Mother’s Day Gift Guide

It’s almost that time of year again where we get to celebrate our mothers (I still personally think this should be monthly, but hey i’m a mum so i’m biased).

Every year I try and do something different, more meaningful, more sentimental, but after the 20 odd years I have been doing it for that’s getting quite hard. I decided in a very organised manner to start early this year (I have been known to regularly be one of those lastminute.com people). I have had a good old browse and come up with some of the things I think would be lovely to receive as a mum or give to my own (but realistically Arabella is 5, So I won’t be getting anything!!)

Here is my Mother’s Day gift guide

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Personalised cushion

How gorgeous is this, especially if you have siblings, you could all chip in and get this together. I like the idea of something you can keep to be reminded.

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Mother mug

Probably the truest quote going, everyone loves a mug and drinks either tea or coffee.

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Hand painted artwork

This gift idea I absolutely love. You have to send the artist some pictures of you and your mum and she will create a portrait of you with whatever quote you like. How personal!

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Mother cushion

As you can tell I am a little bit obsessed with the personalized cushion idea, another great one to pop on an armchair or decorate a bed.

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‘With my Mummy’ Book

This is actually a book we have and it is so nice to read with Arabella (sometimes she needs reminding of how special us mums are) Perfect for mums with youngsters.

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Mummy Desk Tidy

Something for a working (or very organsied mum) I love the idea of this on my desk, lets face it being a mum is something to shout from the rooftops about.

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Emma Bridgewater ‘Mummy Mug’

I own a lot of Emma Bridgewater but not one of these, though it is something I’ve always wanted (might have to wait a few years, not sure they let 5 year olds do online shopping)

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Personalised ‘Yummy Mummy’ hanger

I might actually go ahead and order myself one of these, I (mostly) hang tomorrows outfit out before I go to bed so this could be for that. What a cute idea!

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Mummy Mug

Any mum with small children will laugh at this, because it’s true. I microwave every single cup of tea I make at home because I get called away for one reason or another and it goes cold #everytime.

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There it is, a few things that caught my eye on the lead up to the Big Day. another factor to consider is the card (speaking from experience a homemade one is best) and the more hearts the better.

I hope all you mums get spoiled rotten on Mothers Day, and for those of you with children under 7, I feel your pain getting zero appreciation 365 days a year!

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Making the Old Useful

I spend my life writing notes in various places and then either losing said bits of paper or forgetting what I have written where. Whether it be ‘Buy Milk’ or ‘Pay Gymnastics Fees’ a lot gets forgotten being so busy.

I found this really simple picture frame in a charity shop bargain box for £1. A lot of charity shops sell picture frames off cheap, or if you want to buy a more specific frame Dunelm and The Range have a great and cheap selection.

I decided that a chalk board would be good for the kitchen to be able to just scribble important things down in the hope I would stop forgetting the most simple tasks.

Here’s how I did it for under £5.

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Take your frame apart and get rid of the glass and the print only keeping the frame and the back board.

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I picked up this black matt paint from my local DIY store for £1 and a brush to use for 79p (Don’t expect to use the brush again because this paint will ruin the brush and you will be throwing it away)

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Paint the back board with the black paint and use whatever colour paint you want to on the frame, I went for my good old Antique White chalk paint again. I did end up doing two coats for solid coverage depending on what colour the original frame was.

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That’s basically it, put the backboard back in to the frame and pinch it all shut. Either you can put a picture mount on the back but I actually screwed in to the back of the door through the back board at the top and the bottom so it wouldn’t move around when i’m using it.

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January Home Favourites

I am interiors obsessed so putting together my home favourites each month was a no brainer to add to the schedule. I do this late at night in bed (one of the perks of being single and not having to talk to anyone!) Here is a pretty long list of a variety of things that have caught my eye in January. I haven’t bought any of it yet as we are in Frugal January but come February there are a few favourites i will be adding to the basket!

CHICKEN APRON

 

 

 

What is there not to love about this set, I love baking, I own and love chickens. This was always going to happen! £19

SHOP THE APRON

 

 

 

 

CHICKEN TEATOWEL

 

 

 

Oh good god there is a matching tea towel for £8

SHOP THE TEA TOWEL

 

 

 

 

 

CHICKEN OVEN MITT

 

 

I clearly need the matching set (right?) £18

SHOP THE OVEN MITT

 

 

 

 

 

 

COPPER FRUIT BOWL

This is the one colour I am obsessed with, copper and only £12 fruit bowl, egg basket, office addition. Multi functional if you ask me.

SHOP THE BASKET

 

 

 

BEE TAPEMEASURE

 

I am forever looking for a tape measure to measure things out (that and the fact I have no confidence in myself guessing) this is so pretty and duck egg and…. need i go on £10

SHOP THE TAPE MEASURE

 

 

 

BOOT CLEANER

 

 

I spend most of my week hoovering up mud from mats and the house generally so this is a definite buy. Plans to leave it by the back door so post chicken muck out i have somewhere to rub the excess of my boots (and it’s a stag and I love stags!) on sale at £16.80

SHOP STAG BOOT BRUSH

 

COPPER JARS

 

The kitchen in the cottage is just a collection of jars filled with different things. The only huge frustration is that they all have silver details.. look what i just found. gorgeous! and only £7.20 for the set of 2 in the sale

SHOP THE JARS

 

 

 

 

POM POM CUSHIONS

 

 

A little bit more on the expensive side but these cushions are to die for and totally go with the colour theme in my living room. The current mustard cushions have been chewed, sat on and are on their way out so what for a refresh! £29.50

SHOP THE CUSHIONS

 

 

NAUGHTY STEP

 

 

This made me chuckle as we do have a naughty step in our house so this would fit in perfectly, sadly on the wall not the stairs as we have carpeted stairs.. but still. £12.50

SHOP THE NAUGHTY STEP

 

 

 

 

WIRE PEN BASKET

 

 

I have one hell of a collection of pens that quite frankly i don’t use. I am thinking about ditching the ones i don’t need (or donating them to Arabella’s collection) and keeping the really useful ones in here on my desk. Chicken wire and copper what a combination and only £8

SHOP THE PEN POT

 

 

 

I clearly need to step in to February very carefully as the spending ban lifts but I know the absolute favourites on this list for me so maybe one or to purchases will happen on the 1st. Hope you enjoyed my first ever Home Favourites and don’t forget to follow to see what comes up in February!

Enjoy and thanks for reading.

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The Juice Box

If you are a follower of my Instagram channel you will already know I am well and truly on the OCD spectrum. I loathe mess, I loathe disorganisation and truly can’t stand not being able to find things.

In our house we have more technology that a post could even contain (partly due to what I do for a living) but this leaves me with the constant sight of cables charging various electricals everywhere. On top of annoying me immensely these cables get chewed by the puppy, played with by the cat and I’ve also been known to suck a few up the hoover (plugged in I might add) talk about hazards!

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I searched on Ebay and various other sites for some kind of ‘charger organiser’ plenty came up, there were colourful plastic ones, holder ones that held various things up, but nothing shouted out at me ‘i’m great value and I will fit with the country chic theme of your house’. I went on to pinterest and searched various options these ideas all amalgamated in to ‘The Juice Box’ so i moved over to Ebay for my supplies.

The box was just over £11 with a fast and free delivery option: here’s the link

The multi USB charger stand was just under £10: here’s the link

You can use any paint or colour you want, I went for chalk paint in antique white as i’m pretty much obsessed with the stuff, and the writing is optional (if anyone want’s to know how I did that just ask and I can put together another blog or video).

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Here is what the box looks like when it comes, there is an option to have a lid or no lid but wanting to hide it all away I went with a lid.

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Measure out where the power cable needs to feed in and with a wood bit drill out until you have made a whole big enough. I know there are big drill bits that would make a much bigger hole but I wanted to keep this low cost (and realistically when would I use it again).

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Once you have made your hole then it’s time to paint, I painted the whole box inside and out for a nice fresh finish but it’s up to you what you want to paint and the colour.

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Next I added my text (this is totally optional) but like I mentioned earlier if you want to know how I did it just ask). This was sanded to finish hence the dust everywhere.

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Attach the power cable and fix the USB tower in place with  little bit of double sided tape then add as many cables as you plan on using (as you can see for us it was rather a few).

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Done an in place without a cable in sight when the box is closer. It really was so easy. If I haven’t made sense or can give you any more tips please just get in touch or leave a comment!

Enjoy and thanks for reading.

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How to Embrace the Hate

Ok so this is not a post I really wanted to ever have to write but inevitably here we are.

The internet is a very big and un-policed place, a platform for people to share nice things and horrible things wherever they want and however they want and whenever they want. It’s pretty scary when you realise this.

I shared a video about single parenting (this was requested) with one of the big family companies in the UK. Having just sent them the raw footage weeks ago last night I made the terrible mistake of looking for it on social media after a friend had seen it. With their 304k following on social media the video has been viewed more than 100,000 times and apparently most of those people have an opinion about my views on being a single parent (and not a nice one).

So I read some (not all) of the comments last night and led in bed in a state of complete shock and upset, all the usual questions running through my mind ‘who do I try and help’ ‘why do i put myself in the firing line for this’ ‘why can’t I just be understood’ anyway after a phone call with my sister (at midnight) that brought me back to reality it made me realise that actually there are just some people that are really negative and miserable.

Every single one of us will have something going on in our lives that is worthy of being miserable about, whether it’s money, relationships, work or family there will be something for everyone. The big factor is how you react to this:

  1. You can be angry and bitter
  2. You can be sad and miserable
  3. You can be jealous and resentful
  4. Or…you can just accept it, make a plan to change it and try to focus on the positives (there are always some)

Sadly it seems that the great majority of people in the world opt for 1,2 and 3. This is a sad but a fact of life. How we react to a given situation can be down to how we were raised, how we’ve been taught to cope with things, the people around us influencing us and our own personality and outlook on life.

I am forever a ‘glass half full’ kind of person (not always the best mentality especially when running a business) but still I wouldn’t change it. having been through a fair few awful things in life I have learnt to take the positive out of every situation and focus on that. It’s just who I am and what I’ve learnt to do!

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What I have tried to focus on after reading all of these negative and nasty comments is that there is a reason that people react the way they do, and that not everyone is a ‘glass half full’ person like me. Being positive and upbeat is hard, being miserable and living in a pity party is easy, blaming someone else is easy and making yourself feeling better by attacking other people is self gratifying if you are that kind of person.

To just talk about the post itself: I highlighted how long I had been a single parent for (5 years) explained that I had been very embarrassed at the start not wearing my ring and being labeled as ‘divorced’. I focused on the positives that I had time to focus on things I wanted for myself while Arabella was with her dad. I then talked about why I thought it was something to be really proud of if you were managing as a single parent and that even though it’s hard there are positives to focus on.

However positive you are people will try and bring you down, knock you off your cloud of happiness so you can fall back in to the pity pit with them but like I mentioned earlier in any given situation it’s how you react to it. I have decided to take a step back (not to ever look again) and accept that some people are just not capable of seeing the positives, this doesn’t mean they are bad people they are just mis-educated people that either don’t want to see the positive, don’t want to accept where they are in life or just find it easier attacking other people and taking no responsibility for anything that has happened to them. With this in mind I feel sad for them, living an angry life is not enjoyable and will also influence the things that continue to happen.

To End…. Be kind, be positive and always remember that everyone has a reason to behave the way they do (whether it be good or bad) so just smile and scroll on.

Enjoy and thanks for reading.

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Just a little trip to London

As much as I use my blog to share my views and all array of recipes and crafting ideas, I also use it as a place to save memories. If we do anything meaningful or exciting it normally makes it’s way in to a blog post and this does fit in with the whole ‘mummy’ and ‘lifestyle’ blogger theme.

So yesterday Arabella and I made the 280 mile round trip up to London to visit one of my oldest and dearest friends @justalittlebuild or SJ as I know her.

We spoke on the phone a few weeks ago and given our diary’s and the diary’s of our four children the 21st December was the only date we could do. We decided that our ‘fun Christmas Holiday activity’ would be to make a completely homemade ‘from scratch’ gingerbread house with the kids, and then just generally have a really good catch up. In the last year following the massive build on her house SJ has become quite the instagrammer and blogger so it was a great opportunity for us to come together share tips, advice and generally have a good catch up.

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So we set off at 8.15am (after waiting for the sun to rise enough to get the chickens out) and headed straight for starbucks. Purchased a latte, portion of fruit toast and a croissant (which never even got eaten) and joined the M5. Within 20 minutes the entire contents of the honey had been poured all over the passenger seat of my car which was interesting to clean up, but with a handy pack of wet wipes the situation was resolved (I honestly think all people should carry wet wipes not just mums with babies, they literally clean ANYTHING, not just bottoms)

After at least 45 repeats of ‘are we nearly there yet’ we were there, and we got cracking. Both very much doers in life there was no tea drinking until the recipe was started and the kids hands were suitably covered in dough.

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for anyone interested below is the recipe we used:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/mary_berrys_gingerbread_91126

In hindsight though we managed to pull this off it was hit or miss at a few stages. We should have left the gingerbread in for longer, it was just too soft and as soon as we added the smarties on the roof it started to bow under the pressure. We got round this by filling the whole house with giant marshmallows (which luckily no one would ever know as it’s windowless). The Mummies completely took over and the kids seemed happy enough just decorating the shapes we made with the left over dough so we basically did the whole gingerbread house without any help from the kids (which I think secretly we were both pretty happy about) the likelihood of the children creating something instagram worth is small.

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The one thing I want to mention as someone who does a lot of baking is the genius idea from that recipe of using egg whites with icing rather than water. It made the consistency so much stickier to hold everything together, in all my years of baking I have never heard of this but will be something I definitely continue to do. Pure genius!

The rest of the day was just catching up, everyone having their photo taken in the F&M basket, sharing ideas about each of our channels and drinking tea. Arabella managed to completely cover one of her bunchies in icing so she had to have a bath before we left (SJ’s bath is deep and huge) so this was very exciting and of course warranted a photo. We tided up the remains of the icing, chocolates and gingerbread dough and SJ fed the kids and then we just had time for one last little cuppa before we left and hit the motorway for the trek home.

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The drive home was the fun bit! Arabella if you watch any of my channels you will know is rather a dramatic character. Within 10 minutes of leaving she had convinced herself she was sick/ill/poorly. We ended up pulling over so I could try talk some sense in to her as it was clearly just being tired (given that five minutes previous she had said how hungry she was) I managed to resolve the situation (i’m not entirely sure how) and we got on our way. I used Christmas songs as a distraction which worked for about an hour (with one still to go) then she went in to complete meltdown about a rub she had on her foot adamant she needed to go to the doctors as soon as we got home (oh the joys of kids). We got home I transferred her from the car to bed and sat down with a cup of tea to start writing this. what a perfect day with perfect company.

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Enjoy and thanks for reading.

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Lazy Cakes

Ok so i’m that mum that never has anything for desert bar fruit (boring I know) I am reluctant to buy yogurts because they sit there no one eats them and they go bad, everything else potted comes with a 2 year sell by date and you’ve got to wonder what’s in them.

I am also not the kind of mum that has time to prance around a field in a long floaty gingham skirt and hand pick apples then spend a further three hours hand crafting an apple pie for dessert (I mean who actually has time to do this?)

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So (before I talk my way off the point completely) I was in my mums kitchen last night and spotted a magazine page that had been saved with this recipe on it, naturally I stole it (with every intention of replacing it, though i’m sure it’s been there for 3 years) and gave it a go, something I could cook (ish) for dessert without having to preplan or buy anything specific.

Flour, butter, sugar and eggs are pretty much standard cupboard items for me so it’s not likely I won’t be able to find them all with ease. This was the easiest recipe to make and so tasty (I actually made it this morning and had it for breakfast (probably shouldn’t have admitted that.) So lets get baking.

What you need:

  • 60g caster Sugar
  • 60g Self Raising Flour
  • 60g Butter
  • 1 medium egg
  • 10ml milk (basically a splash)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence (not necessary if you don’t have a sweet tooth)

 

Put all the ingredients in to a bowl and mix for a couple of minutes or until smooth.

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This is what you want it to look like, and don’t worry because there should’t be too much.

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Split the mixture in to two microwave safe mugs.

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Put the mugs in to the microwave one at a time for 2 minutes each.

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Let them cool and then decorate them with whatever you like, we went for whipped cream and sprinkles but you could do melted chocolate, nuts basically whatever you like with cake.

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Enjoy and thanks for reading.

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Shein Wishlist

Ok it’s safe to say that over the last three months i have become totally obsessesed with Shein. A friend told me about them and when i got the app i was dubious, i really had no need to be. All the clothes do come from China but the wait is at most 10 days and in the three orders i have done it has been between 5-8 so i can vouch for he delivery being ok.

The next issue when you are buying clothes from China is the quality, we’ve all made a cheeky ebay purchase and waited 6 weeks to open an item that looks nothing like it does in the picture, Shein have solved this risk because on every item there is a review section with peoples pictures of what they received and how the sizing was, this gives you complete confidence in what you are ordering. Once you have the app you receive notifications every time there is a sale, free postage or anything else going on so i personally always wait for free delivery and then bam that full basket is checked out.

Here is currently what;s in my basket (and unless there are no huge opinions against anything will probably be checking out in the next few days!

Here is the current top 10 (and yes this look alot of procrastination and whittling down as i would have easily had this list at 30.

white drop shoulder swester

 

White V Neck Drop Shoulder Sweater

£14.80

 

Plain White Casual Acrylic Pullovers Oversized V Neck Long Sleeve Fall Winter Fabric has some stretch Sweaters.

http://rstyle.me/~adD0W

I am well and truly in winter mode at the moment and at the sight of any lovely fluffy chunky knit jumpers I will be guaranteed to go weak at the knees. White is a colour I love to wear but do have to be careful as with a flock of Chickens and three dogs I am constantly being jumped on. I have visions of this with some dark wash skinny jeans and a big chunky scarf for a more casual day, or on the flipside with a midi skirt tucked in an some biker boots. The options are endless with a simple tip like this.

boat line neck

 

Boat Neckline Polka Dot Top

£6.66

 

White Black and White Casual Boat Neck Three Quarter Length Polyester Polka Dot Regular Fit Fabric has no stretch Spring Fall Top Blouses.

http://rstyle.me/~adD0Z

Naturally I am drawn to polkadots, much the same as with pom poms (I honestly think it’s a diagnoseable problem) Black jeans, black pointed boots and a black blazer would be my outfit of choice for this all day long. And it would also double up as a smarter work top on the day i have to adult.

burgundy dress

 

Tiered Frill Sleeve Long Hijab Dress

£14.80

Burgundy Polyester Dresses Aribian Clothing.

http://rstyle.me/~adD11

I have steered clear of midi and maxi dresses my whole life on the basis that at 5’3 i m a bloody midget and i don’t need any help looking short. This year i have binned that insecurity and with the inspiration of pintrest have fully embraced the long dress, biker boot look and really love it. It’s warmer it means i don’t have to shave any part of my body in preparation for leaving the house and in all honesty is much more comfortable than skinny jeans.

pearl beading ruffle top

 

Pearl Beading Tiered Ruffle Sleeve Jumper

 

£16.28

Plain White Elegant Acrylic Pullovers Regular Fit Round Neck Long Sleeve Beaded Pearl Spring Fall Fabric has some stretch Layered Sleeve Flounce Sleeve Sweaters.

http://rstyle.me/~adD13

Another one of my huge fashion go to’s is Pearls. Classic, classy and lets face it really pretty. Another risky white jumper but justifiable because it’s so damn pretty. One to dress up or dress down but beautiful none the less.

stripe top

 

Striped Waist Tie Dip Hem Top

 

£8.88

Black and White Casual Cute Round Neck Sleeveless Polyester Striped Peplum Ruffle YES Fabric has no stretch Summer Blouses.

http://rstyle.me/~adD14

Totally out of season for this one but that’s not going to stop me, add a cardigan and the problem of cold arms is solved. Stripes are flattering, frills are flattering and blue and white is such a nice colour combination. Add some dark wash jeans, a tan boot and  navy cardigan and some pearls and you’ve got yourself a rather beautiful look.

embroided jumper

 

Embroidered Flower Patch Jumper

 

£16.28

Floral Green Casual Acrylic Pullovers Oversized Round Neck Long Sleeve Applique Embroidery Spring Fall Winter Fabric has some stretch Sweaters.

http://rstyle.me/~adD16

Dreamy or what! I won’t lie this is not my normal colour choice but with the floral detail I was really drawn to this jumper. Again I would put this as a skinny jean combo casual jumper but still with that floral detail it would make it a pretty one at least.

full length skirt

 

Crinkle Elastic Waist Full Length Skirt

 

£10.36

Grey Polyester Long/Full Length Shift Casual Plain Fabric has some stretch Spring Summer Fall YES Mid Waist Skirts.

http://rstyle.me/~adD19

Back on to the obsession with midi skirts. Grey sits nicely with black which is my preferred colour at the moment, no one has died i think in winter it is just the safest colour. I love midi skirts with oversized jumpers and this skirt looks so damn comfortable, it’s stretch allowing for a big lunch and comfort and with the pleats at the top it is really pretty.

floral sports set

 

Floral Print Sports & Leggings Set

 

£11.84

Pants Multi Polyester Floral Scoop Neck Sleeveless Sports Fabric has some stretch Spring Summer Two-piece Outfits.

http://rstyle.me/~adD1f

I have every intention of getting my workouts back up and running in January so this is clearly a must. I know it’s highly ridiclious to worry about what you are wearing when you workout but i honestly do. It makes me feel better, more motivated and much more likely to take a progress pic if i’m covered head to toe in floral lycra (and £11.84 for a two piece set is an absolute steal).

polk dot dress

 

Bell Sleeve Open Back Scalloped Polka Dot Dress

 

£14.80

Black and White Elegant Polyester Round Neck Three Quarter Length Sleeve Fit and Flare Short Knot Cut Out Zip Button Scallop Belted Polka Dot YES Fabric has no stretch Spring Fall A Line Dresses.

http://rstyle.me/~adD1j

This dress I LOVE, and because it has the black detail i’m pretty confident a pair of black tights on my hairy legs would be absolutely fine. It would be  no bra dress of course but that doesn’t worry me with my noobs (no-boobs) and would make a lovely outfit to a party of some description or a night out.

drop shoulder mustard

 

Lantern Sleeve Drop Shoulder Sweatshirt

 

£9.62

Pullovers Long Sleeve High Neck Yellow Plain Polyester Fabric has some stretch Spring Fall Casual Slim Fit Sweatshirts.

http://rstyle.me/~adD1m

If you follow me on Instagram @lifeinthecottage you will have seen this colour feature quite a lot. In Autumn I started becoming very drawn to this colour and that has continued in to winter with now sign of lessening. It is gorgeus with both black and navy (which isn’t easy to do) and with a dark bob is a nice colour to contrast. The high neck (not rolled neck as i have now learnt) it keeps you warm but doesn’t make like you have no neck at all (some of us need all the help we can get to look elegant.

So there is is my current top 10 Shein favorites, now i’ve written this I feel like it’s ok to hit checkout. (I will never learn)

Thanks for reading and speak up if you have used Shein before.

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Solo Christmas

I know full well that a lot of my followers are mums and some even single mums like me. Speaking from experience It is such a daunting prospect facing Christmas as a single parent (especially a new one) but i’m about to give you a little vote of confidence on this one because it’s not that bad.

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Ok so my first solo Christmas, this was the hardest. I pulled the Christmas hamper out brimming with sparkles and glitter to find memories of family life, Surname based signs and I sobbed, I sobbed my little heart out. I wondered how it had all gone so wrong and how I ended up alone. I really did my absolute best to create the worlds biggest pity party, which all my family and friends were of course invited to. I think on your first solo Christmas everyone is fairly understanding of the change and the upset (but let me tell you this won’t last).

Come January all the decorations came down and went back in to the hamper and the year carried on, every day with me getting stronger and stronger.

Christmas year two I started to create our own traditions, cried less and started caring less about which parent had spent the most money or bought the best gift. (At the age of two lets face it Arabella was happy with the wrapping and the box). The next two Christmases moved forwards in a similar fashion until Christmas number 5 (which is the present day).

Christmas-dinner

Initially I just want to say it’s amazing how much good you will find if you start to look for the positive in any given situation.

We have always split the day 50/50 one of us will have Arabella on Christmas eve and in the morning, the other from Lunchtime on Christmas day through to Boxing day. Initially of course this was terrible and having to make the order in court was even less of a joy, but now I wouldn’t have it any other way. Arabella is actually with me this Christmas eve and Christmas Day morning, but when she goes to her dads at lunch time, do you know what…I’m going to crack out my pyjamas and binge watch Christmas films (something I wouldn’t be able to do if she was with me) I could go out for festive drinks, i’m basically a free agent. You can view this as  good or a bad thing ‘woe is me I don’t have my child on this magical day‘ or ‘Ok I’ve seen her on this magical day but now I’ve got 8 hours to be selfish, post Christmas day selfie pics on Instagram and generally bum around doing whatever the hell I want’ It’s entirely up to you whether you go for the positive or the negative but you will soon realise the easier road to go down.

My top tips for coping with a solo Christmas:

1.Chuck out anything that resembles the old relationship you had (take as long as you need to do this but believe me it’s easier when it’s gone)

2. Start creating your own traditions with your children, ones that only involve you and them (or maybe even your family) basically people that will be sticking around.

3. Get social, go out see friends, stay busy at the beginning an don’t sit and dwell.

4. Don’t get in to a present war with the other parent. Who cares who bought what as long as they get something, fill themselves with turkey an watch some sort of Disney Christmas film (these are kids it’s not an interview for the apprentice)

4. Turn off your ‘on this day’ setting on Facebook or you will be inundated with reminders of what you were doing last Christmas (and who with) who needs that shit.

5. Look for the positive, for example: ‘yes this is a shitty situation but in what way could it be seen as positive’ (silver linings do really come with every cloud)

5. And lastly an probably most importantly, put yourself first, have some downtime, do whatever makes YOU happy at Christmas, this can be anything from sleeping to getting blind drunk on Mulled wine (the choice really is yours).

I hope this helps you if you are going through your first, second or perhaps third solo Christmas. And like I said at the beginning it really isn’t that bad. (I promise)

Thanks for reading and as always speak up if you’ve got something to say.

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