sleepy newborn black and white

Tips on how to handle a newborn and a toddler

 Tips on how to handle a newborn and a toddler - by guest blogger Vicki Cockerill

We all know that babies don't follow the textbooks and parenting manuals. They don't just slip into the Gina Ford sleep routine and now you have an extra factor to consider.... the first small human you created!

So, here are some of our real and honest tips on handling a newborn and a toddler.

No visitors, please!

In those first couple of weeks, each member of the family will be adjusting to the new dynamic. Spend some time on your own and go with the flow of baby and toddler you may be surprised that you develop some sort of loose routine by the end. With some much change, the last thing you need is lots off visitor traffic.

Let it go

As much as you want to shower your firstborn with love to make them still feel special, you also have the constant demands of your baby to think about. Welcome to being a parent of two! An ongoing juggle and overwhelming guilt! Let it go! Let family friends take your toddler out, let them go to Nan's or stick the I PAD on while you feed the baby. You may feel like your neglecting them but if people are willing to help let them! It's only temporary and the balance will realign eventually.

Don't expect too much

Try not to have a fixed idea of what you think those first weeks will be like and make loads of plans. Newborns never nap when you want them too and always feed when they should be asleep! Set yourself a small goal each day, for example, getting everyone dressed by 10! It doesn't even matter if you don't go out at least you've achieved it. Don't put lots of pressure on yourself to get out and about. Spend some time transitioning as a bigger family. When you expect to do too much and don't do it there is then a sense of failure. Try to be easy on yourself and don't expect too much. You're now in charge of two humans!

Make it easy

It really will be a savior for those chaotic times where you need to get out of the house, on time! Lay out everyone's clothes and pack bags the night before. Batch cook meals or at least plan what you will have each day. Do the shopping online or go on your own/ get a partner to do it rather than trying to do it with two kids.

One of the most important things to remember when handling a newborn and a toddler is to do what works for you. It won't be like this forever but in the meantime make it as easy as you can for yourself. There are no points for doing it all and you will feel so much better if you relax, be kind to yourself and enjoy it.














Vicki Cockerill is a NICU/ CHD Mum of two boys, a freelance blogger and social media adviser, Co Founder of #KnackeredandNorwich social club and maternal mental health advocate.








You can read my other blogs about the studio, pregnancy guest blogger , more top tips here !

Considering booking a newborn shoot? Please check out these oh so cute babies in my newborn gallery,  so you can see simple and natural newborn images really are timeless!


guest blogger Norfolk

Top 5 Baby Friendly Cafés in Norwich

Top 5 Baby Friendly Cafés in Norwich

We all want to be able to get out of the house and survive the day with the kids and take her to a baby-friendly cafés. Whether it is to escape the four walls, socialise with an actual adult. All we want strong coffee and a baby-friendly place that we feel comfortable in. One that caters to the poo-nami explosion that is bound to occur and contains the smalls with high chairs whilst we inhale cake. - oh, how I miss those days!

To help you on your way I’ve have put together the top 5 baby friendly cafés in Norwich.


The Soft Play Café

Soft play and parenting go together like Mel and Sue. This baby-friendly café in Norwich is one with a slight difference. Twinkle Toes Soft Play Baby Café has been designed with a small soft play area within in the café. Baby classes are help upstairs and there is a menu on offer to keep even the fussiest of eaters happy. Parents get to socialise with one another, so you could come away with a new mum bestie or two!

The ‘Wonderful Baby and Child’ Café

There is no better review for a baby-friendly café in Norwich than from that of a parent. Cactus Café is cosy, breastfeeding friendly and has a small play area, that’s on top of the numerous glowing reviews from those who took their children there.

The Park Café

Eaton Park Café is a baby friendly in Norwich found in Eaton Park complete with baby changing facilities, highchairs, and a breastfeeding friendly environment what more is there to want? Cake? Got that too, lots of coffee to warm up with? Of course! No more leafing through the bag for half-eaten Organix!

The Famous Café

When asking about Norwich Cafés, there is one sure to be mentioned by everyone you ask. Café Britannia is a baby friendly in Norwich is famed for it's family-friendly write-ups and award-winning breakfast and afternoon teas. There is indoor and outdoor seating, so no problems with parking a pram or two and getting in the way. They have an early open and late close compared to most cafés which means when you have been up since 5 and ready for lunch at 7.30am after a long night you can pack up the baby and head straight there!


The Technically not a Café

I had to sneak this one in, as it is not a café per se, but it is very baby friendly. Giraffe Restaurant offers a kid’s menu, outdoor seating, colourful surroundings, activity packs for the kids as well as our favourite feature; kids eat free on Saturdays and Sundays. It really is a winner in our books!

From newborn to toddlers I hope you enjoy trying out our recommendations for the top 5 baby friendly cafés in Norwich and if you have one to add I'd love your suggestions to share with new mums and dads!

Also, the AWESOME Norwich Mumbler has started Family-Friendly stickers. They are being awarded to businesses throughout Norwich and Norfolk read more about it here.

Please check out my other blogs, if you have a blog or run a baby/ family related business I'd love you to guest blog, pleaseeeee get in touch!


If you’d like to find out about other useful and important resources for new parents in the Norfolk area, or if you’re interested in learning more about the photography services I offer, explore please get in touch today.




Gifts for new parents from local Norfolk Businesses

Gifts for new parents from local Norfolk Businesses


If you’re currently on the lookout for a wonderful present for any new parents in your life, here’s my pick of some of the most unique and original gifts available right here in the Norfolk area. I love Norfolk Businesses.  I am sure any new parents love clothes for their new baby but if you fancy getting something a bit different, please read on.


Fingerprint Jewellery


There is something irresistible about a child’s hand or footprint, so why not buy a gift voucher so that the new parents can have an original piece of jewellery . Capturing a unique moment in time and giving them a memento of their child’s earliest years. These specially made items come in a variety of shapes, styles, and sizes.

new parents






The Norfolk Bump, Baby and Toddler Show


The Norfolk Bump, Baby, and Toddler Show is the county’s longest running parenting event. If you know someone expecting a child in the coming months, buy them a ticket for the show and they can enjoy a great day out as they find out about all the most important baby-related companies, organisations, and events in the Norfolk area.


Post-partum massage


As any mum will tell you, massages make fantastic gifts. Make your present extra special by choosing a specially designed post-partum massage for your friend, Your Tiny Human offers a special massage.  As well as being relaxing, the massage will help to close the bones of the abdomen and pelvis. Although perfect for women who have just given birth, this type of massage can be done at any time in the years following childbirth.


Say it with flowers


Sometimes, there’s no better way to show someone how happy you are about their new addition, then by giving them a beautiful bunch of flowers. Clare Carney Floral and Balloon Designs create stunning displays if they have older children she also sells awesome balloons.


Mother like no other








If you haven’t check out Mother Like No Other instagram you really should, I’m sure a new mum would love one of her items to mark her journey into motherhood. They offer a fantastic choice of original and quirky designs that mums of all ages will love. Browse through their online shop to find the perfect gift.


and lastly cooked meals are always a bonus if they have pet offer to walk it / look after it, wash up – its a lovely but exhausting time I’m sure any new parent will appreciate any gift! Check out more blogs.


Best places to get breastfeeding advice in Norfolk

Best places to get breastfeeding advice in Norfolk


Breastfeeding gives new mothers a wonderful opportunity to bond with their babies. However, it is not always easy and a lot of women, and babies, can struggle to get used to their new feeding routine. I did first time round , I remember sobbing on day 3 or 4 as my son was just screaming at me and shaking his head around like a zombie baby. Getting a little bit of help and support at this crucial time can make a huge difference to Mums who are finding breastfeeding a challenge.


If you’ve recently had a baby and are looking for help with breastfeeding, here are a few fantastic resources for you to turn to.

Breastfeeding Norfolk


One of the best places to get high quality support in the county is Breastfeeding Norfolk. Jan and Nikki offer one-to-one visits and a wealth of expertise, Breastfeeding Norfolk can help with everything from difficulty latching on to easing concerns about your baby’s weight gain.


Sian Aldis


Like Breastfeeding Norfolk, Sian Aldis offers new mothers one-to-one help and advice on all things to do with feeding. With years of experience working in the area, she’s the perfect person to support you through these first crucial days, weeks and months.


Association of Breast Feeding Mothers


If you’re looking for information about anything to do with breastfeeding, the Association of Breast Feeding Mothers is a great place to start. The organisation offers training courses for midwives and runs a helpline where women can get advice and information on issues related to the topic. There’s also a magazine, a list of recommended books and resources and an online shop where you can pick up more leaflets and products.


La Leche League


Another organisation that works to support mothers is La Leche League. As well as offering a wealth of resources on its site, the group also runs support meetings for mums and a Facebook page for anyone interested in the issue. If you’re especially committed to the breastfeeding cause, you can even run a group of your own or apply to become a volunteer for La Leche League,


If you’d like to find out about other useful and important resources for new parents in the Norfolk area, or if you’re interested in learning more about the photography services I offer, explore please get in touch today.


breastfeeding advice in Norfolk


Four first steps on how to help your toddler unwind for bed guest blog !

Four first steps on how to help your toddler unwind for bed - guest blog by Kathryn Stimpson 







Being a parent to a toddler can only be described as a total emotional rollercoaster. One minute is full of laughter and giggles and the next is all about tears and tantrums. It is no wonder that bedtime doesn’t always go to plan or ends in a battle between you and your toddler, with usually the smaller person taking the upper hand.


Helping your toddler unwind to bed can be the difference between your child fighting bedtime or thoroughly enjoying it. Let’s face it, it is a whole lot less stressful putting your child to bed when they are looking forward to it compared to dealing with anger, upset and anxiety.


Here I share with you my top 4 expert tips on how to make bedtime a smooth experience rather than a bumpy stressful ride


Tiredness vs Overtiredness


There is a very thin line between a tired toddler and an overtired one. It is so easy to miss the tiredness signs when you have had a busy day and have other children to look after in the house. However, missing the signs can make bedtime a complete disaster, let me explain the reasons why. A little science for you, once your child is overtired their body begins to overproduce the stress hormone Cortisol, making it very difficult for them to unwind for bed.


Cortisol produces the fight or flight response, which is why in some children you either see behaviours such as hyperactivity, shouting, screaming and general meltdowns. All of which are not desirable states to be in when your toddler needs to be winding down for bed.


So my professional tip is to “catch” your toddler when they are tired for bed rather than overtired, which I know is easier said than done. Make sure, your child is taking enough day time naps for their age which are appropriately spaced out from nap wake up time to bedtime. If your child doesn’t nap well, where possible it is absolutely okay to bring bedtime forward by a maximum of 30 minutes to start bedtime before they become overtired. Don’t worry if you have an early riser, this won’t encourage early rising, in fact this can help it!


Screen time


Removing screen time from a toddler’s life is not realistic for the world that we now live in. Technology is a huge part of our daily lives. However, there are better ways and times that technology can be used. Set a cut off time for screen time, I recommend no screen time after 5pm or 2 hours before bedtime. The reason for this is devices such as T.Vs, mobile phones and tablets emit blue light which blocks the production of the sleepy hormone melatonin by 2 hours, therefore making it very difficult for your toddler to wind down. If you would like your child to have screen time, try to use this for a limited time in the morning or afternoon, just not in the 2 hour window before a nap.




Nutrition and quality sleep go hand in hand. If you have a bedtime resistor or general sleep thief, be sure that your toddler is eating a balanced diet. Ensuring your toddlers meals include plenty of protein, which keeps them fuller for longer and stabilises their blood sugar (very important for sleep) and helps to prevent the body overproducing cortisol (the stress hormone that keeps you awake). Sorry to be the fun police, but I highly recommend removing or reducing foods which contain sugar from your toddlers diet, especially at dinner time. Foods containing sugars increase your toddlers blood sugar quickly and therefore encourage the overproduction of cortisol. Basically anything you can do to keep cortisol at bay in the evening, the less likely you experience a stressful bedtime


Bedtime routine


Having an appropriate relaxing bedtime routine which lasts around 30-40 minutes allows your toddler to wind down for bed. Start your bedtime routine at the same time every evening and stick to the same order daily. For older toddlers (aged 3 upwards) breathing buddies is a fantastic mindfulness exercise to incorporate into your bedtime routine. Choosing 1-2 bedtime books that are calming, non stimulating/exciting and use rhythmic language is essential for helping your child to enjoy bedtime but also know sleepy time is coming. I recommend Sleepy Me and Goodnight Moon for young toddlers and The Mindfulness Bedtime book for older toddlers (3+).


There are my four first steps on how to help your toddler unwind for bed. I recommend putting these into practice as soon as possible. If for any reason you still run into bedtime or sleep challenges, book yourself into a discovery call with me to start getting your toddlers bedtime and sleep back on track so you can enjoy the bonding experience of bedtime and enjoy a relaxing evening.


Thank you Kathryn!



check my other guest blogs and my blogs here.

Baby event Norwich

Guest blogger Alex from The Parent and Baby Show tell us 'How to prepare for an event '

How to prepare for an event - Hi I’m Alex and I run The Parent and Baby Show. I live with my hubby, Tom, little 13 month old daughter, Elkie, and doggy, Frankel, in North Norfolk! I set up The Parent and Baby Show in 2017 whilst on maternity leave. The show was in response to a real need for top quality, aesthetically led and hugely interactive events in the area. Norfolk and East Anglia have some super pregnancy, baby and child businesses, and it was about time there was an event to truly showcase them in the best light.


baby show











My experience is wholly in events and marketing. I love creating everything from a social gathering to large festivals and BABY SHOWS!  The biggest misconception in the event World is that events are easy to run. Even small events take a lot of time to create, and if the organiser knows what they are doing they will end up spending far more time marketing than they do on the actual event!


baby event






Penny cress


Booking into events can be daunting, So here are my top tips on how to design your stand, engage with customers and choose the right event for you:


  • Research the event and ask the organiser the following: How do they market the event, how many businesses will be attending, if they’ve run the show in the past what was their footfall, do they have any business testimonials *Notes: Some organisers will do anything to sell a stand so if you’re a little unsure perhaps find other businesses who have attended and ask them to verify the footfall and marketing.


  • So you’re booked into an event and you’re wondering if there’s anything you can do to help yourself … YES! You can promote the show to your followers and customers – send out a database email, create a facebook event for the day on your page, share the posts from the organiser!


  • Stand design. It obviously depends on what you’re selling, however a rule of thumb is to not create a barrier between you and your customer. Keep your stand OPEN and inviting! Create height, as customers naturally will look at anything in their eye-line first. If you’re selling services rather than products then why not do away with a trestle table, and instead create a comfy seating area with a few tub chairs and a coffee table, surrounded by a few pull up banners so customers can see what you do instantly!


  • Create a ‘floor’ … people enjoy feeling homely and comfortable. Think about your lounge – you have a nice fluffy rug which makes the room feel more inviting and cosy … apply that same theory to your stand! Lay down a small rug (something a bit more industrial than a fluffy rug so you aren’t constantly cleaning it) or even some fake grass which you can buy from B&Q.


  • Don’t hide! PLEASE don’t hide! By sitting behind your stand you are instantly making it hard for potential customers who want to invest in your creations. People buy into people, if you’re standing at the front of your stand and welcoming everyone into your little ‘shop’, encouraging customers to look at certain pieces or letting them know about your ‘show deal’ then you are instantly going to stand out and encourage them to ask questions and engage with you!
  • Lets talk show offers … these are a great way to entice on the day bookings or purchases! Lets not forget, a new customer can be turned into a loyal customer if you give great customer service and sell great products/services. So although you may be reducing your profit margins slightly on the day, the long-term benefits will significantly outweigh this (providing you can create a loyal customer!)


  • Competitions! These are a brilliant way to get data from potential clients. You may be looking for feedback on a certain product, so you could do a competition based on asking for feedback, or it may be that you simply want to increase your potential customer database. Make sure it is very clear to customers that their details will be used by yourself to contact them about future deals and events. They must be fully aware. Also inform them that their details wont be shared! Then keep each signup sheet in a folder so if you were ever questioned you can show proof of signup.
  • This leads me onto follow ups. If you have spoken to potential clients and said you would be in touch, then make this a priority. Customers like to know they are valued and prompt emails/phone calls tick this box! You never know, your potential customers may have also found another business they liked at the event. Getting in touch first will help make you stand out above your competition!


  • NETWORK! It’s always a great idea to chat and get to know other businesses at the event. They may know other popular events or have contacts and ideas for you. Just make sure you offer what you can back – networking is all about creating mutual respect and being able to offer others tips and tricks, just like they offer ideas to you!


  • Lastly…say thank you! Now I know you’ve paid to be at the event and the organisers have simply done their job. However, the very few people who do say thank you after events always stick in my mind. Organisers are only human and if there are particular businesses who actively appreciate your hard work you are naturally going to create a loyalty to these businesses. Be that businesses who creates loyalty with organisers you enjoy working with – you never know how it may help you in the future!



baby show Norfolk






Photocredit:  Penny cress

Quite a few golden nuggets of advice and ideas in there! Most of which can be applied to any type of event and business! I really hope that helps you! Events are my passion and I truly believe face-to-face marketing and showcasing the person behind the business are great ways to build your business and customer database! I wish you all the luck at your upcoming events!


Alex’s next baby show – The Parent and Baby Show is on Saturday 14th April at the UEA Sportspark 10:30-3pm. The show is unlike any other baby show, with a focus on aesthetics and activities!

Think indoor tipis, rustic zones, vintage tearooms with hay bales and bean bags, amongst lots of fab features such as a photo-studio, baby sensory, massages galore, 16 talks and workshops – all complimentary, soft play, women’s health checks … the list goes on!

With tickets just £5 you’ve got yourself a real bargain! Suitable for bump – 5yrs old!

Alex :)


I have regular guest blogs so why not scroll back and find lots of useful blogs here, or if you wish to chat to me about booking a shoot then get in touch!



play areas

The best indoor play areas in Norfolk for babies and toddlers  

The best indoor play areas in Norfolk for babies and toddlers.  The winter can be a difficult time for families with young children. Rain, winds and icy weather can make it difficult to get out and play, giving kids few outlets for their energy. Luckily for parents living in the local area, Norfolk is home to a great choice of indoor play areas. Colourful, safe and exciting, indoor play areas are the perfect place for a bit of good old family fun. I do miss the days of soft play and a cuppa mid week (weekends were always too crazy for me)


Jump for Joy, Rackheath

 play areas



One of our favourite indoor play areas in Norfolk was Jump for Joy Rackheath. Children aged four to ten can have fun in the sports arena, enjoy the twin lane wavy slide, squeeze through rollers and take a spin on the dizzy discs. Little ones under four also have plenty to do with wobblers, mouse holes, bash bags and rollers to explore. They are great at hosting parties too!


Tots Town, Norwich

 play areas




Located close to Norwich, Tots Town is a unique play centre that encourages fun, imaginative and interactive play. The centre is home to a miniature town complete with a supermarket, town square, hair dressers, shoe shop and more. Actors play various roles around the tiny town, helping kids to get into the spirit of the interactive play sessions. Designed to promote self-confidence, communication skills and social awareness, these games are educational as well as entertaining. I wish it was around when my two were small!



Twinkle Toes Soft Play Baby Café, Norwich


The ideal choice for parents with young babies, Twinkle Toes Soft Play Baby Café runs various groups and activities throughout the week. From restful activities like story time to messy play and meet and greet groups, this café is a fantastic destination for parents and babies who want to make friends, relax and have fun.


Stompers, North Walsham


A fantastic indoor play area for kids of all ages, Stompers has a three-tier climbing frame, a large slide and separate baby areas to explore. Visit this centre on a rainy day and let your kids work off all their excess energy in a fun and safe environment.


Playbarn, Norwich

 play areas








A farmyard based adventure centre specifically designed for children under seven, Playbarn offers a choice of indoor and outdoor activities. As the centre has separate sections for children of different ages, it’s perfect for parents with toddlers and babies. Visit in the winter months to have a go on the giant climbing frame and explore the soft play area or head over in the summer to try pony riding and meet the friendly animals that live on the farm.


If you liked reading this blog please check out my others covering lots of pregnancy and baby related topics. Jess x

Top 8 must haves for pregnant mums in Norfolk

Top 8 must haves for pregnant mums in Norfolk


Although not always the most comfortable period of a woman’s life, pregnancy is truly magical. To help these exciting nine months go by as easily as possible, I’ve made a list of the eight most essential things all Norfolk mums should have when they’re expecting.


  1. Motherly Love – Tums and Boobs Stretch Mark Oil


Using specially formulated oil throughout your pregnancy can help to maintain your skin elasticity, minimizing and even preventing stretch marks. Invest in good quality oil as soon as you know you’re pregnant and keep using it until after the baby is born for the best results. Jan is an ex-midwife and super lovely.


  1. Esme Dresses


Most high street maternity wear is fairly samey. You’ll see a lot of stripes and dark colours but very few stylish pieces of clothing. If you want maternity items that are comfortable and eye-catching, take a look at the Esme Dresses collection. Get in touch with Laura and she can show you her wonderful collection.











  1. Pregnancy yoga with Jackie at the Orange Grove Clinic


Pregnancy yoga offers mums to be a fantastic chance to relax, unwind and prepare their bodies for childbirth. It’s also a great way to meet other mums in your local area. Both Pregnancy yoga with Jackie at the Orange Grove Clinic and Yoga Bumps are perfect for mums to be in Norfolk.







  1. Pregnancy massage


Pregnancy can be tough on your body, so why not reward yourself with a pregnancy massage? Designed to help ease aches and pains and leave you feeling revitalised, it’s an absolute essential for all pregnant women out there.


  1. Pregnancy pillow


In the later stages of pregnancy, sleeping on your side will be your only viable option. A specially designed pregnancy pillow will make this a lot more comfortable and make it a lot more likely you’ll get a good night’s sleep. I loved mine and then used to get cosy when feeding my babies.


  1. Sick bands


Although sick bands may not work for women with severe morning sickness, for those just feeling a little queasy they can offer real relief.


  1. Antenatal classes


Antenatal classes are a fantastic way to prepare your body and your mind for being a mum.  About Birth and Babies offer free early pregnancy classes all around the Norfolk area.


  1. Hypnobirthing classes


Hypnobirthing is growing quickly in popularity with mums to be across the country. Many women find it helps to make the birth calmer, easier and less traumatic for both mum and baby. Contact Jenni at Normal Birthing or  Jackie at the Orange Grove Clinic to find out more, both are great.


And if you want lots of information on what’s on, local baby groups pleas check out Norwich Mumbler.


Another thing to consider to do before your baby arrives is booking your newborn photo shoot. This wonderful time is all too fleeting, so make sure you capture it before it’s too late. I do sometimes have the odd last-minute slot so if the baby is here lets chat!




Guest blog: The secret to goal success for busy parents by Sam James Coaching

Guest blog: The secret to goal success for busy parents by Sam James Coaching.  Are you fed up with feeling like your goals are bottom of the priority list? Do you feel like by the time you get round to doing your things, you’ve run out of willpower and energy?


As a parent you are busy juggling lots of different hats, and it can be exhausting at the best of times. Combine it with sleep deprivation and it can be a real motivation killer! So how can you start to tackle this, I hear you ask?!


The answer is in two parts. Planning and self-care.


Let’s talk planning for your busy life

Let’s tackle planning first. I am sure you have heard people say, “Make sure it is realistic” loads of times when talking about goal planning. Often this focuses on whether it is realistic for your abilities and the time that you have before the deadline. It very rarely takes the rest of your life into context and all the hats that you are juggling.


You could put together an awesome training plan for running a half marathon, and cover all the top tips that are out there, yet still not succeed. Often, this is because life is continuing to happen around you and your awesome plan, having an impact on your. I often hear the phrase “life keeps getting in the way!” So, make a plan that allows for this.


You need to adapt your plan to allow for life. Follow these steps to help you create a robust plan that will work for you and your family:

  1. Grab some paper, and draw 3 columns.
  2. Column 1: List all the different hats that you are juggling (eg family, work, friends, home)
  3. Column 2: What impact will my goal have on this part of my life?

When you start focussing on a goal, and working towards it, it will have a ripple effect in other areas of your life. There may be additional consequences in these areas, that you feel are worth it but until you consider it you won’t know. You might need to talk it through with other people to explain what’s going to happen. (Eg will you need to postpone a DIY project? will you have less time to spend with family? Will you need to ask for help?)

  1. Column 3: What impact will this part of my life have on my goal?

These are the things that are so often overlooked, that take you away from your plan and then you get frustrated with yourself for not sticking to your plan that week. Whereas, if you adapt your plan, accept there will be less progress some weeks, it is much kinder to yourself, and will allow you to stay on plan. Eg do you have a holiday booked which will reduce your progress for those few weeks? Do you have a pressured time at work that will require extra hours? Is your partner away for work? Do you have family coming to visit?

  1. Revisit your plan with this list in mind, and adapt it accordingly. If it is a long-term plan, I would recommend a monthly revisit to your list of hats you are juggling, to see what else is coming up.





Are you nourishing yourself?

Before embarking on a new challenge or goal, it is always worth taking time to check if you are nourishing your whole self, enough. I often speak with people who are feeling frustrated at their lack of motivation or will power. When we explore what else is happening for them, we often identify that they are running on empty in some area of their lives. You will not be able to keep going when faced with adversity, if you are already running on a part empty tank.


I’m a big advocate of reviewing and refining your self-care practices as part of your preparation for any goals. These promises you make to yourself, to nourish your whole being will make sustaining the other changes or goals a lot easier.


Grab another piece of paper and write down all the different things that you can do for yourself that act as a recharge, or replenish you in some way. Remember, self-care doesn't have to take all day, or be quiet time alone; it can also be exhilarating activities, doing things with others, as quick as a few minutes. Some examples to get you started:

  • Listening to music
  • Mindfulness
  • Catching up with a friend who leaves you feeling inspired / uplifted
  • Going outside for 5 minutes
  • Exercise that you enjoy
  • Reading a book
  • Saying No to things
  • Saying Yes to things you would normally say no to
  • Buying yourself some flowers to bring the outside, inside
  • Having an early night


For more tips on this, you can find more on my blog.


And my biggest tip, is to remember that you are human, you are doing the best that you can with you what you have right now. Be kind to yourself with the expectations you set for yourself.



More guest blogs can be found here - thank you Sam I hope this helps some of you reach your goals.

yoga retreat norfolk

Putting the Treat in Retreat : My Yoga Retreat with the Orange Grove Clinic

Putting the Treat in Retreat My Yoga Retreat with the Orange Grove Clinic

I can’t believe it's been nearly a month since I attended my first ever yoga retreat and I can’t believe I waited this long to go on one in the first place!

In return for documenting the weekend retreat for the Orange Grove Clinic, producing photos they plan to use in their marketing going forward, I spend two nights at the stunning Ringsfield Hall Eco Centre in Beccles, Suffolk.

yoga retreat norfolk


en’t practiced yoga as much as I would like and I have to admit I was a bit nervous, as I was when I attended a mini day retreat back in December. But like last time, there was no need to be nervous. Yoga expert Jackie Heffer-Cooke made me feel at ease as she has this relaxing and calming aura about her, and from the second I stepped through the door of Ringsfield Hall I felt instantly chilled and so excited for 2 days and 2 nights of child-free chilling out.


Please don't get me wrong, I love my kiddies, but this Mummy needed some time off to recharge her batteries and immerse herself in the benefits of yoga. The sun was shining and there’s no pressure to stick to a strict itinerary. The weekend included 8 hours of yoga, including some guided meditation, but you could dip in and out if you fancied doing something different. You could sit back and soak up the sun, read your book in the beautiful grounds – whatever you wanted to help you relax. The classes were great, as a fairly newbie yogi I loved every lesson and although you could sit out a session if you wanted I didn’t want to miss a single second!

At some points during the free time we had, you could go a whole hour without seeing anyone else if you wanted.

The yoga was a blend of hatha (all asana), vinyasa, yin and bhava. We also explored a bit about the history of yoga and the philosophy behind it which I found really interesting. Jackie focussed on how we can use yoga to help us in our everyday lives as well as helping us unwind for the weekend.

The shared accommodation was in a beautiful building packed with character and it really felt like a home away from home. The food was all prepared by Catherine Jeans the Family Nutritionist and it was very tasty and nutritious – just what my body needed.



The retreat was great for beginners as well as the more advanced and I never once felt self-conscious performing poses in front of people much more experience than me. Jackie explains the how and why of yoga in a way that makes sense and just clicks.

As a self-employed mum of 2 children I felt a tad guilty at first, leaving my two all weekend. But I knew all along they wouldn’t mind and would revel in spending some time with their Daddy. I really felt the benefit of attending my first ever yoga retreat both during the weekend and after – I felt free of my busy mind, I forgot about chores and enjoyed the yoga, the awesome sunshine and the lovely company of the other yogis I met.

I would hand on heart recommend this retreat and will be booking up for next year, check back on their website for booking details. website for booking details.


Jess x