Style over Substance

Us women, we put ourselves through a lot in the name of fashion...and vanity...don't we? Along with childbirth, menstrual cycles, and everything else our body goes through, we then add to that with waxing, plucking, squeezing ourselves into skinny jeans and wearing heels.

At the weekend I went to a garden party. I wondered for a while which shoes to wear. Did I really need to wear heels? Or could I get away with flip flops with my pretty blue lace dress. I opted for the heels, and everything was going well until 8 hours later when my feet were aching. I looked around, about an hour or so into the evening there were high heels laying on the ground, and a couple of women walking around with bare feet.
It's almost like standard practise for us now, isn't it? Completely normal for us to take our shoes off and risk cutting our feet on glass, or rocks, or to parade the blisters we have gained from those much desired shoes.

But it's worth it right?
Shoetique created the graphic below, showing how certain celebrities suffer for their art and their dedication for fashion.
And let's face it, they did a good job.



Your Babies

I remember you telling me about a dream you had. Where you woke up in the morning upset because your babies had gone. I don't want to talk too much about the dream, because it's personal of course, but it was almost like you had the realisation that your babies were now grown up.
You always say that although we are adults we are still your children, and that it's hard to accept (if that's the correct word to use) that your children are now grown up. We have responsibilities, our own lives, decisions and choices.

The thing is, we may be adults, but we are still your babies. We still rely on you, we still need you. Sometimes the only person who can fix things is you. You help us in so many ways and we don't know what we would do without you.
You are the most amazing support and not only are you our mother, but you are our best friend.

15 years ago your role became even more important, and you stepped into it perfectly. We became that tight unit of 3 and we proved to ourselves, and everyone else, that we didn't need that person who used to make our unit a 4. We worked so well without that person.
We trusted each other, and we still do. We all fell into these particular roles and it was so hard at times, but knowing we were all there for each other made it easier.

I feel so proud of that unit of 3. Recently we've spent a few days as that unit. The bbq in your garden, the canoeing and roast dinner. I felt so content, and so proud.
Of course I adore my children but being there, just the 3 of us, gave me the best feeling. Simply being Lauren, the daughter and the twin. Sitting with two people who mean so much to me, more than I can ever explain.

We all joke about Dale being grumpy, and we all know that conversations with him are done on his terms. And it's easy to accept that, especially when there are evenings when an hour can pass with us messaging each other non-stop on Whatsapp.
I've always felt so lucky to have him. I couldn't imagine my life without him and I am not only proud that he is my brother, but that he is my twin.
When people ask if we are close I wonder how he responds to that. My immediate response is yes, and then comes a full on speech about how wonderful he is. Because I can't help it.
I have always wanted to please him, for him to be as proud of me as I am of him. I need his acceptance a lot of the time, I think I always have but even more so since dad left.
He became that strong male figure in my life, even at 15, and as the years go on that role feels stronger and stronger.

This year has been the best year when it comes to our relationship. And you know that this is the moment I stop typing because of the tears in my eyes.
June, when I spent those special, unforgettable days with him, that quality time where it was just us. Twin time. I needed that, and my heart still feels so full of love and happiness from those 5 days.
You made that happen.
If it wasn't for you letting me borrow money to pay for the flights and if it wasn't for you taking time off work to look after the boys then I couldn't have gone.
If it wasn't for your support and you knowing how important it would be then I wouldn't have gone.

Those 5 days were the best 5 days of my life. I can say that truthfully and confidently.

I remember being on the back of his bike, and wanting you to be able to see us. Not only for you to see me sitting upright on the bike, hands gripped onto that back bar, looking around at the scenery rather than clinging onto his waist as tight as I could with my head down and eyes closed as I did back in April, but for you to see your babies.
I wanted you to see what you created. Those two adults, those two siblings, who can go on holiday together and spend time together despite other people saying "You brought your sister?! You're sharing a tent?!" We shared a womb, a tent is nothing!
I wanted you to see the smiles on our faces, the way he made sure I had the best experience I could have. The way he thought carefully every morning about where we should watch the races from so we could have the best view. He made sure I was comfortable, and that I could see.
The first time a bike came past, his excitement was contagious. Mum, I've never seen him smile like that. And I understood it. As my eyes filled with tears so fast that it shocked me, as I heard the bikes over the tanoy system and as the atmosphere filled with adrenaline and excitement, as my heart pounded and as that panic attack started. He put his arm around me, he squeezed me, and at that moment I wanted the whole world to know how special he is.
He would point out the riders to me as they went past, making sure I knew when William and Michael had gone past because he knew how much I love the Dunlops. He would tell me all about the riders, their history and about the bikes.
He shared his passion and made it mine too.
On the last day when I knew it was almost time to go to the airport, when I practically jumped from the wall and almost collapsed next to him, resting my head on his shoulder as I sobbed and sobbed at that time being over, I didn't just cry because of the experience ending. But because that time with him was up.

The tears that fell as we rode to the airport were ridiculous. The inside of your helmet looked like there had been a full on rain storm. I didn't want to take the helmet off when I got to the airport because it was so obvious how much I had been crying.
Saying goodbye to him at the airport was one of the hardest moments ever.

Your babies, are the people they are today, because of you.
We may have two parents but you are the one who made us who we are.
You are the one who is always there, the support, the one we turn to, the one we can talk to and trust.

Without you, who knows what we would be like today. Who knows which memories we would have instead, and how different our lives would be.

It might feel like your babies are gone, but we are still here. Still needing you as much as we always did.

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Opening up about female health and wellbeing

Preventative nutrition and dietary supplements expert Pharma Nord knows women can keep their cards close to their chest when it comes to health and wellbeing. The company's latest project looked to create an honest picture of female health in the UK, collecting responses from over 200 women across the country.
Women aged 16 and over were asked to answer questions about their general and physical health, wellbeing and mental health, sexual and reproductive health, and childbirth and pregnancy.  

The data gathered presents a clearer picture of what is impacting female wellbeing in the UK, with the aim of opening the channels of conversation.

The Mental Health Foundation reports that a quarter of Brits will have first-hand experience of a mental health illness in a typical year. As such, it is likely that we will come into contact with a mental health challenge during our lifetimes.
The survey showed that depression is the most common condition for women. Out of the women who had been diagnosed with a mental health condition, almost two thirds cited depression. Women between 45 and 54 are the most affected. This age group is more susceptible to panic and/or anxiety attacks too.
Women in the 18 to 25 age group are also at risk, making up over 23 per cent of women who have been affected by depression and anxiety issues.
The survey’s findings reflect previous studies which show that depression is more common in females. According to a study carried out by the National Institute For Clinical Excellence, one in four women will require treatment for depression at some point in their life, compared to one in 10 men.
As well as opening up about mental health issues, we may need to pay more attention to our daily nutrition. According to the Mental Health Foundation, recent research has suggested that our diets can impact on our mental health. With this in mind, maintaining a balanced diet and selecting the right dietary supplements is crucial to our overall wellbeing.


How I get Inspiration for my Home Decor Projects

I like home decor projects. It is an interest of mine and is something that I enjoy helping my friends and family with. At the moment I am wanting to redecorate a few rooms in my house and I am still at the research stage.
Local show homes and home staging websites
One of my best sources of inspiration is local show homes and as it turns out, by association, the work of home staging firms. Home staging by Emblem Furniture is not a service I can ever see myself using, but it turns out that I have come across their work and am using it for decorating ideas.
I like visiting show homes in my area. Show homes are a great way for me to visit rooms decorated in the latest styles without nosing around other people’s homes. I am not into visiting houses that people have for sale out of curiosity I don’t like getting people’s hopes up or wasting their time.
Show homes are great for me and it turns out that Emblem Furniture sets up a lot of the ones I have been visiting recently. Now I know this I have been able to find their website and bookmark some of the pictures of my favourite show home rooms.
The homes of my friends
Many of my friends live in houses that are very similar to mine, so when they redecorate I am always very interested. Most of my friends like to show me what they have done and it is a great way to see how the latest styles look in a home that is similar to mine. I may like the way the Beckhams decorate their home, but more often than not, that style simply will not work in my house.
DIY TV shows
Some of the best ideas come from DIY and home building TV shows. They are a great way to get me thinking outside the box. Using the web, it is easy to track down the paints, material and furniture used in the show and use them in my own home.
DIY stores and fabric shops
I also like wondering around DIY and decorating stores. Flicking through wallpaper books is something I still love to do although that is getting harder to do because many of the traditional small hardware shops that carry them have closed down.
Fabric swatches also get me thinking and inspire me. I may not be planning to buy any fabric, but I get colour combination ideas when going through fabric swatches.
Shop windows

My last source of inspiration is shop windows. If something catches my eye, I will stop and take a photo of the whole thing and zoom in to take a few photos of any items I particularly like.


Five Things | Coffee Quotes

Before I was pregnant with Harry I didn't really drink coffee much. I was more of a tea person. Then when pregnant with Harry I was completely put off tea. The taste of it made me sick, the smell of it made me feel sick, and so I turned to coffee as my alternative. And never looked back!
Last year I switched from having a white coffee to having black coffee and like it so much more! I never really understood people who had black coffee. I always thought they were just showing off, or pretending to be all "la-de-dah. Look at me appreciating coffee without any additional liquids (other than water)"...but actually it does taste so much better.

I think it would be fair of me to say that I do have a caffeine addition. Despite being told it could affect my anxiety and it being suggested that cutting down on caffeine could improve it, I actually find the opposite.

I'd love to have a blank wall in my kitchen to decorate with a variety of coffee quotes, most of which are on my coffee quotes Pinterest board.

I do actually own this top. I love it, and at £8 it is a complete bargain!


Lost With Broken Fingers

This has always been my outlet. My therapy. My place to go when I need to go somewhere.

It's always felt quite natural, quite simple.
Open laptop. Look at screen. Type.

Some posts I sit and focus on what I'm reading, and others I just let myself type. And then post. And read afterwards. Those are the therapy type posts.
But recently, it all seems a bit hard. Like there is a blockage in the way.
In my head, they are all there, the posts are just queueing up. All ready written, just needed to be typed up. But my fingers aren't working. The information isn't getting all the way to them, and I don't know why.

It makes me angry. With myself. Because it's like a vicious circle. I write these posts to empty my mind and release whatever is there, but as those posts are not being released they are being clogged up, and I am beating myself up about it, because I am confused and angry, which is then creating more that needs to be released.

This isn't me. It's not me to not be able to write anything.

I had a post in draft. I've been wanting to write it for a year and had the perfect day to write it. Perfect in the sense that there was something on that day that was relevant to the topic of the post and the reason I wanted to write the post.
So for a year I had been wanting to write it. In my head, it was there. All perfect. No longer in draft. I knew it would be one of the ones where I just stare, type, post and then read.
So I sat at the laptop, a week before that date, wanting to type it so I could schedule it. But nothing came out.
A title. That was all.
I wrote a paragraph and sat there and knew it wasn't right. Because it wasn't me writing it. It was too forced. I was having to think about it too much.
And then I felt I had let myself down.
Every day I sat and tried to write that post. I even sat with a notebook and a pen to see if writing it down in that way would be better, but the words were there, I could hear them, I could see them, but my hands wouldn't write them or type them.

I keep thinking "if you're stuck just write about Isle of Man" because I still have SO MUCH I want to share from there but nothing will work.

It's like my fingers are broken. I am lost and my fingers are broken.

I can't accept that this is "just a blog". It's not. It might be to others, and that is understandable.
But to me, this is more.
It's MY place.
I can't just take a break from it. It wouldn't help.
It is too much of a part of me to leave behind, even if for a week or two.

It feels like I am being punished, and I'm not sure what for.
Why am I punishing myself?

I'm trying to find a positive in all of this. And I'm struggling to find any positive at all, other than the fact that it confirms to me how important this is to me.
I need this. I rely on this.
I just need to write.



The most popular souvenir from Hungary

When most of us travel to new places, we are often search out the perfect souvenir to bring home from the trip.  What’s the attraction to souvenirs?  They are a tangible reminder of the places we've been and the memories we've made along the way.  For those visiting the Netherlands, wooden shoes are a popular keepsake.  All manner of things emblazoned with dragons are popular take-aways from China.  Everything from t-shirts to rugs emblazoned with the Union flag ubiquitous in the return luggage of travellers coming home from the UK.  What do people bring back from the beautiful country of Hungary?  Hungarian porcelain.
The famous Herend porcelain factory was founded in 1826.  Since then, it has become a world leader in creating some of the most beautiful true porcelain pieces.  Today, the factory and its beautiful porcelain piece are famous the world over.  A visit to Hungary wouldn't be complete without a visit to the factory and taking home a piece of this famous artwork.
Once you own a piece of Hungarian porcelain, you are among good company.  Pieces were created for the Vienna Exhibition in 1845, the Exposition Univerelle in Paris in 1855, the Great Exhibition in London in 1851 and others, turning the world’s attention to Herend and the company’s stunning works.  Royals and other upper-crust people placed orders for the piece around the world.  The company was even a supplier to the members of the Habsburg Dynasty.
Even today, the company continues to be a leader in high-end, meticulously hand-painted porcelain from its factory in Herend.  In addition to visiting the factory and purchasing a piece or two of porcelain to take home, visitors to the factory can also visit the on site museum.  There, visitors can see first had one of the largest collections of porcelain in the world and learn how the art of porcelain making has both changed (thanks largely to advances in technology) and stayed the same over the past 150 years.
If you are planning a trip to Hungary and have your heart set on bringing back a special souvenir that is distinctly Hungarian, consider purchasing a piece of Hungarian porcelain.  Although these delicate pieces will require a degree of care when transporting them back home on the plane (it’s always best to wrap your breakables carefully and pack them in your carry on luggage rather than your checked luggage to avoid any mishaps) it’s definitely worth the hassle to own a piece of this beautiful form of decorative art.

Souvenirs don’t have to be postcards and tacky coffee mugs.  Instead of purchasing the same run of the mill souvenirs on your next trip to Hungary, bring back a piece of beautiful porcelain that will make your home beautiful and be a stunning statement-making reminder of your trip.  Each piece is hand painted and one-of-a-kind, making them a beautiful gift either for yourself or for a loved one back home.


Win 4 Luxury Yogi Teas | Giveaway

Yogi Tea have been specialising in organic herbal tea since 1960! And are experts in creating flavoured healthy tea.
I have 4 boxes of their luxury tea to giveaway. The flavours include
  1. Yogi Positive Energy Tea Cranberry Hibiscus: An uplifting and invigorating tea infused with Green Mate, Guarana & Assam Black
  2. Yogi Detox Tea with Lemon; a tangy detox tea infused with the flavours of Bitter Dandelion, Sweet Liquorice & Spicy Ginger
  3. Yogi Women’s Tea; a balancing tea with a blend of Ginger, Orange Peel, Angelica Root & Ayurvedic Spices
  4. Yogi Bedtime Tea; a calming and organic tea infused with Chamomile, Lavender, Nutmeg & Valerian Root
Each box contains 17 teabags and the winner gets a complete set!

Prize supplied by Discount Supplements, specialists in Online Sports Supplements

a Rafflecopter giveaway


TT2015 Diary: The Mountain

As she sat on the back of the bike she couldn't help but to feel a bit scared. There's already an overwhelming vulnerable feeling being on a motorbike. No seat belt, nothing holding you on.
Her hands were gripped, tight, to the bar behind her. She couldn't hold on any tighter.

Her brother was in control of the bike. Up until this point she didn't think very highly of motorbikes. It was a case of motorbike = speed = death, and in a couple of events those few days were proof of that. But when she got on the back, although her heart was beating, she felt sick and couldn't help but to be anxious.
She felt tense and hoped it would be a quick ride but, soon enough, she loved it.
Soon enough she couldn't wait to be stood putting the helmet and gloves on and to hold onto her brothers back as she did her three bounce leg up and over manoeuvre, push down the visor, make sure her underwear wasn't in full view of everyone else and then to grip onto the bar behind her and to then hear the sound of the engine as she gave her brother the nod that she was ready to go.

She looked around everywhere they went, she soon realised that being tense was not only making it harder for her brother to control the bike, but was also ruining her experience. So she relaxed, she looked around and took in where she was. A beautiful island where everything is perfect. Looking around helped her to take in the very thing she had gone to experience, and to understand, a tiny bit, what the racers are capable of. She thought that if those racers can go along the roads at the speeds they do then she could easily sit on the back, holding on tight, not having to use any skill, and enjoy herself.

She at first found it intimidating when they stopped at lights surrounded by other bikes. And she felt like she shouldn't be there. But soon enough, she loved those moments. She loved being in amongst that adrenaline, surrounded by loud engines and the anticipation of the speed as they would all move away from the lights.

Within no time she had fallen in love with the sport and the machines. She got it. She understood the passion. She felt that excitement, adrenaline and need to hear the bikes scream past at incredible speeds.

Then there was that mountain run. The races had been called off because of strong winds, but they needed to go over the mountain to get back to their campsite. The alternative route was long and faffy. As they started up the mountain she questioned whether or not her hands could ever hold on tight enough to stop her from flying off.
She was scared.
She tried to focus her mind on other things, but this was just too much. It felt like they were never going to get to a safe point. She didn't feel in control of how she should be sitting, the wind was hitting her and pushing her. She waited until the moment came when she would be laying on the road. She wondered what the pain would feel like, or if she would feel any pain at all.

And then she remembered who she was riding with, and what he would say if he knew what she was thinking.
She knew she had to put her trust in him. He would never do anything to put their lives in danger.

As they pulled over at the Creg-ny-Baa pub she was able to loosen her grip...and to breathe. A sigh of relief, and to realise that as scary as it was on that mountain, it was an experience.
Another one she will never forget.



Living Arrows 32/52

Lauren | Real Housewife of Suffolk



Run or Dye, Chantry Park, Ipswich [with video]

I hoped last Saturday to wake up to the same feeling as the previous Sunday. Excited, and ready for some exercise. I was ready to be involved in something exciting with my best friend, to not only spend time together but to also be doing something to make ourselves proud, whilst raising money for charity.
The weather wasn't so good though. I woke up and it was raining, and I couldn't be bothered. I messaged my friend, who was the complete opposite to me and seemed rather excited, and I told her how grumpy I was.
As she picked me up I walked to the car, in the rain, with a grumpy look on my face. We stopped for a coffee, and I stayed grumpy.

When we finally got to Ipswich my mood was lifted, mainly by the disappearance of the rain and also due to the bickering and banter between Christine and her husband on where to park.

Finding the perfect space in a residential street (woo on not having to pay for a car park!), we walked the short journey from the car to Chantry Park. As we walked across the grassy area we could hear music from the MC and went straight over to sign in.
We were quite surprised that there was no real process to signing in, no codes were checked, no one would have known if we both had the exact same form.
We were handed our goodie bags and then went over and got ourselves ready.
We planned to wear the Run or Dye tshirts which were provided in the goodie bag, placed our numbers on our tops and got ready for the warm up.

The warm up was hosted by the Townsend Twins. This was more fun that a proper warm up. We expected more stretches but still, we did have a laugh.
Then it was time to run. We had planned to have more fun with this 5k than at Race for Life the previous week. However, we actually ended up jogging at this one more than walking...well, after the 2k toilet break *achem* (thank goodness for it being at a park and there being a toilet block there!)
The experience of having dye thrown over you is weird and it's hard to know how to react as you go past each colour station. As we neared the finish line we could tell which of the colour stations was the most generous, and Christine had a lovely orange face after getting smacked in the face by a handful of dye.

Passing the finish line we once again had that great feeling of achieving something! We managed to navigate through the crowd and grabbed a can of Zeo, which was really refreshing after a 5k jog in warm weather!
Zeo sponsored us to enter the race and to attend the colour festival afterwards.

The colour festival was AMAZING. And is something EVERYONE should experience. A dance troupe hosted the beginning, inviting the crowd to join in, we enjoyed this a lot more than the earlier warm up act and again just had so much fun.
And then, it got messy. With dye packets being opened and thrown around, handfuls of dye thrown out from the boxes in the stage, as well as a wind blower machine also blowing dye into the crowd. It truly was fantastic and made me feel silly for being in a grump that morning!

As we walked away I felt really emotional, more for the experience than anything else. I had such a wonderful time, and was sad it was over. But, soppy alert, loved that I had created more happy memories with my best friend.

If you ever get the chance to be involved in something like this, then DO IT. You won't regret it.

Thank you so much Zeo for giving us the opportunity to experience this. And thank you to Christine's husband for the photos.



Anglers Staying Up with Fishing News and Where to Fish

Anyone that loves to fish often needs a bit of help to know where the fish are biting and what types of fish are in the area. The good news is, there is an app for that. This new app is the most popular on the market offering more than 60 major locations along with at least 7,500 GPS hot spots in Florida alone, so you can choose the best locations for your enjoyment. The fishing app offers more than any other app for the avid fisherman including weekly reports and predictions along with tips and fish info for the area.

A few of the fish you will be able to easily find include the great barracuda, marlin, sailfish, swordfish, sharks, sheepshead, snapper, grouper and more. Of course, you must stay abreast of the weather if you are going out on the open sea and this app even keeps you up to date with local weather forecasts.

With more than 220 fish species in the database you will be able to trap, catch and then identify what you have on your hook. The best part of all is that the guide includes current regulations, safe handling tips, habitat & behavior, techniques, advice of bait and lure rigging and even gear advice. With all the information on the fish and their behavior as well as the areas they like to call home you are sure to bring in the big one.

Want more news? You can easily receive the Navarre fishing report right to your phone just by subscribing. This way you can get the latest news for offshore and inshore fishing as well as bait reports. You will constantly be receiving local reports from pros, all the GPS hot spots, information with more than 200 fish species, marine weather and tides, along with regulations and solunar times.

Offshore fish you will be able to catch with this new app include Red Grouper, Gag Grouper, Vemillion Snapper, and Amberjacks to name a few. The best part is that you will even be given pro advice on the type of bait to use to you can actually hook one of these big boys and reel them in.

Inshore night fishing will give you the opportunity to catch such fish as Black Drum, Sheepshead, Flounder, trout, redfish, and more. By staying on top of the latest news you will know exactly when and where to go to catch your dream fish as well as the bait that is being used by the pros to catch a boat load of fish.



Down By The River...Again

It had been two years since we visited the river at St Helens. My mum bought the boys a boat, an inflatable dinghy, to go in the water with and for one reason or another we didn't make it down there last year.
So, this year with lovely warm weather we headed straight there for the day to not only enjoy the sunshine but also to celebrate Harry's 4th birthday.
We enjoyed a picnic with that caterpillar birthday cake, fresh fruit and sandwiches and then spent the afternoon in and out of the river. Mostly out of the river for me because of my fresh tattoos but still, the boys it...but not as much as my mum who didn't want to get out of the water!

It's not just the fact that you can swim in this river, and that it is in a beautiful location, but the atmosphere also makes it really special.

Everyone is there having fun, making friends, enjoying themselves. There are people of all ages, some with fishing nets collecting the small fish that live in the river, some with boats and canoes and some with their dogs.
We were even joined by two other animals...but you'll have to watch my video to find out what they were.


Vertbaudet 3-box library | Review

Storage has always been an issue in our house. In fact, it's probably not storage really, it's probably too much stuff and lack of organisation.

Having recently moved a few pieces of furniture around we have turned our conservatory from playroom back into a dining room, moving my desk into the kitchen space where the dining table was.
We moved the boys toys into their bedrooms, as well as having a good ol' clear out, but I still wanted to have a space in the conservatory to put some of the boys things. I used the old changing station as a shelving unit...well that is the plan, except of course it is just a "dumping station", and we were sent a lovely Vertbaudet 3-box library. This is primarily used for paper, books, and houses the boys old school work in plastic boxes, which fit perfectly in the deep compartments.

Hidden storage sections at the side are perfect to house more books, or other toys...or in our case a monkey teddy who looks like he had a good time last night.

This was really easy to put together. I do find following instructions given with Vertbaudet products a little tricky to follow but a lot of this was common sense and was pretty straight forward.
I particularly love the sailing design to this piece, and the colours not only being bright and therefore being attractive to children, but also suitable enough to be in an adult space too.

The 3 box library is sturdy and well made, and the ideal storage solution for those, like us, who are disorganised.

The 3 box library retails at £54 and is available in a variety of designs to suit any bedroom or playroom theme.


Work On Yourself

There's a list right? A big list. When you think about working on yourself.
You're not as bad as you think you know. You're just changing. You're growing. You are finding yourself.
You're not a lost sheep, but it's like, when you look around you, you are standing in a big open space and as you look around you just see this mess. Piles of mess.
As you write this you picture it as piles of Lego. You're unsure as to how you are supposed to be sorting them.
Do you sort it by colour or are you supposed to look deeper into it?
Are you supposed to use these piles to build separate things? Taking a piece from that pile and adding it to that one to make it fit?
What if the Lego, altogether, builds you?

I think the hardest thing is, that you don't know where to start.
How do you work out what is the most important element to start with and to work on first?

You can sit, as you are doing now, and list the things. You can try and put them in order of importance but that's hard isn't it? When you can't work out what is the most important, because it all is, isn't it?
All of those things lead back to what, ultimately, is the most important. YOU!

You don't want to waste life, do you?

To do that whole "talent show cliche" 'life is a journey'. But when we get to the end, what happens then? Is it for nothing?
Maybe not, and maybe that is why you need to work on yourself.
To be the best version of you for whatever is next.
To ensure that this chapter of whatever life is, is a good one.

What if that is the way you need to look at life? You believe you have been here before, right?
Well, what if that that was one of the chapters and this is the next.
Not your story, but a story of your soul. And you play all these different "characters".
I don't know. I'm just giving you ideas.

You need to focus on your more though. You need to accept that maybe you've changed for a reason.

It feels significant doesn't it? It feels like there is a reason behind it, that is hasn't happened just because. You know?

Maybe you'll find out why. Maybe you won't.
Maybe you'll make mistakes, wrong decisions. But, maybe that's what you are supposed to do.
Maybe this, well, "THIS" that you are going through, maybe it is to build you up, to wake you up. To make you stronger.
Everyone else is so important to you.
Everyone else takes priority.
Their thoughts on how you should live, what you should do with your body and so on.
You care too much.

Picture yourself. In an open space again. Surround yourself with the people who you put above yourself. Those who are important, who take priority.
The ones whose opinions you put above your own.
The ones who you let have more of a say over your life and everything abut it.
That's a lot of people, right? It's never ending.
Take them all away.
All of them.
Who is left?


That is the most important person. That's who should take priority. That is the person whose opinions should matter more than anyone else's.
That is the person, the only person who you should let influence you.

Work on yourself.
Realise how important you are.
Fix and organise that lego around you, it will help in so many ways. It won't be easy. It won't happen quickly. But you can do it.

Just work on yourself. It will be worth it.


Bean Bag Planet | Review and Giveaway

The time came recently to take the step in getting Harry a single bed.
He had been sleeping in his cotbed, with the sides removed obviously. And with a really uncomfortable mattress and no room to turn over it felt like the right time to purchase a new bed.
His room is small so the logical thing was to buy a cabin bed, with the plan to use the space underneath wisely.

We're still working out how best to use it, and something I really wanted to do for him was to create an area that was almost den like, where he could play with his toys, read a book, write or draw.
I wanted a comfy seat, something that he could relax in, but also be comfortable enough for him to move around in and to suit him as he grows.

Bean Bag Planet kindly sent us one of their Bean Bag Chairs to review.

Two removable covers.
1x newborn cover with strap and buckle.
1x toddler cover without strap and buckle.
Bean bag base with double zipper protection.
2.5 cubic feet of filling.

When this turned up I was a little surprised that you have to fill the cover yourself, and it's not a case of zipping up the cover over a netted bag of tiny balls. You have to pour the balls into the bag, which is a little fiddly and tricky...and messy if you tip the majority of them all over your kitchen floor. (fun times when you have a kitten!) 
However, once the bag was full I felt confident enough that there was no way we would be seeing those balls again thanks to the quality of the bag.
Two removable covers make the bean bag suitable from newborn up to age 7, if not older. We are using the newborn cover, which is against the health and safety advice given from Bean Bag Planet, however when Harry isn't sitting in it (he doesn't use the straps) we place his teddies in there and they are occasionally strapped in. 

The bean bag is comfortable and Harry is able to sit up or to lay back, depending on what he is doing. The shape of the bean bag means it fits perfectly in the space under his bed, and if we had it in the lounge or another room in the house it wouldn't take up too much space. The design is also pleasing to the eye and wouldn't make any room look messy, which I think the "classic" shape can possibly do. 

The bean bags are available in a wide range of fabrics, making it hard to choose which to have as there is so much choice.

If you would like to be in with the chance to win your own bean bag, simply use the form below and follow the steps.

Good luck!

Health and usage benefits:
Helps reduce the risk of flat head.
Provides comfort for babies with colic and/or acid reflux.
Has a maximum weight of 30kg (newborn to around 8 years old).
Very lightweight and easy to move around the house, perfect for nurseries, bedrooms and living rooms.
Easy to clean:
The interchangeable covers allow for easy clean up.
Both top covers are washable at 30°C, both in the washing machine and by hand.
For best results, both covers should be air-dried.
The base can be wiped clean with a moist cloth and air-dried
Both the bean bag filling and the bean bag covers are fire retardant.
Our bean bags meet all of the relevant fire safety regulations.
Children must be supervised at all times whilst using the bean bag. Do not leave unattended.
Do not lift or move the bean bag chair while the child is on it.
Parents should make the switch to the toddler cover, once your child is able to move the chair on their own, or when it is no longer safe to strap him/her to the bean bag chair.

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