Preparing For The Arrival Of A New Baby

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Preparing for the arrival of a new baby can be a hectic time, and so it helps to get organized. To help you out and minimize the stress, try taking on board these simple tips.

1 . Baby Shopping

First things first, it’s time to go baby shopping, (which is often the fun part)! Make a list of everything you need first, whether it’s baby clothing, a cot, bottles, Double Buggies, or toys. It can be a good idea to set yourself an approximate budget before you shop, to ensure that you don’t overspend. Check out reviews where possible, and prioritize eco-friendly materials and brands, if you can.

2. Prep The Baby’s Room

Preparing the baby’s room is an important task. It’s vital to create a relaxing and peaceful atmosphere, to ensure your baby will be able to get a good night’s rest. It’s best to paint with calming colors, and use eco-friendly paints to avoid toxins. 

Choose a baby mobile for the cot, to help your child relax and drift off more easily. It’s best to purchase compact storage solutions so that it’s easy for you to store toys and keep things neat. To save money here and there, preloved apps like Wallapop or Letgo might come in handy.

3. Arm Yourself With Learning Tools

Perhaps you’re a new mother and you’re feeling a little overwhelmed? To help you to destress it can be helpful to find some learning tools. You can learn lots in the form of apps, books, or podcasts. To get you started, try these apps for mothers:

  • Baby Sparks: The Baby Sparks app provides plenty of parenting advice and tips, plus info on milestones and development. The app includes over 1000 different milestone activities for you to check out. Baby Sparks was designed by experts in child development, here you’ll find activities related to language, self-care, sensory skills, and more.
  • The Parent Hood: This is a fab podcast for any parent who doesn’t have all the answers! Here you’ll find engaging, impartial, and professional advice, from a team of parenting experts. Recent episodes have delved into themes such as ‘small steps to being a great parent’, and ‘boosting your child’s immunity’.

4. Mentally Prepare

The arrival of a new baby can be a stressful time, and so it can help to mentally prepare yourself with some stress coping tactics. There are plenty you can try including meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, or walks amongst nature. Herbal supplements such as valerian root and passionflower can help to reduce stress. It’s best to consult your doctor before taking any new supplements, especially when pregnant.

5. Build A Support Network 

As a new mother you’re going to need a little help every now and then, and so it’s useful to build a support network. Not every new mum has family and friends close by, and in these situations, the Peanut app can be helpful. Using this application you can connect with other mothers in your neighborhood, for friendship and support. To help new mothers, Peanut is a great resource.

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5 Ways to Keep Warm this Winter

January is a cold month here in the UK, and this year we had snow and ice as the new year dawned. My daughter’s snowman is still standing in our back garden, although it has melted slightly, and we spend a lot of time huddled near the radiators and the fire to keep warm. Here are some top tips for keep warming this winter:

1, Keep your feet warm

Keeping your feet warm is a priority during cold weather. We forget just how important our feet are in connection with the rest of our bodies. Wearing warm socks or women’s slipper boots will keep your circulation healthy and reduce the risk of illness. I know my feet are always cold no matter how thick my socks are. Perhaps I need a new pair of slipper boots?

2, Put the fire on

Do you have a multi-fuel stove, gas fire or electric fire? Make sure you put in on in the evenings, even just for an hour, to warm your living room and make the environment safe and snug. I love my multi-fuel stove that we got installed just over a year ago. It stays warm all night and most of the following day when we have loaded it up with coal and logs, and I enjoy watching the flames as I sit on the sofa.

3, Wrap up warm

If you don’t have a fire or you are unable to light it as often as you would like, why not wrap up warmly in a luxury faux fur throw? I love my blankets and throws, as do my daughters. We cuddle on the sofa and cover ourselves in a huge throw while we watch a movie. Perfect for those long lockdown evenings.

4, Eat a proper meal

It is easy to forget about eating properly when we feel anxious or stressed. While we are at home much more these days and unable to eat out like we used to, we might forget the benefits of a full, homecooked meal. I’m no Delia Smith, and I rarely cook properly, but I do appreciate a tasty cottage pie, baked potato with cheese, or a homemade curry every so often. These meals are easier to make than you might think, and can be made with prepared sauces, frozen vegetables and meat-free alternatives. Just last weekend I threw together a tasty cottage pie with some leftover potatoes, frozen vegetables and Quorn mince. Delicious!

5, Wear your scarf

While it is important to stay at home as much as possible during the UK lockdown, we do need regular fresh air and are encouraged to go for a walk once a day. Remember to wear your warmest coat or layer up with jumpers and jacket. Put on your scarf and gloves, and don’t forget your woolly hat. Now might be a good time to take up knitting!

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Reiki Distance Healing During Lockdown

Welcome to 2021, my friends, and what a start we have here in the UK! Lockdown 3 has begun, I am homeschooling my children, and we are prepared for a long year ahead.

I am extending an invitation to you. Join me on Facebook at 11am and 4pm on weekdays so that we can sit in the energy of reiki, rest and relax just for half an hour. I will share with you the daily precepts, we will sit in quiet contemplation, and I will send distance healing reiki to whoever connects at that time. How does that sound?

If you don’t use Facebook, I will share some videos on my SpookyMrsGreen YouTube channel, but please give me time to prepare and put it into action. My children take up quite a lot of my attention, as I’m sure you will appreciate. If you prefer to read self-help articles and guides, join my newsletter where I will send fortnightly updates. You can see a new blog post every Sunday over at GoldstoneReiki, and remember you are not alone.

We don’t know how long our lockdown will last, but it is certainly planned for the next 6 weeks. Rather than succumb to anxiety and worry, let us raise our vibrations, look beyond our immediate challenges, and remember that something good lies ahead. Hang in there. We can do this.

Join my reiki self-care community on Instagram and Facebook. I will offer regular free distance healing sessions during lockdown, along with advice and tips to get us through the dark months ahead. Stay safe and look on the bright side.

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Find the Right Chair for your Wellbeing

Working from home is becoming the norm for many people as we continue to battle Covid-19 and experience travel restrictions and local lockdowns.

While many people have managed to work at kitchen tables, in bedrooms and living rooms, it might be a good time to reconsider your workspace. How does your back feel when you have been hunched over the laptop for a few hours? Do your shoulders feel sore? Perhaps your joints are becoming stiff because you sit in a chair that is not designed to support you for long periods of time.

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Kneeling Chairs

Designed to promote good posture and a correct sitting position, kneeling chairs are the way forward when it comes to seating solutions for your home office. Your health and wellbeing is important, so why not look after yourself by investing in these innovative and ergonomically designed chairs? Featuring thick padded and upholstered seats and knee rests, office chairs from Furniture@Work offer optimum comfort. Each design is height adjustable, and the seats and knee pads can be altered manually using the hand wheel provided.

Make it your New Year’s resolution to take care of your personal health and wellbeing while maintaining healthy working practices.

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Chronic Voice Link-up: Revealing a New Attitude for a New Year

Hello and welcome, 2021! Today marks the beginning of a new working year for many people, while others will have worked all through the Christmas holidays, not least our teachers here in the UK.

BEGINNING

We may face the beginning of another nationwide lockdown, although our government is resisting for now. All schools in London are closed, along with many more in the South of England, some parts of the North, in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Our local secondary schools are closed, and students will study from home for a few weeks. Primary schools were instructed to stay open, however. I have sent my children to school with mild anxiety. They need to be in school with their friends. But since we are now in Tier 4 in Cheshire, I wonder if it should be open when everything else is closed apart from what is deemed essential?

SYMBOLISING

Last week I took pleasure in taking down our Christmas decorations and cleaning the house, at least downstairs. It is a symbolic ritual for me, cleaning out the old to make way for the new, and I did it on New Year’s Eve, leaving only the lights up for one final night. My home feels refreshed and cosy, and it makes for a nice working space as we move on into a new year but still with the old challenges. I used my Californian White Sage smudge stick to cleanse the air in the house, I opened windows to allow in fresh air, and I lit candles in a symbolic ritual of cleansing and healing.

ENDURING

My chronic pain condition kept me busy throughout Christmas. One day I would be fine, the next I could barely open my eyes. This I fear will be an enduring issue throughout 2021, as I battle the NHS gatekeepers and try to seek an audience with the doctor I requested to see when I transferred from Manchester Royal Eye Hospital to Mid Cheshire Hospitals. I knew that Manchester would not be calling me back for a routine check-up due to Covid-19, and I knew that I would need help from the doctors at some point. Unfortunately, I saw a doctor in December who totally dismissed my concerns, refused to engage with me as I tried to explain about my rare genetic disease, and now I prepare to battle the authorities once more. Wish me luck!

REVEALING

The events of the past twelve months have been very revealing in my life. They uncovered behavioural patterns in people I was close to that I found quite unpleasant. I think it was partly due to my Reiki healing journey, but at some point, last year I woke up. I saw these people for what they were, and I didn’t like what I saw. So, I stepped away. And while I cannot remove them from my life completely, nor do I want to, I am focusing on me and what I want, rather than what they would like me to do to make their lives easier.

GRACING

As we face the prospect of another lockdown, I am fed-up that I won’t be allowed to practice my hands-on healing Reiki business for the foreseeable future. That doesn’t mean I will sit idle, however. There are lots of people who need help from a distance, and I can do this with the power of distance energy healing. I will gracefully accept the restrictions placed upon me by government and find ways to work around it. I cannot change the decisions that have been made, but I can make peace with them.

Chronic Voice Link-Up

I joined the social network for A Chronic Voice because I needed to find people who understand what life is like with chronic illness, people like me. Today I have written a post using the January link-up prompts, to show my experience of living with a chronic pain disorder. Click here to find other blog posts from fellow chronic pain sufferers, or #spoonies as we call ourselves online.

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The Eco Edit at English Heritage Shop

Be kinder to the environment and reduce your usage of single use plastics with our Eco Edit range at English Heritage Shop. We have beeswax wraps, organic make up remover pads, natural deodorant and much more to help you save our planet one step at a time.

Reusable Organic Cotton Make Up Remover Pads

Reduce the use of plastic in your day to day routine with these reusable organic cotton makeup remover pads. The pack of 16 pads includes 12 super soft pads for daily cleansing and 4 rough pads for hard to remove makeup and deep cleaning.

Our Price £12.00 – Click here.

English Heritage Geometric Eco Bag for Life

Do your shopping while thinking of the environment with this English Heritage geometric eco bag for life. This bag is made from 3.5 recycled plastic bottles that would have otherwise ended up in landfill or in our oceans.

Our Price £3.00 – Click here.

Natural Deodorant Stone

Make a small improvement to our environment and reduce your consumption of plastics with this natural deodorant stone. The stone is crafted from crystallised alum mineral salts, reducing the use of chemicals on the skin, making it perfect for sensitive skin types.

Our Price £6.00 – Click here.

Organic Cotton String Bag – Blue

Step a little closer to a more plastic free life with this string bag. The blue bag is made from 100% organic cotton, making it a sustainable and useful alternative to single use plastic bags.

Our Price £8.00 – Click here.

Geometric Eco Wooden Pencil

Think of the environment when writing, drawing and creating sketches with this English Heritage Eco wooden pencil. Crafted from certified wood under the PEFC scheme, this pencil is environmentally friendly.

Our Price £0.75 – Click here.

Bamboo Spork

Always be prepared when eating on the go and reduce your single use plastic consumption with this bamboo spork. The spoon, fork and knife combination tool is crafted from bamboo, meaning it is lightweight, durable and reusable.

Our Price £6.00 – Click here.

Organic Cotton String Bag – Red

Step a little closer to a more plastic free life with this string bag. The red bag is made from 100% organic cotton, making it a sustainable and useful alternative to single use plastic bags.

Our Price £8.00 – Click here.

Organic Cotton Produce Bags

Crafted from 100% organic cotton, these fair trade made produce bags are an excellent alternative to single use shopping bags.

Our Price £15.00 – Click here.

Biodegradable Coconut Kitchen Scourers

Think of the environment and switch from plastic sponges to these coconut kitchen scourers. 100% biodegradable and plastic free, these scourers are made from waste coconut coir and natural rubber latex.

Our Price £4.00 – Click here.

Shampoo & Conditioner Bar

Make a start on reducing your consumption of plastics with this very handy shampoo and conditioner bar.

Our Price £6.00 – Click here.

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Waterstones Up to 50% off Book Sale

Well, life looks to be very small and closed off as we enter 2021, but don’t despair, books are here! Check out the Waterstones up to 50% off book sale.

Our Best Paperback Reads

Explore our selection of the best paperbacks and treat yourself to a riveting read. I’m currently reading The Shogun’s Queen and loving it, and my next book is 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World from my Christmas stash. It’s on sale, so grab your copy now!

Inspiring Books for Wellbeing

After a year like 2020, many of us feel ready for a fresh beginning. Whether you’re looking to find calm, improve your work-life balance, try new ways to enjoy healthy food or hit your fitness goals, we’ve got what you need to inspire you on your journey. As we welcome the new year, discover the perfect reading to help you start 2021 your way.

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Happy New Year and Welcome, 2021

Happy New Year! I speak for everyone when I say we are glad to see the back of the year of the pandemic. While it is far from over and my hometown is now in a local lockdown due to high infection rates, I still feel hopeful for a better year ahead. How do you feel?

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My family and I have experienced a rough couple of years. We have witnessed the death of older relatives and beloved family dogs, and bereavement from extended family and friends. I have battled a failing marriage, the challenges of motherhood, and the crazy adventure of being self-employed. But there have been far more happy and precious memories made during this time, even in 2020. I carry those happy memories with me as we move forward.

Here’s to a productive, playful and optimistic 2021.

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2020: The Year that Never Happened

Phew! We made it to the end of 2020. Well, some of us made it. My condolences to those who are grieving for loved ones lost to Covid this year. And those lost to other illness or accidents. It has been a long and lonely year for me, as I finally realised that my marriage had collapsed during the first lockdown. I had to stay strong for my children, but I admit I did break down on regular occasions. I’m only human.

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My Reiki practice reached new heights this year. Despite the pressure of home schooling, training our rescue dog, redecorating the house (I started that in 2019 and refused to leave it until it was done), I kept up my practice because it was vital to my survival at the time. Were it not for Reiki and the regular Zoom meetings with my teacher and fellow students, I know I would have ended up in a very fragile situation. I am proud to have achieved my Reiki Master Practitioner and Teacher certification in Autumn 2020, and I look forward to developing my part-time business as we move into the new year.

Even though we spent most of the year at home, I feel we have been busy. My children and I tried to make the most of our time in lockdown. We tried homeschooling but they informed me in no uncertain terms that I am not a teacher, our home is not school, and they could not do their schoolwork in the same way. We settled for a bit of basic maths and English, lots of reading, occasional science projects, a bit of baking and a lot of creative crafts. When they returned to school it felt good to get back in routine but we are now are recovering from an exhausting Autumn term.

Life happens regardless of what goes on around us. My children and I have all dealt with minor health concerns throughout the year. We have argued, cuddled, shouted, and played together. We spent time with friends when it was allowed. We enjoyed canalside walks and outdoor coffee shop meetings. I made the most of time alone when they were back in school, and I have worked hard at my freelance businesses.

How did you find 2020? Were you busy at home, did you carry on as normal throughout, or did you completely change your lifestyle habits? Let’s share our stories…

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Tarot Card Reading for New Year

Making sense of our situation as we move into 2021. Life, coronavirus, lockdown and everything else.

Today I bring you the Cross Tarot Spread, and a Tarot card reading with my Vampires Tarot of the Eternal Night card deck. These cards are beautiful, dark and desolate, but they are not all miserable and depressing. There is light in the darkness, as this reading foretells.

1, Yesterday: What led to the current situation

Eight of Swords – Bound. Solitude. This card shows something held captive against its will. There is a familiar feeling with this creature. We have been instructed to stay at home and save lives while the coronavirus pandemic worsens here in the UK. We have had a series of local lockdowns, various restrictive measures introduced in different counties, and a general feeling of abandonment and loneliness. We are forced into solitude, isolated by an invisible enemy. We feel angry and bitter.

2, Tomorrow: The Immediate Future

Ten of Swords – Dreams. We have all sacrificed something during 2020. Many of us had to postpone our dream holidays, wait to move house, or even move back in with parents and leave behind a life just started. Some have lost people they shared dreams with. Others have birthed new dreams during isolation. Some have let go of an old way of life to make way for a new one. Tomorrow is a better day.

3, What is hidden: Events or facts that you are not aware of

The Wheel of Fortune – Cycles. I got shivers when I studied this card. It has a personal message for me. There is a bigger picture here. As the wheel turns and we watch life pass us by, what do we learn? What have we learned during the pandemic? I choose not to worry about what may or may not happen. I believe that this is part of a cycle, and we humans will eventually learn about ourselves and the way we respond to situations. We don’t really know what is happening with the pandemic. We each have a personal experience. This is a vision quest, a chance to look within while we are separated from our fellow human beings, and to find ourselves in the truest sense.

4, What is known: Events or facts that you are aware of

The Sun – Happiness. We do know that the sun will rise again. Oddly enough, we have enjoyed a surprise fall of snow in the UK this week. Here in Cheshire we rarely have snow, and certainly not enough to play in. It landed just close enough to call this season a white Christmas, and it brought some cheer to our lives. Mother Nature knows what to do. We know that the pandemic will not last forever. It will continue to disrupt our lives in 2021, but we will learn to live with it. We smile, we make jokes, we see the brighter side in an otherwise dark situation. Live in the moment and cherish each precious memory and warm feeling.

. 5, The Path: The Tarot’s Advice

The Empress – Creation. Forget the wider world right now. Look within. Are you living from the heart, or the head, or both? If you are naturally creative, then unleash your gifts. Even if you don’t share them with the world, you will feel better for practicing your craft, whatever that might be. If you are naturally intellectual, then have some fun with it. Engage with your peers. Set the world to rights. Express yourself and the world will open up and feel a little less stifling.

6, The Truth: The Response

Seven of Pentacles – Reward. What are you working on right now? Perhaps you are a parent focused on supporting your children through the pandemic. Maybe you are involved in developing vaccines or treatments for today’s modern diseases. It might be difficult to see a reward for your hard work just yet but take satisfaction in the process. Each step is precious and moves your closer to your goal. Keep nurturing your dreams. Believe in yourself. Surround yourself with supportive people. Happy New Year!

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