9 Things You Should Do Every Single Day

I could write a post about how important it is to take yourself off for 30 minute strolls, meditating, yoga, and checking your posture and all that, but hey, where’s the fun in that?

So instead, this is built up of the things that I believe you should aim for every single day. The little things that can make an average, dull day into a great day. Into a productive day. Into a day that you actually appreciated.

It’s not always all that easy to actually follow the ‘live every day like it’s your last’ motto, but you can at least get to the end of every day, as you’re rolling about your crumpled bed sheets trying not to let the whir of anxieties and emails and conversations send you into a bout of insomnia, and feel like you succeeded. Feel like you did an alright job of being a living, breathing human.

 

1. Compliment someone

Tell your colleague you love her sassy new strappy heels from Zara, tell someone you adore their blog post and that it’s the best thing you’ve read all week, text your husband and tell him how much you bloody well love him. Be nice because it’s so easy to be nice and it instantly, instantly, within that second, changes someone’s day. We could all do with being told we’re great every once in a while, right?

 

2. Read something

Even if it’s just the link to that BBC news article someone shared on your Facebook. Everything I read, be it a blog post, a newspaper article or a physical book, gives me something to take away with me and think about – something that adds to my brain and way of thinking in some way. A thought, a new understanding of something or a new turn of phrase that I want to incorporate into my own words. It’s so easy to stop reading once you leave education, but sometimes, I find myself losing an entire hour because I am so engrossed in the articles on Buzzfeed (yep – even though it’s just junk, it’s funny junk, and it makes me laugh).

 

3. Wash your skin with a flannel

I mean sure, you’re technically supposed to do it twice a day, but face it.  We are just too busy to have to stick to certain rules, aren’t we?

Lather up dry skin with a cleanser, or a gentle soap, and then remove with a flannel that’s been run under warm/hot water. Skin feels instantly the cleanest it’s been since 1998.

 

4. Eat something damn good

Not good like a chia seed, avocado, or spoon of almond butter that’s full of the good shit, but something that genuinely makes your mouth do a little saliva orgasm, something that seriously makes you happy.

I’m not saying like, eat a McDonald’s Double Cheeseburger every day and just lie about and count your rolls, but have something, even if it’s a Diet Coke or bag of salt n sweet popcorn that gets you a little bit excited. What’s the point of being alive if you can’t make the most of ALL 5 senses?

 

5. Go an hour without your phone

Or your emails. Have some time away from work and social media. Lie and fester in front of the TV, take yourself out on a stroll to buy ice cream…  Or what about an undistracted conversation with your other half? Have you time without comparison or addiction or any of that rubbish stuff that your iPhone is engulfed in, because, let’s face it – the real world is so much more interesting.

 

6. Dream big

I like to remind myself of all the things I want from the future.  I think about where I’d like to be in a year, I think about things I’d like to get done that week, I think about where I’d like to go on my next holiday, or about a career change – all the big stuff. I don’t feel like it weighs me down with pressure to succeed, I feel like it keeps me on the right path and stands as a constant reminder of why I need to get out of bed and be the best I can.

 

7. Write something

Write a page in a diary, write a blog post, write a sentence on a post it note that makes you smile – an inspirational quote, a joke, something you’ve seen on Twitter that you MUST remember.

Handwriting constantly excites me in a world that’s so computer obsessed. Even if it’s an ‘I love you’ scrawl on a piece of paper, make sure you get your emotions and your thoughts out of your head, for some damned reason it just clears your brain and makes everything make sense.  Besides, who doesn’t love a bit of #PenmanshipPorn

 

8. Share a story

Have social time with real people who know YOU – your favourite people, the people who make you smile even when it feels like there’s nothing to smile about. Face to face is my favourite and definitely the most rewarding on your wellbeing, even if it’s a 15 minute catch-up and story-telling session over coffee.

If not? You’ve always got facebook messenger, Skype and Facetime. Seeing a friendly face instantly gives a little surge of happy hormones through your blood stream.

 

9. Find happiness

Some days are shit. Like really shit. It rains, you get told off at work, a bill appears out of nowhere and then what, how are you going to pay your rent and then you have an argument with your other half or kids. You want to cry yourself into a 3-month long hibernation. But, buried deep into every day is a little big of magic.

There is always, always something to be grateful for, something that can make a situation less aggressively hindering on your soul. Maybe it’s fresh bed sheets, maybe it’s watching Frozen for the 20th time, maybe it’s just a gigantic bowl of pasta.

If you can’t find even the tiniest ray of light, the tiniest fleeting moment to be thankful for, to smile for, then what’s the point?

What’s for dinner?

We have a bit of a thing in our house, where 3 of us like donner meat, and 1 of us doesn’t.  Unusually, it’s the hubby who doesn’t like it…  He’s always called it “road kill”, and this conversation sort of spiralled out of control one day, and kebab meat is now known as “dog”.  This brings me on to the conversation I’ve just had…

Me:  “What’s for dinner?”

Hubby:  “I don’t even want to think about it yet – I’m fed up of cooking…”

Me:  “Well, we can either go the chippy, or we can go out for dinner?”

At this point, Gning and Donut come in to the room.  I ask Gning…

Me:  “Would you like chippy tonight?”

Gning:  “Yes!  I want dog!”

doner-kebab-pitta

Parenting done right if you ask me.  He loves donner kebabs with salad and sweet chilli & mayo – just like his mmymmy.


**For my readers who are not from the UK – a “chippy” is a take-away.

What’s the difference between Great Britain and the United Kingdom?

 

“Choo choo”

I just got home from work, and needed a wee, so – as you do, I popped to the bathroom, and shut the door behind me.

Next thing you know, the door opens, and a certain 1 year old joins me.  He then insisted that I couldn’t move until I read a book to him…

So, what should have been a 60 second affair turned in to 10 minutes of sitting on the toilet, pants around ankles, with a child on my knee, whilst reading about a little blue train that goes “Choo choo”.

The joys of parenthood.

My baby loves to head bang…

So, Donut is going through a bit of a phase at the moment, where whenever he doesn’t get his own way, he gets on to all fours, and *slams* his head in to the floor.  Let me explain a little more…

Donut is 21 and a half months old.  He’ll be 2 in June.

His speech is only just starting to come in, and although we can understand a few of the words, he’s still doing a lot of baby babble.  He’s frustrated because he can’t tell us what he wants or needs yet, and although we do get our “guesses” right most of the time, the other times, he gets wound up.

In order for us to give you a bit of a breakdown as to what usually goes on, allow me to give you a few examples:

  1. He asks for a sweet, biscuit or chocolate (he can say sweetie, biccie and choccy), but it’s dinner time, and he needs to eat that first.  We say “no – you need to have your dinner first…”  Donut then gets on to his hands and knees, and headbutts the floor.  Sometimes just the once, sometimes up to 4 or 5 times.
  2. He’s in his (wooden) highchair, having a bit of time out / relaxing a little after dinner, and we give him a book / toy.  He either throws the toy, or starts ripping the book.  After we’ve told him several times not to do it, he starts “reverse” headbutting the backrest of the highchair.
  3. We’re in the car, and he drops a toy on the floor.  We’re unable to turn around to pick it up for him, so he starts screaming (oh, it sounds like he’s screaming murder!!), and then rocking – almost violently, backwards and forwards in his car seat, banging his head all over the place!

Welcome to a day in the life of Donut…

Let’s be honest, as a parent, you don’t want your little one injured.  It upsets you (as well as them) when they get hurt, and it makes you feel absolutely awful – and sometimes completely helpless, when they start hurting themselves deliberately!

Donut has been doing this headbanging thing for about 3 or 4 months now, and last night I’d had enough.  He was very nicely sitting on my knee, eating a sweetie (Parma Violet), and he asked for another – “more”.  I said he can have another one, as soon as he has finished the one that he has in his mouth.  He started getting frustrated, and lashed out at me.  He screamed, and punched me.  I said, “I’m not having that – that was naughty.  Get off my knee.”  I gently pushed him off my knee, and the next thing you know, he’s on all fours, and “BANG”.  He’s headbutted the floor.  He was then the proud owner of a massive red mark across his forehead.

Thankfully, we have a Witch Hazel stick, that we bought from a pharmacy.  It’s great for kids, because it means that we don’t have to try to hold a piece of kitchen roll, soaked with the usual liquid Witch Hazel, over the “bump”.  We got that on him straight away, and this morning, there’s no mark at all.

So, I did what every mum does, just before they get to the wits end of getting medical advice for their kids, and I took to social media.  I made a post on Mummy Social, asking for advice, and primarily, to see if anyone else has had the same problems.

I received several replies, and I am pleased to say that I am not alone.  A lot of the comments were from mummies who have similarly aged children, who are either going through, or have been through a “head banging” stage.  One of the mummies there gave a link to a page on the Baby Centre website, simply entitled, “Head banging (12 to 24 mo.)“.  Here’s what I’ve found on that website:

Why does my toddler purposely bang his head?

Head banging is surprisingly common. Up to 20 percent of babies and toddlers bang their head on purpose, although boys are three times more likely to do it than girls. Head banging often starts in the second half of the first year and peaks between 18 and 24 months of age. Your child’s head banging habit may last for several months, or even years, though most children outgrow it by age 3.

Possible reasons your toddler may bang his head:

  • Self-comfort. As strange as it may sound, most toddlers who indulge in this behaviour do it to relax. They bang their head rhythmically as they’re falling asleep, when they wake up in the middle of the night, or even while they’re sleeping. Some rock on all fours as well. Developmental experts believe that the rhythmic motion, like rocking in a chair, may help your toddler soothe himself.
  • Pain relief. Your toddler may also bang his head if he’s in pain — from teething or an ear infection, for example. Head banging seems to help kids feel better, perhaps by distracting them from the discomfort in their mouth or ear.  This is rather convenient, considering Donut was diagnosed with an ear infection just a couple of weeks ago, but his head banging started a couple of months ago…
  • Frustration. If your toddler bangs his head during temper tantrums, he’s probably trying to vent some strong emotions. He hasn’t yet learned to express his feelings adequately through words, so he’s using physical actions. And again, he may be comforting himself during this very stressful event.  This is my initial thought for why Donut bangs his head.
  • A need for attention. Ongoing head banging may also be a way for your toddler to get attention. Understandably, you may tend to become solicitous when you see your child doing something that appears self-destructive. And since he likes it when you fuss over his behaviour, he may continue the head banging in order to get the attention he wants.
  • A developmental problem. Head banging can be associated with autism and other developmental disorders — but in most of these cases, it’s just one of many behavioural red flags. Rarely does head banging alone signal a serious problem.

What can I do about it?

Give your toddler your attention — but not when he’s banging.  
Make sure your child gets plenty of positive attention from you when he’s not banging his head. If he still bangs his head to get your attention, though, try not to make a big deal about it, or you may reinforce the behaviour. Even if you can’t completely disregard the behaviour, don’t scold or punish him for it. He’s too young to understand the situation, and your disapproval may only make matters worse.  Easier said than done, if you ask me.

Protect your child from injury.  
Check all the screws and bolts on your toddler’s crib once a month or more to make sure the rocking isn’t loosening anything. You can also put rubber casters on the crib legs and hang a soft fabric or quilt between the crib and the wall to reduce noise and to minimise wear and tear on the walls and floor.

Don’t put pillows or blankets in his crib to soften his surroundings, because these are a suffocation hazard. If you want to use bumpers on your toddler’s crib to soften his blows, make sure that they’re thin, firm (not puffy), and securely tied to the crib railings, so your toddler can’t get his head between the bumper and the railing.  This isn’t appropriate to us, as Donut has been in his own (toddler) bed for almost 10 months…

Try not to worry.
Your toddler may get a bruise or two, but don’t worry — head banging is usually a “self-regulating” behaviour. This means your child is unlikely to hit his head hard enough to seriously injure himself. He knows his threshold for pain and will pull back on the throttle a bit if the banging hurts.  Again, easier said than done.  

Help foster your child’s love of rhythm in other ways.
Your child clearly likes a good steady beat, so help him find other outlets for his love of rhythm. Experts often recommend dancing, marching, and drumming or clapping to music together. You might also try putting a metronome in your child’s room to give him the comfort of a steady rhythm. Make sure he gets lots of physical exercise during the day, too, to help him burn off some of the nervous energy that may feed his head banging.  We’ve noticed that if we put some loud music on, Donut tends to stop what he is doing, and dances to it instead…

Start a soothing bedtime routine.
If your child is banging his head as a way of “coming down” from his busy day, try setting up a relaxing routine. A warm bath, a calm rock on your lap, and a quiet story or song may help. You may want to spend a few minutes before bed rubbing his back or stroking his forehead. Soft music in his bedroom can be soothing, too.

Consult a doctor if your child’s behaviour becomes worrisome.
If your child bangs his head a lot during the day or continues to bang his head even though he’s hurting himself, you may have cause for concern. Though it’s uncommon, head banging can be associated with autism and other developmental disorders, which sometimes become apparent during the toddler and preschool years.

Autistic children generally don’t relate well to people. They often aren’t interested in physical contact with their parents and seem to look through people rather than at them. If you notice that your child is losing physical abilities, language, or other skills he’s acquired; if he’s becoming increasingly withdrawn; or if he’s consistently delayed in achieving common developmental milestones, that is the time to seek medical advise.


So, I think all in all, this is a common phase that Donut is going through, so it’s just a matter of riding it out.

Conditioner before shampoo?

I think one of my next posts is going to be about my hair.

I know what you’re thinking…  Why your hair?

Well, my hair is long.  I’m not talking down to my knees long, but it reaches my waist.  It’s not only the length of my hair, though, it’s also the condition of it.  Granted, at this very moment, I do need a trim, as I am starting to struggle with stray-aways, but generally speaking, it’s long and healthy.  Above all, I love my hair!

Portrait of Beautiful Woman with smooth gloss long hair. High quality image.

Definitely not me, but you get the point… 

So the title of this post really says it all.

I condition my hair once every two weeks only, and it’s the way that I do it that’s somewhat different.

I’m going to be honest – I absolutely love my shampoo…  It’s Garnier Ultimate Blends – Mythic Olive; and the smell…  Mmmmm…  There’s only one problem.  The price.

Garnier-Ultra-Blends-Mythic-Olive-Deep-Nourishing-Shampoo-Review

Look out for this in the shops, and grab it when it’s on offer!

It’s currently £6.00 for a 400ml bottle of shampoo, and the same for the conditioner.  I only buy it when it’s on special offer (I’ve managed to get it for as cheap as £2 once…).  My conditioner, however, although it smells delightful, is not as “satisfying” as my shampoo.

Let’s get down to the main reason of this post.

Have you ever used conditioner before you shampoo?  I do, and it really works.

Here’s what I do:

  • As soon as I am in the shower, I wet my hair, and apply a decent amount of conditioner.  Always start off with the ends, and then work upwards.  Avoid the roots completely – for now.
  • Continue your shower normally, leaving the conditioner on for as long as you need.
  • Pull some excess conditioner out of the lengths of your hair, and gently massage your scalp with it for a couple of seconds.
  • Rinse thoroughly.
  • Now it’s time for you to shampoo your hair!  Do as you normally do – lather it up as much as you can, and rinse thoroughly, until the water runs clear (i.e. no bubbles).
Shampoo_Body

Lather up that shampoo!!

  • Towel dry your hair, and try to allow it to dry naturally – or for as long as possible if you are going to blow dry it.

The above method leaves my hair clean, shiny and strong…  And is obviously helping with the growth too!

Coconut Oil Bath Melts

What a simple, yet luxurious creation to make – either for yourself, or to beautifully wrap up for a homemade gift.

This recipe is not really a frugal one, as coconut oil can be rather expensive – depending on where you buy it from, however, if you are able to get the oil inexpensively, then this would be a perfect frugal gift.

What you need:

Glass bowl

Pan

Water

Silicon moulds (alternatively, use cupcake cases in a cupcake tray)

Fridge

Ingredients:

340g / 12oz coconut oil

15 drops essential oils (lavender is comforting, but you can use your favourite)

Optional:  Dried flowers (try to match the flower to the essential oil – i.e. lavender buds)

Method:

  1. Fill the pan up with water, and place your glass bowl over the top.  Ensure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water in the pan.  Bring the water to the boil.
  2. Put your coconut oil in the glass bowl, and allow to gently melt – this should only take a couple of minutes.
  3. Optional:  While the coconut oil is melting, add a sprinkle of dried flowers to the bottom of your moulds.
  4. When the coconut oil has melted, turn off the heat, place the glass bowl on a heatproof surface, and stir in the essential oil.
  5. Mix well, and pour in to your moulds (or in to the cupcake cakes).
  6. Let the coconut oil cool.  If you have a warm house, this can take several hours.  I prefer to allow them to cool for approximately an hour, then transfer the moulds in to my fridge.
  7. Once fully cooled, and set, you can remove the melts from the moulds, and place in a container – be sure to store in a cool place.  Again, you may have to store these in the fridge / freezer if your house is generally warm.
  8. If you are giving these as a gift, place them in a clean, plastic tub with lid, and wrap / decorate.  Store them in your fridge / freezer until you are ready to gift to the recipient.

To use:

Simply run your bath, and drop one of your melts in!

Coconut oil is great for your skin.  It leaves your skin smoother than a baby’s bum, and also has some amazing natural healing properties.  If you are using lavender essential oils in your melts, you will also feel the benefit for easing headaches / migraines, and it helps you sleep!

Enjoy 🙂

il_fullxfull.925864135_o13e

I forgot to take a picture of my melts, so this is one I found on Google…  I promise they will come out just as wonderful as the picture – if you follow the steps correctly 🙂

Edit:  These melts are suitable to use in your child’s / baby’s bath too – especially if they suffer from dry skin.  However, if your child is under 6 months old, please consult with your health worker before using any form of homemade creations in the bath.