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5 things I've learnt in 2017

2017 has been weird and wonderful. It's not all been plain sailing but easily one of the best of my life and I'm eager to see where 2018 takes us. But for now, I thought I'd share a few things I've learnt this year...

There’s magic in the littlest moments
I love watching Arthur discover the world as a toddler. He makes the smallest, most insignificant things magical because to him, they’re brand new and full of wonder. Seeing the world through a toddler’s eyes is good for the soul.

Making friends as an adult is tough
When I moved across the country, the hardest thing was leaving behind friends - the best friends I’d had since school and mum friends I’d grown so close to since having Arthur. I guess I thought I’d find it easy making new friends in a new place but as an adult that doesn’t go out to work, it’s a little more difficult. I think I thought I’d find a group of mums that I fitted into but it just hasn’t happened yet. I’m lucky that I’m very close to my family, I’m in a relationship with a wonderful man who has become my best friend and I still speak to many of my friends via WhatsApp so it’s not that often I feel lonely. I’m hoping 2018 may bring new friendships though - it’d be nice to make a few local mum friends!

So much can change in a year

When I had Arthur, I kind of assumed it was just going to be us two forever. I couldn’t imagine ever being in a relationship again, especially as a single parent. It wasn’t something I particularly wanted or needed for the first year of Arthur’s life. And then something changed. I think I’d finally got to grips with everything. I’d re-discovered who I was and for the first time ever felt comfortable in my own skin. And then he came along and I just knew he was my person.

Sticking together as a family is so important
I’ve known this for a long time but this year has been another reminder of the importance of family. Stick together with your family (whether they’re family in the ‘traditional sense’ or family by choice) and you can get through anything. If you’re giving your family the best chance of happiness and putting them first, there should be no guilt and no regrets.

I need to believe in myself
I’ve always had confidence issues - even with the world’s most supportive parents who have cheered me on through every stage of my life. I’d say there are some parts of my life where I’m completely confident but when it comes to self-belief in my skills; I think it’s fair to say I’m somewhat lacking it. Work has taken a backseat since I became a parent. It’s had to. And to be honest, I’ve been completely fine with that. But now I’m constantly thinking about the future of my family and I want to be able to provide for us, whilst also being at home for Arthur. So it means putting my confidence issues aside and getting back into freelancing. I know I’m going to have to work hard but what I want IS possible. A little self-belief can go a long way, so let’s hope I find it!


Megan xx
Thank you better half for letting me steal your photo!

Belmio Coffee Capsules Review

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Those who know me well will tell you that I am a BIG coffee lover. For me, it's not all about the caffeine hit (I survived on decaf during pregnancy) but the taste. It's my favourite drink in the world and whilst I'm no connoisseur, I like to think I know a good cup of coffee when I taste one and these days, in my opinion, some of the best coffees come from the pods designed for home coffee machines.

Belmio is a brand I've recently been introduced to, which designs a range of luxury Belgian coffee capsules, compatible with most Nespresso machines. The line includes eight distinctive coffees, made from only the best Arabica and Robusta beans. Each coffee is encapsulated in a colourful aluminium pod, with the intention of preserving the coffee to the highest standard and allowing machines to consistently produce great tasting, aromatic and intense flavours.

I was sent over the Classic Collection to try, which contains 50 coffee capsules - 10 Allegro, 10 Largo, 10 Intenso, 10 Risoluto and 10 Origio. But as we do not yet have a Nespresso machine in the house (Dad's getting one for Christmas) I asked my other half and his family to help me taste test the capsules instead!

After sampling the different Belmio capsules, we found that you could really tell the difference between each blend. Some were much darker with really intense roasting flavours, whereas others were creamy and had a hint of sweetness. You can see on the packaging how strong the coffee is rated and pick accordingly. Whether you're after a strong pick-me-up espresso or a longer, more leisurely drink, there's something to suit all.

I think it's fair to say coffee is quite a personal thing - how you like it may be completely different to how someone else in your family drinks it and that's why collections like this one from Belmio are well-worth a try. They give you the option to sample each blend and find the ones that you like the best. Although I haven't tried the coffee capsules from Nespresso and therefore can't really compare the two, what I can say is that Belmio certainly offer premium coffee capsules that I imagine most coffee-lovers will enjoy.

The Belmio Classic Collection can be purchased from the Belmio website for £16.50. If you know someone who's getting a Nespresso machine for Christmas, Belmio is a fantastic coffee brand to introduce them to and one they probably haven't heard of. We'll definitely be picking up a pack to use with the new Nespresso machine after Christmas!

Megan x
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Scented Gift Candles from Brinley Williams

I don't know about you but I feel like candles are a fail-safe gift for any occasion - birthdays, valentine's, anniversaries, you name it! And with Christmas just  a few weeks away, what better time to share a lovely personalised scented candle from Welsh company, Brinley Williams?

Aside from a beautiful scent, the thing I always look for in a candle, is an attractive design. After all, we live in the age of Instagram and if I've got a good-looking candle, I'm more than likely gonna stick it on my feed...as sad as that sounds. When it comes to design, Brinley Williams' are definitely insta-worthy with their minimalist monochrome quote designs. There are a number of different quotes to choose from, which can be matched to different gifting occasions, or if you prefer you can make up your own! If you're thinking of getting someone a Christmas candle, the option to personalise the text will make the gift that little bit more special. It's worth noting that the text is actually printed onto the glass (it's not just a sticker) and you can re-use the container as a votive or tea light holder.

Brinley Williams' glass gift candles come in a range of different scents, with something to suit everyone. Although I would usually pick a sweet scent like 'Pure Vanilla' or 'Fairy Dust' in a heartbeat, I decided to go for 'Black Pomegranate' as I thought it'd be a little more festive! The scent is fairly powerful even before burning but once lit, it mellows out and is perfect for creating a Christmassy scent in the home.

At £18.00 it may not seem like the cheapest candle on the market but neither is it the most expensive for it's weight, quality and burn time. You're paying for a quality handmade candle with expectations of 40-50 hours burn time, so compared to other candles of a similar standard it's a fair price. Unfortunately if you want a lid for your candle, you have to pay an extra £3.00 which in my opinion is a little excessive but it is of course optional, as is a gift box, which requires you to pay a further £2.50.

If candles are your thing or you know someone who'd love a candle for Christmas, the Brinley Williams scented glass candles are definitely worth checking out. With stylish designs, scents to suit all and the option for personalisation, I think they'd make a really lovely gift this Christmas.

Megan x
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Christmas Traditions - Making a Christmas Box

For Arthur's 1st Christmas, I picked out a special bauble to mark it and decided that it'd be something I'd do every year, with the idea being that he'd have his own little collection when he's older. It was kind of inspired by my mum's tradition of hanging mine and my brother's very 1st pair of Christmas socks on the tree each year - something I've always thought was such a cute idea!

This year though, I found myself wanting to add to our tradition by making Arthur a little Christmas box to open today, 1st December. I made it out of cardboard packaging from a delivery we'd had and personalised wrapping paper* from Pretty Gifted. Inside the box there's a few things he'll be able to use to get ready for Christmas - including Christmas books, a reindeer drinks bottle, Buddy the Elf on the Shelf and of course his bauble - well actually this year it's ended up being baubles as we couldn't pick just one!

We bought the felt Santa decoration and 'Arthur' angel decoration from the Christmas market in Exeter. I knew Arthur would love the Santa but I couldn't resist the little angel, as when I looked at the stand 'Arthur' was the first name I saw. Arthur's granny and grandad also picked up the gorgeous reindeer decoration from a Christmas craft fair so he's got three to add to his collection this year!

Seeing as Arthur's two and beginning to show an interest in Christmas, I thought I'd have a go at doing the whole Elf on the Shelf thing this year. So yep, Buddy is coming to stay! I feel like I'm going to need some serious Elf on the Shelf inspiration, so if you have any posts on the little guy, do pop the links below. I've already been noting down some of the fantastic ideas from this Elf on the Shelf blog post by Kate!

Jolly Jingle Christmas: 10 Festive Sounds Book - £12.00 // The Christmas Bear (Tom and Bear) - £4.49
Arthur loves being read to, so adding a couple of Christmas themed books to his collection was a no-brainer. These two interactive books are particularly good picks as he's really into 'lift the flap' and sound books at the moment. I can't wait to introduce him to some Christmas characters - he's already recognising Santa and his Reindeers, which is adorable.

I finished Arthur's Christmas box off with the Sass & Belle reindeer milk bottle, which I know he'll love drinking out of, while I sip my coffee from a Christmas-themed cup!

So there we have the start of what I hope will become a little Christmas tradition of ours. We also managed to pick up a Happyland Advent Calendar and Wooden Nativity Set as part of a Mothercare offer but I think I'll save them for another post. Have you made a Christmas Box? Or do you have other traditions? I'd love to hear about them!

Megan x
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