Hormones, Anxiety And Things That Make Me Happy

tulips-in-vase

I’ve been thinking a lot about happiness recently. I mean, we all think about happiness all the time, don’t we? But I’ve been thinking about it a lot more in the last month or so. Trying to work out what are the things that make me happy – and unhappy.

Let’s deal with the unhappy bit first – to put it bluntly, my hormones make me unhappy. I’ve always been a bit of a slave to my hormones, from those FUN teenage years where you hate everyone and everything, slam doors, flush your best mate’s necklace down the loo in a fit of rage (just me?) to my twenties when I discovered I had endometriosis. Poor Mr P had to put up with a lot of mood swings back then – thank goodness he didn’t run for the hills.

But lately, thanks to my hormones, I’ve had a few days each month where I feel really low – there was one day last month when I actually felt depressed, and that’s not a word I use lightly. There was this imaginary grey weight on me, and none of the usual ‘cheer me up’ tactics like lunch out with Mr P or shopping in The White Company made any difference. It actually really scared me. Thankfully, it only lasted one day, and I knew it was caused by hormones.

This has been coupled with something that I have only just realised I’ve suffered from for a long time – anxiety. I didn’t really know what this was before, but I’ve worked out that when I’m walking down a street and feel paranoid, thinking people are looking at me, or when I’m on Oxford Street in central London and I have this awful fear that someone is going to attack me, or steal my bag, or when I just have a gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach but have nothing to feel worried about – that’s anxiety. Again – thankfully I only suffer from it when my hormones are doing their monthly loop the loop. Or when I’m hungover and tired, but that’s normal, right?

So – anyway! This isn’t meant to be a ‘poor me’ blog post, it’s actually a post about the things that make me happy. Because in the last few weeks, I’ve been focusing on what those things are, and making sure they are in my life more. Simple!

1. Fresh flowers.

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed the sudden appearance of flowers in my photos. I’ve realised how much I enjoy having them in the house, especially since I work from home. Tulips, daffs, hyacinths, roses – I’m not fussy. There was one week recently when I had all of the above and it was like a bloody florists in my kitchen.

daffodils

2. Scented candles.

I’ve been burning my White Company White Geranium candle or Diptyque Baies while I work (hello, working from home cliché!) and the relaxing scent helps to chill me out and concentrate on work rather than how crappy I might be feeling.

Diptyque-Baies-candle

3. The gym.

I’ve actually turned into one of those people who exercises for its health benefits, not because I want to be slimmer. For real. I mean, obviously I’d like to be slimmer. My size 16 ass should really be a size 14, but genuinely, I notice such a difference in my mood when I go to the gym two or three times a week. It’s like a miracle cure. I heart endorphins.

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4. Chocolate.

Hmmmm maybe this is the reason for my size 16 ass? But I’m definitely an emotional eater, and having a steady supply of chocolate and cakes makes me happy.

5. Trying to be vaguely healthy.

On the flip side of that, I’m a MUCH happier person when I’m making sensible food choices – salads, smoothies, sushi, Vita Coco drinks rather than crisps, chips and pizza. I spent six months of last year being super healthy and I loved it. Just need to get back into it, don’t I?

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6. Taking time off.

I think I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m a ‘workaholic’ (so 80s of me). I love working so so much and I would happily sit at my laptop working and blogging until 10pm every night. But I’ve started putting the laptop away on a few evenings a week, and watching telly with Mr P (The Good Wife and Better Call Saul on Netflix, since you asked). I even went out for the day with my family last weekend and – wait for it – left my phone at home, deliberately. I’m fed up of checking my phone constantly when I’m out and about so it was almost a relief to not have it with me. Switching off and having time away from email, texts and social media is really good for me.

Speaking of which, it’s 7.15pm and I’m going to switch my laptop off…

Win £120 To Spend On Eyewear

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I’ve been looking for a new pair of specs for months. My current pair were bought around five years ago and as well as the prescription being out of date, I don’t like them much anymore. I really fancy a proper pair of geek glasses – dark and thick rimmed – but any I’ve tried on so far look ridiculous on me. It appears that my huge head means that not only do I have to wear men’s hats (not even joking – my summer hat is from a menswear department and it’s XL) but I also can’t buy most pairs of glasses unless I want to look like a giant melon head. Thanks head.

So my quest continues. But I’m determined to find the right pair for me.

If you’re in need of glasses, check out SmartBuyGlasses, who have given me a prize of £120 to spend on eyewear with them. A prize that I shall give to one of you lovely readers.

HOW TO ENTER

To be in with a chance of winning the £120 to spend on eyewear, comment on this blog post telling me what your dream pair of sunglasses or eyeglasses from SmartBuyGlasses is, and you must visit SmartBuyGlasses over on Facebook. Easy peasy, huh!

Don’t forget to fill in the Rafflecopter box below for your entry to count. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and conditions:

1. Entry is open worldwide, excluding anyone professionally associated with Not Another Mummy Blog or the Promoter.

2. One winner will receive a £120 voucher code. The prize is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative.

3. The prize draw starts at 12.01am GMT on 22th February 2015 and closes at 11.59pm GMT on 4th March 2015.

4. Entry is free and must be made by commenting on this blog post answering: ‘What are your dream pair of Sunglasses or Eyeglasses from www.smartbuyglasses.co.uk.’ In addition you must visit the Facebook page of SmartBuyGlasses UK.

5. The name of the winner will be published on this website within 14 days of the giveaway closing.

6. The winner will be drawn at random using RaffleCopter and they must have commented on the blog post and visited SmartBuyGlasses Facebook Page to be entitled to the prize.

7. The winner will be contacted by the blog host – notanothermummyblog and the Promoter will be CC’d in the email.

8. In the unlikely event that the prize becomes unavailable the Promoter reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal value.

9. The Promoter’s decision on all matters is final and binding on all entrants. No correspondence will be entered into.

10. By taking part in this competition you agree to be bound by the competition terms and conditions.

11. The Promoter reserves the right to disqualify any entrant and / or winner in its discretion and without any notice in accordance with these terms and conditions.

12. The Promoter is: SmartBuyGlasses, Corso Re Umberto 87, 10128 Torino, Italy.

Image: DTTSP

Celebrating Amazing Women With #ARWoman

Fun at the fair

When you think about the women in your life, most people will think of their mum, their best friend, their gran. Some of us are lucky enough to be surrounded by brilliant, strong women, and it’s often something we take for granted. We take them for granted. I’m really big on celebrating women and I’m definitely a girls’ girl. I mean, I enjoy the company of men, but give me a group of female friends and a bottle of wine (or two) any day.

So the #ARWoman campaign by Atterley Road is something I’m totally on board with. The fashion brand is asking bloggers to talk about a woman who inspires them and I’m spoilt for choice. I’m inspired by fellow female bloggers like Erica, whose ability to style an outfit leaves me open-mouthed, Katie, who has a beautiful eye for photography, Fritha and Lori, whose blogs make my life a brighter place, and GillMolly and Katrina, who are talented writers and brilliant friends. Then there’s my best mate Kim who has been with me through thick and thin since we were 15 and bonded over our love of Take That. And Fee and Sarah, who joined me in taking that love of boybands a little bit further (like around the UK and Ireland doing a tour of concert venues, posh hotels and airports…)

But the woman who inspires me the most – as unoriginal as it may seem – is my mum. Apart from being generally ace, she’s so utterly supportive of her children and always has been. She’s such a positive person – always looking at things as ‘challenges’ rather than problems and refusing to dwell on the negative side of life. She’s determined and a great organiser – skills I know I’ve got from her. But most of all, she’s the kind of person I’d be friends with, even if she wasn’t my mum.

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Who’s your #ARWoman? Post a photo of her on Instagram or Twitter, tagging @AtterleyRoad and tagging it #ARWoman. Let’s celebrate the women we love and admire!

• Big thanks to Atterley Road for commissioning this post on #ARWoman. For details of how I work with brands, see my Work With Me page.

Say Hello To My Village England Mini Cranleigh Bag

Village England Mini Cranleigh bag

OK so you don’t actually have to say hello to my bag. That would be a bit weird. But please do look and admire. Isn’t it pretty?

Village England is a brand I know through reading one of my favourite blogs – MMM. My ridiculously stylish friend Erica, who has been a highfalutin fashion editor for 15 years or so, has a few Village England bags and loves them. Now I know why.

I’m the worst person when it comes to buying bags. I tend to buy cheap and cheerful. I do have a little stash of gorgeous leather bags, collected over the years on various holidays to America where they’re soo much cheaper and soo tempting to buy. But I admit, I tend to ignore them in favour of my on-trend bags from the high street – bags that now have broken zips and that look a bit tired.

So I’m going to make a real effort to go for quality, from now on. My gorgeous Mini Cranleigh bag from Village England has reminded me how lovely it is to swing a real leather bag over your shoulder and head out into the world.

Village England bag

Hat: Asos, Sweatshirt: New Look, t-shirt: Asos, Necklace: M&S, jeans: Uniqlo, Mini Cranleigh, New Balance trainers

The shade of green gives any outfit a pop of colour and despite being small, it fits all my essentials inside – key, purse, phone, lippy, a gazillion receipts that as a freelancer I keep and store, and right now, warm gloves. I love how easy it is to access – no fiddly fastening or buckle, just a magnet in the ‘flap’ which secures the bag shut. So when I’m out and about, I can quickly delve into it for my Oyster card and phone.

cranleigh-bag-close-up

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The Mini Cranleigh is one of those bags that is a treat to hold – the detail on it is gorgeous and it makes me smile whenever I use it. Which is basically every day since I got it.

• Big thanks to Village England for sending me this bag – as always all views are my own.

 

Polurrian Bay Hotel, Cornwall: Totally Worth The Journey

sunrise-cornwall

It’s a little while since our stay at the Polurrian Bay Hotel in Cornwall, and spending an evening looking through my photos from our stay has made me think one thing:

When can we go back?

I’ll be honest and say that before we went, I wasn’t sure what to expect (I don’t think the website does the hotel justice) and I was worried that no hotel would be worth the mammoth journey down to the depths of Cornwall. But as soon as we had arrived and settled into our room, I knew. I knew it was worth the journey. In fact, I’d honestly say that even if you lived in the Highlands of Scotland, it would be worth the journey.

Built over 100 years ago, after the original hotel burnt to the ground, the Polurrian Bay Hotel is on a cliff, high above the beach on the Lizard Peninsula. The decor is fabulous – all mid-century shapes and bright pops of colour. The thing that really makes it is the fairly newly renovated Vista Lounge. Until a few years ago, the lounge area was fairly small (but stylish). But now! Now you walk down some stairs, where the original room stopped, and into a large airy lounge with floor to ceiling windows. It’s breathtaking! But as well as being super stylish and a relaxing place to sit with a cuppa by the log burner, it’s completely child friendly, with a dolls house and train set ready to be played with.

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red-sofa

polurrian-bar-vista-seating-area

It was chilly while we were there, but in the summer, I’m told the doors are often open and guests spill out onto the patio. There’s no bar at the Polurrian, but you don’t have to be sitting in the lounge for long before a member of staff pops up to ask you what you’d like. Oh and the staff are so friendly! While we were there, they couldn’t do enough for us. One waiter even remembered that the four-year-old hadn’t eaten the tartare sauce that came with her (posh) fish fingers one night. The next evening, he left the tartare sauce off the plate and brought her tomato ketchup instead. She loved that he remembered!

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the kids’ fish fingers, chips and peas – WITH tartare sauce on night one!

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The kids’ meals all come with a complimentary starter of carrot sticks, cucumber, bread sticks and humous. To be honest, the four-year-old ate the cucumber and left the rest but hotels and restaurants that give a healthy starter to kids always get the thumbs up from me.

The rooms are simple and chic, with neutral tones and splashes of colour. We had a gorgeous corner room which had views out to the sea on both sides. It was amazing to wake up to, every morning, and even though the room was small, the view made it feel so much bigger….

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