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2019 bucket list/resolutions

2019 resolutions & bucket list

  • Go to a country I’ve never been to before
  • Pay off all of my debts
  • Go to the hairdressers (weird one I know, but I think it’s time I got over my irrational fear haha)
  • Start Swedish lessons
  • Go to Pilates regularly 
  • Stick to my veganism and stop being lazy
  • Read 20 books I’ve never read before (recommendations please!)
  • Don’t buy new clothes (fast fashion is so last year)
  • No buying single use plastic!
  • Go swimming in the sea

 

Cinnamon bun

There’s nothing quite like the smell of cinnamon at Christmas.

This delicious body fluff is an ideal gift for the holidays and perfect for this time of year so if you fancy trying it I would order some now!

The cinnamon in the body fluff actually exfoliates your skin when you rub it in and it feels amaaaazing.

I wouldn’t use it before wearing a skirt or a short sleeved top but it’s absolutely perfect for putting on when your going to cosy up in your pjs, watch Elf and drink hot chocolate.

Find out more here

Lavender, the stuff of dreams

I don’t know about you but I get really bad knots in my back and I get aching joints a lot, especially during the change of seasons or when the weather changes! Maybe I’m like Karen from mean girls and I can feel it, but just in my bones not in my boobs!

I used to mix a few drops of lavender essential oil in some baby oil to put on while I was aching because it really helped, but also smelt a lot nicer than deep heat.

When I found out that BDT do a lavender scented body fluff I just had to try it. Now when I’m in pain I have a nice warm shower and then plaster myself in this beautiful fluff.

It’s as soft as clouds and leaves you feeling glowing but without the greasiness I find with other products. The smell of the lavender relaxed me so much and I curled up in my pyjamas feeling cosy and wonderful.

I’d definitely recommend trying it for yourself.

Find out more here

Mindful Millie — Mothering A Rainbow

This weekend we read the children’s story “Mindful Millie” by Louise Tribble. I have followed Louise on Twitter for quite some time now so when she asked for people to give her new book a review I jumped at the chance and I don’t need an excuse for another elephant story. Louise isn’t just a […]

via Mindful Millie — Mothering A Rainbow

Beauty

I don’t know if you’re anything like me but I’m absolutely useless at doing my own make-up. When I met Liz in college I was in awe of all her knowledge and skill. I just want to share with you a few pictures, and I thought it would be perfect timing just before Halloween because, yes, you guessed it, she is also amazing at Halloween make-up too!

 

She has her own YouTube channel which you can find here.

She also has an Instagram account which you can follow it has loads of great advice and I love her Instagram stories.

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Louise x

My beautiful baby girl

An anonymous guest post.

My beautiful baby girl. I never expected her to turn my world upside down having had the other two already do that for me one way or another! Oh how I longed to be the eco mum with the eco baby this time around. Sure I can ‘baby wear’ well put her in a wrap and carry her everywhere….Except she rebels and squirms and wriggles when doing it at home. Out and about it is wonderful, I guess so much more to see. Not to mention I’m always running late so in a rush, the movement must be soothing haha. I’m secretly relieved and terribly guilty that she doesn’t enjoy it so much at home now.

The breastfeeding, I thought I could do it this time, I wanted to do it “no formula or bottles in this house please!” I thought I WAS doing it, but no, poor little beautiful baby was suffering through my determination to do the ‘right thing’. So ok we have a mixed fed baby, at least she’s getting some of my milk right?

The nappies, definitely no ‘lack of access to the washing machine’ excuses this time round though, but let’s face it this bit is easy- buy reusable nappies, put them on baby, wash and repeat. But not so simple, she leaks through them EVERYTIME. Clothes and nappies in the wash daily, bedding spoiled every night, this can’t be good for her. Ok so disposables at night. I’m still helping save the planet just a little bit right?

*semi eco mum, semi eco baby*

I’ll have to settle for that.

Luckily I can still enjoy outings with my little bundle strapped close to my body.

Luckily she is now gaining weight and there’s nothing more precious than seeing her milk drunk sleep even if it’s from a bottle or the happy smiling cooing of a satisfied daughter with a full tum.

The reusables may not last the full run until potty training but they look cool, compliments a plenty on the funky designs and I’m trying to do my bit for the environment even if it can’t be long term. Plus it must be more comfortable on her tush too (when dry!) The wipes on the other hand have been a huge it.

Did not expect it to be so different this time around, certainly feel on my toes- read bewildered and out of my depth. But blessed all the same. Must remember when people say “gosh you’ve got your hands full” to reply “you should see my heart”

BDT

I finally got my hands on some body fluff from BDT cosmetics and Oh. My. Word.

The only downside to it is it smells SO delicious I just want to eat it. I’ve always been one to enjoy pampering myself and getting lotions and potions as gifts but honestly, I find it really hard to motivate myself to moisturise.

Soap – easy, it’s a must use in the shower and this gorgeous coconut ice soap bar from BDT cosmetics was beautiful. I felt so clean and it smells amazing, plus something about the pink and white colour makes me feel calm.

When I got out of the shower I decided I’d go for it and test out the body fluff too. Now honestly, I hate the sticky feeling of having creams and things on my skin and how cold they are but as soon as I opened the lid and dipped my fingers in the fluff I knew it was a different story!

This stuff is magic, the thing of dreams. It feels fluffy and so so soft, I covered myself in it from head to toe and I felt amazing and best of all it didn’t feel sticky at all AND it was warm!

I smelt amazing (and I’m usually cornered in baby sick so that was a nice change!).

Every night since I’ve found myself asking my partner to look after the baby just so I can sneak off for a shower & to apply some more body fluff. I feel like it’s a ritual I never want to end and I can’t wait to try more flavours!

Louise x

Find BDT cosmetics here:

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You, me and baby

I’ve been asked by the very lovely Louise to tell you all about what I do and why it’s important and because it’s my favourite subject, I jumped at the chance!

 

 

Before I explain what I do, I want to start off with why it’s important.

 

The problem

In the UK alone, it is estimated that around 1/3 of all births are traumatic, which means approx200,000 women and their families are affected. 10% of those will go onto suffer PTSD. The real numbers are probably much higher than this, because many women won’t report their birth or their symptoms.

 

Where are we going wrong?

Well I could talk for hours about this subject but, to summarise, our maternity system has become highly medicalised, totally removed from supporting the natural process of birth. We don’t have enough midwives to give women the continuous care they deserve and we don’t have enough antenatal education. Women are going into birth with no clue about how their body works, they are assuming that being in hospital is the best place for them and they think birth will be awful so there is no point preparing for it.

 

Hypnobirthing

I teach something called hypnobirthing. I know it can sound a bit ‘out there’ to some people & I want to reassure you that it really isn’t anything wacky or hippy dippy!

 

Hypnobirthing in a nutshell is a set of simple but effective tools and techniques that will help you to stay calm and relaxed so your body can do what it needs to do in order for your baby’s birth to go as smoothly as possible.

 


 

How can it help?

My hypnobirthing course is the full antenatal education that every pregnant woman deserves. I teach them exactly what is going to happen to them at each stage of labour, and we look at all the practical things they can do to manage the pain and cope with contractions.

 

Hypnobirthing isn’t about preparing for a pain free birth, or a natural birth, it’s about understanding how to have a positive birth, no matter what happens.

I always encourage birth partners to come, and a large part of the course is focused on all the ways the birth partner can support mum. They leave my course with a set of tools they can use to help mum stay calm and relaxed. They understand how they can best support mum and work together as a team.

 

 

About me

I am a mum of 3 and am fortunate to have discovered hypnobirthing in my first pregnancy and I’ve had 3 very positive experiences (& 2 home births). I have supported many couples through pregnancy and birth and I love making a difference to their experience.

 

I’m based in Cardiff, but can offer sessions via skype to anywhere in the world. If you’d like to know more about how I can help you prepare for your positive birth then please contact me.

 

www.youmeandbaby.co.uk/hypnobirthing

 

 

 

The Thieftakers

Hey Jon, why don’t you start by telling me a bit about yourself?

Hi Louise. I’m a fantasy and science fiction author whose been 25 for 16 years now. I’m from Portsmouth and have had the usual range of jobs that aren’t worth talking about. I’ve always wanted to write but the chance of success has always put me off.

When I found out about the current possibilities of self-publishing, I realised I was several years behind the curve and that it was now realistic to become an author. I published my first book in August 2017 and have gone on from there.

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What are your books about?

My first book was called The Mutilated Merchant. It’s a fantasy novel about a young watch officer, Edrin Loft, whose been promoted to Captain and given command of the Old Gate Watch House. The officers there are known as The Thieftakers and their only duty is to hunt the worst scum through the slums, drug dens and gang hideouts of the most dangerous parts of the city.

Loft thinks he’s been promoted as a reward, but actually, he has a tin ear for politics and he arrested someone who wouldn’t normally have been caught.  Because he caught a criminal, they can’t just fire him so the commanders of the watch send him to Old Gate instead, where watch careers go to die.

Days after taking over his new command, a brutal murder takes place on their patch, and Loft must use The Thieftakers to test his new investigative methods to solve the crime.

It didn’t sell particularly well but after I’d got my first book up and available for purchase, I was hooked. I’ve since changed the name of the book to Thieftaker because The Mutilated Merchant sounds a bit too humorous and the book isn’t a comedy.

My brother had been writing a massive fantasy series for a while and I wanted to get him to publish something because once you’ve done that, it is a massive confidence boost. I suggested we write something together and we both have similar taste in books. As we were already writing our own fantasy series, we decided to write sci-fi together.

The series we came up with, The Royal Marine Space Commandos, is a military science-fiction series about a group of Royal Marines who have to defend a British colony from an alien invasion. It starts with a novella, Commando and continues in Guerrilla and Ascendant. We’re writing book four, Gunboat at the moment and that still features the Marines but shifts focus to the Royal Navy.

We’ve got nine books planned in the series at the moment but there’s plenty of room for expansion and we’re writing short stories and novellas to explore other parts of the world as well.

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Do you enjoy being an author?

It’s amazing. I’ve wanted to do this for so long and now I’m just making enough money from the books that I can afford to go full time. I currently spend a lot of time volunteering for a charity so my time to write and deal with my author business is somewhat limited but it’s fantastic to have a career I care about for the first time.

What is it like publishing your own books?  

I’m an indie author, which means I don’t have a traditional publishing house behind my work. I don’t get an advance (a payment made to an author for their work against future royalties). If I want to make money, I have to sell books but the royalty share you get as an indie is as much as 10 times what you’d get as a trad published author.

Put it another way, I don’t have to sell as many books as someone published by one of the Big Five publishing houses does, to earn a living. I can set my own goals, don’t have deadlines that are set by someone else and don’t have anyone who can tell me what I can and can’t publish.

You can absolutely make a living as an indie author. I’d say it’s easier for us than it is for trad published authors, very few of whom make a living wage. There’s a lot more that we have to do though such as find an editor and cover designer. You have to market your own books too.

The indie community is welcoming, open and shares lots of information. There’s never a question I have that I can’t find an answer to. I now know a lot of authors at various stages of their careers and that means I have people who will help me when I need it. In return, I can help them when I can.

For instance, it’s not easy to write a book description because it’s a completely different skill to writing a novel. You’re trying to sell the book but I can go to one of the communities I’m a part of and ask people to critique my book description. Within the day I’ll have a bunch of suggestions for changes and that can help me sell more books.

How did you meet other authors?

It’s the 21st century so you start online. There are lots of Facebook groups, podcasts and YouTube channels about becoming an indie author. I attend a conference in Runnymede (or almost London as the Americans who ran the conference described it) in February, an Amazon event in September and I’m going to Las Vegas in early November for another conference. Networking with other authors is extremely helpful. Being around people who understand what you’re going through is really useful, no matter what career or activity you’re engaged in.

If you want to be a writer, you need to join the indie community. Many of us are introverts but you can join a Facebook group or listen to podcasts and really benefit from that. You don’t have to attend a conference straight off.

Where can I find your books? 

My books are available on Amazon on my author page and you can get them for free on Kindle Unlimited if you’re a subscriber. They’re available in paperback as well and we have just signed an audiobook contract. Recording begins in October so hopefully the first 3 books will be available on Audible later this year.

Do you have a website or Facebook page? 

We’ve just set up a publishing company, Imaginary Brother, because it’s a good way to manage our combined work and eventually we want to collaborate with more authors. You can find our work at www.imaginarybrother.com and on our Facebook page and you can also visit www.jonevansbooks.com and find me on Facebook at as well as join our mailing lists.

Thanks for that Jon, that was great information!

You’re welcome Louise, happy to talk any time. Have a wonderful October!

My favourite places in Stockholm

Karlaplan – This fountain is absolutely glorious in the sunshine and I find so much peace sat on the bench watching the world go by.

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I obviously have a thing for fountains?! Haha. I love it here because there is a beautiful view and it’s also outside my favourite museum (below).

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This picture is taken inside Medeltidsmuseet  (Medieval museum) I love this museum because it has lots of little replica buildings inside showing what it would have been like and I know as a kid I would have had the time of my life! I’m so excited to take Elle when she is older. Oh and did I mention… it’s FREE!

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This is a picture of me at the Bergiansa Trädgården (Botanical Gardens). It is an absolutely beautiful place to go and not far from the Natural History Museum (coming next!). There are two greenhouses full of amazing plants from all over the world. Unfortunately this visit I was too hot and tired to go to the second one so let the in laws wander alone while I sat with a cold lemonade – but they came back with pictures of the giant lily pads and straight away I wish I had gone! Nevertheless we went and sat on a bench in the shade next to a beautiful pond and I daydreamed of bringing Elle here for picnics. Oh and they also do amazing Coconut macaroons!

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I love these steps down to the water in Kungsholmen. The steps are shaped like an amphitheatre and it’s a really nice place to have a picnic!

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Skansen is awesome! I’ve only been once but I think I could visit a hundred times. It’s a museum with lots of old buildings from across Sweden but it also has a zoo with Bears, Wolves, Moose and other awesome animals! I could have spent all day watching the bears – they looked so happy playing and swimming in their pool!

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Tössebageriet is my favourite place to go for Fika – they have amazing cakes and they are one of the few places I’ve found which actually serve English Breakfast tea!

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Gamla Stan is the old town that used to be Stockholms capital. It’s so lovely to walk around with all the cobbled streets!

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Naturhistoriska riksmuseet (the National History Museum) is amazing.  As you can see from the pictures below it has all kinds of different things and its also FREE! 32095372_168359300504284_3286594839885381632_n32121741_583940568645624_6146439220979302400_n

The photo below was taken in Djurgården an absolutely beautiful park with (as you can see) incredible views. If you walk through this park you reach Rosendals Trädgård a lovely greenhouse cafe which serves food grown in its own gardens (they also do amazing macaroons!!).

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Rosendals Slott (palace) is also in Djurgården. I haven’t been inside but it is beautiful outside and in a very peaceful place! Funny story – I went there the other day with the in-laws and I said “Oh Helen, look! There’s a dog over there with really short legs and an orange coat!” to which she replied “Louise, that’s a robot lawnmower”. Oops!

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I do like my palaces! Kungliga Slotten (the royal palace) is in Gamla Stan – The Old Town. This is the picture inside the church. It is great to look around but very expensive so it’s best to go when you have plenty of time to make the most of it.

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A weird one to add to the list here but I think we just need to take a second to appreciate how beautiful the children’s hospital is here!

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Have you been to Stockholm? I’d love to hear about your experiences and if there is anywhere I need to add to my list!

Louise x