Category: Zoe

New Years Resolutions

I just checked the date thinking “is it too late to write this blog post now?”…how is it only the 6th January? I was expecting it to say 20th. Just…

I just checked the date thinking “is it too late to write this blog post now?”…how is it only the 6th January? I was expecting it to say 20th. Just goes to show how life is dragging in lockdown 3.0.

During 2020, I was forced to spend a lot of time with myself. That might sound odd, but usually my brain is active on other things like, where to go next etc. Actually sitting with myself and being content with myself enjoying the little things in life made me learn at lot of lessons.

My new life lessons have shaped my new years resolutions for 2021. I will add that, I have never been a new years resolution person. The phrase “new year, new me” would make me wince. Yet here we are…

Right after the countdown I actually said “I feel like this years going to be for me”. I am more than ready to embrace change into my life and face aspects of my life that were making me unhappy, rather than just moaning about it.

Read Morekindle

Yes, a very common basic new years resolution but let me explain why…

I taught secondary school students 2 years ago. I spent the majority of my time making complicated content sound easy. Then I had to young kids close together. My range in vocabulary had changed. Conversations with friends and family started to feel slightly intimidating because I knew for a fact that the words I would choose to speak were very bland. It is not like I don’t understand what complex words mean, more so that I lost confidence in using them.

To get me going I downloaded a vocabulary app, simply called: Vocabulary. It pops up with a new word and meaning throughout the day as a notification to your phone.

Then I purchased a Kindle. When I was younger, I would always have a book in my hand. I read Malorie Blackman’s book over and over. I spent a lot of time researching Kindle’s because the feel of an actual book to me is part of the whole reading experience. Not to turn this into a Kindle review but, there are a few things I enjoy:

  • The access to hundreds of books that can be downloaded instantly
  • Cost efficient compared to buying an actual book
  • Do not take as much space as books do
  • The data insights into how much you are reading and how long you have left makes me eager to read more.

So far, I have read more books in January than the past couple of years.

Shop Small

In a bid to become more conscious of the planet, shopping small is something I want to pay more attention to. I must confess that I use to be the first to hop onto Amazon and order what I needed from there but after discovering Etsy, and the hundreds of small businesses that make beautiful products, it is my first point of call now.

The downside is they tend to be more expensive. However, as I have become more minimal, I look at treating myself to a cute house accessory that is sustainably made rather than buying what I don’t need from a huge store.

Keep up to date photo albums

Anyone else take hundreds of pictures on their phone and never get them developed?

I purchased this photo album to put a stop to it. I love how it reminds me of when I was younger and I would look through the old school photo albums my parents use to make. I’ve filled three up to now and they are my favourite things ever.?

I use the free prints app to select 45 free photos a month and just pay for postage.

Become more organisedbecoming more organised

A hard pill to swallow was that I am not organised. I think I do try to be but I write that many notes down all over the place and have so many new ideas for projects on the go, I found myself not moving forward with any of them.

My new planner is solely business focused and is the key to my new mission to become organised. It features a full weekly spread with room to add goals and tick lists. by far the most superior weekly planner I have ever seen.

Journal

On the subject of planning, my final resolution is to journal. This is for me to brain dump all of my thoughts and feelings in the evening in the hope for an easier switch off.

I love the aesthetics of bullet journals however, for me I know that I need a simple journal with various prompts. You can purchase my exact journal here.

Mental health is extremely important and over one of the most challenging years we have had, I realise this is something I need to do for myself.

I would love to know in the comments if you currently journal and has it helped you in any way?

Thank you for reading

lot’s of love

Zoe

xx

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Zoe’s Self Care Routine

This year, 2020 has been a very mentally challenging time – the pandemic. With the new year right around the corner, I made a pledge to myself to get in…

self care tipsThis year, 2020 has been a very mentally challenging time – the pandemic. With the new year right around the corner, I made a pledge to myself to get in the best mindset for a fresh new start. We all deserve it. That is why i’m going to share my simple self care tips with you.

I’ll start off with what gets me stressed. I am one of those people that gets overwhelmed easily. I struggle with having a million jobs to do and nothing getting done or, if I do get things done, I will beat myself up feeling guilty for not having quality time with my children.

During lockdown, I was forced to face myself. Spending so much time on my own gave me the opportunity to improve my day to day life and lift up my mood.

Bubble Bath

Pour it all in! Turn the lights off. Phone away and eyes closed. oh it is just so relaxing…until Mole runs in. It occurred to me that there is little time in the day I am by myself. My boyfriend works from home and I have Mole and Frankie glued to my hip. A hot bubble bath allows you “me” time.

Paintingself care tip

My Grandad use to paint landscapes and it has always fascinated me. The detail, patience and talent involved to make the picture look realistic is truly a work of art in itself. The best part is you do not have to be good at it to enjoy it. Just make patterns on paper. I aim to paint once a week. It is surprising how quickly your mind can become lost in paint and any worries or stresses disappear.

Learning

Expanding my knowledge is very important for my mental health. I like to still feel I can hold a conversation in interesting topics and have enough understanding to form an opinion.

I enrolled on an online course that studies Bitcoin and the Fintech movement. There are so many free online courses to choose from. You can give an hour a week over a number of weeks and trust me, when I tell you how amazing you will feel afterwards.

Seeing how much learning a new topic was making me feel content, I decided to download an app to my phone that pops up with new vocabulary every couple of hours. It is the simplest thing but I feel so good for learning something new.

Create a folder of your best memories on your phone

When times get tough and I start to miss my family and friends, I go through a folder I created on my phone full of happy times. It puts me in a positive mood and makes me look forward to the times ahead.

Lift Heavy

No matter how tired or drained I feel, getting in a workout is vital for my mental health. Any stresses or anger are taken out. You have to move your body. Spend at least 20 minutes working out. I can promise you, your head will feel clear afterwards and you will have a better nights sleep.

Do something for someone else

Feeling good about yourself doesn’t mean you only have to do things for yourself. I started putting time out of my day to help others.

Donating toys, clothes or money can make a difference to someone else.

Whilst I had nothing physical to give, I began creating free revision tools for Computer Science students to download. The feeling is amazing reading the feedback.

Pamperself care tips

Hair mask, face mask, manicure and self tan make me feel fresh. I love dedicating a full evening to take care of my body. There is just something about the next day when you wake up with soft glowing skin and polished nails. If you are ever feeling a little bit rubbish, take the effort to look after yourself. I can guarantee you will wake up with a spring in your step.

 

Let me know your favourite self care tip in the comments below!

Look after yourselves, speak soon,

Zoe

xx

 

 

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Taking a COVID 19 Test

Do you remember on my instagram stories when Frankie had nappy rash and I was confused why he was sent home. Turns out the other little one in his class…

Do you remember on my instagram stories when Frankie had nappy rash and I was confused why he was sent home. Turns out the other little one in his class who was poorly, had tested positive for COVID. Shortly after, the mild symptoms Frankie had, that we thought were related to teething was actually COVID symptoms.

Starting off with Frankie

Frankie had a loose nappy at nursery. A few hours later I was asked to collect him because he looked like he was getting nappy rash. As you all watched, I was doing the best I could in trying to make the nappy rash clear up. At the time, the rash was almost gone. We then got a phone call from nursery to say that Frankie was not allowed back for 14 days as he has been in contact with another child who has tested positive.

I spent a few days isolating with him and he continued to get worse. Red raw.

His stomach was so poorly. I was changing nappies constantly. He wasn’t napping because he needed his nappy changing again. I was soaking him in oat baths at 6am in the morning and changing his nappy twice through the night. The cries in pain were heartbreaking.

Frankie then developed a wheezy chest. Nothing for me to think it was anything serious.

A day or so later, he was still having stomach issues and his breathing got worse. One night he was struggling and vomiting everywhere. We held him next to the humidifier which seemed to help him settle back down.

We ordered COVID tests

Waiting for my result

At the time I took the test, I felt okay, no temperature and very mild symptoms.

I recorded a gym session on my stories of me doing deadlifts in the garage and struggling to complete my workout because I was so tired. You know the kind of tiredness you get in your first trimester?.

That day my eyes had started burning. To the point where Jay asked if I had been crying because they were red. Still, I didn’t think much of that at the time. I just made sure I was self isolating as I was worried of picking COVID up on top of feeling run down.

The next day, my eyes were so sore. A bit like hay fever but worse. The fatigue hit me too. After I put Frankie down for his nap, I barely made it out of his bedroom before lying down outside his door on the floor. Every chance Frankie was asleep I’d lie down in bed which is not like me at all.

The results came back

Testing positive. The following day, I developed a tight chest which turned into an annoying dry cough. I could still get on with my day at home looking after the kids. Don’t get me wrong, it was hard looking after Frankie. I had moments where I would get tearful because I could feel how drained I was and how ill Frankie still was. Mole on the other hand was fine.

Later that night my breathing had changed. The frustrating thing was because I had noticed it had become slower, I couldn’t take my mind off it when trying to fall asleep. Out off all the days and nights so far, that was my worst. My head was light headed and felt funny but it was hard to tell if that was from worrying or from my breathing.

Waking up today I feel like I am on the mend. My shortness of breath comes and goes but the fatigue is wearing off and my cough is clearing up. I’m glad the worst feels over and I can see how this virus could be serious for some people.

 

I hope you all stay safe <3

Zoe

xx

 

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Time To Change

Over the past week, I have felt completely let down and heartbroken at some of the actions that continue to go on in the world. Honestly, I am also feeling…

Over the past week, I have felt completely let down and heartbroken at some of the actions that continue to go on in the world.

Honestly, I am also feeling guilty.

Having children has opened my eyes and heart so much more. Mole, is now two and Frankie is nearly one. Yet, I still didn’t address the issue of racism with myself because, I’ve always known my heart is in the right place. But now I can do better. And i’m sure i’m not the only one.

So where do we start?

It starts with self-examination

What did I find? Ignorance.

I question and wonder what was my plan? I obviously wanted Mole and Frankie to grow up with love to share for EVERYONE but, my way in thinking they would do this was to completely not pay attention to the matter and just go on about our daily lives?

Silence is not the way forward here

What am I now doing?race equality

I spent the yesterday educating myself. I realised that saying you are not a racist is not enough. You have to be active. You have to speak up.

A few articles I read spoke about how we can help our children to grow up with better intentions.

There were two ways that really stood out to me that will make a difference that I can implement right now!

Books

I went straight to Mole and Frankie’s bookshelf and took a look. This time not searching for a cute story to read to them both or to give Frankie sensory time with a touch and feel book. I studied their books. I looked at how many books had people in them. Then the books that did have people in them, did I buy books that honour and represent the lives of all people?

The answer is that their around 98% of their books had animal character.

But, the small percentage of books that did have people as characters (excluding her personalised ones) did have a range of diversity.

This left me in two minds.

One, relieved that Mole and Frankie were exposed to books where the main characters were all skin tones or religious beliefs of characters were clearly visible.

Two. Annoyed that I should have been more confident that the books they had did were diverse without me needed to check. Meaning that when I am purchasing a book. I am making a conscious effort for it to be equal.

Here is a set of books I recommend .

Dolls

Recently, I made Mole a basket in her room full of her dollies. I was very proud of this basket and how “cute” it looked. Now, I look at the basket and all I see are white dolls. Where is the equality in that? How am I setting her a good example if this is what I’m giving her to play with?

To move forward and do better, I purchased the most beautiful black doll for her to play with.

it?s important for white children to have dolls that represent different ethnicities, ?to promote cultural diversity and an awareness that we are all one race: human.

Dolls have always been a good way to teach Mole to be kind, gentle and caring. This is how we helped her to love Frankie.

I know I’m not changing the world with just these two actions. But, I do feel like we are making a step forward in the right direction and I encourage you to do the same.

https://blacklivesmatter.com/

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My Current Favourite: TV Series

Hello everyone! I hope you are all doing well in lockdown right now. It is a hard time for us all and i’m sure everything will be back to normal…

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all doing well in lockdown right now. It is a hard time for us all and i’m sure everything will be back to normal soon.current favourite tv series

I understand it can be difficult to have your you time whilst caring for children, but, if you do get a moment one evening to yourself, here are some of my favourite series recommendations:

Sex Education (Netflix)

A group of high school teens giving advice on sex education. This had me belly laughing numerous of times. I can not wait for the next season! Every single actor plays their role so well. Honestly, for something light hearted, fun and easy to watch, this is your go to!

The Witcher (Netflix)

A similar vibe to Game of Thrones. A fantasy where you can switch off from the real world. Did I mention the eye candy?

Mind Hunter (Netflix)

Two guys interview famous serial killers in the hope to find psychological evidence to aid new murder cases. Very interesting as they are all based on true events.

Love Is Blind (Netflix)current favourite tv series

Ok, so I first put this one and within ten minutes I was questioning my decision. Twenty minutes later I was still questioning myself but for some reason I just could not turn the program off. Before I knew it, I had completed the whole season. Crazy people decide to get engaged without even seeing each other. It is full of drama that leaves you wanting more.

Tiger King (Netflix)

Pure entertainment. Everyone has been talking about this. The life of an eccentric man caring for tigers. Watch his plot thicken to become the Tiger King and then come crashing down on him.

Fleabag (BBC iPlayer)

10/10. My favourite. I LOVED this! Super clever, witty with an abundance of adult humour. I had tears with laughter (which if you know me, is so hard to achieve with comedy programs). And then it was paired with the emotion of feeling so attached with the characters and their story. Oh, I just loved this. I don’t even need to tell you what it is about. Just go and watch it!

Good Morning America (Apple TV)

Good Morning America was a recent watch for me. I’m not the biggest Jenifer Aniston fan so I was a little hesitant to watch it. Anyway, she completely changed my opinion on her. The series took a while to get going but when it did, it really got going!

Little America (Apple TV)

Short and sweet. The most beautiful and simple life stories of people who immigrated to America. Very heartwarming before bed.

Normal People (BBC iPlayer)

ok, so you know before when I said Fleabag was my favourite? Well I may have lied. Normal People is. Oh my word. I read the book last year in record time. I could not put the book down. My dread was for this to become a TV Series and it came true.

I was very skeptical watching this. After being a huge fan of the book, I was concerned aspects of the book wouldn’t be shown in the same way. The program was very true to the book. Almost word for word.

I don’t want to spoil this for you. Just trust me, it starts of slow and quiet but, I can assure you, you will be in love.

Caliphate (Netflix)

A Swedish Thriller Drama about a terrorist plot. If you’re into Homeland, this may be a good program for you. My heart was in my throat a few times and the ending was not what I had expected at all. Definitely give this one a go.

I hope you found this useful and there were some series you have not come across before. Please comment below and tell me your favourite series right now!

Love, Zoe

xx

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