Monday, 28 November 2016

The Gift That Keeps On Giving: Three Unusual Australian Holiday Destinations | Travel

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There are good reasons that Australia is such an amazing and popular holiday destination. It's the sort of place that really does seem to have it all. From lush, gorgeous landscapes to bustling city nightlife. Whatever trip you want to take, the land down under has you covered. But what about those of us who want to go a little out of the way? Those of us who want to avoid the crowds of tourists and experience something just a little bit different. Well, as always, Australia has exactly the sorts of places you need. Here are a few Aussie getaways with a little bit of a difference.

Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island almost sounds too good to be true. With its abundant wildlife and white sandy beaches, this really is a little touch of paradise. A significant area of the island is a dedicated conservation park. The lack of an indigenous human population has allowed the wildlife on this island to flourish. Of course, it's no surprise that it features an endemic sub-species of kangaroo. But the island also has an amazing amount of flora and fauna. Including koalas, echidnas, seals and even two hundred and forty-three different species of bird. For the animal lover who wants to get away from it all, this really is the perfect destination.

Margaret River

If you want to avoid somewhere overly large and crowded, then this little town just south of Perth is the place for you. Margaret River is well known for its craft breweries and wineries. Not only that but it's a fantastic place to try a whole variety of delicious foods. If you're after somewhere to relax, Margaret River is the ideal place. If you'd rather get out into the waves, then there are some fabulous beaches where you can surf. And of course, you can spend the entire time staying in one of Margaret River's gorgeous luxury chalets.

The Eyre Peninsula

This is one for the foodies especially. The Eyre Peninsula is the perfect place to get yourself a taste (literally) of Australia's incredible seafood. This really is the seafood capital of the country, and while you're there you'll have the chance to sample many of the culinary delights! Not only that but the Eyre Peninsula offers you the opportunity to get up close and personal with some nocturnal wildlife. And if you're really feeling brave and adventurous then you won't want to miss the chance to have a close encounter with some great white sharks.

Now, there's absolutely nothing wrong with the more well-known attractions that Australia has to offer. But for those of us who want something a bit more interesting, the land down under really does seem to be the gift that keeps on giving. You could keep coming back year after year and never run out of amazing things to see and do. Though you're more than welcome to try!


Thursday, 17 November 2016

Keeping your hair in tip top shape during Winter | Beauty

We've hit that time of year, it's cold and damn outside, and your hair is becoming flyaway and generally not in as tip top of a condition as it could be. You could be suffering with dehydrated hair, flyway hair, well the list is endless. You don't just have to resort to putting a hat on to hide your tresses, with these couple of easy hair care tips for the Winter you can keep your luscious locks in great condition. I say these tips are for Winter, but they can easily be used all year round. Let me let you into a little bit of hairdresser knowhow...

1. Invest in a really good quality hair dryer. Although you might think that you don't need one, but each hair dryer is different and has it's own qualities. My favourite hair dyer on the market at the moment is the Panasonic hair dryer. I'm very lucky to have tried and tested the Panasonic Nanoe and it really works. The science is that the dryer adds moisture to your hair to make sure it stays smooth and silky. Another thing I love about this hair dryer is the fact it's the same pH balance as your hair, meaning your cuticle will close and be a lot smoother. It also comes with a diffuser nozzle for those of you with curly hair.

A top tip to drying your hair is to always make sure you aim the nozzle down whilst blasting your hair, this helps to smooth out and protect your hair, giving it extra shine and making it less flyaway.

2. Use professional products that are suited to your hair type. I know this seems like one of the most simplest tips, but it's very easy to get wrong. You may be incorrectly identifying your hair type and using the incorrect products. Your hairstylist will give you information for your correct hair type and should inform you on the right products to use. Which brings me on to tip three...

3. Go to a hair stylist for a cut. Seriously. Don't follow YouTube tutorials on how to cut your hair, or how to cut your split ends because you're not getting the service your hair deserves. Hair stylists (like myself!) have to be trained and let me tell you it's not easy. Trust your hair stylist to make sure your hair is in the best condition it can be in.

4. Hydrating products are a God send at this time of the year. Products containing oils are the best to use. If you tend to buy drugstore products then I highly recommend going for an oil repair product. Heat protection sprays that contain oil or have added leave in conditioner are the best to purchase, you're a lot less likely to let your hair dry naturally at this time of the year so it's always best to be prepared. If you want to spend a little bit more, why not add a deep conditioning treatment to your service at the salon? My favourite salon product is the Uniq One by Revlon. I use this on both myself and clients as it has 10 real benefits. Not only does it have heat protection, is a leave in conditioner, but can repair dry and damaged hair.

If you're looking for a little bit of inspiration or a few new products to add to your winter hair care regime, check out one of my previous posts - there's a great review on the Fructose Oil Repair products.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Autumn & Winter Boho Picks for under £20! | Plus Size Fashion

It's been such an age since I've felt any sort of inspiration to sit down and write a blog post but, now November is here and I'm a pretty basic bitch, I can talk about Christmas wish lists and Autumn to Winter fashion! Normally October is my favourite month but but after having a severe case of the flu and an ME relapse to boot, it hasn't been all that good. Now November is here and I feel like I can finally start making use of woolly hats and big coats. Plus it's my son's THIRD birthday this month! I can't believe when I started this blog that he wasn't even a thought then!

So, what fashionable items am I lusting after this month? Anything bohemian with a hint of tan. Yes please. I've also been using Love the Sales to track current sale items, because I'm super skint at this time of the year. Lets track seven birthdays and Christmas presents, wow. I've managed to find some amazing plus size bargains all for under £20 each so you know you're not breaking the bank.

These Tips Could Help You To Feel Amazing On Your Next Night Out | Lifestyle

So many women know what it’s like to go on a night out, and feel like you pale in comparison to the woman next to you. It’s normal for women to compare themselves, but this can make you feel rubbish as a result. It’s all well and good saying don’t compare yourself, but you need to feel amazing in your own skin first. These this could help you to feel amazing on your next night out:

Let Your Personality Shine
There’s only one you, so make sure you celebrate your uniqueness on your next night out. Choose an outfit that you feel shows off your personality. Make sure you’re not trying to be anybody else - too many people do this these days, which is why so many people look like sheep. Make the most of being you! When you know you’re being true to yourself, you’re going to feel awesome.

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Invest In The Right Underwear
Wearing the right underwear is important for a number of reasons. You’ll automatically feel better when you know you’re wearing attractive underwear that fits, even though nobody can see it. It’ll make your outfit look better too, as you can be sure you pick the right styles for the outfit you’re planning on wearing. You’ll also be more comfortable. Make sure you take your time selecting the right type. You can get some good ideas from a brand like Freya lingerie at Knicker Locker.

Focus On Every Little Detail
Focusing on every small detail will help you to look more polished and put together. Here are some examples of things you could focus on when you go out:
  • Eyelashes - will you curl them or wear fake lashes?
  • Painting your nails in a complementary colour.
  • Whitening your teeth.
  • Wearing cool accessories that enhance your outfit.
  • Applying tan for a healthy glow.

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Watch Some YouTube Tutorials
If you don’t feel confident with your hair or makeup, you’re not alone. We’re not all natural born hairdressers and makeup artists! That’s what YouTube tutorials are for. You can find a tutorial for pretty much anything you can think of here, whether you want the perfect smoky eye or a funky up-do. With the right makeup brushes and hair accessories, you can’t go wrong. Practicing it before your night out should give you more confidence.

Give Yourself A Pep Talk
Give yourself a pep talk before you go out. Look in the mirror and tell yourself what an incredible bad ass you are! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with treating yourself this way. Focus on everything you love and you’ll go out feeling wonderful! Although most women feel like it’s the norm to complain about themselves, the more you do it, the worse you’ll feel. Start to fall in love with yourself.


Hopefully, you love using these tips before you next big night out. No matter your size or shape, no matter your skin colour, hair colour, or anything else; you can feel amazing. We all have a right to feel amazing, whatever society says is beautiful these days!

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Top Reasons Why Canada Is Becoming A Popular Holiday Destination | Travel

A lot of people forget about Canada when they are looking for their next holiday destination. Of course, the travelling can put them off (it’s around an eight-hour flight), but it is actually a great destination that should be on your radar. It’s visually superb, and the Canadian people are extremely friendly. In fact, it makes a fantastic holiday for the whole family. Here are some of the top reasons why Canada is becoming a popular holiday destination.

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(Image source: flickr)

It has amazing cities such as Toronto

One reason that sees people flocking in their millions to Canada is the fabulous cities they have situated in the country. Montreal, Vancouver, and Toronto are huge draws for tourists as there is so much to see and do. Toronto, for example, has iconic landmarks such as the CN Tower and the Royal Ontario Museum that you can visit. And not forgetting it has a huge Lego theme park for children. A lot of these cities are affordable as well, so it’s not going to cause a huge dent in your bank balance. And unlike other cities around the world, they have fewer tourists so you can enjoy all the sights without bumping into one another.

It’s good for all the family

A lot of people are also heading to Canada because of all the amazing things it offers to families. For one thing, there is amazing views and wildlife which will keep kids fascinated. As well as this, there a tonne of zoos and aquariums which will satisfy any mini animal enthusiasts. They will also get to experience beautiful places that they will remember forever such as the Niagara Falls. And on top of this, most of the country speaks English so your kids will be able to play with the children from the area. Remember if you are visiting Canada, you will need to apply for an ETA to enter the country. You can find out more on https://official-canada-eta.com/canada-eta-requirements/.

You will get to see amazing sights

As we touched on above, Canada is a top holiday destination as there are so many amazing sights which you will all love. The mountain views are incredible, and you will need a full battery on your camera before you head to the stunning country. For something a bit different, you could even go on a scenic flight over the Kluane National Park. As it says on http://www.worldofwanderlust.com/10-reasons-why-you-will-love-canada/, you will get to see amazing views all year! And that’s another good thing about the country; it’s beautiful in the hot sun and great in winter with the snow-clad mountains!

It won't break the bank

If you are hoping to have an affordable holiday, you will find this in Canada. In fact, it’s cities have often been voted the most affordable in the world! In particular, Ottawa, the capital of Canada, in particular, is rated high on the list of cheap cities. Therefore, you know that you won’t spend a fortune if you do head to the beautiful country!

And if you are looking for an adventure for your next holiday, Canada has a broad range of outdoor activities to fulfill this desire. There are so many trains, mountains, and lakes where you can do activities like skiing, hiking, and camping!

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

EllieBeth Designs UK Annual Planner Meet Up 2016 | Lifestyle & Stationery

Last month, myself an another 24 fabulous ladies attended the second annual EllieBeth DesignsUK meet up over in Leeds. You may have seen last year's post over on my old blog Satchels & Pearls which shows you a few of the things we got up to.

At the plan meet last year I was introduced to the Erin Condren Life Planners which I'd never seen before. Shortly after the meet I bought my first planner and fell in love with the vertical box planner layout that Erin Condren is famous for. I picked up my second and third Erin Condren planners later in the year, and at the moment I've found planner peace with my horizontal layout. I'll be uploading a planner layout comparison of the ECLP's later on the blog.

The event was held at Patisserie Valerie in Leeds, and hosted by the amazing Rachel who is owner and designer of EllieBeth Designs UK stickers. Now in case you didn't know, planner stickers have become a massive thing in the UK over the past couple of years, and I'm sure I'd be right in saying that Rachel's shop is the best for planner stickers in UK. I've bought Rachel's stickers since the shop opened, and can safely say the quality hasn't changed, and there are so many vast designs available now.

I arrived at the meet up with the fabulous Beth from Beth Tinkerbell, and Toni from Plan With Tea and we were ready for the Afternoon Tea that we ordered. The staff at St. Paul's Patisserie Valerie are fantastic. They're always super attentive and provide us with an area at the back of the cafe where we can all geek out over all things planner related. The afternoon tea was 'alright', I've had quite a few that have been a lot nicer and this wasn't the best for the price of £25 for two people. I know there are a few vouchers doing their rounds on Groupon and Wowcher but in all fairness I wouldn't even pay those prices. I'm glad there were plenty of planners doing their rounds for inspiration to take my mind of things!

Rachel always makes the event fun; there were amazing goody bags, a table for 'swaps', and a raffle. I was really lucky and won myself a My Pretty Week tabbed divider page to fit into my ECLP which was really useful as that was something I was actually looking for to pimp out my planner.

The 'swaps' table was a fantastic idea this year. You had the option to bring planner goodies and stickers to the meet to put on the table and swap. Well I've been hoarding a lot of stickers for a good while and I didn't think I would get much use from them so decided to bring them along to the meet so others could house them properly. I did manage to pick up some HEMA washi tape and stickers, along with a few ECLP extras that I always find use for.

The meet overall was amazing. I managed to finally meet a few planner friends who I've been talking to on the Facebook planner group for quite some time, and in all honesty it was just like seeing old friends! It was great to put names to faces and make new connections. Above all though, it's always fun to have a look in other people's planners and diaries to get new inspiration! I know I definitely come away with a few new decorative ideas and a couple of new Etsy sellers to check out their items.

In-Tents Holidays: Getaways For The Outgoing | Travel

Beach holidays are great. You put your feet up, relax, catch up on missed sleep and let your hair down for a couple of weeks. But what if you don’t enjoy lying around in the sun? Maybe you’re prone to sunburn or heatstroke. Perhaps you can’t nod off on a sun lounger and get bored pretty quickly lying around in silence. Not all holidays have to be the ones advertised on television. Your holiday should be the best time for you. If you’re active and outgoing, there are so many holidays out there that you would much prefer. Here are a few ideas to get your imagination going.

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Yoga

This is one of the most relaxed holidays for people who want to keep active. Yoga is a brilliant form of exercise with copious health benefits. You will stretch out physically, becoming more supple. Your balance will improve, and you’ll eventually become more flexible. You will also relax your mind. Yoga can bring inner peace and tranquillity. But yoga doesn’t exist solely within the walls of the gym. There are thousands of destinations that offer yoga holidays. So where do you go for the ultimate yoga retreat? Well, Many of these retreats also offer spas. So get a nice massage to loosen your muscles once you’re done.

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Surf

Surfing will forever hold mass appeal. Catching waves in a wetsuit or bikini has a certain thrill to it. So where do you head for the best surfing getaways? Hawaii is always a go-to option. With luxurious surroundings, lovely locals and some of the best weather and food to be found in the world, you can’t go wrong. But have you ever considered European destinations for your getaways? Places such as Portugal have warm seas, big waves and a thriving local atmosphere. So catch pack your bags, prepare your swimsuits and catch your flights. Surf’s up!

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Camping

Camping getaways aren’t just for kids. That’s for sure. Camping can see you face the elements and put your survival skills into practice. This is the all-time American venture, so where better than to camp out than in the USA? Sleep under the stars, roast marshmallows on a fire and see some of the most breathtaking scenery that there is to be seen. Remember, camping isn’t limited to those who don’t mind sleeping on the floor and have no fear of creepy crawlies. Alternative options include campervans and trailers. These are a mini home away from home. They provide you with an enclosed place to sleep, a clean, working toilet and a few other creature comforts. Companies such as Vermont Country Campers have a huge range of campers to pick from. Gain advice from sales representatives and choose the best camper for your personal needs.

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Cycling

Cycling is a fun sport that is appreciated internationally. So if cycling is your thing, then where better to cycle than the home of one of cycling’s biggest events - Tour De France. France has both intense and relaxing routes where you can bask in the local scenery. Stop in local cafes for a break now and then. The cuisine cannot be beaten, and the wine is some of the best you’ll ever taste.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Six Things You Need to Know About Breast Surgery | Beauty


Breast surgery – be it implants, a lift or a reduction – is a very popular choice of procedure for women in the UK, and many women plan to alter their breasts in some way in the future. We all see the results of enlargements, lifts and reductions in magazines and on TV, but there are things you should know about breast surgery that you might not find out about in the media. Here are a few facts to consider if you’re planning a boob job any time soon.

Your first surgery may not be your last
Around a quarter of women will need further procedures around 10 years after the first, as implants don’t last. Some implants leak over the years, while some women form scar tissue around it. Additionally, lifestyle changes, weight changes, pregnancy and childbirth may mean the woman will want to change the look and shape of her breasts once more.

You can’t increase by several cup sizes in one surgery
You won’t be able to go from an A-cup to a D-cup in one go as your skin won’t be able to take it, and nor will your posture. You need time to adjust, so a good surgeon will advise you to increase by one cup size – maybe two – at each surgery.

If you smoke or have a strong family history of breast cancer, implants may not be for you
Smoking and family history of breast cancer may mean that enlargement surgery isn’t suitable for you and no reputable surgeon will agree to it without a thorough evaluation. If you’re unhappy with your shape, a breast lift in Manchester with Dr Gary Ross may be a good compromise – your long-term health has to come first.

You work with your surgeon to find your best solution
It’s not a case of walking into the clinic and saying “I want a DD-cup, with a saline implant placed through an armpit incision,” You and your surgeon will work out the best way forward for you – you may be more suited to an under-the-breast incision, a C-cup and a silicon implant. Your surgeon will need to conduct a thorough examination and assessment of you, your health, medical history and lifestyle before making any decisions.

It’s best to wait until your family is complete before you have implants
The recovery is simply more comfortable in breasts that have been through pregnancy and breastfeeding. If you opt for implants underneath the muscle, however, you will find recovery longer and more painful.

You need to ask yourself a few questions before going ahead with the surgery
Am I really unhappy with my breasts?
Could I change them a bit with exercise or diet?
Am I having this procedure to please myself or someone else?
Is this something I’ve always wanted to do and am I excited about it?
Can I take the time off from work and cut back on exercise and daily activities?
How much do the risks bother me?

If you can answer these questions easily and sensibly, then you’re on the right track.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Cute Treats Your Mum Will Love | Beauty & Lifestyle


After years of taking over you, I’m sure it’s time you thought about treating your mum to something special. She will have looked after you from day one and will have helped and supported you through the toughest times you’ve ever been for. So, as one big thank you to her, why not think about treating her to one of the following cute ideas?

Spa Day

Treat your mum to some time to relax at your nearest spa. She will have spent so long looking after your family and doing all the household chores that she could do with a little time to herself. You could also go along with her; it will be a great time for some mother and daughter bonding. There are loads of overnight spa break packages to choose from, all over the country. If you really want to push the boat out, visit a part of the country you’ve never been to. You could head to the spa hotel for a whole weekend, so you have enough time to explore the destination!


Family Portrait

Club together with your siblings and buy a family portrait for your whole gang! This is a great way to create a personal keepsake that your mum will be able to look back at over the years. There are loads of different styles of portraits that photographers specialise in. Some even do quirky historical themed ones! Once you get the pictures developed, think about buying a fancy frame to display the best ones in.


Music Concert

I’m sure your mum used to go to loads of gigs and discos when she was a teenager and in her early twenties! Help her relive her youth by taking her to see one of her favourite bands or singers live in concert. Loads of popular music acts from the 1980s still tour regularly, such as Bryan Adams and Adam Ant. Buy some tickets to your nearest concerts and give them to your mum for her birthday or Christmas present. She won’t be able to wipe the smile off her face!



Cook Her Favourite Meal

Sometimes, some of the simplest gifts and treats are the best. And one of the best is when someone cooks you your favourite meal! Just think, how many times has your mum cooked you your favourite tea? Well, now it’s time for you to repay that favour. Make sure the dining room looks the part. Try and get it as fancy as a restaurant. And don’t forget; you’ll be the one washing up at the end of the night. Don’t leave the dishes for your mum!


Donate To Charity

Does your mum have a charity who she tries to support? If so, you could make a donation to the charity in her name. This is a great idea if you want to do something that involves giving back to the community as well as surprising your mum. You could do a sponsored even if you want, or just donate whenever you have some spare cash!