Thursday, 5 September 2019

Bye Birks


It's time to say goodbye. Not to my blog, although I do think that may be on the cards somewhere along the line, but to my first ever pair of Birkenstocks. That's right, shoes. You have not gone crazy, stay with me.

See, I like to use things till they are utterly and completely used, on their last leg and often beyond this. My Birkenstocks are getting there-  if it were up to me I'd probably keep them in my draw for a long time, but something tells me that I should say goodbye.

Brief History:
These were my first ever pair of Birkenstocks which I purchased in Canada in 2015. They have been with me since.

What we've been through together:
A day in Toronto
  • Canada 2015 - was undoubtedly my best Canada trip to date. My other trips there have been pretty close but on this trip as a whole was amazing! I had so much fun!
  • My first solo trip (as in without my parents) - We went to Turkey together and had a ball
  • Malaysia 2017 - They came with me to Malaysia. Oh so Romantic.
  • Work  - I have worn these to my many jobs and never ever once felt uncomfortable.
  • Birth - This is one of the most important things I have done so far - I wore these to and from the hospital.
Everyday - I've worn these for everyday things. A lot of everyday things. A lot.

Enough said. Although they have been filled with amniotic fluid, (which has dried up now and there's no trace of it left that I know of), I still feel attached to them. They've been with me through so many important things in my life. Big things and small things, important things and things I can't even remember. They were my stepping stone into the world of Birkenstocks, into many different things actually. But I think they're about to retire. They've been on the road to retirement for a long time, I just haven't had the heart to admit it. Unless I can get the insole replaced or find a better use for them...

So long Birkenstocks.... or maybe I could use them as garden slippers?! Bye.

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Saturday, 3 August 2019

Travelling Mama: The Journey (2019)

In April this year, I did something I've never done before - I solo travelled with a baby. That's right, I went on a plane with baba and we flew all the way to Canada for my best cousins wedding. It was simultaneously amazing, terrifyingly frightening and a tiny bit liberating - that small sense of achievement and independence.

We got to the airport with plenty of time to spare but spent so much time trying to get a different seat (one more suitable for myself and baby) that when I went through security they said if I didn't go now, I'd miss my flight. The woman checking my flight details demanded to know what time I had arrived and why I was there so late... I told her we've been here for ages. I explained that I was with the airline people, not just lounging about killing time!

I sailed across a sea of marshmallows!
That moment I heard the words 'miss your flight' was horrible and I began to panic a little. It was probably apparent on my face as I'm not too good at hiding my feelings - but I felt that this made people more helpful. From that moment on, we did everything with triple the speed. They let the people at the gate know we were coming and I ran - actually ran through two buildings - to the gate. Obviously Baby B screamed the whole time as she didn't want to be in the pushchair but I continued to run. I just knew I couldn't miss the flight - I had come so far to give up now.

I got to the gate and they were waiting for me. They knew our names! Luckily I wasn't the last one ... there were people behind me.

I was a little worried before the trip... who wouldn't be?! I wondered what I'd do if she screamed the whole time, how would I do it alone? I could just imagine the look on peoples faces, annoyance and disgust, that 'she can't control her child' look. But it didn't go like that, Alhamdulillah!

I took a night flight there and back - super useful if travelling with kids! I think this helped me a lot as we both slept most the journey there and back.  On the way we started off next to some lovely people but were moved because there were two spare seats together. As we got up to go there, the person I swapped with warned me about a woman there - he was right. So we ended up sitting near a lady who kept sighing when she looked at me and tutted when I got up to change Baby B's nappy. She spent most the flight huffing and puffing, drinking the hours away and disapprovingly watching people. I did contemplate complaining but I couldn't be bothered. I'd had enough drama for the day. I was just about recovering from having nearly missing my flight and upset that we'd be away from Mr B for so long - I'm not sure I'd have handled complaining very well. Baby B didn't seem to notice - she played peekaboo with the people in front and behind - who were lovely - and then went to sleep. I also fell asleep for a while and I think this helped.

What's important to note here is that we got there. I actually made it!!

If you're thinking of doing it, my advice - just do it. Deal with things as they come, for me that's the best way. And try and stay calm. It'll work out - that's what I keep telling myself!

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Monday, 1 July 2019

Baby Wearing

I've always wanted to have a go at baby wearing - I love the idea of carrying your baby close to you, and it always looks super comfortable when I've seen people do it. I knew I wanted to baby wear before I had Baby B so had been looking around for woven wraps - that's what I had hoped to carry baby in.

Our Ergobaby in Canada 
There is a plethora of woven wraps out there and they come in all sizes and many different prices. At first I didn't realise how expensive hand woven wraps can be but it wasn't until I talked to my lovely friend over at March Hare Handwovens that I came to understand why. So much work goes into making a wrap. So much love! The wrap is designed, materials are chosen, dyed and woven and I'm sure that isn't even everything. What I do know is that the process involves time and dedication and therefore I completely understand why some of them are expensive. I also understand how you could spend so much money on one - they are so beautiful and you can ask for them to be made in whatever colours/pattern you like. You can be picky and base the wrap on you.

Unfortunately for me, I, at the time, wasn't able to buy an actual hand woven wrap from March Hares Handwoven like I Diva Milano wrap - a pretty one!
had originally wanted to, even though she offered me a really good price. Instead I was fortunate enough to have been gifted a

I Googed how to wrap and when the time came, I did wrap Baby B a few times with help, but I wasn't confident enough in myself to do it. I even went to a sling library but it was so busy that they weren't able to help!! So in the end, I decided to see if there were other ways I could carry baby. I know now that had I persevered and built up my confidence, I would have been able to wrap Baby B without a problem!

There were plenty of other ways to carry Baby B and I ended up buying an Ergobaby 360. It was between Ergobaby 360 and Tula Explore - as with both these carriers you can carry babies front facing whilst they are ergonomically positioned (basically the baby is supported well). The Ergobaby was easier to find so for me, it was the best buy! And let me tell you, I haven't looked back since. Of course given the chance I would use the Tula Explore and wrap again for sure, but the Ergobaby comes everywhere with us! Everywhere!

I'm not even kidding - even if we've taken the pushchair, the carrier still comes.

Do you have a must have item you take everywhere with you? What is it?

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Friday, 8 February 2019

YogaBuds

Having a small person around means that they often want to be kept busy - especially when they are curious and learning new things. At first I didn't do much because leaving the house is not as easy as it sounds, trust me! We did do Baby Massage (as mentioned in previous posts) but baba wasn't very well at the time - colic ruled out lives *insert exhausted sigh here*.

Then Baby B started sitting up, becoming more curious and exploring so it felt like good idea to do more things. Also, it's really important for mums to get out too because not getting out and doing things can drive you crazy and and make you feel down. We all need a lift every now and then!

There are a lot of free things for babies around in my area which is great as we can pop to a few stay and plays - it's a great way to meet people with babies and get out and about. There are some good classes too like the one we've been going to - Yoga Buds.

YogaBuds is a group that is really friendly and welcoming. I actually look forward to going there! We do a bit of everything so there's some sensory play,  a bit of massage and even some singing! Who doesn't love that! It's held in our local Tesco which I think is super as they have a community space - a great idea! It means we can do shopping after the class too haha!

Like I said, I feel that it's really important try and get out - I find that it lifts my spirits and talking to others that also have babies is good - we can compare things, run ideas past each other and also ask for advice and suggestions. It helps that people are friendly too!

What have you been up to? Have you attended classes in your area or do you have any ideas/suggestions?

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Thursday, 10 January 2019

Holiday and Travel Advice

At work I received an email from my friend with notes for work whilst she was away on holiday. I felt like I should also send an email with important information in it but couldn't think of anything important to add - work wise.  was new and completely unaware of what I was supposed to be doing...what would I even say work related?! 

So I sent her this list - 

Things you should do whilst away 
I really wanted to drive one of these! 
(this is not a definitive list and you may get emails with more things as I think of them):


  • Take lots of photos – but don’t miss things because you spent so much time taking the photos. Experience the place - soak it up, take it all in and get stuck in! 
  • Live like a native for the time you are there!! Be a tourist too but sometimes it's nice to see things from a different point of view. 
  • Get a healthy tan – we can compare once you are back!
  • Take a good book and read it beside the beach or somewhere you feel comfortable.
  • Go to a local event if you can find one! When travelling I've found it's one of the best ways to experience local life. 
  • Be openminded – we all do things in different ways. 
  • Keep your options open – try new things.
  • To avoid disappointment be open to change (because I hate being disappointed when I’ve planned things so thoroughly).
  • Talk to people (but not people who make you feel unsafe)
  • Eat lots - try new food and eat food you already love because why not?!
  • Don't think about work. Just remember that I'll be trying my best not to screw things up too badly. 
  • HAVE FUN - the most important thing I can say! 


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Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Year Five

My blog, this month, is five years old. FIVE years. It doesn't seem that long ago to me but according to Google it really has been five years. I think five years is a long time! I'm not sure how I've managed to keep it up but I hope there will be many more!

This year, however, hasn't been a really productive one blogging wise. Fear not - I have plans to change this - let me know if you'd like to collaborate or get involved!

So it may not have been a very productive blogging year but it was productive otherwise. I feel like I've been on a ginormous learning curve that hasn't ended ... not sure when it will to be honest. It wasn't a year like last year where we had wedding after wedding, but we did have a baby! The journey to get to that stage was a long and steady one and our bundle of joy arrived in April - we have been trying to keep up with her ever since.

A few thoughts:
  • Take a break: I took a break from blogging, not one that I planned but one that just happened. What I've learnt from this is that it is important to take breaks. Take a step back. I know that if I had carried on my posts would have been scattered, inconsistent and I would have been writing for the sake of it with no feeling or motivation. 
  • Talk: It's important to talk to people, keeping things in your head can sometimes drive you crazy. Remember you aren't alone no matter how lonely you may feel!
  • Listen: Listen to what people have to say as sometimes you come across genuine people who will give good advice. They'll tell good stories and make you think twice. Don't take everything to heart, just listen. Sometimes listening means letting it go in through one ear and out the other because lets face it, people talk a lot of rubbish. Sometimes it means really listening to what is being said, especially when it comes from the heart.  
  • Make your own decisions: This is something I personally really really struggle with. I am one of the worst decision makers you'll ever meet. My manager used to send me the menu to wherever we were going a few weeks before everyone else just so I had that extra time to decide. It's not a bad thing, it just means I'm overwhelmed by choices. But sometimes we need to make decisions for ourselves because then, at the end of the day, they are your own. I'm trying to be less indecisive! 
  • Stop looking back: Stop looking back at things that could have happened, and even things that have happened. When I say looking back, I mean living in the past and constantly thinking 'what if'. The truth is that it's too late. We can't turn the clocks back and we can't repeat history. I'm pretty sure that's not possible, no matter how much we may want it to be. We have to live in the now.
I hope you've had a great year and that the next one is even better!! 

What has been the highlight of your year? Any advice that you'd give? Do you have any plans for next year?
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