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Archive for the ‘Family life’ Category

Mark Ellis Jan 2018

The February / March edition of The Green Parent magazine includes the latest in my series of interviews with parenting authors and experts.

I had a very entertaining chat with Mark Ellis, author of Digitox: How To Find A Healthy Balance For Your Family’s Digital Diet, who told me all about his family’s digital detox and tech-free Sundays – and left me feeling quite challenged about my own habits!

Parents have to do the heavy lifting and break their own addiction first. There’s no point telling children they can’t have technology on Sundays if you don’t apply it to yourself as well.

You can read the feature here (PDF).

Don’t forget, you can get £5 off a subscription to The Green Parent when you use my code HHILES. More details here.

 

 

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Amy Brown Dec 2017 - Jan 2018

The December / January edition of The Green Parent magazine includes the latest in my series of interviews with parenting authors and experts.

I spoke to Dr Amy Brown, an Associate Professor in the Department of Public Health, Policy and Social Sciences at Swansea University, about her book Breastfeeding Uncovered: Who really decides how we feed our babies? and how society is undermining   women’s confidence in their ability to breastfeed.

I can’t understand why we happily drink cow’s milk, which comes from another species, but are so disgusted by breastfeeding. People sit in coffee shops pouring cow’s milk into their drinks while criticising someone for breastfeeding at the next table. It’s messed up.

You can read the feature here (PDF).

Don’t forget, you can get £5 off a subscription to The Green Parent when you use my code HHILES. More details here.

 

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Oct Nov 2017.jpg

The October/ November edition of The Green Parent magazine includes the latest in my series of interviews with parenting authors and experts.

I spoke to writer, blogger and podcaster Tsh Oxenreider, founder of The Art of Simple, about her book At Home In The World and she gave me her top tips for travelling the globe with children.

There were times on the trip when Kyle and I would be frustrated that the kids weren’t amazed at everything, and we realised that when everything is awesome, nothing is awesome.

We need that down time in-between to just live life. We don’t need to have adventures all the time. This was a good lesson for me.

Full disclosure: I am a big fan of Tsh and have been for many years, so it was wonderful to have the opportunity to speak with her!

You can read the feature here (PDF)

Don’t forget, you can get £5 off a subscription to The Green Parent when you use my code HHILES. More details here.

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Get £5 off your subscription to The Green Parent magazine when you use my code HHILES.

I LOVE The Green Parent magazine. I’ve been a subscriber since early 2011 when I was pregnant with my older son and I’m still excited when my copy drops through the door. When I’ve subscribed to other magazines for more than a year I’ve often found that they start to repeat themselves, but every edition of The Green Parent manages to stay fresh and inspiring.

As an example, the latest issue includes articles about baby wearing, how to start a blog, stand up comedy, healthy cake recipes, home education, creativity, natural beauty products and how to awaken joy in your children’s lives. And that’s just a snapshot!

My first Green Parent feature appeared in the February/March 2013 edition and was entitled Could You Be A Stay At Home Mum? (I wasn’t an SAHM then but am now, so apparently I could!). Since the June/July 2014 edition I’ve written the regular Meet The Author series, and have had the privilege of interviewing the likes of Kim John Payne, Janet Lansbury, Richard Louv and Milli Hill.  You can find all my Green Parent stories here.

The Green Parent comes out every two months and is available in print and in a digital format. A 12-issue subscription (which lasts two years) costs £35 but you can get £5 off when you use my promotional code. Just head to the subscription page and enter HHILES in the “Do you have a coupon code?” box in the billing details section.

 

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mantra

I’ve been having a bit of a tough time lately. Oh, don’t worry – nothing is actually WRONG.  Everything has just seemed a bit difficult. You know the sort of thing – keeping on top of the house, looking after the boys, thinking about my work direction, trying to get time to be me rather than Mummy. When something as mundane as forgetting to buy olive oil is enough to make you snap, you know it’s time to take a hard look at yourself.

But as they say, when the student is ready the teacher appears, and help has recently come from two directions, one more unlikely than the other.

I recently interviewed the artist and author Lucy H Pearce for The Green Parent‘s August/ September edition (I work quite a way ahead for them – put it in the diary!). Lucy is the author of five books (and is working on her sixth and seventh as we speak) and we were chatting about her first, The Rainbow Way: Cultivating Creativity in the Midst of Motherhood. It’s been a long time since I thought of myself as a creative person (have I EVER thought of myself that way?) and while I was reading the book I struggled to see myself in the “Creative Rainbow Mother” archetype that she describes.

mermaid_hair

But somewhere along the line a little spark of creativity has been kindled deep inside. Since reading the book I’ve had my hair dyed an array of “mermaid’ colours, and after speaking to Lucy by Skype, I have even, perhaps more profoundly, been drawing a bit (not to mention filling page after page with labyrinths). And trying out a bit of lettering. This might not sound like much to you, but when you consider that my bullet journal generally just consists of very unfancy to do lists in my usual scrawl, this is a big change.

I won’t spoil the forthcoming interview (!), but Lucy highlighted the difference between creativity and “artistic-ness” and gave me a whole new way of looking at the blank page with a sense of excitement rather than terror. Thank you, Lucy!

labyrinths

In that vein, the picture at the top of the page is of a spread I did in my bullet journal of my new mantra (you can see the cover of my bullet journal in this post). When everything gets on top of me, I sing this quietly to myself: “Back and forward flows the sea, back and forward flows the sea, back and forward flows the sea.” If you want to hear the tune, go to the BBC website and listen to the Beachcombing episode of CBeebies Radio show Waterways. Waterways is a really charming and calming listen – I recommend it! And yes, CBeebies is still playing as big as a part in my life as it was when I wrote the “Iggle Piggle is a dying sailor” blog post that ruined In The Night Garden for so many people.

I love the sea – despite living more or less as far from the coast as you can in this country – and this gentle melody, ebbing and flowing like the tide, helps to ground me and stop me feeling overwhelmed. How can you feel stressed about forgetting to buy olive oil when the waves are always crashing onto the shore, pulled by the moon?

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