Camping with girls is very different to camping with boys

A few weeks ago, at a loose end and with the boys home for the weekend, my partner decided it was the perfect weather and timing to go camping for a night. He was totally right and even though it could seem a lot of hassle packing the car, putting up the tent, taking it down the next day, bringing half the beach home with us, it was so worth it.

Last weekend we had a rare weekend where we were boy free but had my partner’s daughter. We decided to scoop her and her friend up and head back to the campsite.

The first inkling I got that this was going to be different to a trip with the boys was when she requested we bring some specific plastic boxes. When I asked what for, the reply was ‘bedside tables in the tent’. Obviously.

The whole boys vs girls comparison ran through my head the entire time. It went something like this:

And so the trip continued. It was a novelty just having girls for a change but I’m sure there’s a balance in there somewhere. Perhaps the girls can teach the boys to take longer in missions and possibly show them some cool dance moves and the girls can learn to live without bedside tables in their tents. I’ll keep you posted.

You can learn to do anything via Google

You’ll be pleased to know that we won’t be revisiting the time that my partner and I decided, pretty close to midnight on a Wednesday, that soldering would be easy just because Google said it was. I’m pretty close to having blocked the whole experience from my mind but anyone who wants to read it and laugh at how ridiculous we are, can do so here.

This week I’m bringing you a story of where I used Google for instructions and they actually worked out! I was with my side kick, master coder and most importantly, master motivator to make me crack on and work on the rebuild of my website, Stu Chandler. I was complaining that I didn’t have the otf file of a font that I needed to upload to WordPress (sorry if I’m losing some of you here, bear with me), just the ttf, and didn’t want to have to re-buy the font as:

  1. It costs £40
  2. I’m not sure I bought it in the first place, more likely got it from a friend
  3. If that’s the case, I have no idea which friend

Stu suggested that I converted the file to otf, rather than fiddle around buying it. When I confessed I didn’t know how or have the software for it, his response was: ‘for goodness sake Holly, that’s what Google’s for’. He was right. Literally 2 clicks later, I have the converted file, my website rebuild is coming along nicely and I may even unveil it this century.

*font is called ‘Montez’ if anyone’s interested.

Me and the BFF many, many years ago (about 20 of them!)

Friends of Friends can offer great advice

Friends of friends can be a weird one. I remember many a time in my teens and possibly early twenties when I found dealing with friends of friends difficult. I mean, they weren’t my friends, we didn’t have shared history and often we’d find ourselves out all together, not really knowing what to say.

I think in your 30s this settles down a bit. For me it has anyway and meeting the friend of a friend is often an opportunity to meet someone new without all the pesky competition for friendship we have in our more formative years.

My best friend lives in America which isn’t the easiest but 9 years later and we still chat almost every day and she’s as much a part of my life now as she was when she was in London. Often in our chats she’ll mention her American friends and I feel like I’m getting to know them, albeit through proxy.

Life’s been pretty complicated these last few months and it’s taken a lot of talking to untangle our heads and work out where life is now and where we want it to go. During this time I’ve had a lot of chats with my best friend and she’ll often say she was talking to S…. (her American friend) and her opinion is…..

S’s opinion always counts. It’s valid, reasonable and she seems to just ‘get it’. It makes me really glad that she’s friends with my bestie, supporting her and offering great advice. As a bonus I also get to benefit from her fab advice. Hopefully one day I’ll make it out to Texas and meet her in person, where I’m sure we’ll become BFFs. Or she’ll just think I’m some mad stalker from the UK. Let’s hope the British charm the Americans find so cute kicks in!

Jumpsuits are where it’s at

Jumpsuits are something I’ve admired from afar for a long time. I remember talking to a friend saying I was coveting one and her saying she loved hers….. 3 years ago. Yet I still haven’t had the courage to buy one or even try them on. I’ve loved them on friends, actively encouraging them to buy them but still not had the confidence to do the same for me.

This week I finally took the plunge, after the same one came up in my newsfeed (thank you Facebook – you owe me £40!) over 10 times. Not surprising really as I kept clicking on the link, imagining myself in it then closing the tab. It arrived in a day or 2 (gotta love Silkfred for their customer service) and it was mine, all mine.

I spent a day looking at it warily, before I accepted that I was going to have to try it on. Oh my goodness, what an experience! Why didn’t anyone tell me it was as comfy as wearing pjs? Without actually wearing pjs. At least, I hope so as I have a website meeting later today and am planning on wearing it. On top of the comfiness, it’s so easy to style, flip flops/heels, denim jacket, silver jewellery and I’m good to go. What’s more, on the day I wore it, I got 5 compliments. This one’s a keeper for sure and the next time I need some new clothes, I’m heading straight to the jumpsuit section.

For anyone wanting this jumpsuit and to see how good it looks on the model, you can get it here. (Not an affiliate link, just sharing the love).

*This picture has nothing to do with mindfulness. Sunsets make me feel calm. I took it on our latest camping trip

Mindfulness is a very real thing

We all lead busy lives right? On top of that my generation (and probably the generations above) were all brought up with the value system that if you weren’t knocking yourself out, being the best worker, parent, partner, friend, sibling, etc that you could possibly be, then you were failing. It’s no surprise that the rise in mental health awareness has particularly focused on our generation.

In a way I’m lucky. Separating from my (ex) husband and needing to focus on my children at the same time that I had decided to go it alone and set up my own company, meant that I was forced to slow things down. It simply wasn’t possibly to go full pelt at life the way I had for the previous 20 years. I also recognise that I’m better for the slower pace. It gives me time to gather my thoughts. I can be more creative when building websites as I don’t have a massive to-do list distracting me from what I actually need to do.

Over the last couple of months I’ve been doing, well, not a lot, but a fair amount of yoga with my friend who is training to be a yoga teacher. Yoga makes me stop and slow down more than anything else in my life. Not only do I spend the best part of an hour focusing on bending my body, gaining strength and balancing, there is something about yoga that sends me into a meditative state, all I can focus on in that moment is just being.

You know what? It has impacted on a lot of my mindset. Things that had bothered me before just don’t really register as a big deal. My four year old has been up most nights with allergic reactions and I’m not suffering for the lack of sleep. (My friends who are on the ends of text messages where I mix up the days and times may disagree with this one by my mood seems ok). Most of all, I just feel more settled. I’m not quite up in the ‘master mindfulness’ stakes as my partner, who meditates every day (although if meditating translated to drinking wine in the garden I would win this game) but I’m definitely going to keep up with the yoga and who knows, even throw a meditation or two in there, along the way.