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Vicki Marinker

Lifestyle blogger,freelance recruitment consultant

My name is Vicki, and I’m a mid-lifer and mum of two young boys, living in North London. I turned my world upside down in June 2014 when I decided to leave corporate life and start a ‘free range’ career.

As a free ranger, I have embarked on many new adventures and noticed a dearth of honest resources for women like me in their fabulous 40s and beyond. So I created www.lifestylemaven.co.uk where I curate, review and blog about things that I hope will bring you happiness, amuse you, make your life easier, help you look and feel great, or just provide some reassurance that you're not alone.

I’m a bit of a sucker for skincare and makeup and I am a recovering handbag addict. I love fine food and have a long list of restaurants I want to visit. I wish I had the inclination to cook more than the seven recipes I repeat over and over again, but still keep a list of all the meals I’ve cooked for guests dating back to 2008. I’m always on the look-out for ways to entertain my boys. And I love handbags. Did I mention that already?

If you’re interested in my opinion about a particular product, place or service, please get in touch. Integrity is very important to me, so my reviews will be honest.

For occasional news and exclusive giveaways please sign up to my newsletter here http://eepurl.com/_iww5

My Invisibility Cloak

I realise the intellectual justifications: that we live in a society that values youth over experience; that the media projects an unattainable vision of beauty etc. But the point is that invisibility happened to me pretty much overnight.
28/10/2016 12:32 BST

Selective Stupidity

I did something monumentally stupid during the holidays which I have to tell you about. I am usually a very organized person. For those of you who don't know me personally, you'll just have to take my word for it: I'm known for being a meticulous timekeeper, a thorough planner of other people's diaries and an obsessive list writer.
07/09/2016 11:50 BST

The Kitchen Renovation Survival Guide

Now that I have had the time to appreciate the kitchen in all its glory and cook for two sets of guests, I can pass on some of the things I've learned along the way - through trial and error.
16/06/2016 10:32 BST

More Crazy Things Kids Say

The boys are now nine and seven years old and I continue to store up our more amusing conversations. My kids don't read my blog (yet). When they do, I hope they will thank me for recording the innocence of their childhood, rather than resenting all this exposure. I love you boys, more than you can imagine.
15/04/2016 14:36 BST

11 Things Only Parents of Boys Will Understand

I was completely unprepared for having boys. I must admit that my fantasies during early pregnancy featured a little girl, dressed as mini-me (that's a miniature version of me - not Mini-Me from <em>Austin Powers</em>, that would be really weird).
03/03/2016 17:29 GMT

Five Tips to Help You Find Your Personal Style

There's a debate in the UK press at the moment about women taking their kids to school dressed in their pyjamas (the mums, not the kids). Just, NO! How can kids take school seriously if their parents can't even be bothered to get dressed?
17/02/2016 10:54 GMT

Cyberbullying: A Parent's Guide to Prevention

This week is Anti-Bullying Week so I've been hunting around on the internet (safely obvs) to find the best advice about how to prevent, and deal with bullying - particularly cyberbullying.
19/11/2015 09:38 GMT

Is Fear of Failure Paralysing You?

Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway was first published in 1987 and is now a bible for personal development. Susan Jeffers believes that fear comes from not feeling good enough about ourselves.
21/10/2015 14:05 BST

Eight Reasons I Won't Return to Your Clothes Shop

And we are a nation of shopkeepers so we really can do better. Which is why I'm starting a new series called 'Reasons I won't return to your...' So here, I appeal to the UK's clothes shop owners and managers to improve the customer experience, with my eight reasons I won't be returning to your shop.
04/09/2015 10:45 BST

The Honest Guide to Driving in France

It was a long car journey, taking nearly two full days with an overnight stop in a fantastic budget hotel in Le Mans en route (see, I can speak French and everything!). We learnt a few things during our trip, so here's my honest guide to driving in France, with some helpful tips and a few MASSIVE generalisations, all served with un petit peu of sarcasm:
24/08/2015 14:51 BST

The Truth About Being Pregnant at Work

I found some employers acting like sexist dinosaurs, while other companies are much more enlightened when it comes to pregnancy in the workplace. I've changed the names of some of the women who spilled the beans to protect them from identification.
30/07/2015 10:58 BST

How to Survive a Camping Trip in Your 40s

We all had a great time. The kids had a blast, playing cricket, getting muddy, having water fights and toasting marshmallows. We enjoyed good food, entertaining company and the great outdoors. Will I go camping again? If it's sunny, yes.
09/07/2015 21:38 BST

Seven MORE Ways to Leave an Impression

Using words like 'I think' and 'I believe' diminish your authority. Similarly, going up at the end of your sentences and creating a question? It makes you sound uncertain of your opinion? Be BOLD. Your audience may not agree, but they will admire your conviction.
16/06/2015 12:02 BST

Seven Tips for Improving Your Personal Impact

Whether we intend to or not, we form judgements about people almost immediately, to decide if they are 'friend' or 'foe' - whether we are safe in the company of someone like us, or whether we should be more alert to a potential threat. This is an instinctive reaction which, many generations ago helped our ancestors to survive.
22/05/2015 14:17 BST

Six Tips for a Good Night's Sleep

I have had many periods of sleep deprivation during my life, including eight months with my first child; three with my second; a very stressful period at University; living with noisy neighbours and finally marrying a snorer!
05/05/2015 12:07 BST

How to Start a Blog: My First Six Blogging Months

Here's what I've learnt during the last six months as a complete newbie, without any experience of blogging - just a few ideas in my head, a computer and the ability to write in plain English.
28/04/2015 14:28 BST

Put the Mobile Away!

We have so many ways to communicate with each other it's become impossible to switch off. Last night I had dinner with a friend and was saddened to see half the family on the table next to us interacting only with their mobile phones, rather than to each other.
17/04/2015 14:04 BST

What Nasties Lurk in Your Bathroom Cabinet

I urge you to check your labels for mineral oil - which may be called liquid paraffin, pariffinum liquidum or liquid petroleum. Whether it's on the label of your sun protection or any other of your personal care products, it is preventing toxins from escaping and nutrients being absorbed through your skin.
13/04/2015 15:49 BST

10 Signs You No Longer Care What People Think

I make no effort to hide the fact that I'm now more likely to listen to Radio Four than Radio One. Venue choices for an evening out are based on if we'll be able to hear each other talk, and if we'll get a table/chair - preferably both.
09/03/2015 15:37 GMT