time flies when you're being a mum

Time to Love tagged with 'suggested'

It’s easy with little ones to forget about your partner so this category is all about lurve and keeping your relationship alive!

19 Jun, 2014

One of the biggest changes in Mike and my relationship once Reuben came along, was date night. We both worked in the city and so deciding that night we would go for dinner, get a drink or catch a movie was run of the mill for us! Then all of a sudden that stopped. I don’t know about you but I think we’re still getting used to that change.

I’ve mentioned a few times previously that we’re making an effort to eat dinner together at the table but that’s as far as date nights go. So, I’ve been trawling the internet for ideas to turn an evening at home into a Date Night but first…

Prep for date night

Tidy up the house, set the dining room table if necessary, turn off your phone/computer/TV, dim the lights, light the candles and switch on the music. You might also want to get dolled up (big knickers are banned!) or at least get rid of the baby sick. And, send your partner a text to let them know your plans, if they don’t know (or allude to them if you don’t want to be explicit – see points 10 and 11!), so they aren’t disappointed when they can’t watch the football/play on their phone/etc.

I have gathered ideas from the Happy Wives ClubAsk Men as well as the places I link to below.

11 Stay-at-Home Date Night Ideas!

1. Candle lit dinner – kind of obvious but get dolled up and have a 3 course dinner with complimenting wines and a nice playlist! (To make it a bit kinkier you could make dinner in some nice lingerie but make sure you wear an apron so you don’t get burnt/go up in flames!)

2. Movie night with a theme – after a hard day at work/with kids, the chances are you won’t get past the first one! But if you can, you can theme the films around whatever really; a favourite actor, a group of actors, a decade, a country, etc. Keep it light and get in the popcorn!

3. Make something new together – fancy trying something a bit more complex? Pop open the wine and follow the recipe together, chatting as you go along.

4. Double date – you might not be able to go out, but your friends could come to you for dinner and drinks.

5. Make a playlist – for each other or do one together for your next road trip/holiday, whatever. I hardly ever listen to music anymore, so this would be a good excuse to rekindle my love for it while having fun with Mike.

6. Alfresco Dining – with warmer, lighter evenings take dinner outside. Even in the smallest of gardens this is doable! Make it extra special with some tea lights in jars dotted around.

alfresco dining - stay-at-home date night! #marriage #relationship #wedding #datenight http://www.mumsdays.com/stay-home-date-night/

Our yard is a lot nicer now so this will be even better! Phones down for date night though.

7. Holiday planning – decide where you’re going to go, book flights, hotel, villa, whatever or just plan some of the lovely things you can do while you’re there. If you’re fella is anything like mine, you might not want to make a big deal of this one, just start doing it after a lovely meal inspired by your destination!

8. Themed night – this has the potential to sound a bit lame/corny but it’s up to you how far you go…here are some examples:

Japan – wear your favourite kimono (you know you have one just lying around!), make sushi together, drink Sake and watch Lost in Translation or your favourite Ghibli film!

Italy – Get your finest 50’s Italia inspired outfit on, make pizzas (or perhaps something a little more upmarket!), drink Chianti and watch The Talented Mr Ripley.

Spain – make little bites of tapas (like you’d see in a bar in Spain, not like the Tapas restaurants here!) and set it out on your dinning room table, get a few bottles of wine, dim the lights, light the candles, put on your spanish music and sit at the same side of the table – There, you’re at wine bar in Spain!

Other places that would work nicely would be France or Brazil (!).

9. Adult slumber party – bring loads of cushions, duvets, blankets, etc into the living room and snuggle up for the evening with a DVD box set or film. You’d probably be better off in your birthday suit too.

With that last idea in mind, the chances are that on your date night a certain amount of hanky-panky will be expected but in case you want to skip the formalities and get to it, here are a bonus 2 ideas!

10. Board games – make some cocktails (or Dutch Courage as I like to think of it), enjoy your dinner then get out the board games. I’m not a massive fan of board games, I’m way too competitive, but I can see how a game of Nookii, or perhaps this game, could be fun (but remember to keep it well hidden when you’re not playing! *Mortification alert*).

11. Fantasy Room Service – (click the link for explanation and the free printables). I’m not completely sure I get what you have to do for each category so I suppose some thought will need to go into it, but the premise is your partner chooses something from the ‘menu’ and you have 24 hours to deliver. Having to wait certainly builds the tension, so that could be fun!

What do you think? Any of those sound like fun for you and your partner? Or do you have a better idea for a stay-at-home date night?! Do share in the comments below…

There’s also a shed-load more date ideas over on Six Sisters Stuff to get you thinking and loving (and canoodling)!

AllAboutYou - 11 date night ideas

A parents' day off to Epic Kielder

10 Sep, 2013

Yesterday I introduced my newest category “time to love” because, while there’s a lot of love in our house it isn’t always the LURVE kind. So, this here “EPIC” (I’ll get to that in a moment) blog kicks off the first of a series of posts about love and relationships and keeping it all alive while you have little ones running around ravaging your time and energy levels! Because this is an extra special date, sponsored by Visit Kielder, both Mike and I have written our own his and her points of view about the date. So, without further ado I bring you…

Our Epic Date to Kielder Water and Forest Park – by her

Probably the first thing you are thinking is why am I using the word Epic? I agree, no one over the age of 12 should use it. However, I’m not using it in the #epic (or worse still #EpicFail) sense but in the Oxford English Dictionary sense (“heroic or grand in scale”). Which therefore makes it OK.

Kielder is Epic. A lake that is huge, wild, remote and stunning. It has a quiet about it that you just can’t get in the Lakes (which is why I found the Lakes a bit claustrophobic when we visited is July, there are people and cars everywhere!). All things you probably wouldn’t associate with something that is manmade. That’s how epic it really is.


The 5 Love Languages


How to speak romance fluently!

09 Sep, 2013

Back in June, whilst awkwardly drinking my cocktail trying to avoid the hideous willy straw, we hit upon a poignant moment at my cousin’s hen do. We were talking about tips for a longer lasting relationship – lots of sex, do DIY badly so that your fella will do it instead, etc. BUT one person had taken this seriously and started to advise about the 5 love languages.

Apparently we all have our individual ways that we like to SHOW our love for our partners. Some people like to GIVE little presents. Others like to DO things for their partner like cooking and cleaning. That kind of thing. This is our love language.

The crucial thing is that in order for our partners to FEEL loved, you need to understand and do things in their love language. Have I lost you yet?!

Well, I thought this sounded pretty neat and the next morning, after a glorious night on my own in the house, I did some googling and found out what all this Love Languages stuff was. This is what I found…

The 5 Love Languages*

*WARNING* this has got a cheese volume of 11. There is also a religious aspect, which I am neither for nor against but don’t let it put you off if you aren’t religious!



15 Oct, 2012

The Romance Part

Mike and I had our first date on Saturday night! It was 9 weeks since our ‘final date’ when I was 40 weeks pregnant and it felt amazing to be out together especially after our week of being at each other’s throats (which I talked about in Baby Blues – Mike has since been dubbed the man child because of his tantrum over not being allowed to go to the football!). We got Reuben settled at my mum and dad’s house, got ready (that was a trauma in itself, what the freak do I wear? Maternity clothes don’t really work and everything else is too small – not conducive to feeling romantic and attractive, let me tell you!) and then headed out for our 9 o’clock reservation (a full 1 hour past my bed time!).

It was weird to be out, all I do is think about Reuben (he needs a feed, please go to sleep, he’s slept too long please wake up, that was a stinky one, etc) so ordinarily Mike and I do a lot of talking about the little dude. Therefore, I thought we’d have nothing to talk about or we’d only talk about Reuben or we’d be too tired to talk. But we didn’t, it was lovely. Just like old times. And, for a little while I could forget all about doing mum things and relax (which then made me realise that I have a crick in my neck that needs sorting!), and enjoy being with my husband (who is lush and I really fancy!)…ahhh. New mum’s, if you haven’t already, it’s time to get the romance back so sort out a date with your other half! Do it now.

Romance and sex after pregnancy - click here to find out what the 1st time is really like!

The Sex After Pregnancy Part

Now. The next thing I want to talk about is a bit embarrassing because friends of ours read my blog from time to time, not to mention my mum, but I feel it’s important and something all new mums have to deal with (some sooner than others depending upon their own feelings and pressure from the person they might be doing it with…!) and goes hand in hand with romance and keeping your relationship alive. That’s right… sex after pregnancy. Making lurve, doing the deed… S. E. X. As my mum put it after I told her Mike and I had been falling out, she said “you still have to make love even if you don’t want to make babies”.

I’m not going to lie, it took me a good few weeks to feel up to IT. Gradually I began to feel a bit more smoochy and as the weeks progressed Mike made it clear that he still fancied me (phew. Since Mike was fully at the business end during the delivery and ‘saw it all’ as he likes to remind me, there was a chance he may never look at me or my bits in the same light again. It was not my finest or sexiest moment!) and how would I feel about a bit of you know what?

First thing you have to think about, and to be honest when you’re not ready to think about IT it’s probably a bit more palatable, is contraception. Apparently if you’re breastfeeding you are protected from getting pregnant again, plus if you haven’t had a period you might not have ovulated. HOWEVER, people can and do get pregnant within 6 weeks of having a baby. Can you imagine?!?!?! What the f*@%?! You would cry though, wouldn’t you? Secondly I had been advised that you need lube and lots of it.

With that terrifying thought in mind (the contraception bit not the lube bit), it was 5 weeks post baby exit and I wasn’t entirely sure my bits or my head had recovered but Reuben was sleeping soundly, it was Friday night, we were armed with some Rubber Johnny’s so all there was left to do, really, was the do. Get back on the horse.

1. Ouch. I hadn’t felt the episiotomy scar for weeks but it felt like a fracture line and really stung (the next time it didn’t hurt anywhere near as much).

2. I found it difficult to get into it. My head was all baby so I found it hard to, er, let go (again the next time we tried that was less difficult and I was able to relax more and enjoy it). Cringe, I know, sorry but you gotta say it like it is otherwise what’s the point?! Plus, my body really doesn’t feel like my own. I’ve forgotten what it feels like to be pregnant but this new body I’ve been left with isn’t nearly as nice as the one I had before, so I feel self conscious about it.

3. Condoms suck and make the whole experience less enjoyable but don’t, whatever you do, use that as an excuse to go bare back. Although it might make for interesting blog reading, we sure as hell don’t want another mini-Mike on the way!!

So, there you have it… sex after pregnancy. Not as bad as I had envisaged, and with time the pain has gone away. I’m now able to switch baby head off and I’ve sorted the condom thing by getting a coil* fitted last week. Now that was a big ouch but I’ve removed the temptation to ‘chance it’ and hopefully I shall remain un-pregnant until I’ve forgotten all about the trauma of the birth and the sleepless nights!


*sidenote: I know at least 2 people who have got pregnant with the coil in though so nothing is full proof! Eeeek.

How was your first attempt at sex after pregnancy?!

Do leave your comments below – we’re all friends here!

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

1st Wedding Anniversary!


15 May, 2012

Yesterday was Mike and my 1st wedding anniversary. We had a lovely time, staying at Henry VII’s hunting lodge, eating lots, going to the cinema and then vegging out at home while the rain lashed down. How different it all was to last year, when we were laughing and dancing and enjoying the sunshine. I feel sorry for poor Mike having to put up with me (I believe the last thing I said here was I’d take this back pain any day of the week – over the pelvic pain, yes, but in general I am now thoroughly miserable with it!) – it’s as though the weather is mirroring my mood. But to be fair, this is the first time I have had any bother and at 27 weeks pregnant, I think that’s pretty good.

Anyway, I was feeling very nostalgic for our wedding yesterday, particularly in the afternoon, which was when we got married. So, rather than moaning about my current predicament (that will come tomorrow, you lucky things), I thought I’d make this a short post and put up a few of my favourite photos, by the wonderful Caroline Briggs, from the day to cheer me up.

1st Wedding Anniversary

I was so nervous and my Dad was very emotional which was threatening to push me over the edge! I think we were both shaking like leaves.

1st Wedding Anniversary

Three little angels (for that moment!)

1st Wedding Anniversary

Because my Dad was the vicar of this church, the place was absolutely packed. You can see in the next shots just how beautiful the church is though.

1st Wedding Anniversary

I love this shot of Mike’s God Son, Gabriel. So cute!

1st Wedding Anniversary
You may now kiss the bride – whoop.

1st Wedding Anniversary

1st Wedding Anniversary

1st Wedding Anniversary

After a long service for the kids (and the adults, who all got a glass of bubbly afterwards while we mingled in the churchyard!). My three little bridesmaids enjoyed playing in their floaty dresses. And, my sort of page boys, Isaac (my brother, who was 11 at the time) and Dylan (my cousin’s little boy) were off playing in the graves… 

1st Wedding Anniversary

One of my main regrets from the day was that we didn’t manage to get a good shot of Mike, Gabriella and me. The day was so full and after the initial photos, Gabriella was having none of it!

1st Wedding Anniversary

These little babies nearly crippled me, but I loved them.

1st Wedding Anniversary

The flowers for me were one of the worst things to organise in advance because I just couldn’t imagine what they would look like. Thankfully, Olwen Blair (from Blairs in Darlington), knew what I wanted and I was so pleased with the end result I almost cried.

1st Wedding Anniversary

The Sour Mash Trio warming up before the ridiculousness that was our first dance (a cover of Elvis’, I don’t care if the sun don’t shine).

1st Wedding Anniversary

1st wedding anniversary

Seriously, Mike got so into it at one point I had to just leave him too it! Our guest’s seemed to enjoy it though. I’m yet to see the film of it back – I’m sure it was meant to make it to youtube.

And, finally, I’ll leave you with some love bird shots *sigh*. Just think we were off to St Lucia for 2 weeks without a care in the world.

1st Wedding Anniversary

1st Wedding Anniversary

1st Wedding Anniversary

And, now I’m waking up in a rotten mood with a sore bum/back – sorry baby but I love you and it’ll all be worth when mini-Mike/Hannah pops out!