Katie

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Body Image // Working On Myself

Look at me, kind of blogging on a regular basis now, obviously got this writers block well and truly nailed.to.the.wall. 

Or possibly not but we won’t dwell on that too much. 

In my last post (she says, this is only the 3rd one she’s written this year, let’s not get carried away now) I touched on the fact that I am over diets. Clearly, this shocked a few people who know me in real life. I think the Husband even said something along the lines of “I’m fucking holding you to this, I now have it in writing”. 

Yes, he reads my blog (hiiiii husband) and yes, he swears just as much as me, an angel he is not, despite appearances. 

So I thought I’d go into a bit more detail on this ‘lil old topic, because, I’m nothing if not thorough. 

I, like most women probably, go through stages. One day I can be all kinds of feeling myself, the next I feel like Quasimodo’s uglier sister. It’s all down to hormones and whatever but it really pisses me off.

Years, and I mean years (I’m 40 in 2021 FFS) of dieting, reading the constant battering celebs get in the press if they’re not a size 6, headlines about how the latest star has FINALLY dropped 3 stone and is now acceptable to look at, can really play havoc with someones mind. 

But, towards the end of last year, something changed in my head in regards to the way I think of myself. 

Body Positive accounts on Instagram, ‘curves’ on film & tv and nutritionalists literally pulling apart the diets bit by bit to show you how fucked up they are, they’ve all helped to bring about that teeny, tiny spark in me that thinks, maybe I don’t have to be on a diet for the rest of my life. 

Body Image // Working On Myself

Wouldn’t that be fun!?

It always surprises me, but, I quite like myself actually. I’ve birthed two rather incredible humans, not died after almost dying, got through various ops, accidents and whatever else happens to our bodies as we grow, I even managed to not break my head when my dog pulled me into the corner of a wall as a kid, and everything still works. Quite well in fact. 

OK, so my stomach is not my best bit. A home for two people, a c-section and all kind of issues in the old womb has made it slightly softer than one would hope for, and, I literally cannot remember what it looked like pre-kids. I even asked T the other week and, sadly, he can’t either. I mean, I know it was flat because I got it tattooed, but that’s as far as the memory goes. 

My legs are long and fairly toned, apart from at the top of my thighs where I look like I could store some baby mice for safekeeping. Thigh pockets shall we say? (I don’t know if there even is a name for these, but pockets they shall be)

As for the boobs, amazing in a bra, not too shabby out of one but obviously they’re not as fit as they were when I was 20. 

But, so what!?

I’m 37 (38 soon in case you’re think you should start shopping for my present) I’ve been married to my ACTUAL best friend for 18 years and annoying him for 22. So he obviously quite fancies me. I’ve got two really cool kids who I’m going to take at least 50% credit for and my life is pretty bloody good. 

I like food too much to want to live on salad and low fat yogurt. Yes, I want to eat burgers and steak, double cooked fries and ALL the avocado on toast. 

Body Image // Working On Myself

I want to wear clothes that flatter & make me feel sexy, and, even if I had a washboard stomach, I still wouldn’t be wearing a crop top – have you seen how many times they have to be pulled back down again!? I’m all about the comfortable thank you very much. 

I’m going to try really hard to listen to my body this year. I used to be very anti breakfast, and would try and go as long as possible without food until lunch. When, obviously Sherlock, I’d be starving. Now, I can’t leave the house without my porridge pot to eat at my desk. I have NO idea how many calories are in it, and I don’t bloody care. It fills me up & keeps me going until I can have lunch. 

Groundbreaking! 

Some days I’ll want salad and salmon and want to go on long walks with the dogs, but some days I’ll want pizza on the sofa watching TV and probably won’t move for a good 4 hours. Both are completely fine. 

It’s really hard to switch off the guilt, you know, “I’ll eat this but then tomorrow I’ll be good and that’ll balance it out” but I’m going to try and stop myself every time I think like that. Food isn’t just “on a diet, this will make me skinny” or “having a blow out, eat all the calories” food. There’s a complete middle ground, where, so I’m led to believe, you can eat all of the food groups, whenever you want. Just by listening to what your body actually needs. 

I’m over it. I am over it. (if you said that in Rachel from Friends voice, you’re my kind of person) 

So, I’m gonna read the blogs & the books. I’m going to keep following the accounts that shout about loving yourself and I’m going to work really hard on loving myself too. And, if you want to be on your diet, I’m not going to knock you – you do you and I’ll do me. 

(also, yes, all the photos are food related – you’d be surprised at how many photos of food I have inside my phone!) 

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Beuti Skincare | Beauty Sleep Elixir Review

I’m back! And doing what I love – talking all things skincare

Way back in 2018 I was sent a bottle of Beuti Skincare Beauty Sleep Elixir – the name alone had my attention, beauty sleep elixir, it sounds like something that is going to wipe away years of tiredness. 

Apparently, the Duchess of Sussex is a huge fan of this wonder oil after being given a bottle by Kate Middleton, so, you know, I’m mixing with the Royals now. 

The beauty oil has 14 precious plant oils and supports skin barrier function, a key role in fighting ‘inflammaging’ which is the name given to describe the ageing of skin due to inflammation over a period of time. Sun, pollution and over exfoliation are all big culprits.  

Beuti Skincare | Beauty Sleep Elixir Review

Beauty Sleep Elixir is 100% natural and made using 98% organic oils like camellia, lavender, geranium and neroli, which makes it smell incredible and, obviously, lavender helps you to sleep like a baby which is a double bonus. 

There are various ways to use the oil, 1 pump before makeup or 2-3 before bed. I used to be very anti oil because I have combination skin, but, since learning that I was all kinds of wrong, I feel like my skincare isn’t finished at night if I don’t apply a layer of facial oil. 

Depending on my skin, and what mood it’s in, 1 pump before make up, works really well but at certain times in the month, when my face isn’t playing ball, it doesn’t help to keep my foundation on. 

At night though, it’s a completely different story. I absolutely LOVE it. I apply 3 pumps to my clean face, in a very fancy way, it says to ‘pat it into your skin’ which always makes me feel like I’m having a facial, no rubbing or dragging of the skin here. 

It sinks in quickly and doesn’t leave your face overly shiny, but it feels like it’s doing all kinds of amazing magic on your face, and you wake up with very happy skin. 

Beuti Skincare Beauty Sleep Elixir is available here for £42 for 30ml – but be quick as it sells out at speed! The power of the Duchess! 

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Making Cash, Dumping Diets & Earrings Galore

It’s already the 21st of January. Usually, this month drags it’s tired little arse and feels like it lasts forever and a day. 

Not this January. I actually can’t believe we’re already 21 days in, where in the hell has it gone? 

I started 2019 determined to have a good year, you know, when you’re watching the fireworks and you just feel full of hope and promise, a brand new, blank paged year. 2018 ended pretty damn well, and it made the transition into another year that little bit easier. 

I’m still riding that positivity wave now, despite the odd wobble here and there. 

What I’ve noticed (what we’ve ALL noticed I’m sure!) is January becomes the month of don’t. Don’t eat that, don’t do this, don’t carry on with what you’re doing. It’s all about the deprivation and I am not here for that. 

January is already the most depressing month of the year. Christmas seems like an age ago, Summer is nowhere near in sight and we’re all desperately clinging on until pay day. Why the flip do we want to make it harder on ourselves? 

Answers on postcards please. 

Instead of focussing on the negatives in my life, leaving me feeling like a big fat failure before I’ve even done anything, I’ve decided to make a list of things I want to achieve this year, attainable (I hope?) happy rewarding goals that make my 2019 feel as good as possible. 

I’m really getting into manifestation and the power of positive thinking – this coming from the original Negative Nancy is saying something – I’ve read so many books about putting what you want out there in the universe that I am starting to see how that works, and I’m feeling it. 

So, with that in mind, I thought I’d write down some of my goals for the year, it helps me to write things down (in many different formats, so I’ll be blogging, journalling, texting the old BF and telling the husband a million times a week, just to make sure) 

Make The Cash 

No beating around the bush here. Like the Rolling Stones said, I want money.

There’s no point pretending that life is all about flowers and candy floss, to live the life you want, you need to make the cash.

I’ve spent a good few years of my life looking for the “career” – that one job that you settle into and stay there until retirement. But, strike a light, I’ve finally realised that isn’t the life for me. I’m better off with my fingers in a few different pies, and, as long as I get my balancing act right, I’m able to give each of them my full attention. 

I have the IRL job, I have my blog and I have my newest baby, La Lune London which I am all kind of crazy for. Between them, I get the best of all worlds. Regular work, 3 days a week, a creative outlet and the chance to shop, curate and style a brand. I am literally in heaven. 

Now, the rest of the year is going to be about building the blog & La Lune London up to be the best they can be and living my best life babes. 

Self Care

Self Care is all about doing what you want to do, and saying a happy ‘fuck off’ to anyone who wants to make you feel crap about it.

Hot baths. Yoga classes. Eating the chocolate even though you had a piece of bread that day. Burning the expensive candles – even just BUYING the expensive candles! Eating out, having a day off, not wearing make up, whatever it is YOU want to do to make yourself feel good. Do it. Do it and enjoy it! 

Enjoying Being UN-Busy

I’m really good at being lazy & I don’t even try and hide it anymore. I am quite happy being at home, on the sofa with my favourite people. Of course, I can go to the party, but you can bet your arse I’ll be leaving when I want, get home before the ‘too drunk’ stage kicks in, and be in time for a cup of tea. 

I don’t care if being busy is seen as a badge of honour. It’s not for me. I am, of course, busy. With two kids, two dogs, 3 jobs, a husband, friends and a family there are loads of things to do, but I’m not going to make myself out to be some kind of high flying world leader. And if you’re not one of those either, stop acting like you are.

So if you’re the kind of person who likes to make others feel less about themselves because you think you win the busy award, then get yourself on your bike and toodle off thanks. 

Stop The Diet Bullshit

Oh my god I could write a book on this. I cannot tell you how sick to death I am of hearing about the newest diet, the latest star to lose 3 stone, or the best way to cook something fat free and remove all of it’s flavour. 

DIETS DON’T WORK!

If they did, there would only be one and everyone would be a size whatever they want. 

Despite knowing this, I have been sucked into the whole “maybe I should try this diet….” routine again already this year. URGH. Slap me round the face with a syn free cheesecake will you? Surprise surprise, I was miserable, my chin broke out and all I could think about was food. 

Shocker. 

Not everyone is made to be a size 10 or will lose weight following a diet. And not everyone wants to hear about what you had to eat this week. And, by constantly hearing about others being on a diet, it can trigger a whole load of issues for some people. If being a size 16 is the worst thing about someone, then I reckon they’re doing pretty good. Life is too short to be worrying about how many syns or points something has. If you want it, eat it. 

I will not go on another diet this year. If anyone hears me saying otherwise, please sort me out. I will, however, be reading up on intuitive eating and sorting my own issues out.  

All About The Mini Break

We haven’t had a proper holiday since 2016. URGH. What with work, moving house, and the fact that we’re not made of cash, holidays have gone on the back burner for the past THREE FRIGGING YEARS. No more! We’ve got two planned already, and we’re looking at a third one later in the year. It doesn’t have to be expensive, it doesn’t have to be fabulous and it doesn’t have to be abroad. All it needs to be is an adventure. 

Because I’m Happy

2019 has all the hallmarks of a good year. I don’t have any great expectations, I’m just going with it, wherever that may be. All I am interested in is being happy and having a good time. There’s always that “now I’ve said it, I’m gonna jinx it” vibe but not this year! I am putting happy out into the universe and I am expecting Happy to come right on back to me! 

(and that first blog of 2019 turned into a bit of an essay didn’t it……..!) 

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Don’t worry! We’re not moving again! Not for a long time if I can help it! But, interiors are right up there on my list of loves. I can spend hours browsing through home magazines, Instagram accounts and blogs all about home style. 

In our old home I was desperate for downpipe grey. The living area (I say area, as it was the entire downstairs space, there were no room as such) was at the back of the house and constantly in the shade, so the dark grey suited it. No amount of white paint was going to inject any light into that house. In our new home, it’s full of light, from every angle. The front of the house gets the evening light, where it’s that orange kind of glow, the perfect light for relaxing in. The back of the house, including the garden is bathed in sun until around 5ish.

Which means I am all about the white walls here. I’ve had my fix of dark interiors, I loved it at the time, but I’ve moved on. I’m fickle like that. 

The white walls means I can change things pretty much instantly. Switch the cushion covers depending on the season, change the frames on the wall, add plants, light fittings, all done with less expense than a tin of paint. Bobs your uncle, Fanny’s your aunt. 

I love the fact that the entire downstairs has real wood flooring, with 2 kids, 2 dogs and a whole load of football boots it makes it so much easier to keep clean, plus, it goes perfectly with the white walls. 

Obviously, being me, there are still a few things I’m on the hunt for. The top 5 for 2019 so to speak. 


Velvet Sofa

I will never be satisfied until I have the sofa of dreams. In my head we’re talking either forest green or navy blue velvet. Soft, squishy and more comfortable than a cloud. Also, more expensive than I can afford right now, but I’ll keep searching. I have real issues with sofas. If they look good, they’re probably uncomfortable. If they’re comfortable, then I bet they have a touch of the granny look. I’ve yet to find the holy grail, but I believe it lives at Loaf. 

5 Home Additions For The New Year


Coffee Table Situ

The situ being I cannot find the one I want. Hairpin legs. Battered, dark wood. Low level. It’s not much to ask is it? I spend hours scouring through eBay & Wayfair looking for the right one but so far I’ve drawn a blank. When I see it, I’ll know. 


Music To My Ears

For the wife of such a techy, I’m disappointed in our speaker system. I want (I know, I want never gets, but whatever) speakers in every room. Loud enough to blast your ear drums. Think singing along to A Star Is Born with all your heart while washing up. And the odd summer party. I cannot live without music. Cannot, will not. There’s not a day goes by where I’m not singing along to something. In fact, I will make an excuse to go for a drive just so I can blast the radio. I’m that woman. 


Candles Everywhere

I’m not a snob. Not anymore anyway. Pre Aldi I was all about Neom and Diptyque. Now, I’m more than happy with any of the £3.99 bargains that Aldi have to offer. The more the merrier and, at that price, I can whack one on in every single room of the house without a flicker of guilt. See what I did there? 

5 Home Additions For The New Year


Door Mat Magic

This is a difficult one. Our front door is quite low, which means we haven’t found a mat that fits there, and can have an open door swing over it. Do you see the kind of difficulties I have in life? It needs to be something pattered, preferably round and one that doesn’t need to be kicked out of the way every time you open the door to the Amazon man. I mean guests. 

There, not too extensive huh! What’s on your list of home buys in the New Year? 

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2018 // What The Year Taught Me

Tomorrow is New Years Eve. It always comes a week after Xmas but seems to surprise me each year. I get so caught up in it almost being Christmas that I forget it’s the end of the year as well.

I’m really not interested in going out and getting shit faced to bring in the New Year. My urge for partying reduces each time the hangover feels worse. 

As we wave goodbye to 2018, I realised it’s been quite a good year. I’ve camped (in an actual tent) for longer than 2 nights. And (kind of) enjoyed it. I’ve moved house. I’ve survived through mock GCSE stress and I’ve seen my youngest go away on a school trip which had ZERO parental contact. I’ve started a new business (I was going to add the word ‘little’ in there, but I’m not doing that anymore) and I’ve sold out of stock 3 times over. I’ve instagrammed the shit out of events, and come off social media for a while to save my sanity. 

We’ve had the Beast from the East, the hottest summer in forever and almost the World Cup. I even cried at a Royal wedding. The husband has flown a helicopter (may have swooned a bit) and I lost a beautiful person from my life. 

But what have I actually learned this year? 


I’m Happy With Myself

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to change something about myself. Always had that little voice in my head that starts a sentence like “once I’ve done/got/changed/lost (insert word here) I’ll be happy…..” 

But, 2018 Kate has learned that this is a big fat lie. 

On the rare occasions I did change something, lose weight, or whatever, I was straight onto the next thing I felt I needed to change. It’s a never ending cycle of self sabotage. 

The only way to actually be happy is to just do it. Appreciate everything you have, everything you are and just bloody enjoy life while you have it. Follow your heart, and your intuition on things and you can’t go far wrong. I’ve always ignored my intuition, only to regret it when things go wrong. But now, when my gut is telling me something, I try to listen. 

I’m not, for one second, saying I’m perfect, far from it. I want to get healthier, for healths sake, in 2019. I want to find a yoga class I can go along to, not because I want to photograph myself doing a downward dog and get all the likes, but because I want to use it to chill the fuck out. But, who I am right now, before I make any changes, is just as fine as who I could be at the end of next year. 


 

You Don’t Have To Share It

Bloody social media. I’ve had a real love affair with it in the past, wanting to post everything and anything. When stories came to Instagram, it took me a while to appreciate it, but then, when I realised I could post my unedited (and more real life) life on there, I was all over it like a rash. 

Lately, it’s been more of a chore than something I enjoy. Finding the right photo, being at the right event, posting at the right time to get the right amount of likes to beat the god damn algorithm – has all equalled a big fat eff off to Instagram. The amount of effort it takes to get the right image has completely battered the original concept of Instagram being, well, instant. 

I’ve been using social media for La Lune London, but my personal page has taken a back seat. I still love nothing more than scrolling through my feed, watching my favourite accounts on stories and getting inspiration but I don’t feel the need to post my ENTIRE LIFE on there anymore. 

No doubt I’ll get sucked in again soon, but for now, I’m enjoying being social in real life.  


Life Is For Living Your Way

Do it your way. It’s the only way you’ll be happy. Visit the places you want to visit, eat the food you want to eat, style your home and your wardrobe that makes your heart sing.
 
Who cares what anyone else is doing? Their life is their life. Yours is yours. Trying to live your life to please, or even get approval from someone else is like a ticking time bomb. 
 
Say no when you want to say no. As long as you’re not hurting anyone, why should you put yourself in situations that make you feel unhappy, to please others? Turn down the guilt (still working on this one!) there’s SO much guilt, everywhere! From what you eat, to what decisions you make. At the end of the day, you have to make yourself happy. No one else can do that for you, and you certainly can’t make anyone else happy if your life is miserable. 
 
For me, that means saying no to invites when I need to. Using my favourite cups everyday & burning the candles every evening, no matter how expensive they are. Wearing skinny jeans and trainers every day of the week, growing my hair despite being nearer 40 than 30. Crazy prints, mismatched interiors, loud music, no diets and no hangovers. I love to read my ‘hippie’ books, believe in manifestation, the power of the moon and crystal magic. I want to grow a herb garden, which we’ve named the witch patch. I love journalling and spilling my guts on here. It all makes me happy. It doesn’t work for other people, but then I don’t expect it to. And if they’re any kind of friend to you, they won’t expect their way of thinking to work for you. 
 
Let your freak flag fly! 

Happiness Is The Key

At the end of the day (year!) all that really matters is happiness. However that feels for you. I don’t have massive goals for 2019. I don’t want to set myself up to fail. All I want from the New Year is to feel content with my life.

I really believe in speaking as if it’s already happened, something I learned from Gala Darling (read her books!) the power of manifestation, and, I think 2019 is the year that I step into that side of myself more, there’s a full on hippie living inside of me, and I’m going to let her live wild and free in the new year! Expectations, judgements, punishing myself (and others) for things that are out of our control, none of them are welcome in the next year. 

2017 was the year of hell for me, 2018 was about repairing the damage and learning from it. By my reckoning, 2019 is about revelling in the changes that have come about and stepping into a new year with happiness. 


So that’s me. The top things I’ve learned this year. There are probably a million other things, smaller, bigger, things that will occur to me once I’ve pressed publish. 

Tomorrow we’ll be seeing in the new year with a glass of something cold – Aperol for me, some nibbles and the TV. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be. Living my dream. 

 

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How To Find Yourself Whilst Travelling

Aah, finding yourself whilst travelling. How cliche does that sound, and how many times have we heard it all before? Somebody comes back from their gap year wearing pyjama-like trousers covered with elephants, and claims that they know the meaning of life now. Yet it doesn’t have to be like this, and there are many ways to actually find out who you are and what you like by travelling, and seeing the world for yourself. We’ve put them down here so that you can give them a try…

Go it alone

Whilst there are dangers present from travelling by yourself (particularly if you’re a woman) going it alone can be a great way to find yourself, and do what you really want to do. Sure, travelling with friends can be great fun, but have you ever truly just gone out there and done what you wanted to do? You’ll soon realize that you’re more inclined to talk to other travellers, you’ll be seeing everything the way that you want to see it, and you’ll have some time to really think about what you want out of life (and to appreciate what travel is really teaching you). If you want to find yourself, going out there alone is sometimes the best thing to do.

Go on an adventure challenge

For those out there who really want to push themselves, there are plenty of adventure challenges that await. Could you imagine yourself cycling around Kerala, or hiking in the countryside in the UK? Even if you can’t, why not? Not only will it be a test of your physical endurance, but Global Adventure Challenges will also allow you to take some time to yourself mentally, and conquer some of the roadblocks that you put up for yourself. Is there a better way to find yourself than making sure that you don’t just wait around in your comfort zone? We can’t think of one…

Speak to people

Ok, we know your Mom would have always told you not to speak to strangers. But you could make some lifelong friends when you’re travelling, simply by speaking to people that you meet in hostels and making sure that you always get involved if an opportunity presents itself to you. If you’re too reclusive when you’re travelling, you’ll find the experience extremely isolating and you won’t be getting everything that you can out of it. Make friends with new people, never say ‘no’ to something new, and you’ll find the adventurous side in you that you never even knew you had!

So, there are many ways to find yourself whilst travelling, and one of them is to go it alone. Whilst you have to be safe if you opt for this, it can also help you to push yourself a bit further, and see the world in a different way. You can also go on a global adventure challenge and test your endurance, and making sure that you speak to people is key. Enjoy your adventure, and finding yourself!

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Christmas With Hever Castle

It’s become a bit of a family tradition to start off our festivities at Hever Castle. This year was our third visit and it’s just as special as the first. 

Hever Castle is just gorgeous on it’s own, but when it’s filled with lights & Christmas it is even more incredible! We arrived just as it was getting dark so the tree lined walk down towards the lake felt like a real winter wonderland. 

The lake joined in this year too, with a huge light show happening across it. I could have sat and watched it for hours with a cup of mulled wine and a mince pie! 

Christmas With Hever Castle

Christmas With Hever Castle

Even though we’ve been in the castle many times before, it never gets boring. The history is just amazing, walking around the rooms, seeing the furniture, paintings and artefacts that were actually around in the days of Henry VII and his wives – I love it! 

This year we were greeted with said mince pies, mulled wine, mulled apple and even hot chocolate. Which felt very decadent, walking around the castle drinking! I imagine it’s how Anne Boleyn felt….

Christmas With Hever Castle

The theme this year was Dickens, and the Christmas Carol story. The walk around the grounds meant we met lots of characters from the story, and, being interactive, we got to speak to a few as well! The walk is always so beautifully laid out, they think of everything, with the characters taking their roles very seriously, no matter who they’re speaking to, adult or child. 

After the walk we had the chance to meet the big man himself, Father Christmas! We found the grotto hidden away down the walkway, with candy canes galore and once inside we were treated to a hot chocolate with marshmallows and cream – it’s obviously freezing in the grotto! 

FC’s chief elf met us, and, luckily, found Charlie’s name on the good list, which meant we were allowed in. Charlie was able to draw a picture for Father Christmas, for him to put up in the grotto. 

You know sometimes when you visit Father Christmas and you come away feeling a little, shall we say, deflated? Not at Hever. He was, for want of a better word, magical. Charlie was in his element and came away feeling very proud that Santa had complimented him on his manners and how polite he was. He left with a board game for us all to play! 

Christmas With Hever Castle

Christmas With Hever Castle

Christmas With Hever Castle

Christmas With Hever Castle

Christmas With Hever Castle

Once we left the grotto we headed back to the lake, via the Huskies that were visiting, just to take in the views one last time. 

We all adore visiting Hever Castle for the Twilight Christmas – it signals the start of the magic for us, adults, teenagers and little kids alike. There is nothing quite like it, and I think it’s going to be a tradition for a long time to come. 

Christmas With Hever Castle

We were invited along to the Hever Castle preview this year, but all views are mine! 

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My Gallery Wall With Desenio

We’ve been in our new home for a good 4 months now, so we’re feeling really settled and more like we actually live here, rather than ‘borrowing’ someone else’s house. Now it’a all about putting some personality into each room, especially on the walls, it’s really important to me that the house has character and feels like it belongs us. 

The walls are all gorgeous, bright white which I love, despite moving from a house where I wanted to paint every wall a dark colour. I think, because this house is so full of light, it suits the white, pared back look. It’s a complete contrast but one that we all love. Plus, we can change the character of the room just by changing the furnishings and details, a lot cheaper (and easier) than painting the walls every time we fancy a new look!

My Gallery Wall With Desenio

I love art, and a gallery wall has always been on my room checklist. We had a small one in the old house, but we have a separate dining room now, which felt a little bare compared to the living room, so I really wanted to fill an entire wall with images that suited us as a family. 

Desenio very kindly sent me a voucher to use so I could design our gallery wall from scratch. 

I knew I wanted black frames, I love how they pop against the white wall, and there had to be at least one large framed print as the central image, but apart from that, I was fairly open minded about what images we’d use. Desenio is amazing for inspiration, maybe even a little too amazing! It took me hours to decide. 

My Gallery Wall With Desenio

My Gallery Wall With Desenio

My Gallery Wall With Desenio

The best part for me, was being able to design how the gallery wall would look, with several layouts to choose from, and giving you the chance to add prints you liked, to see if they worked well.

I managed, in the end to whittle it down from the thousands Desenio have available and I chose a LOVE typography print as the largest image, because that’s what family is about. Obviously there had to be a quote in there, I didn’t want too much text as it would have been a lot of black and white on white walls, but the one that stood out to me the most was the Change your thoughts one. PMA baby!

My Gallery Wall With Desenio

My Gallery Wall With Desenio

My Gallery Wall With Desenio

I added a leaf print with gorgeous greens and pinks, the most beautiful Frida Kahlo one which I am obsessed with and, of course, there had to be a moon imagine in there. La Lune. I also added a New York print for the hallway and a tiny “Stay Weird” postcard sized print in bright pink for the living room.

My Gallery Wall With Desenio

My Gallery Wall With Desenio

My Gallery Wall With Desenio

Because you must always let your weird flag fly!

The finished result looks amazing and they fill the blank wall perfectly, it’s changed the whole feel of the dining room now, just 5 framed prints and the entire room feels complete and more us.

My Gallery Wall With Desenio

CHANGE YOUR THOUGHTS // LA LUNE // PALM PRINT // LOVE 

FRIDA // STAY WEIRD // NEW YORK

What do you think? I have already been eyeing up some prints for the bedrooms! 

The code “LIFEDAILY” gives 25% off posters* on all of our sites between November 27th and 29th.
(Except for frames and handpicked-/collaboration posters)

 

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Three Ideas For An Italian Mini Break

Italy is a great option for getting out of the country, even if it just for a short break such as a 3 day weekend. The food is wonderful, the people are friendly, and the climate is all around comfortable. It draws millions of visitors, all in the pursuit of “La Dolce Vita”.

For your next Italian mini break, here are three ideas of where to go:

Sicily

Sicily is not just any island. It has beautiful beaches, a volcano, Greek temples and other UNESCO World Heritage sites. The food is incredible, the people are friendly and it is a wonderful place to spend a holiday. Getting there is not difficult, as there are two main international airports and budget airlines such as Ryan Air fly there. To make your trip that much more special, you can check out the luxury villas in Sicily for rent on websites like Wishsicily that list all of the ones available. At a villa, you will have the privacy and space that helps shift to holiday mode and surprisingly, they can actually save you money from their base price as well as the money you can save just by having a meal or some snacks made in your own kitchen.

Three Ideas For An Italian Mini Break

Umbria

Umbria is a special region in the heart of Italy. It is often overlooked as it is so close to Tuscany, but it is a place that will keep you wanting to come back. It is green with gorgeous countryside and historic cities such as Perugia, Assisi and smaller villages scattered throughout the region. You can happily spend 3 days in Umbria eating and drinking your way through the region, visiting the Basilica di San Francesco in Assisi and stopping off in whichever village appeals to you.

Veneto

The most famous part of the region of Veneto is understandably the city of Venice. With the canals, colorful homes and Piazza San Marco, Venice is a magical city that is unlike any other place in the world. If you have already been or want to avoid heavy tourism during your mini break, there are plenty of other cities and sites to see in the region as well. For example, you could spend one day popping over to visit the islands of Murano and Burano. For another day and with just a quick train-ride from Venice, you can visit the charming and well-kept city of Verona.

These are only three of the many options that Italy has to offer for a mini break. If you want a trip to the mountains, the Dolomites are gorgeous to visit. If you want pure seaside, there is always the Amalfi Coast (that is especially convenient to get to from Rome and Naples). If you prefer lakes, Lake Garda and Lake Como are beautiful. One of my favourite parts about Italy is that the landscapes, cuisines and even cultures shift as you go from region to region. So whatever you may dream up for your holiday, there is a good chance that Italy offers it, plus the special characteristics that make it a destination in Italy.

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What's Your List Like?

Thank F**k it’s Friday. 

That’s all I can say. It’s been a long week! Anyone else feel like last Friday was at least 2 weeks ago? Just me? 

My weeks tend to run to the same familiar pattern. 

Monday: Day Off (ha! oh how we laugh at this term) 

Tues//Wed//Thurs: Kids, work, kids, dinner, kids, sofa. 

Friday: Day off to plan all of the relaxing things we’re going to be doing at the weekend.

Like clearing the garden of a gazillion leaves, serious question, do they actually mulsh (that’s a word right?) down into nothing and magically feed the grass or do we have to pick them all up? There are a LOT of leaves. Clean the car. Go to football. And squash. Take the teenager to a shopping centre. Food shop. Dog walks. Washing that doesn’t get done during the week because the days zoom by and before you know it the basket is overflowing and no one has clean socks. 

Except me, I don’t wear socks. 

See. Re-lax-ing. 

We might even throw a little bit of DIY in there somewhere, there are always things to do, in the garden, especially, I’m led to believe, in the lead up to winter. Apparently you should be ticking things off your list like clearing the gutters, finding companies like Drainage Services UK and all sorts. 

I’m not really that kind of DIY’er though. I’m more than happy to leave that to T and I’ll concentrate on things like where to put the Christmas tree, what colour tinsel (I hate tinsel but I have a plan) will go round the banisters and how many fairy lights do you need for outside. These are the kind of projects I’m down for. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love a list. I really do. But wouldn’t it be nice if that list was more of a “get hair & nails done” and less of “we need to order another recycling bin”. 

But we really do need another recycling bin…..

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I've Never Met A Leopard Print I didn't Like....

Actually, that’s a lie. I have met a leopard print which I absolutely hated, it was a weird colour combination which had way too much dark brown going on, but that’s beside the point. 

It’s basically a neutral. 

I can’t tell you exactly when I became ‘a bit mad about leopard print’ as my 9 year old tells me. I know it’s come on with age, and roughly around the same time I started mix matching my interiors and making things clash. 

My quarter life crisis (yes, that’s a thing) clearly has pattern, texture and colour as it’s thing. And I’m more than happy to accommodate that. 

I have a uniform, for work and for days off. It almost always involves skinny jeans, a v neck top of some kind and either trainers, boots or sandals. Throw on a oversized coat in winter (still lusting after the coat of dreams from M&S) or a camo shacket in spring and I am good.to.go. 

I’ve tried switching it up but it just doesn’t feel comfortable, and when you’re almost 6ft tall with red hair, you stand out anyway, regardless of what you’re wearing. The last thing you want it to be completely uncomfortable about what you’re wearing and fiddling with clothing. 

Plain clothes maybe, but always good accessories. I love shoes, leopard print shoes especially (hence the title of this post, uh huh, ya get me?) My battered old faithful Stan Smiths have a little touch of leopard print on the back. My converse are furry leopard print. And don’t even get me started on my bargain £12 leopard print boots from Primarni. 

Winner winner chicken dinner. 

I am obsessed. Some people like to have blow dried hair, or matching undies to feel like they’re nailing life. I like to have a little bit of print on me. Just somewhere. It’s not so much my security blanket, just it makes me feel more ‘me’ – even when I’m pretending to be a grown up. 

I always like to have a little scroll through shopping sites while I’m waiting for one child or another to finish their social lives, so, in the interest of keeping leopard print alive, here are a few of my favourites at the moment. You’re welcome. 

I've Never Met A Leopard Print I didn't Like.... 1. Office Aruba Leopard Print Boots // 2. Aldo Mules // 3. Aldo Mules // 4. Aldo Mules // 5. Aldo Mules // 6. Aldo Mules

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The Most Perfect Banana Bread

Now we’re fully in my favourite season, I’m finding myself in the kitchen more and more. I adore cooking, I am by no means an expert – you won’t find me claiming to be a chef – but I’m pretty up to speed on eating, and I know what tastes good. 

Banana bread is a huge favourite in my house, even with the teenager who absolutely detests bananas with a passion. She won’t touch anything that is remotely banana based, but give her a wedge of this and she is happy. 

If it’s a bit chilly outside, or, more likely wet, this takes less than an hour and a half to make and lasts a good few days. Unless you have a family who like to have several slices a day.

If, and it’s a big if, this loaf makes it through a whole day, I like to put some in the kids lunchboxes – slightly (not much I’d imagine) healthier than a shop bought bar or cake, but definitely more full of love. And, I know what’s gone into it. 

It stays moist (I hate that word more than the teenager hates bananas) for a good couple of days, and doesn’t taste any less delicious when it’s cold. You could even slather on a dollop of peanut butter if you’re feeling really fancy. 

  

Banana Bread

Serve this warm with butter, or wrap some up for packed lunches!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Snack
Servings: 6 People

Ingredients

  • 75 g soft butter
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 200 g soft brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 170 g flour (plain)

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 180˚ and grease a 9 x 5 x 3 inch bread tin with leftover butter from the ingredients. 
  • Mash the bananas into a pulp and mix in the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla extract. 
  • Add the bicarbonate of soda & salt, then mix in the flour last. 
  • Pour mixture into the prepared tin. Gently tap the tin on the work surface to make it even and get rid of any bubbles. 
  • Bake for 1 hour, remove & cool slightly. Serve in slices with a little butter. 

 

The Most Perfect Banana Bread

The Most Perfect Banana Bread

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