How a Blog can Help Grow Your Business | {And add value to your clients}

Did you think a blog is just for people who want to share their latest cupcake recipe or “how-to” guide as a side hobby to their “real” job?

Well, well, well my friend. I’m here to tell you not only that blogging is a REAL JOB {which you can make money from no less} but also that having a blog can help you to GROW your business and/or brand and add VALUE to your clients or customer base. When done properly starting a blog for your business can create a whole range of new opportunities and boost your marketing power.

BONUS – head to the end of this post for an exclusive offer to help get you on the right road to creating a KILLER BLOG!

Don’t believe me? Read on….


10 Ways a Blog can Help Grow Your Business {and add value to your customers}

1. Increase brand awareness

Having a blog is a great way of not only advertising your business but it also allows another avenue of increasing your brand awareness and personal brand. A blog post is a great way of being more informal and letting your personality shine! They also help bring businesses to life and create consistent branding to create more leads and therefore more customers.

2. Provide direct links to products or services

Don’t have the swipe up option {aka links} on Instagram stories? Me neither! Blog posts are great for allowing you to add direct links to products, services, categories or collections without having to reach a certain number of followers or subscribers. Hazzah!

3. A chance to showcase your products, services and expertise

Why not write a blog post about how a customer can use your products/ a particular product or how your services can improve working or personal practices. Blogs give you a chance to share more information, really diver deeper into your products or services and showcase your wonderful products.

4. Create new leads {hello blogging community!}

Creating a blog opens up a WHOLE new platform of potential leads – the blogging community is VAST and will therefore the opportunity to expand your clientele just by simply having a blog!

5. Improve your Search Engine Optimisation {SEO}

Done properly, blogging can improve your website’s Google search rank, bring more people to your website and therefore create more leads. Basically the more activity you have on your website the higher it’s likely to rank in searches – regular blog posts will help maintain your search engine rankings.

6. Increase credibility

By showcasing your expertise, the quality and functionality of your products and/or services you will improve your business’ reputation and build a strong LIKE, KNOW, TRUST factor.

7. A way to flex your content ideas for social media

Are you stuck for content ideas but are still keen to stay consistent and present? Blogging adds another string to your content bow by allowing you to write about a whole range of material from the history of your product, how you started your business, customer Q&As or showcase customer reviews. Having a few blog posts in your back pocket can help ease dry spells and can be automated to post at a time and date of your choice.

8. A change to set up a regular newsletter or email list

A lot of websites {such as GoDaddy} allow you to create a blog within their hosting package. Plus they also allow people to subscribe to an email list {more on this in a later post!} to which you can send out links to your latest blog post or a regular newsletter. Don’t have a website? You can create a blog for FREE on platforms such as WordPress which you can create a direct link to from your Instagram bio or Facebook page. Platforms such as MailChimp also allow you to set up an email list – so there are lots of options!

9. Give you a chance to write a Call to Action (CTA)

A great way to turn cold leads into warm ones is to add a CTA at the end of each blog posts. For example you could leave your contact link if they would like more information or if they would like to work with you or include your social media links. People are more likely to follow through when they are given direct instructions!

10. Answer FAQs and customer queries

Lastly – a great idea for a blog post is create a one stop shop for any frequently asked questions or customer queries. Are people always asking what colours are available for a certain jewellery line? Write a blog post! Are you always getting asked about upcoming event? Write a blog post!


Creating and maintaining a blog for your business can create a whole range of new opportunities – but remember, when it comes to growing your business and adding value CONSISTENCY IS KEY!

BONUS OFFER!

Don’t know where to start or what to write about? My good friend Anjali from This Splendid Shambles’ has created an invaluable Confident Content Creation Course in which you can learn the strategies and skills to get your content seen by more people, and showcase your products and services as well as ways to stay consistent, organised and motivated when it comes to creating content for your blog, business or social media.

Find out more about the incredible Confident Content Creation course HERE and use the code TWINTASTIC20 at the checkout for an exclusive 20% off for ALT followers!

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Deep Dive into Project Simplify | {Declutter Challenge 2021}


This is a repurposed post from May 2020 which links into my current Project Simplify Declutter challenge:


Truth be told I’ve had a version of this blog post in my head for probably close to 2 years now. It started when I was pregnant with Penny and had an overwhelming desire to declutter {hello nesting}. We had {have} SO.MUCH.STUFF. It was exhausting. Constantly cleaning, moving things around, re-organising, getting rid of stuff then at the same time buying new things in an attempt to make our home look and feel better. I’d flit from project to project as time and motivation allowed never really finishing anything or feeling like I was making any headway. I never felt that {possibly unreachable} point of feeling content. Never reaching that “perfect” point where I could sit back and relax into my little world.

When Penny was about 5 months old {January 2019} I read Marie Kondo’s Book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying {which by the way I LOVED} and started following The Organised Mum on Instagram closely followed by the online phenomenon that is Mrs Hinch. This was what this post was originally going to be about – how I worked through and implemented aspects of these methods to finally “complete” project {simplify}. Fast forward 15 months and I’m still not there. I still have too much stuff. I still don’t feel like the house is “together” or that I’m in a good housework routine. And actually things have changed. My mentality has been through the ringer and {partly thanks to some pretty intense counselling sessions} I began to realise project {simplify} was about sooooo much more than my home. My whole being felt claustrophobic, enclosed and over complicated.

Penny {at 5 months} helping with a Marie Kondo inspired clothes clear out

The definition of {simple}

So what does simple mean to me. When I broke it down here’s what I came up with:

In a nutshell, project {simplify} meant creating physical and mental space in which I felt good, clean, healthy and productive. A space which felt achievable, clear, inviting and welcoming. A space which felt natural, light, spacious and sustainable. A space where life felt uncomplicated and I could be creative and relaxed at the same time. Sounds like a dream? Maybe so. But for me project {simplify} on some level isn’t a wish list, it is a necessity. I believe it will have a life-long impact on my mental and physical health and open up my creativity to enable me to achieve things that always felt out of arms reach. In essence, I believe it will make everything better. Not perfect. But better. And that’s perfect enough for me.

Where to begin?

Note : This is not so much of a “how to” post but more of an amalgamation of thought processes from the last 24 months.

Inspiration

When you scroll through Instagram accounts filled with beautiful homes what do they have in common? Chances are they are {seemingly} uncluttered. They are usually quite simple and have some kind of theme or style, full of beautiful pieces which bring joy and delight. Achieving an Insta-perfect home may not be realistic for your life {or budget!} but noting down some of the elements you love or creating a vision or Pinterest Board of achievable ideas is a great place to start. Is their toy storage amazing? Does the style of their bookshelves look uncluttered and inviting? What exactly are you drawn to? Is it the colour scheme or the artwork on the walls? Are you drawn to beach homes with a huge open view? Do you love simple, clean cut outfits or bright floral prints? Remember this is more than your home. Project {simply} is about your life.

My {recently decluttered} favourite spot

Implementation

Clear out books, ornaments, clothes, make-up, toys, paperwork, emails, stationery, bank accounts, your instagram feed. Clear all the apps off your phone you don’t use. Change notification settings so you’re not bombarded with information 24/7. Unsubscribe from email chains you no longer engage with. Have a switch-off Sunday where you turn notifications off or delete your social media apps for 1 day a week. Take active steps to clear space. This may be in bite-sized chunks or full Marie-Kondo-ing the s**t out of your home. It’s hard. Really hard. To clear out stuff you’ve held onto for one reason or another. That may have been a gift or has sentimental value. But it is necessary. Think of what you would want to leave behind {without sounding too morbid!}, what makes you happy {sparks joy as Marie would say}, what is actually needed and used. Try not to overthink it. You may chose to clear things out in waves. There are things you may not be ready to let go of and that’s ok. There is no right or wrong to this process. The aim is to reach a place where YOU {and your family} are content. Whether that’s for a season, a year, 5 years or a lifetime. And remember to be realistic about where you are now. If you have children there will be toys. If you have animals there will be pet paraphernalia. If you are saving or don’t have the finances to fund your dream home/wardrobe you will have to make the best of what you have. This is YOUR life. YOUR style and YOUR space. Don’t try to copy someone else – that brings with it a whole heap of other issues!

Decluttering mental space

This is a big one. For me decluttering physical belongings is only half the project. Creating mental space is not only necessary. It’s vital. It’s vital in feeling well. It’s vital in managing the bad days. It’s vital in finding inner peace and acceptance. It’s vital in being the best mother, wife, sister, friend and colleague I can be. Not perfect. Not “high functioning”. But the best version of me {warts and all}. It’s saying no. It’s ending toxic relationships {personal and professional}. It’s nourishing my mind and body. It’s knowing where to go for support. It’s giving myself space to breathe. It’s creating routines which work for our family. And {for me} there is a definite link between mental and physical clutter. I can’t have one and not the other. Physical clutter makes me feel anxious and uneasy. Mental clutter makes me unproductive and unmotivated. Creating a space for mindfulness and self-care is essential to survive and thrive. Filling your cup so it overflows to others.

Having a {mental} declutter

Lockdown

This brings me nicely onto what prompted me to revisit this post. We are now at the end of week 6 of the COVID-19 lockdown {at the time of the original post}. We have been social distancing, furloughed and self isolating for well over a month. This past week I’ve felt incredibly anxious about what happens post-lockdown. We’ve been inside our own little bubble {which in itself has come with it’s own ups and downs} and although I’ve been very active on the old virtual community I’ve been feeling incredibly disconnected with the outside world. I already fear the overwhelm of being re-introduced to society, strange as that may sound. Part of my anxiety is around regretting not making the most out of being at home. {Noting not everyone is at home – the reality for key workers and those who are feeling incredibly lonely and isolated or unwell is very different}. As a way of trying to ease my own anxious brain I decided to make a list. A list of things I would like to do over the next few weeks {or longer}. Not to put pressure on myself but as a way of re-focusing what is important at a time when there is so much uncertainty and need. Here’s what my list looks like:

  • To make progress with project {simplify} {this counts right?!} {see below}
  • To make time for health – self-care, nutrition, exercise, mental health, my skin, weight and fresh air
  • To home school the boys to the best of our ability – including a {flexible} structure to our weekdays
  • To use The Organised Mum Method {TOMM} to help feel/stay on top of housework
  • To implement switch-off Sunday – turn off all social media notifications during the day every Sunday
  • To plan out/start or even complete one of my e-book ideas
  • To start Dermatillomania Support UK
  • To make space for creativity – blogging, writing, painting
  • To support others by reaching out, offering support, listening, laughing, crying or being an Insta-friend – whatever I can give that people need
  • To enjoy my little family

My initial aims for project {simplify} are:

  • To implement TOMM {as above}
  • To clear out my office space and paperwork
  • To finish decorating the kitchen
  • To clear out my dressing table drawers, make-up and medicine cupboard
  • To clear out our garage
  • To simplify my email accounts and unsubscribe from chains
  • To allow myself space for family and creativity by implementing switch-off Sunday {as above}
  • To simplify our belongings to create light, spacious and uncomplicated surroundings

Clean. Clear. Natural. Achievable. Sustainable. Open. Simple.

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Amazon Best Buys | {Summer 2021}

{This post contains affiliate links for products I personally use and endorse – find out more about affiliate marketing here}

The sun is shining and the shorts are out – summer is finally here! This week I wanted to share with you some of my Amazon best Buys for summer 2021 {and beyond!} As you may know I am a HUGE Amazon fan so of course I jumped at the opportunity to create my own Amazon Storefront to share my favourite products as well as adding another sting to my side hustle bow as an affiliate marketer. You can find out more about why I love Amazon and the affiliate scheme on my Amazon Best Buys {Health and Beauty} post.

My Amazon Best Buys for Summer 2021

{All of which are available on my Amazon Storefront – prices as at June 2021}:

For You

Sarong Dress – £12.99

The perfect cover up for by the pool or in the garden or for if you just want something super lightweight to throw on! Available in loads of colours.

Womens Sarong Bikini Cover Up Short Swim Wrap Spaghetti Strap Mini Beach Swimwear Dress Royal Blue


Shorts and Long Sleeved Top Loungewear set – £23.99 – £26.99 dependant on size

The perfect loungewear set for crisp summer mornings or to relax in during cool evenings this shorts and long sleeve top combo is super soft and comfy.

Mengar Womens Comfy Cotton Pyjama Sets Casual Loungewear Autumn Pjs Sets Long Sleeve Shirts and Shorts Sleepwear Set (Blue S)


Clear Dome Copper Dots Umbrella – £15.09

Unfortunately we {usually} still have to deal with some rain during the summer months {especially here in the UK!} but even a down pour can’t hamper my spirit with this gorgeous copper dots clear dome umbrella which I keep in the boot of my car.

SMATI Clear Dome – Stick Umbrella Colorful dots for Woman – Windproof (Copper)


Starbucks Cold Cup – £9.95

Why not sip your favourite summer smoothie, iced coffee {or drink of choice} in style with this reusable Starbucks cold cup?

Starbucks Siren Logo Reusable Plastic Cold Cup, 24 fl oz


Wireless Earbud Headphones – £17.84

I absolutely love my wireless earbud headphones {when the toddler hasn’t hidden them!} At a fraction of the cost of branded {aka Apple} equivalents they {in my opinion} do the job just as well. I always have one in around the house or on my morning summer walks listening to my favourite Goal Digger Podcast or taking calls on the go.

Balhvit Touch Control Wireless Earbuds Headphones, HiFi Stereo 5.0 Bluetooth Headphones in Ear IPX6 Waterproof Wireless Earphones With Mic, 35H Playtime TWS Bluetooth Earphones With Fast Charging Case


Packing Organisers – £16.99

If you’re lucky enough to get away on holiday this year these packing organisers are an essential! Not only do they help organise your luggage but they also help create more space {= more room for extra biknis!} I also use them at home for storing out of season clothes or holiday bits.

Packing Cubes for Suitcase,Geediar 9 PCS Travel Luggage Packing Organizers Waterproof Travel Essentials Bag Clothes Shoes Cosmetics Toiletries Storage Bags(a-Grey)


Aloe Vera Revitalising Cream – £5.44 pack of 3

I’ve talked about this {a few times} before – but here we are again! My favourite moisturiser of ALL TIME. Gentle on your skin and fantastic for after you’ve caught the sun – plus an absolute bargain prince – it’s a no brainer!

THREE PACKS of Cyclax Aloe Vera Revitalising Cream 300ml


Kiss Gel Fantasy Nails – £7.99

I talked about these in my last Amazon Best Buys post but these stick on nails are perfect to add instant glam for a summer girls night out – easy, quick to apply and no fear of smudges this no hassle set has 24 nails so you can easily replace any lost nails, simples.

Kiss Gel Fantasy Nails – Fanciful, 1-Pack (1 x Pack of 24)


For Your Home / Kids

Bestway Fast Set 8ft Pool – £46.95

Our number one investment piece for summer 2021 – we’ve been circling round cheap and cheerful pools ever since having the boys 6 years ago and they very rarely make it past one summer season. So this year, now the boys are bigger, we decided to invest in an 8ft fast set pool. Our 2 year old loves it too and she can literally swim around in it with her floaties {see below}! Since the pool takes ~3,000 litres of water it’s something we want to fill and keep up all summer long. Therefore we also bought a pool cover {which helps keep it clear and retain heat}, Flowclear water pump {to filter the water} and Clearwater Pool Chemical Starter Kit which includes chlorine granules, pH adjusters, testing strips and algaecide {links to all these products below}. The perfect combination for years of summer fun!

Bestway 8ft x 26in Fast Set Swimming Pool no pump 57008

Bestway Pool Cover {£14.80} + Bestway Flowclear Water Pump {£36.90} + ClearWater Pool Chemical Starter Kit {£27.93}


Kids Swimming Float Discs Set of 6 – £17.99

I get asked A LOT about Penny’s swimming float discs – because they are amazing! Again recommended by a mum friend {same one as the roll on sun screen!} – they come in packs of 6 and slot together so you can use all 3 on each arm {which is plenty to fully hold Penny and the boys’ weight in the water} then gradually remove a disc at a time when your little one gets more confident with their swimming. No inflating, quick to dry, comfortable and easy to use I would recommend these to anyone!

ZCOINS Kids Child Float Discs Learn to Swim Arm Bands(6pcs per Set)


Water Blaster Back Pack – £15.95

These water pistol back packs guarantee hours of fun and a great way to keep cool for your kids on balmy summer days. Super easy to use and re-fill – both my 6 year olds and 2 year old love their water blaster back packs!

Grafix T-Rex Dinosaur Water Blaster Backpack Gun Green Kids Outdoor Soaker Pistol Boys Kids Toy Gift


3 Pack Animal Head Pool Floats – £8.99

Noah asked for a penguin pool float so when I came across this pack of THREE animal floats I was like YES – Penny was more than happy with a flamingo and Ollie loved the duck! An absolute bargain and a great size for our 8ft pool {see above} – the kids absolutely love them!

Intex 3 Pack – 59220Ep – Animal Head Split Ring Pool Floats Bundle Includes Frog, Duck, Penguin


Roll On Sunscreen Factor 50 – £3.99

I first started buying roll on sunscreen for the kids when the boys started school and were told to bring sunscreen in with them. Of course I started thinking how on earth are they going to do this themselves easily {and without spilling half the bottle of sun cream down their school uniform!} A mum friend recommended roll on sunscreen and it’s been a game changer! The boys {and even Penny!} can use it themselves without worrying about difficult pumps or messy bottles and they just live in their school bags for the summer term!

Nivea SUN Kids Protect & Care Caring Roll-On (50 ml) Sunscreen with SPF 50, Roll-On Kids Suncream for Delicate Skin, Immediately Protects Against Sun Exposure


And there you go! A few of my favourite summer buys for 2021 {and beyond!} all in a one stop Amazon Storefront shop {that was a mouthful}! Why not see what other products I use and recommend?

What are your best buys for summer? Let me know in the comments below!

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Time management techniques {For your side hustle}

{This post contains affiliate links for products I personally use and endorse – find out more about affiliate marketing here}


Just looking at my weekly planner its easy to see how so many of us feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. You often hear people say that everyone has the same number of hours in the day but the fact is that everyone also has very different priorities and commitments. As a mum of 3 {one of which is a toddler with erratic sleeping habits}, primary caretaker of said children at least 5 days a week due to my husbands working hours, homemaker and small business owner who also works part-time and has dreams of more entrepreneurial endeavours/growth plus is also trying to keep my own sh*t together, get enough sleep, eat well, be a good friend, daughter, sister, volunteer etc. I can tell you right now that I GET IT.

Time is constant. It does not speed up or slow down. You can only choose to embrace each moment.

@alifetwintastic

Finding time for LIFE is hard enough without adding additional plates to spin, especially when they seem like “additions” rather than “necessities”. And this is how a lot of side hustles can feel, especially in the beginning. Is my blog my main source of income? No. Do I want to give it up to focus on more “priority” tasks. Also no. It brings me joy, {I hope} helps others {or at least brings some light relief!} plus has given me the foundation to take the leap into new ventures I could have only have dreamt of {hello Life Planner – launch at the end of June 2021!} It’s something that genuinely makes me happy and therefore it’s somehow easier to “make” time for it. To push it up my priority list or to slip into procrastination mode drafting posts when I have work deadlines looming. Is that enough to quit my 9-5 and focus on my blog? Not right now no. But who knows what it may look like in 6 months, a year, 2 years.

If you are passionate about a side hustle {or pursuit of choice} there are ways to find pockets of time to dedicate to it. You may find that right now you can’t commit as much time as you’d like to but life and priorities change – what may seem impossible now may be able to become a reality when {for example} your little ones start school or other commitments lessen. A bit like having children, there is no perfect time to start a new endeavour. But if you want it enough you will make sure it fits into your schedule.

As a self professed queen of procrastination I don’t like to work too hard, but then I also hate being late. It gives me anxiety. I love to be organised yet I still find consistency challenging. I’m really a very simple creature at heart and don’t like to overcomplicate things – so creating methods, habits and systems helps keep me on track and create time to work on those things which bring me the most fulfilment.

{Warning – this is a beefy post but stick with it for FREE resources, a sneak peek and an exclusive offer!}


Time management techniques

As somewhat of a seasoned juggler of life I wanted to share with you some of the tips and techniques I use to help keep my plates spinning. These are not fool proof and of course curve balls are thrown our way at which point we have to stop and decide which plates to {carefully} put down and which to spin faster but the basic aim is to not drop all the plates at once. Ready? Lets go!

1. Top 3 priorities

This is the first job I do every morning. Whether it’s in preparation for a day at home or a day of work setting my top 3 priorities helps keep me focused and prioritise tasks. It helps me to create a basic plans for the day and can be responsive to how I’m feeling and what’s happening around me. For example, if I’m not feeling particularly well or am lacking in sleep my top 3 list may be something like 1. Arrange for boys to be picked up from school 2. Prep dinner 3. Put a load of washing on. Or if I’m feeling super productive and have time blocked out for work my list may be 1. Client A deadline 2. Prep launch timeline for product X 3. Respond to top 5 emails. Or of course my top 3 often encompasses priorities for both home and work. I may have a longer list of jobs to do but singling out those top 3 helps keep me on track, plus I also find it helps me to delete unnecessary tasks from my physical to-do list and make it more of a focused priority list.

2. Eat the frog

Following on from setting your top 3 list – You’ve probably heard the term “eat the frog” hundreds of times but a great way to get started on a task you’ve either been putting off because maybe you don’t feel confident in what you’re doing or simply don’t know where to start is to just do it – eat that frog and take a leap of faith! If one of your top 3 jobs is to brainstorm ideas for your side hustle or to prep some market research and you find it’s something which keeps slipping from day to day – make it your number 1 priority and make a start {more on this under point 9}.

3. Break down tasks/projects

Another reason you may not get started on something is because it’s so bloomin’ daunting! Going back to my post on being a perfectionist, it can be really easy to put off doing something unless you feel you can do it fully and do it well. By breaking down tasks or projects into smaller chunks {or workflows} it can help make them less overwhelming and break that all or nothing mentality and using techniques such as creating effort based goals can help focus on smaller goals. I also like to use planning software such as Trello which creates a really good visual way of breaking down tasks into tick list items. You can also use Trello to create repetitive task lists and delegate to team members {if you have them!}

4. Set boundaries

My post last week focused on the importance of setting healthy boundaries to help prevent overwhelm and inspire wellbeing. I cannot stress enough the importance of setting boundaries both in your personal and business life. Your time is precious.

5. Utilise your personal peak productivity time

There is absolutely no point in you getting up at 5am every morning if you feel like death and end up spending an hour hitting snooze or staring vaguely out of a window. Not a morning person? That’s ok! Think about what time of day {or even what day of the week} you feel most naturally most productive and {depending on what commitments you may have at that time} utilise those endorphins!

6. Batch work and time block

Batch working and time blocking are both really popular time management techniques. Batch working basically means scheduling like for like tasks together – so for example if you are writing content for social media posts, write content for posts for the next week or fortnight all at once. This will help get you into the flow of the task and therefore make you more efficient. Time blocking is a technique whereby you {literally} block out sections of time to focus on tasks. This is a technique I use a lot, especially when working from home, as it helps me flip from work to mum mode rather than trying to blend the two. So for example I will block out 7-9am and 4-8pm as family time for me to concentrate on the kids, meals, bedtime etc. I will then block out 9-12pm to my top 3 priorities and 1-4pm to any follow up tasks or if I’m in a particular flow with something. This may sound very simple but by blocking sections of the day I am almost “allowing” myself to be just mum or to work on my business and it helps my brain to segment the two and create those healthy boundaries. {Also see FREE resources under point 9}.

7. Schedule in buffer time

As an addition to point 6 – a common mistake I still make is to underestimate how long tasks will take {see more on this under point 8} or I cram so much in that I get overwhelmed and as a result productivity levels drop and stress levels rise. Try to leave some “buffer” time in your schedule to factor in flexibility, extra time to work on your task or just time to take a break!

8. Track your time

Not sure how long to set aside for a task? If it’s something you do fairly regularly then consider timing how long it takes to complete. This will help either show that actually you have grossly underestimated the time allowed or that something you’ve been putting off actually only takes 10 minutes. For example, I used to hate making the bed after washing the bedcovers. Then I timed how long it took me. On average it took around 8-9 minutes. Now I think of that and just get on with it!

9. Smart scheduling

Ok so you’ve worked out your time blocks, you know roughly how long a piece of work is going to take you and you’ve scheduled some buffer time. So now you need to be easily able to both see and use your schedule. Depending on your personal preference you could use your diary, a notebook, an online calendar or a planner you keep at the front of your work file or on your noticeboard. The key is to make it easily assessible as both a reminder and to keep you on task and accountable. I like to use a combination of my Life Planner {updated version due out at the end of this month!} and Google/Microsoft Calendar to schedule appointments and tasks but I like to then transcribe these to a paper planner which I keep next to my computer as a constant visual aid of how I’ve planned out my day or week. To get you started I have created FREE daily and weekly planner resources which use the time blocking technique for you to download, print and have a play around with – alternatively you can download and use these on your digital device of choice with an app like Notability or Noteshelf.

10. Manage expectations

In my guest post for Isabella and Us I talked about resetting expectations both in and coming out of the 2020/21 Covid lockdowns. Part of managing expectations is to know {and stick to} your own limits and boundaries. So if, for example you’ve said you are not contactable for work between the hours of 6pm and 8am then you are not contactable. You will, of course, get back to people as soon as you are able to but those are the boundaries you have created, made clear and expect others to adhere to. Another aspect of expectations is how you manage those of others. In addition to being clear about your “office hours” you also want to be clear about how long a task or project is going to take, how much time you have to dedicate to it and what their expectations are for it’s completion. I always ask clients for deadlines {if one is not already obvious} so I know straight away what their expectation is. If this is not going to work with my schedule I will discuss it with them there and then rather than wait until I struggle to meet or even miss a deadline. It may be that they initially want something by the end of tomorrow but in reality it can wait until next week, plus it helps me to plan my workload and prioritise tasks. Another technique I use is to under promise, over deliver. So, for example, if I am writing a report for Client A I will firstly agree a reasonable deadline they I will strive to finish that report a day or two prior. Not only does this method keep your clients happy but it builds in that bit of buffer time in case something comes up.

Over promise, under deliver

@alifetwintastic

11. Create the habit of being a {insert pursuit of choice here}

In addition to “eating the frog” James Clear talks about creating the habit of doing something in his book Atomic Habits. So let’s say you want to become a writer. To do this you need to create the habit of becoming a writer. What does a writer do? They write! So instead of saying I’m going to sit and write a book, or even a chapter, start creating the habit of writing by sitting at your desk, opening your notebook or laptop and writing no holds barred for 5 minutes. Doing this consistently every day {or how ever many days you want to commit to} will not only mean you’ve started writing, but you’ve started identifying as a writer and creating this habit will either naturally gain momentum or you find you can start adding small blocks of time or even decide that actually, this isn’t for you after all, no harm done.

12. Create systems which allow creativity on the go

I recently wrote a post called How to Create Systems that Work. One of my tips in this post was to create systems which can be easily accessed and used on the go. This may be in a notebook or diary you keep in your bag or apps like NotabilityEvernoteOneNote or even the voice notes app on your smart phone make it easier than ever to jot things down or work through your systems on the go across multiple devices. The trick is to keep it simple and choose one or two methods or apps to use so it’s easier to keep track.

13. Work smarter

Work smarter not harder right? Great advice, but how exactly are you supposed to do that? Again my post How to Create Systems that Work talks through different ways to create systems to help make your life {and business} easier. One of these is to automate repetitive tasks. It may take a bit of time to initially set this up but once you have it will make your life sooooo much easier! From scheduling social media posts to sending out welcome packs to new clients and managing your finances there are so many great automation apps and platforms available.

14. Digital and physical declutter

If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably picked up on the fact that I LOVE a good old declutter! And with good reason. Having a clear space promotes having a clear mind. If my space is tidy and organised I’m more likely to feel more motivated and settle into focused work more readily than if I’m feeling slightly deflated by the sheer amount of stuff or having to wade through piles of paperwork to find my notes. The same goes for digital clutter. Simply clearing your download folder or desktop can do wonders.

15. Create simple filing methods

Moving on from decluttering, having a simple and effective filing system is paramount to saving both time and energy. Paper files may be a bit sparse these days but if you do still have them make sure they only contain information you need or have to keep {noting document retention laws}. In my experience, keeping files as simple as possible is the absolute best way to keep them organised. For electronic files there are a magnitude of online filing platforms to choose. From DropBox and GoogleDrive to the Microsoft suite {SharePoint and OneDrive} and iCloud. I personally use the Microsoft suite for professional documents and GoogleDrive for personal and blog related documents. Two words of advice when it comes to filing electronic documents. 1 – always save your work online. If you are still saving everything to your hard drive and your computer goes caput then bye bye hours of hard work. And 2 – try to choose just one or two online filing platforms and keep them simple. There is nothing worse that knowing you have created something then not being able to find it or remember which login you’ve saved it under. Huge time wasting potential right there!

16. Create and communicate with your support network

Having a strong support network in place is the equivalent of creating firm foundations before building a house. Support could come from your family or spouse or from an online network of likeminded entrepreneurs, mums, gymnasts etc. It could be having coffee with a friend who you can share your ideas and challenges with. It can be your mother in law taking the kids for an hour after school so you can dedicate time to your side hustle. It could be someone simply saying “you’ve got this” from afar. We all need support and someone to be our cheerleader. It’s also important to feel you are able to ask for help and support. Don’t know how to get something to work on Canva? Chances are there’s a Facebook group for that! Hate doing your annual tax return? Maybe it’s time to outsource your business finances. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it’s strengthening your foundations. A side note on communicating with your support network – a great piece of advice I was given was to be clear about whether you are working but interruptible or working and on “do not disturb” {setting your boundaries}. This has really helped me and my family especially when working from home.

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it’s strengthening your foundations

@alifetwintastic

17. Practice discipline

Ok so this may be easier said than done but there is definitely the need for discipline with time management. I am pretty darn disciplined when it comes to showing up on time for events or appointments. Yet I am also a huge procrastinator when it comes to sitting down to do the task at hand. This is where maybe I need to re-evaluate the sliding scale of work vs. home life or how much some aspects of work are no longer a priority for me or bringing me enough fulfilment to continue. Food for thought. Discipline can be a painful barrier to breakthrough. This where forming habits can help you maintain productivity and success without relying on motivation – read more about creating habits in my Habits over Motivation post.

18. Clear vision/goal

{Don’t worry we’re nearly there!} My next tip is to have a clear vision and/or goal in mind. And a bit like scheduling your time this might be something you keep really accessible as a reminder of why you do what you do {bee-do}. Feeling a bit afloat or not sure what task to start with one day? Head back and reconnect with your vision or goals and remember what’s important {then jot down your top 3 and eat the frog!} I have a private Vibes board on Pinterest which I check in with every so often and then transfer my favourite images and quotes to the Vision Board section of my Life Planner.

{Sneak peek of the Vision Board I created in my new Life Planner}

19. Stop multi-tasking

There was a time when having the ability to multi-task was seen as a huge positive. However, it now seems people are veering more towards single-tasking as a way of “less haste more speed”. A bit like batch working, single-tasking allows you to fully concentrate on one task at a time rather than flip between jobs. This may not always be possible {hello #mumlife} but I can definitely see the benefits and this is something I now try to practice. It has also helped in terms of my time blocking mindset and being in “mum” mode or “business” mode.

20. Block out distractions

Last but not least. The good old turn your phone onto silent/do not disturb or pop it in a drawer in another room technique. An oldie {well as far as smartphones go…..} but a goodie. Still working from home now restrictions are lifting? Maybe consider setting up in your local library or coffee shop for a morning of uninterrupted work time. Turn off notifications for your phone apart from phone calls {if you have kids at school/nursery etc.} or need to be contactable. Move shiny objects out of sight {if you know you know right?!} I’ve also just started using the Pomodoro Technique which is a time management system where you break your day into 25-minute chunks separated by five-minute breaks.

And remember – Done is better than perfect!


Want more time management tips? This Splendid Shambles’ Confident Content Creation course includes a whole module full of tips and tricks for successful time management plus ways to stay consistent, organised and motivated when it comes to creating content for your blog, business or social media.

Find out more about the incredible Confident Content Creation course HERE and use the code TWINTASTIC20 at the checkout for an exclusive 20% off for ALT followers!

What techniques do you find help you manage your time? Are there any tips in this post you’ll be trying? Let me know in the comments or over on Instagram!

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Project Simplify | 6 Week {Declutter} Challenge

News flash! I want to declutter our home! Ok so this may be old news AND something I have talked about {only} a million times before but this time I’m serious. Or at least I’m ready to have another tackle at it. *Sigh*. What makes this time different? Absolutely nothing. Apart from the fact I’ve made a pretty declutter bingo template and have a fresh bout of motivation to clear both physical and mental clutter and enjoy a summer of having less cra*p.

Following on from last month’s 30 Day Health Challenge, this was originally going to be a 30 day declutter challenge. But let’s be realistic for a minute here, I have not got 30 clear days to focus on decluttering, and I bet you don’t either. So I decided to change it to a 6 week declutter challenge. Why? Very simply because {for us} there is 6 weeks left of school before the summer holidays and that seems a nice aim to get shizzle done.

So why the obsession with decluttering? What does project simplify mean? Well, it’s just that. It’s attempting to create a simpler life. It’s an attempt to live with less stress and more space, productivity and gratitude. It’s about choosing quality over quantity and being happy with what we have without the need for comparison. But project simply encompasses so much more than the stuff we own in our homes. It’s about mental clarity, financial freedom and being at peace with ourselves. Of course life isn’t always easy, but for me creating some sense of calm helps me to live in the present and feel more able to deal with what life throws my way. I talk more about my personal definition of simplicity and where to begin in my Project Simplify post from May 2020.

Related Posts

And whilst we have already got rid of SO.MUCH.STUFF I still feel that familiar weight of clutter. And so the process continues. To shift the stuff. To clear the space. To work on my personal development, lifestyle and health.

So, as mentioned, for this challenge I have created a fun declutter bingo template filled with the areas I think would be good to focus on. You can download the template here or find it in the templates section of my Instagram highlights – or of course you can set your own! I’ve included a combination of physical and digital aspects plus also your diary/commitments as a reminder to set healthy boundaries. And it may be that some of these areas are too large to tackle all at once. They can seem hugely overwhelming {hello digital photos and files} and I’ll be talking more about how I tackle and organise some of these areas plus some self exploration of minimalism in future posts. I’m not expecting to have everything “perfect” by the end of the 6 weeks but it would be nice to feel like I’ve made progress and {hopefully} feel a positive difference.

I’ll be sharing how I’m getting on over on Instagram and I’d love to hear how you’re getting on if you decide to join in!

Sneak peek

What area would you choose to declutter first? Is there an area you find more challenging to keep on top of? Let me know in the comments!

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Setting Boundaries | {I Can Do Anything Not Everything}

A wise friend once said to me:

Zero plans days are the best. I try to have more of these days than not. At least two days in the week and one weekend day I try to leave with nothing organised.

I have always tried to book out “free” or “zero plans” time into our weekly calendar just simply as an attempt to create some kind of healthy boundaries and prevent overwhelm; however this can be easier said than done. During the first 2020 lockdown I wrote a guest post for Isabella and Us about resetting our expectations and learning to take life a bit slower once things get back to “normal” and now that restrictions are lifting it’s scary just how quickly our calendars and lives become booked up again.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m loving being able to spend time with loved ones and to be able to get out and about restriction free but I’m also feeling that familiar pull of overwhelm that comes with trying to fit everyone and everything in.

You can do anything, but not everything

I have this quote in my office as a reminder that however awesome you may be {and yes, you are awesome} there is a limit to the number of plates a person can juggle at any one time. With the pressure to be the perfect wife, mother, friend and colleague as well as keeping on top of the housework, money, world news and the washing {agh the washing}; keeping everyone happy, being available for playdates/meetings/events, look good {or at least clean}, keep fit, have a generally Instagram worthy life, plus remembering to pick your kids up on time, it can all get a bit much.  

Saying “slow down” or “take things off your plate” is all very well and good but actually setting firm {healthy} boundaries can be really hard! Boundaries come in all shapes and sizes, from switching off from work to spend time with your family and asking your family member to only drop in unannounced during certain times to letting your child play on their iPad for 10 minutes and only replying to emails once a day.

Life dips and flows. Circumstances and priorities change. And learning both how and which boundaries can benefit your current situation could have a huge impact on your wellbeing and feelings of overwhelm.

What are healthy boundaries?

Healthy boundaries are limits you set to, essentially, safeguard yourself and your time. They can be set in both your personal and professional life and dictate how you interact with people or environments. Boundaries help teach our kids right from wrong and how to respond to situations. They can create confidence and feelings of empowerment!

Boundaries can also offer protection – especially coming out of lockdown where a lot of us felt safe within our little bubble. Boundaries can protect you from:

  • what people say
  • people who make you feel insecure or unsafe
  • activities which make you feel undervalued or overwhelmed

How do I set healthy boundaries?

First of all, try to think about where you would like {or need} more limits in your life. Then work on understanding WHY you need these limits and what makes them important to you {this will help make you more confident when putting your boundaries in place}. Think about how you could make these limits a reality – how can you fulfil your goal to be home for bedtime 4 nights a week or what things, people or events no longer serve you? {Sounds harsh I know but setting boundaries for toxic relationships can be incredibly powerful!} Remember it is your right to create healthy boundaries – you are not being negative or rude. You are ensuring your own cup is filled. You are practicing self-care. You are protecting your time and priorities and being your best self!

Sometimes it’s hard to accept you can’t do everything. I know that some of my friends consider my schedule to be incredibly busy and that may be true but it’s partly because I know I need pockets of time for “zero plans” and my priorities and focus can only go so far. Sometimes I’m trying so hard NOT to be busy to get in some time for self-care or just to get on top of that bloomin’ washing!

As I’ve got older I’ve definitely got more precious with my time. Where I used to stress about letting people down I now am quite happy to be honest and say actually I can’t be bothered or that doesn’t work for me or even I just need a day at home to get some stuff done and love bomb my kids or just regress into my little cave for some downtime. Like anything, creating boundaries takes practice and there will be times you need to be firm. There will also be times you need to be flexible and responsive to situations and of course boundaries will naturally change over time.

I can do anything, but not everything. And that’s ok with me 🙂

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ALT Newsletter {June 2021} | Instagram Live, A New Endeavour + June Product Launch

Hello and welcome to the June edition of the A Life Twintastic {ALT} newsletter!

See below for what’s been happening on the blog this last month plus information on an upcoming Instagram Live with a special guest, a new endeavour I’m starting next week and exclusive information on a new product launch at the end of the month!


Business

Last month I started rotating my posts through business, health and home topics – which I hope you’re enjoying as much as I am!  Not only is this helping with my planning and consistency but it also enables me to cover all three topics without becoming too niche heavy.  

What started off as a personal development journey quickly became more focused on sharing my own experience of setting up a small business from scratch.  I am loving sharing my journey, tips and resources and have so much more to come so watch this space if this is an area that interests you!

On the Blog:

10 Steps to Build a Personal Brand

Starting a Side Hustle

How to Find Your Unique Selling Point

Coming Up:

I have a very exciting Instagram Live coming up on Thursday evening with my good friend and collaborator Anjali from This Splendid Shambles {TSS}.  Anjali has created an incredible Confident Content Creation course for bloggers, businesses and anyone who basically wants to up their social media game – have personally completed the course and fully recommend you take a look!  We are planning two live sessions – the first on my ALT channel to talk about an upcoming product I have {more on this in a min!} then we’ll hop over to the TSS channel to talk all things content creation.  More info to come!

Health

As always I’m striving to create a simpler, healthier lifestyle and {again as part of my own personal development journey} I’m starting to unpick some of the things I feel I want and need to work on to improve my overall lifestyle.  I have been working on creating small habits to make a big impact as well as learning to love and respect what I have now rather than where I want to be. It’s a huge mindset shift which I’m still very much working on!

On the Blog:

How to Dress for Your Body Shape 

30 Day Health Challenge

Amazon Best Buys {Health and Beauty}

Coming Up:

I’m really excited to share with you that I have signed up for a 3 monthly 1 on 1 coaching programme with Gary Sutton Coaching starting from next week!  Gary specialises in mindset and personal development, as well as business and entrepreneurial coaching and I, can’t wait to get started!  It’s a big commitment for me but I know it’s the next push I need in both my personal and business growth.  Watch this space for more information!

Home

It’s half term!  And it’s hot!  If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know we’ve been having lots of fun in our 8ft Bestway pool {which P can swim in!} but we’re also getting over a string of colds and upset tummies so lovely as a bit of sun is we’re all absolutely shattered!  We have a few more fun things planned this week but also making sure we factor in some chill time before the last leg of the school year.

On the Blog:

10 Ways to Update Your Home on a Budget

I Made a Balloon Arch!

8 Habits Before 8am

Coming Up:

You may already know that I launched my first digital 2021 planner back in January.  Since then I’ve been working on a new and improved Digital Life Planner which launches at the end of this month!  The planner’s dates are blank so you can start and use it at any time plus includes new pages to help keep you extra organised!  I’ll be sharing more information about the planner over the next few weeks including an exclusive discount code and pre-order option for VIP subscribers {see option to subscribe below}.

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How to Find your Unique Selling Point | {And Empower your Peers}

Ok so we covered a bit about what sets you apart {or your unique selling point – USP} for your blog/business/social media or even your CV in 10 Steps to Build a Personal Brand. Definitely check out that blog post plus others under Business Life [see related posts below} but in case you missed it here’s a reminder:

Put simply, your USP is YOU! It’s your personality, expertise, quality, customer service, reliability. Once you know what sets you apart you can start to think about how you can provide content which delivers consistent expectations your readers or clients can count on.

For a Life twintastic, I like to think that my personality, authentic, down to earth style and useful resources and products attract readers, followers and customers.

alifetwintastic.blog May 2021

This post contains a FREE workbook which includes aspects covered in this post PLUS bonus questions to unlock YOUR unique selling point!

{Related posts}


So lets’s unpick how to find YOUR unique selling point a bit more….

The world {or internet} may have billions of people with their ideas and skills but there’s one thing no-one else on this plant has. And that’s YOU. Just to reiterate – your USP is {say it with me} YOU.

To quote Taylor Swift:

“I’m the only one of me
Baby, that’s the fun of me”

Taylor Swift ft. Bendon Urie “Me!”

{If you don’t know the song then check it out below!}

“Ok, so what’s so special about me?” I hear you ask. Well, other than being a one of a kind YOU my friend have sooooo much to offer, even if you don’t know/believe it yet. Let’s brainstorm:

  • Personality
  • Experience
  • Experise
  • Values
  • Belief

Personality and personality traits

Are you bubbly and love small talk? Or maybe you’re more level headed and reserved. Maybe you put on a “mask” and act differently around different people/groups – you {or others} may perceive aspects of your personality in a negative way but hello adaptability and verstility! Your exuberance makes you reliable, your fearlessness trusting and being dutiful makes you persistent with an attension to detail. Take some time to jot down what you percieve to be your personality traits and ask those closest to you, collegaues and friends for a 360 review {see Take action below for a FREE workbook}.

Experience

Have you travelled around your country or the world? Are you a parent? Do you own a pet? Are you a carer or can fix your own car? Let me tell you a little secret when it comes to experience. YOUR LIFE IS EXPERIENCE. You may not believe this but not everyone knows how to curl their hair with straightening irons, or which washing detergents are best for allergies, or even how to add code to a website. You know so much more than you think just simply by living. Experience is gained from everyday encounters, adverntures and circumstances. There are hundreds of things you do {possibly on a daily basis} which you can use as part of your USP.

Expertise

Remember that shelf stacking job you had as a college student? Well I’m pretty sure that makes you somewhat of an expert in stock rotation and organisation as well as being accustomed to working as part of a team and a shift pattern, right?! How does this add to your USP? Experience working alongside studying,the ability to be flexible and adaptable to need, knowledge of stock rotation and how to ensure the appropriate systems are in place. Boom, USP. Then of course there is the college or university course itsself – did something random like Equine Studies {but now want to persue the fashion industry} – firstly, you have a qulification – whether it be an NVQ or Batchelors Degree – you have studied for and recieved a measure of achievement and with even just that you can pull out areas of expertise {as well as more experience!} Maybe you can then spin your USP as affordable fashion for college students etc.

Values

Your personal values and ethos will play a huge part in your USP. Believe everyone should be treated equally and with respect? Thats a great value. Do you always aim to be honest, dependant and loyal? Are you friendly, kind and always act with integrity? Do you strongly beleive in animal rights, equality, freedom and/or the rule of law? Together these can be summarised as your personal core values. For example, I believe everyone has the right to be treated with respect and kindness. I believe in empowering our peers {more on this in a moment} and equipping and enabling others. Together these form a huge part of my personal USP

Belief

Ok so you’ve got an idea of how you personality, experience, expertise and values can come together to form your USP {and we’ll brainstorm more under Take action below} – but do you believe in your USP? Do you believe you have something to offer than no-one else on the planet has? Beliving in yourself, your capabilties and what you can achieve, without limits, is going to be key in building your brand, blog or business. If you don’t believe in what you have to offer how are others going to believe and invest in it? Belief is a huge aspect of personal development and growth and is something we’ll dive into in another post, but for now it’s time to……

Take action!

A bit of homework for you – Take a peek at this FREE workbook which will take you through brain storming the aspects we’ve covered so far PLUS bonus questions to help really unlock your USP. Use it as a resource to come back to when your belief is wavering and as a motivational tool to pin point what you have to offer the world.

Sneak peek

Empower your peers

I have a confession. In the past I have been guilty of not only feeling jealous of others’ success but also not sharing my ideas for fear someone else will either pip me to the post or {even worse} do it even better!

But here’s the thing, no matter how “saturated” the world/interent may seem, there’s actually room for everyone. And why is there room for everyone {including YOU!} – because everyone has their own USP.

In a world where the internet is full of highlight reels and inevitable comparison – why not try celebrating your peers. This is where my encourage, empower and equip tagline came from. Equip clients with your knowledge, encourage your peers to reach their goal and empower your followers to have the confidence to step out of their confort zone.

Because one thing no-one else has in this world is your USP. How you create, deliver, put your own spin on content is unique to you. It’s called a personal brand because it’s about the personality behind the brand so let that shine through! And when your peers or competitors are on fire – be sure to fan their flames.

“Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.”

Jalal ad-Din Rumi 

A quick word on plagiarism

Plagiarism is, basically, where you take and copy someone elses content without their consent and pass it off as your own. Oxford University states:

Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s work or ideas as your own, with or without their consent, by incorporating it into your work without full acknowledgement. All published and unpublished material, whether in manuscript, printed or electronic form, is covered under this definition. Plagiarism may be intentional or reckless, or unintentional. Under the regulations for examinations, intentional or reckless plagiarism is a disciplinary offence.

There is a BIG difference between research and gaining ideas and plagiarism – make sure you ALWAYS either ask a creator’s permission or reference their work in your own work. Plagiarism is not an USP. Just don’t do it.

What have you discovered about your USP? Let me know in the comments!

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10 Ways to Update your Home on a Budget | {Plus Bonus Idea!}

{This post contains affiliate links for products I personally use and endorse – find out more about affiliate marketing here}

Fancy giving your home a bit of an update without breaking the bank? Well my friend you’ve come to the right place! Whether you want to try out a new decor style, are planning a move or revovation and want to give your home an interim spruce up or you’re just bored and looking for a project – adding a little something {or indeed taking it away!} to your home can do wonders for both your mental and physical wellbeing. Here are some of my tried and tested ways to update your home on a budget:

1. Peel and stick

Seriously where has this been all my life?! Peel and stick is THE WAY of updating anything from an old fireplace to your bathroom floor with n affordable and totally temporary solution. Easy to source, cut, use, remove and NO MESS or expensive tools are just a handful of reasons peel and stick has beome so widely popular. Wall tiles, floor tiles, even wall paper are now all available to purchase with ease. Want to update an old piece of furniture – why not try a nice marble style top. Living in a rented home and want to cover outdated kitchen tiles without jepodising your deposit – grab some stylish wall tile stickers which can be easily removed before you leave. I’m seriously dying to try a peel and stick wallpaper option in a big bold or brickwork design!

Inspo

Shop the style

Peel and Stick Floor Stickers <£15

Peel and Stick Subway Style Wall Tiles <£30

Peel and Stick Brick Pattern Wallpaper <£25

2. Spray paint

Another super easy way to update pieces around your home is to give them a bit of a spruce up with some spray paint. I have recently bought a can of white gloss spray paint which I’ve been using to give our radiators, towel rails and gloss woodwork a bit of a refresh – its so much quicker than painting plus you don’t need any other tools – just remember to cover floors and walls well and spray several light layers to avoid drip marks.

Inspo

Shop the style

Rust-Oleum White Gloss Spray Paint <£10

Chalk Finish Spray Paint Pale Rose <£10

Matt Black Spray Paint <£15

3. Upcycle

In addition to covering furniture or worksurfaces with peel and stick or giving something a quick spray paint why not take some time to mooch around your local charity/thrift shop or even Facebook Marketplace for inexpensive additions to your home. These can be use as they are or easly upcycled with the use of a sander, some frog tape and a pot of Rust-Oleum furniture paint.

Inspo

Shop the style

Black+Decker Electric Sander <£20

Frog Tape <£10

Rust-Oleum Furniture Paint <£15

4. Switch up hardware

Moving on from point 4 – switching up the hardware of cupboards, drawers and furniture is a great {and cheap!} way to add something a bit different. From stylish matte black door knobs to kid-friendly wooden dinosaurs theres something for every taste and style. You can even switch out your kitchen faucet or bathroom taps for an instant upgrade – or why not give your current hardware a spray of colour for an even more thrifty option!

Inspo

Shop the style

Black kitchen faucet <£50

Rustic shell cup pull handles <£10

Cloud moon and star decorative handles <£15

5. Add prints

It’s sooooo easy to find great prints to suit any taste online nowadays – from prints which arrive through the post to digital images you can print at home there are hundred of thousands of options for every budget. Or why not have a go at creating your own?!

Inspo

Shop the style

Minimalist Line Wall Art <£10

Eucalyptus Wall Art <£15

Abstract Modern Wall Art <£15


6. Keep it simple

Declutter, declutter, declutter. One of the simplest and cheapest ways of updating your home is to simply get rid of stuff. You can find loads of inspiration on Pinterest {see below} for how to style book cases and side boards, or why not try completly clearing a surface{s} to see if you like the minimal look? You can then donate or even sell unwanted items or if you’re not sure have a storage box in your garage/attic of bits you don’t currently want on display but like too much to get rid of. Adding intentional decor like a large round mirror, coffee table books or key pieces of art help to add layers and depth to your space.

Inspo

Shop the style

Black framed mirror <£50

The White Company table book <£20

Modern art vase <£25

7. Savvy storage

Ever thought to yourself – but I just have SO.MUCH.STUFF?! Whether it’s child or pet parafinalia or your husbands collection of football trophies there are some items you don’t particularly want on display but also use on a regular basis or hold sentimental value. So what’s the answer? Savvy {and easy on the eye} storage solutions! I could literally do a whole post on this topic {and maybe I will……} but as a few ideas to start you off – baby changing caddy, stylish belly baskets, drawer dividers, wicker baskets, ottomon – the list is endless! See some inspo below:

Inspo

Shop the style

Folding ottoman <£20

Seagrass belly basket <£15

Felt organiser caddy <£10

8. Update light fixtures

Another easy way to update a space is to swap out the light fixture or shade. I’m obsessed with industrial style metal and also basket style wicker lampshades! And you can even hang a new light fixture which plugs into the wall socket or have a battery powered smart light attached using a ceiling hook or even a command hook!

Inspo

Shop the style

Black plug in pendant light <£30

Retro dark grey metal ceiling pendant <£20

Basket style wicker ceiling pendant <£30

9. Add plants

Nothing {in my opinion} helps make your home look and feel fresh more than some lovely plants. Whether you go for faux or the real thang again there are plants to suit every space and budget. Plus they can be easily moved around for an instant {and free!} update. Add in a classy plant pot or super cute wicker belly basket and you’ve got an instant upgrade.

Inspo

Shop the style

Mini succulent pots <£20

Artificial trailing plant <£15

Monstera plant <£20

10. Add more light

We have blinds on the windows at the front of our house to add a bit of privacy but this can also make the house a but dark. One solution is to ensure we have as much natural light as possible from the back of the house and to add various floor and sidetable lamps. Another is to add in translucent blinds which let some light in whilst also allowing privacy. I love using smart bulbs in our lamps which can be controlled via Alexa or on an app on my phone or even set to automatically turn on and off at certain times. Simples. You can even get battery powered blinds which link to your phone or have a remote control – wowzers! Another great way to add lighting is to use battery powered stick on lights – either sensor or touch controlled. We have sensor lights in our bathrooms which works great for if our kids get up in the middle of the night and lights which stick under your kitchen cupboards to create a classy downlit look are really popular!

Inspo

Shop the style

Tripod floor lamp <£50

Battery powered remote lights <£20

Day and night roller blind <£30

Bonus idea – Grout pens!

Ok – as a bonus way to update your home on a budget {partly becuase I only thought of it whilst writing this post!} – grout pens or grout revivers are possibly THE BEST find of my adult life. An absolutely fantastic way of taking your bathroom tiles from yellow and stained to light and bright in a matter of minutes – or why not research and try some colourful grout options? Possibly one of the most instantly satisfying jobs you’ll ever do. These grout pens or tubes are an absoulte bargain and make a huge impact.

Inspo

Shop the style

Grout reviver <£5

White grout pen <£5

Grout magic <£5


Find all these recomendations PLUS MORE on my Amazon Storefront!

Would you try anything from the list above? What would you add as your favourite budget upgrade product?


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Amazon Best Buys | {Health and Beauty}

{This post contains affiliate links for products I personally use and endorse – find out more about affiliate marketing here}

I don’t know about you but I have always been a fan of purchasing on Amazon and {if nothing else } the run of Covid restrictions in 2020/21 highlighted the benefits and breadth of online shopping more than ever.

Why Amazon?

  • Choice
  • Convenience
  • Easy to navigate app
  • Great prices
  • The option to have free or next {sometimes same!} day delivery
  • The option to create and share lists
  • Subscribe and save on certain items
  • Amazon Grocery Store
  • Trusted platform
  • Limited time deals
  • Reliability
  • Additional Amazon Prime benefits – unlimited fast delivery, streaming movies, TV shows and music and more exclusive deals

It’s easy to see why Amazon boasts tens of thousands of daily users and income of tens of millions every year and ranked the no. 1 brand in 2020.

For me, Amazon has always been a convenient and trusted way to purchase items for, say, birthdays or our home but more recently I’ve started buy more and more day to day items too. Their fast and trusted delivery and easy to use app makes online purchasing easier than ever.

Amazon Affiliate and Influencer Programme

I’ve recently been accepted as an Amazon Affiliate and onto the Amazon Influencer Programme. This means I can share my favourite items both through affiliate links and via my Amazon Storefronta great way to organise and recommend all my favourite items. For full discloser, if an item is purchased through my affiliate links or storefront I earn a small commission {ranging between 1-10%}. For me this is an obvious side hustle due to the number of items I have and purchase from Amazon which means I frequently use and recommend products I love. It’s also worth noting that I will only ever use affiliate links for brands I use and trust.

My Favouite Amazon Health and Beauty Buys

On that bombshell {!} here are some of my favourite Amazon health and beauty buys {all of which are available on my Amazon Storefront – prices as at May 2021}:

I currently have a Hydratem8 water bottle but this Essentiae bottle is a great alterative and clearly based on a similar design with it’s straw, carry handle and time markings. A definate replacement for my now rather scruffy bottle!

If {like me} you started riding your bike more during lockdown this gel padded bike seat cover will ensure your posterior stays comforatble {if you know you know}. Easy to install and durable you can also use it on your home stationery bike – something I wish I had discovered when I went to spinning classes all those years ago!

A great set to take your home workouts to the next level – or can also be used for stretching and physio. This set includes different weighted bands for beginner to advanced users, a door anchor, handles and ankle straps plus workout ideas all in a convinient carry bag.

I am a big fan of Perfectil’s Hair, Skin and Nail tablets so when I found these gummies on Amazon I was really happy! Not only are the gummies easier to take {rather than the large Perfectil tablets} but they taste a lot better and for a pack of 60 for £8.99 rather than a pack of 30 for ~£7 your wallet will take less of a hit too!

These high waisted leggings boast comfort, non-seethrough fabric, tummy control AND {possibly best of all} 2 side pockets! Perfect for whether you want to hit the gym or slip on something easy and convenient for the school run. Sorted.

I.LOVE.THIS.SHAMPOO. That is all. In all honesty though I can get my favourite shampoo and condioner set for not only a great price but with free, fast delivery – aka huge convienience. I also have the Bed Head Tigi Ego Boost Split End Mender {£10.44} – another firm favouite – on my Amazon Storefront.

I’ve raved about this cream numerous times – in short it’s my absoulte favouite beauty product which I use on both my face and body. It’s lightweight, calming formula is gentle on the most sensitive skin and also works great on sunburn! Best of all? 900ml for 60p per 100ml – absolute bargain!

Hands down my favouite bronzer of all time – and again the convienience of buying on Amazon is perfect. You can also find my favourite Benefit Sugarbomb blusher {which smells divine} and Benefit Gimme Brow tinted brow gel on my Amazon Storefront.

After trying {and failing} magnetic false lashes I was on the look out for a more “out out” mascara than my usual Clinique High Impact mascara {which, again, you can also find on my Amazon Storefront} and came across this. For under £5 I thought it was worth a try and I wasn’t disappointed! This mascara creates both volume and length and is perfect for a more dramatic look than your usual day to day brand.

  • Fab Four Skincare – see individual prices below

Cleanse | Clinique Liquid Facial Soap £24.88

Tone | Elemis Soothing Apricot Toner £24.85

Moisturise | Benefit Weighless Moisture Facial Moisturier £30.44

Mask | Elemis Herbal Lavendar Repair Mask £7.80

Ok so whilst these products may be on the pricey side they are the ONLY thing which works for my skin. Which {in my eyes} makes them a valuable investment.

Available in various colours this hair and scalp massager is great for promoting hair growth and cirulation. Plus it’s super relaxing – think salon hair washing relaxing {drool} and suitable for adults, children and even pets!

Anyone who’s seen my Instagram stories will know how much I love my stick on nails! They’re easy, quick and no fear of smudges! Plus they look the bollo*ks. This no hassle set has 24 nails so you can easily replace any lost nails, simples.


And there you go! A few of my current favouite health and beauty products all in a one stop Amazon Storefront shop {that was a mouthful}! I’ll keep adding items as I remember/buy products 🙂

What are your favouite health and beauty products? Do you buy any health or beauty products from Amazon? Let me know in the comments below!

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