Lifestyle

Top tips on how to declutter your wardrobe

Are you overwhelmed by the amount of clothes you have in your wardrobe? Do you find it difficult to find certain items when you need them and know that they’re in there somewhere?! If so, now’s THE perfect time to give your wardrobe a healthy declutter! And, most importantly, by freeing up some space means that there’s more room for NEW purchases 😊 … surely there’s no better motivation than that?!

So here’s a few tips on how to create a more organised, fashion-forward wardrobe.

Enjoy…


1) Make time

You need to make sure that you have plenty of time before you start. The de-cluttering process will take a while, but it really will be worth it.


2) Make all your clothes visible

This might seem obvious but it Is quite surprising what you find when you make sure everything Is visible! A lot of us tend to have our clothes rammed in so tightly that you can’t actually see all your clothes. Have a really good look through, you might be surprised with what you find. This process will either re-fresh your wardrobe with clothes you had forgotton about, or make more room when you throw clothes out that you haven’t worn for such a long time.


3) Do a quick wardrobe purge

Take everything out of your wardrobe that you don’t need or want any more – this should be a relatively quick job and if there are some items you’re not sure about you can always leave them and decide at a later date. If you do wonder when you wore them last – a quick trick. Turn the head of the hanger so when you re-check at a later date you can see If It’s been worn recently or not. Then you need to be ruthless and throw things out that you haven’t worn for a long while.


4) Take a reflective inventory of your wardrobe

Now this can be the difficult bit, as often clothes are linked to memories and are sentimental, but really do take your time to think about the clothes you do have and ask yourself:

Do I really need 10 pairs of jeans? As much as I love it, when did I actually last wear that dress? And if after reflection, you realise you don’t actually need them anymore, now’s the time to take these items out.


5) Not sure? Try them on

If you do have 10 pairs of jeans it may be hard to decide which ones you should keep and which ones to throw out. Try them on and see which ones fit and which ones really don’t. A second opinion Is often helpful, and a full-length mirror Is essential.  If you still aren’t sure, it might help to accessorise it with shoes, jewellery and a handbag in order to make that final decision!


6) Clean out your wardrobe regularly

It’s incredible how much dust collects up in our wardrobes so make sure you regularly wipe down any wardrobe shelves you have and hoover out the floor; making your wardrobe look spick and span!


7) Rearrange and reorganise your clothes

Now there’s no right or wrong here, people like to organise their wardrobes in different ways. Some people like to arrange it by seasons, others by clothes types and sometimes it’s all about the colour-coding. Whatever works for you is great 😊


We hope this helps, thanks for reading & have a fab day!

The Bang Average Mum’s guide to looking after yourself during lockdown

This month we invited the lovely Mum, blogger and influencer ‘The Bang Average Mum’ to share some of her lockdown experiences with us, as well as tips on how to look after your own mental health during isolation.

We find ourselves in an unprecedented season. A season that none of us were prepared for and none of us have lived through before. Despite what our social media feeds tells us, none of us have the magic formula for living la vida lockdown.

Due to my daughter being poorly in hospital for a few weeks, I joined the lockdown life on 1st April. Happy April Fools day. The feelings of anxiety, uncertainty and overwhelm hit me almost straight away and it felt just like when we had brought the tiny new born version of her home from the hospital.

Just like when I had postnatal depression, I felt like a lot of other people, particularly other Mums, were doing really well and it made me feel really low.

One month on and my mental health has improved. I have accepted that this is what will keep my family safe. This will protect our NHS and ensure that their resources go where they are most needed.

It hasn’t been easy, but I don’t think it is easy for any of us. Here are some things which have helped me to protect my mental health:


Limit your news intake and use reputable sources

Rumour and speculation can fuel anxiety. Having access to good quality information about the virus, and any news for that matter, can help you feel more in control. I am very wary of viewing sensationalised news from tabloids as their sole purpose of “being” is to sell us news and keep us coming back for more. Instead, use gov.uk, or World Health Organisation for unbiased facts.


Connect with friends and family via telephone/video chat

Feeling close to, and valued by, other people is a fundamental human need. Social relationships are critical for promoting wellbeing and can help reduce the risk of mental ill health for people of all ages. These times mean that we have to be more creative with connecting with our loved ones but with the joys of modern technology, we can have a quick chat with a friend or a full on family pub quiz via Zoom.


Stop “Should-ing” all over yourself

Karen on Facebook says that she is absolutely killing it during lockdown. She bakes her own bread now and her perfectly dressed, well behaved children are crafting quietly whilst she is able to write her novel and prepare elaborate home cooked meals. Good for her. You think that you should try to make bread now too, or that you should do more crafty things with the children rather than have them watching Disney+ to try to keep them quiet. Or you should use your time more protectively to learn a new skill. Should should should. No. This is not what this time is for. It is so important to stop comparing yourself to others, especially what you see on social media. It is a teeny, tiny piece of someone’s life that they want you to see. A phrase stuck with me during my recovery from postnatal depression and anxiety; “don’t compare your behind the scenes footage to someone else’s highlight reel.” Be kind to yourself; you’re doing the best you can do.


Lower your expectations of yourself and your children.

There is a reason why the phrase “do not work with children or animals” exists. If you are in the midst of trying to home school and work at home; I take my hat off to you. Home working while home-schooling presents an unprecedented challenge and one that, let’s face it, no one in normal circumstances would choose as it’s such a hard task. Coming through this with your and your children’s mental health intact is THE most important thing you can aim for. Setting expectations too high is a sure-fire way of creating extra anxiety and stress for everyone.


Enjoy the great outdoors

A mistake I made early on was not making the most of the allowance of being able to take some exercise outside. I didn’t leave the house for a week at the start and I was in a terrible mood. A walk around the block, or window rainbow spotting is a great family activity and a great opportunity to blow away the cobwebs.


Take time out for you

I have found that being at home 24/7 with a 2-year-old and a husband is certainly a new experience (to say the least!) and there have been some times when they both have been incredibly annoying. I’m sure they will both say the same about me too! More than ever, it is so important to take some time out to have break; just you. My favourite treat is putting Lexi down for her afternoon nap and having a bath with a lovely bath bomb. It is a simple thing to do, its pretty cheap and it gives me 30 minutes to relax. Other days, I go for a walk, or for a run. I feel so much better if I take the time for myself; both mentally and physically.


Ask for help

The strongest thing you can do is ask for help if you need it. Motherhood can be a lonely place without a global pandemic and there are some wonderful support services available if you wanted to chat to someone, off load or seek extra support.

I have compiled a list of organisations who I have sought advice from during my difficult times: (https://www.thebangaveragemum.co.uk/resources)


Take care & look after yourself,

The Bang Average Mum x

Things to do at home with kids

So, the government has just announced a three-week extension on the UK’s social distancing measures, and we’ll be spending most of our time at home for the foreseeable future.

For families with little ones, this time is particularly challenging. As parents ourselves, we know. Keeping kids entertained is hard at the best of times, let alone when you’re spending all of your waking hours caring for them – perhaps whilst also working from home.

That’s why we’ve put together a few ideas of things you can do at home to keep your kids stimulated, happy and fit – and to give you a break, too.


Learning from home

Your child’s teacher has most likely given you access to a range of systems that they use at school, and they are probably giving you age-appropriate activities to do on a weekly basis.

If you would like to do some additional learning, Teachit Primary has plenty of free printable resources, split by key stage and subject. DuoLingo is also a fun resource for you to learn a language as a family.

If you love to attend museums as a family, here are a number of virtual museum tours that you can go on from your sofa. Orchard Toys have also released a number of fun yet educational activities that you can print out.

But when it comes to your child’s education, the advice at the moment is to do what you can, but to not put pressure on yourself to be perfect. No amount of home learning will equate to the experience a child receives at school. And that’s perfectly okay. We’re all in the same boat.

You can play a unique role in your child’s life by supporting them with school activities where needed, but also by being a positive and loving figure during these strange times.


Staying mentally well from home

While this is a scary time for most adults, children can have a particularly hard time grasping the concept of having to be at home all the time, not being able to go to school, and not being able to see friends and family.

Mind Moose is a truly fantastic online resource to help kids aged between 7 and 12 to understand their emotions, how their brain plays a part in their mood, and it prepares children with tools to improve their mental wellbeing.

The website includes a series of useful free resources created specifically for families to help them have positive conversations to help support their child’s mental health, and to practice kindness. You can also subscribe to a range of benefits that will help you stay mentally well as a family, in a way that children can grasp.


Socialising from home

Most of us are missing friends and loved ones at the moment, and technology is proving to be a saviour for staying in touch. How many times have you heard someone say, “imagine if we were going through this before smartphones and technology?”

You’ve probably heard of the House Party app by now. It’s a great way to video chat with friends and family, with the addition of getting to play various games with them. It’s a great laugh and your child can get involved too.

You’ve also got WhatsApp video calls, Skype and Zoom at your disposal. Many people are using this period as an opportunity to reconnect with those they haven’t caught up with in a long time. How great is that?


Exercising from home

The NHS recommend that children have 60 minutes of physical activity per day, and adults should also get physical activity each day.

Many of us can still enjoy one walk outside per day, so long as you maintain the appropriate social distance from other households. However, your family can stay active without leaving the threshold of your home, whether you have a garden or not.

The NHS have released a number of at-home activities to keep children moving, and it includes plenty of activities that you can all do safely indoors as a family. nd the fantastic Joe Wicks is running weekly PE workouts on Youtube that you can do at home together.

Of course, whilst it’s great to have some activities planned for your little ones, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to have the perfect schedule to keep them entertained during every waking hour.

Kids, whilst they might complain of boredom, have big imaginations and are notoriously good at finding excitement in the little things. Your child can have an indoor picnic, get out the board games and make Christmas cards early, because why not? There’s plenty of original indoor activities out there.


Hang in there and stay safe,

Love the Pentlebay team x

Leaping in to 2020

With the extra day this year, tradition says that women can take destiny into their own hands and propose to their partner. If you are planning to pop the big question this leap year, have a look at these 5 destinations where you could get down on that knee. Of course, ladies, you can propose all year round, it is the 21st century after all.


The Big Smoke City Break

London doesn’t have to be a frenetic nightmare. Proposing here has many options. The London Eye has become a very popular place, overlooking the city toasting with a glass of bubbly. You can even hire the walkway on Tower bridge. But we had a look at the Sky Garden, which is London’s highest public garden, showing off 3 storeys of exquisite landscaped gardens with breathtaking views across the city. There are 2 bars and 2 restaurants to choose from for refreshments, especially if you need to wet your palette before and after! It would be advisable to book a ticket to guarantee entry here but amongst the hubbub of city life, you can retreat to this exciting space.


Adventurous

Pick a mountain! Wrap up and get those hiking boots on, then surprise your partner at the summit. There are the 3 of Britain’s highest peaks to choose from, being Ben Nevis, Scafell and Snowdon. If you are willing to get out there, why not camp the night before. Or even just book into a lovely B&B, and enjoy the great outdoors to its fullest.


Historical

Dunnottar Castle in Aberdeenshire could appeal to the old romantic. This medieval castle, where Scotland hid her Crown Jewels from the grasping hands of Oliver Cromwell, has epic views across the wild North Sea. Perched upon steep cliffs above the crashing sea on 3 sides, it is one of Scotland’s most famous and iconic places which would truly be a memorable location for such a declaration of love. Don’t let the ruggedness and remote location put you off, there are several hotels and other places to stay within a few miles of the castle.


Affordable Foreign

We thought of locations such as Paris’ Eiffel Tower, or while in a gondola on Venice’s Grand Canal but we settled on the Belfry of Bruges. The Belfry itself houses a carillon of 47 melodious bells and if you are willing to climb the 366 steps to the top – the same as the number of days in a Leap Year – then you will be well rewarded with panoramic views of Bruges, its canals, narrow streets and grand square.


Picturesque

Of course, we’ve left the best for last. If, when you think of proposing, you picture yourself doing so on a white sandy beach beside a crystal clear sea, then this one is for you. Imagine a romantic walk, strolling past sparkling bays and exploring the ruins of forts before walking along the whitest, finest sand you’ve had between your toes then you’re picturing our final proposal spot – Pentle Bay, Tresco, Isles of Scilly. This really is beautiful with views over the water to St Martins, Tean and a score of other tiny islets. Even in the busy tourist times you can quite easily find yourself alone on the beach or dunes. Okay, it may not be the warmest in February, but for the picturesque location choose the Scillies.


The most important thing to do is enjoy yourself, and don’t forget the ring!

Fun Easter activities to do with the family at home

As we all know, things are a little bit different at the moment with everyone staying safe at home. With Easter fast approaching this weekend, that doesn’t mean that families can’t still have a memorable Easter. Creativity and thinking outside of the box can go a long way!

Luckily, we’ve done that thinking for you. Here’s our round up of fun activities you can do as a family this weekend to keep the kids entertained at home.


1) Egg and Spoon Race

An egg and spoon race is always a laugh. Each of you balance an egg on a spoon and see who can get to the finish line first without dropping it.

Beware though: it can get messy, so this is something best done if you have a garden.

It can also get pretty competitive if you’re that kind of family!


2) Dyeing Eggs

Egg dyeing is a classic Easter activity enjoyed over the years by many households!

All it takes is some food colouring and eggs, and it will keep the kids entertained for a good while.

Follow this handy guide to create colourful Easter eggs as a family.


3) Create an Easter egg hunt

Let the kids loose around the home or the garden in search of chocolate eggs.

Don’t make it too easy for them – let them blow off some steam.

To teach them sharing, you can tell the kids to count the eggs at the end and split them evenly.


4) Gardening

If you have a private garden or balcony, nothing says ‘spring’ more than planting some bulbs or seeds.

You can even put markers with the children’s names next to the flowers they plant so that they can take pride in watching them grow over springtime.

It will give them something to look forward to each day during this period.


5) Guess the number of sweets in the jar

Fill a jar with small sweets such as jellybeans or chocolate raisins, then let members of the family guess how many sweets are in there.

This does require you to count them beforehand (or at least decide on a number, if you don’t have time for that…)

The person who gets the closest answer wins the jar! Let’s hope that they share them around.


6) Baking

What’s Easter without tasty treats? And knowing that you’ve made them yourself makes them all the more scrummy.

See which ingredients you’ve got in your cupboard, and enjoy some baking as a family. Some of our favourite, not-too-tricky Easter recipes include chocolate nests and iced Easter biscuits.

Our favourite local baker, Kelly’s Kitchen, will be running a short Easter bake-along live on our Facebook page that you can take part in as a family on Easter Monday. Follow our Facebook page to make sure you don’t miss out.


7) Get crafting

When we think of Easter, we think of decorating Easter bonnets and pom pom chicks made with wool.

Get the arts and crafts stuff out and create an Easter egg mosaic, or create bunny ears out of cardboard and fabric.

There’s some great, original tutorials here.


8) Enjoy some cosy movie time

This one is simple, and all it requires is your family, some blankets, your Easter snack of choice and a film.

There’s nothing more precious in this world than family time, so enjoy the simplicity of time at home together.


Happy Easter from the Pentlebay Team!