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

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

Sunshine Blogger Award

Well this is very exciting, I’ve been nominated to take part in the ‘Sunshine Blogger Award’ by the lovely Just Sophie – thankyou chick! 😊 I’m still relatively new to blogging ‘properly’ (by that I mean using social media platforms proactively to engage with a bigger, more like minded audience. I use the term loosely because I believe bloggers can and should make their own rules, but recently I’ve become a part of the blogging community on twitter and am actively making an effort: this is what I mean by ‘properly’. Compared to the zero effort I put it in before now 😂 anyway, back to the point)… so seeing her tweet of recognition the other day really was something special ❤️

Now, up until 2 weeks ago, I had zero idea that there WAS a blogging community on Twitter, so I’m totally new to this award idea! Therefore, I’m copying and pasting the rules from Sophie’s post:

🌻 🌻 🌻 🌻 🌻 🌻 🌻

The Sunshine Blogger Award is a great way of
giving fellow bloggers the gratitude and
the recognition that they deserve.

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So you have been nominated to take part? Like and retweet the amazing person who did this for you and then check out their post. After reading their answers to the questions they were presented to, subscribe to their blog. Support! Now it’s time to create your own post and answer the questions you have been given. Once you have done this, it’s time to choose 11 of your favourite bloggers and nominate them. Don’t forget to add a list of 11 questions for them to answer too. It’s all about supporting each other guys!

Here we go 😊

1. What is your favourite month of the year and why?

December – CHRISTMAS! 🎄 I adore the time of year; twinkly lights, festive cheer, mulled wine, everyone all bundled up and full of love… I know it can also be a sad time for some, but it’s also the time for magic and miracles ✨

2. Who is the one person that could make you smile, even on the most down of days?

Easy, my incredible fiance. After 9 years of being best friends and now getting on for 2 years together, he knows me better than I know myself (I always thought it was weird when I heard people say that in films, but it’s true). He’s daft and funny and such a good soul ANYWAY, but not one day goes by that he doesn’t have me grinning from ear to ear. I mean, right now, he’s singing ‘KEN LEEEEEE’ in the shower (if you don’t know, you’re missing out, CLICK HERE😂) and going up in key every time. I’m howling 😂

3. What is the best dream you have had that you can remember?

I’m useless at remembering dreams anyway, so attempting to remember the best one is proving tricky...but I DID dream about Halloumi last night…

4. What is your favourite food and why?

Wow. To narrow it down to just one is near impossible, I bloody love food. Especially seeing as I’ve altered my diet recently and haven’t had cheese or cake or anything DELIGHTFULLY yummy in over a week (the struggle’s been real). OMG that’s it! Cheesecake! Whenever I’m out to tea, regardless of who I’m with, everyone knows that if there’s Cheesecake on the menu you don’t need to ask Lynette what she’s having. And I really want some Cheesecake now… Cheers Soph 🙄😂

5. If you could live anywhere on the planet, where would you live?

Boring perhaps, but right here. We’re so lucky to live in such a gorgeous little bubble of a town, and have the beautiful countryside so close. I love spending time wandering or exploring (although it doesn’t happen as frequently as I’d like), but it really does fill me with a massive sense of peace and happiness, it always has. And when you find a feeling like that, you don’t wanna let it go 😊 

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6. If you could only take one thing onto a desert island with you, what would it be?

The Harry Potter book series.

7. What are your favourite things to blog about?

When I started blogging a little shy of 2 years ago, I did so because I’d just moved home and started life as a dance teacher – a lot of people asked if I was going to start a blog, so I thought, ‘why not?!’, and started to blog about dance/teaching/theatre. I didn’t do it very seriously and only really shared my posts on Facebook, so didn’t reach a very wide audience. After a dry spell at the beginning of this year, I thought; right, this is the time to either commit to it, or knock it on the head. Following a poll on my work Instagram account, the consensus was to go back to blogging and write about whatever the heck I wanted. So a month ago, that’s what I did. I don’t think I’ve been blogging ‘properly’ (again, I use that term lightly) enough to KNOW just yet! Although I did enjoy writing about the experience I had choosing my wedding dress!

8. Where was the last place that you travelled to?

London, with my fiance and future in laws. We’d been bought tickets to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (WHICH IS AMAZING, if you can, GO!), and I also took Ed to see The Lion King as a birthday present. The shows were good, but it was over 30 degrees, it was stuffy, yucky, and I didn’t feel well, so it wasn’t the best weekend. It was the first time I’d been back to London since moving away (I’d managed to steer clear for nearly 2 years!) so I think it was fate telling me that I didn’t belong there anymore 😂

9. What song makes you happy as soon as you listen to it?

There’s so many, for so many different reasons, particularly as a dancer: you form strong emotional attachments to songs that you loved the routine to, or that reminds you of certain people, or a special time in your life/career. I almost went with Lord of the Rings, but something keeps pulling me back to ‘Sing’ by Gary Barlow and the Commonwealth Band. It’s the last duet I performed on stage with my wonderful best girlfriend 6 years ago, and the song reminds me of a her and the huge joy I did (and have always felt) when we dance together😊 

10. What colour is your bedroom?

The upstairs of our flat is kind of open plan, so we have a corner sofa on one side, desk by the stairs, and bed on the other side. With the black beams we’ve just left it cream, and I love it up there…I’ll miss it when we move!

11. How do you eat your jaffa cakes?

Nibble the cakey/chocolate bit round the edge. 
Eat any remaining cake under the jaffa.
Jaffa and chocolate goes in mouth.
Wait till chocolate melts.
Chew jaffa.
Repeat.

I really want jaffa cakes now…

My nominees are:

  1. Sophiies Choice
  2. Elisha Blogs
  3. Blog About A Latte
  4. Tasha Lifestyle
  5. Bailey Leah
  6. Abis Blog
  7. Luna Violeta
  8. Beth Rebecca
  9. Safe Haven; Anonymous Letters
  10. Georgia Leanne
  11. Sage Olivia

Your 11 Questions:

  1. What’s your favourite thing about blogging?
  2. What is your biggest inspiration?
  3. Favourite saying/quote?
  4. If you could go back to one of your holiday destinations, where would it be and why?
  5. What’s the best piece of advice you can give to new bloggers?
  6. (Coz I’m totally on the wedding vibe right now!) What’s the one thing you want/wanted at your wedding?
  7. What’s your favourite season and why?
  8. (From one of my fave films as a teenager, 13 Going On 30, that was on telly today): If you could have on do-over in life, what would it be and why?
  9. What’s your favourite dessert?
  10. It’s a grey, rainy, miserable Sunday and you want to stay at home. How do you spend the day?
  11. What’s the one piece of advice you’d give your teenage self?

It’s your time to shine folks!

Lynette x

I Said Yes To The Dress

This weekend is a double showcase weekend, so the stress is definitely real. Because of that, in my down time I’ve really tried to distract myself. And the way I’ve done that is to binge watch the LIFE out of ‘Say Yes To the Dress’. Which has thrown me back to the beauty and excitement of MY wedding dress experience ❤️

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So I got engaged in February, and I threw myself straight into Wedding Planning – which by the way is the MOST fun. We’ve cracked on and got the big things that need booking in advance, booked, which I will talk about at a later date. But one of the FIRST things I got…was my dress. It wasn’t intentional, it’s just the way it ended up working out! There’s so many suggestions out there for timelines for all parts of a wedding, and my Wedding Planning book suggests getting your dress 9 months ahead of your wedding day. Which I guess is part of the reason why I was so surprised to get it sorted so quickly – I ended up getting my dress 13 months early! But I suppose I wouldn’t be me if I hadn’t ticked it off my to-do list agessssss in advance! #OrganisationQueen

Mama P booked a day off work in the Easter Hols and we headed up to The Bridal Outlet in Northallerton. There’s no appointment necessary so we rocked up at about 11am and had no time to wait at all (though there was quite a queue forming when I’d finished so if you head up there, it definitely pays to go early).

The system there works in a simple way…

⁃ Have a look through the dresses
⁃ Pop a tag on 3 you want to try on
⁃ When it’s your turn they’ll take the dresses into the changing room and call you in.
(You do get to try on more than 3, but those are just the starting point, for you and your consultant to get an idea of what you do/don’t like).

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Browsing through all the dresses was probably the hardest part – they’re all in protective translucent bags, and although you can see the top part clearly, you can’t see the skirt, so it’s a struggle to imagine what it’ll be like actually on. But it was fun regardless!

I don’t want to give away any details about dresses I tried on (yet), but maybe in a year or so when I’m actually married! Main reason being, I don’t want anyone (particularly Ed) to have any inkling of what I’ll be wearing. So that’s where the description of the experience ends, soz!

But I can tell you, that the dress I bought was the FIRST DRESS I picked up off the rack. And I love that it ended up working like that, coz it was the same for my mum 😍 I didn’t go with the intention of buying my dress that day as I said, I went expecting to use it as a fact finding mission; to find out what I did/didn’t like, or what did/didn’t suit me…but I fell in love with my dress. And the second time it was on, I knew it was the one.

The feeling really is as incredible as people say. 
When you know, you know ❤️

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It was a very surreal experience, I couldn’t believe was stood in a wedding dress – it really is a pinch yourself moment. If I’m honest, I think I’m going to struggle to comprehend that I’m getting married right up until the big day itself, maybe even after! At the risk of sounding super cringey, our whole relationship has been fairytale-like and I still can’t believe how lucky I am (for those who know us, it was a LONG time coming) 😂So trying to get my head around the fact I’m going to be Mrs Leigh in less than a year is WEIRD.

It was a real whirlwind, I couldn’t believe that less than an hour after walking into the store, I was walking out of the store with my dress in tow…
…and it’s been hanging up in my old bedroom at Mum and Dad’s ever since! And yes, I have sneaked a peek at it virtually every time I’ve popped round there in the last 3 months!

At 5’4, it’ll need some altering, (I wasn’t blessed with long limbs), and although it won’t be for a while yet, I’m looking forward to the excuse of getting back into it! It makes me feel like a princess which is a nice change from the frizzy, sweaty, workout gear wearing dance teacher I usually am 😊

It was such a special day, and every part of it was perfect. I got to share the precious experience with my wonderful Mama P, and that was just incredible – honestly, I can’t put into words just HOW incredible it was, I’m so lucky to have such an amazing relationship with her. I’d never have had it any other way, but she deserves the shout out coz I love her so damn much.

The choice of dresses at The Bridal Factory was top notch, the customer service was impeccable and the help given by my consultant was amazing – honest, informative, helpful…Jamie was a star. I would highly recommend the Outlet to anyone in the North wanting a friendly, magical wedding dress experience.

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And until the next time I get my dress on, I get my fix being judgmental of all the dresses that come on my TV screen!

Lynette x

Images of The Bridal Factory Outlet taken from www.bridalfactoryoutlet.co.uk
Have you got a Wedding Dress story? Let me know below! 👇🏻

Adult Life Hacks (Part I)

After much deliberation, I’M BACK with a fresh updated blog! Bringing you ramblings from all aspects of life now, not just dance – we’re talking lifestyle, work, theatre, general musings – maybe even some wedding updates as requested by a couple of people! I’m not going to promise how frequently I’ll be posting because we all know life/work can get cray, but I really want to try and stay on top of it. So, without further ado…let my next chapter commence!

IMG_1142Now then, I’m not going to claim these ‘life hacks’ will be earth shatteringly life changing, but I’ve found them to be blooming’ useful. Mama P would be proud. Except the last one…I don’t think she’d be proud of that one…

1. Always have tinned tomatoes in the cupboard.
They can go in so many dishes, and are fab to have if you can’t be bothered making an effort for tea and just want to throw some bits in a pan. I don’t even LIKE tomatoes. But it works. And I’d never be without them.

2. Bio Oil is a GOD SEND.
My skin has never been amazing. In my teen years, I assumed that when I reached my twenties, it’d be perfect. That didn’t happen, which was quite disappointing. I’m only just starting to really get on top of/understand my skin and skin care regime, and bio oil has been an incredible addition. Massage it onto scars and (it won’t happen immediately but) keep at it – they’ll disappear. Genuinely. Using this on spot scars has been amazing and I’m finally starting to find some confidence. I went out the other day with no makeup on, and that’s unheard of. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t spent the last 10 years or so going out with a full face on every single day, but even on a chilled day, I couldn’t leave the house without a dab of concealer. So this one is a big deal for me.
By request, credit goes to my wonderful fiancé for introducing me to the shimmering world of bio oil😊

3. Your basket is your friend.
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Shopping online? I don’t know about you, but I LOVE a good browse. In season, out of season, whether you visit a site to intentionally buy, or just get carried away whilst you’re bored on your day off…add your favourite items to your basket, then leave them there for a couple of days. If you’re still thinking about them 2 days later, you’re good to go. If NOT, you just saved yourself from an impulse buy, you won’t be living off bread sandwiches for the next month, and it won’t serve as a gloomy reminder in your wardrobe of the cocktails you could’ve had, or cute stationery you could’ve bought.

4. Buy the Aldi own/Morrison’s own booze equivalents.
Archers? Orchards? It tastes exactly the same when mixed (especially once you’ve had a few). Save the pennies and get the half price one.

5. Hide your washing up in the oven.
House guests, entertaining for the evening or just someone popping round for a cuppa…pack it away…out of sight, out of mind! Until you forget it’s there. For the love of god, don’t forget you’ve hidden it there and pre-heat the oven later that day. Obviously I would never do something silly like that (🙄), but I can pretty much guarantee that any big knives would melt and weld themselves to the wire rack. Any crumbs on a baking tray would turn to charcoal. And you’d feel like an absolute spoon. Just…be careful! And remember, this doesn’t come from experience……..

Lynette x