This Girl Can

I realise I haven’t written a personal post for a while so here I am giving a little life update because in the blogging world it’s good to be consistent and of course write from the heart about the things that matter to you. Writing as I’ve come to realise is not only an art form, it can also be a form of therapy. This blog has always been a creative outlet for expression. I have been inspired by three lovely friends of mine  to get tapping away at the keyboard. Vicki, Lucie and Jess.

Motherhood is a lot harder than I thought it would be I still haven’t worked out whether that’s because I am a little older or whether it’s just that I over complicate things. My life in the past 4 years has drastically changed and I am a resilient woman who has tackled a lot during this time.  I think more parents in particular are turning to blogging and video blogging (vlogging) as a way of connecting with like minded people record memories as well as share the good and the not so good.  This guy is the main reason I started writing my blog on the 5th July 2014.

I love having a YouTube channel to run alongside the writing although it is quite challenging managing both at times.  Yes it can seem like over sharing but in my opinion a great way to help others and inspire. Becoming a sponsored vlogger for Channel Mum continues to be one of my favourite things ever.

I genuinely work with a wonderful team and I can really appreciate the power of YouTube working to influence and entertain many people. My advice to anyone thinking about starting a channel is to “just start”.  If you’re not sure or don’t feel confident then you can always record videos on your phone use insta stories get used to filming yourself, little steps which might just be the start of something amazing in your life!

For those that already know me I am devoted to my family.  I have been a stay at home (working mum) for a few years and  Jay starts Reception Class at Primary school next week. I am already beginning to get the butterflies, you know this thing called separation anxiety, I have it really bad.  He is my shadow  pretty much always by my side and September heralds big changes for us all.

We have had a busy active summer and Jay starts school next week. Some of you may know how much we love going to National Trust locations I genuinely recommend becoming members, it almost forces you to head out and take notice of the many incredible places that you have on your doorstep. Also good for your mindset and we all know how important that is to maintain.

As I also approach my 42nd birthday very very soon, I am preparing for a lot of change at home. We have a house extension taking place now which is to go on for a few more weeks yet. My intuition tells me it’s going to be tough and I trust my intuition a lot. I might be a little quiet on social media while I get used to the dust around me.  I must keep thinking of the end result, a brand spanking new kitchen with a utility room, a study and a downstairs toilet.  See I don’t ask for much. Mark and I celebrated 8 years of marriage last month and totally forgot to write the cards we had bought for one another. That’s how busy things are.

Last May we went to the beautiful island of Menorca our very first holiday abroad other than the time we visited my brother in California.  Contrary to what I thought we did relax with a few tantrums thrown in which was expected. I came home wanting us to travel and experience more together.


I have absolutely no regrets in staying at home raising Jay, after all we waited so long to become parents this is definitely what I wanted. I  have the upmost respect for the women and men who go to work and use childcare. I know for some women this is their choice and for others it’s not how they would like things to be but have no choice. We all need to do what we need to do and there mustn’t be any shaming in that.

Jay attended the loveliest Pre-school locally and this has been a wonderful experience.  From the moment I held him to this very day I have flashbacks to milestones and accept that time appears to move very fast.  Motherhood was something I was frightened of to be honest and now I take it day by day, trying my best to enjoy the present which inevitably brings it’s highs and lows. Exhausting as it is, there is something so magical about it that I feel very grateful for even when he is making me answer 100 questions in 10 seconds.

He’s at a fun age when he wants to know so much. Our bright boy who is ready for the next chapter in his life  amazes us with his speech and observations and I can’t wait to see how school education will take it to another level. He is 4 years old and often acts like a teenager which is funny and scary at the same time.  His latest interest is learning the Highway code signs which he has been viewing on various youtube videos. I have been driving for just over 24 years now and he seems to know more signs than I do! I reckon he’ll be ready for his theory long before his 17th.

There has of course been heartache in my recurrent miscarriage which I have written about here.  I know we all experience some form of loss or grief at some point in our lives but it is devastating when the plan doesn’t go to plan. We also recognise how incredibly lucky we are to have our son here to love and nurture. I  accept that life is full of surprises and joy and pain all part of this existence here on Earth. I recently read that something won’t go away until it teaches us what it needs us to know. I view life very differently now because things can be taken away from you in an instant.   I believe in turning negative situations into positive ones somehow something good can come out of it.

Working on media campaigns for Tommy’s the Baby loss charity and helping a recurrent miscarriage study at St Mary’s hospital makes these loses bearable. I advocate for more research on this subject to help prevent loss and suffering to people.  Baby loss is one of life’s cruel events. Despite the emotional battlefield I enter from time to time I am choosing hope over darkness. Life though will never be the same.

Society now is much more open to people talking about mental health breaking down stigma and working through issues seeking help because its okay not to be okay.  A positive mindset is essential to moving forward but also working on the things we perhaps might not want to face. Despite my many losses I vowed I’d never let it take me into a place I could not get out of because I have a very special mummy role to fulfill. In fact I feel stronger than ever before in my intentions to work hard and enjoy the free golden 24 hours we are all given each day.  I am currently reading a fantastic ebook by Turia Pitt about mindset. I set aside 15 minutes a day and work through the book.  If you don’t know who Turia is please take a moment to read up about her story I can tell you it’s definitely influenced me and pretty sure it might just get you thinking about your own life.

Recurrent Miscarriage recovery meant that I took the decision to sort my head and body out and began personal training in March 2017 3 weeks after I had surgery following the loss of my sixth pregnancy. I just went straight into it to help me focus through what was a really hard time.  I totally surprised myself  by training hard each week for months. I saw results I felt better lost body fat in the areas I needed to, and it has done wonders for my mind. Then in November I stopped personal training which was a mistake as I noticed I wasn’t feeling as positive and motivated. I kickstarted my sessions with new personal trainers Jacob Paul (400M Hurdler) and James Daly . I have said this before but Personal training has been one of the best investments ever. I have noticed a huge change in my physical and mental health. I’m not going to say this will be the best thing for everyone but movement is vital for us to feel good. Walking is hands down my favourite exercise.  Jacob and James are brilliant people and I highly recommend them if you are seeking personal training.

Through my work on social media I have been fortunate to work with small and big brands and use Instagram daily as it’s also a source of inspiration to me. Ever since I started posting 4 years ago I’ve seen more and more people engage with me and it’s been really wonderful having this platform to share content.  I have received lots of kind comments over the years and have formed wonderful friendships which significantly out ways any negatives from people who have unkind vibes. For those of you who read my blog and instagram posts and take time out of their day to watch my videos I thank you.  I think back to the time when I started using social media mainly Facebook and I was 32 years old. These days it’s all very different. The younger generation are exposed to so much. I do realise I am starting to sound very old but I do worry about the pressure young people face theses days all due to social media.

When I stopped working full time at 35 weeks pregnant in 2014 I had no idea what would happen to my career. My first priority was always going to be Jay no matter what but I also knew how much I loved working and I genuinely still feel very lucky to have had the oportunities that I have had since I became a parent. I will be focusing on my YouTube channel and business more once Jay starts school and be around to make sure I drop him off to school and pick him up after school.

I  started an online beauty business in April with an American Company as a distributor for their products and it’s been an exciting venture as I have an interest in beauty and helping others while at the same time learning and making income from home. I do have a Facebook group Belle de Beauté if you ever want to stop by to browse my posts and please feel free to contact me if there is anything I can help you with.  I hope to build this business and help others build a business from home to work around existing commitments, so please do send me an email if you’d like to find out more.

Despite me wanting time and financial freedom. Ultimately health and my family’s health is paramount. I am currently in a good place working hard and celebrating achievements.  They are usually little milestones but that’s fine by me, I’m not in a race.  I am working on a law of attraction planner which is something I purchased after reading The Secret. For me a woman in my 40s self awareness and discovery is becoming a huge theme as well as waking up each day with a grateful heart.So that’s really where things are at the moment with me and mine. Thank you for your kind words and friendship and to everyone who engages with me on social media platforms I am truly grateful you take the time to do so.

It doesn’t go unnoticed.

Love and Light Always

Bella

~X~

Camber Sands


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Camber Sands is situated to the east of the ancient town of Rye and was the location for our very first staycation as a family.  This wide, sandy beach is five miles long and is the perfect spot in which to breathe in the fresh sea air, make sandcastles and of course memories. Rye has quaint cobbled streets with antique shops, bric a brac shops and fashionable boutiques. We booked a mid-week stay at the fabulous 19th century Point Farm B&B and it was absolutely perfect for our needs.  We stayed in the Yard room which had an equestrian decor. I loved the wooden furniture in the room and it was cosy. I love cosy!

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I still brought everything but the kitchen sink with us as I really can’t do light I’m afraid.  This place is just wonderful especially for children and the welcome after a relatively long drive was just what we needed warm and relaxed. Nothing was too much trouble and we were looked after so well by Ruby. Jay giggled with excitement around the lovely  collie dogs Nala and Kiara who were so good with him and he would lure them into our room many times! there were chickens, ponies, geese, and ducks to grab the attention of our little human who loves animals and the outdoors. I was a little nervous about how I would manage his routine but it worked out fine. Sometimes I realise you need to just let things go a little and enjoy the moment as you can always get back into routine. I was inspired to stay in Camber Sands by my wonderful Blogger friend Binny who reviewed a hotel in the area. Thank you Binny!

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One of the best things about a B&B is of course the breakfasts and these did not disappoint! The eggs were fresh with bright orange yolks and I ate perhaps a bit more than I would but that’s what being on holiday is about, indulgence when you can.  We talked about starting a family tradition and heading to Camber each year. The sunny warm days went at a slow pace and for me one of the highlights was seeing Jay and his daddy interact, their father son bond is one of my favourite things. For me this time together was so special and seeing our son happy definitely made it all worthwhile.

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The B&B was a 10 mins walk to the sand dunes. The climb up the dunes was ridiculously hard. I was over taken by some young fast kids which was a bit embarrassing but I had a lot to carry including a yellow digger as you do. Once we were over the hard bit it became easier going down hill. At first Jay was averse to sand on his feet but he slowly got used it and then when it didn’t bother him he didn’t want to leave the beach. He loved dipping his little toes in the sea.

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One morning I drove the boys to a lovely town called Bodium and let me tell you it was a pretty drive past  lots of  tree-lined lanes dotted with beautiful houses. The winding lanes had branches over hang creating green tunnels. Jay visited his first ever moated castle which was in pretty good nick seeing as it was built in 1385. We couldn’t really hang about for the talks that were being given as my active side kick had other plans and wanted to go off exploring on his own.  Mr M and I talked about how much we would love to become National Trust members one day but will probably wait until Jay is older to fully appreciate membership.

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On one of the evening’s we tucked into fish and chips from the local chippy Pelican Fish Bar which tasted great.   I don’t know if it’s the placebo effect of being in a place like this which makes the food taste even better. Jay didn’t touch the fish or the chips so I made his favourite chicken in gravy and brown rice. We ate by romantic table lamp light once Jay had gone to bed.

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We loved our staycation and I hope it will be the start of many. Last December we were on Manhattan Beach in California a totally different landscape but just as memorable. I do have a case of the holiday blues as I type this.  As a little girl my parents would take my brother and I to the coast each summer and we stayed in B&Bs. I remember those times with a fond heart. I totally forgot that this type of  soft golden sand existed on the south coast.  It is a great location for everyone and the beach never felt crowded. You are able to hire deck chairs and wind breaks all for a small charge.  I would love to hear from you if you’ve also been to Camber Sands or are thinking of going.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
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Wherever you head off to this summer I hope you have a really lovely time.

Bella

~X~

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Daddy is a Superhero – Snapfish Experience*

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It’s no secret I have a penchant for personalised products and ever since becoming a parent I love bringing photos of Jay to life with gifts and cards for family and friends displaying my favourite images. I know for a fact that Jay’s favourite person is his daddy (I’m not upset by this really I’m not ….  as she sheds a tear behind her MacBook) It’s really nice to see his face light up each time he sees him. Therefore it makes sense to treat his superhero to a personalised gift this year for Father’s Day.

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Yes Father’s Day is nearly here  held on the third Sunday of June in the United Kingdom. It is a day to honour fathers and father figures, such as grandfathers and fathers-in-law. (That’s a lot of ‘fathers’ in one sentence)

Personalised gifts and cards are the perfect way to thank Dads for the support, say how much we love them, show how much fun they are or what great grandfathers they have become. I recently had the opportunity to browse Snapfish and choose some gift items. Here are some of them. I’ve had a positive experience using this service and will certainly be using them again the items were delivered quickly and I’m pleased with them.

Father’s Day Card

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Photo Mugs

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Notebooks

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Keyrings Magnets

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I’m looking forward presenting our tokens of love to Daddy Mark , Grandads Peter and Raman. Will you be sending personalised gifts this year?


Visit Snapfish

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Thanks for reading!

Bella

~X~

The Baby Shower- It’s Raining Friends!

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A year ago Saturday 22nd February 2014 I had a beautiful baby shower thrown in my honour at my home by my wonderful childhood friend Nina and thankfully I was able to return the favour in May 2014.

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I had just finished work the previous day to begin maternity leave and had no idea that ‘Quelle Surprise’ we would be meeting Jay a fortnight later!

I also had a surprise mini baby shower organised by my friends at work which was so special and it was at these events where I think it really hit me that I was going to have a baby! a little late you could say but it was true.

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I adore an Afternoon Tea so it was fun incorporating it into the Tiny Feets theme at my baby shower and I loved having my friends and family with me celebrating the impending birth which will be forever etched in my mind.

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If you are planning a pre baby party here are a few pointers

Oh how I love Pinterest ! why not create a board and look for inspiration.  Have a chat with the lovely mum 3-4 months before the due date and find out the date/time and location of the party.  It could be held at home or a restaurant or a community hall. She may prefer to have a spa day of course with the girls. There is nothing wrong with keeping it small and intimate.  Also worth checking if there will be a gift list that guests could contribute to if they wish.  Why not decide on a theme or keep it a surprise! for theme ideas scroll below.

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Prepare a guest list writing down their addresses and numbers and send out the invitations. You may wish to email out the invitations if time is an issue, remember to include a RSVP date and check if there are any dietary requirements to consider.

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No baby shower checklist is complete without something to eat and drink. I had a combination of home made delicious goodies made by my lovely host and shop bought party platters (Thank you Mr Waitrose). Don’t forget the drinks and Mocktails!

Order tableware it’s entirely up to you whether you wish to use glassware or plastic.

Think about ordering flowers, balloons, candles, and decorations for walls and where the decorations will go and how they will stick!

One of my favourite go to sites is  Mother & Baby they have a great list of baby games to play.

Remember you may want to buy prizes for the games and also favours for the goodie bags for the guests. You may want to think about a preparing music playlist.

On the day allow time to set up and welcome guests when they arrive and designate an area for coats and gifts.

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Have a comfortable chair, with a pillow, for mummy to be to use at the shower, especially if she’s in her third trimester and remember to have fun!

There are loads of theme ideas at Pop Sugar

Welcome to the World

Welcome-World-Sip-See

 

What could it Bee?

What-Bee-Gender-Reveal

Western Theme

Western-Themed-Baby-Shower

Vintage Baby Shower

Vintage-Baby-Shower

Sweet Rubber Ducky

Sweet-Rubber-Ducky-Shower

Sunny Breakfast 

Sunny-Breakfast-Shower

Sprinkle Baby Shower

Sprinkle-Baby-Shower-Experienced-Moms---2

Sock Monkey Baby Shower

Sock-Monkey-Baby-Shower

Ready to Pop!

Ready-Pop-Baby-Shower

Pink Ruffles and Ribbons

Pink-Ruffles-Ribbon-Shower

Old World Glam

Old-World-Glam-Sparkling-Baby-Shower-2

Nautical

Nautical-Baby-Shower

Gold Pink Circus

Luxe-Gold-Pink-Circus-Baby-Shower

Little Man Mustasche

Little-Man-Mustache-Baby-Shower

High Tea

High-Tea-Shower

Exotic Morrocan Inspired

Exotic-Moroccan-Inspired-Baby-Shower

Space Invaders

Cute-Clever-Robot-Inspired-Shower

Charming Childrens’ Books

Charming-Children-Book-Inspired-Baby-Shower

Bun in the oven

Bun-Oven-Shower

Breezy Beachside

Breezy-Beachside-Baby-Shower

Airplane Theme

Airplane-Themed-Baby-Shower

Western Theme

Western-Themed-Baby-Shower

Velveteen Rabbit

Velveteen-Rabbit-Inspired-Shower

Thai Theme

Thai-Themed-Baby-Shower

Sweet Lullaby

Sweet-Lullaby-Themed-Baby-Shower

Sprinkle Baby Shower

Sprinkle-Baby-Shower-Experienced-Moms--

Mod Gender Reveal Party

Mod-Gender-Reveal-Party

Little Pink Birdies

Little-Pink-Birdies-Shower

Lavender Theme

Lavender-Shower

For those planning a baby shower it really is a wonderful occasion and I wish you a wonderful time. I would also love to hear about your Baby Shower please feel free to comment.

Thanks for reading!

~X~

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