Friday, 21 October 2016

How To Save Money At Christmas

Save Money On Christmas But Never Lose The Sparkle

When the idea of Christmas is in the air, it is normal for many people to feel a major financial crunch when they start to think about the different gifts that they need to get for friends and family members. The recent economy has left a great deal of people with a lot less money to spend on gifts than what they are used to having on hand.

The fact of the matter is that you do not have to worry. There are a lot of options available to you other than going to the mall and spending far too much money. At the same time, Christmas is a time where you can reflect on the birth of Jesus, spend a lot of quality time with your friends and family, and also appreciate everything that you have in your life.

However, this is not to say that the exchanging of gifts should not be a part of your holiday events. Christmas shopping is fun and the gifts can be a nice way to show others how much you care or that you enjoy sharing in a friendship. These are some festive and creative ways that you can save some money this Christmas season without losing sparkle or straining your budget.

Send Cards Instead Of Gifts

A nice Christmas card can show someone that you are thinking of them, offering a meaning that is more than just a commercial gift. You can save even more money if you are able to purchase your cards in bulk. Be sure to include a handwritten note that will personalize your card.

Make A List

When it is time to go shopping, have a list handy of everything that you need to buy to help prevent impulse purchases. Stay on top of the money that you can afford to spend and then stick to it. Establishing a budget ahead of time will help you to save a good bit of money this Christmas.

Do A Secret Santa Exchange

Instead of purchasing gifts for all of your family and friends, you can draw one person's name and be their Secret Santa. Putting a dollar limit on just ho much to spend on one person will save you over buying for several.

Save Money On Wrapping Paper

Buy your wrapping paper at local discount stores. You can also save up gift bags throughout the year and you will not need quite as much paper to wrap with. Wrapping paper will also go on clearance just after Christmas, which is the time to stock up about a year in advance so that you can save money.

Shopping Online

Many stores extend sales and promotions for online stores. Compare pricing and look for promotional codes online to help you save even more. You will also save on gas when you do not have to drive to all of the stores.

Tip: Do you like filling Christmas stockings? Try getting free samples they are a great way to fill them up with small little perfume samples, make up samples.

Plan Your Online Purchases In Advance

A lot of online stores will offer buyers free shipping when they reach a specific dollar amount. Plan out your purchases in advance so that you can order your items together and save by receiving reduced or free shipping. Shipping the items directly to the recipient will also help so that you do not have to pay to re-ship them after they arrive. Many online companies will give gift options that allow you to choose gift wrapping, a tag and even a receipt.

Offer Homemade Gifts

A smart way for you to save money this holiday season is by creating gifts that are homemade. Think about sending baked goods or crafting items instead of buying items in a store. Homemade items will offer a sentimental touch that you are simply not able to find in the department stores. Look for interesting homemade gift ideas online and then plan ahead so that you can have a good amount of time to create the gifts.

The Gift Of Service

You can create redeemable coupons that will be good for a variety of services, such as serving breakfast in bed, a home cooked meal, a back rub, free car wash, doing the dishes, mowing the grass, or tackling errands. There are endless possibilities that you can choose from and a lot of people will appreciate the help over a store-bought item.

Focus On The Celebration

Talk with your friends about spending time with one another instead of exchanging gifts. There are sometimes that people will feel obligated to give gifts over and over each year. Tell people you would rather spend time with them instead of a present.

Share Holiday Meal Costs

If you are hosting a holiday party or meal, never be shy about telling people to bring certain items. Allow others to bring food items so that everyone is able to share in the celebration. Make the focus about spending time with loved ones instead of trying to make everything perfect, which could lead to the best Christmas you have ever had.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Smoking? Have You Ever Thought About Stopping?

Growing up I was surrounded by people that was smoking. A lot of my friends, my boyfriends, family friends and my mum were all smoking and I never thought anything of it when I was younger. It was "normal" that my mum smoked. My dad had been smoking when he was very young, but had stopped long before I was born. As a teenager I tried smoking, but since I had asthma it made me feel really sick. So I never started smoking. As a grew up and got older I started to worry more and more about my mother especially as she was smoking a lot. I asked her if she had ever thought about stop smoking and she said that she had, but she found it so difficult. I guess it is the same with all addictions, you have to be motivated to stop. You have to go inside yourself and find the will and strength to quit. You have to do it for your sake, or for your future. I would be happy if you took time to read this as my mother died of a big heart attack at the age of 65 partly due to excessive smoking.

Five Reasons Why Your Skin Wants You To Quit Smoking

Amongst anti-smoking activists the month of the October is known as Stoptober month, a month where we are all tasked with the collective task of encouraging the people around us who smoke to quit. As a site that’s concerned with everything beauty-related, we thought it would be good to take part in encouraging smokers to quit by reminding them of the sort of damage cigarettes can do to their skin – sorry, but if we don’t, who will.

In conjunction with The British Skin Foundation, I have gathered the top five reasons why you should give up smoking if you are really want to have healthy skin.

1. Smoking ages the skin

According to Dr Anjali Mahto, British Skin Foundation representative and a consultant dermatologist, our skin, much like any other organ in our body, is susceptible to damage caused by cigarette smoking. If, as a smoker, you want to prevent pre-existing skin conditions from getting worse and wish to age gracefully, then it is about time you started considering stopping – and if you aren’t a smoker, then it’s advisable that you don’t pick up the habit.

The British Skin Foundation further adds that smoking speeds up the skin’s ageing process as it reduces oxygen levels in the blood and promotes the production of an enzyme known as matrix metalloproteinase-1 – two things that considerably degrade elastin collagen. People who smoke develop wrinkles around their mouth, also known as smoker’s lines, and crow’s feet – things that have repeatedly been proven since the first studies were conducted in the 70’s. In some studies, it’s been seen that women are more likely to be affected by smoking than males.

2. Smoking slows wound healing

According to Dr Mahto, smoking also affects our body’s healing process. As such, the healing of a wound after surgery or trauma can take longer than it should in smokers. At the same time, there’s a high risk of failure of skin grafts and wound infection in people who smoke. The habit can also lead to the development of leg ulcers that never heal. The carbon monoxide and nicotine in a cigarette causes vasoconstriction, which in turn affects oxygen supply to the skin, slowing down the production of new collagen.

3. Smoking can cause skin cancer

Compared to a non-smoker, a cigarette smoker has twice the risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma or SCC – a type of cancer that affects the skin. At the same time, a smoker is also at a higher risk of contracting oral cancer – about 75% of all reported cases occur in smokers.

4. Smoking leaves you susceptible to skin disorders

Dr Mahto further explains that some skin disorders like dicoid lupus erythematosus, hidradenitis suppurativa, and psoriasis amongst others, are more likely to happen in smokers than in non-smokers. Exposure to smoke from tobacco leaves increases the likelihood of developing psoriasis. Sadly, smokers that already have psoriasis have lower chances of improving compared to non-smokers. However, the good thing is that if a psoriasis patient quits smoking, then they are more likely to notice positive effects on their condition.

5. Cigarette smoking can cause smoker’s acne

According to the British Skin Foundation, smoking not only causes the skin to age prematurely, but it could also leave smokers, especially female smokers, at risk of developing smoker’s acne. British Journal of Dermatology researchers have noted that this type of acne is characterised by large blackheads and blocked pores; however, the spots themselves are less inflamed compared to regular acne.

To quit smoking is a huge achievement, an achievement that most people should aim for, as it is one of the biggest killers in the UK, there are ways to get help to quit, and at the moment they are running Stoptober which is aimed to help people to quit, there are also other options too like using an e cig, or using nicotine patches.

I wish you a good Stopober and if you have successful or unsuccessful stories of quitting smoking, please feel free to drop them in the comments below.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Luxurious Plus Size Womenswear With David Nieper

It seems like the plus size market is booming lately with new additions of brands that either extend their range or a new plus size shops appear. Nothing makes me more happy. One of these is a company called David Nieper. It's a new name to me, so I took a look at their website. Their sizing seems good and most of their stuff goes up to a size 28. I haven't tried any of their clothes yet, but I'm keen to try some. On their website it says that they are using the best fabrics and that their garments are made in UK which is always a plus with me.
Since I'm a self acclaimed professional online shopper I couldn't help to look through their collections and look for things that I might invest in. Cause their clothes are a bit pricier, but for a great quality jacket, silk lingerie or knitted jumper that can wear season after season without going off trend, then I don't mind paying a bit extra.

When I look for classic pieces of clothing I tend to look for black, grey, navy or red as these are my staple colours that I return to all the time. Especially in autumn/winter clothes. 

My favourite colour combination is red and black so this jacket caught my eye straight away. I really like the pattern, the unusual collar and the hip length design is nice as well. This kind of jacket would be a great transitional item in autumn and with a polo jumper it would be great in the winter as well.  

Or how about this amazing silk t-shirt? It's so versatile and would be a go to item with a simple pair of jeans, for work with a nice blazer and skirt or with a pair of shorts on holiday. Since silk is a natural fabric it's so great even in really warm conditions. And the colour is just so elegant and goes with most things. 

Or what about a luxurious long silk nightdress? You would feel a million dollars if you wore this to bed. And who doesn't like the cooling feel of silk against their skin? The design is stunning and the colour is beautiful. 

David Nieper can offer more than just coats and silk. They have a good range of travel clothes, travel accessories and even post surgical bras and other lingerie. All in great fabrics and designs.

I've completely fallen in love with a few things on their website and will be wishing for something for Christmas as I would love to add some pieces into my staple wardrobe. 

Do you save up to buy luxurious pieces or are you more of a fast fashion kind of person? 

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Luxurious Velvet With Pink Clove

Autumn is definitely coming and my 10 week long travel is coming to an end. What an amazing experience it has been and the memories both Mike and I are left with are all so great.
But before we are heading back to everyday life we are going to Norway for a week and I will need warmer clothes out there than I've needed in Spain.
One of the things I've been looking forward to with coming back to UK is to wear warmer clothes as it's a lot of fun mixing up textures, layering and wearing boots and darker colours.

When I was asked by Pink Clove if I wanted to review one of their new items I chose to go for an item that is very much combining two trends that are very strong at the moment. Velvet and cold shoulder. This beautiful Bright red Chrissy velvet dress with cold shoulders *is such a statement piece for the colder months, either on its own or teamed with a leather jacket. A perfect dress for a that special party where you want to be sexy and still be elegant. Velvet brings me straight back to my youth in the 90s where I was very much embracing this style with my favourite item of clothing being which was a blue tight fitting velvet dress, not unlike the one I'm wearing here. Fashion trends come and go, and I have to admit that velvet is definitely one my favourite trends as I love this luxurious fabric so much.

I'm wearing a size 26 in this dress as this body-con style is very figure hugging and I like a bit of extra room in body-con dresses. I love the length of this dress as it reaches me just below my knees. I would say that 26 in this dress is a teeny bit on the tight side of the scale, especially over the tummy. It's not uncomfortable and it flows nicely over my bumps, but if you're between sizes I would size up if I was you. 

 Beautiful dress for a party or Christmas. Or whenever you just want to feel a bit more glam!

I love mixing textures, so I chose to wear my patent wedges as a nice edgy contrast to the femininity and fluidity of the velvet dress. I think that works so well and looks really cool and sexy. Velvet is a material that screams for attention on its own, so I've chosen to keep the accessories at a minimum. I chose a red necklace with gold accents as red and gold is stunning together.  

  I love the long sleeves and the cold shoulder detail adds even more sexiness to the dress. The neckline is gorgeous as I like my dresses and clothes to be a bit more booby. It feels better when the girls aren't squashed up to your neck! 

I have several pieces of velvet in my wardrobe that I will be using a lot in the winter. Taking these photo in over 30 degrees heat in Spain proved difficult as I was so hot. I was very happy that the photos turned out so we as they did cause I was thinking I looked like a hot mess.

Would you wear velvet? How would you style it?

*this product was gifted to me, but all views are my own.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Spicing Up Cow Cow Dresses.

 It's needless to say that when I saw all the fun prints of the Cow Cow dresses I fell in love! I think it was over at Leah's blog I saw them first and I knew I had to have a few. And for that price I just as well bought four of them. Not everyday you get four dresses for the price of one cheap dress. I paid £20 for all four of them!!!

The first one I wore is this beautiful Chinese blossom dress in lilac. I'm wearing 3X and it's such a great fit. I have got so many compliments when wearing this dress and people can't believe it when they hear the price of it. And it is quite amazing really. These dresses are made in a scuba kind of material that has lots and lots of stretch to it so it shapes itself after your body. The length of the dress is really nice too as it hits me right on my knees. I teamed it with a cardigan in a pastel blue colour and they go so well together. This is probably one of my favourite colour combinations ever as I love pastel colours.

The second dress I've brought with me is this beautiful cat and planets dress in lilac, pink and white. It's such a cute dress and it's my definite favourite of the four.
When I went down to see Leah just before I went out to Spain I wore this dress and she said that with my irridescent backpack from Accessorize I looked like Baby Spice and she said to me, "why don't you put your hair up in some buns or pigtails and you will be Baby Spice". So I did. And here is the result!!!

It was such a fun shoot to do and although I was never a big fan of Spice Girls I always adored the colourful and eclectic style. And it threw me straight back to the 90s. My favourite decade. The decade of me being young, carefree and daring. I used to go around and have multi coloured hair in red and green, blue and black and everything in between. :) My fashion sense was extremely far out there and I loved being noticed!

I adore my backpack from Accessorize. It's just the best investment I've done fashion wise in a long time. It goes with everything. And it certainly makes any outfit a bit more exciting. It goes so well with these quirky and fun dresses from CowCow so I look like I'm taken straight from a 90s magazine.

So far I've only worn two of them as I forgot to pack the other two when I travelled to Spain, but here is a photo of me in all four of them. Please excuse me for not wearing a bra in these photos.

The sizing is the only bad things about these dresses as a lot of people I know have bought them and the sizing is all over the place. I think it has to do with the design of the dresses and what fabric that has been used. I bought mine from Amazon UK and they are all really great size wise. I wear 3X in all of them apart from the Pineapple one which is 2X and as you can see they fit perfectly. These dresses I've got contains 10% Spandex so they are super strechy.

Talking about the 90s, I had a bit of a throw back to the 90s the other day when I was wearing a red top with mesh detailing and round sunglasses. I had my hair in half up bun and I seriously looked like I did in the 90s. I can't believe that it has been 20 years since one of the best years of my life as mentally I still feel like I'm still 21!!!