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.
I was kindly invited to try out an AI logo creator called Logojoy and I’ve been playing around with it yesterday and this morning to create logos for both me and my husband Ben. I’m quite happy with my own logo, but Ben has been blogging since June and still hasn’t decided on a logo.
So this morning I decided I’d create him one. His website is called Wood Create and is a place for him to share all his wood creations and DIY adventures in our home, garden and beyond.
My thoughts on a suitable logo were nothing too frilly, something bold and perhaps something somehow related to wood, if that were possible.
How to design a logo with Logojoy
Here we go. Six easy steps.
First, enter your business/blog name.
Next, choose 5+ logos you like from the selection shown.
Choose a colour scheme (I decided to go for orange for some reason – brown for wood seemed too boring and brown, so orange seemed like the next logical choice)
Add a slogan if you like. I left this blank.
Pick an icon. Ooooh. This is where I found a little chunk of wood icon – like a trunk or chunky branch with a leaf and twig sticking out. Perfect.
Voila – lots of logos for you to scroll through and choose the one that is perfect.
It actually took me way less than 10 minutes to create a professional looking logo. The part that takes the longest is choosing the logo that is best.
I also realised Ben should not have a logo of just the initials of his blog name as they are WC!
After choosing the logo I liked the best I was able to see how the logo would look on business cards, adverts and merchandise. This part got me very excited as I could see how professional it really looked on business cards and I sent Ben an email immediately saying he needed the sweater!
Imagining the logo in use really brings the business to life.
If you’re happy with your logo the cheapest option is $20 to download one image. If you want higher quality images with colour variations and a range of different formats (eps, pdf, png and svg) you’ll need to choose the $65 package which is what I was able to trial. This premium package also gives you full copyright to the logo for commercial and non-commercial use. You can also download brand guidelines which is a resource with full fonts and colours so you can maintain brand consistency on your website and in any printed text.
Overall I’m really impressed with Logojoy, especially the speed at which I was able to generate numerous suitable logos which looked professional. If you are terrible at design and need a logo in a hurry, this is definitely the place to go. Ben has so far spent hours and hours trying to draw and create his own logo online as well as using design software, when it could take him a few minutes using Logojoy. For the time and effort wasted elsewhere so far, it makes Logojoy’s price seem totally worth it.
I like that the logo generator is so simple and easy to use. Anyone can use it, even if they’re no good with technology or design. It allows anyone to have a great looking logo and to easily customize aspects of it without any design skills.
One thing I forgot to mention is the social media kit add on. For just $9 the logo can also be downloaded in 40 different sizes which are ready for Etsy, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and many more, meaning the logo is ready to go on all social sites and no time is needed to resize in another program. This will definitely appeal to busy business owners.
I think the logo I have chosen for Ben looks great. It’s bold, simple and timeless. What do you think?
There comes a time when we can find ourselves feeling a little run down with life, our emotions, and generally how we feel inside. There's a number of reasons for this. It might be that you have huge deadlines at work, that you find yourself struggling to keep up with deadlines or hot targets that have been set for you.
Maybe you are burning the candle at both ends, working hard but equally playing hard in the evenings or throughout the weekends. Maybe there are financial struggles that you are finding hard to handle, relationship issues that don’t seem to want to be resolved or friendship drama that is causing you pain.
Or perhaps, like me, you are a busy mum of two who is also running her own business, has a never ending list of things to do, a full inbox waiting for replies, a ton of work to do and constantly feels overwhelmed.
There's a multitude of reasons as to why you could be feeling run down and out of sorts, so what is the best way to start to feel yourself once more?
One main area you need to conquer first and foremost is that you need to discover exactly what is causing you to feel this way. It’s all well and good making positive changes to your lifestyle and your routine, but if you aren’t going to change the one thing that has caused you to feel this way you could be back at square one before you know it.
Once you know that, then you can start to focus on yourself. Here are some of the ways you can pay yourself a little more attention, hopefully bringing you back to your best.
Time to get your hair done
Who doesn’t love getting their hair done? It is a time to try a new style, change your hair colour, or give your hair that little bit of volume and life with a treatment and a nice blow dry.
Often just this small thing can make a huge difference to how we feel about ourselves.
Why not treat yourself today and book in with your hair stylist?
Maybe browse Pinterest for some hair inspiration and try a new style. Often this can give you a little bounce in your step. Especially if you have somewhere great to be after it is done.
Let’s focus on that smile of yours
One of the biggest indicators that we aren’t feeling yourself is our smile, or lack of for that matter. But, there could be an underlying reason why you are faking it instead of flashing your natural smile and letting your true emotions shine through.
Many people have big hang ups on how their teeth look, the condition, how white or straight they are. This is when you may want to look into the Invisalign treatment process and take action against the opinions you have developed about yourself.
Follow my own brace journey here. I already know having a perfect smile will boost my confidence as I have had awful teeth making me self conscious for years.
It can be hard to smile through problems you are going through, but a positive outlook can play a huge part in changing the circumstances, the situation and how you feel about things. Smiling is one way you have control in doing that.
Treat yourself to some new clothes
Sometimes just changing our appearance can make a big difference. We all know that while slobbing around in our tracksuit bottoms and jumpers is so comfortable, it can often make us feel lethargic and low, especially if we are feeling that way anyway.
Why not take this time to put some focus into how you present yourself each day. There is some psychological truth behind it.
For example, someone who works from home will find that they are far more productive if they get dressed and work than if they sit comfortably with their pyjamas on and their laptops on their knee.
Knowing that you look great on the outside can give you a real confidence boost for the day ahead. The same can be said for things like make up. A lot of women feel that it can be like their armour, putting their make up on enables them to feel powerful and ready for anything.
Even a colourful lipstick while doing the housework can have the same effect.
Is it time to focus on your mindset?
Time to focus on that mindset of yours, because the truth is, this is your biggest tool for feeling better about yourself, but it can be the one most people have the most difficulty with.
Sure you can buy the clothes, you can make changes to your appearance, but your mind, well often it can be the thing that controls you.
Instead, focus on your positivity and outlook. Make sure that anything negative simply floats away from you and only allow the positive thoughts moving forward.
Working for more than should be humanely allowed is not very uncommon nowadays.
When I had my pre-kids job I would regularly work 6 days a week starting at 7am and finishing later than 7pm. Even with kids, many parents put in long hours. Running my own business to make a full time income requires a lot of working hours, dedication and commitment around raising two young children.
There's a great quote that says 'entrepreneurs are the only people who work 80 hours a week so they can give up working 40'. It's so true.
That combined with looking after the house, taking care of the kids, keeping on top of the never ending laundry, staying on top of the garden, organising your households schedules and whatever else you may have on your plate can easily become too much for one to bear. Leaving you completely overwhelmed with by the sheer amount of tasks in everyday life.
I must admit, I regularly reach boiling point at the moment and find the whole lot very stressful. I am not savouring the toddler days, but wishing them away so the kids are more independent and in school full time so I can have some sort of normal working week!
Now while there are not many ways to limit the number of responsibilities, there are ways to try and stay sane and improve your general wellbeing. The key to a healthy body is a healthy mind, it has been proven numerous times before that stress is the primary cause of many health issues, such as headaches, low energy, nausea, chest pain, insomnia amongst many others.
Without further ado, let’s see how you can get started some self improvement.
While not the optimal long-term solution to a healthy life, occasionally treating yourself is almost guaranteed to keep your spirits high. Buying that one thing you’ve always been putting off buying because you feel guilty treating yourself or it's a bit much, can often work as great stress relief. Be it that pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing for the past month or some ladies luxury watches that you've wanted for years.
Finally buying one of them can really get rid of that weight on your chest and if you can afford it and it makes you feel better, why not?
Not that just buying things forever to keep yourself occupied while not addressing the real problems at hand is a permanent solution, but sometimes it might just be what someone needs.
Same principle applies to food. Strictly sticking to your diet is a task not many can boast of achieving and is a rather impressive feat, but with the wrong mindset, it can be more stressful than it is worth. Forcing too many changes at once often leads to burnout rather than progress, leaving your discouraged and not wanting to try again in the future.
Now I'm not suggesting you go out and spend a load of money you can't afford on things you don't need, but every once in a while it's worth remembering we are allowed to treat ourselves and not feel guilty about it. As a mum I often feel guilty about spending money on myself and not the children or the whole family. But it's OK to do this and we deserve a treat every now and then.
My treat this month is a facial experience which is one hour long with a massage included. I can't wait and it's only £30ish. It will give me one hour away from hectic family and business life to totally relax and soothe my mind. Good for my mind, body and soul.
The mind and body are forever intertwined. Without a healthy body, it might be hard to get into a good state of mind in the first place. If you suffer from chronic falling back to bad habits, then try to take things slowly.
Introduce positive changes into your life one at a time. Start off with a better-than-current sleeping schedule. Of course, in an ideal world it would be possible to sleep early always but everyone’s experienced the working late into the night scenario before. Try to plan out your day in a way where the evening is a time off as opposed to a time of last minute panic.
If you don’t already, try to introduce regular exercise into your daily or weekly routine. A morning run in the park can leave you energised and give you that sense of clarity your mind might need for the busy day ahead. Find free online yoga videos to calm, destress and also provide physical exercise all in one go.
Try to incorporate more greens into your diet, your parents weren’t nagging you for no reason as a kid. Try to buy organic fruit and veg from farmers markets, they are much healthier than the usual supermarket counterparts, and you’ll be doing your part supporting local farmers. Why not try a weekly organic fruit and veg box delivery? They're great value for money and will encourage you to try veg you may never have thought of buying before.
If eating lots of veggies isn't your thing, invest in some sort of chlorella tablets which are rich in chlorophyll, protein, iron, magnesium and amino acids. Spirulina is very similar in that regard and also highly recommended. I take a handful of organic spirulina tablets every morning without fail, their benefits are huge.
While nothing will beat a balanced diet rich in all sorts of vitamins and minerals, supplement tablets are the next best thing and they can also complement your healthy diet. Do not be afraid of doing some online research yourself and taking matters into your own hands, after all, your health is not just important to you but also your loved ones.
There’s something to be said for kitting out your home with as many luxury items as you can get your hands on, but it’s not the only way to go. One of the increasingly popular decor options is ‘minimalism’, a movement that prioritises the ethos of ‘less is more’. Incorporating this style into your home won’t just make it look cool (though it will); it’ll also improve your mental well being and allow you to do your bit for the environment. And the best part about it? You won’t need to hire anybody else to do it for you.
I always say I'm a natural minimalist. I never knew there was such a trend as minimalism, I've just naturally lived this way for a fair number of years. It probably started when I moved no less than 10 times in 10 years! Everyone knows moving is a stress and chore, so every time I moved I reduced my belongings so I'd have less things to shift. This started me on my minimal journey. Then I lived in a bedsit for over four years. It was smaller than my living room is now. A dinky room with a double bed, rug, sofa and kitchenette in which I had to squeeze all my belongings. Living in such a small space meant I really had to be ruthless with my things and only keep what I needed. This definitely had a huge impact on my minimialism journey. Now I am obsessed with space, cleanliness and only having what I need. One visitor once commented 'where's all your stuff?' when in a previous home of mine!
Whilst I believe minimalism is a different journey for everyone and it is what you make of it, there is a trend beginning. Below, I take a look at fifteen simple DIY ideas that’ll bring your home into the minimalist age.
You’ll want to top up on paint brushes and paint because you’re going to need them. Minimalism isn’t just about having less stuff; it’s also about having a ‘look’ that is as clean and clear as simplicity itself. White walls mixed with black (or dark) furniture touches will do the trick. Of course, you can’t do everything with a tin of paint. When it comes to your kitchen, look at getting white tiles. It’s the white that does all the work, as it’ll make your home look bright and airy, a staple in minimalist homes.
One Piece, Multiple Uses
There is no limit to the human imagination, and if you don’t believe us, just take a look at some of the creative ways people are using their furniture to make sure that do more than just their original job. Remember, you won’t have too many items in your home once you’ve incorporated this design philosophy, so you’ll need to make sure that every thing does its job and then some more! There are boxes you can buy that are genuinely game-changing; depending on how you arrange them, you might have a desk, dinner table, or storage unit. When you need them to fill another purpose, just rearrange and hey presto: you have a different piece of furniture.
Creative Storage Solutions
Minimalism doesn’t mean you don’t get to own stuff. It’s just the stuff you do own needs to have value, and a continued place in your life. Still, you’ll need to get those items out the way if you’re 'going minimalist'. So what options do you have? You can’t have them all in plain view, so instead look at adding some creative storage solutions to your home. Take a look around your rooms: how much dead space is there in corners, below tables, or under the stairs? That’s where you’ll need to (neatly) store your belongings when not in use.
Bringing the Outdoors In
It doesn’t get much more straightforward than nature, so why not bring some of it into your home? Buying a few plants and dotting around them home isn’t so much a DIY job, but it will make a big difference to your home. As well as bringing with it all the benefits of having a plant in the house, you’ll also help break up the monotony of your black and white decoration. The best thing is that plants just can’t detract from the minimalist vibe of your home; get one, get ten. Your home will always look great.
In the Garden
And talking of nature: it’s not just within your four walls that you can become minimalist. Why not also take a look at your garden, too? Summer is made for sitting outside under a setting sun, and it’ll be all the sweeter if your outdoor furniture matches what’s happening inside your home. All you need is some pallet furniture & outdoor seating foam, and you’ll be able to create your own minimalist seating area. Easy to put together, beautiful to look at, fun to sit on: it’s a no-brainer.
Let there be Light
If you don’t know just how important lighting is to the overall look and feel of your home, then where have you been all this time? With minimalism, your lighting takes on even greater appearance, because it can make or break the whole aesthetic. It’s all about having bright, but not harsh lights. Make the most of floor lamps, and avoid lampshades on your overhead lighting; a soft light bulb will make it look much better.
Let Your Culture Be Your Decoration
There’s no correlation between having a minimalist home and having a boring home. Do not make the mistake of believing that you need to leave anything fun at the door! However, the type of things you have in your home will be influenced by your decor choice. A well-stocked bookshelf could be all the entertainment you need, while a painting that hangs in an otherwise bare room will always get attention.
Essential Kitchen Items
Take a wander into the average home, walk into their kitchen, and open a random drawer. What do you see? It’s usually a scene of chaos, with an odd and extensive assortment of kitchen items throw around with no order in mind. This will not be the case in your house. Instead, buy only the essential kitchen items, and then organise them well. There’s a lot of creative storage options you can find online, so take a look and begin your project.
OK, it’s time to make some tough decisions, because you’re going to need to get rid of a lot of the junk you’ve accumulated over the years. Minimalism is about only having the items that add value to your life, and for most people, that’s only a few key items. Everything else must go! As a hard and fast rule, you should donate anything that you haven’t used in the past year (or sixi f you’re feeling extra committed).
The Big Stuff
Of course, you won’t be able to get rid of everything. Some things will have value, sentimental or financial, and you won’t want to take them to a charity shop. There’s an easy solution: put in storage. That way you can keep your home minimalist without having to part with something you value.
Wires, Wires, Wires
You can’t have a simple home if there are wires all over the place. Aside from detracting from the overall beauty of your home because there’s nowhere for them to hide, you need to remember that technology isn’t always good for you; the sheer presence can disrupt your mind, which is the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve! For your tech, go wireless. A laptop and speaker is all you need anyway.
Quality over Quantity
Moving forward, when it comes to buying items for your home (or anything else), you should keep in the back of your mind that it’s better to buy one quality item over five average items. A high-end product will naturally cost you more, but it’ll look better, and will last much longer. Your home doesn’t have to look cheap; by buying a great item, you’ll just be outlying the money you would end up spending on replacing the average goods over the years anyway.
Mixing Rustic with Contemporary
It’s not always easy trying to achieve the minimalist look. But there is one handy rule you can keep in the back of your mind as you’re creating your look: that mixing rustic with contemporary will always result in a good look. That means having exposed, untreated woods and trendy electrical items mixed together to create a vibrant living space.
Every home needs to have accessories, and yours won’t be any different. When it comes to buying your pillows, throws, and other odd sorts that every comfortable home needs, opt for items with tonal similarities. It’ll create a cohesive, uniformed look. However, you should also take steps to mix up your tones, too, by adding a splash of colour here and there. A touch of gold, for instance, will help focus the eyes and bring the room together.
The last task is ongoing. Its aim is to keep the minimalist vibe of your home here for the long term, and it goes like this: when you buy a new item, you have to get rid of something else you own. This might sound strict, but it’s the only way to ensure that your home doesn’t become cluttered!
There are a lot of advantages to having a minimalist home. You’ll be happier, less stressed, and - perhaps best of all - your home will look amazing. It’s the cutting edge of home decor, so take the tips we’ve outlined above and begin the process of simplifying your house - and your life. You won’t regret it, especially when you have a house that you love to spend time in.
The Victorian-Gothic decor style is a timeless classic that brings together bold furniture and patterns in an elegant way. When they hear the term, some people picture creepy old haunted houses with black walls but if it’s done right, that’s not the effect at all. It can get pretty expensive if you’re trying to recreate it authentically but luckily there are some simple shortcuts that you can take to make things a whole lot cheaper for yourself.
Picking up real Victorian furniture can be pretty problematic. Finding it in the first place can be difficult and you’ll have to pay a premium for it. The other major issue that you’ll have is finding some that’s in good condition. Restoring it will add time and money to your decorating project, fortunately, there is a simple solution; reproduction furniture. It’s brand new furniture that has been designed to emulate an older style. That way you get the benefit of some cheaper, better condition furniture that will last, and the aesthetic will look exactly the same as if you’d restored some original Victorian furniture.
Victorian-Gothic decor is all about making bold statements. Furniture is one way of doing that but if you’re looking for a cheaper method, try wallpaper. Using wallpaper to create a feature wall is a very cheap and easy way to get those strong patterns and bold textures that are so characteristic of Victorian decor. Colors like black or burgundy do look great but they can be overbearing if you use them for an entire room. A better way to use them is to have one feature wall in a darker color with big patterns and then balance it with something lighter and plainer on the surrounding walls.
Getting hold of traditional Victorian furniture is difficult but you can recreate a similar feel by finding lots of accessories and smaller decorations that are original. It doesn’t have to be anything specific, anything made with dark woods or thick iron will immediately make the room look more authentic. Things like candle holders, wooden bowls, or carved stone figures are all bits to look out for.
When this style of decor was conceived, there was no bright white LED light bulbs around. If you decorate in this style and then light it that way, it won’t look right. You’ll have to be a little more traditional. Try looking for much softer and warmer bulbs, Edison bulbs do fit the aesthetic but they’re expensive to run. If you’re really dedicated, make use of some of those big iron candlesticks that you’re using as decoration. Candles are one of the cheapest ways to light your house and if you can live with it, there are some hidden benefits.
Victorian homes seem to be covered in moldings. On the ceilings and wall panels it’s a great way to add some thick, dramatic textures to the house. It looks like it would be very hard to do but if you’re fairly good at DIY then you’d probably be able to manage it after watching a couple of tutorials. However, if you aren’t very handy then think about getting a professional in to do it for you.
The Victorian-Gothic style isn’t likely to go out of fashion anytime soon so use these simple hacks to recreate it in your home.
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