I’m starting work on a new website start-up.

I’ll be honest, I was hesitant about this until the election. I conceived this idea back when I was building indie party people, because that’s what I do; new business ideas spawn even more business ideas when I’m in a creative place. Unlike some of my other ideas, this one has remained in my mind for almost two years. Sometimes I’m actively thinking about it, other times it sits in the background, remaining a good idea to be thought about another day. Some of my business ideas start as a burst of energy and fizzle into the worst idea ever. This one began and has remained, always a perfectly practical good idea.

I’m going to build a social network centered around childcare professionals and parents finding each other. It will not be extortionate.

It will be exactly what people actually want and need when they have a space to fill or need childcare. Simple.

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I’m starting asap because the results of the election mean that universal credit plans will go ahead as intended. Maybe even harsher. They will be rolled out in my area at some point between September and February, at which point we will be sanctioned because doing a PhD is not good enough for them. We receive working tax credits only but at that point we will receive nothing. The dream of an academic job and homeschooling our children could be dead in the eleventh hour.

My husband’s PhD will be submitted by then, but there are viva’s, corrections and finding a job will be an uphill battle.

This site needs to happen now and ideally I need to be able to split my energy solely between it and childcare so that the PhD will be finished faster and we might be able to skip the stress of running against the clock in September. However that seems unlikely so we will continue to plug along and get on with life until things change.

I will try to blog through the trials of a getting a start-up going while also caring for children. There will be blood, sweat and tears, I promise!

If you want to sign up for my email list so that I can let you know when it’s ready, go here.

 

 

Katie Hopkins if she were self aware and honest

I’m coming out of the woodwork to rant about Katie Hopkins. This Journey to Fat and Back show has me foaming at the mouth pretty much daily right now. I could write a whole post about that alone and how infuriating it is to me that TLC (The LEARNING Channel!!!) is airing flat out lies for the express purpose of bullying a large group of people for profit. Maybe next week.

Anyway, I know it’s not very original to hate her , everyone does right? But interestingly what also not very original is for people to be thinking that she’s the one you love to hate because she says what everyone is thinking.

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No.

I’m not thinking what she says, I despair for the human race when she speaks, and even more so when people say that they secretly agree with her. What’s fun though is that I just can’t help but decode her ridiculous comments in my head every time I hear them, so I thought I’d share with you my interpretation of what is really going on inside Katie Hopkins, whether she knows it or not.

Katie: “I don’t believe you can be fat and happy.”

Self-aware Katie: “I cannot imagine my happiness not being intricately linked to what the outside world thinks I should look like.”

Katie: “The difference between most mothers and me is that I didn’t sit around drinking coffee at baby group for 12 months after the birth of my baby. No, in three weeks I was back in my suit, back at my desk earning profit for my business and I don’t see why other women shouldn’t do the same.”

Self -aware Katie: “Money, money, money, money… Nothing’s more important! Nothing!”

Katie: “A name, for me, is a short way of working out what class that child comes from. Do I want my child to play with them?”

Self-aware Katie: “I’m too busy to supervise my children and get to know their friends but I do want to make sure they end up as snobby as I am so I come up with these superficial, meaningless rules so that I can feel like I’m involved.”

Katie: “For me, tattoos are just a way for people to find attention who haven’t found another way in their life to achieve it by conventional means.”

Self-aware Katie: “I’m uneasy with people who operate from a different value system than mine. Why don’t they also worry what small minded bigots think of them? There must be something wrong with them.”

That’s right folks, the problem with Katie Hopkins is that she’s full of self doubt and worry about being judged herself! It kind of makes me feel pity for her. Kind of. I wish I could, I really do because I bet she’d hate that so much. But, alas I’m no Gandhi!

Image credit to Daniel Oines.

Enter Epic Thread Love!

Meet my new website Epic Thread Love where I share all my favorite clothing, accessories and maybe a few home accessories here and there too. This is what I’ve been working on instead of blogging for the past two weeks, in between chilling out and watching a bit of TV!

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Quilted Biker Coat

 

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Bold Floral Skater Dress

 

 

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Sun Moon and Stars Dress

I hope you like it and please follow me my page on Facebook too so you can get updates of what I’m sharing!

I’m going dark

It’s time to accept that my ambitious optimism is actually unrealistic expectations this time.

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As I’ve said before, this blog was intended to preface some self employment opportunity. I’ve been working toward some things to that end, the internet marketing diploma I just did and the website I’ve started, as well as the t-shirts I tried to get sold and the few bits of clothing I tried to get orders for. What I’ve found is that it’s going to take a lot more time and energy than I have at the moment.

I’ve barely been able to keep up with this blog, which I love having as an outlet, never mind get properly started on anything else along with it. Also, even though I’ve not really accomplished all that much I’m totally exhausted. I never really relax. Every evening I’m here blogging or doing social media, or doing course work (which is done for now thankfully) or staring at my computer screen feeling guilty that I’m too brain dead to be productive. Sometimes, I spend time with family or friends, but very rarely do I have a night to just veg out in front of the TV and do nothing. When I do, I feel guilty because I’m always behind on what I want done. Once every few weeks I pass out at 7:00 putting my daughter to bed and stay there until 6:00 in the morning.

I’m taking a break. I want to watch the fourth season of Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead and maybe something else after that. I’m going to pare down blog posts to a couple a month, and they will be more documentary than commentary. I’ll try to stay up to date on Facebook and maybe will be more communicative there than I have been in the past, kind of like micro-blogging. I’ll try to keep up with Twitter a bit if I can too. I have this clothing website I’m working on which I was really excited about so I’ll get that finished and launched and see how much time it takes to keep it up to date before deciding what to do with it. I’m hoping it will take no more than one evening a week or so.

We’ll see how I feel in a month, or three, or maybe more. So maybe I’m not really going dark, just a bit shadowy. Hope you all understand.

Where is this blog going anyway?

I’ve had a week or so off from blogging due to being stretched too thin, tired, having house guests and a cold. I’ve spent some time trying to clean up a long post on some thoughts on me and my life with regards to feminism, but I’m trying not to be whingy and it’s not working out very well. I don’t want this blog to be about me complaining all the time. I do have opinions and complaints about a lot of things, but for the most part I’m an optimistic person. I want to be uplifting and full of light, not all dark and moody.

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Missy Vintage posted my guest post for her blog today, about my love for 70’s fashion. As I reflected on my writing in someone else’s very cool, successful, purposeful blog, I pondered what’s going on with my own. What is the point and where is it going? I know the answer to the first question, but not the second. I’m not a fortune teller and you’d have to be one to know where my whim is going to take me next! The truth is I have lots of ideas about where to take this blog and it depends on my mood, my tiredness, the time of day, week, month, what I think at any given moment.

I like to have this blog as a creative outlet because I’ve always wanted to write. I used to write journals and stories and those types of things but this stretches me to write a little bit better because people are going to see it. I have a long way to go, and one of the things I’m looking at doing is writing courses (as in, taking courses to help me write better, not creating courses), but the one thing that experts say is just keep writing as much as possible. It’s hard going when the only chance to write is at the end of a long day, but I try.

I started this blog with the intention of documenting the creation of some kind of micro business. It was either the ground breaking clothes buying platform (not micro), or the t-shirts that would open into an entire line of clothing. I’ve found rather quickly that it will take a lot of writing to get enough followers who might also be interested in my t-shirts. Like, years. That’s ok though, I can shelve that and look at it again in a while. I have so many more ideas about how to spend my time anyway!

I’m building a new website where I can share all my favorite clothing, so virtual shopping will feature here a lot less once it goes live. I also have an idea for another one, but hey one thing at a time right? Anyway, here are the different directions I may take this blog as time progresses:

More recipes: I do keep intending to post some of my favorite recipes more often in here. I have so many healthy and not-so-healthy favourites!

More feminism: Sometimes I just want to keep on about feminism and how it can do better. I think it’s been hijacked and perverted in places, but I still agree with the majority feminist opinion that it’s just about making women and men equal.

Kids and homeschooling: I’m not sure how much writing I want to do about this, but I can’t promise it won’t sneak its way in as the years progress. My oldest turns four in March and should officially be in school the following autumn, but there’s no damn way I’m sending her there. I’m a rebel that way.

MOOC’s: Massive Open Online Courses; these are free university courses! I love education and thought about blogging my way through a few, or more than a few. Maybe I can put together my own undergrad degree. I mean, only I would recognise it, but who cares?  Those are the only rules I live by anyway.

Digital marketing education: I’m about to finish my second diploma course by Shaw Academy, in Online Marketing this time, and I really quite like it. I’ve ordered the text book the Chartered Institute of Marketing use in their industry leading Digital Marketing Diploma and thought I’d self study it for a while, along with a course I found on SEO and a couple of MOOC’s on the subject.

I’m not sure I can mash all this stuff together into one blog, but maybe I can? Why not? I’m not a laser focused kinda person, why would I have a laser focused kinda blog right?

Why you should stop fat shaming

Whenever there’s an article on the web or a status on Facebook trying to promote healthy body image or stop fat shaming, there’s always that person who thinks its a good time to point out that being fat is unhealthy. I’d like to point out that being judgmental is also not healthy.  These people love insisting that if the fat person would just exercise the same sort of will power as they do, they could be healthier, fitter, sexier people.  More worthy of positive assessments perhaps. Anyway, whatever it is, I’m here to explain why they are just clueless.

Losing is harder than maintaining

Eating 1800 calories a day to maintain a slender figure is not the same as eating 1800 calories a day when you’re slightly over weight and maintenance is 2300. We are not simple balloons who can be filled up or emptied at any whim. If you’ve never had a need to lose 20 pounds or more then you may not know this. You certainly can’t appreciate it, unless maybe you’ve tried to gain 20 pounds and had a hard time doing that. Our bodies fight to maintain our weight. We have hormones like insulin, leptin, and ghrelin that work hard giving us cravings, rationalisations and making us ravenously hungry. Losing weight, being in a caloric deficit, doesn’t feel the same as maintaining or eating maintenance calories even when the number of calories is the same between those two different sized people. It hurts physically, mentally and emotionally. And it’s only when all our ducks are in a perfect row that we can actually manage to consistently lose significant amounts of weight over time.

judging

Image source

Cortisol.

Stress makes it harder. If you have a crap job, a crap relationship, small children, or any constant low level stress that you have to endure, losing weight is going to be harder, if not  impossible. At the same time while we can exercise our willpower we also have finite amountsso if just living your life day to day spends all your patience and will power, adding weight loss is not going to be practical. This reduces the number of over weight people who will lose weight this year significantly on its own. Maybe if our society was a bit more civil and equitable it would be easier.

 The media and body image.

We all know that the media is at fault for giving us all unrealistic body image issues. Because of this overweight people will be fighting themselves and their self image. Hating themselves, in part because of people who fat shame. In many cases it’s not until we can actually truly accept ourselves for who we are, the size we are and everything before we can even get to all the other steps necessary to lose any weight. I only read half the book Overcoming Overeating but completely agree with the narrative which tells about how sometimes you cannot get anywhere until you stop trying so hard. Also, you can look at my post How I came to accept my body for what it is. (Note: I’m now a lower weight than ever since I started trying to lose it.)

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Image source

Fast food market, crap food market, food scientists

Multi-billion dollar companies spend millions if not billions on food scientists who research how to make us all addicted to their crap products that make us fat. An ex food scientist in this Guardian article says, “These products are designed to keep you coming back to eat more and more and more.” The WHO acknowledges that it’s largely the fast food market making us fat, and it’s known how much money goes into making those products hard to resist. I can’t emphasise enough how good they have gotten at making the physical product hard to resist and the marketing of that product has become so much more sophisticated. They are using a lot of research to manipulate us into getting fatter and unhappier. None of this is our fault. The only fault lies in continuing to allow them to do it.

Lack of knowledge,

If you don’t know what to eat, what to avoid or how to cook, it’s going to be really hard to manage weight loss in the long term. The diet market sells lies all over the place. Do we eat 1200 calories a day or 2000? Do we walk, run or lift weights? Do we eat calorie controlled ready meals or our own cooked meals? Is all of this wrong? The diet industry tells us there are pills and shakes and diet plans that will magically make us thin. Even shoes and leggings can do it! The fact is, even though there’s always that person saying that it’s obvious what you should and shouldn’t eat, it’s not true. I have lost weight eating burgers, tacos, and take out because I know how to make those kinds of decisions. If you eat plain porridge for breakfast, a salad for lunch and plain chicken with broccoli for dinner, you are going to be so under nourished you’ll gorge on some biscuits before the end of the week for sure. And all those people trying to sell you diet plans aren’t helping you learn either. It takes time, effort, trial and error to learn what works for you and what doesn’t.

The fact is it’s not simply a matter of making the decision to lose weight and following through. Maybe technically it is, but if you think human behaviour is that simple you belong in a different century! Losing weight is possible if you’re committed, but not obsessed. If you’re prepared and ready, you have support, the chance to pamper yourself and the resilience to get back up when you fall. I don’t want anyone to feel like you can’t do it. You can! It just takes a lot of preparation and commitment. Much more than someone who judges you could even dream of.  So if you’ve been victim to fat shaming idiots who think they know better, take heart. They are charmed, clueless and not particularly attractive themselves!

If you enjoyed this please visit and like my Facebook page and let me know!

The universe doesn’t care if you’re happy, but I do.

“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go. Things go wrong so you can appreciate them when they’re right. You believe lies so eventually you trust no one but yourself. And sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together”

I found this quote and it resonated quite strongly with me for some reason, even though I also think it’s almost completely wrong. It’s attributed to Marilyn Monroe apparently but I found it on a page that says a lot of Marilyn’s quotes are not actually Marilyn’s quotes. I was looking for proof that the “imperfection is beauty” one is real. (Spoiler: probably not!) To me, the quote really just means, “live, learn, grow, move on” which is what caught my attention.

jewelledbutterfly

Jeweled butterfly pendant at Iridescence.co.uk

I try to post twice a week, in between my job, kids, home and husband but at the moment I’ve over-extended myself adding an internet marketing course, a new website I’m creating (!) and now, new and exciting crisis’ galore! So I found this quote, and decided to expand on some of it and basically just let you have a bit of insight into my head at the moment…

Everything happens for a reason: No I think the universe is chaos and there is no reason. We make our own reason for being. We decide what we want out of life and we decide if the risks and the costs are worth the benefits of trying to accomplish those things. Its not about what happens to us, it’s about what we do in response that is the measure of who we really are.

People change so that you can learn to let go: well maybe, or maybe they’ve changed so that they can learn to let go. Or maybe they’ve just changed so that they can be happier and it’s nothing to do with you. Maybe what’s necessary is for you to change so that you can learn to let go. Don’t make the mistake of thinking everything is about you. Again, it’s about your reaction to this change that’s important. If you need to let go, do it. If you need to hold on, then hold on kindly.

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Totally awesome hat by the talented Betsy Hatter Millinery

Things go wrong so you can appreciate them when they’re right: No, things just go wrong sometimes. But definitely try to appreciate them when they are right anyway! Most people have experienced this though; you are totally taking something for granted annoyed at it’s existence at all sometimes and then you get a little taste of losing it and you totally flip out, and change your tune. Try to take a moment every once in a while to appreciate the things around you that you may be taking for granted. However, if something in your life is toxic and needs to go, get it out of there!

You believe lies so eventually you trust no one but yourself: Please do NOT ever get to the point where you trust only yourself. That’s a good measure of madness right there for one. But also, we are not lone wolves. Humans are interdependent, meaning we need other people. Please try to find at least one person who you can count on to not screw you over. And then trust them fully. There’s nothing else like it.

And sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together: This, again is not true, sometimes things just fall apart because of the random nature of the universe. However, it is definitely true that good things are almost always around the corner. You really have to believe that! No matter how bad things are it will not always be this way. I know how easy it is to believe that it will, when you’re down and feel hopeless. But if you’re going to have faith in anything at all it must be in the totally random nature of the world we live in and the fact that it will throw good things at you just as easily as crap things. You have to look for them sometimes. You might have to keep a journal of all the little good things, no matter how little. But do it. Because they will grow.

100 Happy Days can help with that. Do it if you need to. Please.