Do you love reading about other people and how they live their lives? I find it fascinating and so inspirational too, especially when I can really relate to their philosophies, values and motivations.
This is why I’m taking the time to share with you the ways my family are living intentionally to create an inspired family life. And to hopefully encourage you in developing your own ideas and approaches too.
I’m sharing a life which is hopefully full of creativity and fun, despite the massive drag factor of my (often frustrating) chronic illness; Multiple Sclerosis.
Every few months, I’ll be revealing some of the things we’ve been doing as a family to stay inspired over the changing seasons. This will include what’s working really well for us right now but also the challenges we’ve faced along the way.
Well, the transition from Winter to Spring has been very welcome in our household! It’s been fantastic to shake off the really cold weather and enjoy some colour in our garden again.
This Spring we’ve been…
finding our own path and doing what brings us the most joy by…
finding more ways to eat healthily.
Since starting out on the OMS diet (nearly 2 years ago now) I love how eating healthy foods makes me feel. I can’t emphasise enough how it has changed/is changing my quality of life for the better.
My whole food plant-based diet isn’t really the norm but it works for me and I’m definitely sticking to it!
I’m also a creature of habit though, which is hard to break. I have to push myself to try new foods and flavours rather than just sticking with the same healthy meals time and time again. After all, the more varied my diet the more nutrients I’m getting and the better for my health overall.
Over the past couple of months, I’ve challenged myself to be more open to new ideas. I managed to talk myself into trying different recipes for;
- almond butter and banana cookies
- mango ice cream
- potato, lentil and kale stew
- pasta arrabiata
- courgette bake
And the results were; all were delicious and I wish I’d tried them sooner!
Since becoming more aware of the food I’m eating, I’m naturally more conscious of what my family eats too. Both my partner and son are very fussy eaters so I’m always looking for ways to encourage them to try new things without freaking them out completely. It takes a lot of energy to create healthy dishes for them to be refused so any suggestions here would be very gratefully received!
I loved introducing our values for living intentionally for an inspired family life. It was such a positive post to write. It’s really helped me to focus on what’s important to me and inspire this little updates to help keep me accountable to myself!
I’ve also been working on another post based on some of the best ill-day activities I’ve discovered and which work well with my son. However, what started out as one article idea has somehow morphed into a mini-series and currently consists of three part-written posts! I doubt they’ll be ready before baby arrives but that’s ok, they will still be there waiting for me when I’m able to give them a bit more of my attention.
exploring opportunities to play and learn creatively by…
sharing a love of reading
My partner and I have always shared our love of reading with our son and it’s been amazing these last few months observing how quickly he’s becoming a confident reader. Books which we used to read to him he is now reading to us or to himself. I have a great collection of videos of him reading his stories and ‘doing the voices’ of the different characters, it’s the cutest thing ever!
actively seeking inspiration from the world around us and placing a high value on meaningful experiences by…
spending time in nature and going on some night-time adventures
I’ve not been able to join in so much recently, due to how pregnant I am right now but we have managed a few ‘night-time adventures’, which is just the simple idea of exploring nature together once it’s gone dark. We’ve looked for bugs and toads, bats and birds in the local countryside and lit a little fire in our garden to keep warm. All very simple but lots of fun!
appreciating the little things as we love, support and celebrate each other by…
sharing #MyDailyThankYou and #JoyInSpring on Twitter
If you don’t already follow Emma from Not Just Tired you really should. She’s so lovely and encouraging, I feel I can relate to her really well. She’s built up a fantastic, supportive community on Twitter, to inspire daily gratitude and positivity whatever struggles we face.
I’ve been joining in with her #MyDailyThankYou and #JoyInSpring hashtags pretty regularly for the last few months now and it’s really helped me to appreciate the little things each day. It’s made me realise just how much I’m accomplishing (more than I usually give myself credit for) and all the fantastic things we’re enjoying together as a family. Observing the optimism and enthusiasm of others is also highly uplifting and life affirming too and I just wanted to thank everyone who likes or comments on the snippets from my life that I share!
getting ready for baby’s arrival
He/she hasn’t even arrived yet but we’ve celebrating them just the same. I’ve been filling in a pregnancy diary each week as a lovely record for them and (when we remember) we’ve been taking a few bump photos as my pregnancy progresses. There’s a completely honest and natural shot that I love, where my hair is a total windswept mess but I just look so happy. It captures the moment so well!
My son and I have also been preparing some decorations for his brother or sister’s soon-to-be bedroom. I love rainbow colours (such a bright and cheery way to welcome baby into the world) so my son has painted little bro/sis a rainbow canvas which is really cute. I’ve made some mini rainbow bunting and a cross-stitch birth sampler too, which I’ve just got to add the finishing touches to once they arrive (like their name and date of birth, which I don’t know yet!).
simplifying life and taking the time to relax together by…
preparing for life with a newborn
I’ve been trying to be as organised as possible in readiness for our new arrival. And I’m really hoping I’ll be a lot more prepared the second time around than I was with my first! A few of the things I’ve put in place so far include;
Hiring a Mother’s Help
Decluttering and organising our upstairs spaces
Meal prepping some frozen meals (also buying an additional freezer for the frozen meals/frozen fruit and veg, although I know this probably sounds like overkill!!) I love having the extra freezer space, I wish I’d gotten one sooner.
Buying any baby clothes, consumables and equipment we need (although we didn’t need much as I have plenty from my first already)
Practising hypnobirthing, breathing and relaxation techniques
Preparing some activity boxes of simple activities for my son that I can pull out once the baby arrives so there’s less pressure to keep him entertained when I’m a total sleep-deprived zombie! These activities include;
- sticker books and jigsaws I sourced from charity shops
- a couple of his favourite magazines
- some handmade felt activity packs
- some pre-cut sticky back plastic and collage materials
Preparing these activities has inspired me to write some blog posts sharing more details on how I prepare different activities for my son, I’ll share links to these once they’re ready!
We had hoped to have painted the baby’s room ourselves. I know baby will be in with us at first but I just didn’t want the pressure of decorating a nursery with a newborn. However, my partner is just awful at painting (he would tell you the same!) and was really struggling to get the job done. I was starting to get really anxious about it as my due date was rapidly approaching but then I thought; why are we doing this to ourselves and what would be the simplest solution?
So, we decided to hire a painter and decorator and we asked them to paint the hall, stairs and landing too while they’re at it! It was so worth the money we spent for the time and stress that we saved in the end!
I’ve also said goodbye to my book club (for the next few months at least) while I concentrate all my energies on preparing for and welcoming a newborn into our family. What’s fantastic though is that a friend and fellow Surviving Life Book Club member offered to take on the book club while I’m away so all of our books of the month and book discussions are still going ahead as normal (thank you Helen)!
We’ve also been relaxing together by playing a few new games. My son is starting to understand concepts such as turn-taking and counting a bit more so it’s felt like a really good time to try out some different games with him. A couple of his favourites so far are Shopping List* by Orchard Toys and Ladybird Ladybird, one of my partner’s favourite games he kept from when he was a child (or The Game of Ladybirds* as it is now known) and we can’t wait to try out more as his confidence increases. Are there any others you would recommend?
*(Please note that I’ve included links to some of our favourite games. These have not been sponsored or gifted and I’m not affiliated with the toy company in any way, I’m just sharing them because we really enjoy playing them)!
Well, our lives are about to change dramatically with the imminent arrival of baby number 2! I think the next few months are going to be more about survival so I’m sure my Summer update will look very different to this one.
Wish me luck, I think I’ll need it!
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5 thoughts on “Our inspired family life; Spring living”
I really like insights into other people’s lives, I’m quite nosy like that 😉
I love all of your photos, they bring out such colour & joy!
Glad the new recipes are going well, it’s always good when trying something new turns into a positive experience.
I think hiring a painter & decorator is a really good investment, and it sounds like you’re all pretty well prepared in every other way you can be for the new arrival. Not long to go now! Keep playing games, enjoy the quiet while you can 😉
In case you have to rush off and I don’t get to say it before… wishing you all the very, very best, the little one will be arriving to beautiful family!
Natalie, you have been so busy!! I love your determination to lead and inspired family life, your little boy and his future sibling are going to grow up knowing they have one lovely Mummy! In regards to the food issue, I have to admit that I struggle a bit too. My kids tend to prefer the cakes I make (the OMS website/Forks over knives have some good ones), but main meals are a bit trickier. My daughter, who LOVES cheese is quite happy with a vegan version of mac and cheese though, and they both love tomato based pasta sauce. We eat soya yoghurt and alpro choc puddings and they seem happy with those. Orchard Toys games are brilliant! Their puzzles are great (lots of talk about), and my kids loved Shopping List and Crazy Chefs.
The best of luck for the coming few weeks! My daughter is 9 next week and it feels like yesterday she was tiny. I loved having a May baby – it is the perfect time of year 🙂 xxxx
Thank you Jenny, I can’t believe my son is already 4! It’s frustrating isn’t it trying to expand the diets of fussy eaters?! I feel like I’ve learnt so much about healthy eating and grown so much in confidence with preparing healthy meals, yet my family still aren’t getting as much benefit from this as they could. I’ll have a look at Crazy Chefs, we’ve not tried that one yet 🙂 xx
Aww what a lovely post Natalie. I really enjoyed reading it. Sounds like you’ve been really embracing Spring 🙂 Thank you so very much for the lovely mention. I really appreciate it. I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying #joyinspring and #mydailythankyou, and thank you for all of your lovely contributions. Always so nice to read. Your night time adventures sound like lots of fun! We love the “shopping game” too! We’ve tried a few others from the Orchard collection and they’re all good but the shopping list is our favourite! You sound really well organised for your baby’s arrival. I wish you all the very best and keep us posted! xx
Thank you so much Emma, I love joining in with your hashtags, I think they’re such a fantastic idea! I’ll let you know how I get on 🙂 xx