Sunday, 17 February 2019

Mama, you need a Mum-cation!

'Psychologists suggest Mothers should take breaks...' *come on ladies, let's get packing!!*
I don't need telling twice ;)

No, seriously though, experts say that Mums need to be taking regular breaks and getting the rest they need to continue to be the best Mama they can be. A Mum-cation can benefit the whole family; Mum gets a well-deserved rest from the stresses of Mum life, the kids learn about balance and they get a happier, more refreshed, well rested Wonder Mum back after a few days.

Us Mums need time to remember who we are too. 

mum-cation, mum break, mental health, family life

I've often debated writing 'Mum' or 'Mummy' on a form when it asks for my name, as I'm pretty sure I answer to that much more than I do 'Lianne'.
*insert rolling eye & sarcastic look emojis here*  
It's so easy to forget that as well as being someone's Mum, you're also YOU; you with a career, with goals and dreams and interests of your own. It's important to have some you time, away from the kids, to fulfil these things.

Lack of sleep, balancing work with the daily grind of cooking, cleaning, refereeing and keeping the kids alive (...just me?) is hard work. And let's not go into the financial stresses, time stresses and general challenges of growing humans.

mum-cation, mum break, mental health, family life

Whether you're a Mum of one, or you have numerous offspring, a working Mum or stay at home, partnered up or single... it can be stressful and overwhelming. Mental Health expert Dr Nava Stilton prescribes regular Mum-cations to refresh and rejuvenate. American psychologist says unplugging from Motherhood will help us be better Mums, and the kids reap the benefits of a more relaxed, present parent after a little break.

I've been a Mum for almost 15 years now, and I can verify that it's so true. I've tried to have short breaks away every year since becoming a Mum, so I didn't lose myself, so I could be ME. As well as a family break, I try to book something for me, even if it's just a night away somewhere with friends.

It's especially important for me nowadays. I'm a single Mum of 2 boys; they can be quite challenging, particularly the 14 year old.
Nobody gives you a handbook for teenage boys do they?
I have 3 jobs and I'm running a house with bills on my own with next to no support network. So my Mum-cations are pretty important to me. I love my kids, more than anything in the entire world, but there are times, for my own mental health, I have to put me first.

Last year I went on a volunteering trip to Cape Town in South Africa. It was the longest I'd ever been away from my youngest, but it was such a life-changing trip and my kids got so much out of it, learning about where I was going, what I was going to be doing and we'd talk about how different life was for the children out there.

mum-cation, mum break, mental health, family life

This year I've treated myself to 2!
I turned 35 recently so booked a long weekend on an adult music break at Butlins with some girlfriends. Bring on Peter Andre! haha. And I've got a cheeky little Backstreet Boys tour booked in June with a trip to Prague squeezed in too.

And do I have Mum guilt? NO. Not at all. I do a lot with my boys, everything I do is for my boys and with 3 jobs I have a pretty busy life. And I know they're well looked after and having lots of adventures of their own. Do I miss them? Of course! But I deserve these breaks and they definitely get a happier, stress-free, rejuvenated, more patient Mama on return.
So, win-win. 

And well, Dr Stilton says so. 

mum-cation, mum break, mental health, family life

So Mama, grab your besties;  head off on a road trip, a night out on the town, a few days in a relaxing spa, head for some sunshine or a full on party weekend, whatever it may be... go recharge those batteries, refill that cup and remember who you are other than a bloody good Mum! 

mum-cation, mum break, mental health, family life

Have you taken some time out lately?


Sunday, 16 December 2018

Slogans Speak Louder Than Words

Slogan tees have always been bang on trend.
Statement fashion. They're everywhere right now. The high street is lavish with motivational quotes, quirky slogans and cute logos to suit every personality. 

Sonality, fashion, personalised clothing

Personally, I've always been a fan. 
Slogan clothing has always been a part of my wardrobe. I was rockin' the 'Frankie Says Relax' tees in the 90s and my favourite dress in my early twenties sported a 'Product of the 80s' slogan in bright pink lettering which I teamed with huge hooped earrings. But don't judge me for that! ;) 

They bring a little bit of individuality to an outfit. And they go with everything, in all seasons! 
Whether you're dressing up with a leather skirt, or staying casual with a pair of boyfriend jeans, they're the perfect go-to if you're wanting to put a message out there or just show a bit of personality.

Statement fashion is unique and that's exactly the mission behind Sonality

'We open the door to your own creativity – one that gives you the freedom, confidence and belief to style your own personalised premium quality clothing. Whenever you like.' -

Sonality is an online clothing store specialising in personalised clothing, totally unique to you. Their website is super easy to use; simply choose a garment, head over to the design studio to customise, choose your colour, your size and click buy! Simples.

Sonality, fashion, personalised clothing

I chose a comfy sweater and customised with a quirky festive slogan. I designed everything myself, from the font and colour to the glitter finish and added some cute bells. It arrived quickly and I was very happy with the quality. 

It's perfect for cosy days watching Christmas movies!!

What do you think? 

, fashion, personalised clothing

I've also been loving this Rock on Ruby slogan tee over the festive period too. I teamed it with leather trousers and a red lip for my work Christmas party, and kept it casual tucked into a pair of jeans during the daytime. 

If you could design your own slogan tee, 
what would your slogan be?

I was gifted a voucher to purchase a fully customisable garment from Sonality


Monday, 8 October 2018

The Pink Tax

I may have lived under a rock for the majority of my 34 years of life but I was pretty oblivious to the term 'The Pink Tax' until very recently. But after reading a few articles, I've come to realise there is still a HUGE difference in how much particular things, aimed at females, cost compared to similar products for the opposite sex. Why?

'The Pink Tax' refers to the extra amount that females are charged for certain products and services, usually health and beauty products, clothes and personal hygiene products.

So why is it that in this day and age, when in some cases women are still being paid less than men, are we also being hit by markups on certain products that are almost, if not completely identical to the male equivalent? 

It's bad enough, in my opinion, that the government still class sanitary wear as 'luxury, non-essential items' as apparently, EU laws prevent them from lowering the VAT or scrapping the tax entirely. I don't know about you ladies, but I know I certainly didn't sign up for that bloody annoying (excuse the pun!!), often rather painful and uncomfortable time of the month and as much as it is our clever little bodies doing it's thing, if I could have the choice, I'd go without. So why are we forced to pay out for products that many of us cannot live without?

I don't choose to menstruate. Periods. Luxury? Am I missing something?

Especially when, wait for this ladies... Jaffa Cakes are considered essential (carry zero tax). I mean, I'm all for a Jaffa Cake, and I'm full of gratitude for that packet of tax-free Jaffa Cakes I devoured the other day ;) but I'm pretty sure that compared to a tampon, it's hardly essential. 
In 2016, 320K people signed a petition to scrap the Tampon Tax, and in March 2016, Parliament accepted an amendment proposed by Labour MP Paula Sherriff that would end Tampon Tax once and for all in the UK. Although we're still waiting on that...

However, we must look at the other side too and note that the revenue the tax generates is often donated to charities such as women's shelters and providing sanitary for women and girls in poorer countries and while that is fantastic and softens the blow slightly, it doesn't take away the fact that according to recent studies, a woman will spend around £18k on period related items (sanitary ware, replacing underwear, pain relief etc) in her lifetime. 

What would you prefer to spend £18k on?

Let's look at health and beauty products. We all need deodorant right? We all have areas of the body we need to shave? So why is it that women often pay up to 34% more for toiletries than men?

Since learning more about The Pink Tax, I decided to check this out for myself.
Bic razors, the standard, no-frills disposable ones. We have a pack of 10 orange razors on the Boots website. And then we have a similar pack aimed at women, but it's a pack of 8. It is packaged towards women; 'Twin Lady' in bright pink packaging and cute pastel coloured razors. But other than the colour, the razors are exactly the same; twin blade razors, both labelled 'sensitive'.
Women's: £2.69 for pack of 8, 34p per unit. 
Mens: £2.00 for pack of 10, 20p per unit.
You don't need me to do the math!

Of course, there is nothing to stop us women buying the simple orange ones. But they are often held on different aisles or stored separately, a men's section and women's section and it is often habit to be attracted to the women's section. So is this just a case of clever attraction marketing?

I popped into Superdrug and headed down the aisle with the shaving products. 
Make your own minds up...

Next up, I looked at Boots No7 Eye Cream. Now, of course, it is an individual choice to purchase eye cream, but it is also a fact, an unfortunate fact ;), that women's collagen levels deplete faster than men and that we age much quicker yet there was a huge £3 difference between the men's version and the women's alternative which looked to have similar active ingredients and state to do a similar job.
It doesn't stop there, reports show that people have found a difference between boys and girls school uniforms, pink and blue toys and lots more.
Things are getting better though, with Asda, Boots and Tesco rolling back their prices on items such as deodorant to match the gender alternative. Cosmeceutical grade company ActiLabs use the same formulation eye cream for both the women and men's ranges, just in different coloured packaging to suit both, at the exact same price. (give me a shout if you fancy giving it a try with 10% off!

So what is the answer? 

Publically shaming brands on social media?
Starting more petitions?
Or simply just shopping better and not falling for the pretty pink stuff?

What is your view on this?


Monday, 24 September 2018

How to BE YOU

I'm going to be honest here, (because we all love a bit of honesty, right?) I lived the majority of my life trying to please other people, changing myself or acting in a certain way so that people would like me. Going through life with a constant fear of being judged. 

I think many of us have lived like this at some point, right?

For me, it started in secondary school. Peer pressure, silly teenage comments, that whole 'wanting to be liked' feeling. And it continued through most of my life...

They're going to judge me for my unbranded trainers...
They're going to judge me for my obsession with that boy band...
They're going to judge me for having a child at 20...
They're going to judge me for that selfie...
They're going to judge me for shopping at Primark...
They're going to judge me for being a blogger...
They're going to judge me for becoming a single Mum of two children by two different fathers...
They're going to judge me for being in network marketing to earn some extra money for my kids...

I met someone last year who had a huge, positive impact on my life. They taught me to change my mindset about things that had happened in my past, they taught me to live my life free from fear and judgement. Yet THEY were constantly judging ME; picking apart everything I did and said, everything I posted on social media, talking down to me, treating me with disrespect and generally making me question myself a lot. I changed myself; I acted in a way I felt I should, I stopped doing things I enjoyed doing, I found myself analysing every social media post before I hit send.
But ironically, this person had also taught me to become more secure in myself, to put every negative experience down as a lesson and to look at what these lessons meant. It made me work even harder on myself, to live a life without caring about other people's opinions. Even theirs.

Not so long ago, someone on my Facebook put up a status saying, 'Some girls watch Love Island, some girls read books...' which was one of many judgemental posts they were putting up whilst the reality TV show was being broadcast. I was quick to reply that 'Maybe, some girls do both...
I no longer allow other people to judge my lifestyle choices, I am secure within myself. I am happy with the person I am. 

I'm a good person. I'm there for my friends. I empower people on a daily basis. I work hard for my boys. I work hard on my business. I work hard on my mindset. I'm really into personal development; I love learning about positive psychology, I love reading books, articles, listening to podcasts and audiobooks. I have a bit of a spiritual side; I'm into crystal healing, moon energy and trusting the process of the Universe. I get a buzz meeting my favourite celebrities. I live for road trips with my friends. I love a few cocktails. And I also love watching reality TV shows, it's my guilty pleasure, my chance to almost 'switch my mind off'. I love people watching, learning about other people's lives and I find the social experiment behind a lot of reality TV really interesting! 

In the words of a song from one of my favourite films... THIS IS ME!

Fortunately, I don't feel the need to justify the way I live my life or change myself anymore because I'm comfortable within myself and other peoples opinions don't matter.

Our true selves are who we really are behind closed doors when we let go of all the labels, stories and judgements we have placed upon ourselves or have allowed others to. It is who we are without the mask. And believe me, life is SO much better when you take that mask off and just BE YOU!

Are you guilty of 'faking' your way through life? 
Do you believe that if you allow people to get to know the real you that they won't like you? 
Do you think that if people knew what you really thought about something, that they'd lose respect for you?

Put Yourself First

You don't need to be accepted by others, you need to accept yourself.

Allowing someone else's opinion of you to cloud your own perception of yourself gives them power in your life. STOP! Only you get to have the power. You know yourself best and if you are happy with the person that you are, stop allowing others judgement to take priority. 
People will always have an opinion, and of course, they're entitled to it. Trust yourself. Working on your own self-esteem and confidence is the first step. Work on the areas of yourself that YOU want to change or are not happy with and move past the fear of being judged. 

Big Up Your Damn Self

Now I'm not saying bring out an arrogant, 'I'm better than everyone else' kinda self, (because that ain't pretty!) but recognise what you are good at, own your good qualities. As well as know your vulnerabilities too. 

When you become fully aware of your positive and negative points, other people's impressions will become irrelevant. 

But it's not easy, especially if you've always lived a life in fear of being judged, and don't' put pressure on yourself to change overnight. Be kind to yourself. Set yourself a goal to take off the mask and be more authentic. I promise you, it'll change EVERYTHING!!

If you want to post that selfie, post it. If you want to read that book, read it. If you want to watch that programme, watch it. If you want to wear those clothes, wear them. 

Be you. Do you. For you.

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