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.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Eating Lamb?

Is lamb one of your favourite meats? If so, you will be pleased to know that there are a wealth of benefits associated with the consumption of lamb. Of course, this does not mean you should eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner! However, incorporating lamb into your weekly diet at least once or twice comes highly recommended. Read on to discover the benefits associated with eating lamb…..

Protein
First and foremost, one of the main benefits associated with eating lamb is that it’s a rich source of protein. This is why it’s figured in popular diets like the keto diet. You can read how the keto diet works here. As a result, you will benefit from an increased amount of energy support in relation to different body processes. This is because the amino acids help to facilitate energy production. 

Zinc
In addition to protein, lamb is also rich in zinc. In fact, an average serving contains roughly thirty per cent of your recommended daily intake. Why is zinc beneficial? Well, there are several reasons…. not only does it help to support the immune system, but it can also enable optimal taste and smell functions. 

Vitamin B12
Another reason why you should order a lamb dish when visiting a restaurant is because it contains Vitamin B12. This vitamin is crucial as it supports various metabolic processes in your body. It aids the reduction of harmful substances, such as homocysteine, whilst also helping to produce red blood cells. 

Selenium
Lamb contains selenium which helps to boost your immune system as it contains antioxidant properties. Consequently it can enhance thyroid functions, protect the body cells from damage, and facilitate the activities of several crucial enzymes. 

Iron
Last but not least, another benefit associated with lamb is the fact that it contains the mineral iron. This is a crucial mineral that is needed for the formation of red blood cells. Thus, by eating lamb you will increase your body’s level of energy and you will also aid your immune system. 

So, now you know all of the benefits associated with consuming this type of food – how should you eat lamb? If you’ve booked a table at the best restaurant in your area, you sit down and look at the various lamb dishes on the menu but you don’t know what to choose. How do you make your mind up?

The difference in taste all lies within the choice of cut. If you find a cut of lamb you enjoy, you are guaranteed to love the meal that is put in front of you. Leg loin is a delicious option. This is ideal when opting for a traditional roast. In fact, you will often find leg loin stuffed or rolled. A neck fillet is another recommended cut to try. This is ideal when enjoying lamb steaks or chops. If you are unsure regarding what cut to go for, you have the perfect excuse to try plenty of lamb until you make your mind up!


We’re going to Nozstock Festival 2019

This Summer we’re heading off to a new (to us) Festival and we can’t wait! It’s something we love to do as a family every year since we got the festival bug and this year will be no different… just a new place to discover!

Nozstock festival

We’re off to Nozstock – The Hidden Valley! Set among the ’emerald fields and the lushest Herefordshire countryside’, Nozstock was founded by a fun-loving family and their friends who were already hosting partied at their farmhouse very Summer so one year, they decided to make it more official and create an intimate festival that people can come to for escapism and to have the best time in a unique environment!

My children absolutely love spending a few days in the Summer going completely wild and feral, slapping on the glitter and donning all kinds of dressing up accessories! It’s the one time they can truly let their hair down! They love the live bands and dancing, joining in with various fun activities, staying up late, sleeping in a tent and eating outside! I mean… what’s not to love?

kids family festival

Nozstock offers something for everyone. If you want that hedonistic festival vibe, you’ll find it! It you’re looking to have family fun then the special designated family campsite and entertainment crew will ensure children of all ages are well catered for. ‘Little Wonderland’ is where little ones can be immersed in all things fun and magical!

I’m looking forward to a smaller festival this year. I like that Nozstock is family run and is held in the grounds of their home. It just makes it sound so much friendlier for some reason!

The line up sounds amazing too… Soul 2 Soul and Rudemental being among my top picks but there are is so much more!

We are very proud Ambassadors for Nozstock this year along with my fellow campmates who will make it even more amazing… Rocknrollerbaby, Modern Mummy, Mummy Matters and That’s the Way the Cookie Crumbles! We’re going to have a blast I’m absolutely certain of it!

Nozstock festival 2019 ambassador

If you fancy coming along to Nozstock – there’s still time to grab some tickets! It’s on from Thursday 18th – Sunday 21st July 2019. Prices are £135 for an adult weekend ticket which is an absolute bargain in my opinion and kids under 12 are free!

Please see Nozstock.com for more info and to buy tickets!

The Best Sports to Keep You Fit

Keeping fit is something people all over the world are struggling with right now. If you happen to be one of those people, know that you aren’t alone and there’s a solution that will work for you.

For many people, their saving grace has been finding a sport that they enjoy and makes fitness less of a daunting commitment. You may be wondering whether some sports are more effective for fitness than others, but the truth is that they all perform different functions when it comes to keeping your body fit.

If you happen to be a busy parent ready to use sports as a tool to keep fit, see a few you can try below.

Cycling

When thinking about sports that can help you stay fit, cycling should be at the top of your list. Not only will it give you a great workout, but it’s also ideal for any busy parent. Some benefits of cycling are that it helps meet the recommended physical activity guidelines and reduces the risk of illness and disease. Regarding what it does for the body, it improves your muscles and cardiovascular function. To make it something you can do with the kids and to encourage family fitness, consider getting everyone bikes and riding to school if it isn’t too far.

Swimming

For those who have a connection with water and find it soothing, another excellent sport to consider is swimming. It is such a great sport for fitness because it gives you a full body workout increasing the heart rate, helping you maintain a healthy weight and increasing your heart rate. This is also a child-friendly sport, so bring the kids along with you on some days.

If you happen to suffer an injury at the swimming pool that was no fault of your own, you should visit www.the-compensation-experts.co.uk as you may be able to get swimming pool compensation.

Tennis

In addition to the mentioned sports, tennis is another one that is capable of keeping you fit and getting you in shape. You don’t have to be a pro to play, and it’s likely that the more you practice, the better you’ll get anyway. Some health benefits are increased aerobic fitness, strength, speed and muscle toning and weight loss. A couple of reasons for this may be that the average player covers between 3-5 miles during the match and burns up to 500 calories per hour.

Basketball

For the more athletic kind or anyone who is up for a friendly competition, basketball is an ideal sport to try for fitness because not only can it be fun, but it physically works your body out as well. Some benefits of playing basketball are that it can boost your mental development which is something you need as a parent as well as its ability to build your cardiovascular health. You can usually find a basketball court somewhere in your local community and playing with your family on weekends may be fun too.

There are hundreds of different sports out there, so it’s left to you to find one that you enjoy the most. You could also play a range of sports to keep it interesting, so know you aren’t limited to a single one.

How To Learn a New Skill with A Hectic Schedule

When you have kids, it becomes tricky very quickly to find the time to do anything for yourself. While it is, of course, essential that you are there to support your kids, you should not neglect yourself, and it is important to find time to follow your own pursuits. One of the best things that a mum can do is to learn a new skill because this is a unique challenge which can be highly rewarding.

How can you go about finding the time to learn a new skill when you have a hectic schedule? 

Online Learning

In today’s internet-driven world, it has never been easier to learn a skill thanks to the endless resources online. It means that you can learn at a time to suit you, no matter where you are. There are endless resources online for learning new skills and even qualifications, so it should not be too hard to do, whether you are learning a musical instrument, learning a new language, programming, web design or any other skill.

Create Regular Time

You need to commit to learning a new skill by setting aside a regular amount of time throughout the week to do so. It could be an hour once the kids go to bed, while they are doing their homework or during your lunch break. If you are truly struggling to find the time, you could get up a little earlier in the day or stay up a little later. Alternatively, you may be able to use your commute depending on the skill.

Classes

Although online learning has many benefits, it can also be difficult to commit to it, especially when you are trying to learn in a busy household. This is why it can also be helpful to sign up to classes. If you wanted to learn Mandarin, for example, then signing up to classes at the Chinese School London will encourage you to make the time to learn. Additionally, many skills like this will require interaction and working with others, which is another reason why classes can be helpful.

Learn With Someone Else

Following on from this, it can also be helpful if you have a friend or family member to learn the skill with so that you make a commitment to learning. You could even learn with the kids as a fun family activity. By doing so, it can help you to progress because you will be learning at the same time, meaning you can help each other, talk about the skill and immerse yourself in it.

Set Goals

Learning a new skill is always a challenge, and it can be easy to give up if you have a busy schedule and you don’t see any results. It can be helpful to set small, achievable goals so that you can see how you are progressing as you learn. Doing so should inspire you to stick with it and carry on learning.

It is important for parents to spend time on themselves. One of the best ways to do this is to learn a new skill. No matter what skill this is, it can be hard to fit learning around a busy schedule, but hopefully, the above will help you to find the time and develop a new skill.

Tech presents for kids

It’s my twins birthday this weekend.. they’ll be nine years old!

Jeewiz how did that happen? It’s all going so quick I’d like time to slow down a bit please!

I still think of my twins as being about five or six… they’re only little and I guess with them being my last children… I do tend to baby them a LOT! They’re so cute and adorable and love cuddles and being with Mummy but what I’ve noticed with them, more so than with my older two, is that they don’t play with TOYS as much. They have loads of toys but they’re not interested in them at all really.

All they want to do is play on their gadgets and devices.

tech consoles ipads

They are obsessed!

I know this isn’t unusual in this day and age though… it’s a universal phenomenom we’re dealing with here as parents and although I do restrict ‘tablet’ time I don’t find it that much of a problem. It’s a sign of the times, kids need to be clued up and tech savvy in today’s world and actually, having these devices to play on certainly does have it’s advantages!

Most importantly, it means they’ll be quiet, especially if I’m needing to work as they’re so absorbed. It’s like they’re not even in the same house as me, barely moving at all until a last minute toilet dash or to eat! Also, by playing some of the games they download, they can all play together, which means they’re interacting and communicating, getting along nicely, rather than doing their own thing or even worse…. fighting!

So for their birthday this year they’ve asked for tech presents of course. On their rather extensive birthday list there’s not a single toy which is a bit sad… apart from maybe Squishes, which they have already!

xbox one

At the moment they have a PS3 that they play on but obviously, despite lots of games they have and still use regularly, the PS3 is now obsolete. They have the Nintendo Switch which they love and have asked for new games for but they have been asking for a new console for a while and it seems EITHER the PS4 or the XBox One will do! They’d have one of each if they could but they seem to be leaning more towards the XBox as this will be something completely new and the one that most of their friends have!

My eldest son had an Xbox. The old version he’s had it for years and still uses it! He’s not that into gaming so he hasn’t hanckered after a new one but I know he too would love it if we bought the XBox One S!

After reading up on it, this super machine not only provides exceptional family gaming but also has the Microsoft Windows userface (which I’m used to) and has the ability to do so much more in terms of entertainment experiences.

I’m sold anyway on this so even if we don’t get it for the twins’ birthday… it’ll still be on the wish list for Christmas and we’ll definitely buy it then! There’s absolutely no point in buying lots more toys…. they’ll get SOME of course but if they don’t play with them it’s a waste of money! They’ll get far more use out of the Xbox whether we like it or not!

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