Is Mummy going mad?

Is Mummy going mad?  I'm not quite sure when I realised my depression had returned, the exact moment that I knew I wasn't coping.  It's a sneaky one depression, no matter how many times you've had before it creeps up on you and before you realise it's too late.  Yes you might recognise the signs of depression a little quicker each time.  But you also think that you can deal with it a little better each time, get a handle on it before having to seek help.  It never really works like that unfortunately.

PND

Postnatal Depression is a depressive illness which affects between 10 to 15 in every 100 women having a baby. The symptoms are similar to those in depression at other times. These include low mood and other symptoms lasting at least two weeks. Depending on the severity, you may struggle to look after yourself and your baby. You may find simple tasks difficult to manage.

PND often starts within one or two months of giving birth. It can start several months after having a baby. About a third of women with PND have symptoms which started in pregnancy and continue after birth.

Is Mummy going mad?

My PND kicked in after having Fred.  Two babies under two, being at home alone a lot of the time, it all just became too much.  I think PND is especially hard to notice in yourself, even after two previous bouts of depression.  People expect you to be low after giving birth.  Everything is put down to the 'Baby Blues' and often (definitely in my case) new mum's are almost too far down the line before they realise that it is more than that.

I definitely didn't want to admit I wasn't coping.  Which is silly considering I already knew that depression was not something to be ashamed of, not something that I could have seen coming.  However I do think there is the added pressure with PND that it's not just about you anymore, there is a baby/babies involved.  To have to own up and say your are not only coping with your own life, but also that you can't cope with your own child's life either, is a real hard thing to admit.  Especially when a lot of the time it is the addition of this little person(s) in your life that seems to have caused the depression.

Breaking point

So 10 years ago this month I reached my limit, I reached breaking point.  I'd clawed my forehead to shreds (my coping mechanism the more depressed/stressed I got) easily covered up by a fringe! My weight was all over the place, I wasn't eating, I was drinking too much, I'd 'failed' at breast feeding yet again, and couldn't even manage to have my kids 'naturally'.  Too far down the line to think sensibly.

As well as being away from family, I was away from friends in the village (we'd moved to a larger house, it was only 5 mins away from the village but I didn't drive at this point), I felt isolated, I felt alone and I felt utterly useless.  In my eyes I wasn't a good mum or a good wife, and that broke me.  It was the final straw (a story for another time), I finally got the help I needed...

The doctors were amazing, taking the time to listen, to figure out the best treatment for me.  After a successful spell of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy I was finally able to enjoy my boys, to realise that I was a good mum and how I felt was normal and wasn't something to be ashamed of.  CBT also showed up some flaws in my character that definitely add to my predisposition to depression and have allowed me to work on these.

#depressionwearslippy

But throughout all of this, how many knew exactly how I was feeling, how many realised how ill I was, even those closest didn't!  Jo @lobellaloves_jo raises this point perfectly with the #depressionwearslippy campaign.  It is not an obvious illness!  So during #maternalmentalhealthawarenessweek lets get this discussion going, share your stories if you would like to, or think it will help you and others.  Or simply read ours to help you realise you are not alone.  Motherhood isn't easy, it doesn't always come naturally, you don't get a handbook, but you are not alone!

Hope this helps...


Be the nice kid

In a world where you can be anything, be kind!

Be the nice kid

As the sun goes down on another week, I’m reminded of just how tough life can be, of just how horrible the human race can be, how cruel and how pathetic….

As many of you will know I was bullied quite severely during Junior School.  4 years of my life between the ages of 7-11 that have changed me forever.  4 years that I blocked out and only really have a few funny/happy memories from that whole time.   4 years that mean I now struggle to pick up a phone to call someone; that mean I struggle to socialise; that mean I have crippling insecurity and sometimes struggle just to leave the house; that mean I can hardly look in the mirror without squirming.

No escape

Now I know how f**ked up I am from school, but imagine being a kid now.  At least I knew that once I was home, I was safe.  Imagine knowing that even when you leave school, you can’t leave the bullying behind.  That no matter what they can always get to you, there literally is no escape!

Not only that but dare to put yourself out there, and you open up to the possibility of being bullied (or trolled as it’s known) by complete strangers.  People who have never met you but feel the need to judge, to comment, to bully…

reuben de maid

Deliberately different

Take Reuben De Maid, an amazing boy of 12 who has a huge talent for singing and also for make up!  Having built up a huge following on social media, Reuben admits to being trolled online, read his full story here https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/3518817/reuben-de-maid-12-year-old-welsh-singer-and-make-up-expert-bullied/amp/

I’ve said for a long time that much as we show our horror for such leaders as Hitler and Mussolini, we as a race are slowly descending into just as much hatred for others creeds, proclivities, in fact anything that makes us stand out.  The divide is growing, two sides; one becoming more narrow minded, more bigoted, more fearful; one championing acceptance and the want to champion the individual.

And this is exactly what it boils down to… fear!  Fear of the unknown, ignorance, fear of being different, of standing out, of being yourself.

How do we stop this, how do we ensure our kids can be who they want to be?  And how do we ensure that we equip our kids to not only have the confidence to be who they want to be, but that they also support and encourage their peers to be who they want to be.

We as a generation need to be strong, we need to be the parents that our kids so desperately need.  We are facing issues that our parents never faced, complexities that never used to be an issue.  But actually it all boils down to the same, we need to show our children how to…

Be the nice kid!

For R x

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National Tea Day

Time for Tea

National Tea Day

I don’t know about you, but I love a cup of tea. It’s the first thing I think about on a morning.  For me it has to be Yorkshire Tea with skimmed milk (not too much, not too little). Today is National Tea Day is observed in the UK every year on the 21st April to celebrate the drinking of tea.  It is celebrated across the country including a tea ‘Fes-Tea-Val’ at Chiswick House & Gardens in London.

gifts for mum

Brits drink 165 million cups of tea every day!

The number of recommended cups of tea to drink each day is 4, this gives you optimal benefit.

Fancy enjoying an afternoon tea wherever you are, whether it is traditional, themed or with a twist?  National Tea Day have partnered with some of the most esteemed, most historical, most scenic and best value afternoon tea providers in the country so you can do just that!

Just enter your post code at https://www.teanearme.co.uk/ and a selection of tea houses near you will be shown. Whether you just want a cheap and cheerful tea and scones or a full gourmet afternoon tea there is something for everyone.

Enjoy!

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small business

Where Does Time Go...

So I got up at nine this morning – yes I know a lie in for a lot of us now, when did that happen! I had all intentions of getting a good bit of work done on the website, a blog post and my social media posts done for the day by lunchtime.  Leaving me the afternoon to go grab the car after it passed it’s MOT (Woohoo!) and do something with the kids before spending the evening with friends.

10:43

It’s now 10:43 and what have I managed… 1 paragraph of a blog post and an hour and a half of scrolling through Insta #faceplant.  It cant just be me that this happens to can it? It’s like Easter hols, you lull yourself into taking it easy the first week as ‘we have two whole weeks’. Then all of a sudden it’s Friday of the second week and we’ve achieved not a lot!

Anyway back to the moan in hand LOL. So yes I’ve still not managed to post on social media and now I’ve pretty much missed the sweet spot for Insta, so will have to wait till this evening on them.  I did manage a couple of retweets, but need to get on this today.  Also now having to deal with an eldest child ‘Kevin’ moment as he cannot find his textiles homework due Monday (another #faceplant).  Panic over, homework found, questionnaire compiled… If you fancy completing I will share on my stories today!

12:00

Get distracted by making pancakes for the boys, as promised by me if Henry finished all his homework and packed his bag ready for Monday!

13:00

Finish making pancakes, go to pick up car from mechanic.

13:25

Sit down for take two of blog, still no more social media posts! Although whilst I was out I got another order for a Toy Storage bag going to India! Always love orders that go far afield. Get distracted by Insta Stories! If you haven’t seen @tobyandroo stories today you must check out, hi-la-rious….

13:40

This is just getting ridiculous and am actually having to re-read blog to remind myself what I was writing about in the first place. Oh to be young again, with good short term memory and boobs that don’t sit on your stomach when you sit down LOL. Okay so my boobs aren’t quite that bad but you get the drift.  Maybe I need to write down a to do list:

What I need to achieve...

  • Write blog
  • Post on Insta/Facebook
  • Post on Twitter
  • Print off orders for next week
  • Take pictures for next weeks social media
  • List new A6 notebooks on website

What I will actually achieve...

  • Stop eldest boys fighting over XBox – several times
  • Shout at everyone to go away as I’m trying to work – several times
  • Make a cup of juice for the smallest person – several times
  • Download as many episodes of Scooby Doo as possible to keep the small person amused, when lego has failed
  • Get distracted by Insta stories again
  • Realise I haven’t eaten since breakfast
  • Get distracted by The Commonwealth Games
  • Realise it’s nearly teatime
  • Give up
  • Pour wine…

Is it just me, or do you guys manage to achieve pretty much half of what you set out to do each day?

One thing I did come across whilst I was being distracted by social media, was this useful screen time form.  I always start the holidays with great intentions, but when I have so much on myself and 3 boys to deal with, I easily lose momentum.  So this form by Natural Beach Living is absolutely brilliant and I will definitely be adapting and using for my eldest two!

15:38

Well at least I’ve completed the blog post! I’ve tweeted once and messaged a possible new supplier in the meantime. Let’s see what else I can achieve before it’s wine o’clock.  Have a fab rest of weekend folks.

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16:03

Spend 10 mins deciding on focus keyword for SEO purposes and then rewrite half of blog to ensure SEO all good #aaaaaahhhhhhhhhh


Easy Easter Recipes

5 Easy Easter Recipes

It’s Easter so what better excuse to share some fab baking recipes!  These easy Easter recipes are perfect for getting the kids involved over the holidays.  Here are my top 5 for this Easter, let’s get baking.

Easter Chocolate Millionaire’s Shortbread

Prep Time: 30 mins

Bake Time: 30 mins

Total Time: 1hr

Buttery Chocolate Shortbread, Homemade Caramel, Milk Chocolate, and Micro Mini Eggs make the most delicious Easter Chocolate Millionaires Shortbread!

Go to recipe

Simply Perfect Vanilla Shortbread Bunnies

Prep Time: 15 mins

Bake Time: 15 mins

Total Time: 30 mins

If you’re like me and look for quick and easy recipes, then these cookies are for you! They don’t require any chilling time, are easy to roll out, and bake in 15 minutes.

Go to recipe

Mini Creme Egg Cheesecake

Prep Time: 25 mins

Bake Time: No Bake

Total Time: 25 mins

No Bake Mini Creme Egg Cheesecake Recipe – delicious light and creamy no bake Easter dessert. The perfect cake for your Easter celebration!

Go to recipe

Mini Egg Cookies

Prep Time: 15 mins

Bake Time: 10 mins

Total Time: 25 mins

Mini Eggs are my weakness and cookies a close second, so to find this mini egg cookie recipe is my idea of heaven!

Go to recipe

Easter Nests

Prep Time: 25 mins

Bake Time: No Bake

Total Time: 25 mins

These cornflake cakes are a favourite of Henry’s, simply decorate with mini eggs and you have the perfect Easter Nests.

Go to recipe

Hope you all have fun baking these this week.  Would love to see your photo’s, just tag me over on Instagram with #howfelicityfinds and happy baking!

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gifts for mum

Fancy a nice hot cuppa?

So excited to share some of the new products that I’ve launched over the last few weeks and give you a little sneak peek at some of the products that are coming soon… So sit back with a nice hot cuppa and enjoy.

Mumma, I love you!

gifts for mum

'MUMMA' Mugs

£9.95
  • Enjoy a hot cuppa, you deserve!
MUMMA TOTE BAG MONO

'MUMMA' Tote Bags

£19.95
  • Carry your stuff in style...
mumma boom phone case

'MUMMA' Phone Case

£14.95
  • Because every mum is a superhero!

Too cool for school!

However it’s not just for the mummas, it’s for the kids too…  Great gift ideas in a choice of bright pastels or cool monochrome, that won’t break the bank.  Choose from awesome designs of POW!, BOOM!, SPLAT! or ZAP! or personalise with a name for something really special.

Just so much to choose from…

superhero phone cases

But what next?! More awesomeness in the form of notebooks, somewhere super to jot down your amazing ideas or doodles, or just a simple to do list! I cannot wait to share with you guys as soon as the samples arrive.  But here’s a little sneak peek of the artwork, would love to hear your thoughts…

A5 Notebook Outside Cover Pow Pastel
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Spring Clean

Spring Clean for Easter

Since the end of November last year I now work 4 days a week at my new day job.  Boy does that extra day make all the difference, especially around the house.  I did very 'gently' remind the OH that he may need to help a little bit more around the house now that I only work one less day than he does.  However of course I did not take into account the fact that I work on my business in the evenings and on my 'days off'.  I need a spring clean...

Now the organised peeps out there (Miss Tidy Owl I am looking at you!) would I'm sure have some great tips - please feel free to share! LOL I need all the help I can get.  I am trying, I've bought the diaries, I've bought the planners and I've even got the over sized white board.  However no matter how hard I try I just can't seem to get into a rhythm.

Initially I think I felt it was the extra day and I'd never be able to balance it all.  But the more I look at the bigger picture then I think I actually just need re-organise how I work things.  Working in a School means the added bonus of getting all the school holidays off.  And I even get a few more weeks than the boys do here and there, so I need to use this to my advantage.

Spring Clean for Easter

  • Have a good clearout of all the toys - Samuel is 7 this year and much as he still plays with his lego etc. there are a lot of toys he no longer plays with, they just take up room! The two eldest only need gadgets and books, nice and easy.  So I need to have a mass clear out, which will also enable me to keep their rooms/the playroom tidier in the weeks I'm at work.
  • Plan social media - Despite the lighter mornings and evenings enabling pictures to be taken daily, time does not actually allow with ease.  What with sorting the morning schedule and school run, to then evenings of teas, homework and bedtime; it doesn't leave much time to plan a fabulous flatlay.  Prompts help brilliantly, especially to keep your feed fresh.  However I think even more so I need to actually batch up my imagery weekly where possible. So I'll use the holidays to plan and look for new prompts, as well as research new keywords (very important for Insta).  Then try and ensure that I set aside a morning once a week to take the following weeks images.
  • Plan blog posts - this is something I've really struggled to keep up with since Christmas and I miss it.  I absolutely love writing for you guys.  Finding new small businesses for us all to discover, planning my kids bedrooms, sharing craft ideas.  I'd love to write more, but in my head it just seems that it's a bigger job than it is.  However once I know what I am writing about it seems so much easier.  So I need to embrace this and plan weekly blog posts in advance.
  • Stock take business supplies - I regularly find myself running low on stock.  A certain sized envelope or business cards; storage bags or canvases.  I need to do a mini inventory each holidays, to list what stock I have.  Not only will this ensure I don't run out of anything.  But also that I can ensure I can plan my orders, combining where possible to keep shipping costs down!

Anything else...

Another biggy I want to try and pin down this year is my finances.  Despite being very organised with others money, I am a complete failure with my own.  So this month I have signed up to Quickbooks in the hope that I can give myself a financial spring clean too!  No it's not an #ad, just heard good things.

So it's two weeks till Easter and time to spring clean.  I need to stop trying to do everything, every week and instead recognise what can be done in batches in the holidays, leaving the weekdays free to get on with business!

Let's do this,

Fay x


Boys Bedroom

My Boys Bedroom - Shopping List

Those of you who follow me, know that concerning Fred’s room (specifically his bed) we’ve been back and forth.  However we have finally made a decision together on his ‘Boys Bedroom’ and so it’s time to get a shopping list going.  And time for me to get saving, making and up-cycling!

Bed

We have finally both settled for the Stora Loft Bed for his room.  I am still undecided as to whether I may paint it dark, that can wait.   It’s a really good size, and gives him some great floor space too.

Ikea £239

Sofa

For a long time the boys have had a sofa bed and a sofa in the playroom, and actually they only tend to use one.  So i’ll re-cycle the sofa bed and it can sit underneath Fred’s bed to chill on.  To give it a freshen up and tie it in with the  room, i’ll buy a brand new cover in grey.

Ikea £60

Artwork

Of course I think there needs to be a bit of a gallery wall, so far these are definites…

DoodleMoo

£12

Etsy

£10

Etsy

£26

Bold Print Studio £20

Soft Furnishings

I saw these cushions a while back on Pinterest, and struggled to find their ‘owners’.  I’m still not entirely sure how to order, but have tracked them down I think.  We’ll see…

Awesome Store £TBC

Paint

And so to paint colours…  Now this is the bit that is best left unmentioned to his majesty (i.e hubby) as we all know his aversion to dark walls.  But this time I’m standing my ground, even if I have to paint myself!

B&Q £12

So it’s time to get on it. So lovely to work with my boy every step of the way and know that he is as much as part of the design process as I am.  He’s really excited and has some great input.  Keep a watch out for the next installment.

Fay x