Wednesday, 7 October 2015

"It costs how much?" – Helping your children to understand the value of money | My Motherhood Diary

As the parents amongst you probably know, being a mummy can be incredibly expensive and it can often be difficult to find the fine line between making your little ones happy and ensuring they have everything they need, and making sure that you stay within your financial limits.
Teaching your children to understand the value of money from an early age can help to take the pressure off slightly, as well as setting them up to have good financial habits when they get older. After all, saying ‘no’ to your little ones can be much easier if they understand that there is a good reason for you denying your request rather than thinking you are simply going out of your way to be a mean mummy (and no one wants that!).
When to start…
Trying to embed an understanding of the value of money into your child when they’re barely able to walk might seem like something of a pointless exercise, but the earlier you start the better. According to Experian, research has shown that, by the age of seven, children have already developed their attitudes and values towards money, so there really is no time like the present.
And, when you think about it, children these days are introduced to costly elements of the adult world at a much earlier age than ever before - many children get their first mobile phone at the age of eight, and start online shopping when they’re just ten. This means it’s vital that you instill a good understanding of the value of money before they get hold of too much of your hard earned cash!
Make it fun! 
Of course, no one’s saying that you should sit your three-year-old down and give them a lengthy lecture about economics and financial responsibility. There are so many fun and engaging ways that you can teach your children the value of money, whatever their age, without them even realising what you’re up to!
For example, as soon as your child can count, make sure you introduce them to the concept of money, whether that’s by playing shop or by using money as a counting tool.
You should also take your children shopping with you (no matter how stressful that may sound!), as this will allow them to become familiar with spending situations. If they ask for something that you can’t afford, make sure you explain to them why you can’t afford it and how you would go about saving up for it if it was something that you really wanted or needed.
Pocket money
If your little one is lucky enough to receive pocket money on a weekly or monthly basis, this offers another great opportunity to teach them some important financial lessons. In the real world, us adults don’t get to spend all (or any!) of our income on treats and things that we want, but don’t really need. So why not introduce this concept to your little one as early as possible? Rather than allowing them to blow their entire allowance on the latest craze, encourage them to spend one third, save one third for a future purchase, and donate the final third to charity.
Of course, that’s just the tip of the ice-burg, there are so many ways you can start teaching your children the value of money, and most of them can be easily integrated into your everyday life!

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Great Homemade Meal Ideas For Your Husband's Birthday | Lifestyle

When my husband has his birthday, I find it important to make it special for him. The quickest way to a man’s heart is food; everyone knows that! So, I have three meal ideas that are perfect for you to cook your husband/boyfriend on his birthday:

(Image via pixabay

Steak & Fries

Steak is one of man’s favourite foods to eat on special occasions. One does not simply eat steak on a normal night; it has to be special. If you cook steak for your husband, on his birthday, it will probably be better than any present you could buy him. If you want great steak, you need to buy a nice cut of meat. You can't get away with the cheap stuff because it will taste cheap. With steak, you get what you pay for. Pay a lot for a nice cut and you’ll get great tasting steak. I’d recommend you fry your steak on a griddle pan or even cook it on a barbecue. Make sure you cook the steak to your husband’s liking and never overcook it! Then, you should work on chopping up some potatoes and making your own fries. The perfect fry is soft and fluffy but with a little bit of crunch as you bite into it.

(Image Source:


Sometimes a simple dish can be the best way to your man’s heart. Every guy on this planet loves pizza; it’s a home favourite! Of course, most people will just call up a takeaway and get some pizza delivered, but, making it yourself is a lot better. The keys to great homemade pizza are the base, sauce and oven. The perfect base has a little crunch on the crust but is light and fluffy on the inside. I’d recommend making your own tomato sauce for your pizza too, it can taste fresher than just emptying a tube of tomato paste on your base. Make sure your oven is set to the right temperature so it can cook perfectly. Most pizzas don’t take too long to cook, and if you have a pizza oven, then that’s perfect!
(Link To Image:

Gourmet Burger

Carrying on this theme of meals that men love, the burger is up next. I’m sure a few of you are reading this with a puzzled look on your face because burgers are hardly a fancy meal. Well, getting a burger from a fast-food chain won’t be very romantic or fancy, but cooking one will! Especially if you get a little creative and cook them a gourmet burger served with a crisp barrel-aged beer from Liquor Barn. There’s nothing impressive about a plain beef patty in a bun - so mix things up a bit. You could make a lamb and mint burger or, my personal favorite, a burger with melted cheese on the inside! To do this, you make your burger mince and then form patties around a bit of cheese. Then, when you cook them off, the cheese will have melted on the inside. Serve in a fancy brioche bun with some homemade burger sauce and more of those fries I mentioned earlier. A brilliant way to turn a simple dish into something much more!

So there you have three simple but amazing ways to create a delicious meal for your loved one’s birthday!

Monday, 5 October 2015

Fashion and Beauty Tips Wedding Guests Will Love | Fashion & Beauty

New fashion and beauty tips are always welcome, especially when it comes to a special event like a wedding. You want to be sure that you look your best, while not appearing as if you’re attempting to step on the bride to be’s toes. These fashion and beauty tips will help you out, so you can still look special and feel great!

Try Going for Pastel Colours 
Pastel colours are perfect for weddings. Even weddings that aren’t summer weddings are good for wearing pastels. This is because they’re cute, flirty and fun and not overly daring or sexy. You don’t want to give off the wrong impression at this wedding - it isn’t your day!

Incorporate Floral Patterns 
Floral patterns are the perfect pattern for weddings as they’re so pretty and girly! There are no rules when it comes to patterns, so you can pretty much wear anything you like. If unsure, floral is always a safe bet. There are plenty of mother of the bride fashions that have nice patterns like floral, so take a look if that’s what you’re after!

Keep Your Makeup Pretty and Subtle 
Wedding guests should aim to keep the makeup they wear on the day pretty and subtle. Look your best, but don’t go OTT with dark lipstick or eyeliner. You’re not here to look sexy! If you want to be a good wedding guest, it’s all about rocking the understated look.

Prepare in Advance
Start preparing in advance rather than panicking the night before. Do your nails, hair removal and other treatments the day before or even a few days before to get it out of the way. You can also make an effort to start eating better and drinking more water so you can really glow!

Stay Classy 
As I’ve said multiple times here, the goal is to stay classy. You need to make sure you have a classy cut to your outfit. You shouldn’t show off too much chest or leg. Ideally, your hemline will fall just above the knee.

Wear Something That Suits Your Shape 
Make sure you wear something that suits your shape so you can look great. There’s no need to panic or look frumpy when there are all kinds of things you could go for. Find out your body shape, research what suits it and what you like, and this should narrow down your search much quicker.

Don’t Be Tempted to Get Adventurous 
A wedding isn’t a great time to get adventurous and try new styles when it comes to clothing, hair, and makeup. It might seem boring but you should stick to what you know. I understand trying new things can be great, but leave it out this time. You’ll be devastated if it doesn’t go right.

I hope you love these tips and they help you to look your best on the day. Don’t forget to have fun - worrying too much about what you look like could stop you! Leave your own comments below in the comments.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

The Perfect Accommodation For The Perfect Trip Abroad | Travel

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am an intrepid traveller. Simply put, I am obsessed and I cannot stop! I have travelled across the world, far and wide, and I have picked up a few essential tips along the way.

One that I am going to share today regards accommodation. So many travellers don’t treat accommodation with the respect it deserves. The majority of people think they can turn up and find a great hotel or hostel without even trying. Well, I am here to tell you that is almost never the case. For all you first-time and beginner travellers out there, here’s how to spot the best accommodation. In the end, it can make all the difference to your trip.

Plan Ahead
People tend to leave booking accommodation to the last minute because they have other things on their mind. In basic terms, they are too busy having a good time. Still, there is always time to check out sites on the Internet and get a good understanding. Before you jet off to your next destination, check Hostelbookers and Hostelworld to see what the demand is like. If it is low, don’t worry. But, if it is high, book it sooner rather than later.

Go Off Reputations
Although some people’s expectations can differ from yours, their advice can be crucial. There may be one of two people who can find fault with the perfect hostel, but there won’t be thirty of forty people. If the majority of the people who have commented have given it a positive review, the odds are that is it a standard establishment.

But Don’t Take Them Too Seriously
Feedback and reviews are important, but you shouldn’t put all your faith in them because they can distort your view. There isn’t an establishment on the planet that will get one hundred percent positive reviews because some people are awkward. Just because there are one or two negative reviews doesn’t mean you should omit it from your search. It just means that some people are hard to please!

Be Flexible
Travellers love to stay at hostels. There are so many advantages, especially if you are travelling alone. You meet incredible people and they are almost always the cheapest option. Or are they? Because travellers are blinkered, they often forget to be flexible. There is a range of options available to you, some which might be better and cheaper. For example, vacation rentals could be an ideal alternative if you have met plenty of people and you are looking for a bit of home comfort. Don’t just go with hostels because that is what travellers do.

Depending on the country you are travelling, the price is up for debate. Never go with accommodation that you cannot afford because it affects the rest of your journey. If you spend all you money on your hotel, how are you going to have a good time? The perfect accommodation is often the most affordable.

These are just a few of the tips I have found come across on my travels. If you have any of your own, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

(image credit)

Monday, 28 September 2015

My HEMA Haul | Lifestyle & Stationery

I bought this little sticky note and washi tape haul from HEMA quite some time ago but have only just gotten around to blog about it. Since then I've managed to get hold of the matching planner/organiser that fits with this theme and I've decided to use it for college with a couple of amazing accessories I've bought too, I'll type up a blog post on this shortly as I know a couple of my followers are interesting in planning and stationery too.

HEMA is a cheap Dutch store, much like Poundland over here but they have a lot better products. I'm likening a lot of their products to the Target 'Dollar Spot' range that you can find in the USA and Australia. I tend to buy their products online and pay for delivery, but they have three stores in the UK that are nowhere near me. Same for the new Kikki K store that's opening down south, goddam you southerners.

Now for some reason when you order online from HEMA you have to buy two of a product, I think this could be because some of the sticky notes are priced at 50p or 75p and they want to make a little more money from you; because I ended up with quite a few duplicates I gave them away as a RAK (random act of kindness) on a Facebook planning group, just because I am amazing and nice. Plus I didn't need two lots of them anyway. I'm enough of a hoarded as it is. 

As well as picking up a whole bunch of sticky notes that I plan on using for college, although I think it's become apparent now that most of my course is practical and salon based so I generally won't need them this year. I might use them for my University module this year although I'm not sure because I had bought a bunch of Target Dollar Spot stationery to use for University, although it doesn't seem to match the kit I bought from Paperchase, so I might decide to use my beautiful Erin Condren notebook and match these with it too. 

I also picked up a set of stickers which I've since discovered ideal for labelling up my kit. Kits are costly and people genuinely do run off with scissors and don't give them back. Well, not on my watch. Plus everything is neon enough to see a mile off. 

I haven't quite decided what to use the small label style stickers for yet, they are too small for mailing so I might just use them for pen pal letters and snail mail etc, just to brighten everything up a little bit. They would also be ideal to use as quick page markers or to make notes with in my text books for my next University module. 

The washi tape will more than likely just be added to my ever growing collection. As I've just been using my Erin Condren Life Planner I haven't really been into sticking and decorating the pages yet, but I think I might do with my college planner as I think I'll be getting a lot more use out of it than I thought I would do. Apparently we have to make a note at the end of every day of what we've done at college to type up on the system, so the diary section of the planner will be perfect for making notes!

The contents of this haul didn't cost that much. I think all in all including delivery (which to be honest was the most expensive part!) cost me around £15-£20 which I think it a good price to pay for this. Not forgetting I bought a load of duplicates of some of the products shown too. 

Friday, 25 September 2015

September Faves | Beauty

As I'm back at college and studying hairdressing, it's important to look my best and definitely means a full face of make up that can last me through a whole day of practical sessions in the salon. I don't wear a lot of make up and never really have, but I still like to apply a little. I have good skin (again, thank goodness!) and don't need to put a lot on my skin for a base as I like to keep my natural skin showing through too. I tend to keep the same look for work as well as it's quite light and keeps my skin looking good throughout my 4 hour shift racing around serving and being in a hot kitchen too.

So which products are my favourite, and my go-to's at the moment then?

MeMeMe Long-Lasting Nail Gloss, £5.00.
~This came in a GlossyBox quite some time ago, and much like nail varnishes I put them away in my drawer and never give them a second look however, this caught my eye a couple of weeks back and I decided to try it for the first time. It's a lovely manicure nude shade that just coats the nail. I did apply a couple of coats just to cover up my nail but it's a nice neutral shade for wearing in the salon. I'm lucky that on the floor above mine at college there is a nail back so I'm intending on having mine done up there in a couple of weeks, but I just thought this made a nice neutral addition to my collection of nail polishes that I never use. Like any other though, it does chip pretty easily so for the price there are probably cheaper alternatives out there.

No7 Moisture Drench Lipstick in shade Soft Ruby, £9.95. 
~I bought this just before Christmas when I popped into Boots to be colour matched for their foundation, which ultimately turned out to be a big disaster. The colour was a good match but she gave me a really thick and full coverage moisturiser which just looked terrible on my skin. Anyway, there was an offer on where if you bought two products you received a really nice goody bag and well I'm a sucker for a freebie so I bought this lipstick. I didn't really like it at first so it went in a jar with all the other lipsticks I don't use, but I got this back out again to go with my vintage look for work and I must admit this time around I'm quite impressed with it. As it's moisture drench, it keeps my lips hydrating with no cracking through the day, and doesn't bleed either which it good. However, it does wear off after an hour or so, so I kept finding myself reapplying which isn't that professional at work. For the price though, it was quite expensive and I wouldn't really repurchase it again. Lesson learnt.

Maybelline Dream Flawless Nude Foundation in shade Ivory, £5.99. 
~I'm always in search of a good foundation and have recently been using tinted moisturisers but after seeing the advert and joining in on the hype of this product I thought I would give it a go; and I'm so glad I did because I absolutely love it! It's very light on the skin and blends perfectly giving fine coverage and concealing. I have light skin and ivory suits my tone perfectly. It's quite cheap for a foundation and I've found is lasting me such a long time! The only downside is that I don't like the dripper, so tend to run this on the back of my hand and apply using a brush. I'll definitely be repurchasing this when it runs out.

Oriflame 'The One' Eye Liner Stylo in shade black, currently £4.45*.
~I received this in a goody bag from an Oriflame event I attended last year but have only recently started using it to the best of it's ability. The Stylo pen has a fine felt tip that I find really easy to apply for all my style of flicks be it thick or thin. The pigment is pretty strong although can be watery sometimes so you may need to run over your liner a couple of times depending. For me, who certainly can't apply liquid liner, this is a great product. It dries quickly too and doesn't leave any residue on the lid either. They are currently half price on the website so I'm tempted to make an order for a fresh one just in case.

My Little Box Mascara Soin Et Volume in shade black. 
~This mascara came in a My Little Box a few months back but I've only recently had a clear out of the boxes to see what I actually have. This is a volumising mascara and works brilliantly. The brush is quite long meaning I can catch most of my eyelashes in one swipe. The only downside is that there isn't an excess capture at the top of the lid so you can easily end up with too much on your brush. Although that's a small downside to the product I still absolutely love it at the moment as it leaves my lashes feeling soft and nourished. Unfortunately I will never be able to buy this product again as it was just included in the box, but never mind. I'll go back to my old faithful again!

Body Shop Honey Bronze Highlighting Dome in shade Pink, £8.00.
~At the Body Shop event a couple a months ago I picked up this amazing Highlighting Dome from their blusher collection. The Honey Bronze collection have a range of products that I've used for quite some years but this isn't one I was familiar with. The colour, with a hint of a bronzer, looks amazing against my skin. I've been using Sleek's Rose Gold blusher for a couple of years now, and although this has a similar shade, it's a little more rosier on the cheek and makes my cheeks pop just a little bit more. I've simply been applying it by rubbing on my cheeks and blending in with a brush. I think when the product is down to the pot I'll have to apply with my fingers. Anyway, it's definitely a worthy investment, and both their lighter and darker shades would be brilliant for contouring.

Make Up Revolution Pro Fix Oil Control Make Up Fixing Spray, £5.00*. 
~You may remember my review of this product before it came out on my 'February Faves' post here. I'm still using the same bottle and have over half left in. It has definitely been my go-to product through the summer and has kept my face looking fresh throughout. I've become more reliant on it at work because it can get really hot there, and I'm imagining the same when I'm in the salon too. I honestly couldn't recommend using it more, it's been the best new makeup addition to my back in quite some time and I'll be repurchasing this when it runs out. If you have normal skin, there is also a normal alternative of the product you can buy for the same price. Oh and the packaging is rose gold, what more could I ask for?!

Korres Iris Lily of the Valley Cotton Eau de Toilette, £30. 
~A friend gave me this fragrance a while back as it was too heavy for her, but I quite like the woody, masculine scent behind this. To top the musky, earthy notes, it has a top of rose just to bring out the sweetness in the fragrance and I must admit this is a really nice scent. Normally it's not something I would buy myself because it's not floral, but I really like the longevity it has on my skin, and there are several under notes that come out through the day. For £30, I don't think I would repurchase this product though, but I'll definitely be finishing off the bottle!

Elie Saab Le Perfum, £27.34. 
~This was a sample from one of the Harvey Nichol's catwalk events quite some time ago that I have only just managed to use. Lets be honest, they gave us a lot of perfume samples in those bags and I keep finding them in drawers all over the place! It's quite nice to give something a change though, and I really am delighted in this perfume. It's clean, sweet and floral which to me is everything perfect in a fragrance. For a price of £27.34 for a 30ml bottle I definitely think I'll be treating myself to this for my birthday or Christmas, or just hoping a male or lady friend along the way might treat me to some luxuries this year, I love to be cheeky.

So, what do you think of my September favourites? I'm going to try swap up the collection for November though, it gives me a change to use a few old products that I haven't really given the time of day. I guess it's back to swapping my stash again!

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Easy ways to detox your life | Lifestyle

After a long summer of barbeques, parties, weddings and holidays, many people plunge into autumn with a nagging lethargy, dreading the return of dark, cold, wintry days. For most of us, too, the prospect of Christmas combines the wonder and delight of bright lights, delicious food and fun family times with the worry of extra stress and considerable weight gain.

It makes sense, therefore, to deal a double blow to these two problems, with some simple detox steps, designed to refresh your body and mind. Cue a release of energy, new enthusiasm and – if all goes well – a little physical enlightenment in the run-up to the festive season.

We understand that people’s lives are different, but try to work in at least two or three of these handy tips over the coming months, and you’ll be sure to reap the rewards.

Go Outdoors
Make sure you get some fresh air every day – whether it’s through going on a walk, popping out to the shops in your lunch hour, or simply sitting near an open window. Fresh air helps boost your concentration, helps your lungs work to their maximum potential, and the extra oxygen in your blood will give you more energy to face the day.

Get Fresh
A really easy way to make your diet healthier is to make sure you have one fresh piece of food with every meal. Breakfasts could be fresh fruit on yoghurt or cereal; lunches could mean lettuce in your sandwich or carrot sticks as a snack. For the evening, try replacing frozen peas with mini corns on the cob, baked beans with pan-fried leeks and cabbage, and normal potatoes for sweet potatoes, which are both lower in carbs and keep your blood sugar levels steady. Fresh foods have tons more vitamins and minerals, and most veggies can be cooked in a microwave within just a few minutes.

Give Up
Quitting smoking is one of the most effective ways to detox your body and mind in one go. Studies show that it only takes your body a couple of days to regain energy levels and begin working more efficiently. If you’re not sure you can go cold turkey, try e-cigarettes – an electronic version of normal cigarettes, they use a solution called e liquid, which heats up to create a vapour that you inhale. E-liquids contain only five key ingredients, none of the harmful chemicals normally associated with smoking, and although they have nicotine in them, you can gradually reduce the amount, meaning it’s a great way to wean yourself off an addictive habit.

Go Fizz Free
Caffeine- and sugar-filled drinks like tea, coffee and fizzy pops are a favourite with most of us for various reasons, and although we’re aware of the risks that drinking them can cause (sugar highs, diabetes, insomnia and a need to go to the bathroom more often) we stick by them somewhat resolutely. Don’t try to be a martyr to the detox cause, but instead limit your intake – allow yourself one fizzy drink a day, one coffee to wake you up, one a cup of tea to chill you out. Replace lemonade with carbonated water, flavoured if you like, especially if you usually combine it with squashes or fruit juices, and try flavoured still water as your daytime drink – it still tastes nice, but has zero calories.

Get Active
Try to give over 20 minutes a day to exercise. It doesn’t seem much – it could be first thing in the morning, during a morning break, at lunch or when you get home – but you’d be surprised at the difference it makes. If making time every day is difficult, aim for at least two over the course of a week. If you’re stuck for ideas, there are plenty of 15-minute exercise DVDs on the market, giving you 5 minutes to get ready as well as a full workout.

Switch Off
Before you go to bed, set aside some time – ten minutes, half an hour, however long you can manage – to do something totally separate from your life, when your brain doesn’t have to work overtime. Read a book, listen to music, or take turns with your partner giving massages. Don’t do anything that involves a screen, as this will make your eyes think it’s daytime and so ensure your mind stays alert. Don’t use this time to discuss issues, problems or annoyances either – this is a chance for you to unwind, meaning you’ll get a better night’s sleep and wake up feeling more refreshed.

Be Brave
Once a week, try something new. It might be a new TV show, a new recipe, a new skill, a new place, a new musical artist – but make time to adventure out of your comfort zone. Not only will you gain in self-confidence as your horizons expand, but you may well discover things you never knew existed, or find a new interest.

Go Teetotal
We would never dream of suggesting that you give up alcohol permanently, but cutting down on the amount you drink is never a bad thing. Try to have at least 4 days a week where you don’t drink, and drink sensibly – it’s no use abstaining Sunday to Friday only to drink 20 pints on Saturday night. If you’re feeling confident and charitable, try your hand at one of the many monthly campaigns like Sober For October to combine staying on the wagon with raising money for a good cause.

End On A High
Keep your spirits up by ending each day on a positive note. This can be a hard thing to do if one of the things you are doing is giving up smoking as it is hard to get over the nicotine cravings but at night, think or talk about a high point in your day – maybe a nice meal you enjoyed, a joke someone told, something nice a colleague did for you, or something cute or amusing one of your children did. It’s widely accepted that the things you focus on last thing at night and first thing in the morning go into your long-term memory – so make sure you remember the good times, not the bad.