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Maternity Leave, A Time to Make Decisions

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Going on maternity leave can be a blessing. Not only it is crucial in order to have quality time with your child or to cope with the strains of pregnancy, but it could also be the perfect time to start thinking about the future.

What will your next step be?

For some this could mean changing careers or even starting a new one.


Once you start thinking about taking this important step in your life, it would be a good idea to do some research online. To understand what’s actually out there, how to update your CV or to see which roles you are best suited too.

Thankfully the Internet is full of amazing sources of information, from working mothers offering genuine advice to sites such as blog Jobrapido which offers professional guidance, from choosing the right career to interview preparation. It’s also important to consider possible study period/courses you might want or need to undertake for certain positions. Being prepared will give you more confidence to re-evaluate your career, and give yourself the time to reflect on what you want.

Juggling between work and family is not an easy task. Being a mum might mean a full-time career is simply not do-able, or just something you don't want to do anymore. However, it is important to remember that you have many options on what you can do afterwards, to keep the two most important parts of your life balanced.

You could start your journey pursuing a part-time job, which would give you the chance to balance family and work, while keeping your mind stimulated professionally. Though there are always some pros and cons that need to be considered. Here are just some that you might want to keep in mind.

Time 

Since working part-time requires fewer hours, it means that your time with your family won’t be as affected as that of a full-time employee. Remember to be up front and open with your employer - don’t be afraid to request flexible hours and know your working rights, before being pressured into agreeing to more hours than you had originally wanted.

Childcare 

Getting out of the office in time to pick up your children from school, or to take them to their various after-school activities, is often a very important point for a working parent. However, for many of us it is simply easier and more practical to consider finding someone else who can offer help with childcare. Whether this be family, friends, child-minders, nannies, or an after-school club. I advise doing lots of research and even talk to other parents, to see what they decided on.

Less Money 

Working fewer hours will of course mean that you will earn less money than a full-time worker. But if you are one for a challenge, you could always ask your boss for extra work, in order to gain a little extra money. You must consider if the number of hours you are working, and the amount you will earn, are worth the extra work you will have to do, in order to organise your life around a new job.

Benefits 

Sometimes (not in every company) if you start working part-time you might not be eligible for benefits such as paid holiday, or sick days. Again be sure of your rights, and don’t be afraid to ask questions - you’ll kick yourself later if you don’t!

For any decision that you are going to make, always try to not underestimate yourself. Don't doubt yourself too much, be confident and always think about what YOU want. Maternity leave helps you welcome one part of your life and also reflect on the other. Take advantage of the time you have and be sure to enjoy every minute!

In Collaboration with Mary J

Butlin's Fun, Fairy Makeovers & Holiday Blues | #LittleLoves

Friday, 21 April 2017


Last week passed in an absolute blur! Friday morning we headed down to Minehead, for an easter weekend of Butlin's fun. The fun didn't stop there though, as we spent a couple of extra days away; visiting Bath and Longleat too.

Getting away was exactly what we all needed, and despite it not being the most relaxing trip (20 month olds are NOT very good holiday companions), we still had the best time. I do think I need another holiday though to recover from that one... roll on May!

Read

Unless a Butlin's Easter Egg hunt map counts, then absolutely nothing... I've just been too busy.

Watched



We watched SO many shows this week, although the highlight was probably Teletubbies - for the littles of course, not me! Their little faces were an absolute picture, and Indie was up grooving throughout. 

Heard

We had Indie's preschool consultation yesterday - her first since she start in January. It was so lovely to hear what she's been up to, and how she is when there. 

Does anyone else's little one act different at preschool / school than to at home? Apparently she's shy and quiet.. I'm not quite sure that's my crazy little lady they're talking about, as we trouble getting her to stop shouting at home!

Made

Lots of memories! Cheesy I know, but oh so true. We also 'made it' through two nights of all of us sleeping in the same room... that was not so much fun.

Wore

Indiana had a special fairy princess makeover, and it was the cutest thing! She's still dressing up as a fairy daily, and has asked to get her very own nail varnish for at home. If only we could all be fairy princesses hey?

And Lastly...

I'm so pleased to be getting back to reality after the Easter break, and being away. I've got soooo much to do, so fingers crossed I can find the time to get it done. Anyone else got the holiday blues though?

Have a lovely week :)

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat

Living Arrows // 16/52

Monday, 17 April 2017


“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”
Kahlil Gibran

Every week I'll be sharing a capture of my littles - either individually or together. To capture how they grow and change week by week.

We had a relaxed start to last week, as I knew we had a busy weekend to come! Indiana absolutely loves doing puzzles, and can do them so well without my help already. As you can see she was very proud of herself!


Anyone else incredibly jealous of their little ones lashes? Parker has the most beautiful eyes, and lashes for days - much better than mine for sure. The only way I could get him still enough to capture them though was with food, so here he is with his Easter chocolate treat.


Living Arrows

The Siblings Project | April 2017

Saturday, 15 April 2017


I cannot believe it's time for me to type up another siblings post. These months are just flying by, and I honestly cannot believe we're into April already. I know I probably say the same thing every month (doesn't everyone?), but it's just so true!

I adore the photos I captured of Indiana and Parker this month. They were completely unposed, and I think I love them even more because of that. Don't get me wrong, I loveeeee perfectly posed pictures, but these really capture the moment in time - our visit to Eastbourne last weekend.



Although these pictures present a beautiful moment (and it honestly was... they loved playing on the beach and in the sea), this month hasn't really had so many of these. After it seemed as if we were progressing with their relationship, things seemed to have slipped back a bit.

The arguments happen on a daily basis, and I'm forever having to separate them - although this usually ends in more arguments, as Parker thinks the whole thing is hilarious, and he'll sneak his way back to Indie as quickly as possible.

Parker is becoming cheekier by the minute too, and does everything possible to wind Indie up. He'll sneak a toy and run away giggling, or destroy a game because he knows it'll get a reaction. He thinks it's all fun and games, but poor Indie really doesn't.



I'm hoping things will slowly start to go back to where we were, once Indie is back at preschool. The time apart really does do them some good (and gives them both time to play alone / get me to themselves). But who knows... maybe this is the start of a whole new chapter in their sibling relationship!

The Me and Mine Project

Beach Days, Preschool Jabs & Easter Crafts | #LittleLoves

Friday, 14 April 2017

How is another week of the Easter holidays over already? Although it feels as if Indie has been off of preschool forever, I just don't feel like we've had enough time to fit things in. And with the weather finally getting it right (I hope I haven't jinxed it), I really don't want the holidays to end.

Thankfully we've still got lots of fun to fit in before we're back to the routine! Jack's now off of work for over a week and we're off on holiday today. So apologies for the up-coming holiday spam over on instagram...

Read

I loved this post from Kerry Conway. She talks about how she's not lucky to have certain things, it's because she's worked hard for them. And I often think the same when people say the same to me.

We work hard for what we've got (this one especially refers to opportunities through this blog). My two are the way they are because of how we raise them, etc... And we really shouldn't feel guilty for that.

Watched

Indiana had her preschool boosters this week, so I had to 'watch' her get them done (sorry for the terrible link). She was so brave, and despite a few tears it was nothing some chocolate couldn't cure. Parker was very concerned though and wanted to hold her hand most of the way home.

Heard

My two are obsessed with the Little Baby Bum videos, and now Indie has taken to singing them around the house too. Send help!

Made

With the weather turning a little chillier on Wednesday, I thought it was perfect timing to bring out the little's Easter Basket. It was a huuuuge hit and the activities kept them amused for a good few hours.

There was painting, sticking, and colouring. But I think they enjoyed the wind-up toys the most! So much so they've been packed in Indie's Trunki to play with while we're away.



Wore

The weather last weekend was glorious; and if you read my previous post you'll know we spent our Saturday at the seaside. I wore my sunglasses for the first time this year, and it felt sooo good. Roll on more sunny days!

And Lastly...

We're currently on our second Butlin's Ambassador holiday - this year in Minehead - and have planned to stay around the area for a couple of days after our visit. So if you have any suggestions of where to visit around Minehead / Somerset, let me know!

Have a lovely week :)

Fun in the Sun at Eastbourne Beach

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Living in Kent, we are lucky to have so many lovely seaside towns on our doorstep. So when we heard the sun was going to shine last weekend, we knew we had to visit one! As we usual head to Brighton or Hastings (and knowing how busy these can be), we decided on Eastbourne instead.


Eastbourne is just 44 miles south of the M25, and is easily accessible. Parking is sooo much easier than Brighton and Hastings, and a lot cheaper too. We managed to find a spot along the seafront (right in the middle!) and parking for the whole day was just £4. 

We stuck to the main resort beach and pier, but Eastbourne does have more than 3 miles of vast shingle beaches - some with rock pooling opportunities at low tide. Most of the beaches are pebble, but you will find the occasionally sandy patch.



There was so much fun in the sun to be had, and we had a truly British day out. We wandered along the promenade, taking in all the sites (including the famous bandstand) while we waited for the fog to lift. Of course the main attraction for the littles was the beach and the sea though!

The weather may have been glorious, but the sea was freeeezing. That didn't stop them though, and with socks and shoes off they went in for a paddle. Parker enjoyed it a little bit too much and got a little carried away with his stone throwing, resulting in a very soggy bum. It was then a struggle to get them both to leave - but at least it proved they were having fun!


 

The main resort beach is fantastic offering "the safest bathing with lifeguards, first aid, a kids wristband scheme and swimming only zones. Plus a variety of cafes, toilets, showers, deckchairs, sun loungers and beach huts available to hire". 

After the beach we went in search of a seaside lunch... fish and chips of course! We couldn't find a restaurant so ended up eating it on a picnic bench along the pier. I think this just added to the charm of the day though - and the littles loved shooing the seagulls when they got too close.





After penny machines and a quick trip into the town centre (because who can resist a Primark?), we ended the day with ice creams on the beach. It was a perfect way to end our day in Eastbourne. And yes, it really was a truly British day out... I'm still sunburnt!

Living Arrows // 15/52

Monday, 10 April 2017


“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”
Kahlil Gibran

Every week I'll be sharing a capture of my littles - either individually or together. To capture how they grow and change week by week.

We had a special little visitor on Friday afternoon, as my sister came to visit with my newborn niece. This was the first time Indie and Parker were meeting Harleigh, and I was so excited to see how they would react.

It could not have gone better! Both of them are absolutely besotted with her, and wanted constant cuddles. I just know she's going to be the main attraction for a very long time.



Parker was the most gentle I've ever seen him, gently stroking her and giving kisses. Of course he was still heavy handed, but it's amazing to see how they just instantly know how to be with a baby.

Indie was in pure Mother Hen mode. Feeding her baby as my sister was feeding Harleigh, helping with nappy changes and giving plenty of kisses. This girl was born to be a big sister!


Living Arrows

Postpartum Hair Loss, Tips & Tricks

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Postpartum hair loss. It's one of those things that you don't even consider when you get pregnant. Why would you? But it's actually very common.

It's something I have personally suffered with after both of my children; especially my second as I don't think my hair ever fully recovered (we have a small age gap). It's only now my youngest is 20 months my hair is going 'back to normal'... yay!

A post shared by Emily (@emilyandindiana) on

So why does it happen?

During pregnancy your levels of oestrogen increase, which increases the growth phase of your hair - This means that hair that would normally fall out remains for longer, resulting in thicker looking hair. But once your baby is born your hormones start to return to normal, which means the hair cycle does too.

It may appear you're loosing lots of hair at once, but it's just because you're losing those extra hairs too. Thankfully though you should see things to return to normal around 6-12 months after birth. Although be prepared for the regrowth, I found this was worse than the hair loss!

How can you help?

There are a number of things you can do to help! I have a few tips of my own, and have asked my fellow bloggers who have also suffered to share too.

  • Handle your hair gently - avoid over brushing or putting your hair up too tight. "The only thing I could do was switch my parting around to hide it better. I also used very moisturising shampoos and conditioners to help with dryness and tangles so it didn't break and lose more" - Sarah 
  • Linked with the point above, try to avoid using too much heat on your hair - air dry your hair instead of using hairdryers and avoid using hair straighteners too.


  • "Learn to style your hair to hide the receeding bits on the side, a nice swept over fringe will do it! Oh and don't be tempted to cut the wispy bits when they grow back and are sticking out at right angles; a very very short term gain for one night is not worth starting from scratch again!"  - Hayley
  • Make sure you eat a healthy, balanced diet and keep hydrated. Vitamins A, B and C have all been linked to healthy hair!
  • Lots of women find getting their hair cut shorter helps too. "I had my hair lopped off into a bob and it was so much more manageable for me!" - Emma
Oh and not necessary something to help with the loss, but Jade made a very good point - make sure to clean your plughole regularly, otherwise they may get blocked!

If you believe your hair loss isn't returning to normal after your baby is over a year, there are other routes you can take. A hair transplant is obviously not the first step, but may be something to consider. But of course do visit your doctors first.

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Parker's 20 Month Update

Saturday, 8 April 2017

How is our beautiful boy 20 months old? I'm not sure why, but I've been putting off writing this update. Parker just isn't a baby anymore and it makes me sooo sad! I am so proud of the little boy he's turning into, I just wish it wasn't happening so fast.

He's actually now the age Indiana was when he was born. A fact that is absolutely mad... I couldn't even begin to imagine having a newborn to look after now. Especially as Parker and Indie are just so incredibly different. She was always (and still is) calm and reserved, whereas he is feisty, fearless and far too confident.



This month saw a big change for Parker, as we moved house and he moved into a toddler bed. At first the transition went really well. He napped and slept as normal. Brilliant we thought, he's cracked it! However the last week we've had a lot of issues (I'm putting it lightly.. it's been rough). 

We're unsure whether it's teeth (his back molars seem to be causing him a lot of pain at the moment), a realisation he can get out of bed, or the clock change. Whatever it is it's made bedtime a nightmare. We're considering dropping his nap to see whether that helps. But if you have any ideas of what can help, we'd love to hear it!



Everything else is very similar to his 19 month update. He's eating like there's no tomorrow, running / jumping / dancing all over the place, and he's still a pain in my butt (sorry P!). He learns new words daily still, and his understanding blows my mind. New words include: work, tickle, door, treasure, and play. He's also able to point out most of his body parts.

He's loving singing, Peppa Pig, playing in the garden, meeting his baby cousin, reading stories and exploring. He's not liked getting his hair cut (it was horrible, but very necessary), bedtime, the pushchair and having to sit still!

Easter Holidays, Cornflake Cakes & Belated Birthdays | #LittleLoves

Friday, 7 April 2017

We made it through the first week of Easter holidays... yay! I don't think I've ever really noticed how much of a difference preschool has made. But entertaining two crazy beans, whilst trying to fit in blog / youtube work and keep the house afloat is a whole lot more work.


Thankfully the weather has been on our side, and the joys of having a garden has really kicked in now. Anyone else spent most of their week outside?

Annyyyway.. here's this week's Little Loves.

Read

I will get better at this section... one day!

Watched

Who needs to watch One Born Every Minute when you can experience it all yourself? I had the absolute pleasure of being my sister's birth partner (if you remember I mentioned she was being induced on Friday in last weeks post).

My beautiful niece arrived on Sunday evening, and my heart honestly grew that little bit more. I just know she's going to be loved so, so much by my two. Meet Harleigh :)

Heard

We've had Moana on repeat (it's currently playing for the second time today already), so I think it's taken over the Trolls obsession. Thankfully I still love the songs... for now!

Made

It's the Easter holidays, so of course we had to make Easter cakes! Indie and I made nest cakes last year, so we went for the standard cornflake versions this year, and of course Parker got to get involved.

Although his idea of making cakes was eating the cornflakes and then the chocolatey mix. I even caught him sneaking into the fridge to eat them yesterday! I suppose that means they're tasty though.


Wore

Although it's mostly been sunny, we did have a morning of rain early in the week. My two were being, let's say.. testing, so I couldn't even think of another day inside. So I bundled them in their puddlesuits and wellies and we spent our morning at the park.

They absolutely loved it and we even made a snail friend!

And Lastly...

As I mentioned above, last Sunday I spent my day at the hospital with my sister. What I didn't mention though was that it was also my husband Jack's birthday! I felt so guilty not being there to celebrate with him, but of course he totally understood. We're off to re-celebrate this weekend, so fingers crossed the lovely weather sticks around.

Have a lovely week :)

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat

Moving Abroad with the Whole Family: Where to Start | Guest Post

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Moving from one country to another is a big change. It can be a rather challenging experience both physically and mentally, and it can be even more difficult when the whole family (especially children) are involved. Something to always keep in mind in these cases is to remain organised through every aspect of your move.

The most stressful part of a move is believed to be the packing and the shipping of all your belongings. Luckily nowadays there are companies like Blissmoving that can make the actual move easier and more organised by providing by providing stress-free international removals. Leaving you to consider your child/children’s feelings regarding the big change they are going to undertake.


Here are some tips on how to keep everyone happy and on board with the decision:

Get involved in your children's feelings 

In order to help the emotionally taxing moving process with children, it is very important to keep them involved in every step of the way. You should start by always asking them what are their feelings about the move, and really listen to them.

It is important that they should feel like their opinions and fears are being heard. Sometimes even the best-meaning parent is capable of ignoring their child’s feelings in times of stress. This will only make the situation worse. It is very important for you to be there emotionally.

Keep them involved 

Also, an important aspect is to build excitement for the move. That could be packing their belongings, choosing the house together, or choosing furniture. Sometimes even giving them the freedom to choose most of their bedroom furniture for example, could be a good step to enable them to accept the new environment. Something else you could also try is facilitating their learning about the culture of the country you are moving to.

Of course every child is different, and every age too, therefore you will have to treat each child differently. But by following these simple, and short tips you will be able to get an almost stress-free move, with the help of the entire family.

Just remember that moving to another country can also be beneficial for your children's growth. They might even catch a little excitement once everyone is on board. Never underestimate how understanding your children could be!

In collaboration with Mary J

Living Arrows // 14/52

Monday, 3 April 2017


“You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth”
Kahlil Gibran

Every week I'll be sharing a capture of my littles - either individually or together. To capture how they grow and change week by week.

I absolutely adore this picture of Parker. He loves nothing more than playing in his big sister's bed when she's not there (don't tell Indie though, she's not so happy about it!). 


It was Indie very first Easter Bonnet parade last Friday. Thankfully they made them at preschool so I didn't need to though! She was so happy posing with it on at home, but the second we met all of her friends and teachers she turned incredibly shy. I know she secretly loved it though!



Living Arrows