Love a good meal plan ❤️ Meal planning is what keeps us to our grocery budget, stops us wasting food and keeps us eating nutritious food most of the time (rather than getting to 5pm and having to run to the chippy / eat pasta with butter – though I do love both of those options on occasion 😂). I was reading a great article earlier about non-sexy self care – we so often think of self care in terms of treats, but less sexy (and less consumerist) concepts like getting organised with our finances and homes, making sure we go to bed early enough and get enough sleep, move our bodies and eat meals that will nourish us often don’t feel like the easiest choice in the moment but are often be so much more important to keeping us well. The article talked about thinking about self care as parenting ourselves, rather than treating ourselves and I love that analogy – treats are lovely but often short term whereas parenting ourselves encompasses making sure our long term health and wellbeing is thought about rather just short term fixes ❤️ Really resonated with me – I’ll try and share the post in stories! (Also post not intentionally a plug for @abelandcole I just like the pad ok 😂)L xLifestyle
My next post on UK holidays! A few tips for saving money on haven / caravan holidays when you get there…
Here’s how we try and stay thrifty:
– Meal plan to cook meals / have a good selection of snacks in the caravan from a supermarket shop (on site shops are pricey!). We usually plan just 1 or 2 meals out (can’t go to the seaside and not have some chips can you?!). In the car we do a big Aldi / Lidl shop or while we’ve been travelling by public transport we got a supermarket shop delivered to the caravan – just put the park address in the delivery address and put a note to phone for your caravan number when they arrive, it is super easy!
– Take flasks, water bottles, packed lunch and a good supply of snacks with you when out and about. The refill app is handy for finding places to top up your bottles on the go!
It’s been a month or so of little adventures and breaks for us since we had a super homely start to the year with welcoming Rory.
We discovered Haven holidays via the Sun holidays promotion a few years ago and it’s become one of the kids and our favourite holidays, they just get so much joy from the entertainment and activities, our caravans have always been lovely, clean and cosy and it’s just such a bargain for a little break! We paid £47 Monday to Friday for our last break and only slightly more for the last weekend (cherry picking the fee free dates where everything is included keeps it the absolute cheapest but even without there are some real bargains to be had). I reckon it’s easily on a par with Center Parcs (which we do still love, although the kids prefer Haven cos of all the entertainment) and the cost difference is just huuuge!
Got a few posts lined up about saving pennies / organisation for UK / caravan holidays this week (I import all my informative or recipe posts from here to my blog too every few weeks, so you can always check them out over there!)
Have you tried the Sun holiday deals yet? If you search out the Facebook group there is loads of info there or you can just search for the codes online so you don’t even have to buy a copy (not in any way a fan of the sun in general! 🤮 and not sponsored I just like a bargain and telling people about it 😂). L x
A year ago last month, Gaz quit his main job. While he has always worked from home (IT), it was pretty much still a 9-5 with meetings and working through the night a lot to keep on top of it, a lot of stress and responsibility, and the stress of trying to manage a tonne of conference calls with 3 homeschooled kids also in our small house!
We were having wwoofers take care of the farm, Gaz was feeling so frustrated when he had so many days he couldn’t get outside at all, and I was increasingly stressed at not getting much of a break with the kids. We felt like we had moved to our dream home but didn’t have a lifestyle where we could enjoy it.
It was a super scary and hard decision to make, but after we had got used to living on a thrifty budget, built up my income a bit, and saved a little emergency fund, we decided that it had to go.
Even though the days of being able to have disposable income / save any money would be pretty much over, we decided that it was more important to have the lifestyle we want and trade a higher income for more flexibility and balance now, while the kids were young (I know it’s a huge privilege to have that choice and I’m so very grateful for his previous job and the start it gave us in being able to buy a house etc).
We earn about bang on 50 / 50 now between Gazs smaller IT clients and my eBay work, and get to spend time on @happyrootsfarmuk which isnt exactly a money maker, but feels deeply purposeful to us.
There is no maternity leave for me, so i’m shoehorning bits work when I can, its a juggle and an adjustment to managing our time between it all, and we are tightening our belts even more while we have a tiny one. Its a bit more of a hustle, for sure, but its one we are in together and gah it is so so worth it for moments like this, a different kind of abundance ❤
Rest ❤ Do you make enough room in your life for rest? I know that getting enough sleep, and taking time to rest is a game changer for me. Its often the difference between waking up ready to face the day and wanting to stay hidden under the covers. The difference between responding to my children with grace or responding with scorn. The difference between being a happy partner and a snappy partner.
That definitely doesn’t mean I find it easy to put into practice, its haaaard (heck we have a newborn and 3 other kids, work, farm and its never comes easy to just. be. still. 😂🙈). We are recovering night owls here who frequently used to stay up through to the early hours working (or playing) despite being so knackered we were grumpy the next day and loads less productive working. Why oh why is it so much easier to get sucked into a YouTube/ Pinterest rabbit hole for 3 hours once the kids are in bed than get the rest you really need? 😂 But late nights followed by kids that get up around 6am left us so depleted, so in the last year we have totally flipped our schedule to sleeping early (usually by 10pm, earlier if I’ve had a bad night with the babe) and I’m finding it so much easier to get up in a morning and deal with feeding a newborn at night. Also trying to remember to schedule days to just rest and be at home between days of activity, and breaks in even busy days to snatch a cup of tea, lie snuggling with the baby, have 5 minutes with my book, a moment to take rest.
There is a brilliant Ted talk we watched this week on the importance of sleep called ‘Sleep is your superpower’, talking about all the ways not getting enough sleep affects your body – the physiological and immune system effects really astounded me. I’d love to hear what you thought if you watched it and if this is something you struggle with too! L x
There is a baby who never, ever wants to be put down, a tired mama who often gets overwhelmed from so. much. noise. Mama worries, sibling arguments, and snappy parents. There are dirty floors and pots undone, and there is always, always work to be done. There are moments of struggle, every day.
But there is also morning tea, with buttered toast and sticky sweet dandelion honey. Belly laughs, games played, hands held and babies contentedly sleeping on my chest. Dinners outside on the grass, 5 minutes to read my book whole Rory feeds, a cup of herbal tea in my favourite mug. Goodnight stories and falling knackered into Gaz’s arms when everyone is finally asleep.
Little threads of joy, weaved in the tapestry of very ordinary days, easily missed if I don’t take the opportunity to notice and delight in them ❤
I’d love to hear what little thing/s brought you joy today? L x
Mothers Day beautiful chaos 😂❤ I can’t quite believe I’m a mama to 4!
We have a little low key tradition now of breakfast in bed, a bunch of flowers from the garden and homemade cards from the kids, then we popped over to my mum’s for afternoon tea with her and my nan – super special to get 4 generations together.
Hope all the mummies out there have a lovely day, and all the love to those who are missing their mamas / babies / today is tricky for ❤❤ L xLifestyle
One week old today ❤
I remember having our first baby, and being desperate to get back to normal… To prove I could still do it all – keep on top of work and the house and rush to squish my sore body back into my pre baby clothes and get out and about. I gritted my teeth through afterpains and tried to hide my bleeding and my sore dripping boobs as visitors after visitors came to see us and baby.
I’ve changed a little since then, reading @magamamas The Fourth Trimester had a huge impact on me, and I’ve worked hard in recent years to stop caring what anyone else does and listen more closely to what my individual body and temperament needs – and for me that is deep rest, and time to go inward and focus on recovering and just nourishing this little person in these precious first few weeks.
I haven’t left the house, other than to potter in the garden, all week. I could happily do nothing all day but feed and cuddle and watch him sleep.
My body is squishy soft and raw and shifting and healing, my boobs are huge and sore and leaky and practically none of my clothes fit / look or feel right. I smell like sour milk mixed with a sweaty football team thanks to breastfeeding and hormonal hot flashes.
My heart is blown wide open, I feel everything so deeply and I cry on the daily, at happy and sad things, or for no reason at all. To see me, I’m a total mess, by societys standards, but here, surrendering to being soft and vulnerable, I feel totally myself and like my heart is overflowing with love and contentment.
These days have been the most slow, precious, revered days of my life so far, and I am just basking in the beauty of this messy, magical time while it lasts, taking many lessons forward with me and trying somehow to put it into words so I never forget ❤ L xLifestyle