ONE YEAR OF MATERNITY LEAVE.

I am coming to the end of my maternity leave with mixed feelings and feel it might be a good idea to write down where this year has taken me to remind myself how LUCKY I have been to have the opportunity to take a full year (and a bit extra) of maternity leave before I embark on my next chapter as a working mama! 

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I finished up at my job (at a fashion recruitment agency) in November 2017 and managed to have almost 5 weeks of boxsets, naps, netflix, tea + cake dates, christmas shopping and pretty much doing nothing until Enzio’s arrival on Thursday 7th December. 

The early days of motherhood are a complete blur to me now, I struggle to remember so many details and I wish I had treasured each day rather than wishing those long nights away. For what was a really happy exciting time soon turned to an incredibly tough and emotional time as we sadly lost my boyfriends dad very suddenly exactly one week after Enzio was born. He was with us a few hours before he passed away and I wish so much I had taken a photo of him holding Enzio but you never think something like that will happen. What was supposed to be a wonderful christmas with our new baby just turned into weeks of sadness, disbelief and grief while I desperately tried to navigate through the first few weeks of motherhood and recovering from a c-section whilst wanting to be there for my boyfriend who within a week had become a father himself and then suddenly lost his own father. I now look back and know he held out to meet his grandson and feel really lucky that he did get to meet Enzio and try and look at what happened in a positive light. *Talking of photos, I still don’t have ONE photo of me, Nath and Enz all together! 

I took things slow after that, recovering at home, sleeping when the baby slept and just took things slow until I felt ready to go out on walks, ready to drive etc. I’ll never forget the first time trying to leave the house, it felt like the impossible task EVER. I started to love our daily walks, discovering podcasts, being at home – cleaning, cooking, washing and keeping on top of the house. We went to baby yoga, met friends for coffee, went on shopping trips – I was loving maternity leave life! 

I also made it my mantra that every day I would do something for myself and it’s something I have really stuck to. I started planning days out by myself to try and get back to feeling like me again and it’s massively helped with the balance of being a mama and being an individual. I’ve taken myself to countless mums the word events (sometimes with the baby, sometimes alone). They’ve opened me up to a whole new world of women and I’ve made some really great friends this year. 

The summer took us to Eastbourne, Baby Raves, Brighton, spending sunny afternoons in pub gardens drinking pimms, bbq’s in the garden, paddling pool days, family trips to cornwall, a holiday to Spain, a roadtrip to Italy, picnics in the park, hen dos, weddings, more beach trips, visits to farms, soft play dates, nights out with my insta mama friends, three of my best friends also becoming mamas, pumpkin picking, halloween parties and everything in between. Without a doubt, the BEST summer yet! 

I trained as a Hypnobirthing Teacher and have launched my own business – The Hypnobirthing Babe. I became an MVP for Peanut, an app that connects you to likeminded mamas in your area. I finally got my head round going back to work in London only to be told two weeks before I was due to go back that I was being made redundant and the whole business was closing. Luckily for me, the stars aligned and I quickly secured a local job that really feels perfect for me. 

Naturally I feel anxious and excited about going back to work but what adds to the anxiety is starting a completely new job, completely different set up, juggling the logistics etc so I am so ready to start and end my maternity leave on a high, embracing what’s to come in the year ahead. 

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WHAT A YEAR. I have to remind myself how lucky I have been to experience such an incredible year, spent with the best bunch of girls (old friends and new) and all the memories I have made along the way. 

If you are just starting out on maternity leave, my advice is to find magic in every single day – even when you are SO sleep deprived. If you don’t feel like going out, don’t do it, listen to your body and do what feels right. Be open to meeting new people, venture to places you wouldn’t usually go to. Find your tribe! Attend events, push yourself out of your comfort zone. Do something for you every day and just enjoy every single day because it will be over before you know it! 

Here’s to the next chapter, wish me luck.

PEACE, LOVE + COCONUTS.

 

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PEANUT.

MEET AS MAMAS, CONNECT AS WOMEN.

If you are new to the whole motherhood thing then you may well have heard of Peanut. Peanut was founded by the tech savvy mama, Michelle Kennedy (@michellekennedylon) and it is an app that connects you to like minded mamas in your area! 

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INLIGHT BEAUTY PRODUCT REVIEW.

It’s no secret that I am a lover of natural beauty products and as much as I can, I really try to use all natural/organic/chemical free products within my skincare regime. It’s probably two years since I made the switch and along with coming off the pill I have noticed a huge, consistent difference in the appearance of my skin and no longer suffer with breakouts and redness.

When Inlight Beauty got in touch to see if I would like to trial a few of their products I was delighted. Firstly because many of my usual Neal’s Yard products were running out (so it came at a perfect time) and secondly, I love supporting small businesses! I was asked to send through a list of any products that particularly caught my eye and then I received a surprise package through the post a few days later.

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THE SAVVY MUMMY SLEEPOVER AT FAIR OAK FARM.

#SAVVY SLEEPOVER. I’d been having a pretty boring Sunday last week until I received a really exciting email from Hanna – @the_savvy_mummy inviting myself and Enzio to an overnight stay at Fair Oak Farm – @yourcountryestate. The event was created to bring mamas and their children together for a much needed rest and some fun in the countryside. I googled the address and was delighted to see the venue was literally fifteen minutes from my house!

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MY 15 FAVOURITE PODCASTS TO LISTEN TO.

Oh wait what’s that…another party I am late to? THE PODCAST PARTY. Where have I been!? How did I commute 3 hours a day for 8 years without podcasts? I’ve recently become obsessed with listening to podcasts and thought it would be fun to share with you my top fifteen that I am loving listening to at the moment! When I discover new podcasts, I find it a bit like Instagram in the sense you just keep discovering other podcasts that you like and you get completely lost in the moment. Sooo in no particular order, here are my faves!

1. TALKING TASTEBUDS WITH VENETIA FALCONER – @venetiafalconer

I have the biggest GIRL CRUSH on Venetia and her podcast is the highlight of my Tuesday. Venetia interviews different people within the health + wellness industry and my faves so far have to be – Hazel Wallace, Alice Liveing, Madeleine Shaw, Carly Rowena, Ella Mills, Zanna Van Dijk + Melissa Hemsley. Definitely download if you are into all things health + wellness!

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2. KEEPING IT CANDID WITH MILLIE COTTON + SOPHIE MILNER – @millie_cotton + @sophiemilner_fs

In their own words…

A weekly podcast series discussing current events, pop culture + everything else #millenial. I follow both Sophie and Millie on Instagram and really love their blogs and listening to them have a good old natter!

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3. LET’S DISCUSS WITH ELLA GREGORY (COCO’S TEA PARTY) + MONICA BEATRICE WELBURN (THE ELGIN AVENUE) – @cocosteaparty + @monicabeatrice

I love how varied the girls podcasts are and I really relate to a lot of the topics that they discuss. They cover everything from finances, health + fitness, social media, relationships + dating. EVERYTHING a twenty something girl wants to talk about.

Let's+Discuss4. LIVE. LIFE. BETTER. WITH MELISSA HEMSLEY – @melissa.hemsley

Melissa is the girl you want to be your best friend. She’s a DREAM. I’ve used her cookbooks for a number of years now + was lucky enough to meet her recently (and get my copy of Eat Happy signed by her, oh hey girl hey!). When I came across this podcast I was delighted as it touches upon all things self care which is a huge topic at the moment and something I feel is super important for all of us.

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5. SHEERLUXE – @sheerluxe

If you haven’t heard of SHEERLUXE, have you been hiding under a rock? sheerluxe.com is an online magazine which features news and views on everything fashion, lifestyle + beauty. The podcasts cover success stories, fashion trends, where to visit features, health + wellness, etc. and they speak with tons of #GIRLBOSSES. A truly inspiring listen every time!

1200x630bb (1)6. HAPPY PLACE WITH FEARNE COTTON – @fearnecotton

This podcast only launched very recently but I really enjoyed listening to the episode with Dawn French. I only wish I was older when French + Saunders was on! I feel like this will soon become a firm favourite and one I will really look forward to week after week.

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7. THE EMMA GUNS SHOW WITH EMMA GUNS – @emmaguns

The episode that led me to discovering Emma Guns podcast was the episode with the gorgeous Lou and Em from A Style Album (@astylealbum). Emma also covers a lot about meditation, self care and interviews some really fabulous females including Jo Tutchener-Sharp, Alex Steinherr, Mother Pukka, Jo Elvin and many more.

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8. THE MOTHERKIND PODCAST WITH ZOE BLASKEY – @motherkind.co

As a new mum this is a podcast I have really found I connect with! Zoe talks a lot about how important looking after your well-being is in those early days of motherhood and dealing with a newborn baby.

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9. THE PARENTHOOD WITH MARINA FOGLE + DR CHIARA HUNT FROM THE BUMP CLASS – @thebumpclass

I first started listening to the Parent Hood podcast about six months into my pregnancy and I found it really exciting to listen to everything related to being pregnant and becoming a parent. A must for any mama to be!

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10. STRONG NOT SKINNY WITH HOLLIE GRANT, THE PILATES PT – @thepilatespt

One for all the health + wellness lovers, yay!Hollie interviews people such as Melissa Hemsley, Mel Wells, Emma Mills + Pippa Murray.

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11. IS IT JUST ME WITH JO ELVIN + JAMES WILLIAMS – @jo_elvin + @jamesconradw12

The extremely talented former Glamour Editor and queen of the hashtag #clothesmyhusbandhates interviews celebs such as Rochelle Humes, Emma Willis, Caroline Flack, Dawn O’Porter, Louise Redknapp + Davina McCall. SUCH an easy listen! *Also interesting fact…Jo once retweeted one of my blog posts which was an interview with Leanne Bayley, former Online Editor at GLAMOUR magazine and I still have it screenshotted it my phone. Should I have admitted that? Probs not.

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12. GIRLBOSS RADIO WITH SOPHIA AMORUSO – @sophiaamoruso

The original GIRLBOSS and founder of NASTY GAL. That is all you need to know. Go give it a listen!

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13. FIT + FEARLESS WITH THE GIRL GAINS – ZANNA VAN DIJK, TALLY RYE + HEALTHY FIT VIC – @zannavandijk @tallyrye @victorianiamh

Creators of #girlgains these girls celebrate everything strong not skinny and are HUGE in the world of fitness bloggers.

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14. HAPPY MUM HAPPY BABY WITH GIOVANNA FLETCHER – @mrsgifletcher

Ah I enjoyed every single episode of this as it was one I started listening to after being bought the book by one of my best friends when I was pregnant. Gi interviews celebrity mums including Rochelle Humes, Emma Willis, Frankie Bridge, Fearne Cotton + Davina McCall. You won’t be disappointed!

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15. AT HOME WITH…WITH LILY PEBBLES + ANNA NEWTON – @lilypebbles @theannaedit

Sadly there’s only ten episodes but they are all fab! I really hope they will bring out another series. The girls interview inspirational females including Terry De Gunzburg (By Terry), Giovanna Fletcher, Alexia Inge (Cult Beauty) and Liz Earle.

One for all the beauty junkies!

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The one thing I enjoy most about podcasts is that I always feel like I’m learning something and they keep me inspired.

I hope I’ve introduced you all to some podcasts that you’ll enjoy listening to! I would love to hear your recommendations of other podcasts I haven’t mentioned so feel free to leave a comment.

PEACE, LOVE + COCONUTS.

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY.

What does being a woman mean to you?

To me, being a woman means…supporting other women and building each other up, having the freedom and confidence to wear whatever I like, that I am never alone, being strong and independent, believing I can achieve anything I want to achieve, spreading love and positivity and last but not least it means I now appreciate more than ever what the female body can do. I grew a baby – the most INSANE and BEAUTIFUL thing I could have ever done as a woman.

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#GIRLSSUPPORTGIRLS

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I SURVIVED A DIGITAL DETOX.

I decided to take some time out. Only three days but it was needed and it helped…I mean really helped. I’d been stuck in the house pretty much all week due to the snow (which was fine, I was quite pleased not to have to leave the house) but I found myself constantly aimlessly scrolling on Instagram and I was beginning to compare myself to others.

I use Instagram as a platform to source inspiration across fashion, travel, exercise, food etc. and I LOVE it. I use my phone way too much and I’m the first to admit that however I felt it was starting to have a negative impact on me. Since being on maternity leave, I have a lot more scrolling time which is unhealthy and can become so addictive.

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MOTHER’S DAY GIFT GUIDE.

THE DAY OF THE MAMA is nearly upon us and I am extra excited this year as it’s my first mothers day, YAY! I don’t think Nathan has anything planned but obvs hoping he wakes me up with a paperchase card + a hamper of mama related gifts (a girl can dream).

I wanted to collate a post of some really fabulous gifts that I have come across recently for those who are struggling with inspiration this year!

MAMAME BOX – You will be seeing a lot more of the MamaME Box as I have recently been chosen to be a brand rep and trial three of their boxes! I’m so excited to share with you all but for now check them out online, it’s such a lovely idea and a great way to make someone feel good.

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MY BIRTH STORY.

I’M BACK! HELLO everyone, the baby is asleep so I have whipped open the laptop to finally share with you my birth story. When I was pregnant I really enjoyed reading other peoples birth stories (the good, the bad and the ugly). I wanted a realistic understanding of what could or couldn’t happen, what might go wrong etc. and to just be prepared that my ‘PLAN‘ of a completely natural birth could go completely out the window.

Did that happen? Oh yes of course it did!

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