Children Grow up So Fast.

Yesterday my husband and I, attending an information evening at our eldest daughters school. It was about her moving up to the next year group. She is currently in Reception and moves up to Year One in September. Year One. How has that happened?

I remember holding her for the first time like it was yesterday. That moment was so life changing. Time really does seem to have flown since then.

Our second daughter came along a couple of years later, and she’s now two and a half. They are growing up far too quickly for my liking. I miss cradling them, and having them snoozing on me after a feed. I miss the quiet serenity and sense of peace a sleeping baby brings to a household.

When my firstborn was tiny, and cried, I remember the frustration I felt at times, wishing she could just communicate to me what she needed. It broke my heart to see her so upset, to try everything I could to make it better and still have no joy. Now, there are days where I can’t wait till the girls are asleep, so I can FINALLY have some quiet time. I have got two very lively, chatty, happy girls, who love to talk, play, sing and laugh all day-and I mostly love it!

Leya, my eldest, will be five in a few weeks, and I’ve been busy planning her birthday party. She gets so excited about her birthday-and rightly so! This year she’s having a unicorn party. I cant wait to share a post about it with you.

I am sure that just like these first few years have flown by, in the blink of an eye they’ll be older, doing their own thing, their dependency on me diminishing over time. However, I do know that the bond, and their need for me will remain, because I see it with my mum and me, and my mum and hers. My mum is always on hand to help me with the girls and I don’t know what I would do without her. I hope I can do the same one day for my girls.

The one thing I’m absolutely certain of is that I intend to make the most of every experience, all the ups and downs of parenting. I want to laugh with them through the good times, and offer comfort and support through the difficult ones.

Having children has given me such joy-but it’s not always a bed of roses, and the road to happiness isn’t always easy.

Come back tomorrow, I’m going to share my experience of the common, and often overlooked condition that is Postnatal Depression.

Taking Control of Your Life.

How often do you catch yourself saying things like ‘I hate my job’, ‘I’m unhappy with my weight’ or ‘My relationship is making me miserable.’? Almost everyone has some aspect of their life that they wish was different.

Some things require simple changes which are so easy to achieve, they barely have to be thought through, for example, looking at those silvery threads in your hair, that sure sign and glaring reminder of your ageing. This kind of thing is easily changed if you feel the need, by getting your hair dyed or indeed buying a box of dye and doing a DIY job.

Other things however, require some planning and evaluating your situation, then making changes that take some serious work. Some examples of this might include:

  • Losing weight
  • Getting a new job
  • Leaving an unhealthy, unhappy relationship
  • changing direction and re-training for a new career

There are of course, many more examples that I have not covered, and without getting into too much depth about how to approach these individually, I would like to offer some general advice about reaching your goals.

The first thing to understand is that the excuses have to stop. As an adult you can no longer use your experiences as a child, to shape the way your life turns out. You and you alone have to be responsible for who you are. Yes, as a child, you may have been influenced by your family, friends, living situation etc. However, those things to do define you as a person.

Any realistic goal is achievable, stop making excuses as to why you cant get there and stop blaming other people for standing in your way. You are the only person standing between you and the life you want.

Positive self-talk is so important. You need to be your own voice of encouragement. Nurture and love yourself, tell yourself you can achieve anything you put your mind to. The negative self-doubting part of your mind will try to tell you different, but it’s up to you which part of your mind wins this battle.

Take control, remember you’re the one in charge here. Your brain will do what you tell it to, so if you keep telling yourself that something is impossible, your subconscious takes this as an instruction.

You have to create your reality by visualising it, and working hard to bring it into existence. Shut down the self-doubt and change those self-limiting beliefs into positive statements of determination and encouragement. It takes work, but once you train your mind to think this way, you’ll find it gives you a new found confidence and zest for life.

What are you waiting for?

If you feel like you need some extra help with setting your goals and working towards them, a life coach or mentor could be just what you need. Visit http://www.focusclaritycoaching.co.uk for more information on how I can help you.

My Approach to Weekends.

I wouldn’t say I live for the weekends, because since I changed the way I think and feel about life, everyday is a blessing to me and there is always something to be positive and happy about or something to look forward to. However, I do adore the weekend for the simple reason that my husband doesn’t have to go to work, and my girls aren’t at school or nursery. Weekends are family time to me. They are the perfect opportunity for us to all be together, put the week behind us and recharge our batteries in preparation for the next productive week that is already fast approaching. Don’t the weeks, months, and the year for that matter, just seem to be flying by lately?

Weekends are also a chance for us to spend time with our extended family. The girls enjoy seeing their grandparents, uncles, aunts a cousins. I’m lucky to live close by to my parents and most of my extended family. My husbands family are a couple of hours drive away, so that makes for a nice weekend getaway when we fancy a change of scenery.

I love having people over for food, and equally, love going out to eat with my husband and the girls.

This weekend my brother in law and his wife are visiting us, and Leya, my eldest is keen to take them to our favourite dessert place for gelato. It will be nice to catch up with them both.

I love weekends with a nice relaxed pace like this sometimes, when there are no specific plans and you can just go with the flow. That is something I’ve had to teach myself to appreciate, because being a naturally anxious person, and a typical Virgo, my default stance is to plan everything down to the second.

How do you enjoy spending your weekends? However you spend your time this weekend, make the most of it and do things that make you feel good. Try to surround yourself with those that radiate the kind of positive energy we all need so much.

Have a wonderful weekend, and i’ll talk to you on Monday.

Face Mask Friday!

I LOVE Fridays! I think it might be my favourite day of the week.

On Fridays I have my youngest at home, as it’s not a nursery day for her. It’s our day to relax together and have some quality mummy-daughter time. Most of my weeks work is done by today and I tend to have my household chores and tasks finished too. I spend a relaxing morning with Aria, then when she goes down for her nap after lunch, I can catch up on cooking and any general leftover bits I need to do.

Fridays are also the day of my weekly face-mask. This little ritual of mine takes place once Aria is fed and changed, and is either watching a film, colouring or destroying something in another room (her activity of choice lately).

I like to use a mask that I can leave on for about 20 minutes-and during that time I do nothing else. This is my ‘me-time’ activity of the day, so I like to put my feet up and either listen to a guided meditation or read.

My go-to mask at the moment, and one that I come back to time and time again is the Clear Skin Blemish Fighting mask from Tropic Skincare. Not only does this mask smell like earthy, plant based goodness, it’s fantastic for drawing out impurities in the skin and tightening those pores. It contains Spirulina, Willow Bark and Ginger extracts, and once I rinse it off with warm water, my skin feels soft, detoxed and has a lovely glow. What more could you want from a mask? At £16 per pot it’s not going to break the bank either, and when applied correctly using a mask spatula or brush, it really does last well.

There are three masks in this particular range and they are all fabulous in their own right, but this one is perfect for my skin. In winter when my skin can feel a little drier, I alternate week-to-week between this mask and their hydrating one (the pink tub).

I get my Tropic products from the lovely Urja Patel, and you can shop the full range of products Tropic has to offer, by getting in touch through her Facebook page. Follow the link below.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2122250188056558/

There really is something for everyone and Urja is happy to answer any questions you might have.

The products use natural ingredients, which have been carefully selected and formulated by the experts at Tropic, to give brilliant results. Try them for yourself and see. Have some all important ‘you’ time. Whos knows, you might start your own ‘face mask Friday’.

p.s I also love the Tropic Body Smooth Refreshing Polish, which is an award winning, oil and sea salt based scrub. It contains essential oils and leaves skin super soft and smelling amazing!

Overcoming my Fear of Flying (It’s a long one)

I recently faced, and overcame one of my biggest phobias, the fear of flying. From my understanding, this is a very common phobia and it is estimated that one in four people have some degree of anxiety about flying.

The last time I flew, prior to facing, and overcoming this fear (we’ll get to the ‘how’ shortly), was in 2001, yes 2001! That is a really long time.

My dad is a keen traveller, so as children, we would go on these amazing holidays. He wanted us to see the world. This became even more affordable for us when he started working for a prominent UK airline, at one of the worlds busiest airports. His job opened up brilliant travel opportunities and we went to some lovely places. The cultural experiences you gain from travel are so enriching, they open your eyes to the different peoples of the world and how they live life. One of my favourite parts of travelling as a child was always the food. The cuisines on offer in all the different countries we visited-wow!

Flying to, and from the destinations however, was my least favourite part. I would sit there feeling anxious for the whole flight, and as I became older and more aware, my fears deepened. I developed claustrophobia, which only amplified this fear of flying. it got to the point where I would start to worry about an upcoming holiday weeks ahead of time. Thoughts of the impending journey would consume me, and of course I would build myself up so much to this fearful situation, that by the time I boarded that aircraft I was in a highly anxious state. I would cry uncontrollably during take-off, and at various points of turbulence, much to the annoyance and embarrassment of my parents.

My last holiday was to Thailand in 2001, and I became unwell whilst we were out there. Our holiday had to be cut short and we flew home.

The night before we left, I was in our hotel room and switched on the news, only to see reports that a famous RnB singer had died in a plane crash earlier that day. This sent my anxiety into overdrive. I then had a 13 hour flight, whilst unwell, worried after the news I had heard, and I decided that I wouldn’t fly for a while.

A few months later on 11th September and atrocity occurred, that shocked the world. A vile act claimed innocent lives and forever changed the lives of those that had lost loved ones. That was it I decided, no more flying for me. In my mind it was no longer safe, and as if the fear of crashing wasn’t enough, people were now deliberately flying into buildings!

Fast forward to 2018 and I have managed to find every single reason under the sun to avoid flying. We didn’t have a honeymoon. I didn’t travel with my husband before we had our children and I’ve missed family weddings and celebrations abroad because of the fear.

When my eldest daughter was born, I thought to myself, I don’t want to pass this phobia on, and I don’t want to deny her the experiences I had when I was a child. My children are so precious to me and I want to give them the absolute best of everything. That’s how I first came across the Flying with Confidence course run by British Airways. It boasted a high success rate, and after reading some of the testimonials on their website, I decided this could be the way forward.

The day consists of seminars from active and retired British Airways staff, and a psychologist who helps to explain the anxiety and panic about flying. The day ends with a 45 minute flight on board a British Airways aircraft, with running commentary during each phase of the flight, and an explanation of all the ‘strange’ noises. The course was brilliant and by the time we got to the terminal I felt really positive about the flight. While we were waiting at the gate, my anxiety started to build. Many people had brought companions along for the flight an I was alone, thinking about my husband and my children. The irrational thoughts started, as soon as I stepped onto that plane I was gripped by terror. I stepped back off immediately and although the staff tried their best to gently coax me back on, I was so overwhelmed with emotion by this point that I just couldn’t manage it. I left feeling utterly defeated.

When my second daughter was about 11 months old, my husband convinced me to try again and he booked a luxury holiday to Dubai. Some of my other family members decided to come along to support me. They all encouraged me to do it for the girls.

The day of the flight arrived and I felt great. I was determined to do this. I was excited to finally have a holiday and had spent a lot of time looking at the amazing resort online, using it as my motivation. However, on boarding, that familiar sense of panic began to creep over me, and I was in tears as I walked off the aircraft, leaving my daughters with my husband and the other members of my family who were going along. The cabin crew tried to convince me to get back on, and even the captain came to find me- I’m guessing he planned to give me some reassurance but I’ll never know, as by that time I was already being escorted back to the terminal by a member of airport security. My family went on that trip, and my girls had their first holiday without me. I had a week full of heartbreak and despair.

Determined to NEVER go through that heartache again, I decided to give the course another go. There is a flight-only option for those that don’t feel the need attend the seminars again, and this time my husband accompanied me.

Sitting at the gate that day, I felt sick to my stomach, but I stood quietly, looking out of the huge windows, watching aircraft after aircraft take-off, so casually, so comfortably, and I eventually started to feel myself calm down a little. I reminded myself that this happens all day, everyday, at various different airports all over the world.

When it was time to board, I heard a lady behind me say to her husband that she wanted to leave. I turned to her as we were walking to the aircraft and explained that I had been there and done that, and it was one of my biggest regrets. ‘We’re both going to be fine today’ I told her. She smiled at me nervously, completely unconvinced. I stepped onto that plane and as I made my way to my seat (which was right at the back), the aircraft felt small and I felt my panic starting to rise. I had the urge to turn back, but I knew if I did that, the feeling afterwards would be unbearable. I anchored myself with the thought of getting back home to my children after the flight. I sat down and buckled myself in. I used my breathing techniques (they discuss these in the seminars), and within minutes I was calm, happy, smiling, chatting with other passengers and looking forward to taking-off.

I am so happy that I pushed through those few moments of panic, and I’m so grateful for the company of my husband. Having him there gave me the extra boost of confidence I needed to keep pushing forward. Hand on heart I LOVED the flight! I never thought I would ever be able to say that, but the staff on the course give you so much support and they’re all so relaxed. They joke, and laugh, and give you the facts you need, to understand that flying really is safe, and you can put your trust in them and the way they do their job.

The course worked wonders for me, and stepping off that flight I felt so proud of myself.

We came home and booked a trip to Amsterdam, just for me and my husband. A short practice before we take the girls on their summer holiday. We go next week and I cant wait to tell you how it goes!

If a fear of flying is standing between you and the rest of the world, contact British Airways today. It is life-changing.

https://flyingwithconfidence.com/courses

 

My Nails (Yes this is important)

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but taking time out for yourself, to do something you enjoy is invaluable. You really cant put a price on some ‘me’ time. What could be more relaxing than a bit of pampering?

I like to look after my hands and nails. As a child I was a nail biter and I would chew my nails down until there was nearly nothing left (disgusting I know). It wasn’t until I started taking an interest in looking pretty and experimenting with makeup that I realised how nails can make you feel so much better about yourself. A well manicured hand is a sign of someone who takes care of themselves. Now I feel my best when my nails are perfect.

The colour of my nails changes with the seasons, and this month I’ve got a beautiful, bright, neon pink, to compliment all the gorgeous sunny weather we’ve been having.

My Nail Technician – although it feels odd to call her that, as she feels more like a friend now- is the lovely Nish from NV My Beauty. https://www.instagram.com/nvmybeauty.nailsbynv/

She does some mobile appointments, but also has a comfortable, cozy, stylish beauty studio at:

Unit 9, Chancerygate Business Park, St Marys Road, Langley, Berks, SL3 7FL

They don’t just do nails! Nish provides a variety of facial, nails and body treatments. She is fully insured, and the service is professional, friendly and you’ll always get honest advice, so no more bad beauty decisions!

Have a look at some of her work by clicking on the link above to her Instagram page, or give her a call on 07583978999. She is always willing to give you the best advice on which treatments will be most beneficial for your specific needs. Did I mention she also does hair and makeup?

My three weekly nail appointment is something I really look forward to. It keeps my hands looking perfect and lets me honest, polishing my nails to perfection is now one less things for me to worry about, and for a busy working mum that’s a huge bonus. My nails are stronger and healthier than they’ve ever been before. So what are you waiting for? Go and fine the perfect treatment for some ‘me time’ of your own.

Indulge in something that makes you feel good!thumbnail_IMG_7026

 

Celebrating Milestones and Special Days.

So, Sometimes people tell me that they don’t celebrate birthdays, or special occasions because ‘they can’t be bothered anymore’ or they feel like they’re getting too old for it. To me, this is just more reason to celebrate-another year of this wonderful life! Remember its not yours forever…

Nothing brings me more joy than a celebration. I love family get togethers and spending time with my loved ones, marking special days and anniversaries with some good food and lots of laughter. The sense of nostalgia and looking back at how far you’ve come is a brilliant reminder of how life is ever-changing and evolving. Time stands still for no man (or woman). Make the most of your time, and look back on the fun you had.

I think positivity is really important in all aspects of life, and I generally try not to carry negative memories with me, no one needs that kind of baggage believe me! Life is best lived well, in good health, with happiness, love, kindness and laughter.

Of course, there are sad times and we all lose loved ones along the way, but something I learnt to do a few years ago when my grandfather passed away, is to mark the date each year by remembering all the things that made him who he was, and instead of being sad and crying, I feel gratitude for him having been a big part of my life for so long. The same goes for the other loved ones I have lost over the years. Loss is inevitable, but you can choose to be happy for the time you had with someone, or you can be sad that they’re gone. Either way, you will have to face the loss in some sense.

Birthdays are another day that I love to celebrate. My mum always made a fuss of me on my birthday and I have such fond memories of parties with games, friends, food and of course cake! I try to create the same magic for my daughters now.

Always celebrate birthdays, especially your own-I mean come on, it’s the day your unique and beautiful soul blessed the word we live in, with its irreplaceable presence. Show yourself some love and eat cake.

Yesterday was our 13th wedding anniversary, and although my husband was keen to take me out, to wine and dine me (lucky girl I am), I really wanted a quiet evening, with him and some pizza, so that’s what I got.

There is honestly so much to celebrate in life. Mark the days that changed your life and remember; everything is temporary, so make the absolute most of it while you have the chance. Above all else, be happy!