Showing posts with label orlaith. Show all posts
Showing posts with label orlaith. Show all posts

Orlaith's Bedroom Tour

Hanging Butterflies  - Similar / Bunny Pillow - Primark / Bed Sheets - Morleys
Play Kitchen - Ikea
Bookcase - Ikea / Table + Chairs - Ikea / Gro Clock - Here / Beatrix Potter Book Collection - Same Here

Wardrobe - Similar
It's official, we're moving home! I don't know when exactly but probably in the next two months. I'm excited and nervous at the same time. And then it crossed my mind that I've never really done a proper bedroom tour of Orlaith's room in the whole (almost) five years that we've lived here. It will be nice to have something for Orlaith to look back on when she's older. Her first proper bedroom.

Orlaith's room was lucky to get a lick of paint a couple of months ago so it's looking pretty fresh compared to the other rooms in our home. I've spent a lot of time over the last few months going through all our belongings, pairing things down to just what we need with little excess. Things are a lot less cluttered and a lot more manageable now. Not everything has a designated place yet, but most things do, and I don't think there's much point putting too much energy into it right now since we're moving so soon. 

All the furniture in Orlaith's room is ours so we'll be able to take everything with us when we move and set up her room fairly quickly. Next time round there's a few things I'd love to try in Orlaith's room, like adding some wall colour, maybe even try a patterned wall, adding some shelves and new art work, and perhaps investing in some blackout blinds, like these ones from VELUX, which I've heard promote better sleep. But for now, we're just enjoying the time we have left here together.

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This post was written in collaboration with VELUX

Update + Feelings On Life Right Now

Let Your Faith Be Bigger Than Your Fear Quote

Life has changed quite a lot for us recently and while I deal with change pretty well I've been having trouble feeling settled with everything recently. I've been having sleep issues for weeks, I haven't been making the best food choices, and other life choices have been kind of bad.  It seems I'm on a little self destructive cycle (it's oh so subtle but I can see the tell tale signs) and it's all to do with internal anxiety and uneasiness. And for someone who doesn't normally go out socialising that much I've been going out a hell of a lot lately. Not that that's a bad thing, it's probably the only positive thing about my current self destructive cycle, but I'm using all the late nights and tired days as a distraction from the way I'm really feeling.  So, let me give you a little update:

On New Jobs & Not Following My Heart

Two weeks ago I started a new job.  It's not a job I wanted (wah), the salary is really low (wah) and I'm back to commuting into the city which pretty much kills my soul twice a day (wah wah).  But on top of all that I guess I'm just pissed at myself for not trying harder at doing the things I really wanted to do and ending up in this situation again.  

I have two plans I really want to pursue. Both take time, commitment, planning, effort and organisation. Oh and self belief (in which I'm lacking)! One takes a bit of money to set up, one takes a lot more money to set up (but I'm sure there's a positive way around that).  But I'm going to make an admission: 

Right now my fear of failure is bigger than my desire to succeed.  

I am absolutely terrified of my goals.  But I really don't want to be working a job I have zero passion for, for close to minimum wage, while dreaming of bigger things. I need to give myself a big kick up the arse and a major talking to and get the ball rolling.  For now I'm sticking with the job, because bills need to be paid and I'm not really ok with sitting around doing nothing. But I sincerely hope that in a couple of months I may have a more positive update on this area of my life.

On Blogging & Wanting A Bit More Privacy

When my new job came along I lost a lot of the time I previously had in which to be creative (let's be fair I wasn't using it effectively at all when I had it). With the little time I have left I'm not sure how much I'll be able to commit to this space.  I don't have a plan for this blog, I'd like to make one, or not make one and stop. But this constant in-between-ness is not serving anyone.

I'm also craving a bit of privacy.  I'm not sure how comfortable I feel sharing so much about us and our lives, and at the same time I don't feel like an impersonal blog really works. I've met some amazing people (even made good friends) learnt a lot and even changed my life in some ways through blogging.  I'd hate to lose this outlet but, if I keep it, I want to be more purposeful in the way I use it.

Let's Call This An Overview

I'm hoping life will calm down a bit soon.  Unfortunately I started my new job at the same time Orlaith started half term so with no childcare in place things have been incredibly hectic for the past few weeks.  We have a new childminder starting on Monday who also looks after some other kids too, so before and after school Orlaith will have a little extended family to hang out with. She'll like that so much!

I don't know if I've ever rambled this much on the blog before but I hate being silent and elusive on here. Writing this was a bit like therapy for me so thank you for reading.  I just wanted to explain where things are right now. There's more private stuff I haven't gone into but I think this pretty much covers the reasons behind my unease lately: Not feeling in control and not following my heart.

For me, being true to myself is a big thing and I always look back in regret on the periods in my life when I wasn't following my heart.  It's all a learning experience, but I feel like I've learnt most of what I'm living already and I'm not really willing to re-live my past regrets. It's all about taking steps forward, no matter how small they are.  I need to take control of my situation and get things moving in the right direction.
Don't Be Afraid Of Your Fears Quote
Picture Sources 1 | 2

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Dog Days

Battersea Park

I really wish we could have a pet.  I mean, technically we could, but we're not in the right place right now to have one, I don't think it would be very kind.  We live in a small apartment with no outdoor space and we travel way too much to justify getting a pet.  In the future, once we've moved to a home with a garden (next year fingers crossed) and in the case we have someone who's happy to look after it when we travel, I'd love to find a little dog to join our family.

Luckily for us my friend Theodora has a cute little dog called Baby who we get to dog sit sometimes when she goes away.  Recently, when Theodora went off on her honeymoon, Orlaith and I packed up our bags and went to stay at her apartment in Chelsea for a week to look after Baby.

I really think Orlaith was a dog in a previous life.  There are so many funny mannerisms she shares with dogs, and she seems to have a connection with them.  Even the biggest most vicious looking dogs, Orlaith will just snuggle right up to them and they'll start playing together.  She's been like this since she was a baby.  Any shape, any size, any temperament, Orlaith gets right in there like she's part of the gang.

Dog Days
Dog Days
Battersea Park
Battersea Park
Battersea Park
Chelsea Embankment
Battersea Park
Battersea Park

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Walking With Deer

Richmond Park deer

Richmond is one of my very favourite parts of London. It's got everything you need, a bustling high street, a beautiful river walk dotted with lots of restaurants and bars, and plenty of green space including the amazing Richmond Park.

Richmond Park is the largest of London's Royal Parks (it's about three times the size of Central Park in New York) and is a national nature reserve that houses hundreds of deer. There are so many things that draw people to Richmond park apart from the deer, but seeing little Bambi's frolicking in the fields is always our selling point.

I actually don't visit Richmond Park as much as I'd like, which is silly really as it doesn't take that long to get there from my house, but London is a big city and there's always other stuff going on. Last weekend, however, I came good on my promise to Orlaith and I took her there with Warren to see the deer and I was so glad I did.  We all had a really lovely day.

Deer are such beautiful creatures. There were a group of males chasing each other and they seemed to be trying to mark their territory.  They were making big noises that sounded like loud cows and we watched them in fascination and one of the males seemed to be protecting a large family of deer.

We walked a lot, Orlaith climbed every tree she saw, played in the mud, picked very unripe blackberry's, made collections of conkers and stones and twigs, played with all the dogs and tried to go as close to the deer as she possibly could. Her dream was to pet one even though we told her she wouldn't be able to! It was great to see her keeping so busy in nature.

Richmond Park deer
Richmond Park deer
Richmond Park deer
Richmond Park deer
Richmond Park deer
Richmond Park deer
Richmond Park deer
Richmond Park deer
Richmond Park deer
Richmond Park deer
Richmond Park deer
Richmond Park deer
Richmond Park deer
Richmond Park deer
Richmond Park deer

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Filtered Camping


Back at the beginning of the summer holidays Jack, Warren, Orlaith and I loaded our tents into the car and drove up to Bosworth in Warwickshire (think the Battle of Bosworth) for a camping weekend.  This trip brings my camping escapades up to a grand total of three so, yes, still a total camping novice.  We pitched our tents without too much issue and then proceeded to hang out in a field for three days.  Three.  Glorious.  Technology.  Free.  Days.

Bosworth Water Trust is a great little camping spot.  It's very family friendly with a generous amount of activities to choose from.  The way the camping spots are set up meant that all the kids could play in the middle of the field freely without having to be overly supervised, which was nice for both kiddos and grownups!

We spent a lot of time chilling out, playing games, eating (very unhealthy) food, drinking beer and entertaining Orlaith.  I decided against taking my camera, I just wanted a break from everything, so we ended up snapping pictures on Warren's phone.  He's got a fun little filter thing going on with his phone camera which made everything look a bit rustic.


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Unbalanced + Fatigued


Do you ever feel like when one thing in your life gets thrown off track, everything else gets thrown off track at the same time? When I feel unbalanced I crave balance so much and it's the one thing in my life I need to work on a whole lot more. I don't meditate, I don't journal (apart from a gratitude journal I do with Orlaith some nights), I haven't practiced yoga or exercised for a few months now, and I rarely allow myself to properly wind down and relax.

And of course, while everything is so unbalanced inside, things on the outside start getting affected too. For instance when I can't keep on top of keeping my apartment tidy, at the same time I can't keep on top of planning and eating healthy meals, at which time I'm finding it hard to be productive or concentrate on anything. Plus the non stop colds and other lingering symptoms of someone who's less than healthy.

A few months ago I started getting severe headaches and migraines plus my whole body swelled up. Both lasted a month and then went away by themselves (thank goodness). I still have no idea what caused it. But the symptom that didn't go away is the fatigue. Never ending, debilitating fatigue. It's just the worst. No matter how much sleep I get, I can sleep 10 hours in one night and I can still hardly lift my head off the pillow in the morning or function throughout the day. It makes me short tempered and unable to enjoy doing fun and productive things with Orlaith. Forget taking her to the playground after school, all I want to do is lie down or sleep.

I had some blood tests done recently with my GP and when I called up for the results I was told everything was normal. I felt like banging my head against a wall. After a few more weeks of research and continued fatigue I requested some different tests. When I went in to see the nurse, she went through my blood work again and noticed that, in fact, everything was not normal. I have a ridiculously low iron count. An iron deficiency. It turns out my GP never even looked at my blood work before I was given the all clear. Got to love the NHS!

I was so relieved to finally know what was causing my fatigue and everything that goes with it. I actually felt really emotional because I knew I could finally start making myself better and stop acting like a really crappy parent.

Since I found out about my iron deficiency I've upped my intake of iron rich foods, started taking my multivitamin daily (instead of once a fortnight) and including lots of vitamin C in my diet to help my body absorb the iron. Of course the body takes time to heal and adjust and all I can do is stuff my face with food medicine and enjoy every morning I wake up with the energy to actually get out of bed without wanting to cry from tiredness.

Of course I'll have to make other changes too to regain some balance in other areas of my life. One step at a time. Do you have any tips on how you stay balanced? 

ZSL London Zoo

giraffe London zoo

I haven't been to that many zoos in my time, however we always pop into Barcelona Zoo when we're over there. London Zoo has always put me off a bit because of the high entry fees, but during Orlaith's half term I decided to treat us both to a day at the zoo. We both love animals and it seemed like the perfect day out for us.

Well, what I learned from my trip to London Zoo is that it is a very good zoo indeed. There were lots of 'shows' however it simply gave us the opportunity to watch animals being fed while someone explained some interesting facts about them, there were no animals doing tricks or anything (unlike Barcelona Zoo who's dolphin show made me feel pretty uneasy on my last visit). There was a little petting section with goats and sheep which was great for having some hands on interaction with the animals .

My favourite thing about London Zoo is that they try to educate people on animal conservation and the threats to their habitats and give you tips on how you can play a part in saving the animals and the earth (although, in my opinion, the way things are going the earth is way past saving). Also a portion of your ticket price goes to ZSL's conservation efforts so, essentially, you're not just paying to get into the zoo, you're also giving to charity. Yay.

ZSL stands for Zoological Society of London and is an international conservation and scientific charity based in the UK. Their conservation efforts are tremendous and you can read about them at the ZSL website HERE.

OK, not all kids are thrilled by a whole day of traipsing around a zoo looking at animals. Orlaith got bored from time to time. To tackle the boredom I presented her with a project book and a pencil. Every time she saw an animal she liked she drew and labelled it in her project book. This was a great way to have little breaks in between animals and do something more creative. As a last resort there was a playground in the zoo which we visited a couple of times throughout the day to have some longer breaks.

Now when we talk about the zoo Orlaith immediately starts discussing how we can help to protect the animals natural habitats through our actions. Well done London Zoo, you've created a little animal activist.

butterfly London zoo
penguin window London zoo
giraffes London zoo
hippo London zoo
clown fish London zoo
lemur london zoo
monkey London zoo
london zoo trip
giraffe feeding london zoo
penguins London zoo
london zoo aquarium
hippo london zoo
lemur London zoo
anteater london zoo
sheep london zoo
piranhas london zoo
goat london zoo
pigs london zoo
penguins london zoo
london zoo aquarium
my froley london zoo
butterfly house london zoo
camels london zoo
penguin london zoo
hippos london zoo
penguin london zoo
butterfly london zoo

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