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ONLINE DATING: THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE GHOST

Monday, 22 May 2017


For the last few months at the suggestion of friends, I have been actively trying online dating. In this time I have met a number of interesting people, learnt some valuable lessons and recently come to the conclusion that I am just not cut out for the modern age of online dating. 

The first site I tried was Tinder but I quickly came to the realisation that we weren't meant to be. Too much of it seemed to be based solely around appearance and to be honest, it all felt incredibly shallow. This, coupled with the fact that most of the men I met just seemed to be looking for a quick hook up, lead us to part ways. 

Feeling discouraged, but not entirely without hope, I then moved onto Plenty of Fish. I preferred this to Tinder as you were able to fill out a profile of yourself, as well as read what others had written on theirs. There seemed less room for crossed wires as you could specify exactly what you were  and weren't  looking for. Upon completing my profile I was inundated with messages, with it becoming patently clear that most hadn't bothered to even read what I had written about myself. The other high proportion of messages I received were overtly sexual and a tiny minority messaged with something insightful to say in response to what I had written. 

During my time online I went on nearly a dozen dates, most petering out with mutual agreement after the first date. Some men I would see for a while before being ‘ghosted’ or it would quickly become clear that they were only after one thing, despite what their profiles had stated. 

The thing I struggled with the most were all of the unwritten rules surrounding online dating. I was continuously told that I should expect the man that I am dating to also be seeing multiple women at the same time, as well as sleeping with them. To expect anything else and I was far too highly strung, as well as archaic in my approach. 

But when did it become normal to be seeing multiple people at the same time for months on end? When did it become unreasonable to expect someone to only see you after a certain period of time? At which point should you expect them to stop shopping around? We're not talking about marriage proposals or moving in together here, just simply concentrating on one person at a time and seeing where it goes. 

I hated the sweet shop mentality and the fact that you are only as interesting as it takes them to click on another profile. I would be seeing a man for a couple of months and think things were going great, only to see them back on the dating site scouting out other women. I'd find myself getting silently annoyed if the man I had been seeing intimately for what I considered to be a substantial amount of time, was still perusing dating sites and hooking up with other women. But if I mentioned this to anyone I would be shot down with words such as 'desperate' and 'clingy'. It used to be a given that you only saw one person at a time out of respect; now the expectations have reversed and if you dare to begin taking something seriously after a good few dates or months, you are positively insane. 

Above all what I disliked the most was the fact that I was beginning to be influenced into changing my standards and morals. I’d go on a couple of dates with a seemingly lovely, genuine guy but I would find myself slipping back into browsing through profiles thinking I could find someone that bit more attractive or intelligent. If everyone else is doing it, then why shouldn't I?

It dawned on me this past weekend that I shouldn't be changing my standards, nor lowering them to fit someone else. Actions speak far louder than words and this couldn't be more true in regards to online dating. Maybe I will find myself back online at some point, but for now I am keeping my dating life firmly offline.

WINTER WALKS

Tuesday, 3 January 2017



There is something really special about going for a walk during winter. I love seeing the frost on the grass and hearing the crunch of the leaves on the ground, especially at this time of year when everything feels fresh and new. We love spending time outdoors as a family and we are lucky that we have so many beautiful parks around us. One of the best things about the age Oliver is at now is that he is taking an interest in everything around him. It's so lovely to be able to see the delight and wonder on his face at the changing scenery. 

Oliver is becoming so independent now which is both amazing and sad. Seeing him explore the world and learn new things everyday makes me feel so proud. But I can't help but miss my tiny little newborn. It seems like since he turned 2 a couple of weeks ago, he has become a proper little boy. 




What activities do you enjoy doing with your family in the winter?

(P.S. I am totally obsessed with this red rain mac, which I purchased here from Topshop)

THE PUMPKIN PATCH

Thursday, 27 October 2016


We love to spend time outdoors as a family and visiting the pumpkin patch is fast becoming a tradition of ours. I always considered Halloween as an American holiday that wouldn't pick up in the UK, but I am so pleased to see that it is becoming more mainstream over here. We took Oliver pumpkin picking last October but he was a little too young to get involved being only 10 months old at the time. This year he was in his element, he loved racing around shouting 'mumpkin' (he hasn't quite mastered the 'P' pronunciation) and helping us pick the best one.

We ended up settling on one large pumpkin for carving and a smaller one for Oliver. As Oliver is still a little too small for actual carving, I thought he could paint and use glitter to decorate his pumpkin. If you haven't taken your children to a pumpkin patch before I would highly recommend it. It's such a fun and inexpensive day out, best of all the pumpkin you pick gets to come home with you to carve or decorate. So a 2 for the price of 1 activity, which is great for those of us looking to have family fun on a budget!






BLACKBERRY PICKING

Monday, 3 October 2016



In celebration of the beginning of Autumn (yay) we went blackberry picking. Autumn is my favourite season; I love the cold weather, cuddling up on the sofa under a blanket and the leaves changing colour. There is something so pretty about this time of year. 

Fruit picking has become one of our favourite things to do as a family because it gets us outdoors and is a relatively inexpensive activity. Oliver absolutely loves helping us to pick the berries and place them into the carton. One of the sweetest things is to see him picking a berry and shouting 'berry daddy!' as he races over to Steve to give it to him. 

If you watch our weekly vlogs, you will know that I love cooking for my family. One of the most satisfying things is going out and picking our own fruit, then coming home and making something with it. I made a blackberry pie which came out much better than I was expecting considering it was my first attempt. 







Recipe: 

Blackberries (we used one full carton pictured above)
Demerara sugar
Plain all purpose flour
Cinnamon
Pre-made shortcrust pastry sheet (or you can make your own)

1. Combine the blackberries, sugar, flour and cinnamon on a low heat. I didn't measure out the quantities as I prefer to taste until it is to my preference, I kept adding more sugar/flour/cinnamon until I was happy.

2. For the pastry I used a ready rolled shortcrust pastry sheet (shh don't tell anyone) and simply assembled in in a round 9" pie dish. I brushed the top with egg and sprinkled a little sugar on the top to sweeten it.

3. I baked for around 35 minutes at 200C, but again I didn't follow timing religiously as I prefer to just check every 5 minutes or so to see if it has browned. 

And voilĂ , a really quick and simple blackberry pie!