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The Big Chill

There’s nothing more I like than to chill out, so I got in my comfies, grabbed a pen and notepad and here we are.

After the hustle and bustle of daily life relaxing is one of the best things to do, whether it’s sunbathing on a beach with a margarita in hand, or simply submerged in a steamy bubble bath with candles flickering.

Here’s my top five tips for chilling out:

1. Enjoy some quiet time

One of my favourite things to do once the kids have gone to bed is to just sit and listen to silence, absolute silence. Not a whinge or request for a biscuit to be heard. Ah bliss!

2. Have some electronic free time

We currently live in an age where phones are almost permanently attached to the owners being, whether it’s to scroll through aimless images of what your friend Barry has had for tea or to delete the 100th email about an amazing airport car parking deal. If you really can’t tear yourself away from your phone the iPhone has currently got a facility to turn on night mode which stops the screen from emitting the blue light which has been known to disrupt the sleep cycle. Although sometimes it’s just nice to put the phone/tablet/laptop/PlayStation down and enjoy your reality.

3. Write it down

If you’ve got a million and one thing’s floating round your head relaxing can be a very hard thing to do. Ever heard Psychologist types say ‘put it into a box‘? That’s exactly what you should do, although the ‘box‘ is a piece of paper. Writing down thoughts and ideas can almost immediately take the weight off. Once it’s down on a page, you can face it head on when the time is right and do what you need to do (once you’ve relaxed first of course).

4. Settle down with a good read

There’s nothing better than forgetting all your worries and submerging yourself into a completely new world. Books are amazing, you can be transported to a different world in an instant. One day you could be an undercover agent trying to discover the secrets of a corrupt government; a gifted 15 year old boy trying to discover the mystery of his neighbours dogs death; or a young star crossed lover whose family are at war, the possibilities are endless.

5. Invest in a good bed and bedding

As a Yorkshire lass I like nothing better than a bargain, however one thing I don’t have a problem spending a bit extra on is my bed. It’s estimated that the average person will spend approximately 25 years sleeping in their lifetime. That’s a fair bit of time to be spending in an uncomfortable bed. I love my sleep and I’d be surprised if most people didn’t say the same. My husband still has no idea what I’m saying when I bleet on about a high thread-count, but he sleeps like a baby as a result. However, the thing that ultimately matters is the mattress. I’ve spent many an uncomfortable night on a horrible spring mattress, and your body certainly doesn’t thank you for it the next day, or in the long run for that matter. Now I’m by no means a mattress expert so I shall leave that to Leesa and The Sweet Home to do in Kevin Purdy’s review. But having looked at Leesas page I can see why Which? Have said “This Best Buy is suitable for everyone and is one of the best mattresses we’ve tested in recent years.” It looks great, can be delivered free, and is fantastic value. Now there’s no excuse for a bad nights sleep again.

Right, I’m off to sit in silence, with no electronics, a clear head, and cosied up in my bed. Bon nuit

Gem x

Babies, Baby, Children, Home, House, Housekeeping, Housewife, Living with Kids, Mummy, Mummy Blogger, Tidying, Toddler, Toddlers

A Guide to Cleaning the Bathroom with a Toddler and a Baby

We’ve all been there, the bathroom’s been ignored for too long, and you can no longer stand the sight of the scum that’s forming around the taps, and the bath toys which now seem to be dominating the bath.

I’ve partly ignored mine because the thought of scrubbing round all those awkward nooks and crannies fills me with dread, but more so because I never seem to get the chance having very two active boys following, and watching my every move. However, today like a fearless knight ready to do battle, I’ve donned my marigolds and grabbed the bleach. With two boys in tow, here is my ‘How to’ on cleaning the bathroom with a toddler, and a baby.

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Step One

Parent: Equip yourself with the relevant cleaning paraphernalia, e.g. Bleach, glass cleaner, cloths etc.

Children: Point to the said paraphernalia and continuously ask, ‘What’s that mummy?‘, ‘What’s that one mummy?‘, ‘What about that one mummy?‘.

Step Two

Parent: Place the cleaning products high on a shelf so your little angels can’t reach them. We don’t want any trips to A&E or worse.

Children: Try your very hardest to reach the interesting looking bottles mummy has just put on the shelf, risking life and limb in the process.

Step Three

Parent: Place the baby in the door bouncer so you can see him, and clean in the comfort knowing your toddler isn’t a) sitting on him, b) trying to ride him, or c) smothering him with a teddy. Meanwhile set up the toddlers Thomas the Tank Engine train set (in a very simple oval form, I don’t have all the time in the world you know) in his bedroom. Put a kids playlist from Spotify on, and that should entertain them for the duration of cleaning. Return to the bathroom and the let cleaning commence.

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Children: Baby – Bounce to your hearts content or for about ten minutes until you fall asleep (how can you possibly bounce yourself to sleep?) Get taken by mummy to cot for a snooze.

Toddler – Play with the Thomas track for approximately 4 minutes before asking your mummy for a biscuit. Eat the biscuit, play for another 4 minutes with the occasional Godzilla kick to Thomas and Harold’s carriages. Go into the bathroom and ask ‘What you doing Mummy?‘, ‘Why?‘, ‘Are you a cleaner?‘. Return to playing for another few minutes then threaten to open sleeping brothers bedroom door and wake him up. Get told off by Mummy. Throw a quick tantrum, pick nose, then return to playing trains.

Step Four

Parent: Clean for approximately 10 minutes before having to remove marigolds to recover sleeping baby from his bouncer, and take him to his cot for a nap. Return to clean bathroom for about 4 minutes before having to venture back downstairs to the kitchen for a biscuit for your bottomless pit of a toddler. Return to cleaning, occasionally having to stop to check what the crashing noises from the toddlers room are. Tell toddler to stop acting like Godzilla, and to look after his toys. Return to cleaning for about two minutes, then answer various questions from toddler, ‘I’m cleaning‘, ‘Because after a while things start to get mucky and need cleaning‘, ‘No I’m not a cleaner, but sometimes I feel like I might as well be‘. Return to cleaning only to have to stop and shout ‘No‘ before the toddler wakes his brother up. Deal with a tantrum, then explain why you told the toddler off. Return to cleaning.

Children: Baby – Wake up from short nap and make random shouty noises so mummy will hear me.

Step Five

Parent: Stop cleaning again on account of waking and shouty baby. Cuddle baby then check time realising it’s lunchtime. Hang up cleaning gloves in order to be a chef, and cook lunch for hungry little people. Give little people food, quickly eat some food yourself, clean little faces and hands, then sweep up crumbs and 10% of lunch from floor. Put a bit of CBeebies on for the kids, watch Mr Tumble prat about in various guises whilst you sit and try to enjoy a cup of coffee.

Children: Toddler – Whine ‘I’m hungry‘ at mummy whilst she tries to make lunch. Ask ‘Where’s my lunch?‘ a couple more times just in case she didn’t hear the first five times. Take a few random toys to mummy and ask her to hold them. Get incredibly excited when food is finally ready, then dissect it like a biology student.

Baby – Throw a few random bits of food on the floor then mash a bit of cheese in hair. Screw face up at having face wiped then stare at mummy on her hands and knees whilst cleaning up previous handiwork.

Toddler – Watch Mr Tumble in awe whilst your little brother touches everything on the hearth.

Step Six

Parent: Move baby away from the hearth for what feels like the twentieth time. Finish drinking coffee, decide it’s time for round two of cleaning after over exposure to irritating Cbeebies songs ‘Show me, show me, blah blah blah‘. Set up kids for round two of cleaning. Toddler playing nicely with trains once again, and baby happily playing with annoying ‘I’m a friendly lighter bear‘ toy. Marigolds on cloth in hand time to tackle the rest.

Children: Toddler – ‘Yey! Show Me, Show Me is on. Aww Mummy’s turned it off. Nooo. Oh well more trains. Sounds good to me‘.

Baby – ‘What is this annoying bear thing? You’re a friendly what?

Toddler – Take a huge dump in nappy then proceed to run around mashing it up without announcing it to mummy.

Step Seven

Parent: Whilst cleaning, get a whiff of what can only be described as dog food mixed with turnips and old cabbage. Sniff baby’s bottom like a trained police dog, no sign. Ask toddler if he’s done the deed to be welcomed with denial. Chase after toddler and change said nappy trying hard not to gag. Happily return to the bleach smell in the bathroom and complete cleaning with no further interruptions.

Children: Take various toys into the bathroom and mess room up as soon as it’s been cleaned.

IMG_0737So there you have it, a simple step guide to cleaning your bathroom with a toddler and baby in tow. A stark contrast to the hour it used to take me pre-children. It’s ironic that pre-children, the bathroom was probably in less need of cleaning, but got cleaned twice, if not three times more than a post children bathroom. It just goes to show the lack of opportunity and increased amount of effort that’s required, can really hamper my desire for a sparkly clean bathroom.

It may have taken me half the day, but by George it looks clean now, unfortunately the same can’t be said about the rest of the house.

It’s a constant cycle. Sigh!

Gem x