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When it comes to Father's Day, I am usually lost for what to buy. I think men are notoriously difficult to buy for and I always feel like the gifts I lump for are a bit impersonal - usually a liquorice-based cop-out, if you will.

But that all changed when I started using Moonpig. When I moved abroad to Germany, I originally used it to send birthday cards and gifts to family back home in the UK without having to deal with the nightmare that is international delivery systems. And what was at first a marriage of convenience, soon became a bit of a running joke in my family. I'd spend ages scrolling through cringey Facebook pictures to find the most embarrassing picture to ever exist and plaster it across the front of the card.

I mean, you could create really beautiful, nostalgia-filled cards with the personalisation feature too but, lets be honest, that just isn't me.

Alongside the personalised cards, there are plenty of gifts to suit all tastes too. Whether your dad is into football, Star Wars, or something in between - there really is something for everyone (and I can vouch for this because my dad is a nightmare to buy for).


Personally, I opted this year for a Liverpool themed card (go on you reds) because my dad is a mega fan. Alongside a snack tray filled with nuts and meaty snacks and two bottles of fancy beer to watch whilst the game is on (if football ever returns - although I dont mind if it takes its time...).

So, whether you have a dad, a grandad who has always been there for you, a mum who has been both mum and dad, a stepdad, two dads, or two mums, make sure to treat them this Father's Day to let them know how much you care!

Celebrating Father's Day With Moonpig


[gifted ad]

When it comes to Father's Day, I am usually lost for what to buy. I think men are notoriously difficult to buy for and I always feel like the gifts I lump for are a bit impersonal - usually a liquorice-based cop-out, if you will.

But that all changed when I started using Moonpig. When I moved abroad to Germany, I originally used it to send birthday cards and gifts to family back home in the UK without having to deal with the nightmare that is international delivery systems. And what was at first a marriage of convenience, soon became a bit of a running joke in my family. I'd spend ages scrolling through cringey Facebook pictures to find the most embarrassing picture to ever exist and plaster it across the front of the card.

I mean, you could create really beautiful, nostalgia-filled cards with the personalisation feature too but, lets be honest, that just isn't me.

Alongside the personalised cards, there are plenty of gifts to suit all tastes too. Whether your dad is into football, Star Wars, or something in between - there really is something for everyone (and I can vouch for this because my dad is a nightmare to buy for).


Personally, I opted this year for a Liverpool themed card (go on you reds) because my dad is a mega fan. Alongside a snack tray filled with nuts and meaty snacks and two bottles of fancy beer to watch whilst the game is on (if football ever returns - although I dont mind if it takes its time...).

So, whether you have a dad, a grandad who has always been there for you, a mum who has been both mum and dad, a stepdad, two dads, or two mums, make sure to treat them this Father's Day to let them know how much you care!

When we first went into lockdown, I had this whole positive mindset. I had big plans of how I would utilise this time and be really productive. Reader, I have not been productive. We are now on week 7 (I think??) and I have been for a run like three times. I have only written two blog posts this whole time. Hell, the only thing I have achieved is breaking my previous records of how many biscuits I can eat in one sitting and how many consecutive hours CBeebies can play for.

Saying that though, there are a couple of things that I have started doing more of. I have tried to get back into baking - everything I have made has been kinda disgusting but at least I am trying?? And I have been rejigging the house a lot. And that is one thing that is actually paying off. All this free time has meant that I can actually do the odd jobs around the house that I never would have done. I have painted walls. I have mounted pictures (very, very poorly - sorry to whoever moves into this house in future for all the holes in the walls). I have even painted a chest of drawers. And it is starting to come together. My house is starting to look more me.

So, I thought I would put together a post on how to refresh your home on a budget so I can share with you guys all the little tips and tricks on how to totally turn around your living space without it costing the earth.

Change up the knobs
Lol (sorry). But yeah, one mega easy and affordable way to change up your home is to buy some new knobs and swap them in. Sideboards, cupboards, kitchen cabinets, bedside tables - anywhere! I find Knobbles and Bobbles is the best place to find really fun and unusual designs that will spice up any space and tie into your colour scheme a lot better than the plain ones that usually come on drawers and things.

Get some new cushion covers 
When we first moved into our house, we went to this furniture place that was full of stuff people had donated and we got our (monstrous, burgundy velvet) sofa from there. It can with these awful dark purple cushions that just always looked so ugly to me. For years, I have just chucked them in the cupboard and not thought anymore of them. Until recently! I decided to replace the cushion covers and I am so much happier for it (although I will be even happier when I can finally buy a new sofa). H&M Home is great for this and you can also find some cute ones for the kids rooms on Amazon too.


Create a gallery wall
Whenever I used to think of gallery walls, I would imagine the typical selection of cute prints in frame above the sofa or going up the staircase. That was until I got on Pinterest and go inspired to create a gallery wall in Ava's room using a mixture of pictures, hanging decorations, metal word art, and a hanging shelf too. I even bought a canvas and got Ava to paint a picture to go on her wall too. And I am so happy with the result. It may look a little chaotic but I like it and I feel like it is such a nice idea for a kids room. And I did it using mostly all stuff we already had at home that was either just shoved in a drawer or sat unloved on another shelf somewhere else in the house.

Put up a shelf
I'm a big fan of shelves. I feel like they really fill a space and give the room more character. And you don't even have to spend much to decorate them either. You can display things you already have tucked away in drawers. Or get a few cheap frames and print some pictures via Free Prints. Or even wash out a glass jar when you finish using it and fill it with some flowers you find out on your walks.

Change up the grout
The bathroom and kitchen are two rooms in the house that I haven't even started decorating yet because they were newly fitted when we moved in and have served us fairly well since then. I mean, they are functional. But one hack I have been seeing online that seems to make a big difference to the look of kitchens and bathrooms is changing the grout. Yeah, that white stuff between the tiles. Buy a grout pen (maybe choose black if you have white tiles for that monochrome vibe) and go to work on that grout (a sentence I never thought I would be writing).

Paint old furniture
Wilko recently kindly gifted me some of their furniture paint and, since painting a horrible, old dresser/chest of drawers bright yellow, I have definitely been bitten by the furniture painting bug. None of my furniture is safe anymore. I fully intend to paint everything that I don't like anymore and then change up the knobs too. My bedside table will definitely be my next victim.

What are your top tips for changing up your living space?


You may also enjoy:
15 Things To Do At Home That Don't Involve A Screen
You Don't Have To Be Productive Right Now
The Best Nursery Décor Bargains On The Market
Blogging On A Budget: Is It Possible?

Small Ways To Refresh Your Home On A Budget


When we first went into lockdown, I had this whole positive mindset. I had big plans of how I would utilise this time and be really productive. Reader, I have not been productive. We are now on week 7 (I think??) and I have been for a run like three times. I have only written two blog posts this whole time. Hell, the only thing I have achieved is breaking my previous records of how many biscuits I can eat in one sitting and how many consecutive hours CBeebies can play for.

Saying that though, there are a couple of things that I have started doing more of. I have tried to get back into baking - everything I have made has been kinda disgusting but at least I am trying?? And I have been rejigging the house a lot. And that is one thing that is actually paying off. All this free time has meant that I can actually do the odd jobs around the house that I never would have done. I have painted walls. I have mounted pictures (very, very poorly - sorry to whoever moves into this house in future for all the holes in the walls). I have even painted a chest of drawers. And it is starting to come together. My house is starting to look more me.

So, I thought I would put together a post on how to refresh your home on a budget so I can share with you guys all the little tips and tricks on how to totally turn around your living space without it costing the earth.

Change up the knobs
Lol (sorry). But yeah, one mega easy and affordable way to change up your home is to buy some new knobs and swap them in. Sideboards, cupboards, kitchen cabinets, bedside tables - anywhere! I find Knobbles and Bobbles is the best place to find really fun and unusual designs that will spice up any space and tie into your colour scheme a lot better than the plain ones that usually come on drawers and things.

Get some new cushion covers 
When we first moved into our house, we went to this furniture place that was full of stuff people had donated and we got our (monstrous, burgundy velvet) sofa from there. It can with these awful dark purple cushions that just always looked so ugly to me. For years, I have just chucked them in the cupboard and not thought anymore of them. Until recently! I decided to replace the cushion covers and I am so much happier for it (although I will be even happier when I can finally buy a new sofa). H&M Home is great for this and you can also find some cute ones for the kids rooms on Amazon too.


Create a gallery wall
Whenever I used to think of gallery walls, I would imagine the typical selection of cute prints in frame above the sofa or going up the staircase. That was until I got on Pinterest and go inspired to create a gallery wall in Ava's room using a mixture of pictures, hanging decorations, metal word art, and a hanging shelf too. I even bought a canvas and got Ava to paint a picture to go on her wall too. And I am so happy with the result. It may look a little chaotic but I like it and I feel like it is such a nice idea for a kids room. And I did it using mostly all stuff we already had at home that was either just shoved in a drawer or sat unloved on another shelf somewhere else in the house.

Put up a shelf
I'm a big fan of shelves. I feel like they really fill a space and give the room more character. And you don't even have to spend much to decorate them either. You can display things you already have tucked away in drawers. Or get a few cheap frames and print some pictures via Free Prints. Or even wash out a glass jar when you finish using it and fill it with some flowers you find out on your walks.

Change up the grout
The bathroom and kitchen are two rooms in the house that I haven't even started decorating yet because they were newly fitted when we moved in and have served us fairly well since then. I mean, they are functional. But one hack I have been seeing online that seems to make a big difference to the look of kitchens and bathrooms is changing the grout. Yeah, that white stuff between the tiles. Buy a grout pen (maybe choose black if you have white tiles for that monochrome vibe) and go to work on that grout (a sentence I never thought I would be writing).

Paint old furniture
Wilko recently kindly gifted me some of their furniture paint and, since painting a horrible, old dresser/chest of drawers bright yellow, I have definitely been bitten by the furniture painting bug. None of my furniture is safe anymore. I fully intend to paint everything that I don't like anymore and then change up the knobs too. My bedside table will definitely be my next victim.

What are your top tips for changing up your living space?


You may also enjoy:
15 Things To Do At Home That Don't Involve A Screen
You Don't Have To Be Productive Right Now
The Best Nursery Décor Bargains On The Market
Blogging On A Budget: Is It Possible?

When you start a new business, 101 different thoughts go through your mind. Will people buy your products? What should your logo look like? Where can I buy my supplies from? How do taxes even work? But one of the questions that maybe isn't always at the forefront of your mind when you start a business is how you can be as eco-conscious as possible.

Personally, I quickly aligned 'eco' with 'expensive' when I was starting up. I originally intended to work with epoxy resin (which in itself is not the most eco-friendly product) and, after failing to find an environmentally friendly alternative that wasn't double the price of the standard stuff, I lumped for the non-biodegradable, not so eco-friendly stuff. And I think that whole process is true of a lot of small businesses. We have good intentions at heart when we set out but quickly find that eco-friendly and sustainable often comes with a price tag and, when you are just setting out, it is not that easy to foot those extra costs.

But as I started to settle into the business (and after taking a small detour away from resin after a nasty allergic reaction), I started to see ways that I could be eco-friendly whilst still being on a budget.

Eco-friendly packaging
It is actually so easy to keep your packaging eco-friendly. And, personally, I think it looks a lot cuter too. I mean, cardboard packaging with colourful ribbons and paper stickers and even some yarn chucked in there too - adorable.

Personally, I package my jewellery in reusable bags that have a beautiful, metallic lunar print on them and then I wrap it up in tissue paper and tie them with yarn. All my orders are then posted in basic brown envelopes (the type without bubble wrap). I also hold onto any tissue paper or small plastic bags that I get sent in the post and reuse them in my own packaging.

I would really recommend browsing Pinterest and searching for eco-friendly packaging to get an idea of what kind of style you want to try.

Using local suppliers
This definitely isnt applicable to all businesses but, for me, I found that there are so many places to source materials to make jewellery and things based in the UK  - and the price difference isn't that big from ordering in from China either. For my jewellery, I buy the components on Etsy from UK based craft supplies brands. By reducing that air travel, you are doing a world of good for the environment.

Be transparent
'Green-washing' is a big thing these days as every brand wants to make themselves look like they are doing a great job being eco-conscious but misleading your customers is actually more harmful than anything. If someone is setting out to buy an eco-friendly product and that is their priority then allow them to do that - even if you lose a sale. If you sell something that isn't good for the environment, be open about that. Let the customers choose whether they want to buy from you or not. Be clear about the areas of your business that are eco-friendly and show your customers that you are trying your best but don't mislead them into thinking you're a sustainable brand if you aren't.

Don't over-order
One mistake I made when I was starting out was that I ordered loads of stuff without even trying to create the products first. I didn't even know how to work with resin but I went ahead and ordered loads of silicone moulds and dyes - you name it, I ordered it. But then it didn't work out and I was left with a lot of things that I have no use for anymore. So, don't over-order. Especially early on. Order business cards but not an excessive amount. Order enough packaging but not too much. Basically, don't make my mistake and be excessive or those things may end up in landfill (or thrust upon an unsuspecting younger sister whose room is now full to the brim with silicone moulds).

Let me know your top tips for being eco-friendly as a small business!
You can find my business here: Lunar & Bloom

You may also enjoy:
Tips for embracing a more vegan-friendly lifestyle
The cruelty-free skincare product I am obsessed with right now
Independent business gift guide
Small changes I'm making to become a more ethical consumer

How To Be More Eco-Friendly As A Small Business [AD]


When you start a new business, 101 different thoughts go through your mind. Will people buy your products? What should your logo look like? Where can I buy my supplies from? How do taxes even work? But one of the questions that maybe isn't always at the forefront of your mind when you start a business is how you can be as eco-conscious as possible.

Personally, I quickly aligned 'eco' with 'expensive' when I was starting up. I originally intended to work with epoxy resin (which in itself is not the most eco-friendly product) and, after failing to find an environmentally friendly alternative that wasn't double the price of the standard stuff, I lumped for the non-biodegradable, not so eco-friendly stuff. And I think that whole process is true of a lot of small businesses. We have good intentions at heart when we set out but quickly find that eco-friendly and sustainable often comes with a price tag and, when you are just setting out, it is not that easy to foot those extra costs.

But as I started to settle into the business (and after taking a small detour away from resin after a nasty allergic reaction), I started to see ways that I could be eco-friendly whilst still being on a budget.

Eco-friendly packaging
It is actually so easy to keep your packaging eco-friendly. And, personally, I think it looks a lot cuter too. I mean, cardboard packaging with colourful ribbons and paper stickers and even some yarn chucked in there too - adorable.

Personally, I package my jewellery in reusable bags that have a beautiful, metallic lunar print on them and then I wrap it up in tissue paper and tie them with yarn. All my orders are then posted in basic brown envelopes (the type without bubble wrap). I also hold onto any tissue paper or small plastic bags that I get sent in the post and reuse them in my own packaging.

I would really recommend browsing Pinterest and searching for eco-friendly packaging to get an idea of what kind of style you want to try.

Using local suppliers
This definitely isnt applicable to all businesses but, for me, I found that there are so many places to source materials to make jewellery and things based in the UK  - and the price difference isn't that big from ordering in from China either. For my jewellery, I buy the components on Etsy from UK based craft supplies brands. By reducing that air travel, you are doing a world of good for the environment.

Be transparent
'Green-washing' is a big thing these days as every brand wants to make themselves look like they are doing a great job being eco-conscious but misleading your customers is actually more harmful than anything. If someone is setting out to buy an eco-friendly product and that is their priority then allow them to do that - even if you lose a sale. If you sell something that isn't good for the environment, be open about that. Let the customers choose whether they want to buy from you or not. Be clear about the areas of your business that are eco-friendly and show your customers that you are trying your best but don't mislead them into thinking you're a sustainable brand if you aren't.

Don't over-order
One mistake I made when I was starting out was that I ordered loads of stuff without even trying to create the products first. I didn't even know how to work with resin but I went ahead and ordered loads of silicone moulds and dyes - you name it, I ordered it. But then it didn't work out and I was left with a lot of things that I have no use for anymore. So, don't over-order. Especially early on. Order business cards but not an excessive amount. Order enough packaging but not too much. Basically, don't make my mistake and be excessive or those things may end up in landfill (or thrust upon an unsuspecting younger sister whose room is now full to the brim with silicone moulds).

Let me know your top tips for being eco-friendly as a small business!
You can find my business here: Lunar & Bloom

You may also enjoy:
Tips for embracing a more vegan-friendly lifestyle
The cruelty-free skincare product I am obsessed with right now
Independent business gift guide
Small changes I'm making to become a more ethical consumer

We are living in an unprecedented time. Most of us have never had this amount of free time at our disposal. And the temptation to put together a huge bucket list of things you want to achieve whilst you're home can be overwhelming.

Every time I look on social media, I see people posting their rigorous schedules and goals of things they aim to do over the next month or so. And, in all honesty, it sometimes makes me feel a little inadequate - especially as my greatest achievement so far is getting out of bed before 9am (to be fair, that is a big achievement).

So, let me just say here and now: it is ok to do nothing. It is ok to just exist and watch Netflix (hit me up with your recommendations in the comments!). It is ok to snack and stay in your PJs and lounge on the sofa and scroll through your phone.

You're not a failure if you haven't started a new business, and lost 2 stone, and written 4 blog posts a week, and created pinterest-level content every day, and sorted out your sleep schedule, and cleared up your skin whilst in lockdown.

Quite frankly, this time is mega scary. No one knows what is going on or how long this is going to last for so if a strict schedule and setting goals is what gives your day structure and keeps you feeling normal, then by all means do that. But if you are feeling guilty for not being productive all the time, then just remember that you don't have to do any of those things.

You are doing more than enough by just staying home and staying safe. That is what is important.

You may also enjoy:
15 Things To Do At Home That Don't Involve A Screen
Blogging On A Budget: Is It Possible?
Are Lightroom Presets Worth It?
How I Find Time To Blog As A SAHM
My Top Tips For New Bloggers

You Don't Have To Be Productive Right Now


We are living in an unprecedented time. Most of us have never had this amount of free time at our disposal. And the temptation to put together a huge bucket list of things you want to achieve whilst you're home can be overwhelming.

Every time I look on social media, I see people posting their rigorous schedules and goals of things they aim to do over the next month or so. And, in all honesty, it sometimes makes me feel a little inadequate - especially as my greatest achievement so far is getting out of bed before 9am (to be fair, that is a big achievement).

So, let me just say here and now: it is ok to do nothing. It is ok to just exist and watch Netflix (hit me up with your recommendations in the comments!). It is ok to snack and stay in your PJs and lounge on the sofa and scroll through your phone.

You're not a failure if you haven't started a new business, and lost 2 stone, and written 4 blog posts a week, and created pinterest-level content every day, and sorted out your sleep schedule, and cleared up your skin whilst in lockdown.

Quite frankly, this time is mega scary. No one knows what is going on or how long this is going to last for so if a strict schedule and setting goals is what gives your day structure and keeps you feeling normal, then by all means do that. But if you are feeling guilty for not being productive all the time, then just remember that you don't have to do any of those things.

You are doing more than enough by just staying home and staying safe. That is what is important.

You may also enjoy:
15 Things To Do At Home That Don't Involve A Screen
Blogging On A Budget: Is It Possible?
Are Lightroom Presets Worth It?
How I Find Time To Blog As A SAHM
My Top Tips For New Bloggers

What with the stricter rules coming in yesterday and the resounding advice from, well, everywhere to stay inside, it is almost certain that we are all going to be seeing a lot more of the four walls we call home (and the immediate family that live within them *gulps in mum of two*).

Personally, we have been on some form of social-isolation for about 5 days now. We are mostly staying at home and only leaving the house to buy food or go for a walk through some fields (one of the very few benefits of country living - you can walk for miles without encountering a single other person). Thankfully, the cabin fever hasn't quite hit yet but I'm sure it won't be long before I am pining for a Costa and longing for soft plays to reopen.

However, one thing I am struggling with is finding my motivation to do anything other than scroll through Instagram. It is so tempting, right? Just spend the day in your PJs jumping from one app to another - only briefly breaking the cycle to eat whatever scraps you have chilling at the back of the fridge - then tumbling into bed at night feeling a bit miserable.

So, I thought I would put my thinking cap on and come up with a list of stuff you (and I!) can do whilst we are at home that doesn't involve a screen.

1. Bake a load of goodies
I couldn't find flour anywhere (although I did find eggs!) so I lumped for some of those baking kits instead and they actually came out quite nice.

2. Experiment with photography
Whether you are a blogger, a keen instagrammer, a Flickr fiend (that's still going, right?), or just want to try something new, now is a great time to dabble in photography. You can get some great home design shots, outfit shots, or even portraits of your fellow quarantine buddies. For me, this has been a great opportunity to explore different types of content and improve my home design shots and flatlays.

3. Take up a hobby
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I recently opened a shop selling jewellery (and resin pieces - until I had an allergic reaction to them, RIP my skin). I absolutely love doing something that involves my hands and having a physical end product. Things like embroidery and knitting are great alternatives. Or making candles or soap.

4. Get painting
Personally, I have never been great at traditional art like painting or drawing but I recently came across a type of painting that I am itching to try. It is called free pouring and basically you get your canvas, mix up several different colours in different pots, and just go at it pouring them on. You end up with an awesome abstract piece with all the colours blending together. Also this is a great one to get the kids involved with.

5. Learn sign language
Technically, you may need a screen for this but it is a great way to pass the time and learn something worthwhile too.

6. Clean your makeup brushes
Yes, you. Clean your brushes.


7. Sort through your wardrobe and make a bag for donation
You've likely not had time to go through your wardrobe in ages - who knows what is even lurking in there? I mean, there may even be a pair of disco leggings discarded at the back. So, use this time to go through your stuff and put together a bag to donate when charity shops reopen. And, whilst you're at it, sort out the kids toy box. And your makeup collection. And your pants drawer. And the drawer of doom (yknow the one where you just shove all your stuff in).

8. Create a shadow box
I recently discovered shadow boxes and I thought they seemed pretty cool. Basically, they are deep frames that you fill with pictures and small memorabilia then display. Like you could do a wedding one with a few prints of your wedding day then a flower from your bouquet and a place setting card. Or one for your kid with the ultrasound and some pictures from their first few months.

9. Delete stuff from your phone
Ok, this one definitely involves a screen but hear me out: delete all the unnecessary stuff from your phone. Old pictures you don't want anymore. Texts. Downloads of menus you went to three years ago. Unsubscribe from mailing lists. Delete all of the junk emails. Just clean up your phone.

10. Journal
This is an unprecedented time - something most of us have never had to experience - so, naturally, it brings new emotions along with it. Write them down. They are all valid and, who knows, one day your grandkids might have to study coronavirus in history and want to know what it was like living through this pandemic.

11. Experiment with ready roll pastry
One thing these last 5 days have taught me is the versatility of ready roll pastry - and that it is almost foolproof! Add it to your next shop and make jam tarts or a mustard chicken pie or a butternut squash and feta cheese tart. You can make so much with it and the results are always delicious.

12. Have a spa night
Right, this is not just self-care, this is next level self-care. Get a soft robe. Play relaxing music. Buy all of the mud masks. Hell, even get some cucumber for your eyes. Take a long bubble bath. Exfoliate your skin. Moisturise. Do a hair mask. Really make an evening of it.


13. Download Tik Tok
Ok, this deffo involves a screen but is also an awesome way to pass the time and have a bit of fun. Learn some Tik Tok dances. Get people involved to act out some of the sounds with you. Generally make a fool of yourself on the app and have a laugh. Oh, and follow me on there (I'm @ laurenmusinguzi).

14. Call your friends and family
Remember to keep checking in on loved ones - especially those who are vulnerable.

15. Become a crisis text counsellor
(trigger warning: mental health, domestic violence)
Yes, another screen-based idea but for a good reason. Given everything that is going on, many will likely find their mental health deteriorating. Many are isolated with their abuser. Many are going to really struggle in this time. But you can help from your home by becoming a crisis text counsellor.

I hope this list has been helpful! Stay home and stay safe, people.

15 Things To Do At Home That Don't Involve A Screen


What with the stricter rules coming in yesterday and the resounding advice from, well, everywhere to stay inside, it is almost certain that we are all going to be seeing a lot more of the four walls we call home (and the immediate family that live within them *gulps in mum of two*).

Personally, we have been on some form of social-isolation for about 5 days now. We are mostly staying at home and only leaving the house to buy food or go for a walk through some fields (one of the very few benefits of country living - you can walk for miles without encountering a single other person). Thankfully, the cabin fever hasn't quite hit yet but I'm sure it won't be long before I am pining for a Costa and longing for soft plays to reopen.

However, one thing I am struggling with is finding my motivation to do anything other than scroll through Instagram. It is so tempting, right? Just spend the day in your PJs jumping from one app to another - only briefly breaking the cycle to eat whatever scraps you have chilling at the back of the fridge - then tumbling into bed at night feeling a bit miserable.

So, I thought I would put my thinking cap on and come up with a list of stuff you (and I!) can do whilst we are at home that doesn't involve a screen.

1. Bake a load of goodies
I couldn't find flour anywhere (although I did find eggs!) so I lumped for some of those baking kits instead and they actually came out quite nice.

2. Experiment with photography
Whether you are a blogger, a keen instagrammer, a Flickr fiend (that's still going, right?), or just want to try something new, now is a great time to dabble in photography. You can get some great home design shots, outfit shots, or even portraits of your fellow quarantine buddies. For me, this has been a great opportunity to explore different types of content and improve my home design shots and flatlays.

3. Take up a hobby
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I recently opened a shop selling jewellery (and resin pieces - until I had an allergic reaction to them, RIP my skin). I absolutely love doing something that involves my hands and having a physical end product. Things like embroidery and knitting are great alternatives. Or making candles or soap.

4. Get painting
Personally, I have never been great at traditional art like painting or drawing but I recently came across a type of painting that I am itching to try. It is called free pouring and basically you get your canvas, mix up several different colours in different pots, and just go at it pouring them on. You end up with an awesome abstract piece with all the colours blending together. Also this is a great one to get the kids involved with.

5. Learn sign language
Technically, you may need a screen for this but it is a great way to pass the time and learn something worthwhile too.

6. Clean your makeup brushes
Yes, you. Clean your brushes.


7. Sort through your wardrobe and make a bag for donation
You've likely not had time to go through your wardrobe in ages - who knows what is even lurking in there? I mean, there may even be a pair of disco leggings discarded at the back. So, use this time to go through your stuff and put together a bag to donate when charity shops reopen. And, whilst you're at it, sort out the kids toy box. And your makeup collection. And your pants drawer. And the drawer of doom (yknow the one where you just shove all your stuff in).

8. Create a shadow box
I recently discovered shadow boxes and I thought they seemed pretty cool. Basically, they are deep frames that you fill with pictures and small memorabilia then display. Like you could do a wedding one with a few prints of your wedding day then a flower from your bouquet and a place setting card. Or one for your kid with the ultrasound and some pictures from their first few months.

9. Delete stuff from your phone
Ok, this one definitely involves a screen but hear me out: delete all the unnecessary stuff from your phone. Old pictures you don't want anymore. Texts. Downloads of menus you went to three years ago. Unsubscribe from mailing lists. Delete all of the junk emails. Just clean up your phone.

10. Journal
This is an unprecedented time - something most of us have never had to experience - so, naturally, it brings new emotions along with it. Write them down. They are all valid and, who knows, one day your grandkids might have to study coronavirus in history and want to know what it was like living through this pandemic.

11. Experiment with ready roll pastry
One thing these last 5 days have taught me is the versatility of ready roll pastry - and that it is almost foolproof! Add it to your next shop and make jam tarts or a mustard chicken pie or a butternut squash and feta cheese tart. You can make so much with it and the results are always delicious.

12. Have a spa night
Right, this is not just self-care, this is next level self-care. Get a soft robe. Play relaxing music. Buy all of the mud masks. Hell, even get some cucumber for your eyes. Take a long bubble bath. Exfoliate your skin. Moisturise. Do a hair mask. Really make an evening of it.


13. Download Tik Tok
Ok, this deffo involves a screen but is also an awesome way to pass the time and have a bit of fun. Learn some Tik Tok dances. Get people involved to act out some of the sounds with you. Generally make a fool of yourself on the app and have a laugh. Oh, and follow me on there (I'm @ laurenmusinguzi).

14. Call your friends and family
Remember to keep checking in on loved ones - especially those who are vulnerable.

15. Become a crisis text counsellor
(trigger warning: mental health, domestic violence)
Yes, another screen-based idea but for a good reason. Given everything that is going on, many will likely find their mental health deteriorating. Many are isolated with their abuser. Many are going to really struggle in this time. But you can help from your home by becoming a crisis text counsellor.

I hope this list has been helpful! Stay home and stay safe, people.
What do mums really want for Mother's Day? A full nine hours sleep? To use the bathroom without a toddler banging the door down? To eat a full chocolate bar without having someone staring you into submission, making you give up a quarter of the goods? Well, yes, all of these. Please and thank you. But, in reality, these probably aren't great gift options. So, I have put together a Mother's Day gift guide for you guys to give you an insight into what your mum really wants this year.


An excuse to turn the bathroom into a full-on spa
Mums love a bubble bath. Especially when there is wine, chocolate, and a good book (or access to Tik Tok, let's be real) in there too. So, a great gift option is something totally luxurious so the mums in your life can disappear into the bathroom for an hour or so and totally relax. Extra points if you also take the kids out so you don't have someone knocking on/slamming their entire body against the door as soon as you get in the bath because they are 'very desperate'.

I was gifted this eco friendly bath set by Nurture Collective and it is so lovely. It has a gorgeous rose petal bath bomb, eco hair products and deodorant, a bamboo tooth brush, and some lovely clay soap that actually smells insane. Saving the planet whilst having a luxurious bath? Count me in.

All of the snacks
Mums love snacks. Like big time. You will often find us hiding in parts of the house eating snacks in an effort to evade our offspring who can hear a packet being opened a mile away. I once ate a pack of donuts in the bathroom - I mean, I'm not proud of it but that is how dedicated I am to snacking.

Treat Trunk recently sent me out one of their one-off boxes and it fully satisfied all of my snacking needs. Now, these snacks are more healthy than a pack of jam donuts but, not gonna lie, they are just as nice. There was a great variety of snacks in the box I received. Some lovely bits for the kids - like those healthy fruit winders (long gone are the days of fruit winders being basically red sugar ribbons) - and some lush vegan snacks too. They have a subscription service which looks awesome (I mean, who wouldn't love monthly snacks?)



Michael Bublé?
It is a truth universally acknowledged that all mums love a bit of Bublé. Unfortunately, paying for your own, personal serenade from the man himself is pretty pricey (not that I have checked or anything...) but there is something that may be just as good - perfume designed by Bublé himself! I mean, what woman doesn't want to smell like Bublé's dream scent?

I was lucky enough to be sent across a few of the Bublé fragrances (along with some chocolates - day made!) and, let me tell you, they smell incredible. I have been wearing the By Invitation: Rose Gold all day long and it has lasted so well (even after washing two kids and about 37549 dishes). The smell is light and feminine without feeling like you are wearing something from the kid's section. It smells sophisticated. And it is actually quite affordable at £42 for a big 100ml bottle.

A 'you shouldn't have' gift
Ok, this is kinda gift that makes you go 'wow'. A 'I can't believe that actually got me this' kinda gift. Something really fancy. Something jaw-droppingly beautiful. Something you know they will love and cherish forever. And, most importantly, something that shocks them to their core when they open it up expecting just slipper socks or another candle.

My top 'you shouldn't have' is absolutely anything from Daisy London. They do insanely gorgeous pieces all around the £100 price mark. My favourite piece of theirs is their 18 carat gold sunburst necklace (which I was previously gifted). It is so special and comes with a little jewellery bag, a box, and a paper bag all with the Daisy London logo on it. And it just feels so special. Honestly, I wish I could afford to buy all the women in my family pieces like this.


Something a bit sentimental
Being a mum means you are an emotional wreck about 95% of the time and your kids hold the power to melt your heart in a way no-one else can. And that is what makes sentimental gifts so special - we really love them and they mean more to us than a gift card or box of chocolates ever could (although please give us chocolate too).

That is what makes these little pocket books (gifted) a great gift. They are full of quotes - some well known, some not so much - pertaining to the title. I really like the one centred around Happiness but they also do Love, Friendship, and Hope. I think these would make such lovely little gifts and lets your mum know you care about her every time she picks up the book.

Something unique and handmade
(ad - my shop) Yes, this is an absolute plug but, yknow, why not? If you are still stuck for things to get your mum for Mother's Day, consider getting her something from my shop Lunar & Bloom. I make earrings and homeware out of resin and all of the earrings can be shipped by Mother's Day. And they are wrapped really cute too.



What are you buying your mum for Mother's Day?

What Mums Really Want For Mother's Day

What do mums really want for Mother's Day? A full nine hours sleep? To use the bathroom without a toddler banging the door down? To eat a full chocolate bar without having someone staring you into submission, making you give up a quarter of the goods? Well, yes, all of these. Please and thank you. But, in reality, these probably aren't great gift options. So, I have put together a Mother's Day gift guide for you guys to give you an insight into what your mum really wants this year.


An excuse to turn the bathroom into a full-on spa
Mums love a bubble bath. Especially when there is wine, chocolate, and a good book (or access to Tik Tok, let's be real) in there too. So, a great gift option is something totally luxurious so the mums in your life can disappear into the bathroom for an hour or so and totally relax. Extra points if you also take the kids out so you don't have someone knocking on/slamming their entire body against the door as soon as you get in the bath because they are 'very desperate'.

I was gifted this eco friendly bath set by Nurture Collective and it is so lovely. It has a gorgeous rose petal bath bomb, eco hair products and deodorant, a bamboo tooth brush, and some lovely clay soap that actually smells insane. Saving the planet whilst having a luxurious bath? Count me in.

All of the snacks
Mums love snacks. Like big time. You will often find us hiding in parts of the house eating snacks in an effort to evade our offspring who can hear a packet being opened a mile away. I once ate a pack of donuts in the bathroom - I mean, I'm not proud of it but that is how dedicated I am to snacking.

Treat Trunk recently sent me out one of their one-off boxes and it fully satisfied all of my snacking needs. Now, these snacks are more healthy than a pack of jam donuts but, not gonna lie, they are just as nice. There was a great variety of snacks in the box I received. Some lovely bits for the kids - like those healthy fruit winders (long gone are the days of fruit winders being basically red sugar ribbons) - and some lush vegan snacks too. They have a subscription service which looks awesome (I mean, who wouldn't love monthly snacks?)



Michael Bublé?
It is a truth universally acknowledged that all mums love a bit of Bublé. Unfortunately, paying for your own, personal serenade from the man himself is pretty pricey (not that I have checked or anything...) but there is something that may be just as good - perfume designed by Bublé himself! I mean, what woman doesn't want to smell like Bublé's dream scent?

I was lucky enough to be sent across a few of the Bublé fragrances (along with some chocolates - day made!) and, let me tell you, they smell incredible. I have been wearing the By Invitation: Rose Gold all day long and it has lasted so well (even after washing two kids and about 37549 dishes). The smell is light and feminine without feeling like you are wearing something from the kid's section. It smells sophisticated. And it is actually quite affordable at £42 for a big 100ml bottle.

A 'you shouldn't have' gift
Ok, this is kinda gift that makes you go 'wow'. A 'I can't believe that actually got me this' kinda gift. Something really fancy. Something jaw-droppingly beautiful. Something you know they will love and cherish forever. And, most importantly, something that shocks them to their core when they open it up expecting just slipper socks or another candle.

My top 'you shouldn't have' is absolutely anything from Daisy London. They do insanely gorgeous pieces all around the £100 price mark. My favourite piece of theirs is their 18 carat gold sunburst necklace (which I was previously gifted). It is so special and comes with a little jewellery bag, a box, and a paper bag all with the Daisy London logo on it. And it just feels so special. Honestly, I wish I could afford to buy all the women in my family pieces like this.


Something a bit sentimental
Being a mum means you are an emotional wreck about 95% of the time and your kids hold the power to melt your heart in a way no-one else can. And that is what makes sentimental gifts so special - we really love them and they mean more to us than a gift card or box of chocolates ever could (although please give us chocolate too).

That is what makes these little pocket books (gifted) a great gift. They are full of quotes - some well known, some not so much - pertaining to the title. I really like the one centred around Happiness but they also do Love, Friendship, and Hope. I think these would make such lovely little gifts and lets your mum know you care about her every time she picks up the book.

Something unique and handmade
(ad - my shop) Yes, this is an absolute plug but, yknow, why not? If you are still stuck for things to get your mum for Mother's Day, consider getting her something from my shop Lunar & Bloom. I make earrings and homeware out of resin and all of the earrings can be shipped by Mother's Day. And they are wrapped really cute too.



What are you buying your mum for Mother's Day?

As winter is finally drawing to a close (can we get an amen?), I have recently found myself leaning towards lighter and fresher flavours in my cooking. After several months of stews and soups and slabs of bread and butter, I am ready to move away from that and try something new. Personally, I love Mediterranean flavours at this time of year. I find myself experimenting a lot with herbs and working them into my cooking to give a new dimension to the flavours. The freshness of a citrussy salad or a big bowl of falafels with humus is unparalleled.

But what I am sharing today is something I have made time and again and is always a big crowd pleaser. Introducing: my famous tomato, basil, and feta puff pastry slice.

This recipe has it all. It is light, it is fresh, it is basically a slice of buttery pastry covered in cheese - and, best of all, it is quick and easy to make.

So, let's get into it.

Ingredients

You start off with the following:
- Schwartz dried basil
- A sheet of ready roll puff pastry (you could make your own but I'm lazy so Tesco did it for me)
- Cherry tomatoes
- Tomato puree
- Olive oil
- A generous amount of feta cheese


Method

1. Release your puff pastry from its plastic cage. You may need to roll it if you got the Tesco value block version rather than the slightly more expensive version.

2. Cut the pastry into rectangular slices. Maybe about 5cm long and 3cm wide but it is really up to you. You could even do one massive one if you're into it.

3. Spread the tomato puree across one side.

4. Fold over the edges to create slight ridges.

5. Cut your cherry tomatoes in half and arrange them on top of your tomatoey pastry slice. You can add a bit of salt and pepper to them too, if you're into it.

6. In a separate bowl, mix olive oil and Schwartz dried basil.

7. Spoon some of the delicious basil-y oil onto your pastry slice.

8. Crumble some lots of feta cheese on top

9. Read the instructions on your pastry packaging on how long the cook time is. For mine, I cooked it for about 15 minutes at 200C.

10. Accidentally eat 4 slices, leaving none for anyone else.



Let me know if any of you guys make this recipe - and your high score on how many slices you can eat in one sitting.

You may also enjoy:
Cheesy linguine with Heck paprika sausages
Everything we ate in Berlin
Wagamama blogger event
My favourite independent coffee shops in Exeter

A Light Springtime Lunch With Schwartz [AD]


As winter is finally drawing to a close (can we get an amen?), I have recently found myself leaning towards lighter and fresher flavours in my cooking. After several months of stews and soups and slabs of bread and butter, I am ready to move away from that and try something new. Personally, I love Mediterranean flavours at this time of year. I find myself experimenting a lot with herbs and working them into my cooking to give a new dimension to the flavours. The freshness of a citrussy salad or a big bowl of falafels with humus is unparalleled.

But what I am sharing today is something I have made time and again and is always a big crowd pleaser. Introducing: my famous tomato, basil, and feta puff pastry slice.

This recipe has it all. It is light, it is fresh, it is basically a slice of buttery pastry covered in cheese - and, best of all, it is quick and easy to make.

So, let's get into it.

Ingredients

You start off with the following:
- Schwartz dried basil
- A sheet of ready roll puff pastry (you could make your own but I'm lazy so Tesco did it for me)
- Cherry tomatoes
- Tomato puree
- Olive oil
- A generous amount of feta cheese


Method

1. Release your puff pastry from its plastic cage. You may need to roll it if you got the Tesco value block version rather than the slightly more expensive version.

2. Cut the pastry into rectangular slices. Maybe about 5cm long and 3cm wide but it is really up to you. You could even do one massive one if you're into it.

3. Spread the tomato puree across one side.

4. Fold over the edges to create slight ridges.

5. Cut your cherry tomatoes in half and arrange them on top of your tomatoey pastry slice. You can add a bit of salt and pepper to them too, if you're into it.

6. In a separate bowl, mix olive oil and Schwartz dried basil.

7. Spoon some of the delicious basil-y oil onto your pastry slice.

8. Crumble some lots of feta cheese on top

9. Read the instructions on your pastry packaging on how long the cook time is. For mine, I cooked it for about 15 minutes at 200C.

10. Accidentally eat 4 slices, leaving none for anyone else.



Let me know if any of you guys make this recipe - and your high score on how many slices you can eat in one sitting.

You may also enjoy:
Cheesy linguine with Heck paprika sausages
Everything we ate in Berlin
Wagamama blogger event
My favourite independent coffee shops in Exeter

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