Becoming A Mother / Appreciating My Mother

Hi All,

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It’s mothers day today so I am supposed to tell you what an angelic, amazing, wonderful mother I have who Is the best mummy in the world and is completely perfect in all ways. However, my mum ISN’T perfect – and it’s taken me a long time to realise that being perfect is completely unrealistic. The truth is that for quite a few years in my teenage years, me and my mum completely couldn’t stand each other. My mum constantly worked so that she could pay the bills and buy us nice things but being a teenager I never appreciated this – I just saw it as her not being there. On the other side of the coin, I was being horrifically bullied and was massively confused about my sexuality and tended to spend all my time on the computer desperately seeking friends online or locking myself in my room whilst listening to “emo” music and wallowing in my own self pity.  Me and my mum would often be ships that passed in the night and we couldn’t really appreciate each other for who we were or what we did. I have two brothers who are 5 and 7 years older than me and I always felt lonely because they were both boys of a similar age and so naturally they got on together and I didn’t really have a sibling to play with. I used to tag on with my cousin and we were always together when we were little but we grew apart when we got older and went to school. So yeah, I was a lonely and quite resentful teenager and really didn’t give my mum the credit she deserved and she didn’t know how to handle this slightly broken, moody, alternative teenager. It really didn’t help matters that I was having poison dripped in my ear about my mum from somebody that I thought the complete world of. I was totally manipulated for years to think my mum was the enemy and thought negatively about me when it wasn’t the case at all. In fact, it turns out my poor mum would lie worrying at night about me and school due to my closed in behaviour.

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Fast forwards a few years and me and my mum have a really great relationship. We spent a period of time not living together and she really missed me and I her, then I moved back in with no real warning but my mum didn’t even blink and made sure I had everything I needed and was really glad to see me home.  Without the poisonous influence and because I was starting to be happy in life (I had just met Adam and he was a wonderful support) I began to really really open up to my mum and spend real quality time with her and actually get to know her as a person and our relationship just really took off. We lived together for a few months and then I moved out for a house closer to uni with Adam and I guess I broke her heart again which I was sad for. I wish I could of more time living there with her because it was one of my happiest times. When I moved into mine and Adam’s flat my mum was always coming over even though it was quite a drive from the family home and she would even flat/cat sit for us when we would go away. We got even closer – but nothing bonded us as much as when I got pregnant.

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My mum was the first person I ever told I was pregnant – before I’d even been to the doctors. She told me previously she wasn’t going to be happy if she was a young Nana, but the way she cried “really” and blabbed tears of joy down the phone and the way she hugged me tight when she saw me said different. She always said she wasn’t going to be “one of those nana’s who sit cuddling babies and going daft over them” and she was wrong again. Seeing my mum with my baby brings me such a feeling of joy. My mum is daft as a brush with her and Eleanor laps it up – constantly grinning and laughing at her.

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All through my pregnancy my mum was my rock. She took me for lunches, put tons of things aside for me, threw me a wonderful baby shower and even bought me my pram. I spoke to her on the phone every day and she was always there for me. I had a few times when I had to go into hospital and she was right there by my side. She would drop everything she was doing and make sure I was okay. During this time I started to realise what a mother is and what a mother does and realised what an incredible mother mine is. She is so kind, caring, generous and selfless. My mum is the heart of our family and the one person who gets everybody (and I mean everybody) involved. My mum won’t see anybody left out and every Christmas her little house is fit to burst with family, friends and anybody else who tags along. My nana was always like this growing up and really, my mum is the image of my nana – warm, inviting and just the absolute linchpin of the family. My mum is the type of mum who will drive miles out of her way to pick you up to take you to college because you’ve got no money to go and no food and you have an exam that day. I genuinely cherish the time I get to spend with my mum – we tend to hang out every weekend and we often stay over too or go out for some dinner together. My mum idolises my partner Adam and I love that they have such a strong and loving bond together. I also love her partner John and love seeing her with a man who clearly dotes on her and makes her so happy. It seemed like for such a long time we were in a stormy patch, but now we’ve come out the other side and now we have a rainbow.

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My mum has moulded me and shaped me and has made me into the mum that I am. She has taught me to be relaxed, calm and to go at my own pace. She has taught me to enjoy the little things, to be tolerant and to always trust myself and my gut feeling. Between her and Adam, I have become a mum who feels confident and happy and I really enjoy motherhood. I love watching Eleanor grow and learn new things. She gives me confidence when we go out because I don’t feel like people are staring at me all the time. They interact with her and me in such a positive way that I feel boosted. My anxiety and depression is probably the best it has been in over ten years and I attribute that to Eleanor. She is such a wonderful, funny, loving baby (who actually sleeps!!) and I am so lucky and blessed to be her mum. I don’t blog as much as I did anymore, but that’s because I’d rather be sat singing to her whilst she grins at me than spending all my time online – but I’m such as she grows in independance I will be back. I don’t want to be one of those mums who are constantly looking at their phone/laptop – she deserves my attention and I want to give it to her.

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When Adam asked me what I wanted for Mother’s Day I told him I would like a relaxing day, a nice card with a lovely message and a Balloon…and that is what I got!

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Adam also remembered that I’ve ALWAYS wanted a giant cookie and so baked me a white chocolate and almond one decorated with my favourite chocolates. I’m so lucky to have such a wonderful partner – he really is my world.

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My wee family is perfect and we have such a great support system. We’re lucky that Adam has such a fantastic mum and grandma too who are both always there for us when we need them.

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My little girl is getting bigger by the day and I can’t wait to make memories with her. My life is full of happy memories with my mum and I will end this blog post with some of my biggest/happiest memories with my mum.

  • Tidying the house on a saturday whilst dancing and singing around the living room to Celine Dion/M People/Lighthouse Family.
  • Using the tongs on those two little wisps of hair in front of my ears.
  • Taking me for my first night out.
  • Listening to motown until like 4 o’clock EVERY christmas/new year!
  • Taking me to gay pride, and actually being proud of me for being queer.
  • Getting me very drunk at gay pride, buying me a flag and taking me home for a parmo.
  • Pride again – when we went on the most horrendous ride ever and you squashed me haha!
  • Butlins – pushing me back on those red trolleys and stealing the tiny jars of jam.
  • Generally teaching me it’s okay to be myself, to love myself and to be tolerant of others.

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I love you mum. Thanks for all the sacrifices you’ve made to give me all that you have. You’re amazing

Your little girl xx

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New Year New Dress – Featuring AX Paris.

Hi all!

Today I want to show you the beautiful dress that I wore for New Years eve. It came from AX Paris for Simply Be and I just loved wearing it. I bought the dress during the black friday sales for the exact purpose of wearing it for New Years Eve even though I didn’t have proper plans then. In the end I ended up going to a friend of Adam’s for a few hours then me, Adam and Eleanor went over to my mums house together as she was having a family party and it meant we didn’t need to find a babysitter and could all be together. As with every family party, we didn’t see Eleanor for most of the night as she was with various family members and then she went down to bed around 10 and slept until morning. She’s done this practically every night now since before Christmas – such a good baby! This left me and Adam to party with my family. Adam tapped out early but me and my best friend Chloe were going until 7am!

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The dress is incredibly similar to the dress that I wore last new year (also AX Paris). I Loved the cut of the last dress on the neckline as it was flattering on a larger bust and so I was glad to see another dress in a similar style. The dress might be a similar style but it’s quite out there for me in regards to colour/style as I don’t wear much lace and the navy/nude layering was new to me but I quite liked trying something a bit different. The dress is quite fitted and short and so I was a little nervous about wearing it so close to just having a baby but I’ve been working hard in the swimming pool and so the dress fit me well. I sized up as on the website there was reviews saying that the arms were small. I didn’t find the arms to be particularly small but then again I’d sized up. I generally size up when I wear AX Paris as I generally find them a small fitting – particularly around the bust and arms. I wore a pair of flat shoes with this as I knew I’d have Eleanor and didn’t want to be wobbling around all over. The shoes are actually navy loafers I’ve had for forever from Dorothy Perkins which always seem to “come in handy” when I least expect it.

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I went for classic makeup, with a girly pink lip. I tend to stick to reds but this dress called for light coral cheeks, smooth skin and a simple slick of eyeliner.

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This photo was taken at 7am – my makeup stayed on well for over 14 hours (apart from the lipstick) and my new hair stayed MOSTLY in place which was a miracle considering how much dancing about we were doing. There was even a time warp. My dress stayed beautiful and comfortable all night long – so a successful choice! I always love AX Paris for Simply Be dresses as they’re amazing quality, affordable and fit my body very well.

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Most importantly, I got to spent new years with my best friends and my family. Here’s some snaps of me and Chloe and me and Adam. I didn’t get a picture of me and my mum but it was the first time I’d spent new years with her in a long time and I absolutely loved it. I definitely felt tired for a few days after but it was so worth it for having such a fantastic night. Last year I made the resolution to get my body in a better state and to have a baby which I achieved (pretty quickly too), and this year I made the resolution to get fitter so I can run around after Eleanor and so I will be able to take her out to do all the activities she wants to when she’s older and I’m well on my way with that. I’ve been hitting the swimming and keeping up with Aqua Zumba which I started last year which I really enjoy.

So who knows what my resolution will be next year. I keep going on with determination and feel like I can achieve so much. Previously I didn’t feel like I could achieve anything and hid behind my own excuses – but Eleanor gives me the strength and incentive to try.

Hannah x

Eleanor Free Edinburgh Part 2 ! Featuring MORE Lindy Bop.

Hi all!

Here’s the second half from my trip!

After going to bed on a full tummy and having a good relax, we decided to go down early for breakfast as we wanted to get some pool time in before we went out for the day. Breakfast was pretty good with a huge continental selection including pastries, cereals, meats, cheeses, salmon, fruit salad and tons more. There was also a hot buffet option serving a full scottish breakfast (including haggis and potato cakes) with the option to order eggs and egg dishes such as omelettes, eggs benedict and even pancakes. We both ordered pancakes and had pancakes, syrup and bacon which was lush. We went for our swim after breakfast and then back to the room to get ready for the day.

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I decided to wear my new skirt from Lindy Bop.  It’s the first time I’ve bought anything that wasn’t a dress from them and so I wasn’t sure how the fit would be. The skirt is small sizing and on the long size for my body but it still fit. I wore it with my ASOS Curve origami collar, my Collectif cardigan, soft pink suede loafers and my Banned Apparel flamingo bag. We drove from the hotel to a large parking lot which offered a good deal on 24 hour parking. We’d been stung with a parking ticket thanks to bad directions of where to park by the hotel and decided to move. From the car park we got on the bus to the main strip – it only took us five minutes and was super easy. We got off the bus outside the Doc Marten shop which is exactly where I wanted to go.

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My mum had given me some Christmas money and told me to put it towards a pair of Doc Martens which I happily did after deciding on a pair. I went for a pair of t-bar shiny shoes which I can wear with cute socks.

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Although I was shopping for myself, I couldn’t resist when I saw baby doc’s in the sale. We then decided to get a pair for Eleanor and decided on a pair of velvet boots with patent leather toes – I can’t wait for her to be able to fit into them.

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Next up we went for a walk around the streets having a look around and taking in the sights. We were overwhelmed by how beautiful The Dome is and just had to go inside for drinks.

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I was mesmerised by the chandelier in the bar.

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Our drinks!

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We left The Dome and had another good walk around and checked out another Christmas Market where we bought a ridiculous amount of flavoured fudge. By this time we were peckish but didn’t want a huge “proper” meal. We popped into a noodle bar for a bite to eat and were pleasantly surprised by how good it was. For £3.50, you got two toppings and a box full of noodles.

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I can’t remember what toppings I got, but they were really delicious. Princes Street Mall had a whole food court and honestly we were spoilt for choice. They had like mcdonalds, burger king, KFC, Subway, Greggs, Sushi, Pizza – the list goes on. I’m so glad we went for the noodles as like I said, they were super tasty.

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Walking out of Princes Street Mall we came to to Waverley Bridge which was full of open top tour busses. We had said we fancied going on one and climbed aboard. The tickets were £14 each which included unlimited travel on that bus which I thought was a bit steep although the tour was good. I was in love with the streetlamps with crowns on top outside the palace. After a long time on our bus tour we arrived back at Edinburgh Waverley Bridge and decided to pop into the markets. It was getting cold by this point and so we warmed ourselves with a hot gin toddy and a hot pimms toddy. We bought chocolate covered almonds which tasted like the white ferrero rochers and adam got caramelised cashews which he always gets from Christmas markets and absolutely loves.  We had a wander round but it seemed to be the same things on most stalls so we didn’t spend a ton of time in there. By this time of night (about 6ish) it was getting super busy and it was hard to walk up the streets so we jumped on a bus back to where the car was parked as it was on a complex with lots of restaurants called the Omni Centre. Adam wanted to go to a place called Tony Macaroni so we went and it was okay. We had raspberry and mango daiquiri’s with our meal which made it better but I bit into something hard in my burger which really hurt my tooth – the manager kindly comped my whole meal which was kind of him but I was still left a bit sore. Adam had a hotdog and enjoyed it so at least he was happy! We decided to leave the car at the omni centre as it was cheaper than moving it to the hotel and we didn’t want to risk another fine. After popping to tesco for drinks and snacks, we returned to the room where we relaxed for half an hour before heading for another swim. The pool was open pretty late and we were the only people in there so we stayed in there for quite a while just chatting. We headed back to the room and packed up ready for the morning and had an early-ish night watching TV on my laptop.

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The next morning was beautiful and it was sad to leave. From our room you could see all the way to the water and it was stunning.

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I soon got dressed in my lovely new Grace dress from Lindy Bop (which is big in sizing) and added a plain green cardigan from eBay.

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Me and my love on our way to breakfast.

Breakfast was exactly the same as the day before so we mixed it up ordering different bits from the menu.

We departed not long after breakfast as we wanted to get back for Eleanor. As much as we loved our time alone, it just felt a little weird not seeing her little face for three days and I missed her very much.

We loved Edinburgh again this time but IF we end up doing another post Christmas trip I think we’ll try somewhere different and probably take little bear with us!

Hannah x

Eleanor Free Edinburgh Part 1 – Featuring Lindy Bop & So Fabulous.

Hi all!

For Christmas this year, my mum decided to send me and Adam away for a mini break – WITHOUT baby. We thought it over and decided that we wanted to head back to Edinburgh between Christmas and New Year whilst Adam was still off. We found a great deal online on superbreak and my mum got it booked up. We decided on The Crowne Plaza hotel for two nights which included breakfast and dinner on one night and was ideally located to easily access the main strip of shops and Christmas Markets. The hotel also boasted great leisure facilities with its own private heated pool in the basement, gym equipment and steam room. This was going to be our first trip away since having Eleanor and seeing as we weren’t taking her, I was feeling very apprehensive and nervous even though I knew she would be in perfectly safe hands with my mum and then brother Shaun and his lovely new fiancee Anna. I packed my case full of lovely new clothes I’d received for Christmas, dropped off the bubba and we took the beautiful coastal road up to Edinburgh whilst singing loads of car karaoke.

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To travel in I wore my Lindy Bop Daria dress. This dress is quite stretchy and comfy and so was lovely to wear in the car. I popped on a cardigan that I had customised myself with patches and I was ready to go.

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The hotel was on an old cobbled road full of grand old buildings.

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It was an almost blink and you’ll miss it place with small signage..

When we arrived we decided to go for a swim as we couldn’t get booked in to dinner till quite late. This didn’t bother us as we got to have a nice long swim/mess around in the pool and then some time just hanging out in the room which was lovely (well the second one we went in was!)

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Seeing as I had plenty of time to get ready, I thought I’d try out my new lashes from All Dolled Up. I have tiny eyes and struggle to find lashes that fit well but these fit my eyes perfect and weren’t overly long.

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I also tried a new shade of lipstick. I’ve never really been into a nude lip but I tried a new one out which I got from ebay for about 99p and both me and Adam loved the shade on me.

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I wore my new dress from So Fabulous for dinner. I had spied this at The Curve fashion festival and they kindly gifted me one once it came online (here). I wasn’t sure of it when I first tried it on as I’d just had a baby and my stomach was very saggy but I tried it again after 2 months and really liked it on. This dress is unlike anything I would usually wear as I’m not usually into VBO but I didn’t mind it in this dress. The dress is a lovely length below the knee and it has a small slit either side which makes it easier to walk in.

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The only downside to this dress is that it absolutely sheds glitter. I found glitter everywhere all week after wearing this dress once. I even found it on my child.

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Regardless – it’s a beautiful dress and I felt pretty special wearing it. Here we are in the lift ready for our dinner in the hotels restaurant.

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The menu was pretty limited and there wasn’t much I fancied to eat. I figured as I was in Scotland that I would go for Haggis, Neeps & Tatties with whiskey sauce. It was cooked beautifully and I really enjoyed it.

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Adam went for the pork terrine with plum chutney and really enjoyed it.

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For main we both got the steak with peppercorn sauce. This was also beautifully cooked….when they finally got my order right!

We rolled back up to the room to have a drink and a relax there. Our dinner was at nine so by the time it was finished it was well past ten – very late for two new parents.

Our first night was lovely yet strange to be on our own. We had our drinks and got a good rest ready to head into Edinburgh centre the next day!

I’ll be writing about the next day in another part as I don’t want my posts to be super long, so keep your eye our for part 2 and more outfits!

Hannah x

Family Festivities. Christmas day featuring Lindy Bop & Vintageous Rags!

Hi all!

I hope everybody had a wonderful Christmas. I think mine was my best one ever! It was so full of family and love, I had the best day ever! For me, the day wasn’t about the gifts I was going to receive, but about spending the time with my family and celebrating the fact that my little bear Eleanor was here with us.

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Eleanor of course was dressed for the occasion as the cutest Mrs Clause in the land!

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I went for a lovely strappy floral dress I got for Christmas from Lindy bop and paired it with my huge, bright cardi from Vintageous Rags. Adam was wearing his new clothes too, a pair of dark grey vintage style jeans and a classic rollneck sweater which I had bought him for Christmas.

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Father Christmas!

Eleanor was absolutely spoilt by both families and it was so lovely to see everybody really loving her and enjoying spending time with her. Adam’s mum bought her this adorable little vest..

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it’s pretty self explanatory and I love it!

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She also got tons of bibs including this cute first christmas one.

Considering that it was such a busy day, we had such a blast. We woke up early and had a lovely chilled breakfast together and unwrapped presents from each other, then headed over to Adam’s mum’s where we spend around 2 hours unwrapping all our presents from each other. There was a ton!

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Auntie Sara bought Eleanor some elmo slippers and so they stayed on!

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After presents, we sat around and watched Frozen whilst Adam’s mum sorted the dinner. She was on the ball and had it all prepared which made the day go even more smoothly.

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She even had the table pre-decorated beautifully with little extra gifts for everybody!

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We decided to get a lovely family photo together. Thank gosh for timer!

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However, we spent so long taking pictures that the parsnips/potatoes were a little on the crispy side. OOPS.

After dinner and a good relax, we headed over to see my cousin and her two little girls who I bought matching frozen nighties for (which they looked adorable in!).

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Sadie was so happy to meet Eleanor and proceeded to decorate her with stickers and tell me how much she liked my baby bless her. She was so sweet with her, even cuddling her when she cried.

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From here, we headed to mums where I partied until around half 4 in the morning on firewhiskey and tried to get the hang of my new selfie stick. I didn’t get very far with it…

So that was my Christmas day! Definitely the best Christmas I’ve ever had – thanks to Eleanor for bringing us all together. I can’t wait for next Christmas when she’s walking about and playing and actually enjoying the day – it’s going to be fun!

Hannah x