Saturday, 31 October 2015

My October Lookback

I blogged a little while back (here) about how much I love autumn.

It's my favourite season of the year, the temperature is perfect - some days are warm and the sun is shining away and there's a glimpse of summer again (and you can still get away with short sleeves). Then other days it's dark outside, it's drizzling and it's perfect for getting cosy indoors with a nice cuppa and a big fluffy blanket.

Then there's the colours, oh the colours! I love the way the environment blends between rustic oranges and browns, everything looks so pretty and picturesque and I'm the annoying friend that forces my friends to stop the car because "I've just GOT to take a picture of that tree". After standing for my tenth 'feet in leaves' photo last week, my mother swiftly asked how many I needed...as many as possible was my response.

Here's a snapshot of some of my own autumn images from this year...



He Climbed Kilimanjaro!
Another big thing for me this October was that my boyfriend (who I usually lovingly refer to as 'Boyband' - don't ask) climbed Kilimanjaro all in aid of Cancer Research, and I couldn't be more proud. Sadly we all know someone who's been affected by cancer...I lost a friend this year to cancer, she was only in her early thirties and so when my fella decided that Cancer Research was his charity of choice, I wanted to help contribute.


Fundraisng
SO, on Monday 9th November I'm having an online Facebook party with Scentsy who have kindly agreed to donate 20% of the profits to my man's JustGiving page for Cancer Research. I wrote about Scentsy here and was touched when their offer came through to help me support Boybands fundraising efforts. If you like scented candles and things that make your home look and smell beautiful then Scentsy is a brand you NEED to know about. The only party starts at 8pm and all you have to do is log on to the event below, have a gander at what's on offer and if you fancy it, make a purchase following the steps given by the organiser (Scentsy manager). As I said, 20% of the profits is going to an amazing cause, so please, please come along - THIS is your invitation! Just click on 'join' and pretty please invite your friends along too. Their products will make amazing Christmas pressies too!

Favourite Find
My favourite product of October HAS to be my Wishstrings bracelets. I'm totally in love with them. I'm a jewellery hoarder and I blogged about how much I love these tiny, dainty bracelets. At only £2.50 each and loads of styles and designs, they also count as my biggest bargain find of the year!



YouTube Channel
I would say the thing I'm most proud of for October is that I launched my YouTube channel. I'm so excited about this, and full off ideas to share with you guys on my videos, check the channel out here. And please remember to hit the 'like' and 'subscribe' buttons too.



Instagram
And finally, to top off my recap, here's my Instagram overview for October..


Now. November, lets be having you!
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Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Barbie Goals



What did you want to be when you were growing up?

Did you want to step into the shoes of the rich and famous and grace TV screens? Did you want to teach the next generation, or travel the world and the universe as a pilot or astronaut?

Whatever it is, we all wanted to be something when we grew up. No doubt it changed frequently, but there was always something that attracted us. Something that captured our imagination and made us want to leave our mark on the world. Something that made us dream BIG dreams, set goals with our hearts and made us dwell in a happy and simple place of aspiration and desire.

Some of us had big scale dreams and aspirations, and some were on a smaller scale - but we all had them, no matter what shape they took. And what's more we truly believed we would achieve those goals. We wanted to reach for the stars and life was fresh enough, and new enough that it didn't even cross our minds that we may not reach quite that far.

Somewhere along the line, something happens and we start to reign in those aspirations. We start to put a ceiling on our dreams. We realise that life isn't quite as carefree as we expected and bills need to be paid, regardless of whether that goal aligns with our bank account, our relationship or our status. Somewhere in our lives, between being little girls and big girls, we lose that belief that we can be anything we want, we can do anything we chose.


I played with Barbie's growing up. They were my absolute favourite thing. I had so many I lost count, they had their own cars, houses, families, clothes and so many accessories that a Khardasian would be proud. I would spend hours arranging their houses (with VHS videos acting as walls in their houses!), dressing them up, setting up their relationships etc. and then acting out how their lives would go. Ultimately my Barbie's had different names, different clothes but each time, they ended up walking the same road, making the same (dramatic) choices - and I only realised that today when I thought about it. I realised I was acting out the path that I wanted to take.


But as I got older, I lost the belief I could reach those amazing dreams. I wasn't good enough at Science to be a doctor (so I thought), my hand wasn't steady enough to be an artist (or so I thought) and I certainly wasn't cool enough to be a TV presenter! So I somehow adopted the mentality that I needed to take what I could and settle for the rest.

I passed up opportunities that could have taken me in the polar opposite direction. I made choices and decisions that others hugely disagreed with...But that's life, right?

You may have big dreams that you feel you've missed the opportunity to reach for. You may feel it's too late to re-start, but it's not. We need to find that little girl mentality once again, and really start impressing on our little girls that they CAN be what they want, there is NO ceiling and life may try to convince them otherwise, but life CAN be exactly what they want it to be.


Barbie, after 59 years of relying on Ken to be the Doctor, the Astronaut, the alpha...and finally she has found her voice, she's found herself. And she's helping little girls of the next generation to find theirs, and to reach for them even more.

Barbie, you did good. Once again, you encourage me to dream big dreams.

Check out Barbie's new, embracing feminism and inspiring video here. It will bring out the little girl in all of us...


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Wednesday Wishlist



I'm a scented candle fan.

No, actually, I'm a HUGE scented candle fan.

On my Wednesday Wishlist is this absolutely beautiful Scentsy 'Chasing Fireflies Warmer'. I had a beautiful Scentsy warmer - and it was literally my favourite thing ever. I used it daily, and loved it. Then my wonderful cat decided it would be a good idea to jump out of the kitchen window and knock the whole thing on the floor...and smash it into lots of pieces...it was a truly sad day.

As a single mummy, I don't often have the opportunity/funds/time to treat myself so I've not been able to replace it and now they don't even sell my original warmer. However they do sell this beautiful mason jar themed warmer which has melted my heart (see what I did there?!).


It's £39, pale blue and has a fire fly theme. I'm in love.

Because my cat didn't pre-warn me that he would be breaking my warmer (and my heart at the same time) I still have some of my scent cubes left and occasionally I like to go and remind myself of how they smell...delicious, incase you're wondering!

BUT since I last purchased from Scentsy they have released some new, gorgeous sounding scents which I would absolutely love too. The first is called 'Coconut Cotton'. I love fresh linen type scents, they make the house smell wonderful, and I'm partial to coconut too, so I can only imagine how divine this smells! It's described as: "sun-warmed bottom, creamy coconut milk, bright citrus and white sandalwood..". YES PLEASE.

The next scent that jumped out at me was 'Cherry Vanilla'. Cherry as a scent and vanilla as a scent are two of my all time favourite smells, so together I'm a happy Lady Writes. "A delightful swirl of candied cherry and sugared almonds folded into velvety white chocolate ice cream"...how could you not?!

Each scent bar costs £5.50 and last for ages, I know this because of how well mine lasted before.

I've been a good girl this year, so hopefully Santa will bring me one of each of these on Christmas morning, in case you want to ask him for one too (or treat your favourite blogger to one!) then you can find more details and the full range here.


What's on your Wednesday Wishlist?

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Tuesday, 27 October 2015

And The Winner Is...



I am chuffed to bits.

My gorgeous, hilarious and witty bloggy friend Absolutely Prabulous nominated me for a Liebster Award *does a little celebration dance*. So to help me thank her, please head over to her blog for a gander, parent or not you'll love it, and you'll find some real giggles along the way too.

So, never heard of the Liebster? Well, you're about to... It's an award designed for us bloggers to give a little recognition to some of the blogs and writers that we love and to discover new blogs for us to enjoy - and also tell everyone about both in the process. The idea is that each blogger nominates 11 other bloggers to receive the award and they all then answer a series of questions about themselves, and then pass on the award, and so on. If like me you love a good nosey - then you'll love Liebster Award posts as you'll really get to know the person behind the blog.

So, without further ado, here are the questions Absolutely Prabulous asked me:

1. If you could change one thing about the world/society, what would it be?
Ooo, she went straight in there with a deep one didn't she?! There is so much I wish we could change in the world...but i've been really hit by the refugee crisis recently, and I don't think I will ever forget the photograph that hit the press with that poor little boy who lost his life and washed up on shore. If I could change one thing, it would be that every child had equal opportunities. I'm not talking the type of opportunities for expensive clothes and toys, but the very basics - safety, warmth, enough food and clothing, and access to a fair education no matter where they are from or where they live. I hate that some children don't even have access to these very basic things in order to try and build a life they can live.

2. What 'life lesson' quote is the one you believe in the most?
Now this is hard, I'm a huge quote fan! As a writer, I love words, so quotes are one of my favourite thing...plus I'm hugely sentimental so I love a good quote. In fact, check out my quote board on Pinterest here, it's got over 1,600 quotes on it! But I would say that the one quote that always sticks in my mind as the quote for my life is by Kaci Diane "I love the person I've become, because I fought to become her."


3. What are your best and worst character traits?
HAHA! You're probably best asking my friends and family this, I'm sure they'd have A LOT to say! Personally though, I embrace being imperfect - I say inappropriate things at inappropriate times (occasionally sounding like sexual innuendo's when completely not acceptable) and quite often forget people's names etc - I'm a nightmare! But I would say my worst character trait is being stubborn. I'm well known for it!...I probably should work on that. And i would say my best character trait is my heart for people - I'm a people person, a people pleaser. I like to make people happy, I care about people.

4. Which superpower would you like to have?
....The ability to stop time! Seriously! I'm a single, full time working mum! I sometimes just need the world to slow down a bit for me to put my feet up in peace!

5. Where is your favourite place on earth?
I'm not a sailor, I'm rubbish at sailing but being on a boat at sunset (somewhere warm) watching the sun go down is my favourite place to be in the world (other than asleep in bed, which is a close second!). It's so pretty, quiet and completely isolated, I go on boat trips every time I go away. Told you - I'm very sentimental!

From my holiday in Malta this year (2015)
6. What is your favourite film of all time?
Oh God...Independence Day (don't judge me!) I have no idea why. I watched it in bed every night for 7 months and wore the DVD out.

7. What is the best concert or event you've ever been to?
I love Lee Evans, I saw him live once and I've never laughed so much.

8. Which famous man and woman would you love to spend an evening with over drinks?
Ooooo! There's loads of people I would love to talk to and pick their brains, but over drinks it would have to be Jennifer Lawrence because she seems so fun, but totally independent and comfortable as a woman, and a strong one at that. And Michael McIntyre - over drinks I think they'd be an absolute laugh and the evening would certainly be one to remember!...Actually, can we make this happen??

9. Which animal do you see yourself as?
I'm rubbish at these questions...I guess maybe a horse?! I've certain got the nose of one. If you don't believe me, check it in 'real' life here on my YouTube video.

(...nose...)
10. What is the most embarrassing that that has ever happened to you?
I'm an embarrassment. Constantly...no, not really. I guess the worst was when I may have had one too many drinks and was looking in an estate agents window at beautiful mansions costing squillions of pounds, you know, like you do. It was quite a dark evening, but there were streetlights and my cousin (who I was out for drinks with) thought it would be a good idea for us to run our foreheads along the glass of the window and do a sort of side-ways run... Being slightly tipsy, I followed suit, but I didn't stop where she had, I carried on going, until I reached the end of the window which had a piece of wooden frame. I smacked my head on it so hard (at speed) that I completely face planted the floor. She's never laughed so much, I've never laughed so much...until I noticed a restaurant full of people watching me on the other side of the road...Oppsie...(don't judge me, this was in my pre-parent days)

11. What do you like and dislike most about blogging?
I love blogging. I've been a blogger for nearly five years (just not on this blog). I'm a chatterbox, I love words and my mind is very active. So being a blogger was a no-brainer for me. The thing I like most is the friendships you form along the way. Some of my closest friends are people I met through Twitter and blogging, and I wouldn't have met them otherwise.
I dislike the competition. I guess it's in everything, but I don't like the silent competition that some people have. Some people blog for a living, I understand that. So it's important they do things a certain way, but I'm all about encouraging people, and lifting people up. Not tearing them down or withholding praise etc. So what if someone has more twitter followers, if they are an amazing writer then tell them! Help them show more people their skills!

Ta-dah! Do you feel enlightened into the mind of Lady Writes now?! I feel nicely calm after that, not sure if that means I ranted somewhere though?!

Anyway, my 11 questions are:
1. What is the personal achievement that you are most proud of?
2. If you were a cocktail, which one would you be?
3. If you were stuck in a lift with any five people, who would they be?
4.Where do you see yourself in five years time?
5. What was your nickname at school?
6. Is adulthood what you expected?
7. Describe your perfect day?
8. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
9. What inspires you the most?
10. Who is the person who's made the biggest impact, or left the biggest mark on your life?
11. Why do you blog?

And, drumroll please....the eleven bloggers I nominate are:

1. My Place or Yours - Hayley is a super talented writer friend of mine who was recently featured in Cosmo!

2. A Wright Disaster - Jacqui was recently on First Dates, and she was amazing!

3. Classy, Sassy And A Little Bit Smartassy - Jasmine's blog is a very new find for me, but I absolutely love it! The girls got STYLE.

4. By Lauren Jane - I found this lovely ladies blog through the Sunday night #lbloggers tag, and she's lovely, she's also new to YouTube like me!

5. Hashtags1ngle - literally the smartest, sassy woman you'll ever meet. Nuff' said.

6. Single Mother Ahoy - Vicky Charles, a fellow single mummy and awesome blogger - check her out.

7. Two Different Worlds - Angie is another new find for me, her blog is gorgeous and her images make me drool!

8. Beauty Books And Babble - Ashton is another blogger I've recently discovered. I like her because she likes stationary and TWD. And she's got class and style. Read her blog.

9. Blonde Vision - Another blog I found courtesy of the #lbloggers, lovely girlie blog - check Lauren's out.

10. Milly Day Dreams - check out the gorgeous Milly's blog, it's great for fashion, lifestyle and all things cool.

11. Snob With A Blog - she's sassy, smart and an amazeballs blogger, follow this gal.
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Sunday, 25 October 2015

Make A Wish


Have you ever seen something you really liked but have struggled to find somewhere to actually buy it? Well that's what I was like with tiny bracelets - until I found WishStrings.co!

I'm a jewellery hoarder. I love it. All of it. Give me ALL the jewellery! When it comes to bracelets I've got really skinny wrists, so thick and chunky isn't a good everyday look for me. Thick is good for a night out or once in a while, but as a whole I tend to lean towards the dainty, feminine type of bracelets for everyday. My favourite are the string type, with a very small single charm or detail, so when I discovered WishStrings.co I was literally in my element.

WishStrings.co offer a selection of beautiful and handmade wish bracelets which are exactly my style - classic, dainty, understated and girlie. I've got four and I absolutely love them all. What's more is it's not just jewellery, it's much more than that...



The beauty of a WishString.co bracelet is that each and every one is handmade with a sentimental meaning behind it. The idea is that you make a wish, tie on the bracelet and when the thread wears thin and breaks away, your wish will come true. And because of the sentimental nature of the WishStrings.co brand, there is a bracelet for every occasion you could think of, many of which would make the perfect gift - their website has bracelets for new parents, friends, new opportunities etc. literally every occasion you could think of! And each bracelet only costs between £2.50 and £2.99 each which I think is an absolutely FANTASTIC price. You could give a WishString as a really thoughtful and lovely gift...and I fully intend to! (To all my friends reading this - please expect them for birthdays!)



As well as being excellent gifts, I love them because you can buy them for yourself too. With so many charms to choose from, the choice is endless and you can wear one on it's own, or you can make your own arm candy selection and stack them up - which is a really popular jewellery trend right now. And for the price, why not?!

Not only that, but they come in really cute and simple packaging, with a card that explains the meaning behind your WishString. This is my 'Good friends are like stars...' bracelet and on the front card was the quote, and inside, a second card with details about how tie the bracelet, and details about how the magic of a WishString bracelet, is seeing how long it takes to fall off - could it be months, or even years until your wish comes true? I love that, it gives it a really special little side element.





When you remove your bracelet from the packaging, you may need some help securing it on your wrist - or not if you're flexible! If you have small, medium or large wrists, it doesn't matter because the string is super long, so they will fit everyone. The suggestion is to tie three to five knots (and make a wish on each!) which will secure the bracelet in place. Once in place - you're good to go. As soon as I put mine on, it was so comfortable, I forgot I was wearing it. Unlike some jewellery that gets in the way, or weighs your wrist down, these are so wonderfully dainty that you forget they are there and then you get a nice little flash of the charm when it pokes out from underneath your sleeve. The material of the string doesn't catch on anything, or fray and it dries quickly when you get out of the shower, so it's never damp or uncomfortable to wear. The charms are really durable too and they don't chip or dull either which is great. And makes them well worth every penny.

As I said, I've currently got four in my collection and I know for a fact I will be adding to them on a very regular basis. I regularly check the WishString.co website, Instagram and Facebook to keep an eye on new designs, my favourite of which is the Christmas range! Including charms like a Christmas star (which is the one I've got), a candy cane, snowman, Christmas tree etc...I can see myself creating an entire Christmas arm candy just with my WishStrings!



You can order your own WishStrings from their website here and postage is only £1.50 (standard postage, other options available) so why not take a peek? I have a feeling you'll love them as much as I do..

Also, make sure you follow them on:
Instagram here
Facebook here
Twitter here

(They also offer wholesale, so if you own a boutique, shop or brand and would like to know more, please get in touch here.)

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Friday, 23 October 2015

I'm An Autism Mummy And Proud


Right now, I am the proudest mummy.

I had my son's first parents evening (in the morning!) and couldn't be prouder of my little man.

In life we all face challenges, and some are far worse than others. And I certainly don't class autism as one of the worst - far from it. When Josh got diagnosed as being Autistic when he was two years old, I remember thinking I could take that diagnosis and let it be something that labelled him, and boxed him in for the rest of his life. I met so many people who were "devastated" by their child's autism diagnosis, and I just couldn't understand that mentality. I've never had that mindset, and Josh has never had that label - nor will he ever.

Autism isn't the end of the world, it's just a different way of looking at things. And since when did different mean worse? Josh is bright, and sharp and has the best sense of humor. He's the happiest child, with a flair for life that daily inspires me to keep seeking out the goodness in life, and stop allowing the bad things to weigh me down. The way Josh looks at the world may be different, but it's the most inspiring outlook I've ever seen in another person.

At his Parents Evening I listened to how clever he is, how popular he is and what a joy he is to be around and I couldn't help but shed a tear as I got back to my car. Josh's start in life could have been far worse, but it's not been the easiest - he's had a further special needs diagnosis since the autism, he's spent time in hospital in his early years, I'm a single mummy and that doesn't always mean I can afford to give him what he wants, but he's overcome everything that's come his way - with a huge smile!

People with autism face huge stigma from others, but as far as I can see, we should all take a leaf out of their books - especially when they're like Josh - funny, loving, alert and more forgiving than anyone else I've ever met.

..I originally shared this on Facebook, to raise awareness that autism isn't 'worse'. Please feel free to share the original post, if I can reach even one other family facing turmoil due to autism and show them that it really isn't the end of the world - then I'll be happy... Original post here.


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Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Quotes For Women To Live By

Ladies, this one is for you..

As women we face a vast ocean of emotions, situations and opportunities on a daily basis. We process thoughts in entirely different ways to men, to each other. We over think and under think, we can be swayed by opinion when we don't want to be and we forge through things like heartbreak with as much strength as we can find.

Life is sometimes easier, and sometimes harder, and the seasons we face will dictate our thoughts. If there's anything I've learnt, it's that women are strong. We are fierce, and loyal. We're protective and driven. We're empowered and spirited. We have strength we didn't know existed, and we each look at the world with a beautifully different viewpoint. Ladies, we're strong. Even when we don't feel it...

Let these quotes be a mantra, no matter what your situation. Let these words remind you that you have strength, and you can do great things...












And my all time favourite...



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Monday, 19 October 2015

The Girls Guide To Being Safe



No matter what your relationship status or whether you live alone, or with friends/family/housemates, there are going to be times when you find yourself in questionable situations. I'm not talking about questionable - stuck in a dress in a fitting room and torn between crying for help and facing embarrassment, or risking a rip... No, I'm talking about the things that genuinely risk our safety, and not just our pride.

I've always been a really independent lady. I moved out of home when I was 18, I've always worked hard, paid bills, held down a job (or two at the same time!) and I'm of the attitude that I can do things for myself. (Just because I can do things for myself, doesn't mean I wouldn't like my man to do them for me - emptying bins, changing lightbulbs etc. haha) So when it comes to my safety, I'm also quite headstrong and have always been of the opinion that I can handle myself. Ready to go home on a night out, but my friends aren't? I've got no qualms about getting a taxi alone. Going for a jog at night - no fear. I've lived on my own for years, I've never been the scared type.

Until this weekend when I was woken up in the night by sounds which at first I put down to an animal, but quickly realised was actually someone trying to force their way into my house through my downstairs patio doors. My initial shock and fear kicked in and the adrenaline pumped as I phoned the police who came out with police dogs to hunt down the man who'd been intruding in my garden, trying to break into my house, as well as my neighbours. In those twenty minutes or so between initially hearing noises and the police arriving, for the first time ever, I felt completely vulnerable as I realised at that point I was at the mercy of another human being, who's intentions were not of the moral kind. I felt foolish for being blasé about safety previously...not that I'm an idiot - I keep all doors and windows locked at all times. But I guess, I'd never really seen a reason to be more than the average amount of cautious/careful.

Fortunately, the police caught the guy who was in my garden on the same night. But it really made me think about safety, and has made me pull my socks up a bit.



So I've come up with the following mini guide for keeping safe:

1. Always keep your phone battery charged at night. Scarily enough, only two nights before this all happened, I had broken my phone charger and my battery died, meaning I had no phone or contact point at all should there have been a problem. Should this have been the night in question, who knows what would have happened if I hadn't been able to call the police?

2. Don't leave any valuables, keys etc. on show. Even just on a table when the curtains are drawn. The smallest gap in the curtains could give a burglar the incentive to do more than just look through the window. Keep all valuables in your bedroom with you.

3. Have a plan, should the worst happen and someone enters your house. Have a plan in mind for what you'd do, where you'd go etc. Sounds scary but better to be prepared.

4. If you have security measures - use them. I have a security light in my garden - which has never been turned on because it shines into my bedroom and keeps me awake. Now I won't ever be turning it off again. The same goes for alarms, CCTV etc. If you've got them - use them.

5. Increase your security measures. If you don't have an alarm or CCTV, consider getting some. Not only can it deter those with questionable morals, but it could catch anyone who would be tempted. If you don't have chains or bolts on your doors, and you'd feel safer getting them - then do. If you live in a rented house, most landlords would have no problems with you installing these methods.

6. If the worst happens, make sure you've got insurance. I don't have much with value - well, I don't have anything of high value in my house! But my contents as a whole, out-value my savings. If everything was to disappear tomorrow, I wouldn't be able to replace it all - so insurance is important - and totally affordable.

7. Mark your items. You can now get invisible liquid that you put on any item of value and covers a code that will always be marked as yours. Under UV light the code can be revealed, so if ever anything is stolen, you will always be able to claim back what is yours when/if it's found.

8. Finally, don't hate your neighbours! They are the closest people to you in an emergency (proximity wise) and should you ever need someone in a split second, better to know that you've not burnt your bridges with unnecessary partying that's kept them and their children up all night. A bit of friendly 'hi, how are you' is all it takes.

So, there you have it, it's not rocket science but my recent experience has made me reassess these, and address the areas that I've been lax in. I hope it helps you all do the same too!


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Sunday, 18 October 2015

My Mini Christmas Decoration Haul

In the spirit of being a person who adores Christmas, I've done pretty well to avoid the Christmas stuff in the shops (mostly because I've been totally skint). However, it's Sunday, the housework is (kinda/almost) done and I fancied a wander...

I didn't expect to buy anything, "just look" as I tell my son. But that went right out of the window when I saw the shining, glittery, sometimes dancing decorations. I actually became quite fond of a life size dancing and singing Santa, and other than the price tag, I had to talk myself out of buying it.

When it comes to Christmas, we've all got our own style. It's like fashion, everyone has their own take on it. Some go for colour schemes, some go for the traditional colours and some go for all out colour splatters in every room of the house. Personally, as long as it's Christmassy, I'm all for it! I watch Christmas films like they're going out of fashion as soon as it hits November 1st, and count down the days until I can put the tree up. What can I say, I'm an out-and-out Christmas fan.

When it comes to my decorations, I'm also a full on snob. I spent a great deal of time (and far too much money) a few years ago matching my tree decorations to the colours in my lounge - which are green, cream and mocha. The decorations on my tree (it obviously being green takes care of that colour) are all cream or mocha and come in various finishes (matte, sparkle, glitter, shiny etc). My lights even have to be the perfect shade of cream - which was a nightmare last year when half way through December, one set broke and I could only find white lights left in the shops!! I think that's the closest I've come to a Christmas breakdown... Anyway, I have a touch of shabby-chic going on in my lounge, and my decorations and Christmas bits must fit in with that, otherwise they don't get purchased. Yep, I'm that ruthless.

I wander around the shops at Christmas, looking at all the decorations - the traditional colours literally make my inner child squeal. I love the red and gold and even today I looked at the newly fashionable silver ranges and tried to image which room in my house I could transform just so I could have all the different colour schemes in one room of the house. I don't even mind temporarily painting and decorating rooms to fit this idea in, although realistically, my landlord would have a fit.

So, after mooching around the Christmas decorations today with my little man (who, by the way, I am raising to love Christmas just as much as me!) I decided it's kind of nearly November (ish) so it's okay to buy a few bits. So I did...


So my first spot was this gorgeous wooden house with cute little windows and ribbon and bells on top. It's so cute looking, and i've got a bit of a thing for cute looking ornamental houses, so at £5.99 it was a no brainer really. AND to be honest, this one might be staying out all year round, I think I can get away with it not being a Christmas item right?


Then there's this little guy. How cute?! I'm a lover of the nordic print themes that have become really popular over the past few years. Don't get me wrong, he doesn't match my perfectly coordinated colour scheme but he was just too cute not to, plus I'm sure I can edge a bit of neutral colouring into the room somehow, just for this little dude. (£1.79)


Then there's these teeny decorations. I've got a twiggy tree which is my favourite year round room decoration. It's on my sideboard and I've really wanted some small (obviously colour matching) decorations to hang on it at Christmas. These little packs were perfect. The pack of 10 wooden, cream hearts are rustic looking and shabby chic - and will be perfect for the twiggy tree, and if there's any left over, they can go on the actual tree! At only £1.49 for the pack of 10, it was an absolute bargain! Be rude not to.


Then there was the gorgeous six pack of hand sewn mini hearts - which are just so sweet that I couldn't resist, even though two are grey - which is totally not cream or mocha. I'm going to force these on the twiggy tree whether they match the room of not. Seriously though, I love these. £2.49 for the pack, and I'm tempted to get a few more packs and put them in the gift baskets I'm making for each of my friends as gifts this year.


So, I didn't go mad (unlike the lady in the shop who had two baskets overflowing and a child about to go into full meltdown after apparently being in there for over an hour and a half) but I'm pretty pleased with my first mini Christmas haul of the year!

(all items from The Range)


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Thursday, 15 October 2015

It's Competition Time!

So, it's dreary, cold, wet and miserable right now... Autumn seems to have flown by, and Winter has landed right on our doorsteps! So to cheer us up, I've teamed up with my new blog sponsor (To be announced - eek!) and am offering a £50 gift card/voucher to the shop/store of your choice! Yep, online, high street - wherever you like!


So, that winter coat you've had your eye on? The treat for the kids at Christmas? Enter the competition below and be in with a chance of winning for doing very little other than following us on Instagram/Facebook etc! Plus there's opportunities to enter doing other things too - if you want more than one entry that is!

Good luck guys!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
T&C's
1.Competition only open to Uk and Northern Ireland 
2. Closes Friday 30th October at 12.01am
3. Winner announced with 24 hours
4. Gift card to shop/store of choice, no cash equivalent


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Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Birthday Bucket List

So, after spending most of this year terrified at getting older (I'm 27), my birthday is now only a month away and I'm actually excited for it now. Well, kinda.

I'm still not thrilled about getting another year older, and still find myself (and probably my parents!) disappointed in all the things I haven't accomplished (yet). But, a birthday is a birthday, and that makes me happy.

I'm not the party loving animal I was in my teens, so this year I would be happy with a nice night with my beloved/friends/family...or anyone else who wants to come.

There's a few places I've wanted to go for ages, and I'm determined to visit them all...just maybe not all for my birthday - my wallet doesn't stretch that much with a five year old and the looming 'C' word...CHRISTMAS - get your minds out of the gutter!

You know that list you have? The one with the places you want to go and eat? Not the full Bucket List, but the more local (realistic) one? Well, here's mine. Feel free to drool, I do...

1. Crazy Bear
I first heard about Crazy Bear when one of my best friend's took her husband there for their anniversary, and since then I love to look at their website and picture myself in one of their gorgeous suites. The Crazy Bear Stadhampton (Oxfordshire) is the epitome of boutique hotel and restaurant in the countryside. Kind of like chalk and cheese - that actually works. It looks glorious, the reviews are absolutely amazing and I can't imagine anyway better to have a night off Mummy duties, dress up and enjoy the surroundings. Check out The Crazy Bear website for more details here.

Suite at The Crazy Bear Stadhampton

Suite at The Crazy Bear Stadhampton

2. The Hoste Arms
Another boutique hotel/restaurant, but with a different, more coastal vibe. The Hoste Arms isn't actually all that far from where I live, and is located in Burnham Market - one of my favourite seaside  villages. Another recommendation from a friend, this lovely little place has rave reviews and has been on my Bucket List for ages! The menu looks so good I've already picked what I'd order...drool! Visit The Hoste Arms website here.

Suite at The Hoste Arms

Cocktails at The Hoste
3. The Shard
What Birthday Bucket List would be complete without a mention of The Shard?! The Gong bar is the highest bar in London and offers cocktails and champagne galore! (Sounds like my kind place!) With amazing views, my friends have told me it's a must-visit and I can't wait! Visit The Gong website here.

Bar in The Gong

Sweet Treats
So, there you have it. If you're looking for a treat, a gift or just an indulgent night off parental duties for you and your partner (like me!) then check out these three places, and maybe I'll see you there...until then, I'm'a dreaming!

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Sunday, 11 October 2015

6 Steps For The Perfect Lazy Sunday

Sunday.

The weirdest day of the week, if you ask me. It's the day that sort of subconsciously prohibits anything strenuous, or that requires too much effort. And yet, it's also the day of the week where you have the most to get done. So it's kind of a catch 22?!

I refuse (point blank) to do anything that isn't fun or something that I want to do on a Saturday. It's the one day of the week for fun, no work, and nothing boring/hard/painful or plain disinteresting. Sunday on the other hand is when the house needs cleaning, the school uniform needs washing and ironing, homework and reading needs to be done, the mass of letters in my sons book bag all need signing, to the point where I have no idea what I'm signing for anymore! Then there's cooking dinner, preparing a weeks worth of work outfits, replacing the toilet rolls in the bathrooms etc...it's supposed to be the most chilled day of the week - to recover from working (and the usual night before shenanigans) and yet, my list of things to do on Sunday's gets longer every week. And I say that with a true grimace. A totally unattractive one.

So in the spirit of cheering myself up, and getting back to my love of Sunday mood, I've been thinking about what makes the best lazy Sunday...



1. Series Binge.
I am a binger. I always have and always will, binge. What can I say, it's a habit... I'm talking about TV shows. Sunday is the perfect day for binging on Netflix, Sky etc. You wake up groggy and suddenly the thought of watching an entire series in a day wakes you up enough to pull out the laptop, get comfy and prepare to switch your brain off to everything (and anything) else for the entire day. On my radar at the minute is a huge list to be binged upon. I'm the most un-girlie girl when it comes to TV shows. I love the bloke-y ones. Don't shoot me, I'm not perfect. So I'm indulging in Sons of Anarchy at the moment (series three already woohoo!). But my previous binge was The Walking Dead. Before that it was Grey's Anatomy and Scandal, and next on the list is Nashville. So, yeh, my taste in TV could only be described as 'confused'.



2. Your Favourite Food.
When indulging in the TV binge, it must be accompanied by yummies. Who cares about the calorie intake (it's Sunday doll!) - or the price - whatever you love, should be your companion for the day. I start with Nutella..and anything. Fruit, toast, porridge...whatever. As long as it's got Nutella with it, I'm happy. Then I tend to neglect lunch as I snack through the day on things like Crispy M&M's (my current favourite addiction), jam bakes (an old fashioned cake which I could eat in copious amounts) and of course, ice-cream and strawberries. And, who am I kidding? Lots of Diet Coke (seeing as I'm a fully fledged addict). Finish the day with a take-away, and your tummy will never love you more (although your hips may hate you...pah.)




3. Comfy Clothes.
Now, if you can manage to get dressed - good on you. That's often further than I get on a Sunday. However, it's absolutely acceptable, to wake up remove pj's- shower/bath and then change into fresh pj's. It's Sunday remember - it's absolutely acceptable. Hell, it's practically an unwritten law. Leggings, comfy joggers, pj bottoms and a cosy top/jumper/hoodie and I'm in my happy place. No reason to leave the house, means no reason to wear actual clothes. This goes for the kids too.




4. Duvet Day.
If you're child-free then stay in bed. All day. I would too. There is nothing wrong with binging on a TV show, eating ice-cream, in your pj's in bed on a Sunday. It's how it should be. Some may call you a slob, most will call you a genius. If you do have children, take the duvet to the sofa, get a mass of cushions, create the cosiest and most comfy looking sofa fort, and don't move from it. The kids will love it too. First choice is always the bed though, because really, where else is better than bed on a Sunday?




5. Snapchat.
You may be living under the radar in your pj's and in bed at 3pm, but keep in touch with the outside world - Snapchat lets you see your friends doing the same thing. Or, the friends doing something healthy and outdoors-y, like bike riding, running a marathon etc. The joy of Snapchat is you only have to be exposed to it for a few seconds - which is great because when you're lazing about, you don't need that kind of negativity in your life.




6. Colouring.
Yes, I'm addicted to colouring. This whole adult colouring book trend has made me a very happy bunny indeed. I have several colouring books, felt tips (the adult kind) and pencil crayons and I love nothing more than loosing a few hours doodling. Be warned, if you've got kids they will want to join in - so get them their own, you can't be having five year old scribble/art mess with your perfectly shaded floral masterpiece....even if their colouring is as brilliant and artistic as my son's.

There are loads of other things that you can throw into the mix for the perfect lazy Sunday, but these are the basics. Pamper time is always good, but if you're a parent that's out of the question unless you want your child covered in more face-mask than you. However you do it, squeeze in the essentials (washing, ironing, homework) and then spend the rest of the day following these steps. You can rest assured you've done everything that's needed for the week ahead, and yet you've still managed to indulge your inner Lazy Sunday Love.
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