Tuesday, 8 September 2015

untucked shirts

my wee baby girl started school this week... well she started a week and a half ago but was only in for half days.  this week she was in for the full day and had to negotiate the lunch hall solo... i can barely believe it. where has those five fast years gone? so much has changed. so much has happened. in the blink of an eye.

there have been no tears.  a tightly held hand and a few lost looks. but no tears. i am not entirely sure if it is a good thing... well, it is. it shows she is confident and independent. it shows that i have prepared her for such a big step.
but i feel a sense of sadness, as if she no longer needs me. as if i have somehow been holding her back all these years when all she really wanted to do was to be out in the big world learning and discovering new things... but that's not true... yes, she is so ready for this. but at the end of a busy day playing with her new friends, she runs to hug me just as she always has... a look of sheer joy in her eyes. she holds my hand so tightly as we walk home, she skips and sings and tells me all about her day...

and so a new chapter begins.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

two ingredient pizza

i found a great recipe online the other day... two ingredient pizza. i have to say i was dubious... but thought i would give it a whirl.

pinnies on, hands washed, table covered. all set.

the kids love baking and so do i but it can get messy... a recipe which only needs two things is just perfect for small helpers!

one cup of natural yoghurt and one cup of flour. that is all. and look... delicious and yummy and easy and healthy... ish.

we used a bit more flour than the one cup as the dough seemed a little wet still and gave it a good kneed for about ten minutes, rolled it out and then added our toppings... red pesto, cheese, tomatoes, mushrooms, olives and chicken. i had pre chopped all the toppings and had them out so the kids could help themselves. they had a lot of fun and they ate every last bite!

Monday, 3 August 2015

quiet time

today we made relaxation jars... water, food colouring, a spot of gelatine and lots and lots of glitter...

and we used them after lunch to wind down.  it seemed to work! both the kids enjoyed watching the glitter settle to the bottom and then shake it up again and watch it settle all over again. sometimes i forget how simple things need to be for small children... they don't really need all singing, all dancing toys... the more basic and open ended the toy or project, the better. and this just proves it.

they stayed in their rooms for an hour quietly playing and it was only when they paired up again later in the afternoon that the fisty cuffs started up! oh well!

a few nights ago i introduced a new book to poppy, 'it's always there' by lou lou rose
it is such a lovely book, and just reading it through slowly and lying in bed with poppy made me feel calmer and ready to rest... poppy actually nudged me a little while later to tell me to get out of her room now as i was snoring! oops.
{the book is about a little girl who has a secret. the secret is her breath. whenever she feels sad or upset or worried she just focuses on her breathing and she feels better.}

i noticed poppy putting her hand on her tummy a few times today and i like to think she was being mindful of her breath. it certainly calmed her down in the moment.

i often talk about my emotional little girl, a five year old who feels things so strongly and so fully that she finds it hard to cope.
it is so frustrating as an adult to watch her and to feel so helpless. but i know this is something she has to work through on her own. i never want her to feel that she has to hide her feelings... or that there is anything wrong with anger or frustration.  feelings of all sorts are totally normal and we just need to find a way to deal with them in our own way.

i know that when babies are born, their brain is very basic and instinctual up to toddler hood. it is this time in a child's life that is so important... dealing with emotions in a positive way and re-programming the brain to think instead of react. it is hard. but when you see your child stop in her tracks and place her hand on her tummy to breath {where normally she would scream and yell and throw}... well, it just makes it all worth while.

tonight we will combine the book with the glitter jars and i am going to talk to her about feelings and how if you let them settle everything becomes clearer...

something i need to remember myself sometimes.

Monday, 13 July 2015

slowing down for the summer

a week in our house can often feel a bit like a whirl wind... it's all rushing to get to places, rushing back to eat, nap, use the potty... endless to-ing and fro-ing.

the summer holidays are like a big deep breath... a chance to slow down and take a moment.

i really am a keen believer in slowing down ~ seriously. even on the school run i {try to} take a moment to re-group before we rush out the door. i find it gives everyone a chance to catch up. to check themselves. to calm down. 
calm down. this is a biggie in this house. even when we have nowhere to be or time schedules to keep, we always seem to exude a certain air of mania.

i came across a book online where it teaches children to remember their breathing in times of worry or stress.  it is not a self help book or an educational book, it is a story of a little girl who has a secret. the secret helps her to forget her worries. the secret is her breath. focusing on her breath helps her to clear her mind of anything that is bothering her. it is very sweet ~ http://www.loulourose.net/#/eastward/

we are trying to incorporate a form of basic yoga into our nightly routine as it is becoming more and more of a 'dance' each night! in and out of each of theirs rooms fulfilling umpteen potty, water, itchy bottom requests. until we are almost falling asleep in bed together, crunched up against a wall with no covers and no pillow except a token stuffed animal 'to snuggle'.

so as it goes, we are still working on shortening the nightly rituals from 1.5hrs to 45mins {or thereabouts} i am sure the long summer nights are partly to blame.. or it could be me.
hard to say.

Friday, 26 June 2015

aloe gel review

i started drinking the aloe gel from forever living as i had heard a lot of good things about it and had been recommended it so many times... it claims to increase healthy bacteria in the gut to aid digestion, reduce seasonal allergies, aids the immune system to rid the body of toxins and it can also reduce irritability, fatigue and sleep deprivation.
it contains around 200 active components such as vitamins a, b1, b2, b6, b12, c, e, folic acid and niacin.

although there has been no extensive scientific research to back this up, there is a large following who swear by it as a daily supplement.

so, it tastes a bit bitter and it's best first thing in the morning on an empty stomach so it's not always the most appealing of supplements to take. however... i actually quite like it ~ i almost crave it every morning.  although, it was a good 6 weeks before i noticed any difference in my health or well being.

now, after taking it i feel really good, i cant say whether or not i feel better health wise, as i have been keeping fitter and trying to eat healthier.

overall, i am feeling much healthier ~ extra walking, keeping the snacking to a minimum and going to pilates every week has helped of course!

Saturday, 6 June 2015

pampering and preening

now that the kids are older and i have a bit more time to myself, i have decided to start doing more things for me... things that i used to enjoy before having kids.  i go swimming. i take a pilates class. i take long baths and as the evenings are getting longer and warmer, i have started taking the dog for walks after bedtime. we live near a fairly quiet beach, which is so lovely after a busy day rushing about.
so, with this new take on life ~ looking after me ~ i have invested in a few new beauty products.  i have incredibly sensitive skin so i decided to test a few before committing to buy. here are my favourite finds...

kiehls skin rescuer ~ i loved the kiehls counter, the lady was so friendly and helpful and really seemed to want me to get a product that worked for me {and not just make a sale} so she gave me lots of wee pots to try and this is the one that i liked the most.  it combats the daily stresses on your skin to prevent redness.  This is a big problem with me and i found this worked wonders for me. often i need to apply a moisturiser more than once to feel that it is helping my skin. this did the trick with one small application!
she also recommended using some water and a bit of rose essence in it every day as a facial spray/toner and i have to say this is the best bit of advice ever. i love how refreshed my skin feels and all for the price of a spray pump bottle from superdrug and a bottle of rose essence.

kiehls bb cream ~ again this did not dry out my skin, it made my face look even and smooth ~ any kind of tinted moisturiser or foundation has dried out my skin in the past, and i always ended up with dry flaky bits on my nose. but not with this cream.

forever living aloe bb cream ~ i love this bb cream, in fact this is the one i decided to buy {they are all similar in price} mainly because it felt so light on my skin but still gives it great coverage without drying it out. and it's an aloe product... and i love aloe!

temple spa be calm face mask ~ this mask is amazing as it is perfect for sensitive skin but it also exfoliates gently with fruit acids. it is such a lovely product, i use it once a week while soaking in the bath. the best part about temple spa products is that they are so niche that they don't make them in bulk meaning there is no need for parabens or other nasties.

i also highly recommend the kiehls centella calming facial cleanser, this was amazing to use and my skin felt soft and so clean afterwards. the forever living tooth gel is great too, it doesn't contain fluoride so is a great alternative, plus it actually makes your mouth feel so clean and fresh... even the morning after!

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

do it yourself

i am a big fan of make do and mend. & i love the idea of making something myself instead of buying it from a shop. presents for friends and family are often handmade... as are the cards of course. and i am starting to make products around the house too... this is all part of my back to basics plan. with the addition of some shop bought staples for good measure.

my seed bombs and bath bombs always go down well. and i recently made my own rose toner which is amazing as a morning, mid day slump spritz. but it is also great to set makeup, to soothe tired or sunburnt skin. to tighten and reduce wrinkles and it calms and acts as a mild astringent for blemishes... and all you need are two ingredients and a spray bottle {i got mine from superdrug}

fill with water {preferably distilled} and add a capful of rose water ~ or more depending on personal preference and size of bottle
and that's it.
simple yet effective.

for under the kitchen sink i have another spray bottle with vinegar and water in... great for cleaning and deodorising any surface {including carpets} add a bit of bicarb and you have a better spray than you can buy in the shops! plus, if you add an essential oil to the mix you will not only be adding a lovely scent to the room but you will also be upping the antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal qualities to your all-purpose cleaner.

this is my latest make do and mend project... three pairs of leggings fit for the bin = two good as new pairs of leggings!