Parenting

Last night was the first time in ages that I’ve remembered my dream. Full of locked buildings and the feeling of needing to escape, it was an unusually weird one! I’m putting it down to the fact that I’ve just started watching Stranger Things on Netflix, which is amazing but rather freaky!

I don’t normally remember my dreams in the morning, because my sleep is so disturbed since the arrival of Babylish. She is still waking a few times a night so precious uninterrupted sleep is something of a distant dream for me.

What is the meaning of childrens dreams?

I’ve always loved dreaming though. Bad dreams are few and far between and generally my dreams are set in beautiful places with an air of mystery, magic and intrigue. Throughout my life I’ve had a few reoccurring dreams. When I’m lucky enough for them to return they fill me with a familiar warmth and happiness.

dream-world

One involves a secret room in a house full of abandoned treasure and antiques for me to discover. I was brought up on the Goonies and have always loved a good treasure trove! My other reoccurring dream is about looking into the most beautiful, crystal clear sea water and having sea animals communicate with me. Adding fuel to the theory I was a mermaid in another life!

I’ve been thinking about dreams since the team behind adjustable beds from Adjustamatic got in touch with me to say they are working on a new campaign with Ian Wallace, a world leading dreams expert. Together they are creating a series of videos around different aspects of the wonderful world of dreams. In the first video they look at what children’s dreams mean and why children dream, it’s quite fascinating!

I often think about what my children dream or even IF Babylish dreams? Can babies dream? Chatting with Littlelish who is now 7 to find out about her dreams I discovered that like her mumma she was having trouble recalling the fact that she dreamt at all.

It got me thinking, why do some people recall their dreams and others don’t? I googled it and apparently it even has scientists stumped.

Hopefully she does learn to remember her dreams though, I have so much enjoyment remembering my most beautiful, extraordinary dreams full of adventure and magic.

lish-collab

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indian-summer-date-nightI’m not going to lie to you, these last few weeks have been hard work. We are not sleeping massively well (show me parents of an 8 month old who do!), work has been really demanding for both of us and we just seem to be burning the candle at both ends every single night.

The thought of a date night didn’t really appeal. We were too exhausted to be romantic, do you know what I mean? After a particularly stressful Friday what I really wanted was to curl up in the foetal position and rock myself a bit… that or sleep for about 3 days.

I had already sneaked a peak at this months Indian Summer Just us box date night and seen there was something to do with meditation, that is a bit like sleeping right? So against every bone in my body that was telling me to go to bed (at 7pm) I suggested we open the box and have our date night. I thought it could really do us some good as we’d spent the week sat next to each other on the laptop in the evening, him doing his work, me doing mine. Oh the romance! It’s not very often we have such a week and I could tell that some ‘us’ time was in order.

We laid out the rug and meditation blanket, lit the candles and incense (which smelt totally divine!) made our cups of delicious soft chai and opened the contents of the box. We chatted through the activities and conversation starters and it really perked us up. I started to feel quite a bit better within minutes of doing something different and of the non moping variety. We talked about India and the Taj Mahal, both agreeing we’d like to visit one day. We asked each other questions and got a full house of correct answers! Trying to name the different karmasutra positions had us giggling…

flyingwishpaper

Then we opened the flying wish paper. I’d not heard of this before but the concept was lovely. You wrote down your wish, your dream or your fear (if you wanted) on red thin paper. You then scrumpled this up and concentrated on your wish. Straightening the paper out, you then rolled it into a tube and placed it on the base, touching it with a flame. The wish burned brightly and then flew upwards before turning to ash and floating back down again. It was quite mesmerizing to watch and it got us thinking about our dreams for the future and what was truly important to us.

burning-flying-wish-paper

From here it seemed to make sense to do our meditation. Plus I was looking forward to the relaxation. Initially we wanted to do the couples meditation facing each other with knees touching but we had some technical issues as my other half finds it weirdly difficult to put his knees towards the floor in this position so our knees were at very different levels. So we opted for back to back which felt supportive and strong. It was comforting to have our bodies touching in this way. Personally I found the meditation surprisingly easy and I absolutely loved it. My partner didn’t find it quite so simple and got very fidgety towards the end… I will definitely be giving it another go again either on my own or with him if he is willing!

karmasutra-game

Feeling relaxed we opened up the Karmasutra game. Not knowing what to expect , we did have a good giggle at some of the photos and phrases. As a couple we are pretty comfortable with each other in this way so were willing to give the game a go and actually we were rather pleasantly suprised. Selecting different cards, you were supposed to follow the instructions given. Luckily it wasn’t as cringeworthy as it sounds… the game was about intimacy, massage, sensuality and love and we actually really enjoyed making the time for each other. I totally forgot how tired I was and we managed to lose a few hours by candlelight…

Romantic, sensual and spiritual is how I would describe this months box which personally is a winning combination for me. The Just us box date night once again succeeded in taking us out of our every day normality, allowing us to escape for a few hours to a place where romance lives.  When our lives are so busy and tiring and we don’t seem to be able to get a moment of togetherness, having these evenings means we can reconnect and reminds ourselves just what it is that we have.

What I love is the contents of this box can be reused over and over again so we can have more Indian Summer nights if we would like or we can just use the different elements as and when we need them. I will be burning some more of the soothing incense and giving the mediation ago on my new meditation blanket. Littlelish has already been playing grannies with the silk scarf (hilarious) and will no doubt be begging to make wishes using the flying wish paper. Sadly we didn’t get round to using the Henna but I think we will have some fun as a family with it as Litlelish is also studying India as a topic on her return to school.

Thanks again to Just us box for gifting us this months date night box, we love it. Just to clarify, my thoughts and opinions above are very much my own! Should you wish to sign up to Just us box don’t forget there is currently a sale on until 12pm 4th September where you can receive 15% off by typing in LISH15. If you are too late for this sale you can receive 10% discount by using the promo code LISH10.

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A few months ago I was introduced to a new start up called Just us box. The idea is a themed monthly date night subscription box which encourages you and your loved one to disconnect from the screen and reconnect with each other.

date-night-box

We are probably the perfect candidates for this concept with a 7 month old baby, a 7 year old and a period house we are renovating. It’s pretty safe to say we don’t get much opportunity to have date nights. Our standard night consists of taking it in turns trying to get the little one to stay asleep, sorting out the mess of the day (wondering how on earth it is possible to have made so much mess) and if we are lucky an episode of Suits on Netflix. Yep it’s romance a go go in our house!

You see the thing is we are happy together, very much in love. We text each other several times a day with sweet nothings and silly emojis, we love spending time together and everything is generally sweet. Which means we don’t really bother with date nights. It’s silly I know but when things are ticking over and you are happy you forget to make the effort to do these kind of things, it’s not just us is it?

stargazing-date-night-boxdatenightcontents-of-date-night-box

So July saw the launch of Just us box and we were lucky enough to be asked to review the first box which was the date night Let’s go stargazing. It arrived just before we were about to leave for our summer holiday so we decided it would be fun to have our date night in Spain. With the theme being stargazing we knew we’d be able to do it over there too. When our box arrived, I was super excited to see what was inside and pleasantly surprised when I unwrapped it. There was a mini picnic blanket, a telescope, a telescope to make together, candles, some sweets, a thermos flask, some hot chocolate, a passion pouch including some glow in the dark paint and lipstick and a UV light, a pretty jar and a set of challenges and activities to get you to love, laugh and lust. It was creative, well thought out and we couldn’t wait to give it a go.

As we were going abroad we couldn’t take everything with us but took the essentials like the telescope, the challenges and activities, the passion pouch and the sweets! We decided we’d have to replace the picnic blanket with a two sunloungers and the hot chocolate with chilled white wine! We didn’t get round to doing our date night the first week of our holiday. I was really keen on doing it but with dinners out, lots of sun which zonks you out and kiddies who didn’t want to go to bed it wasn’t always possible.

Then in our second week, we made sure we put the kids to bed extra early and set up for our night of stargazing. We had to wait until it was really dark but by about 10:30 we had pulled the sunbeds together, surrounded them with tealights, poured the wine… and the sweets! It instantly felt really romantic and it made me realise how special and rare it was for us to do something like this together. We used an app on the ipad called night sky which maps out the constellations and planets so we could see what we were looking at. Funnily we realised that the constellations you could see here were different to at home, Orion’s belt was nowhere to be seen. First we spotted Mars, which glowed bright red and above it Saturn. They were in the constellation Scorpio which we could also see clearly, as well as Sagittarius. We looked at the really bright stars together and learnt a bit about their names and found birds, dolphin and dragon constellations, it was the first time we’d ever stargazed together and we were captivated. We chatted about the world, the planets and found ourselves having conversations we had never really had before either.

stargazing-together

altair

As the night went on we watched the constellations change and move as the earth rotated. Staring up at the vast night sky felt consuming, magical and somehow really profound. We chose a star together, called Altair just above the big bird Aquila. Getting very much lost in the evening together we suddenly remembered we had challenges and activities to do. We pulled out the torch which was definitely needed as it was super dark now, laughing as we chatted over the conversation starters and giggling with the contents of the passion pouch, attempting to draw on each other in the dark. When we looked at our watch we realised it was 1:30 in the morning and we had been stargazing for hours. Knowing our little person would be up in a few hours we decided to call it a night, although really we could have probably stayed out all night together and fallen asleep under the stars.

kissing I’d say our first Just us date night was a huge success and gave us much more as a couple than the contents of the subscription box. It sounds cheesy but the memory of that night will stay with me forever and probably go down in history as one of our best date nights ever…. until next time!

I think the fact you can do your date night from pretty much any location makes it a winner. If you can’t get a babysitter you can do it from home, if you are lucky enough to live near a romantic spot you can do it from there, you can take it away with you on a mini break or holiday, it’s so flexible. Plus you can do it on any night. It doesn’t have to be the Saturday night you’ve designated as date night if one of you isn’t feeling well or tired then you can just make it the next night, or the next, again super flexible. I think that is what makes it work for us. We are good at coming up with excuses not to put ourselves as a couple first, but eventually you find the time to do your date night and you wonder why on earth you didn’t do it earlier.

Just us box is available as a one off gift which is brilliant for Valentines day or a unique wedding gift and as a 3, 6 or 12 month subscription. A box costs £30 a month, £87 for 3 months, £162 for 6 months and £300 for 12 months and you can cancel at any time.

Sure we could all do date night without a date night box but we don’t do we? And if we do they normally involve dinner and a movie and nothing anywhere near as creative, romantic and fun as Stargazing or next months Indian Summer theme. The beauty of the date night boxes is that they are designed to get you to interact and engage with each other in a way you may not normally do. They get you talking and laughing and remind you just why you fell in love with your partner in the first place…

For 10% off any order from Just us box just enter LISH10 at the checkout. Next month box is Indian Summer and promises to be a passionate mix of colour and karmasutra. The cut off date for this particular box is the 15th of August.

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