Me and Mine (January 2017)

January, the bleakest most gloomiest of all months. Although I enjoy the fresh start that January brings, I really hate the weather that comes with it. The wet, cold and sometimes snowy climate means that your stuck in the house more often than not and when you have a family that craves the outdoors and the fresh air, it leads to a lot of boredom and irritability amongst the little ones! Roll on summer I say!

We managed to get out of the house to take this picture last week although it was a quick photo session done purely for this post as it was absolutely freezing. The children were cold and not in the mood to be waiting round for too long to get the perfect picture.

I do love taking photos of my bunch, and I’m so glad to be taking part in this year’s Me and Mine Project again. I can’t wait to see what photos unfold in the next 12 months.

This month:

Mummy is loving

Eating the remains of the Christmas chocolate

Sherlock

Playing with the new lens on her camera

Daddy is loving

Ordering our new kitchen

Football (They are actually playing well now apparently)

Katie is loving

Watching Hercules

Shopping list game

Being back at Nursery

Dylan is loving

Walking

Ra-Ra the noisy lion

In the night garden

Yep! These 3 are mine!

 

Meal ideas for a fussy toddler

Meal times. One of the most stressful times of late in our house. What is it with toddlers and food? They are quite happy to eat a piece of dirt off the floor or a Wotsit that has dropped down the side of the bed but when it comes to wholesome cooked food they take one look at it and throw it on the floor! Sound familiar?

When we first started to wean Katie nearly three years ago she was always such a good little baby, she ate all her mashed up veggies and enjoyed her carefully chosen meats and never made so much as a murmur. Even as she grew bigger we never had any real issues surrounding meal times and now she generally eats what we eat without (much) fuss or bribement.

Dylan on the other hand, lord have mercy! That boy and meal times are unreal! Actually, that’s a bit unfair, it’s not ALL meal times. Breakfast and Lunch he eats wonderfully and without much hesitation. But come teatime (or dinner time if your not from up north like me) it’s a proper battle. He is SO fussy. He takes one look at the food in front of him and decides that he doesn’t like it before it’s even touched his mouth! Then cue 5 minutes of me and hubby gently trying to coax him into eating something before he flings it all on the floor. Leaving me no option but to give him a yogurt for tea (for the 3rd day in a row) and all my handy cookery skills going in the bin!!!

If you read my monthly updates on Dylan (latest one, here) you’ll know the struggles I have.

I’m telling myself it’s a faze and deep down I know it is a faze but it’s still frustrating and most importantly it’s worrying because I don’t want him to have just a yogurt for tea! A yogurt’s nutritional value isn’t really up there with fish and veg is it!? But lately we’ve made a bit of a brake through and I’ve managed to compile a small list of meals which actually goes down well with my fussy little monster and I’m hoping to share them to give you a bit of inspiration if your out there struggling too. This list isn’t anything fancy pants or anything that hasn’t been done before and usually takes me no more than 30 minutes to do (who’s got time to spend hours in the kitchen!? Not me!) No records will be broke for culinary imagination here, but they work for me and hopefully they will work for you too!

Sweet potato cottage pie.

From the Joe Wicks Lean in 15 “shift” recipe book. This seems to be a little gem in our household. Relatively easy to do, the sweet potato makes a nice change and if you follow the recipe from the Joe Wicks book, it’s full of hidden veggies and the kids don’t know about it! Mwahahaha! Plus you can make extra portions and freeze it for another day. Winner!

Toad in the hole.

Sausages seem to be a good choice in my house lately. Teamed with Yorkshire pudding and gravy it’s a northerners dream and fairly simple to do.

Spag Bol

Quick and easy to do. The kids enjoy getting their hands in there and sucking the pasta up. A bit messy but nothing a bath doesn’t fix afterwards plus you could add some hidden veggies in the bolognaise if you really wanted to.

Chicken/Steak pie

Home made or shop bought depending on time restraints or what you prefer with mash potato and peas. A small amount of gravy makes the meat nice and soggy and usually quite tasty for my little ones.

That’s my small list at the moment. I find that my meals are based around what the weather is like so it’s all about the home cooked stodge at the minute for us. Do you have a fussy eater at home? If so, what do you usually cook for them as a go-to meal? I’d love to hear from you for some inspiration!

XOXOXO

 

 

5 ways to de-stress as a busy mum

Life in our household is always very busy. I’m always juggling something. With working part time, managing two young children (one whom is teething and not sleeping all that well at the moment) a house that never seems to be tidy, a wash basket that refills itself faster than I can blink (I’m pretty sure there’s someone else living in our house that I haven’t met yet!!) and a to-do list that gets longer everyday it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed with it all. When you’re run down and tired it’s difficult to not take it out on the ones you love. I find myself snapping at the children more often than I should or being short with my husband. When you just want to roll over and stay in bed in the morning but you know you can’t because life still carries on regardless. When life gets like that (which it does for us all at some time or another) it’s important to take a break and make time for yourself in order to de-stress and keep our sanity.

Here are my top 5 ways to de-stress as a busy mum.

Take some time out

Taking time out away from everything. Even if it’s only for half an hour helps me feel like I can breathe again. Go for a walk, have a coffee at a coffee shop, go for a nosy round the shops or go and see a friend for a chat. Whatever it is, make sure it’s away from the house. Just 30 minutes can recharge your batteries enough to make you feel like you can pick yourself up and carry on again.

Pamper night

I don’t get to do this very often, mainly because I’m too knackered in the evening to care but taking an hour once the kiddies are in bed to paint your nails, put on a face mask and pluck your eyebrows does wonders for the soul! There’s nothing more refreshing than feeling groomed the day after when you are tackling your mum duties knowing that your nails look nice! If you really want to push the boat out try going the whole hog and booking a spa day!

Night out with the girls

Leave the children with the hubby for the night (or helping grandparents!) put on a sparkly dress and your highest of heels and get out there with your girlfriends for a night of drinking, dancing and giggles. It’s one of my favourite ways to blow off some steam. Try not to over do it though, a hangover the day after when your trying to parent two children is NOT FUN!

Find a hobby

Think about what it is you like to do, whether it be dancing, blogging, knitting, drawing, going to the gym, the possibilities are endless and just do it! Just once a week if that’s all you can manage but it gives you something to look forward to.

Let go of the guilt

So the uniforms aren’t ironed, you’ve had something beige for tea two nights in a row when you vowed you were going to cook properly, you’ve forgot to feed the cat and the house is over run with toys…Seriously, who cares!? As mums we stride ourselves on doing the absolute best we can to provide for our family. We want to make sure we are organised, the house is tidy, the husbands shirts are ironed, there’s a wholesome meal waiting for him on his return from work, the kids are played with sometimes we drop the ball and it’s funny how the only person who really notices that this ball has been dropped is you! Let go of the guilt and realise that we can’t always be perfect and have our shit together at every possible moment. Take a look around at the mess, stick two fingers up to it and pour yourself a large glass of wine….THAT is the best de-stress moment!

What do you do to de-stress? Do you manage to take some time out for yourself? I’d love to hear from you!

XOXOXO

 

 

 

Blogging goals for 2017

The 1st week in January I posted about my goals for 2017 (here) and although I touched on blogging, they were more my life goals rather than my blogging goals. So I’ve wrote down my blogging goals for the year with an aim to review it around June/July time to make sure I’m on track and to try and make 2017 the best year yet for my blogging journey!

GOAL 1: Increase readership and followers

This applies to everything, not just specifically to my blog but by the end of 2017 I would like to increase my readership and followers on my blog and social media pages. I currently have Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest as my main social media pages. I need to do this by posting regularly on all platforms and making sure my blog posts are promoted regularly as I can lack in this sometimes in fear of spamming people. I also need to make sure I am more engaging with the people on my feeds. Hopefully by doing this it will increase the awareness of my blog.

GOAL 2: Structure/Planning

In order to post regular content I definitely need to plan and structure my blog more. I have bought myself a beautiful little planner which will help me keep track of what I need to do and I need to make sure I set aside an hour each week to make sure I fill this planner in.

GOAL 3: Monetise

The ideal goal by the end of 2017 would be to make a regular income from my blog. I currently work part time and would love to subsidize my income with revenue from my writing. I currently earn nothing from writing this blog so I don’t have a specific monetary goal in mind but however small it would be, it would still be an achievement to me if it’s regular. I aim to do this by writing sponsored posts, advertisement and reviews etc.

GOAL 4: Attend a blogging event

I said last year that I would like to go to a blogging event but chickened out of it at the last minute. This year I’m going to put my brave big girl pants on and attend one. Which one is yet to be decided.

GOAL 5: To win a blogging award

Ok, I’m probably living in cloud cuckoo land here but why not!? I’m going to say it out loud “IN 2017 I AIM TO WIN A BLOG AWARD” There, I said it! She who dares to believe, wins and all that…

That’s about it for my blogging goals for 2017. Here’s to working hard and accomplishing everything that we dream of!

Do you have any specific blogging goals? I’d love to hear from you!

XOXOXO

 

Dylan – You are 16 months old (A letter to my son)

My darling Dylan,

I haven’t written to you for the last few months as I thought now that your 1 years old I’d let you know what you’d been up to every few months, I hope that’s ok!

These last 4 months have been brilliant sweetheart, you are progressing so much. You took your first couple of wobbly steps the week before Christmas (at 15 months) and now there’s no stopping you! You are toddling about the house much more confidently now and much more regularly although I still think you prefer to crawl as it gets you there faster!

You are responding more to communication and making relevant noises when we ask you questions. Your favourite word at the moment is “yeah” – you say this in response to almost everything.

Katie has noticed more of a change in you than anyone I think, as you can fully play with her now although there is a little bit of frustration on her part when you brake/rip/throw her toys whilst your playing and I have noticed I’ve had to intervene a couple of times! She currently enjoys asking you what “ra-ra does” as you always respond with “Roar”! She finds this very funny.

You are taking much more of an interest in things now and you like “In the night garden”, “Thomas the tank engine” and “Ra-Ra the noisy lion”. You enjoy playing with cars and dinosaurs too.

Sleeping through the night is still a bit hit and miss darling, we’ve had the odd night lately where you’ve slept from 7:30pm-6am but usually you still wake once or twice during the night. Your quite easy to resettle though so it’s not too much of an issue just yet. No matter how much sleep you’ve had (or lack of) you nearly always wake up at 6am.

Meal times for you are the same every.single.day! Breakfast and lunch time you eat like a horse then come tea time you eat absolutely nothing!! You won’t even try it, your so fussy! I’m hoping it’s just a faze and you grow out of it soon as it can be quite stressful in the evening when all your doing is throwing food on the floor!

Your cheeky mischievous side is still there and growing by the day, your becoming aware of what you shouldn’t be doing (like drawing on the walls!!!!!!!) and doing it anyway! But you then laugh and then we laugh…You get away with murder!

We still have to be careful with you sometimes though sweetheart as you have a temper like a raging bull! Some days, particularly in the evening when your tired you can have some almighty temper tantrums where you throw yourself on the floor in dismay! It makes me smile though as I like to think it’s your fiery side coming through and surely that’s not always a bad thing!? Like everything though, I’m sure it’s just a faze.

I think that’s about it for now my darling, we all love you so much.

Stay mischievous , no one likes a boring baby!

XOXOXO

 

Diary of an imperfect mum