Abby Lacey


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Simon says…

January. A shitty month of no money, post Christmas realisation that you’ve gone way over the top during the festive season, you come crashing back to earth with a bang… And a sickness bug if you’re lucky.

I stumbled across a couple of audio books by the brilliant Sarah Knight and devoured them within a couple of days.

The first, The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck, was amazing, but the second Get Your Sh*t Together was why I’m here, now.

Without ruining it for those who’ve not read it (or breaching any copyright laws), Sarah likens us to Alvin and the Chipmunks, i.e. we fall into one of three personalities:

Alvin (“a ‘fake it till you make it’ kinda guy”), Simon (“Keeps up appearances while dying from a thousand self-inflicted cuts”), Theodore (“relatively hopeless”). I’m a Simon – think I’ve got my sh*t together but really, I’m a swan (I’m not referring to my beauty.. ha ha).

So whilst I could have done a real Simon-like thing and dismiss the book smugly thinking, ‘I don’t need this, I’m got my sh*t together already’, I realised that I really need help, like really.

So I got working. I sorted my sock drawer. Yes, the start of getting my sh*t together was sorting my sock drawer – I love socks. I really love them so much so that Sam (husband) marvels at how easy it is to buy Christmas pressies for me as I appreciate them so much! During the difficult task of sorting ones to relegate to the duster pile (I can’t possibly throw them away just because they have a little hole or two in them), I discovered a pair of socks I’d never worn and realised even more how much I needed to do this.

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I’m back!

I know I haven’t written for a while.

After my #40B440 challenge of 40 blogs, I felt I’d really drained my creative resources and so took a (very) long break, but inspired by some books I’ve read (OK, listened to on Audible – getting me to read is a challenge one step too far) and a friend’s blog (if you haven’t already read it, I urge you to; Lorna really tells it like it is, in an amusing and touching way – find it here: themumblings.co.uk), I’ve decided to resurrect my blog and write some tales on my year of getting my sh*t together.

ive-been-vowing-to-get-my-shit-together-since-pretty-10386984Watch this space…

 


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If you’re happy and you know it

The Mumblings

Let’s chat about happiness.

As evidence taken from some of my previous posts would advocate – I’m an anxiety fuelled, woeful bemoaning mutha (with a penchant for a tipple or two).

On paper, it doesn’t sound all that Jubilant really does it?

I know I’ve said it before, nevertheless I think it’s always beneficial to recap – I set sail on my blog voyage as a cathartic way to liberate some head space. To get it all out there (lord help me, and perhaps you) indulge my ramblings, but possibly, more often than not – offload, and sometimes have a good moan.

So, although a number of my posts seem to depict that my journey through motherhood has been a glum, desolate and miserable one, it really hasn’t – I’ve had a bloody ball! It’s just that trying to be continuously cheerful, assured AND Jovial is – well, quite tiring…

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Advent Challenge

acLast year was the Lacey family’s inaugural Advent Challenge, well this year it’s back and, in my true ‘let’s recycle everything’ style, the vessel for this is not the lucky dip jar, but my M&S beauty advent calendar box!

As per last year, the list is full of fun and good deeds. In no particular order (although once they hit the calendar, there may be a little ‘arranging’:

  • Tell someone you love them
  • Give something to charity
  • Buy a lottery ticket and post it through a stranger’s letter box
  • Send a Christmas card to your neighbour
  • Make paper snowflakes and hang them from the ceiling
  • Wear Christmas jumpers for a family selfie
  • Make Christmas cookies
  • Make a Christmas decoration for the tree
  • Tidy your room!
  • Walk like a turkey!
  • Decorate the windows with snow spray
  • Sing Christmas carols at someone’s front door
  • Send Christmas cards to your friends
  • Tell 3 people that you’re doing an Advent Challenge
  • Phone someone and when they answer say “Ho ho ho”
  • Make up a Christmas rap
  • Help wrap some presents
  • Say Merry Christmas to everyone you meet
  • Dance around to Christmas songs!
  • Write a letter to a friend
  • Play with someone at school that you wouldn’t normally
  • Go for a walk and collect anything Christmassy
  • Think of 3 things to be thankful for
  • Watch a Christmas movie

Merry Christmas one and all!

 


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The first month of 40

I cannot believe it’s been over a month since my 40th birthday, and what an amazing day it was:

I went for a bike ride with the #TeamBadInfluences girls in the morning, followed by bubbles at Coppa Club, then finished getting everything ready for the party.

Birthday bubbles

My lovely friends arrived at 7.30pm as instructed (“Don’t be late – I don’t do late!”) and we had a ball! I got so many bottles of champagne, a balloon ride from the girls (no. 3 of my #40b440), a Thai Massage with the wonderful Katie Winterton, a flying lesson from my parents and brother & sister-in-law, and my lovely in-laws, Char and Kit, fed the troops a delicious  curry.

Happy birthday

The following day was, suffice it to say, spent clearing up the bottles, glasses (not one broken!), plates, cutlery, decorations and tents, followed by a hairy dog at the pub.

Since then, life has returned to some sort of normality and frankly, it’s a bit dull. I need a challenge. I need to be kept busy (busier than normal, I mean – not just the every day work-life stuff) and I am determined to set more challenges… so watch this space!

 


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The 40 effect

@abbylacey #40b440When I started working on my 40B440 list, I wasn’t in the least bit aware of the journey it would take me on.

I thought I was challenging myself to do things I’d always wanted to, but hadn’t got round to/had the nerve to; some one time, big things, others smaller, every day things. But actually it was much more than that. It was a change of attitude.

Does this ring a bell? You may remember my lovely guest blogger, Kasmira Kit, saying in October, that despite being almost at the end of her 40 B4 40, she was in no way done with saying ‘YES’ to adventure. That’s exactly I how feel.

My attitude has changed beyond belief; from chatting to an artist on one of my ’29. Visit an art gallery at least once a month’ trips, to taking the opportunity to have a photo taken with the one and only Goldie (something I’d never have done as soooo far out of my old comfort zone).

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve not had some sort of epiphany and now am going to turn in an adrenaline junkie, but I my attitude is now more of ‘why not?’ than ‘why should I?’!

So here I am on the eve of my 40th birthday, writing my 40th blog, and although not everything on my list has been done, I feel so many more adventures are yet to come… starting with a little party tomorrow!


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The Final Countdown

OK, enough of the ’80s cheese!

With just over a week, here are the (almost) final results of my #40b440 challenge:

DONE!

1 Change a bike tyre
2 Build a campfire
4 Go to the opera
5 Visit Buddhapadipa Temple
6 Take a photo every day of something that makes you smile
7 Take part in a charity bike ride
8 Adopt the 10 second rule:  “You can stand anything for 10 seconds,” says Kimmy Schmidt. “Then you just start on a new 10 seconds.”
9 Write 40 blogs over the year
11 Go on a girly holiday
12 Learn all the functions on my camera
13 Give at least £10 to a different charity per month
14 Finish tattooing my back
16 Sew an item of clothing, using a sewing machine, from scratch
17 Go to Studio 42 and join a hot yoga class like a pro
18 Master Pull ups 
19 Roller skate to school (I say ‘done’ loosely! I stacked it half way there, smashed D’s water bottle and ended up hobbling to school looking like I’d wet myself!)
20 Unplug for 24 hours… at least (not including hols)
22 Compliment someone every day
23 Buy a sari
25 Drink champagne at Searcy’s St Pancras
27 Karaoke!
28 Watch Episodes from the start
30 Read a novel in its entirety, before watching the film
33 Have a flying lesson (a birthday pressies to come)
34 Take the stairs
35 Do the splits
36 Make a mentos/coke bomb
37 Start saving
38 Learn archery
39 Have lunch in Little Venice
40 Do less with more focus

FAILED TO DO!

3 Hot air balloon ride
10 Visit 12 different places in Britain that I’ve never been to before
15 Practice yoga every day, if only for 5 mins
21 Go on a yoga retreat (even for just a day)
24 Finally learn French
29 Visit an art gallery at least once a month
31 Once a week, make a meal from one of our many cookbooks
32 Banksy walking tour in Bristol

Not bad going, but as my school reports said, ‘Could try harder’!


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My favourite blogs

Over the last year, whilst I have enjoyed blogging, I have struggled with it as well – where to begin, what should I write about, how should I end my blogs, etc.

During this journey, I have looked at others blogs and have found some real corkers – inspiring, imaginative, creative and amusing – so thought I’d share my faves with you….

Art of Brilliance7e71e533ddf6b08ff1cc3bdb10cff0ba

Andy Cope and Andy Whittaker’s  funny and inspiring blog about generally being brilliant!

 

Bright Bazaar Blogtoplogo

If you’ve seen my home with its muted tones, you’d think I wouldn’t like this blog, but I love the bright colours – and as Will say it’s his ‘colourful, make-you-smile style world’.

 

Bad Yogibadyogi

Not only does Erin Motz, The Bad Yogi, do some great online yoga classes, but her blog is brilliant. The Bad Yogi ethos is to be inclusive and non-judgemental – plus she’s a wine, cheese and red meat kinda gal, so right up my street!

 

Elle & Co.elle

Lauren Hooker is a graphic designer and business strategist who gives superb advice on  how to design, launch, and grow an online creative business, in this beautiful blog.

Danielle Zieglerdanielle-logo-low-res

As well as being a content marketer, Danielle writes this wonderful blog on health, well being, yoga and fitness.

 

The Mindfulness Projectlogo

The Mindfulness Project’s vision is to ‘create an innovative platform for sharing mindfulness with as many people as possible’ and their blog does just that, in a simple, clear way.

 

Fabric of My Life
fabric-of-my-life-logo-2016-web

Kate describes her blog as a ‘scrapbook of inspiration’ and it certainly is full of ideas for the home, travel, cookery, style – and you can even shop!

 

What I Wore Today26222057140_d1c480cb9e

Kasmira and I started chatting last year when I found her on Twitter. Kasmira not only publishes a photo every day of what’s she’s wearing, but also took part in a similar ’40b440′ challenge to me and ended up writing a guest blog for me.

 

 


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Yoga and Me

​For those of you have been following me over the last year, you’ll know that apart from my family and friends, my two great loves are cycling and yoga.

I have written about cycling quite a lot; training and scrounging for the London to Brighton in June, but I have yet to talk about my yoga journey.

Almost two years ago, I embarked on my first yoga class. Not knowing much about the practice, I sheepishly entered the class, proceeded to take a mat as so many others were doing and plonk myself down – in the wrong place, facing completely the wrong way. After my initial embarrassment and repositioning of my mat, the class started and my love of yoga began.

Until then, I had only found ‘sweaty exercise’ to be rewarding and  was shocked to find that the practice really did something for me! I’d practised meditation and mindfulness before but combining it with the concentrated movements it helped not only stretch me, but also slowed me down, made me focus and helped my anxiety.

As well as weekly classes, I have taken part in a hot yoga class (which actually did nothing for me apart from making me feel a bit faint and self-concious!),  partner yoga with my amazing teacher, Katie Winterton, got into online yoga with Erin Motz, Bad Yogi, met the awesome Goldie and even got 7-year old Dylan (AKA #OneLittleYogi) into it. I’m still a novice, but working on it!

 


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Less than a month to go…

Yesterday it was exactly one month to go before my 40th birthday. I thought by now I’d either be stressing frantically or wildly excited… but I’m actually pretty calm!

Whilst some people head into their 40s with a sense of impending doom, I actually don’t feel any different! It’s just a number after all, and, without sounding morbid, in this day and age, I don’t even feel like I’m half way through my time here and therefore I HAVE SO MUCH TO DO!

Besides, I still feel like I’m 17 – I still make mistakes, have regrets, am desperately silly but now I feel I just brush it off as ME! Don’t get me wrong, I still care way too much what people think of me (I am a founder member of Over-Thinkers Anonymous!) but I now appreciate there are millions of us out there and let’s just get on with it. Life is for living and not fretting about something you can’t change!

So bring it on…

keep-calm-and-welcome-40-years-1