Why hobbies aren’t just for Enid Blyton characters or children…

Why hobbies aren’t just for Enid Blyton characters or children…

We all remember the days of being shuttled around from girl guides, to music lessons and dance or sports classes, I’m pretty sure as parents we are now doing the same for our little ones too. It is seen as crucial for kids to have hobbies to help with their social skills and personal development but it’s very easy to forget that adults need this too.

Mums apparently get 17 minutes a day of ‘me time’ according to a report from 2014, and I’m willing to bed that most of that is spent on Facebook, Instagram or in front of the tv. I know these are all high up on my list of ways to relax! However last year I made a conscious effort to invest in myself and get some hobbies. I re-taught myself to knit as a way to reduce my screen time and to find some creativity as well as getting something productive out of it, namely some pretty awesome baby blankets. I also started writing this blog, mainly to keep my brain engaged while swimming in the mental fog that is maternity leave. Both, slightly unexpectedly, bring me such genuine joy which is why I am encouraging as many mums as I can to find a hobby even if it is just something small to do in those 17 minutes a day!

Here are my top 5 reasons why they are awesome and important:

1. You can meet new people – Actual real grown ups that aren’t your other half!! Ones who want to talk about your shared interest and not baby led weaning or teething problems like the (none the less wonderful!) new Mum friends at baby groups. This is a chance to be just you, not Mummy or Wifey and to have some time to yourself.

2. Being interested is interesting – Have you ever sat next to someone at a work event or dinner party that had nothing to say about themselves? It makes for a hella dull evening and bloody hard conversation. But sit next to (or be) someone who has a passion for something and conversation will flow. It is always cool to hear about a new place or topic you didn’t know about before. Just maybe don’t spend the whole time talking…no one wants to be that guy!

3. It sets a good example for your kids – When they can’t be bothered going out in the rain to football practice or their tablet is more interesting than doing their piano lesson then you can, without hypocrisy, cajole them into keeping going with their hobby. Sometimes new skills are tricky but perseverance is worth while and being able to practice what your preach is the way forward.

4. You could make money from it – Imagine going to work every single day and feeling happy about it? That’s what creating a business from your passion will do for you. Perhaps you could build an exercise class around your own experience and preferences, or sell your crocheted baby blankets on Etsy. There are so many amazing people I have come across via this blog and my Instagram page that are doing just this, making a living from what they love doing and it’s amazing to see!

5. It brings you joy! – A nice easy one to end. If something makes you happy then your home is a happier place, then your kids are happier (and less of a pain in the arse to deal with!) and should you be blessed/cursed to have one your other half will be thrilled to have their loved one be doing something which makes them shine.

I am always on the look out for new skills to learn or new hobbies to try so please comment and let me know what you love to do! And for those mums that maybe don’t have a hobby yet, perhaps this will provide some inspiration. 

K x

Easter Holiday Fatigue

Easter Holiday Fatigue

After two lovely weeks of Easter holiday adventures I trust everyone is feeling relaxed and well rested….oh wait, no if you are off with your kids you must be burst, broke and in need of some peace and a fridge re-stock!

We have had a wonderful time off doing lots of instagrammable activities – Viking Centre, Kelburn Castle, visit to the local library, Easter baking, 5 Sisters Zoo and time with the extended family!! But what sits behind the scenes of these joyous #specialmemories type pictures are a whole host of less wonderful but far more realistic moments. 

Early early starts with the baby, mountains of washing still to be done that seems to triple after every day out, incessant requests for snacks and juice, snarky tantrums from a 5 year old that is “never tired”, and the empty coffers at the end of the fortnight after all the super fun activities!

It is a joy to spend these times with my children, and I am ever grateful that I can do so, but bloody hell it is draining on the energy, emotions and bank balance. I shall enjoy getting us all back into our usual school routine with set bedtimes, healthy meals and mid morning cups of tea on my own while the baby naps!

I hope you have all survived the holidays and enjoy getting back to normal……because next month there are two bank holidays!!

K x

Gymboree – Our favourite class

Gymboree – Our favourite class

Harrison and I have a few classes which we attend through the week as well as our regular walks/coffee trips with various new mum friends. We have tried a couple of different types of classes locally, some of which didn’t suit timing wise, some we will come back to when Harrison is older, and some that just didn’t seem to fit us. One class has really stuck though and that is Gymboree.

Stage 1 is a sensory baby play class which uses puppets, songs, and all manner of sensory delights such as feathers, lights and bubbles. Harrison has loved every minute of this class and we have made some brilliant friends here, including our main Gymbo teacher Carrie (if you are reading, big love to you and the rest of the girls of course). There are some songs that will stay with me from now until my babies have babies I’m sure of it.

Recently Harrison had started trying to crawl and with some help and lots of encouragement from myself and our friends at Gymboree he finally managed it in class last week. While this was an amazing huge achievement, it also signalled the end of our time in Sensory Baby Play….but never fear as these classes continue all the way up to starting school. This was one of the things that attracted me to these classes in the first place, the idea of moving and growing with the same teachers and the same wee group of pals as our babies get older. 

We are both looking forward to stage two – I hear it is much more active for mum and for baby which can only help my post-natal shred plan i.e. Move more so I can still eat and drink things like this Delight I had at Hotel Chocolat this week..

What classes do you and your little ones enjoy? Would love to hear, and if you want any more info on Gymboree just take a peek at their Facebook page or send them a message as they will be thrilled to help.

K x

Am I there yet?

Am I there yet?

I have a confession to make – I’m pretty sure someone made a mistake somewhere when they let leave the hospital with a baby….and then 5 years later they did it again! I’m not an adult, I cannot be responsible for these tiny humans. Yet here I am, parent to the funniest 5 year old boy around and to my little 5 month old perma-smiling sleep thief

Despite having two children, a partner, a decent job, a mortgage and a nearly completed (relatively civilised) divorce, I still don’t feel like a real adult. I refer to those over 35 as “the grown ups” like I am still some kind of overgrown child but apparently even they don’t feel like adults either.

So I made a list of my most adult-y qualities just incase someone realises their mistake and comes to make me take some sort of test.

1. I keep a calendar – a proper one with sections for me, C and each of the kids. I diligently keep it updated every week so we don’t miss dress down day or appointments.

2. We listen to BBC Radio 2….enough said I think.  

3. I live for colour charts and home decor magazines. Coordinating colour schemes and renovation projects bring me more joy than a row of shots and the DJ playing my request (usually the Baywatch theme song while in Reflex!) 

4. I knit. I adore ordering new wools and knitting baby blankets and hats. The fact that I can’t seem to crack proper patterns for anything more complex hasn’t deterred me just yet.

5. I enjoy a proper tv Drama (please please watch Line of Duty if you haven’t yet so I can speak to you about how awesome it is!!), nature documentaries and sometimes even French films with subtitles.

6. I am a member of our local library and regularly visit with the boys to take out books for us all. Once I even photocopied a few pages out of a big reference book.

7. We recycle and even put all the things in the correct and oh so many bins.

Actually reading that back maybe I am a tad more of an adult than I thought…Hopefully those help counteract the fact that at 27 I still run late most of the time, I have a mild obsession with snapchat, I never iron, have pink hair and a serious reliance on Google!

What are your most/least adult-y qualities and has anyone finally become a fully fledged adult out there? Let me know in the comments as I’d love to hear how.

K x

Birchbox Review – March 2017

Birchbox Review – March 2017

So it’s taken me a fair while to write up this months review, not due to a late delivery but really my own reluctance to post something negative. When I first received this box I was really disappointed, it looked plain and I felt the selection of products was far poorer than my original box in February. However I have given it a fair chance and some time and things have turned around slightly for March’s Signed, Sealed, Delivered box. 

The design ie a plain brown box was a hark back to their original packaging as this month was a celebration of 100k subscribers which makes sense but certainly wasn’t visually thrilling upon initially opening. As thanks to subscribers for helping them on their journey so far there was a nice 20% discount code for use on their website as well as a full sized Benefit lipstick.

1. Benefit They’re Real Double the Lip – Travel Size. Full size RRP £16.50

For March all subscribers received a brand new product from Benefit – They’re Real Double the Lip, an innovative teardrop shaped lipstick that geniously also incorporates a liner and promises to give you fuller looking lips in one easy stroke. You were able to choose between two different colours, Lusty Rose and Pink Thrills, I went with Lusty Rose which I found to be a really lovely dusky pink shade on me. The formula was nice and non drying and had good colour pay off. My lips did look pretty damn voluptuous upon application, but that could be because I don’t usually wear lip liner on my fairly full lips.
2. Batiste 2 in 1 Invisible Dry Shampoo & Conditioner – Travel size 50ml. Full size RRP £4.49

This was one product I was happy to find, with a 4 month old baby I have limited hair washing/styling time at the moment. As always Batiste has delivered, this has improved on the usual product, cleaning my hair without leaving a powdery residue and lightly conditioning it too. I prefer these in a travel size as they can be slung in a handbag, luggage or changing back for a freshen up on the go.

3. Balance Me Instant Lift Primer – Sample Size 5ml. Full size RRP £22.00

This skincare item claims to be a complexion perfecting skin smoother that’s 99% natural and instantly lifts and refines the skin so it looks more youthful and virtually pore less. I did not especially like this primer, it felt heavy on my skin and despite giving it a reasonable trial of 2 weeks I felt it did not live up to any of the brands claims. It is also heavily scented, admittedly I liked the scent but it wouldn’t be for everyone.

4. Caudalie Vine[Activ] Glow Activating Anti-Wrinkle Serum – Sample Size 5ml. Full Size RRP £36

This was one of my least favourite products to start with. I was disappointed at having two serum style skincare items and this one felt a bit wishy washy. However after two weeks I am a convert. My knackered sleep deprived skin is, by some miracle, looking clear and glowing. I will absolutely be purchasing the full size of this, especially with the 20% discount provided by Birchbox.

5. Rituals The Ritual of Sakura Foaming Shower Gel – Sample Size 50ml – Full Size RRP £8.50

This was a bit meh for me. It’s foam was only so so, rather than the thick luxurious bubbles I was hoping for. The scent was nice enough but lasted as long as my shower did and then was gone. Not worth spending nearly a tenner on what is really just a swankily packaged shower gel.

So being happy with three out of five products isn’t bad but given that one was something I would buy anyway and the other was a Benefit item it’s not great. Here’s hoping the April box in collaboration with Boden is an improvement!

BONUS REVIEW – Boots Time Delay Youth Maintain Day Moisturiser SPF15 – £5

I saw this on offer at a fiver in Boots about a month ago and as I was in need of a new moisturiser I snapped it up. The packaging is really luxurious for an ‘own brand’ product, thick frosted glass pot and a super cute glossy pink (my colour of the moment) lid! The actual day cream is equally luxurious feeling, a really nice texture and light scent. My skin is feeling nourished, moisturised and is looking bright and glowing. Thrilled to have found such a bargain that lives up to all it’s claims!

What did you think of the March Birchbox and do you have any bargain wonder products? Let me know in the comments!

K x