Category Archives: Blog posts

transition, decisions and change

June is my time for transition, decisions and change – The Mind




June is time for transition, decisions and change.

June is a strange month. It has always signified transition, decisions and change all through my life. It sees the beautiful warm sun and heat return along with the longest day of the year. This year the 24th June saw a new moon which for me signifies change and new beginnings.

June 1993 – Aged 16

If we go back to 1993 24th June, 24 year ago it was my mum’s birthday. I got her some fine gold and crystal drop earrings that I still have in my jewellery box. She wasn’t feeling very well and didn’t do much for her birthday. She was weak and couldn’t walk far without getting out of breath. The heat of mid-June wasn’t helping. Two days later she had a heart attack and died a few hours later. The most significant time of transition, decisions and change kicked off there and then.



June 2013 – Aged 36

Fast forward to June 2013, twenty years later. I always seem to make big changes in June when I am at my most motivated and productive. Four years ago I set up my Mrs Mummypenny website whilst on maternity leave. In one day, I came up with the name (brain storming with wine and a brilliant friend is creatively lucrative), bought the domain name (.com and .co.uk), the Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google and YouTube. Boom. My fourth baby was born, very soon after my third!

June 2015 – Aged 38

June 2015 saw me leave my corporate job. I had returned to full time work after my maternity leave ended with Jack. I went back to my EE digital sales role, but quickly moved onto a promotion as a senior commercial manager for retail franchise (thank you digital director Dom for listening to my plans and helping with roles at EE). A tough job, really tough that saw me negotiating contracts and commercial terms with franchisee partners. It was a great job, I had a lot of responsibility and could make real change. I felt like I was doing good for both EE and the franchisees by brokering the right deal commercially for both parties to benefit financially – WIN WIN.




But alas things change. A new female boss came in and clipped my wings. She made me feel useless and incapable of anything. My thoughts were, do I fight or flight? Her thoughts were, Lynn, you need to make a choice between your family or your job. I am a big believer in choosing your battles. She was more senior than me and was seriously affecting my mental health. Im not one to create huge waves (unless you do something to my children!), so I chose flight. Flight with a nice compromise agreement and I left in June 2015.

June 2017 -Aged 40

Today sees me celebrating two years in the self-employed business world. Whoop to getting through the tough first two years of business. We have managed to pay the high mortgage and bills for two years. Okay we have amassed some debt, but that’s 0% and not the end of the world. You can read that story that appeared in the Huffington Post here.

This June saw me do a few things that have stimulated significant change. No 1) I had a meeting with a mentor who planted big seeds about investment in my business and making significant changes for growth and authority. No 2) I enrolled in a course – PR from the heart which is guiding me in my planning and objectives, the what for the next year. No 3) went on a perfectly timed trip to West Cornwall where I lived for the first 18 years of my life. I had some spiritual, enlightening moments on Sennon and Porthcurnow beaches.

west cornwall




These three actions/events have enabled me to work on a clear path for my business. They have also helped with the decision that’s been bubbling on for a year now about relocating. We are moving 100%, to Godmanchester, a village near to Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. New house and schools for the boys. It will mean we can go pretty much mortgage free with a bigger house and garden (moving 50 minutes north means houses cost £100/150k ish less than Knebworth). We will be 50 mins from London by train (we are currently 30 mins). The secondary schools are amazing, the primary school is brand new and opening in Sept 2017(a sports academy). We will be significantly closer to Cambridge where we go 4 to 5 times per week or football for the boys. It’s all looking positive, so we are off. On an adventure to a new location. Decision made.

Thanks to a few wonderful blogger friends who have helped with advice and posts on the subject of relocation, academy schools and new builds:-) Danielle of someones mum wrote this post about Academy schools. Katy of Katy Kicker and Chammy of CammyIRL had two very different views on the quality of new build properties. And thank you to Sara of Debt Camel for digging out an article from the guardian on new builds. Interesting reading on areas that I have never had to consider before.

Such a beautiful village. @ohneil and I took a trip to #godmanchester. We had a wander, ate lovely lunch at the white Hart. Walked along the river ooze. #gratitude to my friends, you know who you are who make my life so much simpler. Helping me to make decisions and help to download everything from my head onto paper/plans. #futureisbright #3positivethings 1) Loved my conversations today..particularly over dinner with Em. 2) Making some big decisions which feels great. 3) Got me a new logo and strapline..exciting. . . . . . . . . . #lawofattraction #loa #gratitude #dailygratitude #thankful #positivity #lawofattractionquote #moneysaving #frugal #ukblogger #ukbloggerlife #ukmoneyblogger #bloggingyourwaytoriches #cambridgeshire #relocation #makingdecisions #lunchwithfriends #friendsarefamily #rebrand #newlogo

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Do you have times of the year where you gain clarity and make big decisions? Was there an event that triggered thsi time of the year to be so significant?

transition, decisions and change



wardrobe de-clutter

Wardrobe De-clutter and style session with Claire Wacey of CW Style




Wardrobe De-clutter and style session

Would you love to know how to create a fashionable and great value capsule wardrobe? Read on and you will get all the info you need and read about how I now have this for £200.

I was struggling with my clothes. I have a wardrobe of clothes, not loads, but I have enough for most occasions. But some of them are old and now ill fitting! Some are two sizes too big. And I always seem to wear the same clothes for meeting and events. I have a jade green blouse that I wore in my Good Morning Britain feature that I have also worn to meet Disney, Smart Energy GB event and my profile shots for website!

Claire from CW Style came to visit

A shopping trip and visit from Claire Wacey of CW Style was much needed! Claire is a stylist. She styles people, food, home wear, events and can make anything look beautiful. Of course, she always looks stunning herself! We met at a Lean In networking event 18 month ago and have collaborated on a few pieces of work together.

She arrived at 9am after a quick catch up we hit my wardrobe and shoe collection. She had a look at each piece, most of it she picked up and immediately said keep or get rid. These pieces might have been tired, old, ill-fitting or the wrong style. Anything we weren’t sure about I tried on and it was an immediate yes or no from Clare or me.




As you can see I have a huge pile of stuff either to sell or to take to the charity shop. Anything with a good label will sell on eBay and there are around 10 Ted Baker items that are going.

Wardrobe de-clutter

Charity shop pile

wardrobe de-clutter

eBay pile

My wardrobe was then uncluttered and Claire had a good idea of what I already had and what I needed. I wanted a capsule wardrobe with items perfect for meetings and press meetings with clients, and to have the ability to mix and match everything to create lots of different outfits.

wardrobe de-clutter

H&M Shopping

We headed to Welwyn Garden City to hit the big new H&M shop that I knew would be amazing value for money. I have been loving H&M for about two years now. They nail current trends; the clothes last well and often look way more expensive than they are. And we could get everything we needed in one shop.

We split up and collected around 8 items each to get going with. Let’s just say the items that Claire picked up were more suitable that what I picked up!! She knows the clothing range of all the high street retailers inside out and already had a picture of everything I needed.

wardrobe de-clutter

She found three beautiful dresses, 2 smart ones and one more casual look. Two pairs of fitted slacks in white and orange, one pair of black smart cropped trousers, one cream loose jacket, one orange T-shirt, one pleated navy skirt. One pair of black leather pumps, one pair orange kitten heels, 2 small leather belts.

wardrobe de-clutter

There are maybe twenty/thirty different outfit combinations here, particularly when you add in the brightly coloured camisoles and T-shirts that we kept from my wardrobe. The shoes will dress up outfits or dress them down.




The only extra addition to create the looks was statement jewellery, I just needed maybe three chunky necklaces to add feature and interest to high necked tops and dresses.

Thank you so much Claire for the beautiful wardrobe. If you would like Claire to do the same for you she offers a four-hour styling session for just £250. She will go through your wardrobe and go shopping with you in this time. Creating the exact looks you are wanting on the exact budget you are able to spend.

I have an exclusive offer for you from CW Style, just use the code MUMMYPENNY10 before the end of July 2017 and get 10% off your style booking.

Disclaimer – I received my style session free of charge.

 




west cornwall

Hen-do Weekend in St. Just, West Cornwall which led to discovery, joy and focus




Hen-do Weekend in St. Just, West Cornwall which led to discovery, joy and focus

West Cornwall is one of the most beautiful places on this earth. It’s my home, my heart and I adore going back for visits. I was most excited when Ridley Writes arranged her hen do location to be St. Just.

St. Just is the village where my mum was born and brought up, and where she met my dad who was jumping off cliffs on a marines training exercise circa 1954. They fell in love, married and had my sister ad brother very soon after the wedding. They then moved around the world with the army which dad joined after the marines. Eventually they settled in Penzance where I came along much later in 1977. Penzance was my home for the first eighteen years of my life.

We used to go to Cot Valley and Cape Cornwall for long coastal walks, we would spend hours playing in the natural pool and rock pools at Priests Cove. I would pick beautiful bouquets of wild flowers and do my nature searches, ticking off animals and plants that I spotted. As a teenager, my friends and I would spend every possible sunny day at Sennon and Porthcurnow beaches. Its hold such beautiful, powerful and happy memories for me.

The Hens Arrive

We arrived after a six-hour drive in misty St. Just at 4pm on the Friday afternoon. I had driven 300 miles via Bristol to collect hen Jess and then Exeter to collect hen Cleo, it was a good journey down, six hours is fast even including the collections and a bit of traffic at Bristol. We discussed anything and everything as you do on a long drive and felt like we had known each other for years rather than three hours by the time we arrived.

We arrived at Roselands Caravan Park expecting Haven esq mobile homes, we hadn’t paid much money (£60 each for caravan, food and booze!) as it still low season but boy were we impressed. There were seven of us at the hen do and we had the choice of caravan 17 or 20, being the first to arrive. We made the executive decision to take no 20 as it had a smaller living area, thinking that Bec would want the bigger living space caravan for the activities we had planned and communal eating.




Jess, Cleo and I set up home in caravan 20. I was happy to take the sofa bed in the living space as I knew I would be up early every morning. Our caravan had 3 bedrooms, two bathrooms, was immaculately clean and had beautiful views over the moorlands. The caravan park was lovely, there was a park for children, a games room, a small shop with essentials, a bar.

west cornwall

Minack theatre

The other hens started to arrive and we settled in the bigger caravan 17 for dinner of spaghetti bolognese, garlic bread and salad. And we had a few drinks. We then realised rather late that we needed to leave for the Minack Theatre. We were off to see a performance of Tristan & Yseult. I have been to the Minack many times before on school trips, but you can never fail to be blown away by this stunning theatre. Cut into the cliff edge to the right of Porthcurnow beach. The setting is absolutely perfect for a dramatic theatre performance. I saw Hamlet there once, amazing.

west cornwall

Turns out though that arriving at 8pm, when the show starts at 8pm mean that you end up with seats at the back of the theatre, rather high up. Not good if you suffer from vertigo. It was fairly chilly so we had all brought blankets and rain jackets, we were well prepared.

west cornwall

It was an incredible performance and story about a threesome basically. A woman who loved two men. It was comedy and dark all in the same scenes. It was very explicit and not really suitable for children. I needed parts explained to me, handily I was sat next to the bride who was most helpful when I got confused. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The best bit was when it turned into night and the view was just inspiring.



Misty Saturday in West Cornwall

The plans for Saturday were loose, we wanted to assess the weather before deciding on what to do and where to go. Our only commitment was dinner at the Meadery at some point that evening. We chilled in the morning, had croissants and coffee for breakfast. We headed into St. Just at lunchtime for a walk down to Cape Cornwall and spent an hour or so exploring the rocky beach. We paddled in the sea (in our wellies), we took selfies and searched for heart shaped rocks. Bliss.

west cornwall

west cornwall

We grabbed some scones and clotted cream from the St. Just Co-op and headed back to the caravan for lunch for our afternoon task. Cleo, who is Miss Graffiti organised a knitting activity for us. I haven’t knitted since 1993 but it came right back like riding a bike. We also cracked open the gin and cider. The music was Dirty Dancing soundtrack, followed by Madonna. Such a fun afternoon, thank you Cleo.

west cornwall




We headed to Newlyn Meadery for dinner, drank a litre of blackberry wine a big reminder of our youth. We bumped into an old school friend Lorna and agreed that we all looked the same as we did aged 16, rather than 40 years old! Dinner was chicken in the rough, salt and pepper squid, chips and salad. It was medieval in style, not gourmet but lots of fun.

west cornwall

 

Stunning Sennon Sunset

We drove back to the caravan via Sennon beach and arrive at the most perfect time, sun set. It had been misty all day but it finally cleared at 9:30pm. Arriving at the beach was like magic. It felt incredibly spiritual and like nature had created that moment for the seven of us. You could feel the tension when we arrived and we all scuttled our various independent ways to take in the beauty of the sunset.

west cornwall

west cornwall

I took my shoes off and paddled in the water, the cold sand feeling so good. The sun sinking beneath the sea was stunning and my parents came to visit that evening. They came to say they loved me and were proud of me and everything I have achieved. We all met back up had a group photo and headed back to Roselands for more gin and 90’s music.

west cornwall

Sunday Morning Porthcurnow

Sunday morning I, of course, awoke at 6am, despite the 1am bed time. No one else was awake so I jumped in the car and headed over to Porthcurnow beach for more time with the sea, sand and nature. Porthcurnow is my absolute favourite beach in the world and when you arrive at 7am in the morning its empty. It’s a beautiful cove cut into the cliff, the beach is stunning and you would mistake it for the Caribbean in the height of the summer.

west cornwall

The waves were crashing in, it was inspiring and awesome. I drew my circle in the sand and stood listening to the elements about direction my life should take. A seal popped up in the waves to say hello. There were thousands of shells brought in by the waves overnight. A dog ran over to me to say hello whilst standing in my circle. I was surrounded by nature, water, the smell of the salt, the colours of the cliff flowers. I stepped out of my circle and a huge wave came in and took away my circle. At that moment I knew what I was to do with my life and business. Decisions I had been struggling with were made and life could move on.

west cornwall

Thank you, Becky, for the most incredible hen do. It gave me so much and I gave so much to the weekend. You have the most amazing friends, you are blessed. And I cannot wait for your wedding. Friends are family. Forever friends.

west cornwall

Here are a few more links to previous posts all about Cornwall and saving money:-)

Arranging a staycation

Saving Money in the Summer Holidays

More money saving Ideas for the summer holidays


kitten kollege

Trev & Purdy Kitten Kollege Career Day

Kitten Kollege Career Day

It is a bit of a traumatic week for Trev. Trev is our nine-month-old boy cat and he went to the vets for the chop. Poor Trev, he isn’t going to know what has hit him (or snipped him). We all know its mega important to get it done (possibly a bit late!) but he’s not going to be happy.

kitten kollege

Trev is such a loving black boy cat. He is already weighing in at 4kg with more growing to go. We like to call him our mini black panther. We (I!) decided to get a kitten from the Blue Cross last year. I knew I was going to be working from home for the foreseeable future with Mrs Mummypenny and I wanted some company. I went on the waiting list at the Blue Cross for a kitten and three months later they called and said I could have Trev.

He has got such a personality, he’s a loving softie when with us. Sitting on my lap is a favourite place of Trev’s, he will jump up on the kitchen side to say hello or park himself on my desk. He adores my eldest son Dylan and has his daytime sleeps on his bed. Jack is my youngest aged four who carries him around like a baby, he never scratches anyone.

online exercise classes

Night times are a different matter, he prowls the streets of our village in stealth mode. If I was to choose a career for Trev I would say he is a soldier, more specifically in the SAS. He loves to protect me his mummy and all three of my boys. He is rather good at carrying out orders, if I call him he comes running. If I pat my lap he jumps up, sometimes will jump up like an excitable doggy. He loves a bit of exercise and you often see him running around the garden or chasing ribbons, balls and other kitten toys.

He loves routine, breakfast and dinner at the same time each day. After a big breakfast of kitten food he comes inside and crashes out for the day. He likes to defend us from the neighbour’s dogs and will often sneak into their garden and taunts them. You will see him sprinting back to our garden with a dog chasing him, unable to catch him. We get the occasional visit from other cats but Trev has their cards marked. He won’t let him anywhere near the food or his mate Purdy.

Purdy Cat

Purdy is our second cat, she is a fifteen-year-old tortoiseshell old lady cat. She is rather strange. Before Trev arrived she never came into the house, not once. She literally lived in the garden for the seven years we had lived in this house. She did the same at our old house. But soon as Trev arrived she decided to come inside. Maybe jealousy?

Most of the time Trev looks after Purdy, licks her head, lies next to her keeping her warm. But then suddenly the youthful kitten come out and he decides to attack her, or bite her back or jump on top of her. She’s an old lady, 105 in cat years (15 x 7?) so she’s not keen. We are hopeful that the chop will make him a bit more chilled and will stop the jumping on Purdy.

kitten kollege

If Purdy was to have a career I would say she a creative knitter of scarves. She likes to lie in the shade or on the sofa. Purdy hates the children bugging her and digs in her claws when she needs to be moved anywhere. She is also a bit of flirt and lives to rub up against the legs of my non-cat-loving hubby!!

This post is a collaboration with Whiskas, but all thoughts are my own. Check out their website for more information on their cat food and their YouTube channel for fantastic Kitten Kollege videos.

5 frugal things post 33

5 Frugal Things post 33 Spa, Inset days & Russell Brand




5 Frugal Things post 33

Last week was another example of a week where I “maybe” took on too many commitments. I was already feeling tired on the Monday after a brilliant spa weekend (read spa as lot of drinking on the Saturday night) with my university mates celebrating our 40th birthdays. I’ll start with that as my first frugal thing!

Lifehouse Spa Weekend

The Lifehouse is a spa in Thorpe-Le-Soken really near the coast in Essex. The weekend included the use of the spa for 24 hours, hotel room, dinner, breakfast and one spa treatment. And this cost us £160 each. Our wonderful friend Neil paid for a big chunk of the weekend so it ended up not costing too much money.

We relaxed, we had pre-dinner drinks and snacks in our room. The grounds of the spa were beautiful so we had a few walks. It was a lovely relaxing weekend. A few niggles, my facial was terrible, but I did speak to the manager who gave me a bundle of Clarins products to say sorry. There was quite a bit of waiting around for things, they needed more staff I would suggest.

5 frugal things post 33




We decided to leave the spa on Sunday lunchtime to head to Frinton-On-Sea for a bit of beach time and I went for a dip in the sea. It was very cold! None of this cost any money, particularly as Frinton is so unspoilt we couldn’t even find an ice cream shop. I loved it. I now fancy buying a beach hut (one day, when my debt is paid off!)

The Money we owe is reducing

Talking about my debt, I wrote an update post at the end of last week. We have managed to pay off a significant chunk in May, which was a wonderfully low spending moth and the £15.5k has now reduced to £14k. I am really happy that its reducing as such a significant rate. The bit where interest is being charge has very nearly gone.

Russell Brand at Watford Colosseum

On Wednesday night, I went to see Russell whom I have loved for many years now. I have followed him on TV, read his books, watched his life crash around. He is the most incredibly eloquent and charming person but had never seen him live before.

5 frugal things post 33

I now love him a bit more, Maz and I went and had great seats in the middle of the theatre with a great view. During the interval, we tried to get a selfie with him, but were 3 minutes away before he had to go back on stage for the second half. Gutted. But we got close enough to see him in action with is fans. He is so focussed on the person speaking to him, his eyes are on them and no one else. You can appreciate how all those women fell for his charms.




He spoke a lot about doing good and paying it forward. He is the first to admit that he earns good money (although the media has drastically affected his earnings negatively in the past few years) and wants to do good with his position of authority by helping people like the women from E15 who were to be made homeless (their houses were saved). I have a post planned on the power of paying it forward.

Inset day

There was an inset day last week so the boys and I went on a very long four mile walk to the countryside. My new Aldi wellies came in rather handy for the muddy woodland walk. And were comfy enough for a four-mile walk! A walk and picnic are of course free!! We like to play spot the squirrel on our woodland walks.

Personal Training

My personal training continued last week and I published a post on the start of my journey and how I am feeling along with scary pictures and measurements. It was a super popular post that I have had so much wonderful feedback on. I hit on many issues that women worry about and hope that it gives a few solutions on what has worked for me. Personal training is not a frugal option when it comes to exercise, but I do think exercise is such a personal thing that must be done. We all need to find a way that works for us. That might be the gym or road running or an exercise DVD or a personal trainer every week or fortnight.




I am enjoying the focus on just me and no one else. It interesting to explore my attitudes to exercise, food, wellbeing. It’s also interesting trying to shatter 25 years of the build of self-loathing and other negative body attitudes. We all need to exercise so do what is right for you.

I am linking up with CassEmma and Becky in this week’s Five Fabulously Frugal things I have done this week linky.

Las Vegas Holiday Basics

How to Comparison Shop when Chartering a Private Jet

How to Comparison Shop when Chartering a Private Jet

I recently read an article featuring my fellow entrepreneur friend a month or so about private jets! I know sounds expensive right? Well no, there are ways of getting cheap seats on private planes..yes!

No matter whether you’re travelling overseas for business and pleasure, flying can be so exciting. At least, that is until you get to the airport, remember that you have 11 hours in the air (like we did in Vegas), spend all of your time in the airport queuing and then finally arrive at your gate only to find that your flight has been delayed by 3 hours (or 2 hours 58 mins so they don’t have to pay you compensation!).

I’ve always wondered how the other half do it. No stress, no cramped seats, just the luxury of flying on a private jet. I always thought it would be impossible to fly in style on a budget, but if you’ve got a few tricks up your sleeve, there are a few ways that even the most money savvy can afford to fly like the elite. In fact, you may even be able to fly cheaper than a squashed commercial flight! How is this possible?!

Here are a few secrets I’ve recently acquired about flying on a private jet.

‘Empty Leg’ Flights

This sounds like a bit of a strange term, but ’empty leg’ basically refers to a journey without any passengers. These are often return flights, when a one-way journey has been booked but the plane must return to its original destination to collect the next set of passengers. Obviously, by flying an empty jet, the company will lose money on wages and fuel, so they’re eager to bring people onboard. This means that if you’re travelling in a group, you could each pay a small price for the luxury of a private flight.

Single Seats

As well as being able to book an entire flight, there’s often single seats available. These seats are often heavily reduced, meaning you can save a small fortune. In fact, if you’re booking a last minute journey, you’re likely to find a seat on a private jet for less than a same-day commercial ticket. Astonishing! Plus, with a private jet you don’t have arrive hours before you board, so you can save a lot of time, too.

Look at Terms

Not all private jet companies operate in the same way, so when you’re trying to find the cheapest flight, make sure you look at the terms of service. You might be looking for a flight that will only take 45 minutes, but some companies operate with charges per hour, meaning you’ll pay more. Instead, look for a private flight that uses a pricing system that reflects time spent in the air.

So there you have it. Who knew that you could fly privately without being a millionaire? One last tip for you: if you have the flexibility, avoid booking until the very last minute, as empty leg flights can prove to be much more affordable.

the fitting room stevenage

Bra Fitting and Shopping at The Fitting Room Stevenage

Bra Fitting and Shopping at The Fitting Room Stevenage

I just read an article in the Independent, an interview with June Kenton who is the head of premier lingerie shop Rigby & Peller. She says that around 85% of women are wearing the wrong sized bra! I have shopped at Rigby & Peller, many years ago. I bought the most beautiful laced bra set and it fitted like a glove but also cost around £120. And this was 15 years ago, I’m guessing it’s a lot more expensive now. There is much better value option, The Fitting Room Stevenage.

For the past two years, I have been visiting Clare Glenister’s ‘The Fitting Room’ for my bra fitting and purchases. She was in the Hyde but has recently moved to Stevenage town centre. You can park for free in Asda for 90 minutes and walk through the underpass to her shop, 23 Market Place, Stevenage, SG1 1DH.

My bras were not fitting anymore

I noticed that my 34F bras were getting loose, I have lost more weight recently and am toning up so my back seems to be changing size, the back fat is going! I popped into the shop early last Saturday morning, thinking it would be quiet. It wasn’t, lots of women are learning about this shop, it was busy!

Clare and her staff are highly trained bra fitters and they can look at your boobs and know your size from looking at your current bra fit and by looking at your boobs and back (in a bra, no nakedness is required). You then go through a process of elimination of bras to find that perfect fit.

Different brands of bras suit different people. The girls all know their brands and styles inside out and can recommend that perfect bra be it sports, bikini, feeding every day or special occasion. They stock all the brands, Freya, Fantasie, Panache. Basically, whatever Bravissimo stocks, The Fitting Room also stocks.

My fitting

Back to me, Clare quickly worked out that my back has gone down but my boobs had not lost any of their size. My new size was 32 G. The perfect bra was the panache envy. As soon as I put it on and was told how to put it on properly (leaning over and scooping you boobs into it) it looks amazing. My boobs had the most perfect uplifted shape, immediately looked slimmer in the right fitting bra.

the fitting room stevenage

I have big boobs and I have been overweight until the age of 38, now 40. In addition I have breastfed three babies for around nine months for each child. The result of this is some loose slack skin at the top of my boobs, that feels a bit empty. Other than that, they are still fairly lifted and full. They are good boobs.

I have a bra that fits

And now I have a bra that fits me properly! The Panache envy was £34, I chose the nude colour option with matching knickers. I have also pre-ordered it in a beautiful red colour. Next purchase is a bikini as they are all too big as well!! Losing weight costs money in the purchase of new clothes and underwear!!

I have had the mostest fabulous morning with @waceystyle who popped over to pull apart my wardrobe. Around 50% of wardrobe is now on the EBay or charity shop pile. We then hit H&M to chose capsule wardrobe pieces suitable for trips to London, meetings, media stuff. I got soooo much stuff I’ll post a vlog of my goodies and will write a blog of our morning together. Bargain shopping too. I joined the H&M club and saved 20% on my purchases. . . . . . #stylist #daywithastylist #waceystyle #mrsmummypenny #h&msummerwardrobe #colourpop #croppedtrousers #slacks #welwyngardencity #colourismyfriend #orangeismycolour #shopping #workclothes #bloggerclothes #boyfriendjacket #affordablefashion #lovemyjob #ukbloggerlife #bloggingyourwaytoriches #instafashion

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Clare can be found on Facebook, check out her wonderful reviews, and on Instagram. If you live in Hertfordshire, please do pay her a visit and get measured up. Make sure ladies you are wearing the right bra size.

This is a collaborative post with my friend and fellow local small business owner Clare Glenister.

AEG mastery range

AEG Mastery Range – Cooking and Laundry – Grand Designs Live

AEG Mastery Range

One of the glamourous parts of being a blogger is being invited to exciting events. A couple of weeks back AEG invited me to Grand Designs Live and I could bring a plus one, so friend and fellow money blogger Lotty Burns. We were to experience a sensory cooking experience with Jozef Youssef and the new AEG Sensery range. We weren’t sure what this meant, but I googled the chef and immediately accepted the invite, his Instagram feed is beautiful.

Sensory Cooking Experience

Arriving nice and early meant we could grab breakfast in the press area. We then headed over to the AEG area to take out seats, right in front of chef.

AEG mastery range

Josef proceeded to talk about our senses and how we use them all in cooking, tasting and dining. We tasted mystery products to work out what they were, Strawberry seeds. We worked out who had super pallets, Lotty did and spotted the Strawberry taste within five seconds. We listened to music and thought about the words Bobo and Kiki.  Bobo was soft, creamy, squishy. Kiki was sharp, pointy. Then we ate food, one demonstrated Kiki, a beautiful citrus octopus dish. We also tasted Bobo, Ox cheek and sweet Chinese buns. The food was amazing, like soooo good.  I really want to go to his restaurant, Kitchen Theory, handily not far from me in North London.

AEG mastery range

The cooking was all demonstrated in front of us on a very fancy AEG hob, part of the AEG mastery range, with an ever so clever extractor fan in the middle of the hob that drew the cooking smells Down! The ovens behind Josef were equally clever, you could set them to low souvie temperatures or high self-cleaning mode. There was even a special oven for baking. Everything you could wish for in an oven.

AEG mastery range

After our sensory session, I got a quick selfie with Yosef (obviously) and we moved over to the laundry area. The washing machines and tumble dryers were amazing. Now, we do a lot of laundry, like every day. A decent washing machine is important and is worth investing in. I need speed, value for money and most importantly it needs to be a good cleaner of dirty and muddy clothes. It also needs a delicate clothes option for my clothes. Quite an ask.

AEG mastery range

 

AEG Mastery Range – Laundry

AEG has some big objectives that ring so true to me from a value for money and environmental point of view. Lots of the facts I mention are taken from the 2016 Ipsos Mori Poll on consumer laundry habits and guidance provided by AEG.

Care for your clothes

90% of our clothes are thrown away before they should be, we are not washing our clothes properly. We are over using the dry-cleaners and over washing our garments. I have a beautiful Ralph Lauren wool cardigan which has bobbled from over washing, I have only had it two years, its a classic that looks awful now. AEG are campaigning for us to wash less, wash in lower temperatures and dry clean only when you must. If we all did this it will not only save us money, but also save the environment. AEG have developed machines where you can even wash silk and cashmere!

Relearn your laundry habits

Hands up if you wash the same way your mum taught you to. Um me. Apparently 1/3rd of us have never changed their laundry habits! I always wash on the same program at 40 degrees, or 60 degrees if it white cotton wash that is muddy. Not correct, read on for washing guidance from AEG.

Wear your clothes more

I spent the day recently with a fashionista, stylist friend who took me shopping for capsule wardrobe. We discussed fast fashion and the cost per wear. She fully believes in investing in pieces that you will wear time and time again, like a classic pair of jean that you will wear every day, spend a bit more. But for a posh dress for a wedding, why spend £200 on statement dress that you may wear three or four times. Think about cost per wear. The average garment is worn just four times!

Saving the Environment

For every kilo of textile produced at least one kilo of chemicals is being used. Scarily global textile consumption has more than doubled since 2000. And we must wash less, on lower temperatures.

AEG mastery range

A care guide for your most common fabrics

Cotton – Do not wash cotton too hot. Start using 30 degrees as your standard washing temperature instead of 40 to save energy, money and be gentler on your clothes.

Silk – Wash on gentle cycles and steam to reduce wrinkling

Wool Coat – Wash and tumble dry on gentle wool cycle

Knitted Wool – Wash and tumble dry on gentle wool cycles

Jeans – Was on lower temperature to maintain colour and shape. If jeans are stretched out, a quick tumble in the dryer can help them to regain shape. Ensure you tumble dry with the jeans cycle.

I know I am going to change my laundry habits based on this advice. For more information on the AEG laundry range click here

Disclaimer. I was not paid for this post, but did receive complimentary tickets to Grand Designs Live and travel expenses were covered.

 

children are growing up

My children are growing up and I’m not sure that I like it




My Children are growing up

I have three beautiful boys. Dylan (DJ, Deej, Dyls) is nine, has two years left at primary school. He is a football nut who plays for Cambridge United Academy, solid as a rock defender and midfield. Dylan is good at all sports (even chess, darts, pool, you name it!), amazing at maths (got that from me). He is a sensitive soul with the determination and focus of Karen Brady.

Josh (JJ, Joshi, Squash) is seven and has four years left at primary school. Also a football nut and also plays for Cambridge United Football Academy, and is a left footed goal scorer. He is creative and can make anything, from recipes to cards to artwork, and he is amazing at spelling! He is so stubborn and has such a temper. Jack (Roo, JackJack) is four, who starts school in September this year. Jack is the baby and always gets his own way. He loves Paw Patrol, Ninja Turtles, Power rangers and the colour pink.

children are growing up

Mobile Phones

I had a long conversation with Josh, yesterday about mobile phones. He wants to know when Dylan and he can have a mobile phone. I used to work for a mobile phone company and understand some people lets their seven-year-old children have mobile phones. Not us, the rule goes, the moment you start walking to places by yourself is the time you get a mobile phone. We live in a village and assuming we stay living in this village, Dylan will be able to walk to school by himself when he is ten-eleven. Boys,you have a bit of wait for that desired mobile phone.

children are growing up




Football Tour to Germany

Next weekend sees Dylan travel to Germany on a football tour with his Cambridge Academy Football team. We drop him off at 4am on Friday morning at the airport and collect him at 11pm on Sunday night. The rules are strict, no contact is allowed as this might distract the boys and make the time away stressful if they are worrying about contacting their parents, updating their parents. I get this. Dylan has been with the academy team and coaches for 18 months now and we trust them implicitly. So, off Dylan goes to Germany, what an incredible opportunity to play against teams like Bayern Munich, Galatasaray, Watford, Leicester, Man City.

But he is only nine. So much responsibility and grown upness required from my son who is only nine. Being the eldest of three brothers he is responsible and does a lot himself, but then you see cracks of the child coming out. The emotional outbursts, the silly behaviour, the not listening, the smirking. My children are growing up too fast.

children are growing up




The Troubles of a Four-Year-Old

Jack is 4 and is just about to finish pre-school. Bring on the emotional graduation ceremony (um really a cap and gown ceremony from PRE-SCHOOL!). Emotions will be high; my baby is leaving little school and is off to big primary school with his older brothers in September. Jack has an issue with buttons, which means he will only wear joggers. I have already started talking about the fact that he must wear grey shorts, just like his brothers, that have buttons. He is not impressed. School dinners will also be another potential mind field, he is fussy, I might just send all three of them in with packed lunches. I know it will save money (school dinners are £2.30 per day for Dylan & Josh, Jack is free until Yr. 3)

children are growing up

Emotional Parents ( I mean mum!)

I am an emotional person at the best of times these things I talk about are going to make me cry. But not in front of the boys, with them I am strong protective mummy. Of course, they see me cry. I cry at Britain’s Got Talent, The News, The Good Dinosaur,  Fast and the Furious 8 (yes, the car chase film!). But when it comes to things with them, I want them to see that I am strong and confident. I even managed to talk to them about the Manchester bombing without cracking, but then went to the toilet and cried my heart out.

children are growing up

How do you feel about your children growing up?



LCN

How to Self-Host your website with LCN

How to Self-Host your website with LCN

One of the first things you need to do when you set up a blog/website is to go self-hosted. But what does this mean?

Many bloggers use WordPress for their blogs. You can set up a free WordPress hosted website, I began with this back in 2013. I created content, maybe 10 posts before someone told me, no, stop using a WordPress hosted package. You need to be self-hosted! You then own the website and brands will want to work with you. I was already thinking monetisation back in the early months of Mrs Mummypenny.

That sage advice came from an ex colleague at EE. I had returned to work after maternity leave during which time the blog had been set up. He recommended LCN, we both live in Hertfordshire and LCN are based in Stevenage. It felt right, it was a recommendation, so I went with it.

Services I have with LCN

I use LCN to buy my domain names and to provide self-hosting on those domains where I run a website. I have: –

  • mrsmummypenny.co.uk where I run my website 2 years’ business self-hosting this cost £91.80 last year.
  • To buy the .co.uk domain name was £17.40 for 5 years.
  • I also have a SSL certificate for co.uk which cost £30 for 1 year.
  • mrsmummypenny.com with a redirect to .co.uk 5-year domain name purchase cost £48. (.com is pricier than .co.uk.)
  • I also own a few other domain names for future projects.

I think these prices are incredible value for money, particularly compared to some bigger hosting partners who shall remain nameless!

Customer Service

What I want to rave about is the LCN customer services. I regularly have issues with my sites. A plugin might cause an issue, there be speed issues, I need to add an SSL certificate. The list goes on and on. I am not the strongest technically, so the customer services team are such a great help to me.

  • They always seem to be working, I have called at 8am or 9pm and they answer the phone.
  • They have a queue number system so you know when you are 2nd or 3rd in the queue. I’ve never been more than 3rd in the queue.
  • The staff are all very friendly.
  • They have sorted out every issue I have had even the complex technical ones.
  • They set up redirects for me. They investigate plugin issues and tell me the naughty plugins.
  • They sorted out recent site speed issues by moving me to a different server.

So yes, I love them as a hosting company and highly recommend them to anyone who wants to set up a website.

WordPress Hosted Packages

They have brought out an exciting new product for us WordPress users. Custom built hosting optimised for WordPress websites. This means that essential plugin and themes are already included. My friends at LCN have kindly offered readers of Mrs Mummypenny, Mums Savvy Savings and Blogging Your Way To Riches a 20% discount code. Here are the deal details.

Promotion code: newsite20

Discount: 20% off the cost of any new WordPress hosting purchase (this 20% applies to our already discounted multiyear options too)

Applies to any new purchase of a WordPress hosting package: www.lcn.com/web-hosting/wordpress

Code expires at midnight on the 30th of June 2017

So, get in quick and bag yourself a cool 20% discount.

I just did a quick check and a WordPress hosting package for 2 years for 1 website is £95.95 including VAT and the 20% discount.

Details of the Package from LCN website

Plug-ins

We’ve trawled the web looking for the very best WordPress plugins so you don’t have to. Our WordPress hosting comes with six vital plugins, pre-installed and configured to improve performance, security and SEO.

Email

Sync email across your computer, phone and tablet with our IMAP email service. Can’t get to your device? No problem, our free mobile-optimised webmail lets you send and receive mail through your web browser.

Themes

Choose from over 20 free premium themes professionally designed by WooThemes – each one worth up to £50! Find the perfect design for your website, install in a single click, and customise it to suit your needs.

This a collaborative/paid post. There is no affiliate commission payable to me or Emma if anyone who signs up.