Papercraft

Brutally Honest Confessions 4 : The one where we handle day to day stress

There couldn’t have been a more apt topic for this weeks instalment in this series, which was actually suggested by Sally in the Facebook group.

Honestly? My first response to stress is to go to bed, pull the covers up over my head and sleep, or to cry, in fact its usually a bit of both! I hate to be stressed or feel under pressure which is why I use planners to work everything out and plan my events and work, trouble is I also like to work on adrenaline and get bored very quickly so I tend to leave tasks until the very last minute, which is fine until something comes up and pushes everything back, thats when adrenaline turns to stress and I cry.

I have become very good at balancing myself so that I do not find myself in this awful place very often (eat!! I forgot to add I eat, ALOT, when I am stressed and never healthy salad its always cake and chocolate) I have a main planner, Erin Condren Life Planner, which I use to plan my daily life and contains lots and lots of To Do’s and deadlines, then I have individual planners for my Vlog & Blog, Etsy Shop and a daily planner which has my daily To Do and Goals on. I have been listening to The Miracle Morning on ebook and it has really helped me to take control of my day, i’ve not quite made it to starting the 30 day challenge (when I start I will let you know) but I have changed my morning routine to incorporate sitting for 5 minutes in peace and quite and writing in my journal, I make a master list of what I need to do in that day and highlight the most important, it keeps me on track and helps me to set realistic goals for the day.

This week has been particularly stressful in that I have had 2 sets of Planner Subscription Boxes to send out, which meant 2 sets of stickers to design, 2 set son accessories to design and make and 2 sets of listings to promote and advertise, I had a month to do it and everything would have been OKAY if the sun hadn’t been shining and I hadn’t taken a few days off to enjoy it with the children, but thats what life is for, right? I’ve worked really hard to change my habits and become productive, so I scheduled my time and kept lots of lists, I scheduled breaks and made sure I had lots of healthy food to snack on, I booked some personal training sessions and made sure I went to all my rugby training sessions. Exersize really does help to clear your mind, not to mention the stress management factor of smashing into someone 6″ taller than you and 2 stone heavier and taking them off their feet and then having them do it back (and that was just a training session) rugby is my physical release.

Thanks for reading, and thank you to Sally for todays topic. If you have a topic you would like to hear our opinion on or if you would like to join in with this series on your own blog/vlog then please get in touch BH_Confessions@yahoo.com and please make sure you check Emma’s post on this topic over at The Stationery Geekette.

Michelle (aka Ugly Bug)

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Papercraft

Make Up Routine : The one with the Jodie Marsh eyes

I’m still not 100% on track with my new schedule, but today I didn’t want to not post, even though I haven’t managed to find enough life hacks to try, or have the chance to film them.

Instead I decided to go in a different direction, one that I love and that I hope to feature more of. I was inspired by Jodie Marsh’s latest upload of her eye make up routine, I loved the finished look but wondered if it was possible to recreate with high street products (she uses some high street products mixed with some higher priced items). So as we celebrated our anniversary this week I decided to try it out and film the process.

Papercraft

Catch up, Gym Diaries, Paperchase planner review.

Its late here and I’m waiting for my newest Vlog to upload to YouTube. Trevor went up to settle the baby about 3 hours ago and hasn’t come back down.. even though it is our 10 year anniversary and we were going to watch  film and have a chilled night… one of the blessings when you have small children.

I decided to film my blog and have a catch up for all the posts i’ve missed this week. We’ve had a problem with identity theft this week and I’ve had a lot on my plate with trying to deal with that.

I’ve done one mega catch up video and covered Tuesday’s gym diaries, Wednesdays “What I think” and todays review of my new personal Paperchase planner.

Tomorrow’s blog post comes straight from the heart and you may need a tissue or 2.. it’s the second in the “Brutally Honest Confessions : Normal Women Trying To Get By” and this weeks title is : The One With The Letter From The Heart.

Thanks for reading.
Michelle xx

Papercraft

Brutally Honest Confessions, Normal women trying to get by : The one with the letter from the heart

 

As I sit here, opposite you in the hospital room, I watch you sleep off the anaesthetic from this mornings surgery and the night shift you finished just 3 hours before you were admitted to hospital. It was a planned hernia operation so we were well prepared, you wanted to work the shift before your operation because you’re worried about how long you’ll have to be off of work. You wanted to make sure there was enough money to cover our bills and pay the rent and that’s one reason I love you so much.

In 7 days we celebrate our anniversary, we’ll have been together for 10 years, the time has flown, it’s a funny thing…..time, I thought it was just something that happened, I’ve never though of us aging or maturing, to me we will always be that same, stupid, couple who fell in love instantly  and wanted nothing more than each other.  But we have grown older, our bodies have changed, not for the worst either… Yours has yoyo’d in weight and won a body building competition, mine has given us 3 beautiful babies.

Our lives are different now, we’re not as care free, we have responsibilities. But it’s still fun, we’re still stupid and we are still as crazy in love as the day we met. We have more in common than ever before, those 3 tiny pieces of our hearts who bring so much love, happiness, stress, worry and fear into our lives.

The kids were so worried when we dropped you off, Not for the first time did I realise how lucky they are to have you I n their lives, a daddy who loves and cares for them and would lay down his own life to protect each and every one of them!

Life was never meant to be about the material things, we never had dreams of grandeur, we only ever wanted to live a simple life with just enough to get us by, but I’ve gone off track, I’ve been sucked into living a life with far more wants and needs than I would ever have imagined, the need to “keep up with the joneses” and to fit in with everyone else’s idea of what life should be. For us it was always just being together, we always were our happiest when we were driving around in our clapped out trucks, without a penny to our name or a worry in our hearts. Don’t get me wrong I love our life, I love providing for our children, but this is what matters, us… together. When our time comes to an end (which I hope is many many many years away) nothing will matter but the time, we won’t remember how much money was in the bank or how tidy the house was, we won’t remember how many Instagram followers we had or that the kids had cereal for tea but we will remember the time, the happy times and the sad. We’ll remember the smiles and the laughs, the tears and the tantrums.

lets remember all of this the next time we’re tired from working late when the kids want to go to the park, we won’t remember the time we were tired but we will remember their little faces as they whizz round the park or down the road on their bikes. Let’s live life today, like we always planned, and make today the best day of our life.. Each and every day!!

As I watch you sleep this is my promise to you, myself and our children, I promise to try to remember how I feel now, I promise to try to remember that play time is more important than work time and I promise you that “Date Nights” no longer need to be scheduled in between my work schedule.. It always should have been the other way round, work can wait time does not.

I love you from the bottom of my heart xx

Papercraft

Confessions of a Plannerholic 3 : The one with the Q&A

For this weeks entry to this series we had a list of questions put together by the lovely Emma who has coordinated this series for us. I decided to film mine for my vlog.

 

Don’t forget to check out the other awesome ladies in this series and have a read of their answers:

Emma Smith – https://thestationerygeekette.com

Katy Evans – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCm2ehww-io6YZGL1kNchynA

Kelly Vizma – https://abeautifulplan.co.uk/

Vicky Buckley – http://beautifullybrokenvicky.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1

Jo Whight – http://pennygatecrafts.blogspot.co.uk/?m=1

Emma Hinks  – https://soggymusings.wordpress.com/

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Brutally Honest Confessions : Normal women trying to get by : The one with the truth about conception

For as long as I can remember I’ve never been the maternal type.. Don’t get me wrong I love the look and smell of babies… In other people’s arms.. Babies were just never my “thing” I wanted the career, to travel and to have “fun” I never realised how much fun having kids could be…. But that’s a future blog post!

Tgats why when I met my husband in 2006, knowing he’d had a vasectomy, I wasn’t worried about not having babies, we lived in Cyprus and worked in the Scuba Diving industry, we were going to travel the world and babies were ft from on the adjender!! We married in 2007 whilst still living in Cyprus and the plan was to spend the summer working there and gaining our dive instructor qualifications and then spend the winter in Thailand living the dream.

Except funny things happened that summer, there were these gorgeous, scrummy babies everywhere, young families living Their dream on family holidays, taking bike rides and splashing around in the pools. It started as a late night thought, as you do, I think my period was late or had just started (yup I said period, get used to it because this is setting the tone for the rest of this series of blog posts) I started wondering what it would be like to have a MicTrev or a TrevMich running around… Would it have his dreamy blue eyes that turned green when angry or my “chocolate button eyes”? We’ll I’ll be damned look at Mrs broody!!

Fast forward 3 years.. we’re now living back in England (Thailand never happened, its now in the “Bucket List”) we’ve been on an emotional roller coaster, we have both wanted, unwanted and then wanted kids, we’ve had some crazy arguments, usually… no in fact definitely, when i’ve had a glass of wine and its all his fault that he’s ruined my life.. because you know I’m that reasonable when I’m under the influence of alcohol.

My friends won’t mention pregnancy or babies around me, people think I’m some kind of baby stealing lunatic… that’s what hurts the most, people now think that I’ve turned into some sour faced witch who can’t be happy for others. I remember going to a friends house for her hen party and walking into the kitchen were 3 of my best friends we’re having a conversation about my ex, his new wife was pregnant and they all looked like they could cry for me, the thing that hurt the most was that they didn’t know me well enough to know that 1: I didn’t give a flying duck (yes I meant duck, I’m testing the waters) how many people my ex impregnates, I was pleased he was happy and I still am and 2: That I was hiding a little secret of my own.. Just a few weeks before Trevor had undergone a vasectomy reversal at The Spire Hospital in Nottingham, the surgeon was hopeful that, although his reversal had been 7 years previous, we would be able to conceive naturally.

At the time life was good, we had a good business, I had a horse on part share, was having weekly private riding lessons, we had a lovely car, nice house, my shoe and bag collections were growing nicely. And then I turned into a bloody lunatic, I used an app called Pink Pad (I still do to be honest) to track my periods and ovulation, I knew what egg white cervical mucous looked like and that it meant ovulation time, I had all of our “DTD” = Doing The Deed’s recorded and scheduled and my favourite thing in the world was peeing on sticks and analysing lines. His operation was April 2010 and by the time we returned from our 2 week holiday in Cyprus at the beginning of September I had decided that I would in fact like to wait for 2 more years until we really tried for a baby, until the we would “see how things went” I had a game plan for the next 2 years and even brought my husband a little 2 seater sports car. Hahahaha ohh how the island of love likes to play tricks, little did I know that we went out as 2 and came back as 2 and a ball of cells!

I always thought i’d do a big announcement when I found out I was pregnant, make daddy a cute t-shirt or give him a card from the baby to announce his knocking me up, but one fateful Monday morning as I took a test 2 weeks after my period was due, not suspecting a thing.. I mean we’d tried for 4 months and nothing, now we weren’t trying how could it possibly be? I had all the usual period signs, belly ache, sore boobs etc. I took the test purely to put my mind at rest before I went horse riding, I was casually brushing my teeth when I glanced over and expected to read the “Not Pregnant”, Instead Pregnant 3+ I was so shocked I literally chucked the test at, a very sound asleep, Trevor. He said something really stupid that only a man could say and i responded with “well you didn’t pee on it did you!” I have been pregnant a further 2 times since then (well 3 actually but 1 sadly ended in an early miscarriage which to this day not many people know about).. Below are a few acronyms that you’ll come across if you are reading about Trying To Conceive (TTC) and my take on them..

DTD = Doing the Deed… sex, shagging, making love, f……. no i won’t go there yet! Allowing the husband/partner/turkey baster to do its job as quickly as it can at a very scheduled time… Every other day if he’d lucky

NTNP = Not Trying, Not Preventing… Using no form of contraception but not tracking cycles.. except you really are, you still know ovulation dates and still DTD every other day and then spend the TWW (see below) symptom spotting and convincing yourself your boobs have grown and you have food aversions

TWW = Two Week Wait…This can describe the 2 weeks between your period and your ovulation where you are waiting to ovulate and DTD, but is normally the 2 weeks between ovulation and your period being due to start… This is the 2 weeks where you think you have nailed it, you’re sure there is a bean in there, you’ve convinced yourself you have implantation pains and/or bleeding, you feel guilty for drinking and check if you can still eat eggs, you POAS (See below) to see if your LH (a hormone used to detect ovulation) goes up or down and you are sure the dip means you’re pregnant.. about 4 days before your period is due you start POAS on internet cheapie and convince yourself you have 2 lines, you get your tests out the bin and google “evaporation line” until you start to go blind, you know the sensitivity in every brand of pregnancy test and will poke it in the husbands eye if he comes in with a blue dye. its basically 2 weeks of stress, hell and hormones.. I’m going through it right now… did someone say “google pregnancy signs 4 days after ovulation 10 days before period?”

POAS = Pissing On A Stick… yup!

Well thanks for reading, I hope you liked it, the warning was in the title, lets just be glad I didn’t go into cervix positions at different times of the month or post any “How Too” photos on the best position for conception…. I have some somewhere LOL. I’ll have a corresponding video over on my YouTube channel by the end of today (Friday 8th July 2016), please check that and Emma’s post over at The Stationery Geekette to see her Brutally Honest Confessions… of Conception.. we will be back next fir day with the second in the series.

Papercraft

Review : The one with the Erin Condren Life Planner

I finally brought into the hype of owning one of these beauties after having a few months of inserts punched and put into my yellow Kikki K this year. The new releases were out in June and I decided to treat myself and invest in it as a tool to promote my business, I think I was secretly hoping that I would learn to love decorating the way other people do and would open up a whole new market for my shop and planner stickers.

I brought a standard version as I know how quickly I go off things so I thought a non personalised version would be easier to resell if i changed my mind about owning it in the future, I used a referral code and my order came to £47 once converted, I eagerly awaited it to see if i had any customs charges to pay and was over the moon when it cleared customs and arrived at my front door. But that was it, I didn’t get the buzz I was expecting and no magic happened when I opened the box, in fact it just sat there for a few days. I made some monthly overlay stickers to match the monthly colour schemes and that was it… I wasn’t in love, I hadn’t found planner peace!

Then It came time to actually start using her and I noticed that the writing on the monthly over view pages was really fuzzy, like home print pixelated type fuzzy, and my ruler broke whilst doing the unboxing. I felt deflated, I felt it was a lot of money to spend on something that was not of a quality I would expect. I must add here that Erin Condren Customer Services have been amazing, like literally fantastic, they answered my emails quickly and efficiently and finally we agreed for them to send out replacement “guts” for my planner.

I must admit I’m actually starting to love her, I filmed the video to this post just a few hours ago and since then i’ve been thinking about her and and looking at all my other planners and i’ve realised she actually does everything I wanted her to do, she sits open on my desk so i can tick my tasks off during the day, I’ve changed her covers to some pretty ones sent to me by Ange from Facebook, the stickers I have made for the superhero subscription boxes make this months pages bright and colourful and remind me I’m a frigging superhero. I’ve even made the next 2 months overlay sheets in their themes and I really am starting to love it.

Would I jump on the band waggon and buy another one next June when the new releases come out? Probably not, this one runs until December 2017 and unless I can find a UK seller (I like to support UK businesses) who sells a planner I like just as much I’d order another one then.

Thank you for reading, if you would like to purchase an Erin Condren for yourself then please feel free to use this referral code which gives you money off your first order and gives me credit on my account,  all like a freebie 🙂 https://www.erincondren.com/referral/invite/michellemills0203

Papercraft

Confessions of a Plannerholic : The one with the kids answers

I am so excited to be posting this today, it’s the first blog post in a series which a few of us blogger/vloggers have come together to bring to you. Today’s posts have no set topic or structure, the lovely Emma, from The Stationery Geekette, who came up with this amazing series and brought us all together simply told us to “free form”.

I have many confessions that I wanted to share but I thought I’d start off with true confessions from the mouths of babes… I asked my children, who are 5, 3 & 2 years old, some planner questions and have uploaded their answers raw and unedited!! Some of the questions asked were;

What at are these (my planners)
How many planners does mummy have?
Whats my favourite planner?
What does mummy do for a job?
What does mummy use the planners for?
How long does mummy spend writing in her planners?

…head over to my YouTube channel (video at the bottom of this post) to check out their answers and don’t forget to head over to the other ladies and see what they have to confess.