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Now that there are five of us in the house, time seems to be somewhat fleeting...even more so than usual.
It's amazing how much time the little day to day tasks suddenly take when there are 3 little ones in the house - something as simple as emptying the bins can end up taking 10 minutes because you have a toddler audience asking questions at every step, a crawling baby trying to wriggle between your legs and a newborn crying out for a feed/nappy change/attention as soon as you try to do anything!
Since we took on life with 3 children under 3, it's been all about finding ways to stretch our time further, enjoy the little moments of me time as much as possible (because they are so rare!) and find new and innovative ways to use time more efficiently.
Here are some of the ways we've been getting the most out of our time lately:
Making Meals Go Further
Cooking is a time of extreme stress these days - our 3 year old always wants to "help" which is lovely but tends to make tasks take longer than they need to, our 1 year old also wants to involve himself by crying to come into the kitchen and opening every cupboard and pulling out every pan if we let him, and our newborn seems to sense when mummy is about to start making dinner and decide THAT is when he wants to be fed.
Of course, with so many hungry mouths to feed cooking is also unavoidable but in order to make life easier I try to use the time I spend cooking as efficiently as possible - so instead of spending an hour making enough food to serve us one meal each, I double up and make enough to save an extra portion for dinner another evening.
This means that we end up with lots of meals in the freezer which are homemade and healthy, and ready to go after a few minutes in the microwave - making for some nice, low-stress days where no cooking is required! Perfect!
Spending Evenings More Wisely
The evenings, after the children are all in bed, are the only times that my partner and I get together as a couple now - so whereas we once may have spent that time indulging in separate hobbies or scrolling through social media on our phones, we try to use it to do something as a couple instead.
Usually we'll choose to do something like watch a movie together - not the most exciting way to spend an evening you may think, but that time to reconnect and just be together is so important.
My partner recently switched to e-cigs, which means he gets to spend more time indoors during his free time too, whereas he used to spend so much time popping in and out to have a smoke - now there's no need! His time is spent inside, snuggling up and enjoying a movie - so much more enjoyable than standing on the doorstep in the wind and rain and a much better use of his time.
My partner recently tried blu PRO™ kits for the first time, he has used e-cigs for a while now but insist that blu PRO are among the best he's ever used giving a longer, smoother vape. After quite a few years of shopping around, he was excited to try something different... purchasing from blu was very straightforward and the delivery was so quick, they arrived in just a couple of days.
My partner loves that he doesn't need to worry about the smell of smoke lingering on him when he's around the children too - and this is something I also appreciate!
As a smoker of nearly 18 years who hated the smell of cigarettes on his clothes and hair, the idea of an odourless smoke was a pipe dream (no pun intended). With this in mind, for me the e-cig revolution was a welcome occurrence.
When I had the opportunity to test the blu PRO Kit I jumped at the chance.
The first thing that struck me was the overall design. It's very sleek and minimal, which is great as it means less fuss, less buttons and widgets and have to tinker with just to vape. The matt black almost rubberised coating means it's not prone to slippage or dropping which some other designs are.
The system has a nice unobtrusive weight to it, but still feels like a quality well made piece of kit.
It's a simple, but stylish tube with a V shaped clear tank, allowing me to see how much E-Liquid I have left. There's one slightly recessed button to activate it when I need to vape, and a blue LED style light indicating it's working. The charging port is small and sits on the main battery body.
Filling it is easy. Just unscrew the tank and mouthpiece from the main body/battery, remove the mouthpiece and fill the tank. The clear panel allows me to see just how much I have used as well as how much I have left and even has a 'fill to' level. Then screw it back together and you're done.
The battery is charged via a cable (supplied) with a standard USB connector at one end and a micro USB (for the battery) at the other. Whilst charging, the blue LED's at the end will flash, and will show as solid when fully charged.
After trying the blu PRO Kit I really can't see me going back to another tank or cigarette style e-cig system. The blu PRO Kit comes with one 1.8mg 10ml bottle of Tobacco Flavour E-Liquid.
Working To A Schedule
I may sound like I'm being way too OTT here but I find it imperative to have a schedule for EVERYTHING! I have planned activities with the children written up for the week so that I know that no matter how chaotic things get, I've done something fun and interesting with each of them at least once.
I schedule my house work and laundry so that I know it's all going to be done, I use a weekly meal planner to ensure that that we're all eating a healthy lunch and dinner each day and that no food is being unnecessarily wasted.
I really think that organisation is key!
What steps do you take to spend your time as wisely as possible? If you have any tips, please share them in the comments below!