The Task of Choosing a Nursery….

 

As quickly as maternity leave arrives, its over within a blink of an eye, suddenly you find yourself emailing work with your back to work dates, re configuring the work wardrobe and catching up on the office gossip…Fasted 9 months ever!!

With the back to work planning also comes the hard task of finding someone or somewhere such as a Nursery to look after your little human whilst you earn the pennies.

We knew that for 2 days a week we had help with childcare in the form of grandparents, which has been an amazing god send saving us a substantial and painful bill; Of course also meaning Sonny gets a real bond with his Grannie and Nanny, enjoying being the centre of their attention whilst we can rest in the knowledge that he is in safe and experienced hands.

With a third day to cover and we had to look into nurseries and other childcare options. I was really keen for Sonny to experience a nursery environment, to socialise with other babies in a larger group setting, to get used to people outside of the family and learn new skills from a specially formulated curriculum, a great step before we fast forward to school.

The nursery search was a very daunting task, I never even thought about this whilst pregnant, I’ve never noticed nurseries nearby or even discussed the topic before so as soon as it hit my raider, google was the first port of call followed by facebook and finally mums that I knew who used nurseries.

I kept hearing the same advice over and over, book appointments to view 3ish nurseries and you’ll know as soon as you walk in how you feel and which is the right place for you. Another sound piece of advice was prepare some questions to ask, don’t be afraid to understand exactly how the nursery is run, after all its an important decision for you!

As soon as I stepped foot into the nursery that Sonny now attends, I knew it was the one for us, the staff were so friendly, it was large with a variety of rooms to suit the different ages but also had that intimate friendly feel. The detail and care plan of each session was impressive and the menu well, it looked delicious (Moroccan lamb cous cous followed by homemade jam sponge in addition to breakfast, lunch and snacks…beats my cold packed lunch at the desk!)

One of my  key tick boxes was that the nursery had outside space and this one did, plenty of space with chickens and a vegetable patch or as they like to call it an outdoor kitchen (chic). Another factor was that Sonny’s sessions are documented for official Ofsted paperwork so I was safe in the knowledge that everything was as professional  ‘as it should be’.  We also get a little book detailing what Sonny enjoyed doing that day, photos and also paintings, all very sweet! I love sitting down to read what he’s been up to and the new experiences he discovered that day!

My advice and list of things to think about when embarking on this daunting task include:

  • Definitely book a few places to visit and you’ll know once you step how you feel and if its the place for you and your little one.
  • Plan some questions to ask, do you have payment breaks for holidays? does the fee include food, nappies etc?  Sickness policy etc, Each nursery is sooo different
  • Think about the location, is it easy to drop off in rush hour and close to you in case of emergency?
  • Do they have long enough opening hours for you to manage a drop off and pick up easily whilst juggling a work schedule?
  • Is the security policy strong enough and puts your mind at ease?
  • Do they take government childcare vouchers or schemes if eligible? This can save some much needed cash!
  • Check the settle in plan, Sonny’s nursery introduced him slowly to the sessions and planned it all so he (and myself) would feel comfortable, even texting me in the early weeks to let me know how he was doing!

There are a ton of things to think about but you’ll know what you need from a nursery and the most important thing is go back as many times to make sure you feel comfortable!
I am so happy with his placement and the whole decision around attending nursery, the biggest thing I notice is that he is such a social little boy and fine to play amongst a crowd, hes not clinging at all but a happy little monkey!

I hope if your looking into nurseries you find some nice places but if you have any tips or questions feel free to share in the comments!

Love Harriet x

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Switching up the Lip shade for Autumn….

Now that the sky is a little darker, the clothes are a little thicker, I’m feeling the lips need a bit of a revamp and reset… its time to change the lip shade ready for autumn!

I have picked my 3 favourite shades to take me into the colder months and perfect for day to night.  Surprisingly no vampy red colour features in this post soooo thats on my ‘find the perfect red’ list ready for those Christmas party events.

Here it is my 3 favs of the moment, starting with my Charlotte Tilbury Miranda May, you know I love it and I’ve dedicated a post to it already here but this colour is perfect for day time as it doesn’t scream in your face but its special with its soft pinky coral tones and makes you feel fab in the evening too!

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Why I love Body Pump…

I am a massive fan of exercise, since sports day in primary school the thrill of exercise and the adrenaline rush after has always had me hooked! I have been a gym member since the age of 15 and although my relationship with exercise hasn’t always been so light hearted (sometimes a little obsessive) I love nothing more than working out and relieving any stress or anxiety from the day.

About 4 years ago, I was looking to mix up my normal gym and running routine and had heard about a class called Body Pump. Body pump is an instructor led class, choreographed to music, working on all different muscle groups from legs, back, arms and abs. Weight lifting wasn’t as popular and massive as it is now but I knew I wanted to try something more focused and less cardio plus I was interested to see what results it would have.

My local class was amazing, the instructors all inspiring, they would carefully explained each muscle group and the expected weights we should be working towards, plus the music really helped to lose yourself. My first class flew by and the ache the day after left me looking forward to the next session. I quickly became hooked and have been attending ‘Pump’ 2-3 times a week for the last 4 years, attending throughout my pregnancy right up until a week before my due date.

I loved the way my body changed, pump really strengthens and shapes you as well as being super satisfying when you are able to increase your weights and lift heavy. The big muscle groups are big calorie burners and you come out with a good sweat, elbow sweat really is a thing (Pumpers will know what i’m saying)

My class follows the Les Mills programme meaning that every 3 months the choreography and music is changed  so we are constantly using different exercises to work out different muscles, challenging ourselves and learning about our body (Can you see I am a pump geek???)

So if you looking for a different type of work out, looking to push yourself and get those muscles peaking through then I defiantly recommend giving Body pump a go!

Here more about it here

Love Harriet x

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ESPA Replenishing Collection….

The summer has definitely left a drying impression on my skin and I feel like I need to inject some glow back into my face asap! I was speaking to the lovely therapists at work and they recommended trying some ESPA products and perhaps starting with the Replenishing Collection.

ESPA is a luxury skincare spa brand and is only featured in specially selected spas across the world, luckily where I work is one of them, meaning I have access to our highly qualified therapists to pick their brains when I have a skin SOS. I also get to see the wide variety of products first hand, smell the scent and feel the formula which is always a bonus when purchasing something new.

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September I love you…..

There would have been a time that September would have filled me with dread, nervous butterflies dancing around my tummy as I was about to embark on a new school year, waking up to a darker morning and feeling that chill as I miserably waited at the bus stop at stupid a-clock.

Now for me September is as welcome as a warm cup of tea with a bouncy homemade sponge on a lazy Sunday afternoon. There is something so nice about a change of season, like a chance to start a fresh again, change your mindset onto something new.

My September rituals will start to include, packing away the floaty fabrics and summer wardrobe in favour of cosy knits, scarfs and ankle boots. Packing away the BBQ items and paddling pool instead dusting off the slow cooker in prep for some warming stews post crisp country walk.

I love that fashion week sets our inspo for the next season, I love the BBC/ITV autumn ads that pop up and tempt us of whats to come on our screens during these darker nights…infact telly altogether Bake off, Strictly, X-factor…cue hermit crab syndrome.

I love that a berry lip will soon be making a regular appearance and the shops start getting a little more twinkly with their displays…oh there is so much to get excited about, I admit I have experienced a few Christmas pangs (Sorry not sorry)

So September don’t let me down, I’m so happy to see you!

Love Harriet x

 

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