The 5 Golden Rules of Wearing Rings

30.4.21

If you asked anyone what their favourite item of jewellery was, you'll probably find that most answer with 'rings'. Of course highly popular for symbolic reasons (I have worn my engagement and wedding rings religiously since they were presented to me), they are also easy and stylish to wear for many other occasions. But have you ever thought about the golden rules of ring wearing?


Which Finger?
Of course you can wear rings on any finger. However you may want to consider the symbolism that certain fingers have. The ‘ring finger’ (the one between the middle finger and little finger) tends to be used for engagement rings and wedding rings. In other words, wearing a ring on this finger could suggest to people that you are engaged or married.

When it comes to wearing a ring for fashion purposes though, the little finger tends to be the most common choice. Professional rings and signet rings are also commonly worn on this finger. Wearing a ring on your index finger can symbolise power - many people in positions of authority have traditionally worn a ring on this finger.

Right or Left Hand?
When it comes to rings as a fashion accessory, it’s often worth putting them on your non-dominant hand so that they don’t get in the way - so if you’re right handed for example, you might want to put rings on your left hand. As with engagement and wedding rings, these are traditionally worn on the left hand, so again do bare this in mind if you want to avoid constant questions about marriage.

How Many?
Less is usually more when it comes to jewellery, however there can be an exception when it comes to rings. Stacking rings is actually a really popular way to wear them in current fashion. Make sure to choose rings that complement each other - picking similar metals or gems for example to avoid clashing. But this is definitely an area you can make a statement!

What’s the Occasion?
Certain styles of ring can suit certain occasions. For instance, diamond rings are most often a token of engagement, while gold or silver bands are more commonly used as wedding rings.

When it comes to rings for fashion purposes, it can be wise to consider the formality of the occasion. Big chunky statement rings are suitable for parties or casual wear, but often not suitable for the workplace. In professional settings, it might be best to stick to slimmer rings (the exception being professional signet rings), especially if you use your hands a lot for your job.

What Type of Metal?
It is mostly personal preference when it comes to the metal you choose for rings, especially as both gold and silver can be appropriate for most occasions. Gold tends to look better on those with a warmer tone to their skin, while silver looks better on those that have a cooler tone to their skin.

Just be wary that skin allergies to nickel, copper, gold and silver are common. In such cases you may want to stick to hypoallergenic materials like titanium, which rarely produce allergic symptoms. Cheaper rings can also tarnish quickly if exposed to water or products often, so watch out for green fingers!

This is a collaborative post.

5 Ways to Make your Home Feel More Luxurious

25.4.21

It could be a while until true normality returns, but life feels a whole lot better now that we aren’t restricted to just staying at home. But if you're like us and spent the last year at home spotting everything you don't like and want to change, now really is the perfect time to do it - because what a better time to start than right now? And with the help of these 5 steps, you could have your home feeling more luxurious and how you want it than ever.


Make It Feel Bigger
The perception of space is an essential feature for setting the right tone throughout your home. Increasing natural lighting can make rooms look bigger, and of course decluttering will add to the overall feeling of more space too. It’s not just about the main living space either. Revamping your wardrobe and losing unwanted goods is hugely beneficial. If you focus on one room per weekend, you can make a significant transformation within weeks. Perfect!

Add Kerb Appeal
The outside of your property is far more than just a building - it sets the atmosphere for your home and can impact your emotions each time you return home. Experts such as those at backtofrontexteriordesign.com can complete a full transformation for you. Whether that's adding some trees, a new driveway, or just simply a few small touches such as a new house name can make a big impact. Where suitable, automated gates are a fantastic feature too.

Focus on your Bed
Nothing beats a great night’s sleep, but so many people are actually sleeping on a mattress that isn't right for them (or far too old and uncomfortable). Finding the right mattress firmness level for your requirements should be at the top of your list, closely followed by suitable pillows and duvet to match. You don't need to spend thousands, but this definitely isn't an area where you should just go for the budget option. Luxury starts at home right?

Build a Home Cinema
We are all streaming more content than ever before, so wouldn't it be amazing to create a space where you can watch films and TV shows in full luxury? If you have the space, then professional designers such as those at jnbtech.co.uk can design and build the perfect home cinema for you. If you don't have the room for a dedicated a home cinema, you could get creative and create your own. Projectors aren't too pricey these days, and these can link to a smart device and show directly onto a blank wall - simple but effective!

Garden Upgrades
External appeal shouldn't be limited to the front of your property now more than ever, the garden is the best place to embrace a little outside living. A little luxury goes a long way! Whether it’s adding a deck, building a summerhouse, or creating raised flower beds, just a few simple changes can make a big difference. Artificial grass is another popular choice as it provides a beautiful appearance at all times (and is much easier to upkeep).

This is a collaborative post.

How to Enjoy Smart Entertainment on a Budget

22.4.21

Whether it's cosying up in front of it for movie nights, keeping little ones entertained so you can get chores done, or just simply sitting down with your favourite show with a cuppa - the TV is still the entertainment heart of the home for most. However, nowadays it seems like smart TVs are being used to do so much more than just traditional TV. If you don’t want to fork out the cash needed to upgrade, however, you should know that there are few more affordable alternatives you can stick to instead.


Use What you Have 

Even TVs from a few generations before smart TVs started coming had the ability to connect to all manner of digital devices. This might be your laptop, your PC, or a gaming console. The majority of them can be used as multimedia devices. A laptop or tablet is the most convenient, and you can even buy universal remotes that can act as a mouse allowing you to control it from the comfort of your own seat. You can use the device as a media server or simply hop online and access all of the subscription media services that allow you to access hundreds if not thousands of properties. We still use our playstation as a DVD player!

Plug-In Devices

If you don’t have any convenient digital media devices that could connect to the TV, you can also access all kinds of TV, video websites, and movies on Firestick devices from Amazon. There are guides that can help you download any number of apps so that you can turn one little stick into a whole multimedia center. Simply put, it can effectively upgrade your TV into a smart TV for a fraction of the price. Just remember you still need to pay for the extra subscription services in order to use them.

Save Money

But you might be wondering why you should spend on what might seem like a stopgap when you’re likely going to invest in a smart TV eventually. Smart TVs are likely to become cheaper and more convenient as time goes on aren't they? There are plenty of reasons not to buy them right now though. At the moment, the interfaces tend to be slower, the performance more unreliable, and the security more riddled with holes than the other digital media devices currently on the market. There are great smart TVs out there but the best of the best also tend to be the most expensive so the best bet might be to wait for things to get more affordable and reliable. Having the latest technology isn't always neccesary!

It’s possible to enjoy all the on-demand movies you want, all of the online series, and the subscription TV services without the use of a smart TV. All you need is the right addition to your existing TV and you can save a bundle. 

This is a collaborative post.

5 Reasons to Visit Spain

18.4.21


With summer fast approaching, and travel restrictions looking to be eased over the next few months too, I'm sure we're not the only ones who are looking to the future of holidays and travel again (you can actually read our travel plans for 2021 which I shared recently here).

If you are considering travelling abroad this summer and are looking for the perfect destination, then Spain is a great option to choose. Spain is a country that is not only hot in climate but also has some stunning beaches and landscapes to enjoy. Plus if you are travelling with a family the flight times are really reasonable too. Below are 5 more reasons to consider Spain as your holiday destination this year.


The People

One of the first great reasons for you to visit Spain this year is the people who live there. When visiting many European countries such as Spain or Italy; you will immediately notice a sense of welcoming and family when you arrive. The people in Spain are very friendly and generous and will make you feel at home as soon as you arrive. Consider a trip to a small village in Spain to really experience the family value of this country.

The Beaches

Many of us immediately look toward the coast when we are looking for the perfect summer getaway. Being able to lie on the beach in the sunshine or swim in the sea is always the best feeling, and there are plenty of stunning beaches to enjoy in Spain as well as its islands. Make sure to check out this list of the favourite beaches in Spain and aim to visit a few of them during you stay - you won’t be disappointed.

The Food

Spain is one of those countries that is well known for its food. In Spain, tomato based dishes are very popular as are foods with fresh vegetables and spiced meats. If you have never had tapas before you are in for a treat and you can order a few small plates of food to try and enjoy (perfect to get little ones tasting and trying new foods). Spanish culture is very much about hosting and sharing and you’ll see this very clearly when you go to a Spanish restaurant. The Spanish care about the experience you have as well as the food and you will really feel that sense of home when you visit.

The Countryside

Spain has a lot of beautiful seaside resorts that are incredibly popular all year long for those looking for a getaway. But if you are in the mood for a different kind of holiday, Spain also contains some stunning hiking trails and natural landscapes. For those of you looking for some adventure and a more active holiday, Spain is a wonderful choice and you can explore stunning countryside as well as see some beautiful local wildlife. 


The Vibrant Cities

If it is a short weekend break you are looking for, then why not try one of the vibrant cities in Spain? From Barcelona to Madrid - Spain has some of the most beautiful and architecturally stunning cities in Europe. Either go it alone and explore the cities at your own leisurely pace, or why not looking into booking a site-seeing tour to make sure you don't miss anything. Jack and I are definitely considering Barcelona for a couples break in the future!

This is a collaborative post.

Our Month - March 2021

14.4.21


I know it's only the third month of the year, but my goodness March was my favourite month so far! And thanks to Boris and his roadmap out of lockdown we managed to get a bit more normality back into our lives as each days passed. 

We started the month by finishing up homeschooling - for hopefully the final time this time. It was an incredibly tough few months trying to juggle teaching two children, entertaining a toddler and of course all of this was on top of 'normal' mum-life and all of the glamorous jobs that entails. But we made it through and I am actually SO proud of myself for doing so. I did that (mostly solo too). And we all survived!






Indie and Parker started back at school on the 8th and have settled back in so well. We had school consultations at the end of the month and both of their teachers sung their praises, and they both jumped up reading levels too (so I can't have been as terrible as a teacher as I thought). Within a few days Jack and I both noticed a huge difference in the littles behaviour, especially when it came to Parker. The big two were just so happy to see and play with their friends again and have structure to their day, and Lilah was just so happy to get quality time by herself again.

With the littles back at school, Jack at work and Lilah at preschool a few hours a week, March was also the first month in a loooong time that I was home alone. The first day I ran home as quickly as possible, made myself a hot drink and didn't move until I really had to. And. It. Was. Glorious. Having time to just pop to the shops alone, get work done or just simply enjoy the house staying tidy for longer than 5 minutes has definitely been good for the soul. It got even better at the end of the month when we were allowed to meet in groups of 6 (or two households) again. A catch up with some lovely mums was just what was needed!







Of course I can't write about March without mentioning Mother's Day. Unfortunately it was another lockdown occasion, but thankfully this year we were allowed to at least go out of the house (we were isolating last year). We went for a walk - of course - and then Jack and I got a takeaway in the evening. Simple but perfect.

We have so many plans for April already, and with even more things unlocking throughout the month there's so much to look forward to. It definitely feels like better days are coming now, and I'm finally starting to get excited about the months ahead!

Easy Home Makeover Tips on a Budget

I know I am not the only one who spends a lot of their times lusting over the beautiful, stylish homes on Pinterest and Instagram. It can be hard to keep up with these constantly changing trends though when you’re short on time and money. But if you’re looking for ways to embrace and experiment with new trends, you don’t have to overhaul your interiors or spend a fortune - and hopefully this post will show you how.


Adding Colour and Changing your Palette

One of the easiest and cheapest ways to transform your interiors is changing the colour palette. Even painting a single wall can make an incredible difference to the look and feel of a room. Before you start ordering paint and putting down dust sheets, think about the kind of ambience you want to create and compare tones and shades to find the perfect colour for each space. It’s best to opt for soothing, soft colours for bedrooms and areas where you like to chill out and relax. In living spaces where you entertain and socialise, you can afford to be a little bolder. If you have small rooms, stick to lighter shades and use accessories or soft furnishings to inject colour. Dark shades will make the room look more cramped.

Tiles and Flooring

Changing the tiles or the flooring in a room could help you achieve a brand new look without blowing the budget. You can use kitchen tiles on the walls or floors to add colour, carry a print or design or create a more modern, funky aesthetic. Opting for a light shade can also help to make the space look larger and brighter. In the bathroom, you can use floor or wall tiles to channel a boutique hotel vibe or design a more functional, practical room if you have children. There is a vast array of styles, designs and colours to choose from. Whether you love contemporary monochrome or rustic terracotta, there’s something to suit everyone.

Accessories

Of course the simplest way to change a room is to use accessories and soft furnishings to try out new trends and freshen up the look of your living spaces. You can use everything from lamps, candle holders and plant pots and vases to wall art, shelving units and decorative ornaments to channel themes and add interest. For a romantic boudoir, you could choose a vintage mirror and vases of fresh flowers. For a cool, modern loft-style living room, you could opt for large plants in concrete pots, industrial lamps and wall art featuring graphic lines. If cosy is more your vibe, you can use rugs, blankets, throws and lanterns filled with church candles to create a warm, inviting, relaxing snug.

So if you fancy freshening up your interiors for spring / summer why not go for it! You don’t have to break the bank or spend hours decorating, and if you take these simple tips on board you can achieve an affordable, stress-free mini makeover.

This is a collaborative post.

4 Gift Ideas that Mums REALLY Want

Mother's Day doesn't have to be the only time of year where you show your mum / female mother figure how much you appreciate them. Of course it's an especially special time of year, but actually giving a gift on a random day throughout the year can be much more special.

But what gifts do us mums actually want? In this post I've put together a list of unique and innovative gifts that your mum / step-mum / nan / mum-friend would really love to receive. But remember, no matter what your financial plan is, they will appreciate and love whatever you give because it came from you.


Personalised Gifts

Personalised gifts are always a good idea. Whether it's pictures of you with you mum, grandchild, or even them with their own parents, it will become incredibly special. There are so many options to choose from as well - pillows, blankets, photograph albums, the list is endless! Sites such as Etsy and Not on the High Street are great for this type of gift.

Personalised jewellery is always a good idea. Not only is the gift super special but it can be passed down the generations if you chose good quality materials. A necklace with initials is a beautiful but simple choice, or you could get their favourite animal engraved instead. If your mum wears a watch why not have the back of their watch engraved with a special date or message - subtle but special.

Beautiful Flowers

Nothing beats a bunch of beautiful flowers when it comes to showing someone how much you care. Cheerful tulips are an ideal choice as they come in all sorts of shades, or how about some lush lilies with their striking, large blooms. 

Of course most people have their favourite type of flowers, so definitely take this into consideration before making your choice - there's nothing worse than gifting a large bunch of the wrong flower! You can easily order flowers online now and have them delivered straight to the recipients door - perfect for when we can't see loved ones.

Bath Products

Most mums I know don't have much me-time (this is especially true for any new mamas out there), so gifting some luxurious bath products will give them the perfect excuse to find some time to relax. You can find some fantastic gift sets that include everything you need: bath bombs, face masks, hand creams... just remember to avoid overly perfumed products as these aren't usually the best. There are lots of sellers who made home-made products now too, so why not try supporting a small business while gift hunting.

'Mother' Clothing

I'm the proud owner of a few items of 'mum' clothing now. Not only are they comfortable and practical items to wear again and again, they let you proudly share the mama message. Of course this type of gift isn't going to be to everyone's taste so it's worth keeping this in mind. If this is the case you could gift an accessory such as a tote bag or makeup bag instead.

This is a collaborative post.

Our Travel Hopes and Plans for 2021

12.4.21

With the country moving into the next stage out of lockdown this week, I thought it would be a good time to start discussing our travel plans for the rest of the year. We were lucky enough to get away on a couple of mini UK breaks last year - we spent a few days in Weymouth over the summer, and then a long weekend in Norfolk during the October half term. But the desire to jump on a plane is still incredibly strong! Of course I am thinking logically though, as I know that travelling abroad may still be a little tricky for months to come. But that doesn't stop me from dreaming does it?

UK Break

The first holiday we're hoping goes ahead this year is our postponed trip to Hampshire with Jack's parents. We've booked a holiday park for the week after schools break up, so as long as the roadmap out of lockdown continues we should be ok! We'll probably keep the week as relaxed and unplanned as possible, just enjoying being by the sea and eating all the ice creams, and will most likely visit a few local National Trusts too. The littles have already requested a day at Paulton's Park while we're in the area which I must admit I'm rather excited about too.


Theme Park Mini Break

Last year we became Merlin Annual Passholders, and we've wanted to make use of the theme park resort hotel discounts ever since. We've already booked trips twice (and had them cancelled both times due to Covid), so fingers crossed we can actually make it to Alton Towers - the last time we visited was back in 2019 so the littles will be able to go on so much more this time! We've booked the weekend away as a final summer treat for us all, which should be made extra exciting by the fact we're now actually working with MAP too as one of their MAP collaborators. 


A Hopeful Trip Abroad

We've set aside some time in October where we could potentially go on a last minute holiday, and although we're putting off booking anything right now, the urge to just go for it is unreal! Jack and I have both looked into a few different destinations that are still going to be decent weather-wise that time of year. Cyprus is warm most of the year-round and wouldn't be too far to fly with the littles either, although Parker is constantly talking about heading back to Ibiza so that could be a top contender too. And you know me, I'm forever dreaming of a Disneyland Paris trip so that's probably top of my list of destinations!

This is a collaborative post.