How Felicity finds fitting it all in is not that easy!

So it's 10:30 in the evening and i'm just getting to sit down and blog now, there are so many other things i need to do too, but i haven't written for ages and actually that half the reason i am writing, where the hell does all the time go?

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Image by Chick Writes Stuff (you need to read her blog, spooky and much funnier!)

So this is generally how my days go when i'm at the day job:

7-7:30    Wake Up

7:30-8:30  Get myself and the boys ready for work/school.  The two eldest can do it all themselves, they just need a lot of 'motivation' if you know what i mean!

8:30-8:45  Shout at the boys to get ready till I've developed a sore throat and my face is going a lovely shade of purple.

8:45-9:00  School Run

9:00-9:15  Grab breakfast & lunch and drive to work (so lazy, I do need to get the bike out, but i'm so crap on it it's laughable.  I can't even get my leg over -oh er!- as we still have the baby seat on it - used eh... never!- so i generally end up flat on my face or falling into the wall at work, trying not to let everyone see)

9:15-9:30   Arrive at work, eat breakfast and make a cup of HOT tea - woohoo

9:30-5:30   Proceed to sit at a computer for the next 8 hours, intermittently checking social media (when i say intermittently, i mean frequently #ssshhh don't tell anyone).  I rarely take a lunch and if i do it's only half an hour and i use it to do something at my desk - grocery shop, write to inland revenue, scour Etsy for loads of lovely things i want to buy).

5:30-7:30  Arrive home, have quick chat with mum a.k.a Granny Bling before she goes home to lie in a darkened room for the evening, then I proceed with a selection of the following:

Wash dishes, dry dishes, put dishes away, fill dishwasher, empty dishwasher, empty dryer, fold washing, empty washing machine, fill dryer, fill washing machine, fill baskets with clothes, take baskets upstairs, put ironing away, pick up toys, put out recycling, put out bins, discuss what boys want for tea for approx 10 mins,, make boys tea, realise after 2 hours that you haven't had a drink since you got home, pick up school bags, school coats, try and tidy everyone's shoes up in the hall, fail miserably, realise you've done enough not to feel guilty about sitting down and actually getting on with your real work!

It's really up to you what you pick, but generally about half of this list i do daily and i still feel guilty when i sit down to paint or sew, is that normal, is that what other mumpreneurs/dadpreneurs do?

7:30-8:00  Put little man to bed (he's at that stage where quite often he falls asleep very late afternoon so consequently bedtime is a little later and a struggle), persuade older two to get changed for bed and make sure everything is in order for the next day.

8:00-9:00  Sit down to paint and/or sew. Woohoo #happyplace oh and persuade the older two to go to bed with a good book, or just 'a' book, as long as they are reading...

9:00-9:30  Eat tea (which generally I've cooked for us), converse about our day.

9:30-12:00  Work on computer, generally split between updating m,y Etsy shop, writing my blog, trying to watch training webinars (made more difficult when a small person keeps nicking your headphones and 'storing' them for you - 3 sets and counting), designing fabric for soft furnishings collection, social media posts, updating my website and general networking.

Pretty easy day really LMAO. It's not much different when i'm not at the day job.  Friday just means extra house stuff, food shopping, and occasional personal time - you know exciting stuff like dentist and optician, but it does mean an afternoon of peace and quiet to paint and sew, heaven!  Sat & Sun has a no housework rule (unless desperate), but it is replaced with tennis lessons, football matches and swimming lessons, so...

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Image by Ms Tidy Owl

I feel like i am slowly beginning to lose the plot, I've let my organisation slip and it shows.  When you have as little time as I/we do trying to build a business alongside bringing up kids and/or a day job, then you need to be clever with your time, really clever and I have a few peeps who can help you do that:

  1. Devenia Desant - Be Visible, Be Social, Be You!  Devenia completely gets it, as a mother of 3 herself she knows what a hustle and juggle life is most of the time, and it's her mission to ensure we all have the confidence to achieve our goals and just as importantly in ourselves.
  2. Nicola Lawrie - Ms Tidy Owl.  Nicola trains people on how to structure, measure and utilise their business information for profit and growth.  Her best tip ever to me was to time block and it's worked so well for me (need to do again as my priorities have changed which is why my time has gone to pot) In fact pop over to her page for a free planner to help you take control of your week.
  3. Alex Tooby - Instagram Marketer (@menandcoffee, @instawithalex) What this lady doesn't know about Insta probably isn't worth knowing, so if you are looking to grow your account then you really want to sign up to Instagram Marketing Mastermind with Alex, it's FREE and pretty darn awesome!
  4. Good friends - These guys are the ones you know you can turn to anytime, to cry, to rant, to laugh and generally just to support.  I have some amazing friends, some of whom i won't mention as totally personal but also some who I have become friends with through my mumpreneur journey and who's support means an awful lot to me; Ditsy Dot Shop, Carter and Us, Imagine Sew Beautiful, Sweet Little Tinkers, Holistic Health Surrey and Ip Dip Design, you guys rock!  Not only do you all have awesome blogs / businesses, but most of you have a young family/day job too and you still find time to support other small businesses and be a great friend to me and others, so i thank you!

So this week my plan is to sit down and re-organise my time, I need to download my planner from Ms tidy Owl, get myself more visable with Devenia and keep working on my Instagram account as I'm loving Insta at the moment.  I'm gonna catch up with my friends and see what they are all up to, I really think you guys should do the same!

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Let me know what your biggest struggle is and lets see if we can't work it out together,

Fay x


How Felicity finally got to say thanks!

I can't remember if I have shared previously or not but my eldest boy Henry was born premature. At 34 weeks I developed pre-eclampsia and was taken into hospital, I remember feeling just not quite right on the Sunday evening and thought I beat check with the doc on the Monday morning, the next thing I know an ambulance is being blue lighted to the doctors to take me to hospital.

They managed to control my blood pressure well until the Thursday morning when I woke very early with such a headache it was unbearable, the nurses gave me some painkillers but it didn't touch it, when they checked my blood pressure it was off the chart, and rising so the decision was made to emergency section me ASAP. I apologise now if anyone 'lost their slot' because of me x


At 12:31 that lunchtime Henry Douglas Stephenson was brought into this world at 3lb 8oz, I think I got to hold him but I can't really remember much if I'm honest.  I remember before when the anesthetist played 'the first cut is the deepest' as he was prepping me for surgery.  I remember being more worried that my husband would faint when I got my spinal block and I remember him and the anesthetist comically arguing over what to call Henry! But after that I don't remember much...

Normally with pre-eclampsia, once baby is out then your blood pressure drops and you are fine, but that didn't happen with me, I'm still not quite sure what was wrong but I spent two days in labour ward in and out of consciousness with very little memory of that time.  I didn't see Henry, he was perfect and healthy in every way, just small so he had to go to SCBU (special care baby unit) so it was Matthew that did the first nappies, the sitting by the incubator and it wasn't till the end of day two when they actually brought Henry to me, in his incubator.


After day 2 I was well enough to move to the antinatal ward and spent the next two weeks there before I persuaded them I could go home, so I could then spend my days with Henry in SCBU rather than sat in my hospital bed waiting for doctors to come and check me etc.  Henry thrived and despite us having massive issues breastfeeding as he had no sucking reflex he did well an 4 weeks after he was born (1 week before he was due) and just before Christmas we got to bring our tiny little bundle of love home.


It's been a roller coaster since then with 2 more boys (both healthy pregnancies) and Henry is now a very happy and healthy 10 year old.  


I've always wanted to be able to say thanks to SCBU for everything they did for Henry and I.  Not only did they love and care for my boy, but they taught me an awful lot, were there for me at some pretty hard times.  These guys are amazing nurses but more than that they are amazing people, loving and caring beyond the call of duty. So with the support of some friends I contacted York SCBU and asked if there was any chance I would be allowed to make a canvas for the unit and they very kindly said yes...


So here it is, I can't wait to present it to them and say thank you for everything they've done for Henry and I, forever in their debt,

Fay x


How Felicity was helped out of a dark day...

So it's Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK and I've been listening to Radio 2 this week, each afternoon Jeremy Vine has been talking to someone with a different mental health illness each day, it's been very insightful and great to hear it being talked about openly and honestly in the mainstream.


Funnily enough this week hasn't been a great one for me.  It started Tuesday when something small was niggling at me regarding an order, that I couldn't sort and I was annoyed at myself for having to leave open like that.  Without thinking i went about the rest of my day, but it really was one of those days, things got on top of me, things didn't go how i wanted them to and i didn't achieve things i wanted to achieve that day.  I chalked it up to a bad day and went to sleep, but then Wednesday didn't get much better and my mood gradually darkened, and as it did so did my day, again i chalked it up to another bad day and hope today would get better. As i went to bed tired and grumpy i misread something on FB, commented and went to sleep.  I woke to a bit of a telling off, now i was the first to hold up my hand and apologise but one person in particular wanted to make their feelings known and with my mood as it was I just took it completely to heart and it really upset me.  I could feel my mood darkening even more.  As i made my lunch at work i was just wishing the day to end, i took my boiling hot soup to my desk, sat down went to prize off the Tupperware lid sealed by the heat and proceeded to chuck the whole bowl over my lap and the floor.  The pain was unreal, i jumped up realising i needed to get the soup of me and so quickly wiped down my clothes - to proud to make a fuss, whilst my colleague helped me clear up my chair, the carpet and my desk.  Once we'd done i came home to change, i could feel my legs stinging and as i walked in the door i just burst into tears.

I actually starting asking God what had i done, what had i done this week that was so bad that i was being punished with a crap week and finally burning myself stupid...  I felt at a loss.  But i had to get back to work, so i quickly changed my clothes, looking at my bright red legs and went back to work.  By the time i'd got back my legs were stinging quite badly, so I reached out to a FB group i'm in and a particular member who i know is a Homeopath hoping she could advise me of something i could do to help immediately.  Two goods friends Devenia and Kathy immediately reached out with their sympathies and some initial suggestions (unfortunately now the boys are a little older i don't carry Vaseline or Sudacrem in my bag anymore LOL) and then despite Michelle having being in the wars herself last week and still recovering, she replied telling me exactly what to do (and very politely ticking me off for not getting the homeopathic first aid kit she'd told us all about last week, lesson learnt, off to buy tomorrow!)  Interestingly though at this point having read some of my other comments about my week in general she happened to make an observation about how i needed to focus on the positive and that the negativity would just drag me further and further down.  Suddenly a light went off...


Earlier i couldn't imagine why God would have let me burn myself, I couldn't see where the lesson in that could possibly be.  But yet here it was, plain as day.  My negative mood that started from something so small on Tuesday had become a catch 22 (and this is exactly how depression takes control without you noticing) the lower my mood, the more i felt everything was against me, and the more i felt everything was against me the lower my mood got!  I had got myself into such a state by lunchtime today that it took something to make me LITERALLY jump out of it and shake it off to be able to receive advice and look at the situation for what it was.  Michelle really helped me today, i'm not even sure she knows just how much!  But i felt with it being Mental Health Week it was really appropriate to share what had happened to me this week and ask Michelle what suggestions she had for not only dealing with that type of situation, a bad day, a dark mood.

  1. Try and stop the bad days before they happen!  Each morning before you get out of bed or when you are in the shower, be mindful of everything you have, the roof over your head, the bed you had a good nights sleep in, your kids, your husband, hot running water, the breakfast you are about to eat etc. etc.
  2. Sit for 5 minutes and ask yourself 'how do i want to feel today?' Write down your intention and refer to it if you feel your day is not going the way you had asked.
  3. If you are having a bad day, stop, Take yourself off to a quiet spot and ask yourself why you are having a bad day. What's really important is not to lay blame, this is a hard one but it is important to own the emotions you are feeling and the thoughts you are thinking as once you have acknowledged them it is easier to let them go, If you can write down any negative thoughts and feelings. You can even write a letter to the person that has annoyed you and then Michelle takes it outside, burns it and place the ashes on the earth for mother earth to transmute as she sees fit.  I did exactly this to my school bully, but i posted it to myself, the writing of it was so cathartic and by the time i'd received back i was able to rip it up and bin.  I'd said my piece...
  4. If you are able, mediate for 10 - 15 minutes just breathing in new calm energy and breathing out stress, frustration, anger whatever it is that you think is creating your bad day, and remind yourself of your intention for the day.


Look no matter what your beliefs are, you cannot deny that we all have bad days and that it would be a much better place if they didn't happen or we could shrug them off a lot quicker.  Some of you know i have faith, but i'm not a big shouter about it, it's very personal to me and i'm certainly not telling you all you need to, just explaining how my day went.
I really hope this has helped you guys and you'll remember the steps the next time you feel you day going from bad to worse.  It's certainly helped me to put everything in to perspective and even look at my initial issue with an order and come up with a solution.

However first on the list for me is to go and get a homeopathic first aid kit so i can get on with my painting without my legs stinging LOL!

Much love,

Fay x


How Felicity Finds A Love of Colour

So how many of you are scared of colour?

Are you planning on decorating your nursery?

Does the thought of adding any colour fill you with fear?!

What colour do I add?

Can I add more than one?

Should I only paint one wall?

How do I tie in with the rest of the room?

Shouldn't nurseries be calming colours to sooth baby?

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Okay okay let's chill, let’s just take a moment to breathe LOL. Colour in a nursery really isn’t that scary and with so many options available to us we are definitely all being a little bolder nowadays, but do you know what, I absolutely adore bold colour (those who know me understand – I had to go and buy a black suit for my own father’s funeral as literally don’t own anything black) and I really want to push you guys even further with its use in the home.

Bold colours and shapes stimulate babies. So let’s get you thinking just how you can do that. Now the first 3 points are ways that we are fairly comfortable with already, but I wanted to show you how you can push that even further than you have already…

1. Soft Furnishings

2. Feature Wall

3. Art work

The next few points are maybe going to take you a little further than you’ve maybe considered before. But do you know what, it’s your home, it’s your style, so let’s show that off to its full potential in your home.

4. Furniture

5. Pattern/Print

6. Clashing Tones

7. Dark Hues

I hope that’s given you a little inspiration for your nursery!  You can find all these images and links on my Pinterest blog board. If you want to have a chat then please just follow me on FB, Pinterest and/or Insta and drop me a line; only too happy to discuss any ideas you are unsure about trying.

If you are already a colour aficionado in the home then I’d love to see your pics, tag me and I’ll feature some of my favourites!

Stay fun, stay bright!

Fay x

 

P.S As i said you can find all the links for the above images on my pinterst blog board, but a few of my particular favourite companies to help achieve your desires are below:

Somewhere Only We know 

Enchanted Interiors 

Crazy Little Crafts 

Hazel Loves Ivy  (if on holiday then please follow her, she's seriously worth it)

Jo Jones Creative

 

P.P.S And please check out Etsy before anywhere else, as there is so much talent out there x


How Felicity Finds 3 very different uses for Stationery...

It's National Stationery Week and today is World Stationery Day, which reminded me of a previous blog post.  What better way to celebrate than to look at how to use Stationery in some very different ways to decorate your home.

What! I hear you cry. But seriously there are some fab uses from everyday stationery.

  1. Clip Boards

 

These are a great idea as once placed you can easily change up the art displayed if you update your decor or use for your kids art and it means you can swap as often as they draw!

2. Hole Punch

 

You can use an ordinary hole punch to create art with the kids, get them involved using scrap pieces of card from previous projects, or wall paper samples, anything you have lying around, You could take this one step further and use specialist punches, bigger circles, hearts, butterflies, the possibilities are endless...

3. Post It Notes

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And if you ever get bored at work then what about trying to recreate this post it note creation, just awesome!  You could even let the kids try at home, for just a few pounds they could have hours of fun and the best bit... It's temporary!

Let's go and enjoy Stationery week, I'd love to see any of your creations!!!

Fay x


How Felicity Deals With The Loss

So I'd done really well today, I'd suddenly got some inspiration and despite having a post already started on draft I felt the need to write a whole new post.  I was inspired by some pins i'd found earlier in the week and just how fab the use of bold and striking colour can be in the home.  So literally within 10 mins i had a whole new blog that come tonight - I was at the day job - I just needed to add images and links and it was there. I felt almost 'professional' LMAO...

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Don't be silly that's not me, what did i do... I forgot to email it to myself so I'd have it at home (need to send my log in to work really that would be logical!) Yep so all that advice is gonna have to wait till next week I'm afraid folks.

However in the meantime a little tribute to one of my absolute inspirations in my life, Victoria Wood. I really am at a loss for words. 2016 has brought so much death and still it keeps coming and I guess a lot is down to me getting that bit older so my idols are also getting older, therefore will start to pass on, but Victoria was someone just so incredibly amazing to me, she shaped my younger years, she made me laugh, she made me cry, she gave me a lot of great impressions i could do in front of classmates to make them laugh with me instead of at me!

 

I don't think i realised just how much of an impact she had on my life.  She was 'normal', she was 'northern' she was AWESOME! I'm going to miss her a lot,, but will never forget and look forward to all the re-runs I'm very sure we will be indulged with.  Victoria you were a godsend and will be missed sorely x

 

Fay x


How Felicity Finds 3 reasons to be cheerful

It's been a good week this week.  I've pushed myself out of my comfort zone a couple of times, doing things I'd normally shy away from;

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  1. As mentioned in my last post I've booked the Baby & Toddler Show in Manchester Oct 7-9.  I am really excited but also pretty scared! I've done loads of trade & retail shows for other jobs before but this is me, I'm putting myself out there, what if i don't get all my designs made in time? What if I don't sell anything? What if I sell everything the first day and have no stock left? Hey you gotta let a girl dream a little ;-) Anyway 25 weeks to go and so much to do, so I'm hoping i'll be too busy to be scared LOL.
  2. I stopped a friend I hadn't seen in ages to catch up.  Sounds silly right, but that's a huge step for me.  Normally I'd put my head down and keep walking, as the fear of them not really wanting to talk to me would be so great.  This is a very good friend so deep down i know the fear is completely irrational, so i pushed that fear to one side, reached out and said hey.  Had a great catch up and a lovely hug to boot.
  3. I finished my website - BUT IT'S NOT PERFECT! Normally i would keep going and going, working and working whilst other elements suffered.  But with the guidance of many, particularly Devenia Besant I've realised that appearing as is, is better than not appearing at all and actually perfection is something never attained really.  I'm not saying turn up in my pj's for the school run, but there is a level that is acceptable, that can then be worked upon at a later date.

I'm really chuffed with myself, It's really liberating.  I also had a beautiful text from a very lovely soul, she knows who she is and I'm so privileged to have her in my life.  She had guided and supported me from the day I met her and she is such a massive part of me, it's hard to describe, love love love.

So now the hard work begins, I've orders to complete, samples to paint, fabrics to design and a soft furnishings collection to make! Not a lot then...

Hope you'll join me on my journey, as it's gonna be exciting...

With love,

Fay x

 

 


How Felicity Finds Some Personal Strength

I had an interesting conversation with my sister whilst she was down last week regarding self-confidence and how we carry ourselves.  It's funny how sometimes the most outwardly confident people are in fact inwardly the most shy; take me, i come across as pretty confident, I dress how i like (quirky, eccentric are a few words I've heard), I dye my hair... bright! and I will happily stand up in front of a room of people and talk to them... about anything.  However inside I'm painfully shy.  I wonder how many of us creatives are the same?

Wallflower: a person who, because of shyness, unpopularity, or lack of a partner, remains at the side at a party or dance. 2. any person, organization, etc., that remains on or has been forced to the sidelines of any activity.

I am happiest in my craft room, in fact i'd be happy if i never had to leave it sometimes.  Social interaction is something i truly dread at times, the school run, parties, phone calls (my pet hate) they have all filled me with a deep desire to run in the other direction at some point.  Kids have been good for me as it means i have to do things, i can't just hide away.  however those times when you thought i was being rude or standoffish, I wasn't, I just wasn't confident enough (no matter how well we know each other) to come talk to you.

Personal strength is one of my biggest weaknesses, I need to take my own canvases to heart! I've mentioned before about being bullied at school and then again in the workplace.  However it was Primary School that set the precedent, created the person i am today, pulled me down, tore me apart from the outside in and then spat me out 4 years later a different girl.

I will never lay the blame on my bullies as I am a firm believer in never judging, and I know a lot of the time they are hurting just as much if not more inside and it helps them to make someone else feel their pain, unfortunately it's not the best way to help themselves in the long run.  However i lost 4 years of my life, literally, i don't remember a lot from my last 4 years of Primary School, just days here or there, but what lives on is a deep-seated insecurity.  Why sometimes i would say what people wanted to hear as it meant they would like me. Why i still now find it hard to hold a telephone conversation, because in my mind the person on the other end is laughing at me; why i hate when people laugh at something I've done, a trip, a fall, parking badly, you name it, in that moment I'm suddenly 8/9 years old and everyone is laughing at me, pointing and i know i'll be walking home from school alone again.

 

Schoolgirl being bullied in school corridor I don't want sympathy, I'm not writing to gain anything, I'm writing because it helps me and I really hope it helps others.  My hair, my clothes, my persona are all coping devices; it gives you all something to talk about rather than 'me'.  I promise you that I amn't ignoring you and I amn't 'up my own a**e', I'm just that scared little 9-year-old who thinks you might laugh at me, or wonders why the hell you'd want to talk to me. I wonder how many of us are like that, but are too scared to admit.

Life is hard, and I know for myself and many others that our crafting gives us a release.  I also have so many beautiful friends and family who give me more than they know.  I pray my children will never go through what i did but i guess if they do at least I'll be right there next to them knowing exactly how they are feeling, kids can be cruel eh?! I have good days (mostly) and I still have bad but what gets me through each and every one of those bad days are the people around me and my fellow crafters, who inspire me daily to push and achieve more than i ever thought i could.

Thanks guys, love you all.

Fay x

P.S Almost forgot I've booked the Baby & Toddler Show in Manchester in Oct.  I would never have done something like this alone and special thanks goes to my friend Judith who is fantastic at pushing me to step outside my comfort zone.  I'm really excited for this next step on my journey, and do you know what if i can do it, you can!