28 February 2019

The Beauty Of Birth Flowers

Did you know that every month is assigned a flower? If you are struggling to think of a gift to buy someone, you now have the answer – a bouquet of stunning flowers that contains their birth month flower. This is something that is bound to go well. You could even team it with a piece of jewellery with their birthstone if you are purchasing for someone special. With that being said, read on to discover what the birth flower of each month is.

What are the different birth flowers?
The birth flower of January is a carnation. This beautiful flower comes in a whole host of colours, with each colour having a different meaning. Yellow means ‘I wish I could be with you’ while pink means ‘I will never forget you’.

The birth flower of February is Iris, which is associated with humility and faithfulness.

Daffodil is the birth flower for March. This flower has a cheery appearance and it says ‘you are an angel.’

If your loved one was born in April, send flowers containing sweet pea.

For May, lily is the flower to choose, and you have a variation of lilies to choose from. Lily of the Valley is particularly popular.

The birth flower of June is the rose. Everyone knows that this is a flower that is connected with love. However, different coloured flowers have different meanings, with yellow being ideal for friendship and red roses saying ‘I love you.’

Next, we have Larkspur, which is the birth flower of July. This flower is associated with love, affection, and lightness. It is for someone with a pure heart.

The birth flower of August is Gladiolus. This flower symbols moral integrity and strength. When you give a bouquet of these flowers, it is supposed to pierce the giver’s heart with passion!  

Aster is the birth flower of September. With a lush texture and wildflower beauty, this has long been considered the enchanted flower.

Marigold is the birth flower of October. This flower is also called the “herb of the sun” and it represents creativity and passion.

November’s birth flower is Chrysanthemum, which carries the beautiful meaning ‘you are a wonderful friend’.

Finally, the birth flower of December is Narcissus. It symbolises new beginnings and rebirth, which probably does not come as any surprise considering the time of year.

Hopefully, you have now discovered what your friend’s birth flower is. Purchasing a bouquet of flowers containing this is bound to make a good impression and show that you have put a lot of thought into the gift.


27 February 2019

European Royalty Fashion Trends We’re All Searching For…

When you think of the Royal Family, your mind will instantly think of our beloved Queen Elizabeth, her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren — we’re officially obsessed! But, when it comes to style, there are a few other royals that deserve a space in the limelight too. Not only do these royal females look flawless when they step out of the palace, but they’ve given the world some major style envy too.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, England

Studies have suggested that the Duchess of Cambridge has the ability to persuade American’s to purchase from a British brand, proving she’s a fashion hit worldwide. Her influence on fashion even has its own name — ‘the Kate effect’.

Believe it or not, when she wears a piece of clothing, desirability of American’s increases by an astonishing 38%. After she arrived at the Victoria and Albert museum wearing a tweed dress in October 2018, search volume between September and October for the term ‘tweed dress’ rose by 50%.

Crown Princess Victoria, Sweden

Although we all have our own style, we’ve all been influenced by ‘The Kate Effect’, even Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden. She was spotted in an above-the-knee navy pleated dress to show off her baby bump in 2015, even though the Duchess of Cambridge had worn it for a private event the year before.

Looking back at some of her most iconic looks, Princess Victoria wore a Maxjenny cocktail dress in August 2018. This look generated some interest around the brand too, with searches of the designer rising by 222% from July to August of the same year.

Queen Letizia, Spain

Queen Letizia isn’t afraid to switch up her fashion choices and doesn’t mind shopping from high-street or high-end brands.

There has been countless occasions where HM has worn something we’ve all wanted. Think back to that mid-length Nina Ricci dress in Madrid to that Stella McCartney cape gown for King Willem Alexander’s birthday.

A look you’re probably more familiar with is the bespoke red gown that she wore on a trip to Buckingham Palace in 2017. It didn’t take long for the media to report how people could copy the look, with the Daily Mail suggesting a crimson fishtail maxi dress from QUIZ as a high-street alternative.

As well as this jaw-dropping look, she rocked a Carolina Herrera floral dress in the UK too. It’s no surprise that searches for the term ‘Carolina Herrera skirt’ rose by 50% from June to July of the same year.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, England

People love the look of Meghan Markle, and the search term ‘Meghan Markle style’ has over 20,000 searches per month. She’s truly a style icon of this era! One of the biggest statement pieces from Meghan must be her silk gown following the luncheon after the wedding at Windsor Castle. High-street designers frantically began to replicate the dress to meet the demand for the style that was expected to follow — and they made the right decision. Research revealed searches for ‘halter neck dresses’ were up 40% following the royal wedding and the term ‘halter neck tops’ increased 21% week on week as people tried to replicate her look on the special day.

As well as this, Meghan is known for sporting some great accessories and brands have experienced even more popularity of their products. After the official engagement announcement in 2017, Meghan attended an event in Nottingham with a Strathberry tote bag in hand. Global search engine data reveals a 398% increase in searches for ‘Strathberry’ from November to December 2017.

Crown Princess Mary, Denmark

After marrying Prince Frederick in 2004, Princess Mary has become a fashion icon for many. She’s been spotted in some fairytale-esque looks such as when she greeted the President of Vietnam on his visit to Denmark in a floor-length blush pink gown, complete with lace. Mary is also often spotted in a statement dress coat and pillbox hat, channelling Jackie Kennedy vibes.

With her love for bright colours and stand-out styles, everyone was wanting to copy her look after she attended the Copenhagen Concert Hall in Denmark for the opening of the Copenhagen Fashion Summit in May 2018. Dressed in a chic blouse tucked into a pleated skirt by Charlotte Eskildsen, she certainly looked the part. Searches for designer ‘Charlotte Eskilden’ rose 51% after she stepped out wearing the brand.

This article was brought to you by sequindresses retailer, QUIZ.


22 February 2019

13 Things Email Marketers Need To Know About Spam

Have you ever thought about setting up a newsletter for your blog?

It is something that I have thought about time and time again, particularly as it is a great reader to have an additional connection with your readers and update them about any new and upcoming projects, changes you are going to make to the blog and also, share any new competitions.

The thing about newsletters is that you have to be careful on a number of issues.

Firstly, you must give your readers the ability to opt both in and out of receiving your newsletters easily.  A sign up button on your blog and an unsubscribe button on the email itself is probably the best way forward and will be compliant with GDPR.

Secondly, it is important that you do not spam your reader with too many emails.  I have added an infographic below with things you need to know about spam.

My top tips would be to only send a newsletter out at a maximum of twice a month.  Use an interesting subject line that will draw the reader in and make them want to open your email and of course, make that content interesting and engaging that will keep your readers subscribed to you.

13 Things Email Marketers Should Know About Spam - Infographic by Campaign Monitor
Source: 13 Things Email Marketers Should Know About Spam by Campaign Monitor

21 February 2019

Staying Safe When You DIY

This article has been written to raise awareness about mesothelioma.

Home renovation shows and tutorials available online have made finding inspiration for all of your renovation needs easier than ever. Before jumping into these projects on your own, it’s important to be conscious of the unexpected dangers of DIY that could affect your safety and health. If you’re thinking about starting a project, here are some safety tips that can help keep you protected as well as reduce the costs of giving your space the upgrade it needs.

Have The Right Gear

Before starting your DIY project, it’s important to realize that different projects will require necessary protective gear forsafety. During the renovation process, it’s likely that you will be working with a variety of construction materials. Protective gear like safety gloves will help you avoid skin irritation, splits, and cuts, but most importantly keep your eyes out of harms way. If you’re sanding, plastering, or working with paint fumes, make sure you have masks and eyewear that will properly shield you. For projects that require louder power tools, wear earplugs or noise-canceling headphones to protect your hearing.

If you will be using power tools, be aware of additional precautions. Power tools make renovating projects easier due to their simplicity and efficiency but often propose higher risks of danger. Always be aware of the tools proximity to your body. When you are finished with the tool, turn the safety back on, unplug it and keep it out of reach of small children and animals.

Finally, before starting your project make sure that your attire is free of any possible loose strings or fabric that could get caught or tangled in machinery. To avoid particle pollution in a space work in a properly ventilated room. Taking these additional small precautions is an easy way of protecting yourself.

Protect Your Furniture and Valuables
Home renovations can be messy and have the potential for leaving behind a stain or two,  having the proper coverage is essential  for protecting your irreplaceable valuables. Before starting, invest in tarps and plastic coverings that can be applied to cover furniture, flooring, carpets, and other surfaces that you want to keep clean. If you’re working in the kitchen, cover your countertops, eating utensils, and kitchen appliances to avoid any contamination and ultimately protect your health. Covering your valuables might seem like a tedious task, however, in the long run, this step will protect your belongings from any possible DIY mishaps. 

Identifying and Handling Harmful Substances
Depending on when your house was built, there could be harmful and toxic substances located within the structure, paint, and finishings of your home. For houses built before 1978, there is a high chance that lead-based paint is located across the interior and exterior of a home. Toxic metals in this paint can cause serious health problems if the paint chips or dust is inhaled. Although lead is poisonous to everyone, it has a significant impact on young children and pregnant women. To avoid the dangerous health risks associated with lead paint, seek out professionals for lead paint testing or try an at home testing kit to identify any possible problems.

Testing for asbestos is crucial before beginning your home renovation projects. Prior to 1980, asbestos was used in a variety of building materials. Inhaling asbestos fibers that have been disturbed can cause inflammation and tumors to develop in the lungs. Over time, this damage may lead to a rare cancer known as mesothelioma. These airborne fibers are extremely hazardous and homeowners should not attempt to remove or disturb asbestos on their own. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), suggest having a licensed and certified asbestos abatement professional inspect the home to determine if asbestos-containing materials are present and what steps to take for a safe removal.

In addition to toxic substances like lead paint and asbestos, beware of the threats caused by mold that thrive in damp locations like drywall, basements, and bathrooms. Exposure to these types of substances could ultimately be damaging to you and your loved one’s health. Seek out professional removal services for assessments as well as the best procedure before starting your renovation project.

Always Be Prepared
Despite taking protective measures, accidents are likely to occur. At the start of your DIY project, make sure you have a first aid kit ready for any small scrapes or cuts. If a serious injury was to occur, seek care from a medical professional as soon as possible. Update the fire extinguisher at your workstation in case of a possible electrical or chemical fire. Finally, if you are unsure of the next steps for your DIY , seek out professional help. Stay cautious, never start a project well tired, and remain positive when tackling your renovation projects.

19 February 2019

The Evolution of You

Looking back over the course of your life, have you ever wanted to meet your past younger self?  

I don't know about you, but I have been very different people over the course of my life so far.  Whilst my core being has stayed the same in terms of my values, the person that I am has undergone so many changes of the years that I am not sure if I would recognise myself if I was to meet me at a different age.

I think of it as being the same person, but simply a different shade or colour.  We are like bell peppers really (bare with me on this).  It wasn't until recently that I learned that yellow, orange, green and red peppers are not different variety of peppers, but merely at a different stage of ripening.  That feels a lot like me.

Everyone has challenges in their life and everyone has a journey that they go on, no matter how large or small.  My journey has been one of finding confidence, finding self esteem, finding body confidence, finding my voice.  I tried to put descriptive labels on some of my different stages.  I share (some) here:

Age 15  -  I am the fat girl in school.  I want to fit in.  There is still wonderment and hope in the world.  I have hope for my future.  I want to be thin so people will like me.
Age 21 - I am so lost.   I am scared. 
Age 30 - There are people on the internet that think like me, that look like me, that say what they think..........  I'm not good enough.
Age 33 - I am writing.  I am wearing colour for the first time.  A LOT of colour.  I am still terrified of rejection.  I still don't feel good enough.
Today (aged 39.99 years) I am never scared to say what I think.  I probably say too much.  My wardrobe of beautiful, colourful dresses is overflowing.  I have confidence in both myself and my courage of conviction.  I have a fella who makes me feel sexy.  I have amazing friends.  I have self worth.
I am happier today than I have ever been in my life.  This happiness is as a result of the journey of life that I have been on.  The challenges that I have set myself.  The heartbreak and the loves.  The highs, the lows.   The girl who decided to become a woman and make her life as she wanted it to be.

I am proud of just how far that I have come in my life and you know what?  I would love to meet 21 year old me.  To give her advice, to give her a boost.  To tell her that she is going to be ok.  

To tell her that she will never suit red hair, no matter how many times she tries over the years to make it work (written now with another shade of red).

What challenges in your life have changed you?

If you are looking for other blogs to read, you can't go far wrong with reading Let Them Be Small