Tuesday, 31 January 2017

A Stay In Jane Austen's Former Home With Bath Boutique Stays

So often I think Mr W and I get swept away in the excitement of foreign holidays that we forget what amazing places we have here in the UK. So recently we took a trip over the Severn Bridge from Wales into England and stayed in Bath for a couple of days. 

Bath is a beautiful city and one of our favourite places to visit in the UK. Being a historic city and World Heritage Site it has many things to see and do, including visiting the Roman Baths, which are amazingly preserved, Bath Fashion Museum, Bath Abbey, The Jane Austen Centre and the Thermae Bath Spa.

This year we are making an oath to try some new experiences and try different accommodation options, so we were looking for a place to stay that was a little different to normal, and this is where Bath Boutique Stays came in.  



Bath Boutique Stays offer a range of historic properties in the centre of Bath, and we were lucky to be invited to review an apartment in Jane Austen's former home in Sydney Place. Jane Austen, the well-known author of Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility lived in this apartment from 1801 to 1805. Jane Austen's appeal has been said to be down to her witty ironic writing and her universal themes of love, money, power and status in her novels.


The apartment was made up of two spacious rooms (the parlour and a double bedroom) as well as a small utility room, kitchen and shower room with toilet.




‘It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.’ Sense and Sensibility







The lounge area, or parlour, as they called it in Jane Austen's time, was spacious and furnished with a mix of modern and traditional furnishings. Large leather Chesterfield sofas big enough to seat four each added a luxurious touch, and I loved the table made of glass resting on old-fashioned suitcases.

The high ceilings had lovely cornicing and the windows had wooden shutters to help keep the noise out at night and provide some privacy.



"Without music, life would be a blank to me".  Emma 

A lovely touch was the painting on the wall, inspired by Jane Austen perhaps? As well as that there was information in the room that evocatively talked about Jane living in the house at the turn of the 17th century. She stayed here before her books were published but she completed three of her great novels in Bath.


Across the road is the Holbourne Museum

I could really imagine her looking out of the window, drinking tea and thinking about the characters in her next book.



The bedroom again was spacious and also light and airy. A large comfy king size bed rested along one wall accompanied by two small bedside tables and opposite this wall, a fireplace and white washed wardrobe. A small thing, it would have been nice to have a chest of drawers for added storage.




The fire surround was smart and although not an original feature looked great in the room. 




"Marriage is indeed a manoeuvring business". Mansfield Park

The wall safe looked like it was part of the original decor in this beautiful historic property.


The kitchen was compact and bijou but still contained all you needed to cook a meal, including a small fridge, cooker, microwave, toaster, kettle, cafetiere, cutlery and crockery.  The utility room next door contained a small freezer and washing machine.



A nice touch was the welcome box of tea, proper coffee and little scrumptious treats (little flapjacks and shortbreads). In the fridge was a bottled of chilled water and fresh milk too. There is nothing nicer when you get to a property after a drive, that a sit down with a nice cup of tea and a snack and Bath Boutique Stays had obviously thought of this.



The bathroom was small, with a toilet, sink and shower but totally suitable for our needs and was very clean. A huge plus point here was the large Cowshed luxury toiletries. What a treat!


"Angry people are not always wise".  Pride and Prejudice 

A benefit of this apartment was that is had its own little garden. I can just imagine sitting in this delightful space in the warm weather with a glass of wine in my hand and chatting about our travels with Mr W.




The Jane Austen apartments are situated a ten-minute walk from the city centre and about the same to the Bath Spa train station. It is literally across the road from the Holbourne museum, Bath's first public art gallery. 

Emma's garden apartment sleeps 2 whilst other apartments in this historic townhouse sleep up to 4, and the whole house can be hired out to sleep 14 - great for a family get together. We enjoyed our stay at Jane Austen's former home, and it was fun seeing the tourists stop and take a photo of the plaque outside that said this iconic novelist had lived there. The apartment is well situated and was a great base to explore Bath and an easy walk into the centre of the city. 



Due to the period features of the property double glazing is not allowed so there was a little street noise especially first thing in the morning but this was to be expected. There are no curtains so also be aware if your Mr Darcy is sitting on the sofa in his pants, you don't want him to be snapped by the tourists outside with their ultra big lens! 

If you want to stay in a historic property when you are visiting Bath you can do no wrong in staying in one of the properties from Bath Boutique Stays. Check in was easy, with a quick phone call from the manager of the apartments prior to our arrival and a text message following with arrival instructions. Wi-Fi was free and a parking permit can be arranged at £15 per day. Complimentary breakfast is also included with the stay but we did not try this. Hen parties with a touch of class are also catered for and trips to the Therma Bath Spa can be arranged. A stay in the apartments are from £179 a night.

Here is a video Mr W made of the apartment for our travel blog Fly Drive Explore. 





As Jane Austen once said "Ah! There is nothing like staying at home, for real comfort.”  You will be comfortably looked after in Jane's former home if you stay here. Highly recommended. 

http://www.bathboutiquestays.co.uk/

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Monday, 30 January 2017

What To Wear To Wimbledon

Have you been to Wimbledon? I remember visiting the oldest tennis tournament in the world when I was in school. Taking place from 3rd July – 16th July 2017 this year it’s always great to watch, and let's hope Andy Murray wins his third championship title.


While the rest of us will be tuning in at home, you may have been lucky enough to grab a ticket. As well as packing your sunscreen, you’ll want to make sure you look good.

In the past, Wimbledon was known to have a notoriously stringent dress code. In recent time though this has become more relaxed with only fashion extremes like ripped jeans and dirty trainers being banned, and to be honest so they should be as getting dressed up for Wimbledon is half the fun!

To help you look your best, Daniel Footwear have written this guide to offer some advice:

Clothing





As we’ve already mentioned, there are certain pieces of clothing that shouldn’t be worn to Wimbledon. We suggest leaving your casual clothes in favour of a smart-casual look, as seen on famous Wimbledon attendees like Kim Murray or Sienna Miller.

Of course, being in Britain, you need to dress for the weather. If the weather is overcast, trousers and a tailored jacket is a great look. Wear a loose-fitting vest or top underneath the jacket, so that you’re prepared if the sun does make an appearance.

Thankfully, the weather is usually good for the tournament, with many spectators soaking up the sun as well as the atmosphere. If the sun is coming out to play choose clothing that will keep you cool like floaty sundresses, tailored shorts and lightweight tops.  Make sure you pack a cover-up too — a cardigan or thin jacket is great for matches that last long after the sun goes down.

Footwear



The great thing about Wimbledon is that you’ll do minimal walking. For many, this will offer greater potential in terms of footwear. If you are planning on wearing heels, choose a mid-height pair to remain in-keeping with the smart-casual vibe.

Sandals are the perfect choice for Wimbledon, although flip flops are a little too casual. Instead, wear strappy formal sandals — they’ll keep your feet comfortable and cool.

Accessories




Don't forget to put those perfect finishing touches to your outfit. Sat in the sun all day, you may be tempted to wear a hat. However, be careful that your hat isn't so big that it will block the view of the people behind you.

It's important to shield your eyes with a pair of sunglasses to protect them from the sun, so choose a stylish pair in a retro look to be sure you don’t miss out on any of the action!


Tell me have you been to Wimbeldon?

*PR collaboration
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Friday, 27 January 2017

Effective Solutions For A Dark Room

If you have a dark room in your home it can really affect how you feel. A dark room can be depressing and claustrophobic. Here are some ways on how to lighten a dark dreary room. 


Lighting

Add as many different types of lighting that you can. Uplights, downlights, pendant lights, table lights and candle light all add something different to the atmosphere and help illuminate a room. 

A daylight bulb can add the brightness you may need in a room, however, the lighting can be harsh and cool so use sparingly. A warmer alternative is a soft white bulb with a warmer light.

Use lampshades that are transparent and allow light to flood through and not solid shades of metal or wood.

Paint

Use light pale colours especially creams and white to create a spacious bright feel to a room. A white ceiling will add a natural brightness to a room so bear this in mind when decorating. 

Splashes of colour can be added with accessories so the room isn't bland or boring. Colour can also be added as a feature wall but consider a light shade and tone, not a dark colour. 

Mirrors 

Mirrors can make a dark room look lighter and more spacious. They trick the eye into thinking the room is large and brighter as they reflect light instead of absorbing it. 

Pick a large mirror and place it strategically in the room to reflect light and create space.

Skylights




Skylights or roof lanterns are essentially the same things -  a window in the roof that can let light flood in. Flat roof lanterns are great for a modern home as they sit flush to the roof for those that want a sleek seamless look. 

Modern roof lanterns also have a thermally efficient UPVC core so have money saving and heating benefits too. Some roof lanterns are self-cleaning as well so you don't have to worry about that chore.

Windows



Use sheer or light fabrics on your windows. Shutters can be used to protect privacy whilst still allowing natural light to come in. You can buy film to add to windows that are translucent, lets light in but still protects your privacy.

If you do not have a window in the room consider adding one if you can. This is easier said than done but can add a huge amount of light to a room.

Glass doors

Replace your doors with glass ones, to let light through. If you cannot afford to do this, paint your solid doors instead with white or cream.

So these are some effective solutions for a dark room. If you want some more inspiration, check out these ideas on how to brighten a dark room. Tell me, do you have any tips?

*PR collaboration 
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Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Top Tips On Looking After Your Skin

It's important to look after your skin at any age. Here are some simple tips to make your skin the best it can be.


Sun

Nothing ages like the sun, so it is important to protect your skin from sun damage with some simple steps. 

Always wear sunscreen when out in the sun, appropriate to the weather conditions. Apply generously, and apply more than your think, as people often do not apply enough. 

Cover up between the hours of 12 and 2 when the sun is generally the hottest, and don't forget sunglasses and a hat too.

Skincare

Use a simple gentle skincare regime suitable for your skin type. 

If you wear makeup everyday, always remove your makeup thoroughly by cleansing then toning to remove any residue. Don't forget a moisturiser with an SPF to protect your skin, such as a manuka honey moisturiser. Even if it is overcast your skin can be suspectable to damage from UVA and UVB rays. 

Smoking

Smoking narrows the blood vessels and reduces elasticity as well as contributing to wrinkles. Giving up is the best thing you can do, and there are many things that can help you do this including nicotine patches, vaping and stop smoking groups. 

Your GP may be able to prescribe suitable products so make an appointment now.

Alcohol


Alcohol dehydrates you making the skin look tired, so be sure to drink plenty of water or soft drinks between the glass of wine you have.

Try to stick to recommended limits to prevent it damaging your health, have at least two days alcohol-free a week and do not binge drink, instead spread your drinking throughout the week.

Diet 

The link between diet and skin isn't fully understood but a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, low in unhealthy fats and processed food is thought to promote younger looking skin.

If you have mild acne, there are products you can buy in your local chemist that can help, however, if you have severe acne I recommend seeing your GP as this is likely to be due to a hormone imbalance.

Stress



It is thought that stress can affect your skin and make you have breakouts. Take steps to manage your stress in a healthy way, this does not mean eating a cream cake or drinking a bottle of wine! Exercise can help manage stress as well as meditation. 

In conclusion, protect your skin from the sun, don't smoke, eat a balanced diet, cut down on drinking alcohol and make time to relax and look after yourself and it will benefit your skin. 

Tell me what are your skin care tips?

*collaborative post

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Monday, 23 January 2017

Little Book Of Earrings Review And Competition - Ends 27/02

In the last year I have travelled a lot. When I sat down with my husband to work out where we have been this year, I was amazed to find out we've been on 19 flights! Not bad going for someone that doesn't like flying. You can read my tips on how I manage my fear of flying on the dedicated travel blog I write with my husband, Fly Drive Explore.

Anyway, flying so much has its challenges, and one thing I have found out this last year is that I really need a way of storing my jewellery as I fly. This is where the Little Book Of Earrings comes in. 

The Little Book Of Earrings travel book in a simple but ingenious way of protecting your earrings as you travel. 

This little book holds up to 12 sets of earrings, a perfect number for a holiday away. The book is made of a simple stylish faux leather material and inside it has soft padded pages. 

The benefits of using this to store your earrings as you travel is that there is no carrying awkward or bulky boxes to put your jewellery in, all your earrings are in one place. The travel size book is small and neat and the perfect size to slip into your hand luggage or put in your suitcase. The popper fastening on the book will also keep everything safe and secure.  


The Little Book Of Earrings also comes in a larger size to keep in your home. The larger size will hold 48 pairs of earrings and is in the same stylish design.



The Little Book Of Earrings comes in a range of colours from black to pink from gold to teal. There is even a purple crock design. The Little Book Of Earrings travel size retails at £14.49 whilst the larger size retails at £21.49. At the moment if you buy them from Gift Central both designs are in the sale so you will grab a bargain. 

Today on my blog I am giving my readers the chance to win one of three Little Book Of Earrings, 2 full size and 1 travel book. Earrings are not included.

Entry is easy via the Gleam app below. While you are here, why don't you check out a competition I have running on the travel blog I write with my husband Fly Drive Explore, to win Lonely Planet's Best In Travel 2017 and a Moleskine travel planner. Good luck!


Win A Little Book Of Earrings
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Friday, 20 January 2017

The History Of The Chelsea Boot

The Chelsea boot is such an iconic fashion item from the 1960's but the roots of the Chelsea boot go back to the Victorian era. In this article, I will look at the history of the Chelsea boot and look at five of the best from the high street today.

What Is A Chelsea Boot?
Tommy Hilfiger Chelsea Boot 

A Chelsea boot is an ankle boot, that is close fitting and has an elasticated side panel. Often on the back of the boot, there is a loop or panel that you can pull making it easier to get the boot on. 

The Victorian Era


Superdry Chelsea Boot

The Chelsea boot has been credited as being invented by Queen Victoria's bootmaker, a man called J. Sparkes-Hall and the design was patented in 1851, however, the origins of the boot come from before that.

In 1839 Charles Goodyear the American inventor claimed to develop a process that vulcanised rubber – a process that transforms rubber into a polymer, which makes it strong, durable and increased it's elasticity, whilst British inventor Thomas Hancock made the same claim around this time too. 

What J Sparkes-Hall did was add vulcanised rubber to the ankle of the Chelsea boot making it easier for the boot to be slipped on and off. At this time it was known as the paddock boot and it became a popular boot for horse riders as well as walkers.

The 1950s




Lotus Chelsea Boot

In the 1950s and the 1960s, Chelsea boots became popular in the UK due to its association with the Chelsea set, a group of artists, creative types and socialites that hung around King's Road, Chelsea in London. 

In the 1960s they became famous being worn by everyone from the Beatles and the Rolling Stones to Jean Shrimpton, and were picked up by the fashion conscious Mods, being worn with sharp suits and straight leg trousers.

Today

The Chelsea boot is a stylish part of any man or woman's outfit today. Perfecting matched with close-fitting suits, or straight-leg jeans for that rock n roll look, the Chelsea boot is a style that is classic, timeless and will never go out of fashion.  




Ted Baker Chelsea Boot

Many department stores sell Chelsea boots and they have a particularly great selection online at House Of Fraser. My favourite are the Tommy Hilfiger Chelsea boots featured first. This classic black Chelsea boot is the perfect wardrobe essential to dress up or dress down with jeans or a classic fitted suit. 

Tell me do you or your partner own a pair of Chelsea boots? Did you know of the history of Chelsea boots?

*PR collaboration 
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Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Valentines Jewellery With Dower And Hall And Win Pretty Earrings - Ends 14/02

When I owned my own jewellers with my husband we used to pride ourselves on selling jewellery that was made with the utmost quality. Every year we used to visit International Jewellery London, a big trade show looking for beautiful jewellery that we would be proud to sell. This is where I came into contact with Dower and Hall.

Dower and Hall are a British company established in 1990 by husband and wife Dan Dower and Diane Hall.  All their jewellery is made in their London workshop by skilled jewellers in sterling silver, gold vermeil, 18ct gold and platinum.


The Wild Rose range

Their designs are pretty and feminine, and notable collections include the 'Feather' collection with lifelike detailing, the 'Nomad' range of organic design necklaces, earrings and bracelets and the 'Wild Rose' range that has a romantic feel. 

They also make a range of jewellery that can be personalised, called the Cherish range. Cherish lockets are designed to bring individuality to your life and make a perfect gift for birthdays, anniversaries as well as Valentines Day.

The Sealed With A Kiss Range

The Sealed With A Kiss range has pretty pendants set with crystal glass, inside floating treasures and loose gemstones, shimmer and shine in the light as they move with the wearer. These pendants are a lovely gift and the perfect keepsake, to be adored and treasured. 
Love Heart Entwined Bracelet

Another range I think is so pretty is the Love Heart range. This Love Heart entwined bracelet above is made of sterling silver, the hearts have a hammered finish and the clasp has the distinctive Dower and Hall detailed catch. That is what I love about Dower and Hall, the little details that make the jewellery extra special.  Also All the jewellery above would make fantastic Valentine's day presents. I personally would be overjoyed to receive the Love Heart entwined bracelet, hint hint Mr W!

At the trade show in London, we bought a selection of Dower and Hall jewellery and sold it in our shop in South Wales. I loved it so much I bought the Nomad nugget bracelet which I still wear today. 



Wild rose earrings with topaz drop

Today on my blog I am giving you a chance to win a pair of silver rose earrings from Dower and Hall. These stunning earrings are inspired by English country gardens and feature a white topaz on the beautiful drop. Worth £75 they would make a great gift for someone or a treat for yourself. Entry is easy through the Gleam application below. Good luck!

Win a pair of silver earrings
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Monday, 16 January 2017

8 Essential Apps for Managing Life as a Student

The life of a student can be chaotic, especially if you are working as well as attending classes. Fortunately, there are a number of excellent apps that can help you in almost every area of life. Here are some of the best ones: 

Evernote 



Note taking is an essential part of student life. Evernote consistently ranks as one of the top apps in the genre. The free version allows you to take notes and access them across all mobile and desktop devices. You can also take audio notes and searchable pictures of books and classroom presentations. 

SoundNote 

If you prefer to record classroom lectures rather than trying to type while listening, SoundNote is one of the best on the market. The app also has note-taking capabilities. 

Office Lens 

If your lecturer is prone to making a lot of whiteboard notes and diagrams, Office Lens, a Microsoft Office add-on is a must. The app allows you to take a picture of whiteboards (or other displays) and then convert the picture to a Word, PDF, or PowerPoint file. 

Wunderlist 

Just because you are a student does not mean that all of your other activities have to fall by the wayside. Wunderlist is a free app which lets you make a note of the events and activities that you want to do and stores them on the cloud. The app will send you email reminders and notifications for date specific events and allows you to check your list from any device. 

Hungry House



Studying on an empty stomach is not a good idea. Cooking at home or going out for a meal is often just not part of the plan. The Hungry House app is one of the highest rated restaurant apps on the market. It allows you to search for restaurants in your area that offer takeaway or delivery. You can sort by type of food, search the menu, and place your order without ever leaving your desk. 

Planners 

One of the keys to reducing stress and success as a student is being well organised. Student planner apps are plentiful, with many of them offered at no or very low cost. The most useful apps send reminders for important events via email or alerts to your device. Timetable is amongst the best apps available and offers a nice clean interface. The My Class Schedule and Class Timetable apps use the standard spreadsheet or datebook style layout. All three are highly rated and easy to use. 

TED 




TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. What started as a conference in 1984 has turned into one of the most critically acclaimed collections of talks, performances, and presentations in the world. TED covers an incredibly wide range of topics and interests in almost 100 languages. The TED app educates and entertains as well as providing a very quotable source of material for research projects and papers. The free TED app provides access to an incredible and growing archive of material. 

BBC iPlayer 

You no longer have to bemoan the fact that you have missed the Dr Who Christmas Special or other BBC television or radio programmes. This free app gives you access to the vast collection of programmes from the past week. 

Can you recommend any apps to help with organising your life whether you are a student or not?

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Friday, 13 January 2017

Become a Beauty Therapist

If like 66% of millennials you’re considering a career change then you’re at that proverbial fork in the path of life. Do you take the path which is more familiar to you? Or do you take the path less known? It’s a difficult decision and the temptation to stick to what you know is overwhelming. 



That career in beauty that you’ve long dreamed of will have to wait - just another pipedream. But it doesn’t have to be like this - your dreams can become realities. Your career as a Beauty Therapist is closer than you think. All you need is a little ‘know how’. 

If you’ve reached the point of considering a career change then it will come as no surprise that one of the most cited reasons for not actually changing jobs is a lack of knowledge as to how to go about it. A new career is something completely different, an unchartered territory just waiting to be explored. It is both exciting and terrifying.

The time to take the plunge is now. Stop wondering ‘what if’ and start making that change.

The Training Room is here to help, as expert training course providers in beauty therapy, we know a little bit about what is needed to help you get your dream career in the beauty industry. Let’s start at the beginning…


Decision Time: You Want To Be a Beauty Therapist 




You’ve probably done the research already. You know what a Beauty Therapist is, your manicures from your pedicures and you are no stranger to the odd massage, either.

Next, comes ensuring that you are a good ‘fit’ for your desired role. It is important to note that there is not a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ set of characteristics for the role of a Beauty Therapist - however, there are those which may make you more suited to the role. These include. a keen eye for detail, keeping up to date with the latest fashion and trends and the ability to make your clients feel relaxed, amongst others.

The National Careers Service and Plotr have some good information on what makes a good Beauty Therapist as well as other interesting information. 

What Qualifications Do I Need To Become a Beauty Therapist?


If you wish to practise beauty therapy in the UK then first you must be qualified. There are two main routes to become qualified. These are: apprenticeship or through a recognised college or training provider, such as The Training Room.

Qualification through an apprenticeship may take a long period of time and be poorly paid. 
On the other hand, training courses such as those offered by The Training Room are often offered on either a full-time or part-time basis making them more flexible and quicker to complete.

You can find out much more about what qualifications are needed to be a Beauty Therapist here.

Qualifications With The Training Room



The Training Room offers Beauty Therapy Courses which are internationally recognised and HABIA approved.

Following the ITEC syllabus, The Training Room will take you through level 2 in Beauty Therapy Techniques and the level 3 in Beauty Therapy. What this gives you is a fully comprehensive qualification in beauty therapy which sees you qualified at the highest entry level in the beauty industry.

Covering everything from lashes to nails and massage to health and safety practices, the course equips you with everything you will need to know in preparation for life as a Beauty Therapist. In addition, you will receive a one-day Continuing Professional Development (CPD) course, GelColor by OPI, to set you up to provide your clients with killer claws! (And to give you an edge in those all important job interviews.)

For more information about the beauty therapy courses which are offered by The Training Room as well as some handy downloadable content, visit the website. You can also read about our course funding options here. 


Beyond Training - What Comes Next?



After gaining those all important qualifications it’s time to explore your options.

Beauty therapy can be an extremely rewarding and flexible career options; full-time or part-time employment or even self-employment - you decide, all are feasible career options.

The Training Room, to help ease the stresses of job seeking, provides all it’s students with an unrivaled career support. You will receive full career support from registration for up to 3 years, as well as a guaranteed interview with one of The Training Room’s corporate partners such as: The OnBoard Spa by Steiner, Clarins or Nuffield Health.

In addition, as the ITEC qualification is internationally recognised there may be options to work abroad. Other exciting opportunities may be available in the television or film industries - the beauty industry doesn’t have a glamorous reputation for nothing!

Considering Becoming a Beauty Therapist?


If we’ve sufficiently put your worries at bay and you’re ready to take your first step to becoming a Beauty Therapist, why not take a look at The Training Room’s beauty therapy courses? Your new career is just a click away!

* Guest post by The Training Room
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Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Meditating With Spinning Rings

Many people have yet to try the marvellously calming practice of meditating with spinning rings. Spinning rings, also known as meditation rings, are an ancient part of Tibetan culture as they symbolise the Tibetan prayer wheel, one spin of which harmonises your environment and increases empathy. They are formed of a main ring body which encloses the wearer's finger, as in any ring, and then a separate band which revolves around the main body of the ring when the wearer spins it with either of their thumbs. This unusual jewellery design, with motion in mind, is to allow the practice of meditation using the rings. 



Spinning rings are also known as worry rings as they are fantastic for relieving anxiety. This is because they offer the wearer something to do with their hands at any given moment. Movement of the hands has been shown, through use in therapeutic settings, to enable a person to process difficult emotions.

Upon wearing a spinning ring, you will find yourself fiddling with it at all times of the day, whether you're on the train, watching television or speaking with people, as it can be both soothing and absorbing, depending on your activity. This small action can ease the wearer into a meditative state which is deeply beneficial for mind and body. 


Traditionally, these beautiful rings would have been a meaningful aid to more focused meditation, and indeed you may find that you would like to give this a try. As with any meditation, it's best to find a quiet, temperate place, away from distractions and noise. Some people choose to sit, some lie down, but really any way in which you are comfortable is fine. 


A common misconception is that it is necessary to completely clear your mind of thoughts in order to meditate effectively. This is impossible and will lead you to spend the entire time chasing thoughts out of your mind. The best practice is to allow thoughts to wander freely through your mind, but simply not engage with them and let them drift out again, unanalysed. You may introduce the motion of the ring at any point to aid this unengaged processing of thoughts, and may also chant if you so wish.

Spinning rings are not only a wonderful, interactive and spiritual piece of jewellery, and a tonic for the mind, but they're also fashionable, contemporary silver rings, which can be worn as a beautiful accessory to your everyday attire. They align your whole being with beauty and harmony, inside and out.

*Guest post
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Five Of The Best Floral Shirt Dresses

Shirt dresses are a modern-day fashion staple that come in all styles and are suitable for all shapes and sizes. Although they can be super smart when needed, they are not just for work wear. I love the pretty floral and girly styles that are everywhere at the moment. If you want a more simple casual look there are styles out there for you too.

Here is a selection of my favourite floral shirt dresses from House Of Fraser this season. Let me know which ones you love.

Yumi Bird and Floral Print Shirt Dress was £60 now £30

This Yumi bird and floral print dress in a colourful all-over print, features contrasting black detailing on the collar and cuffs. There is a button up front and the waist tie is a fab addition to give your waist definition. Made from polyester, this dress is lightweight and great to pack on your travels.



Oasis Lotus shirt dress £46

This Oasis Lotus shirt dress reminds me of a Japenese flower garden with beautiful blooms. It's a great outfit to dress up for dinner with a smart clutch bag and some sparkly earrings or to wear to work or shopping with some black leggings and a tote bag. A touch of elastane adds some stretch to the material too.


Phase Eight Naomi Shirt Dress was £99 now £59

Phase Eight make some beautiful clothes and how gorgeous is this modern shirt dress? The sleeveless design is super for Summer holidays and the dress is a great length, sitting just above the knee on tall girls and below the knee on shorties like me. The self-tie waist adds that finishing touch for waist definition.




Phase Eight Vanna Lace Shirt Dress was £250 now £185

Perfect for a special occasion this monochrome shirt dress from Phase Eight has a gorgeous floral lace overlay and a design that will skim your curves. Featuring a penny collar and sparkling button fastenings through the front, this pretty dress is fully lined for comfort too. I'd wear this to a wedding or a day at the races and it would be perfect to wear to my son's graduation next year.


Jolie Moi Floral Print Shirt Dress was £75 Now £39

This dress by Jolie Moi reminds me of the style that Kirsty Alsop would wear, in a 1950's retro style and with a super floral print. Again this dress would be smart enough to wear to work or out for the day, or even whilst making homemade gifts at home. Unleash your inner Kirsty!

What do you think of these shirt dresses? Do you have a shirt dress in your wardrobe? 

*PR collaboration
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