Why Pampering Is The Best Present You Can Give

Pampering – it’s one of the best presents you can give YOURSELF or your loved ones!

It might sound a bit ridiculous for the owner of a Hair & Beauty Salon and Spa to say this: But I hadn’t understand HOW important it is until recently.

Now Danny Smith at Radio Verulam is a big fan of a pamper, so I thought I’d chat with him about it, about how under-estimated it is.  People think of it as a treat – whereas, I’m beginning to understand that it’s essential.

If you missed us, you can listen again for a week here.

 

What is a pamper?

Chance for a cuppa
Cup Of Tea and a chat is good for the soul
A Pamper is time.
Time for yourself.
Often considered a treat.
Normally associated with something relaxing or revitalising.
Misconstrued as expensive and something that only happens sometimes unless you are really rich.
Many people only think of a pamper as a beauty treatment or Spa service, however, I think of it as anything that makes you feel special and wonderful.  It’s something that brings joy to your life; but you need to be fully present with it and fully ‘in the moment’ if you are going to get all the benefits.
It’s more like a special moment, that can be anything from 5 mins to a whole day.

Why is it important?

Life Is Not Measured by the number of breaths we take ...
Life Is Not Measured by the number of breaths we take …

 

I know we have busy lives, so you might have a pamper one day, but still have to go back to reality and the stresses of every day.  I used to think that therefore it wasn’t that important.  Especially when I was focussed on the therapies I used that clear out old hurts and traumas; I often forgot about daily life.
But I’m convinced that if I’d spent more time thinking about myself on a daily basis I wouldn’t have got Fibromyalgia and now be faced with all the struggles physically, emotionally and mentally that limit me.  (I might have got my head around them, but still, I could have missed that whole learning and gone straight to the winning line!).
A pamper will reduce your stress and cortisol levels.
Why bother you might think?  Because stress increases your cortisol levels, which affects your sleep, your quality of living and attacks your immune system.
A strong healthy body means that you can make the most of the good days and sail through the bad days.
So to me, that is a great investment – we never know how long we have here on this earth, so every day is important.

How often?

6 Steps To A Sparkling You
6 Steps To A Sparkling You
So many people I know think that having a yearly pamper is enough.  Or maybe a quarterly one.  Some go as far as making it monthly.
Since writing my book ‘Six Steps To A Sparkling You and Enjoying Being a Mum’, I’d increased it to weekly.
But with some recent huge stresses in my life, I realised that I need it DAILY.
Do you think that is really greedy?
Maybe it is.
But being faced with panic attacks, heart palpitations and constant sugary feelings, I realised that I didn’t have much choice.
So over the past 6 weeks, I’ve been coming up with different options for pampering.

Self Pamper

Great books for mums
Books, books, books …
Remember that it’s about bringing a moment to your life, with some joy, and a feeling of happiness or calm.
Often it’s about adding something to make the moment more special.
What works for me is:
  • A 15 min walk in nature.
  • Popping to a coffee shop with Little Dimples.
  • A bath with a lovely bath oil, candles and calming music for 30mins.
  • Going to Pilates
  • A massage/manicure – I know it’s a bit obvious, but it can’t be beaten.
  • Watching a rubbish catchup TV program in bed (I don’t get to watch TV very often, so it’s a treat for me)
  • A catchup with a friend without kids 😉
  • Reading a book, snuggled up, with a smelly candle and lovely music
  • Doing a meditation

 

Pampers you give

I think that our houses are pretty full of STUFF!  So if you can give a ‘pamper’ or something that your loved one can use to self-pamper, then you are not just giving them a short moment of relaxation.  You are also giving them the opportunity to have a healthier, happier life for a period of time.
So they make a great Birthday or Christmas present.  Or maybe a spontaneous present to show how much your appreciate them!
Here are some ideas:
AromaWorks Candle
AromaWorks Candle
  • Candles: but be careful to get them ones that will keep them healthy – I prefer beeswax candles, because Paraffin wax candles are the ones that make all that black smoke.  Think about the black marks they leave on a wall, and then think about your lungs.  We sell Aroma-works candles at Espiritu, and because they are beeswax, they smell all the way to the bottom of the jar.

 

Spa Gift Voucher

  • Gift vouchers: most beauty salons or Spas will let you choose a gift voucher for something specific, but let the person in question swap them if needed.  I recommend that you choose a specific one; if you are unsure the girls at the salon will be able to guide you as to what is ideal.

Pamper Parcels

  • Pamper parcels: I was sent THE MOST AMAZING box a couple of months ago from this lovely new company.  It had every thing you need for a pamper: a bath oil, candle, body moisturiser and of course chocolate!  The great thing about a ready made box like this is that there is no way that you could put it together yourself for the price.  Plus, if you aren’t artistically skilled, they have put it together with such cute little touches, that it adds to the whole experience.  So I can really recommend them!
Make your own pamper box
Make your own pamper box
  • Make a gift box yourself: However if you are artistically skilled, then hows about putting together your own box?  Rachel’s Organics sent me a lovely treat about 2 months ago.  It had a pair of warm wooly socks, 3 of their gorgeous mousses,  tea lights to put in the glass jars when I’d eaten the yummy desserts, a lovely silver spoon engraved with my blog name, and the cutest little Prossecco bottle.

 

Maybe the biggest gift we can give or receive is time and a moment?

I’d love to know what your favourite pampers are?

Have I convinced you to pamper yourself some more?

 

Disclosure: Although I’m not doing any reviews this year, I couldn’t resist when Pamper Parcels offered me a lovely pamper box in September, as they’d seen from Twitter that I was a little stressed.  A huge thank you to them, along with Rachels Organics who sent me a lovely box full of gorgeous chocolate & vanilla desserts and some really cute goodies in October.  I think that a little part of me was beginning to understand the POWER OF A PAMPER, but their thoughtfulness was really kind and helped me REALLY understand how much I needed it.  Thank you guys – you were like a subtle message from the ether – way more subtle than the panic attacks I had, but I put your boxes to good use then!

Charity Shop Finds

Getting unusual jewellery doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

So you’d like to buy your wife/partner/girlfriend some jewellery, but don’t know how to do it without bankrupting yourself?

I love jewellery, but I love saving money too.  This can make it difficult if you want ‘original’ jewellery, because it can make us tempted by the likes of Pandora or Tiffany, but then we are talking mega bucks.

A few years ago I was a fan of Schwarovsky because of all the sparkles, but then I fell foul of their returns policy after getting the wrong sized ring for a birthday present (due to going on holiday straight after, I couldn’t return it as I had taken too long).

So the question is, how to still get a sparkle fix and not cost a fortune?

 

Here are my Top 3 Tips for buying gorgeous jewellery on a budget.

 

1) Original designers on Etsy, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram

There are loads of people out there making gorgeous unusual pieces.

Lady muck is a good example; she sent me this wonderful Alice in wonderland broach which I put on my denim jacket.  I’ve never been sure what to do with a broach, but this works perfectly; just a little bit cooky/vintage too which is great for me.  (If you have little ones make sure you check the metal circle every now and again that holds the charm on the brooch).

Brooch from Lady Muck
Lady Muck’s Brooch

One of my favourite people is GreenfroggyFae, who normally sells her pieces locally, and I’ve been nagging her for months to get on the internet, and at last she has a shop!  She specialises in pieces made from old watches, and has a really creative style.

Wave some pictures in front of the love of your life and mention words like ‘vintage’, ‘silver’, ‘gold’, ‘crystals’, ‘under stated’, ‘fashion statement’ to see which words they pick up on the most.  If you are going for colour, have a look at what they already have, and what colour their clothes are; you don’t want to repeat what they have, but also don’t want to choose colours they never wear.

 

2) Local crystal shop

I actively have to avoid my local crystal shop as the kids and I are suckers for anything that sparkles, and I really do have enough crystals.  But I have treated us to a couple of visits recently, and this is what I came back with.  Don’t you think that ring is gorgeous, and much better than anything you could get normally in the shops?

For anyone near me who doesn’t know where to go, this came from Destiny Rising, which is at Battlers Green Farm in Radlett.

Crystal ring from Destiny Rising
Sparkly x 3!

 

They can have added benefits of being ‘good for you’ too.  So it’s wise to go knowing when they were born (star sign), and wether they have any ailments or problems needing fixing at the moment.

 

3) Charity shop

On one of my declutter trips to the local charity shop I actually got a chance to check out some of the stuff that they had.

Now you might not like this gorgeously sparkly bracelet, but I thought it was a real find , if maybe only right for summer wearing.  However, there was loads of much more tasteful stuff, so get yourself down to your local charity shop for a treat!

Charity Shop Finds
Butterfly Sparkles!

 

I go on my intuition; so rather than go in every week to see if there is something there for me, I go when I get a big urge to visit the shop.

 

 

What do you think of my finds?

Where’s the best place for you to get lovely sparkly things that don’t cost a fortune?

 

Mum putting herself first

Should Mums put themselves first a Lot, a Little, or somewhere in between?

 

Chance for a cuppaHow important is it for us Mums to maintain a self of our identity after having kids do you think?

How much should we be doing purely for ourselves every day or every week?

Lots, a Little, or somewhere in between?

I had a ‘discussion’ with a mate about it (thank goodness she is a good mate and doesn’t mind it when things get a bit heated).  We very much disagreed on the answer.

She was all for Mums really keeping a sense of them self as a separate identity and doing things for themselves.  She really disliked the idea that I encourage Mums to look after themselves because it’s good for the children and the family.  My argument that once they got used to it, they would then do it for themselves wasn’t good enough she reckoned, because they weren’t doing it explicitly.

I said that that in reality it depends on the age of the kids, because as our hormones settle and the kids get older, we naturally start to separate more and ‘remember’ who we were.

I reckon that you can tell the Mums at the school gate who no longer have babies/toddlers/pre-schoolers, because they noticeably look after themselves more.

Plus, I worry that a Mum desperate to keep hold of ‘who she was’ can develop problems with connecting with her children, because it’s frankly not possible.

 

We aren’t the same after children.  

We aren’t totally different either.

 

You know how I love to encourage Mums to ‘sparkle‘!  But I’m realistic.  I just think it’s important that they don’t forget to keep ‘sparkling’ and do a little bit, but the amount of sparkling kind of depends on the age of our kids, our finances and our circumstances i.e. how much support we have to give us time to look after ourselves.

There’s a huge time factor to it; little ones take more time, big ones take as much input, but less time I reckon?
Mum putting herself firstI have created a totally unscientific chart to highlight the difference (notice the quality of drawing – I haven’t skimped a thing on it, apart from money and skill!).

 

So when we’ve just had a baby its a massive achievement to have a shower every day in the first few months.

Then it’s about going out for a walk and maybe meeting up with other Mums.

Some Mums will be back at work pretty quick, which can be a good bit of ‘time out’ and a chance to start to make ourselves look more presentable, but it’s a lot to fit in ‘me time’ too.

I’m not keen on worrying about weight loss for at least 9 months, or more likely 1-2yrs, but eventually we tend to have a look at what our bodies are doing.

Mind you, I’m finding having two kids much harder, so that is a factor too.

Reality is that ‘we can’t have it all’, in my opinion.

 

How much are you doing EACH WEEK to look after yourself?  Nothing?  30 mins? 1hr?  15 minutes a day?

Are you naturally a ‘yummy mummy‘ so you have it in your mindset to take care of yourself?

Are you making the most of the support you have for baby sitting or getting the chores done?

What do you reckon is the VERY LEAST that you could be doing for yourself every week?

MumsandMe

 

There’s a fab new linky on the Mums and Me site, which I bet you’ll love to read or blog about each week with ideas for having a bit of ‘Me time’.  Go and check it out, apart from the fact that they have great taste (they quote me!), I think it’s a lovely simple idea.

Family Festivals are fun to dress for

What To Wear To A Family Festival?

You’re packing the picnic basket, ear defenders for the kids and maybe even the tent if you are brave like us.

Perhaps you were inspired by my post on why family festivals are great?

But what’s worrying you is ‘OMG what am I going to wear to a family festival?

It’s not exactly glastonbury, and you probably don’t want to wear teeny shorts any more, but if you go in plain old boring stuff you might feel just as odd.

Here are my rules:

1) Colour is a must, but pick one that will mix and match for the whole weekend and NO white!

2) Flat shoes only! Wellies, Crocs, daps or pumps

3) Leggings or Skinny jeans (don’t get messy in the mud)

4) Lots of thin layers: vests, tunics, cardigans, coats, pashminas etc

5) Dress for summer and winter and wet weather: sun tan lotion, hats, water proofs and jumpers!

6) Pack wooly hats for the kids in the evenings to keep warm

7) Consider flower garlands, feather boa, wings, and face paint if you are feeling brave!

Last year I rocked the flower garland, feather boa, sparkly fit flops, gypsy shirt and short skirt + leggings combo, and my mate looked fab in cropped jeans, daps and a pretty skirt:

What I wore to a family festival

 

This year I’m planning on wearing this to the Penn Festival (Buckinghamshire) this weekend and probably again for the Just So Festival (Staffordshire) in august.

What to wear to festivals

The ‘luscious’ navy leggings, stripy top and pretty red flowy top are from Joe Browns.

The blue and red (I’m being brave this year) skinny jeans, with the two tunics are from Next.

What shoes and coats to wear to family festivals

 

The cropped jacket is gorgeous and is from Joe browns again.

The blue mac is from New Look (not sure if it is still available)

The blue cardigan, wellies, daps (I’ve actually got the non-ankle version) and bag are from Next.

The crocs (mine are pink) are from crocs obviously; I’ve always been a hater of crocs, but I have to admit these peep toes work (I was given them for winning a Brilliance in blogging award).

UPDATE: I’ve added a blue hoody with a zip and fleecy lining in a bigger size as I’m a bit worried about the weather!!!

 

Don’t like those?  There are loads more ideas for you on my Pinterest boards:

 

This is what the Little Dimples wore last year to Just So:

Family Festivals are fun to dress for

 

I was moaning that Next had let me down and there were no tutu’s this year when the Fairy Glass guys (the guys who I bought the pink wings from at Just So) offered to send her some new wings and tutu for this year (the blurring is her waving her matching wand – see it’s proper magic!):

 

Wear Fairy wings to festivals

 

Have you got any tips for what to wear?  I’d love to know?

Feel free to add links to your posts or Pinterest boards!

Or what about what NOT to wear?

 

p.s. I wasn’t given anything to mention these clothes in this post, but I have been given tickets to the festivals and the tutu and wings for Little Dimples

Outfit for a blogging conference

What I am wearing to Britmums Live 2012

 

Are you worried about what to wear to a blogging conference?

 

My main tip is to remember:

There will be cooler better looking people than you.

There will be people worse dressed than you.

There will be fatter and slimmer people than you.

 

So all you have to do is:

Feel comfortable.

Be able to adapt to different weather and temperature.

Dress like you; because one of the points of a conference is that people want to meet you face to face and get to know you better.

I’m off to BritmumsLive 2012 tomorrow – fancy seeing what I’m wearing?

My outfit has been mainly given to me by the lovely Joe Browns.  Why did they give me an outfit you might ask?  Well because about a year ago I raved about a gorgeous coat they had and was seen by Best British bloggers who work with them.  They kindly sent me the coat for a competition, plus a pretty blue top as a reward for me.  This obviously got me shopping for myself for the coat!  So I asked if they fancied sending me an outfit for BritMumsLive and they said ‘yes’ – yay!  Obviously again this has inspired me to go on their site and do another shop.  I’m beginning to wonder whether it’s all a sneaky plan to make me buy even more of their stuff!

I love the Joe Browns stuff because it’s pretty without being insipid, and slightly boho, thus appealing to my tree-hugging side.  Most importantly they make lots of long tunics that cover my pear shaped bottom!

I’m not sure which order I’m going to wear things with, but I think it will be this outfit for tomorrow and the announcement of the awards:

Outfit for blogging conference

 

Plus a burgundy cardigan from last year from Monsoon, one of my many scarves (I go nowhere without one), a bag from next, old gold pumps from Sainsburies, and sparkly high heals from Next from last year.  (I actually bought the leggings and coat from Joe Browns myself, as they could only offer me £75 from their monthly budget to cover both outfits).

 

Then I think that I’ll wear this outfit on the Saturday:

Outfit for a blogging conference

 

Plus the same handbag from next, red pumps (or maybe red heals), tights if it’s cold, and not sure about a coat.  (I bought the bracelet myself)

 

What do you think of the outfit?  I’m aiming for comfy and pretty, whilst giving me a bit of confidence?

 

Hopefully those of you going now know my face and my outfit, so you’ll come and say ‘hello’ and not leave me like billy no mates in a corner?

I’m helping on the panel of the discussion den for ‘online secrets and lies’ on Saturday at 12.20 – hope to see you there to hear about how to deal with ‘Twitter Terriers, Facebook Furies and Blog Bummers’.

 

Big thank you to Nickie from Typecast for inspiring me to write this blog post and play with Picassa rather than do all my To Do’s this morning!

Thank you to Joe Browns for providing me with the majority of my outfit for the two days!

Feel free to add links to your outfits below too.

 

I’ve been accused of being a ‘Yummy Mummy’; Is that bad?

So a few weeks ago someone made a very pointed comment about not liking a children’s farm that I like because it’s so ‘yummy mummy’.

Clearly I was being accused of being a ‘yummy mummy’ and not in a good way.

To be honest, I was kind of ‘why would you bother to let me know that you don’t approve of my choices’, but it made me think.

Me a Yummy Mummy?  Really?  Is it bad if I am?

Here is the Wikipedia description:

Yummy mummy is a slang term used in the United Kingdom to describe young, attractive and wealthy mothers. The term developed in the 2000s, and was often applied to celebrity mothers such as Liz Hurley[1] or Victoria Beckham,[2] who appeared to quickly regain their pre-pregnancy figures after giving birth, and would continue to lead carefree and affluent lifestyles.

The stereotypical yummy mummy was described by Nirpal Dhaliwal in The Times as having an existence “bankrolled by a husband working himself to death in the City, (dressing) in designer outfits… carries the latest must-have bag (and) whose hair and nails are perfectly groomed”.[1] A yummy mummy would have several children and yet remain a “girl-about-town”, dressing fashionably and appearing well-groomed and carefree.[3]

It was reported in 2008 that celebrity yummy mummys were contributing to levels of depression in young mothers, making new mothers feel “saggy, baggy and depressed” about their own bodies.[2

Family fun

Let’s see …

‘young’ – hardly – I’m 42.

‘attractive’ – ooooh thankyou, I’m not worried about someone calling me that, but suspect you haven’t seen me in the morning.

‘wealthy’ – seriously you don’t know what wealthy is if you think I’m wealthy.

‘regained their pre-pregnancy figures’ – nope got a whole dress size to go for that, and really can’t be bothered to get into a size 10 jean, so it’s not going to happen.

‘bankrolled … husband working to death in london’ – actually it’s the hairy northerners choice to work there, I’d be happy to go back to Bristol and chill out a bit more.

‘designer outfits’ … do New Look, Next and Joe Browns count?

‘must-have bag’ – that would be an Alexa mulberry – nope, not in my wardrobe; but I am a BIG fan of handbags and got a lovely one in Accessorize last weekend to try to reduce my back pain.

‘hair and nails perfectly groomed’ – I’ve got curly hair, so there’s no chance of perfect grooming and my nails are glued on by me, because otherwise I find my real ones too tasty.

‘contributing to levels of depression’ – I would be GUTTED to know I’d made things worse for mums as the WHOLE POINT to what I do is to try and help them enjoy being exactly who they are.

Oh and no mentions of children’s farms with lots of simple indoor and outdoor fun for the kids – hmmmm.

 

I decided that I am definitely NOT yummy.

I live in St Albans.  I’ve met yummy, and I am not dedicated enough to the gym to be yummy.  I’d put me down to more ‘middle of the road’; neither yummy or scummy.

 

Then I had another thought …

I think it’s a really bad thing to give the impression that being a ‘Yummy Mummy’ is a bad thing.

 

After all, they are looking after their bodies and their health, and although there are bound to be a few selfish shallow women who put material stuff above their kids and husbands needs, I very much doubt that they are in the majority.  Plus they might be ‘yummy’, but they are still human, with stresses, worries and feelings.  Maybe different from ours, but I know that EVERYONE has problems in their lives.

So those against ‘yummy mummies’ are suggesting that it’s not good to take care of ourselves, eat healthily and do some exercise?  Plus that we shouldn’t care what we look like or consider our self-esteem in any way.  Aren’t all of us stay at home mums being ‘bank rolled’, in our own way, and why should we be made to feel guilty for it?  Is it only right if we drudge away every day and never have a cuppa with a mate?

A lot of the celebs mentioned HAVE to lose the baby weight quickly due to work pressures.  We should just count our lucky stars that we aren’t under that pressure.  There are  few with ridiculous ideas that the express in the media, but just as many who say balanced things.  There are hardly any saying ‘you should do what I do and look like I do’; so isn’t it our fault if we are daft enough (oh yes I’ve done it too) to compare ourselves to them and feel bad about ourselves.

 

What do you think?  Am I yummy?  Have I made you feel bad about yourself?

Or are you yummy and proud?  Scummy and proud?  Or middle of the road and proud?

Is it all the fault of yummy mummy’s that we feel bad about ourselves, or do we need to work on our self-esteem?

 

 

Agony Aunt for Mums

Problem Corner: Lost Myself and Can’t Find My Feet

Agony Aunt for MumsThe Problem

I received an email from a Mum a week or so ago that reminded me so much of what many of us feel at times in our lives:

I feel like I’ve lost myself and really can’t do anything, be a good mum, work or even decorate our house which we moved in last year. I don’t really think I’m depressed, but just can’t find my feet. 

 

I got a little more information from her, and here are the cliff notes, which I bet many of you can relate to as well:

  • 2.5yr old daughter who is not a good sleeper and goes to nursery two days per week
  • started her own consultancy business that her husband joined, but stopped working when had daughter and now feels unneeded in the business, although does some admin for it.  Can’t think of what to start instead and doesn’t have the confidence in herself as feels she is out of date now.
  • about a stone heavier than before having baby, size 14, doesn’t drink enough enough water, doesn’t priorities exercise each week
  • does wear makeup, but doesn’t spend much on self
  • organising building work on house
  • no nearby family support, a few friends
  • closeness is lacking with husband and intimacy is limited

 

Such a classic situation don’t you think bless her heart?

 

My Answer

Don’t feel bad lovely, this is such a normal way to feel and place to be, it doesn’t mean you have done something wrong or aren’t a good mother.  For a start having children changes our priorities and values, which can be very discombobulating.  It means that things that were once important to us aren’t anymore, so we have a bit of an identity crisis. We also lose power in our relationships because we often feel like we are contributing less.  Plus we have to do a pile of stuff that is just plain boring and doesn’t light our fires.  Then we add to that whole mess by not taking care of ourselves, and so the spiral continues down and down.

I like to work within our limitations, rather than rage against them.  So the idea is to find you ways of improving how you feel whilst you are still the major caretaker of your daughter, as things naturally shift when they start school.

 

There are several issues here, and this is the priority that I would look at them in:

1) Health and Fitness

2) Beginning to research ideas for work that can blossom when your daughter goes to school

3) Spend more time with husband

4) Sort out intimacy

 

The reason I’ve put them in that order is because if you gain confidence in yourself, the relationship will improve, if not disappear altogether.  The key is to start with yourself, even if all/some of the problems seem to be ‘out there’.  The key to when we are feeling so low is to give ourselves a fighting chance by strengthening the body; it’s amazing how that can help with how we feel emotionally and mentally.

When you says you are not ‘depressed’; hmmm who knows where the thin line between being down and being depressed really is.  I would warn you that you are close to that line.  I’m going to assume that you are well enough to be able to sort it out yourself when given clear action steps to follow.  HOWEVER, if this doesn’t work, please come back to me and I’ll give you a way of motivating yourself.  If that doesn’t work then I’ll know what to do, so don’t worry; it just means we need to tackle a few confidence issues directly.

 

Action Steps

 

1) Supplements

You are that tired that I think you might need some supplements.  Pop to a health food shop with a shop assistant who knows lots about it.  Also read my posts about getting more energy and supplements.

 

My favourite immediate energy boosters are:

  • Blueberries – magic little creatures!
  • 2xcup Epsom salts in bath – buy a BIG bag from health food shop when you are there.
  • Floradix – magic in a bottle
  • Omega 3,6 & 9 – otherwise my brain doesn’t work

 

2) Hydration

Your body can’t take in all those lovely vitamins and minerals unless you drink enough liquid.  It’s like trying to run a car without oil.  So you need to reduce the coffee by 1 or 2 cups, and not drink after late afternoon and drink more water.  Check out my post about why hydration is so important.

My top tips for adding water into your day is:

  • Drink water when you and your daughter brush your teeth – that’s three extra glasses.
  • Have a bottle of water in the car for when you go on the nursery run or to the shops.
  • Have a specific time of day mid-morning where you have a glass of water.

 

3) Nutrition

It doesn’t sound like you need to lose weight, but I reckon your eating isn’t helping the situation.  There is lots more information in my section called ‘Healthy Eating For Rubbish Cooks‘, but here are the most important points:

  • Eat 5 fruit and vegetables a day (one with breakfast, one for snack mid morning and mid afternoon, then one or two with dinner and/or lunch)
  • Use a good fruit juice not from concentrate (counts as 1x5aday)
  • Eat different colours of fruit and vegetables
  • Eat something for breakfast however small
  • Eat a balanced meal with Protein AND Carbs AND half a plate of vegetables/salad (or fruit for dessert)
  • Cut back on the sugar – it’s a big downer (I’d say the same for alcohol if you were drinking much)

 

4) Exercise

A certain amount of exercise will get you healthier, a bit more will get you fit.  I know that you are running around with your daughter, but that won’t give you the endorphins or fun that exercise can give you.

  • On the days when she is at nursery your FIRST priority is to go to the gym or somewhere and do a fun class like dance/zumba or something that will calm your worries like yoga.  No cleaning or admin for the company until this is done!
  • EVERY day go outside for a 15 minute walk – even with your daughter

 

5) Ideas To Blossom

You aren’t ready to ‘find something to do’ yet.  So let’s get realistic and let’s get you researching ideas as your confidence improves.

  • Get yourself a notebook and write in it every idea you’ve ever had on what you could do.  DO NOT discount any ideas, even if you think you are unqualified now or you think they are pipe dreams.  Then keep adding ideas.
  • For each idea write the Pro’s and Con’s down.  There should be the SAME number of Pro’s as Con’s.  If not, you need to think a bit more about that idea to find more.
  • Also write what qualifications, skills or experience you have that might help and the additional training or experience needed that you don’t have.
  • Get into the habit of counting 3 blessings every night, even on a bad day there might have been a lovely rainbow, or good cup of coffee or hug from your daughter.  You can write them down if you like.
  • Get some of the rubbish out of your head and onto paper 1-5 times per week by writing all your worries and stresses down.  3 pages minimum.  Do it at least once per week.
  • I’m really not keen on you doing the ‘admin’ for your company, considering you started it initially and a virtual assistant is £20ph.  I see the logic in your doing it, but I don’t think that it’s good for your psychology.  We’ll chat more about this next time!

 

Then

Come back and let me know how you are doing regularly (you can comment on this blog anonymously).  Once you are feeling stronger in yourself, we are going to look at subtly shifting the power in your relationship with a clever trick that I know and getting you more sparkly.  Then we can look at your relationship itself – I have a few blog posts scheduled that you are going to like, so make sure that you have subscribed to my blog by email as well!

You might want in a week or two to buy my book ‘Six Steps To A Sparkling You And Enjoying Being A Mum‘.  I’m in the middle of writing version 2 (with just a few minor changes and tweaks) which will also be out in paperback.  Once that comes out I’m raising the price from 89p!  (Remember you can read a kindle book without a kindle).

What do you think?

I’d love to know what you think, whether you are the originator of the question or not?

Have you felt like this too?  Can you let her know that it’s normal and only temporary, especially if she starts to take care of herself more as I suggested?

Or do you disagree and think she should go straight for sorting out her work and relationship?

Got a problem of your own?  Submit it to my problem corner.

Easy ways to beautiful skin

Top Tips For Rosacea (red skin on the face)

Easy ways to beautiful skinI’ve got that typical Bristolian healthy pink cheek look, which along with my curly hair and mighty 5ft 4 1/2 inches, does have the tendency to make me look like a hobbit.

The problem is that those pink cheeks can easily descend into Rosacea, especially in the early years when I didn’t know much about it.

 

Now a days I manage my skin so well that no one would know how difficult it is, so I thought I’d share my top tips:

1) Avoid highly perfumed products

2) Be careful of aromatherapy products

3) Don’t let your skin get dry, always use moisturiser

4) Drink water

5) Limit your alcohol intake and DON’T binge drink

6) Limit the spicy foods

7) There are cover ups that can work well, like a yellow stick I once had from Benefit, I didn’t get on with the green tinted ones.

8) Always use SPF

9) If you go for thread vein removal, don’t scrimp, make sure you go to a highly experienced person, not just a beauty salon

BUT THE BEST TIP IS:

10) Buy Paraben Free face products.

 

I went from using loads of cover up on my face to just a tinted moisturiser after realising the affect of Parabens on my face.  Which saves time and gave me loads more confidence.

I’ve used Ren (Wash and moisturiser) and Arbonne (makeup), which are not terribly expensive, but not cheap either.

When my husband was made redundant I tweeted asking for advice about cheaper options (I’m so sorry I can’t remember the lovely beauty blogger that replied to me), and the guys at Purity sent me a big bag of stuff to try.  It has a morning range and an evening range, the combination of which really suited my skin and best of all the pots are only £4-£6.  You can buy it online or from Superdrug.  I’m not sure it would work for skin over 45, that might depend on you.  But I reckon it would cover teens to 45 easily.

I see so many Mums with Rosacea who don’t protect their skin and obviously don’t know that they could make a massive difference if they changed the products that they use.  It’s a shame because it must really dent their confidence levels and it’s not necessary.

So don’t put up with Rosacea and spending hours on cover up; just use products with less in them,

I’d love to know what you think or if you’ve tried anything that helped?

I’ve you’d like to see my Top 10 Beauty Tips on a budget, take a look here

 

Easy ways to beautiful skin

Ten Tops Tips For Beautiful Skin On A Budget

Easy ways to beautiful skin

 

One of my biggest tips to looking after yourself and feeling sparklier is to look after your skin.

There is no short cut; Kate Moss is a good living example of how partying and not looking after your skin will catch up to you eventually.

However, you also don’t have to go as far as Gwyneth Paltrow and you don’t have to spend a fortune.

I’m really fussy as I have rosacea and therefore the products I use have to be Paraben free (you wouldn’t believe the difference it makes).  But luckily there are now really good value products available which are much cheaper; e.g. £5 per pot, rather than £20 per pot.

I ALWAYS wash and moisturise my skin morning and night.  I do it without exception, because I had (or have) difficult skin; which then rewards me by looking like I have great skin.

I don’t bother with toning; cold water does that for me.

One of my biggest and cheapest secrets is to use a flannel.  That way I hardly ever have to use a face mask or scrub, because I get a gentle exfoliation every single day.

Another one is to go out for a walk or a run; fresh air helps as well; who’d have thought that going for a walk is better for your skin that going to the gym sometimes!

So to have beautiful skin on a budget make sure you:

1) cleanse & moisturise every morning and night

2) Use cold water instead of toner

3) drink water

4) gently exfoliate regularly (or use a flannel)

5) eat moderately healthily

6) always use sun protection (I like tinted moisturisers with SPF)

7) don’t smoke (sorry, but you’ll get wrinklier quicker if you continue)

8) count your blessings (stops the wrinkles looking miserable)

9) Use face products that have as few chemicals & parabens in them as possible

10) Don’t binge drink (red noses are not attractive!)

Remember your skin is your body’s biggest organ, so it’s worth looking after.  Glowing healthy skin is really attractive, and doesn’t need to cost you a bomb.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share?  I’d love to know?

Try out these tips and if they help, please come back and put a comment in to encourage other people.  You should see an improvement really quickly within a couple of weeks.

 

I was inspired to write this post by My family club, who have paid for me to write two posts about ways to save money.  They have a regular twitter party on thursdays with the hashtag #thriftythursday, which is jam packed with ideas for saving money.  This weeks being beauty tips, check out their 10 cult beauty buys for under £5.

I really recommend you check out them out, not just because they paid for this post and review, but also because I think it’s a great site.  It has tonnes of vouchers and discounts that you could then use to look after yourself and feel more sparkly again!

MOST importantly they have a competition where you would win an IPAD3 when you register!!!!

 

An Alternative to New Years Resolutions: Your Top 3 Life Priorities


I’m not a fan of New Years Resolutions, I think it’s a time for a detox, clear out and rest.

Goals can just add to the weight of things we don’t achieve as Mums.

What I use are ‘Life Priorities’

 

Life Priorities help you to organise your time, energy and money spends for the year ahead and only focus on what is important to you.

 

Imagine a year where you can finish it feeling satisfied that you covered all the most important bases (not everything, just the important stuff); it’s a good feeling!


To do it ..

  1. Get an hour to yourself (if possible, otherwise do it on the fly)
  2. Get a piece of paper and put on some music that relaxes or inspires you
  3. Think about everything that happened recently or in the last year that you can feel really grateful for  (this means the ideas come from the heart, not the logic of the mind or emotion of the gut).
  4. Now think about looking back at the end of your life
  5. What do you most want to be sure you have achieved?  What would you be gutted not to have?
  6. Pick 3.

I know three isn’t many, and that you will actually have lots of other priorities, and you are welcome to write down the others as well.  But what I do want you to just pick 3.  You’ll want to refine and polish them as time goes by, so don’t worry about making them perfect.

YOU CAN”T GET THIS WRONG!

Just Change It Later On If You Realise that other things are more important.

Mine are:

  1. That my kids feel loved from top to bottom by me and love me in return
  2. My books become ‘THE pick me up books for all Mums’
  3. That I stay strong in myself physically and emotionally

There are reasons behind all of these, and reasons why they take the top rankings, and they are in no way a judgement on the fact that I know already that yours will be different.

For example, for some parents the top priority is to provide every academic opportunity towards a secure future career for their children, or to ensure they make a great marriage, or to make sure they have amazing experiences, or to nurture them.  Some Mums might not have a potential career option, or not at the moment, or not feel it’s in the top 3.  Some might not have their health anywhere near the top 3 (I would really recommend that you consider how much it will help your kids if it is at least in your top 5 though).  Others might have providing financially, or spiritually as the top priority.  Maybe yours is maintaining your relationship (note to the hairy one: the reason our relationship is No4 is because me being strong has always been an important aspect to the success of our relationship).

Why bother?  Because we all get tired, overwhelmed, stressed, overloaded, exhausted, knackered, unfocussed and end up fire fighting and headless chicken running around at some point.

If every morning you remind yourself what your top 3 priorities are, you will be able to make sure that AT LEAST those are done, and then the rest.  Plus loads of things you’ll just not bother to do, saving you time, energy and money.

Plus you can manage your weekly To Do’s and make sure that you at least make time for these three.

What it means is that:

  • I make time to hug my kids, because otherwise I get unhappy.
  • I exercise 3 times a week, and eat pretty healthily.
  • When work opportunities come up and I’m busy, I pick the ones that help me to spread my books

In my book, I talk more about how to pick your top priorities and find out more about you as a person and what you love to do, or have or who you love to spend time with, so if you’d like to find out more, remember you can read a kindle book without a kindle.

Fancy finding your Top 3 Life Priorities?  Pop your top 3 priorities below when you’ve done it or come over to my Pinterest board and add them there..  If you blog about it you are very welcome to add a link in a comment to any blog posts you write about it, so that other Mums can get ideas for how it helps or what affect it has on you.

Here’s a summary for you as a picture, I can’t wait to hear what you pick!