My top 5 stress relievers 

In a world where we are always on the go and social media can take over, how we notice we are stressed and what we do about it can soon be forgotten.

So, I have 5 key steps to help calm and relax whenever I feel overwhelmed or just not myself

1. Write things down – I finally found a purpose for all those notebooks I bought over the years. I pretty much have one in every room I use in the house and one in my bag. Whenever I start to feel overwhelmed or worrying that I’m missing something, I write it down. I have a master to do list in my home planner and work notebook that ensures I capture everything

2. Getting up early – I certainly feel more stressed if I don’t start the day off right. Dragging myself into the day does nothing for my overwhelm. So, I 5-4-3-2-1 myself out of bed an hour or so before Little PB and that ensures I can get the house tidy and clean, make a cup of tea, shower and be ready for the day

3. Listen to a mediation app – I listen to Insights. I love it and use it on the go and at home. It’s fabulous for guided mediation (cos I ain’t no good at the DIY version!) and some only last 15 minutes making a perfect quick pick me up 

4. Pamper night – I’ll grab a face mask, my favourite skin care and the self tan! A tan in winter can do so much for my wellbeing – it helps to remind you of those heady days of summer (whilst smelling of digestive biscuits for 24 hours)

5. Reading – whether it’s an audiobook or an actual paperback, reading puts me in a different world and helps to suppress some of the overwhelm and calm the racing heart beat down

What do you do to alleviate stress levels?

x PB x

January Favourites

Thank you to all those who voted on my Insta Story last week – the chosen blog topic was January Favourites (not sure if the title gave it away!)

Wellbeing:

Affirmation Cards – those who follow me on Instagram will have seen that I started dabbling in Affirmations in January. I was very selective on the cards I purchased – it took me a good long while as I’m not particularly spiritual and I’m not religious so I wanted a set of cards that would match with my values along with a bit of humour. And these cards do just that! I purchased the Work version because, lets face, we spend more time at work than we do at home and working full time as well as being a Mummy, you sometimes need that extra push of  motivation and positivity

Reading – Apart from a brief pause whilst I was poorly at the end of January, I’ve been loving reading at the moment. I find its the best way to wind down at the end of the day, and even though I’m guaranteed to fall asleep mid sentence, I certainly find I’m more refreshed the next morning from having that de-stress. You will have seen my earlier blog post on my 2019 Book List – I keep adding to this and will share my purchases on Instagram
Hazlenut porridge – I never thought that porridge would appear in my favourites! I normally hate the stuff BUT I’ve found a brilliant combination which makes me want to eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Here’s my recipe:

1 cup jumbo oats

1/2 cup hazelnut milk (Innocent do the best I think!)

1/2 cup full fat milk

Leave the oats to soak for about 30-45 mins – I will usually put them in a bowl when making my tea first thing and then by the time its breakfast, they have really plumped up.

For those with time in the morning, I would suggest a gentle simmer on the hob but I usually microwave for 1 minute intervals being sure they don’t go too thick.

Add a bit of honey or brown sugar (or golden syrup) and your good to go! The hazelnut milk makes it taste like you have chocolate spread in your porridge!!

(Excuse the empty bottle pic but that shows just how much I love it!!)


Beauty

I have cleaned my face every day with Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean twice a day and I can honestly see a difference in my skin texture and pores. It leaves such a squeaky clean feeling and a little goes a long way


I’m not usually an eyeshadow fan, partly due to time and partly due to no talent! It normally goes everywhere. But, I was intrigued by the burgundy reds I’d seen across social media and thought I’d give it a go. I found the perfect palette for me – Barry M, Fall In Love 2. I didn’t purchase for the brand but the range of colours. I literally sweep across the crease of my lid and the pigment gives enough colour without being dramatic. I purchased mine from Boots.


I love when I do a show and I get to wear false eyelashes! I’ve finally found a masacara that recreates the look without the faff of eyelash glue! Benefits Bad Gal Bang….


A well-timed business trip for Mr PB meant I was treated to some duty free. Having had a sample of Twilly D’Hermes in my John Lewis Beauty Advent Calendar, I fell in love. I’m usually only a fan of Jo Malone but this fragrance is so unique and the bottle is adorable with its little Hermes scarf!


Clothing

Having watched Styled By Susie on Instagram for a while, I’ve picked up a lot of her tips on the importance of basics in a wardrobe. My shopping routine for clothes is always a bit ad-hoc and I will generally buy something and then a few weeks later fall out of love with it. So, I’ve gone back to basics and purchased some well fitted basic jumpers from good old M&S and its really helped me to pair with my more colourful scarves as well as my long-forgotten jackets and accessories. I highly recommend you follow her and even download her brilliant PDF’s for guidance.

Home

This may sound bizarre, but I’ve been loving my cleaning routine this month. I’ve finally nailed The Organised Mum Method (TOMM) and am now in a rhythm of 30 minutes cleaning a day leaving the weekends free to play! I’ve adapted the routines to suit me and my work commitments but I’m thoroughly enjoying what I’ve achieved and Little PB even helps too!

x PB x

My 2019 book list…..so far

My heart beats a little faster whenever I see a bookshop in sight. I would often meander through the aisles of a Waterstones on my lunch break to browse (and sniff, cos who can’t resist the smell of a new book!)

And I always endeavour to include reading as part of my day, even if it’s just a few pages. 

So, I thought I would share my book list for 2019 so far and add to this post each time I find a gem!

I just don’t stick to books in this list – I include audio books too via the Audible app, and there are also a couple of magazine choices too because not all of us have the time or desire to read a book from front to back.

1. Secret Barrister, Anonymous – I started this at the beginning of the year. Whilst hard work at times to make sense of the legal jargon, it is fascinating. To get an insight behind the court room doors satisfies my nosey personality!

2. Becoming, Michelle Obama – at the top of the bestseller list, I couldn’t not include this one. And being a fan of the Obamas, I can’t wait to get stuck in

3. Your Dream Life Starts Here, Kristina Karlsson – as an owner of 4 Kikki-K planners, I was already a fan but then listening to Kristina on a recent podcast, I became inspired by her life story, so the launch of her book was perfectly timed.

4. My Thoughts Exactly, Lilly Allen – I’ve seen a lot about this book on social media, and I’m intrigued. I’ve purchased as an audio book as it’s read by Lilly herself so watch this space.

5. Girl, Wash Your Face, Rachel Hollis – in anticipation for Rachel’s next book, I want to re-listen to this gem

6. Re-Script Your Life, Reeta Gupta – just something I stumbled across when browsing Audible. I’ll let you know my thoughts

7. I’ve become a fan of Planet Mindful and Breathe magazines. Beautifully written and presented articles covering a wide range of health, wellbeing and mindful practices

What’s on your book list for 2019?

x PB x

Mind”FULL”ness or Mind”LESS”ness

Towards the end of last year, I became very intrigued in the true benefits of self-care and how it can be used to both better ourselves and sometimes set us back.

After much thought and chatting through with friends, I came to realise that there are 2 versions of self-care.

We talk often about mindfulness – defined as clearing our mind and focusing on the here and now. But actually, taking the word literally suggests you should be filling your mind, not emptying it.

So this got me thinking – why would it be such a bad thing to have both mindfulness and mindlessness.

There are many activities/actions I undertake that fulfil both emptying my mind and filling my mind – both are beneficial for different reasons and I consciously choose what works for me at the time

For example, if I need inspiration or motivation, I fill my mind with podcasts, audio books, chatting to friends or reading (mindfulness)

But if I need that time to clear and cleanse and reset, I may go for a walk, make lists, tidy, minimise my screen time or rest (mindlessness)

What do you do to for mindfulness and mindlessness?

Love Hannah x

New Year, New Start?

Day 11

Intentions planned on 1st Jan = 11

Intentions that are continuing = 5 (ok….4)

Hands up who finds the whole New Year, New Start thing a little tedious. And yet, we seem drawn to pushing ourselves and jumping on that bandwagon.

On 1st January, I created a little 1 page spread in my planner documenting the 11 intentions I wanted to stick to this year.

Maybe 11 was too many to start with but I, nonetheless, bounded out of bed on 2nd January with gusto to start my fresh routine and make 2019 the year of a new me!

Days 2 – 5 went well – I drank lots of water, I walked a lot, I read quite a bit and I made some plans for my blog

Day 6 – I forgot to drink water

Day 7 – I forgot to take my book for the train journey

Day 8 – I fell asleep on the sofa at 8pm

Day 9 – I finally sat down with a gluestick and some paper and created something

Day 10 – I sat absorbed watching Manhunt

Day 11 – I was too hungry to try and be healthy

So, some of you may read this and think I have no handle on my intentions and I can’t hold down a habit for longer than 24 hours. An accurate assumption to make….but….I see the above as a true reflection of what intentions are about.

Some days, I won’t do any of what I’ve set out to achieve. Other days, I’ll do it all. As a mum of 1 and working full time, I’ve learnt that this is ok. I still pat myself on the back even if the only thing I have managed that day is read the news.

Don’t let the expectation from social media make you think you’ve failed if your ability to hold down intentions every day gets bulldozed by life. That’s just how we roll!

What intentions/resolutions have you made this year?

Love Hannah x

What I’ve been loving…..

It’s been a while since I put pen to paper but with the summer days now firmly behind us, I’m in Fresh Start mode. And that seamlessly moves me onto my first love of recent months….

  • Reset Girl – Camp Reset 2018 – I took part in Camp Reset 2018. I took a different approach to last year where I went at my own pace and was quite selective on what challenges I complete – being a full time business woman as well as a Mummy, I needed to ensure that I used my time valuably. But that is the best thing about Camp Reset 2018 – you can be involved in all of it or some of it whilst still benefiting from it. The community is fantastic and this year was organised so well ensuring the Facebook feed was dedicated to each theme making it easy to keep on top of updates. There is talk of a Winter Camp Reset – I would highly recommend
  • Reset Girl – Fresh Start collection – with Camp Reset now coming to an end, the Reset Girl team have produced the most incredible collections of digital products to celebrate newness and starting over. I have always said that my version of January and New Year is September – it was ingrained in me from school that September signalled a new year and a new pencil case of course. And this collection brings all those feels together
  • Journaling – I started a Travellers Notebook for documenting Little PB’s 2nd year and I’m now a convert to journaling. A great opportunity to use all the goodies I hoard into a collection of memories that I hope Little PB will enjoy browsing when he is older
  • Day Designer/Reset Girl mash up! – I’ve been decorating my daily pages with Reset Girl digital ephemera. Using an old Reset Girl YouTube video for inspiration, I’m certainly using my DD more frequently
  • Felicity Jane – I ordered my first stash of craft goodies and I was so impressed with the quality. I’ve ordered again from the Lola collection – I particularly love that you don’t need to commit to the subscription box and can purchase individual items once the box has been launched

Please click on the links for more information and I hope you enjoy these beautiful products as much as I do

x PB x

I just love to tidy!

A friend very kindly complimented on how tidy our house is and asked how I achieve it given I work full time and have a 2 year old.

Well, I think given that I am out of the house most of the week and little one is at nursery goes a long way to keeping the house tidy but it did get me thinking if my method and storage choices would be helpful to others, so here goes.

  1. Everything has a place which I think is a huge help in putting it away – and if it doesn’t have a place, it doesn’t last long in the house. I honestly think I could find anything in our house with my eyes shut!
  2. Little PB doesn’t have a play room so I have ensured that his toys are kept to a minimum sorting through them every birthday & Christmas and passing them onto friends or charity. Little PB also loves a good game of tidying up…..no, really he does
  3. Cheap canvas drawstring bags are great for storing a collection of toys. You can buy them via Amazon and as well as looking prettier and lasting longer than cardboard boxes, it makes putting toys away super quick and easy
  4. Storage is in keeping with our interiors , for example, a toy box that is a distressed travel chest, dresser with drawers and shelving for maximum space and wicker baskets (I do love a pretty wicker basket!)
  5. I tidy each room completely before I move onto the next – if something in the lounge belongs in the kitchen, I just put it in the kitchen and finish the lounge first. This lessens distraction as well as multiple trips up and down the stairs! I work clockwise through the house so I know if I’ve missed anywhere easily
  6. Well plumped cushions – this may sound odd, but a set of cushions on a sofa that make it look complete, will help to allude this vision of tidiness!
  7. I always make the bed!! I dont think I would function properly each day if I left the house without making the bed – it makes a bedroom go from messy to tidy in minutes!

I hope this gives you some good ideas! Please share any tidying tips you have – I find tidying quite a mindfulness task and feel so much more prepared with a tidy home

x PB x

#The100DayProject

I’ve lost count on what day we are on, but we are certainly half way through so I thought I would share my thoughts on how its been going.

Simply, I am loving it. Around 6 months ago, I experienced a real low with creativity – questioning what was the point, why should I bother if it’s not for a purpose and can I create pretty things? So, committing to the challenge was a big step for me.

As I’ve shared on Instagram, I limited my supplies in order to limit the procrastination as well as set a timer for each day to ensure I didn’t spend hours and hours creating something that I was then unhappy with. And although I missed a couple of weeks whilst on holiday, I’m persisting in catching up.

Here is the progress so far:


x PB x 

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