Love your (new) self!

Hey guys,

I decided to write this blog post because I myself have been struggling with loving my new body and self-confidence in general. I’ve never been ‘skinny,’ always been chubby, and I definitely went through a fat period when I was younger lol but even then I had so much confidence! You think I cared about what people thought of me? Nope. Growing up, I’ve gotten a lot more self-conscious, and I can honestly say it’s probably because of the huge role social media plays in my life these days.

Before I got pregnant, I didn’t mind my body, I was doing all the right things, trying to eat healthy, exercising and all that good stuff, when I got pregnant I loved my body! I carried quite small and it took ages before I actually started showing and even when I did, I loved my bump and I loved how the rest of my body was just ‘together’ everything looked good.

Now?! Gosh, now I’m really struggling, I went through a period where after I gave birth, I was pleased with myself, the weight shifted pretty quickly, but now I feel stuck. Not because I want to look how I did before, but because I just want to get to a place where I’m content, and just happy with myself. I’m usually one for self-love and self-appreciation but recently I haven’t been feeling myself, and I recently posted a picture on Instagram saying I’m learning to love my flaws and all, because life is too short, but it. is. hard.

Harder more so because I’ve actually birthed another human and I’m allowed to look like this but I just can’t seem to accept that LOL. Like now, I have ‘problem areas’ that I worry about all the time, when I look in the mirror or at pictures and I’m so picky with what I wear because I don’t want my belly to show or I don’t want my arms to show, or my back rolls, or my double chin, the list goes on… LOL *sigh* Then my cousin said something to me one time that really just made me think, ‘yeah you need to get a grip mate’ she said, “NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR PROBLEM AREAS BUT YOU.” And you know what? It’s true, so why do we find it so hard to be confident in our own bodies? Why are we always comparing ourselves to other people? We are our own enemies you know.

Body confidence is so important especially in this day and age where all we see are ‘perfect’ women and men all over our screens, but what is the definition of perfect?

It depends on how YOU define perfect, we live in a world where we are so hell bent on living for everyone else, but the most important person to be confident for is yourself, so if your ‘perfect’ is number one by all means go for it, if it’s number two, then focus on making yourself happy, be complete, be real to yourself, don’t worry about anyone else, stop comparing!

‘Comparison is the thief of joy’ – Theodore Roosevelt

This is the realest saying in all reality because it is so true! Comparison is a horrible, horrible thing, if we keep doing it we’ll never be complete, and that is my definition of perfect, to be complete, to feel whole, to love one’s self. And honestly this is what I strive for, this is what I want my ‘perfect’ to be, I just want to be happy in my skin, this person I am now. This body I have now, just be happy at wherever I’m at, at whatever point I’m at in my life and not worry about what the next mum who got ‘snatched’ a week after giving birth looks like. It’s a journey I think most women (even men!) are on and I do love how I’m seeing more and more people bang on about self-love because it is so important.

So guys, love yourself, love the new you, as I strive to.

All my love,

Hannah x

Sneak peak into…

Izzy’s new bedroom

Israel and I got a place of our own quite recently (beginning of this year) and it has taken me this long to write this post because truth be told, it’s been a busy couple of months trying to get settled. I’m still not done! There are still a few things I need to do within our flat, especially in my bedroom and the living room. But one place in the flat that I was determined to fix up and make sure it looked amazing, was Israel’s room. I wanted it done up completely before we even moved in and I’d say it’s nearly there now, I’m still chopping and changing a few things but it’s definitely my favourite room in the flat so far.

I had a theme in mind when I planned Israel’s bedroom, it’s like straight away I knew I wanted to do a space theme, I love space for a kids bedroom and I didn’t want anything too baby-ish either because well, he’s gonna grow up one day isn’t he? Ultimately, the whole space theme idea came from Israel’s favourite song, Zoom, zoom, zoom we’re going to the moon! When he was really little he used to love it when I sang it to him and when I would count down from 5 to 1 and throw him up in the air, he used to smile and giggle so much and it melted my heart every time, he still loves it!

I did my research on google and Pinterest and found loads of images of space themed bedrooms but they were all quite dark and aimed a lot at older kids. Then I remembered that when israel was born, he had a Moses basket bought for him from Mothercare which had the space theme and it was a lovely light blue colour; that’s when I decided to buy all the wall stickers, bed sheets, covers, and space rocket wall lamp from that range called the ‘space dreamer.’

I wanted it all to match as well, so it made sense to get everything from the same range and when everything was up, it looked so amazing, I felt so proud of my vision lol. There’s just one thing missing from his wall which I haven’t yet been able to get, these are personalised wall stickers with his name on. I’m torn between getting wooden letters or just wall stickers at the moment which is why I haven’t yet got them. I’m also trying to find something that will match the colours of the entire room, I chose the colours light baby blue and dark blue because his room has a divided wall.

My absolute, absolute favourite part of Israel’s room has to be his reading corner! This was another idea I saw on Pinterest, using spice racks from Ikea as book shelves. I’ve always made an effort to read to Israel since he was born so it’s no surprise he loves books now but I want this to be something he grows up to continue loving and have access to. And what a perfect corner to have the perfect reading area!

As I said before, I did these with Ikea spice racks, which come in plain wood so I had to paint them white then had them put up on the wall, and it was so much cheaper than buying actual book racks. Painting them didn’t take long either, it was definitely worth it. Israel knows when it’s bedtime now so after his bath he goes over to his bookshelf and starts pointing at which book he wants to read!

I got Izzy’s space rug from Amazon (I think) or a website called ‘the rug shop’ I really can’t remember for the life of me, and I think that’s because I looked at so many different ones before I made my decision to get this one and I had to buy so many other bits for the flat. It’s a lovely soft rug and he likes to sit on it when he occasionally plays in his room, I love the bright colours and how simplistic it is. His curtains are definitely from Amazon, however, they’re a lovely grey colour with silver stars, I didn’t want it to be blue as well (would’ve been too much blue overload lol) His lamp shade is also grey with stars on which I think just adds to the theme perfectly.

You’re probably thinking, but why is your kids bedroom your favourite room?! I love this bedroom the most because of all the hard work I put in, the whole thought process of how I got to our chosen theme, making sure I stuck to my vision of how I wanted it to look and I like that he can go in and access everything himself, he’s got little pull out fabric drawers with his little toys in them, the bigger toys are in the living room in a separate toy box, I’ve tried to make sure his toys are at his reach so he can facilitate his own play. I love that I’ve made the room personal for Izzy, with pictures of him and us together, I do want to put more pictures up but I’m again, still trying to figure out how I’m going to do that. And one last thing; he said his first word in his bedroom, while looking at the stars on the wall after bath time he pointed at one and said, ‘star,’ it was just such a beautiful moment and now whenever he sees a star, he says, ‘star!’

I love everything about Izzy’s bedroom and I just hope he grows to love it as much as I do!

Hannah x

The Motherhood group lunch and goodies

I had the pleasure of attending The Motherhood group lunch and goodies event on Sunday, and it was such a lovely experience, as are their other events I’ve been too. The event was held at The Breakfast club and sponsored by Cantu. Meeting new mums and their babes and eating good food was fantastic but so were the goodies we received! We got a gift pack with Cantu hair products in and Nipper&co. organic kids tea. I actually use Cantu products on my natural hair already so best believe I was so excited to hear that they were sponsoring and we’d be getting goodies from them! I got the coil calm detangler in my goody bag and was very excited to use it. We all know how time consuming styling natural hair can be, when getting ready in the morning especially with a baby/kids around, so anything to make the process easier is always worth looking forward to.

The coil calm detangler worked wonders on my hair, made it so easy to comb through after getting out of the shower and my hair now feels super soft! I also didn’t lose my curls which I usually do when I dry comb. I recommend this product for any natural hair sisters, even those with the tightest curls/coils, it honestly works. I usually use this after washing with Cantu cleansing cream shampoo and conditioning with the hydrating cream conditioner. Perfect combo. But this time I used it on my dry, unwashed hair, and it worked just as well.

Now, let’s talk about this Nipper&co. Kids cuppa. Oh em gee. Right, so I’m not a herbal tea drinker myself, I’m more of a coffee girl but I thought I’d let israel try this (his tastebuds might be different from mine lol) and he actually really enjoyed it! I made it lukewarm for him in his sippy cup and he really actually enjoyed the fruity taste, he drank half of it and I finished it off (I liked the taste of this one lol) and I was actually quite surprised that Israel liked it too, it was his first ever time drinking tea! I love that this brand have a tea for kids, it’s a healthy alternative to juice drinks and when the weather’s a bit warmer, I’ll try it as ice tea and we’ll give it another go.

Thank you to The motherhood group for our goodies and opening us up to new experiences. Be sure to follow them on Instagram @themotherhoodgroup if you’re looking for some new mummy friends or days out with people like you.

6 ways to keep your kids busy

Today’s guest post is from Brittnay, creator of The NutButter Hub. A lovely website full of delicious healthy recipes, travel inspirations and loads of food tips. Here are 6 ways to keep your kids busy…

Kids always need something to do and there seems to never be enough time to plan enough activities with your children. On the bright side of things it doesn’t take much to ensure your kids are not bored out of their minds during breaks and other times where they would be spending more time with their parents. If you want to know some awesome ways to keep kids busy and engaged read on for some simple tips.

1. Indoor Camp Out

What kid doesn’t love to pretend play and make their dreams come true? What they would love even more is actually bringing their imagination to life. Brining the camping inside is just the fun they may be looking for.

For this activity you will need a tent, a real one will do or one made from sheets is good too. Pretend to light a fire and eat freeze-dried foods. You could also make indoor s’mores very easily at your stove or in your microwave. Be sure to get the sleeping bags and ghost stories ready for a fun night under the ‘stars’.

2. Do It Yourself Slide

More often than not there is so much cardboard around the house for kids to get into that we forget to be creative with it. Give a kid a box and they will have a blast for hours. The next time you are about to throw out that cardboard think twice because it could make a perfect activity for your kids. If you have stairs in your home you can make the perfect slide.

Take the cardboard and completely cover the stairs from top to bottom. Make sure the landing at the bottom of your steps is made soft by layers pillows. Now you have a safe slide to go down and the kids will love to go up and down over and over.

3. Make Your Own T-Shirts

Let’s be real, kids will practically draw all over the house if you let them. Foster their creativity skills and design your own t-shirts. It doesn’t take much to get this done and can be made on new or old shirts.

Use any type of art medium your child likes such as crayons, markers, or even let them paint on their shirt. Make sure to hand wash and dry your shirts so that your kids can cherish their creations for years to come.

4. Rainbow Bubbles

Bubbles are a great activity for hot summer days when the kids have nothing to do and can be made out of things you are guaranteed to have on hand. To create big rainbow bubbles get an old sock, cup, food coloring, and dish soap to make huge colorful foamy bubbles. Any age would love this activity and you could give the older kid materials and have them guide the younger kids. Everyone will be amazed at out cool they turn out looking and will want to make them all the time.

5. Outdoor Pizza BBQ

Pizza is the ultimate kids food and can be customized for even the pickiest eater. Make some dough in advance with the kids and tell them they can invite their friends over for a pizza grilling party. Bring out the picnic tables and let the kids add toppings and decorate their pizza with funny faces.

While the kids are busy decorating have an adult attend to the gas grill the kids will be so busy competing with their friends they will be too busy to notice the grill. Just be sure to ensure practice gas grill safety whenever you have kids near a gas grill.

6. Reading

Reading does not just have to occur before bedtime and kids love to sit and hear their favorite stories. For younger kids you will need to read lots of short stories like The Very Hungry Caterpillar that will keep them listening.

Older kids will sit and listen to longer books and would enjoy classic tales such as The Hobbit. Bonus if the book has a movie you can entice your kid into sitting and listening if they know they can watch a cool film once the book is finished.

Kids love to stay busy and will you love you so much for taking the time to have things for them to do. You will feel good knowing you were able to beat boredom with fun while encouraging creativity and learning in your children. Have fun and let loose with your kids they will thank you for it.

Brittnay is an Australian who lived in London for the past two years. She managed to squeeze in 21 trips to Europe and Africa in that time! She’s passionate about travel, health and nutrition, you will find her healthy and delicious recipes at The Nut Butter Hub.

Mum life

It’s 5am and I can’t sleep. So here I am deciding to write a piece about having gone back to work full time in January.

So in January I decided to venture back into work life, not as a free, single young woman but now as a full time single mum. First of all, I was meant to have a year off for maternity leave but decided to go back just after 7 months. Why would you do that?! You ask. Well, I’ll give you my reasons. Truth be told,

1. I actually thought I was missing my super busy, fast paced lifestyle at that point

2. I needed money

3. I missed work. I missed work?!

Yeah, sounds insane but I did… until I actually went back.

So for those who don’t know, I’m an early years teacher and currently teach 2-year-olds, and I love what I do, always have. But going back to work after being at home for 7 months with my precious boy was a whole new ball game, totally unexpected. Firstly, I literally couldn’t remember anything, call it baby brain or whatever but I could not remember how to do anything, I forgot my computer login, forgot how to do the register, forgot the code to the front door of my classroom LOL. Believe me, I struggled. Even though I had a settling in period I still struggled for a long time. I’ve been back a full term now (which was 5 weeks this term) and I’m pretty sure I only JUST got my head round (most) things.

Before I became a mum, I loved (okay, no. I didn’t mind) getting up for work in the mornings and spending a day with a bunch of 2-year-olds, and I loved those kids like they were my own but since having my own child, after the first week back, I missed him SO much, my heart would literally ache when I thought about being at work with other children while mine was at home. Obviously every parent would miss their baby after coming off maternity leave but this pain I felt was like no other and I think it hurt more because I’m surrounded by children, playing learning, doing all the things I should be watching Israel do. And it did throw me off my game at work to be honest, it took a long, long time for me to just suck it up and understand that I need to be where I am for both of our futures. To be honest I’m not totally over it, I just sound content because I’m on half-term holiday at the moment lol.

Although I did miss my fast paced life, going back made me realise what the most important thing in my life is right now, and that’s being a mum. I’ve read so many blogs and other things about oh you know, a woman not forgetting herself when she becomes a mum and I totally get it, I definitely haven’t forgotten myself but I actually just want to be a mum at this present moment. As stressful as it is being a mum, it’s even more stressful being a full-time working mum, and what’s stressful about it is, being tired when you wake up, being at work all day missing your baby but then coming home and being too tired to do things with your baby! It’s a vicious cycle! Yes I missed work life but now I miss (on maternity) mum life, I guess there’s a balance and I’m currently on a journey to find that, then that becomes the new mum life.

This is the beginning of another journey for us, Israel’s in great hands while I’m at work so at least I don’t have to worry about that, and going back was really the perfect timing because we just got a new flat and it needed a whole lot of work, so the money was definitely needed.

I think as parents we will miss our babies every time we’re away from them and I just have to keep reminding myself that what I do is for both our benefits and he will appreciate what I do in the future. Also unlike some, I get all the school holidays to spend loads of time with him <<< this is me giving myself a pep talk lol.

Until next time guys, all my love,

Hannah xoxo

OddMumOut is six months!

As the year comes to an end, I’ve been doing some reflecting (as you do) and I realised, oh my gosh! I’ve been blogging for six months now! This definitely has to be celebrated, no? And what better way to celebrate than to write about it.

These past 6 months spent starting up a blog have been pretty eye opening and I’m very proud of myself for sticking to it although not as consistent as I’ve wanted to be with posting. Along the way I’ve actually helped new mums, mums that have been for a while and future mums, women in general and it honestly makes me so, so happy. I don’t have loads of followers but to know that people are reading my stuff means so much more to me.

When I first started my blog, I was beyond nervous, so anxious, I kept on thinking, ‘will people like the stuff I post?’ ‘Will people even read them in the first place?’ ‘What if my blog posts aren’t interesting enough?’ ‘BUT WHAT IF I GET WRITERS BLOCK?! ARGHH!’

But I prayed, and you know, just asked God to guide me and we’ll see where this goes (if you believe in God, one thing I’ve learnt this year is that it’s really important to pray about EVERYTHING you’re putting your hands into) and 6 months later here I am, still going. There are times where I’m stuck on what to write about and other times where I’m just so busy, I don’t have time to sit down and write, but that’s okay. That’s something I’ve had to tell myself, it’s okay to not have time, but it doesn’t mean you should quit. The time will come if you can’t make it right now, and don’t let the issue of time stop you if you’re thinking of starting up a blog in 2018. I always thought I would never have time especially with a baby, but honestly if it’s something you love doing, you will find time.

What I’ve learnt & experienced through motherhood & lifestyle blogging:

1. It’s okay to be open and honest about personal experiences, in fact, readers can relate more to those kinds of posts so will find them more helpful

2. Welcoming people to talk about their own experiences, also helps me deal with some stuff I’m going through

3. I’ve met so many mums through this blogging experience, such amazing strong women

4. You will make time for the things you love

5. Negativity will always be a part of being in the public eye, take it with a pinch of salt and choose your arguments wisely

I didn’t start this year with the goal of starting a blog and seeing it through, it wasn’t in my plans at all. I was too busy worrying about how I was going to handle being a single mum! And as I reflect on my blogging experience, I also want to take this time to just reflect on how proud I am of myself for doing such a great job raising Israel, like, it’s okay to celebrate yourselves! I feel like mums don’t give themselves enough credit for the great jobs they’re doing, forget about all the stress for a minute and forget about all the help you might have needed or asked for. Essentially, we are still here, raising these wonderful little bundles of joy and doing so many other things on the side and I believe we should celebrate ourselves. I’ve loved every minute of being a mum, and without him I wouldn’t be blogging right now. I’ve always wanted to start a blog ever since finishing my journalism degree but I never had anything that I really enjoyed or had enough interest in, to sit and write about. Motherhood literally gave me new life, I found passion, I found someone that I love so much, I could write about everyday of my life and not get bored (I always say this but babies are honestly the most fascinating beings, just watching their growth process is amazing) and me as a mum, as a woman, I’m growing alongside this little being and I’m just so grateful and proud of my growth.

I hope to continue blogging next year, to inspire mothers everywhere, dads too, new bloggers and bloggers who want to blog but aren’t sure. My advice to anyone who wants to start blogging or already is, is don’t put pressure on yourself, let your ideas flow, don’t write for the sake of writing. At the end of the day, blogging is about what you’re passionate about so don’t lose that passion just for the sake of followers or satisfying people’s needs. If you really want to boost your followers, you definitely need a social media presence but honestly, if you write about what you’re passionate about, it will reach someone somewhere. Oh, and it’s okay to take a break!

Hope you’re enjoying this festive period, and I’m wishing you a wonderful new year! See you in 2018 my loves x

Hannah xo

Only God sees your heart

Today’s society is so conformed to making an impression. Impressing people on social media, people at work, friends, family, even people we don’t know. That when change or something drastic happens in a persons life we feel the need to explain to the whole world, and allow people to put their two pence in, let me tell you something, you don’t owe anyone that pleasure unless it affects them directly.

What I’ve come to realise in this life is, people will hear what they want to hear, see what they want to see and believe what they want to believe. Upon becoming a mum, I was so scared of what people would say, I would constantly overthink everything. As if it made a difference to anything lol.

Since having a baby however, I’ve been battling with so many changes in people, both good and bad, but more recently I’ve come to accept things for what they are and people for who they are. No matter what you might say to someone, they’ll only hear what they want to hear, it really doesn’t matter what you have to say lol. Nothing surprises me anymore, people can think the worst of you regardless of how nice you are, whether they know you or not, it doesn’t even matter. On the other hand, people you never expected can really step up for you and be there when you need them the most.

This is just a reminder that the only person in this life worth trying to ‘impress’ or prove something to is God, he’s the only one who sees your heart at the end of the day and I strongly believe that God has a plan and a solution for every situation.

It’s just a shame that society has a way of breaking us down, making us feel bad, like we’ve done something wrong, by questioning any and everything, especially as a single parent. I find it astonishing that someone can question why you’re a single parent, as if you did something ridiculously wrong to get you there. I wish more people would realise that they don’t owe anyone an explanation as to why they’re in ANY kind of situation whether good or bad, whether it be through social media, personally, whatever. And I wish people would mind their own business and not believe everything they hear and see. But this is 2017, social media rules the world and being ‘nosey’ is just the norm right? Crazy. Just remember social media’s only a fraction of an insight into people’s lives.

Have a blessed week xoxo

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

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