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March 2019

Here Are Just a Few Ways Vinyl Wall Art Stickers Can Bring Your Home to Life in Record Time


Vinyl wall art stickers

Image via Pixabay


No one wants their home to be a drab, bland kind of a place, or – least of all – to seem like a cookie cutter template which simply mirrors every other apartment in the complex, or house on the block.


On the contrary — our homes are the locations where we spend many of our most intimate moments, and accordingly, we want them to be reflections of our personalities and interests. To that end, people often go to great lengths, and expend great cost, to decorate their homes in a variety of fairly elaborate ways.


Changing the wallpaper in your home, or painting decals on the walls with stencils, however, is often a costly and time-intensive process. And while customising our homes with furniture and ornaments can certainly do the trick, this, too, can be a costly and laborious process.


Vinyl wall art stickers, by contrast, present a perfect way of customising our homes in record time, and at minimal cost.


Here are a few of the ways you can use wall stickers to help make your home a reflection of your tastes and personality.


Decorate your child’s room, and turn it into their personal fantasy playground


Children are naturally creative and imaginative, and given half the chance, will seize upon the slightest opportunity to disappear into their own personal fantasy wonderlands.


If you have young kids, in particular, decorating your child’s room with vinyl wall art stickers, can be an excellent way of bringing a fairytale atmosphere to life, largely irrespective of their particular interests.


If your kids are really into dinosaurs, for example, wall stickers allow you to emblazon the room with silhouettes of Stegosaurus’ and Triceratops, that seem to be marching through a primaeval landscape. Or, if they’ve developed an interest in space, you could easily depict the entire solar system in wall stickers, and help to feed their burgeoning curiosity in astronomy in a manner that is both educational and captivating.


The possibilities are virtually limitless here. Consider getting your child’s input in the process. You’ll likely find that they’re bursting with ideas.


Set the stage in your home office to fast track you into a flow state


If you work from a home office as an entrepreneur, you’re likely familiar with the fundamental importance of having your home office environment streamline you into what is known as a “flow” state as effectively as possible, in order to maximise productivity and motivation.


Many people engage in fairly elaborate rituals, and use assorted props in order to lay out the right emotional and psychological cues that say “it’s now time to get to work.” Some famous writers, for example, have commented on using “lucky” props such as a particular, vintage fountain pen, for that purpose.


Wall art stickers can fundamentally transform the entire ambience of your home office, according to whichever theme gets you “in the zone” most effectively.


You could even apply motivational quotes to your walls, in order to give you that extra little “boost” on those tough days when you’ve got to grind through the deadline, and might find enthusiasm dipping.


Turn your living room into a quirky reflection of your personality, in record time and with minimal fuss


People often go to great lengths in decorating their living rooms, not just for their own enjoyment, but also so that they create a welcoming and interesting environment for potential guests.


For people who live in apartments, and especially for those who may be required to move regularly due to work, this can be a bit of an issue. This is largely because the need to “travel light”, so to speak, can make ornamentation a somewhat impractical and arduous process.


Vinyl wall art stickers, on the other hand, allow you to turn any common environment – whether or not you’ve just moved in the day before – into a highly personalised space, without the need for a large number of props, or a degree in feng shui practice.

This is a collaborative post.

5 Things you may not know about overcoming addiction as a young professional

Addiction is a broad topic. Mostly, when experts talk about the concept, they will highlight that it is often a struggle that develops either physically or psychologically. Most of the time addiction develops after a long history of abuse of a particular drug. Sometimes they are legal or illegal and may not include drugs at all. Some are also addicted to sex, gambling, eating disorders, or other things.

silhouette of a man drinking a bottle of alcohol - addiction

Professionals, especially the young ones, might get themselves into binge drink not knowing of the danger that lies ahead. The thing is, once you expose yourself to the chance of losing your job or even quitting if it develops into a habit is the moment you have gone too far.


If you are a professional and you are thinking of quitting your addictive behaviours, here are five things that you would have to consider in the process.


  1.  Make a decision


Treatment centres discourage people from going into rehab before they make a decision. Most centres will refuse to accept you if you are yet to make a decision.


For that reason, sit down with yourself, and make a choice. Start by being honest with yourself. Then, you have to decide on the goals you want. After you decide, inform your workmates, boss, family, and friends.


On that note, the centre may also not allow you to register if your family wants you to get into rehabilitation through your consent.


  1. Get rid of triggers


Triggers represent those things that lead you to temptations. For instance, if you are a sex addict, you have to eliminate porn materials in your home or room.


For drug addicts, it is proper that you remove all the type of drugs that cause you to relapse. Do not leave any trace since they can cause you to change your decisions.


It is also wise that you avoid walking into clubs or parties that have drugs such as alcohol or marijuana because you can end up getting drunk that day.


  1. Look for support


At this point, you may have to look for a new batch of friends, whether it is at work or in your neighbourhood. Ditch your old friends and tell them of your goals.


Tell your family about what you intend to do. Choose people or friends who you know that will not judge you in any way.


A good support system will avoid relapse, respect your decision, and even honour your privacy. People with a positive mind can motivate you to turn away from your habits.

  1. Seek professional help


It will shock you to find out that people will offer you all kinds of advice. However, they should understand that addiction treatment is very different for all victims.


Therefore, your friends may not give you the best treatment that you require. Look for a rehabilitation centre.


Most doctors or counsellors will have to do an initial screening before they start helping you through the process.


  1. Avoid indulging into new addictive behaviour


Most individuals, once they discover that they need to deal with a particular addiction, they will begin new habits, which also develop into an obsession.


For instance, sexual addicts usually engage in exercises, which, if not careful, create a habit that becomes difficult to stop.


You have to trust the professional that you hire so that he or she can assist you in identifying habits that would crop up in your recovery process.


Final remarks


Be sure to open up to your counsellor so that you can get personalized help. If the addiction goes overboard, you might lose your job, which, as a young professional, can be devastating for you.


Therefore, ensure that you complete your treatment once you enroll because it can be a significant factor of whether you will get a new job or not.

This is a collaborative post

The Burning – Book Review #10

This is the first book in the Maeve Kerrigan series by Jane Casey. There are 8 books in the series as well as some short stories.

The Burning By Jane Casey

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

A determined young police constable goes it alone against an enigmatic killer and her bosses in a series debut for fans of Sophie Hannah and Tana French

The Burning Man. It’s the name the media has given a brutal murderer who has beaten four young women to death before setting their bodies ablaze in secluded areas of London’s parks. And now there’s a fifth.

Maeve Kerrigan is an ambitious detective constable, keen to make her mark on the murder task force. Her male colleagues believe Maeve’s empathy makes her weak, but the more she learns about the latest victim, Rebecca Haworth, from her grieving friends and family, the more determined Maeve becomes to bring her murderer to justice. But how do you catch a killer no one has seen when so much of the evidence has gone up in smoke?

My Thoughts

This book seemed to drag for me. It took me longer than a week to read and I started to get a little annoyed with it.
I thought I was going to be reading about the hunt for The Burning Man, but he wasn’t the focus of the story.

I don’t want to say too much in case I spoil it for someone, but the ending left me feeling a little flat. One part at the end even had me wondering who the characters were that I was reading about; it turned out they were from the very start of the story and I’d totally forgotten about them.

I did, however, like Maeve and I’m going to try the next book in the series to see if I want to carry on with the rest.

The Burning by Jane Casey book cover

Goodreads 2019 reading challenge 10 books read


For more book-related posts, click here

Chunky New Potato And Bacon Salad – Slimming World Recipe

Ant and I had this chunky new potato and bacon salad for lunch. It was very filling and would probably split between 3 portions rather than 2 for a lunchtime meal.

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Can Vaping Cause Birth Defects?

When a fetus develops and goes through different stages, they can be vulnerable to congenital disorders. Some of these disorders are caused by genetics while environmental factors can trigger others. Expectant mothers are advised to avoid some practices during pregnancy that can increase the risks of defects. Smoking an e-cigarette is one of the habits that expectant mothers are advised by doctors to avoid.

vaping while pregnant

As a mom-to-be, it may seem safer to vape than smoking cigarettes because the assumption is that a vaporizer has fewer toxins and chemicals. However, vaporizers also have their effects on both the fetus and the expectant mother. There has not been much research on the impact of vaping during pregnancy since vaporizers are products that have not been on the market for long. However, some research studies have shown that e-cigs usage, both directly and passively, can cause some congenital disabilities.

1) Vaping Damages Fetus Facial Features

Most people believe that vaporizers do not cause birth defects. They argue that vaporizers have reduced nicotine content compared to cigarettes. However, research shows that vaping when expecting could cause facial defects in the fetus.

A recent study on frog embryos showed that all the frogs exposed to vapour had facial clefts and uneven growth of facial structures. The researchers found that this was caused by the content of vape liquid found in both vaporizers that had nicotine and those without.

The effect was higher on e-liquids that have mixed flavouring compared to those that had one flavour. The results strongly suggest that vaping during pregnancy is not safe since it could cause facial defects.

2) Vaping While Pregnant Can Trigger Cot Death

Cot Death is the unexpected and unexplained death of a seemingly healthy baby. The cause of SIDS – Sudden Infant Death Syndrome – is unknown. However, factors such as smoking nicotine while pregnant can increase the likelihood of cot death. When expectant mothers inhale the vapour, the chemicals are passed to the foetus through the umbilical cord. Scientists have studied the effects of nicotine in the womb and have found that it can affect an unborn baby’s central nervous system and cardiorespiratory responses. This can lead to oxygen deprivation, which affects the fetus’ ability to develop properly. Even if you vape moderately, it can still be difficult for a fetus to recover from the lack of oxygen and the chances of cot death when the baby is born is higher.

3) Other Effects of Vaping on the Fetus

As mentioned above, Vaping while pregnant can interfere with embryo development in the womb. The nicotine found in vaporizers can impair the development of the embryo’s brain and lungs. Nicotine affects the CNS- central nervous system and the cardiorespiratory responses to stressful environments can be weakened.
The nicotine in e-cigarettes can also increase the risks of congenital disabilities such as low birth weight, placental abruption- miscarriage, and premature birth.

Many pregnant women believe vaping during pregnancy is a safer option than smoking. The truth is, there is no safe way to smoke during pregnancy and the best thing you can do for your baby is to quit.

This is a collaborative post.

How E-commerce Platforms Help Small Business Sales Soar

The humble high street might be dying out, but with e-commerce sales in the UK soaring, your small business has plenty of potential shoppers to target. Whatever it is you’re looking to sell, you’ll need an e-commerce platform to allow you to sell easily online. These platforms not only allow you a convenient way to create your e-commerce site and start selling online, they also allow for customisation opportunities and let you delve into analytics so you can tailor your business activity accordingly.

Getting started selling online

When it comes to selling their own products and services online, many budding home business entrepreneurs cast their attention to the likes of Amazon and eBay first. There’s a certain reassurance about using these online marketplaces that many people love. They’re established with impressive authority and, for the most part, can be counted on for reliable user experience for both seller and buyer. However, these marketplaces aren’t designed solely to foster the profits or your home business. There’s the obvious cost of transaction fees applied to all e-commerce orders, while personalisation of your brand identity is somewhat limited when selling through such platforms. Furthermore, it’s harder to glean analytic insights that can help refine your strategy.

Dealing on these kinds of marketplaces is a heaped plate of perks and problems for new e-commerce ventures, whether it’s a home-based hobby or bona fide business you’re looking to push forward. It certainly makes commercial sense to utilise these marketplaces, both early on and further down the line of your e-commerce business endeavour. However, unless some exceptional circumstance means you’re restricted to dealing on such marketplaces, you should really be taking steps to migrate your sales to a dedicated e-commerce platform.

Enhanced features of e-commerce platforms

In short, e-commerce platforms are software that provides you with the freedom to personalise a site and take control over everything relating to your e-commerce venture in a singular, simplified location. The bare bones of an e-commerce platform facilitates the presentation of your product range and the ability to process sales transactions. In addition to this, you have the added benefit of being able to meticulously track sales and delve deep into analytics, embark on SEO initiatives and add custom content to your site.

A dedicated e-commerce platform puts you firmly in control, allowing you to manage your entire product portfolio in a centralised location, adding or updating product details and price information as and when. Unlike with other marketplaces and platforms, you’re not limited when it comes to personalisation. You can join in with seasonal sale offerings and introduce promotional campaigns whenever you wish. Using a dedicated platform also allows you to get a deeper understanding of your customers and their buying behaviour, with analytics on hand to help sharpen your selling strategy and influence the development and introduction of special offers.

However, these platforms will only satisfy your requirements for a time. Once you’re secure with established authority and sustained growth, it’s time to think about scalability. As business needs become more complex, an enterprise e-commerce alternative to on-premises platforms need to be considered. It’s the logical next step for businesses keen to migrate to a multi-channel platform, with everything in place to accommodate scalability efforts without having to assign precious resources to basic tasks like making sure your website runs as it should. Significantly enhanced levels of automation, customisation and analytic insight are also welcome standards that allow you to focus on pushing your business even further up the ladder.

3 keys to ecommerce success

This is a collaborative post

Cricut Maker Review By A 1st Time Cricut User #Ad

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was when the new Cricut Maker and EasyPress 2 were delivered to me a few weeks ago.

Cricut Maker

Total Newbie

Whilst I’m not completely new to crafting, I don’t class myself as an experienced crafter. The children have always enjoyed crafting and I enjoy doing it with them, but our creations are totally amateur compared to the things I’ve seen other people make!

As I’ve never used a Cricut machine before, I’m not able to compare it to any of the older Cricut machines or any other cutting machine for that matter. I’m a completely new user and as such, I’ll be telling you how this total newbie got started.

Cricut maker with loaded mat ready to go

Cricut Maker

From researching the new Cricut Maker online I’ve found that it has an Adaptive Tool System which controls the direction of the blade and the cut pressure to match your chosen material.

This is what makes the Maker different and better from older models, especially if you’re wanting to use it for fabric cutting.

Cricut maker adaptive tool system


This wonderful machine can cut everything from regular paper and cardstock to delicate papers like tissue and crepe.
Using the rotary blade, it can cut all kinds of sewing materials without having to back the fabric and using the washable fabric pen, it also marks the fabric at the same time. This appears to be one of the features all the other Maker users are really excited about! I’m sure I’ll be the same when I start making things out of fabric. I do love sewing and I’m really excited to try some of the patterns that are available in Design Space.

Using the washable marker and rotary blade, you just attach the fabric to the fabric cutting mat, choose your fabric in Design Space and let the machine do the rest.

Cricut rotary blade

A deep cut blade is also available which enables the machine to cut through balsa wood, matt board and heavy leather, to name just a few.

cricut deep blade and housing


As well as the Maker and EasyPress 2, I also received the Essential Tool Set which includes:

  • Weeder to remove tiny negative cuts
  • Scissors with protective blade cover
  • Spatula to lift cuts from the mat
  • Scraper to burnish material and clean all cutting mats
  • Scoring stylus to add fold lines to cards and envelopes
  • High-quality trimmer for materials up to 12″ wide
  • Replacement blade for the trimmer
  • The scoring blade allows you to add score lines to your projects

Cricut essential tool set

And the paper crafting set:

Cricut paper crafting set

  • Piercer allows accurate placement of fine cuts and embellishments
  • Quilling Tool makes smooth, tight, decorative spirals
  • Edge Distresser creates textured edge effect on paper
  • Craft Mat features multi-use piercing and self-healing surfaces


There are 4 different coloured mats.

  • Blue – Light Grip
  • Green – Standard Grip
  • Purple – Strong Grip
  • Pink – Fabric

They come in two sizes; 12″ x 12″ or 12″ x 24″ and they’re totally reusable. If your mat starts to lose its stickiness, you can find out how to bring it back to life with a quick Google search.

Design Space

Design Space is the web-based software that is used to create designs. It allows you to create your own designs or choose from hundreds of make-it-now projects.
Cricut Access is a subscription service which gives you access to fonts, images, make-it-now projects and lots more. You don’t have to subscribe to be able to use Design Space.

Cricut Design Space Cricut Access

You can use your computer, tablet or smartphone to connect the Maker to Design Space. It can connect via Bluetooth or USB and there’s also a charging point for your phone or tablet.

When I first opened Design Space I felt a little overwhelmed, however, it didn’t last long. There are lots of tutorial videos to help you and I managed to download an SVG file (keep in mind I had no idea what an SVG file even was before I got the Cricut Maker!), import it into Design Space and create a gorgeous wedding memento for my cousin and his new bride!

Butterfly Bouquet Cutout Framed personalised wedding gift

I’ll be honest and say that I did have to try 2 or 3 times to get to the finished product. I didn’t know about working with vinyl yet so when the tiny letters and numbers didn’t work out very well using the card, I gave up (the wedding was the next day and I was running out of time!) and bought some silver letter and number stickers instead!
If I’d have started the project earlier and checked out more of the tutorial videos on the Cricut website, I would have found my first project much easier!

personalised wedding gift using the Cricut

I’ll be talking more about vinyl in a future post as now I’ve seen the things you can create with it, I can’t wait to get making! Using vinyl to make personalised gifts is the thing I’m most looking forward to learning.


I love the design of this machine. It’s so smooth and shiny!

The storage areas are one of my favourite features because I like having a place for everything and everything in its place!

Cricut storage
This magnetic strip is great for storing Cricut TruControl knife blades.

Cricut storage

Cricut Maker storage

The storage cups on the side have a soft rubber base which protects the blades. One cup is deeper than the other, making it a great place to store pens or tools

Cricut Maker storage

Cricut Maker storage

Family Crafting Time

KayCee, (13) and Ella (11) both used to love crafting. However, now they’re getting older, they don’t ask to craft as often because they want to be out with their mates.
The Cricut Maker has changed all that. They both want to be making things all the time now since we set it up and they learned how to use it!

Shaped Love card made by Ella using a Make it now project in Design Space
Ella made this for her Dad 🙂

Mother’s Day is approaching here in the UK and we’ve already made cards for my mum and Ant’s mum.
Ella wants to make a card for me tonight and she’s going to have to make it on her own because I’m not allowed to see it until Mother’s Day.

We’ve also decided on the gifts we want to make for each mum. I can’t tell you what they are, however, because we don’t want them to have the surprise spoiled!

Lots More To Learn

Because this machine can do so much, it’s going to take me a while to learn about everything. It’s a journey I’m so excited to embark on and I hope to be sharing many Cricut tutorials with you in the future.

Now I have to go figure out what the EasyPress 2 can do. I’ve not even taken it out of the box yet, but I’m so excited to make something for KayCee and Ella 🙂

Thanks For The Memories – Book Review #9

I always enjoy Cecelia Ahern books and Thanks For The Memories was no different.

Thanks For The Memories

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

How is it possible to know someone you’ve never met?

Joyce Conway remembers things she shouldn’t. She knows about tiny cobbled streets in Paris, which she has never visited. And every night she dreams about an unknown little girl with blonde hair.

Justin Hitchcock is divorced, lonely and restless. He arrives in Dublin to give a lecture on art and is persuaded to donate blood. It’s the first thing to come straight from his heart in a long time.

When Joyce leaves hospital after a terrible accident, with her life and her marriage in pieces, she moves back with her elderly father. All the while, a strong sense of deja vu is overwhelming her and she can’t figure out why..

My Thoughts

I laughed out loud at some of this book which doesn’t usually happen Cecelia Ahern books. Joyce and her dad have a lovely relationship; I think her dad was actually my favourite character.

It brought out a range of emotions, there’s some sadness, some romance, some humour and something magical that can’t be explained. It’s this that I love the most in Cecelia Ahern’s books.

Cecelia Ahern Thanks for the memories

Goodreads 2019 reading challenge 9 books read


For more book-related posts, click here

5 Expenses Destroying Your Budget and Painless Ways to Avoid Them

Saving money can be incredibly difficult, yet achieving our targets can also be wonderful. Whether you plan on saving for the holiday of a lifetime, a new house or just to build yourself a financial safety net, working towards these targets can be life-changing. One way to make it all happen quicker is to rid yourself of those expenses that you don’t really need, yet for some reason always seem to be present. We’ll take a look at the 5 most common budget destroying expenses and show you how you can free yourself from them.

financial expenses

  1. Credit card interest payments


Ultimately, the goal should be not to spend on credit cards but if this isn’t a possibility for you at least aim to swap your balances and your spending over to a card with zero percent interest. These offers are usually introductory from the credit company and rarely last over a year so aim to have your credit card paid off in that time or make a reminder to switch again when your interest-free period runs out.


  1. Pricey gym memberships and exercise classes


The internet has opened up so much more options for us when it comes to diet and exercise. There are plenty of people offering the chance to show us how to exercise right from the comfort of our own homes. There are even podcasts that you can listen to that take you through a run, giving you the intervals you need to build up your stamina. Exercise can now be free, we don’t need to pay for those expensive gyms and exercise classes anymore. Plus, if you fancy some Slimming World recipes, you can always check out my website.


  1. Your TV bill


Why not cut out those expensive Sky or Cable packages and maybe opt for an On Demand streaming service instead? They tend to be cheaper and still have lots of great content for you to enjoy. While you are at it, why not look and see if there are other household bills that you could cut. Try doing an energy supplier comparison, for example, and see if you could reduce your gas and electricity bills by changing supplier.


  1. Unneeded insurance


Carry out a review of your insurances and see if you really need each policy that you hold. You might not, for instance, need that costly life insurance policy if your loved ones don’t need your income in the event of your death. Also, do you really need to purchase all those extra warranties that you purchase or would you be better off saving the money and replacing the product if the worst happens?


5.Takeout and delivery meals


We know they are tasty and convenient but they are also really expensive and not actually all that good for your waistline. Why not try and save takeouts for special occasions, you will save money and will appreciate them more when you do have them? They will make that special occasion feel even more special.

This is a collaborative post

Sloppy Joes – Slimming World Recipe

Ella and Ant loved this recipe for Slimming World Sloppy Joes. They had theirs in homemade wholemeal rolls, but I’d already had my Healthy Extra for the day so I just had mine with Slimming World chips. We didn’t use Tabasco sauce in the recipe […]

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