I’ve been a little quiet on flamingomonroe.com recently. Not because of any brain block or lack of interest. I’ve been busy!!
Who am I? I’m Camilla, a mother to a 17-month old TODDLER (yes I said toddler in capital letters because #toddlerlife been a shock to the system). I’m self employed – a freelance marketing pro (mainly for local businesses/individuals) and sometimes for big brands. I also try and call myself a “blogger” – although I haven’t blogged in over a month but I still try and stay active with content on my Instagram/social media pages. I also consult for Neal’s Yard Remedies. I’ve been project managing house renovations – recently living in a building site for 8 weeks and without a kitchen (not even a fridge). I’m involved in all sorts of charity and community projects – all things thyroid, women’s cancers and baby loss. I’ve also tackled another round of medical blips, in and out of hospital again in recent weeks (with more appointments imminently coming up). Oh and before all of this, 7 months ago I moved house and in to a new area where I’ve been settling in to a new postcode, new baby groups, new work etc.
And breathe. Have I forgotten anything? It sounds a lot when you put your last 7 months in to one paragraph!
So this blog post is not necessarily an update, it’s more of an overview on what I have learned. If nothing else, it’s been a dose of self care and therapy, because whilst writing this post I have realised that occasionally in life some things have to give and that it is okay to not be a multi tasking super woman excelling at everything (not that I ever was a super woman!).
Some fellow working mamas may read this and think I’m very late to the (understanding) party on a few matters – but I hope this also gives some of you some reassurance that we’re all in this together…
Q1 is done, three months of the year have passed, the new tax year has started, so why am I only now setting myself some 2018 goals?
I’ve just decided to set some “self care” goals. To some of you this may sound like total BS – why do I need self care when I have a fortunate and happy work/life/mum balance? What’s triggered this on?! That’s a story for another time, but the reality is we ALL need to put ourselves first, to enjoy what life offers and to grab every opportunity.
When I say “self care” I don’t mean manicures, yoga and massages (though I may sneak in the odd one here and there!) and I don’t mean to ‘find myself’ or to ‘learn to love myself again’. I simply mean; ‘things I want to achieve – for me – for my own enjoyment, to create memories so that when I look back on this year come December time, I want to feel happy with my 2018.’
This year so far has been a bit of a blur and it’s flown by in a flash. Being self employed, being a Mum, project managing house renovations and general life hurdles and distractions this year so far has proven yet again that unless I utilise my diary and make concrete plans, then the time simply goes by too fast and I miss opportunities, I miss out on planned enjoyment and I miss out on much needed “me time”. I’m sure there are so many of you reading this that can relate also?
These goals are not about “fulfilling dreams” or “achieving success”. They are concrete plans of things that I want to do, for me, for my memory bank and for my happy mindset.
My to-do list is all about London. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before, but when I worked in London I didn’t absorb it, or enjoy it anywhere near enough. I was too busy charging around from meeting to meeting that I didn’t take full advantage of the wonderful sights around me and all of what London had to offer.
So here is my my top 10 list of things I want to do during the remaining months of 2018…(if any of my friends and family reading this want in on any of the action – let me know!)
Mental Health. A taboo that is finally being spoken of more. Words such as depression and anxiety either get used either far too cautiously due to the feeling of being unnecessarily embarrassed or as to not offend, or far too flippantly which can take away from the meaning and genuine insecurities surrounding the circumstances involved. As someone who understands and appreciates such descriptive words (through my own experiences as well learning from other people’s journeys) it’s important to ensure you’re following the right bloggers/influencers and using appropriate tools when it comes to all things mental health. Here on Flamingo Monroe I don’t try to be any kind of know it all or hardcore “influencer”, I justly try to be myself.
Via Instagram, I recently became friendly with Anna of Mama’s Scrapbook. Her frequent and highly amusing Instastories keep me rather entertained when I’m forcing myself to have 5 minutes of downtime to drink my morning coffee. I hope I don’t sound stalker-ish – I follow lots of bloggers and personalities and enjoy watching all their instastories! Anna is an accredited and experienced BACP Psychotherapist, a mother to two young boys, has a great eye for interior design, uploads Instagram posts providing confidence, guidance and reassurance to all and she also writes her blog – which has a strong focus on mental health and lifestyle.
She’s recently started a business venture with a close friend – bringing together her psychotherapy knowledge and her friend’s graphic design credentials, they’ve created Blöm Cards. Blöm [Bl – Om] is derived from the Scandinavian Word ‘Blomstre’, meaning to bloom, to flourish….
Whatever you have been through or are going through, it is amazing how our bodies and minds can get through all sorts of trauma, especially when the feeling of “game over” had never felt stronger…
I’ve used some products from the skincare brand Elemis for years, and have grown to really adore the iconic British beauty brand – not just from personal use but for my job and blog I’m fortunate enough to work closely with many brands, and Elemis being one of them.
So when I was given a gift card at Christmas (yes I realise it’s nearly summer now!) for The House of Elemis salon in London’s Mayfair I was pretty excited. The card came in a beautiful gift box and included a travel size Elemis product.
When I go to salons I usually opt for a treatment I can’t do (or do well) at home – i.e. nails and massage. But my skin this year hasn’t been the best – a combination of hormones/stress/poor immune system etc at the beginning of the year, mixed in with cold weather and daily pollution has not given my skin the clear and radiant appearance I’d really like, so I decided to book in for a facial…