Friday, August 23, 2019

Chicken Arrabbiata Recipe


One of my favourite dishes at an Italian restaurant is Chicken Arrabbiata. A basic dish that tastes yummy and whilst I haven't perfected it this recipe comes a pretty close second.

You will need
Serves 4

400g chicken breasts
400g penne pasta
2 cartons of passata
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 onion finely chopped
1 chilli deseeded and finely chopped (you can leave the seeds in if you're feeling brave)
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
4 tbs olive oil
Parsley chopped

Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat

Dice the chicken breasts, season with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Cook for 5 mins or until the chicken is cooked.

Chop the garlic, onion and chilli and add to the pan. Fry for another minute, stirring everything together.

Pour the passata in as well as the chopped parsley, stir well and simmer gently uncovered for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

In the meanwhile cook the pasta following the instructions on the packet. Once cooked, drain and tip the pasta back into the same saucepan.

Add the chicken in sauce to the pasta and stir everything together.

Serve straightaway. (Serve with chopped parsley and parmesan if you like)

If you try this recipe I'd love to see your finished products. Feel free to tag me on Instagram I'd also love to see your take on my favourite recipe.


Emma xoxo


Monday, August 19, 2019

Weekly Meal Plan

Monday
Pork chops, roast potatoes and vegetables

Tuesday
Chilli con carne and rice

Wednesday 
Spicy chicken arrabbbiate

Thursday
Homemade wrap pizzas

Friday
Beef nachos

Saturday and Sunday
Away for the weekend



What's on your menu this week?


Emma xoxo

Friday, August 16, 2019

Dinosaur World Live


On Thursday 14th August we headed to the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre to watch Dinosaur World Live
For the last few years families have had to opportunity to get their hands on free theatre tickets for their children for some great shows so we took advantage of that and got our tickets.
The show was held in the brand new Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre located in the heart of Wembley Park and just a few minutes walk from the station.

We were greeted at the entrance by some really fun and friendly members of staff who showed us to the box office to collect our tickets. The equally lovely staff at the box office gave us our tickets along with a nice surprise of free seat upgrades.

The foyer was styled in a very urban and cool way with a dinosaur egg and foliage in the centre which makes for a great photo opportunity. The concession stand had loads of dinosaur related merchandise and programmes available to buy opposite a very well stocked bar serving hot and cold drinks.
After purchasing our dino heads on sticks and programme we made sure we visited the toilet(which were very snazzy may I add) before taking our seats. 



The staff were super efficient at seating all guests and offered booster seats where necessary. We had an amazing view from our seats in row D and shortly after being seated we were taking in the scenery of the stage; crates strategically placed with warning signs of what may reside inside then a lady appeared on stage and introduced herself as Miranda. She talked about her parents being palaeontologists, growing up on an island off South America and how they studied dinosaurs. Miranda continued by telling us that they brought some species back to the UK to educate us about these dinosaurs.
As the story continues Miranda introduces us to six different dinosaurs one at a time and asks for volunteers from the audience to feed, pet and cuddle the dinosaurs. Every so often Miranda would say "Dino fact" and then provide us with some factual information about dinosaurs so not only was it a fun show but also educational.
Towards the end Titus the T-Rex was 'released' on stage and with smoke, lights and fantastic sound effects had everyone on the edge of their seats with excitement. Once Titus is safely led away the show ends with us being able to witness a baby dinosaur hatching from its egg and mother and baby singing to each other which had the whole audience cooing.

Once the show was finished there was the opportunity to meet one of the dinosaurs on stage and two of the dinosaurs were in the foyer waiting to meet the audience and have a cuddle.

The show is aimed at families of children aged 3 and up and as an interactive show there are lots of opportunities for audience participation which all of the kids(including the adults) loved. Now although I've talked about dinosaurs I will take this opportunity to point out that as fantastic as the show was the dinosaurs are in fact the most amazing looking puppets that are life size(I assume as I've never met a dinosaur in person)and as for the puppeteers well what can I say, blown away by their performances.

I was pleasantly surprised with just how much my two children enjoyed it and took away from it. I myself wasn't sure exactly what to expect but I left the theatre in awe of what a great show we had just watched. Along the the fab setting and awesome staff I can safely say that we loved our afternoon out and would definitely recommend Dinosaur World Live as a show and Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre as a venue.




**Dinosaur World Live will be on at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre until 1st September so there's still time to get some tickets. Don't forget if you book them through kids theatre week you will get one free child ticket per adult ticket purchased and a second child can go for half price.


Emma xoxo

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Meal Plan



 Monday
Chicken skewers, cous cous and salad

Tuesday 
Shepherds pie, vegetables and Yorkshire puddings

Wednesday 
Wings, chips, corn on the cob and salad

Thursday
Beef nachos 

Friday
Jacket potatoes with various fillings

Saturday
Eating out

Sunday
Roast pork with all the trimmings 

For more meal plans head over to Katy Kicker's blog for lots of ideas and inspiration.

What’s on your menu this week?

Emma xoxo

Friday, July 19, 2019

Free Summer Activities and Days Out.......or Very Low Cost



We all know how expensive school holidays can be but the six weeks holiday in particular is a monster. I don't know about you but when my children are at home during the holidays the fridge empties faster than I can fill it up. The energy bills are always higher thanks to the extended gaming, charging of devices and use of ALL the televisions and then its the cost of all the uniform and stationary on top of all of that!
Sooooo, free and cheap days out and activities are always a win for me.


Days Out

Have a look on Eventbrite for free events local to you.

Visit a city farm. Most are free entry and those that do have an entry free charge minimal amounts.

Visit a pick your own farm. Many don't charge an entry fee and you just pay for what you pick so free day out plus pick up some groceries...win win.

Be a tourist in your own city. Living in London I take a lot for granted so sometimes it's nice to pack a picnic, do some sightseeing and really take in what London has to offer.

Visit a museum or gallery. Entry is free to a lot of these and there's so much to see and do that you'll while away a day in no time.

Go geocaching. All you need is a smartphone or GPS device to track co-ordinates and a smartphone to download the app for more details.

Go to the beach. Ok,so if you don't live close to the sea it may cost a small amount in petrol, train or bus fare but that's a small price to pay for a day playing on the sand(I can't guarantee sunshine unfortunately)

Go to the park. Sure your local park will do but why not have a look to see if you have a larger park not too far away. Places like Virginia Water Lake and Beckenham Palace Park are fab for a fun full day out.

Visit a national park, there are 15 across England, Scotland and Wales. Often they have trails to follow, lots of wildlife to see and are beautiful places to spend a free day.


Activities

Check out your local leisure centre. Many have free activities for the kids during the holidays and some often do fun days.

Have a baking day. Get the kids to decide what they'd like to make and then spend the day baking some tasty treats, Why not package some and gift them to neighbours, friends and family.

Go on a scavenger hunt. Either download one of the many free ones or make your own and see what you can find.

Have a 'spa day.' My kids love nothing more than a very bubbly bubble bath, face masks, painting nails, foot scrub. You can do as little or as much as you want but a little self is definitely a worthwhile activity.

Hold a sports day. Why not get some friends or family together and hold your own sports day. If you don't have a garden then head to your local park.

Play board games. We are huge fans of board games in our house and often spend a day getting rather competitive. The only warning I will give is that Monopoly can take aaagggeeess and get really competitive

Have a movie day or night. Get some snacks in(maybe even some of the treats that you baked), clothes the curtains and snuggle on the sofa together.

Check out some local stores for free in store activities. Lego stores, Hobbycraft, Pets at Home and Dobbies are just a few shops that run workshops or free activities for kids. Whether it's pet or gardening workshops or arts and craft sessions, if you have a shop close by see what's on.

Conduct some science experiments. You may need to buy a few materials for this but there are loads of resources online that are free that will tell you everything you need and all the instructions for an afternoon of educational fun.


Whatever you do over the holidays, try to remember that it's not about the most extravagant days out, fancy holidays or most instagrammable pics its about quality time and memories(and if you're kids are anything like mine just surviving.) Before you know it they will be grown up and times like these will be a thing of the past.

I'd love to know what your plans are for the summer and your free and cheap days out and activities.

Emma xoxo

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Half Term Visit to Slime Planet


Like thousands of other children up and down the country mine have been obsessed with slime since it took over the world again about 2 years ago. Glitter, homemade, glow in the dark, neon, unicorn poop, you name it, my kids have had it and so has my curtains, sofa, hair....you get the picture right?!
So when a few friends recommended Slime Planet, we knew we had to pay it a visit. 

The website is super user friendly and was really clear on where the venue was and how to get there and luckily for us it was a short bus journey away. The website also has a list of the different workshops available so you are able to choose which one you want to book. We visited during half term so booked onto the 'Half Squirm May-hem!' workshop which was £13.50 for a one hour session. 

We arrived at the venue which is under a railway arch just a 1 minute walk from Loughborough Junction train station. The kids thought the black and green slime designed entrance was really cool and the bogey green door lead us into a darkened room lit with lots of multi-coloured fluorescent tube lights. 
The venue is small but has a cool vibe with black brick walls and metal shelving housing lots of cute containers with an array of elements that can be added to your slime, stools for accompanying adults and not forgetting an Instagram worthy photo wall.

The kids were all given aprons and seated in the centre of the space for a presentation. A lovely member of the team called Annie went through all of the health and safety procedures and then went on the give a fun but educational presentation about slime facts including the fact that some fancy face creams have snail slime in the ingredients, which of course the children found hilariously gross!
Annie then offered the children the opportunity to smell a variety of different slimes including vomit scent and fart scent which went down a treat. After that the children were invited to go and stand at a work bench by a bowl in preparation to make their very own slime.

Each table had all of the ingredients needed to make the slime and a member of staff to help and guide the children through the pretty straightforward process.
The children were offered a variety of different things to add to their slime including glitter, polystyrene balls and orbeez.
Once all of the ingredients had been combined and the slime perfected, each child was given a plastic lidded pot to put their slime into.

Now for the bit that the kids went wild for. Annie mixed large quantities of the slime ingredients in a bucket to make a huge ball of slime. All of the children had the opportunity to grab an edge a pull on the slime making a huge blue parachute out of slime in the middle of the room(a few adults were rather excited by this too)
After repeating this a few times everyone was offered the opportunity to take some of the giant slime home which of course they did. 

There was a small area within the venue where a variety of slime making kits, tools and other items were available for purchase too.

Slime Planet also offer their services for mobile parties and also in house parties at their workshop

All in all we had a great time, we visited with a 3 year old, 8 year old and 10 year old and I would say that maybe 10/11 is generally the upper age limit although each to their own. My only complaint was that I wish it was a little longer as the kids had such fun. It was definitely worth the money and we will definitely be back!



Are your kids big fans of slime? Where is the worst place you've found it so far?

Emma xoxo

*I was not paid for this review and all opinions are my own

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

A Quick Round Up and Catch Up

Our holiday in March was just perfect

So just like that April has been and gone. That means that we are officially one third through the year, how has that happened so quickly?!

With a third of the year gone I wanted to take a look over our 2019 bucket list and see where I am, what I have achieved, is there anything that I no longer want to do and thought that it would be a great opportunity to check in.

So...... The first 3 months of the year involved building work that went on for 2 months too long and unearthed a whole host of other problems but it is now finally complete and we are very happy with the outcome.


Birmingham was our city of choice to discover and we had an amazing time
Weight loss...it all started pretty well and then I experienced a lot of pain and problems with my pre-existing condition and that completely knocked me off track. It's taken about 2 months but I've finally found my way again and am trying to get back into the swing of healthy eating and exercise.

We had the most amazing week away for Sam's 50th, child free, 5 star, all inclusive, need I say more?!

As for ticking things off of our 2019 Bucket List


Family            Couple          Children        Personal       Home


Picnic on the beach Christmas Break City Break Spa Break
Theatre Pedicure Visit Boxhill New Forest Short Break
Replace mattresses New Dinner Set Go Fishing
Loose at Least 2 Stone Send a message in a bottle Save More
Visit a trampoline park Alton Towers Break Visit a Waterpark
Have a Water Balloon/Gun Fight Take More Pics Visit a New City
Visit Virginia Water Replace Wardrobes New Sofa Read More
Go on Holiday Go to Peppa Pig World Go for a Couples Massage
Go on a Steam Train Hot Air Balloon Ride Conquer 1 of My Fears
Replace Duvets and Pillows Fit Breakfast Bar

So we've ticked 6 of these off our list so far with another 2 happening this weekend. I'm feeling quite positive that we're on track to complete this years list as I know there were a few things last year that we didn't and were quite disappointed about. We've already agreed that 4 of the things on our list we will do whilst we are on our summer holiday (which is just 84 days away yay!) so it's all looking very promising.



I have absolutely loved rediscovering books
Read More
I'm definitely glad that reading more was on that list as a personal goal as I have been really enjoying such a wide range of books and learning so much along the way.





Take More Pics
If you asked me to show you pictures of the kids I'd be spoilt for choice but as a couple                                                       the pictures were few and far between so it's                                                   been nice to take more pictures of Sam and I                                                   and look back on them.

Loving having more couple selfies to look back on
Despite my health not being great at the moment(which I'm hoping will improve with better lifestyle choices) I'm feeling really positive about life and future plans so looking back on things like this bucket list are a great way to see what you've achieved in life and what is important.

Let's see what the next 4 months bring!

How has the first third of 2019 been for you?



Emma xoxo 




Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Meal Plan

You can find out what we'll be chowing down on in this weeks meal plan below. If like me you sometimes struggle with inspiration for meals then all of my meal plans are stored over on Instagram in my story highlights and I'm linking this post up with the lovely Katy over at the Katy Kicker blog where you can find even more meal ideas.



Monday
Sainsburys saveloys, chips and mushy peas

Tuesday 
Chicken korma, pilau rice and naan bread

Wednesday 
Spaghetti bolognese

Thursday 
Ikea meatballs, mash and gravy

Friday 
Chinese style chicken, egg fried rice and vegetable spring rolls

Saturday 
We're at parties all day

Sunday 
Roast chicken dinner

What meals are on the menu for you this week?

Emma xoxo


Katykicker

Monday, April 29, 2019

Easter Fun at Godstone Farm


One of my all time favourite places to visit is Godstone Farm and this Easter was no exception. We’ve been all year round and always have a blast so armed with packed lunches and sun cream we headed to the small village of Godstone on Good Friday.
Along with our admission ticket we were given a leaflet with details all of the Easter activities they had going on.

As always we headed down the main path where we were greeted by goats, rheas, ducks and geese all in their own areas, the Godstone Scarecrow family and the Easter Bunny himself!


We had a look at the activities that were running and opted to see all the animals first before taking part in an egg hunt and duck racing. There are an amazing range of animals to see and all look like they are well taken care of.
We were lucky enough to be able to hold a rabbit, pet some 2 month old ducks and even got to stroke a very entertaining little piglet in the petting area. Not only is it fun for adults and children alike but there are lots of information plaques around and staff on hand to teach you so much about the animals and their care. They’ve even got cards around the farm teaching you sign language for the names of the animals.

We wandered around looking at all the different animals with the kids challenging our animal knowledge by asking us about something every time they saw a ‘Did you know?’ sign. We found a table and bench in a nice shaded spot to enjoy lunch but if you visit and don’t take lunch don’t worry, there’s lots of hot and cold meals and snacks to a choose from in the tea room plus an ice cream hut selling pizzas and pasties.


After lunch we made our way to the tea room lawn for an egg hunt which was so sweet. The area was decked out with brightly coloured items and eggs hidden for the kids to find and exchange for a prize and there are always seasonal activities on so whenever you visit you’re sure to have fun. I liked that the egg hunts were done separately for the under 5’s and over 5’s as it meant the little ones weren’t intimidated or lost in amongst bigger children.

After feeling rather smug with their hunt prizes we got quite competitive with a game(or two or three or four....) of duck racing which was a free activity. Even now there’s still some doubt over the legitimacy of some of the wins but....
In the same area there is a den building section, mud kitchen and little race track with mini tractors so something to keep kids busy while adults can relax on the grass.

Godstone farm has a fantastic play area that is spread over the top of the farm. It includes a log swing, huge sandpit, swings, slides, wooden castle, zip line and wet run slide plus more with fantastic views of the Surrey Hills.

After chilling in the play area for a good 2 hours we had said to the kids that we’d make our way back to the car....they took us on the scenic route back to the car park which involved hand feeding some ducks around the pond and ending up on the Dino trail which had loads of activities and interesting facts dotted around. We finished off with another go on the mini tractors race track then FINALLY headed for  the car park.

There’s lots more to see and do including a indoor soft play, tractor rides and more so if it’s a fun day out with a mix of everything that you’re looking for then we’d definitely recommend Godstone Farm. To help plan your day everything you need is on their website at https://godstonefarm.co.uk/


Emma xoxo

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Planning a Family Holiday




Planning a family holiday can literally be one of the biggest headaches along with Christmas, moving and weddings. As a family of six, with ages spanning from 3-16 trying to find a destination with activities that will keep everyone happy can be tricky but after years of holidaying both in and out of the UK I think we’ve got some tips that will definitely make the process a bit smoother.

What is your budget?
Fist things first you need to be clear on how much you have saved or can afford to pay in one lump sum or if paying your holiday off monthly what is the most you can afford? Your budget will determine many factors so it’s best to be clear from the start.

Decide on a staycation or a foreign holiday

Once you’ve decided on a budget, will that be enough for you to travel abroad or would you need to consider a staycation? Once you know whether you are travelling abroad or staying you can then start to pinpoint possible destinations

Duration
Again, your budget will also play a part in how long you can afford to be away for so decide on whether you will be looking for a short break, long weekend, 7 nights, 10 or even more. Always double check that you can arrange annual leave before booking anything or paying any deposits.

Activity packed or chill out and relax?
Are you the type of family that love getting stuck in and enjoying a range of different activities or do you prefer to chill out around a pool? If you know you’ll want to indulge in an array of all of the activities and culture that your chosen destination has to offer then research the local area and find out what there is to do. Are there any day trips, sporting activities or places of interest that will fulfill your need to keep busy? If it’s a relaxing holiday that you’re after, then it’s worth looking at what facilities a resort has to offer. Is there a kids club? Children’s play area and enough to keep you entertained if you plan on spending most of your time in your chosen resort

                                              Do It Yourself or all in?
As a family of 6 and me being the only cook at home, I cook at least 14 meals a week so when I go on holiday I refuse to play chef. All inclusive or half board at the very least is my chosen choice but definitely read reviews and ask around
what the food is like at your chosen resort so you know in advance that there is something that the whole family will eat.

If you are going self catering then try and find out if there is a super market or mini market nearby where you can stock up on items or what the local restaurants and cafes are like(and their rough prices so you can factor that into your budget too)

Getting there
How will you get to your destination? If it’s a staycation will you drive? If not, are there train stations nearby or even a coach service that runs near your accommodation? If you are planing on using public transport then sign up for travel alerts on sites like The Train Line so they can notify you of the best ticket price. If flying abroad then think about how you will get to the airport. Will you drive and make use of the many airport parking facilities or will you get a train direct to the airport? These are things that often get overlooked but are just as important as everything else.

These are some of the biggest things I think need to be considered when planning a holiday and whilst it's not a completely extensive list it will definitely help. Despite all of the hard work that goes into planning a holiday just remember whatever you do or wherever you go, have fun!



 What are you top travelling and holiday planning tips?

Emma xoxo





Monday, February 25, 2019

Meal Planning and Getting Back on Track

If you follow me over on Instagram or have read my previous blog post then you'll know that I have been a bit out of sorts of late. Blood test results have explained why I've been feeling so tired, I have an appointment with my consultant this week to discuss what else we can do to ease the pain in my back and legs due to my disability and with all the building work on the home straight(fingers crossed) I'm feeling a lot more positive....the bright weather is definitely a help too.

That said, one thing that I find always helps keep me feeling on top of things and in control are lists and meal plans. Meal plans are a life saver for our family, they mean we know what we need to buy when we go shopping instead of picking up loads of unnecessary items, can organise meals around the kids activities, meetings, parents evenings etc and it means that we don't have to waste money on last minute take-aways.



So below and keeping us on track this week is our meal plan.

Monday
Chicken and mushroom curry with rice, poppadoms, naan bread and salad.
(made with leftover roast chicken)

Tuesday
Cottage pie, vegetables and yorkshire puds

Wednesday
Lamb chops, cous cous and roasted veg

Thursday
Fajitas, potato wedges, onion rings and corn on the cob

Friday
Pasta salad - we'll use the leftover meat from the fajitas

Saturday
Pizza, breaded mushrooms, dough balls and salad

Sunday
Roast beef with all the trimmings

That's what's on or menu for the coming week. Sometimes I lack inspiration when meal planning so I put together a post with over 20 meal ideas. I'd love you to comment some of your favourite meal ideas on that post or below.

I'm linking this post up with the Meal Planning Linky over on the lovely Katy Kicker's blog where there will b loads more inspiration, so don't forget to pop over and take a look.

What's on your menu for this week?


Emma xoxo

Monday, February 11, 2019

When Life Doesn't Go To Plan

At the end of last year I made a plan, a relatively easy going one but none the less a plan. It was a plan to reach my goals and targets for this year both personal to me and family and home orientated ones. Then BAM life happened. Not in a bad way, just obstacles that we hadn't expected, delays on the things we had and that just derailed me. 

One of my top priorities was to get back into the gym, yes for the health benefits but also because(and I mean this in the nicest way possible) there are times when I just need some alone time and to do something that is just for me and truth be told after a session I always feel cheery(good old endorphins!). That plan hit a snag because despite my best efforts, childcare, work and my health made it virtually impossible to get there. So intention number 1 has not gone to plan




Short breaks and days out was a popular and frequent one one my 2019 Bucket List and although yes I know that we're only in February and still have 10 months of the year left, by now I usually have at the very least a skeleton plan of short breaks and days out pencilled into a diary. Building work that has gone on too long and the associated costs have now meant that we are having to wait until everything is completed so we can assess where we are with everything and then regroup and come up with a new strategy from there.

Those are just two examples but pretty much anything that I've wanted to do that involves planning or some kind of organisation has just gone out of the window. I find that when I don't meet targets or aren't hitting goals(even those set by myself) I lose momentum and drive and the wheels start to fall off and in my past experience, life always has a way not going as planned and that really gets to me. I find that as a very target driven person with a plan for almost everything, when I'm faced with challenges beyond my control I start backing out and make excuses as to why things can't be done another way or worse, becoming very anxious and low in mood.



This time I've acknowledged that I do this and I'm not going to let it put me off track any longer. I may not be able to get to the gym but I can make the most of the exercise and keep fit videos available on Youtube. I'm also looking at what we eat as a family and how I can personally make changes to my own diet to hit that 2 stone loss target.
I've accepted that our home is going to look like a bomb has hit it until all of the building work is finally completed and am making the most of not having to clean like a mad woman every day how I usually do. It also means that we get a bit longer to shop around and decide on the furniture and pieces that we truly want rather than picking things in haste and regretting them later.



I guess after a few paragraphs of rambling what I am trying to say is that life always has a tendency to not go to plan but it's how we deal with it that's the real game changer. When you're so focused on your end goal and then hit a bump in the road it can seem like there is no way around it or no alternative route but you can still get there. Taking a step back, looking at all your options, seeing things from a different perspective and a little patience can mean the difference between you getting there in the end and giving up!

Whatever your own personal struggle may be, YOU GOT THIS!! 

Emma xoxo

Friday, February 1, 2019

Is Your #FOMO Actually Causing You To Miss Out



#FOMO If you haven't seen these hash tag plastered all over social media recently where have you been? It stands for Fear Of Missing Out.

Whether it's moping over pictures of others partying, feeling envious of friends enjoying a meal out or even annoyed at a children's play date, how many times have you scrolled through your Instagram or Facebook feed and felt that you were missing out because you weren't at these events or even worse, weren't invited?


Truth be told I used to feel like that a lot. Despite having a good social life, active family life, great friends and super supportive partner there was always a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that I was missing out. I wasn't sure what exactly, but surely I was missing out on something right? All the fun everyone else was having? Maybe the amazing bonds people were making with each other? I mean, for me to be sitting there feeling left out with everything I had under my own nose I HAD to be missing out on something great.

The sad reality was that I WAS missing out on something. I was missing out on the abundance of amazing opportunities that were staring me right smack bang in the face. I was so hell bent of making more out of the simple images in front of me than what they actually were that the fantastic life I was living became overshadowed by the life I WANTED to live.

Having suffered from anxiety and depression, I know first hand how easy it is to look at those perfectly posed and splendidly staged pictures on Instagram and Facebook and feel like you are not enough, your home is not nice enough, your holidays aren't fancy enough, your body isn't beautiful enough and worsen your mood and increase your #FOMO but STOP. Stop it right now!

             

It was only when I was organising all of our albums in the photo drawer and looking back over the last decade or so that I realised there was nothing for me to miss out on. We've visited some extraordinary places, took part in some truly memorable activities, had a blast on all of our holidays(UK based and abroad) and been fortunate enough to experience some tremendous things but because I thought I was missing out on something I had somehow managed to forget a many of these memories or make them seem a lot less significant than they are.

This year I am making a real effort to work on my well-being, to start living life and doing the things that I've always wanted to but had let life hold me back so my advise to you is this; There is no harm in liking or admiring what you see online but make sure that it's not creating a fear of missing out for you because that is what will actually cause you to miss out on some of the most magical moments in your life.


Emma xoxo


Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Ten Year Challenge and My Face

For about 2 weeks now you'll have noticed an abundance of pictures with the hashtags #10yearchallenge and #thenandnow. I too took part and having the type of brutally honest friends and family that I have I know I always get the truth(no matter how embarrassing, oh yeah and when it comes to my appearance, 2 very honest teenagers!) So despite my own perceptions of how I've aged I braced myself for the comments

"You look the same as you did at school" "You look the same" "You look younger now" "You must have good genes" "What's your secret?" Were some of the comments I received across my social media.

I have to admit, neither of my parent's look their age so good genes could be the reason but that said for as long as I can remember my Dad has used Nivea face cream and knowing how good it has been to his skin, I myself have been a long time user of the face cream. 
More recently I started looking into Nivea's range of other skincare products and have been using them for a few months now and I have to say I have been very impressed. 

I always used to be a bit hit and miss with sticking to a skincare routine but promised myself to start making more of an effort to take care of myself and the items are so readily available and it takes literally a few minutes to make such a difference to my physical and mental well-being, there really was no excuse.

There's no getting away from the fact that I have freckles, for years I tried to hide them with make up but now I accept that they are part of my identity and embrace them but hormonal break outs I'm not so keen to embrace. Particularly as I have a tendency to pick at my spots which then lead to scarring and blemishes.

As I mentioned, along with the Nivea Creme I have been using some of the other skincare products over the last few months and boy have I seen an improvement. Every morning I have been washing my face with the Nivea Daily Essentials Gentle Exfoliating Scrub and then wiped my face using a cotton pad covered with the Daily Essentials 2 in 1 Cleanser and Toner. Once my face is dry I moisturise with the creme(I find this is also a good base for make up). Before bed I clean my face with the Nivea MicellAIR Skin Breath Micellar Water before toning again and finish off with the Daily Essentials 24HR Moisture Boost + Refresh Regenerating Night Cream.
I've stuck to this skincare routine for about 3 months now and I've noticed that my scarring and blemishes are less visible, breakouts are few and far between and my skin is looking much clearer and is so smooth to touch.

I generally find that despite the fab results Nivea products provide, they are so very reasonably priced that they are pretty much affordable for everyone. They have products aimed at oily, dry and combination skin so whatever your skin type you're pretty much guaranteed to find something suitable.

I'll continue to use these items as long as I continue to see the results I have been seeing and am now looking forward to the next 10 year challenge!

Do you have any skin care products that you swear by? How kind have the last 10 years been to you?


Emma xoxo


*This is in no way a sponsored post. I purchased all products mentioned and have just generally been really happy with the results