“We’ve missed our flight!”

Hey lovelies!

So as you’ll know we’ve arrived back to our home in the UAE, in one piece (well almost).

I can’t recall many occasions where everything just seems to be working against me but Thursday 8th August was definitely one of those occasions! I think I’ve shared this sentiment before but I truly believe that everything happens for a reason…it’s just this reason I’m still trying to figure out!

So where do I start…well firstly NEVER EVER pack your 6 suitcases the night before! Why did we have 6 suitcases you may ask? The truth is I wanted to stock up on the bits and bobs that are too expensive here or we just can’t get! Those items including all the gifts and clothes that the children accumulated during our time in London, resulted in the 6 suitcases as fore mentioned. You can imagine or maybe you can’t, what it felt like running on only 3 hours sleep. Admittedly, we did leave out late in the morning but all things considered, I felt that we got to the airport in good timing. We flew with Emirates on this occasion, as they are very generous with their baggage allowance. In total, we had 100kg to play with and in my head our total weight was no where near this…oh how wrong was I! The lady at the check in desk asked us to weigh each case one by one and as she continued to tag away, I felt that everything was ok. UNTIL, the bomb hit and after weighing all suitcases she explained that we were 33kg over! Curiously, I enquired as to the cost for the additional baggage and her calm response was £800+

Panic started to set in now and as we frantically tried to remove some weight, she annoyingly decided to mention that we had only 10 minutes until the check in closed. HOW? I didn’t even get a chance to take a picture of the carnage but there was stuff EVERYWHERE! In the end, we ended up leaving an entire suitcase behind of goodies! The drama had only just begun…we were instructed to go straight to the gate or else we would miss our flight. Thinking that the process of getting to the gate would be quick was hopeful. I think every single piece of our hand luggage except one got pulled up and searched. With the gate now closing in 20 minutes, pressure and stress levels were truly on an all time high! I decided to go ahead with Baby J, his pushchair and one hand luggage and sprinted to the gate. The only thing that I could verbalise and recite in my head is “we’ve missed our flight!” I need to work on being more positive…Thankfully, we managed to get there with just 10 minutes to spare!

Sitting on that flight that we almost missed, felt exhilarating until the realisation that we had left Jaxson’s spare milk in security dawned! I mean could it possibly get any worse??

That being said the actual flight was fine and J didn’t end up needing his extra milk as my mum had made up some baby food for him which he had on the plane. We arrived into Dubai airport at around 8pm and although absolutely exhausted from the 3 hours sleep and mayhem of the day, it felt good to be back in the sandpit. Our luggage arrived fairly quickly with none missing, which was also a massive relief! Well none except my tripod that my husband ended up leaving on the plane as we exited! Honestly guys and girls, I am NOT making this up.

My hubby (bless him) was in a frenzy and stormed off to lost and found in the hope that it would be handed in. They hadn’t yet cleaned our plane so we were told to send an email and that they would get back to us with an update. I wasn’t at all optimistic at this point and told my hubby that it is what it is. All I really wanted to do was get back to our villa and SLEEP!

Due to the large quantity of luggage that we possessed (8 pieces of luggage, J’s 2 piece pushchair, car seat, Baby walker and random bags) a normal 7 seater taxi would not take us from Dubai airport. We hadn’t preordered so ended up waiting around 20 minutes for a larger one!

Despite the absolute carnage of the day, the feeling of being back in our new home as a family is second to none! Something that I am very grateful for and excuses all the things that went wrong during the day!

We had a well deserved sleep that evening and a lovely first family meal in our new home. P.s. my tripod was found and will be collected soon.

Do you have any horror travel stories that you’d like to share?

Kym x

Why I really left London…

Hey again!

I feel like I’ve neglected my writing since we started our family YouTube channel. If you haven’t yet please do head over to The Travelling Roses and check out some of our recent vlogs. We are still in the beginning stages and would appreciate as much feedback as possible.

Many of you will be aware that I made the massive decision two years ago (almost to the day) to up and leave; I left behind my comfort, my familiarity, my job, my home, my car, my friends, my family and my now husband! It wasn’t an easy decision to make and there were many factors that influenced my decision.

I have always been one for adventure and travelling, I blame my parents as they grew us up on ample family holidays and trips! I, in fact use to spend my whole summer holidays in Jamaica…I guess you could say I caught the travelling bug from a young age. This yearning for adventure and in some sense escape, continued throughout the years; I went to college outside of my borough and university outside of my city. Therefore, I suppose the next logical step was to venture outside of my country and that is exactly what I did!

I could write on here about wanting to teach abroad to inspire young people internationally and yes although that is true that is only the partial reason why I left. London has always been my home, having been raised and lived in London for over 20 years (I was actually born in Kent). But London, also created a lot of wounds and scars…There were things that I had experienced, lived, witnessed in London that if I’m honest haunted me! One of my biggest living nightmares was MONEY…well actually DEBT!


When I first started university in 2009 and moved to Bristol, never did I imagine or truly process, that I would be leaving three years later with over £10k debt over my head! On top of that, I had not banked on having a child either and being a single mum. I really struggled to make ends meet in Bristol, as I had to move into private housing and was obviously still on a student wage. I did seek to find part time work and ended up doing a stint in Greggs bakery whilst 7 months pregnant! Perhaps that is why my daughter loves Greggs so much…HAHA! Trying to juggle rent, bills, nursery fees, transport whilst being a student was TOUGH! I was receiving some support from the state but due to me being a full time student it was limited. Things didn’t really get any easier for me there; I ended up falling behind on rent and was threatened by the estate agents to be evicted. I actually recall a time when I was pregnant and travelled back from London to Bristol, I had I think £5 to my name and was in desperate need of ’emergency cash.’ I ended up going to a location in the centre of Bristol where they distributed £50 emergency state cash for those vulnerable people in need. Fast forward…by the Grace of God and with the help from my family, I managed to complete university and myself and daughter did not get evicted from my house! Love then brought me back to London…

Moving back to London from Bristol was going to be my fresh start! I decided to move to Bromley, as I wanted the better schooling options for Arianna. I was very blessed in being able to acquire a really lovely two floor flat, in a very nice area for a reasonable price too! For those of you who have private rented in London, you will understand how ridiculously EXPENSIVE it is! I was advised upon moving back to London, that I would be able to get myself on the housing list, as I had managed to do so in Bristol. That information was FALSE! Bromley council refused to house me, as I was in suitable accommodation (2 bedroom) despite NOT being able to afford it! At the time of moving back to London, I was working as an office runner for a Film Production company and I recall I was on a minuscule wage bringing home under £800 a month. God graced me and I changed employment and began working as a Teaching Assistant. Although not great, my wage was better but I was still struggling to make ends meet. Long story short, this cycle of debt was continuous for about 2 years. In that space of time, I had again fallen behind on rent and therefore had to set up a repayment plan with my landlord.

Repaying debts whilst still paying bills, rent etc meant NO SOCIAL LIFE… in fact NO LIFE! I found myself really struggling to LIVE! I would go to work, pay my bills and never have enough out of my own pocket for days out with Arianna, regular nights out with the girlies, to save and definitely no disposable income for the travelling bug I had inherited. What I was able to do, was really at the expense of others! This was not how I wanted to live my life.

The final straw, was having to sleep on a very uncomfortable mattress (with the springs digging into my skin) on my daughter’s bedroom floor, whilst a complete stranger rented out my bedroom for a low cost amount. I really could write a book about my life…

I had to make a decision…did I want to continue living in debt, stress, anxiety and living to pay things off.  Or did I want to give my daughter and myself, a life truly worth living. The latter was my preferred option and one I leaped at when the opportunity was presented!

Was it easy?

Hell no.

Was it worth it?

Definitely yes!


I am now in a position where I have paid off 80% of my debt whilst still being able to enjoy the finer things in life! If like me, you are really struggling with debt there are a wealth of organisations and charities in London that can provide support! Please do speak out and seek help (something I struggled to do) as no-one should suffer in silence. My anxiety at one point was so bad that I hated watching the program “Don’t pay we’ll take it away” with the fear that I may end up being featured on there! BUT, you can get out of it!

Here are some of my top tips:

  1. Do an income and expenditure spreadsheet – this will help you identify your cash flow.
  2. Think about things you could cut back on.
  3. Set up realistic payment plans with companies and debt collectors.
  4. Shop around for groceries and clothes.
  5. Use the cash for clothes outlets or similar.
  6. Charitiy shops are great!
  7. Plan your meals for the week.
  8. Join Facebook groups like Mummy’s Gin Fund – for days out recommendations.
  9. Take advantage of parks and free spaces.
  10. Reach out to organisations and charities for expert advice. – See here.
  11. Speak to your family and friends.
  12. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO SAY NO! – You don’t have to attend everything!

I hope that somehow this post will help someone who is going through what I experienced. If there are any tips that you could also share then please feel free to comment on this post or to message me on Instagram and I can share them publicly.

Thank you for taking the time to read.

Kym x

 

The Roses Family YouTube

Hey guys and girls! We have some VERY exciting news…you may have guessed.

Yes that’s right, we now have our very own YouTube channel! Our decision to begin the venture of YouTubing/ Vlogging was mainly inspired by Arianna who is a massive TT fan! It was also driven by my passion for editing and all things digitally creative.  We are still in the very early stages so bear with us whilst we develop our content and our channel. Please do watch, like, leave a comment, subscribe and ring the notification bell on our first YouTube video!

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The Roses.

 

London Chronicles Part 1

Hey lovelies!

So I am very excited to say that the Rose family have arrived safely in London Town! We arrived early Saturday morning having completed an indirect flight with Gulf Air. I remember saying years ago that I would never do a stop over with my children but having done it a few times, it’s perfectly fine! My advice to those considering it, would be to pick your stop over location (where applicable) and time wisely, also pack light as most airports will restrict trolley use!

Anyways…the next few posts will be about all the stuff we get up to during our time here in London. If you don’t follow me on Instagram (shame on you) you may not know that we are actually here for 4 weeks! It is our chance to catch up with family and friends and of course to introduce baby Jaxson to our home town!

I’m not sure if it’s the same in your families but in mine, the birthdays come in clusters! We kicked off our London chronicles by celebrating my beautiful mummies birthday and fun was had by all! I would personally recommend Smith and Wollensky who not only accommodated us being over an hour late but served the most amazing food, with the most amazing grace and charisma! As usual, my family closed the restaurant…

I’ll be setting to work on Baby Jaxson’s christening this week too and will update you about that in a separate blog. During my time here, I really want to get to as many parenting groups and networking events as possible so do let me know if you have any recommendations. I of course want to meet up with EVERYONE as well! 🙂

One final thing, we have also started baby weaning full time!! I’m very interested in the baby led weaning method; if anyone has any recommendations for recipes or success stories then please do share!

Now that I am off work and have a bit more time on my hands. I’ll try and post/share more regularly…I also have some exciting news pending!

Kym x

 

The VERY truthful matters of my heart!

I have a story to tell you and I promise I’ll try not to take up too much of your time!

Firstly, I really have missed blogging! The last three weeks have been a whirlwind; crazy work deadlines, unmeasurable stress, feeling blue, entertaining, hurting, packing and moving!!! I’ve felt as though I haven’t stopped to breathe over the last three weeks!

Today for the first time, I’ve taken half a breath and stopped for a very short moment. Now I don’t just mean physically but mentally! Ive experienced all types of emotions the last few weeks including guilt for not interacting on my socials or sharing what’s going on. I realised that I shouldn’t feel guilty for not always being present as that is reality!

I mentioned above that I’ve been hurting the last few weeks and it’s been like NEVER before so here it goes…

As you all know my family especially my hubby and children are my world; I would fight at all costs to ensure they are happy and safe! This week my not even 5 month old son received a racist comment and honestly I lost faith in humanity!

How can the world be so cruel?

An innocent child shouldn’t have to fall victim of this!

The reality is, it is the world that we unfortunately live in!

It did REALLY hurt me and took a while for me to comprehend what had happened. Having confided in a few people, I was able to process what I could do as a parent to help my children survive in what is an unjust and unfortunate world!

I vow to equip them with the skills to be resilient, educated, loving, WOKE, inspiring, the understanding that they are KINGS AND QUEENS amongst many other things!

My drive has been risen by 1000 from something that almost destroyed my strength!

I’m not really sure where this post is going except I just want to say, if you’re going through something or have been hurt recently then turn that pain into a lesson of strength! The strength to endure, understand, develop and progress!

Although the world in many ways is negative, cruel and unjust there are glimmers of hope and light in individuals and experiences! Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing my vision for my blogs with you all and hope that you benefit from my willingness to be open!

Thank you for reading the truthful matters of my heart!

Kym x

Stella’s got her groove back!

Recently, I read an Instagram post from the beauty that is Maya Jama and it felt like she literally took the words from my mouth!

In a nutshell, she spoke about the perception of ‘beauty’ and touched upon something I experienced only a few days ago…

How many of you have got to the point where your hair, nails or something else needs redoing and it has a MASSIVE impact on your self confidence and mood? I mean you just feel ugly and not standard ugly but U-G-L-Y. Well this happens to me every time! No matter how much makeup I put on, or how dressed up I get, if my hair is not done then sometimes I even refuse to go out!

Now I don’t know if this is a ‘thing’ but I really have had to teach myself (with the support from close family and friends) that looks are not everything. Having once been a model, I do try and keep up appearances but the reality of being a working mummy of two means it doesn’t always happen, to the standard I’d like! Lol!

I can’t afford to get the latest skincare phenomenon or get weekly facials etc, so I just have to make do with what I have but more importantly accept that beauty isn’t just about appearance. You can be a beautiful but ugly person!

I really want my daughter in particular to understand that no one should define her by her looks but more her aura, confidence, intelligence, influence etc

Your looks really DON’T define who you are!

“I want a divorce!”

As you all know I keep things very real and honest in my blogs and the statement above is actually something that came out of my mouth once!

My husband and I had been married for only a year when our beautiful baby boy came along and WOAH did his arrival rock our foundations! With the 8 year gap between my first and second, I really had forgotten how wild and uncontrollable your hormones and emotions are during, after and AFTER AFTER pregnancy!

The morning after delivery!

I really didn’t mean to but during my third trimester and immediately after giving birth, I just couldn’t stand the sight of my husband! The poor man would have an ear full daily! Now hubby, is a man of not too many words, so arguments were always one sided and that pissed me off even more! Lol. In all seriousness, we really had to work hard not to kill each other and especially with the very serious condition of sleep deprivation! Truly, you never really know the effects of it until you experience it. Luckily, there is a lot of useful information and support out there on how to cope.

What really helped us, was to talk! We had to be honest with each other about how we felt and hardest for me, allow hubby to be involved and not control everything (my single parent hang ups)! Safe to say, we are so much better now and I love my best friend more than ever! Divorce is NOT on the cards!

As you will all know, marriage isn’t static and constantly needs effort from both sides. When it comes to being a married couple with children, that level of effort has to be on MAX! I’m not a marriage counsellor but I would really advice that you factor in ‘alone time’. It could be a date night, a walk to your local shop or just some time in the evening when you both sit, talk and LAUGH with each other; it is SO IMPORTANT!

Finally, let’s talk about sex! 😈 Research shows that many women experience a decline in their libido during and after pregnancy! If this is you, you are not alone! There are some things that you could try to get those hormones ‘riding’ again:

  1. Exercise some self-care! There is nothing sexy about hairy underarms and legs!
  2. Set the ambience. Have a friend or relative look after the kids. Purchase some lovely smelling candles from Bath and Body works…
  3. LIN-GE-RIE ladies…need I say more?
  4. Send random messages of endearment or other…
  5. Change of scene! There’s just something special about fresh hotel sheets that are neither poo or vomit stained!

If you have any other fail proof tips then please do share! 😁

Kym x

Birthday activities galore!

As mentioned in my previous blog, my husband really did spoil me rotten this birthday weekend! From staying in the beautiful Roda Hotel, to being haunted by clowns…I literally did it all this weekend!

So where do I begin?

Initially, hubby had mentioned doing an ‘escape room’ activity and I approved based on my previous experience. For my hen do, I participated in a WW2 themed escape room experience in London, which was a lot of fun. Naturally, the thought of doing another one was very appealing. Hubby did mention that this one was scary but never did I imagine to what extent!

We took the 15 minute drive from our hotel, to another part of Dubai and was greeted by literally a horror themed escape room! Even from just standing outside, fear overtook my body! It really took some serious guts for me to even go in there and it only got WORSE! The sinister voice over the tannoy system and pitch black atmosphere was enough to make me pee my pants (and no not due to my pelvic floor). Deep Dark Dubai, hats off to you; I honestly believed that I was in a horror film and was ready to go home! It took the guilty look of my husband, encouraging words from the owner and very strict instructions from myself to tone down the scary, for me to succumb to the idea. But I did eventually go in and I wasn’t disappointed! The concept was really good, the puzzles were not too hard and the extra scary bits and bobs had me both screaming and jumping down flights of stairs! Safe to say I was so VERY GLAD when we escaped! Hubby wants to go back to “Beat the Clown” I’m not too sure about that one TBH! Maybe I will one day…A bonus is they currently have an offer on GroupOn too (thank me later)!

I survived it to tell the tale…Now onto our second day of adventure and we went flying!

I had recently put out a poll on my Instagram and the majority voted for me to do indoor skydiving and that’s what we did (well kinda)! A slightly less horrifying experience but equally a massive adrenaline rush! The staff were extremely patient and friendly despite us rebooking our slot about 10 times (life with kids!).

The centre was massive! We were pleasantly surprised when we arrived, to find that we were the only guests there. After sitting through a safety video and being geared up, we embarked on our journey to the wind chamber! Now I really didn’t know what to expect and as always offered for the husband to go first (safety test). We both had two minutes each in the chamber; it sounds short but felt like a lifetime, when we were actually in it! I also have to shout out our instructor Arthur, he was really lovely and helpful during the experience.

The chamber…well what a thing! My initial reaction on my first go was to start hyperventilating, as I couldn’t quite figure out how to breathe with wind that strong blowing in my face! I cant really say in figures how strong the wind was but I think the pictures will reveal all…

It really was so much fun and although we weren’t aware that you had to bring a USB stick to capture the raw files, we were very thankful for the DVD of the experience with additional images added complimentary! I think we will definitely be returning for another fly experience at InFlight Dubai! AGAIN, they have an offer on GroupOn (thank me later)!

Tag me in your posts and pictures if you decide to visit any of these places and I would love to hear what you thought too!

Kym x

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It’s my birthday!

Apologies that this is a tad bit late but I really was way too busy enjoying myself! I don’t know about you but I really am a ‘birthday’ person and pull out all the stops for others!

This year I had the stops pulled out for me!! Recently, I’ve been moaning and groaning to my husband that I don’t feel appreciated and “you just don’t understand how much I do!”

Man did he make me eat my words! Lol.

It wasn’t just the amazing gifts I received this year but the level of effort and organisation he put into the activities I did over the weekend! I mean…I even got a CARD!

Now being a mother of two, I’ve realised more than ever how important it is for both husband and wife to feel valued and appreciated! You can so easily get wrapped up in being “mummy” and “daddy” and forget to be “husband” and “wife” which are two different things!!

If money is tight (trust me I’ve been there), why not try a cost free AOA (Act of appreciation) like send an unexpected message of endearment, cook a meal, dedicate an evening to watch some films and perhaps indulge in an alcoholic beverage or two… Foot and whole body massage; my personal favourites!

Remember whether you’re married or not you are in a partnership and it’s so important that you take care of each other.

I also want to acknowledge my beautiful and amazing sister friends, who made it extra special. When you make the decision to be an expat, you leave everything behind! Having a network of amazing friends is so very important!

Check out my next few blogs for reviews of each of the activities I completed this weekend!

Kym x

I’m a control freak!

Since giving birth to Jaxson, I’ve realised how automatic it is for me to take over and just ‘get on with it.’ A lot of it stems from being a single parent with Arianna and the coping mechanism that I adopted. Despite having an amazing family network, the day to day raising of Arianna fell solely on me. Sounds weird but I never had ‘to share’ Arianna, I had her ALL to myself!

Now married and a second side of the family to consider, I initially found it really difficult. My husband and I, have been so blessed to have my mother in law come and stay with us for four weeks and help look after J. It has been so lovely and also a learning curve for me. Even though J is in the safe hands of family, I still felt weird about handing him over at first. What would happen with his routine that I’d set up? Would she understand his cries? Will she know how to feed and burp him especially with the GERD?

YES OF COURSE SHE WILL KYM!


NO, IT WON’T BE EXACTLY THE WAY YOU DO IT AND THAT’S OK!


I have to say that I am much better now at allowing others to help me, including my husband. I’m now fine with the fact that he changes J’s nappy different to me and also takes much longer to wash him! Lol. My husband is understanding and accepts that this is something I’ll need to work through in my own time and my own way.

Any other single parents found the transition to married life difficult?

Kym x