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Here is all of my posts aimed at helping you make life easier and tackle everyday life challenges as a Mother, Daughter, Wife and Human Being. It is basically the “Lifestyle” section of the blog.

Living The Smart Life With Hive

 

The idea of a Smart home has always been rather intriguing. I had images of living in a house that resembled The Jetsons where everything was robotic and you could switch everything on and off just by telling the house to do so. I had heard of Hive for the first time last winter when after spending a few weeks on the beach in Barbados. We arrived to a dark, freezing house that took 10 years to warm up. Complaining about it to a friend ( as you do) she said. ” Have you not heard of Hive? We control everything from our phone and put the heating on a few hours before we land”. What??? After having a look at their website i saw that they not only have smart heating devices but everything else from lightbulbs, door sensors, security cameras and even baby monitors.

So when I received an email from HIVE Home asking if I was interested in testing out some of their smart home products. I was thrilled!

I received a cute little gift box with a complimentary Active Light bulb, The Hive Hub, Hive Information Pack and some yummy treats!! Thank you Hive 🙂 You first need to register an account with your Hive Hub and then connect it to the Hive devices in your home. Once that is done, PRESTO you are set and can now make your home a smart home!

hive

The Active Light Bulb

I was interested to see what an active lightbulb does. It is basically a regular light bulb that can be set and controlled remotely from your phone. I was surprised at how easy it was to set up. I just screwed it into my lamp and that was it. It was so easy to use that even my toddler was able to figure it out when he got hold of my phone. Once it was ready I played with it using the app. I could change the dimness, glow, colour as well as schedule times for the light to come on and off. It wasn’t until I researched it a little more that I realised I could literally command my lights on through an amazon echo ( If i had one). OH MY GOD, I can have a Jetson house!

Pros

  • Midnight trips downstairs do not have to end with you on your face. Just tap the app and the light is on before you have even reached the room. This is perfect for me as when my husband is offshore, I do get a little scared in the dark. Don’t judge me! So being able to put the lights on before entering the room really helped.
  • At first I wasn’t sure what the point of having different colours was. However since playing around with it, it is proven to be a favourite for my 2 year old son. We can now turn the room blue and pretend to be swimming or change the colours around and have our own in house disco. I think this lightbulb would be a great highlight for children and we may just move to Gabriel room when he gets older.
  • Installation is completely idiot proof. If I could install it then seriously anybody could.
  • If you have Google Play or Amazon echo than your lights (any everything else Hive) can be controlled through a simple voice command.

Cons

  • Now I want to buy lightbulbs & spotlights for every fitting in my house as well as an amazon echo so i can command the lights on just from speaking but my husband won’t let me!

The Active Heating Thermostat

hive

After trying out the lightbulb and having the hub. I convinced my husband to change our thermostats to Hive. Our thermostats were long overdue an upgrade and I liked the reviews the Hive Active Heating Thermostat received. We bought 2 heating elements online (one for underfloor heating and one for radiators) and they arrived 2 days later. You have the option to install the thermostats yourself which is £100 cheaper. However we didn’t want to take any chance of mucking it up so we opted for the installation.

The Element made a huge difference to our heating. I could feel the house warm up straight away opposed to several hours, especially our underfloor heating. They have different settings depending on your preferences and energy requirements. As well as holiday mode to inform the device when you are away. The devices are aesthetically pleasing on our walls and I love that I can warm the house up before we arrive home with just a tap on my phone. Now I can relax in Dubai this November and be sure to arrive to a cosy home.

Pros

  • Turning the heating on and off and adjusting is so easy. I can also schedule heating times right from the app.
  • The Hive App tracks when you leave the house and when you are close to arriving home. This is great if you want to save on energy bills as it does not heat up unnecessarily.
  • Hive is a British Gas innovation and is installed by qualified British Gas engineers
  • The device ensures that the temperature never goes below 8°C thus protecting your pipes from frost.

Cons

  • It doesn’t seem to track our energy consumption throughout the devices which I think would be a good option.

hive

Verdict

I am really happy with our Hive Products and would definitely look at investing into more of the products in the future. Hive’s Customer Service is impeccable and I like that they are a British company compared to its rivals. If you are interested in converting your home into a smart home then check out their website https://www.hivehome.com for more information. Be quick as they are having a deal where if you buy a heating element you get a free Amazon Echo Dot. I am gutted as I didn’t get this option and I dying to command my lights on!!!!!

 

hive

This post includes Gifted Samples

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Why Goat’s Milk Is Our Milk Of Choice For Our Son

Over the last year and a half, I have been bombarded with questions from readers and friends regarding why I choose to give our son goats milk instead of cows. I get it, it is a little strange. Especially when we have grown up in a society that depends so much on cows milk products for calcium and bone health. The thing is that I have seen the benefits of cutting out cows milk first hand on numerous occasions. I wrote a post on why cows milk was not an option which you can read here. So I thought I would write a post on why i chose goats milk over other milks to answer some of your questions.

Easier to Digest

Both my husband and I have digestive issues. I, like most women, suffer from bloating and a sluggish system whereas my husband has a sensitive stomach with family history of inflammatory bowel disease. So it only made sense to me to choose an option for my son that benefited his digestive track but also gave him all the nutrients he needs to grow. Cows milk is notorious for being quite difficult for humans to digest in general. However if you are prone to a sensitive gut it can be even worse.

Trust me you do not want to be standing behind someone who has consumed cows milk dairy AND has a sensitive stomach! A close friend of mine seemed to react every time he consumed cheese or milk products. After years of embarrassing encounters and almost being thrown out of a taxi. He finally decided to eliminate cows milk and the results were incredible. Almost over night his rather gassy stomach was transformed and it was a relief for him, and for everyone else around him!

Goats milk is very similar nutritionally to cows milk however it is a lot easier to digest. That is because it has a lower percentage of lactose and other milk sugars that generally cause irritation in the bowel. Its proteins also form a softer curd making the digestive process less strenuous on the body.

Less allergenic

I will never forget our trips up to the local goat farm as a kid to get fresh goats milk for my brother. Both of my brothers unfortunately suffer from severe eczema. To the point where even the act of sitting down on the couch causes their skin to split open and weep. So on the advice of doctors my mother was told to eliminate cows milk and buy fresh goats milk for them to drink instead.  Eliminating cows milk as well as gluten has worked wonders for them and to this day both of my brothers avoid cows milk dairy as much as possible.

A lot of people nowadays experience allergic symptoms after consuming cows milk dairy. This is because of the protein casein which is highly inflammatory. I remember as a singer (back in the day) we were told to avoid any dairy before a performance because it was mucus forming in the body and throat making it difficult to sing clearly. Mucus is usually a sign of inflammation.

What about cheese and yogurt?

This is probably the biggest question I get asked and one that is valid. Though I believe we do not need to eat cheese and yogurts. In todays society they are big staple foods and easy options to give to children. So what do we do? We buy dairy free plain coconut yogurt and my son loves it. You can buy flavoured dairy free yogurt however the sugar content for me is too high for a 2 year old. So we buy plain yogurt and add a drizzle of honey or jam for flavour. It is Gabriel’s favourite treat and keeps me at ease knowing he isn’t consuming too much sugar and dairy. There are also goats milk options available though I have found that Gabriel prefers the coconut flavour.

What about Nut Milks?

My husband and I are huge fans of nut milks especially almond and hazelnut. However i did not feel that they gave the essential nutrients a baby or toddler needs to grow and develop. Store bought nut milks are tasty and handy but look at the ingredients and it can get a bit confusing. A lot of them only have 2% almonds in them which baffles me to be honest. Basically the remaining 98% is water and additives which doesn’t give a lot nutritionally. It is ok for me and my husband to use occasionally. However for a growing toddler we prefer the nutritional benefits of goats milk.

I hope this answers all of your questions. Please note that I am not a medical professional. These are my own personal preferences which I feel is best for me and my family. You are entitled to do what you think is best for you. We buy Delamere Goats Milk which is available from Asda at an affordable price.

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#HotLikeAMother : Aberdeen’s Interiors & Architecture Queen Lindsey Hesketh

By Posted on 15 5 m read

#HotLikeAMother is the new blog series created by Confidently Kylie that looks to break the barriers and expectations of Motherhood. Too often we hear that when you become a mother you must conform and sacrifice who you are and become the perfect picture of a frumpy, homemaking woman of the 50’s. But I call Bull Shit. Society’s expectations often brings mothers down. Making them feel like they are no longer relevant. At Confidently Kylie, we are here to bring mothers up and inspire mums to embrace their inner fire.

In this series I will be interviewing and getting to know some of the UK’s most kick ass mums. From inspiring boss babes, to stylish fashionistas, to just damn right inspirational mothers. All in the quest to encourage mums to go for their passions and be Hot Like A Mother…….

If you would like to be featured or know someone who should then please contact me at Kylie@ConfidentlyKylie.com 

Meet This Months Hot Mother

Mother of Two and Bonafide Boss Babe. Lindsey co-owns London and Aberdeen based architecture practice ABN7 Architects along with her husband Hugh. As if that wasn’t impressive enough she is also one of the minds behind Granite and Smoke, an up and coming online homeware boutique. Offering unique high quality home accessories for the modern home. When you first meet Lindsey you cannot help but be charmed by her chic yet artistic style ( she has pink hair people!). Her soft voice and genuine interest in others instantly makes you feel at ease. She runs both businesses from home while looking after her two boys Jackson (5) and Stanley (2)

I spoke to Lindsey to talk about how she juggles motherhood and her passions. As well as get some expert tips on being a Boss Mum.

 

How do you juggle the demands of motherhood together with running two businesses?

“It’s a constant juggle and often a struggle! For me having childcare and a supportive husband and family helps with trying to find a good work/life balance, but it’s not always easy. Especially when the kids get sick or the social calendar is busier than normal. We are always learning from our mistakes and trying to figure out ways to stay on track. What I find helps is regular exercise, meal planning and trying to do housework and jobs in the evenings then leaving our weekends free for family time, but it doesn’t always work out that way!”

Do you have any daily habits or rituals that make your days more productive and manageable?

“I don’t really have many daily rituals, other than coffee! But weekly I do try to make some time for myself, by doing some exercise or meeting a friend. I think it’s important for everyone to have a little me time, otherwise resentment can start to build”

Both of your business are focussed on home & design. Why do you love interior design? Do you have a go to theme or style?

“I’ve always loved interiors for as long as I can remember. I studied Interior Architecture at university before doing my Masters in Architecture, it was the interiors that drew me to architecture in the first place! I’m not sure I have a go to look or theme, but there are probably some rules I find myself following and repeating. In the past I’ve often worked to quite a neutral palette as a base, but I also like to use the same materials and colours throughout a project to give a sense of unity.  I’m more relaxed about using colour & decorative details these days and I’m even more open to the odd clashing detail, as long as the overall look is contemporary and has a timeless aspect…perhaps having kids has played a part in influencing this!?”

What are your to go places to buy home accessories? Any recommendations?

“There are too many to list them all, but some of my fave places are small stores in London such as twentytwentyone and SCP…and I always enjoy a good browse around the The Conran Shop and Liberty’s. I also love IKEA! And I can happily spend an evening browsing independent stores online through Trouva 🙂 More locally my fav shop is Curated Stories in Aberdeen!”

Mothers tend to always think about others while neglecting themselves. What do you do for your own self care?

“Like most mothers I don’t spend as much time as I’d like or dream of spending on self care. When it comes to beauty and pampering I’m one of those people that gets their nails done for a wedding and love it so much that I announce that I’m going to make it a regular thing. Then I don’t do it again for another two years!
I do really love buying make up, beauty products, going for a spa treatment, getting dressed up for a night out, but I don’t prioritise these things as often since having family…maybe one day I will! For now, self care for me on a regular basis is trying to eat a healthy balanced diet and exercise, but I also believe allowing myself things I enjoy like coffee and a glass of wine or G&T is part of self care!”

How do you stay confident and happy in your own skin when juggling so much?

“I don’t feel good when my hair is a mess, so I always make sure I have regular haircuts, but I sometimes get bored having short hair so I like to change my colour from time to time! I also love to have a good laugh with friends and family, I think laughing is so important for wellbeing and feeling happy”

What is your go to modern mum outfit?

“A denim shirt, black jeans and converse. With a coloured lipstick. Sometimes I like a printed converse like a leopard print or something. I am not big on accessories. I tend to buy staple pieces such as earrings and stay with that”

 

Last but not least, what advice would you give to mums who would like to go after their dreams but are too scared?

“My advice would be to just be true to yourself. Go at your own pace and keep believing in yourself.”

Aberdeen's interior design

If you want to hire Lindsey for some Interior design advice or Architectural work than check out their website Abn7architects.co.uk and stay on the look out for the launch of Granite and Smoke.

If you would like to feature  or you know someone who would be perfect for it. Then contact me at Kylie@confidentkylie.com

Follow Confidently Kylie On Instagram and Facebook!

 

 

 

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4 Ways To Make Friends In Adulthood

I remember the first moment I walked in to my very first baby class. I’d only been living in Aberdeen for a year and I was eager to meet some new people. I parked the car and anxiously walked up to the door with my changing bag and carseat in tow. Surely this should be easy right? We were all new mums with babies. We were all in the same boat. I walked in ready to practise my conversational skills after what felt like an eternity of baby talk. Only to find that I was a lot more awkward than I had thought. Conversation didn’t come easily and I was beginning to think I had not only lost my waistline. But my personality too. Making friends in Adulthood shouldn’t be hard, but it can at times feel worse than high school. I learnt the hard way. So here are ways to make friends in adulthood that has helped me through the years.

I came across this awkward feeling quite a few times during my adult life. Having moved from Australia to Switzerland, Switzerland to France and eventually France to Scotland. I have had my fair share of daunting and sometimes embarrassing moments whilst on the hunt for friends. The thing is that once you get over the fear of looking like an idiot or being rejected. It can come pretty naturally. All you have to do is push a few boundaries and bite the bullet. Even if you feel like a complete loser.

Making Friends in Adulthood

 

Get out and about

This may seem obvious but you will be surprised by how many people tell me they can’t make friends yet are constantly glued to their living room sofa. If you want to meet people and make friends then you need to get out. Join a sporting club or attend a local event or party. Either way get yourself out of the house. I made quite a few good friends through Facebook groups whilst in France and I know my husband met some of his now best friends through an expat football club. You need to make an effort. I know a few people who complain about not having friends but then never come out when asked.

Be bold

This story is one that was recounted numerous times with disbelief when I lived in Switzerland. Thankfully when i first moved to Switzerland I already knew a handful of people who took me under their wing. However most of them being boys, I craved a friendship that only girls can understand. So we were in a bar one day when I saw a group of girls sat talking at the bar amongst themselves. One of the girls had caught the attention of one of my friends. Wanting an excuse to talk to them and i used my friend as a cue to go start a conversation. I remember walking up to them and just sitting down and introducing myself. It turns out they were all from Brazil and spoke great english. Fast forward a few months and we were all inseparable and saw each other every week during the year and a half I lived in Switzerland!

Make a conscience effort

When I first moved to Aberdeen I found it really hard. Harder than anywhere else I had lived. Maybe it is because it is a small town. Or because people already have a tight group of friends since school years. But one thing was for sure. I had never felt more awkward in my life. My husband, who was just my boyfriend at the time was working offshore and I was stuck at home scrolling Facebook feeling extremely isolated. Sad isn’t it? So when one of our mutual friends invited me to her hen night. I jumped at the idea. It was a great excuse to get dressed up, have a drink and of course meet people. After meeting a few girls that night, I made a conscious effort not to let the opportunity pass me by. I added them on Facebook and then plucked up the courage to ask them if they wanted to meet for a coffee. They both said yes and now are two of my bestest friends. One of which was my maid of honour at my wedding!

Don’t force it

Last by not least, the best advice I can give is to not sabotage yourself by trying to be something you are not. When you try too hard to fit in and make some friends it usually does the opposite. People can tell if you are being fake straight away. Just relax, put your self out there and make a conscious effort. Be natural and true to yourself and hopefully you will make some rewarding friendships that last a lifetime.

 

Making Friends In Adulthood

 

 

 

 

 

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Goodbye Pads & Tampons, Hello Menstrual Cup

Women seem to have been dealt the short end of the stick when it comes to bodily changes and functions. Not only do we go through puberty earlier than boys. We are also burdened with the task of growing and birthing a child, menopause and of course our periods. As we get older we all become accustomed to our monthlies. But just because getting your period comes with the territory. It doesn’t mean that we need to suffer every month while ruining our best loved trousers and pants. So I recently made the switch to the Mooncup® menstrual cup and finally said goodbye to the dreaded pads and tampons. Here’s why

It Helps The Environment & Your Pockets

The Mooncup® menstrual cup is made from soft medical-grade silicone which is claimed to last as long as 5 – 10 years when looked after properly. Compare that to regular pads and tampons that not only can be used once but are often covered in plastic materials that cannot be recycled. Imagine the amount of pad and tampon waste we must be producing in the world. There is going to come a point where the earth cannot hide it anymore! Yuck!

The environmental factors alone were enough to intrigue me however the savings I made was a deal breaker. A Mooncup costs approximately £20 for a cup that can last up to 5 years, even 10 with good maintenance according to some websites. As I have endometriosis and suffer from intensely heavy periods. I easily spent between £15 to £20 per month on menstrual products. According to the Huffington Post the average woman in the UK spends approximately £13 on pads and tampons each month. And that does not include the extra cost of new underwear or trousers due to spillages.

It’s Great For both Light & Heavy Flows

I always had the dilemma of having to change from tampons to pads when my period was approaching the end. Which was a bummer as the pads would cause chaffing and just feel very unpleasant. However with the Mooncup it doesn’t matter how heavy you are. It holds 3 times more than a regular tampon and can be left in for 4-8 hours. So on my heaviest days when i usually had a few leakages I feel safe for longer and I rarely have any accidents. And on my lightest days I could carry on with my day with no discomfort at all.

They are super comfortable

There are times when I forget that I am wearing one or that I am even on my period. Something that never happened when I was using tampons and pads. The medical grade silicone is very soft and flexible making it really easy to fit to your body and doesn’t smell at all. At first I will admit I found it hard to wrap my head around. I had to cut the stem a few times to adjust it to my body and had to practise inserting it multiple times. However by the second month I had it down pat and never looked back. The only downside is that it can get messy when you are emptying the cup especially if you are in a public toilet. My advice is to carry some wipes to wipe the cup clean before reinserting and wash your hands thoroughly.

Useful Info

The cup comes in two sizes which are determined by your child bearing history and your age both of which can affect your pelvic floor tone. The size has nothing to do with your menstrual flow. Before the first use and after you have used the Mooncup you must sterilize it by boiling it in hot water for 5-7 minutes or by using a sterilizing agent.

The Mooncup® menstrual cup has really made my life a lot easier and I have found that I have suffered from a lot less cramps since using it. I truly recommend it to anyone who wants to feel more themselves when on their period. You can buy the cup at Boots or by clicking the links below. Visit their website for more info www.mooncup.co.uk

Hopefully you will join me by ditching the tampons and embracing the Mooncup!

This post contains a Press Sample

 

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menstrual cup

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Morning Habits For A Productive Day

Ugh…The dreaded mornings. I was never a morning person. I was and still am one of those people who loves their sleep. The one who hits the snooze button over a million times. Just to catch another minute or two of shut eye. When I was single and childless it wasn’t so bad. Getting ready in 20 minutes was easy if you knew what you were doing. But then I became a mum. Morning lie ins were no longer possible and I quickly found that if I wasn’t productive and organised in the mornings. Then my days were gone before I knew it and I felt like I had lost the day.

When you are a busy mum like myself, the morning routine can sometimes take its toll. Especially if your little ones were up during the night. However having good morning habits can not only boost your motivation. It can also set a positive pace for the rest of the day and help to reduce any stress or anxiety you may be feeling. So after 2 years of struggling to juggle everything. Here are my Morning Habits For A Productive Day.

Morning Habits For A Productive Day

Be the first to Wake Up

I admit this is something I still struggle with. Especially when my husband is home from offshore and when the weather is a bit drizzly. However as hard as it can be, waking up before my son and getting a few things done in the morning has been a life saver. The initial feeling of getting out of bed is the worst. However once you are out and dressed it actually feels somewhat therapeutic to have some quiet time to yourself. I use this time to get a workout done, reply to emails and drink my morning smoothie in peace. This calm start to the day puts me in a instant good mood and sets the precedent for the day.

Exercise in the morning

If you read my post on my belly donut dilemma then you know I am trying to get back into shape. But how do I find the time when my husband is offshore, I have a house to run, I am studying and I run a blog?! The only time and best time for me is in the mornings! I wake up and go down stairs to get a 30 min workout and shower before getting my son up and tackling the day. That way the workout and shower is done and I don’t have any excuses during the day to not workout. It has been proven that exercise can help to lift your mood and reduce stress. The rush of feel good endorphins just makes me ready to take on anything and there is no better time to feel motivated than in the morning.

Make the Bed & Get Dressed

This might sound daft but making the bed and getting dressed first thing in the morning can make a huge difference. For me it is like closure. I am dressed and my bed is made. So that means I am definitely not getting back in it and the day has officially begun. Getting dressed is especially important for me. Being a stay at home / work from home mum, it is super easy for me to laze around in my pj’s until late morning. However when I do this I find my motivation levels decrease and I feel more anxious and lazy with my appearance.

So now my outfit is prepared the night before ( which is usually my gym gear) and I get dressed as soon as I wake or have my shower. That not only prepares me for the day but also boosts my self confidence. Even if i am just staying in the house I will layout nice loungewear for the day ahead.

 

Healthy Breakfast

I love a fry up just like the next person. However I feel that when I eat a big unhealthy meal at breakfast it leaves me feeling sluggish and bloated. And can at times make me feel tired and lethargic. So I try and start my day with something light and healthy and leave the heavier things for a bit later. Especially now that I am working towards getting rid of the spare tyre, a healthy breakfast is a must. I love drinking my super green smoothie first thing in the morning and then follow it up about an hours later ( usually after my workout) with a bowl of fruit, gluten free granola and kefir or a veggie omelette. I find a breakfast that is full of healthy fibre and fruit aids my digestion and makes me feel more healthy and energised. Get my green smoothie recipe here

Make a Plan

Last but not least make a plan or list of all the things that you must do that day. When you have loads of things to do during your day like me it can feel overwhelming. Trying to wing it and not having some kind of structure to the day usually sets me up for failure. I end up being behind on my blog, study or feeling like I haven’t given my son enough quality time. It really helps to make a plan and compartmentalise the day by setting time for each task. That way you know first hand roughly how your day is going to be and can make sure that you have the right balance.<

Getting the right balance in life can be hard. But if you use your time effectively and incorporate some of these morning habits. Then you should be able to tackle each day productively!

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