As I write this, my baby is napping upstairs and there is glorious sunshine streaming in through the kitchen windows. I'm wearing my favourite jumpsuit and I've just blitzed the house so it's nice and tidy. If there's a scene which makes me feel more relaxed and content than this one, I haven't found it.
It's a stark contrast to how I've been feeling over the last few weeks - which is mostly anxious and stressed. The return back to work has been more difficult than I anticipated, mostly because Ben has been throwing curveballs at us left, right and centre. I've also been struggling with a lot of self-doubt over this blog, my podcast and my other creative projects. Have I taken on too much? Am I kidding myself that I can be good at any of these things? What's the point when everyone else seems to do it all so well? Of course, there are plenty of points to all of those things, but it can be hard sometimes to do creative work and push through that self-doubt. That's not even to mention the self-doubt that just comes along with parenting - especially for the first time.
I'll get there, though. It's never all bad - I've been enjoying the two days each week that I have with Benjamin - he's at such a dreamy age and has become my real little pal. He's almost been outside as long as he was inside and that is bonkers to me. He has changed so much from that squishy little newborn, and I love how curious and clever he's becoming.
Talking of clever and curious... let's get to those great links, shall we?
- Why are we so obsessed with princesses? And why can women never win, no matter what they do?
- Tracy is one of the most creative people I follow, and I loved her advice on keeping creativity alive.
- This post by Fifi on breaking up with anxiety was incredibly moving and inspiring.
- I love this list of things you need to keep in your kitchen from Amanda.
- I'm trying this new technique of plugging energy leaks to try and make life easier. Sarah's blogging every day for The 100 Day Project and I'm loving so many of her posts!
- This article about the darker side of stag dos is scary reading.
- This list of people's favourite moments from their wedding made me cry. Mine was our first dance; Paul was nervous and I'd asked all the bridesmaids to join in after the first chorus. Seeing them all flooding onto the floor (one with my Great Uncle Jim in tow) just really sticks with me. And also making my speech, because I got to tell everyone not only how much I loved Paul but how much I loved them all, as well.
- This list of why modern motherhood feels so frustrating had me nodding all the way through.
- I very much want to make (and eat) this Yogurt Pita and Baked Chicken Shawarma
- Cindy is doing 100 'surprise flower' paintings for The 100 Day Project and the videos on Instagram are totally mesmerising.