Petite Posters Are Here! Limited Edition.

Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 18.35.48Inspiration.

We need it. We need it everyday! We need it in our homes, we need it in our offices, we really just need to have something lovely and motivational to kick start our day, for when we’re doing the dishes or putting the little ones to bed. It’s not a luxury,  it’s essential!

So I’m very excited to share with you my new Petite Prints! They’re  small, so they can fit in anywhere and they aim to give you that essential  boost of inspiration that everybody must have.

Petite Prints are for a limited time only and at a very special price of £8.99. Come and have a nosy in my Etsy shop and grab your own little slice of inspiration!

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My Fav REAL PEOPLE instagrammers

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Instagram is a place of inspiration, well sometimes, well actually no…sometimes it just makes us feel inadequate, messy and like we really don’t have our shit together! And yo can read more about that here: Instagram: Inspiring Or Just Making Us Feel Like Shit!

BUT fear not….I have found the gems, the great super woman that are keeping it real and far from making us feel crappy with their sparkly faces and not so messy buns, they are inspiring up with REAL life ! These are my Fav REAL People Instagrammers.

gypsynspice: This new mama is truly WOW, her openness about life has made me cry on more than one occasion because she asks the question’s we’re sometimes too shy to ask and she does so half naked, feeding her baby in a flower tiara, what a goddess!

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KRISTINROGERS: This homeschooling mama is keeping it real. I loved her videos where she was showed people around her house, highlighting just how dirty it really is and how pictures can totally hide that. 100 points for honesty! A star!

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omgkenzieeeSo much respect for this lady, she really puts herself out there. Love your rolls, embrace your stretch marks, she shows us that beauty is not plastic, beauty comes from being REAL.

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GEMMA_MARIN: I’m a big fan of this Spanish mama living in L.A. Famous for her bump dancing, she really has an incredible energy! she shares her story in a very natural and warm way, she even uploaded her birth video to insta which unfortunately got pulled down due to her being a bit naked. It is such a powerful video that really shows how natural and instinctive birth can be.

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WILLITLOOKGOODONMETHO : These 2 gals are amazatron! They try out the new makeup and fashion trends to see what is looks like on a real person!  Because lets be honest does blue lipstick really work for anyone? And what an amazing job they’re doing.

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BADDIEWINKLE :This 88 year old superstar is a true asset to instagram! Legendary for her pink, fluffy lycra style, she is a rainbow bubble of inspiration!

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bodyposipanda: This shining star is all about promoting positive body image. I love the unglossed pictures of beauty and how she empowers woman  all over the world.. This is a message we really need to embrace!

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PINKSCHARMING: This British mama has her fair share of pretty pictures, but she also inspires me with her little real life snippets: her daughters misshapen gingerbread people, inspiring notes on life or Organic makeup that really works. A lovely feed (:

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JULIABERNHARDCOMICS: For when only cynicism will do! This hilarious illustrator, based in Germany always makes me laugh out loud with her bitter-sweet observations on life! This is one of my absolute fav pics.

AND DON’T FORGET TO FIND ME PETITE I’M ALWAYS KEEPING IT REAL TOO!

I hope you get some well deserve insta-ration. Am please let me know your most inspiring instagrammers! I absolutely can’t wait to know. And if they inspire me too, I’d love to add them to the list!

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Time Is OURS… let’s take it back!

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Jolly Cake time picture aside the other day was far from a cake walk….I just cried, I cried because time tick tocked by and seemed to just  laugh in my face at all the plans I had… “As if you have time to do that all!” cackled Time. And so I cried a bit more.

Has that ever happened to you? What a silly question, I’m almost certain it has, and if you’re very unlucky it may happen on a daily basis!

Because you know what… our current system IS flawed, but have you ever stopped to think just how bad it is and how much it’s effecting YOUR life?

Look at an average persons week: working 40 hours (the U.K average)  adding on a commute, 54 minutes each way (the U.K average) plus getting ready in the mornings, that’s over 55 hours spent being the WORKER YOU! Not being YOU because YOU are not your job, but being a YOU that’s doing a certain role, for a certain company that you may or may not loathe.

And I guess the rest of the time you’re sleeping? Well, that is, unless you have a child or a life, a family, a husband, friends, where do they all fit in?

And what if your trying to better yourself, you’re writing a book, maybe your a blogger, perhaps you’re trying to set up a company, you’re moving house, you’re pregnant. Or what if times are hard, you’re suffering from depression, you’re  going through a divorce, someone in your family is terminally ill, you’re having to take another part time job. These are things that real people are going through every day.

You can quickly see just how easy it is to become a shell….. a ghost of a person, someone who goes through the motions of life, having no time to really relish any of life’s happiness. Wow, do I sound bitter, but I’m not, not anymore…

Yes, I’ve done 12 hours days and silly commute times and I’ve felt sheer momentous exhaustion before, one where you don’t know whether to eat, sleep or shower first. And you know what, I could never EVER do it again. Even for a million pounds and I mean that.

Because I had NO time, NO energy left to be me, Charlotte…. just to sit down and chat with my partner, to go for a coffee with their parents, no time for my writing, no time for watching anime, no time for drawing, no time for eBay shopping and reading articles… I don’t like ‘no time’ for that stuff. Time in mine! And re-connecting with people, and yourself takes time.

So now, I feel exceptionally lucky to work from home and work for myself, because demanding and stressful as it can be, it is totally mine, my schedule is my own. And there’s something really special about that.

So this post for everyone who hates their job, who sighs and almost cries when their alarm goes off, who can’t even find time to read a book or do their 15 mins yoga workout,  who feels sick to their stomach every Sunday night.

To you I say….Time is yours…. let’s take back time. Money is money, a job IS a job, but ultimately we make the choice, we shape our own lives and sometimes we forget that. Even if it seems like you have no choice and find yourself saying “Well, it’s all right for them…” STOP. Think…. why are you really doing what you’re doing and is it really worth it?

Is the world going to crumble if you don’t bake a cake for the school’s cake sale, will it be armageddon if you don’t clean the house for one more day, and well all hell break loose if you don’t attend Annalouise’ birthday party? No? Didn’t think so.

YOU deserve happiness, not just at weekends, but everyday and to be happy in your job, in the life you lead.

And because there really IS nothing more important in life than happiness and healthiness and if your lacking in either of these then something has GOT to change.

Wishing you health and happiness always!

Petite

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Instagram…Inspiring or just making us feel shit!

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I love using instagram, I like the idea of snapping away,  little rainbow fragments of my life. I love sharing snippets of thought and interacting with my fellow insta-sistas.

But ….

The other day I was flicking through Instagram as you do, touting for new inspiring peeps to follow, searching for vibrant bursts of wonder to zest up my imagination…. AND suddenly I was knocked down by a sudden wave of rubbishness… I felt blemished,  I felt scruffy,  like an ugly little ragamuffin in comparison to what I was seeing…all those shiny, sparkling people on Instagram.

Thankfully it only lasted a few moments, until my brain kicked back in and I remembered, THIS IS INSTAGRAM not the real world.

However, it did make me worry, what about all those people who CAN’T see through the filters, the young, very impressionable people who believe perfect DOES exist and who spend their entire lives striving for it. Then instagram becomes not a thing of inspiration but of segregation… the Sparkly Perfect People Vs the Real People.

And so I wrote this post…. because I can only take so much of THAT woman, we all know the one… the one with the perfect messy bun (there’s an oxymoron for you) with her little model baby that never gets chocolatey cheeks or sticky hands. The one with the house that looks like a Pintrest board and the vintage designer wardrobe. The one with the hipster husband and his glossy beard, who wears limited edition ran bans you’ve only seen in vogue. That woman who drinks fancy gin you’ve never even heard of and eats vegan white strawberries for breakfast. They’re so cool, with their cryptic tattoos that you can’t even decipher.

Buts guess what…. I don’t follow THAT woman….because she doesn’t inspire me. In fact she makes fell like shit. Which I am absolutely not and neither are you.

So from now on I only look for ‘Healthy’ inspiration. That is the kind of inspiration I can fly with, the kind of inspiration that stirs a sense of wonder and fascination.

Because yes our lives are sometimes messy, even with a filter on.  So why should Instagram not be? How can we only enjoy perfect pictures, why should it be exclusively for pretty things, surely we’re missing the point. Instagram should be a platform to inspire each other with our messed up, weird and wonderful lives.  And say hey this is me, it’s a mess, sometimes I’m sad, but this is my slice of earth and this is how I roll.

And those are my favourite instagram accounts. The ones I can believe. The ones that share the painful times, the cock ups as well as the sweet times. The ones that can laugh at themselves! Because it’s those nuggets of human emotion that we’re all looking for because we’re really just looking for the story, the soul that’s brings a picture to life. Because without the story we’re just flicking through a mindless catalogue of ‘pretty’ pictures and that’s just not the inspiration we deserve.

Are you an Instagramer? Let me know! I’m over at Petite.words hope we can spread the inspiration love!

P.S I’d really like do a feature list of the not so well know instagrammers, the newbies that really do inspire, if you have any favs drop me a line below!

I have OCD. And you?

OCD-mental-health-petite-wordsWhen you think of OCD you probably think of the continuous washing of hands or of someone turning the light switch on and off 100 times. But is that it? Is that really OCD? Nope. It’s part of it, for some people, but like all mental problems,  OCD comes in many shapes and sizes.

I have OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder. I was born with it. And I will always have it, because OCD never leaves you. And if you let it, it will eat you up. It will make you feel isolated, hopeless and like the most dreadful person in the world, which of course you are not.

OCD is a clamp on your mind, it twists your thoughts and memories and can play them on repeat until you’re literally about to explode, anxious, torturous, THAT is OCD.

It started when I was a child, I remember having to tell my mum EVERYTHING, that was the first compulsion, THE TRUTH. I’m a compulsive truth teller, which most people actually admire, until I tell them something a bit too honest and  then suddenly friends vanish in a puff of smoke, never to be seen again. Why am I telling you all this?

Well, I think you need to know, because it’s my belief that there’s a of lot of us out there and a lot of people too scared to admit it.

But WHY?

Even today, where the gates of mental health are pretty open, there’s still such a cloud of uncertainly, too many questions unanswered. So as soon as you mention ‘MENTAL HEALTH’ you get thrown into a box marked ‘risky’ because  the brain is a funny old thing, it’s unpredictable and most people don’t like unpredictable. And here lies the big problem….. Of course we don’t want to admit we function differently from other person,  because god forbid we are actually different.

But I wonder… if we really got down to it, how many of us would have a mental health problem, at least at some point in our lives. I can’t talk for all mental health issues but I can give a little voice to OCD.

So here’s what you should know about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:

You should know your child could have (it often starts at birth)

You should know it will never completely go away but it can be tamed

You should know that drugs (antidepressants etc) are not the answer

You should know it’s not just about ritualistic actions but also repetitive thoughts

You should know it’s really hard for people to admit they have OCD because explaining how they feel seems like the hardest thing in the world

You should know  going to therapy doesn’t help most people

You should know OCD is irrational, you cannot rationalise it

You should know about CBT, a great technique to deal with OCD

You should know Mindfulness and learning to live in more spiritual way is really helpful for calming OCD

You should know OCD has a good side, people with OCD are often more dedicated, motivated and push themselves until he job is done

I believe I was given OCD for a reason. I believe I can control it and I believe I can harness it for the better. If I wasn’t OCD I’m quite sure I wouldn’t be so ambitious, so pushy, so driven and I’m certain I wouldn’t see the world as I do.

I now understand that OCD is a part of me and by rejecting it I just made things worst. The hardest lesson in life is learning not to hide from ourselves, we have to embrace our demons and we have to remember there is no light without dark.

P.S  A  person who just washes there hands lots probably doesn’t have OCD. We call these people ‘hygienic’. This is something we need to think about because throwing labels around like they’re the cool new adjective can be really damaging. Ditto with ‘depressed’ you bf didn’t text back and you’ve finished the Ben and Jerry’s boo hoo, that’s not depression.

I’ve written a children’s book!

Oscar_Rabbit_Cover-1024x1011I love children’s books! Even now at 27,  I’m often seen with a kids book in hand. They just seem to make for happier reading compared to adults books.  So one day, I decided to write my own children’s book, introducing OSCAR RABBIT.

It was written especially for my grandad (Oscar) who left this Earth a little while back. I know he’ll be looking down chuckling at his little rabbit drinking carrot tea and I hope it makes you smile too.

So what’s it all about? Well, it’s Easter time and little Oscar rabbit, an avid gardener and secret inventor,  has to step in for the Easter Bunny, who has just broken his best hopping leg. Oh dear! Luckily Oscar rabbit has just the plan to save Easter!

It’s a really cute story, if I say so myself and all profits go to Butterfly Thyroid Cancer Trust.

It also costs less than an Easter egg! So indulge in my little book, Oscar Rabbit on Amazon now for £1.99!

Happy Easter Bunnies!

P.S Oscar Rabbit also has a donations page, if anyone’s feeling extra generous or doesn’t have a device to download the ebook. You’re donations are wondrous! £5 makes for happy bunnies!

Donate the cost of a fancy easter egg here. Big LOVE! 

Mama.

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Mama and me have this thing, we have this thing where we can communicate without words, it’s not telepathy, it’s just what we do.

Because when we’re together we can think as one. So even though our minds are so very different, we really are the definition of chalk and cheese,  I feel her thoughts and I know she feels mine too.

Mama and I are one of the same and no matter how grown up I become, the fact will always remain, I was made from her.

I am hers and she is mine.

And there is something unequivocally wondrous about that.

Because being a mum is extraordinary.  Yes it may happen every day, it may be as common as taking a breath, mother’s are everywhere. But that bond between mother and child is really something to be in awe of.

And yet… how often do we stop to soak it all up, to sit quietly and drink it all in.

Today I am doing just that, for today is Mother’s Day. We are both sitting here, counting the zillion wonderful blessings we share. We’re here just having laughs and eating cake and loving it all, because there’s nothing quite so perfect as my mama.

Mama,  I will always be with you and near you, no matter how time and space separates us. We will always be US. And US is something so special, so treasured that it laughs in the face of disaster, it stands firm against disease and not even death can make a mark, for too much love has been shared and too much happiness has been granted. So US is impenetrable, US is forever. There will always be US mama.

Happy Mama’s day.

 

What IS LOVE?

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It’s an odd question isn’t it… What IS love? I often wonder about it, I bet you’re thinking , WOW here’s a lady with way to much time on her hands, but no, I just think it’s a question that deserves a thought and it IS almost Valentine’s Day!

LOVE: some say there are different types of love; the love of husband, love of a mother, a father, love of a friend, sibling love, to me it’s always been ONE love, like Sir Bobby Marley preached. And that’s how I knew, when I met my husband, that’s how I knew I loved him. He felt like my family, almost instantly,  like I’d always known him, he was the missing piece of my Petite jigsaw.

So we all know LOVE is amazing, but do we ever really stop to ponder the true ‘power of love’, yes I know it’s pure cheddar cheese, but do stay with me…

I believe we don’t think about LOVE enough, we talk about it enough, but never really stop to give LOVE  enough credit.

I get it, life is busy, we get comfortable, sometimes we take love for granted (naughty naughty!) but I can’t help thinking that us humans have complicated life way too much. I mean ‘All you need is love’….. and if the Beatles said it then it’s probably something we should take pretty seriously.

And whilst some people question, what about health, what about money, love won’t pay the bills and love doesn’t cure diseases. But… doesn’t it?

I mean, that do you think?

Here’s what I think about LOVE… incase you wanted to know:

I think far from blinding us LOVE actually gives us clarity, to view with magic eyes the true beauty and purpose of life.

LOVE unravels all problems, even if it takes a long time, it does.

LOVE moves us to the places we need to be.

LOVE is the biggest reality check, EVER.

LOVE makes even the grey days shine. Even when all hope is lost,  love has a way of soothing pain and calming reality.

LOVE teaches us the lessons that nothing or no one else can.

LOVE nurtures us without judgment and truly cares, unconditionally.

LOVE guides us to make better choices.

LOVE inspires us deep down to our roots.

LOVE shows us perfection isn’t real and that life and people are imperfect by nature.

LOVE teaches us that death is a fragment in time, but LOVE will be forever.

LOVE heals our wounds, no matter how deep they are.

LOVE gives us the space and confidence to grow into the person we are meant to be.

LOVE puts us back in tune with nature.

LOVE gives us unnerving strength to hold us up in the darkest of times.

LOVE makes us fight, for what is  good in the world.

LOVE brings out the best in our hearts and brings our souls back to life.

That’s what I think…. but look at me babble on like a love sick pony, let’s end this gooey eyed post before we both turn to mush.  Wishing you all a very happy day of love, today and always. One LOVE people, one love.

The Elusive Grey Goddess.

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I’m 27. I have 0 grey hairs (that I know of!) a few cackle lines and a dabbling of cellulite but nothing else…yet, because I’m young, but one day (if I’m lucky to live long enough) my frizzy hair will go grey, my plump skin with loose it’s bounce and my face will crinkle and soften declaring it’s chilled comfort in the body it calls home.

EVERYONE GROWS OLDER. Every second, of every day, from the day we are born….

But somewhere down the line, we’ve starting ‘Bejamin-buttoning’ backwards, sprinting fast as we can from our real age,  shameful of the years we’ve collected, survived and strived through.

WHY?

Society, the media, advertising, we’ve been had up, we’ve been scanned and quite frankly, damaged, by it all. Because we are not born vain, we didn’t come out of the womb and make a beeline for the nearest mirror, we’ve been conditioned ladies and gentleman and it is not good, not for me and not for you.

Vanity and it’s juicy lips and taut cheeks are plastered all over the media, it’s in films, in magazines, the celebrities we admire (sadly) and the fashions we tend to follow. Even our once geeky pal Carol Vorderman has joined the plastic babe brigade, what a shocker that was.

Some may say “Well, good for her” but is it really GOOD for her. Is inserting plastic in your body, a GOOD thing? Is injecting toxic chemicals into your face a GOOD thing? Is bowing down to vanity really a GOOD way to feel happy about yourself. I don’t believe it is.

Imagine a generation of perfectly pumped boobies and pulled back faces, where all lips are plump and all hair is dyed, where all nails are acrylic and all cheeks are contoured. And where bare faces are lost in the crowds of smokey, wrinkle less eyes.

Are we not born beautiful, in most unique sense of the word? So, then, why do we spend our whole lives trying to be somebody else, struggling to fit in with societies model of beauty. Surly we just need to find out how to be ourselves.

Because how long can we keep this up for?  Isn’t it exhausting….

And who made those ludicrous beauty rules anyway, why are wrinkles and grey hair such a terribly unattractive thing? I mean I get it, we’re programmed to be attracted to perky breasts and smooth skin but isn’t real BEAUTY more than that. What defines beauty, WHO defines beauty, surely WE do…. not magazines, not hollywood.

We are heading into a time where age and ageing are taboo, where silver foxes and grey goddess’ are an elusive thing of the past.

And if you’ve seen on of those mystical white headed  wonders you’ll get what I mean. It’s someone who ages with grace and wonder, someone who has clearly stuck two fingers up at the status quo. And those people, glow, they glow with the confidence and radiance that only a person who is truly comfortable in their own skin can achieve.  And I think WOW because THOSE are the characters we remember. THOSE are the woman and men that make you stop and stare. The pretty faces, the youthful rosy glows, they are lovely, but quite frankly anyone young can be youthful, but not everyone old will grow old gracefully. It’s a skill, it’s an art and it’s about knowing who you are and believing in your own kind of beauty.

It’s about time we jumped OFF the plastic face bandwagon and we stopped judging, stop pushing for youthful glows and smooth everything… let’s just BE, let’s have wrinkles, let’s go grey, let’s live.

And most of all let’s not be defined by fashion, by the media, let US define ourselves.

Kindness: we’re robots without it.

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Kindness, I never really thought about it much, it was just something you’re told from a young age is good and that you should try and BE IT. But often, as busy human beings we just forget to think about other people. And we’ve started mistaking NOT being ‘unkind’ as being kind, which of course it is not.

KINDNESS is doing something to give happiness, protection or general goodness to another person without any obligation or benefit to yourself. Do you do that? Do you do that everyday? Once a week? Now and then? Hardly ever? Never?

I remember when I lived in Italy, it was a tiny little town, the kind of place where your only friends are Mr biscotti and Mrs gelato. I was working  there as an nanny and every day I’d go to collect my newly adopted twins from their little nun run kindergarten. And because I was a newbie, a stranger, a clearly non-Italian fuzzy haired crazy, with flower power sunglasses,  I was mostly greeted with frosty chic glares and perfectly plucked, knitted brows. However, there was one lady,  a sweet Italian grandma and instead of staring, she just smiled.  I think she could sense my loneliness. And  when everyone else pointed and whispered, she spoke to me and we laughed. We could hardly understand each other, but that didn’t matter, because she understood something more important than English, she understood my need for a friend.

And at the end of that first month, she handed me a gift, it was a ceramic glazed Madonna and baby, she said it was to hang on my wall and to ‘protect’ me.

I was touched. I was so moved that she cared enough about me, a stranger, to make sure I felt safe and protected.  I’m not a religious person, but that day I converted, to KINDNESS.

I think the world is in danger and no I’m not talking about ‘climate change’. Did you know it’s now illegal in America to give food to a homeless person? I mean what? We’re encouraged by society to grown our ‘selfness’,to be unique individuals, but what about our fellow human beings, who we share this planet with, shouldn’t we give a stuff about them?

And of course the media, with it’s big skewed lense seems to focus only on the ‘unkindness’ of the world, as if there’s not a spec of kindness left.

And so we take for granted that people can be kind. We stop noticing it, stop seeing how special kindness is. And maybe we even feel entitled to it. Have you ever been queuing at a supermarket, when you’ve got a handful of items and the large trolley loaded customer doesn’t let you go first in the queue, you felt cross didn’t you,  you see?

So, turn off the tv, smile at people, give someone your parking ticket, help an old lady with her shopping bags, give a homeless person a sandwich, just sprinkle kindness, because kindness will always be something worth investing in.