Hola from Spain!

As I am writing this we are on our way to Logrono from San Sebastián, via a shop that sells croissants, and also via Pamplona for a couple of hours.

The view from San Sebastian beach

We are in Spain and Portugal for a month altogether for our family honeymoon. We got the ferry into Santander and we are driving in our own car between the places. We decided that would be better than getting a plane over to Spain and then getting internal flights, as even though it actually costs a bit more it means we can have all of our stuff in the car rather than just a suitcase each and also that we can leave a place when we are ready rather than having to be somewhere at a certain time to catch a flight.

However I am slightly regretting that decision as the ferry over here was very rocky and we all got very seasick. We were fine the first evening but I was awake for five hours during the night as it was quite like being on a ride tipping forwards and backwards all night and then in the morning we were all so seasick and Ava actually threw up at breakfast which was lovely.

We’re trying to forget about that now though, and have spent a lovely couple of days in San Sebastián. It’s a beautiful city with a really lovely beach that we have spent quite a bit of time on. It is absolutely rammed at the moment as it is the summer holidays but Ava has absolutely adored jumping and playing in the sea and she never wanted to leave (unless there was the possibility of an ice cream!).

Ava in San SebastianChurch in San Sebastian

We stayed at the Hotel Zenit in San Sebastián which was very modern and very nice. The room was really spacious even with a bed for Ava in it, the bathroom huge with a double shower including a waterfall shower and was completely spotless. One day the cleaners arranged Ava’s toys in a really cute way on the bed and a hanging light – I love little touches like that.

However for us the hotel was a bit far out of the centre with around a fifteen to twenty minute walk depending on where we were going. Because it was a hotel rather than an apartment and because the Spanish don’t eat their dinner until at least 8pm it meant that we had to go back to the hotel and get ready and then go back out with quite a long walk for Ava’s tired little legs. We do want to try and get in a little routine with a siesta or at least a rest and then Ava will hopefully last the evening ok. If we’d had an apartment but were further out like we were then that would have been ok because we could have made our own dinner rather than going back out.

San SebastianSan Sebastian BeachBy the beach in San Sebastian

San Sebastián is very expensive to stay and so we had to stay further out, but it was a bit of a pain. We did get the bus a few times, but even that was a bit of a walk to the nearest bus stop.

We loved San Sebastián though, it’s a lovely city and feels very safe. We enjoyed lots of pinxtos in the Old Town and probably the best chorizo we’ve ever had (Ava destroyed it!) and it was nice standing around ordering different small dishes of food and letting Ava run around us.

The beach in San SebastianHotel Zenit San Sebastian

We are looking forward to going to Logrono now and having a hotel that is more central, as well as lots of Rioja! I’d also love to do a bit of grape squishing with my feet too if we find somewhere that does it!

Have you ever been to San Sebastián or Logrono? Do you have any remedies for sea sickness?! Please share if you do!

Top Tips For Working From Home As A Mum

Recently I have been looking into becoming a freelance writer. I am a stay at home mum and blogger and I love it. I always wanted to be a stay-at-home mum but now that Ava goes to nursery for a few days a week I now have some time to earn some money whilst still hopefully remaining at home.

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Working from home as a parent is hard. You have limited time in which you can get everything done, and often you will have to work at night once children are in bed to get it all done.

Hiive have asked me to share some of my tips about working from home as a mother. Hiive is a creative network that offers users a portfolio platform, job opportunities and access to careers resources. It’s designed to encourage discussion and collaboration within the creative industries. Hiive was described to me as a kind of LinkedIn for creatives, and I thought that it sounded interesting as LinkedIn can seem very professional and serious, but in my opinion I am not at all creative. I also think of being creative as being good at making things, but it’s made me think that I suppose what I do is creative; blogging, writing, creating content, headlines, editing photos; it’s all creative stuff.

Here are some of my tips about working from home as a mother; I definitely need to work harder on some of these myself.

Get organised

Chances are you will have a limited amount of time to get your work done. Either your child goes to nursery or school, or they are at home with you all day and you can’t just sit and work and ignore them all day! So you need to plan out exactly what you need to get done in the time that you do have. Create a to do list and a schedule and stick to it as much as possible.

Ignore the housework

This is one that I find really hard, but try your best to leave the housework alone whilst you are supposed to be working. If you just quickly wash up, then quickly run the Hoover over, then oh look the washer’s finished and you better put it out, then you’ve probably lost a couple of hours work time. Sort the mess out later. This leads me on to….

Have your own work space

Ideally you need to sit and work in a place that is away from all of the mess and daily chores so that you’re not so distracted by them. Having your own work area also means that you can leave all of your work stuff together, somewhere organised and out the way, so that you don’t have to waste time getting all your things; laptop, charger, paperwork, together every time you start work. It doesn’t have to be a huge space but a little desk of your own can really help. I know when I make the effort to go upstairs and work at my desk I get a lot more done.

Put down the phone

My goodness I am terrible at this. If my daughter is at nursery I just want to spend time checking every social media site under the sun whilst I have the chance. I am so addicted to checking my emails, it is ridiculous. But a few minutes here and there quickly adds up and I could easily lose an hour of work time (or more!) each work day just checking my phone. If you can leave your phone somewhere away from you then you’ll probably pick it up less and waste less time when you should be working.

On the other side of this, you need to put down the phone when you are with your children as well. It’s so easy with everything being available on our phones to just quickly check to see if someone has emailed you back or if someone is happy with the blog post you have written for them, but it can be a constant distraction, and we need to try and give our kids our full attention when we can.

Plan out times to work but be flexible

Working from home as a parent means you may have to change the times you planned on doing something; you may have a child that won’t go to sleep or is poorly, and whilst you need to be organised with the time you have available to work and what you plan on getting done in that time, you have to be prepared that things could quickly change. Make sure you will have enough time to get something done if you are delayed and be prepared to be flexible.

Network and be social

Working from home can be quite isolating and so you need to make sure you still make an effort to communicate with other people; both so that you don’t get lonely and for inspiration. Sometimes as a blogger or freelancer you can get stuck for ideas or feel disappointed that you didn’t get a certain job, so it can be nice to have some online friends who do something similar to you that you can chat to. Hiive can be great for networking with other ‘creatives’, as well as finding new work, so definitely check it out.

Have you got any tips for people working from home? Have you had a look at Hiive yet?

 

Married Life: The First Month

On Wednesday it was the one month anniversary of our wedding. It’s kind of flown by and yet at the same time that beautiful day seems ages ago. I think because it was such a blur and the day flew by so fast that it doesn’t seem like it was only one month ago.

The first month of married life

Everyone who sees me asks how married life is (mostly my delivery men!) and they all expect the same answer; that it’s exactly the same as before and that’s usually what I say. And it’s true. Not that much has changed in our daily life, but also something massive has happened. Nothing much is different, and yet it’s nice to know that after all of this time of us being together (around fifteen years) that we are married now.

It didn’t bother me at all not being married or having a really long engagement – having a baby as soon as possible was our priority (you can find out why here) – but it does feel really nice and secure being married.

I love having the same name as my little family, even though it is very weird changing your name at thirty years old. It’s exciting too though, having a new name. I really love glancing down and seeing my lovely wedding ring, and knowing that I am married and we have made a commitment to each other. It feels special. And it makes me very happy.

Opposable Thumbs, Making Babies, and Pet Seals // The Things She Says #4

I’m back with another ‘The Things She Says': the funny things that have come out of my three and a half year old daughter’s mouth recently. I didn’t expect to have another list quite so soon but almost every day she comes out with something that makes me laugh and I have to write down.

I hope some of them make you laugh and brighten your day.

A: “I heard a aeroplane”
Me: “Did you?”
A: “It was going like this ‘nee nar nee nar'”
Me: “Haha that’s not an aeroplane, that’s what police cars and ambulances do”
A: “No, they go ‘we’re going to nursery, we’re going to nursery’, and our car goes ‘we’re going to tap and ballet'”

A: “You have two patch” (in my denim shorts)
Me: “Patches, yes they’re supposed to be there”
A: “No they’re not I don’t have patches in my leggings”
Me: “I know but mine are supposed to, it’s called fashion”
A: “I don’t like fashion.”

She put her arms round my neck and strangled me:
Me: “You’re strangling me”
A: “Strangle ME!”
Me: “no!”
A: “Go on strangle me”
Me: “Definitely not”
A: “Strangle me strangle me strangle me”
(I didn’t!)

Reading a book, Nemo and Giraffe – the cat in the book is called Nemo:
Daddy: “Nemo’s not on the picture, maybe he was taking the photo”
Ava: “No he can’t take the picture because he doesn’t have opposable thumbs.”

She said when will she have a baby because she wants one so we talked about mummy and daddy having one “But it’s too hard to make a baby, when I tried last time it was tooo hard”. (I think she must have been reading my infertility post!)

A: “Daddy you know what I want for dinner?”
P: “No what?”
A: “Soap!”

Playing with my old phone “I’m not getting any signal”.

To me while I was exercising: “Pay attention to what your body’s saying”(I’m wondering if she maybe got this from watching good old Doc Mcstuffins).

“Mummy I love you, but I love watching the unwrapping things more than I love you.” Ouch.

“Mummy your hands are wetter than a wet cow!”

“How did somebody put you together mum?”

“You’re a stuck up pony.” (This is from a horrid programme called Horseland which she is no longer allowed to watch.)

Looking at music on my phone: “I found a man that looks like Daddy in glasses.” – Hilariously it was T.I – a rapper who looks nothing like her father (google him)!

Me: “You’re gorgeous, aren’t you?”
Her: “Yes”
Me: “I hope you’ll always believe it”
Her: “I’ll always believe it”

“I love you more than chocolate.” (To me)

I was talking about dying my hair and Paul was saying she can see it next week once I’d been to the hairdressers (because she was asking if she could see it once it’s ‘died’). Paul said you can see it next week when it’s all cut and blonde, and she said “and dead”!!!!

A: “I’m really, really (x10) hungry”
Me: “You have a lot of hunger”
A: “It’s hungry not hunger”

“I love you morrrre than beer!”

We were talking to her Daddy in the other room and he misheard us:
Me to Ava: “Daddy’s getting old and going deaf.”
A: “And he going died” :(

“Mum why can’t I have a pet seal?”

I love looking back on these so much! Have your little one’s said anything hilarious recently?

Little Hearts, Big Love

Kale Chips, Emotional Songs, and A Grumpy Queen Elsa #Little Loves

Happy Friday!

Little Loves

This week has been a bit of a tough one as I am sleeping terribly and so I feel just awful and barely getting anything done. But it’s ok! Tomorrow there will be only a week to go until we go away on our month-long trip to Spain and Portugal, so I’m sure I can survive until then (fingers crossed!).

Here are some of the little things I have been loving this week…

Read

I really enjoyed Jess’ recent post ‘On Why I Don’t Post Negative Reviews’. I think it’s really interesting to hear other people’s opinions on things like this. Unlike Jess I will post a negative review of something and have done before as I feel like I should be totally honest with my readers (as Jess does too) and don’t want to only review something if I think it’s great. However I do agree that I feel differently if it is a really small company and a negative review from me could really affect their business and I have decided not to review a couple of things like that before.

Watched

I have started watching Orange is the New Black again and have quite enjoyed it. For some reason I stopped with just one episode to go in Season 2, and that was ages ago, so I watched the last few of that series again and then started Season 3 and I think I am about half way through it. I have enjoyed watching it in the evenings; the second and third seasons are definitely not as good as the first one but it is easy to watch and I like it. I am liking Piper less and less as it goes on, which is weird as I normally always really like the main character in anything.

Wore

Queen Elsa came to visit us, but she was feeling a bit grumpy…

Queen ElsaAva dressed as Queen Elsa

And I wore some foil in my hair.

Getting my hair did.

If you saw this post then you will know that I had planned on going blonde for the first time. And I tried it. I had some highlights put in but I just didn’t like it unfortunately. I felt like the contrast of my dark hair with the blonde bits was just too much, and the bits in my side fringe thingymabob looked a bit yellow and streaky. So I promptly dyed it again and now it is a bit too red but a lot better. Annoyingly I do think if I had the time and money to really build the blonde up over a long period I still could like it, but as I am going away next week I didn’t want to leave it and hate all the pictures of me from our trip.

I did get it cut though to around my shoulders and slightly longer at the front and I’m really happy with it. It’s got some volume back and I feel like I can do more with it (except for my beloved messy bun – big bits fall out now!).

Heard

At the very end of our wedding after everyone else had left my new husband and I danced to James Blake – A Case Of You in the middle of the dancefloor, with only the DJ watching on. It was very emotional and romantic, and one of my favourite moments of the day. This week I have heard that song a couple of times and now it makes me really emotional. It’s lovely, but I’m too tired to be getting so emotional willingly this week so I’m trying to avoid it now!

Made

This week I made more of the raw chocolate fudge from Deliciously Ella’s website (or was that last week? I have no idea).

Deliciously Ella's Raw Chocolate Fudge

I made Kale Chips again (possibly last week again, sorry) which I haven’t done for ages. I should really make them more as I absolutely love them, they’re easy to make and healthy and it’s the kind of thing I fancy eating at night but can’t be bothered to make once I’ve sat down.

Kale Chips

We also made Puffy Paint after Jess talked about in her Little Loves post a few weeks ago. As you probably know I am not crafty at all but this was so easy to make and good fun.

Painting with puffy paintPuffy PaintAva using Puffy Paint

And lastly…

As I am going away for almost an entire month I am not exactly sure what will happen with my blog posting. I am going to try and post regular updates about where we are and what we are doing, as well as hopefully posting little vlogs of what we get up to. But we will have to see what the internet is like, how much time I get and if I feel like taking a break from relaxing very often! I really hope I am able to keep posting because I really want to document our trip as we go along and whilst it is still fresh in my mind. I also want this to be the start of more regular vlogs, but again we will have to see!

Hope you have a splendid weekend xxx

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