WHAT I'VE LEARNT AS A FIRST TIME PREGNANT

Yesterday marked getting into single figures in weeks until the bump arrives - 9 weeks and 6 days. It's been a funny old road this pregnancy with some major downs and lots of ups.  It's been harder than I ever knew possible but also easier in so many ways. For one thing I never knew morning sickness would cripple me so much, losing one stone in four weeks.  At the time I remember saying I never wanted to forget how awful the morning sickness was, not in a sadistic way but because it was so awful that I wanted to remember how strong I and the husband were as individuals and as a team to get through it.  Of course I remember the awful, permanent feeling of being sea sick, of 200 calories days and that fear of waking up and knowing you had to get through another day. But I also remember smiling, laughing occasionally and keeping a strong and positive head when the rest of my body wasn't cooperating. One thing is for sure, I couldn't have done it without my husband by my side, what a trooper!

I know the following 9 weeks and a bit will have more to teach me but for now these are the top ten things I have learnt about being a first time pregnant. 

1. Don't read blog posts - no really, not even this one.  I have definitely learnt that everyone is so different and there is not an article, app or blog in the world that will be able to sum up what your journey will be.

2. Ask for help - People will be more than happy to help you and you're not failing if you ask for some help every once in a while.

3. Treat yourself - You're doing an amazing thing and you should be rewarded.  Treat yourself every now and again, even if its just a little thing.  i bought myself my dream leather jacket and it's made me feel good during my pregnancy and I can't wait to wear with babe attached to my front.  I may have had to take out a small loan to purchase it but it's paid back many times over.

4. Get use to your body - Your body is going to change, there is no escaping that fact.  I've taken to sitting in my underwear in the morning when I do my make up. It's teaching me to embrace all the changes taking place and I'm pretty proud of this body of mine.

5. Drink water - all day, every day.  It's that simple!

6. Buy a sleeping cushion early - I bought a maternity cushion at week 16.  I didn't necessarily need it at the time but it helped me to get use to it. Now with two months to go, I'm sleeping like a baby.

7. You don't need every gadget - buy the basics and learn from experience* what you will need. * You'll note I'm still waiting for the experience.

8. Go to your antenatal classes - Like me, the idea may fill you with dread. Try it once and if it's not for you then don't go back.  I did go back and left a little more knowledgeable.

9. Accept that things won't be as expected - see point 1. I read a hundred and one things about what was going to happen to me during week 16, week 20, week 33.  Most didn't happen.  Plan to an extent but appreciate that it's a draft plan and things will change and that is okay.

10. Time will escape you - I started this blog post when I was 10 weeks, I'm 5 weeks tomorrow.  Time will pass quickly and you're not always going to get everything done.

Can I let you in on a little secret?

When I started the print side of The Native State, the dream was to feel creative whilst also satisfying my entrepreneurial side. I wanted to design fun, inspirational prints that I was proud of and hopefully sell a couple along the way.  As the months passed and my prints became more popular, selling a few more than the month before I decided to add being stocked in retailers to my to-do list.  I remember talking to a friend over coffee one day and declaring ‘I want Urban Outfitters to stock The Native State’. It felt ambitious and bold but I’ve never been one to believe things are unachievable.  So as 2015 came to a close and after one year of selling my first print, I’m now stocked in over five retail stores and….one of them just happens to be Urban Outfitters! To be honest I’ve been sitting on this news for a while, mostly because I don’t think I necessarily believed it was true and didn't want to tempt fate. But you know what? It is and from next week, you will find ‘Good Vibes Only’ by The Native State in all Urban Outfitters stores across the UK.  

So never be told you can't or your dreams are not possible. No matter how ridiculous they may sound at the time, life just may have a way of making them a reality. 

Good Vibe Only is currently available on Etsy, The Native State and Eastend Prints.

Raw Raisin Chutney

I lived in Vancouver for a year in 2009/2010.  In the last two weeks before I left I stumbled across Gorilla Food on Richards Street, a restaurant providing organic,vegan and raw living foods.  I returned a number of times before I left, desperately trying to get my fix before I had to leave. It was a cool place to hang out and the food was delicious, in particular their raisin chutney.

After a search on the web I was glad to see they have now opened a second restaurant and continue to feed the hungry mouths of Vancouverites on Richards.  I was even happier to find out the chef, Aaron Ash has released a raw cookbook which includes their Raisin Chutney – five ingredients and two simple steps. Nothing fancy, nothing complicated but totally delicious. Enjoy.

Directions:
 

Step 1: Soak raisins in water and apple cider vinegar for 1 to 4 hours.

Step 2: In a food processor, process all ingredients into a puree.

Source: Gorilla Food (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2012) by Aaron Ash

Top 10 Motivational Quotes for a Great Week

We're all about positive vibes at The Native State.  Save these for a rainy day or any day for that matter.

1. Stay Gold

1. Stay Gold

2. Simples.

2. Simples.

3. Nothing but good vibes.

3. Nothing but good vibes.

4. Kid, You'll Move Mountains

4. Kid, You'll Move Mountains

5. Get Shit Done

5. Get Shit Done

6. Make Mistakes

6. Make Mistakes

7. Be More Dog

7. Be More Dog

8. You've totally got this.

8. You've totally got this.

9. Do that.

9. Do that.

10. We are the change makers.

10. We are the change makers.



Ch-Ch-Changes!

You will have noticed that The Native State has changed in recent months. We didn’t stock Spell’s latest collection nor have we got MATE’s new tee in.  We’re changing, evolving and moving on to the next chapter. Let me explain a little more….

We started The Native State in June 2012 with the intention of bringing amazing jewellery designers from across the globe to the UK market.  We opened our virtual doors with some amazing brands – Spell, The 2 Bandits, Alushia Sanchia, Alkemie.  As our customer base has grown as has our brand offering and we’re pretty proud that we have been the first shop, in many cases, to have brought these brands to the UK market.  We have some wonderful customers, many who return to shop with us and feel more like friends although we’ve never met.  I feel very grateful….that’s the thing aboutThe Native State, it’s an ‘I’ not a ‘We’. The Native State is not a big company powered by numerous people – The Native State is me, Frankie.  I am the graphic designer, the blogger, the buyer, the packer, the customer service assistant… Everything you read and see comes from me, comes from my heart. So of course it can be hard at times, with the increase in custom and export taxes, wholesale costs and competition but it also means that The Native Statecan adapt and change more freely.

With that in mind, I have decided to focus more on selling The Native State prints – inspirational and motivational posters which make you smile or put you back on the right path. Through selling on Etsy and directly through The Native State website, this side of the business has really flourished and we’re excited to see it develop over the coming months.

So thank you for being with me over the last few years and while The Native State goes through a few changes, I hope that you will return, connect with us on social media or buy yourself a print which inspires and makes you happy because ultimately, that is what it is all about, right?