Author : Molly Bawn

8 posts

It’s getting to that time of year again when I’m longingly looking at my calendar and wondering how long it’ll take for summer to roll around.

We’ve just managed to get through the dark doldrums of winter, but it still feels like an age until the summer months will truly be with us. Thankfully, there’s always the therapeutic past time of planning holidays to keep us warm inside and optimistic enough to wade through the rest of the cold months. I’ve decided with my significant other to plan a trip to the South of France this year and have taken inspo from blogs on the topic to create my own French Staycation Holiday Planning Guide.

Find your destination!

Before you go ahead and book those flights you’ll need to take into consideration location what part of the of France you’re heading to. It’s impossible to break down the differences between all the regions of France, but it’s a good rule of thumb to remember that the further South you stay the more likely you’ll be to experience the warm weather. Stay on the coast to get close to the beach action (duh!) and stay further in land to be nearer to the vineyards.

Where will you stay?

Once you know which region of France you’re staying in you’ll be able to start looking at places to stay (this is my favourite part!). By now you should know who’s going, this should inform you on the type of place you’ll book. If you’re travelling as a couple then you’ll be looking at small apartments and gites (cottages in French), however if you’re travelling in a larger group then you can push the boat out and go for something a bit grander.

How will you get around?

Regardless of how you get to your destination (car, plane, train, ferry) you’ll need to have a way of getting round once your’re there. Driving is a good option if you’re comfortable with going on the other side of the road, but if you’re staying in a village for a few days then you could consider renting bikes to get you from A to B, this will then mean that you can avoid the typical argument about who’ll be the designated driver and gives everyone the chance to relax.

What will you eat?

The cuisine is one of the main draws for visitors to France, but it could get expensive choosing to eat out for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day! When you’re choosing the property that you want to stay in it’s a god idea to check if there are local amenities in the area. Shopping at a French market can be an experience in itself and then you’ll be able save a little money for the ‘big-ticket’ meals that you’ll certainly want to indulge in. That being said, not all French restaurants are expensive, most towns have a number of affordable bistros which will serve good quality food without costing you a fortune.…

Winter has arrived again and I’m totally failing at mornings.

It really doesn’t make any sense. I got an extra hour’s sleep on Sunday yet somehow I woke up on Monday feeling shattered. 

This is a dangerous time of year for both my bank balance and my morning schedule. As the nights are drawing in earlier and earlier, I find myself getting progressively more sluggish in the mornings, which inevitably leads me to forget something crucial (like deodorant or underwear) and end up dashing home to sort myself out.

I’ve been crawling up a very sharp learning curve during this week, optimising my morning routine and ironing out all the kinks that have been tripping me up along the way.

Here are my top tips to smashing your mornings and starting your day right:

One alarm – no snoozing

There are so many people I know that rely on multiple alarms to get them out of the bed in the morning – it’s like an epidemic sweeping the country!

If you need as many as 3 or 4 separate alarms to get you out of bed, then there’s a chance you’re not getting enough sleep. Go to bed earlier, set one alarm and just get up. Snoozing in life gets you nowhere and will invariably just make you late.

Always leave time

When it comes to actually setting your alarm, you should always resist pushing yourself for time when you get up.

You’ll be able to ease way into the day much easier if you give yourself an extra 10 minutes or so. If you’re ready 5 or 10 minutes early then you can either get a head start on your commute or just sit down and take a breather.

Set a routine

One of the best ways of optimising your mornings is by setting a standard routine. By performing your morning activities in the same order every morning, you’ll be able to increase the speed and efficiency with which you achieve these tasks, making your mornings that much easier.

If you take lunch in make sure it’s ready to grab in the same place each day and you can even shave minutes by laying out your outfit the day before.

Skip breakfast and drink a coffee

My final recommendation is one that will no doubt inspire rancour and fury amongst Mums all across the country – but it’s one that has really helped me improve my focus and energy levels. By skipping breakfast in the morning and replacing it with a strong cup of black coffee, I’ve found that I can work much more effectively, it’s also helped me lose a bit of weight.

Obviously, I’m not a dietitian, so you should take my advice with a pinch of salt. That being said, I’ve had a lot of friends rave about Bulletproof Coffee, which seems to be another good alternative!

How have your mornings been going post-daylight savings? Have you got any tips on optimising your mornings?

Send me a message on ‘Get Writing’ with your comments!

Have you ever had the feeling like your life is slowly but surely unravelling?

One thing breaks, then another and then another – until suddenly it feels like your whole life is in absolute disarray.

If you’re a busy Mother, or simply a hard-working gal with a full-time job to keep up, then you’ll know that it can be an utter nightmare keeping your house in good repair whilst juggling a million other things.

We’ve all got our priorities, our long-term goals and our short-term goals. In order to keep making progress in your life, it’s imperative that you stay adaptable to the changing circumstances so that you can deal with any challenges that might arise and threaten to thwart you.

All it takes is one thing. A dishwasher fault. A broken fan oven. A flat tire. These little setbacks can transform your day, week, even your month, from a well oiled productive process, to a complete mess and waste of time. Time is, after all, what we’re trying to save here. We’re born on this planet with only a limited amount of time, so we need to make sure that we are at peak efficiency as much as physically possible.

The important thing is to stay mindful constantly, it’s crucial that you keep your eyes on the prize and maintain constant forward momentum. The next time you’re hit with a setback, whether minor or major, consider these ideas before letting your good habits fall to the wayside and wasting your time:

Divide and conquer.

When you’re first hit by a debilitating setback, whether it’s health related, a disappointing result at work or simply a breakdown in your car, you’ll initially feel like you have a mountain to climb. Your path to progress has been halted, for every moment that you waste trying to clear the path, the less time you have to get on with the job at hand. Instead of approaching the work ahead as one big mass, divide up your tasks.

By splitting up your workload you can help organise the tasks in your mind. It’s super important that you prioritise what jobs are most important to you, so that you can attack the work with the fervour needed to get the job done as quickly as possible

Stay focused on your task.

Don’t allow yourself to become distracted by anything. This means any form of screen, regardless how much it is crying out for your attention. Unless there’s a specific bit of work that you need to get sorted, then it’s best to keep things like television, mobile phones and laptops well away from your potentially idle hands.

Stay on target and get the job done.

You’ve fought off the tempting distractions of your mobile phone. You’ve successfully kept the television off all day. Don’t be tempted to call it a day and kick back and relax. You can always work harder, you can always do better, never stop striving to achieve more, each and every day.

Remain mindful of what you have.

Only you have the key to your destiny. No one else is going to do the work for you. You must strike when you can and show the world who and what you are.

You are the best.

Don’t let the Winter months obliterate your skin!

Let’s be honest, we never look our best during Winter. Brisk, cold winds can sap the moisture from our faces. The lack of daylight hours can drain our pigment of it’s natural colour and the indulgences of the festive period can do it’s best to punish our pores with clogging impurities and grease.

Don’t let yourself go over the Winter period.

Keeping up and augmenting your daily skincare routine can help you keep your glow throughout the dark months.

So that you can shine throughout the long nights.

There’s no excuse to let your Beauty practices slide because you’re not going out as much! 

I know this can be a tough time for us girls, so I’ve collected five of my best tips for surviving the Winter months whilst staying utterly fabulous throughout. Keep these in mind and you’ll be waltzing into Summer with a glow!

Keep Away From Indulging Your S.A.D.

During the Winter months, unless we work outside or have a worrying tanning bed habit, we get horribly deprived of the Sun. From October to early March, in fact, the UK does not receive enough UVB radiation for our bodies to produce it’s own supply of Vitamin D. A lack of sunlight, most importantly, leads to us developing a nasty case of S.A.D.

Don’t succumb to your cravings and feed the sad, mopey beast inside you. Top up your body with extra vitamin supplements, eat plenty of fruit and power juice your way through veg to stay on top of your emotions! 

Invest In Asian Beauty Regiments

The Asian Beauty market has never been bigger than it has been today – Korean skincare particular has seen a huge boost in popularity leading to the meteoric rise of a number of new brands and products that will save your skin this winter. Check out the 10 step K-Beauty Routine here and start your road to radiant skin today. During last year’s Asian beauty explosion, literally hundreds of online sellers popped up across the internet selling top K-Beauty brands.

Although it can be easy to get lost amongst all the different products and brands, I found that by sticking with My Scheming I was able to build a complete skincare routine much easier. 

Never Stop Exercising

It might seem counter-intuitive to protecting your skin in the long-term, but it’s super important that you keep up with your exercise plans throughout the winter months. Stepping outside of your lovely warm house in the midst of a dark, cold night may not feel like the right thing to do, but you will look and feel ten times better if you can make it outside for 3-4 hours of exercise a week.

A speedy half hour jog outside can get your pores open and ready for a scrub back home. If you can’t quite face spending the time outside, then head to the gym and enter yourself into a High Intensity spin class – no one said looking gorgeous was easy! 

Drink Water – NOT Coffee

Lastly, hydration can never be underestimated when it comes to looking after your skin during the Winter months. Starbucks may well be tempting you inside to grab their latest sugar filled creation but you must, must, must resist. Winter is a time for recuperation and healing – so stay well clear of the calorie emporiums and reach out for a bottle of water instead.

Water is the number one pick for keeping your skin healthy and glowing throughout the Winter. Keep a bottle constantly topped up by your side and you can guarantee that your skin will thank you later.


In case you missed it – Summer’s over, which means Autumn is here!

The weeks and months can fly by so quickly. One minute you’re picking out your swimsuits, stressing over sunglasses and panicking over party suits – before you know it, you’re shivering in the sudden breezy Autumn weather wondering why you’re still wearing your denim cutoffs and crop top for a trip to the supermarket.

Well, here’s me giving you a clear, unambiguous warning:

Autumn IS here.

It is DEFINITELY too cold for cutoffs.

You NEED to go shopping.

Not that I need to give you guys any excuses to go shopping.

Still, just in case you’ve been seduced by the Indian Summer into thinking that it’s going to stay this temperate forever, here’s a few items you might consider getting hold of, before you’re caught out by Winter:

Ladies Cashmere Lined Leather Gloves

glovesYour hands are the very first things to get battered by the changing seasons. Prepare for the worst and look your best with these stunning Cashmere Lined Gloves. If you object to the use of fur, then I’d highly recommend you get off your high-horse and just feel the luxury that those wonderful cows can grant your hands. 

Soft supple leather, a smooth cashmere lining and master craftsmanship combine to make a truly superior product. 

Barbour Wool Crieff Flat Cap

barbour-hatThe country look is timeless and effortlessly cool. By all means, refrain from wearing it out shopping, but for any long walks or trips outdoors this should be your first choice for Autumn headgear. Combine with a waterproof waxed jacket or Hunter Wellington boots and you can pass for the classiest of country girls.
100% wool with a polyamide lining, Barbour have been making these hats for decades – and they sell in their thousands for a reason.

Amelia Jane Black Fur Gilet

mongoliangilet_aqua-and-grey-tip-750x750Now this is a city-friendly option, if there ever was one. Made with 100% Lambswool these gorgeous gilets come in a huge variety of designs and colours. Perfect for getting cosy in the winter, or as a convenient outer layer for a trip into town – this gilet screams 90s Hip Hop chic and is sure to turn heads wherever you go.

A two toned colour scheme lends this item a particularly striking appearance, pair with some slinky black jeans for the ultimate catwalk look.

CLEVA Shearling Collar Leather Jacket

leather-jacketEvery woman must have a leather jacket in their fashion repertoire. Music festivals, walks in the park, late night drinks – there’s not many occasions that a leather jacket won’t be suitable for. It’s a classic urban look that’s been a mainstay of women’s fashion for decades. Step into badass biker mode and add a touch of class with a fur lining.

Great styled with just a t-shirt and jeans, this is an all purpose piece of clothing that should be in every woman’s wardrobe.

Jimmy Choo Black Leather Over-the-Knee Boots

bootsYou would be a fool to stray into the Autumn/Winter Season without a decent pair of boots and these ones go above and beyond that particular term. Floor-to-ceiling leather might not be suitable for every occasion, but when your time of need arrives, they’ll be ready and waiting for you blow everyone out of the water. 

Bears do their business in the wood and Jimmy Choo makes disgustingly expensive shoes that are always worth the money. A girl can always dream.

The world of Fashion and Beauty is powered by the Selfish.

It may seem like a rather obvious statement, but with each passing year it feels like the driving forces behind the Beauty and Fashion worlds are people who spend the majority of their time taking photos of themselves. 

kevin hart‘selfie’ was the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year in 2013. The publishing powerhouse picks one word that encapsulates the zeitgeist and mood of the year past. It would have been a relief for the word to lose it’s social traction in the years that followed, much like ‘chav’ and ‘bovvered’ before it – however the concept as a whole is symptomatic of a generation’s obsession with vanity, that looks to be with us for a long time to come.

Of course, it’s not the original sin of human vanity that is the cause behind this wave in social sharing but something a great deal more sinister: the notion of celebrity.

Kim-Kardashian-selfieWe thought we’d seen it all. Safe in the knowledge that our celebrities of the 90s and 00s were the most outlandish/outrageous, it would be too easy to dismiss the current generation of self-made stars as flash-in-the-pan successes. We had Peter Andre and the irrepressible Katie Price jostling with the likes of Princess Diana, George Michael and Tom Cruise. These people were hounded relentlessly by the press making their private lives known the world over – regardless of their wishes.

However, today’s stars have put themselves in the spotlight on purpose, and now strive to maintain that limelight for as long as possible. Our celebrities of today have not derived their popularity from skills or talents, they have ruthlessly marketed themselves as worthy of global attention and must strive each day to validate their global presence.

justinThese self-appointed VIPs maintain their social relevance and status through the use of well established Social Media Platforms. Where celebrities used to run, covering their faces, from flashing paparazzo, they are now doing the media’s jobs for them. By pushing content such as ad hoc videos, blogs, tweets and the ever present selfie – a celebrity of any medium can maintain contact with their audience and open themselves up for criticism, counter-criticism and debate over their actions and thoughts.

The more impromptu the post, the more human the celebrity appears. The more typos that crop up in their rhetoric, the more the average person sympathises with them. All of this contributes to their overall star power, giving them more chance to gain a sponsorship deal from a famous brand or corporation.

Money is the main motivator when it comes to the hunt for celebrity.

As long as the road to stardom continues to be paved with millions of dollars, there will be thousands of people willing to do anything to get on there.

birthday girlGone is the age of hand-me-downs and bargain bins – today’s kids are smart, fashionable and knowledgeable. They don’t just know what looks good, they have the confidence to pull off the kind of outfits that even the hardiest of catwalk models would feel nervous about.

In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a kind of renaissance hitting the children’s fashion industry at the moment. For a while it was perfectly acceptable to have your child dressed in worn out holiday t-shirts, worn denim dungarees and bare feet – but those days are now firmly in the past.

With children growing up quicker than ever, kids have never been so enlightened when it comes to fashion. Recently a Mother was moved to tears when her 4 year old daughter refused the gift of a handmade ball gown. The bright blue dress, modelled after a similar costume worn by a Disney Princess, was denounced as being ‘so 2013’ with the criticism that ‘Nicki Minaj wouldn’t be seen dead in this shit’.

fashion kidIf you want to avoid public shame and embarrassment at your child’s next birthday party, then this blogger recommends that you invest in high quality fashion ware for your child. With most high-end fashion manufacturers providing child sized versions of their best-selling items, there’s no excuse not to have your kid dressed in the best togs around.

If you’re truly stuck for ideas of where to shop for your child, here are a few of the best places to find Children’s Fashion Items online:


ebayThe venerable online auction site is 20 years old this year and is still a great option for finding great deals on kid’s clothes. Thanks to the fleeting use of high-end children’s clothes, there’s a high turnover of these items on the internet. Just make sure that you have a good look at the items first and make sure the style isn’t too old, as your child may get suspicious and start searching the internet history for clues,


Oxfam_2013The same rules apply when approaching Oxfam’s ever changing roster of children’s clothes at their online store. You might have to spend a couple of hours sifting through the choice cuts of the hundreds of donations that they receive every year – but find the right item, and you can save yourself a fortune. Of course, it goes without saying that you must be extra careful when receiving any package with the Oxfam branding on, as children no longer accept the notion of ‘charity’, as it was formerly known.


kathryns logoOne of the more recent additions to the world of kids fashion, Kathryns doesn’t sell used goods, but the new merchandise you can buy from them is guaranteed to be of the highest calibre. Their selection of high-end clothes covers all seasons, with a range of fashion brands running the gamut from Hugo Boss to Absorba. They’ve got a wonderful selection of styles and trends that will please even the choosiest of toddlers.

Where ever you choose to buy your children’s clothes – next time you go online, consider my advice.

Children are smart. They know what’s in fashion and what should be burned.

Disappoint them and they will make you cry.

The streets of England are filled with budding fashionistas and hidden catwalk wonders.

high streetEach town and city in our fair country is home to its own unique style and trend. Despite the influence of international fashion trends, us Brits are staunchly loyal to our favourite brands and looks – regardless of their cultural associations.

Even though year-on-year high street sales are diminishing, as a result of the growing trend in online shopping, we’re still finding time to get down to the shops to support our favourite outlets. Shops such as Sports Direct and Primark make a killing selling their mid-quality products at a low price.

In fact, when you factor our average parking prices, going to shop in these outlets is much more affordable and less time consuming than purchasing similar quality products online. But can you craft a decent look by only shopping from these cut-price shops?

You can probably guess my answer to that question, its a big emphatic:

 Forget what the magazines and media outlets are saying: power in Fashion can’t be measured by price tags and brands. In fact it can’t be measured at all – power in fashion is derived from bold choices and winning confidence.

Remember, the only person that you need to impress is yourself.

Take the pieces of clothing that make you feel good, throw them together with something that might not work by itself and suddenly you can transform individually cheap items into an outfit that can really turn heads and make you shine they way that you were always meant to.

Here are some great examples of unique fashion outfits, these looks were completely designed and put together by the models who are simply men and women from the streets of Britain:

shakirasPic Andrew Teebay. Story Susan Lee. 'Street Style' in the Cavern Walks & Mathew Street..... Terry Roberts aged 29,from Toxteth.........indie girlPicture by Jason Roberts....... Street Style..... Issac Liam (24) student from Malaysia.rajni-jacques-snowweirdoasian


Woman in a cap and varsity jacket at Paris Fashion Week