I’ve spent the last few weeks and months thinking about where I’d like to take Next to Nicx, both as a blog and as a store. I’ve hinted at some exciting projects in the past, some that will involve the creation of kits, and physical products.
But some big life changes have appeared on the horizon and I’ve had to put the creation of some product on hold until these things are settled. Thankfully none of this will stop me from being able to blog.
Hopefully I’ll be able to tell you more very shortly but we are waiting for things to fall into place. And these things involve other people, which takes time, and so for the moment there is nothing we can do but wait!
In the meantime, I have been busy! I took myself off to Playtime Paris last weekend and that visit confirmed something I’d been thinking for a while. I’ve felt a little hampered over the past few months as I’ve really wanted to share loads of the amazing kids things I’ve found, bought or made for Munchkin, but Next to Nicx hasn’t felt like the right medium.
I’ve decided I need a kids blog.
I’m not leaving Next to Nicx, it will just revert to more of what it used to be; crafting and making and baking. And my new blog will be purely Munchkin based. Including craft, recipes, fashion… anything Munchkin.
So with a grand TA… DA…! I introduce you to a sister blog to Next to Nicx:
Have a look and let me know what you think? It’s still in very early stages and will grow and evolve just like Next to Nicx has. For the moment, it only has it’s own Facebook page. Next to Nicx is still where to find me on Instagram, Pinterest, Ello and Bloglovin etc
Last weekend Munchkin and I went on an adventure together. DM had a work conference thingy in Budapest and so was away for the week. Munchkin and I decided that it was only fair we had some fun too.
It was the first time I’d travelled with just Munchkin and I. And so after wrapping ourselves in coats, hats, gloves etc that are required in Europe at this time of year, loading myself up with a backpack full of books, pencils, colouring-in books and toys, Munchkin in her MiaMilly Hipster on my front, suitcase in one hand and folded Maclaren stroller in the other, we got onto the TGV Lyria at Lausanne and took ourselves off to Paris!
Over the last few weeks and months I’ve read quite a number of news stories and Facebook posts about how Pinterest and ‘Mommy blogs’ are making life hard for mothers. Most with an underlying theme that those of us who DIY and make are all A-type overachievers with nothing more to do than to compete at motherhood.
I feel compelled to comment. Particularly as of late, I’ve had a number of people not so subtly hint that I’m creating problems for other mothers.
Yes I bake elaborate cakes, host themed parties, host dinner parties, create invites, paper art, sew, crochet, embroider, knit, letterpress, re-purpose, eat mostly organic and entirely gluten-free. Then I post the things I make, create and host on this blog. I share my creations and give most of them away for free. I’m starting a small business selling a few of them.
And I’m a Mum!
I do what I do because I love it. I relax and enjoy creating. I love the space I go to in my mind when I’m making. I enjoy the process of creating as much as the finished product. For me, putting together a party is as much fun as the actual event! I find inspiration and genuine pleasure when I see what others have made and so share what I do to feed into that inspirational pool.
I don’t do these things to make others feel bad.
I don’t feel like I’m entering a competition.
I did ALL of these things before I had Munchkin and now I do many of them for her.
Lately I’m starting to feel pressure to apologise continually for my creations. But I don’t need to apologise, nor do I want to.
I’m far from perfect. My house is often a mess. I never make it through my to-do lists. I often don’t get the exercise I need. My projects sometimes belong on Pinterest Fails or Cake Wrecks. My daughter watches more television than I’d like. Munchkin sometimes eats one pot, heat and serve meals when I’m seriously short on time. My friends know that it’s just as likely that they’ll arrive at my house for coffee to find it clean and tidy and be served freshly baked cake as it is that I’ll put out a box of chocolates and ask that they ignore the clutter. I often feel like I’m struggling to find a balance between being Mother/ Wife/ Self that is akin to finding the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. And a multitude of other stresses, private issues, disappointments and frustrations.
I don’t post these things on Facebook or my blog. There is no point. It’s not constructive, nor, I believe, healthy to do so. I wouldn’t walk down the street telling strangers my problems so why would I post it publicly?
Why can’t we all realise that very few of us post/ share the bad things, and recognise that we all have private, sometimes chaotic lives?
I don’t care how you choose to live your life. If you chose to buy a birthday cake from the grocery store or make one. If you chose to feed your children organic, vegetarian, paleo, gluten-free, or entirely from the frozen food aisle. Unless what you’re doing is exceedingly dangerous I would never consider commenting on it.
Munchkin won’t care if she’s at her own birthday party with home-made cake or at a friends eating store-bought ice-cream cake. She’ll adore both parties. And I’ll adore that your little one invited Munchkin, that you went to the effort to generously host a party, that she had a ball, ate ice-cream and played with her friends. I don’t think that any party, dinner party or other project is any less worthy because the host decided to buy a cake and hates crafting. And there is no reason anyone should feel pressure to do anything they don’t want to.
I’m a firm believer that everyone should prioritise the things that matter to them and let others make their own priorities. We all chose to do things differently. It’s what makes us wonderfully interesting human beings.
So please, mother or not, if reading my blog, looking at Pinterest or another Mum is making you feel badly or like a failure, stop reading it, delete your account, ignore them and live your life as you see fit. Because I fully intend to happily live mine as I choose. And I choose to bake my daughter’s birthday cakes, host themed parties, sew, knit, crochet and anything else creative I can think of and can find time to do.
Not because I’m expected to, but because I want to and thoroughly enjoy the process.
If you don’t enjoy it. It’s simple. Don’t do it!
When we all stop turning our mere existence into a competition and comparing ourselves to everyone else, we’ll all be so much happier!
I very rarely do product posts. But I just received our first Polabox in the mail and I love it!
There’s something just so satisfying about holding physical copies of my Instagram photographs. We ordered a test box of thirty, containing photos of Munchkin’s first year to send to her Great-Grandmother in Australia. We’re so happy with the result, we’re in the process of ordering a whole heap more for her Nana, other Great-Grandmother, Aunt who struggles with things technical, Nono and a copy for us.
You can either download the app to your phone or select your photos etc online. You’re not limited to Instagram, any photo you can access on your device can be used.
Thirty photo’s in a cute and very sturdy box are 16.95 euro. They’re created in Paris and shipped toute de suite. Ours took just 5 days to arrive (over a weekend).
The box they arrive in is sturdy and wrapped in a bubble wrap package. But you could easily tape the box shut, add a shipping label and a stamp and send it on. The contents would be perfectly safe. And as the box is just 2cm high, this is a great option for those of us who live in Switzerland and are trying to cut down on shipping charges, 2cm is classified as a letter, not a parcel.
For those of you who want to try the service – here’s a promocode that will give you 5 euros off – NICPRN
I’m now looking at printing photobooks. I really love the look of My Little Photobook, have you tried them? If so what do you think of the results?
In the interest of full disclosure, when you use this code, I also receive a credit on my next order. Otherwise this post is unsponsored.
Note; this blog mainly consists of ramblings about the past year with Munchkin and motherhood. The photos are a sneak peek of our recent celebration of Munchkin’s first birthday. I’ll have more photos, templates, recipes and tutorials to share in the coming weeks.
I can’t believe that at this time just last year I was desperately trying to sleep and failing. I was due to be induced the following morning. After 12 very long days of regular contractions that just weren’t strong enough, the doctor decided enough was enough. Munchkin was coming out, one way or the other.
Late that night, DM and I had a discussion about what we hoped our bundle, of what then felt like all elbows and knees doing the hokey pokey in a very confined space, would be like.
A year in, and I can say she’s everything we hoped for and a little bit more. She’s generous, loving, independent, strong, social, gentle but no pushover, scarily intelligent and just because she’s ours, perfect.
It hasn’t been an easy year. My fitness, sanity and health has taken something of a beating due to iron deficiency, sleep deprivation and adjusting my life expectations to my new reality.
Breastfeeding and getting our little one to thrive took about four stressful weeks to work out. There were what seemed like endless days as my butt became one with the couch as Munchkin fed every hour threatening my dwindling sanity.
Our marriage feels stronger, as it feels it has now been forged by fire. The fire of months of colic and walking paths around the dining table, our hearts breaking as we tried anything and everything to soothe our tiny, sweet bundle.
But it’s also been the most amazing year of my life. Read more