Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Helping your Closest Plan their Special Day

It’s no secret that the work which goes into planning a wedding can often be exhaustive. You will have to work extremely hard to plan everything, and the months will tick by faster than you’d ever imagined, making it difficult to keep up with everything. For this post, though, it’s time to think about other people’s weddings. Those closest to you will have to go through the same pain to organise their own special day, but you have a lot to offer when it comes to helping them. To give you some ideas to support you through this, this post will be exploring some of the best ways to make your friend’s weddings easier for them.



Research

One of the biggest parts of the wedding planning process comes down to research. Not only do you need to organise a lot of different services to work together, but you also need to figure out which companies are likely to do the best job. As a friend of the bride or groom, you should know the happy couple very well. This will make it easy for you to find ideas and options which they might like. Of course, when you offer suggestions to people in this position, it’s worth keeping in mind that they will probably have a clear vision of what they want, and you can’t be offended if they do something different.

Booking & Calling Around

Once venues, businesses, and other features of the wedding have been chosen, the work will turn to get in contact with a host of different people to iron the plans out. They don’t need to talk to the couple themselves to do this, as long as you know the date and rough times of the wedding day. This can give the couple a chance to work on other parts of the wedding, like figuring out who will be on the guest list. You just need to make sure that you’re all communicating properly.

Picking Clothing

Tradition often dictates that a groom shouldn’t see the bride’s dress before the big day. Likewise, it’s also nice to create some mystery around the groom’s attire, too. To help in stoking this, you can go with each of the partners to try on their clothing, giving them the chance to break away from one another during the process. This is also another area which you can research for them, making it easier for them to visit businesses which they know have options which will fit their theme. There are countless wedding clothing companies out there, and you should be able to use one which is fairly local.

Invitations

Making a guest list for a wedding is always a challenge, with limited spaces at the big event and loads of people who will want to attend. Once it comes to sending out invites to all of these people, the happy couple will be tired of thinking about it. Sorting out the physical invites for a wedding is far easier than a lot of people think. Options like Pure Invitation wedding invites give you the opportunity to have all of these pieces made by a professional company. Once you’ve got the invites themselves sorted out, you will only have to get them posted before the job is done. Of course, you can also help to ensure that all of the RSVPs are collected.

Stag/Hen Nights

It’s common for both brides and grooms to have parties shortly before their wedding day. This will usually be done with their closest friends, and this means that you’ll only be able to go with one side on this one. Planning this event is something which should be easy to take on, with all of the work you do along the way benefiting you, too. In most cases, this will involve a night on the town, some activities to keep it fun, and plenty of time to relax before the big day.



Have you helped a friend plan a Wedding before?






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Monday, 22 July 2019

How to Prepare for the Ultimate Family Road Trip


I love a Road Trip.

But sometimes road trips with my boys can be more stressful than enjoyable. This is usually because not enough planning was done prior to the big day, but by taking your time and by accounting for everything, you can be sure to have the best time.

Get Plenty of Snacks

Nothing slows down a trip more than having to stop every hour for snacks. If you want to stop this from happening then consider prepping some snacks and drinks ahead of time. This will cut down on the amount of expense you need to deal with on the road and it will also stop you from freaking out if you can’t find a gas station. If you want to make things even easier then it helps to pack your snacks in individual boxes so that you can share everything out equally.



Pack some Fun Toys

Long journeys can be tiresome for kids. They may also grow bored and restless along the way too, and this can make your journey that bit more stressful. If you want to put an end to this then consider taking some magnetic toys with you. This will make cleaning up the car way easier and it also stops little pieces from flying everywhere. Magnetic drawing boards are a great option here, and they can be a real life-saver if you are concerned about your kids not having enough to do.

Check your Car before you Go

There’s nothing worse than having your car break down on the road. This is especially the case if you don’t have anyone who you can call to help you out. Luckily, avoiding disasters like this is super easy to do. Simply take your car to the mechanic before you’re due to set off, and make sure that all of your levels are good. If your car is notorious for breaking down then why not buy a used Vauxhall Corsa from Drive Vauxhall?




Plan some Breaks

The internet is a wonderful thing, and it can also provide you with all the resources you need to make your trip extra special. Try and scope out any restaurants or any interesting stops that might be on the way. You can even find the best places for you to fill up on gas too, as some stations will be way cheaper than others. If you don’t plan out where you are going to stop then you may be forced to pull over somewhere that isn’t really suitable for what you’re looking for.

Always Expect the Unexpected

It always helps to have a zip-lock bag full of boiled sweets. Paper towels and carrier bags are also ideal because you never know when one of the kids are going to get travel sick. Mints are another great option that are always handy to take with you. If you do suspect that your kids are going to get travel sick, plan your route so that you don’t take too many windy roads, and always have regular breaks so they can get some air.



Do you have some tips to making Road Trips a little easier?







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Saturday, 13 July 2019

Monthly Favourites: June

Hey ladies,

I hope you're all well and enjoying the start of Summer!

Well, I decided that it's been a while... a LOOOOOOONG while since I did any kind of monthly favourites post so I'm going to get into the habit of doing them again. So from this month, I'm going to put together a post some of my 'favourites' each month. Things I enjoyed each month, that I think you guys should check out too!

I know we're already halfway through July but let's go back to my favourites from June, let's go...


June Favourites

Favourite Place to Visit... WARSAW

Warsaw, Poland, Cobbled Streets, Favourite Place to Visit

This was a difficult decision between here and Prague. I visited both over 5 days this month for the Backstreet Boys tour and they were both absolutely beautiful. I think what topped it off for me with Warsaw was the weather, it was gorgeously hot and sunny. And I really loved exploring both the old town, which was very much like Prague; pretty cobbled streets and beautiful buildings, and the newer town, with its huge modern skyscrapers, and can we discuss that they still have C&A out there?? And Etam! Old school fashion right there!

The Old Town Market Square is just lovely; a huge square of bars, cafes and restaurants to enjoy some al fresco dining, surrounded by beautiful pastel buildings. On the way, there were people dancing in the streets, the people were just lovely; so kind and polite. I mean, granted, we spent a lot of our time sitting in a very lovely 5* hotel and watching a rather amazing gig ;) but I'd love to go back and explore more of Warsaw one day. 


Favourite Beauty Product... ACTI HD FOUNDATION

ActiLabs, Foundation, Makeup, Beauty, Favourite Beauty Product, Cosmeceutical Grade


This stuff is one of my favourite beauty products EVERY month. It's just fab!
It's a breathable, anti-oxidant rich liquid foundation that gives fantastic coverage! The best thing about this foundation, and what makes it very different to most is that it is cosmeceutical grade, which means it contains active ingredients that your everyday cosmetics don't. Not only does it give long-lasting, great coverage, but it also contains acne-fighting ingredients and botanical ingredients that contribute to skin health and normal cellular healing. 

It's my go-to every single day. And I'm lucky enough to be partnered with this amazing company that make cosmeceutical grade products in our very own labs.

If you fancy giving it a go, you can find out more here.

Sign up as a VIP to my Online Shop and you can get 10% off!! Give me a shout for a skin match!



Favourite Home Product... DETTOL DISINFECTANT SPRAY

Dettol, Disinfectant Spray, Home Product, Cleaning, Favourite Home Product

If you don't have a can of Dettol All in One Disinfectant Spray in your cleaning cupboard then why the hell not? :) 

I use this around the house every single day as part of my daily clean. It kills 99.9% of bacteria around the home, including E.coli and Salmonella as well as cold & flu viruses and can be used on hard surfaces and soft surfaces, so I literally go around the whole house spraying worktops, handles, the sofas, I pull back the covers on the beds, I spray the whole bathroom, everyyyywhereeee. 



Favourite Hair Product... BED HEAD RECHARGE CONDITIONER

Bed Head, TIGI, Recharge Conditioner, Hair Conditioner, Favourite Hair Product, Smooth Hair, Shiny Hair


I adore hair conditioner and am always on the hunt for amazing conditioners and masks to help with my dry hair

When my hairdresser told me that B&M had the huge wholesale bottles of Bed Head in for about a fiver, I headed straight to my closest store to see what they had. My hairdresser uses a honey-scented one for coloured hair on me but I liked the sound of the Recharge Conditioner. It's infused with anti-oxidants, like Goji Berry Extract, and infused with Sunflower Seed Oil. It makes my hair feel amazing, really smooth and shiny! And what a bargain!! I think it's gone up to about £6.99 now but it's still a huge saving on these usually £10 bottles! 



Favourite Thing I Wore... PRIMARK BOYFRIEND JEANS

Primark, Denim, Jeans, Boyfriend Jeans, Fashion, Favourite Thing to Wear


I can't remember the last time I wore baggy style jeans. For as long as I can remember I've always been a skinny jean kinda gal. Through my late teens and early twenties, I literally wore skinny jeans every single day. Usually with a matching denim jacket. I know! I remember back when I was 18 I used to walk up this same road to my boyfriends' house every day and a van of workmen drove past me at the same time every day and would shout 'Ey up, it's denim girl!'. 

I've never really taken much notice of the boyfriend / mom style jeans before but at the beginning of the month when shopping for a few essentials for tour in Primark, I spotted this pair. They're ankle grazer style and I wear them slightly rolled up. And let me tell you, they're the comfiest jeans in the world. I've worn them SO much this month. They've accompanied me everywhere on tour, been really comfy for travelling in and teamed with a belt they've become a staple in my wardrobe. 



Favourite Thing I Watched on TV... LOVE ISLAND 

Love Island, ITVBe, Reality TV, Favourite Thing to Watch, TV


You'll have to have been living under a rock every Summer for the past few years to not have heard about Love Island, but if you haven't, it's basically a villa full of hot young singles who have come looking for a summer of love and romance in Majorca. The winning couple will leave the island with £50,000. It's definitely my guilty pleasure. At the end of a busy day of work, after I've put the youngest to bed, it's my time to turn off my brain and chill out on the sofa with some cheesy reality TV! 

Who else has been watching? Who's your fave couple so far?



Favourite Film... TOY STORY 4

Toy Story 4, Toy Story, Movie, Film, Family Film, Woody, Buzz, Favourite Film

I took the boys to see this at our newly refurbished Odeon Cinema, that has reclining chairs. I was excited about this... legs up, sweets, full-fat coke, a nice little rest whilst the kids were emersed in the movie... or so I thought. Someone has recently swapped my usually well behaved 4-year old for an absolute devil child who no longer does as he's told and doesn't sit still, so I spent the entire time repeating the words 'Sit down!' for the entire 100 minutes running time. 

But the film was great. I think. 


Favourite Book... MRS HINCH - HINCH YOURSELF HAPPY

Mrs Hinch, Book, Hinch Yourself Happy, Hinching, Reading, Favourite Book, Good Reads


Mrs Hinch. Isn't she great? 

I followed Sophie back when she had just 6K followers and it was hard not to fall in love with her. She helped me change the way I looked at cleaning. Once upon a time it was something I did once a week, in a foul mood and let things build up because, well, cleaning sucked. Now, I have a quick and easy daily routine that takes me less than 10 mins and a routine of jobs I do weekly and monthly. 

My friend bought me the book, which was super lovely of her. I read a lot of it during our 8-hour coach journey from Prague to Warsaw. It's a really easy read.


Favourite Audio / Podcast... MINDSET & MOTIVATION PODCAST - ROB DIAL

Mindset & Motivation Podcast, Rob Dial, Mindset, Motivation, Positive Psychology, Self Development, Personal Development, Growth


I've been listening to Rob Dial's Mindset & Motivation Podcast on Spotify a lot lately, mainly in the morning either when I first wake up or while I'm doing my daily clean before I start work. It's important for me to start my day right. I'm all about Positive Psychology and Self Development and working on my mindset first thing in the morning sets me up for the rest of the day.

Rob does quick 5-10min podcasts covering everything from how to deal with  Depression, Stress … to improving Healthy Habits, Focus, and Productivity … and everything in between. 

What podcasts are you listening to at the moment?



Favourite Moment... TOUR

BSB, Backstreet Boys, DNA World Tour, Europe


June was always going to be a pretty special month for me. I had a few special trips planned that I'd been saving long and hard for.  

The Backstreet Boys have been a pretty big part of my life for as long as I can remember, 1995 in fact. It's something that not a lot of people will and have ever understood, but it's my thing, my happy place, where just for a while, nothing else matters, life is drama free and I have THE BEST TIME. 

I've met the most amazing friends through these boys and I'm so so grateful for them. 
I visited 4 cities over the month to see them on the European leg of the DNA World Tour; Manchester, Birmingham, Prague & Warsaw. 
The show is absolutely frikken amazing!! So good I had to see it 4 times, haha!! 
It's always so lovely to see and catch up with the boys, and sharing these experiences with my friends is the best. 

Us Mum's always need some time out don't we!


BSB, Backstreet Boys, DNA World Tour, Europe



So, what about you ladies?
What have been YOUR favourites this month?







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Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Embracing British Culture with your Kids This Summer




Can you believe it's almost the Summer Holidays? 
How fast has this School year gone?

Many people are opting for Staycations or simply lots of Family Days Out over the summer holidays and as we’re lucky enough to live in such a fantastic country, rich in history and culture, before you think about going anywhere else you should have a look at what’s on our doorstep and make the most of it. The UK has something for everyone, for all ages and all interests, so whatever you’re looking for you’ll find it here. 

Visit London

London has something for everyone, but what really makes London stand out more than anywhere else in the world is the history. The Kings and Queens, the Tower of London, the Dungeons, Buckingham Palace and much more. London is both exciting and educational for all the family. You could go for the day depending on where you’re travelling from or stay for a couple of days and squeeze in lots of sights and attractions. Take a bus tour and hop on and off, you’ll get discounts on attractions such as the London Eye and Madame Tussauds, you could take a boat ride on the river, or you could go and see one of the many shows at the theatre on the West End. 



Visit Stratford-Upon-Avon

Speaking of shows, Stratford-Upon-Avon is the birthplace of William Shakespeare and is home to Ann Hathaway’s Cottage and The Royal Shakespeare Company and Theatres. Not only that but with it’s beautiful Tudor houses, Stratford Upon Avon is a quaint little city with some lovely, quirky small shops and canals too. If you’re thinking of visiting for the day, then make sure you check out the Bear Pit Theatre, Hall’s Croft, Harvard House, Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park, Stratford Arthouse, and Holy Trinity Church. 

Visit Newcastle-Upon-Thyne

If you’re into Art and Architecture, then you’ll want to hit up the North-East of England and visit Newcastle and Gateshead. Here you will find The Angel of the North statue, the Great North Museum, the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Seven Stories and The Sage Gateshead. 



Visit Portsmouth

If you or your kids are quite taken with maritime history, then you should spend some time in Portsmouth. Make sure you visit the Mary Rose Museum, HMS Warrior, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and the National Museum of the Royal Navy. 

Visit Liverpool

Once named as the European Capital of Culture, school trips to Liverpool are getting increasingly popular as it has one of the most significant collections of galleries and museums of any UK city outside London and not only that, but it is home to The Beatles. You could go and enjoy a Beatles-themed trip, hire a tour guide, and explore this UNESCO world heritage city, visit Anfield, home to Liverpool Football Club or go shopping. There are loads to do for everyone, and you’ll likely find it a lot cheaper than London. 
Visit Oxford
Aside from the historic University buildings which most children would consider boring, there are tonnes of other things you can do with kids in Oxford which they will really enjoy for a fantastic day out. The Pitt Rivers Museum to start with which is full of ethnographic objects from around the world such as shrunken heads, masks carvings and a witch in a bottle! Then there’s the Covered Market, which is great for shopping but also for cake!! (YES, CAKE!) You can take the kids to the Cake Shop to watch the staff decorating cakes through the windows and then there’s Oxford Castle Unlocked too where you can take a guided tour and discover the story of the prison and castle area. 



Visit Cambridge

There are lots to experience in the city’s heart, such as punting, Ely Cathedral, and more museums than you could imagine. Cambridge has some beautiful surroundings though too, with pretty villages, rolling fields, and the beautiful River Cam. It is the perfect choice if you fancy a good dose of fresh air with your urban adventures.

Visit Manchester


Manchester is great for Style and Art as the creative scene is buzzing. Manchester is home to The Lowry, Manchester Art Gallery, and the Whitworth which will enthral art lovers all weekend, while shoppers will love the city’s thriving independent stores – which specialize in everything from vinyl to blue cheese. For the kids, there is the science museum as well as the Legoland Discovery Centre at the Trafford Centre and of course the Manchester United Museum and Stadium tour. 



Visit Bath

Enjoy an alternative spa weekend with a little pampering and venture to Thermae Bath Spa to wallow in its mineral-rich rooftop pool – which boasts fantastic views of the city. There’s also a massage list as long as your arm, a Roman-Style steam room, and state-of-the-art infrared sauna – plus the cafe serves a great afternoon tea. And then remember you’ve got kids, if you can manage to palm them off for a bit then lucky you, go wild and indulge, however, if you can’t then you’ll have to visit the Bath city farm  which has animals, a play park, walking trails, farm shop and cafΓ© to keep the whole family occupied. There’s also the Bath postal museum which has Postman Pat area. Or take on the Bath spy mission Treasure Trail or visit the American museum.

Visit Cardiff

And finally, another day trip or weekend you and all the family could enjoy with all the family is the great city of Cardiff. With its beautiful Victorian shopping centers, quirky market,  sporting events, castle, parks and a vast range of places to eat out and enjoy, Cardiff is one of the finest and most popular cities to visit in the UK. There is something in store for everyone, check out the Millennium Centre and Cardiff Bay too. 

If you can't decide, do what we once did and go on a Magical Mystery Tour; close your eyes and pick a place on the map or pick places out of a hat to visit. These days often turn out the best!


Where in the UK would you recommend we visit next?





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