Wednesday, 30 December 2015

resolutions and aspirations

today poppy and i were chatting about new years resolutions... what they are, what it means etc etc. she was really interested and wanted to make some of her own but found it tricky to think of something... i mean it's all 'get organised', 'keep fit', 'lose weight' with us adults, huh.

i decided to give her a wee check list {oh how i love a list!}

i have kept this full size to be delightfully helpful so you lovely readers can print it ~

we got to chatting about happiness and i told her about a blog i read {} where the girl {age 6} had said something like ~ "i decided i was going to have fun long before i got here..."

and i just love that idea, that you decide to be happy.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

nine day detox - day 7~9

day seven ~
i made crepes today for our 600 cal meal and they were really delicious... making things from scratch is the perfect way to know exactly what is going into your body.  if i take anything away from this experience it will be to be mindful of the food i eat. to eat clean. reduce the amount of processed, artificial and refined food that we as a family consume. we are pretty good at that as it is, but there is a part of our diet that could really do with a bit of a blitz - snacking!
i am loving the shakes as well, we will definitely keep this part of the c9 going... this and the gel.

day eight ~
today i made a big pot of dhal for our evening meal, with a few home made chapatis... these are just wholemeal flour and water {no salt or yeast} and then a small amount of oil to fry... i used coconut oil.
reaching for fruit or a glass of water instead of a chocolate biscuit or packet of crisps has been the most amazing thing for me ~ i am learning that i don't really need the quick sugar fix... that i am eating more out of boredom or habit rather than need. so by swapping the delicious treat for a healthier choice has really reduced my snacking so far...

day nine ~
i made it! i did the full nine days!
we get to have a small lunch today to wean us back into eating three meals! i made vegetable soup and for our evening meal we had lamb chops with spinach and mushrooms.

i, surprisingly, enjoyed the whole process and learning about the foods i eat and the effect it has on my body.
the lack of caffeine has had little or no effect on me at all, it just proves that i don't 'need' it. drinking tea and coffee was just a habit for me and i am sure that i will continue to keep my caffeine intake to a minimum from now on.
i have also noticed that my appetite is much smaller and i actually stop eating when i am full... instead of continuing to pick at food until it is all gone... from mine and my kids plates!

if i keep our portions small i am certain that this habit will continue as well!

and here are my results {apologies for the grumpy face ~ not a fan of showing my tummy far less in front of the camera!}
... a total of 6inches all over and a weight loss of 8lbs ~

all in all, c9 was a complete success for me and one that i highly recommend for anyone with a bit of weight to shift, or bad habits to change.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

nine day detox - day 4~6

day four ~
definitely getting better! i don't feel as hungry all the time and i also don't even feel as though i miss tea and coffee... i thought about cheating and just having a wee sneaky decaf when at the soft play with the kids today. when i got to the counter to order, i just didn't feel like a coffee.
the c9 works!
i did a fair amount of walking today with the pram and with the toddler in the sling and i didn't feel too tired or lightheaded despite not eating much... i had my lunchtime shake with me and i just sipped it as i went along.
my 600 cal meal was a big bowl of home made vegetable and lentil soup with some seeded bread and a wee bit of butter... i felt full up really quickly and the soup warmed me up as the weather has been freezing the last few days.

day five ~
i really want to snack.
for my evening meal i had pitta parcels with lettuce, minced beef and mushrooms, tomatoes, garlic and onions... and a cheeky sprinkling of parmesan! it was really tasty!
this evening was tough again as i really felt like i wanted cake and crisps!
i have also noticed that although it is taking me a wee bit longer to fall asleep at night, i am sleeping deeper and better so feel more revitalised in the mornings and the school run is amazing with my shake in hand! i am loving it so far! but i am also really looking forward to eating whatever i want, whenever i want to!

day six ~
not long to go... over half way!
i had lasagna and a big salad for my evening meal and felt really full up even without my usual double helping of garlic bread! 
my stomach feels tighter and flatter, my chins are receding...
but i want to make it known...
i didn't need to loose any weight - i am a healthy 9ish stone so i was really looking for the cleanse aspect of the c9... i want to learn to eat clean... make better snacking choices... and just feel better about myself.
however, loosing the extra baby weight around my middle, that has snuck up on me over the last five years, has been a huge confidence boost.
the clean eating has removed the eternal sluggish feeling i used to have...
i feel energised and healthy and i love it!

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

nine day detox - day 1~3

i have noticed a distinct lack of waist these last few months... a bad habit of evening snacking taking on a whole new level {i ate a packet of pork pies one night after my pilates class}
so, i decided to do the nine day forever living aloe vera cleanse - c9 for short. here is how i got on...

day one ~
i took all my measurements and weighed myself and noted it all down in the special booklet that came in the pack.  this wee booklet is packed with ideas to help you with the cleanse, but it also has step by step tick~boxes to make sure you keep to the plan! which has been really helpful in motivating me to keep going ~ making notes as you go along is a great way to keep you focused on the task at hand!
so, the first day was tough ~
breakfast was two garcinia tablets, 120mls of forever aloe gel and one forever therm, with plenty of water!
the garcinia cambogia is a tree native to southeast asia, the fruit from it is known to help reduce the conversion of carbohydrate to fats, lower cholesterol and aid metabolism. 
the therm tablets are full of vitamins, nutrients and botanicals to reduce fatigue and aid metabolism.
the gel has numerous beneficial properties; a rich source of nutrients, it provides the perfect supplement to a balanced diet.
for snack i had a drink {diluted down fruit juice}with some of the forever fiber dissolved into it. yum.
lunch was the same as breakfast but you get to have a forever lite ultra shake, which i mixed with 300ml of skimmed milk and added frozen berries, it was delicious!
the powder is packed with vitamins and minerals it is great as a meal supplement or as a protein shake if you are trying to build muscle.

the evening meal is just two garcinia tablets and 120mls of gel...
so, not a lot of food consumed today & i am definitely noticing a low level grumble in my tummy almost constantly. but it is okay because the c9 program allows you to eat as many free foods throughout the day as you need to keep hunger at bay.... free foods are things like apples, peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, grapes etc.
just before bed i got to drink another 120ml of the gel ~ which i am mixing with the forever berry nectar as i prefer the taste of that {the kids and i drink it everyday already so my stomach likes it!}

day two ~
today was the same as day one, again, not much food consumed today either! but on the whole i feel okay!
felt a little light headed this afternoon but an apple and some grapes helped tide me over til my evening meal of aloe gel and suppliments!
tonight was particularly tricky as i had a parents committee meeting and there was wine and snacks on offer... i was very good and managed to sip on a water instead. i can't wait for tomorrow when i can eat an actual meal! ooh... what shall i have?

day three ~
so, this is where it gets exciting! i was allowed a shake for breakfast alongside my garcinia, aloe gel and therm tablets... i made it with bananas and took it on the school run. i felt very energised this morning, really keen to get on with the day!

my evening meal was to be 600 calories. i had slow cooked lamb with kidney beans and lots of veg on a bed of pasta, it was so good! i felt full really quickly... but then i just wanted to keep eating... i wanted to eat cake and crisps and have tea and biscuits! it was like i had opened the flood gates!
i managed to resist and had a carrot instead!
really noticing that i am wee-ing a lot more than usual! must be the detox working... i have also noticed my skin working hard to repair itself ~ a few little dry areas appearing as it flushes out the toxins.
i got to measure myself again today and alongside a few lost inches i have noticed a real change in my shape! {i will post all the stats at the end!}

*disclaimer ~ the above links will take you to my FLP selling page.

Monday, 23 November 2015

slow cooker ~ lamb

this recipe is so good... it takes eight hours in the slow cooker but that just means that once you have prepared it, you can leave it to cook until your meal at night.

so, first off i scored the meat and pushed some crushed garlic and rosemary into the 'pockets'. then i browned the meat, a quick fry on all sides in a hot pan.

into the crock pot it goes

using the oil from the pan, fry up some chopped shallots or onions until soft.  pour in a slosh of wine {*this is obviously optional but delicious!) a cup of stock {homemade or cubed} a handful of bay leaves and a few sprigs of rosemary. bring to the boil.

once the liquid has reduced by about a third, pour it into the crockpot.

cook for 6hrs on LOW. then turn the lamb and add in a tin of flageolet beans {or any bean you fancy really! except baked beans... although i reckon they would be pretty tasty too!}

cook for a further 2 and a quarter hours on LOW.  the lamb and beans may not be covered entirely by liquid during the cooking process but that is okay :)

let the lamb rest for 10mins and serve with the beans and sauce with some sauteed potatoes and plenty of fresh steamed veg.


Friday, 23 October 2015

ooh aloe

i have posted about living simply and using natural products where possible, i have posted about aloe vera before and about it's many uses but the more i read about it and the more i use it, the more it amazes me!
you don't even need any fancy products off the shelf... you just need the plant! slice the leaves length ways to remove the inner gel.

it has been used as part of beauty regimes for over 6,000 years... cleopatra used it on her skin, the native americans call it the 'wand of heaven' and egyptians, the 'plant of immortality'.

so, i decided to make a list of all it's amazing uses ~

topically for skin conditions such as eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, pigmentation, sunburn, dry skin and frostbite.

use the inner sides of the leaf as a biodegradable body scrub in the shower.

aloe gel, when drunk, may serve as a treatment for heartburn, ulcers, digestive discomfort, osteoarthritis, diabetes and treating the effects of radiation therapy. i would recommend this be bought from the shop in the form of an aloe drink.

when drunk it can also reduce cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar levels

it can be warmed in a bowl of hot water, and inhaled as a vapor for treatment of asthma.

makeup remover.

reduces bruising

aloe can even replace your hair conditioner.

prevents itching from bug bites.

aloe is able to kill bacteria as well as speed wound healing.

the clear gel inside the leaf contains over 75 different key nutritional compounds such as mineral, vitamins and amino acids.

it is anti-inflamitory, antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic.

and i use it for almost all of those things in one way or another! i drink it and i use it as a toothpaste, a hand wash, a face cream and an antibacterial hand gel... lip balm, shampoo, conditioner...

visit my forever aloe fb page for more information on the products and where to buy them...

Saturday, 17 October 2015

sticky fingers

today i decided that we would make fudge! chocolate fudge! of all things, this recipe could not be more messy and sticky and delicious... even if it tried! oh so delicious!

and, if you have a slow cooker... oh so simple...

pour one can of condensed milk into your crock pot, add two big bars of chocolate {the cheaper the better, believe it or not!} a tbsp of vanilla essence and a tbsp of butter. set the oven to high for an hour and check on it every ten mins or so to give it a stir and make sure everthing is melting together.
pour into a tray and leave to set... we added some mini smarties to the top... you know, because it clearly needs more sugar!

this makes some really tasty washing up {licking the bowl and spoon of course} which was obviously a high point for the two small helpers i had... but the waiting for it to set was almost too much to bear! for all of us!

this cuts well, it's soft, it's sweet and it tastes just like the kind you would buy in a shop. this is going to be a staple in this house!

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 ~

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!


Sunday, 12 April 2015

it's okay... you're fine

i am the first to admit that i have a kid who has big emotions. one who feels things so strongly that the world ceases to exist in that moment.

to me, sometimes, that thing that triggered that emotion, can feel like an over reaction. melodramatic even. that in actual fact, everything is okay.

but it is often not okay. those are real emotions. real feelings. autonomous.
a broken biscuit is as important in their world as a broken favourite mug is in our world. so, why, because we feel it is an over reaction, does that make it so...

one thing i know is how i feel when something goes wrong or something doesn't work or someone doesn't notice something... i know i feel angry. deflated. hurt.

in that moment, i don't want someone to tell me it's okay. that feels patronising. i don't want someone to do it for me. i can do it myself.
lately, i have wondered what the correct response is... what the most helpful comment would actually be...
is it to say ~
'it's really tough isn't it?'
'it is so annoying when such and such breaks when you are trying to do something' and i could say... yeah, it is.

for almost five years i have tried to see things from this perspective... the eyes of the child. the eyes of someone who is experiencing an emotion for the first time. the fear. the feeling of being out of control.

i take a breath... a step back. i observe. i offer my help. i acknowledge. i empower.

i still have a child with big emotions. but i hope in the following years i will also have a child who accepts anger for what it is. sadness and frustration as normal healthy emotions... i hope to have a child who also knows how to control these feelings. to accept them and to channel them in a way that is healing. not to bottle things up and allow them to fester.

it is easy to 'shoosh' when the volume increases. or to say it's okay when it clearly is not okay. to try to calm a situation when calm is not possible.

i am playing the long game. it is hard... but so rewarding.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

disconnecting to reconnect

it seems a cliche but it is so true... sometimes you really have to disconnect from life a bit in order to reconnect.

every year we try to get away for a few days off the beaten track with little or no electricity and no access to mobile phones or laptops.  it used to be wild camping, just me, my husband and our dog.  then kids started arriving and now it is more glamping than roughing it! but the effect is still the same...

so this year is our ten year wedding anniversary and we decided to do something really special. just the two of us. so the kids and the dog got a lovely spoilt rotten trip to granny and grampas and we headed north...

sam found this lovely remote self catering converted wagon on the banks of loch voil in the trossachs - pilot panther

we had all weathers but with our cosy blankets and the log burning stove we barely noticed... even when it started to snow on the last day.

pilot panthers location also has the benefit of being a five minute walk from the amazing monachyle mhor with it's fine dining and luxury accommodation.  so we retreated there one night for our evening meal and again for breakfast on our last morning. delicious.

and okay, a sneaky use of the hotel wifi...

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

reduce, reuse, recycle

this year i have decided that we need to be more organised, more waste aware and fitter.

lately i feel like we have slipped back into a world where i didn't think about consequences of my actions.  we are so caught up with daily life that i find myself doing whatever option is easiest ~ putting the extra few cartons of milk in the bin to save me going downstairs to the recycling boxes. buying a bag of apples instead of buying them loose... i have even stopped using my cloth nappies and wipes.

you see, my sons skin is very sensitive. we really only use eco eggs and occasionally a bit of lavender oil for fragrance but lately his nappies have been causing very sore nappy rash so we stopped for a while... but that while has become a month... almost two.

i missed the freshly washed smell of washing. i missed the clean smell of bleach ~ these have all snuck back into my cleaning cupboard.

i just want to get back to my frugal self... i want to be that person again! so the challenge is on... will keep this blog updated with my progress...

so far i have got out the cloth wipes, cotton hankies and nappies.  i have made a huge batch of bath bombs for the kids baths ~ method

feeling better already!

Saturday, 10 January 2015

we moved house

we were busy bees this summer, we managed to pack up home and move near the sea... just like we always wanted.

it's a bigger house with a bigger garden. and we are five minutes walk from the sea, poppy's school, all the main shops and cafes and an amazing play park.  it has been the best decision we have made so far {except the decision to have children of course... and to get married... ok, the third best decision}

so we have been busy moving and filling our home with stuff and most of all we have spent a lot more time doing things... so many projects... so many crafts!

during the move we decided to de-clutter. everything. and we also decided to make the things we already had, nicer! so plenty of up cycling going on here too!

first of the projects was the kids craft cart. we decided to collect all the broken crayons together and make nice new shiny ones...

step one ~

fill a silicone baking tray with all the ends of crayons (wrappers off) you can make them all the same colour/shade or you can go multicoloured.  melt them in the oven for about five ~ ten minutes on 180. and leave out to cool {i found that giving them a stir at this point stopped the wax and colour separating}

step two ~

tip them out!