Living in a rabbit hole

Living at home with my family means I only have one little space that's 'mine'. My room.
I blog, run my shop, read, write, and sometimes crazy dance.
The only problem? It's tiny!


I love my little room and I honestly wouldn't change it for anything, but I've had to learn to create space and utilise the space I do have.
Here are my top tips for creating space:
1. Use every piece of available wall space for shelving and cabinets.



2. Buy plastic storage units.


3. Have a bed that has excellent storage space. I really couldn't live without mine!


4. Have dedicated spaces for everything.


5. However small the space, make it your own!


How do you create space in your own home?

Getting to know you


I am so excited to introduce this Lady to you. She's one of the first 'blogging' friends I made and I now consider her a very dear friend. She's sat in my sidebar for a whole month and we've only got round to doing her solo post now! We've been busy planning an exciting new venture I hope you'll all join in with soon :)

I asked Vanisha some random questions. My aim was for you guys to get to know her as well as I do.
Anyway enough of the introduction it's over to Vanisha.

Oooooo I do have one more thing to say.......I love this girl!

Why do you blog?

Initially, I blogged as a way to keep in touch with my friends and family but then I started enjoying writing posts (as a break from writing chapters!) Now I blog because blogging has allowed me to experiment with different writing styles and I've met and connected with so many wonderful people, businesses and organisations. 

What is your perfect career?

I'm certain it's academia and research for me. I was a lecturer at a university for two years, and those two years saw my happiness and enjoyment increase in leaps and bounds. My research involves working with children and young people. The next career I'm probably going to try is as a 'stay at home mum' I heard that's pretty awesome too! I think I have my perfect career - academia, research and independent consultancy (research) work. I'm lucky! 

What is the most important thing about friendship to you?

I only have a few really close friends, I can count them on the fingers of one hand. And I have known them for almost half my life. My two closest friends and I have never lived in the same country but we're as close as can be. Friendships have always been tricky for me. I think the most important thing about friendship to me would be honesty and maintenance! Maintaining the few amazing friends that I have got is important to me, I treat friendship like any other relationship - it  needs to be worked at. 

If you could wear clothes by one designer for the rest of your life who would it be?

One? Helen, you're killing me! From this post (on a week in my clothes) you would probably notice that I wear a lot of clothes from Cue. Cue is an over 40 year old Australian company, family-owned and made in Australia with the most amazing fabric from Europe. Lately I have said that I've felt a little uninspired when I walk into Cue shops, perhaps it's because I go so often - mixing it up is important. Maybe it would be Cue,but I also love vintage... 


Who are your 5 perfect dinner party guests and why?

I tend to do things in thematic groups when I can, so lets say I was having a blogger dinner party. I'd invite: 

Helen - obvious choice? Why? Because we already do couch talks together (stay tuned people!) and she's so kind and absolutely random, I love it! 

Hope in High Heels - Hope is so down to earth and she takes the nicest pictures, and I love hearing about her roof top dining experiences! 

Anna - We have so much in common, it's nuts. And in true dramatic fashion, she lived in Canberra BUT obviously fate would have it that we come across each others blogs once she moved away! 

Dawn - She's like the big sister I never had. And she won the first giveaway I ever hosted, so she's special to me like that! 

Cee - She's such an inspiration when it comes to style, not afraid to take risks and I've learnt so much from doing the living glamorously challenge with her!


Thanks V! Oh, we definitely have to have this dinner party soon too.


Y'all head over to Vanisha's blog, promise you won't be disappointed.



Where the wild things are

How has your weekend been?
Mine was busy!
First the opening ceremony of the Olympics on Friday, loved it by the way. How about you? Favourite bit?
Saturday the fam and I went for a walk along a railway track. Well not actually along, that would be dangerous, and stupid, but at the side of. It was beautiful; green fields, pretty flowers and the odd steam train chugging past. I felt like I'd just stepped in to the Railway Children, I was about to wave my knickers to get the train to stop, but then realised that might not be a good idea. If you've never seen/read the Railway Children you'll think I'm completely crazie for saying that, Google it.






Today, Sunday, in case you're caught in some kind of time lapse or still hungover, yes I mean you!
Well........ever have those days where you do nothing and time slips away from you? I'm having one of those days.
For the final hours of it I'm going to make some Glassy Bands, for the grand shop opening on Friday - woooo! Apply for jobs, and catch up with some blogs.

Have a great weekend/week wherever you are in the world.

I am proud of my size


Can you tell this week I've been a little self empowered? First my womanifesto and now this.
Yes that's me a week ago in a swimming costume.
6 months ago I would never have dreamed of posting this. Even now I feel a little nervous, but don't judge away. I am proud of who I am, the size I am, and what I believe in.
Sure I expect a few negative hater comments, but I'm willing to let that be.
I am a confident, intelligent, self assured woman.
So what I'm fat. Get over it!

The Womanifesto Challenge


I recently discovered Jes from The Militant Baker, she is so cool. Seriously check her out, right now!
Anyway.....she started the most amazing link up; 'The Womanifesto Challenge'.
Here's her definition:

WO·MAN·I·FES·TO  
NOUN \ˌWO-MA-NƏ-ˈFES-(ˌ)TŌ\

 A written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, and views of its female author. May include themes of empowerment, independence, self love, consciousness, affirmation, and individual acceptance; your positive beliefs about yourself. Created to give self-described definition in regards to the innate beauty inside of every woman. Yes, even you.

Writing a womanifesto about who I am, what I am, and how I love who I am is in no way self-indulgent. So what, I love myself, yea I said it. I am pretty freaking awesome! Here's why:

I will be shy when I first get to know you.
I will steer clear of commitment until I find the perfect match.
I will dive in to love and get my heart broken many more times, but that's OK.
I will wear a bathing suit on the beach and be proud.

I will shrink, and grow. Clothes will be tight and loose.
I will wait until I have to shave my legs.
I will show some cleavage.
I will believe in gay marriage, Buddha, God, feminism, and my own opinion.

I will roll in the grass until I'm covered in grass stains.
I will be outspoken about things I believe in.
I will not help evil win in the fight against good.
I will stand up for what I believe in.

I will do things for me, not everyone else.
I will fight.
I will scream, laugh and cry until it hurts.
I will dress up even if I'm not going anywhere.

I will love without barriers.
I will live. 


The Militant Baker

Enpower yourself and write a womanifesto. You only have 6 days until the link up closes!


Sponsor Call



I'd love for you to sponsor Eat.Enjoy.Live. in August. 
I'm launching a shop and I'd love to help you with all the projects you have planned too.
Check out my sponsor page here.
Let's go on this journey together.

Don't forget to enter my holiday haul giveaway here. Open worldwide until Friday!

For the win

I promised you Spanish goodies and here you are.

Today you can win, I totally sound like a game show host.
Olivina bracelet. Olivina is a green gemstone that is made inside the lava rocks.
Flower charm orange scarf. I have a green version and totally love it.
Large 200x200 Ad space for August. OK technically not Spanish, but still awesome!
The give-away is open worldwide until Friday the 27th.


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck!

Double snap time is good for you

One lot of pics is great, but two can make it so much better.
I have to be honest, I can't stop looking at my holiday pics. I want to go back!! I don't want to be sat by a computer all day searching for jobs. Ah, the post-holiday blues.

Reminisce with me a while......
Timanfaya National Park

This place is beautiful. It made me laugh at first because its the only national park I know that you can't go walking in! Lanzarote, geologically, is an extremely important place. It harbours some organisms that can't be found anywhere else in the world, all down the the lava. We were told that if one tire track or footstep was imprinted in the sand it would take 9 months for that to disappear. So you can see everything the Government have built a one track road through some of the more stable landscape. Basically you take a coach tour through what feels like a movie set. 
I loved this trip. I got to make friends with camels too! It was very windy though, I thought I was going to blow over. I think my hair is evidence of that.

Teguise 

Teguise is the old capital and consequently one of the oldest cities in Lanzarote. Every Sunday it also holds the largest market in the Canaries. I may have bought too much jewellery, but how much is too much, right? I got annoyed at the 'Best Imported British Food' van. I'm on holiday in a foreign country I want to experience the culture, not eat a fry up.  I thought the prospect of selling freshly squeezed orange juice out of a giant orange was pure genius. I loved the fact that a local farmer had brought his animals to the market to show off. How clever is that dog? All credit to the donkey too. I'm not condoning animal cruelty, but if a poor farmer can make some money of gullible tourists, I'm not holding it against him.

Last Days

My last days on this beautiful island were spent at the beach and enjoying the final sunny, happy moments with my wonderful family.

Snap Time

Hello again!
How have you all been?
It feels so good to be back posting again.
I understand the lovely ladies I've had on here have been keeping you busy. Thank You so much girls, I appreciate the time you took to write those posts.
Lanzarote was amazing, just what I needed. Sun, sea and sand. I was hoping to Instagram and tweet so that I could keep in touch with you all but that wasn't to be. I'm so glad you've hung around though, here come my holiday pics (part one!)
Marina Rubicon

Such a stunning Marina. I was super jealous of the yachts too. I want one!! There was a cute little market, and yes, I may have overloaded on the jewellery buying; you know what I'm like!

Jameos Des Aqua

If you ever go to Lanzarote and have the chance to visit these caves, go. Yes its busy, but it only costs 8 euros to get in and its completely beautiful. I took so many photos, there are only a select few here. Its also a protected sight, as I believe its the only place in the world you can see albino crabs. 

Haria

I completely fell in love with Haria. It's a little unassuming town, the kind you'd probably just drive through and ignore. If you stop and park up though, you'll see a quaint town square and a breathtaking valley of palm trees.

El Golfo

Don't let the name confuse you, I promise it's not a golf course! Lanzarote formed out of the sea and is basically built on several volcanoes. Over thousands of years the eruptions and lava have helped shaped the landscape. El Golfo is a natural crater containing the most beautiful emerald green water. It is truly a feat of Mother Nature.

There's part one. I'll have part two for you tomorrow. 
I love looking through holiday snaps. So many happy memories.





I'm Back, well nearly!

Its 11pm I've just landed at Liverpool airport.
I'm so tired I could sleep right here on the airport floor.
We still have a 2 hour drive.
We'll be lucky to be home for 2am.
God bless my family.

The holiday was amazing!

We'll catch up tomorrow. When I'm awake.

Perfect Vaca by Jess

Hey everyone!!! I'm Jess and I'm so thrilled that sweet Helen is letting me take over her blog for a few minutes while she's on holiday!  You can find me at Life With My Loves, my little space of internet property where you'll find me sharing my life with the Hubs and my 2 kiddos, Noah and Emmy.  I'm a Mommy, Wife, Friend, Sister, Daughter, Nurse, Wannabe Runner, Novice Photographer, Disney Junkie, and an avid Baseball fan.  My blog is all about the crazy going on in my life.  Stop on by and say hi sometime!!!

This is me and the Hubs
These are the kiddos....Emmy and Noah
Enough about me already....let's talk vacay!  Since Helen's having fun on her holiday, I figured why not talk about my dream vacation!  I am not a seasoned traveler at all.  I've never left the US and I really haven't traveled very many places.  But I do dream of jet-setting around the globe with the Hubs (and maybe the kiddos).  While spending numerous days on white sandy beaches is pretty high on my to-do list, my all time dream destination is Greece.
via
How gorgeous is that view?!?!?  The bright blue waters.  The stark white buildings.  It just screams "Visit Me!"  I imagine myself walking the streets or maybe even riding on a donkey (I obviously watch too many movies), taking in all the sights, sounds, smells and tastes that Greece has to offer.  I'm a HUGE fan of Greek cuisine so having the opportunity to eat to my hearts desire...dream come true!  I also picture myself eating breakfast every morning right here, after waking up from my waterfront villa with windows open, sea air blowing:
 Fresh air, sunshine, relaxing with my love....what more could a girl ask for?
via
 I'm also a closet Greek Mythology nerd.  I have a Classics minor as well as my Nursing degree so being in a country with so much history and legend would be amazing.
via
I will see the Parthenon before I die.  So much of the foundation for civilization in general comes from this very country.  To stand in such a place would definitely be a once in a lifetime moment.  One that I hope to experience some day soon.  But until then, I'll dream of blue and white, while I eat olives, feta, hummus, and gyros!

What is your dream vacation?  Anyone want to plan a trip to Greece with me?!?!?  


Thanks again to Helen for letting me share my dream with all of you!!!
  Photobucket

Erin's Blogging Tips

Hey you beautiful things.
So {so} happy to be here today.
First off-my name is Erin and I write over at Living In Yellow.

One thing you need to know before we begin.
I adore Helen.
The girl is so beyond sweet and I am flattered she would want me to share with you.
So Helen, thanks for having me to your humble abode.
Mwah Mwah and Mwah.

Awhile back I wrote this whole set of blogging lessons learned, and well--a few readers liked it.
So I thought why not share it with all of you beautiful creatures as well?
My hopes is that it will teach you a new thing or two.
And if it doesn't--you obviously are a smarty pants, so my hat is off to you.
Anyhow.
Without further ado, I present to you:

1. So you wanna grow your readership base?
GET YOUR BLOG OUT THERE.
Unless you are the Momastery,
your blog is not going to go viral by staying confined to your own blog walls.
So what am I saying to do?
Sponsor other blogs.
Don't have the funds to pay for sponsorship currently?
Do button swaps with blogs similar in size to yours.
You give them your button, they give you their button.
Free of charge.
Just get your blog out there.
I started paying to sponsor other blogs six months into blogging.
My monthly page views grew by more than 40% immediately.
I now am a firm believer in sponsoring 1-3 other blogs on a monthly basis.
For more information on what you should look for when you are choosing what blogs to sponsor,

2. Give your readers more than one way to follow you.
Let's face it peeps.
Not everybody and their mom has a gmail account.
Meaning, not everybody and their mom can click on that handy dandy "Follow" button on your sidebar.
With that being said--you must give them other options.
Living In Yellow allows others to "follow" through these avenues:
and
Email Subscription
If I could tell you to do one thing immediately it would be this:
Create a Facebook page & Twitter account for your blog.
You may feel foolish because you only have 5 followers.
Trust me, I felt those thoughts.
Do it anyway.
People want to know YOU.
The person behind the blog.
And Facebook & Twitter are a great way to allow your readers to do this.
Wanna know if I am eating Twizzlers 24/7 or see what shoes I am wearing to work?
Your right.
Probably not.
Buuuut, if you do--Facebook & Twitter would be how you would learn this.
Second part to this--
These social media outlets are a great way to communicate with your readers.
Some of my favorite evenings are spent on my Ipad conversing back & forth with blogging friends.
You can't do that through your blog.

3.    Reach out to bloggers you admire
This is something that I did in the beginning.
I spent time researching my favorite blogs and shops.
And then I emailed each and every one to see if we could "collaborate" in some way.
I will be forever grateful to people like Heather at {Just.Lovely.Things} for giving me a chance to host a giveaway for her back in the beginning.
Don't be afraid to ask others for help.
Some people may so no.
But some may say yes.
Be thankful either way.
 
4.    If you want to make your blog posts funnier,
don’t allow your husband to proof read your posts.
 If you want to remain married, allow your husband to proof read them.
If you want your blog posts to be funny and you want to remain married,
“accidently” publish your post and tell your husband it can’t be re-done.
It will work.
 One time.
But after that, you must decide between options 1 and 2.
 Take your pick.
Oh, and only use the most flattering pictures of your man that you can find.
He'll appreciate it.

5.    Let’s talk about comments for a minute.
Leave em’.
And like I mentioned in part one of these blogging tips, if are you going to say something-make it nice.
There is enough negativity in this world, don’t bring it into blogging yo.
Oh.
And if you do leave a comment, I beg you for the life of me…enough of this
“I’m your newest follower…come follow me back” crap.
Chances are real high that if you say that, I will not click on your blog.
This may sound harsh, but it is true.
People hear me out.
It is not about the quantity of followers, it is the quality of followers.
If you want to attract a blogger to your blog—leave a comment that means something.
Something that will intrigue the blogger reading it and will make them WANT to come to your page and follow.
Say for example a comment like this:
“I love, love, LOVE your blog! I'm not even sure how I stumbled upon it, but I'm so glad I did! I can be having THE MOST craptastic day at work, but as soon as I read your latest post, I can get out of fetal position, resist the urge to smack the crap out of my co-workers and get my work done :)
You have a fantastic sense of humor and a great outlook on life. Heck, you can even talk about poop, which in and of itself is pretty awesome!!! Keep up the great work!!"
Thank you The2Dees for brightening my day with that one.
Moving on now.

6. Pictures.
Again, like part one said--always use em'.
Two things to add to this.
Make them big, bold, and beautiful.
I don't want to have to squint to see that picture you just posted.
As far as making them look beautiful--take time to edit your pictures.
It makes a huge difference.
I use Google's Picasa/Picnik and sometimes Pixlr.
Others may use Photoshop.
And those others are a heck of a lot smarter than I.

7. Word verification.
Take it off.
Like now. 
 I get excited when I about to leave somebody a comment, and the minute I see that stupid box with words that I can’t read staring me in the face, my head gets full of cuss words.
And I don’t even cuss people.
Make it easy for us commenting folk and remove it would ya?
To do so-follow these instructions:

8. Don’t let others fool you.
Blogging takes time.
This is something I didn’t really plan for when I started blogging.
Sure, I knew it would take me a solid ten minutes to whip a post.
But what I didn’t realize is that it takes an additional 10 minutes to upload pictures,
20 more minutes to edit, 5 minutes to arrange the post,
5 more minutes to bold certain words or make em’ big,
5 more minutes to blog and tweet about your new post,
and then 30 more minutes to respond to the nice people who comment on that post.
Oh, and then another 2 hours to read all of your favorite blogs.
Here is where things get difficult for me.
Remember that blogging takes time---
but don't let it take up all your time.
99% of us, started blogging as a "hobby".
Something extra to do in our "spare time".
Don't neglect the things you love the most because of your blog.
The minute you make your blog a chore, the minute blogging sucks.
Because let's face it--Chores Suck.
So yes, if you find the perfect balance-
Please, do tell.
I am all ears on that one.

 9. Content
Yes, numbers 1-8 are important, but it all comes down to this.
People will read your blog if they like what you have to say.
That's all there is to it.
So my word of advice on this one:
Write.
Write from your heart, from your head, from your hyper bones.
Just write.
And don't overthink it.
Write what you want to write about when you want to write it.
Find your writing voice and use it to the best of your ability.
God gave us all our unique special "voice".
Don't try to imitate somebody elses.
Oh and another thing as far as content goes--
Remember variety is important in blogging.
People will get bored if you talk about the same thing.
Over. And over. And over again.
Mix it up.
This will keep your readers engaged and interested in coming back.

10. Last but not least-
 Support one another
Blogging is a community.
We are here for one another-to encourage-to help each other out-
to show love-and to become homies.
Give shout outs just for the heck of it.
Don't be afraid to help grow one another's reading base.
One other thing--
Be humble.
Remember, we all started in the same place.

Now get your hot little buns over to my blog and say hello.
I would love to get to know you :)

How sweet is this girl seriously?!
Thank You for posting today Erin, I completely love this post and you!

I've grown a moustache......

.....on my nails.
I had you going there didn't I?
Don't its not some random side effect of me being in a foreign country, before I left I thought I'd try out some nail decals.
I just couldn't resist the moustache ones, cute huh?


This picture shows perfectly how it should be done, but this is me we're talking about.

I opted for water transfer decals, which are like temporary tattoos. Basically because I couldn't afford decals. Man, I was worried; new nails polish, wet fingers, backing paper, argh! I had visions of mini moustaches flying everywhere, and at first it was like that.
Then I got the hang of it.
I cut the decals to size.


Painted my nails a neutral colour.


Put the transfers in water for 30 seconds.


The first one looked great.


Then this happened......


Even the smallest moustache wouldn't fit!
I have freakishly small hands/nails. They are like a child's. Seriously. When I go for a manicure I get charged a child's price, which is a good thing but not in the case of nail transfers.

I even attempted to cut them, but then they just looked like weird bats.
If you have long/normal nails then these will look great!
For now I think I'll just stick with the thumb.



Guilt-Free Eating with Jess


Hello, fantastic Eat. Enjoy. Live readers!  How are you today?  While the incredible Helen is off on vaca, she graciously asked me to share a little somethin' with you.

I guess I should properly introduce myself, right?  I'm Jess and I blog over at Jess Is More.  It's my little corner of bloggy land where I share my mission to get the most out of life {after my morning coffee}






Today I wanted to share with you a guilt-free meal that is super easy and fast.  If you're like me, you want to watch your waistline every once in a while and you need to get dinner on the table ASAP after a long, exhausting day.  Some of my favorite food is Mexican/Tex-Mex, but it can be very fattening and indulgent.  








Guilt-Free Mexican Turkey Burgers
{serves 2, makes 4 patties}
Ground turkey is an excellent, flavorful substitute to ground beef.  You can certainly exchange this for beef or chicken -- easy-peasy!

What You Need
1 lb ground turkey (I used pre-assembled turkey burgers)
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tomatoes
1/2 red onion
1 handful cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juiced
Salt & Pepper
1 packet of Sazon (Spanish Seasoning)
You can easily omit this
1 - 2 tbsps Chili Powder
1.5 tsps Paprika 
1 tbsp Garlic Powder
1 small sprinkle Cinnamon 

How To Make It

Chop tomatoes, onion, and cilantro
In a large bowl, add beans, lime juice, salt & pepper 
Toss beans and veggies together - refrigerate for 10 - 30 minutes







Meanwhile, combine Sazon, Chili Powder, Paprika, Garlic Powder, and Cinnamon in a small bowl to create the spice mixture 








Form 4 burger patties -- flatten out to the thinnest size without them falling apart 
Preheat large pan with 1 tbsp cooking oil (the pan needs to be hot)
Cook patties -- about a minute or two on each side, until cooked through 







Serve with the bean salad and top with your favorite toppings! 







I hope you enjoy it!  It certainly was quick, easy, and guilt-free on a busy work night.  You can check out a few more of my recipes here: 
greek steak roll-ups :: fried plantains :: pulled pork {two ways} :: shrimp & asparagus linguine   

A HUGE thank you to Helen for let me share with you today.  She's so amazing!  

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