Precious Stones Commonly Used in Vintage and Antique Jewellery

There are many different precious stones used in antique and vintage jewellery, and you may expect this type of jewellery to contain diamonds but contrary to popular belief, diamonds have not always been a girl’s best friend. In the 1940s, the DeBeers diamond company launched an aggressive marketing campaign that used 'diamonds are a girl’s best friend' in their tagline, suffice to say there was an increase in diamond jewellery sales, to the point where everyone expects an engagement or wedding ring to contain diamonds. However, it was not always that way.

There are many vintage a
nd antique jewellery pieces that contain other precious stones as well as diamonds, here is a list of commonly found precious stones in both antique and vintage jewellery. 

Diamonds – In the past 70 years, diamonds have shot to the top of the most popular stones for jewellery, but when looking at vintage and antique jewellery, you can still find fine pieces that include diamonds. Antique diamond engagement rings are very popular with the younger generations, and should you be thinking of popping the question, a Google search will lead you to a reputable jeweller who is based in the UK. Check they know the authenticity of their jewellery and the back story to ensure you get an antique or vintage piece.  This is called provenance and can add value to the item.


Sapphires – Sapphires have long been regarded as precious stones. A member of the corundum family, sapphires are made of aluminium oxide, with traces of titanium, chromium, copper and iron. Thought of as predominately blue stones, you can also get fancy sapphire stones in shades of yellow, purple, orange and green. If you are looking for some antique or vintage sapphire jewellery, search for an online antique dealer who specialises in antique and vintage jewellery. 


Emeralds – This green precious stone was widely used throughout all the eras, and much like diamonds, they are graded using the 4 Cs, colour, clarity, cut, and of course, carat, which is a measure of weight. Emeralds can be found in all types of jewellery from rings to brooches, necklaces and bracelets, and the colour is very much a defining property when it comes to value as well as the clarity. Many emeralds are oiled to fill out the tiny inclusions, and a clear good large emerald can demand thousands of pounds.


Rubies – The last of the four major precious stones, rubies, are mainly red colour, and can be found in jewellery throughout the ages. From the corundum group of minerals, rubies can be anything from pink to a deep red and are also assessed using the 4 Cs. Rubies can demand very high prices for coloured gemstones. Good rubies are bright in colour and have minimal inclusions. If you are looking for a specific jewellery item that contains rubies, your best bet is to make contact with a reputable antique dealer, who would have an extensive catalogue of ruby jewellery from every era.


If you are a fan of antique jewellery, why not enjoy it by wearing it? The best thing about buying antique jewellery is you can wearing your beautiful item, and providing you take good care of your antique jewellery, you should be able to sell it for a profit, should you wish to capitalise on the value. Ensure when you take it off you wrap it in a soft cloth and store in a dark place, away from other jewellery that may scratch it. Avoid spraying perfume or applying body lotion when wearing your antique or vintage jewellery.  Many women have at least a couple of antique jewellery items in the collection, and by looking for the above precious stones, you can add a touch of colour and elegance to any vintage look. 

If you are looking to invest in a precious item of antique or vintage jewellery, it pays to do some online research which will help you to better understand values, and by dealing with a reputable antique dealer, you can rest assured that the items are, in fact, genuine.

*This article is published in a partnership of Mediabuzzer.

What To See In The Canadian Rockies

I've been thinking for a while about where to go on our big holiday next year and one place that really appeals in the Canadian Rockies. I've been working on a Canadian Rockies itinerary ever since I watched a trip on Youtube by one of our favourite vlogging couples called A Spoonful Of Sugar who went to Banff and Lake Louise last year. I think it was the sheer beauty of the area which blew me away and made me want to visit so much. 

What to see in the Canadian Rockies

The Canadian Rockies is vast at 180,000 sq kilometres in size so there is a lot to see. To discover the area you need to spend a minimum of a week, whilst two weeks is a much better length of trip to explore the area.

The Rockies has some beautiful scenery and fantastic wildlife, so you really don't want to miss these, and here are some of my highlights of the Canadian Rockies Mountains and areas not to miss.

Banff Town


The town of Banff makes a great place to base yourself for a few days. A resort town,  you have a number of stylish boutiques, souvenir shops, upmarket restaurants, chic bars and chateau-style hotels all within walking distance. The beautiful parkland around also has much wildlife from Elks to Grizzly Bears and don't miss the Banff Hot Springs close to town, for a relaxing swim.

Moraine Lake


Moraine Lake is a beautiful lake in Banff National Park where the water is a vivid shade of blue. The water is this colour as it is glacier fed and light reflects off the fine particles of rock called the rock flour. It's a stunning lake and one which is jaw-dropping to see. It's a great area if you are a hiker as there are several hikes around Moraine Lake from easy walks to more strenuous hikes. 

Lake Louise 


Lake Louise is another glacial lake in Banff National Park. Again this area is great for hiking but if you want to save your energy, take the gondola up into the sky for a bird's eye view. The eight-minute ride takes you up to an altitude of 2,281 metres (7,486 ft) from which you can view the natural beauty of the area.

Whistler

Whistler is one of the largest ski resorts in Canada and has many activities such as skiing snowboarding and tobogganing that you can do. The hub of Whistler is easy to walk around and the chalet-style pedestrian village has many restaurants and accommodation options or why not visit one of the craft breweries in the area? If you visit in the summer you can hike or ride the Whistler Mountain Bike Park.

Takakkaw Falls


Takakkaw Falls is a waterfall located in Yoho National Park, with a total height of 373 metres (1,224 ft), it's the 2nd tallest waterfall in Canada and it is worth a trip to see it if you are in the Rocky Mountains. They are easy to get to as well, there is a car park nearby and a short 10-15 min walk will get you to the falls in no time.

Jasper


Jasper an alpine town in the Canadian Rockies is another place worth visiting. Part of the Jasper National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, it is surrounded by amazing wildlife, see if you can spot an elk whilst you are there! Take the Sky Tram to the summit of Whistlers Mountain for an amazing view of the downtown area, or visit the Jasper Yellowhead Museum that showcases the region's history through artefacts, photographs & displays. It also has the Glacier Skywalk a cliff edge walkway were a glass floor separates you from the drop below.

Maligne


Take a trip to Maligne valley. Start at the canyon which once was a series of caves, but now exposed by scraping glacier and erosion, then journey to the lake. Have lunch at the lake then book an afternoon cruise to soak up the stunning area.


Best way to explore the Canadian Rockies

To get a feel of the Canadian Rockies then you will need to travel around the vast area. Hiring a car or motor home is a great way to see the natural beauty. If you don't want to drive then why not travel on the Rocky Mountaineer train? The views look awe-inspiring and you can be pampered as you take in the views from the glass-roofed train. 

As you can see there is so much to see and do in the Canadian Rockies and I have only touched on different options in this post. I can't wait to book my next holiday here! Let me know, have you ever thought about visiting the Canadian Rockies?

Why People Wear Stainless Steel Jewellery In The Modern Age

Traditionally gold and silver have been the metals used for jewellery making throughout the ages, but there is a new kid on the block, stainless steel. Stainless steel is a modern alternative in jewellery making and manufacturing, and stainless steel jewellery has a number of benefits. Let's have a look at the benefits of stainless steel jewellery over other jewellery in the modern age.

Hardness


Stainless steel is a very hard metal. It will not warp or lose its shape so this makes a stainless steel ring, bracelet or watch perfect for those that have jobs where normal jewellery could be damaged. 

Resistance to scratching

Stainless steel will not mark easily due to the hardness of the material. This makes a stainless steel wedding ring a popular choice for men that may be using their hands every day in a manual job, such as a bricklayer, or gardener. You do not have to look after stainless steel jewellery with the same care as you would look after other jewellery due to its hardness and resistance to scratching.

Colour

Stainless steel jewellery has a dark grey colour that gives it a unique modern look. This makes it appeal to people that are non-traditional, want something different from their jewellery, and are perhaps following an alternative lifestyle. It can also have a masculine look so it often appeals to men. 

Anticorrosive
Stainless steel jewellery does not corrode. Its surface is resistant to oxidation and rusting meaning it keeps it's shine and looks. This is different from silver jewellery that can tarnish over time and oxidise with the air, giving it a black surface.  It also requires very little maintenance or care, perfect for people who could be careless with their jewellery.

Hypoallergenic 

Stainless steel jewellery is hypoallergenic so it will contain nothing that will cause an allergic reaction. This makes it perfect for super close contact with the body so stainless steel is a good choice for body jewellery.

Surfaces

Stainless steel jewellery can be manufactured with a number of different surfaces. It can have a matt finish, giving it a 'dull' appearance, it can have a brushed finish giving it a unique look or it can have a shiny finish, similar to silver in appearance.

Cost 

Stainless steel jewellery is cheap to buy compared to gold or silver jewellery. If you are on a budget this makes a stainless steel wedding ring supremely cost-effective. If you are into fashion and want to change your jewellery on a regular basis then the cost of stainless steel jewellery means it's easier to change your look regularly. The cost of setting up a stainless steel jewellery wholesale business isn't ridiculous either so if you like stainless steel jewellery then that could be an option that will bring in some money as well.

Are there any bad points of stainless steel jewellery you may wonder? Well, hardly any. Stainless steel jewellery does not cost a lot so it doesn't retain any value like gold does. Also due to its hardness, it shouldn't be kept next to silver or gold jewellery as it could mark the jewellery if it comes into contact with them. Stainless steel rings also cannot be sized so when buying a ring it is important to choose the correct size.

Let me know, do you have any stainless steel jewellery? Would you buy any for you or a partner?

* Collaborative post

How To Stop Spending Money On Unnecessary Things

We've all done it, started the month with brilliant intentions not to overspend but by the end of the month, we are scraping the pennies together for the essentials. It happens to the best of us, but with a little mindful thinking, we can stop spending money on unnecessary things and have money left at the end of the month. Here are some tips on how to stop spending money on unnecessary things.

Track your spending


The first thing you need to do is track your spending. By tracking your spending you can really see where your money is going. It makes you accountable for every penny and will help you see where you can cut back. You can either do this old school with a pen or paper, use your notes app on your smartphone or make a spreadsheet to record it all. If you want to get a real in-depth overview, it's also worth tracking the time, the environment and your emotions when spending. 

Why do you overspend?



Which brings us to the next point - why do you overspend? Some people overspend when stressed, sad or even happy. If you can identify these moods then you can put the energy into something else. For example, if you feel stressed, then a walk, a trip to the gym, or listening to calming music may help instead of spending money. To cheer yourself up, then watch a favourite comedy film, chat to that friend who is always happy, or spend time with your pets. Write down your triggers, how to avoid these triggers and what you can do to prevent overspending in the future.

Look at the basics



If you have examined your spending and realise that are regular payments going out that could be lower then shop around. This is especially great when you are renewing contracts and you have that bargaining power.  I always shop around for utilities, phone, insurances and the like. Look for comparison sites like Go Compare or Moneysupermarket to help you get the best deals.  It's also worth picking up the phone and talking to your current suppliers if you threaten to leave they may give you a better deal. Also, are there payments you can stop that you are not using, such as the gym or an all singing all dancing movie streaming service?

Stick to cash



It's so easy to pay for products with a credit card but it feels more real with cash, as you can physically see how much you are spending. To help budgeting use this trick I use when on holiday - take out money for the week and put it in an envelope and that's your weekly budget. If you find the money is running out sooner than you think then try and curb your spending habits and use your resourcefulness. Instead of buying food every day at work, take a packed lunch, instead of buying a coffee out, resist, buy a smaller one or take your own cup as many coffee chains will give a discount now for this.  Things like coffees and lunch out can really eat into your budget. 

Make a list



We all need to spend money on food but one important thing to do is never go food shopping when hungry and always shop with a list to stop impulse buys. If you are hungry that doughnut will look even more appealing. Plan your meals for the week, make a list of what you need to buy and stick to it. It's also worth looking at your shopping habits especially if you are loyal to brands, as a swap to supermarket own products could save you a lot of money overall. Also rather than get a takeaway, downsize to a supermarket's own takeaway or make it yourself from scratch. 

Seasonal expenses



When it comes to seasonal expenses like Christmas, holidays, and the start of the school year, budget for it in advance. Put aside money every time you get paid to spread the cost.  Also, think hard about how much you can really afford to spend. If you always get big presents for your family at Christmas, come clean and tell them that you are cutting down this year. If they love you they will understand.  There are many websites and ways to save money on holidays. Have a budget in mind for a holiday and scour sites like Travelzoo or Holiday Pirates for deals.

Saying no



Saying no is an important thing to do to stop spending money on unnecessary things. I know I find it hard myself to say no to my son and it makes me feel good to treat him. So give your kids an allowance and stop buying them things, and the same goes for your partner! 

We don't like deprivation when saying no to yourself too but think about the satisfaction you will get when you don't go overdrawn and have money left at the end of the month.

As a last resort

If you have done all these things and have an unexpected expense there are short term loans you can access such as those by a credit union or companies like cashlady.com.  Of course, it's strongly recommended that you look into this carefully, do your own research and checks, find out the APR and be sure you can afford repayments before you go ahead, but the option is there. 

So here are some ways to stop spending money on unnecessary things. For free and impartial money advice check out the Money Advice Service which has help and advice on how to improve your finances.  Let me know, do you have any tips on how to stop spending on unnecessary things?

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Benefits of Adjustable Bed Frames And The Best Brands

Adjustable bed frames have copious benefits and can often be overlooked in the industry as they aren’t well known for being in the home setting. However adjustable frames can actually improve your sleep tenfold, and there are plenty of brands out there providing luxurious options with a whole host of different paybacks. 



The Overall Benefits

If you’ve not considered an adjustable frame before, it might be a complete mystery as to why someone would consider purchasing such a product. One such benefit is being able to raise or lower both the upper and lower body which can relieve pressure on the back and ease any aches or pains. It can also provide relief from a range of conditions, such as sleep apnea, edema, snoring and fibromyalgia.

The flexibility can also make it easier for those with mobility issues to get in and out of bed both easier and safer. For those concerned about how they’ll match your décor, many manufacturers are making them look like your typical bed, ensuring they suit any bedroom perfectly.

Amerisleep

The brand that offers the best range of luxury bonuses on their adjustable beds? Some say Amerisleep. Amerisleep offers twin XL, full, queen and split bed king sizes and boast a 20-year warranty. The adjustable beds also include 8 USD ports for phone and technology charging.

Some of the best features include its Wallhugger Engineering that means even as you raise the top of the mattress, you don’t move forward. Instead, that mattress pulls back as it goes up, resulting in you remaining in the same place at all times; perfect for reaching your nightstand. There’s also no need to worry about slipping when raising the frame as MicroHook Retention System prevents the mattress from slipping.

Tempurpedic

Tempurpedic offers the Premiere, the Plus and the Grand. The brand has received a good customer rating that averages out at 4.5/5 and that’s down to its good durability and range of features, including wireless remote and massage settings. The cost is slightly higher for what it offers but customers can enjoy a range of warranty offers.

Classic Brands

A new competitor in the industry, Classic Brands have a range of added features, including USB ports and a 3-year warranty. There have been concerns about the quality of the remote and legs, but others have praised them, so it could be an issue that’s now been ironed out. They do have a good price range, meaning you can get a basic adjustable frame for a low price.

Mattresses for Adjustable Beds

So, you’ve got your sight set on an adjustable bed, but what do you do about the mattress? Most frames will be able to pair up with a mattress of choice, and some frames even come with mattress already attached. However, if you are buying separately, it’s always worth checking that they’ll work together, as some mattresses won’t be compatible, such as some innerspring mattresses that can’t bend to fit the adjustable angles.


Have you ever considered an adjustable bed frame?

*Collaborative post

How Should The Perfect Pair Of Gym Pants Be Like?

If you're a fitness addict, you've already owned a fair amount of different sports clothes it would be fair to say, but even if you are new to a sport or to the gym,  the perfect gear is essential. One item of clothing that is important is the perfect pair of gym pants or leggings.  Why you may ask? Well, a well-designed pair of gym pants or leggings in the right material can help you feel more at ease and help you achieve higher levels of performance. 

One of the big problems is to find the perfect pair of leggings that follow you in every movement and that the fabric doesn't group around the ankles. Also, another issue is finding a pair that is comfortable on. Some leggings also have other properties too like supporting your bottom and giving you a push-up effect.

How should the perfect pair of gym pants be like? 


The perfect pair of gym pants are different for every person, but there are some features that they have in common. In addition to having superior fabric technology that absorbs sweat and odours, training leggings must also do the job of helping the body move freely and easily - making jumps and movements without the leggings slipping down. So, if you want to avoid disaster and find pants that perfectly embrace your body, high-waist leggings with four-way elasticity, are a great option and specifically Freddy high-waist gym pants.

Why high-waist pants?

High-waist training pants can help you make certain that everything is well hidden, given a modest look, have a containing effect and are figure flattering too.  Plus, another great characteristic of Freddy’s high-waist gym pants is that they are a perfect match to sports bras and cropped tops, which means that you can rock a super hot look without feeling overexposed.

Why should you choose Freddy high-waist gym pants?

What is it that makes Freddy’s high-waist gym pants so special? It's best to try them on to feel how good they are but let's try and explain.

These pants present a silicone band positioned around the waist in order to assist in sculpting and enhancing your hips, keeping the pants in a stable position and upright. Under the bottom, the material defines and lifts giving a push-up effect.

The smoothing and lifting effects are the result of Italian research that invented this patented technology, the Freddy WR.UP® technology. Using high-quality stretch fabrics and silicone finishes, this innovative design is outlined to naturally enhance and highlight the shape of every woman.

How to rock Freddy high-waist gym pants?

Do you know that feeling when you try your best to get into that yoga pose but you are worried that your clothes may ride up or move down? Well, your Freddy high-waist gym pants will stay put, no awkward or embarrassing situations.

Sports leggings are usually a very cool and casual item of clothing, which brings the comfort of dressing to a whole new level, not comparable to our usual clothes. It's a street style that can be very on trend, and fashion-led. Wear them with heels for a different look.

You can't help but recognise the charm of the high-waist sports pants. Whether it's just a matter of wearing them every day in a street-style look or just to the gym, high-waisted leggings really are an essential piece of gym kit you can't do without.

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How To Plan The Perfect Hen Party

Planning the perfect hen party isn’t always easy. With the responsibility coming down to the maid of honour or chief bridesmaid, it can be difficult to ensure that what you are planning for the bride is something that they will enjoy.

Whether you choose to go for a theme, an adventurous day out or some simple cocktails and a bit of food, a hen party should be enjoyed by all. Here are some tips to plan the perfect hen party for your best friend.


How To Plan The Perfect Hen Party


Get Everyone On Board Early On

Make sure the guests know what you are doing as early as possible so they can book time off from work if possible and sort out childcare if they have children. If you are planning on a destination hen party then you also need to give them plenty of time to sort out their passports if required, travel insurance and spending money in the correct currency.

Try Something New


A hen party is there to be remembered so doing something new and adrenaline filled such as an activity from Essential Adventure may be worth it! Just ensure that whatever you are doing is something the hen will enjoy - you don’t want to do something up high if she has a phobia of heights or an activity in the sea if she doesn’t like deep water. Maybe she wants to do something sedate like go for afternoon tea. Always take the bride into consideration.

Pamper Yourselves

Whether you choose to pamper yourselves for the whole time at a spa weekend or you plan to do something else, make sure to make time for the whole hen party to have time to pamper themselves. After all, you all want to go out feeling good about yourselves and looking good too.

Use Your Brains



There are certain hen party ideas that are growing in popularity in recent years. Escape rooms and murder mystery events are a lot of fun and require everyone to use their brains to come up with a solution. They are a little bit different to the usual hen party ideas but something everyone will enjoy!

Consider Everyone’s Budget

When planning a hen party, it is always important to consider the budgets of the attendees. All too often you hear horror stories of maid of honours booking the most expensive hen party and the attendees worrying about how to find the money or how to let them know they cannot attend without upsetting the bride. Setting out ideas early enough gives people enough time to save the money but it is also good to consider what everyone can afford when making a decision in the first place.

Just Remember To Have Fun

The most important thing to remember, of course, is to have fun! It can be super stressful planning an event like this for one of the closest people to you and it can be stressful to make sure everything goes right on the night. You’ve put all the work into making the event a success, don’t forget to let your hair down and enjoy it too! 

*Collaborative post

My Fashion Packing List For A Las Vegas Trip

Las Vegas is a great holiday destination and is often described as Disneyland for adults. We've been lucky to visit twice in the past and soon we will be visiting again as part of a road trip on Route 66 from Chicago to LA.  I must admit, I'm so excited!

If you haven't been before you may wonder what to pack, and the last thing you want to do when you are on your trip is to hunt down something you missed, as items on the Las Vegas Strip can be hard to find and expensive.  So here is my fashion packing list for a Las Vegas trip so you can have the best time in this cool destination.

Day dresses or playsuits




Bali Bardot playsuit Oasis £39

The weather in Vegas lovely all year round too and in fact, it's positively scorching in the summer. You will want some comfy items to wear in the day and night so I suggest some dresses or playsuits. This Bali playsuit by Oasis has a fab print and is stylish too. If this is too smart for you go super casual, there are no rules in Vegas!

Tops 





Floral tie top Oasis £36

If you don't like wearing dresses then shorts and tops are also perfect for the weather and will keep you cool when the sun beats down. If you have limited luggage you can always pack a selection of tops that are easy to dry and some travel wash to freshen them up. This Oasis top is made of viscose and is easy to wash and dry in case you need to wash your clothes on holiday.

Shorts



Basic cotton shorts JD Williams £15

Shorts will keep you cool in the heat, These simple cotton shorts in navy will go with everything and the price is a bargain too. Pack a couple of pairs of shorts in different colours for your trip

Comfy shoes and flip flops



Salsa sandals Cosyfeet £75

You will be doing a lot of walking in Las Vegas. The casinos are huge and the Las Vegas Strip is just over 4 miles so you will by default do a lot of walking. Get some comfortable wide fitting shoes that will allow your feet to breathe as there is nothing worse than blisters especially in the Las Vegas heat. Also, pack some flip flops for the pool. 

Swimwear and a cover-up




Joe Browns swim dress £40 

This flattering swim dress has a floral top and plain navy skirt. It skims your curves and the skirt covers your hips for a super cool 50's retro look. I can imagine myself at the pool by The Flamingo hotel in Vegas sipping cocktails in this swim dress. I like how the halterneck pulls up your bosoms too!


Smart dress 


Floral skater dress Apricot £37

Vegas has many nice restaurants including those of celebrity chefs such as Gordon Ramsey's Hells Kitchen and Michelin star dining establishments such as L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon at the MGM Grand.  Make sure you pack a smart dress for these dining options so you can take advantage of the amazing food Vegas has on offer.

Cardigan


Navy short sleeve cropped cardigan Apricot £19

In Las Vegas the casinos, restaurants and bars all are air-conditioned so you want to pack a cardigan or sweater for indoors. This cropped cardigan by Apricot is a stylish twist on a basic cardigan and will smarten up any outfit - perfect for a nice meal or cocktails in a swish bar.

Smart shoes

Diamante details wedge sandals JD Williams £32

For your smart restaurant reservations, pack some smarter shoes. Whether you go for courts or sandals with an embellishment like this pair above, smarter shoes will finish off your outfit for those dining occasions. I've still gone for comfortable shoes due to the amount of distance between restaurants in Vegas but these wedges are still smart.

Hat 

Navy bow straw hat Debenhams £19

It's important in the Vegas heat to cover your head if you are outside for any length of time. Pack a hat for those day trips to the Grand Canyon or for the time by the pool. The sun is fierce especially in the height of Summer and you don't want to get scalp burn, do you?

So here is my fashion packing list for a Las Vegas trip. All you have to do is pack some underwear, PJs, suncream, sunglasses and toiletries and away you go. If you fancy going to Vegas check out my travel tips on planning a Las Vegas trip

Let me know, have you ever been to Vegas?

*Collaborative post

Win A Table For Two Gift Box Meal With Red Letter Days Ends 30/06

Red Letter Days is a company that pioneered the gift experience idea. Founded in 1989 the company focuses on giving experiences over giving objects, making memories and having fun.

From driving supercars to being pampered in a luxury spa, from indoor sky diving to glamping breaks, it's all on the Red Letter Days website and presented in the iconic red gift box. Also, something I love about Red Letter Days is that if you don't like a voucher you receive you can exchange it for something else, what a brilliant gift idea, and perfect for a picky dad on Father's Day too!



I remember years ago buying a supercar experience for my husband, he loved it so much then, and it brings back many happy memories for him now too.

Today on my blog, thanks to Red Letter Days, I am giving away a Table For Two gift box worth £59.99. The Table For Two gift box offers you a meal for two at over 690 restaurants UK wide. From independent restaurants like the one at Thornbury Castle and the restaurant at the Dragon Hotel in Swansea to chains like Prezzo, Zizzi, and The Hard Rock Cafe, there is a choice for everyone all around the UK. From Sunday dinners to three-course meals there is so much choice and this would make a fabulous gift. If you go on the Red Letter Days website you can see where the voucher is valid for too. 



To enter the competition is easy. Entry is via the Gleam application below, which is easy to use and you can also enter daily so don't forget to bookmark this page if you like the prize. Check out my other competitions when you are here too. Let me know, what is your favourite meal? Are you a steak and chips lover or do you prefer sushi, or is Italian food your thing or are you a ramen girl? 



Good luck!

Win A Table For Two Gift Box


Terms and conditions

You must be 18 + to enter 
Open to entrants in the UK only
One entry per household 
Winner will be contacted within 7 days of the competition ending.
If I do not hear from the winner within 28 days I reserve the right to redraw
Please allow 28 days for delivery 
Ends 2019-06-30 11:59:59 PM

Top Ten Tips For Your First Cruise

Is a cruise something you have always considered? A first time cruise is always exciting but if you have never cruised before you may feel a little overwhelmed with everything. Here are my ten top tips for your first cruise.

1. Save money when you can


If you are looking to go on your first cruise, you will want to ensure you are getting the best value for your money. Why not look for a last minute cruise ship deal? You can find some really good deals for great prices with a little bit of research.

2. Pick a room that suits

People often say to pick one in the middle of the ship, especially if you feel you may suffer from seasickness. Being situated here means you are close to the ship's attractions but not so high that you’ll feel every rock of the boat. You may also want a room with a balcony so you can sit outside and take in the views. If you have the money or are celebrating a special occasion, a luxury suite may be on your agenda too. Pick a room that suits you, your circumstances and your budget.

3. Make an itinerary


It is always a good idea to have a plan of what you want to do on the cruise. Whether you want to spend plenty of time on board sampling the facilities such as spa, pool and so on, or visit some of the different ports, create a personal itinerary for you, so you always know where you stand.

4. Think about money


How you manage your money is something you seriously need to consider when going on a cruise. Some cruises operate a cashless system where you use a card onboard which charges everything to your account. Some use a specific type of currency such as dollars. You will also need to consider buying the currency of the places where you may be stopping. You may have a package where drinks are included on board or you may have to pay for drinks separately so allow for that too.

5. Research the ports


If you know you will be stopping off in various ports,  research what things you want to do whilst there in the time you have. Are you exploring on your own or with an organised excursion? If you are paying for excursions budget for this if they are not included.


6. Research the ship

Cruise ships have so much to do on them - why miss out on anything if you can help it? By checking out the ship, you will know exactly what there is to do and what is expected of you as a guest. I find watching YouTube videos from channels focusing on cruises like Tips For Travellers beneficial. Check out if there is a Captains dinner, check out the entertainment on the ship, check out the facilities of the room and so on. Also, you may need to make reservations for shows on the big cruise ships so think about what you want to see before you get there.

7. The tipping culture


Another thing to consider money wise is tips. Some cruise lines do not ask or expect tips and build such things into the prices. Others allow tips in cash and some charge a gratuity. Do some research before you go to see what your cruise line does and budget accordingly.

8. Make sure you have a carry on with essentials

So when you get to your ship, you won’t get your luggage straight away when you’ve boarded - just think about how many passengers there will be, all waiting for their luggage too. Pack a bag with the essentials to keep you going until it arrives.


9. Let everyone off first


Why waste time standing in a queue to disembark at a port when you can have a bite to eat and drink as you watch the queue dissipate, especially if you are exploring on your own? Wait for the queues to die down and then disembark.

10. Have fun!

Finally, have fun! There is so much to think about when going on a cruise but the most important thing to enjoy yourself. Immerse yourself in the activities and visit the ports, there is so much to see and do you will never be bored.

Have you ever been on a cruise? Where would you like to visit on a cruise ship?



*Collaborative post

Father's Day Gift Guide With The Gift Co

Father's Day is slowly creeping up upon on, and you may have bought the same sort of gift every year. So where do you look for Father's Day inspiration? Well, one place you can look is here! Today I have a Father's Day gift guide for you from the website The Gift Co. The Gift Co sells a range of personalised items for everyone and they have a great selection for dads everywhere. Here is my choice of the best items for Father's Day from The Gift Co.

For the cyclist dad

Personalised bicycle travel bottle £19.99

If your dad is into cycling, what about this water bottle? Stylishly designed in matt black and stainless steel, this water bottle will keep drinks hot or cold for an extended period of time, which is perfect for hydration after a long cycle. It's also spill proof too. A great gift for the exercise enthusiast dad.

For the sentimental dad



Personalised daddy and me photo frame £9.99

I really love this daddy and me photo frame from The Gift Co. Made with an oak veneer finish, it would be a cute gift especially if you insert a photo of you and your dad. It's easy to personalise too which is free of charge and it's also pocket money prices at £9.99. A lovely gift any dad would cherish.

For the gourmet dad
Personalised head chef apron £12.99

The perfect gift for the dad who likes cooking, this 'head chef' apron will keep his clothes clean when he cooks dinner. Made from an easy to care for polycotton mix, with a chef's hat design and the words Head Chef printed permanently, the apron can also be printed with a name of your choice up to 12 characters. 

For the dad who likes a tipple



Personalised initials black hip flask £12.99

This classic black hip flask makes a cool gift for a sophisticated dad. In a silk lined presentation box and with a funnel attachment to fill it easily, this black hip flask would make a great gift for the dad who likes a drop of whiskey, vodka or rum. The design is made out of stainless steel and it's a quality gift that won't break the bank. You can also personalise it with two initials as well. A great gift for a stylish dad.

For the dad that likes to fish

Personalised fishing travel mug £14.99

If your dad likes to fish this personalised fishing travel mug would be perfect for him. It's hardwearing and durable and has a lid designed to reduce spillage. This travel mug will keep dad's hot and cold drinks at the correct temperature when he sits and fishes. With a decent 400 ml capacity, and the ability to personalise the mug just for him, I think any fishing mad dad would love this.

For the chocolate loving dad

Personalised worlds best chocolate bar £5.99

There are not many dads that hate chocolate so a personalised chocolate bar for dad would be a lovely little gift. At pocket money prices, it's a gift that can be given by little ones and big ones too as an extra present. You can also personalise this gift with any name as well as a message on the back.

So these are my picks of the best present for Father's Day from The Gift Co. With a dedicated UK based customer service team and express delivery available to your door, what have you got to lose when choosing a perfect present for dad this Father's Day from this company?

Let me know, what item would you pick for your father. What do you normally give dad on Father's Day.