Thursday, 29 January 2015

Good ways to get some sleep

(Guest Post written by Kate Fielding)

It’s amazing to think that one of the things that should come most naturally to us, is often one of the hardest things to do! And that’s sleeping. There’s nothing worse than going to bed feeling exhausted, being unable to sleep, and then waking up in the morning feeling even more tired than you were in the first place!

This problem reaches its critical mass when you’re a busy mum. With all of the daily and nightly tasks that need doing, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done and get your required eight hours of sleep per night.

However, I’ve found a few hints that have helped me get at least kind of close to that mythical eight hours of slumber!

Mind control

It’s often the case that no matter how tired you are, once your head hits the pillow your brain switches on and runs riot! I’ve lost so many hours of potential sleep by running over the previous day’s events and planning what I need to do tomorrow.

What helps me to switch these thoughts off is to play mental games with myself such as challenging myself to stay awake. It sounds crazy but it sometimes works!

And a little bit of meditation goes a long way too. Try and empty your mind, or at least picture a place of tranquillity and calm. This will focus your mind and stop those nagging thoughts that motherhood can often bring.

Body matters

Once you’ve got your mind under control, it’s also important to understand the ways that you can help your body succumb to sleep.

I’ve been through phases where I would suddenly and inexplicably need the toilet right in the middle of the night and it’s so infuriating! What helped me stop this was to avoid liquids at least three hours before bedtime, and also to cut back on caffeine in the daytime.

There are many other dietary factors that can have a dramatic affect on our sleeping patterns. This handy diet and sleep article lists the food that can aid sleep, and also highlights some surprising items that can stop a good night’s rest.

The bedroom

And it goes without saying that your bedroom environment plays a massive part in your ability to sleep.

An uncomfortable bed, distracting noise, and the room being too bright can all dramatically affect your sleeping patterns. Thankfully there are many products out there from simple noise-cancelling earplugs to elaborate devices such as the Nightwave Sleep Assistant that can all work together to help ensure that you get that well-deserved night’s sleep!

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Our New Family Members

Meet Chub and Wrapper (I don't know.. Clay named him), our new family members. I was talking to hubby last night about them and called them "those 2 monkeys", and he thought that I meant Abby and Clay! He said that it's like having another 2 children!

When we had Hammy, Abby was still too young, and then Clay came along so it was difficult for us to look after them all. When Hammy passed away, we decided not to get another fluffy pet as we couldn't commit. 

Now that the kids are both older and we are slowly settling down in the new house, we thought that it is about time to get another fluffy pet. Instead of popping into a chain store, we found these 2 adorable Campbell Dwarf Hamsters from a local pet shop. They looked just like my first ever hamster! These 2 are brothers and were bred by the shop keepers themselves, so they seem to be more tamed than Hammy ever was, although I read somewhere that dwarf hamsters have to be handled all the time or they will become untamed again.

The shop keeper told us that they can't be separated and must be sold as a pair. We had no problem with that, in fact we love to see that they can keep each other company. Just hope that they will get along when they've grown up as well (they are currently 3 months old) as our previous ones did fight and we had to separate them.

After we've set up their cage and monitored them for a while, we soon noticed that one is friendlier than the other. Abby quickly called the friendly one hers and named him Chub! Hopefully we can get them both tamed enough to be used to being around us. I must say though that exciting little children are quite frightening for them, and a nibble on our fingers make us wary too. I guess it will take time to get used to each other!

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home, Interior Design, Home improvement
We lost Internet for a good couple of weeks when we first moved last November. It was a nightmare for me as there was work to be done and I couldn't do them without visiting the local cafe. During that time I busy myself with the unpacking, and actually managed to spend some quality time with the kids. When Abby said: "I'm so happy that there is no Internet because mummy finally get to spend time with us!", it hit me quite hard, and I had a good look back at the past few years.

Since Clay was born and Abby started pre-school, I started using my spare time to blog. Blogging itself doesn't take up much time really, and you can do it whenever you are free or when you feel like it. But when you start writing reviews and gift guides, you'll mentally set a deadline for yourself to finish the pictures taking, reviewing (this can vary from an instant taste testing to using a good amount of time to try out the product), more pictures taking, photo editing and finally typing the post out.    During the months when it's slightly more quiet (ie non seasonal periods), it's fairly easy to keep it up, and it's fun too. But each year we have Valentine's Day, Easter, Summer/ Back to School, Halloween, Christmas, and as I write gift guides, although still fun, there were times when I had to work (enjoyable work obviously) past midnights through the week while trying to look after the kids and keep up the (minimal) housework.

It was when Abby voiced out her thoughts that I realised it was taking over our family life. Children don't stay as children forever. Soon they will be teenagers when they stop talking to you and start hiding in their bedrooms, and before you know it, they will be in University (for their future's sake, hopefully they will) and leaving home. I want to spend more time with them before all that happens.   I also want to spend more time doing up our new beautiful home. It is quite high maintenance, but when you love it so much, you really don't mind.

Yesterday I spent most of my day decorating Abby's bedroom. As the kids are still young, we decided to let them sleep in the same room for now, and use Clay's room as a play room. Although the kids have been coming back to us at night (too used to co-sleeping), they do love their room and their smiles when they first saw the room were priceless. 

All that has made me re-think of the way I blog. I will still keep my baby (blog) up, but with a different variety of posts in between. I'm not quite sure what my main posts will be, and I rather not set a category for it as it is meant to be about our life (ie family lifestyle). What I can tell you now though, is that I had cancelled this year's Valentine's Day gift guide and giveaway as I've spent a lot of time this month doing up our house. It will also be the first time we are holding Abby's birthday party at home (fingers crossed), so that is my priority at the moment.

No matter how this blog will turn out like, I still hope that you'll enjoy reading it, and still enjoy entering the occasional giveaways I'm hoping to continue hosting, to give back something to my dearest readers.

Have a lovely day wherever you are!
Angela x

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