thewoodlandwife thewoodlandwife

794 posts   10,500 followers   995 followings

Jessica ↟Slow Living  Inspired by family, wild nature & simplicity. ↟ Ethical & Mindful Living ↟ Writer ⌕ Kent, UK For thoughtful & sustainable living visit my blog ↓

I was told a week ago by someone that a friend of theirs doesn’t follow me here because my life in these squares looks ‘too perfect’, others often talk to me about how ‘lucky’ we are to live here...
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For those who agree with the above, yes, we feel incredibly fortunate to live here, but it has little to do with ‘luck’.
We live in a really tatty building, don’t go away on Summer holidays and the majority of time spent here is often spent ‘mucking in’ together whilst fixing things up or investing more time and money to improve things.
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When we first met 11 years ago, we were two individuals who chose not to do the ‘London thing’, we had done our travelling and partying and hoped for nothing more than continuing to grow our relationship and our small businesses, build a home and have a family some day whilst living a slow, sustainable, meaningful way of life.
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I don’t photoshop my images, yes my feed is a ‘curated’ snapshot of my life, but I share what I consider to be an open, honest insight in to life in the woods and what it takes to maintain the lifestyle we chose for ourselves and our family.
A journey that this week continues with the ups and downs of living with a chronic illness, money worries and a 5 year old who is on a rollercoaster of her own whilst using me as her ‘emotional punchbag’!
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I hope very much that perhaps those who ‘lurk’ in the shadows judging my feed come to understand that as someone who herself is a ‘work in progress’ and continues to work on personal development to maintain a positive mindset, simply chooses to focus and share more of the happy, positive, sunny times of my life rather than focusing too much on the testing times.
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Public service announcement over! Who’s happy to see the start of the weekend? Tell me what you have planned...
Jx
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#BirdiesWoodlandFinds

Meet ‘JCB Jr’ the little brown woodland mouse who seemingly just hopped along for a ride on the boom of our telehandler!
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Happy Wednesday and just like this little mouse, be the reason someone smiles today. Jx

The last few days have been such a fuzz; after thinking I was on top of my AS, I have been struggling with a dreadful flare.
Debilitating pain and fatigue that makes me feel like I can barely function, only to get to bed in the evenings and struggle to sleep due to what I call ‘painsomnia’.
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The wonderful thing about living here, having our daughter around, as well as our dogs is that I get up, out and on with life and all of these things keep my spirits up.
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I’m not looking for sympathy, I’m just sharing my current ‘reality’ for those who see these squares and think my life is totally carefree.
I also wanted to share for all those who are on a similar journey with chronic, invisible illness that even on the really, REALLY crappy days, there is life to be lived... even if right now I feel like I’m 105 years old, rather than 35!!
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Tell me what you have all been up to? What are the things in your life that pick YOU up when you’re struggling.
Jx
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#AnkylosingSpondylitis #ASawareness #spoonielife #invisibleillness #myreality @nass_asone @thisaslife

I used to love getting lost in a good book, but since our little girl arrived over five years ago, most of my reading consists of titles for little ones or blog posts written by my favourite bloggers.
Even though I haven’t had the opportunity to pack a pile of books to take away with me to far off places this Summer, I promised myself at the start of the school holidays (on my summer wishlist!) that I would take some time to enjoy a few new titles here at home.
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So I made the switch; instead of reading on my phone before bed, getting lost in an Instagram ‘sink hole’ while I wait to see my GP or while our daughter is at a play date, I have been really enjoying getting back into reading age appropriate books for ME!
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Current read is ‘Where the Light Gets in’ by @lucydillonbooks ; a heartwarming book full of creativity, kindness and compassion. A story that reminds us to follow our dreams and how essential it is that we listen to ourselves and those around us; it even has some lovely canine characters in it too.
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I would love to know what you are reading at the moment as I’m hoping to start another as soon as I finish this one, so please leave any recommendations below 📚
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#wherethelightgetsin #ad @pageturners_uk

Our ‘daily inspections’ indicate that the sweetest treats in our woodland are getting oh so close to picking perfection.
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Send me your blackberry recipe suggestions; right now I’m thinking pies, crumbles and cakes 😋... but does anyone have anything truly spectacular or inventive I could give a whirl?

Marvelling at her magical creation; oh to be five again ✨

“In all the chaos, miracles are always happening.”
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First thing in the morning and early evening there is so much more to be seen in and around the woods, if only you take the time to stop and really look around.

Pluviophile (n)
a lover of rain; someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days.

Earlier today I took five minutes in our pumpkin patch to check on progress after harvesting the latest courgette (some, more like marrows!!) and carrot crop.
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After nearly 10 years of crippling symptoms in 2016 I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), an autoimmune condition which manifests itself in crippling pain and debilitating fatigue. So growing our own vegetables full of just the right vitamins, as well as maintaining a low sugar diet have all been instrumental, amongst other things, in managing my AS symptoms.
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On the outside, I might not look ‘sick’, but each day can often be an uphill struggle just setting about the most basic of tasks. As part of what I call my ‘daily symptom management’ I have hot water with cider vinegar each morning and recently I have been adding one teaspoon of Manuka honey to the mix, having read all about its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.
With all these small changes to my diet, replacing coffee with this particular morning cuppa I can actually do the things I love, like gardening, without totally crippling myself and with better energy levels.
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AD | For those who don’t know, Manuka honey is from New Zealand and just like in my case, it can help control inflammation in the body as well as many, many other uses. This tub is from @hollandandbarrett who ensure that their Manuka honey products are from New Zealand, as well as 100% undiluted as many other Manuka products on the market.
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#ad #myhb #mymanuka

Not the easiest of Sunday’s today as our youngest spaniel decided to take himself off on an adventure for a good few hours and despite searching high and low (700 acres of woodland!! 😢) there was no sign of him until he nonchalantly reappeared an hour ago!
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The real difficulty was the upset of this little birdie as they are incredibly close and trying to keep her spirits up and emotions in check while he was missing was tough.
Still, he’s back now so ‘normality’ (chaos!) has resumed. The irony is, we were day two into reluctantly setting out a garden fence to avoid disappearing dogs and/or children; perhaps it was all done in protest!
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Oh and the image isn’t an ad, just a little peak at what our wild one has been clutching as her ‘favourite toy’ for the last week... as well as today! A small tin from @kirstykins_ with THE most delightful liberty bedding; for small dolls really, but this one takes it everywhere with her containing her “woodland creatures” all tucked up.

Watching this man of ours work is one of mine and the birdie’s favourite things to do.
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It often staggers me how craftsmen and those in the ‘trades’ are so often overlooked by those who seek out more ‘profitable’ professions.
Money might be tight for us on a regular basis and ‘holidays’ are a complete rarity, but seeing this man create buildings that will last for years, places for people to call ‘home’, to grow families and to entertain in, fills me with nothing but admiration for his determination to continue building his business and share his ‘craft’ with others.

“The world is full of magic things patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” - W.B Yeats
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Yesterday as we headed through our pine plantation our woodland explorer stopped and puzzled at something nearby that myself and even the dogs dancing about at our feet hadn’t seen.
Just inches away from her, a small nest that must have tumbled from way up high in the pines above us.
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It has to be one of the most beautiful nests we have found to date; magically... intricately constructed, each layer softer than the next.
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#BirdiesWoodlandFinds

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