How to Make Morning Exercise A Habit



Exercising is one of the best ways to keep your body and mind fit and active. If done in the morning, it can not only make you feel a lot better about yourself, but also significantly improve your day. Though a very attractive way to start the day with, morning exercise often gets left out in the struggle that our daily life sometimes becomes. We are often in such hurry and confusion that we do not even realize to set the alarm to wake up early to exercise until we wake up the next day. So how do we make morning exercise a habit? These tips will help:

1. Set an alarm: This goes without saying. Don’t leave waking up to a chance. Set an alarm, or perhaps several of them if you are a deep sleeper and come out of bed the moment they ring.

2. Prepare for the morning: Make your mornings seem easier by preparing for them before going to sleep. Put out your workout clothes and shoes, decide what you will be eating pre-workout, and grab it all fast in the morning as you start exercising. This will not only give you more time to sleep, but will also ensure that you do not spend 20 minutes in the morning looking for your trainers.

3. Go to sleep once you’re in bed: Do not spend time scrolling through social media and wondering about the next morning. Sleep so that you can feel fully rested the next morning. If you want to relax before bed you can play on bingo sites with free sign up bonus with no deposit required, but once you’re in bed, keep all the technology away.


Try these tips and see how they make the excuses go away from your morning workout sessions!


This is a collaborative post

Welcome to Fugland



I've been a fug since 1997. Okay, it's been since about November but that feels like twenty years ago. The thing about fugs is that you don't know that you're in it until you're waaaay in it, until the walls of fug are so high, they feel like they're about to cave in. And then it feels like it's too late, like you'll never climb out but I'm here to tell you it's not. It's never too late. Life is not a party, you won't be kicked out when the po po get called. This post is a 'do as I say not as I do' one because at the moment I'm more about the theory than the practice but I believe in what I'm saying. I have to believe that if I do some of the shit I'm gonna list, the cobwebs will clear from my eyes and some light will get in. I have to believe that one day the hours stumbling through fugland will be a distant memory. If you're also a citizen of Fug City I hope this list might inspire you too and if you're not - prevention is better than cure. 

1. WALK - It's easy, it's free; do it fast enough and it gives you that smug cardio feeling. You can whack your tot in the buggy and put on an inspirational podcast and it's almost like me time. 

2. BREATHE - Every time I pay attention to my breath I realise I'm not breathing. I mean I am breathing because, like, I'm alive but I'm taking these crappy shallow breaths, it's as if my body thinks oxygen is rationed. Check that you're breathing deeply, greedily at least once a day. 

3. CREATE - When I'm just existing, I stop creating. As adults I think we can let the ego take over, start to think that everything we create has to be THE THING. Just make, imagine, play - take a picture on your phone, finger paint with your kid, anything to pry open your mind. 

4. MOVE - In a non prescriptive, judgement free way. It's great to get to a class or follow a programme but these can take time and energy that you cannot spare. I like to dance at the bus stop or just touch my toes (you can bend your knees), if only to remind myself I still can. 

5. GIVE THANKS - Ugh, I know, it's so blogger 101 but really it works. There is SO MUCH to be thankful for - magically appearing bluebells, warm donuts in the supermarket. Stop and acknowledge, or better yet make a list and reread the list when the storm clouds threaten. 

6. GIVE GIFTS - The only time I really, truly stop feeling sorry for myself is when I'm being of use to someone else; oh the joy of motherhood, for I get to do this everyday. Don't forget to give a little gift to yourself. Treat yourself to the good coffee or an extra long, extra hot bath. If your child was in a hole you'd lift them out and offer them love and care, so it's time to put your oxygen mask on first. 

What do you do to get out of a fug?

A new kind of happy


I said it to N because N is the sassiest, most cut through the crap person I know. We were lying in the sunshine, doing nothing together in the way that only really good friends can, and I said,

'I've not told anyone this and I know I'm gonna sound like a nob but I can't stop thinking about the fact that I had everything I ever wanted. I had the man and the baby and the house by the sea and now it's all gone.' She turned to me and smiled, which seemed like an odd reaction, but then she said,

'You did and you can have it again if you want, or you can have a new kind of happy.' For the first time in a long time I felt okay. I felt more than okay, I felt excited because the only thing better than having what you want is working towards what you want, when you know what that is. 

If you focus on what could have been - the one that got away, the dreams that stayed in your head - you'll die with what ifs instead of the life you've lived. Watch any child transform an empty toilet roll into a spaceship and you'll know that life is malleable; the breadth of your imagination is your only limitation. 

So this year I'm going to find a new kind of happy and I think you should too. The baby that wasn't to be and the job they wouldn't give you, maybe they were making way for another adventure, with a not yet imagined outcome. I want you to try to remember that because when he stands at my door and hands me the child we made, I'll be trying to remember it too.


photo credit: Leonard J Matthews ready via photopin (license)

I know why you hate Ed Sheeran


I've noticed a bit of an anti Ed Sheeran movement and my feeling is there should be no reason for this. Ed seems like an affable fellow; I certainly haven't heard any kitten killing rumours. Yet it's no surprise to me, this unnecessary loathing; there have been some people in my life that have made me feel the same.

There was a girl I knew at university who had a lot of boyfriends and in between the boyfriends, she had a lot of sex. I heard about her long before I met her because even in 2001 it was possible for a girl to have 'a reputation' (a fact that, to my shame, I accepted without question). At the time I thought that having a lot of sexual partners was very cool. I wasn't yet aware that sex isn't always empowering. I wasn't even interested in sex to be honest, I was interested in being desired and to have slept with a lot of people, by my calculations, made you very desirable.

The first time I saw her was on a street corner. She stopped to say hello to the classmate I was walking with. She mentioned her most recent conquest - a sandy haired, rebel I may or may not have had an almighty, unrequited crush on. She was polite, pleasant, and that was all. I was perhaps two inches taller; her skin was fair to my tan; her messy bun was mousey and her hoodie declared she studied history and not psychology; other than that she was just like me or rather there was no reason why I could not be just like her.

So back to Ed. Imagine you met Ed. Not mega famous, multi-platinum album Ed but another Ed, identical in every way, minus the money and fame. Let's say your mate has just begun a relationship with Ed and she introduces you to him over casual drinks. Let's say the next day you have lunch with a mutual friend of original friend. Mutual friend would say, 

'So, tell me, this Ed, what's he like?' You would shrug and say, 

'He's okay.' Mutual friend would shake her head and dismiss the waiter for two more minutes, 

'But what else? There must be more. Is he fit?' You would look to the sky, your face contorted with concentration, and say, 

'Erm, he looks like that one from Harry Potter, you know the ginger one?' Then you would shrug again and say, 'He's just nice.' By this time mutual friend would be bored and would proceed to tell you a story about her weird housemate who hides the best saucepans under his bed and Ed would be all but forgotten. This is why you hate him.

You hate Ed Sheeran because he gives you nowhere to hide; you cannot attribute his success to his looks or his connections or, arguably, his talent. Ed forces you to confront the question, if he can do it, why can't I? So next time Ed Sheeran comes on the radio, which let's face it will be in the next forty-five seconds, take the opportunity to ask yourself, what have I done today to make my ordinary extraordinary?

photo credit: Denise Fokker Ed Sheeran via photopin (license)

My cleaning routine (which is totally amazing when I do it, which is almost never obviously)


My mind and surroundings are a mess. Not a cute, kinda quirky unmade bed mess; a what's that in the bottom of my handbag? Oh a satsuma covered in mold mess. This is weird because both my parents have a near pathological commitment to sanitation. My mother lists cleaning as a pastime and becomes genuinely anxious if her carpet fibres are lying the 'wrong' way. My father is the most mild mannered man you will ever meet. When I phoned to tell him I had eloped he said, 

'Well at least I won't have to do a speech now.' He's the epitome of calm until you put a fork in the knife section of the dishwasher. Perhaps it's not weird that they're as they are and I'm the slatternly, wench that I am - what is parenting but a lifelong experiment in disappointment? And in this regard I am very much a disappointment but I promise, it's not like I haven't tried. 

Until recently my cleaning routine went something like this: Spend a large portion of the weekend creating a sweet-smelling oasis of calm; stay as still as can, for as long as possible, in an effort to maintain this; watch helplessly as my home descends into chaos as the week unfolds; start the process again. Then I had a baby and cleanliness became not just a nice to have but a necessary. I had visions of the midwife hitting speed dial to social services before I had even closed the front door behind her. (This is not hyperbole, I really thought this. Post natal anxiety is the real deal). So I started to study my friends, the ones that didn't need a ninety minute warning before your arrival. I quizzed my tidiest compadre over coffee (out of very shiny mugs) one morning. How do you do it? I wanted to know. She thought for a minute before saying, 

'Well when I use something, I put it back where I got it from.' And the light of my realisation flooded her kitchen. I couldn't keep treating cleaning like a weekly war, I had to address the battles daily, little but very often. From this I developed my low effort cleaning routine.

Required reading for this routine is Marie Kondo's, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and The Fly Lady website; both are amazing resources for learning to deal with overwhelm. Start with Marie whose main missive is to get rid of all your stuff; the less stuff you have, the less stuff you need to keep clean. Once you're down to the bare bones, this is my system for keeping it vaguely in order. 


BATHROOM FIRST Do the bathroom as soon as you've woken up. Seriously, pee and then clean. You're in there anyway and you can reward yourself with a shower when you're done. If you do nothing else today at least if someone visits your home, they won't worry about getting a communicable disease from your loo seat. 

DRESS THEN MESS After getting Roscoe dressed I do a super quick clear up of his room and encourage him to help. I might be a mess but it's not too late for him. 

LIVING ROOM AFTER LIGHTS OUT Particularly if you're home with kids I think it's a lost cause cleaning up in the day. I think the perfect time for giving the living room a once over is after the kids are in bed. You'll have the little boost of energy freedom has given you and creating a nice clean space will help to set the tone for the adult part of your day. 

KITCHEN IN YOUR PJs A lot of people do the kitchen after dinner and if you can do this it makes sense but I like to eat sweets and slob on the sofa after dinner, so that time has already been allocated. If I clean up any earlier than just before bed I will invariably litter the place toast crumbs later on in the evening, and there's nothing sweeter than getting up in the morning and making coffee in a sparkling clean kitchen (someone else getting up and making coffee is sweeter obviously but I'm working with what I've got). 

BEDROOM BEFORE BED Just before getting into bed I make sure all my clothes are hung up properly and pick up any debris that has found it's way into my boudoir. I think by doing this my subconscious can get a head start on pulling an outfit together for the morning and I'm convinced that getting your head down in a tidy room helps you to sleep better. I can think of no reason why this would be true but a little white lie that gets you cleaning is fine right?


I'd love to hear about your cleaning routine.
                           photo credit: dharder9475 024/365: The cleaner via photopin (license)

Ask Moderate Mum - How do you make toddlers less stubborn? Liam Bishop


This question made me snort into my cuppa. All I can picture is a toddler somewhere, perhaps sat in a sandpit, contemplating the question - how can I make my father less stubborn? That is your child's experience, they're making the completely reasonable request to go to nursery dressed in a superhero costume and wellies and stubborn old dad just won't let it happen.

Lead by example - I think it's a fair question. Could you be less stuck in your ways? Just because you have a few decades on the kid, doesn't mean you know everything. Have a think, is there any areas where you could just let go? So the kid wants to sleep under the dining room table for the night, will the world end? They feel like eating their peas one by one with their fingers - bigger picture, at least they're eating. Where do you think this child is learning the stubbornness from? If you backed down from a few things you might find that your kid also feels able to pull back a little, this role modelling business is the real deal. 

Let them learn from experience - My mother has a plethora of sayings passed down to her from her father. Most of them are nonsensical (chicken merry, hawk is near?) but one has always resonated - 'If you can't hear, you must feel.' So your kid insists that wearing a coat on a wintry morning is surplus to requirements, unless you're reading this in a Siberian climate, it probably won't harm them to let it happen but twenty minutes later when their teeth are chattering so hard the buggy vibrates, they might just understand what you were banging on about. One hour of sub par parenting might avoid a tonne of future battles. 

Give them choice - Being a kid is completely awesome apart from the fact that you spend most of your life feeling powerless. It's okay to trick your little general into thinking he or she is getting their own way. Rather than asking if they want their vegetables give them a choice between peas and sweetcorn. You will seem like their humble servant when all along you are a master manipulator. 

Not too much choice - Choice can actually be quite overwhelming. Do you know why people like all inclusive holidays? It's not because anyone likes to queue for luke warm pizza, it's because it's wonderful not to have to think for a week or two. Sometimes when a toddler is given too many options for their mind to cope with they'll dig their heels in and do nothing. Plan each day and let your kid in on the plan, they'll never tell you but kids love to be parented. 

Let them know you're listening - Sometimes stubbornness is just a desire to be acknowledged and you can do that without letting your child have their own way. A couple of weeks ago my son was having a full scale meltdown in the shopping centre because I was trying to do the unthinkable and get him into a lift. I sat on the floor with him outside of Debenhams and said, 'Are you angry? Is mummy horrible? You don't like the lift?' 

'Roscoe sad. Roscoe crying,' he said (because he talks about himself in the third person Kanye West style). Then we had a cuddle and I let him press the lift button. It's like when you threaten to leave your mobile provider because they're doing their head in and then you don't, obviously, because you've got yourself tied into a three hundred year contract. Sometimes we all just need a little vent. 

Got a question for Ask Moderate Mum, put in the comments or email to moderatemum@gmail.com

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                     photo credit: WickedVT Photographing a two-year old via photopin (license)

How to Lay Down the Law

Roscoe not listening to a darn word I say

I wrote a post last year urging parents to give up on smacking. There are few things that I believe absolutely but this much I know to be true - smacking probably won't help you reach your long term parenting goal. Which we all know is children who say, 'how high?' when you even hint at the word jump. It was unfair of me to condemn smacking without offering my views on how to actually get them little tykes to stop behaving like heathens. Yes, Charlene you're all about problems, where's my solution? So what follows is my guide on how to lay down the law. 

Have a tell - I think it's right and proper to give someone fair warning. Children aren't actually entirely focused on ruining your day; they don't know that their behaviour is shameful, they're just having fun. That's why it's good to have a signal that lets them know a storm's a comin. A classic is the countdown, another is the utilise the child's full name; true professionals have it down to a sharp look. I prefer a very clear announcement, 'Roscoe that is naughty behaviour.' This is often greeted with laughter but he can't say I didn't warn him. 

Keep it simple - Don't tie yourself in knots or get into hefty negotiations, there is no one on earth that can negotiate as well as a child. You will lose. You want very simple cause and effect e.g. If you continue to take your clothes off in the library/wipe boogies on that stranger, I will X. 

Don't give up (even when you muck up) - We've all been there, allowed our buttons to be pushed and tried to regain power in the most ridiculous of ways. If you threaten to cancel pudding or get off the bus be prepared to follow through because otherwise your child will quickly learn that you don't really mean business. Of course if you go too far, I'm thinking 'we're never coming to granny's house again' quickly wolf down some humble pie and replace this sentiment with something more reasonable. It might be a good idea to have some suitable consequences planned in advance so in the heat of the moment you remember to ban the iPad and not give away the family cat.

Offer affection immediately - Your child needs to know that it's their behaviour and not them you do not love. If they become upset by your chastisement it's okay to comfort them, doing so does not invalidate the discipline. The message, I don't want you to be upset but I do want you to behave appropriately is one that even the tiniest tots can comprehend. I know this is hard for some people to grasp (and when I say people let's face it I mean women) but when something is done it needs to be done with. Don't keep throwing the incident back in the kid's face, it should be treated like something silly and unsavoury that everyone should just forget about quickly...until next time. 

How were you disciplined as a child? Do you find it easy to lay down the law. 

Ask Moderate Mum - How do I deal with my teenager hitting puberty


How do I deal with the a previously quiet, helpful teenage girl that has hit puberty and has discovered hormonal tantrums , tears and insecurities bless her? Kim Styles 

Often when it comes to parental anxiety I think, honey, this is what you signed up for. Even when I'm complaining to my mum that my boy woke up at still actually the middle of the night o' clock. I can see the mirth in her eyes, the little glint that says, what you thought this was gonna be easy? Humans are amazing and to make anything amazing takes hard work, so first and foremost make sure you're up to the challenge. Prioritise your own self care, are you getting enough sleep? Are you eating well? It's so much easier to combat teenage misery if you yourself don't feel like climbing into a hole and shutting the world out. 

Please remember puberty is a scary place. Imagine going to bed one night with everything okay in the world and waking up in Guatemala and if you're thinking, ah yes Guatemala, love it there, we have a little cottage in Chinautla, pick somewhere else, somewhere scary and unfamiliar. So you wake up there and no one can really explain to you why you're there or what's going on. At first you'd probably be polite, have a nap and see if anything becomes clearer but after a few days you'd get panicked, you'd be angry; you'd start screaming at people to get you out of there and no one would understand you because you'd be shouting in English and they'd all speak Spanish. What would you need in that moment? Someone to take care of you. When your daughter has a tantrum or an unexplained emotional breakdown she's just scared and lost; rather than letting out the mutterings running through your mind bake her a cake or make her a hot chocolate with those little marshmallows. Reminding her how much she is loved will help to bring her home and also it's hard to be mean in the face of tiny marshmallows.

Finally quiet, helpful girls aren't always happy ones. I was quiet and helpful for a good deal of my life because I was riddled with anxiety. I was terrified of everything - those flying spiders, busy roads and most of all stepping out of line. Your daughter sounds like she's finding her voice and in this day and age, Lord knows she's gonna need it. It might not look like it right now but being willing to ruffle a few feathers is a very good thing. 



photo credit: Sarah Wampler via photopin (license)

The Best Gift for a New Baby - Keeping Safety in Mind


Your goal in gift-giving to expectant or new parents is to first, show your affection and good will, but secondly, it’s giving them gifts that they will use and that they will know are utterly safe for their baby.

You can comb the local shops nearby or shop online, but one of the best places to look for a fantastic, impressive and welcome gift is to look at the huge range of baby gift hampers available at Baby Gift Box. The gift of a hamper covers so many areas of not just cuteness, but necessity.


Safety will be a priority for new parents but let's face it, safety will always be on parents' minds, regardless of the age of their children. However, there is a particular, nearly fevered, often emotional, concern for new-borns, babies and toddlers. Alert and concerned parents are fixated on making their homes and cars safe. They want to ensure that the choices they're making are the right ones to keep their babies safe.


Here are some very common concerns and some helpful ways to start a healthy schedule and infuse good habits into your home life.



CHAPEAU

While there are babies born with an entire head of hair, most babies are on the “follically-challenged” side. This means that they are particularly susceptible to heat and cold on their tiny pates. The best piece of advice you’ll receive about this is to start putting hats on your baby on a regular basis. Start with a cotton knit beanie. As soon as you start taking your baby out, a hat will protect it from, both the sun and cold. So many parents lament that their babies will “not keep a hat on,” and we’ve all seen enough babies pulling hats off their heads to confirm this. Gifting beanie hats of different colours is a great way to present new parents with items they will use daily basis, many mothers will welcome the opportunity to match their baby’s outfit with a coordinating colour. The main point is to get your baby used to hats as soon as possible.


Do not ever worry about offending anyone – never sacrifice the health of your baby for someone’s feelings. This means, if someone “has a little cold”, they’re not allowed near the baby. Be kind and warmly invite them when they’ve recovered (from whatever ailment they or their family contracted). 

Ask everyone who comes in to wash their hands, and keep a bottle of anti-bacterial gel nearby for them to also use. You can get a lot of information from popular parenting websites. They have plenty of articles that can serve as your guide.



PETS

If you have pets, you, like many, probably treat them like your children. And when you’re bringing a human child into the mix, you’re not likely going to want to dramatically change your pets’ way of life, their comfortable and familiar lifestyle, or – the horror – give your pets away. It’s recommended that you prepare before you bring your baby home and establish boundaries with your pet right from the start. 





Bringing Home Baby: if you have a dog or two, one of the best bits of advice you can receive is this:


1. While not always possible, take the blanket in which your baby was first wrapped and take it home (or have someone caring for your dog(s) take it to them and have them sleep with the wrapping that first night (or however many nights you and your baby are away from the house). 

2. You’ll be having a lot of visitors to your home, people anxious to meet your new baby, and, if permitted, to hold your little one, too. Keep a jar of dog treats near the front door. Tell visitors that they must greet your dog(s) first, do some minor fussing over the dog and giving treats. This serves a two-fold purpose: the dog(s) will begin to welcome guests and not be on constant guard – he/she knows that there are treats involved and will soon feel proud to show off their new baby.

There’s nothing wrong in ensuring the baby’s safety. Take note of the points discussed above as it can help you along the way.



This article is published in partnership with Mediabuzzer

Add a little sparkle to your day! GIVEAWAY (UK & IRELAND)



In these bleak times *cough* Trump *cough* we're all doing our best to cling onto the tiniest glimmers of joy. I think that's why everyone's obsessed with hygge or 'taking pleasure in making every day moments beautiful'. With this you don't need money, you don't need a Valencia filtered life, you just need your own ability to recognise what makes you happy.

I think this is one of the reasons parenthood is such a wonderful space to live in, because you become an expert at stealing joy. For example I love a bath, always have. The hot water feels like a hug and I like having the space to think. Sometimes someone will say to me, 'Ew, it's sitting in your own muck.' And I think, who cares when it feels so good? Although I've always looked forward to a nice soak, I've never appreciated it more than after I became a mother. My bath wasn't just a treat, it was a sanctuary. During the newborn days, when being a parent was a near all consuming experience, I guarded those 45 minutes like a tigress. I GOT REAL about bathing, took myself to Lush, downloaded awesome podcasts and it stopped being just a bath, it was like a teeny, tiny mini break.  

I discovered from this that it doesn't take that much effort to lift an experience from okay to Ohh! Yayy! For example if you follow me on Instagram you may know that I am not that hot mama bringing you school run style; I'm more yesterday's T shirt, sleep in my eyes vibe and most of the time I own that but sometimes it brings me down. Sometimes I'd like to sparkle a little and luckily Happiness boutique were here to help. They sent me a lovely statement necklace, gorgeous enough to lift any outfit and every morning.


I love that I can throw on my Jeans and T and still feel put together with a little bit of accessorising; it's just one of ways I plan to add some sparkle to my life this year and if you would like to do the same I've got another Happiness Boutique gem to give away. Enter below to win a sprinkle of glitter with this rose gold cuff bracelet and let me know how you create little bits of joy every day! 




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Is it okay to aim for love?


I've always wanted to be married, not get married, that seems like madness - a whole day of dozens of people staring at you and taking pictures from every conceivable angle. Heck, no. It just sounds anxiety inducing and I'm pretty sure vomiting at the alter is not a good start to married life. I wasn't interested in the day, what I craved was the life. I wanted a person to call home; I longed for all the petty intimacies - peeing with the door open, texting for forgotten milk, falling asleep on the sofa. When I was a kid, on the rare occasions I was defiant, I would listen to my parents talking about me in hushed voices after I had gone to bed. Underneath my heady sense of injustice I felt a longing. I wanted that, I wanted a teammate and until recently I had been lucky enough to have one and then I wasn't

It was months after my marriage ended that I thought I might be vaguely ready to think about loving again and I figured if I seriously wanted to be in a couple I better take it seriously, I better treat it like a job. So I updated my CV: 

Previous role: 15 year position as mostly supportive partner 
Special skills: Cottage pie 

Then I asked every trusted friend if they knew of anyone who might be eligible, someone for whom they would be willing to act as guarantor for my heart. I told them that it was an attempt to live in a fairy tale to not actively look for love. I got a lot of the 'scary eyes'. You know the scary eyes, they're the ones you make when your friend comes back from a two week all inclusive holiday in Tunisia and tells you she's marrying a barman called Aziz. Your mouth says, 'That's great honey but maybe a little soon' but your eyes say, 'Girl you done lost your mind'. I knew from the scary eyes that many of them thought I was crazy but I didn't care. If you want to be an actress you don't wander through life hoping a director will spot you on the 250 bus - you hustle, you network, you make it happen. Why don't we think the same about love? 

The problem was maybe I was lying to everyone and mostly to myself because I made no work of meeting my ex, in fact he swept me off my feet. We got together at a time when I wasn't looking for love, I was looking for a career and adventure and a part time job that would keep me in Topshop jeans and love knocked on my door and said, 'Can I take you to Deep Pan Pizza?' And it was wonderful. It wasn't that I wanted to be so serious about my search it was that I hoped that if I did things differently, it would end differently, in that it wouldn't end.

So I didn't apply for any of the openings I became aware of because I thought that to aim for love might rob it of its essence. Is its beauty not in its elusiveness, the way it crash lands into your life without warning? It might be the last bit of magic in adulthood and who wants to live a life without magic?

photo credit: the past tends to disappear I Love You Dani! via photopin (license)

Make Resolutions like a Ninja


Did I tell you that my ex is a ninja? No not that kind, a Productivity Ninja. What's that you might ask? Obviously an agent trained in the fine art of getting sh*t done. And that's really what he does, he runs marathons and writes books and all that jazz. You'd think that having known him all my adult life some of it would have rubbed off but let's just say that opposites attract. It's not that I don't want to do things, I do! I want to do ALL THE THINGS and this is where I go wrong, I try and do them all at once. That's how I end up in bed by 8PM on New Year's Eve. Finally it's sunk in, it's not about doing all the things, it's about doing the most important things and I  let you know what I think those things are in this video. 

Once you know what you want or what you need or if you're lucky a hot combo, this is how you make sure they happen: 

PLAN IT - Don't just make a vague plan to do something, break it down into titchy little pieces, so you know exactly how much time and energy you need and so it doesn't feel so overwhelming. 

WRITE IT DOWN - There's a reason why you don't just spit in your hand and shake hands when you buy a house. Writing things down makes them for realz. Commit your goals to paper, everything important needs a contract, especially agreements made with yourself. 

TELL SOMEONE - Accountability is no joke, if you don't tell anyone about your goal it's easy to pretend you never really wanted to do it. Last year I wrote on my blog that I maybe, possibly wanted to write a book and guess what I ended this year doing - kayaking! (Nah, I wrote a book girl!)

REVIEW - People change and so do their aims. Make sure you regularly check in to see if you're on the right track and if you aren't, change course! You're in the driver's seat.




A Mum Track Mind

Online Bingo - A Relief from Everyday Stress


The game of bingo has been a popular pastime for generations. People still go to physical bingo halls to have a game with their friends and competitors, and the joy of shouting “BINGO!” never really fades away.

But modern life brings with it a lot of responsibilities and a perpetual lack of ‘free time’. This means that if bingo is one of your favourite games, you might as well be missing it right now because you can rarely find the time to go to the bingo halls and play.

Online Bingo provides a great alternative. You can sit in the comfort of your home, wearing whatever you like (no need to dress up for this bingo night, ladies!) and try your luck at a variety of bingo games.

One of the advantages of playing online bingo is the bonuses and promotions that are very rare at old school bingo halls. You can play online bingo and win cash without even depositing any money at all. There are several websites that offer welcome bonuses to new users for up to 400% of their deposit amount! Visit this gamevillage.com website to find out about the great offers and promotions.

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Collaboration with Game Village 
photo credit: Jaione Dagdrømmer Igandeak. via photopin (license)

Welcome in 2017 just a little bit


I write this from my death bed, okay from my sick bed, I'm just really, really rubbish at being sick. I spend the whole experience whinging about all the extraordinary things I could be doing if I were in good health and this time has been no exception. Rather than feeling grateful that a flu every couple of years is my greatest health concern and that I have two doting grandparents to keep the toddler away from my germs, I've been stressing about all the amazing things I coulda done to start this year with a bang. The problem is it was this kind of overreaching that got me here in the first place. I thought, yeah I can move house by myself and totally win at single parenting and work all the hours God sends and I'll be fine and I kept on being fine until I woke up on New Years Eve, Eve and my body said, 'who you kidding lady?' And I could not move. So since then I've pretty much been sleeping - I slept through the fireworks, I slept through whatever cliff hanger there was on Albert Square and I slept through most of the New Year, New Me declarations on the internet and it was okay. I still feel bad that I haven't got everything I wanted to do done and that if I have started as I will go on, I'm gonna spend 2017 dosed up on Night Nurse having weird dreams about feeding Aaron Taylor Johnson salami but I feel that what I have learned from this is that I need to do just a little more this year. 

Love a little more: An extra cuddle never goes amiss, whether it's to a child or an animal or a friend. A kind word to a stranger or an uplifting message to a colleague, life feels better with a little more love. 

Work a little more: I need to remember those big, hairy audacious goals can be broken down into little, far less intimidating ones. 

Rest a little more: I sleep like a professional but I also need to make sure I am resting my mind and soul throughout the day. How many devices do I need whirring around in the background and how hard is it to ask for help every now and then for goodness sake! 

Play a little more: I'll make a little time to explore and grow, learn about myself and the world around me but have fun doing it. 

It might not sound like much but that's reassuring, I don't want to overwhelm my body or my mind. I'm sure I'll find that a whole lot of littles will add up to a lot.