How to ‘Self Care’ ?

To be a better mum/partner/friend you first need to look after yourself, if you can’t look after yourself how can you look after anyone else? Having so much on the ‘to do’ list can leave very little time to enjoy the things you love, but taking ten minutes out of each day can improve how you feel.

Sleep – Going to bed an hour earlier can allow you to feel well rested and re-charged ready for the day ahead. I like to get at least 8 hours sleep. If I don’t, I feel exhausted by the afternoon and who wants a tired mumma?

Digital Detox – Having a few days away from social media, messaging and emails allows your brain to focus more on you and not everyone else. When I take time away from my phone, i’m more productive, I make more time for me.

Candles – Buying and lighting new candles has become my favorite treat since moving in to my own home. (I even treat myself to Yankee Candles) The soothing smells filtering through the house, automatically relax me.

Watch your favorite TV show or movie – Finding a good show that I enjoy allows me to focus on something else rather than my ‘to do’ list. I’ve recently just started watching vampire diaries, and I look forward to watching an episode in the evening when Darragh goes to bed.

A bath ALONE – Imagine getting the chance to have a bath alone, as rare as it is I love it. Over Mothers Day I got some beautiful bath bombs, and ever since I have been treating myself to a new bath bomb every month and WOW I had been missing out.

De-cluttering – When I have to many ‘things’ and there isn’t enough places to put them it gets to me. Clearing out old junk and things I haven’t used in a while clears my mind. It’s also easier to keep your home tidier if there isn’t so many possessions lying around. I usually stick by the 1 year rule – If I haven’t worn/used it in the past year, I throw it out.

Diet – When I’m eating ‘Junk’ foods it makes my body feel sluggish and tired. Eating healthier improves my mood and gives me more energy. Self Care = Health

Fresh Air – Enjoying the scenery that’s right on your doorstep can sometimes surprise you. Usually because you live there it often gets dismissed as you’re used to it. Taking time out to enjoy this creates a sense of calm in you’re busy life. It can also be a good way to distract a bored toddler.

Reading – Before going to bed each night I read a few pages of my book. Ever since I started this I find myself being able to sleep quicker and wake up feeling more rested.

Clear your mind – Write down any thoughts that are bothering you or things that you have to do, doing this can clear your mind.

Happy Mum = Happy Baby 

Hello Fresh Review

We recently tried hello fresh as we had 50% off discount codes. It’s really easy to order, as they have an app where preferences can be stored along with personal info. Although delivery is a bit of a problem as they only deliver to my address once a week between 8am-7am. This is a weekday when I’m at university.

The selection of weekly recipes is good, and a little bit different – it’s not the standard weekly dinners over and over again. It brought back my excitement for cooking. I’m vegetarian while James isn’t so the majority of the recipes we choose are veggie. (When choosing the veggie option you can only order three meals per week)

I found using hello fresh so convenient as we don’t have to struggle to think of what we can have for dinner. It also cancels out running around the supermarket with a toddler problem.  The recipes are easy to follow as the instructions are accompanied by images. There are also options to choose a ‘rapid’ box if you don’t want to spend a lot of time cooking. Each recipe is colour coded and has an individual bag. This makes getting the ingredients out a whole lot easier. The recipe cards can be used over and over again, giving us dinner inspiration.

The cost is quite expensive for the three meals for two people. It is worth it for the convenience. (No supermarkets ever again woohooo) Although, there are a lot of discount codes available to get your 1st and 2nd boxes half price.  Plus the box it is delivered in is like a new toy for Darragh.  Use code ORLQUI for £20 off your first box!!Hello Fresh

10 Tips For A Clean Home

  • Clean as you go – Cleaning as the mess is created can avoid a big build up, which may put you off tidying. When cooking, put ingredients/utensils away when you’re finished using them.
  • Focus on 1 room per week – I like to de-clutter and deep clean one room per week, as tackling the whole house would just be impossible. This helps me find motivation to do it as it doesn’t take long and it isn’t’ daunting.
  • Put the washing away every evening – Doing this will avoid a build up of washing. It will also feel like a small task as it isn’t a whole weeks washing being put away.
  • Keep bathroom cleaning products upstairs – I find if upstairs cleaning products are stored upstairs i’m more likely to clean the bathroom more often. I usually give the bathroom a quick spray before getting in the shower. (completing two tasks in one is always easier)
  • Move from task to task rather than room to room –  Doing this will allow you to complete your cleaning routine faster, while feeling like you are doing less.
  • Have a day to day cleaning routine – Simple activities done each week can lighten the load. Every morning before getting dressed I open the curtains and make the bed. I find that this automatically makes the room look tidier.
  • A Quick tidy before you go to bed – Waking up the next day and trying to tidy everything with a toddler just isn’t worth it. Having everything organised and clean, can help your morning routine run much smoother.

How We Unwind After A Busy Week

Trying to balance everything during the week can be hectic and stressful. We like to spend one day a week relaxing, spending time together and not worrying about the endless ‘list of things’ we have to do..

On a Sunday we like to start the morning off slow. We have breakfast & coffee, and chill out together before getting ready for the day. We try to relax (as much as we can with a toddler).

We usually plan activities that will keep us entertained but aren’t too strenuous. It usually involves going for Sunday Lunch and a trip to the park for some fresh air. The restaurant we go to has a kids section which keeps Darragh entertained. (It’s almost like a date, if we ignore the fact that he is climbing on top of the playhouse!!)  Sometimes we do some family baking, this week we made rice Krispie buns…let’s just say i’m still trying to get them off the floor!!!! Why does no one tell you how fast they harden???? Oh, and our entire house has little chocolate hand prints all over it, I wonder who that was…

In the evening we watch a movie and have lots of cuddles and treats = The movie doesn’t really get watched and our toddler eats all the treats!

After a busy day, we all have a bath early. When the little one is tucked up, we get organised for the rest of the week.

Overall, its seen that you really can’t have too much of a relaxing day with a toddle but it’s worth a try!

Sleep Training, Yay or Nay?

The main aspect of your life that changes when becoming a new parent is sleep or lack of sleep!!!!!!!!!! It can be hard to adjust to, but a good bedtime routine can encourage babies and toddlers to sleep right through. During the first few months of Darraghs life he suffered with reflux , this meant that sleeping at night was very rare for us as he would cry from 12pm to 5am every night. Although this changed when he turned 6 months and we started to wean him. (It does get easier!) We then introduced a solid bedtime routine to encourage him to sleep all night. We began sleep training when he was 8 months old as he refused to settle himself on his own (wakening constantly all night) We adopted the Gina Ford method, of crying it out for 5 minutes. Although it was unbearable at the beginning after two days he was soothing himself to sleep and sleeping all night. (It was a miracle!!)

What worked for us? 

One hour before bedtime we encourage ‘wind down’ play. We read stories and listening to baby bedtime music, this helped Darragh to relax. After a while they will begin to associate ‘wind down’ play with bedtime.  We usually begin this at half 6.

Bath time is a main aspect of our bedtime routine. We bath Darragh every night, using the Johnston’s bedtime bubble bath. Brushing his teeth in the bath is his favorite part. We try to give him a quick massage but now that he is older, it’s a rare occasion when he will sit still.

Sleepy feet oil by MummyLovesOrganic, has worked wonders for us. This now features in our bedtime routine every night.

After Darragh has been dressed and placed in his sleeping bag, we give our cuddles and kisses and tuck him up in his cot with some warm milk. He usually goes to sleep at 7.30pm every night and sleeps until 7.30am.

Sleep really does exist!!!!!!

How to Achieve the Student/Mom Life Balance

When I first became I new mom and started back at university, I was flustered, stressed and suffered major separation anxiety about leaving my baby. I didn’t know how I was going to manage with the baby, the house, my studies and my partner? There just isn’t enough time in the day. I was drowning in all the tasks I had to complete. Fast forward 15 months and we have now found what works for us.

The beginning can be a tough time, who takes on extra chores? who is cooking dinner tonight? Below are 7 tips for achieving a good balance.

  1. Planning in advance can be a lifesaver. On the days I am at university I like to have a home cooked  meal in the fridge, so all that has to be done is re-heated This allows more free time to spend playing and talking about our day.
  2. Relax. Being stressed about getting tasks done never works. When I feel under pressure I take 10 minutes out of my day to have a cup of coffee, and reassure myself that I can do this. After doing this I can approach the situation better and preform better.
  3. Get enough sleep. When I am tired I can’t concentrate or focus on my studying. Getting 8 hours sleep a night improves my concentration and also my mood. (nobody wants a grumpy mom)
  4. Don’t forget to take time off . Everyone deserves an evening off to chill out and have some “me” time.
  5. Organisation is key. Packing the bags the night before allows the morning to run as smoothly as possible (life with kids is never smooth). I also like to lay out what we’re wearing that day.
  6. Get up early. I always find setting my alarm 20 minutes before my toddler wakes up, gives me the chance to get ready and enjoy my first cup of coffee of the day. Doing this improves my mood as I don’t have to rush or stress.
  7. Don’t be afraid to invest in childcare. I struggled with putting Darragh in nursery for a long time. I managed to avoid doing so for the first year. But I wasn’t able to keep up with university work. Doing this has gave me more free time during the day for completing assignments meaning when we are at home I can be completely ‘mom’. I send Darragh to nursery two days per week. I still feel mom guilt but it will be worth it in the end,

Be positive. This chapter wont last forever, we have to enjoy every moment as it is just a stepping stone to where we want to be.