Hello and welcome to The Halcyon Years, my new look home on the web where I’d like to share with you my thoughts on life, shopping, travel and the joys of renovating your own home!!
If you’re a follower on Instagram, you may have seen that I’ve been talking about changing the name of this blog for a while now. The name ‘Ettie and Me’ was only ever meant to be temporary. I needed something to get me off the ground when I was starting out and ‘Ettie and Me’ seemed to be the obvious choice. Back then around 90% of my posts were about the two of us and so I didn’t loose too much sleep over choosing a title.
I published my first blog post back in July 2017. At the time I’d just returned to work and was finding the transition hard. I thought that by creating a blog I’d be able to use it to record my memories of Ettie so she’d have lots of information about her childhood and know just how much I loved her! At the time I didn’t think anything would come of it, it was little more than a hobby and I enjoyed having a creative outlet to share my thoughts and photographs.
Now 18 months later I couldn’t imagine a day without this blog. It’s grown into something much more than a hobby and opened doors for me that I never knew existed. I’d like to try and stick around and become a bit more profesh about the whole thing, but If I am here for the long term, then I’d like a title that isn’t so focussed on Ettie. There might come a time when she doesn’t want me to use her name on my blog and so I want to make the change now before it’s an issue. I also find it a little awkward that Ettie is mentioned and Ollie isn’t! So with the new year, brings new beginnings and what better time to give my little blog a bit of a facelift!
So Why The Halcyon Years?
The term ‘Halcyon Years’ came about following a conversation with my Mam (she actually came up with it which makes me feel all lovely inside). We were having a stroll along Brighton seafront together discussing blog names and I explained to her that I wasn’t really happy with the name ‘Ettie and Me’ because it wasn’t ‘future flexible’. I told her that ideally I was looking for something that acknowledged I was a parent, but at the same time gave me flexibility to write about the things I’m interested in (like fashion and interiors) without them seeming too out-of-place on a blog with my daughters name in the title. I’d had the idea for a while that I wanted the blog to be about a ‘period of time’ rather than a relationship (i.e. being a mum). My Mam is always telling me how the happiest days of her life were when my brother and I were small. I always thought that was a bit of a depressing thought (I mean come on Jan, if you’re happiest days were 30 years ago, where does that leave you now?) But now my babies are here, I 100% know what she means!!
Despite the chaos and chronic lack of sleep, being a parent is amazing and it’s these years when they are small and we’re all learning the ropes together that I know we’ll look back on and hold dear in our hearts forever. These are the years when singing ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ at the top of your voice on a train is completely acceptable, when a whole day of stress can be eradicated with four tiny words ‘I love you Mummy’ and when the highlight of our social calendar is seeing Peppa Pig on Ice for the fourth time but don’t care a jot because seeing that little face smile makes us feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. We’ll laugh at the things they say and marvel at the things they do. These are ‘our years’ and I wanted to try and capture that in a blog name.
Mam and I batted around a few ideas and she came up with the word ‘Halcyon’ – denoting a period of time in the past which was idyllically happy and peaceful’ and so the term ‘Halcyon Years’ was born.
(Ok so peaceful may not be the right adjective to use when describing a house with a newborn and a toddler, but it is definitely a time I’d call happy, often idyllically so and so my Ma was spot on with her suggestion.)
Have you ever looked back over your parents old Cine-film – their home movies from years gone by. The flickering screen, slightly out of focus camera work and grainy filter? It’s hard to look back over those movies without feeling a whim of nostalgia. Even if you’re not really sure who all the people in the images are, you look at them with a sense of warmth because you know they denote a period of time that that person remembers fondly. Well that’s what ‘The Halcyon Years’ means to me.
‘The Halcyon Years’ is a blog about family, friends, the joy of buying new clothes and going nice places to wear them, trying new products and telling your friends all about them. It’s about living in chaos as we build our family home, dodgy decorating decisions, weekends away that didn’t quite work out, questionable fashion choices because ‘the Gram told us to do it’. Its about the tiny moments we create every day like dancing in the kitchen or playing camps under the duvet covers on a lazy Sunday morning. These are the memories I want to remember forever and so that is why I am dedicating my blog to them – The Halcyon Years.
So what can you expect from The Halcyon Years?
Well lots more of the same for the time being. I’ll still be writing about us as a family. My babies are still very small and so I’ll continue to share what we’ve been up to and any lessons we’ve learned along the way. I’m still intend to have a focus on smaller brands and feature any that I find and I think you’ll love but I also hope to share more lifestyle content as we move onwards with the house and start to finish rooms off. 2019 is the year I hope to get serious about my blog and maybe make a secure income from it, so I’ve enrolled in a couple of courses that I hope will help me to do that. The changes won’t happen over night but I’m excited to see what this little space looks like in 12 months time,
I also hope to develop my social media with a bit more focus too. When I started this blog I categorically said I wouldn’t become a Vlogger as I’m just not that comfortable in front of the camera, but I’ve been giving Insta-stories a bit of a whirl recently and the feedback has been so kind that it encourages me to go on. There have also been a few occasions when I’ve thought a vlog would be easier to explain about a product than a written blog post and so who knows that may be something I look into in the future or maybe IGTV for now.
In terms of the house, we’ll definitely be finishing off more rooms this year, so I intend to bulk up the blog with more interiors content. This was part of the aim when I started out, but because its taken a lot longer to finish the house that we expected (we’ve only actually finished one room –Ettie’s room tour ), the blog has been a little sparse in this area and that’s something I’d like to rectify.
On the travel front, we’re probably at a bit of a plateau at the moment whilst we finish the house. That doesn’t mean we won’t go away as I’m really keen to make lots of memories with both children now that Ollie is here, but I think foreign holidays might need to take a bit of a back seat for the time being. I really like the idea of taking the children camping and so a family adventure to Cornwall and a few more trips to the Lakes are definitely on the cards in the summer, and maybe even a family friendly festival.
Whatever we decide I’m excited to bring you all along with us and as ever I can’t thank-you enough for your support. It’s quite nerve-wracking at times putting yourself out there on a blog for the world to see and often I think I’m just writing to myself. But when I get a message of support on social media, or meet someone out in public who has actually read my work it’s so humbling and I genuinely want everyone to know that I am ever so grateful.
So Thank-you from the bottom of my heart for supporting this little venture of mine and I really hope you continue to follow along in the future