Saturday, 18 November 2017

BLOW DRY AT BLOW LTD IN DEBENHAMS MANCHESTER


BLOW LTD: AT HOME AND IN SALON BEAUTY TREATMENTS
One of my surefire ways to feel pampered and relaxed is to go for a blow dry and you guys may have read my review of the Blow Ltd 'At Home' Services where you can book on-demand beauty treatments and have them in the comfort of your home. Blow Ltd has recently also opened a salon within Debenhams in Manchester and I was fortunate enough to be invited along to experience it!

In prime position on Market Street, Blow Ltd is geared up for all the quick turnaround beauty treatments you might need. I opted for a quick blow dry and was in an out with a lovely bouncy blow dry in record time. Blow Ltd use Kerastase Products which were a real treat for my hair and I was really impressed with the service overall and will definitely be making use of the salon over the festive season and beyond!

Also! Blow often do discount codes and promotions so be sure to check out their social media and/or website so that you can take advantage 😊

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Tuesday, 14 November 2017

FLIRTY THIRTIES



Once you turn thirty, you’ll find that you get a new lease of life. Your confidence will improve and you will certainly know yourself a lot better than what you did during your twenties. Now that you feel great, you will want to look great to match!

Unfortunately, once we’re in our thirties, there will be some signs of ageing that start to become quite noticeable. But that doesn’t mean you’re past it just yet! Follow these beauty tips, and you’ll look like you’re still a young twenty-something!

Start To Fight Wrinkles


Unfortunately, our thirties is when we start to notice wrinkles and age lines. Sadly, we can’t stop the ageing process completely, so this is something that you need to get used to. But there are ways you can slow down the development and appearance of wrinkles, you’ll be glad to hear! Anti-wrinkle creams can really be beneficial and you should also choose the eye cream for wrinkles that start to appear around your eyes. It’s important that you don’t just stick to budget creams and serums - these won’t do your skin any good. Ideally, see your skin care as a worthwhile investment.

Never Forget Sunscreen


Your skin will be extra delicate now that it is starting to age, especially when it gets too much sun. You might be surprised at how little sun it can handle, in fact. So, it’s necessary to wear sunscreen every day. Yep, you heard that right - every day. This daily application makes sure that you never suffer from any sunburn and that your skin remains full of moisture. There are some scientific studies that show daily wearing of sunscreen can help to keep wrinkles at bay for longer too!

Invest In A Good Hairdresser


Now that you’re a grown woman, there really is no excuse for bad hairstyles anymore. And you shouldn’t blame it on your poor hairdresser! If you don’t like how your current hairdresser styles your hair, then you need to start looking for another one. You might need to visit a few different ones until you finally find your perfect one, but trust me, all this effort is worth it. You’ll always be happy and confident when you step out of the hairdressers, and you won’t have to rush home in shame!

Wash Your Brushes


Did you know that your makeup brushes are breeding grounds for a whole lot of germs and bacteria? If you keep using them without washing them on a regular basis, then you’ll be wiping all of those germs and bacteria onto your face. Pretty disgusting, right?! That’s why you need to make sure you are washing all your makeup brushes every two weeks. You can do so with some warm water and Fairy Liquid. Simply wet the brushes and then lather in some of the Fairy before rinsing them thoroughly. You can then leave the brushes to air dry.

Once you follow all these beauty tips, you’ll start to notice that your beauty confidence really improves and that you’ll find your thirties a lot funner than your twenties!


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Monday, 6 November 2017

A GOOD FOUNDATION


WWW.UKLINGERIE.COM
With Christmas Party Season approaching, the hunt begins for the perfect outfit and I think we all know what a stress that can be! As someone with a bigger bust, I often write things off if I think sourcing underwear will be tricky, which can be a shame as I undoubtedly miss things which could look really nice!

Like building a house or doing your makeup, a great base or foundation is what will make the end product look much better. So this is where getting the correct lingerie and shapewear comes in! I've posted before about getting measured properly and the benefits of doing so, but if you are looking for a one stop shop for your lingerie needs then please do yourself a favour and check out UK Lingerie where you will find many brands, shapes and sizes.

Firstly, get your boobs where they should be sitting on your body and this comes with a good bra. Then you can smooth out any lumps and bumps with Spanx or other control wear pieces. I can see the widened eyes and raised eyebrows and thoughts of 'Bridget Jones' flicking through your mind.. but control pants don't need to be ugly if you are worried about it stopping you getting lucky! 😂


I absolutely hate the feeling of something bing too tight and that horrible breathless feeling you get if your control wear is sausageing you in. Yes that is a word I have just made up. What I love about Spanx is that they are tight but not uncomfortable, you can move around freely and they don't make you all hot and bothered. I can't promise that the process of getting in to them will be all that dignified but we can't have everything now can we!


The brands sold on UK Lingerie are premium and therefore at a higher price point but I do think they are a solid investment so definitely check them out.


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Sunday, 5 November 2017

GETTING MY CRAFT ON WITH STAMPIN' UP

STAMPIN' UP CARD MAKING KIT
Bullet journals, scrap booking, crafts, even blogging, at home creativity is becoming increasingly accessible and I for one wholeheartedly support this!

I love personalisation and when I was contacted by Stampin' Up challenging me to make my very own greetings cards I couldn't say no..

Containing everything you need to make your own cards, the Stampin' Up Sets are the PERFECT christmas gift for the person who has everything (or won't tell you what they want) but who likes to be creative. I got to play with the 'Oh Happy Day' Card Making Kit and it was so fun to make my very own notecards to send to family and friends.

It's super easy to use and I would highly recommend the kit- I have been perusing the website and have quite the shopping list! My family should probably prepare for an influx of handmade cards!
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Tuesday, 31 October 2017

WHAT OUR GRANDPARENTS CAN TEACH US ABOUT HAPPINESS


Have you ever wondered why you let stress and anxiety about unimportant things ruin your week? Would you like to go back to a simpler time where you didn’t have to worry about issues that don’t matter? Then you might want to sit down and speak with one of your grandparents for a couple of hours. If they aren’t around anymore, just take a moment to read this post and see if you can learn a thing or two. The older generation went through World Wars and other tragedies, but they still have a smile on their faces. How is that possible? Let’s learn more together…

Family is the most important thing in life


Why do you think so many grandparents work hard to avoid care homes and stay with their families? Well, according to experts from Cayon Care Services and similar firms, that’s because people in their twilight years understand how crucial it is to be with their blood relatives. While friends might come and go during this life, your precious few family members will always remain at your side. Through thick and thin, those people will never judge you, and they will still provide support - even when you mess up. So, make sure you try your best to convert to that way of thinking if you want to be happy.

Worrying doesn’t change anything


The issue with worrying about things is that you use a lot of mental energy, and it makes no difference to the outcome according to specialists from HelpGuide.org. Let’s presume you have an exam tomorrow. You’re stressing about it all day today, but that isn’t going to improve your performance. If you spent all day today joking around with your friends or going on an adventure, you’d still score the same number of correct answers as you will do after stressing for twenty-four hours. If you take no other advice from your grandparents, just make sure you learn that worrying gets you nowhere.

A hard day’s work will keep you grounded


As the old saying goes, “the devil makes work for idle hands to do.” That is a saying many grandparents use, and one that rings true in lots of situations. There is a lot to be said for a hard day’s work and how it helps to maintain your inner health. Even if you come home with aching muscles and stinking to high heaven, you’ll feel like you accomplished something impressive with your efforts. According to many grandparents, some of the happiest people in the world work manual jobs every single day. The turn their bathtubs black when they slide into the water, and yet those people never feel stressed or unhappy.

As you can see from the information in this post, grandparents and other older people can teach you a lot about finding happiness and living your life the right way. So, be sure to have a conversation with yours as soon as possible. If your grandparents have passed-on, you could always visit a local care home for the afternoon. The residents are glad to welcome guests in most instances, and they love having a chat.
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Monday, 30 October 2017

FAMILY WORRIES AND HOW TO DEAL WITH THEM

Baby, Giving Birth, Newborn
Illness, Injury, Death

There comes a time in everyone’s life where they find themselves looking after a member of their family. Whether that be a child that they have brought into this world, or a sick member of the family, it’s important to be able to keep a level head so that you can take care of them the best you can, yet still live your life happily and healthily. Here are some of the most popular family worries and how you can deal with them.

Birth

Bringing a new life into this world is a wonderful thing for all of those close enough to experience it. However, because there’s a new life in this world, people tend to forget about the wellbeing of the woman that has given birth and how she is feeling. If someone close is about to give birth or has just given birth, make sure that you are there for Mum too, because she is going to need all of the support and sleep that she can get. Having support around reduces the chance of getting postnatal depression among many other illnesses.

Illness or Injury

It’s difficult when a member of the family falls sick or injured themselves, especially when it renders the person unable to do anything for themselves. It can be particularly difficult if it’s a member of the family that is older and it’s going to take longer (if at all) to recover from it. While you’re more than willing to help them as much as you can with day to day care, it can sometimes be embarrassing for that person especially if the care that needs to be given is intimate. Consider getting help from a care home so that you can continue your relationship with that person and rest assured that they are getting the care that they need in a warm and caring environment like http://eastleighcarehomes.co.uk/ offers to their residents.

Divorce

Divorces are often unexpected and messy for both parties, especially if one of them is still very much in love with the other person. Your whole world crumbles and you have to begin picking up the pieces so that you can move on and continue with life. If you know someone that’s going through a divorce, offer them your time, advice and ultimately, a shoulder to cry on. Doing this will strengthen any relationship and help your loved one get through this hard time in their lives.

Death

Death is the worst thing that anyone can experience, yet there’s nothing we can do to stop it. If a loved one is grieving, you need to let them show you what they need from you. Some people deal with it best alone, while others need the company. Whatever your loved one needs or asks for, make sure you’re there for them even if it’s just in their thoughts.

Families are wonderful because of the bond and love all around, so make sure that if your family needs you that you can be there in the best way possible.
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Saturday, 28 October 2017

SKIN SAVIOURS WITH A PH

 

#NOFILTER

I have to start this with I can't quite believe I am posting a no make up selfie for all and sundry to see on the internet but given the topic of this post, I need to give you a look at my no make up face!

Now, I am sure I am not the only one who had visions of a Samantha from SATC experience when having a chemical peel, but I wanted to bust the myths and give you the low down on introducing peels into your skin regime.

 

The Consultation

When I was contacted by the lovely ladies at Skin Health Spa to come along and try out a chemical peel for myself, I was honestly quite apprehensive and I am sure they sensed my ignorance on the topic when I said quite firmly I didn't want ANY downtime nor did I want to feel like my face would burn off!

They reassured me that that would not be the case so I booked in for a peel and head over to the Clinic in Manchester, where I discussed my skin woes in order to find the correct acid for me. I wanted brightness and hydration so my therapist suggested a medium depth 'modified jessner' peel to achieve my requirements! Interestingly, this type of peel contains 3 types of acid to address different thing. Lactic for hydration, salicylic for cleansing / reducing oiliness and glycolic acid for brightness.

The Treatment Itself

I lay down and the therapist cleansed my face and put vaseline on any areas which needed protection from the acid, e.g. my under eyes, eyebrows and the creases beside my nose. She then applied the acid and we let it get to work. I genuinely believed it would sting a bit but that was not the case at all. I can only liken it to when you use nail polish remover and it makes your skin feel cold OR like when you use original mint source shower gel. The thing that bothered me more than anything was the fumes coming off the product irritated my nose a bit but nothing major.

The therapist then removed the acid and neutralised the skin. My skin immediately looked alot brighter and more plumped and it has got better and better with each day after the peel. I can't believe how wrong I was about what the experience would be like!

What Skin Health Spa says about Peels

'Our pharmaceutical grade skin peels promote fresh, healthy skin by gently resurfacing the outer layers of the skin, removing built-up congestion and imperfections. Whether its pigmentation, acne or breakouts, lines and wrinkles, dehydration, enlarged pores, or specific skin complaints like Melasma we have a chemical peel that can help with your concern.

There are various types of chemical peels available, each penetrate skin at different levels of the epidermis. Resurfacers or superficial peels work on the very top layers of the epidermis and use enzymes and acids to refine and exfoliate. Skin peels or medium peels are stronger and work deeper to combat more specific skin complaints.

Removing the outer layers of dead skin with a chemical preparation, allows new skin cells to come through revealing a dramatically smoother and brighter complexion with fewer imperfections. Naturally derived acids loosen the glue-like attachments or cellular cement that is characteristic of many skin conditions such as ageing, acne, skin discolouration and coarse texture.'


Everything Else

It's worth bearing in mind that this isn't a relaxing facial so if that is what you are after then definitely still give Skin Health Spa a call and discuss the kind of treatment you are after as they do a really wide variety of treatments and the Clinic is beautiful.

The after care was very simple and it was to just do very little to your face in the immediate 24 hours after the peel and if you have to wear makeup to try and wear mineral makeup which is what I did. I was advised that there *may* be peeling but that it was highly unlikely and I didn't get anything to that effect.

In Conclusion...

I will definitely be incorporating peels into my skin care. I really felt such a difference and I think my skin reacted well to it. As you have more you could go for a higher strength but if I am honest this mild one did enough to start off with!

Thank you very much to Skin Health Spa for such a treat 💖

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Wednesday, 25 October 2017

FAMILY PLANNING


Family planning is all about managing your reproductive system and sex life in relation to your desire to or not to conceive. You can practice family planning throughout your entire life, and it’s not just about the avoidance of pregnancy, although that does form a big part of it. It can be difficult to understand all the aspects of family planning, and that’s why I'm going to offer you this guide to explain some of the most important parts.


Why It’s Important


So, why is family planning so important? For a start, it’s about timing pregnancies and staying in control. These days, women have careers and other things to worry about, and pregnancy needs to be planned more carefully than ever before to avoid unhelpful conflicts. Most women know when they want to have children, and the point at which that’s happening is being delayed further and further on the whole. So, understanding family planning put you at an advantage.


Help and Support


There is so much help and support out there waiting to be taken advantage of, so don’t feel like you have to go through this alone. Head to https://www.mariestopes.org.au/ if you want to find examples of how help with contraceptives and abortions can be found. There are plenty of organisations out there willing to help.


Different Options


There are so many different types of family planning out there, so let’s look at them all in a bit more detail right now. Barrier methods are used by people who want to prevent pregnancy, and the name is pretty self-explanatory. A physical barrier is used to prevent the sperm fertilising the egg. Condoms, diaphragms, caps and sponges are all forms of barrier methods.

Next, there are hormonal methods to consider. Patches, vaginal rings and injections can all be used to change your hormonal balance to prevent pregnancy. However, the oral bill is the most common form of hormonal birth control. Estrogen and progestin are the two hormones that are usually used in such treatments.

IUDs involve placing a device inside the uterus which can then release hormones to control fertility. These can last in place for around 5 years, and many women are turning to this option at the moment. It’s more invasive, but it can be forgotten about for many years, giving you less to worry about in the short-term. Learn more about IUDs at https://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/iud.

There is a rhythm method that many people practice, which involves monitoring the menstrual cycle. It’s then possible to avoid sexual intercourse on days when conceiving would be most likely. Finally, there is the permanent sterilisation method. This is used when a woman is sure that she doesn’t want to have any more children in the future, and removes the need for other forms of birth control completely.

Family planning might seem like a big and scary subject area, but it’s actually not the difficult to get your head around. Make use of the guide above and keep learning more about your own body and family planning in general.


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Friday, 20 October 2017

CITY BREAKS AND RELAXATION WITH JET2HOLIDAYS


I am a firm believer in taking time out and giving yourself some TLC and the lovely folk over at Jet2Holidays do too.

With work seemingly creeping more into your personal time with the arrival of smartphones, laptops and generally working more hours, it's very important to set aside some time to chill out and avoid burnout. I thought I'd tell you all about my tips for de-stressing and making time for yourself!

Diarise your Me-Time

You manage your diary time at work, but do you block out any time for yourself? If you don't then do! I find that I tend to stick to my plans more when they are in my diary. This doesn't just have to be chill out time, it could be time to go to the gym, go for a walk or even blocking out an hour to read a book.

Colouring for Adults

Much like the above 'Cities in Colour' book from Jet2 I have to be honest, I was so sceptical about colouring in being relaxing but it really is! If my mind is properly over capacity from a meeting or information packed day at work, one of my favourite things to do is put on something a bit brainless, Real Housewives of Cheshire does the trick for me (insert sarky emoji) or some music and I colour in. It's like a stop gap to calm your brain down as it is still occupied but doesn't race away with all the work bits and bobs!

Pampering

This is quite a personal one as some people just don't like to pamper too much and be fussed over whereas I am more along the lines of PAMPER ME ALL THE TIME 😍

I love to pop on a face mask, use essential oils and try and unwind, I think it is so important for your general productivity and mental health.

Sleep Wonderful Sleep

Something I feel I never get enough of, sleep is one of the most amazing ways to ensure overall good health and wellbeing. I also find I sleep SO much when on Holiday, must be the comfortable bed in the hotel and the change in air and scenery!

I Be Drinkin'

An obvious one but keep hydrated! I am now in the habit of drinking so much water and when I don't I really notice the difference - particularly in my skin but also on how I feel in myself. If I reach the heachache stage of de-hydration then it's game over *sad face*

Much as I love coffee I do try and reserve coffee drinking to the morning as I feel like having caffeine too late affects my sleep!

A Change of Scenery

Like I said, a change of scenery is great to give you something to look forward to, a bit of fresh air in the lungs and breaks up the daily grind. I try and incorporate a few holidays every couple of months just so that I get the necessary rest that I need. I am currently eyeing up City Breaks with Jet2Holidays so stay tuned if I end up booking something!
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Saturday, 14 October 2017

HOW TO: YOUR FIRST PROPERTY PURCHASE

Now. I consider myself an intelligent woman, I've done well for myself career wise and live an independent #girlboss lifestyle. However, I don't think I ever *quite* anticipated just how confusing buying your own property is. I am writing this blog post in the absence of good impartial advice, forgive me if I just didn't stumble across your blog post on the topic, the only things that came up on my google search gave me broad detail but with some form of sales pitch attached! There are no such sales pitches here, I just want to share my findings in the hope that it helps and you don't find yourself googling 'an idiot's guide to buying a house' desperately searching for information.

I also have to say that I couldn't have done this without the generosity of my parents helping me with my deposit. As a single person trying to get on the property ladder, it is difficult!

I will split this post into different sections so you can skip over if anything is obvious!

Getting Your Finances in Order

I knew I needed to do this and yet I think there was definitely way more I could have done. One of the best tips I could give you is to explore your credit rating as this is ultimately what will determine how attractive you will be as a potential customer to a lender. The main credit agencies are Experian and Equifax. There are options to really drill down into what is making up your score and I would urge you to look into these if you number is in the average or below territory.

One thing I will say though is do not worry if you don't have the best credit rating, there are lenders out there who will still consider you but it will be a more indepth process.

Make sure you are paying your bills on time, ensure that the agencies have an accurate picture of you so check you are on the electoral roll at your current address and that they have as much information as possible. You also have the opportunity to correct certain information too.

Also bear in mind that your mortgage provider may need to go over 3 months worth of bank statements so perhaps think about keeping the ASOS orders and just-eat deliveries to a minimum...

Once you are in a position to start thinking about buying a property and have an idea of how much deposit you have at your disposal, it is sometimes worth getting an agreement in principle with your bank or engaging the services of an Independent Mortgage Consultant who will be able to find the best deal for you. This means that you don't inadvertently go and view the house of your dreams to have the dream crushed as actually you wouldn't be able to afford it.

The Mortgage

This is where I felt the most clueless in the process. How on earth do they work, what do the options actually mean and what is the best option for me? I used a Mortgage Consultant to help me with all of these questions and he was an absolute god-send. I didn't have particularly good credit as I don't have alot of it so my options were slightly more restricted. This is where my Consultant was worth his weight in gold as he made me feel much less worried about everything and assured me that I would still be able to find a mortgage but that I might need to provide a little more information.

The interest rate was slightly higher than what I would have got from the high street lenders but we have fixed the cost for 2 years and will re-mortgage after that so that I can reduce costs. My mortgage payment is less than what I was paying in rent.

I was very fortunate that my parents helped with my deposit but bear in mind that this in itself can be a cost depending on how long you have the money before you buy as solicitor's will charge you to verify that the money has come from a legitimate source.

The Legal Side of Things

I'll be honest, I don't feel like I got the same level of service from my Legal Adviser as I did from my Mortgage Consultant. I was expecting alot more of an education throughout the process and explanation of what things meant rather than documents just being sent and a signature requested.

I was able to ask questions of my parents and other friends but I would urge you to ask that things are explained and set that expectation up front so that you are fully informed. It can be quite overwhelming when a big pile of documents arrive on your doorstep! Also, try not to exchange or complete on a Friday as you can be caught out by people leaving the office earlier than usual which can have a negative effect on your plans!

There are also alot of other costs that can be added on so be sure to fully understand what charges might apply to you so that your budget can absorb these costs.

The Step by Step Process

  1. Have an idea of budget for your property purchase and try and get a mortgage agreement in principle. This is not mandatory but can help when dealing with estate agents as they know you are serious and ready to go!
  2. Do your research, if you love a property and want to make an offer then know what the last purchase price was and what the market is like in the area.
  3. If the property is the ONE then go ahead and make an offer! This is made via the estate agent and when accepted they will give you a memorandum of sale. Note that the purchase is not legally binding at this stage and there are a fair few hoops to jump through after this point.
  4. Get your mortgage offer - this will be dependent on the mortgage company conducting their own valuation. This is so they can verify that should you fall into arrears and fail to pay that they could make their money back.
  5. Arrange a survey. If you are buying a house then you will need a full one, if you are buying a flat then you can generally get away with a basic one. Make sure you read through everything as it isn't always obvious where there are concerns. My survey didn't show that there was a problem on one aspect of the property, this came through much later on and was almost a deal breaker!
  6. Once you have signed away all the documents, have the mortgage offer and an acceptable survey then it's time to decide on when to exchange contracts and it is at this point (when the contracts have been exchanged) that the sale becomes legally binding. You will need to arrange for the release of your deposit at this stage.
  7. At completion, your mortgage provider will release the funds and you will get the call to come and collect the keys! Be aware that sometimes the current owners take longer than anticipated to vacate the property. I'd just ensure that everything is in writing and you make it crystal clear of what your intended movements are on completion date.

Other Things to Bear in Mind 

The fixtures and fittings inventory is something you must look at - if I hadn't have had my parents on my back saying 'what are they leaving' then I wouldn't have chased this as my Legal Adviser didn't catch on that I hadn't received it! The seller could say they are taking anything so it's just so you know exactly what is being left.

Fees mount up and I think this is where I was slightly unprepared! I knew I would have alot to cover before I even got into my property but you will need separate budget for this.

The first mortgage payment will be higher than what your normal monthly amount is. It's something to do with the interest but mine was approx £300 more than what my monthly amount will be and it's rubbish as that first month is probably the worst time it can be so be warned!!!

Don't be scared to negotiate - if something comes up then ask for money off. You need to prepare yourself for real highs and lows during the buying process but it's all so worth it once you get those keys!

HAPPY HOUSEHUNTING!!
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Wednesday, 11 October 2017

POSITIVITY IS THE NEW TREND


The latest fashion look, or eyebrow technique is great to know about - but if you didn’t already know, the new best thing is positivity. Not only can you wear it, but you can also speak it, act it, and spread it.
Here's how you can get some.


Use positive words to describe your life.

The words that we use in our daily lives has a huge impact on how we see the world, and ourselves. If you are always one to say that your life is boring and dull - of course it will be, you're making it that way every time you confirm it. Instead, when you wake up and have a conversation with yourself in the shower (like all of us do!) say that today is going to be a good day. Even if the sky is dark and grey - the birds are still singing, the grass is green, you're breathing, and you're having a wonderfully hot shower that, of course, makes everything so much better. Your mind listens to the words, so choose them more wisely.


Keep your body moving.

Exercise isn't just to keep you in shape and allow you to wear that gorgeous blue dress for your birthday. It's also a way of keeping your mind healthy and fit too. Look at Zumba fitness dance in the gym for example; it's a group of like-minded people that join as one and have a boogie to some funky music while laughing away any troubles. This is also due to a little chemical called endorphins that are released and make you feel happy. So call up your girlfriends and make it a date. You won't be let down.


Just. Breathe.

The act of breathing is so underrated. We just do it because that's how our bodies work. But breathing is completely connected to our emotions. For example when we're angry or distraught, or breathing speeds up and our heart races - that's the way our body reacts to different emotions. So the next time you feel this way - breathe. Breathe through it all. You tend not to think about it when you're trapped in a moment, but by focusing your mind and taking deep breaths in and out, you will be able to take full control, and you will soon see how that affects the way you’re feeling. So fill your lungs with clean, crisp, positive air. You will feel so much better. And it will get better…

Replace the word have with get.


Think about it, when you formulate sentences, what do you say? I have to see my parents. I have to go to work. I have to pick up my children from school. I have to go to sleep. - Now change the word have, to get. I get to see my parents. I get to go to work. I get to pick up my children from school. I get to go to sleep. How are lucky are you? Do you see how just one measly word can change so much and put things into perspective? ... Nothing more needs to be said.

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Sunday, 1 October 2017

A BREAKFAST DATE WITH CARVEN AND SELFRIDGES


A couple of weeks ago I was treated to a lovely breakfast date with Selfridges and Carven Parfums.

Introducing the new collection of 7 fragrances, we were transported around the world to learn about the inspiration that lead to their creation plus a little history on Carven as a brand.

Madam Carven was really very forward thinking and some of the tales we heard were so interesting! Carven was one of the first designers to be asked to design air hostess uniforms and also one of the first to provide perfume samples, even dropping them out of a plane over Paris with little parachutes!

There are 7 fragrances which were influenced by places Carven visited as inspiration for her collections and fabric patterns, from Florence to Sao Paulo, Seville to Bangalore and beyond, each fragrance is also decked out in the corresponding vintage fabric.

Selfridges kindly gifted us our fragrance of choice and I went for Bangalore which is the most beautiful mix of vanilla, sandalwood and amber. They are not cheap at £140 a bottle but it is eau de parfum which is much more concentrated and lasts so much longer on the skin. I have genuinely never had so many compliments or questions on what I am wearing either!

The fragrances are exclusive to Selfridges and I would urge you to go and smell them. There wasn't one that I didn't like and I am usually very fussy when it comes to perfumes.

Thank you once again to Selfridges and Carven for the most lovely breakfast date and for the generous gift. It is my new fragrance fave!!!
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Saturday, 30 September 2017

FANTASTIC WAYS TO PUT YOURSELF FIRST


Being healthy and being happy are two totally different concepts, and yet for a lot of the time, the two marry together beautifully. Choosing to be happy is a big deal for a lot of people, especially as life comes packaged with a lot of stress. We spend a lot of time bouncing from one job to another; work, family, paying bills. These obligations can often mean we put everyone else in front of us and put ourselves to the bottom of the pile. Doing that, while practical, isn’t a way to last in happiness.

Pursuing self-care can be difficult, especially when you have no idea how to put yourself first.
Sometimes, trying to do what you want can lead you to feel selfish and unworthy of your own attention. You’re wrong. You are just as important as anyone else that you want to protect in your life.

The key is to know how to put your own needs ahead and ask for something more than you have. The priority should always be your own wellbeing, and we’ve got some great ways you can work on that.

Sleep

If you are busy with work to the point you are starting early and leaving late, it’s not just a social life you neglect. It’s your own sanity! People need sleep to rest, repair and unconsciously work through their issues. It’s essential to get enough sleep through the night to function properly through the day and through work. Cut down on working late and get yourself the right amount of rest for each day ahead instead.

Eat Well

It’s true when people say you are what you eat. If you eat junk food more than nourishing options, you’re going to feel sluggish and sleepy a lot of the time. The more you eat well, the better you feel and reading blogs like http://www.theneatthingsinlife.com/2017/05/food-an-investment-in-yourself/ should help you to understand how eating well is an investment in your wellbeing. Putting yourself first means being in the best health to do so.

Workout Well

When life is full of working and being everything to everyone else, trying to find half an hour a day to put into exercise is not easy. The thing is, you have to find thirty minutes to work on your own health. Swap sitting at your desk at lunchtime for a walk to find a spot to eat outside. Getting your heart pumping and gaining some fresh air can only be a good thing!

Speak Up

When things hurt or upset you, you need to advocate for yourself and speak up. put your own wishes first and make sure that you ask for what you want. If you feel a sense of injustice, don’t just take it. Being your own person and making choices that count for you is the only way to be truly happy.

Looking after yourself doesn’t have to be hard; you just have to know and believe that you are important, too.


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Sunday, 17 September 2017

NAP QUEEN


I love a nap and I am not ashamed to tell everyone about it! I recently heard about YourDesign and they invited me to try their services. YourDesign specialise in personalised garments and items, the site is super easy to use and the products are fantastic quality.

I opted for a snuggly unisex personalised hoodie* in navy with pink writing on the back with my tongue in cheek title of 'nap queen'. You can personalise your item as much or as little as you want and this even includes photo printing.

My hoodie arrived a few days later and was perfect! It is absolutely spot on in terms of design, high quality printing and product and I can tell it will wash well. (Totally sounding like my mother) 😂

The item options on site are plentiful and there is something in budget for everyone, you just have to let your creative juices run wild!

I'd highly recommend YourDesign and I will definitely be using them again!
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LOSING WEIGHT IS A LIFESTYLE CHANGE


We’ve all been there when you’re trying to lose weight but somehow, all that determination you had seems to slowly fade away. It could be anything that puts your weight loss goals on hold, such as work becoming too hectic, personal errands getting in the way of your gym time, or your children needing their needs to be looked after. Soon that workout motivation you had, starts to slip away, and one must wonder why this happens. More often than not, we think of weight loss as short term goal, that we feel we will be able to achieve in a few weeks or months. Already then, you’ve tasted defeat, because you’ve set a time schedule of when you’re going to basically stop a weight loss regimen. The psychological effects you place on yourself are subtle and chip away at your determination to succeed slowly slip away. Therefore the only way in which weight loss can be achievable is to think of losing the extra pounds as part of your lifestyle.

Morning Routines are Crucial

Every single morning, come rain or shine, you should have a moderate workout routine in place. When you get up, before you’ve had breakfast or brushed your teeth, and before you’ve taken a shower, perform a routine that elevates your heart rate. This could be a yoga routine, where by your breathing must be controlled and you can begin forging a connection with all your muscles. Balance plays a key role in yoga, so you’ll be using strength and your core, to remain in the poses you do. Equally, bodyweight exercises are still as good as ever, which is why every modern armed force still demand each individual be comfortable lugging their own weight around. Push-ups, sit-ups, star jumps and standing squats are fantastic ways to start shedding weight off your limbs. Body parts you haven’t used in a while will suddenly be forced into action, and slowly, day after day after day, you’ll begin to see a more toned and shapely body. But the number one hard task is, to actually get up, and workout for 10-15 minutes, every single day. Put some music on to pump yourself up, do whatever you’ve got to do, to shake off the cobwebs of sleep, and get active.

Supplements Can Help in Moderation

Sometimes the body is so used to being in a particular state, that getting it to move and cooperate with the stresses you’re putting on it, can be quite a challenge. There’s nothing worse than when you’re mentally focused to workout, but a few minutes into the workout, your body just starts to give up. This means you’ll have to start your weight loss lifestyle, at a bit of a slowed pace because there’s only so much you can do to push your body. Taking weight loss tablets as part of a healthy and clean diet would be beneficial to speed up this process. Orlistat can assist in losing weight which works by decreasing the amount of fat the body absorbs. If you can somehow combine a balanced diet of protein and fruit and vegetables, together with a good amount of exercise every day, you will start seeing significant results in a shorter amount of time. Take weight loss pills in moderation, and always put a good diet and dedication to working out, as the spearhead in your new lifestyle routine.

You Are What You Eat

You’ve heard it a million times, but it’s still true. What you put into your body is exactly what’s going to form your health standard. It’s pure and simply, if you eat more fat calories than you do carbohydrates, and nutrients, you’re simply going to gain weight. If you’re consuming more calories than you need to sustain your weight, and power you through the day, your body has no other choice. The body must find some way of storing this excess energy, so what it does is convert the overabundance of calories into fat. Hence, the more you eat and quality of food you eat has an unstoppable effect on your body once consumed. It’s never too late to cut out this nonsense, and begin to substitute a meal that would be high in fat, too something that’s balanced in protein, salts, natural sugars, and carbohydrates. Truthfully the only fat you should be getting as per your healthy diet is through nuts and simple carbs like bread. Your meats should be lean, with very little to no fat on or in them. And, with a portion of meat, should automatically come with a side of vegetables. You should balance your sugars and salts first because these are the two components, which make food act as addictive substances. There are many online meal plans and customizable options for making a meal, which should become a daily routine to help you find something new and healthy to eat.

Find a Companion in Your Journey

Whether it be a friend or family member, you can both decide to start living healthy lifestyle together. Using each other for motivation, and stepping in to correct the other when they start to fall behind or lose motivation, you prop each other up. You can keep in contact with social media, and perhaps even share a workout plan, which is kept track of by both of you daily. One of the reasons working out is not very attractive to some, is that is can be a solitary journey, with only yourself to make sure you stay on the tracks. However, if you have somebody who is in the same position as you, and feeling what you feel after every workout, you build up a comradery, which motivates you to push harder and not let your companion down. 

Working out should become a lifestyle, rather than a short term goal. By setting a goal that will come to a close in the near future, you’re already admitting to defeat psychologically. But, if you can make a healthy diet and workout regimen as part of a lifestyle, something that you just do, as per routine, it becomes ingrained in your mind. You’re more likely to stick to this kind of method than any other.
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THE SCIENCE OF YOUR HEALTH


Have you ever stopped to consider the many meanings of the saying “being healthy”? It’s a matter of physical and mental health. Whether you’ve got a weak heart or you’re struggling with depression, your health can take many different shapes, which makes it more difficult to maintain. Unfortunately, most people, when they think of building a healthier lifestyle tend to focus their efforts on going to the gym. A little reductive, don’t you think? You are more than just a body, and consequently, your health needs to be the balance of a strong body and a strong mind, working together in perfect harmony. Everything that happens inside your body, from muscle build to biological reactions, is the direct result of how healthy you are. Time to dive into the science of your health-ology!

Gymology for a Healthy Body

Let’s get the basics first. Your inner health starts with a healthy body, so gym haters need to reconsider their positions. A healthy body is, as you know, a body that can carry out its natural functions without difficulties. This means that you should be taking care of your physical appearance because it’s the reflection of your inner health. In other words, exercising is the watchword here, and it’s essential to keep your organs strong. But exercise without rest – and a good sleep night – risks damaging your body and weakening your organs and muscles. In other words, your healthy body is the result of regular gym visits followed by periods of rest of a day or two. So get your gym gear out and keep that heart pumping!

Psychology for a Healthy Mind

There’s a dark area when it comes to health that most people try to ignore, and it’s the mental health. It can be difficult to take your feelings into account, especially when society wants you to carry on as if nothing had happened. But listening to your feelings is not a sign of weakness. On the contrary, it’s a sign of acceptance of your emotions. Many things can bug you. It could be a stressful breakup or a lack of self-esteem. But it’s something that you can address – with the help of a therapist to mourn your past relationship or an expert from Sculpture Clinic to improve your body. You need to help your mind to heal by sorting out the issues in real life.

Biology for Healthy Harmony

Your body is a machine that needs the right type of fuel to work. Vitamins and healthy meals, as described by the British Nutrition Foundation, are not just a great idea to lose weight. They’re also the best nutrients for your body. Keeping the machine ticking is, after all, what makes life what it is. So, next time you think about food, ignore the naughty consequences on the scale. Just think of how to best fuel the machine. If you’ve accidentally put the wrong fuel in your car, you know how damaging the wrong fuel can be on the engine. It’s best to keep your organs, muscles and mind strong with the right nutrients than to overindulge in guilty pleasures!

Your health is precious; you can’t afford to lose it. The science of a healthy you is simple: Gymology, psychology, and biology. Look after the body and the mind, then fuel them with the best nutrients. Simple and maybe dull, but if being healthy is dull, it’s the perfect kind of dullness!
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Friday, 8 September 2017

BRAND SPOTLIGHT: ALEXANDER MCQUEEN

There are certain designers that seem to capture your interest and for me Alexander McQueen was a prime example. A super talented individual whose life was sadly cut short after his death in 2010, Alexander McQueen's pieces earned him various awards (including British Designer of the Year FOUR TIMES) and notoriety in the fashion world.

His signature style was an incorporation of skulls with a glam-punk kind of vibe which is no surprise that he designed many of David Bowie's tour looks. (Thanks for that information Wikipedia!) He started his career as an apprentice on Saville Row and then went onto working within theatrical costumery and also had a MA from Central St Martins College of Art and Design - he really was extremely talented and experienced in such a variety of styles! His background has definitely shown  influence in his designs and earned him a spot at Givenchy before McQueen became a brand in his own right.

My Alexander McQueen Scarf was one of my first forays into designer accessories and I still love the fact it brightens up an otherwise dull outfit. The brand has retained alot of Alexander's unique styles and I am loving the blush pink variations on his classic pieces. And, let's be honest, who doesn't need a fabulous skull handled umbrella?!

I have selected some of my favourites from the new collections in the image above and it was difficult enough to narrow it down to them! I would love to expand my scarf collection and I am very taken by the handbags which hit just the right amount of grunge but mixed in with a ladylike edge suitable both for the office and night out! *THAT* beaded clutch bag is expensive but what an incredible piece of craftmanship!! I also love that the price points mean that there is a McQueen piece for everyone!

What are your favourite McQueen pieces?




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Wednesday, 6 September 2017

FESTIVAL FRAGRANCE

One of the main annoyances of festival attendance is the not-so lovely smell you end up with by the end of a few days partying and your only means of washing being a pack of baby wipes.

The lovely folk over at The Fragrance Shop sent me the most lovely festival package showing me that smelling fresh at a festival doesn't have to be too hard.

I am very pleasantly surprised by the Radiant Fragrance that is exclusively available to The Fragrance Shop, it is gorgeously summery and will immediately remind you of holidays. Sprayed into the Twist & Spritz Atomiser you can have your fave fragrance handy at all times without the hassle of a heavy bottle - perfect for festivals!

If you are a fragrance fan like me then definitely look into joining Discovery Club which gives you 8 fragrance samples both for men and women. You get to try new scents without committing to the full bottle! The box is just £5 per quarter and comes straight to your home address.

Big thanks to The Fragrance Shop for hooking me up - I can cling on to summer for a while longer now!
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Wednesday, 30 August 2017

HOW TO: USING SOCIAL MEDIA FOR BUSINESS


As a Blogger it's safe to say I LOVE social media for certain things and not so much when it involves bloggers bashing other bloggers but that's another story.

For me, my online persona is carefully curated and I will rarely wade in on anything that makes me look unprofessional. I kind of treat it as an extension of my CV to a certain extent as even though it's all private/outside of work content, I would never want my employer or any brands to be unhappy with something I had written.

Here's how I approach each of the different platforms;

LinkedIn

This is really the primary business networking tool which you will come across. I often get asked about whether you should put any blog information on there and my honest answer is that it's really dependent on your content. I predominantly write a beauty and lifestyle blog and there is nothing on there really that I would mind people from work seeing. I am never too graphic or derogatory and I do believe that it demonstrates good discipline and time management skills being able to do everything associated with blogging alongside a demanding full time job.

For me, LinkedIn is a great platform to network and connect with like minded individuals. A lot of job opportunities can be found there so I ensure my content is up to date and I interact with my contacts on there, whether it be via recommendations for other friends and contacts  or just to simply keep in touch.

I also connect with the Beauty PRs I know so that they get a flavour of what I am all about which is a 30 something full time employee, an average kind of woman really!

Yammer

This won't apply to many of you but Yammer is Microsoft's Business Networking tool... be sure to save this for business content only if your organisation uses it!!

Twitter

Twitter can be a platform that sucks you in and before you know it you have expressed several opinions that *may* have been better to keep to yourself....

I use Twitter as a more informal social media site, however I tend not to write any opinions that are too extreme or controversial. I take a common sense approach to also thinking to myself - would my employer be offended by anything I have written? They wouldn't care about the various memes or animal videos I share and I use Twitter the most when promoting my blog posts.

Facebook

I am friends with a few people from work and apart from learning what my name says about me or what biscuit I am, there is very little on there apart from photos etc! It's always worth having you privacy settings on lock down just incase.

The amount of HR cases I have seen though where people very stupidly write derogatory statements about work just baffles me!

Instagram

Much the same as Facebook, my Instagram feed is scenic shots, selfies and memes. Nothing too out there and I'm sure all very boring to most.. 😂

Watch-Outs

If you are job hunting and have 'those' uni albums of you downing a bottle of tequila or sat in a pool of your own vomit, just have a think about how you would feel if a potential employer saw them.. probably quite embarrassed, avoid this by changing your privacy settings!

Google yourself. Not because you are vain but to see what is out there! Hi Bebo or MySpace pages from back in the day where you have a sweeping emo fringe and proclaim that ~~*nO oNE UnDeRStanDs yOU*~~ And let's face it, let's not reopen *those* old wounds with your friends as to who make the top six as that sh!t was cold.

Have a think about how you would feel if your manager printed your twitter statuses and made you read them out loud to them. If there are any below the belt tweets, either turn on protected tweets or delete.

If you are a blogger, this applies to you too!! The amount of seriously bitchy tweets I see is unreal and if you think that will make PRs want to work with you then think again!!!

I hope you have found this post useful :)
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Tuesday, 22 August 2017

TRINKETS AND TREATS FROM TROUVA

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I love watching vlogs and in particular home wares ones at the moment! Current faves are Gabriella's (Velvetgh0st) moving vlogs as I am loving the themes she has gone for! One of her finds was Trouva which I have become quite obsessed with!

This isn't a sponsored post or anything I just really like their stuff 😆

As you can see there are some key themes...

Marvellous Marble

I am SO BLOGGER RN. I love the look of Marble and Trouva has some excellent items, I am enjoying the green marble items very much and I think I may have to feature some in my new pad!

A Whole Lotta Copper

I do have quite a borderline unhealthy obsession with copper atm. But I love how shiny it is and goes so nicely with my planned pink and green colour scheme!!! My kitchen will be full of it and I have copper cutlery already but a copper cafetiere really is an essential.

Pink to Make the Boys Wink

Except there are no boys on the scene. I just love it! I think it can look cool and not too 'princess bedroom' when done right. The pastel pink cushions are the acceptable level of girly without being too twee!

The Green Scene

One thing is for certain, there will be alot of green in my new pad! From plants to green velvets, a nice farrow and ball green hue, I think green can be on trend but also feel cosy too. I actually sound like marketing blurb with that lil poem.

It's definitely worth checking out Trouva for some really unique home pieces! I will definitely be putting an order in once I move in 😍

AND for all you lucky Londoners you can have delivery within an hour!
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Monday, 21 August 2017

#GLOWONTHEGO


Recently I've become slightly obsessed with my skin and naturally jumped at the chance to check out Eve Lom's new cleanser at Space NK when the wonderful Director of PR, Jini emailed me!

Eve Lom

I had heard of Eve Lom (obvs) but hadn't used any of the products so was intrigued to hear all about the brand and what this product was in particular! Their stand out product is their hot cloth cleanser which is jam packed full of natural ingredients and they wanted to bring out a reformulated product which could be used on the go (i.e. in the shower) and doesn't need quite the level of dedication as a full facial cleanse and polish!

Gel Balm Cleanser

Space NK very generously gifted me one of the new gel balm cleansers to try at home, which I now have a good few times. You take a couple of pumps of product and work the balm into your hands before smoothing over your face, the consistency is really lovely and sucks every last trace of makeup off your skin but leaves it feeling moisturised and comforted. It's natural ingredients really work with my skin type and I have noticed a big difference in how healthy my skin looks and feels after makeup and a good clean.

Ladies who Lunch

Space NK also spoiled me and another couple of my fave blogger pals to lunch at Grand Pacific in Manchester - cue some cooing over the abundance of pineapples! We had such a lovely day and I always so appreciate the time and effort Space NK go to on educating us bloggers and their customers on some truly game changing products! 

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