How to involve children in Christmas Day preparations

The Greenwich Mummy Blog |

Christmas is such a wonderful time of year and this is even more true when you have children around to share in the magic of it all. The wonder in your children’s eyes at everything from the decorations that are put up at home to the amazing lights that adorn the streets in town is bound to put a smile on your face. Trying to figure out how to involve them in the preparations during the festive period, however, may do the exact opposite. Here are a few top tips on how to involve them from how to get rid of paint smell quickly after a messy afternoon of fun, to quiet ideas to keep them out of trouble while you’re busy stuffing the turkey in the kitchen.

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Get them to decorate for you
One of the best parts of Christmas is getting to pop up a Christmas tree and some decorations around your home. Regardless of whether you like a small basic tree with a few baubles or you like to light up the whole house in a really dramatic fashion, getting your children to do part, most or all of the decorating will give you a chance to put your feet up for at least a moment or two.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - London Family & Lifestyle Blogger | Christmas

Get your craft on
If you are not already a fan of Pinterest, now is a time to get involved in it. There are so many crafty ideas available online that will both involve your children in fun activities for Christmas and keep them out of your hair for a while; from creating lolly pop stick Christmas trees to painting toilet roll cardboard white and creating a snowman from it. You need not worry about how to get rid of paint smell once the crafting is finished, because after all it is Christmas time so lighting a Christmassy cinnamon candle is perfectly acceptable!

The Greenwich Mummy Blogger | Family Christmas prep with the kids

Get your bake on
Whether you fix up a batch of homemade mince pies and a yummy Christmas pudding, or even a simple selection of cupcakes which you cheat and pop Christmas themed cupcake toppers onto; there are so many ways that children can be involved in baking for Christmas. Rolling out pastry for gingerbread men and egg washing the tops of mince pies will not only involve your children, but also make them feel as if they have really helped you out and they will be so proud of what they have helped create.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Getting kids involved with household chores

Give them easy chores to do
You will be inundated with things to do at Christmas, from wrapping the gifts for your family to ensuring that the turkey is stuffed and basted to perfection. Asking your children to help out doing simple things such as dusting the surfaces around your home, cleaning up after themselves and putting their own washing away will make your life so much easier.

So, whether you were unsure of how to get rid of paint smell after festive arts & crafts, or simply needed a few ideas to involve your children in all of the prep for the upcoming festivities; these tips should help you on your way to having a very merry Christmas!

A contribution post by freelance writer, Joana Teixeira from Cleanipedia

A guide to helping your child develop a skincare routine

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | London Family and Lifestyle Blogger

Looking after children’s skin is very important. For my own kids, they don’t go a day without cleansing with water and a face cloth and moisturising with shea butter/coconut oil whip that I made. I know that when the kids get older I’d have to step up their routine.

Children can grow up so fast. One minute, they’re running around and scattering Lego on the floor, and the next thing you know, they’re spending lots of time in front of the mirror, worrying about their skin and hair. Throughout the changes that they’ll go through in life, it’s important to be there for them every step of the way, especially when it comes to hygiene and skincare.

According to a survey, 81% of young girls said that having clear and healthy skin was very important to them. However, because of lack of skincare knowledge, 45% of girls ages 12 to 14 are choosing to wear too much makeup to cover up their bad skin. It is important to let children know that applying too many layers of makeup can lead to greater skin problems and having a skincare routine is essential to one’s overall health. It’s never too early to let your child know some healthy skin habits, so follow these tips to help your child develop a skincare routine.

Teach your child about her skin type
Most children have healthy skin, but by the time they turn 11, some will experience having acne, oily skin, or even dry skin. Assess your child’s skin and teach him or her about her skin type. If you’re not certain, you can find out by doing this simple test to determine his or her skin type. Have your child wash her face with a mild cleanser and lukewarm water. After two hours, observe how the skin looks. If her skin looks tight, dull, and feels itchy, then she has dry skin. Oily skin looks and feels greasy, has large pores, and is prone to breakouts. Knowing about skin type helps you and your child find the right skincare products before he or she starts doing a regular skincare routine.

Cleanse well
The first thing that you need to teach your child is to cleanse his skin well. Proper cleansing can help to clear up acne and prevent breakouts, especially if your child has very oily skin Encourage him to do this at least twice a day—once in the morning before going to school, and once in the evening before bedtime. Your child should cleanse all the way up to the hairline and behind the ears every single time. Choose a mild, pH balanced, milky cleanser with little to no scent. Gentle face washes, hypoallergenic products, and cleansers with few synthetic ingredients are ideal for young skin.

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Source: Unsplash

Moisturise
Applying moisturiser is an essential part of any skincare routine as it keeps the skin supple. Moreover, it is beneficial in improving the skin’s texture, and whether your child has oily or dry skin, it is crucial to use the right type of moisturiser to ensure the skin’s health. A gel-type moisturiser may be more suitable for oily skin, while dry skin will benefit from a lotion or cream formula.

Sun protection
Protecting one’s skin from the harmful rays of the sun should be a priority. Sunscreen prevents sunburn, premature ageing, and skin cancer, so kids, especially those who participate in outdoor sports, should make it a habit to use sunscreen every day. Let your child bring a small tube of sunscreen to school as well so he or she can reapply as needed.

Having good skincare habits at a young age can help a child have healthy skin that will benefit him as he gets older. Try these tips to help your child develop a skincare routine. In case of serious skin problems, consult your dermatologist.

A contribution post by Jane Sandwood

5 Brilliant Ways Mums Can Sneak In Exercise At Home

The Greenwich Mummy Blogger | Family Lifestyle Blog

A new study has found that 75% of women in the UK want to exercise more. But having a busy schedule, taking care of the family’s needs, or fear of being judged at the gym are holding women back from accomplishing their fitness goals. Fortunately, there are ways to workout while staying at home and you can squeeze exercise into your day in more ways than one. To stay healthy, adults aged 19 to 64 should aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week and strength exercises at least two days a week. For you to meet the recommended amount of physical activity per week, here are 5 brilliant ways to sneak in exercise while at home.

The Greenwich Mummy Blogger | 5 Brilliant Ways Mums Can Sneak In Exercise At Home
Time to tune into your domestic goddess vibes

1. Clean your home

Cleaning your home not only gives you a healthier environment to live in but it also allows you to fit in exercise into your day. Mopping, dusting, sweeping, and vacuuming, or cleaning the bathroom can give you a good upper body workout, and it’s even better if you do a couple of lunges or squats while doing any of these activities. However, make sure to avoid using allergy-causing cleaning products as you can end up getting rashes or serious burns and undo all the good that you did to take care of your body. Opt to use natural cleansers whenever you clean your home and move vigorously to make your cleaning workout more intense.

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Photo: Igor Ovsyannykov / Unsplash

2. Hand wash a load of dirty clothes

Instead of using the washing machine, try hand washing a load of dirty clothes to exercise your arms and shoulders. Hand washing your clothes correctly has so many advantages, you get to workout while doing your chores, save on water and electricity costs, and prolong the life of your clothing.

The Greenwich Mummy Blogger | 5 Brilliant Ways Mums Can Sneak In Exercise At Home
Photo: Christopher Campbell / Unsplash

3. Start every morning with a few exercise moves

After you wake up and make the bed, start your day right by doing some gentle stretching, a few crunches, and as many push-ups as you can. Set aside at least 10 minutes every morning to do these exercises which can strengthen your muscles and core. Doing exercises the moment you get out of bed also helps to make you more awake and ready to face the day.

The Greenwich Mummy Blogger | 5 Brilliant Ways Mums Can Sneak In Exercise At Home
Photo: Bruno Nascimento / Unsplash

4. If you’re heading outdoors, speed walk or jog to wherever you’re goin

Instead of walking at a leisurely pace, speed walk or jog to the grocery, the bank, or any other place where you need to go. Doing so counts as your moderate aerobic activity for the day. To motivate you to do this, wear running shoes before heading outdoors and bring a small bottle of water with you to stay hydrated.

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Photo: Pete Bellis / Unsplash

5. Walk the dog a little longer

If you usually do just one circuit of your neighbourhood while walking your dog, try doing another circuit to fit in some extra cardio into your day. You can also take the dog to the park and play with your pet so you get to spend more time being outdoors, which is essential to good health.

There are many ways to fit exercise into your daily routine, all you have to do is to turn daily activities into proper workouts. Follow these tips to sneak in exercise while you’re at home for your health and well-being. 🙂


A contribution post by freelance writer, Jane Sandwood. If you enjoyed reading this post, don’t forget to share it with others below.

The importance of children being involved in household chores

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Getting kids involved in household chores

There are so many things to teach your children. Whether it’s how to handle money, the importance of emotional intelligence or staying safe in public, parenting has to cover a lot ground. One important area that can sometimes be neglected is chores. While these may be just simple day-to-day tasks, ensuring that your child is both competent in them and understands their importance is absolutely vital.

In this article we give a few reasons why children should get involved in a range of household chores from learning how to defrost a freezer step by step to properly putting out the recycling. And for anyone out there whose children are less than excited about this idea, here are also a few top tips of how to get your kids enthusiastic about their domestic duties!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Getting kids involved with household chores
Everybody loves a mummy’s/daddy’s little helper!

Honing useful practical skills

The first reason why it’s important to get your little ones involved in household chores is so they learn useful practical skills. As a child you are learning everything from scratch so whatever you are doing will contribute to your development. For example, if a child learns how to defrost a freezer not only will they get specific skills in this task, but also start learning about food storage and safety.

Learning the importance of personal responsibility

As overstressed parents we often think we need to do everything for our kids, but anyone living in a home has a responsibility to contribute it. Involving your kids in day-to-day tasks will help them understand their responsibilities as members of the family. After doing a few chores they’ll probably appreciate all your work a whole lot more too.

Making them better housemates and partners

Finally, when children are brought up as hard-workers, helping to clean and tidy a house from a young age they make much better housemates and partners after leaving home. This is absolutely vital to the maintenance of friendships and relationships in early adulthood when they are likely to be sharing accommodation for a good few years. Teaching good habits early will pay dividends down the line.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Getting kids involved with household chores
It’s never too early to start the children with simple chores like cleaning and washing
The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Getting kids involved with household chores
Incentivise household tasks to make it more attractive for the kids

How do you get kids involved in household chores?

Incentivise the task: A controversial strategy, but a fail-safe one. If your child is reticent to help out, link their pocket money to their efforts. This will get the average youngster up and cleaning in no time.

Make it fun: Chores don’t have to be boring. If your kids aren’t keen to get involved, make the tasks fun. Turn vacuuming into a dance party, take the rubbish out while wearing funny wigs… Anything to get them enthused.

Give them responsibility: We all know how much more satisfying it is to do a task when we have actual responsibility for it. Give each of your children an area of the house for the week and ask them to take responsibility for all the chores. They will soon learn to take pride in their work.

Getting your kids involved in household chores is a great way to make them responsible, hard-working adults. Find ways to make it fun and engaging and in no time at all you’ll have a few busy worker bees helping with your daily tasks.


A guest post by freelance writer, Joana from Cleanipedia

Winter hair care: tips and hacks

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Winter Hair Care Tips

It’s #WellnessWednesday!

Looking after your hair is a daily task all year round, but when the winter comes there are a few things you need to pay particular close attention to. You’re under attack outside from the weather and inside from the dry heat so, if not looked after, your hair is susceptible to damage.

Let’s take a look at some of the best winter hair care tips to make sure that doesn’t happen to you…

Protect your hair from harsh conditions

Winter brings cold air, rain and plenty of wind, all of which can wreak havoc with hair. Not only with the way your hairstyle looks, but with the condition too. With that said, it’s key to protect your locks from the elements to help keep it in the best condition possible. Whether you go for a hat, wrap or scarf, cover up when you have to be outside in nasty weather.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Winter Haircare Tips & Advice
Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels

Watch your water temperature

There’s no doubt that the temptation is to crank up the heat when it’s cold outside. All you want when you step into your bathroom after being outside is the comfort of a hot bath or shower and that’s fine. However, be careful with the temperature you use to wash your hair as excessive heat can cause damage. Stick to warm or even cool water and your scalp won’t dry out.

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Deep condition

Moving on from watching the water temperature, let’s look at treating your hair and scalp. They really will take a battering in the winter and a little regenerative treat is really going to help them stay moist. Consider a deep conditioning treatment once a week to combat the weather conditions and the dry heat that’s caused by having your heating on so much. The final point on washing and conditioning is that it’s important not to overdo it. Stick to two to three times a week maximum.

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Photo by NastyaSensei Sens from Pexels

Go easy with the styling

It’s clear that our hair has a lot to deal with in winter and you don’t want to add to the stress it’s under. Something that will make a big difference is if you can lay off heavy styling. Overusing products can cause problems, so when you can go natural do so, or try to keep their use down to a minimum. Steer clear of the harsh heat if you can too, especially intense blow drying and straightening with irons. It can actually be quite easy to style without heat and if you’d like to know how to straighten hair without heat just click here.

Keep it trim

Another temptation in winter is to let your hair grow. It’s difficult sometimes to get the motivation to keep on top of things as we all go into semi-hibernation, but getting regular trims is a good idea. Trimming the dry, brittle and split ends will really help keep your hair in good condition at this time.

Looking after your hair in the winter months doesn’t have to be that tricky. From making sure you protect your hair from harsh weather conditions to going easy with products and knowing how to straighten hair without heat, you just need to follow a plan.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Winter Haircare Tips & Advice

I hope you’ve found these tips helpful. If so, don’t forget you can share this post with your friends and family by hitting the share button below. #sharingiscaring 🙂


A collaborative post by Joana Teixeira from AllThingsHair.com |

Featured image by freestocks.org from Pexels

How to clean your beauty tools

Your beauty tools’ job is to make you look beautiful, but they are very prone to getting dirty. Skin, hair, grime, bacteria and other nasties will all cling to your brushes, tweezers and clippers if you don’t look after them. That means making sure you regularly clean everything so that when it’s time for them to be put to use, you won’t be smearing all that gunk on your face, body and hair. Clogged up beauty tools won’t perform as well either, so that’s another good reason to make sure that they’re free of dirt. So, let’s check out how to keep some of your favourite beauty tools sparkly clean.

Nail tools

Whether it’s on your hands or feet there’s plenty of bad stuff lurking under the nails, so you need to make sure that all your manicure and pedicure tools are clean. Get rid of any single use tools like cotton buds or sticks, and scrub regularly under your clippers with soap and an old toothbrush to remove the grime.

Hair brushes

Your brush is going to collect a lot of hair! It’s also going to gather oil, dead skin and other daily gunk, so cleaning it regularly is imperative. When it comes to knowing how to clean a hairbrush the first step is removing the hair frequently. Then shampoo, yes that’s shampoo, then brush and rinse. Grab your old toothbrush to get rid of anything that’s left and you’re good to go again.

Hair styling tools

With all that heat it’s easy for rogue strands of hair and styling products to cling onto your tongs and curlers, and that’s not going to get the best out of them. To clean, make sure they are unplugged and completely cool. Then, take your time using cotton pads to wipe over the irons, making sure you remove everything. It might take a few times so be patient, but if something isn’t shifting you can try mixing baking soda with water to create a lightly abrasive paste – that should do it.

Make up brushes

You can leave your make up brushes for a little while but if they get really clogged with old make up it’s going to take much longer when you do get round to cleaning them and your skin won’t like it either. The best way to clean is to wet with cold water and then rub a little shampoo or detergent through the brush. Rinse thoroughly and then gently squeeze the water out. Finally, lay them flat on a towel to dry.

Tweezers

The tool that everyone has and one that arguably gets the most use, doing a multitude of jobs. With that brings a lot of dirt, skin and grime too, so tweezers definitely require regular cleaning. Scrub with warm water or just leave them soaking in boiling water for five minutes to get rid of the muck.

Cleaning your beauty tools can be a bit fiddly, but do it often and you’ll reap the rewards. You won’t be smearing grime back onto your face and the tool will probably last longer. So now that you know how to clean a hairbrush, tweezers and more, there’s nothing stopping you from getting the best out of your beauty routine.


A contribution post by freelance writer, Joana Teixeira at cleanipedia.com

Healthy hair & skin: quick fixes for busy women

Happy #WellnessWednesday! With the cold weather fast approaching, here are some hair and skincare hacks to stop you looking less than perfect…

As all mothers know, time management is a must, and anything that could potentially interrupt the morning routine is a big no-no. When you’re in a hurry the last thing you need is bad hair or skin, and the time it takes to rectify those issues. Fear not though, with an action plan you can hide and fix all manner of beauty problems without losing too much time. Let’s check some out.

Tame tangled hair
You wake up, the kids are round your ankles, you need to get everyone ready but your hair looks like a bird’s nest. We’ve all been there, but don’t stress! This is where the detangling brush comes in. Just work section by section and you’ll soon be tangle free.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Hair and Skincare

There are so many detangling brush benefits versus the ordinary brush and comb:

  • Pain free – you won’t have to tug anywhere near as hard to remove the tangles
  • Quick – much more so than the usual options
  • Gentle – they’re designed to release knots in a much more efficient manner, so less damage occur
  • Versatile – they work on all different hair types

Hide poor condition
Sometimes you wake up and your hair looks awful to you, whether it’s greasy, dry or lifeless. You haven’t got time to bring it back to top condition so it’s time for a quick fix. Step forward the tried and trusted ponytail. This timeless style doesn’t just hide a multitude of sins; it takes no time to do and still looks great. Twist it, tie back on the side or add a few accessories if you’ve got the time, and inclination, to make it more glamorous. Also, having dry shampoo in stock is always a great and quick help.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Hair and Skincare
Hide poor hair condition in an updo, or a ponytail

Fight the breakout
You’re awake, you take a look in the mirror and your skin is looking pretty dry. Don’t fret about that, this doesn’t have to take ages to fix. Moisturiser is an obvious one but you can give it a boost by mixing with a face serum. This is a double-pronged attack that’ll give your face a glow and make it feel better too. Prevent this in future by investing in a quality night cream, and make sure you always remove your make-up before you go to sleep. Investing in a skin brush to slough away the superficial layer of dead skin cells can help keep skin clean and spots at bay. You can even choose from a manual one or electric one.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Hair and Skincare
Keep skin healthy and moisturised

Clear those puffy eyes
Ever woken up and your eyes haven’t got the message? We all have. Puffy, red and looking as though you should be heading for bed, rather than ready to take on the day. Don’t worry, a combination of cold and moisture is going to do the trick. If you’ve got ice packs pop them under or over your eyes for a few minutes. This will clear the puffiness and shrink the vessels that have given you that red eye look. Alternatively, chuck a couple of spoons in the freezer whilst you get breakfast and then hold them over your eyes. If you’ve got time flick the TV on for the kids and put slices of cucumber over your lids to get some much needed moisture in. Failing that, try cold water.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Hair and Skincare
A cold spoon over the eye area can help reduce puffy eyes

When you’ve got kids, time is precious and these quick fixes are really going to help you claw back a few minutes. From the benefits of a detangling brush to the use of cold compresses on puffy eyes, there’s plenty that can be done. Before you know it, everyone (including you) will be ready to tackle the day!

A contribution post by Joana Teixeira

Tea or Coffee: Which is best to support a healthy lifestyle?

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

There are many ways to help lead a healthy lifestyle and most people follow the ones that work best for them. The ways to do that include working on your diet, exercise and mental state, to become healthier and happier. The UK is well-known as a nation of tea drinkers – that’s black, breakfast type teas, rather than the fruity options preferred in other countries. And, while coffee is also a popular drink across the UK with around 70 million cups enjoyed every day, tea consumption is more than double with around 165 million cups consumed on a daily basis… but which is best for supporting a healthy lifestyle?

Tea?

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Photo by Drew Taylor on Unsplash

Tea has many benefits, including the fact that it is chock full of beneficial antioxidants. In most cases, tea usually contains more water than coffee (unless you’re among the few who take their coffee black). In particular, black tea is linked to improved health, from as far back as five thousand years. Green tea (including matcha) are also seen as a particularly healthy option and its ingredients are linked with weight loss and also as having an anti-depressant effect. Unlike green tea, matcha is made from whole tea leaves that has been grinded into a fine powder. Matcha can also be enjoyed with dairy, non-dairy, and nut milks.

Source: Pixabay

In addition, all types of teas that come in the bag form, are a doddle to make, so an easy option for a hot, refreshing beverage.

Coffee?

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Coffee, meanwhile, has in the past, been blamed for increasing stress, and bouts caffeine addiction. But, is it really as bad as some people say? Apparently not. Recent research shows that coffee consumption is a beneficial ingredient of a healthy lifestyle. That’s good news for the over 80% of households who buy coffee for the home, or the 80% who enjoy a café-made coffee! Specifically, a higher intake of coffee is associated with a lower risk of death. That’s a pretty important lifestyle issue! So, while taking the time to create a cup of coffee might take longer than your average refreshing cup of tea, it’s certainly worth the extra effort and equipment that’s needed.

And the Winner Is… Both!
Drinking either tea or coffee – or both – is a healthy option that will supply you with numerous benefits. Of course, try not to drink too much of either. After all, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

A diet that’s varied and full of different ingredients and flavours is the healthiest and most enjoyable kind of diet. It helps keep the food you eat and beverages you drink interesting and means you’re always finding new tastes and cooking styles to amaze your palate and assist you in your quest for a healthier lifestyle!

Photo by Alondra Olivas on Unsplash
Photo by Alondra Olivas on Unsplash

A contribution post by freelance writer, Jane Sandwood

All things hair for busy mums

If you’re a busy mama, you’ll know all about time management and how there never seem to be enough hours in the day. So everything you can do to catch up a few minutes is a real bonus, and when it comes to looking after your hair there’s plenty you can do. From shortcut shampoo tips to wearing simple styles like ponytails and Dutch braids, you can take control of your hair and get some time back in the process.

Time saving hair care

When you’re pushed for time there are a number of things you can do in advance to get your hair ready. Check out four of the best time-saving haircare tips:

Shower the night before. Wash your hair, if you need to, the night before. You’ll be grateful you made that little bit of extra effort in the evening when you need to fly out the door with the kids round your ankles the next morning.

• Dry shampoo. Failing washing your hair the night before, make sure you’re always stocked up with dry shampoo. An absolute gift when you don’t have time to rinse and repeat.

Go short. If you’re getting fed up of taking ages to get your hair ready before you tackle the day, think about going short. There are plenty of cool styles to try, and if timesaving is your main priority, you will definitely save lots of time with a sleek bob or a pixie cut – trendy and practical.

Treat whilst you sleep. If you don’t look after your hair, it’s going to suffer and it’ll need a little extra TLC every now and then. There are plenty of great deep conditioning treatments out there and rather than taking time out of your day you can get the job done overnight.

Time-saving hairstyles

We already know that we can save time on hair care, but what about styling? Here are four of the easiest, but oh so stylish, looks that you can do when you’re rushed in the morning:

The Ponytail
Let’s start with the easiest style, the simple ponytail. Just because it’s quick and requires very little effort doesn’t mean it can’t look chic. There are so many variations to try out too; slicked back, high up or low down, whatever you love it’ll only take a few minutes to do.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | All things hair for busy mums
Photo credit: Pinterest

If you’re not a fan of sporting a ponytail, there is a stylish alternative; the half-ponytail which is great if you hate bare shoulders but still want an semi up-do hairstyle. Even if you have short hair you can wear this hairstyle; here’s me sporting the look in my beauty box review post.

Dutch Braids
These braids are one of those amazing styles; the ones that look like they’ve taken ages to do or have been done in a salon. But in reality they only take a few minutes when you know how. As soon as you’ve got the knack for how to do them you’ll love how easy it is and how great they look. For simple to follow step-by-step instructions on how to do Dutch braids just click here (tutorial).

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | All things hair for busy mums
Photo credit: Pinterest

The Messy bun
Simply pull your hair into a loose ponytail, divide it into two or three sections and give it a tease (this is what lifts it from mess to messy chic). Take the sections and crisscross them at the top of your head, just like with a topknot. Pull a few strands around and you’ve got yourself a cool, messy bun.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | All things hair for busy mums
Photo credit: Pinterest

Like the ponytail, there is a half messy bun style which I call the ‘top-knot’. It’s a great style that can be worn easily whether you have long, short or a bob.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | All things hair for busy mums
Photo credit: Pinterest

Loose waves
If you love the effortless beauty of natural loose waves this trick is the one for you. All the prep takes place the night before so all you’ll have to do is flick the waves out in the morning. After you’ve washed your hair don’t dry it completely, leave it a little damp and braid it tightly. Let the braids out in the morning and you’ll be rocking that wavy look.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | All things hair for busy mums
Photo credit: Pinterest

Give these tips a try and you might even have few minutes left over to enjoy a bit of time to yourself. Good luck!


A guest post written by beauty/hair writer, Joana Teixeira from All Things Hair.

Reduce Your Stress and Get Healthy

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Family & Lifestyle in London

Being healthy isn’t about how much you weigh. Being healthy is about eating foods that are good for us, as well as being active and happy. It isn’t all about your BMI (Body Mass Index), a number that so many people, including health professionals are known to obsess about.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Reduce Stress Get Healthy
Eat more fresh fruit and veg / Credit: Alexandr Podvalny via Unsplash

Stress and emotional eating

Our ability to deal with stress can really have a big effect on our eating habits. Studies show that stress is linked to emotional eating. For some, both emotional eating and under-eating are signs of too much stress in our lives which can cause damage if it’s ongoing, so we need to find a way to keep it under control. Physical exercise is an incredible help in combating stress. Exercise can raise endorphin levels, produce more serotonin and gives us a general sense of well being, even though you might not feel like exercising at the start.


Any exercise will do

Exercise doesn’t mean that you need to start training to run a marathon, or invest in expensive equipment. It can also be low impact on your joints, so swimming is particularly good for this. Yoga is exceptionally relaxing and helps the mind move focus away from the stresses and strains of life. Pilates is surprisingly gentle, but very good for posture and balance and will help strengthen the body.

yoga-benefits
Benefits of a yoga practice
The Greenwich Mummy Blogger | 5 Brilliant Ways Mums Can Sneak In Exercise At Home
Go for a run, walk or jog / Credit: Bruno Nascimento via Unsplash

Walking, the simplest of all exercise merely involves putting your shoes on and going outside. You may not be walking the mythical 10,000 steps everyday, but let’s be realistic, very few people have the time, even if the intention is there. However, a 30 minute stroll has been proven to lower the risk of heart disease, while toning up your legs and bum. Walking outside will boost your vitamin D intake and give you energy. Most importantly, studies have shown that people who walk regularly are less likely to suffer from dementia when they are older. This is certainly an aspect of health that can’t be measured by BMI.


Mindfulness for busy lives

Mindfulness is focusing the mind on the present moment. It is an excellent way to mentally block out external stress. Using a mindfulness app like CALM is a good way to spend five or ten minutes when you have a break from work. Focusing on your breathing and learning to calm your emotions can really help you to deal with stress. If you learn to deal with stress and you can conquer emotional eating.

It is so easy to connect the idea of your health with your weight, and this just shouldn’t be the case. Where the mind goes, the body will follow. Focus on making little changes and the bigger picture will come soon enough. This could be taking 10 minutes a day to focus on mindfulness, or putting on your trainers and having a walk at lunchtime. Using these simple achievable ways to help you deal with stress will soon have you on the path to a happier and healthier you.

The Greenwich Mummy | Westgate-on-Sea best beach for Kids
Sometimes in life, we need to take things SLOW

OM Yoga - Mirror app

 

This contribution post was written exclusively for this blog by Jane Sandwood

How to build muscle without going to the gym…

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - The gym-free way to build muscle
Building muscle without going to the gym is possible.. you just need to know how!

I’m an avid fan for working out in the gym. I love the atmosphere and the free weights area is where you will usually find me… there and the functional fitness area of the gym. You’ll rarely find me on the cardio machines unless I’ve just stepped foot into the gym as I only do cardio at the start of my strength training to raise my heart rate and warm up my muscles. I’m not a cardio fan – give me the squat rack any day! 🙂

However the magical equation to building muscle is very (scientifically) simple… eat a balanced diet to feed your muscles and exercise using your body weight or weights (resistance or strength training) to build the muscle. Okay, there is a little more to this but these are your basic building blocks.

So without further ado, here are some tips by Jane Sandwood, a freelance writer at Totalshape.com on how you can build some muscle without stepping foot into the gym…

How to Maintain Fitness Goals Without a Gym

When you have fitness and health goals, going to the gym may be an integral aspect – or even the focus, of your routine. Gyms offer inspiration, motivation and come packed with various equipment that help you build and strengthen muscle. However, if you have a family, especially young kids, going to the gym regularly, or indeed at all, may not be a realistic option. To stay on track with your fitness journey and keep progressing towards your goals while being a busy parent, consider the following tips on how to build muscle and workout gym-free:

Utilise your own body weight

When you have kids, committing to daily or even weekly gym workouts can seem impossible, but muscle building and fitness never have to be sacrificed. There are plenty of in-home workouts that can be done without stepping outside that utilise your own bodyweight to offer an intense workout that builds and strengthens muscle. Yoga, often considered to be a relaxing and calming stretching routine, actually has many different poses that are considered strengthening exercises, working both your arm, leg and core muscles. Other options to include in your at-home workout routine include lunges, squats, push-ups, crunches, and planks. All of these use your own body’s weight to provide you with a challenging workout routine that will build and strengthen muscle.

The Greenwich Mummy Blogger - The gym-free way to build muscle
Photo by Dominik Wycislo on Unsplash

Invest in equipment

If going to the gym regularly or at all is not possible for you as a parent, consider investing in good quality equipment that will make your at-home workouts more challenging and productive. While exercises that utilise your own body weight are also effective, adding weights to lunges or squats, for example, will increase your strength and greatly speed up your muscle building goals. You can start off with some dumbbells of varying weights, a kettlebell, and some basic leg bands to add some diversity to your weight training. These options can all become staples of any good workout, so even if you choose to upgrade to fancier equipment in the future, you will always have a use for them.

The Greenwich Mummy Blogger | The gym-free way to build muscle
Turn your home into an effective mini gym with some functional equipment

Challenge yourself

Gyms offer inspiration and motivation. At home, you might need a little extra push to stay in the game and on track with your goals. Always make sure to challenge yourself and push yourself. When you find a workout routine that becomes much easier, don’t just settle. Instead, you should increase the weights, amount of repetitions, or both. Set goals for yourself based on your progress, and make sure to hold yourself accountable. This way, your at-home workouts will be just as productive, challenging, and results-oriented as any gym session!

For many parents, working out at home is the best way to ensure that they actually stay on track in terms of their fitness goals. While gyms of course come with many benefits, you can easily gym-ify your own home to make sure to build muscle, while remaining challenged. Incorporate the above steps to your workout routine and reap the benefits of at-home workouts!


A contribution post written exclusively for this blog by Jane Sandwood, a freelance writer at totalshape.com

Educational games for kids: Clothespin Drop!

| Guest post by Education.com

Sometimes it can be difficult to find educational activities for children that are both fun and engaging. Sometimes your child will just want to play, not learn and play at the same time.

However an online website called Education.com offers a wide range of learning resources for children from preschool to primary school age. They offer fun and educational games, worksheets, stories, songs and activities like the one they’ve given me below.

I am more than happy to present to you “Clothespin Drop” – an educational game that will help preschool-aged children to learn about colours, sorting, pattern matching and counting. I have also added a couple of alternative suggestions, just look for the pink text below to see what they are. I haven’t changed much because it’s pretty good the way it is; a why-fix-it-if-it’s-not-broken kind of thing.

I’ve been wanting to give this game a try as it looks so cool but I haven’t gotten round to doing so with LO as work’s been busy (will be more so in the lead-up to summer!). I hope you like the activity below – if you decide to give it a try, let me know! Education.com may be providing me with more games and activities to offer you guys so keep an eye out for them as they’ll be exclusive to this blog. 🙂

If you fancy checking out there other games, visit their site:
www.education.com/resources/geometry/


The Greenwich Mummy | Educational Preschooler Activity: Clothespin Drop

Activity: Clothespin Drop!

Age: Preschool children

Encourage your preschooler to practice color recognition, counting and pattern matching with this fun and colorful clothespin drop game. This is a great way to get your child excited about learning the basics of math.

What You Need:

  • 5 Coffee cans (or Bisto gravy cans or anything else similar)
  • 5 Sheets of construction paper (red, orange, yellow, green and blue)
  • Clear tape
  • Scissors
  • 25 Wooden clothespins
  • Tempera paint* (red, orange, yellow, green, blue)
    *you can also DIY with some egg yolk and food colouring – cheap & cheerful
  • Markers
  • Paintbrushes
  • Stopwatch, or digital clock

What You Do:

  1. Help your child cut down each piece of construction paper to the size.
  2. Roll one color of paper around each can and tape it in place.
  3. Have your child tell you which color is on each can, while you write the name of the corresponding color onto the paper.
  4. Ask her to separate the clothespins into groups of 5.
  5. Have her paint each group of clothespins a different color. Let dry.
  6. Line up the cans on the floor in a row, in the center of a room.
  7. Scatter the clothespins, mixing the colors around in the cans.
  8. Encourage her to see how quickly she can separate the colors and put them in the corresponding can. Time her to see how quick she is!
  9. Dump them out again and mix them up. Tell her what her last time was and shave off a few seconds. Yell, “Go!” and have her re-sort them. Yell, “Stop!” at the end of the time allotted. Did her speed increase? The more she practices, the faster she’ll get!
  10. Practice creating patterns by timing her as she places clothespins in the colored tins in a specific order. As she continues, try to introduce more complex patterns.

Enjoy!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog by Manny Ngo