Marriage- Eight Years. What I have learnt.

Howdy Y’all,

Happy Tuesday, today is special in chez Lifestyle because Mr L and I celebrate EIGHT years of marriage. I can not believe we are at eight years which I think is a good thing since it doesn’t seem that long ago that I walked down the aisle to become a Mrs. We have packed a lot in to our eight years, an international move, six homes, a child and a dog. So never a dull moment. It is not my intention to speak of mine and Mr L’s marriage specifically or to speak in depth about him, we like to keep some privacy. I will say this. When I walked down the aisle eight years ago I knew I was marrying a good and kind man, a man of principle (sometimes bloody mindedness with an insistent need to be right.)A man confident and self-assured enough to support those around him, a man who raises women up and sees them as more than equal. A person who loves unconditionally and understands remarkably. Mr L has not disappointed. The type of personality I am, I had to be married to a man who I respected and who could be my partner in all things. A man who can accept my feisty side and encourage and support me. I am the lucky one I have found that. I have a partner in all its entirety, it is not perfect but its ours.

Today I want to share some of the observations and lessons I have found in eight years of marriage, these do not simply relate to marriage but to all partnerships,

  1. Marriage in unpredictable. Yes like life you can have an idea of what marital bliss will be like and then you are thrown a grenade and it becomes something else. I never saw us spending our lives living on another continent to our loved ones. Raising my child away from family, but it forces you to pull together and lean on each other. It tests the foundations of marriage.
  2. Your not the same person, your life experiences prior to your relationship are different . Your childhood and traditions are unalike. Navigating and respecting each others ways is part of the journey. Examples of this are should your stocking or Santa sack be at the end of your bed or by the fireplace? Does Santa wrap your gifts or not? Is Easter a time for lamb or ham?
  3. You get the marriage you think you deserve. A wise women once made that statement to me at school, at the time I thought very little of it, but whether speaking of marriage, life or friendships there is a real pearl of truth to it. If you have self respect enough to love yourself and show love to others then you deserve the same in return. Many partners will invest and reciprocate the same levels of love you show them. It is also important to remember you are the example of a healthy loving relationship to those around you, especially children and they learn how to love and give love from your example.
  4. Pick your battles, as you bed down in marital bliss you learn that you don’t have to win every battle to win the war. Either that or I am becoming so long in the tooth I care less. Now Mr L may disagree on this but I have tried in recent years to let things slide. I have made a conscious effort not to become a nag and ride his butt about everything he doesn’t do, (because I am sure there are things I don’t do, very few things but sometimes even perfect people slip up!) I am also trying to calm myself and consider is this issue really worth a disagreement and nine times out of ten it is not unless it is PMT driven.
  5. Marriage requires work, that doesn’t mean big extravagant gifts or hearts and roses (although all great ideas so Mr L if by chance your reading this don’t be put off.) You have to be that person the other requires sometimes and find common ground. It is so easy especially when you have small children to get immersed in routine and little person needs, you forget that you have needs of each other. My grandpa used to say that children flee the nest and you are left with each other so don’t forget that.
  6. Marriage has seasons, there are times when you require more from your partner or the balance changes. Life is fast pace and we all have times where things are not quite as we would want, marriage requires you to support and love your partner unconditionally. The roles could revers one day. Seasons in life and marriage are meant and you have to learn from each one.
  7. Don’t compare you marriage to other. Firstly nobody’s marriage is perfect and they are all different because we are. In the eight years I have been married I have sadly seen lots of marriages dissolve for many reasons but often I see that people compare their marriage to unrealistic expectations or society ideals. What matters is the two of you and how happy you are with each other. What others are doing or speaking about is up to them. I maintain if you were lucky enough like Mr L and I to have grown up with strong examples of marriage, it helps because you have seen the journey of marriage and the ups and downs required for true partnership.
  8. Love Languages. Something I discovered this year and I am using. You answer a series of questions and they inform you about your preferred love language. Mr L and I completed this thinking not a lot of it, we were polar opposites (no surprise.)  My main love language is “acts of service” for Mr L it is “physical touch.” So in a nutshell I feel loved and appreciated by “acts of service”  so for example if Mr L put the trash out, or I came home and the kitchen had been cleaned (your getting the idea) I would be in heaven. For Mr L he feels most loved if I give him a hug or hold his hand on the sofa ( not natural for me.) These are such simple things and I have noticed subconsciously we have been trying to appeal to each others language and although far from perfect I am quite amazed by the result. I was a skeptic but honestly humble pie I may need to eat. Would you like a post on the love languages? I encourage everyone in a relationship to take the quiz. Not only have I been grateful by the effort Mr L has made but it gives me areas at which I need to focus. 

Do you have any pearly words of wisdom or do you prescribe to that mantra the art of a good marriage is two people who don’t want to get divorced at the same time!!!

Happy Anniversary Mr L here is to another year! Love you.




Home Décor & Design

Howdy Y’all,

One of the questions I get asked most here on TLL is about my home its décor and design. People have asked for a home tour and for me to share how my house is progressing. It is my plan to share with y’all areas of my home as I feel ready to do so. I have already shared my daughter’s bedroom and if you had not seen that please click here. I recommend you refresh your memories because much of the room has changed once again and I plan to share how I transitioned her toddler room to The Little Princess Room it is now soon.

It is not my intention to talk about my home today, but more about design and décor and how you create a style or look for your home. I have always been interested in décor and design – it is in my blood! I have so many memories of my parents remodeling and decorating homes. I vividly remember the smell of paint being burnt off the skirting boards by my mother on her hands and knees and my parents looking exhausted from peeling paint or wallpaper from ceilings and walls. But they did it all, remodeling and decorating our home room by room.  I think they loved it although it wasn’t always conducive to marital bliss. They would change the feel/mood and look of a house and make it our home. Even now, they have scaffolding up as I write this, knocking doorways between rooms, remodeling bathrooms and developing into the roof. Granted they are doing less of the work themselves these days, but when it comes to the design and décor of their home they are not standing still and I have inherited that bug.

I don’t wish to date myself but I remember when most décor inspiration came from books, magazines and some google images. With the invention of social media we are now bombarded with images at every turn.  I think if you are someone who is looking to curate your style in a new home or discover what you like, all this information could be overwhelming. Today I want to share some of my key thoughts on helping people navigate this world or décor and design.


  1. Love. This is so important to me, whether you own or rent, your home is your largest investment so you should LOVE it. I am also a proponent of filling your home with items you love. It will become more cohesive and a reflection of your family. There is something magical about being able to touch and see items around your home and for them to evoke memories or thoughts that you are able to reminisce about or share in. It is more sentimental than purchasing something because it subscribes to a certain look. Very few of us are fortunate enough to buy new décor and furniture specifically for each home; most of us collect items as we progress up the property ladder, whether inherited or purchased. If we buy pieces we love we will want to take them with us and reuse or repurpose.
  2. Practicality. Sure, you can look at thousands of gorgeous images and think I want to recreate that, but you have to be practical about the stage of your life. There is no point spending thousands on wallpaper or upholstery if you have small sticky fingers around.  Similarly  there is no point having a polished floor if you are approaching your mature years. Practicality also covers versatility, for many a room has to be multipurpose and that is not always conveyed in the stylized photos of Instagram. Storage is so important and you can never have enough. A home will always look collated and dressed if you have places to put away your things (ie hide the crap!)
  3. Budget. Sorry to bring you down to earth with a bang, but one has to consider this. We can all get swept away looking at and desiring bespoke items but if the budget is Ikea then we have to work within those parameters. A beautiful stylish home can be created on any budget, you just sometimes have to be a little more creative which is more fun. Even if your budget is not limited you have to consider if what you are adding is good value, either in terms of adding value to the price of your home or to your quality of life. Perhaps consider asking yourself if this is your “forever home”, or the place you wish to raise your family. If you can enjoy your investment for a longer term I believe your can let your heart rule your budget a little more.
  4. Fit. If you are in a new home or remodeling your current home and are unsure what direction to take, I always try to be sympathetic to the home’s bones. This is especially true in countries and areas where homes are older. If you have bought a new home (unless it has been modeled on a period style) perhaps cornicing or picture rails might not be a fit. In the same vein, if you buy an older home with period features it is important to modernize with recess lighting and modern amenities. Ripping out older floors and fireplaces is criminal! You can decorate with a more modern taste while respecting heritage.
  5. Flow/Tone. I have lived in quite a lot of homes and the flow and tone is probably one of the most important things I consider when decorating. I like there to be cohesion as you move between rooms. Whether your home is several thousand square feet or a small apartment, if you have a smooth flow between rooms your home will look stylish. How can this be created? Color is an obvious one, if you’re wondering what color to paint your home, go look in your closet and see what color you tend to be drawn to. I may sound crazy but sit in your home and see if colors come to you. Look at possessions you may love, that can inspire a palette. If you are a Pinterest person, look at a board and see if there is a color which unites all your pins rather than getting detail-obsessed by an image. I always used to scrapbook magazine pics and I could see as I flitted through that a palette appeared. Tone is another way; tone through shades of color is obvious but tone can also be created through texture and textiles. I love love love textiles and I plan to do another post all about them at a later date. Similarly, the décor accessories you choose can set the tone and mood throughout the home.

I am by no means an expert but these thoughts and considerations have work well for me to date. As I begin to share my home and some of the upcoming projects we will revisit these points in more depth. If you are in a position where you feel overwhelmed by projects and decisions with design perhaps consider hiring an interior designer. I think their expertise and knowledge can be invaluable as well as providing savings and discounts.

How do you style and decorate your home? Have any tips which you wish to share?

Have a great week friends.


My Summer Makeup Refresh

Howdy Y’all,

So we are experiencing record temperatures early this summer in Texas. Last week my car was reading 108oc and we are only in June. This heat combined with my daughter home for the summer means that I have a slightly different lifestyle and therefore requirements of my cosmetics. If you have followed me for a while you will know that I am a fan of reviewing your cosmetics routine at the start of every season, after all you don’t wear the same clothes in winter as you do in summer so why would you do the same with skincare and makeup? As I mature I am noticing that my skin has very different needs in each season and how I respond to this can really change how my skin looks and feels. Whether you are like me and live in unbearable heat or are about to enjoy a summer holiday  I wanted to share with you some of the holly grail products I have found which are quick (who has the time?) sustainable in the heat and do what is required.

Even if you follow my strict policy of wearing sunscreen at all times, your skin tone changes during the summer months. The vast majority of people will drop at least one shade in foundation and concealer. So it is always worth checking, the wrong color can be ageing and nobody got time for that!!!  The need for a full coverage foundation is not necessary in the summer, unless you have blemishes  you have to cover. The summer is time to celebrate our skin tone and its beautiful to see freckles, a light BB or CC is perfect for the vast majority in the summer.

Like the winter, the skins exposure to extreme elements like heat, humidity, sand, salt and air conditioning to name a few really alters your skins texture. Often you will think your skin is greasier as you sweat and perspire (we all glow) but actually more often than not your skin is actually dry and dehydrated (combination skin.) For me my skin can not get enough of hydrating products and I lean much more to cream products in summer. It is only my finishing powder which is a powder product. I think that dewy cream finish is lighter for the summer and gives a more youthful glow (who doesn’t want that?!)

Here is what I am using and loving this summer.


Supergoop Serum 

  • If you take nothing more from this post than this, sunscreen is the most important thing you can do for your skin, it should be applied everyday rain or shine. I am a strong advocate of a separate/stand alone sunscreen application even if your face product contains SPF.
  • I love Supergoop, it is not heavy or sticky and absorbs into your skin. I find it works well for most sensitive skins.
  • Supergoop only make products for skin protection from the sun which I thinks speaks volumes to the quality.

Clarins SOS Primer

  • This is not essential but it diminishes redness for an even looking skin tone. I find in the sun the red pigment of my skin can come through and this helps.

It Cosmetics CC Cream

  • This is a fantastic CC cream, it gives good coverage and has strong lasting power even when in and out of the pool.
  • It also contains an SPF 50 which combined with a separate sunscreen will provide you a high SPF coverage.

Bobbi Brown Serum Concealer

  • Regardless of season this is a LL love. When exposing your skin to the summer elements the serum inside the concealer gives added moisture to the eye area which is nourishing. It prevents that dried and cakey look that some concealers can.

Bobbi Brown Cream Shadow Stick

  • In the heat I can not be bothered to do elaborate eye makeup. I want to apply something easy which will hold all day and I find these are brilliant.
  • They come in various colors and both matte or shimmer.
  • They don’t require brushes which make them fantastic for travel.

Beauty Counter Volumizing Mascara

  • I spend much of the summer either swimming or sweating. I also live in an area where allergies/pollen are rampant, as a result I find by the end of the day I am wearing most my mascara on my under eyes.
  • I did feel that in the summer months I wanted to find a more natural mascara. I have been trying several items in the Beauty Counter range and I can honestly tell you I have been very impressed with this mascara. It is a little dryer in texture and therefore requires a little more work in application but it lasts well and I have no fall out. It also feels good to think that it does not have any nasties or chemicals near my eyes.

Beauty Counter Color Pinch Cream Blusher

  • I mentioned earlier that during the summer I prefer cream products. I was looking for a cream blush and decided to try Beauty Counter. I have been impressed, highly pigmented, beautiful packaging and has strong longevity.

NYX Wonder Pencil

  • To all mums and tired people everywhere, regardless of season this is a must. Place this along your waterline and you will look like you have had 8+ hours sleep.

Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel

  • Eyebrow grooming is essential. This tints, fills, grooms and lasts all days.

Beauty Counter Sheer Lipstick

  • Great variety of colors and buildable.

Beauty Counter Lip Gloss

  • Great glosses and all natural.

Supergoop 100% mineral setting powder

  • Love this product, it is a finishing powder with SPF. It sets your makeup and prevents shine. The wonderful design with retractable brush means it is easy to carry with you and you whip out reapply and remove any shine or add SPF.
  • It comes in a variety of shades or translucent like I have.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment

  • Been bashing on about these for an age, great shade range, so comfortable and nourishing. Plus they contain SPF.

NYX Illuminating Stick

  • These come in a variety of shades and add a slight highlight to your face, plus so affordable.



Here is the picture of me with the makeup on!

summer makeup)

So any products your loving for summer? Would you like me to do a post of facial sunscreens? The other thing to remember which is almost as important as sunscreen is to double cleanse. Even if your not much of a makeup wearer, you are of course wearing sunscreen and it is important to remove that correctly and get your skin/pores very clean. Another issue for summer skin is bacteria, I find I am more susceptible to breakouts, with all the elements and sweating so a very strict skincare regime with DOUBLE CLEANSING is essential.

Ta Ta for now,