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Category: Lifestyle

Posterlounge Home Art

Posterlounge Home Art

*We were gifted our Posterlounge artwork for the purpose of creating this post. As always, all thoughts and opinion are my own. 


Recently Hubs and I have been working on our home. We’ve gone from top to bottom and now we finally have four walls that we love! Looking around though, we realised that even though we now have nice bright white walls that look lovely and fresh, they’re also looking a bit bare. So when we came across Posterlounge, we were in our element! They have so much amazing artwork, we knew we had to adorn our walls with some of their pieces!

Choices, choices –

Looking through the Posterlounge website left Hubs and I completely spoilt for choice. What’s brilliant though is their ‘Inspiration‘ feature, which allows you to search by room and style. It shows you some of the best of what they have on offer and it really gets the arty juices flowing! I loved using this feature as I really didn’t know what I was looking for and it gave me ideas that I just wouldn’t have thought of myself.

You can also choose the material that you want your artwork printed on. From paper and canvas to aluminium and acrylic glass. There’s something for every taste and every budget! No only that, the each piece of art comes in various different size, so you can have what you want, where you want it without it looking too small, or too intrusive. When buying something that is going to be in your home for many years to come and something that you will look at each and every day, it’s good to have so many choices. That way you’re sure to get the perfect print for you!

Feathered friends and alphabet fun –

After spending A LOT of time on the Posterlounge site, Hubs and I finally decided on a large, acrylic piece of art with four owls stood looking very comical! I like to think each owl represents a member of our little family, I’m sure I can see the personality oozing out of them! It’s the first time we’ve had art printed on acrylic and I have to say, I’m very impressed. It was super easy to hang and sits really flat on the wall. I love that it doesn’t reflect the light too much, it means the image is always really easy to see.

As well as the owls, we decided to get our girls an alphabet poster. With our eldest now at pre-school and our youngest due to start very soon, we’re conscious of creating a fun learning environment at home. This cute poster is colourful and it gets the girls thinking and talking about the letters of the alphabet whenever they look at it!

I just had to share my experience with Posterlounge on here, as I’m so impressed with the products we received. From the easy ordering process, to the quick delivery and the quality of the art. Our house now has the finishing touches that it needed to make it the ideal home! 


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Word Based Mistakes and Anxiety

Word Based Mistakes and Anxiety

Recently I’ve found myself at odds with the television in our house. I used to watch it to relax of an evening, but I find myself becoming increasingly frustrated with spending time immersed in media that I’m not going to learn from. So instead of switching on the box, I’ve been reaching for my phone and losing myself in the world of podcasts. I feel at peace when I listen to a quality podcast as I know I’m taking time out for myself, whilst also nurturing my brain and feeding my thirst for knowledge.

The reason I’m bringing up podcasts in a post centred around anxiety, is that I’m a huge fan of listening to Bryony Gordon’s Mad World. It’s a podcast that’s main focus is mental health with Bryony interviewing the creme de la creme, of the celebrity world. Every guest gives you a warts and all insight into their own issues with mental health, past and present. My favourite episode so far included Steven Fry, but it wasn’t until I listened to Fearne Cotton speak that the penny really dropped, with regards to my own mental health.

Word based mistakes –

Fearne Cotton wasn’t at all concerned about discussing her mental health issues for all to hear. She realises that talking is educating and that it’s something we need to do more of, to make mental health issues less of a taboo. What resonated with me most though was that the catalyst for a large amount of her anxiety issues were and still are directly related to word based mistakes. The times when we say something we regret. The times when we wake in the small hours of the morning, fending off a panic attack because we can’t work out whether we were rude to that person in the supermarket.

In fact, one of the main reasons I gave up alcohol was because I became mentally exhausted with trying to work out if I’d said something wrong whilst under the influence. I would return from small gatherings, big nights out and intimate dinners wondering what I’d said and imaging how I could have worded things better. To make people like me more and to offend people a lot less.

The truth is, that 99% of the time I had absolutely nothing to worry about. The thing is, it’s rare that I’m not nice to people. It’s not often that I’ll say anything out of turn. I’m very self-aware and so if I’m off with someone, I’ll know I’ve done it as I probably did it intentionally and only because it was called for. I’ve worked with the general public for the entirety of my working life, I know how to do it. So why do I lose so many precious hours wondering what I’ve said wrong?

I don’t know the answer. I’m not sure anyone really knows the answer. Sadly, as highlighted by Fearne, I’m not alone in experiencing such infuriating, intrusive thoughts. If someone as successful as Fearne Cotton is suffering, then it just goes to show that mental illness doesn’t discriminate.

Is self-care the answer?

As with a lot of mental health issues, self-care is an incredibly effective treatment. I’m not talking about pampering yourself each and every day, or indulging in a spot of retail therapy every lunch hour. I’m talking about making sure we look after ourselves in smaller and more regular ways. Simple things like going to bed early a few nights a week, or reading a good book before bed, can give us the brain space we need to tackle what life throws at us.

My ‘little thing‘ was giving up alcohol, as I knew it was making my anxiety worse. If I’d had a drink, you could almost guarantee I’d have a panic attack and you can definitely guarantee that I’d ask my husband if I’d ‘said anything wrong’. I knew that I was lacking in self-care and that by carrying on drinking, I would only serve to make my life more difficult for myself and for my family.

Ever since I heard Fearne Cotton mention ‘word based mistakes’ I’ve felt like I’ve had more clarity when it comes to my issues with anxiety. The trouble with these issues is that often we feel very alone and isolated. We feel like we’re the only ones suffering and that we’re somehow ‘not wired up’. Just giving these thoughts a name, a definition even an identity makes suffering them all the more bearable.

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L.O.L Surprise Pop-Up Store Review

L.O.L Surprise Pop-Up Store Review

*We were gifted the L.O.L Surprise Pop-Up Store for the purpose of this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.

This week our girls were sent the L.O.L Pop-Up Store to review. The biggest has been a big fan of L.O.L Surprise, since we reviewed our first dolls a few weeks ago. Now she’s a super fan and couldn’t wait to put the Pop-Up store through its paces. I was excited for this product too, as it meant we would be able to keep her L.O.L Surprise dolls altogether in one place!

The L.O.L Surprise Pop-Up Store is available at Smyths, Argos and The Entertainer.

The Review –

Our Pop-Up Store arrived on one the most miserable days of Autumn so far, which was perfect timing. Neither myself nor the girls bode when we’ve been stuck indoors, so to have this product to review was a very welcome distraction! First of all, we got out all of our existing L.O.L Surprise dolls, so that we had them ready to put on show.

Our biggest loves how detailed and intricate the dolls and their accessories are. She uses them to create her own stories, it’s great to see these dolls igniting her imagination so much. Once we opened the Store, we found all of the hidden packages to build up the doll that comes with the product. It was stored away in all of the different compartments, making it exciting for the girls to find them!

This product was full of different areas each with its own theme, including a diner, a beauty salon and a kitchen. The salon was a firm favourite with our girls, they had their dolls in there for hours beautifying them for a special event! Now that we have quite a few dolls, it’s really fun for them to swap and change the outfits on the dolls, making unique outfits for each and every one. Our eldest spent a whole rainy afternoon, making her dolls look like fashionistas!

Not only does the Pop-Up store allow you to display all of your L.O.L Surprise dolls, it also comes with a handle to turn it into a carry case. So wherever you are, it’s easy to take the dolls with you to keep the littles entertained. Our daughter loves that you can display the dolls most and has her proudly on show for everyone to see!

Overall, both the girls and I have been very impressed with the L.O.L Surprise Pop-Up Store. The girls adore it and it certainly makes it easier to store all of the dolls and accessories in our collection!


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Sweating the Small Stuff – Yey or Ney?

Sweating the Small Stuff – Yey or Ney?

I find myself sweating the small stuff all of the time. If there’s something to worry about, even the tiniest thing. I’ll be first in the queue to deliberate over it for a week. It’s not that I like sweating the small stuff, it’s that my brain doesn’t really know how to let stuff go. It doesn’t have the ‘off switch’, that’s very often needed to put things to bed when they really aren’t worth wasting brain space on.

A difference of opinion –

I’m not sure whether sweating the small stuff is worth it though. Looking at it morbidly, I could get hit by a bus tomorrow and so surely focusing on the little things isn’t really that important. Surely I should enjoy every second, just like it could be my last. That way I’d never worry again. Can we really get through life without a worrying though? Doesn’t it help to keep our feet on the ground?

Ever since becoming a parent I’ve noticed that worrying has become my default setting. I see danger before it even happens, or maybe it won’t happen at all – but I’ve predicted it, just in case. If there’s a scenario which could place my children in even the slightest bit of danger, I have a plan to save the day should I need to use it. It turns out there’s danger in every single situation if you look hard enough though and working out a master plan for each can be a little exhausting.

I recently read An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield and he’s of the opinion that we should worry about the little things in life. His training has taught him that if we have a solution to the slightest of problems, then we are prepared for what life has to throw at us. If the worst doesn’t happen, well hey that’s a bonus! To be honest I quite like this difference of opinion. I’m a fan of the idea that I can work my way through anything, given that I’ve prepared myself for it. To have an answer for everything is a comforting approach to life.

A glass half empty –

I’ve chewed this topic over with quite a few people and most believe that this is a ‘glass half empty’ way of doing life. I suppose it does come across as a little defeatist, after all preparing for the worst is sure to strip the joy out of things. I’m afraid I’m going to remain in the sweating of the small stuff camp though. I can’t image just turning up to an event and now knowing where all the exits are. I don’t understand how people don’t work to times and don’t get me started on those that don’t budget – there always has to be a budget!

Do you sweat the small stuff or are you more of a free spirit? 

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How and Why You can Make any Business Work for You

How and Why You can Make any Business Work for You

*This post was written in collaboration with One Click Group.


How many times have you sat back to evaluate your life and wondered about working for yourself? Maybe not full-time and maybe not in something you currently have the qualifications for, but how many times have you dreamt of making your mark on the business world? For some of you the answer to this is never, for a lot of you the answer is all of the time! 

The thing about business is that you don’t have to set out to conquer the world. There are such enterprises known as the ‘lifestyle business’ and the idea is that you make your dream work around you. Whether it’s your dream to quit your job, or whether you want to run a little something in the evenings around your employment. There are business opportunities for everyone, all you have to do is take the leap.

Making a plan –

When I decided that I wanted to earn a little money off of my own back, I began taking on work in my field outside of my employed hours. This gave me the chance to gain experience in working by myself, it gave me the opportunity to network and build a client base of my own and most importantly it boosted by confidence immeasurably. I concocted this very simple plan some months before I decided to move on and I’m so glad I did. Working in this way provided me with the stepping-stones to the next chapter in my life. I’d had a taste of business and I wasn’t going back.

From this, I set up a limited company which gave me the freedom to build up my business with multiple short and long-term benefits. Setting up a limited company could benefit you too and it doesn’t have to be difficult. There’s a tonne of information available at One Click Group that will answer any questions you have. They will make the whole process as easy as possible for you, that means all you have to concentrate on is working hard to build up your business!

Making a plan isn’t always as simple as this though, you might have to do a little training before you can attempt to work for yourself. You might need to build up funds or you might need to wait for a change in circumstance. Whatever your situation is now, there’s no reason why you can’t start planning ahead. Brain dump all of your ideas, let your imagination flow and work out where you want to be this time next year. A plan is the first step to changing your life.


Believing in yourself –

In the beginning I could count the people who believed in me on half a hand. All of a sudden my business had turned into everyone’s business and boy did they have a lot to say about it. What was most important, was that I believed in myself. I knew I could make my venture work and I was ready for all of the hard graft that I knew it would take to get it off of the ground. I’m not saying self-doubt didn’t creep in every once in a while, but on the whole I was ready to make it happen.

Since then I’ve tried so many different lifestyle business ideas. Some have crashed and burned, some I’ve gotten bored with and others are still part of my multiple income streams. The good thing about these small business ideas is that they can be lucrative, but often they cost very little to get going. All you need is courage, determination and a little bit of pixie dust!

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The Body Positivity Movement and Why I’m Not Sure I Like it

The Body Positivity Movement and Why I’m Not Sure I Like it

You’ve probably noticed over the past few months, that the internet has been taken over by the body positivity movement. It’s all about the girls and the guys, almost bearing all to let the world know that they’re happy with what they see in the mirror. Whether it’s big, small. round, plump, smooth or bumpy. They want everyone and their mother to know that’s who they are and if you don’t like it, well you can jolly well lump it. For the most part I think this is great. I am after all a mother of two girls, who isn’t quite as sleek as she once was. There’s something that unnerves me about this huge emphasis on body positivity though and I’m not sure I like it.

Body positivity and health –

I don’t mind telling you that I’ve always been conscious about the way I look. Being incredibly thin was a big thing for me for a very long time. Since having children my mindset has changed immeasurably and these days I am more body positive, even though I’m not the thinnest person in the room. I’ve made my peace with this and my confidence has soared since doing so, but just because I don’t strive to be stick thin doesn’t mean I don’t strive to be healthy. Therein lies the problem for me when we’re declaring ‘body positivity’ every five minutes. Those advocates for bearing all with a smile might be happy with what they see, but are they healthy?

As much as I think people should share their confidence with others, to encourage them to believe more in themselves. I can’t help but think that there is a fine line between being confident and happy, and allowing impressionable people to believe that overindulging too often because ‘life’s too short’ is OK. It appears that the tables have turned  so much, that we’ve stopped showing stick thin models and have replaced them with larger than life ones. There doesn’t seem to be a healthy middle ground, the average person. Frankly, this worries me.

Educating the next generation –

The hardest thing about writing this post has been trying not to offend anyone, because I honestly believe it’s what’s on the inside that counts. I don’t want people to think I’m ‘fat shaming’ anyone, or ‘skinny shaming’ them for that matter. I just want my girls to grow up in a world that doesn’t revolve around what people look like. I want them to see past all that and to appreciate people for who they are and what they have to offer. People are so much more than skin and bone, people are intricate creatures with a hell of a lot to give.

I think it’s so important to educate the next generation on how to be healthy, rather than how to achieve a certain look. It’s not about being skinny and it’s not about being big, it’s about being your healthy. Nurturing your body to the best of your ability, to keep it working well for you, for as long as possible!




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NOROVIRUS – Surviving Illness as a Parent

NOROVIRUS – Surviving Illness as a Parent

This week has been totally awful for everyone in our house. Within three days of the Biggest going back to school, we had been struck down by an array of germs. Bringing with them a virus or three that would last the entire week. At first it was just a cold and as much as I can’t stand them, it wasn’t as bad as what was just around the corner. With a cold we can curl up in front of the TV and feel sorry for ourselves for a couple of days. Which we did. When Norovirus hit though, it turned into a whole different story.

Sickness is never fun –

After having two HG pregnancies I honestly find even the slightest bit of nausea traumatic, never mind actually being sick. So just as I felt like I was recovering from the cold and happened to wake up one the next morning feeling slightly off colour, panic really set in. I knew I wasn’t pregnant, so there and then I had to resolve myself to the fact that I would spend the next couple of days with my head firmly glued to the toilet bowl. Joy.

Luckily Hubs was off for the first day, so I could freely alternate between the bathroom and the bedroom. Leaving behind the aroma of bleach, desperate to rid the place of germs so no-one else would catch them. It’s really difficult to explain to toddlers why you feel so rough though. I didn’t do the school run for an entire week and felt so guilty for ‘leaving them to it’. Between them, his Lordship and my parents managed to keep things afloat without me. For some reason, as parents we believe that we aren’t allowed to be ill, as the world will obviously stop turning. If this week has taught me anything though, it’s that it’s OK to take some time out when you need to. Things will be just fine, in fact the kids will probably enjoy the novelty of the situation!

When everyone else gets sick –

After a couple of days I thought I’d be on the mend, the dreaded Norovirus had other ideas though. Not only did it decide to linger with me for days on end, it also decided to infect Hubs and the Biggest. No. Fun. At. All. The last few days have seen Hubs attempt to keep the contents of his stomach down, as he hates being sick more than I do. They’ve witnessed the Biggest projectile vomit on the way home from school, right in front of the neighbours gate – whilst she was stood there. They’ve also endured more acoustics in the bathroom department than I care to remember.

I wish I could give you a very definite answer to how to survive illness as a parent. The truth is, I don’t think there is one. All you have to do is power through, or sleep through it. It’ll pass – one way or the other! 


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Autumn Family & Blogging Bucket List 2018

Autumn Family & Blogging Bucket List 2018

I’ve been blogging for a few years now and I’ve noticed that bucket lists are a bit of a thing. I’ve gotten so many brilliant ideas from those I’ve read, but they’re something I’ve never gotten around to writing myself. Over the past few months though the reality of life hit me like a tonne of bricks. Our girls are growing up rapidly before my eyes and so I want to make as many family memories as I possibly can.

That’s why I’ve decided to jump on the bucket list bandwagon. I intend to create a list of must do experiences for every season, that way I won’t forget any ideas and I’ll have a tick list to work my way down as the months go on. I’m also going to keep a blogging bucket list. Over the summer I noticed myself losing sight a little bit, as I was so focused on giving our girls a season to remember. By creating a blogging list too, I hope it will keep my passions alive and ensure that I’m still achieving in my work life as well as in my personal life.


Our Autumn family bucket list –

  • Take a trip to the Wensleydale Creamery, Hawes.
  • Take our girls pumpkin picking and create some spectacular pumpkin designs!
  • Book a 5th wedding anniversary spa day for myself and Hubs.
  • Head out for some yummy food as a family for my birthday in November.
  • Take the girls on a half term holiday!

I know there’ll be days out and other fun things that I haven’t planned. Even if we only manage to achieve what’s on this list, I know it’ll make for another great season for our girls to remember.

My Autumn blogging bucket list –

Blogging has evolved so much over the last few years, things have changed immeasurably in the relatively short time I’ve been part of the community. For that reason I think it’s important to step back and take stock of where you are every once in a while. So after a serious blogging brainstorm, here’s what I’d love to achieve this season;

  • Spend time developing the quality of my video content and on developing my YouTube channel.
  • I’m a huge fan of Instagram, but I don’t feel like I use stories enough. So, I’m going to aim to share more of our daily life through Instagram Stories.
  • Spend more time thinking about content that I love. Use my platforms to share this content, rather than worrying about and comparing myself and my work to other bloggers.


I’m feeling hugely positive about what life and work has to offer this season, let me at it!



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Reasons Why Volunteering for The National Trust is Good for the Soul

Reasons Why Volunteering for The National Trust is Good for the Soul

If you’d have asked me if I’d be open to volunteering at the beginning of my working life, I’d have laughed in your face. I’ve always been driven by money and the thought of giving my time to anything or anyone, without receiving monetary compensation was outrageous. No way would I have given my time away for free. No way would I have gotten so involved with a company or charity, without it benefiting my bank account.

Now, when I look back at my naive and ignorant younger self, I’m a little bit ashamed. As I’ve gotten older and hopefully a little wiser, I’ve realised that money really isn’t everything. Don’t get me wrong, earning cash is often at the forefront of my mind. I’ve always been business driven, so leaving this mentality behind altogether isn’t an easy shift to make. What I know now though, is that it’s not all about making every single penny. It’s not all about working until the wee, small hours each night. It is all about making life as enjoyable and as rich with experience as possible.

Why I chose the National Trust –

I’ve lived very close to a beautiful National Trust property my whole life.  I have a real passion for the property and love to learn more and more about its history. I’ve been a National Trust member for many years too. Visiting new properties with Hubs and the girls is one of my favourite things to do. So when I decided that I wanted volunteer, my local National Trust property was the obvious choice.

I also felt like I would have a lot in common with other volunteers within the Trust. All with an interest in the same property and all with a love for our heritage, I was sure to meet like-minded people with whom I could build lasting relationships.

Reasons volunteering for the National Trust is good for the soul –

  • I get to meet and spend time with interesting and valuable people. This includes fellow volunteers, trust employees and visitors to the property I volunteer for. I love to spend time with people from all walks of life. We have serious conversations, debates and so many laughs. It’s good for the soul and certainly good for the mind.
  • I get to offer my areas of expertise to help the Trust. For me, this area is mainly focused around social media, over the past few years blogging has taught me so much and it feels good to be able to apply that knowledge to another worthy role.
  • I get to learn new skill sets, in areas that I’ve never had experience in before. Each and every time I turn up to do a volunteer shift. I learn something new. My mind is constantly being given a workout and I’m gaining valuable experience that I wouldn’t otherwise get if I didn’t volunteer for the Trust.
  • I feel proud of myself! There’s no better feeling that of self-worth and I think working with a charity is one of the best ways of inducing that feeling.
  • I get to broaden my historical knowledge. There’s always something new to learn and by spending time with people who are passionate about history, I’ve found that my own knowledge base is expanding. I learn something new on every shift and I love it!
  • I’m actively showing my children that life doesn’t always have to revolve around money. I’m showing them that life is all about balance and that finding the right level of work and play is essential for a happy soul!


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Learning to Drive – Why Getting Behind the Wheel Early is a Good Thing

Learning to Drive – Why Getting Behind the Wheel Early is a Good Thing

*This post was written in collaboration with TrackDays.


Ever since I was old enough to understand the concept of driving, I’ve couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel. With parents who have always been interested in cars and two brothers who could drive as soon as their feet could touch the pedals, it was inevitable that I would follow suit. The trouble when I was an early teen, was that there were very few places where I could gain driving experience. It just wasn’t a thing then, so I had to wait until I was old enough to get my provisional license, before I could really get to grips with a car.

As soon as my license came through, I stuck the ‘L’ plates on and was away! My parents sat by my side in the car for hours as I learnt the ropes. In the end I passed my test around three months after my 17th birthday, as I was so determined to get on the road. Even though I had a few hours of lessons from a professional driving instructor, I really believe that it was the hours I spent driving my own car that gave me such confidence on the road.

Getting behind the wheel early –

I know that I would have loved to have driven a car as a teenager, so when I found out about Junior Driving Experiences, I had to write about it. It would have been an absolute dream for me, so I know others would love to have the chance to begin driving sooner than their 17th birthday too. Whether driving is just a means to an end for a person or whether it’s a passion, there are so many benefits to learning to drive as soon as possible. Driving brings independence, freedom and prospects that every person needs in their life.

The benefits of learning to drive –

You’re ready – even if you don’t intend to take your test any time soon, learning to drive sooner rather than later will mean you are ready. You won’t have to worry about learning a new skill at an older age, because you’ll already know what to do. Forewarned is forearmed as they say and it’s always good to feel like you’re one step ahead.

It’s a lifelong skill and one that you will most likely cherish – now we all know people who don’t drive, who actually wish that they could. Don’t put yourself in this situation, you’ll only regret if you don’t do it!

Driving could widen your career prospects – even if you’re too young to have chosen a career at this time, having driving experience can only be a good thing. Imagine how much easier every work situation would be if you’re able to drive!

The longer you leave it, the less likely you are to learn how to drive. So start early and get comfortable with driving now, you won’t regret it and you’ll have heaps of fun along the way! 

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