Musings on Motherhood (& other tales)

Last time you heard from me I was expecting my first child. Now, four months into motherhood, I am just about getting into the swing of things. I’ve been very lucky – my girl has slept through the night since 8 weeks old and I have a great support network – and yet it’s still only now I feel even remotely capable or interested into returning into the blogging world.

Now I have got nappy changes and feeds under my belt, and maternity leave is still in full swing, the blog seems so refreshing. I am not going to become a “mummy blogger” (despite using the hashtag on social media – guilty as charged!) but I am not going to shy away from the fact motherhood is now another part of my life. To put it as the wonderful Mother Pukka would say, “I am an aspiring lifestyle and beauty blogger who just happens to be a mother”.

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So what is it like? It’s wonderful, scary, rewarding, tiring, and dare I say it, a little boring at times. Each day is repetition. Wonderful repetition but still, there isn’t much to distinguish each weekday from the next. My husband is still working full time of course whilst I man the ship at home. We’ve also moved away from the city centre so I do feel a bit out in the sticks. Spontaneous Primark and Boots hauls are almost completely out of the question, so I mainly pass my days doing housework whilst catching up on YouTube. The epitome of the anachronistic 50s housewife? I’ll let you decide.

This said, I am kind of dreading going back to work and there is still a grey cloud over whether I actually will. I was always going to take a few years out if we were lucky enough to have a second child. The rising cost of childcare and the commute means this day may come sooner than we first thought. I don’t love my job and I certainly don’t want to do it just to pay for childcare – it’s a bit of an oxymoron. We are fortunate to be in a position where my husband could support the whole household on his wages alone, but this would be life-altering. But can you expect anything else when welcoming a child into this world?

But that’s for a few months time and this post has certainly gone off on an unexpected tangent…

It is so wonderful to be back.

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Make-up and clothes were always a distraction from the real world, but they have become even more so now. They are the only link between my former life and my new one. I am definitely not complaining about being a mother – I love it and I love my daughter – but with it, I have let go of my former identity and relative freedom.

No one really believes these are the most important things in life but I think for the majority of people who are in this mad blogging community it is a wonderful escape. I hope you will find some happiness reading my posts as I do planning and writing them.

I’m going to ease myself back in with some simple and traditional product reviews and see where things take me. There is no schedule as my new boss wears a nappy. It will be as and when. But that’s the best I can do for now.

I bloody can’t wait!

laura

 

 

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New Season Resolutions: Autumn/Fall

Autumn is by far my favourite season…

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The dazzling colours and crisp air bring a feeling of new beginnings and fresh hope. It’s no secret amongst those who know me that I am not that keen on Summer (purely because I burn and tend to feel the heat excessively), so I am very much excited to whip out those scarves and leather jackets.

Like any new season, it’s also the perfect time for personal reflection and so here are my Autumnal resolutions:

  1. Blog more!

    I know, I know, I’ve said it hundreds of times before but I promise this time I will follow through. VIVIFY has been neglected amongst my honeymoon and those constant work stresses, but there will be no more excuses.The very premise of this blog is to celebrate the mundane and appreciate the brilliance of the everyday.

    Plus, I am yet to try out my micro-review concept (regular single products reviews offered in small bursts that can be consumed whenever & wherever). There will still be lifestyle posts but I have concluded from previous experience that this mode of blogging suits my life best. We shall see, but in whatever form, expect more posts here. I promise.

  2. Stress less!

    I have been doing a pretty good job of late not to let things get to me so much. For example, I hate my job but I come to realise that it does not define me and I’m just ruining my time outside the office by stressing about it constantly.It pays the bills and allows me to fulfil other parts of my life I very much enjoy. The people are nice and the atmosphere is casual. There are many positives amongst the very real negatives. Now I just show up and get on with it, leaving office politics behind me when I walk out at half five.

    Life is very much about the five to nine and not the nine to five.

  3. Get back to healthy ways!

    I did tremendously well last year by exceeding my weight loss goals and losing 24 lbs before my wedding. Slowly, but surely, the weight is gradually creeping back and I intend to nip it in the bud. And I’m not just doing this for aesthetics, it’s more about health for me.See the point above. My bad eating and drinking habits were all linked with my ability to turn literally anything into a soul-sucking negative. My newly found positive thinking goes hand in hand with my healthier lifestyle. And I’ve never felt better.

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I really do have a good feeling about the future and cannot wait for all the wonderful things Autumn and Winter bring. This is why I am now fully committed to sharing such things with you on VIVIFY. From my new layout to a new attitude to blogging, it’s all gravy (especially alongside those roast dinners the colder nights bring!).

What are your feelings toward to the change of season? Are you excited to get cosy like me or will you be mourning the sun? Let me know in the comments below.

xoxoxo

Full credit to MakeupSavvy for these brilliant Autumnal stock photos!

 

How I De-Stress and Unwind

Oh my god: what a stressful month!

My job was at risk of redundancy which put our three week, once in a lifetime honeymoon was in the firing line also. Of course, this was not the biggest problem at hand. I put myself out there just in case and applied for tonnes of jobs. The problem was none of them appealed to me: I’d fallen into finance by accident and then it remained habit… But the feeling of submitting my CV and hearing back from recruiters at least made me feel as if I had control over this aspect of my situation.

Long story short: my job is safe and I am very, very, very much relieved. My upcoming holidays are safe and I no longer have the embarrassment of asking a new employer for three weeks off almost immediately after starting a new job – what if they said no?!

So how did I make myself feel better during those worrying weeks?

Firstly, I ate well and stayed hydrated. By looking after my body this took some of the strain off my mind. It’s also important to get as much sleep as possible. I have always been a bad sleeper, especially in times of worry, but routine is of the utmost importance. I aim to get up the same time every day – yes, even at weekends – and the body clock follows.

Exercise is also a good stress-reliever as it gives you a chance to expel some energy and frustrations, whilst taking care if your body and also helping you sleep. I have a cross-trainer and weights at home, and also practice yoga from my bedroom, so forking out for expensive gym membership is not essential. My favourite yoga YouTubers are Brett Larkin and Yoga with Adrienne who provide online routines for beginner and experienced yogis alike.

So I’m fed, watered and exercise – now onto relaxation! I love catching up on social media, but stay mindful that everyone projects a refined version of themselves online and only the parts they want you to see. It’s so easy to fall into the trap that everyone else’s lives are perfect when the reality is quite different. So long as you remember this as you scroll through your Instagram feed, social media can be a good way to unwind and connect with fellow bloggers and personal friends.

I also love chilling out with the latest uploads from my favourite YouTubers. There is so something so therapeutic about watching a make-up tutorial or a look book. Perhaps one day I will have enough courage and time to start my own channel! But until then I am more than happy to let my subscription box fill up with vlogs and GRWMs.

So once I’ve been inspired by a YouTube pamper routine it’s time to start my own: firstly, I need to make sure all of my make up is off. You’ve heard of a double cleanse. Well, mine is more like a quadruple!

Make-up wipes and micellar water to get the damn stuff off and then an oil cleanse, followed by a foaming face wash. If I am fortunate to have the time for a bath I would then apply a cold Lush face mask from the fridge whilst running a tub full of Epsom salts, muscle therapy bubble soak and a dash of aromatherapy oil. Bliss.

Once in the bath I’d treat my hair to a mask, shave my legs and relax with a cold beer. There is something so special about the contrast between a hot bath and a cold drink.

Once out, I douse myself in body lotion, put on my dressing gown and read a book/magazine. With my pixie cut I do not need to blow dry my hair so my bath time is over. Bonus.

This simple routine kept me sane during a v. stressful month. Self-care and indulgence in simple pleasures is all there is to it.

How do you unwind and de-stress?

xoxoxo

 

Happy New Year: Reflections on 2015 and looking ahead

Happy New Year one and all!

2015 was a big year for me which was dominated by my wedding. I also started this blog and really enhanced my make-up skills as I prepared to do my own face on my big day! I also went for the big chop and finally got my beloved red pixie cut.

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In 2016 I hope to really develop the blog further in terms of regular content which is both varied and, hopefully, relevant and interesting to you. I am going to get to work on my photography skills now I am finally armed with a DSLR. This is both for blog posts and to capture memories on my upcoming honeymoon.

From a personal aspect I want to continue my fitness and health regime which began almost a year ago. I definitely need to get back into yoga after this season of indulgence! I lost 20 lbs last year and I hope to get more toned and strong in the year ahead.

Thank you for all the follows, likes and comments in the 8 months I have been blogging. Please follow the links at the top of my page for other social media accounts. I look forward to reading your posts and watching your vlogs in 2016! 

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Thank you for taking this journey with me. I hope in 2016 I can build upon the foundations laid in 2015!

xoxoxo

Bright days aheadcredit to http://www.agirlobsessedblog.com/ for the first image on this post!

Why I’m having to suspend Blogmas…

Good morning and Happy Saturday!

I afraid haven’t been able to complete much of blogmas this week and so I’ve decided I will have to sadly pull out of it. It is currently the busiest period at work and we are having to work lots overtime, so I have had to make sacrifices with blogging.

I’m sure all you working ladies (and gents) will understand how hard it is to juggle working full time and keeping up a hobby such as blogging in your limited spare hours!

But it’s not all bad, I will still keep up my regular content on Sundays and Wednesdays and hope to do the odd bonus post where I can. I’d much rather commit to producing regular, high quality content than something which is lacking because I don’t have the time (and I feel some posts have been like that recently).

It’s a learning curve and lessons have been learnt.

Watch this space!

xoxoxo

A quick update (Blogmas Day 10?)

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Apologies for the lack of posts over the past few days. I have been extremely busy with work commitments followed by the Christmas party. And as I have said before, I am not a professional blogger. Sometimes life takes over. This is a much loved hobby of mine and I cannot wait to crack on tomorrow.

Meanwhile here are some snaps of the party taken on my mobile:

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It was an excellent night with a three course sit down meal.

See you tomorrow.

xoxoxo