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I need to talk about my feelings. 

Just as I posted about the realities of my pregnancies, the birth of my daughter, and the vulnerability that comes with the postpartum period, I want to write to you now about death. Birth and death have become so removed from our everyday lives in this postmodern age that they are now taboo. It’s strange for me to write about (It feels a bit like using your non dominant hand for a simple task) and I’m sure it’s uncomfortable for you to read about. Nevertheless, birth and death are the opposing forces that keep the perpetual motion machine of life spinning. Willingness to explore them helps me to remain grateful and be present. It also opens up an opportunity for connection through discussion. If this is too much for you right now, that’s ok. Tap out. If you want to be with me in another very human moment, let’s carry on. 
My mother is dying. Well, she’s been dying since 2015, but now it’s really happening. She is going. 
Death is both a familiar friend…
Recent posts

Review! My Moon & Stars Soap by Saffie Bea

Oh, lovely readers of mine! This is an especially happy post. I haven't had time to work with a brand since before my nursing degree, when I was a sponsored model and bloguese for gothic jeweler The Crypt of Curiosities. But now that I'm on maternity leave and have organised my wacky brain a bit after settling into nurse life, I'm excited to have been sent some absolutely beautiful handmade soaps from artisan company Saffie Bea. And once my body fully recovers from the postpartum aftermath, I'll finally be getting around to doing a long-awaited photoshoot and review of some truly special garments from gothic designer Phantomlovely.
Saffie Bea is a purveyor of handmade glycerine soaps, soy candles, and ceramics based in Harrogate in the north of England. They sent me four soaps to review, of which this will be the first.

I think the packaging is very sweet. The recycled heavy card box and mandala design gets the bohemian message across while remaining tidy and unfussy. …

REVIEW! Glossier Mega Greens Galaxy Pack & Moisturizing Moon Mask

I received these two Glossier masks from my sweet friend, Andrea, for my birthday. Since I'm a January baby, my birthday has always coincided with New Year goal-setting. The health of my skin is a priority for me - those who know me well often laugh at me for carrying a UV-protective umbrella during the warm months, and if I'm going to be outdoors for more than ten minutes any time of year, you can bet I'm wearing sunscreen. Now that I've taken a further step into my thirties, taking even better care of my changing skin seems like a sensible resolution. 
Incorporating face masks into my normal routine is something I'm excited about. If the results I've had from my one use of these Glossier masks are an accurate indication of what I can expect, then it's a good decision. I'm delighted to report that the masks - for the most part - are awesome. They are meant to be used as a pair, with Mega Greens applied first.

The packaging is clean and simple. The des…

This Time Around

This post is going to be a jumble of thoughts and feelings. It's messy, but that's a true reflection of my state of being at the moment.

Trigger/content warnings for discussion and images of childbirth and the immediate postpartum period.


It thrills and amazes me to be able to say that my daughter is four weeks old today. Phil and I are currently suspended in the throes of these precious early weeks, too euphoric with adoration to care about the total exhaustion that comes with it. All we really know or care about right now is that we are in love and that we love our children and if there's an outside world, we don't need it.

What was a stressful and difficult pregnancy is now just a warm chapter of my life that I can look back on fondly, without missing it. Happily, I was rewarded with an easy (relatively speaking, of course) and joyous labour that pro…

Full Term Reflections

There's quite a bit of gory detail about pregnancy, labour, and birth in this post. So avert thine eyes if this kind of content is upsetting for you.


I'm so thrilled to have reached 37 weeks gestation! Baby is now considered to be early term, which means that if she were to make an appearance before her estimated due date at 40 weeks, she'd be a little early but fully cooked. I was born at 37 weeks exactly. With my first kiddo, I went into labour the day after his estimated due date, which is remarkable for a first-timer (they often arrive a little later.) Subsequent babies tend to come sooner, what with mama's body knowing the drill.

I've been having Braxton Hicks contractions since about 25 weeks. They are harmless practice contractions, and have been increasing in frequency and strength since week 34. In the past week I've been getting some that…

An American Interlude

California, here I come, right back where I started from...etc, etc.

Well, I'm there already. A family crisis came to a head. Duty called. I followed the Bat Signal.
And let me tell you, a ten hour flight is not fun when you're in your third trimester of pregnancy. Neither is the jet lag nor the stunning amount of stress that comes with navigating American bureaucracy (health insurance for me and the guys, Green Card for hubs, putting the little guy in school) during said family crisis. I have been stressed, folks. I don't think I've ever known stress like this. But I'm ok, baby is ok, the guys are ok, and I'm optimistic that things will continue to be ok. At least for the most part. 
We will be spending my maternity leave here to support my family members in need as much as possible. After that, we'll be returning to the UK in the late spring next year. Although it's not nice to say it, the eventual return to Britain is a little beacon of encouragement…

A Clothing Review: The Vampire Dress by ExoUmbra

Ooooh, you guys are in for a treat today! This is a review of the Vampire Dress from ExoUmbra.

ExoUmbra is a gothic clothing company run by the darling Moose. She has a real passion for making items that suit a broad range of body types, and it shows in her work. Something that I personally appreciate about ExoUmbra is how simple the pieces are. I love clean silhouettes.

 Twirly preggo!
Because the sizing is so generous (every piece is meant to be easy to move around in) the Vampire Dress was absolutely perfect for my growing baby bump. And with the brutal heat and humidity we have been experiencing in London this summer, I've pretty much been living in it since it arrived. The Vampire Dress is constructed from upcycled cotton unisex t-shirts, so it's breathable and effortless to wear. You can just throw it on and off you go.

The standard version of this dress does not have a moon decal on the back, but I cheekily asked Moose to paint one on. So many of her pieces feature hand…