25 May 2017

You Will Not Defeat Us

On Monday night I was playing around on Twitter and then suddenly, my heart dropped.  A potential explosion at the Manchester Arena.

I followed the story for about an hour.  At that point, there was no real information coming out. Trying to piece together conspiracy theories, people saying that it was just a speaker that exploded, others saying that nothing had happened at all.

By 11.30pm all I knew was that something had definately happened, but not what.  I woke at 7.30am to hear the worst news imaginable.  A terrorist had detonated a nail bomb, killing, maiming and injuring dozens of people.  Children. 

I cried as I watched Olivia Campbell's mother on the television pleading for news of her daughter.  I sobbed when I heard of her death.  Every story I read makes me cry.  I think of the wounded in hospital, with terrifyingly bad injuries and wonder how their families are getting through it.

But why am I telling you this?  You know what happened.  You have felt and are feeling exactly the same feelings. We have all been glued to the news, to Twitter and people's stories about what happened for the past two days.  I won't talk further about what that man did.  It was monstrous. How you can specifically target children and their parents and subject them to what happened is something I can and will never fathom.

What I want to talk about today is how this country comes together in the worst of times.  We become the best of ourselves in times of adversity and conflict.



Police and ambulance crews dashing to scene, without regard for their own lives or whether any more explosions could happen.  Every level of staff member from receptionists to surgeons upon hearing the news running to their hospitals to help.  To save people.  Taxi drivers turning their meters off to ferry anyone home who needed it.  Droves of people offering their homes, food, and blood.  Anything that they could do to help.

When we are divided we are weaker.  Be it politics, referendums or people trying to drive us apart.  When we are strong is when it matters.  The Olympics.  The clean up campaign arranged on Twitter after the London riots.  Now.  

CharleyHasted on Twitter sums us up pretty well.

British Stages of response to a terrorist attack:
-Shock
-Sadness
-Anger
-Kindness
-Mocking terrorists

I found in delight the #BritishThreatLevels hashtag on Twitter today.  When I saw it initially, my heart again sank.  I knew that the threat level had been changed to critical.  My heart rose when I saw hundreds of people, and gaining by the hour, saying that they were not afraid of terrorists.

We are afraid of tea running out, of people on the bus actually talking to us; someone who doesn't fancy "a cheeky Nandos"; 1 centimeter of snow; the incorrect use of their, there, and they're.  We are not afraid of you.

So terrorists, listen to us.  You will NEVER defeat us.  You will NEVER knock us down because we will ALWAYS get back up.  Even when the EDL turned up in Manchester today, they were thwarted by Mancunians who would not dealt with their hatred.  Not today.  Not ever.  

You will NEVER turn us against each other because at its heart, this country is one.  Name one other country who has, two days after an attack, fought against terror with talk of tea and sarcasm.  

We are STRONG. You are COWARDS. We stand together with every country that you have attacked, whether the media bother to mention them or not.

I sometimes wonder why we are called Great Britain.  Today I remembered.

Gifts Should Celebrate The Person, Not The Day

It’s always hard to pick the right gift idea for someone. More often than ever, many people are just asking the other what they would like before they get it. The gift becomes a formality, the gift-giver a middleman in a transaction that often does little than help the recipient save some money. If you want your gift to mean something, then why not pick something that goes beyond celebrating the big day by helping them get what they want? Celebrate the person, instead, giving a gift that’s all about them.

About them
How often do you really tell your loved one just how much they mean to you and what kind of impact they’ve had in your life? If you’re one who loves any opportunity to gush about what makes you feel happy and loved, it might be quite often. But that doesn’t mean that getting it in writing or getting it with some time spent on it isn’t a hugely memorable experience. If you’re worried that whatever you’ve bought doesn’t have the emotional impact you want, then why not create a little heartfelt message of appreciation? For instance, you can create a jar of love notes that contains little bits of positivity that the recipient can go back to time and again. Or you can create a love notes photo book that has you and your loved one taking a trip down memory lane with lots of great snaps from over the ages.
Unique to them
Everyone has a few things that they’re not going to share with most of the people they know. Their birthday itself is one thing that they might not share with a lot of people. Why not commemorate the person by commemorating the day itself? For instance, you can get vintage old newspapers from the day they were born, showing how the world was when they first came into it. You can also use the web to look up what songs were on the top of the charts when they were first born. If you want to put some effort in, you can create a playlist or a mixtape for them containing the number ones of their birthday every year.
With them
If you’re really special to that person, then the gift that means the most might just be your company. Especially if you haven’t had a lot of time to spend with them as of late. It might be something as simple as a meal out. Or you can treat them to a spa day. If you’re both the adventurous type and can clear the time, you can consider some of the more exciting and unusual getaways. Visit a hobbit hut, spend a weekend in a treehouse, or just go explore somewhere neither of you have ever been before.

More often than a gift itself, it’s the experience of receiving the gift and the emotional impact that lingers a lot longer. The next time you have to think up a gift, think about celebrating the person, not just their big day.

24 May 2017

Keeping Up With The Jones'

I have always loved the views from our house since we moved here.  Surrounded on two sides by Water Board land, despite living in a small town, living half way up a hill and surrounded by green makes you feel like you live in a village or in the country.


We live at the top of a very garden proud cul de sac.  Unfortunately, neither my mum nor I is any kind of a gardener.  I will mow the lawn when it reaches an embarrassing height and weed when I remember, but the other gardens put ours to shame.  They are more like show pieces and we are the embarrassing cousin at the end of the row.


So this summer, we are determined to turn it around and not be the garden that our neighbours comment unfavourably on.   We are employing the tactic "fake it till you make it". 

HIRE A GARDENER

First off, we have hired a gardener to come every few weeks to deal with the plants and create actual straight edges to our lawn.  We will never be gardeners so leaving that aspect to the professionals seems wise.

DISTRACT, DISTRACT!

What we can do however is buy some garden furniture/pieces that distract the eye.  

First thing is first, we are looking at buying a wrought iron patio set for, shock horror, our patio.  We have a little balcony that is crying out for some seats and a bottle of wine,



Secondly, one of my favourite things is a water feature.  There is nothing more relaxing to me than sitting in your garden, glass of wine in hand and the sound of water tricking through a fountain. Sadly our garden is not exactly palatial, I am looking more for outdoor fountains for the wall.


Lastly, and it is a simple one, but lots of tubs and lots of plants in them.  They take minimal effort other than watering in spring/summer.   I am all about minimal effort, maximum output.




Four Ways To Put On Your Face

We live in a society that is conscious about its looks, and unfortunately there is no getting away from that. Whether you’re at work, or out with friends, there is a face you must present to the world. Much like your body image, a lot of people can feel self-conscious about how their face looks. However, there are many ways to show the world your best, most beautiful face. Ultimately, the way to make a really good impression is to just be confident, no matter how you put your face on.
Naturally
Everyone feels self-conscious about going out without any makeup, either because you’re prone to breakouts or you believe (most likely wrongly) you have unflattering features. Don’t worry; healthy, glowing skin is within reach. You can reduce your breakouts by drinking lots of water, exercising, and eating food rich in fiber, omega-3, and vitamins A and B complex. There are also a number of natural remedies you can try at home to promote a natural glow. You can decide to apply makeup on your beautiful skin, or you can go au naturel for the rest of the day.

Surgically


Some people might look down on cosmetic surgery, but there are people who feel held back by a single body feature. Where it may be an overlarge or crooked nose or overly prominent ears, people can still feel self conscious about having - in their minds - an embarrassing feature. If their confidence skyrockets after having rhinoplasty or inserting ear folds, then it’s obvious that cosmetic surgery was the right decision for them. Everyone has their own way of boosting their self esteem.
Makeup
There are hundreds of reasons why women wear makeup, and not all of them are related to impressing other people. Some women wear it because they don’t think they look like themselves without it, because they feel more confident wearing it, or just because it’s fun to apply it. There are also those who don’t wear makeup, unless they’re celebrating a special occasion, which is also perfectly fine. Whether you prefer to go with a more natural look, or you like experimenting with bold eyeshadows and lipsticks, makeup can be a way of expressing yourself. It’s also a sneaky why of covering up any surprise breakouts.
Take care of your skin

Ultimately, the best way to make sure you’re always putting on your best face is to practice a regular skin care routine. Wash and cleanse your face daily, and maintain your glow by using a good exfoliator to scrub away dead skin cells. You should finish off your skin care ritual by moisturising. Oils are more effective than creams because they can penetrate deeper layers of the skin, and they are lighter than cream. Now that summer is almost here, you should also remember to put on a light layer of BB cream that contains at least SPF 15. Sunburn doesn’t look good on anyone.





*Collaborative piece

22 May 2017

Please Register To Vote

Today is the last day that you can register to vote.  It takes five minutes.  This has not been so important for many a year and hence the reason why I am writing this post today, along with many other bloggers under the hashtag #NotThe33

In the last election in 2015, only 66.1% turned out to vote.  That means that 33.9% of the population left the state of the nation to chance and other people's voices and opinions drowning out their own.


There are a lot of people who are not interested in politics.  They think that whomever ends up in government will be mostly the same as any others; so why bother.  I used to be one of those people.  But then I started reading the occasional news story and my response was an ever increasing "What the hell?  WHAT THE HELL?"

I started to read more and more, looking more into the views and stances of the various political parties, especially given the rise of UKIP and I found myself becoming more and more political.  When the BNP had political aspirations it was laughable.  Everyone knew that thugs were not going to get into parliament, even with my knowing at least one person who had voted for them.

But then UKIP emerged with the odious Nigel Farage pegged as "the working man's politician" and everything changed.  Although UKIP are not a party that will gain anything meaningful in this election, many of its voters have moved to the Conservatives.

I am not going to tell you how to vote or even ask you to vote for one party or another.  All I ask is that YOU VOTE.  We are now into the two long years of negotiations for Brexit and we need the right party there speaking for us.  But this isn't just about Brexit.  This is about the lives of the British people and those who choose to come to our country to work.

It was not a requirement in writing this post to share who you are voting for.  But I am happy to share my particular vote, which will be Labour.

While I am not a particular fan of Jeremy Corbyn, I believe in the policies that Labour have put forward in their manifesto.  I believe that Labour are for the people, all of the people, unlike the Conservatives who are blatantly for only for the rich.

I cannot vote for a party that want to continue the £9000 a year tuition fees for students.

I cannot vote for a party that want to take pensioner's winter allowance away from them (plus how much is this means testing going to cost? That has not been specified)  One Daily Mail reader suggested putting hot water bottles next to windows??

I cannot vote for a party that want to take away free school lunches from pupils who for some, is the only hot meal they have that day.  Any savings gained by offering breakfast is laughable considering that schools will have to employ more staff and pay more hours in order for this to happen.  Which comes of their ever decreasing funding.

I cannot vote for a party that want to reinstate fox hunting.  A blood sport where foxes are ripped to pieces for people's entertainment after hunting them to exhaustion.  There is no argument that justifies this.  

I cannot vote for a party that wants to make the elderly pay for their own care, after their death by taking their houses.  What happens to the many family members who move in with their relatives to provide that care and then have nowhere to live?

There are many other examples but frankly, we would be here all day.

You cannot look at this election and think only about immigration, which I know is a factor for many.  But the truth of the matter is that we need immigrants.  As one example, we do not have enough doctors or nurses.  FACT.  The Conservatives have already taken away nurse's bursaries enabling them to study and don't get me started on how they treat our doctors.  EU Immigrants put 20 billion more into the system than they take.  FACT.

But regardless of what you think of immigration, this cannot be your own only reason for voting.  Look at the manifestos in their entirety or even just the main points.  The most important thing is to VOTE.

19 May 2017

Can You Become A Morning Person?

Can you become a morning person?  If you had asked me that ten years ago, the answer would have been a resounding no.  I have always become more alive at night, groggy in the mornings.  Ten years ago and beyond people knew not to even approach me before 10.30am.

These days I have improved a lot, people can now approach me with safety haha, but I still struggle to get up in the morning and I would like to be able to accomplish a lot more.  So I thought that I would share some of the things that I have been doing to improve my mornings.


First things, first plan your morning the night before.

If you struggle to function in the mornings, organising yourself and the things you need to accomplish is somethings (always) hard.  One of the things that I make part of my evening routine is to organise my morning routine.

I chose my outfit the night before and get it out ready.  I take out the makeup that I will be using and lay it out on a chest of drawers ready to be used.  I put my skincare routine out ready in the bathroom (within morning stumbling distance) and put my coffee things out ready in the kitchen.  I am still working on having breakfast in the morning but haven't accomplished that yet.

Next, set yourself up to be ready for sleep.

This is a hard one for me as I live with my mum and my bedroom is used as sitting room, lounging room and bedroom.  Depending on what I am doing the next day, I aim for a time that I want to go to bed and turn off the television at least half an hour before.  I try to read some of whatever book I have on my bed stand for the remaining time as I find this relaxing.  I also ensure not to eat anything at least three hours before I want to go to bed. 

Be comfortable and supported

When my very old mattress needed replacing a couple of years ago, I made the mistake in not investing in a good mattress.  I bought a cheap one, thinking that anything would do, and subsequently spent the next six months uncomfortable and with disturbed sleep.

I invested in a decent pocket sprung mattress and suddenly I was sleeping through the night without waking up, having to adjust to become more comfortable.  I think I paid around £250 and I am happy in the knowledge that it should last me 7-8 years.

Finally, and this is something that I will talk about in a future blog post, I have recently bought a morning sidekick journal which aims, within 66 days, to make you in a morning person.  I will let you know about my progress.

In the meantime however, I have become involved with the Bed Guru's #SpringOutofBed campaign.  They have offered me the opportunity to give away a fabulous breakfast hamper, shown below, which has lovely things like smoked salmon, croissants and fruit preserves.  You can check out the hamper here:


You can enter the competition below:



*In collaboration with Bed Guru.

16 May 2017

Corsodyl Ultra Clean Review

Everyone is scared of the dentist. How could you not be?  Someone poking and prodding around in your mouth, with hooks and drills and god only knows what.



I have always been lucky with my teeth.  I've never needed a filling and up to a around four years ago, had never had anything that needed doing apart from a scrape & polish.  My gums though have always had issues, compounded by the fact that I smoke, which disguises many of the symptoms, such as bleeding gums.

Four years ago I had a tripping accident which led to a tooth extraction.  Without telling you all in the ins and outs of what happened, within 10 minutes of getting into the dentist's chair I was out of the practice, sans tooth and with the anesthetic running down my throat, making me lose all feeling.

I had a full on panic attack and had to ring my sister to come and get me.  It was not the dentist's fault.  They have so little time to allot to each patient and the anesthetic going my throat was just bad luck.

After that, every dentist appointment was a nightmare for me.  I knew that I had gum disease and as such, deep cleaning scrapes were needed every time.  The dentist frequently had to tell me to breath as I would be turning blue in panic and eventually, I was having panic attacks.  Eventually this led to me stopping going to the dentist at all.

A year ago I got to the point where I knew that I had major issues with my gums.  I could feel a large pocket behind one of my front teeth and in terror of losing my tooth, I tried to make an appointment at my dentist.  Safe as to say, with no attendance for three years, I had been taken off the patient list.


Now I am with a private dentist.  The difference between the NHS and private practice is noticeable, in that the dentists and hygienists are able to spend extra time with you and are much, much better if you have a real terror of the dentist.  That is not the fault of the NHS dentists, they simply are not given enough time to see their patients.

My gums are improving all the time.  I do have pockets behind all of my teeth but thanks to deep clean scrapes, which I no longer feel thanks to injections and the amazing Wand, these are getting better.  It is expensive, but I no longer have panic attacks when the hygienist comes near my mouth.

My dentist recommended that I use interdental brushes called Tepe brushes, which have really helped with removing plaque before it begins to attach to your teeth.  My dentist also recommended recently that I start using Corsodyl Ultra Clean toothpaste which is clinically proven to be four times more effective in reducing the build up of plaque bacteria.

I have been using this toothpaste for the past three weeks and I have really noticed a difference with my oral health.  Along with using the Tepe brushes which I have been using for many months now, my mouth and gums feel much cleaner and my mouth feels very fresh every time I brush my teeth.

Unlike previous versions of Corsodyl which I have tried before, this toothpaste has a much better taste to.  It still does taste like something medical rather than minty, but the harsh taste of the previous toothpastes has been eradicated.

Overall, I would really recommend this toothpaste to help stop and prevent bleeding gums and to assist people with gum disease.


*This product was gifted to me but all thoughts (and gums!) are my own

Stress Free Decorating

There is an infinite amount of information floating about on this thing called the Internet, and about half of it is information about how to decorate your home. That’s how it feels anyway. But no matter how different the latest decorating trends chop and change there is one constant; decorating is stressful.

Sure, the final destination is bound to look breathtaking, like the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel or something, but what wannabe interior design blogs don’t tell you are; the journey to perfection is paved with blood, sweat, and tears.

So, how can we make the whole re-decorating thing way less stressy and way more practical? Well, here are a few things to help you approach your new space from a place of peace and tranquility, sort of.


pexels-photo-265579.jpeg

Really Look At Your Space
I picked the word space carefully because it is one of the subjective things I don’t want to jumble up. Space could mean your entire house, or a room, or a single shelf, or a corner. So determine what that space is and go from there. Oh, and look at the factors that determine what your space means, like your budget and, let’s be honest, your patience too. Running out of funds halfway through will suck, and it will become super stressful if you’re still redecorating three months from now. Just saying.

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Be Inspired Before You Start
The great thing about the internet is you don’t need to have any imagination whatsoever; you just have to look for inspiration. Instagram, Pinterest, blogs, all that sort of stuff is like a goldmine for inspiration. It could be shelf goals, or basement ideas, or banging bedroom (actually don’t Google that last one), whatever it is you’re doing, there is an idea to piggyback, and that could be your motivation to get started. So do it.

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I Love It When A Plan Comes Together
You have decided on a space. Tick. You have some ideas pinned to a board. Check. Well, that means it is time to go all Hannibal and get yourself a plan. It could be a list or a bunch of light sketches or a brainstorm or a bunch of images printed out; it doesn’t matter. Just have a plan, one with visual aids that will ensure you stay focused on the endgame. Then ask yourself some questions. What things do you want to add? Where do you want these things to go? What size should these things be they be?

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Get Your Shop On
This is another element that seems fun at first, but can quickly become stressful because of money and logistics and that sort of stuff.  If you want to get cute stuff on the cheap, then head to places like Thrift stores and Ikea and anyway else you can think of. However, consider the size of your purchases. If you are getting a gorgeous sofa or a bed or something, then plan to get help, and consider using someone like Shiply's furniture delivery service. Take cash out as well, whatever your budget is so that you don’t accidentally go over this and make your life way more stressful financially. It is all about knowing where to go, how to get your stuff home and not spending too much.

Decorating your home is amazing, but it can be stressful. But, if you take just one thing away from this blog, let it be this; it is better to do something small than nothing at all. It is better to do that shelf, or that corner than to think a redecorating operation is too much to take on. That’s the key. That’s how to keep calm and carry on.


*A collaborative piece

11 May 2017

The Complete Handbag Buyer's Guide

Handbags are a must-have item for every woman. It is a well known fact that the larger your handbag, the more things you find that you absolutely have to put into them. I refer to my previous What's in my Handbag post. But how do you go about choosing the right one?

Decide On The Style
The term ‘handbag’ is actually pretty broad. There are so many different types of bag that fall under this category. Some have more uses than other, some are small, some are wide, some have straps, some have no straps. Saying you want to buy a new handbag is just the beginning, you need to dive into things and decide what style of handbag you’re looking for.

When most people say they need a handbag, they’re usually talking about a bag they can carry with them throughout the day, every day. This really refers to three or four styles in particular; shopper bags, shoulder bags, tote bags, and maybe across the body bags too. These are all great styles if you’re after a bag to use for practical purposes as well as to compliment an outfit. Then, you have smaller varieties that are more aimed towards being a fashion accessory more than anything else. The bottom line is that you need to decide on the style before you start shopping.

Consider How Much You Want To Spend

Setting yourself a handbag budget is a must, as you can easily get carried away and buy something way out of your league just because it looks nice. The budget you choose should be representative of your financial situation, as well as how much usage you’ll get out of the handbag. If you’re buying an everyday handbag, then you can afford to spend a little more as you will get a lot of use out of it.

Also, don’t be fooled into thinking you have to pay top dollar for the best designer brands out there. We have places like Nordstrom Rack that sell designer bags by Marc Jacobs, Rebecca Minkoff, and so much more big brands. Plus, you can probably find Nordstrom Rack coupons to drop the price even further. There are loads of other outlet stores like this that sell expensive bags at much lower prices. Bear that in mind when you’re shopping for your new handbag.

Think About The Brand

Some people think that buying branded handbags is a huge waste of money. However, there is a lot of logic behind buying a more expensive, designer brand, compared to a non-brand that’s very cheap.

For one, designer brands tend to be more expensive as their quality is far greater than other bags out there. This means you can get a handbag that lasts you for years without showing any signs of natural wear and tear. With the cheaper non-brands, you might see issues within a year. So, think about the main designer handbag brands out there.

Although I have not achieved my desire for a designer bag yet, I do have a fund that I saving up in to buy one. Something that is classic, timeless and will hopefully last me many years.



* Collaborative piece

10 May 2017

The New Fashion Trend: Athleisure

I have always been a dress girl.  A pretty dress and preferably a gorgeous pair of Mary Janes is my constant outfit with lots of variations on pattern on colour.  But there is someone new in my life that is making my change some of my choices.

This fella!


Simba loves to go out for a walk and is never happier when he is bounding around in grass.  I love to see him run across the field or dart through the trees chasing after birds that he sees in the trees.  Unfortunately, my current wardrobe is not really suitable and the only suitable shoes I have are heavy snow boots.

This is why I am turning to the current trend of Athleisure.  

It’s never been acceptable to just crawl out of bed, throw on our trackies and stroll into work. I can't even do that when I am mooching around on the weekend.  While the basics of this look are comfort classics, you’ll need to style it right to create a perfectly polished look. Here, are some of the basics of Athleisure to take your look from slob to sass.

Must-haves:

To really nail the sports-luxe look, you’ll require some of the following must-have items. Make sure you’ve got:
  • Trainers are key — forget heels, throw them to the back of your wardrobe, they won’t be needed. This trend all about a great pair of trainers. Ash trainers are the perfect choice, with a selection of sports-inspired styles to help you effortlessly conquer this look.

  • A bomber jacket — HUGE in 2016 and set to be even bigger this year, the loose-fitting, bulky shape of a bomber is a must for creating this look. For a feminine look, choose fresh pastel shades.
  • Leggings or joggers — we’re not talking your old gym wear here — invest in a pair of branded leggings or jogging bottoms that are tapered and cuffed for a close fit.
  • Sports tops — cropped tops and hoodies are perfect when paired with a pair of leggings or jogging bottoms and bomber jacket. If you’re not quite ready to show off your tum, opt for a loose-fitting sports jersey with mesh detailing.
That’s not to say they all need to be worn together. You can play around with them to create the perfect sports-luxe outfit – or work them into other outfits — for example, why not wear your trainers with a flirty, feminine day dress? The juxtaposition will cement your status as the ultimate fashionista!

Whilst this look is versatile, keep these golden rules in mind:

  • Accessorise, accessorise, accessorise! — sportswear is generally quite plain, so make your outfit pop with jewellery — think 90s throwback gold hoops and choker and delicate gold necklaces.
  • Wear a coat — one of the easiest ways to take your look from gym to street is to wear a coat. Whether it’s a loose-fitting, vintage-inspired denim or bomber jacket or a longer, open duster coat, they’ll add to your look on cooler days.
  • Cover your bum — if the thought of wearing leggings fills you with dread, tie a checked or denim shirt around your waist. Acting as a super-cool, bottom-covering skirt, it will tie-in with your look without cramping your style.
  • Keep your workout clothes separate — if you are going to the gym, keep your workout wear separate to your athleisure wear so not to cross-contaminate fashion with fitness.


*In collaboration with Daniel Footwear

9 May 2017

Jewellery Styles for Every Occasion

Jewellery is the perfect accessory make a bold and unique statement. An exquisite collection of jewellery is the ultimate accomplice to any outfit to add some sparkle and shine. Some jewellery is for daily wear and some should be reserved for special occasions. Here is a guide to styling your jewellery for different occasions to get the best out of your outfit and turn heads.

Jewellery for weddings

The invitation for a wedding is the signal to flaunt your finest pieces from your jewellery collection. Pearl jewellery is the perfect accessory to wear to this special occasion. A beautiful but simple pearl necklace matched with cute pearl earrings will help elevate any wedding guest outfit to a whole new level.

There are many different types of pearls available but when it comes to special occasions like weddings, styles such as Akoya and Tahitian pearls are a perfect choice. You can follow CoCo Chanel’s lead and layer up strands of pearls for a real statement. If white doesn’t match your outfit, you can find naturally dyed pearls in many stunning colours.



Jewellery for casual wear

Beaded jewellery is the perfect accessory for casual wear to glam up a simple t-shirt and jeans combination. The beads can be made of plastic, shells or glass as well as various metals. A simple beaded matching set of necklace and earrings paired with a few gold bangles are perfect for daily wear and are also easy to maintain and clean.

Statement necklaces can be styled to almost any casual outfit to make a fashion statement. They are perfect for a shopping trip or lunch out. You can find them in most high street shops for reasonable prices with an expensive and elegant look.

Jewellery for a holiday

Boho style jewellery is the perfect fit for your holiday. It is lightweight so won’t weigh down your suitcase and the bohemian style of these accessories complement holiday outfits. Styles with feathers or animal designs in or flowers embedded look great and the loose and flowing style means it’s easy to wear in warm weather without feeling uncomfortable.

For evening dinner dates while you’re on vacation, a Boho shell choker with silver pendants compliments floaty maxi dresses or denim shorts and floaty tops. This beachy style will look amazing on your glowing skin from the sun. You can make your own seashell necklaces that have a Boho feel and are perfect to take away with you.

Jewellery for a job interview

The advice to those attending a job interview has always been ‘dress like you’ve already got the job you want’. Go for a designer watch and a pair of diamond stud earrings. This is not too ‘in your face’ but shows confidence, style and sophistication.

You want to use your jewellery for this occasion to show your unique style so go for accessories that say something about your personality. Coloured diamond earrings like pink or blue say approachable and sociable while gold or silver says maturity and class.

Jewellery for cocktail parties

These are the ultimate occasions to go OTT with your jewellery and get out your finest jewellery from your collection. To make your mark and look a million dollars Pair some pearl earrings with a stunning pearl necklace. Lace your wrists with dainty silver bracelets and be sure to add in 1-2 stunning rings on those fingers.



So, whatever the occasion, whatever outfit and however your feeling, use your jewellery collection to glam-up and add some sparkle. Using jewellery in an outfit is like using spice in a cooking dish, it should be used to compliment what’s already there and make you feel and look uniquely amazing.



* A Collaborative Piece

Your Body Image

I have been thinking about body image a lot lately and what I have begun to realise is that how people deal with their body image is sectioned off into three groups: “The Happy”, “The Openly Insecure” and the “In The Closet Insecure”.

“The Happy” are those that have a good self image of themselves and do not let others thoughts or opinions affect that.  You are either born this like or you have worked hard in order to attain and maintain this self image.  Either way, it is the best frame of mind to be in.



“The Openly Insecure” are those that let others opinions affect how they feel about their own body image.  As a side effect to this, by accepting other’s insults and allowing that to factor into the way they think about themselves, they can also develop a “not good enough” complex. 

I spent about twenty five years in the not good enough complex so I know how this feels.  It is a feeling that creeps back into your life sometimes and so I always keep an eye out for it and mentally whack myself around the head when I feel like that.

The “In The Closet Insecure” are those that use their own insecurities about their own body image as a weapon against others whom they perceive look “worse” than they do.  This can come out in the pure insult form, which is essentially boils down to “I’ll hurt you before you hurt me” or alternatively comes out in the form of anger. 

It was this anger that confused me for a good while until I realised that that it wasn’t anger at all.  It was jealousy. 

The “In The Closet Insecure” person sees someone who may be larger than they are, or someone who they think is less attractive and if this person looks confident and happy in their own skin then their anger is immediately provoked. 

How do they have the audacity to feel better about themselves than I do?  I look better than them; why do they look happier than I do?  Their base line of thinking is that they cannot stand someone who is secure in their own self image when they perceive them to be “worth less” in their eyes than they are.  Confused by what they see, they hurl anger and abuse; trying to bring the other person down to the same state of misery as their own; not that will ever admit that.

When it comes down to it, bad body image is learned behaviour. 

No baby is born thinking that it is not good enough to be around others.  No child thinks that she/he is ugly until someone else tells them they are.  Until they socially interact with others, nobody ever links their weight to how they should be treated as a person.

I still remember when I was a little girl, watching my mum get ready to go with my dad on a Saturday.  As I watched her, I didn’t judge her against anyone else or think about how society thought that she ought to look.  She was just my mother and I thought (and still do) she looked beautiful.

I think that one of the most important things that you can teach a child when growing up is that they need to find their own sense of self.  To rely on what they think about themselves rather than letting others define who they are and what they should look like.

The question that we need to constantly ask ourselves is not “What do others think of me” but “What do I think of me”.  Because the answer to that question is all that really matters.