Make Resolutions like a Ninja

Did I tell you that my ex is a ninja? No not that kind, a Productivity Ninja. What's that you might ask? Obviously an agent trained in the fine art of getting sh*t done. And that's really what he does, he runs marathons and writes books and all that jazz. You'd think that having known him all my adult life some of it would have rubbed off but let's just say that opposites attract. It's not that I don't want to do things, I do! I want to do ALL THE THINGS and this is where I go wrong, I try and do them all at once. That's how I end up in bed by 8PM on New Year's Eve. Finally it's sunk in, it's not about doing all the things, it's about doing the most important things and I  let you know what I think those things are in this video. 

Once you know what you want or what you need or if you're lucky a hot combo, this is how you make sure they happen: 

PLAN IT - Don't just make a vague plan to do something, break it down into titchy little pieces, so you know exactly how much time and energy you need and so it doesn't feel so overwhelming. 

WRITE IT DOWN - There's a reason why you don't just spit in your hand and shake hands when you buy a house. Writing things down makes them for realz. Commit your goals to paper, everything important needs a contract, especially agreements made with yourself. 

TELL SOMEONE - Accountability is no joke, if you don't tell anyone about your goal it's easy to pretend you never really wanted to do it. Last year I wrote on my blog that I maybe, possibly wanted to write a book and guess what I ended this year doing - kayaking! (Nah, I wrote a book girl!)

REVIEW - People change and so do their aims. Make sure you regularly check in to see if you're on the right track and if you aren't, change course! You're in the driver's seat.

A Mum Track Mind

Online Bingo - A Relief from Everyday Stress

The game of bingo has been a popular pastime for generations. People still go to physical bingo halls to have a game with their friends and competitors, and the joy of shouting “BINGO!” never really fades away.

But modern life brings with it a lot of responsibilities and a perpetual lack of ‘free time’. This means that if bingo is one of your favourite games, you might as well be missing it right now because you can rarely find the time to go to the bingo halls and play.

Online Bingo provides a great alternative. You can sit in the comfort of your home, wearing whatever you like (no need to dress up for this bingo night, ladies!) and try your luck at a variety of bingo games.

One of the advantages of playing online bingo is the bonuses and promotions that are very rare at old school bingo halls. You can play online bingo and win cash without even depositing any money at all. There are several websites that offer welcome bonuses to new users for up to 400% of their deposit amount! Visit this website to find out about the great offers and promotions.

Many online bingo websites also host charity events where your earnings go directly to charitable foundations. This helps us give back to the world and have fun at the same time. There is also a chat room feature in online bingo rooms where you can talk to fellow users and make new friends.

So at times when it feels like life is getting too monotonous or dull, why not play a game of online bingo to bring back some fun and vitality?

Collaboration with Game Village 
photo credit: Jaione Dagdrømmer Igandeak. via photopin (license)

Welcome in 2017 just a little bit

I write this from my death bed, okay from my sick bed, I'm just really, really rubbish at being sick. I spend the whole experience whinging about all the extraordinary things I could be doing if I were in good health and this time has been no exception. Rather than feeling grateful that a flu every couple of years is my greatest health concern and that I have two doting grandparents to keep the toddler away from my germs, I've been stressing about all the amazing things I coulda done to start this year with a bang. The problem is it was this kind of overreaching that got me here in the first place. I thought, yeah I can move house by myself and totally win at single parenting and work all the hours God sends and I'll be fine and I kept on being fine until I woke up on New Years Eve, Eve and my body said, 'who you kidding lady?' And I could not move. So since then I've pretty much been sleeping - I slept through the fireworks, I slept through whatever cliff hanger there was on Albert Square and I slept through most of the New Year, New Me declarations on the internet and it was okay. I still feel bad that I haven't got everything I wanted to do done and that if I have started as I will go on, I'm gonna spend 2017 dosed up on Night Nurse having weird dreams about feeding Aaron Taylor Johnson salami but I feel that what I have learned from this is that I need to do just a little more this year. 

Love a little more: An extra cuddle never goes amiss, whether it's to a child or an animal or a friend. A kind word to a stranger or an uplifting message to a colleague, life feels better with a little more love. 

Work a little more: I need to remember those big, hairy audacious goals can be broken down into little, far less intimidating ones. 

Rest a little more: I sleep like a professional but I also need to make sure I am resting my mind and soul throughout the day. How many devices do I need whirring around in the background and how hard is it to ask for help every now and then for goodness sake! 

Play a little more: I'll make a little time to explore and grow, learn about myself and the world around me but have fun doing it. 

It might not sound like much but that's reassuring, I don't want to overwhelm my body or my mind. I'm sure I'll find that a whole lot of littles will add up to a lot. 

Drive Safe this Christmas with Chill Insurance

I've spoken before about how Christmas isn't my favourite time of year but if I'm honest my issue is more with the build up. Once the day arrives I usually find myself having a festive time, like exercise and taxes the anticipation is worse than the thing itself. And the worst part of the Christmas experience? Getting there. Like many, I've moved around a lot in my life and no longer live walking distance to the bosom of my family. Most years this has meant a long drive home for Christmas. As a family we've never had a car so it has meant hiring one and taking on the stress of navigation, packing and weak bladders that can come along with family car journeys. For families like mine that don't often take long journey's it's so important to remind yourself of car safety before any trip and for everyone it's crucial to take extra care during this season of adverse weather and long, dark nights. That's why I'm collaborating with Chill Insurance to offer some really great car safety tips:

Drive significantly slower: I know you're in a rush to get this partay started but it's better to be late and safe than not arrive at all. Face it, the party never starts til you get there.

Approach bends and corners with care: When you go back to your home town you can be lulled into a false sense of security. You may know these roads like the back of your hand but you don't know what's round every corner. Drive as if you don't know the roads even if you've driven them most of your life. 

Avoid driving in foggy conditions unless it's absolutely necessary: No, Auntie Pam's Christmas cake does not count as a necessity. 

Slow down before driving in large puddles: Racing through puddles is not fun and it's not clever. Just because it's the party season doesn't mean we have to be silly. 

Plan your route: We've all come to rely on technology for, well everything but SIRI can't replace some good old fashioned planning. Make sure you check reports about accidents and weather conditions before you leave and plan the safest, not the quickest, route. 

Pack an emergency kit: Blankets, jumpers, torch, water, snacks because car's don't always break down in convenient locations. Your emergency kit should be your priority packing, your sisters new hair straighteners won't keep you safe on a deserted country road. 

Please download Chill Insurance's ebook containing a complete overview of winter driving safety and whilst you're there check out their super cheap car insurance. Wishing you a wonderful, safe Christmas. 

This post was written in collaboration with Chill Insurance

photo credit: midlander1231 The Struggle via photopin (license)

A quick love your life tip - face yoga (WEATHERED PENNY GIVEAWAY UK & IRELAND)

I found Face Yoga when I was in one of those YouTube black holes, you know you can't sleep and you realise you've always wanted to know how cerviche is made and then you find yourself watching a pie eating contest and then you find yourself watching an extreme makeover and then that leads you to Face Yoga. At first I watched it with bemusement, how could moving your face around make you look youthful? I mean I spend all day gabbing and eating - I should look like a toddler. Still I watched and I listened and Fumiko, the face yoga expert that I had stumbled upon seemed filled with so much joy that I couldn't help but believe there was something in it. Anyway what did I have to lose? The worst that could happen was I look like a bit of a plonker in the privacy of my own home. The great thing about face yoga is it really is a no excuse beauty regime - no equipment, no outfit - just a few minutes and your face. In order to test the method I have been trying to tighten my chin for a month. Is it tighter? I believe so. Is this change noticeable to the casual observor? I very much doubt it. I mean I'm fairly confident I could achieve much more dramatic results with a contouring kit and a steady hand but I'm still going to keep up face yoga for the following reasons:

REASON ONE: It feels like I'm being proactive. I'm trying to look aging in the eye and say you don't scare me!

REASON TWO: It feels good. I'd love to work out every morning but until that happens this is a step in the right direction in terms of getting the blood pumping.

REASON THREE: It's a nice ritual. Doing the same thing every morning and night creates a nice bookend to the day. Face yoga, like yoga yoga is quite relaxing.

REASON FOUR: I'm fairly sure looking like a plonker is good for the soul.

If you want to try Face Yoga this video will show you how you've been putting your moisturiser on wrong all this time!

Leave a comment telling me your favourite beauty tip and have a chance to win this lovely pendant.

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Learn to Love Christmas - GIVEAWAY

I hate Xmas, lots of people do but generally they have loss and/or grief associate with this; I'm just a miserable cow. Kids love Christmas - they love the magic and the mystery; the glitter and the lights; the silly songs and (climate permitting) the hope of snow. I actually like all those things too but just not all at once. That's what I find hard, the excess of it all. I get that too many minces pie feeling in November. But I got a kid now and what is motherhood but faking enjoyment? So here's how I plan to learn to love Christmas.

Decorate - Acknowledge the season with a few subtle touches at home, you don't need to dive in with a life sized Santa straight away, these days you can get pieces so lovely you'll want them up all year. Hema have some really cute and quirky Christmas decorations but check out Homesense for things you'll look forward to getting out every year.

Be giving - The end of the year is a great time for a clear out. I don't know about you but I get so much satisfaction from sorting out a much neglected drawer. You can give all the stuff you don't need to charity to remind yourself and your children what the yuletide is really about. Smart Works donates high quality interview clothes to women in need and keep your local toy library going with your no longer loved play things.

Be rebellious - My favourite Christmas was probably the year that I ran away to Goa, it felt so cheeky eating a lamb curry in the blazing sun. Sometimes Christmas can start to merge into one big festive fuzz but when you break the rules you create a holiday to remember. For an escape the kids will give a big thumbs up to try CentreParcs.

Start a tradition - It wasn't until I started writing this post that I realised I already have a Christmas tradition. On Christmas Eve I stay in bed and watch a full season of Sex and the City; that's what's important to remember - traditions aren't about the time of year, they're about you. So have a make your own pizza night on Christmas Eve or host a silly socks contest. I'll probably switch out Sex and the City for a more child friendly film fest, no Christmas movies allowed. 

The best way to beat Christmas stress is to get organised so I'm giving away an Organised Mum life book diary. It's changed my life, let it change yours. Head back next Tuesday for another post and another giveaway - see I do love Christmas :)

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photo credit: Caro Wallis Humbugs Revisited via photopin (license)

Make up therapy - GIVEAWAY (UK & IRELAND)

My relationship with make up is like  a bell curve (okay Mrs Bates, I did use it). When I'm feeling really down, like Orange is the New Black, season 4 finale, low, I wear no make up. There doesn't seem to be a point, in anything, let alone lip liner. When I'm feeling okay, I like to stick on some slap; I'm motivated to cover up some of the dodgier bits of my mug. When I feel really, really good; I'm talking Beyonce level fierce, which is rare but it has happened, I go bare faced again because why do I need it? I'm fabulous already.

Make up often gets a bad rep, it's seen as silly and frivolous and ridiculously overpriced. I agree with the latter but I for one, do not think the investment is a waste. Most women have a very personal history with make up but for some of us it's a genuine form of support. Here's how I use make up as my own personal therapist. 

EXHAUSTION: Make up took on a whole new meaning when after motherhood. It's bad enough spending every day feeling like you could fall asleep standing, without everyone pointing out how exhausted you look. There are some amazing concealers and highlighters that can help you reconstruct eight hours. 

YSL TOUCHE ECLAT is the original and the best but I also like SLEEK LUMINAIRE HIGHLIGHTI for a cheap as chips alternative. 

LOW CONFIDENCE: Nothing says 'I'm a strong independent woman' like a strong lip. Let's be honest it was Candace Brown's lips that was the real winner of Bake Off. The great thing about a brilliant lipstick is you barely have to bother with anything else. Jeans, T shirt, messy bun and bright red lips - so French chic darling. 

MAC RUBY WOO is a gorgeous, brick red lipstick. It's matte look gives it a really retro, film star quality. If that doesn't float your boat something from MAX FACTORS THE MARILYN MONROE LIPSTICK COLLECTION will. 

FUGLINESS: I think if you're feeling low on self esteem, it's all in the eyes. Go for something that will make you feel all fluttery and girly and like bluebirds are waiting to help you hang out your washing. 

If you haven't tried THEY'RE REAL! PUSH UP LINER today is the day. This is the only product that I have been able to get that flicky, sexy liner look with. It's sister product THEY'RE REAL LENGTHENING MASCARA makes my eyes water but I imagine they're a powerful combination. I've never been able to get the hang of falsies but now I've found JML MAX LASH FIBRE LASH EXTENSION MASCARA (yes the mop people!) I won't have to.

DISORGANISATION: When I'm low my ability to organise is the first thing to go and it isn't that hot in the first place. When I need to feel put together, I always paint my nails. Go for glossy, grown up colours for that, I'm busy and important vibe. 

I fell in love with CHANEL ROUGE NOIR when I was fifteen but I still can't afford it so MAYBELLINE COLOR SHOW BURGUNDY KISS makes an effective alternative.

I'm giving away a tube of my favourite red lippy - Mac Ruby Woo. To win leave me a comment and let me know your favourite part of your makeup routine and/or watch the video below and let a comment to let me know something about your everyday routine.


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Cuddle Fairy
photo credit: AnnieAnniePancake Summer Make Up via photopin (license)