When Your Personal Life Takes Over

Confession: for the past couple of weeks I fell out of love with blogging and social media. I struggled so hard to keep my blog going, and I'm quite thankful for having my 'Why I Snap' series and promises of featuring other people to keep me going.
And the fact that I would be really annoyed at myself if I missed a week of my Motivational Monday series.

Before now I would sit at my laptop every night scheduling posts weeks in advance, making sure at least one post would go live everyday.
I'd shut the laptop and be straight on my phone, drafting ideas and the beginnings of posts.

I'd be checking Twitter every 2 minutes, seeing what my friends were tweeting, replying to tweets, replying to dms.

But all of a sudden I felt really distant from it all.
I was able to go a whole evening without opening my laptop, and not writing drafts on my phone even. I didn't feel an incredible loss or urge to get back to that, I didn't miss it at all.

Everyone on Twitter felt/feels like a stranger.

After wondering over the last couple of days how to get that love back, because that it what I missed more than anything. I missed the feeling of the obsession, of the urge to write write and write some more, I started to look at when and why I may have felt the way I did, and still do in some ways.
And I realised that finally my personal life got in the way.
If you are a regular reader to my blog you'll know I don't hold back and usually when something big happens in my personal life, if i get upset or annoyed then I'll blog about it, but I felt really shut off, like I couldn't write about anything. And eventually I just sort of lost the love for it.

I think it was odd for me to let something in my personal life get in the way of my blog. I didn't think I would, or could, ever do that, and given what the actual "something" was it seems so silly to have let it get in the way.
I feel quite annoyed at myself for doing that too, especially as I had great plans for my blog next week and because of my lack of inspiration this now won't happen, and it's annoyed me.

Along with the fact that months ago I wanted to update my header and haven't been able to and it's frustrating me no end. 

I'm still not quite sure how to get that love back as it was. I don't want to force it, I don't want my blog to feel like a chore.
How do you overcome that?
How do you get that love back and feel inspired again?

Why I Snap {feat Chantelle from Mama Mummy Mum}

This weeks 'Why I Snap' is a day early to make way for Me&Mine tomorrow.
This weeks featured blogger is Chantelle and she blogs at Mama Mummy Mum.
I'm Chantelle, I am a wife to a very outnumbered husband and most importantly, I am a mummy to four lovely daughters!! When I'm not busy chasing around my little monkey's, I like to sit down, put my feet up with a cup of coffee and read a good book.

I started writing my blog, Mama Mummy Mum over 2 years ago now, in September 2011. Originally I started blogging as a way of writing down my thoughts, somewhere to keep little memories about my family, kind of like an open diary. My blog has now expanded to include all sorts of subjects including baking, arts & crafts and lots of photos, as well as reviews and giveaways.

Why do you like photography?

I think the main reason I like photography is because it gives me the chance to capture every little moment of my children's lives. It allows me to look back at the photos and remember all those special times whether they be big or small.

What do you like taking photos of?

I love taking photos of my kids and luckily for me, my kids love the camera and are more than happy to strike a pose. I also like taking pictures of the sky, it is always changing and I think makes for a beautiful image wherever you are in the world.

Do you have a particular style?

I don't think I have a particular style of photography but if you wanted to put a name to it, I suppose I would call it "In the moment". That is where my trusty iPhone comes in handy because I like to take pictures as I see them.

When did you first get into photography?

I first started to really take pictures when my eldest daughter was born back in 2005, I'm sure any parent will have been the same, wanting to capture all of those "firsts", every little milestone. I think with each child that I have had, I've taken more and more photos. I currently have over 700 images on my phone, I really should start get them printed.

What kind of photos do you like looking at?

I like looking at many different genres of photos. I find myself constantly looking through Instagram and finding all sorts of weird and wonderful pictures. Some make me laugh, some take my breath away at just how beautiful they are, each one tells a different story.

What are three of your favourite photographs you have taken?

1. This photograph is of my husband and my eldest daughter. I think it just shows a lovely father/daughter moment in beautiful surroundings.
2. This is a photograph of the sun going down over by cafe mambo in Ibiza. Everyone around us relaxing, admiring the same stunning view.

3. One of my favourites had to be a little bit funny. This photograph is of my youngest daughter Layla and the cheeky expression on her face is one she pulls constantly and never fails to make me chuckle.

 'Why I Snap' is a weekly series on my blog. If you want to be featured/join in please email me realhousewifeofsuffolk@gmail.com  
It doesn't matter if you are a pro, or a hobby photographer. If you own a DSLR, a compact or just take photos on your phone. If you enjoy taking photos of any quality and of anything I want you to join in. 
You can see previous posts in this series by looking on the 'Why I Snap' page.


Motivational Monday #15

I love how simple this quote it. How matter of fact it is, and how true it is.
I like finding quotes that I don't need to explain reasons for choosing.
I like the first part particularly for encouraging people to take a chance. I think we regularly fear failure and things not going as we plan but how do you know if you don't take a chance and at least try?


The Ordinary Moments #9

Another holiday post from me.
On the Wednesday or Thursday, I can't quite remember now, we had a day for just the 4 of us away from the other group we had gone with. We just wanted that time to connect and to be together with no distractions.
After we had been out on a pedalo my husband suggested a beer. I wasn't going to turn down a Belgian beer so with two of those ordered, and a couple of juices for the boys, we sat in the sports hall.
This was quite close to our villa and we only visited once, mainly because we are not sporty so had no reason to go there. The hall was pretty much empty so we let the boys do what they wanted.
They were hardly going to sit and wait patiently for us to drink our beautiful big beers now were they?!

We would usually make them stay next to us so as to not upset or annoy anyone else, but I think there is a much more relaxed attitude towards children when abroad than back in the UK. I think in the UK people in general have a lot less tolerance and acceptance for children being children than other countries.

My husband eventually gave into temptation and grabbed the boys to play Air Hockey with him. As I sat and sipped my cold beer and watched them together I felt a wave of contentment. I absolutely love watching my husband and the boys playing together or learning together. There's something incredibly exciting watching their relationship grow and seeing how they interact together as the boys get bigger, and as their environment changes.

This was one of the best moments on holiday. I'll remember it forever.

mummy daddy me


Some Things I Love #16

I've been really slack with blog reading and reading anything else really this week as I've been entertained by two friends via WhatsApp everynight. It's been quite nice to just have time away from my laptop and to be distracted away from blogging for a few evenings. I needed that time away and for some "girly" chats and reading their hilarious messages have made me feeling like a giggly teen again.

I went to the theatre to see 12 Angry Men on Wednesday with my mum. It was really good, other than the scrunchy sweet wrapper people nearby, why do people really feel the need to eat eat eat at the theatre?!! 
The cast was fantastic with Martin Shaw, Nick Moran and Robert Vaugn. All of the actors were amazing though and the staging was fantastic.

 We had a date day last week and I finally wore my new knee high boots. I love them. I teamed them with my Joules jumper dress, thick black tights, my Joules coat and my birthday pearls.

I was listening to KISStory in the car on Thursday and was SO excited when they played this song. It reminded me of years ago when I would listen to TQ's album on repeat every day.

My zoo season ticket. The boys managed to lose my card recently, thankfully I knew it was in the playroom *SOMEWHERE* and after emptying a few boxes I found it again and made the most of it with Harry the following day. It was nice to let him walk around and not keep him confined to the pushchair.



Why I Snap {feat Hannah from Make, Do and Push}

This week's Why I Snap features Hannah from Make, Do and Push. One of my favourite blog names!
Hannah is a twenty-something freelance writer and blogger, living in a small town just outside of Brighton, Sussex with her husband-to-be Nick and daughter "Busby" who was born in December 2012.
Hannah writes about parenting, crafts, lifestyle, and all about the planning of her upcoming wedding.

Why do you like photography?

I love capturing memories; anything from a trip to the park to a big celebration. We're so fortunate with the technology at our finger tips these days that it almost feels wrong not to take advantage of it!

What do you like taking photos of?

My daughter, Busby! When she was born last Christmas I decided that I'd start (what I thought was) a little project and take a photo of her every day for the first year of her life. It has been so amazing to see how much she's changing over the past almost 10 months, and I've just started putting everything together in a physical album for us all.

I also love photographing animals and nature. If we're going on a day out my camera is the fourth member of our family!

Do you have a particular style?

I don't really know what you'd describe my style as… happy?

When did you first get into photography?

I must have got my first camera when I was about 6 or 7. I loved taking lots of photos of horses mostly! My Father was quite into photography, so this enthusiasm probably rubbed off onto me.

What kind of photos do you like looking at?

At the moment we're planning our wedding so I've become a bit obsessed with wedding photography. We've just booked our photographer, and I've been a huge fan of her work for about 2 years now. I love looking at photography that utilises low light to create beautiful photographs, which is what she specialises in.

What are your three favourite photographs you have ever taken?

1: I took this one four-five years ago when I had a snow day off work. I remember that I'd tried to get into work for about 3 hours with no avail, so when my manager told me to take the day off I was rather excited! I took to a very snowy Brighton with my camera and had a great day snapping away. This building has sadly been knocked down now to make way for some horrible modern thing, but it reminds me of "old Brighton" and it was opposite the beautiful square that I grew up in.

2: I took this one at our local National Trust property, Sheffield Park, only last week. I also found some amazing red and white fungi out of a fairytale, however, this shot is my favourite - even though the mushrooms aren't the most exciting of colours!

3: I had to include one of Busby. I took this one the evening before her hernia operation; we'd had a lovely day together and she just looks so beautiful! It was such a hard time for us as a family as she'd been in pain for months and it signified the start of a new, pain-free chapter.

 'Why I Snap' is a weekly series on my blog. If you want to be featured/join in please email me realhousewifeofsuffolk@gmail.com  
It doesn't matter if you are a pro, or a hobby photographer. If you own a DSLR, a compact or just take photos on your phone. If you enjoy taking photos of any quality and of anything I want you to join in. 
You can see previous posts in this series by looking on the 'Why I Snap' page.


A Rather Royal Date Day

On Sunday we were lucky enough to be able to indulge in a date day. After a lot of suggestions of what to do we finally decided on our original idea of heading up the Norfolk Coast and going to Sandringham, something we've wanted to do for a long time.
The estate closes to the public in a week or so and we didn't want to wait until next year.
So after an hour and a half drive we finally arrived and I was so excited. I felt little butterflies in my tummy, which might seem weird but castles have always been fanscinating to me and here I was now about to enter a house the current Queen owns and lives in, even better than that, spends Christmas in!
We bought tickets for the House, Museum and Gardens and opted for the woodland walk to get to the house. The woodland was so beautiful that it deserves it's own post.
Once the house was in view we were amazed by the beauty of it. For some reason I expected it to be bigger, not that it isn't big of course! 

You're not allowed to take photographs inside but if you've seen photos online at all, there was a book written by Prince Phillip for the Jubilee (I believe) which includes photos, and it is exactly the same.
We wondered what would have to be done to the house once it was closed to the public and awaiting the arrival of the Royal Family. We wondered if they would rearrange the furnitureat all but everything is set out as it always is, except they remove the rope seperating you from the sofas and so on. 

Everything is beautiful. A complete mishmash of styles, colours and designs which in our house would look a mess but in this house looked faultless.
Whilst we were stood behind the very sofa the Queen sits on to drink her tea in the mornings, in front of the only fire they now light in the house, I felt oddly emotional.
When you stand and think of where you are, and who will be sitting and standing in that room in 2 months time, it's incredibly overwhelming. 

We stood in the beautiful dining room, surrounded by beautiful china which will be packed away once the house is closed to the public, this is because the piece of furniture this gorgeous blue china set was placed on is used for serving food and drink throughout the day at various meals.
The table they will sit around everyday was laid for 9, and we were told how it can be extended to fit 22 people around it for Christmas Day lunch.
We wondered if a place would be set for Prince George and if a posh wooden highchair was hidden in storage within the house. 
We joked about baby proofing the house too. He may br a Prince but one day he will crawl and I'm sure will be enticed by the beautiful objects around the house and on the walls.

The final room we went in was set up with personal photos. I loved looking at these and it  made me proud of our Royal Family, the relationship they have with each other, with us and with their country.

We then decided it was time for tea and cake and headed off to the stables which was converted into teabrooms. Oh the lemon drizzle cake was amazing! As was the tea.

Once finished we looked around the museum and also got to have a look in the garages, which will soon be busy with cars transporting various family members around the estate. 
We spent rather a long time looking at the various Range Rovers and Land Rovers tucked at the back ready to be driven out.

We walked around some more of the grounds, finding some beautiful views of the house through trees and over lakes, and visited the church on the Estate before visiting the gift shop and buying a Sandringham Mug and a couple of glass baubles for the boys. 

We had a really wonderful time and will take the boys with us next year for them to share the excitement too.

Whether or not you are a fan of the Royal Family this is really worth a visit. It's too beautiful to miss out on.



Motivational Monday #14

At the beginning of this year, I started to notice a massive change in myself. I would stress over the smallest of things, online and in real life.
I would stress over silly things, and act in a way that I actually despise in other people.
I felt needy, I felt like I needed constant reassurance, I felt just a bit bleurgh.

I would vent whatever was annoying me on Twitter. I would post passive aggressive tweets, I would complain that people hadn't commented on a post, and just generally be a bit of a poo person to follow.
Maybe I still am, I don't know.

I made a decision to stop being that person.
I realised I wasn't being me, and I was being the exact type of person I don't like to follow on Twitter. The type of person I would sigh or tut at.
I looked at the people I really liked to follow. The ones who never ever posted those kinds of tweets.
The ones whose timelines were full of positivity, giggles and CONVERSATION.
I realised I had to change my life on Twitter. And I did that quite quickly.
But it didn't completely change the way I felt, and I was still feeling negative, and I didn't quite realise why.
I had an inkling but wasn't completely sure.

When I think about my life now, and my head now I can see a big change, and I can see small changes still happening. Mainly because I took a step back. Looked at my life, looked at what was going on, what I could change, and where I could improve.

I don't have many friends. Nothing to be ashamed of. But due to that I struggle to be positive because I can be alone with my thoughts a lot.
My husband is wonderful because I can vent a lot to him, and he has this attitude I wish I could adopt.
A laid back attitude, an easy attitude of 'just walk away' or 'don't bother anymore'.
But being a girl I sometimes need someone to bounce ideas and thoughts back with, someone who may have the same mind as me, another girl.
I wanted to be exactly like those people whose timelines I looked at, those who didn't get involved with the drama, at least not so openly anyway.
Those who have a positive attitude.

It's hard to change the way you think and the way you live. To change the person you have become and to go back to the person you once was.
But I think I'm getting there.
I have some truly lovely people in my life at the moment and I can honestly say that I'm not quite sure what I would do without them.
Although these people live in my computer, my phone and my Kindle, they mean the world to me and they may not realise it, but they are making my life a whole lot better than it felt not so long ago.
I'm surrounding myself with these positive people and without their knowing, their positivity is rubbing off on me, even though I know that I can be quite draining at times when issues crop up, and can be quite needy, but these people are able to instantly, or over a short amount of time, get rid of those feelings and make me feel a whole lot better.

I now know that if I'm feeling rubbish in life I need to take a step back, look at my problems, and find out what I want, what I want to be, and what I need to do to change that.
Learning this is a big step, and an even bigger step is to put it in action, and although it may take time it's so worth it in the end.



The Ordinary Moments #8

Part of why our holiday this year was so special and so amazing was that we were able to let our children be children.
We were able to set them free, they discovered the surroundings and got dirty every single day (I knew there was a reason I packed 20 tshirts and 11 trousers/shorts each).

Charles absolutely amazed us. We took his bike and hired some there for us along with a trailor with one bike and a seat with the other so we could transport Harry, as well as the various bags we took.
Charles biked everywhere. His little legs worked hard up the hills, and relaxed down them as he let the wheels roll by themselves. He went fast, he went slow, he dodged other people as well as the goats which has somehow ran free from their pen, he fell off twice but got back on.
He would get off and push if it all got too much. He would lock his bike up everyday, looking for the perfect place to park it.
He would wear his helmet with no fuss.
He biked in the dark, he biked in the light, he biked on the tarmac, on the rough soily, stoney, leafy ground.
He attemped biking up and down hills like the big boys.
He didn't complain about biking once. He complained about NOT biking.
He did us so very proud.
mummy daddy me


Some Things I Love #15

We are going on a date day tomorrow so I've been reading up on places for us to visit. Our chosen place is quite exciting. I'm going to take my camera along and blog all about it.

We are really into The Wrong Mans at the moment. I'm not usually a fan of James Cordon but this is really really gripping and funny.

Since my lovely friend Charlotte sent me the Rimmel 'Space Dust: 003 Aurora' nail varnish I have worn it everyday. I am AMAZED that just over a week later it hasn't chipped at all. Charlotte didn't know that the very day she had sent me this beautiful glittery polish I had been searching high and low on the internet for something identical.
I started off wearing it with a Nails Inc Navy which only chipped in Thursday, lasting 6 days, again I was amazed. So yesterday I decided to paint them with my O.P.I 'Chic From Ears to Tail'.

Charles has been making up a lot of jokes this week. The genuinely make me laugh because of the effort he puts in as well as how simple and matter of fact some of them are.
What is a dogs favourite game? A game.
What is a cats favourite game? A different game.

Bloglovin'. I know I've mentioned it before but it makes blog reading so much easier. My emails went a little out of control when I went on holiday and I went from having 0 unread, because I was always on top of it all, to now having over 800 unread messages, therefore subscription emails to all of these blogs would just get lost.
I love how I can organise them too.



On a Grey Day

Despite living right on the coast we didn't visit the beach once during the summer this year. That's pretty awful I know, and I'm quite ashamed of it.
The funny thing with us is that we spend more time at the beach during the Autumn and Winter than during the warmer months. The atmosphere is totally different and, for us, slightly more inviting.
It's relaxed, fresh and a lot more fun to explore.
Last weekend we had to visit Southwold to pop to one of the gift shops on the pier. We stopped for Sausage and Chips and then went on to look for some woods. We were looking for some in particular, we visited them back in 2009 and haven't been able to find them since, but eventually decided to just go to the beach at Walberswick.
I last went to Walberswick in the Summer with my brother to go crabbing, so it was nice to go back and to explore the beach.
The whole surroundings had changed SO much it was almost unrecognisable, which was also a little unnerving because I couldn't quite get my bearings.

After having lots of fun on the beach we headed to the local pub, which is a really lovely cosy, warm, local pub. We visited there back in 2010 and sat and had fish n chips in the beer garden and listened to live music. It was one of the best days we've had as a family as it was spur of the moment and totally relaxed.

I indulged in a pint of lager and lime....mmmmm and the boys had a juice and half a pint of local bitter for my husband.

A walk back to the car gave us the opportunity to get this months Me and Mine photo, third time lucky, then it was back to the car, back home to put Jumanji on and to make a Roast Dinner.

It was one of those perfect family days, when you have plans to do something but you're not sure what.
I can't wait for more days like this.

(I desperately wish this photo was in focus!)
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