New Year – New Start

I love that New Year/New Start feeling. This year, starting the year off has felt a little different. With a whole little person to be responsible for I can’t completely focus on my own goals/needs/plans for the year without factoring in my daughter. No bad thing at all, just a new mindset to adjust to – even as she approaches 10 months old there’s a hell of a lot of adjusting that’s a work in progress.

Having said that, in many ways I think Ollie and I have adapted to our new family life and being parents pretty well. If I do toot our own horn there. But as we enter 2019 there’s a new change to get used to, with Eleanor starting nursery and along with that I can focus myself back into work a bit more. As I’ll be honest and say for me, it just didn’t work trying to do both look after her and work. Bashing out a blog post in nap time or sharing to Instagram whilst peering over my iPhone to check she was ok just left me feeling like I was half-assing both looking after her and the work side. Neither was being done all that well. So towards the end of the year I scaled back a bit and just focussed on enjoying time with her before the new phase of nursery starts. Which it now has and thank goodness, so far is going well.

So with that new start underway I wanted to sit down and write a post. I know, who even reads long posts anymore?! Well, I guess I’m not totally writing for anyone but me right now. Of course, not being selfish I will be sharing some new reviews and I have a bag of my best of 2018 products sitting next to me just waiting to be written up. But first, I wanted to try and get myself past a bit of a bloggers block by sitting down and writing a bit.

I figured after being less than consistent with the blog last year I could start by re-introducing myself. I’m sure anyone who does read this will maybe already know a bit but in case you stumble across this or perhaps only see small snippets. Here’s a bit more about me.

My name is Jen, I live in Hertfordshire with my husband Ollie, daughter Eleanor, two sausage dogs Monty and Willow and two house rabbits Charlton and Chip. I started this blog back in 2009, which means it’s 10 years old as of Feb this year. Crazy how a whole decade of me sharing online has already passed. Until 2015 we lived in central London (hence the London part of the name) but life changed a bit and we decided to move a little further out. It’s different to London life, as you would expect – but I’m only a short train ride away and usually still in at least once or twice a week. So in some ways, not all that different at all. But I do still miss Islington life, as much as I love the space and life we have out here now.

I love to travel, especially to America. I studied American studies at University which included spending a year living in Louisiana. A year I still feel was one of the best of my life. Now, any chance I get I’ll get to travel I’ll jump at it. Something I hope to hold on to as much as I can now we have Eleanor. In the few months since she was born we’ve managed to travel as a family to New York, Majorca and Spain and I went to Las Vegas to be part of my friend Zoe’s wedding.

I also LOVE beauty (as you would expect from the blog name…) and one of my all time favourite things to do is get pampered. Be it getting my hair done, or nails, a massage or facial. Treatments and salon time was probably one of the first ways I discovered how much I love beauty and something I want to feature more on the blog in 2019.

I also work as a social media freelance consultant. Having worked with a whole host of big name brands and some new start-up brands over the years since I left full time employment in 2013. I’ve missed working in that behind the scenes type way last year whilst I took my break around having Eleanor. But hopefully will be something I’ll be able to pick up and spend some time on this year. My absolute favourite thing to do is social media reviews and strategy planning. I do love to get my social media geek on!

My other interests mostly revolve around food. Not cooking it, but eating it. I love to go out to eat. Especially if that’s with my favourite friends and family. Ever since I started the blog it’s always been a bit tricky to answer questions around my hobbies or ‘other interests’ as the blog started as just that but then morphed into my career and I never quite found time to pick up other new ones to fit in that space. I have just started an eight week intensive exercise/fitness regime though so who knows… maybe I’ll be a gym bunny by the end of 2019?!

Other random things: my favourite colour is turquoise, I love interior/house stuff (I probably visit Homesense around every other week). Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. I have a weakness for cake, Coke Zero/Diet Coke and macaroni and cheese. Thai or Vietnamese food are my all time favourite cuisines. I can do the worm and in an extremely unattractive way can tie a knot in a cherry stalk with my tongue. Apart from London, my favourite cities are: New York, Barcelona, Austin and New Orleans. Miami is up there too actually. But of course that list is always open to change with more travel. I love colour/colourful things and think I’m a somewhere in between a minimalist and a hoarder. I’m a want-to-be minimalist with hoarding tendencies. So I also have a real love of storage. I know, WILD. But I promise I am fun too. I’d like to think my friends would say I’m fun at least!

Anyway, enough random facts about me. Just wanted to say hello again really. Welcome to 2019 – who knows where life as a blogger will take me as the year unfolds. But thanks for sticking with me if you’re a long term reader and if you’re new… where have you been for the last 10 years?!

Photos by ZoeLondon



  1. January 11, 2019 / 12:25 pm

    Great post and photos Jen and for what its worth I love a long blog post, for me there is nothing better than curling on the sofa and having a read. Thanks for posting and a belated Happy New Year.

    • Jen
      January 17, 2019 / 1:39 pm

      Thank you! I love writing a long blog post! So you’re in the right place!x

  2. Anonymous
    January 11, 2019 / 8:55 pm

    Really enjoyed this x

  3. Anonymous
    January 17, 2019 / 11:20 am

    When did you get so fat?!

    • Jen
      January 17, 2019 / 11:28 am

      When I had a baby.

  4. Emma
    January 21, 2019 / 8:55 pm

    I just discovered your blog and am loving it. Like you, I did American Studies too and the year spent in NY was the best year of my life!

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