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?

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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 😊

A child's perspective · ambition · body confidence · Changes · Children · Cockapoo · exercise · family time · fitness · Healthy eating · healthy parenting · January · kids activities · scafell pike · Uncategorized · walking

New Year Fitness GoalsΒ 

So the new year means new fitness goals, December saw a lot of slacking in the excercise department and as is customary an over indulgence in Christmas food. The result is a body I know can improve on and don’t feel completely confident about, Thank goodness for cold weather so hoodies and jumpers can cover the Christmas excess!

So we have a holiday in 6 months and this is every reason to start the fitness regime again now! That and the fact that I want to climb a mountain this year, hopefully Scafell Pike which I’ve written about before here. I really ramped up my walking last year and walked more miles every month until my finale in August where I walked over 80 miles in one month!

I plan to start walking more again and also tracking my miles again weekly. The only issue with this is I can only fit so much walking in before work and on my days off so as soon as the days start getting longer and I’m no longer coming home from work in the dark I will ramp up the walking and Poppy and me will start getting out for longer walks again!

I’m also going to restart my kettle bell ab workouts again twice a week. I follow a great DVD which gives me a 25 minute workout that focuses solely on your core and the excercises really do work, I used the same DVD for my holiday last year and also my honeymoon and I’ve never felt fitter so I just need to focus on completing this twice a week for now and will step it up in a few weeks.

T and I have also set ourselves a little fitness plan, now T has a little belly which she has always had and it doesn’t bother us and hasn’t bothered her much either until now. She eats well, has ballet and horse riding as her hobbies and is very active at school and with her friends but we have never been able to shake this little belly. About a week ago she got upset when it was just me and her because it was more visible in the top she was wearing than usual, I told her she was beautiful and no one would notice or even care but it was clear she needed more than that and so the fitness jar was born!
In this jar we have a a selection of excercises some more high intensity and others are more toning based excercises, There is everything from burpees to lunges from star jumps to over head press. We have colour coded them red for the harder ones and green for the easier. So the idea is we take out two red excercises and two green excercises every day we are together, usually 5 days a week, and complete each one for 30 seconds with a 30 second rest inbetween then repeat twice more.
Now I know this is no advanced HIIT workout but it is getting us out of breath and we are making small steps to making us both feel better about ourselves.

We have also limited our chocolate intake to just two days a week again. This is our usual routine after any big chocolate event, Easter, Christmas, Halloween, just so us and T don’t eat it every single day. T has decided chocolate days are Tuesday and Saturday this week so every other day we will ignore the piles of selection boxes and goodies that have arrived over Christmas and treat ourselves on Saturday!

Our diet will also involve less buffet food, cheese and crackers and Pringles now Christmas is over so I am planning to post some photos of the healthy recipes we try out too!

So all this said I’m ready to kick start my fitness back into action and make these changes!

Thanks for reading

Lou x

Birthday · January · Love · making memories · motherhood · Mums · Parenting · reflection · Thankful · Uncategorized

Today my baby girl turns 8

Today my baby girl turns 8!  8 years ago today I saw those big eyes looking up at me for the first time and I have been completely in love with them ever since. Somehow my squishy faced chubby cheeked little baby is growing into a funny, clever, loving, thoughtful and determined little lady. I love every minute I get to spend with this beautiful little human whether we are watching dvds, spending time as a family, walking Poppy, creating arts and craft projects, baking or just tidying up! Somehow this little human loves routine, planning and order as much as me and enjoys nothing more than a good sort out of a cupboard! Her determination and perseverance to do well in her school work and hobbies is something I am so proud of and the good friend she is turning out to be is the reason she is loved by many not just her family. 
All this said her cheeky comments and fun sense of humour keeps us on our toes daily and as much as we sometimes have to keep her in check we would be lost without her making us laugh all the time.

Happy birthday baby girl, we hope you have a wonderful day and enjoy your trip to London at the weekend, we can’t wait to take you!

All our love

Mummy & Scott