Wednesday, November 29, 2017

A Year of Baby & Balance

A couple of months ago I posted an Instastory chatting about the blog. I think I said at the time that I was going to be back to blogging that week {insert laughter from me!}. Well you know what happened, life happened! I had clients to get back to, a little lady to raise, a flat to keep up, time with my husband, birthdays to celebrate, the blog got placed in file of not important things to do right now. Well this morning I thought, today is as good a day as ever! I know it has been quite a few months since last time I posted and over the past year, I have written only a few posts, and you know what, that's OK! I thought that during my maternity leave I would take SO much time on the blog and writing but that makes me laugh, because truly I did 101 other things then write on the blog. But here I am...and I'm back. I have to be quite honest, I missed my little space here on the web with Urban Flip Flops after nine years of blogging! 
To say it has been one busy year is an understatement for sure. Watching a baby full time with no family close by, starting a business, planning events, traveling, all great stuff, but whoa, 2017, oh my. To think that our little lady Fleur came into our lives over a year ago is pretty crazy to me! Some days I can't remember life without her and some days it seems like yesterday. I am still getting a grasp on motherhood {where is that manual to read?!?!?} and truly never know if it is something anyone is perfect at. What I remind myself daily is that I can't do it all. That is a TOUGH one for me to repeat, as I am a to do lister and multitasking lady, but it is something I truly had to accept this past year. Stepping away from putting all of my energy in this blog was one of those things. 
I tell all of my friends that are pregnant that motherhood is amazing but that also, it is something that truly nobody can prepare you for. You go from having all the time in the world for yourself and then it is taken over by a teeny adorable little person that needs your attention 24/7. While it is lovely and amazing and I wouldn't give it up for the world, it is tough. Being a mom is a full time job. We do not have family nearby or a nanny or full-time childcare, so these past 12 months have been a huge learning curve for me. I decided to go full-time with my new business  {woo hoo! Rebecca K Events! It is about time!}, I run a sequin linen business Glimmer & Threads, I'm a wife, a sister, a daughter, a friend, I like to keep fit and healthy and have a home and life to keep up with. All of these things this past year have been done with Fleur by my side. 
We have travelled to Florence, Paris, California, Ohio, Holland, Virginia, Washington DC and have made incredible priceless memories! Fleur's first year has certainly been a year of my life I will never forget. Now our little munchkin is beginning to walk, she has an incredible sparkly personality, she has become quite chatty and it is amazing to see her becoming her own little person. Over the the past few weeks I think of something and always think, "Oh, I should blog that!", well I felt it was time to come back. I want to share the little bit of mum advice I can, I want to collaborate on projects again, share entertaining ideas, things to do in London, recipes, all of the things I love. Yes, I am a mother but I am also Rebecca and there are so many things I love and {wow!} have been sharing over here for nine years on that blog, that I missed it. So the posts may be less frequent, however, they will be more quality then quantity. I look forward to sharing with you the flip flops through mumhood and the entrepreneur life I am just getting started! 

A HUGE thank you to my beautiful friend Kylee Yee for capturing these priceless photos of me and Fleur! 

xoxo Rebecca

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Little Get Together At The Pantry Underwear

A few months after Fleur was born I received a message on Instagram from the Islington based shop The Pantry Underwear. I had been following them for a bit and had commented on a fun event they were having. The lovely owner, Eloise, invited me and to think about hosting a pant party for me and my mum friends. A what? A pant party? Like a lingerie party? hahaha. Right! I had a four month old and the idea of having a get together to buy new underwear didn't make me very excited. Well, a month went by and I mentioned it to one of my mum friends and actually we both agreed, it could be a fun morning. Fleur was six months old by then and I was still wearing the same wireless, nude, shapeless nursing/maternity bra I had been wearing for months. It was not attractive and even though I had splurged on a few fancier pieces during my pregnancy, I really shouldn't even be wearing those anymore. I needed some new pieces to make me feel like a real woman again, not a sleepy new mum wearing leggings and no makeup feeling one. So I emailed Eloise to say we were interested and stopped in to say hello and I am so glad I did! 
Located in the lovely little Camden Passage of Islington, The Pantry Underwear is the centre corner shop of the area. Located in a perfect spot to stop for a coffee at the many cafes in the area before. 

The week before mother's day I invited my NCT mum friends and our little ones to the shop for our pant party. Yes, we brought our six to seven month old babies to an underwear shop, tried on new bras, drank mimosas and had a great time doing it! haha. No really, Eloise is SUCH a great host. She is super welcoming to ladies bringing in their buggies and babies. We fit seven buggies in the shop, we placed blankets on the floor and the babies played while we got fitted for some new bras. 

I had stopped breastfeeding after Fleur turned four months old and I have to be honest, I needed a revamp of my underwear drawer dramatically. I needed some new everyday pretty bras but I also didn't want to spend a small fortune. My size was questionable now and I needed to actually have someone help me out on making my post pregnancy body look good again. Eloise was great assisting us in our choices discussing why we wanted them {every day wear, weekend wireless bralette types, still breastfeeding and looking for a nursing bra}, she also helped fit us and I ended up walking out with two new bras, both less then £35!  A Lepel option and a Triumph option made me feel like a thirty something put together woman again! She holds a lot of options from classic Calvin Klein, necessary but stylish Spanx to the beautiful Dora Larsen line. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Working Women: Caroline Bragg

I always really love sharing amazing women that I meet with everyone. From friends of mine that have become successful entrepreneurs, talented artists, florists, the list goes on of the wonderful women I have been able to feature over here on the blog for my Working Women feature. I have been lucky to connect with such inspiring ladies and if they have been able to encourage me in small and big ways, I always think it is great to share them with the world! 

Today I am excited to feature the fabulous Caroline Bragg. Caroline is a fitness and pilates personal trainer here in London. I have been able to get to know Caroline over the past few months and have discovered that she is so much more then a personal trainer. Caroline begin as an actress, has years of experience with children from working in a nursery and has been able to turn her love of fitness into her business over the past few years. I was lucky to meet her during her amazing pre natal fitness classes at FRAME and decided to invest in myself post pregnancy and have had her along my side encouraging me to get back to my healthy prenatal self since having Fleur. Caroline is always smiling, full of spunk and is one heck of a motivator. I am glad to introduce her to my Working Women series.  

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business: 
I actually started off as an actress. I went to stage school and loved it but always kept active ( my mum was really into aerobics in the 90's - think leotards). I trained to teach classes first as a side line in between acting jobs but enjoyed it so much that I decided to take the plunge and went head first into the fitness industry about four years ago full time. I'm now a personal trainer and Pilates instructor. I mainly work with pre and post natal clients, which I love. I work closely with Mumhood which is the love child (excuse the pun) of Frame founders Pip and Joan. I also teach on postnatal retreats in France with &breathe postnatal. For someone who hasn't had children yet, I spend a large amount of time with under one year olds! 

When did you start your business of personal training ?
Full time, four years ago. It took awhile for me to go for it as I still enjoyed acting but it wasn't enough. My job has to be a passion for me and I think I wasn't OK with passions changing but I'm glad I did go for it! 
What advice do you have for younger women looking to start in the industry?
When I first started I thought I needed to be a certain way in looks and manner but actually your uniqueness is your selling point. As long as you are a good communicator, you being your best is what will work! 

The fitness industry has exploded over the last few years and especially with the use of Instagram there are a lot of people who aren't qualified posting workouts etc. My advice is to do as many courses, take as many classes, read articles - knowledge is power.

Friday, March 10, 2017

I Fancy Friday v. 59

Happy Friday everyone! WOW! Time flies around here. I have had a packed couple of weeks. Ok well, having an almost six month old, every day seems to be an adventure and packed with an activity...even if its a walk to the park. haha. No really, I travelled a lot last month, have two big projects going on, it is a busy house around here. This weekend my husband {"Mr. Beau"} and are both home and are looking forward to hopefully heading to a gallery for a few hours, maybe the Hockney exhibition and a long walk to a park with #babygirlkobus and #siroliveruk. Recently when Mr.Beau is home all weekend and not working, I cherish the time more and more, just the four of us {that is Oliver included, of course!} What are you up to this weekend? Anything you fancied this week? I know I've got a busy week ahead of me so I'm just trying to get stuff done today and relax this weekend! Below are a few little things I have fancied throughout the week, enjoy! It is Friday, I fancy it, hope you do as well! 

 1. I am ALWAYS a huge fan an oversized bouquet. A flowing, huge beauty! If we could do our wedding over or renew our vows, I'd have a monster of a bouquet, just because! Isn't this an amazing one by Bloomingayles gorgeous! 

2. I gave up all meat for Lent and am following a vegetarian diet for 40 days. We made these Falafel Veggie Bowl  and aside from soaking the chickpeas, it is such an easy recipe and so delicious! I've started making a habit of on Sunday evenings preparing all of my vegetables and roasting items so I can have yummy bowls throughout the week. 

3. London brides to be what are you up to next weekend? You should head over A Most Curious Wedding Fair  at the Truman Brewery. This is a "not typical" wedding fair filled with stylish and interesting suppliers from London and around the UK, I highly recommend it! Also, as a new mum business lady I'm LOVING their posts on Jugglist Massive !!!! Check them out, I relate SO much! 

4. If there is one thing at the top of my list for Spring they are these amazing Rifle Paper Shoes that I am stalking. I love them so! Please find a way into my life. 

5. So last weekend my phone was stolen from me while walking home in the park. Yep, snatched right out of my hands during a sunny morning. AWFUL right! ugh. Well, lets just say THANK GOODNESS for the iCloud. My photos are still here. I would have been devastated to find all of my photos of Fleur, gone. I am thinking I need to take my actual camera out more to get camera photos  instead of always my phone, maybe I will start, maybe. Just makes me think, what if they were not recovered! 

6. I got this Pineapple Wax Seal the other day at Quill London. Why, because, it is adorable, pretty and well, it may have a place in an upcoming project. 

7. A new handbag. A pink handbag. I'm loving these pink "lady bags"! Perfect additions for Spring. Top Handled Pebbled Leather Satchel Jemma Bag the JOJO


8. After six months being a new mum, life is great but also a little tiring. Mr. Beau keeps encouraging to get away for a night alone. At first I was not into this idea, but recently I think a day away could be great. I am thinking of a little outing to Bath. Has anyone stayed at No.15 Great Pulteney ? This place looks stylish and perfect for an escape! 

Happy Friday everyone! Hope you have great plans ahead!!! 

xox Rebecca





Thursday, February 23, 2017

Flying with a Baby

I actually started writing this post from my seat on our flight back from Florence to London.  Fleur was on my lap buckled in, sleeping.  That was last week, Fleur's 7th flight, she was five months old. Our first solo flight to the States now seems like years ago and it was only two months ago. I was so extremely nervous that first flight. All I could think of weeks leading up to it was a crying baby for seven hours. Luckily that was not the case for me, but I know that I am not the only mother in fear of that.  With a little research and a lot of preparation these flights have become much easier one by one. During these last couple of flights I have got a bit of a system down and I thought it would be a good post to share. I am certainly no expert and I know that like every step of parenting, it gets easier over time. I hope you new mamas find my flying with baby tips helpful! Good luck, relax and breathe.

...this post is written mainly towards 0-6 months, I have yet to see my experience beyond:) 
BOOKING YOUR FLIGHT

Traveling with a baby has changed the way I look at booking a flight.  I use to say yes to an extremely early morning flight, excited that we would get to our destination earlier in the day, but now knowing I'll need to wake, feed and dress myself and Fleur and possibly take the tube during rush hour with luggage and the buggy, it makes me rethink it all together.  Mid day flights work great! 

Let's be honest, once you have a baby you realize that there is a price tag on convenience and sometimes it's worth it.  I've decided that I would much rather pay £20 more for a direct flight then having to connect flights with Fleur.  I would rather pay a bit more and be able to fly out of London city airport (the most convenient airport!) knowing I can take the overground there and back. 

If you are taking a longer flight, make SURE to book the bassinet! Every airline has a different rule about booking this, but inquire what the airline policy is. I flew Virgin to the States when Fleur was three months old. Their policy was a first come first serve basis, however you could make a request in your reservation for it, AND I made sure to be at the airport early, on time and to get one of those bassinets! British Airways on the other hand allowed you to reserve them in advance, but their flights were fully booked. Depending on how big the baby is, how long your trip is will depend on if you want a bassinet. When we travelled two and from the States, she was three and four months and it was so nice to be able to place her in the bassinet and cover her with blanket for a few hours so you could also sleep! 

Do make sure to remember to book the infant! Yes, infants on your lap do not cost an entire ticket, however there are some taxes you need to pay for this. Also, an infant is allowed baggage and usually you get seated near a window area. Do not let yourself get to the airport unchecked, with the baby and it is a surprise to them that now their is a baby on board. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Proud To Be An American

What a blog post title, right! Well I have been thinking about this a lot lately. Writing about politics has never been my thing. My blog is a personal space to share the things I love, pretty things, fun things, but I have never been one to really share my views on politics. Back in November when the election went the complete opposite way that I voted I thought about writing, but the days went by and I let it go. Being that tomorrow is the day of the US presidential inauguration, I thought it would be fitting for this post. 
The photo above is from the 2008 inauguration of President Obama. It is one of the most memorable weeks I have had in my professional and personal life. I use to live in Washington D.C. and did events at the Newseum, located right on Pennsylvania Avenue. The night before the inauguration we were lucky enough to host one of the most exciting events for the Huffington Post. The theme was an Inauguration Eve party, party hats and favors were handed out right before midnight when Sting, Will.i.am and Sheryl Crow performed. There was so much excitement that filled the room it was amazing! I was lucky enough to be able to have my sisters there with me to assist. After the event we walked to my friends apartment nearby to spend the night due to crazy security levels in the city. I can remember waking up at 5am hearing the crowds outside her apartment chanting Obama, Obama, it was quite a memory. Later that morning we decided that we were going to do it, be a part of the crowd, bundle up in multiple layers and head down to the mall to be a part of the experience. There were thousands of people around, the streets were closed to traffic, everyone was in such a great mood, it was freezing out, but nobody cared. The energy that the Obamas had brought to the country was electric and you could tell that everyone was full of hope for positive changes. 

After walking to many entry points we finally found a place right by the Washington monument in the centre of thousands of others and listened to President Obama get sworn in. I think I may have shed a tear, it was such a memorable, historic, moving event to witness! Myself, never the big politician, but as a woman in my mid twenties I was so happy that my vote had counted for something and we had someone leading our country in a positive way. I was proud standing there in the mix of children, adults, black, white, Asian, female, male, I was proud to be an American. 
 Flash ahead eight years later and it is not the same. I have lived in London for four and a half years now. To be honest, we have no plans on leaving anytime soon and we are really happy here.  This being said, I may not live in America, but I am still so proud to be an American. Living abroad people often ask me about things going on in the States, they see the awful gun violence on the news and race issues still going on. I always proudly say that it is still such a great country and no matter what the media shows, there are still so many nice people and things there then there are bad. I cast my absentee ballot this year and was so excited to see the first women lead the country ahead, unfortunately,we know, that went the other way. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Out & About With A Baby

I can not believe Fleur is already four months old! Crazy how time is flying! I remember before Fleur was born I envisioned the winter with her, staying inside, at home, all day. Well, now that she is here, that is NOT the case! I was dreading the cold winter days with a baby out and about, however I have come to realize with the right planning and the right stuff, being out in the city is completely doable! It is all about planning your day, nap times, feeding times and making sure you have all of the right stuff with you. Meeting a friend out on the other side of the city is completely an option, however 40 minutes each way means I really have to make sure I have everything with me. I thought I would share a bit about what I bring with me to get Fleur and I out and about! 
 First I thought I would talk about the topic so many people ask me, how did you choose your buggy {or as we say in the States, stroller}. Well we ended up going with the UPPAbaby Vista {1} that has the bassinet and the baby seat. The Vista was for sure one of the largest options we looked at. I went back and forth with getting something smaller like the Bugaboo Bee or the amazingly light and tiny Yoyozen , however with a big dog that we often take on walks in Hampstead Heath and knowing that the buggy was my main form of transportation {we do not have a car} I really wanted something sturdy and secure. We have also used the bassinet for the first four months for Fleur to sleep in. It was one of the only sleep approved bassinets and I am so glad we did and did not buy another item. Yes, it may be a larger buggy to get through some doors around the city, however I am so glad we got it. I can bring Oliver on a walk and stop at the market and stick it all underneath, its great. It isn't cheap, but honestly, it is pretty much like my car right now, it is worth the investment. 

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