Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Villa Or Hotel; Which One's For You?

Image from Pixabay

You’ve probably been on more than a few holidays in your lifetime. Now that you’re the one organising them, don’t they seem a little less relaxing than they should be? If your last trip seemed too noisy or fast-paced, then the issue might be in the accommodation you’re choosing. While there are a few setbacks to choosing a villa holiday, it can make for a relaxing, flexible trip.
First of all, villas have an advantage everyone can appreciate. By and large, they’re considerably cheaper, as you pay for them by the week rather than by the day. Villas also have much lower running expenses than other accommodation options. Of course it varies depending on the location and villa itself, but you usually get a pretty big place for an affordable weekly charge. The value doesn’t stop there though! Choosing a villa gives you a lot more freedom in terms of flights, insurance and vehicle hire. Whereas all-inclusive hotel deals are tied up in an inflexible pack, when you rent a villa you’ll have all the freedom you could want. Less of the planning is done for you, but this can often be a good thing!

Image from Wikimedia
Another great thing about villas is the privacy. You don’t have to worry about getting up early and scrambling for sunbeds. You can also nap long into the day without being disturbed by cleaners and other guests. In short, you’ll have absolutely nothing to worry about when you’re walking around with too much sun lotion and a cocktail that’s far too tall! The locations for many villas adds to this kind of privacy, but can be a slight disadvantage compared to hotels. You might be perfectly happy being surrounded by unspoilt Languedoc villages or quiet, Tuscan farmsteads. However, these tranquil spots will often put you a fair distance from all the beaches and bars. No matter how idyllic the villa looks, make sure to check how far you are from everything and ask your travelling party about what they want to do.
There are a lot of advantages villas have over hotels. Still, don’t book anything before considering the drawbacks. Villas are self-catering, for one. This not only means that you’ll be missing out on some amazing buffets, but can make a nice villa much harder to locate than a good hotel. Unlike hotels, villas aren’t standardised either. This can require a lot more research past looking at the number of stars! Even if two villas have the exact same price per week, they could be vastly different in terms of quality. Also, if you’re thinking of a romantic getaway for two, the villa option could end up being a lot more expensive than travelling with a group.
Despite these disadvantages, hiring a villa can be a wonderful way to stay during your trip. It’s a must if you’re the kind of person who likes every last part of their travels to be under their control. Find the right one, and your next holiday might be truly unforgettable!

Missing A Loved One? Try These Ideas To Feel Closer To Those You've Lost

Bereavement is such a tough and personal event in life. We will all lose people we love dearly. But some of those losses can be so painful it can feel like we just can’t move on. There are lots of different ways to mourn the passing of a loved one. Cultures all around the world have different ideas about how to manage the grieving process. I think it’s down to the individual to mourn in any way that helps them cope with such pain. If you’ve suffered the loss of a loved one, why not try some of these lovely ideas to help:

Photos of your loved ones help you feel like they are still close by. Even though your loved one will always be in your heart, seeing their face in a photo can help you feel less alone. Some people like to talk to the photo. This is quite common, and it can really help you overcome the huge loss. Loneliness, after someone has passed, is one of the hardest things to manage. It doesn’t hurt to have a photo of their face nearby.

Lockets are such lovely ideas that originated hundreds of years ago. Because the locket is worn on a necklace chain around your neck, it helps you keep your loved one close to your heart. Some lockets contain a photo of loved ones. Others contain a lock of hair. Lockets are used to keep loved ones close to you, both living and passed. They are like little, wearable keepsakes.

Of course, lots of people wear jewelry that reminds them of loved ones. It might be a gift that was given by them to you. Or it might be something they once wore. If you’re looking for something extra special to remind you of your loved one you could try a diamond made from ashes. The carbon in the ashes can be used to create a diamond that can then be set in a beautiful ring for you to wear. Some people even use them for wedding jewelry later on. It’s a wonderful way to keep your loved one close to you.

Regular memorials give you the chance to remember your loved one. You can gather the family and your friends each year on their birthday or the day they passed to remember that person together. You can say a few words about them. It’s a way to celebrate their life and celebrate the love that you had for them. Sometimes old photos will be shown or video clips. This helps you all remember the person that has passed on.

Losing a loved one is heartbreaking. You can feel like you’re all alone, even when you’re in a room full of people. It’s almost like there is a huge gap in your life, and that can last a long time. But if you can find ways to celebrate the life that is lost, the loss can be a little easier to handle. Having a keepsake or reminder of that person with you also provides a little comfort. There’s no replacement, but having something to remember them by can help bring a smile to your face once again.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Ins And Outs Of Hosting A Big Family Dinner Party

Whether you’re planning on hosting a dinner party just to get everyone together or are planning in advance for this year’s holidays. It’s important that you’re aware of all the ins and outs of dinner party hosting. There’s a lot more to planning a dinner party than meets the eye, and it’s important to realize that. There’s a lot of stress, planning and effort that goes into organizing a successful dinner party. To help you plan the most amazing family dinner, here are a few must-know planning tips.

dinner party.jpg

Don’t attempt a new recipe, stick to what you know

It’s only natural that whatever event you’re celebrating, be it a birthday, Friday night, or holiday, you want to wow your guests. However, making a fancy new dish for them is never a good idea, no matter how easy it is. To ensure your food is a success, stick to food that you’ve made countless times before and have perfected. There’s nothing like stressing out about how a new dishes will turn out when you have guests coming.

It’s also essential that when it comes to selecting dishes, that you take any dietary requirements into account. Today, food allergies and intolerances are a lot more common, which means the chances are that at least one of your guests will suffer from one.

Prepare in advance and freeze things

Make things easier for yourself by doing as much preparation beforehand as possible. You should be able to make a few of your dishes beforehand, so that on the day, you don’t have to get every last dish made. If you’re unsure what dishes can be made in advance and frozen, Google it. Pretty much anything, apart from salad and fresh vegetable dishes, can be made, cooked, and then froze.

Start cooking earlier than you should

Make sure that on the day of the dinner party that you start cooking earlier than you normally would. You’re probably not used to cooking for so many people at once, so it’s a good idea to start a little earlier. While people are happy to wait for a delicious meal, they won’t want to be eating too late. That’s why it’s best to start cooking a little earlier, to ensure that everything is done in time.

Have a plan B in place

The chances are that it won’t happen, but should something go wrong; it’s crucial that you have a plan B in place. For example, should the cooker break down while you’re preparing your holiday dinner party feast. It’s essential that you have the number for a company that offers holiday kitchen appliance repairs. As well as the number for a catering company, in case the oven can’t be fixed in time, to cook everything. Reduce your stress and always ensure that you have a plan B in place.

Put snacks out to keep guests going

To prevent your guests from getting too hungry, make sure to lay out some nibbles for them to snack on. Nuts, bread, crisps and dips, cheese and cold meats, and raw veggies, all make great nibbles.

Have a serve-yourself drinks station

Last but not least, instead of serving the drinks yourself, create a drinks station. You’ll be under enough pressure as it is, without having to keep on top of filling people’s glasses. So your best bet is to create a drinks station where guests can help themselves to whatever they want to drink.

Hosting a dinner party may not be as easy as you’d think, but if you take note of the tips above, you can make it less stressful for yourself.

Unique Travel Destinations For Valentine's Day

Valentine’s day is almost here. If you’re thinking of spoiling your loved one this year, why not skip the card and chocolates and plan a mini-break instead. Nothing shows someone quite how much you care as much as a surprise romantic trip, especially if you’ve been together a long time. Plus with so many destinations to choose from you really are spoilt for choice. So use this fantastic guide to inspire you and start planning your trip today.

See the Northern Lights In Greenland

Taking your Valentine to magical Greenland Magical Greenlandto see the aurora borealis is a one in a lifetime experience. You could sit in a cosy log cabin by a roaring fire and watch the supernatural colours light up the sky above. Or you could stay in a glass igloo surrounded by snow for a more unique accommodation option. It’s a natural wonder than many people would love to see as it is so unusual, making it a perfect Valentine's day destination. While you wait for the lights to begin you can also go dog sledding, kayaking or snowmobiling to see every aspect of this beautiful country. Experiencing something so spectacular together will give you a fantastic memory to treasure forever. Just remember to pack your thermals as it can get very cold in winter.

Go shopping in Morocco

If you’d rather go somewhere slightly more exotic, Morocco could be the destination for you. It’s renowned for it’s markets where they sell almost anything you can imagine. You could take your Valentine for a unique and memorable shopping trip where you can treat her to anything she desires. You could even buy her valentine’s day gift in one of the thousands of shops and stalls. Spend time exploring the colourful stalls and trying out the local delicacies such as mint tea and makouda. It might also be fun to try bartering with the locals to see if you can grab yourself a bargain. Afterwards, why not head to a hammam or Turkish bath for an afternoon of pampering with hot mud baths, saunas and massages. This is an ideal trip if you love meeting people and finding out more about a country, and it’s cultures.

Hop aboard a train in London

Travelling by train can actually be highly romantic and a fantastic choice for valentine's day. If you haven’t got the budget for a trip abroad, a luxury train ride may be the next best thing. You can hop on board a sleeper train in London that will take you all the way up to Scotland. You can dine in the lounge car and the retire to your own comfortable room where you can take in all the wonderful scenery along the way.

With only just over a week to go, you need to start planning and booking as soon as possible. The last thing you want is to disappoint your Valentine. Also, remember to give your loved one enough time to pack their essentials and plan suitable outfits for your romantic adventure. You’ll undoubtedly end up in their good books after this.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Fashion and Style Tips Everybody Should Know

When it comes to fashion and style, many people don’t realise that they are two completely different things. Fashion usually refers to the trends that are mainstream at any given time, while style never fades. You aren’t always born with style, but it’s something you can practice and get better at. You just need to do a few things first to make sure you have your style down to a T. Use the tips in this guide to help you:
Only Follow a Trend if You Love it
You should only ever follow a trend if you love it and you know you’ll get your wear out of it. The problem with following trends is that after a couple of weeks, they all become obsolete. So all of the money you’ve spent on new clothes goes to waste, because you stop wearing them! Only if you’re sure you’ll wear a trend over and over, should you follow it. It’s always better to be unique!

Don’t Buy Anything You Don’t Absolutely Love
You should only ever buy items that you absolutely love. Be vigilant with the items that get into your wardrobe. Be as picky with them as you are with your partners! Don’t buy clothes for the sake of it, or in a panic. You should only spend money on items that you really feel describe you and your personal style. To help you know what will get the most wear, assess your wardrobe currently. Work out what works for you and why, and what hasn’t. Was it the style? The colour? Then aim to buy more things like that in future.
Always Accessorize
You should always accessorize your outfits if you want to make the most of them. Accessories can make an outfit look even better. You don’t need to pile on the jewels either, you can just add a few subtle pieces. Try to fill in a few gaps and see how you get on. Just bear in mind that accessorizing can be a whole different ball game. It might be best if you’re confident styling yourself before you start playing with jewellery.
Know What Suits Your Body Type
There are lots of different body types. There’s the pear, the apple, and petite to name just a few. Knowing what suits your body type is key to looking incredible. Whether you’re wearing an abaya dress or a suit, getting it to suit your body is important.
Use the Rule of Thirds
The rule of thirds can make outfits look way more interesting, not to mention flattering. You should never wear an outfit that splits you in half, as it looks out of proportion. You should always wear outfits that work in thirds. For example, a high waisted skirt and tucked in blouse. Perhaps even a long tunic top and a pair of leggings.
Mix Vintage With Modern Fashion
Mixing vintage and modern pieces helps you to create a seriously stylish look of your own. Have fun with it!
Ready to have fun with your style? Leave a comment!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Considering Self Catering Your Own Wedding? Read This

No matter what size your wedding is going to be, you will always need catering. Some wedding venues will not have the capabilities to cater or have an overpriced menu available. This could mean that you may have to do it yourself. This can save you a lot of money but also add some additional pressure onto you to get everything organised. So you need to carefully consider if this is the right route for you and if you have the time and resources to make it a success. Here are some key things you need to consider before you make a decision.

What kind of food can I serve
Unless you are the owner of a restaurant style kitchen or have advanced culinary skills, it’s unlikely that you will be able to have a five-course meal. Think carefully about how many people will be attending and choose your food options wisely. A hot or cold buffet with
Do I have the time and resources?
Self-catering takes more time and energy than you probably realise. You will need to buy the food and drink then prepare, store and cook it. If you don’t have the necessary facilities and time, this could be a recipe for disaster. Once you have decided upon a style of food, make sure you have sufficient space and ask friends and family to help you. Also, make sure you don’t have any other commitments in the days leading up to your wedding. Otherwise, you may not have the time to get your catering preparations started. Remember to consider how you are going to quickly transport the food and where you are going to store it at the venue.

How much alcohol should I supply??
Unless you have decided upon a drink free affair, alcohol will always be expected at a wedding. It is a celebration after all. A good rule of thumb is to calculate one drink per guest per hour of your reception. Some guests may drink more and some less, but this should help you work out just how much you need. Also, consider the prices of your alcohol. For instance, the johnnie walker blue label price can vary from store to store. So shop around to find the best deal possible to keep your costs down.

Remember it’s always better to have too much than not enough. Your guests can always take food and drink home with them if you wish. If you have the time, resources and a suitable budget, there is no reason why you can’t make it a success.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Top Tips To Look Stunning On Your Wedding Day

Looking your best on your wedding day is absolutely essential. You want to be the most beautiful person in the room. Most importantly, you want everyone to remember that moment when you shone brighter than the stars. There are lots of ways you can ensure you are radiant for your big event.

Start with having a spa day a few days before. You might enjoy it as part of your hen night. Most day spas offer a bridal package. They include things like manicures, pedicures, facials and hair removal. Then, of course, comes the champagne and massage! You can be spoilt and pampered for the last time as a single lady. Lush!

Even if you don’t have a facial at a spa, it’s worth spending some time on your skin in the run up to your wedding day. Exfoliate gently, and keep on top of your moisturising routine. This will help prevent dry patches and breakouts that may appear under your makeup on the big day. It’s especially important you cleanse thoroughly on your wedding morning as your makeup will be heavier. You’ll be wearing it all day so it could leave your skin vulnerable to clogged pores

Choose bridal jewellery that suits you. Less is more. A simple necklace, your engagement ring, and some drop earrings are usually enough. Then you can add your tiara or hairpiece to finish your look. Using a hair stylist can help ensure your hair looks stunning under your veil. Curls are still very popular for bridal hair. Up dos are also still on trend, or you can try hair extensions for a half up and half down look.

Makeup needs to be heavier than usual for the bride. This is so it shows up well on any wedding photography and videos. There are plenty of bridal makeup artists for you to choose from. Choose products that stay all day, as there will be little opportunity for touch-ups. Blush is quite important to get that rosy glow for a bride. False lashes help open up the eyes and create feminine elegance for your look.

Fake tans can help if you are quite pale and have a sleeveless dress. Alternatively, a little moisturiser with bronzer can do the trick. Have a look at for some ideas. Keeping your skin soft and supple is important if it will be exposed on the day. And summer brides need to avoid tan lines and burns that will show up!

Your wedding photographer is responsible for capturing the whole day. Most importantly, a good photographer will be able to show you at your most beautiful. Check out to see how to find a photographer with a knack for catching those natural moments where your smile is most genuine. Angles and light choices go a long way to bringing out your natural beauty. The venue should have plenty of places for naturally lit photography to be a success.

Finally, choose a dress that suits your body shape. Maintaining a good posture will help show off its detail beautifully and help maintain your perfect silhouette. With all these tips, you’re sure to look stunning on your wedding day.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Beauty Addict’s Guide To Travel Essentials

Whether you’re heading off for a mini break or are taking a business trip, there’s no need to wave goodbye to looking your best. Even if you need to travel light, you can still ensure that all your hair and beauty needs are met. It’s just a case of being smart about your packing.

To help you ensure that you have everything that you need to look your best while away,  we have put together a guide to all the essentials.

Hair care essentials

It goes without saying that for any trip, you will need your fave shampoo and conditioner. (Ideally, in mini bottles to save room when it comes to packing.) But what other hair care products do you need? This will depend on your hair type and, of course, where you are going.

If, for example, you curl or straighten your hair every day, your curling ironing or straightener is a must, as is a bottle of heat protector spray. If, for instance, your hair is prone to drying out, you might also want to pack a deep conditioning mask. Of course, there are also your daily styling products to think about - your mousses, sprays and gels. If you want one product that can be used for all manner of things, Argan Oil is ideal.

Skincare must-haves

What are the most important skincare items for travel? Cleanser, toner and moisturiser go without saying, but what else is a must-have? If you’re heading off for longer than a few days, an exfoliating scrub is also essential.

To make it easier to travel light, opt for mini versions of your favourite products. Instead of taking bottles of cleanser and toner, pack cleansing and toning wipes. They might not be as good, but they’ll do the job and will make your suitcase a little lighter.

Miscellaneous bits and bobs

From hair ties to your toothbrush and toothpaste, there are a few travel essentials that don’t fall into the above categories.

If you wear glasses or contact lenses, it’s crucial that you remember to pack these, so pop them at the top of your list. Remember if your lens stash is running low, to reorder from, at least, two weeks before your trip. How about treating yourself to a cute mini contact lens travel case for keeping your lenses and solution safe while you travel?

Your hairbrush is also a must-have. If, however, you don’t want to pack your usual brush because it’s too bulky, swap it for a space-saving Tangle Teezer. These are amazing for keeping your hair looking good and work wonders on tangles, hence the name.


And last but not least, your makeup. When it comes to packing for a trip, choosing what makeup to take can be tricky. The best thing to do is to limit yourself to one of each product, instead of taking every piece of makeup you own.

For bases, a concealer pot, foundation or BB cream, and a setting powder are essentials. For highlighting, you’ll need a blusher, bronzer, and highlighting mini palette or cream - Benefit does a nice one. And for your eyes, eyeliner, mascara and a mini shadow palette is perfect. Oh, and don’t forget to pack your sponges or brushes, else you’ll have to use your fingers.

There you are, all the must-have beauty essentials for your next trip.

Tips to Help You to Take Better Photos

Did any of you set goals this year? One of my goals is to take better photographs. I love capturing special moments. It is so nice to have the memory to look back on. It also works well for this blog. Good photos on a blog are a must. At the moment, though, I’m just not impressed with what I take. I have been doing a little research and want to share what I have learnt about making my photos look better. Hope these tips are useful for you too.
Get to Know Your Camera
Some of you may be using the camera on your phone. Some of you will be using a ‘point and shoot’ style camera or a DSLR. Whatever type of camera you are using, it is important to get to know your camera. There will be a lot of features that you should play around with an practice with. The better you know your camera and what it is capable of, the better your photos will turn out.

It is important to take photos under natural light. The best place is by a window on a cloudy day. You can brighten photos afterwards but it is tricky to edit out the glare from sunshine. You should avoid using the built-in flash as much as possible. This can make things rather awkward but when I want styled photos for the blog, I need to time it all just right and take them in daylight. 
You should also move around to find the best light. If you are photographing food, you don’t need to feel like you can only take photos in the kitchen. Think about your home and which rooms are naturally brighter or get the sun. Using some tablecloths or props, you can get great photos taken in a bedroom and no one will be able to tell.

Look Around for Inspiration
There are some amazing photographers out there. The great thing for us is that their work is online, and we can look at their websites. Take Darren Howe Photo for example. Find some photographers that you like and then browse their work. If there is a style that they go for or a look with their editing, try to emulate it. Imitation is the best form of flattery! 
Try to take it easy with the editing. Less can certainly be more. If you have a decent camera, and you got the lighting right for the photo, it shouldn’t need too much editing. Try to brighten the pictures slightly and sharpen a little. This can be a trial and error thing, but practice makes perfect.

Snap Away!
You just need to take a lot of photos! You will be bound to get a few that you like out of them. I think lifestyle shots are best when they aren’t too styled so just snap away at your family when they are doing their normal things or out for a walk. It captures real emotions, and they will make great memories.

Friday, January 8, 2016

4 Essential Items To Put On Your Honeymoon Packing List

A honeymoon is a fabulous excuse to continue the celebrations from your wedding day. But in all the excitement of planning their big day, many brides leave the honeymoon organising to the last minute. This can be a recipe for disaster if you leave for your trip the day after your wedding. So it’s best to get your packing done as soon as you can. 

Here are a few essential items you should be putting on your packing list to help get you started.

Something amazing to wear on your first night

The first night of your honeymoon you will still be buzzing about your big day. So why not wear something amazing to add to your first night away. Whatever your style is, find something that is that extra bit special to bring the wow factor to your evening. It could be a beautiful evening dress or a sparkly top that you can wear to dinner or during a romantic stroll. You could plan a surprise for your partner and encourage them to dress up too. Making an effort will just enhance the romance of this early stage of your trip.


It doesn’t matter where you are travelling to a hat will always be a useful item to have. It could protect you from the sun on the beach or keep you warm during a winter city break. Oversized floppy hats are ideal for providing you with plenty of shade. While beanie hats are great for stopping your hair getting windswept. Always choose a style that suits you and fits you properly. Also, carefully consider the colour to make sure you choose one that goes with anything.


The majority of newly married couples opt for sunny beach locations on their honeymoon. So whether you go to the beach or have your own private pool, swimwear should be a top priority item. Swimsuits and bikinis will be essential if you want to go for a swim or even just for sunbathing. Again, make sure the fit is perfect and go for a statement colour. Also, remember to pack a kaftan, maxi dress or a loose top to wear over your swimwear, that will protect you from getting burnt by the sun.

Sensible shoes
While heels are perfect for an evening, practical and comfortable footwear is a must. It’s likely you’ll be spending a lot of time walking around the local area or visiting popular tourist attractions. The last thing you want is to be complaining about how much your feet hurt. Ballet flats, sandals and plimsolls are all excellent options. If you’re buying new shoes, always try to wear them at least once before you go. This will reduce the chance of you getting blisters and gives you an opportunity to change them if they don’t fit correctly.

Most of your packing will depend on the location you are travelling to. But these items are universal and can be used at any honeymoon destination. Think carefully about what you pack to ensure you don’t take more than you need.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

4 Things To Think About When Selecting Your Wedding Jewellery

If you’re about to tie the knot, you’re probably in the process of picking out your wedding jewellery. When it comes to selecting your wedding day pieces, it’s important to think things through. Many brides make the mistake of rushing into picking certain designs and end up upstaging the dress or worse, it clashing. Don’t make this mistake, take your time and be choosy about the pieces that you select.
Because most jewellery is so subtle, many brides don’t realise how easy it is to get it wrong. However, if you pick the wrong jewellery designs, it can have a big impact on your look. To help you ensure that you look amazing on your wedding day, w
e have put together a guide to four things to think about when choosing jewellery.
Source for photo

1. Don’t go too OTT
Whatever you do, don’t get too over the top with your jewellery. You don’t want people to remember you as the bride with too much jewellery; you want them to remember you as having a lovely dress.
So make sure not to go too mad with your jewellery, unless, of course, your dress is very simple. Then a couple of statement pieces could work well. However, as a rule, think of your jewellery as the background singers and your dress as the lead. The idea is that your dress should be centre stage, after all, you only get one wedding dress.
2. Take your rings into account
An important factor to take into account when picking your jewellery is your engagement and wedding rings. You don’t want to opt for pieces that don’t work well with the metal or style of these.
Whether you’ve opted for simple ring styles or more lavish Verragio rings your jewellery shouldn’t take focus away from them. It’s a good idea to leave your hands bare of any other rings, and only have a necklace, earrings, and a bracelet on.
3. Don’t pick your jewellery until you have a dress
Many brides make the mistake of choosing their wedding jewellery before the dress; this is a big no-no. You don’t want to be dress shopping and panicking about how well the dress you’ve fallen in love with will match your jewellery, do you?
You might think you know what dress design you want, so you can pick your jewellery, but the truth is, you never know what dress you’ll end up with. You may fall in love with a dress that’s completely different to how you imagined it would be. So whatever you do, avoid jewellery buying until after you’ve sorted your dress.
4. Don’t rule out coloured pieces
Many brides make the mistake of ruling out coloured jewellery before even giving it a chance. While some coloured designs can be tacky, that’s not always the case.
If you buy from a reputable company and choose the colours carefully, coloured pieces can sometimes work well. This is especially true if the jewellery is blue, as every bride needs her something blue.
The jewellery that you choose for your wedding will make a big difference when it comes to how you look. So when picking out your pieces, it’s crucial to get it right.
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