The UnNatural Mother

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Charley-Rose

I should have known you were trouble when I spent 3 long, agonising days in labour waiting for you to make an appearance. When you did finally pop out the first thing you wanted was food and from that point onwards you haven’t stopped eating!

Your birth was a beautiful but sad event for me as when I held you I knew you would be my last. Unlike your brother, you were never a cuddly baby and if now you wrap your arms around me it’s to steal the biscuit in my hand or reach for your dolly.This hasn’t stopped our bond and your favourite place in the world is sat on my knee singing nursery rhymes.

You have your daddy’s free spirit but you have my ‘death stare’ down to a T, and if you don’t want to do something then you won’t do it.

I may dress you in pink and try to put bows in your hair but you are a true Tomboy and any activity Harry does you want to be a part of. We have tried ballet dancing but give you a football and a goal and you are in your element.

Your smile could light up the Blackpool Illuminations and we don’t worry when you are making noise, it’s when you go quiet we know you are up to no good in a cupboard or drawing on a wall.

You have always been an amazing sleeper but when you wake up, no one in the house is allowed to carry on sleeping whether It’s 6 am or 2 am.

You are an independent little lady and like to choose your own clothes. Daddy’s boxer shorts, my bra & Harry’s school shoes were your choice this morning. I have learnt to pick my battles with you and if that’s the costume of your choice then so be it.

You have expensive taste in handbags but you are very good at sharing and when I am silly enough to leave my posh bags on the kitchen table you are more than happy to fill them with ‘snacks ‘ ( baked beans, bits of toast, 1/2 eaten apples ).

You have brought nothing but happiness into the lives of everyone around you.Your thirst for adventure is already shining through and just like me, you can’t stay still for a minute. You have grown from a baby to a toddler and now quite happy speeding around on 2 legs you are a little girl. I am so proud of you Charley-Rose and your birth marked the completion of our family.

This birthday marks a new chapter in your life, no longer a baby this is where the real fun begins.

I love you forever and a day

Mummy  X

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me with my legs up on a table typing on my laptop

“How do you earn money from your blog?”

This is a question I get asked at least 20 times a week and although I sometimes feel like a parrot repeating myself, I love the fact that people are interested in my new career.Blogs have been around for as long as the Internet has but Blogging as a career is still seen as a mystical art. People love reading a funny post or getting style inspiration from a fashion piece but how does writing about a company’s latest product translate into cold hard cash to pay the bills? Well, below I explain how I make a living in the world of social media.

My Blog

There are several ways to make money from my blog. Sponsored blog posts, sponsored Instagram pictures, reviews, affiliate links, being a brand ambassador, display advertising, paid YouTube videos ……….   The list can be endless. My main income from my blog comes from sponsored posts and this is where a brand or company contacts me and asks me to write about their product/service. Now don’t get too excited the fees can be anywhere from £50 – £200 and with the added need for location photo’s, video and hours of editing, a simple children’s fashion post can sometimes take 2 days to publish ( not forgetting the bottle of wine needed after negotiating with 2 small children to smile for photos )

Freelance Writing

Occasionally I will be asked to writes articles for other blogs or publications.Depending on the topic and number of words required can earn me upwards of £300.

Social Media Manager

Most of you are already aware I am midway through my training to become a Social Media Manager. Once I graduate in February this will be where I get my main income from. My day-to-day duties will be to look after companies social media platforms ( IG, Twitter, FB ) and run any digital marketing campaigns they need. My aim will be to get as much social coverage of the company with the least amount of marketing budget.This will be something I will do freelance from home while the kids are small but once they are older I will have the option to go back into the workplace. I plan to work 2 full days a week as an SMM plus at night when the kids are in bed. 20 hours work will roughly get me £300 per week.

 

So by no means am I about to become a millionaire overnight but it gives me great satisfaction knowing that every penny I earn is from my hard work & initiative.Like anything, it’s going to take time to build my empire but so far so good.I am standing on my own two feet and enjoying every minute of it.

 

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Just like millions of other children Harry starts back at school on Monday and will be moving up to Year 1. His first year at school was a huge success in terms of personal growth but being one of the youngest in the year his academic progress has been a little bit slower than some of his peers.The issue is not the learning side of things, it’s his concentration. Just like his Mummy he gets bored easily and rather than do a session of phonics he would rather be outside playing in the mud kitchen or bug exploring. As a parent, I am torn between making sure my son has a great education but also not forcing education on him. He has to learn to read and write but every child is different so when one way of learning is not quite getting the results you want you to look for a new way.

As I knew that I would be at home with Harry for the whole of the holidays I have made our everyday tasks into mini phonics sessions. He has written out short shopping lists, made name badges for his friends coming to play, we spelled out objects we have seen while driving to the park and set up a treasure hunt with simple clues to read. All of the above have been great fun little boosters but the one thing that has made me see a real difference in his reading and writing has been the Reading Eggs online learning system.

The Review Of Reading Eggs

I have been offered several different learning app’s and websites to review but turn 99% of them down as they are either over priced or too basic. Reading Eggs is different. It was designed and built by teachers and educational specialist who know the benefits of learning through play. Rather than just be one very boring program which repeats itself over and over Reading Eggs is designed for each individual child’s needs. We started using the system at the start of the summer holidays and the first thing Harry had to do was do an online assessment to see what program would best suit him.This took no more than 5 minutes and to Harry was just a game. The results indicated that Harry’s reading was aged 4 which as he had only turned 5 days before I felt comfortable with. I wanted Harry to give me his honest opinion of the system so apart from having 10 minutes with him talking about the different activities I let him get on it while I did some blogging work next to him. Harry attention span on one activity can range from 2 minutes to 2 hours but so I could really give you an honest opinion of the system I asked Harry  ( with the incentive of ice cream ) to sit and play on it for 1/2 hour. After the 30 minutes were up I asked Harry what he thought and was soon told to be quiet as he was ‘working’ !!! Harry’s first session using Reading Eggs lasted well over an hour and later that day asked if he could play it again.Over the last 4 weeks, Harry has logged onto Reading Eggs every day by his own choice and whether it has been a quick 20 minutes or over an hour he has enjoyed using the system. For every level, he completes he is rewarded with virtual medals and certificates he can print out and I am e-mailed updates of his progress.

Harry is now comfortably reading & writing at age 5 level and is loving learning.His favorite feature of the system is the Driving Test program where Harry has to pick out letters & words to complete sentences and with every correct answer make the race car go around the track. It is amazing to see Harry so happy and confident using the Reading Eggs system.It really has made a huge difference in his ability and thanks to his new-found confidence he now can’t wait to show off his new skills to his teacher next week. The Reading Eggs Learning System is £39.99 a year which when you break is £3.40 a month (the price of a latte at Starbucks).I highly recommend Reading Eggs and as it can be accessed a desktop or by using the app your child can use it anywhere they go.Reading Eggs are offering my readings a free try before you buy trial, so if you would like your child to benefit from the experts at Reading Eggs click HERE to start your trial.

Has your child used Reading Eggs before? Did you sign up for the trial and your child loved it? Let me know in the comments below.

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This post was in collaboration with Reading Eggs but all my thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

Having just arrived back from Tenerife and experienced the pain/pleasure of traveling with hand luggage only the one item I used the most was my Multi-Way Bra from Hunkemöller. I wrote in my previous post What To Pack: Hand Luggage Only, about the must have multitasking pieces that would see you through a 7 day holiday and the Multi-Way Bra from Hunkemöller was key to the success of surviving on a limited number of outfits.

It’s no secret that I have had a little help from a Dr in the boob department but far from opening up my choices of Lingerie, my boosted boobs have meant I struggle to find a well-fitting bra. I still have a small back and now thanks to having 2 babies they stand ( sag ) at a 32E cup size. As my surgery was done under the boob I have 2 scars which when I wear certain underwired bra’s can start to rub. Even more difficult is to find a strapless bra to keep my boobs from hitting the ground. I was recommended Hunkemöller by another Blogger who like me had enhanced boobs and after checking out their website they have several different tools you can use to select the perfect bra. As I needed a new strapless bra I used the Bra Solution Tool to see what my options were. It took only 4 clicks to find the perfect strapless bra in black with the added benefit of attachable straps so it could be worn multiple ways.

Delivery from Hunkemöller took less than 48 hours and the pretty black and pink packaging made unpacking the bra feels like a luxury treat. The back and cup size was spot on and after wearing the bra strapless for 8 hours at a wedding I was pleased to see no drooping, rubbing or popping out occurred. So the real test was to only take the Hunkemöller Multi-Way Bra on holiday for a week and leave all my other bras at home. Could one bra replace the  3 bras I normally pack? Well, I am pleased to say a BIG FAT YES !!! I wore the bra with straps under my T-shirts, strapless under my dresses, halter-neck under a backless top and using the straps diagonally for a 1 shoulder shirt. As it was so hot in Tenerife I washed the bra on a 30 degree’s gentle spin each night and hung it on the balcony to dry. The shape & fit is still perfect and the fabric shows no sign of wearing.

I am so in love with Hunkemöller and the fit of their bras I have just purchased 3 more in the sales. Pop across now and check out the beautiful bras for yourself www.hunkemoller.co.uk .

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I was sent the bra by Hunkemöller for the purpose of review but all my thoughts and opinions are my own.