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! 🧡🙌🏾

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

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

 

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

 

I think I’m healthy…

Today was definitely one of those “this is so strange yet interesting” experiences, one of many I’m sure to experience in a new culture.  In order to become a fully fledge resident of the United Arab Emirates, all expat adults have to undergo a thorough medical check.  Whilst in the process of arranging my new classroom, I was quickly whisked away into a school bus that took 15 of us to a location not far from school.  When we arrived at the medical centre, the ladies were shown to a “Ladies only waiting room” (something you soon become accustomed too).  We were directed by our ever so friendly bus driver, who I have to commend for his logistical rigour…

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The first room was for the biometrics and I really hadn’t realised how many different prints existed on my hand!  We were asked to take a photograph, of which I was told not to smile, after my first take.  Our driver then showed us to another smaller room, where each of us were interviewed for about 2 minutes; I was asked if I’m married (hopefully soon and very soon).  The herd of expatriate sheep were then herded to the bloods room for a blood test. Hats off to the ladies there who get through people very quickly and with minimal pain!  Having had a pint of blood taken (hyperbole at its finest) we were then taken to an x-ray room for our chest scan.  Again, the ladies only waiting area was about the size of a shoe box and we were directed to remove our blouses and bras and to fashion an appealing x-ray gown.

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“Deep breath in and hold madam”

Back to the shoe box to change and then out into the sweltering corridors to join the rest of my group.  All in all, I have never seen a medical screening happen so efficiently and in such detail. Like I said it was a strange yet interesting experience but I am excited to know that my Emirates ID should shortly be on its way!

P.s. Good news is the children don’t have to do a medical, as they would need an army to get Ri’s bloods!!

Kym & Arianna

 

Our UAE adventure

We have arrived safely in the UAE, as you’ve probably seen.  This is such an exciting adventure and journey for myself and Arianna, which we so want to share with those who take the time to read.  We hope that from our adventure you will feel empowered, inspired, encouraged and determined to seek out and fulfil your own dreams and ambitions.img_6369

Please feel free to leave your comments, questions and of course share with all!

 Kym & Arianna

and welcome to the beginning!

It’s our 5th day in Ras Al Khaimah, although time and days all seem to be blended at the moment! It feels like we have been here much longer!

We arrived early hours on Sunday morning having experienced great hospitality and a lovely flight from Emirates airline. The immigration and baggage collection went smoothly and the air conditioning disguised the scorching 42 degree heat outside. As we arrived in the arrivals hall, we were pleasantly greeted by members from my new school; they immediately took us to set up our UAE number at one of the local Etisalat stands. It’s at this point that the realisation of migrating to a new country and setting up from scratch truly kicked it! New number, emirates card, residency visa…wait a minute this isn’t a temporary holiday but a permanent move! Emirates polaroid

We were taken to our new apartment which was huge! Immediately, Arianna began unpacking her toys and making herself at home. We are privileged enough or for me tempted by one of the many malls, across the road from our building. After an hour or so, we were collected by a lovely couple (from the school) who took us over to buy some essentials bits and bobs and an unofficial meet up. It didn’t take long before the “Mummy I’m bored” ran through my ears; luckily for me the UAE malls are packed with endless amounts of entertainment for children! We managed to navigate our way around the supermarket aisles, recognising many brands and purchasing ingredients for a first meal. P.s. My cooker and fridge are huge!

Later that evening, a very tired mummy and daughter fell asleep whilst waiting for our amazing family who had flown in the night before, to arrive into RAK. I am very thankful for the powerful AC in my apartment which stopped us from melting! After the arrival of my family at 9.30pm we decided to have a late night shopping/ eating session in RAK mall (closes at midnight) to purchase more bits for the apartment. MATALAN! The runs across the road by now were becoming familiar; the driving and road etiquette is very different from the UK…

By day 2, our TV and WIFI had been ordered and awaiting delivery/installation. THANK GOD! I hadn’t realised how much we relied on internet and how alien it is living without it! I suppose with all of this, setting up from scratch was a bigger task than I expected!

However, 5 days in and our house is looking a lot more like home! We have visited the area of Al Hamra (which is very plush) and have our first excursion booked for this weekend. I’ve had 2 days in school, going through some logistics, however after the Eid holiday our first full week of induction will begin.

img_6376img_6365Arianna and I have already made some lovely friends and the entire newbie crew and welcoming committee have been fab!

Signing out for now lovelies but will have my next blog post up very soon!

Kym & Arianna xx

 

 

p.s. This evening we found a bat on my balcony, evidence below…

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