Thursday, 19 February 2015

A Coastal Life For Me - Restoring Calm Into My Life

Since losing my Mum to cancer back in September 2006 life has been pretty rocky. There have been many storms pass through my life and at times I have felt like the whole world was literally crashing down around me. The grief of losing my mum was almost too much to cope with and within four months of losing her, my marriage broke down. I admit, I was a complete mess.

Within a year I became much stronger and I let my husband back in to share my grief. We needed to start over again, so we packed up our house and moved away to live in a tiny fisherman's cottage that overlooked the Torridge estuary in Appledore, North Devon.

This remote village beside the sea completely changed my whole outlook on life. With nothing but sea air and the natural beauty of North Devon my husband and I reconnected. We fell in love all over again and excitedly made plans for a better future together.

Everyday we would walk to a quiet little spot next to the Lifeboat Station and just sit; talking and absorbing the serenity of this beautiful place. I always tell everyone that the sea helped to heal my broken heart and that this tiny, rural village, tucked away in North Devon most definitely restored the calm back into our lives. We still missed Mum like crazy but we knew life had to go on without her and the best way for us to deal with the huge hole she had left behind was to completely change our lives.

With it's buzzing quay, picturesque winding back streets brimming with colourful cottages and quirky corners, Appledore is a place that you just can't help but feel relaxed when you visit.

Most days I would walk from Appledore Quay along the coastal path to Westward Ho! It is about three miles in total and boasts stunning scenery that is peaceful and calming. Plus the beach at Westward Ho! is totally amazing.

I realised that being beside the sea every day, calmed me in a way I never thought possible. Appledore soothed my broken heart, repaired our marriage and strengthened our Family. We knew what we needed to do next, so we packed up our house once again and headed back to Essex. This time to live deep into the Essex countryside. We had always lived in London and big busy towns, so making that decision to live rural was quite a big step. It has been one of the best decisions that we have ever made.

These days to restore my calm I walk along The Quay in a pretty little Essex town called Burnham on Crouch. I feel completely invigorated as I walk here, breathing in the fresh air and enjoying the local wildlife, passing other walkers and kids happily crabbing along one of the jetty's.

A place of calm. A place that helps me to clear my head. The magical powers of the coast de-stress and relieve anxiety. I love it here.

Where do you go to restore your calm?

This #BetterPlaces post is in support of the Syndol Headache Relief ‘Find Your Better Place’ campaign with BritMums. Syndol is now formulated for headaches. Visit for online resources with information about headaches and how to restore calm in your life.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Gift Ideas For Mother's Day From Truprint - Includes Code For A FREE Card

I am completely addicted to photo's. They capture our memories as they happen and preserve them forever. These days we tend to keep all our photographs on our laptops, pads or phones and rarely buy actual prints. A good idea for a fab Mothers Day treat for your Mum to display her family photo's is to create a montage to hang on her wall. It is so simple to make and every now and then you can swap the photo's for more recent prints. Great if you are looking for a gift on a budget too.

What You Need:
  • Old Picture Frame - The larger the better. I picked mine up from my local charity shop for £4.
  • String
  • Screw-in eyes - Available from any DIY shop 
  • Mini craft Pegs - Available from Ebay or a craft shop
  • Satin wood or gloss paint
  • A selection of 6 x 4 photo prints - Available from Truprint from 5p each.

What You Do:
  • Remove the glass & backing from the frame and very carefully dispose of it.
  • Give the frame a lick of paint
  • Screw in your eyes down both sides of the back of the frame at about 6 inches apart
  • Cut & Tie strings and attach them to your eyes (like mini washing lines)
  • Using your mini pegs attach your photos to the strings. 
  • Hang on the wall

Truprint have some lovely personalised gifts for your Mum this Mothers Day, ranging from a photo key ring to a framed canvas. For my Mother-in-law I have chosen a canvas with our four kids and a mini photo book full of family photos from 2014 for her to flick through and see what we got up to last year. Sharing our memories with her will make an extra special gift for her to treasure.

Code For A FREE Truprint Mothers Day Card: 
Truprint would like to be responsible for making a million mums smile this Mothers Day by giving away 1 million personalised Mothers Day cards with their Mum In A Million Campaign. Visit to create your personalised Mother's Day card, then use code MUMINAMILLION at the checkout.


  • Awards one free 7x5 folded card
  • Standard P&P charges apply (99p)
  • Ship to recipient not available
  • Complete with envelope
  • Code is One time use only
  • Strictly one code use per household.

*We were sent a Truprint voucher for the purpose of this post. 

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

The Gallery - Cold

The bitterness bites my face hard. The wind howls past my cheeks and nips at my ears. I pull my furry, leopard print collar up as high as it will go and bury my chin deep into my scarf. I keep moving; everyday stronger and faster. 10,000 steps is my daily goal. Day one I could barely breath. Day 21 I can almost break out into a jog. I feel fitter, lighter and happier. A stone has vanished from my hips, thighs and bum. I am elated. More determined than ever, I will brave the cold to shed more.

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery


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