I am hoping to get back in to the weekly practice of blogging as work will calm down next month but I thought I would squeeze in a little waffly catch up till then. Things have been up, down and all around over the past few weeks
First up is my new instagram page @imdphoebe (obvs a play on IMdb), I set this up because I genuinely get messages daily about what to watch/listen to probably because it is well documented that I watch a lot of TV. I like to have something on when I work, when I am in the bath, on an evening, in the day…you get the gist. I am covering tv, film, documentaries and podcasts (for now) as that is what I consume the most and I am going for a mix of new things you may want to watch, stuff you may have missed and classics that everyone should watch (in my humble opinion). Part of the lure of the account (if I do say so myself) is that I will be recapping everything thats coming up next month to look forward to, so here are my March favourites.
After Life - New Ricky Gervais TV series (already watched, and its fab)
The OA season 2 - wtf even happened in S1.
Queer Eye season 3
Derry Girls season 2
Line of Duty
Turn Up Charlie - new Idris Elba series.
And I am sure theres more but that’ll do for just now hey ?
At the time this has gone live I am taking a little instagram break (though I have prob popped on quickly to link this), as I use it for work I am on it non stop. Whether thats setting up, taking, editing photos, interacting with people, replying to DMs or forging connections with brands…it’s non stop. I feel I have been ‘on it’ since Christmas and recently the shine has been taken out of it a little bit. I think it is probably because I am seeing my friends doing Mothers Day campaigns, and obviously over that weekend people will have plans etc so I think it best I just distance myself for a little while. So yes, taking a step back.
We have leak! There is water coming from somewhere within the bathroom, through the lights in the kitchen but only sometimes, and not consistent with bathing' and/or showering. The plumber has been out and had a look, the problem is that the bathroom is all enclosed in tiles so we can’t access anything so the only way to solve is up through the kitchen ceiling or rip out the bathroom floor. We have opted for the bathroom floor, and in doing so, add a new bathroom. It was on our list but we thought we would do it before Christmas this year as it gave us a chance to save up and not touch our other savings, but we may have to dip in then top up as the year goes on. I will do a bathroom inspo post soon.
I think I mentioned it in my last edit but you may have also seen that I got the dining room decorated, the space makes me so happy. Dark walls are my jam and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to incorporate the darkness but I woke up one morning and just decided the dining room was to be painted almost black. I contacted an amazing paint company called Fenwick and Tilbrook, posted them a sample of the wallpaper I was going to use and they made up the most perfect shade to compliment it. The service was incredible and the paint is the best I have used. If you’re looking to paint *anything* in your house I suggested giving them a go and requesting a sample. This is the colour on my walls, Whimsical Night. Its a really deep rich charcoal with inky blue undertones but much darker and warmer than F&B Downpipe and not as cold as Railings. I love it! (not ad/gifted, all paid for with my own money).
The wallpaper used was from Cole & Son and I ummed and ahhed about the grey or the navy for so long, but I saw the grey for sale on Beut (hadn’t heard of them) so just snapped up a roll and hoped it would be enough, thankfully it was. I then bought the pink velvet armchair in the Made.com January sale. Its not a lounging chair, its a sitting chair, if that makes sense? I need to get a cast iron radiator back on the wall, find a low round coffee table and probably a floor planter, and maybe a demi john. I have ordered 3 mirrors for the empty wall next to the kitchen door then I think we are done. Oh! The light fitting. Another Made purchase, and I am so happy with it, it was £39 and I think it looks so much more than that. This was just the shade, the light fitting and cable was from a favourite, Dowsing and Reynolds. The dining room is the first styled space that is nearly finished!
I’ve got a photoshoot here at the beginning of April and I am trying to get the living room done before then but I need plaster work doing and my money is now going in the bathroom kitty so may have to hold off for a little bit longer. There’s nothing wrong with it, just aesthetically the peachy/pink isn’t right and the brown cornice needs to go.
The house can be rented out for shoots and we had our first one a couple of weeks ago, it was really fun, only hired for the afternoon and only downstairs so Michael and I just worked upstairs and occasionally popped down for food. I will share some photos when I see some!
I’ve really been getting in to my gardening lately, after the addition of a bird hotel (oh we fancy) I have been spending more time just pottering around and I have got some plants on the way (hopefully arriving tomorrow) to get planted up. I’ve got a list of jobs but holding off till the weather is a bit better. I am a complete novice and mainly asking my dad, instagram and youtube how to do things. Watch your back Monty Don.
So, Michael has a new job and he is back working from home. Everything seems to be going ok so far, and he has been amazing navigating a new job whilst supporting me. My work is also going ok, I am still a little behind on SYGM but Laura has been AMAZING at keep up the instagram, going to events, replying to brands whilst I reply to photographers, accept submissions etc. On top of Simply Weekend work which is also really starting to take off. If I was more capable, then I believe both would be incredible right now but as I am feeling all meh I put my energy in to whatever I can that day and sometimes its more of one than the other. I am very lucky, and very grateful to work for myself doing fun things like weddings and interiors but I also think the structure of a 9-5 office job may have helped me and my routine a bit more through this difficult year.
I am still having weekly therapy, it’s helping to talk over things but I feel we may be coming to a natural end of all she can do for me and the rest is on myself. I plan on writing a post on what I’ve learnt through therapy that I think can be applicable to other peoples lives, and not just anxiety and grief, I guess tips in general that you may need reminding of or re-explaining.
One thing I have been suffering with is heightened morning anxiety. I have had to flip my day and schedule nothing till after about 2pm because mornings are proving to be a physical and mental struggle for me and if you struggle too, this may help. Physically its because in the morning your body gives you a helpful surge of cortisol to get you ready and moving for your day. The problem is when youre living in a heightened state of stress/anxiety/grief/depression your body is already pumping out too much cortisol in a day (also why falling and staying asleep can be hard) so in the morning you wake up, your body gives you that physical help but mentally you wake up and remember why your sad/anxious/depressed etc which when all mixed together leaves you feeling like utter shit. Mine is manifesting in realllly heavy palpitations and a dodgy tummy. By the time I am up, moved about (been to the loo) had some breakfast and then rested whilst doing emails/insta I start to calm down and by about 3/4pm I feel normal. This is also when cortisol dips in your body (the common afternoon slump) and then lowers until bedtime so that you can sleep. Well, bedtime can also bring its problems if you’re struggling mentally and then when you get in to bed, you feel rubbish because you know you’re going to feel crap in the morning…thats if you even manage any sleep. So what can you do?
I am still struggling but I am much better I was a few months ago.
Plan out your morning and do as much as you can the night before. Whether thats to do list, kids lunches, getting spreadsheets ready (I dunno what you corporate people do).
Find a good alarm, waking up the panic of a loud alarm puts your body in to fight or flight on waking which you don’t want. You can find gentle alarms that will slowly wake you and that makes so much difference.
Try with all your might to get enough sleep! I have been doing bedtime yoga and meditation to help and I really think it has. Sounds super wanky but just giving yourelf that breathing space can help, even better if you have time in the morning, even if its only 10 mins. I like the Headspace and Calm apps. I use Michael Sealeys bedtime meditation (my favourite is this one ) then I just youtube random bedtime yoga to keep things mixed up a bit.
Listen to your body, if you’re hungry before bed then eat, if you start to drift off on the sofa, go upstairs and get ready for bed.
Neom Wellbeing Pod - I mean this is a total indulgence and there are other humidifiers but Michael bought me this for my birthday and I have it on at night (it has a little timer) and I put the boost energy one on in the morning. I have found scent and light has played such a massive part in my mood and this has been incredible. You don’t have to use Neom oils in the pod, you can pick up much more for your money on amazon, as long as they are water soluble.
If you suffer then please give me any tips for morning anxiety. I assume as my anxiety gets better I will settle, I remember feeling similar to this the month before my wedding actually, which went away after we were married so I know it will go…it is just really unpleasant isn’t it?
When this goes up it will be a year since mum died. I will be writing a 12 month update to go with the 4 and 8 months posts I wrote but for now I will say my grief is better but still very much there. The best analogy I have seen is about the ball in the box. When that button gets pressed its just as painful as it was but the button starts to get pressed less.
To honour mum’s death day tomorrow I have bought myself a cherry blossom tree to plant as well as some other plants that remind me of her and I will be in the garden come rain, snow or shine. I am really struggling after doing quite well through February, but my brain keeps reminding me that “this time last year you were watching your mum die” and the images in my head are something I struggle with a lot. Something that I would like to do is start (well add to) the discussion around death and dying because for something that happens to all of us it isnt spoken about nearly enough. I feel if you have a vague idea of the process or what will happen then I think it will be less jarring and can even be comforting. I completely appreciate that this is a topic that a lot of people find challenging and I will never spring the topic on you. There will be plenty of warning and you will have to click to engage. I just really want to help people that will be experiencing it or may be going through similar. I have contacted some professionals and will be interviewing them, not sure if to keep blog format or maybe a podcast?
I got accepted to do some voluntary work at a hospice which I feel I am now ready to start, I am doing it for a completely selfish reason and that is because I think it will help me. I speak with the head of the hospice this week and I will be helping with fun activities such as crafting/gardening/music/socialising. I will also be helping out with a local Leeds charity called Help in Handbags which tackles period poverty and helps homeless women.
To not totally bum you out (though surely you have come to expect that on these pages by now? also…great pun) I took to instagram a few weeks ago about the plight of comfy underwear. I felt like I was buying my pants from supermarkets, they were high waisted, ugly AF but comfy. Did anyone know of a comfy but pretty alternatives?! Well turned out A LOT of you also wore the exact same pants and wanted to know what else was out there so I took it on myself to order from the most recommended and I can tell you that Victorias Secret seamless ‘panties’ were the best. Currently 5 for £25. Do people still wear thongs btw?
So there we go, a quick catch up. This weekend was spent relaxing, doing some chores, playing some Apex and after my gardening tomorrow I have bought everything to make a roast for when Michael gets back from London. Tonight is The Mentalist, White Gold (series 2) and Escape to the Chateau DIY. Back to work on Tuesday, not sure if that will also be back to instagram, will see how I feel. I have messages to ping to my phone so if you want me, thats the best way!
PS - sorry if there are errors in this, my eyes are really blurry due to upped medication and looking at screens is a pain in the ass so I try to write quickly!
PPS - I have been bad at it, but I have been outside I promise.