Our 6 month bucket list

So, I finally did it.

I booked up my ideas *with the help of Joshua* and we’ve decided exactly what we would like to achieve from our year. We have created our 2017 BUCKET LIST! (shut up, I know its July, I got sidetracked) and I thought I would share our ideas with all of my mum friends that might get a little bit stuck for something new sometimes like us:

2017 BUCKET LIST

Have a Picnic

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Have a water fight

Visit a pumpkin patch

Visit a museum

Have a walk around a lake

Go hiking

Plant a flower/tree

Visit a fair

Go to an amusement park

Have a movie night

Visit a firework display

Build a pillow fort

Go swimming

Visit a new park

Visit a farm

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Have a family game night

Have a sleep over

Help wash daddys car

Play out in the rain

Go camping

Visit the library

Visit a farmers market

Go gymnastics

Visit a beach

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Go to the cinemas

Look for stars (probs when camping?)

Play golf

Paint a picture

Go to a trampoline park

Make our own music instruments

Build a snowman

Bake a cake

Go to the zoo

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Feed the ducks

Visit santa

Ride on a train

Go see the illuminations

Have a family pyjama day

Try a new restaurant

Buy a gift to donate

Go to a local fun day

Play football

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Start a long book to read together at bedtimes

Have a treasure hunt

Play outside to find bugs and insects

Try a new hobby/class

Play hide and seek

Visit the christmas markets

Go on a boat

Make our own smoothies

 

Better get started, were nearly in our 7th Month!

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Why play tug of war when you can cut the rope in half?

I have always been an open book. I tell people way too much about my life and the older I’ve got, the more I’ve always regretted it. I told people plans that I didn’t follow through with, I told people about struggles I’ve faced for it to be used against me. Ive shared my experiences, good and bad, in order to help other people and sometimes, myself.

But as I said, as I’ve gotten older, and especially over the last few months, I wish I’d never have discussed my life with others so much. Especially temporary people. I had a job that I quite liked when I was just 17 and after being a complete open book to them as to why I was late once (I was currently homeless, I only had enough bus fair to get me to work and not home and I literally carried a bag of my clothes around with me) I think they decided that It would be easier to find somebody with less baggage. But young and naive Lauren just wanted to let them know that I am doing everything I can but its just a little hard at the moment. Its something I have always regretted and think about often, and only the other day did I pass the manager that fired me. God I was close to walloping her across her saggy, judgemental mush. (not sure if I realise that this isn’t a personal diary and the world will be able to see it, but hey – I said i’d still be an open book about some things I suppose)

I wish I never told anybody anything when I was younger. Colleagues, Distant relatives, anybody that isn’t Ryan I suppose. I think I will always be openly honest about a lot of things, but now I think I would love to take everything back and be a complete closed book. I am at a stage in my life where I wish nobody knew anything about me that I don’t want them to know. Nobody has the right to discuss or judge or even question the person I am and used to be (who I would go as far to say are two different people).

I find that in the past I sometimes painted a picture of myself who I thought each person wanted me to be, rather than actually being myself, but over the past few months I would say I have learned a lot about myself. It’s like all of a sudden I’ve had this epiphany and I know exactly who I am after my dramatic quarter-life crisis late last year.

But one thing I have definitely learned this year is that I cannot be dealing with drama. I cannot cope with the constant need to fulfil the happiness of other people when it actually makes me feel a little bit shitty in doing so. I cannot paint on a face and pretend to be happy with a situation when I am not.

I’ve cut off a lot of people off over the past few months (A LOT) and I honestly have never felt so relieved. Having to constantly stick to arrangements that I’m not happy with, sitting in somebody’s company that I cannot bare to spend another moment fake laughing at, listening to somebody tell a story whilst thinking ‘that’s bullshit’ the whole way through. Well it honestly started to grind me down. Pretending to be somebody I’m not in order to please others.

So instead of pulling and pulling at the rope, fighting to stay happy and trying to please everybody and keep the peace… I just let go.

The relief was instant. I have never felt better. I stopped giving respect to those that didn’t give it back. I think the few people I have around me might sometimes worry that I might regret it one day (and who knows, maybe I will) but I decided that I have to do whats best for me. I will not have a single person in my life that puts me down, makes me feel less of a person, or particularly tell me that I won’t amount to anything when they have a big big lesson to learn in life considering they know nothing about ‘adult life’ at this point. (if any of you are reading this, ill let you decide which one relates to you)

I think my biggest worry was that cutting myself off from the world might affect Joshua, but if somebody is having a negative impact on my life, surely this would inadvertently affect him? Besides, the people that truly love him and want to see him (and its definitely clear who those people are) would not cut him off due to our differences. The ones that have cut him off as though we’re a package are the ones I feel sorry for. It is most definitely not his loss, its theirs. And I think I will continue to follow this motto.

“Never wrestle with pigs, you both get dirty, and the pig likes it”

For a while I felt lonely and wondered why I felt so distant to the world. I wondered why nobody liked me and why I was never good enough, and why everybody around me seemed to have a problem, but the truth is, it was my time being wasted, not theirs. It was me cutting them out of my life, not the other way around. Its me walking away and leaving the tug of war. So its not that I’m lonely, I’m just choosing not to play a game that I have no interest in winning.

I have my amazing fiance, my gorgeous little boy, a few very close family members, a few good friends and I’m pretty sure they all know who they are. I have very few people around me these days and yet I’ve never been more happy.

Now the only games I have to worry about playing are ‘I spy (it usually begins with ‘N’ and the answer is usually dog) and football. And thats how I hope it stays…

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Biased girlfriend syndrome

So i’m one of those girlfriends (technically, I’m a fiancee now, but who’s being specific?) that gets moody and stroppy when I don’t get my own way, but in my defence, what girlfriend isn’t?

I expect you to know exactly what I want before I ask, and if you don’t I’m pretty sure I’m gonna threaten to make you sleep on the couch and use it against you for months.

When i’m in the kitchen cooking tea, how dare you presume that I’m not actually watching anything and decide to watch ‘Steve Austins Broken Skull Ranch” – I clearly wanted to listen to the weather! / But if you’re watching Steve Austin and I’ve just got out of the bath, please know that when I come downstairs I will expect you to turn something better on immediately.

When you’ve finished a delicious (if I may say so myself) home-made meal, if I ask you how it tasted and you respond ‘lovely’ every night, i WILL get the hump. Mix it up boy – tell me its delicious or flavoursome or exquisite. If you cook something for me, I’m pretty certain it’ll be too cold or undercooked, and I will make it known.

If I ask why you didn’t wash your plate and you say ‘you didn’t ask me to’ AM I YOUR MOTHER – NO! (well kinda, sometimes) DO IT BECAUSE YOU SHOULD, NOT BECAUSE YOU’VE BEEN ASKED TO! But if I leave my plate on the floor next to me for 2 hours, its completely fine, I’ve had a busier day than you today.

When I ask you to get me a surprise from the shop and you come home with a bottle of Oasis when I clearly wanted Lucozade – WHAT IS THE FUCKING POINT IN THIS RELATIONSHIP YOU SHOULD KNOW ME BETTER THAN THAT! But if you ask me to get a chocolate bar for you and I forget it, I’ve got a lot on my mind, go and get it yourself!

And if you dare take one of my M and M’s without asking, please understand that I will donkey kick you as you’re walking up the stairs behind me. If you respond to the donkey-kick I will NOT be happy. You are not allowed to retaliate. I might have broken your nose, but you broke my heart as you chewed on one of my favourite delectables.

If I smack your arse whilst you carry a bru and accidentally spill it all down you, don’t even bother to react by tea-towel whipping me. YOU’RE SO HEAVY HANDED AND I WILL TAKE IT OUT ON YOU FOR THE REST OF THE NIGHT.

If I lock you out of the house whilst you put the bins out, in nothing but your boxers, don’t start shouting ‘Loz, come on its freezing out here!’ in that grumpy tone, because ill only make you stay out for 10 seconds longer than originally intended.

Please don’t say ‘you look beautiful’ when I have no make up on. Ill only shout at you for lying when I’ve got no make up on cos I’m pretty sure I’m a 3 at best.

WHY ARE YOU WATCHING A VIDEO ON YOUR PHONE WHILST IM TRYING TO LISTEN TO AMBER PRETEND SHE CARES ABOUT KEM! But also, if I find a video whilst were watching Love Island, you must pause the TV immediately so I don’t miss it.

When we’re cuddling, please don’t put your legs on me, they’re too heavy. If I put my legs on you and you complain, I’m pretty certain you’re calling me fat and I won’t be happy.

When you’re rubbing my back, don’t you dare do it for anything less that 3 hours. If you ask me to rub your back, please note that my arm will ache after 4 minutes and after that ill just tickle the same spot for the rest of the time.

If I’m squeezing your spots, stop being such a baby and man up! If i ask you to get one of my spots, don’t you dare be rough, that shit hurts!

 

 

So what if you haven’t bought any new trainers in the past 2 years, you’ve only bought me 4 bunches of flowers since we got together WHERE IS THE LOVE?

If I tell you I ordered a bag that I realllllyyyyyyyy liked online and its on sale for £40 reduced from £270, please know that if you spend £3.70 on a coffee without consulting with me I will ask you how you expect us to save up when you’re being crazy with money!

If I let our toddler have toys in his bath after you said no, its because I feel bad for him because he’s just so cute and he couldnt possibly mean it he’s only a baby. If you let our toddler have toys in the bath after I said no then I’m pretty sure you’re trying to start world war 3.

If you start to tidy up at 9pm because the mess is annoying you, please know that I will not be joining you, Big Brother has just started. If I randomly stand up and start tidying whilst you’re video calling your gran from Spain who you haven’t spoken to in 18  months, and you do not cancel on her and join in, please do not expect me to even look in your direction without scowling for the next 7 days.

Boys, guys, gentlemen, lads – I am so sorry – you will never ever win. You are always much more rough than we are, and we have more feelings so its more likely you’ll hurt them. But we love you really, and we do actually appreciate you putting up with our psycho princess bullshit every now and again.

I am actually completely obsessed with Ryan. He is my absolute best friend and without him I would be lost. I also think we work so well to make life decisions together and to be good cop bad cop to the kid when required (I’m usually good cop, it means i get cuddles even when he’s being a little shit – Joshua, not Ryan)

I won’t say anything further, I know you’ll be reading and you’ll only come home and eat my M and M’s on purpose. I love you millions you big bald bell-end. Thank you for always being my number one fan with everything I do. you da real MVP

To the people shaking their head in disgust and saying ‘oh dear, who would put up with that shit’ – *please note* – This blog requires a slight sense of humour (come on I’m no Jason Manford but its clear to see its bants – its all tongue in cheek! – Im talking about us psycho girls in general, I don’t actually mentally and physically abuse Ryan on the regs (just every now and again when he deserves it) He might be 20 days younger than me, but there’s no need to call childline, he’s actually pretty well looked after!

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PS – I just wanted to say thank you so much to everybody that has taken the time to message me/comment and share my blogs, and to the people that take time out of their day to have a read of my rants and waffles. Its so incredible having people from Cyprus, India, USA and all over the world visiting my blog, but its so special to me that people I know and from allover the the UK have given me so many lovely compliments. Thank you so much x x x x

 

 

If you’re a dad… this ones for you!

Happy fathers day to all of the dads out there!

The ones that miss out on gym sessions and a fun lifestyle to spend time tucking in their babies and reading Julia Donaldson books. To the dads that were ‘too young’ to have children and stepped up to prove the world that age is just a number. To the dads that were ‘too old’ to have a baby, unaware of just how much energy they would find to chase the kids around the park when it was time to go home and everybody was having too much fun to leave. To the dads that got their ‘end’ away when mum only wanted a massage. The dads that stepped up when the biological sperm donor didn’t.  The dads that are no longer with us but are most definitely watching over us (probably saying something along the lines of “stop drinking so bloody much” and “stop turning all of the lights on it looks like Blackpool illuminations in here” The dads that say “do you think I’m made of money?” and then proceed to hand over an extra £10 without a second thought.

Happy fathers day to the dads that say “you’re not going out wearing that!” and the dads that might only see their kids on the weekend, but make it the best weekend ever. The dads that face endless sleepless nights and still get up super early to work overtime in the morning just to buy their child an extra birthday present. The dads that have their toenails painted and the dads that dress as ninjas with their babies and fight to the death. The dads that as you grow up, end up becoming one of your best friends. The dads whose cuddles make everything better when you’re hurt.. and the dads that might shout when you fall over and say ‘well its your own pissing fault, get up and dust yourself off’ but inside their stomachs hurt with worry.

To the men that might not be called dad, but they step up and play the role anyway. The dads that might not be related by blood but will always be related by the heart. The dads that fell in love the day that they met their child for the first time. The dads that play pirates and princesses, dinosaurs and ninjas. The dads that jump on the bed and then later pretend they have no idea how the bed broken. The dads that used to drink endless shots on the weekends and now most weekends they drink endless cups of coffee in the hope that the teddy bear picnic might end soon and he can get 20 minutes rest to watch the football.

The grandads that tell stories of the ‘older days’ and how there was no Paw Patrol in their day. The grandads that play fight with the kids when they should be in bed, the granddads that let you have a sip of beer when mums not looking. The granddads that’ll sit you on their knee and let you have a bite of their biscuit.

To ANY man that has had a positive role in a child’s life….

Thank you!

We might forget to say it sometimes. We might be too busy remembering what were cooking for tea, or whether we’ve put a wash in yet, or whether we remembered to reply to an important email earlier that day. We might be so lost in our own world, worrying that we’ve lost our identities and our free time, that we forgot that you might have lost yours too. We might worry that we’ve gotten out of shape and baggy eyes due to lack of sleep and over consumption of ‘fast foods’ but we sometimes forget that you might be having a bad day too.

So thank you. Thank you for everything you do for us. Thank you to our dads that are by our sides for love, comfort and help whenever required. Thank you to our childrens dads for being there by our sides through all of it. The most incredible family memories, the tiring night feeds, the trips to school plays to see their kids play their first main part (or the donkey in the nativity, no judgement here!) and the times that we all just need a cuddle from Dad. Thank you for everything.

Sincerely,

The mums  (The ones that gave birth and will continue to use it against you for the next 18 years) 

 

 

..

And to the Men in my life especially..

My dad of course – who I couldn’t love any more if I tried!

Ryan – my fiancé, best friend and the dad of my child(ren). I could’nt have chosen a better role model for Joshua (and any future siblings) and I’m so thankful for everything you do for the both of us.

Chris (Ryan’s dad/Joshua’s grandad) – who the three of us would be completely lost without!

Our grandads, uncles and brothers – we love you all.

 

A Joan Walden kinda life ..

If my life was a movie, it would be perfect. I mean, it is in its own way – but like, you know the mum in Cat in the Hat? The one that fully has her life together. She has a perfect figure, shiny blonde hair, a job that she loves, a perfect house in a lovely neighbourhood, and she’s just completely excelling life in general. The kind of person that you would be so completely and utterly jealous of that you would love to smack them across their toned, tanned and perfectly contoured little mush.

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If my life was a movie, Ryan and I would have bought our family home by now. I would have started my career and bought myself a Nissan Juke, we would be planning our wedding in the Maldives (of course) and I would have booked our family trip to Disneyland Florida for 3 weeks (I’d have booked the most luxurious dog kennel in Manchester for our little french bulldog Buddy too)

Id have a two-weekly visit to get my hair, nails and eyebrows done at the local spa and Ryan and I would be up every morning super early for our couples gym sesh (or a run around our perfect little neighbourhood with Buddy), and instead of my all time favourite chocolate hazelnut hot chocolate with cream from Starbucks, I would opt for a smoothie made mostly of kale and pretty coloured foods all blended into one. I would make Joshua lunch with colourful healthy foods placed in the shape of an animal (ha! it totally wouldn’t, but I’m painting a picture here, stay with me)

I would have a garden with the best swing set, and a big BBQ area and the best swimming pool that Costco has to offer. My kitchen would have an island in the middle where we would all gather to eat breakfast together and drink fresh orange juice out of a glass jug. My ‘lounge’ (shut up, its a living room) would consist of nothing but pretty furniture and decor and Joshua’s bedroom would resemble the worlds best play area (i’d install zip wires and bouncy floors, the lot.

But the question is, what actually is a ‘perfect’ life? Does the perfect life even exist? I mean, of course it’d be perfect to live a Kardashian lifestyle, jetting off on holidays on a two-weekly basis and spending the days in my 12 acre swimming pool, but I don’t want to be Kimmy K – i’d just appreciate her pay cheque every now and again…

I mean, lets look at Joan Walden’s life past the exterior for example (The ”perfect” cat in the hat mum mentioned above) – Her boyfriend is an overweight, slobby loser just pretending to be the perfect guy. Her life seems super busy and stressful (she didn’t even want to throw a party for work but she had to) and from what I remember, her boss was a bit of a bell-end, her babysitter Mrs Kwan was absolutely useless and her son was a little shit! So just because somebody is being perceived to have the perfect life that you wanted (it just so happens that mines out of a movie) not all is what it seems. We all have good and bad going on in our lives.

I might not have the perfect skin or the shiniest hair, and I definitely do not know how to contour. How the fuck do you do it girls, I just shove a line of bronzer on my cheek and a line of highlighter just above it, and I’m pretty sure it makes my face look fatter (HAHAH only kidding, any excuse to pass the blame for my giant head) – but Im super lucky to have somebody that loves me regardless.

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Miley Cyrus showing off my signature look ‘plucked too many hairs whilst trying to make my brows even’ 

I might not have the best eyebrows (sometimes when i pluck them myself I end up looking like Miley 2014) and I might not live the perfect lifestyle, but Im lucky enough to appreciate where I’m at in life. Im 21 (nearly 22), Im studying Business and management level 3 at home in my own time, I love taking photos and being outdoors  where I can feel the crisp fresh air on my giant contour-failure of a head.

My son is so polite, adorable, handsome and cheeky, just like his daddy, who I’m also proud to have claimed as mine. I plan to one day marry the love of my life (not Ryan, Cillian Murphy) on a beautiful island in the sunshine with our babies there to witness the whole thing. I plan to one day have my dream car (probably won’t still be a Nissan juke by the time I can afford to buy one in 2047) and we will have bought the family house that we always wanted.

Some years we will have multiple holidays abroad and others we might pop down to devon for a week. Sometimes we will eat breakfast as a family (minus the glass jug full of orange juice, whats wrong with pouring it out of the bloody tropicana carton ay?!) and other days we will all be rushing around because we woke up late. Some days I might send Joshua to school with the healthiest lunchbox filled with healthy snacks and treats, and others I might pop a sandwich, banana and a coco pop bar into his gruffalo bag and send him on his merry way.

I just think its about trying to find a balance

Eat a jaffacake (or 4) – but then have a bit of fruit next time you’re hungry

Work hard to get where you want to, but so what if you take time out from doing so!

Get your hair, nails and eyebrows done,  take care of your skin and your body to your best ability (look after yourself in general!) but if you’d rather spend your money elsewhere/or you forget to take your make up off one night before bed then I PROMISE YOU WILL NOT DIE FROM IT. If you don’t buy a house until you’re 40 – WHO CARES. If you haven’t gotten the swing set that you always dreamed of getting for your kids, then get it for your grandkids! If you can’t afford to buy them a 3 acre swimming pool in the back garden like Kimmy K and co, then squeeze into your swimming cozzie and get down to your local swimming pool, or better still grab yourself a cheap paddling pool from Tesco, it does the same job!

Don’t beat yourself up about not being where other people are. Life is not a race, nor a competition. You might not have your idea of ‘successful’ just yet, but who’s to say you never will? You might not have lost the baby weight 3 years down the line (baby weight, any excuse hahaha I just like cake) but who’s to say you couldn’t start a diet right now and drop the excess weight over the next 6 months.

To anybody that feels as though they should have achieved so much more by now, you’re still here, which means you still have time. THE MAJORITY OF US FEEL THE SAME WAY, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! We all have something going on, we all have goals we haven’t yet achieved and we all want better, but just because you don’t have those things yet, it doesn’t mean that you never will…

We’re all just winging it. Literally.

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wild nights in, quiet nights out

So Ryan and I are an odd pair. We are literally best friends and our true personalities only come out when nobody else is around.

We’re the kind of couple that would prefer to relax with an alcoholic drink and a curry on a Saturday night curled up on the couch watching a bit of Love Island or any other mind numbing, yet slightly addictive reality TV show (I DESPERATELY WANT CAMILLA TO FIND LOVE!) Or a bru and a series binge (netflix/sky box sets for the win)

But every now and again on a Saturday night, we decide to peel ourselves off of the couch, pack a bag for the sprog and palm him off onto one of his grandparents (praise the lord for grandparents) and explore the Manchester nightlife together.

I absolutely LOVE date nights and the fact that we get to spend time having adult conversations, laughing and drinking together ..

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Problem is, we’re a little bit boring, because we HATE crowded places. Some people are all for it, they love the idea of of a huge exciting atmosphere and everybody having a laugh together (and when I’m out with the girls, I do too) but when it’s just the two of us I much prefer a meal in a quiet restaurant or drinks in a bar where we have a slightly private table (I absolutely hate restaurants where the tables are placed really close to each other I do NOT want to see Jim at table 9 sucking the excess juices from his pulled pork burger off of his fingers)

So, for all of you couples that like your own space on a night out, heres a list of my favourite nights out in manchester so far:

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The Comedy Store  – We went to the comedy store a few months back and it was absolutely brilliant! We’ve been to a few different comedy nights and the comedy store is the only one I would return to time and time again! 5 brilliant acts, the seating is arranged in a theatre setting, theres a nice little restaurant to eat beforehand downstairs if you wanted, and when the weathers nice you can sit on the locks and enjoy a drink in the sun!

 

waxyoconnorsWaxy O Connors – Waxy’s is a spacious irish bar in the Printworks, it has lots of ‘quiet areas’ and to be fair its quite a nice setting…

 

 

Roxy Ballroom – As far as I’m aware, Its pretty new – and its one of my new favourite places!! Its located on Deansgate (next to Living room) and its 2 floors of ball games. Large pool tables, each with their own seating area, ping pong tables, BEER PONG!! Its absolutely brilliant. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t the cheapest option (Pool is £12 per hour) but we got a deal for an extra half hour free and i’d say it was our favourite part of the night.

 

CINEMAS

for me, you will NEVER beat a cinema date (meerkat movies for the win). No i do honestly love the cinemas. Exciting new film, large tango ice blast, Minimal effort required! What better to do than to catch up on the latest marvel movie (Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is amazing by the way!) .. Pros of our three local cinemas:

Ashton Cineworld: 5 minute drive from us, close to M60 / free parking / surrounded by good food (IF YOU HAVEN’T BEEN, STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND CHECK OUT THE ASH TREE FARM!)

AMC Cinemas: Central manchester / comfy seats / the arms on the chairs lift so you can get extra comfy / close to plenty of pubs/clubs and restaurants

Odeon Trafford Centre: I LOVE the trafford centre. Who doesn’t? Its a haven when you’ve got a few pennies spare (and even when you haven’t but you end up spending them anyway) but I get a nice ‘feel’ from this cinemas. The ice blasts are miles better than cineworld to be fair, and again free parking (yay) – again, lots of nice restaurants around too!

Im pretty sure these are really popular places to all of you ‘Manchester lot’ but if you’re not from Manchester and you’re like Ryan and I, you prefer a little bit of ‘personal space’ when you’re out – i’d definitely consider the above! If not, pop on your comfy socks, find a series on netflix and get a cadburys hot chocolate down your neck!