This week celebrates one of my favourite obsessions which I have harboured from being a child….. stationery. The year I got a Pilot pen set was one of my favourite birthdays. Plus don’t get me started on shopping before a new school year, the WH Smith times table pencil case was a must have.

Well next week is National Stationery Week (insert an excited shriek) and I am going to show you one of my favourite shops to go for my stationery supplies…. the mothership that is known as Typo.

Typo National Stationery Week

Shout out to fellow stationery hoarders, if you haven’t been to Typo yet…. then you will thank me when you do. If you love the pretty designs in Paperchase then you will certainly have the same gratitude for Typo. Don’t worry if you can’t get to a Typo store, they have a super cool website for you to buy much needed stationery…. we can all agree you can never have too much stationery (FACT).

Typo do much more than just stationery, there is a quirky home and tech range for you to purchase. In fact Typo is my one stop place for mugs, and these get so much attention in photos. Anyhow lets get back to the nitty gritty of their awesome stationery range. 

There was something very comfortable in having plenty of stationery

Typo National Stationery Week

Typo Stationery Haul

Recently I purchased a mini stationery purchase as Typo had a fantastic sale on, and if ever I need a reason (I don’t really need a reason) then I had to purchase some stationery items. 

I brought more sets of the 3pk To Do Lists, they match the colours of my office. I am a list maker, wether digitally or paper. You can’t beat a paper list and the overwhelming enjoyment in crossing off a task. Also I am not afraid to admit I am that person that will complete a task and add it to my list after execution and cross off to mark my accomplishment. I brought a few of these as I will be taking a set to work. Plus Typo change their stock for fresh designs so I stocked up while they were still available. 

Typo notebooks are also fabulous designs and really good prices, there are normally offers for multi-buys. I normally buy the spiral notebooks in mixtures of A4 and A5 but this time I also brought some hidden spiral notebooks. I have a small dalmation print theme through my home office in places and thought the notebook I purchased matched perfectly. The other said ‘Exert Procrastinator’ and well if the title fits. The A5 size are my favourites as they are easy to carry around. Josie my daughter has an extensive set of Typo notebooks. 

Typo has an extensive range of pens, which like the mugs I own a fair amount. My favourites are the Mickey Mouse thin pens. I had the cold one already and it is my favourite pen to use at home, so I also brought the black and rose gold one. I love Disney and Typo has some fantastic bits in store, and currently they have a Friends range from the hit TV Show which I have my eye on a Pivot notebook as this was one of my favourite scenes. If you know what I am on about then I can guarantee you are shouting ‘PIVOT’ in your head this moment…. no need for thanks. 

One of my favourite Disney items that I brought a while ago (not in store now but there are other designs) is the desk-pad. This is perfect as it matches my office colours, fits under my monitor stand and is Disney related. I love the fact there is no dates and I can use this for days or projects. I love this as if it was a month to a sheet and then Antony or the kids doodle on it I don’t have to waste a whole sheet, or sit there twitching at the non aesthetic looking doodles facing me while I work. 

Typo National Stationery Week
Typo National Stationery Week

I first came across the store when a new branch had opened at Cribbs Causeway in Bristol. Typo is certainly worth checking out if you want quirky, statement stationery which also is brilliant if you are in need of a gift. I love the fact the range is constantly changing so there is always something different, plus to suit all tastes. Not long ago was the tropical print which I adored, and also there was a dinosaur range. Currently there is Aladdin merchandise, ready for the film release in May.

I don’t think I will ever get fed up of stationery, and finally I am actually using all of my notebooks. Normally I would start a brand new book (honestly this beats ticking off a To Do List task) and then promptly make a mistake. Along comes my anxiety and the eye twitching would start and then I wouldn’t use it again. I am pleased to say I am working through this perfectionist problem and finally using them 🙂

I am looking forward to the fact that National Stationery Week falls over payday, as I am certain seeing so many stationery posts that they are going to influence me to need some new purchases.

If you check out my YouTube channel you will see Typo mentioned a fair few times in my haul videos, I told you I am a regular Typo shopper.

I would love to know if you are also a fellow stationery addict or hoarder? What is your favourite stationery purchase? Have you been to Typo before?


Hands down my favourite Social Media App has to be Instagram, but why am I having a love/hate relationship with it?

Instagram algorithm love hate marmite

Most bloggers you speak to about Instagram, will all agree the main problem is the change of algorithm. This has caused many pictures in your grid to go missed on others feed, and I certainly have noticed the struggle to get views.

As a blogger/vlogger any way of reaching out to potential viewers is a must, and increasing your numbers to branch out to new followers is all part of reaching out and promoting your content. With most of my social channels, I have a steady following and find these slowly increase over time. Instagram however changes with the weather regarding followers.

Arguably there are ways of increasing your following, such as paid promotions. These have caused more views, but not a large amount follower wise. Other way is the popular trend of a perfect looking Instragram feed, I love the look of these, and admire the time it must take to achieve the pictures for the desired theme. For me personally, it would mean I would end up leaving out pictures that I originally want to add, just to achieve a themed feed. I have decided this is not the way at this current moment that I want to run my grid.

Instagram blog blogger


The part of Instagram that annoys me and really leaves myself deflated is, one second I will go on and I can have fifteen extra followers, go on again and twenty less. The drastic rollercoaster of followers is so noticeable every time I log on. Majority of the follows seems more for numbers, which undoubtably what we all would like. Out of all the available media’s I personally find Instagram is extremely fickle, the amount of followers that unfollow if I won’t follow them is unreal. The same time you want to support everyone, but same time I would miss my favourite Instagrammers posts on my feed.

I am trying not to check this as much as I was becoming obsessed checking. I try to limit this to once a week, when I write down my stats. I did have an app which shows you who has followed and unfollowed and this is where I could see the people who was after numbers solely. I had to delete the app, as again this became an obsession.

I personally prefer organic views, people who want to see my feed and I can interact with. Everyone wants to increase their followings, but you don’t want this forced, You want followers that want to follow you for your content, not just follow you for their own benefit.



Not all changes over time on Instagram are negative. Hashtag Tracking is brilliant for following regular hashtags you may search. These will appear on your feed, for brands and shops this is ideal as you can follow your own hashtag and track.

Instagram Stories for me was one of the best updates, this has increased my confidence in front of the camera dramatically and along with inspiration from other vloggers this helped me start my YouTube channel last month. I have recently tried to be more creative with posts for my stories. Plus with the added Highlights, so you can save longer your favourite stories and group these. I have done covers for these to keep with my branding which you can see on my page.

I still need to experiment with the LIVE function. I haven’t really found the need for this, but I may try and add this in soon. Maybe for when brainstorming and looking for ideas. Or coming up with questions for a Q&A. Again another function is you can split screen and have other people join you so I am planning a live session and linking with my Blog Network co-founder Estelle.

Instagram blog SimplyStacey

I do hope one day I get to the 10,000 mainly so I can put a ‘swipe up’ link on a story. I am not holding my breath on anytime soon. Plus knowing my luck, you can guarantee when I eventually get to 9999 that Instagram will change it’s rules, or I will lose drastic amounts from the rollercoaster effect.

I have tried so many tips on improving your Instagram game, from number of hashtags, to style of pictures. For now I am just going to not stress about what I should post and post pictures I like. Some tips give them their dues do work, for example:

  • Add locations where available as you reach a wider audience
  • Search hashtags before and look for the ones more beneficial to your photo
  • Add hashtags in your story can boost views
  • Upload regularly, I notice my most views are in the evening
  • Spend time interacting, not only you will find great new feeds but you are helping others

Trying to be like everyone else just gets you lost in the feed. My mission is to keep my page as my style, mix of lifestyle, family and the odd instagram favourite of a pretty mug with the stragically placed biscuits and flowers distorted in the distance.

Looking on, I will still use the app. No matter how much the bots following and numbers annoy me, I won’t stop using the site as this is one of my favourites. Instagram is the first and last app I will use in a day. I love checking stories and catching up with everyone. Overall the algorithm is here, it is happening and there isn’t much we can do to change it. Yeah this sucks, but don’t let it stop you creating your Instagram how you want your profile to look.

I am contemplating on being more creative, I love watching clips on Instagram, along with looking at everyone’s photos. I want to start trying to do these once a week, a short video of an event, or something we have been up too. If you are thinking of starting a YouTube channel but are nervous or not sure of editing, Instagram clips such as this or doing more Instastories will certainly improve your confidence.

How do you find Instragram? Do you have a love and hate relationship with the site?



I have seem some great posts also on the subject of Instagram, check them out below:

Once Upon A Blog



In a mission to make our house feel like a home, I have been shopping and have an exciting Home Haul to show you..

home haul, dunelm, homesense

On my birthday a couple of weeks ago, myself and Mum went on a shopping spree to Dunelm and Homesense. I received money for my birthday and decided I wanted to buy some home accessories to make the house more cosy. As my birthday is only a couple of weeks after Christmas, I don’t really need or want much for myself and have been wanting to buy stuff for the house for a while but have never got round to it, or know what to get to be honest. Finding inspiration and different looks online has become a new hobby.

Quite often I like to browse Instagram and Pinterest for Home Inspiration and watch other videos doing a home Haul. I have recently got into more interior posts. Ranging from house renovations to adding a soft furnishings like a throw to the sofa. I love browsing other people’s pictures and getting ideas and thinking more out of the box.

We only brought our new corner sofa from DFS the beginning on January and love the comfort from all snuggling on the huge sofa. We only had our previous sofas a year, but we have struggled getting comfy and as they were two seaters, it was hard to get comfortable. The corner sofa now, is perfect for families. This is the small version but it is so huge and perfect for our needs. We wanted grey this time too, previously we had green. I had seen numerous pictures of grey, blush pink and copper together and adore these colours.

The sofa came with matching cushions, but I wanted to brighten the sofa up and make more feminine and add extra comfort. I opted for fluffy cushions and found the most amazing blush pink Mongolian wool large cushion in Homesense. Mum brought me this as an addition for my birthday present. I am obsessed with my cushion. It compliments the grey beautifully and is perfect for the large corner section and as duck feathers the cushion is extremely comfortable. I decided to order online at TK Maxx matching smaller cushions to spread along the sofa.

For the lounge I brought a collection of small items in a Home Haul, such as an artificial succulent which adds colour to the sideboard. Homesense is amazing for candles, they have such a large collection. I went for a Mountain Air candle in the sale when I went back again with Antony. The candle is a double wick, and grey colour wax with a copper lid. Perfect for the colours of the lounge. The fragrance is an aftershave type scent, not too overpowering but leaves the room delicately fragranced.

I recently uploaded my first Home Haul on my YouTube channel which you can see below the items I purchased in more detail. If you like my video then please subscribe, it would mean the world to me


I can’t believe how just a handful of decorative items added to a room can make the house feel so much more cosy. You know when you play The Sims and add extra decorations to their homes and it will lift their mood, I am feeling the same.

We were lucky when we move to our home in 2016, as our house was decorated in neutral colours and we have the perfect blank canvas. We are going to be decorating this year and I will document the changes. Long term we want to look at extending to make more room and possibly converting the garage.

For now though, having a Home Haul has been productive and certainly added a home feel to our house. Plus this has given me a new hobby going on the search for new items, prints, and frames.

Have you recently purchased anything for your home? Have you plans to decorate this year?



#SmearForSmear | 22nd-28th January is Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, and the theme this year is ‘Reduce Your Risk’. This is my story of my experience

Cervical Cancer Prevention

In all the years I have been blogging I have wrote a post about this subject 3 previous times but I have never posted them, until now. This is my story of my experience with abnormal cells and now I feel ready to share the experience.

There is one simple answer to ‘Reduce Your Risk’ which is make sure you keep up to date with your smear tests and knowing the symptoms. Cervical Cancer can be prevented and you can reduce your risk by calling your local surgery and booking in.

When I was pregnant with Josie, I became friends with a girl from Nottingham who was also pregnant but with her second child. We met on a forum page on facebook about our babies being due in August. There was three of us that started chatting and comparing our pregnancies. All three of us had girls within a few weeks of each other. I was actually due first but gave birth last out of us. We even met up around the girls 1st birthdays. Sadly three years later in 2012, she lost her life to cervical cancer, leaving behind two small children and husband.

This made me think about the smear test reminder that came through a few months previously, and in November 2012 booked in for my smear. It is one of those things that you mean to book, but taking the time to do this can be an inconvenience, but it can also save your life. I was told I would have the results back in a few weeks. I was surprised when they came back in less than a week, and in shock to see I had abnormal pre-cancerous cells which if left untreated can result in cervical cancer. Even now writing this, I remember the worry, the feeling of not knowing what was going to happen.

Just under two weeks later I went to the Colposcopy Unit at our local hospital. The colposcopy showed I had CIN 1 -Mild Changes. During the colposcopy I found this very invasive, as any one would but was put at ease by the team. You see your cervix on the screen as they insert the camera. I was shown where the abnormal cells was located and you could see a mild whiter change from the rest. A biopsy was took and then quaterized which was similar to period pain. The Nurse was very friendly and throughout my time I always saw the same nurse. She confirmed the cells wasn’t cancerous and explained about if left untreated they can form into cancerous cells. I was checked for the HPV Virus which was clear around this time.

Cervical Cancer

I was asked to go back again to keep an eye on these changes and maybe we would look at a LLETZ treatment, which involves burning the cells away. To cut a long story short I had this go on every 6 months until in June 2014 I went for my colposcopy and by this time I even knew the routine, cough when they take the biopsy etc. This time before the nurse even said I could see how different the cells looked. She said it looked like it has got worse, and to prepare for a Cone Biopsy. She had sent the biopsy and met with the consultants to discuss my results which was done each time to confirm the treatment plan. The results come back and as the Nurse thought the changes had gone to CIN 3 -Severe changes which is called High Grade Dyskaryosis, treatment was needed soon as the time for the cells changing to cancerous had halved. Within 2 weeks I was having my operation to have a cone biopsy. This is were a section of your cervix is removed to ensure the cells are no longer there.

After the operation the consultant explained they removed the cells successfully and I had lost a large part of my cervix. The Consultant stated we can have a baby but advised after the 6 month smear test to check if all clear. I did get the all clear and had a few compl;citations with delivery, mainly due to incompetence on the ward previously. It was noticed during labour that I couldn’t dilate due to scarring and on the second consultant trying, she was able to stretch the cervix and I went straight from 0.5cm to 8cm dilated. I had been having the urge to push and at 0.5cm dilated which was where Rowan wanted to come but couldn’t. I managed to give birth naturally and Rowan was absolutely fine.

The recovery was 2 weeks of me being bed bound, I also had issues with bad side effects to one of the tablets and getting numerous infections. Plus being bed bound and on your own was hard as I was feeling sorry for myself. Antony and mum was excellent helping with Josie and if I needed anything. The pain was bad for a week or so and similar to after having a baby. Again I was worrying of another 6 month wait, and then was when I realised how much the previous 2 years since I first received the letter had taken a toll on myself. That smear 6 months on was the longest wait for the results it seemed, I was ecstatic the results was clear.

Even now this still plays a part in my life. You still worry, I had my 3 year smear check in December since the all clear, which was the beginning of December. It wasn’t until after Christmas that I found I had the all clear this time. I was over the moon at the results as the same feelings previously had come flooding back. Panicking each time the post arrives, worrying over Christmas. In between the 3 year check, every year around December I used to think 2 years to go, next year to go. I am glad this is out the way and I don’t think I will be as bad worrying in the lead up to the next one, well not yearly. But it is the waiting game that is extremely difficult. Either way the best thing to do is get yourself checked. I am so thankful I did, and that even after the not so pleasant experience and long time waiting, the fact of knowing if these cells were left they could have resulted in cervical cancer is overwhelming. I am in the statistic of reducing the chance of having cervical cancer by 95% since having treatment. It is important that I keep up my routine checks, for anyone this is important. Even if you have not had any symptoms, which I hadn’t, you still need to get checked.

I cannot stress enough how important this is to have your smear and also look on Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust as they state the further symptoms to keep an eye out for. I hope one day they lower the smear test ages from minimum 25 years old as this is such an important preventive test. Please go ahead and book in for that smear, yes it is not the most pleasant procedure, but it can save your life. I know I was extremely lucky and there is a huge number who suffer from cervical cancer which is much worse than pre cancerous cells, but I wanted to share my story of how this can hopefully be prevented and hope it will encourage yourselves to book in if you haven’t already.



I have been blogging since 2015, yet still this has took me this long to find myself and to start achieving my goals regarding my blog. Read below for how I have got past The Blogging Blues

Blogging Blues Simply Stacey Blog

I am finally more confident to stand up and say…


I started blogging in 2015 and at first this was a blur of hashtags. There was so much to learn as a new blogger; setting up the blog, going self hosted, templates, blogging styles, hashtags, social media, branding, no follow links, alt tags to name a few. I was lucky as I can work my way round pretty easy anything technology based, plus with the help of good old Google and YouTube you can research help in an instant. I also have a Social Media Marketing Diploma and update the work website which helped when I first set up my blog.

As stated in previous posts I have changed names 3 times, mainly due to the learning curve from blogging. Finding my path I wish to take has been tricky… do I go Parenting, do I go Lifestyle. I have been both and now decided I am just going to do both. Why limit yourself to one genre. There is no rule book about what subject you should blog about. This is your space to say what you want to say or show.

Re branding before Christmas, which you can see more of here, has made a dramatic difference to my blog. Not just my blog name has changed, but also my layout, blog colours and more importantly my blogging routine. I have never had a routine and this has been the ultimate aid to helping my blog grow. Already 22 days into 2018, I am just under 50 views for beating my total views for the whole of 2017. For me, when I saw how much I have improved looking at my statistics, this gave me an almighty boost and made me see that I have got a passion for blogging.

I have always liked blogging, and at times it has seemed more of a chore. Since I made my blog my own by using my name, something has given me a drive to start really pushing myself to achieve set goals in where I want to take my blog. Now I have 100% got a passion for this and building up my YouTube channel. I got given a Blog Planner for Christmas, which I will be going in depth to show you in the next couple of weeks. This has helped tremendously, keeping this separate to my everyday planner means I can focus on my blog and channel solely.

I am sure most bloggers can relate to the blogging blues and most of us have thought about quitting at some point or having low morale.I nearly have closed my blog a couple of times and last year I got to the point that it was really getting me down being unable to fit this in, but last summer I gave myself a break. I say a break but I was only doing about 1 or 2 uploads a month at the time. This helped me take the time to decide I am going to try one last change and really take my blog seriously and that is when I decided to re brand. Blogging can produce such a love and hate relationship. From the moments you get writers block, to where you don’t seem to be growing any new followers. You notice other bloggers that have made themselves a large following and a success and feel you can’t live up to that level then start to doubt yourself.

The biggest advice I can give, is don’t compare yourself to others. Yes, you can research editing in videos, research writing styles. But be your own person, don’t feel you are not good enough and when you stop worrying and plan at your own pace. I am sure you will notice a difference, not only in views, but more importantly for how you feel.  I am still trying to implement this to my way of thinking but so far this has helped enormously. I do have the slight wobble thinking I am not good enough, but with support from the blog community and pushing myself, I am good enough. My personal battle is being a perfectionist, I over criticise myself and this is a personal hurdle to overcome. But I am getting there. For once I can actually feel proud of my blog and feel now is the time to push myself to regular uploads.

I am pleased my YouTube channel is slowly growing, and I am learning so much each video. My new lighting has made a complete difference to the quality of my videos. I will be shortly trying my first ‘Day In The Life’ vlog. But in the meantime, I am really enjoying building both this and my blog.

Also planning my routine further to include any home matters, such as cleaning, homework, cooking dinner etc. Plus then there is also mine and Estelle’s venture of The Blog Network, growing, which we have our first Twitter chat on Wednesday 31st January. Plus then you have the background work as a Blogger, scheduling social posts, photography, planning, joining twitter chats and threads etc. I am trying to improve my photography which I am happy with the results so far, to even take some self portraits of myself shows how much my confidence has grown. Part of this is from some great people from the blogging and vlogging community.

Another change I have implemented is, I have given myself set days for uploads. This has made me push myself and made me be organised. There is going to be times this will be impossible, like last week I was struck down with a nasty cold and then toothache and it threw all plans out. But if I can get ahead and plan, this shouldn’t be too much of an issue … I am hoping.

BLOG UPDATES : Every Monday and Thursday

YOUTUBE UPLOADS : Every Sunday and Wednesday

I know I am not the best writer out there, I never have been and never will be. I am not one for gargantuan words (yes I googled big words for ‘huge’). Yes I get excited over a new notepad of a fluffy cushion makes me do jazz hands, but I am also not ashamed of this and am not letting this stop me producing more posts and documenting on my channel. In a way I have started to think if people get to know the real you, your writing style, the way you produce uploads then they will warm to that person if they choose too. I am pleased to say this moment in time I have beaten the blogging blues and am thoroughly enjoying my journey. I hope this doesn’t wear off and change, but for now I am happy and content with how I have progressed, even if this has took me 3 years to find my blogging passion. I am in no way a blogging expert, but this is what I have found that has helped myself. I really hope this post helps boost yourself if you are suffering from the blogging blues.



So today is 18th January, today is also my Birthday….here goes to being officially in my mid thirties. To celebrate this occasion I have complied a list of Birthday Goals

Birthday Goals Simply Stacey Blog Wiltshire

My Birthday is a funny old day, one it is a pain a few weeks after Christmas as money is always tight from the festivities. I can’t get anything in between Christmas and my birthday in case I have been brought it. Quite often it will snow on my birthday and is always freezing cold. Your birthday is always (apart for the few days before) next year.

I do struggle on the day emotionally sometimes, as I used to share my birthday with my Bampi (Grandad) who I very much adored. I loved phoning and comparing how many birthday cards we had received, he always beat me as was a social butterfly down the Royal British Legion. Every year we would always have a birthday cake together that mum would have crafted. Every year I do find myself emotional, though it is getting easier as time passes and now rather than being sad, I remind myself of happy times and my childhood as they are some of the best birthdays I had.

I remember the year I got a pilot pen set for my birthday, being obsessed with stationery from a young age, meant I thought I was the dogs doodahs that birthday whilst at school. I even had a new pencil case to parade the mixture of colored pens, highlighters and ball-pens. For many years I always had the surprise of a big present after school. Then the parties, oh my days the parties…the year of the picnic in the lounge with Ali Du Lali the magician was a birthday to remember. I even remember watching Land of The Giants beforehand, being so excited at the thought of my friends and cousins coming round to tuck into a splendid spread put on by Mum in Happy Meal style boxes.

Birthday GoalsTo make myself happy and positive on reaching the age of 35, I have decided to make a delayed New Years Resolution list, but this instead will be my classed as my Birthday Goals which I am going to try and achieve before I am 36. To make this tricker I am going to have 35 goals, to celebrate my new age…

  3.   PUSH FOR SUBSCRIBERS TO MY BLOG | Goal at 50 Subscribers
  4.   LOSE WEIGHT | Goal at losing 4 stone
  9.   READ MORE | Goal on my GoodReads is 20 books
  13.   PUSH FOR SUBSCRIBERS TO MY CHANNEL | Goal at 1000 Subscribers
  14.   DO MORE ON DAYS OFF WITH ROWAN | Don’t feel guilty that Josie is at school
  15.   TWITTER | Goal at 5000
  16.   INSTAGRAM | Goal at 2500
  26.   SORT FINANCES | Goal at save £1000
  31.   DELEGATE MORE | Not everything has to be perfect and done by me
  35.   THE BLOG NETWORK | Goal of 500 Followers

I am planning a check in of how this is going in halfway through, and then a full catch up to compare when I am about to turn 36 next year. The majority of my goals are about self care and myself which is something I always tend to leave, to the point it is non existent. I am going to try and change this in the coming year.

Have you made a list of goals? Can you relate to any of mine?



As soon as I had seen the trailer I knew I was going to love this film. If you are looking for a film to see at the cinema then I highly recommend seeing the 20th Century Fox musical about P.T.Barnum….. The Greatest Showman

Greatest Showman

Originally we went to see Ferdinand last week for a cinema treat on that awkward week between Christmas and New Year. You know the week, where you can’t think what day it is and full up on turkey and cheese. I went with Josie who loves watching films and is a real little film buff. We sat through the trailers of Early Man, The Isle of Dogs (if you loved Fantastic Mr Fox with taxidermy looking animals then this film is for you) and then came The Greatest Showman. The trailer instantly made me want to see the film, not just because Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron was eye candy and my favourite actors but the story, the song used in the trailer also drew me in. I loved the feel of the song and found this complimented the trailer perfectly.

The Greatest Showman is directed by Michael Gracey and wrote by Bill Condon and Jenny Bicks. This is actually Michael’s directing debut and what an impressive first film. The Greatest Showman is a period musical inspired by the story of the talented P.T.Barnum and his star attractions. The story shows how P.T.Barnum rose from being nothing to a worldwide sensation. In real lift I was interested to learn The Barnum & Bailey Circus was brought by Ringling Bros. and the circus closed on May 21st 2017 after 146 years in operation, due to low attendance and high costs.

The film boasts a large array of well known and talented actors such as Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, Zendaya, and Rebecca Ferguson. I felt they all play the parts so well, Hugh Jackman really brings his character to life and has such energy during the film you can tell he really loved making the movie. Zac Efron and Zendaya have an explosive chemistry that is beautiful to watch. As I have been obsessing over the film since I saw it, I have watched many behind the scene videos and interviews and how they all got on is great to see. You can tell they all loved making this film. I was astounded at the trapeze skills from Zendaya. During the scene for Rewrite The Stars, the work Zac and Zendaya put into this is out of this world.

I won’t got to in depth about the film as I don’t want to share any spoilers. One thing I loved is how much warmth you feel to the starts of the Barnum Circus. To see how they suffer from people not accepting any abnormalities really makes you feel for the characters. This film is great for showing that everyone no matter how different they are all are important and have feelings. You really get a sense of unity during the film, I loved this as it doesn’t focus on the characters abnormalities but shows how they come together and how they overcome small minded peoples views.

Greatest Showman

So the soundtrack (at time of writing this post) is currently number No.1 on Billboard 200 Albums Chart, and oh my days the soundtrack is nothing short of awesome! I have had this on loop, i am not even being dramatic here….I have had this constantly playing on my spotify. I even brought the CD for the car. Myself and Josie are obsessed with the songs. I like all of the songs and the more you listen to the words the more the songs have real meanings. My favourites have to be the Golden Globes 2018 Best Original ‘This Is Me’ performed by the talented Keala Settle. Make sure you look on YouTube for a video of Keala singing in rehearsals, the energy and emotion is outstanding. I read a review of autotune and CGI heavily used and makes this not believable. When you see the rehearsal videos of Keala and Hugh Jackman then you will see how talented these people are.

From Now On performed by Hugh Jackman is so catchy. This is on par in my favourite alongside with This Is Me. The part in the film is beautifully done and the dancers are amazing. They should be shown more as they are so talented. The dancers with the white hair, albino looking really stood out for me and you are bound to notice their talents in the film. The Greatest Show has also grown on me the more I have listened, such a catchy feel good tune. I could carry on but you can guess I totally love this soundtrack. For me not even skipping any songs as each one is excellent really shows that the songwriters have done such an excellent job and each song used in the film portrays each scene perfectly.

It is no secret I loved The Greatest Showman and everything about it. The songs, the acting, the story, the costumes …. for me everything was spot on and concludes to produce an excellent film. We have already seen this twice and I have preordered the DVD. I am planning to go again with Antony over my birthday as he even said it looks good from the trailer and me harping on about it. I haven’t been this excited about a film since the last years Beauty and The Beast which we have the movie poster framed in the living room, which we have ordered the same for The Greatest Showman.

I would love to hear if you also have enjoyed the film? Or are you planning to go and watch soon?



I hope you all had an excellent Christmas and New Year. I am entering 2018 with a mission….to make 2018 My Year

My Year 2018

As soon as January rolls round everyone starts creating New Year’s Resolutions. This year I am going to be no different to most of the population on Earth. I want to start 2018 as a new canvas for myself and my blogging, and New Years Resolutions seems an excellent time to put this in effect. The difference from the other years goals is I WILL try my hardest to accomplish this years goals. Since rebranding my blog, I have had a huge boost to make this a success. I really want to take my blog and push it as much as I possibly can.

I received a fabulous Blog Planner by Dot Creates from Antony for Christmas, I have already started using this and it has helped so much for me to be organised. I will be showing more of this in an upcoming post. I have a new separate planner for personal use. Using both simultaneously has made it much easier for me to plan like a pro. I am going to try and keep to a schedule as much as I possibly can whilst being a working mummy.


I am trying to join more of the blogging community and entering some regular linkies on my blog and YouTube channel. I am going to try and do more photography and these will be included in the linkies I am joining. I got a new camera for Christmas from my awesome mum, which I wanted for vlogging originally. But playing with it I have really enjoyed taking photos and want to improve my non existent skills.

This week I have teamed up with my best friend Estelle at Estellosaurus and we have launched our idea which has been in the pipeline for a while. We have discussed a few times setting up our own group and finally 2018 we have launched The Blog Network. We hope to grow a collective blogging community group and help promote bloggers and make some new friends along the way. With my marketing experience and Estelle’s excellent writing skills and creativity I am positive this will be a success. Be sure to join us on Twitter every last Wednesday of the month for a monthly chat.

The Blog nETWORK

I also have finally launched my YouTube Channel. This is a goal I have wanted to do for a while but have not had the confidence, I still don’t entirely but I have pushed myself to do this. I uploaded my first vlog with a post ‘Get To Know Me’ and now I have uploaded my face chatting away to the world, I feel pretty damn proud of myself. I worry about how I look and am not confident about myself but I am trying to get past this. Now I have done an upload and received some lovely messages of support from fellow bloggers, I am already feeling my confidence slowly being boosted. I really enjoy being creative and making family memories and I know I will enjoy making YouTube videos. I know with my hectic schedule this is the one I wont be able to do as often as I like, but hopefully I will work a way of achieving a successful channel.

The most used New Years Resolution of ‘Go On A Diet’ is as always on my list. This time I really need to do this, for my own health and confidence. I feel like doing this and I determined to be a yummy mummy. I also want to be fitter and healthier and am looking in to the most achievable and affordable ways to help me. I am really interested to try yoga, I have never tried it before nor been interested but for some reason recently I have really fancied to have a go. I also want to do more self help for myself this year. I don’t take enough time for me, I am constantly putting everyone else first. I actually took the day off work to myself today and this has totally rejuvenated my morale. I also want to take more time for pampering, wether a facial or massage, having my hair done today has made me feel so relaxed and like I have made an effort with myself. I have been suffering with my anxiety rearing it’s ugly head again and this causes me to go in overdrive worrying. Estelle has been super awesome listening to me rant on. This year I am determined to put this at bay and stand up for myself more.

I am determined to make 2018 a productive and positive year. Have you any plans for 2018?



I was tagged by Jamie at Once Upon A Blog for Shuffle The Music Tag. You can read Jamie’s answers here

I love reading Jamie’s posts and was over the moon she tagged me in this Tag. I am always listening to music, especially when working as this helps me concentrate. One of my favourite playlists is my Awesome Mixtape folder on Spotify, I love this singalong mixtape for commuting to work and playing when cooking or cleaning.

I loved it in the days of cassettes and taping my favourite songs on the Top 40, I mean who did not do this? You simply have not lived if you haven’t had your finger poised for the latest tune to play. Another memory is the boy bands and getting Top of the Pops and Smash Hits magazines so you can cut out your favourite pop star. I was always a Boyzone fan.

I find songs quite personal to me, certain ones remind me of events and memories. I grew up with mum playing Meat Loaf who I still love to this day. We even had a string quartet playing Meat Loaf during our wedding ceremony.

So Thank you Jamie for tagging me, and now lets take a look at the rules:

  • Mention the creator of the tag and link to their blog
  • Thank the person that nominated you for this tag and link to their blog as well
  • Shuffle your entire music library (no matter how old songs the songs are) and talk about the first fifteen songs that come up ( anything like why they are there , if they signify something, any story, why you like them, etc.)
  • Mention the songs as well as the artists
  • Tag 7 people or more to do this tag and please let them know

And now it’s time to press “Shuffle”, and the first 15 tracks on my shuffle list are…

1) P!nk | Beautiful Trauma

I have always liked P!nk, she has such a stunning voice. This tune I heard on the radio first and had to download and like a child with a new DVD I have had this on loop. The video for this is also fabulous and features Channing Tatum….say no more.

2) Corrine Bailey Rae | The Scientist (from Fifty Shades)

I loved this when watched the film, which I preferred to the first one. Still not as good as the books. One long commute home stuck behind traffic I thought of a whole story for a John Lewis Christmas advert. I am yet to pitch this.

3) Mika | Hurts

Another artist who I have liked most of their music. This is such a beautiful song. Another good one is Good Guys.

4) Colin O’Donoghue | Revenge Is Going To Be Mine

This is from the musical episode on Once Upon A Time which I love watching. My favourite character is Captain Hook so when Colin O’Donoghue sung this I had to rewind and watch again in detail. No lie I go all out warbling along to this.

5) Niall Horan | Too Much To Ask

I quite liked One Direction, I don’t mind admitting and went to see one of their concerts with Josie-Ann who is a fan. I love easy listening aspect of this song and Niall’s soft tones. He is the only one whose music I have liked since going solo so far. I a;ways liked Zayn’s voice but have not liked anything he has done.

6) Missy & Blonde | Stay

I also liked their version of Coldplay’s Something Like This, but this is my favourite cover. I prefer this than the original.

7) Edison Lighthouse | Love Grows

This is a random song compared to the rest on my phone. Antony got me into this one as he kept playing it. It is super catchy and there is so,etching about the chorus I like. I find that with songs, I like certain parts. When I hear this I think of Antony my husband. We recently discussed some point renewing our vows after 5 or 10 years being married and this may well be included somewhere.

8) Emma Thompson | Beauty and The Beast 2017

It is no secret I loved the new film version of the Disney classic. I prefer this version to the Ariana Grande and John Legend. I was quite disappointed with that version, I was hoping was going to be as punchy as it sounded on the trailer. I also love the Finale version from this soundtrack, I love the extra section that has been added then it sounds near the end just like the original.

9) Train | Play That Song

When I used Shazam to find this song after hearing it on the radio I was surprised it was Train. I like a few of their songs. This is my audition song should I ever go on a singing talent show, plus should I overnight have a lovely singing voice.

10) Pitbull | Back In Time

I quite like most of Pitbull’s songs and collaborations. One of my favourites is Give Me Everything. This one is from Men in Black 3 I think it is, have never seen it.

11) Ralph Felix | The Heat

This is a cover of the Whitney Houston classic ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ and is fantastic for getting you pumped for the day.

12) Hanson | Every Word I Say

I have loved Hanson from the days of long blonde locks and belting out Mmm Bop. I have pretty much stalked the, since being a teenager. Taylor is my favourite and like Gary Barlow they have all got better looking with age. Their songs and singing live are amazing, these boys are seriously talented.

13) Meat Loaf | I Would Do Anything For Love

As I have shuffled my way through this post I was secretly panicking Meat Loaf hadn’t showed it self yet, would be surprising as I have every album. Phew! One has appeared. This one is special as I walked down to a string quartet version of this song. I love the early Meat Loaf classic power ballads the most, he has such an iconic voice. I have a secret power of being able to sing along to this and do backing singing, I can go totally solo on all parts LOL.

14) The Proclaimers | I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)

This is a classic tune that you know as soon as it starts. I can’t help but sing with the Scottish accents too. Really is a banging tune.

15) Lifehouse | Hanging By A Moment

This time was my first one on my homepage from the days of MySpace. I like the tones of their voices and the music of their songs.

Make sure you check some of these tunes out and let me know if there is any hidden gems that you have downloaded from this list. I have thoroughly enjoyed this challenge and having a listen on my Spotify.

I tag the following:



May There Be Coffee

Raiin Monkey

The Hels Project

Dollies Daydream

Queen Bee Becca

I look forward to seeing your shuffles, and thank you again Jamie this was super fun to take part in.





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