Tips on how to succeed as a work-from-home parent



Work from home parent

Being a parent is hands down one of the most rewarding human experiences – one that is at the same time challenging, exciting and deeply meaningful. Given the tools previously available, parents traditionally had to choose between being at home with their kids or working. Recently, especially in western society, major changes have taken place in the ideals of motherhood and major technological developments that offer stay-at-home parents the opportunity to earn a dependable income, while at the same time being able to enjoy more family time and flexible working hours.

I started my blog many years ago and was already collaborating with brands before having my eldest who is now 6. I had been working at the time and was off on maternity leave when I decided to take the plunge and become self employed, I didn't know if it would work out but I am glad I did it as it's allowed me to have the hands on approach to parenting I was hoping for. Of course this is not possible for everyone and as with everything there have been sacrifices, stressful moments and times when I have felt the idea of normal 9-5 working hours as bliss, I am very glad I made the leap into self employment and if you feel the time is right I would encourage you to do the same, just have some savings to fall back on if it doesn't work out.

Though remote work is still limited to a number of professions, there are options for each personality type and desired schedule. With many options on the market, the quality (and success) of your job search can be significantly helped if you treat your job hunt like a job and take full advantage of the current technology available to help you!

For basic searches, Google is often the go-to, and though it can be helpful in a job search, its remote work offerings can be tricky. Often, freelance platforms pop up that pay very little until you’ve truly established yourself. If you are looking for a jump-start in remote work, I recommend doing as much research as possible, identifying the several preferred professions, and networking as much as you possibly can (and not just online).

stylish pram

Here are some flexible job ideas that would allow you to successfully balance motherhood and earning that paycheck

Creator on Etsy

If your hobby is creating unique handmade pieces, Etsy is a great platform to leverage and sell your work. To determine whether your earnings would pay off, calculate the hours you need to create one product and how much of it you would need to sell for it to make the hours put in worth it.

Freelance Writer/blogger

There are many websites looking for guest content and content providers and if you really enjoy writing you could also consider developing your own blog. All you really need is a decent laptop and fast internet connection, which you can get from one of the earthlink internet plans, or other internet plans that may be available in your area. Besides creating content that is engaging, organic, and draws in the reader, you also need to get your head around SEO or search engine optimisation to drive that much-needed traffic to your work. If you are struggling you could always arrange to get some advice from a local SEO professional.

Get creative in the kitchen 

With pop-up stalls and food markets being all the rage at the moment now is the time to start a small food business. Whether it be baking sugar-free treats, cold-press juice or homemade pies if you have a unique angle and a creative idea you can really make it work for you and all you need to get started is a kitchen and motivation.

Social Media Manager 

Are you a social media whizz then maybe you could take your skills a step forward and manage some social media accounts. You will need to be up to date with all the current social media trends and be confident with platforms such as Pinterest, Facebook, IG and Twitter.

Freelance Accountant

A great option for those with the necessary qualifications would be doing freelance accounting. There are three principal types of accounting jobs and even those with just the basic skills can undertake freelance work as a bookkeeper. Those with more specialist qualifications can work as a general accountants or senior certified public accountants. As for finding work, there are quite a few freelance accounting jobs out there. Before meeting the potential employer, check these accounting interview questions, which should help you to prepare for (and ultimately land) the job you are after.

Dog Watcher / Walker

As man’s best friends, dog owners will pay to ensure their pups are taken care of. As a dog watcher, you can have a dog sitting service at your house around the clock, or dedicate a couple hours a day to getting outside and walking a few dogs. Your hours will be up to you and what you want to offer to your clients. I personally know someone who switched her laboratory job to become a dog sitter and absolutely loves her new job which means she gets to spend a lot of time outdoors doing what she loves. 

stylish kitchen

As you can see from only these several examples, there are many types of options out there! Whether you want to turn your hobby into a paid hobby or put your credentials to (flexible) use, you now have the opportunity to earn a dependable income working within your own home while still sticking to traditional parenting. Whatever you feel the right direction is for you, there is a way!

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A busy Mums guide to getting Glowing Skin


busy mother

When you become a parent time does two things, it moves faster than before and you have far less of it to yourself. Suddenly I look in the mirror and I see I am no longer that 20 something free spirited woman with little responsibly other than looking after myself and now I see a a mother in her thirties full of love for my boys but also with a few more lines than before from years spent becoming comfortable with myself. Over these years I have discovered how important taking time for basic self care is really important and here are a few simple tips on keeping that skin glow going no matter how busy you are. 


Hydration is the cure all to your body’s needs. Drinking eight 8oz. glasses of water a day is what doctors recommend as the minimum water intake. Water flushes out toxins in your body, whether it’s pollution from the outside world, poor ingredients from food you’ve eaten, or from having a little too much fun at the bars the night before, H2O will take care of it all. Water will naturally get rid of the bad, and in turn it will show in your skin. Try going two weeks with drinking at least the minimum recommended amount of water and let us know how your skin changes.

Quality sleep 

Quality sleep is key to any beauty regimen. Allowing your body to fully reboot through the night will immediately show in your skin. Your dark circles will shrink, your skin tone will brighten, and your overall appearance will feel lighter.

Eating right

Eating right has been talked about since the dawn of time. From physical appearance, to weight loss, to skin’s health, diet will always play a fundamental role in your appearance. The idea is to include lots of natural elements in your diet, while minimising the amount of processed foods you eat. Natural foods that are great for your complexion include fatty fish, spinach, coconut oil, avocado, walnuts, pineapple, oats, eggs, and seeds such as sunflower and pumpkin. Include one of these a day in your routine for refreshed and happy looking skin.

These three things everyone can do to instantly improve their skin. Hydrate, get quality sleep, and eat right. I know what you’re thinking: you’ve heard this a million times! You’re right. That’s because these are the quickest ways to improve your skin’s health. Not to mention your mind and body will be thanking you too. It's also really important to check your skin for any changes, I know I have a few beauty spots and moles and I keep on check with those and if any are bothering you than consider seeing a specialise or enquire about mole removal.

Joules tunic

I think being comfortable with who you are and in your own skin is really important, for some that may mean becoming a whizz with make-up (something I wish I was better at) or taking more specialist steps to sort out issues that have been bothering you for a long time. Luckily the science of dermatology has developed rapidly over the last years, and treatments for various skin conditions and types are virtually unrecognisable from how they were only a short time ago. Perhaps we in the UK have historically been a little slow on the uptake when it comes to utilising innovation to benefit our outer and inner selves, but that’s really not the case any longer. Take skincare treatments in London, which now offer a broad range of cutting-edge services, such as stretch mark removal, laser hair removal and acne scar treatment. That said, you don’t have to go laser to get healthy.

Whether you want to tackle great skin from the comfort of your home, or are looking to invest in some specialist treatment, we hope you found some new insight into achieving the ultimate dreamy complexion and most of all be happy with your own appearance and remember it's never too late to practice some radical self care and self love. 

Images taken of me by the talented Sarah Lou

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Climbing high at Bluestone National Park Resort



outdoor kids

My eldest can at times be a bit of an over thinker, he loves the outdoors but occasionally feels unsure and while of course we want to instil personal responsibility and love that he takes well calculated risks, equally we don't want him to miss out on amazing experiences because he doesn't have the confidence to take part. I think facing and conquering things that make us feel a little nervous or gets our adrenaline pumping is a good thing for building your self esteem. 

He has done a fair bit of low level bouldering at a local bouldering centre but has never gone very high so we were really happy to see he was so keen to take on the tree climb at Camp Smokey at Bluestone National Resort. We booked this activity early on during our midweek stay and he couldn't wait for the morning to come and was up and ready to go as soon as the sun came up.


rock climbing

It was a very fresh morning with the winter sunshine flowing through the tall trees of Camp Smokey. Once we arrived his instructor took him through the safety checks and explained all the equipment to him, there had been a big group booked into his session but they never turned up which in a way was great because he got some one to one time with the instructor who was vert positive and encouraging and it meant that our eldest could go at his own pace. 

He made quick work of the training tree, going right to the top twice and decided to move onto the higher and slightly harder tree. He made it about three quarters of the way although by this point he was starting to get a little tired and had completely exceeded our expectations and abseiled down with the hugest smile and a real sense of pride in himself. 

Bluestone Wales

cool kids

After his tree climbing session we decided a treat was in order and a light bite at camp smokey, they have a simple but very flavoursome menu and I can highly recommend the veggie chilli which is perfect for warming you up on a cold brisk day. Our light bite was followed by the two boys favourite forest past time of roasting marshmallows over the fire, it's these simple pleasures that make breaks away like this so special and provide the perfect way to connect as a family and create long-lasting memories. 

Bluestone Wales


After our action packed morning we opted for a slow forest stroll and exploring the natural trails that run behind Camp Smokey before heading back to our Skomer lodge for a late lunch. It's this slower pace that we really enjoyed, no rushing and just taking our time which was especially welcomed by John who works in the heart of the city and has a manic daily commute. We came to Bluestone with no real plans of what we wanted to do but found free range fun and adventure every day of our stay. 

outdoor adventure

Thanks to Bluestone for inviting us to review the mid week stay, we genuinely had an amazing time. 

Country Kids
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4 things to keep your kids inspired to learn this winter


wild and free

So close and yet so far. We’re slowly closing in on the end of the school year. With just a few months left, you’ll want your child to finish out the year with enthusiasm and success. As parents it’s our job to give our children the necessary resources to excel. With about a quarter of the year remaining our youngsters might be a bit burnt out. If you think your little girl or guy is in need of a little boost, equip them with a couple of these essential items.

New Shoes

Being in the same environment everyday will inevitably produce monotonous results. Seeing the same things everyday leads to doing the same thing. Give your child a new outlook and confidence boost with a new pair of shoes. Not only will they look good, but they’ll feel confident as they strut their stuff in their footware. Confidence leads to raised hands and hand raising leads to better learning. We opted for a pair of Dr Martens for my eldest, check out the post I did about their kids school shoes

Kids Shoes

A Journal or Diary

Every kid needs an outlet or space where they can be at ease with themselves. As a child, finding these spaces can be difficult. Having a journal gives a child the chance to explore thoughts and release their accomplishments, thoughts and concerns into a safe space. When not reflecting or documenting, children can use their journals to let their creativity loose.

Cute kids journal from Stuck on You 

Personalised Labels

Maybe this isn’t something your child will jump for joy at when they receive them, but it’ll save the both of you a lot of hassle. Kids are notorious for losing things. A personalised label with your child’s name along with a phone number will help you rescue plenty of neglected articles of clothing.

kids bag

A New Bag

Normally this would wait for the following school year but maybe it’s time to reassess your child’s backpack situation now. It’s a bit tough to go about the school day when you’re worried that your things might fly out of your bag due to a rip. Unlike the rest of your child’s belongings, a backpack doesn’t have to be something they outgrow in a matter of months. Purchase your child a heavy-duty bag that’ll last for a year or two and won’t break under the pressure of algebra books.

Winter can feel very long for all of us and it's easy to start feeling uninspired by it all but it's surprising how something really small can lift spirits and re-energise one to learn a new skill or have a new outlook with regards to school and home learning.

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5 Ways To Make your Home more Energy Efficient



Energy Efficient

Today, finding an easy way to help out our rather struggling planet, without making one’s own life difficult, can be challenging. One of the easiest ways we, on the individual level, can try and do so is by improving the energy efficiency of our homes. Not only does this improvement produce cost savings for us as the homeowners, but while doing so, it simultaneously helps the health of our environment! Energy efficiency of a home can be achieved in many different ways, and here are the five simplest (and cheapest) ways to make a difference.

1, Temperature Control -  Nobody likes having a chilly house during the winter, and sometimes blankets don’t really do the trick. Insulation is a great way to warm one’s house. Apart from making one’s home cosier during the winter, it also gives the bill at the end of the month a cosier touch! Heating and cooling one’s home is one of the most expensive and highest energy consuming activities. Having an adjustable thermostat means reducing energy usage and, likewise, the costs involved. Damaged and worn down windows can also cause a draft so it's really important to make sure to your windows are well maintained or replace any damaged windows will make a big difference in keeping your home draft free

2. Turn your gadgets off -  Another way of increasing one’s energy efficiency at home is to simply unplug; unplug the chargers that are not being used and turn off the unnecessary gadgets. Of course, this doesn’t mean one needs to shut everything off, but unplugging any appliances that are momentarily not being used can really boost the energy efficiency. Even when not in use, chargers and gadgets that are plugged in consume energy! Simply unplugging the laptop and/or phone chargers can help with reducing the home’s energy consumption.


3.  Use appliances and electronics responsibly - Taking the time to choose the most energy-saving appliance is already a step in improving your home’s energy expenditures. An unexpectedly simple way to manage energy efficiency at home is by managing the electronic appliances in a smart way. For example, putting all of them on power strips will make it easier to switch all of your electronics off when you are not using them. Another important point would be ensuring safety in your home by choosing a high quality circuit breaker, which will help to prevent fires caused by wires overloaded with electricity.

4. Water Settings - Being able to relax in the bathtub or take a long shower is definitely one of the best luxuries your home has to offer. However, water usage can also cause high energy usage and can be wasted easily. An efficient way to save gallons of water and thereby improve one’s home efficiency is to install low-flow showerheads and/or low-flow toilets. Both installations manage the water usage automatically, and regulate it so that the flows are just what one needs.

5. Solar panels - Choosing to install solar panels as an energy provider can definitely help increase one’s energy efficiency. Having the panels means producing one’s own electricity, consequently cutting down on the electricity bill. Unfortunately, solar panels at this time are still pretty expensive, so maybe covering the roof with them is not the most financially feasible choice. However, keeping the option in mind (and waiting for the costs for their commercial use to decrease further), and starting slow – potentially with one panel at a time – definitely gives a push in the right direction.

fresh flowers

Fortunately, today’s world is recognizing the importance of having an energy efficient home, and steps are universally being taken in that direction. Great advancements are in the making that will allow many homeowners to sustain a pleasant, eco-friendly, and cost-reducing life. Living in (and in some weird ways with) a home that cares for the planet will soon be a reality!

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Stylish clothes for out-going Boys




As you may already know 2017 is the year that we as a family are striving to become far more conscious about what we purchase and bring into the home. We are leaning towards the rapidly popular minimalist movement and have set myself a minimalist challenge but there are still things you simply cannot go without and being the parents to two healthy growing young boys we know how important it is that when it comes to choosing clothes that are going to last an be worth the money we have to part with.

As adults we at times sacrifice comfort for style but when it comes to children you simply can’t do that as comfort means they are more likely going to be happy with what they are wearing and if they uncomfortable it simply won’t work and being a parent of two very out-going kids I can vouch for that. We have made the mistake of doing this in the past and it’s surprising how sensitive kids can be when it comes to how something is tailored or cut, even down to socks and vests, both of which my son is sensitive too and only wears if they are a perfect fit.

outdoor clothing

My personal mantra is always less is more but less doesn't necessarily mean the more expensive option, especially when it comes to kids and I recently wrote a post about winter style tips for wardrobe longevity. There are some designer labels which are simply not very well made, have an awful cut and I know wouldn't stand up to the test and rigour my active boys would put the clothes through and then you have some far more price-point labels which are very durable and long-lasting, it’s all a bit trial and error, but then again everything with parenting is like that.

I thought today I would feature a family run company on the blog today that manages to combine durability and practically with style seamlessly and that is the long established Spanish brand Mayoral whose slogan is “making friends” and they produce kids clothes with ethics, social responsibility but also trendy and affordable.

outdoor kids

They have a fantastic range for the winter spring transitional period and cater from newborn up to 16yrs old and best of all they are having a huge sale at the moment, so now really is the time if you know your going to have to get a few new items to see them through the seasons this year.

For younger ones they have some wonderful knitted cardigans which would be perfect for those not too hot not too cold kind of days and you can easily layer according to the weather.They also have some really fantastic lined jackets which would be handy for any time of the year in the UK

outdoor adventure

For older boys they have some really cool and stylish sweaters and padded jackets as well as a large range of denim and corduroy trousers which are made to withstand tree climbing and countryside adventures. Mayoral of course also cater for girls and have some beautiful ponchos and wool coats. Being a Spanish brand the whole collection has that effortlessly cool European feel to it and with the current sale its a fantastic price point option for all budgets.

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Celebrating National Handwriting Day



This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias

simple interior


As some of you may already know today is National Hand Writing Day and there is something really wonderful about putting pen to paper in this digital world we live in. Ever since I had my youngest each year I write him a letter which I will present to him on his 21st Birthday. They are simply documentations of our times together, memories, antidotes and milestones. I know we will all enjoy reading them in years to come and that is what is so fantastic about actually writing a letter and having a material thing to hold onto. 

There is also something very therapeutic about picking up a pen and writing and the freedom that brings, you can decorate your words and paper, add pictures and get creative in a way that is far more instant than if you tried to replicate it digitally and there is something about it that I will never get bored of. 

letter writing

writing letters

As some of you may already know I am minimising my life and the things I choose to have in it but what I do value is a decent writing set and pen. I have put aside about 4 journals to take to the charity shop as I am trying to streamline my list making to one book and decided to pop into Paperchase to treat myself to a proper writing set so that when my littlest turns two next month I have some nice paper in which to write him a letter, from mama to babe. The major bonus was it was also on sale and it comes presented in such a neat little box where I can also store some of the letters. 

Paperchase Cardiff

I really love using the time to write these letters as also a way of reflecting what we have done that year, what they have learnt, how we have grow as a family and what we hope to do in the future. 
Do you have a special family traditional you do each year when you kids turn a year older or reach a milestone? Do you have a creative pastime that incorporates your flair for handwriting?

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Building your child’s self-esteem with #LoveYourselfProject



wild and free child

As parents we all want to see our children turn into confident young adults, to have a self belief that they can achieve the goals they set themselves and that they have a positive body image. However that is easier said than done when we live in such a manic and at times judgemental society.

From the moment we wake up we are bombarded with unrealistic ideas of what life should be like, from the magazine you look through at breakfast time with size zero models peddling watches equivalent to a down payment on a house and telling you "you deserve it" is a little out of proportion if you ask me. Of course we want to see our children be successful but also have an idea of what really makes one happy as well as gratitude and moderation.

As adults we can also forget how children process information and while we often let things go, mean words in social settings such as a school playground or passing comment from an adult who is overworked and over tired can leave a lasting seed of self doubt in a child, a seed which can grow and  lead to self esteem and self confidence issues in later years.

natural childhood

I have been working with Families Online, a great online resource for parents and they have put together the #LoveYourselfProject which aims to encourage positive body image and self esteem in young children and to help them realise life is not all about getting the perfect pouty selfie but rather being proud of who they are.

They asked me to put together a little vlog and put the question "what you love about yourself" to my 6yr old son. I have often asked him what his favourite pastimes are or what he enjoyed doing each day but I don't think I have ever asked what he truly loves about himself. What I found interesting was that he said he loves his hair long even though he is not a girl - we have never had an issue with his long hair and have never made him feel anything but positive when it comes to his hair but he has been called a girl many times in the past and even now he carries that with him. Luckily it doesn't seem to bother him but it certainly made me realise how the words of others can affect your children.

So why not join in with #LoveYourselfProject and you too can share a little clip of what your kids love about themselves or simply share your tips on building your child's self-esteem and the best advice will be featured on Families Online - just send any tips or clips to or post them to their social pages Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #LoveYourselfProject

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Creating the perfect minimalist workspace


home office

As they say a messy home is a messy mind and if you work from home that can certainly affect your productivity as well as creativity. Most home offices are fairly limited in space and can easily become cluttered if you don't keep on top of things and even if the house is not anywhere near minimalist (as is mine right now…I’m working on that) than at least try and make your workstation as simple as possible and a space that allows you to think clearly and work more efficiently.

So how do you go about creating a minimalist (or at-least clutter free) haven to work from?

Find a Quite spot with lots of natural light- besides your laptop and possibly your mobile phone, you really want to be as far away from any other technology or distractions such as TV, and Hi-Fi. It’s also important to find somewhere that is preferable light and airy, loft conversions are usually great for this as they have large roof windows that help full the room with sunshine.

home office


A smaller desk - Of course if you already have a desk and your happy with it, there is no need to go out and buy a smaller one but if not everyone thinks they need a big desk and for what? To fill with unnecessary things, to be covered in files, to hold more stuff? Why not get a desk that is smaller, takes up less room and is just big enough to fit your laptop and perhaps a small drawer, this way it physically doesn't allow for too much excess in your workspace.

Clear your desk - besides absolute essentials such as your laptop, a printer if needs must and a paper diary if you prefer to use paper than digital, there is really no need for anything else so get rid of all those post it notes, piles of pens of which only half work, staplers and other stationary you hardly ever use and if you do really need to keep some of it then designate one small draw for essentials. Also make sure to clear your wall space and not have too many boxes or piles of paper lying around.

Clear your wall space - know some people use wall space for visual inspiration but it can also cause visual clutter and distract you from the task at hand. For most projects you can use digital bookmarking sites such a Pinterest for creating visual inspiration boards.

No more Trinkets - yes we all do it, a little garden of succulents start to take over our work spaces, novelty clocks yet we have the time one our laptops and phones, anything that is not essential needs to go. Josuha from The Minimalists mentions in his post about eliminating the unnecessary when it comes to your work space 


Declutter your Digital Inbox - it also helps sorting out and decluttering your laptop desktop and inbox and try streamline to having just one email address rather than multiple ones. Your mind will really feel lighter after not only clearing your desk but your desktop as well

I used to have a small work space upstairs which has now become my youngest sons bedroom so my work from home situation is not ideal at the moment as I usually have to work out of the kitchen or living room and it’s simply not far away enough from distractions as well as clutter and I find this really does affect home much I accomplish each day.

Luckily we are planning to move this year and high on the agenda is a small space I can call my own. The ideal space would be a loft conversion which would feel like I was away from the main home but also because you can make them into such light and airy spaces due to the roof windows, Solstro have an amazing selection of them, you can put in that just floods a roof with natural light, somewhere like that would be a real haven, a quiet space in which to be productive and creative but keeping simple and minimal.

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Slow down at Karma, St Martins


Isles of Scilly

With these short days and dark nights my mind certainly wanders to memories of the fantastic adventures we had over 2016, especially that of our trip to the Isles of Scilly. It was on my bucket list of 40 things to do before I'm 40 and it was a wonderful as I thought it would be, in fact if your looking for a place to really slow down, relax and disconnect from the rest of the world this is the place!

During our trip we spent the first few days on St Martins and then two nights on St Mary's, both equally wonderful but both with a completely different feel. St Martins certainly captures that slow lived feeling where everything is laid back, wifi is slow at best (which is perfect if you want to get away from it all) the island is practically traffic free apart from one or two vehicles and much time is spent relaxing and looking out across the sea and crystal waters.

St Martins

During our time on St Martins, we stayed at the fantastic and luxurious Karma Hotel which is perfect for couples, solo travellers and families, in fact anyone who needs space to relax, have a good back massage or island cocktail to sip on while watching the sunset. Our room, which was two interconnecting doubles was extremely spacious and perfect for our needs as it mean I could put the kids to sleep in one room while I got to have sundowners on the balcony overlooking the bay. On arrival, there was a local bottle of wine in our room from the one and only wine farm on St Martins and I have to say it was a very good.

stylish hotel room

Karma St Martins

I loved the eclectic interior design which infused seaside chic with modern luxurious touches such as grand piano in the reception area and the small library and record room just a few feet from the bar which was very inviting after a day spent outdoors. The breakfast room which filled with natural light in the morning had a fantastic view out across the bay and was the perfect place to enjoy a slow cup of coffee and some fresh pastries.

Isles of Scilly

breakfast room

What we really enjoyed was the outdoor area right in front of the hotel with seating for al fresco lunches and late afternoon cocktails while the kids run around wild and free playing foot ball or croquet within the safety of the grounds of the hotel. It also has a perfect location as there are two different quays on the island to get the ferry depending on the time of the day and the tides and one of the quays is right outside Karma which means you don't have to go very far to explore the other 4 islands. If you rather enjoyed a day close to the hotel they also have a games room filled with different board games and a TV console for kids although there was little reason to use this when you have a huge beach only a few feet away. 

outdoor fun

Isles of Scilly

During our first night at the hotel it was hosting an open-air theatre company while the chef set up an outdoor bbq before a little drizzle came in but didn't spoil the evening at all. We also enjoyed a more formal meal on our last night in the hotel restaurant and they had a menu inspired by the local produce including homegrown salad and locally caught fish with plenty of options for kids and vegetarians as well and even if you don't stay at Karma but find yourself on St Martins and are looking for somewhere special to eat I do recommend here.

Throughout our stay, the staff were professional, friendly and very helpful and they also made the children feel very welcome and were always on hand if you needed anything. Each morning you would receive a little newsletter of all that was going on on the island from ferry times to events and specials in the restaurant, we found these really helpful even though most of the time we spent on the beach or walking the length and breadth of St Martins. We loved our stay at Karma, it was truly beautiful in every sense of the word.

Isles of Scilly

Extraordinary Chaos

Thanks to Isles of Scilly travel. You can reach the Isles by either flying on the Skybus or taking the Scillonian, you can read about our trip to the Island Here
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10 ways to bring simplicity to your home




So as some of you may already know I've set myself a Minimalist challenge for 2017, which means our family is having a major sort out in the aim of cleaning our home, minds and leave behind only what truly makes us happy and things that bring joy into our lives. A few weeks in and I am already learning a lot about myself and the reality of trying to minimise a whole home that is crammed with not only toys, books, DVD's and everything else in-between but also lots of memories and sentimental things, but what I can say is once you start to sort through things it does slowly get easier, letting go becomes easier but it's not something you can do overnight so I thought I would share my top 10 ways to simplify your home this year and make it a place that is calm away from the chaos.

1. Get rid of Stuff Daily - Okay so yes this may seem obvious but there is one thing talking about it and another thing actually putting this change to practice and even a small declutter can have a huge impact. Focusing on not only letting go of stuff but also be more conscious of bringing less into the home in the first place. By doing a little each day over time you will really start to notice the difference and also if you choose to donate some of your goods to a charity shop you are also helping the community which is a win win all round. Apartment Therapy has a great post about 5 tricks to help get rid of stuff.


2. Re-arrange your living spaces - when was the last time you re-arranged and re-evalutated your living spaces and the furniture that take up that space? I bet it's been a while, so why not change it up a little and try out new arrangements and you might find one that works a bit better than what you already have. Also have a good look at your furniture, are there any pieces that are simply taking top space and not being used? Perhaps its time to get rid of one or two things.

3. Bring Nature indoors - houseplants can have a real calming effect on a room and your general wellbeing and can help detoxify the air inside our homes. They also provide a pop of colour in a room as well as a focal point and you can also get a great sense of wellbeing looking after a plant that thrives. You can pick up house plants at your local garden centre or Ikea has a nice range.

stylish blinds

4. Make the most of your windows and natural light - not only is natural light very important to your health but there is something very warming and comforting about a room filled with natural light. When we moved into our current home we had awful heavy curtains in our living room which did nothing for the space, we decided we wanted something more suited to our needs and make the best use of the three windows in our main family space. We opted for twist shade blinds which allow us to control the amount of natural light we have in our room which still giving us privacy, any time of the day without having to open up the whole thing.

5. Become Storage savvy - in most homes, you have some kind of built-in storage and I know from experience that these spaces usually become very disorganised and messy very quickly, especially if you have children. The main thing is to sort out these spaces and use the space in a way that maximises the amount you can store, keeping your home a little bit more clutter-free. Also buying some storage boxes for files, books etc can be very handy and help keep things a little bit more organised. You may also want to consider renting a self storage unit if you need more space at your home.

simple wardrobe

6. Re-organise your wardrobe - this one will have a big impact on your daily life because a messy wardrobe most certainly means a delay in getting ready in the morning as well as the possibility of clothes being left lying around. If you reduce what you have down to what you actually wear and get rid of anything you have not put on for more than 6 months you will see a real difference.

7. Invest in better quality furniture that you actually love - we all have furniture that simply serves a purpose, that we don't particularly love or even like and in many cases, we hold onto things simply because we paid money for them rather than whether they are used much. Re-evaluating the furniture in your home is very important, getting rid of some frees up space and what you leave behind should be what you love and reflects your style - when it comes to these things less is always more.

8. Make your bedroom a tech free zone - your bedroom should always be a haven away from the chaos, somewhere that is free from technology and you can truly relax. It's really important to try and keep this area free from clutter and as I stated said in number 6 keep that wardrobe clean and tidy. Have a collection of your favourite books on your bedside table and as with number 4 make the most of any natural light you have coming into your bedroom. I mean is there anything better than the morning light flowing in on a lazy Sunday afternoon? Luxaflex do Silhouette Shade that takes the harshest sunlight and smoothly transforms it into a soft diffused light which is perfect for being clam into a bedroom.

stylish bathroom

09. Streamline your digital clutter - we often talk about the material things in our life getting on top of us but it can quite easily happen with our digital lives as well, hundreds of unread emails, files that need to be backed up, cluttered desktops and these things need to be address to bring calm both into your real life and digital life. If you need a little direction or inspiration there is a great article on Zen Habits all about decluttering your digital life.

10. Work on yourself. I think we often forget that we need to work on ourselves but outwards and inwards and that we are complex beings and self care really is required to keep our lives simply, calm and stress-free. Making time for ones self can have a real positive affect on your life within your home and making time for that is important, perhaps even speaking to someone else, talking through any concerns or issues you have. You can even speak to professionals online via Better help and it's an option worth looking into.

You don't have to do everything at once, in fact just focus on one thing at a time Sao you don't start to feel overwhelmed by it all and end up procrastinating. Just aim to have more go out than come into your home and take time to focus on yourself as well as becoming more organised which will really aid to free up time you can use to relax and enjoy the simply pleasures in life.

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