Top Social

MIMI ROSE AND ME

A FAMILY LIFESTYLE BLOG

An Evening Skincare Routine That You Need To Start

|
I have been having a little problem with my skin at the moment. My complexion is far from desirable and I had a terrible breakout and no matter what foundation I use, it just slips off my skin in an instant. And so I have decided to have a skincare overhaul and adapt a new skin care routine and chuck out everything I used and started from scratch. I am a few months into the new routine and so far my skin is feeling more nourished and certainly hydrated. As you know I have finally cracked the perfect morning routine that actually works. So now it's all about my developing an evening routine that works too. 


Skincare is pretty important, yet it is something that we like to neglect. Many of us use products and cosmetics that are not right for our skin. I have been so bad for this too. I now know that my skin type is dry and sensitive so I try to avoid using too many ingredients that will cause irritation or breakouts. So a good night time routine is everything. A night time skincare routine aims to help skin issues before the regenerative process of sleep begins, so it's important to use the right products to help aid the process. 


You always start off a good routine with a cleanse. DON'T ever use baby wipes as a quick way to remove makeup. It's so bad for your skin and you won't thank yourself when you're on the other side of your 30s. Micellar waters seemed to becoming quite popular in the beauty world with lots of brands bringing out their own product to take on the trend Micellar waters are free from oils, alcohols and fragrances, the products work without the use of water by containing micelle cleansing molecules that pull oil and dirt away from the face. However, as much as I love my Micellar water I can't help but feel as if they are drying my skin out, I also love to layer my lashes and Micellar waters don't quite cut it when removing my makeup. This Caudalie Makeup Removing Cleansing Oil is a great for removing make up. It’s a lightweight oil that emulsifies when you add a little water. It removes make-up effectively, although I need two cleanses to completely remove heavy eye make-up. Using 3 pumps of the oil and rubbing it gently into my skin, the cleansing oil easily breaks down makeup, even the most stubborn eyeliner. Once you have broken down all the makeup, apply some water to wash the product off. At this point I tend to remove the final bits of oil with a flannel to make sure the skin is completely clean. I also find using a fresh flannel each time helps with your complexion too, I have one for each day! 




Then it's onto the second cleanse of the evening with the Soap and Glory 3-in-1 Daily Vitamin C Facial Wash. I'm a big soap and glory, if you didn't know. This 3-in-1 Daily Facial Wash has to be the best skin care product I have ever used. I've tried so many different types of skin care products and none have worked until I tried this one. Most skin care products make my skin go very red and become itchy but this one makes my skin feel so much better.


Toner is the first barrier product you apply. A good toner balances your skin’s PH, and is intended to hydrate and not strip your skin. But balance the skin's pH levels, it's important to apply toner; otherwise the skin can become dry and dehydrated. Toner further helps to absorb the next products you apply. My favourite toner is from the body shop and their Aloe Calming Toner that gently tone, prime and refresh your skin with our soothing toner. Aloe effectively removes residual impurities, to refresh and clarify sensitive skin. 


Something I never really even thought about until I developed a brand new skin care routine was an essence. I have been trying in implement as many steps as I can from the Korean skincare routine as I can, and one step that many Koreans don't avoid is essence. It's the heart of the skincare routine. Essence is a hybrid between a toner and a serum. It works perfectly to hydrate the complexion, aiding cellular turnover for a youthful appearance. One that I have been using is this LUMENE Valo (Light) Glow Boost Essence. This Valo Glow Boost Essence from Lumene- a foolproof solution for reviving fatigued and dull looking skin and instead swapping it out for a glow. I love this essence! I've been using it to prep my skin before make up or if my skin needs an extra moisture boost. It leaves your skin feeling so smooth and looking really lovely and dewy. And it's smell so good. I am already on my second bottle. 


The most important (and expensive) step in your morning skincare routine is a serum. These concentrated formulas with an unprecedented amount of active ingredients, target specific skin concerns like wrinkles, dark spots, and dehydration. The Skin Chemist 24hr Aqua Repair Facial Serum is perfect for a high dose of moisture to set you up for the day. This 24 hour repair facial serum has been formulated to soothe and hydrate the skin. I think for me, this was something that I was really looking forward to putting into my evening routine as well as my morning.  


A quick word on ampoules, because they're in the same family as essences and serums. An ampoule is a supercharged serum with higher concentrations of active ingredients that you're meant to use for a finite amount of time as a booster or when you're having a skin crisis of some sort. But your skin will most definitely benefit from regular use. I am using this Glow Drops Facial Oil from The Hero Project. My skin has an instant, youthful glow and radiant texture when I use this dry touch oil. Glow Drops® features 10 gloriously scented natural essential oils blended with Vitamin C. What’s more, the bottle has amazing Last Drop Technology that keeps you Gorgeous to the last drop®, ensuring you get to benefit from every single drop of glowy goodness. 


The sheet mask is my favourite part of the routine. You should try and aim to use one of these at least two to three times a week. Remember the importance of me time, well use that excuse anyway. But I do love a good sheet mask that is saturated with skin loving in ingredients. Perfect for all skin types, everyone can benefit from these masks which deliver a deeply hydrating and anti-ageing treatment. My absolute favourite is this Vitamasques, Manuka Honey Hydrating + Moisturising Sheet Mask. Boasting anti-inflammatory and moisturising properties, spotty skin will be banished to reveal a nourished healthy glow that will leave you buzzing with excitement (see what I did there). This mask felt so luxurious and left my skin feeling so soft and glowing for days afterwards without any reactions. WOO! Mudmasky Mask is another product I use when I am not feeling like a sheet mask. This Mudmasky mas is made by one of Europe's most premium skincare brands. A mask that hydrates, soothes and smooths the skin using fresh, raw and all-natural ingredients. It's also scented with rose water to help induce a more restful sleep after a long day. Being a parent to a toddler, you could say that I have a late night a few times a week so this mask is something that I need to use. I also like the fact that this is an overnight mask, something I have never tried so I am going to enjoy and indulge.


Once the skin has absorbed the ingredients from the sheet mask, apply an eye cream to protect and hydrate the delicate eye area. I am using a couple of different ones at the moment because I haven't found my saviour cream. I am using a Cool Eye gel from Monu Skin which is refreshing gel to instantly restore hydration and refresh the sensitive eye area. A unique blend of Arnica, Vitamin C, Sodium Hyaluronate and Ginseng ensures the Eye Cool Gel effectively reduces puffiness and dark circles under the eye whilst lifting, plumping and correcting skin tone for a fresh, flawless look. My hunt for a perfect eye cream appears to be never ending however, one little bottle may halt my search with this eye cool gel, which is a clear liquid that instantly soothes the skin and is even better when stored in the fridge before use. But I have just got some Anew Clinical Life & Firm Eye Lift System where you apply the gel twice daily to your eyelid, brow bone and above the brow. Smooth in the cream under the eye area, including your upper cheekbone and outer corner of the eye. But as it's only something that I have started to use, so watch this space.


Phew, the last step. A night time moisturiser to keep those skin loving ingredients locked in, allowing you to wake to a beautifully rejuvenated complexion. Now, for my night cream, my gem is the Aloe Soothing Night Cream from The Body Shop. All year round. I use it every night after cleansing as it moisturises and soothes dry or irritated skin, and when I wake up my skin feels cool and soft to the touch. It may seem heavier than most night creams, but it's great for your skin. Just like the moisturiser you use on your face, the one you put on your body needs to be better at locking in moisture too. Anti-Ageing Cream For Younger Skin is another moisturiser that I add into my routine from time to time as it hydrates the skin and helps delay the initial signs of ageing, and boy do I need that!!!

So that's it! A night time skincare routine that has been working wonders.. Have you used any of the products that I mentioned in my routine? You'll have to let me know in the comments. Now don't forget to have a peek at my morning skincare routine.

My Blogging & Photography Equipment

|
Photography is something that I am passionate about, there’s something so amazing about capturing moments in time and being able to pour over them years later. I always have my camera with me on days out as I believe the quality of a professional camera is a second to none. I'll be the first to admit that carrying a camera plus a couple of lenses can get pretty annoying because they are super heavy, but they are worth the struggle. I just want to put it out there I'm in no way, shape or form a professional photographer. I'll be completely honest I had no idea what aperture, shutter speed, or all the little dials on the camera were for?. I'm still trying to get to grips with it all, but I knew it was something that I wanted to get better at and I have a keen willingness to learn. Slowly but surely I'm getting there, and I can really see that my photography skills have improved. It's become my passion. My favourite person to take photos of is obviously my daughter, and she loves being in the front of a camera, she even gives me instructions. Lately, I am getting more compliments about my photography which has encouraged me to write this post about my blogging and photography equipment. 


Before deciding to embark on a new venture into becoming a professional blogger, using a kindle to write my posts and taking photos on my phone were more than enough. However as soon as I decided that I wanted to blog professionally, these simply were not going to cut it. So searching for blogging equipment was never going to be easy and I had to be willing to part with some serious cash. There are so many different types of cameras out there, it can be quite overwhelming. So I decided to use my husbands camera which was a Samsung NX10 and it wasn't something that I saw many bloggers with, so I played around the settings and took some photos. I loved it! And now I have so many different lenses as well as lots of other photography equipment and my collection just keeps on growing. However, I am not at all saying that all budding bloggers needs to own or use the same equipment as me. I just thought that it would be a good idea to share my equipment as it's something that I seemed to be getting asked a lot.

When it comes to photography and blogging every blogger is different, and what some see as important others may not. I have been blogging for a good part of three years, and the equipment I had when I first started is nothing compared to what I have now. I would create my posts on an old kindle and use an iPhone 5S for photos, with no form of editing. Some of my older blog posts and photography are pretty embarrassing. But now I have well and truly upped my blog photography game, so be sure to follow me on the gram for some behind the scenes action. 

LAPTOP: HP PAVILLION 15.6 INCH 

If you are planning on starting your own blog or you are already a blogger and you are looking for the best piece of equipment to do your job then a laptop is a must have, as without one would make your job pretty difficult. As always a computer will always do the trick, but then if you are travelling a bit and you attend conferences or blogger events then a laptop would be the better choice. The best way to look at deciding between the two is to consider the factors that are required for your blog and go ahead and pick up a suitable one. Bloggers generally write posts, edit photos, schedule social media posts and require internet connection at all times. Travelling is a pretty important role for a bloggers too, as you are normally asked to attend conferences, launches or retreats. So, while choosing the best laptops for bloggers, you should have all these points on your mind. Anyways, for me a laptop was a must have. But don't feel you have to part with some serious cash to get the top line brand, there are so many fantastic deals around so you make sure you keep your eyes peeled for a good deal. I have a HP Pavillion and I'm obsessed with it, it's perfect for blogging as it has a very smooth keyboard to make all that typing easier. The HP Pavilion Laptop has a durable design that's built for reliability and longevity, so you don't need to worry about daily wear and tear. A good buy and going strong. 

CAMERA: SAMSUNG NX10 & 18-55MM, 50-200MM, 20-50MM, 20MM PANCAKE LENSES

Technically, this isn't actually my DLSR, it's my husbands. However, he's fully aware that it is his no longer. This little camera is perfect for those who are just getting to grips with photography, it's affordable and gives a pretty decent quality image. There are so many brands out there on the market and it can be quite overwhelming figuring out which camera is best. I know that most bloggers go for a Canon or Nikon and perhaps one day I'll invest in one myself, but for now the NX10 does a fantastic job. The Samsung NX10 is an excellent entry into the growing interchangeable lens compact camera market, offering intuitive handling, especially for beginners, great image quality and fantastic value for money. 

Lenses. I have quite a few as there are different types of photography that I like to capture. Now when it comes to take those beautiful shots of my daughter and my husband then I love to take out my bulky zoom lens, the 50-200mm is perfect for those candid shots. I will always take this lens with me if I intend to take lots of photos of my daughter from afar, the zoom itself is very impressive. However, my blog work does mean that I have to take quite a few photos of products and flay lays and for these I really love the blurry effect and so my favourite lens for this is my 18-55mm. This is the lens that is always on my camera. It's fantastic for close up and has a zoom too. A great all rounder. The only downside to carrying this one around all the time is that it's super bulky and very heavy. When I use my camera continuously it really hurts my neck, even with a soft strap. 


I do have two other lenses that I don't really use too much. One came with my camera itself was the 20-50mm. This is a lot smaller and lightweight and delivers the best image quality for it's range. Last but not least I have the 20mm Pancake lens. It’s small, light, easy to use and provides solid image quality, which makes is an ideal landscape and street photography lens. The i-Function button is one of the most innovative things I’ve seen on a lens in a while. The added functionality makes it a joy to use in fast pace situations. The bokeh is better than I initially assumed. For me that really pays off. Bokeh from the 20mm f2.8 is smooth and rather clean. Overall, it is very versatile and great value. A lens I need to use a little more. 

EXPLORING ADVENTURES: IPHONE 7 

Who ever said you can’t take great photos on your phone? I bet you take yours everywhere with you, I know I do. It never leaves my side. I do love my DSLR. I use it when I am taking most of my blog photos. But not every blogger has a DSLR or know how to use one. A smartphone can just be as good and they have come a long way since those small grainy images, I have taken photos on my iPhone that are comparable to those from my DSLR. I guess you could call me bias but I love iPhones, I have been using one for the good part of ten years to take my photos, the iPhone7 camera is truly amazing. In fact did you know that the iPhone is the most popular camera in the world? If you aren’t ready to invest in a camera yet, iPhone is definitely your best friend.

PHOTOGRAPHY ACCESSORIES: TRIPOD, LIGHTING, & SD CARDS

As you get more into photography, you might find the need to add in a few accessories to your toolkit that will make your job way easier. I am in not saying that you all need these, but they can really make a difference to your photography and really up your blogging game. Whether you're a blogger, YouTuber or just someone who loves to take photos there will always be times when you need to mount the camera on a tripod in order to click photos from certain angles and frames. Honestly, I can't say that I use my on a regularly basis, especially as most of my set ups are indoors and flay lays. But if you are into lifestyle, travel photography a tripod can be very handy. I normally use my tripod when I want to take some lifestyle shots of me and my girl or even for the odd video. And it's not a huge investment, so you can always keep one at home in case you need it. The Amazon basics tripod is extremely affordable at £13 and can be easily folded away into a bag. 

I swear by the natural sunlight for my blog photos, but seeing as we are in England good light isn't always an option. I do have a soft box light but I have to be honest, I really don't get to use it that often due to the fact that most of my set ups are either people or big flatlays. It is something that I am playing around with, but I do have to be honest I am not a fan of them. However this diffuser and reflector set has made all the difference, I have been using this little set for a while and I will always recommend these to anyone who wants to create their own brighter images. 

There’s nothing more frustrating than slow memory cards that leave you missing photos. I know this only too well when my SD faulted and completely wiped itself when I tried to transfer them over. I was so sad that I could have cried as they were pictures of my little girl's birthday weekend. But thankfully we managed to get a couple back, but this little mishap did encourage me to buy a couple of SD cards. And this SanDisk Ultra is perfect. Fast read and write speeds for dealing with images, together with better pictures and full HD videos. Better still, the card is water-proof, temperature proof, X-ray proof, shock proof, and come with a 10-year warranty. Always have more than one!!!!

EDITING SOFTWARE: LIGHTROOM, SNAPSEED & A COLOR STORY

The editing tools! I must admit, I am not the greatest when it comes to editing. It has been one of those learning curves as I would over exposure a photos making them look unnatural, slowly but surely I am getting better. I won't spend too much of my time editing photos now, I will always whack up brightness and sharpen. Now most photographers and bloggers use Photoshop but I discovered the wonderful world of Lightroom quite recently and I am obsessed with it. I really love the fact that you can buy presets to make your editing process so much easier. This is the tool of choice for editing my photos now, it's perfect for straightening photos as well as cropping them. However, my editing process doesn't just stop with Lightroom. Before the lightroom days I would always use Snapseed, the best FREE app. This is definitely great for those photos that need a little healing or tuning. But if you're looking for an app to help up your editing game, then this is the one for you. A color story is great for creating a theme within the gram. Founded in 2016 by Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman, the creators of A Beautiful Mess, A Color Story is a photography and technology company specialising in mobile imaging and presets. There are so many different filters, presets that you can choose to help you create a theme, especially on the grid. It's one worth checking out. 

BEHIND THE SCENES: BACKGROUNDS & PROPS

This has been one of my best discoveries since I started blogging, getting the perfect background. I tried everything and everything to try and achieve those crisp white background, and those marble effects looked so dreamy. But I discovered this amazing marble contact paper. I had some old shelving in our a shed and with a little help from my husband he put the marble contact onto the piece of wood, making the perfect background for a flat lays. It’s definitely a two person job to stick it to a surface without any bubbles, but once it’s done it’s perfect and so much. cheaper than buying a marble table. However, if you're a blogger you would have come across a marble background or two so I have been trying to look for backgrounds that add a little texture to my photography. But if you didn't notice but backdrops can be crazy money. So try and get creative. I brought some high quality images and got them printed in A1 size. BOOM! Perfect backdrop. Better yet, get yourself to the local DIY stores and raid their wallpaper sections. You wouldn't believe what backdrops you have laying around your home! A over sized white school shirt works wonders!!!

There are so many amazing bloggers out there who have really upped their games when it comes to photography and one theme that seems to be going through all these beautiful flat lays are props, and so props are a thing for me now. I am always looking for more props, my blogging room is getting a little crazy. It's all about getting the right props to surround your photo to make an impact. Stationary, beauty products, books, magazine and even culinary items make fantastic blog props. A bloggers guide to blog photography props may be a great start for inspiration. 

NEXT BLOGGER BUYS: ARTIFICIAL LIGHTING, REMOTE, VR LENS. 

External Flash. As we are now going into those autumn and winter days, natural lighting isn't always an option and still getting those crisp bright photos are everything. An external flash is an amazing piece of equipment that you can get for around £50 and I know that it will make my photography so much better especially when shooting with low light. Besides an external flash, you will find a light kit can help to even out the light in areas where you might have dark spots that are hard to work around. This is a great investment to help you on the days where it’s just not bright enough and at around £50, it’s a no brainer. 

Camera Remote. Oh how I want to make those bird eye shots and ones with the little lady and I easier. I cannot tell you how many times I had to set my timer for these type of shots, but the most annoying thing was that fact that I had to press the damn button every time, get into place and wait a few seconds. It was time consuming and very tiring! So a camera remote is something that would make my life so much easier. It helps keep the camera stable for that crystal clear shot. But if you use a camera remote then you get the same effect, yet it allows you to slowly tweak things between shots without getting 76785 of the same shot. It’s a great little tool for literally nothing!

And when I decide to take the plunge to upgrade my camera, I know that I would love own a VR lens as I know that these can really make a difference when it comes to photography. It helps to take sharp pictures even when photographing hand-held. Generally, when taking photos, there's a rule of thumb to get sharp photos, you need to use shutter speed faster than the inverse of the focal length. With these image stabilisation technology, you can use slower shutter speed, and still get sharp images. But you still need to hold the camera in a stable manner. So this is definitely something that I would love!

What piece of your blogger toolkit couldn't you live without? Do you have any of the same equipment as me? Would you recommend anything I could add into my kit?

GUTTERHEAD: The Fiendishly Filthy Drawing Game

|
Believe it or not being a parent has it's perks but sometimes there are just too many mornings and evenings of tantrums, meltdowns and the high pitched squeals. So when a relative offers to take the lady overnight, which doesn't happen too often, we jump at the chance and go a little crazy. Well, when I say crazy I don't mean going out and getting crazy drunk. For one, we cannot handle alcohol as well as we used to and two we feel like a couple of old foogies hanging out trying to relive our youth with alcohpops. These days we tend to opt for a more chilled evening hanging out with friends. Who doesn't love a night in with a takeaway, a glass of wine and a giggle with some great company. We normally invite friends over to watch a film, binge on Netflix or just for general catch up over takeaway, but we've decided to take the level of craziness up a notch and have a game night!

Game night is a great way to enjoy each other’s company without having to go out and spend a ton of money. We spend the evening laughing, or sharing stories. As we grow older it becomes more and more clear that real friends, the kind of friends that you can laugh and joke with, that will party with you will also engage in an evening in a little competitiveness. Board games are such a great way to bring out your competitive side whilst having fun, it's also a good way to break the ice and encourage guests to mingle with one another. With that in mind, we wanted to tell you all about a new adult game Gutterhead. Just before we get into this post I need to say that the following game review is suitable for over 18s only and it does contain some mischievous and playful language. If you’re looking for family friendly games then this isn’t the one for you.



The best way to describe Gutterhead is to imagine that adult party game favourite Cards Against Humanity had a board game love child with Pictionary. A little like a somewhat disturbed love child. This hilarious adult party game that involves drawing, miming and guessing over 240 fiendishly filthy words and phrases such as 'Teabagging', 'Wet Dream', 'Camel Toe' and a bunch of other stuff too outrageous to write here. One member of each team picks a card and then must draw the fiendishly filthy word on it. The rest of the team then must guess what the word is. Inside your Gutterhead box you'll get a total of 240 cards that are divided into five categories; person/place, object, action, feeling/sensation and 'Naughty or Nice'. This game also has an array of outrageous drinking rules designed to take things up a notch when the party gets boozy. There is not need for paper as the game included 4 whiteboards, 4 dry-wipe pens and for game pieces you get to use coloured poo-shaped pieces.




Basically the aim of the game is to take down the opposing team by any measures. Ha. But similar to Pictionary with one member of each team draws a word or phrase and the others members try to guess. The first team to guess correctly wins the round, rolls the dice, moves their poo shaped game counter forward and picks up a new card. The first team to the finish line wins. There are some other rules that come in to play as you move around the board, as well as some drinking game rules you can add in too. Gutterhead is suitable for 4-16 players, making it the perfect game for small catch ups, larger gatherings or even parties. You'll be sure to have a giggle or two with this outlandish game.  On the board itself you can choose between the ‘Quickie’ or ‘Marathon’ routes, meaning a slightly shorter or longer game.



Amadeo̢㢠Regular

Would we recommend Gutterhead? Hell yes, if you not too prudish and up for a laugh or two. I would have to say that I would recommend this game to friends and family who have a wicked sense of humour. I don't think I would recommend this one for a game to play at Christmas with the grandparents unless they are familiar with a flesh light or  tea bagging! 😲. It's definitely not suitable for children, or to play with children even slightly in ear shot.  I think Gutterhead would be great for a pre drinking session, hen or stag parties and house parties or just adults hanging out. My sister has her hen do soon and this is one game that we will be using at the pre-drinking session. 

Absolutely hilarious game, never played anything like it. We played this game with our friends over a takeaway and too much wine to help save on some cash and we were not disappointed.  I actually learned a lot from this game as well, there were some cards I really couldn't guess and was surprised my friends did. I can't really remember laughing this hard for a while. I have also seen that there are some expansion packs available ensuring that you get down with the filthy lingo and connotations. So if you think that this game is your cup of tea and you're not prudish then go and get yours from Amazon, Firebox, Menkind or from Gutterhead Games, be quick they have promo codes at the moment. 

A Letter to My Daughter on Her First day of School 

|
To my beautiful little girl, 

Over the last couple of days I have been relishing every possible moment with you, as tomorrow you will become a fully fledged school girl. It’s the end of an era for us, but I know that’s it’s going to be the beginning of something amazing. Not everyone will understand my feelings about this particular milestone and it's probably going to be the biggest one we have had so far. I know you are ready and you've been looking forward to starting your brand new school since the day you left nursery, and if I’m being completely honest I have been wishing this day would never come. But here we are beautiful little lady, your first day of school. I still can't get my head around the fact that you'll be leaving me five days a week and head off into the big wide world of school. I know that this moment has been coming for some time, it still seems so unfair that it's happening already. In a blink of an eye, you’ve gone from the tiny baby that I held in my arms and made the cutest sounds to a little girl that I love to wrap my arms around, sass and all. 


It’s pretty amazing how far we’ve come in the past four years. You are the little girl that started me on this whirlwind path of motherhood. I remember the day finding out that you were on your way, it was such a surreal feeling. At first I was overcome with happiness, excitement and relief. After wanting for something for so long I couldn’t quite understand that it was actually happening. I was going to be a mother. These feelings of joy were soon followed by nerves and angst. I wasn’t sure what kind of mother I would be. It’s a huge responsibility to be a mother, and I wanted to be a good one to you. But the second that I held you in my arms, all of those fears went away. Each day that I’ve watched you grow and mature, little by little, those fears diminish. 


You have brought some much joy and love into my heart and I didn't think it possible that my heart could be more full. But, I was wrong and as time passes as I watch you continue to grow, so does my heart. The night you were born, in some ways I feel as if I born, being your mother was something that I was just meant to be. You give me a meaning to my life. I'm not sure why, but I am finding myself in your room, watching you, watching you sleep and listening to those little noises you make when you're sleeping. I cannot actually remember the last time I did this, it just feels so perfect.

And so, tomorrow is another milestone. And as I walk away I already know that my heart is breaking as this finally marks the end of the years of just you and me. An end or an era my darling. Ever since you made your entrance into the world, we've been together, we've been together every waking moment from the second you were born. Holding you, guiding you, comforting you, playing with you, and even teaching you a thing or two. So, I guess it's not really surprising that watching you disappear into a room of virtual strangers is enough to fill me with doubt. When you look back to read this I want you to know that you were ready for school. 


As I watch you walk away from me for the very first time. You will see me cry and my heart will ache as you walk through those school doors, but it’s not because I am sad. Ok maybe a little. But I’m crying because I am so proud of you. Proud of the beautiful little person you have become, proud of your confidence, proud of your kindness, proud of my daughter. As I let go of you, wipe my tears away just know that I have every faith in you and that I am with you every step of the way. I hope that school is everything that you want and more, and that you show your sparkle and shine bright like all the stars in the sky. 

Love you always little lady!

Life as a Working at Home Mum: Is It Really the Best of Both Worlds?

|
As most of you know this year marks a special milestone in my new venture becoming self employed and now I live the life of a working at home mum. Now I must admit it was a pretty scary thought at first, but now it feels like a second nature and I actually love being able to work from home. I enjoy the freedom of being my own boss, picking and choosing the brands and the campaigns I work with. I have flexibility that enables me spend time with my little lady, attend all the special dates at the school, enjoy lunch with friends and still get to work. With that being said, being a working from home mum isn’t always unicorns and rainbows. While the positives for me far outweigh the negatives, the truth is, working at home is a challenge. I wouldn’t trade my life for anything, but there are a few things that can turn working from home into a sometimes frustrating experience. So today I thought it would be a good idea to talk about the pros and cons of working at home and being self-employed!

WAHM MIMIROSEANDME

Quality Time with Little Lady

I guess this one goes without saying, but one of the best perks with being a working at home mum is undoubtedly getting to spend as much time as possible with my daughter. By working from home I'm able to be a part of my daughter's routine. Not just mornings, evenings or weekends. I'm able to have lunch breaks with her and take a coffee whenever the moments arises, but it has to be said I do have to drink that pretty quick with little miss sassy though. But for me, it was more important for me to show my daughter that anything is possible. My job is far from traditional. It takes a lot for someone to be able to succeed in this field, but I really want to show my daughter that is is possible to have it all. Just grab every opportunity you can and run with it. 

Opening New Doors

My blog has opened so many new doors that I never ever envisioned in my pathway to success. It really has. I am actually making myself a brand and by writing about my life as a mum I have realised my passion, writing. It means so much that people actually read my posts, it makes me appreciate myself so much more and to realise my worth. But it doesn't just stop there. Becoming a blogger can help with so many careers, not just writing your blog. If you wanted to get involved with social media marketing, become a freelancer or work in PR, writing a little blog can help steer you in the right direction. As a woman, I have seen myself grow. As a mother, I have seen myself achieve. Trust me, being a woman cannot be easy at times, but being a mother is the most magical thing that could happen to a woman. And I want to show my daughter that anything is possible. Yes I may not have a traditional job but nonetheless I get to earn whilst spending as much time with her. Can Mother's have it all? Sure as hell they can!!! I’m proud of the fact that I’m working from home and I’m living an ambitious life. I’m proud of the fact that after I became a mother, it gave me the strength to do something unimaginable so that it sets an example for my daughter.

Flexibility

The hours in which I work are completely flexible and I am certain that I wouldn't be able to be as flexible in a traditional employment. It's strange to think since becoming self employed and a working from home mum I have become more organised and self-sufficient. I get more done in an hour that I did before. Better yet, I have developed a pretty unique quality of being able to shut out noises whilst working, whether it's the sound of my daughter watching Ben and Holly or her playing with Happy Land. It's become a kind of talent! Before becoming my own boss this was not something I would have been able to do. With such flexibility I can begin my work early, take a few hours off in the afternoon to pick my daughter up from Nursery and then continue in the evenings. I am able to set limits on both my work and family schedule so that both work out and are mutually beneficial to me. This includes being able to pick and choose brands that I work with, going for opportunities that appeal to my taste, my skills set and my passion. Most importantly, I can make decisions on whether a work project is worth my time and pays what I believe my work is worth.

Being My Own Boss

No one to have to answer to, well unless you include a little four year old of course. But I am able to work and earn my own income and build a brand. Writing is not something that I ever thought I would do, but people do actually sit and read my blog, typos included. I'm not the greatest with words but clearly people seem to like the unfinished style. My blog has quickly become a source of work in it's own right. And after a couple of blog posts I started to get emails from brands and companies interested with collaborating with us, which is amazing every single time an email pops into my inbox. When I first entered the blogging scene, companies were only just starting to invest in social media and advertising, and the budgets were nothing compared to what they are today. But I would spend my mornings on my blog and send pitches out to brands during nursery hours and in the evenings. Not just from a writing aspect, but I have taught myself how to use a camera, understand that basics of SEO and my days are consumed by social media, but who doesn't these days. Being my own boss lets me be the best that I can be, and it compels me to work harder and with more passion.


For many women, this sort of set-up would be a total dream. They get to spend time with their families while also advancing their careers and contributing financially to their families. But as great as it can be sometimes, there are many things that can make working from home not so great. Many of my family and friends believe that it's one big holiday, if only they would understand that even just because I work from home, doesn't mean I don't work. So the cons of being self employed and working from home...

You're Always Working 

The truth is, I'm always working. I often remember something late at night and rush to the computer to send that e-mail, or I'll have my phone on hand at all times and find myself replying while at the supermarket. It simply never ends. There are times that my husband and my daughter tell me that I am always on my phone, which normally cues some kind of guilt. But in reality they are right. There is always an email to reply to, a technical issue to deal with or social media posts to schedule. There’s no down time. Hours go by and I realise I haven’t moved up from my chair, or eaten or even used the bathroom. 

Not Everyone Gets It

There are a LOT of misconceptions out there about being a self employed and working from home. Most people just see most are taking photos, writing about them and making a few quid here and there. But listen up folks there is an opportunity to actually a decent wage with blogging, even if many don't consider it as 'a real job', IT IS. Blogging and social media influencing is definitely a job. Now it's certainly not easy to make money from blogging. I would probably say that most of us who do have blogs don't make a huge amount of money, or even consistent money. But with a lot of hard work, a lot of time and dedication this has become my job. Blogger, writer, influencer, whatever you want to call it. It's a money maker for lots of people. I have to say that I don't have the biggest following in this bloggersphere, but there are lots of people who follow me, take the time read my posts, send me emails to talk about my content on my blog and there are brands that want to collaborate. So YES it is a real job. So when people try to call my job cute or the fact that they would love to stay in the pjs all day, I just grin and bare it because they have no idea, whatsoever!

Distractions are Inevitable.

Whether it's the four year old telling at me that she needs to poop, the post man knocking on the door or a last minute dash to the supermarket, distractions are inevitable. Being a mum for the good part of four years I have sort of become a master of dealing with distractions, but the older she gets the more demanding she is becoming. I would be able to type away with work with a cup of coffee and she would be happy colouring in or playing with her toys. But as she develops she is becoming more insistent on other people playing with her, and when you have deadlines to meet or posts to write it can become a little overwhelming. I can't say it's all her. A catch up on netflix can sometimes be a good distraction, but eliminating these inside the working hours really helps keep the distractions to a minimum. 

Staying Motivated.

Some days are better than others, that's a given in every walks of life. One of the biggest challenges for me is keeping motivated. Many individuals working from home are content with just earning enough money to get by and don't strive to take their blog, platform or small business to the next level. Sometimes you have to be tough on yourself and power through because the deeper you get into being unmotivated the more likely you'll be put off forever, sometimes all it takes is a little push into the right direction. Being a working from home mum has made me realise that I need to stop waiting for my blog to become successful. The only person that can make this happen is me, and it won't happen while I am sitting on the sofa feeling sorry for myself. It's going to take a lot of time, effort and a lot of patience.

Opportunities are Scarce.

Being someone who had always worried, I can't help but feel a little angst about being a self-employed blogger at times. There are going to be times where I find it difficult to secure collaborations or campaigns as it's a pretty saturated platform with so many of us. So opportunities are not going to be offered to everyone. However, since becoming a blogger I have been so lucky with all the opportunities that have come my way and so I will always feel grateful for each and everyone of them 

Finding the Right Balance is a Struggle

Some days are busier than others. Some days are far more productive than others. And some days are just better than others. It’s ok to want both, it’s all about finding the right balance between family life and work life. I know I find it hard to step away from my computer especially if it’s right there. Or to pick up my phone and scroll through social media, pinning session on Pinterest, engaging with other readers. It’s hard to switch off my blogger brain. But the key is to try and set boundaries for yourself and define when it’s work and when it’s play. Two days a week I will avoid the computer; normally a Wednesday and a Sunday. It’s so important to make time for myself and my family just as much as my work.

WAHM FLATLAY

I have to say that working from home is one of the most challenging ways to work. When you think of home, you think of relaxing and fun. Home is where your family and friends are and thinking of home as a workplace changes things. Not forgetting that I also have a little four year to keep me on my toes which is incredibly distracting. People are always quick to assume that working from home means a day in your pajamas, lazing on the sofa, drinking lots of tea and typing a couple of posts. Yes sure, there are some day when my little lady isn't at school and I will take full advantage of a pajama day, but it's not a good way for me to be productive and to stay focused though. I will wake up early, get fully ready for the day, and sit in my blogging space. My days also consist of errands, nursery drop offs and pickups, laundry and chores and anything else the day throws at me. So yes, it's pretty easy working from home! Honestly, as cliche as this may sounds becoming a working from home mum has been one of the best decisions I have made, even if at times it's hard and I feel as if I should go back my old job. I am going to grab every opportunity I can and run with it and show my daughter that she can have it all, and hopefully one day she can tell me that I make her proud!!!

What about you? Are you a stay-at-home-mum? A working mum? A working from home mum like me? Is there an ideal? Or do we all just muddle through the best we can doing what makes sense to us at the time?

Post Signature