Why One Home, Six Hearts?

I thought it might be nice to write a little post about my blog name. “One Home, Six Hearts“.

I wasn’t really sure what sort of blog I wanted to write. If it was going to be a part of ‘me’, then it was definitely going to be a mix of everything – yummy food, stuff about me; things I like, my family…and what’s going on in my stupid head.

In short, “One Home, Six Hearts” is about my life and my loves. Six hearts symbolise the 6 most important people in my life and the home in which we grow together.

Our house is bonkers. It’s noisy and fast and funny and hard work, sometimes, but I love my babies, my husband and the rest of my family so, so much.

“Be Proud Of Yourself And Remember You Are Loved”.

That’s on a sign I have hanging on my door. You can’t help but read it each and every day, and it’s something I want everyone who is welcomed into my home to remember. Even if mummy is grumpy and stomping about, doing her best bear impression – she loves every fibre of your being.

Family is everything to me. From the food I cook, to the laundry I fold. I do it all with love… and if I bake for you, or share my make up, then you obviously hold a special place in my heart 😜

Kisses,

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My Music Playlist

I’ve always been a music lover and I’ll freely admit to having somewhat of an eclectic taste that probably isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. What I am listening to totally reflects my mood. I find it helps me, mentally and emotionally.

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Music helps me to focus or it allows me to distance myself from anxious thoughts. A distraction, if you like. Mindfulness is quite a thing now; you hear about it everywhere and I think most of us would agree that some sort of ‘time-out’ from our own over-thinking minds, can only be a good thing.

Mindfulness enables us to live fully in the present moment; thinking about breathing or focussing on sensations throughout the body whilst letting go of everything else that’s happening around us. Music helps me do this too – On a good day, I can completely close my mind to everything else, and just be.. in that very moment (anxiety allowing).

This theory is backed up by research as talked about here on the  BBC website.   I absolutely believe that this is true, and whilst it’s not a ‘magic’ fix to all ills, it can definitely give me a boost when I need it.

What music inspires you? What music gives you that positive boost or allows you to ‘feel’, if only for a minute?

As I said, my music taste is a mixed bag, but I like music that makes me feels something. I love a good power ballad when I want to shout my feelings from the rooftops, but simply can’t. I like to listen to something with sheer emotion and that helps me cry if I need to, or let my frustrations out by ‘singing’ along (sorry neighbours!) I also have been known to listen to more ’emo’ or darker music when the mood takes me.

On the whole, I’m pretty much a pop music lover. I’m really loving Ed Sheeran and Demi Lovato for some real emosh stuff and I absolutely love Twenty One Pilots for music that says what I’m thinking. The mind can be a scary place sometimes – music for me, is like a journey; a story and I relate to so many of their lyrics. ❤️

Here’s what I’ve been listening to recently:

  • The entire Divide album – Ed Sheeran (Absolutely beautiful emotional rollercoaster)
  • Make Me Wanna DieThe Pretty Reckless
  • Born This WayLady Gaga
  • Fire Meets GasolineSia
  • Wherever You Will GoCharlene Soraia (Never fails to make me cry!)
  • Stone Cold Demi Lovato
  • Nightingale Demi Lovato
  • Stressed Out Twenty One Pilots
  • The Run and Go Twenty One Pilots
  • HurtsEmeli Sande
  • HeavydirtysoulTwenty One Pilots
  • MigraineTwenty One Pilots

Also listening to Panic! At The Disco thanks to my teenager! ❤️

What’s on your music playlist?

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Dairy Free Banana Bread

Banana bread is my most favourite way of using up bananas that have gone a bit mushy – rather than throw them away,  I always try to make something. I also had some coconut oil to use up, so I made some super moist and super easy banana bread which is also dairy free! The kids loved it too – it was amazing warm from the oven, but equally delicious eaten for breakfast the next morning with a topping of your choice.

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Ingredients

  • 100g coconut oil
  • 200g soft brown sugar
  • 4 small, very ripe bananas; mashed.
  • 210g plain flour
  • 2 eggs, gently whisked
  • 1 tsp bicarb
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180C, Gas Mark 4
  • Grease a 2lb loaf tin (also works in a small roasting tin, if you’ve not got one – just check on the bread after 30 minutes)
  • If your coconut oil is still solid, heat it up gently in a microwave/pan or bain-marie as it’s easier to combine. It literally only needs 20 seconds in the microwave.
  • Add the oil to the sugar and mix well.
  • Add the salt, vanilla, eggs and banana. Beat until everything is combined.
  • Sift in the flour and bicarb and fold in gently.
  • spoon into the loaf tin and bake for around 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the bread.
  • Serve warm or leave to cool.

 

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Serving suggestions:

  1. Warm with ice cream/dairy-free alterative
  2. Toasted with honey or butter/dairy-free alternative (It is particularly delicious with a nut butter)

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Enjoy!

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Someone take 2016 outside and give it a talking to

What is it with this year?

2016 has been a steaming pile of brown stuff, and that’s to put it politely. Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse, Trump happened.

2016 has taken too many of our idols…. Bowie, Wilder, Ali, Prince; to name but a few. Terrorist attacks; innocent lives lost in the name of hate. The Brexit….the list goes on.

Sadly, due to the election hysteria, the horrific accident in Croydon this morning was somewhat overlooked by the media. But, it’s with those people who lost their lives, loved ones and the injured that my thoughts are with this evening. I can’t even begin to imagine the heartache and pain that many are feeling right now. I’m praying for you all tonight.

There’s not much left of 2016 and thank goodness for that. I for one will be glad to see the back of it.

On that note, and after yesterday’s promise to try to see the positives, I’m asking ‘What GOOD things have happened this year?‘ Help me out here… I’m struggling.

  1. My plantar fasciitis has (sort of) stabilised. Massive positive!!
  2. My family are happy and healthy – which is all you can wish for, isn’t it!
  3. The kids say Pokemon Go… although, I think the novelty well and truly wore off on that one once Summer was over. But it did get people outside and moving.
  4. Andy Murray won Wimbledon! Yay!!!
  5. My kids met Little Mix – who are awesome and really lovely (A big thanks to Jesy for making my girl feel important to you for that few moments that she had with you. You’ll never know how much that meant to her!)
  6. I’m back blogging! Woop!
  7. Autumn. My favourite season; I love the colours, brisk mornings, hot chocolate and red cups. Snuggly jumpers and comfy boots.

What positives can you add? I think we all need something good to focus on right now!

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Rays of light through the darkest clouds

I feel like I should apologise for the radio silence recently. I had the Summer ‘off’ so I could concentrate on my family, but since then I’ve been going through some hard times mentally speaking. I won’t go into a long dramatic post about it all but I felt compelled to write in celebration of the good bits.

I honestly started to think that his was just ‘me’ now and feeling like this was just going to be my life, with regular panic attacks thrown in for good measure. I think I’ve forgotten how to see the positive things day-to-day, or perhaps I see them but I just don’t notice them.

On Monday I decided a bit of retail therapy would do me good. Fresh air, away from the same four walls and the negativity that fuels the storm in my head. I had a really nice time on my own. I bought myself some bargain clothes in the sale and pottered around, looking for ideas for Christmas presents.

On the way home, I felt a bounce in my step and an unfamilar warmth. It felt good and as I sat down on the bus, I realised that I. Was. Actually. Smiling. Not a fake smile to be polite and pretend, but a genuine life-is-good, happy grin.

I had noticed the little things around me. A robin dancing across the fences, a couple holding hands, a little girl skipping along; the sun shining even though the clouds where grey and threatening rain. I suppose it was a mini epiphany – it’s the little things sometimes, isn’t it?

I almost felt like the old me again.  Just for a little while.

Let me be clear. I am not saying that a shopping spree ‘cured’ me, because oh my God, I am nowhere near it. But I just think that it’s important to focus on the positive, no matter how small and insignificant it might seem. Can’t even believe I’ve typed that sentence, to be honest.

Life came tumbling back down to Earth with a bump when I returned to familiar surroundings, passing the ‘negativity in my life’ as I went. It was an unwelcome reminder of the darkness I often feel but I was determined that it wasn’t going to rain on my parade.

Monday was a good day. And I’ll take that.

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Makeup Revolution – Fortune Favours The Brave Palette By BritishBeautyBlogger

I finally managed to get my hands on the INCREDIBLE Makeup Revolution Fortune Favours The Brave Palette after it sold out twice before I had the funds to buy one! It’s only £10 so it’s not expensive at all, but I can never justify splurging on make up when the kids need new shoes or I have a school trip to pay for (you know what it’s like).

Anyway, I’m going off on a tangent again. This is my favourite Makeup Revolution eyeshadow palette so far (and I have quite a few now) The colours are beautiful, the pigment is amazing and I just love them!

Before I gush too much about this product, I have to say Makeup Revolution is my favourite make up brand, ever. For the price, you get outstanding quality. The pigmentation of all of their products is incredible and their eyeshadows, blushers and highlighters blend beautifully. I occasionally picked up little bits and bobs from Superdrug during my monthly splurges, but I really fell in love with the brand in December of last year after treating myself to the Makeup Revolution Advent calendar – a make up lovers dream!

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The palette packaging is stunning – gold (of course!) and a really nice size… not huge but it feels really substantial. I love that it has a mirror inside too, which makes it ideal to take on holiday or just pop in your bag so you can touch up your make up throughout the day.

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The palette contains 30 eyeshadows which a really good mix of matte, shimmer and more ‘glossy’ shades. There really is something for every look; neutral tones for everyday looks, sparkles for party looks and vivid, smoky shades for more daring looks – perfection! I honestly think it’s a palette for anyone, of any age; it really is versatile and one I know I’m going to use time and time again.

I’ve swatched all the shades below; please be kind as this is the first time I’ve swatched make up for my blog – I hope you like them.

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My two favourites at the moment are: Golden Coins (baked), which is just the most beautiful metallic coppery colour with gold flecks. It’s so pigmented… I love it! And Favour, which is a pretty shimmery pink/mauve.  One for days when I want a bit of shimmer  (I’m all about rose gold and copper at the moment!) and one that I’m sure will be worn on my more girlie days.

I am absolutely in love with this palette, and can’t wait to have a play with some new looks!

Watch this space!

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Wanderlust

“He’s got the wanderlust, that one.”

That’s something everyone used to say about my Dad. He could never sit still and was always out somewhere. I remember one day when I was very young,  he and my mum had a few cross words and so he decided to go out on his bicycle. Until his accident, the bike was his life; much like a car or motorbike is to some.  I think he felt free; it was his ‘me-time’, an escape from the trials and tribulations of a busy household.

This particular day, he went out and was gone for hours. I remember it was the height of Summer; one of the hottest days I can think of.  In those days, we didn’t have mobile phones – I don’t even think we had a landline. We were worried that he’d had an accident and as the hours passed, we started to fear the worst.

Just before tea time, the back gate went. It was Dad; a very red, glowing version at that. The silly man had cycled all the way into central London which was more miles than I could probably count at that age. He was full of smiles and was oblivious to our concern. Mum was not best pleased but was thankful that he was OK (albeit sunburnt and probably suffering from heatstroke).

He told us all about his journey and that he’d stopped off in Covent Garden for a jug of cloudy lemonade. It sounded rather exciting to us children and I was slightly envious of his wanderlust. I still am, I suppose – I’ve never been that brave.

I see friends amazing photos on Facebook from their holidays. I read about backpacking, glamping and students taking a gap year to see the world. It must be marvelous to up sticks and travel all over with little care about anything other than the next pit stop. I’ve never been brave enough to venture much further afield than my own doorstep.

How about you? Are you an adventurous traveller, or do you rather stay close to home?

I’m taking part in Rosalilium’s Blog Every Day In May challenge. I’m looking forward to reading other #BEDM posts! You can find out more by clicking the badge below:
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My workspace

I don’t really have a physical workspace in all honesty. I steal my husband’s desk when he’s out at work, but other than that my workspace is my iPhone. I’m always on the go, so whatever I’m doing has to be mobile or it has to wait until the end of the day when the children are in bed.  With no beautiful workspace to photograph and share with you, I thought I’d write about what I consider essential items as a blogger/freelancer/creative.

Notebooks, sketchbooks and diaries

I live by lists. Oh, I do love a list!

I have a diary that I use for appointments, plans and blog schedules – my current favourite is my gorgeous Sprinkle Of Glitter Diary.sogoh

I am a complete Youtuber obsessive and I adore Louise. Her diary is upbeat and full of positivity and motivation – something I need a lot of.

I also have zillions of notebooks full of ideas, plans and schedules. I even have one for cleaning which sounds a bit OTT, but I like having a routine for day-to-day things. I rarely get everything done, but that’s just life isn’t it? Never enough hours in the day! I have zero memory so lists are my saviour – I like jotting down something that springs to mind randomly – I can have my best ideas and even ‘write’ posts in my head as I’m walking home from the school run!

I’m also a doodler. I have dreams of becoming an illustrator and I’m always sketching or drawing – I find it quite therapeutic.

Pens and Fineliners

I love pens – always have. Actually all stationery. I don’t know if it’s the same in your house, but we seem to have a phantom pen snatcher. I’m always buying pens but when the phone rings and I need to write down a message, you can bet your bottom dollar that not one can be found. So, I’ve now put a wooden pot next to my paperwork trays with some lovely new pens and fineliners (I draw with them).

A Smartphone

I honestly don’t know how I managed without an iPhone. It has everything together in one easily accessible place; from my calendar to my emails. Social media, to my photos. If I haven’t brought my DSLR out with me, my iPhone can be trusted to take a decent snap, especially outdoors. I can blog on it, answer emails, research posts… pretty much anything that I could do sat in front of a PC or laptop.

Tea

…and lots of it. I simply cannot function before my first cup of tea of the day. Don’t even ask me to try. As the saying goes, “Sometimes all you need is a nice cup of tea” and it’s so true (for me anyway). When things are going tits up and I want to throw things at my computer, I take five, make a brew and drink it while the damn thing’s still hot. Ah… Bisto.

A camera

As mentioned, I have a DSLR for my ‘proper’ photography. I’m still very much an amateur but I’ve taken some shots that I’m really rather proud of. As I say though, my iPhone is a fairly good back-up for quick shots, especially when I’m on the go.

Pretty fabrics

Not really ‘essential’ but great for photography. I use white/cream fabrics as backgrounds when I’m photographing make-up or anything that I want to really stand out.

PicMonkey

I’ve used this online image editing tool since it launched in 2012 (?) and I pay for a Royale plan because in my opinion, it’s totally worth it. It’s easy to use, effective and allows you edit and enhance images, create collages, add text/graphics; in a simple click of a mouse. I totally love it. (Please note, I’m not affiliated with PicMonkey in any way, shape or form; I’m simply a very happy customer.)

Oh…I really want an office now!

I’m taking part in the #BEDM challenge! You can find out more about it by clicking the badge below:
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A day in the life of anxiety girl

Let me start by saying this is about me personally, and not everyone with anxiety, OCD or any mental illness will feel the same way.  I’m also not making light of mental illness. Believe me, I know just how much of a struggle it is.

But this is a snapshot my day… not every day, but more often than not.

6.30am

My second from last alarm goes off and I enjoy the 3 seconds of warm fuzziness before my brain kicks into gear and I think, “what have I got to worry about today?” There’s rarely a day that there’s nothing.

I try to rationalise everything, check my phone and then depending on how much sleep I’ve had (or haven’t had) I try to get my ‘5 more minutes’ of warm duvet coziness.

Did I send that form in yesterday?

Oh God, I don’t think did. I’m sure it had to be in by last night.

I’ll have to phone them.

God. No, I can’t phone them.

What should I say?

Maybe I did send the form in.

*Jumps up to check*

I sent the blasted form in.

Now…. 3 more minutes….

7am

Shit! My last alarm (the one I’ve actually labelled PANIC) goes off and I fall out of bed, getting dressed as I rush to the bathroom to get washed and ready. I get the children up and start breakfasts and all the rest of the mornings ‘To Do list’.  No matter how organised I am we are always rushing out the door at the last moment. I hate being late – it stresses me out.

8.20am

Finally, we’ve caught up with ourselves and we are en route.

“Did I lock the door?”

“I did lock the door didn’t I?”

*Asks closest child* “Yes mum”

“Are you sure? Did you see me?”

“Oh well, I can’t go back now. We’ll be late.”

“You locked the door, Mum. I saw you. You definitely locked it”

Phew.

But then what if I didn’t?

The house will be burgled.

I can’t afford to replace the XBOX.

The kids will never forgive me.

I’ll go straight home.

I’ve mastered the school run without making eye contact with even one person. Oh I tell a lie, maybe one person, that I know well and I don’t feel intimidated by. Once I drop everyone off,  I go back through my thoughts to make sure I wasn’t forgetting anything.

Better rush home, just in case it’s unlocked and the local burglar is taking everything we own.

Oh God, there’s dog poop/vomit/some other bodily fluid on the pavement.

Wait. I didn’t see that one the way up.

What if we walked in it? What if the kids walked in it?

What if the person it belongs to has some incurable and highly contagious disease?

They’ll be treading all round the school… Oh God, they’ll get ill and probably die.

I’ll clean their shoes when they get home.

Home at last.

I’d locked the blasted door.

10am

*Phone rings*

Unknown number.

I can’t answer it.

I don’t know who it is.

Maybe it’s someone trying to con me into handing over my bank details.

I won’t answer it.

Oh but what if it’s the hospital? Maybe one of the kids or hubby has been in an accident.

I better answer it.

*phone rings off*

Oh god.

12pm

*Reads email*

Invitation to a  ‘really lovely event that you’d love if you wasn’t so socially awkward”

No.

Just No.

I couldn’t possibly go.

There will be people there.

Intelligent people.

Pretty people.

People who will want to talk to me.

God.

They’ll hate me.

I’ll have to say no.

*Politely declines the invitation*

Oh God. They will think I don’t like them.

What if they never speak to me again?

That’s it now. My career is over.

4pm

Arrive home from school run, successfully avoiding the disease-ridden pavement.

I think.

Did I?

Yes, I’m sure I did. I’ll clean everyone’s shoes now, just in case.

7pm

Child A didn’t eat much dinner tonight. Well, when they are hungry later they will learn that if you don’t eat all your dinner, you go hungry!

They won’t sleep tonight.

They will be hungry.

Starving. They’ll be starving.

Maybe I’ll make them a sandwich.

11pm

Bedtime at last! I’ve just written a detailed list for tomorrow so I don’t forget anything. I can’t read at bedtime as I can’t stop my brain from interrupting. Most nights, I fall asleep pretty easily, but then I’ll wake up around 2am.

Better check on the kids. What if the blankets fallen off and they are freezing to death?

What was that noise? It sounded like the back door.

Did I lock the back door?

I said something horrible 5 years ago. I wonder if they still hate me?

I need to find some work.

We won’t have enough money to eat.

But what if I go to an interview and I don’t know what to say?

They’ll hate me.

I’ll never get a job.

What do I need to worry about tomorrow?

God, look at the time… I won’t get up in the morning.

We will be late!

And then it starts all over again tomorrow

Incidentally, I’m feeling panicky about publishing this post. Hence the first paragraph. My mouth is burning, I’m sweating  and I’m about to email a draft to my better half as he is the rational one. My anxiety is far more than just this post, but it is a small insight to the scary place that is my mind. If you feel like this too, you are not alone and talking about it makes more people understand. So there we are.

*holds breath*

 

I’m taking part in Rosalilium’s Blog Every Day In May challenge. I’m looking forward to reading other #BEDM posts! You can find out more by clicking the badge below:
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Easy cream cheese filled baby peppers

Today’s prompt for #BEDM is ‘Food, glorious, food!’ so it would be a crime for me not to write a recipe today. Admittedly, it’s a really easy recipe but it’s one that I really enjoy. I just love these gorgeous cream cheese filled baby peppers; they are great as a side dish, snack or even as finger food at a Summer BBQ! For stress-free entertaining,  make them in advance to be eaten cold.

Before I begin, just look at these beautiful baby peppers! How can anyone resist these beauties?

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Ingredients

  • Baby peppers (2 per person) – I buy Asda Snacking Peppers (£1.38)
  • Cream Cheese (Full fat or Light – which ever you prefer)
  • A little olive oil for roasting
  • Your choice of toppings: Black Pepper, salt, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, chopped chives, chopped red chilli…. whatever takes your fancy.

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (Gas mark 4)
  2. Slice the peppers in half (as shown above) and remove all seeds and any white flesh.
  3. Place on a baking tray and lightly drizzle with olive oil
  4. Roast for 15-20 minutes until the peppers are soft and as well done as you like (I like them ‘just cooked’, hubby likes them almost incinerated 😆 )
  5. Leave to cool completely if you are eating them cold, or just cool enough to handle if you want to eat them hot.
  6. Fill with the cream cheese and them top with herbs or spices of your choice. I like freshly ground black pepper and a tiny pinch of salt. Hubby likes them fiery and enjoys chopped chilli or cayenne pepper. He also really likes smoked paprika (a wonderfully smokey heat rather than a fiery kick)

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Enjoy!

I’m taking part in Rosalilium’s Blog Every Day In May challenge. I’m looking forward to reading other #BEDM posts! You can find out more by clicking the badge below:
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