Favourite Decorations in our New Home!

Now then, if you know me or have followed my blog for a couple of months, you’ll know that Ed and I bought our first house in September! It was a long process, a busy and stressful few months, but now (despite there still being plenty of things to do), we’re settled. And that’s a wonderful feeling!

This isn’t our first Christmas together, but because of the change of scenery, quite a few things have changed/been added/taken away. It was really exciting to decorate the house for the first time – finding what works well where, and knowing it’s the start of a new tradition!

I’m not going to share everything, but here’s a few of my faves:

The Tree

We upgraded to a taller tree this year, and also invested in some red baubles (last year we had gold/chrome/silver to go with the living room in the flat – red would’ve clashed). I love the warmth they bring – now all that’s missing is the presents!

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Bish Bauble

This was a gift to ourselves last year, for our first Christmas together. Ed and I have called each other ‘Bish’ for as long as we’ve been friends, so for 9 years, we haven’t used our actual names! We have no idea where it came from, but it obviously happened at school at some point, and it stuck! It was a lovely way to mark our first Christmas (it’s got the date on the back too) and will have pride of place on the tree every year ❤️

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Garland

Last year this sat upstairs on a beam/ledge/thing, but this year (seeing as we have a windowsill for the first time, I KNOW, woo!) it’s been promoted! It sits perfectly behind ‘Love’ and is slightly too long which is great is it curls round to the front of the sill – it doesn’t just stop awkwardly. We added the candles to finish off the sill (from our Best Man’s mum’s shop – THANKS SUE!), and often leave the curtains slightly open on a night so we can enjoy the set up 🕯️

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Stairs

I may have gone a bit OTT, BUT it’s currently a bit of a lonely place – there’s no natural light and we have no paintings/pictures/mirrors etc to decorate it yet. So I thought I’d give it a bit of Chrismas Zhush (yes, that’s how you spell it, I had to Google it)! ✨

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Wreath

A front door actually opening onto the street meant our first Wreath! Knowing that this would be the Bish Wreath for many years to come, we shopped around, but were drawn to this one from Not On the Highstreet. And love it! 

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It was so exciting decorating our new home for the first time, and I just love how it’s turned out! I’m sure there’ll be a couple of bits we decide we need (whether that’s this year or next) just to finish it off, but it all feels very magical right now!

…Especially knowing that whilst it’s all pretty and exciting this year, it’s the first year of a lot of new Christmas traditions 😊

This is the 3rd Blogmas post, make sure you’ve subscribed so you don’t miss any in the future – and I’ll see you for the next on 7th December!

Lynette x

My Top 15 Christmas Songs

I LOVE Christmas music, it really gets me in the festive spirit, so trying to keep it to less than 100,000 was HARD 😂 I love Christmas songs SOOOOOO much, wherever I am during December, they’re blasting out. I’m sharing a few of my ultimate faves with you…the ones that really get me in the festive spirit, remind me of someone special or just make me insanely happy! They’re in no particular order…enjoy!

1. FAIRYTALE OF NEW YORK – I mean, it HAD to make the list!

2. CHRISTMAS WRAPPING – I don’t know why, but I’ve loved this since I was a kid!

3. THAT’S WHAT CHRISTMAS MEANS TO ME – I first heard it a couple of years ago and now it’s up there with my top faves! I’m using it with one of my classes and I just can’t get enough of it! It’s perfect for dancing to💃🏻

4. STEP INTO CHRISTMAS – PURE JOY!

5. WOMBLING MERRY CHRISTMAS – This has been mine and my dad’s song for as long as I can remember, so however daft it is, I love it coz it makes me think of my daft Dad and I jigging round the living room 🙈

6. DRIVING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS – Mama P’s favourite, such a lovely song, and it makes me so happy. It always reminds me of her 💕

7. SAVIOUR’S DAY – This started out ironically a few years ago as my brother and I cackled at the music video…but now when I hear the song, it reminds me of the fun Todd and I have. So it fills me with joy 😂

8. MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY – It isn’t Christmas without Slade!

9. HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS – So many artists have covered this song, I love them all coz I love the song so much…but this is my current favourite version.

10. I WISH IT COULD BE CHRISTMAS EVERYDAY – It isn’t Christmas without the Andrex puppy song!

11. BELIEVE – How could we forget about The Polar Express?! And that time I did a ballet solo to this and my skirt fell off half way through… 🙃

12. CHRISTMAS (BABY PLEASE COME HOME) – Specifically this version, along with the rest of this Phil Spector album, because it reminds me of Christmases with my family 🤗

13. LIGHT THE NIGHT – Because it’s pretty much been unofficially labelled as the Studio’s Christmas song…it’s come out every Christmas in various forms (shows, outdoor performances etc) for years now, so it’s not Christmas for me without hearing it!

14. IN DULCI JUBILO – You can’t sing along to it unfortunately (maybe whistle though), but is anyone else in agreement that this little number really makes you feel merry? 😊

15. AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST; BUBLE. Any Buble. But this one reminds me of my Bish ❤️

Did your fave songs make the list? As I said, there’s SO many more I could’ve added, but these are all quite special to me! 🎅

Lynette x

Things I Can’t Live Without at Christmas

Right, so this is exciting! Hello and welcome to the start of Blogmas 2018 at lifewithlynette! I didn’t even know what Blogmas WAS until a couple of months ago when I saw other bloggers start to talk about it…so I had a Google. And for those of you reading who don’t know what it is, it’s basically a fun name/excuse for me to waffle at you about Christmas things during December 😊 🎅🏻

A lot of bloggers I know are doing a post every day for the month, but to be honest, I don’t have the time for that amount of content – so I’m going to be posting every other day! I’ve got plenty of ideas planned out; decor, drinks, fave TV shows from the year, best places to shop online this Christmas… I’ve tried to keep it as varied as I can (still all Christmas related though!) so make sure you’ve subscribed so’s you don’t miss one that you enjoy/might help you!

I thought I’d use this post as an excuse to introduce Blogmas, along with just delving right in and telling you the things I can’t live without at Christmas. Because it’s 1st December! And CHRISTMAS HAS NOW OFFICIALLY BEGUN! Well, technically for us, it began last night…Ed went away to panto land today, and although this year he’ll be commuting (last year he was living away from home for the month, that was CRAP), we wanted to decorate and start Christmas before he disappeared. The tree is up, lights strung, and wreath hung…and for the first time in our new home! Which is really exciting!

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This year is going to be quite different to my previous Christmases. I’ll be visiting Mum and Dad’s rather than staying for a few days (#adulting), Ed and I are staying together on Christmas Day and visiting both families, and my bro is bringing his girlfriend up north for the first time! Lots of family traditions will be changing, but that’s inevitable as we grow up. And although it’s a shame, it’s exciting that we have the opportunity to make new traditions now!

So then, just to finish off; Things I Can’t Live Without at Christmas:

  • Making the home cosy
  • Baileys
  • Faiylights
  • Apple and Cinnamon candles
  • THE MUSIC
  • Festive Costa Hot Chocolates
  • Mince Pies
  • Christmas films that enhance that festive feeling (Polar Express, I’m looking at you)
  • A cold winter walk
  • The SMELL of tinsel
  • Seeing loved ones open their presents
  • The hustle and bustle of Christmas markets
  • Bread Sauce
  • A Theatre trip 
  • Family

I have plenty of posts where I can chat about more meaningful things…but in the run up to the Christmas period, those are things that pop into my head and get me excited! What are yours?

Lynette x

New House? New Stuff!

Okay, so one of THE MOST fun things about moving house, is BUYING NEW PRETTY THINGS! Obviously 😉 We moved from an old flat with tons of character (and BEAMS, I love beams), into a house that’s less than a year old, which is really bright and light and totally empty. Which meant – RE-STYLE!!! We both wanted a nice clean and light home to settle down in, so we decided to keep the interior mainly white, cream and grey. That way, we have a nice blank canvas to work from when it comes to furnishings and decor.

I LOVE our new home, and after months of waiting to move in (and therefore months of browsing for ideas online), when we were finally in a position to furnish –  I was LOVING life! And still am 😊 So here we go:

Stacking Tables – Wayfair

I know these made it to my last post, but I LOVE them, so had to include them again! We hadn’t seen anything similar anywhere else, especially not in ROSE GOLD! 😍

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Trinket Dish – Next

I saw this a good month before we moved out of the flat, but when it was Rose Gold AND marble… I couldn’t resist, and bought it straight away! (Then it sat in a box for 6 weeks)!

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Floor Light – IKEA

We knew we wanted a fancy floor light for the living room, and didn’t go to IKEA with the intention of buying – but we saw this and HAD to buy it (when DOESN’T that happen at IKEA, let’s face it 😂). I wish I could capture it better, but you get the idea!

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Aloe Vera – IKEA

Now this we DID go with the intention of buying. We wanted some greenery to freshen the place up and knew we could get some in the Market Place when we were already there buying furniture. This sits in the bathroom and I honestly don’t know why I didn’t invest in house plants sooner!

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Mason Jars – Etsy

These were in my favourites for monthssss before purchasing, so I was so excited when I finally got my desk/dressing table sorted and I could buy these! Can you tell I love MARBLE AND ROSE GOLD yet? 🙊

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Leaner Mirror – Wayfair

(Image from website).
I’d seen a lot of these large leaner mirrors on Insta and really liked them,
so got searching, and happened across this one…I waited until it was reduced,
and got it ordered! 

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Shoe Rack – Amazon

This is a BRILLIANT idea, I found it a year or so ago to put at the back of our wardrobe/cupboard in the flat (it was almost a second bedroom)! And when we moved, I ordered another! It comes totally deconstructed, which means you can build it and click it together in any design you want. In the flat, it was a cuboid block of 12, now as you can see, it fits perfectly in our under stairs cupboard.

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Bluebells Canvas – Etsy

We decided we wanted a nice natural canvas, so knowing how much of a good experience I’ve had with Etsy, we headed to their website. There’s lots of gorgeous canvases on there, but this is the one we went with.

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Desk/Dressing Table – Various

The desk and drawers are from IKEA, mirror from Dunelm, Chair from Wayfair, canvas from Matalan, cushion from Amazon, and you’ve already seen the mason jars and trinket dish 😊 I love this little set up! Ed’s desk is much more manly, so I had to make my side of the room pretty 😊

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If you’ve got any fave home furnishings, what are they? Or is there anything you think I need to invest in? Let me know in the comments!

Lynette x

 

The Best Stores for Kitting Out Your Home

Now obviously, this is completely subjective, and this is done purely from the experiences we’ve had doing up the house. It’s not gospel, and I’m sure there are other great stores out there that we didn’t use, but these are our faves, and I’ll explain why 😊

Ikea

I MEAN, WHO DOESN’T LOVE IKEA, of COURSE it’s at the top of the list! One of the most exciting things about moving is the prospect of going to The Narnia of household furnishings! You know as soon as you step through those doors, however well thought out your shopping list was, you’ll be leaving with more than you planned for 🙃 Virtually all of our furniture is new, and virtually all of it came from Ikea. I didn’t realise until I just thought about it then…it was a busy and confusing time, but I suppose we did end up going twice in 2 weeks AND get an order delivered to our home address too… It’s safe to say that we are now absolute masters in IKEA DIY (you know that when you don’t even really need to look at the instructions because you can pretty much guess which screws go where). I loved building our furniture because it was fun, the experience of Ikea is ALWAYS enjoyable, and #adulting!

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Dunelm

I’ve loved Dunelm ever since I first moved down to London. Mama P took me to the big store at Clifton Moor in York before I moved, and I fell in love – it’s a fab store for home furnishings and small bits of furniture. Ed and I ended up getting curtains, light shades, bed linen, bits of cookware and more! The prices aren’t too bad either – there’s definitely a few bed sets that are way more than one should be spending on linen, but equally they’ve got some items clearly aimed at students – so it’s perfect for everyone!

Wayfair

Advertising won, I wouldn’t have known about Wayfair were it not for Lorraine Kelly squating away in the ITV advert breaks. And, the advert’s right – whatever homeware you’re looking for, there’s something for you and your budget – and a lot of it too, they’ve got a great range of products! I’m in love with our stacking tables from Wayfair – I hadn’t seen any Rose Gold tables anywhere else, and I love the style! We also got a bean bag and clock from here, and they won’t be the last purchases, I can tell you that for sure! My one word of warning though, things seem to go fast, so if you have a floor light saved in your favourites, it may not be in stock a week later. I see it as a sign (yes, this happened to me), but it’s good to be aware!

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Next 

I never thought about going to Next for homeware until a google search for marble look placemats took me there…but they’ve got some lovely things! Kitchenware, bedroom things, decor…and not too extortionately priced either! (To date), we’ve got the placemats, tealight holders, candles and a trinket dish from there, all of which are perfect for our home.

The Range

Similar to Dunelm I suppose, a little cheaper though (and they do craft things there too, for any keen crafters out there)! We mainly used it for kitting out the bathrooms, though I’ve shopped there before for wall art and wedding decorations too (YES, that’s right, but I’ll be sharing these details AFTER the wedding) 😊

Etsy

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned on more than occasion how much I love Etsy, so I’m sorry to sound like a broken record, but I really do! I came across it a couple of years ago when looking for gifts, and I’ve been a regular visitor to the website ever since – for gifts, and now for home decor too. We got our personalised house sign from there, as well as a canvas painting for the bedroom and marble mason jars for my desk. I love being able to support small businesses, and there’s some gorgeous, quality stuff on there. Go and check it out if you haven’t already, especially with Christmas on the way!

We’re still not done kitting out the house yet, so if you have any other stores that you think we need to visit, let me know in the comments below!

And NEXT TIME, I’ll be sharing some of my favourite new items in our little home, so if you’re curious about seeing what we actually got from these shops, stay tuned!

Lynette x

Things No One Tells You About Moving House

When we decided back in March that we were going to move, I had no IDEA what the reality of it would actually be. Of course I’ve moved before, but it’s never been as big as this one…whilst moving to uni or to central London have been significant points in my life, they were never MASSIVE. Sure it’s stressful, having to pack everything up and move your entire life elsewhere – but it’s not until we started the process of buying a house that I realised all my previous stresses were NOTHING compared to the adulting version.

I wasn’t totally naive, I knew there’d be a lot of things involved (things you don’t think about until you’re doing it) but the whole process was made unnecessarily stressful by factors we couldn’t control. I’m not going to go into the nitty gritty of the actual sale of the flat/purchase of the house, because frankly, I don’t want to. What I AM going to share with you are the day to day experiences.

1 – Stress

The constant STRESS will be nothing you’ve ever experienced before. Plenty of people said to me over the last few months that along with divorce, it’s one if the biggest things you can do in your life. I’ve felt stressed plenty of times in the past, as we all have, but stressing about something at work now seems like a walk in the park by comparison! There’s so many things hanging over your head for so long, you can’t do ANYTHING about them, it’s all in someone else’s hands…and that was maybe the worst bit.

2 – The disruption to your life

We carried on working as we moved, but I’d be lying if I said I was still able to give work my full attention during the process. I was often distracted, but in particular, it affected the amount I could work from home. As a dance teacher, I do all of my prepping, music finding/editing at home, and when we were moving I just didn’t have the time. I take my hat off to anyone with a 9-5 job (or similar) who keep working and move at the same time, because I really struggled.

3 – Packing is SO time consuming

If you can, start early. Yes it’s a pain to live out of boxes, but TRUST ME, the sooner you start the better.

4 – You’ll have a constant dull headache

Most likely brought on by the stress, and thankfully I didn’t have one for the entire 6 months…but for the actual move itself, it was always there. Keep the paracetamol handy.

5 – How mentally and physically draining it is

…I think because for so long, your life is out of your control. You rely solely on other people to make this dream happen for you, and you may feel like they don’t give a s**t. Which can be such a gutting feeling to have to walk around with, particularly for months on end.

6 – You have so much CRAP

I’ve said it before, but you don’t realise how much crap you accumulate until you have to box it all up and pack it away! We used the move as an opportunity to have a bit of detox and a sort (a lot went to charity or in the bin in the end), but you’ll still have a million things to pack. And a month after moving in, you’ll still have unpacked boxes littering your home. It’s not ideal, but it’s best just to accept it!

7 – Even though it’s a legally binding document, signing doesn’t feel real

Probably because it’s taken so long to get to this point. You’ve had so many phone calls, so many cases of getting your hopes up that things are starting to happen, but then being let down. So when it ACTUALLY happens it feels very surreal. I didn’t even believe it when we got the keys!

8 – How much cardboard you’ll accumulate

Obviously, there’ll be tons from the boxes you used to move stuff over, but even MORE so if your furniture is new. Our house is a new build, was totally bare, and we wanted to use it as an opportunity for a fresh start – with the wedding in 6 months, it was the prefect time to start a new chapter. Which is amazing, but the amount of things you have to buy will be a lot more than you thought! And that translated into cardboard means a LOT of runs to the tip.

But please don’t think it’s all negative! Not at all! There’s so many positives (and I’ll be talking about these in a separate post), but you can GUESS the good ones ahead of time. The ones I’ve listed are things I hadn’t even considered until we experienced it ourselves!

I’m going to leave you with a positive though:

9 – How incredible it feels when things start coming together

You may not be totally happy with how things are, your TV still isn’t mounted on the wall, you’ve got some doors off hinges after having the carpet done and your second bedroom resembles a dumping ground…

But it’s starting to take shape, it’s starting to feel like home, and after the crazy, busy, stressful experience, it’s in AMAZING feeling!

AND whilst I have the opportunity, I want to give a huge shout out to our friends and family for all the support you’ve offered. Whether that was an ear to moan to (I’m looking predominantly at my ladies dance/fitness class on a Monday – Moaning Monday I nicknamed it, I’m so sorry 😂), a supportive or encouraging word, the offer of help or a ‘Happy New Home’ card…it means a lot. In particular, I need to show lots of love to both sets of parents who’ve been absolutely amazing (as ever, but especially) during this process 💖

Stay tuned for more house posts – I’ll be discussing our fave stores for kitting out our new home next time!

Lynette x

Bullet Journal for Bloggers

A couple of months ago, having seen a lot of fellow bloggers mention Bullet Journals in their tweets, I thought I’d see what all the fuss was about, and invested myself – and I’m so glad I did!

Until then, I’d used my phone and iPad to keep notes, gather ideas and store anything blog related. Since I took it all a bit more seriously at the beginning of the summer, it was all just getting too much for my little ‘Notes’ app to cope with, and I decided I needed a notebook to help make everything easier.

To get a bit of inspiration, I googled some images, read a few posts about how other bloggers used theirs, and cracked on! A few of you had said you’d be interested in seeing how I got on with mine, so I’m going to share some of it with you now 😊

Yearly Calendar

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Fairly straight forward, and yes I have the calendar app on my phone too, but it’s good to have at the front of the journal to refer to quickly if I’m already writing.

Category Tracker

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Seeing as I write about whatever topic takes my fancy at the time, I thought it might be helpful to keep an eye on the types of blogs I post. Colour coordinating like this means I can see at a glance what topic needs some more love, and what my next couple of posts could be.

Monthly Calendar

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This has so far proved to be the most helpful section of my journal. I mapped out the month and filled in my blog posts, Instagram posts and Pinterest posts (each month is in different colours too, October was orange and brown). As you can see, I’ve tried to spread out my post schedule, mainly because I have no idea what days are best to post on yet. I figured I’d give it a shot this way this month, and see how we go. Keeping a note of Insta and Pinterest has also proved to be REALLY handy: before now I’d just do it off the top of my head, but it’s one less thing to have floating around in there (which is really helpful with the craziness of life right now)!

Photo Plan

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This one was new this month (a couple of days ago in fact), when I’d mapped out most of November on the monthly calendar. With so much going on, I thought it’d be a good idea to make a note of what photos were going to be needed (and when), and note them down so I can keep track of them easily, and (as before) without endless ideas just floating around in my head. It’s actually helped a lot so far, I already feel much more in control!

Post Ideas

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From there, I get into actual post ideas. Some ideas are categorised like this Beauty/Lifestyle page, (I’ve made space at the side to tick when posts are written, photos taken and published too).

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Other pages, like this ‘Fun Things About Moving House’ page, just a stand alone because there’s so many subheadings/notes to include.

And last but not least…

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I mean, it’s November now, it’s definitely not too early to be planning for Blogmas!

And that’s where I’m up to so far! I’m going to take everything month by month, because I think that’ll real help maintain clarity about my blog and it’s content. If anyone wants to take inspiration from these pages, please do!

Lynette x

Life Update – Autumn 2018

RIGHT, well hello again…I can’t believe how long it’s been! I’d really started getting into blogging over the summer, and then suddenly; nothing. But I promise you I have a very valid reason – WE MOVED INTO OUR FIRST HOUSE!

If you know me or follow me on social media, I’m sure it won’t have escaped your notice, as I haven’t really shut up about it! It’s been a long, tiring, stressful process – how naive was I to think it’d be easy and smooth, and that we’d be settled and back to normal by the end of September?! ❌ I’m not going to go into details of the problems we’ve encountered throughout this process because frankly, I see no point in moaning now we’re finally getting settled, and also, you’d still be reading this post 6 months from now 🙃 I want to focus on the POSITIVES, because as I say, we’re in, we’re settled and we love the house!

My last blog post 25 Discoveries in my 25th Year was published when we were in our little limbo home – we moved out of the flat on 17th September but couldn’t move into the house until 26th September (it’s a new build so it was totally bare – we were waiting on the carpet installation), so spent a week in a holiday home by the river. It wasn’t an ideal situation, but it was pretty and we made it work – and it meant I spent the evening of my 26th birthday on the roof terrace with my Bish, sipping Prosecco ❤️

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Moving into a new build is great, because you can TOTALLY make it your own. But when you’re starting with a blank canvas, it takes time to get it done, especially when you’re still working at the same time. We’ve got all the furniture done now (apart from some shelves that need fitting and the TV mounted on the wall), so it’ll just be little homey touches to finish it off – and those kinds of things are best decided when you’ve actually been living in the space! Some of my favourite additions so far – PLANTS! They really lift the feeling of the room, and I’m loving having them around.

I want to give a MASSIVE shout out right now to my parents who helped us with the move – they didn’t need to take time off from work to help us shift all of our crap out of the flat and move it over, but they did. Or to give up their evenings to help us take things to to the tip, but they did. And a SPECIAL mention to my Dad who’s given up EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND SINCE to help us DIY 😳 It’s meant so much to both of us that you’ve been so helpful and supportive, and we really can’t thank you enough ❤️

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As we slowly start to get there, we can begin to find a bit of normality in life again (though it’s been up in the air for so long, I may have forgotten what that feels like)! I’m really excited to get back to blogging (I’ve missed it and my blogger friends!), and I can actually get a bit of a social life back! With my job, my social life isn’t particularly thiving anyway, but for too many months now I’ve had to postpone plans with friends. I can’t tell you how many times the phrase ‘as soon as we’re a bit more settled in the house we’ll get something sorted!’ has been used! And I feel awful for having had to do it, I just didn’t realise how long it’d take to be ‘sorted’. I should’ve just sent out an email to my bezzies 3 months back saying ‘SEE YA AT XMAS!’, it’d have probably been more accurate 😂

I’m majorly excited to get back to my chums (because they have so much going on too, so catch ups are a MUST), and also to get back to wedding planning! It had to be put on hold during the move – thank God we got the big things booked 6 months ago, else we’d be in real bother now! With only half a year left, I really need to get cracking! 👰🏻

And I continue to love my job 💖 My ‘academy’ kids performed amazingly in their showcase this weekend – to see how far they’ve come in year just filled me with pride! And my ‘studio’ kids better get ready, because when we get back from half term, we go full whack into rehearsals for our annual show in March! I’ve got some routine ideas that I’m really excited to start, so bring it on! A couple of little extra opportunities have presented themselves over the last couple of months too, which is really amazing, and I feel incredibly grateful. Seeing kids learn, grow, become better people, develop their teamwork skills, have fun with friends and and enjoy themselves is just incredible – I’m very lucky to be able to do such a rewarding job 🙏

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And that, my friends, is where I leave you for today. I have plenty of blog inspo that I’ve been jotting down in my Bullet Journal (the journal I meant to talk about at the beginning of September…it didn’t happen then because I didn’t have time, but I WILL be discussing it in my next post)! December is fast approaching too, which means…BLOGMAS! It’s getting cold, I’m loving my new cuddly coat, and I’m proper getting in the mood for winter and Christmas so I’ve started planning for that too! Who else is planning for Blogmas?

Until next time,

Lynette x

25 Discoveries in my 25th Year

YAYYYYY BIRTHDAY! I’m a couple of days late, but I just didn’t have time to post this on the actual day! 🎈🎉🎂

I’ve seen a lot of bloggers do a ‘___ things I’ve learned in ___ years’ for their birthdays, but I’ve decided to note down 25 discoveries (food, beauty, lifestyle, well-being…) from the last 12 months. Enjoy!

1. ‘It’s Just a Story…’

This is a big one for me, and linked to my post about how Derren Brown’s ‘Miracle’ helped my anxiety. I go into more detail in the post and explain what the phrase means, but just for a quick insight; I struggle with anxiety on occasion, mainly when dealing with new places/experiences, and applying this phrase to stressful situations has allowed me to cope with my anxiety in a different way. The show is on Netflix and I didn’t imagine when I sat down to watch it that it would make me look at life differently, but this simple phrase when worrying about something… it honestly really helps. 

2. Chocolate Wine

YES it’s a thing, but you can only get it in Sainsbury’s! It’s so delicious and yummy, and it’s VERYYYYYYY easy to drink it as you would a glass of juice (definitely try to pace yourself with this one)! Seriously though, give it a go! (FYI it’s in the port section as it’s classed as a fortified product – Ed and I spent AGES trying to find it in the red wine section to start off with)!

3. It’s okay to say no to work

I hate to let anyone down, as I’m sure we all do. But sometimes, when that comes at the detriment of your physical or mental health, you have to say no. I had a situation at the beginning of the year where I’d taken on too much and it was really taking it’s toll. As much as I hated to do it, I said no to a job. But I’m glad I did, because I really don’t know how I’d have coped for the rest of the school year with such intense commitments. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY, do what YOU need to do.

4. How To Drive

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I never had the time to learn when I was at school, so I started learning a year after I moved back to Yorkshire, shortly before my 25th birthday. I was extremely nervous ahead of time because I felt old to be learning…everyone my age already seemed to know how to drive, and all other learners were doing so in their school uniforms! But I had the most amazing teacher, who’s calming voice I still hear in my head, and getting my car in December has opened up so many doors for me! As a freelance dance tutor, it really is one of the best things I’ve done.

5. Twitter’s Amazing Blogging Community

I had no idea until the beginning of summer that there even WAS a blogging community on Twitter! But I’ve met some wonderfully supportive and friendly people, and I love to check out their content and see how they’re getting on. Shout out to my lovely blogger gals 😊

6. Dermalogica Skincare

I included this in a post about clearing up my skin, and I have to repeat it because the Clear Start Toner has made a MASSIVE difference. My skin’s finally cleared up (took long enough mind you) and now I wouldn’t be without it!

7. Mushroom Sauce

This was a discovery from a Google search when I wanted to jazz up a chicken breast. It’s easy and yummy and has made it to my recipe book! This is the recipe I used.

8. The ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Soundtrack

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Yes, I know it came out last year, yes I know I’m late to the party, but I don’t care – this soundtrack is gorgeous. The story sends a really important message, and the actual music itself is incredibly special. If you haven’t listened to it, DO. I listen to this at least once a week.

9. Want activewear? Head to Forever21!

Forever 21 was a favourite in our year group at Bird for fancy sports bras, and I’ve shopped their activewear range on occasion for the last 18 months or so (as well as JD Sports, Sports Direct and other branded stores). Now, I tend to head straight for Forever 21, especially for sports bras and leggings. The high waisted leggings DON’T SLIP DOWN, are very flattering and comfy, and I adore the designs too. Most of the time they have a matching sports bra (and who doesn’t feel like they can take on the world when they’re matchy matchy?!), so I’m absolutely in love with this store for my work clothes 💖

10. Multiple planners are a god send

Of course, I’m referring to my wedding! One planner ain’t enough, there’s just not enough room for all the various notes you scribble, questions for meetings, contact information of suppliers, guest list, playlist ideas, not to mention the more fun bits like colour scheme ideas/inspo, guest predictions and memorable dates… I have two but I’m not gonna lie, I’m tempted to get a third!

11. Being on stage with a significant other is THE MOST FUN!

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Ed and I have done our fair share of shows together over the years, but October 2017 was our first with the upgrade from bezzies to a couple. And it was SO much fun! Shoutout to HSAP, we miss you!

12. How FAB Etsy is

I really had no idea until I started using it last Christmas! I’ve bought so much from there now, it’s my go to for gift ideas and I love browsing all the wedding related stuff to get inspiration too! I’m going to be dedicating a couple of blog posts to my Etsy experience, so keep an eye out!

13. ‘Unforgotten’ (ITV)

The most gripping TV series I’ve watched since Broadchurch series 3. If you haven’t already, get yourself on the ITV Hub and catch up on the last 3 series, because this is such a JUICY drama. And I love murder mysteries so this is right up my street! Ed and I totally binge watched this and cannot WAIT for the next series, because the story lines and performances and just outstanding.

14. How you fuel your body has a massive impact on the way it runs

Potentially an obvious one? We all know that if we spend our lives eating takeaways, we’re going to feel more sluggish and crappy than if we’re eating a more ‘clean’ diet (I put that in inverted commas because I’m not suggesting I eat like a rabbit AT ALL, but now, I’m making everything from scratch so I know exactly what’s in my food). We haven’t necessarily been on a ‘diet’, but recently we’ve re-educated ourselves about what we’re putting into our bodies. Before now, it was very carb heavy – to my mind, active jobs like ours required carbs to fuel us through. Whilst this isn’t necessarily wrong, having spent a lot of my life eating bread and pasta and NOW concentrating on fueling my body with higher portions of protein/veggies/natural snacks – my body feels SO MUCH better for it! I have more energy, I feel less sluggish – and I didn’t realise I was feeling sluggish in the first place! It was a life changing discovery.

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15. Rebuilding burnt bridges lifts a weight you didn’t even know was there

So I recently re-kindled with my old high school bezzie. There’s no need to get into the ‘break up’ or any of that miserable business, because the main thing is, it’s all in the past. It was the one thing that really made me sad when I’d look back at it, or imagined what life might be like were she still one of my gals…but I didn’t realise there was a weight there…not until it was lifted! Lots of love has been happening this year and this just finished it off nicely 😊

16. Continuing to learn at work

Vague, but I genuinely learn more every time I’m in the Studio (whichever Studio that may be)! It really is one of those things where you learn on the job – I know I’m probably a VERY different teacher now to how I was 2 years ago when I’d only just started. I’m very lucky to be able to teach a wide range of students/styles/abilities/locations, and am loving being able to learn from some incredible creatives/collegues.

17. I didn’t know what stress was until we bought a house

I have no idea why I ever thought I was stressed before now. Having experienced the stress and rubbish that goes with buying a house, I will never complain about being stressed again! It’s such an important thing hanging over you for so long, something that you have NO control over… I don’t think we can comprehend until we actually go through it, how intense the entire process is. It’s been a rubbish experience regardless of the stress (I’m not going into it though), and can’t wait till we’re actually moved in! We got the keys a week ago and finally, we had a reason to SMILE about the house – it had been fairly miserable up to that point 😂

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18. I’m actually quite good at cooking!

I started my cooking life 7 years ago when I moved down to London, and it’s safe to say that it’s been a longggggg learning experience – Jacket Potatoes and Chicken Kievs were my go to for the first year or so 😂 As with anything, it just takes practice, but it’s only in the last couple of months that I’ve realised that I can cook up some mean dishes!

19. I’m shocking at baking

Total opposite of the above. I’ll give it a go, especially when I’m making Ed’s birthday cake or my rent’s anniversary cake – but I’m absolutely awful. I cheat and use the Betty Crocker mixes, but I’m still rubbish 😂

20. Flowers in the home make me happy

I don’t know if it’s the freshness or the colour or what – but it lifts my mood 😊

21. Cherry J Rum

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Ed made the discovery in So Bar a few months back, and it’s BEAUTIFUL. You know cherry haribo? Imagine that flavour mixed with coke and ice 😍 You can buy it on Amazon, and if you’re in the mood for that kind of drink, BUY IT!

22. ‘The one’ wedding dress is a thing

I HAVE MY WEDDING DRESS AND I’M UTTERLY IN LOVE WITH IT and I genuinely thought this was just a saying. Until I got mine on in the store. And OMG. It’s a wonderful feeling. I DON’T WANT TO WAIT ANOTHER 8 MONTHS TO WEAR IT THOUGH 😂👰🏻

23. It’s okay to rely on people

I’ve always been very happy with my independence, and by extension, relying on just myself. In the last 12 months I’ve realised it’s okay to share your burden with someone else – it actually helps! Even if it’s literally just talking through a problem, it’s amazing how much better you feel. I’m pretty sure that allowing myself to let down that barrier and be weak on occasion has actually helped my mental health. And I am forever grateful to my wonderful fiance for being absolutely incredible, and knowing me better than I know myself.

24. Want a cheap bouquet? Head to M&S!

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It was a couple of days ago when Ed and I had moved out of the flat that we popped down to M&S to get a nice little tea and some bubbles. At the checkout, one of the ladies who worked there (who was sorting out flowers at the end of the conveyor belt at the time) piped up; ‘Do you want some flowers?’ They were £1.60 for the bouquet down from, can you guess? £16. £16! Which is JUST ridiculous. There were a couple of other bouquets that were starting to brown, so I guess it’ll just be luck of the drawer…but now I know! Go at the end of the day right before closing! You’re welcome 😉

25. Don’t be afraid to cut people out of your life

It’s difficult to cut toxic people out of your life, particularly when you have history with them. You keep them as friends on Facebook or follow each other on Instagram: whether that’s because you haven’t got round to doing a social media cleanse, or whether they meant something to you and you’re not sure if you’re ready to end all communication with them. But life’s too short. I’ve got to an age now where if someone doesn’t add or bring anything to my life, or worse, take away from it, why keep them in it? It feels a bit harsh, but d’you know where I’m coming from? It’s only this year that I’ve found the courage to cut those people from my life. I’ve got a new chapter starting, so this is the perfect time to have a clear out.

And there we go, well done if you made it to the end, I wasn’t expecting it to be as long as that – I guess I got carried away with descriptions 🙈 I hope you enjoyed learning about my discoveries, and maybe learned a thing or two along the way! 

Until next time…

Lynette x

Blogger Recognition Award

So this is exciting! In the middle of all the moving madness and stress last week, I found a spare minute to check my Twitter notifications and realised Mel LaBella had nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award! Which is lovely! I’ve been much less active with my blog and the various social media platforms associated with it because of the chatoic-ness of life/the move. Which is fine, it’s my hobby, but to get this nomination when I’d been a bit quiet was amazing, so thankyou so much chick!

The rules: 

  • Thank the blogger that nominated you
  • Write a post to show your award
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers
  • Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to
  • Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created

How Life with Lynette started:

When I came back from London two years ago, a lot of people had asked if I was going to start a blog about life as a dance teacher. The thought hadn’t occured to me, but after some thinking, I decided to give it a go. It was only tiny in comparison to what I do now – I was posting once every 2/3 weeks, and only shared it on my work Instagram account and Facebook friends. My posts gradually decreased until the beginning of this year, where I went 6 months with only one post – I just didn’t have time or inspiration to write.

July came around and I decided it was either time to knock it on the head officially, or commit properly. I popped a poll on Instagram, and the outcome was that people would be interested in reading it, to stick with it, and write about whatever I wanted – not just dance. So that’s exactly what I did! And it was actually really nice to find out people would be interested in reading what I have to say!

Here I am, 2 months later, having done quite a bit of research about blogging techniques/engagement tips, written quite a few fresh posts, am actively making an effort to engage on Twitter and Instagram – and am loving it! As I said, the last couple of weeks have been a struggle, and it’ll be another couple of weeks till I’m back into the swing of things: and I’m missing it a bit! Especially the lovely blogger friends I’ve made!

Advice for New Bloggers No. 1:
~ Just Go With the Flow ~

I’ve seen a few bloggers recently panicking about not having a niche, or specific topics to talk about – worrying that they need to have one. You don’t! If you want to have one for yourself, GREAT, but equally, don’t feel like you have to just because a lot of bloggers do. If you want to just write whatever comes to your mind, DO THAT. It’s much more organic, more genuine, and you (as a writer) come across much better to your audience – forced posts lack passion and aren’t as enjoyable to read. And speaking from personal experience, since switching the way my blog works, I enjoy it SO MUCH more. PLUS, I have much more inspiration, because I’m not pressuring or limiting myself to talk about one thing. It’s your blog, niche or not, do what YOU want.

Advice for New Bloggers No. 2
~ Utilise Twitter ~

I’ve said it before, but I had no idea how vast the blogging community was on Twitter. For sharing your posts, reading others, engaging with people, advertising your other blog related social media accounts… It’s SUCH a useful tool. I only started with Twitter as a blogger in mid July and it was such a good decision! My blog traffic has increased massively, and I’ve met some amazing people! There are so many friendly and supportive bloggers out there – as opposed to being competitive as I originally thought! Shout out to the friends I’ve made through blogging 💖

My Nominees:

  1. Sophie’s Choice
  2. Elisha Blogs
  3. Just Sophie
  4. Tasha’s Lifestyle
  5. Ellie Blakeney
  6. My Big Fat Greek Lifestyle/Coffee and Corfu
  7. Bailey Leah
  8. Grand Fash Life
  9. World of Rachel
  10. Rebecca Faye
  11. Scrubs and Swimsuits
  12. Anchored Teapot
  13. Blog About a Latte
  14. Kate’s Beauty Home
  15. Books Nest

I look forward to reading your responses, and I’m hoping to be back into the swing of things soon! Lots of love 💖

Lynette x