Another great girls’ night out

Hi everyone,

I am one of these people that says I don’t drink. What I mean is I don’t drink a lot, so when I do it only takes a couple of glasses of wine for me to get tipsy (tipsy sounds way better than drunk).

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Last Friday I went out with two of my best friends Jodie and Carly. We always seem to have the most crazy nights out. The best thing about it is, all we want to do is get dolled up, find somewhere that plays good music, have a few cocktails and dance like doughnuts! Well Jodie and I dance like doughnuts while Carly normally watches and laughs at our moves!

I am obviously quite easily pleased because the highlight of my night was coming out of a nice cocktail bar to get a kebab. It is probably the tackiest thing to do but it was comical, three girls all dressed up, standing in the street eating a kebab. I knew I had a long night ahead of me and I was absolutely starving. This is normally something you would do at the end of the night but I have to say I would highly recommend it. I seemed to find a new lease of sober life once I had finished and I was ready for round two. So off we went to JJ Whispers in Crawley to dance our little socks off and have a few more drinks.

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The joke of the night is that I have put on just under a stone in weight, which I am very happy about because I was way to thin before. However, the weight has gone straight to my bum!!! So of course I was shaking it as much as I could, while Jodie was doing the running man next to me… Very uncool but who cares?! Girls’ nights are all about having a laugh with your girlfriends and we most certainly had a lot of that, as you can see from all of the silly pictures below.

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Lastly, the icing on the cake was that I bumped into an old and special friend who I haven’t seen for five years Tommy. Tommy and I lived together in Canary Wharf just before I got pregnant so we had many good times together to reminisce about.

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My one mistake of the whole night was that I decided to text my ex-boyfriend on the way home in the taxi… cringe, cringe, cringe! I had so much fun in the nightclub that I originally met him in and I was desperate to tell him about my night. I didn’t get a response but I am not that surprised. I wish he had sent me something in the morning to ease my embarrassment of drunk texting, but no. Oooops!

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This was the best night’s I have had out in ages and guess what, I didn’t even have a hang over!!! I now swear by the kebab pit stop half way through the night to soak up the alcohol, which is wrong, wrong, wrong but oh so right! ;)

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I am in a very happy place right now, life seems very uncomplicated and that’s just how I like it. What more can I ask for? I have a job, a home, a beautiful little girl who is extremely balanced and I have crazy nights out with my friends every so often – I’m a lucky girl!

Back soon everyone,

Nic x

Making a ‘rockstar princess pumpkin’ with my daughter Poppy

 

Hi everyone! I hope you had a lovely Halloween.

I cannot remember Halloween being such a big deal when I was a little girl but for the new generation of little people it is the thing to do and I have to say I have enjoyed every second of it.

 

 

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We started off carving our pumpkin a few days ago and Poppy decided the theme for the pumpkin was going to be a ‘princess rock star pumpkin’, how an earth do you do one of those?

I felt under pressure because my neighbour Hannah who has become my friend over the past few months is a super mum and as I took an hour to create my rock star princess pumpkin she had finished three, one for each of her children. I was put to shame!

 

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Halloween arrived and my joke to Poppy in the morning asking her if she saw the witch walk past the window didn’t go down very well so I gave up trying anymore spooky Halloween fun.

Off we went to swimming lessons then Poppy went off with Nanny Tina while I went to work.  I was itching to finish so I could get back for trick or treating.  I was glad to finish so I could paint Poppy’s face.

 

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Honestly I was in my element.  I know it is wrong on many levels but if there is one time that its ok to put eye makeup on my child its when she is dressing up as a pretty witch!  Have I found something I am good at here…  I thought she looked pretty good.

We had a really lovely Halloween and trick or treating was an absolute blast, I was truly amazed at the effort so many people had gone to to make it special for the trick or treaters.  I am excited for next year’s Halloween now and I will most definitely be dressing up too.

 

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I love that the Brits are now making something that was typically known for eggs and flower throwing (when I was growing up) into a really lovely thing to do with the little ones.  Bring on next October!

Being friends with Poppy’s dad…

Poppy, Simon and I went to see the Barbie Mariposa film screening this week. It is rare that we do family activities together as Simon lives and plays football up north, but what a special treat for Poppy to be taken out by mummy and daddy together.

Me, Poppy and Simon

Me, Poppy and Simon

My friends are always wanting Simon and I to get back together but we both know it’s never ever going to happen, I think we are more like brother and sister – we can argue one minute (normally when Simon blames me for the traffic jam we are in) and then the next minute we are laughing our heads off and being silly together. So, whilst we might look like a happy little family, we are in fact just two great friends that happen to have made a baby together, come to think of it thats the definition of a perfect happy family isn’t it?!

I love Simon coming to stay with us, he makes me a cup of tea in the morning (which is a winner!) but most of all I love those moments where I can sit back and watch my daughter play so beautifully with her dad. The moments where she is snuggled up to him on the sofa and the moments where she tries to play us off against each other so she can get her own way. As silly as it sounds it’s those teeny little things that I notice that are special to me. I feel lucky that being friends with Poppy’s dad means I get to share moments like this with the person that loves her just as much as I do.

I love seeing poppy and her dad just hanging out together, Poppy was watching Robin Hood here – please excuse the tattoos all over her legs that don’t seem to want to come off!

Simon with Poppy

Simon with Poppy

One day I’m pretty sure Simon will get himself a girlfriend and, of course, I will be swept away by Prince Charming (laughing at myself now for never learning that fairy tales are not real). Whatever happens I know that it will never change the dynamics of our friendship like it did previously because it’s too important for us to show Poppy that, thanks to her, we will always have a very strong bond. I regret pushing Simon out of my life before, I think I was confused about what was right and wrong whilst being in a relationship. I realise now that there is no ‘wrong’, it should always be OK for us to meet up for dinner or day trips and, as long as the potential new partners are always included and never pushed out, I don’t see it ever being a problem. Lets hope its not!

For more of my blogs, fashion tips, beauty tips and recipes check out my new website simplynicola.com – I hope you like it.

Nx

Girls’ Night Out!

I feel like I have hit the nail on the head guys. I mean this is the first time in a long, long time that I feel like I have a beautiful balance in my life. I am working my little butt off for my two companies and exercising like mad, but also making lovely time for my precious little girl, friends, and family. I really am having a wonderful time, I think it helps that the sun has been shining so much too.

Ellie Crisell and me

Ellie Crisell and me

Last week I went out for my friend Ellie Crissell’s birthday drinks in Battersea. It was so nice to go out with the girls, get dressed up, drink cocktails, dance and get chatted up by boys (ha ha I feel like such a teenager saying that!). I wore a tight dress, which is unlike me because I normally wear floaty girly dresses, but I did feel a little bit sexy. Oh dear, did I say that out loud!

Sipping a delicious cocktail!

Sipping a delicious cocktail!

I feel like a mummy most of the time, so it’s rare that I would say I feel sexy and, as silly as it sounds, it’s good for a woman to feel like a woman and I felt good – we don’t want to be just mum all the time! I don’t think it was all about the tight dress, being around my friends and having a laugh gives me back that bit of me that was missing for a long while.

Carly, me and Jodie

Carly, me and Jodie

What a wonderful night with beautiful friends!

Nic x

The man that found me impossible to be with, and without

So I had a boyfriend once who loved me so much that he found it impossible to live without me, but at the same time impossible to be with me. Those were his exact words. It doesn’t really make sense does it, read on and it will.

Before I continue, let me tell you that we were so in love, our love life was mostly incredible, we fancied the pants off each other, socialised with friends and generally got on very well – our compatibility was not the problem.

The pain of this relationship was horrendous because I didn’t understand how he could love me so much but treat me so badly. Of course it makes perfect sense to me now. He really did love me that much but his overwhelming love sent him into a crazy sense of insecurity that caused him to the act like a complete idiot.

Me with Poppy

Me with Poppy

As part of the therapy I have been in for “loving too much”, it’s all about understanding what it is that they do. In the true spirit of the “loving too much” pattern, I ended up blaming myself for everything that was going wrong. If I change this, if I do that, if I buy this. STOP!!!! I can hear my therapist shouting at me……

“Nicola can’t you see, you are a beautiful women inside and out but this is the problem! Nothing you do will change the qualities in this man for him to be able to handle everything that is so great about you. Of course he hides behind an emotional barrier, pushes you away, seeks attention from other women and claims he can’t be himself around you. He is an incredibly insecure man that feels inferior around you.

“In psychological terms this is called an inferiority complex and inferiority comes from severe insecurity. So to act against his true feelings towards you which is love is to protect himself from every feeling of insecurity eating him up inside. Of course this is a subconscious feeling in him, therefore it would really take some doing to change it because, in his eyes, this isn’t the problem”

So messed up isn’t it? The man that adores this beautiful women will never actually get to keep the girl he is so utterly in love with, he is far to busy pointing the finger and looking elsewhere for an answer as to why he feels this way instead of actually facing himself. You know what the crazy thing is, generally he isn’t a bad person but insecurity can lead us to act in the most ridiculous of ways.

Me with Sheree Murphy on holiday recently in Marbs

Me with Sheree Murphy on holiday recently in Marbs

So what’s my advice here. You must not blame yourself for his ill behaviour in your relationship. It’s his own insecurities that lead him to treat you the way he does – constant rejection, keeping you at arm’s length, constantly picking out faults in you, and even cheating. This is his problem not yours! Don’t become a shadow of yourself, tip-toeing around him, loosing self-esteem and self-worth because of someone else’s issues. Sadly he may not ever change so you may have to face the reality of spending forever with a man like this or make the brave decision to move on.

I have been giving you little snippets from the book I am writing about “loving too much”. I really hope I can help the many wonderful women who feel so much pain within there relationships. You guys have given me the most amazing feedback about the “love” blogs, which has given me the confidence to write a book, so thank you so much!

Love, Nic x

Being sad: the end of a relationship

Being sad because I didn’t feel sad…

Something made me sad this week. For a long time I have woken up every morning with an ache in my heart and an empty feeling in my tummy because, from the second I open my eyes, the first thing I think about is the fact I am not with the man I love anymore. But this week something happened… I woke up on Wednesday, ate breakfast, pottered about, had a shower and sat in front of the mirror to dry my hair  and then I realised it was the first day for months that he wasn’t the first thought in my head. This is huge, right? I mean this is some serious progress. But then came the sinking feeling again – does this mean he has stopped thinking about me too?

As crazy as it sounds, I had wished and prayed for the night to come where he wasn’t all I dreamt about. To wake up and just think about anything other than him! Well this day came and it still left me with sadness! Do we just love a bit of pain or what? Am I really admitting to being sad because I didn’t feel sad?!

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I totally realise that this is all a process and time is the best remedy for a broken heart. There are times where you wish you could hide away in a dark room for days and you don’t ever think you will get over the pain. But before you know it you get these moments, like I did, when you realise that you’re making progress.

Despite my moment of feeling sad for the sake of feeling sad, I am in a pretty awesome place right now. I can honestly say I haven’t felt this complete in myself ever! I have the most exciting business opportunities and I have met the most amazing people over the last few weeks. My feet haven’t touched the ground and I feel truly grateful for the new path I am on. I can’t wait to share it all with you in more detail, however it’s pretty late now and I am off to Turkey tomorrow to visit the factory that are making all the garments for my fashion label so I am going to pop myself off to bed.

The moral of this blog is a simple one – have faith in time, it really is the best healer. Each baby step is HUGE progress! Be proud of every little step because they all count.

I’ll be back soon!

Nx

Women who love too much

Loving too much is an actual addiction for some people, as destructive as gambling and even alcohol. I’m learning about this addiction that affects so many women, leading to painful and destructive relationships.

There was a point in my life that I “loved too much” and for 18 months the relationship tore my heart out time and time again. I finally lost all my confidence and self-esteem, leading me to a world of constant insecurity and a complete lack of self-worth.  Luckily for me I’m fairly open-minded so I took myself off to see a therapist that specialises in this type of feeling within relationships. And thank god I did!  From that point on I was able to see that my desperation for a fairytale relationship was causing me to love too much, i.e. I was suffering from a ‘love addiction’.  With this ‘diagnosis’ and a true understanding of the effects I was finally able to let go and move as far away as possible from a man that had me on a piece of string for way longer than I should have allowed. Something I did simply because my eye was always on the happy ending and not actually on how awful he was making me feel in the present moment.



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Love addiction in a nutshell
The relationship usually begins with a bang. “Wow,” he thinks, “she’s perfect she cares so much, she makes me a better person”.  ”Yes” she sighs, “I can really like this guy he really seems to adore me.” And from there begins a whirlwind of passion until reality sets in. Loving becomes loving too much when your partner is inappropriate, uncaring or emotionally unavailable and yet we are unable to give him up. In fact, we often try harder to please him, wanting him even more.

The men in these relationships are initially attracted to women whom they see as flawless, giving and loving saviours. They hope and pray that finally they’ve met the woman who can make up for all their pain and heal all their wounds and fill the hole that they feel is missing in there lives. (It all makes sense to me now when I recently dug out a letter he wrote after two weeks of being with him, I quote, “I am falling for you because” wait for it… “because you make me a better version of myself”.  There was my first warning sign – he wasn’t happy within himself!).  These men soon become bitter and disillusioned when they inevitably discover that yet another “woman of their dreams” cannot make them feel better about themselves. Soon they retract (pushing you away), causing the woman who loves too much to do anything in her power to rescue the relationship, to meet her need for the perfect fantasy fairytale. This is by far the most awful heart-wrenching position to be in.

It’s no coincidence that “these” men with issues choose “those” women who are generally giving, warm and loving women to be with. Realising that “these” men will never be fulfilled unless they acknowledge their behaviour, is the turning point for any women who are “loving too much”. At this point you can get your running trainers on and run for dear life!

All of us have will at one time in our lives love too much I’m sure. The problem arises when we move from one painful relationship to the next. Recognising the pattern of this addiction can take a long time but when you finally do you can do something about it.  You may need to spend time with a therapist, as I did, to build up your self esteem and confidence. The most important part of my therapy, after spending hours telling her my life story, was realising that “it wasn’t me”.  I look back at this period of my life now and cringe at the fact that, no matter how many times he rejected me, I still came running when he clicked his fingers. Where the heck was my self worth?!

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For women, some of the symptoms of “loving too much” are:
* Being attracted to distant, troubled men who need your help.
* Neglecting friends and your own personal interests to be available for your man.
* Feeling empty without him, though being with him is often a disaster.
* Staying with the relationship, even though it may jeopardise your physical and/or emotional well-being.
* Fantasising about how perfect it could be, i.e. the ‘fairytale ending’

If this rings a bell for you, then I would recommend reading a book called “Women who love to much”, and another great book is “Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl”. I couldn’t understand why he said he loved me but no matter how wonderful I was being I couldn’t make him happy. Well reading these two books and having therapy made me realise “there is nothing wrong with me” and the relationship could NEVER work. Why? Because I could try, try and try again but until he was happy within himself even the most beautiful and flawless of women couldn’t fill his emptiness in the long term. I hope if he hasn’t found this out already that one day he will, because it’s a sad reality to think that he could be like this forever and end up on his own. Nobody should be alone.

It’s so sad to let go of the person you love so much but I promise you love is not meant to mean being constantly rejected and hurt!  There is a wonderful person out there that will embrace every good and bad part of you,  and here is the best bit – they wont reject you. So sit tight and enjoy the ride and make sure you never “love too much” again.

Yoga is for everyone!

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It’s no secret that exercise and I are not the best of friends. I wish I could be the type of person to exercise everyday. I see so many people cycling, my friends are always going to the gym and some of my nearest and dearest have even run marathon or two in their time. So, I’ve been left behind for long enough and it seems that action must be taken.

Nevertheless, there is one form of exercise that intrigues me the most. Yoga! A few stretches here and there…. Easy right? Little did I know yoga is a tough workout but also a workout with so many benefits that it can leave you walking away feeling on top of the world, and it’s suitable for anybody. You can take it as easy as you want or you can really push yourself like I have.

So, this week I took myself over to my good friend, Laura Hamilton’s house with two yoga mats courtesy of the wonderful yoga brand Gaiam and tested out my first fitness session in the sunshine of Laura’s garden. Admittedly it was a bit of a giggle and we gossiped most of the way through, but it inspired me to go to a more professional class. Since then, I have done three classes in a week which has now left me feeling absolutely buzzing!

I can give you all the life coaching tips in the world from my experiences but what will complement any self-help you are doing is exercise in whatever form you decide suits you best.

 

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We use time as an excuse, especially if you have children and work commitments. But this is where I’ve found that DVD’s can come in handy. They’re cheaper than a gym membership and you can try your hand at all those tricky yoga poses in the comfort of your living room. For just £24.99 you can buy a beginners yoga kit which includes a DVD a lovely yoga mat and some other yoga bits to help you get started. The yoga kit I purchased was this Gaiam one I highly recommend you take a look.

Don’t make any more excuses, you can always find the time for at least a half and hour yoga fix and it’s always going to leave you feeling great at the end of it.
Yoga really is for everyone!

First lesson in love

Photo by Martin Lee / Rex features

Photo by Martin Lee / Rex features

How Fear Could Cost You Your Loved One

There are two feelings that we associate with love; there is pain and there is pleasure. If we associate pain with love we will constantly push it away. I have previously had my heart broken and have been so guilty of holding onto this association. But if we change our mentality to associate love with pleasure then we will draw it to us.

What is love?
Love to me is laughing, smiling, cuddling, understanding, GIVING, compromise, forgiving, passion, butterflies, excitement, safety and oh there are so many other words I could use.

But what if we focus on the fact that being in love can hurt… It’s a fact, it can! In doing this it will only mean that we build up barriers and essentially not give the love we are fully capable of. And when you are not fully giving your love you will be sacrificing getting that special love in return.

Life has given us a gift, this gift is called COURAGE. If we used this wonderful gift we may be afraid but we go ahead and do it anyway, and this doesn’t just apply to love. The joy we can get from using our courage is undeniably worth it. Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers is a book I highly recommend anyone read.

An example of Someone with Fear in Love.
This person is scared to commit her love to the man she obviously adores… Why? She has her story. But her story will come at a cost. What is the cost? Eventually her on-off boyfriend will realise the commitment is not coming and will find a wonderful girl without a story/fear. The new girlfriend will give him every bit of her heart because she doesn’t have that fear. What is the consequence? This poor girl has lost the man she adores at the cost of a fear she didn’t have the courage to face and now she has to watch her man be happy with another girl. OUCH!

I get so excited when I talk about love, I accept that with love comes both pain and pleasure but I push away the pain and embrace everything pleasurable about having a loved one.

SO if to be scared of love could cost you the happiness of giving and receiving it, why would you embrace and validate this fear when it could cost you something so God damn wonderful!

Poppy gets a glam fashion week makeover

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So little Poppy walked into Essex Fashion Week in a pair of skinnies and a stripy jumper, but she walked out looking like she was dressed in Chanel, with her nails perfectly manicured and accessorised better than anyone else in there. Yes, my little Popster had been well and truly glammed up Essex-style and she thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it, as did I watching the satisfaction on her little face as she was being dolled up to the nines. We saw Aunty Lauren (Lauren Pope) at the show too, which was an added surprise. Poppy goes to her dad’s house every other weekend and with me working full-time, the odd free days we get together are spent visiting friends or family. So a day like this one is very rare. We had the most wonderful day at an event that really wasn’t geared up for four year olds, but just being together was enough.

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This trip showed me how special it is to have quality mummy and Poppy time. My little princess is the reason I smile on the toughest of days, she is my motivation for success and the reason I make careful decisions every day to set the best example I can for her. Our children learn from our every move so it’s so important we always have this in mind in our day-to-day actions and attitude towards life.

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