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Cheery When It’s Dreary

Author: Charlotte O'Shea

Yesterday was titled “Blue Monday”, the one day in the year when folks are at their saddest. A combination of post-christmas come downs, freezing temperatures and nothing to look forward to creates a bleak outlook.

As you know we’re not a brand that want to dwell on negativity or focus on feeling shitty, only to potentially start everyone else’s day on the back foot with a generous dose of whinge and woe is me. And on the subject of feet, I can no longer see mine. At nearly 8 months pregnant I realised that a pedicure was an impossible task, it doesn’t matter what way I try and manoeuvre my legs, I cannot successfully reach my toes. *

Alas, I am unable to utilise my lush new nail polish but there is plenty of other cheer I have discovered (or have planned for) this month that I am going to share.

Bringing Back My Breakfast Smoothie. I had forgotten how quick this is to make, it sets me up for the day in terms of fuel/nutrition and I don’t feel the need to snack before lunchtime. My favourite combination of ingredients is a generous handful of spinach, a small banana, a handful of frozen raspberries, a satsuma/clementine and a sprinkling of almonds. I rate the KOKO unsweetened dairy free alternative to cow’s milk (it’s essentially filtered water and coconut milk) and I whizz it all up in my nutribullet in about 20 seconds.

Creating New Playlists. One of those things I never quite get round to doing but it’s so worth it when I make the effort. My husband bought me some new Sony wireless headphones for Christmas and they are amazing, noise cancelling and such good sound quality. I look forward to spending time in the gym just so I can listen to music, it’s a great way to completely switch off from work and the rest of the world.

Reading A Good Book (or two). I am determined to begin Zadie Smith’s “Swing Time” (another festive gift from Mr O’Shea) and I have been thoroughly enjoying flicking through Remodelista “The Organised Home“, SO many clever storage ideas. It’s making me want to utilise every available drawer and cupboard and have minimal clutter on display. I have recommended it to the entire team.

Re-discovering Accessories. I’m not sure if it’s a time thing what with rushed mornings juggling a 3 year old and an ever expanding baby bump but I haven’t worn any of my jewellery or trinkets for months. In fact, last year I must have worn a necklace only for special occasions. And yet I’m a verified magpie at heart, shiny delicate pretty things make me happy. I really don’t need to buy anything new as I don’t make the most of what I’ve got but this oui/non reversible bracelet is very tempting.

Going to Bed Earlier. James and I are terrible for faffing around in the evening. Before you know it it’s midnight and we’ve still not even cleaned our teeth. This second pregnancy has taught me not to take a comfortable nights sleep for granted. Heart burn, leg cramps and weird pinching pains in my hips make me look forward to the baby arriving so they can be alleviated – only to appreciate the baby may indeed have me up just as often for night feeds and nappy changing. I am thoroughly enjoying getting myself organised for shut eye much earlier than usual these past few weeks, sometimes I am in bed for half nine (half nine?!). Oh and a jersey nightshirt is my new best friend – I’ve just treated myself to this “Sunday Forever” one from H&M.

Sometimes it really is about making the effort to look after yourself that little bit more and remembering that small changes can really make a significant difference.

What is making you feel positive this January? Do you have any good books to recommend or smoothie recipes to share? Please do leave your thoughts in the comments box below.

*Just to confirm, obviously I can’t see my bikini line either but I did go and have that waxed within an inch of my life last weekend (or at least that’s what it bloody felt like). My feet may be calloused and shoddy but at least my bits are tidy. One step towards self care at a time and all that.

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  • Oliver Bonas Oui & Non Silver Bracelet
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  • Sony MDR-ZX220BT Bluetooth On-Ear Headphones
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  • H&M Nightshirt
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  • Nutribullet 600 Series Starter Kit
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13 thoughts on “Cheery When It’s Dreary

  1. I read that “Blue Monday” was invented by a travel agency trying to get people to feel down and cheer themselves up by booking holidays! Absolutely no evidence to support it at all.

    There’s lots to enjoy at this time of year- my biggest thing is to get outdoors as much as the weather allows, it makes a huge difference to my mood.

    And please tell me you are going to get a pedi and a mama massage before little one arrives? I told my husband when I couldn’t get at my feet it was up to him whether he did my toes etc or splashed out on a pedi: he went for the latter! You could bring your new polish?

    1. Lucy absolutely agree on going outdoors, as long as it’s not raining I’m more than happy to brave the cold. I am thinking a salon pedicure is definitely in order! I’ll be honest I can’t stand other people touching my feet but I think given the current circumstances I will just have to get over it (!) x

  2. Great ideas to cheer yourself up. I’m with you on the rubbish pregnancy sleep. My second wee boy is 3 weeks old and I haven’t slept for MONTHS due to not sleeping at all well before he arrived. I had heartburn and horrendous pelvic pain. But now he’s here my quality of sleep is better albeit in short stints. So I’m sure once bubba is here you’ll sleep better, and at least will be less uncomfortable! I haven’t made time for myself either, what with Archie arriving at Christmas and my toddler having tonsillitis the last week. But might try to do a diy pedi later to cheer myself up!

    1. Oh no I hope you catch up on some sleep soon. I had SPD from about 22 weeks through to 30 weeks and it’s eased off now. I honestly hadn’t even heard of it and one day I literally couldn’t walk, I got so upset about it, not just because of the pain (which was horrendous) but because I felt so useless and immobile. I took for granted how active I like to be. A DIY Pedi is definitely in order – there are some gorgeous nail polish shades out there at the moment x

  3. Really lucky that on Blue Monday, I accepted a new job offer! So not much of Blue Monday here.

    I am also trying to make Hot Yoga every Monday… as it makes me feel awesome and a great way to start the week. I also try to double up meals on a Sunday so we have something yummy (usually stew/casserole) to have on a Monday without having to cook. Nice way to start the week.

    1. Abi that definitely wasn’t a blue Monday for you! HUGE congratulations on the job offer. My sister likes hot yoga, as a pilates girl I’ve never really given yoga much of a chance (I think I’ve been unlucky with a couple of naff classes over the years) but I really like your no-cooking-on-a-Monday idea. It’s about time I got my slow cooker out x

  4. Treat yourself to some cashmere bed socks instead of a pedi – I gave birth on a snowy night in Feb one year, and I wore soft pink, white company, cashmere bedsocks throughout labour. The midwives were very complimentary! Oh, and a little baby girl popped out 🙂
    I strangely enjoy January – its March when I get depressed and, even though there are signs of Spring in the garden, its STILL blinkin’ freezing and grey. I’m enjoying lighting the fire every day after the school run, plus burning loads of scented candles gifted at Christmas. Hot but healthy stews / soups / cups of tea all make me happy too.

    1. Nicola the bedsock idea is EXCELLENT! I actually don’t mind January at all, I like to view it as a clean start/the opportunity to try new things and use the cold spells to their advantage. I am also with you on the scented candles – my house smells lovely at the moment x

  5. I love January too! All the promise of new beginnings and a full year ahead! I am a tota cliché and do the health kick thing again, I started without sugar again last summer and for the most part stuck to it…until December when a mince pie for breakfast each day seemed sensible. Anyway, Iv reduced caffeine (in actually four days into no caffeine at all but that’s just a nine day cleanse). I’m continuing yoga journeying and starting running again. I’m mid way through a masters course so making sure I’m well ahead of deadlines etc, I love learning new things so I’m enjoying that it runs until May. And hoping for a holiday abroad this year, as well as making more of time off and doing things more and getting out. It’s easy to get into lounging about when you’re at work a lot and tired but we need to get more on the outside. I’m hoping to get back into horse riding…that’s another yearly plan. And just maybe new things work wise and having my healthiest year yet! Oh and getting blonder again..darker has been fine but def feel better and brighter blonde!! And finding the perfect day to day make up and shampoo and conditioner….my hair is like straw!!!
    Wish you never asked? Haha!!

    1. Ha ha loving all of the detail Alex! I feel the same as you ref hair, I’m having some highlights on Thursday in fact, my grey skin combined with dull hair is making me look as washed out as hell.

      I am also considering learning something new, specifically when I’m on maternity leave to keep my mind active x

  6. Great ideas as usual, Charlotte! I quite like Januarys myself. We celebrated our son’s second birthday last week that was lovely. And we’re currently on a short trip with breakfast and dinner buffet, so yay to great food without having to do any of the cleaning or preparing! I’m also planning on getting a pedicure done since I can’t do it myself anymore either! I also plan to get more active again, but last week was already a good start (went swimming once, to pregnancy yoga once and two sessions of Tracy’s 7 month DVD) which was an increase of activity of about 200% 🙂

    1. Anja I love Tracy’s workouts! They are quite hard so sometimes I do just arms and save legs for the next day/later on in the same day. I definitely feel energised afterwards though. x

  7. Loving your ideas! I don’t make my smoothie but I have been having the odd juice from Crush in the morning (and htis morning’s was FREE – win!!). But really nice combinations – I have a purifier thing as it isn’t too sweet, with ginger, red fruits, apple, carrot, celery and probably something else I’m forgetting but it is really refreshing. At 29 weeks pregnant, so a little behind you, I feel you not being able to get to your toes. I cut my toe nails this weekend (sorry, horrid image) as I thought if I don’t I may not get down there again before the baby appears haha!! It was not a lovely image trying to contort around the bump. I too will be waxing shortly though, who cares if you can’t actually see your bikini line?!! Last time my baby arrived too early, before my appointment, and then I had to go about another 3 months before I could face heading to a salon post-birth so it was horrendous. The things you insist on doing before birth :). Also started going to bed earlier this week, my husband and I are terrible at actually going to sleep before midnight, so concerted effort made over the past couple of days. Although the two year old thought it would be fun to wake up from about 11pm-1am over the past few days, just to make sure I am getting prepared for the baby?! Not impressed… I didn’t have a chance to “nest” last time either what with the small person arriving early and building works still ongoing, but this time I seem to be in spring cleaning mode (or at least thinking, if not actually doing). I have a huge list of tidying and organising jobs to get on with over the next couple of weeks.

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