Making memories

I’ve always loved pictures, not just taking them but keeping them. I’m not talking about pictures on an iPhone or android camera, i’m talking pictures in photo albums (yes, albumsss) plural! Lol! Regardless, I’m sure I’m not the only parent who has over a thousand pictures of their child on their phone. Making memories to me is so important, I’ve always liked printing out pictures I’ve taken on my phone or a camera, or keeping pictures of me and my friends and family from years ago. However, recently I feel like technology has taken over so much that the tradition of keeping family photo albums has kind of died out. I guess many people use the excuse of having a blog or other social media platforms as ways of collecting memories but it’s technology, and technology fails.

Keeping memories is obviously very important to everyone but my reasons for making memories and keeping them in forms of photo albums, written letters/poems and diaries are because:

1. Unless there’s some kind of natural disaster or a fire, they won’t be easily destroyed or lost

2. They are nice to look back at and see where I was at the times the pictures were taken or the entries were written

3. Memories are not only for me, but for the generations to come (imagine your grandchild showing pictures of you and their mum/dad to their own kids ?)

4. Pictures look beautiful around the home, pictures of all the family members, school pictures and photo shoots

5. Letters, poems and diary entries are a way to write what you feel without having to talk to anyone. They can even be passed on to whoever you want to talk to but aren’t able to.

Although I post pictures online, I have a lot more printed out and kept in albums and they can be passed down through generations as memories and conversation starters. It’s a lovely way to see how much we’ve grown over the years too. My baby’s only 5 months and I can already see how he’s gone from just a tiny little baby to this active, funny little baby, and to know that there’s soooo much more growing and learning to do fascinates me. Sometimes I find myself imagining what he’s going to sound and look like, what his personality will be when he’s like, five years old. And I bet when he gets to five, I’ll be imagining what he’ll be like when he’s 10 lol.

Although taking pictures on a camera or doing photo shoots are great, sometimes the most convenient way is to use your phone, especially when baby’s doing something wonderful and you need to get a quick snap shot in action. The technology of today is great for taking very good quality pictures however sometimes we want to make them look even better, there are apps for editing/adding filters to make any picture look of better quality; I’ll list the ones I use below;

1.Phonto: this is my favourite one, I use it on all my blog titles, you can add text to your images and use filters for effects. Phonto is available in the App Store on iPhone.

2.Camera 360: this app is great for making pictures look brighter and more enhanced, don’t use it too often but when I’ve taken a picture that’s low quality it works wonders in making it look better. Camera 360 is also available in the App Store.

3.Baby pics: I love this app! Baby pics is specifically for recording milestones throughout pregnancy and beyond, using artwork which can be edited and resized on top of your image. There’s lots of artwork you can use to enhance any image. This is also available in the App Store, I think I bought it for £1.99, but it’s so worth it.

There’s one app that I absolutely love using to print off my pictures from my phone;

Free prints is a photo printing app that prints your pictures for free (says it all in the name doesn’t it lol) all you have to pay for is postage which is literally between 99p to £1.99. Every month you get a certain amount of free prints which you can then select the pictures you want printed from your photo library and voila! Postage is really quick as well.

Of course there are other ways to print your pictures but I find that’s one of the easiest. You can also use the Boots photo website to print your pictures. Boots do nice offers for new mums, I recently got 50 free prints and as a new customer another 25 free prints, all I paid for was postage! And I got a voucher in the post for a baby photo album for £5 worth £12, lovely bargain if you ask me. I also use Photobox for Polaroid prints, I can’t remember how much I paid but I’m sure they weren’t expensive and they came out so nice and it’s a good way to add some vintage to your keepsake collection.

Memories kept are those that are engraved in our hearts but isn’t it nice hat we CAN have pictures and other forms as reminders?

hope you found this post useful, have a great weekend!

Hannahxoxo

Leibster Award nomination

As a new blogger, it humbles me to know that my blog has been noticed and I’ve been nominated for a Leibster Award 2017 by the lovely Yoruba English mama herself, Latifah. Follow the link to read about her journey on Motherhood, parenting styles and raising a bilingual child (all in Yoruba AND English!)

I’ve been blogging for a little under 2 months and can say I’m really enjoying this journey, and to know that people are genuinely taking time out to read my posts and follow me honestly brings so much joy to my heart, thank you. I really do look forward to writing my blog posts and knowing that it reaches others out there is amazing! The Leibster Award is a way for new bloggers to get their blogs out there and also help their fellow bloggers get noticed, this is a brilliant way for the blogging community to grow and what’s better than supporting each other?!

So the rules of this award also includes having to answer some questions, so here goes,

1. What inspires you most of all?

I didn’t even have to think about this question, my son is my biggest inspiration right now. I was once way to shy to start a blog, the thought of people having an insight into my life and knowing my thoughts scared me so much. Once he was born, I just wanted to do everything I always wanted to do, I’ve gotten a confidence I never thought imaginable, he makes me want to be better and do better. And I’m discovering myself again as a mum, which has been really exciting. I guess a new journey in life is always a huge inspiration but he’ll always be mine because being a mum to him will always be a journey I’m excited to be on.

2. One extreme thing I’ve ever done?

My friend took me to get a tattoo when I was 16 and I lied about my age in order to get it. Now that I think about it, it was so stupid, the tattoo artist didn’t even ask for ID, he could’ve been anyone lol!

3. What do you do when you’re angry?

When I’m angry, I take time out to be by myself so I don’t say or do something I’ll regret. I don’t get angry often anyhow, I’m pretty chilled and very calm, it takes a lot to get me angry but I’m the type to cry out of anger and walk away rather than losing it and going mad on whoever got me to that point lol.

4. If you could have anything you want in the world, what would it be?

An endless amount of plane tickets to fly to countries all around the World. Why? Because I want to see the world, I want to go everywhere and just see how other people live. Rather than being stuck in one place, spending money on unnecessary things, i’d rather spend my money on experiences that I won’t forget.

5. Continue the phrase, ‘if I were you I…’

If I were you I’d really get to know myself, love myself and accept every ‘flaw’ I think I have and OWN it.

Those are all my questions answered and now I shall go onto my nominees…

Mabinty Esho from Effortlessly M.E a dear friend of mine and mummy to a beautiful little boy who blogs about the world as she sees it and her experiences.

Brenda from BrendaJuliet.com her journey through Motherhood, being a single parent as she welcomes the experience while trying to find a balance between building a career and living a fulfilling life.

Ada from The Ada Lifestyle, a blog about you guessed, her lifestyle lol, anything from Fashion to movie reviews and what ever random thoughts come to her mind which she wishes to share with the world.

Okay ladies, here are your questions…

don’t forget to nominate other bloggers of your choice and include the link to this blog in your article. Congratulations!

1. What inspires you most of all?

2. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

3. What’s one of the best blogposts you’ve written and why? (Add the link so we can all read it)

4. What’s the scariest thing you’ve done?

5. Give a tip to other bloggers or potential blog starters?

Thanks ladies, enjoy x

Hannah xoxo

Bank holiday weekend fun!

This August bank holiday weekend my family and I decided to go on a short break to Butlins holiday resort, Bognor Regis and what a brilliant idea it was and the weather was absolutely beautiful!

We spent 3 nights there and participated in various activities and ate LOTS! It was a very last minute trip but probably the best one yet, and my first time travelling with baby Israel, so I was definitely looking forward to it. We stayed in a three bed apartment which was very nice and comfortable (just right for a big family), it had a bathroom, kitchen and a living area, (this was perfect for the family to sit and reflect on the day or just watch a movie after a long day.)

Of course travelling with a young child whether it’s on a plane, train, car or coach etc. can be very stressful but my experience was far from that, the journey there was approximately 3 hours by car and we had no tears all the way there, probably because he’s still very young so just wanted to eat and then sleep, or maybe because he’s such a easy going baby. Either way, I enjoyed myself and I’m sure he liked being in a different environment.

Butlins is a lovely place to go especially with young children, there are countless amounts of activities for children to do and a fairground which visitors have access to all day. My little nephews came along on the trip too and they are ages 1, 2 1/2 and 8 and there were definitely activities for all of them. I would say a favourite was the Splash Waterworld where the children were able to put on their swimming costumes and run wild in the pool, even Israel had a little swim, then decided it was time to eat and and have a nap lol. The adults also got to enjoy the pool late in the evening when there was a pool party (unfortunately I missed that one because I joined Israel during another nap.)

The fairground was also a hit, with a vast number of rides for all ages, the children could go on age appropriate rides and the adults could too. I tend to stay away from rides that spin in a circular motion because I get motion sickness so I enjoyed go-karting and the banana boat ride, my sisters however particularly enjoyed the large swing that literally just goes really high up then round in circles for ages (takes you back to childhood doesn’t it?)

We were also able to see a show for the kids which was delightful, surprisingly even baby Israel watched and got excited seeing all the movement and listening to the music. There were shows all throughout our stay in the pavilion at the resort but with so much to do there just wasn’t enough time to see them all (I was pretty excited to see Teletubbies live but of course… Israel was having a nap when the show was on! ?) There’s also a spa at the resort which I was determined to go so I could get a massage but ended up changing my mind at the end (I will be there next time!)

During the trip, we had so much to eat with the breakfast and dinner buffet. Everyday there was something new on the menu and everyday there was definitely less room in my belly, do I regret eating so much? Absolutely not!

The food was certainly a hit for me but my favourite part of the trip was the Bognor Regis east beach, which was the last thing we did before leaving, it was right in front of the resort which was very handy. While baby was with grandma, I decided it was time to get in the water at the beach, although the water was cold, my body got used to it and I practiced swimming differently than what I was used to. Epic fail lol. After spending a while in the water, we enjoyed a lovely picnic and took lots of pictures. The boys had so much fun playing with stones, dipping their feet in the water and baby had a lovely nap enjoying the sea breeze.

I just wanted to write up a quick review on our weekend getaway because honestly, it was divine to just get away for a while and enjoy a different scenery and the company of family. I know sometimes planning a holiday abroad can be long and tiring but they’re so important and if not then I recommend short breaks within the country, just for your own sanity and for the kids to experience something other than their usual, the city life can get tiresome and we all need a rest from time to time. I’ll definitely be going back to Butlins when Israel’s a bit older and is able to enjoy the holiday more.
 
Hope you had a lovely bank holiday weekend!
 
Hannah xoxo

Mamas thoughts ?

Hello readers/passers by/glancers, however you’ve found yourself on my blog page… greetings to you ?

I’m not usually on board with discussing my personal life, emotions, feelings blah blah blah on public platforms but I’m starting to realise that if I really want to help and support other mum’s who’ve found themselves in a similar situation as mine, I’d have to open up a little (yes, only a little, I’m not quite there yet lol.)

This post is just an update on my current thoughts and feelings (I’ve really been wallowing in my feelings quite a bit recently and I prefer to write about them, so here we go.)
Life changed the moment I found out I was going to become a mum, I just couldn’t imagine myself bringing up a child although everyone kept saying, ‘you’re good with kids, you’re gonna be a great mum!’ I love children, that’s why I teach 2-year-olds and love my job but I just couldn’t imagine myself with my own child, a child who I couldn’t just give back to his/her parents when they started crying, someone I’d have to fully raise, love unconditionally, and support financially. Also being a single mum, I did think a lot about how hard it might be for me. I never thought I’d be loving every moment of motherhood as I am right now ?

A couple of weeks ago however, I started thinking about my life, my 25 years I’ve spent on this earth. I’m usually so particular about things and always try to make myself and my family proud, I finished school, graduated (twice) got a job straight away and a few months later got a higher position at my job, was in a, what I thought was ‘good’ relationship. Life was good. But then my relationship ended and I didn’t ever think I would be pregnant before getting married, like what?! Not me, not Hannah! So when it happened I really did feel disappointed in myself, it was as if my life was now on pause and everything was just being turned upside down.

So anyway, I was thinking about what my purpose could actually be in this life? Who actually knows what their purpose is? What if things were meant to happen this way? And I really thought for a long time, and my initial thoughts seemed so silly to me, here I was acting as if I just COULDN’T raise a child, like there was no way, when I’m fully 25-years-old with a good job, a degree, a roof over my head, and endless opportunities (I know that’s not what life is all about but to me these things were important) I had achieved a majority of things I wanted to by this point in my life so what was the actual problem? Yes a baby has come along and it does change your life completely but life doesn’t have to go in a particular order. What better blessing than to be a mother? Even as a single mum, who says you won’t prosper/do well/achieve everything you want? Also, the LOVE a child provides is unexplainable, so what was the actual problem?

A lot of the time the ‘problem’ around being a single or young mum especially for a Christian, church-going, choir-singing, young woman who comes from a good home is, ‘you didn’t wait till you got married.’ Marriage is not the be all and end all, but a lot of the time I was way too focussed on getting married, and making sure I did things the ‘right’ way (nothing wrong with that btw) but I think this played a major role in why I was so afraid of having a baby and probably one of the reasons why my relationship ended. Of course I still want to get married and I still pray about it, my faith is stronger than ever now also for my own personal reasons. I’ve recently been reading up on how to pray when things seem impossible, and having faith is the most important thing.

Anyway, I’m at a place right now where I’m genuinely happy and still damn proud of myself, even more so since becoming a mum, which has made me actually think things through properly. We take so many things for granted and it’s so important to actually take time out and be proud of our achievements, there will be setbacks or situations which we think are impossible to get through but with God all things are possible, an unplanned pregnancy is NOT a setback, in fact it fast forwards your life as you try to plan a bright and wonderful future for you and your baby. But if not for my faith, my family and friends (God bless them) I wouldn’t be as happy and content as I am right now.

Of course there are still things I want to do like travel, work abroad for a while, buy a house, but those can definitely still be achieved. Now I say to myself, not only do I get to experience these things, I get to bring my son along and include him in these experiences too; and I want him to see the WORLD ?

Until next time,

Live life NOW,
Hannah xoxo

Breastfeeding pros & cons

In aid of World breastfeeding week, I've decided to write a bit on the pros and cons of breastfeeding. Also, I actually fed Baby in public without a nursing cover for the first time, so (for me) I've taken a big step in this Mummy life.

Check me out being an adult and all lol

Of course not everybody chooses to breastfeed or are even able to after giving birth but for the latter that do and are able to, we know there are definitely benefits for our babies but there are also some not so good bits for the mamas. I chose to breastfeed simply because I wanted to experience all that good stuff people talk about (and save some money AND shed some belly fat 🙂 ) but there are some things in particular that made me wanna do it more and some that put me right off…

Pros(the good bits you hear so much about):

⁃ You save so much money from not having to buy formula milk for those first 6 months (or however long)

⁃ Breastfeeding helps in weight loss after giving birth as it burns calories

⁃ Breastmilk contains antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria

⁃ It Lowers baby's risk of having asthma or allergies

⁃ Babies that are exclusively breast fed for 6 months have less ear infections, respiratory illnesses and diarrhoea

⁃ Physical closeness, skin to skin and eye contact supports a lovely bond between mum and baby (it's kinda nice knowing when my baby cries for food I'm the only one that can soothe his needs)

⁃ Lowers the risk of breast cancer

⁃ And it's so quick and easy! I feel so much joy just whipping out a boob when I'm half asleep at night to feed baby rather than getting up to mix a bottle of formula

 

Cons(the not so good bits people steer away from):

⁃ Not being able to measure the volume of milk baby's getting (sounds scary but really and truly, if breastfeeding on demand, baby's are usually okay.)

⁃ Breastfed babies wake up more often in the night for feeds and eat more during the day, literally every 1.5-3 hours *sobs* which can be quite inconvenient depending on a mothers schedule.

⁃ There are dietary restrictions unfortunately, can't be drinking and taking medication willy nilly. I was so scared of eating anything to do with nuts when I first started breastfeeding because I thought omg what if he's allergic lol but no, in fact it makes babies immune to those kinds of foods

⁃ Breastfeeding in public might not be so easy for someone as shy as myself. I was using a nursing cover until recently, when baby was having none of it, he literally wouldn't eat with that cloth over his head lol

⁃ Special clothing is needed, when I say special, I just mean, a nursing bra and tops that you can easily breastfeed in

⁃ You constantly have to wear a bra; this right here, I hate, because I'm not a fan of wearing bras to bed but if you don't want leakage, a bra is definitely always needed and if you produce a lot of milk, breast pads are also needed which can be an expense of its own but there are reusable options available.

⁃ Now, last but not least, the biggest con of all, the only thing that REALLY made me think 'hmm do I really want to breastfeed?' BREASTFEEDING CAN BE VERY PAINFUL, sore, cracked nipples and engorged breasts. I was terrified when I read and heard stories of women saying their nipples were bleeding when they breastfed (YES, bleeding!) but thank goodness that hasn't happened to me (yet) I'm still powering on (coconut oil is magic for sore nipples.) The pain of breastfeeding comes and goes and some women soldier through, whereas others just can't.

Regardless of whether a woman breastfeeds, whether it's for 2 days, 2 weeks, months, years or not at all, we're still doing everything we can to raise a healthy baby. Just like everything in life there are both sides to a situation, the good and the bad, sometimes even the ugly (bleeding nipples, like really?!) Breastfed, bottle fed or a mixture of both, mum's go through enough trying to raise a healthy baby so who is ANYONE to judge? Women are superheroes and however you choose to feed your baby, you've still got your super powers.

As I always say, as long as a child is happy and healthy, who cares?

Happy World breastfeeding week!

Hannah xoxo

Enjoy your maternity leave!

When a working woman finds out she’s pregnant, letting her employer know she’s expecting is something that has to be done, then maternity leave must be sorted.

Once I started my maternity leave, I wrote a list of things I wanted to do to occupy my time (I’m a huge believer in writing lists) to keep me and baby busy or just to better myself. I’m also very used to being busy, working with children definitely keeps me on my toes, so making sure I had stuff to do was the perfect plan.

I can honestly say I haven’t really achieved any of the items on my list, instead, a lot of time has been spent on the sofa watching telenovela programs (Spanish TV lol, I know) and actually getting to know my baby, I definitely do not regret either of them… yes, even the telenovela 🙂 but thankfully there’s still enough time to actually get what I listed all done, it’s only been 4 months out of a year after all.

This post is more of a reminder to myself to actually get these things done and to maybe give some ideas to first time mum’s who are also now on maternity leave or soon to be. They’re not in any particular order btw.

Sign up and attend Baby swimming classes

I’ve just applied for these so we’ll be starting next week, I purposely waited to start these because of babys age, it made sense to me to wait till he was 3 months. I had this idea because, well, I want him to learn to swim early and it gives us something to do together, and a bonus… the beginning of my maternity leave falls right in the summer months.

Attend loads of mum and baby groups

This has been at my disposable for ages, since I had my first home visit after giving birth, I was informed about my nearest children’s centre but I’ve only been to one stay and play session which we did enjoy so we’ll be going to more. Plus it’s important to me for baby to go to these classes, to get used to being around other children. Also, mum’s just need to be around other mum’s sometimes!

And here’s baby fully engrossed in staring at his reflection at a Stay and Play group

Exercise by going for walks, Zumba and workout at home

I just laughed while reading this because I definitely have not been working out, I planned to start after having my six week check up which is when you’re usually allowed to (providing everything is okay and healed) but I wasn’t an exercise fanatic before I gave birth so I definitely wasn’t in a rush to start after having a baby. I do walk a lot however so I guess that counts. (I will start though… eventually.)

Research and begin natural hair care routine for me and baby  

My hair started falling out after giving birth (apparently this is normal) so I’ve put it away in a protective hairstyle for now. I’m currently natural but recently haven’t been really looking after my hair as I should so my plan was to make that a goal but hey… As for baby, I was waiting for him to turn 3 months before using different hair products for him but he had cradle cap so I’ve been very cautious about starting a hair care routine with him and constantly using only Dentinox shampoo (amazing stuff!) to get rid of the cradle cap and keep it away.

Save as much money as possible 

This is just an ongoing thing, some months saving a huge amount is possible and other months it just isn’t because there are one or two things that need to be bought or paid for.

Now, Starting a blog wasn’t actually on my list, but it is an idea that came to me while on maternity leave and so far I really enjoy it, which is always the goal, you wanna enjoy whatever you’re doing while on your maternity leave before going back to the real world of waking up at 6am, commuting on a packed bus or train plus all the added extras now you have a baby.

I honestly think keeping a to-do-during-maternity-list very simple is the way forward. At the end of the day nothing is more important than keeping your sanity, and after having a baby, the last thing you want to do is bombard yourself with a ton of things to do and end up not having time with your baby and most especially some time to yourself. Although I haven’t achieved everything on my list, even if I don’t, it’s okay because I’m happy, I still enjoy days out with family and friends and my baby’s growing happy and healthy so who cares?

Until next time,

Hannah xoxo

10 things I’ve learnt in the first 3 months

The first thing I get asked when seeing someone for the first time since having a baby, be it family or friends is ‘how’s motherhood?’ My answer is usually, ‘it’s alright, I’m actually enjoying it so far.’ And that’s exactly how I feel.

Becoming a mother has been a great learning experience for me, 3 months in I can honestly say I’ve learnt a lot about myself and my baby, enjoying it all the while. I’ve also had an insight into what it must have been like for all the mothers in my life. As we’ve hit a milestone age (Yay!) I’ve decided to list just 10 of some of the funny, silly little things I’ve either spoken about with other people or the more thought about, lovely things that happen in a mothers life:

1. Babies grow so fast, one minute they’re sleeping literally all day, next thing you know, they’re staying up longer during the day, playing, ‘talking’ and attempting to roll over.

2. It’s very possible for ones body to adjust to a very broken sleeping pattern, with waking up every couple of hours at night to feed and change nappies.

3. There are so many places e.g. Shopping centres, train stations, shops etc. with mum and baby areas for breastfeeding! (I literally had no idea that soo many places have large spaces in changing rooms with a chair in the corner and heating where you can just sit and feed your baby comfortably in peace lool)

4. Baby poo doesn’t smell in the first few months. I don’t know if this is a thing that people usually know, but I genuinely didn’t lol

5. Explosive poos are a thing, the all over the back, pouring out of nappies kind. They. will. happen.

6. It takes like triple the time I usually take to get ready for a day out with baby on hand. As well as getting myself ready, OBVIOUSLY Hannah there’s another human you have to clean, dress up, feed, pack a bag for, probably change one more time before leaving the house etc etc etc

7. Packing a baby bag, is long. But spare clothes are ESSENTIAL. Im talking, 2-3 spare sets of clothes, and the other bits, nappies, wipes, nappy cream, Muslin cloth, bib… oh the list does go on.

8. There’s no need to continuously buy clothes for a baby, they get so many as gifts and they grow out of them so fast! Some things will literally get worn once, if that!

9. It honestly does take a village to raise a child. Thank God for family and friends who are always willing to give a helping hand.

And last but not least, this is definitely something that i think about a lot, number 10,
10. It is possible to love someone so much that you want to do everything for them, to be the best for them and to raise them in the best way imaginable.

So there you have it. 10 isn’t even a big enough number to actually explain how much I’ve learnt but if I was to discuss EVERYTHING… you’d be reading an essay right now. I could sit here and write for hours and hours about how lovely it is learning about this whole new personality of a tiny little being that I created and how amazing it is that I feel like a changed person in myself but there are plenty more posts for that…

Stay tuned 😉

Hannah xoxo

Where it all began


From a feature on a motherhood platform to my own personal blog.

As a new mum, I searched high and low for mummy blogger accounts I could follow on Instagram and of course, I found MANY. The motherhood group was one of them, and when they posted saying they were looking for mum bloggers, I got in touch after thinking long and hard if I was ready to let the world hear my story. I was very shy at first, but I really do love writing and I saw this as what could be an amazing opportunity. After writing my feature, emailing it in and literally waiting to see it on the website, constantly checking back and forth to see if it had been posted (lol) it was finally posted alongside 10 other mum's writing on their truths about motherhood. I was super excited and instantly started promoting my feature for all to see. I got a lot of positive feedback and it even seemed helpful to some, so I decided there and then that I'd start my own blog on this thing called motherhood.

So really and truly, you'll find my first ever blog post on motherhood right here on The motherhood group.