Go technology free for a free meal

Frankie & Bennys have recently introduced a new incentive for it’s customers. Hand in your phones into the restaurant and kids will eat FREE!

What do you think? As soon as I heard this I felt compelled to write about it. As much as I think this idea will be good for some families, I also think it’s incredibly sad that the restaurant has had to think of something to bring families together.

I have very traditional/strong views when it comes to this. I cook for my family most nights and I have one rule at the dinner table – NO PHONES! When we come together at the end of the day I think it’s important to give each other our full attention to reconnect and find out about everyones day and just general chit chat. This is usually the time my son Luca opens up to me about his school day, he tells me all sorts of stories and I would hate to miss out on that because I was too busy being distracted by some sort of technology. I could not imagine sitting at a table with my family or my friends with my head in my phone ignoring them.

Now maybe by unpopular opinion but my greatest pet peeve is seeing families out for a meal and their children have iPads shoved in their faces 😞. I understand it’s totally easier for the parents to do this, it enables the child to sit still and to be distracted therefore parents get to have a little adult talk and a minute to themselves I get it I really do but I think theres a time and place for technology and it’s up to us as parents to distinguish this. I don’t think dining out is the place for constant technology use.

Statistics research shows that up to 72% of children wish their parents would spend less time on their phones and 1 in 10 children have even gone as far as to hide their parents phone. This makes me so incredibly sad.

With that being said I think Frankie and Bennys move to bring in the no phone zone when dining out is GREAT! It will hopefully bring families closer together and help people engage with each other again.

Would you go phone/technology free ?

How waking up at 6am changed my life…

I don’t know about you, but I was always one for snoozing the alarm when the morning would roll around. Just 5 more mins pleaseee!

Doing this was a bad habit that I needed to break. It made me fly around in the mornings, be all over the place, forgetting things, being snappy, being irritated, unorganised, not having time for breakfast, being hangry and just a tornado of anxiety rushing around leaving a trail of disorganised mess behind me. (Which I would later regret as I would be the one tidying it all up later in the day 😄🤷🏻‍♀️)…It literally made no sense, I would swear to myself that I would go to bed at a reasonable time that night, so I wouldn’t be so tired in the mornings, Always thought of it but never did it 🙈… this began to really grate on me so I finally decided to change something.

One day two years ago I set just one alarm for 6am, switched the snooze option off and fell asleep. Morning came around and the alarm went off. Now I knew this was it, no snooze, I rather get my arse up now or i’ll fall back asleep and end up late for work, late for taking Luca to school and just plain LATE for the day ahead. So with that one alarm I dragged myself up out of bed and began my morning routine. Luca still fast asleep so I was able to get ready in peace, which for a parent is one of the best things! 🙌🏻 I was able to think clearly so I didn’t forget anything, I was able to have breakfast and even have a little tidy up before we left,?so I didn’t have as much to do when I got home. My day was already going well before I even left the door. I felt so much calmer, organised and motivated for the day ahead. This feeing was something that stuck with me. The feeling of being rushed is awful, it’s my absolute pet hate. It’s enough to make you throw your bags on the ground and say thats it i’m not adulting today. But this newfound having time to spare in the mornings and being able to leisurely get through my morning routine and chores was amazing. So thats how the 6am get up stuck.

Being up before your children works so well too. At the time it can be hard to muster up the motivation to get out of bed while they are still asleep, but it’s so worth it when you get your own time to get yourself and the house ready before they even wake up. It makes the whole day go smoother I promise.

A morning routine sets your tone for the day so heres how waking up earlier can change your life for the better :

• You will become more organised.

• Increased productivity.

• You will become more motivated.

• Have extra time to focus on yourself and your thoughts, gaining more clarity over your life.

• Your days will go smoother.

• You will gain a better bedtime routine – from waking up early, your bedtime routine falls into place much easier. Your too tired to watch one more episode on netflix.

• You will be able to have your own time which makes you feel more fulfilled and content with your life.

• Your house will become more organised.

• You will be on time.

• Reduce anxiety.

• You will have time for things that make you feel good – e.g yoga/meditation/breakfast.

• You become a better planner.

• Better sleeping pattern.

• Better concentration.

Why not give it a go? It took one alarm for me to change, and i’m so glad I did. My mornings have become easier and I feel happier.

Ps. I’m a firm believer in balance, so I only set 6am alarms during the week and I give myself a break on the weekends. I usually don’t have to be up and out early during then, so i’m able to enjoy a little lie in. As i’m a mum I class 7am on a weekend a lie in 😄 but at least i’m able to enjoy getting up with the children without rushing around. It’s the best of both worlds really 🙌🏻.

As always thank you for stopping by ☺️

Frankie x

Things I quit to improve my mental health

Most blog posts on mental health, promote what we SHOULD be doing to create a healthy balance, but have you ever wondered what we could STOP doing to help ourselves? Small simple lifestyle changes can have a BIG impact on our overall health.

Here are some tips on things that I stopped doing to improve my holistic wellbeing.

Late bedtime

Sleep is so incredibly important, I see it as a type of meditation. It’s the time when our mind rests and resets. It rejuvenates us. I used to go to bed at anytime I wanted usually past midnight. The morning would roll around so quick and I would feel exhausted and irritated throughout the day. Creating an actual bedtime was paramount for me, it’s made me wake up fresher. I aim to be in bed before 10.00pm. This doesn’t necessarily mean asleep by then, but just in bed by that time. Read a book, write in a journal or just have some quiet time to think to yourself. (Little tip, when winding down ready for a good nights sleep don’t use technology). This leads on to the next bit of advice…

Social media usage

Don’t set a bedtime and then go to bed and sit on your phone or watch TV the light that our phones and TVs produce make us more alert and awake, making falling asleep much harder. Social media is addicting, we all do it, we all scroll through our social accounts. It can be great but theres another side that can leave you comparing yourself to people online. Comparison steals happiness and can produce a lot of unwanted emotions. Limit social media usage and watch how it changes your life for the better!

Alcohol

Now your probably getting to this bit and thinking she wants me to give up all my fun 😄. Not at all, I understand alcohol is a part of peoples lives, it’s a minority of people these days that actually don’t drink. All I advise is if your going to drink, do if moderately look at your consumption, alcohol is a well known depressant. If your not feeing your best self, take away the alcohol for a few days/weeks and just see how you feel without. I personally gave up alcohol completely a few years ago and I can’t think of one negative, towards doing so.

Coffee/Caffeine intake

Caffeine is a stimulant, that can cause anxiety. It has negative impacts on your health. Just be aware of how much you are consuming. I don’t drink coffee at all, but there is caffeine hidden in lots of different drinks and foods so just be aware.

Moaning, complaining and gossiping

What you give out into the world, you get back. By complaining and moaning about things you are actually attracting more of those feelings and situations towards you. Be aware of your words and what you talk about. No matter what sort of day you have had always look for the positives and remember theres ALWAYS something to be grateful for. Talk more about what your grateful for, and watch how your mindset will change. You will see your life in a different perspective.

Junk food and exercise

I feel these go hand in hand, now don’t get me wrong I am no where near a health fanatic or a clean eating machine. This is a point that I need to improve more on. But I am aware of what foods and their amount that I put into my body. I also ensure I do some kind of exercise everyday as I know just how important endorphins are for our wellbeing and how good they actually make you feel.

Now for a tip on what YOU should DO

Go outdoors

Being outdoors gives you all sorts of benefits, it’s something I need to do every single day to feel the best I can. It’s so beneficial to me feeling good that I had to share with you! I make sure I go on a walk somewhere in nature everyday. This is part of my self care, it’s what makes me feel good about myself. It’s a stress reliever for me, it helps to clear my mind and think more clearly. Try getting outdoors everyday for 5 days and see you feel.

Remember these tips are designed to help you. Don’t pressure yourself, I just want to be able to share some things that have helped me and may help you too.

You can’t keep doing the same thing and expect a change so why not just give one or two a try and see how it works. ☺️

Thank you for reading!

Baby buys haul

Sharing my baby buys that I have up to now – not much left to get for baby girl. (At least I don’t think there is!)😄 Please let me know if there is anything else you think I may need or that really helped you ☺️

I decided to go for Dr Brown’s bottles this time round. I have heard so many good reviews on them, but also for the fact that Luca had very bad colic and reflux as a baby, so i’m trying to stay a step ahead this time. Dr Brown’s bottles, travel bottle lids and milk powder dispenser.

Dr Brown’s steriliser

Munchkin bottle drying rack

I decided to go for the 4moms mamaroo rocker, another product I have heard and seen great things from. The car ride motion on the chair makes me sleepy just watching it ha ha. Anyone else had this chair? Love to know what you think.

Pampers nappies and Huggies wipes at the ready. With Luca I tried a range of different wipes and nappies and found these worked best for us. So I will be using again ☺️

Basket full of muslins and bibs, because you can never have to many ha.

Another basket on the other side of the front room filled with wipes, nappies and spare blankets.

My children will be sharing a bedroom, so I swapped the all blue toy boxes for some pink ones too ☺️ They are the Dröna storage boxes from Ikea.

Top of the wardrobe I have more blankets, flannels and hooded towels. In the little storage boxes I have more nappies and wipes and a box full of creams and a thermometer.

Tommee Tippee dummies and this cute little Disney comforter is from Matalan.

Ewan the dream sheep

Snuza hero

Gro hush

AngelCare bath seat I remember buying the traditional little baby bath with Luca and my gosh aren’t they are hard work!?Holding a wriggling, slippy new born with one hard whilst washing baby with the other hand all whilst your back is hurting from being knelt over. These bath seats are so much more convenient 🙌🏻

I needed another little baby bouncer/chair for upstairs as it’s not very practical to carry the mamaroo rocker up and down stairs each time when needed so I came across this in the Asda baby event. Absolute bargain for £30 😀

Playmat

Found these over sized muslins in Tkmaxx. Perfect for swaddling.

Baby monitor

Sleepyhead from John Lewis.

I thought this Baby health care kit was great as it comes with everything you need in a little zip case.

Changing mat

Just wanted to add we also have the Chicco next to me crib and our pram and car seat but they are being stored elsewhere until baby arrives ☺️.

Do you think we have everything we need?

Tips on how to stay organised

Routine and organisation makes life a whole lot easier, especially if you have children. Here are a few helpful tips that I have found to be really useful when it comes to adulting and mumlife 🙌🏻 Hope they help you!

• Daily to do lists – tick of as you complete

• Write appointments down as soon as you get them and stick on fridge

• Have a calendar hung up somewhere you will see it everyday. (Mines next to the fridge ha)

• Create morning and bedtime routines

• Pack bags the night before

• Create a meal plan on a Sunday for your week ahead

• Put your phone down (excessive phone use decreases productivity and wastes time)

• Attempt one task at a time, stop multi tasking all jobs at once

• Declutter and organise your home/room for a clear mind

• Have a place for everything in your home

• Have a chore list – daily chores that need doing to keep your space organised

• If possible have direct debits come out the same day. This allows you to budget easier, knowing how much you have left once all bills are taken out at the same time.

Is there anything you do that keeps your life organised? Id love to try them out 😀

Self care ideas

We are all so busy in our lives and taking care of others, that we often forget we need to care for ourselves too. So following on from an earlier post talking about the importance of self care. Here are some self care ideas, see if you can try and fit just one of them into your day today! You deserve it ❤️

  • DO NOTHING!
  • Take a walk
  • Read a book/magazine
  • Take a long bubble bath
  • Clean or reorganize a room
  • Go for a pedicure
  • Meditate
  • Turn your phone of and watch your favourite movie without any distractions
  • Paint
  • Tidy or declutter – I swear by this, it declutters the mind
  • Face mask
  • Have the courage to say NO to people
  • Put yourself first
  • Listen to positive affirmations (youtube)
  • Paint your nails
  • Write a bucket list
  • Write in your journal
  • Sit in a peaceful place outdoors
  • Start a gratitude journal
  • Play with a pet
  • Do yoga
  • Gardening – plant something new
  • Go for a spa day
  • Listen to your favourite music
  • Get a massage
  • Colour – I love my adult colouring book, it allows my thoughts to detangle. I find myself in a clearer head space afterwards. Try it! ☺️
  • Stay in your PJs all day
  • Listen to a positive/uplifting podcast
  • Light your favourite candles
  • Online shop – treat yourself!

Is there anything else that you do to take care of yourself? ☺️

Autumn no spend weekend

Autumn has to be one of my favourite times of the year. The air is becoming cooler and crisp, the trees are showing off their wonderful autumnal colours and I get to cover up with big coats and scarves. 😂

We don’t need to spend money to have fun with our children. So here’s a list for your family to make memories this season without over spending 😀🙌🏻

• Leaf hunt – take a bag or bucket to bring your leafs home for the next activity down below ⬇️

• Leaf picture

• Nature walk

• Bug hunt

• Bird spotting

• Pumpkin picking

• Pumpkin carving/painting

• Bake – cookies, cakes whatever you like!

• Try a new recipe – get everyone involved in helping to cook.

• Drink hot chocolate whilst watching hocus pocus/halloween town whatever your autumn favourites are!

• Make a bird feeder – used toilet roll holder, spoon peanut butter over the roll then dip in bird seed. Hang up with string anywhere you fancy ☺️

• Trampoline leaf jump – collect as many leaves as you can, scatter over your trampoline and jump jump jump😀

• Colouring books

• Rock painting – collect rocks, paint and hide them around your neighbourhood. You could even paint rocks with an autumn theme in mind 🙊

• Camp out in the living room watching all your favourite movies.

• Go on a bike ride

• Go on a picnic

• Stargazing – we take blankets and pillows on to the trampoline, lie down and gaze up at the stars. You can do this from anywhere though!

• Conker picking

• Go trick or treating

• Fly a kite

• Chalk pictures outdoors

• Visit your local library and take out some season books.

Is there anything else you like to do with your littles in autumn? Let me know ☺️

A letter to my first born

Luca, as the weeks are going by so fast and soon your little sister will be with us, I wanted to write you a little something to let you know how you have been the biggest and best adventure of my life. To also say thank you for making me into mamma first.

I was only 18 when I found out you were in my belly. I was scared and excited all wrapped into one. I remember feeling you move around for the first time and never feeling alone from that point on. I would dream of what you and your little personality would be like and I prayed for you every single day and still to this day do now.

The day you came into the world, was the day my life changed forever. I remember being all alone in the hospital, early hours of the morning, too overwhelmed to sleep I sat up all night watching you. I held you in my arms and stared at your beautiful little face wondering how I got so lucky. I remember feeling so scared, feeling inadequate to look after such a precious gift. You were only a few hours old and you gripped onto my little finger so tight I could barley believe it. It was in that moment that I fell completely and utterly in love with you and knew that I would do whatever I could to be the greatest mum I could be for you.

You see Luca you was giving me the hope and strength I needed before you could even talk.

Loving and growing up with you has been the biggest and greatest adventure of my life. These past 5 years have been the best, making memories with you and watching you grow into the most handsome, kind, smart, funny, wild, sensitive and caring little boy. The years have gone by oh so fast, I remember knowing I needed to get my sleep but I would watch over you for hours in the middle of the night, your first laugh, your first crawl, your first steps and your first words. They have left imprints on my mind that will stay with me forever. You have brought us all so much happiness, I am so thankful to have had all this precious time we have had having you as our only child. Thank you for the most special five years I could have ever wished for.

As you know a new chapter is heading towards us soon, we have another little love on the ride of life with us. I wanted a sibling for you so very much, someone to travel through childhood and life with you. I truly believe there is no greater gift than for a child to have a sibling. No matter how our world changes, you will always be my first. We will love another together and we will all grow together.

Thank you for loving me even when I hardly knew anything about being a mum and made mistakes. Thank you for being there when I had no one else. Thank you for giving me this life and thank you above all for being YOU ❤️

You are the best big brother I could ever ask for, for your little sister. There is nobody I would rather her learn from than you. You see you made me into Mamma, you made me into the mum I am for you today and for the Mamma I will also be for your sister. How special is that!

You will always be my little bambino no matter how big you get.

I love you Luca, beyond words. Forever.

Love Mamma ❤️

Gratitude Journals for children

Gratitude journaling is something that only takes a few minutes per day but can have a big positive impact on your ls and your childrens holistic development, mental health and overall wellbeing.

A gratitude journal is simply something you do to keep track of all the good things your thankful for in life. Usually kept in a book form, you write what you are thankful for that day and what the best bit of the day was etc. No matter what your day looked like, there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. It’s incredibly easy to start, simply buy a notebook, a pen and start writing daily, about the positives and goodness in your days. The more you focus on the goodness in your life it enables you to gain a different perspective. I whisper thank you to myself continually throughout the day, as soon as I wake in the morning I say thank you out loud and at night I gather all my thankful thoughts and write them down in my book.

Gratitude journals are for everyone! Adults and children of all ages. I started one over a year ago and seeing first hand how powerful this simple tool is to enhance your happiness I decided Luca should try one out too. We do ours after a bath at bedtime, Luca is winding down and able to focus on his thoughts. I find this time very special for both of us, it’s a meaningful bonding time where we are together without any distractions and are able to think about our day clearly. I’m able to get a better insight to Luca’s day and his thoughts. The gratitude journal is full of benefits for us all, but I especially think it’s great for children to start as early as possible because:

• They become more present and mindful

• Improves attitude and builds character

• Become more self aware

• Reduces stress & worries

• Opens communication

• Gives them a different perspective on life

• Develop a sense of thankfulness and gratitude for even the littlest things in life

• Improve emotional well being

• Acknowledging and appreciating the simple things in life

• Allows parents to understand their children on a different level

• Gives children a positive mind set

• Builds resilience

• Promotes life long skills they can carry on through adulthood

• Produces feelings of accomplishment and belonging

• Attracts more good things to come their way

Gratitude Journaling is a way to de stress, calm down, unwind and become mindful. Especially important if your busy and nonstop all day, you and your children need down time to just be in the moment to ground yourselves. Once you start to practise gratitude you will see opportunity to give thanks where ever you go. ☺️

A page out of Luca’s journal 🙏🏻

Reception to year 1 transition tips

How are all your littles doing settling back into school and their new classes? I felt this year was a big jump for Luca leaving early years 😢 and starting to learn the national curriculum. (I love everything about early years) Having worked within nursery/reception classes and higher years I myself was able to see the jump that Luca was about to make.

In Reception children learn in a play based, free flowing environment thats mainly child led, they may be guided from time to time by staff but ultimately they get to choose the areas they want to learn/play and with whom. Where as Year 1 tends to be more formal the national curriculum sets clear learning goals across all subject areas. The teaching is adult led and children have less choice in what they do. Children often miss the freedom they had being able to learn independently through play to now having to focus attention and sit down at a table for longer periods. So we wanted to support Luca with his transition as best we could and thought they could help someone else too. So below i’m sharing some tips that we implement that are proving to help ☺️

• Positivity – First of all above anything else is to always remain positive about new changes coming your child’s way. Luca himself was actually quite apprehensive about starting Year 1. The day he went to visit his new class he came home and said ” Mamma, they have no toys just tables and chairs”. In response I always gave and continue to give Luca a positive outlook on this new chapter for him.

• Limit extra curriculum activities – I didn’t want Luca to become overwhelmed by having to be somewhere doing something everyday of the week. I wanted him to be able to enjoy his own free time without having a busy schedule every evening after school when he’s already doing so much throughout his school day.

• Give your children free time – The biggest tip I can give thats really helped us so far is this – Allow your child to do what they like (within reason of course) when they get home. As soon as Luca gets home from school he says ” It’s my time to choose now isn’t it”. Luca gets free time between coming home and bedtime to be as child led as possible and to do his own thing. Usually choosing to play with his friends next door, build lego, go on the trampoline or swing set, play with his toys or just to watch a show, he’s able to choose how he spends his time just like in reception class. He has time to just be a kid and use his imagination. This has really helped Luca not feel constantly directed and gives him the freedom he wants and needs.

• Don’t start homework, spellings or reading books as soon as they get home from school – If you think just when you get home from work you need some downtime, your child needs the same. Imagine coming home from work to then be doing your job from home as soon as you get back, you would go a little stir crazy. It’s the same with our children give them a break to just be children without a work load. We don’t do any school related activities when Luca gets home, I want to give him a break even if it’s just for a couple of hours. We do reading books at bedtime along side our bedtime story and homework and spellings are done in increments throughout the evenings usually sometime after tea. I can usually tell when Luca has had enough and loosing concentration so we leave it for another day when he’s able to fully engage and give his best shot at it again.

Hope these little tips help you and your children settle into their new class ☺️🍎📚✏️🚸