Thursday, 28 December 2017

WIN! Vremi Spiralizer and Baking Mats Review + Giveaway!

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know that I used to bake on a regular basis and even completed a recipe book sample as part of my degree. Unfortunately, now that I'm back at work, I seem to have less and less free time for baking - yet I still absolutely love it when I have the time. When I do manage to carve out some time for getting my bake on, I rely totally on time-saving techniques to ensure I can create a prompt bake - whether it's cookies, a cake or something completely different like the festive Lebkuchen I made over Christmas. 

One of my favourite pieces of kit for this is these amazing Vremi baking mats. They come in three sizes, so I can pick the right one for whatever baking tray I'm using and it means I can pretty much roll, shape and bake on the one easy to clean mat, rather than getting gloopy cookie mix all over my kitchen counter. If I can cut back on cleaning time, then it's definitely a win in my eyes. On Boxing Day, we had a tapas style meal with our extended family, and Joe used these mats to mould and prep the homemade ravioli parcels he was bringing along. They are made from silicone so nice and flexible, as you would expect, but also super strong as they have a mesh woven inside which means they should last a fairly long time too! 

If you think these baking mats would make a welcome addition to your baking kit, then make sure you enter the giveaway below! 
Win the Vremi Spiralizer and Baking Mats #3

*Disclaimer: This post is a collaboration with Vremi. Content written by myself.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Do You Rely on Review Websites?

I think it goes without saying these days that as consumers, we rely heavily on reviews and positive feedback. I know I won't go near an eBay seller with a high negative feedback score! As the festive season approaches, as well as looking for a nice little discount of the most-wanted item of the year, I'm always sure to check for feedback. When I was younger, I can remember my brother desperately wanting some weird Godzilla toy for Christmas because on the advert it moved and had some life-like Godzilla sounds. Back in the early 00s, review sites weren't as prominent and my poor parents ending up shelling more money than sense over a crappy plastic reptile toy which only moved one of its arms, and had two nearly identical roars and was about half the size it looked on the advert. I'm sure plenty of kids woke up that Christmas and were pretty gutted! I know I would have been! 

But it's not just toys you can review, of course. We can review all sorts of things these days, from hotels, restaurants to college courses and you can even review bingo sites. To some it might seem a little excessive to have so many review sites, but if you're parting with your hard earned cash then it only makes sense that you want to ensure you're not sending it to something dodgy or even a scam. A few Christmas' ago, Joe and his siblings clubbed together to buy their brother a replica football shirt from a historic winning season, and this ended up being a scam. They lost out on around £60 and as it was so close to Christmas, it was incredibly frustrating for them to have essentially thrown the money into the wind. Had they have looked around the internet for some reviews on the site, they could have potentially uncovered it was a scam. 

Personally, I love a good review site but if I'm honest I am definitely more of a lurker than a poster. On odd occasions I have posted positive reviews to hotels or restaurants I've visited, but luckily I've never really needed to post any negative feedback. I do think though that as consumers it is our duty to prevent terrible scams from happening to others - or even just warning people about a particularly negative shopping experience. 
*Disclaimer: Collaborative content. Content written by myself.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Self Esteem Tips for the Festive Period*

When we’re in the Christmas period, the threat of the camera being whipped it is more ever present than ever. It’s a happy time, and people want to be able to capture that on camera to keep for years to come and look back on, remembering all the good times we’ve had with friends and family. However, if we don’t feel too good about how we look, we’re probably going to avoid the camera shutter, and have nothing to look back on when the time comes. So, here’s some self esteem and beauty tips to keep the festive period happy and comfortable for you, often for posterity’s sake.

Practice for the Big Picture

The actual Christmas day is still a short while away, so we have time to perfect our look for the morning photos, and those celebratory ones after the big lunch when we feel a little stuffed after all the turkey! Taking photos by ourselves when we catch our good angles makes us more confident to be in front of the lens rather than behind it, so use this to help you realise how good a photo can look; you’re actually a good model!

Get a Good Camera

Camera quality is one of the most important things to making a portrait come out well, but if you can’t afford to change up your model, don’t sweat it! It doesn’t even have to be a new camera, just a different focal length. This is an incredibly practical thing to do to make you feel like you look better in a photo, as trying to fit a 3D model onto a 2D screen is always going to have issues.

Yet, the longer a focal length, the better a canvas there is to work with. You’re going to want something in the mid scale for a relatively normal looking portrait, or a wider angle for something more artistic.

Working on Your Smile

If you’re feeling a little down and out when you see yourself smile in photos, first of all remember that it’s a sign of your happiness. It’s good for you to smile, as even a fake smile can release endorphins and tell our brains we’re happy! So considering we want to do that more, we’re going to need to learn a few things

If the intrinsic techniques don’t quite work out for you, you can always turn to more cosmetic purposes to help yourself feel good about who you are. If you feel bad about the positioning or lining of your teeth, you can always invest in Invisalign, which you still have time to get ready for! Take a photo in which you can really appreciate your natural beauty, especially when you’re surrounded by eye catching baubles, magical fairy lights, and friend and family decked out in tremendous winter formal wear.

There’s a lot you can do to help yourself feel better, especially when you’re in a season where a lot of emphasis is put on looks and appearances!

*Disclaimer: Collaborative Content.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Women Have It Tough!*

Compared to men, us women really do have it tough. We work hard in our jobs, and the go home to look after a family. This involves the cooking, cleaning, looking after children etc. Then on top of that, we have to deal with all the hormonal changes we have to go through, as well as the dreaded monthly cycle. Not only this, but we’re able to carry a human in our womb for 9 months, and then squeeze it out, all whilst wishing your partner would have a vasectomy. But all of this is just one of the reasons why women are so great. We can do so much that men can’t, and we definitely handle it a lot better than men ever would. But if you’re at a stage where you think you have it tough, you first need to know that you’re not alone. You then need to realise there’s ways of getting through the bad patches. Take a read of this article to find out more.

That Time Of The Month

Easily one of the most annoying times of the month, the time of the month. A time where emotions are heightened and an appetite for anything junk food related is developed. Some men say they can tell when a woman is menstruating just by looking at them, which they probably can. We walk around like angry fire breathing dragons for a week. But there are ways of taming the dragon. The first thing you need to do is make yourself comfortable. Find a method of protection that works for you. Some people had the feel of pads, and some people hate the unreliability of tampons. A happy medium is a soft cup. They’re a lot more comfortable, and better for the environment in the long run, plus they’re more reliable. The next thing you can do is fuel your body with whatever junk food it needs. The happier your stomach, the happier your mind. Cuddles also really help if you have a partner.

Share The Load

This is something not all women do well. Not because they don’t want to, but often because their partners refuse to. Our lives are stressful enough as it is. Wouldn’t it be nice to one day come home to the house fully clean, and a nice meal on the table? It would, wouldn’t it. But this just isn’t the way the cookie crumbles in some instances. If you’re struggling to balance everything all the time, just talk to your partner and ask them cook and clean for two nights of the week. Yes, the work equally as hard as us, but it would be nice if they also worked hard in the home as well. This will make you feel so much better in the long run. Those two days of having some relaxation to look forward to will make the week that little bit easier for you.

There’s so many more things us women have to go through, and so many different ways of dealing with it. All you need to do is figure out how to ride the train, because there’s no way of getting off.

*Disclaimer: Collaborative Content.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Nipping Nuptial Feuds In The Bud Before They Start*

Any wedding, no matter how stressful, can be the beginning of a long, happy marriage. We all have spats here and there and during the stress of planning a wedding, it should be no surprise that one sticky topic or the other can come to a head. But you don’t need the extra hassle, so it’s worth staying on top of potential arguments anyway. Here are four that you can defuse in advance and a few ideas on just how you do that.

Share the load
If someone isn’t pulling their weight while organising the wedding, it will eventually become a source of frustration. Even if a bride wants to control most aspects of the wedding, the groom should be prepared to share the planning duties. The same is true of the reverse. If one person is left to facilitate everything, it will lead to building resentment that can lead to accusations of laziness or a lack of caring, even if neither is necessarily true.
Make the big decisions together
There are some aspects that should most definitely be decided on together. A man might want to surprise his wife by-to-be by choosing what he thinks is the perfect ring. If he doesn’t know how to choose a diamond or your particular tastes, however, it can be a big misstep that’s awkward to untangle. Similarly, if you’re having a wedding abroad, then you need to run down a list of possible destinations together to make sure that you can both help as many of your guests make it over as possible. Consult one another before making any major decisions.
Talking traditions
Opposites attract and, usually, that’s a wonderful thing. A mix between a super conservative groom and a progressive, trend-breaking bride can make for difficult wedding arrangements, however. Similarly, if you’re from different cultures, then whose traditions do you stick with? It’s up to the both of you to decide what to keep and what to break. Keep one another’s families in mind, however, and ask each other about what traditions you consider most important. For a meeting of two cultures, a compromise and a mix of both can keep each party happy.
Family or familiar foes?
The in-laws are a common point of contention for many brides. That might not be the case for all, but if it is for you, then try to make the effort to bridge those gaps in advance. If you have a mother-in-law that is too controlling or trying to get too involved in the wedding, then calmly talk to your partner about it before you start ringing the bell and putting on the boxing gloves, however. Get him on board first. Then, it can do a lot of good if you present a united front, but you take the lead when it comes to any in-law issues.
Above all else, communication and closeness are key. It can be easy for a little bit of distance to build in the leadup to a wedding as you’re busy planning and you might not have as much time for another. Make that time and together you can work through the vast majority of potential catastrophes.

*Disclaimer: Collaborative content.

Why No-one's Reading Your Blog*

The realisation that no-one is reading your blog and that you’re not currently a very good blogger is a very bitter pill to swallow. However, it’s one that everyone has to swallow at some point. Once you get over the hurt feelings, then it’s time to look at the realities of why that’s true and what you can do to take control once again. You need to figure out just why no-one is reading and nip the issue in the bud.

You aren’t marketing it
You can be the wittiest son-of-a-gun on the whole planet with insights that would shake entire communities, but if no-one’s reading it, it simply doesn’t matter. You have to take the time to grow the community and to market your blog and sell it to the public. Sites like can, for instance, drastically improve your standing in search engines, bringing more organic traffic in. Make sure you’re reaching out to the community as well. Share your posts with other serious bloggers, ask about guest posting, and promote others content so they’ll do the same for you.

Your site is whack
The content matters only as much as the website it’s on allows it. Bland visuals, garish font choices, and a lack of visual content to contrast the written will hamper any blog’s chances of success. But it’s not just aesthetic. The structure matters just as much If you’re entirely new to site building, then get professional results from professionals like If your site isn’t built to manage and update content regularly, it will hard to navigate and harder for you to work on.

Your content has no value
Content is king, of course, and a blog is there specifically to deliver content. So, what are you delivering? Is it all self-serving anecdotes about your life that do little but to highlight aspects of yourself? Is it uninspired lists of things that everyone already knows? Having true insight and new information is hard, but adding value as suggested by is crucial. Make it educational. Make it fact-driven.  Use it to deliver actionable tips that readers can implement as soon as they finish. Comedic and emotional value are both worth chasing, too. But never (ever) publish a piece without considering what value it provides to the reader.

You haven’t found your voice
Newcomers come to the blog because it provides something of value to them. Long-time fans stay because they like the person writing it. But you’re only going to get to that point with two strategies working together. The first is taking the time to engage with your community as mentioned above. The second is using guides like to make sure that your copywriting is actually good and that you have a voice of your own. Be honest, be yourself, and don’t feel like you should be second-guessing your voice constantly. Let your freak flag fly, as they say.
Finally, one of the main reasons that’s worth considering is that you might be new. If your blog hasn’t had the time to grow naturally, then don’t give up. Work with the tips above in mind, but keeping plugging and keep producing great content.

*Disclaimer: Collaborative content.

Friday, 24 November 2017

No Time For November

Pals, I must apologies for the somewhat dramatic post title today. I thought it sounded snappy when I first typed it but I keep looking at it and reading it in my fancy voice and it's a bit pants, isn't it? Oh, well - it's kind of true, though. I've found that November is going by incredibly quickly, and although this isn't a monthly review of sorts, I just wanted to type something out before we somehow end up in December. 

Tiny me in beautiful Brussels
November's been a bit of a mixed bag for me, really. It started off pretty well, and I went to Brussels with an amazing group of women as part of my Women in Leadership group. It was really eye-opening to meet so many fabulous women who are all doing great things, and no doubt going on to do even greater things too. With this inspiring trip in my back pocket, I also had another little local election lined up, with myself as candidate for a position on the town council. Unfortunately, local politics is just not taken seriously by most people here and we had a puny turnout of just 13%. We put our best efforts in with campaigning but sadly I missed out this time. Although I thought a win would be extremely unlikely and know that I worked hard and our team worked hard, I'm still feeling a bit sad about it all. However, everyone else is - quite rightly - pointing out how much effort we put in, and we know we just need to brush ourselves off and get on with the next job, and that does lift the spirits a bit. The show must go on, ey? 

Of course, I'm not a fully fledged politico just yet, and day to day, I work in a local school as a reprographics assistant. I've pretty much worked there for three months now, and I think I've really gelled well with the place. I get on really well with the other people in my office, and my printing skills are second to none. The school were really encouraging when I told them about my trip to Brussels, and it really gives me a much better job satisfaction then my previous workplace. So all in all, that's pretty good going. The next fortnight are packed with mock exams, so I've been printing my socks off to get thousands of exams ready - as well as the usual load of work - and I definitely think it's helping me to hone in on my prioritising skills. 

I mean, I say that, but have I found any time for myself? No, not really. My reading goal is pretty much unachievable now, I had to force myself to allow a spare 15 minutes to be dedicated to some life-admin for December, and despite getting the sewing bug just before my birthday, I haven't sewn anything since! I was determined to sew our very own advent calendar, and I'm really not leaving myself with a lot of time to do it... 

How has November been for you? Is anyone else feeling like this?

Monday, 20 November 2017

Give Your Elderly Relatives The Best Support Possible With This Advice*

It’s essential that pensioners have lots of support when they retire and begin the twilight of their lives. That is why all family members must work hard to ensure their grandmothers and grandfathers never feel lonely or struggle. There is some fantastic advice below that should guarantee you cover all the bases and give your relative the best possible experience before they finally leave this mortal coil. Of course, some people require specialist help, and so you might have to put your hand in your pocket. However, you owe it to the oldest members of your family to care for them as they once cared for you.

Make time for your relative

In most instances, your family member will just want you to make time for them. That could mean taking them on days out to different parts of the country or just nipping around to see them for a chat. Older adults can often begin to feel like a burden, and they will also become lonely when they stop working. It’s vital that you try to enrich their lives and make them as enjoyable as possible with days out and other activities. Far too many folks end up spending all their time at home in front of the TV. While that’s a relaxing pastime, it could shorten their life and leave them feeling miserable. Social interaction is just as significant as physical activity when people reach old age.

Help out with shopping and other chores

You should always ask your relative how you can help them every week. Sometimes the person might benefit from you offering to do the shopping or something similar. You might encounter times when your loved one can’t manage their cleaning jobs due to health issues according to House Beautiful. Don’t leave them sitting in a mess at home. Go around and clean up for them! It will only take you a couple of hours, and the person will appreciate your contribution. Other chores you might like to assist with include:

  • Painting and decorating
  • Ironing and washing
  • Making bill payments and banking

Seek out the best professional assistance

The last thing most people want to do is put their relative in a care home until there is no other option. Experts from companies like Cayon Care Services say that many UK families feel the same way, and that is why it’s critical that you find a suitable home care support service. For a small fee, you can arrange for specially trained staff to visit your loved one when you’re at work or otherwise occupied. The individual will get some much-needed social interaction, and they might even make some new friends. Just be sure to read online reviews before making your selection. Some care providers are honest and reliable while others just want to take your money.

Now you know how to give your elderly relatives the best possible support; you should find it easy to ensure they have an excellent quality of life. At some point, the person might require around the clock care. However, until then, there is a lot you can do to enrich their lives and ensure your relative doesn’t become sad or depressed.

*Disclaimer: Collaborative content.

Parenting in the Internet Age*

Being a parent in this digital world that we live in can be pretty scary. It seems like as soon as babies are out of the womb, they’re swiping smartphones and playing with iPads, and they’re doing it better than the adults!

As a responsible parent, you want to allow them to enjoy the technology that is available and which will surely be an important part of their future, but you also want to keep them safe and grounded in the real world too. It can be tough, but here are some things that should help you to parent effectively in the internet age:

Use the Safety Features

Most technology and most websites that children might be attracted to using have safety features built in and all you need to do is activate them if you want to keep your kids safe when using them. Of course, that won’t stop them accessing some of the less than child-friendly stuff out there all of the time, especially as they get older, which is why you might want to invest in some good parental control software and learn how to use it, too!

Start the Conversation Early

As soon as your children are old enough to use various tech that can connect to the internet, you should start talking to them about the potential dangers of speaking to unknown individuals online or visiting inappropriate websites. You should do this in an age-appropriate manner so as to not scare them and you should do it in the wider context of asking them what they’ve been doing. By showing an interest in what they’re building in Minecraft, or whatever, it won’t look so much like a lecture, and they’re more likely to open up and let you in on their digital world.

Check What They’re Doing

As a parent in the digital age, you should always be checking on what you’re children are doing. Look at their tablets to see whether they’re using a safe children's app or something that has the potential to be abused; if they’re old enough to be on Facebook, become friends with them so you can see who they’re talking to, and generally just take an interest in their activities.

Limit Their Screen Time

Limiting the amount of screen time your little ones have is really important, especially when they are little because you want them to grow up well-rounded and balanced and that means playing outside, building legos, baking with mummy and doing a whole host of other things that don’t involve devices!

Limit Your Own Screen Time

Of course, it isn’t only kids who get addicted to the internet - there are plenty of parents who are permanently attached to their Apple products too. If you want your kids to lead a balanced life then, y’know, be a role model and spend less time on your own devices and more time doing fun things with them in ‘real life’.

If you can do these pretty simple things, then your children should be just fine online!

*Disclaimer: Collaborative content. 

Friday, 17 November 2017

My Philosophies and Life - Live Like You Give A F**k Book Tour

It's quite exciting when you're asked to take part in a book tour, and as a big book fan myself, I hope it's something you get excited about too. Today, I'm part of Nicola Findlay's book tour for her awesomely titled Live Like You Give A F**K. Nicola has kindly provided a lil guest post below, so have a read and if you love it, get yourself a copy of her book pronto! 


I grew up with mum juggling jobs to make ends meet. Logically, my expectations for the future at this point were low. I thought the best I could do would be to muddle and struggle through life like my mum. In my early twenties, I found myself in a boring job that I hated, too much month at the end of the money, credit cards maxed out on emergencies like a cute biker jacket from Zara and being in a dead end relationship where my partner felt more like a lodger than a lover! 

I could have stayed this way but fate, destiny, the universe or whatever the hell you call it stepped in and and guided me in a different direction.! 

An older, wiser colleague at work often asked me , “what the heck are you doing stuck in this stale office! Get the hell out of here and live a life of adventure and fun - you are too young to 
settle for a 9-5 boring office job’ As much as I new it to be true, the security of the job would always drag my sorry arse back. 

The unexpected death of him was a lightening bolt to my system. Would I continue living a life that didn’t feel like mine or I could grab life by the balls and go live a better version? 
In what seemed like a moment of madness, in a heartbeat, I took the first step that we all have to do to make change happen. I decided to take a leap of faith into the unknown! 

From that point everything started to change pretty quickly. I ditched the boyfriend and the job. Moved down south and started an awesome career travelling the world as an air stewardess. 

I loved my new life, work and new friends. Within a year I met a guy that blew my socks off. I still can’t shake him off, I guess that’s because I married him. One day I was introduced to my first self development book which was quite alien to me as my usual reading materials consisted solely of OK and Hello magazine. But I absolutely fucking loved it, and was so hooked and hungry for more. That initial book started a trail into the ‘self help bubble’ which led to more life changing books, weekend seminars, an nlp practitioner course and running self development workshops in Brighton where I lived. This journey of personal growth and development was pleasantly interrupted by the arrival of my baby daughter Melia and I stepped back to focus on my most prized possession. 

I’ve always felt guided in someway by something. In Steve Jobs commencement speech he talked about; ‘trusting that the dots will join together’. I know now, if I have an idea, like writing a book, I should action it! because I believe I wouldn’t have had the idea in the first place. I trust that even if I don’t have all of the answers upfront (no one ever does!) I will be shown the best possible path for me, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time. I’m 100% all in with the Universe, we’re bestie, I trust her so I’m happy to jump and let it all figured out on the way down. 

For me, I have learned that a great life starts only one way and that’s with a massive dose of gratitude. I ask myself on a daily basis what am I grateful for in my life right now, who do I love and who loves me!. This daily ritual sets me up for the day. I won’t moan about a situation or focus on the negativity of something that bothers me. I choose to be grateful, as the situation could always be worse. So rather than focus my energies bitching and moaning, I like to visualise the future I want and put my energies into the actions and steps that will make that vision a reality. 

You have to belief in yourself and your abilities to make life fucking happen! If you can’t believe in yourself, no one else will believe in you. To do that, it sounds cheesy, but you gotta love and respect yourself, without doubt or fear. You gotta be able to shut down those negative voices before they stop you in your tracks. 

You’ve also got to know what the fuck you want. We spend too much time gossiping about what’s shit, our terrible boss, job that we hate, not having enough money but rarely on the things that we do want. Switch that shit up and start talking, planning and plotting how you’re gonna live this amazing thing we call life! 

Nicola Findlay Author of; ‘Live Like You Give A F**K!’

*Disclaimer: This post was part of a book tour with Nicola Findlay.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Brussels, Books and Being Busy

You know, I had the best intentions to get a bucketload of blogging typed up, pictures taken etc during half term. I'll have so much time to schedule posts, I thought. I mean, clearly I forgot that although I'd be off work for the week, so too the kiddos would be off school and I'd still have councillor and political party member duties. I've even struggled to spend quality time with Joe and he's had most days off as well! So naturally, my best intentions sort of slipped away and now you're getting this ramble! 

Still, as a busy gal, I've got plenty of news to share with you! Last week, I attended a very interesting talk with my local Member of European Parliament, ahead of a trip I'm going on next month as part of a Women In Leadership campaign. I've mentioned it a few times over on Instagram - so go and follow me, I'm hilarious - that I'm going to Brussels to visit European Parliament with a small group of awesome ladies in a bid to discuss why politics still carries a massive barrier to women. I think it's fair to say that a lot of the issues we cover will also mimic the barriers women face in everyday life - so I'm very excited to see if we can go ahead and fix a faltering system! Plus, I've never been to Brussels before so yeah. Excited! 
In other somewhat political news - I have decided to tackle mental health issues in my local area, as well as getting a fair wage for young workers. Can't say I don't keep myself busy, now! I'm the youngest councillor by at least 15 years, so I feel like it's my duty to be a voice for people like myself who might have felt unrepresented in the past. If you know of any excellent charities I could try to work with - I've already got Young Women's Trust in mind, as well as some of the bigger mental health charities - then please share them. Also, any schemes which you think have worked well in your local area that I could possibly try to replicate. 
I've managed to get a bit of my reading mojo back, and recently finished reading Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard. I'm still woefully behind in my reading challenge, but I've just started Sara Pascoe's Animal as an audiobook, so I'm hoping that the new format might help mix things up! Also, I received a few nonfiction books for my birthday - thank god for the birthday wishlist, amiright? - so they should make a nice change from reading fiction too. I'm pretty positive that I can keep it up and I could possibly reach my target by the end of December. Maybe I should start including some of the ace kids book I read to the boys? Ha! 
I had a really lovely birthday and managed to spread the celebrations out for an entire week, which I think in itself is pretty impressive. We had a meal with family, a meal out with friends as well as bunches of flowers and some pretty fantastic gifts - again, thank you wish list! - but that didn't stop me from purchasing the most ridiculous jacket from Monsoon earlier this week. I keep banging on about my capsule wardrobe, but I couldn't help myself. It's so pretty! I manage to wiggle 20% off with my NUS card, so although not strictly a bargain, I'm trying to justify it that way. I think it's pretty much sold out online but I asked the lady in store and managed to pull one out of their stock for me. I'm thinking it will look great with a plain dress and then therefore won't damage my restricted capsule wardrobe too much. 
What's new with you? Let's catch up in the comments!

Friday, 13 October 2017

I've Made over £10,000 from Matched Betting - and You Can Too!

When I went on maternity leave, I was faced with a huge cut in my income, as the maternity pay I received was less than half of my monthly wage. I had considered looking at different ways to make money online - be it article writing, rating websites or other such schemes - but nothing really seemed to fit around my life with a newborn baby. That's until I found out about matched betting. 
Matched betting is a tax-free way to make money by utilising the incentive offers that bookings bring out on a regular basis. These offers are the turned into a guaranteed profit by matched betting - as opposed to regular betting which is simply gambling. Matched betting isn't a new thing at all, and some people have even managed to quit their day jobs to become full-time matched bettors.  Depending on how big your starting 'bank' is and how much time you can spare, the amount of money you can make varies. However, I was able to repeatedly make £1,000 a month while I was on maternity leave, and now continue to make around £500+ each month while I'm back at work full-time. 

Where to start with Matched Betting?

I use a site called Profit Accumulator which I initially used to teach me the basics of matched betting, but can also be used for finding the latest offers as well updating you on the best odds to use. As someone who isn't really in to sport, I found this quite helpful - you definitely don't need to be a footy fan to be a successful matched bettor! When you sign up the the free trial with Profit Accumulator, they give you two offers try out - allowing you to instantly make £45 risk free! This allows you to test the waters a bit, to see if you understand what to do before decided to purchase a membership. At this point, I went ahead and bought one as the free offers covered a couple of months payment. 
I find it's best to keep a pot of money aside so you can access all the best odds when they're available, as they certainly move about closer to kick off. If you can, a pot of around £200 is a great start - but I've heard some people leaving £1,000 aside for their pot. A good way to build up your pot is to simply keep your winnings in your bank account until you've reached your ideal 'bank' threshold

How can I make £1,000 a month?

Honestly, the best way I've found is to set myself a daily target. Whether it's £10 or even £50, by holding yourself accountable, it does help to spur you on. I used a super unattractive spreadsheet to log all of my winnings, which I found on the Profit Accumulator member's forum and adapted it to my needs. Another thing I do to make sure I can make a decent amount is schedule matched betting into my day. Saturday is easily the busiest day for matched betting, with so many different sports going on at multiple times during the day, so I try to get some time in on Saturday morning. I also found that trying to catch whatever horse races were on during Robin's nap time helpful as well, as they could easily boost up your profits by a few quid a time! 
Once you've signed up to a few bookies, you'll start getting new offers as an existing member - this is how so many people can do matched betting for a longer period of time, the offers just don't stop! I find these ones can be quite lucrative as they almost always offer a deposit bonus, meaning you technically have free money straight away. Just be careful to read the T&C on any offer you are emailed, and of course don't click on any links from a bookie you haven't signed up with. I actually created a separate email just for matched betting as you can get quite a few on a daily basis! 
I've been really surprised at how well I've taken to matched betting, so if you have any questions then I will try my best to help! 
*Please note affiliate links have been used. They are at no cost to you, but help keep Love In Modern Life ticking over with exciting content! Content written by myself.*

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Creating a Workwear Capsule Wardrobe

Despite the fact that I've worked in an office for a few years now, since returning to work after having Robin, I seem to have zero clothes suitable for work. I've mentioned previously that I'm attempting to create my very own minimalist capsule wardrobe, and although that has had various success - mostly that I never put aside time to actually get rid of my clothes! - I think a work capsule wardrobe might be a good starting point. I've had a bit of time now to think about what colour scheme my working wardrobe could have, and the sort of fabrics that are office-friendly - read: layers to deal with air-con! So now, it's just starting to curate the items I need to have a little work capsule for the ultimate ease when it comes to getting ready. 

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When I was considering creating a capsule wardrobe, I had constantly thought to myself, 'man, I wish I just had a uniform,' as those days really were stress-free. That's why I think a pinafore is an excellent piece for any workwear capsule wardrobe. I've decided to use navy as my base colour, instead of black, as I think black can be too harsh sometimes. Plus, navy lends itself to matching well with mustard and blush pink, which are my two accent colours. Of course, you could pick any colour for your pinafore - in an ideal world I'd have a denim one too, but that's not work friendly for me, sad times! You can wear a pinafore with a silky blouse, an everyday turtleneck or just a stripy breton top if that's your bag - and that's why I need one in my life. Plus, come wintertime and you can just pop a jumper over the top and that's it - sorted! 
The great thing with buying a few tops to match your pinafore, is that they work with a skirt too! As I'm planning quite a minimalist look, I've went for a suede skirt here so that the texture adds a bit of interest to my capsule. Another way to add a bit of interest is with a wraparound skirt, or something with an asymmetrical hemline. Either way, it's a bit more than your standard skirt and helps to keep your outfits looking fresh. My biggest issue with my capsule wardrobe is footwear, to be honest. I can't really wear heels - in general and at work - so that limits me to flats, which are fine. I currently have some Melissa pumps with a tortoiseshell bow, but I'm really worried about them breaking at work or something disastrous like that. With the colder weather coming, some ankle boots are definitely needed, and I think a tan shade instead of black would work well with my little colour palette. 
So there we have it, a few items to kickstart my work wardrobe! Have you tried a capsule wardrobe before? Any tips?

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Time to #RelaxAndRecline with Fenetic Wellbeing*

I think as soon as the weather gets a bit chillier, everyone wants to stay at home and get cosy. As someone who celebrates their birthday in October, I used to wince when family members gave me cosy socks or knitted jumpers as gifts but now I'm all for it. Joe's nana knits the perfect jumper, so we've got at least five in our collection now! When I was asked to take part in the #RelaxandRecline campaign with Fenetic Wellbeing, I couldn't think of a more perfect match! 

I think even before I became a mum, I was all for comfort. Honestly, growing up you would have thought I had a different pair of slippers for each day of the week - did anybody else have some novelty oinking pig slippers? I love staying in and putting on my warmest jumper, some fluffy socks and having something truly comforting for tea - as soon as the nights start getting dark early I'm practically begging Joe to make us a pie! I guess you can take the girl away from the North, but the pie stays with you haha!
Of course, over the years I've been trying to perfect my own little reading corner and you really do need to have somewhere cosy and comfy if you're intending on getting a few chapters read. When the winter days start to come in, I love sitting back and reading Wuthering Heights - which is something I try to do every year - and this year I'm looking forward to reading The Gritterman by Orlando Weeks which is beautifully illustrated and perfect for this time of year. 

Another thing that is great about winter coming is that you have the best excuse for staying in and having a snuggle instead of venturing out into the cold. Evening TV becomes more interesting and that's pretty great for me. Luckily, we're more of a X Factor family than Stricly fans, so at least there's no arguments there. Whether you're a recliner kinda gal or have a fancy seat that's just for you, then Fenetic Wellbeing have the perfect chairs for you and your loved ones! I think recliner chairs like theirs have a bad rep at the moment as an 'older person' chair, but we always had a reclining sofa when I was a kid, so they just seem like part of life to me. It always seems like the next step forward in comfort - and a bit luxurious! On a weekend, you will often find me snuggled up with the boys under a blanket, relaxed and reclined with some popcorn before watching our favourite movies. I know my Dad always loved having a post-Sunday Roast snooze on them, too! 
What do you love about the change in seasons? How do you relax when the evenings get darker?

*Disclaimer: This post was a collaboration with Fenetic Wellbeing. Content written by myself.
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