Amelia Salmon

UK Parenting, Lifestyle & Beauty Blog. Mum to Darcy

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

3 Steps I'm Taking To Step Away From My Phone



Recently, I've read and watched online several influencers come forward and reveal that they believe they have an addiction to their phone. 'Addicted' I think, comes across as a very strong word so when you first hear it, it sounds a bit silly. It's been something I've been thinking about for quite a while now, possibly since Darcy was around 6 months old? Which is over 2 years then.. woah.

I've never thought of it quite as an addiction because I can put it down straight away if the thought ever comes through my mind that I'm currently spending too long on it, it's just it isn't much longer after that I've picked it back up again!
Sometimes it totally strikes me, what am I actually looking at!? I'm just aimlessly scrolling through other peoples life's and I don't ever really know what I am looking for. Self-fulfilment? Because if I needed that I've got my beautiful daughter right in front of me. I sometimes wonder what life was like before phones, because I can't even quite remember how I filled my time and it wasn't even that long ago! It's mad really isn't it. I do believe though in some ways the real reason I use my phone as much as I do is put a lot down to loneliness, I spend my days with my 2 year old and whilst there is certainly absolutely nothing wrong with that, I wouldn't change it for the world, I think I like to know what other adults are doing out there and it just kind of fills the gap of an adult being in the room.
I don't play games, well I have a couple of games on my phone but definitely don't go on them everyday, perhaps once or twice a week so I know my addiction doesn't surround that. It's purely around social media, when your hobby pretty much is social media it makes it a little bit difficult! I do need to cut down on the scrolling though. it's become such a habit that like I said earlier I don't even realise I am doing it! 
Steps I will be taking to make sure I cut down are:

1. Keeping my phone further away ie. leaving it upstairs when I am downstairs and vice versa.. not all the time but whenever necessary.
2. When I feel like I am about to go and look at my phone (for absolutely no reason) I'll replace that thought with something else such a book. I am going to start keeping a good book within reach because that isn't such as bad addiction.
3. Actually think about why I am about to use my phone, is it for something productive and useful?


After re-reading all of this ramble, I do know how silly I sound but I hope this is something somebody else can relate to!

Amelia
xxx
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Friday, 27 April 2018

3 Bookkeeping Tips to Help Mums Save Money


Let’s be honest, raising kids is expensive. The spend starts well before birth and never really ends. Whether mums go back to work or not, family budgets are squeezed a lot tighter, so knowing (and using) a few useful ways to track spending and save money makes life a lot less stressful.

A Simple System

Simple is always best, and as bookkeeping has a ‘businessy’ sound to it, many mums don’t think it can be any real help, or that it will be complicated and time consuming.

To set up an easy bookkeeping system you can use a notebook, Excel on the computer, or a combination of both.

In a notebook, you’ll need four columns on the page: one for the date, one for what you bought, one for how much it was, and one to record the difference it made in your bank balance. Just draw three lines down the page and head each column in the order given, so the date is on the left and the bank balance on the far right.


Start entering numbers by putting your current bank balance at the top of that column (use your bank statement or you online banking app). From now on, every time you buy something, jot down what it was, what it cost and when you bought it. Subtract the amount from your bank balance, and put the new balance in the row with the purchase.

Start a new page every month (or every week if you buy a lot and your pages are small) and always begin by putting your current bank balance in the top right column. Don’t forget to subtract standing orders or direct debits to keep the balance accurate.

If you keep an Excel spreadsheet, set it up exactly the same way. The advantage of using a computer is that you can make columns automatically add up.

Saving Receipts Can Help

Try and get into the habit of carrying your notebook all the time. A small one takes up hardly any space in your bag and it only takes a moment to jot down what you bought and how much.

Sometimes, though, you don’t have time to stop and write in a book. Receipts are your lifesaver. Hang on to them (and ask for one if it’s not offered when you buy something), and fill in the details once you get home and do have a moment.

Unless you’re keeping receipts for a business, you can bin them once the information is transferred into your bookkeeping records.

Family bookkeeping is a lot different from business bookkeeping in this respect. For a business, you do need to keep all your receipts, and may find an accountant or professional bookkeeper helpful in setting up a system that’s more suited to business needs. An accountant would also have valuable advice if your family finances are more complicated, for instance if you have investment income. But for purely family budgeting, you can safely throw away your old receipts (except when they’re for warranties or you might need to return an item).

Making Use of Your Records

Saving money is a lot easier when you can see where you spent it. Maybe your restaurant or cafe bill is way bigger than you thought (one cup of coffee in a fairly basic cafe can run up a bill of around £40 a month), or top-up grocery shopping is costing as much as the usual ‘big’ shop does.

Having a written record of everything you spend money on lets you pick a category (say days out or coffee with friends) and just add up the cost of those items. You can quickly figure out how much you could save if you did things differently, and also how much you’re willing to change habits so you can meet savings or other financial goals.


Once you get the habit of tracking money, it can even be fun and rewarding. If you have older kids who get pocket money, teaching them how to track what they spend it on will also set them up for good money management and budgeting skills in the future.


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Monday, 16 April 2018

Why Its Normal To Be Anxious About Your Childs Future




It's hard not to think about your child's future, how you want them to grow up and how you want to raise them, your hopes and dreams for them but I find it so hard to ignore the current change in society and just how quickly times have changed. I consider myself as a pretty young mum, Darcy was born when I was 21 so I didn't have long since I experienced my own childhood, but in that short space of time social media really kicked in as well as many other things. The effect social media is having on teenagers  (and younger!!) is crazy, I'd hate to have had all this pressure on likes ect, the whole 'popularity contest' at school was bad enough and this does really concern me for Darcy. 
I like this blog to have some sort of positive to every post so I'd hate to write something blurting out all my concerns and worries, post it and then be like thanks for reading byeeee. So what I will say is I do think we as parents will learn to parent in a slightly different way to how our parents did, partly because it's a generation change but we also have social media to take in to consideration now. I found it interesting to see that I wasn't the only one worrying about this when I asked fellow bloggers and actually pretty reassuring, I learnt that social media wasn't the only thing people were anxious about and some things our parents may of worried about with us too. I think also, as a parent we will always have something to worry about anyway because that's just what we do!

My daughter has a lot of allergies and I worry about another child using that against her in the future, as I've seen videos of this happening on social media sometimes. - Katy

I worry about my children's self-image because social media often portrays a 'right' way to look and act. It concerns me that they might lose themselves a little (or a lot) trying to confirm to this. - Cass

I worry about just how young children are becoming sexual and the unrealistic expectations of boys. Even primary school girls are being encouraged to send topless or nude pics to their peers. I am so glad they didn't have this when I was young and I really hope I can give my girls the confidence to say "No". - Kate

I worry that social media makes it harder to form real world meaningful relationships and worry what this will mean for future generations - my kids included. - Kate

I worry about, if they choose to go, whether they will be able to afford to go to university. And then whether they’ll be able to get on to the housing ladder. - Pete

I worry that they will never learn how to read a map & get hopelessly lost without any signal! (Seriously!!) So I’m going to teach them. - Louise

I have three children, one of whom has severe learning disabilities. I’m afraid for his future because he is incredibly vulnerable and open to exploitation. Who will look after him when we are no longer around? I don’t want all the burden on his two sisters so am always thinking of and trying to plan for his future. - Alice

I'm Mum to 6 year old twins and 7 month old twins, I am embarking on a home educating adventure. This makes me anxious. What if I'm not clever enough. What if I cant cope with being with all four children 24 /7. What if i keep them in school and they cant cope with it. I am anxious about everything. - Nina

 I am petrified of my kids being cyber bullied. Some people are so nasty over social media, I am so worried that my kids will be targets one day. Saying that, my worst fear is one of my kids being one of the bullies - which I honestly hope NEVER happens. But social media is getting worse. - Beth

Gaming and it’s power of addiction I find it really scary that kids are outside less and less. - Kate

I do hope that we as parents worry less. or at least find a way to be able to worry less because I can't see  social media going away.

Amelia
xxx
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Thursday, 29 March 2018

The Terrible Twos - 5 Tips To Help You Survive


I hate moaning about Darcy, but man are kids testing sometimes!! Darcy is currently going through a phase where it seems as though she is playing some sort of game with me.. like she is seeing how far she can push me. Boy do they push you. It's not like she is a throwing huge tantrums kind of girl and that isn't the problem, the kid has a terrible attitude, has become so rude and is just generally like a teenager before her time. It must be some sort of phase... i hope??!!

I am still learning what my parenting approach is and sometimes I think it changes from day to day because I want an easy life which is completely lazy parenting, i know, i know. Certainly no expert over here but there are a few ways in which I tackle her (not literally)

Time out - I don't use this that often but I find it really effective when it does come into place. Can give you much needed break too for a couple of minutes and also to think about your next move if needs be.
Distraction - This is a good one if you want your child to be quiet quicker but not always good depending on the kind of behaviour and if they needed telling off. Getting a toy out and talking in a silly voice is usually a good one.
Offering Choice - Darcy likes to have a bit of responsibility, she's a very independent girl.. sometimes I find offering too much choice can be overwhelming for them and cause it's very own little tantrum but giving no more than two options can give them a sense of feeling like they got there own way.
Sleep - The main root cause of Darcy having a difficult day and being a bit of a nightmare is usually because she is tired and to be honest I think we as adults can relate to this, sometimes it's good to have in your head an excuse for there behaviour especially if like me you feel like you're totally failing sometimes.
Patience -  I think if you asked me the question 'What is the biggest thing you've learnt since having a child?' my answer without a doubt would be in the words of take that 'have a little pateince' this is my survival through tantrums, luckily I'd consider myself as a pretty patient person, I've often felt it wearing thin though!

Hope these tips provide you with some sort of survival - if all else fails.. then there is always Gin. For you.. not the baby! 

Amelia
xxx
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Wednesday, 14 March 2018

3 Reasons Why You Should Book Tenerife As Your Next Holiday





We've been to Tenerife 3 times now and I would never of considered myself as someone who goes on holiday to same place all the time but I've really grown to love it here. The all year round sun, the fact you can go holiday in December to somewhere within a 4 hour flight away and come back with a tan! I've never visited any of the other Canary islands and I think that I would like to, so from someone who has visited Tenerife a few times and knows the Costa Adeje & Playas Las Americas area pretty well I thought I'd give you 3 reasons why you neeeeeed to go.


As I mentioned first of all, the weather is a very good reason as to why you should go, we went back in December and I just couldn't believe that I came home with a tan, which I definitely didn't expect. I mean, yeah we had a couple of miserable days but it was just glorious to be somewhere hot two weeks before Christmas.

The food is another great reason to visit, so many beautiful restaurants and it's the ones without people standing outside trying to entice you that you want to visit, we found a hidden gem which had gorgeous tapas dishes, you will find so many of these places and you should try all the food even the ones you're not sure you'll like because you might surprise yourself!

It's probably the most family friendly holiday destination I have ever visited. This is quite important to factor in when planning your holiday, there are so many boat trips you can do, days out (water parts, jungle parks, zoos, ect) they are so friendly towards children and I think Darcy was given a lollipop from the staff 10000 times a day, it makes you feel so much more at ease when you know you're welcome, especially in restaurants when its's not the easiest place to keep a child quiet.

I've written a blog post all about our trip to Tenerife so check it out, I can wait to book our next holiday here.


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Friday, 9 March 2018

Ways Our Parenting Styles Have Changed From Our Parents



Times have certainly changed especially in the way we parent our children. I had a pretty good childhood and I cannot thank my parents enough for everything they did for me, I was so lucky to be able to go on holiday too which is a luxury, it created so many amazing memories for me. I've learnt everything I know about being a parent from them and whilst I may not do everything that they did with me with Darcy, I respect that we all parent differently and adjust with the times. I found it really interesting to learn about what other bloggers thought about there parents parenting styles (wow i've said the word parenting alot) and what they wouldn't do with their children now.

My mum would always refuse to drive me anywhere growing up - I think she thought she was instilling independence in me - but actually it just meant I ended up in some questionable situations, really not worth it when all I wanted was to go to the cinema with my friends! - Kate

My parents didn’t give me pocket money until I was a teenager. I hated it as a 10-year-old watching my friends going into shops and being able to buy sweets. We gave our kids pocket money from a much earlier age - Pete

I don't pressure my child into thinking everything hinges on academic success. My parents were really strict and if I didn't get top grades or strive to be a lawyer or something 'professional' I felt like a failure and was letting them down. I encourage my daughter to do whatever makes her happy, explain that exam results are more for the schools benefit than hers and that as long as she does her best that is all we expect. - Alex
100% agree with this, I really felt this alot growing up too.

Hitting my kids. If I can't reason with them using words and teach them to behave well without physical threat, I'm not worthy to be a parent. - Irina

My mother rewarded me for being good with sweets (on a daily basis!) and although I understand why she did it, I do think it created an unhealthy relationship with food and sugar. I won't be using food as a reward personally and will be trying to avoid refined sugar and chocolates except on special occasions. - Christy

I was told to do stuff and never asked so for example 'jade your doing the washing up' rather than 'jade please could you do the washing up' I also never got pocket even when I did help out. The reason I was given was 'well you get money from babysitting' I was very independent as a way of how I was brought up which wasn't necessarily a bad thing but it did result in me getting married at 16 just to get away from home. - Jade


I would never tell my daughter she’s fat or chubby. It’s so damaging. My parents and grandparents have done it to me all my life and are still doing it to my younger sister. It’s wrong, every girl is beautiful and a young girl trying to work out life in the midst of tons of hormones shouldn’t be told that she’s anything but perfect. 
Now I have my own daughter, if anyone mentions her weight no matter how old she is, I’ll tell them that I feel it’s completely unacceptable and if they continue, I’d rather them not be in her life. She needs to grow up knowing that she’s perfect and shouldn’t change for anyone. - Bella


My parents were far too easy on me with their expectations about helping at home. I grew up not knowing how to do much for myself at all. I know they wanted me to have the loveliest childhood, but when I joined the army I had to learn to iron and it was so alien to me. My boys learn to do as much independently as they can, and have chores too. - Sara-Jayne
This was the same for me too, when I left home I had to learn everything from scratch as I just didn't know how to do anything for myself.

Limiting sweets and junk food. My family were quite strict on sweets and while we were allowed them, it wasn't very often. I grew up with an array of eating disorders and I'm sure this sort of limiting contributed to that. I have no rules surrounding sweets with my two and they rarely ask, are a healthy weight, etc. I don't want them growing up to think any foods are off limits. - Georgina

Comparing me and my siblings. In particular my mum would compare my sister and I in terms of our body shapes (we're very different to each other) and it led to me feeling insecure about my appearance. I want to teach our kids that everyone is different and to accept and love others how they are -Bridget


I found this really interesting, especially in the way we use these experiences to teach and parent our children, i'd be curious to know what our children say about us in years to come. I think being a parent is the hardest job in the world so knowing what is best to do doesn't come easy.
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Monday, 5 March 2018

16 Things You Shouldn't Say To A New Parent



The other day I overheard someone in the shop ask a mother of a newborn 'is she sleeping through the night yet?' it got me thinking... 1. what a stupid question? and 2. So what? What is this person gaining from this lady quite understandably saying 'no she's 15 days old'. At first I thought well you've got to be pretty lucky if your baby is sleeping through the night from birth but then on second thought I think I thought but surely that is such a long time for a newborn baby to even go without a feed anyway? Besides the point I wanted to pick out some of the things that I thought were pretty mad to be saying to a new parent.

Is She/He Good? I don't really know what people are specifically asking when they ask this question, how can a newborn be bad?

Is She/He Sleeping Through The Night? Just like the comment at the top, why would she be sleeping through the night.. and it's the comment that comes straight after that really bugs me 'oh, well mine was sleeping through the night when my little one was that age'.

When's The Next One Then? Well, I have just given birth to this one so would quite like to enjoy this one first if that's alright?

He/She Looks Nothing Like You. This used to really hurt me although I'm not really 100% on why because I guess it took two to make the baby so there is a 50/50 chance he/she is going to look like you, but it's sometimes said in such a negative tone as though I've stolen the baby.

Are You Breastfeeding? What does this actually matter? I mean as long as the baby is getting fed!

You're Looking Tired? Well yes Mary I'm looking after a newborn baby...and I've just given birth?

Making Assumptions As To Why Your Baby Is Crying? This used to grate on me so much, as though somebody knows YOUR baby better that YOU do...

I also asked some fellow bloggers what there experiences were on this topic...

"oh well my wife is already back in her size 8 jeans!" - Entertaining Elliot

Is there another baby in there?" said by my own mother (yes you heard that right) whilst visiting us at the hospital less than 6 hours after I'd given birth! - Mommy and Rory

Will you/when will you be going back to work? This question drove me insane - there is no way to answer without feeling like I was giving the wrong one. My work, my baby, my choice - I've literally just popped him out, give me a chance to breathe a little before questioning me about work... - Life With Boys

 You just need to sleep more. Said by my own Mum! - Katy Kicker

"I'm so glad you're not the type of person who can have a newborn baby and keep the house tidy." - Baby Holiday

"It only gets worse as they get older" said to me in my sleep deprived, constant feeding, not knowing where to put myself state - Sophies Nursery

"You need to start thinking about a routine" - said three days Post Caesarian. I couldn't even get out of bed, let alone make a routine!  - Georgina Clarke

'Oh you're doing it like that are you?!' - Emma Reed

Can I have a cuppa / sandwich .. this was said to me not long after giving birth and I honestly thought you could have offered to make me one instead!  - Mummy Of 5 Miracles


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