What is Normality?

When I first started up this page, I was on maternity leave from work and was studying for my degree. I had a lot of free time on my hands.

Well, as much free time as a student mum ever has.

3 years on and I have free time on my hands again.

I’m back at work of course.

But I graduated last year and now I have my BA (Hons) in Criminology.

Then we learned what Coronavirus was. I’m sure 20 years from now it will be in the history books.

I was one of the ‘lucky’ ones that had to spend 12 weeks in doors, unable to go outside at all. To start with it was an exercise in self restraint. No shops, no fresh air, not even a trip downstairs to retrieve the post.

At 10 weeks I thought I’d finally been granted freedom.

But it wasn’t quite as free as I thought.

Over the weekend I found out that I am in the group of ‘extremely vulnerable’ individuals that has to continue shielding until August 1st.

When the first 12 weeks were introduced in March, it seemed like a lifetime.

Now we are facing month 4 and it just doesn’t seem that strange anymore.

How much can change in 6 months.

Lucy

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Cookie Dough

The lockdown baking continues…

 

The recipe that everyone needs.

Cookie dough.

It’s a really easy recipe:

2 tablespoons of butter

2 tablespoons of sugar

2 tablespoons of self raising flour

1 tablespoon of chocolate

Mix the butter and the sugar and then add in the flour and the chocolate.

If you want to make more, you just double or triple the quantities.

 

Sometimes I use brown sugar or swap out half the flour for cocoa powder instead.

And any chocolate works so left over Easter eggs would be perfect.

Then in the oven at 180 until the top is golden.

 

 

 

 

Chocolate and banana loaf cake

Chocolate and banana cake in a loaf pan

Day 3 of my 12 weeks indoors.

We used my lunch break (currently working from home) to make Amelia’s favourite cake.

The recipe is really easy.

Ingredients:

4 ounces sugar
4 ounces butter
4 ounces self raising flour
2 medium eggs
2 bananas (Small to medium sized)
1 tablespoon cocoa
Chocolate chips / chocolate to chop up

Mix the sugar and butter together. (We ended up using granulated sugar and spread as we had to make do with what we had).

Then add half the flour and one egg. Mix this in and then add the other egg and the rest of the flour. Add the cocoa powder (we ended up using a salted caramel dark chocolate powder).

Mash the bananas and mix them in.

Fold in the chocolate and pour into a loaf tin. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 180.

Quarantine Countdown

I haven’t written on here in ages

It seems like I always have a thousand and one things to do, between work, a toddler, a home to look after and continuing to study.

But then the c word that we’ve all come to dread hearing made us all stand still.

Whilst the wider population have to remain indoors for three weeks (unless they have to leave for essentials or a key worker job or to take their one allowed period of outdoor socially distanced exercise) I am one of the lucky few who has to stay inside for 12 weeks.

And those of us that have the misfortune to fall in to that category don’t even get to go outside our front doors, much less to go for a run round the block. The advice for us is very specific – stay three steps away from everyone in your household, don’t go outside the front door, just open a window.

Today is the third day of the 12 week period, if you include the day that it started.

My work day finished earlier because I didn’t have to drive home. I just turned off my computer.

I didn’t have to stop on the way home to pick up bits for dinner. At 5:30pm when I would usually be in a supermarket, dinner was already cooked and Amelia was eating it.

The free time that I haven’t managed to find in over a year is suddenly spread out infront of me because I’ve been forced to stop.

3 weeks seems likes a really long time. My 12 weeks seems even longer.

But if it means I get to spend the rest of my life going out whenever I like then I will gladly stay indoors.

It really isn’t the end of the world.

Christmas Countdown

Yes. I dared to say the C word. 

I cannot wait for Christmas this year. I mentioned Christmas to Amelia this morning and she said ‘presents?’and raised both eyebrows at me to emphasise the importance of the question. 

Apparently she has her priorities set for Christmas already. (Puzzles are her new favourite toy so she is very hopeful that Father Christmas leaves her some new ones.)

I’m surprisingly organised this year. I thought it would be less stressful if I started shopping early. I’ve already finished off buying all the gifts for the little ones in the family/friend group and I’ve actually wrapped them this morning. (The bags were overflowing and I couldn’t handle the disorder of it.)

I’m very lucky to work for a company that are closing for 2 weeks over Christmas. Completely unexpected, given that I would have been working Christmas Day if I had stayed in my previous job. 

I’m trying to plan days out and activities to do with Amelia throughout December. Christmas markets. Baking. Going to see Santa. Looking at all the Christmas lights. Costa Christmas drinks are always lovely and little lady likes coffee almost as much as I do so no doubt we will do a few Costa trips. 

She’s been given quite a few Christmas jumpers and T-shirt’s by family and friends so her wardrobe is all set for the festive period. She really likes dinosaurs on her clothes at the moment so if anyone sees a dinosaur themed Christmas jumper then send me the link. Amelia will be very appreciative! 

Just to scare you all a bit there is 108 days til December 25th.

(And no, before anyone asks. My tree is not up. The photo is one from a previous Christmas.)

Shopping for the Princess

For anyone who knows me, you’ll know that I wear a lot of clothing that is dark coloured, or a bit ‘alternative’ (not a word I’m personally a fan of but it seems that a lot of clothing websites use this word.)

Adult clothing that’s ‘alternative’ is quite easy to come by. Kids and toddler clothing, not so much.

I picked up a particularly cute shirt for Amelia at the tattoo convention at Detling, earlier this year.  If you haven’t been before, I really recommend popping along next year. Here is the link if you want to take a look at the website.) I’ve also found a few nice bits in places like H&M, Zara, Next ect.

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But I am always looking for new places to shop for my little lady.

I , like a lot of people these days, spend a lot of time on Instagram. A lot of businesses now use it too and there are a fair few handmade clothing companies that advertise through the site.

One site I particularly like at the moment is ‘Mini Mosher’. It is run by a lovely lady called Clare who makes dresses, skirts, scratch mits, bibs and other bits, all in more alternative prints. I got Amelia the most adorable traditional tattoo style skirt. It’s got an elasticated waist and washes really well so perfect for my crazy toddler. If you want to have a little look you can find the Instagram page here

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I am always looking for more cute kids clothes so if anyone has any recommendations I’d be happy to have them.

***this is not an ad – these are two items I really like and the Instagram page is one I love***

Life’s Got in the Way

Tattoo Forearm Black and Grey

Time has just run away with me.

I was posting at least once a week. But now I’m lucky to post once a month.

Life’s got in the way.

Isn’t that the excuse that people are so quick to give?

The reason why they haven’t checked up on a friend.

The reason why they haven’t sent off the form they’ve had sitting around for the last few weeks.

The reason they haven’t finished decorating that last wall in the hallway.

The list goes on.

But the reality of it is that those things are all life.

And how long does it really take to type out a quick text?

To scribble a few words on a bit of paper?

To slop a bit more paint on the wall?

There are so many things we put off that would take only a few minutes out of the day.

We are all so caught up in life that we forget to live in the now.

I read so many articles and social media posts about employees living for the weekends. 2 out of the 7 days in a week.

When really we should be enjoying right now.

And no I don’t mean love every second of your job. Unless you’re one of the lucky few who doesn’t have a single complaint about their job, then of course there are going to be bad days.

But equally enjoy the good bits. The conversation you have over the coffee machine in the kitchen. The smile you get from a colleague. The sandwich with your favourite filling. The drive home when a song you really like comes on the radio. Appreciate all those silly little things.

Life is too short to spend Monday to Friday wishing for Saturday and Sunday, don’t you think?

 

The river under the bridge through Canterbury Kent high street

Uni ✔️

 

Today’s post is a short one but…I FINISHED UNI!

I’ve drunk a life times worth of coffee, attended more hospital appointments than I can count, worked night shifts and generally not slept as much as I’d like to have done, but not only have I finished uni, I did it whilst raising my beautiful baby girl. I’ve balanced my princess on one knee with my laptop on the other, I’ve read uni books on breaks at work and handed in assignments minutes before deadlines but I’VE GOT MY DEGREE!

Hard work pays off!

2 Years Old

Birthday Cake 2nd Birthday Princess Baby Girl

2 Year Update

Amelia’s birthday was the beginning of last month. It seems like she’s gone from this tiny little thing that blinks up at me to a mini person over night.

She asks questions and has things she wants to do. She sings nursery rhymes – twinkle twinkle is one of her favourites – and if you ask her what she wants for dinner she’ll answer you. Today she made her own sandwich, buttering the bread and gently placing the filling in between the slices. (I can’t take the credit for that one – she learned that with her daddy.)

She had her two year review and got 60/60 for every section. She’s doing so well both at home and nursery. She’s the sweetest child and always says please and thank you. She says sorry whenever she thinks she’s done something wrong – even to inanimate objects when she walks into them.

She’s so tall – already in age 3-4 clothes. She helps herself to snacks, even getting ice lollies out of the freezer.

Getting photos of her sitting still now is virtually impossible but Rob took a cute one of her taking our drinks this morning when we went out of breakfast so here it is:

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You

How would you describe yourself?

A pretty common question in job interviews and dating (not that I’ve had to worry about that one).

I find the first thing that comes to mind when I have to answer that question is that I am a mother. A young mother. I’m 22 and have a 2 year old. I’ve had more than one random person make comments about this, especially as I don’t look my age, but that’s a whole other conversation.

But being a mother isn’t describing ME. I am a mum. But I’m also an adult. I like reading and cooking. I like tattoos and piercings – I have my fare share of each. I’d do a post on this but it would take me forever to write about and photograph all of them. I’ve got a degree. I’ve had some very interesting and challenging jobs. I’ve been vegetarian so long I can’t remember what bacon tastes like. I’ve kept guineapigs for nearly as long – currently we have a guinea pig called nibble. These are the real answers to ‘describe yourself’.

Being a mother doesn’t mean you cease being yourself.

(And for anyone who is wondering how the photo relates to the post – I am made up of 75% coffee)