Children · Cockapoo · Family · family time · friends · horse riding · horses · January · making memories · motherhood · Parenting · Uncategorized

Weekend round-up and an unscheduled day off!

Today is an unscheduled sofa day. My T was poorly last night and so it’s meant a day off work and Pjs all day for her. She is on the mend now so normal service will be resumed tomorrow but that doesn’t stop me feeling guilty about not being at work. I don’t have a very important job with the most important part of it being training new staff, Today there were three starting. Fingers crossed their first day hasn’t been a complete disaster and at least 2 of them come back tomorrow for me!

Until then it’s Alice though the looking glass on tv, blankets,cuddles and a recovery day.

The rest of the weekend was actually really great; with Scott being away all weekend we had a lovely time just us two.

Saturday- T went to a party for my friends little boy and I had a nice time catching up with the Mum’s there. Then we collected some balloons for Louis birthday celebration on Sunday and spent the afternoon inside away from the rain before watching Zootropolis with homemade lasagne and garlic bread.

 

Sunday- T went on a hack as an extra lesson today which she hasn’t done in ages because of her usual lesson time now being in the dark. She was so happy to be going out and even though she found it tough to keep her pony in line at times I think overall she enjoyed herself.

Sunday afternoon we headed over to my in-laws and got ready for Scott’s son Louis surprise 18th birthday get together. T really enjoyed helping set up the balloons and banners and even made him a card which he really was greatful for. We had a lovely time and embarrassed Louis a good amount with the customary singing of happy birthday as soon as he walked in the door and lots of baby photos! A great end to his weekend of a zombie run and go karting!

 

 

I hope you all had a good weekend, i’d love to hear what you got up to,

Lou x

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body confidence · challenge · Children · Cockapoo · confidence boost · dogs · exercise · Family · fitness · friends · Friendship · happy · Husband · January · making memories · positive thinking · reflection · Uncategorized

7 things that have made me happy in 7 days

As my posts have been a little up and down this month I decided I wanted to write something uplifting and I’d encourage you to do the same. These are just 7 little things that have made me happy in the last 7 days. When I came up with the idea I decided it didn’t matter if they were big or small or if they happened on the same day, if it made me happy for a moment I want to remember it so here goes! 1. Having a family get together for my neices 8th birthday. We all met at my sister in laws for her birthday tea, her and T wore pretty dresses and played with the new Build a Bear clothes we bought for her and everyone ate chocolate cake, plus there was a family plank challenge where all the kids planked and T and Amber managed 2 minutes! It was a really fun afternoon. 2. After a testing few days at work this week I spent Wednesday evening watching Scott race a timed mile at the local track. It was sooooo cold but luckily he’s quite a fast runner so was in the first heat and did his mile in 5.24 with a great sprint at the end! I was really proud of him having only 3 people out of about 30 come faster than him. Obviously he’s a runner and he’s never happy with his performance and can always find ways in which he could improve next time but to see him doing so well made me happy anyway 😊 3. My Poppy. She really is the most loving, adorable ball of fluff and getting in from work the other day she was simply overjoyed to see me! I know it sounds cheesy but I can’t think of any other way to say how much she brightened my day so I let her jump into my arms and we had a big cuddle. As much as she is a monkey at times I really do love her to bits. 4. Excercise with my girl. So this has been ongoing since the start of January, we have worked out 3 times a week every week and this week after upping the amount we do she finished the workout by saying “yes, best workout ever!” It makes me so happy to see her enjoying excercise this much and boosting her self esteem at the same time. She will always be my beautiful girl but if she starts to think the same of herself after this then it’s all worth it😊 5. Buying lots of healthy and delicious food for my family! It’s no secret January is a toughie, I’m sure it is for most households but with Christmas then Ts birthday straight after and Scott’s son Louis with his 18th in Feb things have been tight. So payday finally came around this week and I spent a small fortune on lots of lovely things to eat and make yesterday! We have still been getting the fruit in but yesterday we made passionfruit yoghurts and T was so happy! Now to cook lots of exciting nutritious meals this week 😁 6. New hair day! January has been an up and down month for me but this boost has come just at the right time. It’s been a good few months since I had anything done with my hair and it has made me feel so good! It’s a treat I worked over time to pay for and I have to say the extra hours were so worth it! It’s not just how I feel when I come out but I also have a really lovely hairdresser that I can chat away to the whole time I’m in there,any woman will tell you a good hairdresser is worth their weight in gold 😁 7. Spending time with good friends. Yesterday I had a friend over for tea and cake and a good chat. We only saw each other the day before while waiting for our girls to have their ballet class but decided it would be nice to do something that isn’t just because we have to be there! We had such a lovely time just relaxing listening to music and eating cake! Then after school I hosted a play date for T and 3 friends while their Mums stayed and chatted with me. They are good friends I just haven’t seen in a while and it was really good to spend time with them. I’d love to hear what has made you happy in the last 7 days, however big or small. Thanks for reading Lou x

Changes · dreams · Fears · health · January · Mental Health · tired · Uncategorized

My Irrational Fears

From a young age I’ve always been scared of the dark. I would have screaming nightmares where my Mum would have to come and calm me down in the middle of the night and was terrified to sleep without the hall light on.

Fast forward 30 years and I’m still that person. Although I no longer sleep with the light on I still have an irrational fear of the dark. If the lights are suddenly turned off without me expecting I either get angry or my heart races to my mouth and my breath races. Our house is very creaky as it’s warming up and cooling down and these noises are bearable if I’m in a lit room with other people but at night in bed my head turns them into the sound of someone walking along the hallway. It’s always someone walking towards our bedroom in my mind, this is why I’ve never been able to sleep with my back to the bedroom door. I need to be able to see what is coming.

Still all these years later these thoughts will keep me awake for hours and end up with me becoming terrified of nothing. Too scared to let go of the covers but melting with how hot I’ve become. When I finally fall asleep I dream. These are vivid dreams of either someone in the room or something in the bed and I don’t just dream, every once in a while I will wake up screaming full pelt and my husband has to calm me down. Either that or i will jump out of the bed in my sleep and start checking it for whatever was in it in my dream that night.

These nightmares don’t last for long and sometimes don’t amount to full on screaming but just waking with a start with my heart racing. These times I don’t wake Scott and mostly just lay there scared until I fall back to sleep again.

This is something I’ve had since I was a child and I’ve honestly no idea how to stop it. I’ve never talked to anyone about it or looked into anything that could be the trigger or might help and I’m writing about it here for the first time because I’m ready for it to stop now.

I know these fears are irrational and as a parent I would explain the same to my daughter were she to have them but how can I when I’m still having them myself?

Blogger · body confidence · Friendship · happy · health · January · Mental Health · mindfulness · philosophy · Uncategorized

Life is better

Life is better when you have people to help you through. We aren’t meant to live life alone, We are social creatures who were given the mental ability to be able to interact with other human beings on complex levels so why struggle on your own?

It’s so easy to look at other people’s lives and think of the differences and reasons you shouldn’t interact but what about looking for reasons you should? When you are feeling negative about life or suffering with low self esteem or aniexty it’s all too easy to sit at home alone and feel like that is the best option . After all why would anyone want to talk to you if you are feeling so low, they are far too busy off doing exciting things to want to spend their time talking to you right?

Wrong! Talking to people makes you feel better, fact. Even if you talk about other things You don’t have to talk about the elephant in the room, your aniexty or low self esteem but just talking and relaxing in the good company of others will make you feel human again. Laughing,enjoying yourself, spending time with people who genuinely care about you is a positive thing and you will benefit from it!

Shutting people out when you are feeling fed up is easy to do, you may feel like your problems are small, unimportant or that others are just not interested but I assure you there is someone out there that is. Whether they listen and give advice or come up with solutions that work around your situation and make you feel better without realising, seeing people is good for the soul.

Friends are friends for a reason, just remember they may have problems, niggles or just general moans they want to get off their chest too and even if they don’t they may do one day so don’t feel like you are a burden, a failure, moaning for no reason or have problems people can’t or won’t help with because spending time with people really does help. Like they say laughter really is the best medicine so laugh, joke, have fun and forget your worries if only for a few hours.

A child's perspective · body confidence · Changes · Children · confidence boost · exercise · fitness · goals · Healthy eating · healthy parenting · Hygge · January · motherhood · Parenting · Uncategorized

Workout update and our new Hyggekrog!

The start of this month saw a new workout routine for T and me. We both felt a little unfit after Christmas and T had started to get a little hung up on her tummy area so I knew as a Mummy it was my job to make her feel better. 

We started our workout jar on the 4th January and have now done 7 workouts together! T is really enjoying getting active with me and looks forward to picking the excercises for the evening and even really puts effort into them! 

She was infact enjoying it so much we decided to get her her own little kettle bell and she was so happy! 

We seem to have got into a little routine with the evening so she knows when we are going to do the workout and how long for, being a creature of habit like me she loves a plan! From the first day when she didn’t know what a burpee was and got upset she couldn’t do them to earlier when she shouted ‘yes!’ When burpees came out of the jar and did them double time I’m just amazed! 

Don’t get me wrong I’m not pushing myself to my full potential with 3 sets of 4 excercises but I can feel it the next day and it’s not about me. This is about getting T to feel more positive about herself and the more we do the more she will be able to do and still enjoy it. In my mind there is no point in pushing her to do 5 or 6 sets when by set 5 she isn’t enjoying it and ends up resenting the sessions, It’s needs to be a gradual thing. 

We have also started chocolate days again, we have chocolate two days a week and this week its today and Saturday. All the selection box chocolates are now away in tubs in the cupboard and we have great fun choosing what to eat on chocolate days 😊 Today T had some of her chocolate reindeer and an after eight mint from the reading nook, I will come onto that in a minute. 

Our packed lunches have seen a turnaround from Christmas too when they mostly consisted of cheese and buffet food! Our favourite lunches have to be these wraps at the moment. We stuff them full of ham or chicken then lots of salad and have them with chopped peppers on the side and fruit, they smell so good we just open the packet and want to eat them! 

Last week I followed a Jamie Oliver recipe too and made us jar salads for lunch. Oh my word they were so good and super easy! The wholewheat pasta with a little tomato,basil, chilli and lemon juice whizzed up and spooned over really complimented the rocket and tuna and the wedge of lemon to squeeze over at lunch time really made it! Well worth a try if you are looking for a quick and healthy lunch! 

So onto our reading nook, in my post about Hygge I mentioned creating an area that was great to relax and unwind in. Somewhere we could go and relax while reading a few pages of a good book and watching the world go by. Well I didn’t waste any time and using what we had around the house and shed I created our reading nook! 

It has been a big hit with T who has been in it every day since I made it! She will sit there while I’m cooking dinner all cosy under the blanket and read one of her new books and at the weekend she even had lunch there! 

One of the perks is when it’s chocolate day and you read in the nook you can have a chocolate from the box, I feel somewhat like Miss Honey from Matilda but hey! We love our little calm space so I’m pleased I made our little Hyggekrog and can hopefully add to it over time. 

Thanks for reading!

Lou x

body confidence · comparison · January · philosophy · positive thinking · reflection · Uncategorized

Human nature or obsession?Β 

It’s apparently only ‘human nature’ to compare yourself to others. To look at someone else and think how you would like their hair or gym body. To be able to eat as much as they do and never put on a pound or to have their car, salary, confidence or even family relationships.

Nothing in life is handed to us and we all have to work for what we have so why do we insist on comparing ourselves daily to others around us? Whether it’s something small or big I can count at least 4 times so far today I’ve done it and that’s a good day. If it’s not in person it’s online, it might be to people we never even meet, to an online profile we don’t know is even real Instagram is a great one for that. 

It’s everywhere, in the workplace, school playground, friendship circles, everyone is doing it and if you are really on the bandwagon you will do it when you are on your own too! 

It’s true, I don’t need company to compare my life to someone else’s, I will either tell my husband or just keep it inside that I’ve made this comparison. 

Sometimes it will fester in my head and I won’t be able to stop thinking about how they have this and I have the other. How my life is different to theirs. I have a great life, I’m in a stable job, have a loving family and supportive friends yet still I can’t help it and neither can everyone else I know. What I don’t know is if it bothers anyone else as much as it bothers me.

Do they simply allow it to filter in and out of their brain or do they let it linger and eat away at them as I do? I wish I could walk round in a little bubble not letting anyone else’s lives or achievements bother me but it just doesn’t seem possible. Until then I will try, try to make a conscious effort to be less consumed by what others have/don’t have and more led by what I am trying to achieve for myself and my little family. After all life is too short to worry about what everyone else does with their lives, it’s upto us to make our own path and enjoy what we have instead of wishing we could walk in everyone else’s.

Changes · happy · home · homemade · Hygge · January · mindfulness · mood · Open fires · positive thinking · Uncategorized

Getting a little Hygge in my life

For Christmas I got “The Little Book of Hygge”, it was something I had seen a while back and just really liked the look of reading and it has not disappointed! It written by Meik Wiking who is from The Happiness Institute in Copenhagen, that itself sounds interesting to me!

Hygge is a Danish concept which believe it or not they take the whole book to fully explain but could be anything from sipping hot chocolate with a warm jumper on in front of a fire to having a picnic at the beach with your family on a summers day. With the Danes regularly coming out top in the poll of the happiest countries in the world I was interested to see what they do differently and it turns out this concept is something I really want to try!

This is the Hygge manifesto to give you an idea:

  • Atmosphere – Turn down the lights, light candles and have low lighting.
  • Presence – Be here now. Turn off the phones.
  • Pleasure – Coffee, chocolate, cookies, cakes, candy!
  • Equality- “We” over “me, share the tasks and the air time.
  • Gratitude – Take it in, this might be as good as it gets.
  • Harmony – Its not a competition, we already like you, there is no need to brag about your achievements.
  • Comfort – Get comfy, take a break, its all about relaxation.
  • Truce – No drama, lets discuss politics another day.
  • Togetherness – build relationships and narratives.
  • Shelter – This is your tribe, this is a place of peace and security.

The book not only gives you examples of Hygge activities throughout the seasons but also recipes to try along with how you can make your home more Hygge and even what you need to make a Hygge emergency kit which is one of my favourite ideas so I thought I would share with you:

Hygge Emergency Kit – this is to be stored up for those evenings when you are low on energy, have no plans, don’t feel like going out and are in the mood for some quality time alone.

  • Candles
  • Some good quality chocolate
  • Your favourite tea
  • Your favourite book
  • Your favourite film
  • Jam
  • A good pair of woollen socks
  • A selection of your favourite letters
  • A warm jumper
  • A notebook- to write in all the Hyggelige moments you have experienced in the last year, this will help you remember them and create more.
  • A nice blanket
  • Paper and a pen
  • Music
  • A photo album

I’m also looking forward to creating a little space to call my Hyggekrog- this is a nook in a kitchen or living room where you can snuggle under a blanket with a book and a cup of tea. As long as there are cushions and you can watch the world go by from there it can be your go to place when you want to be snug and cosy for a short time. I don’t have a bay window to make it in as many Danes do but I have a few corners of rooms that are currently empty and could do with a cosy seat and some low lighting and who doesn’t like buying a new blanket and cushions! For furniture to be considered Hygge it has to be rustic, and have charm, glass, plastic and metal are not considered Hygge. If the piece of furniture has some memories attached that is even better and it does not need to cost a lot, any element of nature or something that is slightly vintage is great for Hygge, it’s all about how things feel, a bookcase filled with books or a nice teapot or vase on the table along with candles and anything made out of wood are all perfect for your Hygge home.

So I started off today with a Hygge lunch, I was really cold after coming back from meeting a friend for coffee so decided on soup but I thought why not light candles even though it is only me at home. Not only did they make me feel warmer while I waited for the house to heat but it gave my lunch table a much cosier feel, that along with listening to a CD I got for Christmas I ended up not feeling like I was alone at all.

Now I’ve finished the first book I’m moving on to his second book which I also got for Christmas “The Little Book of Lykke” which explores happiness around the world.

Overall I feel I’ve got some really great ideas from this first one about what is important and what it actually takes to make you feel happy, believe it or not when asked what makes them the happiest the Danes placed Facebook at the bottom of a list of 15 items with the top three coming out as;

  1. Hot drinks
  2. Candles
  3. Fireplaces

Life is so much about our phones, social media, and TV, not to mention money playing a huge part in how happy people think they are. This book just explains how a whole country of people are living life feeling really satisfied with their lives by prioritising the right things and I like that.
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Adult braces · Dentist · health · January · Orthodontist · positive thinking · Uncategorized

Adult Braces- first check up of 2018

So it was that time again today, back in the chair. As much as I come to look forward to these appointments so we can move on with the treatment there is also a tiny amount of dread in my mind for what new device will be fitted to my teeth this time! 

Today was fairly manageable in comparison to some of the appointments I’ve had over the last year and a month. There were two brackets taken off the bottom front teeth and two new ones put on in slightly different places. This will hopefully even my bottom teeth out as they are all slightly different lengths at the moment. 

My coiled spring type device on the bottom was removed as the tooth that was so out of line last time is now right in line with the others which I’m really pleased about. 

Along the top we are still moving my teeth into the gaps at the sides where my extractions were, the left side is moved enough but once the right side has moved she will start to align the front top teeth exactly where she wants them. 

So this time there were no chain links on the front top teeth which means I can eat tomato soup and curry again 😁 the bottom teeth have no crazy wire covers or spring links on which means I’ve left the orthodontist today looking more “normal” than I have in months! 

I’ve had quite a few problems with wire cutting my inside cheeks these past 6 weeks. Today it’s my bottom front lip that has a large sore part so I bought some wax from the ortho in a cute pink box to help me get over the fact that I’m still using the stuff over a year in! 

A couple of people have commented over the Christmas period, mainly due to the amount of photos that are taken, but how much T is smiling with her teeth out now. This was one of the main reasons I started this whole process, my little girl was refusing to smile with her teeth out in photos because Mummy never did. Now I’m so confident in my teeth I’m already smiling with them out even though they still have braces on and so is she! 

I would never have believed that would be happening if you had told me a year ago.

Keep on with your appointments anyone who is going through this because although it may be slow going it’s 100% worth it!

Bye bye nasty coiled spring device on the bottom row!

Hello relatively normal looking teeth!

Cockapoo · dogs · January · Love · Uncategorized

Poppy’s new year cut!

So Poppy has got a little fluffy over the festive period, party due to us wanting her a little longer because of the cold weather but partly due to the groomer taking two weeks off at Christmas. 
Poppy has had just as good Christmas as us if not better, as when does a dog start feeling guilty about how much they have eaten and start to excercise again? Cut down their calorie intake and eat more fresh fruit and vegetables? Spend less time lounging infront of the roaring fire and more time getting out of breath doing exercises you haven’t done in weeks?

Nope, dogs have no shame. They eat, excercise,play, and chill out just as much as you let them. Their whole life is defined by you and they feel no guilt over any of it! This is how Poppy manages to stay chilled, happy Poppy all of the time, unless it’s walk time or she wants to play pulling with her toy then she reverts to 4 month old puppy stage and we have to indulge her crazy cockapoo energy for a while.

Today is groom day for Poppy and she can finally see where she is going again, my attempts at trimming round her eyes are passable but I won’t ever make a dog groomer!

I think you will agree she looks adorable both fluffy and short but shorter is most certainly easier to manage in this wet weather! 6 weeks and she will be back under the clippers, this pooch now gets her hair cut more regularly than me! πŸ˜‚

Ladies and gents I give you Poppy pre and post first 2018 cut! 

Birthday · Children · Choccywoccydodah · family time · January · London · London Eye · Parenting · Uncategorized

Just a little birthday trip to London!

So for T’s birthday present we decided to take her to London. We went just the two of us last year to see Matilda and we had a great time so we decided to do the same this year. All our family give her spending money for her birthday with it being so close to Christmas she never needs anything so she takes it to London. 

This year Scott came too and we decided to visit the science museum. It really was fantastic, there is so much to see and do and T was in awe of the huge rockets suspended from the ceiling at the entrance to the space zone! 

We looked at everything from how energy is made to the first airplanes and trains.

It really was so interesting looking at all the different levels and T even got excited about how many materials we use in the home when she saw this massive piece of artwork! 

I can’t recommend it enough for FREE And something really different to do for a few hours, we even took our own lunch and ate it there! Of course we spent a little time in the souvenir shop afterwards but I was even impressed with how reasonable that was when T only spent  Β£4 on 2 items!

Our next stop was the London Eye! We did have to queue for this but it moved really quickly and it was nowhere near as busy as it can be. It was T’s first time on the Eye and she loved it! She took lots of photos on her new camera and enjoyed going so high up! 

From here we went to Hamleys toy store. This has been a favourite place of T’s since we first visited last year and Scott had never experienced it before so we had to go. It is honestly like another world in there, it’s like a cross with a bustling London market with stall traders all competing to sell their wares and the biggest most wonderful toy store you have ever been in! Of the 7 floors we spent the longest on the Build a bear level as T decided she wanted to make her own bear.

It really is such a cute process, You chose your bear then a sound for inside, name it, stuff it and put a little heart inside then it’s off to the outfit section before finally creating a birth certificate and buying a little travel bag for your new companion!

The rest of the shop really is worth a look even if you aren’t buying just to see the giant Lego structures and of course the star wars floor πŸ˜‚

Carl the camel will set you back a cool Β£1500!
From here we popped into Choccywoccydodah, a quirky little chocolate shop and cafe that I visited for my birthday in November and T really wanted to see.

This is something I spotted on the underground which really made me smile and our day ended up living up to.

The final place T wanted to go was Platform 9 3/4 so we went and the queue was crazy! There was no way we were going to make it to the front before our train came so I had a word with a lad who worked there and said we were there for T’s 8th Birthday is there any way we could get a bit closer as she would be so sad if we didn’t get a photo. He came back and whisked us away into the Harry Potter shop right to the front of the queue and announced to the photographer that she was a VIP and should go next! 

We couldn’t believe our luck and it made T’s day 😊

And so our happy little Gryffindor caught the train home with two exhausted parents after a wonderful day in London 😊