Taking that mojo and moving forwards

Coming home from Blog On can be a bit of a strange feeling. Coming away from a blogging conference like that you feel bursting full of ideas. Your head is completely full of blog posts that you want to write. Whilst your notebook is full of lists for things that you want and need to do on your blog. Time though never seems to be on your side!

For me Blog On this year was a bit of a re-launch too. I’ve been to about five of these so far, but that was always with my Being Mrs C hat on. Following my divorce I’m not Mrs C anymore, so I really needed a new blog name and it seems time to have a bit of a fresh start. Hence Penny Blogs (and various other Penny … sites) were born.

It was also the first blogging conference where I’ve taken someone along with me. After travelling to Salford with me last September, Bonn popped his blogging conference cherry and came along as a proper delegate this time. I’m delighted to say that he too came alway bursting with ideas and all motivated. We’ve some blog ideas and plans that we’re both really excited about, but we just need a few more hours in the day to make them all happen as quickly as we’d like.

Drumroll please…

There’s also another reason that is going to be eating up our time later in the year. We’re expecting a baby in November! We’re thrilled, but it does mean that I’ve been spending my evenings fast asleep on the sofa rather than digging into the depths of WordPress. First trimester over though I’m hoping that I’m going to get a bit more energy and be able to get back to my to do list properly.

Blog Blogger countryside walk

I’m making a real effort not to let work take over every waking moment though and making time for walks in the countryside and even Aquanatal classes too. Crafting is also very much back on the agenda. Both on my own crocheting, sewing and trying to finished the huge UFO pile that I seem to have moved house with, and also with the kids. When we were squashed in the flat we didn’t really have space to do much, so I’m making the most of being able to spread out now.

Blog blogger crafting with kids

I’m having one of those days today when I’m feeling on top of the world. Totally invincible. I’m therefore trying to put that motivation to good use by cracking on with all the jobs that I’ve been stalling on. Blog admin is never anyone’s favourite thing to do, but it’s necessary.

Posts, posts and more blog posts

I’ve a million and one planned travel posts in my head for over on Penny Travels (so far I’ve only managed to get the one up following an amazing 24 hours in Guernsey). There’s a half written up trip to the Isle of Wight that I also want to share. Later this month we’re headed to Cork (B for work) and also Rotterdam (to attend Traverse 18 – so do say hello if you’re going). Being late to book flights we’re literally taking the slow boat to Rotterdam, rather than flying. But I’m actually as excited about the journey as the destination.

In addition to the travel, Blog On also gave me loads of new and renewed contracts with toy brands which are going to be fantastic over on Penny Plays. I’ve also had loads of success in charity shops lately with some vintage games. Now B has finally put our dining table together post move (the delay not his fault I should add!) we hope to get playing and reviewing those too.

Not everything in life goes to plan though. I’ve a series of meetings dotted throughout today, so planned to spend the time in-between working in coffee shops. That plan normally works fine. Apart from the fact that I’ve managed to head out without a fully charged laptop and without a power cable for it! I blame pregnancy brain…

Coming home

We’ve just had a quick mini-holiday to round off the school Easter holidays. I say “mini-holiday” but I might be exaggerating things a bit. We were actually only away from home the one night, but squeezing in a bit of fun around B’s work trip to the Isle of Wight felt like a perfect little holiday and certainly recharged my batteries.

There’s so much to share about our trip (which will be happening very, very soon, over on my new travel blog) but the main thing I’m focussing on today is what it felt like when we got back. B and I have been lucky enough to travel loads in the time that we’ve been living together, but this week’s little adventure was the first time since we moved house and it’s felt very different.

There’s no way that our new house is sorted yet. The living room still seems to be full of boxes, and three quarters of the garage at our old rented flat still needs to be cleared, but it is most definitely our home now and every day we’re making more and more little steps towards making it the perfect family home that we’ve been dreaming of for all these months.

Isle of Wight ferry home Wightlink

As we headed back on the ferry over the Solent yesterday as well as feeling a little bit sad that our trip was drawing to a close, I also felt completely refreshed and looking forward to going home. I’d not realised just how much moving had physically and mentally taken it out of me, but a bit of us time and relaxation has made a huge difference.

And that’s the thing. For the first time in months, possibly longer, I realise that I now have somewhere to live that properly feels like a home. We may not have made it perfect yet, but a home isn’t just made by the state of the decor the possessions you have in it. It’s made with people and love.

We always said that we wanted a home full of love and happiness and that’s exactly what it felt like we came home to last night. This week’s challenge is just make make it a little bit of a tidier home!

Finally… we moved

Finally, finally, finally the waiting was over. This whole house buying process has made me realise that I’m no where near as patient as I always thought I was. From an admin point of view, I had absolutely everything in place for us to be able to buy this house, but for a while I felt so utterly helpless as other things (out of my control) held us up.

The day that our solicitor phoned to say that we’d finally exchanged I’m not sure that I actually believed him. We’d been ready and waiting for a week – even with our deposit money sat in the solicitor’s bank account – yet there always seemed to be some reason why it couldn’t yet happen. Then when it did I didn’t really know where to start.

There was quite simply so much to do. We had a week between exchange and completion, but luckily were planning to have a long overlap with our rented flat, meaning that we at least had time to clear that properly and clean it before handing back the keys, rather than having to rush. Moving house requires quite a bit of organising, as does juggling kids during the process. There were vans to hire, things to move, a storage unit to clear, plus all the general admin that goes with it. Utilities companies to talk to, address to change, things to organise. Lists, lists, lists.

It meant that the week between the two went in a complete blur and to be honest I’m not sure I really remember any of it properly.

We’ve now been home owners for three weeks. And whilst I’m still looking at a pile of boxes filling up my living room, I do at least feel like I have a proper home again.

So much of my efforts have gone into making sure the kids feel at home and have bedrooms that were ready for them and as a result of that I’m still living with all may clothes in a suitcase, but at least they’re in a suitcase in my own bedroom. One day soon I  keep promising myself that I’ll sort them out, but in a way they seem so irrelevant compared to everything else.

The house itself has turned out to be an utter delight and everything that we hoped for. Despite having been empty for so long it hasn’t really taken long to make the place warm and homely again. We were also incredibly relieved to discover that (nearly) everything in here actually works. With the previous owner no longer around to ask, it was all a bit of an unknown when we bought the house, and we were slightly concerned that we’d end up having to fork out for a new boiler soon after moving, but a quick service (from a lovely local man that we were lucky enough to have recommended to us) has shown that it’s working perfectly and should last us for years yet.

I constantly feel like I’ve still got tonnes to do and at times it can feel incredibly frustrating that things aren’t happening sooner – especially when it’s things that I’m waiting for others to do for me – but I need to keep reminding myself that there’s no mad panic to get it all done instantly, even if I want to. The only person setting deadlines is myself.

The kids have been with me for a fair chunk of the Easter school holidays so far and so my efforts have been concentrated on them, but now they’ve gone to their dad’s until they go back to school it’s time for me to get organised and try to get everything else finished off so I can properly crack on with life again. So much seems to feel in limbo at a time like this and I’d discovered that I’m someone who finds that limbo position difficult and quite frustrating.

I’m also keen to try and get some balance back in my life again. The last nine months have been treading water and making do. I feel like now we’ve properly moved on and can actually live life to the full once more. It’s amazing the things that I’ve missed over the last few months. Simple things like having a home for my possessions, being able to open a cook book and have space to properly make a family meal from it and having time (and space) to craft again.

Expect this blog to be my happy place once again. Somewhere where I can share all the things that make me smile. I’m expecting it to feature a fair bit of crochet, lots of news of what we’re getting up to at home, and also a fair bit of tea drinking. You have been warned!


A clean slate

This is a slightly harder post to write than I imagined it to be. I can’t really put the last year into words, but the one thing that I know I have to do, is find a new blogging home. I’m not Mrs C any more and so it seemed wrong to write about being someone that I wasn’t.

Despite everything that has happened, there are so many good things in life right now and I want to document and share them. I want to write about the new family home that I’m hoping to move to soon. I want to share photographs of all the crafting I’m doing, and all the projects I’m planning for our new home. I want to share my excitement about moving to the countryside and everything that entails. I want to write about the footpaths we discover and the places we find to share a flask of tea in. I just want to write about being me again.

I’m hoping that this new blog is exactly where I’m going to do that. Over the last couple of years, necessity has meant that Being Mrs C became something to help me earn a living. I want to go back to blogging for me. So what I’ve done is split up where I’m going to be online with what I think a professional would call “a portfolio of sites”. I’ll be jumping between them somewhat, but Penny Blogs is going to be the place where I stick to being me. To writing about the things I love and my life. I’m sure I’ll be linking out to the other sites when it is appropriate to do so, especially when posts there are about vintage finds or travel adventures. But here I’m going to keep it personal. No planned reviews or sponsored posts (they’ll be elsewhere).

Back to Being Penny. Drinking tea, reading, a spot of crochet and writing about what makes me smile.