How’s Your Quarantine Life?

COVID-19 has thrown all of us into a new way of life. With that, I want to know what you have done with this ‘new life’? Have you completed Netflix? Did you learn a new language? Did you boastfully show off your basic banana bread on Facebook? Did you play salon and cut/dye your own hair? Did you throat-punch your way to the last toilet roll in Tesco? No? Just me? Okay! Whatever you did, I want to hear about it, see pictures and/or police reports about it. You can share in the comments below or on any of my social medias.

“But Charlotte, did you really throat-punch someone in Tesco?” Of course not. I’ve avoided shops like the plague and instead sent out the human I love the most (Steven) to go for me. That’s true love. It’s the same type of love that means I feel safer in bed with him laying next to me because I can use him as a human shield. Sounds selfish but it’s actually proof of how much I love him. Anyway, what have I been up to during quarantine? Well, owning a human that is 100% dependant on me takes up a lot of my time (and no, I don’t just mean Steven). Since he has been home, he’s helped me out a lot, allowing me to have some time to do other things like…

Cooking

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I cannot tell you how much more enjoyable cooking is when you aren’t tied to a schedule or have a kid hanging off of your leg. Before Lock Down, I was racing around from 5 pm prepping and cooking dinner to be on the table for 6 pm (when Steven gets home from work) while simultaneously entertaining a toddler, making sure she’s safe (not climbing on the dog) and listening out for the dog destroying something. That sound is absolute silence, by the way, so that means every 5 minutes I run into the living room expecting some sort of baby toy, bib or cushion in his gob that I would then have to prise out from between his teeth. Now? Now, I offload the gremlins, I mean, adorable daughter and pooch, to Steven and can just concentrate on the cooking and enjoy it. Sometimes, I even put some music on and pour myself a glass of wine. I know, quarantine has turned me into a party animal. I just find cooking so therapeutic and I always feel like I’ve done my family a service after making them a meal. I’ve put a bit of love into that meal for them and if they eat it and don’t contract horrendous food poisoning, then that’s a pat on the back for me!

Cleaning

One thing I am thankful for in Lock Down is the fact my laundry hamper has returned to a normal level. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not empty. It’s never empty, but seeing it at an acceptable level (i.e. not spilling out onto the floor) has made me feel a little more relaxed. Normally, I can see the wash pile in the corner of the room while I lay in bed, anxious. It’s like an unwelcome spirit at the end of my bed, haunting me, reminding me. You didn’t do the laundry today. You said you were going to do it yesterday and you never did. Feel like a failure? You should! And as it gets larger and larger, I worry it gets closer and closer until one night it might be standing over me, glaring, breathing on my face. Until one night, a pair of dirty Christmas socks wrap around my neck and suffocate me in my sleep. Now THAT’S a horror story for you. But, thanks to Lock Down (and the amazing weather), I have managed to sleep at night, looking into the corner of the room and seeing, well, just a laundry basket. Ah, peace at last.
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Disney and Day Drinking

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Haven’t we all?

A beer with lunch, a bottle of wine with dinner (on a Tuesday?!), Jack Daniels for breakfast? Why not?! There are no rules in Lock Down. I will stress for ‘those people‘ amongst you, that I do not drink alcohol for breakfast. My headaches in the morning are a result of caffeine withdrawals due to my coffee addiction, not a hangover. Having said that, my coffee intake has gone up since Lock Down.

Upon the news that Steven would be home for a month, we invested in Disney+. Oh boy (as Mickey would say), is it worth it! I am a huge Disney fan anyway, but it also has all of my childhood TV shows on it. So you can bet your ‘sweet nibblets’ (if you get it, you get it) that I’m going to binge those cheesey 00’s Disney Channel shows! Not to mention, it allowed me to do a little bit of Homeschooling myself. Giving Olivia an education in Disney Classics. Everything from the princesses to the more recent Pixar movies. Is she too young? Never! Does she understand it or even watch it properly? No! But I do!

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Anyway, I’m sure there are much cooler things other people are doing with their time than I am. Please share them with me so I can live a cool life through you? Maybe you have some amazing tinder stories? Did you text your ex out of boredom? Did you stalk that girl from high school that called you fat and bullied you and you found out she’s working for her Mum as an estate agent single and alone? No? Me neither…
Maybe you did something less dramatic, like take up gardening? Maybe you became an online quiz master? Meditate? Take up Yoga? Ate everything in sight? Painted that wall you kept meaning to? Literally anything. Tell me in the comments!

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How To Go Out But Stay In

Lock Down has cancelled a lot of our plans for 2020 but does that mean we still can’t do them? Well, sure you can’t go on your all inclusive holiday to Lanzarote but don’t let Lock Down tie you to your sofa!

I have thought of 4 ways you can go out without actually going out!

1. Coffee With Friends

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I love nothing more than catching up with friends over a coffee. It instantly lifts my spirits and sets my mood for the day. Before Lock Down, I would meet with one of my mummy friends every week for a walk and a coffee and have a good ol’ chit chat. We had organised a girl’s night out for a huge group of us but that got cancelled (thanks Corona) so we, instead, had a zoom chat. It was like meeting up in a cafe with the girls. We all sat at our laptops with cups of tea and coffee and giggled together. It made me so thankful for modern technology allowing us to actually see each other and talk in a big group. I left that zoom chat feeling my usual uplifted and refreshed self after seeing the girls.

2. Date Night

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I don’t know about other Mums, but I love having a date night every now and again. A little break from the little one, a chance to reconnect with my partner and, more importantly, eat something I didn’t have to cook or worry about the washing up! Well, that’s just another thing Corona has mucked up for me! So, instead, we put the baby to bed early and tried to have a date night at home!


We ordered a take away (so that took care of the cooking problem) but I didn’t want it to feel like another night on the sofa. So, we got dressed up like we would on a normal date night. I put make up on and Steven even put on after shave! I lit candles, switched on the fairy lights, laid out a blanket on the floor and dished out the take away into fancy dishes (like we were in a real restaurant) to set the scene. I even put the wine on a fancy tray. Simple, yet effective. We then sat down, watched TV and had our fancy Chinese take away picnic!

3. Boozey Lunch

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If Lock Down isn’t an excuse to day drink, then I don’t know what is! Steve and I love going to the pub at lunch time when the weather is gorgeous. Sitting outside in the sun with a cold beer and nibbles, bliss. So, when Olivia was down for her nap, I laid out some nibbles (all fancy like, so it felt like we weren’t at home) and opened up a couple of cold ones. We turned on some music and sat under our pear tree and I swear, it felt like we were on holiday!

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Even Cody wanted to join us.
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4. Trip To The Cinema


Wanted to go to the cinema with the kids? Now you’re stuck at home and the weather is horrible? 3 words: At, home, cinema. And, no I don’t mean stick a film on and sit on your sofa. What do kids love to do? Build a sofa fort! Grab bed sheets, sofa cushions, chairs, anything you can find and make a fort with your kids. Add blankets, pillows, fairy lights and snacks! Movie snacks are essential. Turn off the lights, turn on the fairy lights, sit on the floor in the fort and watch a movie with your kids. Doesn’t sound like much but you’ll be surprised how much they love it. My little girl is only 18 months and she absolutely loved it!

You could go a step further and set up a projector (you can even buy projectors for your phone). This would be so fun to do outside, too. Like a sundown cinema experience!


So, what have you done to make this Lock Down experience more bearable? Share your experiences in the comments below!

 

Life of a Beagle Bum Mum

It was brought to my attention recently that this April is National Pet Month. I couldn’t let this pass by without introducing you to my pet, or what I sometimes like to call him, my other toddler in a fur suit, Cody!

Cody is a Beagle. Now, anyone who has ever owned a Beagle is now laughing at me and/or thinking “you poor sod”. You’d think I’d know better, growing up with two Beagles from a young age, but no. I thought, the first dog I owned should be a breed I’m familiar with and, I mean, how much harm could this little ball of fur really do?

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Turns out, the answer to that is, a fair amount! I’d forgotten about my childhood dogs destroying felt tips (resulting in multi-coloured poos) or one particular Beagle eating batteries, chainsaw oil, a whole Christmas loaf (tin foil included) and a whole hedgehog of cheese and pineapple (yes, with the cocktail sticks). Not to mention that same beagle getting hit by a bus and electrocuted AND SURVIVED! He had issues. One scenario after another, vet visit after vet visit, he was still healthy. He passed away at the age of 12, which is pretty good going! His sister, who was sensible and, well, normal, passed away less than a year later. I think that’s what made me forget all the drama we went through. Now they’re just funny stories and happy memories.

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I knew I wanted that again. Sorry? When was the first time I regretted that? Um, probably, yep, 2 weeks after we got him. I came home from work and from about 5 weeks old, Cody had been crate trained (he was about 14 weeks old at this point). So we attached a run to his crate for when we were out so that he still had somewhere to play and do number 1s and 2s. Well, didn’t he take advantage of that? He had pushed the side of the run towards the curtains, pulled the curtains down into his run, gathered all of his toys and bedding on top and did a massive shit over the lot. So I came home to my darling puppy covered in his own shit, my curtains covered in shit, all of his toys and bedding covered in shit and my carpet ruined.
Despite this, he was still so happy to see me as I came through the door. He had an air of “Look at me Mum. Look what I achieved today!” as he wagged his tail vigorously. That, ladies and gentleman, was the first time my Beagle had me speechless and having to sit down for a little weep. First time of many.

That was just the beginning of our journey. Since then he has: destroyed books, ran after Muntjac deer, gotten beaten up by a cat and slurped up a whole packet of bacon like it was spaghetti. However, we have also spent many an evening on the sofa snuggling under a blanket together, he’s cuddled my pregnant belly, he’s been so calm and patient with Olivia and now (secretly) loves her, he dances in the kitchen with me, he’s my drive thru food buddy, he’s my hot water dog when I’m sick and he even helped us announce our pregnancy to the world! Now he’ll be Olivia’s memories of trouble and laughter and comfort.

That’s the funny things about pets though. No matter how much they put you through, how much they push your buttons, how many times they strike panic in your heart, they’re worth it. They bring back memories that you can laugh at or memories like when you were sick and they slept with you on the sofa and it instantly warms your heart. I look back at my childhood dogs and think “Life wouldn’t have been half as colourful as it was without them.” and I hope I can create that for Olivia, too.

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At the end of the day, from the moment we saw him (and couldn’t sign the forms quick enough) to now (which is him snoozing on the sofa) he has been one of the best adventures in our lives and there’s still so much more trouble for him to do!IMG_7591

Please share your stories of your beloved pets in the comments below. I really do love reading them! Oh, and Happy National Pet Month!

After reading this post, the lovely people at Marcy Dog would like to offer you a discount code on their beautiful dog (and human) products!

Head to https://www.macrydog.com/ and use the discount code: MACRY20 for 20% off your purchase!


My Netflix List

Do you feel like you’ve watched ALL of Netflix this Lock down? I do. So, I thought I would share some of my favourites that are on my Netflix List. Obviously, I won’t be sharing the entire list because it is extensive but you might be interested in my highlights. From TV shows, binge-worthy box sets to Netflix originals and movies, here are my faves!

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Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

TV Shows

The Haunting of Hill House

If you’re not into scary things, don’t bother. If you are, definitely bother! The thing I love most about this series is that there are so many twists and turns. I rewatched this series while bouncing on a birthing ball trying to start my labour and I’m so glad I did because there were things in the background I hadn’t noticed the first time. Ghosts in dark corners or moving shadows. It is very much an edge-of-your-seat show.

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Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Quirky. That’s the word that comes to mind when I think of this show but I love the characters. In particular, Titus. Super sassy, super fabulous and super hilarious. The show is about a woman, Kimmy, who has recently been released into the ‘real’ world after being held captive in an underground bunker by her kidnapper. She has to adjust to reality and leave the ‘bunker life’ behind. Doesn’t sound like a comedy but I promise you it is. It’s just fun and light watching.

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Criminal UK

On Netflix, there are different versions of ‘Criminal’ but the UK mini series is my favourite. This is made up of 3 episodes, 3 different cases and you watch it as if you were a fly on the wall of a police interrogation. One episode has David Tennant in it, which sold it for me! You get sucked in and so involved with the characters. Good stories and all may not be what it seems!

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Shine On with Reese

Ok., here we go, the feminist Lottie is coming out. I love Reese Witherspoon. So when I saw she did a Netflix series, I had to watch it and I’m so glad I did. She interviews women who are killing it in their industry and how they got to where they are today. It is so inspiring and I urge you, if you have young daughters, watch it with them. It was so interesting to hear about their struggles and hurdles they had to jump over (just because they were a woman in a man’s world) but nevertheless, they made it.

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Orange is the New Black

If you haven’t seen this, I’m so jealous you get to binge watch it during this time. It’s an interesting look into a woman’s life in prison. This is a show you can really get invested in and invested in the characters. I was absolutely gutted when this ended and the finale had my eyes welling up a bit.

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The Ranch

Sam Elliot and Ashton Kutcher. Need I say more? Tennessee family of boys on a ranch, butting heads, drinking beer and eating steak. Boys being boys, they get up to all sorts of trouble but have their family’s best interest at heart. This show has a beautiful family feel with lots of hard work. Fall outs and make ups and a few laughs on the way.

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Movies

Love Wedding Repeat

This was very recently released and received mixed reviews. I, personally, enjoyed it. I’m a huge fan of Aisling Bea so I might be biased but I love a good Rom Com. A beautiful wedding with interesting guests and the seating plan decides how the day turns out. Ex partners, new potential partners, best friends and lost loves. Oh, and one drink with a high dose of sleeping medication in. What could go wrong?

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The Breaker Uppers

This is my dream job. Two best friends have set up a company for people to contact if they want to leave their partners but are too afraid to do the dirty work. They do everything from musical dump-agrams to faking a kidnapping for their clients. Does it always go to plan? You’ll have to watch to find out.

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The Spy Who Dumped Me

Kate McKinnon has a direct line to my funny bone, I swear. She does a lot of SNL and was in the female version of The Ghostbusters. Mila Kunis is also in it and in the movie she finds out her boyfriend is a spy but is he the good guy or the bad guy? Two best friends go on a wild goose chase across Europe (like every spy movie) to find out who should have the top secret information.

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Iliza Schlesinger

Iliza Schlesinger has 5 Netflix stand up specials. Honestly, any one of them are great. She is hilarious. She covers everything from hunting down a mate to getting married. She points out all the things that are messed up with our society and makes them into belly-aching laughter. 100% recommended. She also incorporates her most beautiful dog.

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Dawn French Live: Thirty Million Minutes

I saw this a few years ago on BBC and was so happy to see it on Netflix. It’s sort of like a stand up routine/autobiography. I am a huge fan of Dawn French, so this special was so interesting to watch. She talks about turning 30 million minutes old (about 60 years) and some of the things she has experienced and gone through, you would never think of. It had me laughing, crying sad and happy tears. It’s an all round beautiful way of looking at life.

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Miss Americana

Yes, the Taylor Swift documentary. It’s not all about Taylor, though. It covers a wide range of subjects like: the media, being a woman in the music industry, sexual assault, eating disorders, bullying, politics, true love and family. It’s eye-opening and makes you feel like we should all make an effort to make a difference.

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So that’s it! I hope you go away, watch some of these and let me know if you do and what you thought of them! Oh also, I know that some of the Gifs above aren’t from the production that they are mentioned alongside but nothing in life is perfect.

Happy watching!

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