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!

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? ☺️

Children don’t play like they used to…

Are we as a nation stressing ourselves and our children out by planning and cramming as many playdates, after school activities, and kids clubs into our week as we can?

Are we over scheduling our children’s lives full of things we think they should be doing ?

This is something I feel incredibly strong about within todays society. I personally think some parents can go into a competition frenzy of ‘ look how many activities my child does, my child does more than your child’. Parents are spread increasingly thin, they are always rushing, stressed, feeling over scheduled and are chaining themselves to a tiresome weekly routine, forgetting how children used to build their character and resilience through play.

We are starting our children at school at the tender age of 3 which is a whole different topic I won’t go into haha. But I just hope people don’t loose sight of how important it is for children to have the freedom to just play.

Gone are the days that we can allow our children to play as we once did. It’s crazy to think that at 24 I had what they call an ‘old fashioned childhood’. Full of making my own decisions, knocking on for my friends, making mud pies, playing knock a door run, building my own resilience, making dens, having freedom, climbing trees, having a full day ahead of me to explore and make my own games up, but knowing I should head back home when the streetlights came on. A bath and my tea would be waiting back at home for me, ready to go back out the next morning and do it all over again.

I often think back to those times as some of the best learning experiences of my life. I believe that the resilience I have as an adult today was created from those days being free as a child. I would have hated having my days filled up with all different activities/classes every day of the week missing out on playing with my friends. My parents promoted child initiated play, hobbies and activities into my life. They allowed me to get to an age where I developed my own interests and acted upon them at that stage. For example I developed a passion for horses so my dad paid for horse riding lessons every weekend. When he could see how much I thrived and loved being around horses he bought me my own horse. It wasn’t forced on me, It was me making a choice for myself as a child that thats what I wanted to spend my time doing. But what I see happening in society today is we are giving our children hobbies, we are enrolling them into all sorts of activities filling all our children’s free time up thinking they need to be kept busy at all times.

Can you imagine our children have a day at home with no plans and nothing to do, whatever will happen to our children if they are left to be bored and having to make their own games up…

Please don’t feel like a bad parent for not having your child enrolled in every club going. Some of my best childhood memories and lessons learnt come from the days where I had nothing but myself, the outdoors and my imagination.

We all parent different and I will never judge anyone else’s parenting. I’m to busy judging my own parenting style 😂. I want to get it right so badly as we all do, we all want to do the best for our children. But just think about how children used to learn through play. If your feeling stressed by your schedule maybe it’s time to change it. Now I know times have changed, I myself would not allow Luca to play out alone, so I ensure I do the things I did on my own as a child with him. I supervise from a distance, I allow him to take risks, go up to children and make friends, allow him to socialise without my interference, I ensure we get outdoors everyday, I allow him to climb a tree without my input promoting risk taking and allowing to learn for himself, I let Luca make mudpies, splash in puddles, play in dirt, pick bugs up, be around animals, ride his bike and run through fields. I allow Luca to have lots of free time, lots of child initiated play and activities where he chooses what he wants to do.

One thing I would love to change for children these days is for them to get outdoors more, learn more through nature rather than tv programmes. For them to put the ipads down and not be so over scheduled and to just allow children to be children. ❤️

What do you think?

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 ‘ 😂 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 😀 Maybe one day 😉

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.

• 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.

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

• 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.

• 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!

• Devote one day a week as a tech free day.

• 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.

• 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?

• 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.

• 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 ❤️

Luca’s room tour

Welcome to Luca’s room tour! Luca is 4 and the biggest Thomas the Tank fan ever 😆. I designed this room to not only be his bedroom but a playroom too, as he just has soooooo many toys haha! I have added links to most of the furniture in his bedroom incase you want to shop any of the stuff. If you have any questions pop over to my instagram and send me a messege or leave a comment down below. Hope you enjoy ☺️

 

Luca’s dress up area – Wardrobe

Luca’s Library 🙂 these shelves are actually picture ledges, but are perfect for storing books on. They come in various lengths – Shelves

Table – ChairsBed

 

 

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No Thomas The Tank fans bedroom is complete without the big sky high track ha! 

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As Luca has so many toys, i got this storage unit to store them in, where i can organise his toys into different boxes instead of just thrown all together. These can be stood upright or lay down. The boxes that go into the unit come in a variety of colours too. 

 

Why I don’t believe in iPads

 

 

Why I don’t believe in iPads/game consoles for young children.

First of all I want to start by saying that this post is just my personal opinion. All of us parent differently and this is just a little insight in to how I parent and my views. I believe we all have various parenting techniques and opinions, so it should be ok for people to share them to help or educate others.

Ok so the title says it all I do not believe in iPad or game console use for young children. There are many reasons for this but let me tell you how I came to this parenting view. As a teaching assistant I have worked with many different children. But I remember coming across one child that did something that stuck in my mind ever since. We were reading A Very Hungry Caterpillar together, the child was holding the book and began to swipe at the pages, literally dragging their finger across the page as if to swipe the page to go on to the next, just as you do with an iPad. This child was 3 years old and didn’t know how to turn a page in a book, they swiped instead. Now I understand the world is changing and technology is being incorporated more and more into our everyday lives and that there is so much greatness in technology. But personally for a child to not know how to use a book is incredibly sad and scary for me. I was in a class once that was all about the changes to teaching in schools and we watched a video that suggested that books and pens will be completely removed from classrooms in the future and pupils will do everything on an iPad or computer alike. It also showed technology parks for children, where they had images of this big area covered in all different types of seating arrangements with children sat down staring at screens, not interacting or talking to each other I found it absolutely absurd. I’m not sure if I’m just old fashioned but I hate this prospect!

When I came across the child who swiped at books, I made a promise to myself and to  my children that I will never allow that to happen to them. I will never include technology into our lives so much that I will no longer be teaching them. I want my children to learn through real life experiences with real life objects not virtual pictures on a computer screen. I want to be able to teach my children their colours by painting or colouring with them, learning to count by going outside to count flowers, stones or sticks, learning their shapes by using household objects they will come across every day. Now many people say to me but you can do all that and have an iPad for them too and my answer to this is always but why? If your children are learning everything they need to know through you and real life experiences and your child is that young they haven’t even asked you for an iPad or games console then why do they need to have one? I mean seeing 1 year olds get them for their birthday is quite ridiculous do you not think?

For young children who have incredible, precious, time limited imaginations, why would you want to supress that by giving them a screen to look at or play with that does all the imagination part for them? Because realistically that’s what your doing by giving children iPads and game consoles your supressing their imagination. The mind is being given images to think about rather than the mind making it’s own images up to think about, one of the greatest gifts of being a child is lost to a computer screen in my opinion. I also think it’s important to not over stimulate our children by constantly giving them something to do all of the time. People have told me they give the iPads to their children when they are bored. But I think it’s important to allow a child to be bored, this is when decision making and real imagination kicks in. Luca could literally make a game up from sticks and stones if he wanted to and I would rather that than him sitting down staring at a screen.

Some people give their children iPads to be quiet and sit still in a restaurant or somewhere similar. But how will a child ever learn how to behave in one of these places if a screen is shoved in their face every time they are there? If I was doing something that would be a challenge for Luca, like eating out when he was younger (he’s much more tolerable to these places now he’s 4) but I mean you can’t expect a 2 year old to sit quietly the whole time can you? so I would only go to child friendly places with a play area or I made sure my bag was packed with activities like colouring and toys to play with to keep him entertained. I get called old fashioned all of the time, I know not everyone will agree with me. But I just know of people that couldn’t live without an iPad for their children and I just want to make at least one of you think twice about them and that raising children without one is perfectly fine and doable. How do you think children were raised before technology?

My child may not know how to use an iPad but he can teach you how to climb a tree, he can show you how to use your imagination without a care in the world, he can show you how to care for animals, how do flips on a trampoline, how to not be scared of anything and give everything a go, how to make friends, how to balance on stepping stones with bare feet, how to make mudpies, how to be kind to others, how to ride a bike and he will even show you how to hold a spider without being afraid.

As always thank you for popping over to have a read, I hope you have all had a great weekend and I shall speak to you in the next blog 🙂