Forever a Parent - My Three important life lessons

My parents have taught me many brilliant life lessons, ones that I have carried with me to adulthood and ones that have helped me in parenthood myself.

(thats me at three-ish in the grey overalls, unfortunately I didn't inherit my mum and brothers curly hair!)

I can't imagine a time when my children won't feel like my babies, even when they are adults and parents themselves. I know that there are times when I still need advice from my mum (especially when I first became a mum) I hope that Wilf and Mabli will always feel able to come to me and ask for help and advice. I'm working with Legal and General in this post to share the advice I was given and the advice I want to instil in my children as part of their #foreveraparent campaign. Let's face it you never stop being a parent do you?

According to research, 90% of parents still feel responsible for their adult child's wellbeing, with 76% also feeling responsible for their adult child's financial security. I know my parents have done what they can when I've been in a tight spot, moving to a new city and struggling to pay the deposit for my first flat I was so grateful for their help. Whilst I want my kids to be able to look after themselves in the adult world I know if they needed our help we'd do what we could to support them. Its not surprising then that almost half (47%) of parents who said they felt responsible had taken out a life insurance policy.

When it comes to the pieces of advice I want to pass down to my kids, here are the things that I think are the most important :

  • To be kind always. The most important thing my parents ever taught me was that being kind is the most important thing you can be. To help others less fortunate than us and be thankful for all we have.
  • Have an opinion. A lesson I was so thankful for as a young girl especially. I want both my children to know that they have a right to an opinion and each will be valued as much as the other. 
  • That we can get it wrong and we can learn from it. I want my kids to know that we are not perfect, we can make mistakes and learn from others too. I hope my children know we are all flawed at times and all learning just as much as anyone else.

Legal & General's research has found that the adult children across the UK continue to seek advice from their parents on a range of matters, from financial planning to childcare and careers. Financial advice remains the most popular topic with more than a quarter of parents to adult children having given financial advice in the past two weeks.

I'd love to know what lessons your parents passed down to you or what lessons you feel are most important to pass down to your own children. I think we can probably all agree we'll never stop worrying about them or caring about their wellbeing. I really hope that the lessons I want to pass down to my kids are ones they will carry with them into their adult life.

Do you think you'd want to be able to help your children in adulthood too? 

This post in written in collaboration with Legal and General and their 'Forever a Parent' campaign. 


Life Lately

Is it just me or has anyone else totally lacked all motivation? I feel like I'm walking through glue sometimes! I just can't get it together to get anything done and then sometimes I'll have bursts of feeling creative or wanting to take photographs and once I've edited them I feel like the act of just uploading them and scattering some words around is far more than my brain can manage, ha!

Anyway, I have a burst of energy (thank you once daily cup of coffee caffeine buzz) so I'm sitting down to catch you all up on some 'life lately'. These pictures were actually taken a couple of weeks ago, thats how behind I am!

So whats new? As a family we've been doing 'Veganuary' and we are 95% sticking to it. I decided to not be super strict about it and if I'm traveling or at a restaurant where there either isn't a vegan option or the vegan option is really boring I'll go veggie. The kids are perfectly happy being plant based at home (they are actually eating there dinner much more than usual!) but at school Wilf is still having the veggie option for lunch.

This was me and this kids making Vegan chocolate cake, a recipe I've actually made a lot before but I totally burnt it this time whoops! We cut off the top and sort of crushed it up a bit, added some Oatly cream and it came out perfect haha

The past couple of weeks have all been about taking it slow, I'm relishing this time with my two together as I can see Wilf losing his 'baby-ness' and turning more and more into being a little boy. Phases in their life that I enjoy equally but at the same time my favourite time is definitely now... wait don't I say that every few months? ;)

Lately I've been working really hard on my values, I know that I'm a homebody. I love travel but I need downtime and if I go to a work event I need a day out afterwards to not talk to anyone. So I'm trying to make sure that I'm balancing working away with plenty of time after to recharge and regather. I know that my home and being with my family as much as I can is what I need to recharge. 

Slow home-days baking and painting and eating and generally staying cosy is literally my dream life. I don't mind the grey skies and cold as long as I know there is a family movie waiting for us to watch under the blanket just as soon as we get in. January isn't all bad! 

Hope you are all finding a way to enjoy the start of the year despite the rain, promise it won't be too long before I check in again this time! x


So that was 2017!!

I haven't done a round up like these for a few years now, I had such good intentions but it fell to the way side the year before Mabli was born and then I felt like because I had already missed one year there was no point continuing. I'm a bit done with that kind of thinking though, just because I had a bit of a break no reason not to start up again. So here were go, a round up of our year 2017!

This year was such a big one for our family with some real life changing milestone moments. It felt right to record what went on because if anything its a reminder how much can be achieved in a year and how far we've come as a family.

We started January with some house improvement. This felt like a big deal for me because I had been able, on my own to save up a large sum of money to completely re-do and resign our bathroom. I might sound a bit boring and middle aged to be so excited about a bathroom re-fit but it signified the fact that my business had grown so much and that I had worked hard to be able to earn and pay for something like this myself. I think it meant a lot because prior to working for myself I had only worked in low paid jobs and never would have imagined I would have any money left at the end on one let alone save up enough to do something like this.

You can see our bathroom refit here.

In February I started getting interested in fashion blogging again. I often find that the first year after having a baby I'm so baby-focussed that my other interests take a bit of a dip. I started working with Lauren to take more professional photos and loved the process so much.

(you can actually still buy this top and it's only £17.99)

In March we took a trip to Old Lands in Monmouth, it was such a lovely wholesome weekend. We fed chickens, boated on the lake and generally just chilled out.

I did a campaign with Fat Face which was one of my favourite of the year, I just love combining Bristol with good clothes and great photography. Fat Face are a really great ethical brand too so it was lovely to get to work with them a bit more.

Some of my favourite photos of me and Mabli in March (bit of a tongue twister). Wilf naturally features a bit less during term time as he's at school.

April - We visited my littlest sister Serin in Italy where she was studying at the time. We went to both Bologna where she was in Uni and also Venice all together too. It was a lovely trip although Venice was a bit of a struggle with two little kids!

Some fashion posts I loved this month were this one and this one 

We also had a little Easter party with Monsoon and did some filming for the West End

In May we worked with Fat Face again, visited Cornwall, went on an Instagrammer's sleep over at a stately home. We also went on a sponsored trip to West Hampstead and came across pretty much my favourite retro cafe/bar ever!

I also did this shoot with Lauren which I LOVE

In June we celebrated the warmer weather arriving, being able to go to the park after school and generally hang out a bit more as a family.

July was a great month for us, we started to think seriously about Tom leaving his job and being at home with us so I could work more. The idea came about after talking through my finances with an accountant who told us that it would be silly NOT to take the leap if Tom wasn't trying to build his own career. Whilst he liked his job fine it was never his passion as much as this blog is mine so he took the plunge and handed in his notice.

Me and Lauren also did this photoshoot together - one of my absolute faves!

I wrote a little more about our decision to work together as a family here.

We worked with some of our favourite companies like DFS and Joules. I also got to judge the Ethical Style Awards with Veggie Magazine.

In mid August Tom finished work and we took a trip down to Dorset to visit his family. We hung out in Bristol as a family and generally got to enjoy Wilf's first school holidays with both of us at home.

September felt like a super busy month work wise which was timely as I finally had enough time to do it. We worked with Baby Jogger this month and we still love this stroller so much. Have a read if have a toddler and enjoy city living.

Me and my friend Lucy did a 'five minute make up' video together which was a lot of fun. We also visited York very fleetingly, I spent 7 years of my childhood growing up in Yorkshire so it was lovely to visit the area. I really want to go back for a bit longer in 2018!

In October (my favourite month I think!) we spent the weekend in the Forest of Dean. We stayed with Forest Holidays, I think they have locations all over the country and would definitely recommend as a super chilled weekend. Even though it was storming and raining we still had a lot of fun!

I let the kids do my make up...

We also took a fleeting trip to Lisbon, definitely want to return there! I wrote a little about being an introvert and spent more time than ever as a family trying to work out this freelance/sharing parenting equally mix. There have a been a few 'what are we doing?!' moments but mostly it's been going swimmingly!

Are you still with me? Well done! We're almost there ;)

November, I wrote about making the decision to leave Channel Mum ( a network for YouTube I had joined 6 months earlier) and the importance of being you. It feels scary sometimes to quit something, especially when it's something that seems like a good idea for others. Moral of the story - Just Be You.

I also worked with some of my favourite brands this month like Etsy, I love supporting creative and handmade businesses so this felt like such a great fit.

My favourite post from this month was definitely this one! 

I posted about if I thought blogs were dying and I loved reading your thoughts on the matter (spoiler, I don't think they are!). Me and my friend Lucy spent 24 hours in London and visited YouTube. We also explored Cardiff a bit more and made out mind up to move there in the New Year (hopefully by summer!).

Ok finally December! This is such a busy month for us with both the kids Birthdays and of course Christmas! I also wrapped up my Pandora ambassadorship and attended the Christmas party with my friend Charlotte which was a lot of fun.

Thank you SO SO much to everyone who reads this blog, whether you have been reading for 8 years or 8 days. I appreciate it more than you can imagine. It's because of you guys we have been able to create the life we have with our children and I will forever be grateful and I'm so excited to share 2018 with you all too!

I also made a little video round up in case you fancy watching that too! xx

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