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Win Leggings With Love Leggings Ends 30/04

I don't know about you but I live in leggings. They are so versatile. Pair them with a t-shirt for exercise or a casual look, a shirt for work or a tunic for a day out, leggings are certainly a wardrobe staple in many women's wardrobe.

However, finding good quality leggings can be difficult. They have to be comfortable, that's super important of course. Then they have to be the correct length. My pet hate is companies that think we are all 5ft 6inches. Some of us are tall, some are short but we are all different. Stretchiness is important too, especially around the tum. Having material that is good quality and not see-through is also vitally important, no one wants to see my bum! I also find that many leggings just fall down, and I'm forever pulling them up which is so annoying, so as you can see I am looking for certain things when I buy a pair of leggings. So when Love Leggings offered me some to try on a complimentary basis I was keen to oblige.


Love Leggings is a site selling, guess what? That's right, leggings, but leggings for all shapes and sizes. There are leggings for every day and leggings for sports. There are leggings for maternity and leggings for kids. Also curvy leggings for us curvy girls and tights too. 



So what did I think of their leggings?  I thought they were great  -  stretchy, decent quality cotton and the seams were sewn well.  I don't think the seams would come undone any time soon. They were super comfortable on too. Take a look at their Trustpilot reviews, and you’ll see that nearly 3,000 customers think their products are great, with 95% of their customers scoring us 4/5 stars. 


I really like the fact that the high waisted leggings stayed put better than any other leggings I've tried and that the petite size also comes in cropped too. The everyday leggings are also available in a range of 17 colours from black and navy to white, and oatmeal and even red and purple. 


At the moment they have a sports sale on until the 8th of April so check out this if you want some sports leggings.  

Today on my blog I am giving one lucky reader the chance to win two pairs of leggings of their choice. Entry is easy via the Gleam app below, and once you are registered all it takes is a click on a button to enter. Good luck!

Win Leggings From Love Leggings

Top Tips For Going On Your First Safari

We all need something to look forward to and although at the moment we can't travel, some normality will return in the future, so today I have a guest post on the subject of travel from the lovely Micaela. Micaela combines her love for all things digital and all things creative with a career in digital marketing alongside running her UK lifestyle blog Stylish London Living. Micaela has been blogging since 2012 and loves sharing new experiences, products and her passions with her readers.

Last year my sister and I took a holiday that we’d been meaning to take for a long time; a Safari. I love animals and the idea of seeing lions, hippos, zebra etc up close in the extraordinary African reserves was very exciting. 



In all the excitement, however, I didn’t really take the time to read up on what to expect from a Safari and I admit, wasn’t really prepared! Today I want to tell you a little about my experience and some top tips in order to make sure that when you go on Safari you will be more prepared than I was!

We booked ourselves onto the Cheetah Safari from Somak Holidays. We chose this itinerary based on the accommodation ratings, value for money and of course, the areas for the best wildlife spotting opportunities. The Cheetah Safari was made up of 7 nights exploring across Kenya, starting at Nairobi airport and travelling across the country exploring some world famous reserves. We stayed in several places:

We started with 1 night at the Aberdare Country Club, then moved onto 2 nights in the Ashnil Samburu Camp were we really felt as if we were among the wildlife at Ashnil Samburu with the monkeys running around the camp and elephants coming right up to the fence which was amazing. We loved being able to look out over the waterhole at the Serena Mountain Lodge during our 1 night stay before moving onto 1 night at the luxury accommodation at Lake Naivasha Sopa Lodge and finally 2 nights Ashnil Mara Camp in the Masai Mara which was the perfect last stop on the Safari – we saw lots of amazing animals here and loved the friendly and relaxing atmosphere which is just what you need after a long day of game driving.



When it comes to highlights from our trip, we had so many great experiences. Our main reason for going was of course to see the awe-inspiring wildlife and we were blown away, especially the elephants at Ashnil Samburu and seeing a Cheetah and her three cubs up close on the Masai Mara.

Another aspect that we hadn’t considered before going on our Safari was the rugged terrain of Kenya! Although some of the roads were relatively smoothe, a large number are nothing more than bumpy dirt tracks with ditches and potholes, or only half made so we frequently found ourselves thrown about in our seats, despite being in a large 4x4 Land Cruiser! We may have had the odd bump and bruise but the experience really wouldn’t have been the same without it!

Lastly, we loved the whole atmosphere of the trip, our driver and everyone at the Camps was so friendly and eager to make our stay comfortable – not forgetting our Safari companions, there were 6 of us in our car, who made the perfect Safari family.

Now, here are some top tips for preparing for your first Safari.


Our first mistake was to pack our usual sized suitcases - just because you are allowed 30 odd kg doesn’t mean you have to take that much with you. We quickly realised that having a big case was going to be a bit of a trial, especially because we had to fix 6 visitors and a driver’s worth of luggage into our cars along with us! Take a smaller case. Don’t overpack. The camps all offer laundry services and keep in mind most of your time will be spent in your car either in the reserves or travelling between them so you won’t need serious outdoor footwear which is heavy and space hungry.

As I mentioned, most of your time will be spent in your vehicle, especially when driving between reserves which can be 8 hours apart! I recommend packing some sort of entertainment to keep you from getting bored. I downloaded a few audiobooks which kept me going.

Accept the fact that you are going to be bitten by all manner of insects and come prepared – think repellents and bite creams, I suggest long pyjamas which you can tuck into bed socks to avoid getting bitten at night, a onesie might be the best option! Many of the camps are made up of glamping style tents so no matter what you do, bugs are probably going to get in. Don’t forget to organise anti-malaria pills and other vaccinations before travelling.

Seeing as I mentioned the tents, it’s worth considering who your Safari buddy is. Luckily, I went with my sister who I am pretty close to, so the limited privacy didn’t bother us too much. Take note - the shower and bathroom facilities are often just cubbies inside the tent with glass doors and no ceilings! 




Another thing you will have to accept is that you will probably have a funny tummy at some point on the trip – I am vegan and only drank bottled water but still had a dodgy tummy at the end of our trip. Stock up with anti-diarrhoea tablets and remember to keep yourself hydrated. Make your own rehydration drink with bottled water, a little salt and a little sugar.

On a Safari it’s all about the animals and shooting amazing photos to take home and make your friends jealous! Invest in a telephoto lens for your camera to avoid disappointing photographs. Although some animals do come really close to the vehicle some, such as leopards, you may only see from far away and up high in trees. I only bought my telephoto lens the day before we left for Safari and I am so glad I did. I got some fantastic photographs of the wildlife that I will treasure forever. Here are a couple of my favourites.






How To Get Your Travel Fix When You Can't Travel

With everything that is happening in the world at the moment, non-essential travel is impossible. This doesn't mean we can't think about travel or plan travel for the future. After all, it's the perfect way to have some much-needed escapism from the worries of the world.

So here are some ways you can get your travel fix when you can't travel. Enjoy!

Plan a fantasy trip




When we can't travel why not plan a fantasy trip? There are numerous online sites and offl
ine guide books to help you, such as Tripadvisor, Trivago, and Groupon for deals, and Lonely Planet and DK make some great guide books. Even if you don't want to travel abroad, planning a staycation is a great idea as we have so many beautiful and interesting places in the UK. Hopefully, your plans will become a reality. We are planning to do a couple of days trips in the future and perhaps combine more than one destination, and as there are trains going to Chichester via Brighton which means we can see both places on a South of England trip. Of course, as a blogger, I must say there are some great travel bloggers and vloggers out there too for travel inspiration.  Which brings me onto my next point...

Watch your favourite channels

Spend a night watching your favourite TV travel shows and your favourite travel vloggers on YouTube. I know my life is better when I watch Jane Mcdonald's cruising, even if I've never been on a cruising holiday, or (don't judge) Michael Portillos Railway Journeys. Also, we love watching our favourite US vloggers for escapism too like Tim Tracker (Disney and Orlando), Here Be Barr ( New York), or Matt Bridger (Las Vegas). Of course, don't forget the channel my husband creates for our travels - Fly Drive Explore! We love documenting flight reviews and travel in the UK, Europe and the USA.

Learn a language



Learning a language is the perfect way to spend some time when you are not travelling. There are numerous companies that you can do this with, many online like Duolingo which is currently free to do and Babbel. In next to no time you will be ordering your meal in the local language and conversing with fluently when asking for directions.

Make a photo book

Many of us take a huge number of photos these days on our smartphone but often don't do anything with them. If you have a myriad of photos on your phone or camera, why not create a photo book online and get them printed out. I can recommend Photobook and also Artsy
Couture. 

Have a cocktail night



So you can't get to the perfect white sand beach bar in the Caribbean or that cool little spot in Italy overlooking the lake, so have a cocktail night instead and bring the holiday vibes to you. Mix up some white rum, pineapple juice and cream of coconut for a delicious pina colada or chill some prosecco and mix with orange juice for an authentic mimosa or Aperol, prosecco and a splash of soda water for an Italian inspired Aperol spritz. Check out some summer-inspired whiskey cocktails here.

Recreate a dish from your travels

Want to recreate the amazing gumbo you had in New Orleans or the Philly cheesesteak from your trip to Philadelphia, or what about the salmon teriyaki from Japan? Then recreate a dis
h from your travels to bring back that holiday feeling. Check out Pinterest for recipe inspiration or go old school and order a cookery book from your local book shop or Amazon. 

Create a bucket list



For the ultimate fantasy holiday list, create a bucket list and fill it with the ultimate places you would love to go before you die. I've been lucky and travelled to a number of places around the world but Japan is one of the places at the top of my bucket list that I have never been to.  I would also love to cruise on the Norweigan Fjords before I die. Here are some luxury bucket list ideas. 

So here is how to get your travel fix when you can't travel. Let me know, do you have any ideas? 

*Collaborative post

3 Useful Tips for Saving Money at Home and Everyday

Many of us are all too comfortable with our routines, from day-to-day activities to the amount of money being taken from our bank accounts each month. We’ve all seen the adverts telling us that we can get the cheapest deals if we sign-up to a particular service, but many of us just bat these to the side for the sake of convenience. 

Companies are constantly changing their prices, rates, and offers to appear more competitive to new customers, but those with existing loyalties can capitalise on these shifts. Of course, the inconvenience of changing aspects such as bills and shopping is what puts most people off, but now, it’s easier than ever to make a small change which could save you a lot of money.

Here’re some top tips for how you can save money at home and every day through very simple little manoeuvres.

You’d be surprised how much power you have

The state of home phone and broadband has changed significantly, even just over the last couple of years. The rise of mobile phones, mobile internet, streaming platforms, and video gaming has significantly altered how suppliers approach the market. As you might assume, many landlines are becoming a thing of the past, with mobile phones being the main contributor to landline usage falling by 50 per cent between 2012 and 2017. As such, those who want to a new landline brought in or have an existing landline can haggle down the price with relative ease.

A lot of home phone deals are tied to broadband bills these days, to keep the phone offering relevant. Here, due to the great deal of competition in the sector and many services actively improving their offering, it’s possible to negotiate a better price. Simply by calling your supplier, you can ask for a better price on your plan or a plan that better suits your usage – both of which will save you money. Potentially, for more savings, you could just do away with your home phone altogether.

Cutting your biggest bill

Any homeowner’s most significant bills are bound to be their mortgage. Regardless of how well you initially negotiated the fees or the quality of the rate that you were offered, mortgages become more expensive at the end of their initial terms. This is why people are coming around to the idea of remortgaging periodically throughout the duration of their loan.

However, most people are put off by this prospect, with mortgages being hard and time-consuming to land in the first place, making remortgaging appear to be an arduous task. This used to be the case, but now that professional remortgage comparison brokers like Trussle have set-up shop online to help you compare mortgages, finding a more favourable deal when it’s time for you to remortgage to avoid hefty increases in payments is very easy.

Make the most of supermarkets wanting loyalty


While the location of your home is usually the factor which dictates the supermarket that you use for all of your grocery shopping, many of us have a choice between several stores. We all have our preferred shop, but by taking a look at loyalty programmes put in place, perhaps you’ll find that going elsewhere is better for you in the long run. All stores offer something a bit different, from the myWaitrose rewards to the Sainsbury’s Nectar card, so be sure to check them out to see if you can save money or reap more rewards by shopping in a different store.

Consider haggling with your service provider, getting a broker to conduct your remortgage, and seeing if any loyalty cards can bring your money-saving rewards down the line.


Diamond Alternatives That Won’t Break the Bank

Getting to own a diamond piece of jewellery is something special many women attain to, after all, they say diamonds are a girl's best friends. Diamonds have a rarity, beauty and brilliance that is almost unmatched in the gemstone world. 

However, diamonds can be expensive and out of the reach of many people. Did you know that there are inexpensive diamond alternatives available though? Check out sites such as the online jewellery store in Melbourne for stunning diamond jewellery and gemstone alternatives. This is an ad.

If you are looking for a pocket-friendly diamond alternative, here are fantastic colourless alternatives to diamonds worth considering.

Moissanite 



Here's one among of many alternatives you could consider having. It offers an exceptional crystal-clear brilliance that's a great alternative to a diamond. It is its own unique gemstone that reflects light very well.

With this diamond substitute, you get assured of never losing its optical features over time. It's durable and has a fire and brilliance that is unbeaten, however, it isn't as cheap as some alternatives.


Cubic Zirconia 

The cubic zirconia or CZ is another widespread diamond imitation on the market. It's a popular alternative as the gem portrays almost similar properties to mined diamonds.

The CZ is a laboratory-grown stone that depicts brilliance as well as a colourless attribute. However, you need to be aware of the cloud effect that may appear over a given period. Such a diamond alternative will offer you great value as it mimics the appearance of a natural diamond and you can a CZ piece extremely cheaply. It's a great alternative if you want a large diamond looking ring at pocket money prices.


Colourless zircon 



Here's a beautiful alternative to diamond that you can have that is affordable and has impressive features. The colourless zircon makes the perfect centre stone for any ring as it has high refraction, sparkling in the light and a well-cut zircon stone can rival a diamond in look


It also can have flashes of colour called fire which makes it a little different to other diamond alternatives. 

White topaz

White topaz is a colourless form of topaz, a silicate mineral and is a naturally occurring gemstone. It can often be mistaken for diamond due to his lack of colour and its lustre. Whilst topaz does come in a range of colours, but in it's the purest form it is actually colourless which makes it a great diamond alternative.

White topaz is durable and is a great option if you want a real naturally occurring gemstone substitute to diamond.

Opal



Opals are a unique natural substance. Defined as non-crystallised minerals made by silicon dioxide combined with water, the best thing about opals is their brilliance and range of colours. They can be white or translucent and this makes them a good alternative to a diamond.

Opals have a couple of drawbacks. They are porous substances so if you have an item of opal jewellery, do not use perfume or hairspray around them, as they will lose their lustre. They also aren't as hard as other diamond alternatives so are best used in earrings and necklaces, not in rings that are worn every day.

As you can see there are several diamond alternatives that won't break the bank. What do you think of my ideas?

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Moving House? Here Are 5 Things To Look Out For In Your New Home


If you’re thinking of moving house in the near future, it’s important to know what to look out for in the new property. Ensuring that you find the best home for you and your family, it’s worth creating a checklist that you tick off every time you go on a house viewing. This will prove to be very beneficial when it comes to the time when you have to compare and contrast different houses. This is an ad.

Of course, there are certain red flags that you must take note of from the start – such as a bad location or a drastic price drop, but when you get these in check, you can look for the following aspects within a property.


The floorplan

When looking at houses, pay attention to their size and the floor plan. You want the house to be as practical as possible for you and your family – so make sure that you know how many bedrooms you require, whether your furniture will fit in seamlessly and how the space will complement your lifestyle.

When looking at houses, you need to think long term. So even if it suits you now, you’ll need to think of ways that your life could change and how your new home will accommodate these adjustments – i.e. having a child/more children.


How close it is to amenities

This is a key factor which often shapes many buyers’ final decision. When on the hunt for a new home, take a look at the location that it’s in. Is it situated close to the shops? Or maybe it’s a short walk from a pub and restaurant?  If you don't have a car is it on a regular public transport route? How are the schools in the area? This last point is extremely important to parents or young couples planning a family.

Think about what you want to have nearby and focus your attention on finding a property near that. There’s nothing worse than settling for a house in a location that’s not convenient for you.

The curb appeal 

This might seem like an obvious one to include, but it’s still worth a mention. When looking at properties, pay attention to what the exterior is like. Your style and preferences will shape the type of house that you want.

For example, if you prefer new builds, you’ll look for a more contemporary home. Whereas if you love historic buildings, maybe a Tudor-style home will be more fitting. 

The kitchen

This is one of the first things that homebuyers look for – a good kitchen. It’s no secret that kitchens can be pricey to renovate and to have fitted. So by looking for a house with a new kitchen (or at least one that’s done to a good standard), you’ll save some money in the long term.

Of course, this isn’t always possible. So if you’ve found your dream house but it doesn’t have a kitchen that’s exactly in your style, then you could always have a new one added over time. There are plenty of kitchens to choose from, including stylish german kitchens online, vintage styles and sleek futuristic-looking kitchens.

The bathroom

Another key room that you should pay attention to is the bathroom. Another room that could cost you a lot to renovate, it’s a good idea to find a house with a bathroom that’s done to a high quality. When looking at the bathroom, see what condition the tiles (if there are any) are in, along with whether the room has any mould. A new bathroom could cost a lot to install so think about that when you are looking for a home.

* Collaborative post