How to maintain your personal style after becoming a Mother

Becoming a mother is a unique and life changing experience. All of a sudden, your free time will be filled with feeds, snuggles and baby baths. Many new mums will struggle to feel themselves for some time after giving birth. As well as changes in your weight and body image, mothers will struggle to sleep and function normally. You may feel like there isn’t time in the day to look after your image, but when you look good you feel good, and maintaining your personal style will do wonders for your mental health and physical appearance. To help you on your way, here is how to maintain your personal style after becoming a mother.

Plan Your Outfits

Once your baby is asleep, all the bottles have been washed, you have been fed and the house is clean, all you will want to do is get some rest. While this is encouraged, styling your look before you go to bed will minimize stress in the morning and you will be dressed well the next day. If this feels too overwhelming, then you could plan your outfits for the whole week on the weekend instead.

Treat Yourself

It can be hard to remember to treat yourself when you have a new life to care for. However, treating yourself to items, like a Jacquemus bag, will give you something to look forward to and will make you feel great when you’ve got it. Fortunately, shopping for a Jacquemus bag can be done easily at SSENSE who have tons of designer items in stock to help you find exactly what you are looking for.

Change Your Style

As a new mum, you will need to consider changing your style. This doesn’t mean that the clothing you buy has to be stuff that you don’t like or that makes you feel older, you just need to find a style that suits your new lifestyle and will make you feel comfortable throughout the day. For example, tight clothing could make you feel conscious about post-baby weight and can make it difficult to maneuver.

Eliminate Clutter

Now you have figured out a new style, you will need to make room for your new items of clothing. As well as creating space, eliminating clutter will make you feel more organised and  prepared for your new life as a parent. You don’t have to throw away things that you love and aim to wear in the future, but you should let go of stuff from different phases of your life or that you just don’t wear anymore.

Make an Effort

Making an effort is key to maintaining your personal style after becoming a mother. It can be easy to throw on old, comfortable clothing and leave your hair a mess. However, taking a quick shower, styling your hair, putting on a light layer of makeup and wearing decent clothing that is comfortable will make you feel much happier and more confident about your image.

Feeling happy in your own skin is key to a cheerful and positive attitude, which is essential now you are a mum. Looking after yourself is just as important as looking after your family.  

Our lockdown so far….

I haven’t written much on my blog for a while but thought I’d document a bit of our life in lockdown so far. After all, these are unprecedented times and when it’s all over, I’m sure we will look back on it in disbelief. That’s if we get to the point where it’s ‘all over’. Who knows? Maybe things won’t ever go back to normal… maybe there’ll be a new normal on the other side of this.

We are now into week 9 of lockdown and for me, it’s absolutely flown by. Yet there’s been a massive mixture of emotions during this time.

The media reports, in the first couple of weeks especially, were bringing home the enormity of the Covid-19 pandemic. Watching it take a hold of the whole world was frightening. Countries like Italy struggling to cope with the thousands of deaths was devastating to see, followed by Spain. Then came the speed of the full lockdown here and schools closing all making it very real indeed.

My children found it difficult to come to terms with, that last week of school. Everything was quite confusing with no clue given as to how long this could go on or if they would be going back to school at all before the end of the academic year! My daughter was upset that she wouldn’t be going to school or seeing her friends for ages. She was worried about her work and falling behind, with her GCSE’s being next year. She’s year 10 so an important year. She felt upset too for her year 11 peers who were distraught that they would miss their last few weeks ever at school.

My little twins are in year 6, their final year at primary school, so if lockdown goes on for a few months they will miss everything that that last term entails – leavers assembly’s , parties, fun and all the goodbyes! The realisation of this among their class mates and teachers made them all extremely emotional. It upset me too.

On top of that, there’s the virus. The daily briefings from the Government became a must watch to see how the virus was progressing and to ensure we were doing the right thing to avoid catching it… like socially distancing, washing hands etc. Life just suddenly ground to a halt with no one being allowed out unless it was absolutely essential. We were told we mustn’t mix households which meant family and friends couldn’t see each other. The streets and roads were deserted. It was very eerie and unsettling.

But we got on with it and a week or two in and it was like we’d almost forgotten about life beforehand! The twins were basically on school holidays… their school said they weren’t going to start setting home school work until after the Easter holidays, although they were given ‘suggested’ work to do, like reading or websites to look at if we wanted to. We did the odd workbook here and there to break up the days and keep them away from their devices for a bit but nothing major. My daughter did have home school work set which she just got on with and did at her own pace.

Spring was suddenly upon us and it was a blessing. The sunshine has a habit of lifting the spirits and we could start enjoying the garden again. It made being stuck at home more enjoyable.

Up and down the country families started going out for the Governments’ daily allowance of exercise of one hour, and taking a daily walk, but socially distancing from anyone else of course. Two meters is the guideline. We ventured out too together, not every day but it was nice to get out as a family. People would cross over the road to stay away, or walk round each other to comply with the distancing. It was strange. Really strange.

I started running (well, fast walking and a bit of running!) and I’ve been loving it! Sometimes I take the kids to get them out of the house and enjoy the good weather, otherwise I go on my own. This is not something I would do if it wasn’t for being in lockdown.

As time has passed we’ve just been set in our own little bubble and eventually stopped watching the news and daily briefings that were practically the same every day anyway. It became depressing seeing the number of deaths being announced then the fiasco with the care homes… it was all doom and gloom, plus I didn’t want the kids seeing it either.

We’ve been lucky I guess that Scott or I didn’t have to leave the house to work so we’ve been able to almost ‘hide’ at home with the kids and feel relatively safe. But every time either of us has to go out to do some food shopping I find myself being terrified of other people and germs. I’ve become ridiculously paranoid, having disinfectant wipes in the car and scrubbing my hands. Even wiping every single item of shopping religiously too with the wipes before I put it away. I just think we can’t be too careful. People with the virus could’ve touched the packets before us couldn’t they?

I haven’t taken to wearing a mask though. I did try but just couldn’t stand it. It itched my face which meant I wanted to touch my face even more than I would normally, and that’s been one of the major factors in spreading the virus… touching the face. So instead I find myself barely breathing as I navigate the supermarket as fast as I can, giving other shoppers an angry glare when they don’t distance properly. Actually I’m surprised I haven’t had a huge row yet… some people! In the earlier days shops seemed stricter and shoppers were staying the required (or as much as they could) 2 meters apart. But as time has worn on no one seems to care as much and it aggravates me. I just try to get around the supermarket as fast as I can now so I can get back home!

Homeschooling has been a bit of a chore for us. The school set work each week starting after the Easter holidays but it wasn’t compulsory. They know each family is different and it was a case of if you can then try, if not just do what you can. We looked at past Sats papers as the boys would’ve been doing them had school not stopped. From doing this I could see big gaps in their knowledge base, especially in maths, so I devised a plan to practice these rather than do new work set by their teacher. We’ve used workbooks that we’ve collected over the years from having two older children and also joined Twinkl, an homeschooling subscription website that waived their monthly fee for anyone who signed up during the pandemic. This is a wonderful resource which we have used but the boys have struggled to get into their schoolwork and I must admit to doing the absolute minimum some days! Oh well.

Technology has really come into it’s own. Oscar and Hugo have been able to play online with their friends.. mainly Fortnite, which they love… I mean what boy doesn’t? Even though I have to drag them off after a while otherwise they’d happily be on it ALL day, I think it’s a wonderful way to stay in touch with friends and have fun at the same time! This has been so important during this time – they need those connections. Poppie too has played Minecraft online, as well as downloading Netflix Party in the very first week! It does come with a downside though… we often find ourselves having to sensor what we say in case someone has their headset on when gaming (they can hear everything!) or is Facetiming (they can hear and SEE everything!)… urgh, so annoying!

We’ve been out clapping for the NHS every Thursday without fail! I remember the first time this happened and seeing the coverage on TV… it gave me goosebumps. The overwhelming gratitude we all feel at this time for our NHS heroes, putting themselves in danger on the front line every single day. But not only them, all the keyworkers who have kept the country ticking over while we are all in lockdown. It’s opened our eyes as a nation. We are now acknowledging these (low paid in most cases) workers who have become our most important at this critical time. I hope we will continue to see and appreciate them when all this is over. Their efforts must be recognised. We mustn’t forget.

The worry never leaves us though. Coronavirus is like a black cloud which we can try and ignore while we’re all at home getting on with various things, but it’s there. The worries about how long it will all go on for. Scott needs to get to work sooner rather than later. Will the children go back to school before September?

We’ve heard Boris announce that the first slow steps to easing the lockdown are coming next week. Realising the stress of being out of work for over two months, the Government has advised those that can’t work from home they can go back to work, as long as their work place have social distancing measures in place. People will be able to have unlimited outside time, instead of the one hour a day currently, and can meet with one person too as long as it’s outside, socially distancing. We will also be able to ‘drive’ somewhere for the first time too, meaning we can go further afield for our walks.

We are absolutely going to take advantage of this by going to visit my eldest son who has been isolating with his girlfriend at her parents B&B in Whitstable. I’ve missed him loads but I know he’s better off being there as they have their own little apartment within the B&B and it’s by the coast. His girlfriends’ sister and brother are also there and they’re all very close in age so much more fun! We will of course have to social distance.

It will feel very strange driving somewhere further than the supermarket after all this time but I can’t wait! I need to see my boy. I’ll be nervous though, being out and about, especially having the kids with me, but we will be very careful.

Then it will be back to the new (for now) normal. Staying at home and, fingers crossed, staying safe.

3 Important Rules To Follow When Designing A Child’s Bedroom

Your child’s bedroom is so important because it’s a space that they can call their own. Kids need their own space, especially as they get older, so you need to think carefully about their bedroom design. A lot of parents don’t know where to start when furnishing and decorating a bedroom for their child and they make a lot of simple mistakes, which means their child does not get the most out of their room. But as long as you follow these simple rules for designing kids’ bedrooms, you can’t go too far long. 

Make It Easy To Clean 

Kids make a lot of mess, so it’s vital that you make their room easy to clean. Avoid lots of soft furnishings and carpets because they are just going to get stained when things are inevitably spilled in the bedroom. It’s best to go for laminate wood flooring which is easy to mop so you can keep on top of the cleaning. You should also invest in some wipe clean paint that won’t rub off if you use cleaning products on it. This paint is a little more expensive, but you’ll be glad that you spent the extra money when the kids draw on the walls and you can just wash it off instead of painting the whole room again. 

Include Plenty Of Storage

Kids are prone to making a lot of mess and, although you can’t avoid it completely, you can try to keep things a bit tidier by including plenty of storage in their room. You will need a sizable chest of drawers to keep all of their clothes in but you need to make sure that you have storage for all of their toys as well. Otherwise, they will end up all over the floor. Some simple plastic boxes are ideal for storing toys and even though they may not look the best, they’re an easy way for your kids to keep their toys organized and tidy. You should also try to make use of the space underneath the bed if possible as well. This will give you a lot more storage space without taking up any floor space, so they still have plenty of room for playing. 

Use Neutral Colours 

Kids’ tastes change so often and even though they might tell you that they want a bright pink princess themed room right now, they may change their mind in a few months and decide that they hate it. That’s why, unless you want to decorate every six months, you need to choose neutral colours for the walls. These basic walls will then serve as a blank canvas for other decorations. You can let your child put up posters and pictures as they choose, so they can design the room in any way that they want. Then, when their tastes change, it’s easy for them to change the decoration in their room accordingly. Your child gets more freedom over their bedroom design and you don’t have to worry about decorating all of the time, so everybody wins. 

When you are designing your child’s bedroom, it is important that you follow these important rules. If you can do that, you should be able to design the perfect bedroom for them. 

*Collaborative post

Shopping for a Wedding Guest Outfit

A wedding is a wonderful occasion, and it’s always touching to be asked to be part of someone’s special day. However, for a lot of wedding guests, attending the celebration can potentially cause some financial strain. If you have to travel far for the wedding, you will need to pay for accommodation as well as fuel. On top of this, there are the expected wedding presents to be purchased, an appropriate outfit for both the ceremony and reception, plus other expenses. Some things you can’t avoid paying out for, but you can save money on clothing.

Buy One Thing

On these occasions, it’s tempting to buy entirely new pieces to put the outfit together. This is where shopping can get expensive, and it really isn’t necessary. If you want to wear something new to the wedding, try to only buy one item. Firstly, look through your clothes to find something that is suitable for the event, whether that’s a dress, blouse, skirt, etc. When you go out shopping, buy a pair of new shoes or a jacket that will match what you have chosen. It’s a simple way to spruce up what you already have at home, and won’t break your budget.

Look for Deals

If you don’t want to spend a fortune on your wedding outfit, but still want to look as though you have, take the time to search for deals. A lot of these discounts can be discovered via online websites who specialise in promotional deals. You can find many big name brands on them, for example, such as these New Look discount codes. There might also be the opportunity to shop during the season sales and grab yourself a bargain that way. Additionally, there are always designer outlets that offer discounts on their clothes.

Will You Wear It Again?

A classic problem with buying expensive occasion-wear is that you might not have an opportunity to wear it more than once. Although it might be tempting to purchase a beautiful evening gown, ask yourself, “will I ever wear it again?” Be realistic in your answer, as although there might be potential for special events in the future, fashions do change. You might not be as keen on this particular style in later years. Choose timeless designs, but also something you could wear at less formal events – like a birthday party or another more frequent celebration.

Hire an Outfit

This option might not appeal to everyone; however, it is a viable way of saving money on a wedding guest outfit. This is especially true if you see no occasion in which you will wear it again and don’t want it taking up any space in your wardrobe. Although, you need to be extra careful not to spill anything on them, or damage these hired outfits, as you will be charged.

Naturally, you will want to look your best at a wedding. It’s nice to buy something new, but it shouldn’t cost you hundreds of pounds.

Are You Ready To Bring Home A Puppy?

Introducing a new family puppy is definitely exciting, however, it can bring all sorts of stress and anxiety for both you and the puppy. This means it’s important to make sure you put the right steps into place to prepare for your new arrival. Becoming a new pet owner, means you have the responsibility of ensuring the transition into the family home goes as smoothly as possible. It will help to minimise stress and quickly warm them into becoming one of the family households. 

Before you bring your new puppy home, there are some things that you can do to be properly prepared.

Food And Water Bowls 

It might seem like this is quite a trivial matter and that just any bowl will do, however, the best type of bowl that you can use is heavy-bottomed stainless steel or ceramic bowl. Plastic bowls are tempting, especially to a puppy but you will find that they are quickly turned into another chew toy. This can create a haven for bad bacteria, leave them with damages to their gums or teeth and could make your new puppy rather poorly. Not only this, these bowls are much easier to clean and less likely to be knocked over, resulting in less mess. 

A Safe Environment 

Although you might want your new puppy to feel as though they are part of the family and probably have images of them snuggling with you on the sofa the first night, in reality, your puppy is going to be extremely nervous and uneasy in its first week or so in your home. This is because they are getting used to their new environment. If you have kids this new environment is likely noisier than they are used to too. You need to be able to provide your puppy with a safe and quiet environment where they can retreat if they feel as though things are getting a little too much, using something like puppy pens is ideal. These are also the ideal place to put your puppy whenever you leave your home, not only does it ensure their safety but it also prevents any damages to your home. 

Grooming Essentials 

Grooming is a great way for you to bond with your puppy, and getting them used to being brushed is something that will build up trust. Not only that it will mean that they’re well looked after, as they’re bound to get into some sort of a mess at some point, especially when exploring the outside for the first time. Think about getting a home grooming kit that includes a decent brush, nail clippers and dog-friendly bath wash. Some people choose to use a professional dog grooming service, however, having a kit at home for emergencies is essential for looking after your new puppy. Puppies have a habit of getting into mischief and that usually results in the need for a bath! 

These three areas will help you get ready to bring a new puppy home, do you have any other tips that you can share in the comments? 

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Three Energy-Saving Tips to Help You Afford a Little Extra Heat

Creating a cozy home this Christmas doesn’t have to mean cranking up the thermostat. That said, you might like to have the freedom to heat things up now and again for a little extra cosy factor. Whether you’re eco-conscious or on a budget (or both) these tips could help you snip some off your energy bill here and there, giving you a little extra leeway this winter.

Lower Your Thermostat When You’re Not at Home

Lowering your thermostat temperature when there’s nobody home is a no-brainer if you’re looking for ways to reduce your energy use, without impacting your lifestyle. If you’re home during the holidays, you won’t be able to take advantage of the regular nine-to-five schedule of the working week, but you may still find opportunities to schedule temperature decreases throughout your holiday period if you have a holiday line-up of activities planned ahead. You can manually reduce the temperature before you walk out the door, but you may not always remember. Unless it’s an established habit, it’s better to rely on a pre-set if your heating system allows. A system boiler may have a service timer, meaning you can set a range of temps to suit your needs at various times of day according to your family’s schedule.

If your holiday period includes a few days away on holiday somewhere else, take advantage of this time to save on your energy use. Turning your thermostat down for even a few days will make a big difference. Just bear in mind that the thermostat should be high enough to prevent the pipes from freezing.

Run Cold Washes

While many of us choose to run hot laundry cycles as standard, this is not strictly necessary. Most of your family’s regular-use items will wash clean with cold water. What’s more, your clothes are likely to last longer if you wash them cold than if they are subjected to hot temperatures on a regular basis. If your usual laundry routine involves hot washes, you could save up to 90% of the energy you normally use by running cold cycles exclusively. Of course, a hot wash might be necessary on occasion, especially for muddy clothes or soiled items, but it can be useful to group those things together for a hot wash once per week, rather than setting the cycle to hot as your default. The occasional warm cycle shouldn’t make too big an impact if you’re making a conscious effort to stick to cold cycles the rest of the time.

Avoid Using the Dryer

Regularly using the dryer is one of the most reliable ways to guzzle energy. While it may sometimes be necessary, especially for heavy items in winter, you can save a significant amount of energy by only using the dryer as a last resort. Other indoor drying methods may take a little longer but they can be effective if you arrange your space right. For example, hang your clothes on a drying rack in a room with a dehumidifier running. A dehumidifier uses relatively little energy and can dry your clothes overnight. Heated drying racks are another great option. Hot tip: place a bed sheet over the top to trap the heat!

If you plan to spend the Christmas season at home, these tips will help you save a little extra on your energy bill so you can crank the thermostat up when it counts.

Creating a Cozy Home This Christmas

Christmas is fast approaching. You might already be shopping for gifts or planning your home decoration. The streets are lined with lights and other displays, Christmas music is playing in stores and festive markets are thriving. If you’ve got kids, you might be planning fun events like visiting Santa or going ice skating, and letters to Santa might already be written. 

One of the best things about Christmas is getting cosy at home. Nothing beats cuddling up on the sofa in our PJs with a Christmas movie on Netflix. Sipping hot chocolate and indulging in our favourite festive treats. It’s warm and comfortable, and part of the season that most of us love. 

But, sometimes, getting cosy at home is harder than we’d like it to be. If your home is cold and sparse, or your rooms are particularly large, you might struggle to feel warm and cosy. You might even have a hard time filling it with Christmas cheer. So, let’s take a look at some of the things that you can do to create a cosy home this holiday. 

Add Some Texture

Texture is a crucial ingredient when it comes to creating a cosy home. Add texture with cushions, heavy curtains, throws and blankets, and rugs on engineered wood flooring. Try to use different materials, such as velvet, wool, and cotton, and include some reflective surfaces to maximise the effect. Colour can also add the appearance of more texture. Use multiple shades of the same key colours in your decor, layering them to add depth and texture to your rooms. 

Keep it Warm

It’s almost impossible to feel cosy and comfortable when you’re cold, and there’s very little worse than being cold when you are at home. Be sure to get your boiler serviced, bleed radiators if they need it, and invest in, or make draught excluders. Add throws and blankets to your sofa, and don’t underestimate the power of a hot water bottle and slippers. 

Use Festive Shades

Christmas and cosy go together like peas in a pod. So, make the most of the connection even before you decorate for the holidays. Add accessories and soft furnishings in festive shades such as red and dark green. 

Add Lighting Options

Lighting can have a massive effect on the atmosphere in our rooms. Bright overhead lights can make even smaller rooms feel open and spacious. Dimmer, soft lighting can have the opposite effect. They can make a room feel smaller and more romantic. If you want a truly cosy atmosphere, nothing beats candles and fairy lights. 

Bring the Outside In

What’s the first Christmas decoration that you think about? For many of us, it’s the tree. So, why not bring more of the outdoors in to create a more festive atmosphere? Bring natural elements in with wreaths and other displays. 

Make the Most of Festive Scents

Most of us have scents that we associate with Christmas, as well as colours and decorations. These scents can help your home to feel more festive, as well as cosier. Think mulled wine and cinnamon, winter spices, vanilla, Nordic pine, and other Christmas favourites. 

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