Fashion YES or Fashion NO

Fashion YES or Fashion NO

One of my first posts was all about how my ideas of fashion have changed since I have become a mum. It was all about what suits me and what I feel confident in and how that has changed. After I wrote this I had lots of people asking me if ‘teetering on the edge’ was going to be a fashion blog. After working for 15 years in the Fashion Industry and having done a fashion degree this probably seemed logical to them. I do think about what what I’m going to wear and its a conscious decision every day, even if I am just doing the school run and sitting at my computer. I love clothes and choosing outfits. What I wear everyday makes me feel together and confident as does makeup and decent hair.

My initial answer was no. I tried to explain the blog is all about teetering on the edge as a mummy. Teetering on the edge of making a good or bad decision. Whether its big life decision like going to the doctors because you feel really low or its a decision about whether wearing a ripped jean with a dress over it makes you look like a knob at 38 years old. Its just about how as mum or a busy adult there are so many daily situations that I feel like I’m teetering on the edge, its just about making something succeed or it failing terribly because I totally pushed my luck.

Anyway, every single morning I teeter on a fashion edge. When I was going into an office 3 or 4 days a week it was easy. But now I’m not, I struggle. As I have mentioned before I’m a skinny jeans and loose top/shirt/sweatshirt kind of girl. I love a sneaker, I also love a little heel or a bit of leopard for confidence. I totally love colour, print, embroidery, anything neon or metallic (as long as it adheres to the guidelines above) But I doubt myself every day now. I never used to. I know its because my situation has changed. Its also because I have been pregnant 3 times and got over my post baby body 3 times and my body, face, skin and hair has changed so many times.

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This look is a definite Fashion YES for me these days, not exactly sexy. Dungarees- Topshop, Shirt- And Other Stories, Jacket – Madewell, Sneakers- Air and Grace.

In my wardrobe I have loads of wicked shirts and blouses. I have 3, yes 3 blue and white striped jazzy Zara shirts. I love them all but I just haven’t worn them as much as I thought I would. It just doesn’t feel right for baby music class and sitting at my kitchen table. When I wore the lush embroidered one the other day, mum came over and asked if I was out that night (I don’t mind that…. but I wasn’t) then last week I wore the one with the crazy tassles at the bottom and two of my besties popped over for coffee and one asked if I had an interview later as I was looking posh! None of this is so awful I hear you cry and I should just wear what i want but its about what you wear making you feel good. With the popularity of dress like a mum on the up and up and where she is a massive advocate for just chuck it all on. The more pink, embroidery and metallic the better. She looks amazing, as do many other mums. I don’t. I look like a female version of Timmy Mallet on wackaday (Is that how you spell it?) Ultimately though its about how you feel about yourself and I feel like a tool dressed like that.


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Doing the Housework and chilling with my bub in one of my fav jazzy Zara shirts.



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Trusted Fashion YES formula- jeans and jacket- Topshop, Sweatshirt- Cos, T shirt- H and M and Traners- Adidas Gazelles


So every morning I look in my wardrobe and peruse and sometimes decide to put on something totally inappropriate or just plain odd. I know all the bits above aren’t really a big deal, its not like I’m deciding to wear a PVC catsuit or a crop top on the school run, but after a while it has started to wear away my getting dressed confidence. I have this lush burgundy tunic dress from Whistles that I got in the sale at Christmas I have previous season’s versions in navy and washed denim and they have been worn endlessly. Such easy pieces to pop on over a polo neck or a Breton, they have earned their pounds per wear. I looked at it this morning and thought ‘ Gosh (I would never actually say gosh) I have barely worn that!’ My jobs today were a hospital appointment for baby Charlie and writing this post. I thought jeans under the dress will dress it down and I will still look cool and well put together? Well I felt like I was still at uni in brighton circa 2001 and all I needed were some acupuncture trainers to finish it off.

I love buying clothes, but I’m not a willy nilly spender. Since babies and a mortgage I always have to be able to justify buying something, I always have to be able to calculate the pounds per wear. All the lush bits in my wardrobe were all bought with thought and consideration. I love a basic but I love a wow jacket or shirt too, i will always dress them down with jeans and sneaks. But I cant seem to get my head out the fact I don’t go into a fashion office every day now. The days I feel like I’m not teetering on an edge and have a definite fashion YES are when I’m in trusty high waist ripped skinnies or boyfriends (Mom jeans are not designed for c section bellys) black and white or navy and white stripe, denim and khaki. With some camouflage, a bright pop or my leather to make feel trendy. Oh and not forgetting the trusted Mr Tumble dungarees. This basically blanks out 90 percent of my wardrobe and that just makes me sad.

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Rocking the Mr Tumble look. Outfit details as above.


I’m sure like many other time poor mums I don’t have the time to really ponder on my outfit for that day. I decide in the shower. The above formula is a no brainer for me. I have so many mummy friends who don’t think about it and just look effortlessly chic and casual. I’m hoping that’s what I portray but to be honest these days I question it at least half the time. On a night out, I usually need the first drink to think yeah I’m good, I’m rocking this, or yes I’ve made a really good understated statement (You girls know what I mean eh?)

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Christmas Party outfit with the trusted Leopard boots. Boots- Next, jeans- Topshop, sequin sweat- Next and Shirt-Cos.


Don’t get me started on the days I’m heading into town for work or going out…. well actually you can. This is much easier. The jazzier shirts come out, the leather, the orange lippy. The Leopard…. of course the leopard. I cant actually believe I haven’t mentioned the leopard print. Especially leopard shoes. My lovely friend is a leopard bag fanatic, mine is shoes. So this winter the outfit game changer for me were some Air and Grace leopard trainers and some Next leopard ankle boots. The trainers were reassuring for any day to day outfit and the boots were my confidence saver for any going out situation. They totally stopped me from teetering on the fashion edge.

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Father Christmas brought me THE best trainers ever.


Anyway, I’m sure with time I’ll find my fashion formula for my new freelance life. I’ll carry on filling my Zara basket with stuff I wont wear or buy- this lush jumpsuit has been hanging around in my basket on Zara for a couple of weeks. If I was doing the office thing still it would have earned its keep by now. Its not revolutionary, but so easy.

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In the mean time ill carry on looking for the summer game changer, its always footwear for me. I’m thinking some orange or yellow high throat flats or low courts for going out (see the next ones or topshop ones, let me know which you prefer?)  and some silver supergas or grey snake vans for casual…. what do you think? then there’s these lush topshop laofers! These on the school run? Let alone bright lippy when I have nowhere to go. The home counties won’t know how to cope.

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As for sandals I think ill stick with my trusted nanna sandals. you cant beat a birko eh?

Molly on the edge

Molly on the edge

Hello everyone! I am Molly, Lucy’s cousin. I’m a 22 year old young woman who has found herself ‘teetering on the edge’ far too many times. This has sometimes been a good thing as its forced me to think but sometimes it’s completely overwhelming.
When Lucy asked me if I wanted to write something for her blog, I instantly thought how? She has so much life experience and is very relatable. As in her first post, I am taking the plunge in the hope I can reduce the stigma attached to mental health and I will use this as a platform to help others. So here is my story on how I’ve been teetering on the edge.

Growing up I experienced depression and anxiety. However I didn’t completely understand what it was then. Since my adolescent years I just thought it was a part of growing up. I was told I wasn’t depressed and I was just unhappy. Family and friends would put it down to the fact I was scared about the future. I mean there are so many expectations of people these days. I would sit and think to myself, how will I ever buy a house, get a good job, earn lots of money, have a family and travel. It has taken me a good few years to understand that unless you are happy none of that really matters.


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Me as a bub without a care in the world


This time last year I was teetering on the edge of leaving an environment where I was completely comfortable. It was to make the move to somewhere completely new; Edinburgh. 6 whole hours away from friends, family and a job I was good at, to start all over again.

People would ask me; why Edinburgh? Surely you could move somewhere closer? But you have everything here in Peterborough? This is when I would explain to them that being out of my comfort zone and teetering on the edge is how I grow and I was adamant it was the right thing to do. So I said goodbye to my first love in order to do something I had ALWAYS wanted to.

When I first moved I took everything in my stride, I would meet cool people and have amazing experiences. A few months after moving things started to go downhill. I would constantly think to myself, were they right? Was this the wrong thing to do? This is when I became really depressed. I would sit in the house by myself, even showering, eating and sleeping became impossible. After driving myself insane deciding whether I was going to move back to my comfort zone Peterborough again, I realised I needed to think about and accept a few things.

Firstly, I understood that my depression was making me feel this way and in fact I wasn’t helping myself. After a few tearful facetimes to loved ones and some reckless nights out, I decided I would move back home. Once making the decision it was as if everything just suddenly seemed better. I was socialising more and started to see the positives of the world.

Before, it felt as if the eyes of the world were blind and I was stood right there in front of everyone but only I could see me. Now I feel like the whole fucking world can see me. I was here and I owned it! Reflecting on how I was feeling and how I had been teetering on the edge, I learnt that I wasn’t feeling better because I had decided to move back home, I was feeling better because I accepted that I was not OK. I’d started to embrace everything I was and this forced to communicate so much more about my mental health. I realised that moving back would not solve anything and that no matter where I was in the world I would still have these issues, I decided to tackle them head on. Don’t get me wrong, I have my dark day and it’s taken me a good few years to understand that pleasing others is such hard work and you compromise yourself in doing so. Communication is the best medicine and opportunities like this make your fingers want to write for days.F

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Taking life by the horns and living it.


I guess what I am trying to say is by teetering on the edge, it has sometimes enabled me to make the best decisions ever and sometimes the worst. But I am a 22-year-old young woman who will not live by the unrealistic expectations of others. I might not live my life how others would expect or want, but I am happy and I really don’t care. Growing is just about taking the plunge and just thinking to yourself fuck it. Just take each day as it comes and never overlook anything you do. I treat myself sometimes for having a shower each day and eating properly because sometimes that can be truly impossible.

I hope that this post helps others to talk and realise that there are all different types of people that experience mental health issues but all in very different ways. Look after yourselves and just think to yourself fuck it! I tell myself this on a daily basis and it seems to get me through the day.


I feel down

I feel down

I love writing this blog, but i never have the time to do it. But i am doing it now and its 11.35 on a sunday night and i cant sleep. My blog is bottom of the pile, just like reading a book is and they are two of my favourite things to do in life. But here i am, i feel the need to put pen to paper.

Once you have made it public you suffer from mental health problems you aren’t actually allowed to have those feelings anymore are you? I suffer from depression and I take medication so I’m not allowed to feel down any more am I? I’m fixed aren’t I? The thing is I do feel depressed still sometimes. I do feel really down right now. I cant talk about it though because it doesn’t feel like I’m allowed. I’m not really sure who it is that’s making me feel that way, whether its just me saying that or whether I’m scared that if I voice what I’m feeling I will be told ‘stop it Lucy, don’t you know how lucky you are?’ I had a boozy night two nights ago, so that’s why I feel down isn’t it? Isn’t it?

I do know how lucky I am, I feel it everyday. That’s what makes feeling like this even more annoying. We have friends who have just gone through the dreaded big C word. I have another friend who had just lost her mum and I have a bestest, oldest friend whose mum is fighting the dreaded C. I have another gorgeous friend who is going through a painful break up. I think about them every day, I worry because I love and care for them. Unfortunately though it doesn’t stop me from being an arsehole, thinking about myself and feeling really fucking down and lonely right now.

There are reasons I feel like this but I feel like I cant say any of them to anyone so I’m writing them down instead. I’m not actually sure if I will post this, but isn’t that the point of this blog? I’m teetering on the edge right now and I’m writing about so I should post it as its real, and I want to be real. So if you read this and you see me regularly please don’t talk to me about this in the playground or in the pub. I’m writing this so I don’t have to talk about it. Because talking about your feelings is really hard. Being really fucking honest about how you feel is really hard.

As I’ve mentioned I feel low and lonely at the moment. I’ve spent the whole day feeling cross at my beautiful kids. I feel like a slave, they don’t listen to me, do nothing to help and give nothing back. Don’t all of us mums feel like that? They laugh when I get cross, I mean how demoralising is that?

I feel really fucking unattractive…. I’ve been exercising, trying to eat healthily and I feel old and over weight. My hair is going white and I have no time to dye it. My tummy is just rough. I’ve had 3 babies and 3 C sections, although I’ve gone from being able to do no sit-ups to being able to more than that now, it looks rough. Long term relationships are hard, I cant remember the last time I got phwoooooaaaard or romanced, the last time I felt sexy and attractive and wanted. Its not his fault, he is fucking tired too but his body hasn’t been through a mangle. Don’t get me wrong I feel loved, but its two different things though isn’t it?

My family hate me, they think I’m a selfish arsehole (not my husband and kids) but the rest of them. Because I refuse to sweep stuff under the carpet. This post will make them hate me more. I try not to care but I’ve been raised to feel guilty and I do constantly. This makes me feel lonely. They don’t actually know me, they don’t want to know me. They just want me to be something I’m not.

My beautiful sister in law has just had a baby. I don’t feel part of it. She’s going through so much that I went through when I had my babies, but that’s totally forgotten. I’m not an expert but perhaps I could reassure people.  I know its not about me, its about them, but after blanked calls and texts and conversations I’m not party to its made me feel sad and left out. Like a child. But I shouldn’t feel like this should I? its not about me.

I’m 8 years down the line tired. Dog tired. But I never admit it. Well I do sometimes. When I admit it, I have to then suck it up and say ‘nothing that a good nights sleep wont fix’ When I had my first baby, lots of people offered to help so I could sleep. No one does now. The offers of help I get are so I can work, so I don’t feel completely useless when I have to ask my husband for MORE money.

I dented our car the other day because I was trying to do too much. The automatic hand break didn’t go on, I don’t know why, it just didn’t. My baby was screaming at me, my 4 year old was asking for stuff and the supermarket van was about to drive off. So I crashed my car. What’s next?

I just cant do it all. I cant clean the house, work and earn money, be a good, happy mum, do the food shopping, organise the parties, night outs, kids dates, family stuff and exercise. I cant be attractive so my husband fancies me. Be a good friend who is there for everyone (I’m particularly awful at that- sorry friends and thanks for sticking with me) I cant be a good daughter who meets all the expectations.

Sometimes I feel like I just cant do it. This life business. I just cant do it. Is that what depression is? I’m not sure what will help me…. maybe stronger drugs. Maybe a shag. Maybe a personal training session with the boxing gloves. Maybe I just need a good nights sleep and a cleaner I cant afford. Who knows? Not me, but I think writing it all down has helped. If I have posted this, please believe me, I don’t want to talk about it when you see me.



Eyeliner on the School Run

Eyeliner on the School Run

Up until just recently I was a commuting working mum. A mum who dropped her kids off with an amazing childminder 4 days a week, hopped on a train and worked in an office with other nice adults. Rather than a freelance, working from home, trying to juggle a jelly, a peeled banana and a nappy with a turd in, working at home mum. Obviously, not technically those particular objects but trying to juggle housework, mumming, actual real life paid design work and this funny old world of blogging.

 Even as I sit at my kitchen table trying to write this while the littlest one naps I can hear him stirring from his sleep MUCH earlier than normal and I am about to lose my precious window of writing. I am being an awful mum, ignoring the noise and hoping he might go back to sleep. Please don’t call social services on me for letting him whinge for 10 minutes, I just really want to write at least 10 sentences. He probably has a massive shit in his nappy and that’s why he is moaning. He’s been in bed for an hour and 48 minutes, which is an acceptable nap time but I was counting on him having at least 2 hours so I could write this.

Any way life as a freelance mama is much harder than I imagined. I am pretty organised, I’ve always been good at managing my time. When I worked in an office and managed a team, I was always good at time management and helping them manage theirs. I have never been a ‘leave it until the last minute and then work really late’ kind of person. I was always on top of stuff so there was never any stress. I really bloody hate stress, stress doesn’t suit me. I’m an arsehole when I’m stressed.

Working at home while trying to manage 3 boys, cooking meals, grocery shopping, keeping my house tidy (and occasionally clean), homework, families, friendships, staring at my phone, exercise, box sets, drinking wine, having fun and sleeping (phew I think that’s it?!) is much, much harder than I thought it would be and my time management is now poor, very poor. Somehow after everything gets done I’m left with approximately 43 minutes to get anything done for myself. Then I just feel pissed off.

But there is one thing that really helps me tackle all of the above and it is getting properly ready every morning. By properly ready I mean shower, hair washed and dried, and make up. I have to wash my hair otherwise I get greasy stringy fringe, which is quite frankly unacceptable. The only exception to this rule is on a Saturday when I have 8am boot-camp. To be honest though, even then I manage a bit of make-up because without concealer and blusher I look like a heroin addict.

I don’t do it for anyone but myself. It makes me feel like I can tackle life. It stops me from teetering on the edge. Over the years I have had a bit of grief about it too. My family were always making digs as to how long it takes me to get ready…. ‘well we will probably be late as Lucy has to do her face’. Can I just categorically state now that it takes me 30 minutes to get ready, shower and hair included. If I’m really stuck for time I can do it in 20. I can hear you saying well you could use that extra half an hour to do something productive? But by getting ready it makes me about 10 times more productive.

As I mentioned before, until recently I have always got ready to go to an office, and it’s the getting ready bit that I miss the most. That and my nice quiet train journey where no-one asks me for anything and I can read a book and gather my thoughts. So, this getting ready for an office each day is part of my routine, but this time I’m getting ready for the school run, playgroup or sitting at my tiny Ikea desk. I still apply that blusher and eyeliner. Without it I don’t feel like me. A lot of mummy bloggers and influencers talk about the power of a bright lip detracting from tired eyes and I’m so in that camp, but for me its eyeliner. I love a bright lip, but it’s not essential to my confidence and sanity. On the school run the other day someone asked me what time I got up as my hair and makeup must take so long. I get up at 7am on school mornings and I think that’s pretty ok isn’t it? When I went back to work after having Jesse my alarm would go off at 5.45 so I could get everything done, and everyone fed and watered. But I did it as that’s what made me capable of managing the day. I needed that 30 minutes of getting ready time.

For me the power of makeup isn’t about vanity, worrying about how you look to others. It’s about how it makes you feel. After I had Charlie and we were in hospital for a while, as the days went on and we both started to feel better I started to put some makeup on again.

It is just the same as your dressing style. Or your choice of footwear. I’ve got many friends who are shorter and always wear a heel. No one questions it, it’s just what they do. If wearing red lipstick to a meeting with your directors makes you feel more confident about presenting then good for you. If wearing eyeliner on the school run makes me feel like I can manage my day better, then good for me. If wearing any makeup makes you feel uncomfortable then that’s fine too. Or if you would prefer an extra half an hour in bed, go for it.

During mental health week, there was a campaign called #howcanihelp and many people were asked to list all the things that kept them going, helped them keep their balance in this crazy world, whether they had mental health problems or not. I listed mine and I totally forgot to put ‘putting my game face on’ We can’t underestimate the power of makeup or belittle it as it seems vain. The benefits it can give to someone’s confidence and mental wellbeing are endless. If you are ever feeling a bit crappy about yourself I can’t recommend a little swipe of a mac lipstick (my fav is tropic tonic if you are interested) or a swish of bobbi brown everlasting gel eyeliner, coffee is my shade on this, black is a bit harsh in my old age 😉 But like I said we are all different.IMG_5644

Check out the chunk

 An attempt to get all three boys in a school run selfie

Teetering on the Edge

Teetering on the Edge

Right so here it is, THE post. The post that I have been building up to. The post that will explain exactly why I wanted to start my blog. I always knew I wanted to write this but I haven’t felt ready and there were, and are, other things that I want to write about that relate back to teetering on the edge. The time is right now for some reason. Mental health is ‘trendy’ right now. Bryony Gordon and ‘Mind over Marathon’ are making it all quite normal to talk about mental well-being. I’ve also been inspired by good old Instagram, with people like @thepsychologymum, @mumologist, @drjessamy, @mrshhayward, @thefashioncraver and @luckythingsblog to name but a few, writing openly and honestly in a positive way, inspiring me. So here it is.

So if you know me, I am a pretty bubbly outgoing kinda gal. I love to have fun and am really social. I’m also a real homebody and secretly quite private, so putting this on paper is quite a big deal really. But someone recently said ‘it’s not about being brave, it’s about releasing the truth’ and this has totally stayed with me. Thank you, Emma, if you are reading this.

Through my teens I would get a black cloud every so often, but coming from a family where you don’t really talk about your emotions, I just thought it was PMT and teenage angst. To be honest it probably was both of those. I would lie on the floor of my room and listen to massive attack as loudly as humanly possible or I would draw some deep, dark and meaningful stuff, like you do when you are a teenager. I would read Toni Morrison, Margaret Atwood and Ben Okri thinking what a clever twisted soul I was. Then I hit my twenties, and after having a late termination (I was in denial about being pregnant) when I was 20, the black cloud really became part of my life. Lucky for me, I had an AMAZING friendship group (you know who you are, Mel, Lisa, Jess and Kim) and with a year of counselling and getting wasted with my mates, ALOT, I got through it.

True, bestest friends who got me through dark times

Then through my 20’s I suffered horrendous PMT every so often. I just thought it was the aftermath of getting drunk 3 nights in a row, or I was getting my period. So I just cracked on with life. I met my Hubby at 24, and he must have thought I was a total psycho at times, because I was. I would just go into a black hole, usually when alcohol was involved, I would be completely irrational and at times feel suicidal. (For no. god damn. reason).  I would try and level with myself; I had a flippin great job, great mates and great boyfriend, and we had a brilliant life, but sometimes I would fall down a well that had no way out. In hindsight I wish I had seeked help then, but it just wasn’t talked about. In my head you only had depression if something awful had happened to you. I couldn’t justify how I was feeling. I felt like I was being a fake and people would be cross that I felt that way. So I just carried on.

I then became a mum, it was obviously life affirming and completely changed everything. I had a little life to care for. The black clouds still came but I could bat them away, the minute I saw his little face everything was ok. Even after little sleep or horrendous toddler illness, I could fight it. I teetered on the edge so many times as a new mum, but the joy of my baby always pulled me back.

I then got pregnant with Jesse, my second son. After 2 years of trying, a diagnosis of PCOS and a miscarriage later, I was finally pregnant. I then had a rough pregnancy; morning sickness and bouts of real lowness. But again I just carried on. The only person I talked to was my husband. I just felt like my feelings weren’t valid, I was growing a new life. I was soooo happy to be pregnant, but was feeling so black inside at times. I remember my lovely friend who had just had her third saying to me at the end of my pregnancy ‘you know, you will feel like you again, I promise.’ Would I? Once he was born, I did, the joy pulled me back. I was so happy.

Final week of pregnancy with Jesse and baby Jesse

It wasn’t until I went back to work after 11 months that the black cloud came back with a vengeance. What I used to class as PMT was lasting 3 weeks of the month. I was completely hiding it on the outside, good old bubbly Lucy, always smiling, always there for everyone, always with the banter, but inside I was dying. I felt like a bad mum, a bad wife, a bad daughter and a bad friend. (There’s a post coming on ‘The Guilt’)  I was talking to my hubby a bit about it, but it was actually my boss, who I thought had completely dismissed me after having had 2 babies and only working 4 days a week, who took me for a coffee and asked what was wrong. He asked me if I had post natal depression? That I wasn’t myself. Bloody hell! How did he know? I didn’t have PND but I did have the D.

The other turning point for me was my eldest son. I don’t know if anyone else has this with their first born? But there is an invisible channel between us. However I am feeling, no matter how hard I am hiding it, I can see it in him and his behaviour. So could my husband. When I was low, he would be totally out of sorts. When I was on good form, so was he. So, for him and my husband, I decided to see my GP and it was the best decision ever. I am very lucky as my GP is an advocate in caring for your mental health. He was truly amazing. He didn’t make me feel silly or invalid. When you have depression you are so ashamed of it, well I was. I felt like if I told someone they would somehow belittle how I was feeling. He treated me, told me I was brave, and let me cry all over him. I was so relieved. He told me that some people just don’t produce enough serotonin and its nothing to be ashamed of.

My Beautiful big boy – Bobby

I discovered the joy of exercise too. Martin had always said it would help, but I just hadn’t found the right thing. I started to swim and do circuits. It needed to be outdoors, come rain or shine. The combination of the endorphins and citalopram I started to find my balance and keep it.

We had always wanted 3 children and decided to go for number 3, my husband was worried about my mental well being, but I just thought I can be strong and get through 9 months. Golly gosh I was wrong! It was a very tough 9 months for us all. If you have read my piece for the Mama Tribe you will know I suffered from perinatal depression. I didn’t even know that this existed. I just thought you had to be happy as you were pregnant. I felt naughty as I wanted my baby so badly, and was so pleased to be having him, but that doesn’t make the black cloud go away. Without the medication and the exercise I seriously struggled. It was a trainee midwife, who I had met before, who noticed me drowning and referred me to a maternity support worker (I used to call her the mental midwife). She was lovely and supportive but didn’t make the black cloud go away. I wish I had known of PANDAS then, it would have made such a difference. But her noticing me and how I was feeling really made a huge difference.

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6 months pregnant – having had a chest infection for 3 weeks. One of my lowest points. I hoped the pink sheets and matching pjs might have helped me. They didn’t!

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36 weeks pregnant with Charlie, days before he was born – even my chin was pregnant

When Charlie was born – I was so happy to have him and get on the road back to being myself again.

Charlie was born and for various reasons, after 3 days, I chose not to breast feed him. I had fed both of my other boys, but with Charlie it just wasn’t right, and one of the main reasons was so that I could get back on the citalopram and get back to being me again. Finding the balance and the consistency. I have it now, a year on. I still teeter on the edge all the time, but I rarely fall. So many things can make me teeter, confidence in my appearance (I’m not vain, I’m human), parenting decisions. Making the right choices for my boys with school, friendships, behaviour etc. Relationship worries, not spending enough ‘nice’ time together. Not getting me time, alone. To read, write or stare at the wall. But I’m in a place now where I can recognise these things. I’m also in a place where I can recognise it in others too. We have to talk about how we are feeling. We cannot be afraid of judgement or criticism. So far on my ‘teetering on the edge’ journey all I’ve encountered is love, support and empathy.

The Mumologist and The Psychology Mum’s campaign called #howcanihelp is a positive way to share how you get through each day as a mum. Whether you have suffered with mental illness or not. Everyone has different ways of getting through each day and it can be the little things that keep you a float. Being aware of them and also reading others is truly inspirational. It can be anything from Pilates to eating a cheeseburger. So if you know anyone who feels like they are teetering on the edge, please share this. And to all the critical Instagram haters, it can be a positive, supportive virtual place if you want it to be.

Its ok to be a Grumpalo

Its ok to be a Grumpalo


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Me and my 8am Boot camp crew

I go to boot camp every Saturday morning with two of my very lovely friends. It starts at 8am, yes 8am on a Saturday. But honestly it is the best way to start the weekend. Its hard and most of the time I think I might be sick, even without a hangover. I always have a coffee before I go otherwise my legs feel like lead. Is that actually a thing? Legs that are addicted to caffeine? Anyway although the coffee helps my legs, it also makes me need a poo second lap of the warm up run. I then laugh through the rest of the bootcamp with my friends about the fact I drank that coffee and that it gave me a turtlehead for the rest of the class. I get home and its barely 9 am and the endorphins are flowing. The endorphins scare the demons away and make me a better parent and a nicer wife.


Anyway the inspiration for this post came from a chat we had in the car to and from Bootcamp. Can I just point out that its about a 4 minute drive to bootcamp, probably 8 with pick ups and drop offs. Somehow in that short time the three of us manage to put the world to rights and have some good deep and meaningfuls. I think its because the collective 8 kids between us aren’t actually there.

The journey there is always picking apart the week we just had and one particular Saturday morning my friend Sarah was feeling low about not enjoying her daughters 4th birthday. She had a made loads of effort, decorations, thoughtful pressies, an all important cake, but it all went wrong and she found herself screaming silently to herself in the ladies loos later that day. Her little girl hadn’t even noticed the negative stuff but Sarah was being really hard on herself. She then started to talk about a calm parenting course she was considering doing. Now to me, my friend is a brilliant mum to her 2 beautiful girls. She is calm, kind, funny and she would move heaven and earth for them. I am also a firm believer that as an individual we make our own choices and I will always support and respect anything anyone wants to do or spend their money on (unless its illegal of course) Chatting to my friend about this made me question my own parenting and moods and feelings and how they affect my kids. It also made me wonder why Sarah felt she needed to do this course.

Everyone is different but since I have become a freelance mama I have found that I’m a much more patient parent. Don’t get me wrong I can be seriously grumpy at times. There are other times where I have been asked for stuff so much that I flip my lid. I mean seriously flip it, where it bounces off the ceiling. But I don’t think this is going to give my kids any lasting damage. I said to my lovely friend to do the course if she felt it was going to make her feel calmer and confident but I also wanted her to not be so hard on herself. I told her this. I think so many of us parents these days are really bloody tough on ourselves. Especially us mamas. From our life affirming boot camp drives I know that these two particular friends are really hard on themselves, as am I. We are expected to be great mums, wives, friends, sisters and colleagues. Its not just that we are expected to be, we want to be and quite frankly sometimes its just too fucking much.

Its not going to do our precious kids any harm to see some light and shade. Its also not going to break their tiny ears or mean they will be a serial offender if they hear the occasional F bomb. What it means is that we are human. It teaches them that actually mummy can get sad and can quite rightly get really cross and shout if they don’t pick up their fucking dressing gown after having been asked 22 times. It teaches them that sometimes the consequences don’t just affect them.

Occasionally when I wake up there is a black cloud, I just cant seem to shake it and on these days I’m going to be a moody wotsit. I give my kids warning, it doesn’t necessarily make any difference to them but I feel a bit better about being a grumpalo if I’ve given them some notice. Kids push us, my kids spend the whole day gently nudging me to the edge of snapping. They are never quite satisfied and will always push for a bit more… an extra biscuit, another story, 5 more minutes at the park and I test myself to see if I can say yes more times in a day than I say no. But I always get to the NO in the end and there is nothing wrong with this. We can be kind, gentle and fun parents and still get irrationally cross, still drop the occasional F bomb. Our kids wont be damaged, they will still be happy (and occasionally annoying of course) and be a bit more rounded. So to my lovely friend, you do that course if it will make you feel happier and calmer but I bet everything they tell you is what you already know and do. But that in itself is worth it. Sometimes we just need a bit of affirmation.

A Great Responsibility

A Great Responsibility

It’s International Women’s day today and what a great day it is. I’m definitely a feminist, I believe that women can be whatever they want to be and everything they want to be. A modern feminist, an Emma Watson feminist. I am girly, I wear makeup, lipstick the whole shabang. I LOVE clothes and shoes, I have a high voice. I love pink, especially the orangey coral variety…. I am definitely a feminist. Girls can grow up to be a mother/wife/entrepreneur/business woman/employee/athlete/footballer etc etc. All of these or just a selection. I also believe that anyone can be anything they want to be with enough drive, heart and positivity.

As a mum of 3 boys I have a great responsibility to raise them as feminists. They need to know that girls are just as good at everything, and sometimes better, and not at the things that they are conditioned to believe.

I have 3 boys who are sporty (two eldest and my hubby, there is hope for Charlie yet, I feel like he might inherit my love of colour, design etc instead but I doubt it).  They live and breathe football and sport. Unfortunately I’m not really sporty. I like exercise and I’m ok at skiing, but I just don’t have that thing in me that drives you in sport. So any way, I feel a pressure to prove to them that girls are just as good. Thank God for footy pups on Ceebeebies…. Rachel Yankey, massive high five. Rocky Clarke and Kat Merchant, the most capped England ladies rugby players ever live in my little town, and I have attended many of their boot camp classes. They are seriously cool. My beautiful strong friend Nikitta who is glamourous and feminine and a super well hard rugby player. My boys are always VERY impressed with her collection of bruises after a game.

My sons football team is all inclusive and there are two girls who are phenomenal and one who plays for Arsenal junior ladies already, aged just 8. Bobby is furious when I’m cheering louder for Abbie and Katie than him. I just cant help it. GO ON THE GIRLS. I make sure that they are fully aware of all these females. Obviously its not just about sports women, but these are the ones who impress their four and seven year old minds. The women on Ninja warrior….. the girls on Bear Grylls survivor show on CITV. If they were old enough I would have made them watch the last two series of SAS survivor on BBC2… those girls were mentally and physically tough. So you get my point? As they get older they will realise its not just about sport, its about politics, education, music, the arts etc etc.

This post could go on and on I could talk about making sure they see me naked (my 3 babies, 3 C sections ravaged body is definitely keepin it real). I teeter on the edge of my insecurities about becoming a stay at home mum, who does still work, but doesn’t get on a train every day. The fact my role has changed and I now do all the washing, ironing etc, but this is just circumstance and daddy would do it too if our circumstances

changed. My seven year old who keeps telling me I look sooooooooo different before I’ve had a shower in the morning. The other day he told me I looked all shiny after I had put on my make up and done my hair. (which is EVERY. DAMN. DAY – post coming about that)


Anyway you get my point…. feminism isn’t just about women. And I’m taking my role very seriously. My boys will grow up to be bad ass feminists and VERY good boyfriends if it kills me.


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me and my crew of hardcore mamas who have just run the Chiltern warrior race. My boys came to watch and saw me commando crawl through mud tunnels.



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Me and my crew of feminists on international women’s day



Taking the Leap

Taking the Leap

Today is an important day. It is Tuesday the 31st jan 2017 and its my last official day working for Oasis fashions. So important that I’m breaking my long standing rule of NO wine on a Tuesday. Its a weird one as I have actually been on maternity leave for the last 10 months so not actually been there, but in theory its a big day. I have been in that job for 9 whole years. 9 years is a really long time and so much has happened in my life in that period of time and its been my work mates who I have probably seen the most. They have seen me through 3 babies and a wedding, let alone all the crazy nights out, trips abroad, comedy moments, drama and tears.


My amazing team about 5 0r 6 years ago


It was my decision to leave my job of 9 years but to be honest I think the powers that be really wanted me to make that decision. I was the first person ever to have a third child that I know of. I was complicated for them. But ultimately I pulled the plug.

Let me start from the beginning,  I went back to work after having Jesse, my second son, Flexibly, to be fair to them. Working a 4 day week starting at 10am so i could take my eldest to school. I lived an hour and half’s commute from work.  It was ok, I made out like it was ok but it was fucking hard. For me there was never an option that I wouldn’t go back.  I wanted to go back and earn money and do my job. But Two long distance, torturous trips a year, a couple of more enjoyable shorter ones, two kids in 2 different places and the guilt of school, the constant stress of being late and missing trains… IT WAS REALLY FUCKING HARD.

At that time, every time I had some alcohol with any director they would always ask me…. ‘are you going to have a third?’ It was obvious it was one of their favourite, drunken speculative chats. My boss would say ‘ you are such a good mummy, why don’t you concentrate on that? Now for any working mum, that’s an insult. I would reply I want to be a mummy and a designer. How the hell did he know I was a great mummy? How would being a mummy pay my mortgage? (or my zara and sneaker habit?) Now I’m one of those people who cant lie. I literally cant help it. All of you who know me, know that I wear my heart on my sleeve, its almost like a tick. I cant help but show how I am feeling. Even if I don’t say it out loud, you can see by the look on my face how I am feeling. My husband thinks its hilarious. So easy to read. So when they asked me, I  would answer honestly….. ‘I’m not saying yes but I’m not saying no’. This was the honest truth. We always wanted a third child but never knew if we would be able to as number two was hard to come by. My sensible career head would say ‘don’t tell them, as you will never get a pay rise or promotion’ but I just couldn’t help it. I cant lie and I always had the belief that a third child wouldn’t make any difference to my job or career any way, I would show them. I really thought I could carry on doing the job I liked and was good at. I thought they would just let me off the long distance travel. I was wrong, They wouldn’t. The deal I had was already a bit flexible, there was no way anything else would flex, no matter how good I was at my job.

To be honest as I went on maternity leave with Charlie, I wasn’t 100%  that I would go back. But after 6 months of being off, we had a chat and decided I would go back for at least a year and see how it went. When I found out  that the travel was non-negotiable it pushed me into questioning everything. I was expected to do 7 or 8 day long haul trips to china and a couple of shorter ones closer to home twice a year. Up until children I had always enjoyed the travel. It was hard work but such an adventure and I was lucky enough to travel with some amazing people that made such a difference. But after 4 years of doing it post children and learning to accept the fear,(see previous post on THE fear) baby number 3 meant no more travel for me. I just couldn’t do it to my husband and kids.


Reason I took the leap.


We have always been one of those couples where we both pay for everything and we share the responsibility for everything else. Household, childcare, finances etc. So the idea of not paying my way was one I had to really contemplate. Even if it meant that the balance shifted and I paid my way with mothering, homemaking, cleaning and washing. It was such a massive leap to make. I always wondered if I could work for myself doing the job I did? But I was so worried about not getting that monthly pay cheque or the 25 days paid holiday. I had been pushed into a corner and I really started to think I could do it. It went round and round my head. My mind was literally like a pendulum, swinging back and forth between the two options. It was a chat with a very good friend over some wine that the light was switched on. She said ‘Lucy, you are teetering on the edge of a cliff and deciding whether to jump or not’

So here I am having actually jumped. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make and I’m sure one of the hardest decision any mum has to make. I have total respect for the mums who don’t have to make the decision, that its clear cut for them. Either way.. working, not working or trying to work for yourself, whatever you decide to do, it will be the right decision if it feels right.

Now I find myself unemployed for the first time I can remember since my first job at 14. I worked through all of uni, I worked every holiday, I never quit a job unless I had another to go to. But this is where I have to remind myself… I do have a job,  a really bloody hard one that sometimes I’m great at and sometimes I’m totally shit at.

No one is going to give me an appraisal, (well Jesse is fond of a critique at the moment ‘you are rubbish mummy, I hate you’) I’m definitely not getting a pay rise ( unless I can actually get some freelance work) I don’t have any time to read books- am I the only nutter who will miss their commute? But I am really happy. I am really happy and really excited.. The unknown is ahead and I can maybe do some creative stuff. Look for freelance work, meet some new people, do something challenging and maybe even get paid for it.

Spoilt by my lovely friends. Precious memories.


The other thing about leaving my job where I had been so long is that I got THE best send off. So much love and such nice things that people wrote or said. My confidence is sky high. So for me taking the leap rather than just teetering feeling like I’m rubbish at my job and being mama was totally the right decision. Now I feel like I can do anything and be there for my boys as much as I want to be. The difference is, i’ll just be skint.


My Crew at my leaving do.


P.S. Follow and support @mother_pukka, she is championing #flexappeal. Now this is the future for working mums or mums who want to be working.


Friends for life



THE fear

THE fear

I’m assuming everyone knows what THE fear actually is. I think there are definitely different types of the fear but most people would relate it to booze and nasty hangovers.

I had a chat just yesterday with my hubby and our good friend about what the fear meant to them and what day it would land on post hangover. Back in my mid to late twenties I would spend many a Tuesday at work with the fear or at least teetering on the edge of the fear. To me and my buddies during that period of my life, it was a feeling you had after a serious amount of continuous drinking, late nights and blurry memories. The fear was that worry that you were a total dick, that you embarrassed yourself, that you had unintentionally hurt someone’s feelings, flashed your spanks or discussed your period to a total stranger. But you had killed so many brain cells with Savvy B and vodka you couldn’t actually work out if it was true or not. To my hubby and our friend the fear was a morning after feeling. Just an immediate fear you had when you woke up feeling like hell.

In my late 20s I would go out most weeks from a Wednesday evening through to a Sunday. I ask myself now, how did I ever survive or afford that? I would happily get up for work on a Friday morning having gone to bed at 2 and laugh my way through work with colleagues who had led me astray (or the other way round of course).  Monday was always just a Monday; head down, clean eating, exercise and early bed in the hopes to mend any damage done at the end of the previous week. But for me, Tuesday was always the scary day of sweats and anxiousness. You know what I mean?

Then I had children. Since then the fear has taken on various different guises and some of them have really surprised me. When my first son was born, I remember lying in bed one morning with him, very soon after coming home from hospital with the MASSIVE fear. I was so scared and worried about how much I loved this tiny person. I would kill for him. I wasn’t sure I could cope with the love. Then as time passed there were other types of mummy fear…… I couldn’t drink a drop of alcohol until he was tucked up in bed fast asleep. At my parents house the cork pops at exactly 6pm every night…… nanny and pops have happy hour every night, they always seem to quote something about the yard arm. My dad would look at me incredulously when I said ‘No thanks, not until Bobby is asleep’ To me just a whiff of alcohol before baby was asleep spelt serious MUMMY fear. It meant teetering on the edge of NOT being able to do this mummy thing. Of not being able to cope if alcohol was involved. Now, 3 babies later, I can happily drink from 1pm onwards if the occasion calls for it. 11am if the kids aren’t there. I am that leathery, wisened old bird who knows that kids will eventually settle, 5 glasses of wine or not. I now get The mummy fear from other situations, mainly caused by sleep deprivation.

I have just got back from a weekend skiing with some friends who are all mummies too. Between us we have 13 kids. We booked it last May, 5 weeks post 3rd baby. The thought of this holiday kept me going through all the newborn craziness.  I love skiing as it is the ultimate escape. Exhilarating and physical. Skiing can be a dangerous sport and the idea of whizzing down the mountain every day at great speed (well, medium speed in my case… driving miss Daisy) should surely induce The mummy fear. I mean all that responsibility resting on your ski ability. Surprisingly it didn’t. You are just concentrating on staying alive and stunned by the scenery around you. It’s the only holiday that I think you truly escape from every day life.

I have always wanted to take my boys skiing but I had a sudden thought; how will I cope seeing my precious ones doing something that can be so dangerous! We were enjoying the peaceful but freezing chairlifts (proper conversations, no kiddy interruptions) and we were all enthralled by all the little people we saw skiing. So brave, so fearless.The mummy fear washed over me in waves.

The thought of drinking for 4 days did give me The fear a bit, but the chat of going ‘out out’ on one of the nights gave me the massive FEAR. To a club, no less. I’ve realised that I do still love a drink. I still love going out and hanging out with my mates, kids or no kids, but the minute I’ve eaten dinner, that’s my lot. I’m ready for my house, my bed and sleep, so that in the morning The fear is nowhere in sight. I want to wake up to the chaos in my own house, it doesn’t matter how hungover I am.

I have a very close friend (she will know who she is) who I have discussed The fear with a lot. She has talked me through it many a time. I have talked her through it many a time. But our fear has always been due to sleep deprivation, that total bastard jetlag. Sometimes with a bottle of red mixed in. We have travelled around the world for our jobs together for a long time and stayed in some seriously weird hotels and got plastered in some even weirder hotel bars. The fear has always been in the back of our minds. Our solution was to always sleep in the same room. If you are wide awake in the middle of the night in a city in China that no one else has heard of, you might as well be doing it together. Those crazy trips were spent teetering on the edge of The fear with each other. Booze and the thoughts of our babies stopped us from falling. Oh, and of course the age old remedy of laughter. Delirious laughter, that arrived always around 3pm induced by some awful song or some mad woman dancing (us), in a meeting. We were always very professional lol.

Back in October I went to an all day rave for my best buddies birthday. It was an Annie Mac one. We all love Annie Mac right? I loved the thought of reliving my raving  yoof, a good dance is good for the soul. Especially when it finishes at 10pm. In my mind I thought it would be full of like minded 30 somethings who had been for a nice civilised lunch first, just like we had. God, was I wrong!! it was full of gurning, 90s dressed young’uns looking exactly how we looked the in the actual real 1990s. After a pint of white wine, I felt I could cope and then actually began to enjoy it. Bearing in mind it was still daylight. When it got dark I found myself in an underground car park with the floor vibrating from the bassline and the strobe pushing me to a millimetre away from epilepsy.

Despite the 5 pints of white wine, I was clinging on to the edge of the ultimate mummy fear with the tips of my fingers. When it finished at 10 and all the child free ones were heading on to a cool late bar in Hackney, I happily hopped onto the train back to the safety of my house and saved dinner from my hubby. I had looked the fear straight in the eye and punched it on the nose. I felt smug the next morning. Although there is no way i will be going back to an all day rave.

The fear is real. it comes in many forms and the older i get, the easier it is to recognise. I am lucky enough to have friends and family who understand the fear, they don’t think I’m loco, hopefully.  Whatever disguise it comes in, its real for so many of us and changes as our lives change. I find the only way to get through it is with good friends, family, chats, an exercise class, bootcamp, a walk, a cuddle and sometimes even more booze. I have to remind myself its only ever temporary. Facing The fear and conquering it is an achievement whether you are a mummy or not.

N.B. FYI i have always found a diet coke is a great Fear remedy whatever the situation.

Newborn Bobby in my arms on day 5, just home from hospital….. First Moment of absolute Mummy fear.
The freedom of skiing… just last week.
Civilised pre-rave at The Boundary rooftop.
Raving at 7pm and very scared.






Mutton dressed as Mutton

So in the last 6 months I have been on the cusp of turning quite a major fashion corner. I did a fashion degree and have always loved it. I’m not one of those  who would sell my left arm for a bit of Marant, or dress my boys in all black, but I’m very partial to a Zara, Cos or Topshop treat once a month or so. I’m not a slave to the trends as I do know what suits me and makes me feel confident. I also know exactly what doesn’t suit me and am definitely not going to spend mine or Martin’s well earned money on anything that’s going to make me look like a twerp. (maxi, maxi, maxi….. even midi)

Even though I’m 38 and have carried 3 large babies, in my head I’m exactly the same as when I was 26 (my tits and tum might not agree). When I go shopping I’m still drawn to the same things. I’ve never decided to dress any differently just because I’m a mum or I do the school run.

I am lucky enough to have inherited my mums skinny legs…. not so lucky for my 6ft2 rugby playing older brother (chicken legs I hear you shout). So my lower half is always the bit I want to show off and not my lager/cheese, 3 baby boys jelly belly. My day to day silhouette is generally some kind of skinny/slim jean and oversized shirt or jumper. Then on London work days or a night out I will deviate that formula to a mini skirt and thick tights or a nice little tunic dress, even a jumpsuit. ALWAYS with a flat or very small heel. I won’t go into my issues with heels on this post…. But man in drag springs to mind.

Anyway, the point of this post is to say that just recently my formula seems to be changing and I have started to worry about looking like mutton, as in “mutton dressed as lamb”. When you think of that term you probably think of a lady of a certain age dressed in a crop top and a pvc mini skirt. That definitely isn’t me. Even my baby Charlie wouldn’t let me out the house in a crop top. I mean I suddenly feel too old for some of my dressing formulas and even my favourite, reliable brands. It’s come as a bit of shock.

Just last week I did a Topshop order online. I wanted some new bottom halves. As I had a baby 9 months ago, my body has been changing so I made do with my old jeans. I wanted some new slightly trendier straight leg jeans and as I was browsing I spied a lovely little let down hem denim mini skirt, very similar to a homemade one from the noughties. I love my trusted leather mini skirt (even though the zip only goes a third of the way up). Same formula, or so I  thought! Thick black tights, a baggy knit and a nice little Chelsea boot or sneaker that is totally a bit of me. Turns out It TOTALLY isn’t.

In fact none of the 3 items I bought from toppers on that order were. The nice trendy straight leg jean didn’t even go over my bum. Right size, but where the hell has the lycra gone? The standard skinny Jamie jeans were exactly the same as a pair I already had, and as for the denim mini….  I wasn’t JUST teetering on the edge of Mutton!

I have recently discovered the joy of dungarees. After the birth of my 3rd baby I decided to treat myself and they have kept my confidence on the edge of cool mum (just, mind you). I am also partial to a trainer. In my head a trendy trainer definitely keeps me from falling off the edge. I also love a jazzy sock  (that’s with an s!). All of the above definitely means I’m teetering on an edge of Mr Tumble/Timmy Mallet, but hopefully in my head I haven’t fallen (just clinging on for dear life). But the denim mini was a step too far. I think it looked ok, but it just felt wrong.

In conclusion, what I have realised from all this, is that its ok for your style to change and evolve. Its not about age or the fact that I’m a mummy, its just about time and self esteem. I think I have actually just grown up a bit. On Saturday I bought a pair of Cos skinny jeans and deleted the Topshop app from my phone. I had had 4 beers and a large amount of sake but it was still a high cliff to fall from. I used to feel confident in a denim mini, now I feel confident dressed like an extra from Cbeebies.

For the record my husband does still fancy me……. luckily.



The lovely denim skirt that 25 year old me would have loved.