Adding Childlike Sparkle To Your Life ✨

It’s this time of year especially when we can get in touch with our inner child, where we don’t mind singing at the top of our lungs the wrong lyrics to a Christmas song, or get creative while we craft our decorations. And oh what fun we do have in these times. We forget the stresses of life and lose ourselves in the moment, free of cares or worries.

But why do we only get in touch with our inner child when we’re near Christmas? Surely everyone would be a lot happier if we lost ourselves in childish ambition once in a while.

Pablo Picasso once said that every child is an artist and it’s only adulthood which squashes this ambition. But does that mean that artists are just big kids who never lost that creativity? I hope so.

When 2020 rolls around we’ll not only be entering a new year but also a new decade. It feels positive but also like a new beginning. It becomes even more poignant to be able to reflect on the last ten years but also look forward to the next decade with a childlike ambition and sparkle in our eyes.

I propose that in this next decade we do more silly things just for fun. Sing more, dance more, tap into that creative mind to create something new and innovative because if we do this I believe we would all suffer less with stress and care less about what people think around us about jovial topics such as how what you’re wearing doesn’t aesthetically please someone else.

If you’re like me and you’re not around children a lot then it can be easy to lose touch with what it means to be childlike. It can be easy to become a very serious person, stressed, anxious with problems which to other people can seem insignificant and probably are to you as well, if you dig deep enough.

I toyed with the idea of teaching. I thought I could be an art teacher, watching young adults develop their skills and learn to love being creative. It’s still something that intrigues me but a part of me thinks that that boat may have sailed as I encroach my late twenties, the big 30 balloons waiting in the wings ready to announce that I’m no longer a spring chicken. However, no matter old I get, as long as I maintain a positive attitude with the odd childlike tendancies, I think I’ll always be young at heart.

What do you think about getting reconnected with our inner child? Is it a silly notion or something which could actually benefit our oh so serious society?

Until next time.

Battling Negative Emotions Over Christmas

There’s a lot to be said about negative emotions, how they aren’t productive, how feeling them won’t change facts. However, negative emotions can be a great way to reflect on our lives, even when we don’t feel like it.

When we’re talking about negative emotions in this article we’re focusing on feelings of deep sadness or a bubbling and/or festering aggression towards a person, or a circumstance.

When we’re upset or angry, we tend to spiral in the same way which is why some of us end up crying when we’re angry or shouting when we’re sad. It’s during these times we can seemingly only see the bad things in life or the negative in people. However, noticing this behaviour is possibly the best route to self improvement.

If we learn to notice patterns when we start feeling these negative emotions then we can learn what triggers us and once we know what triggers us we can then learn to deal with it. Triggers can include everything, from the way someone taps their fingers on a table, to opening your bank account and realising you had less money than you thought.

Triggers are often part of a larger story.

If someone’s tapping finger is frustrating you to no end then its probably going to stretch a bit deeper than the surface noise. This frustration could be because you might dislike the person doing the tapping. Although, this sounds like a catch 22 as without delving deeper into your own psychosis, the cycle of finger tapping/ disliking anything this person does will continue on and on until the inevitable snap.

A better route would be to assess why this person is frustrating you. Is there a deeper reason within yourself which is causing this emotion?

The honest truth of it all is that nobody likes to take the blame for anything and without training your brain, this is no different in circumstances where it is you Vs you. For example, in the previous scenario, disliking a person could be a projection of parts of yourself you aren’t keen on.

Bob, your finger tapping work colleague, chats a lot about his terrible mother in law at work, and everything that creeps out of his seedy little mouth is negative. It’s his down trodden behaviour which puts you down in the dumps and makes the little things he does do annoy you.

However, as soon as you leave the office, you’ll be chatting your partner’s ear off about the terrible day you’ve had and suddenly you’re just as bad as Bob.

Hands up, I’ve done this many a time before and in the words of Karl Pilkington, sometimes we do need a good moan to make ourselves feel better. Yet there is a line, and it’s important to notice when we’ve crossed it in order to improve ourselves.

This Christmas time, a lot of people are feeling down in the dumps or frustrated.

It’s this time of year which is so important for us to look after our mental health and the mental health of those around us. By paying more attention to the attitudes of those around us and to our own behavioural traits, we can hope to better not only our own lives but the lives of friends who need positive mental encouragement.

Let’s start a conversation. Join me on Facebook @theroamblogger as we discuss the best ways to keep a positive mental attitude this Christmas time.

Until next time.

DIY Christmas Decor

As its now November, its officially festive season and you know what that means? A whole host of topical posts meant to make your shopping experience this season as quick and as cost effective as possible, so you have time to focus on the important stuff.

This week I want to share some arts and crafts Christmas decor which will not only add some festivities to your home but also can be made into projects you can make with your little ones for that added charm.

Festive Mason Jars ££

Christmas Luminaries DIY | How to by Debbie of My Patch of Blue Sky using Modern Masters Metallic Paints

For these all you will need are:

Mason Jars (You can grab these from the Range, Wilko or Hobby craft for under £10)

Adhesive patterns (You can make these using thin card, printed out stencils and double sided tape)

Glass paint (Acrylic paint will paint on glass)

Tealights (Under £4 on Amazon)

Ribbon & other added extras of your choice

Create your patterns, apply the double sided tape carefully to the card, and attach them to the glass, paint the rest of the jar and wait for the paint to dry before peeling off the pattern. Decorate further as you see fit.

The above idea if kept simple would suit many minimalist or scandinavian styled rooms, making the decor less outlandish and more ‘room friendly’. For a more bohemian look, why not try using string/rope around the top and filling the jar with pine cones/other natural found items.

Cute Homemade Wreath £

Christmas DIY Crafts for kids! #christmascrafts #craftsforkids #diycrafts #christmascraftsforkids

Definitely a design for inside decor, this wreath idea is simple and can be made with any colour so can be adapted to suit your little one’s bedroom.

Using a paper plate, cut out the centre, leaving a ring for you to wrap the strips of thin craft card around. These can be glued together or can be stuck together using double sided tape.

Using a fan fold, create the candle and attach using either glue or double sided tape.

Using your creativity, add decorations to the rest of the wreath, small felt circles could be used to make baubles and a bow tie ribbon can be added to the front for the final touch.

Star Garland £

DIY Star Garland Christmas crafts - Girl about townhouse

This is a funky DIY idea which involves folding paper into the shape of stars and adding them to a string. This natural looking design is fabulously bohemian and is perfect for the ‘adult’ Christmas.

For more ideas like these, why not visit my RoamBlogger Pinterest board. They’re full of Christmas ideas fun for the whole family.

Until next time.

Benefits Of PMA And How They Can Help To Grow Your Business

Being surrounded by positive mental attitudes (PMA) or simply people who inspire you can help massively with your personal ‘get up and go’. Similarly, the opposite attitudes can have detrimental effects.

Even the most positive people can be impacted by negative attitudes around them, in fact, research shows that it can impact us in such a way that it can reduce our immune system which is why when we feel more down, we are more likely to catch a cold, or get sick.

Positive attitudes also impact our wellbeing. Studies show that people who experience more positive emotions are more likely to maintain warm and lasting relationships.

Yesterday I was in discussions with a fellow entrepreneur, Andrew Campbell, who is the owner and founder of a carpet cleaning company ATR Carpet Cleaning. During our discussions I realised that I needed more people in my life like Andy as he has been a massive encouragement in my career development and has made me believe in my dreams to grow my own business doing something I love.

So I’ve decided I want to grow this community, and in the last week I have reached my personal goal of 100 follows on Facebook and can now look to reaching another milestone with active social media and networking plans.

Obviously, I want as many people to know The RoamBlogger as I can.

The more people who know that The RoamBlogger is a wall mural and canvas art business with staff who have classical technical art training with degrees and projects under their belts, the more people who might feel inclined to ask for a quote, and the more people who offer The RoamBlogger jobs, the more we can progress and the more I can offer you wonderful readers.

For instance, if you didn’t know, my canvas art is commission based, meaning that if you want something specific and original designed for your home or your workplace, we can complete this for you.

You can see examples of The RoamBlogger’s previous work here and for the month of November, if you quote TOOEARLYFORXMAS we can knock 10% off your order.

I really hope we can build this community into a positive and welcoming environment so we can all share in the motivational outbursts like the one I’ve had this week.

Until next time.

Starting A Business? 😅

Last week, if you’re a regular reader of the blog, you’ll know I finished the Alice In Wonderland inspired wall mural in time for The Mad Catter’s launch party which was a fantastic and interesting project which has seemingly launched my own business into action.

Seeing a friend succeed in business has been enough motivation for me to kick into action and has caused me to set up RoamBlogger as a business which has been so fulfilling it is almost unreal. (Except the daunting task of filling in a tax return, that’s not so wonderful).

I have the potential for a few ongoing projects lined up for not only the cafe, but for a doctors surgery of all places and I just hope to continue in this upward momentum for the foreseeable future as I would love nothing more than to class myself as a career woman with a successful business behind me.

If I have any advice for those also following in my footsteps and starting their own business, I would advise you to get as much sleep as you can in now as once you start working and the workload increases steadily you’ll find your days will start to become longer and longer.

But oh my gosh is it a fulfilling level of stress.

I hope to continue posting regular updates on the blog so you, dear reader, can follow along with the ins and outs of business growth from the complete bottom rung, to, well, the sky is the limit. Obviously my posts will still maintain to be lifestyle oriented, so I will continue to post fashion and interior design posts, however I’ll be tweaking these to also include the business side of things, to add more depth to my content.

What do you think about starting a business? What would you go into? What passion would you turn into a career? Let me know.

Until next time.

Interior Design | Cat Cafe Alice In Wonderland Wall Mural

Sorry it’s been a while, I know I haven’t posted anything for a few weeks but to summarise: its been hectic.

The past few weeks I have been planning and executing an interior design project for Eastbourne’s very first Vintage Cat Cafe, The Mad Catter. The idea for the client Lucy Allen was to create an Alice in Wonderland inspired wall mural.

My initial inspiration was the basement. As it has a low ceiling and cosy feel, I felt as if a magical forest scene would work wonders in the space. I bought a few tester paint pots after sketching out the idea on the freshly plastered wall and came to the conclusion that the style that would most compliment my talent would be a 2D cartoon, Disney-esque mural.

I have a degree in Animation which means I have classical technical drawing training, and my artwork projects have often involved a lot of colour and contrast which meant this project was leading up to be something incredibly rewarding.

However, the biggest obstacle I had to face during this project was the free roaming cats which I constantly had to keep an eye on because I had visions of little paws covered in paint, tracking prints everywhere. To get past this, Darren and I managed to shut the majority of the 10 cats in the upstairs section of the cafe, simply while we painted, before letting them downstairs again upon departure. Cats don’t like to be excluded though so our painting was accompanied by a chorus of cat meows.

The whole project turned out better than I expected, with the bright blue and red being a pop of colour in the otherwise neutral coloured basement so overall I consider this project to be a massive success.

From our time spent as quirky interior designers, Darren and I would love to continue with this so if you have a project you would like doing: a wall mural, a quirky piece of artwork for your business, please get in touch with us at roamblogger@gmail.com.

Until next time.

Cheers!

Body Dysmorphia & How To Dress For Your Shape

Sometimes when we look in the mirror we see something we don’t like. We see bodies which don’t fit into our personal expectation of beauty and it’s this view of ourselves which causes us to project into our lives, i.e I didn’t get that job because I wasn’t as pretty as the other people there, or I’m single because I’m not thin enough. This is obviously not going to give us the best outlook on life and is definitely going to start impacting our day to day moods.

I’ve seen it across the board. My work colleague wants to get a boob job, a friend who over exercises is forever thinking she’s not doing enough, another who has tried a personal trainer and a meal plan and is still unhappy with the way she looks. It’s something I researched and read about extensively while writing my dissertation on body dysmorphia and frankly it hurts my heart to know people are struggling in their lives because of their personal interpretation of their body.

Obviously, society has a lot to answer for setting our expectations so high and fashion has a lot to do in order to resolve the issue of body confidence, however, for the time being we can do something to combat these stresses: we can dress well for our shape and size as in turn, when we feel comfortable and happy, we feel more body confident.

I have my ups and down days when it comes to my body but overall, I am happy with my shape. Yes I could tone this and that but in all honesty, it doesn’t bother me that much.

I previously wrote about dressing for your body shape which you can read here.

I understand that fashion is not kind to some body shapes. High waisted trousers are not to everyone’s liking and peplum tops really don’t flatter everyone’s shape like they’re supposed to. Personally, the best advice I can give is to break out of the mould. Just because celebrities are wearing a style doesnt mean you need to jump on the bad wagon, however, it is important to try on as many different styles as possible, even pursuing with a few with small changes (like my pursuit to find a bodysuit which fits- and now I have two- thanks PLT), in order to discover what suits us the most and what we feel comfortable in.

I can’t drive it home enough that good fitting clothes will make you feel better about your body, at least until the world catches up and embraces the female form in all its lump and bumpy glory.

Until next time.

Life Update: Where Are We Now?

As I keep saying to my boyfriend Darren, this year is a year of firsts. From the blog perspective, this means trying videos on my posts, and social media tactics I wouldn’t have tried prior to this year. It also means trying online shopping properly for the first time. From a business perspective it means taking on creative projects like art installations for The Mad Catter Vintage Cat Cafe in Eastbourne which is proving to be both intellectually stimulating as well as encouraging my imagination.

As previously mentioned, I am still struggling with the work/life balance, however weekends are now proving to be both productive as well as socially recharging.

This year has been a year of firsts but it’s also been a rollercoaster ride of events. From breaking down on our way to Chessington last week, to travelling to Portugal in March, to spending time developing my creative business and having opportunities to do so has meant this year has been a mixed bag of ups and downs. This year has seen death but it has also seen an abundance of life and passion, love and creativity and has shown me that it can be one big surprise, one after the next.

I am blessed to be able to say that I have lived life to the fullest, I have had adventure after adventure and have created memories which will last a lifetime.

While I look around, I see that the most fulfilled people are the people who have explored their passions and followed their dreams. My brother is now working in Ireland doing what he wants to do, Lucy is opening her cat café next month, Louise is about to pop a baby out, Andy is getting married, Ruth has successfully moved house, and I am so incredibly proud of all them and wish them all the best during their adventures.

Whether you have had a small or large life success we should learn to celebrate these. It is also worthwhile celebrating the life successes of others, as we should be able to celebrate and be happy for those of us around us.

I hope that the rest of this year will be as fruitful and as we creep into the darker, more dismal months of the year, I hope we can all keep our sights on our best futures, our new and existing adventures and grow into wonderfully enriched adults with a whole host of memories under our belts.

Until next time.

Autumn Fashion: Simple Outfit Ideas

Boots, jeans and jumpers. With the change in season I need to update my wardrobe to accommodate for the cooler seasons of 2019 and this means buying more of the above to create some go to everyday outfits.

But, as many of us know, it’s hard to know what to buy. We look online or in the shops and buy the odd tops we like or some new boots which we love but how do we go about putting outfits together?

In this week’s blog post, I wanted to share a few outfit ideas to inspire your autummal wardrobe.

So what are the autumnal staples for this year?

Lets just say that my PrettyLittleThing orders have been revolved around bodysuits, jeans, and boots.

For example, no other outfit can beat jeans and a t-shirt for comfort however, this year has seen, at least for me, the rise in bodysuits which although can be annoying having to strip off when going to the toilet, covers your kidneys (mum approved) and gives you that smooth finish.

My plan this autumn was to buy a few staples: a black, white, and maybe a nude bodysuit in both long and short sleeved versions, to pair with blue and black jeans.

Sand Crepe V Plunge Short Sleeve Bodysuit image 1

Black Roll Neck Long Sleeve Bodysuit image 1

Basic Black Plunge Long Sleeve Bodysuit image 1

Shape White Button Detail Long Sleeve Ribbed Bodysuit  image 2

These are outfits which can be paired with a whole variety of jumpers and boots both obscene and subtle in tone, depending on your personal style.

Stone Oversized V Neck Knitted Jumper  image 1

Monochrome Stripe Chunky Knit Roll Neck Jumper image 1

Pink Oversized Colour Block Jumper image 1

Burgundy Ribbed Knitted Oversized Jumper  image 1

My new favourite thing about online shopping is the ability to use the new ClearPay payment option which allows you to spread the payment over four payments! Buy and wear now but pay later- perfect!

I hope this gives you some ideas what to wear this new season.

Remember, layering is your friend!

Until next time.

How To Pick Outfits For Your Dad 👨‍👧

Is your dad’s wardrobe looking a little bit out dated? Is he still wearing the same old pair of blue jeans, the same outfits he’s been wearing since you can remember? Look no further, as in this week’s article I’m going to be assessing which pieces are around on the high street and which pieces are good ideas for gifts for the dad in your life.

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My dad has been wearing Adidas shorts since I can remember (yes, even in the winter) and this weekend he’d suggested going shopping together so he could look for a blazer.

Obviously I was rubbing my hands together as this was the prime opportunity to catch him and take him clothes shopping to show him a few updated styles which I also thought I’d share with you, dear reader, as holiday season is approaching quicker than I’d like and we might as well grab a few early ideas before the prices skyrocket.

So where did we go? The high street is by far the easiest place to take your father when he’s being picky as there’s never a Greg’s too far away for a lunchtime stop off and a coffee refueling but you can also cover a few base shops without covering too many miles in between them. So while visiting Eastbourne’s brand spanking new shopping centre The Beacon, we visited Topman, River Island, Burton’s, Debenhams and Marks & Spencers (as well as a cheeky little pop into New Look for me).

With the intention of finding dad a new blazer to wear to the sailing club (wow that sounds posh), I was able to squeeze in a few bomber jackets which complimented his shape very well.

This grey suede bomber jacket was shorter in the body but had a functional front zip and pocket detailing which would work with an everyday outfit like dad’s cargo shorts and trainers outfit, or as a jacket over the top of an evening outfit out wearing semi casual/formal wear such as a dark pair of jeans and a lighter or even a coloured shirt, seeing as the colour of the jacket is neutral.

Grey bomber jacket, River Island.

Another suede bomber in the same section was a lovely tan, black and white number with the same features. This was more of a day jacket but would be a good transitional piece for the autumn months.

Tan bomber jacket, River Island.

I couldnt take dad out without actually looking at blazers so we did pop into Debenhams where he tried on a couple of Ben Sherman jackets which, while they were absolutely gorgeous, were completely out of his price range for a jacket which was going to sit in the wardrobe and not see the light of day for a while.

Blue Ben Sherman Blazer, Debenhams.

We did also pop into Marks and Spencers which was not my kind of shop, however, I did come across this beautiful blue suede jacket which again could be worn in an everyday situation or as evening wear as a pop of colour.

Blue Jacket, M&S £45

Eventually, we got bored of shopping and had a half hour stop off at Greg’s for a sausage roll with mum and a cup of tea. En route we spotted a busker who was playing a steel slide guitar which sounded very rock n roll and inspired me to pick up my guitar later.

Overall, the shopping day gave dad more of an idea of what jackets are about and which ones suit him more so although he didn’t purchase any of them that day, I now have an idea about what kind of present I could get him for Christmas.

If you want to find out more about which styles are about on the high street or where to find the best bargains, follow my Instagram as I update regularly and blog here once a week.

Until next time.