Thursday, 31 December 2015

Are you diary/planner ready for 2016? - Pimp out your planner. (Part 2) | Stationery & Lifestyle

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, this would be a more in depth blog post focusing on planners, their inserts, stickers and accessories. This is generally if you have picked out your planner and fancy something different than the generic inserts and accessories that come in your planner. Essentially I'm teaching up how to pimp out your planner!

Have you sorted your diary/planner out for 2016? Maybe you completely fancy picking up a new diary or planner, or just fancy trying out some new inserts for your favourite planner. Here are a couple of my picks for you.

I tend to buy my inserts from Just So Stationery. The lovely Kirsty is a fabulous friend of mine and if there's anything I need she's brilliant at sorting a custom order out for me. What's brilliant about her collection, is that one of my favourite sticker sellers, HandcraftedBySheree, have joined together to create a set of stickers specifically for her planner inserts. Planner inserts are a quick and sometimes cheaper alternative to buying a whole new planner. Plus if you have a collection of planners (like me!) you can change however often as you wish without changing the inserts.

There are plenty of alternatives on Etsy too, it's simple and easy to search for 'planner stickers' or stickers for a specific planner such as 'Erin Condren stickers'. You'll find that you will probably find a few shops that you love and will stick to. There are a couple of amazing sellers in the UK who I LOVE, specifically EllieBethDesignsUK. You may remember I mentioned on Instagram that I attended a planner addict meet up earlier in the year, and the fabulous Rachel was the one who organised it. I definitely recommend her stickers, they are suitable for all kinds of planners. A couple of other sellers and shops I regular buy from are Dook Plook Designs, StickelCo, Miss Peppertea Plans, and Purple Pony Planning.

So you've sorted out your inserts, stickers, and now what about dashboards, paperclips and other accessories? Well my favourite store, for a long time, and a wonderful friend Charlie from Sea Salt and Paper makes the BEST planner accessories. She's a super lady and a fellow planner addict herself so you know there will always be something you'll want. I've picked up a couple of lovely bits from PlannerGlamourByBee and TeaCupsAndFloralsShop too.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Are you diary/planner ready for 2016? Take your pick. (Part 1) | Stationery & Lifestyle

One of my hobbies, that I sort of keep on the low down apart from my friends who have the same hobby, is being a planner addict. Now I've recently come across more bloggers showing their diaries, their planners, their sticker hoards and their masses of planners. I'm wondering if 2016 is finally my time to start a 'plan with me' weekly section and show my sticker hauls too. Let it be known that I've spent a lot over the Black Friday and Boxing Day sales on stickers, specifically those from the USA, they are my pride and joy. I'm in this for the long haul.

Being a 'sick girl' and 'spoonie' (having ME and spinal nerve damage) means that apart from college and work, I spend quite a lot of time under the covers. Either tucked up at my boyfriend's on the sofa with a duvet and the cats, or in bed at home. Planner crafting is a really quick and easy hobby for me to have. I can just set all my planner bits and bobs out, select a washi tape and theme for the week and get to it. It can last as long as you want or only for a quick 10 minutes. It's perfect to me. Anyway, more on that later I think.

I already have my selection for 2016. I have a Kate Spade Wellesley that means the world to me, and have recently acquired some 2016 Kate Spade inserts for her. I think I'll do a review of her later. I also have an Erin Condren Life Planner that I've had for some time and have recently bought plenty more accessories and covers in a group buy on Facebook. Lastly, I have an undated Happy Planner which means I can delve in and out of the months as I fancy without ruining it too much.

I've decided to write this post in two separate posts, only because there is a lot of content I've written and I suppose it can be separated into two posts. This post will concentrate on new diaries and planners, the second post will be mostly planner inserts and accessories.

Here are my diary and planner picks for you! You may have noticed that some of these are from the USA although they do offer UK shipping, but of course you need to look into customs, tax and VAT as these more often are at your own risk. Have a good look on Google as there are many new shops popping up which sell them in the UK nowadays.

There are plenty here to fit all budgets, and especially for everyone whether you're a planner collecting the latest Happy Planner kit and bag, or just fancy a new diary from Tesco to slip into your bag. It's not about the diary or the planner, it's about how you make it personal and how you add your simple touches to it. You'll see from my next post how to pimp out your planner.

My Perfect Suggestions for Winter Holiday Destinations | Travel

Anyone who has read my blog will know that I am a keen traveller. I feel it’s important to experience all that life has to offer, and do what you can to explore this wonderful planet. That means it’s important to try to go on holiday as often as you can. I like to try to go at least once a year, but it can be tricky to go more than that.
You need to consider when to take holidays, and where you might want to go. Now, for most people the middle of summer is the ultimate time to take a holiday. However, you shouldn’t discount winter holidays! These can be just as incredible, if not more so. With that in mind, I’m going to share with you some of my ideas for winter holiday destinations.
Norway is surely the crown jewel of Scandinavia, and it’s obvious why. It’s an incredible country full of beautiful people and beautiful landscapes. If you want to go here then you should always visit Norway in winter. It has so much to offer you from the lay of the land to the breath-taking oceans and glaciers. There are so many things you can do in Norway in the winter time, so you’re spoilt for choice in many respects. You could take boat trips, ride on snowmobiles and go ice fishing with the locals, as well as much, much more.

(Picture Source)
If you want a winter wonderland with Christmassy connotations, you should consider a trip to Lapland! The legendary home of Father Christmas makes for a wonderful holiday experience. I would suggest a spot of whale watching while you’re there. I also think you need to take advantage of the destination and book a trip to see the Northern Lights. They are one of the great natural beauties of the world, and many people will never have the opportunity to see them.
I always think that the best travel experiences are the ones where people think outside the box. You might want to go on holiday in the winter, but perhaps you’d like to avoid cold climates. This sounds bizarre, but it’s the case for many people. So, why not get around this by booking a trip to Australia? See, Down Under the winter is actually their summer. So you’ll be able to relax on a beach, enjoy barbecues, and even take in some cricket if that’s your thing!

New York City
There are few cities in the world as mesmerising in the winter as New York City. Think about the Manhattan skyline blanketed in white, dazzling snow. There is so much you can do in New York when you visit. And in the winter, it looks even more beautiful and magical than it normally would. If you want to experience the trip of a lifetime, then I suggest you visit the Big Apple in the depths of winter. Of course, you’ll need to make sure you’re warm
Holidaying in the winter is a little more unusual, but it’s no less important. In fact, in many ways, it can be even more beautiful and fulfilling than summer holidays. You get to experience a different side of travel, and you can see places you might not normally go to. These are just a few of my suggestions for the perfect winter holiday destinations.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Last Minute Christmas Gift Guide: Women | Beauty, Stationery & Lifestyle

We only have a few days left before Christmas and if you're a last minute shopper who needs some inspiration on what stock might be left in store, you've come to the right place. Here is my last minute Christmas gift guide for the women in your life. This gift guide contains a variety of products from beauty and lifestyle. There is something for everyone.

Last Minute Christmas Gift Guide: Men | Beauty, Stationery & Lifestyle

We only have a few days left before Christmas and if you're a last minute shopper who needs some inspiration on what stock might be left in store, you've come to the right place. Here is my last minute Christmas gift guide for the men in your life. This gift guide contains a variety of products from beauty and lifestyle. There is something for everyone.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Targeting Those Problem Body Fat Areas | Beauty

We all have areas of our bodies that we don’t particularly like because we cannot all look like a model on the front page of Vogue. No, ‘normal’ women such as us don’t have the time, or the money, to hire the best trainers in the business to keep us looking stick thin. The result is that, from time to time, we can lose focus and the pounds can start to pile on again. What’s worse, the fat can build-up in areas that you want to avoid as they are hard to target. Thankfully, there are ways to target them and eradicate them for good.

Eat A Balanced Diet
Yes, it may be an oldie, but it is a goody. The best way to target the build-up of fat is to stop eating fat in the first place. To be fair, you will need a certain amount of fat in your diet. But, you should only eat good fats, and you should stay away from the saturated kinds that are detrimental to our health. Also, you need to ingest proteins and carbohydrates to keep the body running smoothly. One great tip I learned from my dieting career is to make dishes with all the elements of a healthy diet, but also not to completely cut out the treats. Going cold turkey only makes avoiding danger foods more difficult.

Exercise Aerobically
For the most part, any exercise is good exercise. But, when we are looking to lose fat, our bodies need oxygen, hence the term aerobically. Without oxygen, we cannot burn fat because oxygen is a part of the fat burning process. So, what is the difference between aerobic exercise and anaerobic exercise? For the most part, sprinting and running when you are out of breath is anaerobic. Walking and jogging where you can breathe easily is aerobic. A word of warning, however – you need to exercise for a lot longer for the exercise to have any effect, at least thirty-five to forty minutes.

What is Coolsculpting? Coolsculpting is a technique that specifically targets body fat with the help of extreme cold. It uses a technique called Cryoliposis that cools down the area and then eliminate fat cells to make it look as if weight loss has occurred naturally. Plus, it is affordable. Coolsculpting prices are affordable because they are not an invasive procedure unlike a ‘tummy tuck’. However, it is not a simple procedure by any means, so it is only performed by a professional with skill and experience.

Strength Training
As the aerobic exercise and the Coolsculpting start to break down fat the cells, I would recommend strength training. Strength training will start to tone the areas of your body that are starting to lose weight. As a result, the arms, legs or buttocks will not begin to droop and look saggy. With strength training, they will look pert and firm, and that is a trait we all want from our bodies!

I know it is Christmas, and it is going to be hard, but if you can stick to these principles you will drop a lot of weight.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Have you been naughty or nice this Christmas? | Lifestyle

So with the last few days before Christmas approaching, I have one question for you - have you been naughty or nice this Christmas?

Why not try out this little quiz from the folks over on Paddy Power Bingo. I have done, and unfortunately I've come out as Scrooge this year. Probably because it's taking me so long to get into the spirit of the festive season. All I can say is bah humbug! 

Sunday, 20 December 2015

'Winter Walks' Fashion with JD Williams | Fashion

So here we are with less than a week to Christmas and I feel so far behind with everything. The weather is hardly that cold and gloomy that it's making me feel in that festive mood, and even though I had my work's Christmas Party last night, I'm still not feeling in that festive mood. This is definitely reflecting on my clothing choices too. I mean, how can you put on your winter woolies when the heat is in double digits?!

Like I said above, I've had my work's Christmas Party and even though I bought a gorgeous sequinned dress for the occasion, I didn't wear it because I just felt like popping a casual dress on instead, and this is where my recent inspiration has been coming from. JD Williams have been blogging about taking inspiration and ideas from your favourite shows. My favourite post is their take on 'Winter Walks' from Emmerdale. Being in Yorkshire, there is plenty of need for layers and sensible shoes as there are plenty of hills my end, but this doesn't have to mean compromising on style as you can see from their style suggestions. This has inspired me to have a go at creating my own 'Winter Walks' style from, taken from a couple of the Emmerdale cast members.

Leyla Harding
Leyla's style tends to be bright and chic, usually dresses complimented with a short jacket, bag and a pair of really high heels. She looks amazing, but unfortunately you wouldn't see me strutting around on the set dressed up like that!

I had to pick the Lorraine Kelly graphic print scuba dress, figure hugging and stretchy so ultra comfortable for Christmas day. I've teamed the dress with the Studio 8 Lexi Jacket and a pair of these Sole Diva High Court Shoes.

Debbie Dingle
Although not my favourite character in the show, she has a really nice casual style of jeans, boots and jackets. With the weather being as it is at the moment, this is the look I've been going for, and would definitely suit those of you who will be travelling round friend's and family's homes during the Christmas period.

I've teamed these Lucy Super-Skinny Jeans with this casual Linen Mix T-Shirt, this navy blue Diamond Quilted Jacket and a pair of Sole Diva Low Ankle Boots. JD Williams kindly sent me a pair of the Sole Diva Boots*, in the colour I've used for the outfit, and I absolutely adore them. They are extremely comfortable and can be worn all day too. I would definitely recommend them.
What do you think of my outfit choices? Both are stunning and would certainly be fabulous additions to anyone's wardrobe this Christmas. If you head over to the site today, they are offering free next day delivery if you spend over £50 - so you can have your favourite outfit here in time for Christmas!

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

My Best Beauty Tips To Get The Look You Want | Beauty

I love beauty products, and I really enjoy applying them. I like to find new products and new ways to get that fresh new look we’re all striving for. Over the years, I’ve found some favorites, and I’ve also found new ways of doing things. I think it’s not only a good idea to find the right products for you. You also need to learn the best way to apply them.

Start with your skin care. Looking after your skin is so important, especially if you’re wearing a lot of makeup every day. You need to be certain you are gently cleaning all the makeup, and all the buildup from the day, away. I don’t think it matters how old you are when you start using a night cream. The idea is to protect your skin as you sleep. It holds the moisture in. Find one that is right for your age group and skin type.

When it comes to cleansing and toning, it’s important to choose products that are gentle. You need a good condition to your skin before you apply your foundation. Once you’ve cleansed, you can either add a moisturizer or choose a moisturizing foundation. Some will even have a hint of tan, but it’s up to you if you need it when you apply your base.

Applying makeup well takes a steady hand. You’ll also need lots of good, natural light and a magnifying mirror. One of the best tips I got was from a makeup training course. They are certainly worth the money if you’re looking to perfect your skills. You might even come away with some fresh new looks to better suit your skin tone and face shape.

Makeup is about light and shade. You want to lighten the areas that are dark, like the circles under your eyes. But you also want to brighten the areas that stand out, like just beneath your eyebrow arch and the peak of your cheek. Then you can shade in some contours to better define the shape of your face. Eyeshadow and blush are ideal ways to do this. Applicators can vary considerably. Pick better quality ones that you feel in control of.

Eyebrows and eyelashes need definition. As they are hair, they can be refined, removed, or brushed up in different directions. Use a good brush for your eyebrows and your mascara wand. And be careful to use hygienic products and applicators. Your eyes are very delicate! I like false lashes that are preglued. It saves me making a mistake and ending up with a sore eye. Be sure to read the instructions carefully.

Lips also need to stand out. Where would I be without my lip gloss? I love shine and love a vibrant color. If you’re looking to plump, then also invest in a good pencil to line. Care for your lips daily with balm as well. Some lip stay paints are better than others, but all can be uncomfortable at first. Reapplying your gloss could be the best choice. What’s your favorite gloss for this season?

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Have the Trip of a Lifetime With My Tips | Lifestyle & Travel

If you want to make sure your next trip is one to remember, you need to make sure you do a few things first. Planning for the trip of a lifetime will make sure everything goes so much more smoothly. You could just hop on a plane and wing it, but you can’t always be sure it’ll go well. Use these tips to have the trip of a lifetime:

Thoroughly Research the Area
Make sure you thoroughly research the area so you know what to expect when you arrive. Make sure you know what to do and what not to do. Make sure you know what’s safe and what isn’t. Make notes if you need to. People worry about staying safe when travelling, but it’s just as safe as you exploring your hometown in most cases! That being said, it helps to know what you need to be aware of. Forums can help you to learn so much more about areas. Whether you want to know about the hill stations of South India or the best attractions in China.

Make a Plan
Make a plan to travel with. Just make sure you’re flexible. The plan should be loose; you are probably going to want to stray from it at some point, so make sure that’s possible. Booking a few things in advance can save you money, but you don’t want to make your trip too rigid. You can find ready made plans online if you’d prefer!

(image source)

Don’t Think too Much
Thinking too much about your trip can stop you from enjoying it. Don’t worry about having a good time, just go and have one! Living inside your own head can be the worst thing you can do, so get out of it. Learn how to enjoy and live in the present and you’ll have an amazing trip.

Save Up Plenty of Money

Having plenty of money can of course make your travels so much more enjoyable. You can travel on a budget, but you’re going to be more comfortable the more money you have. Save up as much as you can! If you can afford slightly better accommodation, it’ll be worth it.

Be Open to Meeting New People
Be open to meeting new people so that you always have somebody to do something with, if you need it. At the very least, new people can give you some great tips on where to go and what to do.

Learn a Few Phrases
Learn a few phrases to help see you through the duration of your trip. Carry a phrasebook with you to help too!

Get Insurance
Insurance is an absolute must. It’s up to you to keep yourself safe, but insurance can help you should anything go wrong.

Go With the Flow
Try to go with the flow. If you get invited to do something different, go and do it! You probably won’t get opportunities like this ever again, so go for it. Make the most of your time somewhere new and exciting.

Now go out there and enjoy yourself!