Millie celebrated World Book day at school last week by dressing as a witch from Hocus Pocus, which technically is a childhood film and not a book, but she couldn’t decide between the Wizard of Oz, Snow White or Sleeping Beauty so went modern. It’s so exciting to see the tiny children all skipping to school as animals, heros, mythical creatures and sorcerers, and some of the outfits the parents create are worthy of the red carpet. So much effort and attention to detail goes into planning such events and it makes education so invigorating for little ones. What a lovely time of life it must be for a six year old.
Millie has now got a wobbly front tooth right in the middle like a bunny rabbit, which will be her third adult tooth coming through and she’s very excited about the impending visit from the dear old Tooth Fairy once again. My little girl has grown into my big girl in the blink of an eye. Where do I find the pause button? She also had her parents evening review and it was lovely to hear that she’s working hard and contributing well to her class. She’s my little star and I’m so incredibly proud of her.
We couldn’t resist our Easter eggs after we got them whilst shopping and put them on top of the cupboard ready in time for Easter, but I caved into temptation and let the children eat theirs after they spotted them in the kitchen and asked so nicely. It’s so adorable cuddling up together on the sofa in the evening, as it’s the perfect size for the three of us, under a nice blanket with some chocolate milk and Disney films, could life possibly get any sweeter?
It’s almost six weeks now until my little cheeky nugget Gabriele will be turning two years old, and my baby boy will no longer be a baby. I’ve got all of his presents and just need to add the final touches to his birthday party and then we’re all set. Soon after he’ll be starting preschool and it breaks my heart to think how fast the time has gone since he was born, it still only feels like yesterday and it’s so strange to think that I will never hold another baby of my own again. This is the last time I’ll potty train a toddler, the last set of baby gums that will chew on my fingers and the last time little shoes will line up in my hallway. Since the age of nineteen when I unexpectedly became a parent all I have ever known is to have my babies, and now neither of them are babies anymore. The years tick by, life changes and we have no choice but to adapt. As lovely as it is to raise children, on the other side of the coin it’s also reassuring to see them grow and develop as they become more independent and gradually my freedom and delayed youth is returning. God help me!
We had a gorgeous sunny day earlier in the week when the temperature hit eighteen degrees and everything somehow looked brighter and more amazing. I get so feverish and excited when I see the sun and celebrated with a few shopping trips for home decor and a spot of DIY. Dare I say it, but I’ve been a single parent for almost nine months now and it’s got to that annoying time when I want to redecorate and start a clean slate ready for Spring, but I’m really having to hold myself back from doing something wild and turning my home into a spinster tavern filled with leopard print and cats. I love interior design and have had the same colour palette in my home for the past four years since we moved here, so it’s definitely time for a spruce up, and for once I can have everything exactly my own way. Wow. This is either fabulous or very dangerous, I can’t quite decide. But what girl doesn’t loving getting her own way?
I took a little trip to town with the intention of buying some decking stain and grass seed to buff up the garden and get it ready for summer, but I came back with tins of paint, boxes of fairy lights, scatter cushions, an artificial tree and love hearts as you do. What is it with us girls that as soon as we’re let loose in a shop we can find a million things that we really ‘need’ right away, when none of it was ever on the list. I then got into bed and had a binge of retail therapy ordering some pretty dresses online ready for the summer which are now hanging beautifully in my wardrobe and fit like a glove, bliss. So this week I’ve been on a home improvement mission and haven’t stopped painting, cleaning and clearing. I’m an OCD freak at the best of times and like everything to be just so with nothing out of place, but visually I’ve changed everything that I’ve touched. It all started with redecorating my bedroom, which I changed from sombre black, charcoal and slate to brilliant white, soft cream and distressed silver. With my chateau style bedside tables, vintage inspired tweleve-arm chandelier, ornate brushed silver mirror, white leather upholstered bed and mosaic mirrored hearts the bedroom has never felt so girly, floaty and dreamy. It is a pleasure to go to sleep and wake up in heaven every morning, and my new white Egyptian cotton bed linen is divine. I am the ultimate star-fisher in my super king size bed and there’s nothing better than jumping into crisp clean sheets with freshly waxed legs and sweet vanilla bedside candles. How will I ever learn to share my life with another smelly boy after such cleanliness and freedom!?
My home is almost a metaphor for my mindset right now; out with the old and in with the new as I’ve been dying to ditch the dreary black for years, which wasn’t my choice, but finally I got around to doing it now that it’s warm enough to paint and ventilate the fumes. It’s weird isn’t it when you’re so used to having something one way, all you’ve ever known and see as ordinary, and then when you change it it almost feels like closing a door, burying a demon and mourning a death. That part of my life will never exist ever again, my room will never look like that and soon the darkness will become nothing more than just a memory which will wither and fade from thought. And that’s why life goes on. On a spree, I then jet washed the garden, hung fairy lights through my roses, fruit trees and railway sleepers, stained the decking and fence in a natural oak and covered over the water-logged and muddy patches of grass with fresh lawn seed. And if that wasn’t enough I filled the entire wheelie bin with bits and pieces from around the garden and shed, washed all the doors, glass and window ledges and weeded the front garden. I love it when my home looks fresh and crisp, with straight lines and precision meeting soft furnishings and textures. Ironically after a week of home improvement the weather has taken a dive and the sun is nowhere to be seen, with fog and cold wind forcing our hats, coats and scarves back on. And that is also known as ‘sods law!’
I enjoyed a fabulous evening in London at Food At 52 cookery school learning to cook a three course Thai meal earlier in the week. It was my first professional cookery experience and it served to fuel my passion for quality homemade food. I have been vegetarian for twenty-one years now and couldn’t imagine my life any other way, I have the biggest love for food and enjoy everything that I eat. Just as I adore making healthy high energy food, I equally appreciate a naughty treat and sweet, from cakes and ice cream to puddings and pastries; I believe we should all have a little of what we love so long as it’s in moderation and balanced.
As I’m doing the P90X3 three month extreme fitness regime at the moment, I have increased my calorie intake from 2,500kcals to around 3,800kcals a day which is double the average woman’s intake. I have always ate large portions of food because I am a very active person. I’m not the type to sit still, and in having two children aged six and almost two years, laziness is a luxury I can rarely indulge in. I therefore workout in order to enjoy my lifestyle, if I fancy a bottle of wine and a curry takeaway I know that I can have it so long as I put the hours into a workout the following day otherwise my skinny jeans will pay the price. I am not naturally skinny, nor am I naturally fat as I believe neither exist. I simply workout to pig out. With both pregnancies I put on four stone in weight with each, which shows that I am more than capable of becoming overweight through food if I am not careful. I’m not lucky, I can’t eat whatever I please without consequences and my metabolism is no different to the next girl with a cream cake in her hand. I always weigh more when I’m working out as I have to eat so much to maintain my energy levels and gain muscle, and each meal that I have rivals a man sized dinner on the best of days.
I believe in being completely transparent about my diet as I would hate for any girls, boys, men, women or children to see me at a certain size and believe that they can’t achieve the same or that they are in a worse position and have no hope because of some magic DNA that I posses. I do not starve myself, I do not live on tiny bland portions of rabbit food and I do not glorify a false inability to put on weight. I actually threw my weighing scales away because I realised last year that I never used them anyway as body weight is just a number to me, and it’s your outlook on life that determines your happiness and confidence in my eyes. Beauty comes from within and the skin that we live in and aesthetic attributes that we have now will have long since deteriorated by the time that our personality takes us into old age, so that’s what we should rely on, being happy from the inside out. It baffles me why anyone would spend everyday denying themselves the food that they love, and feel constantly hungry and lethargic from the lack of a decent meal. I would much rather eat like a Queen everyday, fuel my body and have the energy and motivation to workout and feel good about myself. Anorexia and obesity are incredibly similar in the fact that they are both an imbalance of food intake, yes they are extreme, on one side of the scales you become malnourished and on the other side over indulgent; surely the strongest form of control isn’t about bingeing nor purging, but in living life to the full and treading that fine line of equality. You can be bad and eat naughty food so long as you’re prepared to get off of your arse in the morning and work hard enough to burn off the deficit. Therefore the greatest form of control that we can maintain surely is consistency, putting in the effort and making it a way of life and not just some fad or promise of ‘tomorrow’ that never materialises. I live my life by example, I practise what I preach and I’m not afraid to point out my flaws and weaknesses.
Nobody is perfect and I’ll be the first person to tell you that I don’t hold myself on a pedestal or think that I’m anything special. But I have found that my down to earth and honest approach to everything that I do is both heart warming and inspiring to others and I adore the feedback that I get from the public, my readers and strangers alike. The world is full of such fakery and back stabbing, I’d like to start a revolution of real women who aren’t afraid to work hard and compliment and encourage others to be the best that they can be, without the spitefulness or jealousy that has become second nature these days; Don’t hate, appreciate.