Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Fashion For Me

It seems that fashion that isn't so disposable is at the forefront of many minds at the moment. With new information coming out almost daily, a lot of fashion influencers are talking about how they want the outfits to be fashionable, but not cheap, fast fashion so that they just have loads of clothes that don't get worn. This is no new way of thinking. There are plenty of you who already truly consider sensible buying the only way forward. I also do, and as much as I love to share an outfit, gifted or otherwise, we have to be realistic in understanding that when purchasing clothes we need to think about why we are buying them more than ever. 
The reality is, most trends come around every few years. What we should be doing is spending our money better so that our nice clothes keep for longer. This is no new way of thinking, in fact I have been trying to implement this into my own life for sometime and have talked about it before now. It is all about buying to enjoy and buying to last. I don't believe in keeping things for "Special occasions", wear the nice stuff everyday is what I say. and if you spend a bit more on quality and not quantity those wears will keep on coming. 

Last year I was lucky enough to receive a beautiful BODEN pink wrap coat. It is beautiful, A good shade of pink for me and it is obviously made well. I love a wrap coat; maybe it is that dressing gown feeling you get when you tie it round yourself, but boy have I been looking forward to its appearance this winter! This year they have released another wrap around coat, and in true BODEN style it is a beautiful bright red! In fact if it wasn't perfect for your autumn it sure will be for the Christmas period. That said, it is another great coat to add to my wardrobe. Now I only want to talk about coats as coats are where I always spend my money. Yes, I have got a few (3) cheap ones over the last year and have been disappointed. 2 have already gone to the charity shop and my reasoning to get rid of them quickly was because they were "Cheap". That, my friends, is not the way to shop. Within the day of dropping them off I knew immediately that I had been wasteful. Yes, part of me knows that someone else can get a real bargain and the charity can make money but really, I shouldn't be so disposable with clothes. 

When it comes to purchasing coats especially, I like to go for classic cuts. Ones that will last for years. You can't go wrong with a car coat, double breasted, mac, puffa jacket, wax jacket, a waterproof and usually, the more you spend the longer that coat will hang beautifully in a wardrobe. And we can't deny that with coats. I think my Dad has been wearing the same Barbour wax coat for 30 years. It would have cost him a fortune but the proof is there, it lasts and he spent his money well. 
I have definitely come to the conclusion that with coats, and all my clothes, I need to not be so trend focused but buy things that will look good now, next year, years after or even, if I do hand them on, will be as good for the next owner. 

Today's look is all BODEN

*This outfit was gifted for sharing purposes.

Friday, 26 October 2018

The Lighted Candle

It came to me while getting ready for a Friday evening at home just how important it is to have candles in your home. I was busy lighting them to make an atmosphere, to give the home a warm glow as the evening draws in but my lighting of the candle at the moment became more than just a simple task.

The lighting of the candles around the living area wasn't just for atmosphere, it was for light. It was that kind of darkness that actually was quite bright but I didn't want any lamps on so I thought a few candles would give us the light we needed. And in that action of striking a match and lighting the candle I was actually given a far bigger job than I had entered into. 
You see, lighting the candle is just the first step. If you choose to bring light into your home you are doing so much more than just lighting the candle. The act of bringing light in can begin and end with a candle. 
As head of the house I am physically choosing to live differently. I am choosing to not let the darkness come in, into our home as a first stop but actually, I am stopping the darkness coming into me. I have spoken before about our paths in life and there are only 2. It's true, you might think there are lots of different ones; I don't think there are. There are two and your actions, every day, decide which path you are on. Tonight as I lit my candles I reaffirmed the path I am on. I am on the path of light. I am bringing the light to my family. I am trying my very best to do the right thing, be kind, loving, work hard, bring something to others and create this safe space at home. That is my path and the one I believe to be light. My path takes me closer to God, because he is who I choose to love on this journey. My path also brings me closer to Rob, to the kids, to my unit who I strive to look after. I choose to bring light to those who see me, who come into my home and who want to be a part of my life.
If I hadn't lit my candles it wouldn't have meant that I was on the path of darkness, destruction and solitude, it would have meant that I just hadn't lit the candle. But, with its lighting I had a feeling much more profound, one I wanted to jot down and one that I wanted to prompt me to think about life and to be the light.


Thursday, 25 October 2018


I feel like I have been talking about cooking a lot on the blog in the last few weeks thanks to some sponsored work I received. If you know me well you will know what it means to get contracts like that come in; how they help our family and how most work I undertake is because I feel that it honestly suits me and the family. The last few have been no exception and I have truthfully written about them within our lives, but when work is sponsored it often leaves a bitter taste in the reader's mouth. I suppose the blog world is still not understood and the fact that money is made from writing is weird, when anyone and everyone can do it, but not everyone gets paid. For me, I call myself a journalist and this is my journal. People like it and people pay to appear on it but if you have been following me for a long time you will also see that you get a lot more than just sponsored posts that pay the bills. 
Last week I got another contract. My biggest to date which I am not ashamed to share with you. There was a lot of hard work leading up to it and in a way I felt my worth was of value. I have no obligation to share it on here, it was work specifically for INSTAGRAM but the result was something I wanted to share on here. Rather than pretending it was something new and fresh I just thought I would come on and be honest about it. 

As you guessed it it is food based, but in fact a first for me and one I thoroughly enjoyed. Autumn is here and my PINTEREST board is full of pumpkin spiced lattes, red leaves, cosy jumper fashion and pies! This recent project contained one of the main ingredients for an autumnal fruit pie which is where the project started in the first place, but it meant that I would be undertaking something I had never done. For me, that is obviously a pressure and I would only usually stay close to doing something I know is good for paid work but alas, Pinterest got me good and this pie was gonna be awesome, at least I did hope it was going to be!

Having no shame, I obviously bought ready-roll shortcrust pastry from the supermarket, and having stewed my apples and blackberries with a small bit of water and a couple of tablespoons of sugar I quickly had all I needed ready and prepped for the building of a pie. Now having never done a fancy pie, I was tasked with making up how you build one in my head. Do you smooth down the filling so that the pastry sits better? Probably. Do you trim the edge pastry that hangs over the tin closely or with a bit of excess? I can now confirm with a bit of excess!!! Questions arose and I just muddled my way through. The saving grace of this whole project is that my boss lent me some fancy fondant icing cutters that not only cut out a shape, but indent the pastry too. I made an abundance of leaves that look very leaf like and it was all down to the cutters. In fact, if the inside of the pie didn't taste good I didn't even care because the outside looked awesome and I was really proud of that! 

So after realising that, yes, it was pretty and looked amazing and all the pictures came out great, I needed to actually cook it so it was golden brown and mouthwatering. I put it in the oven at 180° and just watched it for about 40 mins. I can't tell you exactly how long it took, it felt like an age but after half an hour I was really conscious of looking for the perfect brown which would have meant it was cooked but not overdone.
 Did I manage it ? I like it either way!

The apple and blackberry pie was a success as you can see and this is really why I wanted it on here. My starting point to my pie making career {which will be long and tasty I hope} and also the starting point to the reason why my Amazon basket is now full of fondant icing cutters!
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this bit of work which made me too happy not to share, just for me to simply enjoy again, and again, and again!

*This post was NOT Sponsored!!


Monday, 22 October 2018

Love Local This Half Term

Today I share a trip out to RAND FARM. A great day out in Lincolnshire for the whole family.

Lincolnshire is really full of wonderful days out. It lends itself to the wide open space we have so much of here and inevitably, some of the best attractions are outside which I do really love. For us entertaining the kids is an easy one when we have so much on our doorstep. A 15 minute walk takes us to the Cathedral quarter which is home to the castle as well, and if we wanted something a bit further then it is only a car ride away. Having October half term creeping up it seems right to talk about a family day out we experienced a few weeks ago.

RAND FARM PARK has been around for as long as I can remember. I went there as a child to feed the animals and play on the {much smaller} playground and since having children we have found ourselves returning more recently as it is one of their favourite places to go. If you are local and have never been or haven’t been in years you will find that it is almost unrecognisable. In fact it has grown somewhat to accommodate more than just animals but children's playing. It is a super place for play and RAND FARM have developed their farm area so well to allow children to access all sorts of fun. Not only do they have indoor playing but a massive outdoor play centre as well. They still have the animals where you can help feed them and play with the rabbits and guinea pigs. They also have a few restaurants and new hay bales area and more lead activities like a tractor ride and archery. RAND FARM also offers children's parties and holiday clubs which I only hear great things about!

It was Etta’s birthday when we last went. The last few days of the summer holiday is usually filled with trips to the shops to get school shoes but that wasn’t us. For once, I had been organised and sorted that all out before. We spent a great day there, it seemed to just fly by and as a family it was nice to not have to travel that far to get a days entertainment. 

In the holidays they usually have special activities on; this particular day was a dinosaur day which meant there were activities available to match. Between being archaeologists we spent most of our time outside playing.

It was there where the kids wanted to be and really, who can blame them? Raph was now old enough to go on the sky ride, a zip line that gave kids a brilliant view, and he was just too excited to think about anything else. For Etta, being the birthday girl, she just didn’t want to be told what to do (classic) and was really happy to be with the animals and play equally.

 I think for both of them they feel they can escape. It's a lovely open space but very secure, and there is a familiarity about it which means they are comfortable walking near us, but not with us. 

They like to explore a bit for themselves and Etta especially likes talking with the park rangers which is a really nice thing to see. RAND FARM has been around longer than a lot of the kids who are working there but it really lends itself to having youth as part of the team. The kids think they are the coolest people ever and actually, they are really great at responding to that and helping them out.

RAND FARM for us is still very much a place we want to visit and a great attraction so close to the city. This half term if you are looking for something to do as a local or even a visitor to the city, keep it on your list!

* Our entrance fee was gifted.
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