Five things I did to feel better about my body (without changing it)

This time two years ago I was on a diet. This time three years ago I was on a diet. This time four years ago, despite just having had a baby, you guessed it... I was on a diet. Thing is, at no time did I admit to myself that I was "on a diet". But it was a diet, because although it didn't get called "a diet" it very much looked like a diet. Sometimes it involved calorie counting, sometimes it involved cutting out carbs, sometimes it involved doing a shit-load of HIIT workouts and trying to drink three litres of water a day (side note: that's really bloody hard actually) and sometimes it ... read more

What my October happy list looks like

happy list

Yesterday I shared the concept of a happy list and talked about how it's a great way to take stock of the things in your life you're happy for. I explained how we're often programmed to look for what we don't have, or what we haven't achieved, rather than appreciating the things we do have, and how this whole cycle can be a negative one leading to dissatisfaction and unhappiness. I didn't want to share my own happy list in that post because I didn't want people to compare - comparison is an instant way to suck the happy out of any situation, I think. That said, I do want to share some of ... read more

What’s a happy list and why is it worth doing?

I read once that the secret to happiness is to count your blessings. Basically, be thankful for what you've got, not what you haven't. In real life though, we're constantly bombarded with what we haven't got and told to yearn for those things - a bigger house, bigger car, bigger wardrobe etc. Adverts and mainstream media sell us the idea of the perfect body and the perfect life while simultaneously telling us to "live in the moment". It can be confusing. That's why I'm a big advocate of the happy list. The happy list can be a list of anything that makes you happy. It's not a list of what ... read more

Ditching the diet – afternoon tea with Red Letter Days

Afternoon tea

As we've already established, I'm a bit (very) extra when it comes to birthdays. So when Red Letter Days asked if I'd be interested in trying out one of their experiences I jumped at the chance to go for afternoon tea at a local five star hotel for my birthday. Bovey Castle is a luxury hotel on Dartmoor, with views across rolling countryside on the outside and roaring fires, cosy wood panelled rooms and attentive staff on the inside. It's a beautiful place to spend a birthday. I took my friend Elly and it was such a luxury to a) miss the school run and b) eat delicious food in ... read more

35 life lessons on my 35th birthday

Look, if you can't be extra on your birthday when can you be? So I turn 35 today. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MEEEEEEE! I've always loved a birthday. It's fair to say I'm a bit of a birthday diva. Despite getting older each year - or, actually, BECAUSE OF getting older each year - I believe birthdays are a thing to be celebrated. 35 years on this planet. And what a privilege that is. Although 35 is no 40 it still feels like a bit of a milestone. Possibly because this is the first year in a few years that I've been SO excited about it. 35 years young! Still so much life to be lived and experiences ... read more

What self care really looks like (hint: it’s not about dieting)

If "hygge" was the buzz word of 2016 then "self care" is definitely the in thing for 2018. Unfortunately, like with lots of other buzz words, it's been adopted by various companies trying to profit from our insecurities to mean something that doesn't look like self care at all. We're now regularly being sold the idea that self care means dieting, losing weight and spending hundreds of pounds on products to hide, disguise or alter our natural state. Self care is being wrapped up as a form of wellness which in turn is being wrapped up as "being healthy" which in turn means taking a big stick ... read more

How I broke up with my inner mean girl – overcoming self-doubt for good

Confidence and self-doubt

I used to live with a constant inner mean girl. I named her Susan (Self Doubt Susan to be exact). This is the story of our break-up. The story starts when I was around nine years old and wore a tartan skirt to school. I loved that tartan skirt. A girl in Year 6 made fun of the skirt though, telling me it was too short. I went home and put the skirt at the back of my wardrobe. That was my first experience of someone else knocking the wind out of my sails. And it was around the point my inner mean girl, "Susan", first moved in. She made regular appearances ever since, up to fairly ... read more

Forgotten photos from France

Family holiday to France

This time a month ago we were still in France, but it feels like a distant dream already. It really was the most amazing summer, and a huge part of that was being able to spend so long abroad. We'd decided after our holiday in 2017 that we were going to do everything we could to spend a full month in France this year - there have to be some benefits to Simon being a teacher! Anyway, I haven't really written about our holiday, mainly because I deliberately used the time to switch off. I made a couple of videos but avoided having my camera in my hand the whole time, choosing instead to live ... read more

How a change in body image led to a change in style

bodysuit UK Lingerie

One of the biggest revelations for me over the past six months has been a shift in my "style identity". I've always loved clothes (back in the 90s I'd spend all my pocket money in Tammy Girl) but after becoming a mum for the second time four years ago I fell into a bit of a fashion rut. My feelings about my body played a huge roll in what I chose to wear, along with a sense of what a mum of two in her 30s "should" look like. I tried to get creative with breastfeeding fashion and, later, throw myself into being able to wear dresses again once I was no longer feeding but, ultimately, I always ... read more

Facing our fears at Go Ape

GoApe Junior Course Haldon Forest

Traditionally, my eldest has always been a bit of a cautious child. She would be the one at the playground who'd need me to hold her hand when she tackled the climbing frame, while the other kids threw themselves around without fear. So that's why my heart swelled with pride when she faced her fears and completed not one, but all three of the courses on the new Tree Top Junior high ropes at Go Ape in Haldon Forest. It's years since I last did a Go Ape session (the last one was back in 2008 as part of a fun radio feature on the show I was working on at the time) so I wasn't sure what to ... read more