Thursday, 10 May 2018

WISHLIST: SUMMER FOOTWEAR SAVINGS

The great British weather has been teasing us yet again with some gorgeously warm weather over the past month or so and I've been absolutely dying to get some flip flops and espadrilles out because they are my ultimate favourite shoes (weather dependent, obviously). I'm always looking to expand my little collection of summer footwear so naturally I've veered towards the sale areas of different websites and thanks to Groupon I managed to find the latest savings for Office all in one place!



Love a bit of boho-fringe!

Toms Black Crochet Slip on £44.00 £32.00
Toms are the comfiest summer shoes and this crochet version is lovely and girly

These look quite chunky but the glitter just sold it for me and I bet they're soo comfy!

Sprinkles Toe Post Sandals £40.00 £28.00
Love the embellishment down the middle on these



Simple yet could be dressed up for an occasion

This simple rope style is perfect for dressing up or down for a walk along the beach

Zaxy Start Bloom Pumps £35.00 £25.00
Very Viv but at a fraction of the price!

The signature Ted Baker bow style just doesn't get old for me 


So there you go, my pick of the current Office sale! I do love a good bargain and I genuinely don't ever buy anything online without searching for a discount code first, which is where Groupon comes in. You'd be forgiven for thinking they were just for those special deals on restaurant meals and spa breaks but they actually have a full section of online discount codes sorted by retailer so it's super handy when you're looking for something to bring down the cost of your online basket; it's well worth giving them a look! They have all the popular fashion retailers on there like ASOS, New Look, Urban Outfitters, Boots and loads more so definitely go and have a look next time you shop online.

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Wednesday, 9 May 2018

WISHLISTS: NEW HOUSE LOVES + HOMEWARES DISCOUNT CODE

As you may have already seen, I recently bought my first house... all on my own, mortgage and all. So my focus has quickly shifted to spending any spare pennies on nice things for my house. Anyone who has a house will know that furnishing and decorating is a gradual thing for most people; I've obviously bought the essentials in terms of appliances, sofas and a bed but it's all the little bits and pieces that make a house a home which I've yet to get hold of yet. So because I spend so much time browsing online for different house-y bits I thought I'd share what I'd found recently from La Redoute as they've got 30% off at the moment with the code SAVE30...



Domeno Ladder Shelf Unit £139.00 £97.30
Because space comes at a bit of a premium in my little 2 bedroomed house this shelf unit/desk is perfect because I could either slot it in a little space downstairs or it would go perfectly in the spare room without taking up so much room. AND it's something a little bit different isn't it!

Quilda Vintage-Style Double-Height End Table £96.00 £67.20
Having somewhere for drinks near the sofa without worrying about knocking them over is an issue at the moment but this little end table looks like the perfect solution because it's small enough just to slot in but also high enough that theres absolute minimal effort to reach for a drink while I'm being totally lazy on the sofa!


Watford Vintage Dining Table £299.99 £210.00 & Bimat Set of 2 Chairs £168.00 £117.60
Believe it or not I still don't have a table and chairs which has resulted in me having to eat my dinner in front of the TV which isn't ideal but this table is quite quirky I think with the black triangle shaped legs - something different to the usual solid wood tables I've seen everywhere!


If any of this takes your fancy you can find it on the La Redoute website but make sure you use the code SAVE30 at the checkout to get prices with 30% off! You can also find loads of different homewares and appliances with various different payment options at approvedcatalogues.co.uk


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Tuesday, 10 April 2018

TOP TIPS: WEDDING CHECKLIST FOR YOUR BIG DAY

It's almost prime wedding season and when you are planning your big day, you want everything to be just perfect. From the smaller details like your invitation design, to your choice of venue, a lot of work goes into ensuring that your wedding lives up to your dreams. To make sure that you don’t run out of time to book services or forget to include anything, we have pulled together a comprehensive checklist of all the things that you need to remember:


1. Calculate your budget

Before you plan anything, you will need to decide what budget you are working towards. If you are receiving contributions from your families then you need to have these conversations before you start looking at venues or anything else as your budget will dictate most of the decisions you are going to make. The majority of weddings run well over the allocated budget, so try to think about under-spending to stay within your budget.

2. Choose the venue (and date available)

This will be the biggest decision and usually needs the most advanced booking, so make sure the venue is your first big task as it can take quite a lot of research and visits, unless you already have a place in mind. Whether you want a quiet registry office ceremony or a big, extravagant wedding venue choice like Goosedale, the sooner you start with this task, the better. Deciding your date might come down solely to venue availability but could also be influenced by price, weather and guest availability.

3. Select your wedding party

Once you know the size and type of venue, it is easier deciding on how many people will make up your wedding party. This can be one of the most stressful parts of the entire planning, if people are expecting to be included and they are not. The earlier you communicate this, the less chance that people will have already made assumptions that they are included in the wedding party.

4. Guest list

The guest list can be another tricky affair, especially when you are on a tight budget or want to have a small, intimate ceremony. Again, the sooner that this gets confirmed, the more time you will have to adjust the list and invite additional people if others cannot make it on your big day.

5. Send out the invitations

Send the invites out as soon as you can so that people have the chance to RSVP and let you know that they can definitely make it. You might need to chase people up for responses and some people prefer to set up an online RSVP to make the process quicker.

6. Book your officiant

Make sure you leave plenty of time to book your officiant because you simply can’t have a wedding without one!



7. Final bookings and arrangements for the day:

• Caterers and menu
• Wedding outfits
• Wedding cake
• Weddings rings
• Photographer
• Car/vehicle hire
• Florist
• Entertainment
• Hotel accommodation
• Drinks for the toast
• Gifts for the wedding party
• Plan the order of the day
• Table plan
• Ceremony music
• Choose photo scenes/locations

If you use this list as a guide then you should be able to relax and enjoy your big day without worrying about the smaller details. You can always hire a wedding planner to take responsibility for everything if your budget allows, or you can delegate certain tasks to different members of the wedding party if you trust them enough to be organised. Remember, it is your day and you can plan it however you want to, so don’t worry about trying to keep everyone else happy!

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Thursday, 5 April 2018

TRAVEL: TOP TIPS FOR A FIRST TIME SKI TRIP

I've just recently returned from a 5 day ski trip to Alpendorf in Austria and given that it was my first time skiing I thought I'd share my top tips for anyone else thinking of going for the first time. I left the UK with just 2 hours of skiing tuition under my belt and I felt totally underprepared having no idea what to expect when I got there and I relied quite heavily on YouTube packing videos for guidance on what to take but there were some things that I would definitely have been better off knowing before I went! 



1. Get some tuition before you go
Even if you just get a couple of hours in a group session on a fake ski slope it is much better to arrive having already worn skis and ski boots for a short time because then at least you know what they're going to feel like. You can book time with an instructor at places like Xscape (Castleford & Milton Keynes) and Chill Factore (Manchester) which will give you a feel for what it's like and you can learn the basics and more depending how much time you have. Skiing, even with prior tuition is quite daunting because the conditions are so different but I'm really pleased I went to Xscape beforehand. You can get tuition when you're in-resort but I'd say your experience of skiing is going to be far better if you can ski before you go, mastering parallel turns will do you the world of good.

2. Make sure you take plenty of layers
Depending on the weather, you might not actually need thermals etc. but you do need to dress for the top of the mountain regardless of what the weather is like at the bottom. It can and probably will be much colder at the top than it is at the bottom of the resort. If you layer up you can always take layers off. Even at the end of the season every day I wore a long sleeved thermal top, a t-shirt, a microfleece and a ski jacket and only 1 of the 5 days skiing did I feel the need to undo my jacket for a while. 




3. Accessories are always a good idea
I can't stress how different conditions can be from one day to the next (even one hour to the next!) so it's really important that you're equipped for it to be tipping with snow. The most important things I'd say you need to put in your suitcase accessories-wise are goggles (these come with different levels of UV filter and light uplift abilities so it's a good idea to find out the weather for the time of year you're going and buy accordingly. Definitely buy a neck warmer or a buff (basically a tightish fitting snood), I don't like the idea of scarves because there's too much to get caught in ski lifts etc. but a neck warmer will keep your neck and lower face from feeling the cold. Sunglasses are also a good idea but they need a good UV filter because trust me being up in the mountain, the light bouncing off the white snow makes it almost impossible to see sometimes! Sunglasses are good for days when it is actually sunny but not snowing. 


4. Suncream is also always a very good idea
As you probably already know, the sun is actually really strong up in the mountains. Because the air is thinner and there's lots of reflection from the snow, it's surprisingly easy to burn up there. Admittedly the surface area which isn't covered by clothing is small but nevertheless burnt cheeks, forehead and nose is never good look so you do need to buy some sun screen. You also definitely need to get something for your lips too because they will burn and become very dry and sore very quickly if you're not careful. I went for a ski protection duo from Malibu with a small tube of face cream and a lip protection stick and it was exactly what I needed (sun protection and it still has the signature coconut scent, what more could you want?!)


5. Make sure your ski boots fit properly 
I can't stress this enough because this ruined the second day of my holiday. I couldn't ski because my ill-fitting boots gave me a blister on my shin in the first day, I assumed they were supposed to be a little uncomfortable so I soldiered on but it turns out they shouldn't be quite that uncomfortable. If you're hiring do not hesitate to go back if they feel like they're rubbing anywhere. Admittedly, ski boots aren't the most comfortable thing but when I discovered what it felt like to wear a pair that fit properly it was like walking on clouds compared the others. 

6. Expect to be very, very tired
Skiing is hard and every bit an extreme sport. Doing 5+ days is a heck of a lot of quite intense exercise in one go and it really does work out muscles that you never knew you had. I quite literally hate failing at anything but I could have easily given up sometimes because I found it so difficult! They say the worst week of skiing you'll have is your first one but I can safely say that I was so proud of myself by the end of the week because I at least graduated from the nursery slope onto some of the 'proper' runs. 



7. Buy a jacket with a zip pocket on the arm for your ski pass
Chances are, you'll have a little card which gives you access to lifts which ultimately enables you to ski which will need to be accessed quickly so you don't hold queues up; the last thing you want to be doing is stressing about getting it out of the bottom of a bag so buy a jacket with a zip pocket on the arm so it will just automatically scan as you walk/ski through.

8. Don't be scared of falling
You will fall when you're skiing. Whether you're going down a particularly steep run or you just lose your balance but it is so easily done and just remember not to be embarrassed because even the most experienced skiers fall!

9. Check out the map of the ski resort before you go
If it's your first time you'll want to be heading to blue runs because they're generally quite nice in terms of steepness etc. the last thing you want to do is jump in at the deep end because in short you simply won't be able to do it. Even if you have had tuition in the UK you'll quickly realise that although the artificial snow is good, the reality can be very, very different.

10. Most of all... have fun, have a laugh and enjoy the traditional apres ski culture!

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