My top tips for self care

My top tips for self care

I’m sat writing this when I’m currently out of action with a sprained knee. I’m off work, Stu & Finn have gone out for the day and I can’t do my usual cleaning & tidying. My initial thought was honestly to panic, what on earth am I going to do for a whole day when I can barely walk. It really made me think how my whole life is defined as a wife & Mum. Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love that this is my world and there’s nothing I love more than a family day. It’s really made me think though about making time for myself and remembering all the things I love to do outside of family time. It’s so important to make time for yourself, it’s a proper cliche but the saying ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup is so true. You need to make time for yourself so you can be your best self for your family & most importantly you. I’ve made a list of some self care tips that will hopefully benefit me & you. I’m not really a shopper & I like to save all my money for holidays so I’ve tried to keep these tips as budget friendly as possible.

Have a bath

One of my favourite things to do is have a long bath, when I say long I can literally sit in there for hours if I have the time. I love to read in the bath & feel like I can totally switch off. Definitely something I’m going to make more time for.

Reading

I love to read but this definitely took a back seat when I became a Mum. This year I am attempting the 52 book challenge so am trying to read 52 books in a year. I’m not sure if I’ll manage to complete it fully but it’s definitely made me fall back in love with reading. Reading makes me completely switch off and I think I sleep so much better if I read before bed.

Get an early night

This is something I definitely don’t do enough and I really need to do more. I think by the time Finn’s in bed we’ve had tea & tidied up I then feel like we need a few hours to catch up on TV or I spend my time blogging or editing videos. Or even more annoying I spend ages scrolling through my phone. I’m going to make a conscious effort though to go to bed before 10pm at least once a week in the hope of getting more than my usual 5/6 hours sleep.

Go for a Walk

Last year I made an effort to get up early a few mornings a week to go for a quick walk before Stu went to work. I used to love it, I’d listen to a podcast and enjoyed the quiet time. Definitely something I want to start incorporating into my day again.

Have a pamper

I don’t necessarily mean an expensive spa day or treatment, unless you want to but it’s definitely nice to make a bit of time to pamper yourself. I try and do a face mask or hair treatment every now and then, it’s nice to just switch off from time to time.

Make time to watch your favourite film/ series

Me and Stu are definitely guilty of sitting down to watch something together and then both scrolling through our phones. I’m going to try and make more time to catch up on the things I enjoy.

Have some phone free time/ social media free time

I’ll be the first to admit I’m a phone & social media addict but there’s definitely some benefits to having some phone free time. I also delete or hide people from my social media that are negative or make me feel bad. I think it’s nice to make your social media a positive space.

Have some time with your friends.

It’s so important to make time for your friends, I feel so much better after a catch up. A lot of my newer friends I’ve met or grown closer to since having Finn so it’s nice to spend time with these away from the kids.

Blog or write a diary

I know a blog isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but I feel so much better after writing things down. Even if it’s just something you do for yourself it’s worth a try. One thing I also like doing is a gratitude journal, this helps me to feel more positive. Just writing down a few things that are positive in your life write now can make you a whole lot more grateful.

Mindfulness

  • Something I like to do when I’m feeling anxious or overwhelmed is use a mindfulness app. I love Headspace, it helps me to feel a lot calmer and have a much better sleep if I use it before bed.
  • I hope you found these tips useful and I’d love to hear yours in the comments below.
  • Miscarriage and my Mental Health

    Miscarriage and my Mental Health

    We’d been trying to conceive for about 5 months when I fell pregnant. Sadly this pregnancy and my pregnancy the cycle after ended in miscarriage . I then didn’t know that that this would lead to a further 3 years of trying to conceive.

    The time that followed my miscarriages was such a dark time & I definitely felt there was a stigma around it! I even had some idiot boss at work say ‘ I did say you were telling people early’ as if this made any difference. I became really withdrawn and angry. I was definitely angry at the world, my situation, life. I’d completely take my mood out on my amazing husband Stu, it was so easy to forget he was grieving too.

    I think because of the perceived stigma I found it so hard to speak & reach out to people.

    I fell pregnant my following cycle & was given an early scan which shown a heartbeat hadn’t developed. I went to my doctors quite clearly upset and my nurse told me 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage so it’s really common . Yeah it’s common, but that doesn’t make it any easier or less painful. The best way I’ve ever seen it summed up is a post by Jason Mandord after Gary Barlow’s baby Poppy was still born. If you’ve not read it definitely have a read, he sums it up perfectly. It’s the hopes and dreams from the minute you get that positive test that are suddenly shattered. Feeling like it’s a taboo subject at a time you really need to talk to people can make you feel even lower, I’ve definitely learnt to speak about it more.

    For me I can’t really say when I started to feel better emotionally & even now 6 years later I still get sad when I think about that time & the months that followed. It even made me a bit wary of trying to conceive a second baby incase it happened again. The difference now is I feel emotionally stronger & feel like I can be more open. I hope by talking about it others can feel this way too but I know how hard it is to talk about it.

    The TWW when trying to conceive

    The TWW when trying to conceive

    Some of you maybe looking at the acronym TWW wondering what on earth I’m going on about. Those of you who have been on the whole trying to Trying to Conceive (TTC) rollercoaster will probably know that I mean the two week wait. The two weeks from Ovulation to your period due date. I’m sure I’m not alone in being drove absolutely mad in this time and feeling every single symptom possible. We are about 10 months into trying to conceive this time around and it was about 3 years with Finn so I’m experienced with the TWW.

    I honestly drive myself absolutely mad every month, feel slightly sick that’s it I’m pregnant. My boobs are sore, definitely having a baby (lets all ignore the fact I’m poking them a million times a day to see if they are sore). Feeling tired, better get that Mothercare shop in. I joke because that’s my way, stiff upper lip and all that, but the pain is real. Each month seems like a little reminder of the agony & when my period does arrive it often brings a few dark days for me. I do try to be a positive person generally but it can be so tough when something is out of your control. Let’s not even start on the tests, your a true member of the TWW club when you know internet cheapies ( 15 for £3.50 off Amazon anyone?) are you new best friend. I have to ban myself nowadays as that one little line can set me on a downward spiral.

    I’ve developed a few self care mechanisms now to help myself through the TWW and when my period arrives. I really think having these in place can help your state of mind. There’s the obvious usual ones; a nice bath & pamper, an early night with my book., going for a run/walk. Or I even sometimes manage to plan a nice Meal with a Few gins out or at home. Might as well make the most of the gin while I can hey. Also never discount the cathartic effect of a good cry & a rant. It’s a proper rubbish situation and letting it all out is healthy. I try my hardest to be strong for Finn but I’m human so there’s nothing wrong with a good old moan.

    Does anyone else suffer during the TWW what are your coping mechanisms? I’d love to hear some.

    First Doctors appointment for Secondary infertility

    First Doctors appointment for Secondary infertility

    I’ve recently had my GP appointment to see about getting referred to the fertility department at the hospital. I also wanted to ask about what happened during my c-section as I was told one of my fallopian tubes got cauterised due to a burst cysts. Obviously I wasn’t really ready to take it all in post birth so I’m not exactly sure what happened. My GP said she couldn’t see anything on my notes about this so she will write to the hospital.

    She said my symptoms definitely sound like PCOS (irregular, heavy painful periods, facial hair etc..) I already knew I had this as I was diagnosed about 10 years ago but my symptoms do seem to be a lot worse lately. My GP said you can actually go through cycles of it being worse then better which I didn’t really know before.

    One symptom of PCOS is that you may not ovulate every cycle so I am going to do Ovulation kits & BBT ( basal body temperature) to pin point ovulation. For those who don’t know BBT is where you take your temperature every morning before you even sit up. A surge of at least 0.3 degrees for at least 3 days means you’ve ovulated. I use an app called glow so I can track my cycles.

    My GP also recommended I loose weight, this will help with my PCOS symptoms & help me to conceive. I’ve started a healthy eating plan to help me.

    The outcome isn’t really what I wanted in the sense that I’ve not been referred to fertility but I am having an ultrasound to check for cysts etc.. she has then said we can take it from there, hopefully then we can get answers.

    I’d love to hear from any of you with PCOS and what you found helped with your symptoms?

    Our April

    Our April

    I’ve recently seen a few people do the month in review Blog Posts and I love the idea. It’s so nice to have a record & see all the things you have got up to. All the little days out get forgotten so it’s lovely to look back on.

    We started the month with Easter Sunday, we had dinner at my Mum & Dad’s and a park trip to burn off the millions of eggs Finn had ate.

    We then had an amazing swimming lesson from Finn, which was a big turning point. He was really nervous and held onto his teacher when he first started but this was the point he slowly began to make progress and gain confidence m.

    We had a trip to Bents Garden Centre in Warrington which Finn loved, there’s a fab park & a lovely cafe.

    I then ended up in hospital for 2 nights with tonsillitis, I think though I was really run down. I’d been working loads & doing a lot of late nights & early starts. Luckily a few days later we went on our Amazing holiday to Costa Teguise in Lanzarote. We stayed at the HD Beach resort which you can read about here.

    When we come home we met my Mum & Dad in Chorlton & went for food & a play in the park.

    Another day another park visit, followed by Finn’s favourite coffee & cake.

    We went to Messy Mallie’s which is about 20 minutes away from us in Buckley. It was brilliant and Finn loved painting his own money box.

    After the Easter holidays we were entitled to more hours at nursery. I was sad in one way as Finn stared doing more days so we lost a day in the week together. It’s meant though that I’ve gone from doing 4/5 late nights a week to 1/2. I’ve loved the little things like us having tea together as a family & doing bath, story & bed time.

    Finn’s first go at Crazy Golf, followed by a Wagamama’s.

    A visit to Little Al’s Urban farm in Eastham. We love it here.

    Yet more amazing swimming from Finn, he’s managing to swim now with just the woggle & not holding on to his teacher.

    Finally a zoo trip, we are members of Chester Zoo so we go all the time. This time Finn played in the sand & water for over an hour.

    Costa Teguise, Lanzarote- The restaurants we loved

    Costa Teguise, Lanzarote- The restaurants we loved

    We have recently come back from a week in Costa Teguise and we went to some amazing restaurants. There was such a lot of choice & they were all really reasonably priced. We love Spanish food so we’re absolutely spoilt for choice.

    El Navarro

    We went here after a recommendation from a friend & reading good reviews on both trip advisor & Lonely Planet. It was a bit of a distance from our hotel but definitely worth it. When we first got there I thought it didn’t seem very child friendly but I was wrong, the staff were brilliant with Finn. I went for the prawn, spinach & ricotta ravioli to start followed by hake & mussels in a butter & lemon sauce. Both were amazing! I love mussels & I’d say these were the freshest & tastiest I’ve ever had. I had a creme brûlée for dessert which was lovely as well. Stu had the porks cheek & really enjoyed it. This was the most expensive meal we had at around €80 but was so worth it.

    El Navarro, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote El Navarro, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote El Navarro, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote El Navarro, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote El Navarro, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote

    El Navarro, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote

    La Tabla

    I found La Tabla on trip advisor & it was highly rated for Tapas. Again we weren’t disappointed. It’s on a little courtyard tucked away but it was lovely & peaceful. The tapas was brilliant value at €21 for 7 dishes and we enjoyed them all. It was so busy with people being turned away on a Tuesday evening so definitely book (the number is on trip advisor and you can send them a WhatsApp).

    La Tabla, Costa Teguise, LanzaroteLa Tabla, Costa Teguise, LanzaroteLa Tabla, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote La Tabla, Costa Teguise, LanzaroteLa Tabla, Costa Teguise, LanzaroteLa Tabla, Costa Teguise, LanzaroteLa Tabla, Costa Teguise, LanzaroteLa Tabla, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote

    La Aulaga Casa Felix

    Another tapas restaurant we found on trip advisor, although they did a wide range of meals here which all looked really good. This was again excellent value with each Tapa priced at €3. This is some of the best tapas we’ve ever ate and we are big Tapas fans.

    Casa Felix, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote Casa Felix, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote Casa Felix, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote

    Casa Felix, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote Casa Felix, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote Casa Felix, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote

    La Pardela Restaurant

    We fancied Paella one night and La Pardela came highly recommend on trip advisor. We opted for the seafood & it was amazing, packed with fish & seafood. The staff were brilliant with Finn and really made you feel welcome. We had starters as well but really didn’t need them as the paella was massive. It’s in a lovely location as well over looking the sea.

    La Pardela, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote La Pardela, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote La Pardela, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote La Pardela, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote La Pardela, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote La Pardela, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote La Pardela, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote

    Beach Bar Melia Salinas

    We never ate here but I’ve got to mention the Beach Bar, we loved it. Perfect surroundings, amazing cocktails & chill out music. We loved going at nap time and some evenings with Finn as he loved playing in the sand.

    Beach Bar Melia Salinas, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote Beach Bar Melia Salinas, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote Beach Bar Melia Salinas, Costa Teguise, Lanzarote

    Disneyland Paris, Our favourite restaurants

    Disneyland Paris, Our favourite restaurants

    One thing I really worried about before we went to Disneyland Paris the first time was the price of food. I’d heard people say they had spent £1000+ in a few days and this just wasn’t in the budget for us. There was no dining plan offer when we went and it was expensive to add one so we decided to just go with it and hope for the best. Both times we’ve been we’ve spent around £400 (excluding a few pre booked meals) including drinks etc.. It’s obviously not the cheapest place but you can do it without spending the huge amounts people say. We could have done it on even more of a budget if we tried as well. Here’s the places we ate at and enjoyed.

    Breakfast – the first time we stayed we had breakfast included at Santa Fe, I personally wouldn’t go for this unless you get it included as I found it quite crowded & chaotic. We made do with a coffee in the room and then just grabbed something in the park when we were up the second time we went.

    Annette’s- We really enjoyed Annette’s, it’s themed around an old school American diner with the staff on roller-skates. This is definitely the place We queued the longest and it was always busy after the fireworks so be prepared to queue for a while. The portions are massive, we shared 2 of the Jukebox menu’s between the 3 of us and there was more than enough food. This is €29 and included a starter, main and brownie for pudding. Finn loved the brownie.

    McDonald’s breakfast – the second time we visited we didn’t have Breakfast included and Finn choose McDonald’s for his birthday breakfast as they did pancakes. I know it’s not the healthiest but we were really surprised how good value it was. It cost us €16 and for that me and Stu had meal each with a bacon & egg muffin, pancakes, coffee and juice and Finn had pancakes, hot chocolate & juice and it definitely kept us going for a while.

    Rainforest cafe – We all loved the theming of the Rainforest Cafe. Finn especially loved the fish & monkeys. It is a little on the expensive side, they do have some set menus though which are a bit cheaper. We all really enjoyed our food though and would say it’s worth the expense once on your visit. Our bill came to around €80 for a children’s meal with drink & dessert, a beer, a cocktail, a shared starter and 2 mains.

    Vapianos- We love Vapiano’s and find it really fresh & tasty and good value. The portions are quite big so Finn shared with us we had a pasta & pizza dish and with 3 drinks it came to about €35. The ordering system can be a little chaotic as you have to go up separately for pizza & pasta and then get buzzed when your food is ready but it’s well worth it.

    Five Guys – this is another restaurant located in Disney village. We shared again between the 3 of us and 2 burgers, a large chips and 2 drinks was €40, a bit on the expensive side for a burger but they are really fresh & big portions.

    Inventions, Disneyland Hotel – This is by far my favourite Dining experience we have done at Disney. We went for lunch for Finn’s birthday and Mickey, Minnie and the staff brought out a cake and sang to his (I Pre booked this for about €25) it was such a special moment. Inventions is expensive at €65 for an adult and €35 for a child but we added it at the time of booking so we could spread the cost. The character interaction was brilliant and they came round a few times. We got plenty of photos and Finn’s booked signed. The food was lovely as well there was Beef, king prawns, loads of salad, cheese, desserts etc.. definitely the one to do if you do one character meal.

    Caseys’s Corner- This is on Main St with an area to eat inside or an outdoor eating area. The hot dogs are really nice traditional American ones & it came to around £35 for 2 hot dogs, 2 chips, nuggets & 2 drinks.

    Glowtini- I loved the Glowtini cocktails which are quite fruity & come with a light up ice cube. We stayed in Santa Fe and apparently this is the cheapest place to have one.

    Fuento del Orto- we ate here on the last day by chance as we were in Frontierland and had time before we had to head back for our taxi. I’m really glad we did as it was really nice Mexican food. It came to €32 and we had Nachos and 2 set meals including drinks & a side or yogurt. This was plenty for the 3 of us.

    Toad Hall- this is a fish & chip restaurant in Fantasyland. We all really enjoyed it and got the Double to share with a few extra sides.

    Cable car bake shop- this is on Main Street and Finn loved the Nutella muffins. They do all sorts of Disney themed cakes & snacks.

    Plaza Gardens- on our first visit we had the character breakfast here. I really enjoyed it but after doing the lunch at inventions I’d say that’s definitely the better of the two. You still get the characters coming to your table but it just felt a little rushed compared to inventions and they only seem to come round once. The breakfast was really good though with an amazing selection. I’d still do the breakfast again if we got a deal but would definitely pick the lunch if we could.

    Buffalo Bills- On our first visit we did Buffalo Bills Wild West show and loved it, Finn was just over 2 and he really enjoyed it but it is really noisy. The show was brilliant with character appearances and we all really enjoyed the food. You get drinks re fills as well. It’s definitely a fun experience and is really interactive.

    Earl of Sandwich- We love Earl of Sandwich and normally end up eating here a few times. They do really nice sandwiches with loads of options and it’s always really quick & reasonable prices. They do a meal deal for about €12 or you can just get the sandwiches on there own.

    Creating memories with Lifecake 💙

    Creating memories with Lifecake 💙

    I have recently downloaded the Lifecake app and I’m loving adding all of our memories to it. If you haven’t used it before Lifecake is a free app (10gb of storage, extra storage can be purchased ) that allows you to upload your photos which are then viewed in time order. I absolutely love this feature and have already spent far too much time flicking back to the photos of Finn as a newborn. I don’t know about anyone else but I’m forever running out of phone memory and I never get round to putting them onto our computer so the fact they can  all be stored in the app is so handy.   

    Another feature of the Lifecake app I love is the fact that you can invite friends and family members to privately view the time line. It’s like your own private social media as you can like & comment on the pictures. I’m forever sending my parents photos of Finn as they live in a different City, I like to keep them updated on what we’ve been up to. I’ve sent them both a link to the Lifecake app so they can view all Finn’s photos. I love that it’s private as well  as you don’t always want to share every photo to social media. 


    You can order print products directly from the Lifecake app including; prints, phone cases, tote bags, posters, Polaroid prints, fridge magnets, picture books, mugs, calendars and invitations. I forever plan on getting pictures of Finn printed off but never actually get to the shop to do it (and can never work the machines) so being able to print directly from the app is perfect. Family members you have invited can also order print products as well. We usually get the Grandparents a personalised gift off Finn for Christmas so Lifecake will come in handy for that. 


    I used the Print Shop to order a phone cover. I chose a picture of Finn with Woody at Disneyland as it’s one of my favourite memories so I love being able to look at it all the time.  It’s really simple and quick to upload your photo and you can edit it on the app to make sure it all fits on the case. You can even add personalised text which would be a lovely touch for a gift.  The phone cover arrived in 2 Days and is really high quality. Overall I was really impressed and will definitely carry on using the app and print shop. 


    For any of my readers downloading the Lifecake app you can use my code ‘mrsdavies’ to receive 25% off your first order and an extra 10gb storage. Perfect if you’re looking to buy any personalised Christmas gifts. (Valid until 31st January 2018) 

    * Disclosure- for the purpose of  this review I was able to pick a Lifecake product. All views expressed are my own. 

    Why I love Blogging

    Why I love Blogging

    I started my Blog about 18 months ago and loved it, I love the sense of community, the memories for Finn to keep and look back on and the fact that it made me want to fill our days with fun activities. I saw it as a lovely way to keep all our memories in once place and look back on in years to come. 

    Then I’m really sorry to say I stopped because a few friends made nasty comments. I think these were mainly said joking but a few made me feel a bit self conscious about the whole blogging thing. I suppose some people don’t really get why people do it, but I follow a lot of ‘Mummy Bloggers/Vloggers’ on instagram and I love the advice they give, the inspiration for days out & holidays and the whole support network & community feel to it. I’ve felt re inspired to start  my blog again recently, especially as we’ve been lucky to have some amazing trips this past year or so and I know I’ll love looking back on these in the future. 


    I’m saying goodbye to the negative people and just enjoying it again. The baby pictures of Finn are included to remind me why I love doing this so much. They remind me that time passes by so quick, it feel like we took this photos only the other day so I want to create as many memories as I can. 

    What my Toddler Eats 

    What my Toddler Eats 

    Finn is now 17 months, he’s still a really good eater and will try most things. He doesn’t always eat a big portion at each meal but will sometimes graze throughout the day. 
    Breakfast 

    For Breakfast Finn tends to have Cereal (Cheerios, rice crispies etc..) Something like avocado, peanut butter or soft cheese on toast or 1/2 a Bagel, a brioche roll a crumpet or pancakes. He also has fruit. I am trying to get him used to an open cup so I will give him this in the morning while he’s still in his pyjamas. 




    Lunch 

    Lunch is normally a pic- Nic type meal so we have the same thing if we are out and about or at home. I give Finn a choice of things like; sandwiches, cheese cubes, crisps, thins with ham, cucumber, fruit, cherry tomatoes, pepper etc.. 



    Tea 

    Finn will eat whatever we are eating in the evening. He loves Pasta at the moment so I will make that quite often. Recent meals I’ve made that he has loved are Joe Wick’s Chicken & Leek Pie, Sausage and Bean Stew and carbonara. After tea he will a small piece of angel cake, yogurt, fruit or occasionally ice- cream. 



    Snacks and Drinks 

    Finn loves milk, he has these Anyway up cow cups. He has about 3/4 cup full a day. He drinks mostly water with the odd weak cordial. Snacks tend to be fruit, rice cakes, raisins, cheese, Dunkers (breadsticks and cheese), flapjacks or yoghurt.