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may Newsletter
Why hello there from the newsletter that was supposed to be in your inbox TWO DAYS AGO!? Better late than never, huh? Turns out I was a noob who completely forgot about the Bank Holiday and with time slipping through my fingers like sand right now, I'm finally curled up and putting together this month's newsletter for you, which is ironically about how to deal with overwhelm and having *all the feels* around lockdown lifting.

It's something that I've been talking about a lot offline and back at the beginning of the year when the roadmap was outlined and everyone was gearing up for their HOTGIRLSUMMER, I knew that I would be re-entering the world at the peak of my pregnancy and probably unable to keep my eyes open past 9pm. As the restrictions ease I feel my nesting mode going up a notch and ultimately feeling s-t-r-e-s-s-e-d at the thought of hosting. The actual meeting with other people? Lush. The cooking, cleaning and preparing that goes into it? I need a nap just thinking about it. And although it's partly the practicalities of my pregnancy and hormones coming into play, I do think it's natural to feel a wariness about how summer will play out. It's been a while you know?! So here are my top 6 tips for organising your life over the coming months...
 

Lesson #40

How To Ease Yourself Back Into The Swing of Things

#1 You don't have to fill every spare moment. This one is HUGE and actually since we've been allowed to entertain other households in our garden, it's been rare that a Sunday and a Sunday have passed where we haven't filled both days with some sort of social plans. Of course this is only natural, especially because we've moved since lockdown came in and so many of our friends and family haven't seen our garden yet, let alone the house! But we always try to make sure there's still a decent chunk of the day for us to get on with household chores and errands, or just rest and relax and enjoy the garden to ourselves. Or just to do nothing - permission to do sweet F.A is granted, valid and absolutely necessary. 

#2 Keep it small. I mean by lockdown restrictions we have to keep it small anyway, but perhaps the way to ease yourself back in is just to do things one-on-one if you're feeling overwhelmed by the socialising side of it. Maybe the idea of a whole household descending on your outdoor space or meeting down the park just feels a bit much and that's completely fine - it's been a long time! So just catch-up with your bestie over coffee or a rosé and work up to it. 

#3 You don't have to have an excuse. This is something that we all feel we have to do across the board in many social situations at work and at home, but you don't have to have an excuse - you can just say no. I am terrible at this and have a tendency to over-explain why I can't attend something, or carry out a task work-wise, but a simple 'Thanks for thinking of me, but I'm unable to make it' is totally allowed. Or maybe just pick up the phone and explain how you're feeling. I know that some relationships have dwindled over the constant pressure of only being able to communicate via our phones, but your true mates will always be there for you and be around to listen and provide advice and support whenever you're not feeling like yourself. 

#4 It doesn't have to be a grand plan. Probably our greatest social moments so far have been completely off the cuff. A mate who says they don't have plans and two hours later are in your garden having a natter about 'Line of Duty' - you know the type of afternoon. This happened to us last weekend and because of this last-minute plan it meant I got to meet one of my friends babies for the first time and Mark got to show the older little one his veg bed and do some gardening together which actually made my heart melt. It doesn't have to be some well organised plan and it's a good reminder that spontaneity is fun - remember that?! 

#5 Take off the pressure. This is something that I'm really trying to channel right now, removing some of the additional pressures that I put on myself that actually cause me way more stress than it's worth. I LOVE hosting and always want people to leave feeling satisfied with a full belly and always feel the need to cook or bake something that's special and ultimately takes me a lot of time to make. Turns out that standing on your feet to make shortbread for two hours when you're growing a small human isn't as much fun as it once was. So instead I've been heading down to the bakery and taking off some of the pressure I put on myself when we entertain. BE CHILL - turns out people love the bakery cakes way more than my latest brownie disaster. 

#6 Free weekends are still needed. I'm ending on perhaps the most important one. Weekends spent on your own or with your household only are still needed. Just because we can socialise with others, it doesn't mean we have to do that every single weekend. Time spent organising, spring cleaning, gardening, playing Super Mario Party, eating, reading and sleeping is time well spent. We need to recharge those batteries and for most of us to do that we need some space socially and that's totally cool. This is one to keep at the forefront of your mind as lockdowns hopefully lift even further later this month when inside visits and overnight stays are allowed again. Sprinkle your summer with the odd free weekend here and there and you'll feel all the better for it. 

A Point In The Right Direction

'Vanjie: Inside The Dwelling Of A Diva' for RuPaul's Drag Race YouTube Channel  I mean, why wouldn't you want to watch 18 minutes of Miss Vanjie showing you around her humble abode?! It's brilliant. 
'Newborn Checklist' by Lily Pebbles If you too are a new parent and have NO IDEA where to start, then consult this list from my mate, which has been very helpful so far.
'The Soul of Bravo' by Anna Peele for Vulture A must-read essay exploring the roles and portrayal of race in the Real Housewives universe. The read of the month for me.

In case you missed it

Maternity Wardrobe Essentials The pieces that have got me through the first and second trimester (so far!)...
The Dress Edit There truly is something for everyone; from maxi styles to mini party-ready numbers.
My Pregnancy Must-Haves From the water bottle I lug around to the one-size fits all pants. It's all here.
A Book Wishlist I took your recommendations, combined them with mine and made one mega list.

Four THINGS I’VE BEEN LOVING THIS MONTH

COS Linen Oversized Shirt* The colour of this shirt?! Oh my word. I CAN'T. Beautiful.
ARKET Cotton T-Shirt* I know I keep going on about this t-shirt, but I love it.
& Other Stories Leather Sandals* These just look so comfy and you could wear 'em 24/7.
ARKET Stripe Poplin Shirt* I have this in the black, white and now the beige stripe.
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