27 November 2015

Shoes for the Party Season

We are once again approaching the Christmas season.  A time where presents are planned and bought, nights out and get togethers are planned and the annual work Christmas party fast approaches.

It is nearing the end of November when I usually start to look for something to wear for the party season.  I usually try to wear one dress from last year, but to a different event, and buy something new.  One thing that I do like to buy every year however are party shoes.

When it comes to the party season, finding the right style of shoe to carry you through all the events and parties is a must have.  Something classical but stylish that will go with anything.

I have picked out a few of my favourites that are available this year, some of which are also happily on sale!
These strappy shoes from Office will add a sexy edge to a basic black dress or complement a more colourful outfit
 These sparkly court shoes from Carvela are the perfect pairing if you have dresses of different colours or patterns

 These iridescent numbers from Dune are quite right for adding a touch of colour and sparkle to your outfit whilst still being understated.  
You can't lose with these simple court shoes from Dune with silver bows,  Classically elegant and would look great at the office party.
Then of course, there are the shoes that you find and fall in love with.  These are my absolute favourites for the party season and worthy enough of planning the rest of your outfit around.
You can find these from Head Over Heels

What are your go to party shoes?

20 November 2015

Stepping Past Our Carbon Footprint

I have been hearing a lot lately about the Government's decision to make retailers charge shoppers for carrier bags.

Many people seem to be scandalised that supermarkets and shops are now charging 5p for a carrier bag, but considering the changes that this will implement and the money that will be donated to charity, I think that this is a good and necessary change that will also help our carbon footprint. 

The figures speak for themselves.  8.5 billion carrier bags are given out on average each year.  Carrier bags are a huge problem for the environment, taking around 1000 years to break down in landfills and can be harmful to animals.

I read a few years ago about a Minke whale that was stranded on a beach in Normandy.   Whilst investigating the cause of death, it was found to have had 800g of plastic bags in it's stomach along with other packaging.

I came across the below infograph which tells us not only how to reduce our carbon footprint, but also save money too.

4imprint has a range of reusable and recycled products that could help you and 
your friends reduce your carbon footprint

In an effort to reduce my carbon footprint, I have now bought some personalised, fun and environmentally friendly bags to carry my shopping, a water bottle that I can refill instead of constantly buying bottles.  

On the more technical side, I have also invested in a bulk buy of Stylus Pens for my phone and the touch screen on my laptop.  Buying in bulk is far more environmentally friendly and can save you money in the long run too.  I cannot count the amount of pens that I have lost over the past few years and have had to replace.

How do you try to reduce your carbon footprint?

* As a result of this post, environmentally friendly bags will be donated to my local girl's football team

10 November 2015

If the Bra Fits, Wear It!

One question I see asked time and time again is where can you find pretty, fashionable bras for larger sizes?

This is a question that I have asked myself many times in the past.  Trying to find a bra in the right back and cup size that does not look like something my grandmother would wear has, in the past, been akin to finding the holy grail.

Thankfully, times are changing.

I recently came across an online store called Lingerie by Victoria Encouraged by my own name in the title, I did my usual bra search for my 46H and was pleasantly surprised to find some glorious bras in bright colours and lovely patterns.  Here are a few of my favourites from the Goddess and Elomi ranges:

 Goddess Kayla in Bella Black £36.00
There are also matching briefs available at £18.00

Elomi Caitlyn Bra in Chambray Blue £38.00
Matching Briefs £20.00

Goddess Kayla in Black Leopard £36.00
Matching Briefs £18.00

Goddess Kayla bra in Turquoise £26.40

What I love particularly about these ranges are that there are usually matching briefs to go with the bras to make a full set.  I will never understand why more brands cannot do this as it is only common sense that most women would buy a matching set, I certainly do.

I decided to go for the black leopard print Goddess bra * and was happy to note that the colouring and pattern were just as vibrant in real life as in the photographs.  The bra is very comfortable and easy to wear.

The straps on the Kayla bra was just wide enough to give comfort without being cumbersome and unsightly.  The gore sits flat just as it should and I feel very supported, with the back of the bra sitting flat and straight on my back as it should.

For those of us with larger back and cup sizes it is especially important to get the fit right.  If you are spilling out of your cup, if the back closing is riding up your back and if the straps are digging into your shoulders, these are all signs that you are wearing the wrong bra.

I would recommending using the Butterfly Bra Size Calculator to accurately ascertain your correct size.  Do not always presume that an instore bra fitting will be correct.  If I had listened to Marks & Spencer for example I would be wearing a bra two back sizes too small and three cup sizes to small to boot!

*Denotes gifted item

9 November 2015

Simple Solutions for a Happier Life

With the modern world presenting us with longer working hours and many increased financial outgoings, it can sometimes feel like life is an uphill struggle. However, I've found that it's easy to put a little bit of balance back in my life by following a few of these small life changes.

Getting out and about

Simply going out and meeting people is one the best ways to put the spring back into your step. Whilst it can be hard to find the energy sometimes, I find that simply meeting a friend for lunch and discussing day-to-day activities can do wonders for my mood. This is because it seems that our actions determine our moods, not the other way around.

And this is why getting out the house can do so much in making us feel better, as it gives us a subtle shake-up to stop us getting too lethargic and dull. A little walk can be a good and quick way to refresh our minds, and it's been shown that somelight exercise can do much in making us feel better, so you can improve your mood without necessarily sweating it out at the gym!

Environmental concerns

As well as taking care of yourself, it's also important to spare a moment's thought for the state of our planet too. Without getting overly spiritual about it, I find that it's important to realise how connected everything is, so anything we can do to lessen the impact on our planet can do much to make us all feel better.

Whether it's eating a little less meat, or even taking public transport to work, environmentally-friendly habits all seem to have the dual function of caring for our planet, and helping us live better quality lives too. Our consumer choices also factor into this, which is why buying environmentally-friendly products such as electric radiators from the likes of Verismart, or even ethically-produced mobiles from companies such as Fairphone, can do much in helping us look toward to future.

Get creative

The power of positive thinking can do so much in improving the quality of our lives. I find it's a great idea to try and keep learning new things as a way to keep things interesting. Whether it's taking a dance lesson, or even learning a new language, keeping the brain active with new activities is key to lifting our moods.

I love checking out craft blogs like And Who Says You Can't which provide a great source of ideas to keep your hands busy and your mind inspired. It's all about making sure that we all spend our time doing what we want and cherishing each new day that comes to us.

*Written by Jess Walters