To blog or not blog?

It’s been a far while since I wrote a personal post for my blog. I have had opportunities to do some reviews and it has been great to get back into my writing and the chance to work eith new people. In case you missed them Little Leaf Eco  Chicken Dinner with Countdown and review for Optically.co.nz

I wanted to write this post because my poor blog has been so neglected for almost a year! I never had any intention to take a break or leave it so long. Last year was crazy busy. I changed jobs, we went to England for a month for my brother’s wedding, we sold our first home and bought a new one. BUT before we could sell our previous home, we had to put in a new shower, hire a storage unit to declutter, paint, clean, as well as attend open homes, looking for our new home.

I really struggled with poor health last year too. I don’t know why as I have always been generally healthy, but I had tummy bugs, strep throat, plus a viral illness just before we went to England and then after we moved into our new home I got bronchitis. I was not a healthy Mumma. So far this year has been MUCH better.

I was asked by a reader why I had stopped writing? I explained about our busy year and my blog was one of the things that got put on hold. She then said to me that she hoped I would continue to write and she found me to be a sincere mummy blog. WOW reading that blown me away. And it has definitely given me the incentive to get back into writing again.

I enjoy reading other Mummy blogs, I have done for several years now, even before I thought about writing my own. But I do feel I have to ‘compete’ with them, yes silly I know. But the world of Mummy blogging seems to be very competitive and popular, it’s all about like and shares. If your post isn’t liked then no one else sees it, unless the page has an already established following.  

This is actually one of the reasons I stopped writing, I became really disheartened and I definitely questioned why I was even bothering. I have never been a competitive person, but the pressure got to me. I felt my life didn’t live up to what I was seeing in other blog posts. And I also felt because I don’t live in a big vity I was at a huge disadvantage.

Social media platforms changed the way posts are seen, and one thing I refuse to do it pay to ‘boost’ my post. If I did this for one post, would I then have to do the same for other posts?

Sure you could say I’m a tad miffed I don’t have a following but I honestly don’t mind, I write because I want to write. I am relatively new to blogging and who knows what the future will hold.

I needed to take ‘time out’ last year due to family, work and my health. I will still write when I want too. My life is busy enough without feeling like I have to write a blog post.

Thanks for reading,

Stacey

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June

The month of June, I look forward to it but I also dread it. I love it but I also dislike it.

June marks the half way point of the year, and dare I say it, only another six months until Christmas, eek! June is also the beginning of summer in England and the beginning of winter in New Zealand. Living in New Zealand now for just over 12 years I am well adjusted to the seasons here, but June will always be a summer month to me.
I celebrate and remember some pretty special people during this month. The first week of June, it is one of my younger brothers birthday and Little Misses birthday. (I still remember the same brother saying to me shortly before I had Little Miss that I wasn’t too have her on his birthday, as it was his day). Brothers huh?

June 2nd 2011 was the day my beloved Grandpa passed away, he lived for 97 years, pretty good innings huh? And the 3rd June 2011 was the day I delivered our beloved, firstborn baby boy Alex.

This year marked five years since we met him and said goodbye to him. Wow, five years, it’s quite a milestone huh? The build up to the day was harder that the actual day itself, it always is. I had the day planned, I knew how we would celebrate his day and we did.

It is a day to remember him, but of course it is also a day to celebrate. I miss him everyday, and often find my mind wandering at different times of the day, what would he look like, what would he enjoy? What would he have liked for his fifth birthday?

A few days leading up to his birthday I explained to Little Miss that we would be having a family day for Alex’s birthday. Mummy and Daddy would not be going to work and the four of us would have a day of fun. Little Miss decided Chipmunks would be a great idea (indoor soft play venue), followed by cupcakes for afternoon tea and a trip to the cemetery with Nana and Grandad (my Husband’s parents) to do our balloon release.

When I was having this conversation with Little Miss, one evening after dinner, she looked at me and said “But Mummy, Alex is supposed to go to school this year”. With these words I burst into tears. Just hearing these words from my daughter made the event seem more real. I hadn’t felt like crying prior to my chat with her, so the tears caught myself as well as her off guard. I guess with the lead up to the actual day, the tears were a form of release. Little Miss and I shared a hug and I explained to her that Alex couldn’t go to school because he lives with the stars, but he would be watching over her when it will be her and Mr Happy’s turn to venture off to school.

To us Alex is our shining star, we look to the sky at night and we can always see him. Little Miss will always point to one of the brightest stars and says it is Alex. For me and our family I feel it is really important to have a symbol we can look for and see and be able to think of our boy and big brother.

We had a lovely day remembering Alex and celebrating his fifth year. To me as hard as it is, his birthday is a celebration. He existed, he was and still is my first born baby. I think of him everyday, and these days I smile. It wasn’t always easy to smile but know I feel that I can.

Here are some of the photos from our day.

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Mr Happy

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Slide Fun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Five Yummy Cupcakes

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Beautiful Flowers 3 vases xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Balloon release

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xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Project Doll House: Part Three

Welcome to Part Three of Project Dollhouse.

Little Miss is now four years old, she had her birthday this week. Wow, its crazy how quickly time flies. My husbands parents, along with her aunt and uncle gave her some furniture for the dolls house as a birthday present and lets just say, she was one happy girl.

It was no secret to her that I was working on a dolls house for her birthday, she would often look at it with pride whilst I was working it and never once asked to have it before her actual birthday.

I wanted to share some photos of the finishing touches I did. There are still some things I would like to add to the house, but to me it is work in progress and it is great to see Little Miss enjoying her dolls house.

I mentioned in Project Dollhouse: Part Two that I was going to attempt to make some curtains, well lets just say they didn’t go according to plan. I thought it would be relatively easy to hand sew them, but I was wrong. Luckily, a friend offered to loan me her sewing machine and then she offered to sew them for me. I took her up on the offer, and the curtains look FAB!

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Awesome curtains. They are hanging on a bamboo skewer cut down to size and I used some 3M hooks to hang them up.

The paint featured in the room with the curtains is Sugar and Spice by Resene

I personally think the curtains look great and Little Miss is really pleased with them, I know just need to get something that I can use to pin back the curtains and something that is safe. Little Miss’s brother Mr Happy is 2 and he is also a fan of the house. Any ideas would be appreciated, I’m thinking Bakers Twine would be quite good, but then it could get lost and I’m not sure how Little Miss will get on having to tie them back all the time.

In my last blog post I shared photos of two completed rooms and I did day in this blog post I would share another couple of rooms, here they are:

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Sugar and Spice

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Perfume

I used the colour Perfume in two of the rooms as I thought it broke up the pinlk, plus I loved it!

As you can see on some of my photos, my painting is not the best and my lovely Father even commented that my finishing wasn’t the best. I will agree with him there. I know I’m not the best painter and I don’t pretent to be. At the end of the day I was painting the doll house for Little Miss and I’m sure she isn’t going to criticize my painting skills. So there were quite a few pait marks on the floor, but I didn’t mind as I knew I would be covering it.

At first I thought about putting scarpabook paper onto the floor, I had a few papers that could easiely pass for flooring. I tried them out and didn’t like it. I then thought of carpet, but decided against it as I thought it would be too bulky and I thought the dolls and the furniture wouldn’t sit nicely. Also, I knew Little Miss would get highly frustrated if her doll house accessories would fall over! so, I then thought about felt after someone suggested it.

I don’t have any felt at home so I had to hit the art and craft shops. I immediately thought of black, but when I looked at it I just knew it would be too dark. After looking at the other colours I decided on white. And I reckon it looks perfect. I bought half a metre as it was cheaper and I had enough for the four rooms plus the loft room and I had a little left over. I used superglue to stick it down, after it had dried the ends started to lift so I used double sided tape to stick it down. And now it looks perfect and even looks like real carpet.

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White felt as carpet, before I used double sided tape.

Can you see on the photo that there is also some black and white washi tape covering the edges?! More on that next time.

I think I will save a more on the doll house for a fourth and final post Project Dollhouse: Part Four.

I will leave you with a few photos of some of the interiors, I used some of the cute dollhouse decor from Luluncat

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Planter, Rug, Lego man and Wall hanging from Luluncat

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Table accessories from Luluncat

 

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Me and Mrs C

A little while ago I shared a blog called Dear Mrs C this post was about me using antidepressants to treat my Post Natal Depression (PND). Shortly after I wrote and shared the post, I made an appointment to see my GP to renew my prescription and to discuss reducing my current dose.

I had been thinking for a while about reducing the dose, I felt the time was right. I had been in a good place for several months and I know when I have my low moments that everything will be ok. I was also worried about any withdrawals I could possibly experience due to the decrease in dosage and I wanted to limit them as much as I could.

I still get overwhelmed at times, with parenting, work, being a wife but who doesn’t? I do however feel I am in a much better frame of mind these days, but I still have my ‘bad’ days. You can do it, Stacey I told myself.

When I saw my GP, I explained how I had been feeling and other things I was doing to maintain a healthy balance in my life. I told him how I like to go to work and feel like ‘Stacey’ and not just a ‘Mummy’. And I really enjoy my time with my children,  also I no longer have the overwhelming feelings of wanting to leave my husband and children. Anyone who has experienced this feeling or is feeling like this, it well and truly SUCKS! Feeling like a failure, and wanting to turn your back on your family you are a part of is very lonely, I never want to feel like that again. At the time I never realised how low I got, I think I hid it quite well at times.

My GP was really good and we both agreed that it was a good time to reduce my dose, by half a tablet. I now take 30mg, one and a half tablets once a day in the morning. My GP explained he would like me to continue on this reduced dose for six months before decreasing any further. I thought this was a really good plan, it would prevent any withdrawals and hopefully help me to remain in a good place.

I started writing this blog post at the end of March and now here I am almost at the end of May. I am due another trip to the doctors for a repeat prescription, it has almost been three months since I reduced my antidepressant and I can say it has been going really well. Phew!

It is so good to write about being in a good place, happy, calm (well relatively calm, my hubby tells me I worry too much!) and to feel like I enjoy my life. I love being a Mum and Wife and I hope I am a better friend and person to those people who know me.

I look back on last year and even the year before and I know now that I wasn’t always in the best frame of mind and I wasn’t really living, but existing.

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Me and Mr Happy April 2016

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Enjoying my children, something that had previously seemed so, so hard

 

It is so healing for me to look at these photos of myself with my children and know the smile is ‘real’ and not forced. Although like I said, there are some days when the smile is harder to achieve,but the good days are by far outweighing the bad days.

When I saw this ‘Winning’ tank avaliable through TheHood I just knew ut would be perfect for me. I love their collection of T Shirts and Sweaters which sum up Mum Life.

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Aus$ 34.99

'Winning'

‘Winning’

Thanks for reading and letting me share, take care xxx

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NB: I purchased the ‘Winning’ tank for myself and my opinion is all my own, I love it!

 

 

 

Project Dollhouse: Part Two

Project Dollhouse: Part Two

Following on from my first blog post Project Dollhouse: Part One I thought I would share how I have been ‘doing up’ the four rooms in the Dollhouse.

I started with Perfume in the top left room and I decided to paint two of the walls in these colour and leave a wall white to cover in scrapbook paper. I then painted another room in Wham and a third room in Sugar and Spice. Painting just two of the walls and leaving the third wall blank for some scrapbook paper. I was tempted to go back to Resene and get another test pot to paint the fourth room but I decided against it. The rooms were already looking pretty colourful and busy and I thought another colour would be too much. Yes, I know its already a bit much huh? But, it is for a soon to be four year old.

I settled on painting the fourth room Perfume. I felt it broke up the pink, plus I wasn’t overly happy with the green of Wham. (I have since decided I rather like the green and it gets Little Miss’s seal of approval). I did two coats of each colour which I think looks fine.

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Halfway through painting the rooms

I was lucky enough to be gifted some AWESOME items from Emma of Luluncat, she has made and put together cute packs for dollhouses. Litle Miss has seen the items already and she was as just as excited as I was about them. I love seeing what people can create.

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Playing around with the cute decor items.

I have been getting quite a bit of inspiration for my doll house from Pinterest, geez I love Pinterest, so many cool ideas……

I found some great ideas for things to include in the dolls house that I hadn’t thought about, including a pin “How to Hang Doll House Curtains”. I’m not a very good sewer and I don’t have a sewing machine so this seemed a perfect idea for me to add curtains into the house.

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seven thirty three ‘How to Hang Doll House Curtains’

I started my own Project: Doll House board on Pinterest if you wanted to check it out. It might give you some ideas if you are thinking of doing a similar project. I can waste lots of time checking out what other people have created.

 

I have purchased some cute Hello Kitty material that I know Little Miss will love. My plan is to make curtains for each of the rooms and then perhaps some cushions, I will see how I go with the curtains first! There was a lot of Hello Kitty material to chose from, but I settled for this one mainly due to it being on sale, haha and it was good to have something else that wasn’t pink! (I also found this letter ‘A’ amongst my stash of stuff and I have had some thoughts of incorperating this into the house). I think the material will look really good against the colours I have chosen to paint the walls.

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Cute material

After the two coats of paint I raided my scrapbook paper stash and started looking at what would compliment each room. I also tried to pick papers that I knew Little Miss would love, the brighter and more colourful the better I thought. I’m really pleased with how the house is looking, but still a little more to do.

Here’s a few photos of a couple of the rooms

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Wham

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Perfume

 

Hopefully next time I will be able to share how I got on with the curtains and I’ll share some photos of the rooms. Until next time…….

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Project Dollhouse: Part One

Little Miss turns 4 next month, yes 4, I cannot believe it. My baby girl only has another year before starting school.

She may seem at times that she is 3 going on 13 but, oh my what a fun age three has been and heres to many more adventures with her as a four year old.

Project Dollhouse:

A little while ago I shared a photo on Instagram of a dolls house I bought off a friend, that I was intending to ‘do it up’ in time for Little Miss turning 4 at the beginning of June. Little Miss LOVES a dolls house. I have observered her play with one at playcentre, as well as ones that have been at her friends house. I just know this gift will be perfect for her.

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Before shot, I wasn’t keen on the wallpaper, so off it came.

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After a coat of undercoat, luckily we had a tin in our garage!

Unfortunately due to the size of our home (and the dolls house) I have been unable to hide it from her. She is aware it is for her birthday and appears to be happy to wait for that day so she can play with it.

I immediately went into ‘planning’ mode. I decided I would paint some of the walls, making it pink and girly, as I know Little Miss would love that. I was also keen to use some of my scrapbook papers (I have a decent collection!) to decorate the walls and maybe the floors?

I thought it would be good to keep the roof dark, maybe black????? Which lead me to think of black chalkboard paint……..

I like the idea that she can make the dolls house her own. Draw pictures, patterns on the roof to really personalise her house.

When it came to painting the rooms I decided that test pots were the best way to go. I bought a tin of the black chalkboard paint and four test pots from Resene

The four colours I chose were

  • Shocking a cool pastel violet pink colour
  • Wham this colour is a lot brighter than it shows on the website, a very cool green
  • Perfume this colour reminds me of Sofia the First!
  • Sugar and Spice I thought a shimmery paint would be really cool
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Top: Sugar and Spice Centre: Shocking Bottom: Perfume

I was spoilt for choice, so I just decided to go for girlie colours I knew Little Miss would love and I picked a green because I thought I needed to break up the pink!

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All ready to paint

 

Making a start

Firsty I found some white undercoat in our garage (from a project a few years ago) and painted the whole house with it, just one coat.

I then painted the roof in the chalkboard black paint and the outside of the house pink. I decided I would make each room a little different, more on that next time.

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Progress shots

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Progress……

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If anyone has any tips/tricks or suggestions I would love to hear them.

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