It’s not another Banana Bread. I love banana bread but my goodness it’s been the lockdown bake trend. I’ve saw it on nearly every instastory I’ve followed. Now I hear your moans, I imagine your eye rolls but hear me out. This recipe is not only delicious but it’s healthy too. Have as many slice as you with without the guilt!

Enjoy!!

1 generous handful of blueberries & 1 generous handful of raspberries

75g spelt flour

75g coconut flour

2tsp baking powder

3tsp mixed spice

Pinch of sea salt

150g coconut sugar

100g coconut oil

2 beaten eggs

3tbsp oat milk

Preheat the oven to gas mark 4 and line a loaf tin

Mix the oil and sugar until it becomes creamy

Add the beaten eggs a little at a time

In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients together- flour, salt, spice and baking soda

Add the berries to the wet mix and then gradually add the dry mix.

Pop it in a loaf tin and into the oven for 50 mins

Healthy and delicious 💕 Serve with some cream or yoghurt.

Chat soon

Marlene x

Hi hope you’ve had a great weekend.  We’re nearly at the end of January and I’ve saw a few bloggers share their dream year post.  Its a post I like to read so I thought I would share mine.  You write your goals for the year and come December you look back and see what you achieved.  I love goals, Im a planner.  I love a checklist.  I write a list of what Ive to do every single day.  It keeps me productive & stops me forgetting things. So lets get started, grab a cuppa, this could be a long one.

Career

Last year I was lucky enough to get a business coach.  It was the best thing I ever did, Kirsty is a wonderful person and has taught me so much. It isn’t all about spreadsheets and number crunching, its all about getting on in life, making life easier and how to enjoy your business.  What we did was plan, I learnt how to plan, (this is my list making started) how to make achievable goals and complete them.  I now have  a 1, 3 and 5 year plan for myself and one for the business.  Im not sharing them all just now but here are some of the changes I will be making this year.

My business really means the world to me.  I love my boutique and I feel I have found my feet.  Its now time to grow.  I have some new brands due arrive for Spring 2020 and I know your going to love them.  I try to always find something a wee bit different and I love when customers comment on that. I want to do a small refurb too.  Nothing major but I a few tweks here and there.

This blog, Im getting right into the swing of this, I love to read and write, it was my favourite subject at school.   My plans are to write a lot more fashion and skincare posts.  I have the posts just no photographs so my aim is to meet with my photographer at least once a month to get some good content as well as the photographs I take myself.

Youtube – I have watched youtube for over 4 years now and this year I will have my own channel.  Im learning to edit and then it will be full steam ahead with fashion hauls, vlogs and I hope to share some boutique life on there too.

 

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My first photoshoot with Francesca, we just clicked!

 

Home Life

Spending more time with loved ones –  Making sure a Sunday is mine, whither its going somewhere with Alex & the dogs or spending time at home with a blanket and a good book.  Visiting my grandpa, I’m making sure Sunday is not spent doing house chores, food shop or work.  Small changes at night during the week will give me a Sunday free. I said this last year but I mean it.  1 day switching off a week is a must.

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My grandpa has vascular dementia and we weren’t sure if he would be at home with us this Christmas & he was & we had a great day.

Health / Wellbeing

Look after myself Be the best version of me, this year Im going for it. Im 43 this year and Im going to look after myself.  As well as loosing the Xmas pounds and getting a bit fitter,  Im trying to sort out my hormones.  I know my age has a lot to do with it but the moods and cramps are unbearable sometimes so Im trying a few different vitamins to see if they can help.  I will do a separate blog post on this later on.

Pilates and walking; my favourite exercises. I don’t have the time for a class at the moment so home DVDs it will have to be.  Im not walking much just now with the dark nights but Ive been craving to get outside on a crisp day and get a right good walk.  Its great for the mindset and I always feel amazing and totally refreshed after a good walk so Im looking forward to that.

Travel 

I wasn’t going to feature this as we don’t go abroad anymore but we do a fair bit of exploring Scotland, its really beautiful so I will be sharing where we go.  We won’t leave the dogs, Alex isn’t to keen on flying and I have terrible earache when landing that it’s put us off.  I wont fly to London for buying trips anymore because of it and I really enjoy the train journey now. I was lucky enough when I was younger to have relatives in Africa and America so I’ve seen a good part of the world as well as the Caribbean and we’ve done the usual European holiday spots. So I’ve seen enough. Last year Alex converted his new van to a camper, Ive only stayed in it twice.  We done the NC500 on our 10th wedding anniversary and I done an over night in Glencoe.  Over the past 10 years we’ve toured around Scotland, it really is a beautiful part of the country,  we usually rent cottages or log cabins (my fav!) but this year we’re planning on going to the outer hebrides so Im really looking forward to that.

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Dress Down Day !!!

A few places I would like to visit this year –

  1. Outer Hebrides (Harris and Lewis)
  2. Arran
  3. NC500 again
  4. The Kelpies
  5. Inveraray Castle
  6. Wallace Monument (its been years since Ive been)
  7. Edinburgh
  8. Back to my favourite place in the world – Foyers 
  9. Culzean Castle – we walk the dogs in the grounds all the time but never been in inside.
  10. Explore more of the Cairngorms

I really wish you all the best for the coming year, a new decade bring the opportunity for a fresh start.  Time to start smashing our way through those goals.  I’m excited to share this journey with you.

Life is for living.

Chat soon

Marlene x

Happy New Year….. New Year – New Me & all that jazz!!

 

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I’m sure you’ve heard it all before and might be sick of it but I bloody love it.  Not the awkwardness of New Years Eve or Hogmanay as we call it but the fresh New Year.

Theres nothing like a fresh start, a new calendar, new diary the first page of  new note book.

This year for me its all about organisation and plenty of hard work. Head down hard work, not the I’m so busy but unproductive.

Everyone else is like yeah I’m taking time out at night, not going to be working as much, cutting back on social media & I’m like nope – nope – nope. I plan to work myself to the bone this year.

Here’s to 2020.  2 blog posts a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Youtube video’s & vlogs coming soon, facebook lives, photoshoots and all the things that make me so uncomfortable but will help grow my business.  Cheers !!

Jumper Mango ~ Sold Out.

Photographer ~ Francesca Morrison.  Instagram @fmphotosx

 

 

 

Happy Monday everyone, hope you had a good weekend, yesterday we had our first festive ladies day with My Serenity Boutique, it certainly kick started the festivities and we meet some lovely new customers.

This morning I’m heading through to Glasgow for my monthly meeting at our Business growth programme, October went a bit off track and I didn’t do what I had planned for the month, this new website is going to be the death of me I kid you not!  It’s been 1 step forward 2 back and it’s easy to fall down that rabbit hole if your not careful.  Hence the reason to write this post.

This time of year can be a bit bleh so I thought I would share my tips on how I stay motivated.

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Top New Look Skirt My Serenity Boutique Bag & Boots Kurt Geiger (last season but I’ve linked similar)

The Fear of Regret

I don’t want to look back with much regret knowing I could have done better.  I do my best to remind myself of this. Starting my business is the best thing I’ve ever done for myself especially my confidence and It’s just the start, I’ve got so many plans and goals set I want to know I tried my best.  I would rather look back and laugh at my crazy mistakes and believe me that list is growing by the year.  Life is to short, I remind myself of that (again). I’m nearly half way through mine!  I’m going to live glamorously into my nineties at least, I’m sure of that!! I’ve already done the norm, bought the house, car, happily married, 2 precious fur babies. It’s time for the fun stuff, time to enjoy what you work hard for. Take chances.  One of my favourite quotes is the 3 c’s.  Choice, Chance, Change.  “You must make the Choice to take the Chance or your life will never Change. True story! Write you goals, bucket list and start working towards them. You’ll be amazed at what you achieve. It doesn’t have to be huge, for starters just make a list of what you want done in a week. Keep it with you & I bet you get it done. Trust me it works!!

Your circle.

Surround yourself with people who inspire you.  Be fussy with who you spend your time with “you are the average of the 5 people you spend your time with” they shape who you  are, so if your circle is negative, change it, join a group, a club, take up night school.   My business coach Kirsty  is a ray of sunshine, she’s the most positive person I know.  I always leave our group sessions with fire in my belly also an outlook that I can achieve whatever I set out to do. We need more Kirsty’s in the world! If your Ayrshire / Glasgow based I highly recommend the Glasglow Girls Club.  I’ve been to some fab events and met lots of women that I now call friends.  They have  good networking events, events where if your feeling a bit stuck, need advice, a group of us get together and help where possible.  Days out, joining the club also gives you fantastic discounts on food, entertainment and other Scottish businesses to.  There is a waiting list and I’m sure their is only 2 openings a year to join but it’s definitely worth joining.

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Remind yourself how far you’ve came.

I wasn’t always confident, it’s still something I’m working on but when I think I can’t do something I remind myself on small achievements.  For example, I was terrified of driving, I wouldn’t drive anywhere that I new had a hill start, the detours I took, I’ll tell you!  I would probably be an extra £20 on fuel a week haha. And believe me this went on for years. I also wouldn’t go anywhere I hadn’t been before, I’m still a bit iffy on that but with Google maps nowadays what could possibly go wrong…….  How did I fix it, I’d had enough, I went out early on a Sunday morning and practiced hill starts till I was blue in the face.  I still pat myself on the back when I’m on a hill and use clutch control and no handbrake, such a bad ass lol.  But seriously push yourself, you can achieve anything and I mean anything you set your mind to. x

As always, thanks for reading and I hope this gives you a bit on inspiration for this Monday morning.

Chat soon

Marlene x

As I was packing my suitcase I was thinking to myself; seriously – your going to London Fashion Week, actual LFW not the weekend aftermath this time it’s the real mccoy.

Arriving at Euston the heat hit and oh my I wasn’t dressed or prepared for the weather.  Will I ever learn, a few years back I went LFW weekend leaving Scotland that chilly morning in my faux fur coat and tights only again to arrive in an indian summer.  In the excitement of it all I never checked the weather.  It was all a bit last minute – I read and reread the email.  “We are delighted to have you confirmed as a Backstage Dresser for HUISHAN ZHANG at LFW tomorrow”  It was a case of hotel and train booked, the dress code was all black, flat dark shoes, no heavy make up, short nails and no jewellery incase the delicate fabrics were snagged.

I packed light, all black outfit for Monday, the basics – PJ’s and underwear.  I travelled in jeans, blazer, light knit (!!!) and my trainers.  It was 26 degrees when I got to London.  My feet were like balloons by the time I got to my hotel, I ended up with the blisters from hell and later on that night I was on the phone to my mum when I jumped out of bed after discovering a rash all over my legs. Helloo prickly heat!

No rash, blisters or seriously puffy tired face was going to dampen my day, I’d never been to the Holburn area so I set out early for the tube..  My heart went out to the commuters having to endure that cattle market every day.  Crammed in like sardines in the hundreds, the smell of cigarettes, perfume, aftershave, sweat I’d never been so close to a bunch of strangers!! The silence is deafening: so many people so little noise.  Only the sound of footsteps; waiting on the lift to get back up to fresh air there must have been at least 50 of us huddled waiting for the door to open when a lovely lady from Trinidad shouted from the back in her cheeriest accent “Good morning everyone” no response, only 1 young girl looked up from her phone, she made eye contact with me which is a no-no and cracked a smile.  Finally we cracked the code & broke the sound of the underground!

Rosewood London, what a place. Built in 1914, hidden from the hussle and bussle of the busy streets through an archway you enter into a grand courtyard.  I didn’t have a clue what door to go through, I was looking for the Grand Ballroom. One of the chauffeurs saw the confusion / panic in my face, took pity and started chatting.  Turns out he was from Scotland too; Dundee with only a few years until he retired I found out he chauffeured all his days. He managed to pin down one of the concierge who directed me to the ballroom, I thanked Tom / Tam if your from Scotland and made my way in.

Greeted by a softly spoken lady, dressed in a gorgeous black full length lace dress, I was passed through security and given my Access All Area’s band I was directed down the beautiful winding staircase to the ballroom.  The sound check and lighting was being rehearsed and the soundtrack for the show was Dorris Day – Perfect!

Girls were in makeup when I arrived, we were briefed and put to an outfit, my outfit was a beautiful pink shimmer high neck mini dress with cap sleeves, nude bodysuit, feather bag with strap to be wrapped round the left wrist and hung in a certain way, this was important so the all the bags were carried the same. People who had dressed before were put to the trickier outfits.

I met Millie a beautiful girl with a warm smile, we chatted for a bit, she’d done a few shows already so new the set up. I felt lucky some dressers just stood around whilst there models were on their phones. Then it was time.

I put Millie’s shoes on carefully as the leather was  fine & delicate and we had been warned about this beforehand and we were ready for the walk through. We got to see this on the screen just outside the dressing area so we had an idea of what was going on.

Back to hair the girls went, I did go down and watch as a trained hair dresser I was fascinated.

One by one the girls came back and were dressed, I patiently waited on Millie she had beautiful hair and a lot of it. Eventually she came bouncing through the door full of life and adrenaline.

She got dressed, there was a panicked silence in the room, lots of rushing and helping others. Millie’s was ready quickly so I helped other dressers with shoes and making sure the feathered drawstring bags were positioned correctly even helping one model with one of my blister plasters!

It was onto photos, every girl had their photo taken individually back stage then made there way to the the line up where hair & make up we’re doing there final touch ups.

The music started and the stylists quickly made one last check on the girls then it was time. One by one the disappeared through the curtain to the eagerly awaiting audience.   We huddled round the small screen watching the girls do their thing!  Eyes focused on the end of the runway as they made their way one by one, the collection was stunning, Camera’s flashing, phones filming every detail and just like that it was the finale with cheers from crowd, it was another successful collection from Huishan Zhang.  As the girls came back to the dressing room full of cheers and applause , it was  a quick change for them back into comfy clothing, make up off and racing on to the next show.

As the guests made there way out into the courtyard full of excitement, chatting of fabrics, who was there, who sat where. They finally parted ways air kissing their goodbyes as they made there way to the Bentleys and Mercedes waiting to take them to the next show.  I stood for a few minutes just to take it all in, my eye caught the chauffeur I was chatting to on the way in. “Well, he asked, how did you get on?”.  My face said it all.  “Maybe the next time we meet, I will be on the other side sitting front row being chauffeured around”.  We both laughed said our goodbyes as I stepped out of the archway back in to the real world I looked back, smiled, my heart still racing…………..did that just happen ?

 

Marlene x