UK lifestyle and money blog

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.


matched betting box       

 RSS Feed

» Listings for March 2017

  1. Have you considered your perfume might be toxic?

    Chemicals are all around us and unfortunately we cannot escape them in modern life.  However, we can learn how to take care of our skin naturally as well as ethically, by using a skincare and perfume brand that is not tested on animals.  If you're looking for a new organic beauty brand with plenty of natural kind to skin ingredients, then read on.  Ill be reviewing two natural cosmetic products from Skin Elixir in this beauty blog post.

    skin elixir natural vegan organic perfume moisturiser review paraben free s

    Yep, nasty chemicals could be lurking in your perfume

    Since becoming so interested in a more natural wholesome lifestyle and cutting out parabens in make up and skin care products along with many other nasty chemicals, it took me a while to realise that most perfumes are also potentially harmful.  It’s not just a bottle of perfume either as many products are fragranced with perfume, such as body lotion and deodorant.  Unfortunately I am yet to find a good natural antiperspirant/deodorant that cuts it for me, but I’m always trying new ones.

    Most scented cosmetics contain a group of petroleum chemicals called phthalates.  Don’t ask me to say that out loud.  If I had to guess, I’d say the first ph is silent!

    These phthalates are everywhere.  Not just in cosmetics, but used in plastic to make it more flexible and less breakable, and also used in household cleaners.  So the chances are you can’t totally avoid them, but you can definitely cut down and stop putting them all over your skin and breathing them in from perfume.

    Why would you want to do that?

    Because they are toxic.  They are potentially a carcinogen.  They are an irritant.  They can cause nausea, stomach upsets, headaches, asthma, cancer, hyperactivity disorder, infertility. . . the list goes on and on.  They are a man made chemical and from what I can tell in recent years, we should really stop messing with nature and creating these man made chemicals as the research soon comes out telling us how bad they are!

    But I like to smell good?

    I’d never even thought about looking for a natural perfume and assumed they didn’t exist.  That was until Skin Elixir got in touch with me.   Skin Elixir create natural, organic, vegan perfumes in small batches by hand in Nottingham.  They asked if I wanted to try some.  Of course I did!

    Skin Elixir Review: Natural, Organic, Vegan Perfume and Moisturiser

    Skin Elixir Review - ‘Nourish the skin you’re in’

    Whereas most natural brands have a natural wholesome feel to the packaging, Skin Elixir has a luxurious finish with its tasteful black and gold design.  The moisturiser and perfume arrived in a black gift box – a perfectly presented present idea.  It really was a treat to open and arriving close to Mother’s Day it really felt like a perfectly timed gift.

    Sangfroid Natural Perfume

    Sangfroid, the natural perfume, is a 10ml rollerball in a sleek black tube.  Perfect for throwing in a handbag or pocket to reapply throughout the day.  The perfume is unisex and both me and Ben have been wearing it for a couple of days now.  As a female I prefer a lighter scent, so a quick dab or one roll on the wrist is plenty for me.  As a male I believe you can build the scent up by applying more liberally for a stronger smell.  As we went for a walk in the beautiful sunshine over the weekend I kept getting delightful whiffs of this natural perfume and kept stopping to sniff Ben’s neck!  It’s a captivating scent that I want to smell over and over.  When I first smelt it I thought it was going to be too overpowering for me, but the trick is to add just a little and the more I sniff it, the more I like it.

    This perfume has a whole host of good benefits for both you and the environment:

    • Cruelty free
    • 100% natural
    • Vegan
    • Organic
    • Free from preservatives, parabens, mineral oils, artificial frangrance
    • Ethically sourced ingredients

    Organic Frankincense and May Chang Moisturiser

    I haven’t yet experienced the benefits of this moisturiser as a face cream and I instantly used it on my hands.  In my part time evening job I clean cold warehouses and outside toilets (glamourous I know) and I’ve been prepping the garden recently for vegetable growing season, as well as weeding, so my hands really have been getting worked.  For the first year ever I have had sore dry cracked creases.  I’ve never suffered with this before, so perhaps it’s a sign of my skin becoming older or I’ve just been working my hands in cold temperatures too much.  As soon as I opened the moisturiser it seemed like I just needed to spread it all over my hands and boy, were they thankful!

    The high quality of the moisturiser is instantly recognisable as it is a thick, rich balm, not a gloopy runny thin milk like many.  This is probably thanks to Skin Elixir not adding water to any of their formulas – meaning you are paying for the very best ingredients only and can afford to apply the products sparingly. 

    It’s highly nourishing and after one application my hands are almost back to normal and they were pretty atrocious!  I can only imagine the wonders this moisturiser will do to your face.  There are plenty of positive reviews shared on the website to praise the moisturiser for aiding skin conditions such as eczema.  If you have troubled skin you really should start avoiding synthetic products and reach for such natural good for you skin healers instead.

    Visit today to purchase these wonderful products and find out more about the story behind the brand!












    Garden planning party checklist

    Spring and summer are just around the corner, and you know what that means, don’t you? Yep. That’s right. It’s time to start planning a garden party!





    Here are nine of the essentials to have in place before you start:


    • Set a date - there’s so much going on in the summer months - weddings, festivals, your friend’s garden parties - you’d be surprised how easy it is to get this one wrong. The trick is to get in early - so pull out that calendar and start plotting now.


    • Print invitations - Emails and Facebook event pages are too impersonal. And what's more, they often go unopened. However, people usually respond when they receive an invitation in the post. And crucially, they’re much more likely to turn up to your party!


    • Book a Marquee - there are several options out there, from traditional marquees to festival yurts and teepees. But perhaps a combination of themes would work best? That way your guests can wander from one to another. Why not book hard flooring? The grass is great, but some of your guests may be wearing heels.


    • Book the caterer - in the holiday season caterers are booked out months, even up to a year in advance. So it’s essential to book one early. One idea is to attend street food events and find up and coming caterers.  How about stone baked pizzas in your garden?


    • Book a band - do you want a covers band? Or a band that plays its own material? Or how about one that does both? Make a list of your favourite music, but try not to be self-indulgent - think of your guests and what they will like. You’re the host after all, and you want to make a good impression.


    • Book a DJ - the same rules apply: try to hire someone who will complement the band. And it’s no good booking a techno DJ if half your guests are elderly, country and western enthusiasts! Make a list of everyone who’s coming and hit the town - you can ring an agency directly if you prefer, but you might find someone you like in one of your favorite bars, and most gigging DJs carry business cards.


    • Why not book a magician for the kids? - Finding ways to keep the kids occupied (and away from the punch) can be the hardest thing of all. But everyone, adults included, loves magic.


    • Sort the garden out - the long dark winter months make it hard to keep on top of the garden. The winter is too cold for green fingers, but now it's warming up it's time to tackle those weeds!  Perhaps consider investing in a new strimmer or lawnmower. If you’ve got a larger garden, petrol mowers are better than electric ones, which often have short, restrictive leads.


    • Don’t forget to invite the neighbours! The is perhaps the most important one of all, especially if you’re planning to make noise, and take up all the parking spaces on the street. If they can’t make it to the party and you want to butter them up, pop over the day before with flowers and a card thanking them in advance for putting up with the inconvenience.






  3. Where does our drinking water come from in the UK?

    Believe it or not, water quality has been a topic of conversation quite a lot in our household over the past year or so, mainly because we live in a hard water area which is super annoying.  I’d attempted to do the water only hair washing method last year, but had to stop my ‘no poo’ challenge after 11 weeks due to the mineral build up in my hair which was disgusting. I’m very jealous of those who live in soft water areas and manage to have gorgeous locks purely from washing in water only.  Another blogger told me she did the water only method and her hair was incredible in Europe, so they must have lovely soft water.

    Do you know where your water comes from check out this quality infographic

    If I could choose, or if I was very rich, I’d go for Evian spring water coming out of our home taps.  It’s my favourite bottled water – so light, refreshing and clean tasting.  The water in our home seems very heavy to drink.  It’s almost as if you can feel the weight of the invisible sediment within it.  That invisible stuff is mainly calcium carbonate which causes us a right hassle.

    Do you get a lot of limescale in your home?  We do.  Especially in our kettle and around our taps and shower head.  It’s a right pain.  It’s left over residue from the water once the water evaporates.  Hard water also means we have to use more washing powder and fabric softener in order to wash our clothes effectively, we pretty much have to soften the water with the softener first so it can then soften our clothes.

    I’m sure the hard water is bad for my skin too.  I seem to have a lot clearer skin if I drink more bottled mineral water.  We’ve been looking into some crazy water zapper thing that you attach to the water supply and it turns the water to soft water – it’s a few hundred pounds, but perhaps it could be worth it.

    Did you know Wednesday 22nd March was World Water Day?  August is also interestingly Water Quality Month.  You learn something new every day!

    In the run up to World Water Day, the team over at Anchor Pumps put together this infographic - UK Water Quality… The Good, The Bad & The Dirty!

    It’s pretty interesting.  Do you live in an annoying hard water area like me?

    UK Water Quality… The Good, The Bad & The Dirty! Infographic so you know where your water comes from




  4. Which interior design style are you?

    Are you stuck for ideas on how best to decorate your home?  Not sure which style best represents your personality?  At the end of this blog post I share an interior decorating style quiz to see which decor trends suit you best.

    Quiz Which Interior Design Trend Suits You Most

    Natural Minimalism

    If I had to categorise my décor into a trend it would be ‘natural minimalism’.  I hate clutter and mess and prefer to have only the items in our home which we need and use.  I see a great quote floating around a lot on the internet saying something along the lines of if you don’t think something is beautiful or you don’t use it - then get rid of it.  The quote is much more poetic than those words which just came out of my own head though!

    But it makes the point which I try to live by.  I do also wonder if I have a bit of OCD when it comes to getting rid of things.  I’m not trying to live a minimalist life because it’s the cool thing to do or the latest fad, I’m just kind of a bit obsessed with it.  I regularly sort through our draws, cupboards, wardrobes and our attic to see what we no longer need.  By regularly I mean I’ll check through at least a draw once per week.  I’ve checked through my wardrobe several times recently as I’m sure I can condense it even more than the half a capsule wardrobe I’ve got it to!  Like I said, I’m a bit obsessed.  Quite often I walk away without finding anything to get rid of, but I feel satisfied knowing I’ve checked.  By getting rid of I don’t mean throwing away unless it’s really knackered.  I prefer to give to charity or sell on eBay.  Things should always be reused and rehomed whenever possible to be kind to the environment.

    Our home décor is pretty much the same as how I feel about things.  I feel more at peace with plenty of space around me and no clutter or mess.  Our entire house is painted white and I love it.  It creates a feeling of openness, calm and space – everything I love.  It also means we can easily change a room’s colour theme if we wish and any colour pops out looking great against a white background. 

    The walls in our home are still pretty bare after 3 years and it’s only now I’m thinking about what to hang on them.  They won’t be filled with pictures, but a few statement pics or one large feature mirror perhaps.

    We have a natural feel throughout our home with a couple of hanging plants, two floor plants, several succulents and cacti dotted about.  Our floors are pretend oak and most of the windows have real oak blinds.  The doors and skirting are natural wood.  With some textiles thrown about in the form of rugs, cushions and throws, it really is quite a calm pleasing environment to be in.

    Interior Design Quiz

    Have you ever tried to categorise your interior style?  Or do you wonder what style would suit you best?

    The team at Balustrade Components have created this interior trends quiz so you can discover which trend suits you the most:

    interior design trends quiz milimalist clean results lylia rose blog

    My results were ‘you prefer a clean/minimalist design’ which is definitely true, but I would add a splash of colour and lots of natural materials to bring the outdoors in and create my perfect cosy environment.

    Let me know your results in the comments and whether you think they’re true!





  5. Realistic Potty Training Expectations from a Mum

    Are you overwhelmed with all the potty training advice that's out there?  Not quite convinced by the promises of potty training in THREE days?  Read my realistic guide to potty training and learn the methods that worked for us.

    9 Tips and words of wisdom for successful potty training

    Although Reuben has only just turned two I have been thinking about potty training for a while already.  I purchased a potty a few months ago and we have already begun associating the word poo-poo with the potty so he knows what it’s for.  He’s not quite there yet (I did try one day just to see and it was a bit of a disaster), but once his vocabulary has come on a little more and he can follow some instructions I will give it another whirl.

    I trained Bella once I had Reuben, so around age two years and nine months.  I’d tried earlier, but unsuccessfully.  She just wasn’t ready.  Well we’d managed the first time to get the wees on the potty quite quickly, but as soon as she had a poo it terrified her!  I guess she’d never seen one before and was scared of it and that it came out of her!  Quite a lot of my friends said the same thing happened to their children. 

    After the first poo I could not get her back on the potty without a screaming match!  I think she was terrified of doing another poo.  I was worried forcing her would make her really scared of the potty, so we stopped and tried again a few months later once Reuben was born and it was much more successful.

    I’m by no means an expert and we’ve had many ups and downs, but I am sure there is no perfect formula to potty training.  Here are my own tips, thoughts and words of wisdom to help you through this potentially challenging stage:

    1         There is no such thing as perfect potty training – I just don’t believe the ‘potty train your child in THREE days’ rubbish I see.  Maybe some of you are realllllllly lucky, but in my own experience and anyone else I know, it’s taken longer than this.  It probably took us 1-2 weeks to get every poo and wee on the potty and then once this seemed successful for a few weeks we attempted the bed time stage.  I find it remarkable any child can be dry at night and fully potty trained in a few days

    2         Let them do it when they are ready – every child is ready at a different stage.  I know children who are potty trained at one year and others are nearer four years.  If it seems like your child just isn’t getting it, is screaming every time you put them on the potty and you are finding it super stressful, perhaps it’s not the right time.  That’s OK.  Just come back to it when you and they are ready.

    3         Expect accidents – Even though you think they are perfectly potty trained, there still could be an accident.  Don’t stress, this is perfectly normal.  We had the odd accident for a while especially when busy playing and forgetting to use the potty!  It also may take a while for the child to realise they need a wee and to associate that feeling with needing to go to the toilet.  In my experience we also had more night time accidents rather than day which brings me onto the next point nicely

    4         Be prepared – the whole experience is a lot less stressful if you are prepared.  Take extra pants, clothes and wipes out with you just in case.  If your child doesn’t like being held over a toilet when out, take your potty with you.  Have a stack of clean pants, tissue and wipes close by.  We had a potty upstairs, downstairs and at Nana’s so one was always nearby.

    5         Buy the essentials – stock up on pull ups (if using), pants, wipes, potties, tissue and bed protection underpads.  Underpads will save so much hassle when you attempt no nappies at night time.  Pop them under the sheet and if there’s an accident they’ll catch it all, protecting the mattress and stopping the whole bed soaking through and stinking!  These were a lifesaver for night time accidents.  Just make sure you have a few spare sheets or if they don’t wriggle too much, put them straight on the sheet or under a towel instead to save numerous sheet changes.

    6         Don’t worry if they regress – We thought Bella was totally dry at night so were surprised when she suddenly started wetting the bed every night again after a few weeks.  It’s perfectly normal though.  We just popped her back in night time nappies and almost instantly she was dry for around two weeks, so we took them back off and have not had a regression since.

    7         Let them get involvedchildren love to be involved so if you can, let them help choose their own potty and big girl/boy pants.  Let them make the potty their own with stickers!  We also had a potty training chart to make it more fun – 1 sticker for wees, 2 stickers for poos or similar.  Once we were up to 20 stickers Bella could have a reward.  It doesn’t need to be a sweet reward it could be a magazine, trip to a soft play or 15 minutes on the iPad.  Anything they love doing that they want to win!

    8         Take a few days off – if you can, it’s very advisable to take a few days off work and give it your full attention.  It’s training and it needs to be consistent.

    9         There is no right way - I rolled up our rugs and got them out of the way.  Luckily we have laminate floors so accidents were easy to mop up.  I had a potty in the middle of the room and every time Bella needed to wee I’d pop her on it until she got the hang of it herself.  For the first few days we did no pants or nappies on at all.  Once Bella had done a couple of days’ worth of wees and poos on the potty we introduced some knickers.  Some people prefer to go for pants right away as they find the child regresses once pants are suddenly put on.  I really believe there are no right or wrong ways.  Read as much as you can, ask a friend what worked for them and then do what you think is best for your child.  All children are different and learn differently.

    Have you potty trained?  What are your words of wisdom?