Why we’re sending Jaxson to nursery!

Hey lovelies,

I can’t believe the first month of 2020 is almost over! Time seriously needs to slow down…

So as suggested by the title I wanted to talk about childcare options and in particular the ‘nursery vs stay at home’ debate. Jaxson is starting his new nursery tomorrow and will be attending 3 days a week!! EEEEEKKK. He is exactly 11 months and two weeks old, and has been at home for the duration of this time. Due to the limited amount of maternity leave here in the UAE, I went back to work when JJ was around 3 1/2 months. We were so very blessed that we had family who cared for him for the next month and a half. When JJ was just under 5 months, we hired a nanny to stay at home with him full time.

Our decision to opt for a nanny was mainly due to the uncertainty around the quality of care provided for babies here in the UAE; we both decided that we would send him to nursery when he was a little bit older, more independent and stronger (in terms of his immune system etc.)

I am not exaggerating here, when I say that our nanny is a SUPER NANNY! She really does love and care for JJ like her own and I felt so reassured leaving him at such a young age. I think I also found leaving him that bit easier, as my daughter started at her nursery, at only 3 months. Repeated story, but I had to go back to university and living in Bristol away from family, I had no other choice; nannies were far too expensive! Again, I was so blessed that the manager and key worker at Arianna’s nursery were so so lovely and honestly I still remember them, 9 years on!

Ok, so back to 2020…initially we had said we would send JJ to nursery once he was walking but over the last couple of months, I’ve really seen him develop at honestly such a rapid rate! I just felt that although loving, a great chef, an amazing housekeeper; our nanny just wasn’t able to provide the stimulation that he needs. No fault of her own but she was more like an Aunty, as opposed to a childcare practitioner. I had introduced the concept of sensory play etc to her but I think that culturally she just didn’t quite get it! The other issue here in RAK specifically, is that there is a massive void of playgroups/ meet ups and so I felt there was very rarely anything that my nanny could actually take him to. Plus to be honest, I kind of feel like that’s something I should be doing!

In my opinion, it is so important for children to socialize with other children within their age groups. Although, Jaxson has Arianna, I didn’t want him to miss out on the opportunity to play, engage and learn from kids his age. I think also giving him a new environment to explore and structured activities will really help with his stimulation and growth development! That being said, we have only put him in for 3 days a week initially and will probably review within the next 3-6 months. Interestingly, I have some friends who refuse to send their children to any form of nursery etc and instead do it all themselves at home. Another one of my friends who is a KG teacher, told me that in primary schools here, they have some children who at the age of 4 have only ever been at home with nannies/ parents! Now honestly, I can’t say I agree with that as mentioned before, socialization is so imperative for child development! I think that is also another reason why I probably would not home-school Arianna…that’s a whole other topic!

So let me know guys, are you a send them to nursery parent or keep them at home?  I think if I’m ever in the position to be able to stay at home and there is a wealth of playgroup/ meet up opportunities available, then I would definitely consider staying at home for longer with my children.

I think the key thing is though, every child is different and as a parent you have got to trust your gut in decisions like this! Either way, as long as the child is happy, that’s all that matters right!?

K Vinnice
x

My 2019 blog…

Firstly,

CONGRATULATIONS!! You made it! Final year of the decade…wowza!

I’ll try and keep this one to under 5 minutes reading time, as I know everyone is busy. I am currently laying in my hotel bed in Dublin writing this post; in all honesty, I wasn’t going to but I have had several prompts.

I made a conscious decision this year to get more active with my blogs and use it as a platform to generate a range of discussions, help others and hopefully inspire somehow. My lack of consistency has been evident but I’m so blessed and thankful, to know that there are many of you (I’ve been told) who actively read, enjoy and feel inspired by my blogs. Thank you!!

The thought of giving it all up has crossed my mind a few times but I know that negative thinking and a lack of self confidence is my enemy of progress!

Truthfully, I’ve had a lot of amazing things happen this year; promotion at work, birth of my son, my daughter’s birthday, attended some great events, met some amazing people…amongst many others. Yet despite this, I have spent a lot of this year comparing myself and my life to others; holding on to guilt, hoping to re-establish unfruitful relationships, craving attention from those who just don’t deserve it etc.

Sorry to my husband, children, family, friends and followers as I haven’t been wholesome with you this decade. I’ve allowed my negative mindset to overshadow so many amazing things this year; I’ve been ungrateful; unfruitful.

I’ve always believed that the start to change begins with your mindset. So this decade, I endeavour to focus more on what I do have!

LOVE MORE, LIVE MORE AND GROW!

I won’t write out a list of resolutions but will promise to always remember my journey; remember that I’m special, blessed, loved and in a position to help others!

I endeavour to continue, to strive, to inspire and once again thank you ALL (those who love and hate it) for following me this year!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!  See you in the next decade you beautiful soul!

Much love!

K Vinnice x

Did ‘church’ put me off church?

I’ve been contemplating whether or not to write this post but thought if I didn’t then I wouldn’t be staying true to my style of writing; “truthful matters of the heart.”

There are a few things that provoked me to write this post:

1) I recently caught wind of the Spac Nation story and decided to do a bit of research; I soon discovered that the basis of the rumours and speculation, is that this particular religious establishment has been labelled a cult…something I have heard before!

2) I haven’t been to church in quite some time and have been considering rejoining one.

3) Self-reflection and ‘soul searching.’ In my opinion, it is important to regularly reflect on your experiences and past.

So I can’t really pinpoint one particular reason why I stopped attending church; there are to be honest, several factors. The main factor being my move to Dubai. I wasn’t sure if there were any ‘decent’ churches to attend here, before I moved over so never really bothered to look. I did attend a service once but I just couldn’t familiarise myself with their style of worship etc.

There are some days when I do long to go back to church but then other times, I think about some of the hurt and hardships that people close to me and also in some respects myself, have endured and received at the hand of the ‘church.’

Going to church every Sunday was a habitual act and really was the foundation of my upbringing and childhood. I enjoyed belonging to a community of god-fearing, beautiful and in most respects like minded individuals. I loved the events that we had, the fellowship, the singing/dancing…it was all wonderful!

Now I am by no means knocking the church but there were flaws…like most things I suppose.

When I left my church, I felt lost. My expectations of what ‘church’ should be had been so wired, that I really found it difficult to feel like I belonged to anywhere else! It is a shame, as I feel guilty at times for not giving my daughter the same experience that I once had. Who knows, maybe one day I will find another church that I feel ‘comfortable’ in or perhaps I need to rewire my thinking???

Either way, my belief and love in God remains at the root of my morals, ethics, values and the foundation for the way I strive to live my life.

For I do believe – that I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me! 🧡🙌🏾

Yes I AM arrogant…

…if that’s how you view having a healthy sense of self!

Recently, I was engaged in a conversation about the stark differences between arrogance and confidence!

I honestly believe that in order to be productive, content and fulfilled human beings; it’s imperative to have CONFIDENCE! Not necessarily confidence to speak to an auditorium full of people but confidence in yourself!

I’ve spoken on the topic of self love before and being confident in yourself, is at the foundation of this!

But why is it that society continuously sends the message to even children, that you shouldn’t be too confident! Why is it that systems such as the education system subliminally teach our children to lack confidence?

I work in the education system and I have seen it first hand! As a teacher, in my daily practice I always encourage my students to be inquisitive; it’s okay to ask questions! Discussions and debates are HEALTHY and a natural part of life!

As a parent, I have to CONSTANTLY remind my daughter about being confident!

“Do not allow anybody to dim your light!”

Walk in your uniqueness, confidence and YOUNESS! Only you can be you and nobody can do YOU better than YOU!

One of the ways I do this is through self -declarations. I have taught my daughter that there is power in words and she must remind herself daily, how beautiful, clever, confident etc she is!

As adults, we too need to do this! Look in the mirror daily and tell yourself how amazing you are! Don’t crouch over when walking but throw your shoulders back, head high and STRUT!

Honestly, for every time someone tries to cast me down with their negativity, it gives me an extra spring in my step!

There is no bigger act of revenge than knowing, demonstrating and reinforcing your amazingness! They WILL HATE you for not cowering!

Dr Maya Angelou wrote this in the most eloquent and powerful way. I suggest you have a read of “Still I Rise.”

From the clever, amazing, inspirational, driven and beautiful Kym!

YES I AM ARROGANT!

xxx

A juggling act!

Hey lovelies,

Hope you’ve all had a good week. To sum up my last few weeks…I have felt like I’m in a circus act! Going back to full time teaching with two children has been a whole new phenomenon for me.

Did I stick to my routines these last few weeks! Hell NO! Most the time, I feel absolutely exhausted and have no energy to cook, clean but just enough to play. Having spoken to my friend who also is a teacher and has a baby, it is a shared state of existence!

As you can see from the last blog post date I have been swamped! Sometimes I think about giving it up (blogging) but now and then I receive a lovely message from a reader commenting on one of my experiences. It makes it all worthwhile!

Can I just be honest for a moment and say that I am struggling to practice what I preach though. What I mean by that is, I’ve neglected my own self care!

It can be so hard when you’re exhausted and just ridiculously busy to “factor in” me time. The error that I’ve made with this approach is that ‘me time’ should be as natural as brushing my teeth or having dinner.

Why is it that we view looking after ourselves as a chore or additional task?

I would never neglect my children or husband so why should it be acceptable for me to neglect myself?!

It is not a necessity to always do elaborate things and sometimes self care can be as simple as making a cup of tea and leaving the dishes until later! It’s something that I really have to adjust my mindset to.

Truly what use am I as a mother, wife, friend or teacher…if I don’t care for me!

I would love to start some kind of self care community; like-minded people who want to make each other accountable for their own wellbeing.

Not sure if that’s something you’d be interested in but if you are then please reach out to me! I really would love to hear from you!! 🧡

Kym x

Back to work woes and joy!

So I’m back to work now and although I’m gutted to be leaving my babies (during the day), I am excited to be back to busy!

I’ve always had a thing about wanting to be engaged in something and as much as my two babies keep me actively busy that’s not the kind of busy I mean. I want my own busy…am I even making sense!?

It’s so important, as parents that we find our own projects or things to engage with! Let’s face it before we were married and with kids, we were just us and it’s important not to lose that! I make a conscious effort not to lose my identity within the context of the variety of roles that I hold.

This year in particular, I am making it a personal goal to get out more! I don’t mean wild legless nights but making more public appearances! Having been pregnant last year, I felt trapped in the house! I just can’t cope with cabin fever…can you?

I want to meet old and new people. Go for drinks, go for a coffee, go to my friends house for a chinwag, read a book on the beach on my own etc.

There is ABSOLUTELY NO GUILT in wanting to do these things and doing these things! I don’t want to regret not living my life to the best potential that I could!

So watch out as Kym is going to be out out! 😜

Kym x

HELP…How do I make friends?

Hey lovelies!

Firstly, a massive thank you to everyone who has been reading my blogs and watching our family vlogs; it means the world to me!

Secondly, I’ve always likened myself as the sociable, approachable one but recently I’ve felt that people just don’t like me!

Now I know, we really shouldn’t care about what others think and I may be acting like a school child but it genuinely disheartens me. Am I really that bad?

I’ve learnt from my modelling experience that networking is key and it is something that I actually enjoy doing ALOT! I honestly get SO excited when I meet new people and we get chatting. But since I moved over here, my networking bug has slowed down drastically!

Don’t get me wrong, I have made some good friends but do feel that I want to extend my ‘village’ a little further…

My biggest challenge is reaching out to my followers and people in general on social media. Many people have varying opinions about social media but it really can be a great tool if used correctly. I recently asked on a poll about whether or not genuine friendships can be formed from social media. The majority answered yes but HOW? How do I go about making genuine friendships?

I also really want to form friendships with individuals from all different cultures. Let me reiterate, I already have some AMAZING and valuable friendships but simply have the desire to extend my reach further.

But anyways…right now I feel that I am ranting and also failing miserably in the making new friends department! Haha! So please do enlighten me! How do you make friends? Are there any top tips that you could share?

Please do comment and let’s start a conversation!

Much love

Kym x

“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.