31 Oct 2016

Being a Mindful Mumma - ways to control your mind

I'm very interested in learning and developing myself to become a better version of me, mixed with my perfectionist qualities it sometimes makes for a very anxious struggle between head and heart and one that I don't always win. If I don't do something to the best of my ability or I'm lacking in an area or my children miss out on something, I really give myself a hard time.

I thought it was a good time to give myself some reminders on how to live mindfully with the children and here are some of the things I will be doing:



1) Breathe

Like really breathe through things and let them go. I've recently learnt an easy breathing technique which I practice when I'm anxious or irritated by things outside of my power.

Relax, sitting down with my arms loose at my side...Breathe in for seven.....hold for seven....release for seven.

Keep repeating this until you feel calmer and if your mind drifts during it just keep bringing it back to the breathing. It's so relaxing and empowering.

2) Let myself off the hook

I'm being the best mother I can to my babies and I'm really doing as good as I can. I'm only human so need to let myself of the hook...so what if I forget ballet shoes sometimes or I can't think what to give the kids for dinner or I forget to do the washing. I'm doing the best I can and the kids are good kids and it's because I'm teaching them well. I'm doing good.

3) Sleep

I've been really bad at this one, I've burnt the candle at both ends and gone to bed really late only to be woken during the night or really early the next day. I'm running on empty and always berate myself for not going to bed earlier or relaxing more...goes back to the previous point too - let myself off the hook.

4) See

I see things every day but I'm getting good at ignoring things or not really seeing things, if we are at home I've usually got my phone nearby and if the kids are playing then I pick it up and work but I'm missing the looks between the two of them, the little voices they make up for the toys, the fun they have and the growing up they do. So I'm trying to actually see, put the phone down and listen..when we are out I'm trying to comment on things we don't normally really 'see' like the clouds or a bird in the tree or the leaves falling.

5) Relax

I used to have treatments regularly, my nails done and hair done but since having kids, launching my own business and running a home I sort of let this all go. So I've booked in to have a massage and will be getting my nails done too, I'm trying to relax more and hope that it has the ripple effect through out my life and will enable me to work on all the above points with more clarity and care.
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28 Oct 2016

Fabulous Friday - Half Term Specials

 School holidays are upon us again and so far this week we've been to the circus, to the park and out for lunch. I look forward to these weeks but also dread them slightly.



 What I've learnt this week?

Not to be so anxious and sometimes and do the things that scare me with the children. I wouldn't have taken them to the circus as I wasn't sure if cub would sit still and if bubba would like the clowns. It went amazingly and cub sat spellbound throughout and bubba loved it all. I felt so proud of them both and it was nice to watch them enjoying something together for the first time.

What we've achieved?

A non meltdown week and improving our time keeping record, we have been really bad of late at getting where we need to be on time but that is getting better and I hope to improve further. It's always difficult when you are dealing with two children at different stages of development and needs - getting them out of the house can be a real battle of wills.


Who's rocking the world this week?

Jamie Oliver - he is an all round nice guy who is trying to save the nations eating problems and has also been on social media this week saying kids eat free in his restaurants this half term. He's a great role model on how healthy living should be done.

Fabulous product of the week:

Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate...it was hubbys birthday this week and his big love is chocolate so I got him a chocolate subscription as one of his presents. Each month he gets a bar of quality chocolate delivered through the post to him...the birthday present that just keeps on giving. He loved it and I did too because I got to sample the chocolate as well. Win win.

What I want to take into next week?

Mindfulness - being in the moment more and putting my phone down more too. I'm working on the balance between working and home life and trying to not miss things the kids are doing whilst looking through a lens at them. I'm stepping back to simply enjoy every moment.

Friday Thought:

You've got to be in it to win it
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26 Oct 2016

Afternoon Tea - Berkley Hotel PRÊT-À-PORTEA

My two best friends and I have known each other since we were starting school aged 5 so we are well accustomed to our likes and dislikes. It probably comes as no surprise that we love champagne, cakes, fancy restaurants and cakes...lots of cakes.

 

So when we all turned 40 we decided we needed to go for afternoon tea...for each of our birthdays. We started last December with a Winter wonderland tea, had another in January (my birthday) and again in February for a Mad Hatters tea party at the Oxo tower ...for mine we went to the Berkeley Hotel and their Pret a Portea, it was a lovely experience but a few things were amiss and it wasn't as special as it could have been.



Step up super Nikki who had a word with the hotel and nicely mentioned the few discrepancies and how it was my 40th and we were hoping for the special occasion that had been promised. Much to our amazement they invited us back to experience the magic once again...on them. We were so grateful and excited to say the least and boy were we lucky and it was amazing, first time around it was good but I couldn't work out why people raved about it so much (we went whilst they were renovating and we were in the main restaurant) but second time around it was out of this world amazing. So early September we had another day out - three old friends who skipped out of our respective homes and happily waved goodbye crying toddlers and bemused husbands.


We were seated in their amazing conservatory which was oppulent with crushed velvet sofas and fine china and huge crystal lights that hung over the glass tables. Flowers were dotted around the room and then the food arrived. If you haven't been (unlike me the old pro), the cakes are all based around current fashion and the host will take you through what you are eating and how they relate to the fashion labels and items of clothing.


 They serve tea that accompanies the food and these arrive in huge teapots that took over the table, we incidentally were also treated to a bottle of champagne to start off too which was amazing.


 Each cake was exquisite and the attention to detail was fabulous, we got to try a bit of everything and we really enjoyed ourselves people watching whilst we were there.




We also took some cakes home with us afterwards and I cannot fault the service or attention to detail. Everything about the afternoon tea was magical and amazing and I cannot wait to go back again to sample it all again. I will be back

If its somewhere you would like to check out then visit: http://www.the-berkeley.co.uk/knightsbridge-restaurants-bars/fashion-afternoon-tea/the-royal-masterclass/

They get booked up well in advance and so booking early is well advised.



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24 Oct 2016

Putting on our dancing shoes with the #FrubesMoves Challenge

Going into year 1 the world of after school clubs opened up to us and so I helped Bubba fully embrace trying different things. So far she has tried gymnastics (not overly keen) and ballet (a definite yes), she will often flounce around the living room and showing me and any one else who will watch her good toes and naughty toes.


Cub on the other hand at 2 1/2 years is still very self conscious and embarrassed about trying to dance. He gets all a bit bashful and giggly and will stop dancing the minute he realises someone is watching him.

So to help him feel at ease about moving we often have a kitchen disco and I encourage him to join in. It's really as simple as it sounds and we turn the lights down and the music up and dance like no one is watching us. We do our best dance moves and really get into the groove, the other day we played the Angry birds game on the Frubes website and we are definitely shake our tail feathers types so you can imagine what our dance moves are like.



It's great because we all giggle and enjoy ourselves and it helps the kids to get moving and really enjoy dancing. I love dancing around and don't need to be convinced to do it (and I'm usually a very shy person so it's totally out of character). I'm not the best dancer but I love it all the same. It also helps when we leave and go to parties as they are used to dancing together too, this is us at a Halloween party, as you can see, Bubba is all blurry and danced out!



When the dancing stops we often break for a little snack and I reach for Frubes, I personally love them as the squeezable tubes ensure that it goes directly in their mouths and not down their tops or all over the table. They also travel well and are great on the move and for school packed lunches, as they are packed with Vitamin D and calcium it helps kids build strong bones, which ups our dance moves tenfold too.



If you would like to try Frubes, they can be purchased from all leading supermarkets and at the moment to tie in with Angry Birds they are all themed on the packets (you can also enter a competition to go to the Bahamas on holiday). I also treated the kids to a movie afternoon and we watched Angry Birds film which was really nice, so if you aren't sure what to do this half term then I'd highly recommend it...oh and check out the website angrybirds.frubes.co.uk to check out the dance off between birds and pigs.

This post is an entry for BritMums' #FrubesMoves Linky Challenge, sponsored by Frubes
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21 Oct 2016

Fabulous Friday - it's all a learning curve

Fabulous Friday

I had a little break last week but I'm back and very much looking forward to half term which starts next week. 



What I've learnt this week?

That things change when you least expect it, bubba had slowly been getting better at going into school and then this week it all went wrong. She had a spectacular meltdown at the gates and had to be pulled in by two teachers, I cried after she went in and then on and off for most of the morning. By picking up time she was fine and on top of the world and I was relieved to have her back after a day of worry.

What we've achieved?

It doesn't sound much but we have had a couple of nights where the kids have shared things really well and I haven't yelled at anyone or dissolved into a quivering mess by the time hubby got home. I've also heard them bonding better than ever - cub went up to bubba and gave her a cuddle, then said "I love you Beeba" and she replied "I love you too" they cuddled again and went about their business. It was wonderful and simple and one of the best conversations I have ever listened to.

Who's rocking the world this week?

My best friend is rocking the world this week, she's really pushing her business and herself to achieve. It's fab to watch and I am right behind her and know she'll get where she wants to be...and I'll be there cheering her on....well done Gilly Bean.

Fabulous product of the week:

This week for me it has to be my Kikki K planner, I adore it and keep stroking it and don't need an excuse to keep getting it out. I got it in the sale which makes it even more appealing but it is the start of an obsession for me and I will be back to buy another one.

What I want to take into next week?

Breathing and mindfulness...Its half term and I will need to be mindful and remember the kids are just kids and I should embrace the mess. I will embrace the chaos and make some memories.

Friday thought...

Think positive and positive things will happen.
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17 Oct 2016

The Christmas List...

I love Christmas, I really do and I can't wait for the magic and tinsel and fairy lights but am I the only parent who dreads the impending Christmas list time?

I feel the pressure as early as September (if not before) with all the adverts on the tv and hear the shrill "Mummy I want that one!" shouted in my general direction and my standard response which is "well you'd better put it on your Christmas list then". Even cub has started getting involved and will go up to the tv or point to things in magazines or on those billboards near bus stops and tell me what colour and which character he wants the most. This is all without them cruising through the Argos catalogue and ticking every other item on every page!

My biggest problem at the moment with a 5yr old and 2yr old is finding out what they really want, as it changes daily. I don't want to buy early only for the novelty of a particular toy to wear off by the time Christmas day arrives and I get one of those 'why did she let father christmas get me this?!?'.

But if I leave it too late then I may not get the essential item from the hot right now list and that isn't even worth thinking about on Christmas morning. We try to only get them both one main present and a few silly bits so its even harder to work out what they want in the list of overprice plastic fantastic toys.

It's also a challenge since Bubba announced that she is a non believer...she even listed the reasons why the big man in red isn't really real.
  1. One man can't do all that work in the night - he'll get tired
  2. Reindeer's don't fly
  3. there are lost of father Christmas's and they all look different (this point has bothered her since she was little).
  4. Who gives him the money to buy all those toys for the whole world
  5. Elves don't make presents, I've seen them being sold in Sainsbury's
All this was whilst we were on a long car ride and at first I tried to talk her out of it and explain it was all magic but then I really got it. I asked if she still believed in the magic of Christmas (& she does), as long as she is happy with what she thinks and can go on believing in the magic of the season then who am I to try and convince her otherwise.

I just hope my boy doesn't keep trying to climb the Christmas tree because at that stage I reckon the Christmas list will be the last thing on my mind!
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16 Oct 2016

Easy Meals - Rock Cakes...rock

 ***These are going to be on our list for next week cooking - we always do a bit of baking during school holidays***

Recently we tried out our new oven by making rock cakes...they didn't last long.

Rock cakes are great to make with children and something my mum introduced to us (& Bubba). It's a proper get stuck in and get messy mixture which is perfect for little hands and you can't really go wrong, you mix it all together and put your rocks on the baking tray.




Here is the recipe:

8oz Plain Flour
3oz unsalted butter (or margarine)
3oz Sugar
3oz currants or sultanas
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
4-5 teaspoons milk

Method:
Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and mixed spice into a bowl. Rub in the butter and then add sugar, raisins and the egg (whisked). Add the milk until it's a fairly stiff (but still gooey) consistency. 

Put your rock like mounds onto a greased baking tray (don't go too smooth as they need to look rocky). Bake for around 20 mins (gas mark 7).

This is how I enjoyed mine

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12 Oct 2016

What the Heck! New Chicken Baubles

Last week as I sat feeling slightly down in the dumps in the supermarket car park I decided to have a quick Facebook look. Cub had just fallen asleep as I pulled into the space and I wanted to give him at least five minutes before I tried moving him.


I'm so pleased I did because I saw a post on Hecks page saying they had 30 of their new Christmas range to giveaway to the first people to email. So I got on it quick smart! I was a winner...

Three days later this amazing hamper arrived!

I was so pleased, we received some chicken baubles and some pork Ones as well as crackers, cheese, sauces and chocolates. I cannot wait to use these Heck balls at Christmas but for now we decided to try them in a few different ways. They definitely aren't just for Christmas!

So first up we had chicken baubles nestling on an aubergine boat. I cooked the Heck in the oven for 25 minutes and constructed it all afterwards. They are fairly fluid whilst raw but surprisingly ball like when cooked and they are delicately flavoured so very versatile.

We ate them with stuffed mushrooms and rice. The best bit is (seeing as I'm a slimming worlder) that they are 1.5 syns per bauble so they aren't breaking the bank.


They freeze well and so we used the last of them in a spaghetti  bolognese and again they didn't disappoint. They even had to compete with some smoked bacon lardons and they held their own.


Next we'll be trying the pork baubles so watch out as I'll try and incorporate them into some different meals.



So thank you Heck...we love them. 

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What the Heck! New Chicken Baubles

Last week as I sat feeling slightly down in the dumps in the supermarket car park I decided to have a quick Facebook look. Cub had just fallen asleep as I pulled into the space and I wanted to give him at least five minutes before I tried moving him.


I'm so pleased I did because I saw a post on Hecks page saying they had 30 of their new Christmas range to giveaway to the first people to email. So I got on it quick smart! I was a winner...

Three days later this amazing hamper arrived!

I was so pleased, we received some chicken baubles and some pork Ones as well as crackers, cheese, sauces and chocolates. I cannot wait to use these Heck balls at Christmas but for now we decided to try them in a few different ways. They definitely aren't just for Christmas!

So first up we had chicken baubles nestling on an aubergine boat. I cooked the Heck in the oven for 25 minutes and constructed it all afterwards. They are fairly fluid whilst raw but surprisingly ball like when cooked and they are delicately flavoured so very versatile.

We ate them with stuffed mushrooms and rice. The best bit is (seeing as I'm a slimming worlder) that they are 1.5 syns per bauble so they aren't breaking the bank.


They freeze well and so we used the last of them in a spaghetti  bolognese and again they didn't disappoint. They even had to compete with some smoked bacon lardons and they held their own.


Next we'll be trying the pork baubles so watch out as I'll try and incorporate them into some different meals.



So thank you Heck...we love them. 

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10 Oct 2016

Getting our Craft on

***With half term fast approaching again I thought I'd share this post again...some good little crafts for those days where you don't know what to do or you've exhausted all your usual things by 9.15am***

Bubba never used to like colouring, painting was reserved for when I has little time and after nagging, bubba would paint three dots and exclaim she was done.

But now, suddenly, we are all about crafting. She even likes to watch Mr Maker, previously shunned and she would cry when it came on because of the scary shapes.

Her works of art have intended recipients and I duly pass them on. Some have cracking titles when I ask her 'what is this about?'. So far we've had, for some glitter stars and hearts (given to granddad) "Horse in Battle". Goodness only knows where she got that gem from and it tickled me greatly so I now make sure I always ask what it is.
This is a happy shark
I raided the pound shop for supplies thinking they would last us the holidays. She went through them within minutes.

She has got creative, introducing other materials and even her beloved ponies got a look in.

She even now requests 'makes' and with ten minutes before bedtime the other night wielded these results from me. I'm fairly chuffed.

The only problem is what do I do with all this new 'valuable' works of art?
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