A TRIP TO SPAIN?


If you've been around here long enough, you'll know that every year the boys get to go away with my parents to Spain. They have a villa out there and it really is a home away from home, but of course, Covid seems to have other plans at this point and with the trip just over a month away, it's really in the balance of whether they'll still get to go or not. It's such a shame because I think we all know the only country that can't seem to get a full grasp on the outbreak is England, so to see travel restrictions being placed on countries with lower cases, but here we are and it's all a little frustrating. Ordinarily it wouldn't be much of an issue as the break is during half term, but because of the quarantine period upon return, it would result in both boys missing five days of school - something that we naturally would want to avoid.


CONFIDENCE BOO(S)T WITH BOOTS #AD


I think it goes without saying that 2020 hasn't really been the year any of us mapped it out to be in our heads, has it? I'm sure back in December when we thought of those New Year resolutions and the year ahead of us, we didn't think that we'd be here in August with not very much to show for it. It's been hard, even for the best of us, I myself would be lying if I said it hasn't been a struggle at times. Before lock down, I'd never truly placed much emphasis on self care and if I'm honest I didn't understand the importance of it, surely we're always caring for ourselves as a natural part of day to day life? Wrong. Being forced to stay inside your house 23 hours a day for the best part of two months really makes you regain focus and pretty quickly I realised how important making time for yourself really was. It doesn't matter in what shape or form that may be.

PREPARING PATRICK FOR SCHOOL

It's coming round so fast and thanks to Covid we have a few extra days before he begins full time, but nevertheless, his first day will be here soon. I think everyone with a child starting school this year will be a little apprehensive, there has been so much going on and even still now nobody knows fully if the academic year will begin how we've all been told in our letters and emails. Everything is still very much up in the air and being played by ear, which you can understand, given the circumstances. So, I haven't placed too much of an emphasis on 'ten sleeps to go', something Patrick loves to do when any big event is coming up, just because we simply don't know if that will be the case. The town in which the boys go to school is teetering on the edge of a local lockdown, so it's very much a 'we shall see' vibe. But, that doesn't mean I haven't been doing all I can in the way of other things to prepare my little boy, for big school.

MY BABY STARTS SCHOOL


I can't actually believe that my little Pip will be starting school in just a month. It always felt so far away and as if we had forever together, now it's pretty clear as his uniform hangs in his wardrobe, that we don't. I don't know if things will be delayed due to Covid, or if his start to school will be a far cry away from what we've all envisioned for the last four years, but I do know that come the end of this month, I'm going to be far more nervous than he will be. I don't think it would matter how many children you have, their first day of school is always a huge milestone, however this just feels so heightened not only because of everything we've been through this year, but because he's my last baby and still very much a baby he feels.

Grow your business by increasing your internet presence


If you run your own business, then it’s natural to feel you have to keep a lot of plates spinning at all times and the thought adding another to the mix can be daunting.
When we have multiple tasks to manage, some get more attention and scrutiny over their maintenance than others. The ones that fall into the latter category can often be the ones which would be making businesses a lot more profitable if only we had more time to spend on them.
Marketing your business digitally can reap many cost, market share and performance benefits. Business owners who know they don’t have enough hours in the day to conduct proper digital marketing campaigns and website audits assign digital marketing agencies to manage this area of their business for them.
Are there any other perks? Yes, and lots of them.

MASTER THE ART OF NESTING


If you are soon to be welcoming your first little bundle of joy into the world, the chances are that you have hit the nesting stage of your pregnancy. Becoming a mum is daunting, exhilarating, terrifying and joyful, all at once. The emotions that you feel throughout the third trimester of your pregnancy can be extreme at times, but you will also be preparing for the imminent arrival of your firstborn. This means getting your pad ready for tiny feet. You may have the crib to build, the nursery to decorate and the car seat to install. However, nesting can take on a mind of its own and sometimes you can feel as if you are not in control. This can be a worrying time. Follow this guide and channel your nesting instincts in the healthiest way.

FREELANCING: NAVIGATING YOURSELF THROUGH THE NEW NORMAL


The world is a different place to what it was 12 weeks ago; every aspect of life has changed in the UK. There’s no aspect of life that has been untouched by the pandemic, and as a result we are forced to find new ways to continue to lead some level of normal life, particularly when it comes to working. As a result of the pandemic, many people have had to change how they work, which has meant more and more people adapting to working in a different way going forward. For freelancers and those who run small businesses or blogs, there has been a lot to adapt to.
If you’re struggling to adapt to the new normal in regards to how you need to work at the current time and for the foreseeable future, you may find the below tips and ideas for working more successfully remotely, somewhat useful. 

THE NEW NORMAL


It's hard isn't it? I wasn't really going to talk much about the fact we're in a national lock down but figured that's a little stupid given how monumental this is for us. It's not exactly a time I want to sit and talk about how much we're struggling or enjoying this time either, because I know for so, so many out there that it's truly horrific. We are incredibly lucky, sure we're stuck inside and it's boring but how fortunate are we that all we have to do is simply stay home with our loved ones? How many people would trade a limb for that right now? I can't even count the amount of times when I wasn't self employed that I longed for days at home with my boys again, yet now we have it we realise just how grateful we should be for the ordinary.

LOCKDOWN HAIR PROBLEMS


Thanks to the Covid outbreak we've all had so much to deal with, I don't think any one family has gone through everything smooth sailing. At first I worried about losing loved ones, then it was home schooling and each week it seemed new problems rolled in. When lockdown hit I knew there was going to be a plethora of issues that we'd have to over come, but I never thought my own hair would be one of them. I know, I know, this is such a minute issue in the grand scheme of everything, people are losing loved ones, I am more than aware of all of this. However the thought I was about to maybe lose half my hair was still traumatic to me.

QUALITY VS QUANTITY


When I first realised I'd have to share my time with my sons, it panicked me, quite understandable I think so? I felt as though I was going to miss out on so much, our bond wouldn't be as strong and it would just overall be a bit sucky. While the last point stands, the first two do not. I know without any question that not getting every single night and day with my boys, has not lessened their love for me and certainly hasn't with mine for them, if anything it's heightened. I miss them like crazy when they're not around and I find myself using my time without them thinking of ways to make our time together much more exciting. And that right there is the biggest difference.

MY NETFLIX FAVOURITES


I don't really tend to do posts like this but recently whilst looking for new Netflix shows to watch I found a few similar posts online, and I loved them, sure Netflix always advertises it's new series or tabloids will review them but I like to read something unbiased and this was a perfect way to do so. I feel as though my taste in shows varies so much, I can be glued to Love Island every night or engrossed in some serial cop drama, I don't really stick to any genre though I do know what I don't like even on just reading a small synopsis.

AM I A SINGLE PARENT?


For some reason I always presume that most of you who read here already follow me on social media, and therefore know most of the goings on in my life. A little naive really given algorithms these days and even I don't see most of what the accounts I follow publish, but it's just something I always assumed given the majority of my traffic to personal posts like these, derives from my social platforms. Anyway, if you didn't know that me and John parted ways, well now you do. Since doing so, I've been asked a lot how I'm finding life as a 'single parent', one well meaning friend even suggested writing that in my social media bios as it's a new niche, and while I agree it's a great way to find other parents in similar situations, I just don't feel like it's me. Yes technically I am single, but am I a single parent? I don't think so.

7 Essentials For Your New Arrival


If you’re expecting and you’re a little bit worried about how to prepare then don’t worry, you have definitely come to the right place. Whether it’s your third child or you first, you need to ensure you’re as prepared as you can be. Luckily, there are lots of essentials you can buy to ensure exactly that. From a crib for them to sleep in to toys that aid development, the more you’re buying in advance the better. With that in mind, here are 7 essentials for your new arrival: 

UPPING YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY GAME


When you work in a creative industry it's always really hard to keep up and there is so much pressure to do so. For me in blogging, I find the most difficult part is getting my images how I want them. If you've followed me long enough you'll know I definitely prefer an outdoors shot as natural lighting just helps me ten fold. I struggle with indoor shots and it really does then limit me in terms of what pictures I can and can't get. That being said I've been thinking about whats to up my photography game and I think investing in some good backdrops, cute props and better lighting would be a good start.

SHAKE UP THE EVERYDAY - WEARING WIGS


There's so many big trends across the beauty industry every year and I feel one of the biggest ones of the last decade has been the rise in more and more people wearing wigs. I think it's fantastic, we should all be able to do whatever we like to switch up our look and I think wearing a wig is probably one of the quickest yet dramatic changes you can make. I've definitely noticed celebrities wigs changing by the week which has easily contributed to helping people be more confident in their hair choices, it's great.


WHY I WEAR HAIR EXTENSIONS


I am all for doing whatever makes you feel good in life, if you want to make changes to your appearance then go for it. For me my hair has always been one of my biggest pet hates, I've just never loved it and even though my natural curls are sure the envy of some, they're the bane of my life. My hair only truly got to a length I was happy with during each of my sons but of course we all know postpartum isn't kind to us and most of the luscious locks I'd grown, fast faded away. So I began to wear hair extensions. Initially clip ins and they really almost instantly gave me the look I was looking for, luckily for me my hair is naturally almost black, so colour matching was never an issue and I could always order what I needed online with ease.


WATCHING FOR HIDDEN COSTS

It’s really easy to just pay your bills and not take a look at what we’re spending. I actually took a look and over the past few months, I caught billing errors that have added up to over $2,000! So after discovering this, I thought it was important to share with you some tips I’ve learned going through this firsthand so you aren’t victims of overpaying.

CONNECTING PARENTS AND PROFESSIONALS | CHILDCARE.CO.UK


I think any working parent will be able to relate to just how stressful finding childcare for your little ones can be. I was really fortunate when I initially returned to work having had Noah, because my Mum (a qualified nursery nurse herself) was able to take the reigns so I didn't have those worries. But having worked as a Nursery Nurse myself too, I have seen the toll it takes on parents when they're trying to find the right form of childcare that suits their family best. These days people work all manner of hours and honestly it's so hard to find what you need, there isn't any childcare manual sadly, although I like to think that Childcare.co.uk is probably the closest thing to that.


'WHAT HAVE YOU DONE AT SCHOOL TODAY?' NOTHING.

Noah started school in January, half days, every day. He turned four before the January term began and luckily for us, that means his school of choice will let him attend every afternoon in a class they call Foundation. It's great, it's been undeniably positive for him and us. I'm watching him flourish more every single week, he'll come out with little phrases that I can't fathom where he has learnt it so it has to be school. Just this week he was telling me that if ships break in the ocean, and leak oil, it will make all the fish poorly 'that won't be good at all will it Mummy?'. It puts a smile on my face, for the first time in four years we're not the sole basis of his learning and it's lovely to hear him spout off these facts that even I forget myself.

WHAT'S A 'REAL' MUM


I feel quite lucky in that my small circle of women is a one that supports, builds up and congratulates each other on everything. Whether one of us got dressed before noon within the first six months of motherhood, or that we managed to cook something other than beige - I know these girls will be there with bells and whistles to triumph together. It seems the vast majority of mothers I follow across social media are very much the same, we understand it's a roller coaster and that the times that we're sitting around all day in our lunch stained pyjamas are far more regular than we all care to admit. If I stood here today and posted on Instagram how I'd lost three stone and suddenly had hips to rival Shakira, I can bet my bottom dollar that people would congratulate me on working so hard. (Note, don't fear, this will never happen, cake is too appealing) But when the likes of Kylie Jenner pop up on my feed, people aren't so kind, I'd go as far as to say they're cruel - with harps of 'this isn't what a real mum looks like'. What's with the double standard, and who is the judge and jury of 'real mums'.

NOAH YOU'RE SIX


My baby you're really a boy now, not that you haven't been since birth but you're growing up so fast, I don't want to take my eyes away for a second. I couldn't be prouder to be your Mummy, you amaze me every single day. Though you're changing right in front of me, your personality remains the same and I couldn't be happier knowing you're still the kind, caring, sweet little boy that started to show way back in 2014.

2020


I'm being cliche before I start this, I already know. I really didn't want to do a whole 'new year, new me' post, because that couldn't be further from my mindset - but it feels like the elephant in the room not to acknowledge it's a brand new year, especially given how much happened in 2019. If you're new here, I am now a single Mum, my choice and one that I am happy with, however it doesn't really mean that 2019 wasn't incredibly hard. A lot of upheaval, admittedly not as much for me as there was for John, but still a lot of change in our household which me and the boys are still definitely getting used to. I don't want to go into everything too much, as I'm so mindful of how what you put online isn't really footprints in the sand, more of giant footprints in wet concrete, so I don't want to put anything out there that I may want to take back in a few months or years. You have to be considerate of which I'm trying my absolute best to be. So 2020..