time flies when you're being a mum

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).

pre-loved

Rufus’s old clothes

pre-loved

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

pre-loved

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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It’s time to start losing it

18 Feb, 2019

Nancy’s turned 3 months, life has calmed down a wee bit and routines are starting to fall into place, so my attention has turned to this baby weight that has no intention of ‘dropping off with breastfeeding’.

I’m going to Baby Weight Bootcamp!

The problem with being knackered is you don’t make great food choices (or I don’t) and you surely don’t want to exercise (or I don’t). I turn to caffeine, sugar and rubbish white carbs. In the first couple of weeks this was ok and I still lost weight. Over time, however, I have put any weight I lost back on but by then it was too late. The bad habits had taken hold.

So it’s time for a diet and exercise overhaul. As of next Monday, I’m doing a 6 week bootcamp (45 min class, 3 time a week), with the aim of losing some weight and getting some energy back.

I’m going back to Elite; 4 years  ago, almost to the day, I started their 6 week program and lost 20lbs. I found it such an amazing experience. I loved the workouts and found the diet both effective and not too restrictive.

You can watch my weekly video diaries from when I did the Bootcamp last time, including the final video where I share what I’ve learnt, by visiting this post, Final Weight Loss.

Prepping for Baby weight Bootcamp

This week I’m in that weird space before all the action starts. I don’t want to fall into the diet-tomorrow trap and eat sh*t all week, so I’m focussing on getting prepared, both in terms of the diet and having the right foods in, but also prepping myself for the exercise.

Abs

I’ve done a couple of exercise classes since having Nancy and I’ve noticed my back gets tired very quickly due to a lack of core strength. So, I’m going to do this 10 minute core workout by Carly Rowena (she’s a personal trainer who had a baby a month after me). I did it this morning with Nancy lying next to me watching.

Hip flexers

In addition to the core workout I’m also going to spend some serious time stretching my hip flexors. Tight hip flexors (from loads of sitting – breastfeeding anyone?) can also cause lower back pain. I am by no means a runner but this is a helpful how to video.

I’ll let you know how I’m getting on!

What ways have you found to be helpful to lose the baby weight?

 

 

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Let's do the time warp

17 Feb, 2019

Nancy turned 3 months old this week. 3 months seems like nothing. She’s still tiny. And yet she seems so big and like she’s been here for ages too.

Time is such a weird thing.

3 months old

It’s tiring being born

3 months old

Tiny, she just fits in the crook of my arm

3 months old

3 months old

Phew it’s tough with a newborn. This last photo of Mike holding her just sums up how exhausted we all were. And by day we had a house full of builders, so there really was no let up in the run up to Christmas. I guess it’s those early days that make time seem so long.

3 months old

Nancy at 1 month old

And then pretty soon you can’t really remember what life was like when you weren’t feeding, burping, cuddling, changing, pulling funny faces and cooing, photographing, tiptoeing, loving this new person.

3 months old

Nancy at 2 months old

They also start to reward that relentless merry-go-round with smiles and love. It’s funny that even at 3 months old they are able to show how much they love you and you’re reminded not to wish away these early days with the hope of more sleep during the night and more time to do ‘other stuff’ during the day.

None of that really matters.

There’ll be plenty of time for dishes and books and social media and whatever else (sleep).

These baby days are short.

3 months old

 

 

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