The UnNatural Mother

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However beautiful the Autumn weather is, the change of seasons has brought with it a selection of stomach bugs, coughs, colds & generally feeling rundown. This week alone has seen Harry, Charley & Lee all being ill and off school/work/childcare with 3 separate ailments. This has meant pretty much no sleep for me and a house full of patients to take care off. I don’t normally suffer from any type of headaches or migraines but the combination of a full workload during the day & playing Florence Nightingale at night has brought on what the pharmacist has called ‘stress-related migraines’. I have been given some medication to help ease the pain and prescribed a large dose of ‘ME TIME’. Just like you, I don’t have much spare time between school runs, childcare,  housework and trying to make a living but after the week from hell, this is definitely some medical advice I am going to follow.

So, how do you cram some quality ‘ME TIME’ into your hectic life?

Online Pilates Classes

As relaxing as yoga but will give you full body workout and the bottom of JLo. I found a teacher called Louise from Studio 44  who offers a monthly subscription to her online classes and the best bit is they are only 10 minutes long. You don’t need any fancy equipment and if you are feeling über lazy you can work out in your PJ’s. Having tried 5 of the classes so far I really enjoyed Louise’s teaching method and although I did feel a few sore muscles after my first class, the moves are easy to follow and It is a  truly relaxing experience. The subscription is £10.00 per month but Louise has an offer on her site for a free 7-day trial. If you would like to know more details about Louise, Studio 44 or the free trial the just click HERE.

A Pamper Night

This is a classic way to relax. Run a hot bath, slap on a face mask and light some candles. Most of my pamper nights start at about 10 p.m when both kids have finally stopped getting out of bed and gone to sleep. My bubble bath of choice is from the Almond Milk & Honey range at Body Shop, my facemask Mineral & Ginger ( also by Body Shop ) and my favourite candle of all time is the Mandarin,Lime & Basil by Amphora Aromatics  . I love really strong smells so this combo makes me feel like I am in a posh day spa. A glass of bubbly is optional.

Fresh Air

There have been several occasions over the last few weeks where I could feel myself getting stressed out and rather than lose my shit and start crying into a cream cake I have bungled Charley in her pushchair and gone for a walk. I may not have been on my own but I know one sure-fire way to get Charley to stop moaning and fall asleep is to take her out in her pushchair. Once she is asleep I find myself a quiet bench and watch the world go by.

Sleep

I know easier said than done. Sleep & a cup of tea cure-all problems.If you cant get your 8 hours at night then given any chance to catch 40 winks in a beanbag at work ( I have actually done this ) or your own bed at home grab the chance and do it. It’s no wonder sleep deprivation is used as a torture during wars. Just missing 2 hours sleep a night can impact your concentration the next day by up to 63%.

 

I hope this has given you a few ideas to help have some ‘Me Time’ and regain some sanity in your life. If you have a certain way of relaxing ( nothing dirty ) then comment below.

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This post as sponsored by the companies mentioned above but all my thoughts & opinions are my own.

Most of you have seen and commented on my picture of my new burgundy over the knee boots I recently received from LOTD.COM . Now in the full throes of Autumn, the strappy dresses and sandals have been packed away and it’s time to start wearing more Autumnal attire. Over the knee boots have been ‘on trend’ for a couple of years now but until recently they have not been something I had ever thought of purchasing. So why now? Partly because I have started to get invited to fashion blogging events so I need to up my fashion game, but also I want to show you that just because we are mums in the over 30’s bracket, that we shouldn’t be afraid to try something new. I am still in a transitional stage of finding my own style at 35 and it’s a rare occasion when I get to leave the house without 2 kids attached to me but like you I am sure, when I finally get the chance to go ‘out, out’ I want to look my best. Today I have come up with 3 different ways to wear over the knee boots that guarantee you have thigh-slapping fun at any occasion.

Styling my over the knee boots with jeans

Everyday Style

I joked last week that I would be wearing my over the knee boots to do the school pick up. At first, it was a joke as you couldn’t possibly wear such a thing to pick up your child, can you? Well here’s how I proved myself wrong. I paired a classic pair of skinny jeans with an olive-green sweater, contrasting denim shirt and to accessorise  I added my Alexander McQueen silk scarf. As the outfit was mostly dark, muted tones with a pop of colour at the neck your eyes are drawn to my face. The jeans & boots combo elongate the legs and even my thunder thighs appear slender in this outfit.

Styling my over the knee boots with a 70's style dress

70’s Vibe

Staying true to their heritage I have paired the boots with a 70’s feel mini dress. The ruffle sleeves and flowery pattern give the outfit a feminine feel and with just an inch of leg on show stops the outfit from feeling overexposed. This look would be great for a day event or with the addition of a dark lip and a leather jacket over your shoulders would make a vampy night time outfit.

Styling my over the knee boots with a sand coloured playsuit

The ‘out, out’ Outfit

When you do finally get to walk out the door without the kids attached to your legs you want to feel glamorous. This last outfit I have paired the over the knee boots with a sand coloured playsuit. Playsuits are great as you can still show off your legs without the dreaded fear of flashing your knickers. The burgundy flower design pairs nicely with the colour of the boots and the belt not only helps squash in your Mummy Tummy but also helps to break the outfit up too. You can either add a pretty lace camisole under the playsuit or if you are feeling daring and want to show off your décolletage, invest in some good strong boob tape to keep the fabric in place.

Discount Code

So there you go, three easy and wearable ways to style over the knee boots.If you would like to purchase the boots I am wearing they can be ordered from LOTD.COM for £25.00. LOTD.COM are offering my readers 30% discount off their first online order, so if you fancy a little shopping spree just click here to be sent a special TheUnNaturalMother discount code*

 

I hope you have enjoyed today’s post and if you have please leave me a nice comment below. If there is an ‘on trend ‘ style you would like me to try on your behalf then let me know below.

 

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The boots were sent to me by LOTD.com for the purpose of review but all my thoughts and opinions are my own. *This link is a refer a friend link so for every person who orders I am rewarded with a discount code for 30% off my next order.

So we have reached that point again in my 2nd go at this thing called parenting where we need to say goodbye to the nappies and hello to the toilet. Charley turned 2 last month and even though I would happily carry on being Aldi’s Nappies No1 ambassador we need to give this a proper go. I would definitely say that I am no expert in this area as Harry was a total nightmare and I can still be found in a corner, rocking, remembering the time he released his bowels all over our dear friends cream carpet. I have read many ‘parenting experts’ websites ( Isn’t it funny how parenting experts never have children ?? ) about the right technique to use but they all contradict each other. So what is a girl to do? Remove the nappies, stay locked up in the house and keep the Dettol close at hand or use pull-ups, hope she asks when she needs the loo and be in it for the long run?

Well when you have a network of over 200 parenting bloggers who have been there, cleaned up the shit & wrote the blog, you ask a few of them to chip in with 2p’s worth. So here’s a selection of hints, tips & disaster stories to keep you amused.

💩No pull-ups ! And be prepared to stop anywhere for a wee & it will take another year-ish for poo on the toilet!
Thecheshirewife.com

💩We used a sticker chart. When my daughter reached a certain number, she received some chocolate. The only problem was, she kept having the smallest wee’s just so she could have her reward. I wasn’t keen on introducing a measuring cup though! www.householdmoneysaving.com

💩It took us nearly 4 months to ‘crack it’. To get him dry for more than 4 days in a row we came up with a good bribe.Stay dry (days only) for 10 days in a row and he could pick whatever he wanted from the toy shop. It took about 6 try’s (we’d get to about day 5 before an accident) but he did it and it really helped him understand that being dry is way more fun. The best funny story was when story Small shouted from the bathroom ‘I did it all by myself mummy’
We ran in excited to cheer him on and we were greeted with poo smeared all over the toilet (but not in it!) and a flood of wee.A memory we shall never forget.sineadlatham.com

💩Don’t even attempt it until you are absolutely sure they are ready. We tried several times, way too early with my little girl and all it did was put her off. I think she became scared of weeing anywhere other than her nappy. When we started potty training I let my little girl pick out her own knickers so she was proud of wearing them and didn’t want to get them wet x
stressymama.com

💩We never did the potty, we just went straight to the toilet and that worked for us. I always thought that using the potty was just an added obstacle. Although I do recommend getting one of those children seats you pop on top of the toilet, we’ve had a few incidents where we’ve nearly lost a child down the U-bend!! fivelittledoves.com

💩My son was potty trained when he was ready which was around 2 years 9 months. We tried earlier but he kept wetting himself and I could tell that he just wasn’t quite there. Once he was in the right place he could speak much better and communicate to us what he needed. He also preferred the toilet to the potty which was much better for keeping everything clean too. He has only had a couple of accidents in the day when he hasn’t thought about going and only one at night when he was ill once. He is now almost 4 and I would say to anybody do not let others make you think that 2 is the magic number for training them… I don’t even know where this age came from for this?! They will do it when they are ready and they will do it much more smoothly if they are showing you the signs too. emmareed.net

💩Avoid DIY shops at all costs when potty training! I still have flashbacks of my son trying to do a big boy pee pee on the display toilet in B&Q to the amusement of fellow shoppers and the horror of the staff!
Que paper towels, red cheeks, and quick escapes!
reducedgrub.com

 💩I went cold turkey with my three, straight to pants and just a nappy at night time. Messy few days then they got it quickly. As for a comedy story, the first time my eldest did a standing up wee by a tree in the park turned out he actually needed a poo and pooed all over my shoes! Luckily we were close to home. sneakyveg.com

💩We practice baby-led in our house so we waited until Leo was ready and asked to go to the toilet/potty instead of springing it on him. We would drop subtle hints saying how its very grown up to use the toilet etc and he then decided he wanted to do it himself. He cracked it in a few days because he was ready. rawchildhood.co.uk

💩Timing is EVERYTHING! My eldest was 2 1/2 years old and my youngest was 2 years 10 months. Don’t rush them into it. With my youngest, we tried at Easter and it was 4 days of hell, accidents every time and no one was enjoying it. She just didn’t get it! Don’t be afraid to stop! Fast forward 2 months and she was dry in 3 days and we’ve not had an accident since. It just clicked this time and she missed out the potty stage. Don’t feel the pressure to get it done, there is no right age. It’s when your child is ready. By waiting my girls were dry day and night within a few days. dearbearandbeany.com

 

Thanks to everyone who gave their advice and if you can all say a little pee-pee prayer for me that this transition will be quick and painless ( you can only hope ).

If you have any ‘real life ‘ advice or funny stories then do feel free to leave your comments below.💩

 

 

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The nights are getting darker and all you can think about is getting home from work, getting in your PJ’s and catching up on some trashy TV.But what if you get into your car, turn the engine and nothing ??? You instantly regret not renewing you AA breakdown cover, your dad is 400 miles away in France and your husband wouldn’t know the difference between a spark plug & a bath plug. So you end up waiting 2 hours to get towed to the nearest garage and face a £200 bill.Just think of all the shoes £200 could buy you in Primark !! All of this could have been avoided if you had prepared your car for the winter months. Here the Car Maintenance Specialists from Ossett Tyre House will give you the top 10 tips to keep your car on the road during Winter.

 

1.CHECK THE OIL

This is the number 1 reason why cars engines won’t run efficiently. Make sure to keep it check the oil level regularly, topped up and replace at least once a year.

2.CHECK ALL THE LIGHTS 

Do this before setting off on a journey to make sure all the bulbs on the front & rear work.

3.CHECK THE CAR BATTERY

At some point, we have all had a flat battery, either from leaving the lights on or lack of use of the car. Make sure to drive the car regularly and seek professional advice if your engine doesn’t start.

 4.REPLACE BROKEN WINDSCREEN WIPERS 

If the pads have worn away then no amount of windscreen ash is going to clear your windows.They cost only a few pounds to replace and can easily be fitted by yourself or the garage you buy them from.

 5.TOP UP WASHER FLUID 

With all the wind blowing muck, leaves & road grit about you need to make sure your washer fluid is kept topped up. It only takes a couple of minutes for your windscreen to go from clear to covered in grit & salt and without a good stock of washer fluid this could cause you major problems seeing where you are going.

6.PACK AN EMERGENCY KIT 

Breaking down in winter can mean hours stuck out in the cold so pack an emergency kit with blankets, rations, water and waterproof shoes or wellies. If you have an in-car charger make sure to always fully charge your phone.

 7.CLEAR OUT THE INSIDE OF YOUR CAR REGULARLY 

Clear out any rubbish and keep the inside of your car clean. Not only will this help prevent the spread of winter germs but also stop the waste of petrol with the excess weight.

8.KEEP THE EXTERIOR CLEAN AND SALT-FREE 

Salt is your cars arch nemesis and by not regularly cleaning your car you are inviting rush and scratches to more ap on its service.

9.CHECK THE TYRES

Wet weather, snow & ice can be a test for even the best of tyres so if you know you are going to be doing a lot of driving during the Winter months than consider having snow tyres fitted. The legal minimum tread for any tyre is 3mm’s.

 10.CHECK SPARK PLUGS 

Typically they need replacing after 30,000 miles but you can refer to your owners manual to check your model. A quick and easy job to change any old ones.

 

I hope these tips will help your car keep running throughout the winter months. Most of these Maintenance Tips can be easy done by you but remember if in doubt call in the professionals.

 

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This post as in collaboration with Ossett Tyre House but all my thoughts & opinions are my own.