Why it's ok to put your own happiness first





Outfit:
Adidas trainers: J D Williams*
Star print Bardot dress: Topshop (similar)
Light wash denim jacket: Primark (similar)

We're always told we should put other people first in order to be a kind and thoughtful person. That not thinking of other people's feelings and needs is selfish. Whilst we should always be kind and thoughtful to other people, this shouldn't be at the expense of our own happiness. I don't know about you but sometimes I try so hard to make the other person happy that I completely forget about myself and end up feeling miserable. It could be something so simple as agreeing to go out because you know how happy it make the other person feel yet feeling so down in the dumps yourself the entire time.

You are just as important as the people you surround yourself with. It isn't selfish to refrain from doing things if they don't make you happy. Happiness is something that is so precious and you really don't realise just how much it helps your mental health. It really isn't that simple to find either. It takes a lot of work on your behalf. It's ironic that I've started feeling the most content and happy I've ever felt since becoming much more of selfish person. I've started saying no because I know deep down I don't actually want to do it. I'm only doing it because because I feel it is 'expected' of me and I don't want people to talk about me behind my back. But I'm a much better person to be around if I put my own needs and wants first. Being unhappy invites resentment and spitefulness and these are traits that no one wants.

You are always worth prioritising over everything else.


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Buying a house 101: the pros and cons of choosing a 5% deposit mortgage


We ended up opting for a 5% deposit to secure our mortgage. It was essential for us to get on the property ladder. We saved £12,000 in order to buy a £240,000 two-bedroom 1950's terraced house in Essex. Keep in mind not all banks or building societies offer this so it really does depend on if you'll be eligible. This was the perfect scenario for us at the time and I don't regret it one bit. As with all things there are pros and cons with it. Here are just a few pearls of my wisdom of what I found out. I really hope this new house buying series is helpful!

Pros
You can get on the property ladder a lot quicker as you don't have to save as much. At the time we bought, the house prices were going up so quickly that we could barely keep up. If we had stuck it out to save a 10% deposit there was a chance we would have been priced out. We just knew we had to take the plunge while we could.

By saving less for a house deposit, you have more of a chance to save extra to spend on doing the house up. Our house look quite a while to go through so we had four months between having our offer accepted and getting the keys. In those four months we were able to save some money to help with the renovations.

There are quite a few Government Help to Buy Schemes to choose from so there is great variety to find one that works for you. Some are only suitable for new homes. Sometimes we all need a little helping hand!

Cons
Your mortgage repayments will be higher each month as you are borrowing more so you need to really think about how this will effect you. Buying a house is a massive financial strain and it can be very hard to adjust. I still think you need enough money to be able to venture out  for a social life a few times each month.

The main Government's Help To Buy scheme only applies to new builds. Which is great if you're after a new build! But we wanted to avoid a brand new house. My dad and boyfriend both work in the construction trade and were adamant an older house is always best.

You can only use certain lenders as not all banks and building societies offer the opportunities. This can quite limited who you use.


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Five ways to make time for each other when you live together


It's funny isn't it that when you move in with a partner you never really see them despite living with them? Although I see Connor every day, I don't really spend much time with him. We both work long hours, come in from work and have dinner, chat for about an hour then go about our business that we need to do in order to get ready for the next day and off to bed we go, ready to do it all again the next day. It's very rare that we spend quality time together, we're usually rushing around. My cousin's girlfriend once said to me that you need to schedule in time with each other when you live together. At the time I thought it was the most absurd thing but it is so true. You need to otherwise you're very much in danger in becoming ships that pass in the night. Here are five ways to make time for each other when you live together.

Sunday night film club
This was actually Connor's idea but we haven't quite it into practise yet as we've been out every Sunday since he suggested it. But it is a brilliant idea! Each week have an early dinner, choose a film from Amazon or Netflix and settle down to watch it. I know you don't talk during films but it encourages you to leave your phone upstairs and spend some time together on the sofa.

Go for a walk after dinner
We're lucky enough to live right on the common and it's a great place to have a stroll. There's even a cracking pub about a ten minute walk away which is a great incentive! We really do need to make more of an effort to visit it. Make the most of the warmer evenings and lighter nights by taking a little walk after you've eaten.


Have a gin tasting evening indoors
Or vodka. Or whiskey. Or whatever spirit tickles your fancy. I'm lucky enough to be part of the Sipsmith Sipping Society* which means I get sent two special edition bottles of gin every other month. They come with cocktail recipes and recommendations of what to pair them with.

Eat dinner at the table
This might sound like a silly one but I mean really eat at the table. We eat every night at the table but as soon as we scoff our food, we pop the plates in the dishwasher and go turn separate ways in the house. On a weekend make it into more of a big deal. Use your nicest crockery, pop a bunch of flowers or candles on the table, open a bottle of wine and really sit there and talk. Treat it as if you're in a restaurant if you will. Pout your phones away and really sit and chat away until your hearts content.

Go for a drive
Sometimes you just need to get out of the four walls. We used to do the a lot and it seems to have fallen by the wayside at the minute but I'm keen to get it back started again. If we had a spare afternoon at the weekend, we'd jump in the car and go for a drive around our county of Essex. It could be somewhere we've been before or somewhere we've heard someone mention. It usually consists of a nice pub trip for lunch and a wander around the town or village. You can make it as cheap or as expensive as you like.
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Dealing with travel anxiety




Outfit:
Nude flat sandals: Matalan (similar)
Blue striped cotton sun dress: Zara (similar)
Red tassel earrings: H&M
Gold boyfriend watch: Michael Kors (similar)

I don't really have a list of places I want to visit in the world because I want to see every single place that I possibly can. I've been lucky enough to visit some amazing places but have yet to venture anywhere that is too out of my comfort zone. Probably the only place that comes close is Budapest. We stayed in Pest which is traditionally the 'working class' district and I came across some sights down the side streets that really threw me a bit. I've visited quite a few cities in the States and whilst it's a place that has a few culture shocks, it's a country that English is the main language so it feels slightly familiar to home. I've managed to muddle around every place I've been too so far because they've spoken a decent amount of English. So although I've been able to jump in feet first into all these incredible cultures, its always been done with a bit of confidence.

I've been dying to spread my wings and visit Asia but there's always been something holding me back. If I'm honest with myself I think it's because I've been too scared. Scared to go somewhere that is completely different to what I'm used too. I just know it will be so far out of my comfort zone that I'm frightened to take the plunge. Last year one of our good friends moved to Malaysia to teach for a couple of years. I've never had such a great opportunity to finally tick south-east Asia off my list so we booked flights to visit next February for a couple of weeks. We're staying with him for a week during his school holidays then Connor and I are heading north for a week to explore on our own. I am so excited yet feel absolutely petrified.

I know as soon as I get there I'll have a whale of a time and won't want to come home. I've been dying to visit south-east Asia since I was 16. But there's just little niggle at the back of my wine that wonders what on earth I'm doing. I'm worried that I'm going to be on edge in a country so vastly different to my own that I'm not going to be able to enjoy it. Which is absolute absurd as I love nothing more than discovering new places. I'll be a bundle of nerves on the 13 hour flight over there but we've got to keep pushing ourself out of our comfort zones otherwise we'll never grow right?

Do you suffer with travel anxiety too? If so, how do you deal with it?


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Learning to pick your battles





Outfit:
Silky black wrap top: H&M (similar)
Skinny black leggings: Matalan (similar)
Red pointed shoes: Next (similar)
Gold tassel statement earrings: H&M

I'm very highly strung. A trait I have inherited from my dad. And probably my mum too. We are a family of quick tempers which causes for some lovely explosive arguments. Something that first freaked out my boyfriend when we first started going out! I'm not one who is afraid to voice my displeasure and often lash out. Part of me thinks this is great as people will always know exactly how I feel. I don't have a poker face and I know personally, I like to know where I stand and know how other people feel. But the other part? The other part thinks this is tiring. It is tiring to always be fighting. It consumes so much energy and if I'm honest, I really can't be bothered anymore. I increasingly just want an easy life.

Learning when to stay quiet isn't about 'losing' or appearing 'weak'. If anything it means you're being the bigger person. It's so liberating to take a step back and and admit that this is one battle that really isn't worth losing the energy over. By picking to fight every single battle doesn't get you anywhere. You reach a stalemate and if the two of you are as stubborn as each other then that stalemate will last for a long time. All that negative energy doesn't do anyone any good.

Next time someone really gets under your skin, take a step back and really think. Wonder if it is really worth it going in all guns blazing and try not to act immediately. Arguments always have consequences and sometimes they're not consequences you always want to deal with. So make sure that the issue you're fighting over is truly worth it. Ask yourself if the battle will matter to you as much tomorrow or next week as it does currently. Chances are emotions are just running high and it's not actually that important. It's amazing how much better you will feel after opting for the quiet life!


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It's ok to let go of your dreams





Outfit:
Red midi dress: Primark (similar)
Light wash denim jacket: Primark (similar)
White espadrille sandals: Next (similar)
Red leather backpack: Michael Kors (similar)

I'm a dreamer. A girl that always has her heads in the clouds. A girl who always has 101 dreams she wants to fulfil. Ask my boyfriend about all my big ideas and he'll tell you he's the one who has to be my anchor to make sure I live in the real world. My main dream in life were to work for a newspaper. There were times when I never thought this would happen. Namely when I was interning for free for a whole year gaining job rejection after job rejection. And when I was made redundant from my first magazine job and making no waves in the freelance world. But finally it happened. Finally I was able to say that I did in fact work for a newspaper. Dream ticked off. But alongside that main dreams were little ones. I've always wanted to live in London. But now I've bought a house on the outskirts in Essex. I've always wanted to travel the world. But I've only actually been outside Europe twice, both to the States. I've always wanted a Chanel handbag. But realistically could never justify spending a couple of grand on a bag when I have a lemonade purse.

You put hours upon hours of time and energy trying to make your dreams come true. Everything you work towards in life has an end goal of making that dream come true. We're taught that if we work hard enough then our dreams do come true. So it can be so soul-destroying when you feel like you're not getting anywhere. They start to consume every hour of your waking day and you feel like a failure because it's just not working out how you imagine. As you get older, those dreams seem to get further and further away. Real life gets in the way and before you know it you're tied down with a mortgage and suddenly hit the grand old age of 29. Buying this house felt so final. In a way, it felt like I was giving up on the dreams I had yet to fulfil. I think that was why it took me a good few months to get my head around it. I was mourning the loss of my dreams. Owning a house is such a big commitment and one that we would be tied into for the next 35 years.

As we got our offer accepted on the house, I realised that I probably wasn't going to live in London. We bought a doer-upper home in Essex as house prices were cheaper. It's a huge project and thanks to lack of funds, one that will probably take about five years to complete. We did have high hopes of buying and renting it out then renting in London. But that's looking unlikely as who will want to rent a building site and after all this hard work, I'll be damned if someone else gets to live in here! I've also had to accept that I might not have a year travelling the world. I'm going to have my travel fix through weekends away and a two weeks trip. Those dreams that 16-year-old Sophie had are put on the back burner and I'm unsure if they'll ever come true.

It's ok to finally put a dream in a box and accept that it's never going to fulfilled. Some dreams just aren't meant to be, no matter how much you wish they are. Instead concentrate on what you have achieved, not what you haven't. Think about everything else you've done, maybe even things that didn't even figure on your list. Sometimes we achieve dreams without ever realising they were dreams in the first place. And sometimes those are the best ones.


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Living with a boy: (almost) six months on





Outfit:
White longline shirt: H&M (similar)
Pink blazer: ASOS (similar)
Blue denim skinny jeans: George at ASDA (similar)
Silver pointed loafers: Next (similar)

It's been nearly six months since I took the plunge and moved out of my parents home and into a house with my boyfriend. Honestly? I was dreading it a bit and I wasn't quite ready to leave home. I wasn't ready to take on the responsibly and cried in the first few weeks every time I went back to my parents.

Living with someone else is hard. We've bickered about who cleans the bathroom, gone to bed angry after falling out over a stain on the sofa and got far too angry with each other over how we both choose to stack the dishwasher. We have credit card debt more than out house deposit thanks to buying a doer-upper and money has been the tightest it has ever been. Our bathroom currently looks like squatters have been residing in it for months and we have a massive hole in the plaster by the front door. Looking back I think we bought a house together with rose-tinted glasses on and didn't quite realise just how bloody difficult it would be.

Despite having been going out with each other for a decade, we learnt so much more about each other during these last six months then we have in ten years. He annoys me when he puts the glasses in the cupboard and doesn't shut the door. His laid back nature now frustrates me when he doesn't spend the whole weekend doing jobs around the house and instead chooses to 'chill out'. I've been asking to have my fireplace tiled since January... Sometimes when I'm in bed and hear him playing Call of Duty downstairs, I want to march downstairs and throw things at him. I hear that theme tune in my head.

Equally I annoy him when I take to the kitchen and use every single pan in the house. When he braves it and wanders in, he's greeted with flour on the cabinets, oil all over the cooker and chocolate on the tiles. I think he's struggling to cope with my floordrobe all over my side of the bed. In fact I know he's struggling with all my messy ways. I seem to be allergic to putting things away until it becomes an absolute joke.

Yet despite all that, its been the best decision I've ever made. I've stopped calling my parents house 'home' and when I visit over the weekend, after a few hours I'm itching to come back to my house. My own home where I can get my PJs on, leave my shoes on the stairs without being told off and raid the fridge to eat whatever I want without permission.  It's funny how sometimes I can barely remember life without living with Connor. It feels like we've always co-exisiting together in this little house. As I sit on the tube on my commute home, I feel excited when I'm two stops from home as I know I'm going to see my very own house. I relish sitting down for dinner, chatting for a while about our day and then going about our business - him on his xbox and me on my laptop. I feel so content and happy knowing he is there in the house even if we sit in different rooms or barely talk for hours.

Turns out living with a boy is pretty good indeed.


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When your friends have babies - and you don't want one





Outfit:
Burgundy polka dot shirt: ASOS
Distressed skinny jeans: George at ASDA (similar)
White plimsol trainers: Converse
Red leather backpack: Michael Kors (similar)

When one of my closest friends announced she was pregnant I cried. Part of me cried because I was in shock and about five gins down, another part she looked so excited at her news and the final part cried because I was upset that the dynamics in our 13 year friendship was about to change and I wasn't ready for that happen. Selfish eh? I honestly though I had at least another five years before any babies made an appearance.

It's no surprise that I'm not a very maternal person. I can't pretend I am and I'm so awkward when I'm around babies. I'm just not interested in having any of my own at this moment in time. I'm not sure if I will ever be interested in having my own.

As my friend's pregnancy went on it slightly freaked me out. She was the first one and I was beyond happy for her because you know she was going to be a mum. But all I kept thinking about was how there was just going to be a baby. Just there. For the rest of time. Things would never be as carefree again. Are you getting the picture that I'm not that keen on change? There when we had our summer BBQs, there when we met up for brunch and there when we all got together around each other's houses. Then as her due date drew closer, I found myself on the edge of my seat every time my phone pinged. When baby 'I' finally arrived, I thought she was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. Even now six months down the line, I find myself in Primark picking up things that I think she'll look cute in. I've surprised myself with just how much I'm taken with her and really didn't expect to be this involved. Sorry 'S'! We have a group Whatapp group and I get weekly pictures of what 'I' is doing and those messages make my day. I'm still fairly awkward around her and still find myself petrified that I'm going to drop her on her head six months down the line. But it feels like she's always been here.

Even though I love her, I don't want her to always be there. I can't tell you how selfish that makes me feel. Seeing her little face makes me smile but sometimes I just want things to go back to being how they were when we were sixteen and I relish spending time with her mum on her own, without any distractions. I didn't sign up for having a baby in my life all the time. If I did I'd have my own sprog at my side. I feel there is a time and a place and I want to spend time with my friends, with who they were BB (before baby). For me that's the mindset I'm in. My world at the minute isn't about nipple cream or breast pads. It's about going out on a Saturday night to try out the local gin bar that's just opened or booking a weekend away even though I really can't afford it.

If I don't ask about your baby or don't make a fuss, it's because for me babies just aren't my world. I don't think it's fair to force any baby on someone or make anyone feel guilty as people are at such different times in their lives. We all move at different paces. Myself? I'm moving at a snail pace when it comes to accepting I'm a fully fledged adult! It took me ten years to take the plunge to move in with my boyfriend... I can completely understand that they are your world - as they should be if you ever have a baby. It's not that I'm not interested, it's that I have other things on my mind that I'm dealing with. Other things that I want to do that at this moment in time are more important to me that babies. But I am so happy for my friends because they themselves are happy. That's all I want. I just want my friends to be happy in whatever they do. They're absolutely bossing it and it makes me proud that I know such kick-ass women.

The one main thing friends having babies has taught me though? My BFF definitely can't have a baby without me being pregnant at the same time because this needy girl will not one able to cope with the lack of attention if she has a baby and I don't!

How do you feel about your friends starting to have babies?


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A catch up: March 2018


Learning to budget
Since February I've been on a strict £40 a week as we try to pay off our insane credit cards bills. It's been difficult, especially as I'm someone who loves spending my hard earned cash. But it has made me really think about everything I'm buying. I've realised I really don't need to buy my lunch from Pret twice a week as it means I can then go out for dinner with friends at the weekend. I paid a good amount off my credit card last month and put aside half of what is needed to pay for my accommodation in NYC - and my account still looks pretty healthy. Usually by 11 days before payday I'm in single figures. So I'm feeling pretty smug but I am having daily browses on ASOS wishing I could splurge on all the pretty dresses for my summer holiday. That it killing me but yet I can't seem to bring myself away from my screen! Do you have any tips on how to make saving money seem fun?!


Going to NYC
I can't believe it's been a whole year ago since we booked our flights to NYC. It's gone so fast! We flight out on 16th March for a week in the second greatest city in the world. I've made our itinerary and am really excited to tick things off that I didn't manage to do in 2014. But if you have any suggests for restaurants and bars then I'd love to hear them. You can never have too many on your list!


Mother's Day gifting
Biscuiteers got in touch to see if they could send my mum a special gift for Mother's Day. Who says no to a box of delicious biscuits? Especially when they look as delicious as this! I've been lucky enough to nibble of a fair few of their biscuits so knew my mum was in for a treat. I went for the 'Time for Tea' gift box as we are both huge fans of going to afternoon tea together and I thought it was very apt. Presented in a pretty tin, you'll receive up to 12 biscuits with the option to have one on the top layer personalised, helping to add a lovely touch. I know my mum will be thrilled to receive them!
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Welcome to my new kitchen


It's official. We finally have one room completely finished in the house. The kitchen was the most important thing to me in the house. I love to cook and wanted a space I could really lose myself in and one that became the hub of the house. You can often find me on a Sunday with flour in my hair and every utensil filthy as I spend the day working through my never ending supply of cookbooks. Thanks to my dad who did a spectacular job fitting it, a family friend who look time out to do our work tops and thanks to Connor who planned every last detail, I got the kitchen I always dreamed of. Scroll down to the bottom to see where everything is from. So what did it look like before?

The layout was the first thing that struck me. It's pretty small but it didn't seem like they were making the most of the space. I also didn't like the fact you had to go through the living in order to get into the kitchen. It was pretty bland and painted this awful yellow colour which gave me a headache. It looked like hadn't been updated quite a few years, the flimsy cupboards had seen better days and the cooker was disgusting. That was the first thing we threw out.




I've always wanted a red and grey kitchen. It's one of my favourite colour combinations. I'd been collected small red appliances for a few years and we decided to go for the full statement of investing in a matching fridge and dishwasher. Best decision ever! Once we had our colour scheme confirmed, we drew up some plans to decide the layout. Like I mentioned earlier, the space wasn't utilised very well so we decided to block up the existing door and reopen the door in the dining room (the kitchen is originally an extension.) After it was plastered and our spotlights were fitted, it was time to tile the floor.

I wanted a white tiled floor to help brighten it up as I was afraid to many dark colours could make it seem smaller than it was. We opted for grey grout as we didn't want to spend all our time scrubbing the floor. I'm a very messy cook so it really would be very time consuming. For the wall tiles, I wanted a lighter grey and fell in love with these flecked hexagon tiles from Topps Tiles*. After seeing a honeycomb pattern on Pinterest, I immediately knew I wanted to recreate this at home. We used white grout to help make the grey stand out. They create a great contrast with the charcoal grey units and I couldn't be happier with the end result.

Despite knowing they would be a nightmare too keep looking spick and span, I had my heart set on light oak worktops. We bought our from DIY Kitchens and oiled them three times before we used them. I feel they create a 'country' style kitchen but yet still help it feel modern. We live in a 1950's house and I didn't want to go too traditional. The Belfast sink has been my dream and is a great talking point. Every one always comments on it when they walk through the door. I was adamant I didn't want traditional kitchen door handles so spent a good few weeks scouring the internet. The octagonal handles caught my eye and I love them so much. I feel they really help jazz the kitchen up.




Thanks to the size, we are pretty limited on cupboard space. I have a lot of crockery and a lot of cookbooks. This is where shelves came in handy! I've always loved the idea of having crockery on display as I feel it helps to make a kitchen feel homely. I've got my favourite cookbooks on the top shelf and will rotate them. After all I do have 156 books to thumb through! We ordered some brackets from Ebay and my dad made us some shelves from an old scaffolding board - which will match our dining room table eventually.

I love an accessory but didn't want to make the worktops seem to cluttered. Believe it or not, this is me being a minimalist! I love anything Orla Kiely as you can tell by my cake tins and utensil pot*. I've tried to pick patterns with a hint of red or grey in them to help them tie into the kitchen.

Finally, I once again always knew I wanted to have a range cooker but we wasn't sure if it would look a bit too large for the space. In the end I managed to get my way and we went for black. I felt that stainless steel just looked to industrial and black was going to age a lot better than any other colour. I didn't anticipate how much of an effort it is to keep black cookers looking spotless!

Let me know if you have any questions - would be more than glad to answer it. Renovating a house is tough business!



Grey kitchen units:  DIY Kitchens
Belfast sink: DIY Kitchens
Solid oak work tops: DIY Kitchens
Silver octagonal door handles: Bombay Duck
Solid oak draining board: Amazon
Utensil pot: Orla Kiely via Hurn and Hurn*
Copper jars: H&M and Homesense
DIY shelves: Brackets from eBay/ shelf made from scaffolding boards
Silver taps: Victoria Plumbing
Grey hexagon wall tiles: Topps Tiles*
Grey wall radiator: Soak
Red fridge: Swan
Red dishwasher: Swan
Red microwave: Swan
Black range cooker: Leisure
Red kettle: Kitchenaid
Red stand mixer: Kitchenaid
Red blender: Kitchenaid
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The pressure to do it all - it's ok to say no





Outfit:
Hot pink coat: ASOS (similar)
Black ruffle shirt: Zara (similar)
Distressed blue denim skinny jeans: George at ASDA (similar)
Gold pointed midi heels: ASOS (similar)

As much as times have changed over the years, there's still the age-old expectation of being a women and what it entails. It's something that I've been thinking a lot about since I've entered the last year of my twenties. Social pressures increase and people start implying and making comments about issues that I really have no interest in talking about with them. Everyone and their uncle Jack seems to have an opinion about everything you should be doing. The pressure almost becomes unbearable.

As a woman I do feel there is the pressure to absolutely boss it at work, give our all to both family and friend relationships, keep our homes ticking over as well as be independent and do the things that matter to us. We're expected to literally be superwoman and there's something wrong with us if we don't fulfil it. But there are only 24 hours in a day. And sometimes, this really just isn't possible. I feel like the pressure society puts us under makes me do a half-arsed job. I feel like I'm not actually giving anything my full attention and as a result I find myself running around like a headless chicken.  Then I feel like even more of a failure because nothing is being done to the best of a ability. It's so hard to hold your hands up and admit that you really can't do everything.

It's ok to re-evaluate, take a step back and say no. It doesn't make you lazy, it doesn't make you unappreciative and it doesn't make you a failure.  Think about what is important to you and not about what is important for society. If you don't want to do the washing up for a week and would prefer to go out to the pub with friends, then that's your decision. Who cares if your house is a little messy when you're living your best life enjoying the two for one bottles of prosecco on a Monday night?  It's ok to prioritise one thing above the other. It's also ok to ask for help if you need it. We all need a little helping hand at one point or another. It's what makes us human.


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How to do a gallery wall in your living room


Corner sofa: DFS*, Grey floor lamp: IKEA, Custard Cream cushion: Nikki McWilliams, Wire lampshade: IKEA, Mustard throw: H&M, Grey, navy and mustard cushion: Sainsbury's, Gin cushion:  Matalan

We first came up with the idea in Copenhagen two years to start collecting prints from every city we visit with the view to create a gallery wall when we moved out. We haven't managed to pick up a print in every city but we've got a great collection so far. I love having a mementos from trips we've been on as I'm a sucker for picking up a souvenir. They catch my eye and I'm immediately taken back to that walk along the river in Derry or the music festival we went to in Budapest. Here are my tips on how to create a gallery wall in your living room.

1. Choose a theme
We went for travel as it is something we're both so passionate about. If I'm honest, I never stop thinking about where to go on holiday! By choosing a theme I feel it helps to inject some of your personality into your house. Everyone always comments in the gallery wall when they visit and it's an immediate conversation starter. My friend Hannah has a music wall filled with posters from her favourite bands and gigs. It looks great and really does sum up her personality.

2. Pick different sizes
We've gone for a variety of sizes in prints in different colour frames. It helps to make it so much more interesting and much more of a statement. You want your gallery wall to make an impact as soon as you enter the room. Our frames come from both IKEA and Wilko. As we have white walls, we opted for a trio of colours to help make the prints stand out.


3. Lay them out on the floor
Before you take the plunge, make sure you lay them all out on the floor. Take pictures of different combinations so you can really study them before making up your mind. It's a big commitment to put a hole in the wall so make sure you 100% know what you want.

4. Leave room to add
If you choose a big space, arrange the prints so that it looks finished but also has room to add some more. I feel like a gallery wall is an ongoing project that can be added to as and when you fancy. We arranged our prints in the middle so we have enough room at the sides and below to add some more. We going to keep an eye out for some postcards on our next trips to try and fill some of the smaller spaces.

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About me
A Essex based lifestyle blogger who lives a champagne life on a lemonade purse!

Get in touch at
sophie.warner89@yahoo.co.uk.

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