Side Street Style

Side Street Style

Side Street Style

A family lifestyle, interiors & travel blog

26/05/2017

Celebrating Sensitive Dads

father and son


The new Braun Series 3 ProSkin is a real hero for sensitive skin, and launching just in time for Father’s Day it’s the perfect gift for sensitive dads. I’ve partnered with Braun to tell you about some of the times when John has shown his sensitive side! #SensitiveDads

For those who don't know John he can unintentionally be quite intimidating as he is 6ft2 with a big beard and doesn't say much as he is very reserved and not one for chit chat but is very social with those he knows. In general he is not much of a talker, in fact he tends to keep things in and doesn't often share if something is bothering him which can be hard to read at times, this doesn't mean he is not sensitive and since having kids this has certainly changed.

The focus often tends to be more towards the mothers when it comes to becoming a parent and just how life changing that is but all of these changes certainly affect Fathers as well. John has stood right next to me on all the highs and lows of this parenting journey and I had never seen him cry, worry, laugh or smile as much as since becoming a Father to our two boys.


sensitive father


When I found out I was pregnant with Arthur I was really nervous, he wasn't exactly planned (although very much wanted) and I was still studying my degree at the time and Johns hours at work had been reduced so timing wise it wasn't the best. I didn't really know what Johns reaction would be but he was so over the moon, he literally jumped up and down and couldn't be happier, shedding tears of joy. This was a side of him I had not seen before and instantly reassured me that everything was going to be okay.

This side of him is seen every now and then, usually when we hit milestones with the boys, seeing them take their first steps, our eldest conquering his fear of putting his face under the water at his swimming lessons, taking part in a school performance or seeing their faces light up each year on Christmas Day (that always get's both of us).




Father moment


Since our journey of parenthood started together we have gone through so much, mainly good experiences and having done a degree in Photography it means that we have a lot of captured memories to look back on. Every now and then we get the albums out and it's not unusual a to see a tear rolling down Johns cheek (don't tell anyone I told you that). A mixture of pride, emotions and seeing your children grow before your eyes really is enough to bring the sensitive side out in anyone and it's only since becoming parents that you can really grasp that concept.



London family adventure


I think it's also really good to let go sometimes, to laugh until you cry and to wear your heart on your sleeve every now and then. It's also important for Dads to be a good role models, especially with John being a father to two boys and to let them know that it's natural, healthy and perfectly fine to have a sensitive side and to embrace that every now and then. 


Proskin Shaver


I have been sharing our sensitive moments in collaboration with Braun who have also sent a Braun Series 3 ProSkin shaver to try out which is perfect for those dads out there with sensitive skin. Even though John has a beard he still shaves daily as there is a little bit more that goes into growing a beard that just letting it do it's own thing, like any hair style you have maintain it and shape it. John also suffers from sensitive dry skin so it's really important to not use anything that is going to irritate it and inflame it if your in the same situation. On first impression it gives a really close shave, smooth on the skin and easy to clean.

I will be sharing my perfect fathers day gift guide very soon, what will you be getting your other half this year? #SensitiveDads

This is in collaboration with Braun, words and thoughts 100% our own.

25/05/2017

Why I've Opted IN for Organ Donation




My organ donation card came through a few weeks back and I filmed a little vlog about my reasons on opting in for organ donation, I was undecided on whether to press publish and share my reasons why but after losing a close friend to cancer and the recent terror attacks in Manchester I feel that it's actually an important time to talk about topics such as this which can have a huge impact on someones life.

So for many years I have been on the fence when it comes to Organ donation although I also have to be honest with myself and say that I never really took it seriously or sat down and really thought about it properly. This year there have been a few changes, I have been detoxing my life of so many things as I journey on my minimalist challenge and it's taught me a lot about letting go both material and emotional baggage as well as taking join in the small things, random acts of kindness and being even more conscious of the footprint we leave on this world.

Becoming a mother has also without a doubt affected my outlook on life, joy, happiness, pain, fear and everything in-between. It's also forced the topic of mortality into my head and what little control we have over that. I am grateful daily that I have two healthy children but unfortunately this is not the case for everyone and having experienced a little of what that feels like when they told us a couple of hours after my youngest was born there was a risk he had Spina Bifda (luckily he does not) it's a path thrust onto parents with no choice. There are children and adults out there with chronic and life threatening illnesses of which only organ donation can cure, that could be your child, sibling, mother or father in need and with that each of us essentially hold the key of life for someone.


mother



No one likes to think about what happens after they die but I do know I will no longer need my physical body and knowing that I could help someone when we live in what seems like a manic and unpredictable world is a good feeling to have. Society in so many ways feels like it has changed a lot since I was a child and the older I get the more I realise the truth of the saying "Be the Change you want to see". I want my children to live in a world where others really care about it each other, seeing the bigger picture and moving forward to make a better more sustainable world.

Also as we get older our own health needs change and there may be a time when we are relying on someone else when it comes to our wellbeing. In Wales they have actually changed the rules and you need to opt out or register your decisions. By opting in you can choose what you would and wouldn't like to donate, you can also change your mind at anytime. It's certainly something to think about and whatever decision you do take make sure to inform your loved ones and they know your decision either way.


22/05/2017

Making Each Day Matter

mindfulness


I have never been that materialistic, from an early age I realised that an evening spent laughing with loved ones was worth more than gold. Ever since I was young I dreamed of dusty roads, music festivals, camping under stars and those intrinsic experiences that would stay with you forever and become the fabric of your being. Before having children I did a lot of self funded travel, working at a variety of backpackers, hostels and hotels, without much of a plan I sought the simple good things and added very little to my backpack I set out with. I have always been a happy seeker being aware that paradise doesn't always last forever and holding onto those sweet perfect moments and knowing when to move on.


twilight hour


Of course settling down and becoming a parent has brought so much joy and happiness but also a lot of compromise, a time to be unselfish, establishing routines and making more stable future plans. The thing is it's very easy to suddenly find yourself going through the motions, saying yes to things when you really mean no and days passing by with little change. The thing is life is short, why keep that bottle of wine for a special occasion that may never come and rather celebrate the now! Marks & Spencer recently did some research and found up to 96% feel we spend our lives on autopilot and I think that something we can all relate too.


I recently wrote a post about gratitude and finding happiness and fulfilment in the small things that make up a day. The one thing I have learnt over the years is it really doesn't have to be grand gestures or far-flung travel plans that make each day matter it's what we do and if that makes us happy, how we approach each day and allowing ourselves to slow down for a moment and appreciate what we have and gasp those moments of pure joy, which are often right under our nose.


brotherly moment



I no longer rush around trying to fit a million things into a short space of time, instead I step back especially when it comes to the boys who love to explore the outdoors. I am fascinated by their growing friendship and sibling relationship and in the quiet moments in the fresh air surrounded by nature these magical moments happen, away from all the "stuff" we surround ourselves with in our daily lives.

In general as a nation we know it's these little moments that are really special yet we don't give ourselves enough time to embrace them fully. I know especially after becoming a parent it's really important to practise self care as well as be present and as in the moment as possible. If there is something getting you down on a daily basis make time to address that. If your feeling out of touch with the things you used to do try and make time to do them again even if this is to find 5 minutes to read a book or listen to some records.


apple


As small as these things may seem some of my favourite moments of the day are biting into a fresh juicy apple, a quiet cup of coffee on those rare occasions I have to myself and even rarer mornings I get to lie in. Listening to my vinyl and dancing in the living room with the kids, making time to play my guitar, being pulled in by a good book and whizzing up milkshakes on a hot day. One thing I noticed is none of these things involve a screen which seems to take a lot of my time up these days and with that Marks & Spencer are calling for change, for a little self-analysis starting on the 1st of June for Make It Matter day - a national day we're they asking people to take a moment to think about what really matters. They will be holding events in store on these days and you can also check our their inspiring video all about the Make it Happen movement.




I have been asked by Marks & Spencer to share my #SpendItWell journey and I encourage you to do the same. This is something I am really passionate about, being grateful for the small things in live #Ad

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