When I imaged my life at 31 it definitely didn’t involve a career break. Career suicide more like! But neither did I imagine having my picture taken by pink doors and posting them on the internet. Life’s a funny thing eh?!
So I keep getting asked how am I finding the Career break so far? I’ll be honest, I miss my colleagues and the banter, people watching in the city, the Pret lunches and the payday buzz. I do not miss the morning train commute or stressing about getting Alex to and from nursery before and after work when my other half was away overseas. Not driving means everything is on foot and felt like I had done a workout before I had got to the train station, never mind the office!
I know how lucky I am to have the chance to take this time and for that I am truly grateful. Part of me feels a little guilty for not being in the office. My family and real life friends (who I don’t tend to show on the blog or Instagram too much but everyone has boundaries right?) fully support me in this and remind me that lots of women (and men) work part time, have career breaks, are homemakers and are stay at home parents. Being a parent and homemaker could be viewed as the biggest job of all!
In hindsight I feel I went back to office too early after mat leave. I just wasn’t ready. This was due to the fact we had relocated back to Liverpool to be closer to family and friends whilst renovating a house and cashflow was an issue, we needed to get the house finished. A building site of a house is no place for a baby and living out of three rooms couldn’t last forever. You have to do what you have to do. Anyone that has the chance to take the 12 months off though, go for it, because you just don’t get that time back…..
Having this time also means I can make progress on the build – Pluen Cottage. As a family we’ve developed quite few properties over the years now. For me, this one is the most exciting yet. A place for Alex to spend time away from City life and a holiday cottage for others to enjoy. I am so passionate about Morfa Nefyn, I feel everyone should experience it’s beauty. Who needs Cornwall? (Desperate to go there too). As expected we’ve gone over budget on the build, so I am shopping around for bargains on furniture etc to claw back costs!
Lots of you have noticed we’ve finally managed to finish the ‘Yarden’! Now we have a BBQ & table & chairs we can finally enjoy this little outdoor space when the sun
finally pops its head out! They were both absolute bargains from Very.
I have also been able to get some running back in & enrol on a CBT course to help me combat the driving anxiety!
Now that Alex is that bit older, and we finally feel settled in Liverpool, we’ve started trying to build our social life back up, going on date nights to the cinema, food and drinks with friends. It’s a WIN WIN because Grandparents and Auntie Meg get to babysit which they love. Alex also gets spoiled!
This time has also allowed me to concentrate on my other passion – my blog.
I’ve made no hiding that I am lucky enough to partner with some Wonderful brands on my little internet Space (like Very) and still pinch myself every day! I have been doing this for just over a year now. This provides me with some income towards general living expenses and the Welsh build.
Amy and I have also launched our new Fashion & Beauty hashtag #mywardrobethismonth to run alongside #myhousethismonth which we are SO excited about.
In regards to what I do online I guess I’ve always been quite creative. Graphics was my favourite GCSE and I used to hand craft birthday cards in the evening whilst my friends were out clubbing. Don’t get me wrong I still had my wild moments! My hobbies included singing, dancing and acting. Also beauty and shopping. As a girl growing up in Liverpool I have always been surrounded by make up, hair and fashion so it’s really not surprising I have a real passion for it. I think Liverpool girls are just born with glitter in their veins!
Thinking about it, it’s only actually now that I am in my thirties that I feel comfortable in my own skin and have developed my own ‘Mum’ style – a style that’s truly me. Even my husband has noticed! A style I am (dare I say it) kind of proud of?
No more buying pleated midi skirts in hope that they one day might suit me (they do NOTHING for me, like seriously), no more buying spaghetti strap cami tops (because that’s what everyone else is wearing) only to hide them under a chunky cardigan because I don’t actually like my chest out ,no more ordering heels I like the look of but just can’t walk in! I’ve just had a huge clear out of my wardrobe. Those skater dresses that cling to the tummy region? Gone. Those mini skirts that I wore in my mid 20’s banished!
So what is in my wardrobe this season?
Lots of pretty feminine tops, perfect to team with Jeans and trainers or sandals seeing me right through from Spring to Summer. Mid blue denim jeans. I love monochrome (black is perfect for bad Endo days – its my comfort blanket) and sometimes you cant beat a crisp white blouse. Jumpsuits – both patterned and plain. I wear these with crisp white trainers of a day time and pair with barely there sandals of an evening. My work colleagues were forever talking about jumpsuits and because I am not a trousers kind of girl I disregarded them thinking they wouldn’t be for me. How wrong I was? To avoid them being too long in the leg/have to get them altered I go ‘Petite’ or choose a cropped/culottes style.
To shop the floral jumpsuit click here
Dresses! I love a dress. The more’ flowy, floaty, floral, feminine’ the better. Mini is usually my safest bet (just above the knee). I stay clear of most standard size midi dresses as they do nothing for me with my shape and height. I adore Maxi dresses but only Petite will fit length wise & I am thrilled Very do a ‘V for Very’ Petite range.
To shop the petite cold shoulder maxi click here
Pops of leopard print. Hair ties and sandals. What can I say I am just drawn to big cats? I know lots of you guys are obsessed too. Maybe its our spirit animal? It just adds that pop of girl power & edge without being overly edgy?!
To shop the leopard print sandals click here
Straw bags – I’ll be honest before becoming a blogger I didn’t even look twice at Straw hats or shoppers but what can I say? I’ve been influenced. They go with anything. They just make me smile and I have no shame rocking one to my local supermarket. I’d love the latest designer handbag (who wouldn’t) but I could never personally splurge that kind of money on a bag. It’s just not me. That’s like a month’s food shopping, a SOFA, a weekend abroad. I get some serious satisfaction from letting my money go further these days.
To shop the handle basket weave bag click here
Very or Very.co.uk has always had a place in our home. Anyone local will know it’s actually a Liverpool brand, part of Shop Direct, formally known as Littlewoods Direct. I remember as a child flicking through the Littlewoods catalogue and circling the dolls and school shoes I wanted. Now everything is online of course but it won’t be long before Alexander is dropping strong hints and saving the links to his favourites on my laptop!
So there you have it. This career break has given me an opportunity to take a little time for me which I am truly thankful for. As I have said before it’s not forever but I am going to embrace every moment to work on me and my family and a lifestyle that suits us for now.
Thanks for reading…..
Until next time, L X