15 Snacks to Improve Productivity

I’m a mum of two but I also work from home, my home office is right next to the kitchen and as a result I snack a lot during the day. My children are both grazers so when it comes to snack time I like to provide a range of snacks that are both nutritious and delicious and not full of empty calories.  I do sometimes struggle to be productive and a lot of time it’s due to my energy levels dropping.  I figured there are probably a lot of home workers and busy mums out there who feel the same when it comes to productivity and energy so I’ve decided to share some of my favourite snacks that are full of flavour and don’t contain too many naughty ingredients.

Kale Chips

One of my favourite snacks and a favourite of my children too is Kale Chips. I make mine in the Actifry with a small spray of coconut oil and some smoked paprika, it makes a delicious snack which tastes a lot like crispy seaweed from the Chinese takeaway and it has none of the calories!  I can quite happily munch through a bowl of Kale and 1 bag usually lasts me two days.

chia porridge

I love Chia seeds and I add them to my porridge every morning.  Chia seeds contain lots of protein, fibre, good fats and 15g is enough to provide a much needed boost.  I love Blueberries which are full of antioxidants and as a treat I like to make a blueberry chia pudding which I leave to soak in the fridge overnight, which consists of chia seeds, almond milk and some chopped blueberries. Delicious.

hummus

Hummus is one of my families favourite snacks, I always make it from scratch so I know exactly what has gone into it.  Hummus is high in protein so a great way to boost your protein levels.  I’m happy to eat Hummus with a spoon but it’s always good to add some crunchy vegetables to add a bit of texture and crunch.

The infographic below has some great ideas for more snacks that boots energy and productivity, how many are your favourites?

15 snacks to improve productivity

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*This is a collaborative post


Bladder Weakness

“My Name is Daniella, I’m 36 years old and I have suffered from light bladder weakness” 

Ok so we’re not at a self help group but I do think the issue of bladder weakness is an important topic to talk about, there are millions of women who suffer from this issue (actually it’s 1 in 3 women in the UK) but as we’re always a little scared and ashamed to admit that these things are happening to us we tend to keep it to ourselves.  I was 20 when I had my first child and I was mortified that when I coughed or laughed to hard I ran the risk of weeing myself a little bit, old women who have no control of their bladder wee themselves not women who have only just stopped being a teenager, right? Wrong. So so Wrong.

lbT-Cest-la-Vie-Imagery-Bed-hair

I was certain that I would suffer from this coughing and laughing leakage for the rest of my life. (I didn’t) When I had my second child in 2013 and the bladder weakness happened again I knew it was a temporary thing, I also knew that I should probably do my pelvic floor exercises.  When you first give birth and you’re handed the sheet containing the pelvic floor exercises your first thought is I’ve got enough to do thank you very much I’ll think about these later and then you never do.  The pelvic floor exercises really do strengthen your muscles which help to stop the flow and prevent leakage.  Do your pelvic floor exercises ladies, you will thank yourself for it later.

I’m no longer embarrassed to talk about my Oooops moments or my experience with bladder weakness although my family probably won’t say the same thing.  My daughter likes to think I go out of my way to embarrass her so you can imagine her disgust whilst I was doing living room floor yoga and I grabbed my crotch and shouted “oh crap I’ve just pee’d myself” and fell about it floods of laughter. For some reason sneezing always resulted in a tiny squirt of wee (thank god for lights by TENA!) I can’t forget the time I was jumping over the cones at Rugby Tots when my bladder decided to let me down again, thank god I was wearing black jeans.  I’ve had so many Oooops moments when I’ve been let down by my bladder that I could write a book about them but instead I’m saying C’est la vie instead.

The majority of us women experience bladder weakness at some time in our lives, so you’re not going through anything that isn’t happening to thousands of other women even though you think you are.  If you are suffering from light bladder weakness it’s always a good idea to carry a supply of panty liners and a spare pair of knickers in your bag, you never know when you might need them.  You can request a free pack of lights by TENA to try for yourself. they are now 5 times drier than before and contain FeelFresh Technology™ to lock in moisture and control odour.

If like me you’re not embarrassed about life’s little mishaps you might be interested in a little competition that lights by TENA are hosting on Facebook, inviting you to share your own Oooops moment for a chance to win up to seven prizes. The prizes include six £100 Debenhams voucher and a grand prize of a spa break for 2. Winners will be announced on a weekly basis.

lbT-Cest-la-Vie-Imagery-Candles

I’m wondering if I can enter the Facebook competition with a non bladder related Oooops moment of which I have many.  I particularly like the time I recounted a tale word by word about a horrific crime I head about on the news and how it had been ingeniously solved only for the person I was telling the tale to, to point out that this was a very similar story to a one covered on CSI the evening before.  I’m sure we’ve all had an Oooops moment when we have left the ladies toilets on a night out with our dress tucked into our knickers? Or how about the time I was on a date at a fancy Italian restaurant when I was telling a story which involved me wafting the bottom of the tablecloth which just happened to go a little bit to close to the candle and set on fire. You’ve probably guessed this didn’t result in a second date.

Please feel free to say C’est la vie to your Oooops moments in the comments below, I promise you it will make you feel better, don’t forget to visit the lights by TENA facebook page though if you wish to enter the competition!

Disclaimer: Sponsored post


Preschool Craft – Jungle Puppets

Arthur loves to role play and one of his favourite things to play is with puppets. Puppets are so easy to make and provide hours of fun for children provided they are not too heavy handed with their puppet.

The jungle puppets we recently made took less than 10 minutes to put together which is a perfect amount of time for a pre-schooler and all you need are some lollypop sticks, animal stickers or pictures, feathers, a pipe cleaner, foam or card and a pompom.

Bostik jungle puppet craft

Smaller children may need help sticking their parrot together, we used tape to attach the feathers to the stick and glue dots for the parrots head and snakes tongue.  Arthur (3) put all of his puppets together and didn’t require any help from me.

Bostik jungle puppets

If you would like to see other crafts that are suitable for preschool age children we have a craft section where you can find a variety of themed crafts.

*Some of the craft items used in this post were provided as part of the on-going Bostik Bloggers campaign

 



The Art of Letter Writing

I first started writing to pen-pals when I was 13. I love receiving letters from all over the world and more than anything I love the stamps! I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to some things and collecting stamps is one of them but that’s a story for another time.

I love technology and I love how quick and easy it is to send a text or an email and receive an instant response. Technology has it’s place in our fast paced lives and I wouldn’t want to live in a world without it don’t get me wrong.  For me there is nothing better than corresponding with people via the postal service. I love the sound of letters falling through my letterbox, seeing the plain or decorated envelopes and knowing instantly who sent the letter. Looking at the stamps and carefully peeling them off to stick in my albums and finally reading the letters.  I worry that the art of letter writing may become a thing of the past.

I love to read, it’s another one of my hobbies.  I’m very curious about other people and how they live so for me reading letters from a pen-pal is a little bit like reading an autobiography in sections.  I find it fascinating how different people live their lives, the jobs that they do, how they bring up their children or animals, what they eat, what they collect and what sort of stationery they use.

I have pen-pals from all over the world, most are female but there are a couple of men in there too, the ages vary from early 20’s to my oldest who is in his 70’s.  Some are married some are single, some have children, some have cats and others don’t have time for either.  Since April this year I have written letter to 47 different people, a large percentage have not written back and this makes me sad.  I think some people like the chase, like to receive letters but then realise they have no time to write back and that’s fine but it doesn’t take a lot to send a little card to explain.

Stationary writing sets

As a self confessed stationery addict I love to buy writing sets. I like bright colours, quirky patterns and embossed papers.  A5 is my preferred writing paper size and I favour lined paper over plain as it helps to keep my erratic writing in check.  I sometimes get lost in the words which can result in my letters drooping to one angle rather than being straight.

I can’t imagine a life without words and letters and so I’ll continue to write them as long as people are happy to receive.

Where can you find pen-pals?

Well that depends on the sort of pen-pal you want.  Most of my penpals have been found via Instagram using the hashtag #penpalswanted and #penpalsrequired  I find Instagram penpals are the most flaky.  There are a lot of facebook groups where penpals can be found, just use the search and add yourself to some groups.

I’ve found some of the most reliable penpals have come from the Letter Writers Alliance, maybe because you have to pay to join? It’s only $5 but worth every penny in my opinion.  The second option is maartens penpals, I’ve found a couple of lovely penpals who like writing long letters   it’s free to join and updated quite regularly.

 

Do you write letters or correspond with Pen-Pals?

the art of letter writing

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Weather Chart Craft for Preschoolers

Arthur is 3 and is at that age where he “needs” to know about everything and anything, one of the things he has taken an interest in recently is the weather and a couple of weeks ago here in the UK we had a couple of days when the weather was incredibly erratic and like nothing I’ve ever seen before.  Who would have thought that you could have sun, wind, rain and snow all in one day?  The only time Arthur has experienced real snow was when we went skiing in France back in 2014 but he was sadly too little to remember so you can imagine his delight when he saw snow flurries out of the window only to be incredibly disappointed moments later when the rain started.

I’ve tried to talk about the weather in laymans terms but I find that sometimes visual learning can be so much better especially when it comes to 3 year old livewires with a very short attention span and that’s why we made our own weather chart.

weather chart craft

To make this incredibly simplistic weather chart you will need:
A paper plate
Glue
Pens to draw or sticker/cutouts
1 arrow
Paper fastener

How to make a weather chart

Stick or draw shapes to show the different types of weather to the paper plate, attach the arrow using a paper fastener and you’re ready to go.

When Arthur wakes up each morning he asks if he can be the weather watcher and goes to the window to see what the weather is like outside, he then moves the arrow and asks me to check that he was right.  It’s such a simple craft yet you will have days/weeks/months of fun with it.

Interested in our previous crafts? Click here

Don’t have time to make this today, Pin this craft for later

pin this weather chart craft for later

 

*Some of the craft items used in this post were provided as part of the on-going Bostik Bloggers campaign