Rosy Cheeks & Muddy Feet

5 Tips For Stress Free Mornings.

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My children take after me. They are early risers. I've never been one to sleep late, even before I had little ones to get up with. I've always felt like the day is being wasted if I stay in bed. 

That being said.. As good as I am about waking up with sun it isn't always easy when you have two kids in tow. Especially when you add in trying to get one to school on time and stop the other one from melting down because their breakfast cereal is 'too crunchy.' 

After seven years I feel like I've kind of found my groove with a morning routine. Things that I do consistently to try and make mornings as smooth as possible. They're simple things but effective. 

1// Organise Your Clothes.

Every evening I sort out my own clothes for the next day as well as James & Emilie's. The last thing I want to be doing at 7am is rooting through draws trying to find a matching outfit! James then only has to grab his pile in the morning and he's all set. 

2// Wake Up Earlier.   

Sounds silly right? You already have to get up early so decide to wake up even earlier.. There is method behind my madness. I set my alarm for 20 minutes before I actually have to get out of bed. This gives me time to wake up properly and have a few moments before I have to get the kids. It's amazing the difference it makes!

3// Launch Pad. 

James's school stuff is all kept in the same place. That way I know where everything is and I can grab it as we leave the house. Set up a launch pad, it can be a basket or box, and have everything organised there. Lunch boxes, permission slips, book bags. 

4// Get Dressed.

My kids eat breakfast as soon as we're downstairs. Mainly because they seem to both be ravenous in the mornings! As soon as breakfast is over on a school day, they get dressed. James especially seems to be more motivated once he is in his school uniform. On the odd day he's done other things first it feels like it's a fight to get him out of the door on time.

5// Rewards. 

Sometimes little ones need some incentives. Especially on a rainy school day when they just want to stay in their PJ's all morning and watch cartoons. I've used reward chart for both of them in the past with simple things on such as, "Brush Teeth" "Make Bed" .. If they completed these tasks then they got a sticker and once they collected a certain amount then they got a small prize. Use what incentives work for your children! 

Here's to happy stress free mornings! 


Confession Thursday.

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I've seen a lot on social media recently about VEDA (Vlog Everyday In April) and also a Blog Everyday In April challenge.. We all know that I love a good challenge and my success rate on these things are about 50/50.. Sometimes life just gets in the way I guess but I need some motivation at the moment so I'm going to give it a go.. The blogging, not the Vlogging.. No one wants to see my camera woman skills..

I may have left the house with the kids this morning for the first time in a week. Stomach bugs and tonsillitis have kept us cooped up and I think we all have a serious case on cabin fever going on. 

Following on from that today is also the first day that I have washed my hair, put makeup on and gotten dressed all in the same day for a week. I only managed one of the above most days. 

The kids have been living off toast, rice and ice poles. When they're ill, I don't force them to eat and I let them choose as and when they want to. Meal times go out the window as does the menu. 

I cannot wait for the warmer weather. The sun made a little appearance yesterday and it was lovely being able to play in the garden and not have to bundle up. Summer cannot come quick enough. 

Whilst we've all been unwell I binge watched way too many episodes of Charmed on Netflix. I had forgotten how much I love that show.. Especially the earlier episodes. 

Am I the only one not really concerned by the changes coming to Instagram. I don't want it to change because I like seeing my feed in the order that people posts things but I keep seeing posts with people asking you to turn on notifications. Am I the only person not doing this? 

What are you confessing to this Thursday morning? :) 


What Do I Want To Do?

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I've spent a lot of time since I turned 30 thinking about two things.. What have I achieved so far and what do I want to do?

I am my own worst critic. I will sit there and think that my two children are my biggest accomplishment. I brought two people into the world and now I'm staying at home and trying to raise them into well rounded people who, I hope, will eventually go out into the world, with their own goals and dreams. Apart from that.. I've had several jobs, pre children. I've lived in London for two years. I've gained my qualification in Psychology and am now working towards my qualifications in Makeup Artistery. None of it feels like I've done enough though. Especially when you hear about fourteen year olds starting their own businesses and earning thousands.

When I think about what I want to do though, it's overwhelming. My biggest passion is writing. Hence how Rosy Cheeks & Muddy Feet was born. The art of weaving words together truly makes me happy. I love makeup and hopefully once I've finished my course I can make something out of that. Picking up my camera and capturing that perfect shot. Writing a chapter of the book I have in head. Learning more and more about different makeup products. There are so many things that make me happy.

I guess growing up I always figured that by 30 years old I would have it all figured out. I would know what I wanted to do and how I was going to get there. I didn't expect that I would still be sat, fumbling around, trying to make plan. I'm a big believer in you can do whatever you set your mind to. In fact I tell James that all the time. He will come to me and ask if he can be a fireman when he grows up, or a scientist, or a teacher.. (It changes daily!) and I always tell him that he can do whatever he wants to. If he sets his mind to something and works hard then he can do anything. So why can't I practice what I preach?

I want to write a book but I don't believe that I am talented enough.
I want to take photos but I don't believe that I am talented enough.
I want to give women confidence by making them feel as beautiful as they are but I don't believe that I am talented enough..

So instead, I hide. I don't do any of it. Why? Because I am scared of failure. Of rejection. Of not being good enough.


The Benefits of Child Sensory Rooms.

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Sensory rooms are brilliant for all children, but can prove particularly beneficial to those children who have special needs, learning disabilities, autism, epilepsy and sensory impairment, just to name a select few. Essentially, a sensory room is specifically designed to develop a person’s sense through lighting, music and objects.

There are many suggested benefits to sensory rooms. Ultimately, it is a really effective way of letting children communicate in a way that they might not have had before. It creates a safe environment that children can relax in, without any external factors putting extra stress and pressure on them. They can then find different ways of communicating, as well as help to develop key life skills.

Sensory rooms develop many key developments, including thought, intelligence and social skills. If your child has a challenging condition, it provides them with a whole load of opportunities, where they might normally be limited in the outside world, whether this is because of behavioural issues or limitations of movement, vision, hearing and cognitive ability. It’s is both a relaxing and calming environment for them to be in, but one that will also stimulate them, which has a number of benefits. These include an increase in concentration and focus attention; help to develop senses of hearing, sight, smell, touch and taste; improve motor development; provides security; helps to develop a sense of cause and effect and help to develop and improve creativity. Of course, there are many other benefits; however, the brilliant thing with sensory rooms is that you can completely tailor it to your child’s individual needs.

Building your own sensory room for your child is not as difficult as you might imagine. You do not require a large area – simply a space that your child knows is theirs. It can be a small play tent that you add your own colours to. Be careful not to overwhelm your child with too much stimulation. Black walls and ceilings are often found in sensory rooms as they absorb the light. Be creative when you think about the floor. After all, this is meant to be a stimulating environment – foam squares, shaggy rugs and bathmats are all good ideas. Think about including toys with flashing lights, or different textures. For a smaller, portable sensory book, you can stick swatches of wallpaper and fabric into a scrap book that can be tailored to your child’s needs and taken wherever they go; particularly if it is a new environment.

Making small changes like this can make a big difference to your child’s way of communicating. Concentrate on your individual child’s needs, and let them know that this is their space that they can be free and creative in.

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