Friday, 10 July 2020

What the future has in store...

Hi friends!

Pumping these posts out because I'm so excited about all the stuff going on with me at the moment. I had nothing to write about for months and now I feel like I'm bursting with new things.

First off, I'll start with something I mentioned in yesterday's post...I'm back on the Slimming World plan. I will not write how much I currently weigh but it's safe to say it's severely higher than where I'd like to be. I honestly haven't been able to look at myself in the mirror these last few months because, like most other people stuck in lockdown, I've gained extra weight from being less active. Of course I also have other health issues which I cannot remember if I have mentioned in a post before. If not, a quick recap; I had my annual diabetes check done at the end of last year and it returned a borderline result. My blood sugar levels were completely normal but they also did a liver function test and the results for that were abnormal, meaning there was an issue with my liver. I had further blood tests done which all came back normal and I had an ultrasound done which I never got the results for because Covid-19 happened. I kept checking my online doctors records and the results of the ultrasound were never sent to my doctor. We assumed I had Non-Alcohol Fatty Liver Disease but needed the ultrasound to confirm it. If that was the case, all that was needed was a diet and lifestyle change; something I was wanting to do anyway. However, as I said, Covid-19 happened and we've been stuck inside ever since. So instead of improving upon my diet and lifestyle, my diet got a little worse for a while and I became extremely inactive as well as stressed. I'm on the right path now though; I've picked myself up and committed 100% to my weight-loss journey. I've got so much to motivate me to lose weight and now that I finally know who I really am, I've this new love and appreciation for myself and I want to do the best I can. 

All the other reasons for losing weight aside, another big reason is Jordan and I are starting to try for baby number 3! We decided around my birthday last year, that we would start trying to expand our family in June of this year and for a while we did consider pushing the date back because of Covid-19 but in the end, we've just decided to stick with our original plan. No one knows we're trying though and if/when we do conceive, we don't plan on telling any family or friends before the 12 week ultrasound because we want the kids to know first and obviously we don't want to tell them straight away just in case something goes wrong. This blog will be the only place I discuss our TTC (trying to conceive) and pregnancy journey's until that magic 12 week mark, so you guys are getting an exclusive scoop. Trying to get pregnant has given me extra motivation to lose weight and on the opposite side, me trying to lose weight is preventing me from getting upset if conception takes a while because it gives me extra time to lose the pounds. It's kind of a win-win for me at the moment. I know if/when I do conceive, gestational diabetes will probably an issue from the get go, so I'm trying to get into better habits now, so it's not so hard when I have to stick to a very strict diet for 9 months. I'm both excited to embark on that journey but also kinda dreading it just a little because I know how badly my body handles pregnancy. I don't care though, I'd do it all again several times for the end result. I love my kids so much!

So I'm on multiple journey's currently; I'm on a journey of self-discovery and self care, a weight-loss journey and now a trying to conceive journey too. Lockdown and Covid-19 aside, I'm feeling really positive about where I, personally, am right now. Unfortunately, studying probably won't happen this October because I've not physically been able to go out and get the documents I need for student finance but I feel I've got enough to look forward to already, that I don't mind pushing it back to next year. We're also looking at properties again as well. There haven't really been any because the whole country shut down but places are starting to pop back up both to rent and buy. We're still hoping to buy a place but after being stuck in this house for over a hundred days, I'm all too happy to move to another rental right now. 

So yeah, a huge lifestyle change and weight-loss journey in store for me, trying for baby number 3 with Jordan, looking for a new house, Vala returning to school in September and Flynn starting nursery in January...the future is looking pretty good right now and I'm genuinely happy and excited about that. I feel really good emotionally right now! I can't wait to bring you on these journey's with me!

Until next time,
Alli xo

Thursday, 9 July 2020

I found myself during lockdown.

Hi friends!

It's been a hot minute since I last posted anything and for that I do apologise. However, with our family being on lockdown since March, there really hasn't been anything to write about. Until now that is. I feel like I'm finally in a position where I have plenty to talk about and update you all on. So get comfy and I'll begin...

...We are still currently on lockdown despite the rest of the country reopening and today is our 113th day of staying home. It has been an incredibly tough time for all of us, especially the kids. Last month we did take advantage of the government permitting people to visit relatives so long as we remained outdoors and we visited Jordan's parents a few times on warmer days, to let the kids play in the paddling pool and get some much needed fresh air and exercise; we have not yet visited this month. Other than that, we've not left the house for anything. At first, lockdown left me feeling quite stressed and dealing with bouts of strong negative emotions but about a month and a half in, something pretty amazing happened to me... I found myself! 

People who are new to this blog (welcome) probably won't know this but any long time reader might remember me saying in the past that I didn't know who I was anymore, that I'd lost who I really was. I was constantly trying to be someone I wasn't and feeling miserable and depressed because I knew it wasn't the real me, even though I couldn't remember who the real me was. Well, I am now thrilled to reveal that these months in lockdown gave me plenty of time to rediscover who I am and to get in touch with the real me and it all started with a simple vlog channel. 

I have watched family vloggers 'Phil & Alex' for well over a year now and whilst I enjoyed their content, I never really felt I connected with it on a personal level. However a couple months back they bought a new home with a HUGE yard and things they were starting to do really interested me and spoke to me on a level I didn't fully understand at the time. Alex was talking about how it was important for her to regularly get her bare feet into the grass and feel the earth between her toes and I just sat there thinking, I used to do that, I used to love doing that! I started asking myself why don't I do that now and remembered that when I moved to the UK, it was drilled into me that it was weird to walk around barefoot so I ended up always putting shoes on. It wasn't just the barefoot comment from Alex that I connected with though, her and Phil have started growing their own fruit and vegetables and again, I found myself oddly captivated. Then I remembered, I used to grow herbs. Back in Australia, I had a little herb garden that I loved and I had always hope to someday have a little veggie garden. I never got that though. Little by little, memories long forgotten started returning to me. I remembered that I would often go down to a field near my parents house, take off my shoes and I would sit or lie down in an old willow tree down by a creek, whenever life got to hectic or stressful or upsetting. My inner peace and happiness was found on the branch of that willow tree, listening to the water trickle along the creek and the wind blowing through the leaves. I was a nature person. I remembered that I loved nature and cared so much about the earth that I woke up at 5:30am to go help members of my local community plant new trees at 6am; I was 14 at the time. I even referred to myself as a bit of a tree hugging hippy throughout my early teens. However, that all changed around the age of 16 because back then, being a nature lover wasn't considered "cool" and hippy was used more as a derogatory term. I wanted to be one of the cool kids in my circle and so I hid that part of myself from everyone. I pretended to be someone they'd all like and only when things would get tough, would I return to that willow tree and reconnect with nature in order to recharge and find inner peace. But after years of repressing my true self, I eventually lost sight of her. When I moved to the city, away from my sacred space, I completely lost sight of the real me. I went from living in the city to living here in the UK and everyday since I've been here, I've been saying "this isn't me, this isn't who I am", but I couldn't remember who the real me was anymore. 

It wasn't just Phil & Alex's youtube videos that helped trigger these memories however, I had some help from practising Mindfulness. Alex's outlook on life and hers and Phil's desire to slow down every so often inspired me to try and do the same, so I took a short online Mindfulness course that help teach me the basic principles of mindfulness. It was the combination of mindful meditation and connecting with Phil & Alex's content, that triggered me to find my true self and I have felt so different ever since. 
I am now slowly making changes to return to the person I once was and the person I now know is the real me. I have started by switching most of my beauty products to clean, organic, vegan friendly products. My face wash, body wash, deodorant and shampoo/conditioner have all been changed. I even switched my plastic toothbrush to a bamboo toothbrush. (Note: I plan on reviewing the products I use in later blog posts.) I am hoping to eventually switch my moisturisers and make-up to organic, vegan friendly alternatives as well but this change is a big financial commitment in the beginning so I'm changing things gradually. I have also started taking better care of myself, I drink 2L of water every day now without fail and I've upped my self care routine; it even consists of dry brushing now!

I'm still only in the early days of changing and growing but I haven't felt this good about myself in over ten years! I have a much more positive outlook on life now and I feel much more a peace within myself as well. Last week I started back on Slimming World and I'm committing to weight-loss journey with 100% dedication this time. My first weigh-in didn't yield great results (lost 0.1kg) which normally would drive me to immediately give up and sink into a depressive state but this time, I didn't feel negatively about the result at all. In fact, I saw the positives in the result and it motivated me to do better this week. Like with everything else at the moment, switching my diet and eating habits is a gradual process but I'm hoping within the next few weeks to be sticking 100% to my Slimming World plan. 

There is so much going on at the moment, which is crazy to think, given the fact we're still on lockdown and haven't been doing anything really. I want to tell you everything that I'm working on and everything that's in store for our family but this post has been long enough and I'll save it for the next one. I do hope that with this life change, I'll be back to blogging more regularly as I update you all on our life and I'm also hoping to start reviewing products in the near future. I can't wait to share my journey of self discovery and personal growth with you all. It's such an exciting time for me and I'm truly happy with the direction I'm heading in now. I promise, it won't be months between blog posts again so with that said...

...Until next time,
Alli xo

Monday, 13 April 2020

Easter 2020

Hello everyone, it's been quite a while since I last posted anything but like the rest of the world, my blog has been on lockdown for a bit. My family are all doing well, we're healthy and staying home and following all the governments rules. We're currently on day 26 of lockdown and yesterday we celebrated Easter on lockdown.

Obviously I'm not going to have a whole lot to actually say as we never left the house but we tried to make the day still feel special for the kids. They woke to a little over fifty small-medium eggs scattered throughout the livingroom and hallway, waiting to be found. We thought this would be the year Flynn finally got into the spirit of an easter hunt as he was old enough to understand what to do. He carried his bucket in, grabbed his first egg, put it in bucket and then immediately pulled it out and demanded to eat it. We tried to encourage him to keep finding more but he refused, he just wanted the one he'd already found. We eventually gave up and he happily sat on the sofa eating his chocolatey prize while Vala found the rest of the eggs. I then evenly split the eggs between the kids buckets to make sure they both got the same amount. They both got to enjoy eating an egg or two before breakfast and I managed to get a couple of photos for social media.

After breakfast I ended up video calling my parents back in Australia and we spoke for over an hour. I loved seeing my mum and dad again. My mum even taught Vala to sign hers and Flynn's names. Mum really appreciated getting to see Vala and Flynn, especially since she's still yet to meet Flynn in person. After saying goodbye to my parents though, we immediately called Vala's dad. They talked for a little bit but honestly I ended up talking to him about World of Warcraft more than Vala did about anything. After that call ended, Flynn went down for a nap, Vala went to paint, Jordan was playing games on his computer and I decided I go have a nap as well. When I woke up, we did one more video call with Vala's and Flynn's nanna on Vala's dads side. Flynn mostly hid from Nanna Lisa but Vala enjoyed talking to her and seeing her uncles and one cousin (who are all living in the same house). Another long video call over and I made the kids a rushed pasta dinner as Jordan fell asleep in his chair. We didn't have the right things in to make a traditional easter roast dinner.

With dinner done and the kids in bed, our Easter was over. Three video calls and a egg hunt was the extent of our day. I had really hoped we could've called Jordan's mum as well so the kids could see all three nanna's in one day but she was working a 12 hour shift so we unfortunately we couldn't call. We will call her tomorrow when she's next off work. Honestly, for me, it didn't feel like Easter. It just felt like any other day in lockdown but with chocolate eggs. The day had it's highs but something was still missing from making it feel truly special.

I don't know when my next post will be, as I said, being on lockdown means I have nothing to write about it. Either way...

...until next time,
Alli xo

Sunday, 5 April 2020

Sunday, 15 March 2020

Sunday, 1 March 2020

Monday, 24 February 2020

Repairing a relationship.

Monday morning again and I am very unwell today. Caught a cold from Jordan and it hit me hard in the head. Blocked sinuses, stuffy head, pressure in my face, the works. Jordan only had his basic cold for a couple of days, whereas I've been dealing with my head cold for four days so far.

But anyway, speaking of Jordan, I figured I'd spend a little time talking about how we're doing. Despite what the title of this post might suggest, our relationship isn't broken but over the last couple of years, it's hit its fair share of bumpy roads. When you've been with someone for a long time, you kind of forget to "date" one another and dating is very important for keeping the relationship fresh and the spark alive. My postnatal depression and Jordan's old job with irregular shifts, put a strain on our relationship and whilst his new job has come with it's own negatives (him working away from home 3 days a week), it's also give us back something we didn't get many of...weekends!

Jordan's hours are set and we finally have weekends back! It's been great not just for family time but our relationship too. Jordan's mum works alternating weekends so now, whenever she's got the weekend off, she watches the kids for a whole day and Jordan and I go out for a date and spend some much needed quality time together. Since Jordan started his new job a little over a month ago (Jan 14), we've been out to dinner together twice, out for coffee/hot chocolates twice and even managed to declutter, repaint/redecorate our bedroom! When he returns from working away on Thursdays, we order pizza in (which isn't great for my diet), snuggle up on the sofa and watch a movie together; and he doesn't fall asleep ten minutes in!!! We're also going away, just the two of us, for the first since we started dating! His 30th birthday is this Friday and we're going to see a performance of Spamalot, have dinner together and spend the night in a hotel with breakfast included. I cannot wait! We knew regular work hours would be super beneficial for family times and making plans to go places and visit people, but we seriously underestimated how much of a positive effect it would have on our relationship. Communication has improved, romance has improved, intimacy has improved and our overall appreciation of one another has also improved, which was surprising for me because we've always appreciated one another and I didnt think that could be improved upon!

We still do have our issues and our ups and downs but what relationship doesn't? However, since Jordan switched to a job with stable hours, our relationship has gotten so much stronger. We're repairing the damage all those bumpy roads had caused and we're a partnership again, not just a long-term relationship. I can't stress enough how important it is to date one another! It doesn't matter how long you've been together, never stop making an effort; never stop dating. I am so happy with where our relationship is right now. People, go out and date!

Until next time,
Alli xo