Lianne Williams

Family

Chocolate Art & A Happy Easter

Celebration, Opinion, FamilyLianne WilliamsComment
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News Flash: I am a HUGE foodie

So I’ll take any excuse to indulge my tastebuds and this Easter was no exception.

I was treated to an amazing Easter egg by Mr. W and I really can’t stress how incredible it was.

Not only was it a massive, hand crafted, hand painted artisan chocolate egg covered in splashes of metallic paint, with a box of caramel ganache chocolates by my favourite chocolatier Paul A. Young, only 30 of them were made IN THE WHOLE WORLD.

It was a limited edition piece of art, chocolate art. I couldn’t believe it. I felt SO special. 

Breaking it nearly broke my heart... For about a second... because I was gonna eat this bad boy.

The chocolate itself was dark and rich but naturally sweet, so it was almost fruity or honey like. I can’t quite describe it and it certainly grabbed my attention. I’ve not had anything quite like it. Clean and smooth, as expected for a high quality chocolate, I actually felt like I was eating something healthy!

Considering the £75 price tag (don’t, just don’t. I DID wonder why Mr W looked sheepish) it bloody well should taste nice... and probably make my hair extra shiny and let me live another ten years longer in the process but y’kno... chocolate like this doesn’t fall from the sky and it’s an experience I won’t soon forget.  A special memory was created. I felt like I was eating chocolate made for a princess. And I will happily spend money supporting unique culinary talents like Paul, and his colleagues, who make the world just a little bit sweeter with their very special chocolates.

Plus I fucking hate Cadbury’s so... win win

Easter itself was fairly low key. We were treated to a delicious Thai lunch created by my sister-in-law that included Tom Yum Kah, Prawn rice rolls with a Tamarind and peanut dipping sauce, ‘Son-in-law’ Kai loug khueh eggs and pork dim sum. 

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Piyanut gave me her recipe for the tamarind sauce so I'm going to have to give the rolls a go. I’ve been making her Tom Yum Gai for years- a recipe that rivalled Nahm’s in London (a Michelin star Thai restaurant which is now sadly closed) so I trust her implicitly. Thai food is just The Best.

We finished with a classic Easter egg hunt for the kids around the house trying to avoid the typically miserable weather and make the most of the long weekend.

Today we’ve tidied the garden, put on the fire and having roast chicken for lunch.  Weekends like this are true bliss. You can feel the energy bubbling beneath the surface outside, ready to spring into life over the next few weeks. I’ll be planting potatoes very soon. I’ve got some purple ones I’m very excited about. Yes. I’m thinking about food again. But don’t you feel that food really defines events like Halloween, Christmas and Easter?

As a non-Christian, and someone who acknowledges the seasons and equinox instead, Easter represents to me very simply the beginning of the end of winter and the freedom to be a little more generous with food and energy. We can celebrate and come out of hibernation, start preparing for the influx of new life that happens in spring and start making plans for the summer. Chocolate eggs make perfect sense to me (sweet new life, obviously) so I don’t support this idea going around at the moment that Easter is losing it’s meaning. If anything it’s become more MORE meaningful to me. I like the new traditions coming through. I LIKE how personal Easter has become for me. If anything I wonder if Easter is just returning to what it should be about- something that connects with the heart.

Wishing you all a very happy Easter break

My Happiness Project: JANUARY, 'Self Care'

Family, Announcements, Mental HealthLianne WilliamsComment

There’s one 8lb 3oz reason why I decided to start my 2018 Happiness Project with a month dedicated to Self Care...

This little guy: 

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Introducing my sweetie, Jacob, who joined us on the 29th December 2017 after an absolutely perfect labour/delivery and has been spending the last week dominating my every living moment because he is so damn cute and I can’t put him down even if I wanted to. 

He is now a week old, my older children are back at school and my husband has gone back to work after Christmas and New Year so I'm right in the throng of it all, recovering from labour, dealing with my body going back to it's pre-pregnancy state, hormones, nursing, sleep deprivation and just getting to grips with things like how to use the pram and you know... bonding with this brand new person who's just walked into my life and calls me Mummy.

Basic self care, sleeping, eating, drinking enough water, can all easily get put to one side and from past experience I can recall how much harder that made things, so this time I promised myself that once I'd given birth I would commit to making life as easy as possible for myself and showing myself as much care as I do my baby. 

Welcome January 2018 and the opportunity to put all those things into place.

My Quote for the month?...

'You can't pour from an empty cup'

I've been amazed at how much better I feel when I feed myself kindly, take my iron supplements, drink enough water, take care of my appearance, allow myself a minute or two of silence and solace, napping in the day and weirdly- doing the housework.

Even though I'm exerting a little more energy to commit to doing all those tasks, the pay off of feeling looked after, fed, hydrated, rested, comfortable and organised means I feel happier, and far less stressed.

The task's I've chosen this month cover a variety of self care areas that I wanted to commit to either because I felt they were key to my happiness, or were areas I knew i'd struggle and I wanted to remind myself not to avoid them.

Do the Minimum. But do it.

This is in regards to completing tasks, mainly housework, and it's something I've introduced to my family too. The idea is, don't aim to do everything perfectly, just do the minimum that needs to be done to get a task over and done with as quickly as possible. And most importantly of all, DO IT. Don’t just leave jobs to fester and get out of control. At the end of every day I’m doing a quick tidy up, no matter how exhausted I am, because when I wake up the next day the feeling of being in a tidy, organised space is utter BLISS. 

Heal my body

I have to admit, I didn't have a particularly difficult labour. In fact, I had one of those dream labours you only hear about in hypnobirthing books so I find myself in an incredibly privileged position in terms of recovery. But none the less I still need to heal my body. Pregnancy and labour are intense. It changes you biologically and physically, and all of that has suddenly lurched full speed into reverse. So that means listening to my body and helping it along. It means accepting life at the pace it dictates and loving myself even when my hair falls out or doing my exercises to repair my diastatis recti- which is particularly bad this time. This is a reminder to heal. Take my pain relief. Eat well to sustain nursing. To get comfortable. To say ‘no, I’m busy right now’.

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Sleep

Obvious really? I’m a fussy, light sleeper so sleep right now needs careful maintenance, especially as I’m also the type of person who prefers 8-10hrs a night. I doubt I’ll get that for a while but I also know from experience I can function on 4hrs broken sleep a day so I’m going to aim to give myself 6-8hrs sleep a day, whether that’s at night or through napping during the day. Either way it MUST be an absolute priority. Sleep is essential to my well being and I am on a fast track to misery if I don’t respect it.

Feel beautiful. Indulge yourself. 

For me, I can tell if I’m struggling when I don’t take care of my appearance or forget to indulge myself once in a while. It’s the first thing of my self care regime to slip. This isn’t about deliberately putting myself in the path of inconvenience or expense however, it is about defining what REAL indulgence and luxury feels like to me and that can vary from wearing my favourite lipstick to spending the whole day reading. My indulgences this week have included buying a comfortable nursing bra (why are they so torturously uncomfortable???), treating myself to pate and a walk to the shops. It also forces me to think about myself once in a while, remember who I am, and not get too lost within the label of Mother. Ultimately I’m Lianne first, and that should always be honoured.

Ask for help. Check your ego. 

Making sure I ask for help seemed like a great way to practice self care, but history will testify, this isn’t one of my strong points.  Relying on others, asking for help... it all makes me a tad anxious. Not to mention the fear of being rejected, let down or then ultimately being left to fend for myself anyway. A lot of the time it looks far easier to struggle alone then to ask for help but I know deep down, figuring out how to delegate and trust others to watch my back is vital to my well being right now. This month I’m going to try and explore that and find ways to lighten my load that don’t leave me exposed or uncomfortable. Starting with smaller favours and then dealing with any problems as the occur. Ultimately the buck will always fall on me but if I make sure I communicate my needs clearly, ask for help at the right time, choose the right people for the job, and try and not take hesitation/refusal personally, I think I’ll feel much better relying on others.

Goal

To establish a healthy, happy foundation for more intense tasks later on in the year.