Oh Sylvie, how are you two? At the same time it feels like you’ve been here forever and also no time at all.Read More
I feel that I pretty much hid throughout my pregnancy. I didn't really 'announce' that we were expecting, friends and family knew, and I only told clients that I would be shooting their weddings pregnant when I was getting bigger and my bump was too obvious to hide. I think I just felt very self conscious and really didn't like not 'feeling myself', plus I found out I was pregnant when wedding season kicks off and I was genuinely too busy during the Summer to do too much else anyway. In short, I much preferred lying around the house in my maternity PJs growing by the week feeling sorry for myself that I was so worn out all the time..
Fast forward to now, and Sylvie is over 9 months old. I've reached the end of a really hectic few months from pretty much getting straight back into shooting a month or so after I had her.. it's been a busy old year. I've started making a conscious effort to take time for myself and time to reflect too, as well as more seeing friends and getting out of the house again. Even going to the gym feels like real time off these days, and I've been really trying to restart a routine now we have full childcare some days. (And I have to admit, at the moment it still hurts every time.. but I'll get there.)
It feels like such a cliche these days to talk about 'self care' but that's exactly what it I'm trying to do.. And it's not about 'Treat Yourself' things and throwing cash at candles and bath products promising to make you feel pampered, for me it's just been about slowing down a little more and taking some time out for myself here and there. I've been going out for tea with friends much more than I did last year, arranging to see people I haven't in a while, spending quality time out with the girls and also asking David to take them out for a few hours sometimes too, not even so I can do work necessarily, but just to have a few hours to myself.
At times in the past I've been so busy that I've wondered what it's all for, and I try and remember what my interests used to be before family life came along. With this in mind I've decided to make an effort to take pictures and offer myself up for some projects out of my comfort zone, and I've also been to a few different art classes locally, a watercolour class by KLB Design House, and a few of the Sunday Art School classes run by A Still Life Workshops. I'm hoping to cook more as it gets colder and darker outside, and make time for us to all sit and eat as a family some nights. And I want to get out walking in the hills before it gets that little bit too cold to be out in the elements for too long. I've found that anything that makes you forget about the time or to check your phone is absolutely wonderful for headspace.
I thought I'd make a little list of more 'calm living' things I'd like to do before the end of the year, mainly so I have something to refer to..
- Walking in the hills with Sylvie wrapped to me
- Taking pictures purely for myself and *actually* getting around to processing and printing them
- Cook a *full* Sunday dinner, and more week day family dinners
- Teach Vivienne to cook a few dishes
- Make some proper hot chocolates with Vivienne after school
- Cycle with Viv on the tandem, and go for our annual conker-hunting bike ride
- Book a sports massage to sort my shoulders out
- Email out small companies I'd like to work with to expand my commercial portfolio
- Get much more of an eating and gym routine going. Drink more water.
- Read, and stop working on my phone when I'm in the bath
- Do some Autumn crafts and paint with Vivienne
- Do another Sunday Art School
- Hopefully take a weekend to see friends in London
I saw this picture below on Instagram recently and it rang so true. I'm definitely going to try and draw on that thought over the next few months. If you have any calming, self-caring and 'feeling yourself' activities too I'd love to know.
I was invited recently to try some new dishes at Boho Wolf, in the Boho One building in Middlesbrough by Julie, who owns it as well as Chilli Cake in Hartlepool. I'd worked with Chilli Cake a few years ago and the food was amazing, and I was so, SO excited to go back and see what Boho Wolf had to offer.
I met up with Carli from The Teahouse in Middlesbrough for brunch and to chat about work, blogging (you can see hers here) , her house move and various other exciting projects and ideas in pipelines.. It was so good to remove myself from the confines of my office and have a real-life chat about our various work and life updates.. And any meet up which also includes food and photography is absolutely fine by me.
I've really enjoyed getting ideas and memories down here but I don't want it to just be another 'Mum Blog', and I would like it to cover much wider topics; it just so happens that my head is pretty full of routines, shopping lists and family admin these days.. Carli is so inspiring to talk to and always has a million ideas. I came away feeling like this is something I'd like to really pursue and do more of, so fingers crossed this blog carries on fitting in and I can find the time to properly keep it up.
I've also wanted to do more small business photography and I have, what I hope will be, quite an exciting idea brewing behind the scenes (watch this space.. a few of you may already know what's going on...); so visiting Boho Wolf came at exactly the right time to get my out of heavy-wedding-editing and back out into the real world and find some space for a few hours. And it was so, so worth it..
The highlights for me were the Teesside Fries, made with cheddar and béchamel (see what they did there? If you're not a Teessider, maybe not.. you either know or you don't!) and The Korean baguette, which had buttermilk fried chicken, kimchi, sriracha mayo and friend noodles. Honestly, to die for. The Hangry cheese toastie was very, very close behind.. Also anywhere that takes their coffee seriously and does a mean flat white is two-thumbs-up in my books.
It was starting to get busy as we left for Carli to show me around her new digs - it was the perfect spot for lunch and a catch up. If you're around in Middlesbrough it's well worth a visit.. I'm not ruling out heading back just for the halloumi fries I saw on the specials board..