Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Quirky Gift Ideas for Your Best Friend's Birthday | Lifestyle

Finding birthday gifts that nobody else would think of buying can often be pretty tricky. But here are some quirky gift ideas to give you some inspiration.

A Smartphone Projector
These are actually really cool pieces of equipment, and if you don’t know what they are, you should check them out. They basically allow anyone to slip their smartphone into a slot, and the projector will project the video that’s playing on the smartphone onto a wall or screen. We always hear about how young people watch movies on their phone nowadays. Well, now this solves the problem. We all know that those screens are too small to watch anything on, so this will allow your friend to watch videos on a huge screen!

A Huge Hammock
If you’re buying a gift for that lazy person in your life, why not buy them a huge hammock? These things are great for people who enjoy relaxing outdoors, and they’re especially great for the summer months. They’re pretty simple and quite cheap to buy too though, so you won’t have to break the bank. All they are is a big material layer with attachments on either side that can be used to secure it in place. It’s one of those quirky gifts that you can be sure no one else will be buying.

A Mini Fridge
Ever been in bed and wanted a can of Coke or a quick snap but you can’t be bothered to get out of bed and go downstairs? We’ve all been there, so you can bet that your friend has been there too. In situations like these, you often wish that you had a well-stocked mini fridge next to your bed that you could reach down and grab something from. So, you should buy one for your friend. They’ll be sure to appreciate it if they, like most of us, are a little lazy and love a shortcut in life!

A Vintage Wall Clock
If you want to buy something for your friend that will add to the design of their house or apartment, the best thing to opt for is a vintage wall clock. Of course, you’ll have to be careful to find something that will fit in with the broader design of their home. But, as long as you do that, this can be a great gift to buy. Buying decorative gifts can often be risky, but clocks are always useful, and they’ll be sure to find somewhere in the home where they can place it and put it to good use. You should visit to find some cool vintage clocks.

A Tiny Robot Servant
Robots in the home are starting to become a real thing. This is no longer a science fiction movie fantasy; it’s reality! Sure, they can’t speak to you, and you can’t give them detailed commands. But you can get them to carry items around the home and deliver small items to you! And it’s always cool to have a mini robot servant, even if the actual robot is pretty limited in what it can do.


Monday, 19 October 2015

Make your own beauty products at home, with #MiraMessMakers | Beauty & DIY

I'm quite a thrifty person and I've featured plenty of DIY and craft posts on Satchels & Pearls, some have included ideas on making your own beauty products too. You might remember that I went on a mini beauty product making course back at Easter, and I've been a fan of making my own natural products. You know what's going into them, know what each of the ingredients does, and can add your own personal touches to them too, such as colouring and fragrances.

So Mira Showers coupled with Midas Touch Crafts and the awesome hashtag #MiraMessMakers was born. Just by mixing a couple of household staples and water from the tap you can create some amazing, natural beauty products. Oh and we know there will be an event in a couple months, which pretty month is around the corner. Oh go on then (yes I'm going to say it!) it's Christmas soon, and wouldn't it be nice if you could create a couple of homemade beauty items as gifts for your loved ones? Here are a couple of recipes that are so simple and easy to create at home. All you need is a little imagination for the packaging, maybe pop a couple of products into a homemade hamper along with a few chocolates or a DVD for the perfect pamper night. 

Lemon & Honey Facemask 
Lemon, oats, honey and cinnamon (optional).
So it's pretty easy to make, there are no rules as to how much of an ingredient you need because it's completely judged by eye. You know the thickness of a facemask so go by that.
All you need to do is add honey to your oats and mix in, pour in lemon juice to reach the right consistency, and pop a pinch of cinnamon in but this last part is optional. I just love the smell! Pour into a container and keep in your fridge, it's best to use fresh but will last a couple of days in the fridge.
Brown Sugar Lip & Body Scrub
Coconut oil, honey, brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla and fudge essence not essential but always adds to the flavour!
This is yet again a really simply DIY body scrub that you can make from plenty of products in your house, or that you can pick up at a supermarket. 
Pour sugar into a bowl, and add the honey. Melt a small amount of the coconut oil in the microwave (and make sure you watch to ensure it doesn't burn!), add the coconut oil to the sugar and mix to the consistency of a body scrub. You can add more sugar if you feel it's too gooey, or vice versa if it's too dry. The cinnamon and vanilla and fudge essence are optional, but I love the scent of both so for me are gorgeous as extras. You could always add peppermint flavour. Pour into a container and keep in your fridge, it's best to use fresh but will last a couple of days in the fridge.
This can be used as both a lip and body scrub. 
Chocolate Lip Balm
Coconut oil, soya wax flakes, vitamin E capsule, and cocoa powder is optional for flavour. If you fancied other flavours, peppermint, orange and other oils are really easy to get hold of. If you wanted to add colour as a balm you can add a dot of food colouring for a slight tint.
Melt and even amount of the coconut oil and soya wax flakes in the microwave (make sure you keep an eye on it just in case it burns!). Pop open the vitamin E tablet and add to the mix, this makes your lips super moisturised and in good condition. Add the cocoa powder and give it a good stir. Pour the mixture into your little pot and leave in a cold place to set, ideally the fridge or a window.
And there you have it! A couple of household ingredients act as staples in most beauty products. You can also keep a bag of soya wax flakes handy just in case you fancy making a couple of your own teacup candles too. 

I hope you've enjoyed this little post with a couple of DIY recipes that you can work at at home. Please have a look at my DIY and craft posts for more ideas on Christmas presents and other gifts. 

Michelle x

Friday, 16 October 2015

Is Getting Work Done On Your Teeth A Good Idea? | Beauty

If, like me, you are really into beauty, you are most probably conscious of how important your appearance can be. When we meet someone new, the first thing that they notice is our smile. That’s why, if you want to make a good first impression, you need to have a beautiful smile.

Whether your teeth are slightly wonky or stained from all those delicious lattes, you might be considering having work done on them. Whatever it is that you don’t like about your smile, there are lots of ways that you can change this. However, before you go ahead and consider getting work done, you need to ensure that you think things through.

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To help you do that, I have put together a guide that should help you decide whether to go ahead and get dental work done:

Crooked teeth
If your teeth are a little wonky, this could affect the look of your smile. If your teeth are crooked, you may be thinking about having them straightened to improve your smile. However, before you do, make sure to think it through.

Getting your teeth straightened will mean that they look better. However, it’s important to realize that it’s a long process. There are two options for straightening crooked teeth - braces and mouth guards. While the results of both are great, it can take up to two years for your teeth to be fixed.

Chipped teeth
Over time, our teeth can become chipped and cracked. Not only can this lead to cavities, but it can also result in a smile that doesn’t look perfect. When one of your teeth doesn’t look as good as the rest, it can have a big impact on your smile.

While it’s up to you whether you want to undergo treatment, if you want a beautiful smile, it’s a good idea. One of the best ways to have a chipped tooth fixed is with a crown - these cover up the problem incredibly well. If you want to get your tooth treated quickly, there are plenty of dentists that offer same day crowns. These are ideal if you want to get your tooth fixed quickly.

Stained teeth
You know that pumpkin latte that you love? Well, it’s causing your teeth to become discolored and stained. If you have noticed that your pearly whites aren’t as white as they used to be, it might be worth thinking about getting them whitened.

While whitening is a pain-free treatment that has fantastic results, it is only semi-permanent. To keep your teeth looking nice and sparkly, you would need to have whitening treatments at least twice a year.

Having discolored teeth whitened is a good idea, as, over time, the stains will build up and become worse. However, you should be aware that to keep your teeth looking white, you will need to have repeat treatments.

When it comes to perfecting your smile, sometimes it can be hard to know whether to get work done on your teeth. However, if the problem is affecting your smile, it’s always a good idea to have it fixed.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Girl On The Go: Read My Simple Beauty Hints | Beauty

As you know, I adore writing about fashion and beauty tips. Like most people, though, I don't have that much spare time. That means that I am always trying to rush to get ready. If you lead a busy lifestyle, you need a simple regime that works for you. There are a few easy things you can do that won't take up your time at all! Check out my tips - you know you want to.

1. Invest in an electric toothbrush
This tip might sound a little basic, but I swear it will help you. If you tend to use a regular brush, you need to cut it out as soon as possible. When you start getting high-tech with your oral hygiene, you will see that it makes a big difference. There are loads out there, but it's all about finding the best electric toothbrush for you. Once you have it, your teeth will shine.

2. Keep eye makeup subtle
No one has time to spend hours on their makeup. If you want to look chic, but need to do things fast, look no further. All you need to do is keep your eye makeup as simple as possible. That means that you just need to use a little eyeliner and mascara to give your eyes definition. Take a look at some eye makeup tutorials online that will help you along the way. Once you nail this look, it will save you loads and loads of time each day.

3. Cleanse, cleanse and cleanse
Do you wash before you go to bed? Spoiler alert: If you don't get all the dirt and grime (yes, we all have it) off your face, you will get blemishes. Make sure that you have a proper cleansing routine in place. That way, you will find that you never get any nasty spots. Oh, and if you do get a spot, avoid coating it in foundation. Doing so will only make things worse.

4. Get plenty of sleep
How much sleep do you tend to get? If you're burning the wick at both ends, you need to cut it out. Sure, I know it can be tempting to stay up all night watching Netflix. I've been guilty of it too in the past, but it needs to stop. Sleep is vital to your health and your beauty. Make sure that you get 7-8 hours of it a night. I promise you will thank me for this tip later.

5. Twist (and curl) your hair
If you want to wake up with beautiful, curly hair, there's just one thing you need to do. This idea works for both short and long hair. Twist or braid your hair before you hit the sack. When you wake up, you will find that you have natural curls (or kinks). That means that you don't need to spend hours styling your locks. Simple.

Let me know what you think of my beauty tips! I hope that they work for you.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

New Ways to Tackle Unsightly Blemishes | Beauty

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Every touch is subtly recorded in our skin’s memory. Every mark tells of our body’s past and present. Pollution, sun, and diet – these are amongst the culprits affecting the natural glow of our skin. As oils, dead cells and bacteria build up, texture and appearance are compromised.
Now for the good news. Various procedures, products, and techniques are available. Facials, microdermabrasion, chemical peels and photo-rejuvenation treatment; to name but a few. Each can tackle troublesome skin issues to leave a fresh appearance.
So what conditions can be improved?

Dry skin
Dry skin conditions may be a permanent problem for you. Coupled with itching, you may discover rough patches are red, inflamed and unsightly. The correct application of products and treatments can improve the appearance of dry skin. Once rehydrated, dry skin will become re-nourished once more. And Skin rejuvenation is complete.
The quantity of freckles various from person to person. A light sprinkling over the nose may be your only companion. Or your face and arms may be peppered with pin-prick marks. Excessive freckles coat the body to leave the skin underneath largely concealed from view. The sun’s rays can bring freckles to the fore. So you may experience seasonal outbreaks too. If your freckles are causing you embarrassment or making you feel self-conscious, there is help at hand.
Liver Spots
Liver spots are also often referred to as age spots. These typically develop as the skin begins to age. The pigmentation of the skin darkens to reveal freckle-like marks. Liver spots are commonly seen on the hands and arms. As well as age, liver spots are created by repeated exposure to the sun’s radiation. While we cover up our body, our hands are exposed to the sun on a daily basis. Over time, liver spots form as a result.
Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are a mom’s battle scars! They denote the nine months of hard labor required to deliver their little miracle(s). As well as pregnancy, stretch marks can be caused by other factors too. Sudden weight loss or weight gain can produce those tell-tale silver snail trail marks. For the most part, stretch marks can be largely concealed by clothing. However, if bearing all is leaving you self-conscious then it’s time to address those pesky marks.  
Cosmetic surgery or Botox are often the choices of celebrities when an aging face greets them in the mirror. These dramatic, and expensive, procedures are a step too far for many of us. Indeed, the signs of aging are part of who we are. They tell of our history. And to erase them in such a dramatic fashion is akin to eliminating our past life. We all want younger-looking skin. But the good news is the signs of aging can be addressed in a far more holistic manner. By increasing the collagen underneath our skin, the result is a firmer, more toned appearance.
Medical skin conditions such as impetigo, hives and eczema should always be treated by a medical professional. For everything else, alternative treatments are available to lend a cosmetic helping hand.

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:

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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.

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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!
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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.