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Learning how to potty train boys

An English Mamma in Stockholm: how to potty train boys nappies diapers

A few weekends ago we packed the potty away. And I have to say that I am glad to see the back of it. The boys preferred to drag it into the playroom and sit on it there, like a throne. No, no, no. So, yes, the boys are (largely) potty trained. Such a huge relief, I can say, but also that it has been an interesting journey learning how to potty train boys.

There are still a few accidents here and there but it’s the toilet all the way now. The main thing that we learned was that we had a lot of learning to do before we could start to teach the boys.

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Weekly wishes – week 9

My main plan for weekly wishes this week: write better goals – ones that I can actually achieve. Hmmm, yes, I managed a big fat zero with my goals last week. Let me explain (or make excuses).

Weekly wishes last week

  • Start week 4 of the Bikini Body Guide. NOPE, as I was sick on Tuesday and it took me all week to feel better.
  • Mindfulness meditation. NOPE, and no excuse.
  • Work on hand lettering course and post on Instagram #betterhandlettering. Not really – a couple of days only.
  • Arrange a skiing day at Hammarby Backen. I did try with this one but when I looked for the weekend, I found that the snow had practically melted away and only one slope was open and it was a red one at that – not too good for getting O back into the skiing habit then.

The week

Another week of keeping my head down and week two of my Online Marketing course. I feel like I am learning so much – my notebook is filling up with notes and a lot of things are clicking into place now.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get too much done on the hand lettering course, but I’ve ordered a couple of books from the library and am hoping to get back into this once the Online Marketing course has finished, next week. I did a few practice sketches though.

An English Mamma in Stockholm: weekly wishes hand lettering practice reigate home town [Read more]

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WIWW: The work casual outfit

As I was hit by a stomach bug on Tuesday and I was still a little shaky on Wednesday, my energy only stretched as far as business / work casual outfit for the office. But I like to think that my new hair colour more than brightened up the outfit.

At the beginning of the week I was at the hairdressers and had decided to go for a new, slightly less blonde look. It’s a mixture of copper and ash to give it some depth. And I love it. Unfortunately, I don’t love te bags under my eyes from too little sleep – please excuse those.

An English Mamma in Stockholm: wiww what i wore wednesday business work casual outfit

I was lucky in that Husband was on hand to take my photo, but unfortunately he did not get in much of my trousers. I bought them from Massimo Dutti a number of years ago and love them. Basically, I’d say they are pretty similar shape to MiH Marrakesh jeans, which I know because a year or so ago I bought a light blue pair of those because I love the Massimo Dutti ones so much and wanted a similar but lighter coloured pair.

The shirt is one of my purchases from Kingsley Heath when we were in Cape Town. And the bracelets are from Lindex/Min Stora Dag (the orange one) and courtesy of E (the multi-coloured one). Admittedly, the Lindex/Min Stora Dag one is a little tight since it is for children but I am trying to stretch it out a little to keep the blood flowing to my hand. And then I smartened it up with my old favourite black H&M jacket for the office.

Not as smart as I would usually wear to the office, but needs must.

Linking up with Lindsey at The Pleated Poppy.

the pleated poppy blog


Weekly wishes – week 8

Last week was a bit of a selfish one for me: I kept my head down, trained, practised mindfulness and carried on with the courses I’ve signed up for. There is so much else going on at the moment that this felt like the best strategy for getting on. That said, it was only decent on the weekly wishes front.

Weekly wishes last week

  • Last day of week 3 of the Bikini Body Guide and start of week 4. HALF DONE – I finished week 3 but did not get a chance to start week 4.
  • Mindfulness meditation. YES! I finally managed one session of mindfulness and it really helped to settle my mind, which has been very preoccupied in recent weeks.
  • Work on hand lettering course. YES – I finished two more lessons of the course and have started on the 30-day challenge.
  • Plan some future posts. NOPE
  • Fix my G+ page. NOPE

Two and a half out of five is a decent result and far better than the past couple of weeks. It feels like I am getting back on track.

The week

I’ve been keeping my head down again this week, continuing on with the Online Marketing and Hand Lettering courses that I started last week. It’s worked out well timing-wise as well as Husband had to work late three evenings this week, so I was able to focus on the courses while he was working.

An English Mamma in Stockholm: weekly wishes hand lettering practice

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Further adventures in South Africa

When I left the story of our South Africa adventures, we were heading towards Hermanus, the centre of whale watching territory. The whales migrate in October and November, so we had missed them by a good couple of months, but we still encouraged them to keep an eye out for them whenever the road wound close to the water. That certainly was a good way to keep them occupied during the journey.

An English Mamma in Stockholm: adventures south africa hermanus cliffs beach western cape

Hermanus is a stunning place. Just look at that view. This was taken from a brilliant little playground by the cliff edge and close to Burgundy, a restaurant where we ate lunch that first day. I can highly recommend the seafood platter.

An English Mamma in Stockholm: hermanus south africa adventures modern art sculpture

We were staying at Blue Gum Country Estate for the next few nights and we had such a great time. We ate dinner there for three of our four nights and had the family part of the restaurant to ourselves. This area, which doubled as the breakfast room, opened onto the garden, so the boys were able to bounce on the trampoline, play in the sandpit and generally run and around and tire themselves out before bed while we got to eat at a more leisurely pace. I love places that plan their space well like this. We were able to have an enjoyable time without worrying about other diners, and the other diners certainly were!

An English Mamma in South Africa: blue gum eucalyptus tree stanford shrubs garden south africa

An English Mamma in Stockholm: blue gum stanford boys jumping trampoline south africa

Husband decided that he was keen to go shark diving one of the days (eek!), so he booked a trip out from Van Dyksbaai on a boat.

An English Mamma in Stockholm: van dyks baai shark cage diving seaweed south africa

Meanwhile the boys and I visited Danger Point Lighthouse (and climbed the top – no mean feat with two active boys and an incredibly spiral staircase, I can tell you) and hung out at Pearly Beach, spotting jellyfish in the rock pools.

An English Mamma in Stockholm: south africa pearly beach rock pools

We spent an afternoon pottering around antique shops – as best we could with the boys – in Stanford. The town is quite small but beautifully kept, with a handful of really good cafes, particularly Don Gelato ice cream parlour. If you’re in the Western Cape and spot a Don Gelato, try out the zebra ice cream. Well, actually, try out any of their gelato – it’s all amazingly good.

An English Mamma in Stockholm: stanford town mountains stop sign south africa

We also returned to Hermanus for a day of haircuts and fabulous food. If you go, make sure to stop by La Peltola. From the outside it doesn’t look like much but the food was amazing and staff were brilliant.

An English Mamma in Stockholm: la peltola south africa funny selfie

And here’s the diva again, showing off his sunglasses…

An English Mamma in Stockholm: south africa sunglasses toddler

We really enjoyed our time around Hermanus and the Overberg. In total we were there for four days and managed to find fun adventures each day.

And so, all that is left of our South Africa adventures to share with you now is our time in Cape Town. So until the next time…


Three of my favourite Instagrammers

Last month I missed out on participating in answering the question posed by Victoria and Meg on The B Bar: what had I purchased in the past year that became invaluable. I really wanted to join in but it came close on the heels of our trip and I simply didn’t manage to find the time.

I was determined that I would not miss out of this new blog link-up this month though. And I am glad that I got my act together this time around because I love the question for February:

Who are your three favorite Instagrammers and why?

An English Mamma in Stockholm: my three favourite instagram accounts  instagrammers

I’ve made a conscious decision this year to participate more on Instagram and so I’ve started following new people and posting on there more frequently and commenting on others’ photos. I think Instagram is a wonderful community and, so far, I’ve seen little negative on there (apart from the odd “follow me for likes” accounts). I love looking at the snapshots of people’s lives.

I know it gets criticised sometimes for being too perfect, but I feel that as long as you accept at the start that it will mainly be the best of others’ lives on display there, the community is full of stunning and inspirational photos.

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Weekly wishes – week 7

You remember that I said last week that the previous week had been one of the busiest of the working year? Ha! This past week surpassed it, and then some. But it’s onwards and upwards for the weekly wishes this week.

Weekly wishes last week

  • Week 3 of the Bikini Body Guide. YEP – and thank goodness for that. I really needed to do some training to get me back on track and feeling strong again.
  • Work on a headpiece/fascinator. NOPE
  • Mindfulness meditation. NOPE – which was a big mistake. The week spiralled out of control and I suspect that mindfulness would have helped a great deal to make me feel more settled.
  • Plan some future posts. NOPE – not only that but I didn’t even manage the posts on Wednesday and Friday that I had been planning.
  • Fix my G+ page. NOPE

The week

The highlight of the week for me was Friday evening, when we decided to celebrate the end to a terrible week with champagne.

An English Mamma in Stockholm: weekly wishes champagne bollinger thai takeaway

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Weekly wishes – week 6

One of the busiest weeks of the working year for me is now completed – which felt like something of a relief, until I remembered that this week is one of the other busiest. You win some, you lose some. So, how did I get on with my weekly wishes? Despite being so busy, I think I did okay.

Weekly wishes last week

  • Work on a headpiece/fascinator. NOPE.
  • Mindfulness meditation. NOPE, which is silly as this was a week when it would really have been a good idea.
  • Buy Husband’s birthday present. YES! I cut it fine – buying the presents on Friday afternoon, two hours before he came home from work – but still, success!
  • Complete week 2 and start week 3 of the Bikini Body Guide. Half YES, half NOPE. I finished week 2 but did not manage to start week 3.
  • Finish sorting out South Africa photos. YES! Take a look at Instagram, where I’ve posted the highlights of our trip. You can follow me on there @englishmamma.

The week

As I said, this was a horribly busy work week and I ended it on Friday with a well-deserved glass (or two) of wine when Husband and I went out to celebrate his birthday.

The week itself was something of a blur, with the notable exceptions of Thursday and Friday, when E was home from preschool with a dodgy tummy. So we did what we could to entertain ourselves and he and I painted our nails.

An English Mamma in Stockholm: weekly wishes nail varnish polish ciate pink starlet electronica

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WIWW: Navy and gold

I decided to further embrace my navy trend this week with an all navy outfit, with a little bit of gold on the side. Who doesn’t love navy and gold?

An English Mamma in Stockholm: wiww navy and gold what i wore wednesday

I found this t-shirt yesterday at Lindex and thought it was perfect to lift an outfit like this. Plus it was good value. I really like what Lindex is doing these days. Some items can still look a little frumpy but the Holly & Whyte range is pretty good and they have just started stocking workout clothes too.

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Weekly wishes – week 5

Living away from some grandparents means that the boys are like the (British) queen and get to celebrate two birthdays. So last week, we celebrated E’s second third birthday.

Weekly wishes last week

  • Work on a headpiece/fascinator. NOPE
  • Mindfulness meditation. NOPE
  • Buy Husband’s birthday present. NOPE – oops…
  • Complete week 2 of the Bikini Body Guide. Mostly – I did days 1 and 2 but not the optional day 3.

The week

Most of the week was same procedure as usual, except for Thursday when I had coffee with my old boss (who is something of a mentor). We always end up laughing so hard in between all the gossip and advice. And that evening, I was on cake baking duty again, to make the second cake for E’s birthday. This time, I made one with apple puree, nutmeg and cinnamon, topped with apple and cinnamon icing. It went down pretty well on Friday evening when we ate it.

An English Mamma in Stockholm: weekly wishes apple cinnamon birthday cake

He received a doctor’s set for his birthday from my mum and step dad, so the weekend had quite a medical theme with both he and O checking blood pressure and temperatures, applying plasters and administering injections.

Weekly wishes this week

  • Work on a headpiece/fascinator.
  • Mindfulness meditation.
  • Buy Husband’s birthday present.
  • Complete week 2 and start week 3 of the Bikini Body Guide
  • Finish sorting out South Africa photos

I need to be held accountable this week so that I tick these tasks off the list. Who’s in?

Linking up with Melyssa at The Nectar Collective.

The Nectar Collective