1. Paternity leave and the absolute joy it brings. So at the end of October my husband was fortunate enough to take some time off in line with paternity leave and it has been absolutely amazing. Having him around lowers my internal monologue down to a quiet whisper and I find I don’t give myself as quite a hard time when he is around. I don't know if that says more about me or our relationship but I know one of the reasons we work so well is that he has a way of keeping me grounded and present. This time has given me a break both mentally and physically and allowed us to spend some amazing time together as a family. Day trips out all wrapped up have been on the to do list as well as hanging out at home and catching up on some box sets together. Having two sets of hands is amazing and two heads to discuss and reassure situations with is just brilliant. He is a fantastic Daddy and our little girl has loved the level of attention she has received over the last couple of weeks, we’ve even started to get giggles from her which is just heart melting, although she doesn't give them out easily, you have to work for them. We thought about booking a few days away but as the time neared and the weather got worse we decided to just play it by ear and ensure we did some days out when the weather was nice enough and this has worked really well for us. Days out are great and baby has stayed in a relatively good routine plus there’s nothing like your own bed at the end of the day.
2. A Confession ITV (WARNING: contains spoilers): so this was aired in September but we recorded it and had it stored on the planner waiting for the opportune moment. October turned out to be that moment and boy did it not disappoint. Based on the true story of the disappearance and murder of local Bristol girl Sian O’Callaghan in 2011, it follows DS Steve Fulcher (played by Martin Freeman) and his journey to find out the truth but it’s nowhere near straightforward. Legislation and protocol tie people up in knots leaving the viewers feeling frustrated and asking ‘why is no one using any common sense’? Stellar cast performance from all involved particularly Imelda Staunton who’s performance moved me to tears following the discovery of the death of her daughter. With only 6 episodes it’s not a huge commitment in terms of time and even though the outcome may very well leave you feeling disillusioned by protocol nothing can take away from this fantastic reenactment of a true life case.
3. McVities Dark Chocolate digestives: I’m blaming it on the breast feeding but I literally can’t not have a packet in the house. Even just looking at the packet makes me feel better. They are so yum and my go to fix at the moment, not the healthiest I know but I just love them!
4. Autumn leaves: they are nature’s most beautiful way of saying change is coming and it’s OK to let go. Not only does the metaphorical notion help to soothe my soul but equally the variety of colours are just beautiful. Burnt orange, blood red orange, amber, green, olive green, bright green, brown green, yellow, mustard, the variations are staggering and create the most wonderful contrasts.
5. Hotpod yoga has arrived in York and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Prior to Hot Pod arriving in York I had never heard of the brand but since they have arrived I am now aware that they operate nationwide and have classes in a lot of major areas, but now its York’s turn. Started up by Oli and Vix (who are both fantastic instructors) with classes running daily, the pod (which is like a large inflatable tent) is heated up to 37 degrees. The pod is zipped up at the start of every class once all members are inside and away you go. Moving through Vinyasa flow yoga sequences in the 37-degree heat. As you can imagine it gets very warm and sweaty in there. Good timing meant that after 3 months I was able to leave my little girl for the first time in order to attend classes at times that were convenient for us and get some well needed 'me time'. They currently have an introductory offer of £12 for an unlimited 10 day pass which is absolutely fantastic value and something that I was able to take full advantage of. Exercise for me is the one thing I miss the most since being pregnant and having baby as I’ve not been able to build it successfully into my daily routine yet so being able to get out to these classes has been amazing and made me feel so much better both mentally and physically. I love learning new things (every day’s a school day!) and in every session I went to I learnt something new (signs of great instructors): the crow, half bind, full bind and how to deepen positions to offer further stretch and challenge. The instructors give fantastic instructions, are extremely knowledgeable and also offer hands on corrections if you want them. Some of the sequences are really challenging, I really struggle with my balance but I’m sure that whatever your ability you would get some huge benefits from these sessions. Classes are also really easy to book via the Hot Pod App which is really simple and straight forward to use plus they are offering a ‘Get to know Hot Pod Yoga’ workshop in November for anybody who feels they want to do it but maybe want to know a bit more about it first. Dispelling any myths. The release of endorphins afterwards is always good and your body will thank you for it, being away from my baby was a bit scary but totally worth it for me as a mummy as I felt so much better for going. Passes and memberships are all available via the app so purchase whichever one works best for you. I’m hoping to be able to go once a week in the future just for that bit of me time but there are masses of other benefits to from Hot Pod Yoga.
For more info visit their website: https://hotpodyoga.com
6. The Balloon Tree Stamford Bridge. Isn’t it amazing what’s right on your doorstep sometimes and you just don’t know. Well, having not been to this place ever before I then went three times in one week and its just great. Around Halloween they had a great pumpkin patch with loads of pumpkins , they have wheelbarrows for either putting your pumpkins or your children in! There’s always seasonal activities taking place, Christmas wreath making is available at the end of November, beginning of December for those creative types (£24.50pp incl refreshments and a wreath to take home). There is a secure children’s play area. There are some goats for small children to look at. There’s a pick your own area. There is a great farm shop and a fab restaurant where you can get a lovely bacon sandwich from as well as many other delectable delights, such as cakes, scones etc. So all in all a wonderful family run place to visit with or without children. Great location and ample parking I don’t know why I’ve not been sooner but will be back soon.
For further info this is their website: https://www.theballoontree.co.uk
7. Part time working mummy: follow her on Instagram @parttimeworkingmummy, I’ve only just recently started following her but she is hilarious and just brightens your day. Her family is amazingly blended and I just love watching her daily stories, the things she gets up to are brilliant.
8. Water: the nectar of life. Again it’s the breast feeding, it makes you super thirsty but I just love water so much now. I never used to drink enough before I was pregnant and would always feel a bit unsatisfied by water but not anymore its just ace. Plus lots of benefits from it, better skin, hair etc so the plan is to keep up the water even when the breast feeding stops. A nice bright (reusable bottle) also helps to make it more appealing.
9. The Boys: an American TV series based on the comic book of the same name by Garth Ennisand Darick Robertson, available on Amazon Prime. Series one is 8 episodes and it has already been commissioned for series two. When I first saw the trailer I didn’t think it was my kind of thing but it’s actually brilliant. Not what I thought it would be like at all, but some really great plot twists and interesting characters make this a great watch. Don’t want to include any spoilers so go watch it.
10. Chunky cardigans: Tis the season! Now the temperature is dropping and the seaons are changing there is nothing better then getting wrapped up nice and warm in layers and chunky knits. Chunky cardigans seem to be everywhere at the moment and even my trendy younger sister arrived rocking one the other day, her's was from Topshop. I’ve picked one up off ebay a Stradivarius black knit and more recently a green one from TU at Sainsbury’s. They brings me joy as not only are they warm but feeding friendly as well. Trendy and practical, win, win!
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