Usually watching the news has an unfortunate habit of making me cry. I like to stay informed but with almost every story reported on filled with tragedy and disaster I tend to just feel angry, sad and helpless watching it so it's lovely to finally hear some good news for once!

Photo Credit: Rosemarie Mansfield


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcomed a baby girl into the world on Saturday who they have named Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. I think Charlotte is a fabulous choice! Presumably the couple needed the thumbs up from the Queen when picking out their baby's name so it does look suspiciously like she has said Diana can be included if Elizabeth comes first!

I thought Kate looked stunning as she left the hospital. Yes, I know she has a team of stylists etc but it would have taken more than a hairdresser and makeup artist to make me look half way presentable after I'd given birth! As a mum of a boy (who was born in the month of July like George) and a girl (who celebrates her birthday in May like Charlotte) I feel grateful that I never got photographed leaving the hospital when I came home!




So, as we are specialists in luxury baby bracelets that are all fit for princesses we'd love to celebrate this historic week with 20% off all purchases made from Tilly & Tabitha until Saturday 9th May. You can still enjoy FREE delivery to any UK address as well as free personalisation and gift presentation too.
Simply enter the code: PRINCESS at the checkout. 








May is an important month for me because it's my daughter's birth month - this year she'll be turning SEVEN! I've no idea how that's even possible as she's still a baby in my eyes but there you go!

If you're lucky enough to be born in this beautiful spring month then your birthstone is Emerald. Emeralds are a rich opulent green coloured gemstone that just ooze sophistication.

Photo Credit: Rosemarie Mansfield

 
At Tilly & Tabitha we represent May in our birthstone jewellery collection with Aurora Borealis Swarovski Emerald crystals (Aurora Borealis, or AB, is a posh term used by Swarovski to describe its sparkling appearance)

So, to compliment our gorgeous bracelets that work equally well as thoughtful birthday gifts and well earned treats for yourself, I've put together this gorgeous emerald inspired outfit idea.




Leopard print bodycon dress - Topshop
Biker jacket - New Look
Shoes - Red Herring at Debenhams
Bracelet - Tilly & Tabitha
Envelope clutch bag - New Look
'Rich Kid Blues' nail polish - M.A.C Cosmetics


Hope that's given you some shopping inspiration, enjoy your three day weekend!









I seem to suffer from eternal guilt. By that I mean whatever I am doing I feel guilty that I'm not doing something else! 

~ When I'm working and the kids are around I feel guilty that I'm not spending time with them. 
~ When I'm working and the kids are at school I feel guilty that I've not finishing all the jobs that need doing around the house.
~ When I am spending time with the kids I feel guilty that I am not working and feel like I am letting down all the people who have helped me build my business up to where it is today. 
~ I feel guilty that I don't spend enough time with my husband and I even feel guilty for not spending enough time on my self!

I want to be an amazing role model for my children as I know they look up to me so I then feel guilty that I might be somehow teaching them that it's okay to run around after everyone else all the time with a big weight of guilt on your shoulders. This is NOT what I want them growing up believing is acceptable.

So, when my husband decided to suffer with a horrendous chest infection last month I knew I wouldn't catch it as I never get ill (I don't have time!!) 
But I did.
And that turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

For almost a whole month I was literally forced to slow down. The kids were both poorly too though recovered much quicker than I did. I had been going full throttle for so long that I had just burnt myself out and the chest infection had really knocked me for six.

In my month of forced recovery I made some pretty significant changes... First off I rediscovered my love of reading. Reading is such a pleasure to me but is one of those things that I can never justify spending time doing (for all the reasons mentioned above!) I bought and borrowed a number of FANTASTIC books that have really opened my eyes and have changed my outlook on life in general.

Photo Credit: Rosemarie Mansfield


One of the books I read (which was highly recommended by a friend) is called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo. Now 'magic' and 'tidying' are not really two words I'd have ever previously put together... more 'tidying' and 'chore' but this book really changed my views.
Marie Kondo is a Japanese lady who has dedicated her life to tidying(!) and has some interesting suggestions on how to tackle clutter so it will never be an issue ever again. EVEN WITH KIDS.

Some of what she says I don't really agree with so I've not gone with all her suggestions but the vast majority of it I think is amazing. She does say some things that at first glance seem fairly bonkers (saying 'thank you' to your possessions for example) but never the less the principle is sound and the bottom line of what she is saying is that you should only have items in your home that bring you joy. If it doesn't bring you joy then get rid!
Since reading this book I have made countless trips to the dump and the charity shop. Turns out I owned a lot of things that didn't bring me joy!!


Another big change for me is I've decided to knock alcohol on the head. I'm not saying I will never drink again but for the first time in my adult life I no longer crave a glass of wine at the end of a long day and I feel certain I'll never actually be drunk again.
When I was poorly drinking alcohol was the very last thing on my mind so I went the first few weeks with no effort at all; then when I started to feel better I realised that I hadn't really missed it. Plus I had saved so much money, I was sleeping better and I didn't seem to be suffering with headaches anywhere near as much. 


Drinking more of this kind of thing these days!
Photo Credit: Rosemarie Mansfield


My last big change is to stop with the feeling guilty. Just stop.
I realised that feeling guilty all the time serves no-one, least of all me! The house is more clear and organised than it's ever been, I sleep better at night because of the not drinking and I feel I have a clearer head now to move forward with the important stuff!

I bought a beautiful glass 'House Rules' sign the other day which I thought was just lovely. I painted the frame red to match the other things in the room and hung it up.

My daughter read it all out to me and said she would obey them all! I said the 'Follow your Dream' rule was especially important and she said "Of course, that's an easy one to obey. Why would you not follow your dream?!"
That's a good question.
For a not-quite-seven-year-old, my daughter does say some very insightful and wise words sometimes!


Photo Credit: Rosemarie Mansfield




I think in the world of jewellery; packaging is almost as important as the item itself.
I love shopping online and the moment I have placed my order I begin to impatiently look forward to it arriving. I want it YESTERDAY. My postman knows I'm always pleased to see him!

I've ordered things online in the past that when they arrive in less-than-impressive packaging I've felt a bit 'meh'. But equally when an item arrives in beautiful, thoughtful packaging it's made my day and added to the whole enjoyment of my shopping experience.

So with that in mind I worked especially hard on ensuring the Tilly & Tabitha gift packaging was luxurious, thoughtful and complimented the jewellery perfectly. I've received hundreds of comments over the years commenting on the packaging so I know I must be doing something right!

An example of Tilly & Tabitha packaging
Photo credit: Rosemarie Mansfield






However, while researching this I came across some weird and wonderful packaging ideas that I'd love to share with you...

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Some of these are cute, some are just genius!



Photo Credit: Rosemarie Mansfield


After an exhausting week looking after my poorly six year old daughter I'm glad to see Friday plus it's the first official day of spring!
My daughter finally seems to be on the mend and the sun is actually shining. I've been very busy today planning some new designs for the spring /summer collection heavily influenced by nature and British wildlife that I can't wait to share with you.
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend whatever you're up to!



Our new stacking bracelet set is proving to be very popular indeed!
Made from the most stunning collection of Swarovski crystals and pearls in a vibrant mix of fuchsia pinks and amethyst purples, this gorgeous set of three bracelets can be made to fit any adult wrist size and comes beautifully packaged too so would work just as well as either a thoughtful gift or as a well earned treat for yourself.


Photo Credit: Rosemarie Mansfield

So, with spring just around the corner it's time to start thinking about fashion for the new season. To show you how beautiful these bracelets really are I've put together an outfit idea that is certain to brighten you day.



I love skater dresses as they are so versatile. I spotted this gorgeous magenta number at boohoo.com - such a fab colour and only £20.

These comfy yet height-giving cork wedges are from New Look and compliment the dress perfectly.

Next up, this lovely bag can be found at Debenhams, again a beautiful colour and a decent size too! 

Pink and purple always look absolutely stunning together and are one of my all time favourite colour combinations so I think this Barry M Gelly nail polish in Plum would look great with this outfit.

The polarized cat eye sunglasses are from Next and to complete the look I've found the perfect lip colour with this Bourjois Rouge Edition lipstick 'Fuchsia Graffiti 7'


The bracelets along with a huge selection of other beautiful jewelley can be found in our lovely Tilly & Tabitha shop.


I do realize there are many worse things in this world to be addicted to than stationery, and for that I am grateful! But today, as I order ANOTHER new folder (probably taking my total up to around 4,732) it finally dawns on me how much I am obsessed with notebooks, pens, diaries and highlighters.

Here are some of the items in my office that, quite frankly, I can't live without...

Photo Credit: Rosemarie Mansfield

First and foremost is THE NOTEBOOK! I have dozens of notebooks in my house and office. My favourites are probably the A4 Pukka Pad project books but I don't discriminate, any spiral bound notebook will get my attention. Especially ones with subject dividers. Or pretty covers.
Every new idea I have for my business is promptly got underway with a new notebook. I recommend having a place to jot down ideas right by the bed too for inspirations that come in the night, it really helps with a good night's sleep!




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Next up: THE PEN!
My latest must-haves are these Frixion rollerballs. They come is so many pretty colours (very, very important), they look cool and best of all they're erasable! These are the best option for me when filling out my calendar and wall planner because I can colour code stuff which helps keep me be more organized plus if I change my mind about something I can just rub it out and it doesn't mess up the whole page. 






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The other thing I am a tiny bit obsessed with is ring binders and box files. I love to have all my bits of paper tucked away in pretty folders and I'm such a sucker for good design.

I can't be the only one with this kind of addiction though I'm sure! Do let me know if you suffer with the same obsession!


We're well into the new year now - the Christmas decorations are down, the kids are back at school and I've finally managed to get back to the gym after over a month away!
Christmas was so, so busy and the whole of December seemed to race by in a blur so in that weird bit between Christmas and New Year I sat myself down and had a good think about how to manage my time better, be more organized and productive and really push my business forward.
As a result I decided to close the eBay shop and concentrate all my efforts on the Tilly & Tabitha website.

I've had at the back of my mind for some time now that I wanted to move away from eBay but I clung to it like a security blanket! eBay is a wonderful site that is incredibly easy to use and manage - you can sell anything from a post card to a Porsche, it takes no time at all to start selling and with a little extra effort an eBay shop is very easy to set up too. Within weeks of launching my eBay shop, that I originally intended to go hand in hand with the website, I had sales rolling in fast. 

Now, as easy as it is to set up selling on eBay the tricky bit is actually running it consistently to the highest possible standards. I'm a bit of a perfectionist so I made it my mission never to let the feedback rating slip to anything below five stars on all the criteria:
- Item as described
- Communication
- Dispatch time
- Postage and packaging charges
And I'm proud to say that I never did receive anything less than five stars from every single customer :)

However, doing so well on eBay was simply making it harder and harder to leave, though deep down in my heart I knew it was time to.
So why leave eBay?
Well, at the end of the day if I'm trading on eBay I'm effectively working for somebody else, not myself. eBay has very high fees for sellers and reserves the right to change anything at any time which can be frustrating. Also I worried that when people bought jewellery from me and a friend asked where it was from the buyer would say 'I bought it on eBay' as opposed to 'I bought it from Tilly & Tabitha' which doesn't exactly help to promote my brand!  

So, with this big decision made I need now to push forward with everything I have to make Tilly & Tabitha a successful company (though by no means do I do this without fantastic support form some incredibly important people in my life)

I have recently created some gorgeous new pieces that are totally unique, personalised and packaged beautifully that I am so looking forward to sharing with you!




1st January is as good a day as any to commit to a new resolution. We all know deep down what we should be doing more or less of and at New Year's many of us declare that things will be different from now on but recent research suggests just a mere 8% of us actually stick to our new goals!

With that statistic in mind here's my top five tips on making sure you DO achieve your New Year's resolutions:



1 - Set the RIGHT goals and WRITE THEM DOWN

It's all very well boldly declaring that from 1st January you will never smoke, eat chocolate or let a drop of alcohol pass your lips ever again and on top of that you will workout at the gym at least five days a week, lose two stone and run a marathon but if you set too many goals or just down-right unrealistic ones it's no surprise when you end up not seeing them through.
Instead, commit to making as many small changes that can be easily worked into your daily routines as possible - any steps moving in the right direction are steps worth taking.
Once you have decided what areas of your life you'd like to work on your next step should be to write your goals down.
This simple exercise will be the single most important thing you can do to ensure you stick to your new commitments.



2 - Have prominent reminders around of WHY you have made that resolution

So, you've decided on what resolutions you want to commit to, you've chosen realistic goals and committed to them further by writing them down. But why have you chosen those particular goals in the first place? The reasons behind your choices can be powerful motivators to sticking to your resolutions if you keep them at the forefront of your mind.

Simple things such as a photograph of your child in your wallet that you can't help but see when you go to pay for your cigarettes can be a real help. Perhaps a little written reminder of what you're really saving for written in the front of your cheque book could help you curb unnecessary impulse buying if that's something you're trying to control.



3 - Prepare in advance for difficult situations

Another great key to success is preempting hurdles before they even arise so you can be prepared with strategies! For example if you're trying to lose weight but are attending an event where you know there will be a buffet you might choose to eat a small healthy meal before you go, that way you won't be starving hungry and faced with temptation leading you to make poor food choices.






4 - Celebrate your successes 

Don't be afraid to celebrate all of your achievements as you go. It's not just about the end result but also about your journey there. For every success along the way always take time to congratulate yourself and for every milestone you reach be sure to reward yourself in some way. These little motivators will help keep you on the right track and give you things to look forward to.



5 - Don't let a slip up mean giving up

You are human, you can't be perfect all of the time, no-one is. If you slip up or have a bad day don't throw your hands in the air and give up. Dust yourself off and get right back on track immediately. Think of all that you have achieved so far and don't let one silly mistake ruin all you have accomplished so far.

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