Getting Moms Ready For Back to School

The kids are back to school for the new academic year. You have gotten them ready. School uniforms, shoes, bag, packed lunches, hair, etc. How about you? Have you gotten yourself ready? Someone once said if you fail to prepare, then you have prepared to fail. How do we prepare ourselves for the new challenge? It may not be new for you but after spending over six weeks of summer, kids starting new classes and new curriculum it sure feels like a new challenge. 

One key thing is for us to be healthy. Healthy minds, body and soul. Eat well, move a little more, rest and drink plenty of water. Take supplements to balance up any key vitamins your body is lacking will help you feel better. When you feel better, your mindset will be better and you can be a better mom, wife and colleague. I usually get tired, lack energy and motivation. Taking supplements like Pharmaton helped me a lot. 


Self care isn’t being selfish. I’ve said it several times, it’s important to look after number one so you can look after the number ones in your life. 

Another way to be prepared is to get organised. Organisation doesn’t have to be fancy or complex. A simple calendar with space in the boxes to write down appointments is ok. A more sophisticated planner with dates, telephone numbers, bills, receipts and vouchers is also ok. What’s important is being able to write down key things. When is homework due? when is after school club? when is the next jab or dentist appointment? When are you having your hair done? when is lunch with a friend? When does the fish tank needs washing? When is the parking fine due? When does the washing machine needs servicing? Car M.O.T due?Keep them short and sweet. Bullet points. Try to keep things on direct debit and annual things on yearly reminders on your phone. Most people use smart phones nowadays and they are great planners. Use both. 

Also remember to utilise resources at your disposal. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help. Ask from family, friends and the school for any support or resources that might be available to you. Find out from your local council what support or information is available in your area. Message people you follow on social media privately to ask for the full story behind the seemingly I -got-it-all- together picture. Be polite. Worst that can happen is they say no or ignore you but be proud of yourself that you put yourself out there. There response will speak more about their personality than yours (approache people you’ve built a good relationship with through liking and commenting on their posts, not people you ignore and now wants their help), it’s ok to ask for help from people outside our circle. 

Finally relax. The kids will be alright. Peace of mind and calmness can go a long way. Kids pick up on it. You will forget to return a signed slip, they will go to school without a jumper or water bottle some day and that’s ok. It won’t be the end of the day. There is always tomorrow. The hope of a better day. 

*Disclaimer: This post contains product I have been paid to advertise however all opinions are mine. I have used this product before I was pregnant (not suitable for pregnant women) and I’m now making an honest review. 

Advertisements

The Yacht London Review

The Yacht London is a permanently moored boat restaurant on the London river thames. It is literally across the road from Temple underground station.

We first came to The Yacht London some years ago during my husbands birthday party. We had a meal with few of our friends and I always knew we would comeback. 

With so many restaurants to choose from in London, I must say I stumbled across The Yacht London by chance. My husband’s then office was in Embarkment, which is just few minute walk from temple and I was looking for something edgy, fun and yet classy. I think we had also just gotten back from a cruise to Amsterdam that left quite an impression on us, we wanted to taste that dining on a ship once again. It seemed like the perfect place.


on arrival, we were welcomed by a friendly waiter who asked us to choose where we wanted to seat ( we arrived early and they were just opening up so there was plenty of tables to choose from), of course we chose the seat with the best view. Tables on the right side of the glassed windows have London views and must of the iconic landmark like the London eye, Big Ben and the shad.

 

The boat rocked while we were eating, which was amazing because you would think you were actually on a moving boat. Not too cool if you are prone to being sea sick.

The food was mostly delicious. The started came quite quickly (a plus for hungry pregnant mamas) with a free refillable glass of still water. 


The mains was made to perfection. We both had steak which came with salad and chunky chips. It was filling and my serloin was well complimented by peppercorn sauce. 

The other half didn’t want desserts, I wanted to try one so I ordered what I call strawberry, cream and biscotti (it probably had a very fancy name that I can’t remember). It was served in a large glass bow. Very well decorated I felt guilty sticking my spoon in it to eat it thereby destroying the masterpiece. He saw it and asked for an extra spoon and dug right in. 


After two glasses of lemonade (which again had a very fancy name), couple with the fact that my unborn baby probably has my bladder in his hand, I had to use the loo before going. 

I always love cute toilet selfies but what was even more amazing at this restaurant was the hallway to the toilet, which is located in the basement of the ship. 


It was the stained glass windows that first caught my eyes. Then the beautiful, simple but elegant chandelier. 

The restaurant was lovely. It’s not cheap to eat here but it’s affordable and I will definitely comeback again. Highly recommend. 

Ad: A Perfect Day in a London Manor House


We all know life in London can be pretty hectic. Over cramped tubes, congestion, people briskly walking past you with their heads buried in their phones. Life in London is no doubt on the fast lane. London is also an expensive city, the weather is often horrible and we Londoners moan a lot. Regardless of all these 21st century 1st world problems, there is no place like London and we won’t have it any other way. It has become a home to us. We love its diversity, there is always something to see and do, beautiful places to go and unwind. There are lots of secret beautiful hide outs even though they may not draw as much crowd as the famous London eye or the Big Ben, nor are they likely to be on any tourist itineraries of “London top attractions To See Before You Leave” but, you will be amazed by the charms of some these (not so) secret hide outs. 

One of such places we often retreat to is the beautiful scenic manor house in North London, Forty Hall. We go there often to unwind for the day. This is my favourite sport to sit back and relax from all the hustle and bustle of central London life. The Grade 1 Listed Jacobean Manor House, nestled in leafy Enfield and set amidst an idyllic landscape, Forty Hall Estate is home to one of the oldest Cedar of Lebanon trees in England.

While you can have a picnic on the grass or go into the small cafe on the inside for some tea and cake, the kids can feed the duck (no bread) or ride their bikes around. hunt for bugs in the walled garden. The beauty does not just stop outdoors, indoors are fine architecture and stunning period rooms that will sure take your breath away.

This is definitely one of our top favourite places to go and unwind, and thanks to Jord Watches for reminding us to take time out to enjoy the little pleasures of living in such a beautiful city. 


Daniel is always saying “mommy, Daddy it’s time to go” with (this) his father’s Ebony & Rosewood watch from the Dover series. The kids cannot have enough fun playing by lake.

If you fancy a chance to win $100 gift code to use on the Jord website towards your own piece simply click (here). Every one who enters the competition will also win a $25 gift code. Good luck!

* The giveaway will close July 23, 2017 at 11:59pm. Both the $100 and the $25 codes will expire on October 29, 2017<
Luxury Wooden Watch

Small coffee Bar Design


Living in London can be exciting and fun. The down side is that we often don’t have a lot of spaces. Except if you are very rich and can afford to live in bigger homes. But if like us you have a small kitchen, but still want to enjoy the little pleasures of life all you need is a little creativity and determination can help you get your dream coffee bar. 

As a mom of two active kids and a husband who spend all day working, coffee is one of our essentials. A little luxury we tends to embark on before tackling the day ahead of us. So it was a necessity for us to have a coffee bar. Then there was the tiny issue of space.  What we did was to choose where we wanted it to be. 

Location is important in designing your coffee bar because it’s not just a place to make the coffee, but also a place to enjoy it coffee. A happy place. Your coffee bar could be one of the first places you go to when you wake up. For the above design, it was the small counter corner close to the kitchen window. We love the view there as it over looks the garden. Garden where squirrels come to play just as the dawn is breaking. 

We got a clear glass shelf from ikea and screwed it above the tiles. That would hold the coffee and creamer jars. Then we got a same size silver rack bar with hooks on it from amazon. This will hold the coffee mugs. And we chose small coffee mugs. White. 

Choosing your coffee machine is entirely up to you. Your budget, space and style. For us, we wanted a small practical machine that will do the job. Nothing fancy. It holds up to 4 cups of coffee, which is perfect for two grown ups and whenever we have guests. 

Lastly was the decor, this is also about personal choice. Some people love letters, pictures or quotes. Your quote can be funny, relaxing or inspirational. Because we move home quite a lot, we love quotes that reminds us that “home is where the heart is” not brick and mortar. We also find plants to be quite relaxing, so we put a small pot of plant next to the window frame. The idea is to bring in the zen feeling from the garden outside into the kitchen. 

You don’t need a lot of space to have a coffee bar. So if you have been thinking of having one but worried about no space, now you can. You can have one almost anywhere in your home or office, kitchen or dining area. You could even have one on a small table and put it in the lounge or bedroom. 

Prawn Pepper Soup


Winter is here no doubt. One winter warmer food is the delicious prawn pepper soup. Its easy to make and can be enjoyed as a starter on its own, or with something else as a main meal.

You will need:

  1. clean prawns
  2. parsley
  3. thyme
  4. garlic
  5. ginger
  6. stock cube
  7. olive oil
  8. onions
  9. Pepper (mild or hot)
  10. cooking pot and utensils

Method

  •  heat the cooking pan and add two table spoon olive oil
  • add your grounded spices and stir
  • allow to cook for 1 min
  • add your prawns, stock cube and a cup of water 
  • allow to cook for 5 mins and leave to cool before serving.

 

New Year Resolution


Happy new year! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. Christmas and New year has come and gone and its time to plan for the year ahead. Do you want to be healthier, fitter or have more financial freedom? Or maybe you want to have a better relationship with your spous and family? now is the time to work on achieving your dreams for the year.

According to Forbes magazine (Jan 3 – online) if you do not bother with making new year resolutions, but you are are a person who chooses to leave their life meaningfully and purposefully regardless, good on you. If you do like making resolutions however, here are five simple common resolutions to keep in order to have the best year ever.

  1. Healthy Eating – do not compare yourself with others. Do your own thing at your own pace. make simple life changes like try having a bowl of salad, veg or fruits with your main meals. Drink a glass of water before, during and after meals. Ithelps keep you full for longer. Cook and prepare your own meal. One very important thing we do at home is to not stock the cupboards and fridge with junk foods. if it’s not there you wont eat it. Rather stock the house with fruits and vegitable. Healthy snakc like popcorn in small quantity can be allowed. We also do not do three course meals. We only eat main food with salads. Once in a while we may have ice-cream for treats. So we keep little tub of ice-cream to share amongs all of us.

  1. Exercise – If you want to lose weight this year, take it easy. Start at your own pace and gradually work your way up. You do not have to register in a gym but if you do and have a personal trainer, make the most of it. If like the rest of us you do not have a personal trainer, the most important thing is to understand your body. which part of your body put up weight the must. is it your stomach, thighs, arm or bum. concentrate on those areas. I put up weight in my mid section (the most deadliers part because those are the organ areas) so my excercise usually target those areas. A little jog around the block can go a long way, sit ups,planking, squatting and leg lifts can help you see significant changes in your body without leaving the comfort of your home.

  1. Finance – We may all want to become millionaires but the reality of that happening takes a lot of hard work, dedication and a sprinkle of good luck. We can however plan our budget properly so we are able to afford things and help our money stretch further. Budgeting is very important as it helps you see what is coming in and what is going out.so you can plan accordingly. No nasty surprises. Try making your own food as supposed to eating out all the time, buy things on sale. Some of us don’t have the space or green finger to grow our own food, but buying seasonal fruits and veg can help us save more as they are often more affordable. Buy and cook in bulk. We live in a small flat so space may not really allow us to buy and cook a lot of food but with good use of storage spaces, you can still maximize your space and cook for at least three days. Find trips, day out and activities you can do with your family for free. Go see movies on Sundays when its less expensive for instance. Do not forget your vouchers and coupons. Find out what little things you can do to increase your cash flow, maybe make a little investment, an extra shift, a new business idea. You can do anything you set your mind to do. What talents and gifts do you have? Can you make hair? try doing it for someone for an extra few pounds.
  2. Relationship – If you want to get married this year or have a better relationship with your spouse this year, the key is to work on yourself more. Self development. When you are whole that is you are alright in yourself, without needing validation from someone else or needing the approval or the company of others in order to be happy, your relation will become much better. Go on date nights ( or day dates) but also go out with your own friends. Do things by yourself. Read a book. Take a day trip to the museum. Have your own personality, your own individuality. Also allow your spouse to spend time with their own friends without constantly calling or texting them to see what they are doing. Be more understanding of one another. communicate better. Talk to each other, face to face where possible. Be spontenous.
  3. And lastly, regardless of your new year resolutions, take it easy on yourself. Do not set yourself up to fail by take on too much too quickly. Have a plan. Get a planner. Be meticulous about it but yet leave room for flexibility. Ask yourself why you want to do it. How bad do you really want it? How important is it to you? Do you want to give up smoking because its bad for your health or because it’s the new year and you are making a resolution. Do you want to lose weight to look good, feel happier and healthier or just because it is expected of you? are you doing it for yourself or for others to see how far you have come? Last year I wanted to lose weight because i was unhappy with my size. I wanted to look the way I was many years ago before having kids. Yes the weight came off but then it quickly came back on. I realized I may never be like I was many years ago. I’m not the same person. I have had babies and now live a less active life (modern day comfort). I’m not the same young lady jumping on buses to get to campus. Now, its my lifestyle to be healthy as a family. To eat healthy five times in the week, move more doing house chores and finding happiness in the little things of life. By making it part of our life, they weight stay off. Even if you add a little, you get it off quicker than being on a diet. Make it a family affair to be healther.

So as you embark on this new journey in 2017, do not put pressure on yourself, eat well, move more, sleep well and relax your mind. You are in it for  long haul. It is not a race, it is a journey. Enjoy every minute of it!

Dealing with picky eaters


Do you ever ask yourself, “why can’t my kids like food just as much as I do?” Well you maybe amongst the lucky parents whose kids just eat everything their parents put on the table. Mines are not. It’s a struggle sometimes. Some of you may call them picky eaters. I call them ‘being kids’. Not everyone will like all types food. Especially not kids. Their taste buds are developing and experimenting. Searching for the perfect food.

It’s always easier said than done, despite knowing that they might be going through a phase in their young life, we can’t stop being worried as parents. We want them to eat their meals and drink their drinks, after all a full belly is a happy kid. There are few things we can do to help our kids eat better.

  • Stay calm even when it’s hard to.
  • Get them involved as much as possible.
  • Enlist their help in planning the weekly family menu; shopping for it, preparing it and cooking it. If possible, the shopping, food preparation and cooking shouldn’t be done on same day if possible so you are all not overwhelmed.

“Picky eaters” are not necessarily fussy, they eat alright, they are just very selective in what they eat. I mean VERY selective. Letting them eat WHAT, WHEN and HOW they want, give both the kids and parents peace of mind.


The What

What do they eat? Are you giving them vegetarian meals when they may not like to vegetarian, or vice versa. Are they choosing healthy options? We need to educate them about healthy foods right from early age. Remember the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctors away”, if like my kids who have phobia for going to see the doctors because they are scared of injections, that might be a good incentives to make them eat their fruits and vegetables. Stocking the house with healthy food channels their mind into the right food they need to eat. The food should be balanced. Fruit, vegetables, carbohydrates, proteins, Fat and oil and water. Make a list of food they like, if they are older, ask them to list their top five favourite food. Don’t be scared to repeat food. Kids like patterns and routines. They may not mind eating those five food over and over again. Be mindful when introducing new food. Gradually expose them to eat. Maybe when you eat out, or from a friend or family members house. We may feel bad if after labouring to make a new recipe and they didn’t like it.

The When

Yes it’s good practice to eat three healthy meals a day, breakfast (the most important meal of the day) lunch and dinner. But, how about when they don’t like breakfast for example. Or instead of having their breakfast 8 o’clock in the morning, they actually prefer it 10am? Because the kids have to leave for school, we can make alternative food for them. For example smoothie with coconut milk can give the kids all the nutrients the need from a pot of cereal. A banana (any of their favourite fruit) and a kid beverage drink like milk or hot chocolate can be a none-raditional breakfast. Some kids don’t like cereal or toast in the morning. They may like a piece of ham sandwich. Some may like their dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner. Tailor to the needs of the child.

The How

The how is how do they like it? Some children for instance like their carrots sliced, like finger foods. Others diced or chopped into little buttons. The NHS choices website (http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/fussy-eaters.aspx# ) advice parents to try finger food for toddlers as its easy for them to pick up and eat. There are various ways of cooking one food. If you think your kids may not like rice, find out other ways of cooking rice. How do they like it? chips over roast potatoes? jollof rice over fried rice? Mash over poundo? How is the food served? do they have it in a bowl or a flat plate? is it something they can just pick up, like a hot dog and eat or would they need some form of rituals to eat the food. Kids would be kids and that means they would want to finish up quickly so they can play. How is the food presented? ask the kid if they want the tomatoes stew on top of the rice, right in the middle, or do they want it by the side?

In summary, if you are dealing with picky eater, do not worry. If it is a huge concern, contact your health practitioner who could refer you to a family nutritionist.

According to Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London “Every kid is different,” he said. “There is a genetic tendency to be more or less fussy.” But, he adds, parents should take heart that such behaviour isn’t immutable. “You can modify it by changing the family’s habits, the way you present food to the child and the whole concept of the mealtime,” The Guardian October 2016

Images: Google