motherhood

Be a self-care goddess this winter - GUEST BLOG

Be a self-care goddess this winter - Guest blog from Sophie aka Muffin and Puffin 

As the season draws in; showcasing autumnal hues, big knitwear, pumpkins, quality street on the shelves and the Harry Potter movies every Saturday night - it seems that hunkering down and enjoying life indoors is here for the foreseeable. Truly, it’s my favourite season but also a season where I find I sit on a delicate balance of the blues and the joys. So, I thought I would write myself a list of things to ensure I look after my self and those around me to keep it on the side of joy as much as possible.

Plan

Ever look in the shops at this time of year and wonder who is going to all these Christmas parties and where are those Christmas parties that warrant so many sequins and dresses? Well I’m not being invited to them, so I’ll make my own plans. Christmas outings, mince pies and hot chocolates with friends, woodland walks (forest bathing is IN this season) baking, movie and duvet days. I always find having small things to look forward to improves my mood greatly.

Listen

I’ve really started to enjoy podcasts… loud music makes me happy, nothing can beat insomnia-faithless while cleaning the bathroom (how rock n roll) but I’ve actually discovered some wonderful podcasts that lift my mood. Right now, I’m listening to ‘Couples Therapy’ with Casey and Candice Neistat and Dolly Alderton’s ‘Love Stories’ also an oldie but a goodie for comedy is the ‘Adam and Joe show’ for BBC6 music. Go forth and listen!

Treat

Winter can be a season of excess and with that comes guilt but eat the naughty stuff just in moderation! For me it’s not just mince pies but online shopping. There’s no greater thrill than a package in the post!

Cook

I love being in the kitchen, but a sleepless toddler makes those meals from scratch hard to make in the evening… so instead I’m planning on making chutney and sugars and various baking items and involving her in the process. Time in the kitchen in therapeutic for me… the process of selecting ingredients, chopping and then enjoying the final result… me time and a delicious meal or treat at the end.

Hobby

I am a total one for trying new things, but I’ll admit I don’t always see them through. I desperately want to be able to crochet… I bought all the gear and worked for 6 hours trying to crochet a basic square. I gave up…. So, this year I’m working on my photography and trying to read as much as I can… hobbies don’t have to be all about craft!

 

Alone

This is becoming more apparent that it is something I don’t just need but is a necessity. I am an all-round better person if I have managed to have a few hours in the week where it is just me and my head space. Now go away, it’s Netflix time.

Screens

I have been told this is a good idea… I am yet to set the rules as my job is social media and that relies on phones and screens, but I need to set boundaries with my phone and create some ‘no phone zones’! So, I’ll be making a conscious effort this winter to unplug from technology and be fully present.

Move

I won’t lie I fall in and out of love with exercise daily, I’ve never regretted a work out, but I struggle with the motivation to get there. So, I’m going to embrace the movement I do enjoy – walking. I love being outside on a cold crisp day and so does my little one. Exercise and valuable time together… the perfect combination of self-care.

So that’s my list, there’s plenty more I’m sure and if you have any other suggestions then let me know!

 

Sophie

 

Sophie Lynn

Owner @ Muffin&Puffin

‘A mini marketing company’

07738533889

www.muffinandpuffin.com -> please note website not currently live

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guest blogger Norfolk

Raising children to be body positive - The Honest Confessions Of A NICU Mum

Raising children to be body positive

I have never been body positive, or confident in my own skin. Perhaps, that comes from my mum constantly criticizing me. I was always jealous of others, and deemed myself not good enough. It has had a devastating impact on my confidence, one that I carried through childhood to now.

Self confidence

I didn’t have the self confidence of others, and I suffered from eating disorders as a teenager. It wasn’t until after I fell pregnant with Elijah and then again with Harlow, that I realised how much pressure and unrealistic expectation is really out there. There is pressure on is on a new mother to suddenly regain the body she did before she feel pregnant, despite growing and accommodating a human (or two, or three!) and giving birth.

Pressure

I had two fairly large babies and I found it perplexing that we were being pressurised by what we saw in the media, adverts and magazines sometimes sadly ones aimed at parents that we were failing if we didn’t fit into our skinny jeans 2 weeks after giving birth. Even family members were telling me towards the end of my pregnancy that the weight will soon come off afterwards. Every day I was told I was big, I was small as if my uterus was now up for public discussion.

‘Scummy mummies’

We are made to feel that if we don’t have a full face of makeup and sport a perfect up do we are ‘scummy mummies’. We as a society love to shame others. We are constantly bombarded with images of perfection that do not mirror real life. Even more now we live in the age of social media.

We are told we must change our bodies, our faces, our hair to look like this, to be that and to not accept and be proud of who we are. I am still a very self-conscious person, but I want my two boys to be comfortable on their own skin, to be body positive and to have the self-confidence I never had.

The zipper club

I knew it would be easy for me to pass on my insecurities to my children but I knew I had to be the one to set a good example. Especially with Elijah who has an incision ‘zipper’ scar running down his chest from open heart surgery.

When we took Elijah swimming for the first time I was worried that people would stare, they would look at him and make comments about his chest. A friend of ours at the time was very blunt with me and said, who cares? He should be proud of it. Ever since then I have always promoted body positivity in both of my children.

Brands

Slowly, some big brands have cottoned onto the fact that they are responsible to promote body positivity, but we still have a long way to go. The language we use for example, phrases like ‘plus size’ I believe are still detrimental when actually they are likely to be of an average size that many of us can resonate with.

Real women

I don’t think it was until after I had children that I realised how important it was as a parent to promote body positivity.  I do not hide my body in front of them, as I want them to know what a real body looks like, one that has had two children and given birth twice! I want them to know a woman doesn’t need to wear make up to look pretty, she doesn’t need an elaborate hair do to fit in with everyone else. That it is okay to feel comfortable being who you are, looking like what you do.

Acceptance

I want to teach them to be accepting of everyone and to never judge anyone just by looks, or by societies expectations of them. I want them to know the adverts that they see and the images on social media aren’t necessarily the real world and to never compare themselves to them.

Most of all, the gift I want to pass onto my children is one I didn’t receive myself, I want them to be truly comfortable in their own skin and proud of who they are.

Vicki Cockerill is a Freelance Content Writer and NICU/CHD Mum to two boys, she authors The Honest Confessions Of A NICU Mum Blog and co-founded the @KnackeredandNorwich Social Club and campaigns for NICU and MMH issues. You can contact her via her blog or social media;

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Vicki regularly blogs for me,  along with other guest bloggers check out some here !

 

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, minimising 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 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.

 

pregnancy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  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.

 

pregnancy

 

 

 

 

  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 book 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 baby is here lets chat!

 

Jess


guest blogger Norfolk

Skin care advice for Mums by Norfolk skin expert Louise Thomas-Minns

Skin care advice for Mums by Norfolk skin expert Louise Thomas-Minns- Guest blog

guest blogger Norfolk

 

Let me start by saying that I get it. I'm a working Mum & have all the associated guilt that comes when you take ANY time out for yourself! So I'm not being unrealistic when I write this post for you but it's SO Important to take even just 3 minutes morning & night to care for your skin. I am blessed to have a supportive husband which has meant I have always taken this time out however difficult that has been & it reboots me as a person & a Mum.

As a skin therapist for the last 22 years I have treated thousands of faces & a lot of those are Mums. I'm always asked how can I care for my skin when I have limited time? So let me give you my 5 top tips for skin care as a busy Mum...

  1. It really doesn't have to take that long! 3 minutes is my guide. 1 minute for cleansing, 1 minute for serums/eye products & 1 minute to massage, yes massage, your moisturiser in...& that's it!
  2. If like me you get to the 4-7pm time, which any Mum knows can be the toughest time of the day, then get your routine done as soon as your little one/s are in bed rather than leaving it till after you've finished your chores/dinner time & are too shattered, wanting to just fall into bed. I even sometimes do mine when Maggie is in the bath, she likes to watch & join in.
  3. If you feel your time is limited then the most important time of the day is the evening for your routine. Make sure that if all else fails you do a double cleanse to take the day off & thoroughly cleanse the skin & get your moisturiser on.
  4. Get some mask therapy in by sleeping in your mask. Cleanse the skin & apply your mask of choice & leave it on until you wash it off in the morning. (NB This works best if it is a hydrating mask since leaving clay based masks on overnight can be too drawing.)
  5. Invest in a treatment serum! If you're concerned with the signs of sleep deprivation showing then a serum will absorb deeper into the skin & have more active ingredients. Look for Vitamin C, Hyaluronic acid, Retinol & Tazman pepper berry.

Skin care advice for Mums

 

 

Louise Thomas-Minns is a Celebrity skin therapist & the founder of the U & your skin facial. Her signature skin care range; Louise Thomas Skin care, launches Spring 2018.

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