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Every Clouds have a silver lining

We have been in lockdown now for just over 6 weeks. In that time it has been a rollercoaster of emotions. Hasn’t it? Over the time I have been trying to keep on top of my wellbeing by creating a routine, making plans, getting some me time once in a while and by writing a gratitude journal.

Writing a Gratitude journal really helps my mind. Just thinking about all the things I am grateful for in my day is a real boost. I have seen such a big shift in my mental health from doing this simple thing each day.

I knew when Emma (Emma and 3) Tagged me in the silver linings post I had to join in.

Unlike Emma I have in the past often overlooked the positive side of life especially when testing times hit home. However Over the past couple of years Since having our second set of twins I have really appreciated more in the every day.

Silver Linings

  1. Online Events – I love attending events, learning new things, gaining knowledge of a subjects that I am passionate about. I usually have to rely on my Mum to have the kids when i head out to these events. As we are all staying home the amount of online events have really increased loads and its great to be able to attend these while Im doing the ironing or while sat in the hot tub.
  2. Games – We have found a love of playing games before bed. I bought Uno from amazon last week and its given us some really good moments to bond as a family. Putting down our screens and focusing on each other.
  3. Daddy’s Home – We have never had so much time together. Chris (Spencer’s ARC Daddy) has been working form home since February. It has been great having him home to help during bedtime hour and at meal times. Its great for the kids to have some time to connect with him again.
  4. Learning – We dipped our toes into home education a while ago but we ended up heading back to school as it just felt too stressful. Right now though although sometimes still stressful its been good to sit with the big kids and learn their school work with them. Ive never been that great at maths. I mean I get by but Ive really learnt different ways to work things out.
  5. Simple Slow Living – I’ve have been wanting a slower, more simple pace of life for ages now. I believe living more simply really helps with a positive wellbeing. With nowhere to rush to and no deadlines there is no other way to live at the moment.

Can you find some sliver linings to how lockdown life looks for you?

I am tagging anyone who wants to join in.

Either leave your silver linings in the comments or link in your own blog post.

Lets get sharing the things we are grateful for.

Nina x

May Goals & Plans (Lockdown Edition)

Hi all,

How are we all doing? I mean it’s May and we have been in lockdown for over a month now. We are not even sure how much longer this is going to go on for either. Days go by and they feel like groundhog day but then some days go by and we have the most fun. Memories are made. Memories that will hopefully last our children’s lifetime.

This month I want to get back into some kind of normality. Maybe even a new normality, as getting back to what our old normal was seems so far away, if we ever even get there at all.

With that in mind I want to create some goals and plans for the month ahead.

Making plans are what keep me going. Its kind of my therapy . As holiday planning is on hold for the moment planning our weeks and days is what is getting me by.

May Plans & Goals

Homeschooling

It’s no secret that I am struggling a little with homeschooling the big twins while trying to entertain the little two. However with the support of the school teachers we are managing a little, enough to keep their brains active. enough to keep them occupied.

  • Homeschool days Monday – Friday 9am – 11.30
  • Continue maths, literacy and one other subject on school days All work sent from school.
  • Reading in an afternoon.
  • Mathletics – Maths extra work on computer while dinner is cooking.
  • During May Half term Activities to keep brain active but less structured than school work.

Health, Fitness & Movement

I have recently using the exercise time we have been allowed to head out for a walk around our local area. Its been great for my head and getting me moving again.

  • At least 4, 20 min walks a week.
  • Eating less junk. I have been doing pretty well with this until the easter eggs came out last month but while ‘nipping to the shop’ at any given opportunity isn’t an option and the easter eggs have all gone i think I can get back on to eating less junk again.
  • I would like to try and pick up a fitness class once a week. maybe zumba or something to to add to my fitness levels. i have seen a few happening on facebook live and using zoom.

Home

Years and years ago after following countless blogs I made up my own household binder to help me keep on top of things that needed doing in the house and in our life.

Fast forward a few years and add 4 kids to the mix and our house often looks like we’ve been burgled. SO I plan this month to remake a house hold binder make sure I have a weekly and daily routine to tidy and clean each room. once this routine is in place I am going to work on decluttering some more areas of our home.

Im putting it out there that I am feeling positive this is totally doable even with the kids at home! Because positive vibes right!!

Work

In january I attended a vision board workshop with the lovely girls from Escape & Create. It was such a great process. A great way to focus on goals for the year. It really did make me feel more positive for opportunities to come my way. Which for a while they did. but then you know covid happened. This month I want to get back to making my goals a reality and set up some new ones to fit with our current reality.

3 themes I would like to focus on this month are

  • Developing on ‘My Why’
  • Helping small businesses get back up and running
  • Creating a new vision board for my career and business

I will expand on these in future blog posts so if you are interested make sure you follow the blog.

Other Adventures

VE Day – May the 8th is the country’s bank holiday for the 75th anniversary of VE day. Obviously we cant have big communal events like was planned at the beginning of the year however we are being encouraged to participate in our own events at home. So we are planning one having a party in our drive to celebrate.

Holiday At Home – Last month we had a road trip at home as we should have been on our road trip in europe during the easter holidays this month is May half term so I am going to try and plan something similar to give the kids some adventure during the the week.

Hopefully lockdown may ease a little during the end of the month and we can head out a little more. I’m not talking anything extravagant but driving to the woods or the local river for a walk and to feed the ducks would be a great adventure for us all after being safe at home for all this time.

One other thing I want to work on this month is fundraising for the Sheffield hospitals trust and The Jessop wing. I have a plan in mind as the annual super hero walk has been cancelled. head to instagram and click follow if you don’t already where I will announce my plans once finalised.

I hope this gives you a little bit of inspiration to plan your month ahead. even though we are all staying safe at home still we can still make the best of the situation we can still find time to work on out#r business a little even if that means working at midnight. If we have the passion to make our business work we will find a way to make it work.

Nina x

“I’ll be there for you Cause you’re there for me too”

I’ve never been very good making friends, however I have picked up a few along the way.

IMG_6433

I have friends now and they are the most valuable group of friends I’ve ever had.
There are friends that I met in school and although we don’t talk or see each other every day I know they are there and they know I am here if we need each other.
There are friends I made after school the ones I made through work the ones that helped me in tough times and have seen me at my worst but yet still let me be a part of their lives.
There are friends I’ve really only just met but yet have been through so much together, I hope we will be friends for a very long time to come.
There are friends that I’ve not yet met or maybe I’ve already met but we just don’t know we are friends yet (this has happened in the past)
And there is one friend who I’ve known most of my life and who I’m now married to.IMG_6772
Friendships aren’t always easy. There are tough times. There are times when you are close to hating each other.
But friendships are so important.
Here are my top 5 of friendship
1. Tough times – I’ve been through some unpleasant times (Anxiety, depression, grief, jealousy.) My friends have listened, hugged, cried with me, and brought me tissues and flowers to cheer me up.
2. Good times – You remember that time when….. Those times when I’ve laughed so hard I’ve cried.
3. Confidence – Some of the friends I have and have had made me feel like I could do anything. They have given me the confidence to try new things, to go to new places and to be the person I want to be.
4. Advice – As parents sometimes we struggle with day-to-day I often turn to my friends for help when I’m struggling with something.
5. Be there. – Friendship also means I am there for my friends when they need me. I don’t judge don’t mock and can also be there with the tissues and hugs and flowers if need be!  I can also make copious amounts of tea.

I have lost friends along the way too. Sometimes it’s for the best. Sometimes we have friends that can be harmful to our self-esteem.

I know there are going to be more tough times in our lives, that’s life but I have friends now who I can turn to in those times and who can make the good times great so the bad times don’t seem so bad.

Thank you to all of my friends for joining me in my life and letting me into theirs.

Nina x

A New Daily Rhythm / Routine

Back to doing school work means trying to get back into some kind of routine. Schooling at home is no different. In fact i think getting into the right routine or rhythm is probably even more important for us at the moment.

To get into the our new routine I need to first work on what I want out of my mornings before the kids get up! So I am heading back to look over the miracle morning again.

What Is In My Ideal Morning

Every time I write down what is in my ideal morning its always yoga and a cuppa in the quiet that makes the list. I also like to get outside for some sunshine and fresh air first thing.

Writing morning pages can be so good for my wellbeing too. Writing a little bit of a gratitude diary, some plans for the day, and a little bit of a journal to get thoughts and feelings out from the day before or any dreams that I may have had in the night.

I find its usually helpful to create a bit of a mindmap for what I want my Mornings to look like.

This is for before the rest of the house wakes up and obviously I’m not going to be doing all of these each day but writing them down to get an idea of what I like helps.

But What About The Kids?

Once The kids wake up and my morning time is over Its time to focus on getting ready for the school day. Im looking at getting started on our school work days by 9am So that if we want to do PE with Joe Wicks we can join in live without rushing.

So working backwards from there I think the kids need to start getting up about 7am. Remember this is not a hard fast schedule If I think they need that bit extra rest I will let them and if one day we just don’t want to do schooling then we can have a movie day or play in the garden for a while. I just think our days are a lot smoother when we have a plan in place.

I find creating a bit of a mind map for what we need and want to get done before the school day really helps to remind us of what needs to be done.

So thats how I’m hoping our mornings are going to look for the next few weeks or so.

The Rest Of The Day

To get the most out of our day Im going to start blocking our time out too. Once our Morning routines are over next comes schoolwork time.

Our day will hopefully look like this

  • Mums morning time – 1 – 2 hrs
  • Family Morning Time 1-2 hrs
  • 9am School Starts – Exercise
  • Academic time
  • 12pm – Lunch
  • No later than 1pm – Naps/ quiet time – Time for me to work or have some self care
  • No later than 3.30pm – Naps/ quiet time over
  • Reading time / online learning
  • Dinner – 5pm
  • Outdoor time
  • Bedtime Routine For Kids – 1 hour
  • Grown ups down time! – 1 -2 hrs
  • Bed no later than 10pm

So thats my plan hopefully this will help us get through the next few weeks up until what should be May half term.

How does your Week days look? Have you set up a schedule for Schooling?

Nina x

Back To School (At Home)

Well the “Easter Holidays” went by in a blur and this week is back to school Well ‘homeschool’. It’s not quite like the home school we had in our minds when I took the kids out of school a few years ago though. This is homeschool Lockdown style.

Home School but not as we know it!

My four have been off school since march 18th. At first it felt hard work. We had been thrown into a life that we didn’t necessarily chose a life where we are now teacher as well as mum. Then as work started coming in from school it felt a little easier. We decided to just to pick and choose what learn as fitting in all of the home learning in while still trying to entertain the little two seems an impossible task.

Then we’ve just had an easter so we scrapped school work and decided to have an adventure instead. But now it’s time to get back into the school routine and really get a grip on some learning as well as having fun.

So what does that look like for us?

Without going into too much of our morning routine as I am going to hopefully create some more content around that here is my plan for the next few weeks at least.

First off I’m going to be making an effort to get up and ready for “School” by 9am otherwise when we do eventually head back to doing the school run its going to absolutely kill us getting out of the door for 8.30 every morning.

Our learning Day

There are 5 areas that I think are important to keep on top of each day.

Wellbeing

Wellbeing especially at this time is so important. We probably like to think that our children are resilient and can handle life in lockdown really well but if your kids are anything like mine while they seem their usual self most of the time there are moments that make me stop and see they are struggling with some emotions they havent had to deal with up until now .

There are some great resources out there for promoting wellbeing in both children and adults

Happy Self journal

Big life journal

Twinkl

Movement

Now we are no longer walking to school or anywhere really its important to fit in some form of exercise each day.

So far we have tried Joe Wicks live pe lesson on Youtube & Cosmic Kids Yoga Im also going to have a look at doing some kind of kids zumba too.

We are currently allowed to head out for some exercise each day which up to now we haven’t done because our garden is a good size to exercise in however I think I am going to try a walk around the block a couple of times a week just for some added stimulation to the week.

Reading

Its important to read each and every day. Reading with our kids not only helps them to read themselves and gives their brain a bit of exercise but its a great way to increase creativity and imagination.

Literacy

There are loads of things our children can do for Literacy Or writing practice. From making a family newspaper to writing letters to their friends. Twinkl has a great range of worksheets and activities to help with keeping up with literacy work.

Maths

I hate maths, I am terrible at it. I used to work in retail and could count you back your change but ask me to do the kids fractions homework or divide big numbers and I panic. I want the kids to have a good grasp at maths as I think its so important in life. So they are doing their school online maths work. They use Mathletics but we also have some maths books from when we homeschooled. Its a couple of years below them but it boosts their confidence enough for them to then want to do a little more.

So that is my Lockdown/ Home school plan for the next few weeks. I wont be sticking to a strict schedule. Though I will have a little rhythm for our days. we may also have the odd day off if the kids are just not feeling it. This is a crazy time for all of us and some times we all have off days ad need a break from things.

How are you doing Schooling while the kids are home? Id love it if you left any similar blog posts that you have done about schooling during the lockdown

Nina x