The UnNatural Mother

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Becci in a red cossi

 

I was asked by Holiday Gems to share my favourite photo from our recent holiday to Tenerife. Now I could have picked one of the kids and talked about how cute they looked but I decided to pick this one of me. My body is no longer the toned size 8 it once was and the bags under my eyes have to be hidden by large sunglasses but on that particular day, I decided to put on my Baywatch replica red cossi and rock the shit out of being 35. There are times in life when you just have to stop worrying about your body and enjoy the moment. I was terrified people would stare at me for all the wrong reasons but far from being told i looked like a sack of potatoes I received lots of compliments. Body Confidence is a huge Issue for many of us and the fear of being judged can ruin what should be a happy occasion. Partly being brave and partly not caring, Body Confidence is something that needs to be worked at all the time.Here my fellow Bloggers tell you how they too have overcome their Body Confidence issues.

 

  • Look in the mirror every day and instead of noticing what we don’t like, notice what we DO like – it takes time but we really can flip that switch when it comes to our thinking – Ally
  •  I look at my wobbly bits and think “whatever” I was lucky enough that my body made, carried, delivered and fed a baby for the best part of two years. That’s pretty awesome and always gives me a boost when I need it – Kat
  • List three things about yourself or your body every day that you love. Work hard to think of the 3 things if you have to, but you WILL find 3 things every single day – Katy 
  •  I dress to suit my shape. For a long time, I tried to hide my whole body to cover my insecurities whereas now I recognise my better bits and accentuate them to distract from the parts I don’t like – Laura
  •  If you go into a room with lots of other people just remember, they are not thinking about how you look, they are fretting about how they look. So just enjoy yourself! – Nikki
  • Surround yourself with positive influences, focus on things you love no matter how small, remember that body confidence is a journey and everyone takes a different route. There are worse things in life you can be than fat. – Kelly
  • Throw away the scales and stop thinking of yourself as a number or figure. We are so much more than a number after all. – Fiona
  •  I like to look at old pics of me and see how much I have achieved. Two kids, career etc and everything I’ve done. Helps me put things in perspective. – Charlotte  
  •  I now just think to myself that every other Mum probably feels the same way as I do, especially when you have to get your swimsuit on to take the kiddies swimming. So I’m actual fact no one is looking at me because they are all too busy worrying about how they look. It’s daft though, isn’t it?  I reckon most of us look fab for what our bodies have been through! – Emma 
  • This is something I am currently struggling with, but working to overcome. I am trying to DO and SAY something positive about my body each day. For example, walking 10,000 steps and appreciating my good hair day. I also think it’s a great idea to stop reading magazines and tabloids that focus on unrealistic goals and focus on bodies and style over substance. – Lynette
  •  I love to follow body positive accounts on Instagram and surround myself with inspiring women who are a variety of shapes and sizes. I avoid traditional ‘beauty’ magazines with a one shape definition of beauty. I love accounts like Bodi Posi Panda and Grrl Gang Art who help me see the beauty in all bodies – Nyomi

 

If you have any tips or hints for how you have overcome body confidence issues then leave a comment below.

 

 

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This post is in collaboration with Holiday Gems but all my thoughts & opinions are my own.

This is a guest post from Elizabeth Plumb. She is an over-achieving, work-a-holic Capricorn mother and the owner of Thehomemakersjournal.com. She loves creating things, whether it is a delicious meal or creative craft. She likes to share her experiences, stresses, rants and the fun stuff, along with tips and ideas on ways to make life easier, healthier, prettier or tastier!

 

5 Awesome and Super Fun Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Oh, the creativity begins! Encouraging toddlers to explore the right things and not get into too many of the wrong ones is a challenge!  Attention span plays a part. Yesterday, we planned to stay at home at the weekend. So it looks like we are stuck at home for the majority of the day.

On days like today, I normally feel a bit of panic, because when cooped up for too long, my child can become restless, grouchy and very whiny — things like “What can we do now?” will be asked several times. The same old activities get boring. So I like to have some fun things to do on days like today when it’s really not an option to go out and burn off some preschool energy. Here’s a couple of ideas to keep your kids busy!

 

Have some fun in the kitchen

 

One of the best ways to pass some time is to bake with your kids. We all know that baking is a rewarding hobby and it’s a good opportunity for your kids to enjoy and choose bakeware sets for baking at home but there are a lot of other things you can do in the kitchen to keep them busy.

  • Fill up the sink with bubbles and let them stand on a chair/stool and play or “wash” dishes
  • Mix cornstarch and water together and see what happens
  • Make some DIY finger-paint
  • Try your hand at homemade play dough

There are a lot of easy activities you can do in the kitchen with your kids that require minimal ingredients/materials!

 

Get your craft on!

 

When in doubt, pull out your craft supplies. When I’ve run out of ideas or just plain can’t think of anything interesting to do, I let my child go to town with her art supplies. If you’re feeling ambitious, you could get a head start on Valentine’s Day crafts, make some paper snowflakes, let your child free paint with paints or draw to their heart’s content.

A big hit for me is pulling out a bunch of random supplies (cotton balls, pom poms, googly eyes, sparkles, stickers, etc.) and letting her make a collage of different materials. We usually kill an hour or so doing crafts each day, so if you’re desperate to end the “I’m BORREEDDD” comments, grab your paints and let them go to town!

 

Have a treasure hunt/scavenger hunt

 

Treasure hunts or scavenger hunts are a perfect way to keep kids entertained…as long as you don’t mind them ransacking your house. Putting together a series of clues to find a prize can be so exciting for little ones, and depending on their age level, you can make the clues as challenging as you like to keep their brains working. A scavenger hunt is another great way to keep them busy and keep their imaginations going.

 

Have them help with household chores

 

I know this sounds a bit crazy. But some kids are still in the stage where they find helping their moms or dads around the house fun! Luckily my child still enjoys it so I will be soaking up this stage for as long as possible. Getting your kids to help you with chores around the house is a great way to show them that keeping the house tidy, neat and functional is a family effort.

For a long time now I have taught her that we all work together to create a nice home environment, and so far the lesson seems to be getting through. There are a ton of little jobs they can help with:

  • Folding clothes
  • Sweeping floors
  • Helping to wash walls/floors
  • Help with meal prep
  • Wipe windows

The list goes on. I’m always a happy mama when my kid decides to help me clean because she’s helping me to keep it tidy rather than destroying it!

 

Let them be bored

 

This is something new to me. Before, I would feel like I should be entertaining them at all times of the day with crafts, puppet shows, songs, etc. But then I slowly realized I was doing myself and her a disservice as she seemed to have trouble keeping herself occupied when I didn’t have an activity planned.

When I was growing up, my mom played with us, but I also remember a lot of me whining “I’m bored” and my mom saying “Go find something to do!” I think it’s important for our kids to be able to get their imaginations going on their own without influence from their parents, T.V. or anything else besides themselves.

I tried this out the other day, and after a few grunts and groans about being bored and wanting me to find something for her to do, she went off and played with her toys and amused herself for a while. Sometimes the best play is created out of being utterly, completely bored, and I think kids really need to learn how to do that.

 

What are your favorite ways to keep your kids occupied on snow/indoor days?

 

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Charley turned 2 earlier this month but due to most of the family being ill we didn’t get to celebrate properly. I love a good party and any chance I get to buy a big cake (  eat it ) and have friends & family around is something I relish. We will be hosting the party here at home and we have about 10 little ones, 6 big brothers/sisters and 15 adults. Luckily thanks to the new house we have plenty of space and can spread the event over 2 rooms. As I am Chief Event Planner in the family I thought I would talk you through how I am organising Charley’s belated Birthday Party.

Unicorn Birthday Invite

Party Invitations

Every party needs invites and I choose to get mine from a company called Basic Invite . After searching the internet for hours for children’s Birthday invitations  I found this unicorn print and fell in love with it. I love anything bespoke and they offer over 180 different colour options to suit individual taste. You also get a choice of envelope colour which is a lovely touch. Nothing worse than a beautiful invite in a boring old white one. Basic Invite offers a printed sample of all their Birthday Party Invitations but I felt confident enough to place the order without one. Delivery was über quick and i am so pleased with our purchase. So much so we have framed one of the cards and put it on Charley’s wall.

Food

I am pretty lucky as my Mother In Law is the best Buffet maker in the world. She catered Charley’s Christening last year and people were stunned with the vast selection of food she had made ( I hire her out if you want details ) ha ha. BUT if you don’t have a catering superstar in your family I would suggest you stick to some basics . Selection of sandwiches, crisps, sausage rolls, fruit platter, Ice cream & Birthday cake. Several jugs of juice for the kids and if applicable a couple of bottles of Prosecco for the mums. Kids never eat much at parties due to the excitement and the adults just like to nibble so don’t waste your time or money on anything too fancy ( but do let your MIL )

Decorations

You can spend a fortune or £10 on decorations and the kids wouldn’t notice but a party is not a party without some bunting and balloons. I took a trip to our local Poundland to pick up some colourful bits and then downloaded a free bunting design   I found on Basic Invites website and will be stringing that around the house on the day.

Entertainment

If you have a spare £200 then get a DJ or children’s entertainer but if like me you haven’t then grab your iPhone, download the latest kids music album and play some party games. Pass the parcel, music bumps and pin the tail on the Unicorn always go down a storm but all the cool kids are now having Pinatas. Grab one from ASDA, fill it with sweets and let them burn all their energy by giving it a good whack. *Adult supervision required at all time. This is not the time for a Prosecco break.

 

The Cake

Asda does an amazing Unicorn cake for £12 and I was happily going to purchase that but I have been requested by Harry to make my world-famous T-Rex cake. It’s world-famous as no one thought I would be able to turn on the oven let alone bake a Birthday cake. Well, I proved them wrong ( kind of ) by making a No Bake T-Rex Cake for his 3rd Birthday and it was such a success Harry has talked me into making it for Charley. Luckily she is a huge fan of Harry’s toys and basically saying Rahhhhhh, so I know she will be happy with our choice.

Party Bags

As most of the kids who are attending are under 6 and will already be high as kites after the sugary cake, I won’t be doing traditional party bags. I have decided to buy a stack of books and wrap them as leaving presents. Poundland do all sorts of great books and at £1 each it’s actually cheaper than sending them home with sugary crap.I did this for Harry’s 2nd Birthday too and if you are looking to score some brownie points with the other mums this is a good start.

 

I hope this has helped you in the planning of your little one’s party. If you have any tips or hacks to make the day run smoothly then leave them in the comments below. HAPPY PARTY PLANNING !!

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This post was in collaboration with Basic Invite but all my thoughts and opinions are my own.

After nearly 5 months of being in our new home, I have finally got around to decorating it. Luckily as it’s a new build there is no need to paint any walls but this blank canvas does not feel very homely at the moment. If I had money to burn then I would be calling in an interior designer but as I am trying to live a champagne lifestyle on lemonade money I will have to rely on Pinterest for Inspiration, IKEA for cheap materials and YouTube for some great hacks. The is the first part in a running series of how to style your house on a budget. As part of my huge home haul, I visited IKEA, Poundland & Home Bargains and the rough total for everything was about £300.

If you are thinking of redecorating then take a look at my haul and hopefully I may Inspire you to liven up your lounge.

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