The Tiger Who Came To Tea

The Tiger Who Came To Tea, a book that was read to me when I was a little girl and now one that I have read to my own children.

We were gifted tickets to the press performance of The Tiger Who Came to Tea Live, and what a fantastic show it was.  The girls had so much fun, Abi being that little bit older than Sophia I didn't think she would interact as much as she's at that age where she thinks she's too cool for everything! But she loved it.  I loved the way the characters engaged with the whole audience, we sang, danced, laughed it was fantastic to watch.  Being an hour long performance was just the right time for a younger audience.

The show will be playing at the Haymarket Theatre (just a two minute walk from Trafalgar Square) until the 19th of January, and its definitely one to watch for the whole family.

*We were gifted tickets for the show in exchange for an honest review

Fitness - Lifestyle

Well its been a while! I've been away working on new content to put up so firstly I wanted to talk about something that has massively helped me and I couldn't imagine not having this routine in my life - Exercise.

Exercise has had a massive impact in my life not only for the physical changes I have seen in my body but mentally too, and when I hear people ask what's good for anxiety/depression and to clear the mind, the first thing I will tell them is exercise! You don't have to be a member of the gym exercise is free and can be from going for a long walk (even in the rain!!) to doing a workout at home.  YouTube has loads of great videos you can get ideas from.  As well as exercise there's also eating well too, don't get me wrong my diet isn't perfect but I do cook from scratch most days, especially as the kids love helping too.  Cutting out processed foods is a big start, you can easily cook fresh meals on a budget especially if you have children.  I sometimes make meals that I can freeze or something we can have the next day. I will however do a separate post on meal ideas.

The past 12 months I've really got into a good routine with the gym, I've also joined an outdoor group which has been amazing too, lots to strength and cardio workouts which is amazing for anyone who prefers working out outside.  For me they both work well, when I feel like I want fresh air I can go there, other days when I have particular areas of my body I want to work on or things I want to clean up on then the gym is amazing.  I tend to gym more than I do working out outside.  I will start posting my workouts to hopefully inspire someone.  I've set myself a goal on what I want to achieve from my training now so I'm going to give myself three months to see if I can reach that goal.  But, I will be doing regular weekly blog updates as well as over on my Instagram page too.

I'm by no means a fitness expert so any content I put up will be purely from my own personal experiences.

Keeping Organised As A Family

One thing I'm not very good at in life is being organised.  Now, with having two children this doesn't go down to well as organisation and routine are two key things you need in life especially when being a parent.  This is something I am working on, and something that is massively important as when there is no routine for example at bedtime, if your letting your children go to bed whenever they want, not having a set bath, story and bedtime then, you are going to end up with a very grumpy and tired child.  But when they have a set routine and you are organised in life they will be happier and life will be less challenging when it comes to bedtime (I will be talking more about bedtime routine below).  These are just one of the things I'm using as an example for, I could probably do with about 10 different wall planners and to do lists when it comes to organising my life.

Here are a few ways I'm going to keep organised in life from now on!

Children's Bedtime:
This is something that I have really shot myself in the foot for, one thing I would like to introduce for them both are bedtime reward charts, I used these with Abigail before Sophia was born and they always worked a treat, at the end of the week if she filled her chart then she would be rewarded with something small like a pack of stickers, or a colouring book (thank goodness for the 99p store!) 

Meal Planning 
I've never really written out a meal plan for the week before but I know that we would benefit from this, I find myself wasting a lot of food each week and for me I could probably keep my weekly cost of food shopping down by having a planner.  Knowing what we are all having each day for the week would be great, and having a weekly planner chart up in the kitchen would help me keep on top of this.  On top of meal planning also write out a shopping list I am forever going into the supermarket without writing a list knowing that I'm going in for a few particular things and not coming out with one thing that I had on the list that I'd made up in my head!

Chore Board
Now Abi's 10 she's at an age where she can help out around the house (don't worry she's not treated like Cinders!!) but she's more than capable of helping polish, clean her room and do the basics like making her bed every morning.  Does she do any of these things, very rarely so I'm really considering getting a chore board to write out simply every day things for her and Sophia to do like make their beds, clear away their toys after playing.  I also think this is massively important to encourage them to become responsible and to start earning pocket money.  Even for myself on the days I have work I feel like I'm missing out on doing so much, one or two days of not tidying up properly can make a massive difference.

What are your key tips to keeping organised?

Travel - Weekend in Amsterdam

Amsterdam has been at the top of my travel list for a while now, I'm so glad I got to visit such a beauty City.

We'd booked our flights on Sky Scanner, if you haven't used the site before its worth taking a look our return flights including parking for the weekend at the airport totalled to £75 each which I thought was a great price.  We flew from Gatwick with an early afternoon flight and early morning return on the Sunday.  Accommodation we booked through which again we found a great deal on a 2 night stay at the Westcord Art Hotel prices worked out at £119 per person excluding food and drinks. 
Getting to Amsterdam City Centre was pretty straight forward from the airport there's a direct train straight to the centre, one thing I have to say is how clean and comfy the trains are out there! Our hotel was located about 20 minute bus ride outside the centre.  We were pretty tired from the journey when we arrived so decided to check in, eat and then head out to explore the night life in the City.  The bus stop was located about 10 minute walk from the hotel and by the time we had headed out it was going on for about 10pm.  Unfortunately for us, we were followed to the bus stop by two men so we decided it wasn't safe enough to be out at that time so headed back to the hotel, they also tried to follow us back which was pretty scary, it was quite industrial around where our hotel was so I'd defo recommended if you are heading out in the evening then to order a cab to be on the safe side especially if there are only a few of you.
We wanted to spend the Saturday exploring so hired bikes which worked out at 12 euros each for the whole day.  We headed out before breakfast, I was pretty nervous cycling, I can't remember the last time I rode a bike! And the roads are so busy (& fast!) but the bike lanes are very safe, we were lucky enough to have beautiful weather for the weekend so it felt great cycling in the sunshine and the route was a straight run to the backstreets of the city centre.
We locked our bikes up by the canals and headed for breakfast, we found a gorgeous little cafĂ© down the back streets, I loved the morning vibe there the canals looked so pretty, the locals we so friendly.  We spent until lunchtime exploring the backstreets which were full of pretty cafes, boutiques and delicious bakeries.  The canals are so beautiful there you could walk around all day exploring.  If your a smoker then of course there are the cafes to go to, to get high! That's not really my style but one place we were intrigued to visit was the Red Light District, to be honest I have only every heard how seedy it is there so was curious to experience it myself, how can you go to Amsterdam and not take a trip there!  Again the streets are beautiful, and the vibe was great.  Night time you'll find lots of groups of hen parties, stag do's,  Everyone was pretty friendly and we had a great last evening in the Red Light District.

If your heading to Amsterdam then I would recommend hiring bikes to get around the city & book cabs for the evening time.  There are so many lovely places to eat and sights to see.  Its well worth planning an itinerary if your going for a few days, there is so much to see and do.

Or, if you are a smoker like 60% of the tourists there then there are plenty of places to go to chill out and enjoy the Amsterdam vibe!

Carbon Theory Skin Care

If you have read my previous post about skin care then you will already know the problems I have had growing up and even now in my 30's with breakouts especially when its that time of the month my skin seems to flare up in full force.  Previously I changed my diet which did help massively and I also changed products and stuck to using just coconut oil on my skin as that was literally the only product that didn't make my skin flare up and create more breakouts or reactions.  In the past I have spent an absolute fortune on skincare, I've worked for luxury makeup and skincare brands in high end department stores and despite the very expensive price tag on the products again nothing has really agreed with me.  

I was recently (about a month ago) gifted two products from the brand Carbon Theory they kindly sent me their Charcoal & Tea Tree Cleansing Bar & Breakout Exfoliating Scrub.  Of course in my head I honestly thought it would be another product that would flare up my skin but I couldn't be far from wrong, I wanted to use the products for a few weeks so I could give you a full honest opinion on them both and I can honestly say that they are a brand I will be sticking with and will be the main products to my skincare routine now and in the future.  I always imagined a cleansing soap to make your face feel tight and dry, but the cleansing bar is absolutely amazing, my skin every time feels fresh & clear I use the bar morning and night, I don't use it to remove my eye make up as the tea tree would burn the eyes! So I use my coconut oil to remove mascara and eye shadow and the soap to cleanse my face and neck.  I have to say the appearance of my skin has changed, it looks and feels smoother, clearer & the breakouts have started to clear up.  The Exfoliating Scrub is also amazing, this I use three times a week, you only need a small amount and from someone who suffers also from sensitive skin its been like a dream to use the texture isn't harsh with its natural pumicite particles and again my skin feels and looks so much clearer and smoother, I use the scrub firstly on my neck working in small circular movements up my face especially concentrating around my nose area, my skin would usually react and come up bright red with scrubs.  The Activated Charcoal in both products is great for drawing out dirt and unblocking any pores, remember never to squeeze your spots no matter how tempted you are from experience they do leave scars.  I love Tea Tree this is a great antiseptic so amazing for killing the bacteria especially in those nasty pores, it also reduces inflammation and can help reduce pores. 

As you can see photos were taken in different natural light but you can see how much the products have helped my skin especially with breakouts.
You can see from my photos (first photo was the first time using the soap & scrub) after two weeks of using the bar and scrub how much my skin has cleared up.  I have had compliments on how fresh my skin looks something I've never really had before.

Carbon Theory are an amazing vegan and cruelty free brand which I would highly recommend to everyone they have a wide range of products you can purchase online and the prices are amazing too, I'm so pleased that I have finally found a brand after all these years that can fit into my everyday regime.

I would only recommend brands and products that I feel are genuinely worth sharing and for me Carbon Theory are a top brand.

*Gifted products.

Why Parents Need A Hobby To Keep Their Mental Health Strong

It’s long been said that being a parent is one of the most important things you’ll ever do, and you won’t find many mothers and fathers who disagree. But being a good parent isn’t only about looking after your child(ren), it’s also about looking after yourself. In this article, I explain why parents need a hobby to keep their mental health strong in order to provide the best care for their kid(s). 

Credit: PxHere
Looking after your mental health makes you a better parent 
Whether you believe in nurture, nature, or a combination of both, the way children are brought up by their parents does have an impact on the rest of their lives – even the most naturally gifted child can be helped by having supportive parents.

In order to give their children the best possible support, parents need to look after themselves, and that includes their mental health. 

Mental health isn’t a tap you get to turn on and off – just like your physical health, it can change due to factors that you have no control over. 

But, like your physical health, working on your mental health does help to improve it. Hobbies are a way of keeping your mental health strong, by giving you focus, creative outlets, breathing space, and a chance to have more control over your time – all of which helps to make you a better parent. 

What are the direct benefits of hobbies on mental health? 

Hobbies have a direct impact on your mental health, with many benefits coming from the actual hobby itself, as well as the process of ‘switching off’. Some of the key direct mental health benefits parents get from hobbies include: 

Doing or creating something tangible 

Whether it’s painting a picture, performing in a play, or something as simple as winning a few games at 32Red Casino, hobbies giving you a tangible sense of achievement. This can give you both immediate and long term mental health benefits – for example, if you paint a picture you can feel pleased with your work right away, then hang it on your wall and reap the benefits forever! 

Improvements to your physical health 

You don’t have to take a trip to the gym to have a physical hobby, you could go for a run around the park, shoot hoops in your garden, or do a few sit ups in your bedroom. 

The point is not what you do it’s what it does for you – exercise releases endorphins that help to make you more focused and happier, all the while improving your physical health as well as your mental health. 

What are the indirect benefits of hobbies on mental health? 

Though there are many benefits you get immediately from your hobbies, some of them begin before you start them and carry on after you’ve finished them. These indirect benefits can be overlooked, but they’re just as important as the direct ones and they include: 

Community participation & support 

While hobbies for parents are about giving mums and dads something to do for themselves, by getting out of your home you can come into contact with people who aren’t from your family. This gives parents a new community to participate in, providing both new friends and a support network to turn to if they have mental health concerns that involve their family. 

Gives you a sense of purpose 

I opened this article by saying that being a parent is the most important thing you’ll do, but it’s not the only thing you’ll do – getting a sense of purpose from your children alone is neither healthy nor sustainable, as they have their own lives to lead. Taking up a hobby gives you another channel to get a sense of purpose form – even something as banal and simple as being the treasurer for a sports team means that there are people that rely on you, along with individuals you have a responsibility to. 

Being a parent means the world to mums and dads, but it’s just not healthy for your children to be the only thing in your world. To give your children the best support, care, and opportunities in life you need to look after your mental health too and having a hobby is the perfect way to do this. So join a sports club, go for a run, play an online game, or do something else – just make sure you do something outside of your kids!

Nordic Botanics CBD Oil & Mental Health

*This is a non sponsored/gifted post review

For a long time now I have been suffering from anxiety, to the point where I rarely spoke about it & just tried to get on with life but it became that bad that I felt like I was having an actual breakdown! Not what you want going on in life when you're a single Mum with two young children to look after, I've always 'held my shit together' but up until about a month ago I could no longer do this and completely broke down.  I shall be writing up regular posts now about mental health as I've learnt that there's absolutely nothing wrong in admitting that you're struggling in life in fact that's the first step to dealing with it.  After recognising my issues I sought help and am awaiting two types to therapy, one to help me deal with personal things I've been through in life and have never addressed & the other CBT Therapy which I am working on at the moment to deal with anxiety, help me manage it & hopefully one day over come it (that's my aim) I've also started working on well being techniques, daily meditation, taking time out in the evenings to relax before bed, having a good clear out in terms of negative people in my life distancing myself from them, exercising at least 4 times a week if not more as and when I can I've been doing this for a long time anyway for me its amazing for the mind.  Then I was introduced to the CDB oil by my Brother who uses it daily and swears by it, it has lots of great benefits especially for those suffering with anxiety/depression.  He kindly gave me a bottle of the Nordic Botanics CBD Oil 10ml (click on the link to see) and after doing lots of research on it I thought I may as well give it a try!  I suffer from a medical condition anyway and am on medication for the rest of my life so researched to see as to whether it would interact with that (it doesn't) but my medical condition is actually proven to help people who suffer from my condition (I will speak about that in a separate blog post)

I was actually a bit nervous about trying the oil, I know it sounds silly but I didn't know what to expect.  If you haven't heard of CBD Oil then you should have a read up on the benefits, people always associate it with getting high! But the oil is made from organic hemp plants containing low/zero THC (the active high) so will give you the complete opposite effect.

I've been using the oil for just over a week now and I have to admit its been amazing, obviously CBD is not going to take away anxiety those are thoughts that you have to deal with mentally and work on but it does relax you and make you feel less anxious and this is coming from me someone who has been suffering from severe anxiety.  I have been sleeping better, the first night taking the oil (I use 3 sprays at night and 1 in the morning) I fell asleep almost straight away and had the best nights sleep and everyday from then it has been the same, I take it about half an hour before bedtime.  Before I would lie there overthinking, worrying about stuff and it would take me hours to get to sleep but since taking the oil it has literally been a complete life saver, I feel relaxed and it makes those racing thoughts somehow disappear, its also been amazing from PMT for me I've for years suffered from hot flushes just before my period, those this month have been reduced greatly I haven't felt as irritable as I usually would do.  I also found that my anxiety would get worse before my period but probably a combination of the CBD oil and working on the CBT therapy has helped greatly so far & its also not interfered with my medication which has been amazing.

This is in no way a gifted review I just wanted to tell you all how amazing the Nordic oil is and how much I highly recommend it.  I will be covering more posts around mental health weekly on my blog now and will continue to use the oil, if you're unsure and want to use it please do your research first on the product or I'm happy to answer any questions and help as much as I can.

Thanks for reading!

Flower Be, Mothers Day Review

This Mothers Day the girls were sent this lovely Get Creative Box from Flower Be People.  The box involves Dads and Children getting involved and creating a lovely gift for Mum this Mothers Day.  

Being a single Mum my girls had lots of fun creating this by themselves, Abi is 10 so old enough to help talk Sophia through what needs to be done.  Its definitely a lovely idea and should be aimed also at siblings to create together especially if families don't have their Father living with them.

The box includes some lovely fresh Spring flowers and other crafty bits & luxury craft paper to wrap the flowers with.  The girls had so much fun decorating the craft paper and arranging the flowers together.

Flower Be offer a lovely hand picked scented subscription.  I was so happy with my beautiful bouquet thoughtfully decorated by the girls and they had a great time decorating it for me, it definitely made them both bond doing this together which was lovely to see.  The craft paper can be kept as a lovely memory and some of the flowers I have pressed. 

*This post contains a gifted product.

What Does Your Eye Colour Say About You?

Well it’s often said that the eyes are the windows to the soul. They are the first thing we notice in another person and there’s much more to eye color than simple genetic pigmentation. They can reveal a lot about your personality and your health. Most shocking however, is that eye color can also determine who you’re most attracted to!

It may be no surprise to you that many romantic couples share a few physical traits, but attractiveness to a certain eye color could come from a surprising source. According to a paper published by Lisa DeBruine and her colleagues at the University of Glasgow, people tend to prefer romantic partners whose eye color matches that of their parents. To demonstrate how eye color affects one’s attraction to another, the research team recruited 300 heterosexual and homeosexual men and women and made records of their eye color, as well as their parents’ and lovers’ eye color. The eye colors were then categorized into light (covering blue, green, blue-green, grey and hazel) and dark (covering light brown, dark brown and black).

The researchers found that overall, heterosexual women and homosexual men were twice as likely to have a lover with similar eye color to their father’s, while homosexual women and heterosexual men were more likely to have a lover matching their mother’s eye color.  

In general, the eyes are what many people describe to be the most important facial feature in a potential partner, according to another study by The survey stated that the majority of male and female participants found blue to be the most attractive eye color. Other than blue, they found men preferred women with green eyes over brown, whereas women were more attracted to brown eyes over green in men.

While it’s true that there can be many reasons behind why you may be attracted to a certain physical quality, beauty is in the eye of the beholder so what people find attractive is totally subjective. Nonetheless, if you’ve always wondered how you might look with a different eye color, colored contact lenses are a popular bet. However, finding good quality, affordable and comfortable choices can be tough! TheFreshlook One Day pack is one of the most popular colored contact lenses out there. They’re very comfortable and come in a variety of realistic color options that are easy on the wallet. Find more at

In collaboration with Smart Buy

How I Cleared my Acne

From my teenage years I have never had great skin, and remember using alot of make up to cover it up (I was make up obsessed anyway!) as the years went on it still wasn't getting any better, I'd break out before my period every month, if I was suffering from any kind of stress my skin would get ten times worse and just in general it has never been great.

Below is a photo exactly one month apart, no make up, no filters and as you can see on the left my skin looks sore and irritated and then a month later after cutting out dairy and meat and changing a few other things in my life, my skin is drastically clearer and my spots have cut down by I'd say 90%.

I've spent an absolute fortune over the years on products thinking that they will do the trick and clear my skin.  You see lots of adverts on skincare claiming to clear up acne, none of which have worked for me.  The only thing that will majorly affect your skin is your diet and over the past few months I have learn't this myself.  I have been speaking to a few friends who have switched to being Vegan, and had told me a number of ways it has helped them so I thought I'd try it for myself and to be honest it was a last resort before going to the doctors to be ask to be referred to a Dermatologist.  Its been getting me down for years now and finally I have found my own way of dealing with it so below are my list of things that have helped me.

-  Cut out all dairy products
-  Cut out meat
-  Switched to Soya products
-  Switched to a plant based lifestyle 
-  Getting 8 hours or more sleep per night (early nights work wonders!)
-  Using more Vegan beauty products
-  More self care - Face mask three times a week, relaxing bath, meditation
-  Increasing my water intake each day
-  Trying to cut out any negativity in my life, and yes this does include people, reducing stress is actually an amazing feeling.

These are things that have worked for me personally, so after all these years of spending an absolute fortune on products it all mainly came down to my diet.  I think dairy was a big part of this, and I feel so much better now I've cut it out.  

My skincare routine is very basic and works for me.  I only now use Coconut Oil on my face morning and night as a moisturiser it is absolutely amazing, causes no irritation and makes my skin lovely and smooth and I have seen a massive difference with small bits of scarring I've had on my skin from having acne.

At last I have found something that naturally works for me!