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.

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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

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.

5 Things To Enjoy In A 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

Driving offences are of course wrong but they happen and can bring heaps of stress with them for all involved.

I remember a close friend of mine inadvertently committing one just after passing her driving test. As she was in pupillage to be a barrister at the time, she got so worked up about it all.

My husband has had several fines over the years and my brother is the same usually for speeding. Of course as a non-driver I always think I would never commit an offence but so many people get points on their licence so maybe I would fall foul of the law too. It is essential our increasingly busy roads stay as safe as possible so these laws are there for a very good reason but knowing that does not reduce the stress involved when drivers go wrong.

It is not just fines that might happen if you commit a driving offence. You might lose your licence which can be devastating if you need your car for work or for strong family reasons.

At worst, you can end up in prison for driving offences which involves the loss of liberty and potentially your job and vital family and social ties. There are cases where people who have never broken the law before find themselves in prison in middle-age or beyond having committed a driving offence.

Driving offences include those linked to the abuse of alcohol and drugs which sometimes indicate that the driver has other issues that need tackling too. Whilst we can feel desperately sorry for someone who has substance abuse issues, that does not change the fact that driving whilst under the influence is highly dangerous and can have the most catastrophic results.

Times change and we have all had recent shocks about the use of mobile phones in cars and the way that can lead to injury and death.

So what do you do if you find yourself charged with a driving offence? Laws are complex so I would advise you to seek the advice of a solicitor and quickly. It is good to see that DPP solicitors have a special campaign around driving offences and there is loads of helpful information on their website.

In conclusion, find out about the laws around driving and make sure you drive on the right side of them.

 

Reflections from Me

I was going to write a post about all the things that have had control over me in my life for this week’s Best Boot Forward. I may do that but for now I hope this will fit in with the theme of control.

My husband has just stormed off again this time because I questioned him when he said a detective was making a mountain out of a molehill regarding the murder of a child. I did not go mad – I just suggested it was perhaps not the right term to use. Bickering followed and I am alone again but with time and space to blog so let’s focus on the positives and tackle this week’s questions.

1. I have better control of my emotions these days. I have very few low days and only when tired. In the past, my husband would storm off and I would follow him crying, shouting or whatever. Now I have the sense to let him go and get on with my own life. I got control of my emotions by reaching out for support online and via the GP. I learned to forgive myself for not being a perfect parent and to see the factors that led me to not being a good enough parent on occasion.

I have better control of my destiny as I have undertaken training that showed me how to work more effectively and with great results. If I can do that once, I can do that again and again. This brings me a lot of hope and allows me to dream too.

Recently I have taken control of my schedule much better and now have set time aside for more structured home education sessions and quality time with the children. Life is short and they need to have good memories of our times together.

I am also managing housework better by researching effective methods online and investing in the right products to help me.

I have learned to eat what I like so that I have a healthier diet and also to limit my drinking of alcohol.

Controlling schedules also means that I read more which is a joy.

I have taken control of my personal space by having a bed that I can go to alone when the mood takes me rather than sleeping on an uncomfy sofa which was happening on several nights per week on average.

2. The aspect of my life that I struggle with most is still my relationship. My late mum questioned whether I was cut out for them after my first boyfriend cheated on me. Perhaps she was right. I do like my own company. I like the freedom to express opinions and feelings. I am bright and analytical and don’t like the feeling that I have to apologise for that. My love life is practically non-existent so that glue for relationships is not around much. So I guess as perhaps in many long-term marriages, romance is gone and it’s nice to have a friend along for the ride. I guess I just fell for the Cinderella Complex and thought I would find my prince in time.

So should I go to a GP? Well I don’t have any physical or mental health issues currently. Let’s face it – my husband is unlikely to go and ask for help in the bedroom department. I regularly read up on how to improve relationships but surely this should not be a solo sport.

Is there training for marriage? Perhaps there should be but once again, my husband has always managed to skip any suggestion of Relate and the like. I do the bulk of the parenting, the educating, the income-generating, the housework – do I have to do the bulk of the relationship stuff too?

Time management may be the answer. As a couple we can have so much fun when outside but just can’t seem to enjoy each other much at home perhaps because it is our workplace, our school room and more. I still resent the burden of housework falling largely on me. My husband does the washing and a lot of the cooking to be fair but what about the muckier jobs and why are they always mine?

So as my husband works shifts perhaps I should just go to another room and do something else rather than sit watching telly whilst wanting stimulating conversation. After all the aspects of life I have control over are ones that bring me pleasure that I can have alone or with the children. I would quite like a social life of my own or with my children too rather than always being a two when out in public. I might be able to persuade my husband to drive me to the village for that. I guess the real answer is to learn to drive or to move closer to amenities.

Could I delegate control of anything to others? I think my children would be willing to help me more if I asked them and showed them how.

On the marriage front, right now I am more than happy to delegate control if anyone is up for taking on Misery Guts.

I feel a bit guilty writing this post especially because I know some of you have it so much worse.