Thursday, 26 February 2015

The Ideal Kitchen


Indian tiles from Bleucoin

What would your ideal kitchen look like? Our house is far from perfect and there are lots of things to update, paint, repair and replace. I’ve developed a little love for Pinterest and as there are so many beautiful images on there I sometimes daydream about my ideal house. There are no plans to decorate in the near future, there is no time or money at the moment but if I could wave a magic wand here’s what I’d choose for a kitchen:

Layout 
I’m a big fan of storage so lots of cabinets are ideal. Our current kitchen has quite a few but we could do with some extra shelves and simple storage solutions.

Size
Bigger kitchens aren’t necessarily better but I do think a bit of space helps! This will depend on family size or just preference (if you’re rich!). My cousin has four kids so she needs a table for six and bigger kitchen appliances like these Panasonic America fridge freezers with all those mouths to feed.

Furniture
Our kitchen is big enough to have a table in and I find it’s really beneficial to eat in the same place as cooking. I love that our kitchen is big enough (just) to fit a table in. It could do with a bit of paint though and probably some new chairs. Here’s one I like the look of from John Lewis. 



Table from John Lewis
Design
I am usually drawn to white or cream kitchens. Saying that though I love bright colours. I once rented out a flat that an interior designer owned. She had painted each room a different colour. The kitchen had yellow walls and pale turquoise cabinets. I loved that little Kitchen. Maybe a combination of white or cream with pale turquoise would work? Our table tops could definitely do with a make over too! 

Windows
Natural light is crucial especially in a kitchen so window size is important to me. Our current kitchen doesn’t let that much light in but I’m sure adding some strategic lighting and paining our cabinets a brighter colour would make a huge difference.

Flooring
I’m pretty pleased with our current flooring - terracotta stone so that can stay put :)

Finishing touches
I absolutely love ceramic tiles and think they can add so much to a room. The ones above are Indian tiles but I also love Portuguese, Moroccan and Turkish tiles. And I suppose if I really could choose my kitchen would have a balcony overlooking the swimming pool in the garden! Haha, a girl can dream… :)

What would your perfect kitchen look like?

This is a sponsored post. All words and opinions are my own.

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Monday, 23 February 2015

This Week in February

Out and About


It was half-term last week but because of toddler’s age my routine was pretty similar to our usual one. On Tuesday it was a lovely sunny day and we visited the local park and then went to the seaside. Toddler loves both the park and the seaside, who doesn't at his age! He wants to go on everything in the park - swings, slide, climbing frame, roundabout and has developed a love of running down slopes so once he sees any mound/slope he is up there! Then he giggles as he comes running down. As soon as he see's the sea in the distance he starts getting excited saying 'sea!' So sweet :)

Fun at the seaside

On Thursday we went to a mathemagical pre-school class as part of Brighton Science Festival. It sounded quite fun so thought I’d see what toddler thought of it all. There were games, toys, puzzles, songs and dancing! This particular class was aimed at 2-3 year olds so toddler is not quite there but I think he really enjoyed this, especially the shape segments and lego pieces. For me too, it made a difference to the usual baby group.




Fun at Home 


We have been reading a lot this week. Toddler has so many books and he actually demands that I read to him regularly! His favourite at the moment are sound books, any book with shapes or his sheep book! We have been spending more time in the garden in the past week. Toddler loves running up and down the path and I’ve been attempting to do some gardening while he does it. We haven’t been spending too much time out there because it’s been so rainy and cold.

Time for me 


Yoga wasn’t on but instead I went swimming. I used to swim a lot and although sometimes I have to push myself to go swimming - changing out of clothes always seems a big faff - I alway feel much more refreshed and better afterwards.

My Happiest Moment 


Watching my little boy grow up and watching all the funny things he is doing and saying. At 20 months he looks so big now, it is crazy! His clothes are huge, his feet are huge (6.5 G now!) and he is huge! I know, I know, babies do grow up but he’s my little boy, can’t believe he’s going to be two soon! Argh!
Tinyfootsteps
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Sunday, 22 February 2015

Silent Sunday: The Bandstand


#CheckOutThatView
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Saturday, 21 February 2015

First Trip to the Aquarium


Last week I took toddler on his first ever trip to the aquarium! We were invited to the launch of the new Jurassic Seas exhibition at Sea Life Brighton. I admit it, I love aquariums and have been to several sea life centres. I’ve been tempted many times to take toddler to one but thought, at 20 months, he might be a bit too young to appreciate it. However, when we were invited to the launch I jumped at the chance. 



I took a friend and her little girl along and we had a great time! The two toddlers loved looking at the sea life, running through the exhibits, seeing some funny looking creatures and saying ‘wow’ when they saw big fish. Last weeks Sunday Photo was of my little boy looking at the tank full of turtles in amazement. The centre is well organised so the two little ones could roam (relatively) free and chase each other down the slopes. We took a ride on the glass bottom boat which was a big hit. I think toddler was more interested in the bubbles in the water rather than the big fish below but hey ho the ride was very popular with the older children! 

Photo credit: Julia Claxton

Giant Nautilus
Photo credit: Julia Claxton

The new Jurassic Seas exhibition includes digital dinosaurs, ancient fossils and unique sea creatures. Max, the General Manager, gave us a wonderful tour introducing the new features. The toddlers were falling asleep by this stage but we adults were mesmerised. I was amazed by the Giant Nautilus and Horseshoe Crabs that have existed for 450 millions years and crazy to think they were on the Earth at the same time as dinosaurs! My favourite though was Charlie the snakeneck turtle. The exhibition boosts a digital motion-sensory installation that allows you to choose a dinosaur and control its movement on a big screen, the first attraction of its kind in the world, shown below.

New Jurassic Seas feature
Photo credit: Julia Claxton

We had a lovely afternoon out and the toddlers had a wonderful time. Although toddler didn't linger on any display for too long (except the turtles) it was great just to introduce him to the magical and colourful world of sea life. I'm already looking forward to our next visit :)

Where have you been this week?

Many thanks to Sea Life Brighton for inviting us to the Jurassic Seas Launch :)

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Monday, 16 February 2015

Win a six week yoga course in Brighton & Hove worth £60

© Lucy Howlett

I recently wrote about getting back into yoga after having baby. I have been attending vinyasa flow yoga classes in Brighton & Hove with Lucy at Lift Personal Training and have really enjoyed the experience. If you live locally and are interested in yoga or know someone that is then this competition is for you!

Lucy comes from a background of dance and personal training, specialising in pre and post-natal exercise. She teaches a vinyasa flow-style yoga class, linking movement with the breath. This helps to improve strength, flexibility, posture and muscle tone whilst promoting mindfulness and reducing stress. The sequences are energising yet grounding, giving you some precious time to yourself in amongst busy daily life.

For your chance to win a six week yoga course worth £60 with Lucy in Brighton & Hove then please enter below. Classes take place at All Saints Church, Hove on Monday evenings at 7.45-9pm. The winning participant can start on the next six week course depending on availability. Minimum age is 16 years. All abilities welcome.


Good luck! I might see you in the next class!


a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Sunday, 15 February 2015

Silent Sunday: Little hands at the Sealife Centre

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Saturday, 14 February 2015

A Quote on Valentine's Day


© Our Seaside Baby


A beautiful quote about love from one of my favourite books: 


“Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. 
Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body. No, don't blush, I am telling you some truths. That is just being "in love", which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.” 
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Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Yoga

Lucy Howlett, Yoga teacher at LIFT Personal Training 

For the past few weeks I have been attending Vinyasa Flow Yoga classes with Lucy Howlett. I have been practising yoga since I was about 18, going to my first classes at University - that seems a long time ago now! There are so many benefits to yoga and over the years I’ve been attending classes on and off. When I was pregnant I attended pregnancy yoga classes which were amazing and crucial, for me, in terms of birth preparation. The positioning, breathing and relaxation helped immensely in labour and when giving birth.

Since baby was born I hadn’t been to a single class. I had done a bit of yoga at home but there were many distractions, you don’t have the same vibe as in a class and to be honest I’d get bored and go off and do something else. Life is busy when you have a baby and in the early days, most evenings I was too shattered to do anything but sit on the sofa. But toddler has been sleeping through the night for a while so I didn’t have any more excuses!

At the start of the new year I found Lucy’s yoga class. I’ve had five sessions so far and they have been going really well. I will admit that the first class went pretty slowly and I thought my body would break, bending in all sorts of ways, using muscles that hadn't been used in years. I had forgotten a lot of the poses and watching the others rise up, go down, bend, arch, bend again, into downward facing dog, jump, rise up and back up again before you even have time to think left me a little exhausted! After the first session by body ached for days after but it did feel good getting back into it, a sense of achievement.

© Lucy Howlett

On the second session I quickly got back into the rhythm. I was much more focused and suddenly became familiar with the names of the poses again. I let go more and loved the rhythm of sequences. I was also surprised that I could do a lot of these bends and stretches after not attending a class in about 18 months. Afterwards, I felt calmer and stronger and was already looking forward to my next class. I even had a couple of dreams about these classes! Each week there has been a particular focus on each session:

  • Slowing down the breath. The word Om and it's meaning. Alignment in the poses.
  • Solar plexus (manipura) chakra. Inner strength and will power. Finding our inner warrior through the asanas/poses.
  • Heart (anahata) chakra, ability to feel peace, to give and receive love, offering self-love. The emotional significance of practicing yoga.
  • Throat (vishuddha) chakra, speaking our truth and practicing gratitude.
  • Ajna (third eye) and Sahasrara (crown) chakra; accessing enlightenment and bliss. Acknowledging the teachers/guides/people of positive influence in our lives.

© Lucy Howlett

Over the years I’ve tried different yoga classes and I think it’s really important to be able to connect with the teacher. Lucy really is a wonderful teacher, offering many words of wisdom and creating a calm and tranquil environment. Lucy guides you through the class, through the exercises but also through the mental, emotional and spiritual stages of yoga, releasing those hectic thoughts, letting go of that negative energy, calming the mind and focusing on positivity. The classes are almost addictive! Lucy says "The vinyasa flow classes help to improve strength, flexibility, posture and muscle tone whilst promoting mindfulness and reducing stress. The sequences will be energising yet grounding, giving you some precious time to yourself in amongst busy daily life." I think everyone could benefit from this!

There are other small touches that make a big difference. I love readings - Lucy read out this inspirational piece about what yoga means to someone. The music in the class is relaxing, ranging from classical music to the Beatles. There are also some essential oils and a muscle relaxer cream that you can add before the class begins, a treat for the senses. At the end of the class there is a wonderful relaxtion/stretching period reflecting back on the class and feeling that accomplishment that comes at the end of exercise. I have been trying to think of something that can be improved in the classes but honestly can't think of anything!

I'm so glad I'm attending classes again. I feel calmer. My body feels much more supple and flexible and my back and shoulders which have been hurting for months, from carrying a baby around, feel more relaxed. It's amazing how one class can have an impact on your whole week. I am already looking to my next session.

If you live in the Brighton and Hove area and want to find out more about Lucy's classes please visit her website or twitter as I'd definitely recommend her: 

Lucy Howlett, Yoga Teacher at Lift Personal Training and on twitter 

Win a six week yoga course with Lucy 

Do you attend a yoga/exercise class. Why do you like it?

Many thanks to Lucy for collaborating on this review. All words and opinions are my own.



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Sunday, 8 February 2015

Silent Sunday: Coffee

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Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Buying a Summer Buggy

Colour pushcahirs: Maclaren Globetrotter Buggy
Now that we are well into 2015 we’ve starting thinking about a new buggy for the warmer weather. We have used the same Bébé Confort buggy since toddler was born 19 months ago. It was given to us by friends who no longer needed the pushchair as their children had outgrown it. It’s an older model but has been super reliable and has worked pretty well for us. We’ve used it since baby was a newborn right up until now. It’s incredibly sturdy, reliable and very handy for hanging loads of shopping on the rails!
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Sunday, 1 February 2015

Silent Sunday: On the Move


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This week in Brighton

Out and About 


We’ve been out a lot this week. Last weekend was a gloriously sunny day and my Silent Sunday photo was the scene of the promenade along Brighton seafront. Here’s a few more photos I took that day. Everyone was out and Brighton is always full of life especially at the weekends. I got a lot of comments asking if it was last Saturday and if it’s always that busy. The answer is yes, it’s always full of people walking, children playing, general hustle and bustle, even on a cold day. 


Last weekend

Volleyball on Brighton seafront

The West Pier in the distance

This week I’ve taken toddler to a music class and play group. He wasn’t too keen on the music class as he’s in a sensitive sound phase at the moment and I think the music was a little too loud and hectic for him. He loves the play group though, we go there regularly and it’s great catching up with the other mamas. We’ve been to the park a couple of times which he loves. I took some lovely photos of him laughing on the swings. Toddler is walking more and more without the buggy, for short distances at least. We did have a bit of an accident this week though because despite loving holding my hand a couple of weeks ago he decided it’s much more fun to run ahead. I insisted several times on holding my hand but he kept having a tantrum so I thought ok, we’re not near a road and let go. As he ran off he fell face down onto the concrete! I tried to catch him but too late. Such a bad moment, he was crying, I was nearly crying. Luckily it wasn’t as bad as it seemed. So as he is refusing to hold my hand I have been teaching him to walk slloooooowwwwllly. And guess what? It worked! He walks slowly on demand now. Amazing! Although I am guessing he will quickly get bored of this in a few days time :) I might purchase some reins, the backpack type but am still a little undecided about these. 


Going to the park 

Fun at Home 


His two favourite items at the moment are lego and wooden spoons. As soon as we come in the house he points to the pot of wooden spoons and that keeps him happy for ages, sorting them out, putting them back into the metal pot, then taking them out, sorting them out on the floor, putting them on the table and then returning them to the pot again! He loves sorting so much! He also loves building huge lego towers and is developing a love for Peppa Pig! 

Time for me 


For the past few weeks I have been attending a yoga class in Brighton. I’ve been practising yoga for years on and off including pregnancy yoga but hadn’t been to a class since baby was born. It’s so lovely getting back into it and the teacher Lucy is wonderful. 

My Happiest Moment 


My happiest moment has been watching toddler grow and develop. He is speaking even more at the moment and doing some funny things which are so entertaining to watch. He already said ‘ah oh’ and this week found it hilarious when I said it repeatedly; ‘ah oh, ah oh, ah oh, ah oh, ah oh’. He quickly picked it up and would repeat it himself then burst into laughter! I love seeing him laugh and doing all these funny things. He is picking up things so quickly at the moment. He’ll repeat anything and it’s amazing that a little patience explaining something can go a long way (sometimes hahah!). He makes me so proud & happy every single day. 

Next week I would like to... 


Do some painting with toddler! This is something I have been meaning to do for yonks. We have used crayons and pencils to draw but have never used paints. I’ve been partly putting it off because of the potential mess but hey it should be fun :)


What have you been up to this week? 

Tinyfootsteps

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