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 ~

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!

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

car seat battles

my two year old is a happy little man, an easy going and cheerful chap that is so hilarious and charismatic that he charms everyone he meets.  but this is not always the case. oh no.

we have bedtime battles, sippy cup battles, car seat battles and hold my hand while we cross the road battles. not often. but they do happen. and my little happy chappy turns into a teenager. strong willed. passionate and determined.

a battle of wills will usually commence.

until one day i decided to wait.

it was raining, it was nap time, we were in the car. he managed to take his arms out of his straps. i asked him to put them back in or we would have to pull over.
he said no.
i pulled over. i asked him again.
he said no.
i leaned back and offered to do it for him.
he cried.
he wrestled and he stood his ground.
now, i know why he was doing this. he was incredibly tired. overtired. he wanted to sleep. but he didn't want to be in his car seat. he wanted his cot. not an option in the middle of nowhere.
i tried everything i could think of to make him put his arms back in the straps so we could get moving and he could nap. i even tried to {gently} force his arms in myself. he is strong.
so i sat back in my seat and said ~
'i know you are having a hard time getting comfy in your seat for naptime, when you feel ready, just let me know and we can get going again. we cant drive if you don't have your arms in the safety straps'

and i sat... i am pretty impatient, so this was hard... it was a good ten minutes until he calmed down. but he did and he put his arms in the straps himself and said ~ 'i'm ready now mummy'. i drove off and within a minute he was sound asleep.

i should add... we no longer have seat belt battles.

Monday, 27 April 2015

pinterest parties

i had some friends round for drinks and a pamper party this weekend. i had a good look through pinterest for ideas and as always it didn't disappoint. i got a great idea for gin cocktails using herbs and edible flowers. they looked and tasted amazing... i froze the edible flowers {i used pansies, viola and flox} in ice cubes, for best results i found cooled boiled water worked best and i froze the cubes in two parts so the flowers floated. the cocktail itself was a shot of hendricks gin, a shot of elderflower gin, a tea spoon of rose essence and a sprig of thyme. oh, and some tonic! if you dont have elderflower gin then there is a lovely elderflower tonic that would work just as well...

and then there was the birthday party for the five year old! can leave out the preparations for that one!

the safari passes were printables i found online and the binoculars were toilet rolls with animal print duct tape wrapped around. pretty basic stuff!

the pinata was bought ~ i thought about making one but really time ran away from me and a trip to tescos ticked that off the list!

the cake i made with two batches of batter, one white and one chocolate... then i layered the batter in dollops one on top of the other to make the stripes in side the cake.

the party favours were just old jars that i collected from friends, i glued an animal to the lid and painted it then i filled them with the crayons ~ i had thought about sweeties or marshmallows... but thought there was enough sweet treats going around!

my favourite part was making the crayons... i have done this before here but this time i got to use lego moulds! and i love lego! who doesn't? so i collected all the crayon ends i could find... i even begged some from friends and family {i had a lot of jars to fill!} and melted them down... it was like i was making a miniature army! and they turned out better than i had hoped

i had plenty of games planned including the usual musical statues and musical bumps... but had to find a use for the binoculars... so we went on an elephant hunt to find dung! this was just flour, water and some old coffee grounds formed to make a dough, i then hid an insect inside {toy insect!} and baked them in the oven for ten minutes...the kids then went on a hunt to find them in the garden {luckily the weather was nice!} and cracked them open to see what was inside! fun.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

a four year old turning five

my baby girl is five. five.


i can't believe it. where did all that time go? i miss that tiny newborn face, those tiny fingers and toes. i miss the feeds late at night and in the early morning all snuggled in bed together half asleep. i miss her little feet pushing up to standing and learning to walk. her first shoes. her first words.  she had so many words.
i can barely remember her little voice when she first started having conversations.

she is still the same little girl, i can see it in her eyes. in the way she still holds her rabbit close at night and the way she reaches for my hand when she feels insecure.

we had to have a birthday party for her of course! and we had to let her choose who to invite... and what theme to have... and what kind of a cake she would like...

we had a jungle adventure

safari passes and binoculars for all the guests, jungle themed snacks, a monkey pinata and animal party jars filled with home made lego crayons to take home. {i will do a how to post soon!}

it was a lovely day and we all had a great time ~ even daddy admitted that it went really well!