Friday, 30 May 2014

Joshua James Jewellery Sale Now On

Joshua James Jewellery was originally founded in 2009 in the East Yorkshire town of Hessle. Later that year they established their e-commerce site and last year they opened a store in Lancaster. In a short time this jewellery company has become well known online due to the mix of leading jewellery brands that they sell, such as Thomas Sabo, Michael Kors, Pandora and Nomination. 




Today I am going to tell you about the fabulous Joshua James jewellery sale that is now on.  


The sale that is on until midnight Monday has over 1000 items reduced with up to 60% off. I was impressed with the cool brands in this sale too, Diesel, Guess, Lovelinks, Radley, Fossil, Michael Kors the list goes on. 


Michael Kors MK5569 Watch

One of my favourite pieces is this Michael Kors watch above. Rose gold is a lovely colour and I can just imagine myself wearing this watch, drinking cocktails in one of the cool bars in Miami this summer. Being in the Joshua James sale is a bonus too!

Tresor Paris white crystal and black and white cord bracelet

I also love this Tresor Paris bracelet that they sent me above to review. Tresor Paris bracelets are high fashion and well made. There are imitations around but this brand is known for its quality workmanship. The cord feels strong when you adjust it on your hand, and the crystal beads add that glamorous touch to any outfit. The cord on this bracelet is mixed black with a silver thread, which I adore. I have lots of black in my wardrobe and the bracelet gives the added WOW factor to any outfit.


Radley Ladies Rose Gold Plated Chronograph Watch RY2238


My last pick is this Radley Watch above. The white leather bracelet looks super soft and again the rose gold face caught my eye. I am also loving the chronograph feature and the dials on the watch face.

As well as a great sale check out their Facebook and Twitter pages below to get a code for an extra 20% off until midnight Monday. Well... it would be rude not to! 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoshuaJamesJJJ

Why don't you pop over to their sale and let me know what items you love. Also let me know what you think of the items I have picked? 

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Thursday, 29 May 2014

Fathers Day Gift Guide And Iphone Case Giveaway - Ends 25/06

It's always a struggle to find that present for your dad on Father's Day that is cool, stylish and value for money. My gift guide has a range of prices from pocket money prices to more expensive gifts that he will love and use for years to come. I have enrolled the help of my husband for his perspective on each item. 

Here is a list of those presents that your dad will love.

For The Dad That Takes Care Of Himself - Braun 3 3040 W and D rechargeable razor £49.99 Amazon




The Braun Series 3 3040 wet and dry rechargeable razor can be used in both the bath or shower. Awarded a Which magazine Best Buy in 2013 this adaptable razor gives a smooth close shave, designed to minimise irritation while still being tough on three day old stubble. The two way pivoting foils makes it easy to move the razor around the chin and nose area for the closest shave. At the moment this razor is on special offer on Amazon for £49.99.

What he thinks :- " I found that this razor worked really well, I preferred using it for a dry shave. It didn't give me any irritation and the battery charge was good. I would definitely recommend this razor. It is an added bonus to be able to use it in the bath or shower too. "

For The Dad Who is Quirky - Moustache Mug £6 Hallmark
Hallmark have a great selection of cards and gifts for Fathers Day this year. With cards from under a pound and gifts for pocket money budgets it is worth checking out their stores for a cost effective gift.

The range of mugs they produce include this quirky mug with a moustache design, to a classic DAD mug and even photo mugs where you can upload a photo of your dad on the front.

What he thinks : " Great moustache design, now you can make me lots of tea! An inexpensive Fathers Day gift for a child to give."

For The Organised Dad - Moustache Notebook £6 Hallmark 
Hallmark notebooks have smart modern designs and are decorated with Pug dogs, London, and Bookcase prints, as well as this Moustache design. The notebooks are A4 in size, so have plenty of space for lists, notes and all manner of doodlings. 

What he thinks : "The notebook is extremely useful and the paper is a decent quality too.  A well priced useful gift. "

For The Dad Who Loves Music - Jam Wireless Portable Speaker £19.99 Amazon
The Jam wireless portable speaker is a perfect device for those that love music. This gadget is big on sound quality yet still incredibly compact. It connects wirelessly to your Bluetooth friendly device and is simple to pair up to your phone or tablet. Simple to charge with the USB connector provided it has a decent range of up to 30 feet. As it's small but perfectly formed it would be great to take on holiday and even works outside. An added plus is that there are no unsightly wires too, that could get tangled up.

What he thinks :- " A really easy to use portable speaker. Setting up was simple and the quality is super for a speaker that is so small. I think this would also be a nice gift for a teenager who is into music. "

For The Dad Who Loves Cooking  - Heston Precision Scales £49.99 John Lewis
The Heston Blumenthal precision scales  by Salter is a stylish addition to any kitchen. The scales works as two scales in one, combining the ability to weigh large kitchen item up to 10kg to much smaller items of 0.1g increments. The add and weigh function allows you to weigh multiple items individually too and that can be a very useful ability. Salter is known for creating superb quality kitchen scales and this is no exception to the rule. It provides metric and imperial weight measurement and also allows for the measuring of liquids too.

What he thinks:- " A very good quality scales, and a supremely stylish design. I also like the fact it comes in a presentation box. 
The stainless steel design makes it very hygienic. It would make a great gift for the foodie dad. "

For The Dad That Loves Technology - OtterBox Case from £39.99 OtterBox






OtterBox design cases for technology. The rugged and protective nature of these cases make them perfect for dads on the go and the accident prone dads.

The Defender series is available for a variety of tablets and phones including for the S4, Kindle, iPhone and Ipad with prices starting at £39.99. It offers a robust 3-layer protection which withstands all the drops bumps and shocks experienced in the average day. There is no need to worry about sticky fingers or scratches from the kids as the built-in screen protector guards your device from both.

What he thinks: " A great gift if your dad doesn't look after his technology as he should! "


For The Dad That Is Sporty - Lifeproof Cases from £59.99 John Lewis






Lifeproof cases are perfect for the sporty dad. These quality cases are dust proof, drop proof, snow proof and water proof! Does your dad like to ski, windsurf or run in all weathers? Then the LifeProof cases would make an apt gift. LifeProof cases are available for a wide range of gadgets priced from £59.99. A snip when you are thinking of protecting costly devices.

What he thinks :- " The Lifeproof Iphone 5 Case is perfect for windsurfing or jogging, I even dropped it in the rain and there's not a scratch on it. "



I have a Defender Iphone 5 case by OtterBox to giveaway today on my blog. 

Suitable for Iphone 5 and Iphone 5 S this case will protect your phone with its 3 layer protection.



Terms and Conditions 
This giveaway is open to the UK only. 
You must be 18 or over to enter. 
1 entry per household.
No automated entries.Winner picked at random via Rafflecopter
If I do not hear from you within 28 days I reserve the right to pick another winner. 
No cash or prize alternatives.
Please allow 28 days for delivery from contact
Giveaway ends midnight 25/06/2014


If you are feeling generous please share this this giveaway on Google Plus below.




a Rafflecopter giveaway Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com


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Slow Cooker Low Fat Thai Green Curry

This recipe is simple to make and delicious. Use normal coconut milk if you are want a more luxurious creamy curry. It is medium hot in spice, add chillies if you want to increase the heat, I like the Very Lazy Chillies in a jar which are simple to add at the end of cooking if you want it spicier. 

Cooking for 8 hours in a slow cooker is recommended as the chicken will be beautiful and tender. Use chicken thighs and left over vegetables for a more economical dish.

You can also make this dish in one pot on the stove if you do not have a slow cooker. Just follow the stages as below but simmer gently for thirty minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

Ingredients

4 chicken breasts or thighs skinned and diced
1 (220g) tin sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 (225g) tin bamboo shoots, drained and sliced.
50g cooked peas
1 pepper, chopped
1/2 jar of Blue Dragon green curry paste (or similar) 

1 (400 ml) large tin of low fat coconut milk
chopped fresh basil for garnish




Method

Brown the chicken in a little oil in a pan.
Add the thai curry paste and fry for a minute or two.
Add the jar of coconut milk, peas, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots and peppers.
Cook for 8 hours on Low or 4 hours on high.
Mix in the peas.
Add basil to garnish.
Serve with fragrant thai or basmati rice.




Before slow cooking


After slow cooking

Enjoy!

Do you love making curry? Would you give this dish a go?
Link up your recipe of the week
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Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Picking The Perfect Luxury Watch For A Man

You may think choosing a watch is all about choosing one that tells the time and of course in it's simplest form it is, but that is like saying a dress is an item of clothing that is made to cover the human body. There are countless variations and decisions to make when buying both items. This post is about picking the perfect luxury watch for a man.


Sinn 917GR - a perfect motorsport watch

There are many variations in a choice of watch and for the majority of men, a watch is one of the only items of jewellery they will wear. Simple watches can cost only a few pounds but what if you want something special that will last forever?

Important considerations in choosing a good quality watch are - style, lifestyle, innovation, and budget.

Style, Lifestyle and Budget

What straps and watch faces do you or the man in your life like? Are you looking for a dress, fashion or sports watch? How will a dress watch or sports watch fit into your life? All these are important questions to consider.

The main types of straps on luxury watches are leather, rubber or a metal bracelet.

Leather is a traditional choice and at first although the strap can feel stiff they soften over time and feel supremely comfortable on. They can have a luxurious look and feel. Leather straps do wear eventually and you may need to replace the strap over a time period. Rubber straps are a modern alternative and are easy to clean although they do not look as expensive as leather or metal straps. Metal straps are more durable over time and look more expensive, although cheaper metal straps can catch the hairs in your arm, an important consideration for a man! Metal straps can be made from a variety of materials including stainless steel, silver or even gold, with the various cost implications.



Good quality leather straps give a watch a luxury feel 

Dress watches are for those special occasions, such as going out for luxury meals, weddings, parties, the theatre and other events. A smart look, and clean lines are often vital style considerations for a dress watch. Dress watches of the more well known, well crafted and expensive brands, have a class and status all of their own. It is important to think, does your lifestyle fit into buying a dress watch? Do you have a busy social life, and go out on a regular basis to special events? Servicing and parts can be pricey, would you be able to take care of a special and more expensive watch?

With fashion watches the look of the watch, the styling and the brand would be a big consideration. Straps of fashion brands are mainly manufactured in rubber, leather, nylon and stainless steel - cheaper materials, due to the changing nature of fashion. This can often make fashion watches cheaper than their dress watch counterpart. However if you are going for an high end fashion brand then these can run into hundreds or even thousands of pounds.

A sports watch has many features particular to certain sports including a stopwatch, chronograph and tachymeter for example. The features can vary from sport to sport. Water resistance is essential for a windsurfer, whereas a stopwatch would be more appropriate for a rally driver. Sports watches and fashion watches can overlap in features and styling. The features on a stopwatch may be useful in a variety of situations even if you do not play a sport.



Metal straps such as stainless steel straps are hard wearing

Regarding budget I have already touched on some points, however it is worth noting that I personally feel you do get what you pay for in terms of quality and workmanship when buying a watch.

Innovation

Watches and technology go hand in hand these days.

Brands such as Sinn Watches are proud of their technological advances. Founded in 1961 they focus on producing innovative watches that perform under extreme conditions such as the Sinn EZM 3 a mechanical watch made for the toughest diving conditions and the Sinn 103 Ti TESTAF a professional pilot watch.

DIAPAL oil free escapement is one of their features of their technology. With a mechanical watch the aging of oil can create long term problems for the movement and service intervals can become more frequent. Sinn has created an oil free escapement that is so reliable that they offer a five year guarantee.

Sinn watches also use Ar-Dehumidifying Technology, which means the movement is kept in an environment that is almost completely dry. This reduces ageing and prevents the crystal from fogging when exposed to sudden cold, ensuring reliable functionality and accuracy for a longer period of time.

Of course many men are fascinated by the advanced technology of these watches, you don't have to be a diver or pilot to want the best technology, and quality, style and reliability are also a premium consideration with Sinn watches and other high end brands.

So here are a few considerations when choosing a luxury watch.

Do you have a luxury watch? Would you buy one for yourself or the man in your life? What features would you look for when picking a luxury watch?

* PR collaboration
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Friday, 23 May 2014

Giveaway And Spotlight On The Designer - Kimberley Wilson

Kimberley Wilson is a jewellery maker and designer based in London. She has an Etsy shop selling personally designed jewellery made of natural gemstones called Kimberley's Jewels.






Q and A with Kimberley Wilson


Tell me a little about yourself.

Basically, I'm originally from Devon and moved near London 5 years ago to be with my boyfriend. I'm 25 and as well as my newly set up business, I do have a full time job, which I love.

Why did you start your jewellery business?




I started making jewellery as a hobby to keep me busy. Over time I have collected gemstone and beads and now as my sash has got so big, I decided to set up as a small business. I've only recently seriously got my head around the business side. 

What are your plans for the future?

For the future, I'm hoping to take this on more full time but that will take some time.

In all honesty, it wasn't until I started making jewellery that I was really bothered, but when you can make a piece exactly how you want and need it, it's perfect! I usually have my family and friends say, "I've got this outfit, can you make something to go with it?"

What are your favourite jewellery pieces?

My favourite items are the charm jewellery. They're so easy to wear and perfect for all seasons.

I love working with gemstones. At the moment, I'm making jewellery with Sodalite, but my other favourite gemstones are Amethyst and Rose Quartz.





Kimberley's jewellery is realistically priced for those on a budget and her shop is well worth a look. So often it can be difficult to find jewellery with natural gemstones at this price point so Kimberley's Etsy shop is a real find.

Today Kimberley has a goody bag of her jewellery to give away to my readers.

To enter 

Pop over to her Etsy Shop  and let me know your favourite piece by leaving a blog comment below. You must also leave a way of contacting you in case you win, such as Twitter ID,  Facebook ID or email.

You can have an extra entry by following her on Facebook here and leaving a separate blog comment below with your Facebook name. Don't forget to leave a method of contacting you if you should win.

Good Luck!

Terms and Conditions

Competition ends midnight Friday 6th of June 2014
Winner will be notified within 48 hours
You have 28 days to claim you prize
I reserve the right to choose another winner If I do not hear within this time
Open to UK only
You must be over 18 to enter
Winner picked by random.org

Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com

*This is now closed - congratulations Rebecca Beesley you have won!*
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Thursday, 22 May 2014

Get A Free Graze Box

Free Graze Box


I'm always on the look out for new food concepts and ideas and tasty food for my readers. Graze was started by some foodie friends six years ago. The idea behind it, is that you can choose from over 100 snack items and have them delivered to your door for free.

You can choose from a chocolate box, to a nibble box, from a savoury box, to a breakfast box and that's just for starters.

You can try Graze for free by clicking the image above, if you are a new customer and you sign up today. You can cancel your subscription when you want too, so if you don't like it, no problem!

Would you pick popcorn, olives, brownies, little puds, dried fruit or nuts? Let me know if you do sign up and if you choose the healthy or slightly naughty options. 

*This post contains affiliate links. 
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Wednesday, 21 May 2014

New In - Ladies Fashion From T.M. Lewin

My husband loves slim fitting shirts and he is a big fan of T.M. Lewin. Their shirts are great quality, well priced and they do a range of fittings including the slim and super fitted shirts that he likes so much. They are known for men's suits as well as shirts, however did you know they do a range of women's clothing too? 


Check out the spring designs here

With an emphasis on smart fashion and work wear the new designs are slightly retro, classically cut and flattering.

I must admit, I am a big fan of cardigans especially with the British weather being so temperamental so I was looking forward to reviewing the coral cardigan below that T.M. Lewin have so kindly sent me.

Eliza Coral cardigan in a cashmere mix

Firstly I had a choice of items but I picked this as I was taken by the colour. Wow! As I have dark brown hair and eyes I find bright colours suit me and this bright coral colour did not disappoint. I was unsure which size to pick as I am a 14/16  but the medium was generous and fitted perfectly. I wore the cardigan on a night out with a summer dress. It felt lovely on, soft and cosy and kept me warm without a jacket as night came. This is due to the cashmere, viscose and cotton blend. The cardigan is also available in a range of colours including blue, orange and lime green. The care instructions are simple too, just hand wash in cool water, gently wring out and dry. 

T.M. Lewin have some great spring fashion items and the quality of their clothes are really great. My husband's shirts wash really well and always keep their shape. Their website is easy to use with standard and next day delivery options and items are delivered free to store. 


Great Spring and Summer Fashion Essentials

I have been thinking of how to update my wardrobe for the spring and summer ahead and these are my fashion tips for the warmer months.

Thin Layers

As we are emerging from spring into summer it can be difficult to know what to wear. This is where thin layers are a great and practical look. A short sleeve blouse or sleeveless top can be teemed with a cardigan for a stylish look. Perfect for layering in this tricky weather we are having at present.

Bright Colours

Being smart at work is essential but it doesn't have to be about black, grey and navy. Bright colours can get you noticed and add a fun aspect to your wardrobe too. Update your clothes with a coral cardi, bright tunic dress or lime green jacket in lightweight easy to care for fabrics.

Perfect Separates

Clothes that can take you from day to night are extremely versatile. Flattering jersey dresses teamed with a sharply cut jacket can be dressed up further with some killer heels and a pair of statement earrings for night. 

A figure hugging stretch skirt for day worn with flats and a fitted shirt can be transformed for a romantic meal with a classy top and cute bow shoes.

Accessorise

If you are on a tight budget I have one word for you - accessorise! A beautiful scarf, new handbag, statement necklace or cute shoes can make all the difference to an outfit.

If you are thinking of ordering take advantage of this special offer but be quick!
15 % off ladieswear using code SS14WW at checkout - expires midnight 24/05/14

So tell me, do you have any plans to update your wardrobe for spring/summer? What do you think of the spring pieces from T.M.Lewin? 
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Monday, 19 May 2014

My Belvita Poem

This is my morning story, why we love Belvita.




What do I want for breakfast you ask?
Well this isn't a complicated or difficult task.
Something tasty, quick and good for me or you,
With fibre, wholegrains and vitamins too. 
Conveniently packed and perfect on the go,
Releasing energy and goodness nice and slow.
My son loves the yogurt crunch cocoa you see,
My hubby the chocolate, mixed berry for me.
So many delicious varieties to eat,
Like blueberry, and milk and cereal wholewheat.
With some fruit and a latte or smoothie to drink.
A balanced nutritious breakfast I think!
Also handy to keep when you want a munch,
As Belvita gives that satisfying crunch.
So if you're worried about having breakfast in time,
Just think of my little Belvita rhyme.
Pop some in your basket when next in the shops,
You'll be thanking me in the morning rush!



This post is an entry for #MorningStories Linky Challenge sponsored by belVita Breakfast. Learn more at www.facebook.com/belVitaUK.

Have you tried Belvita biscuits? 

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21 Diamonds

21 DIAMONDS is an online global jewellery company that focus on quality precious customisable jewellery. One of the largest jewellers in Europe this Munich based jewellers operate in over 13 countries worldwide and now they have come to the UK. 

The jewellery has a range of prices and designs in silver, yellow, rose and white gold and with 28 different gemstones to choose from it helps make each item of jewellery personal and special.


With simple drop down navigation the website is easy to use, with categories including Rings, Earrings, Necklaces and Top Occasions as well as Bestsellers and Engagement Rings. Their About Us section also gives clear help and advice, describing the ordering process, how to create your own jewellery as well as delivery, shipping and returns. 


You can take one of their recommendations based on a bestselling design or you can completely configure each item of jewellery. Once you have decided on one of the designs, the stone, accent stone, metal, size and engraving can all be adjusted to suit you or someone you love.





They are an engagement ring specialists too and with their best seller rings starting under £200 you can see their designs are well priced. Certainly they also have more expensive options, a beautiful diamond engagement ring in 18 ct white gold would be more expensive than a blue topaz ring in silver but the design could be the same just the metals and stones would be different. That's what is exciting about this website - the design options!





But this website is not just about engagement rings, the also sell a range of other rings, such as eternity and friendship rings and a range of stud and drop earrings as well as pretty necklaces that compliment the gorgeous rings available. 


The occasion section is full of super gift ideas for anniversaries, birthdays and Mother's Day as well as ideas for a gift for a newborn baby and for mum too. Gorgeous white and yellow gold crosses, pretty pearl earrings and freshwater pearl necklaces are some of the ideas for a newborn baby as a keep sake and for the new mum.

When a baby is born I feel sometimes the mother can get overlooked. A brilliant idea is to create an item of jewellery with a stone to represent the child, a ruby for a girl, blue sapphire for a boy for example, and with this website that is very easy to do.
A beautiful gift for a new mum

Delivery is free and with a 30 day return period you can be safe in the knowledge that you have very few risks involved with your purchase - * certain terms apply.



Today 21 DIAMONDS have a very special offer for my readers. 

Enter the code 
20OFF-Melissa-Fans 
 at checkout to get 20% off until the end of June.

So if you are thinking of buying a special item of jewellery for a loved one, or to treat yourself, why don't you have a browse of the beautiful designs available and with this offer you really can't lose, can you?

Tell me, do you have a treasured item of jewellery? What jewellery would you love next? What do you think of the 21 DIAMONDS website?


* This is a sponsored post, all words and opinions are my own.
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Thursday, 15 May 2014

Win A Holiday to Vegas

I love entering competitions and Quiz clothing are running an amazing competition at the moment to win a holiday to Vegas

I was lucky enough to visit LA and Vegas last year. The hotels in Vegas are amazingly well priced, they keep the prices low to bring in the crowds to gamble in the casinos and there is so much to see and do all year round.

Vegas is known for the casinos but a holiday there is not all about gambling however. There are some great family friendly activities, such as a visit to the roller coaster in New York New York, go see a show such as Cirque De Soleil, watch the Bellagio fountain display and go on the rides at the top of The Stratosphere.


Win a VIP trip to Vegas with Quiz Clothing

You can enter this competition by clicking on the advert above and if you do enter I wish you loads of luck!

You could win return flights, limousine transfers, 5 nights at a 5 star hotel, tickets to see Britney Spears and 5 dresses for the winner. What a prize!

Tell me have you ever been to Vegas, or do you want to go in the future?

* This post contains affiliate links
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Wednesday, 14 May 2014

A Real Best Friend

Dog 2
 (Photo credit: EuroMagic)

I have been wanting to get a dog for a long time. Myself and my husband now work from home however we have a flat and I would rather wait for the time in the future where we have a house with a garden, to let the dog out in an emergency. I have had two dogs in the past and I would love to get another one, one day I will.

We all know dogs are a mans best friend, they are so loving and affectionate in general, and incredibly loyal too. However I didn't realise all the remarkable things they are capable of. 

These are some of the things they can do

Help those with Autism

Research has shown that they help reduce the stress of an autism suffer, as well as helping them in social situations.

Help those with depression

Looking after a dog can provide health benefits for those with depression by providing routine, activity and exercise as well as companionship.

Help those with diabetes

With training dogs can be used to detect low blood sugar in those with diabetes. They are also great at alerting others if an attack has occurred by barking and bringing attention to the situation.

Help those with epilepsy

It's amazing to think that dogs can detect seizures before they happen. It is still not known how they do it but researchers think they detect subtle changes in scent or human behaviour. 

Helping those with food allergies

Dogs can be trained to detect substances that you are allergic to, for example peanuts.

As you can see, dogs are so much more than mans best friend, they can be a vital help to those in need.




Infographic courtesy of Bolt Burdon Kemp 

Do you have a dog? Have they ever helped you in need? Did you know some of the amazing things dogs can do?

* post in collaboration with Bolt Burdon Kemp
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Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Dresses For Every Occasion

You no longer have to be a girly girl to wear dresses, and with such a vast array of styles and designs available, you’re guaranteed to find a dress for every occasion and budget that suits your own unique style! 

1. Work Dress

geometric work dress

If you work in an office, in retail or somewhere you’re required to look well presented, a couple of decent work dresses are a good wardrobe staple. Go for a pencil or shift dress in a one of this season’s stylish panel designs, or opt for a neutral black or grey for a smart, professional look. You can brighten it up with a colourful cardi and accessorise with scarves and jewellery.

2. Casual / Daytime Dress


Pineapple print maxi

Many of us automatically reach for our jeans at the weekend, but now that Spring is here, mix it up with a comfortable daytime dress or two to add a feminine touch. There are so many styles at really affordable prices, from the playful fit and flare dresses to George at Asda’s cheap maxi dresses, which will take you right through into summer. If you want to be on-trend as well as comfy, icy pastels and bold primary colours will be prominent this season.

3. Evening / Formal Dress



black lace evening dress

You never know when you might land an invitation to a formal event, such as a wedding or christening – or if you’re really lucky, maybe your other half will whisk you off for a classy meal in a fancy restaurant (live in hope!) It can be stressful having to make a rushed purchase for a formal dress at the last minute, so keep an eye out for something classic that won’t date, such as an empire line or a tailored style. It’s worth spending a bit more on a formal dress in order to get one that’s well cut and in a quality fabric - and you’ll feel all the more fabulous for it. You can often get good discounts on designer dresses in the sales, so try and bag a bargain when you spot one.

4. Party Dress

body con party dress

We all like to party when we get the chance – maybe you have a birthday bash or hen night coming up soon? Your party dress is probably the dress which expresses you the best – whether that be glamorous and sexy, or sequins and bling – so choose something that reflects your personality. A party outfit isn’t complete without stylish shoes and accessories, so how about a pair of embellished sandals or funky court shoes, and some chunky metal jewellery to really make you stand out from the crowd!

5. Little Black Dress


classic little black dress

Such a classic it needed to be a listing on its own! Forget diamonds, the LBD (as it’s fondly known) is a girl’s best friend – a versatile garment that you can wear in almost any setting and dress up or down, depending on the occasion. You may choose to invest in a silhouette hugging, long sleeve style, which looks great with boots, or a slinky little number, teamed with your best killer heels. Black is such an easy colour to wear as it goes with anything as well as being slimming - ideal if you’ve got bulges you’d rather hide. Pair it with some colourful, statement jewellery to add contrast and you’ll look a million dollars without having blown the budget!

Dresses really are easy to wear, so don’t be afraid to ditch the jeans! Have the right dress hanging in your wardrobe and it will quickly become your number 1 style saviour.

Do you have a favourite dress? What do you think of the dresses I have picked?

*This is a guest post 
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Monday, 12 May 2014

Pub Quiz Night And Chicken And Bacon Pie Recipe

My local pub The Rose and Crown is part of the community. They have a beer and ale festival every May and regularly have events at Bonfire night, Halloween, and Christmas. The food is lovely as well, think luscious homemade soups, fabulous Celtic Pride beef burgers, and tasty pies and lasagnas. They also used to run great Pub Quizzes, unfortunately of late they have become few and far between.

Up and down the country we have some great pubs, like the Rose and Crown. Pubs that have real ales, roaring fires in the Winter and barbecues in the summer. Pubs that serve great food at surprisingly affordable prices. Pubs that have great play areas for kids and pubs that run charity quizzes for local causes. Pubs that are at the heart of communities up and down the country. 



An example of the fabulous local pub food served up and down the country


Wilson Field are running a campaign to highlight the fact that we are underusing our pubs in the UK. Unfortunately although we are starting to come out of a recession, pubs are closing every day in this country. They found that, " 8% of British adults never visit the pub and 36% of those who use their local pub now visit it less often than they did 12 months ago. Running costs, changing social behaviour and supermarket competition have been blamed by those in the pub industry."


So I would say to you, use your local pub, if you don't use it, you could lose it. If you are feeling the pinch why not alternate going to the local pub with a pub quiz night in the house, rather than not go at all.

Here is a photo from the Pub Quiz night I held recently.





In the spirit of the night I cooked proper pub food, Quorn lasagne for the vegetarians, chicken and bacon pie (based on a Gordon Ramsey Recipe), chips and salad and a fabulous marbled chocolate cheesecake. Myself and my husband created a "guess the faces" quiz, a music quiz and used a great pub quiz book for a general knowledge quiz. It was great fun but it was an effort. Many local pubs run interesting and fun nights like this all the time, and it is so much easier when other people organise it.

So in conclusion, don't forget how wonderful your local pub is. If you can't afford to go all the time alternate going there with a night of socialising in the house, just don't forget to USE IT, DON"T LOSE IT. 





Our home made pub quiz

Mel's Chicken and Bacon Pie 




Serves 6

Ingredients

4 chicken breasts or 400 grams boneless chicken thigh, cubed 
6 rashers of smoked bacon, fat and rind removed, cut into small pieces 
2 leeks 
100 grams mushrooms 
1 large carrot 
1 clove garlic
100 grams mushrooms 
2 teaspoon of herbs such as tarragon or thyme
Puff pastry sheet (ready made or home made)
1 beaten egg

Method

Fry the chicken and bacon in a little oil until lightly browned.  
Remove from pan. 
Add a little oil and fry 1 clove of garlic for a minute. 
Add leeks and mushrooms fry for a minute.
Add meat back to pan. 
Mix in 2 dessert spoons of flour, and fry for a minute.
Add the herbs, chicken stock, and a splash of white wine (optional)
Set on high for 4 hours.
When cooked place the filling in the pie dish.
Take the puff pastry sheet and use as instructed.  
Cover the pie dish with the sheet of pastry and cut off the excess, crimp the edges if desired.
Made a cut in the middle for the steam to escape and decorate with pastry leaves.
Use beaten egg to glaze the pie.
Cook for 30-40 minutes at 200o C in a preheated oven until the pastry is brown and the pie is heated through.

Serve with new potatoes or chips and seasonal vegetables.




Do you use your local pub? What special nights and events do they do? Do you enjoy pub quizzes?

*I was sent some pub quiz items for this post, all words and opinions are my own.



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