25 things i’ve learned in 25 years

I can’t believe that I turn 26 years old in 3 days. I don’t know when or how that happened. I am now going to be closer to 30 than I am 20! Wowzers. I still feel like a carefree 20 year old (but I have two kids so mostly a not so carefree 20 year old) and most definitely not like a soon-to-be 26 year old. Whatever that is ‘supposed’ to feel like anyway… And I definitely don’t act my age (I still don’t know how to adult properly.) Although some would say I act older. I like watching my emmerdale and drinking a good cup of tea. Ok? But I also like listening to Tupac and playing on my Nintendo Switch. I call it balance.

Thinking about this has got me feeling a little nostalgic. This is going to be my first ever birthday spent in partial lockdown too – I have Covid-19 to thank for that. So I thought I would think back through all the years that have quickly passed me by and try to remember what I have learned in the quater of a century that I have been on earth. I mean, what else am I going to?

So, let’s go!

  1. I am not perfect and I don’t have to be. At one point in my life I didn’t like the person I was but I have grown to love the person I am. I’m my own weirdo and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
  2. Embrace your weirdness. Always stay true to you.
  3. Don’t compare yourself to others.
  4. Do the things you love. Just do them. Always.
  5. Worry less. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
  6. Not everyone will like you and you won’t like everyone you meet either and that’s okay. I don’t follow trends, I have my own style, I refuse to update my music playlist. Mostly everything I listen to is from the 90’s or before. I’m actually a massive geek who loves movies and reading books but I am who I am and I won’t waste my time or energy trying to get anyone to like me.
  7. It’s okay to only have a small number of friends. Quality over quantity.
  8. Hold on to those who have always been there for you. People like that are few and far between, hold them close and never let them go.
  9. Nothing is more important than family, friends and love. If you love someone – tell them!
  10. I am not a reflection of those who have chose to walk out of my life. That says more about their character than it does mine.
  11. It’s okay to let go of toxic people. If someone isn’t good for you it is okay to walk away.
  12. Know your worth. I know what I want and what I don’t and I know exactly how I want it and how I don’t.
  13. Speak your mind. Life is too short to hold things inside. Never be afraid to say how you feel.
  14. Be kind. The world needs more of that.
  15. Keep the past in the past. That’s where it belongs. If you can’t change something, it’s better to just let it go.
  16. Trust your gut instinct. If my gut instinct has taught me anything over the years it’s that it’s usually 99.9% right. Whenever I get a vibe from someone I go with my gut instinct and it’s yet to make fool out of me.
  17. Go for it. It’s so easy to play it safe and avoid trying anything new for fear of leaving your comfort zone but if the last 20 odd years have taught me anything it’s that life is short and it’s to be lived to the fullest! It’s better to just go for it than to spend your life wondering what if…
  18. Everything happens for a reason. Such a cliche but I am such a believer of this. Sometimes the universe knows what you need in life before you do.
  19. Animals are better than people. They are pure and if people were more like them then this world would be a much better place.
  20. Open your mind. When you assume you know everything you close your mind off from compassion and acceptance. Instead, ask yourself deep meaningful questions. Of course stand by your own beliefs but be willing to be more open minded.
  21. Travel as much as you can. See more of the great, big world.
  22. The solution to most problems is a good cry. When everything gets a bit too much I like to stick on one of my favourite tv shows, eat Nutella straight from the jar and feel a bit sorry for myself. Sounds pathetic but I always feel better after a good cry.
  23. Don’t feel bad if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. I’m gonna be 26 years old and I still don’t know what I wanna do with my life and that’s absolutely normal.
  24. Trust yourself. You are capable of doing anything if you just put your mind to it.
  25. Be happy. Everyone in this world deserves happiness and to have what they want in this life and that includes YOU.

Thank you for reading my 25 things I’ve learned in 25 years! What life lessons have you learned? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading as always,

Kirsti, xo

What a sh!t start to the year

I entered the new year feeling very optimistic, I was thinking positively and I had high hopes for the year ahead but the year really hasn’t started off so great for me. Literally nothing has or is going right for me at the moment. Or at least that’s how it feels to me anyway.

For the last few days my anxiety feels like it has come back in full swing, it really has hit me like a ton of bricks and knocked me for six. I have cried at least once every day, the kids must think I’m bat shit crazy. I feel awful. I feel exhausted – physically, mentally and emotionally, I feel inpatient and I feel like i’m ready to snap. I feel like there is a million thoughts going round my head all. the. time and that my head could just explode at any given moment. I have never felt lonelier. I have spoken about this before but I still feel that no-one bothers with me or the kids, no-one asks do we want to go anywhere or even if we’re okay and it sucks! Not only this but the knob on my oven has decided to snap clean off, the headlight on my car has stopped working, the side panel is hanging off the side of the car door and to top everything off I’ve smashed my phone screen as well which is just absolutely fanfuckingtastic.

These may not seem like big issues to most of you because, let’s be honest, well they’re not. There’s people out there with much bigger worries and losses in their lives than a smashed phone and having a broken headlight isn’t exactly the end of the world either but when you feel like I do, which is complete and utter crap, whenever anything like this does happen it just adds to my already never ending list of stresses when I already feel like I’m drowning in a sea of things that I need to sort or worry about.

I realise that I do need to change the way that I think and try not to let things get me so easily worked up. Worrying about things doesn’t change anything and I can accept that things could be a lot worse, it’s just that when you try to remain positive even through all the doubt and everything still goes tits up for you it feels like a slap in the face. I don’t want to be a negative Nancy (even though I am being) and be the one to complain and rant, in fact I feel quite pathetic for doing so but I’m just finding everything so hard at the minute and besides, I am allowed to have a good old moan, right? I guess I just felt like I needed to get all of this off my chest since I feel like I don’t have anyone else to talk to about all of this anyway.

So, if you’ve made it all the way to this point I’d like to thank you for reading the whole of this blog post and listening to my complaining. I hope your year has got off to a better start than mine has!

I promise the next time you hear from me it will be on happier terms but in the meantime, f%ck dry January… Pass me the wine!

Kirsti, xo

QuaintBaby Ultrasound Art

I came across Quaintbaby Ultrasound Art on Instagram and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I had never seen something so incredibly beautiful.

QuaintBaby Art is a sole trader small art business whose owner hand paints ultrasound paintings to capture the experiences, the magic and baby’s personality for you to be able to visually visit that time in your life time and time again. The time that is entirely unique to every individual but one that can be beautifully captured as a piece of ultrasound art.

After seeing images of QuaintBaby Art and reading more about the business itself, I knew straight away that I wanted to work on a collaboration with Laura who owns QuaintBaby and after exchanging emails with Laura she agreed to collaborating together and I was so excited about this!

To start the process for Laura to hand paint Kory and Kora’s ultrasounds for me. I sent over to her the ultrasound images and from then we kept in touch to discuss the process of the paintings. She kept me informed throughout the entire process and answered any questions I had. The paintings themselves take between 1-10 days for Laura to create as she likes to dedicate lots of time and care into each painting she paints. On completion the painting is then varnished and framed and the original ultrasound image is printed off and attached to the back of the frame. To me, painting ultrasounds is genius and I cant believe that I haven’t seen this done before until now and that I hadn’t heard of QuaintBaby up until working together considering the business has been featured in Vogue UK, HerFamily and Businessinsider but I am so happy that I did come across QuaintBaby Ultrasound Art and that I got to know Laura more through working together on this collaboration. Laura promised to bestow something special to me that I would treasure forever in painting both of my babies ultrasounds and that she most definitely did, she took any expectations I had and blew them out of the water. When I received my paintings in the post, I bawled my eyes out when I opened them. Seeing the paintings and looking at my babies ultrasounds definitely made me look back on both pregnancies with a lot of fond memories. Working on this collaboration with Laura has been a very enjoyable process from start to finish and Laura has been amazing throughout the whole experience.

QuaintBaby Art also creates paintings of pets – because not all babies are human and heartbeat and soundwave paintings. So if you’re looking for a special way to capture and treasure an ultrasound, a heartbeat or a fur baby then I absolutely 100% recommend QuaintBaby Ultrasound Art to you.

To have Laura hand paint a piece of art for you, you can simply fill in an order form by clicking here or you can contact Laura by email to discuss further what it is that you would like her to create for you. Laura aims to respond to all emails within 1-3 days but during busy periods this may take longer. QuaintBaby Ultrasound Art can also be found on Instagram and Facebook and for more information you can head to the QuaintBaby website.

Thank you for reading my review on QuaintBaby and thank you so much to Laura over at QuaintBaby Ultrasound Art for the opportunity to work on this together. It has been an absolute pleasure and I will treasure forever the hand painted ultrasound paintings that you have created for me. What you do and what you create for people is truly special and I wish every success and more for QuaintBaby.

 

* Please note, I received this product in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own. *

Palmers review

I’ve spoke openly in the past about how I’ve always been image conscious but how I was even more conscious of my body during my pregnancies and how I am even EVEN more conscious of the way my body looks after giving birth to two children.

I never took or shared any pictures of my bump when I was pregnant with Kory, I just didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin and I wasn’t loving my new, bigger body shape but looking back, it makes me sad that I didn’t embrace having a bump and I wish I had took more photos of my bump to look back at. I wish I had loved my body more because it gave me my son.

Which is why when I was pregnant with Kora, even though my pregnancy was a lot harder, a lot more tiring and just all round different, I made a promise to myself that I was going to take photos of my bump and that this time I was going to embrace my new body shape. My body has given me two beautiful children, that’s pretty amazing.

It’s because of this that I decided I want to take better care of my body. So when Emma’s Diary Parent Squad sent me these Palmer’s tummy butter and massage lotions to try out I couldn’t wait to use them! For the past few weeks I have been using these products and I have already noticed that any stretch marks I had have drastically reduced in appearance and using the creams has also helped to improve the elasticity of my skin. I love that the products are made from ingredients such as: pure cocoa butter, Shea butter, natural oils, collagen, elastic and lutein which are great at keeping skin moisturised and smell amazing.

I highly recommend these products for anyone who’s pregnant, recently had a baby or for weight loss and just see for yourself the difference using Palmer’s makes to your skin.

Thanks for reading my review. Please do let me know your thoughts in the comments!

* Please note, I received these products in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own. *

Deep Freeze review

Since having Kora and having two children to take care of and run around after now, I’ve been rushed off my feet and I’ve found that I’ve been having a bit of lower back ache at the end of each day.

I don’t really like to take pain killers if I can help it so I was looking for an alternative to help with my back pain. That was when I decided to get in touch with Deep Freeze, who then so very kindly agreed to send me some of their Deep Freeze pain relief cold patch samples to try out.

After receiving my samples, I put them straight to the test…

I have to say, the Deep Freeze cold patches worked like a miracle on my lower back, with a menthol scent and easy application, after applying the cold patch I could feel it start to work instantly and it provided me with long lasting relief.

I highly recommend the Deep Freeze pain relief cold patches to anyone suffering with any sort of pain and/or muscle problems. These Deep Freeze products offer fast acting pain relief that is drug free which means that they are also suitable for use during pregnancy at a time when you are unable to take pain killers and certain medication which is very useful and I only wish I had used the cold patches myself when I was pregnant!

The Deep Freeze cold patches are available to buy from Boots, Superdrug, local pharmacies and all major supermarkets. They cost £4.99 for a pack of 4.

Thank you for reading my review and thank you to Deep Freeze once again for agreeing to send me some of their samples.

 

* Please note, I received these products in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own. *

My child doesn’t leave me alone

As a boy mum, I am used to the fact that my days consist of Kory wanting to wrestle, who can shout the loudest contests, farts and mud. And when he’s not wrestling me, he wants to cuddle me or sleep with me and that’s nice but some days when I’ve not stopped tidying, i’ve done the food shopping, unpacked and put it away and entertained him all morning (all before even having a second for myself!) it would be nice to be able to just sit down with a cup of tea and to just have a moment. But usually the second I sit down Kory will want to show me something or ask me for something and sometimes I feel like my child doesn’t leave me alone.

Even writing this blog post was a challenge!

I don’t mean to sound like a ‘bad’ mum and some of you may think I’m selfish for feeling this way but when you’ve been stepped on, heard ‘mum’ shouted for the 100th time, been pushed and accidentally run over by a bike all before dinner time as well as feeling like everything is getting on top of you, sometimes the demands and lack of space can all just get a bit too much.

I feel like as mums we’re not allowed to complain about being tired or wanting space from our children without someone saying something along the lines of ‘oh but you’ll miss this when they’re older’ or ‘make the most of your time with them’ those people need to listen up! I’m sure I will miss this when he’s older but right now, I’m exhausted and I do make the most of my time with my kid, I spend my life raising him! As mums we are allowed to feel things and we’re allowed to complain, it doesn’t mean we don’t love our children!

It just means we’re human.

I feel like my child doesn’t leave me alone because he doesn’t. Some days I can handle that, some days I can’t, some days I feel like supermum and some days I feel like I wanna cry. That’s what being a mum is.

My child doesn’t leave me alone.

Everyone always says ‘you will lose your friends when you have a baby’

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Or ‘you will find out who your true friends are when you’ve had a baby’ and whilst that may be true, I’ve been lucky enough to still have a few close friends stick around.

I certainly did realise who my true friends were. I did lose friends after having a baby, some friends did leave. Some were around throughout the pregnancy but never visited us after Kory was born, some friends visited once but then the novelty must have just worn off and other friends stayed and I’m thankful for those few.

I’m thankful that I did learn who my true friends are after having a baby.

The friends that have stuck around are the same friends that have always been there for me.

Us.

The same friends I know I could always turn to, the friends that have been there for every birthday, when we moved out, when we got engaged, when we found out we were pregnant for the first time and now for the second, when we found out we were having a baby boy, when we found out we were having a baby girl, when we had the baby and they’re still by our side today.

And now they’re right beside Kory every step of the way too and I know they will be great with baby K as well.

They love Kory just as much as we do and I couldn’t of wished for a better group of friends or godparents to be a part of Kory’s life and baby K’s once she’s here.

Child’s Farm review; 2

Having tried Child’s Farm products before and being really pleased by them, I was so happy when Emma’s Diary Parent Squad offered to send me a Child’s Farm Baby Bath & Bedtime case in exchange for a review.

I was so excited to receive our package in the post and couldn’t wait to open it! Once opened, inside there was a Child’s Farm baby bath thermometer, baby moisturiser, baby bedtime bubbles, baby wash and a Child’s Farm nappy cream.

Kory loves bath time! Especially bubbles so he was really impressed by the Child’s Farm bedtime bubbles product and how many bubbles he had to play with, it made bath time lots of fun for him and I was really impressed by how delicious it smells! It smells lovely and zesty!

Next up we tried out the Child’s Farm baby wash. Kory doesn’t particularly suffer from any sort of skin condition that requires any extra care as such but I quite liked how gentle the baby wash was on his skin anyway and how soft it felt afterwards.

Lastly, we finished off by using the Child’s Farm baby moisturiser. Once Kory was out of the bath and dried, it was time to apply the baby moisturiser to his body. And if he didn’t smell good and feel soft enough already this moisturiser definitely finished bath time off nicely. I couldn’t stop smelling him and his skin was left feeling so smooth!

Inside our Child’s Farm Baby Bath & Bedtime case we also received a Child’s Farm nappy cream. Since Kory is potty trained I haven’t had much use for this but I have reviewed this product previously and I really liked the quality of it so I have put it away and kept it to use on baby K once she is here. I trust this nappy cream which is why I will be more than happy to use it on my newborn baby’s skin.

I definitely recommend the Child’s Farm range to any parent. Especially parents who’s children suffer from eczema or have sensitive skin as these products are all so gentle on skin. Not to mention how gorgeous they smell too!

The Child’s Farm products can be found in stores such as Boots, Asda, LLoyds Pharmacy, Superdrug or directly from the Child’s Farm website.

This particular Child’s Farm Baby Bath & Bedtime case retails at £20.00

 

* Please note, I recieved these products in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own. *

It’s okay to do nothing

I don’t know who else needs to hear this but I definitely need reminding that sometimes it’s okay to do nothing. So here is a reminder from me to you, from one mum to another.

It’s okay to not have plans, it’s okay to not have planned lots of activities for you and your child to do together, it’s okay to stay at home and it’s okay to do just that, absolutely nothing.

Sometimes me and Kory stay home, we don’t go out and we may not do anything in particular or do anything much at all really and this is when I usually make myself feel really bad for that. I often feel guilty and tell myself that Kory is bored and that I should make more of an effort. Even if he isn’t. When in fact, those days when we stay home and just hang out, are the days that Kory enjoys the most!

And today was one of those days.

I hadn’t made any plans for me and Kory and I had no idea where the day was going to take us. We ended up just staying at home, I did some sorting out and some tidying in the morning whilst Kory played with his toys and then me and Kory played together in the garden for the rest of the day and that was it. That’s all we did.

Kory helped tidy the garden with his garden tools, he played with a big bowl of water and some toy cars and he was so excited when he found a slug and a snail too! Which I know might not sound like much – that’s because it isn’t but for a 2 year old, it is enough. Kory actually had a really fun day today.

And do you know what? Sometimes it’s actually quite nice to do nothing.

Life as a mum can get so busy, it would be impossible to do something or go somewhere every day, all of the time. So it’s not that I choose to do nothing because I can’t be bothered, sometimes it’s hard to even find the time to do anything. Most of the time I’m run ragged anyway. I’m taking Kory here or there, I’m trying to make it through my never ending to-do-list as well as taking care of Kory, the pets and the house and not to mention how much it would cost if we were to go out somewhere every day. It just isn’t practical but saying that, it wouldn’t make me a bad parent for choosing to do nothing because I simply felt like I needed to take it easy.

So don’t feel bad if you and your child stay home, don’t punish yourself once they’ve gone to bed because you feel like you could have done more. Use that time to just hang out with each other, with no pressure or expectations and take time to be un-busy. I can promise you that your kids won’t be bored, they’ll appreciate the time that they get to spend with you. Our lives are crazy enough as it is without demanding even more from ourselves.

I’m glad that I wrote this blog post, I catch myself feeling like this quite often whenever me and Kory haven’t done much but the next time that I do feel that way, I’m gonna read this back to myself and remind myself that it’s okay to do nothing! Kory is okay with us doing ‘nothing’ and I need to remember that it’s okay for us to do nothing.

Every single night

Every single night after i’ve put Kory to bed, I watch him as he sleeps and I forget how much of a pain in the ass he’s been that day, I forget that just minutes before he finally gave in and fell asleep, he’d been fighting his sleep for over an hour.

Every single night I look down at how innocent he looks when he’s sleeping and I am filled with guilt.

Good old mum guilt.

I punish myself for the mistakes I made that day. For losing my patience with him when he just didn’t listen, for getting angry when I needed to tidy the house and he wouldn’t let me, I punish myself when I think I didn’t spend enough time with him, organising activities and learning him new things, for us spending too much time in front of the tv and not enough time playing, for sticking a mini pizza in the oven for tea instead of making him something healthy and homemade.

I punish myself every. single. night.

The thing is, they don’t give you lessons on how to be a good parent, all I can do is try my best at this parenting thing, every day I’m winging it and hoping that my best will be good enough. I don’t mean to snap and lose my patience, I’m just tired. I’m trying to hold it all together but some days I feel like I could scream! I’m a mum who loves her son so much that it hurts to admit that sometimes it’s hard.

I’m just a mum who goes to bed every single night promising that I will do a better job tomorrow.