time flies when you're being a mum

24 Feb, 2019

At the end of a week or beginning of a new week, I like to look back through my photos to remind myself what we were up to. Here are a few highlights from last week.

1. Time with Mike

Mike and I had a date lunch this week at one our favourite local pubs. It’s a lot easier than sorting babysitters but means we still get some quality time together. Nancy even slept for a bit of it – until a dog lost it for seemingly no reason and woke her up!

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2. Reuben won his first trophy

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Reuben is really getting into football so he has spent 4 days of his halfterm at a lovely little football club in our nearest ‘big’ village. At the end of the 4 days they give the kids certificates and a few trophies. Reuben loves a medal of any kind so he was positively thrilled to be awarded the best improver trophy.

3. We went to Wallington

On Friday it was a balmy 13 degrees, which North of the Wall as we are, it basically felt like summer. Naturally we did not wear coats.

So we went with everyone else in the North East to the National Trust’s Wallington Hall. Despite the cafe being the busiest I’ve ever seen it, we had a lovely day playing in the parks and riding around the long woodland trails.

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4. We had dinner with friends

Nothing out of the ordinary there…except it really is for us. We’ve barely done anything in the evening since Nancy was born so I invited us over to Jeannie’s house (Jeannie was my birth partner, along with Mike, and we had a disco in her campervan while I waited for my induction to start working). I didn’t actually take any photos while we were there but Jeannie did send me this photo before hand. A teaser if you will.

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Dessert

She filled each pineapple with all the fruits that you would find in a Fruit Twist Fanta…see my birth story for the reason why! Dinner was delicious, the company was great and it was so nice do something with other grownups for a change!

 

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22 Feb, 2019

Our bedroom is very nearly there! With the arrival of our bedside tables today, I thought I’d do a little update post on where we are with it.

bedroom

Bedroom renovation

We moved out of our room in July and didn’t get it back until a couple of days before Christmas. It quickly went from this(more…)

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because I'm struggling to read at the moment!

21 Feb, 2019

Listening
I haven’t read anything for AGES!! But I have been listening to stuff, so I’ve a couple of things on my recommends list.

Listening list

 

Firstly, The Self-Care Project by Janey Hardy was a nice, quick, easy to digest book about, you guessed it, self-care! I really enjoyed it and found it to be so helpful to reframe some of those ‘jobs’ that you can’t be bothered to do or feel guilty for doing. Self-care is so important, especially if you’re a mum with a family that depends on you. It can often be the last thing you want to do but the cracks start to show very quickly and a frazzled mum does not make for a happy family. So, have a listen (or read!) if you feel like you need to pay yourself a bit of attention.

 

Secondly, upon the recommendation of my pal and Yoga teacher, Natalie (Natural PT), I listened to Brené Brown’s lecture, The Power of Vulnerability. I listened to this over a series of evenings while feeding Nancy and settling her to bed. Phew, what a great listen! She’s an researcher of shame and vulnerability and hit the big time when she did a TED talk that was seen by millions of people (as of writing this it’s more that 9M!!!). The whole premise is really interesting. She also shares some great parenting tips. I feel like I need to listen to it over and over again to really let the messages sink in. Here’s her TED talk as a little taster, but I’d highly recommend having a listen.

How do you find time to read? Or do you listen too?

I’d love to hear what you’re reading and listening to at the moment. What do you recommend?

Comment below or come chat on the Mums’ Days Facebook page or Instagram.

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baby clothes with a back story

20 Feb, 2019

Loads of Nancy’s clothes are from the big stores in the sales – Tesco, Marks and Spencers, Next, etc. I couldn’t wake past a baby sale rail without buying something. I had to stop going shopping! But some of my favourites are the ones with a story. They’re either the ones that used to be someone else’s or ones that have been handmade for her. She’s just about to move up to the 3-6 month stuff, of which she has some lovely things but here are a few pre-loved and handmade favourites…before she grows out of them too!

Reuben’s old clothes

pre-loved

This was Reuben’s first onesie (from TK Max) and with Nancy looking so like him, I thought I’d been transported back 6 years every time she wore it!

She’s also been using his old muslin squares, blankets and towels, and of course Reuben’s monster suit (from Asda).

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Rufus’s old clothes

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Rufus is Reuben and Nancy’s newest cousin (born in April 2018) and he’s been kindly passing on some lovely things – including these amazing fire engine dungarees (handmade), some vests and these lovely foxy leggings (Joules).

Pre-loved

Handmade

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Nancy 4 days old and 3 months old

My mum bought this cardigan for Nancy from her church, I think, made by one of the ladies. I love it and she’s been in it since she was only 4 days old! She’s nearly out of it now though.

{The onesie is from M&S and the leggings and jumper are from Boots Mini}

pre-loved

My mum has since made her this cross-over cardigan, which will be fitting her for a long time I think. Happily, because I love it!

{Onesie from Next}

Do you have any favourite pre-loved and handmade clothes for your kids?

I’d love to hear about them! Comment below or over on the Mums’ Days Facebook or Instagram pages.

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sorting the kitchen and a lot of out of date stuff!

19 Feb, 2019

A month ago my mate Cath, who runs a decluttering business called Clear the Clutter, came to my house and helped me sort out the kitchen. It took 5 hours and it nearly finished me off.

Decluttering the kitchen

After months of building work and living out of the kitchen, even after we had got most of the house back, ‘stuff’ had still accumulated over ever surface and was spilling out of every cupboard. It was positively oppressive.

Decluttering the kitchen

Decluttering the kitchen

For the sake full disclosure, this is not an ad. Cath is a mate but I paid her for her service and she’s bloody good.

People who are professionally tidy (or just tidy for that matter!) think differently from me (that’s not tidy, it’s just a pile), they help you see your stuff with fresh eyes (I have no idea why I still have that. And why do I have every cooking accoutrement I own next to the cooker?), and, they can keep going long after you would have thrown the towel in.

If Cath hadn’t been there, I would have stopped after the tea and coffee cupboard. Who knew I had so many boxes of tea? I only ever drank one or two varieties but now I can see them all I have different ones all the time. Living it large!

Decluttering the kitchen

Seeing all your belongings on the table is weird. A) there’s a lot of it and B) items hide after a while – it’s there in plain sight but you stop seeing it well past its used by date.

Decluttering the kitchen

After the 5 hours we had boxes of stuff to go out (the best part of Cath’s service is she takes it away!!!!) – to the tip, to the charity shop and to the scrap man.

After the decluttering

That Marie Kondo really is onto something. Having less stuff and space to put things that never had homes, is life changing! It was so liberating once it was done I went on to start wearing my glasses again and sort out a few niggly things that were wrong with my car.

Mike was gobsmaked when he came home. Best present I’ve ever given him! He started talking about finally putting artwork up and making it homey (only 2 years after we moved in!).

A month later and we are yet to put up any artwork and keeping the kitchen decluttered is something you need to keep working at but it’s certainly easier now.

Today I thought I’d finally finish off the last 2 cupboards that we didn’t manage to do when Cath was here.

Decluttering the kitchen

Two thirds of this stuff was OUT OF DATE!! I’ve so much space now 🙂

I had to do it in 2 sittings as Nancy had had enough after the first cupboard (and watched Dumplin’ on Netflix in between) – there was so much out of date stuff in them but we’re finally done with the decluttering. Now where’s that artwork?

When was the last time you had a big declutter? Was your out of date stuff as bad as mine?!

I’d love to hear about it below or head over to Mums’ Days Facebook or Instagram to join the convo there. You should also check out Cath’s Clear the Clutter Facebook Page – she’s been sharing her decluttering expertise on there, including how to get an extra fiver from Music Magpie when you sell your stuff there. Noice!

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