Sentimental Songs

I absolutely love music, always have, and I guess I always will. My taste is VERY broad, but it does always tend to lean towards the cheesy side, or so my husband likes to tell me. I am a sucker for a great love song, or a song written from the heart. I love lyrics that I can relate to. Over the years i’ve listened to music that expressed emotions that I felt unable to, a kind of therapy I guess. I have so many old mix playlists from the last 20 years, I could listen to them all day still.

I loved R Kelly, Eternal, Spice Girls, Pink, Christina Aguilera, Britney, Westlife, Damage, Boyzone, Kylie, Jason Donovan, Nsync, Kirk Franklin, Bobby Brown, Kci & Jojo, Boys II men, Mariah, and Celine Dion. The list is endless, but some songs mean a lot more to me than others.

Do you have special songs like that from over the years? Lyrics attached to memories and emotions?

Here’s 8 of my most sentimental songs;

Kirk Franklin – Lean on me

Pink – Family Portrait

Beyonce – Best thing I never had

TLC – Dear Lie

Westlife – Flying without wings

Kelly Clarkson – A moment like this

Kci & Jojo – All my life

Whitney Houston – Greatest love of all

All of these bring back some great memories or helped me sing what I was feeling, and there are so many more. I love nothing better than playing a cheesy mix playlist whilst having a nice relaxing bubble bath. Music is good for the soul, and it does wonders for mine. I love having a sing-song, usually via my tab though as I can’t hear the laptop or TV in the bathroom. I really need to invest in some speakers. I’ve heard such great things about the Panasonic Multi Room speakers so I’ll definitely be choosing from their range. I need something wireless and with bluetooth capabilities and this Panasonic range caters for both of those needs. They look fab!

I’d love to know some of your fave throw back songs too…

Will You Hang On To Hygge In 2017

In 2016 we didn’t just say “Hi!” to Hygge, we embraced it in our hoards. So much so that The New Yorker crowned 2016 the Year of Hygge. Inspired by what is apparently the happiest of nations, by the end of last year many of us found ourselves cosying up in corners in an effort to unearth our inner Hygge. We strived to spend more time with our heads in good books or slurping our time away with large mugs of hot chocolate or Glögg . Some of us spent our Sunday mornings with a stack of pancakes or snuggled up with a colouring book. However,as we emerge from what must be the most Hygge of all the seasons, will you be hanging on to Hygge in 2017? Once winter has waned and the weather warms up – will you put out your open fire, clear away your scented candles and let your Hygge hibernate? Or will you commit to pursuing the comfort and contentedness of Hygge in the months to come?

Share the love
Pleasure and presence are the values that lie at the heart of a Hygge lifestyle and for the most part they are goals you can aspire to, whatever the weather. While you may struggle to indulge a love of sledging when spring arrives, there are plenty of hobbies and interests that you could potentially make time for all year round, and in keeping with all things Hygge, they needn’t be expensive either.

Why not make it your priority to share more feasts with friends this year? Take it in turns to host a cheap and cheerful dinner party and you’ll find a one pot recipe and a bottle of vino goes a long way when it comes to putting a smile on your face. Or, channel a Scandi spa with an at home pampering session with your girls. Facemasks, a good film and homemade smoothies combined with gossip are all you need to get your session started and can make you feel like you’ve had a Hygge hug.

Other at home Hygge friendly activities include potting plants indoors and out, spending lazy days with a pot of tea and a stack of magazines and re-reading your favourite books for guaranteed warm fuzzy feelings. If you’re a dog owner, you already have a Hygge edge. Cuddling up with your canine or taking your pooch for a spot of people watching in the park are cost free ways to regularly enjoy the simple things in life and being a dog owner has been proven to be good for your mental health too.

Hygge design hints
When it comes to interiors, Hygge has been embraced as the ultimate comfort trend thanks to its association with candle light, roaring fires and soothingly soft blankets. But who wants to sit in front of an open fire in summer?

Firstly, you can still do these things in the warmer months – just take your Hygge on the move! Huddling around a campfire or in a beach hut during a rain shower are just some of the Hygge-esque activities that the British spring and summer readily offers up.

Secondly, The Hygge aesthetic is far more than a few rugs and blankets. It’s about surrounding yourself with things that make you smile and take you to a happy place. In fact, you may want to create an at home happy space to help you on your mission. If you’re not lucky enough to have a conservatory, hobby or study room where you can explore your interests and have a little me time, why not section off a little snug for yourself? You’ll find lots of inspiration for homemade room separators on Pinterest or you could opt for a more permanent solution such as fitting floor to ceiling bi-folds you can use to cosy behind or open to allow light through depending on your mood and activity. If there’s a particular time, place or person that makes you smile, remind yourself of them by decorating your Hygge nook with well placed photographs that in turn will inspire you to go on to create more magic memories.

Did you get into Hygge in 2016 or are you planning on turning over a Hygge leaf in 2017? What are your favourite things to do to release your inner chill? Do you like to get outdoors and closer to nature or plan get togethers with your bezzies? I’d love to know!

Transport Themed Activity

When your children are under the weather you look for ways to keep them occupied that require a minimal set up and that use the least energy possible for them.

My two boys love cars, and trucks, and trains, and tracks, and roads. They also love making a mess. Today they were both under the weather so I began thinking about what activity we could do to brighten the afternoon that involved some of their favourite things.

After a quick look through my Facebook newsfeed I had a few ideas. I decided to upon a transport themed sensory activity.

I decided on using our puzzle track, 4 different modes of transport, and 4 different items that were very different in appearance and texture. I chose water beads, cotton wool balls, dried animal shaped pasta, and small plastic bottle tops.

Transport sensory activity set up

The aim of the activity was to fill up your mode of transport with your chosen items and then transport them along the track to the empty plates, and then carefully drop off your load. Along the way we placed stars, and if you managed to get all of your load to it’s destination carefully you were able to claim the star as a reward.

Transport Sensory Activity track set up

This transport themed sensory activity was a big hit with my two boys, they had so much fun!

I love watching them play, and engage in activities that strengthen their skills without them even realising it.

This activity was so good for their fine motor skills for various reasons; the track was a puzzle and they had to keep rebuilding it, they used scoops of various sizes to manipulate the objects into their chosen mode of transport, and they had to use precise movements in order to get their star reward.

Transport Themed Activity for Children

This transport themed sensory activity was also great for their hand-eye co-ordination. They had to plan their route along the track to drop off their objects. They even started counting the objects they had, bringing maths into the activity voluntarily.

Transport themed sensory activity for children

They had so much fun, and it is such a versatile activity – you could use anything around your home to recreate this transport themed sensory activity. We will definitely be making this a regular activity in our home!

Transport themed sensory activity by Swords & Snoodles

Why not have a go at creating your own transport themed sensory activity?

Children’s Party Planning

I love throwing my children birthday parties. We usually go all out with a certain theme; costumes, decorations, favours, cupcakes, cakes, even the invites. They get so excited choosing a theme and so do I, would you believe I’m 32?! February is always a party planning month ready for my youngest childs birthday in April. He will be 5 this year and I cannot even believe it! Where have those five years gone? It has literally flown by.

I came across a really great website to help me out with my party planning and I thought I’d share it with you. It’s called Bidvine, and it literally has every type of service provider you could think of; venues, balloon artistry, party planners, entertainers, caterers, printers for invitations, you name it they have a company who can do it! It’s even tailored to the age of children you will be inviting and the amount of guests you’ll have. You basically fill in all of your requirements, and then the service providers email you and essentially bid for your custom. It cuts out all of the faffing and searching for hours, they come to you instead. It makes party planning totally stress-free, all they require is your name, email address, and mobile number.

This year we have gone for a super hero theme, my for year old is obsessed with the Avengers. He wants facepaints, and Avenger favours, Avengers balloons and tableware, and a big Avengers cake. I’m also trying to source him an Avengers mascot, which I know Bidvine will help me with. He wants all of his friends to dress up as their favourite Avenger too, so I’m guessing I need to look for some adult costumes too, wish me luck with that one!

Then after April it will be planning time for my 6 years old birthday in October, he hasn’t chosen his theme yet, but no doubt it will be Lego based!

Do you plan parties for your little ones (and big ones)? I’d love to hear about yours, and how you go about preparing for them.

 

Mummy Matters!

Before becoming a parent, ultimately you only have yourself to please. You eat when you’re hungry, you drink when you’re thirsty, you sleep when you’re tired, you go on holiday to luxurious places, you play loud music at any time of day (or night), you can hide away in grumpy days, you can arrange big get togethers for special occasions, you shop until you drop, and you can pretty much do whatever you want to.

When you become a parent that all changes. All of it!

You eat when you have chance, sometimes not at all. You drink cold tea, cold coffee, and the odd pint of water when you’re head is throbbing from another night of no sleep.

You sleep when there is chance, which is pretty much never, and less than ‘never’ when germs are thriving.

You go on holiday to child-friendly places. Mojitos are replaced with Mojo the Monkey, or some other holiday club children’s mascot. Instead of relaxing by the pool you’re holding a flailing toddler in the pool who you are begging not to poop! Instead of that holiday spa treatment you normally indulge in a few times during your two-week break, you spend half of your holiday convincing a toddler to let you rub sunblock onto their sand-ridden skin, and the other half of the time trying to convince them to wear a hat so they don’t burn.

You don’t listen to music loudly, you don’t listen to music full stop. Kids TV does not count!

You spend your evenings being as quiet as possible, and you make every single person who enters your house aware of the unwritten rule when it comes to your babies – You wake ’em, you take ’em!

When you’re grumpy it doesn’t matter – the show must go on, and on it must! You have to paint on your smile and carry on being Mary Poppins! Your 2yo does not care if you’re feeling grumpy, they care if their raspberry jam has seeds or doesn’t, or if their orange juice is smooth or has bits!

And Shopping! O dearest shopping, how I miss thee! My children have made me despise you! I cannot go into this in too much detail, I am still grieving for the shopping days of old. The ones that were stress free, and enjoyable, and didn’t  involve anyone’s tears but my own!

Being a parent makes you feel like you have sacrificed your life and put it on hold. Although you love your babies more than life itself, it can be pretty daunting feeling like you are now just a mum, and nothing more. Your life seems to be on pause, and often we lose our identity.

Let me tell you this, you are not just a mummy!

Being a mummy (or daddy) is the most important job I have ever known. You are responsible for raising the next generation: the next prime minister, the next genius, the next doctor, the next entrepreneur, the next parent, the next designer, the next brain surgeon. Your role is vital. You are vital!

You may go to bed each night and lay there defeated after a other mundane day of wiping tears, cleaning grazes, cooking three meals, preparing snacks, breaking up fights, doing laundry, tidying toys, preparing crafts, baking, vacuuming, giving time-outs, yelling, wiping noses, washing hands, yelling some more, doing the school run, going to your other jobs, naptimes, ill children, shopping, and the like. Your pillow may often be soggy and mascara ridden. You may look in the mirror and dislike the reflection. You may replay your failures from the day before over and over again. You have to stop!

You matter! Mummy, daddy, you really matter!

Those tears you wiped have reassured your child that you love them, that you are their safe haven. You have instilled another fragment of self-worth into them, and in this world they need their self-esteem bucket brimming over. You restored their hope and vanquished their hurts.

The grazes that you cleaned up were not just physical. You cared for them, you helped them, you loved them. You hurt when they hurt. You have magical kisses! No other job role can brag about those! Cherish them!

The food you prepared, the snacks you made, and the thought behind it all are not just small parenting acts, they are huge. You ensure your child is healthy and happy. The broccoli battles are normal. The tomato tantrums are all part of being a child. Stand your ground momma, you know best!

The tidying, the vacuuming, the laundry, and the housekeeping is all appreciated. Without you the house would not be a home. Your zest for organisation and a clean home are admirable qualities that your babies notice, but get the balance right. Who needs sparkling floors anyway? You won’t use your last breath regretting the shelf you didn’t dust! Give yourself a break, the dust will still be there tomorrow! Your house does not define you, or your momma abilities.

Those five minutes you took to read a story matter, they matter every single day. They make your child feel worthwhile. The way your child told you a story about something they find exciting, and the way you looked them right in the eyes the whole time, that matters. They noticed. The gentle care you take when brushing their hair, and their teeth, that matters. The way you apologised after yelling at them today, that matters. You’re not a perfect human being, and nobody but you ever expects you to be.

Mummy, you matter. You matter a whole lot more than you think. You see the flaws, the chores, and the mundane, but your babies see their safe place, their security, their everything. Everything does change when you become a parent, but that’s because your everything has changed – it’s now in the form of a mini-you! A mini-you who watches your every move – go love yourself mummy!

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