It’s the start of October half-term for most people, but we’re one week into our two week half-term holiday.
It doesn’t feel like Isabelle has been back at school and Ryan at college for less than five minutes, but this has been a welcome break away from work for me.
This was Isabelle pretending that her scooter was a skateboard having just gone past the skatepark. Incidentally we passed a couple of mums with their kids, one riding one of her kids bikes whilst the other decided to have a go on her son’s skateboard.
Well, legs went a-flying and she very unladylike landed in a crumpled heap on the floor. But all was well as our wet dog ran over to investigate and gave her a very unwelcome wet sloppy kiss. Ha-ha the things we do to prove that we’re not passed it!
Having committed myself to a year of working full-time as well as running my own business and blogging commitments, the last time I had any block time off work was at the end of July which feels like an extremely long time ago.
As it’s not been officially half-term so far there hasn’t been a lot going on in terms of activities for Isabelle to do.
Ryan started working at Sainsbury’s with his first day being the start of their huge toy sale, so he got a real feel of the reality of working his butt off.
So what have we been up to?
Leisurely breakfasts and tea n toast in bed have been a regular occurrence, and it’s been a real treat not having to get up and dressed whilst keeping one eye on the clock before leaving at 7am each morning.
The ironing pile has increased – ha ha!
We’ve met up with friends and eat cake, we’ve walked the dog and been shopping.
We’ve done arts and crafts and cooking together.
We had a day trip to Plymouth where we met up with a lovely lady from Theatre Royal – fingers crossed we might re-visit this visit in more depth.
We visited Dart’s Farm for cake and coffee (as well as sampling anything on offer which Isabelle loves to do) and sampled the most amazing curry (excluding Chris’ of course) from a lady called Bini from www.sweetcumin.co.uk based in Somerset.
I’ve been a Mum my entire adult life, and there is always something to do. My brain never switches off and the scarce times that I do get some kid-free time I end up doing the ironing, washing or working on my business which isn’t really relaxing.
Having said that, I love my website and now more recently my blog so these never feel a chore as such, but in recent months my ever overworking brain has started not to switch into sleep mode.
I find myself thinking about keywords, search terms, blog topics, which new brands to buy, ooh must remember to order printer cartridges at stupid o’clock in the morning.
This isn’t really doing me much good, as I suffer with neck pain which by some miracle reduced somewhat during my pregnancy with Isabelle, but it’s never completely gone. I still get the tired achiness at the end of the day and at the moment it is particularly bad.
Stress and probably overdoing things contribute hugely to this pain, and once the pain kicks in so do the headaches and overwhelming tiredness, which leaves me in a vicious circle of trying to combat.
I hate taking painkillers and will only do it if absolutely necessary. After being on all sorts of tablets all with nasty side effects, I opted to try alternatives such as acupuncture, seeing a chiropractor, wheat bags, pulse point aromatherapy things, a TENS machine and LOTS of Ibuprofen gel.
Once I’ve pulled myself out of this bout of pain, I need to look at keeping a balance on a day to day basis by trying to avoid stress, getting enough sleep and not taking on too much.
Ha, saying that as a Mum is a bit of a joke.
I used to have baths (pre-Isabelle) after a long day at work but a non-sleeping baby put paid to that and I never really got back into it. On the odd occasion that I do have a bath, I can’t seem to relax and am almost counting down the time that counts as long enough before I get out.
See! I can’t relax.
I need to retrain my brain.
I took part in #Mumshour a few weeks ago where the topic was self-care and somebody mentioned having an Epsom Salt Bath.
I thought Epsom Salts were what old people used and wasn’t really sure what they were really.
So I had a look and here’s are the benefits:
“Himalayan salt is also known for being an excellent regular body detoxifier, and assisting in waste elimination. It helps to stimulate our digestive and nervous system, as well as working to remove toxins from the body through osmosis via the salt bath. Westlab Himalayan salt also helps leave our skin feeling radiant and smooth, and improves skin tone”.
Himalayan salt contains over 80 minerals, including Magnesium, Potassium and Calcium, which are essential to human life. Who knew! Not me!
Soothes and repairs damaged skin
Anti allergens that protect the skin from rashes caused by allergies
Penetrates skin for a soothing effect on the nervous system
Benefits include cell renewal
Helps regulation of lipid barrier function
Is an anti oxidant to help protect from DNA damage
Helps muscles to keep their control over the body
Helps with the growth of new cells
Helps reduce stress / anxiety
Reduces risk of high blood pressure
So with all those benefits it was worth a shot.
The recommendation is 250g for a relaxing bath or up to 1kg for a detoxifying soak. The recommended time was 20 minutes.
The salts were pink but didn’t really smell of anything. I added about three handfuls which I think may equate to between a general soak and a detoxifying one.
Get in carefully as I nearly went flying as the bottom of the bath was uber slippery.
I was armed with a book (real paper as not to risk dropping my kindle) and a glass of wine. This may be contradictory with the detoxifying powers but who knows.
The salts made the water very silky feeling but after about 10 (probably 5) I was really itching to get out. However, I was committed to this so I persevered and actually probably was in there for longer than the recommended 20 minutes.
After the bath my skin was really soft. I was still really achy but I felt warm and sleepy. I did sleep all night which hasn’t been happening lately so I’m willing to persevere with this and will continue to have a salt bath maybe once every 7 – 10 days.
Do you have any everyday relaxation tips for us Busy Mums? Leave me a comment.
Its fair to say that I’ve made a few culinary boo boos over the years. Garlic fish was probably my biggest mistake early on when I met the man where I added the required number of garlic bulbs rather than cloves, and the most memorable was my first and only attempt at toad in the hole which looked more like sausages sunbathing on the sand. The Yorkshire pudding part didn’t rise and my eldest hasn’t ever let me forget it.
So I thought I’d give it another go as a midweek meal for all.
Wish me luck.
I’m going to follow the recipe to the letter so clearly this is going to be a success.
What you need:
150g plain flour
2 large eggs
Quarter of a teaspoon English Mustard powder
200ml semi-skimmed milk
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 tablespoon dried thyme
What to do:
Make up the batter by mixing the flour, mustard powder and a pinch of salt.
Make a hole in the flour and crack the eggs in the middle.
Whisk together and gradually add the milk until lump free.
Put in the fridge for up to an hour before for best results.
Warm the oven on gas mark 7.
Fry the sausages with 1 tablespoon of oil.
Add the remaining oil to a deep roasting tin or dish and put in the oven for 5 minutes.
Add in the herbs and sausages and pour in th batter.
Cook in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes until rot rises.
Serve with veg and gravy.
I was so pleased how it came out, and it wiped the smile off the teenagers face as he’d already decided that I would fail once again.
Isabelle on the other hand wasn’t keen and picked the Sausages out to dip in ketchup.
The rest of us ate it with veg and onion gravy and it was Yum.