Cherish The Impromptu Moments

Today my almost three year old, Sam, fell asleep on me. Something he hasn’t done in a long time. Those minutes snuggling him took me back to when he was so little; when he was a baby baby (not a toddler baby)….to those exhausting days of feed, cuddle, sleep; and repeat.

Sitting on the sofa, holding him, thoughts popped in my head. I heard myself saying…”but the washing needs folding”, “you still need to empty the dishwasher”, “five minutes and then I’ll put him in his bed”. Then I said to myself…NO! You HAVE to enjoy these impromptu moments. Cherish each and every one. The washing will wait but he is getting so big!

This time next year he will have been allocated his Primary school and starting school the following September!

Now I’m getting ready to fold the laundry, iron, pick up my eldest from school and then get him ready for swimming, homework and then dinner.

I love my hectic life and my two rambunctious boys but I do go from one thing to the next constantly! I think that’s why having those moments today with my youngest was so nice and a reminder to slow down and enjoy this time. It will be gone all too quickly. Motherhood – the mundane and amazing can happen in the same moment.

What Does Being An โ€œInstaMumโ€ Even Mean?

I have heard this term since I started my Instagram account way back in 2017! I had a private account for years before that…barely used it and had no idea what a hashtag was! ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ Fast forward to 2017 and a signed up as a MLM distributor for a makeup line…I know! What was I thinking!? ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ I realised Instagram would be good for it so I created a public account and called myself Lots of Lippy! ๐Ÿ’„ If you go back far enough in my account you will see me modelling the lippy! ๐Ÿคฃ

I learned ALOT about Instagram from my Lippy account and enjoyed connecting with other accounts and people. I stopped selling in the Spring of 2018 and just posted things that my family and I were up to and my everyday musings and people seemed to like this and I enjoyed making friends with mums, parents and people who got me and what I was about. So I changed my account name to Stephie Stories and the rest is history!

I’m still navigating the Instagram Seas and I don’t want to piss anyone off but sometimes I do feel like the community can be a bit hard to crack! I see loads of cool women and mums all bonding with each other over shared interests, being invited to the “in” parties and being called out on Follow Fridays.

I’m happy to say that I have made some amazing InstaFriends who I wouldn’t have met if it wasn’t for my account and I do truly think of them as friends. When I started my Instagram account not many of my “real life” friends were on it and that’s pretty much still the case. And if they are on Insta they aren’t very active. It’s been hard trying to find my InstaTribe but I think I am slowly building a group that not only comprises of Mums, but health bloggers, fashion bloggers and writers (Mum are not one dimensional and neither is my account). ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป

Speaking of the Instagram events…I have yet to be invited or go to one. I would LOVE to meet up with some of my other Instagram friends that I follow and chat with so maybe I need to bite the bullet and organise one myself! ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป I adore meeting people and hearing their stories as everyone’s stories is different and oh so interesting!

If I organise an event, will you all come?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Instagram has allowed me to connect with some amazing accounts. Discover some amazing people and find people with similar interests. This platform has inspired me creatively when I desperately needed it. I craved the Arts! I craved performing again, creating etc and Instagram and YouTube have given me an outlet for all of this and more. To “meet” likeminded people and be inspired again.

People say Social Media isn’t good and should be limited. I disagree to an extent! There should be balance in your life between the online and the every day life. I do t like my boys to see me on my phone much when they are about so I limit my phone time to before they wake, nap times and evenings mostly.

But through Instagram, Facebook and YouTube I have reconnected with long lost friends, become creative again and got my Stephie MoJo back that I had lost along the way after giving birth. It’s let me connect with like-minded mums and dads and build a community of friends all over the World and all from my SmartPhone! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป God I love the 21st Century! ๐Ÿ˜Š Although, there is something comforting about a rotary phone, the 80s and a simpler time! I guess when I fall out of love with all of this is the time to stop and I’m definitely not there yet!

I guess, to answer my question above, being an InstaMum is sharing all the good, bad and funny parts of being a Mother with a community of people. A support network, when some days can feel isolating I always know there is another Mother or Father out there whose feed I can go to and gain comfort in the fact I’m not alone. I love our little community! โค๏ธ

Yes! I Talk About My Babies!

Hello there! I’m Steph and YES! I am a mother who talks about her children.

I totally get it! You (sometimes) don’t want to hear about my kids. I didn’t used to get all goo goo gaa gaa about babies – I used to have a busy social life, hair always nice…..I used to be able to wear high heels and not have snot on the majority of my tops! ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ

But things happen….and my hubs and I decided to start a family! Shock…horror!

I vividly remember telling one of my best friends, shortly after we announced we were preggo, that if I EVER talked only about my baby and what my baby was doing…to kindly slap some sense into me!

We used to roll our eyes at the loud babies at the local coffee shop and I just couldn’t get over how many pics of the their baby some of my friends would post on Facebook. I just couldn’t understand how a woman with a life before her baby would cease to exist after giving birth and have nothing else to talk about.

I vowed this would not be me, so when I got pregnant I talked about my maternity leave as if I was on a year sabbatical from work. I talk about learning a new language while my baby napped (I seriously did! ๐Ÿ™ˆ) and I talked about all the fun outings I would have with my little bundle of joy…all while keeping my social life and meeting friends out for lunch as the baby would just tag along, right?!….ahhhhhhb how naive was I!!

Once I had my little man I was besotted. I just kept looking at him and couldn’t believe that we made this tiny, perfect human! I didn’t go out much because my delivery was a bit more intense that I thought it would be so I had a while to recover and my little man had bad reflux so that meant lunches out were also put on hold for a while but BOY I was proud of what I did and what I made and what he was accomplishing on a daily basis and I wanted my friends to know about it. So I posted about it and talked about it and then… I got it! I got why parents became “boring”, why they talked about their little baby, why they wanted to share with friends and family about their little bundle of joy. Because they were PROUD! Because they were EXCITED! Because they just really wanted to connect with other people who just got it as well.

I got it in the end and even though I might not talk about my dudes ALL the time! I’m not going to stop talking about them because you might think I’m boring. They are my greatest accomplishment and, just as someone else might talk about that new job, that new holiday, a challenge they have just accomplished or anything they are really proud of. I’m DEFINITELY going to talk about mine!

Summer At The Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan

I FINALLY finished a BOOK! It took me leaving my family for 4 days but I got it done! ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป Here’s what I thought……

The Synopsis:

Summer has arrived in the Cornish town of Mount Polbearne and Polly Waterford couldn’t be happier. Because Polly is in love: she’s in love with the beautiful seaside town she calls home, she’s in love with running the bakery on Beach Street, and she’s in love with her boyfriend, Huckle. 

And yet there’s something unsettling about the gentle summer breeze that’s floating through town. Selina, recently widowed, hopes that moving to Mount Polbearne will ease her grief, but Polly has a secret that could destroy her friend’s fragile recovery. Responsibilities that Huckle thought he’d left behind are back and Polly finds it hard to cope with his increasingly long periods of absence. 

Polly sifts flour, kneads dough and bakes bread, but nothing can calm the storm she knows is coming: is Polly about to lose everything she loves?

My Thoughts:

As some of you know, my husband is from Cornwall and his parents still live there. It holds a special place in our hearts and I always love to read books set in the county.

This book is the sequel to Little Beach Street Bakery and, even though I haven’t had a chance to read it…YET, I didn’t need to in order to love this book, the lead character Polly and want to visit this little bakery!

The author, Jenny, has created such a likeable character in Polly that the reader automatically roots for her success and commiserates in her disappointments. Plus she lives in an actual lighthouse! She is already cool, in my book! Even the little puffin, Neil, becomes a loved character and I did miss reading about him in the chapters that did not feature him.

Summer at the Little Beach Street Bakery is a sweet, heart-warming and makes you want to move to Cornwall! It’s a definite read for this windy and rainy March!

Maternity Gold!

I have had so many friends recently announce their 1st, 2nd or more pregnancies and I started to think back to when I was pregnant with both my boys and what items made my pregnancies easier (both of them had issues!).

No matter what season you are pregnant in, you need to feel good in your maternity clothes. I really struggled to find items that I loved. Either they were too frumpy or too tight around my belly – I never felt comfortable about wearing form fitting maternity clothes…hell! I don’t even wear form fitting non-maternity clothes! Like the bandage dresses, etc? They weren’t for me. Now, if you feel comfortable in those dresses, go for it! Just wasn’t for me.

Especially JEANS! Maternity jeans either fall below the belly or you can find ones that go over the belly (my preference) but before you get a big belly and you can’t fit into your normal jeans anymore, what do you do? You get one of these bad boys!

Seriously, my life saver during those early to mid pregnancy months when I was growing out of my every day clothes but the maternity stuff didn’t quite sit right.

This is the Love Your Bump Belly Belt! I wore it for each of my pregnancies and also postnatal when (again) you can’t fit into your regular clothes but you are sick of you maternity stuff! This comes with either button, or hook and eye and it comes in different sizes, so it grows as your belly grows. It also comes with a little piece of fabric that you attach to the belly belt expander to cover your open fly but most times I just wore a longer vest underneath my top which covered the area as well.

So what you do is you leave your jeans unbuttoned and attached the belt expander to the jean/trouser button on one end and then your button hole on the other end of your jeans/trousers attaches to the belly belt expander. Like I said it comes in different widths so you never feel like your jeans or trousers are going to fall off.

Here is the link to it on Amazon…https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0010X4F02/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It’s worth every bit of ยฃ16.95, in my book, and you save loads on not needing to buy maternity clothes until further into your pregnancy and then it’s so fun trying on clothes with your bump!

I hope this has been of some use to you. Enjoy your pregnancy journey and try to rest…believe me you’ll need it on the other side. xx

Questions You Donโ€™t Need To Ask Your Friends….But Do!

Last week I went on my first girlsโ€™ holiday since having my boys. We descended upon poor, unsuspecting Tenerife like four women released from prison and needing to experience freedom again!

We went out in the evenings and I forgot how relaxing it was to eat a meal without constantly checking the boys havenโ€™t thrown their food everywhere or keeping them entertained. I still, however, managed to ask my friends if they needed to do a wee-wee before we left the house! You can take the mum away from the toddler but I think itโ€™s now an automatically programmed question! Awkward!

The Journey So Far….

It’s been 6 months since I started my blog and YouTube Channel, so I thought I would take some time to reflect on the journey so far.

I’ve had my Instagram account for over two years now and it’s been growing very well over that time. I find that it’s nice to have this blog as an outlet when I want to write more than my little square on Instagram can contain and it’s a nice way to tie the two together.

I’ve found YouTube a little harder to get going. I’m not sure why except perhaps time? It’s find it’s easier to shoot a video but it’s much more time consuming to edit it down to something that others would want to watch! As an actress I’m LOVING being in front of a camera again (even if it’s just my iPhone in my kitchen!) so I’m hoping my videos are coming across as fun for you as well. I’m trying to show a range of subjects and topics and not just stay with motherhood and parenting (as there is much more to a mum than that!).

I’m hoping my YouTube Channel will grow into a one stop shop for people. A place where mothers can come and watch a video on a Primark haul and then one on me musing on the life of a 4 year old and maybe a review on a go to product that parents definitely need in their parenting arsenal!

I’m loving the fact that I am documenting more of my life as a mother and more of what we get up to a family. The good and the not so amazing. I want this blog, channel and everything that goes with it to be an honest documentation of our life. I know that the phrase honest parenting has been done to death but I believe that we all need to see that it’s not all rosy all of the time; it can’t be, that’s pretty impossible but I hope I can give my own take and account on this parenting malarkey.

Anyway, I’m enjoying my little corner of the internet more than I thought I would and becoming more and more confident with each video shot and each blog written. Thank you AGAIN (I know I say it ALOT) for joining me on this journey! I wonder what the next 6 months will hold!