If you're a regular reader of my blog then you will know that I have suffered with postnatal depression (PND) for a long time. I still haven't talked about it in full on my blog but I delve in and out of it. One thing I learnt from my cognitive behavioural therapy (cbt) is mindfulness. 

I still don't practice mindfulness as much as I should but I am getting there. One thing I like to do is to read positive quotes. I also like to write them down on random pages of my notebooks or diaries which then always puts a smile on my face when I come across them.

I am a huge Disney fan. I was a Disney kid and i'm now a Disney adult. Disney is my happy place. There are so many inspirational quotes in all Disney films, books and from Mr Walt Disney himself. 

Today i'm sharing some quotes from Winnie the Pooh and A.A Milne that help me with my PND and mindfulness. To be honest they are fab quotes for life in general but these ones really put a smile on my face when I am down. They are perfect for reflecting on love, attitude, self worth, patience, judgement, you name it there's a quote for every thought and feeling. 


1) You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think


2) The things that make me different are the things that make me


3) Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart

4) Always watch where you are going. Otherwise you may step on a piece of forest that was left out by mistake 

5) Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them 

6) Love is taking a few steps backward maybe even more, to give way to the happiness of the person you love

7) If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you


9) Piglet - How do you spell love?
    Pooh - You don't spell it, you feel it.


10) Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there someday


11) Some people care too much, I think it's called love


12) You can't stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes

13) If there ever comes a day when we can't be together, keep me in your heart. I'll stay there forever 

14) A day without a friend is like a pot without a single drop of honey left inside


15) I think we dream so that we don't have to be apart for so long. If we're in each other's dreams, we can be together all the time.


There you have it. I hope that made you smile. Which one is your favourite?


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There are snowdrops and daffodils making an appearance and the days are getting longer which means spring is on its way. This has got me thinking about my spring/summer wardrobe and i've been browsing lots of sites for inspiration on how I can update it. As you can imagine I now have a huge wishlist (seeing as i've been browsing for the whole family) and it'll cost me a fortune to get everything on it. I've also been looking at ways I can save money through sites such as My Favourite Voucher Codes. I've always said i'm a self proclaimed shopaholic so any discount I can get makes me very happy. I'm also a big fan of free delivery. 

There are lots of stripes and florals around which are a key trend this year. When I think of florals and stripes I instantly think of Joules which is one of my favourite shops. It's the perfect place to get some timeless key pieces that will last a long time. I managed to find some fab discount codes here, https://www.myfavouritevouchercodes.co.uk/joules.com so I can now get something for all of us. 

I've picked something out for myself, hubby, Eva and Ophelia. I like us to be matchy so i've gone for a pink, blue and yellow palette which are perfect spring colours.

I've chosen a gorgeous top from their new in section which costs £29.95. It's nautical themed with blue stripes but it has lovely blue and yellow floral detailing. It'll look great with jeans and pumps or with a denim skirt. 


Image taken from Joules website 

For hubby i've picked out a pink stripe shirt for £59.95. He doesn't wear pink often but I think it really suits him. It looks lovely and light for the upcoming summer months and will look great with jeans or chinos.


Image taken from Joules website

I adore the children's clothes from Joules. They always wash incredibly well. They may cost more than other shops but when I know they last I don't mind buying them and especially when I can find a discount codes, https://www.myfavouritevouchercodes.co.uk/joules.com.

For Eva I have picked a classic nautical style summer dress for £24.95. This will be able to be passed down to her sister when she is bigger. It just screams summer and I can see her now walking down a promenade with an ice cream in her hand and this dress floating in the breeze. 


Image taken from Joules website

For Ophelia i've picked a pink striped t-shirt style dress which costs £14.95. It will be perfect for wearing on it's own or over a pair of jeans.


Image taken from Joules website

As you can see everything i've picked compliments each other and they are things that we'll be able to pull out next year. 

I always look for discount codes when shopping online as let's face it, when you're shopping for the whole family, any saving is a blessing in disguise. Do you look for discount codes to save money? What do you think of my picks?

*This is a collaborative post*

When people warn you about how parenting is tough they tend to tell you about the sleepless nights, the lack of a social life, how hard the birth will be and so on but I can't recall anyone ever telling me about the different behavioural stages. The health visitor comes and tells you about different milestones they should be hitting at various ages but why oh why don't they warn you about the hard behavioural stuff. Why in all the books and manuals do they not gear you up ready for the onslaught so that you don't feel like you're the world's worst parent and you are out of control?

So let's be straight. You will encounter The Terrible Twos, The Threenager Years and the Feisty Fours (this is where we are currently).




The Terrible Twos:
The first thing i'm going to tell you about this phase is that it actually doesn't start at two. It can hit anytime from about 18 months, possibly earlier.

The terrible twos are usually the epic tantrum phase. Everything you do or say is usually wrong and this is met with endless screaming, shouting and more often than not it is usually in public. 

This is also the I am going to make myself as rigid as possible phase. You know when you are trying to pick them up or remove them from said epic tantrum and they just turn themselves into a statue, a total dead body weight. They fling themselves back and will stay there for as long as it takes.



At this age they also understand that noise and their actions have an effect on others. This is why i'm sure they become as loud as possible. I can sort of sympathise with it because at this age they often can't communicate their needs and wants fully but my goodness do they have to be so difficult with it.

You will probably be very familiar by now with the word no except it's not coming from your mouth anymore, it's coming from theres. Everything you ask them is met with a a very firm, very shouty NO. 

The Threenager Years:
My oh my did we struggle with these years. These years are about the time your child must realise they are their own person and they start to assert and demand their independence.

You still have tantrums except this time they are more like a battle. They are a battle of the strong willed. Parent vs child. These tantrums aren't just crying they are a bit of answering back, a lot of no's and of course the standing still and not moving battle. I wrote about one of these battles last year, The Final Showdown.




Three is also when the attitude phase starts. You may note some hands on hips stances, a lot of pointing and a lot of bossiness. 



Let's talk about clothes. Wasn't it nice when you could pick a lovely matching outfit for your child and they would sit there and look adorable? Well kiss that phase goodbye cause at this age you are met with your own little fashionista and their desire to dress up is uncontrollable. 
They will take a very long time to get dressed. I mean choosing an outfit (most of the time non matching) takes its time and of course you have to try a million different things on to find the perfect outfit for the day.
If normal clothes aren't the desired pick for the day, then you'll probably find your child dressed in whatever fancy dress costume they can find and of course it is totally acceptable to wear them wherever you are going. Try and get them to take it off and you are back to point number 1 of having an epic tantrum/battle on your hands.

This is also the start of the negotiating years. You will miss the days when you could take them wherever you wanted, make them any food and they'd eat it, put them in the bath and put them to sleep. Remember when all you had to do was sing a lullaby and rock back and forth before bedtime, well those days are distant memories. You will now be negotiating with your threenager on how many more stories they will be read or you'll be met with 'just 10 minutes more'. They also become food critics. I missed the days when my daughter would just throw the food on the floor and let the dog have it. In the threenager years she would tell me how rubbish it tasted or negotiate something better with me. If you make me spaghetti then I will eat all of it! Hmph!!!! 




The Feisty Fours:
This is where we are currently at. I'm pretty sure my daughter has been replaced by some miniature version of a combination of Beyonce and Nicki Minaj. My goodness has she got some sass and attitude. She is a girl that knows what she wants and when she wants it. When she addresses me i'm pretty sure I can here 'Just a Girl' by No Doubt playing in the background. 

We are only one month into this age and I have broken down about it pretty much every week so far. I've drank a lot of wine and cried on a few occasions. That's right, my feisty four year old has bought me to tears because she can and she knows she can.

At this age they could be working for MI5. They are hardcore. Little mini assassins and manipulators. They know how to play you and believe me they will. If there's two of you parenting, they will play you off against each other.

The feisty fours are the not listening stage. They have got this down to a fine art. Don't get me wrong every age involves not listening but this age really is selective hearing at its best.

The tantrums/battles become wars. If you disagree with them this could go on for days. They don't forget things at this age. Things will be brought back up time and time again and used against you.



So there you have it. Can you relate? I'm sure it won't stop there and every age to come will have some difficulties. Bring on the next few years, it can't get much worse, can it?







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Next to feature on my Valentine's blogger interview series is the lovely Cat from: http://www.pushingthemoon.com/


1    

1. Are you married, engaged or in a relationship and for how long?
Yes! I’ve been married to Rob for Four years, and we have been together for 11 in total.

2. Where did you meet?
We met in Manchester, at a meet up for a band we both liked

3. Where was your first date?
In the most romantic place you could imagine – the pub in Stanstead Airport!

4. Describe your partner in 3 words

Loveliest man ever

5. What are the things you love about them the most?
He has such a kind heart. He makes me laugh like no other. He has stuck by me through some very tough times. He is an amazing father to our two kiddies. And I still think he’s bloody gorgeous.

6. What has been the most memorable day you’ve had with them?

That would have to be the day we became parents.

7. Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Yes! Every year. I’m a hopeless romantic at heart.

8. If Yes, what do you normally do?

We take it in turns on Valentines day to cook a fancy meal – it’s my turn this year!

9. What has been the best and worst Valentine’s gift or card you’ve ever received?

When I was 18 and out with my ‘then’ boyfriend and other friends at a club night on Valentines night. My ‘then’ boyfriend got very drunk and took great pride in telling everyone who asked that he hadn’t bought me a present and that ‘Catherine’s Valentines card is still in the shop!’ – he became my ex-boyfriend that night.

10. What’s your ideal date night?

A night away at a lovely hotel just down the road where we live. They do the loveliest food ever! We haven’t been for nearly a year – must book a break there soon!

11. What’s your favourite romantic film?

I’m a sucker for a rom com, and will cry at most things – but the ‘I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her….’ Line from Notting Hill. Gets. Me. Every. Time.

12. What’s your favourite love song?
Into My Arms by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds.

13. What’s your favourite love quote?

It’s not an obvious quote about love but, to me, it is completely and utterly about love. It’s from my favourite book – The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. And it’s about the love between two friends:

“Come, Mr. Frodo!' he cried. 'I can't carry it for you, but I can carry you.”

14. What is the most romantic place you’ve ever visited as a couple and where would you like to visit?

We spent a few days in Prague many years ago. Rob’s family are from the Czech Republic and it was lovely to spend time there exploring what is a wonderfully romantic city!




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I didn't share a meal plan last week because I was actually eating out a few times (very rare lately). If you didn't catch my last meal plan you can read it here, 30th January 2017.

The cookbook i've been getting some recipes from this week is Joe Wicks' Lean in 15. If you follow me on social media then you'll know i'm rather obsessed with him, haha. Seriously though, all good looks and nice body aside and there are some fab recipes in his first book.


This week hubby and I are having:

Monday - Homemade healthy pizza adapted from a Kayla Itsines recipe

Tuesday - A surprise (hubby is cooking dinner for Valentine's day)

Wednesday - Cheesy Chorizo, Chicken and Spinach (Joe Wicks Recipe)

Thursday - Joe's Chicken Pie (Joe Wicks Recipe)

Friday - Halloumi Burgers

Saturday - Mussels

Sunday - Roast Dinner

This week the kids are having:

Monday - Curry

Tuesday - Fish Pie

Wednesday - Pasta Bake

Thursday - Joe's Chicken Pie

Friday - Beef Burgers

Saturday - Mussels

Sunday - Roast Dinner

There's a few days that the kids are having the same meals as us but a lot of the time we can't eat together as a family as hubby now works quite far from home. He gets back much later than when the kids would have eaten. I'm still batch cooking some slow cooker meals so that if ever the kids don't like something new i've made them (which happens a lot) then i've always got some things for back up.

What's on your meal plan this week? What are your favourite family meals?





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