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What Social Media Has Taught Me Recently

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It's hard to remember a time before social media, when our only means of connecting with friends and family was through calling or writing letters. We had little or no access to a great internet connection, anyone else remember how annoying dial up was? 


But things have definitely progressed. Now most of us couldn't be without a good internet connection or be able keep in touch with our loved ones on social media. It's become a life line for many of us and has a hand in strengthening those relationships during the pandemic -  it has been good for mental health especially when most of us are spending time alone. 

As business owner, social media has its place and can be amazing when driving traffic to resources. But with that being said, over the year social media has taught me a lot about what to expect and how it will help me as a business owner. 

It's Okay To Be Happy

Social media has been a life line for many of us wanting to stay connected to our family and friends. But of course, most people don't use social media to just socialise. We spend a lot of time passively scrolling through media discovering that friends have been spending quarantine cleaning out their cupboards, getting fit, or finding their inner peace in solitude. Seemingly, creating a world where everyone seems happy. 

Surely its a good time to share those little moments? Yes, we tend to just share the great or good moment in life. But if the last year has taught us anything it is to embrace to pace, enjoy the moment and capture all those little things. I know for us, it has been amazing to take this time together and kept most of us sane. So yes, it's totally okay to be happy and share with the world. 

Social Media Popularity Does Not Equal Self Worth

There is a misconception that the more followers or readers we have on our social media gives us validation and acceptance in society. That is simply not the case. Social media popularity does not equal self worth. Feel confident in yourself regardless of your online presence. You are more worthy than a number online. 

Ditch The Envy & Feel Inspired 

We have all been there passively scrolling through social media wishing we had something, or been lucky enough to go travelling or being our own boss. We want those things, often leaving us green with envy. But instead of getting sucked into envy, negativity or feeling as if you're not worthy of the same things - alter your focus and change your mindset with social media. Rather than feeling envious and jealous of the little snippets that people share, feel inspired by them. Well if they can do, you can too! 

Protect Your Mental Health

We all understand that social media has transformed into a place where the most perfect, staged, curated highlight snippets of our lives are shared. As we spend more time on social media the more that it has helped shaped our body image, our relationships and our mental health. It's becoming increasingly important to protect your mental health from social media. 

Over the years I have definitely felt the same envy towards some of those photos and the people who have shared them. However, in that time, altering mindset has really changed the way I see social media and turn it back into what is it supposed to me. 

The easiest way to protect your mental health from social media is to take a really good look at your feed. Go through the people you're following and make a point of following people that make you feel positive. The mute button is the most underrated social superpower, so use it! Ditch the envy and feel inspired by the people that you following - you can do it too and always remember that social media is a platform for sharing our life.


Surprisingly Making Friends is Easy

Social media can be an great place to connect with people you wouldn't normally in real life. It's strange to think that you can make long life friends through social media. There is a whole community who understand the whole passion of getting the perfect photo, connecting and needing to engage with new people. With my blog and being on social media has opened new doors to new friendships who are always a message away, where needed. 

I'm the sort of person who doesn't make friends so easily, because it can be so hard for me to build a bond straightaway. However, those friends that I do have in my life, I'm very grateful for. But through social media I have made some long life friends that like to check in regularly, ask me for advice or leave comments on my posts. Surprisingly, reaching out to someone can become much more than you ever imagined.

The past year has taught me so much about solitude, growth, creativity and a whole lot about resilience. It has been tough where my only saviour seemed to be getting lost with passively scrolling through social media with snippets of other people in quarantine. But never in a million years did I think that scrolling through social media would open up new doors to new adventures. It has helped me change my mindset, alter my focus towards the important things in life. It has taught me to appreciate myself, realise my worth, to ditch the envy and feel inspired by them. 

5 Years Time

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It's safe to say that the past year and the wall-to-wall new coverage that has come with it has changed many of our lives seemingly overnight. It has changed the way we live, but also the way we work, socialise and eventually moving around the world will be different, too.


The pandemic has taught us so much about perspective, community, resilience and the importance of connection. Not only that, but it has also given us an incredible opportunity to rediscover truths about life - both individually and in society. So where we will be in five years time? It's a big, scary question, isn't it? Five years can fly by, and although so much can happen in that time frame.


So what can we do to make sure that the next few years of our life will be an exciting time of change and growth, a time of pursuing our goals and dreams. It's important, more than ever, to look towards the future. The first step is realising that change needs to happen. What better way to get onto that path than with a five year plan. 

In some ways, five years can give us many opportunities to look forward and to really help us to set goals with a long term vision. But on the other hand, five years can seem like a lifetime away. However, as long as you are willing to learn, develop and adapt your plan to be in line with your growth, you'll flourish and achieve all the things you want to.


The past year has taught me so much about solitude, growth, creativity and a whole lot about resilience. However, being stuck behind the same four walls for months on end there's a need for a little adventure. In five years time...

Location

It doesn't seem possible that we've actually been in this house for six years! It was such a milestone for us to get onto the property market whilst adjusting to life a first time parents. But we feel incredibly proud of ourselves. In five years time, who knows where we will be. But we've been in this house for six years and think it's time to move on to something bigger and with a driveway. Before buying our first home we lived in a one bedroom flat in a small village, and we really miss the real sense of community in the village, the surrounding fields and the silence. A ultimate goal of ours is to end up living in a place in Devon or Cornwall if my husband's career paths takes us that way.


Career

Career? Well if you'd asked me five years ago, the answer would have been something in the probation service. But then I had my little girl and everything changed! A baby was never really in our plan because I never thought that I would be able to have my own child so it was a big shock for us when it finally happened. Children change lives. They make them a little more hectic, busy and complicated. But more importantly, they make our lives better in more ways than you can count. My life has changed but changed in the best way possible. With that, my career perspective changed but opened new doors and new opportunities.

I started my blog. It was a place to help me through the midnight feeds so I could write about the happenings of our everyday life as a first time mum. But it's become much more than just a online diary. It means so much that people are actually (or still) read my posts, it makes me appreciate myself so much more and to realise my worth. When I started blogging I did it for the fun of it. I never in a million years imagined I’d learn enough to turn writing into my full-time career.

My little corner of the internet has done so many things for me as a person. It's kept me focused, encouraged me to chase my dreams and have a more positive outlook in life. I feel so lucky. I have got to know so many amazing and brilliant people from writing this blog. But to put it simply, my blogging became my true passion. It wasn't a future than I envisioned when I decided to press that publish button but it's been one of the most life changing decision I have ever made. And I am so proud of myself for following my heart and putting myself out there, warts and all instead of settling in a job that made me very unhappy. In the next five years I hope that it continues to grows and I become more involved with social media marketing and PR.

Adventures and Travel

Being in lockdown has made us all yearn for travel and adventure. Fortunately for us, we did manage to book a last minute staycation after the restriction were lifted last year. But we want to adventure further afield. So my plans for the next five years is to travel and adventures with my two favourites and the pup as much as we possibly can. We've made a travel bucket list full of exciting places like Disneyland, Thailand, Cuba, Scotland, Ireland and Italy. Not only that we have a bucket list of must visit places that my daughter wants to go and see which include Harry Potter Studios, The Shard, The Cotswold and Stonehenge.


Family

If you've been reading our blog for a while you'll know that we want to have another baby, but after trying to conceive for four year it seems that another baby isn't is our plan. I think that's what a lot of people forget becoming a parent is not always a walk in the park. You don't think one day 'let's make a baby' and by some miracle, poof, you're pregnant!!! It's doesn't always work like that. It takes a lot of love, support and patience. I think that's why we feel so grateful to be parents, we never thought we would be parents. Our daughter is our miracle! We are complete. We feel content.

As a mum of an only child my biggest fear is leaving this world and leaving her alone. I know I may sound irrational and I know she will have family and friends but it's a genuine fear. Is it fair for her to be alone? This year marks yet another big milestone in our second fertility journey. We've seen a lot of heartache with one negative test after another. We had a glimmer of hope with our first positive pregnancy test, which was short lived making the heartbreak that much harder and so painful.


Like most children, our daughter is desperate for a sibling. I'm beginning to realise that it's having an impact on my daughter. Our daughter has always been confident enough to go off and play with her toys, colour or play dress up on her own. But recently she is making references to a brother or sister and telling us that it's no fun playing on her own. As a parent it was absolute torture hearing those words. Both my husband and I are trying so hard to have another baby and it's getting to a point now where I don't think it's going to happen for us and it breaks my heart knowing how devastated our daughter will be. I would love nothing more than another baby. Let's hope that somewhere in those five years that we get the second baby.

With five year plans who really knows where we will be. You can make plans and have dreams you want to achieve but we can never really predict exactly what will happen, it's exciting to wait and see what comes our way. Another move? A new job? Moving country? Triplets? Who knows! Life plans are never really set in stone, you can hope that your plans will unfold just as you predicted but making the plan come to life will take hard work, dedication and a lottery win! So here's hoping!

Do you ever make life plans? Would you make a five year plan?

Should I Let My Daughter Have Her Ears Pierced?

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The last few months have been a bit of a whirlwind. The current lockdown has made prioritising certain things a challenge. Most of us are working from home, doing food shopping, laundry, household chores, homeschooling our children and attending classes on zoom. So, that work life balance doesn't seem to be so smooth and life feels exhausting and overwhelming. It has been an unforgettable time to say the least.


With everything that is going on in the world, most of us feel out of sorts and way more stressed than usual. After being in lockdown for the better part of a year I have completely lost all sense of time and can't keep track. It’s important to acknowledge these feelings and take the time to take a minute, breath, and to focus on all the positives that have happened during these uncertain times. 

My daughter has been spending more time at home. We muddled our way through home schooling, explored adventures on daily walks and like to relaxing and unwinding with self care afternoons. All three of us took full advantage of the opportunity that we can spend more time together and embrace every single moment with them. It has been during this time that I have REALLY noticed how grown up my little girl has become. 

Everyday she tells me that she's a big girl and that she's not going to be my baby again. And my heart shatters, every time. Don't get me wrong she hasn't been my baby baby quite some time. But when she says those words to me, it doesn't make it hurt any less. I don't think I will ever be prepared enough to watch her become even more independent and confident in her own decisions. But it's something that makes me incredibly proud. 

Recently, she made an announcement out of the blue that she wanted to get her ears pierced. It took me by surprised, especially as she went with her cousin to watch her get her ears pierced and she cried. My husband was more than happy to book an appointment to get them done, there and then. However, I just couldn't say yes. 

It was so out of nowhere and I want her to make this decision knowing all the fact, not to get them done a whim. There is no agreed upon age that a little girl should get her ears pierced. I remember pestering my parents to get my ears pierced at seven years old and after a lot of pleading with her my mum finally gave in. I remember the pain of getting my first ear pierced, and not wanting to go through with the other ear. But after an hour or so, my mum convinced me to get the other done. That experience lived so vividly in my mind. 

But my daughter is only six. Isn't childhood short enough as it is without encouraging them to grow up too fast? It was important for us to sit down with our daughter to tell her evening that's involved with getting her ears pierced. While it is a safe procedure, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, any time a needle pierces skin, there is a risk of introducing ear infection into the area. The first few weeks the ear may be tender, itchy and the surrounding area may look slightly red on the skin. But these are completely normal for a new piercing. But if a piercing becomes swollen, painful, hot to touch or you have fluid coming from the ear then your piercing may be infected. You may need medical attention. Ear infections are really common and if left they may be serious that may require medical attention. Auris Ear Care offer on demand ear care which includes ear wax removal, foreign body removal and of course ear infection treatments. 

Second, small earrings can become a choking hazard if they are pulled out of the ear and end up in the mouth. Also, some people can be sensitive or even allergic to the metal in the earring. My sister has a severe reaction to her gold earring that her butterfly stud became stuck behind an infection - she was in a lot of pain and it put her off earrings for life. It is also best to wait until a later age when your daughter is old enough to take care of them herself. 

Then, there's the aftercare. The salt water baths, popping on a plaster for PE and making sure that she can put them in and out of her ears safely. So can my six year old take this kind of responsibility for herself? Of course, it's her body, her choice - which is something that I have to understand and respect. 
I want her to know that she's allowed to explore. That she has a mother who supports her, no matter her decision. She needs unconditional love, yet still have those boundaries so she doesn't get top far ahead. I know she needs to grow up and I do think I'm finally ready to let her.

The Lockdown Valentine's Gift Guide

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We are so close to February, so it's time to thinking about getting something for your Valentine. Whether you like to join in  or not we all know that most celebrations and holiday are going to be a little different this year. So there is no whisking your loved one away for a romantic weekend away, no posh dinners or date nights at the theatre. Yep, most of us have to face another night in with our loved ones. But don't let being stuck in a lockdown stop you from showing your favourite person how much you care. 


If you like keeping things simple with a cute card or freshly cut flowers, keep in the safe lane with a box of chocolates or perhaps you prefer going for something more luxurious we have compiled a list of super easy gift ideas for your Valentine to suit all budgets. It's full of perfectly pretty presents that anyone would love to open on Valentine's Day. 

Gold Rimmed Tea Cup // £3

Let's kick of this Valentine's gift guide with a really budget friendly gift idea, a gold rimmed tea cup and saucer. I'll be the first to admit it, we have wayyy tooo many mugs and cups in this household but that doesn't stop us for getting the another pretty little cup. 

Ellie Feather Gold Necklace // £15

It has to be said, we all love opening up a pretty little sparkle on the most romantic day of the year, right? The more statement, the better. This stunning gold necklace features two layers of delicate gold-tones chains that are made up of tiny gold coloured balls. It has a longer chain with a textured life like feather attached at the bottom, accompanied by a smaller chain with a smaller feather. It is a real focal point making this piece simple, yet stylish. 


The Old Curiosity Secret Garden Gin Set // £29.95

If the past year has taught us anything it's to show the ones we care about, how much we love them. That's why a pretty pink gift set full of their favourite drink is THE gift for them this year. The Old Curiosity Secret Garden Gin Set includes a bottle of Pink Elderflower & Jasmine Gin and Apothecary Rose Gin. Two enchanting combinations of hand-grown; picked and dried botanicals, infused with the finest quality gin in these apothecary style bottles.


Elemis Resurfacing Trio // £80 

A safe bet is always luxurious skincare. Elemis has a wonderful range of skincare products that they will love. Just like this Dynamic Resurfacing trio that includes a Facial Wash, Day Cream infused with SPF30 and a Gel Mask. This rejuvenating trio will help brighten and renew the look of your complexion for an instantly radiant appearance.


Lavera Glowing Highlighters // £12

There is nothing like a beautiful premium product to make a girl feel special, but we don't always have the luxury budget for makeup. Lavera is a natural and organic range that's not only is good for skin and the planet, but also makes you feel as if you're really using a premium product. We have been kindly send over these highlighters in Rosy Shine and Luminous Gold. Both have iridescent pearl pigments and light reflecting particles leaving an instant luminous glow with a warm tone and they come in a good size too. 


Rose Quartz Face Roller // £24

Enhance your daily routine with a naturally soothing quartz roller. High-quality and a joy to use, this Rose Quartz Roller is the perfect way to show your skin a little extra love. This facial massage roller stimulates circulation, improves circulation and skin tone, and invigorates skin. This roller helps product absorb better into the skin when used after your serum or moisturiser.


Nordgreen Native Gold Mesh Watch Set // £178

For the lady in your life a little luxury will always the way to go. Sometimes the simplest styles can be the most striking. Browse Nordgreen Watches and their extensive collection of watches you will be able to get something to suit your style. You can choose from the Native, Philosopher, or Infinity analogue timepieces and mix and match with a wide range of different metals, colours and types. If you're looking for a minimalist yet sophisticated style will most definitely make a statement. Just like a classic choice of a gold case and a gold mesh strap, but for those days where you want something more practical then there are so many different coloured leather straps available.


Afternoon Tea for Two from Pig's Pantry // £30

Lockdown might have changed almost everything about our lives, but one thing that's not changed is the British public's love of an indulgent afternoon tea spread. Afternoon tea is my absolute FAVOURITE and knowing that I can get one sent right to my door makes me feel really happy. Not only does getting a cream tea delivered feel like the ultimate indulgence, it also makes a change from other takeaways and is a special way of marking birthdays, anniversaries or other events during lockdown.



This Piglet's Pantry Afternoon Tea at Home has a selection of freshly made sweet and savoury treats to enjoy. Tuck into delicious cheese and chive quiche, classic sausage rolls, Scotch eggs, sausage rolls filled with cheese and pickle, a selection of cakes and fruit scones topped with jam and cream. Inside the Afternoon Tea for Two is also some Earl Grey tea bags so you can make a nice strong pit of tea to sip alongside your treats. 

Town & City Gift Cards // £20 and up

If you're all out of ideas for your loved one, why not give them a gift of choice. We're not going to be in lockdown forever, so why don't you prepare for your first adventure and get a handy Town or City Gift Card. It will make the present perfect present for any occasion that help support local businesses in different towns or cities. You can choose from many regions from Scotland, East Midlands, South East England to Northern Ireland, The Midlands and London. 


We are from Norfolk so the East of England is the most local area to us with four locations to choose from; Bury St Edmunds, Cambridge, St Albans and Watford. I really like the idea of getting a gift card for an adventure that is only a train ride away. 

Carfume Lovehearts Limited Edition Fragrance // £12

Ok, so I will be the first to admit that this one is a pretty out there choice. But if you have a loved one likes a good scent for their car then you need to try some of these premium fragrances from Carfume. The love hearts limited edition is definitely the one for Valentine's day! With this sweetly inspired fragrance, fizzing with happiness just like the favourite valentines sweets. The fragrance is a blend of grapes, red berries and vanilla. It is in now way overpowering like some other car fragrances you can get. 


Foxanne Designs Valentine Card // £4

On the day of LOVE what better way to say I love you lots than a lovely card? Or...perhaps make your partner giggle with a funny or witty card. My husband has a wicked sense of humour and I'm always thinking of creative ways to make him laugh and I have found the perfect card for him. Foxanne Designs has a wonderful Valentine range that are great for those kinds of people with quirky illustrations and funny anecdotes for a real unique cards. There are so many different designs to choose from and I found the perfect one that I know my husband will love, or at least have a good giggle. Some of my other favourites are You're Just My Cup of Tea, We're a Perfect Match, Abso-fcking-lutely. 


Whether you like keeping things simple with a cute cards or flowers, stay safe with chocolate or want to go for something more luxurious with this list of super easy gift ideas for your Valentine, I'm sure you'll put a smile on their face.

** We have been kindly gifted our some of the items in this gift guide but as always my words and opinions are my own. Images are subject to copyright, please seek permission before using.**

Totem Infernal Power Game

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Lockdown 3.0 is in full swing and even though there seems to be good news with the vaccines rolling out, restrictions are not letting up any time soon. The next few months are going to be tough for everyone and so staying home is going to be the new going out. But if the first lockdown taught us anything it's that keeping our families entertained is not easy. 


So this time around many of us are looking for fun and exciting ways to keep our families entertained without being constantly being glued to our screens. What better way to entertain everyone than bringing back family game night? There was nothing quite like the smell of margherita pizza coming out of the oven and the rattle of board games coming out of the cupboard as a kid. 


So now that we are spending more time at home we need to make family game night a thing in our house. Not only will it be a great way to bond and have fun, but it will allow the little one to work on a variety of skills such as social skills, problem solving, fine motor skills, visual motor skills, the list goes on. We do have a good selection of games and challenging puzzles already, but we want to add some different family bonding challenges into the mix. We have been getting ourselves in a spin with this Totem Infernal Power Game

So what is the Totem Infernal Power Game? Well, these are clever little spinning tops that are little LEDs that spin and light up as you stack them. Experience spinning tops like you've never seen before. Spin your spinning tops or totems using the launcher and stack them all in size order to build the ultimate light up totem tower. But it may not be as easy as you think and it may take you a few attempts, but once you do, your tower will look impressive. So are you ready to take on the Totem Infernal Power Challenge? 


Do you think you can build the biggest tower? Let's find out. To get yourself in a spin with this challenge first you need to add two AAA batteries into your biggest totems, and batteries are not included in the box. Next, find a big clear space either up a table or on a hard wearing floor to begin spinning. Just keep in mind that the harder you spin your totem the faster they will go. 

Inside each Totem Infernal Power Game pack there are five different sized colourful spinners or totems and a grey totem launcher. The aim of the game is to try and spin your totem and stack on another one before the topple over or stop spinning. Simple, right? 


Begin by placing the largest totems which is the orange one into your launcher and twist, you will start to hear a click. Keep twisting as you hear the clicks but be careful because if the totem slips out of your hands it will be pretty powerful - my nose learned the hard way. So you basically click and twist until you cannot hear any clicks, then carefully press the button on the launcher to release the totem. 

Watch your totem spin, but you need to be quick to launch your second totem into the one that is spinning. Believe me, it's not as easy as you think and they will certainly go spinning if they don't connect with one another. 


We really enjoyed the Totem Infernal Power Game and at first we did find it pretty tricking to get each of them to spin so quickly one after another. So far we have managed to get four of the totems on top of one another but every time we add the fifth totem it topples over and we have to start again. We had lots of fun and laughs trying to get the five totems stacked. Will you be able to stack the five spinning totem and become a champion? If so, can you do it blind folded? The Totem Infernal Power retails at £9.99 making it the perfect addition to family game night. They are available at Smyths Toys, Argos and The Entertainer.


** We have been kindly gifted our Totem Infernal Power Game but as always my words and opinions are my own. Images are subject to copyright, please seek permission before using.**

Birchbox: January 2021 A fresh New Start

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It's the first Birchbox of the year and what better way to kick-start the new year than with some new beauty and skincare finds. But it does need to be said that Birchbox have been missing the mark with their recent boxes with nothing really standing out. It all feels a little repetitive, so I'm hoping that this year is going to be a more exciting. 


Rethink Your Routine, Trust the Magic of a Fresh Start beauty box is all about embracing a new routine and what better way to do that with this box full of pamper treats. It feels like perfect timing. Every Birchbox subscriber with get either a Marcelle Hydrating or Purifying Mask to shake up their evening routine. There is also a Lisa Waiter Illuminating Primer and This Works Morning Expert Hyaluronic Serum. All great products for embracing a new routine. 

Birchbox have replaced the usual drawer style boxes with a lidded box, which I am in two minds about as the little drawers were always so cute and were great for storing makeup and skincare. The design of the box is nothing like their usual bold and colourful boxes with a simple light grey box and white colour scheme. So let's see what's inside...



Marcelle. Hydrating Mask. RRP | £17 

My sensitive skin gets inflamed very easily during the harsh winter months that leaves my skin lacking lustre and in need of some deep hydration. It's hard to try and get a good balance when it comes to complex skincare conditions. As you don't want to strip your face of all the essential oils or block your pores with an concoction of products. Whether your skin is dehydrated because of the elements, dry from the natural aging process, or parched for some reason you can't determine - a hydrating mask may just be the answer. 

This Marcelle Hydrating mask moisturises and soothes skin while offering an instant freshness effect that hydrates and renews the skin. This refreshing crystalline gel mask, formulated with hyaluronic acid and pacific seaweed, offers deep hydration and an extreme boost for your skin. Something that most of us with dry and sensitive skin needs to add into our skincare routine. 


Lise Watier.  Illuminating Primer. RRP | £42 

Most of us love a primer and swear by them. A primer is a must have in achieving a smooth, soft and flawless makeup. It helps create an extra layer between your skin and makeup that can even out skin tone and help your makeup last longer. I definitely like using a primer, so when I get the opportunity to introduce as new one into the routine, I jump at the chance. Who doesn’t love a little extra glow?! Get yourself an illuminating primer to brighten up any dullness on your skin. It could also be the reason why you completely skip wearing highlight and end up looking magically glowy. 

The Lise Watier Illuminating Primer has been formulation to help create a soft and radiant base for makeup application. Apply after moisturizing and before foundation for a more subtle radiance, or after foundation as a highlighter. It can also be mixed directly with foundation, concealer or day cream for a natural, radiant complexion. 

This Works. Morning Expert Hyaluronic Serum. RRP | £37

I’m a big fan of This Works so I was pleased to see a mini of their bestselling Morning Expert Hyaluronic Serum, it been on my must try list for some time. This serum is formulated with vitamin C to help firm and tighten the skin, the serum works to minimise the signs of ageing while imparting a youthful radiance for skin that is ready to start the day. This youth-boosting serum targets tired-looking skin, leaving it plumped up and looking brighter. I've been homeschooling for months, I need to use A LOT of this serum.


Dr Botanicals. Strawberry & Poppy Seed Cleansing Bar. RRP | £9

I know that not everyone feels the same when it comes to cleansing bars, as they have a reputation for clogging your pores and stripping your skin of its natural oils. But now a new generation of cleansing bars is changing the game. This Dr Botanicals Strawberry & Poppy Seed Cleansing Bar that smells good enough to eat. Formulated with 98% natural ingredients such as exfoliating poppy seeds and revitalising strawberry. It is small but mighty and cleanses and exfoliates the skin all over to restore your natural glow. This bar is perfect for those who want to reduce the amount of plastic that they use in their bathrooms and it’s also vegan-friendly and cruelty-free. 


Palmers Coconut Oil Formula Conditioning Shampoo. RRP | £4.49

Palmer's Coconut Oil Conditioning Shampoo is a rich, creamy shampoo, free of sulphates and harsh detergents, that gently cleanses and removes build-up without stripping hair or interrupting it's delicate moisture balance. This one is particular great for battling those with dry, damaged or colour treated hair, which is just what I need with my thick, wavy and frizzy hair. I have used a bunch of Palmer's Coconut Oil products before as they are conditioning and leave my hair feeling and smelling amazing. 


Well, looks can be deceiving! From the look of the box I wasn't expecting the products to wow me in any way. But actually there are a few products in this box that I would actually purchase again like the Lisa Waiter Illuminating Primer and the This Works Morning Expert Hyaluronic Serum. 

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.

Beauty Pro Coconut Infused Sheet Mask

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Sheet masks have completely shifted the beauty game across the globe, even for those of us that have little to no time for a lengthy skin care routine. Sheet masks are an easy way to provide your skin with a big boost of vitamins and moisture. They are a fun way to relax that give us that perfect luxurious pampering feeling that is an essential part of a good skin and mindset.

Now that we are all back in a lockdown what better time to ramp up your skincare routine than adding a little luxurious sheet masks into your week. These wonder sheets will help hydrate, moisturise, sooth and soften the skin by using fresh natural ingredients. Just name your skin issue and there is bound to be a face mask that leaves your skin feeling hydrated, soft and refreshed. 


There is a sheet mask for every type and concern. But with hundreds of face mask formulas out there, which one should you pick? It’s important to identify your skin type first, so that you can select a sheet mask that will have the biggest impact on your skin. For example, dry or sensitive skin would benefit from a hydrating mask that will give your skin a much needed moisture boost. Perhaps you want to help balance out the oils in your skin by regulating excess sebum and tightening pores, then choosing a clay masks would be best one to go for. So select the one that is be suited to your type or concern.

A good sheet mask that suits your skin type or problem can really do some amazing things, but sometimes there is some questions about the sustainability of these masks. But thankfully there are some wonderful organic and natural options available that are sustainably sourced or include botanical ingredients that are good for our skin and the environment. Slowly but surely many beauty brands are choosing to go a little greener which I'm more than happy to get behind. 

Coconut Infused Sheet Mask

I love trying new products that include sustainability and natural ingredients that get a big thumbs up from mother nature. If that's you then you will definitely want to try this Coconut Infused Sheet Mask from Beauty Pro. This is one of the seven different sheet masks with their own unique formula from the plant based range. This is the first range of sheet masks that are completely water free, 100% plant based and rich in superfood ingredients. A good choice for your skin and great for the environment! 

Coconut is widely used in natural skincare and beauty products because it's highly absorbent and nourishing which means essential moisture is able to get to the skin, fast. Due to its high nutrient values, coconut can helps diminish the appearance of acne scars. detoxify the skin by pulling out toxins that helps get rid of acne. It has properties that help soothe inflammation and even fight acne. 

Beauty Pro know a thing or two about masks and to see that they have launched a new plant based range makes me love them even more. But this coconut infused sheet mask is the epitome of luxury and it's something that you need to try, at least once. Coconut is so good for you skin and this sheet mask is drenched in the stuff! Coconut has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which is perfect for calming dry, sensitive skin. But this combined with Vitamin E and essential Amino Acids will help to lock in moisture and nourish the skin's natural protective barrier. Yes, please! I'll take some of that. My skin and winter are never a good combination

There’s nothing we love more than a self-care Sunday. It’s the human equivalent of pressing the reset button, leaving us feeling content and ready to tackle the new week ahead. First the ONLY way to start a good self Sunday is to melt all my worries away in a long soak in the bath, pop a nourishing hair mask in, exfoliate and a sheet mask. 

Nothing says cleanse and nourish like this Coconut Infused Sheet Mask and a chilled Sunday is the perfect opportunity to get your skin back on track. Leave on for fifteen minutes to draw out impurities and refine your pores, revealing a clearer, and fresher looking complexion. This mask feels so lovely one and left my skin feeling refreshed, nourished and really soft. 

Simple open up the sachet and unfold the mask. Place it onto your cleansed face, using the mouth and nose holes as a guide, and leave for 15 minutes. Once removed, you can massage the serum residue into the skin. In an instant you are transported to some tropical island with the scent of this mask, it is not at all overpowering but as soon as you put the mask on you can feel your skin soaking up the goodness. 

Have you tried a mask from Beauty Pro's plant based range?

How To Get Back on Track with a Healthy Lifestyle

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The pandemic has transformed every aspect of our lives from family and health to work, social life and fitness. With yet another national lockdown it seems that the disruption is set to continue as we move into the new year. It’s so important, more than ever to make sure you look after your health and wellbeing. 


During the first lockdown we found it way to easy to let our healthy habits slides as social distancing and further restrictions forced us to stay at home. So if you're not feeling your best, you're not alone. The most important thing to remember is to try and be kind to yourself and not give yourself a hard time with those slip ups from time to time. But it is so easy to fall into that rabbit hole of allowing those bad choices to continue and become very bad habits. Fortunately, there are plenty of easy ways to get healthy and back on track whether you're feeling that you want to venture into the world for an hour, or prefer to stay at home. 


1. Make Plans & Set Goals

When you're trying to make better choice and get back on track with a healthy lifestyle, it can be difficult to know where to begin. The best place to start is always with making plans and setting out goals. I'm girl who strives on making list, plans or goals. They are the best way to keep me motivated and encourage me to stay focus and I really feel I have accomplished something as I make my way through the list and finally achieve those goals. 

Just bare in mind when setting plans or goals make sure that you're setting realistic and achievable goals. There is nothing more deflating than setting yourself goals, feeling motivated and not achieving them. So keep your goals small and realistic. No one is going to be able to loose three stone in a month or run a 10k marathon in a month. 

2. Follow a Routine

With most of us having to isolate, work from or become our children's teacher for weeks on end - establishing a routine is key. It's important, more than ever, to create a routine to give your day structure. We have tried to keep our routine as 'normal' as much as we possibly can. It has been pretty easy to stick to our normal routine as my husband is a key worker and will of course go to work everyday. The only thing that has changed for us really is the fact that I have to homeschool our daughter everyday, but we have somehow found our feet and implementing this changes into our routine. 

So try and get up and go to bed the same time everyday, ensuring that you are getting your eight hours of beauty sleep. 

Sleep is important. So make a conscious effort to set alarms so you don't miss the day and make sure you go to bed at a reasonable time and sleep for at least eight hours, if you can. Whether you're working from home or have to become a teacher for the day always take regular breaks. For one it can really help break up the day but it is always good for your mental health, wellbeing and eyes (if you're staring at a screen most of the day). Break time does mean snacks! Does anyone else's child eat about 50 snacks a day? But don't grab for bad snacks like crisps, chocolate or biscuits choose fruit, veggie sticks or a yoghurt. 

3. Eat well

Eating well is good for both the body and mental wellbeing. But if the last year is anything to go by it is soooo easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to making meal choices. Cooking the same meals all the time is easy, convenient and quick. But if you want to pack your diet with fresh and healthy variety of foods you may have to make some changes and learn so new recipes. 

So for the first time we have decided to set ourselves a new challenge and join the Veganuary challenge. It is a something that more and more of us are trying and we cannot wait to get started. However, for those that don't know Veganuary is a month long diet challenge to Veganism. It was launched to introduce people to Veganism in a bid to change the way we feel about food and help the planet, without judgement. I'm not enirely sure how this plan will go down in our household but it is going to give us a kick start to getting back on track with our healthy lifestyle. 

4. Keep hydrated

Most of us could probably drink more water as it helps our bodies and minds function properly - so we will be making it a priority as we try and get back on track with our healthy lifestyle. It can be surprisingly tricky, however, to remember to drink enough water. There are all kinds of things you can do to try and get more water into your body such as infusing fruits or herbs, adding a fizz or you could use naturally flavoured ice cubes to your drinks. It sounds obvious, but make it a habit to drink a glass of water with every main meal. Extra points are given when drinking alongside a high water content meal!

So we always make sure that we have a bottle near us at all times. Our favourites the Ion8 Leakproof Steel Water Bottle in Rose. The ridged cap opens with just one twist, and the wide mouth makes adding ice cubes a breeze. It keeps your drink at the perfect temperature, hot or cold. Keeps drinks hot for up to 12 hours, or keeps water chilly cold for up to 24 hours.

5. Get fit, the fun way. 

When you're just starting off your pursuit to being fit, your stamina doesn't tend to be tip top. I know this only too well. It takes some getting there. But let's face it exercise can be boring and repetitive. However there are lots of ways to make exercise fun, whether you have five minutes or five hours to spare. With lockdown we join in with Joe Wicks and his lives. Love him or hate him he has got many of us on our feet doing pikachus and powerballs. 

Whether you’re running, weight training or squatting, you want to feel comfortable when you’re exercising so that you can give your workouts your all. And there’s nothing more uncomfortable than having to pull your leggings up every few minutes. But thankfully, Love Leggings came along and changed the working out game. Not only are they flattering, they are great quality and keep everything in place not matter what kind of work out you're doing - yay, no more baggy knees. We have these Full Focus Length Mulberry Sport Leggings that have been designed to minimise distraction and maximise flexibility and deliver absolute comfort. 

6. Switch Off

While it’s important to stay informed, try not to constantly refresh the news if you find it makes you feel anxious, angry or stressed. You might also find it helpful to spend some time away from social media. This might be especially true if you’re in a local lockdown, but many of your friends aren’t. Taking some slow deep breaths can help reduce anxiety levels and help you reset. Try breathing in for four counts, hold your breath for four counts and breathe out for five counts.

7. Stay in Touch

We are being encouraged to stay at home as much as possible in order to help stop the spread, avoid meeting up with family and friends and homeschooling our children. While these steps are for everyone's safety, it does bring some other challenges too - staying connected. 

It's hard to believe that we are nearly a year into this pandemic and heading into lockdown 3.0. But once again we must stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. We must pull together to try and protect ourselves from the bloody awful virus and it fills me with so much fear, often leaving me anxious. There are so many of us who are feeling like this so stay connected to one another.

Keep in touch with your friends and family, by telephone, email or social media, or contact a helpline for emotional support. By maintaining healthy consistent relationships with your family and friends is so important when it comes to your mental wellbeing. It’s reassuring to know at this time that it can be easy to communicate with loved one from far and wide. But if you’re feeling really alone, the Samaritans provide a 24-hour listening service: 116 123 and there are many other sources of support available. Never hesitate to pick up the phone. You are not alone.

It's so important to look after your health and wellbeing. It has been too easy let our healthy habits slide as social distancing and further restriction forced us to all stay at home. The most important thing to remember is not to be too hard on yourself as we all have those slips ups from time to time. But to dust yourself off, make a plan and get back on track. 

Reflecting on the Year Gone

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There is always an end of year moment to reflect and think about the good and not so great things about the year passed. What an extraordinary year this has been! I'm sure many of us could say that 2020 has changed us in ways that we never thought was possible. But it is important to celebrate what you have achieved and recognise how far you have come, it has been one hell of a ride. 


This year has changed the way we think about everything from family, friends, health and work to the importance of love, empathy and kindness. This extraordinary year has really taught us a thing or two about how strong and resilient we can be when things are beyond our control. More importantly it has made us all realise that life is something to be lived, enjoyed and appreciated. We need to embrace all the silly, joyful and light-hearted moments where we can. Just think about the small things that have made you happy and all the times when you have been proud of yourself this year. I'm sure there have been so many of them but we need to enjoy those moments of success in times like this, a time the world has never seen.  

Like with most years that pass us by there are always good and bad parts, but with this year at times it has felt relentless with no light at the end of the tunnel! It has been a hard, confusing and emotionally draining to say the least. But the close of year is the perfect opportunity to take stock and look at everything that you are facing. Always remember that you are not alone and there is someone out there you can talk to. It's amazing how saying something out loud can make it all feel a little less scary. 

We know that it has been a tough year for everyone and unbearable for some. At times we have felt sad, lost, alone and trying to deal with these overwhelming feeling was no easy feat. We all worried about our loved ones and hoped that they would stay home as much as they could to keep as safe as possible. It has been exhausting. But despite it all we showed one a other love, support and kindness - and that's something that we should all feel incredibly proud of. 

Sometimes it those little things that trouble us, those moments of anxiety that catch us off guard and for the most part there was no end to it all. But there has been some glimmer of hope and if it wasn't for all the kindness and togetherness that everyone showed many of us would still be stuck in those dark moments. It wasn't all bad. I often sit back and feel grateful and realise that I'm incredibly lucky to have shared this time with two of my favourite people and be surrounded (socially distanced) by amazing family and friends. 


One of the best things about this year was getting the opportunity to spend quality time with my daughter laughing, playing, learning and being creative together. Being at home gave us the opportunity to try new things together that we wouldn't normally have had the chance to do in normal circumstances. We hosted a lockdown birthday party for three, recreated the Rio de Janeiro Carnival in the living room, unleashed our inner baker and perfected the art of banana bread. We grew so much closer as a family and we will forever be grateful for this time together. 

So for 2021 there are no resolutions, no promises, no fitness or diet plans. I want to continue to take time to enjoy spending time with my family and appreciate every little moment that I make with them. What lessons can you take from 2020? I do hope you and your family have a wonderful New Year and cram it full of lots of fun and exciting adventures. 

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