Take a Moment – Wear Love

Hey friends,

It’s the preschool holidays so this little space will see less action over the next few weeks.  That being said I still have loads to say! So I might just have to squeeze everything into my one post of the week!

On my mind this week (ever being inspired by other blog posts) is the phrase ‘wear love’.  It comes from a verse in the bible where God asks us to put on our new clothes with his label on them.  Colossians 3 10-14 MSG

wear love

I was reminded of ‘wear love’ on my blog pal’s post the other day. Elise is showing her new home makeovers & I love how she incorporates her faith into her home décor!  See Elise’s closet makeover HERE.  Might need to get the ‘wear love’ print for our home.

Me & hubby had the full Colossians 3 verse as our reading at our wedding.  What I love about it is it’s simple prodding on how to do life looking outwards on a daily basis.

In an ever inclusive society, where we think more of self than others, how can we love others & feel compassion in our daily lives?  This passage talks about our old way of living, but with Jesus at the centre of our lives we put on our new wardrobe of love, compassion, kindness.

Fast, disposable fashion is the norm now & yet sweat shops are still going & we’re buying (& therefore supporting) clothes from shops that don’t have an ethical process in place.  Not every fashion retainer is unscrupulous & lots of companies are now putting strategies in place.  It’s slow going though.  It’s amazing how many retailers are still using this form of manufacture in this day & age. The inhumane almost slave like conditions imposed on people in poorer countries is simply not fair.

I sometimes worry (actually worry) what I will wear on a certain day.  How much do I think about who made it? Not much.  Do I care if it’s fairly traded? I think it’s about time I did.

How much do we look at people as who they really are?  Do we make judgements based on their fashion taste? I’m thinking I need to think more about what people can see IN me rather than ON me & I need to do the same for them.

This verse in Colossians speaks metaphorically about our clothes.  What’s the point in being all geared up, if we’re not wearing kindness?  What’s the point in having the latest expensive handbag if we don’t wear compassion?

14. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.   

Me & the sweet kids are off to the park in a little bit to meet up with some preschool friends! It’s going to be 28 degrees here today (swoon) & once again I don’t know what to wear.  One thing I will be putting on though is LOVE…& praying for the person that made my clothes!

So ‘wear love’ is where it’s at really.  ‘Your basic, all purpose garment.  Never be without it.’

Have a great day & see you next week!!!

Lizzie XO

 

Grow Hope | World Vision UK

Hey friends,

GROW HOPE WITH WORLD VISION THIS SUMMER

Along with World Vision UK I’m spreading a little message of hope today.

My mission? To post a photograph that means hope to me.  This is the photograph I chose.

Ted & Bill

This is my Grampy (on the right), his name was Ted, he was in the Navy before, during & after WW2.  Also in the photo is his mate Bill (yes Bill & Ted!) I carry this picture around with me in my purse.

I think the reason this photograph gives me hope every time I look at it is the complete look of ease these two have in each other’s company.  They’ve obviously been through a lot together.  I know they were friends for the rest of their lives.

My Grampy never spoke about the war.  My Grandma said it was the worst & best time of their lives.  They lost so many friends that it was unbearable, but also the community & country came together in total unity.

This photo of true friendship fills me with hope for the future, that our grandparents, great-grandparents & even further back have fought for us to live the lives we lead today.

Will you give a message of hope to children in Zambia via World Vision UK today?

World Vision are asking you to help mark the anniversary of the 1984 Ethiopian Famine by signing up to help children in Zambia:

“Join us to grow hope today and we’ll give vulnerable families in Zambia orange maize seeds to ensure children can live a life free from the fear of hunger. These seeds are rich in vitamin A, to help provide children with the nutrition they lack.

Simply complete the form below and you’ll receive a beautiful Grow Hope box. Inside is freshly ground coffee from Ethiopia to share with a friend, and Calendula (marigold) seeds for you to plant, as a reminder of the hope that is being grown in Zambia.”

You can sign up by click this LINK

#GrowHope

Blessings

Lizzie XO

The Outsider

Hey friends,

I read an article recently in Stella Magazine, a supplement of The Telegraph weekend newspaper, in which Antonia Hoyle talked candidly about her experience as a Working Mum.

Titled ‘The Inbetweeners’ Ms Hoyle, who as a notable freelance journalist, writes about the pressures of doing both jobs well (that of being a top journalist & a Mum) & somehow being sold the lie that we can have it all & realising that it’s just not possible.

This is a situation about which I can’t really comment, since I didn’t return to work after having my children.  But I found myself nodding my head along with the words as I agreed with it all, I could just feel the frustration it must be to feel so split down the middle.

The part of the article which hit me most though, was the inference that Stay at home Mothers were somehow inferior, devoid of goals & ambition.

I am not saying that this is Antonia Hoyle’s opinion, rather that (as she put it) there is an ‘unspoken narrative’ in society that if you have a degree & a credible career that you’ve worked damned hard for, why would you give that up when you have children?

I must agree with the sentiment that our identities as women is tied up with work. Leaving my job to stay at home with my then one child ( I now have 2 children) was one of the single hardest thing I’ve done, it also comes with it’s own heavy dose of guilt.

What surprised me was how much I struggled with the decision not to return to work. Women who choose (or can afford to choose) to stay home has fallen to a record low in the UK.  I’d always wanted to be a Mum & had always wanted to stay at home with my children.  So why when it came to it, did I find it so hard to give it all up? Why did I feel guilty that I still wanted to work?

I remember handing my notice in, only to then try & beg Personnel to have it back. I’d changed my mind, I panicked, I needed more time to think!  I was giving up who I was, my identity I’d known forever,  for this little baby boy who cried, whinged, didn’t care that my very essence was ebbing away & never said thank you for it either!

I knew I would be giving up my identity at the very point I handed in my notice, because ‘just’ being a Mother isn’t enough in this society anymore.

My decision finally came about after I cried out to other Mum’s slightly older than me who had decided to stay at home also & were coming out the other side.  One of them said ‘you may regret going back to work, but you will never regret the years you spend with your children’.

No I do not squander my days in coffee shops with other Mum’s, the stay at home lifestyle is not all it’s cracked up to be. All of my friends work. If you think staying home will make you happier as a Mum then think again.  I spend most of my time on my own with my children. (Read this funny from Hurrah for Gin entitled ‘The Happiness Thieves’ to lighten the subject)!

I felt the unspoken narrative too, all of the women I bonded with on maternity leave gradually went back to work one by one.  I did not feel encouraged to stay at home & society & the government did not validate my choice to do so.  Society & my own insecurities made me feel like I wasn’t enough & I wasn’t doing enough to merit staying home.

There are days I am literally in tears with the mistakes that I make, I feel guilty that I’m not doing right by my children, would they get more out of being at nursery & being in a more structured setting than home? I worry that my house doesn’t look perfect, I mean what do I do all day? What do people think of me? Do they really think I don’t work hard?

I guess I just have to stand by the decision we made & try my best! All Mum’s work hard, whether their choice is to return to work or look after their children full or part time. Isn’t it time we validated all women & their right to choose without making them feel they’re a drain on the economy?

I saw a tweet from a woman well known for her penchant to antagonise, saying that the Stay at home Mum is ‘work shy’.  It actually made me laugh out loud! Does that mean that the career minded Nanny, or Nursery Worker, or Carer of a family member or the elderly is ‘work shy’?  I am not a lesser contribution to society.

Caring whether for free, for love or as a paid career is not any less valid than that of a banker, lawyer, mechanic, engineer or any other profession for that matter. But I feel like I’m only preaching to myself on this subject.

I fully intend to go back to work once both of my children are in full time education, I still have goals & ambition & I know when that time comes I will be glad to get ‘me’ back again. I don’t know yet what I will do, but I’ll work hard at it, that I can say with certainty!

In the meantime I am giving 6 years of my life in order to stay home with my children in their early years. Actually, I don’t see it as a sacrifice because these children give me far more than I give them!!

It has taken me 3 (nearly 4) long years to get used to the fact that society sees me as ‘just’ a Mum & it has taken just as long to realise that I do not have to take this on as truth.

I have an identity outside of being a Mother, but I have to work hard to claim it & stand up for it.  I have learnt that staying home is isolating, exhausting & the most hard work I have ever done in my life.  It is also the most joy & reward I have ever felt in my life.

Being a Mum is the hardest & the easiest job in the world.  A paradox of immeasurable proportions.

What do you think?

Until the next time have a great day!

Lizzie XO

 

Five on Friday – An Update

09cc0-5onfriday-logooption1Hey Friends,

No this is not me getting my days back to front!!  There were blog posts from the lovely ladies; April, Christina, Darci & Natasha, saying Five on Friday will be going on Summer hols until term starts up again (in the USA this is until sometime in August).

Darci has gone the extra mile & taken her blog down entirely for the foreseeable future. As a working Mum & building a new home I can see why blogging has taken a back seat.  Blogging could easily become all consuming if you let it.  I want to wish Darci all the very best as her blog has encouraged & inspired me.  You can still follow her on Instagram search for DARCIo5.

Wishing all the girls a happy Summer & all of you too! I’d love to hear about your plans this Summer.

In the meantime I could find another linky & I may do that, but in the spirit of also putting my children first this Summer holidays I will be blogging once a week until term starts again UK time in early September.

So this Summer will be a refreshing time to really focus on what’s important, my kids, family, friends, food, enjoying our home & time outside having fun & lots of fresh air.

Have a fab Summer guys!

Lizzie XO

Take a Moment – Don’t Miss a Post

Hey friends,    coffee biscuit1

Do you keep missing blog posts?

It’s so super easy to subscribe to my posts so you won’t miss a single one!

Just go to the side bar (to the side right here) just pop your e-mail in there & press Subscribe! It just takes a moment.

You will get every post I publish straight to your inbox!! Technology keeping us right up to date.

You can also follow along with me on Insta, TwitterFacebook or Bloglovin.

I post pictures on Instagram regularly & you can see pretty much my daily life on there!

I hope you’re all having a good week & enjoying the sunshine! Looking forward to sharing more of this thing called life with you all.

To my readers in the USA, Happy 4th July to you!!

Blessings

Lizzie XO

Open Mic – Time Flies By

Hey Friends & welcome to the last of this series of Open Mic,

I hope that you’ve enjoyed the Open Mic series.  It’s been a real joy for me to open up this little space to you all.

Welcome to this weeks Guest, Lisa Don.

OPEN MIC

I am mum of a 5 year old rambunctious boy and a very spirited 3.5 year old girl, and wife to the big guy, they keep me busy and I love that this is my full time occupation.  We love to spend our time cooking, eating and camping and when we are doing all three, we are at our happiest.

Thank you to Lizzie for asking me to do a guest spot on her blog, I feel very privileged, as I no longer blog myself.  So it was lovely to have the opportunity to get my current emotional state in writing once more, I had forgot how therapeutic it can be and goodness knows I need my head cleared a little just now!  There are big changes afoot.
“Time Flies By”

Yeah Yeah.  The above phrase or  the other joyous one of “he will be at school before you know it” annoyed me.  I would think, yeah that is right, he is only 3 months old – 5 years is a long long long time away.  What?? What is that?? Noooooooooo!  It was devastatingly true, it has flown by, he will be at school very very soon.

I feel blind sided, yet I have known for 5 years this would happen, how am I not ready?

My baby, my first born, my wee buddy is off to school after the Summer and I feel unstable, not quite in a, best get me to hospital unstable state, but wobbly, very wobbly.

I find myself trawling through photos of him daily and tearing up, I can not bring myself to try his uniform on, for fear of a breakdown.  Egg shells under my feet and tomorrow it is his last day at nursery.

He had an awesome teacher, she got him, he loved her, they were a wee team.  Will he ever get that again, will he even like his new teacher?  I am losing sleep.

Now lets put this into perspective, my wee guy is SO ready for school and he is going to LOVE it, when we talk about it, it is always positive and upbeat and exciting.  In fact he is mostly excited about learning to read and to read recipes especially and also doing test experiments (science).

So on one hand, we are going to go full throttle into this new adventure, it will be great to seem him grow and achieve and enjoy school and again I will be with him every step of the way.

But on the the other hand, I had a realisation, this is my job isn’t it?  As his mum, to teach him to stand on his own two feet, I have made him feel comfortable and safe in his own bed, I have taught him to eat and drink on his own, I have taught him to walk, jump, skip and run, I am teaching him to recognise emotions in himself and in others so he will be ready for an even bigger world out there one day.

I am essentially teaching my boy to be independent of me and school is that first step.

I will miss our time together, cheeky wee duvet/movie days when its horrible outside, which you can do on a whim at nursery, now and again and then there is the worry, will he be happy?  What if kids are horrible to him, what if he misses me…..who will hug him?  Can I go to school and offer hugs just in case, in the middle of a lesson?  I know that is crazy but who will give him a hug?  Not having that part of me there for him for the most part of his day, gets me the most, right in the heart.I know I am not the only mum that will, has or does feel this way and I am going to just take that first day at school as one day and move onto the next.  I am not sure if I will cry on his first day, as it is a positive, new adventure of us all, but tomorrow, that is a different story, last day of nursery, last day of being a baby really, he will be my school boy soon.

But first…..7 weeks of summer and my boy all to myself!

adam first dayAdam’s First Day at NurseryAdam 2

 

Adam’s Last Day of Nursery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lisa

 

 

 

Disclaimer : Opinions raised in this Open Mic series are entirely the words, thoughts & opinions of the guest author & are not necessarily the opinion of Lizzie Somerset’s Blog.  LS XO

Lizzie Somerset is now Self Hosted!!

Hey friends,

I have exciting news for you!  Can we have a celebratory champagne ‘cheers’!?

After 11 months of blogging on WordPress I’ve now gone self-hosted!

new homeThis means that with all of my positivity in my clutches I am throwing myself hook, line & sinker into this blogging career. I am now able to be PR friendly & take this blog forwards; you can now find me at lizziesomerset.com

I so appreciate ALL of you, those of you who have followed, liked, read my little slice of the world wide web from the beginning when I didn’t have a clue what I was doing.  Thanks for sticking around!

I will still be writing genuinely about the things that bring me joy; my kids, family, faith, positive motivation & encouragement.  I will still be sharing my life with you.

There are also some exciting projects coming up!

Bear with me while I grapple with this new way of doing things.  There will be no 5 on Friday tomorrow while I take the weekend to suss it all out.

Are you all with me? I hope y’all come along for the next adventure at Lizzie Somerset’s Blog!!!!

I sure would love to take you all with me as I love you all so dearly.

Blessings

Lizzie XO

OPEN MIC – What is Normal?

OPEN MIC

Hello my name is Kathryn.  I am married to James, have 2 gorgeous children, Sam and Jessica and am just about still clinging on to my 20s! I worked as a PE teacher for a few years but now adore being at home full time with my little lovelies!

What is normal?

I put this question to you whilst watching Jessica, my beautiful 15 month old shuffling around the yes you heard it right her bottom, not her feet or her knees!

On a daily basis I am asked “when is she going to crawl/walk/pull herself up?” or a recent one was “Prince George is walking, surely Jessica should be by now!” Thankfully I know the answer, having been through exactly the same questions with my now gorgeous, very active 3 year old Sam who missed every developmental milestone as a baby/toddler – “when she is ready!”

Do we spend too much of our time comparing ourselves and our children to others? I know I have been guilty of this many times!

With the development of social media, this competitiveness and worry has only gotten worse.  I remember many a day of worrying when Jessica wasn’t sitting up at 11 months and Sam wasn’t crawling by his 1st  birthday because this wasn’t “normal!”

Who defines normal? Celebrities, the government, our friends, ourselves?  We can forget what a blessing our children are and the individuality of our children is what makes them beautiful.

After all, our wonderful God created us to be individuals and as Psalm 139 states “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” God celebrates our individuality and we should embrace this and mirror him in our own lives!

So friends, next time you come across a child or situation that you don’t think is “normal” check yourself and remember the wonderful gift that the child is and celebrate everything she is to the world, bum shuffling or not!!!

JESS & SAMJess & Sam on Holiday

KATHRYN & CHILDSam learning to walk at 19 months

JESSICAMy beautiful bum shuffler

Kathryn

 

 

Disclaimer : Opinions raised in this Open Mic series are entirely the words, thoughts & opinions of the guest author & are not necessarily the opinion of Lizzie Somerset’s Blog.  LS XO

Take a Moment – The Monet Effect

Hey friends,

monet effect

The Monet Effect, it hit me this morning….

Do you look at others & think they have it all sorted?

Do you wish you were cool, calm & collected with your kids 100% of the time? Just like the parents you see on Social Media with the flawless blog & your friends with the creative & well dressed kids?

Do you ever look at someone & think ‘they have it all’?

I was looking out of my bedroom window this morning.  It’s a hot, sunny day here in Somerset.  I’m fortunate enough to live with a beautiful & far reaching countryside view.  Somerset sure has beautiful rolling hills & is the essence of English country living.  I have a blissful view, for sure!

As I looked out of my window I glanced down at our hedge.  Our neighbour had trimmed their side of the hedge making our side look straggly, unsightly & well *gasp* unmaintained.  I was slightly mortified that I’d let the side down.  Perfectionism really does suck sometimes.

But then I looked at the hills in the distance & thought how beautiful & perfect the view was.

I was gently reminded  of a film I watched over & over again with my sissy called ‘Clueless’.  I know that film inside out & this quote from it came to mind!

Tai : ‘What’s a Monet?’

Cher: ‘It’s like a painting, see? From far away, it’s OK, but up close, it’s a big old mess.’

Not wanting to say Monet paintings are a big mess, no disrespect intended I love Monet.  But using the point that up close IN THE VIEW would not be so pefect after all.

There would be litter, weeds, bugs & alsorts.  Sometimes things aren’t what they seem from a distance.

Sometimes people & what they ‘have’ seem perfect with abit of distance between you & them. Do you find that you are way more envious of people when you don’t actually know the in’s & out’s of their daily lives & their struggles?

Everyone has flaws, everyone has issues, that’s a fact.

Next time you think someone else has it far better than you, remember the quote!

Also, if you want a giggle look up Clueless quotes, I just had such a fit of the giggles reading through them trying to find that one.

I gotta get that film out again!

Until the next time friends, I better organise getting my hedge trimmed!  Don’t want to let the neighbourhood down!!

Have a great day all.

Lizzie XO

 

Five on Friday – Chichester Edition

3a538-5onfridaylogo-final-forblogsidemenu_edited-1_zps7fcf6068Hi Friends,

Last weekend I went away with my Mum to stay with my sissy & bro-in-law in Chichester.  We’ve known the city for a long time as we have other family there too.

It’s such a pretty place I thought I’d share some pics with you.

ONE – Chichester Cathedral

Any Cathedral is worth a picture, Chichester Cathedral is a really pretty one.

CHICHESTER CATHEDRAL

TWO – Patisserie Valerie

Such amazing cakes here.

PATISSERIE VALERIE PATISSERIE VALERIE 1 PATISSERIE VALERIE 2

This is new since the last time I visited, my sissy was keen to show us this new experience. I say experience because the patisserie counter is something else!

Mum had the Mille
Rosie chose cheesecake
I had the Tirimisu!

Soooo yummy but it was huge, I admitted defeat. Since WW I just can’t eat like I used to.

SAD TIRIMISU

Sad Tirimisu which went uneaten, but was yummy!

THREE – Shopping with my girls

FAVE GIRLS

These 2 are my favourite girls in the world. I always have such a lovely time with them.

We shopped 6 hours with only 2 stops.

FOUR – Paperchase

I have a slight obsession with Paperchase & since we don’t have one in my hometown I was in my element.

I got Harry a CRAB plate & Sweet Bea tropical TOUCAN russian doll style lunch/snack boxes.

PAPERCHASE PINEAPPLE

I nearly bought this painted wooden pineapple but stopped myself. Although obsessed with them it was £10 for a bright yellow pineapple!! Now I’m thinking that’s a bargain, I love pineapples. EEk I’ve found it online HERE.

FIVE - Pretty Buildings & Flint Wall
OLD DOOR CHICHESTER SIDE STREETCHICHESTER CLOCK FLINT WALLThese walls are typical of the area, hand crafted still today (it’s a technique that goes way back) I think they’re so pretty.

So that’s my FIVE! Sorry it’s a little late. Cheers to the link up ladies, April, Christina, Darci & Natasha.

Blessings for a fab weekend, the sun is shining!

Lizzie XO