Turning 31. A note to the girl that went before.

It’s October!

In my books October equates to three things.

  • The start of autumn proper (hello Hygge Season!)
  • The hideous annual search for a winter coat.
  • My birthday!

So, as I turn thirty one, which I suppose means I’m officially ‘in’ my thirties, and because I set this blog up in reaction to turning thirty, today I’d like to reflect on the year, and write down five things I have learnt as a result of entering the fourth decade of my life.

I wish I could go back and tell my twenty-year-old self to embrace these life lessons – but I suppose the realisation is all part of the journey.

5 special gifts for your Bridesmaids

Oh Bethie!

You’ve been such a bad little blogger recently.

Who knew wedding planning + job + medical treatment would dominate your life so much!

I apologise. Please be assured normal service plus some very exciting developments will resume in the autumn. I’ve been working on some amazing plans for the FTLOH brand while I’ve been away – but wanted to save launching them until I had the proper time to dedicate to them.

In the meanwhile, shall we talk Bridesmaids?!

Practicing Self Compassion.

stronger

Hi everyone!

Apologies for slight lack of posts of late. As most will be aware, I’m currently undertaking  the pretty gargantuan task of completing a course of EMDR therapy, all while planning a wedding – no biggie.

It’s tough. No lies about that one. I’ll update you all more fully when I finish the therapy in July – I’m having 18 sessions all together. I thought about doing a half way update, but I think it’s safer to wait until I’m fully through, though I can say after 7 sessions, it’s making the biggest difference in my health in over a decade – so obviously that’s positive and long may it continue to improve.

However, I do want to post on a related topic, as one of the things that has come up time and time again during my therapy is the practice of self love and rebuilding self esteem.

Who knew that the majority of my problems actually stem from my belief system around myself. Obviously that sense of self has been cultivated over the years by a number of unfortunate experiences, but my biggest task isn’t to forgive those who wronged and hurt me, I did that quite easily, but to train my brain into accepting that said experiences don’t make me a bad, incomplete, or unloveable person; and that has been rather more difficult.

So, with the help of some of my favourite poets and philosophers, I’m writing this as a reminder to myself, but also to other people who may be struggling with a similar set of anxieties about how the world, and the mirror, perceives them – that there are things you can do to rid yourself of some of the negative cognitions you carry around every day – and to help you learn the most valuable lesson of all: That you are worth the world, and you should always be your own number one priority.

Top five tips for Starting a family tree from scratch.

There aren’t a whole bunch of positives to be found in having a chronic illness and being confined to bed for weeks on end!

BUT!

One thing I do have to thank my illness for is my newfound passion for ancestry research.

Since 2014, I’ve been putting together a comprehensive family tree and I must say, it’s now one of my favourite hobbies. At last count there were 1,964 people on my tree.

I’m still not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, and I have fits and starts of dedication to the cause (though this can sometimes actually be helpful, I’ll tell you why later) but I’ve really enjoyed researching and uncovering details about my ancestors and working out how everything and everyone fits together. It’s so satisfying when you find a new clue, or relative, and it’s also been a great conversation starter when I’ve had periods of being inactive for a long time – rather than just saying to my mum ‘I’ve been in bed all day’ I can actually say ‘did you know you are descended from Romany royalty!’

In fact, my mum and I went on a family history trip to Liverpool a couple of years back for her birthday. Through my research we had found addresses, cemeteries and areas associated with her dad’s family – it was such an emotional and rewarding trip and a great excuse to spend the weekend with my mum exploring a new city.

I’m also a real nosey parker – I should have been an anthropologist – so finding out every little detail about people’s lives makes me very excited!

Anyway, now that I’m a few years into my journey I thought I would share with you my top 5 tips for starting off a family tree, and some of my favourite discoveries – I hope it’s helpful. Happy hunting!

For The Love Of Eating: Finding Balance Through Veganism.

If you’ve been following this site since we launched in January – you’ll know by now that we try hard to promote lifestyles that protect our beautiful planet but also encourage a healthy and balanced lifestyle for those who adopt them.

Today we are going to hear from vegan author Sarah Philpott, who has recently written and published her first recipe book called ‘The Occasional Vegan.’

In this article Sarah explains how she battled her own demons with food, and eventually found that by becoming vegan she had actually stumbled upon a healthier and more balanced approach in her own relationship with eating.

Make sure you read to the end of the article where you can find a delicious recipe by Sarah, a link to her book, AND details of how you can win a copy for yourself!

So,  without further ado, I shall hand over to Sarah.

What to do when a friendship ends.

In my introductory post on this site, I made reference to the fact that in a lot of ways, I set this blog up as a coping mechanism as I came to terms with the end of some very significant friendships in my life.

I can’t even begin to underestimate how much said closures have impacted on my life, and I wouldn’t wish the loss of a best friend on any one.

Take the worst breakup you ever had with a boyfriend and multiple it by a million percent – that doesn’t even come close to how much it hurts.

Female friendship is without doubt one of the purest and most important forms of relationship this world has to offer – but when it goes wrong it can also be the cruelest.

But through the greatest losses come the most salient periods of growth and reflection, and hopefully positive change.

I would like to share with you today how I’ve coped with friend ending and why it’s ok to be totally broken by it – the rebuilding is the best part.