Friday, 18 March 2016


A few weeks ago an Etsy newsletter dropped into my inbox and it piqued my interest as it was all about desk decor - you can see the Etsy desk edit here

It piques my interest as I was about to move offices and thus desks and I got to thinking about what my dream desk would be adorned with.

I started along the lines of something very modern and minimalist and then I went completely the other way and was dreaming of vintage lamps and rolodex's and finally taking inspiration from the hundreds of favourites I have saved over the years that it would really need to be a kitschy bright affair to make me smile everyday.

I hope in time I will be able to add a few of the below to my desk....

Neon Pink, Yellow & Black Cuckoo Clock. Working Condition.Life is like a camera, gifts for her, Easter basket filler for teens, photography quotes, quote about cameras, positive quote, floral cameraLarge Bronze DInosaur; Tillandsia; Dinosaur planter; Planter; Desk Accessory; Unique Gift; Office DecorWeekly Planner Notepad / Desk Pad Planner  / To Do List Notepad / A5 Desk Planner, Weekly Agenda & Organizer / Productivity PlannerFunny Pencil set of 3, blunt bitch, back to school, quote pencil, pastel colour, stationary, pretty, pink green blue, pen, draw, quotes
Tina Don't have a crap attack front 11 oz White Ceramic MugTrophy Rhino PRE CUT "The Big Five" DIY 1Edward Scissorhands Art Doll - Sculpture - Articulated Wooden Figure - Unusual Art - Original Pop Art - Hand paintedHowl's Moving Castle Calcifer Pencil/Pen Pot Desk TidyBoston Terrier Pencil Case Aztec Pattern
Salvador Dali Portrait Art Print - Surreal collage art posterMacaron Eraser Set...Hard Work Notebook - made from stone - with isometric and golden section printBronze Dinosaur Mason JarPersonalised Desk Organiser For Her

Powered By Toastie Studio - Etsy Tools

            1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15

This cuckoo clock (1) has been in my favourites for ages. If I could see this on the wall over my desk if would just make me smile.

Its the same with the prints - There are days when I am sure considering the quote (2) could put things in perspective and the Dali print (11) would just inspire my creativity.

 We are a bit dinosaur mad in our house and having a desk plant (3) is very good for you I hear so it being in a dinosaur is just an added bonus. And having a(nother) pot  (14) to be filled with paper clips (or more likely sweet treats) can never be a bad thing.

My absolute favourite though has to be the Edward Scissorhands (8)  Articulated Wooden Figure. In my head I imagine coming in every day to find someone has moved him and put him in a new pose and I then spend hours trying to figure out who is doing it and what it means. In all reality if I had one and this did happen it would be the cleaner accidentally knocking it as he dusted but that's not quite as exciting. 

If you have any Etsy favourites or posts on your desk decor please do share. 


* I am an Etsy affiliate so this post contains affiliate links

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Etsy Favourites // Interior edit

It's All Good - Thumbs up Doll Wall Art / Bag Hook / Jewelry Display Beetlejuice - American Gothic - Portrait - Illustration - Art Print - Fan Art - Tim Burton - Lydia Deetz - HorrorDIY Half Moon Dream Catcher Kit, 5" Dream Catcher,  Bohemian Room Decor, DIY Craft Kit, Make Your Own 5" Dream Catcher, Boho Gift SetConcrete cube desk lamp - Edison Lamp
Cute Kawaii Clawdine Resin Sculpture Home Decor Collectible3 Pak - Solid Copper TraysDaphneSucculent Kit with Hand Illustrated Teacup Planter
Vintage Floral Fabric Flower Lampshade LightPainted Brick Book 1984 on Orange and White BrickCOCO CHANEL PRINT 8 x 10 Archival Pink IllustrationPorcelain crumpled soda can vase
Jeff Koons Small Balloon dog Figure in Silver or rose goldBadly Drawn Winona Ryder - PosterGiant Iris Bunny Wall Hanging - Greenfashion illustration halloween Wednesday Addams valentino art print

Just a few of the things i want to adorn my bedroom wall and shelves.

I think my first purchase is going to be the Thumbs up Doll Display - I want a few of them to hang my hats on !!



Friday, 4 March 2016

February 2016 Favourites

Feb Fav's

First Aid kit - My new favourite artists, A Swedish indie folk duo that have an air of Stevie Nicks about them. 

Les Mills on Demand - My favourite way to exercise until I build up the confidence to go to a Body Pump class at the gym. 

Algenist Advanced Anti-Aging Repairing Oil - I didnt quite appreicate this until i ran out. The best face oil i have tried in a long time (even better than Sunday Riley Flora and Luna. Im waiting for a GWP to stock up.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - I love found photos and the way they are built into the story is so unique. Im now on book 3 and slightly dissappointed to be nearing the end of the story. At least theres only a 6 month wait until the film though !! 

Nalgene Wide Mouth Everyday Tritan Bottle - This has made it easy to up my water intake to at least 3L a day.

Intensely Butter Mint Tea - just delicious !!

Jools Bubble Tea -  I have given up fizzy drinks for Lent (and hopefully for good) but I wanted something sweet and healthy ish to replace them and these are doing the job (if i can find any in the fridge as my daughter also has a taste for them).

Invisibobble - These are a god send. My hair is getting longer and more time consuming to dry so I love nothing more than slathering on some hair oil and putting it in a fun bun (post to come) and these are the best bands to keep my hair up. I cant wait to get my hands on the power version for when I am exercising.

House of GlamDolls GlamBlush Wheel - I have a somewhat heavy hand when it comes to blush so these creams which blend seamlessly with my foundation have become my new best friend. 

What are your favourites this month ?? 



Sunday, 14 February 2016

DIY blog makeover

Having had the same blog layout for years I decided the other week that I would spend a few hours playing with the blog branding and layout.

I have no design or coding knowledge or experience so all the changes I made were courtesy of tutorials and free on line resources and given I am happy with the results I got I thought I would share the details in case anyone else wants to have a go.

My Header and Side Bar Headings

My header was designed using I don't know how I hadn't heard of this site before as it is fab and free for all basic graphic design projects.

The marble is a printable scrap booking paper I found on deviantart

I did purchase the rose gold papers and these were £3.30 from Pickychciken on Etsy

Social Media Icons

My icons were free from carrieloves.comFREE SOCIAL MEDIA ICONS

 And this is the tutorial I followed to set them up.


I also made a few changes to my template.

One change was to centre everything and this was another carrieloves tutorial here

I then wanted to put some images in my sidebar but I didn't want them to have titles - Its surprisingly easy to do and I found out how to here 

I also no longer wanted a shadow around my images and I found out how to remove it here

Photo backgrounds

The last thing I did was buy some fabric for my photo's from Spoonflower.

I'm excited to try these as photo backgrounds !!

Hopefully you will find something in this post useful - if you have any tutorials you have made or followed feel free to share in the comments.


Friday, 12 February 2016

The Body Coach 90 Day SSS Step 3 // Preparation for week 1

 So following on from the emotional roller-coaster that was submitting my questionnaire which you can read about here, I was on tenterhooks for the 4 days it took for my plan to arrive.

Would I like any of the food?

Would I be able to stick to the exercise?

Why would this work when other plans didn't?

All questions I asked myself over and over, to the point when my plan arrived in my inbox I didn't even look at it straight away as I had convinced myself it was a waste of time and I was destined to  be over weight forever.

When I finally braved opening the plan I was floored by the fact it was 100 pages long so I let my emotions get the better of me and very promptly closed the email thinking I  needed to be in the right place to read this.

Next day with my sensible adult head on I printed the plan as I wanted something physical to refer to and scribble notes on and spent  my lunch time reading through the principle's and recipes for me.

Getting my head around the food  principles was quite simple and I could see straight away how people were able to educate themselves so they ate better even off the plan.

But it was at this point I decided I was a fussy eater, something which I never thought I would say.  Well, not so much fussy but everything in my plan is best eaten hot and with no microwave facilities at work I knew my biggest struggle was going to be finding food I could either eat cold or could keep mildly warm until lunch time.

I am 3 weeks in and still finding my breakfast and lunch options limited but I have found a few options I like so much that I am happy to eat the same thing over and over.

And then there was the limit placed on my tea intake - It was limited to 3 cups a day, and for someone who used to drink that before she got to work, that was a big deal. But I decided to embrace it and use it as an opportunity to up my water intake which I have most definitely done.

I was and still am slightly disappointed with the 'exercise' section of the plan given its quite integral to the plan.  There were 3 pages of exercises most of which needed to be done in a gym and plan on doing all the exercise at home. There are plenty of HIIT videos on you tube and numerous HIIT exercise DVD's so I am going to spend the next few months coming up with a plan that works for me, and I have today engaged the help of a personal trainer so I am very excited.

As everyone's plan is so specific I don't want to share what has been recommend specifically for me so instead thought I would share some of the purchases I made beforehand and during the first week that have made life easier for me.

Body coach #3

As you are given all the recipes for your plan I didn't really need the cookbook too but it's ready on my shelf for when the plan is over and I need to give it a go on my own.

I have 2 of these bottles in the fridge at all times so when I need some water I have it cold.

My 1 litre water bottle has been a god-send. I have it on my desk at work and I drink 1L in the morning and 1L in the afternoon, and try to get another 1.5L in at home.

I have 2 of these Thermos food flasks and they are amazing for keeping my breakfast and or lunch warm until i eat it. Breakfast would have been a real issue if I hadn't found these as neither cold porridge or a 5am start are vaguely appealing.

Digital scales are a necessity when trying to hit your macros - I certainly couldn't eyeball 16g of oats.

Neither my Fit Bit HR or Tanita scales are essential but I'm hoping these will inspire me to get a bit more active.

I have been good and not weighed myself since I submitted my questionnaire so I am excited to see how all my stats have changed, especially my water/hydration levels as the scales historically have shown I am very dehydrated.

You can follow my 90 Day SSS from day one here:

The next 90 Day SSS post will be my results from Cycle 1 and a mini overview.
I'd love to follow your journey if your on a diet/exercise plan so feel free to leave your social media links in the comments.



Sunday, 31 January 2016

Sunday Board Game // Destination Norwich 10th Anniversary Edition

Sunday afternoons in my house are for playing board game - as a family we find playing games a fab way to spend quality time together, have a giggle and enjoy the last of the weekend.

This weekend we were lucky enough to have a new board game to play - Destination Norwich 10th Anniversary Edition.

The concept of the game is simple - it's to earn the most money from your taxi fares as you travel round the city but the traffic lights add some potential bumps in the road and there's always the opportunity to get a tip or send your competition back to the taxi rank.

Knowing Norwich as well as we do added something else to the game - not only were we able to find places quickly but it just seemed that little bit more fun going to places we know and go to regularly.

The artwork is really beautiful !!

The game can change on its head so quickly that it keeps everyone entertained - at one point Gary was on the verge of losing his licence and was paying fines left right and centre, but thanks to one generous tourist and the fact he got back to the taxi rank before anyone else, he managed to win the game by over £100 !!

The Norwich Destination edition is available exclusively from Jarrolds for £24.99.

 I would highly recommend getting a version of the game as it really is great fun for all of the family and a fab way to spend 45 minutes.

Paige also enjoyed the game so much she has also written a blog post and she would be thrilled if you took a look.

You can see if your city has a version here, and if not try the Hogwarts version (which is now on my wish list) or keep an eye on Destinations social media ( Instagram  //  Facebook // Twitter ) for hints that your city may be next.



Friday, 29 January 2016

The Body Coach 90 Day SSS Step 2 // The questionnaire

I think I am alone in approaching ‘the questionnaire’ with utter fear and if you are reading this and are rational in mind and see a questionnaire as just a fact finding mission you could probably read the next paragraph and leave there.

Once you sign up to the plan you are introduced to your point of contact, (mine is Elliot), asked to set up an online portal on the website which takes all of 10 seconds, and then told to complete the questionnaire. It is this questionnaire which covers in detail your past history with diets, your medical history, an average food diary and your level of exercise (though no question about whether you are a gym member????). You also need to submit 3 pictures so your body build/type can be ascertained as this could impact your plan.

Rational non-emotional people could leave here. I am about to share my truthful experience and I know everyone is going to be different and people may find me over emotional etc. etc. but it’s my feelings and I feel like sharing them.

With no idea what to expect I was scared of the questionnaire before I even looked at it. I signed up to this plan as I have failed to diet on my own, and I felt like anything I said would cement this is black and white. I know I have no will power and my nearest and dearest have come to expect one fad diet after another, but I didn't like the idea that a stranger would see this admission.

I’m obviously over that now as I’m writing this.

Has anyone else seen the Bones episode where Tempy accuses parents of beating their child and it actually turns out the child was obese but the damage to the bones etc. is the same??

Perhaps and only because of that I felt like giving someone my medical details which include bad knees, poor posture, migraines and the list really does go way on was my confession of self-abuse which petrified me.

And then there was the food diary – well mine was taken in a period over Christmas where I ate more chocolate than I would have done for the rest of the year and consumed my body weight in alcohol when in reality I only drink on special occasions or if I need to eat/drink away my sorrows and fish and chips just isn't enough.

I also mentioned I had done slimming world and weight watchers and obviously failed at theses, and all these things just add up to the picture my trainer must have of me.

And then there were the pictures!!!

My husband kindly offered to take them for me as a selfie was completely out of the question but then it turns out I had to edit the pictures anyway (to cut my head off) so couldn't get away with submitting them without looking at them.

I cried when I saw them and then I cried even more when I uploaded them.

I am not embarrassed about my size, but looking at those pics all I could see was my high blood pressure and my migraines and my knee problems.

I felt very vulnerable sending these to a person I didn’t know.

I am upset with my own reaction though – it is peoples amazing bravery in sharing their before and after photos that spurred me on to sign up and at the moment (when I lose the weight I want to) I am not sure I would be happy to have my pictures shared especially given the fat shaming I see on-line every day.

Moving on and putting logical brain into gear, I know for a fact that these people are true professionals and have helped people of a similar size to me and in a similar state of health (its why I signed up in the first place !!!!!) and will not be judging me in the slightest. I feel like the whole plan is genuinely aimed at helping people and so my reaction to the questionnaire was a pure emotional one.

I am sure the emotions will visit me along the journey but for now I am attacking the plan as methodically and logically as I can.

Next time I will be writing about my C1 plan, and you can catch up on my thoughts on the joining process here.

My tip for step 2 – the questionnaire took me 2 days to fill in as I struggled with the food diary. If you’re thinking of signing up keep a food diary beforehand as it will speed the process up.



Step 1 accomplished // Choosing a plan - The Body Coach

I have tried to diet on my own before and it never works - I have all the books and all the DVD's and all the exercise equipment but without someone telling me what to do they sit there collecting dust.

So I knew I had to join a group or buy a plan, and having tried slimming world and weight watchers (which worked in the short term, but obviously not long term or I wouldn't be writing this) I knew I needed something different.

Being a keen user of social media (i.e. addict) Joe Wicks - The Body Coach  was all over my feed so I spent my Christmas holiday doing some research into his 90 day Shift, Shape and Sustain plan which in his own words " is not a traditional low calorie deprivation diet. It's an education in fat loss, nutrition and macronutrients where you eat more food than ever and spend less time in the gym."

Initially I dint think the plan was for me - a lot of his testimonials were from people who already ate well and exercised (a lot !!)  and just needed help toning up. To be quite honest I would be really happy to look like most peoples before pictures as to me they all look healthy.

As a side note I should add here, I am not dieting because I am embarrassed of my size at all. If I was healthy at my current weight I wouldn't be changing it for anyone !!

To continue with the scheduled content, I didn't give up on my research and carried on going through more and more pictures and testimonials and I started to see testimonials from more and more people who looked like me and people who hadn't ever done regular exercise, and the after pictures - well some of the transformations were amazing.

You should definitely check them out on his instagram page  as his clients are so inspiring.

Warming towards the idea of the plan, I decided to buy Joe's newly released book (which you can buy here ) because if I didn't like his ethos or food it had saved me £147 and if I did then I could use it to complement the plan.

To cut a very long story short after reading the book I signed up to the plan.

I liked the recipes in the book and despite being petrified of the thought of HIIT workouts I knew I needed to exercise if I was going to start shifting some of the 8 stone I want to lose and rebuild my health to where it should be at 29.

I was then sent a link to fill out a huge questionnaire and given this took me some time to fill in and took me on my own emotional roller coaster I think it deserves it's own post so that will be coming shortly, along with posts on all the other milestones on my 3 month journey,

If your considering a change in diet or embarking on a diet plan I highly recommend checking out Joe's book and Instagram page (and make sure to scroll through lots of testimonials as there will be someone just like you who has achieved the amazing results that you want).