Saturday, 17 February 2018

Mindfulness: Adult Colouring

I've been meaning to write this post for a while now as I first began indulging in colouring whilst I was pregnant last summer. It was a great way to get out of my own head and wind down during those stressful third trimester days when you feel like you're going to explode - mentally and physically! Though even now that I'm 7 and a half months post pregnancy, I still find myself reaching for my pencils when I've had a hard day. It's proven to be quite therapeutic, despite the agonising hand ache after an hour of solid colouring! And the best thing is, if you get a book that you can tear the pages out without ruining the picture, you can frame your coloured piece of art around the house and proudly show off your creative skills ;) 

Me being me, when I first discovered adult colouring books whilst mindlessly browsing through Amazon, I knew I had to get a Disney one. There were so many other every day options; from birds to scenery to plants and many more...but after a swift search for an option that was more suited to me, I came across this gorgeous Disney Animals book and have been addicted to it ever since. The pictures are incredibly detailed, with intricate designs within each character so it's definitely not child friendly, but if you have the patience and dedication, it is totally worth it, trust me.

I won't lie, it can feel like it's an endless endeavour sometimes when you pick a page that's full of tiny little decorations within a larger picture (kind of like the images of Beast & Ursula at the top of this post!) so if you're more into simple colouring that won't take you more than an hour or so, then this book probably isn't for you. It's definitely designed to last you a LONG time! On the other end of that though, once you finally complete a design, it feels like such a big accomplishment that it'll have you feeling like you don't waste your entire life colouring and you've actually just created something beautiful. The only downside I've found is that because of the type of book - it's a gorgeous hardcover edition - you can't take out the pages to display your artwork which is a huge shame as I would have loved to frame some, even the uncoloured pages as some of them are simply stunning.

I've got quite a few other adult colouring books in my collection so I can pick and choose what I'm in the mood to colour which I've found handy over the months of being a mum as I don't have quite as much spare time to dedicate to my Disney one anymore, booo. However, this one will forever be my favourite as it has almost every disney animal included from Bambi to Timon and Pumba to Mushu to The White Rabbit, you name it, it'll be there. Perfect for any Disney fan out there! ♥ 

The actual point of this post, believe it or not, was not so much to preach about how amazing my Disney book is, but more to state how much colouring has helped me these last few months. Life is hard sometimes and we all need some way to escape our troubles and adult colouring has definitely been one of my ways. Having your brain shut out all thoughts other than what you're colouring gives you that much needed break from yourself and is a much healthier option than browsing through social media to distract yourself. I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone. There are a million and one different types of colouring books so you're bound to find one based on a topic you like so why not give it a go? What's the worst that could happen? 


Sunday, 11 February 2018

Netflix Rom-Coms To Watch This Valentine's Day

I've never been one to celebrate Valentine's Day as such. Me and my boyfriend have always either been busy working, completely forgotten or just couldn't be bothered to go all out for this one commercial day of the year when you're meant to show your significant other how much you love them. As much of a hopeless romantic that I am, I find Valentine's Day rather pressuring when you can show that special someone how much you love them any day of the year. With that being said though, now that we have a baby, Dane and I are going against our usual selves and are going to attempt to celebrate it this year, just on a smaller scale than most.

We're huge tv and movie buffs so Netflix and Chill (the non-naughty term thanks to our loving child that screams any time we are remotely intimate with each other) is pretty much our agenda for 'The Big Day'. I'm going to stock up on snacks to indulge in and cuddle up in cosy throws and we're not gonna move from the sofa all day, this is my idea of perfection these days. So I thought I'd share some of my recommendations from Netflix for any of you that aren't going out and just want a cosy night in watching some good TV with your loved one. 

I couldn't not mention Friends, I mean c'mon, it's a classic. I don't even think I need to explain myself here, just watch it, you know you want too.

I've only just discovered Lovesick this weekend but it's so quirky and funny, I've been addicted and am on the third season already. It's your typical British sitcom about three friends sharing a house and their complicated love lives. If you were a fan of the show Skins then check this out, you'll love it.

Despite the whole premise of this show being controversial AF, I adored how raw and real it was. You Me Her is about a suburban married couple who enter a polyamorous relationship with a female escort and their ups and downs along the way. It's the first show of it's kind and I can't rave about it more; it's funny, adorable, dramatic and heartbreaking all in one and definitely worth a watch.

Oh my god, Jane The Virgin is one of my all time favourite tv shows. It's the perfect telenovela parody and is hilariously heart warming, every episode makes you feel good. Jane Villanueva is a religious Latina woman who has vowed not to lose her virginity until marriage, however ends up getting accidentally artificially inseminated during a check up. This one is for all you hopeless romantics out there!

Now onto movies - this one is a little controversial and is in French so you have to be willing to read subtitles but it's so worth a watch if you give it a chance. Blue Is The Warmest Color is a coming of age story about Adele, a french teenager who meets and falls in love with a blue haired aspiring painter. It is a movie based on two gay females and is very sexualised so it won't be to everyone's taste but if you're open to it, I'm sure you'll love it, we did. It's so emotional and raw and has one of the best songs in it - I Follow Rivers by Lykke Li.

I love Sam Claflin in pretty much everything that he's in so when I saw this on Netflix, I had to watch it. Love, Rosie is about two life long best friends who despite years of harbouring feelings for one another, continuously end up with the wrong people and never each other. Their stories are funny, charming and sincere and despite it being terribly cliche at points, like most rom-coms, it still had me rooting for them till the very end.

If you haven't heard of La La Land then where have you been? This is by far my favourite movie of 2016 and probably one of my favourite movies ever to be honest. I'm not particularly interested in musicals but La La Land is on another level, every song is incredible and adds to the story line in ways other musicals don't, if you know what I mean. Emma Stone is an aspiring actress who meets Ryan Gosling, a struggling jazz pianist in Los Angeles and they fall in love whilst pursuing their dreams. It's honestly such a great movie for so many reasons, but I don't wanna spoil it so please just watch it. You'll thank me, trust me.

And lastly, Me Before You, another Sam Claflin movie. I'd heard of the book way before this movie came out but never got around to reading it - however the movie impressed me enough to go out and buy the book afterwards and the ones that followed. Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin are amazing in this and it had me in tears from the moment I realised they were in love. Me Before You is about a girl from a small town who forms an unlikely bond with a recently paralysed man that she's taking care of. It's a breath taking love story that reminds you to live boldly and enjoy every minute. Another one for you hopeless romantics out there, although be prepared for the ending, that's all I'm saying! 

There we have it. I had to cut it short at 8 suggestions or I would have been here all night but these are my top recommendations for Valentine's Day. Let me know if you have any suggestions for me or if you've seen any of these, I'd love to hear your thoughts :)


Thursday, 8 February 2018

Dog Vs Baby: A Story Of Jealousy & Love

My little Japanese Chin Nobunaga has been our baby ever since we rescued him almost 2 years ago and having an actual human baby infiltrate his home has been challenging yet entertaining to say the least! Our pooch is the sweetest, weirdest, cuddliest little derp and doesn't have a mean bone in his body. The only time I've ever seen him get aggressive is with our neighbour's dog Spikey and that's only because they are both boys and Nobu has small dog syndrome so has to show Spikey whose boss. Despite this, he is a very shy little fella when around new people and can get quite scared and yappy so we were curious how he was going to handle having a new family member added to the mix - but he's done quite well so far, especially considering he was at home when the birth went down so he experienced the whole stressful ordeal. 

The first few weeks he wasn't too sure what was going on or who this imposter was that was now taking up all of his parent's time so he spent a lot of his time avoiding all contact with him and only cuddling up to me or Dane when the baby was asleep. But it wasn't long before he came to realise that Cass wasn't a threat and we have enough love in our hearts for both of them. Before we knew it, Nobu was actively approaching Cass during feeds and snuggling up to him as if he was one of us - it was such a lovely moment to watch, especially for a dog that doesn't really like children in general. He tends to cower and run from kids when we're out for walks and it's taken a fair while for him to get used to the children in our family, bless his little heart. 

Skipping ahead a few months and they're very quickly becoming best friends. The patience on this dog is unbelievable, I'm very impressed. Cass is always 'stroking' him and accidentally pulling on his ears and fur yet Nobu remains cool and collected and will literally just budge out of his reach instead of growling at him or nipping him, he's good like that. They love to sit next to each other and Cass is always fascinated by his big brother; following him around the room with his eyes and giggling whenever Nobu does his infamous chin spin in the living room. It's so damn cute! They also have this weird little kissy thing where Cass will position his head in a certain way so that Nobu can lick his ears and groom him, it really pulls on my heart strings. We don't let it happen regularly for obvious reasons, but every now and then we allow Nobu to show his love for his brother and it's really sweet.

It's only recently that we've begun to notice Nobu's jealousy arise. He's become very needy with us, particularly with Dane when he gets back from work - he won't leave him alone and hounds him until he gets enough hugs to satisfy him, as if I ignore him all day, the cheeky little bugger! He's also coming into the habit of barking and trying to play with us whenever Cass is having tummy time so he doesn't feel left out which is cute but annoying at the same time, haha. His jealousy isn't causing any problems at the moment, if anything it's actually quite a nice change for Nobu to crave our attention as before we had our son, he was quite a solitary pooch and only came to us for snuggles and love for 10 minutes and would then continue with his day. Now I can't even sit down for a cup of tea without him coming over and sitting on my lap, not that I'm complaining, I do love a good cuddle. He's also become quite cheeky lately and if we lay Cass down on the sofa and he starts to kick around, Nobu will have a little play with his foot, as you can see on Nobu's instagram if you check it out.

It's so easy to forget about your dog when you have a newborn baby as all your attention goes into keeping this little human alive and when you aren't with them, you're napping or doing chores around the house whilst you have the chance. But it's so incredibly important to ensure you put time aside each day to continue to show your beloved pooch that you haven't forgotten about them and they're still just as much a part of the family as the baby. I've never believed in getting rid of a pet when you have a baby and I would never dream of getting rid of Nobu so we're both doing our best throughout this crazy journey and although we may not have quite as much time for him as we used too before we became parents, we still make an effort to treat him whenever we can and he is still just as spoilt really, just in different ways. He's such an integral part of the family and can be a great anchor when the days get hard and you're feeling a bit down. Dogs definitely pick up on your moods and Nobu is no exception, providing us with those much needed snuggles and company when we need it the most. ♥♥♥

Do you have any pets that have changed since you've had a baby? Any advice on how to handle jealous pets? Let me know in the comments!

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