I see the word comparison a lot on social media (in particular on Instagram). It is a thing that seems to niggle at so many of us, but why?
I have been guilty of comparing myself to others, who hasn’t? But how far do we allow it to niggle at us before it causes real harm?
If you think back to childhood, I am sure (perhaps without realising it) you compared yourself to other children all of the time…”oh they have that toy and I don’t, or Jane’s mummy let’s James do this or that? I think comparison is a natural thing…but Social Media, and the Media add a new pressure into the mix.
Before I started blogging, and having a social media outlet for it, I used to compare my company to other similar companies. It got SO bad that one day I threw my laptop on the floor in frustration. Consequently it broke.
This was the tipping point for me. There and then I promised myself I would never compare myself to anything, or anyone again.
When your mind is busy looking and focusing on other people’s lives or content, you are instantly blocking your own creativity. You will subconsciously be following the crowd, and stopping the natural growth of organic ideas.
It is also a counterproductive use of time. Whilst you are scrolling Instagram or websites you are not creating.
The other side effect of comparison is the damning effect it has on mental health. It triggers doubt in your mind, and can make you question you. You can start to beat yourself emotionally, which is far from OK.
If you start to feel the niggle of comparison in a negative way, instantly step away from it. Make a cup of tea, go for a walk. Do not let comparison feed itself.
You are good enough, and the only person you should be comparing yourself to is you. Make you better and stronger. Most importantly just be you! There is only one of you Kxx
(I am not expert these are just my opinions)
On Saturday night we headed out for an early dinner with some of my family. We rarely do this, as I worry (perhaps a little too much) about bubs going to bed past her bed time. It was so lovely however, and we all had a great time!
We headed to The Chequers Inn, which is based in Lytchett Matravers in Dorset. We had never been there before so I really didn't know what to expect.
On arrival my first impression was it was a warm, family friendly (so important for us) and welcoming pub. We sat at a lovely round table so we could all chat, which was perfect.
They had a main menu, as well as a specials board. The menu had a nice selection of pub grub. It also included a strong children's menu. I ordered the Cajun Chicken Burger, which came with a mixed salad and home cooked french fries. I have to say visually it looked yummy, and it tasted as good as it looked! My little lady had homemade fish fingers, chips and peas. The portion size was very generous, and she enjoyed it very much.
As well as the food being tasty, what really stood out to me was just how baby/child friendly the pub was. They had a toy section, which bubs enjoyed playing in. I also spotted two mums openly breastfeeding, which is how it should be (in my opinion).
I didn't have a desert as I was SO full after my main meal, Other members of my family did, and said they were delicious. In particular the homemade Chocolate Brownie looked amazing!
The service was very good, They checked back on us a little way into our main meal, and asked us if we would like more drinks every now and again.
If you are looking for a family friendly pub in beautiful Dorset, I would highly recommend The Chequers Inn.
The Chequers Inn
75 High St, Lytchett Matravers, Poole BH16 6BJ
Tel: 01202 622215
The weather hasn't been so great, so my little lady and I have been getting our creative hats on! We made lots of crafty bits and bobs last week which was great fun!
One of our makes was the cutest hedgehog! It was a really easy craft to do, so I thought I would share it all with you! Below is what you will need to make your hedgehog, and how to make it:
How Do I make my hedgehog?
If you have a go at making this please share it using #mybestmake we would love to see your crafty makes!
Do you have a favourite place? Mine has to be Kingston Lacy! I love visiting all year round! It is the perfect day out for all of the family. In fact it is the first place we took bubs when she was first born (all a bit of an exhausted blur if if I am honest, but still so special to the hubby and I!)
A beautiful country house and estate near Wimborne Minster, Dorset was for many years owned by the Bankes family. Now the estate is run by the National Trust, and loved so much.
I can't explain it, but every time I visit I feel like I am "home" (dreaming I know), but it just makes me feel happy.
My favourite time of the year to visit is the spring when the vast gardens are in bloom, and the blossom is stunning. The gardens are taken great care of, and so interesting all year round. In the summer families come along with picnics and enjoy them on the beautifully maintained lawns. Such a happy atmosphere.
If you are looking for something to do as a family, that is fun, beautiful, and full of history I would highly recommend a trip to Kingston Lacy!
I cannot believe we are in October already! This year is flying by! I have had such a brilliant year so far, and I have so much to look forward to this month. So much so I thought I would share it all with you!
Sad some may say... but it has always been on my bucket list to go to the Ritz for afternoon tea! I was lucky enough to be given tea for two at the Ritz for Christmas last year! We have finally found the time to book it in later this month! Needless to say I am pretty excited!
How has this come around again already! Another year older and wiser...not! I am looking forward to spending the day with my little lady celebrating!
Pumpkin Patch Visit
As we are officially in autumn it is only right we take a trip to a local pumpkin patch! Check some local ones out here. We love doing this as a family, we may even stop for a cheeky roast on the way home!
A FAMILY TRIP TO PEPPA PIG WORLD
We are hoping we make it to Peppa Pig World this month! It is on the cards. We went last year but bubs was quite young, so I think she will get much more from it at this age.
Bubs and I love to craft, and this is the best season for it! We will be sharing on makes on here and my Instagram page! So keep a look out for these!
So much to look forward to! What are you looking forward to this October?
Autumn used to be my favourite time of the year! The beautiful rich colours of the landscape, the cosy nights in wrapped in a blanket. Since having bubs I feel a little bit different...I find being stuck in the house on a rainy day hard with a busy toddler. Finding new indoor activities can sometimes be a challenge.
We love arts and crafts. So I thought it would be fun to make lots more together over the next coming months, keeping us busy. I will be sharing our crafty ideas through a series of blog posts, and on my Instagram stories!
Yesterday bubs and I got started crafting as it was a miserable day! We went out into the woods, to collect leaves and sticks to make arts and crafts with. This in itself was a lovely activity, that cost absolutely nothing!
When we got home we set out a table cloth, some paints, brushes, paper/card, glitters, a pot of water, and our leaf collection. The first leaf art activity we did was "Painted Leaf Art. Here is what we did:
Painted Leaf art:
This was my little ladies favourite leaf art to do! It came out really well. Simple yet effective. The next Leaf Art we did was "Leaf Printing" Here is how we did it:
These children's crafts were so lovely to do, and so easy to do! As well as the crafts being fun they will help with my little ladies hand eye coordination, understanding of colour, mark making, and lots more!
Are there any crafts you would love to see? We would love to hear your crafty ideas!
As you may or may not know I love arts and crafts. As well as blogging, I own a small company called Crafts and Giggles offering craft parties, so basically my life is arts and crafts!
It is so special that I get to share my crafty passion with my little lady! The other day we popped into Hobby Craft. I said to her to pick something she would like to make. She chose a rather large Halloween pumpkin! We decided to decoupage it. Bubs chose one set of decoupage paper, and I the other.
My little lady is only two, so I was a little concerned it may have been a bit too advanced. With my guidance and supervision she picked it up pretty quickly!
How did we do it?
-we ripped up the decoupage paper into a variety of sizes.
-using a special decoupage glue we put glue directly onto the pumpkin using a paint brush (one section at a time)
-we then layered the paper on top of the glue
-using the paint brush we dabbed the decoupage paper into the glue on the pumpkin, and popped more glue onto the paper in a dabbing motion.
-we repeated this process until the entire pumpkin was covered.
We are both so happy with the outcome! The hubby even thought it was shop bought! Kx
Wow where has the summer gone? I can't believe we are in Autumn already! As we did have some lovely warm days I managed to find some time to sit down in the glorious sunshine with a book or two over the summer months. I love to read, escaping into new worlds. I thought it would be fun to share with you the books I read!
The French Gardener - Santa Montefiore
I had never read any Santa Montefiore books until this summer, and I have to say she is now a firm favourite of mine! Her books are easy reading, with so much heart. The French Gardner is set near Blandford, Dorset which was interesting as this is only up the road from me! I am still interested to know whether or not the house in the story was real or fiction as I would love to see the garden if it exits. This book was a beautiful love story that will be sure to tug at your heart strings! It genuinely had me in tears by the end!
Sail Away - Celia Imrie
Believe it or not I stepped out if my comfort zone with this book! I do like to stick to authors I know. This book is set on a cruise ship, following the linked twists and turns or two ladies who end up on an unexpected cruise trip, crossing the Atlantic. As a cruise lover myself I could relate to cruise details, which were spot on. I did enjoy this book, but I did end up reading a few chapters at a time, it wasn't one I couldn't put down. It is a easy summer read.
Tasmina Perry is one of my favourite romance authors. Her books are so easy to read, gripping, and full of glamour. Friend of the Family certainly didn't disappoint! When Amy's world is turned upside down, can she get a grip on it before it all falls apart in front of her eyes? A great summer read!
This was my first summer read, and I really loved this one! Set in an enchanting villa in beautiful Spain you are taken on Juno's journey to mend her broken heart. As the story unfolds there are many unexpected twists and turns. It is written beautifully, and I could't put this one down!
Yes another one by Santa Montefiore (sorry). This is my favourite read of the summer! I read it in two days! The story is a romance, but focuses on the spiritual angle of love. It is so tastefully written and touching. By the end of the book I wanted to live in their world. I chatted with the author on Instagram about this book, and she said it was one of her favourite books to write, I could certainly feel this coming of off the pages. I would definitely recommend this read!
What have you been reading? I would love to know, and some recommendations Kx
The holiday blues have well and truly set in…I know I shouldn’t complain but hey it’s a thing right?
We have been home from our Family Mediterranean P&O Cruise for 5 days, and I find myself spacing out in the memory of one of our best family holidays!
This was our third P&O cruise with our little lady (very lucky I know). We just love how easy they are with a busy toddler, that you get to see new places at every stop, and it is all inclusive.
This was our first fly cruise, usually we go from Southampton which is SO much easier for us. On the up side by flying you get into the warmer climate, and calmer seas a lot faster!
P&O do make it very easy. They organised a chartered flight from Gatwick, and sorted the luggage in Malta (where we embarked) so we had one less thing to think about! Our luggage was waiting for us outside of our cabin when we got on the beautiful Oceana!
Our cabin was the perfect size for the 3 of us. I always opt for an inside cabin, firstly because it is cheaper, and secondly because it is pitch black at night giving us all the perfect night sleep!
On arrival we signed our little lady into the Reef, the children’s club on board. As she was 2 it meant she could stay and play under the supervision of the staff. The ship had very few children on, (as it was out of season), so bubs had one to one with the staff which was great! Every day she woke up asking if she could play, she loved it so much!
I was a bit apprehensive about leaving her at the start, but it was fine. The Reef had a soft play area, craft activities, and SO many toys! I couldn’t get her out in the end,
I chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We stopped at Malta, Montenegro, Split, Venice and Zadar. Each stop was absolutely beautiful! Our favourite was Montenegro! It was stunning! We booked a tuk tuk so explore Kotor, expensive but so worth it! The views at the top blew us away.
The food was endless on the ship…our favourite meal was the outside BBQ they put on as we sailed out of Malta, it was delicious! I did think the buffet food could be improved a little bit, the Britannia was better.
The staff on the Cruise couldn't do enough for us! They were so kind to our little lady, smiling at her and chatting to her wherever we went. One lovely waitress even showed her napkin folding, which was so lovely!
Overall we had the best holiday! Bubs was so so sad to leave, as were we! It was another holiday of a lifetime that we will treasure forever. I have said it before, I would definitely recommend cruising with little ones! Kxx
We have been National Trust Members for about 6 years now (yes some may say old before our time, I would like to say cultured!). We love visiting places of natural beauty, or full of history. Our passes get us out and about, allowing us to see parts of the UK we haven’t been to before.
One of our favourite National Trust places to take a trip, is the beautiful Stourhead, in Wiltshire. It is not too far from us and it is a great family day out!
My favourite time if the year to visit is spring and autumn, because of the ever changing colours. The colours of the trees around the stunning lake bounce off of one another. I can’t really explain it but Stourhead has a special feel to it. As soon as I reach the lake a sense of calm comes over me.
My little lady particularly enjoyed spotting the wildlife on our way around the lake. Such as ducks, dragonflies, bees, squirrels etc. The walk is mostly flat, and the paths are suitable for pushchairs. This is a bonus as our little ladies legs do get very tired half way around!
This time we decided to take a picnic. It was a warm sunny day, so we sat on the grass facing the lake. It was perfect! I am so pleased we did this. Not only does it save money, but it is lovely to be able to eat outside.
Stourhead do have a good restaurant on site if you are looking to purchase a meal. There is also a pub just before you enter the lake. We did get some ice-creams just before we left, which were very welcomed as it was pretty hot.
The changing facilities are good for little ones, although the toilets are right at the entrance and a bit of a hike back so make sure you use them on arrival.
We didn’t go into the house this time, but we have been in it before. I would highly recommend doing so. It is full of history, and very stunning.
Every time we visit Stourhead we have a great family day, getting back to nature. I would definitely recommend a day trip there if you are in the area!
Addrees: Stourhead, near mere, Wiltshire, BA12 6QD
Hi! I am Katie... a new mum trying to balance life, work and a beautiful baby girl! I love to take photos, travel, write, make art, and spend time with my family! xx