Sunday, 24 June 2018

Body Confidence.

This is a post I have toyed with writing for a long time.

It is something I want to speak about, something I battle with and importantly something I feel passionate about.  Body confidence is such an issue.  It is talked about every single day in so many different corners of the world and affects so many people no matter what walk of life they are from.

At the same time though, I almost feel like I shouldn't write about it, in fear of insulting or upsetting anyone (my own family members included).

I am going to write about it anyway, I am in no way an expert on how to deal with the struggles of body confidence and have absolutely nothing figured out but here goes.

My body is something I have struggled to love for as long as I can remember.  This struggle far proceeds me becoming a mother.  Don't get me wrong there are some parts of me that I don't mind too much but my negative opinions about myself outweigh the positives.  This post is not supposed to be a sympathy post it is just one I felt inclined to write.

I can remember feeling fat and ugly before even entering high school.  I always enjoyed my food as a younger child but I remember one day where, if memory serves me correctly, I ordered the same meal as my dad and something in me just nagged at me.  I looked around the dinner table and saw my mum's salad and then my meal mirroring my dads.  A thought entered my mind and it never left.  It told me I shouldn't be eating what my dad was eating (portion size wise) and this thought festered.  I began to notice how much taller I was in comparison to a lot of my friends and I started to note what I was eating and what my mother wasn't. My anxiety began to grow and by the time I was entering my adolescent years I was trying to think of ways to avoid food and diet.  I became a little more obsessive and conscious about my body and how much I ate.  I made bad choices though and still do.  Like even though I wanted to be thin, I continued to chose Diet Coke, sweets and bits of cheese and I think that is because inherently I still loved food.
 This love for food is something I still feel extremely guilty about.  There is something in my mind that tells me it is wrong to enjoy food and I almost feel like I am letting myself down when I do eat but common sense prevails and reminds me that I am supposed to eat and enjoy food.  However I should note that I feel stronger in myself when those pangs of hunger hit and feel weak when I give in to them... which I know sounds ridiculous.

At this point in the post I think it is important to tell you that my mum has struggled with an eating disorder for many, many years.  I can remember points in my life where she has managed her eating disorder 'well' and other points where we have lived in fear that her body will just give up on her.  I remember her weight watchers soup and plates of boiled vegetables for dinner, I remember the look of despair on my dad's face when she refused to eat in public places and I remember the many tears I have shed worrying that I was going to lose my mum to anorexia... this is harder to write than I thought it would be.  I don't blame my mum by the way.  She can't help it believe me I know she has tried but she just can't overcome it.


I started writing this post months ago.  I stopped because I didn't know where else to take it and kind of forget my reasons for starting it in the first place.  Whilst it was therapeutic to write in some ways, in others, it was damn depressing!

I think I felt inclined to write it for these reasons;
1. to acknowledge how I felt about myself in the past and realise that yes; perhaps I did have a bit of a problem.
2. to acknowledge my mum's anorexia and my childhood watching her struggle.
3. to remind myself that I need to not be so hard on myself when it comes to food but at the same time not be so hard on myself when I am feeling negative about the way I look.
4. to remind myself to NEVER let these thoughts get a grip of me again as I don't want my children or my husband to be part of the battles my family have been.

I DO NOT blame my mum for how I feel about my appearance she spent my whole childhood trying to make me confident and encouraging me to eat food.  She told me I was special, she told me I was beautiful.  How I feel isn't her fault and she stood never feel guilty.  I am just so deeply saddened by the fact that anorexia won't leave her alone.  I hope that one day she will find a way to be comfortable but I am not sure that will ever happen.  I am incredibly angry with the mental illness as it took my mum away from me.
I am incredibly angry with the illness because it has made me question my appearance and my food choices.

I love my husband and my children because they fixed me.  Not to say that I love myself now because I do not but I am far healthier because of them and Sam helps me with how I feel

- I love you Sam. -

I am sorry for an awfully waffling on style post.  This blog is my little online diary and this is something I wanted to write about it is just a shame I couldn't express my thoughts more coherently.

If you are someone reading this that struggles with body confidence, food or anxiety in general regarding the way you look, please talk to someone about it.  Whether it's a family member, a friend, a colleague or a doctor be brave and take that step to feeling better about yourself.

The term nothing takes a good as skinny feels... is bull****, there is far more to us than our figures and I am going to try hard to remember that.  So should you. xx

If you are still here reading this, THANK YOU.

Lots of love,

Holly x

Sunday, 20 May 2018

England awaits; our top 5 - can't - wait - for - list

It is pretty much mid-May and my mind is already on our trip home this summer. We are still loving the roller coaster that is this expat life but I can't deny that our trip home is coming up in conversation more and more.

We were sat around at lunch over the weekend discussing what we love most about living in Abu Dhabi and what we are excited about for our summer holidays.  It is clear that we all still really love the lifestyle of hitting the pool or beach each weekend and being able to spend more quality time together out here... the sunshine definitely appeals too (even though I am a total winter baby).

Having said all that, we are all very much ready for a trip home and here is what we are looking forward to most.


1. Seeing friends and family's faces, especially when they see how much P and L have grown and have learnt over the past year.
2.  Catch ups with some of my most favourite people.
3.  The greenery!  My goodness I miss the trees... get me on a forest walk pronto!
4.  The rain - I know, I shouldn't wish for rain especially in England but I'm hoping for a shower or two just for nostalgia's sake!
5.  Witnessing the marriages of some of our closest and oldest friends.


1. Seeing friends and family.
2.  Heading down to the local pub for a beer and a Sunday roast (on an actual Sunday without it costing about £11 per beer).
3.  The stag do for one of his best friends
4.  Hopefully some child free date time... with me obviously! 😂
5.  Asda pizza!

Posey & Lochlann:

1. Seeing their grandparents' new homes
2. Seeing all their aunties
3. Playing with their cousin Jude
4. Going to the caravan on holiday
5. Playing with Findley and Inca.

Posey also told me she's quite looking forward to going to Asda 😂 and is hoping to hit the toy isle!

I may also be looking forward to a trip to Primark or two!

There we have it. 8 weeks and counting...

Thank you for reading,

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Design & Dine

So it is has been a while since I blogged ( I think that is how every post of mine begins LOL) but I tried something a little different last night and fancied writing about it.

Design and Dine was something my friend told me about a while ago but we've never got round to going.  When they announced this month's one had a travel theme I was really excited to go.  Once a month a lovely lady called Gemma hosts a brunch with a difference in Dubai and in Abu Dhabi -  the difference being that not only to you get to eat and drink to your heart's content you also get to create a piece of art work.

Last night, as I said earlier, the art work was travel inspired.  We were given a canvas, a world map and a quote.  We had to draw or trace the outline of the map and quote onto our canvasses, all the while sipping a cosmo or two!  The setting was just beautiful as it was in the Venetian Village at the Ritz Carlton.  We were lucky as we got a table right on the water's edge which created a lovely, calm and relaxing atmosphere despite it still being around 38 degrees! 

Once we had drawn out the outline we were seated for dinner.  We enjoyed 4 courses from the Olive restaurant which included: gazpacho, mozzarella flat bread, patatas bravas, olives, ricotta ravioli and then a trio of desserts to finish.  After devouring the delicious treats it was time to head back to our canvasses and get painting! We were given all the equipment we needed and shown a few design ideas.

I decided to go for a more pastel style with mine and as I hoped to hang it in our apartment, I painted the background a subtle grey rather than painting a blue for the ocean.  I certainly won't be giving up my day job anytime soon but it was fun and I like my finished product.

Now I plan to hang it in our apartment and buy some cute pins to place on it to show where Sam has been, where I have been, where we have been together and where we hope to travel to as a family.

If you live in the UAE or are on a holiday and fancy doing something a little different, I would defiantly give the Design and Dine brunch a go!

I love how many new little opportunities I have been lucky enough to have since we moved out here!
There is another brunch coming up during Ramadan so if you fancy going just search Design and Dine over on Facebook for more details.

Thats all for now :)

Thanks for reading,