afternoon sessions as well as full days, I think that to begin with, I may opt to have her attend for around three afternoon sessions per month. This will give a better idea of how it will all pan out before committing to any set plans and full days or weeks of care.

I will get to know how she is coming on with her sessions and if they are worthy for her development. If I were to think that her development was being hindered, I’d have to then rethink my plans and look to find a new replacement nursery.  However, I think that this could be a great day care centre for her and I felt really happy with my insight of the building and staff.

I’m thinking of it more as a taster right now, before devulgung in and going for full days right from the get go. I’d like to break her in easy, if not just for Eleanor, but for myself. I imagine waving her off to her day care will be a very upsetting experience. My baby will be growing up, drifting a little further from me to allow herself room to grow and mature into her own person.

Before attending her first session, parents are encouraged to meet with the staff and create a personalised profile for their child. This means that the staff will try to cater to your child’s needs and each child is seen as an individual with their own choices, strengths and weaknesses. The nursery work on the strengths and weaknesses of your child and allow them dedicated time to do the things which they favour. Your child isn’t seen as just a number, they are allowed to be their own person and encouraged to be the best version of themselves.

I think it is something quite powerful yet saddening when you send your first born off to nursery care. I know I will feel an element of guilt that I can’t be there with her each day forever and I will definitely see tears but it will be a proud moment all the same and I can’t wait to watch her grow into the most perfect little human.

I know that I still have time to cherish and treasure with Eleanor for now as she is only just five and a half months or twenty two weeks if you’d rather. I’m due to be back to work for mid May but will stretch it out to June if possible through use to annual leave. I’m desperate to hold onto the time that I have with her. I don’t want to let go. This is the first time and only time I will ever have with her to myself for such a long period and I’m not ready to wave goodbye just yet.

_20180124_155302.JPG

Waving goodbye to baby will be tough and finding routine again – another new routine will take time. My return to work will be such an emotional rollercoaster. I will be once again, stepping into the unknown and I won’t have my daily companion by my side, she will be in day care or with her Grandmother and I don’t know how I will cope being at work and not at home raising her by myself.

It’s a daunting feeling that will hang above my head until the end of my leave period but I am certain that I have found the right day care for her and knowing she will be well cared for puts me at ease (a little). I’ll have to stop myself from calling my Mum or the nursery every few hours to check up on her,i just know it. With time, I’ll adapt as she will and it will get easier.

Until then, I’ll just hold her close for as long as I can. Unwilling to say goodbye to the newborn stage and those first months, those first moments that are, oh so precious.

Has anyone recently went back to work after having a baby? Any coping mechanisms for this new Mum who is afraid to let go? I feel guilty and fear to be leaving her,  I don’t know how I can work to get over this fear and just embrace this whole new and ever changing lifestyle that I have taken on?

This family life. My family life. My family.

Keren x

 

Diving into the realms of a vegetarian diet.

IMG_20180120_155553_422

I’ve never been a big meat eater or a fan of meat. Growing up my family were not vegetarian and we were taught to eat what was given to us, whatever that may be. My Mum was big on home made, hearty meals. Mince and tatties, stews, stovies. All the classics.

However into adult life, and especially post partum my diet has changed substantially and I no longer opt to eat meat through choices and opinions of my own.

In recent years, I’ve come to not really enjoy cooked meals, meat included. I much prefer to snack through the day and eat foods such as pancakes, Cereals, fruits and nuts for meal times, skipping out key nutrients that my body requires.

Now that I have my Daughter and we are beginning the weaning process, I can’t stress to myself enough how important it is that she can see myself and Euan eating a healthy varied diet and take on good habits.

With this notion in place and keen to change my own dietary habits, I have decided to live life as a vegetarian. This will be of no difficulty to myself (and I’m not bragging by the way) I just mean that I would often opt for the vegetarian option when out for a meal or have something other than what Euan has at home when he eats a meat based meal. I love fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds, breads and a variety of beans and lentils.

With the variety that is out there, I don’t think I’ll struggle to find foods to eat and have been living a vegetarian diet most days as it is, without the title of vegetarian over my head.

I really went off meat when pregnant, it was the icing on the cake to give the push to become a vegetarian. The smells, textures and tastes. I remember the nausea that came with the smells and I couldn’t bring myself to chew through certain foods. I realise I can’t live my life eating merely fruit, Yogurt and Bran flakes so through a vegetarian diet, I hope to gain nutrition and strength that my body lacks.

I am keen to make this dietary change a fun experience. To begin to cook more often, especially from recipe books. To pick a recipe, gather the ingredients and cook with Euan on a weekend. I’m quite excited to get stuck in and embrace the culinary experience.

I’ve never been a good cook and meals are kind of just slap up and quick plate fulls that you can’t really call a meal. I didn’t have a child to protect and tend to before now and so diet was not something I took good care of,  I mean, if I could get away with eating porridge oats and pancakes three times a day, I would!

Now, it is changed days and I find it so important to show Eleanor good habits and have her set for life and nourish her body through healthy eating. Of course a meat based diet is just as healthy as a vegetarian diet if followed with a good range of other foods, and I’m not against people eating meat but I just feel it is not right for me and I don’t want to raise my Daughter as a meat eater.

Getting busy in the kitchen is an inexpensive yet fun way to pass the time, especially with having Eleanor at home. The opportunity to go out and do as we please does not come so easily anymore so we need to find good habits and hobbies that we can have at home. I think cooking weekends are a great way to get back into the kitchen, learn to love food again and all the whole, teach Eleanor about food, balance and living a healthy lifestyle.

If anyone has good vegetarian recipe books or recipes, please add a comment at the end of the post. I’m keen to hear from you on this and take on board any ideas and help available. I want to make this a fun experience and have a good range of recipes and foods to try. Build up a bit of a portfolio on the kitchen o suppose. I know that not everything I make and try will be a success, there will be downfalls, disasters and foods that I hate but it’s all part of the fun. Of you would like my journey to be documented, let me know. I’m happy to share with you all.

IMG_20180121_184047_553

I am hoping to raise Eleanor as a vegetarian too, Euan is on board with this and keen to try living the same lifestyle of I can incorporate filling and nutritional meals without the need for meat. I think it makes sense to be in this together as a family and discover a whole new healthy lifestyle as a family and give our daughter, Eleanor the best start on life that we can offer.

If she later in life wishes to dabble into foods and try meat, I’m happy for her to try and to find her own feet, discover new tastes that she too can love. At this stage of her life though, I’m keen to take control and offer her as much nutrition and variety as I can without the addition of meat. With there being so much available at the markets in this day and age, I don’t feel that meat will make or break a diet. There are so many other alternatives that you can draw balance and key vitamins from to supplement the lack of meat.

I encourage the use of daily vitamins and have through my whole life. Currently I take omega 3, vitamin D and a multi vitamin. As I’m breastfeeding right now, Eleanor too gets the benefit of the vitamins but when she is not having her breast milk, I’d be keen to supply her with vitamin supplements suitable for her age. If anyone can recommend a good vitamin for children under two, please, fire away. I’m. Happy to take some ideas and advice.

So far we have made vegetarian pizzas from flat breads and added our own sauce and toppings. Sunday evenings cooking experience was Halloumi fajitas which I will be keen to make again and again. Fajitas can never get boring either, there’s a variety of sauces and vegetables that you can throw in the mix to keep them fun and new. Like I said, fire away any recipes you have that are vegetarian friendly. I’d love to hear from you all. I’m. Happy to try most things and have a strong love of fruit and veggies. If I make meals that look presentable enough, I’d be happy to share the results on my blog and give a wee review.

Remember, keep it simple, I’m new to this gig.

Keren x

Motherhood. Finding myself through creativity and balance.

_20180116_151216

As you will be aware, I have began preparing and planning for my Wedding day. Upon doing so, making up lists, gathering material and fabrics.. It has all led to some new found and very welcome creativity. Who knew?

Having finished the whole seven seasons of Gilmore Girls, I was on the hunt for a new past time. Something that involved a little less sitting on my ass and a little more thought. Man, those first few months of Motherhood were well spent if I do say so myself but you can’t stay in a newborn bubble forever. It was time to grow and nourish myself now that I had the whole parenting thing under control.

I have began to enjoy nothing more than taking a day trip out with Eleanor and hunting for cute craft supplies and fabrics. Putting ideas together and creating. It’s nice to get busy and to produce something that you have created by yourself from just ideas is really quite thrilling. It brings a sense of achievement and joy.

Having become a new Mother recently, I got a little lost and almost became just a Mum, forgetting that I, too am my own person and need some time to myself for myself. It took a while to figure out some sort of balance and to find happiness from within in every aspect of daily life but I think I’m finding my feet at long last and beginning to suss out a balance between being Mum and yet being myself.

I have come to conclusion that life really is too precious and much to short to waste and wish it away. I can’t remain a prisoner in the home for fear of stepping out and I can’t stop time, rather I can get out and enjoy it. To make the most of each day and enjoy special moments in each day. It is time to start living and appreciate life for all that it is.

I still get anxious going out alone and I do struggle when faced in some situations, especially social events, but it’s never as bad as I come to imagine. I don’t know what triggered such anxiety build ups, I’ve ways been shy but ever since labour I have been having almost mild panic attacks, mood swings and feel as though I will burst out crying at times for no specific reason.

You can’t control the world and you certainly can’t have everything you want but with a little positivity and creativity I think you can do whatever you want and live in the way you wish to live. Happiness can be found from anything, it’s different for every one. For me, I have my beautiful baby, my family and a busy mind to keep me strong. I couldn’t have wished for a better family or to be surrounded by more love. I really am very fortunate.

_20180116_151327.JPG

Something which doesn’t come easy, after having Eleanor, I would say I sort of shut myself off from the outside and didn’t take any time off. I was in full baby mode all day every day and it began to drain me of me. I needed a release and a relief from Motherhood but  couldn’t figure out what it was. I couldn’t even figure out how to get dressed with a newborn around, never mind find some form of hobby. I guess you could say that Motherhood didn’t come to me as naturally as I would have hoped at first.

With a new venture, I began to plan and prepare for my Wedding day. A small and intimate affair but that doesn’t mean I don’t have just as much help to plan as any other Bride. Through the use of glitter notebook pages, confetti hearts and paper butterfly’s, I suppose you could say I’ve became quite the crafty dab hand. By no means do I mean that my work is a piece of art, I simply mean that I enjoy this crafty business. I think that it suits me well and is good for my soul. Keeps my mind busy and my anxiety at bay.

Lately, my mind doesn’t seem to shut off. I try to drift off to sleep and ideas pop into my head. Both a blessing and a curse. Damn you, insomnia.

As a bit of a magpie, (self confessed and glitter obsessed) I have an eye for all things pretty, I always have and I love putting together looks and ideas that I have planned in my head. Wedding planning has given me a sense of freedom back. This has become a hobby and an escape, something that I would have previously laughed at and not taken serious but have fully got into and can say that I am really enjoying this whole busy business. It really is good to get up off the couch and get out again. I now have something to look toward other than the TV screen.

Although, I will admit, I do still find myself losing hours staring at and holding my baby close.  The most gorgeous little lady I have ever laid my eyes on. What a truly lovely soul.

Back to it, before I turn all proud Mum gooey – the table arrangements, the favor creating, decoration hunting. It’s totally keeping my anxiety at bay and giving me a focus. I used to enjoy nothing more than arts and crafts as a child, that and writing. It seems having grown older, these old hobbies have come back to me..with a vengeance. Old habits die hard they say. Now I can fully vouch for that.

I am happy to say that through finding a balance and getting busy with a hobby, I have really discovered happiness and unleashed a creative spark that I don’t think will be ending soon. I can now again be at peace with my mind and my body. I am much happier with a focus and have started to feel content as a Mother and realise that I am in fact good at being a Mother and with that, I can again return to being myself. Slowly but surely I will get back into my old skin, only it will be new skin and better. Wiser and happier.

This latest creative spark has had me thinking about creating a small business on Etsy. I am not sure what I could sell yet, or if my creations would sell but I’d like to venture into this throughout the year and put my busy mind at work. I think that a hobby has been just the thing my mind was screaming out for and I’m glad that with getting out there, and getting busy I have also become a better version of myself. This reflects well not just on myself, but on my family. Happy mum, happy baby..right?

I have many ideas running ragged in my mind right now. Everything from wedding crafts to creating a local etsy store to getting experience in a florist. I think 2018 will bring a new experience and a sense of peace. I have a few travel plans coming up this year, if I’m lucky I can draw some inspiration from these trips and the travel experience.

Now if you dint mind, I have a wedding to plan. Must get back to work. What would you like to see from Etsy?

Keren.

 

Made with love. An insight to my handcrafted wedding.

Hi guys, hope everyone is well? I know that I previously stated I’d update you all with the wedding plans when I had some going. Well, you will be glad to hear, the party planning is in full swing and I’m working away on ideas and decor planning. I thought it would be good to do a wee update and let you all hear about how I am getting on.

I’m not keen to give away too much information just yet, I feel a sense of suspense is quite nice and keeps it a little secretive. After all, my wedding day is my baby right now along with my darling Eleanor of course and I keep the day and the organising close to heart. This is mainly due to the fact that as it is my wedding day, a once in a lifetime day for myself and my family, it will hold a special place in my heart forever and I want to keep it sacred and close to me.

As mentioned, my wedding will be a small affair with at most twenty guests,  providing each invite guest makes it along that is. I have been working away in the background hard at getting plans in place for the decoration of the reception room where we will host our wedding meal. Trying to get my plans set and in order for the day as soon when I return to work following maternity leave, I will be lacking the time to plan and organise. Hence why I am so keen to remain full steam ahead right now. I am on a limited time frame.

The reception room we have will cater to our guests of twenty and the room is basically an empty canvas where we can play around and have fun with the decor and design. I have in mind the picture of what I want, it’s just putting it all together right now. The table will be one large round table, with a side table off set for holding the cakes and favours. I have free reign to design the room and tables as I wish. Time to dig in and have a little fun.

I am thinking home made, hand crafted and a little bit bohemian! Lots of floral and pastels coming together in a rustic feel. Whatever rustic means. What does rustic mean? Whatever, it sounds good.

Our wedding cakes will be homemade by none other than my own Mother,the best baker I know, as bias as I may be. We wish for two cakes, one tier and round. A fruit cake with a marzipan and iced topping and also a homemade victoria sponge. By no means will they be showstoppers but they aren’t supposed to be either. If I wanted a perfecly crafted cake, I’d have went to a bakery and have the professionals work away.

I’m busy picking out cake decorations right now. Going for a plain sponge with minimal decor with the Victoria cake and hoping to cover our fruit cake with florals and a pretty yet simple cake topper. Nothing fancy and certainly not perfection but to me, it will be perfect. I will be ready to scour etsy and find a handcrafted wooden topper.

For our favours, again these will be homemade with love by my younger sister and presented in cellophane bags, hand wrapped and crafted in my own way. I have this all set and ready to roll with the bags and decorations already picked out. I will remain coy and keep my ideas to myself for now. I can’t be giving away all my plans after all, otherwise, I’d not keep you interested. If ever I had your interest anyway.

With the room decor I’m raring to go with a minimalist look and add plenty of florals to the room. I’m yet to decide on a table topper but wish for a mix of pastels. I have confetti and little floral buds and petals picked out to sprinkle over the table in a variety of pastel mix.

As there will be so little of us, I’ve requested for just one large table to dine at with the hope for plenty of interaction and chatting. After all, it’s about having a good time. I thought that a top table with a few others would be too spaced out and not have the cosy feel that I’m looking for. I’d like to imagine everyone chatting away and having a merry wine together. I want plenty of laughter from all and for everyone to have a great time.

I’m trying to work as inexpensive as possible, mainly due to the fact I don’t want glitz or glam and I don’t believe that spending a fortune makes for a good day. I mean the average cost of a wedding is near enough £26,000. Madness.

I hope to keep my budget at £1500 all in all. That’s for the rings, ceremony, reception meal and drinks, the hotel suites along with everything else. I’m keen to remain strict in this. Call me a cheap skate but I don’t believe in splashing the cash out for one day. I don’t deem it ever necessary to fork out such an expense and I don’t think a huge expense ensures a good time either.

I want to do lots of hand crafting, lots of creating and get making. I’d like to take on as big of a role as I can with the whole. Preparation and have my wedding crafted by my own hand. There’s something about doing it yourself that just screams good vibes.

I’m super excited to get stuck in and get my hands busy with crafting and my mind busy with planning. When I have a little more plans in place and something more to show, I will share with you all. In the meantime, I’ll get back to browsing etsy and other local markets for home made goods and crafting parts that I can put together by my own hands. I have been a local at hobby craft of late. Trailing the aisles for bits and bobs that I can work with. May I add, I am by no means good with arts and crafts.

I aim for my wedding day to be as close to heart as possible and therefore hope to put most of the day together by myself or with the help from some close family members. Opting for a local, homemade wedding day that I can cherish forever more.

Does anyone have any tips or tricks on homemade weddings? I’m open to any ideas and suggestions that are just a little bit different from the norm!

Keren xo

 

Let’s talk resolutions.

Happy New Year guys! With a New Year in place, I wish to talk about some healthy changes I plan to adhere to for the foreseeable future. Changes I have made for myself to live better and healthier. Or at least here’s hoping.

The two resolutions that I hold for this year are,  to regain a healthy relationship with food and to begin to read more books.

I’ve previously posted about the struggle I have with my weight and the fight to maintain a slim frame.

For years now I have been reluctant to eat certain foods and intake over 1200 calories daily. I turn away any treats that I deem to be bad and have lost all enjoyment from food. Even dining out had become an issue with me and was mentally draining. I would look at menus and feel a great deal of anxiety building up if I couldn’t see pancakes available on the menu.

Hell, I once claimed to be gluten intolerant as an excuse to avoid carbohydrates and other danger foods. At 22 years of age and 39kgs, I knew the reason for my swollen and tired body was through effect of Ill eating and malnourishment. A gluten intolerance was a mere cover up to my poor choices.

As a resolution for 2018 and keen to gain a better outlook to my general health, I have been working to improve my relationship with food and change my diet significantly. Pancakes or porridge oats for each and every meal doesn’t quite cut it anymore, no matter how much fruit I throw into the mix, my diet requires more substance and less empty calories.

Especially now, as a Mother, I have a reputation to withstand and must be the influence that my Daughter needs. I want for her to see me eating well,  to copy and adapt to a healthy lifestyle as she grows so she can become a strong, healthy and happy individual with a good relationship to food.

I realise just how important food is for survival and that I need to intake key foods to help my body thrive and nourish as it should. As I am breastfeeding at the moment, I am very cautious with what I eat and drink and always have my Daughter in mind when I eat at the moment. As she relies on me for her food and nourishment, I have to ensure I intake goods that will provide her with what she needs to grow.

I like to ensure I intake a full three meals a day and snack on healthy goods such as fruits and nuts. I am on the road to becoming a vegetarian with meat stripped from my diet and weekly shops made up of mostly fruit, grains and vegetables. I am hoping that with a good mindset and vision I can maintain these healthy behaviours and pass on good habits to my Daughter who will be beginning her weaning journey in mere weeks. Something which I am both excited and anxious of.

I also hope to become better with reading again, I aim to read as much as I can, covering a wide range of topics and varieties of genres.

As a one time book worm, I have fallen off the wagon and put reading aside. I got a little lost and side tracked with pregnancy and having a newborn, it left little time to sit down and treat myself to a cup of coffee and a reading session. However, as Eleanor grows and I take back control of my life, I have made it my mission to encourage reading once more.

I’m onto my second book of the year and hope there will be many more to come. I have a set list of books I wish to work my way through and I’m sure as the weeks pass my reading list will grow.

I think that reading is a great past time and a healthy one too. I wish to put more into reading and less time watching the television or scrolling the Internet. There is a lot to be learned from books and I am keen to get stuck into the world of fiction once more and lose myself in a good book.

Do you have any resolutions for the year 2018? Making any big lifestyle changes? Let me know.

Keren x