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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Starting a Side Hustle | {Tips to Find and Get Started on Your Side Hustle}

Ok so we’ve covered creating systems and processes and a personal brand but let’s take a few steps back and think about where to start – what exactly are you setting up systems and creating a personal brand for? It could be your current job, business, blog/social media account or maybe you’re thinking of starting a side hustle. But wait, what exactly IS a side hustle? According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a side hustle is:

a piece of work or a job that you get paid for doing in addition to doing your main job.

Cambridge Dictionary

{Related Posts}

It seems more and more people are starting a side hustle alongside working their full or part-time job. The beauty of side hustles is that they are usually flexible, done from home and can be incorporated into your current hobbies or passions. It could also be an extension of your main job to either develop your skills or create a freelance portfolio or a way of testing out a new career path. And of course you could have more than one side hustle – they are a great way of creating a diverse career and income, especially during unsettled times.

Tips to find your ideal side hustle

Unsure of where to start? Here are some of my top tips to find your ideal side hustle:

  • Consider your skill set

What particular skills could you offer? What do you have experience or expertise in? Is there anything you could extend to a side hustle?

  • Think about your hobbies and passions

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Do you have a passion for crafts or writing? If you could do anything as a career or in your day to day life what would you do?

  • What is your unique selling point?

If you’ve read my post on 10 Steps to Create a Personal Brand you will know that your unique selling point (or USP) is YOU! It’s your personality, attention to detail, forward thinking attitude, customer service and/or reliability.  It’s what you can offer that no-one else can. Unsure of what your USP is? I’ve got you covered – Finding your USP post coming soon 🙂

Side hustle ideas

Ok so you’ve got an idea of what you could offer and what makes you and your experiences unique. Here are 35 ideas for side hustles to get you started:

  • Interior design/decorator
  • Tutoring or coaching
  • Personal trainer
  • Franchise consultant – For example The Body Shop at Home or Avon
  • Wellbeing or life coach
  • Create an online course
  • Dog walking or grooming
  • Sell your products online – You can sell physical or digital products on platforms like Etsy
  • Refurbish furniture
  • Babysitting/Nanny
  • Start a blog
  • Party planning
  • Catering
  • Photographer
  • Real estate – renovations, flipping houses, renting out property or room or running a holiday home
  • Handy man {or woman!}
  • Digital products
  • Delivery driver
  • Local tour guide
  • Graphic or web design
  • Writing – freelance, ghost writer, editing
  • Social media management
  • YouTube
  • Write and publish an eBook
  • Mystery shopping
  • Cleaning
  • Home organisation
  • Teach a language or an interpreter
  • Personal shopper
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Extra in a movie/programme
  • Marketing focus groups
  • House sitter
  • Virtual Assistant
  • Create a smartphone app

Where to start?

You’ve thought about your skills and passions and have an idea for a potential side hustle. What next? Here are a few things to consider and get you started:

  • How much time can you commit?

Most side hustles take commitment and consistency and can, initially at least, take up a lot of time. If you are working a full or part-time job and/or have family or children to care for you need to consider when you can work on your side hustle without impacting negatively on your day to day life. How much time will your side hustle take? Is it something you could do in the evenings or weekends? Draw up a draft schedule to see how you can balance your jobs as well as leaving time for yourself, family and friends.

  • What do you need to get started?

Do you need to create stock? Will you need specific tools or equipment? Do you need to create a website or social media account?

  • Is there a financial commitment?

Stock costs, website subscription, insurance, accountancy package – it’s easy for costs to add up either as an initial investment or on a monthly or annual basis. Make sure you tot up the potential costs to ensure your side hustle is worth the outlay; noting some side hustles can take time to create a decent income {for example YouTube or affiliate marketing etc.}

  • Market research

Is your side hustle something people need? Chances are you can put your own unique spin on something but conducting a bit of market research is a great way of testing the waters to see what uptake may be like. Creating a simple questionnaire in Google Forms is a great way to circulate and collate market research.

  • Finding your ideal clients/customers

You have your product or idea. You know it’s something people are interested. So how do you find potential clients or customers? Take some time to think about who your ideal client/customer would be – What age range are they? What do they like to do? Where do they hang out online? How will they interact with you {via your blog, Instagram account, in person or in print?}

  • Consider a strategic plan/goals

I’ve always found it helpful to create a simple strategic plan of action and set of goals. To put it simply a strategic plans considers where you are, where you want to be and how you can get there. Again, I’ll be doing a full blog post on creating a strategic plan soon., including a FREE workbook. Setting short, medium and {if you can} long-term goals {even if these change} is also a great start to thinking how you’d like to progress your side hustle or the initial steps you need to take.

And don’t forget to think about your personal branding and how to create systems to ensure your side hustle runs smoothly.


Have you got a side hustle? Are you thinking of starting one? What would you do? Let me know in the comments below!

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Are they twins? | 10 things no-one told you about having {twins}

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


As a first time mum of twins it became clear very quickly that I was woefully unprepared for what lay ahead. It was the epitome of a baptism of fire and learning as you go. You go to the antenatal classes {only to be told 80% of it doesn’t apply to you be used you’re having twins}, read all the books and find some twin mummy peers {shout out to the Cheltenham twins club and Kingfisher Twins Club!} but alas, nothing can really prepare you for what lies ahead.

You’ve finally got the feeding sussed, you’ve managed 2 hours of sleep and can successfully change a poonarmi nappy one handed. But here are 10 things no-one warned you about having twins. {Disclaimer – this is meant as a {mostly} “tongue in cheek” post which is based upon my personal experience of having twins – photos of which I’ve included at the end of this post, because quite frankly I think they’re super cute!}

1. It’s impossible to go to the shop with out be asked “are they twins?”

You will quickly come to learn that people are fascinated by multiples and {especially} baby twins act like superhuman magnets subconsciously inviting everyone and their dog to come and take a peek. You may want to consider handing out flyers – “Yes they are twins. No they’re not a boy and a girl. No they’re not identical but yes they do look very similar. No I don’t know how I do it and yes I do have my hands full”. And not forgetting the good old “double trouble!”, “my sisters, dogs, cousins had twins” or “oh I always wanted twins!”

In all honesty I’ve never minded people coming to coo over or ask about my twins but there are times you just want to buy a fu*king pint of milk without being stopped 20 times and sometimes you just have to smile and wave boys, smile and wave. I once saw a colleague in Sainsbury’s who started happily chatting to me only to be greeted with hysterical shrieks of “we’ve lost tigger!” – not my finest moment I’ll admit.

2. People will ask completely inappropriate questions

After the whole “are they twins?” conversation starter you will be shocked at the amount of times I’ve been asked by a total stranger {and usually, funnily enough, in Sainsburys – this is not an ad I promise!} how they were conceived or born. Now this may be something you chat about with your gal pals but is it really a normal topic of conversation to be having down the biscuit isle? Would they like a diagram? The simple answer would be “does it matter?” Like I’m going to happily disclose ah yes I had sex with my husband, actually we went through years of IVF treatment or they’re adopted thank you so much for asking. I have actually been known to say I don’t know as they’re not mine just to escape…..

3. The first year {at least} is about surviving

Being a new mum is HARD. Having a newborn is HARD. Being a new mum of multiples is, well, seemingly impossible at times. The logistics of having two {or more} babies to care for on top of the general exhaustion of being “on it” constantly mean you barely remember your name most days let alone what time that next health visitor appointment is supposed to be. You may have heard people talking about the 4th trimester or pulling up the drawbridge after you have a baby. Which is essentially shutting out the world for a bit and letting yourself and your family adjust to your new addition{s}. The pressure of feeling like you need to prepare for visitors or keep up with the Jones’ is totally ridiculous and {in my humble opinion} new parents should be actively encouraged and supported to take some time out.

Even after some kind of “normality” resumes I would say that first year with twins is going to be your biggest adjustment and more likely to be about surviving {rather than thriving}. Not only will your babies change and develop faster than a hare on heat within that first year, your whole world will change with it. Having a baby or babies is a huge adjustment and caring for multiple babies at the same time 24/7 is on a whole different level. In all honesty I can hardly remember that first 12 months to the point I think I’ve actually blanked it out of my memory. I look back at photos and I just look like I’m on a totally different planet!

4. You will {probably} feel like there are things you are missing out on

Ok so granted not everyone’s experience is going to be the same and some people are very lucky to have help with their babies which enables them to do lots of lovely things. My hubby is a chef and my family and friends all worked full time which meant I was {literally} left holding the babies. My way of dealing with this was to not let it stop me taking the boys out and about but even I had to admit there were certain places or activities we simply couldn’t take part in.

Take swimming for example. A very popular activity for mums/dads and babies. And whilst all my new singleton mummy friends were joining aqua tots and alike I, to put it simply, couldn’t. This was probably the one thing I really felt we missed out on to be fair. Then there were baby groups. It took a while for me to find a baby group where I felt comfortable. Groups can be very cliquey and having twins singled {ha!} me out. Thankfully I started going to twins club which was A LIFE SAVER. Not only did people just “get it” but the support and friendships I made there will last a lifetime.

5. You will go through every length to ensure your twins are treated equally

….from the same sized carrots to the amount of cuddles from Grandma. But then equally you will also want them to be treated as individuals rather than “the twins”. My boys are very similar in a lot of ways and have very similar interests which pretty much means we buy two of everything {more on this in a moment!} As they are getting older their interests will inevitably start to change but at the moment they are still very drawn to the same thing, partly due to simply liking it and probably partly due to the fact they’ve always done everything together. Over lockdown we got more opportunity to spend one on one time with the boys which was really lovely. Different parts of their personality come out more when they’re apart. Noah is hilarious and Ollie is so kind and helpful. It’s a completely different dynamic for all involved.

6. You assume you need two of everything

Moving on from my last point, when you are preparing for the arrival of your babies you may assume you need two of everything when in actual fact that’s not always the case. Of course you will need two sets of the basics – car seats, clothes, {ultimately} cribs/cots {although a lot of twins share when they are very little}, high chairs and the like, but when it comes to “extras” my advice would be to start with one. One baby bath, one swing, one set of bottles {until you know which bottles your babies will take!} and one baby wipe warmer {yes this is a thing}. Basically, don’t fork out for everything and especially not two of them unless you feel you particularly want or need to.

Then come birthdays and celebrations. Parties in particular can become a bit of a logistical nightmare. Do you have one or two parties? How many cakes? Different themes? Then come the questions of do people buy 1 gift for each child or a shared one? Do we really need two giant car garages but is it unfair to expect them to share?! Do you buy them the same gifts or different and risk the inevitable outburst of “he got more than me!” Fun times.

7. Your finances will inevitably take a hit

I’ve heard lots of people comment on the fact the cost of twins is basically the same as the cost of having two single children. Whilst this is probably very accurate what they fail to acknowledge is that when you have multiples you have to pay out all at once. And not only are you buying double the amount of nappies, formula or forking out for nursery fees and school uniform, trips and dinners but you are also thinking ahead to how on earth you will finance their first cars, university tuition fees and such AT THE SAME TIME. It’s a popular saying that you can’t ever really “afford” children. Well think of multiples as maxing out all your credit cards at once. You’re welcome.

8. A lot of doorways are not wide enough for double buggies

Ok this may sound like a strange one but you will not believe how much small doorways became the bane of my life with a {fairly compact} double buggy and how much time I spent trying to get through said doorways with sleeping or crying babies or rampaging toddlers. I’m definitely guilty of executing the “half collapse of the buggy” {with the children on board} technique to save having to carry two babies AND get the fu*king buggy through the door just to pick up a parcel which was delivered when I WAS AT HOME {of course I’m not bitter or anything}.

Joking {not joking} aside these obstacles will either become your nemesis or you will up your game for the challenge. Steps to get into the village hall, you got it. Heavy self closing door, no problem. I am a twin mummy, hear me roar! {or at least swear profusely under my breath}.

9. The cuteness overload opportunities are pretty much endless

What’s more adorable than a baby in a cute outfit? TWO babies in cute outfits! And let’s be honest, your kids’ Halloween costume, Christmas card or Easter pics are gonna be way cuter {not that I’m biased or anything!}

10. You are stronger than you ever knew

Singleton parents will think you’re the dogs bollo**s and wonder how on earth you do it. But the truth is you ARE amazing and you do it because not only do you love your tiny tornados more than life itself but also because you have no choice but to get on with it. There will be times when you think you can’t do it {trust me, I’ve been there} but you are stronger and more resilient than you ever thought and there are people/groups out there who will understand and support you.

One thing I really struggled with is the fact I wanted to be able to do it all myself, and do it well, and it took me a long time to realise that’s it’s ok to ask for help or even to admit that actually sometimes it’s all a bit sh*t. People will understand more than you think and for those who don’t, we’ll {again} smile and wave boys, smile and wave {then flip them the bird, metaphorically of course}.

Plus a bonus point:

{In case you haven’t already noticed} – you will find yourself referring to your friends’ kids as singletons 😅 {and of course the fact that your twins will be the best thing you ever accomplished, and you wouldn’t have it any other way}.

You can check out my top buys for twins over on my Amazon Storefront under {Twin} Life.

What’s the one thing {or things} you wished someone had told you about having twins/multiples?

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Project Simplify | 30 Day {Health} Challenge

Ok, so following on from my 30 Days of Personal Development {which is still underway!} I’ve decided to launch the first of 2 {if not more!} additional 30 day challenges. And although my all or nothing tendencies are screaming to do everything at once I’m really trying to be sensible {!} and take one thing at a time {ish} and get my priorities in check.

These challenges all wrap up into my overall Project Simplify series – this is something I’ve been toying around with for quite some time but I think I’ve finally worked out how I want to more it forward. My personal brand is about encouraging, empowering and equipping women to balance business, health and home:

  • Encouraging women to say yes to their goals, values and dreams.
  • Empowering women to know they are enough and can do anything they set their mind to, and
  • Equipping women with information and resources to help them balance the things which are truly important to them, whether that be starting or growing their side hustle, taking control of their health and well-being or feeling in control and relaxed at home.

So with that in mind the first challenge I am setting myself is 30 days of health.

Now health is a BIG subject which encompasses physical to mental health, diet and nutrition to self-care and everything in between. This can be incredibly overwhelming which is why I’ve broken it down into daily mini goals which I am going to try to complete {some if not all} everyday for 30 days {at least!}. My hope is that I will be creating good habits and focusing on effort based goals rather than the final result.

Fancy joining in? I’ve created a fun Instagram stories template – 30 Days of Health Challenge Bingo – which can be found here – I will be uploading this to my Instagram stories everyday of the challenge to say how I’m doing, hold me accountable to you guys and most importantly to document how I’m feeling about myself and my health as I go!

{Get your template here}

For a little background – I’m a mum of 3, my youngest turns 3 in August and since she was born I’ve put on 3 stone from my pre-pregnancy weight. My fitness and general mobility are I would say at an all time low and whilst my general health is ok – I don’t smoke, drink excessively or use recreational drugs – I feel like I’m on a slippery slope. I definitely don’t drink enough water or take care of myself as I should be. Not only do I hope this will have a positive impact on my life and health but also set a better example to my young family. I’m not planning a strict diet or no treats but I know there are certain things I can do to improve my health.

So if you fancy joining in {even if it’s not for the full 30 days} download or screenshot the 30 days of health bingo template {which can be found in the templates highlight on my Instagram profile}, upload it to your Instagram stories, tick off what things you have done that day and don’t forget to tag me so I can see/share your progress!

What would you add to the list? Let me know in the comments below!

Coming soon : watch this space for the Project Simplify | 30 Day {Declutter} Challenge coming soon.

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How to Dress for your Body Shape {Bum, Belly and Boobs}

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


Unsurprisingly my body has been through many changes in my 37 years on this planet. Being pregnant with twins plus having a c-section {for my single baby nonetheless} has meant my stomach area will, let’s face it, never be the same. And that’s fine. Our bodies are incredible and to a extent I’ve come to a place of peace with my current shape.

After working on my personal development and confidence {not to mention spending a year in loungewear during the 2020/21 pandemic} I’ve began re-learning what styles suit my body shape and how to dress for comfort, style and confidence.

Put simply, I would describe my body as the 3 Bs – Bum, belly and boobs {aka apple shape}. My no.1 “problem” area is my belly with my boobs coming in a close second {in all honesty I don’t mind my bum!} My stomach area has been through the ringer with pregnancy and weight gain and loss and is where I carry a lot of my excess weight. My boobs are just big {for me} and something I’m not used to dressing or being so much on display – not that there’s anything wrong with that but it’s just something I’m not used to.

As we are slowly released back into society post-lockdown 3.0 I’ve been feverishly looking through my wardrobe and researching how to dress my three Bs. Here’s what I found {also see photos below}:

1. Flippy shorts

I’ve actually loved these for years so it was refreshing to hear they suit my body shape. Flippy shorts are made from lightweight fabric with a high waist and loose fit around the bum and thighs making them the perfect summer go too for apple shapes.

Check out these tie waist shorts from Amazon or these ditsy floral flippy shorts from boohoo.

2. High waisted trousers

A high waist helps add definition and showcase an enviable hourglass shape. They will draw the eye to your lower half and reduce the appearance of any bulges. They also help avoid a muffin top and dreaded builders crack.

Check out these high waisted leggings from Amazon or these high waisted jeans from New Look.

3. Wrap dresses / tops

Wrap dresses and tops were designed to compliment a woman’s natural curves. The narrowing of the ‘v’ helps balance your chest region with your hips and helps to define your waist.

Check out this polka dot boho dress from Amazon or this ditsy floral belted wrap dress from Shein.

4. Bodysuits

I have to say, this was a new one for me but having now purchased one I’m a total convert! Bodysuits create a seamless look by keeping your look smooth with their underneath attachments. They remove any potential bunching and often include built-in shapewear. Since they are fitted they are also good for layering under plunging necklines or to add another snug layer of clothing.

Check out this strappy bodysuit from Amazon or this black lace bodysuit from boohoo.

5. Blazers

A simple blazer made from soft material which falls past the widest part of your body is great for apple shapes. A straight-line blazer which sits on the edge of your shoulders {not too big!} and worn over a shaped top creates length and helps define your waist.

Check out this gorgeous ruffle sleeve blazer from Amazon or this long blazer from New Look.


And of course the real fun starts when you start combining these styles – like this gorgeous floral playsuit from Amazon or this wrap top / flippy shorts playsuit combo from Yoins.


What’s your go to style? What’s your favourite part of your body? Let me know in the comments!

Why not subscribe to a Life twintactic’s VIP subscriber list to receive updates and exclusive first looks plus access to the VIP subscribers only page for more FREE resources and discount codes!

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