July has been a month of two halves. Dubz had another asthma attack and we stayed in the hospital for a couple of days. Moozles finished Year Two (sniff, sniff). Plus we had our first family camping trip. The photo above is from when Moozles and I had a mummy-daughter day at the Emirates Air Line. We were lucky to have such sunny weather and the beautiful backdrop of The O2. The selfies below are from our camping trip, plus I threw in a photo from our visit to Ripley's London.
I'm excited that it's now August. Besides being happy about the school holidays and having some time with my kiddies, this August is kind of a big deal. In a couple of weeks I leave my 30s behind. Expect lots of birthday selfies for next month's linky. How was your July? Do you have anything special happening in August?
I've shown you mine, so come on and show me yours. You have been sharing some gorgeous parent-selfies these past few months. I began the Monthly Monday Melfie linky to help remind myself to take photos of myself WITH my kids, not just OF them. And it has really helped. I hope you will join in/continue to join in. You can write as little or as much as you want.
Let's see how you are getting in the picture. It can be a selfie on your phone, using a selfie stick or setting the timer on your camera or phone. As long as your camera roll has photos of you lovely parents with your lovely children. Grab the badge below, link up and tweet up. If you tag me into your tweet (@CalifornianMum), I will re-tweet you. #monthlymondaymelfie
We spent last weekend camping at Lake Windermere. The children loved splashing in the water, and Moozles quickly realised that she loves walking on stones in lakes. Soon after I took this photo she fell off a stone and was drenched. Luckily the water was quite shallow, and she was fine. After a change of clothes, Moozles went back in for another walk along Windermere.
The summer holidays can be a time of exotic vacations for many lucky people. But for some it can be a time for a more modest and outdoorsy holiday. It can be a time when a family packs their car so full that the car can only drive at 50 miles per hour. That said family will then spend 10 hours driving somewhere that is only five hours away as the roads are full of other families driving in their overly packed cars. Perhaps at your destination you will get set up in 10 minutes. Or perhaps you will spend six hours setting up, cursing throughout whilst being bitten by mosquitoes.
After much begging by my Husband, who tried to convince me that camping with two young children could be and would be idyllic, I agreed to go on our first family camping trip. This is despite the fact that I don't own wellies, I like wearing dresses and I have a daily hair-straightening regime that requires electricity. Last week we went to The Lake District (not exactly a short drive from London). So I thought I would share how the fantasy measured up to the reality.
Waking up to peaceful surroundings.
Bonding with your family.
Appreciating the great outdoors.
Enjoying the weather.
But at the end of the day, as long as you have delicious food and *some alcohol (*a wheelbarrow full of booze), it will all be okay. Happy Camping!
Life is so hectic. And although I am lucky to get to spend a lot of time with my children, the school year is busy. What I'm looking forward to the most this summer is just spending time with them without the rush of school and clubs. We can laze about in pyjamas, spend lazy morning in the garden and have hundreds of picnics. We can visit friends and family and just enjoy yourselves.
I was looking at these photos from the Mayfield Lavender Fields. We went two years ago, but it seems like many years ago. Moozles was five and had just finished Reception, so it was actually her first school summer holiday. Dubz was only 14 months old. That age is such a blur now. He had only been walking for a couple of months. He was so wobbly on his feet. And he didn't actually walk but run.
Lately I have felt like I am not 'in the moment' enough. I am so distracted, and always have so much on my mind. But I don't want my children to feel like their presence isn't enough to keep me interested. So I have been working on it. Yes, I am still taking lots of photos. Yes, I sometimes check Instagram or my emails. But I am also putting my phone down to engage with my children. I am also just watching them. Moozles loves it when I watch her play.
It is so important to spend time with family and fill the summer holiday with lots of wonderful memories. But you don't have to do anything special. And you don't have to spend every minute together. You just have to enjoy the time that you do have.
Summer means more than just warm weather and holidays, it also means trying out new beauty products. Yea! I've been trying out a few new skincare and beauty products, and wanted to let you know what I have been using.
Little Ondine Nail Polish - This is a fab concept in polish. Little Ondine is made from natural ingredients, which means that there is no yucky smell when you are painting your nails. This also makes it perfect for painting your little one's nails. And you can peel it off, so no need for nail polish remover to dry out your fingers and nails. They come in glitter, bright and not-so-bright colours. And, for my American readers, they will be launching in the US soon. Here I am modelling Boom. Please ignore my wonky fingers.
Mio The A Cream Firming Active Body Cream - Oh, how I adore this cream. It feels really light, but it makes your skin feel so soft. It has a lovely coconut and almond scent when you rub it in, but then you just smell nice without smelling like you're wearing 1980s suntan lotion. I am not sure if this has actually firmed up my skin, but as I'm exercising regularly now it makes me feel like I have. It also makes my skin 'shimmery like a fairy' (according to my daughter). I am not sure if they meant for this to have happened, but it has. I had never heard of Mio before the lovely people from John Lewis Kingston sent me the cream, but now I am a fan!
Aveda Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair - If you thought I had naturally straight hair, you would be mistaken. I have thick, wavy hair which I straighten every other day with my trusty GHDs. I received the Aveda Damage Remedy in a goody bag from an Instyle Beauty Event at John Lewis Kingston a few months ago and I love it. You can use it as a leave-in conditioner, or leave it in after you've conditioned your hair. It protects your hair from heat styling as well as helping to heal your damaged hair.
Clarins Super Restorative Night Cream - This is for the older skin. *clears throat* I have a little problem with age spots. I think this might be a brown girl thing. Anyway, I've started using the Clarins Super Restorative Night Cream as it is supposed to work wonders on reducing age spots as well as preventing them. I was given this trial-size tube at a Clarins counter recently. I will have to go back and buy a big tub.
So, those are my summer beauty goodies. Are you using any new skincare or makeup products this summer? Anything you recommend?
I was sent the Mio body cream and the Little Ondine nail polish for the purposes of a review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.
We've all heard it before, 'boys will be boys'. Maybe you have even said it. But what does that mean? Why do people seem to think it is okay to excuse bad behaviour in little boys? If your precious little girl began hitting another child, you would be horrified. Why do some people not even bat an eyelid when their son starts beating other children?
Last weekend, we were at Richmond Park. Dubz wanted to play next to a little tree, but another little boy (around the age of four or five) who shouted at him and chased him out with an umbrella. The boy's parents, lying down on a nearby bench, did not say a word. Dubz still wanted to play at the tree but I had to drag him away as I did not want him to get hurt. Dubz is quite gentle and loves playing near other children, so he did not understand any danger and did not want to leave. Then the little boy's younger brother started chasing Dubz with an umbrella. Dubz ran back to our group, frightened. But the parents did not say a word, and let the boy chase my son.
I then did what I would not normally do. I raised at my voice at the little boy and asked him to stop chasing my son. This is when the boy's mother got involved. She came over to inform me that her son just wanted to play with my son. He was just being a two-year old little boy. I somehow managed not to tell her off. I understand that Dubz is tall for his age, and the mum might have figured he was much older than her son. I understand that we should let our children play with constant parental control. But how is it acceptable to let a child chase another child aggressively using the excuse that they are a boy? If her daughter had been chasing my son (she had three other children), then would she have put a stop to this onslaught?
I have seen several instances of little girls playing too rough, and their mothers are always so apologetic. And when little boys act too aggressively, I have noticed that their parents only apologise half the time. As if there is a badge of honour when your little boy is 'tough'. Some parents even laugh when their little boy hits another child. But would they laugh if it was their little princess bashing another child's face in?
I feel that children should be taught that it is not okay to be violent towards one another. Yes, my children have fights with each other. But that is the violence that only siblings can commit while still loving each other. I am talking about hitting and kicking other children. Pushing them down. Spitting and biting. And yes, children, especially toddlers do those things. But aren't we, as parents, suppose to inform them that this is not appropriate behaviour? Aren't we suppose to guide our children until they know how to behave like decent human beings? A simple, 'please stop' or 'that is not nice'. And you ask your child to apologise, or else you apologise whilst feeling embarrassed. Because even though children can't always control their aggression, it does not mean that we should laugh it off.
Dubz loves receiving parcels. So imagine his joy when he opened this one to find a new movie (Home) and lots of fab goodies. Dubz has had a rough week, which included a two-day stay in the hospital for an asthma attack and lots of medications afterwards. So a little party was just what he needed.
After I popped up the car tent, I put on Home. The kids sat in the car tent, and remained in there. I offered the kids some popcorn, which they quietly ate. I tried to talk to them about sweets and face painting, but they shushed me and watched the film in hushed concentration. So our party wasn't quite the party I had expected. But the kids really enjoyed Home and have asked to watch it again. It also meant that I was able to sit down (on the sofa as sadly there wasn't enough room for me in the car tent) and watch the film. I especially loved Jim Parsons (Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory) as the voice of the alien.
After we watched Home, I downloaded it onto our iPad through the Flixster app. We are going camping in The Lake District next week and the kids can't wait to watch it again. Home Digital HD is available to download now. You can stream or download it to you television, computer, tablet or smartphone.
We were asked to review Home for the purpose of this review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.