Travelling away from my children and welcoming our Scamp and Dude superhero

So many parents and carers have to spend time away from their children. I’m not just talking about during the day when we’re working or running businesses. Overnight stays away from our children and families can be hard too. Sometimes they can be short-notice or even unplanned trips away from the family. On Lucky Things blog, we chat a lot about confidence. We don’t always feel confident as parents, especially as we adapt to new situations for our families. In January I stayed about a week away from Mr.H and my two daughters. It was an emotional time not being with them. You can read more about how I felt travelling away from my children for the first time here. So I wanted to see what could help this temporary absence and that’s when I came across the Scamp and Dude Superhero. I love that Scamp and Dude is all about inspiring confidence in children.fullsizeoutput_2c72

Anxious about being away…I knew the girls would be fine as they were with their original superhero Daddy (AKA Mr. H) but I knew we’d miss each other. I was also anxious about how the girls would feel about being not being at home. There were quite a few things we organised to help the girls and in particularly our three-year old Big Munch adapt to my temporary absence. It’s not often we need to treat the girls to new teddies or toys but instead of bringing back loads of gifts from my trip, I wanted to leave Big Munch with something new. One of the things that me and Big Munch picked together was our new lodger – our Scamp and Dude Superhero rabbit.

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My experience talking about blogging and Instagram life at the the BBC

At the end of last year a message popped up in my @luckythingsblog Instagram account. It was from BBC journalist Bela Shah. She asked if I was interested in featuring in a BBC news story on blogging and Instagram life. Bela mentioned she wanted to do a story on Instamums. As with many journalists she still had to pitch her idea to her producers and directors at the BBC. So it wasn’t guaranteed this would really go ahead.

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Dealing with FOMO – the fear of missing out

The fear of missing out. FOMO contains a big word: fear. None of us want to fear anything do we? It can affect us from childhood, in our teens and in our grown up years. Even my girls have a bit of FOMO. Why end the day and have to go to bed? Last night I heard “I want to come in your room Mummy” a hundred times as Big Munch must have known I was planning my outfits for the week. Coming back to the grown up world, with people more on social media we can see what others are doing, where they’re hanging out and what they’ve been invited to. Here’s some tips on how to deal with FOMO – the fear of missing out.   Continue reading

Top tips on being social media savvy from Eimear Varian-Barry of The EVB Edit

As you know I’m a big fan of Instagram. For me, it’s also a great source of inspiration and a way to build your online community. It’s also a supportive place when you can surround yourself with like-minded people. It was great meeting the successful Instagrammer Eimear Varian Barry at a recent Mothers Meeting in London. She blogs over at The EVB Edit although she’s modest about being called a blogger.

Looking at Eimear’s Instagram feed, her style and layout looks flawless. In real life, Eimear is refreshingly honest and down-to-earth. When I first said hello to Eimear, we ended up chatting about Zara; not about the world of blogging or Instagram.DSC00508

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Why it’s good to think about intentions and not just goals

At January’s Lucky Things Meet Up, we heard one of the UK’s leading mindfulness experts Dr. Tamara Russell chat about everyday tips on looking after ourselves. Tamara also talked to us about the value of setting intentions. When Tamara and I first planned our talk together, hearing her views on why intentions were helpful made sense. It completely changed my own outlook on setting goals.

Here are some highlights from the talk and why Tamara encourages us to focus on our intentions rather than goals. I’ve also shared how I’ve started to use intentions more. As a intro, here’s what Tamara’s has to say about intentions in her book Mindfulness in Motion (Watkins, 2015). Continue reading

Inspire interview with Claire Burrows, founder of Air & Grace

It was great catching up with Claire Burrows from Air & Grace at a gorgeous new coffee shop opposite her studio in Brixton. We talked about the ups and downs in our careers, what it means to hustle and why some shoes are sadly only worn once.

Claire is proud that you can enjoy the feel good factor without compromising on style. She confidently says that her shoes and boots are like wearing sneakers. I won’t apologise about being a bit techy but the Air & Grace footwear range are super comfortable. They feature Tender Loving Air® technology providing cleverly hidden three layers of luxurious memory foam cushioning.

I first came across Air & Grace on Instagram and then met Claire at her stand at Stylist Live 2016. Months have flown by and we finally managed to grab a coffee. Here’s what Claire had to say about renting a van, confidence and a big career change…img_0614

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Top tips for encouraging confidence in children, by Livvy Gormally, Let’s Ask Livvy

In part 1 of Livvy’s guest blog for Lucky Things, we looked at children’s confidence as a behaviour and how confidence needs to be taught, learnt and nurtured, modelled and reinforced. She also talked about how it needs to be taught across environments and in different situations. Confidence can dip and how confidence can be boosted and the importance of praising the behaviours that we want to see more of. With this in mind, here are Livvy’s top tips for encouraging confidence.

 

  1. Break down big or daunting tasks or new activities into bite sized pieces and offer appropriate praise and reinforcement for each little step towards task completion. Breaking things down and praising the little steps helps build confidence by boosting the kids at every step along the way.img_9309
  2. Make sure you have realistic and age appropriate expectations for your children. Pushing a child into something that is not age appropriate, where they are yet to develop the necessary skills can have a negative effect on confidence levels. Similarly, pushing a child into something that you feel they should be able to do by a certain age can also greatly affect confidence. For example, leaving your little one at their first parents don’t stay party or your older one for their first sleepover, may not be easy, it may need preparation and work from all involved to enable them to have the confidence to try.
  3. Try to work out the function (the reason why) of any behaviours you see as result of trying something new. If your child experiences an increase in challenging behaviours when trying something new, try to work out why? Are they due to avoidance because the task is too hard, are they escape behaviours because they do not have the skill set to complete the activity, do they need increased support, are they getting too much support and want to do it themselves?
  4. Gradual increases in independence leads to confidence. It is essential to encourage your children to become independent, try new things knowing that to find something tricky is ok, have a go at something knowing that it is ok to fail as this is how we can learn and adapt for next time.
  5. Teaching your kids that sticking at something you find challenging can be so rewarding and even though they may find the activity difficult. Overcoming those difficulties with support and reinforcement along the way leads to more confident and independent learners.
  6. Reading is a good example of this as becoming a confident reader happens in baby steps it takes time, effort and practice and the child who refuses to practice is not necessarily saying I hate reading, they may just be really confused by the concept of language, feel frustrated they can’t read the book they want to or have a fear of failing. Teaching your kids how and when to ask for help. Knowing your own child, their levels of independence, resilience and how best to support them through their challenges. Knowing that each child is different and you have to work out what each child needs and play to their strengths, while trying to encourage further development by helping them tackle the tricky things.
  7. It is important to stress that we all lack confidence sometimes and it is not to say that if you feel like you lack confidence as a parent you are unable to raise confident children. Our children’s confidence comes from being loved and nurtured, from learning it is OK to fear things and that it is OK to fail at something. However, in behavioural terms every day is a learning day and I would encourage every parent to try and work out what makes them lack confidence. Is it the parents who make things look like a doddle, our parents, our friends, our partners or social media lives? I can assure you that each and every one of these people has their own struggles and lack confidence at times.
  8. I think it is important for our kids to know that even as adults we face struggles and lack confidence sometimes, but even as adults we are still learning and growing as people. That it can be strength to admit weakness, to ask for help and to being open to growth.

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Why it’s important to celebrate your achievements

We can give ourselves a hard time can’t we? It’s also the goal-setting time of year. We may want things to be bigger and better than before. We may even be putting pressure on ourselves to pursue goals that aren’t right for us or our values. We may feel we need to set goals to be successful (definitely not always the case). Goal setting is good for us if it’s realistic, we stay true to what’s important to us and what works with our lifestyle and other commitments.  Before you start rushing into planning goals, take some time to reflect on things you’ve achieved on the personal and professional side. So here’s seven reasons why it’s important to celebrate your achievements or what I call WOW moments…

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Photo courtesy of Katrina Campbell Photography

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