A Homesense haul, baby cuddles and a beautiful wedding #LittleLoves

How lovely is this posy of sweet peas? Our local little post office sells them and I just couldn’t resist buying a few, they smell absolutely gorgeous. I have a feeling I’ll be buying rather a lot of fresh flowers from there!

So how about the weather then, eh? It feels like this has been the only topic of conversation this week. We really don’t know what to do with ourselves when summer weather truly hits us do we? I don’t know what it’s like where you are but it’s broken here and now we’ve got a rainy few days ahead of us.

Here we go then, are you ready for some positivity? Grab a cuppa and enjoy my Little Loves, don’t forget you can read lots of other bloggers’ Little Loves by clicking on the linky at the end.

 

  read 

I’m slowly plodding my way through The Handmaid’s Tale, and loving it just as much as I did the first time around. I’d forgotten just how much detail and symbolism Atwood weaves in, the perfect book for A Level Literature!

 

watched

We’re still slowly making our way through House of Cards on Netflix, it’s definitely a series to savour and not binge, but I’m getting desperate wanting to know what the fate of the Underwoods will be.

I can’t write this section and not mention the gem that is BBC1’s Broken, starring Sean Bean, superbly cast as Father Michael. As a Jimmy McGovern drama you know it’s going to be good but I think it’s truly incredible, the acting, the script, everything. True, it’s not the most uplifting of programmes but it’s certainly rather emotional. I sobbed my way through this week’s episode. Is anyone else watching it?

 

 

MAde

I finally got around to making a new vlog! I’ve been wanting to do more on youtube but have been struggling to find the time or inclination. Having a little shop at Homesense last week gave me the push to film a ‘haul’ style vlog and I’m planning on trying to do more video, though I’m well aware I always say that and never do!

Here it is..

 

We went to a family wedding in Sheffield and enjoyed the glorious sunshine. It was a beautiful wedding and we enjoyed having the time and space to catch up with our huge extended family, of course that included a few baby cuddles with this cutie.

I wore this M&S dress that I featured a few months back in the occasion wear post, My Dress Moments. It was the perfect choice, loose fitting and cool. Thanks to my sister in law, Ruth, for taking these photos. I was a rubbish blogger and took very few photos of the whole weekend, I think I was having too much fun to remember to get my phone out!

 

heard

The new Royal Blood album has dropped so that’s been playing loud in both the car and at home.

This is my favourite so far –

 

and lastly

We’ve got a much needed weekend at home ahead of us, which for the husband means building a whole lot of IKEA furniture that arrives today! I’m looking forward to a bit of a rest and a chance to work on the house some more.

I’ve also got a lovely little giveaway with Baba and Boo running at the moment. I’ve shared Eve’s Start Up Story and she’s sharing the chance to win a bundle of her cute cloth nappies. 

Normally I share a collage of nine of my favourites from the #littleloves community on Instagram but I’ve changed things up and now just choosing three and featuring them on Instagram Stories with a tag back to the original account obviously. If you’re on Instagram and want to join in, it’s so easy just use the hashtag #littleloves on any photo that shows something little that you love – so that can be pretty much anything! 

coffeeworksleep instagram

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Fancy joining in?

Just copy the headings and use them as prompts in a blog post then link up below and let me know!



Don’t forget to show some love to the fellow bloggers sharing the little things that they’ve loved this week, by having a read and commenting on their posts too. Be sure to use the hashtag #littleloves if you’re on twitter so we can all keep an eye out for the posts and promote each others.

Here’s my badge if you fancy popping it on your post:

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat
(this post contains affiliate links, marked with *)
 

morganaA Homesense haul, baby cuddles and a beautiful wedding #LittleLoves
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Baba + Boo’s Start Up Story

After having a little break from sharing Start Up Stories due to our house move we are now back and I have another lovely parent led business to share with you. Eve, the founder of cloth nappy business Baba+Boo is so passionate about what she does that it shines through to everything she says in this interview. I always find it inspiring when people take a passion and turn it into a profitable business, I mean, that’s the dream right? I hope you enjoy Eve’s story of Baba+Boo and learn from her experience and expertise. Don’t forget to scroll to the very end for an exciting giveaway..!

I’m Eve, founder of Baba+Boo. I am mum of two and am never far from a travel website. My fingers itch to book holidays. They are obsessed.

Tell us a little bit about your business 

Baba+Boo is a planet friendly online baby store which specialises in reusable nappies and other waste saving products. I am passionate about stopping the huge amount of waste that disposable nappies create. I started 7 years ago and stopped 15 million nappies going to landfill to date.

Once you had the idea how did you go about turning it into a reality?

It evolved, there was no plan. I had a baby. Was pregnant again when my son was 6 months old, so going back to work wasn’t really an option. I was a buyer and it was a really full on job. I wanted something for a bit of pocket money and to keep me sane. So I started a business with an 18 month old and a 9 week old. I just started out really small with a little eBay shop and it took off straight away and grew from there. I just followed where the business took me and the plans came later.

What’s been the hardest part of your life as a start up business so far and how do you overcome those kinds of hurdles?

I started the business so I could be with the kids, not miss a milestone and eventually be there to do the school runs. It is so hard managing the little amount of time I have to work versus the huge amount of passion I have. I do get frustrated at times. I have huge skills in micro managing my time now.

I run on black coffee and chocolate biscuits when I’m working, what couldn’t you live without?

I am a tea and ginger nut kinda girl.

These days any business needs a strong social media presence, which is your favourite platform and do you have any tips for running it?

I’d probably say Instagram although my customers are mainly on Facebook. I am a bit of a news geek, so love Twitter. It is so easy to get sucked into them though. I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I would love to have a hiatus from time to time but impossible when you run a business. I think the best tip is to not spread yourself too thin on there. Know where your customers are and stick to that platform.

What is the best part of running your own business? Has there been a ‘pinch yourself to check it’s real’ kind of moment for you?

I just love being my own boss and managing my own time. I had a dream of being able to spend the summer by the beach with the kids and this year, we are doing just that. Makes all the hard work worth it.

Has being a parent influenced the way your business works? 

Yes definitely. It’s only here because I am a parent. I want to give my kids a work ethic that my mum gave me. She was always there yet had three jobs. The children know that I am there in school holidays but I have to spend time working too.

What makes you tick? What are the things that get you up in the morning to make your business a success? 

I am so passionate about what I do. Choosing cloth nappies isn’t just about the nappies, it’s a choice that can lead to a less wasteful lifestyle for the whole family. I am a huge advocate of living less wastefully. That’s my passion.

What’s your current favourite product or range?

Probably our newborn nappies. They make me broody every time I am packing orders of them. Not only that, it makes me so happy to think of the happy parents that are going to be using them. Always feel very blessed that I am helping parents with a product that is better for them, their babies and our world.

Got any new products or projects in the pipeline?

We dabbled in organic clothing last year and it was very well received so we are doing more of that this winter.

Whether practical or inspirational, what is your top piece advice for anyone out there wanting to take that leap and start their own business?

Just do it. Don’t think it’s really scary. It doesn’t have to be. And do something you feel passionate about because it will never feel like work.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed this month’s Start Up Stories feature getting to know Eve and her gorgeous business. If you’ve got any comments or questions please leave them below or come and have a chat on social media.

I’m really excited to share this opportunity to win a set of three cloth nappies in a size of your choice

Just enter below

a Rafflecopter giveaway

GOOD LUCK!

 

baba+boo start up story

www.babaandboo.com

twitter | facebook | instagram

 

Want to read more inspiring Start Up Stories? Just click on the image below 

Start Up Stories a series of interviews with parents that started up there own businesses

 

Terms and conditions – UK entries only. The winner will win a bundle of three cloth nappies from Baba+Boo in sizes and designs of their choice, subject to availability. Giveaway ends 31/06/2017 at 11.59pm. When the winners are announced they will have 48 hours to get in contact, if they do not then another winner will be drawn. Any one that does not complete the compulsory entry will be disqualified. The prize will be sent out to the winner by Baba+Boo.

morganaBaba + Boo’s Start Up Story
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Feeling settled, starstruck and rediscovering The Handmaids Tale #LittleLoves

Huge thanks to Kerri Ann for hosting Little Loves for me last week. It was the second week of half term and the fifth week of no wifi and everything got on top of me. With the girls back at school and wifi installed I’m slowly getting back on track! So this time I’m sharing not only this week’s Little Loves but last week’s too.

Here we go then, are you ready for some positivity? Grab a cuppa and enjoy my Little Loves, don’t forget you can read lots of other bloggers’ Little Loves by clicking on the linky at the end.

 

  read 

After watching the first episode of The Handmaid’s Tale a few weeks ago I knew I just had to dig out my old copy of it from sixth form. Of course this meant searching through various boxes of books! Thankfully I found it in the second box so it didn’t take too long. I love reading all my scribbled annotations in the margins, it feels like a lifetime ago that I wrote them. 

Blog post wise, I thoroughly enjoyed this post by Caro at The Twinkle Diaries – Bringing Up Men and Positive Body Image It’s such a thought provoking piece on a subject close to my heart. I’m challenged daily to be body positive around my girls, and it is so difficult at times but I know it’s so crucial.

 

 

watched

Ok, so I’ve binged the whole of season 5 of Orange Is The New Black and I can say that is is hands down the best season so far (in my opinion!). I think it’s got better as the focus has shifted away from Piper and included all the characters more.

I’d love your thoughts if you’ve watched it.

Last weekend we took a trip to Leeds for the ITU World Triathlon. The mister took part in the morning and then we stayed for the Elite Women’s Race and the start of the men’s. If you’re a regular reading you’ll know that triathlons have become a big part of our lives so to see the athletes up close was a huge deal. N was so starstruck seeing Non Stanford and the speedy Flora Duffy go past.

It was a fantastic weekend, which is lucky because I missed out on going to Blogtacular because of it!

 

 

MAde

We’ve had a big push on unpacking and really getting somewhere, especially in the kitchen and the bedrooms. I did a bit of a Homesense spree yesterday and picked up some lovely things… I feel a Homesense haul vlog coming on..! I got a pair of these beautiful bedside tables. They are similar to these from West Elm, but for a fraction of the price!

After writing a bit of a ‘brain dump’ of all my feelings on moving earlier in the week (Craving routine in change and uncertainty) I now feel a lot more settled. Getting rooms organised and feeling more like ours has definitely helped.

 

You might have spotted on social media if you follow me that last week I got my first tattoo! Not someone that does things by halves I didn’t go for something little I went the whole hog and got a large tattoo with lots of shading. As I sat there ready for her to start I did think maybe I’ve been rather foolish! This photo was taken soon after I had it done so it’s a bit red and inflamed.

I’m so happy with it and can see myself getting another one.

 

heard

London Grammar’s new album is available of Spotify so that’s been on lots this week, even after a four year gap it’s worth the wait.

 

and lastly

We’re off to Sheffield this weekend seeing friends and going to a family wedding. The weather looks gorgeous so we’re all set for a lovely couple of days!

Normally I share a collage of nine of my favourites from the #littleloves community on Instagram but I’ve changed things up and now just choosing three and featuring them on Instagram Stories with a tag back to the original account obviously. If you’re on Instagram and want to join in, it’s so easy just use the hashtag #littleloves on any photo that shows something little that you love – so that can be pretty much anything! 

coffeeworksleep instagram

**********

Fancy joining in?

Just copy the headings and use them as prompts in a blog post then link up below and let me know!



Don’t forget to show some love to the fellow bloggers sharing the little things that they’ve loved this week, by having a read and commenting on their posts too. Be sure to use the hashtag #littleloves if you’re on twitter so we can all keep an eye out for the posts and promote each others.

Here’s my badge if you fancy popping it on your post:

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat
(this post contains affiliate links, marked with *)
 

morganaFeeling settled, starstruck and rediscovering The Handmaids Tale #LittleLoves
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Putting the sleep in Coffee Work Sleep Repeat

In the early days of being a parent you wonder whether you will ever really sleep again. A basic human function that was once taken for granted becomes a kind of Holy Grail. You think of those dreamy nights and lazy mornings with a kind of wistful nostalgia or crazed hysteria drenched desperation depending on just how sleep deprived you might be feeling at that time. You start having competitive parent discussions at baby groups about just how tired you are and how little sleep you’re getting. Jealousy and disbelief descends when you hear a smug, ‘my baby sleeps through’ uttered from a smiling mum who’s hair is brushed and make up deftly applied. I swear the first few months of my girls’ lives are a fog to me. 

Now that my girls are six and nine a full nights sleep is generally had and definitely expected. The thought of having another baby and going back to sleepless nights actually scares me! I think these days because I expect to sleep that on the nights I can’t or when I struggle to fall asleep I find it incredibly frustrating and definitely struggle to work the next day. I don’t know about you, but when I don’t sleep well it completely impairs my ability to function as a human being. I can’t think straight, I’m irritable, actually I fear that I become the worst version of myself. How I, and those around me survived that newborn baby stage I honestly do not know. Like I said it’s all a big foggy!

I must admit that since we’ve moved house I’ve struggled to settle to sleep, I think being surrounded by boxes and not having a proper bed didn’t help because since our new bed was delivered and we started to get more organised I’ve felt a lot more relaxed. Change, it seems, impairs my ability to settle and rest, I guess I’m quite like a child in that way! Having a good bed, and mattress are just pieces to the puzzle that make up good sleep.

It’s not just about what we need to have or do for good sleep but also what we need to avoid. Caffeine, my best friend, swiftly becomes my darkest nemesis when consumed after 2pm in the afternoon. I’ve learnt that if I have any coffee after that point I can guarantee that very little sleep will be had. I end up lying awake for hours on my phone which, according to research is one of the worst things we can do as the light tricks our brain. I’m always up for finding out how to get a better nights sleep, and this video is really helpful, I mean, who knew that cheese actually helps!

 

There’s more tips in this handy article too, How to Sleep Better

What do you think?

What are your top tips for a good night’s sleep?

 

This post is conjunction with Tempur but all thoughts are my own.

morganaPutting the sleep in Coffee Work Sleep Repeat
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Craving routine in change and uncertainty

The past five or so weeks have been completely without routine for us and thanks to the on again, off again house move, full of uncertainty and change. Through out this process I’ve discovered something about myself, I’m not actually very good with change. A little change at a time, well, that’s just fine, I can adapt, but changing every part of my usual routine and life, um, yes, not so much. I’d been rolling with the punches for weeks and then I just couldn’t. At risk of being over dramatic and even with such a positive and exciting change of a new house it’s as if symbolically everything in my life was in a box and someone had come along and tipped it upside down and dumped everything out of it. I’m left staring at it all and wondering where I even start to pick it all up again. That’s not even mentioning the physical things that were packed and unpacked!

You’d think that once we moved into our much longed for and anticipated new home that I’d be happy and settled but actually the opposite seemed to happen. After that initial excitement of moving day, the mister was back at work straight away and I had a new house full of boxes and two hyper children with two long weeks of half term stretched ahead. I was left feeling overwhelmed and completely unsettled. As much as I wanted to put my positive pants on and pull myself together I found it a huge struggle. I cringe at admitting that. It sounds so ungrateful. Please don’t misunderstand me, I love my family, my new home and appreciate them all. My sense of overwhelm went beyond that and was amplified by the guilt I had at feeling it when I ‘shouldn’t’. Working for yourself relies on self motivation first and foremost, so if you are distracted or down it massively impacts everything.

Normally I manage school holidays by working on my laptop in the mornings while the girls laze about in their jamas and then we go out and do something fun in the afternoon. Having no wifi threw a rather large spanner in the works of that plan! For fear of being all ‘first world problem-y’ I realised just how much I rely on wifi to not only work (obviously) but to also feel connected. When we had our wifi disconnected in the weeks runnign up t the move I could work in cafes while the girls were at school so while not ideal it was manageable. When you lone work like I do, the internet is a huge part of where my relationships are. As sad as it might sound you lovely lot are like my work colleagues and having no wifi and limited 4G left me feeling rather disconnected in a place where there was a lot of change going on.

It made complete sense put any work plans and all things ‘Little and Fierce‘ on hold while we waited to move and had no wifi yet now we’re in I’m still struggling to get back on track. Of course, I don’t have that ‘dream workspace‘ yet, in fact it’s more like a desk surrounded by, yes, you’ve guessed it, boxes! Trying to run my store has become problematic as we struggle to figure out where I can store stock, pack orders, etc. This whole thing is making me realise how reliant I am on organisation and order to work and function effectively. It’s like I need it for the head space, if that makes sense?

With the girls back at school this week and finally having wifi and a lot less boxes the sense of overwhelm is beginning to lift. I’ve not done this kind of brain dump post for a while, and even while writing it I’ve felt it help me to clear my head a little and get back on track. Finding a new sense of routine and space to work is beginning to excite rather than daunt me. I have so many plans that have been shelved due to not having the headspace for them before the move, I think now is the time for those tentative first steps towards them.

morganaCraving routine in change and uncertainty
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Our new home #LittleLoves

We’ve moved house!! Hurrah!

You’ll have to bear with me, this won’t be my most detailed Little Loves as we have no wifi and it’s half term so I’ve got my girls. I’m sorry to the bloggers that linked up last week as I didn’t get a chance to go round and read all of the posts. I’m writing this in a cafe with very limited time while the mister takes time off work to have the girls for the morning, so I’m trying to cram in as much work as possible. Let’s be completely honest, my brain is rather mashed from all the stress so forgive my in-eloquence. Still with me?

Here we go then, are you ready for some positivity? Grab a cuppa and enjoy my Little Loves, don’t forget you can read lots of other bloggers’ Little Loves by clicking on the linky at the end.

 

  read 

Very little! I managed to finish The Cows, by Dawn O’Porter just before we moved. Aside from that the only thing I’ve read is the instructions for the washing machine! I loved The Cows and finished it in a matter of days. It’s an easy read and especially captured my imagination as a blogger. One of the central characters is a blogger and there is a lot of content around the impact of social media on our lives as women. This books deserves an indepth review that I in my current sleep deprived frazzled self just cannot deliver at the moment. Just take my word for it when I say it’s good! When I’ve found it in one of the boxes I’m going to re-read The Handmaid’s Tale. Did you watch the first installment of the adaptation on Channel 4 on Sunday?

 

watched

House of Cards is back! As I mentioned earlier we still have no wifi so the mister has managed to download the whole season elsewhere and so we’re rationing it out and limiting ourselves to one episode a night. I’ve blogged about House of Card and my favourite US Dramas on Netflix so head over and have a read if you’re looking for your next binge watch. 

DSC04745.ARW

 On Saturday we had a little treat of lunch on a canal boat. It was booked for us as a Christmas present from my dad and we finally got round to using it. We had a lovely day and the girls were fascinated by the locks we had to pass through, watching the water levels going up and down.

 

MAde

We’ve been very busy this week making our new house into a home, there are still so many boxes and mess everywhere but I’m so happy that we’re in and the girls have been loving playing out in the sunshine. I swear E has spent most of the time scooting up and down our driveway!

wore

I’m working with a lovely clothing company at the moment and squeezed in a mini shoot for them on Sunday in between church and packing the kitchen! I can’t wait to share the photos with you. Here’s a tiny preview, this photo was actually taken by N, my nine year old who has now decided she wants to be a photographer!

 

heard

I’ve been listening to the radio in the kitchen quite a bit this week, so it’s been the eclectic sounds of BBC 6 Music that’s provided this weeks soundtrack for me. Here are a few stand out tracks that had E and I dancing around.

I caught Haim on the radio 1 breakfast show while driving yesterday morning and they sounded like so much fun. Listening to them chat reminded me how long it had been since I’d listened to any of their music, so of course as soon as I got to Starbucks they were my working soundtrack.

and lastly

Sorry, for the lack of photos in this post, especially for the lack of new house spam, I’m sure I’ll make it for it once we’re a bit more settled and have wifi again.

Normally I share a collage of nine of my favourites from the #littleloves community on Instagram but I’ve changed things up and now just choosing one each week, and probably a few more on Stories. If you’re on Instagram and want to join in, it’s so easy just use the hashtag #littleloves on any photo that shows something little that you love – so that can be pretty much anything! I then share my favourites from the week on here and on my Instagram every Friday.

coffeeworksleep instagram

**********

Fancy joining in?

Just copy the headings and use them as prompts in a blog post then link up below and let me know!



Don’t forget to show some love to the fellow bloggers sharing the little things that they’ve loved this week, by having a read and commenting on their posts too. Be sure to use the hashtag #littleloves if you’re on twitter so we can all keep an eye out for the posts and promote each others.

Here’s my badge if you fancy popping it on your post:

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat
(this post contains affiliate links, marked with *)
 

morganaOur new home #LittleLoves
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Must See US Dramas On Netflix – My Top 5

All work and no play can make one a rather dull girl, so when I want to relax Netflix is often where I turn. There are so many films and programmes on there it can be overwhelming and difficult to know where to even begin. I get so many requests on social media for recommendations on what to watch that I thought I’d do a series of posts dedicated to various genres with what I think are must see series or films. I’ve already shared my favourite comedies now it’s the turn of my must see US dramas on Netflix, I also include a few more at the end that are lesser known but in my opinion just as worthy, and yes, I included them because I couldn’t narrow it down to just 5!

US Dramas on Netflix must see

House Of Cards

 

This is US drama at it’s absolute finest, from the breaks to the fourth wall with Frank Underwood’s monologues to the casting and script, it is exceptional. My husband recommended this series to me after he began to binge his way through it. I loved it so much I ended up overtaking and beating him to the end! I’ve been desperate for the next season ever since, thankfully the wait is nearly over as Season 5 airs May 30th. If you like your dramas gripping, political and cutthroat then this will be heaven.

Watch House Of Cards on Netflix

Seen it? Liked it? Try Homeland, The Killing, The Good Wife

Breaking Bad

Okay, so if you haven’t seen this one, where on earth have you been? Seriously though I wasn’t sure whether to include this one as I imagine most have seen it already, but I in good conscience I can’t have a top 5 and not have it in there. If you haven’t seen it and you like your dramas gritty with some humour thrown in then this is really a must watch. I can count on one hand the number of people I know that don’t like it so I urge you to give it a go.

Watch Breaking Bad on Netflix

Seen it? Liked it? Try Better Call Saul (though I personally didn’t like this spin off), Walking Dead, Bloodline, Dexter, Narcos

 

Orange Is The New Black

Orange Is The New Black Season 5

This is another iconic series, and I think one of the first things I watched when I signed up to Netflix, is the outrageous OITNB. Set in a female prison, it certainly caused quite a stir with it’s strong female cast and explicit sex scenes, not to mention it’s dialogue on race, religion and sexuality. I binged season 1 and 2 and eagerly awaited season 3 but I must admit I think it was the weakest season and I was rather disappointed with it, as plot wise it felt that nothing much happened. It found it’s feet in season 4 though and certainly didn’t pull any punches.

If you’re all up to date and an avid fan you’ll be pleased to read that Season 5 hits Netflix June 9th.

Watch Orange is the New Black on Netflix.

Seen it? Liked it? Try Breaking Bad, Narcos, How To Get Away With Murder

The OA

THE OA

I will openly admit that this is a Marmite kind of choice, I personally loved this series but I also know a whole lot of people that would disagree with me rather vehemently. If you like your thrillers gritty and supernatural then this is one for you.

Prairie Johnson, a missing blind girl, returns to the community she grew up in with her sight restored. Some hail her a miracle, others a dangerous mystery, but Prairie won’t talk about her seven missing years with anyone except four teenage boys whom she tells her story to in order to recruit them for a mission.

Watch The OA on Netflix

Seen it? Liked it? Try – Stranger Things, Sens8, Orphan Black (though this isn’t a US drama), The Returned, Travellers

Stranger Things

I cannot begin to express how much I loved Stranger Things, it took everything in me not to stay up all night and binge watch the whole lot. Instead we rationed it out, one episode a night, and I was still utterly bereft when we finished it. Like The OA it is science fiction, but if you science fiction normally isn’t your thing then please do not let that put you off. The young cast are phenomenal, a group of young boys set out to find their missing friend and uncover so much more than they and the town bargain for. It’s iconic and and a must see for any 80s/90s kid purely for the nostalgia, and well, Winona Ryder at her absolute best.

Watch Stranger Things on Netflix

Seen it? Liked it? Try – Travellers, Black Mirror, The OA

 

Now I’ve shared my must see US dramas on Netflix I’ll be sharing my favourite UK dramas soon, so keep an eye out for that one. Looking for something funny instead? Then check out my comedy recommendations by clicking the button below.

Top 5 comedies on netflix

What do you think of my choices?

Have you seen any of them?

 

morganaMust See US Dramas On Netflix – My Top 5
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A much needed reflection on the lovely little things #LittleLoves

What an awfully sad week, I hate that it feels that I’m writing that at the start of a Little Loves post more and more. With the attack in Manchester, a city just down the road from me, it’s been hard to focus on even the smallest of tasks, let alone write a whole blog post dedicated to lovely little things and positivity. It’s just felt so very close to home with many affected being friends and their relatives. I don’t want this to sound trite but like I’ve said so many times before though, it’s at times like this that I need to focus on those things no matter how difficult or even how small they are.  

Here we go then, are you ready for some positivity? Grab a cuppa and enjoy my Little Loves, don’t forget you can read lots of other bloggers’ Little Loves by clicking on the linky at the end.

 

  read 

Something unexpected really cheered me up and put a smile on my face on Wednesday. I was scrolling through twitter for news when I came across this trending hashtag #BritishThreatLevels I braced myself for the worst and clicked on it. Unexpectedly it was a British response to difficulty, a whole load of tweets about typically British awkward situations, for example ‘Saying “bless you” when someone sneezes only for them to sneeze again leaving you stranded in etiquette limbo’. Honestly, if you need a laugh then head over and have a read.

I’ve finally finished The Essex Serpent and started The Cows, it’s amazing how much reading you can get done when you don’t have any wifi at home! Both books are wonderful though wildly different, with The Essex Serpent* you are enveloped into Victorian Britain and drawn into an interesting dialogue of faith and science through such intriguing characters and the narrative of a mythical beast in the river. I found it fascinating and really loved it. The Cows by Dawn O’Porter* is an easy and engaging read following three British women, with one being a blogger! I’m half way through and enjoying so far. I’ll do a better review next week when I’ve finished it.

The Cows, Dawn O'Porter

Kerry has written Part 2 of her series on Instagram props and hashtags and if you’re an Instagram fan it’s worth a read and bookmarking for future reference. You can read it here.

 

watched

Last Friday season 3 of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was released on Netflix, unfortunately this coincided with the day that our wifi switch off in preparation for our house move (that didn’t happen – don’t ask). Luckily I managed to sneakily download it while sat in a well known coffee chain. It was just the remedy for the frustration and disappointment I was feeling. You can’t feel blue while watching it, it’s impossible. Titus’ spoof of Beyonce’s Lemonade is just something else.

With my husband away on a Stag Do, and my youngest at a sleepover, my eldest and I decided to have a girls film night. Now, not having wifi did stump us for a bit but a quick trip to Sainsburys remedied that and we managed to pick up My Girl and Little Women, for just £3 each.

Armed with popcorn and dairy-free chocolate we had a movie marathon all tucked up in my bed. It made me so happy to see her enjoy each film just as much as I did when I first watched them. In fact, she loved Little Women so much she watched it again the next day! I’ve ordered the book for her, I mean just look at the cover!

 

MAde

My eldest daughter ‘made’ me proud over the weekend by competing in her second triathlon, 6 lengths of the pool, 4km bike and 1.2 km run. She did so well, and is looking forward to her next one – the crazy thing!

We are attempting to make vegan yeast free pizza’s this weekend, I really hope we find a recipe that works and a dairy free cheese we like. I miss pizza so much!

 

wore

I don’t have any outfits worth sharing, to be honest, clothes have been the furthest from my mind this week. I did order a new pin from Veronica Dearly and got this badge with my order!

You can see the whole pin badge collection at Veronica Dearly. I love supporting independent brands, businesses and makers and have been so sad to hear of so many of my favourites closing down. I’ve written about how you can support small businesses, and as a long suffering online retailer myself I would urge you to give it a quick read. I think I need to write some round up posts of my favourite makers and shops, would that be something you’d read?

 

heard

Podcasts wise I really enjoyed the final Blogtacular interview, Kat speaks to the founders of Tatty Devine, Rosie Wolfenden MBE and Harriet MBE. I wasn’t up for listening to any business coaching talks this week so this was a perfect replacement. You can listen to it for yourself here. The only downside is that it reminds me that I’m not going to Blogtacular this year, which I’m truly gutted about. Unfortunately the mister was quicker off the mark than me and had already booked the Leeds Triathlon. Honestly, they are taking over our lives, next year will be my year I’ll make sure of it… to go to conferences that is, not to do triathlons!!

As for music I’ve had such a mix on in the background, from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, to Deathcab, to Royal Blood. Having no wifi has meant I’ve been listening to the radio more at home. I love 6 Music and wish I could have it in my car.

 

and lastly

An update on the move: We had our mortgage approved, and as long as everything runs smoothly today we’ll be moving next Thursday. It’s been a long time coming! As we are hopefully completing today it means that we have access to the house from then onwards so keep an eye on my social media, especially IG Stories as I’m sure I’ll be doing some sneak peaks on there.

Normally I share a collage of nine of my favourites from the #littleloves community on Instagram but I’ve changed things up and now just choosing one each week. Partly this is because I don’t like having a grid photo on my feed (!!) but also I get bored easily and like to shake things up a bit! So head on over and see which photo is being featured this week. I’ll probably share a few more over on IG Stories. If you’re on Instagram and want to join in, it’s so easy just use the hashtag #littleloves on any photo that shows something little that you love – so that can be pretty much anything! I then share my favourites from the week on here and on my Instagram every Friday.

coffeeworksleep instagram

**********

Fancy joining in?

Just copy the headings and use them as prompts in a blog post then link up below and let me know!



Don’t forget to show some love to the fellow bloggers sharing the little things that they’ve loved this week, by having a read and commenting on their posts too. Be sure to use the hashtag #littleloves if you’re on twitter so we can all keep an eye out for the posts and promote each others.

Here’s my badge if you fancy popping it on your post:

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat
(this post contains affiliate links, marked with *)
 

morganaA much needed reflection on the lovely little things #LittleLoves
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Easy ways to support the little guy and shop independent

I was brought up to value the independent seller over the supermarket. My mum shunned plastic bags and used a ‘bag for life’ before they were even called that. Bags in hand, each Saturday we’d traipse along our local town and visit the butcher, the green grocer, we didn’t have much money but my mum wanted to support them rather than the highstreet – don’t get me wrong though, she’d still have her eye on a bargain and negotiate the price! As the daughter of a shop owner she knew it was people like her that kept these businesses alive.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve seen some lovely online independent clothing stores close their doors. It’s getting harder and harder for independents to stay affloat, importing from Europe has become a costing nightmare and competing with cut throat highsteet stores that rip off independent brand designs and reproduce them in bigger volumes at a lower quality meaning they can massive undercut independents has left so many brands and stores in the dust. Don’t get me wrong I shop in big stores both online and on the highstreet, and have been putting my money in the hands of big corporations more and more. It’s often cheaper and more convenient to pick up something in a shop or Amazon Prime that thing you ‘need’ to arrive the next day. We all have budgets to stick to and buying some bespoke rather than mass produced off the shelf is becoming more and more of a luxury. This is something that as an indie business owner myself I am acutely aware of and it’s showing in a massive drop of traffic and orders to my own shop. As a accessories retailer I can’t compete with the likes of H&M and Claires on price and convenience. This has got me thinking, and I want to share with you little ways you can help support small businesses no matter your budget.

Have you got friends that run indie businesses? 

I would imagine that everyone reading this can think of someone in their friendship group that has an indie business, whether they own small highstreet shop, are a freelance illustrator or Etsy shop owner. Why not think of ways you can promote them and support their venture. If you can’t afford their products or they offer a service or something not relevant to you then maybe you could share their facebook page on your timeline to help them reach potential customers. Or if you’re on twitter or another form of social media then do a shout out. Or simply ask how their business is and if there’s anything you can do to support them. I love it when my customers share their purchases on social media and tag my store in it or a family member shares my facebook page to their timeline. These little things all help get my business a wider audience and hopefully more customers.

Looking for a gift for a friend?

Before you jump on Amazon or visit your highstreet have a look for a smaller seller, to make it easier you can look via Etsy or Not On The Highstreet. If you really dislike online shopping and prefer to see something in ‘real life’ before buying it then look for independent gift shops in your area, ask around, there is bound to be one you can support. Spend some time one evening searching online and finding some independents. If you’re still not sure where to start then I’m more than happy to recommend shops if you’re stuck, just give me a shout on social media or leave a comment. Take a look at my Start Up Stories for some inspiration too!

 

Visit markets and craft fairs

There is a growing trend of craft fairs and markets springing up, whether it’s selling vintage, nearly new, or hand made products there are so many more events happening now. Ask around, have a search on facebook and then pop down and see what’s on offer.

 

Think quality over quantity

It’s so tempting to go on fast fashion shopping sprees and buy a load of clothes that we will probably only wear once because hey, they didn’t cost much, so it doesn’t matter. Don’t get me wrong, I’m talking to myself here as well. Fast fashion has become such a norm in our society that we don’t even realise how much it permeates our choices and how we spend our money. I’m trying more and more to buy less throwaway clothes / homeware and instead think whether we really need it. It’s a steep learning curve but I think a necessary one, not only for supporting small businesses but for the environment as well as ethically.

 

Of course all our purchases can’t be via independent sellers, especially if we’re on a tight budget, but even on a restrictive budget there are things we can do to shop small and support indie businesses. Hopefully in reading this post you’ll be inspired to support makers and and creatives in a way that works for you. And don’t forget often when you buy from or support a small business you are helping an individual provide for their families and not just lining the pockets of share holders and big corporations. When people buy from me or invest in my blog they help pay for things like my daughter’s ballet lessons.

 

Image credit – @thepastelfox

Do you think it’s important to support independent businesses?

Have you get more to add to my list?

morganaEasy ways to support the little guy and shop independent
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Vegan brownie bites, Circa Waves and still being surrounded by boxes #littleloves

This week has been like living in limbo land while we’ve sat surrounded by boxes waiting on confirmation of our move day… and I’m frustrating so say that we’re still waiting. Honestly, when we finally get in this house I’ll never move again! I’ll tell you something I’ve needed to write this post to remind me of the good little things and distract me. 

Here we go then, are you ready for some positivity? Grab a cuppa and enjoy my Little Loves, don’t forget you can read lots of other bloggers’ Little Loves by clicking on the linky at the end.

 

  read 

I’m about half way through The Essex Serpent now and it’s a really enjoyable read. It’s a slow burner but that’s perfect for me as I just don’t have the time for a gripping thriller style book at the moment.

 

Blog post wise, here are a few I’ve found particularly interesting this week.

This blog post popped up on my twitter timeline and I couldn’t help clicking over and having a read. The writer has been through such a similar experience to me and I really appreciated how honest and heart filled her post was. Threads – Hopeful, faith filled doubting 

This one is from my friend Kerry over at Noah and The Girls on Instagram prop ideas and hashtags, definitely worth reading and bookmarking. Read it here

instagram prop and hashtag ideas

Photo credit – Noah and the Girls

 

Speaking of Kerry, she actually called my attention to the following blog post by Sara Tasker (yep, I’m mentioning he again!). Sara introduces a term she’s created that I definitely would subscribe to – ‘Webtrovert’ I love this post so much I’m already writing a blog post inspired by it. Have a read for yourself here, I’d love to know if you’re one too.

 

watched

We’ve discovered a new comedy on Channel 4 called Loaded. It has lots of parallels to the US comedy, Silicon Valley, in that it’s based around a group of guys and their tech start up. This one however has that particular brand of British self deprecating comedy that I love. It’s such a good easy watch and one that both the mister and I have been enjoying equally.

Netflix wise I’ve got two recommendations this week, first up is Master Of None, the brain child of comedian Aziz Ansari. I loved Aziz in Parks and Recreation and also enjoyed the first season of Master of None. I think though, that I enjoyed season two even more. Centred around the character Dev, played by Aziz himself, living in Italy learning to make pasta after a difficult break up. He does head back to New York as the season goes on and there’s plenty of subtle observational analysis in relation to religion, culture and relationships,something that both cinematically and script wise, that Aziz and the team behind the show do so well.

 

Next up is Anne with an E, the Netflix original take on Anne of Green Gables. I know this series has caused a stir with Anne of Green Gables fans causing such a polar opposite takes on the show. I read the books when I was younger and adored them so I was keen to see how it would be adapted for tv now. I’ll admit I didn’t watch the 80s mini series and it seems that most who did and who hold it dear are not happy with this current adaptation. It’s definitely bleaker than I remember the books to be and Anne is slightly less endearing as I envisioned her, but I am enjoying this different take on it, not to mention the cinematography and high standard of acting.

ANNE_Key_Image1B_MM.jpg

 

MAde

Since the eldest and I have been diagnosed with our food intolerances I haven’t attempted any baking. My daughter can’t have dairy, yeast or egg white so that makes a lot of baked goods a no-go. This week, however, I decided to give my usual chocolate cupcakes recipe a bit of a change up and try it without dairy or eggs. I subbed the butter for dairy free margarine and the eggs for mashed avocado and chucked in some ground almonds. Thankfully they turned out rather well, though more like brownies – vegan brownie bites. Once I’ve perfected the recipe and measured stuff out poWhen we’ve moved I’ll definitely be experimenting more, I want to try yeast free pizza bases next.

I’ve also made an appointment to get my first ever tattoo, needless to say I’m excited and scared in equal measure! I’m not getting it until next month, so I’ve got a few weeks to prepare myself, and wonder why I haven’t started with something smaller..! Any tips will be gratefully received.

 

wore

This week I’ve finally replaced the cargo jacket that I grudgingly got rid of earlier in the year. The only reason it went is because it was starting to fade in certain places and well, I’d had it since N was tiny! I spotted this one in H&M and naughtily impulse bought it. 

Utility Jacket – H&M Conscious Collection

 

heard

This isn’t a band I’m particularly aware of but one of their songs came on the radio on the school run the other day and I really enjoyed it, so Circa Waves have been on my Spotify ever since.

I’m currently working my way through Jen Carrington’s – Make it Happen Season 5 Podcast and finding it so helpful. I’ve got so many plans and big ideas that I can’t wait to get started on. I need to get the house move done with and out of my brain first though. 

 

and lastly

 We’ve had a busy few days and the mister is still away and not due back until very late Saturday night before doing a triathlon with the eldest the following day. The littlest is at a sleepover on Saturday so I’m looking forward to some quality time with my eldest and lots of dairy free goodies. If our wifi doesn’t cut off then I’ll be introducing her to My Girl and perhaps squeezing in Rogue One too.

Normally I share a collage of nine of my favourites from the #littleloves community on Instagram but I’ve changed things up and now just choosing one each week. Partly this is because I don’t like having a grid photo on my feed (!!) but also I get bored easily and like to shake things up a bit! So head on over and see which photo is being featured this week. I’ll probably share a few more over on IG Stories. If you’re on Instagram and want to join in, it’s so easy just use the hashtag #littleloves on any photo that shows something little that you love – so that can be pretty much anything! I then share my favourites from the week on here and on my Instagram every Friday.

coffeeworksleep instagram

**********

Fancy joining in?

Just copy the headings and use them as prompts in a blog post then link up below and let me know!



Don’t forget to show some love to the fellow bloggers sharing the little things that they’ve loved this week, by having a read and commenting on their posts too. Be sure to use the hashtag #littleloves if you’re on twitter so we can all keep an eye out for the posts and promote each others.

Here’s my badge if you fancy popping it on your post:

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat
(this post contains affiliate links)
 

morganaVegan brownie bites, Circa Waves and still being surrounded by boxes #littleloves
read more