This afternoons activity with Daddy looked like lots of fun: they gathered sticks and the kiddies built their own pile of firewood for a camp fire. They then sat around the fire pit to test whose camp fire would flame up the best!

Isla created a very structured camp fire, logical and a pattern to where she placed her sticks. Noahs looked more sporadic but covered a wider area.

Neither camp fires took fire, it was quite windy. So the kiddies enjoyed a hot chocolate and marshmallow around their piles of sticks.

They had fun though and that’s the main thing. I’m loving all of these practical tasks they’re doing with Daddy.

I’ve been waiting, all day, for someone to tell me it’s all a dream and we are still going to Dubai. But, unfortunately, no one jumped out screaming April #fool and alas, we are still at home. I’m gutted.

Lots to look forward to though and right now it’s about focussing on our main objective: stay at home at all times, unless to buy essential food & walk the dogs! I have actually loved being at home everyday. It’s my favourite place.

#mummyphotoaday

This afternoons activity with Daddy...

“We are very excited to try out this new food from Forthglade, it smells woofing delicious” 🐾 Straight from the doggies mouth!

I am very excited to announce that I am a new ambassador for @forthglade. What does that mean? Well, I get to try out the products and tell you all how good they are and get special offers and discounts for my followers too!

It’s such a strange time with lockdown, however finding out about Forthglade couldn’t have come at a better time. When I went to get our usual dog foods in the supermarket it had all sold out. So, resorting to online orders seemed a very natural thing to do to ensure our furbabies are fed.

This food is a minimum of 75% meat or fish and is free from junk. With Snoopy, he has a tummy condition which means we have to be careful what he eats, it’s perfect. We will keep you posted on what they thought! 🐾 #gifted

“We are very excited to...

🌼 April is here and along with it comes another set of photo keywords for #MummyPhotoADay photo challenge.

We should have been flying to Dubai today, so my insta squares would have been very different to what they now will be. I’m expecting to see lots of Spring colours and stay at home families instead this month.

Don’t forget to use the hashtag #mummyphotoaday so I can comment and share my favourites throughout the month.

Does anyone have any creative stay at home plans for April?

🌼 April is here and...

My favourite pics from March #MummyPhotoADay - a massive thank you to everyone that took part. We have had a lot of new members this month and it’s been really hard picking my favourite 9! There are now over 4,000 photos to choose from.

All photos are tagged, but from left right:
📷 @cultivatingdelight
📷 @newmummyblog
📷 @confessionsofacrummymummy
📷 @houseofbaughs
📷 @sahrazade
📷 @otisandus.blog
📷 @_lisaslife_
📷 @socalshopgirl384
📷 @descendants_of_war

I’ve really loved seeing photos from @anywaytostayathome, @the_mummy_editorial, @freyalexandra, @becsbrewtifullife & @canonjacq.

All you have to do to join in is add #mummyphotoaday to your caption and the keyword of the day... I’m very excited to see what April has in store for us. Lots of fun “Stay at #Home” themed photos!

Thank you to everyone that joins in 📷

My favourite pics from March...

The kiddies had a lot of fun playing in the bath today. Swimming pools are closed, it’s too cold to get outside in a paddling pool so we put our swimming costumes on and pretended!

The kids had loads of fun making sparkly bath water and foaming soap shapes with @kidsstuffcrazy products. It’s amazing how fun products like this can keep the kiddies entertained for hours.

They literally played in the bath for an hour. The water had gone cold by the time they got out. It was the perfect indoor fun activity, especially as it was wet outside today.

If you’re homeschooling and self isolating with young children why not make a fun bath and invite the kids to make a mess with whatever you have in the bathroom! We also tried to make our own bubble bath using washing up liquid and #citrus juice - it wasn’t a nice smell 😂 the kiddies will try again in the week.

You can get the Magical Sparkle bubble bath and Foaming Soap from Kids Stuff Crazy at @superdrug - check out my review on the blog. #linkinbio

#mummyphotoaday 🧼

The kiddies had a lot...

Today has been a busy day, but nice and chilled at the same time. We let the kiddies have iPad and Xbox time this morning; our homeschool doesn’t give out homework! They built some cool stuff in Minecraft and worked together. Which was nice to see.

After lunch we took a longer walk than in the week, across the river. This is a walking route that is direct from our doorstep and took us 90 minutes in total, part of our one exercise a day under lockdown rules. It was nice to get some fresh air and just talk about whatever comes into our heads. We spoke about a lot of random things. 7 & 9 year olds do come out with some funny comments. Noahs favourites are “would you rathers”. We got home and Daddy made a delicious roast dinner and I did a deep #clean in the bathroom. Then had a long hot bath!

No rush for any of these things as we seemingly have about 12 weeks of working at home and possibly months of homeschooling. I just hope we can have family over soon as we miss them all.

#mummyphotoaday

Today has been a busy...

I am running a day behind 🤦🏼‍♀️ I keep falling asleep and not posting my photos. I’ll catch up today... This is #fresh. Getting out in the fresh air has been a complete dream over the past week. When you’re told you can’t do something, it makes you want to do it more. Like when Hubby said we have to be careful about the food we eat, I wanted to eat it all!

This photo was the kiddies playing football with Daddy whilst I walked with them with the doggies. It’s something that’s becoming a habit after we finish homeschooling.

It’s a shame as Daddy normal gets out all of the time. On a typical Sunday he’ll go out for a 3 hour bike ride in the mornings. Possibly go swimming with the kids too. Walk the dogs with us later in the afternoon. I think this “1 exercise” rule will be effecting him more than anyone else I know. It’s also makes family decisions hard, if Daddy goes out on his bike he can’t walk with us. It’s very necessary with the lockdown rules. 
Just think how much we’ll all appreciate a long bike ride and driving to the beach for the day when all of this is over.

#mummyphotoaday

I am running a day...

Until tomorrow...

Until tomorrow...

My tips for a happier mind #mindfulness

This is a list of tips I’ve learnt from different people and experience… I’ve been lucky enough to receive some great training over the years and talk to inspiring people. So I thought I would share these tips on having a happier mind as they are useful and I hope they’ll be of use to you. Your brain is the most important tool you’ll own. We must look after it. Mindfulness is a great way to do this.

Its fair to say I have had an off week. Ever since Tuesday, I have felt too busy in my mind. The effects of that is my concentration and patience has diminished – incredibly. So, I thought writing about the things I have learnt will help me to remember them and use them to refocus.

General tips

Lower your expectations

This is a great tip. One we can all do, some easier than others, that doesn’t require anything but ourselves. Simply lower your expectations! The one thing that causes frustration is when things do not go as you expect them – for example; you were expecting a huge birthday cake and you got a cupcake. Still delicious. Still made with love – but not what you were expecting. It could make you feel lots of different emotions. Simply lower your expectations by saying “any cake would be nice, but I am not expecting one” – this way a cupcake is still a winner! Voila – a happier mind.

Expecting great things all of the time will lead to an over worked mine and a stressed body. You cannot control everything and you cannot always get great things. So stop worrying yourself with it all!

What’s on your stage?

The frontal cortex is the part of your brain that looks after what is going on right now. So if you have active thoughts about what you need to do in 10 minutes, 2 days, remember the dog food, write that report for work, text that friend as you haven’t for 3 weeks already… the list goes on. All of these thoughts / actions / reminders whirl around your frontal cortex. Sometimes, this can cause you to feel frustrated if there are too many.

It was once described to me as a stage. You only ever want a few main characters at once with a handful of other characters. Any more than 10 things on your stage and that can lead to stress and anxiety – if constantly maintained at that level. There are lots of ways to keep these actors to a minimum, including talking about something with someone else, a post-it note on the fridge door to remind you about something or simply adding a calendar appointment in your diary so you know you have booked time out to do something. The essence of booking time, writing a note lets your frontal cortex let go of that particular thought – as you have captured it somewhere.

Below is a technique to keep your actors on the stage to a minimum:

Tip: writing a list

Writing a to-do list is a great way of getting things off your mind. Its a place where you can organise your wants and desires – without having them consciously whirring around your brain. I have recently done my Agile training and something I learnt was about your backlog – this is the big long list of all the things you want to do that you haven’t scheduled in time to do them yet. It might be work related or home but you will have a happier mind for it.

The list sits there and grows, until you have time to pick from that list and achieve it. I use Trello to maintain my list and it works perfectly – I also use to do list pads as sometimes I find it better to write my thoughts out first and then add them to Trello afterwards.

Tip: schedule time for your list

We now have our list, we have our “backlog” but we haven’t really given ourselves any time to complete any of the tasks in the list. So, make time. Simply add a block of time to your calendar to achieve the activity. If one of your tasks is to get the dog food – add half an hour to your calendar to go to the shop. That might even check off a few different tasks, as you may have buy a vegetarian sausage as another.

It’s the concept of dedicating time to your list that means you will not get frustrated because you are getting through the items. Stress can happen when you feel like you are never getting anywhere – so make sure you book out some time. We all have calendars these days, they are on your iPhones or MACBooks!

Work tips

15 mins to flow!

When you need to concentrate on a task, say for example writing a report, it can take a while to get into the zone. That focussed zone where you are in the report, your brain is concentrating on writing this report and the words are just popping down onto paper. This state is called flow. What many people do not realise though is that it takes 15 minutes for our brains to get into this flow state. 15 whole minutes. Thats a long time, especially when you have disruptions around you.

Not only does it take you 15 minutes to get into the zone, if someone does break your concentration then it takes 15 minutes to get back there again. You can’t just flit back into the flow state. So, my advice is when you need to concentrate – book a quiet room or do it when you know you won’t be interrupted. Turn off your emails and hide your phone out of sight. Works a treat! A much happier mind.

Create a visual for “I’m busy”

Another neat trick for if you want to block out the world around you and create a visual for others to see you are concentrating; wear earphones. They do not even have to be plugged in to your device. Just have them in your ears. What that tells people is that you are busy and you do not want to be disturbed.

When I am sat at my desk, in the office, I will be interrupted about 5 times every half an hour. I cannot escape it and I don’t want staff to feel like they cannot approach me. So, when I need to concentrate I have to do something like this – or move to another seat!

I hope these tips are useful, let me know if you want me to expand on them or if you want to know any others. Also, if you have any tips on how to have a happier mind I would love to hear them in the comments below.

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My tips for a happier mind #mindfulness

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