Thanks for reading!
Thanks for reading!
London remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, with almost 38 million inbound visits in 2018 alone making up 50% of all UK visits. It is a city of great culture, history and atmosphere and it has so much to offer that it’s unlikely you’ll get everything in during just one visit. However, if you are visiting for the first time and want to get a handle on the ‘must visit’ locations then look no further.
Harrods – No trip to London can be complete without a couple of hours spent in the world’s most famous luxury department store. Even if you don’t want to buy anything (and with the prices, we certainly wouldn’t blame you) it’s worth a visit just to marvel at the decor, the decadence and the iconic Egyptian escalator. Not to mention the food court!
The Museums – London perhaps rivals even New York as the city with the most to offer in terms of astonishing museums. Within walking distance of one another you’ll find the National History Museum, the V&A, the TATE Modern and the British Museum. That’s before we even begin to mention the more esoteric selections such as the Sherlock Holmes Museum. You could spend a week in London just doing a museum tour, but if you’re only planning a flying visit then you might want to consider your interests and research beforehand, planning your available time accordingly.
Camden Market – Very much the yin to the yang of Harrods and Oxford Street, Camden Market is a hive of activity and is home to some of the best bargains in the city. It’s also a hipster’s paradise surrounded by bars and restaurants offering everything from artisanal street food to gourmet cuisine. The area is also legendary for its live music scene. Placed alongside the lock, it’s the market that remains the real draw, however. For those of you with a little more cash to flash, meanwhile, Notting Hill Market offers a similar atmosphere only with a far more exclusive price tag.
Kings Cross – If you’re travelling to London by rail, then chances are you’re catching a train to King’s Cross station. The station is a legitimate tourist attraction in and of itself, particularly if you’re a fan of the Harry Potter books and movies. Indeed, ‘platform 9 and 3/4’ has become one of the most iconic photo opportunities in the city in recent years.
Tower of London – A London day out like no other, this is the big one. Experience the 900-year-old former old royal palace, prison and zoo (really) and sink into the history of the place, which also happens to contain the world’s most famous jewellery – the crown jewels. Not only one of the most famous building’s in the world but one of the most well-kept historical relics in Europe, if you only have time to do one thing in London, this should probably be up there.
PAYOT’s new firming Roselift Collagéne collection adopts a beautifully refreshing attitude; focusing on ‘Slow Ageing’ rather than Anti-Aging – supporting, slowing & enhancing the natural ageing process rather than fighting it.
The Roselift range nourishes skin, using the latest advances in skincare science working in unison with PAYOT’s patented ROSActive extract to nourish mature skin, leaving it feeling plump and radiant.
Two of the products in the new range were sent to me to try, I’ve been focussing on eye care recently as I’m great at remembering my face but not so good when it comes to the skin around my eyes, so I was interested to see how they worked and I love PAYOT as a brand, being the complete Francophile that I am!
The delicate skin under the eyes is one of the first places to show visible signs of ageing. PAYOT‘s ultra-lightweight lifting eye cream works to gently lift the eye contour and open up the eyes; thanks to the mechanic tightening effect of Oat extract. Silk tree extract – also included in this product’s rich formula, reduces puffiness and dark circles.
I’ve been using this twice a day, gently patting it into the skin around my eye socket. I have very pale skin, which highlights dark circles, so anything that can reduce those (alongside more sleep please & thank you) is a winner for me. £38 for 15ml
Beautifully refreshing, these fast-working, anti-fatigue eye patches revive tired under-eyes for a radiant, luminous effect. Hydrogel texture provides an amazing sensation when placed on the skin.
The patches are easy to apply, you just leave them on for 10-15 minutes to let the ingredients do their thing, remove and pat in any extra product into the skin.
For a 3-week intensive treatment apply the patches every other day, while using the cream twice a day each day. You can put them in the fridge before you use them, for a more intense ‘wake-me-up’ result. £40 for 10 individual sachets.
All items are available to buy from here.
Green People founder Charlotte Vøhtz has proudly put her name to what is now her signature range, Age Defy+ by Cha Vøhtz. The range is the result of Charlotte spending years exploring key actives, oil blends and luxurious scent profiles. And this month sees two new products being introduced. I have long loved Green People, so I was excited to see these new products in action!
For me, a body oil *is* pure luxury. It’s not something I tend to use all the time, despite knowing I probably should, but something that seems to be complete decadence.
This Pure Luxe Body Oil by Cha Vøhtz is made with 84% certified organic ingredients and is a blend of essential oils and plant botanicals, creating liquid nourishment for the skin.
It’s been developed to lock in intense hydration and is rich in phospholipids which deliver benefits direct to cells for superior radiance and unrivalled skin glow.
Nourishing and skin softening, with super absorbency levels it ensures antioxidants, nutrients and vitamin E are delivered direct to the skin, leaving a beautiful satin-soft finish.
Pure Luxe Body Oil’s aroma is a beautiful balance of essential oils including Mandarin and Neroli, which smells exactly like a spa treatment, absolutely heavenly. The best way to use this is straight after a bath or shower, onto damp skin so it can be absorbed fully.
Two of my favourite words right there. Sleep & Mask.
An intensely hydrating leave-on sleep mask to quench thirsty skin, drawing on a unique blend of antioxidant-rich plant actives, vitamins and omega oils to stimulate collagen production, regenerate, balance and purify skin.
The Hydra-Glow Sleep Mask contains Green Macro Algae and plant Squalane to help stimulate collagen production and lock in moisture where your skin needs it most. It also has vitamins and Omega-3&6-rich oils to soothe and soften the skin.
I’ve been using this for a few weeks now as I was sent it before it launched, and it’s just amazing. Used 2-3 times a week, you apply a generous layer to freshly cleansed skin, leaving on overnight – I tend to put mine on after I’ve had my bath or shower so it gets just that little bit extra time to work it’s magic – when you remove it in the morning your skin feels so soft, but not in a greasy, product way. In a deep down, nourished from the inside way and make up just sits better, even on the dehydrated parts of my skin. Winner!
Both products are available from Green People, the Pure Luxe Body Oil costs £25.00 for 50ml and the Sleep Mask is £32.00 f0r 50ml.
Despite it being 17 years ago, I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday.
Silly moments stick in my head the most, like the midwives asking me, on a scale of 1 – 10 how bad the pain was, and me replying that I had no idea as I’d never done it before! In my head, it was clearly a 10 but my rational side told me it was going to get a lot worse!
The pethidine making me feel like I was in the room but not quite there, telling the anaesthetist that I loved them for giving me an epidural, regardless of the fact that I was adamant I didn’t want one.
T disappearing below my knees when the epidural was being put in because he can’t stand needles but still wanted to support me, from the floor.
Then, 16 hours later there you were. Placed on my chest, your tiny, tiny bottom fitting in one of my palms.
Jet black hair, bright blue eyes that were wide open and staring at everyone in the room, but mostly at me. You didn’t make a single sound when you were born, I had to ask if you were ok, expecting a screaming baby, but nothing. Just you, completely calm, alert and absolutely beautiful.
Weighed at 6lb 13oz (so much for the “she’ll be a big baby” comments) and checked, then it was time to remove all the tubes, wires & plasters from me, having a wash and being wheeled to the ward. I still remember the amazement that they let me hold you the whole way there! What if I dropped you, or didn’t know what I was doing & they realised. But, luckily, I didn’t and they didn’t…..
The next few days were a whir of visitors, people popping in to meet you and give you cuddles. Looking back now, I wish I’d kept it just the two of us for a while longer. Our own private baby bubble.
When we finally made it home it felt real. You were so brand new but it felt like I’d known you forever.
Those days were so long ago, but they feel like they’re in touching distance, that they were moments that just happened.
I don’t think I realised until I had you, how fast time goes. Even then, as a new mum, when days felt never-ending and I was exhausted beyond recognition, I didn’t appreciate how quickly it would be gone.
What I wouldn’t give to have those moments all over again, you falling asleep on my chest every evening, eating dinner with one hand because you needed to be cuddled, snuggling up on the sofa watching Dora the Explorer over and over and over again, your tiny little hand always in mine, always making sure I was there, just in case.
Sometimes, I lay in bed at night, listening to you laughing at something on your phone and wonder how we’ve got to seventeen. How we have blinked, and the years have gone.
I think about all the things I did wrong as a parent, the times I shouted at you or punished you when I should have listened and cuddled you instead. When I didn’t really know what I was doing and we learnt together, all the times I sent you to bed and then felt guilty for something and would wake you up to give you one last kiss.
I remember so much about you but feel like I’ve forgotten it all at the same time. I’m scared and excited by your future all at the same time. If I could replay the last 17 years all over again, knowing what I know now, I would, in a heartbeat.
I am so proud of the woman you’ve become. The kindest, most gentle soul I will ever know. You make me laugh more than anyone, and I know, without a shadow of a doubt I can trust you. I also know you can’t lie to save your life, and I’m proud of that too!
I’m so glad I got you, seventeen years and two days ago. That is most definitely one thing I wouldn’t ever change.
Happy Birthday H-Bo xxx
We all love travelling – the excitement of visiting a different country and exploring a new culture is a very special feeling. Plus, all the new food that you’ll be trying for the first time. What’s not to like?
I personally travel most often by plane, it’s easy, fast and many times cheaper than spending a day out in London. Plus, I love airports (not a popular opinion, I know)! I think that airports are part of my travels rather than the means to an end. Airports are just like small cities with everything you need and for me, it’s super fascinating how everything works in order for passengers to have a stress-free experience (most times).
One of my favourite things to do at an airport is to go sit down next to one of those large windows, look out of it and notice all the airport staff and bits of equipment that are used for each plane to be ready for boarding. So, basically, I love people watching.
A few years ago, whilst I was people watching, I started to wonder what all the equipment was and what it was used for. Fortunately, one of my good friends works at Aviation Spares & Repairs, a company that supplies ground support equipment, which is all the equipment that is used at airports and airfields, and she was happy to answer some of my questions.
If you’ve ever wondered this yourself or maybe you children have asked you these questions, continue reading below.
Ground support equipment is any type of support equipment found at an airport, and as the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Report 149 explains, it’s “typically associated with the servicing of aircraft during the ground-based, airport turnaround process.” This involves equipment to power airplanes, such as generators, to move airplanes, such as tow tractors, to help load cargo onto the airplane, such as baggage belt loads and to aid passengers board, such as boarding stairs.
There are also various other tasks performed by ground support equipment, including restocking of food and water, airfield maintenance, aircraft refuelling and more.
Now, you can understand why this type of equipment is so important as after all, it ensures that the aircraft you are about to board is ready to safely take you to your holiday destination.
Calling all Harry Potter fans! No matter if you are part of Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff or even if you are a curious muggle, I’m sure you’ll find something special at The Carat Shop’s new website.
The Carat Shop is a Hertfordshire-based jewellery maker which specialises in designing, making and retailing licensed Harry Potter jewellery, including necklaces, earrings, charms and rings that feature the most popular characters and items of this novel. They have recently launched their new website and they are inviting all lovers of Harry Potter to visit the website and let them know what they think.
Wearing Harry Potter jewellery by The Carat Shop is the ideal way to show-off your love for all things related to the wizarding world and is the perfect way to find fellow Potterheads. And do you know the best thing about their new website? All UK orders come with FREE shipping!
So, hop on your broom and get over there! If you are looking for a gift for a partner or maybe looking for something for yourself and are not sure what to get, let me show you their best-selling products.
From golden snitch earrings to golden snitch necklaces and more, The Carat Shop has a variety of accessories and jewellery which feature everyone’s favourite gold coloured Quidditch ball.
The Deathly Hallows symbol consists of the shapes of three magical items: the Elder Wand, the Resurrection Stone and the Cloak of Invisibility. You’ll find deathly hallows necklaces, deathly hallows bookmarks and much more at The Carat Shop.
Go back in time with The Carat Shop’s time turner jewellery pieces and accessories. From Hermione’s time turner necklace to time turner earrings and more!
Visit The Carat Shop’s website today at https://thecaratshop.co.uk and browse through their whole collection of Harry Potter jewellery.
Who else gets excited when Autumn comes? Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the few warm summer days that we get here in England, but there is something about Autumn that really gets my heart pounding. Whether it is the beautiful warm autumnal tones all around, the crisp sunny mornings wrapped up in a cosy jacket or the pumpkin spice everything and anything – I just can’t get enough of Autumn.
One of my favourite things to do when Autumn is on the way is to freshen up my house, giving it a little something to celebrate the season and all its glory, without spending too much money (of course!).
Most of us give their homes a deep clean during spring, but did you know that Autumn is a great time to do the same? Start by decluttering your wardrobe and clearing out your cupboards. House Beautiful has an article focused on how it’s essential to deep clean your home during Autumn to ensure it’s ready for the winter months and “to keep seasonal bugs at bay.”
A great, quick and inexpensive trick for making a room look fresh is by rearranging the furniture. Then, simply change up your linen cushions for velvet or knitted ones and add a chunky knitted blanket to your bedroom or living room and absorb the cosiness.
An easy way to give your home a refresh during this season is to give your doorway some love. After all, it’s the first thing your guests will see when they come to visit. You can give your front door a nice update by giving a fresh lick of paint and by changing up the door hardware – anything from the door numbers to your door knocker or even letter plate.
If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed and are not sure how to pick this type of ironmongery, Ironmongery Experts, an architectural ironmongery business, has various blog posts on how to choose house numbers, how to choose letter plates and the different types of door knockers that you can choose from.
Candles create the perfect atmosphere for a relaxing and cosy Sunday day in. Plus, with this season comes every Autumnal scent that makes you feel even cosier – apple, cinnamon, pumpkin, mulled wine, how good does that sound?
If you are not into Halloween decorations (not judging here, but how are you not into Halloween decorations?) there are many ways to decorate your home to embrace the autumnal vibes. An article on the Huffington Post mentions that texture is key and “prints can also change the mood from summery to autumnal: tartans, nature-inspired foliage and bold geometric patterns are all eye-catching ways to spruce up your space.”
Now, that you’ve given your home the refresh it needed, get cosy and enjoy looking at the rain from the inside of your home with a cup of hot cocoa.
Every year, there’s a day in April designated to helping children to learn how to save. However, if you’ve ever sat down with a child and discussed the ins and outs of financial freedom with them, then you’ll know we need a lot more than one day a year. Ultimately, children don’t get the education they need to help them make the most out of their money as they grow.
More often than not, the issue of finances and spending is brushed over in school, which means that parents are left to handle the task of teaching children how to manage money on their own. If you’re worried that your child isn’t going to get the guidance that they need, here are some tips that will help you offer a better education.
The first step in successfully teaching your child how to save money is teaching them how to understand wants vs needs. For instance, explain that their needs are the basic things that they have to have to survive, like food. However, food can be anything that sustains them. Takeaway, sweets and other treats are a “want” even though they stem from a need.
For the things that your child wants, help them to understand that they’ll need to set long-term and short-term savings goals. Sometimes, they’ll just need to wait until they get their weekly pocket money to afford their wants. In other circumstances, your child might need to learn the benefits of delayed gratification and saving towards something over time.
When your child is still very young, they’re probably not going to go out and find a job. You’re going to need to wait until at least their early teenage years before your youngster starts earning a wage. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t start to teach the benefits of an earning an income from an early point.
For instance, if you want to give your youngsters money to spend on the things that they want, consider giving them a weekly or monthly pocket money. Rather than giving your kids that cash for no reason, give it to them in exchange for doing chores like cleaning their room, or taking out the trash. This way, they’ll learn the benefit of working.
The chances are that you’ve needed to take out a loan every now and again to help you pay for the things that you need. With the economy the way that it is today, your children might need to do the same thing when they grow up too. With that in mind, if your child asks to borrow money from you for something that they desperately want, acting as their creditor could be a great idea.
For instance, agree to give your child £40 for a game if they give you £44 in return. You can put the extra £4 into a savings account for your child and start to teach them about things like interest. Asking for interest might seem like a strange tactic at first, but it pays off in the long-term.
Part of being a good saver and a savvy spender means understanding your money and where it goes. When your child starts getting their own pocket money or they earn a wage from their new job, invite them to sit down with you regularly and do some basic budgeting. During this time, you can teach your youngster about the expenses that you need to consider when sorting through your cash each month.
Budgeting with your child also helps to open up a dialogue about money. It’s important that your child knows that they can talk to you about their concerns and uncertainties around cash, without feeling overwhelmed.
Finally, remember that your child will always be looking to you for examples on how to behave. If you want your child to be careful with their cash, and avoid impulse spending at all costs, then they can’t see you constantly buying extra things online whenever you fancy. Make sure that you plan each of your purchases carefully and think about the impression you’re having on your youngster.
Be prepared to answer questions that your child might have, and if you set any rules for them on how they need to use their money, make sure that you’re following the same guidelines.
If you’re anything like me, you probably spend a ridiculous amount of time planning exactly what each room in the house is going to look like, once you’ve decided you’re redecorating.
I spend hours, if not days, scrolling through Pinterest, Instagram & interior blogs to find ideas and inspiration, but, sometimes, they don’t work in the house. Because the shape of the room is wrong, the lighting isn’t quite right, whatever the reason, and I’ve often wanted to see how a piece of furniture would look in the room before spending hundreds of pounds on something only to realise, it doesn’t fit.
Anything to save the “I told you so…..’
Welcome the genius that is Wayfair. My favourite online shopping spot for everything home and interiors related.
They have an online room planner which gives you the option to pick from a selection of plain rooms, or, you can upload a photo of your own room, ready to whack some Wayfair goodies into and have a good old play around with style.
This is perfect if you’re going for something completely different, a total room overhaul, and you have no idea if the thoughts in your head will actually work in the room, or, if you just think the room needs a little je ne said quoi.
I have obviously been on there already. I’ve used it to dress blank rooms in all kind of crazy ways. Often, in styles I wouldn’t have in my home but that’s the fun of it, you can go mad and it doesn’t really matter, once you’re done, delete it! But I’ve also used it in the way (I assume) it’s been intended, to see if a giant corner sofa would fit in our living room, and to see if we can add more to the dining room.
I’ve got to admit, it’s a dangerous tool. I could buy so much stuff from Wayfair after a few hours on there. In fact, I could probably build a brand new home from just a click of my fingers. *insert evil laugh right about now….*
I really want to add a little home office at the top of our stairs, it’s the perfect size I think, and it could be tucked away quite easily when it’s not in use, but I’ve been a bit nervous to try it because I didn’t want to end up with furniture I couldn’t actually use (I’ve been known to get overexcited or carried away with projects in the past, shocking I know) but now I feel like I could have a serious think about it and maybe, finally get the blogging space I’ve been pinning and researching for however many years!
Are there any rooms you want to change but you’re too worried to take a step into the unknown? I really recommend the Wayfair Room Planner tool, think of it as your own little George Clarke inside your computer. Try it and let me know how you get on!
Who doesn’t love QVC? The savings are amazing and if you can keep a eye out for products you use often then you’re onto a real winner. The latest QVC offer is the Time Bomb Supersize Hero Anti-Ageing Collection.
These super sized, anti-ageing super stars are exactly what you need to give your skin ‘dew it all’ – visibly firmed, tightened, plumped and hydrated, leaving it looking glowing and refreshed.
If you were to buy these products individually it would cost over £200 so this is a seriously amazing deal!
The Hero Collection Contains:
Take-Off Time Cleanse & Buff cleansing cream is uniquely formulated with professional grade crystals to gently lift away dead cells to uncover your most dewy, fresh, radiant complexion.
Complexion Cocktail with a Shot of H2Omega is a light, skin boosting cocktail serving up instant refreshment for dehydrated skin. It contains both Chia Oil and Coconut Oil, which are two of nature’s richest sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Plus a power blend of two hyaluronic acids to instantly inject your skin with moisture.
Collagen Bomb Essential Skin Fuel is loaded with high concentrations of potential anti-oxidants including Pycnogenol (a natural plant extract that helps to fortify collagen). Collagen Bomb helps to fuel the skin into overdrive, and leaves it feeling full, firm and fit.
Powerball Intensive Moisturiser floods the skin with a blend of hydrators that act on every level to refill, lock in and retain moisture.
The offer is available from today on QVC and you can get all four products for just £62.88! That’s a MASSIVE saving and one you would be crazy to miss if you love your skincare products!
Time Bomb Supersize Hero Collection is available from QVC now!
Sometimes, to make myself feel really old, I like to remind my kids that there were days without internet, catch-up TV, or even Instagram.
I really was bought up in the dark ages!
I remember arranging to meet friends on the phone (the house phone that is) and then having to be there, in the right place, at the right time because there was no way of changing it once we’d left the house. Even as an adult, in my first job, I had to use fax machines and dial up internet. It sounds laughable now!
I love how technology has changed our lives. Being married to a serious tech expert I can’t escape it, it’s part of our lives in every single way.
I don’t think we ever watch ‘normal’ TV now, (apart from Love Island obviously), we speak to Siri more than we speak to some family and we won’t even imagine what life would be like without broadband.
Sometimes, I do think life would be easier without so much technology, being available all the time has it’s pros and cons but there are some pieces of modern technology that I just could not live without.
I am far from loaded, but I do like to know where my bank balance is at. Starling Bank is one of the new styles of banking, it’s all done online, with all the usual features but with added extras like alerts, visuals on where your money has gone and easy ways to save extra pennies. It beats all other banking systems hands down.
Obviously. I was going to put this as number one but I’d hate to be predictable. If there was ever an emergency, and I lost my phone, I’d only be able to call myself because it’s the only number commiytted to memory. Which is, you know, helpful.
It has my calendar, my kids calendar, shopping lists, web pages, the list is endless, all within a tiny little device that never leaves my side.
Thank GOD the days of dial-up are gone. That irritating noise while you sat and waited, impatiently, to connect to the world wide web. I do think we’ve been a bit spoiled by the wonder that is WiFi. Should it ever dare to slow down, or, heaven forbid, stop working, it’s like the whole world has crashed! The real techs out there have back up plans from data only sim deals, so if they ever get stuck somewhere without the wonder that is WiFi they can still connect their tablets or laptops with a sim, just like the ones we use in our phones!
It’s like the WiFi God’s have got our backs, no matter where we are in the world, we can be sure we’re connected and there are a huge selection to choose from!
The bloke was telling me forEVER to download the app onto my phone, saying I would really rate it. Me, being me, had zero interest in a news app, my phone was for fun times only. I’m pretty sure I only downloaded it to shut him up, but, turns out it’s actually quite interesting and useful. Plus, it’s not just serious news. I can have all my favourite mags, wellbeing & food all in one place. Who knew!
Many homeowners overlook the hallway when it comes to interior design but this is actually one of the most important spaces in the home. It is the first place that people stand when they enter so it helps to form the first impression, plus it is also a space where people either get ready to enter the home or get ready to leave so it needs to be functional too.
Here are a few tips to help you to get more from your hallway.
You do not want a hallway to feel cramped so you must be smart when it comes to decorating. You can make the space feel larger through the use of neutral colours and through maximising natural lightwith a mirror. You do not want this to be a bland space, meanwhile, so do not shy away from a bold injection of colour which can add visual appeal to the space.
The hallway can be a stressful area if there are not storage solutions in place. Having intelligent storage solutions can help to keep this space free of clutter while also improving the decoration. There are many smart storage solutions to consider, including hooks for coats, cubby holes for keys and other items and a hallway storage bench from somewhere like Cox & Cox. Make sure that everywhere has a home and you will be able to maximise space and keep it neat and tidy
You will also want your personality to be evident from the moment you step in the door so it is an area that needs decorating. You can do this with an interesting piece of artwork or through having a shelf which contains items like photographs, potted plants etc.
Lead Them In
You will want to lead people into the home so that they feel welcome. You can do this through the use of a stair runner which can also add depth and by making sure that there is decoration visible further into the house as opposed to just a series of doors with blank walls.
Although the hallway is not an area that people spend a large amount of time, it is a space where they spend time putting on/taking off shoes, getting their coats sorted etc. Making the space more comfortable can make this process much easier so, if space permits, furniture like a small sofa or a bench can work well in this space and help it to feel more homely.
The hallway is often an oversight when it comes to interior design but it is actually a highly important space in the home and can make a big difference to your daily life as well as how people perceive your home. These are just a few ideas which should help to elevate your hallway and create a functional and attractive space.