What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

Have a little stretch maybe, check to see how many people have liked that picture of some wisteria that you posted on Instagram just before bed, get up and make a cup of tea – all totally normal things to do, but all things we take for granted.

Generally I would say that I’m a very optimistic, motivated kind of person. You have to be I think to run your own business – you need to be on the ball and prepared to manage your time well, to keep yourself going no matter what. But there have also been periods in my life when I’ve not felt so great.

About three years ago I went through a particularly difficult time. I’d had a relationship break down, work was very busy and I had just moved house, to a new town. I started experiencing horrible anxiety, which I’d never had before. I’ve had short periods of being depressed, but the anxiety was new and I did NOT like it. For several months even doing the most basic of things felt really scary.

I would wake up every morning really early – at about 5am – and immediately feel terrified. I didn’t really know what OF, but I could feel the adrenaline pumping and over and over in my head I was saying ‘I don’t know what to do, how will I cope? I can’t cope.’ I’m sure this is more common for a lot of people than we like to believe, but I think the fact that it was so out of character for me made it worse – I had no coping mechanisms and no idea of what to do to make myself feel better, or even if I ever WOULD feel better.

I remember one morning lying in bed, crying, thinking I would go downstairs to make a cup of tea. That’s a simple enough thing to do isn’t it? Except it wasn’t. I managed to get to the kitchen and switch on the kettle, but I couldn’t stop crying and just couldn’t see how I would be able to make the cup of tea without something terrible happening. Because something terrible WAS going to happen, I was sure. Looking back I can’t even quite describe it – it seems such a simple thing not to be able to do – and yet I just couldn’t. I went back upstairs, still crying. I couldn’t even make a cup of tea. What was I going to do? How would I ever be able to work?

Just BEING felt overwhelming. View Post

I always *think* clothes review posts are a good idea. I get the clothes, and it’s exciting – ‘ooh I got new clothes!’ – and then I remember that I have to take pictures of myself wearing them, and I only have Belle to take them. (I could quite do with a boyfriend who also happens to be a professional photographer. Please apply in the comments with examples of work.)

When I put on my first items from Elvi, Belle was on hand to give me the confidence boost I needed.

‘You look just like Gran in that!’

Thanks Belle. (No offence Gran, but you ARE in your late sixties. Also, Belle meant me and not the clothes.)

I tried a variety of awful poses, while Belle clicked away. ‘I think it would be better if you held the camera straight,’ I suggested meekly,’ because I’m a grown up?’

‘I’m just trying to get an angle where your hair doesn’t look so thin,’ she reassured me.


Elvi clothes review

I figure this must be the angle that Belle thinks makes my hair look best

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There are many weight loss plans out there. However, not all of them are equal.  There are some that are more motivating to join than others, as well as offer better results. Two of the most common plans out there are Nutrisystem and Jenny Craig. Each of them offers unique weight loss packages. But if you are looking to choose between them, here are the top 4 pros and cons of using Nutrisystem compared to other weight loss plans.

  1. Nutrisystem is cheaper

You may be looking to lose weight but, you also want to do so cost effectively. On this basis, Nutrisystem is the best option.  The average cost of a daily program on Nutrisystem is $10-$11.  This is quite low when compared to the $15 a day that Jenny Craig charges. Going by these figures, you would save quite an amount of money, if you look at it from an annualized perspective.  Therefore, if you are looking to save money while at the same time enjoy a reliable weight loss program, Nutrisystem would be a better choice between the two.

  1. Nutrisystem has tastier foods

If you are looking at Nutrisystem v Jenny Craig from the perspective of taste, you should know that Nutrisystem has tastier foods.  Most people who have had the chance to taste both agree that Nutrisystem foods taste way better. Besides Nutrisystem has invested heavily in bringing in new foods that are free of artificial sweeteners that in most cases negatively impact on taste. If you the type that view food taste as an incentive to sticking to a weight loss program, then Nutrisystem is the one for you. It’s the perfect motivator to starting your weight loss journey.

  1. Nutrisystem offers more support

When you start your weight loss journey, you want to do so with a program that has a good support system. You want to have people contact you and find out how well you are sticking to your exercise routine and your meal plans. That’s exactly what when you choose Nutrisystem. While Jenny Craig offers these services too, they only do so to people who pay a premium. You have to pay $99 to get these services, which are offered for free at Nutrisystem! That fee alone tells you where your weight loss journey is most appreciated, right?

  1. Jenny Craig has better results

While Nutrisystem offers you all the advantages we have looked at above, studies show that at the end of each program, those on Nutrisystem lose an average of 3.8% of their body weight. That’s quite low compared to the 12% weight loss for people on Jenny Craig. As such, though Nutrisystem has more incentives for joining, Jenny Craig seems to get the job done more effectively. But that could be because the people who join Nutrisystem are over-incentivized to the extent that they forget about the objective of the program. Therefore, if one takes Nutrisystem more seriously, they can get good results too.


It’s that time of the year again that I love – the run up to Christmas, where the nights draw in, and it starts becoming socially acceptable to eat mince pies for breakfast.

Oh, and I get a hacking cough that lasts for weeks and Belle starts to hate me.

Evenings in our house go something like this.


Belle: *frowns*

Me: Sorry. It will stop in a minute – COUGH SPLUTTER – would you like me to go upstairs?

Belle, sternly, having had to pause her Netflix vampire programme: Yes.

See? She hates me.

It soon switches around though when SHE gets a cold and starts her wretched sniffing. (Which you’d think, now she’s 15 years old, would be behind us.) I say sniffing, although often it’s less of a deep, satisfying sniff, and more of an irritating attempt at one.

‘Mum, listen,’ she’ll says, trying unsuccessfully to sniff, ‘I can’t breath.’

‘Yes, thank you, I can hear that.’

‘But listen,’ more sniffing attempts, ‘my nose is all blocked up.’ A bit more sniffing, until my shoulders are suitably tense.


The lottery is the ultimate game of chance and the EuroMillions is the biggest game in Europe. You just choose seven numbers, put them on a piece of paper and you are done. If you are the chosen one, the one in a few million, the one who has fate on his side, then you could scoop that big pot and become one of the big lottery winners.

things more likely than winning the lottery

And it is entirely possible to win a lottery jackpot of your own. Like so many Brits before you who have succeeded to see their dream come to pass by playing EuroMillions syndicates or any other of the big lottery games out there.

We can establish that winning the lottery is a possibility because there is precedent for it, but let us tell about some other things that are more likely to happen than you winning the lottery just so you can assess your odds correctly.

We’re going to start with ten fabulous occurrences that are deemed likelier to happen than winning the EuroMillions lottery. The odds of winning the first prize in the EuroMillions are of 1 in 389,838,160; this is what you should keep in mind when assessing the following situations:

things more likely than winning the lottery

  1. Becoming a saint – 1 in 20,000,000
  2. Having identical quadruplets – 1 in 15,000,000
  3. Becoming the president of the United States – 1 in 10,000,000
  4. Becoming a certified astronaut – 1 in 12,100,000
  5. Becoming a big Hollywood star – roughly 1 in 1,505,000
  6. Winning a gold medal in the Olympics – 1 in 662,000
  7. Getting a royal flush in your very first hand at poker – 1 in 649,740
  8. Becoming a professional athlete – 1 in 22,000
  9. Winning an Academy Award – 1 in 11,500
  10. Dating a millionaire – 1 in 250

And if you haven’t lost your urge just yet, let us tell you about ten things that you really wouldn’t want to happen to you, but that are still more likely to happen than hitting the jackpot in the EuroMillions.

things more likely than winning the lottery

  1. Getting struck by an asteroid – 1 in 74,000,000
  2. Getting killed in a terrorist attack in the US – 1 in 10,000,000
  3. Dying during a trip to the Grand Canyon – 1 in 8,156,000
  4. Dying from food poisoning – 1 in 3,000,000
  5. Getting killed by lightning strike – 1 in 2,320,000
  6. Dying from chronic constipation – 1 in 2,215,900
  7. Getting killed by flesh-eating bacteria – 1 in 1,000,000
  8. Dying by drowning in a bathtub – 1 in 840,000
  9. Dying due to a bee or wasp sting – 1 in 79,842
  10. Dying from heart disease -1 in 3

Having all of these in mind, it’s time to reassess your understanding of odds. The bottom line is that it is all a matter of perspective. Even when the statistics are not in your favour, changing your attitude could easily get you closer to your goals.

So, stop thinking about those impossible odds when you put in your next lottery ticket. Instead, think about how it would be to actually win and believe in yourself. That could get you so much further and maybe even help you win a jackpot of your very own. Good luck!

Image Sources: 1, 2


This week I had one of those moments where you feel like the universe is trying to tell you something.

I was having a bit of a funny morning one day, where I was feeling a bit unsure about something, and just kind of wandering about feeling twitchy and indecisive. I decided to go into Waterstones, because really, when DOESN’T looking at books make you feel better?

The first display I saw was this one:

Solitude how to be alone

That book stands out a bit really doesn’t it?

I had a bit more of a mooch. I picked up a book at random and opened it at a random page. This page in fact: View Post