Childhood · Children · Family · motherhood · Parenting

Parenting vs the IPad

This holiday I saw something I have never seen to this extent anywhere at home, IPads being substituted for parenting. It was everywhere, in the airport, on the plane, at breakfast,dinner and lunch, during the evening entertainment, by the pool and even on the beach!

Parents would literally sit down to dinner and put their child’s plate of food infront of them with an IPad next to it.

Children would ask for the IPad as soon as they sat down and parents would willingly provide it or heaven forbid they had forgotten the IPad they would have to substitute it for a smart phone!

No don’t get me wrong a 4 hour flight is tricky to keep a little person entertained for and T did have about 30 minutes of screen time during the last part but some children did not look away from that screen for the whole 4 hours!

I saw toddlers holding IPads in buggies with a drop proof rubber case on with two huge easy to hold rubber handles at the sides so the toddlers could watch Peppa Pig with ease!! And this was only in the hotel lobby waiting for the coach!!

What happened to communicating with your child? Playing eye spy? Looking at what is around you? And god forbid actually having a conversation with them! I saw some parents attempt this but the child was so interested in getting the smart device they simply ignored the parents and put their headphones on to which the parents gave up!!

How are you meant to build a bond with your child and ingrain the memories of this wonderful experience into their tiny brains when 95% of the time they are watching Paw Patrol so it’s pretty much like they haven’t left home!

Now this wasn’t just children from the UK it was from other countries too but we were so shocked at how many we saw we turned it into a game at who could spot the kids with screens at dinner. T was just as shocked as us because I’ve never once given her a phone or IPad to play with when we are out for dinner. My Nan says this is why she is so well behaved at the table because she knows it is a privilege to be out for dinner and not just an extension of our house. If we didn’t spot the child with a screen we could usually tell where they had been from the trail of destruction, food and cutlery left on the floor all round their seat!!

Is this just me being old fashioned? Is the way the world is going? Who do you think has the better holiday the families with screens or without?

I’d love to hear your thoughts

Lou x

Advertisements
Children · Cyprus · Family · family holiday · greek food · Healthy eating · healthy parenting · kids activities · making memories · Parenting · swimming · teaching your child to swim · travel

Holiday Recap-Nissi Beach Cyprus

Good afternoon my lovely followers!

I hope you are all well, I just wanted to give you a little recap on our holiday to Cyprus so you can see for yourselves what a wonderful holiday destination it is.

Temperature
When we booked the holiday we didn’t know just how hot it was going to be, we got up to a toasty 34 degrees! As much as we love the heat we all had to take turns in having a day in the shade and T ended up swimming in a T shirt after the first day because it was just easier than plastering suncream on every 30 minutes.

Location
We stayed in Nissi Beach which is a beautiful beach, the water was crystal clear and the sand was soft and clean. There were bars and restaurants all along the top which are very reasonably priced and we had ice creams and even cocktails, well it would be rude not to! 😁

There is a huge watersports platform on the beach with a variety of sports available, we decided before we went to try a jet ski and it was so much fun! They have a lot of power and really bounce off the waves but as scared as I thought I would be I really enjoyed it and am so pleased we did it!

Things to do
We were only a 10 minute taxi ride from Aiya Napa and costing only €8 we decided to visit for a morning to check it out. The harbour was dotted with small fishing boats and lined with bars looking out to sea. After walking through the hilly streets in blazing sunshine a cold drink and a fan was very much welcome!

We had photos with the legendary sign of course which was fun and then looked round the monestary which was so interesting! I plan to write a separate post about this because there is a lot to say!

There are a lot of boat trips on offer round the island but as my Nan doesn’t like boats we didn’t take up the offer for any of them but they all seemed very reasonable and there is even a Black Pearl pirate ship you can go on!

The majority of our time was spent in and around our pool which was the biggest swimming pool in Cyprus so it never seemed busy! T was the most confident she had ever been in the water this year and would happily spend 2 hours in the pool without getting out either snorkelling, jumping in or just swimming underwater. We also took part in aqua fitness several times during the week which was brilliant fun if not exhausting after 45 minutes! Scott played water polo a few times but the best time had to be when it was guests vs reps! It was brilliant fun to watch and hard not to cheer on your team.

Food
I make it my mission to try as many different foods as possible when on holiday and this time there was a healthy eating reward lanyard for the children which was a great idea. There were 15 spaces to fill and for each new food they tried they got a sticker which finished with them being given a certificate on stage. T was so determined to finish this lanyard that she tried 15 new foods within 4 days! We tried a lot of local foods but she was so keen to finish this she even tried squid rings, a favourite of mine! (We may not have told her what it was until she finished eating it but she didn’t hate it!)

Collecting her healthy eating award
Very proud of that full lanyard!
Cypriot Koupes served at breakfast, like mini balls of sausage meat in a crispy coating!
Greek meze, this was course number 3!

Kids club
Now I see myself as a very involved parent but if your child wants to go to kids club what can you do! Having been last year and loving it she was so excited to go back knowing it would be the same format so she went along one morning, got the free t-shirt and water bottle and had lots of fun making crafts and playing games. Then she made a friend in a little girl called Kayla who was the same age, they became inseparable and so wanted to go to kids club together, what can you do! Cue another child free couple of hours having a lazy lunch and relaxing by the pool and once again a very happy girl when we picked her up! If you are happy with the kids club at your hotel and your child wants to go I say do it, they are usually very well run and it’s just another fun activity for them while on holiday.

Entertainment
It’s no secret my daughter loves to dance, the kids disco is up there with the pool as the best part of her holiday so she could not wait to get up and dance. The hotel we went to was great for providing interesting and fun shows for the kids to get involved in and the reps gave their all every time. Cue us coming back singing lots of very catchy yet annoying songs!

So to finish I would say that I would thoroughly recommend Cyprus as a destination to anyone old or young. There is so much we could have done but didn’t, a water park, tours round the island, boat trips, go crazy on a night out in Aiya Napa! It really is what you make of it, and it doesn’t need to cost a fortune either. The best holiday souvenirs are always the cheapest ones I find, we came home with some keyrings for our collections and little dish for the kitchen and a couple of pretty bracelets.

Now I just want to do it all again 😊☀️

Thanks for reading

Lou x

Blogger · Children · Family · family holiday · fitness · Parenting · Sunshine · Thankful · travel

Mrs M is back!

Hi guys! I’m back from a wonderful week away feeling refreshed and ready to write! Well truthfully at the minute I have holiday blues big style and am tired from my first day back at work today but I have lots to write about that’s for sure! I just need a couple of days to get back into routine and I will have a few posts coming up for you.

These are some of the things I will be writing about;

Holiday to Nissi Beach, Cyprus

Are I Pads replacing our parenting skills?

Aiya Napa Monastery

How to beat the holiday blues

My fitness goals for the rest of the month and beyond

And that is just for starters 😁

I’m going to try and catch up on as many blogs as I can and will look forward to reading what you have all been upto, meanwhile here are a few pictures from our week away!

Thank you for sticking with me through my week long hiatus!

Lou x

Family · family holiday · family time · making memories · teaching your child to swim · Thankful · Uncategorized

Mrs M is taking a break!

It’s that time of year again, the time we look forward to all year, the reason we work so hard and spend so much time away from our families, its holiday time!! 😁

Little T is back from holiday number one to France with her Dad and we are getting ready to set off tomorrow. (I’m so happy she’s back you wouldn’t believe, no one understands unless they are a parent just how much it hurts to be parted from your child for a long period of time.) Now my girl is home, I’m happy and the fun can really begin!

This year we are lucky enough to be going to Cyprus on holiday and my Nan is also coming too. We are so excited not just for the sun, swimming pools and all inclusive but also for the week we spend together. Our holidays mean no phones, well we may use them to take a photo in the evening but during the day they are locked away in the safe and Scott’s is turned off so work can’t get to him! The only time we will use social media is to maybe post a happy picture at the airport and that will be it for a week.

It does us all so much good to just be, without our phones, the outside world and interruptions. Scott will spend hours upon hours teaching T new tricks in the pool and I will pop in and out inbetween catching the rays and spending time with my Nan.

We will explore our surroundings and relax in the evenings with a well deserved cocktail and a kids disco before playing cards and games till late.

The one thing I am super excited/nervous about is trying a jet ski for the first time! The beach near our hotel has a vast array of watersports but sadly for Scott, no windsurfing. (He is a great windsurfer and spends a week of the year away with his Dad out on the water for hours at a time, so I’m pretty glad there aren’t any or we wouldn’t see him much!) He has promised to take me on a jet ski though so I’ll let you know how that goes when I get back!

For now Poppy has been dropped off for her holiday, we are mostly packed, I did my last HIIT session before my break this morning so that just leaves that evening the night before you go to get through, pottering about not really doing much and wishing it was morning already!

I hope you all have a wonderful week and I can’t wait to tell you all about our trip 😊

Lou x

body confidence · challenge · exercise · feeling proud · fitness · food diary · Healthy eating · HIIT on the Pitch · Reading · The Bodycoach · training · Uncategorized

Food,fitness and my week wrapped up!

This week I’ve been focused on eating well, training hard and keeping busy without my little girl here. Here is a recap on my week, I think I’ve done pretty well.

Monday

Incase you didn’t already read I attended the world’s first HIIT session in a football stadium run by The Body coach Joe Wicks. A 45 minute workout later and I was exhausted but happy.

I had a coffee and a duck wrap in Pret at the train station with a woman I met there then when I came home and finished my book in the garden.

The story has 3 different groups of people that you spend most of the book wondering how they are all going to link up. A wife finds a letter in the attic written by her husband years ago addressed “To be opened by my wife in the event of my death”. He is away on business, would you open it?

Nearly everyone I asked said they would! I said I wouldnt. It was tough going at times but the ending made it worth reading.

I’m now reading “Death in Bordeaux” which looks to be a crime thriller. You can thank my community library for my eclectic taste in books!

Tuesday

I was well prepped for Tuesday and we had a colourful chicken salad for lunch and then a huge egg and chicken salad for dinner!

I did a yoga session to get my body stretching and recovering from the brutal session the day before and then I couldn’t resist a 10 minute ab session too! My favourite workouts at the moment are from The Body coach TV on YouTube or Move with Ben on YouTube. They are both great for short, sharp bursts of activity with high intensity workouts that will leave you feeling the burn after just a few reps!

I spent some time moving T’s bedroom furniture around as she had decided she wanted a change. I’m really pleased with how it looks and hopefully she will like it when she gets back!

Wednesday

Lunch was a couscous and chicken mix with fruit to follow and for dinner I made honey and mustard chicken with potatoes and lots of yummy kale!

After dinner Scott and me completed the same workout I did on Monday! It was just as tough as I remember but I felt so pleased we did it and really energised afterwards. Here it is if you fancy giving it a go! HIIT on the Pitch!

Thursday

I’ve been prepping like mad today and have made banana and chocolate overnight oats and healthy breakfast cookies using these recipes! I’m so excited for breakfast tomorrow!

Today I had more time so instead of a 1 mile walk Poppy and me managed a fairly decent 3 miles. Holiday prep has taken over most of the day but I’ve also found time to get a 13 minute abs burner in tonight- here it is if you fancy a go!

This brings my workout total to 23 for the month, most of which have been with T my little trooper! I’ve also walked 52.8 miles this month which I’m pretty chuffed with!

I’m feeling great about myself going into my week off and am so proud of me and T for the effort we have put in to make this month our most active yet!

Tomorrow I get to squeeze that little face again and I can’t wait 😊

I hope you have a had a great week and I’d love to hear what your fitness goals are for next month or if you have any recipes you have prepped ready for the weekend!

Thanks for reading

Lou xx

body confidence · challenge · feeling proud · fitness · HIIT on the Pitch · May · The Bodycoach · Uncategorized

HIIT on the Pitch with Joe Wicks!

I spent my bank holiday Monday with Joe Wicks (The Bodycoach)! How many people can say that! (Well about 1500 other people but still something to say I’ve done!)

I had a mad moment Thursday and decided, with some persuasion, to get myself a FREE ticket to HIIT on the Pitch. It was the first HIIT workout in a football stadium and it was going to be held at the Chelsea ground in London.

I was nervous going on my own right up until I made it to the ground, but I made it! I left at 7am this morning and got the train to London,then after that and two tubes and a short walk I was in the queue! Ever so slightly impressed myself there!

As we walked into the grounds I was met with rows and rows of yoga mats, towels and water with a huge stage at the front of the arena and two big screens either side. It was pretty impressive and so many people were saying how great it all looked.

Every one got given a free goody bag and they were handing out as much water as you wanted which was great because it ended up being about 23 degrees out there!

I ended up chatting to the women either side of me who had both come on their own as well! It was great to chat to them and we all motivated each other.

Marvin Humes, formerly of JLS was the DJ and he actually played some really motivating music.

The warm up began and wow that was some warm up! We were all shattered just after that!

Then on came Joe, he was great. He did 20 minutes of HIIT exercises followed by 5 minutes of abs then 8 minutes of really tough cardio to finish. The worst had to be 5 squat pulses followed by 5 jumps then repeat for 40 seconds!

As tough as it was in the burning sunshine I loved it!

These fab ladies were great company and I even went for a coffee with one of them at the tube station before we headed off in our separate directions!

Finally I managed to make it back to Kings Cross and onto the train home, even with my legs now feeling like jelly and cursing every single set of stairs in the London underground as I went!

I had such a great time and was so pleased I took the step out of my comfort zone and did this.

Thank you Scott for pushing me into it 😘

Lou x

aniexty · Blogger · challenge · Children · choir · Depression · eat the rainbow · fitness · Healthy eating · May · Mental Health · positive thinking · reflection · Thankful · Uncategorized

7 things that made me happy in 7 days week 18- last in the series!

Hey all, I’ve been writing this little series for 18 weeks now,that’s over 4 months. Crazy really when it started as a way to help me appreciate the good things in life, no matter how small, when I was going through a particularly lonely time.

This doesnt mean every week for the last 18 has been all rainbows and unicorns but it does mean that even if me and Scott do argue, work is stressful, money tight or I dent my car(oops), I am able to see that over a 7 day period there was a lot to be happy about and it has helped me to put it all in perspective.

I’ve loved doing this little series but now seems a good time to stop as in a weeks time we are going away so I will miss a week. I intend to think of a new idea to keep me posting every week and keep me sharing what I’ve been up to but I would encourage anyone who is struggling to find their place, thinks they don’t have a lot going on or is just feeling lonely to try this style of writing. Even if it’s just for a week, it made me feel so much better for a long time just seeing it all down infront on me was the realisation I needed that ok, my life wasn’t as full as other people’s and hey some people may not ever text me first but really I have a lot to be happy about and life is good!

If this blog can encourage or help someone that is also going through a particularly lonely time I would be so happy.

I would encourage anyone reading this to share this post and spread this idea to as many people as you can.

Anyway here is my last list of 7!

1. Choir. A few months ago this was the something I needed, my thing/hobby/interest and I love singing with these guys! Even if I’m shattered by 7.30 on Monday night I always get myself to choir and am just immediately happy I went. Singing just makes me happy 😊

2. Cooking healthy meals for my family! This has probably been a regular in my list but I really do enjoy making interesting, tasty meals with as much colour in as possible. If I haven’t seen either of them for a day or so because of work or commitments I love that I can make them a good tasting meal and they will be just happy to be home and I feel like my job as Mumma bear is done.

3. Being spontaneous! Sometimes you just have bite the bullet and get out of your comfort zone. I think this all started when we received an invitation to my cousins 21st birthday party this coming August, its a black tie event something we are not used to dressing for! This will require talking, socialising with a side of the family I’ve not seen in years, the worry is already creeping in if I let myself think about it for too long but most importantly what am I going to wear!

Having this as a starting point meant that this week has just kind of snowballed into a series of spontaneous events!

Wednesday we booked a theatre show for an Elvis tribute! I’ve always secretly loved Elvis songs and have wanted to go and see one of these for years but is it really the done thing for a 30 something? I’m so excited for this in October!

Thursday I was checking Twitter and saw Joe Wicks- The Body Coach had advertised a FREE 2 hour workout with him and others at Chelsea football stadium,London this Monday! A goodie bag is included and there were only 1000 places. I think this was meant to be because I don’t go on Twitter much and just happened to see this tweet minutes after it was posted.

After some convincing from Scott and him treating me to the train ticket I am going, Monday, on my own to London to do the first HIIT workout in a football stadium with 1000 other crazy people!

Now I did try to get people to come with me but let’s be honest who doesn’t already have plans with their family on a bank holiday Monday, cue my friends panicked face as I asked her Thursday evening as she tried desperately to think of reasons she couldn’t come, as is standard everyone is usually working or having a family day so it’s just little old me and this guy! Wish me luck!

4. T’s class assembly. We have been hearing the songs and listening to the line for this assembly for weeks so to finally see it all put together was lovely. T did her one line very well and they all performed brilliantly.

5. Hard work pays off! Last year before we went away we just happened to pop into River Island and T saw the children’s section for the first time. She was obsessed and was desperate for her holiday clothes to come from there, I was desperate to win the lottery but hey that wasn’t going to happen!

So we decided to set her chores, each one would be worth a small amount and however much she earned she could take it and spend it in River Island. This went down a storm and soon the house was cleaner than a whistle and she ended up with a cute little playsuit, sunglasses and cardigan.

Cue this year’s holiday approaching, out comes the jobs list “I want to earn money again Mummy”. So for the last 4 weeks she has been clearing the garden, putting washing in the machine, clearing the table to name a few and loving it at the same time! With jobs being paid between 20p for clearing the table and £2.50 for helping wash the car she had a way to go before she could buy anything but she is a trooper and managed to rack up an impressive £24! (Now time for the bank of Mummy to come up with the goods!) So off to River Island we went and she came away with this little set which she is thrilled to bits with.

6. Sunshine and cider. After having a particularly low afternoon yesterday sitting in the sun drinking this raspberry cider and reading my book was just what I needed. If it wasn’t for the price tag, comfort shopping is a dangerous thing, I think this would be my new summer drink!

7. Saving for a treat. The last few weeks I’ve been saving to make sure we have enough money to eat something nice at the airport before we go away and on the plane journey, (for anyone that doesn’t know airports are generally the most expensive place to eat in the world, followed by aeroplanes, the only place where it’s acceptable to charge £5 for a tub containing 6 Pringles.)

This year my lovely Nan is coming on holiday with us so I want to show her a good time from the minute we get in the airport, we always usually eat breakfast but this time it will be lunch followed by a snack on the plane and having said I would fund this the saving began a few weeks ago.

This week I reached my goal and and super happy we can start our holiday from the minute we pass security.

It’s true you do appreciate things more when you have to work hard to pay for them.

Well that’s all folks, thanks for sticking with me through this series and I hope I can find something equally as interesting when I get back!

Lou x

Children · May · motherhood · Parenting · positive thinking · Uncategorized

A week without my girl

Today T went on holiday with her Dad. She has gone to the north of France for a week and she was really looking forward to it.

I am not so much.

She is my right arm, my mini me, my whole routine is built around her except at the weekends where I keep myself busy until I get her back again.

Morning routine, plait her hair, school run,work, collect her from after school club, then either do a work out or go to ballet, horse riding or have a play date.

In between she plays with Poppy and we read.

This week I have no mini me to revolve my life around. Yes no school run and no hobbies for her but I love taking her to her hobbies. I love reading with her. I love being her Mummy.

So today I cried.

I wasn’t going to cry, I was going to go straight out and be busy but then plans changed which meant I didn’t have to go out so I could just go and sit.

So as soon as that car was out of sight and the door was shut I couldn’t stop it, I sobbed.

Then I went and laid down and fell asleep, emotionally drained from just a few seconds of crying.

After that I just felt lost for a few hours, even with the company of my best friend. I needed to get out. So out I went, to buy some semi healthy food and drink. Comfort shopping did the trick. It was nice being out of the house, I chose nice things and didn’t care how much they cost. Then I came home and did some gardening before sitting in the garden reading and drinking my raspberry cider.

It felt so nice to sit in the sun and feel like I’d accomplished something, even if it was only some gardening. I knew that I was the only one that could change this feeling and turn it around so I did,even if it was just for a short time.

I’m going to miss my baby girl like crazy until Friday but will keep focused on the fact that we have her for over a week after that and are taking her on holiday.

Thanks for reading

Lou x

challenge · feeling proud · independence · Looking back · travel · Uncategorized

The Beauty in Barcelona

Barcelona 2013. This was a trip I will never forget. I had been through a tough time and this was me saying I want a holiday and I’m going on my own with no one else and I’m going to explore.

I was terrified.

Upon arriving I got a taxi to my hotel which was only a 15 minute journey from the airport, Barcelona at night looked beautiful.

The Tryp Apolo is situated right in the centre of Barcelona and my room was perfect for what I needed. I felt immediately happy I had gone when I arrived there.

Over the next 3 days I explored this amazing place. I saw all the sights, The Sagrada Famillia, Barcelona beach, Park Guell, Guadi’s house, The Wave, Barcelona Market, the Fountains and the The Ramblas.

I walked and took the underground and never felt scared or nervous as a woman on my own.

The streets come alive at night and I walked back to my hotel sometimes at 11pm at night on my own and there were still families playing in play parks and people eating dinner everywhere around me. I swear no one went to the skate park until at least 9pm.

I walked a lot. I found tiny little cafes and restaurants to eat in. The people I met were all so friendly and the place was alive with a buzz which just made you feel welcome.

The weather was an added bonus, being August it was in the thirties every day and their night time felt like our day time with the temperature hardly dropping at all.

I miss those streets, escalators outside, steps that seem never ending, climbing hills that seem to lead to the sky then the beautiful views over Barcelona when you finally reach the top.

Never ending bottles of 1 euro water and Fanta limon in the day replaced by Sangria and Estrella at night. I’m not a beer drinker but when in Rome….

Laying on the beach listening to Chilled House Classics through my headphones I blocked out the world and felt completely free.

Tapas, seafood paella, Spanish omelette and ice cream were my staple diet, the food was amazing every single place I went. There is no microwaved veg, no reheated chips, no slow service. They want to serve you well and they want you to enjoy your experience. This was the first time I had enjoyed free nuts on a table when you sit down for a drink too and was blown away by this.

Street performers,oversized drinks, music outside, beautiful bars with huge ivy plants and palm trees strategically placed to offer the most shade in attempt to draw in the maximum amount of custom.

Barcelona is beautiful and I for one can’t wait to go back many times in my life time.

Uncategorized

Instagram vs reality

Ever wish you could live others Instagram lives? Fresh fruit and wholefoods for breakfast on a Monday morning? Always smiling, happy, going from one place to the next?

How much are these photos a reflection of their actual life and why does no one ever post photos of normal mundane tasks? Would no one be interested? Do we really only appreciate people’s lives when they are fun and exciting?

What happened to using social media to encourage and support your friends and family? If their greatest achievement today is that they managed to send their child to school with everything they needed for their 2 clubs, homework, school play and sports tournament shouldn’t that be good enough to warrant a virtual high five?

Except people’s breakfast strategically placed on a beautiful background will always get more likes and quite often does not portray an accurate representation of their lifestyle!

Thoughts, opinions welcome!