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How To Support Someone with Fertility Problems

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Becoming a mother to our beautiful baby was not the easiest journey, actually it was probably one of the toughest things that me and my husband have ever been through. Many women don't want to talk about their feelings of pain, frustration and shame that comes with fertility. I think throughout society, there is a kind of stigma that to be a real woman you should be fertile and have babies. If anyone needs extra help, we are somehow less perfect or less of a person. But as a woman who has had fertility problems we just cannot beat ourselves up about it. There are so many people who are affected by fertility problems or miscarriage and with that there still seems to be a stigma, shame or those affected are consumed by an enormous cloud of guilt followed by silence. We shouldn't feel as if we cannot talk about it. We should talk about it!


This year marks a big milestone in our second fertility journey and its something that we have kept close to our hearts. After the birth of our daughter we started to tell people and the whole world through this blog about our fertility problems, along the way felt some kind of comfort knowing that it can happen to anyone. Being a parent was one of the most amazing experiences you could ever have, and last year we made the decision to start trying for a baby. Unfortunately we are in a similar position we were five years ago. I honestly thought that I wouldn't have any problems when it comes to conceiving another baby. After all, I have already prepared my body for pregnancy and we pretty much know how it all works so it should be a walk in the park right? But fertility can affect anyone. 

The last year we have been through a lot of heartache. We have had one negative test after another Some months I would be more than two weeks late and showed signs of being pregnant, but just as there is hope we find ourselves heartbroken. But one month we had a glimmer of hope with our first positive pregnancy test, we were so excited. After more than a year of heartbreak we finally had a positive. Our joy and happiness wasn't meant to be which made the heartbreak for us to be that much harder. I think that's why its so important for us to share our fertility story. We shouldn't be made to feel as if we can't share our woes, or struggles.

Since I shared my first post about my fertility struggles I have been contacted hundreds of time by some amazing people who said they found what I was saying honest and inspiring. I started this blog in the hopes to uplift and inspire as many as people as possible through my writing, it's incredible to get such a positive response from one of the darkest times in my life. There are so many of you out there who gets it. Some of you understand the pressure, the emotions, and those awful questions that you get asked all the time. You get it!

Bottom line, there are so many people who are seriously affected by fertility struggles and are completely consumed by feelings of guilt, shame or believe there are less of a person because of those struggles and don't feel they are able to talk. If we don't talk about our struggles it can break relationships and create a kind of isolation between family members. So that's why I have decided to write a post for those who want to show support and don't know how. By showing support, love and encouragement can do wonders to someones mind, body and their emotional well being, so please be kind, be supportive and have a great deal of compassion when faced with someone who cannot see the life they hoped for.

Try and put yourself in their shoes

During our fertility struggles there was nothing worse than hearing a pregnancy announcement or seeing those black and white scans appears on your social media. Now I don't want to sound as if we are not happy for those who have been blessed with new arrivals, but its hard. I actually remember my brother and his wife announcing their third pregnancy and my sister announcing her first. It hit me like a tonne of bricks. This goes without saying, I was happy that they were addition to their families, but a part of me hurt, and badly. My heart breaks for me, my heart breaks for my husband, and now it breaks for my daughter. Our daughter longs for a sibling to play with, someone to shares memories with. But with each and every negative test my heart shatters into pieces, and I begin to ask myself how much more heartbreak can we take?


So when you are announcing your delightful new, just think about people like us. If you find out your pregnant when you know your friend or a member of your family is struggling, take a minute to think about them. Maybe you could send a text or call them to let them know that you're thinking of them and it shows that you are completely aware of their current situation. You will not know how much this will mean to person going through fertility struggles. It shows that despite it all, you are showing them support, you're being kind and considerate. 

Show us you care.

If someone has announced a pregnancy in your friendship group, in your family or at work and you know someone ha been struggling. Send them a message, give them a call and tell them that if they want to talk about it that you are there. It really does help to know someone is thinking about you. You could offer a distraction. If you know someone has just had a miscarriage, or a fail cycles or another negative test instead of saying 'I'm here if you need anything?' be more practical, show them you care. Perhaps go for a coffee, organise a meal, invite them over, or a day away from it all. 

Be supportive in all their decisions and show kindness. 

Whether you know a friend, a member of your family or a colleague going through fertility struggles, be there for them and show your support. They may want to talk about the next steps or just want people to be understanding of their situation. People who are trying to conceive may do all kinds of thing to help improve their chances, and whether you agree with it or not, or don't believe it will work try to be encouraging and supportive. So for example if a couple who are trying to conceive try to change their diet or their lifestyle to improve their chances, support their choices. If they are not drinking or cutting our sugar or coffee in their diet be kind and support them.


Allow them to talk about infertility in their own time, and then just listen.

You honestly don't have to anything other than listen. Without sounding awful unless you have experiences infertility yourself, don't offer advice because it can come across a little insensitive. My husband and I confided in some friends about our situation and we were immediately met with 'Oh you're trying too hard', 'Just relax, it will happen' these are not what we need to hear right now. Just listen to us, and allow us to be sad and angry at how unfair life is at the moment. Even though most of comments and advice like these angers us, they mostly make us feel ashamed. I was ashamed that my husband and I couldn't do what our bodies were basically designed to do. Because these people never experienced infertility on a personal level, the comments came off as insensitive.

Whatever you do, consider that there are things that you should not say to someone who is struggling with conceiving. 

Don’t ever say that it’ll happen eventually, or just don't think about it. Because you don't know that it will, and it might not. It's better to offer reassurance and tell us that you love us and that you will always be there with the support when needed, no matter what.  I remember as soon as my husband and I were married we were bombarded with baby questions, even on our wedding day. We had spend so long organising one of the happiest days of our lives but then to be bombarded with baby questions wasn't ideal, we should have been completely honest. I'm not entirely sure how it has become acceptable to ask such questions, not every one knows your story.  Try not to offer advice, or tell them about people you know have had success or make any assumptions you know what they are going through. If you have never struggle with infertility then you don't understand. 

Never tell a couple that they just need to relax. Yes, our infertility is something that crosses our mind daily but by you saying that all we need to do is relax is far from being helpful. A couple does not usually start out stressing about their fertility, so implying that they are causing it with their anxiety will likely make them feel worse. That's not to say that relaxing may help improve her quality of life, constantly reminding those with struggles that they just need to relax will not help them get pregnant. 

If you know someone who is struggling to conceive, consider how you could walk alongside this person. What would this friend or member need? Maybe it's time and space to process, maybe it's a listening ear, or maybe it's a funny cat video on a depressing day. Reaching out to someone who is walking the lonely road of infertility might take some effort and education on your part, but I'm learning that the most meaningful relationships are the ones that require us to work hard.

6 Ways To Fall In Love With Your Home A Second Time

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Moving into a new house is an exciting time when everything seems fresh and new, and you appreciate how it is better than where you moved from. After a while though, the sheen tends to fade a little, which is perfectly natural. It just needs you to reinvigorate things and really make good use of what you have, to get that fresh and excited feel back again.



1. Revitalising Your Home 

Many homeowners, after a few years into living in a house, often start to feel a little bored or unhappy with some aspects of where they live. It doesn’t mean that you have to start scouring the property pages looking for somewhere new, or that you have to spend a fortune reshaping what you have. In fact, with a little thought and planning, you can readdress how you set everything up in the first place and attack those parts that aren’t perfect.

2. Getting Started 

A simple issue that affects households everywhere is the amount of bits and pieces of general clutter that we tend to accumulate over a period of time. Sometimes the spare room becomes a no-go zone because of it. You can free up significant amounts of space by taking the time to go through it, throw out the rubbish and properly organise what is left, providing you a much more ordered environment to live in.

3. The Spring Clean

Some of us are very good at keeping the house clean and tidy, while others are not. Regardless, every house could use a good spruce up from time to time. Have the curtains and the carpets cleaned, go through the kitchen and clean the fridge, the oven, shake out the crumbs from the toaster and get everything looking immaculate. It might not sound like much, but when you walk into a clean fresh smelling home, with everything bright and shiny, you will quickly appreciate how much nicer it is to live in.




4. Rearrange Things 

With many homes the furniture is still sitting where it was placed when you first moved in, as it probably seemed sensible at the time. It might all feel a bit stagnant now though, so experimenting with the arrangement can bring a fresher feel. Some items may work better in a different room or part of the house and even if you need a few tries before you get it right, it will break the routine and monotony of how things were.

5. Address The Scent

Our feeling of wellbeing and quality of life are linked to the smell and fragrances around us. Some homes can become a little stale over time, so some scented candles or other fresh smelling things can make a room more relaxing.

6. Play With The Space

Just because your house has the layout it had when built doesn’t mean that that is necessarily how it has to stay. Bathroom makeovers, loft conversions Richmond professionals offer, or knocking the dining and living areas into one open plan area across the country, there are numerous ways to make things different and more functional. After all, when you have lived in a house for a few years, who else knows better what little things just aren’t quite right, and that which “if we did that” can bring both satisfaction in resolving an issue, and happiness in the newer, better home.



Many houses have a minor maintenance problem or two, like a dripping tap, squeaky hinge or the like, many of which are seen as too small an issue to worry about. Make a list and fix them all. What is insignificant for one person can be very annoying for another, so when all the problems are solved, everybody is going to be much happier. Every home has its unique problems, each one of which solved leads to a better life. You just have to get started.

Blueberry Oat Cookies

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How good do these Blueberry oat cookies look? Oh you really have to try some of these. They are so simple and easy to make and you only need a few ingredients that you probably already have in your cupboards. I cannot tell you how good these cookies are though, I mean what's not to like about these blueberry oat cookies? 


As you know at the start of the year I made some promises to myself and one of these was to try and shed some weight and so far I have been doing so well with an impressive loss of two and a half stones so far. Even though its not been easy I felt so determined to stick to the plan and I can see the benefits of being strict. One of the hardest parts of my new lifestyle was ditching the sweet treats. Sometimes you just need a proper cookie, and for less than your daily syns you actually can make and enjoy homemade cookies. I know there are various recipes out there but I wanted to share this recipe with you because not only do they taste amazing, but they are pretty healthy too. 


The whole recipe makes around six to eight cookies depending on how big you want them, this particular portion can be used as part of your heB or they work out to be around 1.5 syn if not using as part of your heB. It does have a small syn value because once you cook, blend or puree fruit it is no longer syn free. These are still a great way to give yourself a sweet treat, but ensuring you stay on plan. So if you are making just for you and you want to stop any temptation to eat any more than the allowance, place them in a freezer. When you want to treat yourself, all you have to do is preheat your oven to 180℃ or gas mark 4 and place them on a tray and back in the oven for a bit, don't leave them in the oven too long before munching.


These blueberry oat cookies go great with some fruit and yoghurt for breakfast or a sweet treat on a Sunday afternoon, but my favourite way to eat these are with a nice strong cup of tea. It just doesn’t seem right to make a cup of tea without a cookie or biscuit to go with it.

To make these blueberry oat cookies you'll need:

40g of oats 
2 eggs 
1 tbsp of sweetener
1 tsp of vanilla essence 
40g of blueberries (1 syn) 
lemon zest 
spray oil 


1. Preheat oven to 180℃ and line a baking tray with parchment. 

2. Add the oats to a mixing bowl, add the eggs, stir in the sweetener and vanilla essence. Fold in the lemon zest and blueberries. 

3. Measure out a tablespoon of the oat mixture and place on baking tray, ensure that you space them out evenly. 

4. Bake in the oven for approx 10-15 mins until golden brown. 

Enjoy!!!! You can adapt this recipe to your liking, however just remember that whatever you add into them could have a syn value. We have made some Apple & Cinnamon, Chocolate & Halzenuts, and also Strawberries & White Chocolate, which are sooo good.

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My Favourite Creative Blogging Resources

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Being a blogger is really a dream come true for me, when I first started my blog there was no way that I ever thought it would be possible to earn a penny, let alone become a self employed. I have been a blogger for the best part of two years and you could say in that time I have learned many lessons along the way. With this I have used many resources and now I can confidently share what has been great with branding my blog and what has not. By finding the right resources as a blogger and business owner can make all the difference with productivity, efficiency and and enjoyment. The resources and equipment I had when I first started is nothing compared to what I have now. Over time, I began to realise the importance of creating a workplace and to understand that to make money, I needed to spend a little money to help my brand grow. Now, I have some favourite creative blogging resources that have helped me become proactive, plan and make my work fun. Just before we get into this post I thought that I would say that I am in no way an expert when it comes to blogging, however what I can say I know what has worked for and so I thought I'd share my favourite creative blogging resources today. 


If you are planning on starting your own blog or you are already a blogger and you are looking for the best piece of equipment to do your job then a laptop is a must have, as without one would make your job pretty difficult. As always a computer will always do the trick, but then if you are travelling a bit and you attend conferences or blogger events then a laptop would be the better choice. Bloggers generally write posts, edit photos, schedule social media posts and require internet connection at all times. A laptop is a must have. But don't feel you have to part with some serious cash to get the top line brand, there are so many fantastic deals around so you make sure you keep your eyes peeled for a good deal.

A Smartphone

With the start of any business, being successful isn't something that will happen overnight. It takes hard work, dedication and a whole lot of patience. I have been a self employed blogger for the good part of two years and you could say in that time I have learned many lessons along the way in my journey of self discovery. But one thing that I know ever since becoming self employed is that my smartphone has becomes a crucial part of my business, I would find it very difficult to be a successful blogger without one. A smartphone to a blogger can mean everything. However, I'm not saying you need to go out and get the latest all singing and dancing smartphone, as there is not need. As a blogger, you tend to use your phone a lot but there’s no point paying for something you don’t need.


As a business I need my phone for photography, social media, sending emails and writing content for my blog, so I need a pretty big chunk of data because I'm always on the go. But I cannot simply budget for a high monthly tariff each month. So I have been looking for ways that I can get the most for my business without it costing me a fortune each month. A data only SIM. It's the perfect way for getting internet for my phone or tablet with an included data allowance per month, but no minutes and texts. I have seen that a few bloggers I know opt for these types of SIMS as you can keep your existing phone that they may already love. However, data only SIM are generally have a cheaper monthly tariff meaning that they are way more affordable and offer better savings because they don't include the price of the phone. Nothing else gives you more options really when it comes to business connectivity, as you can be flexible on contract terms, data capacity, devices and network. This may seem a really great option for bloggers who needs a phone for most of their work but cannot necessarily afford a monthly contract and broadband.


By choosing a data only SIM means you stay in charge of how much you pay and how long you pay it for, with its flexibility you are able to choose something that can suit all budgets and lifestyles. A data SIM only plan can be the best choice for a business during the beginning stages of branding. 

THE FRAMEWORK FOR MY BLOG 

The Platform

The blogging platform that you use is something that is a total personal preference, for years I used Blogger because it was free and it does everything I need it to, many choose to start on WordPress as the possibilities are endless. Perhaps one day I will make the migration over to a WordPress site, but for now I am pretty happy with my Blogger blog. There are so many people who have gone onto to become very successful entrepreneurs because of their blog and this has nothing to do with the platform that they use. I would suggest you buy your own domain.. It was pretty simple to set up with GoDaddy and it doesn't cost the earth. There are always some form of promotion with these hosting sites, I got a great deal of 99p for two years and this will go up to £7 after. Not a big expense.


The Layout

For the first year or so of blogging my layout was very basic, now I am talking two colours and a few social media icons and that's it! For me, half the fun of creating a blog was getting to build myself a layout because it gave me the chance to learn more about HTML which I think is hard but very interesting. As soon as the promotions and sponsorship started to come our way, I knew that I needed to get a more responsive layout so my readers could easily navigate around the website because it had a clean and simple look. It took me a long time to decide but I found one of the most amazing programmers on Etsy, I got my layout just over a year ago and I haven't had any problems. I have had a few queries about certain things with my template that the programmer was more than happy to amend for me, he would also go above and beyond. But what makes it even better is that his themes are so cheap, and look great. Originally my theme cost me around £8, so don't forget to check out Vefio Themes

THE ESSENTIAL BLOGGING TOOLS

Image and Graphic Design

Now most photographers and bloggers use Photoshop but I discovered the wonderful world of Lightroom quite recently and I am obsessed with it. I really love the fact that you can buy presets to make your editing process so much easier. This is the tool of choice for editing my photos now, it's perfect for straightening photos as well as cropping them. However, my editing process doesn't just stop with Lightroom. I also use Snapseed, the best FREE app. This is definitely great for those photos that need a little healing or tuning. But if you're looking for an app to help up your editing game, then this is the one for you. A color story is great for creating a theme within the gram. There are so many different filters, presets that you can choose to help you create a theme, especially on the grid. It's one worth checking out.


When it comes to getting your hands on stock photos there are so many resources out there, it's pretty saturated. Pexels and Unsplash are my go-to for pretty much everything. The variety is a bit more than average, and it’s 100% free. However, there are also some amazing stock shops that you can find over on the creative market that has all kinds of things you can download. Not only do they provide you with so many choices when it comes to stock photos, but you can also get clipart, fonts and patterns. They’re an awesome resource for designers and bloggers. I don’t know what I would do without Creative Market. 

Canva is by FAR the most used graphic design and image tool for bloggers, and I have to admit I love Canva. It has fantastic features, the only thing that I get annoyed at the paid images but this is the best place to create graphic when it comes to social media promotion, especially with Pinterest. I’m only using the free version of Canva right now but I’m seriously considering if I want to pay for them both or weight out what I use them each for and which ones deserves my money and which one I can do what I want with the free plan. 

Social Media Management & Automation

If you're anything like me, being organised is like a way of life. There is nothing that keeps me focused than being organised and so this should be something that you do with your blog. We all have lives beyond our love of the wonderful world of blogging and so it makes sense to spend out on making our life easier, and by that I mean a scheduling tool. This is something that you can either do for free with apps like Buffer and Hootsuite that offer in app purchases at later dates, to go pro! As a starting point these are great but soon scheduling posts on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest become the bane of your life and so looking to spend some money on social media management scheduler is going to be so helpful and save you a tonne of time. Social oomph, has changed my scheduling game. I'll still use buffer when I need to, but I know that by paying $3 a month social oomph has got me covered just in case I forget. 


Pinterest user? Tailwind is essentially the ONLY tool you need. Its a complete game changer. With Tailwind I can schedule pins that go to my boards at optimized times when your followers will see it and I have been loving the Tribes feature which can help your stuff get out to new people. Tailwind is something that I am just getting to grips with, but so far it's been amazing to help me grow my business. 

Content & Writing

For me inspiration always comes when I'm on the go or in the shower of all places, but still you have to note down the inspiration when it comes. I honestly don't know I would even go about my life as a blogger without Evernote. For those who don't know, really need to get in the know with this note taking blogging tool for desktop and mobile. Evernote makes it REALLY easy for me to be organised with my blog. It syncs up easily to my phone and I love that I can work between the two when I’m not on my computer. 


We all know headlines are important, yes? With blog posts you need to understand that the title can either make or break the content. So having the right tools and resources to get as much as you can from a title can be a complete game changer. CoSchedule’s headline analyser breaks down your headline, segmenting different types of words, and giving you hints on how to improve it. It gives you a score each time so you can try various combinations and pick the winner. It really is amazing for creating clickable headlines. For style and grammar I honestly swear by the Hemingway Editor or Grammarly for crafting short and compelling language. This software was literally created to be a super fun way to potentially make your writing a lot more crisp, clear and bold.

So that's it all of my favourite creative blogging resources, it's a pretty big list isn't it? As a blogger my success would be very difficult without these creative blogging resources, these are something that I use daily in order to smash being my own boss. What blogging tools have been super important for you? Please do share all your essential blogging tools. 

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How To Make a Rose Petal Bath

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A symbol of romance, the classic rose is one flower that graces our gardens in an array of different types and colours. But, these beautiful blooms are far more useful that just looking pretty in the garden or in a vase. It's time to stop throwing fading flowers away once they begin to wilt. There are many clever ways to use rose petals to improve your health and add beauty to the world around you. Many women have been using rose petals for centuries to help soothe their mind and body. This iconic flower specifically does beauty wonders on the skin.


Rosewater soothes irritated skin, brightens your complexion and tightens pores for a smooth appearance. And the petals give off a natural calming scent and a rose petal bath can completely change your mood due to its amazing qualities. My daughter had a particularly hard day at school and there was only one thing for it, a princess bath. I decided to run her a warm rose petal bath as I know that rose petals have amazing qualities for the mind and the body. Not only that rose petals sprinkled in the bath just feel so luxurious, and made my daughter day so much better. So why not treat yourself to an indulgent rose petal bath. 

To make a rose petal bath you need to do the following:

Run a warm bath. It's important to remember not to run a bath that's too hot in temperature as it isn't great for your skin and actually dehydrates the skin. 

Pluck some beautiful petals from a pretty bouquet of roses. I really do hate when flowers go to waste so when it comes to making a rose petal bath we use rose petals that are beginning to wilt. However, if you prefer to pluck newer petals that's alright too the properties are the same. It is also best to use organic roses opposed to ones you can get in the supermarket to avoid pesticide that may irritate your skin. However, if you do simply run the petals under a cold tap before adding them to your bath. 

When then tub is halfway full, drop the petals under the running water allowing the stream of water to disperse them in your bath, while infusing the bath with the soothing properties of the rose petals. Now if you wanted to add to the indulgence you could add some coconut milk which can make your skin feel softer and smoother because fats in the milk cling to the skin. You may even notice a silky, but not oily, feeling over your skin. Bathing in milk and rose petals can also give light, gentle exfoliation.

Once you feel more relaxed and your skin feels quenched then it's time to get get out of the bath. Pat dry your skin to ensure that you retain some of the moisture from the rose petal bath, then apply a moisturiser. 

A rose petal bath can really help perk up your skin and soothe your mind with its subtle scents. However, the benefits don't have to stop at a rose petal bath there are so many ways that you can introduce roses into your beauty routine. So many are embracing rose as an ingredient, simply because of their amazing qualities. Rose petals are amazing source of vitamin C, so rose petals can be a fantastic way to make a natural sun cream. You can make a lotion by mixing cucumber juice, glycerin and rose water and apply it on your skin before heading out in the sun. Add rose petals to filter spring water for a natural toner or makeup remover. The anti-bacterial properties found in rose makes it amazing for fighting acne and breakouts. Rose water can also help soothe irritated skin and reduce its redness. So now that you know that rose petals are much more than just a way to show your love to a loved one, go and have a pamper night and indulge in a rose petal bath. 

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