7 Top Tips for Family Trips to Copenhagen Denmark

We got married in Copenhagen, it's one of our other homes and one of our favourite cities. As well as visiting friends and family when we go there, we also like to visit other parts of Seeland, and Copenhagen so the kids stay in touch with their routes; and their viking ;).  Here are our top tips.

1. Tivoli - Tivoli is the only theme park I know in the heart of the city. It's amazing and full of rides, experiences, chilling in the gardens and listening to a show.  There are several great restaurants.  You will not regret going here with the kids.

2. The Blue Planet Aquarium - strangely even open on Danish Christmas which is celebrated on the 24th.  So in our house Christmas lasts a longer time 2 days!  However, one Christmas we landed and grandad or Far Far needed more time to prepare.  We went to the aquarium and the kids loved it, there was so much to see and do.

3. The viking museum.  You will need to hire a car but well worth a visit on a good day.  There's really cool brunch place near by before you go in, and the museum is full of things to see, do and even dress up.  Here you can row a viking boat and make a boat.  There's pieces of wood, saws, nails and hammers left there.  This becomes a bit of a competition and a great activity with the kids to make your own viking boat that can float.

4. Open sandwiches are a must to try.  Eva Davidson is my favourite, which my husband took me to way before we had the kids.  I'm not a fan of bread, but Danish bread is just awesome and her sandwiches are like a work of art!

5. There are so many great restaurants, and not just Noma.  Tonys is where we had our pre wedding party.  We love cheap and cheerful placed too like Sticks and Sushi with the kids, and Lagkagehuset as my husband misses Danish pastries, so much so that he taught himself to make them!

6. With kids I would do the bus tour, as in reality the little mermaid is small.  There are so many great places to see: the navy quarters, the queens palace and all the great danish architecture.

7. Time is also worth being spent just chilling out at Nyhavn.

 

My daughter getting a hug from Rasmus Klump Bamse which is a Danish kids book and TV character at Tivoli

My daughter getting a hug from Rasmus Klump Bamse which is a Danish kids book and TV character at Tivoli

Top 3 Mobility Hacks from a Family that's Travelled 1000's of miles

We travel pretty much all the time, and the kids are so used to it so we can pack light and do hand luggage.  There are 3 takes that have stood us in good stead for all our travels.

1. The Trunki changed our travel as 3 years ago as sleepy, tired and moony kids to be honest are no fun in airports.  Ours kids race each other and love being pulled which makes easier and quicker to get from one gate to the other, or even get through immigration.  Secondly, you can keep track of them.  Thirdly they may be tired and on the Trunki they always perk up if awake, or I can wake them. No '3' is what I resort to with a sleeping child.  Finally, they can pack what they need which has taught mine how to pack, what they have to versus want to take.  So they can only take what there is space for in the Trunki, but they need things like under wear and a toothbrush if we are only flying hand luggage (sometime we have checked in luggage and of course it's full of their favourite toys, books and colouring).

2. The Manduca which carries them on your back or tummy, for mine the favourite is the tummy as the love nestling in my boobs.  The picture probably does how much I have used this justice, and to beware he/she is probably towards the end of life.  However, even in July this year we arrived in Northern Denmark at midnight, because there was no direct flights.  On the first transfer the plane was late and then kept the next flight open for 10 minutes to make the connecting flight.  So one on the Trunki ( who was still awake), and another in the Manduka.  On reflection this must have been hilarious watching a Mummy who already has a size G bust, with a a 4 year old running through the airport; but we made it!  After 7 hours of travelling there was no waking the children.  So the final walk out was easier.

3.  Finally, and as they've grown older these are a god send.  I remember when we went to Australia with my youngest and just hauling a car seat it was a nightmare.  Rentals charge a fortune, and when you land they often do not have the right one for the age group which infuriates me, as we always pre-ordered.  It's  a post for another topic as the safety of kids is paramount, but often they do not have the right seat.  So 'Mifold' are just genius and fit into my handbag.  European safety approved, easy to use, store and whip in and out these have made our travel so much easier.

 

Our Trunki's may be a bit warn but they've done 1000's of miles and rock and rolled our kids around many an airport. 

Our Trunki's may be a bit warn but they've done 1000's of miles and rock and rolled our kids around many an airport. 

8 Top Tips for Family Holidays in Ibiza

I took my two little ones to Ibiza for a yoga holiday and surprised myself with how much it has, as opposed to my raving days when I partied on the island so many times pre motherhood.

1. Breakfast: Santa Gertrudis - Bar Costa - get a sandwich with ham & cheese - best sandwiches on the island - homemade bread.

2. Go to the pirate tower with view on the magical island Es Vedra - It’s hidden, so you have to drive to Cala D’Hort and then follow the road up towards Eivissa - around 7800 m (from Cala D’Hort), You can turn right into a small private street (in front of a left turn of the main road - you also see the top of Es Vedra from there) - follow the road until there is a little roundabout where you can park - then follow the little rocky way and you will end on a beautiful plateau, 243 m above sea level, where you can look at Es Vedra… from there follow the way on your left up until you reach the pirate tower… MUST DO!

3. Dinner: Santa Gertrudis - best beef of the island (if you're a beef lover) and not much known by tourists. Restaurant CAN CAUS - order the beef filet that you can BBQ on the table…

4. Take the boat to Formentera - best place for the kids to play in the turqoise water. I would do this from Cala Llonga at 9:45 am - you can easy park there and the boat takes an hour. Also a nice beach.

5. Wednesday: Visit - the Hippy Market in Es Canar (Punta Arabi) - it’s the biggest hippy market of the island. My kids loved it and we had to buy so many Ibiza clothes… After that you walk through Es Canar to a small Italian restaurant on the right side. 

This restaurant is just a few meters before the new Jacaranda lounge - actually also a nice place (not so good food), but a great pool bar with Sangria Cava (Champagne) and our kids loved to swim in this pool.

6. Nassau Beach Club Great beach where the kids can play.

7. If you love Sea Food - the Paella at Cala’Hort is great.

8. When I used to go to Ibiza pre kids I would head Cafe Del Mar, or Cafe Mambos.  However, we found a great place to watch the sunset, soak in Ibiza with the kids.  The kids loved to go out with us in the evening, so we went to some bars, lounge clubs that had live music or good DJ’s.  I took the kids to Kumaharas which had DJs, acrobats, fire dancers, little shops, a lunge area to watch the sunsets, as well as a restaurant and a stall selling nutella pancakes into the early hours.  The kids loved it dancing to the live DJ and saxophonist.  

 

The Beach by Nassau Beach Club

The Beach by Nassau Beach Club

Chilling a Kumaharas

Chilling a Kumaharas

Drinks at Nassua

Drinks at Nassua

The food was excellent at Kumaharas

The food was excellent at Kumaharas

Even after dark there were large lounge areas for us to chill out with the kids to listen to the Dj's and see artists.

Even after dark there were large lounge areas for us to chill out with the kids to listen to the Dj's and see artists.

5 Inspirational Goalcasts for Mothers

Wonder Woman Lynda Carter

Wonder Woman Lynda Carter

Being happy as a Mum Jada Pinkett

Being happy as a Mum Jada Pinkett

Our mistakes make us who we are Beyonce

Our mistakes make us who we are Beyonce

Beyonce and Adele a lesson from life

Beyonce and Adele a lesson from life

Angelina Jolie motherhood

Angelina Jolie motherhood

Top 3 homeschooling options, or raising talent that finishes school at 11am!

Living in Switzerland is refreshing, there is no homework and they spend 2 years focused on giving children the skills and competency for life.  The social, interaction and motor skills.

My daughter just finished her 2 years at kindergarten so I was expecting that she would take a step up, but the the letter arrived through the door.  

  • Three days a week she finished at 11.00 rather than 11.50
  • Five days a week she started at 8.20 rather than 8.15
  • She has one extra long day where she finished at 11.50, comes home for lunch and then goes back for 13.30 to 15.05

So rather than put you through the maths, of course I spreadsheeted it. She has a whole 1hr and 25 minutes less in the school than when she was in kindergarten.  I of course asked was there something special we were doing than other Kantons, why are their less hours.  The teacher pointed that there were more lessons, but you can't misdirect from the facts on the spreadsheet.

Now Switzerland for its greatness, also has its flaws and one of them is mothers working.  As an entrepreneur and a working mother I am one of the few, the challenges and solutions can be found from previous blogs.

This was a new one to me.  So again I am sharing what I have found useful, as I have kids that are thirsty to learn. I turned to homeschooling, not because I am taking them out of school, they love school and we are truly integrated.

If you are also looking for a supplement here is some of what I found, and I opted for Moving Beyond the Page.

Moving Beyond the Page - The material is in age relevant curriculum, which engages children in critical thinking and fun without them realising they are learning.  You don't need to prepare, you can print off the lessons and all the materials come.  I also ordered the maths and reading.  This gives myself and our Nanny a structure to navigate with the children.  There are projects which the kids love, and we even extended on one to make a video of all the animals and habitats from the birds nest my daughter found to the zoo.  The downside is if you buy the online version for some reason they limit it to a 90 day access.  This is a little silly but compared to the other packages was the most engaging curriculum.

k12 - This curriculum is following the US system, so it depends perhaps on a preference as an expat, perhaps there is a need or wish to align to the schooling system, It is a complete, integrated curriculum that has tool, exercises, assessment and support.  It is less innovative that Moving Beyond the Page on the softer skills and cortical thinking as it is more a traditional schooling system.

Oak Meadow - this approach was again imaginative focusing on learning through arts.  I considered this as my kids have a lot of imagination.  This is worth a consideration and knowing your child, may be the right mix.  It delivers age appropriate curriculum from kindergarten to high school on an approach that enters around the child, with an emphasis on creative arts: drawing, painting, music, and handwork.

 

 

Know your A-Z of family vitamins and nutrients (free printable)

Keeping the family fit and healthy is thinking holistically about what we eat, and the movement and play that the family do together. It is built on building habits that are healthy.  It can be hard to know what to make for lunch, or if you are in Switzerland nooni, or zooni (Swiss snacks).  For our up coming 4 week programme we've had a Foodie Magazine packed with useful recipes, smoothies, calendars and free vitamin and nutrient printable.

Just join our members go to our magazine and download.

Free Summer 2017 Magazine for our Members out now

Free Summer 2017 Magazine for our Members out now

Our 4 week Family Fit and Healthy Programme begins 24th January 19:00 BST and 20:00 CET sign up here http://www.whatifihadapa.com/4-weeks-family-fit-and-healthy-program 

Free Printable

Free Printable

Interview with Arriane Eva Morrin Rockstar Nutritionist for Mothers Rock

Arriane is our nutritionist rock star leading our 4 week programme for busy Mums starting 24th June.

Why I do what I do with AEM Health and Fitness, my purpose my passion.

Hailing from Montpellier, South France, I was blessed to live a pleasant childhood with a loving family. I moved to the UK to improve my English after finishing my university studies in France and ended up falling in love with not only the capital but also with my husband…so London has become my home :)

An unfortunate chain of events led me to discover my true passion and purpose in life; helping families and especially children live healthier and happier lives. 

Although I lost my beloved sister and mother to breast cancer and my father to a stroke after enduring Alzheimer's; I kept on moving forward. Even having personally defeated death on two occasions that hasn't detered me from what I know I am meant to do.

The loss of my big sister was a turning point in my life, it made me re-evaluate my life and I realised that there was more to life than working 9-5 for a large corporate company.  Although I am ever so grateful for all of the invaluable knowledge and the work experience it has provided me, my decision to leave conventional 9-5 working, long commute and  corporate environment, is the best decision I ever made.

From that point forward, I rigorously studied at the European Institute of Fitness to become not only a Coach, Nutritionist and Personal Trainer but I decided to further my studies to specialise in helping children who - like me growing up needed extra guidance and support, making healthy lifestyle and nutrition choices.  I qualified as a Child obesity prevention and intervention practitioner in Children Nutrition.

The full interview can be read in our Summer 2017 Magazine.

Free to download for Whatifihadapa members

Free to download for Whatifihadapa members

Let go of the six pack. How to change the families health and fitness.

After my second child I struggled.  I struggled to have a consistent habit that had pre kids, and even with the first where I did yoga every day and stay super fit and healthy.  The addition of the second tipped the scales literally.  There were two slightly different routines, life was so much busier and we were comfortable.

The only key was to change the family, and not just myself.  Every time I just changed myself it was like constantly that upward battle.  It was not that my kids were unhealthy in fact the opposite they love vedgetables, and being outside.  However, when I shaped everything as a family holistically it clicked.

Little habits that made a difference:

- Running with the kids to nursery and kindergarten while they were on the scooter

- Swimming lessons every Saturday

- Teaching my kids yoga even if it was a shorter version

- Building muscle as well with kettle bells

Continuing with:

- Letting the kids serve themselves and understand portions

- Likewise for me but also using smaller plates

- Swapping so much wine for lemon and pomegranate iced water

- Swapping milky tea for mint

- 2 or 3 vegetable choices every meal

- Limited packaged or processed food

These were the habits that worked for us. We are fit and healthy, I would not say super fit anymore as gone are the times where I can fit in 2 hours of exercise upwards each day, and nor do I want to (no six pack).  I want to play and cuddle with the kids.  The play time habits just incorporate family fit and healthy.  

I met and teamed up with Arriane Eva Morrin who changes lives in this way.  It's not about big changes or six packs.  In my experience you let go of that.  It is about healthy habits that change your life in a permanent way for a fit, healthy and happy family.

The 4 week programme starts from 24th June http://www.whatifihadapa.com/4-weeks-family-fit-and-healthy-program 

A Postcard to Yourself 5 Years from Now

My bosses boss, so basically a very inspirational senior executive woman in my company took me out for dinner just before Xmas, and asked me what I wanted.  I always used to find this hard to answer because my ambition is not promotion, so I used to have to pad the response with right now I love my challenge, and the opportunity to work in what I love as a Mum and have balance.

Whilst this is true, last year was a big year where I learnt to no longer hide.  To no longer accept that I have to suppress who I am because my 'shadow beliefs.' I was scared that I would not be accepted.  My second shadow belief was was can I really do this, and yes I can.  So now I am out.  She asked me to write a postcard to myself in 5 years time and share it with her if I wanted in January.  This exercise became a gift to myself over Xmas, the other gift I fulfilled for my direct boss was to 'brand me.'  Brand me is 'BlackGirlvTech,' it is all the things that are underneath the 'me' brand that I have created from my yoga, doctorate, HR, Tech and Start Up career, and are what I stand for, my purpose and the difference I make.

In BlackGirlvTech style I brought three postcards, because as a mother I know I have multiple 'me':

  1. Purpose (my purpose and happiness)
  2. Connection (family, friend and partner)
  3. Energy (health, body and mind)

 I'm sharing my postcards, which leave me vulnerable but in that vulnerability may inspire other mothers to think about their life and what it looks like in five years time.  This is better than any detox, because my focus is crystal clear.

I hope this process helps you and be brave.  Listen to your shadow beliefs, and respond then think about what you want to write to yourself in each of the areas of your life.

HipstamaticPhoto-505052321.733823.jpg

Christmas a time to share goodness and wellness into the start of a healthy new year.

Christmas is not the best time to start any sort of diet. It's a time to share goodness with loved ones : family and friends.  We wanted to share some tips with you but let you know that tools on your families health are coming in the new year.  This is not about dieting, but real family life style nutrition.

In 2017 we have a number of experts that will work with our members month by month.  Arriane Eva Morrin is one of the first of the experts, who is sharing an early Xmas blog to set you up for success in the New Year.

The time to share goodness with loved ones : family and friends.

Most of us will have started early in the month of December with work Christmas drinks or dinner parties.  Advice in these situations : 

  1. Limit your alcohol consumption - if you must drink at all - as alchool will cloud your judgement and you will tend to overeat unnecessarily.
  2. Stay away from the canapé table 
  3. Fill up your plate on greens 
  4. Do not have second servings 
  5. Keep a glass of water in your hand to keep yourself from reaching automatically for nibbles...

Staying active during the Christmas period is vital not only for your mental and physical health, but also for your waistband . 

It can range from squeezing in a quick home based or gym based exercise session in the morning before your day gets busy and taking the kids along with you is a great idea ! Get creative as long as you keep moving and build up a little sweat, it's all that matters www.cody.com is a great resource, and 14 great on demand fitness resources were collated for our members.

Challenge your family members ! There is nothing better than a little competition 👍

Adding an outdoors family walk after a heavy meal or a family active game such as football in the local park or back garden.  Keeping active will help you stay focused and not 'get off the wagon' of staying healthy altogether with a health maintenance mindset. 

Check what facilities are open over Christmas holidays for the family entertainment:swimming pool, gym, outdoor gyms, parks, play Centres etc.   There are free tool tolog your physical activities with BetterPts in the UK . It's FREE to register 👉 http://buff.ly/2hxsoYN

And remember, children will mimic your actions and follow the flow into good healthy action or unhealthy ones ! 

So stay strong and focus and enjoy Christmas with moderation without deprivation.  For the family some helpful tips:

  1. Keep an eye on the children chocolate consumption. The key is : moderation.
  2. Keep fresh fruits and nuts on display in the house for healthy snacks. 
  3. A trick is to hid the chocolate boxes away - especially since friends and guests tend to be over generous - and only take one out when it's sharing time.
  4. Watch the portion sizes ! As for small portions. Don't let family members or friends push you into overeating. Sharing is caring ... So instead of deprivation ...share :)
  5. Give away leftovers. Having too much food in the house, in the fridge will tend to push people to overeat ! So give it away ...spread the love lol.  The Olio mobile app is a great way to share leftover food in the UK! 

You will thank yourself when the new year comes as it will be ever so easy to jump into your next health challenge of a new year 😀

Make a public commitment statement saying you “commit to staying healthy with the #ViFamily challenge” . 

Merry Christmas to you all and to our health !

Next Year we will be joined by Arriane Eva Morrin who is a family nutrition and obesity expert AEM HealthandFitness and will run a session for out members.  She has over 6 years experience, is certified REPs coach Level 2&3 for adults nutrition & weight loss / PT / group fitness classes.  She specialises in children (7-14) Transformation (weight loss) programs Online and in West London.

 

 

Mummy Brain is Real - a Gift but also a Worry

On reading the latest research on the effects of pregnancy on the brain, I like many mothers thought that explains it! I'm not just imaging in it!  The fact that even now my youngest is four I swear I still have a shocking memory, and I have to write things down or say 'I'll come back to you' because my brain does not have the capacity anymore to remember every number or detail.

The latest research says that this is the effect of a huge burst of oestrogen, which lasts up to two years http://www.bbc.com/news/health-38341901, but there are times when I think I should see the doctor.  Is it that I am just so tired, or busy remembering everything for the kids and the husband, that whilst everyone else has a piece of my brain, there is little left for me?

However, my brain didn't just lose memory, it got a gift.  The gift was that my brain was reprogrammed.  It was almost a reset button that said really, do you really give a crap about that?  What's really important in life?  It grounded me to make choices based on values that would change their live and our lives, to live life out loud with purpose.

Even though I am sure I lost some grey matter I found ways to adjust in my senior role, studies, at home and business:

  • I write stuff down in a little book or on my phone notes
  • I live by TO DO's of must do three things today to focus
  • I prepare for what may be the key topics, and take the material with me e.g. if it is a business case there is a question typically on contribution margin
  • If I just do not have the number or fact in my memory, it's okay to go back and check.  It does not make you weak.  I will have to do this in my oral defence of my doctorate.  We know that a person's effectiveness is not their ability to memorise but to think, to solution and take action; this is what mothers do every day.

I don't know if my grey matter will ever go back to pre-motherhood levels, but I am glad there is research that explains the challenge.  Mothers have so much to offer because it reshapes are brains not just in memory, but purpose.  What we may need is coping mechanisms or tools for memory.

 

5 Simple Steps to Save Dry Felt Tip Pens

On our Saturday Share we went live on Facebook again in our community group, for anyone that missed to share handy tips.  One in our house is felt tips.  The kids tidy up but one of those annoying things is the lids on pens, and instead of throwing the pens out you can save them, or as my daughter said bring them back to life.

  1. Sort the pens and lids out dead or alive, this teaches them a bit of a lesson as to how many are potentially no good
  2. Find the water based ones (these are usually kids pens)
  3. Get a bowl of warm water
  4. Hold them in the water for 2 to 5 minutes
  5. Dab off the excess water and test them on the paper
The result of 1 hours work to save 80 to 100 pens

The result of 1 hours work to save 80 to 100 pens

10 TED Talks from Mothers that Inspire

10 TED Talks from Mothers that Inspire

On the 17th October we are launching three of the the first mothers rock interviews that we are publishing in our members magazine and via our you tube live channel accessible via our community.

So as a prelude to our channel and magazine which will raise up and inspire with unplugged interviews with mothers, here are 10 TED Talks from mothers that inspire.

Their first days (at school), do we get better at change?

Happy funny baby girl in glasses reading a book in a library
Happy funny baby girl in glasses reading a book in a library

Guest Blog Sinead Sharkey-Steenson

Sinead will be leading the career webinar and bundle, we thought it was worth introducing the lovely Sinead and sharing her blog with our WhatifIhadaPA members.

First days, do we get better at change?

I’ve done what millions of parents have done across the country at this time of year, and no doubt across the world.  I’ve taken my oldest daughter to her first day at nursery.  With that comes mixed emotions, and many of us can get caught up focusing on our own,  it isn’t easy for some of us to see our wee precious jewels getting bigger and going and doing new things, but that’s nothing to what’s going on for our little people.

The challenge of firsts

Firsts are a challenge no matter your age.  There’s not many of us have the unwavering confidence to walk into any unknown situation and feel completely at ease.  Today was our second day at nursery, and to be honest, that’s when the sh*t hit the fan!   My wee girl was a terror this morning.  Day one was a breeze.  Why?  Mummy was uber-prepared, and so was she.  Day 2?  She turned into the Tasmanian devil’s younger, more scary sister.  I kept my cool (sort of), whilst panicking inside.  How am I going to get this seething ball of anger to eat breakfast, into her uniform, and out of the door in time to make it into nursery?  And then, what kind of nightmare is she going to be when she’s there?  Somehow we made it there, and kids being kids she was in great humour by the time we’d reached our destination.  Reflecting on it now, I can’t help wonder what was going on, and are there any lessons for us all about starting something new, and becoming more adaptable to change?

How and why we react to change

A lot of our reactions to new things come from a primal part of our brains.  We are wired to fear new things, because they might be dangerous.  That makes sense, especially when you consider our origins, where something new could literally be a case of life or death.  Hopefully starting nursery, or a new job or new challenge, isn’t going to be quite so risky!  Our brains don’t necessarily see it that way.  When we feel under threat we create stress hormones, which are there to help us react more quickly so we are ready to jump into fight, flight, or freeze (survival modes) at the drop of a hat.  This really helps us understand why in times of stress, we have a tendency to overreact and lash out.  When you factor in a 3 year old that is a long way from getting to grips with her emotions, you can picture the scene I dealt with this morning I’m sure!

What can we do?

So what can we do?  I’m going to preface this with the caveat that I’m no parenting expert, believe me, so the advice I’m offering is really aimed at us grown –up people:

  1. Establish a new routine and stick to it – our brains love routine. At the core, our brains love to conserve energy, this leaves resources for higher-functioning, such as decision-making, learning, thinking.  Routine allows our brain to operate on ‘stand-by’, so that our energy reserves are being maintained for the big stuff.  Routines that help your brain and also your stress-levels include; a good night-time routine that supports a great sleep, a standard morning routine that gets you out of the house easily and quickly, learning your new route to work in advance so it’s something you don’t need to think about.
  2. Prepare, prepare, prepare!  Like the routine, take all the unnecessary brain processing and stress away by having everything ready to go in advance (there’s a reason successful people tend to dress the same all the time, no extra thinking required).  Whether that’s your clothes ready on the chair, lunch packed, bag ready, keys in the right place, hair washed the night before.  Whatever will make it easiest for you to get there as stress-free as possible.  One of the reasons day 1 was so easy and day 2 not so, was lack of preparation which resulted in mad-panic!
  3. Practise really does make perfect – but it can be tempting when we’re not good at something straight away (probably the reason I can’t stand bowling) to avoid it. It stands to reason as most of us have been conditioned not to fail, and don’t enjoy looking foolish in front of others.  When we do something for the first time, our brain is creating new pathways.  Imagine walking through a forest for the first time.  It’s hard work having to clear a path for yourself.  You may trip or get scratched, and you’re likely using much more of your body to break your way through the vegetation than if you were on one of those travelators at the airport.  This is exactly how it is for your brain, it is creating new neural pathways, and uses lots more of the brain than is strictly necessary.  As you repeat the behaviour, the pathways become clearer, your brain trims off the ones that are unnecessary and the signals fire faster.  You get more and more efficient.  You can help your brain by familiarising yourself with what you can on the run-up to the event – and this can be physically or by visualising, your brain will respond in the same way.  You can also be patient with yourself and recognise that nobody finds it easy first time, we don’t see how hard others found it, just the polished end product.  If you know every time you try you get better, you’ll be more inclined to try.
  4. Self-care – whenever there is stress likely, self-care is even more important. As my hangry 3 year old seethed at me this morning, it hit me how important the basics are.  Not enough sleep, liquid, and food are a road to ruin!  A bit of deep breathing in moments of stress will be a great help too.
  5. Give your brain some comfort – by taking away the novelty factor. When we start a new job, or take on a big new challenge, sometimes the amount of newness can be overwhelming.  You can help your brain manage this by likening what you’re doing to familiar things, and reminding yourself of motivational factors.  For instance you might hark back to previous new jobs and how successful you’ve been, or think about the parts that you already know of the job thereby minimising the parts that are new.  You can think about why you’re doing it and play up those factors – so if a challenge and variety are important factors for making the change, then those will be the things to focus on.
  6. Cut yourself some slack, and ask the people around you to do the same. It’s quite common for children to come home from school and be an absolute nightmare for their parents.  It’s because they’ve exhausted themselves holding it together all day, and when they get home they feel safe enough to let it all go.  We’re not much different when we’re grown up are we?  There’s 2 key things at play here.  Firstly, your pre-frontal cortex is the part of your brain that is responsible for your executive (higher-thinking) functions, like learning.  That is one energy hungry bit of the brain.  A day of learning will deplete all your resources, so you come home exhausted…too tired to think, quite literally.  You’re also going from an environment where your guard is up, to one where you know you can do anything and you will still be loved.  It might be hard to take, but when your loved-ones come in from a tough day and lose it, in a weird way it’s a compliment.  They feel safe enough to let it go (as long as it’s within reason of course).  Just give them, or yourself the time and space to decompress.

Whilst we may think of ourselves as resisters of change, we are in fact changing every day.  Our brain was once thought to be fixed in the number of connections it has, but we now realise that the brain is creating, growing, and trimming connections every day, so that we can learn and develop every day.  How boring would life be if we didn’t change?  We’d all be tantrumming in the middle of supermarket aisles, as if the weekly shop isn’t difficult enough?!

A Mother's Journey to 'Living Authentically'

A Mother's Journey to 'Living Authentically'

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You know that feeling after you bring a child into the world, that your life will never be the same. At the same time everything prior to that point almost becomes meaningless. You actually start to reassess the world.  

In one sense when my first child was born I became brave. In another I had to redefine who I was. I was not the same 30 something me.

 

What am I doing? Does what I do mean anything? Am I even making a difference in this world? Is it worth it?

 

Suddenly there is something bigger than you, that little person that you are responsible for; you want them to be the best they can be, to live in a world full of potential that is safe and sustainable.   I had these big thoughts of how I could impact my daughter’s future world, and at the same time I was learning to be a mother. In addition to this new role, I continued to be: wife, lover, friend, and work colleague. The new role had an impact on all the others. If I did not take a step back I would lose me!

 

That’s when I transformed, having a child changed me, I knew it was an opportunity to take that energy, that power that you have as a mother and know as you want your children to know ‘I can do anything’.

 

I started to define just what that was to each one of my roles. As a mother being home for dinner and doing plays (not macbeth but magic rabbits, princesses, car races and dragons), and reading each night. To challenging my brain in my doctorate, which helped me to develop technology that automates chores saving mothers time, and research that understands what in people’s childhood makes them successful, and happy! The both aligned to giving me, and other mothers more time with our children, with our future and to have more memories than do administration and chores.

 

I transformed into the best version of me I could be at each of the roles, but realised we cannot do everything. So the key was to align the roles to what I truly loved, what I was passionate about. To stop doing things that detracted from that, and to start and continue the things that aligned to what I loved in this world most.

 

It sounds easy, but it was a journey to break down the mind set for example of ‘guilt’ and to accept help. I started to say ‘yes’ to outsourcing chores and ‘no’ to things that served no purpose or were meaningless.

 

This transformation was broken down over 4 steps, a framework which allowed me to redefine my life, and make sure I was Living Life Authentically. I am now true to who ‘I’ am as a mother, wife, lover, friend and work colleague. I learnt that you can have that authenticity as a mother, where you give to each part of you.

 

You have to be brave enough to take the step back. To admit I am not that same person as I was before kids, and take the opportunity to redefine you.

 

I want to share this framework with other mothers so that can live a life that is authentic to them. To talk them through the framework and provide printable tools, that supports them. There is very little for mothers. This now changes Sign Up for your Living Authentically Webinar and Kit.

 

I am building a community, tools and technology that is there for Mums.

How to Live Life Authentically as a Mum

How to Live Life Authentically as a Mum

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The phrase live authentically is one where you are true to who you are, true to yourself. Men can have a midlife crisis, but a lot of women also face a period where they are conflicted. They have a new role a ‘mother’ and suddenly that has to fit with their other multiple roles:  

  • Lover
  • Friend
  • Employee/Worker
  • Me

 

That pulls into question all the roles. Where those roles are out of sync, for example, “I’m not actually doing what I want to do in life,” “my friends and I don’t actually have the same values” or “I have no time for me” it creates a constant circle of dissatisfaction.

 

In truth the day we become mothers it redefines us. That’s the time to take a step back and ensure we live life authentically.

 

To lead an authentic Life as a mother means happiness, and it can be completed by four simple steps YEAH! On September 14th we will host a free webinar that takes mothers through these 4 simple steps, with printable materials that can be taken away and are there to support all mothers.

 

  1. You Time
    1. Passion
    2. Space
    3. Guilt
    4. Means

 

  1. Energy for You and Others
    1. Focus
    2. Outsource
    3. Sleep

 

  1. Action
    1. Say Yes
    2. Say No

 

  1. Help and Support

 

If you want help and support via a community of busy Mum’s to live an authentic life sign up for the free webinar http://www.whatifihadapa.com/free-webinar-4-simple-steps-authentic-life/ here.

Say 'Let It Go' to Guilt

Say 'Let It Go' to Guilt

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Guilt is one of the barriers a mother working faces in being able to have life balance. Whether you are a 'Lean In' or 'Lean Out' mother ultimately there are only so many hours in the day, and one of the solutions is to outsource. We can either feel like we have no guilt, but drown in looking like we can do it all, or have life balance and know that the decision suits your family. The only important answer is for your individual family circumstance.

This could be difficult if you come from a heritage of your mother did the running of the house, and a great job bringing up the children. However, demographics have changed.

  • The distance in extended families
  • The career development of females
  • The sheer amount of red tape, and chores that have increased each century
  • Distance in Extended Families

Both my husband and I live no where near our parents. My Mum now has to travel within on continent to see 2 grandchildren, and to another continent to see her 3rd. That is the nature of a global village, and migration. However, that means as a mother working the support structures in place disappear. Any guilt you had let someone else have that. Your life is your life, if you need a third pair of hands then by all means grab it: a cleaner, gardener or au-pair. From the day we hired an au-pair we never looked back on the focused time I have for the kids and family. There may be restrictions financially so options need to be assessed, but if it is financially viable it is worth it's wait in gold.

Career Development of Females

On one of my last visits my Mum said 'I never realised how hard you worked.' I was working from home in the office, and I think she saw me maybe pee once that day, and quickly make a nutri-bullet soup! That week I ensured as ever I was there at dinner, bath and bedtime, but due to crazy deadlines she saw my 14 hour days. Whilst it is not always like that, there are peaks and troughs. One thing is clear it was not the reality of my Mum's world when I was growing up.

There are no extra hours in the day, no one can magic a 30 hour day. The only learnings that I have applied is to: eliminate unnecessary activities, prioritise, outsource (guilt free) and automate.

Red Tape and Chores

Seriously the worst thing is the mail box why in 2016 is there still so much paper, even if you register for 'E-statements, bills...' There are still those tasks that a 'Must Do's' and have consequences like: taxes, bills, and the un -outsourced chores. When we surveyed mothers they wanted support with red tape, and this is in my goal to support other mothers working.

If you're a mother who has guilt ask what makes sense for my family. If you're a mother judging another mother as is that my family. If the answer is 'No' then focus on the answer to your family, and not others.

We have created a great bundle of tools including how to deal with guilt.

Sweet Potato Fish Cakes

Ingredients for Sweet Potato Fish Cakes Ingredients for Sweet Potato Fish Cakes

Lots of Parsley is Key

Chopping the Onion, Parsley and Chilli for Preparation

Frying the Onion, Parsley and Chilli Season Well

Mashing the Sweet Potato

Scraping the Fish you can also Mince

Mix all Ingredients.  I change the typical normal flour in St Helenian fish cakes to rice flour, or chickpea flour to get the right consistency

Fry

Finished. St Helenian Fish Cakes.

Downloadable Recipe or Follow the Instructions Below

St Helenian Sweet Potato Fish Cakes

Ingredients

Sweet Potato Fish Cakes

250g fish

1 x sweet potato

1 x onion

1 bunch of parsley

Maldon salt to taste

pepper

1 x chili deseeded

Equipment: kitchen aid, peeler, sharp knife, chopping board, mixing bowl, desert spoon, non stick frying pan and a wooden spatular.

Instructions

First these fish cakes to me are a little piece of home with a Paleo twist.  My Mum comes from a small island in the middle of no where called St Helena (15.9650° S, 5.7089°) with just over 4,000 people.  One of the main dishes are St Helena fish cakes typically made with tuna or mackerel, and of course you can change the type of fish you use here.  The most famous guest or prisoner of St Helena was Napoleon!

  1. Peel and boil 1 medium sweet potato until cooked.
  2. Drain, mash and put to the side.
  3. Finely chop the onion, parsley and chili, season well and fry in a pan until translucent.
  4. Scrape or mince the fish.
  5. To prepare the fish you can either mince it with a kitchen aid or alternative brand, or I tend to scrape the fish using a sharp knife.  Scrape the fish with a sharp blade away from you.  So layer by layer 1cm at a time.  You could also ask the fish monger to do this for you.

    5. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and season more if needed to taste.  Add additional flour if the mixture is too wet, it should be the consistency of a cake and you should be able to form scone like shapes with your spoon that hold together.

    6. Form cakes with a spoon and fry in the pan in a little coconut oil.

    Total time: 35-40 minutes

An Alternative Friday Healthy Vegetable Curry and Chips Recipe

Spicy Vegetable Curry and Chips Ingredients Spicy Curry and Chips

Easy 25 Mins Max Spicy Vegetable Curry and Sweet Potato Chips

Easy 25 Min Max Spicy Vegetable Curry and Sweet Potato Chips

 

 

 

Spicy Vegetable Curry Normal Potato and Sweet Potato Chips

Downloadable Recipe or Follow the Instructions Below

Quick Spicy Vegetable Curry

Quick and Spicy Vegetable Curry and Chips

1 x large onion

3 x garlic cloves

1 knob, approx.. 2 tbsp fresh ginger

1 x courgette / zucchini diced

1 carrot diced

1 x pepper diced

Half a cauliflower separated into smaller stems

1 x handful parsley chopped

1 Tbsp Red curry paste

1 250 ml tin coconut milk

Coconut oil to fry

Equipment: Chopping Board, Knife, Garlic Crusher, Grater, Frying Pan

Instructions

  1. Put your sweet potato chips, or normal potato chips in the oven.  A recipe is in this book section ‘Spirals, Rice, Gnocchi and Chips.’
  2. Dice the courgettes, pepper and separate the cauliflower into small stems.
  3. Grate the ginger.
  4. Crush the garlic.
  5. Dice the onion and carrots.
  6. Fry the onion, carrots, garlic and ginger with in the coconut oil down until softened and season with salt and pepper (approximately 5 mins).
  7. Add the red curry paste for 5 minutes.
  8. Add the rest of the vedgetables for approximately 5 minutes.
  9. Add the coconut milk and simmer for another 2 minutes and add the fresh chopped parsley.

Total time: 25 minutes

The 5 Minute Quick Super Green Lemon Soup

The 5 Minute Quick Super Green Lemon Soup

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Ingredients for the super green lemon soup simply assemble them all.  I use organic.
Ingredients for the super green lemon soup simply assemble them all. I use organic.

For the days when you are working and going from meeting to meeting, call to call but your body needs that nutrition and energy this is my quick and easy hit.  There are somedays where I need to say I just need to pee, as a mother working it's tough, so this is recipe and my nutribullet are my saviour.  This is great for busy mums.

Chuck the rest of the ingredients into the nutribullet except from the lemon and Nigella seeds.  You need only the juice of the lemon.
Chuck the rest of the ingredients into the nutribullet except from the lemon and Nigella seeds. You need only the juice of the lemon.
Then you have lunch in Max 5 minutes full of lovely alkaline vegetables and citrus fruit, and energy you could change the type of nuts you use from cashews to almonds.
Then you have lunch in Max 5 minutes full of lovely alkaline vegetables and citrus fruit, and energy you could change the type of nuts you use from cashews to almonds.

Downloadable Recipe or Follow the Instructions Below

5 Minute Super Green Lemon Soup

Ingredients

Super Green Lemon Soup

2 bunches of spinach

1 kale leaf

1 spring onion

1 bunch parsley

1 lemon juice

Handful of almonds

1 cup coconut water

Nigella seeds (to sprinkle)

Maldon salt

Equipment: Nutribullet, Lemon Squeezer (optional) you can use a fork if you don’t have one.

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients into the nutribullet
  2. Blend

Total time: 5 minutes

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