Your First Pregnancy: It's Okay To Be Scared


There’s absolutely no experience in life like your first pregnancy. It’s a magical, beautiful, life-altering and life-affirming experience. It’s also a time of enormous anxiety for women and their partners. While it’s absolutely true that you should try to enjoy and celebrate your pregnancy, it’s also important to remember that the experience can be difficult and demanding. However, the images of beaming, flawless-looking women with tiny, unobtrusive bumps that we see in magazines and in pamphlets at our doctor’s surgery may have us believe otherwise.

Since you found out you were pregnant, you’ve probably been inundated with well-meaning friends and family insisting on how wonderful it is. And sure, it is wonderful but many women feel pretty far from wonderful throughout the process.

And that’s completely okay!

You’re growing a tiny life inside you. If you weren’t experiencing any anxiety, stress, worry or fear then frankly there’d be something very wrong with you. Carrying a child is an enormous responsibility throughout which your body undergoes a series of huge changes. It’d be daunting for the most confident and self-assured of women, but for those of us with existing psychological issues it can be more than we can bear.

You are not alone

Before we go into the specific anxieties and fears that you may experience during pregnancy and what you can do to combat them, it’s important to note that if you are experiencing anxiety, it’s important to be frank and open with your gynaecologist. As Dr Marcia Bonazzi’s website attests, these people are there to provide support, advice and care. While advice is abundant when it comes to babies and pregnancy, it’s important to lean on the advice of experienced professionals rather than the speculations of friends and family.

Common anxieties

Many women subject themselves to superhuman levels of scrutiny during their pregnancy, agonizing over every decision they make about what they do, say, eat or drink. You may feel that you’re underprepared for motherhood and you won’t be up to the task. Well guess what… So does every other woman in history who’s ever been pregnant.

You may feel extreme anxiety about your body, especially if you’re prone to poor self-image. You may feel that you may never lose your baby weight or feel that you’re condemned to 9 months of wearing formless maternity clothes that will make you look like an amorphous blob but you’d be surprised at just how stylish maternity clothes get.  

What you can do

The most important thing you can do is talk. Talk through your anxieties with your doctor or your partner. Eating a healthy, balanced diet is extremely important both for you and your baby as is regular moderate exercise for as long as you are able. Even into the later stages of your pregnancy, it’s important to be as active as possible. Get out for regular walks, and try to be socially active. It’s also important to get lots of sleep.

Finally, you should be aware of your limitations and learn to say no. Nobody expects you to manage your pre-pregnancy work and home maintenance schedule. Your partner should be prepared to take a lot of this burden off your shoulders. After all, what’s more satisfying than sitting enjoying a good book while your partner scurries around doing the housework?

Top Tips for Making your House Move Stress Free


Moving house is said to be one of the most stressful things we can do. It’s understandable; I mean packing up your whole life into boxes, to move to an entirely new home certainly doesn't sound easy. There are also the legal processes to think about, such as signing papers and picking up keys. Not to the mention the logistics of moving all of your personal belongings and furniture from one property to another!

Moving house is also an amazing thing to do! It can mean a fresh start and new beginnings in the town of your choice. Maybe you’re moving to be near family or to be closer to the countryside. Whatever the reason for your move, once you’ve gotten past the initial upheaval, you’ll be so pleased that you made the jump and went for it!

Having said that relocating can be incredibly demanding, there are ways that you can help yourself to make sure that when moving day comes around, it’s as simple and stress-free as it can be. A little bit of forward planning is all it takes to ensure that you go with the flow and feel happy and content as you move to your new property!

Don’t be Afraid to Throw Things Out

As you begin to pack all of your belongings into boxes, you’re sure to come across items that you’ve forgotten you even owned. This is the perfect time to declutter your house and throw out anything that you no longer need, we all accumulate clutter over the years! Take a look at for advice on how to declutter your home effectively!

It might not be easy at first, but once you’ve thrown out a few bits here and there, you’ll become more decisive and will only keep what is necessary. There’s no point in packing up extra boxes with things you just don’t need anymore. Getting rid of them before the big day will mean that you’ll spend less time packing and will have fewer boxes to load in and out of the removal truck at either end!

Take Time off of Work

Once you get your date for moving, try your best to book the time off of work. That way you can organise your day in the way you feel most comfortable. Maybe you want the removal truck loading in a specific way or maybe you want certain items moved before others. Whatever your requirements are, being there will mean that you can make sure your day runs the way you want it to.

Taking time off also means that you’ll be able to spend some quality time getting your new home looking just the way you want. It may take a while for it to feel like home, but if you have time off you can arrange your belongings in the way you want to, to make it feel as comfortable as possible.

Hire a Reliable Moving Company

A sure fire way to make moving day as stress-free as possible is to hire a reliable removal company. The last thing you want it to have your whole life packed up in boxes, only to be left waiting at the door with no truck to load them in to. offers an insight into the kind of service you need to make moving house run smoothly. You even have the option of getting the removal company to pack for you, meaning that your move will be even easier that you could imagine!

Hiring the right removal company will also take away any worries you have about the safety of your goods in transit. Reliable companies have employees with expert packing skills, meaning that your goods will arrive in the state that you packed them in! You won’t have to think about replacing any broken items along the way.

Make Sure you have Enough Boxes

Packing is one of the most time-consuming jobs to do when you’re moving house. Once you get into a routine though it becomes easier to organise your things into the correct boxes, as long as you have enough on hand! You don’t want to find that you’re halfway through packing and you don’t have enough boxes to finish the room that you’re in. So make sure you buy surplus boxes before you begin your packing mission to avoid any stress. After all, it’s better to have too many boxes than not enough!

Moving house doesn’t have to be a problem. Make your move easy and stress-free by following these handy tips and make your moving day happy and stress-free as it can possibly be!

Protecting Your Home From Every Angle Is Easier Than You Think

The thought of a major property problem is every homeowner’s worst nightmare. After all, the building isn’t only your greatest financial asset. It also happens to be your family’s home. Keeping it protected is immensely important from both points of view, and covering all the bases can feel almost impossible. But it doesn’t need to be that way.

With the right plans in place, maintaining the health of your property and the loved ones who live there is easier than ever. Pay attention to the four cornerstones below, and you’ll be just fine.

Hands, Home, Protection, Protect, Guard, Concerns, Care

Removing External Dangers

When thinking about protecting the property, home security is the first thing that springs to mind. The thought of having intruders enter your home is enough to send shivers down the spine, and not only from a financial perspective.

The dangers are greater than ever, but so are the tools used to combat the dangers. This guide to protecting your property against the threat of burglaries won’t only improve the security. Perhaps more importantly, those improvements will provide you with peace of mind. Quite frankly, that’s the greatest thing any homeowner could ask for.

Spotting Internal Damage

Problems with the internal elements of the property often start life as minor issues. But if they’re left untreated, they can soon escalate into something far worse. This is why being vigilant and responsible is vital for all homeowners.

Spotting signs of damp and mold is particularly important as those issues can harm your health as well as the property. Meanwhile, you should also perform regular checks to look for water leaks and other issues that could result in future damage. The most suitable response will be dictated by the nature of the issue. In the case of mould, though, professionals like the Mould Doctor are essential. Even if your issues are something else, quick action is essential.

Correcting Structural Problems

The overall health of your property isn’t influenced solely by internal factors. The external elements are just as important and are probably at greater risk too. After all, they’re constantly exposed to the elements while internal issues can often harm the walls and foundations too.

Cracked walls and other signs of foundation damage should not be ignored. Experts at BMC Microfine can perform the checks and treatments to get your home back to its best. Let’s face it; structural damage could put your whole property at risk. As such, getting this sorted needs to be a priority at all times.

Preparing For Emergencies

Nobody likes to think too much about fires and other emergencies. However, ignoring the threats completely would be very naïve. Fitting your home with fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors should be considered essential for all.

Depending on your location, you may need to invest in flood guard barriers to keep water out. Protecting your property in this way will keep you safe as well as your assets. Meanwhile, it will often lower insurance premiums too. If that doesn’t inspire you to take action, what will?

Summer Style Essentials - get planning

They say summer bodies are created in winter and in the same way you better get your skates on in planning your summer wardrobe as Summer is just around the corner ( although it doesn't feel that way at the moment, brrr). If you hit the shops you will notice that the summer fashions are starting to trickle in and if you want to make the most of your money and new additions then its best to take a look at your wardrobe now and find the gaps and write a shopping list. Here are my two favorite looks for the upcoming summer and my top picks for where to get these looks.

My Top picks for a stylish Summer look

Summer frocks + Wicker baskets

Think ruffles, frills and patterns. Floaty silhouettes and flashes of bare skin,  block heels and wicker basket bags. Look for bright patterns, relaxed fit and flashes of skin. Add a wicker basket for an up to date accessory and block heels. Try and find pieces that flatter your skin tone and work in with your existing wardrobe, perhaps just add one piece to bring an existing outfit up to date. 


Lipe small round bag with lining, round rattan basket bag, Boho roundie shoulder bag,Round shoulder bag, Woven straw bag


Block Heels

Cutout Shootie

Beach Cover ups + Thongs

beach cover-up's, beach cover-ups, miami, florida, summer style, beachwear, beach style, mara hoffman, mara hoffman bikini, mara hoffman swimwear, swimwear, élan, tunic dress, orange dress, havaianas, havaianas sandals, beach tote, pom pom beach tote

Think hot summer days on the beach, a gorgeous swimsuit, loose fit cover up and thongs. Look for loose cover ups, bright colors and breathable fabrics. Find a swimsuit that flatters your curves and makes you feel a million dollars. Look for a comfortable fit, well fitting in the busty, hip and buttock area. Grab a pair of thongs and you are ready for a long hot summers day at the beach. 

Fabulous swimsuits

Beach Cover up

Lattice Floral Dress



What are you looking to add to your summer wardrobe? Have I inspired you to start the planning and write that shopping list?? Happy shopping xx

This post was sponsored by Flarecom Digital Marketing

Is Your Home a Soft Target?

No one likes to think about the possibility of their home being broken into. But these things do happen. And the truth is that homes with fewer and weaker security features are the ones that get targeted most often. If a criminal sees your home as a soft target, they will be more willing to target it than if you have lots of security features in place to keep your home protected. It’s something that you definitely need to give some thought to. So, is your home a soft target? If so, here are some of the changes to make.

Replace Old Windows

It’s often the case that burglars use windows to gain access to your home. If your windows are old and past their best, your home will be a much softer target for criminals. They will have an easy way into the home, and they won’t have any obstacles at all. Newer windows are much more secure, and it’s a lot more difficult to break through them and gain access to the home. So, this is the kind of upgrade that is definitely worth making if you want to secure your home.


Install a Security Screen Door

The door is the next thing that you should think about. When you have a security screen door in place, you can be sure that people won’t be able to knock through it or gain access. They are completely secure, and only you and people you authorise will be able to get into the home. You should definitely learn more about the benefits of installing a security screen door before you make your purchase. It’s the kind of home upgrade that really does massively improve your safety.

Don’t Leave a Hidden Key Out

This is one of those things that so many people still do. Yes, it might seem convenient for you to have a key hidden under the plant pot so you can always get into your home. But it just makes your home a very soft target. It’s one step away from leaving the front door open when you go out. Don’t give criminals such as easy path into your home. As soon as someone notices that you have a key there ready and waiting to be used, they can get into your home without any problems at all. So, remove that hidden key.


Use Outdoor Motion-Detecting Lights

Burglars that target homes at night can often be put off by lights. This might sound simplistic, but it really does have an impact. When criminals have a spotlight thrown on them, they’re quick to back away. And if they can see that your home has extensive light coverage, they will be less likely to target your home in the first place. They like the cover of darkness, so make sure that they can’t have it. It’s easy to get simple motion-detecting lights fitted around the outside of your home, so make it happen as soon as possible.

Your home doesn’t need to be a soft target any longer; make the most of these ideas and tips.

How to Use Your Garage Creatively

There aren’t many of us who use our garages for the correct purpose – storing cars. Unfortunately, the majority of the time a garage turns into a dump site. It’s full of things we no longer need in the house, sentimental items that are too precious to throw out but take up room in the home, and just pure junk. If you think about it, your garage is probably quite a significant space. There are so many things you could use that space for. Here are some ideas.


Man Cave
Sometimes, men just need to get away for an hour. They aren’t as good at handling chaos as women are. If you’re willing to give your man a space that he can call his own, you may find that he’s more hands on when it comes to family. A man cave is the perfect idea for a garage space. You won’t need to do much to convert it. Get some garage shelving and storage ideas to stash away the important items, then throw away the rest. Just throw in a sofa, entertainment system and mini fridge and your man is good to go. It’s also perfect for when you have the girls over for a glass of wine and he needs to get out of your hair.

Game Room
Are your teenagers driving you nuts? If you’re the parent that constantly has your teen and all of their friends in the house, you’ll know that sometimes it can be a bit too much. Converting your garage into a game room will mean they always have a place to go. Firstly, it keeps them off the streets and you know they are safe. Secondly, if they become noisy, they’re already outside of the house, so you and your neighbours don’t have to deal with it. Clear the rubbish from the garage and install a pool table and darts board. If you want to be really generous, why not set up a TV screen and console so they can play video games?


Does it bother you when you go to the gym and you feel like you’re being judged? Can you really justify spending your money on a gym membership when you could have your own at home? Converting your garage into a gym could mean you save a ton of money and you’re more likely to use it on a regular basis. It can be costly to purchase all the equipment that you want, but you can add to it as and when you have the money.

Family Theatre
This idea is an expensive one, but it’s so worth it. If your family love to get together to watch movies, this is perfect for you and a great excuse to bond. Get yourself a wall mounted projector screen and an excellent surround sound system. Invest in some movie chairs (maybe even recliners) with drinks holders and if you want to go all out, put a popcorn machine in there too. If you’re spending a few hours sat down in the garage you may find that you need to insulate the walls too. However, when it’s all done, you’ve got a space that all the family will love to use.

Guest Room
This can be really beneficial if you have family that travel to see you from miles away. For instance, you’ll be able to make your parents more comfortable if they come to stay during the Christmas holidays. You may need to check with your local council to find out if you need permission to convert the garage into a guest room. Once you’ve done that you can insulate the space and turn it into a bedroom. You could even add a bathroom if you have enough room.


Home Office
Mixing business with family doesn’t often turn out well. Family can be one almighty distraction when you’re trying to get work done. If you work from home, you’ll need to be able to shut the door on distractions to be productive. Turning your garage space into a home office could just be the solution you’ve been looking for. You’ll need to make sure you have an electric supply and access to the internet. Once you’ve sorted that out, you can decorate to your hearts content. It’s also a good idea if you have clients come to your home. A dedicated work space looks much more professional than your dining room table.

When you really think about it, your garage is an opportunity to add value to your home.

Top 4 Tricks For Moving Home Quickly

Moving home can be both a painful and exciting experience for your family. It’s exciting because you’re moving on to something new and getting a fresh start in a new family home. It’s painful because moving can be stressful and take a lot of time.

I thought it would be nice to make life a lot easier for any families planning on moving by showing you some of my top tricks for a fast move. Follow the advice, and you’ll be in your new house in no time at all!

Label Your Boxes

One very simple trick is to label your moving boxes once you’ve packed them. You can label them by writing what’s inside each box and how important the box is. This way, when everything gets packed and moved, you can make it, so the most important boxes are taken out first and opened before others. This ensures you don’t get to your new home and spend ages looking for the most important boxes, they’re already labelled and ready for you to open.

Get Wardrobe Boxes

Packing your clothes is probably one of the most annoying and time-consuming parts of moving house. You need to take everything off its hanger and then fold it all up and pack it into suitcases or boxes. Well, you can save so much time by getting a wardrobe packing box. Essentially, this is a tall box with a pole at the top that allows you to hang things on. So, you can take things from your wardrobe, and hang them in the box without needing to do much at all. It will cut down your time quite dramatically and keep you more organised too.

Hire A Removal Company

You may be tempted to save money and try to remove all the boxes and stuff by yourself. However, this really isn’t worth it as you’ll end up dragging out your move and making it more stressful for yourself. Instead, engage a reliable removal company, and they will handle a lot of the hard work for you. With them on your team, you can get away with transporting all of your stuff in one journey, greatly decreasing the time spent moving.

Start As Early As Possible

Perhaps the biggest piece of advice I can give is to start packing and planning your move as early as possible. Start packing as soon as you even think about moving home, before you’ve even bid on any properties. Naturally, you can’t pack everything this early, but you can still pack all the non-essentials and have them ready. Then, as soon as you’ve had a bid accepted, start packing the more important things. This way, if things go quickly and you’re cleared to move earlier than expected, you’re already in a position to do so. There’s no waiting around, no wild rush doing things, you’ve got it all sorted, and you packed early, so it’s just a case of moving all the stuff.

With these four tricks, you will be moving home in no time at all. They take the stress out of moving and ensure your family has a seamless transition into your new house.

3 Tips For Celebrating Your Family In Style

We all love our families and want the best for them. But how often do we celebrate the fact that we are a family? After a while, the same faces at our breakfast and dinner table might mean that we lose sight of just how beautiful a family setup is. You might even, over time, take it for granted. This is where familial arguments occur and a host of all other negative shenanigans that unfortunately can impede families from becoming what they should be - completely tight-knit and celebrate each other's success.

So as a parent, how do you foster this feeling of celebrating the family unit? Well, you might try these three tips.


In your property, assigning a wall or a room if you’re lucky to the celebration of the family unit can be critical in reminding everyone of the journey that you’ve come on, and how proud you are of each other. This might look like different things to different families.

One family might enjoy designing artwork on the wall that metaphorically depicts the personalities of the entire family, of which can be amended over time as people grow and change. This is a beautiful, flexible and reactive idea that can keep the family proud and happy in their collective story.


Why not design a family insignia? This can serve to help you establish a strong, stable familial image. Much like ‘houses’ in medieval times, or in fantasy books operate, insignias are immediately recognisable symbols that can best depict the personality and chosen color scheme of that family. This ‘tribal’ consideration is not only fun to conceive of and implement, but it can actually help your family to feel like they’re all on the same team.

You needn’t be too pompous with the imaging, however. A golden crested lion holding a spear might have been great in feudal times, but now it can serve as coming across a little pompously. Try and think of a more appropriate image. If your children keep ferrets or rabbits, why not have a rabbit as the main image, and have a family meeting deciding what colours should surround that animal? The effort alone can help your family feel closer together than before.


Commissioning some beautiful family photography can help you capture the various developmental stages of your family as they age, learn and develop together. A professional photographer will understand exactly how to encompass your family’s attitude, as well as giving you posing tips and providing a nice platform for you to be photographed within. Be sure to make this a family tradition, booking a photoshoot at least once every two or three years.


Families that communicate stay affable with one another much more than families that don’t. While it might be tempting to let your moody teenager retire to their room with their dinner, this can have a harmful effect on the positive socializing of the entire household. Make sitting at the dinner table with your meals an explicit family rule. This encourages conversation, and that is the key that holds a family together. In fact, family’s that develop their own little language to communicate, such as sayings, phrases or quirks in speech show a strong familial bond.

Make use of these tips, and your family will have been celebrated for the beauty it brings everyone involved.