Monday, 19 February 2018

A Quick Guide To Choosing Your Bedroom Flooring

There are a number of options available to you when choosing bedroom flooring and you may not know where to start in researching this.  In this guide, I will take you through the mains type of flooring suitable for your bedroom, taking into account ease of cleaning, how it feels underfoot, design and aesthetics and cost. 

Solid Wood Flooring



Solid wood flooring is 100 percent natural wood, refined from a piece of hardwood and then treated to give it a protective coating. It has a beauty and warmth and fits in with most styles of decor. 

It is normally laid in strips or planks in a bedroom although parquet is also popular. Parquet flooring is where individual pieces or blocks of wood are fitted together to form a patterned floor.

Solid wood flooring can be pricey but lasts years. Keep it clean by daily sweeping.  For a more thorough clean vacuum it and mop with a damp mop. Solid wood flooring may need to be oiled, check with the manufacturer when it is installed.

Laminate Flooring


Laminate flooring is made of a layer of melamine and fibre board, with a wood effect top. It is available in a wide range of wood designs and colours. 

Laminate flooring is versatile, easy to clean and fairly durable, although it is suspectable to scratching.  It is also cheaper than solid wood flooring so is a useful compromise when you want the look of solid wood flooring without the price. Keep clean by sweeping on a daily basis and mopping with a damp mop weekly. 

Vinyl

Vinyl flooring, a synthetic cousin of linoleum, is available in a very wide range of designs including patterned, plain and wood designs and is stain and water resistant.   Underfoot it has a cushioning effect so it is soft and has insulating properties keeping your room cool in summer and warm in winter.  

Vinyl flooring is very easy to keep clean, so it is especially good for a child's bedroom, just sweep or vacuum it and use a damp mop. It is also very cheap compared to most flooring and is a cost-effective option for your bedroom. 

Carpet 


Carpet is a popular choice for a bedroom as it is warm and cosy underfoot, soft and insulating. It is available in many designs and colours, for most price points and is very versatile. 

Carpet is available in synthetic and natural wool, the latter being the most expensive option.  Carpets can stain so look for carpet with a stain guard to protect it  - especially important in a child's bedroom. 

Carpets can hold dirt and dust and this is a consideration if you have those with allergies and asthma in the home when you should probably consider other types of flooring. To clean a carpet, simply vacuum and to treat any stubborn stains, clean with a recommended carpet cleaner. 

Ceramic tile and stone flooring

Ceramic tile or stone flooring looks great but is very cold underfoot, so it not the best option for a bedroom. It also doesn't have the sound insulation you get with other types of flooring so underfoot it can be noisy to others in another room.

The cost is also considerable with this type of flooring so only think about it if it fits in with the style, for example, a Mediterranean villa or Spanish style property.  

So here is a quick guide to choosing your bedroom flooring. Which choice of flooring for your bedroom do you prefer?

* PR Collaboration

Cleaning tips are only a guide, always check the manufacturer's instructions 

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Friday, 16 February 2018

What To Do In St Ives Cornwall For A First Time Visitor

St Ives in Cornwall is one of those postcard-perfect seaside towns that Cornwall does well, but it has a depth and appeal that goes beyond the traditional seaside resort, and it is a town that I would recommend a visit to all year round.






With a wealth of funky art galleries, amazing restaurants, cool independent boutiques and artsy gift shops, as well as the powder sand beaches, it caters for almost everyone, from young people to families and older couples alike.

Go for the food

a Cornish pasty shop

The smell of Cornish pasties and fish and chips permeates the air, and your stomach rumblings mean you will finally give in to a mouthwatering layered pasty.  The classic Cornish pasty is a thing of beauty, shaped like a D and crimped on one side. Traditionally made of beef, swede, potato and onion it's a filling snack and one which you should try when in St Ives.




Besides the Cornish pasties, this area is also known for its cream teas, the best comprise of warm scones from the oven, with fruity strawberry jam and clotted cream, thick with a crusty top and gooey centre. Serve with lashings of English breakfast tea, the Cornish cream tea is an iconic afternoon treat.

A cream tea

St Ives is also known for its amazing fresh fish and some of the best restaurants in St Ives feature fish heavily on its menu.  From the Seafood Cafe with fish so fresh it's almost swimming away, to the award-winning Porthminster Cafe, with amazing views, serving sustainable fish and featured in the Good Food Guide, you will be spoilt for choice in St Ives. 

Although it's not sophisticated, don't forget the fish and chips!  This classic seaside staple is something to be enjoyed out of a paper bag, with hot steamy chips reeking of vinegar and white flaky cod in a crisp light batter whilst watching the sun go down. Be careful though of the seagulls who are tremendously cheeky around these parts, or they may make away with a chip or two.

Stay for the art

Porthminster Gallery

Its magical light means it's a haven for artists. Even in the winter, you only have to take a stroll to the seafront to watch budding artists set up their easels by the harbour walls, their long brush strokes capturing the crashing waves. 

In the town there are a number of galleries, selling work by local artists. The Blue Bramble Gallery was a treasure trove of contemporary and traditional designs, from talented painters, sculptors and craftspeople, while the Porthminster Gallery was another exceptional gallery selling artwork and pottery by local artisans. 

Pablo Picasso painting at the Tate St Ives

A highlight of St Ives for us was the Tate St Ives. This modern art gallery, a sister to the Tate Modern and the Tate Britain, is smaller than it's London cousins but still perfectly formed. See amazing works of art from Piet Mondrian, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso to Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore. Don't forget to stop off at the rooftop cafe for cappuccino and cake with views over St Ives.

The Barbara Hepworth museum and sculpture gardens are also worth a visit. One of the few female British artists of her generation to achieve international prominence, she is particularly known for her modern sculptures.

Shop til you drop

Trelyon Gallery

The independent shops in St Ives have a wealth of gorgeous fashion, home, jewellery and gift shops. Trelyon Gallery sells contemporary jewellery at affordable price points, and I was very tempted by a beautiful silver bracelet, whilst Home and Gift St Ives had some cool retro maps and travel prints that we adored, and the Painted Bird sells a diverse collection of gifts and crafts perfect as a souvenir of your stay.

As well as independent shops there is also a range of well known high street brands, many with a beach/surf theme such as Weird Fish, Fat Face and Seasalt, as well as shops like Joules, Mountain Warehouse and Superdry. 


Seasalt St Ives

Enjoy the coastline



With an abundance of gorgeous blue flag beaches perfect for surfing and windsurfing and rocky outcrops that just invite adventure, St Ives and the surrounding area has just some of the best coastline anywhere in the world.

Why not go rock pooling near the Pedn Olva hotel, or take a boat tour from the harbour to go to Seal Island, where you can see, you guessed it - seals?! The Dolly P boat from St Ives Boats also offers trips to Godrevy Lighthouse and Hell’s Mouth, as well as fishing trips and private charter. 


If you are not lucky to catch the seals, a trip to the Gweek Seal Sanctuary, 40 minutes from St Ives is highly recommended. A sanctuary for marine animals and injured seal pups, you can even have 'breakfast with the seals', where you get a chance to feed the fish their breakfast, have a tour of the sanctuary and later have your own continental breakfast in their cafe in with the ticket price.

Experience the unexpected



When you think you know all that St Ives has to offer, the charm, the food, the scenery, the beaches, the art, the culture, it smacks you in the face with something unexpected. If you are brave one night I recommend going on a ghost walk of the town with Shanty Baba

In the eerie light of a lantern, let this local character tell you stories of fishermen lost, the plague, and ghosts galore. It's immersive, it's spooky, it's based in fact but above all it's entertaining. Definitely recommended.



To find out about the cultural events in Cornwall and what's happening in the area check out Cornwall 365. You can also send for an illustrated atlas of Cornwall's culture and heritage called Find & Seek. Packed with all the interesting events going on throughout the year in Cornwall. With hand-drawn maps and an overlay section that you can personalise this great guide is something you can make into your own personal adventure.


pin for later

So this is my guide on what to do in St Ives Cornwall for a first time visitor.

Check out the video below from the YouTube channel I create with Mr W, Fly Drive Explore, about our travels and laughs around the world as over 40's travel bloggers.




Let me know, have you been to this area of Cornwall? Do any of the activities appeal?


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Tuesday, 13 February 2018

5 Tips To Finding The Perfect Furniture For Your Bathroom Suite

You will notice that you have many options when searching for the perfect furniture for your bathroom suite. Bathroom furniture and cabinets are available for purchase in a wide range of styles, sizes, colours, and price ranges. It's no wonder that finding the perfect bathroom furniture can be a challenging task. Fear not readers, here are 5 top tips for finding the perfect furniture for your bathroom suite.




Tip 1: Stick to your budget

Seeing the wide range of options available it is easy to get carried away with your purchases, however, why not try and set your budget and stick to it? You will be pleasantly surprised at what you can find.  If the bathroom furniture you like is out of your budget, try and wait for it to go on sale, or search around for a cheaper, similar alternative. Don't be discouraged if you fail to find the perfect furniture that is within your budget at first. The perfect furniture is out there, try the January sales if all else fails.

Tip 2: Understand your needs

Before beginning your search, it is necessary for you to think about what you need. Firstly, think about the size of your bathroom. Do you need to get compact furniture or is size not an issue? Where will you put towels? Is there a need to invest in a large cabinet for extra storage space? What would you prefer - an attached wall-cabinet or a freestanding cabinet? Bathroom fitted furniture is all the rage these days. Are there any special features you are on the lookout for? If you understand your needs better, you will be able to shop better. Don't forget to keep your budget in mind when planning your bathroom too.

Tip 3: Think about your taste

Of course, it is necessary for the bathroom furniture to be functional and practical, however, it is equally important for your bathroom to be aesthetically pleasing. What styles do you like?  Are you looking for a large wood cabinet or will a medicine cabinet suffice? Do you prefer dark or light wood or are metal cabinets more your style? Are you looking for something simple or ornate? There are plus points and negative points with materials - wood cabinets can mark easily whilst metal can rust with the moisture in the air, so think about this carefully.

Tip 4: Explore

After deciding on your budget and knowing what you want, go ahead and start your search. Instead of visiting the usual home improvement stores though, why not check out second-hand shops, speciality shops, antique shops and auction sites? You never know what you might find and you could end up with a unique bathroom that no one else will have.

Tip 5: Assembly, fitting and delivery service

Check if they can deliver the bathroom furniture to the room of your choice, as this can reduce the risk of damaging the furniture.  If it pre-assembled before the delivery this can be a lot easier for you, rather than having to assemble, fit, install, and place the bathroom furniture in your bathroom. Check out the cost of delivery too, as it all adds up to the overall budget. 



I hope this guide has been useful, let me know if you have had any challenges when buying bathroom furniture.

*Guest post
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Monday, 12 February 2018

Helloprint - Perfect For All Your Photo Needs.

Photos mean so much to me. I am always capturing my life through a lens - from my son's first day at school to him winning an award for art at 16, to our family holidays to Orlando and my travels with my husband now that my son has grown up. Finding a site to get affordable good quality prints of my favourite photos with great colour rendition is always tricky but recently Helloprint asked me to collaborate with them to check out their website and report back for my readers. 


Who are Helloprint?




The brand started in 2013 - launched by four young guys with their dream to own a photo business - and now boasts more than 150 team members who come from over 20 different countries. The Helloprint platform is live in eight different countries and is visited by millions of people each year. The brand has nine core values: do what you promise, show flammable passion, be hungry, enjoy the ride, act energetic, powerful and fast, solve it, design yourself, make friends and be in it to win it. They hope to deliver on all of them to each customer. Helloprint are also one of the fastest growing e-commerce platforms in Europe and they even won the Deloitte Fast 50 Rising Star of 2016.

So what is the site like? When it comes to photo printing, I want the site I use to be simple and easy to use. I pride myself on being quite tech savvy but I like my sites to be as user-friendly as possible so anyone can use them. I want my photos to be crisp and good quality - like these photos from New York. So do they deliver?






Helloprint is incredibly easy to use - you can quickly find the specific product you are looking for or enter the design studio to create your own personalised products such as leaflets or business cards. The company are great because they offer such a wide variety of products from packaging to Point of Sale items to home items to clothing - they have pretty much anything you could ever wish for. 






They sell such a variety of items that you are bound to find what you are looking for. Whether you are looking for items for a business (business cards, business stationery, document bags or even brochures), something for the home (umbrellas, beanies, bomber jackets) or some specific stationery (birth announcements, wedding invitations, letterheads), Helloprint probably have what you need. They cater to every consumer - from big businesses to a new mum at home wanting to let everyone know that her baby has arrived. They are a relevant brand for everyone and offer some items that you probably didn’t even know you needed - printed balloons or printed water bottles aren’t your everyday item but are definitely needed at times!




What makes them so special though?

  • You are getting good quality products at an extremely affordable price. 
  • They really do go the extra mile - offering a free artwork check for example
  • In the unlikely event that you have a problem, they are readily available for customer service. 
  • They offer free delivery on all products - you don’t have to meet any minimum threshold for the free delivery which is refreshing.
  • The brand is also rated as excellent on Trustpilot, which is not something every brand can claim to have!

For the quality and the affordability, Helloprint are a brand I would certainly use in the future. They really have covered all bases with the number of items they offer without skimping on quality. Far too many brands offer plenty of items and plenty of promises but cannot deliver upon them - Helloprint are different and this is reflected in their Trustpilot rating. I will definitely be considering them next time I need some items for work - they really do offer everything - and decent quality items always help impress when it comes to business.

What printed items do you utilise in your personal or business life?


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Sunday, 11 February 2018

Win A Gorgeous Pair Of Silver Heart Earrings With Dower And Hall Ends 10/03

Ok, I admit it, I'm a big fan of Dower and Hall. My love of the jewellery brand started when I ran my own jewellery shop, and I came across them at a jewellery show. The jewellery was exceptionally made and classic with a slight twist that added a freshness to the designs. 

At that show, I ordered a range of their jewellery including their classic Nomad nugget bracelet which I kept for myself and still wear today.



Fast forward to 2018 and I am still in love with the brand. In fact, I've covered them on this blog a number of times, showcasing the beautiful Dower and Hall designs.  

The classic Nomad range is still a firm favourite of mine and recent loves include their Twinkle range with colourful semi-precious stones. I am also not the only fan. Over the years they have been featured by many celebrities including Amanda Holden, Little Mix, Joss Stone and Katherine Jenkins amongst others. In fact, their peal designs were featured in the film Skyfall, worn by Dame Judi Dench. As you can see they have an amazing pedigree!



Their new range for Valentine's Day is the Lumiere range. This sentimental range has heart-shaped jewellery, as well as lockets and charms perfect for holding photos, in a hammered design. The range comes in silver, as well as yellow gold and rose gold vermeil. Inset are white or blue sapphires to add the luxurious touch. I would love to own something from this range myself as I think keeping a loved one's photo close to your heart is just a lovely way of showing you care, don't you? You could also buy her two necklaces, both at different lengths for the layering trend. 



On my blog today I am giving you a chance to win silver open heart earrings for your loved one. Maybe you want to win for your girlfriend or wife, and with Mother's Day coming up soon I am sure many mums would love this as a gift too.
This dainty design symbolising eternal love is just gorgeous, and the slightly hammered look adds a little twist. Priced at £38 they are a lovely design and one she will treasure. Entry is via the Rafflecopter application below. It's not as hard as it looks to enter, honestly, so why don't you give it a go! Check out my other competitions when you are here too. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions
My giveaway is open to those 18 + living in the UK only.
Winner picked at random via Rafflecopter
Please allow 28 days for delivery
No automated entries
One entry per person
Giveaway ends midnight on 10/03/2018


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Friday, 9 February 2018

A Stay In An Apartment In St Ives Cornwall With Classic Cottages

Renting a cottage or an apartment is definitely one of our favourite ways to stay in a place when exploring a new destination. The main benefit is, of course, space. Having that space to do your own thing and the privacy can save your sanity that's for sure, especially when travelling with kids or parents! Other benefits include being able to cook for yourself if need be, as well as having access to a fridge, freezer, dishwasher, washing machine and everything you would have at home.  Staying in an apartment can be surprisingly cost-effective too if the alternative is two hotel rooms.

Double bedroom with ensuite shower

So when I was looking for places to stay in St Ives I decided that an apartment would be a great option.

Our apartment called Island Time was based in the Morwenstow apartments and was rented from the company Classic Cottages. The apartment sleeps 4 and a cot.


Classic Cottages say they find cottages and apartment that people fall in love with and I think that's an amazing ethos to have, don't you?

The apartment we stayed in, is situated a ten to fifteen-minute walk from the centre to St Ives, and five minutes from Porthminster beach. The accommodation was of a very high standard. The decor was fresh and inviting, with neutral shades and the furniture and furnishings looked brand new.

Bunk beds

When I walked into the apartment, I must admit it had the wow factor. Sometimes photos can't convey this but I can confirm it definitely did.



Everything was immaculate, with not a speck of dirt anywhere. In fact, I wouldn't mind having their cleaning tips for my home, I mean how can they get the shower screen so clean? Definitely a bit of alchemy there. There was an ensuite bathroom to the main double bedroom as well as a separate bathroom with bath, shower, toilet and sink. As you walked into both bathrooms, the lights magically turned on. A cool touch. Fluffy towels were provided too, none of that scratchy stuff.


The kitchen had everything you would need for a stay, and it was all of a high specification, including a Miele oven and grill, and a Miele fridge freezer, built-in dishwasher and wine cooler.




We had a tray of tea and coffee provided and some scrummy Cornish Fairings biscuits, which tasted a little like gingerbread. 

I loved the daffodils! Maybe they were there because we are from Wales, or just because they were available, either way, a nice welcome.


The lounge again was decorated in neutral tones but had a pop of colour with red lights, red patterned cushions and a red patterned rug. The quality of the furnishing was excellent as well. 



A flat-screen TV, comfy sofa and two comfy chairs completed the lounge.


What is very special about this apartment and almost all the apartments in this building is that they have amazing views towards St Ives. With a lovely little patio area too, it would be a cool spot to sit in the summer, sipping a glass of wine.
 Patio area

The apartment is in an apartment block and it has its own private parking, which is free and a security gate to keep your car safe. You access the apartment down two flights of stairs but as there is a modern lift the apartment is accessible for wheelchair users.  Everything is then on one level.

The apartment always felt cosy when we returned after a trip out due to the underfloor heating. 

Was the apartment perfect? Yes, well almost. There were no toiletries, and of course, in most apartments, you do not get these anyway and I would have liked a king sized bed but I am being extremely picky here. It is a beautiful apartment of a very high standard for sure. 
St Ives Cornwall

The price for this apartment for 7 nights is from £640 in low season. Considering its excellent location with sea views, it can sleep 4 plus a baby, and its high specification, then I feel it's a reasonable price. Parking in St Ives can be very difficult in high season so having its own secure car park, and being only a short stroll to the centre of the town is a big plus point. There is a lovely walk down to Porthminster beach, from a path in front of the apartment, and it is close to a fabulous little restaurant called the Porthminster Cafe. Of course being in an elevated position, it's a little bit of a trek back up the hill but its the perfect way to walk off all that Cornish fish and chips, clotted cream fudge and cream teas.

Classic Cottages are also right.. when you do stay at one of their cottages or apartments you do fall a little in love with it. I know I did....and you can't get a better recommendation than that.


Highly recommended. 

* We were invited to review an apartment with Classic Cottages in exchange for an honest review
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Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Visiting New York City: 7 Things You Simply Need To Do

There’s no better place in the world than New York City. It’s big, it’s diverse and it’s exciting – from the glitz of Manhattan to the culture of Brooklyn and the Bronx, not to mention other surrounding areas, you’re spoilt for choice. To help you navigate the Big Apple, here are seven things you simply need to do.

Pay your respects at the World Trade Center

Although it might seem like a particularly sombre experience in such a vibrant, exciting city, New Yorkers often recommend you visit the 9/11 Museum and Memorial at the World Trade Center. A stark reminder of the tragic event that took place over a decade and a half ago, it doubles as a celebration of New York’s (and America’s) resilience. 


Inside you’ll find pictures from the fateful day, and some of the objects left. It was sad to see the shoes that were scattered in the debris. Parts from the original towers are also shown throughout the museum, situated underneath where they once stood – the size of the area is staggering. Above ground, you’ll find huge fountains taking the place of the Twin Towers, the cascading water providing a necessary moment of peace and reflection in the midst of the city’s bustle.


Try the pizza

You simply cannot pay a visit to New York City without grabbing a slice of traditional pizza. Throughout Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs, you’ll come across plenty of pizzerias offering up dollar slices, and although you might be hesitant, it’ll likely be the best slice of pizza you’ll ever eat.


As there are so many potential restaurants to try here in the Big Apple, it’s important to do your research. Depending on your budget, guides from those living in New York City are essential in determining just where to get your slice.

Head to the top of the Empire State Building

For the best views over the city (and the surrounding areas), head to the top of the Empire State Building. Depending on how brave you’re feeling, floors 86 and 102 offer observation desks with unparalleled views stretching for miles, with the higher floor being an open-air deck to step out to. 

The Empire State Building is an integral part of New York City and its elaborate history, and it remains as grand and spectacular as ever. Visiting it at night is arguably even better, as you take in the lights of the surrounding streets and those for miles ahead. Alternatively, go to the top of the Rockefeller centre for views with less of a queue.

Sail over to the Statue of Liberty

Another integral landmark to visit is the Statue of Liberty, standing tall on Ellis Island just off the coast of Manhattan. It doesn’t take long to get there – a short ferry ride through the Upper New York Bay will get you there, and once you disembark you’re practically right there in front of it. Be sure to book tickets in advance as it can get very busy.

The statue itself is even more impressive than in the pictures – standing at 300ft tall, it towers over visitors boldly. Its history is prevalent and makes the visit much more powerful. Be sure to stop in the gift shop for your chance to pick up some signature souvenirs. 


Stroll down 5th Avenue

For some of the best shopping opportunities, 5th Avenue is the place to go. It’s the most expensive shopping street in the world, but between Saks and Tiffany & Co. are more affordable options – one of the world’s biggest H&M stores can be found here, for example, at 48th and 5th.

Shopping isn’t the only reason you should visit 5th Avenue, either. From the Rockefeller Center to St. Patrick’s Cathedral – and, of course, the Plaza Hotel, famed by Home Alone 2 – this avenue boasts some of New York City’s most iconic sights.


Take in the wonder of Times Square

You might consider Times Square to be saturated with the effects of tourism and, although you’d admittedly be correct, it still holds out as being one of the most spectacular parts of New York City. The dazzling lights and big billboards illuminating the area are as incredible during the day as they are at night, creating walls of vibrant colours that make for one of the most exciting sights in the world.

Be sure to explore the stores you can find here, too – the Hard Rock CafĂ© is a coveted restaurant masquerading as a mere gift shop, before you get past its exterior and find the legendary remnants of rock music, from Kurt Cobain’s guitar to Elvis’ suits, adorning the walls. Beware, though - as highlighted by 1Cover’s USA guide, this is an area renowned for pickpocketing, as unwitting tourists are targeted by opportunist thieves.



Explore the vast Central Park


Central Park is big. And although you might anticipate it, you’ll be shocked by its actual size – located between Manhattan and the Bronx, it covers nearly three and a half square kilometres of the island. 

There’s a lake to sail upon, trails to follow through the wilderness and massive, open fields that allow you to lay back and bask in the sun amidst the business of the city. Don't forget to seek out the Alice in Wonderland Statue and the Strawberry Fields tribute to John Lennon. If you’re in need of a reprieve from the constant energy of New York City, Central Park is where you’ll find it. 





Do you have any more recommendations for sights to see in New York City? Be sure to let me know in the comments below.

*PR collaboration 

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Monday, 5 February 2018

Valentine's Day Gift Guide 2018

Valentine's Day will be here soon and if you are looking for some Valentine's Day inspiration why not check out my Valentine's Day gift guide? With some luxury items, including a cute necklace, a cocktail book and a silver man's bracelet, as well as scrumptious chocolates there is something for most luxury lovers.

For Her

A pretty necklace




This iconic swan necklace by Swarovski is incredibly pretty and sparkly and would make a lovely romantic gift. The two swans are looking lovingly into each other's eyes. The rose gold-plated design is adorned with black crystal Pointiage and will add a touch of glamour to any outfit. The necklace measures 38cm in length and is presented in a luxurious official branded box from Swarovski. This beautiful double swan necklace is priced at £85 and will be a gift she will love this Valentine's Day.

If Swarovski is not for your loved one, check out the other designer watches and jewellery from OD's Designer Clothes, including Thomas Sabo, Vivienne Westwood and Nomination.

Scrumptious chocolate truffles

I do enjoy luxury chocolates and Charbonnel is one of my favourite luxury chocolate brands. I've tried the champagne truffles and the strawberry truffles so these Charbonnel sea salt caramel truffles are next on my list. This small but cute box in a heart shape costs only £5, so it's affordable for everyone. Charbonnel has the royal warrant too so if you get these for Valentine's Day, you could be eating the same chocolates as the Queen!

Available from John Lewis, Selfridges, Debenhams and House Of Fraser this Valentine's Day.

A useful cocktail book


Have you come across Oliver Bonas online? Well, it's my new favourite store,  and when browsing it the other day I came across this cocktail book called 60 Seriously Sparkling Cocktails.  Recipes include how to make a fruity Mimosa, to a bubbly Bellini, and 58 other sparkling cocktails, perfect for parties or to drink with your loved one. The photos inside have a fabulous retro vibe. Why not buy this for the lady in your life and treat her to one of these concoctions too? Priced at £9.99 it's a book that isn't expensive either.

Oliver Bonas is an independent British lifestyle store with their own chic take on home and fashion. If you like stylish homewares and fresh but classic style, check them out.

For Him
A stylish classic bracelet

I think this stylish heavy silver bracelet would make a great gift for the man in your life. It can be worn with anything and the classic design will never go out of fashion. If you wish to personalise it, you can even have it engraved with initials or a message. Priced in the sale at £105 from £140 it's also a good price for this quality design. 

If the design is not for you, check out the range of men's silver bracelets here from Hersey and Sons, one of the few remaining traditional silversmiths in the UK. All pieces are manufactured by hand, with quality craftsmanship being at the heart of the company for the last 60 years. A family business with excellence at its heart.

His favourite aftershave


A bottle of his favourite aftershave is always a welcome gift on Valentine's Day. Go classic with Boss Bottled. They say " The BOSS man is primed to succeed, competitive, driven & ambitious. His daily preparation rituals are integral to his personal quest for success and BOSS Bottled has become an established part of his daily armour." I just like the smell!.

Boss Bottled aftershave is also available in gift boxes, from Superdrug, House Of Fraser, and Boots. Prices start at £34.


A thrilling driving experience


For the man who loves speed, why not treat him to a driving experience? Companies like Red Letter Days or Into The Blue, have some fabulous driving experiences. You can drive a Ferrari, Lamborghini, or Aston Martin amongst other supercars, or what about a rally driving experience for two, so you can take part as well, or a monster truck for a driving experience with a difference? 

Prices start around £50 for a fast car experience for one, whilst a racing day will cost considerably more but will be a once in a lifetime experience.

So here is my Valentine's Day gift guide for 2018. What do you like receiving for Valentine's Day?

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