It is a tradition for most to set New Years resolutions as a new year comes around (rather quickly might I add). I like to be as positive as I can all year round however, 2017 was a tough year for me and my family so I was very excited to see the back of it. I’m taking this new year, 2018 as a fresh start. 12 new chapters, 365 opportunities for exciting new adventures. Life is to be lived and I am SO beyond ready to live more than I have ever lived before.
These two people are my absolute world. I’m sure every day I take the power of my love for them for granted. My first goal of 2018 is to no longer take advantage of the blessings I have in my daily life. Starting with my little family even if they do drive me around the bend sometimes (nearly always).
If you’ve been following my journey into motherhood you will know that Esmé is quite the daredevil and from now on I plan to follow in her footsteps. As I have said, life is for living. I plan on doing just that and so much more. Adventure is there to be had and boy do I want it. I want to travel more, I want to explore nature more, I want to see so much more of the world. This is one goal that I hope I achieve LOTS of. What a beautiful world we live in which means lots of beautiful adventures to be had.
I have so many goals that I want to achieve this year, I could have you here all day reading them BUT I am excited to just show you my life over the next year. My life that will be full of adventures and excitement and so. much. fun. Follow me on Instagram @ohthatstacey to follow my journey more closely.
The new year gives everyone a fresh start. If you haven’t set yourself some goals why don’t you give it a try, a way to figure out what you want to have from your life within the next year. A plan, a check list, a hope of how joyful your next year will be. And that is what I wish for you all, the most joyful year yet.
Happy goal setting loves.
If there’s anything that can get you into the Christmas spirit it’s for sure a Christmas market, I LOVE them! And luckily, here up north we have plenty to keep us Christmas lovers happy!
We went to one in our home town Halifax for the first time ever and I loved it. They had Christmas music playing, hot chocolate on repeat and lots of lovely little stalls. They kept the shops around it open till late so you could to a tad of Christmas shopping too.
It was lit up with loads of lights and Christmas trees, it really was so pretty. Freeeezing cold but absolutely worth it, you just have to wrap up which adds to the experience of it all!
Esmé was loving life getting to run around and dance to the music, in her cute Pom Pom hate. Anything that is family friendly is definitely a winner in my eyes.
It was so pretty, we had to have a obligatory family picture in front of the GINORMOUS Christmas tree with Esmé pinned down in her push chair, she was on top form of running away that night so it was necessary for this photo. Also, does anyone else get slightly jealous and want to be wrapped up in a blanket, pushed around pretty places? Yeah? Me too! These kiddos get it pretty good!
I was in my absolute element, purchase theeee cutest Christmas bath bomb for myself. Smells delicious, looks amazing AND is Christmassy, what’s not to love, right? I recommend getting yourself one for the many pamper nights you should be giving yourself this December, you deserve it! Treat yo’ self.
Esmé clearly wasn’t enjoying the shopping as much as me though…. There’s still time. She’ll come to love it I’m sure. Fun fact: Esmé absolutely LOVES shoe shopping. If you put a pair of shoes on her in the shop, you better know that you’re buying them before you can get them off her feet. Girls got taste, what else can I say? Haha.
See? As soon as we’re out of the “boring” soap shop, she’s back to her crazy, jumpy, laughing self. Can’t knock her for it because just look at her, she’s the happiest little thing with ridiculous amounts of energy!
Another fun fact: I ALWAYS cut the hubs head out of photos. Not because there’s anything wrong with it (haha), but because I can’t get my poor arm long enough to snap him in. It’s like an on going joke in our family….
Hence the second photo, mid laughter. I managed it though! If only you knew how much of an achievement that was for me.
Get yourself out to a Christmas market. If you’re not feeling in the spirit yet, you definitely will do after that, I promise. Get some hot choc down you, dance to some Christmas songs and you’ll be set. Evenings like this with the people I love most just cannot be beaten.
Happy Christmas marketing loves.
December is here.. like, freakin finally! It’s the best time of year, party season, indulgence month, giving time and the happiest days are to be had right now. I’ve always thought Christmas was the most magical time of year, little did I know that when you become a mom, it becomes that little (a lot) more magical.
Spending a day baking with my favourite little is always at the top of my favourite things to do list. And now, adding Christmas into the mix with that, what could be better?
This is all you need, well that, and Christmas music, a few cake pans and some crazy dance moves then my friends, you are on to a winner.
225g self raising flour
225g unsalted butter
225g caster sugar
And some caramac chocolate buttons for good measure.
I put my little “please don’t make too much mess” head away and out on my “let’s go crazy” head. Which meant little E had free game in this little baking session. She LOVED IT! And so did I, of course.
She definitely made a lot of mess BUT it was easily cleanable and actually only took ten minutes to clean up. Sometimes, I feel like I may have hesitated so that things didn’t get too messy or she didn’t get mud all over her too that was my favourite or whatever, you catch my drift. I’ve realised recently that she’s just a child, she’s going to get food down her, she’s going to get dirt in her fingernails while playing, she’s entitled to make mess because that’s how they learn. And, teaching them to help clean up is all part of the lesson folks.
She helped with all steps of the process, from adding the chocolate buttons to greasing the cake tin. It’s amazing that allowing her to do the tiniest of things makes her happy. She’s such a big girl and it really is a bitter sweet moment making these memories with her. Why do they grow so fast? Blah blah blah, that’s a whole other blog post for sure.
I even let her taste the cake mix, what kind of childhood would it be if you’ve not been able to do that? She didn’t enjoy it anyway, but still. Memories!
I’ll admit, I had to give a helping hand with the cutting the cake because my OCD side came out. I didn’t want the gingerbread men to have broken arms, legs or heads! Besides, teaching them to take a little help every now and again is good for them right?
And here, are the finishing products. They actually taste delicious if I do say so myself. The Christmas music was blasting, we had a dance session while the cakes cooking and ta daaaaa, what a perfect start to the Christmas season. That coupled with a nap and Christmas movies in pjs, it really is a winner. I should definitely make this a tradition.
Mix sugar and butter together until made into a smooth consistency.
Mix in the eggs until all mixed in evenly then sift in the flower until all mixed into a smooth mix. Throw in the caramac buttons and spread into the cake tins, I just did this free hand and it worked out well. Cook for 10-15 minutes on 180 and that, my friends is as easy as that. Quick, easy and delicious.
Happy Christmas baking loves.
This is a pretty h o t topic in any parents eyes. The question is always which is the right option for me? The latter part of that question is the most important. For me. For you. Everyone is different, what works for you may not work for another and that is perfectly okay. I’ve tried both working and staying at home, both have positives and negatives. It should be about what works best for you and your little’s.
W o r k i n g :
I found it extremely difficult to incorporate a good working, parenting balance. I absolutely loved pretty much everything about being home with my little girl, going back to work was a massive shock to the system. I’m a nurse so the hours weren’t exactly family friendly and it was hard, tiring work. I would end a day of work and feel so mentally/physically exhausted that I felt like I had nothing more to give to my little girl.
Whenever she was sick, I felt awful for leaving her with someone when I just wanted to snuggle her and make sure she knew that I love her. Of course, she knew that. So really, I wanted to reassure myself that she knew.
As much as I found working and being a mom hard flipping work. It had its positives, I was providing for my little family. I was showing my little girl that you have to work for things in life and I was teaching her to be independent. That it’s not always the job for the mom to stay at home. She went to nursery and absolutely loved it, she was able to play with other children and get used to me not being around all of the time. It 100% did her the world of good (not my heart though).
Oh, and it’s definitely no lie when people tell you that they go to work for a break from parenting. haha. Some days, when she was being an almighty demon, I felt grateful that I had a little escape. Does that make me a bad mom? I hope not. It did my sanity the world of good, I felt like I was a better parent for it for sure.
Staying at home :
Making this decision was possibly the hardest decision ever for me. I was putting my career on hold for an undetermined amount of time. Being at home all day, every day with a mischevious, little toddler is sometimes just as draining as long days on a hospital ward. That may be a slight over exaggeration BUT, I did question my decision to stay at home on the hard days.
However, I’ve made memories, built a connection and improved myself by staying at home with my little. No more mom guilt for leaving her crying at the nursery while I dash off to work, or my eyes welling up when signing an accident form at nursery, thinking I wasn’t there to comfort her when she was hurt. I was able to be the best possible mom that I wanted to be.
Working and parenting is hard, staying at home and parenting is hard. Parenting in general is freakin hard. There’s no manual telling you how to get it right. No special instructions to how to deal with each situation. You just have to do what you do and hope it’s right. There’s no competition between working and staying at home for me. I salute every single working parent because you are hard flipping core. You’re doing the best you possibly can for your child and you deserve all the praise in the world.
And as for you, stay at home parents. You inspire me. Also, doing all that you can for your child in a completely different way. You deserve just as much praise because you’re doing such a good job at theeeee hardest job.
So, no matter if you’re working or staying at home, you deserve a MAHOOSIVE pat on the back because y’all rock! Life is tough, add children into the mix and it gets even tougher. No matter how you’re doing it, whatever working decisions you’re making, you’re doing what is best for you and your family. And that my friends, is all that matters!
I always rave about how amazing it is to be a mom and how much I love it. Which I do, but I thought it was time to get a little real. Being a mom isn’t all cuddles, kisses and cute clothes.
Being a mom is poo-nami’s, vomit-splosions, tantrum-nados and everything to do with poop, gastly coloured plastic toys, mom buns, shared baths and zero alone time.
There’s been days where I’ve took my little monkey for a walk because, I could just not bare to spend another second in the house, waiting for the thousandth tantrum of the day to erupt. There’s been days where I’ve had to go and sit in the corner of the room, with toddler not in sight (for 0.00001 second) to count to ten and breath so that I don’t explode myself. There’s been nights where I’ve practically begged (out loud) for my little girl to just go the heck to sleep, so that I could get some sleep too.
The good thing about being a mom, is that each day is a N E W day. To start a fresh and try again. Not to be perfect but to be perfectly imperfect. Because that, that right there is motherhood. It’s learning new things about yourself as you watch your little one grow. It’s seeing yourself turn into this new person, with new responsibilities and an even more exciting life ahead of you. With a forever partner in crime.
So sure, it’s not all staying home and baking perfectly cooked pies, or having dinner presentably perfect on the table for 5pm every day. It is however, rushing out the door with chocolate in hand for breakfast already ten minutes late, forgetting the nappies or wipes and having to sprint your way back in to find wherever your toddler hid them. It’s imperfect in the most perfect way. A life I would never change. Because, a life with a child is unpredictable, exciting, and the most loving road you could ever take.
Being a mom is thee least glamorous job but better pay than a n y w h e r e else. Because, the payment is in first smiles, first crawls, first steps, first words, first days of school, all the firsts that you can think of. It’s an unbreakable bond, a forever love.
Here’s to motherhood, the greatest hood of all!
Did you know that people spend FIFTY FIVE minutes a day looking for things in their home? That’s TWO WEEKS a year!!
+++ did you know that decluttering your house can reduce housework by up to 40%?!? I know I’ve caught your attention with that one because who doesn’t want to deduct their housework?
How easy is it to build up boxes/cupboards/drawers of items you don’t necessarily need or papers that you definitely don’t need to keep? Pretty easy for me anyway. I only moved into my new house two years ago and already I have managed to collect enough kit to stock a whole charity shop. Please tell me I’m not alone in this? I try to be sensible, promise.
After what feels like the thousandth time to go through EVERYTHING with the bin, give to charity and keep piles I have made a vow to myself to N E V E R let that dang junk drawer get as full again. You know what draw I’m on about right? The one where the letters go, that spare screw that you don’t know what is from goes, that set of pens, that spare crayon. The list could go on forever, whatever random thing you find that you don’t want to be left out on show ALWAYS has a home in the junk drawer. After having a clear out, I almost feel like a new woman. Opening the draw and finding what I want just at a glance, rather than having to dig through is SO refreshing! I want Pinterest worthy cupboards and drawers, so that is my goal. If you’re a Pinterest gal/pal you’ll know exactly what I mean. If not, join the Pinterest hype because you are for sure missing out my friend.
I’m not saying I put my clothes in colour order (although that sounds amazing right now), I don’t really have the spare time to be faffing around with that. BUT getting your home into order, does a whole lot of good for that little, old brain. It’s amazing really and I cannot recommend it enough.
I have always been a lover of decorative nik naks being placed around the home, but as I get older I’m starting to appreciate the minimalistic look more. I literally have big, black bag after bag after bag to dispose of AND it actually feels suuuuper refreshing and therapeutic to get rid of them all. My brain feels a little less messy, my life feels a little more in order and my home feels a lottttt more cleaner and organised. It’s a good feeling for sure. If you’re feeling like I did, a clear out should be put on to your schedule. It is more therapeutic than you may realise. I’ve found that with children, you collect SO much and before you know it your house is full to the brim of bits and bobs that you may but majority of the time, may not need.
I’m definitely not saying chuck out everything that isn’t necessary so you have a bare home, I’m all for keepsakes. I’m in the middle of organising some photo boxes/books and a keepsake storage box. I’m talking about shoes that you haven’t wore in too long, clothes that you no longer like, just sitting there waiting for you to love them again. I’ve just gave away 17 pairs of shoes, S E V E N T E E N pairs?!?!? How is it even possible to have collected that many and STILL have plenty of pairs left that I’m keeping. I didn’t realise I was such a shoe collector. And some times, that is half the problem. You don’t even realise how much you have until you organise. While clearing out the shoe cupboard, I asked myself “If I were shopping right this second, would I buy this?” If the answer was no, out it goes. From here on out, I am going to be keeping an eye on everything I keep and make sure that my home/life is 99% organised. Because let’s be honest, being 100% is just unrealistic and that’s okay, I’m not aiming for perfection. Just to be better.
Every. single. day. clear out something that doesn’t deserve you. Whether it be a sock with holes, a book you’ll never read or a cruddy thought. Your mind and soul will thank you for it.
Stuck on how to get started? Download my F R E E list of what item to chuck out once a day for the rest of the month starting from today, just to make things a little easier. I know how busy all our schedules can be. Use #ohthatdeclutter19 on the world of insta, I would love to see your journeys/outcomes.
Link for the declutter list is below, just click.
Happy decluttering ♡