Illustrated Teacup

Family | Lifestyle | Motherhood | Travel

Thursday, 31 May 2018

22 little things you can do as a family to be more eco-friendly

I've been working on this post for the last few weeks compiling as big a list as possible of little things you can do as a family to reduce your impact on the environment.

It's something I've become more and more aware of as I've gotten older, and especially so since having Henry and knowing that I need to teach him how to treat our planet. He's already an avid fan of David Attenborough and his wildlife shows (yes, a very proud parent moment when he pointed at the TV saying David!) and adores all animals, so it really is more and more important that we show him the best ways of leaving a good planet behind for future generations.

I'm not saying we do everything in this list, but we're well on our way to doing a good chunk of it, and making progress with others. And I think that's the important thing, that we're at least trying. Every little steps help a little bit.


Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Why it's OK to "do it for the gram"

"Doing it for the gram" is usually said with a mixture of laughter and self-consciousness, and I think most people with Instagram, and most definitely Bloggers, have done something purely to get that perfect Instagram photo to share on our grid.

I've certainly done my fair share of things purely to get a shot for my layout. Whether that's buying flowers that I really don't need, making a tea I had zero intention of drinking, or searching out the perfect background for a "from behind candid" shot.
And I know plenty of bloggers that have visited places purely "for the gram". In fact there are entire businesses that are so successful, just because they are "Instagram goals".
And then there's buying props, purely for Instagram photos (and blog photos too in a lot of cases.) I for one, bought a Letterboard just because it would work nicely within my Instagram feed, alongside my 'leg shots' which I take only for my Instagram.

And do you know what, that's all OK.

It's OK to do things, or buy things, and go to places, just because you want to put a photo of it on your Instagram grid.


Sunday, 27 May 2018

Oceanarium Adventures - The Ordinary Moments

There's something about being surrounded by water that is just so soothing, and Aquariums are the perfect place for exploring, learning and chilling all in one place. 

We've taken Henry to a few aquariums/oceanariums over the last couple of years. They're perfect for a winter escape, and make a great sensory experience too. Henry has always loved them, and now he's getting older, he's getting even more benefit from them. 

On our way to Poole earlier in the month, we decided to stop off in Bournemouth and have a little explore and show Henry another seaside. 
Being typically British, it was absolutely freezing and blowing up a stiff wind by the water, so we headed indoors to Bournemouth's seafront Oceanarium. 

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Why I love a caravan holiday, and how to make it work for you

I love travel.
I'd travel all the time if I could.

And that doesn't just mean jetting off to foreign lands in search of golden sands and sunny skies (although they are both very much welcome).

In fact the majority of my previous travels have been city breaks and adventures with lots of history thrown in, think Rome, Florence and Barcelona to name a few.

But with a growing family, we've had to adjust what a holiday looks like. It's less about exploring old ruins and learning history (though we will be coming back to this when everyone is a bit older) and more about fun adventures exploring new places and trying new things.

With Henry still being pretty young, and me expecting our second boy, we've kept with staycations for the last two years, and utilised the good old British staple of a caravan holiday.
And they've been pretty great so far.

Yes we've had to deal with the not-at-all consistent English weather, which included one complete wash out of a holiday last year, but over-all they've been a great adventure and a good way to get Henry used to travel and new places.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Gimme all the carbs - my pregnancy cravings

Collaborative Post*
Most women will experience cravings during their pregnancy - for me, that’s currently macaroni cheese and blackcurrant with lemonade! Literally, I could eat Dann's homemade macaroni cheese every night of the week and I'd be one very happy pregnant lady! As for the blackcurrant and lemonade, apparently I'm a fizz girl when it comes to pregnancy, going against the tradition of sweet cravings mean a girl!!

With Henry I only really craved twiglets (during my first and second trimesters) and fizzy apple drinks. Apple Tango still reminds me of being pregnant with Henry.

Many cravings are just due to the whole range of hormonal and biological changes that happen whilst pregnant, but some cravings can be a sign that you’re lacking in some vitamins or nutrients.


Sunday, 20 May 2018

Summertime feels less lonely - The Ordinary Moments

Sunny weeks and weekends mean more adventures, and I am so down with this.

I feel like Spring and Summer is so freeing.

I love Autumn and Winter for all the cosy days at home, the comfort food, and Hygge feels, but I also feel closed off and shut away during those darker months, and I think that really affects how I feel in general.

The first signs of blossoms and florals, and semi-consistent sunshine, lift my mood almost instantly. With longer days and better weather, we get out more, and not just as a family. I make the effort to go outside more, visit places, just be outside of our safe haven, and that alone is enough to make me feel like I'm being more productive and less alone.

Because that's the problem with staying in all the time, it gets lonely. Even when you're with other people.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

My hopes and fears for breastfeeding the second time around

It's one of those topics that people either love to talk about, or want to stay completely clear of.

And today I'm going to tackle it head on....breastfeeding.

I've breastfed before. In fact, when I was planning life as a family and awaiting Henry's arrival, I didn't really consider any other option.
I was lucky, Henry did take to breastfeeding pretty well, with a little help from the birth centre I gave birth in. He gained weight and seemed to do well. However my main obstacle was me. I had a love/hate relationship with breastfeeding. I loved the bonding, and that I could provide for him by myself, but I was also super uncomfortable and hated the idea of feeding in public. (I've got no issue with feeding in public from others, I just felt really self-conscious and just couldn't shake the associated anxiety). We continued to breastfeed for three months combined with formula, and eventually stopped as my supply slowed down. I was both happy and sad for the end as I'd become more comfortable with breastfeeding, most likely as I was only feeding at night.

So that's my previous journey, and with a second baby on the way, it was only natural to start to think about what we want to do this time.

Again, I want to breastfeed. But this time I feel like I'm more prepared.
Breastfeeding classes are helpful with the facts, but realistically you learn pretty much everything from actually doing it. And I hope that experience will enable me to have a better, longer and more enjoyable time with breastfeeding.


Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Thoughts on becoming a mum of two

I know this is probably a blog post that has been done about a million times, but aside from loving reading other peoples (particularly, I loved this post from Lyndsey who is expecting a second little girl about a month after me, and this post from Naomi, who is expecting twin girls in May) I find it super cathartic to write some of my thoughts on this blog.

To be honest, I'm already kind of feeling like a mum of two, in the sense that I already feel pretty split between them.
I've talked previously about how much harder this pregnancy has been compared to with Henry, and that has really taken it's toll on my guilt levels. Which in turn has made me worry a little for the future.


Sunday, 6 May 2018

Building our own mud kitchen: The Ordinary Moments

We finally had a bit of summer guys... in April!!
After snow and storms, I really wasn't expecting a weekend of beautiful sunshine, and we certainly made the most of it.

We've been working on our garden periodically for months, with little updates here and here, and we've been able to do it on a budget which I'm pretty proud of. Recently we added wood chippings to the "kids area" of the garden to cover the concrete base, and make it a bit more child friendly. The last addition to this mini-section to the garden was our planned mud kitchen.


Thursday, 3 May 2018

Why I want to hypnobirth

The minute you find out you're pregnant for the second time - once you've got the OK that everything is going as expected and hoped - you think back to your previous pregnancy, and most importantly, your previous birth experience.

My birth story with Henry was a pretty positive one all round. It wasn't exactly as I had hoped, but it was pretty damn close, and I did it with no intervention and next to no pain relief. I am proud of my birth story and how well I managed to cope.

However there are things that I feel could have been better.

Length of labour being a large part of it.
I know, of course, that you can't predict or change your labours length of time, but I was in labour for a total of about 26 hours, and 11 in active labour at the birth centre. So I'd really like to try and cut down the amount of time away from home this time around.
We also had a bit of back and forth, which although it couldn't be helped at the time, I'd like to avoid if possible.
And I'd really like to have that water birth I'd planned for last time. I did spend time in the pool, but when it came to actually giving birth, it was more a traditional, on a bed, job.

So how am I hoping to help achieve this?



Tuesday, 1 May 2018

How you can save money every month as a family

Collaborative post*

Having a family, starting one, continuing one, and adding to it, all costs money. And that really shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone to be honest.

I knew when we started a family we wouldn't have as much "free" money. Your priorities change and going out for meals every weekend just doesn't seem as important so you don't mind not spending your money there. However almost everything else gets more expensive. Higher household bills, clothing bill, food bill, and then there's entertainment for the small one/s which costs a fair bundle too.

However, usually our earnings don't go up to match our new outgoings, in fact for most people it goes down.

So how can you save some pennies for your family each month?

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