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Help Save the Planet with Plastic Free Shaving

We all know how bad plastic waste is for the environment but how many of us actually takes steps to reduce it in our households? I am the first to admit that plastic waste isn't something I think about on a daily basis but thinking back to that episode of Blue Planet II I watched last year, which showed the devastating effects of plastic waste on marine life, it really should be.

There are so many little changes you can make to reduce plastic waste; things that may seem insignificant at first but if everyone did them, they'd make such a difference! Things like swapping plastic straws for paper straws and re-using shopping bags. Something else I'd never even thought of is switching up your plastic disposable razors for something more sustainable. This is something The English Shaving Company are promoting and as an important topic, which ultimately affects us all, I am happy to share this collaborative content with you here on Seek My Scribbles.

Help Save the Planet with Plastic Free Shaving

Plastic pollution is increasingly becoming the most extreme environmental issue. Mass amounts are used daily and thrown away, creating a global issue due to the amount of time it takes for plastic to degrade. The amount of plastic thrown away is completely unmanageable, meaning it affects wildlife, particularly marine animals, by being thrown into the sea. Plastic pollution affects 700 marine species, with at least 100 million marine mammals killed each year. It’s more important now than ever to work to reduce your use of plastic. Switching to plastic free shaving is one way of doing this. Changing to a double edge safety razor will make a bigger impact than you may think…

What is a DE safety razor?

Double edge safety razors are a reusable alternative to the mainstream modern plastic disposables. The razor holds a single blade securely at the perfect angle to give you a smooth, clean shave. The blades are replaced as they become dull and feature a barrier that varies in design to minimise shaving cuts from the blades. The razor is made with lasting materials, such as stainless steel, to provide a luxurious experience as well as a product that will last you for years.

Environmental Benefits

Two billion razors are thrown away every year in the US, with the number in the UK following closely behind in the millions. With these being made of mostly plastic, which takes around 1000 years to degrade, they are part of our plastic problem. These modern razors also come with a severe amount of plastic packaging, even with the reusable ones as the blades often have a plastic casing. If shaving is something you believe to be essential to your life, this is the way to go, improving your shaving as well as helping the environment.

When you switch to the safety razor it is recommended that you use shaving soap, especially, if you’re a man and shaving your face. Making this switch is also environmentally friendly. Shaving soap comes as a separate unit that you can use in a bowl instead of the typical shaving cream that comes in pressurised cans. Soap refills can also be bought instead of an entire new pot which also helps reduce packaging waste and can be bought without plastic packaging.

Benefits to you

Switching comes with more benefits than just helping the environment, one of these being your shaving experience. Many believe safety razors give them a better shave, getting closer to your skin and the base of your hairs to produce a closer shave with a smoother result. No matter whether it’s your legs or your facial hair, the results are noticeably better. Another benefit of replacing your disposable razor with a safety razor is all about saving money. A typical modern razor will cost you a minimum of around £6 per razor, with a pack of blades costing around £15 for 8 blades. While safety razors often have a higher initial investment price, blades cost less than £1 for each and the razor lasts for years. The blades also last longer than typical store-bought ones if you properly take care of them by drying after each use. Money wise this will add up to a lot less than your typical reusable plastic razor, while also helping the environment.

With the current state of our planet, it is more important than ever to play your part in doing what you can to reduce your plastic use. Switching to a double edge safety razor is an easy, cost efficient way to do this, bringing us one step closer to reducing the harmful environment for us and our wildlife.

Is this a change you would consider making?

Edited to add: Since publishing this post I've actually done a review of a Women's Double Edge Razor from The English Shaving Company. Go check it out!

Megan x
Collaborative content.

4 Little Things That Make Me Feel Good

Sometimes it's the little things that can make a real difference to how you feel isn't it? Although I'm generally a happy person (there's a lot of good in my life), everyone needs a pick me up every now and then and it's things that may seem a little trivial that can actually put a smile on my face and make me feel like a new woman! Things like...

1. Painting my nails

It may sound daft but I feel so much more 'put together' when my nails are painted. It's funny because I used to find painting them so tedious but I actually enjoy doing it now, especially if I can do it in the evening, while watching something on Netflix (currently addicted to Suits). This coral nail polish is an oldie but goody from Marks and Spencer.

2. Fresh bed sheets

Who doesn't love the feeling of climbing into bed with freshly washed sheets? It's one of life's simple pleasures! I especially love it in the winter, when it's just come out of the tumble dryer and it's still warm when you get into bed. I have to admit, I'm not an ironed bed sheet kinda girl though - hence the creases. Ain't nobody got time for that.

3. New lingerie

I'm sure I'm not the only one that loves indulging in a new lingerie set from time-to-time? Even though no one else will see it (apart from my partner obviously) it's something that makes me feel good, knowing I'm wearing it. This gorgeous luxury lingerie set* is from the Roser Samon Promise collection at UK Lingerie. It feels really luxurious, with it's silk-like finish and fits like a dream. Although I wouldn't usually pick coral, it's such a beautiful shade that is perfect for summer. I just need a bit of a tan now and it'll make me feel even better!

4. Doing a face mask

I recently vowed to take better care of my skin and one of the steps has been to do regular face masks. I don't know what it is about doing a face mask but not only does it make my skin feel great afterwards but it also makes me feel totally relaxed. I nearly fell asleep with this Mineral and Ginger mask on from The Body Shop the other day - my other half actually had to wake me up so I could go and wash it off! It's one of my favourite face masks, as it actually warms the skin on application and draws out imperfections without causing full-on-breakouts.

What little things make you feel good?

Megan x
*PR item.

Mum and Son Summer Fashion Wishlist

Although I'm usually more of a fan of autumn fashion, I was so excited to be able to wear my first maxi dress of the year last Friday. For me, summer is all about maxi dresses - they're just so elegant and perfect for both day and evening wear. I definitely have enough maxi dresses to keep me going this summer but if I was to add one more, I think it'd have to be this Tropical Print Bow Back Maxi Dress from Next (£38) - it's just so beautiful!

Comfortable footwear is a must for me (gone are the days where I'll put up with being uncomfortable just to look good) and these New Look Sliders (£15.99) look like they tick that box, whilst offering style and versatility too. I had a similar pair last summer but they're looking a little worn now, so an update may be necessary!

After living in my black bobble hat all winter, I feel a little lost without it so I think I'm going to have to get myself a summer hat. This floppy straw hat from H&M (£9.99) is the style I'm after. I think it'd look gorgeous with a maxi dress and sunglasses - I have my eye on this Cat's Eye pair from Next (£16.)

How cute is this Fairytale Ending tee from Next (£15)? I think it'd look lovely tucked into a denim skirt, maxi skirt or even a pair of high waisted jeans!

Since becoming a mum, I've always enjoyed shopping for my son's clothes as much as my own (even more so sometimes!) Next is one of my favourite places to buy boy's clothing because unlike many of the supermarkets, the colour palettes aren't all navy and fluorescent green. I was actually having a discussion with my partner about this at the weekend -I don't know why all supermarkets assume boys want to wear bright green, orange etc?! There's nothing wrong with boys wearing pastel shades too!

I'm actually willing to spend a little more and shop at Next for boys clothing as they are so spot on with their designs. I was so in love with the Blush, Stripe and Giraffe Tee set from Next (£11-£13) that I ordered it as soon as Arthur's size was back in stock. We also ended up buying the Jersey Denim Shorts (£9-£10) but in blue, rather than the light wash featured here as they didn't have the stock and I thought the blue would be a little more practical.

Arthur really needs a pair of sandals and I think I might end up buying these Boys Footbed Sandals (down to £6.40) from Matalan as they're cheap and cheerful but hopefully comfortable too! I also really love the Textured shorts in grey (£6). They look really comfortable and would tone in well with his summer t-shirts. Last but not least, I had to include the Digger Top (£2.99) because it's something Arthur would love! It's from H&M, which is another store that offers a good selection of boys clothing, catering for all tastes.

What's on your summer fashion wish list? Where are your favourite places to buy kids' clothing?

Megan x
Post may contain affiliate links.

3 things to do in Rhodes

Collaborative content. 
With the days getting longer, the weather (finally) getting warmer and summer just around the corner; it's the time of year that many will be dreaming of their next holiday; curating a wish list of destinations and researching the very best resorts.

Although admittedly, I'm not very well-travelled, I had the most wonderful holiday to Rhodes with my friends, a few years back and can highly recommend it as a destination not only for friend groups but for couples and families too. It's one of those destinations that has something to offer everyone. So when Holiday Gems, a leading travel company offering Low Deposit Holidays 2018 and 2019 - Low Deposits from £10pp, got in touch to see if I'd like to collaborate on a post, I thought it'd be the perfect opportunity to share some of my recommendations for things to do in Rhodes!

Rhodes is a destination that ticks all of the boxes and offers the best of both worlds. By that I mean it's steeped in rich history and culture but also has stunning beaches and crystal clear waters, so there's something for those who like to learn and educate themselves on their travels, as well as the die-hard sun worshipers.

The weather is fantastic, particularly between May and October, with temperatures soaring to around 40 Degrees Celsius between July and August. We visited in September and the weather was stunning. We were out there sunbathing every day and I even managed to get quite the tan (which is practically unheard of!)

Explore the Old Town

If you're interested in the history of Rhodes, I highly recommend hopping on a bus and visiting the Old Town. It's narrow streets and medieval architecture take you back to a different era and it really is a thing of beauty. We were offered a number of tour packages by our holiday rep but ended up saving money by getting on a bus from Pefkos (where we were staying) and taking ourselves around the city.

If you want a great view of the Old Town, head up the Roloi Clock Tower. It's a little bit of a squeeze getting up there but so worth if for the stunning views at the top!

You'll be spoilt for choice for restaurants, cafes and bars and there are plenty of beautiful places you can stop to catch your breath and take in the city.

Visit the Acropolis at Lindos

If you're into your Greek architecture, history and culture, the Acropolis at Lindos is a great place to visit. The stroll up to it can look a little daunting at first but trust me, it wasn't bad at all! There are donkeys that can take you up but I personally preferred to walk. The citadel, with it's ancient temple and towers, is one of the most visited archeological site in Greece and it's easy to see why. As well as interesting architecture, it offers amazing views of Lindos' harbours and coastline.

While in Lindos, it's definitely worth exploring the stalls dotted along its narrow streets, before spending a relaxing evening on one of the many rooftop restaurants.

Take a boat trip from St. Paul's Bay

One of my favourite parts of our girls' holiday was the boat trip from St. Paul's Bay. The bay itself was one of the most picturesque places I've ever seen (just look at that photo) and we had such a wonderful day sunbathing on a yacht that sailed up and down the coastline; taking in the sights and swimming in the crystal clear waters! It's probably not something I'd be able to do now with a toddler in tow but for those on holiday with friends or a significant other, it's a wonderfully relaxing experience.

In terms of accommodation you'll be spoilt for choice but it's definitely worth having a look at the Holiday Gems website, as they currently have some great Rhodes holiday packages on offer.

Have you visited or are planning to visit Rhodes?

Megan x
Collaborative content.

New Buys from The Body Shop

 At the beginning of the year I shared a post called Beauty Resolutions for the New Year and one of them was that I would take better care of my skin. A few months have passed now and have I been doing that? Well, yes and no. I've been really good at the moisturising part and have even been sure to use a facial oil for extra hydration (particularly when it was super cold last month) but I could still be doing a better cleanse. On lazy skincare days (which happen far too often) I've found myself reaching for a makeup wipe and although quick, they don't do a very a good job.

With my skincare running low, I thought it was time to treat myself to a few new products and with The Body Shop offering 30% off and free delivery on orders over £25, it was a no brainer on where to buy from! I've long been a fan of The Body Shop - I remember back in the day my mum treated me to my first proper skincare from their Cucumber range and I loved it. I guess because of that, it's a brand I trust and feel loyal to. I think their skincare products are particularly great; I love that they cater to different skin types and the fact they don't test on animals makes them all the more wonderful in my eyes.

Camomile Cleansing Butter
I decided to pick up a new cleanser to try and stop me from submitting to the powers of a packet of face wipes again and chose the Camomile Cleansing Butter as it's a product I've read so many good things about on other beauty blogs. I have to admit, I'm not overly keen on the dipping my fingers into the pot (I'm so fussy) but once applied, the cleanser really works at removing makeup and leaves my skin not only clean but really soft too.

Tea Tree Squeaky Clean Scrub
Even though I know how good exfoliating is, it's something I need to do a little bit more often so I've picked up the Squeaky Clean Scrub from the Tea Tree range. In all honesty, Tea Tree isn't my favourite scent but I find it does wonders for my skin and look forward to giving this scrub a go.

Vitamin E Moisture Cream
The Vitamin E Moisture Cream is an old favourite of mine. It's a lovely light day cream that is designed for all skin types. It's very light in consistency, has a lovely gentle scent and leaves the skin feeling super smooth.

Mineral & Ginger Clay Mask
Last but not least I chose the Mineral & Ginger Clay Mask. I love a clay face mask, particularly when it warms the skin on application and helps to draw out impurities. Although I haven't had chance to try this out yet, I've got high hopes for it, so I'll no doubt share my thoughts on here sometime in the near future!

Are you a fan of The Body Shop? What's your favourite product?

Megan x
Post may contain affiliate links

Grey's Anatomy - Why it'll always be my favourite

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TV isn't something I talk about much here on my blog but I'll let you into a little secret, I'm quite the avid viewer, especially of US shows! So when Panasonic got in touch and asked if I'd like to share a post about my favourite programme, I jumped at the chance. It did make me smile, as there was a time I'd be watching my favourite US TV shows in low quality on a tiny laptop screen - the complete opposite of the amazing 4KTV Panasonic sets I dream of owning but you do what you've got to do to keep up and avoid the spoilers right? Well, I used to anyway! Now I'm a mum, keeping up with my favourite shows isn't quite as much of a priority but I still look forward to watching them, snuggled up in bed with a cup of coffee (and sneaky bit of chocolate) in hand, when I can steal a few moments for myself. It's become one of those little luxuries.

Over the years, I've loved many shows from Gossip Girl to The Vampire Diaries but frankly, none of them have captured my heart quite like Grey's Anatomy and thankfully, despite being in it's 14th series, it's still going strong.

Funnily enough, many of the TV shows I love are recommendations from my mum, with Grey's being her very best to date. I think I started watching it about six or so years ago, so I had a good few series to catch up on but boy did I fly through them. It's just one of those addictive programmes that as soon as an episode draws to a close, it leaves you wanting to watch another and another, until you've lost several hours of your afternoon. Every spare moment I had between university lectures and studying was spent watching the characters I'd ever-so-quickly fallen in love with. And at the time, the escapism it provided was just what I needed.

Characters you relate to
But it wasn't just the escapism of being thrown into a world of surgical interns that captivated me. It was the characters - in particular the lead, Meredith Grey. I don't want to define her as a strong female lead because I know that's something Shonda Rhimes (producer of Grey's Anatomy and my other favourites, Scandal and How To Get Away with Murder) dislikes hearing. In interviews and articles I've read, she talks about how this statement is condescending and suggests that females aren't strong in real life and writing them this way is somehow revolutionary. And I guess, although I wouldn't initially see 'strong female lead' as any form of insult, the woman has a point!

So with Meredith, I'd rather say she is a woman, that I as a woman, can relate to. I may not have anything obvious in common with this character - I've not got the surgical skills and thankfully haven't suffered any near-death experiences *touch wood* but I just feel like there's depth to her character and elements that many women will be able to see in themselves or relate to in some way.

Relationships you're invested in
The relationships between the characters are also what makes the show what it is. Sure the romances are great but for me the friendships are even better. Meredith and Cristina's relationship was so vital to the show and between them, they have so many amazing quotes, with one of my very favourites being "he's not the sun, you are," something poignant Cristina said to Meredith about her relationship with Derek (it really resounded with me at the time.)

 The drama
And of course, how can I not mention the drama? It's a show that can literally make you laugh one minute and cry the next. It keeps you on the edge of your seat with so many oh-my-god-this-cannot-be-happening moments and often leaves you with a message that makes you think and perhaps even relate to your own life in some way.

The suspense
Grey's is known for it's disasters, there's been everything from a plane crash to super storm killing off cast members but I think the most terrifying of all has to be the hospital shooting episodes. I've watched them several times and still find them chilling. When the actor who played the shooter, popped up on Scandal the other day, I immediately recognised him and felt alarmed - that's how much of an impact he and the shooting episodes had on me.

Even though you'd hope no one would ever be so unfortunate to experience so much chaos, disaster and heartbreak in their lives as the characters of Grey's Anatomy, each event is played out so well that you don't for a second think, well this isn't very realistic! You're just so consumed by all the drama and emotion; wondering if your favourite character will live to see the next episode, that any artistic licensing is quickly accepted as truth.

Did I mention the characters are awesome?!
And going back to the characters for a second - even the ones you may not be that sure of to start with, you learn to love and the ones that probably aren't ever going to grow on you tend to get written out pretty quickly. April Kepner is probably the prime example for me - I couldn't stand her to start with but now she's a favourite, who I root for (and will be sad to see go!)

A winning combination
Strong characters with important relationships, exciting, emotive storylines and easy escapism are collectively, what makes a great TV show great and for me Grey's Anatomy ticks all of the boxes. I'm so glad my mum introduced me to it all those years ago and I hope that it sticks around for many years to come because quite frankly, I don't think I'll ever grow tired of it!

Do you have a favourite TV show that really stands out to you?

Megan x
*Collaborative content. 
All opinions are my own.

Image sources: 1 // 2

3 Toddler Garden Toys for hours of fun

Whilst we haven't seen a lot of sunshine lately, I still remain hopeful that spring exists and warmer weather is just around the corner. I may of course be completely deluded but this hasn't stopped me treating Arthur to a few toys to keep him entertained in the garden!

Arthur loves nothing more than being outside and after buying him a sandpit late last summer, I was keen to treat him to a water table to go alongside it. The other week, the Early Learning Centre had an offer on the Little Tikes Spinning Seas Water Table (priced £49.99) with about £10 off the current price, so I decided it could be his Easter treat. Way more expensive than a chocolate egg, I know but it was something I would have bought him at some point anyway!

*Offer: Precious Little One is currently selling the Spinning Seas Water Table for £32.95*

Although there are definitely cheaper water tables available, some didn't have very good reviews, whereas this one from Little Tikes (a well-known brand I trust) ticked all of the boxes. It is just the right size for our small garden, yet can still hold enough water (7 gallons to be exact) for Arthur to splash about and have fun! It comes with various different accessories, including a ferris wheel, pouring cup, 5 coloured balls, a ball launcher and a water spinner. Assembly is relatively easy (I'm not normally the one to do these things in our household but managed just fine) and it's light enough that I can pick it up and pop it in the garage when it's not being played with. Arthur's already had lots of fun playing with his water table and I know it'll get so much use in the summer time, when the weather's a little warmer.

A couple of weekends ago, we also picked up a bubble machine and skittles set for Arthur to use in the garden and they've gone down a treat! He's played with them nearly everyday - even when it's been grey and miserable, we've pulled on our wellies and headed outside to play. The bubble machine cost £4.99 from The Range and we spent a couple of pounds on a large bottle of bubble solution to fill it up with. Arthur gets so much joy out of watching the bubbles float away and also loves to pop as many as he can! It's one of those things that you wouldn't necessarily appreciate as an adult, until you see just how magical a toddler finds it. It's the simple things that can often bring the most joy!

I used to love playing with my skittles set as a child, so couldn't wait to pick up one for Arthur now he's old enough to have a go. Again, this set was around £5 from The Range, which is so cheap for a garden toy but something toddlers will have so much fun playing with. It's a fun game you can play as a family and is something we can take to the park and the beach when it's a little warmer too!

The Range has a fantastic selection of garden toys for toddlers and I can definitely see us going back to pick up a few more things, when the weather gets a little better. The products are great and prices very reasonable; proving you don't have to spend a fortune for your kids to have hours of garden fun!

What are your toddler's favourite garden toys?

Megan x

How to Turn your Clutter into Cash

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Selling unwanted items online is an excellent way of raising extra cash. Perhaps you want to raise funds to revamp your bathroom? It’s amazing what people will buy - there is probably a buyer for every item you can think of (well...within reason)! Selling at an online auction such as ebay can be a little daunting at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s relatively easy and can be potentially exciting, especially if you create a bidding war!

Here's a few tips on how to set up an ebay account (something I've used myself to make a little extra cash) and make your first sale...

Register for an ebay account
If you haven’t already got an account, setting one up is a relatively easy process, as step by step instructions are given. You will need to provide accurate information regarding your payment details both as a buyer and as a seller. Inaccuracies could delay any payments you receive.

It's likely you've already got a Paypal account but if you haven't you'll probably want to register for one too. Paypal is a safe and convenient payment option and most sellers and buyers use it. Setting up a paypal account is easy, you may need to supply verification during the setting up process.

Ensure you read the rules and regulations regarding items that are allowed to be sold. Selling items on the “banned” list will result in your account being deactivated.

List your item/s
Once you have decided what you are going to sell, it is time to create your listing. Before you do, research how much your item is worth. You can do this by using the search facility to view similar items for sale or look at completed listings for the final sold price. Remember to take the condition of your item into account too.

Decide whether you are going to sell your item as “buy it now” or send it to auction. Price your “buy it now" items at a price you would be prepared to accept or alternatively, start your auction price low to attract buyers. You have the option of putting a reserve price on items in the auction.

Be sure to write a detailed description of your item, using relevant keywords where they naturally fit to help you get higher up the search listings. The better your description, the more likely your item is to sell. Provide the answers to any questions potential buyers are likely to ask you, to save time.

Take good quality photographs

The better your photographs, the higher the price your item is likely to attract. Clearly photograph your item from all angles and be sure to highlight any flaws or imperfections. You can upload a surprising number of photographs free of charge. The more photos the better!

Think about postage and packaging
Whilst creating your listing, you will be asked if you want your items to be available to international buyers. This will increase your audience but it is important to increase your postage price accordingly.

You have different options for the distribution of your items - you could choose to use the postal system or find a courier service. If you are sending lots of items or bulky, large items, a courier may be the best option.

Package your items carefully, especially if they are fragile. You can buy most kinds of packaging materials on ebay at very reasonable prices. The plastic mailing bags are a great choice for posting clothes, shoes, books and bedding. Bubble wrap may be required to cushion more delicate items. Posting items promptly will impress customers and could lead to better feedback.

Although joining ebay is free, any items you sell will incur a fee, which is a percentage of the sale. It is important to factor in these fees when setting a selling price for your item. Ebay often has free listing offers available, so take advantage and list when these offers are on.

Finally make sure you give feedback to your buyers. Your feedback score is important for building your reputation as a seller. The more 5* feedback you have, the more likely you are to make cash from your clutter!

Have you ever used ebay or similar sites to make a little extra cash? What was your experience like?

Megan x
*Collaborative content.

4 Lipsticks I'm Loving

It's funny, even though I'm definitely not your typical 'beauty blogger' every now and then, I love to sit down and write a beauty post. You see, even though I can't afford to splash out on new makeup every week or invest in the latest high end collections, I still really enjoy beauty blogging and believe you should write what you love! So here I am, with a 'lipsticks I'm loving' post. Some are new favourites but there's an oldie but goodie thrown in there too...

If you've read some of my latest beauty posts, you'll know I've been banging on about the ASOS lipsticks but they truly deserve all the love they're getting here. For starters, the millennial pink packaging is cute and eye-catching, the £7 price tag is very affordable and if you've got a premier account, you can get ASOS lipsticks with free next day delivery! Win. Win. Win.

I've been really impressed with the quality of the lipsticks and think they have decent staying-power too. I currently own Frosty, a dark berry shade with a creamy satin finish and Uncompromising, a raspberry pink with a creamy matte finish. You can easily tell the difference between both the finishes and whilst I don't have a favourite between the two, Uncompromising is definitely more of an every day shade for me - I'd tend to save Frosty for evenings out. The ASOS DESIGN makeup range is cruelty-free, which makes it all the more appealing. I'll definitely be trying out a few more of the lipsticks and other products from the collection in the near future!

Another lipstick I've been wearing is Pink Blush from Rimmel's Lasting Perfection collection. To be honest, I was in two minds whether to feature it because as I understand it, Rimmel is not a cruelty-free brand and I'm trying not to buy from these companies anymore. However, I've had this lipstick a little while and I'm really just using it up. I've got to say, it's a lovely baby pink shade, which has a creamy finish on the lips. It's not the most long wearing lipstick but it's one I do like wearing when I'm after something a little more 'girly' so to speak.

Last but not least, we have 'Bitch Perfect' the oldie but goodie in my makeup collection, from Charlotte Tilbury. I always describe Bitch Perfect as a warm nude pink shade that I think would suit a variety of lip colours and complexions. It has a slightly creamy formula, which helps it to glide onto the lips but I find that it has good staying-power and doesn't bleed.

The Charlotte Tilbury rose gold lipstick packaging is of course some of the most beautiful and luxury out there. Just look at it! Of course, this is reflected in the slightly higher price tag of £24.00 but I think it's justified. It is a high end lipstick from a quality designer (who doesn't test on animals) after all. I tend to keep mine 'for best' which is probably why I've made it last so long! Looking at it now - I definitely think I'll be due a repurchase soon.

So if you're after a luxury lipstick in a wearable shade (or are looking for the perfect gift for a beauty lover) I'd definitely point you in the direction of Bitch Perfect by Charlotte Tilbury. It's beautiful.

What are your favourite lipsticks?
Megan x
*Post may contain affiliate links

A Family Night in with Wentworth Puzzles

I don't know about you guys but my family love a good board game. If we're getting together for a family night in, it's almost guaranteed that a board game will be on the cards - Cluedo, Cranium, The Logo Game, anything but  Monopoly basically...we've not dared play that one in a while (I'm looking at you mum and dad!) We've also been known to tackle a crossword after dinner together and there was a time where we were all a little obsessed with The Chase on TV but something we'd not done until recently was a good old fashioned jigsaw.

So when Wentworth Wooden Puzzles got in touch to see if we'd like to try out one of their beautiful jigsaw puzzles, of course we had to accept the challenge! It ended up being a bit of an impromptu family evening that I decided to bring it out (basically I was waiting until my brother's girlfriend Beth was round because, I'd already got her down as a girl that would be good at jigsaws...and I was right!) Initial impressions of the jigsaw were - this looks fantastic quality, it's got a really authentic, woody scent and finally, how on earth are we ever gonna piece it together because there are just so many bits?!

When we looked a little closer at the jigsaw, we saw there were a number of beautifully shaped animal pieces. I believe these bespoke 'whimsy pieces,' as they're known, are unique to Wentworth Wooden Puzzles and different from one jigsaw to the next. As I had chosen the Woodland Creatures jigsaw* from the New Spring Collection, our whimsy pieces came in the form of forest friends, with everything from stags to squirrels. They were such a lovely addition - my favourite thing about the jigsaw!

'Find the corners and go from there' was our starting plan and it seemed to work. Although piecing the first few bits together was difficult, once you'd done a few, it became a little easier. It took around two hours for my Josh (my other half), Danny (my brother), and Beth to complete the jigsaw...I can't include myself because I hardly contributed. You see, I chose that very evening to put Arthur in his 'big boy bed' for the first time and as I should have expected, it didn't quite go to plan, so I was very much up and down the stairs all evening. Having said that, I did get to piece a few bits together (and enjoy a couple of glasses of Prosecco while I was at it - so it wasn't all that bad!) 

I thought they did a brilliant job and completed it much quicker than I expected them to! I was of course a little jealous that I didn't get to feel the joy of completing it myself but I definitely will be having a go when I next get chance! I don't imagine I'll be completing it in two hours alone though. 

I think there's something quite therapeutic about doing a jigsaw. It makes a nice change from being sat in front of a screen and gives you time to wind down a little. Although board games are often a go-to for family nights, I think piecing together a puzzle like this can be equally as fun, especially as there is an element of challenge and competition involved...despite it requiring a team effort!

If you're looking for something a little different to do for family night, I highly recommend taking a look at Wentworth Wooden Puzzles' beautiful jigsaw collection. There are so many different designs to choose from, which vary in difficulty and you can even make a personalised jigsaw with your favourite family photographs! Their jigsaw puzzles would also make a lovely gift for mums, grandmas or any other family member. It's something traditional, yet a little different and is bound to put a smile on their face, like it did ours.

Do you have 'family nights?' Tell me about them!

Megan x
*PR item sent for the purpose of this review.
All opinions are my own.

Things to Consider Before Working for Yourself

Collaborative content. 
Working for yourself seems to be something that everybody wants to have a crack at these days and with so many benefits, it's no wonder why! But just because everybody is doing it, doesn't mean it's easy. I love the freedom that comes with freelancing but there are definitely a few things you need to consider before taking the plunge and working for yourself. Here's six things to consider, which may help you make a smarter decision...

You have to work hard to find clients
Finding clients can be tricky, when you're just starting out. You may need to network at events, sign up to websites that allow you to advertise your services and create your own website so people know what you do. It can be hard to build up a client base when you don't have any references or reviews, so you'll need to find an incentive for people to choose your services and then ask them for a review. Providing you offer great customer service, you should be able to build a steady, returning customer base.

Education and experience will benefit you
Anybody can go freelance, but you'll be a much more attractive person to work with if you have an education and experience in the industry. You don't necessarily need a degree that you've studied for years but you should have some certifications that can back up what you're doing. This is why it's always a good idea to get a job or work experience in the industry before diving into the world of freelancing.

I personally found my journalism degree and work experience proved beneficial in working as a copywriter and helped me to win clients. It's all about finding relevant education and experience for your career path. For example, if you were considering a career in engineering, working at a company or for yourself, an engineering management masters could make you better at your job. Focusing on your personal development as well as your education is equally important and will help you become a better worker.

Keeping track of your finances is essential
It's not always an easy task but keeping track of what you earn and what you spend is crucial when working for yourself. You may not be able to afford an accountant to start with, so being good at it yourself or having someone to help you is a must (thankfully my mum gives me a hand as numbers aren't my strong suit.) Eventually, you could get an accountant as they'll ensure things run much better for you -  look at it as an investment!

Not everyone will 'get it'
Some of your friends and family may not quite understand what working for yourself entails and think you're free all the time. They may even try and drop in on you while you're trying to get important work done. It's best to set boundaries and let them know that just because you're a freelancer, it doesn't mean you can go out with them for cocktails at 2pm on a Tuesday! Of course you can be a little more flexible with your working hours but it must always be on your terms.

You might feel a little lonely sometimes
One of the downsides of being freelance is the fact that you're working alone. Even introverts can miss office chat and Christmas parties! There are pros and cons to everything, even working as a freelancer.

Having a schedule and routine is still important
Although the freedom to work your own hours is great, temptations like daytime TV will kill your productivity fast. It's best to get your work done and then go about your day, not the other way around. Of course, you might find you're more productive at night time, in which case, get your work done then. It's all about what works for you! Just make sure you have a routine you can stick to so things don't feel so chaotic.

Do you work for yourself? What's your top tip for a new freelancer?

Megan x
*Collaborative content.

8 Tips for Baking with Toddlers

I remember having this idyllic image of Arthur and I baking cakes in the kitchen together. I was happy. He was happy. It was perfect. Then we baked together for the first time and my-oh-my it wasn't pretty. I foolishly didn't consider quite how much mess he'd make, how little he'd listen, how much of the mixture he'd try and eat and how quickly he'd lose interest. I felt so disheartened that it wasn't the idyllic mother and son baking session I'd planned out in my head.

And then I thought about it realistically. I remembered that he's a 2 year old toddler. I remembered that a little mess wasn't going to hurt anyone, that it didn't really matter if he didn't do things quite the way I wanted him to or that he lost interest after a few minutes. All that mattered was that he had fun and got something out of it. My new, more relaxed approach to baking with my toddler has completely changed the whole experience for us and I've found that each time we bake together, he's showing more and more interest and wanting to get involved. When I mention baking together, he gets so excited and you can really tell he's enjoying himself. It's worth the mess, I promise!

I know I can't be the only mum out there that had a bit of an 'expectations vs. reality' moment when they baked with their toddler for the first time, so I thought I'd share a few of my tips on how to make it a more enjoyable and beneficial experience for you both! So here goes...

1. Expect it to be messy
There's no way around it - baking with a toddler is messy. They're bound to mix with such enthusiasm that ingredients escape from the bowl. Flour will be tipped across your work surfaces. Egg shell probably will land in the mixture. But does it matter? Not really. Especially when you see just how much they're enjoying it! Just remember to pop them in old clothes before you start and wear an apron yourself. Their sticky hands are bound to be wiped on you at some point or other!

2. Let them get involved in safe activities
Obviously there are some baking tasks that toddlers shouldn't carry out, such as chopping and putting things in the oven but there are plenty they can get involved with. Arthur loves helping me weigh out ingredients (which admittedly doesn't always go to plan), crack eggs into the bowl, pour in ingredients and use a wooden spoon to do a little mixing. The other day I also let him put his hand on top of mine when I was using the hand mixer to make our white chocolate and raspberry muffin mix and he loved it! Seeing his little face light up because he was getting to do something new was priceless.

3. Keep your recipes simple
Don't expect to create a Pinterest-worthy, multi-layered rainbow cake, adorned with edible glitter and a unicorn horn. Keep it quick and simple! Rice crispy cakes, cookies, fairy cakes and muffins are all fairly simple to make and are therefore a good shout if you're baking with a toddler. You can save the complicated bakes for when you're in the kitchen alone!

4. Get the timing right
If your toddler is tired or hungry, baking together probably won't go as smoothly as you hoped. Timing is everything. They need to be alert enough to participate and enjoy it. And if they're hungry, they'll be trying to eat anything and everything, so after they've had lunch or a snack is probably a good time to start!

5. Talk them through each step
When I'm baking with Arthur, I tend to go into full-on 'I'm on a cooking-tv-show' mode. What I mean by that is, I talk Arthur through every single step we're doing to bake the cake, cookie, muffin or whatever it is we're baking. I've found that this not only teaches him new words but helps him remember certain steps, so that next time we're baking together, he's telling me what we're doing! Baking can be both fun and educational!

6. Have patience
It may sound obvious but you've got to be patient and remember they're only two, three or however old your little one is. Everything will take much longer than when you do it yourself (so allow for extra time), they may have a little tantrum if they don't get their own way at some point and there will probably be times where you have to stop in the middle of the bake because they're just not feeling it! The key is to keep calm, have patience and remember why you're doing it.

As I said before, with Arthur, the more we've baked together, the more he's participated and enjoyed it! Like everything, it's a learning experience for them and they're not going to get it straight away but it will be something they enjoy and as they get older, remember, as quality time with their parent.

7. Teach them to be hygenic
Although it's fine to get a little messy, you still need to keep things hygienic. Encourage your toddler to wash their hands before they start and finish baking and have a cloth ready so they can help you wipe down the surfaces in between. It's all basic stuff but important things for toddlers to learn and remember!

8. Offer lots of encouragement and praise
Toddlers love nothing more than being told they're doing a good job! Offer lots of praise as you bake together and they'll not only enjoy it much more but be motivated to keep trying. Arthur's actually started using words of encouragement towards me and offers praise in return, which is just the cutest thing ever!

And finally, it's not really a baking tip but I definitely recommend getting your little one a toy kitchen. Since we've started baking together, I've found that Arthur gets more enjoyment out of his toy kitchen and baking accessories. Because he understands a few of the motions you go through to bake and cook, he's able to enjoy imaginative play with his toy kitchen a lot more. George at Asda has some lovely toy kitchens and the Early Learning Centre has great baking toys, including a battery operated mixer, which Arthur loves!

Do you have any tips to add for baking with a toddler? I'd love to hear them!
Megan x
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