I was recently introduced to a new fashion brand which I am now obsessed with and that's Joanie Clothing. They ooze femininity through their quirky, vintage inspired pieces which are perfectly unique. If you're looking for something bold, eye catching and pretty then this is your go to brand. 

They kindly asked if I would like to choose a couple of pieces from their collection for my recent trip away to Disneyland Paris. I honestly could've picked everything. I wanted it all (not that i'm greedy or anything lol). After seeing the beautiful Holly Willoughby in one of their slogan tops, I knew I needed one. 

If you read my blog regularly or follow me on instagram then you'll know we are a travel loving family. Whenever we are off work, we always take the opportunity for a trip away. With that in mind I found the perfect jumper for me. It had my name written all over it. It's the Annual Leave Slogan Jumper (£38), ideal for when you're out of office is switched on. 

I also received the Charlie A-Line Denim Midi Skirt (£38) which I adore. It's really comfortable and very flattering. It certainly hides my mum tum which is always a bonus. I'm only 5 foot so it's quite long on me but I like the length it sits at. 

Whilst we were away I teamed the outfit with a pair of blue trainers for a casual look. To smarten it up i'd wear the outfit with loafers or smart flats. 

I have such a huge wish-list from Joanie. Their pieces are affordable and versatile. We bought annual passes to Disneyland Paris so the next jumper I am going to buy is the 'Bonjour' one. Here are some of my current favourites on their website.

Have you heard of Joanie Clothing before? What's your favourite from my top picks?

As I write this I am now 8 weeks into taking 'Setraline' for my PostNatal Depression (PND) and I can honestly say that the side effects I experienced in the first couple of weeks are long gone. I've always said I will write honestly about my PND journey so I knew I needed to write this.

I've decided to write this because I felt so scared and confused when I started taking medication. The decision to actually take medication is not one I took lightly and it was a massive step for me, but I will write about that separately. This post will focus on the side-effects I suffered so that if you are taking these tablets, you know these things are normal and that they will get better. Also don't forget medication effects people differently so if you do take any anti-depressants you may or may not get any side effects.

The Setraline dose I was subscribed was 50mg but this can be increased if needed. I can honestly say the first week of taking these tablets was hell and I thought i'd made the worst decision of my life. I suffered so much and if it wasn't for my husband and family members, I would've given up. The second week was still bad but things started to ease off. 

Here are the side effects I experienced:

I had quite a few headaches in the first couple of weeks. I treated these with paracetamol and that seemed to work.

The worst symptom for me was the insomnia. For the first week I literally slept probably about an hour a night in total. My mind would be racing constantly. It was horrible. I couldn't switch my mind off and relax at all.

Increased energy
This symptom tied in with the previous one. I seemed to have increased energy at night-time. I felt hyper and I couldn't keep still. I would twitch a lot or tap things. It was very annoying.

Feeling unsettled/uneasy
I couldn't shake an uneasy feeling. I was worried something bad was going to happen. I'm not sure what but I was worried, scared and more anxious than usual. I'd follow my husband around everywhere like a lost puppy. I'd cling to him and I always wanted reassurance. I didn't want to be left alone.

For a couple of days I felt very weak. My muscles ached in a way which is similar to the ache you get in them when you have the flu.

Feeling queasy lasted about a week. I was sick a couple of times but most of the time it was just nausea.

Restless Leg
Another symptom that kept me up most of the night was restless leg. My knees ached. This lasted about a couple of weeks. Somebody suggested taking magnesium tablets which I take every day to help with restless legs.

The tablets made me very tired. In fact they still do. Before I started taking them I could never nap in the day. Now I fall asleep during the day at least twice a week. 

Intrusive thoughts
This was a very frightening symptom which co insides with feeling uneasy. I constantly questioned my own existence. kept saying I was a failure and that everybody would be better off without me. Thankfully this only lasted about a week.

As i've already said you may not even suffer with any symptoms when taking these tablets. It's so important to make sure you have a good support network around you when you start taking anti-depressants and to always talk to someone if you are worried. 

I am feeling so much better now. I am a calmer, happier person but I will write about that in more detail soon. 

We’ve all got that one favorite item of clothing. It might be one year old, or you may have had the thing for six or seven years already. Either way, this is your go-to. You can’t imagine anything being more comfortable than this baby. Sure, you’ve thought about updating. You’ve even looked around in a half-hearted attempt at it. But everything you’ve tried on has felt like cheating. And, they haven’t even been as good as your one true love.

The trouble is that this fast-fashion culture (Zara update their stock daily for goodness sake), has made us feel as though we can’t hold onto things. Commit to clothing? Forget it. You need to update with the seasons! Hence, many of us keep these favorite pieces as a dirty secret. We wear them at home, or out to the shops, but that’s about the extent of it.

This is as sad as any relationship kept secret. Love shouldn’t be hidden from the world. Besides, you’re doing yourself an injustice by acting this way. Because of this, you don’t get to wear your favorite thing when you go out! It’s time to put an end to that madness. Here are a few tips on how you can shout loud and proud about old clothing you love.

Keep on top of repairs

Admittedly, when clothes are old, they don’t always look their best. The chances are that your loved item has a rip or two which aren’t fit for public consumption. But, there’s no need to let that keep your love in the closet. Instead, get your alteration head on. There’s not much you can’t do with a sewing machine and some spare fabric. Alternatively, you could head to companies like the one you’ll find when you click here, who can take care of things for you. Either way, keeping on top of repairs is half the battle for overcoming your secret shame.

Update to keep up with fashions

If your primary fear is going out of fashion, stop worrying. There are a few ways to make sure old pieces stay in keeping with current trends. All you need to do is know what fashion is doing, and how you can mimic it. This could mean including additions or even sewing patches of fabric to the exterior. Bear in mind, too, that an old piece may not look as outdated as you think if the rest of your outfit is on trend.

Notice that nobody else cares

For the most part, the only people who care about these love affairs are those involved. If other people have noticed you’ve had this piece for years, it’s unlikely they think twice about it. Why should it bother them if you have a favorite clothing item? It’s likely they have one too. For the most part, those haters you think are out there are only in your head. So, stop feeling ashamed and let the world know about the beautiful power of loving your clothes!

*This is a collaborative post*

This week it's Mother's Day. Here are some gift ideas to help say thank you for everything she does.

For the fashionable Mama:

1) Joanie Clothing*

I was recently introduced to the fab vintage inspired clothes from Joanie Clothing and I am obsessed. They have lovely dresses and skirts but my favourite on their site has to be their slogan jumpers. 

2) Lamb and Bear

Slogan clothes are definitely the thing to be seen in amongst mamas. There is a great new range over at Lamb and Bear. There are various ones such as 'Coffee and Conquer' but this 'Wine and Winning' one is my personal favourite, (probably because it sums up my life).

3) Avon*

I didn't even realise Avon sold more products than beauty and make-up. They have a big range of fashion items such as clothes and accessories which are all very reasonably priced. I was sent a fab animal print scarf and toiletry bag which was in collaboration with T by Tabitha. I love the print. It's so striking and vibrant.

For the Mama that needs a break:

1) We Are Tea*

There is nothing I love more than a good cup of tea. I am a tea addict. I recently tried a selection of teas from We Are Tea including flavours such as English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Peppermint, Fruit infused loose leaf tea and more. The English breakfast is one of my favourites. It's full bodied and doesn't leave an after-taste. I've also tried their super tea's which were great when I was ill with a cold and flu. A selection of different tea's for a tea addict is a practical but comforting gift.

2) A Spa Treatment

One thing I adore as a special treat is a treatment at a spa. It's the perfect way to relax and switch off. Last year I attended a blogger event at Lush Cardiff where I was given a tour of their amazing spa. It is incredible. It's nothing like I imagined but it is so unique and it looks very cosy. They offer a range of treatments which would make a lovely Mother's Day gift. You can view some pictures of the spa over on this old blog post, Lush Christmas Blogger Event.

For the beauty Mama:

1) Benefit

One of my all time favourite beauty products is Benefit Hoola. It's my go to bronzer and i've used it for years. They have a special edition, personalised 'Mum's' Hoola available which is a must for any Benefit lovers.

2) Ruth MastenBroek Eau de Parfum*

For an extra special, luxury, unique gift then a perfume by Ruth Mastenbroek is a great idea. Ruth is a classically trained perfumer who has previously created perfumes for Jo Malone, Jigsaw and Kenneth Turner. She has now released her own range of fragrances with 4 to choose from. 
I adore tha packaging and print. They ooze luxury and distinction. Each lovely picture tells a story.

For the travel Mama:

1) Baylis and Harding*

We travel quite a lot and I always try and feel as comfortable as I can when flying with a pair of fluffy socks. There is a pretty limited edition 'Pink Gin Fizz' range by Baylis and Harding and one of the gift sets is a travel set which guess what, includes some pink fluffy socks. It also has a travel mug (essential for car travel) and a foot lotion to look after those tired feet from all of the exploring. The packaging and print is my favourite by them so far. It's very modern and trendy. This set is available in Morrisons for £10.

2) Paperchase

A travel journal is essential for travel fans and this new one from Paperchase is certainly top of my list. It has got sections for documenting trips, wish lists, people that inspire you to travel etc. 

For the Mama that likes a pretty home:

1) Baylis and Harding*

I've already said how much I love the print on the limited edition 'Pink Gin Fizz' range so I was delighted to see the candles. They smell amazing too. The trio set is £15 and is available from Tesco. 

2) The White Company

Diffusers have become increasingly popular in the home and my personal favourites are the ones from The White Company. The Seychelles is such an incredible smell but they have a vast range of other scents.

*Prices correct at time of publishing. Items marked with a star were gifted to me to include in my gift guide. All opinions are my own
There comes a time in your life as a parent when you have this realisation, 'shit I sound like my mother!' 

As a child or teenager, how many times did you cringe when you heard those dreaded phrases repeated to you over and over again? Those phrases that made you sit there with your best eye roll face imaginable. You'd respond with things like blah, blah, blah or 'I would never say that to my child'. Well guess what, I bet you've said some of the following to your child.

1) This is your last chance (let's face it, it's never their last chance is it?)

2) Because I said so

3) If someone asked you to jump off a cliff, would you do it?

4) Ask your dad

5) I've told you a thousand times

6) It's not what, it's pardon

7) You'll take someone's eye out with that

8) You'll get square eyes sitting that close to the TV

9) Who is she? The cat's mother (What does this even mean?)

10) Don't talk with your mouth full

11) Do you think I was born yesterday?

12) Don't swallow chewing gum because it'll wrap around your heart

13) Money doesn't grow on trees

14) Don't use that tone with me

15) Eat your carrots, it'll make you see in the dark

16) There is no such word as can't

17) What part of no don't you understand?

18) Your face will freeze like that

19) Eat your crusts, it'll give you curly hair

20) Just you wait till your father gets home

21) I'm not going to ask you again

22) Let's see who can be quiet the longest (The quiet game that never works)

23) There are children in Africa starving. Eat your food

24) What did your last slave die of?

25) Back in my day

26) Get your fingers out of your nose

27) See if you can fetch me that before I can count to 10

28) Don't make that face. If the wind changes you'll stay like that

29) I don't care who started it

30) When you're older you'll understand

What phrases do you find yourself saying that you heard through your childhood?

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