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Polly Byles

Bio 💛 Positive mindset & well-being 👩🏼‍💻 Award winning blogger & writer 👶🏼 Mummy 🔆 Expat in Doha 💪🏼 Cancer survivor 🌎 @lonelyplanet Qatar Latest read ⬇️

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 Instagram Image by Polly Byles (@followyoursunshineblog) with caption : "It’s International Day of Happiness! They say life’s not all sunshine and rainbows but I’m a big believer that if you th" at Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara - 2003897889780363731

It’s International Day of Happiness! They say life’s not all sunshine and rainbows but I’m a big believer that if you think it can be, a big part of it will be! Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if you follow your inner sunshine back into the light 😉 . Let’s spread our happiness far and wide today by sharing one thing that’s currently making you happy in the comments below. Mine is snuggling in my dressing gown and starting a new series on Netflix with snacks and tea - Wednesday evenings don’t get much happier than this! 💛🔆 . . . .

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💛 Exclusive Offer! 🔆 It’s Mother’s Day week here in Qatar and in celebration of motherhood I have teamed up with @prettysoledoha to offer a fabulous discount to all of my followers! Head to the store in @mirqabmall to bag yourself 15-30% off their entire collection of @prettyballerinas for you and your little one! . Pretty Ballerinas is a Spanish luxury footwear brand comprising a unique range of beautiful ballet flats and low heels for women and children that are all hand stitched and made from luxurious fabrics. A firm favourite of celebrities the world over, Pretty Sole is the only place to find these beautiful shoes in Qatar and it’s well worth a visit! . How to claim your exclusive offer: head along to Mirqab Mall and visit Pretty Sole (to the left at the top of the escalator at Gate 3), select your shoes and at check-out, mention the code: PRETTYSUNSHINE-19. The offer is open to everyone, across all adult and child shoes, and valid until the end of April. . Join me in celebrating our unsung mummy heroes and all of the love, hard work and devotion they pour into everything they do! . AD - gifted 💛🔆 . . . .

 Instagram Image by Polly Byles (@followyoursunshineblog) with caption : "My darling Sophia Molly. You’re three years old today! As per our tradition, your daddy and I sat down and wrote you a l" at Al Shaqab - 2002223043266533458
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My darling Sophia Molly. You’re three years old today! As per our tradition, your daddy and I sat down and wrote you a letter each, and I’m sorry that mine was a little less light-hearted than usual. It was hard to summarise a year in which you brought us so much pride and joy, but which was tinged with so much sadness. I hope that next year brings us all a little more peace and calm. But we did it! I’m happy that I have the opportunity to let you know how proud I am of you and everything that you are. One day I hope you’ll read these letters and know how you changed our lives. Love from your mummy xxx . Our letters to our daughter on her third birthday are on the blog now (link in bio) 💛🔆 . . . .

 Instagram Image by Polly Byles (@followyoursunshineblog) with caption : "Not so long ago a friend gave me a beautiful gift...one which left me a little speechless and a little bit teary too. It" at Qatar - 2001604017934858786
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Not so long ago a friend gave me a beautiful gift...one which left me a little speechless and a little bit teary too. It wasn’t a normal gift you see, but an incredible and unique opportunity to start building a project with her which would enable us to use our platforms to give something back. As time went on and our ideas started to take shape, it consistently reminded me that the very best therapy when you’re feeling low comes when you pour your energy into helping others. . Now I’m so excited to be able to announce that after lots of back and forth, plotting and planning, we’re getting close to being ready to launch. This is by far the most exciting project I’ve been involved in to date and I can’t wait to tell you all about it! . WATCH THIS SPACE...EXCITING THINGS COMING SOON! 💛🔆 . . . .

 Instagram Image by Polly Byles (@followyoursunshineblog) with caption : "Parenthood - a.k.a. when you get about 3 seconds for a snuggle before your toddler flicks a fist full of sand in your fa" at Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara - 2000884347519076666

Parenthood - a.k.a. when you get about 3 seconds for a snuggle before your toddler flicks a fist full of sand in your face 😁 . Does anyone else feel like their relationship with their spouse completely changed the moment they had kids? There are certainly a few sacrifices to be made (anyone else remember those long Saturday lie-ins with toast and Netflix?!) but for everything you compromise on, there is something new and exciting that you gain as a couple: a common sense of pride and accomplishment, a reason to grow in strength and continue to show unity day in day out and a constant source of conversation and debate! Collectively we’re a little more tired and a lot more frazzled but as mum and dad, life will never be boring again. . Photo taken at our favourite family escape: @bananaislandresort (AD-invite) 💛🔆 . . . .

 Instagram Image by Polly Byles (@followyoursunshineblog) with caption : "At the beginning of the year, one of my resolutions was to read at least one enlightening, inspiring or uplifting book a" at The Pearl Qatar - 1999212250522517930

At the beginning of the year, one of my resolutions was to read at least one enlightening, inspiring or uplifting book a month, and so far I’ve stuck to it! With three life changing books under my belt, I thought I’d start to share some of them with you in the form of bite-sized, 30 second book reviews on the blog. ::: It was under serendipitous circumstances that the first book came into my possession. At the end of last year, at my lowest ebb, I bumped into an old acquaintance. We quickly discovered that there were a few uncanny resemblances between the things that had happened to us over the past year or so and became firm friends. One evening, when I was feeling particularly low, she sent a care package round to my apartment to cheer me up, with a note which read, “It was fate that our paths crossed this year”. Inside, amongst other things, was The Power Of Now by @eckharttolle ::: You can read about how this book’s changed me, and why I think it’s a must-read for anyone who is looking to better themselves or their circumstances on the blog now (link in bio). ::: Do you have any more uplifting book recommendations for me? I’d love to know your favourites. ::: PS. Tap the post to see the things on my shelves which are currently sparking joy. 💛🔆 ::: ::: ::: :::

 Instagram Image by Polly Byles (@followyoursunshineblog) with caption : "We hopped down to the beach on a whim late one afternoon and despite not having my camera with me, there was no way I wa" at Qanat Quartier - 1997032878218770155
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We hopped down to the beach on a whim late one afternoon and despite not having my camera with me, there was no way I was going to miss capturing this incredible sunset as it dipped behind the pastel houses of Qanat Quartier. The light was so amazing that it didn’t look real! ::: When I look at photos like this, I no longer care that they’re a little grainy, that the wind’s blown my hair over my face or that they’re not perfectly edited. All I care about is that I’m finally noticing the beauty of the world again and that there’s a genuine smile on my face. There’s nothing like wishing with all your might that you could return home for so long, and then one day suddenly realising you were already home all along. 💛🔆 ::: ::: ::: :::

 Instagram Image by Polly Byles (@followyoursunshineblog) with caption : "With International Women’s Day almost upon us, I want to give a massive shout out to all of the wonderful women who have" at Qatar - 1994534826471863285
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With International Women’s Day almost upon us, I want to give a massive shout out to all of the wonderful women who have helped me to fix my crown over the past few months. From my mum to my mother in law, to my oldest friends and some new ones too, you ladies helped to raise me out of a horrible pit of sadness and showed me the light again. I’m very honoured to have you in my life! ::: Incredible things happen when women raise each other up. As individuals, we are on our own, unique journeys but if we unite in mutual respect and support of one another, our efforts and successes are magnified. So let’s love each other fiercely, offer a hand to our fallen comrades, stand strong together as an unstoppable force, let each other’s successes become our inspiration and each other’s downfalls become something we fight against as a collective. It makes me sad that in 2019, women still think it’s acceptable to belittle other women’s successes, opinions, life choices and hardships. We’re already fighting difficult battles in education, politics, the board room and as mothers. Let’s not add to the burden by battling each other too. ::: ::: ::: :::

 Instagram Image by Polly Byles (@followyoursunshineblog) with caption : "Horses are such gentle and sensitive giants, and I was so in awe of the beauty and docile natures of some of the stallio" at Al Shaqab - 1993035047002883033
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Horses are such gentle and sensitive giants, and I was so in awe of the beauty and docile natures of some of the stallions at stud at @alshaqab when I had a chance to look around the facilities recently. Anyone else ever wish that humans were more like animals?!?! ::: There’s another international equestrian competition coming to Al Shaqab on Thursday through to Saturday as CHI Al Shaqab launches, with showjumping, dressage and para-dressage competitions and plenty of entertainment for all of the family (check my stories tomorrow for some behind the scenes action!). ::: See you there? AD ::: Thanks to @tmqtar for capturing this moment. 💛🔆 ::: ::: ::: :::

 Instagram Image by Polly Byles (@followyoursunshineblog) with caption : "After my thyroidectomy last year, while we waited for the next step in my treatment, we headed to Switzerland for a brea" at Luzern Lake - 1992338681314370432
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After my thyroidectomy last year, while we waited for the next step in my treatment, we headed to Switzerland for a break from life and all of our troubles. I can’t think of a better choice of location - it’s pretty difficult to be sad and to curse the universe for what you’re going through when you’re standing in front of views that remind you how perfect the world is every day. ::: Just like that, our “escape” became less about hiding from the bad things that had happened and more about embracing everything for what it was. I thought that I’d lost myself in misery and chaos, but I was still able to feel the joy of running barefoot on the grass with Sophia; I still wanted to climb mountains and make Sound of Music puns and eat all the cheese. For a short time, I found myself again in the appreciation of God’s creation, and it felt good. ::: I guess one day we all wake up and realise that happiness is not about always being healthy or never getting your heart broken or never experiencing trauma. It was never about which degree you attain or how many friends you have or whether you’re in a relationship. Happiness is about following your heart, about embracing yourself and who you are becoming, about appreciating every single moment as you live it. One day we’ll all understand that happiness is never in the hands of other people or external events. It was always about you. ::: It was always about you. 💛🔆 ::: ::: ::: :::

 Instagram Image by Polly Byles (@followyoursunshineblog) with caption : "I can’t believe we’ve come to the end of yet another term at @twylanursery_doha. That means only one term left before th" at The Pearl Qatar - 1990780421645858900

I can’t believe we’ve come to the end of yet another term at @twylanursery_doha. That means only one term left before the end of this school year, and that we’re just weeks away from this little one turning three! ::: There are so many things that I’m so grateful to our nursery for, but here are just a handful of them: 🔆 The warm and friendly staff are like family to us now, and help Sophia to feel safe and at home in the warm environment they’ve created. 🔆 Their gentle encouragement and belief in Sophia and her abilities means that she’s comfortable in expressing her true self and is developing confidence and bravery that makes me proud every single day! 🔆 Great face to face communication and daily updates via email and their app puts my mind at rest, and I feel safe in the knowledge that I can get on with my day without having to worry about what’s going on over at the nursery. 🔆 The effort and creativity that’s put into their monthly themes and special interactive days is like nothing I’ve ever seen! 🔆 We feel so happy with the care there that we have made the difficult decision not to put Sophia into preschool next year and to keep her at Twyla for a little bit longer. I’m not ready for her to move on yet! ::: What’s the most important attribute(s) that you look out for in a school/nursery for your kids? ::: 📸: @withalittlegracephotography AD 💛🔆 ::: ::: ::: :::

 Instagram Image by Polly Byles (@followyoursunshineblog) with caption : "I was really chuffed when I asked one of today’s interviewees in my latest post in my Women & Resilience series to send " at Qatar - 1989439937270852867
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I was really chuffed when I asked one of today’s interviewees in my latest post in my Women & Resilience series to send me their favourite quote and they chose this one. It just happens to be my favourite too! ::: Both of the women who feature on the blog today can vouch for the fact that pregnancy, while being life-changing in all the best ways, can also be extremely difficult. Between them they have had their fair share of physical and emotional challenges while carrying children, but they have tackled their challenging pregnancies with optimism, bravery and resilience. ::: I’d like to introduce you to two women who inspire me every day - @rosalynoxercoaching and @laura_babykicks. You can find their interviews on the blog (link in bio). 💛🔆 ::: ::: ::: :::

 Instagram Image by Polly Byles (@followyoursunshineblog) with caption : "I’ve been thinking about Lady Gaga’s triumph at the Oscars despite so many people being so virulently opposed to her suc" at The Pearl Qatar - 1988333254188609282

I’ve been thinking about Lady Gaga’s triumph at the Oscars despite so many people being so virulently opposed to her success, especially in her younger years. Did you know that back at University, someone set up a Facebook page called “Stefani Germanotta, you’ll never be famous”?! They’ve been served a big slice of humble pie this week! ::: Sadly, there will always be people in life who are intimidated by your light and they might even try to extinguish it, because they think it will make their own shine brighter. Don’t allow this to burn you out. Shine anyway. Make it your aim to never take your crown off to make your haters feel comfortable. Instead, use their criticism to add fuel to your fire and you will never run out of energy. ::: Did Gaga admit defeat the moment the bullies got to work? Did she heck! “I had a boyfriend who told me I’d never succeed, never be nominated for a Grammy, never have a hit and hoped I’d fail. I told him that someday, when we’re not together, you won’t be able to order a cup of coffee at the fucking deli without hearing or seeing me” - Lady Gaga. Don’t give up on your dreams because someone else doesn’t want to see you succeed. Be more Gaga. 💛🔆 ::: ::: ::: :::

 Instagram Image by Polly Byles (@followyoursunshineblog) with caption : "Your imaginative stories, your wild-hearted singing, the way you dance like nobody’s watching...actually like everybody’" at MIA Park, Doha, Qatar - 1985547589780590071

Your imaginative stories, your wild-hearted singing, the way you dance like nobody’s watching...actually like everybody’s watching and it’s completely ok! Your carefree attitude, your curiosity about everything, your unbridled joy at the smallest of things. The way you look at the world. The way you love. Your lack of judgement. Your fearlessness. Your openness to new experiences. Your daily excitement just for being alive. Does anyone else think that toddlers could be our greatest teachers? 💛🔆 ::: ::: ::: :::