Scallops for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Scout's Room Makeover

Scout's Room Makeover

Me Again!

Hi, Hello! Been a while since I wrote anything, not really been feelin’ it, but that’s a story for another day. Anyway, lots of people (really, I’m not just saying this) have been asking me about Scout’s room as we finally got round to giving it a lick of paint… only took me 11 months since we moved in… whoops.

As you may have seen, I created a scalloped half wall round her room and I ended up with an influx of messages asking how I did it. And the truth is, it wasn’t that difficult, but I also didn’t have the foresight to document how I did it – rookie mistake. So instead, here are some photos and a little written guide as to how I went about it. I’m not that artistic, so believe me when I say – it’s doable for a novice… and really striking.

For the colour, we chose ‘Plaster V’ by Paint + Paper library and had it mixed by Decorating Centre Online (who were SO helpful!), it’s not dissimilar to Farrow & Ball ‘Sulking Room Pink’ but it also comes in lighter shades. We loved it because it’s quite neutral and not overly “girly” so it’ll grow with her and can be complemented by loads of different colours. I used this little Raduga Grez piece as loose colour inspo (on a side note, Bon Tot now stock these!)

Scout's Room Makeover

How to Scallop

So, I was considering doing scallops for a few months and thought of a few ways to do it. my initial plan was to draw a line around the whole room as a baseline for the scallops, but to be honest… I couldn’t really be bothered. What I did instead was use a piece of string.

I wanted the scallops to be high enough to be viewed over the top of Scout’s cot and chest of drawers and higher than the window sill so I played about with different heights and finally settled on the scallop baseline being 90cm from the skirting board… it was time to start –

  1. First, I marked 90cm from skirting in each corner of the room. Scout’s bedroom isn’t a rectangle and has an angled wall where the door is so I had a few extra corners to do. I then used small pins and ran a length of string round the room pinned at every corner on the 90cm mark this gave me the baseline round the entire room without having to worry about drawing it or using rules or spirit levels etc. I reckon it made it a lot easier and quicker!
  2. I used a really technical piece of equipment to draw my scallops… an IKEA pasta bowl. I played around with a few pieces of crockery before I settles on this one. Side plate was too small… dinner plate too big… pasta bowl was Goldilocks! I then used a Sharpie to mark the diametre points on the edge (I told you this was technical…)
  3. I then moved along the wall placing the marked points on the bowl edge on the string and drew round them using a pencil.
  4. I also drew round the bowl and cut it out on a piece of card to form a template that I could then bend into the corners of the room so that the scallops continue without any breaks… and well, that was it really! it was all marked out and ready to go.

Scout's Room Makeover

The next week my paint arrived and I had a whole child-free day (and night!!!) to get it painted. I bought a round furniture bruch on a bit of a whim in Wilko’s and it turned out to be the best! I cut in all the scallops free hand, and as long as you really load the brush, remove any excess and paint with confidence it’s really easy. As I said, I’m not artistic at all, and I was concerned about getting clean lines, but it was easier than anticipated. the first coat took me around 4 hours to cut in and then fill with a mini roller, not a piece of frog tape in sight! the second coat was around 2 and a half hours as it doesn’t need to be so precise on the cutting in.

The Details

I was really impressed with the finished product, even if I do say so myself! It’s a really effective way to jazz up a room and add colour. Plus, the fact that it’s a half wall means you don’t have to faff about with ladders which made a huge difference.

Here are a few more pics, and I’ve added some details of where bits and bobs are from too!

Scout's Room MakeoverCerise print: Wolfnoodle, Rainbow print: Wonder + Rah, Canopy: Amazon, Nightlight: Beaba (gifted), Light shade: Iconic Lights

Scout's Room Makeover

Hanger: Red Hand Gang, Bookshelf: IKEA, Unicorn Garland: Meri Merin(I think?), Wooden Rainbow: Raduga Grez

Scout's Room Makeover

Pram: Olli Ella, Clothes Rail: Tutti Bambini, Cot sheet: That Darling Brand, Cot: Mama’s and Papa’s, Pom Pom hanging: Love Indy

Scout's Room Makeover

Bunting: Bokuno shop, Cloud Mobile: Mama Tot (gifted)

Scout's Room Makeover Scout's Room Makeover Scout's Room Makeover

Scout's Room Makeover

Staying Home

Staying Home

Staying Home

A New Normal

It’s been over a month since I was supposed to return to work. I wrote a wee post back in December after I decided to hand my notice in during my last month of maternity leave and enter into my new role of the ‘stay at home mum’… a title that perhaps I’m still struggling with?!

Anyway, my decision to take a break from work was based on various factors from financial to logistical and of course, I was excited to be able to be home and spend more time with the kids, but it’s not been without it’s challenges. A bit of a mental juggling act of me trying to get my head round the “new norm” and find my place.

Now, let me just say first off – being at home is easier. There, I said it. Logistically it’s not the headache that getting to work and arranging childcare around a shift worker and a 9-5er was. I can arrange our days to suit us so there is a LOT more freedom which is brilliant! When I was working, even though I was only part-time (4 days), I was often stretched. Between the stresses and strains of my job while also juggling home life. I struggled when I first returned to work after having Oscar – I even wrote about it. Being home has lightened the mental load, there is no doubt about that and I feel incredibly fortunate that I was able to have that choice especially at a time when I was facing dwindling job satisfaction.

Staying Home

The Challenge

However, being at home has still had its challenges for me. Some have been par for the course, but others unexpected.

Let’s be honest – it can be boring… I mean, I’m sorry, but it is. It can be mundane and repetitive and some days feel like a cycle of meal, clean up, nap time, drawing, another meal, more clearing up, maybe another nap, then, oh look… it’s time for yet another meal and I have to clear up all over again and finally – bedtime (except, bedtime for Scout means very little as she likes to wake every hour anyway!). In that respect some days I would prefer to be at work and thinking about a project or event other than play-doh and being able to split the home ‘burden’. I sometimes worry that this sense of monotony means I am not able to as good a mum as I so desperately want to be and that maybe I don’t have enough to give. Whereas, if my time with them was more limited I’d “make more of it” but equally, I suppose I can see that really I’m the only one that can make sure I do my best.

I used to get annoyed when people suggested work was a “break” and I standby that because to me a break is doing something I want to do, whether it’s going for lunch with pals or shopping etc, whereas work was work and taxing in its own right. However, now I concede that I can maybe understand what people were implying as there are aspects I miss such as eating in peace and the social aspect. Work also provides a space that you are you and the work you undertake has a defined value and of course… you get paid.

This idea of “value” is one that I think I may struggle with at home for some time. At the moment I don’t quite feel that I’ve settled into a role with no monetary value attached and it feels somewhat alien, especially as I have worked pretty much constantly since the age of around 13. What is the value of what I am doing at home? Is it valued and respected? Does it have a positive impact? These are all somewhat unanswered questions at the moment. But I am sure time will be the key to unlocking the answers.

Staying Home

Stay At Home Feminist?

I was proud to be a working mum and I think after a period of adjustment, I was doing ok at it. I enjoyed having that aspect of my life away from “mum-life” and was proud of my dual-roles. Keeping my head above water most of the time. I was (and am still) resolute in the belief that creating a balance was good for us all as a family.

And so now when people ask me how I’m finding it “being home” I struggle to find an answer. I feel embarrassed.

When I published my blog post about handing in my notice this was something that came up over and over again. I had an influx of messages from people saying that they were thinking of doing the same and some saying that they were finding it hard to tell people, worried about what they might think! They felt maybe a wee hint of uneasiness or that they were being judged for taking the step and I can totally relate to it.

To me, it feels a little anti-feminist.

Now, it’s not. I have never thought this about any other Mother (or Father) that’s decided to take a break and stay home to raise their children, so why do I think this about myself? But I can’t help but feel that niggle. Will people think badly of me, are they judging me, do they think I’m lazy, but ya know what? That’s my issue really, isn’t it?! We’re always just hardest on ourselves.

Ultimately, individuals make a decision that’s right for them and their family based on their circumstances and that should be applauded. I can’t say I’m particularly bothered about what people think of me in other aspects of life – so why should this be any different?

I really want to just embrace it. I am confident that I have made the right decision and despite the challenges, it’s wonderful to be at home and have the freedom to do whatever we fancy – I’m especially excited about the summer coming and also that we can cram in loads of activities before Oscar starts school next year. I think the more I settle into this “new role” the more comfortable I’ll be in it and I wholeheartedly admire anyone that is 100% confident from the get go, I’m sure I’ll get there, it’ll just take time.

Whatever we decide as mothers, we should just own it. Whether that’s working full time, part-time, working nights, working weekends, deciding to stay home, or wanting to get back to work or study- just do you. But I suppose I wanted to write this for those people out there that might feel those little niggles of doubt that I have. You’re not alone, but I think we’ll be ok. 👌🏽

Lou x

A Year of Change // A Year of Adjustment

2018 – Year of Change

Here we are, and it’s nearly Christmas. I remember standing by our Christmas tree last year with my baby bump and saying to Robin “I cannot believe this time next year we’ll have a nearly one year old next to our tree” – and now it’s here and we have Scout and we couldn’t even have imagined last year who she would be and yet, I barely remember our lives without her!

It’s been such a huge year for us – Scout arrived in January, we finally moved into our new home after the most stressful selling & buying process, Oscar turned 3 in August and started at his new nursery, we got engaged in October and now we’re preparing to host our first proper family Christmas in our home as a family of four. At times it’s felt chaotic and completely overwhelming, but it’s also been one of the best and happiest yet.

This Christmas also marks the last few weeks of my maternity leave. When we had Oscar I decided to go back to work when he was 9 months old, but I did find it hard, especially at first and I always said that if we had another, I would like to take a full year. But man, that year goes fast and it’s been a lot more tiring with a toddler than that relaxed pace of life with your first born. I finished up work on 23rd December 2017 to start back at work on 3rd January 2019… Except, I’m not. I’ve decided not to return to work and I have instead handed in my notice.

Not returning to my job wasn’t ever my plan. Maybe I’ve just been burying my head in the sand a bit, but it’s only been the last few weeks that we’ve really sat down and talked it through so it all still feels a bit scary and a mixed bag of emotions. Worries about independence but also acknowledgment that financially, it wasn’t going to work. Wondering how easy it will be to get back into the working world a few years down the line weighed up against the quality time I’ll get to spend with the kids… but also the genuine fear that I’ll not be cut out for it.

Looking back to last time, I felt genuinely lucky to be able to return to work after my maternity leave with Oscar – for a lot of people, the financial implications of full time childcare is too much to justify, but we were in a really good position with Robin’s shift work to save money on childcare. This change will obviously mean me spending more time at home and although I feel incredibly lucky to have that opportunity, it’s still a little daunting… Of course, I adore spending time with my kids, however I don’t always love it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – it can be tiring, overwhelming, demanding, repetitive and at time, just a bit boring. I think it’s ok to admit that, I reckon I can’t be the only one that feels this!?

When I returned to work after having Oscar, a huge bug bear of mine was people saying that work was a “break”. Now, I get where they were coming from but ultimately the pressures of work were also great and during that time away I didn’t relinquish my parental responsibility – my idea of a “break” is going out with the girls for dinner, not bashing out spreadsheets, but yeah, the relative peace and quiet and different company was a welcomed relief – what if I struggle without that now?

2019 – Year of Adjustment

I’ve been thinking about wee things I can do to ease the adjustment. I’m going to use the time to really think about what I want to do in the future. I mean, this isn’t retirement, is it? So I need to to think about what I’m wanting to do when I do return to work whether it be to develop my skills and remain in my current industry, go back to uni (that’s a scary thought) or something different altogether. Right now, I have no idea, but that’s ok. I’ve got time.

I’m going to take this opportunity to work on something for me – whether that be ploughing some more time into photography as a hobby or just dedicating some more hours to this little corner of the internet – my blog. I always think it’s important to have something to call your own and an interest outside the daily routine.

And I know this one might sound a bit silly, but I want to put time into developing some more friendships! It’s easy as an adult to sort of step back from that because you have your group of friends… I know I do, and they’re wonderful. I genuinely believe the older you get the harder it is to make new pals! But I have so many wonderful “internet friends” – now some of them I might never meet, but there’s a fair few that live close by – so I mean, what’s my excuse?! So ya know, if you live in a 40 mile radius of me – watch out…

All in all, 2018 has been a year of huge change but without a doubt, one of the best years yet and maybe the next will be the year of massive adjustment! It’s a bit early for resolutions, but I’m coming for ya 2019.

Lou x