Made it Myself: Yoghurt and Honey Cleanser

All natural beauty headerI have to admit I love lotions and potions, anything to make me look younger, prettier, brighter (…you get the picture) and can’t resist buying more than I need most times. A few years ago, I started to use organic products when I could and noticed a real difference. They do, however, tend to make my bank balance groan and I have been feeling particularly broke of late.

So, following on from my success at making my own facial scrub, I decided to try making something else. The only criteria was that it was easy….which is how I came to start using my own yoghurt and honey cleanser. Continue reading

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My Sunday Photo: Whitby on a cold but sunny-ish day

I don’t need it to be summer to go to the seaside. I love to go any time of year, rain or shine or when the clouds start to roll in. My favourite seaside town is Whitby and we go there a lot. This is my favourite view from up near St. Hilda’s church.

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“This is to my mind the nicest spot in Whitby, for it lies right over the town, and has a full view of the harbour and all up the bay to where the headland called Kettleness stretches out to sea.” — Bram Stoker, Dracula

Linking in with Photalife.com.  Click on the badge below to see more Sunday Photos from more great bloggers x

The benefits of breakfast

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I’m sure there isn’t anyone out there that doesn’t know that breakfast is supposed to be the most important meal of the day.  I grew up with the slogan “go to work on an egg” and have read too many articles to count on why I should have a healthy breakfast to start me up right for the day.

There are so many benefits to breakfast.  You are more likely to avoid certain health conditions, you are less likely to put on weight, and you are more likely to feel energised enough to make it through a day at work.  Continue reading

Mashed Potato Soup Recipe

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I don’t know if I’m the only one out there who does this but, after every Sunday lunch, I end up with too much mashed potato.   I just can’t ever seem to get the quantities right.  Now, there are lots of things you can do with left over mash, but my favourite at the moment – given the state of the weather – is make Mashed Potato Soup, a variation on potato soup but preferred in my family because it’s rich and creamy.

Technically, this could class as a perfect Meatless Monday recipe.  Unfortunately, I took a photo of my husband’s soup and – as he’s a meat eater – there was bacon on there, so I might be disqualified.  It is the only meat included in the recipe though, so it’s actually perfect for the veggies among us.

To make it, here’s what you’ll need… Continue reading

Lanolips Golden Dry Skin Salve: A Perfect Remedy for the Cold Weather

people-2591786_1920I have always suffered from dry skin and, as I get older, it has been getting worse.  It’s one of the many things I don’t like about getting old but it’s inevitable I guess.  This weather makes it even more prone to dryness, especially now that I am out every day walking or running in my efforts to get fit.

Although I use plenty of moisturiser on a morning and try and protect my skin in general, by the end of the day, my face can feel pulled tight, my hands look like those of a woman at least twenty years older then me (my daughter calls them “old lady hands” *sob*), and my skin in general just feels dry and itchy.

I’ve used lots of body lotions and hand lotions over the years but none have done what they promised.  Until now that it is.  Continue reading

Coddled Eggs “recipe”

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Coddled eggs is a term I first came across a year or so ago when reading a book set in the 1940s.  Unsure what they were I looked it (as you do), to discovered that there is a broad definition of what they mean, in that they are gently or lightly cooked eggs.   This means a lot of different methods for cooking eggs fall under the term, poached eggs for example.

My version of coddled eggs is to cook them in a pot with boiling water.  It’s a super easy way of cooking them and allows me to add ingredients (often just what I have in the fridge) for a bit of variety.  I thought I’d share it today, using the term recipe loosely as it’s more of a method than anything else.  Continue reading

Updated: Mini goals (to get me motivated)

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Since Christmas, I have been struggling to get back into the groove.  Over the holidays, we stayed up too late, ate too much cheese and chocolate, and drank too much wine.  Normally, after New Years, I do what most people do and cut back on all of these, trying to be a little healthier if nothing else.  And, I had to go back to work, meaning routines were quickly fallen back in to.

This year, though, the schools didn’t go back till last week which meant my holidays lasted longer than normal.  Plus, I didn’t have to go back to work straight away as I now work for myself.  Now, it feels like my eating, drinking, and late nights have became habits I need to break.  And that’s where I’m struggling.  Continue reading

How (Not) To Work From Home

10For the last ten years or so, I have been working from home, at first for a couple of large national charities and now for myself.  The work I was doing required a lot of flexibility in when I worked as everything was deadline driven and this included late nights and weekends.  In theory, this flexibility was returned by the companies I worked for.  In reality, this wasn’t actually the case and there always seemed to be plenty to do to fill up the days.

As a result, I often worked way over my 40 hour week and found myself tired, irritable, and missing my family (even if they happened to be in the next room!).  For the last couple of years, especially, my work-life balance was shot and it’s the main reason I have decided to start working for myself.  I need to be able to breath, eat, sleep, exercise, be a mom and generally have a life.  This week, I got my first contract as a freelancer – exciting.  Not so exciting was the comment the manager I’ll be working for made about sending emails at 11 at night – just what I don’t want to happen! Continue reading

Music for Monday: For the Love of Vinyl

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Last month, after two years in our new house, we finally got round to setting up our stereo.  Why did it take so long?  Because it’s taken us that long to get our house the way we wanted it and find a space for everything we own – or buy new furniture to fit in the space we had.

In the meantime, we’ve been using a little portable record player we actually bought for my daughter’s room whenever we’ve wanted to listen to a “real” record.  It wasn’t the best sound, but it worked.  Now, though, I am reminded just what I’ve been missing for the last two years.

So, instead of sharing a song this week (especially as I still have Christmas songs rattling around my head and I don’t want to inflict that on anyone again till December), I thought I would write my own little “love post” to vinyl and why – for me – it is still better than any other way of listening to music. Continue reading

Relief, reassurance and resolutions…

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As people who have been following my blog for a while (or have read my early posts / about me page) will know, last October I took a bit of a leap into the unknown, quitting my job and setting out on my own.  I had a plan, though perhaps it wasn’t as fully thought out as I thought it was when I handed in my notice, and a huge desire to change my life.

The plan, to work freelance doing what I was already doing – bid and project management – whilst moving into a new field – writing, editing and proofreading.  I knew it was a big change, though there are lots of transferable skills with what I do now, and that it would take time.  I had figured three to six months before I even saw a sniff of new work and maybe a bit less for my current field.

Three months later, where am I?  Well, I’ve had two offers for temporary work doing what I do, which has been a relief, and I’ve been training up for what I want to do, learning the trade from the ground up and not expecting too much but enjoying every bit of it.  Which was another huge relief – what if I hadn’t?

I have also spent some time getting to know other people who are currently doing what I want to do.  They are a wonderful group of people, helpful and supportive, and it has given me courage to keep going.  It’s also made me readjust my timelines for getting where I want to, but that’s o.k. I had wondered if I was being overly optimistic anyway and I wold rather be realistic and not be disappointed when the results are slower than slow…as long as there are results.

My days are fuller than I thought they would be and so much better now the stress of my old job is gone.  The lack of early starts and calls till late into the evening are not missed, and neither is the pressure. Just before Christmas, I met with old colleagues and my old boss.   Going to meet up with people, I was anxious.  I wondered how I would feel, if I would miss work once I started seeing people again, that I had made the wrong choice.

Listening to them talk about work, about the politics, the drama and the stresses left me knowing – without a doubt – that I had made the right decision to leave.  Realising this was another big sigh of relief and reassured me that, whatever happens, I will be o.k. because I am better in myself than I have been for the last few years.  I look better, I feel better, and I know others have seen it too – though what they were saying about me before given what they are saying about me now, I have to wonder 🙂

Now, though, the big push comes.  The training is done and the work of promoting myself and getting that first job needs to start.  Which brings me to my new year’s resolution (well one, the others are getting fit, eating well – the usual).  I want to write it down here so I don’t forget and – putting it out there – will hopefully spur me on.  In 2018, I will be brave.  I will not fall back on doing what I do but push forward so that this time next year, I can change my LinkedIn Profile and leave bidding and project management behind.  What about you – do you have any work-related resolutions?

Emma x