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The Busy Parents Guide To Valentine’s Day

Like most things, the Romance of Valentine’s Day changes after having kids. If you are anything like me, then chances are you 1.Didn’t even notice even though you have walked past the massive hearts display about a million times at Sainsbury’s 2. Have a million things to do and the idea of finding a babysitter for an overpriced crowded meal at a restaurant makes your toes curl. With our heavy schedules it is easy to fob off this romantic holiday, however as gimmicky as it is there is no reason why you cannot dip into the fun of Valentine’s Day. As parents we often neglect ourselves and this is a good excuses to get back to basics with your partner. So here is my Busy Parents Guide To Valentine’s Day.

Romantic Meal for Two ( in Your Dining Room)

Going out to a restaurant is probably not going to happen unless you are lucky to find a babysitter. So you need to be creative. If you are up to cooking a nice meal for you and your partner then there some some great recipes on Jamie Olivers Website or at thekitchn.com  to inspire you. However if you are like me and the best present anyone can give you is a night off cooking, then order a Take Away. Who says Take Aways can’t be romantic? Add some candles and a bottle (or 2) of wine and presto! Best Valentine’s Date Ever!

Date Night On The Couch

You don’t need to go to the cinema to have a Cinema Night! And after the whirlwind of the bath, bottle, sleep routine who even wants to lift there butts of the couch. Choose a romantic film, pop some popcorn in the microwave. Then cosy up on the couch with your partner and a nice cosy blanket. Cinema Night in the comfort of your living room! Plus if you fall asleep there is no embarrassment.

Quality Gifts….

Don’t buy me expensive gifts, just let me have a shower in peace. Nothing is more valuable to a busy mum or dad than having some ALONE time. Why not gift each other with some quiet time without the kids (and you) during the day. Maybe start reading the first chapter of that new book while your other half does bath time. Alone time is worth more than gold in the world of parenting! Find you and your partner argue over stupid things? Check out my post on the most stupid arguments we have had in the name of sleep deprivation

Shake The Dust Off Those Sexy PJ’s

Lets face it, being sexy at the end of the day is not a busy mums priority. Especially when you have been running around with a toddler all day long. However if there was ever a time to sexy it up, it would be now. At least you have got it over and done with right??. So why not slip into something a little more appealing compared to the usual yoga pants and hoodie combo to get the sparks going.

SHOP LINGERIE IDEAS

Make it a family tradition.

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be about the love shared between life partners. It can also be about the love shared with your family. Start a new tradition with your kids and have a Valentine’s Family Meal or Movie Night. Valentine’s Day is about love, and celebrating it with your family is a nice modern spin to this little holiday.

I hope these easy ideas inspire you to have a hassle free Valentine’s Day. I think we will have a Family Valentine’s Meal to celebrate with our little munchkin this year.

What about you?

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Grieving at Easter: Not Everybody Rises From the Dead

Easter was always a time I dreaded when I was a teenager. It was a time that triggered memories that I did not want to remember. For years after my dads suicide, I couldn’t handle Easter. The very thought of walking into a supermarket and seeing the vast array of coloured eggs and easter rabbits would send me into an emotional spiral. I didn’t want to think about it, I didn’t want to remember so I avoided it.

Grieving at Easter

One of the most vivid memories I had of my dad was his last easter with us. We were at our grandmas house and he was meeting us there for Easter with the family. I remember the chocolate easter bunnies he had in his hands. Especially the one that was for me. The long chocolate ears, the purple foil that had Cadbury written on it. I remember it.

I remember the little paper boxes he had made for us. One blue for my brother and the other pink for me. Both filled with little chocolate easter eggs, each wrapped in a different coloured foil.

This was why I hated Easter.

But here I am years on. Standing in a supermarket looking at Easter eggs for my own son. And it hits me. All those years as a teenager trying to suppress the memory had worked. I had forgotten all about it until i saw it. The design had slightly changed since but it was still the same. The purple foil, the brand Cadbury written on it. It was staring at me from the shelf as if to say Hey, remember me. And it hit me. It hit me like a fucking ton of bricks!

Over the years I had put up so many barriers to keep the memory gates closed. Everything was stacked up on those gates, you name it. Anything to stop them from opening. To stop the pain that came flooding in with those memories. I had been so good at locking that gate that I had forgotten a lot; I had forgot him.

My father committed suicide when I was 12 years old. I wish that I could say that I had been prepared for it given he had attempted it 6 times before, but I really wasn’t. I still remember being woken up by my mother in the morning to tell me my father was dead. I still remember the shock and disbelief. But I only spoke to him yesterday? Stupid naive Kylie.

The thing about suicide is that it rips you apart.

It rips everybody apart. Losing a loved one by any means is horrible, but suicide does irrevocable psychological damage to everybody involved. The pain doesnt end with the person dying, it lives on forever. People get angry and nasty in their grief, they point fingers and pass blame to try and understand it, to try and rid themselves of the guilt festering inside of them. It lingers at the back of everything you do, this cloud that seems to follow you everywhere. The what ifs, or should haves consume you. So I put up the barriers and refused to go to supermarkets at Easter.

It never occurred to me that one day I might need to remember. That one day I would not be angry. That I would miss him beyond anything else instead of hating him. It never occurred to me that I needed him, even if it was in spirit. And then I gave birth to my son. My little boy who would never know his Grandfather. My little boy who needed to experience the wonder and magic of Easter like every other child.

I stand here and have to ask myself. Why easter? Why do I get so upset at Easter instead of Christmas, or the anniversary of his death.  I have other memories that could torment me why this one? Maybe it is because we are celebrating the resurrection of a man who was once lost like my dad, except my dad isn’t coming back. He is not going to rise from the dead.

So here I am in the supermarket. Staring at a stupid chocolate bunny. As if that bunny ruined my life. As if everything is that bunnys fault.  A part of me wants to run away like I would usually do. A part of me wants to grab that fucking bunny and smash it against the wall. But I don’t. I am a mother now. My son needs happy memories. My son needs to know his Grandfather for who he was and not what he did.

So I grab that bunny and put it in my basket.

Happy Easter my beautiful boy, This bunny is from Grandpa

xxx

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dealing with grief as a parent

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Why you need a pre-wedding photoshoot!

With our nuptials fast approaching, it was time for us to book our pre-wedding photoshoot. Apart from not knowing what the hell I was going to wear and burning the side of my face with my freaking curling iron. I was feeling optimistic. 

Our house, that we have been living in for just over a year still needed work, and the idea of having decent photos to put up on the walls got me all excited. Yes this is what my life has turned into, I get excited about wall decor!

Besides the obvious perks of being able to decorate my house and get a decent family photo, we initially were not sure if we really needed a pre-shoot. Some photographers charge a few 100£ extra for if you request one so is it worth the extra cash? Do you really need one? My answer is yes and here is why

You build a rapport with your photographer before the big day.

why you need a pre-wedding photoshoot
Awkward Superman pose and awkward hand lol

The only time we had met Graham was when we enquired about his services and looked through his portfolio. It was very formal and to the point, we got the information we wanted, discussed prices and that was it.

Our pre-shoot gave us an opportunity to get to know Graham on a personal level and for him to know us. The hour and a half we spent with him broke all barriers and I now feel 100% comfortable knowing that he will be present while my bridesmaids and myself are getting ready the morning of. Something I was nervous about previously.

You practise how to pose together without looking awkward

This was really important to me. So many photos of Lee and I look ridiculous. We pose for a photo and end up looking like two rigid stick figures awkwardly hugging each other. I did not want this on our wedding photos. When you are paying thousands of pounds for a photographer you want to look good. You want someone to guide you and teach you how to stand and where to put your awkward hand so that you do not look like a total loser. Though we had some awkward laugh out loud moments, we learnt what poses best suited us, and what definitively did not! LOL

You have photos to use for websites or wedding invites

Even though we had already sent out all of our invitations, getting a pre-shoot is a good idea for when you wish to use a photo of yourselves on your invitations or wedding website. It makes everything look more professional when the photos are fab and of good quality. If only I could remember how to edit our wedding website…….

You know what to expect!

You have an opportunity to have a sneak peak at what it will be like on the big day. You will be surprised at how quickly time passes when it is just you and your partner; so imagine what it will be like with your bridal party and guests will be present. Doing this shoot helped us to see how much time is needed and with the help of Graham we adjusted our schedule on the day accordingly. Now we know what to expect, we will be less flustered and will have more time to relax and enjoy our day with our guests.

Here are some snippets of our shoot

why you need a pre-wedding photoshoot  

  1. We had just had to awkwardly kiss and couldn’t stop laughing. 2. Gabriel stealing the limelight 3. That boy is so heavy, my arms was breaking. He loved it though

 

why you need a pre-wedding photoshoot

 

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Stop Slut Shaming: Empower women instead of slut shaming!

During a catch up with old friends and family, I noticed a mentality that disturbed me somewhat. A way of thinking that I had not seen since my teenage years, and that in my opinion has no place in this day and age amongst adults.

While casually chatting with some of the girls about life, the topic of conversation turned to relationships. Asking one of my single friends if she was seeing anyone, she went on to say that she had just split from someone. She then proceeds to tell me how many men she has slept with, and how difficult it is to find a nice guy with the amount of ‘sluts’ around. Taken aback a bit, I carried on with my night slightly disturbed at her comments as I watched her commenting and judging other women based on their make up and dress sense throughout the night.

“I watched her commenting and judging other women”

As the night went on, I could see there was hostility from the group towards one girl in particular who to me, seemed like a generally nice girl. During dinner the next night a male friend of mine turned to me and said ‘I cannot stand that girl. I don’t like her hanging out with my girlfriend because she is a hoe!’.

When I tried to get an explanation as to why she was a ‘hoe’, What I got disturbed me. Apparently the only reason this girl was not welcome into their group of friends was because she had, on occasion, intimate relations with men she was not in a serious relationship with.

Now my friend is far from innocent when it comes to the opposite sex. He is known for being a player. He is one of those men that would sleep with any girl who would allow it and then turn around and call them all sluts for being too easy. What disturbed me the most is that during this conversation another one of the girls at the table instantly agrees with my friends view on this poor girl. Then proceeds to tell us that she has only slept with 2 men her whole life! By which, she is praised by the others at the table for having such a ‘low’number!. I could not believe my ears! Were we still in high school? Was this really a conversation I was having with adults??

“Were we still in high school? Was this really a conversation I was having with adults?”

As I thought about the events that had taken place that night, I was infuriated. What did those girls think they achieved by telling everyone how many men they had slept with? Did they think that that made them better than anyone else? That by having a low number meant they were more worthy, more deserving of love? More girlfriend material?

Was it was ok for that girl, who chose to enjoy her sexuality, to be immediately branded a slut and treated as instant trash because of it. And the men? Most of them notorious for being players themselves. Constantly ogling anything in a skirt, flashing their double standards in front of everyone as if it were completely normal! They can ogle, cheat and sleep around all they want but if a women is comfortable with her sexuality then she is an instant slut and is thrown to the wolves as soon as they’re done!

“If a women is comfortable with her sexuality then she is an instant slut”

The sad thing is that I used to be one of those girls. Growing up in a family with an asian background and strong religious beliefs, the subject of sex is a huge taboo. Sex is a sin and is an act carried out between man and wife. A wife’s duty to her husband. Sexual desires or urges as a woman were never discussed and was usually frowned upon. This was taught down from the older generations, from our grandparents day and age.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe that morals and self respect are very important and that children should be taught this from a young age. However I also believe that they should be taught to respect and empower each other. For young minded individuals it is important to be cautious. It is important to understand and practise self respect when it comes to the opposite sex, especially for young girls. But there is a fine line between teaching self respect and teaching girls that it is shameful to be confident in their bodies.

“Why is it that we have such a slut shaming culture?”

Why is it that we have such a slut shaming culture? How do we live in a so called ‘modern’ society, yet still have views about women that belong in the middle ages? I think  religion has a lot to do with this attitude. In the days of ancient civilisations and paganism, women were rejoiced, seen as goddesses. If she chose you, then it was a damn honour to be chosen. Roll on a couple of centuries and women were seen as inferior, temptresses. If a man was overcome with lust it was the woman’s fault not the mans.

Even though we have come along way from those times. This general attitude still seems prevalent. What strikes me the most is that this attitude is not only enforced by men but by women too.

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“What strikes me the most is that this attitude is not only enforced by men but by women too”

This needs to stop! We need to empower one another. The reason I have this blog is to help empower and inspire people to be happy with themselves. I am NOT a feminist, I am a humanist. I believe EVERYBODY no matter what gender, religion, ethnic background or whatever, deserves to be happy and live a fulfilled life.

So lets stop these negative attitudes! Sex is a natural act that when performed amongst consenting adults can be a beautiful act of love. Monkeys, apes and dolphins are known to enjoy sex with one another for reasons other than reproducing and I honestly do not see them slut shaming their females for it afterwards!!! Being comfortable and confident in one’s body should be praised not ridiculed!

“Let Stop Slut Shaming”

So if you see a girl who is wearing a tight, short dress, admire her confidence instead of shaming or judging her. Let her confidence inspire you. And if you are lucky enough to meet a woman that lets you close to her in anyway then you should be GOD DAMN proud that SHE chose YOU instead of putting her down for it!

Shaming her after such an honour reflects more your issues than hers. And that goes for men too, men and women deserve to be respected and not judged based on their past choices, how they dress or what they choose to do in the privacy of their own homes. As long as they are not harming anyone else then it is none of your business.

So lets empower each other instead of putting each other down. The world is a better place when it is full of happy people!

xxx

 

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Preparing For Parenthood : The Fear of The First Time Mum

As my due date approaches, it has suddenly dawned on me that I am completely unprepared for the drastic turn my life is about to take. Not only have I not packed my hospital bag, I have not bought any baby clothes, nursing bras or any other baby / mum to be essentials that I will desperately need in the coming future and the nursery is far from ready.

In an attempt to get organised, I set out to buy all these ‘essentials’ and ended up scaring my self more than anything. Buying little boots, hats and rattles was somewhat weird and fun at the same time, but stepping into boots to see the array of mum to be hospital toiletries made my blood curdle. Seeing a vast selection of vaginal massage oils for rips and tears is enough to make anyone run screaming, which was exactly what I did. Knowing I will eventually have to buy all of these things, I sit here and realise that even though I am fully aware that I am pregnant, that my belly has become a huge beach ball which feels like it is going to explode at any moment; it has not completely sunk in that in 5 weeks I will have a baby.

Preparing For Parenthood

I am 29 years old but feel exactly the same as I did when I was 16. I still laugh at fart jokes for goodness sake! As a kid I believed that once you became an adult it was this major shift in perspective and outlook; that you just miraculously grew up and understood everything. Little did I know is that you are exactly the same, may have experienced more things and become a bit more mature but you are the same nonetheless, just in a body that is older, doing things that adults do.

Bringing someone else into this world is exciting and scary at the same time. To know that you are making a mini you with the person you love is extraordinary, but knowing that you need to bring the person up to be a good, respectful human being without actually knowing what you are doing is terrifying. All I can hope it is that I will grow and learn along the way and to be the best mum and wife I can be, to take my life experiences and teachings from my past and peers and continue to be the type of person I want to be….a confident mum.

xxx

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