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In a World Where You Can Be Anything, Be Kind.

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I'm sure that you have seen the incredibly sad news that has been circulating within the media over the last couple of days, it's been heartbreaking to read. As a modern society we have some many opportunities to show kindness and be supportive. Yet here we are. I didn't know much about Caroline Flack, but one thing I know for certain is that the British tabloids are toxic. I'm disgusted and appalled at the media and their treatment of this woman. Whatever the situation and whatever the outcome would have been, a woman took her own life.


In a forward thinking society it seems as if it's completely acceptable and a public right to tear someone down, to humiliate and attack them in the media because of the life they choose. It's not acceptable, it's not ok and it's certainly not our public right. There are people that think attacking others on social media somehow makes them powerful. That bombarding people with derogatory comments, spiteful insults, or inconsiderate memes is harmless. 

Being in the public eye does not mean you are immune to feelings or suffering. At the end of the day are all human. We casually destroy people with our judgement, criticism and thoughtless but vicious words. Social media has awakened something awful that seems to growing with hatred each day. Our words have consequences. So please before you write any words, just think for a moment before publishing. We are all just trying to get by and we need to be far more understanding rather than prejudging a situation that most of us probably wouldn't understand. 

That same media that tore her apart professionally and personally are the same as those now writing the articles of her passing. It's appalling. How many more wake up calls does it take for the world of the media to realise what they are doing is wrong. What ever the situation was or whatever the outcome would have been, a woman took her own life. Whether she was guilty or not. The media already made their decision. They ruined her life, to the point where she felt she has no one and no other option but to take her own life.


As a blogger, I have experienced hateful comments about me, my content and my life choices. I have had comments published about me that have really affected my mental health. But thankfully for me I was surrounded by great friends and supportive family that were there for me. It's so heartbreaking that Caroline had no one to reach out to, or those that she did, thought she was burden. No one should ever feel that taking their own life is the only option they have. 

So much more can be done to prevent this from happening again. Ultimately there should definitely be stricter laws around safeguarding those people in the public eye. To protect their mental health and their human rights are ensure that they are being respected. Changes need to be made for those people taking their own lives because of the media twisting their stories. Just because someone is famous doesn't mean that they should be treated any different than any other normal person. But laws alone aren't going to be enough, we have to make changes too. Our 'cancel culture' is appalling and brutal. Before we write things about others we really need to take the time to sit and think about the consequences of our words. Words are harmful, word can destroy someone. So in a world where we can be anything, always, always be kind. 

*In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org or jo@samaritans.ie. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org.*

Soft Pink Glam Makeup

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With Valentines just around the corner, now is the perfect time to think about date night. Once you have children, those days of impulsive date nights that are stretch late into the wee hours of the next morning are long gone. Our date nights normally consist of ordering a takeaway, or eating our way through a box of chocolates whilst binging on Netflix. However this year we have decided to step it up a notch and actually go on a date, as parents these are very rare


So with the fact there is a date on the cards, trying to figure out the perfect hairstyle and makeup is essential. On on hand, I don't want to look like I have spent hours on end prepping every curl, every wave to perfection. But on the other hand I don't want to look like I have just rolled out of bed looking like I've not seen a brush or set of tweezers in years. So I thought that today I would share an easy Valentine's makeup look with you. Whatever your usual style, whether you want to shake it up completely, or wish to remain true to your roots, a simple and easy look for Valentine's that's created in next to no time means you can spend more time ordering the Strawberry Daiquiris. Am I right?

The Base.

The Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base is a great place to start a primer and moisturiser all rolled into one. A rich and creamy formula that never leaves my skin feeling greasy once applied. It is the perfect way to prep my skin for flawless makeup. For a good coverage Revlon Colorstay Foundation is a great dupe for Estee Lauder Doublewear foundation, for less than half the price. Revlon Colorstay has been designed for us combination and oily girls, finally! It's always so hard to get a foundation that is a great all rounder that has lasting power. To brighten my eyes and hides those tired mama dark circles I like to use Veil Illuminating Complexion Fix for illuminating and soothing my circles but it also hydrates and leaves my skin feeling brighter. Then I like to finish my base with a setting powder BareSkin Perfection Veil Powder in light for my pale complexion which is so easy to apply and give me a gorgeous matte finish. 

Define with Colour. 

Defining with colour is always my favourite part with my makeup routine as it can enhance my complexion and skin tone. One of my favourite ways is with a contour palette. Now I am no contour queen by any means but I love how a contoured face can define your best features, creating the appearance of high cheekbones and a slimmer nose and chin. This Revolution Ultra Sculpt & Contour Kit in Ultra Fair is a great little trio for a contour or a little bronze. For those with a pale complexion the bronzer in this set is light enough and super pigmented adding warmth to my face. The blush in this set is great for everyday wear but seeing as it's a special occasion I cannot simply go out without my favourite blush. The limited edition of this Karl Lagerfeld + ModelCo Baked Blush in Rose Pink. is a gorgeous pigmented pink and perfect for my skin tone. For date night we need to add more glow and I love the Memi Powder Radiance Highlighter in Lemon Drops because the glow is insane with iridescent pearl pigments and light reflecting particles leaving an instant luminous glow with a warm tone. Then I like to gently swipe this Laura Gellar Illumitating Stick in Ballerina on top on my cheeks for an enhanced glow, it's very creamy and goes on nicely without being too thick. Just a little goes a long way.


Soft and Pretty Eyes

In the mood for a soft and pretty beauty look? Look no further than pink eye makeup. Pink eyeshadow will provide a playful yet sophisticated vibe that won’t go unnoticed. Revolution Reloaded Fundamental Palette. 15 shade eye shadow palettes that are bound to pack a punch at an affordable price. Warm burnt shades for lovers of orange, pinks and neutrals, in a variety of matte and shimmer shades. I cannot believe the price of this palette and the fact that you can create so many different looks all from one palette really amazes me. And if you want to pull out all the stops adding this effortless crème eyeshadow with Show Glow Glitter Fix Stick in Flickering Pink which is absolutely gorgeous. There is nothing more feminine than a stunning cat eye! This look works to enhance the shape of your gorgeous peepers while serving up some serious sass for an unforgettable look my favourite is Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner it’s smudge free and the skinny felt tip end helps make my winged eyeliner work like a dream. One of the easiest ways to upgrade your makeup is to focus on your lashes and for voluminous lashes to add an extra glam Maybelline Lash Sensational can do wonders for lashes.


Beautiful Brows.

I really love using Soap & Glory Archery™ Brow Tint and Precision Pencil in Brownie Points to get precise brows as you can use the pen to outline and the pencil to fill in. This colour is perfect colour for me. Personally I really love the pen side as it delivered natural brows in secondsI am able to fill in my sparse eyebrows and build them up gradually so they appear natural. I love using L'Oréal Paris Brow Artist Genius Kit as it has a tinted wax, setting powder, a mini pair of tweezers and a double ended brush.

Kissable Lips

A lipstick is an essential for date night, most stick with traditional with a red lippy as the rich hues give your pout a sultry and sexy look. But when it comes to lips I prefer a subtle shade like this Ted Baker Lipstick in Nude or Huda Beauty Liquid Matte Lipstick in Girlfriend. The lightweight formula glides on a thin coat of color that intensifies as it sets to a matte, transfer-free finish with amazing staying power. This shade 'Girlfriend' is the prettiest nude I've yet to find and it doesn't wash me out at all, so for all you ladies looking for that perfect, subtle nude shade, go and try it out.

What do you think of my soft and pretty look for date night? Have you tried any of the products that I've included in the look?

BIRCHBOX - February 2020: From Birchbox with Love

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It's Birchbox timmmmme! As I'm sure you can imagine the theme of this month's box is all about L O V E so you're in for a little treat. From Birchbox with Love beauty box is all about indulging in a little self-love and what better way to do that with this box full of pamper treats. Every Birchbox subscriber with get one of these gorgeous Beautaniq Beauty Bloom Blush in either Pink Freesia or Darling Dahlia. There is also a rose-scented version of Spacemask and a Vitmasque Plumping and Repairing Lip Mask. All are great for a little prep for date night!


If you're new to Birchbox they are one of the main leaders in the beauty box subscription game. Each month you will receive five deluxe samples and travel sized samples and these will be with makeup, skin care, body care or hair care. It's a great way to discover new products that you wouldn't normally come across if it wasn't for this little beauty subscription. So without further ado let's take a closer look. 


Beautaniq Beauty. Bloom Blush in Pink Freesia. RRP | £9

This gorgeous blush was the first thing that caught my eye, how pretty is this pink packaging and I love the rose stamped onto the blush. Every Birchbox subscriber with get one of these gorgeous bloom blushes in either Pink Freesia or Darling Dahlia. Being a girl who loves pinks and peach blushes the Pink Freesia was the only choice for me and I love the colour it gives my cheeks. The blush is a subtle, sheer lightweight powder that creates a lovely natural luminous finish. You can build this blush for a better coverage, I know that this is going to be a great blush to use in the summer with the peach and coral tones. The only thing I didn't like was the fact that the screw lid, it would have been better to use a flip lid but that's just my preference. 


Lord & Berry. 20100 Maximatte Lip Crayon in Soul. RRP | £14 

Since being a Birchbox subscriber I have had quite a few products from Lord & Berry and they've been pretty good. I have had a strobing highlighter pencil and a blush crayon so I have high hopes for this lip crayon. It really didn't disappoint. Amazing, moisturising & pigment is fab! This is a lip liners and a lipstick rolled into one with a brilliant matte colour that glides onto the lips so easily and stays put. I loved the colour and size of this pencil and love that it can be used as a liner or to fill your lips as a complete colour. The colour was lovely and really complementary on my fair skin. My daughter loved playing with crayon too, no matter how hard I try she likes to see what comes each month too. 

Vitamasques. Lip Mask: Plump & Repair. RRP | £5

A lip mask is not something that I have ever used before, so I was very excited to see this pretty mask in the box this month. The packaging is pink with metallic lips all over which is very fitting with the theme of the box. This mask has been infused with hyaluronic acid, collagen boosters and mulberry extract which help improve elasticity, adds moisture, repairs and soothes dry skin. It also suppose to subtly plumps the lips for soft lips in a matter of second, perfect prep for Valentine's Day!

Anatomicals. Great British Flake Off Strawberry Body Scrub. RRP | £2

Even though I have to be careful what I use on my skin  during the winter month as it gets pretty dry, this one was fantastic for moisturising my skin, and the strawberry scent reminding me of summer. Actually, this scrub also reminded me of doll makeup you use to get as a kid. You simply massage over damp skin, give yourself a good scrub and then rinse off. The formula contains sweet almond oil and glycerin to deeply hydrate and smooth, plus apricot seed powder to buff and exfoliate. It left me feeling refreshed in the mornings and my skin felt moisturised and really smooth.


Amika. RESET Exfoliating Jelly Shampoo. RRP | £20

I have used a couple of Amika products before they seem to do the job, but they are products that I would go out and buy again. A scalp scrub is my salvation to help deep clean my hair to remove impurities and product build up and this one is easy to apply straight into your roots, and it works wonders. This jelly shampoo uses charcoal, pink clay and sea salt to deep clean, purify, rebalance, and soothe the scalp. My hair is thick and long, so I did use the entire tube but this is one that I would definately repurchase as my head felt super clean and very refreshed. 

Spacemasks. Rose Mask. RRP | £4

With Valentine's just around the corner what better way to prep for date night than with a little pamper session? Well, this year I am all about taking time out for me and I love this little mask of wonders. I have used a Spacemask before and it was AMAZING and was great way to relax and drift off into a slumber. However, this one is infused with nourishing rose to help start off sleep time in the best way. I didn't not want to take this mask off.


In a nutshell, this is a pretty great box and is the best way to indulge in a little me time or for a little prep before a big Valentine's date! I'm kinda glad to see that Birchbox have upped their game with their boxes as last year they seemed to be a lot of hair products in the boxes and I love a variety of products. 

So what did you think? Are you a Birchbox fan? If not, you should at least try a couple of boxes. A monthly Birchbox subscription, with no long-term commitment, costs just £10 (+ £2.95 P&P) per month. 

Don't forget to check out our previous Birchbox boxes...

Soft Textured Mermaid Waves

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Being a mama who works from home, time is something that is considered a bit of luxury. My day to day consists of school runs, errands, keeping on top of everything in the home as well as trying to create a business for myself. As you can imagine there are some things that are not on top of my list of priorities like spending hours on my hair and makeup. I'm always looking for simple and easy ways to be creative with my hair, that takes no time at all. Pretty sure most of us want that? 



Personally, when all else fails, loose waves is always the way to go. There's nothing quite like giving your hair an effortlessly polished vibe quite like undone waves. If your hair dries into natural waves, a quick spritz and you're good to go. However, for those who are not blessed with naturally wavy hair trying to achieve those perfectly loose waves can be a little daunting.

No matter your hair length, you can always achieve a full head of pretty waves for an ultra feminine hairstyle for any day of the week. Whether you’d love some loose waves or more compact waves with plenty of volume, there will be some heated hair stylers out there to give you the desired wave. I like to embrace my inner curly girl and enhance them with a Rainbow Shine Wand for those barely there waves or this Conical Curling Wand to achieve tighter waves.

But for this particular look I have decided to use a different type of waver to help channel my inner mermaid. This deep barrel waver gives me those dreamy tumbling pleats to my hair, ensuring an even, long lasting, frizz free finish. This waver features a 55mm wide ceramic crimping plates with Ionic technology, lockable handle with protective cover, variable temperature control and an approx. 30 second heat-up time. You can even choose between 2 types of waves, by pressing the rotating plate's release button. It was super cheap and gives amazing results, with a little practice.


Opting for a side parting will give me more volume to one side for a Hollywood feel when I need to up my wave game for dates or cocktails with the girls. This style will be great for those with stretched roots or balayage in your hair as it shows the depths of the tones in your hair. This hairstyle can be created for a seamless day to night look for a truly versatile hairstyle option. But if you didn't want to go full on Hollywood glam with the waves you give yourself a half up do, perfect for date night or even as a wedding guest because it's a style that lasts all day. 


Keeping those waves to stay can be a troublesome, so using styling products is absolutely necessary and I wanted to share a couple of products with you that keep those waves in place. Some of you may have heard of the brand Cake Beauty before, but it's a first for me and I'm super impressed. Over the last few weeks the only products that I have been using for styling my wavy hair are from Cake Beauty and let me tell you. Not word of a lie, but I'm totally obsessing over their products so far. I'm going to share a couple of my favourite styling products that I use to help create those waves so you can recreate the same look too



Cake Beauty The Wave Maker

In all honestly, if I had to choose one of my favourite products out of all the amazing products that cake have to offer. The Wave Maker would the the absolute dream especially if you love texturising products that actually work. I really like this particular spray because it doesn't leave my hair feeling damp, limp or crispy. It instantly give my hair the volume that it needs giving me effortless waves that stay. The sugar infused spray without drying sea salt is cruelty free and vegan and something that I love about beauty products. A little shake, scrunch and blow dry for a natural waves. Use a curling iron for more defined waves with a little finishing spray to give super light hold. This little wave maker is like a texturing spray and hairspray rolled into one, and keeps my hair in place for ages. It's a bit of a gem. 


Cake Beauty The Gloss Boss

This weightless wonder refreshes and refines your second-day locks and diminishes the appearance of damage. I'll be the first to admit I was a little dubious about using this product day, as I didn'y want to add more oil to my oily scalp. Blended with natural oils, this multitasker restores moisture, protects from heat tools and leaves your tresses so smooth with glorious shine. I like the fact that this one isn't heavy, or sticky, just pure glossy-bossy, without the harsh chemicals. This Gloss Boss has been one of the products that has taken me by surprise, and it certainly will become my go to on day two or three hair. 


Love is in the hair!!! Both of these products smell absolutely amazing, they both have a fresh sweet scent to them, but in no way that is sickly sweet or overpowering. The gloss boss oil spray is enriched with natural oils of coconut, avocado and macadamia whilst the texturising spray contains sugar, aloe, and orange peel oil. Both are the perfect combination adding texture without drying, leaving super smooth locks with an overall enhanced sheen. Cake Beauty are cruelty free and vegan friendly which I know many of you will love. Both of these are available directly from the Cake Beauty website itself or you can find them at your local boots for £9 each. 

Have you tried anything from this brand before?

A Valentine's Gift Guide

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As Valentine's Day is just around the corner, what better time to write a little gift guide for you. We don't typically exchange gifts for Valentine's Day, perhaps something small, if anything. I have a wide variety of options for you, including different price points so it can cater all budgets. Most people like to feel a little appreciated on the big day of LOVE so why not show them you care with some of our Valentine's Picks.


For The One Who Loves Beauty & Skincare...

Now it couldn't be a gift guide without some kind of mention of a makeup treat can it? As you know I am beauty girl who love great price and I say this time and time again in my post, you can never go wrong with Makeup Revolution. I think my favourite pick from all these amazing products has to be that beautiful colourful Makeup Revolution Reloaded Fundamental Palette. 15 shade eye shadow palettes that are bound to pack a punch at an affordable price. Warm burnt shades for lovers of orange, pinks and neutrals, in a variety of matte and shimmer shades. I cannot believe the price of this palette and the fact that you can create so many different looks all from one palette really amazes me.


How about a skincare treat? What better way to spoil a loved one and show them that you really care that with this African Extracts Rooiboos CLASSIC 3-Step Everyday Starter Kit. It's a great way to show them you care and a great way to help kick start a daily routine, or to use if your skin needs a little shake up! The CLASSIC selection that is suitable for all women of all ages with most skin types. As a combi girl, it can be pretty hard to get product that caters to both issues as I have dry cheeks and chin but an oily t-zone. African Extracts is a skin care range, with all the protective, soothing benefits of Bio-Active Rooibos, chamomile and Vitamin E to keep your skin looking and feeling beautiful. This gift set included a cleansing lotion, toner, and a day cream SPF15 which is a great way to kick start a new skincare routine.


I have seen a couple of fantastic deals online and out and about in town. Fragrance is always a winner. My favourites this year are Jimmy Choo Fever and Calvin Klein Obsessed for Women. They both smell incredible and are long lasting which can be hard to find sometimes. A fairly new discovery for me is Jimmy Choo Blossom which is a floral fragrance that opens with bright and sparkling top notes of red berries blended with a citrus cocktail. A delicate heart of sweet pea and rose complements rich and sensual base notes of white musk and sandalwood.


For The One Who Likes To Keep Things Simple...

Candles are always a winner in my book, however these are candles with a difference! A sweet geometric design bunny candle with a dark secret, light the wick on the Hoppa Pyro Pet candle and the outer wax layer will slowly melt away to reveal a sinister skeleton within! A bunny with a split personality. This Hoppa White candle is a lot bigger than you'd think but very lightweight, these Hoppas are available in a neutral white, black, soft peach, and coral so these little bunnies will go with most decors. However there are so many different colours and designs that you can choose to cater to different likes and taste just like the lovely Einar Unicorn Lilac or the Dýri Reindeer White.

The Sweeter, the Better...

Is there anything more simple than a gorgeous cup of sweetness? Whittard of Chelsea has this limited edition Rhubarb & Custard Flavour White Hot Chocolate and it's pretty good. Not everyone in this household likes it, but me? I really liked it. It reminds me vintage sweet shops. The sherbet-sweet flavours of rhubarb and creamy custard on a white chocolate base for a luscious pink treat, a perfect combination.


For The One Who Likes A Clean Cut...

Men are really hard to buy but a razor is always something that they need and they can never have too many. The Bluebeards Revenge offer a range of barber-grade shaving, beard grooming, skincare and hair styling products for all - they have quite an impressive range for those with troubled stubble, goatee to full on beard. This gift set included a Cutlass Double-Edge Safety Razor with the signature Bluebeards Revenge shaving cream to give them the ultimate shaving experience. The Bluebeards Revenge are proud to be in partnership with The Lions Barber Collective charity and have come together to help raise awareness and prevent male depression and suicide with their "Man Up and Talk" campaign. It's always great to see brands getting involved with charities.


For The One With a Little Style...

Now a gift that you can't go wrong with is an aftershave. You could head over to the closest fragrance shop and enjoy a spritz or two. My husband loves Paca Rabanne and Prada Luna Rossa Black but another aftershave he really wants to try is Calvin Klein Obsessed for him and it really does smell so good. As my husband is an engineer he is always in the mood to get his hands dirty, so this Letterman FREE P4 Multipurpose Pliers are the perfect gift for him. With 21 tools that are held closed by the magnetic architecture and open with a push of the thumb, it will keep his hands very busy. It's convenient, versatile utility, and by so vastly better than any other tool he has. 

For The One Who Likes to Indulge...

Would it even be Valentine's without a glass of bubbly? Nothing wins brownie points more than a beautifully presented bottle of fizz and chocolates, or truffles in this case. Abel & Cole has some of the most delicious gift ideas for loved one and this Prosecco & Truffle Set is the perfect way to say I LOVE YOU! A glass of bubbly and indulgent truffles just go together, don’t they? In this gift set there is a bottle of classic Prosecco Frizzante and extra-special handmade, organic champagne truffles to give that special someone. With a focus on organic, seasonal, wild food that’s extra special there is endless choice with Abel & Cole. They offer brilliant recipes with step by step instruction using the best ingredients in their recipe boxes, juice and smoothie boxes. In addition to organic wholefoods they have some many products for the home such as laundry, bathroom and kitchen essentials, toiletries and even pet food.


How about something a little different? Coole Swan Irish Cream Liqueur a unique blend of Irish Single Malt Whiskey, Fresh Irish Cream and White Belgian Chocolate. Yes please! This would be great gift idea if you're planning on making a romantic meal for two and you want to male a couple of cocktails like a Coole Daiquiri or a Pina Coolelada. Fresh vanilla cream combines with creamy chocolate and refined top-notes of rich cocoa and delicate hints of soft whisky to give your taste buds an experience you will never forget. 

Or how about this Chocolate Prosecco and Strawberries gift set? Made from the finest pure Belgian chocolate this punnet of strawberries and solid white chocolate celebratory bottle is the perfect gift for a love one. What makes this gift a little special is that is is beautifully packaged in a luxurious hamper box this delicious duo will make your loved one feel truly special. They really look too good to eat.


For The One Who Loves a Pud...

Light the scented candles, stick on love tunes on the stereo and cook up one of the romantic meal ideas that you have been thinking about. But for a romantic pud? Why not create your own? For those who are looking for something that is organic, vegan friendly or free from then Creative Nature who specialise in healthfoods are your only choice. Their ranges include healthy flapjack bars, superfood powders, green powders wholefoods and breakfast toppings. An impressive range. They even have baking mixes such a chocolate chip brownie. banana bread or muffin mixes. So get into that kitchen and be creative without too much hassle.


I really do hope that my gift guide inspires you, even a little. 

**We have been kindly gifted some of the products featured in this post, but as always my words and opinions are my own. Images are subject to copyright **

Meal Plan Monday: Week Three - Jan 20th

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It's time for meal plan Monday! Our first week of meal planning on the blog went really well and we are back for another week. It was such a busy and draining week for this household, but we somehow managed to stick to our meal plan until face planting into pizza on Saturday (it was our cheat day of the month). Last weeks menu was really good and went down pretty well with my husband and daughter. Our favourite dish was the Cheese and Onion Crispbakes and I think next time perhaps we will make them with an extra kick. 


So now that you know how our meal plan went last week, let me tell you all about our plans for this week. In addition to all these tasty recipe we will be trying to eat more fruit and veg during the day to make sure we hit our fruit and veggie targets. But let's get back to the meal plan. 

Monday:: Honey and Mustard Pork Loins, Herby Quinoa and Salad. 

Oh these honey and mustard pork loins are soooo blooming tasty and are so quick to make. Literally a tablespoon of honey, a teaspoon of wholegrain mustard and 100ml of stock. The sweet and spicy loins are great with salads, but this week we decided to pair our loins with herby quinoa too. As my daughter has signed up to Rainbows on a Monday night we need to create a calorie controlled quick and easy meal. 


Tuesday:: Bacon + Mushroom Crustless Quiche with Mini Potatoes and Salad. 

Ever need to use up eggs, then a crustless quiche is the way to go. When we first started our slimming world journey we would love to make and create a number of combinations with a crustless quiche. They actually have waaay more flavour than a shop bought version and it’s so quick and easy to make. It makes a great light meal when served on it’s own or served with your choice of carbs for a more substantial meal. A classic, mushroom and bacon is always the way to go, but you could really add any of your favourite vegetables. Why not try tomatoes, peppers or spinach?


Wednesday:: Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken & Tomato with Boiled Rice and Asparagus. 

Every week I like to include a slow cooker recipe in our meal plan, as sometimes you just want to bung a bunch of ingredients into a slow cooker and leave it all day. A comforting home cooked casserole perfect any night of the week and a family favourite. This recipe comes packed with lots of healthy vegetables like onions, carrots, tomatoes, and mushrooms, so I just like to serve this alongside some cooked long-grain rice, perfect for soaking up that amazing creamy sauce and sauteed some asparagus. Perfect mid week dinner. 

Thursday:: Chicken Chow Mein 

This chicken chow mein recipe combines soft noodles, chicken and stir-fry vegetables to create a tasty Chinese classic. This Chicken Chow Mein recipe is a slimming friendly treat for anyone counting calories or following plans. The Chicken Chow Mein is a quick and simple dish. Perfect after a busy day or just when you don’t fancy making anything too complicated. You’ll need a few basics for this recipe, like dark soy sauce, rice vinegar, oyster sauce and Chinese five spice. But it's super quick and easy recipe if you're pressed for time. 


Friday:: Pork Mince Hotpot with Broccoli and Peas. 

Nothing says comfort food more than a hotpot. Traditionally this dish is made with beef or lamb but to try and save on some calories we like to use 5% pork mince. This recipe is perfect if you’re following a calorie controlled diet, and fits well with any one of the major diet plans like slimming world. What I like this about this dish is that it is super filling and tastes so good. 

Saturday:: PIZZA PARTTTTYYYY.

Once a month, we like to indulged in a little takeaway and this month we decided to cheat one probably one of the worst things you can use for cheat day. PIZZA! I felt no guilt whatsoever.

What do you think of our meal plan this week? Have we inspired you to try out some of these recipes? I would recommend that you get the Pinch of Nom recipes books, especially the Everyday Light. It has been so great cooking up some of their recipes.

An Absolute MUST HAVE for a Better Night's Sleep

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Being able to sleep well at night is essential. We all know how difficult it can be to get a good night’s sleep when you have young children. The evening rest allows the body to regenerate and heal itself at a much faster rate. This is why you get that refreshed feeling when you wake up from a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately for me, the quality of my sleep is something that can always be improved. There are small tweaks and simple tips you can implement that can make all the difference. 

The Sleep Master Mimi

As someone who has anxiety getting to sleep and staying asleep isn't something that comes naturally. I have the best intentions when trying to get to sleep, avoiding caffeine, and staying off social media. However, as soon as my head hits the pillow it can be a struggle to drift into a deep sleep. I will lay there staring at the ceiling listening to my husband and daughter sleep, and my mind goes into overdrive with worry. I know that it's my anxiety that affecting my sleep however I have been trying a new relaxing routine in a bid to get a better night sleep. 

Cue the relaxation mode. The best way to kick start off an evening to get a better sleep is to draw a bath and drop a bath bomb into your tub. Enjoy a peaceful soak infused with soothing scents, you could even have a rose petal bath to make yourself feel extra special. After a bubble bath, wrap yourself in a comfortable robe, cleanse your face, moisturise and perhaps apply a face mask. There is nothing more appealing than going full on relaxation than with some fresh comfy pyjamas after a hot bath and a little beauty routine. Now that you smell and feel gorgeous it time to hit the sheets. Don't get distracted by the never ending scrolling through twitter or Facebook, make an effort to put your phone on charge out of reach, turn off those notifications and catch some zzzzs. 


This new relaxing routine wouldn't be complete without this MUST HAVE for a better night's sleep! Say hello to the Sleep Master® Sleep Mask. Now before we get into all the important details about the mask I feel that I need to be honest and tell you that a sleep mask isn't something that I use, if anything it's probably been years since I have used one. Most people see sleep masks as something that is a normally associated with as being really feminine and a kind of gimmick, or used on flights. However, in reality they are pretty useful as a sleep aid and something that we all should be using more. 

The Look and Feel.

Sleep Master® Sleep Mask arrived in minimal packaging and included some foam earplugs to give you the best sleep possible. It was quite lovely to see that there seemed to be more focus on the quality of the product than on the packaging that would normally go to waste anyway. The Sleep Master® Sleep Mask is a blue soft satin padded mask with a velcro fastening. It comes as one piece that is wide and wraps completely around your head, unlike most masks that have an elastic strap that is attached to the mask. A bonus for me was the velcro fastening as it wasn't something I had seen in a mask before, but when my unruly hair got stuck in the velcro is would really pull, so it wasn't ideal for relaxation mode. 

My Experience.

The Sleep Master® Sleep Mask made a difference to my sleeping pattern and I managed to get some sleep and managed to stay asleep. The mask blocked out all light and the sound was indeed muffled as the thick mask covered my ears too, but I did find it really odd to have something over my ears as I slept. It does need to be noted that even though the sound was muffled it wouldn't completely block out noises. 

When I tried to position the mask on my eyes it just felt as if it was a little loose and my hair would always get caught in the velcro. I found it so much easier to put the mask on my forehead, adjust the strap and then pull down to my eyes, it was so much better as the velcro wouldn't pull at my arm and the mask felt secure. It does a great job of blocking out light, and the adjustable strap has a reliable fastener to keep it in place on your face. I think there’s just enough on the strap to suit head sizes at both ends of the spectrum, though you might have that velcro strip on the end if you have a smaller head. Once on, the mask was surprising comfortable and I loved feeling the padded satin on my eyes, the v shaped opening for the nose also added to the comfort. The material was so soft and lightweight, I could barely feel it on my skin.

Sleep Master Mask Fastenings

As a contact lens wearer, the winter can be really harsh for my eyes. With the heating on full whack most of the time during the colder months can sometimes leave my eyes feeling sore and dry. But since wearing Sleep Master® Sleep Mask to bed, there has been a slight difference with my dry eyes. It's like the mask has helped create a barrier to help protect my eyes a little more.

The Sleep Master® Sleep Mask has really made a difference to my sleep and it was great for blocking out the light, the mask ensured that I went to sleep and stayed asleep. The only thing that I would say about the mask was that it didn't really deliver on muffling the sound, unless I put in the ear plugs too. Despite this, the mask is super soft very comfortable and has a fully adjustable fastening to suit all sizes. A great addition to my relaxation routine.




**We was kindly gifted our Sleep Master Mask, but as always my words and opinions are my own. Images are subject to copyright **

Meal Plan Monday: Week Two - Jan 13th

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Last year we decided to make some big changes to our lifestyle and some of these including shedding some pounds and making a conscious effort to eat healthier. A year down the line and I have managed to lose three stones and so we want to continue with our new lifestyle and shed two more stone this year. So far, it has been really great and we all have been enjoying the nutritious meals that are jam packed full of fruit, veggies and lots of goodness. 


I’m always sharing my meals over on my Instagram and because so many of you have been asking about those recipes I thought that it was time I shared my meal plan with you. Before last year, I had never planned a meal in my life (unless choosing a wedding breakfast counts) but I would always choose to free ball it than stick to any kind of plan! But it was then that I would get stuck in the day to day repeating of several recipes, over and over and I can find it really tedious and boring which is why I would always reach for the sweet treats.

Meal planning saves me so much time and we have also been saving between £10-£20 a week. Everyone should give meal planning a go just for that reason. But not only will you save yourself a few quid meal planning can really help change the way you eat and change your food buying habits. So I want to share our meals from Monday 13th Jan on wards. 

Monday:: Chipotle Turkey Meatballs with Spaghetti and Steamed Broccoli

Every week we love to buy a new herb or spice and last week it was Chipotle flakes and so we have been developing lots of tasty recipes that have a kick. These meatballs are a complete game changer for those who like a bit of spice and they are a simple meal to start your week, with a kick. The rich, flavourful sauce will make you think you have been cooking it for hours and hours. You will need to make your meatballs but that is probably the only work that you need to do, as the sauce is cooking away cook spaghetti and stream your broccoli. A rich meal cooked in less than 20 minutes and under 400 calories, what's not to love?

Tuesday :: Cheese & Onion Crispbakes, with sauteed vegetables and salad from Pinch of Nom Everyday Light

As a child along with both my brother and sister we loved those pancake crispbakes you could get. Can anyone remember those really cheesy ones? However, they were hardly great for those watching their calorie consumption and so we thought that we would add some slimming world friendly ones to our meal plan and they really didn't disappoint. These cheese and onion crispbakes are a great combination, paired with some creamy mash and crispy coating really makes the best comfort food. We decided to add some extra speed with sauteed veggies and salad, it was a very flavoursome and a filling meal. 


Wednesday :: Roasted Vegetables with Quinoa and Halloumi from Pinch of Nom Everyday Light

When we hear that word Halloumi, we get so happy. We love our cheese in this house, but being on slimming world you have to try and limit your intake. So saving our HEA for our evening meal was a must for you this delicious dish, and under 400 calories it's a must make dish. My husband isn't really keen on quinoa and as much as a I try to convince him that it's so good for you, he would never budge. That was until we dished it with Halloumi and veggies. This dish has really changed my husbands opinion on quinoa and it seems as if we shall be enjoyed the power food more in our healthy meals. 


Thursday :: Beef and Sweet Potato Stew

It has been so cold and what better way to warm you up than with a delicious slow cooked stew? That's why I love this time of year as it's so simple and easy to bung lots of veggies into a slow cooker and wait several hours. Zero effort meals are my kind of meals. This Beef and Sweet Potato Stew is so simple and easy to prepare and can be cooked in a slow cooker, on the hob or in the oven. It has been the best midweek meal.

Friday :: Southern Fried Burger in a Bowl, Paprika Chips and Salad. 

Who says a burger has to have bread? We are making an effort to try and limit our break intake during the week and swapping the bread out for something else as our HEB choice. This Southern Fried Burger in a bowl has juicy lean pork mince, with the southern fried sweet smokey taste and lots of fresh salad. If you’re starting out on a Slimming World plan or just want a lighter option one evening, then I recommend this being one of your first dishes. 

Saturday :: Ramen Bowls from Pinch of Nom Everyday Light. 

We have never ever tried a Ramen bowl before, I'm not entirely sure why it's taken us so long but we are full of regret. Noodles and soup are a match made in heaven and this delicious syn free chicken version is so good. This ramen noodle bowl is packed with loads of delicious fresh veg – bringing loads of different flavours and textures into the mix. For a vegetarian version, swap the chicken stock for vegetable, and if you want to go vegan simply use egg-free noodles and remove the boiled eggs.


What do you think of our meal plan this week? Have we inspired you to try out some of these recipes? I would recommend that you get the Pinch of Nom recipes books, especially the Everyday Light. It has been so great cooking up some of their recipes. 

White Chocolate & Blueberry Cookies

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As you may or may not know we have a little thing for blueberries, and so comes another delicious home baking recipe. These white chocolate and blueberry cookies are incredibly buttery, with a chewy centre and crispy edges. A perfect combination! There are super simple to make and can be great as part of a picnic spread, for when you have people over or as a treat that go perfectly with a cup of tea. 


What I love about this super simple recipe is that you are able to adapt it to your liking. We have tried chocolate chip and pecans, cinnamon, cranberry and white chocolate. You could try and create a combination yourself. With this cookie recipe you will never need another cookie recipe. Incredibly buttery, endless of flavour combinations and so simple and easy to make. But you'd better make a couple of batches because as soon as they are cooled the will fly off the cooling rack, they are too good to resist. 

To make these buttery white chocolate & blueberry cookies you will need:

260g plain flour
90g cornflour
1½ tsp of baking soda
250g granulated sugar
190g unsalted butter
1½ tsp milk
75g white chocolate chips
75g blueberries

1. Preheat the oven with 180℃/Gas Mark 4 and line two baking trays with baking paper.

2. In a bowl whisk together the flour, cornflour and baking soda until fully combined.

3. In a separate bowl, beat together the room temperature butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. 

4. Then fold in half of the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Add the milk and the remaining flour and mix until is starts to come together. Finally, add in the white chocolate chips and the blueberries and give the mixture another mix through creating a thicker consistency. 

5. Using a tablespoon scoop the dough onto the baking sheet into eight separate cookies ensuring that they are equally spaced apart. 

6. Bake for around 15 minutes turning the tray around until beautifully golden brown. Allow them to cool on the trays for a few minutes before using a spatula to help transfer them to a cooling rack. Enjoy. 

Getting Organised: How To Be More Productive at Home

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Throughout my life I have always been someone who loves to be organised, if anything being organised is one of my biggest qualities. To me, being organised comes so naturally. I have always believed that everything has its place and that there is a place for everything. Whether these are my clothes, the airing cupboard, fridge or books - everything has a certain place to live.


However, being organised isn't just about have a neat wardrobe or making sure that your veggies are put in a certain place, it's also about how we organise our life and work. Whether you're planning time to write blog posts, booking doctor appointments, or taking your children to after school clubs - being organised is incredibly important and can help increase productivity and efficiency. I cannot even begin to tell you about the importance of being organised when trying to accomplish your goals or intentions. 

Planning your week gives you time and space to figure out how you’re going to fit everything in. If you’re trying to make progress at work and in your personal life, planning your week will help you get there. But also you won’t feel like a headless chicken trying to do everything at the last minute.


Every blogger or content creator knows that you need to plan ahead when it comes to blog content, whether these are seasonal upcoming holidays, events you have coming up or just a way to keep productive. Planning is essential. Some people love plan their entire days, and some even by the hour, however I prefer planning this on a week by week basis. I find it's a better way to compare stats, page views and expenses. But here are so of my favourite ways to get organised and become productive.

Create a List... 

Every morning I begin with a new task list for the day ahead, and this gorgeous Sweet Sherbert Dreams Luxury List Pad is a great way to create those lists. The perforated cover has a trendy and elegant pattern of pink marble swirls. Who doesn't love swirls? It can be easily torn off or folded back to reveal the decorated paper, which is also perforated for quick and neat removal. Ruled lines help you to write in your plans, notes, and schedules. Throughout my day I will consistently tick off tasks completed and add new task as the day goes by, with the hopes that they will be ticked off too, if not added to the next day. By adding my tasks into a list means that I will never lose track of a task that hasn't been completed.



Use a Calendar to Keep Track...

Calendars are a simple and effective tool to help keep us productive and maximise our day. I love using Google Calendars, however it doesn't really matter what way you use whether you use a paper calendar or one online. The important part is practising the habit of using a calendar, and following through with your activities according to the time blocks you assign yourself. Your time and attention are your most valuable resources, don’t let them go to waste.

A Desk Planner Can Make Things Simple...

Even with hundreds of available apps to help organise your life, a paper desk calendar may be just what you need to stay on top of your work schedule. Whether you know it or not, having a desk planner can not only simplify your life, it can help you alleviate stress and anxiety that often comes with trying to track your appointments. It’s been said the more times you see or write something the more likely you will be to remember it. Paper calendars can help with that. When you have to write down meetings and other important appointments you’ll be more likely to remember them. This Sweet Sherbert Dreams Desk Planner is a pretty cute way to make sure that I keep on top of my life. The pad features plenty of pages, so you'll have room to keep track of your schedule no matter how busy things get! A pastel blue marble border complements the blush pink details, providing soft colour that lights up your workplace. Isn't it pretty?


Create a Place to Capture Big Ideas

Many might think that having many notepads may go against your organisation process, but it’s the opposite for me. At this moment, I currently have three notepads sitting on my desk filled with pitch ideas, to-dos for the day, and random ideas that pop into my head. These Sweet Sherbert Dreams A5 Exercise Books are really brilliant for capturing my big idea for a blog where I can just pop into my handbag for inspiration on the go. I just cannot go anyway without a notebook and pen. Pastel pink and sky blue flourishes add trendy elegance to the set, making them ideal for the creative thinker who wants a notebook as special as the ideas and notes inside. I need something that focuses more on recording stats, planning blog content and keeping notes of brand work which is why I have decided to start a bullet journal. When it came to starting a bullet journal, for me finding the perfect journal was essential. It just didn't seem right to begin a bullet journal in just any notebook, I was looking for something a little more luxurious. Keeping with the marbled theme this A5 Chunky Notebook is a great book for creating a bullet journal. Do you want to start your own bullet journal?


If you try and implement a couple of way to try and get organised, you are more likely to be productive and reach those goals. What ways do you like to keep organised? I'd love to hear. 


The MyBuBelly Plan Five Months On

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I know that we have been so lucky to be able to have a little girl of our own, but that still doesn't make our hearts hurt any less with every negative test. We always hoped that we would get pregnant soon after we decided to add to our family, however two years down the line and it still hasn't happened. 


Over the last year in a bid to finally be able to conceive another baby, my husband and I have been making some big lifestyle changes to help improve our chances of conceiving naturally. We would love more than anything to give our daughter a sibling that she so desperately asks for all the time. We started to look into practical ways to could help boost our fertility such changing our diets, eliminating stress, take up meditating and search for boosting supplements. We even started a fertility boosting program with MyBuBelly

For those who are not familiar with MyBuBelly, it's a fertility boosting program that is a natural and ethical way to choose the gender of your baby. It's a simple and straightforward program to help nature in the right direction. By making simple changes to your diet, taking supplements and boost your overall well-being can help determine the gender of your baby. I have been with MyBuBelly just over five months now and it seems to have slotted into my daily routine very well. 


Phase 1 is supposed to last at least three months and the transition to Phase 2 happens during box 4 and after all pH measurements have been completed and I have stayed within an optimal range. I wasn't entirely sure why we have been on Phase 1 for longer than three months, but it is necessary to get the right pH measurements and keep them within the optimal range of 5.5. and 6. So far, we are on box five and still in the first phase as there are still some tweaks that need to be made in my diet and cycle monitoring. I was hoping to move onto the next stage by now, but it's a much longer process than I initially thought. 

Phase 1: Preparation. 

Phase 1 focuses on preparing your mind and body for a baby. It is during this phase that I changed my diet, added supplements to help stablise my pH level. The goal is to try and get an optimal pH level and ensure that it stablises and not fluctuate but stays between 5.5 and 6. It is was also during this stage that I began to monitor my cycle and target my ovulation to help conceive a little girl when we head into Phase 2. For now we still need to use a contraception in order to avoid a fluctuating pH level, which at first didn't make much sense. I remember thinking to myself how on earth am I going to get pregnant if we use protection, but the main focus was getting an optimal pH level and ovulation targeting. 

However in order for me to proceed to Phase 2, the dietary review during box three needed to be approved by Eve which wasn't something I was all too familiar with until last month. But thankfully I was already writing a diet diary to ensure that I kept my meals calorie controlled for weight loss and getting all the vitamins and nutrients from the food I was allowed. Every month I would send over a few meal plans for a few days and share with Eve so that she could review my diet. The food search bar has been great, especially this time of year where temptation is around every corner with the festive season. I did enjoy a little indulgence for a couple of days over Christmas and New Year but I was conscious of my meal choice in between and back on the strict plan soon after. 


I was very eager to go onto Phase 2 and felt that my pH level stablised so I decided to send an email to Eve and she needed to do a dietary review before giving me an answer. Eve said that I had a good balanced diet and that my diary consumption is good. It was great to see that I added some sesame seeds to my diet plan but I needed to look into more nuts, seeds, herbs and spices. 

Phase 2: Conception. 

During the first stage the dietary programme has allowed me to stabilise your urinary pH, more precisely the pH of the cervical mucus. Now that my cycle monitoring and ovulation has been more than established we are hopefully going to calculate the right dates for conceiving for a little girl with any luck. For Phase 2 my milk consumption needs to increase to one litre today and to consume 1 dairy product with each meal (breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner). These can be plain or flavoured such as 1 yogurt, 1 cottage cheese or 2 small Swiss. For one of my meals during a day I need to include a serving of cheese without salt per day. Lastly, Eve mentioned that I needed to be careful with my water intake and make sure that it's no more than 1.5 litre per day. 

So for the rest of the month I will try and focus on adding more seeds, nuts and herbs into my diet to ensure that it is varied, eat more dairy and figure out way to drink a litre of milk each day. But so far it seems promising and hopefully we get to move on to Phase 2 with the February box. 

Don't forget to read our other posts with the MyBuBelly plan





~ This is a partnership post with MyBuBelly ~

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