I’m nicer when I like my outfit 

Quote Anon.

Ouch, this quote is like the truth jumped out and smashed me in the face. It’s true, I’m a little shallow and I like nice things.

When I’m ill I do something odd; I wear my best pjs and indulge where I can; sleep in fresh linen, soak in a hot bath and depending on how poorly I am, I’ve been known to paint my nails or whack on a face pack because baggy jogging bottoms and old pjs make me feel worse.

For work I have the opportunity to wear ‘office clothing’ and I indulge in one awesome designer outfit every year. It’s meant I’ve now built up a wardrobe that makes me feel confident. Many people don’t like to spend money on work clothes but for me, this is where I spend most of my time, and it makes sense I want to be the best version of me most of the time. This of course doesn’t mean that the more expensive your clothing the better human you are…but for me, I am nicer when I like what I’m wearing.

The only thing I hate about this quote is the word ‘nice’ it really should stay on the side of a biscuit. So if I could I’d rewrite it to say ‘when I like my outfit I’m always kinder, more thoughtful and react to situations better’ I would.

Recently I went ‘out out’ with a friend for food, wine and gin, well a lot of gin. We are blessed to be neighbours, so on a Friday evening we left the hubbies with the kids and hit the big lights of…our village pubs. This meant the hassle of cabs or not driving was taken away and we could focus on being together. With great company you always have a good time, regardless of venue and actually we are blessed with some nice places to drink and eat in our tiny corner of the world. However, I wore a dress. It was a leather and fabric combo from Ted Baker and I added some killer heel ankle boots and my new leather (well pretend to be leather) jacket from Topshop for the occasion. I knew the rest of the pub would be wearing hoodies, jeans and there was even a man who was obviously a painter and decorator for a living who had come straight from work. I felt fabulous and didn’t really care about being over dressed – I was in the heavenly colour of black so felt I didn’t stand out like an Alsatian in a poodle palour, plus I rarely go out since being blessed with the little man and therefore felt it was necessary to enjoy getting ready.

Sometimes fashion is my armour to the world. People look at you and make judgements, sometimes I may hide behind a chunky scarf or may reveal all in a show stopper dress, these are my decisions and help me to tackle the world around me, I stopped caring what others thought of me in about 2001, so its more about my mental well being. If Ive got a busy day – a classic dress that makes me feel gorgeous is my go to, if its the first day back at school and I know I’m going to spend most of it wondering what my little dude is doing at Pre-school without me, then only a new pair of heels is going to get me through until pick up time.

Another aspect that I adore is throwing clothes out, in fact throwing anything out; even objects that aren’t mine, yes I really enjoying binning Mr F’s items. He rarely notices and Im just not sentimental. Going to an over flowing draw, tipping it out and chucking most of it in a donation bag literally makes me smile from ear to ear. I totally recommend this because its cheaper than therapy, makes you feel fantastic and the bonus is that others benefit from your yesterday jumpers, jeans or that bag that you bought when you were hungover and lacking judgement.

Clothing is a fantastic way to accessorise your identity, your mood or perhaps affirm who you would like to be. I rarely get my hair done these days, but a half head of highlights makes me feel cleaner (I think its the lack of dark roots) and more confident. I also live for a trim with a blunt line that makes my hair look loved. We all need pamper time. As regular reader will know Sunday nights for me are nails, face mask and luxury bubble bath in my house, should a glass of something fizzy join me then I sip it with delight. On a serious note, we all need time to pamper ourselves, we are worth it and need to step back from the hassle of life and if it sounds shallow then I make no apologies because I am nicer when I love my outfit, when I feel good and the triple bonus is that those around me spend time with a better version of me.

Whats your go to for a quick emotional pick me up?

As for my girls, I’ll raise them to think they can breathe fire 

Quote by Jessica Kirkland.

Sometimes I write a post in my sleep and wake up with an urge to get it typed up. This is one of those posts as this quote spoke to my soul.

I am a human, a member of a race that I’m mostly ashamed of. I choose not to be a feminist because categories breed further division and I don’t wish to be equal due to my vagina disability. I was born like it, apparently just under half the worlds population similarly suffer from it. It doesn’t hold me back and I do believe that it shouldn’t nor should it let anyone else, although I’m not naive to know that this is not the case for all women. I’m raising a son to respect humans, animals and the world around him – the world is crying out for loving. Gender is mostly irrelevant – if he wants to paint his nails, he can. I couldn’t give a crap about blue or pink toys and I’m happy to be the bread winner in my tribe, I’ve breast fed in public and I don’t need a trophy for this, however before I get truly ‘ranty’ this isn’t what I liked to discuss, ranting is too easy and negative.

For regular Fridge readers you’ll know that my first step into motherhood began with the birth of a baby girl. She was too precious for this earth and quickly fled for greater things. However, before she left we had some precious time together and she branded me a ‘Mummy’. I loved it and always will.

Before I knew I was pregnant, I went for a job at an all girls school. I got the job, then found out I was pregnant and had an awkward email to write which when something along the lines of ‘I’d love the job…by the way’ and I’ve been at the same school since 2009.

Part of my title is ‘Nurture Teacher'(seriously cool title) and it translates as many things but also allows me to help heal a lost teenage soul, who is going through a traumatic time or has been damaged due to life delivering them a hard hand earlier in life. This quote resonates with my 9-5 life. I see potential and sparkle in everyone of my girls. They are each unique and whether they are dealing with mental health issues, stuck in the system of being a looked after child or simply grieving for a loved one, we ride together through the pressures of academic attainment and the triumphant and tragic events that daily life brings.

It’s a privilege that they let me in when many doors to their very beings are closed. Like all members of staff, I have an ID tag and it states my name, job title and amongst it the word ‘Teacher’. I wear it with pride (and because Health and Safety dictate I have to) and ive realised that my classes often misunderstands the concept of a teacher – someone who will guide or do things for them, tell them or help them when times are tough. They miss the word ‘each’ hidden in the word, probably consumed by the towering T in front. To me, it means each one matters and each one has something to teach me about this crazy world. You see I would never have understood how rejection can consume, mental health can debilitate families and disorders that involve food – be it too little or too much can poison families to collapse…

But my girls can breathe fire. I remind them to turn each day around and I teach them all the things I will never have the honour of being able to teach my own daughter. To hold their heads high, to kick ass in academic challenges; especially GCSE’s which will open new doors for them beyond my classroom and watchful eye.

My girls can do anything they wish to dream, go anywhere they chose to fly – they are fierce but not because society has labelled them ‘female’, not because we are still battling for equality but because my 16 years old girls have already been through tragic events, overcome them and are better for it, otherwise whats the point if you don’t learn from the journey. The fire in them burns deep and I truly believe in all of them, each and everyone.

Sadly, some will be consumed by the fire and won’t make it out of the ashes, others will do okay and make do, which is perfectly fine with me – after all Im not present in their lives to dictate their destination. However, ever few years I get the privilege of working with a pupil who has so much potential it ignites my own fire. I know that however fragile they might be in this very moment with hard work and a clearer perspective, wonderful moments are just around the corner for them.

If you have the privilege or being a Mother to a child – no matter what colour, creed or gender – don’t let them ‘think’ they can breathe fire…show them how its done and tell them they already can.

Eating well is a form of self respect.

Quote unknown 

I’ve decided that we all have issues around food; some over eat, some under eat, some are fussy, some eat to comfort and others to reward, some are obsessed with counting the calories and others eat to forget reality…we are all in the food spectrum of crazy. 

I’m not that bothered about food if I’m honest BUT that doesn’t mean I don’t have weaknesses…crisps are my treat and delight, I can’t help it – I love them, to the point I don’t buy them because I will eat them ALL, seriously what’s the ‘share’ bag all about? 

However, I like this quote because it reminded me of things that I think are really important when it comes to nutrition…

 Your body is a temple: it’s true, it can’t easily be replaced and you deserve the best. Now we all have weaknesses and treats but try and make them the best quality you can afford. If you fancy a bit of chocolate rather than buy a cheap bar, most posh choccie often has a higher coco ratio which means you don’t have to eat so much. Plus, I always feel like it’s a bigger indulgence when it’s posh. Its usually richer too so you don’t need as much to satisfy you. Unless chocolate is your ‘crisps’ in which case, I wish you all the best. 

I often think what would the best of me pick? Then I have that. I don’t waste calories on things I don’t really like anymore either, I’ve never really liked raw tomatoes, so I have salads without them…this literally occurred to me several weeks a go, I realised I only have them on my plate because I thought I should. I’m also not into mushrooms and fry ups..I’d rather have a dippy egg and save my calories for a pizza later in the day 🙂

When eating out and about I always eat locally sourced, or eat what the place does best, for example in a steak house why would I want a pizza? On vacation in Barbados why would I want a Mexican dish? Eating native means I always find the chefs sprinkle a little more love into the recipes and it’s often cheaper. 

This quote should probably be on most of our fridges, it might help us to make better choices, surely our engines would run better with healthier options motoring us. I also think about my responsibility as a role model to my little dude, variety really is the spice of life and we all eat a huge variety and try new things together. I also don’t beat myself up about having a dessert or indulging every now and then. I don’t want him to see his Mummy counting calories and branding foods as ‘naughty’. So on that note, I’m off to eat a custard filled Doughnut as a Sunday delight just because. What’s your favourite food? 

Some days…

It’s true. I lack consistency. 

Some days I can arrive early, upbeat and organised beyond expectations. Other days I’m lucky to make it out of the front door without forgetting the essentials and brushing my hair is a luxuary.

How could I not use this quote; it’s got the word fridge in it. It literally jumped at me ninja style and curtsied with a wink. Plus, it read my mind. Lately I’ve been sharing gratitude on Instagram with the bloggers from #Grateful52 and in the next few weeks I plan to share a series of kindness acts, mainly because I want to be more actively kind myself. I think it’s important for the little dude to see his Mummy demonstrate these qualities. I guess this is the ‘amaze’ part of the quote. Many dislike Instagram and social media for its perceived ‘perfect lifestyles’ but I think perhaps we may have forgotten that we all have elements of joy to share. I truly love my job, my family and pizza, it would be wrong not to share this with the world (although I wouldn’t actually share pizza, that’s what BOGOF’s are for) plus I choose not to share the negative, it’s not something I wish to manifest in my world and it’s not a vibe I want my son to be over exposed to. The mass media, politics and society’s perception on diversity have this sorted. They ooze negativity and scarcity, however as always I believe in balance also. 

I have left my keys in the fridge. I’d like to blame pregnancy but I was 19 years old and at university so it was probably sleep deprivation, a poor diet and alcohols fault (they made me do it Mum). I haven’t ever dropped my keys down a drain, but I guess there is still time. I have been locked out twice in one week and made the locksmiths Christmas with new fancy locks and call out fees (he didn’t offer me a BOGOF). We are all (mostly) human and make mistakes, error of judgement and sometimes breed with complete and utter losers. We find ourselves in situations that should be on reality TV shows and we pull ourselves up from the ashes of doom. BUT I maintain that we don’t have to wallow in misery, although sometimes it’s nice to paddle for a short amount of time. 

Instead I’m with team amaze. Of course there will be days of haze but if we celebrate the joyful moments and push that out to the world surely that can only manifest more love…and right now we need more love and kindness in the world.

 Who will join me on my mission, how do you stay upbeat in this crazy world of ours? 

We are all broken 

It’s true, we all are. At times a little chipped and at others smashed with only hope and superglue to save us. 

Once you realise that you aren’t ‘mint in condition’ and more ‘wear and tear’ you can appreciate yourself more. Perhaps like an antique dealer looks over their goods, you should look in the mirror and see the advantages of age. My hair is highlighted which is far superior in appearance and condition to my teenage sun-in days. My wrinkles are forming through laughter and joy, with the help of time I fit my body far better than my twenties. I know it’s strengths and hide is weaknesses with accessories, frills and clever darts in the right fabrics. 

Normal is dull and actually, although I like sleek lines and Instagram homes, I really like the dents in my home, no seriously- my dinning room table has a few scuffs from usage. The famous fridge of magnet love also has a large dent on its right side from my sons head (which was also a lucky escape from a trip to AnE) and so it makes sense that our ‘flaws’ make us unique. 

As for the light seaping in, I think that’s a little deeper than our physical appearance. Our soul is our true light and when it meets someone it connects with – it instantly beams. Perhaps our flaws that keep us individual also allow us to maintain deeper relationships, not necessarily with a partner but friends and loved ones in general. My best friend doesn’t look like Taylor Swift, she is intelligent but no Einstein and when we sing together it makes me beam inside – but it won’t be winning us any BRIT awards and despite our in depth conversations, I’ve never heard a mention of a Nobel Peace Prize? However, she is perfect for me. I love her flaws and her attitude to life, I adore the way she finds a boost of assertiveness every so often and for the rest of the times is passive and puts herself to the back of the line, always at her own detriment. 

Look at your loved ones and love their flaws. Enjoy each others unique talents, ways and methods. Then look in the mirror and say ‘sure I’m broken, but look at the light that comes from within and now glows for those I chose to share it with’. That surely is what living is all about, right? May your days be full of light 🙂