Housework and Money Saving Hacks

yoga-2099054__340

Yoga

What is Yoga?

Yoga is a spiritual form of exercise, based around physiology and concentration, it has various forms of techniques of controlling the body and the mind which originated in India around 5000 years ago. 

Yoga has developed over time into these various forms:

1. A meditative approach to discovering perception and cognition, and a release from suffering, inner peace and salvation
2. Raising the expansion of consciousness from oneself to being co-extensive with everyone and everything
3. A path to enlightened consciousness enabling one to comprehend the impermanent (illusive, delusive) and permanent (true, transcendent) reality
4. Yoga's goal as meditation-driven means to liberation in tantric practices

The main types of yoga performed in the UK are:

1. Ashtanga - Systematic exercises and self-development techniques for body, mind and spirit

2. Hatha - Focusing on physical and mental strength building exercises and postures described primarily in three texts of Hinduism.

It is advisable to do your research and to choose the type of yoga that suits your needs, as each has a different area of emphasis, such as posture or breathing. Often yoga teachers develop their own style by studying more than one style and merging them together.

No style is necessarily any better nor more authentic than another; the key is to choose a class appropriate for your fitness level and what you want to get out of it.

Health benefits of Yoga

Regular yoga practice is beneficial for people with high blood pressure, heart disease, aches and pains such as lower back and osteoarthritis, core body & muscle strengthening, depression and stress.

Who is Yoga suitable for?

Everyone, young and old! It is good practice for young children to start thwir lives with to learn to chill out, and for older people it is great for muscle strengthening. People of all fitness levels can do yoga to build up strength & improve flexibility.

yoga-2959226__340

Why did I choose Yoga as a form of exercise?

I am not a fan of exercise at all; I hate exercise bikes they hurt my knees; I cannot stand the gym; I hate mud so no winter sports for me; and running is not my thing!

When I was looking for something to do that would be of benefit to me, I came across yoga.

For me I decided to choose something that would feel like I have been to the gym, so I chose Ashtanga.

What did I gain from doing Yoga?

The first time I did yoga I was not sure what I to expect. When you do yoga, you often do not feel like you are actually doing exercise, however afterwards I could feel my muscles aching all over, so I knew that I had done some exercise!

Yoga Mats

It is worth paying for decent mats, as you are on the floor, either balancing on your hands or feet or lying down, so I advise you to make sure that you are protecting your body well. Albeit Manduka mats look like an expensive outlay at first, hwoever they are cheaper than expensive running shoes, and you will use them a lot to practice on, here is the link to the website: https://www.manduka.com/

yoga-2959214__340
yoga-2959233__340

Other Types of Yoga

1. Pregnancy - this type of yoga is designed to stretch and not strain, and will help you to keep calm and with relaxation and to support with breathing exercises ready for birth. It is a safe way to exercise without straining yourself.

2. Dog - a new trend is to do the yoga poses with your dog and is called Doga, in which traditional Hatha poses are performed. The aim is to seek a more positive attachement and greater harmony with your dog.

3. Mother and Child - simple yoga sessions can be a playful way to help your child keep his/her mind and body balanced, that can strengthen the bond of mother and child, and show from an early age the importance of prioritising mental and physical wellbeing.  They often contain some relaxing massage too! Family yoga sessions, also have the same benefits of strengthening the family relationships and bond.

 

This post was entirely independent and was not collaborative.

20180609_141255

Ash End Farm, Staffordshire

All about the farm

The farm is easy to find and well sign posted, with a big car park. It has 2 facilities; the farm itself and a large play barn. We did not use the playbarn as our little one is too young!

The entrance is not well sign posted, however you pay in the shop. It is a nice touch that you can buy a bucket of hay to feed the animals for only fifty pence.

There is a decent number of animals to see, these include farm animals, birds and reptiles, some in their pens and some in fields which is nice to see! For older children there is also a tractor ride, a play area and bouncy castles that you enjoy.

20180609_134105
20180609_145318

Facilities

The coffee shop is quite small with a small outdoor seating area too. The selection of food and drink is not the best quality, in fact it has to be worst coffee I have ever tasted!!!

This post was entirely independent and was not collaborative.

stick-family-1449578741cAV

Life is precious

Why write this post?

Having attended 3 funerals recently, it has made me think more about how precious time it. I hate housework, so I have outsourced my ironing; the cleaning and gardening are next! The next thing is how much time each day I spend deleting promotional emails from my inbox from shops I bought something online from once, or restaurants that I do not eat at.  So what I have I done to rectify this? Unsubscribing of course!

The next thing I am doing is decluttering my house of paperwork, clothes and junk that I do not need. A little morbid, but if something happened, family members will need to do this, so I am doing it for them. Getting all of my paperwork in order is also important, as well as updating my will to make sure everything I want for my family is clearly laid out. If you can, I would advise that you write a will and get yourself life insurance to make sure that your family are looked after, and there is clarity on what will happen in the future.

Thinking Differently

Over the years, I have lost many people in my life, old and young, none of these losses are easy, however each one has made me think about how I live my life.  I make the most of everything, having a great balance of spending and saving money, and making sure I spent a lot of time out and about with friends and family.  I have a job that I love, and great family and friends around me.

The thing that I learned the most is that life is too short, and do not worry about anything; what is the worst that can happen?! I can sleep on a washing line! I thought I might find it hard to leave my daughter when I need to go out, or go to work to use a keep in touch day, but I do not as I know she is fine! A few texts, yes, but not worry.

This post was entirely independent and was not collaborative.

ducks_toys_baby_bottle_diapers_pacifier_pacifier_chain_child_small_child-614339

Baby Teethers and Soothers – the verdict!

[ffb_param route=”o gen text”]

What has made me write this post?

We have had a number of issues with the teethers and soothers that we have purchased for our little one. There are so many of each for sale, how do you know which are the best ones to purchase.

speaker-649039_960_720

Kicks Count

What is Kicks Count all about?

Kicks count is a charity that helps to save babies lives and prevent late miscarriage, by raising awareness of babies movements. The UK has a ridiculoulsy high number of stillbirths and neonatal deaths, and alarmingly is the third worst in developed the world. Interestingly a similar campaign to kicks count in Norway had an excellent result, and the aim is that the UK can follow suit with higher awareness.

I first saw the wrist band on Surprise Surprise with Holly Willoughby, the charity was supported by Alesha Dixon. I thought the band was a great idea. For only £3.50 this is a small price to pay for your baby to arrive safely into the world. Having such busy lives, and in my case a manic, job I used to ensure there were a similar amount of kicks each day. It does not measure the pattern of the kicks but you will recognise this yourselves. It did make me feel comfortable that movement was fairly consistent each day. There is even a free app that you can record them on. Being the geek that I am, I liked the graphs!!

The wrist band comes in a few colours, and is easy to use; it has numbers and you move the guage each time you feel a kick, simple and easy to do while at work, or out and about.  The wrist band has won a few awards which is great! I would endorse it myself too!

20180524_182852

The Verdict

I used my band from around 26 weeks (third trimester).  I have a really busy role, and travelled a lot with work as well as socialising a lot, so this wrist band was great for me to monitor how many kicks. I also had an awareness of the pattern of movements of my baby too, alongside this! The app was great so I could see the rough numbers each day, and see the increase in movements as my baby grew bigger.  It made me feel happy and chilled out that everything was okay.  My baby arrived safe and sound so I am happy to recommend the wristband and app.

If you are unsure about the kicks wriggle around to get your baby moving or eat/drink something sugary, to get the baby moving. 

If at any point you are worried about your baby's movements, ALWAYS call your midwife or go to your maternity centre.

To find out more about kicks count, visit their website: http://www.kickscount.org.uk/

This post was entirely independent and was not collaborative.

gift-bags-2067663_960_720

Bespoke gifts

About Bespoke or Unique Gifts

I love to give unique and individualistic gifts if I can, and have often bought items from notonthehighstreet. When my daughter was born we received some lovely gifts from their site, including an individually printed book with our daughters details, and a cushion with her name, birth weight etc. What I like about bespoke gifts is that no-one else has the same gift so they are one offs.

Visit the website at: https://www.notonthehighstreet.com/

I have also used the site to purchase christening gifts for my niece and nephews. It is great for them each to have something personal to keep forever.

We have also received some excellent personalised gifts for our daughter, which we have been really pleased with, that people have gone to so much effort to buy personalised gifts.

20180524_183021
20180603_145528

Bespoke Baby Gifts

We have received some brilliant gifts for our daughter from my 1st years. We were really happy with the quality of the gifts, and the price of them is reasonable too! From order to delivery, the site is really quick.

As you can see from the photo we have a bathrobe with our daughters name on, and some shoes with her name on too!

Everything arrives looking very presentable, in a branded lovely sturdy green box with a magnetic lid, wrapped in tissue paper.

Visit the website at: https://www.my1styears.com/

Other Gift Sites

I have also bought bespoke presents from other websites, and bought picture frames and books that are bespoke to the recipient. These have been purchased from Prezzybox and Penwizard.

Visit the websites at: https://www.prezzybox.com/ and https://www.penwizard.com/

This post was entirely independent and was not collaborative.

20180524_183115
20180508_141646

Umberslade Farm Park, Warwickshire

About the farm

We decided to take our four month old out to meet some animals, she is very aware of her surroundings and learns a lot, so thought we would give it a whirl. Thankfully, it was not too busy, so we managed to get around quite easily, without queues, and got a table easily in the cafe, perfect when you have a young baby who sleeps in the day still! The approach to the farm, down the driveway is lovely, and the farm buildings are lovely. We had a nice time, and the little one enjoyed it, and thankfully, was not scared by the animals. We would definitely return to the farm again.

20180508_141547
IMG-20180508-WA0028

We were really pleased that our little one was not scared of any of the animals. We stood really close to pregnant sheep that were really noisy and she did not flinch!
It is great that there are a lot of demonstrations for you to see how the farm works.

The membership passes are great value, if you want to visit several times per year.

Visit the website at: http://www.umberslade.com/

This post was entirely independent and was not collaborative.

Cappuccino_at_Sightglass_Coffee

Boston Tea Party

The Grand Opening!

I was super excited to find out last year that Boston Tea Party was opening in my town, I was chuffed to be selected to attend the trial event before the opening day! I love this place, but was not always able to travel to Birmingham or Stratford.  The concept is great; so family friendly (and pet if that is your thing!) I love the menu and the ingredients are ethically sourced, tasty and fresh.

At the trial event I got to take someone with me. We both ordered off the all day breakfast menu. The scrambled egg was divine, and the food was cooked just right and both meals were really tasty. The service was great too!

coffee-983955_640

It is great that the cafes are committed to their core values, as well as sustainability, and work with local groups and charities in each community that they operate, which is part of their attraction; it is fab that they are banning plastic straws from June 2018 onwards.

Here is a link to their website: http://www.bostonteaparty.co.uk/

This post was entirely independent and was not collaborative.

Mother-to-child Paternity Pregnant Women Life

Baby essentials

Where do you start?

When you find out you are pregnant, its daunting, what do I buy? Lots of things are expensive and some items are unnecessary. What are the bare essentials that you cannot do without?

  • If you can afford it, buy a travel system. All of the pieces fit to the same buggy base so it is really handy.
  • An isofix, again expensive, but so easy to get the car seat in and out.
  • Muslins are a must have plenty as they can be used to mop up so much, and can be used instead of a bib. Will save you having so many clothes changes for you and baby.
  • Plenty of blankets to keep your baby warm when out and about.
  • A dehumidifier is great to help the temperature appropriate for baby and helps when is poorly with a blocked nose.
  • If you plan to bottle feed, a microwave steriliser is a must. You can take it with you on trips away, without having to buy a plug in one for the home too!
  • For bottle feeders, using powder formula, Tommy Tippee have some powder tubs so you can pre-measure the right amount of powder.
  • Purchase some nappy sacks, for the stinky nappies. Mamia (Aldi) are really cheap with a nice smell to tone down the odour! No need to buy a nappy dispenser!
  • Muchkin spoons are the best we have found, soft for baby's mouth, especially when teething.
  • Dentinox teething gel is a must, its only £1.50 too so cheap, and does the trick for poorly gums.
  • A bottle of Calpol is a must for any household with children.
  • Get some newborn nappies (a small pack in case you do not need them) and some size 1 nappies
  • Buy plenty of baby wipes (I like Mamia by Aldi, they are super cheap and good!)
  • Buy some soothers (dummies) just in case. We like the Tommy Tippee cherry dummies as they fit into small babies mouths, and they are really soft. They will help with your baby's teething.
  • Get the free packs from Emma's Diary; the freebies are useful!
  • Do not go mad and buy too many clothes or toys as people buy these for you, generally up to size 3 months. I felt bad if my baby did not wear everything that was bought so rather than waste money, wait to see what you are gifted! Buy a few plain baby grows to put under other outfits if it is winter as your baby will need the layers!

It can be so easy to go mad and buy a million things that you do not really need.

If you are on a budget. Try your local NCT, or baby and local sales websites for second hand.

14888971789_c9d1a169bd_z

This post is entirely my own opinion, it has not been written in exchange for gifts by any brands mentioned in this article.