Thursday, 16 February 2017

8 Positive Things to Do When You are Feeling Overwhelmed

Sometimes you don't even know what is bothering you but life just feels as if it is about to overwhelm you. You know how it is, some days you can take on the world and others the slightest thing may push you over the edge. Here I share five positive things you can do to help yourself when it all feels too much.

1.  Acknowledge it
It is so important that you own how you are feeling. Don't be too quick to dismiss the feelings as something silly or insignificant. It might be tempting to berate yourself as your life is good and there is no reason to feel as you do but it won't help you, you'll just get locked into a negative cycle.

2.  Be kind to yourself
Following on from acknowledging, it is important that you are kind to yourself. Remember that age old saying 'if you wouldn't speak to a friend like that then don't speak to yourself in that way'. You are a precious son or daughter of the most high and He would never speak to you in a negative way.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Visiting Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain with Children

Last August we took our first holiday abroad as a family and we had an amazing time. So amazing in fact that we are again this year heading back to the Catalonia region of Spain and will be enjoying a holiday with Eurocamp at the Playa Montroig Camping Resort in Miami Platja, Costa Dorada.

One place that I expect we will visit again will be the beautiful historic city of Tarragona. it is the capital of the Catalonia region and a real gem to visit. There is such variety and depth in this city that became a UNESCO World Heritage site in November 2000 when they recognised 'The Archaeological Ensemble of Tárraco' (modern day Tarragona) for its importance as a major administrative and mercantile Roman city.

Visit the Tourist Office
Tarragona is such a big and diverse city there there are four tourist offices across the city for you to visit. Either plan your visit out using the internet in advance or arrive at one of the offices and let the very helpful staff advise you how to fill your day.

Make sure you check out the calendar of events in advance as there is so much going on in Tarragona from an international fireworks competition to Tarraco Viva (that looks to raise awareness of the ancient Roman history) to L'Home dels Nassos (the man of the many noses) festival. In September you may be lucky enough to be there for the festival for the Patron Saint of the City - Santa Tecla,

Friday, 10 February 2017

Giveaway: Tommee Tippee Complete Feeding Set, worth £109

Look at that lovely bundle right there. If you are expecting a babe then this is perfect for you or maybe it is your daughter, your friend or a work colleague. Just think how popular you'd be if you won this amazing complete feeding set from Tommee Tippee and gave it to them as a new baby gift. 

Best. Friend. Ever! Right?

So what is included with this amazing giveaway?

Well, everything  you see in the picture above and that is 
  • Electric Steam Steriliser, 
  • Travel Steriliser, 
  • Electric Bottle and Food Warmer, 
  • 3 x 150ml Closer to Nature Easi-Vent Bottles with Slow Flow Teats, 
  • 5 x 260ml Closer to Nature Easi-Vent Bottles with Slow Flow Teats, 
  • 2 x Medium Flow Teats – 3-6m, 
  • 2 x Fast Flow Teats – 6m+, 
  • 4 x Milk Storage Lids, 
  • 6 x Milk Powder Dispensers – 0m+, 
  • 2 x Insulated Bottle Bags, 
  • 1 x Bottle and Teat Brush 
This really is the full works and the absolute beauty is that this set will suit you whether you want to exclusively bottle feed or mixed feed. I breastfed my babes first and then expressed and introduced a bottle so my husband could do the 10pm feed and I could sleep. It was bliss and in those early colicky days it meant that I only got a six hour stretch of sleep and personally I found that if I got six straight hours I could tackle anything!

You'll notice in the picture below that the teats in the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature range have patented ridges near the teat so that it moves in a way more closely aligned to how the babe would move a breast.

Enter Now!

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on here to share either your favourite memory of a time with your own baby or someone else's.

The giveaway is run through Rafflecopter and will be live until midnight on 23rd February 2017.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions (copied from Rafflecopter)
The giveaway will close at midnight on 23rd January 2017. The winner will be chosen at random. The winner will receive a Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature Complete Starter Kit. The winner will be announced on this blog and twitter within 7 days of the giveaway close. The prize is not transferable and there is no cash alternative. The winner of the prize needs to be a UK resident and be over 18 years of age. The winner will have 14 days from announcement to email/ tweet me and provide their name and address for delivery. If the winner does not contact me I will re-draw. Tommee Tippee is responsible for the fulfilment of this prize.

Disclosure: I've not received anything to host this giveaway. Sometimes it is just nice to offer out a great prize to my readers as a thank you for your continues support, Mich x
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Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Parenting Expectations Versus Reality

Holding my JJ in the very early days!

I've been a parent for over fourteen years now as I believe the parenting gene kicks in from the moment you find out you are pregnant, not just when the child arrives. I loved and nurtured JJ in my womb, I was planning for our future together and I was certainly already spending money on him before he had even been born.

I can vividly remember my lunch breaks from work in Hemel Hempstead town centre making frequent visits over to Mothercare and the Early Learning Centre to buy baby vests, pastel coloured toys, nappies, cot accessories, feeding bottles, more nappies and in truth a ton of other stuff that I probably never even used. If I added up the cost of all the mother and baby magazines that I bought we are probably talking at least three figures!

It is no wonder that parents underestimate the true cost of raising a child and of course there isn't only the monetary cost but there is also the emotional and lifestyle costs too.  Truthfully as a younger woman I never thought I'd be a mother, I didn't have that desire but then for me, meeting the right man and getting married triggered that maternal want but with it came many sacrifices. I gave up my well paid job as I just couldn't justify having a child and working those kind of hours any longer, we stopped going abroad as of course the money I used to earn was now not there and I then had this little being that I had such a fierce love for and I had to let go of many of my selfish ways.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Rejection: Even Harder to Watch as a Parent

It's only been in the last couple of years that I have realised that at the age of 43 I suffer with deep-seated feelings of rejection. The root of these goes right back to primary school and being the last to be picked for gym or being the one left out when it was play time. I can still feel the hurt of being about 10 or 11 and sitting hiding behind a curtain at a birthday party, crying as I just knew no-one really wanted me there.

It's not easy being stuffed full of all these feelings of inadequacy and unlove for more than thirty years but the great news is that now I know about this issue I'm able to deal with it and I'm currently reading Uninvited by Lisa Terkeurst. It is proving really helpful, giving me insight into how I need to deal with those feelings of rejection that have stayed with me for far too long. I've also just started a course at church called Living Free and I had an amazing first week and can't wait to go along again tomorrow.

Thank the Lord that as I grow as a Christian God helps me to see all the issues that I have been burying for far too long and I have the opportunity to deal with them if I wish. This revelation isn't just helping me though it also enables me to see where my children might be having issues and right now one of my girls is feeling rejection in a big way.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Reasons to be Cheerful - Weight Loss, Curry and Living Free #R2BC

Morning friends, if you are over here looking to join in with the Reasons to be Cheerful linky then you need t head over and see the lovely Becky at Lakes Single Mum as she is this months host. I'll be back in March hosting.

Here are my reasons to be Cheerful this week -

1. #1GoodThing and Instagram. I really enjoy Instagram, it is such a positive and visual place, so I love to have half hour there most days. Back in December I started the #1GoodThing hashtag for Advent and the idea was to stay grounded during the crazy run-up to Christmas. I enjoyed it so much and so did @teamlloyd that we decided to keep it going for all of 2017. 

I'm loving seeing more people join in and use the hasthag and it is creating a nice little community of like-minded people. It's a bit like #R2Bc for Instagram I suppose!

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

5 Months Later - Hotter School Shoes Update

Pictures taken in the Hotter Store, Eastbourne

You might recall that all three of my children were super lucky back at the end of August and chose a pair of Hotter shoes each for back to school. They have all been wearing their shoes for all of Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec and Jan and I'll let you take a look at the shoes and see for yourself how they are doing.

The Pictures above were taken in January 2017 as they came off the kids feet, so without them being polished and the ones below are today with them polished ready to wear again tomorrow.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Planning a trip to Edinburgh Zoo & the Highland Wildlife Park

Image Credit: BBC

For a long time now I've been an advocate of giving experiences as presents rather than physical things. I tend to have friends and family around me who don't need more stuff, that doesn't mean that we are all super rich and have every gadget imaginable, it just means that we are content with what we have and don't need any more ornaments, clothes, photo frames, perfume, chocolate etc

Many years for Christmas I give my Mum a trip to London with me around Mothers day and we go shopping, sightseeing, to the theatre or cinema and enjoy some meals out. This Christmas gone was no different and we are both very much looking forward to our March stay at the Mercure hotel, Kensington and spending that alone time together. There really is a different dynamic when we don't have the kids shouting Mum or Nan constantly.

JJ was the first of my children to receive a night away as his Christmas gift, it was two or three years ago and I asked what he wanted for Christmas and he said to go to London with his Dad and to stay up there. So I booked a Premier Inn at a bargain price as it was for a January and the two of them had an amazing boys weekend visiting museums, walking the South Bank, going to the cinema and eating JJ's favourite food like gourmet burgers and pancakes.

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