HOW DO YOU COPE WITH HIGH STRESS SITUATIONS?

As much as we all try to avoid high stress situations, inevitably life will occasionally throw some our way; whether to make or break us.  On Sunday, I had what I can only describe as a “prank day” due to the amount of unfortunate events that took place!

This got me thinking about how I handle high stress situations and also what coping strategies, I have picked up, as well as passed down to my daughter.

Firstly, I’ll just provide you with an insight of all the unfortunate events of the day….

  1. After a lovely Father’s Day breakfast on the beach, we returned home to no water.  After 3/4 of us washing off the sand, the water decided to stop flowing in all taps. At first, we figured it was a neighborhood thing but soon discovered this wasn’t the case!

A plumber was called out, who confirmed that the issue was a ‘government’ problem, as there was no flow of water from the main pump/motor. We attempted to call our local government agency who deals with this, known as the “Municipality’ but they referred us to a energy company known as FEWA. I suppose FEWA will be the UK equivalent of Thames Water. Now unfortunately, customer service via telephone isn’t very efficient here so my husband decided to take a drive to the FEWA office. Now due to COVID-19, the office was closed and refused to speak to anyone; it was explained this was an emergency as we have children and I’m pregnant, with no running water. They said we had to email a general customer service address and await a reponse. Let’s just say we received a response to our emergency call/email at 9pm! Luckily, my husband had managed to fix it before this!

2) Having children is wonderful but they can be so very DESTRUCTIVE! My laptop charger broke and therefore I was unable to charge my laptop. On top of the water situation, it was the last thing I needed, as meant I wouldn’t be able to do my online teaching! My husband again had to dash to the computer store to get one part of the charger, when he returned we hoped it would work BUT DIDN’T! We later realised it was a fuse issue, so again he had to go and hunt for a very rare type of fuse.

3) To try and remind ourselves that it was still Father’s Day and not the day from hell, I cooked a lovely meal. Unfortunately, in the middle of cooking oh and attempting to bake a Banana cake, our gas cylinder ran out.

My cake didn’t survive! Ahah!

4) Although not major, as it still works; I managed to completely mash the back of my year old iPhone.

I mean in hindsight, all of the above are superficial and can be fixed but when in the situation, it is somewhat overwhelming.

I am no psychologist but one thing I do to help with situations like this, is to hang on to any form of positivity I’ve had that day. We actually had a really lovely morning, with the Father’s Day breakfast on the beach and I just kept reminiscing of that morning.

Another thing, we have learnt to do in our household is LAUGH! My husband makes it his duty to ensure that when I’m stressed, I crack at least a little smile or laugh.

With this third pregnancy, I have decided to explore the natural method of ‘Hypnobirthing’ and I’m hoping that some of the methods such as breathing and meditation, I’ll be able to apply beyond labour.

A final way, I often deal with high stress is to accept that it’s not going well but remember it won’t last forever; music also really helps to calm me and especially gospel music.

What are your strategies for dealing with high stress situations?

How are you?

Today I felt like writing…mainly because I realized that I had neglected my blog for far too long and also because today was a ‘down day’. I mean quite frankly I really don’t know how to summarize 2020 so far…”insert caption here_________________” but its been overwhelming!

The last few weeks in particular, I have just found a bit too much! Writing has always been one of my sources of relief and unfortunately, I often forget that when I’m going through the rough.

HOW ARE YOU?

Since I lasted posted in January, I have been through what many of us have experienced the ‘coronacoaster’ of emotions! I spoke with my mum today (always helps) and she reminded me that globally we are all going through the same thing; the feeling of frustration, confusion, sadness, agitation, loneliness, happiness, reflectiveness etc. Our world has been through one of the most traumatic times in history, in that it has completely changed the normal of the world. However, I don’t see these times, as all sad and gloom; in fact there are so many positives that have come out of this (for me personally).

  1. We are expecting baby number 3 in October, although technically baby was conceived pre-lockdown.
  2. I have been able to spend more time with my children; learning new ways to learn and play with them.
  3. I re-launched my business and in the process of making it international.
  4. Fallen in love with my passion of content creation all over again!

HOW ARE YOU?

I am in the process of rebranding myself and reviewing again my vision for all elements of my content creation. I will always stay true to “speaking from the heart” but perhaps more with a purpose and end goal…who knows but I shall be sure to keep you all posted!

Let me know how you are? I’m always here to listen, talk and lend advice where I can!

Signing out for now.

K Vinnice x

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

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

 

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 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