Found: the sun / a self-care update

27 March 2013

That picture right there? Well, it was taken on my way to work this morning. At precisely 7:36am.
And do you notice anything unusual about it????
Yup, you guessed...the Sun has come out to play.
Hip hip hip hooray!
Mother nature paid attention to me and my blog post yesterday. She may not have turned the thermostat up, but she did bring the sunshine and that is at least something.

London, you're welcome.

Moving on...
Last night I had a full and completely uninterrupted nights sleep. It was delicious I tell you. I put it down to the hour and a half I spent on my yoga mat, the bubble filled bath that followed and the hearty pasta bake Ben made for us to devour whilst we caught up on each others days.
It was a really nice evening. And one that I plan to repeat tonight.
(second day pasta bake is almost always better anyways..)
If you have been reading for a while (you lucky peeps!) you will know that in the last few weeks I have started to really delve into how I am treating myself and how I can improve the relationship that I hold with myself. I have invested in life coaching with the gorgeous Sas, signed up for a restorative yoga course next month with Patricia, am working with Marianne Elliot to implement yoga into my every day home life with her 30 days of yoga course and started journaling to keep me centred and focused throughout the whole thing.
I'm doing well guys! I have made progress!
I am making progress every time I choose to be kind to myself (and the size of my bum) instead of being nasty to myself. I am making progress every time I wack out my yoga mat and treat myself with compassion with where I am that day and how I am feeling in that moment. I am making progress with every coaching session I have, with every word written in my journal and with every moment that I stop, look around, check in and just take a breath.

And the biggest shift? The fact that I really am trusting in myself that this all works out perfectly.

It's a pretty nice feeling this self-care stuff....

Missing : the sun / a list of things to make me feel better

26 March 2013

Apologies for the caps but this time last year it was sunny and warm: the winter coats had been stored away, the flip flops were busted out and there was certainly no appearances from snow!!!
I just cannot wrap my head around it.
I feel the caps are justified.
If you have the sun, can we please borrow it for just this weekend??? Us Brits really would appreciate having a bit of sunshine for our yummy four day weekend...and we bloody deserve it after the winter we have had.
To make myself feel a little better here are some random things I have been enjoying this past week...
+ This shampoo and conditioner. Really good stuff. And because it was 3 for 2 I got this too.. it's just good maths.
+ These spaces on the internet: Susannah Conway, The Freedom Experiment, Brene Brown and Mish lovin' life for some good old belly laughs.
+ This post by the gorgeous Jennie.
+ Getting to see my mum last night and drinking a little too much for a Monday.
+ Wearing these simple white tees from River Island.
+ Having one of these sessions tomorrow. Bring it on.
What have you been loving in spite of this HORRIBLE WINTER we are having????

10 things I have learnt lately...

25 March 2013

+ That investing in myself has been the best decision I have ever made.
+ That I still have a lot to work to do.
+ That it is possible to eat too much chocolate. I found this out Saturday after 5 hours of treat making.
+ That I am actually quite talented when it comes to all that cooking business. Over the past few weeks I have discovered that I know a lot more than I give myself credit for.
+ That I really am loved and cherished exactly as I am.
+ That I need to pursue own agenda. My circumstances are my own and my future is my own.
+ That I have my work cut out in the future when it comes to choosing our children's names.
Ben announced on Saturday that apparently 'Harrison' is off the table for a boys name (I had my heart set - gutted) and within ten minutes he had suggested HORTON and TIBERIUS as alternatives. Apparently "Horton has good connotations because he is giant talking elephant". If you don't know what I am talking about please meet Horton...
the inspiration for our future children's names. A Dr. Seuss character. Oh dear.
+ That being kinder to myself is important for not only me and my yoga practise but also for the people who I surround myself with.
+ That this quote: "Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can." will have a huge impact on me.
(Quote from Arthur Ashe.)
+ That the way Goblin climbs on my pillow for cuddles at 2am is the second cutest thing in the world. His tummy is the first.

A Sunday adventure with Hugo & a little talk about babies...

22 March 2013

It is no secret that I want to have children. Not now, but in the future. Three of them.
Am I mad?
But more of that another time.
(Mum & Dad: look away now and ignore this post ever happened. Trust me.)
All I hope is that our future three children are even remotely as cute as this little man right here:
Last Sunday we met up with Sarah, Hugo and our friend Simon for lunch at The Crown and Two Chairman in Soho.
Hugo tugged on my heart strings and made my ovaries twitch.
Big time.
(Mum & Dad: I told you not to read. You should listen to me you know. Let the worried phone calls demanding I 'wait to have children' begin. Yes, yes..I know, I know...)
Side note: see that spoon that I am holding?? I was trying to feeding Hugo ice cream, but it didn't go so well. I managed to fling ice cream all over my boobs whilst laughing about Hugo blowing raspberry's onto the spoon. After that experience I can only imagine how difficult it is to stay 'fresh/clean' as parents. Kids. make. mess. A lot of it. End of story.
As you can see by Ben's face, he thought Hugo was pretty darn snuggly too, so we offered to buy him. Unfortunately Sarah was unwilling to compromise on this. Such a shame.
It was so so SO nice to catch up with Sarah and Simon. The pub was gorgeous, the food delicious, the staff wonderful,the wine yummy (but then again wine is always delicious!) and the company was the best bit!! We spent hours at that little table nattering away and laughing... it was the MOST fun.
Sarah even managed to squeeze Hugo's stylish hat over her head at one point. Simon's face sums up what we were all thinking at this moment so perfectly:
Bless her.
Also...isn't Simon's jumper awesome?!
Sorry Sarah, I had to include this just sums us up perfectly...what gorgeous women we are..
Till next time guys. I love you all lots!
Oh and one last thing...
p.s how do you all control the desire to have babies?? I need tips people! Shoot them my way.

When a friend bollocks you...

21 March 2013

Last night I met up for dinner with my gorgeous Irish friend Fiona Clancy. We met whilst both working for Clarins three or four(?!) years ago and ever since then we have grown rather close.
This lady knows what I can be like sometimes.
I tried to bail on seeing her (thanks to an overwhelming day) but she laid it down Clancy style. She abruptly told me that it was the fourth time I had bailed (I hadn't realised - super sorry) and that I was being a crappy friend. I was told good and proper. It was sorted, I was going out.
When I am feeling utterly overwhelmed by everything, like I was yesterday, the temptation to hibernate at home by myself can be pretty darn strong. Especially with all this crabby weather! But Clancy knows that sometimes a night with my giant pink fluffy dressing gown and lots of  chocolate to keep me company is NOT the best thing that I can do.
Food, wine and friendship is the remedy for stressful times. And last night I was realised that you can't beat quality time with your best friends. I realised like a slap on the face.
Good friends are in it for the long run....they don't give a shit that your flat might be messy or if you are just having one of those really awful days. They are there to give you a kick up the arse, tell it to you straight and be there for you regardless.
Shits and giggles are the evenings to be had ladies!!!
And this last one is up here for you Clancy.
Confused to what it is? It is the not so fancy chandelier hanging in the Balham station foyer. I can't seem to shake that game off! I am seeing things everywhere!!

The little things game...

19 March 2013

The sun came out to play today. 
It was glorious.
My Vitamin D levels are dangerously low for this time of year and I am very worried that I may never be tanned sun kissed again. With that in mind I took a nice long walk on my lunch break to catch some rays. On my face. It was to damn cold to go coat-less. 
As I was listening to the White Lies album for the 85th time this week* I started playing a game with myself. 

Let's see what little things I can notice.

(I know, I know, call me game inventor of the year, I'm here to inject fun into your lives...)

*I only have about 40 songs on my iPhone. Most are circa 2007. The White Lies are the best thing on there by FAR. And they are actually good, so there's that!
When I lifted my head and looked forward and around instead of down, I discovered that not only is Chelsea heartbreakingly beautiful but it also hosts a whole load of weird little details. Curly gates, marble steps, angels in the brick walls (????!!!!), creatures and lions on doors...
And these were just the ones I saw today. 
I have a feeling that I might be playing this game again tomorrow.
But right now I am off to go nibble on some of the breakfast bars that I made this evening. So yummy guys, so yummy! 

And this is for Sunday mornings and Mums...

18 March 2013

Ever since I was a little girl my favourite part of the weekend has always been Sunday morning.
Those few hours before the world wakes up is the best. Everything feels slow, everything feels quiet, everything feels precious.
As Ben is a pretty late sleeper, more often than not me and Goblin will get up nice and early and spend a little time together. We pad around sleepy eyed, taking our time adjusting to the world.
We stretch, we yawn, we relax.
After a few cups of tea and some girly tv, yesterday I got out the ironing board and went about tackling the mountain of crumpled clothes that has been sitting in our bedroom for months.
When I was little my mum used to do most of the ironing on a Sunday morning and waking up super early to hang out with her was my absolute favourite thing. Yesterday I really missed her and doing this ritual was my way of feeling close to her. Reliving those mornings in our pj's, chatting away, with lots of tea and biscuits.
So this is for you Mum, I miss you... xxx
(And so does Goblin....)

I think you will find..

15 March 2013

That this is how me and my sister spend most of our evenings.
Looking sexy as shit.
And then texting each other about it. You are lucky that I didn't post the rest of our ugly faces.
Your welcome.
That Tash is the best sister anyone could ask for.
That Friday is the best day of the week by a gazillion miles.
That it is much easier than I thought to get up early in the morning to do my yoga practise.  
That eating nutella straight from the jar is the second best thing to do as soon as you get home.
I don't have to tell you that the number one best thing is putting on your ugliest pyjamas and making yourself a cup of tea do I??
That is is totally okay to then eat a whole bag of Galaxy Counters just a few hours later.
That bloglovin is definitely the best way to read blogs. You can follow me here. Oh, and I am agreeing with Nicole about pretty much everything she says about the blog world!
and lastly I think you will find...
That it is totally normal to get so completely emotionally involved with House that you feel you are literally right there in that hospital with those people, all messed up in their drama. It is tense. Really tense.
But I suppose that's what happens when you watch six seasons in two months...
Have a good Friday you lovely people!!

Headaches & morning yoga..

14 March 2013

Yesterday I had a headache that was so bad that even two doses of (rather strong) pain killers, four hours of sleep and numerous cuddles from Goblin didn't do anything to help. I felt like the weather; miserable and fuzzy. The headache had been brewing steadily since Sunday and yesterday it took the life right out of me. And it wasn't the first time it had been this bad either. I have been dealing with migraines and tension headaches on and off since I was about 13 years old. They are a part of my everyday  life. Sometimes I can deal with them and sometimes I can't. Yesterday afternoon as I was curled up in bed, crying and miserable I knew that I needed to do something. 
So I got up out of bed and put my yoga mat, my bolster and my strap in the living room. I opened the laptop, pulled up one of my favourite yoga videos (you can amazing ones here: Do Yoga With Me) and then closed the laptop and went straight back to bed.
This morning I got up at 6:30am, brushed my teeth, washed my face and put on my yoga pants that give me a good bum (it's the small things ladies!).
And then I made my way to my very own yoga space.
My living room.
I really am NOT a morning person (evidence here) but preparing everything last night meant that I didn't even have to think about it.
All I had to do was turn up. Be present.
The sun was up, the windows were open and I spent an hour "yoga-ing". Stretching slowly and gently, listening to what my body needed.
Precious time spent focusing on just my body sensations gave me a new perspective and today I feel better. My mind is quieter and some of that tension has floated away.
I know that yoga will not "cure me" overnight but it will help with relieving some of my tension headaches, improve my posture, how I feel about my body and even help deal with the pain itself.
Making the decision to self-care has been the most important one I have ever made for myself and yoga is just one more of these little steps for me. My aim is to do this practise just a few times a week and to see where it goes. No unrealistic goals here!!
Today I am giving myself a little pat on the back and a little grace.
Yesterday was one of those bad days. Today is one of those good days.

A little snapshot of the last few weeks...

11 March 2013

My two favourite boys taking naps on our freshly ironed clothes.
*insert scream here*
Spending some time with Alan and Claire. And discovering that Alan has a "thing" for my glasses.
Indulging in some yummy 2 for 1 cocktails at The Exhibit.
Squeezing Goblin till my arms hurt.
Drinking a little (a lot) too much rose wine at the Comic Relief gig. Good time though.
Goblin + Puzzles =  Stray puzzle pieces. Everywhere.
Watching Hansel & Gretal in 3D at the cinema. Then strategically placing my 3D glasses in Muma's little cottage.
Being generally silly and embarrassing.
Finding Goblin in the silliest of places.
Staring in utter disbelief at the snow falling in London again.

An apology / letter to Ben...

8 March 2013

This post contains mush. Look away now if you can't be dealing with that today.
Dear Ben,
Thank you for looking after me yesterday. I'm sorry that because I was (horribly) hungover we didn't get to go out and explore London like we had planned to.
Thank you for popping out to sainsburys and treating me to chocolate and my favourite sweets; fizzy fangs, thank you for bringing me big pints of ice cold water all day and thank you for making sure that I regularly got kisses & cuddles from you and Goblin.
I promise this weekend I will make it up to you. We can do whatever you like, go explore wherever you like and eat whatever you want.  I promise to bake some yummy treats and make endless cups of tea for you.
You really are my best friend and I don't know what I would do without you.
Thank you again.
Love Joebeff
p.s I promise never to drink pints of wine again on an empty stomach. Stupid idea Nicola. Stupid.