Tuesday, 20 June 2017

The First Trimester


Oh Hai,

I've got 15 minutes before I have to dash out the door to collect Darcy from school and rather than do the 85 jobs I have on my list (ring the solicitors, load the washing machine, open the post etc), I thought I'd write this blog post!



With the end of the first trimester in sight (we had our official NHS 12 week ultrasound on Monday which gave us an official due date of January 1st!) I wanted to write up my thoughts and feelings on how it had been. Partly because I know when you find our you're expecting, your favourite thing to do is read anything and everything on the matter and also because I want to look back on this and have captured the moments.

I'll start by saying my first trimester has been a healthy one and that's the most important thing. I had a small bleed at week 11 which felt frightening (should I talk about this further or is it TMI?) but after an emergency scan I was reassured and baby is fine.

I have suffered a lot less than many women. My friend's Marie and Reb both had HG and so comparing my experience and calling it 'bad' feels quite wimpy!

Here's how I felt -

Initially, very overwhelmed. Although we'd discussed and planned to start trying for a baby in Summer, by Spring we were pregnant and I was shocked how quickly it had happened. I felt unprepared and struggled to wrap my mind around the concept. That sounds so silly considering I knew I wasn't being careful with contraception, I knew we were going to try in May and I knew I wanted a baby but still, I felt overwhelmed. A few weeks on though and I'm fully onboard!

Tired. OMG the tiredness hasn't been like, 'oh I'd love a little snooze later', but like, 'shit me I might literally lay down on the floor of Tesco and sleep for 4 hours in a minute'. Thankfully I work from home and Darcy is in school so I've been able to take plenty of rest hours but I can't imagine how challenging it must be for people who work in out-of-the-home environments or Mum's of pre-schoolers. I tip my hat to you ladies!! I still don't feel like I'm back to my pre-pregnancy energy but I'm not napping every day and I'm hopeful that'll get better.

Sick. Whilst I've rarely actually been sick, I feel sick every. single. day. Morning til about 2pm I'm fit as a fiddle and then come the afternoon it's game over. By evening I can't be in or near the kitchen because the smell of everything tips me over the edge and I can't remember the last time I fed the cats their stinky meat pouches! (Don't worry, Liam feeds them!). It's the least fun feeling sick. It sucks the joy out of everything and leaves you grumpy and sloth like. I've noticed it's eased off a bit this last week so touch wood that continues please. Ginger biscuits and regular little dry snacks have helped. I've also been drinking so, so, so much water which I think has helped too.

Hormonal. Sometimes I have felt so low for a few days in a row and googled pre-natal depression because it's so unlike me to feel so down. I think the nausea and tiredness held me back in day to day life and that sucked the joy out of things, making me feel super deflated. I couldn't seem to get any buzz or zizz and just felt quite lonely and grey. I don't think I realised how rubbish I felt until I didn't feel like that anymore because although now I still have moments of anger/sadness that feel much stronger than usual, I don't feel as grey. Liam has been a saint through my moods. God bless him.

As far as pregnancy symptoms go, that's pretty much where I'm at. I've had a few little things like bigger boobs or going to the loo a million times a day but they haven't seemed as news worthy as the ones above.

In all of these things, the things that have helped have been just taking it slow. Boring and tedious but I've found 'pushing through' leads to even more exhaustion, tears and set backs the next day. I'm really thankful to have such a supportive partner in Liam and have felt very much like I'm in a team and not doing it all alone which has been so, so appreciated.

I won't be doing weekly updates on my youtube channel but I might keep you updated a bit more over here if you are interested? I've really enjoyed blogging about pregnancy so I'm sure you'll see a lot more from me over here, do let me know what you'd like to read about!

Toodlepip!

xx



Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Baby Pentland Is On The Way!


Oh Hai,

The most likely scenario here is that you've come over from my YouTube video and already know the news but in case you're new - I'm pregnant!! 

I wanted to write a blog post on it in case I forgot to talk about all the things in the video and to document this, it's quite the moment isn't it?



Seven years ago this Summer, in 2010, I found out I was pregnant with Darcy. She was a planned baby with my then-Husband and after a good pregnancy but traumatic delivery, in April 2011 my beautiful little girl was born. 

With the memories of a difficult birth and the breakdown of my marriage looming, I vowed not to have any more children. I was pretty set in that. 

Over the years lots changed. Business boomed, Darcy bloomed and I learnt how to run my life as a single Mum. I thought about having more children and thought it would be nice but didn't think I'd meet the right man or be in the right frame of mind to start a new chapter of life. 

Until Liam. 

Liam walked into my life last Summer, quite unexpectedly. For the first time in my single life, I wasn't excessively looking or dating with any intent. I'd decided I'd be alone forever but just enjoy drinks with hot men here and there and flirt mercilessly, haha. 

Turns out, Liam flipped that idea on his head and over the year, we've found we fit perfectly and have built a wonderful life together. My deep down hope was to find a man who would love me and accept and respect Darcy. What I've found in Liam is so, so, so much more. Hurrah for love and for good men!

From the off we talked about having a baby at some point in our future and had planned to start seriously thinking about it this Summer. At the end of April though, after feeling completely exhausted on a photoshoot and suddenly realising the dates (honestly it was like in a film where suddenly it hits you), I took a test and hey presto, that Summer baby was already cooking! An early blessing!

We. Are. Thrilled. 

We waited quite a while to tell Darcy (she's SO excited, more on that later) and clearly, have waited a little bit longer to tell the rest of the world but I'm getting to a point where I won't be able to hide it at events much longer and with the book tour coming up, I thought I should let the cat out the bag! Also, I'm desperate to make baby-related content! I want to do product reviews, share my tales, hear about yours, shop (me oh my I can't wait to shop for it) and just yanno, be open!!

Baby Pentland is set to be a much welcomed addition to the family, making his or her appearance January 2018!

I'm a Mother of TWO!!! 

I hope you will be happy for us all as we embark on this adventure of blending our family, giving Darcy a baby brother or sister and becoming parents together. If you have any Q's, pop them in the comment section below and I'll pick a few to A in a future blog post. 

Thank you always for all your support, I'm going to need it over the next few month- pregnancy is hard work haha!

Toodlepip!

xx


Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Glossybox features Wilde Like Me!!! Say whhhaatt???


Oh Hai,

Thank you for all your support on my last post - an update before an update, you guys are seriously the best. 

Today I wanted to show you something really freaking exciting (to me and hopefully you!) because it's a bit of a full circle moment. 

(Each box is filled with a selection of beauty and lifestyle samples. This edition included - Sanctuary Ultimate Salt Scrub Sachet, 111 Skin Space Defence Bright Eye Lift Gel, Manna Kadar Cosmetics Sheer Glo, Sleek Makeup Power Pump Lip Crayon and Batiste Stylist XXL Plumping Powder)

Back in 2011 (have any of you been around for that long??), I was invited to a blogger pr event for a brand called Glossybox. They were a beauty subscription service you could sign up to and each month a pastel pink (sometimes changes for seasons or special months) box pops through your door full of samples, vouchers and loveliness. They hosted an event one evening on the London Eye and Zoe and I travelled down for a night of fun and laughs and to celebrate the glory that was Glossybox. 

Six years later and I'm in one of those little pink boxes! Sort of! 

As you'll all know, my new book, Wilde Like Me, is out June 29th and thrillingly, I have collaborated with Glossybox to have a sample of my book (the first couple of chapters) in their parcel of goodies! How cool is that? 

(Oooeeee my book!!)

As well as my book there is a host of beauty bits that I'm sure you'll love. I've listed them above but I'll also talk about them here because who doesn't want to chat beauty more often??

Sanctuary Ultimate Salt Scrub Sachet - This is actually a product I'm going to use tonight because it's been a big week and we're seeing friends this weekend. You can either use it as a quick scrub in the shower or let the oils sink into your body as you soak in the bath (that's the one I'm going for!) and then you'll be left exfoliated and glowy!

111 Skin Space Defence Bright Eye Lift Gel - As I get a bit older and continue wearing contact lens for longer than I probably should each day, I find myself constantly reaching for eye products to give me that fresh-awake look. Super excited to let this work it's wonders!!

Manna Kadar Cosmetics Sheer Glo - If you know me, you'll know I'm a huge fan of highlighted luminescant skin so this is absolutely something I'm glad to recieve in my box. It's summer too so you could use a dab of this down your skins when you're wearing skirts to give your legs an extra gorgeous sheen. 

Sleek Makeup Power Pump Lip Crayon - I'm a long time lover of Sleek and at one point collected ALL the palettes so I have high hopes for this little number and feel confident that I'll like it. 

Batiste Stylist XXL Plumping Powder - Big hair, don't care? This is one of those powders that you sprinkle onto the roots of your hair, massage in and it gives you amazing lift and volume. Personally I think the bigger the better with hair so this product certainly gets my vote!!


Lucky for us, Glossybox have offered readers of my blog a a voucher code to redeem 50% off their first box plus a free beauty gift. This offer is valid until the end of June 2017 with one per customer and UK only. Simply enter LOUISE50 at the checkout and the box of joy plus a big sneak peak of my book are yours!! 

Glossybox will also be hosting a Facebook Live broadcast on Wednesday the 14th of June and there will be an opportunity to win a signed copy of Wilde Like Me - there are 10 available so you're in with a good chance - hurrah! 

As the book hype revs up and more and more of my favourite people and brands get on board, I feel more and more buzzy with excitement. I've already had so many people tag me in their insta flat lays of the box which is lovely- you guys take some gorgeous instagrams, oooeee!

Do let me know you order or already have the box and do let me know what you think of Wilde Like Me!!

Toodlepip!

xx

Saturday, 3 June 2017

An Update before An Update



Oh Hai, 

Guess who isn't going to be winning consistent blogger of the year any time soon? Hi, yes, it's me. *Takes a bow*. 


Sorry, so sorry. Things have been, well, that's what this post is all about. People say, 'I've been so busy' quite flippantly, myself definitely included, but honestly, things have been so bloody busy. 

That's not to say I never have a single free hour or so to dedicate to my blog but just that I have been busy re-distributing my time. This year and last I have been forcing myself to do something quite shocking every single day- shut. my. laptop. I know, this is f*cking crazy but let me tell you ladies (and 3% of men google analytics tells me that reads), it's wonderful. Actually using my eyes to look at things and be part of the world around me that isn't digital has been great. Great for me, great for those around me and great for my mind. 

As well as dancing about in real life using my eyes to look at non-screen things, I've been beavering away (hate that phrase, makes me think of oral sex- 'beaver') on a few other things so I thought I'd take the opportunity to tell you about them now. Next week there'll be another update on something else pretty wild, but that can wait.


1. I moved house! I'm sure if you follow my vlogs you'll know this but I now inhabit a different building each day. The building itself is an upgrade on the previous in terms of size and location but in terms of love, I'm not there with it yet. My old house still has a piece of my soul. I made so many memories there and most of them amazing. I started this blog there, I bought my baby home from hospital to it, I had a million parties, guests to stay, cosy nights, christmas trees, paint jobs (lets never discuss the time I painted the door blue, hated it and painted it back to white again) and laughs. It was a happy home, the happiest home I've ever had actually. 


The time came though to spread out, I wanted more space, I wanted something solid to invest in and the time was right for a change. In the new house, I'm about 80% unpacked but the final 20% is all the sentimental crap you carry with you through your life (I have my late Mother's wedding dress, as well as mine from my now divorced marriage- where on earth do you put things like that?!) and finding homes for all of it and putting your stamp on the place. I think because I haven't built a lot of memories there or put my stamp on it yet that I'm struggling to bond with it. Does that make sense or do I sound like I'm losing the plot? It's a time thing I think. You can't rush the accumulation of knick-knacks and junk. You can't just buy it all either because that's not the same. You need to pick it up bit by bit on days out or delirious 3am online shopping binges with memories and love attached. It's a luxurious 'problem' to have, so I'll move on.



2. I've travelled. Since we last spoke here (aside from my tour update) I've been to Malaga with Liam's friends and family for his 40th birthday, New York with Liam again for his 40th birthday (you're only 40 once right??), Disneyland Paris with Darcy and about 45 little day trips for various things. When I compare this to last year where every other week I was dashing off meeting the Pope or partying at Cannes Film Festival (yes I know, I'm exceptionally cool), it's not that crazy but it's felt rather full on. Life this year is so much more homey than last. 2016 was a game of juggling motherhood and dating, it was like I was leading 2 separate lives. This year it's very family, cosy, homey. It's nice. Perhaps soon I'll buy a frilly apron so I can bake organic wholewheat protein cookies whilst managing my mini empire- how very modern. 



3. Book, book, book. I've only mentioned this about six hundred and forty five times but I WROTE A SODDING BOOK. The book itself isn't sodding but I say this so often I think I might tattoo it to my forehead haha. Before embarking on this task, I thought I knew everything I need to. How wrong I was!! I wrote a non-fiction on 2015 and so felt I knew the score and everything that came with it. Fiction though is a whole different ball game and I knew from the off I wanted to have full ownership and control so that meant buckling down and working. It's been a steep learning curve (and there were times I certainly wished I hadn't started) but the sense of joy and pride from finishing and knowing I've given it my all is immense. This week we (Liam, myself and my publishing team) drove to Diss on the east coast to see it being printed into an actual book. I've mentioned on instagram but I'll repeat it here- it's absolutely fascinating how they put a book together, so much skill and craft and finesse goes into each book. Next time I'm in Waterstones, I'll take a moment to think about how much goes into it all. Wilde Like Me (my book) is officially out on June 29th so this month will be full of work towards promoting it and making sure it sells well. Fingers crossed!! You can pre-order yours HERE


As I mentioned above, there's a bit more to tell but I thought I'd leave it with these three first and then commit a whole blog post to the other project next week- I'm sure you'll like it! 

Feels nice to write over here. If there's anything you think I should focus on in the blog world, let me know because I'm a little lost and in need of a push in the right direction. 

See you next week, 

Toodlepip!

xx

Thursday, 25 May 2017

I'm Touring The UK for Wilde Like Me!!


Oh Hai, 

Long time no see! The last few months of my life have been big. Good big but BIG. I finished the book, Wilde Like Me, I'd been writing for what felt like an eternity, I moved house and my boyfriend Liam moved in with me. Big things eh?

The house move went smoothly although two months later I still have boxes dotted in every room, the boyfriend move went even smoother (he's pretty easy to live with and cooks a lot so there's nothing not to enjoy there!) and finishing the book in April was a big achievement. 



Between April and June 29th the book becomes and actual book. My A4 transcript pages get turned into book pages at a printer, early copies are sent out to select people, I go to a million events to promote it, we plan a book tour to meet as many readers as possible and essentially I spend my day hoping and praying it's well received. So far we've had some ah-mazing quotes from people like Sophie Kinsella, Lindsey Kelk and Giovanna Fletcher. As you can imagine, that was such a boost. 

Like many authors do, I've decided to do a book tour around the UK to celebrate my new (book) baby and meet some of the readers who'll be enjoying it. In previous years I've done the traditional sit-at-table-and-sign thing but this year I wanted to do something a bit more. At each venue I'll be either giving a reading, answering any questions, signing your copies, enjoying cocktails (yes, a Wilde Like Me cocktail has been created and will be served at some venues!!) and just being a bit more casual about everything. The event is ticketed and spaces are much more limited because, perhaps selfishly, I want to actually experience the meeting of each person and have a proper author-reader evening, rather than a rushed, fleeting experience. Although that means not as many people can come, I think it means the events are FAR better. Quality over quantity and all that. 

With all that in mind, if you would like to come along and having an evening with me (lucky you haha), ask anything at all about the story, the characters, the process, have your copy signed and just have a really fun evening, THIS link will take you over to the Waterstones site to book a ticket. 

If you can't make it to an event but want to keep up with all the happenings ('all the happenings'?? Am I suddenly very middle aged and trying to talk 'cool to the youths'?? Good god), you can sign up to my official newsletter which goes out once a fortnight (so as not to clog your inbox). It's always full of exclusive info and is the place to see/read things first before I post them on any other social medias. You can be part of that, HERE

If NONE of that floats your boat and you just want a copy of the book to land on your doorstep at the crack of dawn on June 29th, HERE is the link to pre-order your copy. It's currently on sale too- yay!

I'm so looking forward to practically living in the book for the summer and hearing what you all think of it as you read. See you there!

Toodlepip!

xx

PS- Don't forget to follow the #WildeLikeMe hashtag on twitter for competitions and fun stuffs too! So much going on!! 

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Flying Long Haul With Children! TIPS


Oh Hai, 

If you follow me on instagram (if you don't, what? why?), you'll know that I recently took Darcy out to Disney World in Orlando and that obviously, it involved a long haul flight. 


I've had a few messages and comments asking how I find this or if I have any special tricks for getting through it all so I thought a blog post might be apt. 

We're really lucky and have had to opportunity to travel long haul quite a few times. In fact, in her five years, Darcy has been on ten foreign adventures, so that's twenty flights, eighteen of which have been long haul across the Atlantic to either Orlando or Seattle (both over 8 hours away). 


I've picked up a few little tips and techniques but what I will say is that every child is different and you know best how to care for your own. Just because something works for one mother, doesn't necessarily mean it will work well for another. 

We first started flying when Darcy was 2 years old. My whole family flew out to Orlando on a virgin flight sat in economy. It was really cool to have three rows of people I knew and loved and also meant that Darcy had plenty of people to play with and cuddle, so that definitely helped. I took a lot of small toys on that trip, a really really lot. I think I had about three sandwich bags full of little toys for her to play with. I bought them all new so that she'd be super interested in them and spend a bit longer with each one- that's your goal here- occupy as long as possible! 



On subsequent flights I've taken the toys and added things in like stickers (children live for stickers, any stickers, all the stickers), crayons (although I've found she's bored of these now and would rather feel a bit more superior and use a biro) and, at the grand old age of five, her all time love, the iPad. I know we're all for lowering screen time and letting littles have golden experiences like milking cows and running freely through meadows of blooms but let's face it, a bit of screen time on a flight isn't going to give them brain rot but it is going to give you your sanity. We have a Leap Frog tablet with loads of non wifi needing games loaded onto it but you could always download a few apps to your iPad or phone before you fly. 


(Did you know one woman can drag three cases, wear a backpack and keep a child in check all by herself- women are crazy strong!)

Most long haul planes will have little TV screens in the seats- take advantage of these! It's Darcy's dream day when I say, 'you know what, sit down with a blanket and just stare at a film for a few hours, I don't mind' and on the flight, I'm fine with it. Once we flew out to Seattle with Delta and the screens didn't work, at all. That's 9 hours in small chairs with a four year old who wants to know if we're nearly there yet. I hadn't bought the iPad thinking, 'she won't want that if there are tv's available' and I regretted it all the way across the ocean. 


Snacks are your friends. Most planes serve food, drinks and snacks throughout the flight and most of the time it's really quite nice. Sometimes though, you're little cherub decides they hate everything, even peas which they liked a lot the day before but now, no, they detest them. They also now detest chicken and pasta and bread and salad and perhaps even orange juice. Cool. Hopefully this won't happen to you but on the off chance it does, wouldn't you be glad that you bought a plain cheese sandwich and a banana from Pret before you boarded the flight? You might even be glad you bought those four kit kat chunkys that you can eat feverishly in the toilet every hour so that you can cope. Buy some snacks. If you don't eat them, you've wasted a tenner. If you do, you're both happy people and that's a risk worth taking. 



Dress your bambino is comfortable clothes. That Baby K trouser one piece is adorable but it's not going to be so fun when you have to wrangle them out of it to almost nudity for them to have a wee in the very small loo on board. Leggings, tee shirt, jumper and trainers are my usual go to and can be de-layed if you're arriving somewhere hot and you've packed a pair of shorts. Always take a spare set of clothes incase there's an accident (from them, from someone else or turbulence) and if it's a night flight, consider jimjams- nobody will judge you, I've done it quite a few times and it's great because they're automatically dressed for sleep and it helps them nod off- yay, wine and film time for you!!

(This was just before we discovered that the tv's on the plane didn't work on our flight.)

This is very luxurious and I'm aware not for everyone but we have flown in a variety of different 'classes'. I don't really like the term classes because it sounds a bit elitist but that's what airlines call them. We've flown business with British Airways (very nice but make sure you book a child's meal otherwise your little one is going to be eating a herb encrusted stick of asparagus and a perfectly marinated piece of salmon), and premium economy with Virgin. We've also travelled economy with Delta, British Airways and Virgin. I have to say, I don't think the seating arrangements makes any difference to a child's behaviour. All they give a monkeys about is the TV, snacks and toys. However, I'll be blunt, that level of comfort made a big difference to me. A lot of our trips have been just me and the child and to be able to skip lines, sit in a spacious, enclosed (business has little walls and windows), environment with everything easily on hand makes life lovely. If you're travelling solo with a child and you can upgrade (I know, it's extortionate), just consider it. 

(Do you know how fun it is to lug your giant car seat across the world? Zero fun, that's how much, zero). 

One of the biggest things I have done for each and every flight (even a 2 hour squeezeyjet flight to Spain) is talk, talk, talk about it before hand. The more you talk about it, the more familiar they are with the concept and the less of a shock everything is going to be when the board or when you ask them to do something. When she was very little, we practised sitting nicely with legs out and hands on knees (sounds tedious but she was game for it during the flight so I was glad of all the, 'shall we play aeroplanes?') and we now talk about the plan for the flight. So, 'This flight is going to be so fun! We're going to watch a film, have some lunch, have a nap and then when you wake up, you can watch another film or play with the toys'. I find that if Darcy has a brief outline of how things are going to play out, she's much more able to behave. I get it, I like to know where I am with things too. 

I hope some of these tips have been useful to you. Ultimately, all you can do is do your best. Give them something to sip or suck for taking off and landing (ears and pressure don't always mix) and cut yourself some slack- it's hard work parenting in such a squished environment, nobody is going to judge you if your child isn't a perfect angel all the time and you don't need to feel fretful about it. 

Sit back, put their headphones on and enjoy your flight!

Toodlepip!

xx

PS- Leave your tips below- I'm sure they'll be helpful to everyone else as well as me! 



Monday, 20 February 2017

Feel Alive | Motivational Monday | 2017 #6


Oh Hai,

I'm writing this post on a Saturday, sat by a pool in the sunshine, waiting for my transfer to the airport. I thought I'd get ahead of the game since Monday is set to be busy- school run starts again (sob), I have a video to film and edit and no doubt I'll be battling with the joys of jet lag. 

So, in advance, merry Monday to you! A new week, a new slate, so many possibilities. 


This trip has been wonderful. Ten full days with my boy and my babe. I've been to Disney World a number of times, my family holidayed here when I was younger and every time I'm in Orlando for work I try to make a day of it so I'm no stranger to the magic of it all and I love it. I don't think I'll ever be bored or ever not fancy a trip here. 

When I'm here, I feel good. I feel the sun on my legs, I wear my brightest lipstick, I skip a bit when I walk. I started saying things like, 'I wish I could feel like this every day', but the reality is, I can. 

No I can't have Mickey Mouse and churros every day but I can wear my bright lipstick and I can put on music and dance about with Darcy in the mornings. I can eat dinner round the table with my favourites and I can take time away from my laptop/general life duties to just listen to my Daughter tell me all the bibbits and bobbits whirring round her head. 

This week, take a few moments to think about what makes you feel good. Work out a way to incorporate it into your life and just do it. I plan on having a dance party with Darcy round the house or watching a film with her (actually watching it, not scrolling through instagram whilst she watches). 

I think going to those places, doing those things, taking that time, makes all the difference to our wellbeing and should be celebrated!

Happy living!!

Toodlepip!

xx


Monday, 6 February 2017

Wonderful Things | Motivational Monday | 2017 #5


Oh Hai, 

As I write this I'm making lists and packing for an adventure this week. So, merry Monday! A brand new week to do something amazing! I'm excited for this one. On Wednesday we fly to Orlando, Florida for a trip to Disney World, my favourite place on earth. 



I saw this quote on Pinterest and knew it was perfect for this week. Here's why-

Exactly one year ago my life was very, very different. I was just starting a new relationship that wasn't going to last very long, I was trudging through with a horrible divorce, I felt burnt out professionally and I worried constantly about my Daughter. I was so highly strung that every little thing concerned me and I would lay awake fretting for the future. I never felt safe. 

Today life is much changed. My legal business is done and dusted, my heart is healed, I'm buzzing with creative ideas, I feel confident and calm about my Daughter and I'm in a happy, healthy, stable relationship with a good man. 

I didn't do anything profound or make any huge changes in 2016, I just let time and God do it's thing and wonderful things unfolded. I know this sounds severe but truly, a few years ago I didn't think I would ever find this sort of joy and yet, here I am, sitting on my candy pink sofa in a house I feel safe in, blogging about my beautiful life. 

If you are in a place where you feel like things are grim or you can't see a way it could ever be happy, have faith. I didn't think it would happen and it has. It will happen to you. You just have to wait and be open and then one day, it will be there. 

Sending anyone that needs them great big giant hugs!

Things are going to get very Disney on the blog for the next couple of weeks so keep your eyes pealed for that and I'll see you soon!

Toodlepip!

xx

Monday, 30 January 2017

No Rain, No Flowers | Motivational Monday | 2017 #4


Oh Hai,

This past week I've been feeling like I'm pushing water uphill. I'm glad for it to be Monday and to start afresh with renewed vigour and resolve. 


Right now I'm working every day and not really having a whole lot of play. Like everyone, if I could have an eternal summer of fun and frolics I would but, like everyone, that's not a sustainable life for me. 

I saw today's quote and thought it was apt. There are rewards for hard work and I'm looking forward to the flowers at the end of this. 

If you are working your arse off for something at the moment, whether is educational, professional or personal, stick at it! We'll enjoy picking our flowers all the more for it!!

Toodlepip!

xx



Thursday, 26 January 2017

Glitter Weekly #3


Oh Hai, 

I was thinking about what I would write on my blog this week and mulling a few ideas round in my head. A lot of the topics I wanted to discuss kept being mentally crossed of the in-my-head list because I felt like they weren't very original. 

I wanted to talk about how easy it is to have your confidence knocked, I wanted to talk about how important it is to surround yourself with inspiring people, I wanted to talk about how you should make time for yourself and thought about talking about some of the things that happened last week. 


All of those things were in my weekly vlog that goes up each Sunday at 9am GMT. I'm going to start popping my videos here again (providing the embedding coding works, I've had tech issues with it before) and then those of you who don't subscribe to my channels will have something to catch up on over here! If the embedded video doesn't work on your device, you can click HERE to be taken directly to it. Why not subscribe whilst you're there? 

I hope you're all having amazing weeks! I've been pretty ill so far but hopefully on the mend and will still have a weekly video going up on Sunday morning for you over on Sprinkle of Chatter (my secondary YouTube Channel) - woo!!

Toodlepip!

xx



Monday, 23 January 2017

Better An Oops | Motivational Monday | 2017 #3


Oh Hai!

Merry Monday to you! The best day of the week is Monday because it's a brand new chance to achieve everything you want and a fresh slate. 


Last week I did a few new and brave things. I went for an appointment to see if I'm eligible for laser eye surgery (I am! Yay! I'll be having it done in March!), I had afternoon tea with Sophie Kinsella to talk books, babies and more AND this weekend I went to Spain for a night (more on this later)!

I'm trying out bravery. I'm trying out meeting amazing authors and having LASERS beamed into my eyeballs and jetting off with Darcy even though travel unsettles me because I've wasted so, so, so much time not letting myself go for things. My life is pretty amazing but I hold back a lot. Imagine what I could do if I didn't?

Imagine what you might do this week if you just said, 'better and oops than a what if?'. Think of the fun you'd have or things you'd accomplish!

This week I urge, when faced with a choice, say our Motivational Monday quote to yourself, give it a go and see what happens! I'd be interested to hear in the comments how you got on!

I hope last week gave you the inspiration to keep going with those resolutions you made nearly 4 weeks ago- I'm so far sticking to mine but it's not always that easy!!

Let me know in the comments and I'll see you soon!

Toodlepip!

xx

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Getting Away from it All | Hotel Escape


Oh Hi,

'A mini break means true love' - Bridget Jones. 

Louise Pentland_The Grove

This weekend Liam and I threw our essentials in a bag, jumped in the mini and headed to a country spa hotel for twenty four hours of peace. It. Was. Glorious. 

We arrived at about 3pm Saturday and were back on the motorway by 1pm the next day but honestly, those few hours felt so long and I felt so refreshed. 

Darcy was on a Daddy Weekend, Liam had no work and I felt like I could take mine with me (yes, I work on 'holidays' but only because I love what I do and it's a form of pleasure for me) so we decided to book a night at The Grove. I've stayed there a few times before for work events but never just for fun and since I like things that are familiar, this seemed like a good fit. 

Louise Pentland_The Grove
(I loved the luxury feel to the rooms, particularly all the soft lighting, so perfect for unwinding.)

We booked one of the mansion rooms (they have those, which are a little more pricey but more unique and special, OR you can stay in the Wing rooms which are also nice but don't have that boutique feel to them) and decided to just do all the things we love, with no agenda or expectations. How perfect. 

Louise Pentland_The Grove
(Dinner -almost- in bed with a movie. Also, the best onion rings I've had in a while)

I had a bath in the giant tub with the most gorgeous complimentary toiletries (I think we actually took a couple home and I'm never that person), we ordered such delicious room service food (try the Raspberrettos!), watched a film (I never sit through a whole film because life gets in the way but I was so relaxed from my bath, I did), lounged about reading our books, talked til the small hours and fully, fully relaxed. 

Louise Pentland_The Grove
(Fun fact - This was the second bath I had on Saturday, I also had one at home before we left. I'm obsessed with good baths. I might give up everything and travel the world in search of the most beautiful tubs I can find.)

At home, even when Darcy's in bed and the day is done, I never completely set everything down and unwind, but here, maybe because none of my lifey distractions were around, I did. I don't think I realised how much I needed to do that until I did. 

The next morning we stuffed ourselves with maybe the best breakfast ever and then went back up to the room to lay on the bed and carry on reading our books- we're so old before our time haha!

Louise Pentland_The Grove
(There's something special about just being surrounded by perfect interiors are lovely little touches like fluffy folded flannels and a gently lit mirror.)

After checkout we'd planned to have a walk round the grounds or perhaps stay for afternoon tea but rain was pouring and we felt happy we'd enjoyed enough so decided to head home so I could crack on with my #RobinWilde writing deadlines. I'm quite glad that we only touched the surface of things to offer (there's a spa, multiple restaurants, outdoor pool, beach and beautiful grounds etc) because it means we'll have to go back soon!

Louise Pentland_The Grove

I realise a hotel like this is quite a luxury and not doable for everyone but if you do have the chance, treat yourself. Even if this venue isn't for you, take a night out to step away from the world, close all the doors and r e l a x, I promise you, it's worth it. 

Please feel free to recommend any nice places in the UK that you think I'd like, I plan to make a regular thing of zipping off for a night. #SelfLove and all that!

Toodlepip!

xx

Monday, 16 January 2017

You Got This! | Motivational Monday | 2017 #2


Oh Hai,

Merry Monday to you! The third week of January is often a sticky one for me, one where I give up my resolutions, ditch the healthy eating, slack on my schedule and succumb to the gloomy weather. With that in mind, I thought we'd take today's Motivational Monday opportunity to gee ourselves up and  k e e p  g o i n g. 

(Sourced from Pinterest and traced to HERE)

January is rough and long and a lot of us are feeling the pinch with December's payday seeming a long old time a go but you've got this! You can totally get through it and push into February still on track with all your goals and resolutions. 

Save this blog post on your phone or laptop and every time you feel a bit bleaugh, read this - 

KEEP GOING. YOU ARE SO MUCH STRONGER THAN YOU THINK YOU ARE. DIG DEEP. THINK HOW AMAZING YOU'LL FEEL IN FEBRUARY, KNOWING YOU DID IT FOR ALL OF JANUARY. 

Pass this on to anyone you know that is trying. That lady in the office, your friend at college, your Mummy friend who's had a lot of sleepless night. Remind them that like you, they can handle it! 

How have you been getting on with last week's homework of waking up a little bit earlier? I did it about 3 days of the week and really felt great for it!

Let me know how you're getting on in the comments below OR leave a positive comment for someone else who has reached out. Let's keep the comments section a really supportive space for those who need it. 

Good luck! Keep Going! Love you!

Toodlepip!

xx





Friday, 13 January 2017

Mummy Dates Project 2017 | Rugby!


Oh Hai,

Thank you so much to everyone who read the start up post to this project and decided to join in! Don't forget, you can join in at any time and all the details are in that linked blog post. If you're new, my Mummy Dates Project is a way to encourage us all to spend more quality, present time with our littles, doing something fun. 

(Everything snapped on my phone. Didn't want to take my big camera, just wanted to be in the moment)

This weekend my friend Clare (who's Husband, Mark, was once my Fusband- remember him?) offered Darcy and I great tickets to go and watch the rugby. With Mark coaching there, she goes regularly but I'd never taken Darcy so decided it might be a fun afternoon for us to go out as a duo. We do so many playdates or trips with Liam that I want to ensure I continue to protect our Mummy/Darcy time in 2017. 

I've never been big into sports but Liam's enthusiasm for the rugby (he used to play and now lurves to watch), I've sort of been sucked in and to my surprise, really enjoy it! Honestly, I never ever thought I'd say that.


We hopped in a cab on Saturday afternoon (parking there is hard work) and picked up our tickets from a really friendly lady on the front desk. What I will say about the Northampton Saints ground is just how friendly all the staff were, really great service at every opportunity. 

As ever, I bumped into my Dad and Tina. You'd be amazed how many times I bump into my Dad (once I bumped into him in an American airport when we were both on separate business trips, once I realised I was behind his car on the M1) and he kindly took our Mummy Date snap for us. 

For the game we sat in one of the boxes which was perfect for Darcy. A lot of the players families use these as a little hub to socialise, they have food & drinks facilities and toys for children etc so Darcy really enjoyed getting stuck into those.



The game was exciting. Darcy didn't fully grasp the rules but cheered for her team and enjoyed the atmosphere. I loved that Clare was there with her little girl too so it was like a double Mummy Daughter Date. 

On the way home (thanks Dad for the lift a million miles across town!!) Darcy looked through the programme and chattered about the experience. 

It was so nice just to get out and do something a bit different for the sole purpose of just enjoying it. The only downside was how envious Liam was of us doing his favourite thing without him haha! Sadly, he had to work, we weren't just meanies leaving him out!

---

I would love to hear about what Mummy Dates you've been getting up to. Lucky for us, some people have already gotten involved in the project and posted their adventures too. I'll link them below for you to go and enjoy. 

Hayley Sarah - "ARTIST, AUTHOR AND MUMMY RECENTLY DIAGNOSED WITH BREAST CANCER AND BLOGGING ABOUT MY JOURNEY THROUGH MY MASTECTOMY, CHEMOTHERAPY, WIGS AND CHANGING MY LIFE."

Ashely Jay - "Here you will find I cover a variety of topics from day to day life to beauty and fashion. So grab a cuppa, get ready to read and feel free to leave a comment."


If you would like to share your Mummy Dates, please do. Simply head to the original blog post, read the 'rule's (lol, v flexible) and leave your link below on that blog post (not this one). Next time I have a Mummy Date I'll share your post and a little bit about you (most likely taken from your bio or you can write something in the comment you leave me) and we can have a bit of community love and support going on. 



Please do head over and give the very gorgeous Hayley some TLC- it looks like she had a great day after a pretty rough year. Big loves. 

Toodlepip!

xx

Monday, 9 January 2017

It's On! | Motivational Monday | 2017 #1


Oh Hai,

Merry Monday to you! I hadn't planned to write this blog post today because I thought I'd be short on time but here we are at 6.15am- amazing! Darcy is still asleep (I'll wake her at 7), Rocket and Zula are on my bed purring and the house is still. 

(image originally from Pinterest but traced to this lovely blog. Not sure if it is there original or not)


I never get up this early but let me tell you, it's so good! 

Normally, I wake up to my alarm at 6.50am and feel groggy for a good 20 minutes. In that 20 minutes however I do my bathroom things (loo, brush teeth, contacts, wash face etc), wake up Darcy, give her her clothes, get myself dressed and help her bathroom time. All that in 20 minutes and feeling like utter bin juice. Frankly, it's horrible. 

Waking up 50 minutes earlier today though has allowed me some time to 'come round'. The slow start to being fully awake has been much more palatable when all I've had to do was snuggle the cats and put some warm socks on. I feel happy and relaxed and actually, really excited for my day and week. I'm feeling productive (hello, I'm writing this at 6.19am) and motivated and my spirits are high. 

This week, I know this sounds hideous but trust me, why don't you try getting up 30 minutes earlier each day and allow yourself that little bit of extra time to come into the world and see if it makes a difference? Take that extra 30 minutes for you. Do very few things and relish them. You are important. You are worth your time. 

I'm really looking forward to my week ahead and I hope you are too! Let me know in the comments what time you get up and how long it takes you to get ready- could you add more time in there? 

You can follow all of my week over on Instagram.

Toodlepip!

xx

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Mummy Dates Project 2017 - Join In Too!


Oh Hi, 

As part of my New Years Resolution to continue blocking off strict Mummy Time with Darcy, I thought I'd write about it here because, as ever, I plan to document it. You might be new round here so let me tell you, I LOVE TO DOCUMENT THINGS. 

Mummy Dates 2017 Louise Pentland

A lot of things that I document go on my instagram, glitter channel or chatter channel (click on the words for the link there) but often I will snap photos for my private collection (that sounds so seedy, it's not. I just take a LOT of photos every day!), write lists of special things that have happened or journal things on paper. 

To me, documenting is saving memories. I can relax knowing they are recorded somewhere tangible rather than worrying my brain might let them fade away. 

I want to document my Mummy Dates but I'm in a bit of a conundrum because I'm being very firm with my time allocations this year. For example, today is a Saturday and I've marked it as a 'No Filming Day'. I vlog all week to make THESE weekly vlogs, plus I make separate videos for my glitter channel. It's important to have a couple of days not being 'on'. 

Today for our Mummy Date we've kindly been gifted rugby tickets by our friends so I'm taking Darcy to watch her first live match! My friend Clare will be there with Baby Hope (you might have seen her in vlogs) and we're going to get some street food first. It's Darcy's first experience of live stadium sports so it should be a really nice afternoon. 

For me, I think the best way to document it whilst still being completely present in the moment is just to take a few pictures on my phone when the moment strikes and then write a blog post. I'm not going to put put great pressure on myself to take the most amazing best shots ever or to get lots and lots. If I do manage to then hurrah, but if I don't, I won't beat myself up over it. My main goal is special dedicated time with my babe, if I can take a few snaps then hooray! 

Mummy Dates are very fluid. Some weeks there might be lots and it might be big and exciting, but some weeks it might be low key, like watching a film at home on the sofa with laptops closed and social media shut down. Over the year, I'd like to try and blog about it and, if you're a Mama, why don't you as well? A little Mummy Date for you and your little one/s?

If you'd like to take part in this year long project and be supported by this lovely community, here's all you need to do-

1. Do something lovely with your little and document it for your blog in your usual style - no rules, just do your own thing. 

2. Copy and paste the below photo at the bottom of your post with, 'Mummy Dates 2017 Project' linked to this specific blog post. You can make the image tiny or massive.

Koin Mummy Dates Project 2017 Louise Pentland

3. In the comments of this post, link below your blog post and the month you did it in so that in my next Mummy Dates, I can add all the people who are also taking part in the project. If you want to leave a bit about you (eg, Hi, I'm Louise, I love blogging and I'm a Mother of one little girl) then that would be great but you don't have to. 


That's it really! Anyone can join at any time of the year, just include the link and month below so I can keep track. I'll be linking each blog in my posts but if your blog is vulgar or contains themes of an adult nature (you know what I'm talking about), then obviously I'll just be leaving that off and wishing you all the best. 

I love the idea of all of us doing something together, sharing ideas and working on such a heart warming project. 

See you soon with an update of how the rugby Mummy Date went!

Toodlepip!

xx



Monday, 2 January 2017

A Year In Glitter World | 2016

Oh Hai, 

For those that have been reading this blog for a long time, you may remember previous December's where I have written 'A Year In Glitter World'. A post designed to sum up and celebrate the year we've had. 

I went back to previous years to recap what I wrote and I was both surprised and unsurprised to see that I didn't publish one in 2015. 

2015 was a most brutal of years, with heartbreak being the main dish served and a lot of angst along with. Whilst professionally it was a dream, home life felt closer to a nightmare and last NYE, in the back of m friend's car in Seattle as we watched the fireworks over the Space Needle, I said quietly to the universe, 'Please, please let 2016 be gentle'. 

The universe listened and here we are, at the end of 2016 with a healed heart, a clear head and a great deal of things to celebrate. Thank you 2016, you've been beautiful. 

Before I delve into each month, I want to take a moment to specifically thank YOU for being so supportive. Without your readership (and viewership), I wouldn't have the life I do, I wouldn't have a career I love and I wouldn't be writing this post. Thank you so much for coming on this journey and walking beside me, you are so very appreciated. 

Here we go, 2016, let's recap!

January. 




January began in Seattle, America. My dear friends Marie and Ryan (and their children, Scarlet and Luca) live out there and as I tend to do when life gets tough, I ran to them to sit in their family and be loved. Darcy loved playing with Scarlet for two weeks and I loved being away from my normal surroundings and taking a breather. We talked a lot in that fortnight. We talked about God and His plan, self love, rational thinking and the difference between needs and wants. We also did a lot of great shopping, a sure fire healer. Packing my bags, putting my babe on a plane and jetting off, set me up for a great year. I actually remember popping into my Dad and Stepmum's when I landed and them both saying how refreshed I looked. I think I owe my good year to Marie. If you're reading, thank you. 





January was a fun month for work too! I uploaded a Huge Target Haul, my What's In My Bag 2016 and appeared on live TV as a guest on Blue Peter, discussing internet safety for young people. Oh and yes, I did get a badge- woop woop!




Knowing that 2015 had been a bag of utter bin juice, some of my lovely friends took me out for the fanciest meal of my life in London. The whole day was quite a tale actually of lost bags, tears, expensive butter and mega lols. Definitely a night to remember- thanks guuuyyyz. 

February. 

February was the month I officially started dating the unnamed boyfriend. He did have a name obviously, but I never shared it online. I never even uploaded a picture of us to my personal facebook which probably says a lot. I've thought a lot about that relationship and learnt quite a bit. I've learnt that I love very easily (maybe too easily) and that I overlook a lot when love is involved. I've learnt that when a man calls you high maintenance, it means they're not strong enough for you. I don't want a man to maintain me, I want a man to run along side me and keep up with my ambitions without feeling inferior or intimidated. I've learnt a lot of other things too but perhaps we'll discuss these in a video.


I had a lot of fun with him and when he broke up with me in May, I was really stung but hindsight is 20/20 and at the risk of sounding cliche, I actually think he did me a favour. I remember talking to my friend Dave Erasmus in an Orlando hotel room in April and him saying, 'So, is he the one?' and me saying, 'No, but he'll do for now, probably enjoy the Summer with him and call it quits'. 

At the time I was so broken from 2015 that it didn't occur to me that you shouldn't be in a relationship that 'will do for now', you should be in it with your whole heart. As it happened, Unnamed must have thought the same because a few months later he ended things. I don't know what his life is like now but I wish him the best and hope he's found someone to settle with (and who will put up with him haha). 


Professionally, February was a real turning point. I flew to New York City to attend a meeting at the United Nations Head Quarters to discuss my new role as Change Ambassador for Gender Equality. It was an incredible experience to be amongst so many strong women and talk properly. As with many big trips, my gorgeous Maddie (my manager) came too and it was good to spend proper time with her too, she's a good one. I made this vlog on the trip for you to watch.


Taking on the role was a huge moment for me. It made me think more about the potential of women and what we should and could be doing to lift them up and impact the world positively. It highlighted the Global Goal initiative which aims to tackle 15 issues in 15 years to make the world a better place. Check it out and feel motivated to make change too <3 .="" p="">

March. 


March was most definitely a homey month. I carried on with vlogging and general admin but took on no new projects and spent a lot of time with Darcy, having playdates with my Mummy friends, enjoying the first glimpses of Spring and feeling very mumsy. I think this was my most healing month. 

On one of the days Darcy's friend Mollie had a birthday party at an ice cream parlour. I sat with all the parents having a chat whilst Darcy and the children went absolutely gaga on ice cream and activities and I just felt so uplifted. I'd distinctly remember thinking, 'I survived and I'm ok. My Daughter is happy, I'm amongst friends, I can handle things'.



My broken heart of 2015 was beginning to mend and I was feeling a lot better. 

April. 

April is the birthday month in this house! Both me and Darcy have our birthdays and, Liam does too (but more on him later!). I think April might be my favourite month of the year. Flowers are blooming, days are sunny, I wear pink and peach, I just love it. 


This sweet girl never fails to make my heart feel full. She's the greatest thing.  


Fun fact, we joined a health club in April! It's a mix between a gym and a spa and we love it. I could definitely use the gym a lot more than I do (maybe 2017 will be the year!) but we've been swimming, enjoyed the kids play zone and had a lot of healthy food there. A LOT (seriously, a lot) of my yummy mummy friends are members so it's a great place for us all to socialise and because you pay monthly, you don't have to take you cards and it kind of feels like it's free haha. 


My tiny baby grew another year and turned 5. Where does time go? 

We hosted a Princess themed birthday party for her which she absolutely loved, with a customised castle birthday cake which I had a little figurine of her made for it especially. We also had a gorgeous Mummy/Daughter photoshoot (thank you Zoe for taking these shots, you always know how I like them) and I treasure the pictures now. 


Behind Zoe and I are all the princess dresses the little girls could play with. Darcy spent most of her time trying on as many as she could- what can I say, the girl loves dress up! 



Also in April I hosted a meet and greet to celebrate the launch of my second clothing line with Simply Be. It was held in their flagship store and I met so, so many of you. It was such a joy to meet women who said they felt comfortable in their body and fashionable in their clothes. I am so passionate about body acceptance and style and can't wait to talk more about this next year. 

The lovely blonde above is Jayne who won a competition (there were 5 winners in total) for a personal shopping experience and some pieces from the line. She came all the way over from Ireland and was dreamy. Happy New Year Jayne! 



Back home it was more Mummy/Darcy time with trips to the farm with the Yummy Mummys (we have this great place near us where you can play with the animals, play in an outdoor adventure area, play in an indoor soft zone- a lot of playing basically) and this video of Darcy doing my makeup. What a talent! 


Before I knew it I was flying to Orlando to attend Playlist Live (a convention for people who love, use and enjoy online video) and how weird is this - I bumped into my Dad in Orlando Airport!!! He was just returning from a business trip and I was just arriving and we walked past each other! WHAT ARE THE ODDS?! 


Whilst there I hung out with dear friends (hello Dave Erasmus- check his channel out, he's living in the woods for one year to see what he learns), gave talks, took photos (there were way too many on my insta to include here), meet happy people and felt really inspired by our amazing community. 




We even managed to squeeze a day in at Disney with some of the Gleam Team so it was no surprise that by the time I got home, I was pooped. 


I spent my birthday in bed feeling really drained but really happy to have had such a full and beautiful month! April, you rocked! 


May. 

May was a mammoth month. 

It began with a trip to New York City with some of my friends to attend the annual YouTube Creator Summit. 


The first time I went to New York in 2013, I hated it. I found it noisy and daunting and like an attack on my senses. I've been fortunate to return a few times now (I think around five or six) and every time I go, I fall more in love with the place. It helps that my manager Maddie is maybe it's biggest fan. It's hard not to like somewhere when you're with it's keenest cheerleader haha.  


The summit itself was brilliant. Great speakers, interesting workshops and I came away feeling really excited for the world I work in. 


I spent time with great friends and did all my best insta posing!



Meeting some of you guys was an absolute pleasure. You never fail to be amazing. 


I also found a new sense of bravery on that trip. On the last day we had no scheduled plans and so I decided to adventure off alone. I didn't go far (just a short google map walk away), but I did it and I was proud. I bought myself a Starbucks, had a mooch round the shops and then went back to my hotel. Not ground breaking but for me, a big step in my quest to be more confident with travel. 


I came home to gorgeous sunshine and 26 degree weather so declared it a bikini in the garden day and didn't hear any complaints from my Daughter! I loved it so much I made this sunny day vlog.

The next day, unnamed boyfriend dumped me. It was all a bit weird and I haven't spoken about it before on the blog but here we have it in brief -

He came over, had a shower, was being a bit weird, I asked what was wrong and then he said he didn't think things were working. He said I was hard work, he mentioned that he wanted to travel and I was hard work about that (very true, travel makes me extremely tense and anxious. I totally understand him wanting someone really fun and exciting who travels a lot. I'd only been to Orlando and New York twice since meeting him as well as offering to pay for a trip to Amsterdam and Iceland to see the Northern Lights, if only I were more adventurous eh?), he said he'd felt pressured to meet Darcy (I had asked him several times when he felt ready to meet her and finished every asking with 'I don't want you to do if you don't feel ready because she deserves more than that') and that I was, the classic from every guy ever, 'a really great girl'. Thank God he validated that for me. 

I had a good day of crying, showed absolutely zero dignity and called him to see if he was sure and maybe it could work and maybe I could be different, I could change. Please reconsider I urged, please give it another go. The thought of being lonely again, like 2015 again, was over powering. I stupidly had post break up sex with him and then, after a week or so, realised that was is. He was right, we weren't right for each other. I felt like he had called it, I was high maintenance, not worth the trouble of that much hard work. 

So, I did what most do, put on my lacey knickers, applied eyeshadow like my life depended on it and partied with my friends. I kept every day busy. I didn't want to feel alone again. I worked on videos, took Darcy on every playdate going, went out to every drinks night possible and surprised myself at how much of an amazing time I had. I came to realise that I had a life, a good one actually and that if needed, I could stand on my own two feel and still feel enriched by my friends and my family and my career. That was a very valuable lesson to learn. Thanks unnamed. 


A few days after being dumped, in part, because I wasn't adventurous enough, I was flown out to Cannes on my own in a helicopter to party in the French Rivera at Hotel Du Cap to raise money for research into curing aids at the amFAR Gala, curtesy of Instagram. 


Naturally being very high maintenance and unadventurous as a person, it was very hard to fly over the crystal clear waters or dine on the coast at Cannes Film Festival amongst the world's glitterati, but somehow, I managed it. Tehe.



I was gifted this beautiful white and gold lace dress by ChiChi London who have saved me on more than one occasion this year for a red carpet outfit. Love them!


Here I am being high maintenance and unadventurous with Karlie Kloss, the supermodel. Such a shame I had nobody to take as my plus one. Heh heh. I'm done now I promise. 


When I get a spare weekend this Summer, I'm going back to Hotel Du Cap, it was such a fairytale location. I think it was the most glamorous place I've ever been in my entire life. 


Home again with my little lady and I remember spending a lot of time at my Dad's house, being with family and soaking them up. She's a good kid. 


Before the month drew to a close I was lucky enough to speak at the WACL (Women in Communications and Advertising London) conference and meet some amazing women who, like me, use their voice to make a change, build a business and be their best selves. 

May was a big learning month. 

I am high maintenance. I maintain myself to a very high standard. I value myself highly enough to express my needs and wants. I'm not afraid to speak my mind, to work for my goals, to strive for what I think is right. I will never bow down to a man and do what he wants purely to appease his appetite for ego, I will try not to compromise my personal beliefs and, I will work every day to stick to the ideals I've set for myself. I am high maintenance. And proud. 


June. 

June, despite the craziness of May, was my biggest travel month of the year! As I went through my instagram to choose which photos to include in this post, I couldn't believe how much I did.


It began with a trip to Rome. I was invited with a handful of amazing creators to go and do two things. Firstly, learn about Scholas, an incredible charity aimed to helping young people communication, tolerate, love and problem solve and secondly, to talk directly to the Pope about how we can use our own communities (that's us!) to spread the message of peace and love. 

Basically, wow. 


I was nervous about this trip. A place I'd never been, with people I didn't know, doing things I've never done, trying food I'd never tried. 


I threw myself into it and it was amazing. My mind was broadened. I started to think about things I hadn't considered before and meeting the Pope, what an honour. A once in a lifetime opportunity, to which I am so grateful for. 


Pope Francis spoke to me about using beauty and love to neutralise aggression. The event was picked up by various media outlets such as The GuardianThe Independent and Newsweek. If you'd like to see the actual event, thisthis and this is the vlog for you!

Something really special was that my Dad came on this trip. He is always so supportive of everything I do and I'm glad we got to spend those few days together experiencing something so incredibly unique. 


My three days in Rome were fantastic and the city is beautiful, but never as beautiful as returning to this sweet babe. 

We had an unexpectedly great day when I had to shelp over to Peterborough to have my passport renewed. I'd opted for the 4 hour fastpass service because I had another trip coming up really soon and couldn't rely on the post, so we were forced to hang out all day in a very dull, rainy town centre. I thought it was going to be a nightmare but to my surprise, it wasn't! 

We found a really cute tea room/restaurant and bedded in for the day. We coloured, ate, played games, watched a film and chattered. It was such quality time and I loved it. This kid is quite the adventure buddy. 



After a day in London for meetings I hopped along to Victoria's (InTheFrow) British Heart Foundation Pop Up Shop and had a super fun evening with brilliant people and then wizzed home ready for a fun day in the sunshine.  


It's always nice when Dave Erasmus comes to play. 



We spent a lot of time in June outside. There were funfairs and walks and playgrounds and beer gardens. The snap below is from a day when we went to my friend Esther's village. Her local pub had a band playing in the gardens, Esther bought her children and their new puppy and it was lovely. All the adults sat having a drink and chatting and all the children played on the grass with the puppy and danced to the band until the sun went down. I remember thinking, 'this is what Summer is for, evenings like this'. 



With my new found travel confidence, I did something quite unexpected. I flew to Malaga on a whim!

With the way my custody works with Darcy's Dad, we share 50/50, I had a stretch of 4 childfree days so decided to take a couple of them to go away! An old Liverpool friend of mine (not romantic, don't get excited), was travelling out there and said casually, 'you should come out sometime'. I was like, 'How about Thursday?' and within a few hours my hotel and flight was booked and I couldn't believe I was being so bold. 


I realise to many this is not a big step but to me, it was huge. I arranged all my own travel, transfers, logistics and managed them alone. 


And thankfully, it was worth it. Malaga is a gorgeous city and in fact, I'm going back next year!



The fish in the harbour swam right up to the edge and put on quite a show for us! If you want to watch a little video of my trip, HERE it is. I just watched it back and think it might be one of my favourites from the year. 2017 is definitely going to have to be travel filled! 


A week at home to crack on with admin, mumlife, making videos and it was time for another flight to Los Angeles to attend vidcon! Woo!


Vidcon is a huge convention held in Annehiem for content creators or fans of online content. I spoke on panels, met loads and loads of you, had meetings with industry people, skipped out ultility corridors and ate a LOT of room service. I made three videos whilst out there, some of which are a bit adult (we partied hard), so watch if you are yanno, an adult. They are here.


The very best thing about this year was that Marie came!! We shared a room and had such an adventure. This is us 'looking sexy'. I'm not sure if we achieved it or not haha!


Once I got home it was my step-sister Hollie's birthday and family time again- hurrah! 



July. 

July was a great month. After all that travel, I put my passport away and stayed on British soil the entire time. 

I worked from home and London and what with it being the Summer holidays for Darcy, we had a lot of fun. On suitable occasions I took her with me to work (this kid has such an exciting life with days working at the BBC, hanging out at Gleam HQ etc) and other times I just worked from home whilst she played around me. We also found plenty of time to ignore work and enjoy the summer. 


One day, I had a huge house sort out. It was a bit unexpected really. I had had a terrible morning (won't highlight why, this blog is a happy place) and felt very low. My friends totally rallied round and saved the day. I'd hired a skip to fill with garden junk and within two hours it was done, my friend Vicky helped me organise my office, Mark and Clare (and baby Hope) came too. Clare looked after Darcy and Mark built this flatpack picnic table for me. I was so uplifted that day by the power of good people doing good things. Now Darcy can dine alfresco! 


Little snap before church one morning. 


A trip to the vets with Rocket who got stung by a bee and had a swollen paw- stupid cat. 


Two good things I invested in this Summer - taking Darcy out for crazy amazing milkshakes and a hammock. No regrets. 



How many little girls can say they spent their summer holidays hanging out at the BBC? 



Darcy smashing it in the business world. 


Twinning!

Oh, I'd also started seeing my current love this summer, Liam. We snuck off for a weekend in Brighton (obviously I popped in on Zoe too) and enjoyed the time together. 

August. 

Another good month for travel!! 


As is our favourite thing to do, Darcy and I hopped on a plane (with way too much luggage for one Mum to handle) and flew to Seattle for a fortnight with Marie and family! 

Seattle really is my happy place. 




All the fun was had and I loved having that special time with my baby girl who evidently, is growing into such a gorgeous child. HERE is a playlist of all of the videos I made out there documenting our fun. 


Once home, it was back to business and I was fortunate enough to attend the launch of the new YouTube London HQ and launch the first of my LouiseLive Theatre tour dates! 


I was thrilled with how well the first leg of the tour went. The material was new and aimed at an older audience so I was nervous about that but, hurrah huzzah, it went down a storm and the reviews were fabulous! 

Then, much to my Manager's horror haha, on my 3 days off (Darcy was with her Dad), I snuck off to Spain to hang out with Liam who was spending some time in his family's villa there! Another spur of the moment plane trip and I loved it! I mean, look, there was a kitten for goodness sake!  



Needless to say, August was a great month and the perfect end to a wonderful Summer. When I cast my mind back to the start, in May, when I was freshly dumped for my high maintenance ways, I thought I would be alone and miserable all the way through. 

Turns out, I took six foreign trips, fell in love and met the Pope. Not bad at all! 

September.

September was full of buzz. There's no business like show business and I performed my final LouiseLIVE 2016 in London whilst it was filmed by the BBC for it's DVD release. HOW COOL IS THAT?


I took Darcy with me to this show and it was lovely having her backstage with me. I don't have a traditional job and I love that she is able to capture small glimpses of what Mummy does and how it all works. She absolutely loves coming on work days with me and all the Gleam staff spoil her rotten. She watched the majority (she was taken out and looked after backstage for the unsuitable bits) sat on Maddie's lap. I love that. 


Here she is with Mummy's congratulatory flowers waiting for my in the greenroom. I die. So cute. 


As at home as she is in theatres and grand surrounds, she's equally happy at church. We try to go every Sunday (so I take her every other because of my custody arrangement with her Dad) and it's lovely. My parents go and we know so many people at St Giles that it's like extended family. I love that time we spend each week and really feel like it's enriching for us. 


Oh, don't mind me, just snapping away on the red carpet of Bridget Jones' Baby- a great film and my first glitzy thing with Liam. He loved it too. I think I'm going to say yes to more premier's this year because they really are so fun and I love the glamour of it all. 



In between filming videos and writing my book, we took time out to enjoy the last of the sunny days and play at the health club. I'm really looking forward to being outdoors more when the weather picks up. 


The month was finished off with a visit from Hazel and a trip to Althorp House for a food and wine festival- I'll never say no to one of those! 



October. 

October began with a trip to the theatre to watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It was Darcy's first trip to see a proper production with me and she loved it. 


One of our friends Carrie Hope Fletcher actually had the lead role so we were lucky enough to go backstage afterwards, have a little tour, explore the magic. Carrie stayed in character the entire time as Truly Scrumptious and so now Darcy think's we know her- let's just hope she doesn't ask to visit her and want a ride in a flying car! 



A really special moment of October was hosting a Tea Dance and the London Waldorf to support Stand Up To Cancer

It was so lovely to meet so many of you and also so lovely to realise just how terrible I am at ballroom dancing!! Haha. I still live in hope that I'll go on Strictly Come Dancing one day so let's hope they done see the footage of my Cha Cha from this day!



Another day, another photoshoot. Heh, sorry, I couldn't resist. 

This year YouTube asked me to be part of their 'Made For You' campaign which showcases some of the different kinds of creators you can find on the platform and the kinds of content they make. I made this special video for it. Thanks to this I've been on billboards, buses and probably popping up on a lot of your website browsing. I've met some amazing creators who I wouldn't normally get to work with and loved every second. Anything that Google/YouTube do like this is always so well run and so exciting that you can't not want to be involved!

The same month I was invited by Google (but not because of the Made For You thingymajig) to speak at an event in Brussels to European Political Leaders. It was on stage and then there was a social mixer afterwards and it was SO GOOD. Who new policy makers could party so hard?! There was a lot more to it than that so you can check out this video if you're interested.  


Back home and we squeezed in this day to Stratford Upon Avon. It was our first full day trip as a trio (me, Liam and Darcy) because we wanted to ease things gently and I can happily say, it was a success. Even when Liam was paying for the parking and I thought a safe enough distance away for me to let out a little fart. Thankfully, he didn't hear it. What he did hear though was Darcy shouting, 'Mummy pumped!!! Mummy's done a massive pump!! Did you hear that Liam? Mummy pumped!!'. God bless the children. 


Next came the DVD launch which you can watch here if you're looking for a very long happy vlog. I think this DVD might be the thing I'm proudest of this year in my work. It was my first big foray into comedy and I think it's a hoot. If you haven't already picked up a copy, do! It's available from supermarkets, HMV, Amazon and to download on iTunes. 


After a big week launching the DVD, doing press interviews, hosting the launch party and meeting lots of you at signings, we finished off the month with a spooktacular Halloween Party for Darcy and co and, let me tell you, that pink slime in the background - #regret. Slime gets everywhere! Importantly though, Darcy had a great night and we rolled into November ready for it. 



November. 

In November Maddie and I decided to empty my calendar a bit so I could fully focus on Wilde (if you click on that link you can get a free newsletter with all sorts of exclusive bits and bobs on) but when I look at the pictures, it still seems like it was crazy! 


The Made for You campaign hit London and I was inundated with you guys sending my photos of me on the tube, on the moving escalator adverts, on billboards, in Piccadilly Circus, it was surreal. One time when I was in London with Liam, I made him go up and down the escalator about 6 times so that we could see me in one of the ads. 

It was such an honour. I started all of this with this little blog, seven years ago on my sofa. I'd planned for it to be a three month hobby until I went back to work in an office (I'd relocated cities and was taking a little time off). Thank goodness I never took that office job up! It's truly AMAZING what life offers up to you if you're willing to take it. I'm so thankful, really, just so thankful. 


Wasn't too thankful when Chris Stark spat water in my eyes during a game of Innuendo Bingo for BBC Radio One though. I went on the show to talk about my DVD and got soaked. 

I took my sister Tiyana and by some stroke of luck we bumped into Greenday and I caught it all on this vlog. She's like their biggest fan so was elated. 

We wandered down to Covent Garden for a mooch round and while we were there, we got a call saying Greenday liked her so much that they invited her to an exclusive event the next day. I've never seen her shake and smile so much. It was really lovely to see something so good happen to her. More of that in 2017 please! 



Alongside Davina McCall at Blogfest2016, a conference for creative Mum's to feel inspired. I'll admit, before I went, I thought it might be a bit naff. I thought I would just sit in the greenroom until it was time for me to present an award I'd judged and then go home but I was beyond wrong. 

I've been to 'mummy events' before (years and years ago I mean) and really disliked them. They'd felt fake and pretentious so I'd tarred this with the same brush but I couldn't have been more wrong. It was one of my favourite events that I'd been too this year. I was introduced to so many amazing, charismatic, motivated women and I left feeling utterly inspired. I might do a separate blog or video on some of these women but wow, they're good'uns. 


I also have a new found respect for Davina after listening to her incredible talk and then chatting to her afterwards and finding out we have mutual friends- small world! 


Back home and it was Sick Week. I have never seen so much vomit come out of such a small creature. I cleared my schedule, set down everything and played Mummy Nurse. It was shitty seeing Darcy feel so rubbish but I actually look back on it with good memories because of how many snuggles, chats and naps we had together. 

You may also have noticed that November was the month I stopped showing Darcy's face full on in photos. I decided that for general every day snaps, I wanted to pull her back quite a lot. She's also not featuring heavily, if at all, in most of my videos right now. This may ebb and flow, I don't know, but for now, I think this feels more right for us. This is all such a new industry and I think as a Mother you have to do what feels right and this did. Nothing bad happened so please don't worry, I just felt more comfortable focussing things on my creative projects and my own life rather than hers. Obviously I'm still taking a million pictures a day of her because I think she's the most perfect thing in existence but I'm just holding back a bit on instagram. I hope you understand and feel chill about that. 


I spent three days in London having meetings for my 2017 projects and also went along to Joe & Caspar's Hit The Road Premiere which was amazing. If you have a chance to watch it- you must, it's so funny! 


But, for the most part, I wrote. I wrote on my sofa, in my bed, in coffee shops, at the salon, in the carpark of Darcy's school whilst I waited and even at the gym! Ok not on the treadmill but in the lounge area whilst Darcy had swimming lessons. November was a month of writing. What better way to spend cold nights and short days? 

December.

And then December, the final month of the year and always one of my favourites (it runs on par with April which I also love- it's Birthday Month!). 


The tree went up and the glitter eyeshadow went on. 

There were a lot of drinks do's and parties this month. I've never been so sociable! I think having made a lot of local friends this past year and being in a new relationship with a man who loves to socialise as much as I do has made me busy! I love it!


Liam has introduced me properly to rugby. We've been to a few Saints matches this year and watched a few on the TV. He's also making a convert of Darcy who will gladly shout at the screen with him, haha! 

A great source of joy for me this year has been taking the piss out of Liam's Grandad Slippers. He loves them. They're memory foam and so secretly when he's at work I wear them too but I'm not going to tell him that, mwahaha. 



My friend's baby was Christened at a beautiful ceremony in a local church. We went to one of those incredibly hipster pubs (you know, the type with filament bulbs and brushed wood tables on dark metal legs) for pizza and drinks and it turned out it was the place Liam and I had our first date, so that felt really nice. 


I worked at Brandcast UK (it wasn't work, it was a pleasure. There was an onstage dance routine with James Corden ffs) and got to hang out with friends all day whilst eating the best food ever from the catering department. It's not a bad life! 



December is always a bit bittersweet because the 20th marks the anniversary of my Mum's death and that hurts. It never stops hurting, it never hurts less and time never stops rolling. I don't feel actual heart pain so much, more a huge numb void in my life where she should be. She should be able to feel the weight of Darcy in her arms or hold a phone for me to text pictures of me doing amazing work things too. But she can't. I hope so much that she's watching down and seeing all of this but, even if she is, it doesn't feel like enough sometimes. I miss her a lot. 

Instead of spending the day moping, Liam and I drove down to Brighton with Darcy, for a fun day exploring and taking my mind off of things. We popped in on Zoe and Alfie too and all in all just had a really happy time. I think my Mum would have liked that. The vlog I made of that day, here, is one of my favourites of 2016. 



Christmas came and went and before I knew it, I had a VERY hyper child on my hands. After a week of treats and festivities and selection boxes and toys and late nights, she was CRAZY. To combat this we got out. We spent two days wrapped up in coats and scarves and being outside. Fortunately Liam loves that kind of thing too so he was more than happy to be introduced to our favourite playgrounds and parks. It felt good to get the blood pumping and feel air in my lungs after so much time eating cheese and crackers on the sofa. 

Darcy was with her Dad for NYE so Liam and I went out to our favourite pub/bar with some of our friends and saw the new year in with kissing and champagne. 

I look back on the year and feel so lucky. From the 1st of January 2016 when I felt so weak and tired, to the 1st of January 2017 where I feel strong ready to take on the world, this past year has been amazing. 

I've travelled to Orlando, New York (twice), Malaga, Cannes, Rome, Alicante, Brussels and Seattle, I've been broken up with but then found new love which grows by the day, I've written, I've filmed, I've laughed and I've enjoyed each day. 

2016 has been beautiful. 

Thank you so much for all of your love and support along the way. Your constant positivity plays a huge part in my life and I'm so grateful. 

I hope to be a little more active on my blog this year, aiming for over 100 posts, so do bookmark this page a check back. 

Thanks for reading such a long old thing and I'll see you very soon!

Toodlepip!

xx



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