Not ready for summer? 

Spring has sprung and it’s time to start thinking about summer, which means summer holidays, summer clothes and swimwear. 

I’ll admit it now, a few weeks ago I panicked and thought I’m not ready for summer. My skin is as white as Casper, in fact it’s so white it’s almost transparent. I’m definitely too overweight to feel comfortable in summer dresses and don’t even get me started about putting a bikini on. 

After having a children my body confidence has dropped dramatically. I have a belly roll that I can’t see to shift, my boobs have gone south and anything that can give those things a help in hand is welcomed with open arms! 

Last year I discovered an amazing vintage inspired swimwear brand called For Luna Swimwear. When I browsed their website I was like a kid in a sweet shop, choosing my favourite was near on impossible. 


For Luna not only sell ridiculously flattering all in one swimsuits, they do two piece bikinis and accessories too. 


When I chose my first swimsuit from For Luna I picked the cherry all in one and I couldn’t wait for it to arrive. I never in a million years anticipated it would be such outstanding quality. It had boning, support, and most importantly it really flattered my post baby body. I felt amazing in it. 


Now when I go swimming with my boys I don’t panic about getting my body out. I actually feel confident in my swimsuit which is something I never thought would happen without a tummy tuck and a gym membership. 

Now I have two swimsuits from For Luna and I can’t wait to wear my new green one on the spa day we have booked once my broken leg has healed! 

In case you haven’t already entered, in running a giveaway on my Instagram page @iamhayleystuart. All you need to do is follow myself and For Luna, like the post and tag three friends to be in with a chance to win a For Luna swimsuit of your choice! 

Competition ends tonight (sun 19th) at 8pm! Don’t miss out! 

Until next time 

Hayley x 

A passion for fashion…

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited along to a Fashion styling event hosted by a lovely lady called Melissa Murrell at a very cool boutique in Stockbridge, Hampshire called Hero. You can visit Hero’s online store here.


Melissa Murrell runs her own styling company as well as a styling academy for aspiring stylists, teaching you about the rules of styling different body shapes and how to create a dream career from your passion for fashion. Find out more here.


The event I attended gave me an insight of what Melissa can offer. As a fashion lover I already knew some of the things we spoke about from watching years of Trinny and Susanna and Gok Wan, but one thing I did realise was that I wasn’t applying the knowledge I had gained to my own body shape. I was in fact just buying things I loved rather than buying things that flatter me. It has certainly made me think about how to compliment my shape.


Melissa explained about all the different body shapes and how some people can be a combination of two. We looked at different items of clothing and what is and isn’t flattering. She told us about how she had changed clients lives and given them not only the confidence to wear well styled outfits but the confidence to enjoy shopping again.

If you LOVE fashion and would love to embrace a flexible, rewarding career in fashion Styling then please check out Melissa’s courses here . They are only three days and you’ll be a qualified stylist on completion! Sounds good to me!

Hayley x

 

 

 

 

 

Men vs Women…

It’s true what they say… Men are from Mars and women are from Venus.

Will we ever truly understand each other? Was it meant to be a life of game playing to get what we want? Were Adam and Eve actually meant to be Adam and Steve? These are questions I want to know the answer to, because as much as I know my husband as a person, I will probably never understand men.

Let’s look at stereotypes. Men are strong, muscular, hard working, good at DIY…

Women are sensitive, caring, nurturing and great at gossiping.

However these typical stereotypes don’t apply to all, which is where the confusion sets in. Women are in fact very strong, a lot of us are independent, and dare I say it, good at DIY.

Betty White once said…

Why do people say “grow some balls”? Balls are weak and sensitive. If you wanna be tough, grow a vagina. Those things can take a pounding.

In our house I do all the housework, apart from take the bin out, that is definitely a mans job. I ‘work’ two days a week at an IT distributor and the remaining five I do my other job which is to look after my two boys and keep the housework under control.

I’m making it sound easy, it’s not. I hate it when people (men) at work make comments about the lack of days I work, like I swan about drinking coffee with my friends when I’m not there. Even my own husband doesn’t really have a clue how challenging being a full time mum and house wife is.

The reason I call it a job, is because I am in fact not just a mother, but a teacher, a nurse, a cleaner, a chef (I use that term loosely,) an entertainer, a laundry person (think dot cotton!) do I need to go on…?

Jordan, my husband, is a scaffolder and has a very physically strenuous job. Hats off to the guy, he is very hard working and I couldn’t do his job in a million years. The only time I kept my hat on was in the final hour of established labour with Mack and I could hear him in the background banging on about scaffolding to a midwife! I’m not going to lie, at that moment in time I had never hated him more, he is just lucky he was on the other side of the room! As strong and hardworking as he is, I don’t believe he could do my job in a million years either. He does actually admit this after spending just a few hours with our children.

We’re built differently, and although most men can take the physical strain of hard work, women are more often able to take the mental strain.

Having said that, if I have to take the mental strain of his multiple choice answers which consist of “don’t mind love”, “you choose” and “not fussed” every time I ask what he wants for dinner, I will probably check myself in to an asylum.


When I serve him up a plate of shit, I’m sure he will start having an opinion.

Actually, those answers apply to every question I ask him that requires a decision. So that’s another one for the list of things woman are good at;

  • Decision making (because we have no choice)

There are things I’m glad he has zero opinion about though. Our wedding for one. Let’s just say it was just as much of a surprise to Jordan as it was to our guests. That’s fine though, my mum and I had a great time planning it. The only time I needed his help was de-coding all of his mates ridiculous nicknames so I could do the table plan.

The other is interiors. I’m not sure if he stays out of it because he genuinely doesn’t care, or if he just hasn’t got a clue, either way it’s for the best. His idea of a nice living room is a black lazy boy chair (never happening) surround sound, a cinema sized TV and probably a fridge so he doesn’t have to move.

He jokes about my little vintage finds and calls them old tat, but I’m sure he likes them really!

I actually read something once, if you want your husband to do something for you, touch their…… arm (don’t know what you were thinking of 😉) whilst asking and they are more likely to do it. Also, turning something around so they believe it was their idea to begin with also works wonders! Think of them like little pets you have to train… A bit like a tamagotchi.

There are two things I know for sure though, when we become girlfriends/wives we 100% replace their mothers! And the other thing is that men can under absolutely no circumstance, multi task!

I mean I’m writing this whilst making dinner… Check me!!!

All men need to do to keep a women happy is,

  • Surprise us (flowers, chocolate, dinner)
  • Appreciate us and all that we do
  • Make us laugh
  • Decide what you want for friggin dinner!
  • Let us choose the decor (unless you are the straight version of Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen) but even then it’s questionable.

Keeping a man happy is pretty easy

  • Keep their stomachs full
  • Keep their testicals empty 😝

Until next time

Hayley x

Declutter your life…

You know what they say… ‘A tidy house, a tidy mind.’ For me this is so true so today I have been decluttering…

To be honest I have been feeling bogged down by all the junk we have accumulated in our house and avoided sorting through it because if you have kids you will know it’s hard to concentrate on one task for a length of time without being distracted by the ‘little darlings’.

TOYS…

Toys are the bane of my life! They are everywhere and I hate all the little bits that are at the bottom of the toy box where you have no idea which toy they belong to. Luckily I have two children of the same gender and of a similar age, so they are starting to play with the same toys which potentially means they can be halved (I can dream!) My youngest, Mack is approaching two and a half, so out of that baby stage, yet we still seem to have an abundance of baby toys dominating every storage box. Today I have learnt a few things so here are some tips for decluttering toys…

1. Make sure the kids aren’t around.

So I messed up on this one. In my head my plan was to remove anything remotely babyish and get rid. By get rid I don’t mean chuck in the bin (unless broken) but rather put it in to boxes so it can be sold at a car boot or dropped off at the charity shop. However my boys noticed what I was doing and started getting the toys I had put in the ‘get rid’ box out and saying ‘hey this is mine.’ I admit it, it pulled on the heart strings a bit, which is why I suggest doing it alone!

2. Ensure you have plenty of storage.

Boxes, boxes and more boxes. We have a huge wicker toy box, and loads of other canvas ones to store toys in. The boys both have a cube unit thingy from IKEA (you know the one) so they are full of toys too. I also store things like puzzles and train sets in vintage suitcases. I have put all but the wicker toys box, in their rooms now so less toys downstairs hooray!


Images Pinterest 

3. Have a system.

When you put things away, group similar items together and store in their own boxes. For example, fancy dress, Lego, puzzles, playmobil. This will make tidying up easier because you will know where it all goes.

The living room.
In case you didn’t already know, I have two new sofas on the way (well in about 5 weeks or so) which means a complete living room makeover. We don’t have much clutter in the living room but we do have a sideboard which of course is mainly full of the shite you don’t know where to put. The drawers are stuffed full of those shitty kinder egg toys, old batteries, and other useless junk. I can’t even list what’s in it, which is a bad sign. I wish I could just tip the drawers in to the wheelie bin, but I have that fear that there might be something I need in there.

I will be decluttering the living room in preparation for its makeover, and will be going by ONE SINGLE RULE… if it’s not pretty or practical, it’s going!!!

Bedroom…

This is one I’ll probably have to dedicate a child free day to! I would blame being a woman but my husband is just as bad, we are both guilty of having loads of  clothes we don’t wear and will probably never wear. I need to remove the ‘just in case’ thoughts from my mind and just be ruthless.

I will put the clothes, shoes and bags in to four categories..

eBay

Carboot

Clothes bin thingy up at tesco

Bin

I know once it’s all done I will feel so much better, and being organised always makes me feel like I have loads more time on my hands.

Now that the toys are out of the way, and my bench will need to be moved for the new sofas, I have decided to bring back the dining room! 👏🏼


If you have any tips for decluttering and organising then please share them with me, either comment on this post or on my Instagram @bettyscottage.

Until next time

Hayley X

Birchbox 

One of my New Years resolutions was to pay myself a bit more attention… Like I used to before I had children.

I have lost a bit of weight, spent more money on clothes than the previous 4 years and have started to enjoy make up again.
You probably don’t know this about me but I am actually a qualified Make Up Artist, I used to be obsessed with make up and beauty products but as I’ve got older and my priorities have changed, I’ve found myself sticking to the same old products and routines, which are quite frankly a bit dated and pretty damn dull.

I’ve heard a lot about Birchbox so thought I’d bite the bullet and give it a try. For those of you that may not know, Birchbox is a subscription box that is sent to your house monthly, full of make up, skin and beauty products for you to try. It’s around £10 a month depending on which subscription you choose and in my opinion is an absolutely bargain for what you get.

Click below to subscribe and you will get £5 to spend in the Birchbox store…

Subscribe to Birchbox

Now who wouldn’t want a little parcel in the post every month?!

For July’s box, Birchbox colloborated with Millie Mackintosh and they named it ‘Never ending summer’

When I signed up, I filled in a really quick survey about myself so that the products I am sent will be suitable for my skin type, hair colour etc.

This is what was inside the box…


As soon as I opened the box I tested the lipstick. It’s not normally a shade I would choose as I’m more of a red lipstick gal, but it’s nice for day time, as it’s quite sheer so not too heavy.



I’m in my 30’s so anti ageing products are something I’m having to explore. Although I’m lucky enough not to be showing too many signs of ageing YET, I know they will creep up on me so I think it’s important to take procedures sooner rather than later.

This evening I have tried out the collagen mask. I was excited to see this because my skin is quite dry so anything that smooths it is a winner. I was also interested to see if it would lift and firm my skin like it claims to…

I’m not going to lie, the mask made me look like a complete twat and my 2 year old asked who I was meant to be, but the overall results were great.


My skin feels fresh and definitely more hydrated, and I’d be lying if I said my face didn’t feel firmer. I’m impressed!

I am yet to give the anti wrinkle protect fluid a try as I only received it today, but I will put it on tonight and if I don’t wake up in the morning looking like a fresh faced teenager then I will be demanding a refund!! Only joking… I will just have to update you on my progress!

I hardly ever paint my nails, for 2 reasons… I don’t have time to maintain the ‘chipping’ and secondly, I don’t have the patience to wait for it to dry!
Having said that, I love the navy coloured nails inc nail varnish I received in the box so I have given it a try…


It was easy to apply, and dried surprisingly fast! Remember I’m behind the times with this beauty lark so maybe the science behind nail varnish drying times has advanced since I used to wear it.

I will be painting my toe nails with it tonight…

Last but not least I received a full sized ‘frizz ease’ serum. This is perfect for me because I have thick, wild, curly, frizzy hair before the GHD’s come out to play! I haven’t tried it yet but I am excited to see if it tames my beast of a Barnet in the morning!


Inside the box was this nifty little drawstring bag as well…


So if like me, you need to give yourself a bit of a beauty boost and can spare £10 a month, I would totally recommend treating yourself and signing up to Birchbox.

Remember if you sign up via this link Subscribe to Birchbox you will receive £5 to spend in the Birchbox shop, where you can buy more make up and beauty bits.

Until next time,

Hayley x

A Pair of Hunts…

On Friday I witnessed one of my oldest (not literally) friends get married.

When I was born, we lived in Christchurch, Dorset and had the most wonderful neighbours. I know this because even after we moved to Hampshire when I was just a few months old, we kept in close contact and our families had the most treasured friendship and still do.

The now Mr and Mrs Hunt (Simon and Michelle) got married in Simon’s home village Piddletrenthide in Dorset.

They had a beautiful church ceremony, with the most passionate priest who spoke in detail about love and what it means. The whole church felt full of love and pride.

Michelle wore a beautiful lace gown with the most amazing intricate flower crown and bouquet to compliment it.

I would describe Michelle as a bundle of fun with a relaxed boho style and this was reflected in her choice of bridal attire. She looked effortless. Beautiful…

Simon wore a smart navy 3 piece suit with an orange tie and a huge smile that never left his face!!

The reception was at a barn owned by Simon’s parents. They had transformed a cattle barn in to an amazing wedding venue and their efforts certainly didn’t go unnoticed.

Their bold colour scheme was purple and orange, which worked incredibly well. The flowers were stunning and distributed all over the venue adding pops of colour wherever you looked.

My clever dad made the couple a photo booth in the style of a barn door which looked amazing and created a fun way to take snaps of Simon and Michelle’s big day.


If you are a regular reader of my blog you will know I have been on a diet for the last month (12lbs lost) so I was really looking forward to scoffing my face at this wedding and I basically inhaled the canopies that were being passed around!

The wedding breakfast was BBQ food which was delicious and I couldn’t have had a better ‘cheat meal.’


Instead of having a formal dessert, Michelle and Simon pre arranged some of the guests to take part in a ‘bake off.’ I thought this was an absolutely amazing idea and it meant a large variety of dessert options for us all to enjoy!

They had a cake made of loads of different cheeses and I was absolutely devastated that I had no more room in my stomach to squeeze some in!


The main wedding cake was made by http://www.abbystrulyscrumptiouscakes.co.uk/ and I think you can all agree it speaks for itself! 👌🏼

I wore a red, off the shoulder dress from Zara which I adore and looking for an excuse to wear it again! ❤️

I always love going to weddings but I have to say this was one of my all time favourites!

Congratulations to the newlyweds, Mr and Mrs Hunt, I know you will have a long, happy life together.


And I’m sure they won’t mind me sharing that if you want a little peek at their pics check out the hashtags #apairofhunts 😆

A little bit of freedom goes a long way…

So as you already know I am a homeware addict. I’m constantly changing room decor and always on the look out for things to buy.

However just recently I’ve taken my focus off of homeware and started to focus on myself instead.

I never go out looking a mess but I probably don’t make the best of myself.

In my last post I wrote about ‘the no dinner diet’ that I’m doing. I’ve managed to lose 8lbs so far and I’m feeling so much more confident. I’ve even started to wear my hair down more (which takes a good hour to do.) It’s very thick and curly, and I look like Tina Turner before I get the straighteners on it! So many people have paid me compliments which of course is always welcomed, although I’m shit at accepting them.

I bought some size 12 petite jeans the other week that were a bit tight when I tried them on. I nearly took them back but I decided to try them on again on Friday and the fit was lovely! They felt great!

It’s amazing how a little weight loss can boost your confidence and allow you to feel happier within yourself.

This week I have felt desperate for some me time. Being a mum is hard work and sometimes it gets the better of me, especially when I’m due on. Just having a day to myself every now and then is a big deal so I try to soak up every second of freedom.

My parents very kindly had the boys over night last night and took them for a day out today.

So I put some fake tan on last night and dyed my hair today. It was meant to be red, but the only thing it coloured was my scalp and the bathroom! Bit annoyed now because I did actually like the colour my hair was before. Why do I do things like this?! 😫

I also met some friends for Brunch at Molly’s den (vintage warehouse) in Winchester this morning. We laughed because the two ladies I was with have both seen my ‘nu nu.’ No we didn’t have a lesbian encounter, they are midwives. One of them delivered Rex and the other one sewed me up afterwards! Awk!! 😳

Normally I’d be like a child in a sweet shop somewhere like Molly’s den, but instead I had a little look and then made a move. There is nothing I want at the moment apart from Botox and lip fillers! 😂

Jokes aside, I’m enjoying paying myself a bit of attention. I’m going to carry on with my diet and spend a bit of money on a new wardrobe!

Don’t worry I’m sure they’ll be some homeware purchases as well, I can’t go cold turkey on its arse! I’ll be sure to share them with you.

Thanks for reading.

Much love

Hayley x