Friday, 27 March 2015

What Wilf Wore

We are free from the chicken spots! To celebrate we finally got to spend sometime in a public space, our local coffee shop, I can't tell you how good it is to be able to go somewhere other than the park.

Actually Wilf has coped with chicken pox really well, although he had around 60 or so spots that he found mildly itchy he was never really in any discomfort or tried to scratch at them. I'd say he probably got them at a good age as it can be so worse for older children (so I've heard). All I remember from having them myself is painting my favourite dolly with red spots to match me and then finding they didn't come off and she had to remain diseased forever, ha!

He still has a couple of scabs on his face in the picture (which aren't contagious) but he was literally jumping for joy being able to get out and about.

We were sent these shoes from Young Soles London and I absolutely love how classic they are in design. I've had my eye on this brand for a good while and they are just as beautiful as I imagined they would be.

Wilf's top is from Me and I clothing, a lovely Scandinavian company selling items for both kids and adults. This top has a real seventies vibe to it, I think it goes perfectly with the classic style shoe too!

Whilst he's been infectious Wilf hasn't been able to go to childcare of course so it's just been me and him for the past two weeks. Despite being a little bit behind on everything (and occasionally a little stressed because of it) I've really cherished this quality time with my little boy. I'll miss him when he's back at nursery!

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Some more of Berlin..

I told you I was flitting around all over the place lately! I'm finally getting a few minutes to look through some more of my pictures of my weekend away in Berlin and wanted to share them with you guys before something else came up!

We actually arrived into the city pretty late at night and instead of navigating public transport opted for a car to pick us up from the airport. I was invited to use Blacklane and I think I must have said at least five times that trip just how glad I was to know we were being picked up on our way back too. It made life SO much easier and if I'm honest didn't work out too much more than getting two trains (for two people). I was also interested to hear that you can request a car seat or larger cars for larger families which really cuts out the stress of travelling to your accommodation, especially when you have been traveling for a while. I'll honestly be booking though them again in the future (plus I loved that I finally got to be that person who had someone waiting for them with a sign of their name!).

I didn't really know what to expect from Berlin and it was really like no other city I'd ever been to. It felt so open and spacious and not just in the way that many European cities do with nice wide pavements large enough for outdoor seats and tables but in a way that just you good breath and take your time. It helped too that the sun was shinning a lot.

I was surprised by how urban and rundown East Berlin felt at times, even though I know it is this way for obvious reasons. I guess as I was only turning four when the wall came down and so to me it feels like this was a lifetime ago and the images I saw of Berlin then and during my childhood I thought would be somehow massively different to how it would be now. It actually felt in many ways much the same, with some buildings still derelict or with vines all over them like they had been untouched.

Seeing the wall itself didn't really move me until I peeped through a hole and had to stop myself thinking too much about how people can do such strange things to other people. How scary life can be when you can wake up one day and never see your family for another for decades?? I realised actually how little I know about this chapter in history which made me feel a bit awful. I was actually chatting about it to a friend of mine who is half German. She reminded me that this is why we should never get complacent with political parties and how ones you think are just plain full of hate crazy (that you assume no one would vote for) could get into power and that's why they are so scary. It's actually reminded me (although I always vote of course) that I do need to get a little more aware of the world around me as awful as it can sometimes be, in order to make sure we don't let things like this happen again..

And now for some smiley street art ;)

Hotel room selfies with Lori (see where we stayed here)

A reader recently asked me if I would recommended anywhere that I visited on my trip. I have to say it was mostly spent in coffee shops due to the work I was doing out there but if I was to recommend any of the places we ate it would be Momos for veggie dumplings. I also enjoyed House of Small Wonder (which is that beautiful staircase photo third from bottom) both of which are great for children.

There are lots of cute kiddo boutiques around Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg as well as tons and tons of cool coffee shops all around East Berlin. I really enjoyed the Michelberger Hotel as a bar and restaurant (although the rooms like super cool too!). Other than that there is so much of the city I'd like to explore including the flea markets which I never got to visit in the end (a good excuse to go back!)

See other snap shots here and where I stayed here

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Tech free zone and getting more sleep

I read a statistic the other day that shocked me a little (and depressed me in equal measure!) that as a nation the average person spends more time a day using media and devices than sleeping (so over 8.5 hours). As a blogger being online is my job but it's also a bit of an addiction and knowing that I need to create a bigger work/life boundary is something that is on my mind a lot. Even then though I would probably watch a film or chat with friends via FB or text so I'm really rarely offline or off screen watching very much at all!

According to research collected by Silentnight this increased amount of tech means we are not getting enough kip and sleep disorders are up by 20% in the last five years.

I recently discovered by sleep was pretty shocking, although I get the right amount of hours these are usually broken and restless meaning I never sleep a full nights undisturbed sleep. Whilst a couple of wake up's can be put down to my 3 year old the rest are simply me not unwinding I think and it's something I want to address properly this year before it effect my health too much.

Browsing the internet before bed (I hope none of you are reading this late at night ;)) overloads the 'working memory' of the brain resulting in poor sleep so it's advised to be tech free for 60-90 mins before sleep each night. Something that will take a lot of will power in my case I think!

One of the things I've decided to implement into my evening routine is a bath and then a book. I've barely finished three books in the last three years which I feel horrendously guilty about so I'm going to try and force myself to have at least an hour each day to do this, what is nicer than a long soak and a good book! On that note if you have read any page turners recently do tell!

I've started to implement a tech free zone in our bedroom now so it's not the last thing I look at before I fall asleep and although I haven't managed to do this for an hour before it's something I'm really working on! I've also switched my evening cuppa to chamomile which I actually think has been making quite a difference.

Would you try a tech free zone in your bedroom to ensure better sleep?

in association with Silentnight
second picture DTSP

Our second night in Brighton

(view from our room)

On our second night during our Brighton trip were invited to use to book a place (read about our first night here and some snap shots here). We opted for the Ibis which was £120 for a family room that had a double bed and a double sofa bed for Wilf. The room itself was massive with enough room to fit a decent size bathroom, both beds, storage and a desk looking over the roof tops of Brighton. Having looked at the Ibis directly I think we made a saving of about £28 by going through the Laterooms site instead. 

When I arrived I found this beautiful Liberty's suitcase waiting for me full of tea and coffee, what a treat!

Whilst I am generally a fan of a boutique hotel I do love places like this for knowing exactly what you are going to get, that the quality will be good, the place spotless and the staff friendly and competent. I have to say the Ibis actually has some great furniture and interior design like replica Eames chairs and Polaroid style wallpaper. The staff were all beyond helpful and friendly and we overheard that one of the kitchen staff has actually been hired after selling the big issue locally and offered a job which made me like the branch even more.

We left our luggage there during our wander around on the last day and grabbed a coffee before our train. The cafe was quiet so the staff were really chatty and flittered between coo-ing over Wilf to trying to show him how to play a game. Location wise this hotel is perfect for train access especially if you have a bit of luggage with you as it's about 5 minutes from the station.

The process of booking though was really easy to navigate with lots of choice of accommodation to book depending on your budget and preference. I didn't realise that you could use them to book hotels all over the world which makes things even easier when planning a holiday. We'll certainly be using them again for a late minute break.

On that note they actually have some pretty good Easter deals if you fancy a peek here.

in association with all words and thoughts are my own

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