I Can't Do This

There are so many moments lately when I think that. "I can't do this".
I can't do anything.
Life. Being a mum. Being a friend. Being a daughter.
"I can't do this."
I can't spend another night on the sofa.
I can't go upstairs in the morning to sort the boys out for school whilst he remains in the warm comfy bed enjoying what is essentially a lay in because I have been awake since 5.30 with the children, or as he lays there on his phone when I have an inbox full of unanswered emails.
"I can't do this".
I can't clean the house again for another estate agent.
I can't clean the house again for another viewing.
I can't do the viewings. I can't show anyone around my home. Although it may not feel like home right now.
I can't take anyone upstairs and show them the bedroom at the back and the smaller bedroom at the front. The rooms I decorated to please two special little boys.
The rooms I slept in when breastfeeding, or when the boys were poorly or simply wanted a cuddle.
I can't hear someone else talk about their children taking over those rooms.
"I can't do this".
I can't make promises to my children. I can't excite them with a new house, a new bed. I can't excite them with a holiday next year we may never actually go on. I can't excite them with a two day break to their favourite attraction.
I can't even tell them where we will live. I can't tell them how many bedrooms we will have.
I can't tell them how big the garden will be, or whether or not there will even be room for their garden toys.
"I can't do this".
I can't have another argument because communication is failing where it should be really important right now.
I can't fight about things that would be easily resolved if communication was better.
I can't understand how someone can change so much when you break up.
I can't understand how unrecognisable they become.
"I can't do this".
I can't sit opposite my solicitor and accept the reasons for divorce.
I can't sit there and fight or beg for what is rightfully mine.
I can't understand all the legal wording so nod along hoping that soon it will click and I'll get it.
I can't add any more information to my already full brain.
"I can't do this".
I can't make promises and keep them.
I can't be as reliable as I want to be or as reliable as I should be.
I can't remember the most simple of things.
"I can't do this'.
I can't read about your perfect life or look at those perfectly posed family photos.
I can't read about how everything is so amazing in your life. I can't read as you reccount how fairytale-esque your relationship is, and how you know for sure that you will be together forever.
"I can't do this".
I can't worry about the most insignificant of issues. I can't stress and drop everything in my life over the most ridiculous, small things that ultimately mean very little. They won't hurt anyone and in a years time won't even be remembered.
I can't add others problems to mine. And deal with other dramas when I have so much going on myself.
I just can't.



I don't regret my decision to end my marriage. It was the right thing to do and I am happier for it.
I feel like a weight is lifted from my shoulders and I feel like I can now be me. Or at least allow myself to grow to who I am supposed to be without being confined or without feeling like I need to consider how someone else views me too. And the person they want me to be.

I'm happy. I'm confident in my decision and in myself.
And I feel that I am ready to put myself out there and meet people. When I say people we clearly know I mean men.

To some it might seem soon. Only 2 months split from a 10 year marriage but when there have been months of feeling disconnected, and leading seperate lives, it's not really too soon at all.
And we all cope differently.
I'm not on a husband hunt.
I want to meet someone who likes me. Who thinks I am cute. Someone who wants to spend time with me, who values me and who respects me.

I think I have a lot going for me. It might seem like an egotistical thing to say. But I do.
I am a nice person. I like to think I am fun and funny. And that I'm a good person to have around.
As well as other stuff too.

But I can't help but to feel undesirable too.
Being a mum seems to be a big deal. And I get that. It's a big part of my life and they are a big responsibility. However, I'm not looking for someone who would take them on immediately. Or even meet them any time soon.
I want my own life, seperate to them whilst they are with their dad...or even when they are asleep in bed. To have someone come round to snuggle up to as we watch a film together or just sit and talk with a glass of wine or cup of tea.
Getting a divorce, it's not exactly the most attractive or appealing thing to a man surely.
Despite the fact that my divorce would never be a topic of conversation because I don't want to bring anyone into it or make it anyone else's issue, instead wanting to find someone who can take my mind away from it, and to distract me, I know that it must be totally off putting to anyone who would possibly be interested in me other than that.

When I think of those things, and of what it must look like from the outside, I can't help but to feel totally undesirable.
To seem as though I am this nice girl who comes with a whole tonne of baggage. Even though this is not the case.

I want my own life. I want the life that I've tried to have for a while.
When I can be Lauren, and no one else.
When I can finally feel like a human, and like someone who matters to other people.
To feel like someone people (particularly a man) may want in their life.
To be someone who is on someone's mind for a good reason. Someone who is thought about.

This situation may not be perfect. But I am determined to feel positive and to get through it the best I can.
Whether I am desirable or not.



Great Design Ideas for the Bedroom this Season

There are many things that change with the different seasons from the weather conditions and temperatures through to travel destination choices and fashion. Another thing that people often like to change in line with the season is the decor in rooms such as the bedroom, as this enables them to enjoy bedroom design that is not only up to date in terms of appearance but also creates the right ambiance in line with the current season.

In summer, people often want cooler materials and paler colours in order to enjoy an airy, cool and summery appearance in the bedroom. However, now that autumn is here many people will be looking to create more warmth and cosiness in the room by looking at the design and making changes.

Different designs you can consider

Autumn is known for its warm colours and rich hues, so opting for a rustic design that incorporates colours such as greens, reds, gold, and brown is a great way to add a little autumn beauty to your bedroom. You can incorporate these colours into everything from your bed sheets and curtain through to cushions, wall art and furniture. You can also add vases with fake flowers in autumn colours from retailers such as Decoflora or even have real flowers that are in season to add fragrance as well as enhance the look of the room.

Blending traditional and contemporary is another key feature of autumn designs for bedrooms. Of course, the traditional side of your bedroom design helps to enhance the seasonal tones, and this is where the rich, warm colours used in your decor can really help. However, for a modern bedroom it is also important to keep the need for contemporary elegance in mind, and this is something that you can do by adding the right furnishings such as the stunning Birlea beds available from Bedstar, which will help to incorporate timeless class into your traditional design.

Making your room cosier for the colder weather is another thing you have to take into consideration when it comes to designing your bedroom for this season. Use items such as cosy fleece blankets in taupe or gold colours along with plenty of cushions to add warmth as well as comfort to the room. Also consider the lighting in the room – adding some wall lights or even table lamps can help to create just the right ambiance when you are snuggled up in bed.


Dating and Sex

So it's been over a month since we officially split up. To be honest, as I've said before it has been a long time coming and as a result I think we are both happy and comfortable in moving on and dating.
I don't know, or want to know, what his thoughts and opinions are on what he wants. But for me, I don't know, I'm not initially looking for something serious.
I'm not desperate to get a boyfriend, and to find my next husband.

However, I feel like I'm in need of someone to be there. For company, cuddles, kisses. Just hanging out together and enjoying each others company. Getting to know each other without pressure or commitment or demands.
I mean, it's silly of me to say that it wouldn't be somewhere I would want that kind of "relationship" to end up. To me, a gradual progression of friendship into relationship is kind of what I would like I think. No pressure and almost the guarantee that that person really does like you because they've got to know you for you and liked you so much for that that they wanted to move the friendship on.

I'm quite strict in terms of wanting to keep my "mum" role seperate from anyone who I may meet. I don't feel it is fair or right to introduce anyone to the boys so soon after their parents split, and when we have so much going on with the house moves when they happen and life adjustments there.

I wouldn't hide the fact I am a mum obviously. But I feel it's fair, for me, that someone gets to know me as me before they get to see that parent side too.

The scariest thing for me I think will be eventually when it comes to....taking any friendship or relationship to the next level...ok yeah...sex. I'm talking about sex...and for someone to see the evidence on my body that I am a mum. To see the tummy that grew two children and is marked and not at all toned.
To see the breasts that I've never liked anyway, other than loving them for feeding my children, but in terms of appearance...they let me down massively.
And the rest of my body which is a clear advert for the fact that I have had a shocking diet and haven't looked after myself at all.

In clothes it's fine. I can make my bum look quite good in a tight pencil skirt, I know how best to make my legs look good and how to make my tummy hidden, my breasts look rounder and a maybe a tiny bit bigger. I'm able to confidently talk to a man, and parade myself I suppose without too much fear of being judged or of disappointing anyone.

This was never a big deal before. My body. Because I lived by the rule that my husband had no right to complain about my body because the results were down to me growing his two children. And I also decided that if he wasn't happy with my body then he could find someone else...

I can't have that attitude when it comes to another man.
I can have the attitude of "I grew my children. Don't like it then go and find someone else" but I don't want that attitude. I want to be confident. To be able to fake it (the confidence, nothing else) at least.

There is a part of me that is looking forward to those exciting early stages with someone else. Even if it leads to nothing and fizzles out for whatever reason.
And although I accept that we all have body hang ups, I feel that as a mum I feel more self conscious than ever before.
And almost kind of competitive. I feel like I have to prove I am good enough for whoever I may see, date or hang out with. And with the decision to want to find someone around my own age for now it's incredibly hard because they obviously have the option of women in their 20's. Women whose bodies may not have birthed children...because let's face it, there are other areas on our bodies that are affected due to childbirth and I have no idea if, to a man, it is noticeable or if it feels....nice and....normal. Yeah there...I said it...I went too far. But it's something that I'm pretty sure we all worry about!

For so long I've felt like I couldn't really talk about sex. And I am someone who is quite open and honest about that kind of thing and as I'm now single I feel like it's important to talk about it. To get advice from other women who have been in this situation, and to even eventually be able to give advice to women who find themselves in this situation too.

I'm not going to lie, a new sex life, or at least the idea of it, is exciting but being really self conscious and worrying about the body image pressures as well as the other pressures and emotions that go along with sex, can't help but to make me feel quite apprehensive of it.

Not that it's something I am planning on doing asap of course. But it is something that will happen at some point...at least I hope it will.



Adulting Part II | No Longer Home

Making the decision to separate from my husband wasn't easy. It was something that had been on my mind, and maybe his, for a long time.
When there is a marriage, a house, and two children it's not an easy decision to make at all. It wasn't as simple as "let's seperate" "Ok sure!". And that was part of what kept me there, at home, unhappy, for a while.
All of the other things to consider and to take into account and having to mentally process it all. Creating lists of what had gone wrong, what was right, what could we fix, and as much as I tried my best to keep hold of what I thought we had, and what I thought was right, there was one word that I just kept going over and over. And it was happiness.

That was the priority. For me, for him, for the children and for our families. Because that was something that kept going around in my head. I obviously confided in my mum, and my brother, about how I was feeling and it didn't seem fair to put that onto them. The worry, concern and so on.

It didn't seem fair to feel like we had to pretend to be happy together. And although I asked a few times if he was happy, and he said yes, I felt that it wasn't the case.
I felt like the boys were young enough to be able to go through this separation with us still being able to hide any anger, for them to be able to be unaware of certain emotions and situations, conflicts and so on. We are able to make it a little easier by making a fuss of things like two Christmasses, two bedrooms, two houses.
I felt it only right to explain to Charles what is going on, so he knows the full situation, and I feel so lucky to have a son with such a sensitive, emotional, understanding heart because he accepted that mummy and daddy don't love each other anymore but will stay friends (at least we will keep communication polite for the sake of the boys).

On Saturday my second "adulting" experience happened. I tidied and cleaned the house better than I ever have before. Which with no coffee, food, and a hangover wasn't easy or fun. But I did have a real sense of achievement.
At 3pm the estate agent pulled up in her super clean white car....I swear this is standard colour for estate agents...of course I am only basing that on the fact that I have been in an estate agents car and it was white so it's a totally scientific based on that alone.

I was totally fine about an estate agent looking around our house. It has a weird feeling around it at the moment, I think mainly due to me trying to disconnect from it but also due to me sleeping on the sofa and not having a space of my own there.
I have my mind elsewhere with distractions and other things to help not feel so emotional about what is actually going on.
But as we sat on the sofa and she discussed the estimate, and the process, including the fact that they would show potential buyers around I all of a sudden felt my eyes tingle.
I pictured me showing a couple around, who would be planning their family or indeed already have children.
Their children would take over the space that my children now have. The space that is theirs, that they can do what they like in (within reason) . The space that makes them feel safe.
Their rooms that I have slept in, numerous times when they were poorly, being breastfed, or just in need of a cuddle.

For a minute or two I remembered what it was like when it felt like home.
When I felt comfortable, safe, and warm there. When I felt I could relax, be happy and live.
And I cried a little bit. Not for long, but I felt that I needed to let that emotion come and let it ride itself out.
And it did. And at this time, as I sit at my mums, the place I feel comfortable, safe and warm, happy and relaxed, I think of that semi-detached house, the one that was once so full of happiness and love, and it doesn't feel like home.
It feels like a building.
But the thought that soon enough, I will be possibly showing other people around, people who will potentially fill that house again with happiness and love and call it their home, makes me feel strange.
Maybe a little jealous...

I was glad that my mum had come round to help me out with the boys and to be there when I spoke to the estate agent. I didn't even think about asking about commission and prices and she thankfully did.
It's a super daunting experience especially when it's not due to a happy or exciting circumstance and at times I don't feel old enough to be doing such grown up things like this.

But as with this whole process, it's adulting. And it's part of life.
Except this part won't include the killer heels, and will instead involve a heart filled with a little bit of hope that one day I will be back somewhere that feels like my home.
Just as this one used to do.


DC Kids Super Hero Creator & UK Giveaway

Create your ultimate super hero with a fun name, look, powers and more!
Also check out some of the amazing new videos from Warner Bros, including favorites such as Scooby Doo & Batman Unlimited. There will be many more updates over the next year, so don't forget to subscribe to their channels!

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Through The Phone

I have had the most amazing support from friends recently.
It's been overwhelming at times, in a nice way of course.
It's been comforting to have people there, pretty much 24/7, either on Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Good ol' social media hey?!

But as much as there is that support, that amazing, overwhelming support, it's all received through my phone.
That comfort, that I so desperately need, although it is there and is appreciated so much, is still not quite enough.

I have these feeling, this urge, this craving of needing to be held. Needing to feel wanted. Needing to feel like I matter, to someone.
Part of me feels like as much as people maybe want to be there, that there is a feeling of wanting to keep me at arms length. 

I'm ok. I'm not needy, negative or someone who will soak up every piece of positive energy from someone else.
I just want, and need, what everyone else does. Company. Comfort.
Just to feel a little more grounded, and human. 
To feel that I am still part of the real world and not this world that exists inside my phone. Where everyone seems to live.
To feel like I am not alone.


Amazing LEGO Scooby-Doo Stop Motion Videos + Giveaway

One thing I absolutely love is when two super cool memories from my childhood are combined to create something even more amazing. 
The WB Kids Youtube channel features some fantastic stop motion videos using the brand new LEGO Scooby-Doo sets....yeah I know...great combination right?!

New videos will be uploaded weekly – so be sure to visit ScoobyDoo.com and subscribe to the WB Kids YouTube channel.

Follow the Rafflecopter form below, completely some Scooby-Doo related tasks, to be in with a chance of winning a £150 Smyths gift card.
Good luck!

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Simple Tips On Removing Makeup

When it comes to putting on makeup,  it is considered as an art, in the same way, removing the makeup and cleaning your skin is an art too.
There are many women out there who love to keep the makeup and doesn’t remove it even before going to bed. This is considered as wrong. This can cause skin problems like dryness, pimples, oily skin, dullness, and many more. Many women feel it boring to remove makeup and sleep at night. They wake up in the morning to find themselves as a part of the Halloween party. So if you plan to get up with a clear face, make sure you remove the makeup before going to bed itself.  Our skin needs to breathe, so make sure you spend a few extra minutes before bedtime and get up in the morning with the fabulous skin.
When it comes to makeup removing, there are many options. There comes facial cleansers, which can be good for light makeup. The traditional cold creams can also be opted for. Cleansing wipes or clothes can also come handy when you are lazy.
When it comes to removing makeup in the right way, it consists of many dedicated steps.  Whether you are using a remover wipe or a cleanser or even a cloth, you need to remove the heavy makeup first. Then again repeat the process so that makeup is removed from the skin completely. Basically, the cleansing process depends on the amount of makeup you are wearing. If you have blush, foundation, concealer and bronzer all on your skin, then you need to repeat the cleaning process twice. Most of the time, people remove the makeup first by using the wipe. The residual makeup is removed by cleaning the face using a cleanser. If you want to remove in the proper way then take your own time and clear it completely.

You need to have an effective eye makeup remover if you have the habit of wearing heavy eye makeup. The eye makeup removers are available in pre-moistened pads as well as in liquid form. It would be better to have an oil based makeup remover if you have applied waterproof eyeliner or mascara. You can also look out for hydrating products, which will help you to stop the areas around the eyes from getting dry. When it comes to liquid products,apply them directly using a cotton puff and remove the makeup gently from the eyes. The other option is pre-moistened pads. They are more convenient as well as easy to use. They are very good in removing the eye liners. You can also get them through online and if you worrying about it's price then feel free to use Debenhams coupons while purchasing online.
It is very important to be alert while removing the makeup from your eyes. You need to be sure that you don’t stretch the skin around the eyes as they are very delicate. This is something that many women don’t take care of when they are removing the makeup. You need to do the job with ease when you are removing the makeup. When you are using the pre-moistened pads or wet cotton puffs, make sure you keep them on your eyes for a few seconds. By doing so, it will help you to loosen the makeup from the eyes and eyelashes. This will help you to wipe off the makeup smoothly rather than rubbing aggressively.
Once you clean up your face, apply a toner, an oily one will be a better option. This will help you to remove the makeup residue that is left behind on your skin.
Keeping your skin clean will help you to open up the pores and thus protect your skin from blemishes. Keep a habit to apply the night cream as it will keep your skin hydrated. For better shopping experience use Dealslands to save more while purchasing these products.

How Well Do You Know Strictly Come Dancing?

I used to be obsessed with reality programmes, and talent shows.
Fame Adacademy, Pop Stars and Pop Idol were my favourites "back in the day" and Big Brother still being a firm favourite.
I always appreciated the talent search aspect, and the psychological side of programmes such as Big Brother.
Although now a lot of the replacement programmes seem to be 50% about talent and 50% about finding people to make a fool of themselves for our entertainment.

One programme that does keep to the talent and skill is Strictly Come Dancing.
Now, I'll be honest, I don't watch Strictly Come Dancing religiously. However, this year with local boy Anthony Ogogo, it seems only right that I watch to at least support someone from my home town.
And this is the thing about Strictly. These celebrities are learning a new skill and with most of them stepping out of their comfort zones to take part in something which they maybe have never, or would never, have had experience of is quite interesting to watch.

WhichBingo have created an online quiz to see how well you know Strictly Come Dancing. I didn't do too well, scoring just 9 out of 20. Can you do any better?

Anthony Ogogo on Strictly Come Dancing

The Evolution of Online Bingo

We've all heard of and are all aware of online gaming and online bingo right?
It seems to be a lot more common these days for people to opt for sitting in the comfort of their own home and enjoying a game of bingo online rather than going down to the local bingo hall to enjoy a game, and having the added cost of parking, drinks and so on.

I worry that playing these kinds of games online restrict us of human contact and socialisation too much though. 
With social media and apps such as Whatsapp taking over from us needing to actually talk to each other and giving us a different way of communicating it seems we are almost losing the art of conversation.

However, with sites such as Bingocams, you are able to connect with other players using webcams making online bingo a lot more fun and sociable.
From the comfort of your own home you are still able to have that communication with the outside world, having conversations and with the opportunity of making friends and meeting new people.

Bingocams created this video, showing the evolution of online bingo and what makes them stand out from other bingo sites.

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