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  1. There’s no doubt about it - having kids is going to change the dynamics of a relationship.  No longer can you devote all your time and attention to your other half.  Late nights and broken sleep can affect mood and stress levels, as well as decrease any expected precious evening time together you may have had planned.  Babies and children are unpredictable. 

    Even with a five year old and two year old, we never know what the day or night will bring.  Illnesses suddenly spring out of nowhere and though they may mostly sleep through the night, we’ll suddenly go through a patch of them refusing to go to bed or waking up with growing pains for nights on end.  Often we plan to spend an evening together with no work or social distractions, once the children are in bed, but by the time they are asleep we’re both practically asleep too or too shattered to interact!

    That being said, I feel like our relationship is still strong and perhaps even stronger since having children.  One friend with older children once told me if we can get through the early years of having kids, we can get through anything!

    Here are three things I think help to keep a relationship strong after having a baby.

    How to keep a relationship strong after having kids

    Stay intimate, when you can

    Women can feel very self-conscious of their new bodies after having a baby as often there are some changes in shape and size.  Reassure her that you still find her attractive.   Finding time for intimacy along with a newfound tiredness are definitely obstacles once you have children.  It can also take time to want to be intimate again after giving birth, so be patient!   

    Just knowing you still find each other attractive and that it’s simply these reasons for why there’s less affection will ensure no one feels insecure.  Communication with each other is important here too.  If you’re not ready, just say.  If you’re too tired, don’t feel pressured.  If there are other reasons for lack of intimacy such as pain, dryness or erectile dysfunction then seek advice.

    Communication is key

    Tying in nicely with both other points is communication.  Clearly discussing how one another is feeling is key to a successful relationship.  Being open, frank and honest is a must.  Playing silly games with one another or playing the silent game is never going to play out well.  Don’t always expect your other half to sense how you’re feeling, just be open and tell them.  Sometimes they have no clue if you’re stressed out or struggling, no matter how obvious you think it is.

    By discussing how you are feeling in an honest and open way means you can communicate clearly with one another and provide support if needed.

    Spend time together, kid free

    Harder said than done, but even one night every couple of months for a meal out together can be enough.  It’s a welcome break from the duties of parenthood and a chance to talk without interruption.

    If you don’t have any childcare or perhaps you’re still breastfeeding, why not set up a date night at home?  Once every week, or two, cook and enjoy a meal together with no TV, mobile phones or distractions (unless of course the kids wake up!).  If you can’t get out for a date night, bring the date night to you.

    Spending enough time together as a couple, remaining affectionate and clearly communicating is all so important for a strong relationship.

    Related blog posts:

    The secrets to a long term relationship
    A Sneak Peek at our Garden 'Wedfest' Wedding
    5 Annoying Things My Husband Does

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    How to keep a relationship strong after having kids

    *collaborative post

  2. Welcome to my Money Making Mums guest series all about how to earn a decent living from home, even as a busy parent.  As well as guest posts from awesome bloggers sharing their tips and tricks, I am now also interviewing relevant bloggers to discover how exactly they make money from home.

    Other bloggers and money making mums will feature in this series sharing all the ways they make money from home and why it’s suitable for mums.  If you’d like to feature in this series with a guest post or you’d like to be interviewed, please do get in touch.

    This week I’m interviewing Clare from My Money Cottage:

    my money cottage new logo

    1.     Hello, welcome to my Money Making Mums Interview.  Please tell me a little about who you are, where you’re from and where you blog.

    I’m Clare, I live in the North West in a small town with my husband and three children aged 11, 8 and 2. My blog is http://mymoneycottage.com.

    2.     This series is all about mums being able to make money from home.  Can you tell me what you do from home to make money?

    I’ve worked from home for about 8 years now. After my second child was born, we realised we couldn’t sustain nursery fees, we had no family that could help us out and we couldn’t afford for me to just be a stay-at-home mum and not have an income.

    Initially, I worked as a childminder and looked after other people’s children along with my own. This worked really well for us for quite a few years. When we decided to have our third child though, I knew I wouldn’t be able to cope with a new born and childminding too!

    I was very fortunate at the time that I landed another job that meant I could continue to work from home. Whilst I was on maternity leave, I took up matched betting to help make ends meet. The company I used were advertising for a proof reader working from home and after failing to get the job initially, I was offered 16 hours a week! It has been perfect for me. I really enjoy the job and I’ve since increased my hours to 25 a week which is great.

    3.      What makes it suitable for mums?

    For me, the job means I’m home when my children need me to be. I work two hours every morning and two hours every evening. Since we moved house, we’re nearer to my Mum and Dad and they help out between them, so usually I have the mornings child-free. School holidays are a challenge though I’ll admit! The evenings, I’ll usually wait for my husband to get home at 6:30 and then I’ll disappear to start work. The mornings are set hours but the evenings are flexible which means I can fit it in around the family.

    4.     What do you love about working from home?

    I love that I’m here for the children if they’re poorly. I also enjoy being at home! I’m not a massive social butterfly so I do enjoy just being in my own company. I like not having to commute and not having to rush around every morning. I also suffer from migraines which mean I’d struggle some days to drive to an office or sit in an office all day. Being at home means I have my own comforts and can be more comfortable.

    5.     What are your top three negatives to working from home?

    It can get lonely occasionally.

    No work nights out!

    Sometimes I think I could do with some adult company.

    6.     If you could only pick one, either working from home or working in an office for the rest of your life, which would you pick?

    Working from home – no contest!

    7.     Lots of people say they’d find it hard to stay motivated if working alone at home.  What keeps you motivated?

    If I want to finish my work on time then I need to crack on! That’s enough to keep me motivated.

    8.     Do you have a favourite quote to keep you inspired?

    Never compare your beginning to somebody else’s middle.

    9.     Do you have any advice or words of wisdom to share with mums wanting to make their own income from home?

    If you want something badly enough, you’ll achieve it. Working from home isn’t the easy option by any means but it is the dream for many mums. Never give up!

    Thanks so much to Clare for taking part in my Money Making series.  Would you like to take part?  Contact me above^

    Check out the rest of the series here: Money Making Mums

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     Money Making Mums Blogger Interview Clare from My Money Cottage

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  3. Having a first aid box wherever you are, whether at work, home or camping, is an essential. You never know when an injury may occur or when you may need to give first aid to yourself, your family or even a stranger. You may make your own first aid kit or buy one from many pharmacies and drug stores or online.  Here are some items you should include:

    The 5 Most Important Things to Have in Your First Aid Box

    Bandages and Dressings

    These are essential for any cuts and scrapes or a serious bleed. They are sterile and highly absorbent, and can be wrapped and tied around the area, meaning they stay on better than Elastoplast’s. If you ever need to assist someone who is having a serious bleed, a bandage can be used as a tourniquet tied above the bleed to reduce blood flow to the injured area and stop blood loss rapidly. Having this simple piece of equipment could be the difference between life and death with a large cut incident.

    Scissors

    These can be used to cut bandages, cut clothes, rope, seatbelts and many more. First aid box scissors are usually just used for simple things such as cutting dressings to the correct length, but can be used in more serious events to cut away clothes to reveal the site of injury if needed.

    Tweezers

    This is a simple one that many people may forget, but how many times as a child did you get a splinter? Splinters not only hurt, but left untreated can cause infection, so the sooner a splinter is removed, the better. If you go camping a lot, this is definitely an essential when learning how to make a first aid box based on what activities you are doing.

    Gloves

    Gloves protect you from bodily fluids or anything else you may come into contact with. There is no use in cleaning a wound with your hands that may be harboring thousands of germs. When administering first aid, we must ensure we protect ourselves, as well as the person we are administering first aid to. If you have a cut on your hand you may be endangering yourself to blood-borne viruses, making two casualties from the situation.

    Pain Relieving Medication

    No matter where we are or what we are doing, chances are someone has asked you at some point for some aspirin, and you haven’t been able to help. Having this in your first aid box means always having pain relief to hand if needed, as aspirin and ibuprofen are one of the highest selling over the counter medications, bringing in just over $4.1 billion in sales in 2016.

    These are just some of the essential things that you may need in your first aid box, but this is not a comprehensive list. There are many more items that may come in useful for you depending on whether you use a first aid box in a clinical setting or a family setting. Remember, even simple first aid can help save a life, always be prepared. 

    Related blog posts:

    Cardiac Arrest: How you can save someone’s life with a defibrillator
    Residues of 123 pesticides found in children’s school fruit! Yuck!
    Your ultimate inspirational guide to being truly healthy
    Physical education is no longer physical!

    Please pin me:

    The 5 Most Important Things to Have in Your First Aid Box

    *collaborative post

  4. Welcome to today’s #winitwednesday giveaway (I know, I know, I'm a day late, oops!). 

    Today I’m giving away this beautiful BIRD Print Large Zip Purse to one lucky entrant!

    Women's Cream & Brown Large Bird Print Purse

    A fabulous ladies purse with plenty of room for your cards, coins and notes.  Large bird print design with a secure zip fastening and easy to clean surface.  Organise your cards and change by treating yourself or give to a friend as it makes an ideal women's gift.

    Size: 19 x 2.2 x 9.5cm
    Material: PU
    Fastening: Top zip
    Packaging: Polybag
    Care: Wipe clean with a damp cloth

    Purses are no longer a plain item that needs to be thrown deep into the depths of your handbag, oh no!  They are a fashion statement in their own right.  Use oversized purses as a clutch on a night out to save taking a whole host of belongings with you.  An oversized purse may fit your cards, mobile phone and house key, saving the hassle of taking an entire handbag out.  If it is thrown into the depths of your bags, pick a cool printed pattern to perk you up every time you dig it out to pay!

    Not only are purses crucial for organising your cards and change, but they also make welcome gifts for friends, mums, sisters, you name it!  We use purses for a long time, so it’s a great idea to invest in one you’re going to love for a long time.  Lylia Rose has a fantastic selection of women’s printed purses to suit all styles.  They are all highly affordable too, so if your purse is on its last legs, take a look today and organise your change in style!

    If you love fashion accessories, do pop over to my online fashion accessories boutique for a good browse!  The minimum spend is only £5 per order and 2nd class UK delivery is free!  Find more than fashion accessories in my store too.  There's a great choice of earrings, ear cuffs, headbands, printed fashion scarves, necklaces, bracelets, bangles, iPad cases, purses and even some clothes!

    Win this in my blog giveaway:

    Blog Giveaway: Win a BIRD Print Purse #winitwednesday

    The full terms and conditions are below, but simply enter using one or more of the entry methods in the Rafflecopter widget below and remember, if you win your delivery address must be in the UK.

    Good luck!

    Check out my Giveaways section for more amazing prizes!

    ENTER HERE:

    a Rafflecopter giveaway  

     
    For a chance to win a scarf of your choice every month, simply subscribe here:
     

    PLEASE PIN ME:

    Blog Giveaway- Win a BIRD Print Purse #winitwednesday

    Term and Conditions:

    • There will be one winner
    • The prize is the item pictured above
    • The prize must be claimed within 28 days of the first winner's notification email being sent.
    • There is no cash alternative
    • There is no limit on the number of entries per person, follow the instructions to enable multiple entries
    • Winners will be notified within 28 days
    • The winner must claim their prize within 28 days or it will be forfeited
    • All entries must be received by the date and time specified
    • The winner will be picked at random by Rafflecopter & notified by email
    • Giveaways are open to the UK only
    • The winner's name and county is available upon request
    • Entrants will be signed up to the Lylia Rose newsletter to receive blog posts and giveaways.  Subscribers are also entered into a monthly giveaway to win a scarf of your choice in my online fashion boutique. You can unsubscribe at any time, but it's a great idea to stay signed up to receive giveaways to your inbox and to stay entered in the monthly prize draw.
  5. Gluten free 30 minute dinners delivered to your door

    I’m an advocate for healthy eating and I honestly don’t mind putting in a little more effort to ensure me and my family eat as healthily as possible.  I believe if you don’t have your health, you don’t have much else.  If I’m not well and healthy, then I can’t take care of my children, so it’s important to me to safeguard my health both now and for the future.  I do this through staying active each day and making what I believe to be the healthiest food choices every day.

    One thing that is gaining in momentum, but hasn’t yet totally peaked, is the need for everyone to reduce their intake of added refined sugars.  For the whole of 2017 I have been refined sugar free, bar a couple of accidental slip ups.  I was experimenting for a year, but now I will continue to remain refined sugar free as I don’t believe it’s any good for your health.  It’s honestly a poison.  There’s a great quote along the lines of ‘food can either be the most powerful medicine, or the slowest poison’.  It’s so true.

    To read more on my views of healthy living and reducing sugar, check out these previous blog posts:

    7 ways I’ve got healthier in 7 years
    Your ultimate inspirational guide to being truly healthy
    Why you need to reduce your refined sugar intake

    Healthy Eating Made Easy with Mindful Chef (and your £10 off discount code) Gluten free 30 minute dinners delivered to your door

    What if eating healthily could be even easier?

    Most people, I bet, would say being busy is their main excuse for not eating healthier.  People are working long hours and have busy lives nowadays.  No one wants to spend their evening slaving away in a kitchen after a tiring day, unless they love it of course.  But most of us find cooking a chore.

    I’ve recently discovered a company who have tackled this very problem.

    Mindful Chef are a recipe box delivery in the UK with a difference.  Their recipes are truly healthy with locally sourced ingredients.  The recipes are gluten free and all the ones I’ve seen ingredients for are refined sugar free too.  Woohoo!  I’ve been subscribed to ‘healthy’ food boxes before, but they’ve all contained items with added sugar.  I don’t believe anything with added cane sugar can be classed as healthy at all!

    Watch this and you’ll start to see why  Sugar: The Bitter Truth

    Mindful Chef £10 off discount code

    So it’s amazing to see a recipe box with actual natural real food ingredients.  They release 12 new recipes every week and a third of those are vegan which is great for veggies like me too.

    Here’s how their service works (in their own words):

    Choose your recipes

    Delicious, imaginative gluten-free recipes that change every week

    We source & deliver

    Good-for-you ingredients from small West Country farms

    You cook & enjoy

    Healthy evening meals with simple and speedy prep

     

    Easy peasy!  Plus they claim all recipes take 30 mins or less and are tested on real people (not just chefs).

     

    Why not give them a go today?  Click here to visit Mindful Chef and enter code TT10 for £10 off your first order!

     

    Related blog posts:
    3 Important Reasons to Choose Organic (other than your personal health)
    My Favourite Healthy Eating Quotes
    Nutriseed Review and £5 Off Discount Code

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    Gluten free 30 minute dinners delivered to your door