Archive for Mum life

Isolation Tales – Week 4 – Life lately…

Hi, how are you doing, really? Here we are at week four already, Easter seemed to come and go and although we were sad not to be having the loud family gathering we might usually be having, we actually had a really lovely weekend.  Of course the amazing weather we were blessed with helped a lot! 

We’ve all been going to bed late and getting up late and although we don’t seem to be doing too much with our days, they still seem to be flying by and somehow we are at the end of the Easter holidays and I need to start thinking about quite how we’re going to get back into the routine of home schooling again.  Although I am quite a morning person and even though I have been struggling to get up in the mornings lately, I really, love it when I manage to force myself up an hour before everyone else to get my yoga done and have a bit of quiet time so maybe getting back into more of a routine next week will be a good thing.

On the whole this week I have noticed a bit of a shift in my mood.  I feel a little bit calmer, a bit more settled in our quiet days, but evening (and 4 o’clock in the morning) seems to be the time that I start to feel anxious again and remember the reason why we are in this strange situation and I think a lot of you are still feeling that way too which makes me feel less alone. 

For this week’s round up here’s a little ‘What I’ve been…’ I’ve not done one of these for a while so I thought it might be fun.  If you want to join in feel free to steal the prompts!

So, here goes, what I’ve been…


Spotting all of the lovely blossom that has suddenly appeared on our walks, it’s just so beautiful against the blue skies we’ve been having and can’t fail to make you feel happy.  Spring is still springing despite everything.

Snapped this on our dog walk the other day 🙂


Not being able to see people – goes without saying really doesn’t it but we have been having lots of lovely video chats.


Joggers and leggings mainly but the shorts and even a dress came out for Easter day and I was amazed at how much better I felt about myself that day, although it didn’t take long for the joggers to come back!


I actually got around to sewing up something for myself this week.  I made the Mimi blouse from the Tilly and the Buttons book Love at First Stitch.  It wasn’t the easiest of makes but I really appreciated having to take my time and really think about something.  Sewing is so mindful to me. If you didn’t already know I have a separate Instagram account just for my dressmaking and you can follow over at @secret_life_of_a_seamstress (shameless plug alert) 😉


Lots of tea – and wine in the evenings like most of us 😉


All of the cakes we’ve been baking as well as all the Easter eggs, there’s going to have to be some serious exercise done after all this!  We’ve been having a veg box delivered which has helped us be more creative with our veg eating, this week we ended up with lots of carrots and a swede so we made a carrot and swede soup, it was delicious and probably not something we would have made normally. 


Annie Sloan paint! I’m a little bit addicted already.  Upcycling is something I’ve wanted to try for a while and I’ve finally managed to paint our bedside tables.  I used Paris grey and really enjoyed painting out in the garden sunshine.  I’ve even ordered some more paint and if we’re not careful, everything that’s not moving is going to get painted. Next I have my eye on our bedroom mirror 😉


We’ve been catching up on ‘The Split’ and watching old episodes of ‘Not Going Out’ for a bit of light comedy relief.


Dobble – if you haven’t already got this game in your stash you need it.  I’m always amazed by the way it shows how your mind works!  Easily pleased obviously and the perfect size to take out and about with you or play in the garden.


The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell – I absolutely loved this book, could not put it down and managed to finish it in a week which is unheard of for me lately.  I’ve just started The House We Grew Up In also by Lisa on the Kindle.


About how our life might look once this is ‘over’ whenever that might be.


That even though this time might be strange it’s also a bit of a gift in many ways and I want to make sure I use it wisely!

If you fancy doing a ‘What I’ve been…’ yourself do tag me on Instagram so that I can head over and have a read!

Thanks for reading

Take care and stay safe and well!

Sally xx

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Some simple thoughts on this week and a favourite recipe…

Hi everyone!! Wow we made it to the end of the second week of our new routine and I won’t lie it’s been a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. On Monday it seemed like the whole world had a bad day.   I wonder if it was something to do with the novelty wearing off of no school for the kids or possibly the fact that the weather wasn’t quite as lovely as it had been the previous week, but the message amongst almost everyone I spoke to that day was ‘how are we going to get through this?’.  Actually I think the answer to that question lies in that exact paragraph, by talking, sharing, connecting and being there for each other.  There’s a lot floating around at the moment about enjoying this unexpected free time and actually I’m really trying to embrace that, but I also think it’s so important to recognise the bad days for what they are, talk about them and share them because there will most definitely be someone out there going through the same feelings as you at the exact same time. 

Poppy & Primrose Blog
Our entry to the @meandorla #15minutemagic photo challenge on Instagram

Despite the fact that there have been times of real joy for me this week, there have also been times (more times than I’d have liked) when I’ve laid awake in bed and felt really scared wondering what might be around the corner and when things might return to normal if they ever will.  I’m terrible for trying to control things and situations and it’s hard to accept that so much of this is out of my/our control all we can do is do what we are told, stay home, wash our hands, try to find a new or temporary normal and keep on keeping on. 

So, that said, with the intention of sharing a little bit of positivity, here’s a little round up of just three things from our week that I’m loving. I’d love to hear yours in the comments below too if you want to share…


Like so many of us we’ve baked loads since being at home more and I’m really enjoying it.  There’s something so comforting about it and it’s reminding me of how much I used to bake with them when they were little.  So far we’ve baked a fruit tea loaf, scones, brownies and our absolute favourite in this house, banana and chocolate chip bread – I’m sharing the recipe for this one below if you’d like to try it, it’s great for using up all of those old bananas.

Poppy & Primrose Blog
Look at those floury little hands 🙂

Good old waste not want not

I’ll let you into a little secret about me.  I love reading 1950’s housewife and homemaking books and magazine articles (shock horror I know how dare I admit such a thing in this modern age!). I love to read about how things were used up, rarely wasted and how people really seemed to find joy in cooking, baking and eating a family meal together.  I’m not saying I’m enjoying the fact that I can’t get a simple bag of pasta in Tesco for love nor money at the moment, far from it, but it really has made me think more about how I’m cooking, how we’re eating and how much we’re usually wasting eek!!

The other day I made an inventory of everything we had in our cupboards and freezer and the meals I could make from those things.  I joked to a friend that I don’t even know who I am anymore but I secretly enjoyed it.  I even cooked a beef casserole the other day and gave it to the kids too where I usually would give them something else.  We ate it as a family and guess what, as there wasn’t another option, the kids ate it and enjoyed it too! 

Poppy & Primrose Blog
One of the 1940s replica war time leaflets I picked up at a museum

Finding a little routine

I’ve been trying to get up before the kids in the morning so that I have a bit of time to myself to do my yoga, pray, write in my journal and read a little bit.  I’m an avid follower of Yoga with Adriene on YouTube and this week I’ve tried branching out from my usual videos to start following her Home series.

These are things I know help me to cope with the day a little bit better, this hasn’t happened every day due to the afore mentioned lack of sleep, but on the days it has I’ve felt better for it.  We’ve also changed our walk time to the evenings now so that we can all go as a family and it’s been so lovely in these lighter evenings. 

Poppy & Primrose Blog
Our local dog walking spot – so many things to look for…

What little things have you enjoyed about this week, I’d love to hear in the comments below…

Thank you for reading – stay safe and well! 

Lots of love, Sally xx

Poppy & Primrose Blog
Chocolate and Banana Loaf – yummy!!

Chocolate & Banana Loaf

250g self-raising flour | 150g caster sugar | 100g unsalted butter melted | 2 eggs beaten | 2/3 ripe bananas | 75g dark chocolate chopped (we sometimes use a pack of choc chips instead) | a pinch of salt | a lined loaf tin 

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees/gas 4

Mix the flour with the salt and sugar in a mixing bowl.  Add the melted butter when it is cool and the beaten eggs.  Mash the bananas with a fork and add to the bowl. Add the chocolate or chocolate chips and mix together until combined.

Transfer to the prepared tin and flatten the surface.  Bake for approx 45/55 minutes, I tend to check after around 45 and give it longer if necessary or if a clean knife inserted is still coming out sticky.  

Leave to cool for 5 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely (although it is delicious if eaten still slightly warm)!

Enjoy – I’m currently checking our bananas every day to see if there are any ‘on the turn’ so we can make another one hehe!!

World Mental Health Day – My struggle with Emetophobia…

Hi, I’m Sally and I have a phobia of being sick, or to use the proper, medial term I suffer with Emetophobia.  If you know me you will probably have no idea I struggle so much with this, I’ve got pretty good at hiding it over the years.  If you’re my husband, a close family member or a very close friend you’ll be well aware of how much this has affected me over the years and how it still affects me now – although I’m now much better at dealing with it.   

It started when I was about 14 and in high school, a friend of mine asked me if I was ok because I looked pale.  This triggered something in me which had obviously been there, underlying, waiting to come out.  I panicked, OMG I was pale, I was almost certainly coming down with a sickness bug I needed to get out of there fast.  I went to the school nurse complaining of feeling ill and was sent home.  I spent a lot of that afternoon feeling very sick with anxiety but I wasn’t actually physically sick.  From then on, out of nowhere at my young age of 14, when I was least expecting it, crippling panic would grip me.  I would be out and suddenly panic that I was away from home, away from my comfort zone – what if I was sick in front of everyone – I needed to go!!  At first my parents thought I was actually suffering from a bug – the only way I could describe my feelings to them was to say I felt sick.  I did feel sick but it wasn’t because I was ill it was because I was having a panic attack.  My panic attacks usually involve me feeling sick, weak, feeling breathless and shaking uncontrollably. All this began around Christmas time and it was easy to think that perhaps when Christmas was over things might calm down and I’d start to feel better.  I didn’t…

From then on, I would still have the panic attacks and the fear of being sick began to creep into how I ate.  I would avoid certain foods, worry about best before dates, how things had been cooked and whether I’d eaten something ‘bad’ without realising.  I also began to eat less believing that the less that was in my stomach the less likely I’d be to throw up and I started to wash my hands excessively for fear of germs.  People began to notice that I was eating less and losing weight and given my age tended to assume that it was some kind of teenage body image related eating disorder – in reality body image couldn’t have been further from my mind.

I saw the school nurse for some counselling, it didn’t really help.  Mental health wasn’t so well talked about or understood at the time – I’m so grateful that things have changed now.

Probably reading this you might think I’m crazy.  If ever I have tried to explain this fear to someone I’m usually met with a response along the lines of ‘Oh yes I hate being sick too’ I get that – we all hate it, it’s not nice, but this phobia – any phobia – is more than just a dislike of something it’s completely irrational.  It controls your life in a scary way and that’s what makes it so difficult to explain to people.  The irrational bit is of course that in the grand scheme of things vomiting is nothing.  For crying out loud there are people starving out there, actually seriously ill and of course going through much worse but for me when I’m having an attack, being sick feels like it’s the worst thing in the world which in turn makes me feel pretty rubbish because how can I possibly compare this silly irrational phobia with a ‘REAL’ illness or crisis.

I could ramble on for ages about the next few years and how this phobia affected me on and off but I’m so thankful to say that with a supportive family, my Christian faith and one or two very close friends who knew what I was going through things did get much better over time and I began to live a more ‘normal’ teenage life but I still had awful flare ups of this phobia. 

As I grew up the phobia would come and go and manifest itself in different ways.  I struggle with crowds, I feel claustrophobic if I’m ever confined or feel trapped anywhere (flying is still a difficult one), I avoided to the best of my ability, anyone who had had a bug or going anywhere that bugs might be around.  Hospitals, doctors surgeries etc.

I was terrified that I would never be able to have children even though being a mum was something I’d always wanted so much.  There was the possible morning sickness, sickness in the birth not to mention how much babies and children can be ill– plus all those germy nurseries, soft plays etc I’d have to deal with.

You’ll probably know now that I have two gorgeous children – thankfully I managed not to let the phobia stop me from being a mum.  I didn’t vomit AT ALL through any of it, so it is possible.  I prayed A LOT through both of my pregnancies 🙂

However, I do know of people suffering from this who will go through life wanting kids but not being able to have them and it breaks my heart to think that this phobia could ruin someone’s life like that.

Having my children has actually changed me and my focus on my phobia.  I have had some extremely difficult times but on the whole having my children has somehow put things a bit more into perspective for me.  It’s also made me brave.  I’ve done things I never thought I could have, I’ve pushed myself into situations I never thought I’d be able to be in.  I’ve been to the soft plays, I’ve been there with them when they’ve been ill and I’ve coped.  It was always my fear that I would run if they were ill and not be able to be there for them but I did it and I managed. 

The more I push myself the more I know that I will not let this phobia beat me.  It will always be there niggling at me in the background, I’ll probably always be funny about use by dates and hand washing and will probably keep my distance from you for a while if you or your children have had a bug, I’ll go vegetarian in a restaurant rather than risking how the meat has been cooked but I don’t like a lot of meat anyway so that one’s not too difficult.  I’ll always keep myself ‘safe’ in my own little ways, which is why I think if you know me now you would probably never know that I suffer/suffered so much with this – or maybe reading this makes a few things about me a bit clearer, who knows! It’s true to say though that  I don’t tend to talk about this unless I really have to.

I know a bit more now how to manage it and what I need to do to talk myself down.  Getting outside is a major thing for me, as soon as I’m out in the fresh air and in nature I feel so much better.  Having my dog has helped me a lot with my anxieties in this way too – walking him makes me get out into my happy place and feel a lot calmer. Knitting and sewing have of course been immensely helpful to me too,  knitting particularly brings a sense of mindfulness to me that just brings me calm and I think it’s because my hands are busy and my mind is focussed but I can sit on the sofa and watch TV with it at the same time. I knitted through my teenage years too and it helped me so much!  There’s also prayer of course, I wouldn’t manage without my faith which is probably something else I don’t talk about enough here – I’m pretty reserved without even really realising it half the time.

My husband also knows my triggers and symptoms which is a great help and he won’t pander to me if I need to be told to pull myself together which is actually more helpful than I’d like to admit sometimes.

I’m not completely over this, I probably never will be, but I know that I never want it to have control over me like it once did again and I’ll do everything I can to push myself away from it when it tries to stop me living the life I want to lead.

I would love to hear from you if you suffer or have suffered from something similar.  Writing this all down has felt extremely vulnerable but also extremely empowering because I can look back and see how far I’ve come.

The best thing we can do for our mental health is to talk about it and if my story helps even one person out there to know that you can learn to deal with this then it’ll have been worth it.

Lots of love

Sally xx