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Say no to guilty pleasures

By 4 May 2015 Lifestyle

There are lots of things I enjoy doing but I don’t feel guilty about any of them. Life is too short to spend time beating yourself up about doing something that brings you pleasure. Whether it’s watching Eastenders or eating the remains of the raw cake batter left in the mixing bowl, do what you love. Stop worrying about what other people might think.


I love food and I know that I eat too much of the wrong things – such as scotch eggs. I love scotch eggs. Yes, I’d prefer to be slimmer and I know I need to eat more healthily but I think diets where you feel guilty for going off track once or twice are more harmful. If you feel guilty for eating that piece of chocolate cake I think you’re more likely to think, ‘sod it, I’ve failed at my diet so I might as well forget about it’ – think of it as a reward. There’s no harm in having that piece of cake – just don’t eat cake all day. ‘All in moderation’ should be your mantra.

Lay ins

I love a lay in. My perfect Sunday involves lying in bed watching Sunday Brunch. My husband usually wakes up early and if I’m lucky – which is most Sundays – he’ll bring me tea and toast around 10am – love him. Some people think that staying in bed half the day is a waste of the day and, yes, they may be right but after a week at work I think I deserve it.

Scouring the web for houses I can’t afford to buy

I’m pretty obsessed with browsing Rightmove and Zoopla for our future house. I realise that none of the houses will be available to buy in 3 years’ time when we can actually look properly but I like seeing what we can get for our money, which areas we could live in and what sort of houses I like.

Wearing frilly socks

It turns out I’m actually 5 years old. I don’t remember ever having frilly socks when I was little so I’m making up for it now. Even if they’re not on show, I enjoy knowing that I’m wearing them. Is that weird?

I don’t think anyone should feel guilty about their pleasures. As long as what you’re doing isn’t hurting anyone and it’s not illegal then what’s there to feel guilty about?

Do you agree with my thoughts on guilty pleasures? Let me know in the comments below.

This post forms part of the Blog Every Day in May challenge. Tomorrow’s prompt is ‘Cinco de Mayo’. Follow along with all my BEDM posts here.

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Why getting enough sleep is important for your career

By 3 May 2015 Career, Lifestyle

Of all the things that you think could affect your career, getting enough sleep probably isn’t the first thing that pops into your head. But it turns out that sleep deprivation can not only be bad for your health but not so good for your job prospects either.

Sleep your way to a healthy life?

Not getting the right amount of sleep has been found to be bad for your health. The US-based National Sleep Federation has recently updated its sleep duration recommendations and The Guardian has reported that, “In making their recommendations, the experts [at the National Sleep Federation] took into account the health benefits, but also the risks, associated with sleep. Too little sleep over several nights leaves you tired, unable to concentrate, depressed, anxious and, eventually, if it continues, an increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. Too much sleep is associated with much the same problems.”

Sleeping your way to the top 2.0

If you’re going to progress in your career you’ll want to be at the top of your game. This means being able to concentrate, stay calm under pressure and preferably not yawning during meetings. Travis Bradberry, writing for Forbes, believes that not getting enough sleep could be bad for your career. He lists some of the side effects from missing sleep as:

  • Decreased creativity
  • Irritability
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Increased stress
  • Memory lapse or loss
  • Impaired moral judgement
  • Symptoms similar to ADHD

None of these sound conducive to a successful day at the office, do they?

Don’t burn the candle at both ends

It’s easy to suggest making sure you get enough sleep, but what is the magic number? Most adults need 7 – 9 hours of sleep each night. To work out how much you need will probably be a case of trial and error. On a day when you don’t have work in the morning try going to bed when you’re sleepy, rather than fighting it, and don’t set an alarm. Work out how long you slept for and try it again the next night. If you need to get up for work, try setting an alarm just in case. It might take a while before you’ve got it down but eventually you’ll hopefully be able to work in tune with your own body clock and you can wave goodbye to mornings of being rudely awoken by your alarm.

Not fighting your tiredness is easier said than done. Hell, I’m doing it right now. You might think it’s more productive to stay up into the early hours to do more work but more often than not this is actually counterproductive. Make sure you get enough sleep so that you’re ready and raring to go in the morning. A company I really admire is Buffer. One of their values is live smarter, not harder; they want their team members to ‘value waking up fresh over working that extra hour’. Buffer understands the need for rest and relaxation.

It’s your responsibility to look after your health. If making sure you get sufficient shut-eye is going to help stop you from succumbing to diabetes, high blood pressure, etc, then what’s to lose?

Do you have any relaxation tips? What’s your favourite way to unwind and get ready for sleep? Tell us in the comments below.

Tomorrow’s prompt for the Blog Every Day in May challenge is ‘guilty pleasures’. Come back tomorrow to find out what mine are.

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Stop having a boring life, have an adventure

By 2 May 2015 Lifestyle

Doing the same thing day in, day out can get a little tedious. Nobody wants to have a staid life. What stories would you have to tell the grandchildren if you never do anything interesting? There’s a time and a place for playing it safe, but in general, life isn’t.

Life is an adventure

To prevent you from having a boring life, consider each day as a new adventure. What’s going to happen today that’s different from yesterday? If you feel yourself slipping into a monotonous routine, shake it up! Change something up and create an adventure.

It could be as simple as going to a walk during your lunch hour and trying a new cafe, or choosing something off the menu you’ve never eaten before. You barely need to edge an inch outside of your comfort zone for something to feel new and exciting.

On Thursday I went to London for a work seminar. Before getting the train home I visited the massive Primark on Oxford Street. I couldn’t face the crowded tube from Oxford Circus back to St Pancras so walked instead. 2 and a half miles through a part of London I’d not seen before. I love walking through the city and it’s something I hardly ever get to do nowadays. Seeing new sights is an adventure.

Take stock of how exciting your life actually is

All the things we can take for granted as grown ups are actually part of the greatest adventure of all – life. Changing jobs, moving to a new town, dating, getting married, buying a house, having a child. All of these are huge adventures. You don’t have to fly to New Zealand and jump out of a plane to be adventurous. In fact, the word adventure comes from the Latin adventurus ‘about to happen’.

Change your mindset and turn the mundane into the extraordinary. What’s about to happen in your life? It’s all part of the adventure.

This post forms part of the Blog Every Day in May challenge. Tomorrow’s prompt is ‘self care Sunday’. Follow along with all my BEDM posts here.

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Sunny evening walk in Folkestone

By 12 April 2015 Life, Lifestyle, Photography
Folkestone harbour pano

On Friday evening I could have walked out of work, turned left and walked home. Instead, I turned right and headed up to the Leas. It seemed a shame to waste such a lovely evening.

It upsets me when people complain about Folkestone. It might not be the best town in the world but it’s where I live and it definitely has a lot of positive points.

Centenary arch

To mark the centenary of first world war, this arch was erected. It stand at the top of the Road of Remembrance, named to commemorate the thousands of men who marched down this hill towards the waiting ships in the harbour and the trenches across the channel. Opened by Prince Harry in August 2014, the arch stands proud on the Leas where it’s much admired. Of course, there are plenty of naysayers but I think it’s very elegant and a fitting tribute.

The crochet poppies are a year round feature along the railings from the arch down the hill towards the harbour. Anyone can make one and attach it. I think it’s pretty beautiful. The the Leas I walked through to the parish church.

St Mary and St Eanswythe Church B&W

Faceless angel

St Mary and St Eanswythe Church

The church of St Mary and St Eanswythe is where I got married. There’s been a church on or near this site since the 7th century. The oldest part of the current church dates back to the 12th century with the majority of it built in Victorian times.

It was a very special place to get hitched.

Graffiti Skull Old High Street Folkestone

People graffiti Folkestone Old High Street

The Old High Street is at the heart of Folkestone’s Creative Quarter. It welcomes artists and independent boutiques to create a eclectic space that keeps changing. There’s some really cool graffiti at the moment. I think they’re commissioned to cover up wooden boarding. I love it!

All this is just minutes from my house. I took this walk, stopping to take photos along the way, and was still home before half past six. If I’m going to shift some pounds before the summer I think I’ll go for a walk every dry evening.

What does you walk home from work look like?

Rachel x

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A New Project… Chapterthirty

By 1 March 2015 General, Life, Lifestyle

It’s been a bit quiet over here at recently. That’s because I’ve been busy in the early stages of my new project, Chapterthirty.

This blog is very much a personal one, whereas Chapterthirty will be a magazine style blog inspired by the likes of The Everygirl and GenTwenty. I couldn’t find something similar that’s British and targets women hurtling towards their thirties so I decided to create my own.

We ( this is the theoretical ‘we’ at the moment!) will be writing about careers, homes, money and travel. I’m imagining each reader to be a bit like me really. Not really sure which career path is best for them – or if they do – how to get there, wishing they knew more about financial stuff, hoping to buy their own home sometime soon and also dreaming of using every bit of annual leave to its fullest.

I’ve found it hard to find this sort of information all in one place, packaged up in a way that I want to read it. Blogs tend to either be about travel, homes or careers, and finance blogs just seem to be a bit boring really. I want to bring all these things that matter to me together in one place as they form the cornerstone of the next chapter in my life. I’m hoping I’m not the only person interested in furthering their career, buying a house, making the most of their money and going on holiday, so these women with shared interests are who Chapterthirty is for.

The Chapterthirty mission statement:

Chapterthirty wants to inspire women in their mid to late twenties to turn their dreams into reality, whether that’s finding the perfect career, homeownership or a round the world trip. You can achieve anything you set your mind to.

Don’t be scared of the prospect of turning 30, it’s just the start of a new chapter.

I’m looking for contributors

Whether you have some practical advice or an inspirational story to tell, if you can relate to our mission statement, Chapterthirty needs you! Email (that’s me! :-D) if you’re interested.

At the moment, I’m at the stage of writing blog posts, ‘about’ pages, contributor guidelines, and so on. I’m also trying to decide on a theme. After spending weeks coming up with the name, the next hardest thing has to be choosing a WordPress theme. I have a shortlist at the moment and think there’s a favourite but I need to earn a few pennies first before buying the theme; it’ll be the biggest investment so far.

My aim is to run Chapterthirty like a business. There’ll be advertising space available, hopefully some brand collaborations, and one day I hope to be able to pay contributors. I’d love to be one of those full-time bloggers so that I can dedicate all my efforts to this project. At the moment it kind of feels like work is in the way!

To begin with it’s going to be a lot of hard graft and the only thing I can offer guest bloggers is an author bio with links to their own blog or website and social media profiles, and of course an outlet for their creativity. Perhaps you’re a beauty blogger who would like to write about travel but don’t want deviate from your main theme on your own blog? Chapterthirty can give you an outlet and perhaps we can share some visitors.

So don’t be concerned if I go ‘off radar’ for a while. I’m not really going anywhere just hiding out over on instead! If you visit before the site’s live, apologies for how it looks. I promise it’s going to look awesome. At least I bloody hope so!

Wish me luck and don’t forget to get in touch if you fancy writing for Chapterthirty.

Rachel x

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