Seven things I’ve learnt from my Mum

My Mum has been a pretty cool role model over the years. Here’s seven things I’ve learnt from my mum…

  1. Study hard…Having come over to the UK in the seventies, she was on a mission -to get her nursing qualifications so she could also support her family back home in Mauritius. So I’ve learnt that keep investing in your development, whether it’s researching skills, picking up top tips or becoming better at what you do through good old practice and experience.
  2. Work hard…So when you’ve finished a round of studies, get ready for more hard work. My Mum has definitely instilled a certain work ethic in me. When I told my old boss about my mum’s career, she said “That’s obviously where you’re hard work ethic came from”. Suddenly becoming a single parent with two teenagers couldn’t have been easy. If you want things to happen, it’s going to take hard work.
  3. We’re stronger than we realise…My mum is a strong lady. Physically and emotionally, we manage to get through things that feel super tough at the time. My mum was the first person to call me brave when we started IVF. img_2719
  4. Food is a healer…I always remember my Mum driving down to London to drop off home-cooked food deliveries when I had uni exams. It wasn’t any trouble at all. With my numerous operations over the years, I’ve been spoiled with comfort food deliveries. Home-cooked meals are some of the best gifts you can give someone when they going through a tough time.
  5. It’s OK to cook more than you need…It means that it’s takeaway time for us and we have meals sorted for the next few days. Some dishes like Mauritian Ladoube (chicken and tomato stew) and curry taste even better the next day.
  6. Wear lipstick…My Mum tried to get me to wear lipstick in my teens but I wasn’t interested. It was all about lip balm from The Body Shop. Now I appreciate how lipstick can brighten up your look, especially when you feel tired or a bit low. I love wearing lipstick now (thanks Mum, you were right).
  7. Enjoy dressing up…My Mum loves her clothes. You can never look over-dressed. Whether it’s for work or hanging out with her granddaughters, it’s all about looking chic. Mum sticks to her own style which I love. Bright colours are also important to boost your mood. I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy hand-me-downs from her wardrobe. Mum knows that if I spot something in her wardrobe from the high street labels I love, it’s coming home with me. She’s also taught me how to dress up to feel confident.

I wonder what my girls will learn from me over the years? What have you learnt from your parents?

xx Sunita

Newborn essentials: Etta Loves muslin cloths 

As Toddler Munch is two this year, I’m starting to reminisce lots about the newborn days. Her hair is pretty short so she still appears a bit baby-like. Someone on my blog this week reminded me of how much stuff you carry around when you have a little baby. One thing that’s an essential for the first few months (and even years) is the muslin cloth. Little did I know this piece of cotton cloth would come in so handy. Although Toddler Munch is getting bigger, we still use muslins lots. There’s always one on my coat pocket, in the cross body bag or tucked in the buggy. I’ve now stopped carrying my changing bag as I manage to squeeze nappy changing gear and meals on the go into two handy clutches.

Last year I came across Etta Loves muslin squares. Why is it that I now see lots of things I would have loved when my girls were newborns? The great thing is that we still use muslin squares lots in our home and when we’re out and about.

So what do we love about Etta Loves muslins? Continue reading

Top tips on taking photos of children from family photographer Katrina Campbell

Taking photos of children can be a real challenge. I love taking photos of my girls but it’s always handy to know a few tricks. I met Katrina Campbell at one of the Mama Meets at Olive Loves Alfie East. She captured some beautiful photos of me and my girls which you may have spotted on Lucky Things Instagram. Katrina is a family photographer based in North London. She used to work in advertising, but left to be at home full time when her children were small, and promptly took up photography to keep her sane. Today she is talking about how to take great photographs of your children, whether you use a camera or a phone. Over to Katrina…mama-meet-xmas-4201

Top tips on taking photos of children by Katrina Campbell

We all want to have beautiful, natural photographs of our children as they grow up, don’t we? It’s almost a natural instinct as parents we want to capture the precious memories of, little details of the everyday , to essentially freeze time. However sometimes the simple act of photographing them only serves to remind us how fleeting their childhood is.

Here are a few tips that I find essential when photographing children:

Let them play –  I prefer to photograph young children when they are lost in the moment. If they are content in what they’re doing, whether blowing bubbles or jumping in the sprinkler, you are free to experiment a little with the shot you want. So, get involved, chat with them, make them laugh but then take a step back. You can snap away, and all it takes is a little gentle direction to get them to look at each other, or glance up at the camera. Don’t ask them to smile for the camera – sometimes ‘quick, I need a photo of this’ is all it takes to interrupt the magic of the moment. With older children you can do the opposite – get them involved in the creation of the photograph and make that an activity in itself.

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Parenting: Top tips for looking after twin babies

When people find out we did IVF many of them asked if there was a high chance of us having twins. There wasn’t due to the type of Natural IVF we pursued. So we always knew that if our IVF was successful, there would be one bubba. Quite a few of our friends have twin babies or they might be expecting twins. So I thought I’d round up a few tips from some of the mama bloggers out there with first hand experience. By coincidence, this week Beyoncé and Jay-Z announced their twins news. Thanks to Katie, Hayley and Shannon who shared their top tips on looking after twin babies (and yourselves as parents). Continue reading

Why do girls love pink?

The p word. Regardless of how you try to bring up your daughter colour-style wise, girls always seem to love pink. When we knew we were expecting a little baby girl, I avoided buying her lots of pale pink clothes. The closest to pink I bought for her baby wardrobe was coral (which is actually one of my favourite colours). So as a baby, Big Munch was dressed in lots of grey, navy, bright colours but rarely pink. Three years later and the colour scheme has switched. Big Munch is in charge of her style decisions. She does not need any guidance from me on what to wear. It’s all about pink, pink, pink. To be honest I don’t mind her wearing so much pink now but I do wonder why little girls are drawn to pink. So why do girls like pink so much?

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Top tips for encouraging confidence in children, by Livvy Gormally, Let’s Ask Livvy

In part 1 of Livvy’s guest blog for Lucky Things, we looked at children’s confidence as a behaviour and how confidence needs to be taught, learnt and nurtured, modelled and reinforced. She also talked about how it needs to be taught across environments and in different situations. Confidence can dip and how confidence can be boosted and the importance of praising the behaviours that we want to see more of. With this in mind, here are Livvy’s top tips for encouraging confidence.

 

  1. Break down big or daunting tasks or new activities into bite sized pieces and offer appropriate praise and reinforcement for each little step towards task completion. Breaking things down and praising the little steps helps build confidence by boosting the kids at every step along the way.img_9309
  2. Make sure you have realistic and age appropriate expectations for your children. Pushing a child into something that is not age appropriate, where they are yet to develop the necessary skills can have a negative effect on confidence levels. Similarly, pushing a child into something that you feel they should be able to do by a certain age can also greatly affect confidence. For example, leaving your little one at their first parents don’t stay party or your older one for their first sleepover, may not be easy, it may need preparation and work from all involved to enable them to have the confidence to try.
  3. Try to work out the function (the reason why) of any behaviours you see as result of trying something new. If your child experiences an increase in challenging behaviours when trying something new, try to work out why? Are they due to avoidance because the task is too hard, are they escape behaviours because they do not have the skill set to complete the activity, do they need increased support, are they getting too much support and want to do it themselves?
  4. Gradual increases in independence leads to confidence. It is essential to encourage your children to become independent, try new things knowing that to find something tricky is ok, have a go at something knowing that it is ok to fail as this is how we can learn and adapt for next time.
  5. Teaching your kids that sticking at something you find challenging can be so rewarding and even though they may find the activity difficult. Overcoming those difficulties with support and reinforcement along the way leads to more confident and independent learners.
  6. Reading is a good example of this as becoming a confident reader happens in baby steps it takes time, effort and practice and the child who refuses to practice is not necessarily saying I hate reading, they may just be really confused by the concept of language, feel frustrated they can’t read the book they want to or have a fear of failing. Teaching your kids how and when to ask for help. Knowing your own child, their levels of independence, resilience and how best to support them through their challenges. Knowing that each child is different and you have to work out what each child needs and play to their strengths, while trying to encourage further development by helping them tackle the tricky things.
  7. It is important to stress that we all lack confidence sometimes and it is not to say that if you feel like you lack confidence as a parent you are unable to raise confident children. Our children’s confidence comes from being loved and nurtured, from learning it is OK to fear things and that it is OK to fail at something. However, in behavioural terms every day is a learning day and I would encourage every parent to try and work out what makes them lack confidence. Is it the parents who make things look like a doddle, our parents, our friends, our partners or social media lives? I can assure you that each and every one of these people has their own struggles and lack confidence at times.
  8. I think it is important for our kids to know that even as adults we face struggles and lack confidence sometimes, but even as adults we are still learning and growing as people. That it can be strength to admit weakness, to ask for help and to being open to growth.

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Why I love going on a walk around the block with the kids

Whatever the weather, it’s good to get some fresh air. Sometimes there are days where the weather is unpredictable so you have to grab those opportunities to get some outside play-time with the little ones. A few parents have been asking me for ideas for free things to do. Here’s seven things I love about a walk around the block with the girls…

  1. We’re going on a mini-adventure...Let the kids know you’re going on a little adventure to see what we can find. Wrap up warm and bring the waterproofs if you need to. You don’t have to be out for long so it’s a nice activity before meal times.img_7200
  2. See your local area in the eyes of a child…Kids seem to spot things we may not notice. I love it when three-year old Big Munch spots new flowers or notices something different down our road. Acknowledge the random things they discover and talk about them when you get home. You can also praise them for their discoveries.
  3. You’re not far from home…You don’t have to pack the changing bag or other kit as you’re not that far from homely facilities and food supplies. This might mean you can get out of the house quicker. img_7182On the other hand, it could mean you decide to leave the house with a Frozen Princess or superhero. Guess I’m more relaxed about the dress code when I know we’re not venturing far. Check out Big Munch’s walking socks below. Serious business. Big Munch also loves bringing her umbrella as a prop.img_7178
  4. Walk slowly…There’s no rush when you’re having a stroll around the block (or down the road). Enjoy the slower pace. It’s nice to take your time and walk at the little people’s pace. We still take Toddler Munch in the buggy so she can watch things from her wheels.img_7180
  5. Number and letter spotting…This game is great for pre-school children. Ask them to spot “their number” (their age). Big Munch loves doing this.
  6. Colour spotting…Similar to Eye Spy, you can play another game where you spot different colours (or patterns). Usually Big Munch wins as Toddler Munch is too young to play! img_7185
  7. Letting them explore with their feet…When you spend time focusing on your surroundings, kids have the chance to discover new things. Big Munch spotted  a special building near our home the other week. Something I never noticed before.

What ideas do you have for getting out of the house with kids? Any ideas for free activities? Do you ever go for a walk around the block? What do you love about where you live? Leave a  little comment below…

Why we love brushing our hair together

I guess over the years most people known me for my long hair. When one of my close friends left for travelling she requested that I didn’t chop my long locks. I did chop it off after Big Munch was born. Beyonce started rocking her bob and I felt like a big change. I missed my long hair too much so it’s just a quick trim for me now.  It’s interesting seeing what my daughters’ hair will be like. Will they end up with their daddy’s tight curls or my thick straight hair? When three-year old Big Munch was a baby, she rocked a cool mullet for a while. We refused to trim her lob-sided hair as it was her signature look. Now her hair is growing each month. One thing I love everyday is brushing her hair. Here’s seven things why brushing our hair together has become a special bonding moment for us both. Continue reading