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 πŸ˜„πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ)…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 πŸ™ˆ… 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! πŸ™ŒπŸ» 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 :

β€’ You will become more organised.

β€’ Increased productivity.

β€’ You will become more motivated.

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

β€’ Your days will go smoother.

β€’ 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.

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

β€’ Your house will become more organised.

β€’ You will be on time.

β€’ Reduce anxiety.

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

β€’ You become a better planner.

β€’ Better sleeping pattern.

β€’ 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 πŸ˜„ but at least i’m able to enjoy getting up with the children without rushing around. It’s the best of both worlds really πŸ™ŒπŸ».

As always thank you for stopping by ☺️

Frankie x

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 πŸ™ŒπŸ» Hope they help you!

β€’ Daily to do lists – tick of as you complete

β€’ Write appointments down as soon as you get them and stick on fridge

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

β€’ Create morning and bedtime routines

β€’ Pack bags the night before

β€’ Create a meal plan on a Sunday for your week ahead

β€’ Put your phone down (excessive phone use decreases productivity and wastes time)

β€’ Attempt one task at a time, stop multi tasking all jobs at once

β€’ Declutter and organise your home/room for a clear mind

β€’ Have a place for everything in your home

β€’ Have a chore list – daily chores that need doing to keep your space organised

β€’ 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 πŸ˜€

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. πŸ˜‚

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 πŸ˜€πŸ™ŒπŸ»

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

β€’ Leaf picture

β€’ Nature walk

β€’ Bug hunt

β€’ Bird spotting

β€’ Pumpkin picking

β€’ Pumpkin carving/painting

β€’ Bake – cookies, cakes whatever you like!

β€’ Try a new recipe – get everyone involved in helping to cook.

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

β€’ 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 ☺️

β€’ Trampoline leaf jump – collect as many leaves as you can, scatter over your trampoline and jump jump jumpπŸ˜€

β€’ Colouring books

β€’ Rock painting – collect rocks, paint and hide them around your neighbourhood. You could even paint rocks with an autumn theme in mind πŸ™Š

β€’ Camp out in the living room watching all your favourite movies.

β€’ Go on a bike ride

β€’ Go on a picnic

β€’ 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!

β€’ Conker picking

β€’ Go trick or treating

β€’ Fly a kite

β€’ Chalk pictures outdoors

β€’ 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 ☺️

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:

β€’ They become more present and mindful

β€’ Improves attitude and builds character

β€’ Become more self aware

β€’ Reduces stress & worries

β€’ Opens communication

β€’ Gives them a different perspective on life

β€’ Develop a sense of thankfulness and gratitude for even the littlest things in life

β€’ Improve emotional well being

β€’ Acknowledging and appreciating the simple things in life

β€’ Allows parents to understand their children on a different level

β€’ Gives children a positive mind set

β€’ Builds resilience

β€’ Promotes life long skills they can carry on through adulthood

β€’ Produces feelings of accomplishment and belonging

β€’ 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 πŸ™πŸ»

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 ☺️

β€’ 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.

β€’ 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.

β€’ 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.

β€’ 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 β˜ΊοΈπŸŽπŸ“šβœοΈπŸšΈ

Should children be raised around animals?

What do you all think? Should our children be raised with pets in the house or not? It’s interesting to see peoples different opinions.

I’m that mum, when the kids ask for a puppy i say ‘ yeah cool lets get 5 ‘ πŸ˜‚ I personally believe children gain lots of positives from being around animals. Children who are introduced to animals from an early age prevents them from developing anxiety’s and fears against them.

Having pets in the house is great for children, they learn important life skills of responsibility through learning how to take care of their animals. Creatures big or small can teach our children all about compassion, empathy and companionship too. Many times I have walked in on Luca snuggling the dog, whispering in the cats ear only secrets they are allowed to know, staring into the hamster cage, taking little bits of fruit to feed his hamster, stroking the dog, playing with the cat, both cat and dog lay down with Luca it really is wonderful to see the bond they all have. As Luca is an only child i’m pretty sure he sees them as his siblings which is so sweet ❀️

I was always around animals growing up, horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, have all been pets of mine. I always intended to carry this on to my children, as i have so many lovely memories from my childhood with my pets. We have 3 pets in the house at the moment. Tucker our dog, Jasper the cat and Honey our hamster the newest addition. I have found that pets build stronge family bonds and lasting memories. If I had it my way we would live on a farm with lots of different animals, and Luca would be outside everyday around those animals learning how to look after them πŸ˜€ Maybe one day πŸ˜‰

Are you a pet person or not?

Ways to unplug

We are all guilty of it! Spending to much time on our phones. Staring at our screens, scrolling through instagram, emailing, texting, searching through facebook, snap-chatting, watching youtube videos and googling weird stuff. Does anyone else sometimes feel it just all becomes a bit overwhelming? As much as the internet connects us, sometimes it’s incredibly useful for your overall health to unplug and just take a little break for a while.

It’s been proven that phones reduce productivity. With smartphone users checking their phones up to 150 times or more a day it’s easy to see how distracted and detached we can become from our reality. I have put together some easy ways for you to go on a digital vacation to replenish yourself and stay in the moment.

β€’ Go on a walk without your phone. Take in your surroundings without being detached. Notice the flowers you walk by, the birds whistling in the trees. Without sounding like a tree hugger, being in nature and being mindful about your surroundings can do wonders for you and your mental health. Theres nothing that calms me down more than getting outdoors and going for a walk.

β€’ Delete your social media apps for a little bit. This will prevent temptation to click on them.

β€’ Put your phone on do not disturb or flight mode for the whole day to prevent distractions. Instagram and facebook will still be there in the evening to catch up on anything you may have missed.

β€’ Read more books, keeping your mind active without staring at a screen. Your able to get lost in your own imagination. Something most of us adults haven’t used in a while!

β€’ Devote one day a week as a tech free day.

β€’ Make a game out of it – say your out with family & friends, all put your phones in the middle of the table and the first one who picks their phone up to look at it pays the bill if none have you have checked your phones by the end of it you divide the bill equally. Doing this will enable you all to stay in the moment with each other and just enjoy each others company without distracting yourself.

β€’ Consider getting rid of one social media account. Do we all need twitter, snapchat, facebook, instagram and whatever else? Can you limit yourself to using only 2 or 3 social apps?

β€’ Take pictures on a digital camera instead of your phone. It’s easy to use the excuse of ‘I need my phone with me all the time for photos’ but you can leave it behind if you have a camera you can take out with you instead.

β€’ Just turn off. It’s ok to just completely cut of every once in a while.

It’s important for us to disconnect every once in a while. Social media and all that comes with it can sometimes be quite honestly overwhelming. The picture perfect lives we see, make us think all sorts about ourselves and our own lives. Just remember thats not reality! To disconnect we are actually really able to connect ❀️

Christmas Eve/Christmas Day blog

Merry Christmas to you! I Hope you have had a wonderful Christmas and made lots of memories with your family and friends ❀️

I have to say this has been one of the best Christmases we have had. With Luca being 4 now, he understands exactly whats going on and doing our Christmas traditions with him has just been so magical this year. Having children at Christmas is just amazing isn’t it? We really have had so much fun. Eating way toooo much, relaxing, becoming certified toy builders that could give Santa a run for his money, expert gift wrappers, watched all the Christmas classic films, attended Christmas Mass at Church, danced, laughed, spent quality time together, let the house become a giant mess without worrying and made special lasting memories. It really has been the best! πŸŽ…πŸΌπŸŽπŸŽ„

Here is our Christmas in photos for you ❀️