• Is There Such A Thing As A Clean House When You Have A Newborn?

    Overloaded kitchen sides and a living room brimming with new toys are prerequisites for the first days and months of life with a newborn. Cleaning naturally slides as you spend every waking minute either sleeping with, feeding, or just staring at your new bundle of joy. Nothing beats it but, if you’re a naturally clean person, it’s surprising how stressful a messy house can become quite quickly. 

    Yes, you’re lost in your happy newborn bubble and the house doesn’t really matter, but before you know it, you might start feeling a little claustrophobic amongst the mess. And that’s not to mention all the visitors who are likely to be in and out! But, how exactly do you manage to juggle cleaning when you’re already so busy with your baby? 

    The good news is that, as many moms will tell you, there is such a thing as a clean house with a newborn in tow. All you need to do is change your approach in the following ways. 

     

    # 1 – Find ways to keep your baby distracted

     

    Cleaning is never going to happen if you have a baby in one hand and a brush in the other. Trust us; that’s a juggling act that will only end badly. That said, most moms find that they’re only able to put their baby’s down during nap time which, as we all know, should always be reserved for catching up on your own precious sleep. 

    With that in mind, you need to turn to solutions that allow you to put your baby somewhere that they’re happily distracted while you tackle whatever needs doing around the house. There are a few options that can make a huge difference here, with playmats proving fantastic at keeping even tiny babies distracted while you get on. Buying a baby bouncer could also allow you to go hands-free while your baby entertains itself. Do note that these options do still require a watchful eye, but taking these items around the house with you as you clean can be a fun way to keep your baby close, while also tackling that growing pile of laundry, washing up or whatever else. 

     

    # 2 – Make sure to clean as you go

     

    While you will likely have a large pile of cleaning to tackle as you first leave that newborn haze, it is possible to tackle cleaning as you go when the initial onslaught is behind you. After all, you have limited time on your hands now, so cleaning for a few minutes at a time here or there is guaranteed to work best. 

    Get into the habit of unloading the dishwasher every morning so that you can put plates and dishes straight in as they get dirty, or wipe down the side while you’re waiting for baby’s bottle to reach drinking temperature. Even just wiping down the bathroom after you’ve had a shower saves you from ever having to take longer than ten minutes or so away from the all-important task of playing with your baby. 

     

    # 3 – Develop a rota

     

    Unfortunately, some cleaning chores, like making the bed and vacuuming, don’t exactly arise on an ‘as-you-go’ basis, making them easy to overlook with your attention so occupied. 

    To overcome this, develop a rota that helps you to keep on top of these tasks too. Something as simple as a list of to-dos that you roll from one week to the next is all it takes. That way, you can refer back whenever you find yourself with a spare moment, and ensure that you get straight on with whatever task comes next on that list. 

     

    # 4 – Don’t be afraid to ask for help

     

    Even if you have the best of intentions, there are going to be days where your baby doesn’t want to be put down, or where you’re just too tired from the night before to even think about the house. In this instance, asking for help with your chores is the best possible thing you can do. After all, you might as well make the most of those visitors!

    Even if you’re embarrassed to breach the topic, those guests are there to help you as much as they can. By simply asking if they would mind putting a load of laundry on or running a wet cloth around the kitchen, you can take a great weight off your shoulders. And, given that it frees you to focus on your baby 100%, that’s got to be a good thing.

     

  • 5 Fun Ways to Teach Your Kids About Different Cultures

    Whether you regularly homeschool your kids, or you just find yourself stuck inside more than usual these days, you might be looking for new, innovative ways to capture their attention and get them interested in different things. 

    While setting up geography lessons for your children is important, it’s not going to be as effective if they aren’t paying attention or if they aren’t interested in the subject(s). 

    So, what can you do to teach your children about different countries and cultures while turning it into a fun activity? Let’s cover a few tips. You never know what you might learn along the way, too!

  • How To Stay Safe As A Blogger

     

    Just because you’re a blogger doesn’t mean you don’t have the exact same rights when it comes to privacy and safety as everyone else. Many bloggers put a lot of themselves out there, which is great for their self-expression and good for engagement, but it can often lead to readers thinking of them as public property, which is why it is so important that, as a blogger, you take steps to keep yourself safe and maintain the level of privacy you’re comfortable with. Here are some tips to help you with that:

  • Need a New Hobby, Try Writing

    There’s an old saying which said that everyone has a book in them. It might be that you just want to get better at writing so you can launch your own blog, or write for someone else’s blog. As far as hobbies go, writing is a pretty good one to get stuck into and you don’t have to put pressure on yourself by writing a book at first either, do it at your own pace. It doesn’t cost anything to get started and can be quite lucrative if you approach it in the right way. Here are some tips to get you started.

    Writing is something that takes time and practice, at least if you want to write to a decent level. To get this practice you need to write somewhere comfortable, and you need to be able to do so with no distractions. This means ensuring your eyes don’t get tired. You might want to avoid stores but getting the right glasses is important. Then you need to find somewhere. It might be the desk from which you usually work from or you might want to differentiate the two by working somewhere a little more comfortable in your home like from the sofa or kitchen table. Experiment for the best chance of success. It might be that you like writing from coffee shops or outside in the sunshine. Once you find what makes you the most productive, you won’t look back

  • Don’t Miss This Week’s YouTube Videos

     

    I am so excited to announce the launch of my YouTube channel. This has been something that I have been thinking about launching for a while. Okay, so I launched it last month, but wanted to get it rocking and rolling before letting you all know about it. We had some great topics last week. There are a few older videos that are worth a watch too, that I will link below.

    Last week, we have topics from Dealing With Temper Tantrums, to The Worst Marriage Advice that people keep on giving, to Making Better Bread. The channel really a broad range of topics that cover all sorts of areas of life.

    Dealing with Temper Tantrums:
    Both with Toddlers AND Teens

    In this video we talk about two ways to deal with temper tantrums, whether it is with your toddler or your teenage. And why both age groups tend to have very loud tantrums. Check it out HERE

     

    What the Worse Marriage Advice is
    And Why it Keeps Getting Passed Around

    What is the worst marriage advice that you have ever received? Here is mine: What it is, what I think people are trying to convey, why it keeps getting passed around. And then what are some really great pieces of advice that I have heard. Check it out HERE

    Making Better Bread
    EVERY SINGLE TIME

    Ever want to surprise your family with hot fresh straight from the oven bread for dinner? And sometimes, it just doesn’t go right. Well in this video we talk about the most important part of the bread making process, and how to ensure it goes better every… single…. time. One little trick and tip, will up your bread making game. Check it out HERE

    If you have any topics that you would like me to chat about, then drop a note below or shoot me an email HERE.

  • Sleeping with the Enemy – Book Review

    Love historical books? Love romances? Love strong characters with a good plot line? Then this is the book for you. Sleeping With The Enemy was a book that had it all! It has mystery, characters that are well developed, a story line that keeps you hooked. And best of all, a great ending (yes I could have read more about these characters, but the story wrapped up very nicely).

    Jackie Barbosa is an amazing story teller. You can see every place that she is talking about. She is a story teller that doesn’t tell you about what is going on, she shows you what she is wanting you to see. There is a lot of setting the scene, no detail is spared. However, she isn’t to wordy about it. It is to the point, with each word being very calculated and planned. I love that you feel that you are transported into the book.

    All of the characters, feel life like. They are people that you feel you have known for your all your life. While Barbosa does a good job at keeping mystery around some of the characters, they are very well developed with many many layers. The leading lady is one of my favorite characters in this book. Which is hard to do. With it being a time period piece, many female leads tend to be submissive, polite, and shallow. But here Barbosa was able to develop her into a very formidable woman.

  • Inside the Sun Book Review

    The third book of the 8th Island Trilogy. If you liked the first and the second, then you can’t miss Inside The Sun. It was the perfect ending to the book series. And it will keep you turning the pages from start to finish.

    Alexis Chute is an amazing story teller. She has an ability to not just tell a story, but let’s you feel that you are there. She takes you to this alien world without so much as a hick-up. It is so vivd, that you swear you can actually see the environment.

    We get to dive deeper into each of the characters, making them more and more relatable. Some of the characters that were more guarded suddenly spring to life and you now fully understand where they were coming from. There is a sense of understanding about them that this chapter of the series makes clear

  • Below The Moon

     

    This is the second book in the 8th Island Trilogy set. The first one “Above the Star” was amazing. It was a page turner that I could not put down. (Even being a busy mom, I found the time to read that one) “Below The Moon”, is no different. It was a good read from start to finish, and worth the time to read. The characters are well developed, there are a few little side story lines to keep you entertained, and the author is a brilliant story teller. You can really picture this world exactly.

    While in “Above the Star”, I felt the mother character was a bit flat, she came to life in this book. I really enjoyed learning more about her and her past. It made her so much more relatable. And I loved her always wanting to “chat” with Ella on topics that most teenagers don’t want to talk to their mom about. Their relationship was very much a real life mother-daughter relationship. Even in the alien world, even with the challenges that they are facing, even with plotting against a king. They are very down to Earth. Loved reading them bicker back and forth

  • Restaurant Style Insta Pot Refried Beans

    insta pot refried beans

     

    Lets talk about the best Mexican food side of all time. It’s the refried beans. Who is with me? We specifically pick which restaurant we get take out food from, based on the beans. It’s all about the beans (well and the tortillas but that is a post for another time). Making amazing refried beans use to be really hard, and time consuming. Lets be honest, who got time for that? I certainly don’t. With this hack, you can make restaurant quality refried beans in your insta pot. Thats right insta pot refried beans.

    Who is with me, this kitchen gadget is the best thing since sliced bread (oh you want to make that too, check out this post for the easiest bread recipe ever). I must admit, I am a bit of “collector” of the insta pots. We have them in all kinds of sizes. For the house, and for the RV. This thing makes cooking so easy. If you don’t have yet, I would HIGHLY recommend that you get one pronto. You won’t regret it.

    Now there is a big debate, do you soak beans or not. Personally I soak them, because I really feel that it makes the beans easier to mash after you cook them. I know of a lot of people that don’t and their beans turn out just as amazing as these. The preference is completely up to you. IF you choose to soak them, I just do a quick soak. Put the beans in a bowl of hot water and cover. Leave it for about an hour or up to 5 hours, really makes no difference. If I remember I do it in the morning and let it soak all day. BECAUSE the kids get excited knowing that mom is making beans for dinner and they tend to behave better knowing that it is coming with dinner. But if you don’t remember till sometime after lunch, no sweat.

  • Amazing Easy No Kneed Bread

    Easy No Kneed Bread

    Lets talk about home made, straight from the oven bread. Is there anything better? In my world, there is nothing better. The house smells amazing all day long, the payoff for the wait is amazing, and it is a little piece of heaven right there on the table. If you can even get it where it is still a little warm, oh thats the stuff that dreams are made of. Well, here is an amazing, easy, no kneed bread that will wow even the harshest of critics (the kids I mean).

    I love carbs, not even going to try to hide that. I love them them in all forms: pasta, rice, cereal. But my favorite is hands down bread. Sourdough, French, Italian, that super dark that you can get at “fancy” restaurants; there is yet a bread that I don’t love. When it is warm, right out of the oven; simply perfection. But who has time to make home made bread every day? And who even knows HOW to make bread right out of the oven? Yes, some of us fancy bread making machines. Those are great and make lovely home made bread; but it is still not that fresh out of the oven bread.

    This was something that I really wanted to learn to do. With the world as it is, I have some extra time on my hands. (You know when not trying to entertain four little human beings, or keep them from killing each other while stuck at home too) Time though. Who has the time? Where do you start to learn? Well, my wonderful amazing neighbor must have heard my thoughts. She brought me over a lovely, hot, fresh loaf of bread for our dinner one night. I was in love!

    This bread is so easy to make. It doesn’t take all day to make. You won’t be spending hours kneeding the dough. And you will have a perfect, lovely loaf of bread for your dinner table. (Best part, is this actually makes 4 loaves, so you will have bread ALL WEEK by making it once)

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