Many of us dream of entering Masterchef and showing what we can do in the kitchen. Today, I am speaking to Angela who became a finalist on Masterchef following the loss of her beloved mum. She also tells us about her exciting skincare business.

Masterchef

Tell us a little about your childhood and teenage years

I was very lucky – I had a wonderful childhood – brought up in a loving family and got on brilliantly with my family. I still have great friends from my childhood and teenage years too.

What was your first job?

I started off working in marketing and PR. My first job was working for the Prince’s Trust

What led to you entering Masterchef and how did you find that experience?

I entered Masterchef just after my gorgeous Mum lost her battle with cancer. She loved watching the programme as much as I did so I only applied in memory to her. It was a fabulous experience and one that I would do again in a flash.

Masterchef

Please tell us what led to you setting up your skincare business?

It started as a hobby but essentially I was living in Spain and was made redundant and at that time (it was quite a few years ago) I couldn’t get the products that I normally used as I wasn’t coming back to the UK as often. I had plenty of time on my hands and I thought I could possibly make products myself so I started experimenting and then went on a course. That course led me to other courses and I loved everything that I learnt and eventually this led to me setting up my business.

Please tell us what is wonderful about your products?

I research each and every ingredient that goes into every product. I use the best ingredients I can and use high levels of active ingredients from nature’s larder so not only are the products good for your skin, I get amazing feedback from customers who tell me what an improvement they see when they use them.

Who supported you in setting up your business?

I used the money from my redundancy to fund and set up my business. My partner, family and friends have been (and still are) very supportive, offering my advice and encouragement.

What would you say to a woman who wants to try something new but lacks confidence?

Don’t think too hard about it – if you want to try something new, just do it. If you don’t try, you’ll never know if you’ll succeed. Also just doing something new can lead you to amazing things you would never know about had you not taken that first step.

What tip would you give to someone who wants to set up a business for the first time?

Research well and do something that ultimately gives you pleasure and that you love. I spend a lot of time working but it doesn’t feel like work because I’m passionate about what I do and I love it.

Angela Langford creates organic, vegan, cruelty free, mood-boosting skincare products by hand in Somerset. This highly effective, affordable, natural range harnesses the finest ingredients from natures larder to feed your skin – with no chemical nasties. Suitable for even the most temperamental of complexions, Angela Langford Skincare offers a tailor-made solution to each unique skincare concern.

Sharing so openly takes a huge amount of courage so please do consider sharing this post by clicking one or more of the buttons below.

If you would like to share your story on this blog please get in touch.

Lucy At Home

Insomnia is one of those things that can affect us at any stage in our lives. The  more we stress about it, the worse it seems to get. Lack of sleep makes life’s challenges so much more difficult to cope with.  What causes insomnia?

Physical and mental health issues

Physical health issues can lead to insomnia especially if you are experiencing pain. To make things even more complex, insomnia can be a side effect of some medications. There are also specific sleep disorders such as restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea. If you are in any doubt as to the state of your mental health, contact your GP as soon as possible.

Depression and anxiety don’t help when it comes to trying to get a restful sleep. Sadly, lack of sleep can also worsen these conditions. Treatment is readily available so speak to your doctor and improve your waking and sleeping life. Talk to someone about how you are feeling and things will start to get better. If you find it hard to say out loud, write it down.

Drinking

Drinking too much alcohol can play havoc with sleeping patterns. You might feel incredibly thirsty or the hangover starts to show up not long after you hit the sack. Caffeine is a stimulant and can stay in your body for up to eight hours.  It is not a good idea to go to bed over-stimulated.

Food

The nearer to bedtime you are the lighter you should eat. Heavy meals will cause discomfort. Spicy foods can lead to heartburn which is not at all conducive to sweet dreams.

Smoking

I am assuming you know it is a bad idea to smoke as it is a huge risk to your life. It is also not at all good for a good night’s sleep so give it up and do it today.

Work

If you work erratic hours as a blogger, freelancer or shift worker, it can be difficult to establish a good sleeping pattern as you are confusing your body clock.

We all have our own ideas of what to do when everyone else is asleep but we cannot switch off. Although not everyone agrees, I find watching television really does seem to help me relax and make me forget any worries. I have always had a bit of a fantasy about having a bed with a telly so was thrilled to find out about TV Beds and their range of products.

What causes you to stay awake at night? Is it ever a good thing and could you welcome a new TV Bed into your life?

What Causes Insomnia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winnettes

Let’s face it, nobody dreams of the day that they’ll have an opportunity to catch a night’s rest at an airport terminal, but sometimes you don’t have any other choice but to lay down for a nap while you’re waiting for your flight. If your flight is cancelled or delayed, then you might have an overnight layover that you didn’t plan for, and that means at least trying to catch some Z’s before you take the next leg of your journey.

If you think that you’re going to have to sleep at the airport during your trip, the following tips can help you to enjoy a better more peaceful experience.

1.     Do Some Research

It’s hard to plan for a delayed or cancelled flight, but you can make sure that you’re prepared, and you know where to go should the worst happen. Take the time to research your backup sleeping options before you head off on your trip. There are plenty of major airports out there that at least offer Wi-Fi and chargers, so you can assess what’s available around you.

2.     Consider an On-Site Hotel

If you’re flying with a very large airport, then there’s a good chance that there might be a hotel located inside the actual facility. In that case, you don’t have to worry about the inconveniences of going through security and customs again. Additionally, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to get back to the airport on time if you get an alert that tells you that a new flight is available for you to board. If you have some money to spare and there is an on-site hotel available, then make sure that you at least check it out. After all, you might as well get a good night’s sleep if you can manage it.

3.     Protect your Belongings

If you really need to sleep in a terminal, then travelling light could be the key to making sure that you can defend your belongings and stop your valuables from being stolen. If you’re lugging around a suitcase or multiple bags, then you might want to check and find out whether the airport has facilities for storing luggage. Whatever you do, keep your money and passport with you always, and keep your bag close. If possible, resist going to the bathroom and leaving your luggage unattended, as security is always on the look-out for unattended baggage.

4.     Avoid Isolated Locations

If you’re travelling solo, then it’s important not to sleep in too much of an isolated location. While prayer rooms and yoga rooms might seem like a good place to get some rest, they can also increase your chances of getting robbed if these spaces stay empty for long periods of time. If possible, it might be better for you to sleep near your gate surrounded by other people. You should also check the departure board before you nod off to check whether there are any early flights leaving from the gate that you’re staying at.

5.     Create a Peaceful Space

Sleeping in a terminal isn’t a practice conducive to plenty of peace and quiet. However, you can employ some of the same tactics you might use on a flight if you wanted to get some extra rest. For instance, use a sleep mask to block out additional light, and use headphones or earplugs to get rid of any passenger chatter or flight announcements. If you’ve packed a toiletries kit in your carry-on, you can wash your face and brush your teeth before you sleep too.

6.     Prepare to be Woken Up

If you’re stressed, exhausted, and even jet-lagged from a previous flight, then there’s a good chance that you’ll oversleep and end up missing your next connecting flight. With that in mind, make sure that you have an alarm set on your phone that’s ready to wake you up when you need to go. Don’t be surprised if you’re woken up by security before you expect your alarm to go off, however. Some security guards will check terminals for sleepers, so you should be ready to show your boarding pass and explain why you’re there if you’re roused.

7.     Use an Airport Lounge

While most airport lounges won’t be available for overnight use, if you just want to get a few hours of shut-eye while you’re waiting to be moved onto the next flight after a cancellation, then you can always try heading to an airport lounge for a little more peace and comfort. In a lounge, you’ll be able to use food, showers, and soft comfortable seats to get the much-needed rest that you deserve.

 

Hot Pink Wellingtons

It’s such a relief to be able to talk about warm temperatures and to think about getting  outdoors with the family. Spring is definitely here and it’s time to make the most of that sunny garden.

Barbecue

There is something very special about eating outdoors perhaps with a picnic laid out on a tartan blanket. However, as we all know there is nothing quite like persuading the men in our lives to get involved in cooking than suggesting a barbecue. You can make it a social affair with extended family and friends too. Break away from just meat and look at fish and veggie options to add to the menu. Barbecues are fun whether you use disposable ones or invest on something more pricey.

Reading

When I am indoors I always feel like I should be jumping up to do something usually housework sadly. Funnily enough when I am in the garden it seems more holiday-like and that I can give myself a proper break. I think most of us women and  mums need to do this with increasingly busy lifestyles.

Paddling pool

When it gets hot, there is nothing more fun than splashing around in a pool. Most UK households do not have a swimming pool in the  garden but much like barbecues, there are pools for any budget readily available. My advice is not to watch the children but to join in. It’s OK to be silly sometimes and we need to remember that.

Garden furniture

It’s always a good idea to have at least a table and some chairs outside the house. Barbecues are better when you have somewhere to put the food. Chairs are essential for that afternoon snooze or when indulging in the latest summer read. Check out the latest trends and I love the look of modern teak garden furniture and can see myself sitting in a chair with a comfy cushion as the family play.

Trampoline

If you have the space, invest in a trampoline. It is such good exercise to jump and dance around. There are different sizes available and you can get some good bargains out there. Make sure you have a camera handy to take some action shots as they happen.

So there are just 5 things to make the garden ready for summer fun. Do remember to stay safe in the sun and also ensure you cook food appropriately.

Get outdoors a lot and make memories because that really is what life is all about.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mum Muddling Through

In today’s increasingly busy and stressful world, life can feel overwhelming, complicated and full of obstacles (both physical and emotional) sometimes. However, your home shouldn’t be contributing to those negative feelings. Instead, it should be a calm sanctuary, where you can relax and recharge as well as being a place that invigorates and inspires you.

Creating a home like that doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated. You don’t need to hire an interior designer either. There are many simple things you can do to transform your home into a calm and tranquil space. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.

Create an organised, welcoming entry to your home

A calming, relaxed atmosphere should start the moment you enter your home. A cluttered, chaotic entry area is not just unwelcoming but will also cause feelings of disarray and restlessness throughout your home. Think about what you would like to see as you step in the door. Probably not toys strewn across the floor, so look at what storage solutions would work in the space. A pretty stand to hold umbrellas and hooks or a cupboard that has a place for everyone’s coats and jackets is a good starting point. You could also add a small table or shelf where you can put keys and the day’s post.

Declutter as much as possible

Clutter enhances feelings of stress, anxiety and makes it hard to think clearly. The fewer items of clutter in your way, the calmer you will inevitably feel. When there is clutter, we are also more likely to lose things that we do need. Spending time hunting for something can make us late and leave us feeling tired and stressed. Keeping items in the right place helps you feel calm and aids getting you out of the door on time. Decluttering, however, is never a one-off task. To keep on top of everything coming into our home, you should try to declutter as often as possible, tidying away what you wish to keep. Investing in more storage and making sure the whole family knows where things should go will also make a big difference.

Choosing calming colours

Colour has a huge impact on us in a physical, emotional and psychological way. Colour can affect our mood and even our level of energy, so think about how certain colours make you feel. When it comes to choosing colours and patterns, the less-is-more approach works best for creating a calming and relaxing space. Too many bright colours, or lots of different patterns in a room, can draw the eyes all over the place. That makes a living space feel busy and hard to relax in. An all-white room, or using light-toned neutrals such as taupe, off-white or cream, creates a relaxing and tranquil environment. To bring interest into the space, add texture with furnishings in gold, faded yellows or pale tan colours.

Create space for a calmer mind

Our feelings of anxiety and stress can often build up if there is too much stuff in a small area of the home. Removing unnecessary furniture and furnishings makes a room feel larger and tidier. It also helps you to feel calm and more in control of the space. Even the way you dress your windows can have a significant impact on the way a room feels. Thick, heavy curtains can make it seem dark and cluttered while white no maintenance shutters create a fresher, streamlined look that offers privacy while letting the sunlight stream in. It’s also important to take some time looking at how you use tabletops and shelves. Try only to display items that are special and meaningful to you. Just by removing a few of the items on display you can create a much clearer, lighter space.

Use light to create a calming atmosphere 

Getting the lighting right can be fundamental to creating a tranquil atmosphere. There is nothing quite like the uplifting feeling of the sun’s natural light flowing into a room, so try to take advantage of that as much as possible. When it comes to the evening, bright overhead lights can make it difficult to wind down and relax, especially if we’ve spent the day in a brightly lit office. Spotlights are a useful way to direct brightness exactly where you need it, such as where you eat, read, work and study. Overhead dimmer lights, which you can adjust as and when needed, create a pleasant soft atmosphere in a room.

Your home should be somewhere you can escape to after a busy and stressful day. By taking a little time to think about how you use the space in your home and the things that help you to feel calm, you can transform your hectic house into a tranquil haven.

 

 

 

 

 

Winnettes