Monday, 31 August 2015

Feeding baby on holiday and BIG flood...

Holidaying with three young children certainly has its challenges! We've had a great week away in Cornwall, but I was pretty glad to be home yesterday. Well sort of, that is until I opened the front door and a huge stinky smell greeted me. Yes, our downstairs toilet had leaked - something as simple as  washer that needed replacing but OH the damage. The flooring has all started curling up already and the smell, well, it's indescribable. Worst of all our brand new carpet needs totally replacing. Weep!

The flood

Total nightmare. Back to Cornwall, it's definitely my favourite place to holiday in the UK. There's loads to do for young children and even things for grown ups too - especially if you are a bit of a foodie. We actually managed to fit in TWO visits to Camel Valley Vinyard this year for some tasting. The only thing that annoys me about that place is that you have to pay for a tasting, even if you buy a crate of wine. And the tastings are not cheap. Still, it's worth it for the beautiful views and "champagne".  Course we visited Padstow as well for Fish and Chips a la Rick Stein. I also highly recommend Tintagel - lots of things to do there especially for battle obsessed boys (or girls!).

Padstow, Cornwall
Being on holiday whilst breastfeeding pretty much sucks (pardon the pun). Breastfeeding at home is no biggie but when you're on the move it presents many challenges; the pillows are never the same as the ones you prop yourself up on at home, the sofa is too soft to sit comfortably, baby will never sleep in the cot, you are constantly forced to feed outdoors which means sitting in the cold and rain with your bits and bobs exposed. It was actually when we were on holiday with Son 1 that I gave up breastfeeding many years ago, and I can see how it happened.  Course my little girl did choose this week to start "fussing" whilst feeding which resulted in many innocent customers in various cafes being inadvertently squirted whilst she faffed about.  Now we're home it's much easier again, maybe because I'm more relaxed too, who knows.

All this sofa time means that I need plenty to entertain me whilst baby is feeding - which has resulted in me spending a lot of time on the internet. I know a lot of mums enjoy playing free bingo online whilst they are on maternity leave to help pass the time and as a bit of a hobby which makes total sense. I know the feeding won't be forever so I'm trying to stick with it and stay positive, and of course there are many many benefits both for baby and me. 

What do you do to help pass the time when you're feeding?

This post was written in collaboration with Bingo Extra.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Summer Holidays

Last May I was pretty much stuck in a rut. Despite having a job I love and working from home so I could theoretically spend time with my children, I was actually more exhausted than ever. I had become very tired and was unable to switch off. I don't think I realised how wound up with stress - all self imflicted - I was. I needed a break and so we took the family down to Cornwall for May half term. The different pace of life struck me immediately, and I started fantasizing about how life at that pace is so much more enjoyable. I realised that I hardly ever went outdoors and the exposure to the sun had an impact on me psychologically. I started enjoying food again and actively sought out my favourites like lobster and seafood. That holiday was a real awakening for me and reminded me to live my life, rather than just watch it pass me by

Wine Tasting in Cornwall, such a happy memory.
 We spent time as a family doing things we all enjoyed - eating, playing on the sand, exploring castles and caves. Having many many cream teas and just generally chilling out. I realised I had been living on caffeine to get me through the day, and waiting for a glass of wine in the evening to calm me down again. It's no way to live. The silly thing is though, that the stress was totally self imposed and I guess is one of the down sides to working on your own at home - I was forgetting to take breaks and was blurring the lines between work and home life. Even in the evenings I couldn't switch off from checking my emails and social media accounts. I was trapped in a prison of my own making.

Goat feeding in Cornwall
 The break also gave me a chance to reconnect with my children again, find out what makes them tick and I discovered my youngest son's love of animals - and my oldest son's fear of them!

Our swiss style chalet in Cornwall
When I came back from holiday I was determined to not slip back into my old habits. I started going for walks or runs at lunchtime. I finished work on time having achieved my objectives, and in the evenings I started leaving my iPhone on my desk rather than constantly picking it up in the lounge. I also ditched the caffeine and the alcohol for a while and started BREATHING deeply again. It was amazing how much better I felt in a short space of time.

I still harbour fantasies of moving to Cornwall someday. It's my favourite place to holiday - as long as the weather is good.

This Summer we are going back to the same place in Cornwall and I can't wait. There's something really special about the place and it will always be a place of retreat for me and my family. With my oldest son having major problems with change, holidays aren't always easy for us. But I'm hoping as it's somewhere we've been before it should make things easier for us all.

Post in collaboration with TheCircle

Friday, 7 August 2015

No more shampoo...

I don't know what's wrong with my hair. In the past year or so it's become really pathetic. It ranges between super dry and fly away to super oily and horrible feeling. I don't know how to get it to behave! I have to dry it to within an inch of its life, or else it looks like I've just got out of the swimming pool - all day! I started to do some research about what hair products I needed to actually make my hair look decent again, or at least half decent again. It never shines, it just looks sad and dull. I actually found out something really interesting. It's possible that whilst applying lots of hair masks, deep intensive conditioners and the like, I've actually been conspiring against my own hair and making it worse! What I actually needed to do was STOP with all the products and chemicals and let my hair sort of, roam free again. So that's what I decided to do. If you google about this subject, you'll find a wealth of info about the chemicals shampoo contains and how bad it is for you in lots of different ways. But I find that sort of scary and boring so I won't write about it here, this is more about getting my hair to look as good as possible. Vain? Yes.

I actually found out that it's possible to just use water on your hair, and eventually it rejuvenates and sort of self washes, but I wasn't prepared to do the leg work for this, so I opted for another method.


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