We have joined the rest of the country and made a #rainbow design in our living room window. The kids have drawn one on a piece of paper and also used window felt pens to design a 🌈 on the pane itself. It looks pretty. The kiddies are very happy with them. They lit up when the neighbours asked for them to make them rainbows for the window.

I love this part of the front garden, you can just see the flowers are about to bloom any day now. Daffodils are hiding in amongst the tulips, hyacinths full of a deep purple, the Heather has come up a nice reddy purple too. By the front door there is a sea of purple from the aster (I think that’s what they are). Can you see the beautiful Camellia to the left of the kiddies too? It’s about to bloom with its bright pink flowers. The yellow Jasmine is just starting to grow on the right side of the kiddies, can you see it climbing up the wall?

There’s so much going on. It looks beautiful. I don’t remember it looking this pretty last Spring. Maybe I didn’t pay much attention. Or maybe these things have grown from random seeds I planted last year and forgot about. I can’t remember what I planted though 🤦🏼‍♀️ Does anyone else do that?

Have you seen many rainbows in the window of people’s homes?

#mummyphotoaday

We have joined the rest...

A very happy birthday to my first furbaby, Rambo. He is 13 today. I can’t believe he’s been in my life for 13 years, we’ve done so much and seen so many places. It’s gone so quickly.

He is so good, his temperament is just perfect. He’s not a yappy dog. He barks to mark his territory but that’s it. When the kids were toddlers, they would pull his fur out in clumps and he would just lay there. He cleans the other pets in the house and always makes sure the kids are safe at night time. It’s so cute. He’s such a loving, fatherly dog.

This little man is my follower at the moment; more so than normal. He follows me everywhere. If I’m on the loo, he will sit at the bathroom door staring at me. When I’m in the bath, he pushes the door open and sits next to me and stares. Right now, he’s currently snuggling under the duvet.

Let’s hope we can go and explore somewhere new in the summer, with amazing views and miles of countryside. Our favourite.

Thanks for all the adventures Rambo 🐾 and the snuggles! We love you lots.

A very happy birthday to...

I wonder what is going through their tiny minds right now? Do you think they consider things like we do? Do you think they #dream of what’s going on? The kids seem to be taking it all in their stride and albeit they are sad they can’t see their friends, they seem to be just getting on with it.

Whereas, I go through waves of different feelings. I’ve discovered I’m at my best when I just take each day as it comes. When I start to think about things globally, or the time period of lockdowns and when the kids are going back to school... that’s when I start to feel worried and glum.

I worry that my employer will soon say “sorry Sonia we’re not paying you anymore as you’re homeschooling”, or the worry that I’m not teaching my kids correctly and they’re missing too much of their education. Or the impact of isolation on the kiddies at this age, making friendships and building rapport with people.

I hope these are worries over nothing. And I know all of the kiddies in the world are in the same boat. But, as a parent you can’t help but worry.

So for now I’m trying not to think negatively. Trying not to think more than 1 day ahead (except maybe planning Easter Sunday dinner) and I’m trying to keep smiling. So my babies keep smiling.

Keep calm and carry on. Isn’t that the saying!

#mummyphotoaday

I wonder what is going...

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...

How to unplug on vacation #Travel

Going on vacation is a fun time. It’s your chance to get away from the office and worries of everyday life. You’ve worked hard to earn time off and it’s now your chance to soak up the sun and relax with friends or family.

The one obstacle you face is whether to work or not on vacation. The majority of people would agree that it’s a time to detach yourself from daily responsibilities. Ultimately, it’s up to you to make that decision. The problem is many people don’t know how to separate work and leisure time and end up missing out on a lot of their trip. See how to unplug on vacation.

Work Ahead

The best course of action to take for yourself is to plan before you go. Work in advance and complete tasks ahead of schedule that will be due when you return. Know exactly what’s expected of you around your vacation time and get in front of the assignments. Put in the extra time now so you’re able to relax and de-stress once you’ve reached your destination. It may feel a bit overwhelming when you’re taking on double the work, but it’ll be worth it once you’re removed from the office. Also, set an out of office message so clients and colleagues are well aware that you’re out of town and won’t be answering messages.

Set Boundaries with Colleagues & Yourself

Make it clear to those you work with that you’re going to be out of the office and not working. Be courteous and call or write clients so they understand when you’ll be available to chat in case of an emergency. Notify your boss and tell coworkers the dates you’ll be gone and what that means for the workload and answering questions. It’s more than likely they’ll all understand and be willing to pitch in while you’re out. Assign someone as a backup in case they need to contribute in your absence. You earned the time off, and now it’s up to you to set boundaries and make it clear what you will and won’t be doing work-wise while on vacation.

Travel with Fewer Devices

You don’t really need to pack your tablet, phone and computer. Pick one or two and have them in your bag on standby. Try very hard not to be staring at your screens the entire trip. Keep them somewhere safe where you can access them, should you need to for whatever reason. The fewer devices you pack, the less tempted you’ll be to constantly be connected to them. Travel light and only bring what you need on the trip. Remember that this is your time to disconnect and relax, so that’s why it’s important you put your devices out of sight for the majority of the vacation.

Define A Purpose for Connecting

Ask yourself if you’re logging in just to say you’re online or if you’re completing an important task, like emailing a client. Always have a purpose for connecting and interacting over your devices. Be mindful not to go on them to scan the Internet, stare at spreadsheets and wait for emails to go through. Log in because there’s an issue or you have to make an important call or send a crucial email. Think about and write down your purpose before jumping on your devices so you’re sure it’s a task you have to complete right in that moment. You may be surprised how often you’re drawn to your electronics without having a plan of action once you’re logged on.

Remind yourself why you’re on Vacation

Take a step back and remember the reasons why you’re on vacation. You’re there to rest and relax with people you enjoy being around. You’re mentally and spiritually refreshing so you’re in a much better place when you return to work. Your purpose of the trip isn’t to connect and work as hard as possible. Leave that for when your trip is over, and you’re back at home. This is time for you to reconnect with yourself and enjoy the time away from your obligations. Look for other people on the trip who are doing a good job of unplugging and take after them.  

Put your Phone away While Driving

If you’re on a road trip or have rented a car to get you around, it’s important you take proper precautions when driving the vehicle. This is especially true when you’re driving at night. Put your devices away or in the glovebox, so they’re hidden. If you happen to find yourself in an accident, call the Babcock Partners who specialize in personal injury law. They know how a car accident can turn your life upside down. The attorneys will work hard to set things right. Your case and your future will be their top priority. They’ll listen closely to you in a free case review and aggressively pursue maximum compensation for you.

Designate a Time to check Emails

Instead of checking emails at all hours of the day, set a designated time when you’ll go over your inbox. Pick a time once a day to address your messages and respond to important emails. This will put your mind at ease the rest of the day because you know you’ll be taking care of business and that you won’t have to think about it once it’s done. This makes much more sense than constantly interrupting your day to monitor your inbox. A lot of the messages can wait, and you don’t need to be wasting your precious downtime watching them come through. Check emails when it’s convenient for you, either early in the morning, at lunch or before dinner time.  

Turn off Notifications 

Take each device and configure it so all notifications are off. You won’t need the notifications if you’re good about designating a time each day to go over your work responsibilities. The notifications will only add to your stress and make you feel anxious about not being glued to your phone or computer. The noise itself will interrupt the time you’re supposed to be relaxing and disturb others. You’ll feel obligated to attend to each message that dings and calls for your attention. Don’t let this become an issue by taking care of it early on in the trip.

Remove any Feelings of Guilt

Talk yourself out of feeling any guilt for enjoying your vacation. Guilt won’t change the situation that you’re not at work. Know that you did all you could to prepare for being away and that you earned the trip. It’s a time to feel joyous and at ease. Remember that the work will be there when you get back. If someone really needs to get in touch with you, they’ll pick up the phone. Don’t let guilt creep in and ruin your vacation. Put yourself first for once and make your trip an opportunity to improve your mental health and reset, so you’re less stressed when you return.

Make A Commitment to yourself

Focus on you and tell yourself you’re going to use this trip as a way to improve your well-being. Make a promise to yourself to take full advantage of all the vacation has to offer. Use it as time to reflect on your life and all you’ve done to get where you are today. Have a good time because you want to and not for anyone else. Put work out of your head and worry about how you’re feeling and doing overall. Commit to making it a fun trip and focusing on making new goals for yourself for when you return home. Give yourself a break from the chaos of everyday life and enjoy the company of who you’re with on vacation. Tell yourself you’re not going to let work get you down or let anyone or any circumstance take away from your enjoyment. 

Think about your Family

If you’re with your family on vacation, consider their feelings. They love you and want you on the trip to spend time with you. If you’re always glued to your devices, you’re going to miss out on time with your family. This is your chance to bond and reconnect with those who you may not talk to or see as often when you’re busy with your own life. Think about the other people you’re with and their feelings. Put yourself in their shoes and decide how you’d feel if they ignored you the entire time to attend to work obligations. This will give you a whole new perspective on the situation, and you’ll be more inclined to make the right move.

Conclusion

Disconnecting isn’t easy these days with all of the technology that’s out there. This is even true for those who are on vacation. It becomes even more difficult when you have to balance your work and personal life. Use these tips to help you manage your time wisely and have no regrets when you return from your trip. This is how to unplug on vacation.

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Tuesday 15 August 2017
How to unplug on vacation #Travel

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