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Victoria Sully Nov 2018 Circle Logo


Welcome to the Lylia Rose UK money and lifestyle blog.  I'm Victoria Sully, a busy mum of two, wife, full-time blogger and online money-maker.  I’m passionate about making money online, saving money, self-employment, healthy living and blogging.  I’m on a personal mission to be healthier and wealthier!  Thank you so much for joining me.


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» Listings for December 2015

  1. A wedding in our own backyard

    Ben and I tied the knot in August this year (2015) and I've meant to devote a whole blog post to the event for a while now.  I'll share a snippet so you get a feel of the day and perhaps some inspiration from some of the ideas we had for our Wedfest. 

    We decided to have a Wedfest style wedding in our own garden.  I originally wanted to wed in Las Vegas, but we decided this dream would be quite a way off as we wouldn't want to leave our children, and go so far, for several years.  But, we didn't want to wait any longer to wed.  Reuben, our second and last child, was born in March this year and I was keen to complete our family by getting married and sharing the same name as Ben and our children.  We'd been engaged for three years, so a wedding was already on the cards, but it still felt all very sudden somehow!  The idea of a garden Wedfest began in April and within four months the big day arrived.  We wed in a basic registration ceremony a few days before, and our Wedfest came and passed by in a flash.

    For us, it was the perfect day.  It suited us both down to the ground.  I've never been one to dream of a big wedding day; the thought of a lot of people looking at me all at once terrifies me!  I detest having my photo taken as I'm so self-conscious of how I look.  What would be most people's dream wedding day, would actually be my nightmare wedding day.  I do absolutely love a more traditional wedding day, but purely as a guest only!  Hopefully we will still go to Vegas one day.  I've been four times before, but would love to show Ben and have a good mooch around.  There is still so much I haven't seen or experienced.

    I thought about hiring a venue for our Wedfest, but Ben actually said, why spend the money when we have a perfectly good venue ourselves.  It was the best venue.  Everyone was relaxed and Bella and Reuben felt comfortable in their own home, surrounded by everyone important to us.  The only worry was if it rained and 80 people had to squeeze indoors!  We purchased a couple of pop up gazebos and a marquee to give some extra shelter outside just incase.  We needn't have worried though as it was absolutely scorching! 

    If you live in the South West you may remember the day well.  I think we'd had a pretty good summer, then it started turning in August.  The whole week looked a bit iffy and we couldn't tell if it would be a washout or not.  Then the forecast promised sun.  And boy oh boy, did it deliver.  It was scorchio.  It was so hot we were dripping just by standing still outside, everyone had to go indoors just to cool down!  We may have prayed for the sun just a little too much, but at least it was dry and we could make full use of our garden and everything we had set up for the day.  By the evening it absolutely chucked it down!  It was strong winds, torrential downpours and thunder.  A full blown storm.  The wind actually took our parasol right out of the table, it flew into the window and snapped.  We were so amazingly lucky to have the final best 'day' of the summer!

    Garden Wedfest Homemade DIY Wedding Photos Blog

    Garden Wedfest Homemade DIY Wedding Photos Blog

    We set up the marquee and gazebos the day before, once we knew we were safe from any rain! We then got up super early to decorate and add all the finishing touches.  I'd set up the three tables inside the night before, so we had to just carefully carry them out.  We'd made the paper pompoms over several nights before - I'd ordered ready cut ones, but they still took a few minutes to make each one!  We did a few each evening, whenever we found we had a spare 20 minutes. 

    On the morning of Wedfest, I ran around carrying Reuben in a carrier on my back (in which he fell asleep and didn't mind at all) setting it all up.  My Mum, sister and Ben's Mum came mid morning to help set up and keep the children occupied.  We finished just in time and I didn't even have a five minute sit down before the first guests arrived - we were just in the nick of time!  I think a half hour sit down would have made it even better though, just to absorb it all and to prep my head for the overwhelming day!

    Garden Wedfest Homemade DIY Wedding Photos Blog

    Garden Wedfest Homemade DIY Wedding Photos Blog

    There were around 20 children on the day, most under five years old.  I popped a box of dress up outside Bella's playhouse which they had great fun dressing up in all day.  I also left out some patio chalks, which were used to decorate the inside of the play house instead!  We thought some of them had paint on their clothes and couldn't work out where it was from, but then realised it was chalk as soon as we looked in the house!  Oops!  I purchased this Garden Games aztec children's teepee which the children loved.  It seemed perfect for the festival theme.

    For extra seating we hired straw bales from a local farmer.  They dropped them the day before, then bought them back the day after Wedfest as they were still useable.  They were such a fun idea to use for seating.  The large floor cushions are from Homesense.  I'd always wanted some and finally had an excuse to buy some!


    Garden Wedfest Homemade DIY Wedding Photos Blog

    We strung up bunting everywhere, a must have for a garden wedding if you ask me!  We also had some giant balloons for fun, which mostly ended up in the neighbours gardens before the day had even begun, oh dear!  A Wedfest sign with an arrow pointing down our garden path welcomed guests - this was simply Bella's chalk board!  As guests reached the garden, they were welcomed by a welcome drinks table.  Right at the back there, by the house, you may notice a pizza oven!  We hired Cotswold Pizza Co who served wood fired fresh pizzas to all the guests for lunch.  They walked around handing out slices or made a whole pizza per guest if requested.  They were the best tasting pizzas ever! 

    Garden Wedfest Homemade DIY Wedding Photos Blog photobooth

    Garden Wedfest Homemade DIY Wedding Photos Blog wooden engraved personalised guestbook stags

    Originally I was going to hire a photo booth for a couple of hours, but then decided to do my own.  I made up some props and placed them in jars for display.  I purchased a Fuji Instax Mini 8 and loads of film.  I left these out for guests to take their own photo booth style photos.  There were glue sticks for these to be stuck into our guest book next to their messages.  I found the guest book on eBay and it came all the way from Greece.  It was exactly what I was looking for and I couldn't find anything in the UK.  I love wood and our house has lots of wooden furniture, wood style floors, wooden blinds, a rustic oak fireplace beam and so on.  We stayed in a log cabin once and I loved it so much, it really inspired me!  Ben also loves woodwork and dreams of making his own furniture one day.  It seemed so perfect to have a wooden guest book.  I'm becoming a little obsessed with stags too.  We have an amazing canvas of a stag by Paper Panda in our living room which I love.  So the stag theme continues!  I'm so pleased we did our 'homemade photo booth' as we really do have the best guest book filled with wonderful messages and photos of everyone enjoying themselves.

    Garden Wedfest Homemade DIY Wedding Photos Blog box albums

    I don't know about you, but I love looking at photos.  I left a big basket of our albums out so people could look at 'Our Story So Far...' if they wanted to.  There were baby albums of both our children, our family album and our new home album.  We moved home just over a year before our wedding and have almost totally changed every room.  It was a great chance for those new to our home to see everything we had done so far.

    Garden Wedfest Homemade DIY Wedding Photos Blog

    Garden Wedfest Homemade DIY Wedding Photos Blog

    Mmmmm, the cake table!  It wouldn't have been complete without some sort of wedding cake.  We didn't go for a traditional tiered wedding cake, but cupcakes which the guests could help themselves to throughout the day.  I had a little bet with Ben on the day.  He was certain I had purchased way too many, but I disagreed.  We had around 80 cakes, so enough for each guest.  By the end of the day only 2 or 3 remained, so I think I won?!  Here you can see Bella before the guests arrived absolutely dying to have a cake and hovering for ages around the table!

    Garden Wedfest Homemade DIY Wedding Photos Blog

    Two sets of neighbours gave us a beautiful bunch of flowers each.  They made a great centrepiece for our garden table and I used this photo to create our thank you cards after the event.

    As well as taking lots of our own photos throughout the day, we also hired a professional photographer to document the first three hours.  Pix Photographic from Gloucester captured the enjoyment of all our guests and provided us with around 200 amazing photos on a wooden USB stick!  Yep, it's wooden too! 

    Here are a few of our professional photos:

    Pix Photographic Gloucester Wedding Documentary Photographers Blog

    Pix Photographic Gloucester Wedding Documentary Photographers Blog

    Pix Photographic Gloucester Wedding Documentary Photographers Blog

    Pix Photographic Gloucester Wedding Documentary Photographers Blog

    Pix Photographic Gloucester Wedding Documentary Photographers Blog

    Pix Photographic Gloucester Wedding Documentary Photographers Blog

    Pix Photographic Gloucester Wedding Documentary Photographers Blog

    Pix Photographic Gloucester Wedding Documentary Photographers Blog

    Pix Photographic Gloucester Wedding Documentary Photographers Blog

    Pix Photographic Gloucester Wedding Documentary Photographers Blog

    Darren Campbell Magic Close Up Magician Pix Photographic Gloucester Wedding Documentary Photographers Blog

    Darren Campbell Magic Close Up Magician Pix Photographic Gloucester Wedding Documentary Photographers Blog

    Aside from the pizza (of course) the best thing about the day just had to be the incredible close up magician, Darren Campbell.  Darren spent time going around to all guests and amazing them with his spectacular magic tricks.  Even though he was often surrounded by people, we still had no idea how he did it.  We were all absolutely gobsmacked and he was the highlight of the day.  I have no idea how he did the tricks he showed to me and Ben.  Perhaps he really is magic.  I didn't know what to say.  I was so stunned by what had just happened, I was trying to think about what my eyes had just unbelievably witnessed, in which time he had completed even more baffling tricks. 

    I honestly have no idea how he does it.  We have kept one souvenir from Darren.  A small sealed tonic bottle with a card inside which we signed our names on.  We signed this card and inserted in into the pack, then Darren would pull it from his different pockets.  Next it was in his waistcoat pocket sealed in the bottle.  Perhaps he froze time to put it there!  He took rings off people and then pulled a set of keys from his pocket to which these rings were attached, by an actual keyring.  I find these keyrings a nightmare to take keys off at the best of times, so how he managed to slyly pop it on one, without being seen, I have no idea.  He also read our guests minds.  Guests were to hold a cube (which had a different symbol on each side) in between their palms, and Darren guessed the upwards facing symbol.  He was correct every time! 

    Darren Campbell Magic is truly amazing and highly recommended.  As us and all our guests thought on the day, and have continued to comment since, Darren is super talented and a natural entertainer.

    I was a little sad when the day was over.  I feel like I need to repeat the day, but as a guest to really take it all in.  I'm dying to see Cotswold Pizza Co at a festival so I can try one of their pizzas again and really enjoy it without distraction!   We had such a wonderful time and hope all our guests did too. 

    We already know what we'll be doing for each ten year anniversary -  ANNIVERSAFEST!



  2. braces at 30 lylia rose blog blogging experience documenting journey journa

    [Stock photo - definitely not my teeth, but soon, I hope]

    Braces at 30 – Post Consultation Thoughts

    It’s been 8 weeks since my consultation with the orthodontist and I’ve certainly been giving braces a lot of thought.

    The first thing I did was book an appointment at my dentist to talk about my options after having braces.  I wanted to know aftercare for these options and of course costs.  Veneers, restorative work and bridges are not permanent, so I also wanted to know how long they could last and ongoing costs.  To me this seems like a sensible thing to do, right?  Understanding everything I’m letting myself in for, especially costs, before taking the plunge and having two teeth removed and fixed appliances fitted.  Well, I don’t know if it’s just my dentists, but they never seem to want to tell me anything. 

    The dentist was a little flustered as the receptionist had mistakenly booked me in for a check-up instead of a consultation.  She was about to lean the chair back and take a look at my teeth, when I asked if she really needed to and she asked why she wouldn’t… So after a little confusion we realised she was told it was a check-up and my orthodontist notes hadn’t been passed to her before my appointment.  This meant I had to try and explain as quickly as I could the proposed plans.  At first she said she can’t really suggest anything until the gaps are actually there and she has something to work with.  I said I can’t possibly go ahead with two years of braces and gaps without fully understanding what will happen in my mouth after and the costs, etc, so she told me as best she could.  It wasn’t the most informative or reassuring appointment I was expecting, but I did find out some facts and make some decisions.

    I’d had a little look on the internet beforehand and read veneers and bridges last around 5 years.  This didn’t sound long, so I was pleased the dentist said they should last ten years plus, if looked after properly.  They are basically like real teeth and will last longer if cared for.  Phew.  This sounds much more reasonable than having to replace every five years.  She also confirmed a veneer would look much better over the peg tooth instead of restorative work.  Restorative work made from the same filling material, will discolour over time – no thanks, not right at the front of my mouth!

    I’d also been freaking out looking up bridge work on the internet.  I watched something where they basically make peg teeth out of the two teeth either side of the false teeth so there’s something to stick the bridge to.  So you would technically lose three natural looking teeth.  The dentist said they would be able to fix a bridge to the back of my two surrounding teeth and would need to etch away some tooth a little, for the adhesive to bond better I guess, meaning my surrounding teeth will still be totally natural from the front.  Phew.

    The veneer will cost about £350 and the bridge with false tooth attached approximately £500.  If I look after them really well I’ll only need them replaced every 10 years, or even less.  This was much better than the five years I was expecting them to say, so I felt quite relieved.

    The total quote for the fixed appliances (braces) was £2800 for both sets of teeth.  For one set it’s £1800.  So there’s a bit of a saving if both are done at the same time.  I only have a gap at the bottom in the middle which I’d like closed (I swear it’s appeared/got much larger since starting all this), so I had decided to get just the top set done.  It seemed excessive to spend £1000 closing one gap (but also they’d pull my teeth more upright to improve my bite).  I was totally set on just having my top teeth fixed with a brace, until the past week.

    Now I’ve decided, again, to go for the whole lot, top and bottom.  I can just imagine getting to the end of two long years, having just the top done, and wishing I had the bottom done too!  Wouldn’t that be typical?  It would be very typical of me too.  Then I’d have another two years of braces if this was the case!  So I’m going to just go for it and have both sets done at once.  Luckily they’ll let me spread the cost over the whole time, so I’ve got some time to magic up the money!  

    Two years (hopefully) and I’ll have perfect teeth, top and bottom.  I’m still really anxious about having the two teeth removed and gaps for such a long time, but I’m just going to have to deal with it (or hide away in solitude for the duration!).  I’m worried I’ll lose my confidence too.  I’ve grown so much and developed so much more confidence in myself (obviously not with my looks yet), since having children, and I worry I’m going to shatter it by doing this.  It’s the only way I can get the teeth I would like and hopefully gain more confidence overall, so I’ve made my decision and I’m going for it.  Eek! 

    I’ll be having my moulds taken next week, so I’ll be blogging about this experience very soon.  I’ve also thought about posting pictures of my teeth. I’m not brave enough yet, but will show before/after/time lapse photos at the end of the whole experience.



  3. bella & reuben update - victoria sully lylia rose lifestyle family kids

    Recently Reuben has mostly:

    • Been giggling every time I say ‘bzzzzzzz’ to him.  Even if he’s a little distressed, he’ll stop and laugh as soon as I ‘bzzzzzzz’
    • He also cracks up at ‘boo’ or even just ‘bababababa’ – must be something they love about the B sound!
    • Been crawling!  Forwards!  Yep, he’s worked it out and is officially on the move (the right way anyway!).  Grab your toys Bella & watch out!
    • Talked to me!  Well, we have a sort of conversation at least.  He will say ‘uh’ whilst looking at me, and I will say ‘uh’ back and this goes on for a while…
    • Refused to be fed with a spoon.  He will only feed himself now.  Great for his independence (already, arg), but terrible for the mess it creates…

    Bella has been saying some brilliant things recently.  Here are a few of our conversations, I only wish I could remember them all!

    • There’s a tree surgeon two doors down, so it’s very noisy
      Bella – ‘What’s that noise?  I know, it’s a finding machine!  Them is finding treasure!’
    • Rubs under my chin – ‘Mummy, I don’t like spikey.  You got a beard like Daddy!’ (Um, thanks Bells *reaches for the tweezers*)
    • Me ‘What did you do at playschool today?’
      Bella – ‘I don’t know. ‘ *Thinks for a moment…*
      'Mum, I say I don’t know lots and lots’ 
      (She really does, first automatic answer to every question!)



  4. november mini vegan flowbox leaf print box - lylia rose blogger healthy foo

    The Goodness Project Subscription Box Review: November 2015 (previously called Flowbox)

    My December box has just arrived and I realised I still hadn’t jotted down my thoughts on November’s contents!  November's box came in a nice fresh leaf patterned box which I love, have a peek at the end of the blog post.

    Arctic Power Blackcurrant Powder – My Flowbox contained sachets of berry powder, which come in 70g tubs on the brands website.  One teaspoon of powder is equal to a handful of berries, so you get a load of lovely nutrients in one easy hit!  I added mine to cereal but it didn’t mix well with the milk, so I’d recommend adding to yoghurt or smoothies for a better consistency.  The powder means you’ve always got the goodness of berries to hand, even when you’ve ran out of fresh or it’s out of season!

    Creative Nature Blissful Berry –  I am a big fan of dried fruit bars like these and this was the first thing I ate as soon as I received this box.  It was gone in about two seconds!  It was super delicious and only contains raw, natural ingredients with no added sugar.  It’s my perfect type of snack basically.

    Trafo Organic Potato Chips –  I didn’t have much luck with this Flowbox, being sent two salty items, which I’d usually avoid!  But despite plain crisps being one of my least favourite flavours, these weren’t actually that bad.  I managed to scoff the whole packet and was left feeling rather satisfied, so coming from a plain crisp hater, these have got to be great, right?  If you like plain crisps then I’m sure these are winners.  They are made with organic ingredients and come from a small family business in the Netherlands.

    On the Pulse Jamaican Jerk Hot Chicks – YUMMY!  I really liked these.  I do love a bit of spice and the right type of spice, which is exactly what these had.  I kind of ‘downed’ the packet!  Like you would a drink, but I did it with these.  Just tipped them up and poured them in!  Really tasty and moresish.  This is the second chickpea snack I’ve had from Flowbox and I must say, I really like them.  Hopefully there will be more chickpea snacks made as they are a great alternative to nuts, but with a similar feeling.

    RawHalo Mylk & Pink Himalayan Salt – I really wanted to like this, even though I don’t like overly salty things, but I just don’t like it at all!  The salt taste was just too overpowering.  My mouth felt like I’d had a big gulp of seawater.  I tried a second piece as thought I might be overreacting, but couldn’t even face swallowing it.  I passed it on to my Mum hoping for better feedback, but she also thought it was too much.  I’m usually a great fan of ‘alternative’ (/normal) chocolate, but sadly this one is not for me.  They do a lot of other varieties, so I won’t rule this company out, I just think I got sent the worst possible flavour!

    Rude Health Ginger & Tumeric Oaty – I’ve devoted a whole blog post to this company before as I use their ‘milk’ (actually nut drinks), nearly every day.  This is the first time I’ve tried something other than their drinks and I’m impressed.  I love both ginger and turmeric, so the taste instantly won me over.  Ben tried one and wasn’t so keen, but he doesn’t have the love of these spices as much as me!  They’re probably great dunked into a dip or with something spread on top, but I’ve been enjoying them as they are.  Really delicious.

    november mini vegan flowbox leaf print box - lylia rose blog food review uk



  5. bella reuben sully - my pre preschool rant frustrating 3 year olds funny bl

    (They are little angels really)

    Oh my goodness.  I don’t usually rant on my blog, but this morning was what some might call a bit of a challenge.  Bella was crazy.  I was checking the advent calendar, certain she must have found a way to the top of the fridge-freezer and scoffed the lot, as she was acting as if on a sugar high!

    Don’t get me wrong, she is three and going through that ‘threenager’ stage, but usually she’s pretty good in the mornings before preschool. 

    If she has a messing around bouncing off the walls hour, it’s usually before bedtime.  This is more understandable as she’s totally knackered at the end of the day and ready for bed.  Today it was this morning.  In the hour before preschool.  In the hour where there is lots to do.  The hour where I’m trying to get three people fed, watered, dressed, a lunchbox packed and out the door on time.

    Bella was poorly for the last two days, so today it’s like she’s filled to the brim with all the energy she lost for two days and it’s bursting out at the seams!

    Here are the main events of our morning:

    • Bella takes all the cotton wool off the roof of a lovely gingerbread paper house she made and feeds it to Reuben
    • Bella decides she is a baby and can only say googoo and gaagaa to anything I ask for at least ½ hour
    • Bella crawls under my seat, whilst I’m wolfing down a bowl of cereal stressing about the 20 things I have left to do before we leave, and won’t come out
    • Bella lies on floor licking Reuben’s play table
    • Bella keeps tipping upside down the toy Reuben is trying to play with
    • Whilst I rush upstairs to whack some make up on, mainly under eye concealer to disguise my warmed up death look, I ask Bella to put her coat and boots on.  A usually simple task.  I hear Bella shouting from downstairs as she’s decided to get into the coat cupboard and is now stuck
    • Upon rescuing Bella from the coat cupboard, her previously neatly combed ponytail now looks like it’s been dragged through a hedge backwards

    5 minutes after we need to leave:  Reuben does a poo
    10 minutes after we need to leave: Bella finally has coat, scarf, hat and boots on
    As we leave:  ‘Mummy, I need a wee wee’


    We just made it to preschool and I have all my fingers and toes crossed that she comes back a little more subdued this afternoon!

    Anyone else’s mornings like this?!