Why I love my early mornings

It’s 5.56am and I’m up, writing this blog post. Some of you will be shouting at the screen saying why, why, WHY?! Well, I’m about to tell you.

Since becoming a mummy, I have become increasingly grateful for the time I have to myself. Please be reassured that I would of course prefer to spend time with Little PB over and above anything else, but working full time and being mum means stuff needs to get done.

With the sun rising and the birds entertaining my with their dawn chorus, I potter in the silence of the house, preparing for the day.

I tried the Miracle Morning method in its entirety for a bit – that didn’t work for me. And I think its because I took it too literally. The principle behind Miracle Morning is to set you right for the day by giving yourself time to reset your mind, focus, do some exercise and rehydrate.

So, my morning is a deconstructed version of this and here is my routine:

  • Sunrise alarm set for 5.50am. Little PB usually wakes by 7am so I know I have around an hour to get s!@* done.
  • 5.50am – Get up! (I do have to push myself to get up straight away but it’s improving!)
  • 5.55am – A big glass of water and a lemon tea (basically 2 slices of lemon in warm water)
  • 6am – Feed Pineapple & Button Co. whilst the kettle is boiling
  • 6am – 6.30am – Spend 30 mins either planning my day, painting my nails, writing blog posts, or having a pamper session in the shower. I also pack my bag for the day (although I do try to do this before I go to bed in the evening)
  • 6.30am – 7am – Get myself ready (with a cup of builders tea!) because trying to do a decent attempt at hair and make up with a toddler to entertain is never going to work

By the time Little PB stirs, I can give him my full attention until we go to nursery and I feel ready for the day.

I have had experiences where I haven’t achieved the above and I can honestly share that I feel discombobulated that whole day as a result.

So, if you want to feel more productive, positive, motivate and in control of your world, set that alarm for an hour earlier…..and then share how it goes! Good luck!

x PB x

The National Trust….a national treasure

Mr PB and I were married at a National Trust venue – The Vyne near Basingstoke. A romantic ceremony in the stone gallery and the party of all parties in a set of Stunning Tents in the walled garden.


So, you would think that we have been avid members of the Trust for years. Well, whilst we had membership post our wedding day, we didn’t visit many of the houses or gardens apart from our wedding anniversary visit back to the gardens at The Vyne.

As a child, visiting a national trust property always felt like a chore. Attractive to the older generation, it felt like an extended history lesson.

But over the years, The National Trust have genuinely upped their family game, offering so much more than dusty, cold rooms in large homes with some gardens to look at but not touch!

Since becoming parents, we have explored, walked, laughed and smiled around so many of the houses and gardens that I’ve come to realise that this organisation is something special.

Where else can you have a slice of delicious cake and pot of tea, a wander through stately country homes and then play chase on the lawns.


Here are some of my favourites:

The Vyne, Basingstoke – of course it holds a special place in my heart but it has grown over the years to be a chosen destination for families for picnic on the lawn. The addition of a small play area for children with bouncing cows, ride on tractors and push along lawn mowers is great as well as the ability to visit to renovation being carried out on the roof.

Mottisfont, Winchester – with expansive lawns surrounding the stately home, there is plenty of room to play and have a picnic. A beautiful river walk and the choice of 2-3 great tea rooms/restaurants makes this a great meeting place for big groups.

Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury – the formality of the gardens make it less about picnics and more about wandering taking in the gorgeous planting schemes and overwhelming views of this incredible mansion. 

Basildon Park, Reading – like Mottisfont, this property is not short of grassy areas to play rounders in! It also benefits from walking routes taking you out into the parkland – varying lengths so you can choose what best suits you and your family.

Cliveden House, nr Windsor – the play area here is by far my favourite of all National Trust properties we have visited. Based around classic children stories, you are surrounded by beautiful wooden sculptures of Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan. The house is also a hotel so not one you can visit without staying but the restaurant is great with lots to offer and the grounds are never ending. A great place to get lost in.

If you don’t have membership, please do so. Whether you are a smal family and expanding family or just a couple, this is the best amount of pennies a year you will spend! 

This weekend, most National Trust properties are running Easter Egg Hunts. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ 

x PB x

How to ski with a toddler….#babydestinations

Ok, so I’ll make it clear from the start. We didn’t put Little PB in a set of skis and send him off down the mountain.

Having not skied since before Little PB entered the world, I was very eager to get back out on the slopes. Verbier, Switzerland here we come!

We booked flights to Geneva with British Airways – our go-to airline. Their customer service is always fantastic and the facilities when you have a little one in tow are very beneficial.

We opted for club Europe seats for guaranteed space as well as access to their club lounge which was great for feeding Little PB lunch before the flight and enabled him to burn off some energy watching planes. The lounge also has a dedicated children’s play area which is very convenient.

A short walk to the gate, we had priority boarding and left the buggy at the plane door for collection via the baggage carousel in Geneva – so easy.
The 2 hour flight flew by (excuse the pun, it had to be done!). A set of baby headphones and plenty of Thomas the Tank Engine downloaded on the iPad (guided access turned on of course) kept Little PB engaged. I would recommend encouraging the little one to have a drink or use a dummy to ensure their ears adjust to the change in air pressure – ear popping is not pleasant for adults as well as babies.

We picked up a hire car and car seat at Geneva airport. I must pre warn you that the drive from Geneva to Verbier can be as long as 3 hours so ensure you have enough snacks and entertainment for the drive.

I’m fortunate to have family in Verbier so was able to stay with them. Accommodation is expensive during the ski season so don’t be surprised if you have to stay outside the village and drive in each morning. Furthermore, parking can be challenge so worth considering parking by the station at the bottom of the mountain and jumping on the cable car. Avoids the winding road and gives you some spectacular views along the way.

We hired our skis, boots and helmets from Mountain Air. The best place to hire from by far – excellent customer service and certainly the most pleasant environment I’ve rented skis from in the past! More like a designer store. 
We organised a Petit Verbier nanny in advance of our trip. I can’t recommend this service enough. Fully qualified nannies who go above and beyond with activities in the snow and rides on the free bus to visit the duck pond.

We met our ski instructor supplied by ES Snowsports outside Mountain Air and were escorted up the mountain and even though I fell over more than I would like to share, it was great to be back on skis whizzing down the mountain.


A family lunch back at Le Bec bought our morning ski to a close but it was certainly worth all the effort in organising.

To comfort those that don’t ski, the après ski is a great way to explore the mountain and Verbier village. After lunch, we bundled Little PB into the buggy for nap time and wandered past a wide range of boutiques, cafes and bars. 

Settling on a bar with a view, with a sleeping baby, Mr PB and I enjoyed a café noir and hot chocolate soaking up the glorious sunshine.

We rounded the day off with a family sledging session – hiring a sledge and baby goggles from Mountain Air, we headed on the free bus to the nursery slopes that has a dedicated sledging area. With a space for Mr PB and Little PB securely strapped in, there were plenty of giggles and smiles.

This day by far exceeded my expectations of what skiing with a toddler is like and I would certainly recommend that you give it a go – the key is to prepare and organise your day.


To be continued…..

x PB x

 

How to have an inspirational wardrobe

Let’s set the scene;

  • I don’t have an insta style dressing room worthy of beautiful photos
  • My wardrobe is not full to the brim of designer clothes, bags and shoes
  • My wardrobe is conviently in Little PB’s bedroom

So, now that is out the way – I decided a couple of weeks ago that I needed to embrace what I did have and organise my wardrobe so that I could see the potential clearly every day.

Firstly, I emptied my wardrobe in its entirety onto the floor. This helped me to know what I had and what I wanted to keep or give to charity.

I then sorted what I was keeping into outfits – how could I maximise my clothes to make 3 or 4 outfits rather than one. So, taking each jacket and top and pairing them together with trousers and shoes.

If I didn’t have a coordinating item that could be matched with a piece a clothing, I put it aside.

My next best friend has become Pinterest. Searching for outfit ideas for each piece of clothing I had, helped me to feel inspired and focused. 

But rather than keep the photos on my phone, I created these cute picture boards which are stuck to the inside doors of my wardrobe. Every morning I open up the wardrobe, I can be reminded of what works well together, minisming the time I spend trying on outfits or being disappointed with my choice. It also helped to realise how those unmatched items could be paired up.



Finally, I upgraded my hangars and this was probably the cheapest part of the exercise! At only £2 for a pack of 10, these velour coated black hangars sit well in the wardrobe space, help to hold strappy and wide neck tops without slipping and keep all the clothes looking neat.



I tend to be seasonal with my wardrobe and so the drawers make for perfect storage for those clothes that aren’t in use. 


I don’t own many shoes so I keep my regularly used ones at the top of the wardrobe. All others are on the slide out at the bottom.

I now enjoy choosing my outfit for the day and find I’m inspired by my choice without needing to buy more clothes.

Give it a go and let me know how you get on

x PB x

How to be organised for those early starts…

Whether you are a new mum or a working mum, we all have our fair share of early starts.

And I find that preparation the night before is the key so that even in my half awake state, I can leave the house feeling semi-respectable.

Here’s a few tips;

  1. Pack your bag completely and if there are bits to add, pop a post-it note on top with a list of what needs to go in before you walk out the door
  2. Pack up your lunch bag with on-the-go healthy snacks. I also find that overnight oats make the perfect quick breakfast and travels well
  3. Invest in a good travel mug. I have a couple I use – Contigo autoseal travel mug for my frothy coffees and a KeepCup (personalised to P&B Co. colours of course) for my herbal teas
  4. Lay out your clothes, including (and this is VERY important) your underwear! When dressing in the dark, so as to not disturb our loved ones, the last thing you want to do is be scrambling around for your knickers
  5. If you are getting up for work, set 2 alarms. Even though I’m a light sleeper since having Little PB, my worst fear is not waking up on time and rushing. 
  6. Go to bed early, settle with a good book (don’t check your phone) and have a large glass of water ready for the morning to help wake you up. 

Hope this helps – here’s to those positive starts to the day!

x PB x

Procrastinating towards perfect

I’ve procrastinated for too long on what content my blog should include – what do people want to read about, am I too boring that most of what I would share would have zero interest and do I really need to take Insta style pics to make what I write worthwhile??

And then I had a miracle moment – it’s my darn blog and so I can write about anything I bloomin’ like. 
Ta-dah! Here’s the new commitment:

1. Whether it be perfect or incredibly imperfect, I’m going to write about it because, less face it, no content means no opportunities to inspire or share

AND

2. I’m not going to waste time taking perfect pictures unless I think you guys would benefit from the detail – I’m not a photographer, I’m not even a true blogger – I just know I love writing and sharing

So, watch this space (and feel free, those of you who read this, to make me accountable for my commitment!)

x PB x

#babydestinations Why CarFest is perfect with a baby!

I haven’t posted for a while – motherhood and adulting got in the way. 

However, with CarFest tickets due on sale on Thursday 9th November, I felt I must catch up on my blog posts that I’ve neglected. And one of those is about reassuring and encouraging any parent out there with a small baby why CarFest is just the perfect day out.


For my family, the definite selling point of CarFest South was being able to drive from our house to the car park at Laverstoke Farm within 15 minutes meaning that if little PB didn’t settle, we could get home easily. I appreciate that won’t be the case for all of you. However, there is plenty else to wet your festival appetite, even if the drive home is longer.

We arrived around 11am armed with a picnic and toys. The sun was shining and there was not a cloud in the sky – today was going to be a good day.

A meandering walk through the farm grounds and woodland, the festival was in full swing. After signing up for the duck race, we settled on a picnic blanket by the Carters Steam Fair for our lunch. A beautiful array of rides and steam suitable for all ages.

After enjoying a glass of prosecco, a pint and some milk, we made our way over to the track to watch the cars. The clue is in the title that the day is centred around the vast collection of cars from the well-looked after vintages to the super brand new. We got the opportunity to see Chris Evans and Jodi Schnaker go careering around the track as well as plenty of rubber smoke from all the doughnuts! Little PB loved it, although I’d recommend ear defenders for some of it.


The mood changed somewhat when I knew we had to go and change little PB. Having been to festivals plenty of times before, I was nervous of the standard of changing facilities (if any) and was fully prepared to find a shady secluded corner and change him on the floor. Well, my excitement at the quality of the changing area was bountiful. A beautifully laid out tent with changing mats, Child Farm freebies, alcohol gel, nappy bags and nappy bins emptied regularly! Adjoining the tent was a play area with books and toys as well as sofas and nursing chairs for feeding. A microwave to heat up food and high chairs! Such a wonderful addition to a festival environment and certainly one of the main reasons for wanting to go back.


Perhaps not absorbing the map in enough detail, we forgot to spend any significant time in the country show element of the festival. A must for next year – dog and duck races, horse shows, craft demonstrations and a fantastic kiddies area which little PB will definitely appreciate being a little older. 

We re-visited the changing tent to get little PB ready for bed before the music started and then explored the food tents – such a great variety of food and not just your greasy burgers to delight! Vegan, vegetarian and full on carnivore on offer – we went back for seconds and dessert!


The other thing I loved was the space….because there were so many families, there wasn’t this need to get too friendly with each other when the music started and start pushing for your postage stamp size bit of room. Everyone was very accommodating and we were all able to sit back and enjoy the music. We kept ourselves towards the back of the pack to help with an easy exit but we still saw plenty and obviously danced along to the entertainment. 



We were fortunate that little PB fell asleep with ear defenders on allowing us to enjoy the evening. I’m pleased we took the buggy and would recommend this over a back carrier – it just provides more flexibility during the day for naps and it doesn’t get in the way as you are one of a number of people with buggies who all give each other a level of courteous avoidance!


It was certainly the highlight of the summer and would highly recommend you book early to avoid disappointment. 

Finally, I would like to say thank you to CarFest for creating a wonderful day out for everyone from 0-100. The attention to detail, the entertainment and the food just goes to show that, even with a baby, you can still go raving into the night…..if you want to that is – we were home by 9.30! 

Here’s the link you’ll need… http://www.carfest.org/ticket-information 

x PB x

Crafty Catch Up creativity

Following a fantastic day at the Crafty Catch Up in Kent in July, I wanted to create a memory keepsake.

I simply covered the back of my Reset Girl motivational quote card with cardstock that I bought on the day. Fortunately, the amazing Rachel of Bits of Stationery provided us with the most wonderful freebie in our goody bags which made this process so much easier.

Placing stickers around the card, I added some adorable photos of the day that I printed from my HP zip printer on sticky back photo paper.

I love the hashtag stickers but particularly love the boxes for free text where I could add my favourite moments or thoughts from the day.

A lovely keepsake that I can have in my planner as wonderful reminder of the friends I made and the laughs we shared.

Thank you Rachel for organising……here’s to the next one!

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www.bitsofstationery.co.uk

x PB x

 

 

 

Paper & Glam weekly set up

After many months (or maybe even years!) of shall I, shan’t I, I finally jumped into signing up to a Paper & Glam subscription. And thank goodness I did!

August was my first month when the bright Glam pink envelope dropped through my door. Filled to the brim of beautifully printed sticker sheets, the handwritten note from Lisamarie makes it the perfect happy mail.

I only use my Erin Condren for true planning, however, I don’t use the monthly pages so have found that even 2 weeks into August, I had plenty of stickers still remaining. So, I decided to do a full spread using as many of the stickers I could!

In the notes column, I used 2 full boxes length ways and added some washi and P&G quotes. I will use the top box as my reading tracker and the bottom box for my blog planner.

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I used the banners as headers for the middle boxes and because I had to cut these to the right width, I added the flag end to the boxes for detail.

A fun decorative corner bottom left and right using my favourite stickers in the pack – the book shelf and typewriter with a couple of quote stickers.

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I added full box stickers to the bottom row and used an idea from Lisamarie to use the monthly headers above the full boxes.

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My final touch to this week was using the stiletto check lists as headers for the weekend – I love the scallop edging.

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Along with my staple Bits of Stationery personalised headers and Work stickers, I love how this layout turned out and its made me add more P&G stickers to my wish list.

You can sign up to subscriptions here – www.shop.paperandglam.com and you can grab your Bits of Stationery stickers here – www.bitsofstationery.co.uk

x PB x

 

Crafty Catch-Up – July 2017

After stepping out of my comfort zone for the first Crafty Catch Up in February 2017, it was  a given that I was going to rugby tackle anyone I needed to for a ticket for the July 2017 catch up.

Taking a beautifully scenic journey through the Kent countryside, I arrived in Lydd and entered a room full of smiles and happiness. Rachel and Emily (the organisers) had done a fantastic job in setting up stalls and tables for the attendees.

I had the pleasure of being on Table 1 with a brilliant bunch of planner girls – Charlotte, Lynsey, Joey, Anna & Stephanie. Balloons, gold foiling, bunting, the most adorable cake & sweet stand and a safe place to plan, craft & create….what could be better?

It was so wonderful to be able to browse some planner shops – when the whole of the Planner world is online, its great to be able to see products in real life…..although this did mean that there were some indulgent purchases.

A new addition to the day was a set of craft classes which added a great dynamic. We had a TN insert class and TN pocket folder class by CraftyAliCat, hand lettering by SoJoey and a memory keeping book class by BitsOfStationery. It was also wonderful to just sit with my fellow planner girls and plan our week and have a giggle (there were plenty of those).

The goody bags were handed out by Rachel and the room was filled by ooohs and aahs of excitement, apart from me, who in my unique style, chose to wait until 2 days later…..the contents are incredible – I loved everything!

The raffle was disappointing…..but only because I didn’t win the Love From Poppy TN and it was very clear that the winner (LauraLizzy) was very VERY excited about it!! I did win something even with my impeccable timing for sharing my frustration that my name had yet to be called out.

What I have come to realise is that planner friends do truly make the best type of friends – their acceptance of your enjoyment in anything creative is so heartwarming and they have an ability to make you smile by the smallest of gestures.

The day came to an end all too quickly but that was certainly made easier with the announcement for the next catch up at the end of the year.

So, I’ll be seeing you all on 2nd December…..hopefully…..

Check out my Instagram for all the pics – @pineapplebuttonco

x PB x