Missuswolf launches her awesome debut clothing line

‘Every woman has the right to become herself, and do whatever she needs to do’ – Ani DiFranco

With everything going on at the moment with the ‘Me Too’ movement and the Harvey Weinstein scandal, never has being a woman been so in the spotlight. Airing my personal views on feminism and what it means to me is something I’ve always shied away from on the blog. Much like religion and politics, it’s such a complex and personal issue that without publishing a 100 page essay on the subject all that I would be doing would be opening myself up to criticism and again like religion and politics, it’s not a debate I’m willing to get involved in with strangers on the internet. I learnt that lesson he hard way as after what is now known socially as ‘The Mumsnet Debacle’.

One thing that has never been a secret though is my passion for women supporting each other. Throughout my teens and early twenties I didn’t always surrounded myself with the nicest people and have experienced my fair share of bitchy backstabbing women. As a result has often left me wary of trusting people. However as I’ve grown up and found my voice I’ve learnt to try and be the love and support I want to see in other people. And am absolutely in love with the supportive, empowering women I surround myself today.

So what a revelation when one of your favourite fellow north east blogging gals not only shares the same values as you, but has taken it one step further and created their own movement. Gemma from Misswolf was inspired by her days at pregnancy yoga class where the group of ladies she met there bonded and supported each other through their respective journeys into motherhood and started to refer to each other as ‘Warriors’.

I had a chat with Gemma about what led her to create the line and what feminism and the sisterhood means to her:

Feminism to me means empowerment.

Empowering females to become the best version of themselves. And in order to do that, it’s to build each other up and not knock each other down. Women work better together than pitted against each other. Social Media, especially platforms like Instagram, have become communities of support where groups of women are emerging, more so in business now, and fuelling each other along.

I believe it’s an exciting time for Feminism. Attitudes and working conditions of companies are changing, reverting from the archaic 9-5 and truly embracing work/life balance and agile working. We’re in an age where we now have the technology to work remotely and on the go.

This gives people, particularly women, the opportunity to pursue areas of business that they may not have been able to in the past.

As a little girl, I dreamed of writing books and sharing my content with the world. I used to write stories in journals, on typewriter’s and then, when I turned eleven, on a computer. We didn’t have one at home until then, nor did we have one at school. I’m part of a generation that has seen unbelievable advancements in technology and this has actually given people who once had a dream a chance of making it a reality.

So I started a blog. Then I wrote a children’s book. And now I’ve opened up an online clothing store. I appreciate the opportunity I now have to share my content and ideas with the world.

Therefore, feminism to me is setting this example to my daughter and to any other women out there. That if you have dreams and want to take control of your life, you can. Ideally I would love to work for myself and run my own business and I’ve always though this was a pipedream. But this now seems like an achievable target if I set my mind to it.

I would hate to look back on my life and regret anything I didn’t do because of fear of failure. I’d rather have tried and failed than have not tried at all.

You may as well start calling Gemma ‘Pink’ because she’s articulated my thoughts way better than I ever could! What’s the cherry on top of the sundae is that Gemma is planning on expanding the range. She’s rebranding and launching her Children’s Book, Ruby of Egypt, next month and ultimately there will be merchandise available on the website that relates to the book. She’s started small but perfectly formed at the moment and decided on showcasing 15 products to test the water but Teemill has the potential to house 500 products so the possibilities are quite literally endless.

Obviously being an entrepreneurial badass isn’t without it’s share of hurdles:

The biggest challenge I faced was getting it right. I had all these ideas that came spilling out and I designed them all in a short space of time. Then it was the time spent after that getting it right. Making sure the designs were sorted into collections and how they would appear on the website.

It was a battle of impatience and perfectionism. I wanted to share the project with the world, but I wanted to get it right. I did a lot of research online into marketing. I wanted the time to be right. I designed the collection on New Years Eve and thought early January was a good launch date – New Year, New Start and all that jazz.

But I wanted to pick my moment.

I felt sick at launching it as you never know how people will react and how well it will be received. Only time will tell but my biggest challenge was my battle of impatience and perfectionism. A very hard mental battle!

Hopefully one that will pay off. If not, I’ve had fun designing and launching the collection so it’s all good experience.

I always fall in love a little bit with people who actually go out and do all the stuff most of us just talk about. If i had a pound for every time I’ve drunkenly mused with Dave that i’s love to interview this person, or love to review this place or love to launch my own clothing line, but I never do anything about it. It just goes to show what you can do when you set your mind to something.
 Gemma very kindly sent me a jumper to try on and needless to say I’ve worn it to death since it arrived. It’s really true to size (full disclosure; I got a size 12) which is really comfy and long enough to ‘cover the crotch’ when wearing jeggings or leggings – a rule I live my life by. It’s 100% organic cotton and £1 from the sale or every item gets donated to the Children with Cancer Charity, which means guilt free shopping – hooray!
Of course the kiddies and the blokies haven’t been forgotten about, there’s a range for them too, all based on words and phrases that Gemma affectionately uses to refer to her own family.
To get you hands on anything from this fantastic range head over to https://missuswolf.teemill.com/ to get yourself (and the family) kitted out!

The stories behind my most successful blog posts

‘The influence of blogging is overall a very positive force in the media’ – Garrett Graff

When I started this blog a couple of years ago I never imagined it would have taken off the way it has. Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not one of the heavy hitters of the blogging world; I’m not in a position to quit the day job and write full time – much as I’d love to but it’s the creative outlet I’d been searching for for years and the fact that anyone is interested in anything I have to say is quite frankly astonishing.I

I find getting inspiration for posts tough and I’m always amazed at what takes off and what doesn’t. Blog posts I slave over and am rally proud of, posts I’m really excited to publish, will only get a handful of views. Then posts that I cobble together and use as filler because I have nothing else to say do extremely well. There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to what floats and what sinks.

So I thought I would have a look back and talk you through my top 5 most popular posts, the stories behind them, and why I think they’ve been the most read:

Kaspas v Creams
Original post date: 20/07/2016
Views to date: 4,290

One thing I love doing for the blog is ‘research’ so when 2 ice cream emporiums that look like total carbon copies of each other opened up in Newcastle in quick succession, I needed to ‘research’ them. Turns out the reason they’re so similar is they were owned by a duo I’m London (as Creams) who fell out so a second brand (Kaspas) was devised. I had great fun with Ang, Dave, John, Carrie and Emma trying one after another one weekend, who doesn’t love ice cream for lunch two days in a row?! I think the popularity of the post is simple. The brands are SO similar that loads of people google to find out which is better, and I seem to be the only person who’ve reviewed them side by side rather than individually. After the restaurants respective sites, my post is first hit on Google. Which is pretty bloody cool.

Remington Hair Straighteners Review
Original post date: 09/08/2015
Views to date: 4,077

This one genuinely baffles me as I seem to get loads of daily hits when you would imagine it would just be easier to o straight to the Boots, Superdrug or Amazon for some user reviews. I suspect a lot of the referrals are through google images as the post contains a before an after picture of my unstraightened/straightened hair. I’ve been a loyal Could Nine an since 2008 when it comes to hair straighteners because they work as well, if not better, than GHDs but have the added bonus of being able to adjust the heat settings. Sadly one August they gave up the ghost and ceased working mid straighten. Luckily enough they retained enough heat for me to finish doing my hair (phew!). Cloud Nine have excellent customer care and would fix them for £30 for me but I needed an interim pair to tide me over. I settled on the remmington ones as they got the best reviews for the cheapest price and, well if you want to know how I got on with them you’ll have to read the review…

Buying Clothes from China in eBay – An Experiment
Original post date: 25/07/2015
Views to date: 4,020

This post all started so innocently. I wanted a yellow blazer to be able to wear in the spring to brighten up some of my dullest outfits and it kind of snowballed from there into my most viewed post ever. I decided to take a punt at what looked like the dream yellow blazer and ordered from China, i’d like to say pretty blindly however I did take some advice on sizing and quality beforehand. I ended up getting a pretty substantial haul for about £25 (including postage) with varying degrees of success as the results and comparison pictures range from the surprising to the ridiculous. I suspect the majority of views to this post again come from google images when people are looking for comparison pictures but hey, a view is a view and I can only hope that people who stumble across the post stick around and read some other stuff while they’re there.

Newcastle upon Tyne walking tour
Original post date: 04/04/2015
Views to date: 3,961

The opening statement says it’s all, the best ideas are born out of necessity. Dave and I wanted to do something on a rainy bank holiday so I googled free walking tours of Newcastle and couldn’t find one. So we decided to create our own. We had great fun devising it and including our own favourite pubs and sights. I think without a doubt what’s helped it’s popularity is I cheekily posted it on a forum on TripAdvisor and whilst I got an email from then slapping me on the wrist telling me off for self promoting, they never actually took it down, so I get a lot of referrals form there. I also get loads of positive comments from people who’ve done it and even messages from people from all over the world asking if I’ll guide them round! I love my city but i’m not showing tourists round for free!



Whatever happened to Tescos Along Came Betty Range?
Original post date: 17/07/2016
Views to date: 2,530

I wrote this after I’d discovered the holy trail of anti wrinkle creams in Forget Your Lines by Tesco’s Along Came Betty range, which is a blatant rip off of Soap and Glory (how ever the girl with two knock off Mulberry handbags has no room to pass judgement on that!) What was even better it was only £3.99. I then discovered that pretty much the whole range was being discontinued bar some bubble bath and body butter. I even tweeted Tesco to see wagwan who confirmed the make up range was no more. The success of this post was a surprising one to say the least but I think I have timing to thank for that. The post originally went live over the summer so had a few months to develop a decide SEO. I reckon come Christmas peoples stockings were laden with ACB gift sets and people googled to find out more about the brand. The post now ranks higher in some search engines than the actual Tesco website itself. Which is still pretty bloody cool.

What been your biggest surprise hit? Leave links in the comments!



How Blogging Changed My Life

‘Blogging is a great way to show your talents and interests to prospective employers’ – Lauren Conrad

In the same way, before I got married, I never referred to Dave as my finance (he went straight from boyfriend to husband) I never refer to myself as a ‘blogger’ – I simply say I write a blog. There are some words that don’t sit right in my mouth. The blogging issue is mainly because I always only did it as a hobby, it was never my main source of income (or any source of income for that matter – until Santander start accepting mortgage payments in prosecco!) and something that I did on the side.

Honestly Helen (1)

Writing a blog has of course come with many, many positives. It’s the creative outlet I’ve been searching for for a long time and it feeds my need to be liked and accepted. I’ve had some amazing opportunities and worked with some fantastic brands like Coca Cola, The Inn Collection, Active Newcastle and Hotel Du Vin. Through these events I’ve met some people who I am genuinely proud to call friends like Cheish, Katie, Laura and Pixie. And I was even recognised at Wylam Brewery when someone approached me with her friend and said ‘oh my god you’re the prosecco girl!’ and hugged me so tightly I think she may have broken 2 of my ribs. That’s all incredibly cool for a girl with a B in GCSE Media Studies and who dropped out of A Level English because I was predicted a U.

Back in August though, my life changed drastically when I was offered a new job in business engagement, one of the main aspects of which would be producing new, original content. Granted it would be more writing business cases than reviews of the latest champagne bar but as someone who’s been a PA since they were 18 (i’m now 35) it is my absolute dream job. To be able to step away from a supporting role to be able to be more creative, managing my own workload and play a more active input into an organisation I’m incredibly passionate about. And it never would have happened if I didn’t write a blog.



You see, word got round at work that I wrote a blog, and off the back of that I was offered more creative work, albeit within the confines of my PA role. People I worked with who hated having to write creatively would ask me to check over their work, then before long they were asking me to draft things for them. Before you knew it I had quite a portfolio of relevant creative experience I was able to use in my interview and let me tell you, when I got the call (while I was in the bath no less) to say I got the job I was the happiest little clam on the planet.

I’ve been in the job two and a half months now and I’m absolutely loving it. No longer and I tied to my desk being the main point of call and I am trusted to manage my own time and workload. I get to travel regularly up and down to London and Eastbourne (which makes me feel very grown up and glamourous) and when I’m invited to meetings it’s because my opinion is needed; not just to sit quietly in the corner and take minutes.

Getting acquainted with Southern Rail, hotel breakfasts and late train home treats are just some of the perks of the new job…

It’s not been without it’s challenges of course. In a meeting in my first month I was asked to give an update on a strategy and I assumed it would be a short verbal update round a table to about 10 people. When I arrived it was a group of 40 and I had to stand up at the front, mic and all. I really should have taken the hint when I was asked to produce powerpoint slides! So that was a big shock and not something I’ve ever had to do in any job before. The travel, however glamourous, takes a lot out of you (the 7:04 train to London has become my fortnightly frienemy) and as most of my team are based in Eastbourne, I sometimes feel quite isolated on my own up in Newcastle.

I can’t grumble though because this change is something I’ve wanted and needed for a really long time now and I think it just goes to show that if you plug away at something, eventually your passion and enthusiasm shines through and new opportunities will be opened up to you. It sounds cheesy but I never even considered myself to be that good a writer, so believe me when I say if I can do it, anyone can!

More Bottomless Prosecco at Newcastle’s No28

‘I enjoy a Prosecco. It’s bubbly; it’s fun’ – Danielle Schneider

About 18 months ago one my favourite bars in Newcastle started a Bottomless Prosecco offer and the classy ladies (and gents) of the toon rejoiced! Since then the offer has gone from strength to strength with the bar being jam packed almost every Saturday and Sunday and while other bars have since followed suit with similar offers, No28 remains the original (and the best in my opinion).

When we originally visited back in July 2016 the offer was two hours of free flowing fizz and a choice of thai inspired tapas however since then they have introduced their own in house burger kitchen; Meat: Stack and as such the deal has changed slightly to now involve a burger and beef dripping fries (but still two hours of free flowing fizz – hurrah!)

I was a massive fan of the thai tapas (you can read my original review of that here) because it was the perfect amount of food for a snack to break up a shopping trip so i was initially concerned when I heard they’d swapped that out for burgers which with places like Fat Hippo and Byron right around the corner, there’s a lot of competition. HOWEVER these burgers haven’t been voted the best in Newcastle for nothing. They. Are. Delicious.


The menu is small but perfectly formed  meaning you’re not bogged down with loads of choices which are essentially the same thing (I’m looking at you Byron). We went for the West Coast Classic (the original cheeseburger with all the fixings – including their own secret sauce which puts anything Ronald McDonald can produce to shame) with beef dripping fries and our veggie pal had the Southern Fried Paneer and regular fries. In hindsight, these delicious burgers work perfectly with 2 hours of hard drinking and serve as ideal booze soakers – way more than the tapas did.

The ‘rules’ remain unchanged; Due to Newcastle City Council licensing laws the management reserve the right to refuse or withdraw service to anyone they deem too intoxicated, so again as long as you’re not a knob about it, the booze will flow as long as you’re in an appropriate state to accept it.

Bookings are opened up on a 3 month rolling basis and are available on a Saturday and Sunday, however if you’re planning a large party or stag or hen do send them a quick message on Facebook and they’ll probably be able to accommodate! Let’s be honest, you don’t get much for £25 these days and the fizz is as free flowing as you can get – the staff are super attentive and for the whole two hour we were there our glasses were never empty. And everyone know that empty prosecco glasses make the baby Jesus cry.


No28, 27-29 Nelson St, Newcastle City Centre, NE1 5AN
Tel: 0191 447 5590
Facebook: www.facebook.com/no28ncl/


Holy Crepe! Crepeaffaire is now open in Newcastle!

‘It’s hard to imagine a scenario where someone would say no to pancakes’ – David Levithan

I’m sure there are people in the world who’s only experience of the humble pancake is what they have once a year on shrove Tuesday, or possibly those thick American monstrosities you get in hipster diners, however during my meagre 35 years on this earth I’ve experienced quite a love affair with the Crepe. I grew up in Belgium, meaning Crepes and Pain au Chocolate weren’t just something you had once a year or when you visited Patisserie Valerie. They were something you had every Saturday morning when you went to the local market. So make no mistake, I’ve had some of the best crepes around so when Crepeaffaire invited me and Davy along to their new shop in the swanky Greys Quarter in Eldon Square, you can bet the Mons Monkey I was down to try!


Crepeaffaire have recently launched their Indulgence menu which means not only can you get the classics like Banana, Nutella and Lemon & Sugar, they’ve upped the ante and added combinations like Banana, Rum & Raisin, Fererro Rocher and Salted Caramel. If all that gooey deliciousness doesn’t float your boat they also do a wide range of savoury crepes which are much more lunchtime appropriate, if I weren’t there purely for the sugar hit I’d be all over the pesto and mozzarella.

Last time we were in Florida we visited Waffle House for breakfast where I had pancakes with chocolate and peanut butter – a perfectly normal choice I thought. However the family at the next table whose waistline and IQ stats where are polar opposite ends of the spectrum loudly expressed their disgust as they tucked into their artery clogging quadruple bacon and maple syrup 15 pancake stack. As such it took the shine off and I didn’t really enjoy my last pancake experience. So with their contempt in mind, and ever the rebel, I confidently ordered the Belgian Chocolate – because revenge is best served 3 years later on a different continent.

Dave, being the healthier and more sensible of the two of us ordered a salmon and cream cheese crepe, which let’s be honest is pretty standard and hard to get horribly wrong. His crepe had the a right balance of both ingredients and a hearty sprinkling of Dill in top for good measure. My Belgian chocolate was exquisite and made with real Belgian chocolate not sugary, watery sauce you get in some places.


We also had two fruit smoothies each, which were pretty yummy, if a little heavy on juice rather than actual pureed fruit. There were plenty of drink options to choose from though; all hot drinks come with free refills all day every day and you can even get a beer or a glass of prosecco if you fancy (which in itself id pretty fancy!)

We were both pleasantly full after our lunch which isn’t something that can always be said with crepes. I like how they have savoury options which are more healthy than the sweet ones if you don’t want to fill yourself with carb and sugar or want to have a lunch top in between shopping.

Prices start from a fiver and as it’s Crepeaffaire Newcastle’s 1st Birthday week the store will be randomly handing out 10 free crepe vouchers a day to purchasing customers. On 23rd November 2017, all customers purchasing a crepe after 5pm will receive a glass of Prosecco on the house!

Find out more at www.crepeaffaire.com

*we received complimentary food and drink in return for an honest review

Improve your reality or lower your expectations…

‘Habits like blogging often and regularly, writing down the way you think, being clear about what you think are effective tactics, ignoring the burbling crowd and not eating bacon. All of these are useful habits’ – Seth Godin

I’m not normally a fan of reflective summary posts. Actually, I’ll rephrase that, I love reading other people’s (Chloe from New Girl in Toon does a regular round up of her adventures which I eagerly await every month). That’s mostly because other people have way more exciting lives than I do and your average monthly round up for me would be; pub, pub, running, x-factor, pub, running, pub, which would get very tedious very quickly.

Recently however has been a little different in the crazy world of Newman and I wanted to take a moment to talk about some of the life changing events that have cropped up over the last couple of months. And before I go on I want to make clear that this isn’t a ‘look at how amazing and successful my life is kind of post’ most of the things that have happened have been a product of a lot of hard work, blood, sweat and literal tears. This is more of a reminder that it’s really easy to get bogged down in the negative and the mundane but actually, cool things do happen from time to time if you keep your head down and keep plugging away. And they should be celebrated; even by an eternal pessimist like me.

New Job


In the back end of August I was interviewed and offered my dream job. Still within the NHS bur moving away from PA work, which I’ve done since  I left school at 18, and into a more engagement role which will also involve lots of report writing and content creation.  As someone who has found their passion in writing and creating this blog only a few years ago, being offered this opportunity to get paid for what I love to do is an absolute dream come true. It’s a total career change and it will be a challenge stepping out from the support staff role I’ve grown so used to (expect a post on my imposter syndrome coming very soon) but it was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down and I’m so excited about a brand new challenge.

Great North Run

You can read a more detailed review of my GNR experience here, but needless to say this is something I never thought I’d be able to achieve. Running does not come naturally to me and the constant training, particularly towards the end, really started to get me down.  I was really pleased with the time I completed it in and all the support I got on the day and through sponsorship was absolutely overwhelming. Now that it’s over though I have a massive sense of achievement and I’m even considering doing it again next year with my bestie Angela.


If the post so far hasn’t ventured unto the self-indulgent then strap in because it’s about to! One of the happy side effects of training for the Great North Run is that I’ve managed to lose quite a nice amount of weight and toned up where I’ve never been toned before; namely, my legs.  Thankfully running 25 miles a week has gotten them into a shape and for the first time in my life I’ve been able to wear skinny jeans and jeggings without looking like an overstuffed sausage. And that’s a massive victory for me. On a slightly more serious note it also means I’ve managed to build up a level of fitness I never had before and I’m determined not to lose that now GNR is over.

Meeting my hero

To top off my 6 weeks of life changing events, in the middle of September me and my friend Emma won a competition on Instagram to meet Jaret Reddick the lead songer of one of my favourite bands; Bowling for Soup. Despite some slight ‘rock n roll admin’ issues which meant we almost missed him for the meet & greet, we were able to get some pictures, get some stuff signed and have a quick 5 minute chat with him and he was a really lovely guy. He probably the most famous (in fact the only famous) person i’ve ever met and it was really great that he was so normal! I never win anything either so the whole thing was so surreal, especially with all the other mad stuff that seems to have been happening recently!

So suffice to say 2017 has turned out to be a year when loads of stuff has changed, can’t wait to see what happens next!

Charge! At the Discovery Museum

‘A museum should not just be a place for fancy paintings but should be a place where we can communicate our lives through our everyday objects’ – Orhan Pamuk

If you’d have asked me what my ideal way of spending a Saturday afternoon I’d be talking for a very long time before the word ‘museum’ ever passed my lips. However that’s exactly where I found myself last Saturday as I went along to the first day of the Discovery Museum’s newest permanent exhibition ‘Charge!’*

Of course it’s not probably something I would have ordinarily gone to had it not been the fact that dad works there and had a hand it putting the whole thing together. As such we were treated to a personal tour from the man himself, and whilst I may scoff at how middleclass I’ve sudden become, and I definitely did stress too much over what one wears to a museum on a Saturday afternoon, I ended up having a brilliant time (and I’m not just saying that because my dad will be reading this – I promise!)

I grew up in an Army family, living in Holland and Belgium for the majority of my childhood so I have always been a fan of anything Army related. Charge! Is the Story of England’s Northern Cavalry bringing together collections of The Light Dragoons and the Northumberland Hussars since becoming the Command & Support squadron of the Queen’s Own Yeomanry. Both regiments, which are formally affiliated to each other, are the only cavalry divisions today which exclusively recruit from the North of England.

Rather than following a traditional chronological format the exhibition is laid out in categories instead, which I find much easier to follow as you can see side by side the contrast between traditional and modern incarnations of the regiments. Despite the exhibition room being relatively small, there’s loads to see and read about. I also love how interactive it is (so definitely somewhere you can keep the kids interested for an hour or two). A real highlight for me where genuine copies of letters that had been sent home to family members from World War II (which were also available to listen to audibly).

There’s replicas of some of the regiments uniform to dress up in which displays perfectly the evolution of military fashion (if fashion is the right word!) and examples of different ration packs and that are taken into the field – something which brings back memories for Dave who took many a ration pack with him on his bike trip round the word in 2009 courtesy of the British Army – the fruit biscuits are amazing apparently!

The balance between interest for young and old is just perfect in my opinion, there are games for the children to play throughout, explaining about different animals who were kicking about during that time – the story of Peter the cat is my particular favourite. And ever wondered what a soldier smells like after 2 months in the field? Wonder no more as there are smelling pods which have recreated different scents of battle. Believe me when I say it’s not for the faint hearted – and I’ve smelt the inside of a cricketers dirty kit bag!

If you’re not particularly pushed for time, half an hour in the cinema room would be time well spent which has multiple short films on display featuring real soldiers and their families talking about their experiences – good and bad. Some of the films are difficult to watch but extremely well put together and really brings home what soldiers go through.


Much as my dad’s my biggest fan, likewise, I’m his and it’s lovely to see him able to work on something he’s so passionate about (he himself was a member of The Queen Own Yeomary before he retired a few years ago) and the team at the Discovery Museum have put on an excellent display.

* Don’t worry, we went to the pub afterwards!