Sunday, 9 July 2017

Staying Cool Travelling At 7 Months

When I first got pregnant, I was really looking forward to the idea of being pregnant during the summer months. Floaty dresses, flowers in my hair, looking like a cool mama-to-be. However in reality this years warmer months have been quite uncomfortable.  Expectation verses reality on this one were definitely delusional!  You already feel big and uncomfortable, so adding hot weather to the mix is actually not that nice to be honest.

I'm not planning to go on maternity leave until the end of the July, meaning I still have to travel into London for work for a few more weeks unfortunately.  Now in my handbag I carry around essential supplies which are a must!  They are;

// A Fan
Taking a small fan with you on the underground is a great option.  It's far better than waving a newspaper around annoying your fellow passengers!  I picked up a small battery operated fan for a few quid, which has come in really handy.  Perfect hand bag size!

// Water Bottle
This is obviously got to be first on anyones list whilst travelling.  I never used to travel with water with me, but now since being pregnant it is a must.  Water is the best thing to keep you hydrated and you need to keep your fluids up especially growing a little one as they literally do suck the life out of you.  The only problem is you want to pee so much, so just hear that in mind whilst on the move.

// Cooling Spray
The genius who invented water in a spray can, well I could quite happily kiss that person.  This is a life saver when I have been having a hot moment.  It gently mists water over you for the perfect on the spot relief.  I've been spraying it on my face and neck and occasionally my feet when I've been walking a bit too long.  For extra coolness, keep your can in the fridge.  Lush.

// What To Wear
Wearing the right clothes and shoes is key.  I've been wearing sandals and flip flops quite a lot as it lets air get to my feet.  Maxi dresses, long skirts and linen maternity trousers are just some of the clothes I've been wearing for work.  On small occasions I've been living in my only pair of maternity jeans. They are really comfortable, but not the most sensible when its 30 degrees outside.  Also I've popping a hat on my head to keep the sun off my head.

// Wear A Badge
I don't work locally to where I live and have to travel by public transport from zone 6 to 1. Usually in the mornings I can get a seat without an issue, however on the way home it can be a different story.  I started wearing a Baby On Board badge 13 weeks in to pregnancy, which has been quite helpful.  If you can try and obtain a badge from TFL, then it'll give people an indication to perhaps offer you a seat on a packed train.  People might be afraid to offer you one if you're not wearing one out of fear that you might not actually be expecting.  I will leave the link HERE if you ever need to ask for one.

These two points I obviously cannot take travelling with me as such, but they have been rather helpful.

// Travelling Times
If like me and you do travel to work, leave early. When I hit the third trimester and the heat of summer kicked in my boss gave me the option of leaving the office slightly early to try and avoid the stampede of rush hour travellers.  Just leaving slightly earlier has really made a difference sometimes from getting a seat and not getting one.  Plus train carriages always feel a little cooler when not so packed with other people.

// WFH
This has been a true blessing. I'm very lucky that I had the opportunity to reduce my days in the office and work from home on some days.  Just one day at week at home has been nice, as it gives me a bit of rest.  Growing a little one really takes it out of you so this offer I grabbed with both hands.  You are still technically working, but you are in the comfort of your own home... so if you want to work in your bra and knickers - well you can!

How are you coping in this weather whilst being pregnant or even not pregnant.  Do you have any tips and tricks?

Angela x

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Yoga And Its Benefits

Being a bit naive I never 'got' yoga.  I just assumed, you stood there in poses humming to yourself and never really understood the benefits with the exception of the relaxation you achieved afterwards.  It might be semi true that you do occasionally stand in random poses humming (breath in and out, breath in and out), but it is ever so more than that.  I have come away from the class aching after putting my body through its paces and positions I never would of considered before.  I have a buzz running through my body afterwards and feel so chillaxed (chilled/relaxed for those of you who don't know).

I thought I'd share the things that I feel like I have gained from doing yoga for the few weeks I have attended class.  Plus things that yoga makes you think about starting with...

//Your Breath
The energy and strength you gain from inhaling and exhaling at the correct times I've found very noticeable.  I've also noticed it can help with stretching.  If you're having a stressful anxiety moment, taking a good few deep inhales and exhales can be very calming.  I've been doing this even out side of yoga, for example - at work if I'm having a stressful time and I just need to calm myself.  Yoga and your breath work hand in hand. 

//Taking your time 
Yoga is a practice.  A slow one which is good, as life for pretty much every soul on the planet is very rush rush. Yoga makes you go back to square number one and brings you back to a calm peaceful place.  Yoga is not yoga if you rush through.  When it comes to getting into poses, the crow for example - you cannot rush it.  I haven't managed to achieve the crow pose yet, but I will keep going until I do.  Even if it takes me 6 months to get my toes off the ground for literally 5 seconds... I will keep trying.  Rome was not built in a day! (Remember that!!)

Whether just standing on the tube or sitting at the dinning table to have dinner, I feel like yoga has made me more aware of how my spine is. I admit I still might catch myself doing an impression of the hunchback of Notre Dame, but I do try to use my seat bones as much as possible.  If you use them you naturally sit straighter and taller. Also when I stand I always try to stand head up, back straight and chest out.  A little string in the top of my head pulling it up. Stand tall and be proud!!

//Anything Is Possible!!
The first time in class when we were asked if we wanted to attempt the wheel pose, instantly in my head I said to myself I can't do that!!  A few seconds later I then had a rethink and actually gave the wheel a go. I literally balanced on my head, but I gave it a go. That's the important thing. Don't write yourself off straight away! If you put your mind to it you can achieve whatever you want to.  You might not get it perfect first time round but there is always next time.  You just need to...

Like anything in life, if you put a little practice in to something you will improve.  I've started doing some moves at home to try and improve myself, as I also think this will help with preparation for labour. These positions usually being where I am not entirely confident yet, I get my hubby to guide me.  

A little more information on the class I go to if you are interested is at The Lotus School of Yoga near Ludgate Hill / Blackfrairs Station.  A small class of up to 12 people.  The lovely Sophie, is a great teacher with a very calming way about her.  Her voice is just lovely and soothing, especially when you are in savasana before and after the class.

Angela x


Monday, 3 July 2017

If You Read Anything...

...then read this!

Nesting for this bubba has made me want to really transform my home - be it decorating or decluttering. One of my favourite things to do, is to watch inspiring videos on youtube of people cleaning and decluttering. Sounds pretty sad doesn't it...however it really is quite a popular thing these days - just google it. I find watching them gets me in the mood for tackling my home and making it a better place. After watching quite a few videos and reading blog posts on minimalism/decluttering I came across Marie.

Marie Kondo's award winning book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying was a real game changer for me. I'll openly admit I really struggled to put this book down, as I kind of wanted to read and digest it all in one go! As I enjoyed this so much, I thought I'd share a few things that I have learnt from Marie. This may inspire you also to pick up her book and give decluttering a go for yourself.

// Spark Joy
Marie asks you in the book to look at every item you have and to ask yourself a simple question - "Does it spark joy?" When you start your journey you will literally say to yourself "does this spark joy" all the time and you might start to drive yourself mad by quoting it all the time. But I promise you it really does help. Does the item your holding spark joy? Does it make you happy? If the answers are no, then why hold on to them in your home? See ya!

// Categories (Not Rooms)
It's strange when you start this process how much you have in each room and how much of the same things you have scattered around your entire house. Lets take books for example...I had them everywhere! Dinning table, book shelf in living from, in a box, in our office, in our kitchen. You get the gist we had them EVERYWHERE! Marie's idea is instead of tackling the books in just room, bring all the books together in one place (by categories). Then sort through them, store the ones that spark joy in one place - a dedicated space. It makes complete sense because if you sort a room at a time you might have more of the same items in other places and it will feel like an endless task of sorting through the same things. Collect the same items then start.

// Folding Is The Way Forward
When it came to clothes (shoes, accessories, jackets your underwear drawer - all of it) this feels like a huge mountain to climb if you're a clothes hoarder like myself. It feels so satisfying to go through everything asking "do you spark joy?". Sorting complete, Marie has a style of folding clothes which really is just amazing. At first you'll think to yourself I don't like it, I can't do this but keep at it. At first I was skeptical that the folding technic wouldn't last for me, but surprisingly I am still going - see a picture HERE of her technic. It's good for a few reasons; 1) you'll instantly be able to see what you own 2) it saves space and 3) you won't use hangers so much which won't cramp your wardrobe.

// Falling in Love Again
I have found you really start to appreciate the items you have decided to keep and enjoy.  We collect so many things over the years.  We store them with the thought of 'I may need you some day', but realistically you're not really ever going to use those old school books from 1995 you are keeping in the loft.  Why hold on to them?  When you throw out everything you don't like, it shines almost a new light on your belongings that do spark joy.  You'll enjoy them more as they will not be surrounded by clutter.

// Cleaning Will be 'Fun'
Sounds ridiculous to say it, but once you've finished this journey cleaning your home won't seem like a mission impossible task - it will be easier. Everything in your home will have its own 'space'. If you move it from there to use it, you'll put it back there after you've finished using it. You're less likely to become cluttered again. Your habits will change.

That's it!  I hope the five little paragraphs above inspire you to start a minimalism / decluttering journey. Mine is far from over, but Marie has certainly helped me love and enjoy the things I have decided to keep so far. She has changed the way I think... "Do I really need that" is something I say to myself a lot now and I believe this is down to Marie and the journey I've been on. She has truly changed the way my brain thinks.

Are you inspired? Have you read Marie's book? Fancy giving this a go? Well you can purchase Marie's book on amazon HERE.

Enjoy Angela x


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