Some Of The Best Hotels And Motels On Route 66

Route 66 is one of the iconic drives many road trippers would like to do, at least once in their life. Mr W and I drove the 2448 mile long drive from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica California, recently and stayed in some fantastic hotels and motels along the way.  Here are some of the best hotels and motels on Route 66 in my opinion. I have focused on historic accommodation and included a cheeky stay in Las Vegas, which although not on Route 66 is a popular detour along the way.

Boots Court Motel Carthage Missouri

Where is it?

Boots Court Motel is in Carthage Missouri. It's a historic motel built in 1939 by Arthur Boots. Two sisters bought the Art Deco motel and have restored it to its former glory from the '40s.  Carthage itself is a small town but has a couple of great attractions nearby such as the Precious Moments Chapel and Red Oak 2, an old historic town, where the houses are transplanted from miles around.

Why is it special?

Every room has a retro radio playing 40's music and bed linen from the 40s era but also Wi-Fi, and air conditioning. It mixes modern comforts with historic decor well. We stayed in a room that Clark Gable stayed in that also had its own carport. Debbie who runs the motel is so lovely and helpful and the motel looks beautiful lit up at night. She also flies the flag of the nationality of people staying here, it's a lovely touch and we were surprised to see the Welsh flag flying proudly in the air when we returned from dinner.

How much does it cost?

We paid 74 dollars including tax for a double room, which is about £56. There is no breakfast available at the hotel. We ate breakfast at the Carthage Deli which is a ten-minute walk away and has a variety of breakfast option including eggs, bacon and bagels.

Motel Safari Tucumcari New Mexico

Where is it?

Motel Safari is in Tucumcari New Mexico. It opened in 1959 and was decorated in an architectural style known as 'Googie'. In Tucumcari, you have some well-known stops on Route 66 including the Blue Swallow motel across the road, and the Teepee Curios gift shop close by. Motel Safari is also an hour and a half drive away from the Cadillac Ranch, a popular Route 66 stop. Tucumcari isn't very big, and I would recommend avoiding stying on a Sunday if possible as everything is closed.

Why is it special?

The owner Larry Smith (and his dog Sam) is a Route 66 enthusiast and has made the motel up-to-date without compromising on the old world charm. Air conditioning, a flat panel LCD TV, and comfortable Sealy mattresses make the rooms modern, whilst a Tivoli radio playing Route 66 radio adds to Route 66 vibe.

How much does it cost?

We paid 79 dollars (£63) including tax for a room with two double beds. There is no breakfast available at the hotel. Kix on Route 66 is a really good retro diner a 5-minute walk away which we recommend for breakfast. Have one of the omelettes, they are excellent and come with toast and hashbrowns. 

Inn Of The Governors Santa Fe

Where is it?

The Inn Of The Governors is in Santa Fe New Mexico. Santa Fe is New Mexico's capital and is a vibrant artsy town know for its Pueblo architecture. Founded as a Spanish colony in 1610, it has at its heart the traditional Plaza which is a cool place to walk around, do some shopping and take in the atmosphere.

Why is it special?

The hotel is decorated in an authentic southwest style.  It's a lovely hotel with a calm environment. Every day at 4pm there is a tea and sherry reception which is complimentary and they have a small outdoor pool which is nice for a dip. It's also very close to the main square and offers free parking.

How much does it cost?

We paid 198 dollars a night (£156) inclusive of taxes and breakfast. The breakfast was amazing and included a wide variety of food from fresh fruit to yoghurts, pastries and a hot buffet complete with bacon, potatoes, eggs and Mexican options.

La Posada Winslow Arizona

Where is it?

La Posada is in Winslow Arizona. Winslow is famous for being mentioned in the song 'Take It Easy' by the Eagles. You must go to the corner of Winslow Arizona to see the flatbed Ford and the statues of The Eagles if you visit. 

Why is it special?

La Posada is a historic hotel, famous for being a 'Harvey house'. Fred Harvey was a man who 'civilised the west'. He built hotels where people could stop near the Santa Fe railroad. La Posada was built in the 1920s and many famous people like John Wayne and Albert Einstein stayed there. La Posada is also home to the Turquoise Room, one of the best restaurants in the whole of the area. We ate here and it was fabulous. My meal of pepper steak was mouthwatering.

How much does it cost?

We paid 154 dollars including tax which is about £121.  Breakfast wasn't included but the Turquoise Room serves breakfast. Also, there is a decent small cafe opposite 'the corner of Winslow Arizona' that serves crepes, granola bowls and muffins. 

The Flamingo Las Vegas Nevada

Where is it?

The Flamingo Hotel is in the entertainment capital of the US - Las Vegas. Whilst technically not on Route 66, Las Vegas is a very popular detour on a Route 66 road trip. We stayed here as it's a historic hotel, that fitted into the Route 66 vibe. Bugsy Siegal the gangster opened it in 1946 and it was one of the first hotels in Las Vegas at the time

Why is it special?

The Flamingo is situated in a perfect position - in the centre of the Las Vegas strip, with Ballys and the Linq hotel close by. It has the Linq Promenade outside for places to eat and drink as well as its own food court, Margaritaville restaurant, Centre Cut Steakhouse and more. If you book, check out the 'Go' rooms which are refurbished. It has it's own flamingo habitat too and two pools, one party pool and one family pool.

How much does it cost?

Rooms are from 35 dollars a night, however, with taxes and resort fees this can more than double in price. In Vegas, many hotels have resort fees which cover the cost of Wi-Fi, phone calls and so on. You have to accept you will be paying a resort fee in the majority of hotels. If you have a casino players card and you bet a lot, they may waive the fee, it's worth a try asking on check out. We ended up paying around £80 a night all in over the 4th of July. Breakfast is not included but there are many options in the hotel including the Paradise Garden Buffet, as well as close by. We liked the Chayo Mexican Kitchen for breakfast in the Linq Promenade.

So here are some of the best hotels and motels on Route 66 in my opinion. I hope to stay in more on our next trip on Route 66.

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Let me know what you think of these places to stay. Have you driven Route 66?

Win A Mira Decor Shower Worth Up to £419 Ends 17/09

Showers have come a long way in the last thirty years. I remember how much of a novelty it was when we went away in the '80s to use a shower as at home my parents only had a bath. It was in the '90s that showers really came into their own in the UK with over 60% of houses then owning one.

Today almost every newly fitted bathroom contains a modern shower and for good reason. Showers are eco-friendly using much less water than a bath. Showers are quick to use and perfect for busy households getting ready for school, college and work. Warm showers can relax you and help you sleep whilst cold showers can stimulate you and wake you up. 

Mira knows about great showers. Mira is the UK's leading shower manufacturer founded in 1921, and they have just launched their new range of electric showers. The Mira Decor and the Mira Decor Dual are available now from selected B&Q and Screwfix stores around the country.

These two new shower designs are sleek, modern and designed with contemporary bathrooms in mind. Colourways include white, warm silver and black onyx and each shower has stylish chrome detailing.

The range also features separate flow and temperature controls to help the user get the perfect setting unique to them.  Both products also feature an on/off push button so that power and temperature controls can be left at the preferred settings, and the trademark Clearscale technology then reduces limescale up to 50% making for easy cleaning and giving better performance.  Sound great don't they?

Today I am giving you a chance to win a shower of your choice from either the Mira Decor or Mira Decor Dual. 

With all products having a 2-year guarantee as well and fixings supplied these showers are perfect for a modern bathroom. The Mira Decor has a generous 110mm showerhead whilst the Mira Decor Dual has two showerheads, with a single spray 90mm and a large 200 mm overhead. Both suitable for cold water mains only, these great showers make a wonderful addition to any bathroom.

To enter my competition

To enter my competition to win a Mira Decor or Mira Decor Dual worth up to £419 enter via the Gleam app 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. Good luck!

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 2019-09-17 11:59:59 PM

Travel Gifts For Her Under £30

If you are looking for a gift for a woman who loves to travel there are some great travel gifts out there. From travel jewellery to luggage tags, scratch maps to useful bags there are gifts for people of all budgets.

World map bracelet

 World Map Bracelet - £17 Not On The High Street

This world map design from Not On The High Street is ideal for anyone going on a gap year or simply for that lady that loves to travel.  I like it for the classic design and the adjustable chain that fits a range of wrist sizes. The world map bracelet by Charlie Boots is silver plated on stainless steel and is well priced at just £17.

Luggage tag and passport cover

Flamingo passport cover and luggage tag - £25 John Lewis

This travel set of a passport cover and luggage tag is covered with an amazingly bright flamingo print. You won't lose your luggage if it has this flamingo luggage tag attached that's for sure. Priced at only £25, and designed by Sara Miller you can buy this gift set from John Lewis on the high street and also online.

Travel emergency kit

Travel emergency kit  - £22 Olivia Bonas

Travel can cause havoc with your skin, especially air travel with air conditioning. This little travel emergency kit made by Pretty Useful Tools can help keep your skin radiant when you are on the go. Made up of chamomile moisturiser, rose lip balm, sandalwood perfume and neroli face mist. In a mini travel-friendly size, this kit is ideal packing for a festival, uncomfortable plane or train journeys or just to keep in your bag to freshen up when you feel tired. 

Scratch map
Scratch map - £19.95 Olivia Bonas

Scratch maps are all the rage these days and this deluxe edition scratch map in black and gold hides a vibrant colour palette underneath. A unique way to record your travels, just take a coin and scratch off where you have been to reveal intricate details such as the contours of the land and see. Available in a tube to protect it, this scratch map from Olivia Bonas is only £19.95.

Noise-cancelling headphones
Noise-cancelling headphones - £19.99 Amazon

There is nothing worse than being on a noisy plane, so I always pack my noise-cancelling headphones to plug myself into my iPod or the entertainment system. These headphones by PowerLocust and available from Amazon are wireless and in a lovely shade of pink. Girly and practical too, and the best part is that they are only £19.99. 

Personalised travel jewellery box

Personalised travel jewellery box - £28 Not On The High Street

This gorgeous travel jewellery box is the perfect size to keep your jewellery safe on your trips. Made of vegan leather, inside is plush and is made of imitation soft velvet protecting your items. It can also be personalised too, making it an extra special gift. 

Falmouth beach travel bag - £26 Mia Tui

This strong but lightweight Falmouth travel bag from Mia Tui is spacious and has an insulated bottle holder and plenty of compartments to hold all your stuff. It also slips over the handle of your suitcase so it's easy to carry. This bright watermelon design is gorgeous but if you want something more subtle, there are other colourways too.

Sunday Times Travel Magazine

Travel Magazine subscription  - £32 Sunday Times

The Sunday Times Travel Magazine is a great travel magazine. Why not buy her a gift subscription, so she can have it delivered to her door every month? At a smidge over £30, I think you can forgive me for including this in my travel gift guide for under £30 when you see how informative and useful this magazine is. A perfect gift for a woman who loves travelling. 

For more inspiration check out more gifts for her whatever your budget. Let me know what you think of these travel gifts. 

How To Date Whilst Travelling

Travelling the world is an activity that is on most people's bucket lists; you can see incredible unseen corners of the planet, experience new cultures, and (perhaps most importantly) take a well-needed break from work. It's likely that you will meet lots of interesting people along the way, but if you want to find more than just friendship on your travels, it can be difficult. Finding people to connect with can be hard when you know you're just passing through, and the thought of a long-distant relationship often scares people into running away from the idea. However there are lots of ways to keep in touch these days with Skype and Facetime to name but two, so don't automatically shy away from a long-distance relationship as it can work for some. So with that in mind, here are a few things that you can do to aid your dating mission whilst you're travelling.

Get involved

This kills two birds with one stone; you will inherently get to experience more of the local culture whilst also making some new connections. Do some research on the area you are going to visit and sign up for a class or a club that catches your eye; it could be something you have done before and love, or something that you've always wanted to do but never had the opportunity to try. Chances are when you meet someone along the way, you'll already have one thing in common - with the most likely scenario being that both of you don't have a clue what you're doing.

Try out an app

Online dating is often used to find people at home, but it can be very helpful to find like-minded people when you're away. You could try alternative dating methods, such as online dating sites, for example, where you can search for people in your specific area and narrow down your options by looking at their shared interests and hobbies. If you're travelling locally, for example in Northern Ireland, trying dating with Badoo is always a good idea, as meeting up with someone who has been in the area longer can not only be a way to find romance, but it can also provide you with plenty of date ideas as your date will know the area. With this, you don't have to worry about finding someone you think you might get along with but then later find out that you have absolutely nothing in common, after which ensues a horror story of a first date.

Take recommendations

This, again, helps you make the most of your travels whilst getting to know new people. Take time to talk to the people that live locally in the area you are visiting and get recommendations for places to eat, drink, and shop - you will usually end up meeting the most interesting people this way. Taking a step out of your comfort zone will ensure a travelling experience you will never forget. 

Visit an 'ex-pat' bar

It's likely that there will be others from your home country travelling or living alongside yourself. By visiting a pub or bar that is mainly visited by ex-pats, you will meet people who you already share a lot in common with (and speak the same language) which obviously makes connecting with them a lot easier. They will also hopefully know some secret gems that they can show you whilst you're in town.

However you choose to do it, dating whilst travelling is completely possible and surprisingly exciting. As long as you take sensible precautions and never put yourself in danger, there is no reason why you can't make romantic connections while travelling the world.

*Guest post by Nicky Petersen 

The Most Exciting Places To Dine When Visiting London

Aside from being one of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet, London is also something of a food-lovers paradise with thousands of restaurants serving up almost every delicacy imaginable. If you really want to experience the very best of what the capital has to offer in terms of its mouth-watering cuisine then there are a few key locations and dining experiences that you really can’t afford to miss.

Thames Cruise Dinner

There can be few experiences as magical as the regular Thames dinner cruises that are scheduled along the river every evening. A perfect way to see the city skyline whilst enjoying some of the freshest local cuisines, it’s a two-for-one sightseeing and dining experience that offers a range of options – from a simple taster menu on the deck to an evening full of live music and entertainment.

Dishoom Shoreditch 

If you’re a fan of Indian cuisine then this is an opportunity not to be missed. Located on the iconic Boundary Street in the effortlessly classy Shoreditch area of London, Dishoom has become something of an institution since it arrived in Shoreditch in 2012. The shell of the building is an old café that now plays host to the best street food in London. Indian chefs are renowned for their succulent and fragrant street cuisine so you know you’ll be getting something truly special. There’s also a verandah area for summer evening meals as well a prohibition themed cocktail bar called “The Permit Room.”

Borough Market

For those that prefer to devour their food on the go and appreciate a little variety, Borough Market is not only the most famous food market in London but might also be the best in the world when it comes to fresh produce and sheer selection. From oysters and cheese toasties to Korean, Indian, Thai, Chinese and good old fashioned British comfort food; a man who has grown tired of dining at Borough Market has grown tired of dining.

Maltby Street Market 

The cooler and quieter cousin to Borough Market that manages to fit a cavalcade of bars, restaurants and street vendors into a single narrow street, Maltby is an unmissable London dining experience for anyone that considers themselves something of a foodie ‘hipster’. You might end up paying a little more than you would at Borough, and the selection isn’t quite as varied, but what is on offer is all uniformly excellent and interesting. The name of the game here is quality and when it comes to this game, everyone is a winner!

Let me know, where do you recommend to eat in London?

*Collaborative post

Accessible Travel - Making Life Easier

If you have accessibility issues, then are many things you need to take into consideration when travelling. Check out this post on making life easier when travelling with a disability. 

Planning is key 

If you are planning to go on holiday somewhere you have never been before planning is key. Go to the tourist board website and find out about transport options to get to where you are going. Then check with the transport company's website to see if the journey is accessible. Check out YouTube and blogs to see how accessible a place in. Blogs that focus on accessible travel can be particularly useful like Curb Free with Cory Lee

Do-it-yourself or go for a package

There are a number of speciality travel companies for disabled people that can take the stress out of choosing a suitable accommodation for you and it's worth considering booking a package through them as they are experts in their field.

Check out the hotel beforehand

If you are looking to book a hotel yourself, big chains such as Marriott and the Hilton will definitely have an accessibility policy, accessible rooms and lifts, check out their rooms and their policy on their website. Smaller historic hotels will often be keen to help and provide accessible rooms if they can but due to the structure of the building, there may be stairs and no lift.  Email or ring the hotel if you are in doubt about their facilities for accessibility. 

Consider renting for the trip

If you have bulky health equipment consider renting to take with you or to pick up at the destination.   Oxygen concentrator rental, rollators and mobility scooters can be organised beforehand and the benefits of renting are that you can get the most up to date equipment and can avoid carrying it to your destination if you pick up when you get there. 

At the airport

Be aware of the airline's policy on accessible travel and also the accessibility of the airport. Check out the airline's website and if the information isn't clear message the company on social media far enough in advance. Many airports have a designated department to assist people and can help you through security or provide wheelchair assistance.  This may also apply to those with ADHD and autism. 

Don't forget transport to the accommodation 

Don't forget transport from the airport, bus or train station. Arrange accessible transport in advance to make life easier for yourself. 

Travel with a doctor's note

It's worth travelling with a note from your doctor if you are planning on travelling internationally, covering your illness or condition, medication and any special needs or relevant information. When you get to the destination be sure to make a note of where a local doctor can be reached in an emergency. 

Lastly, don't forget travel insurance

Travel insurance is so important, and appropriate insurance for the country you go to as well. Medical insurance cover for the US, for example, needs to be much higher than the majority of countries due to the high cost of medical treatment. Be sure that any pre-existing conditions are noted otherwise the company may not pay out if there is a claim.

Check out this useful guide to disabilities and travel abroad

*Collaborative post

The Benefits Of Double Glazing

If you are looking to change your windows in your home you may have considered double glazing. Double glazing does, however, cost money so you need to way up the benefits of having double glazing installed. In this post, I will look at the benefits so you can work out if it is the best option for your home. 

Better energy efficiency

Double glazing will keep your home warm all year around. The two layers of glass with a gap between that provides insulation, makes double glazing energy efficient.  The heat won't escape like it does with normal windows too. 

Cheaper energy bills

You can turn the thermostat down and be safe in the knowledge that your home will be warmer with double glazing. It will cost less to heat your home as double glazing helps retain the heat. Due to this, it is eco-friendly as it reduces energy consumption.

Improved security

Double glazing is super tough and the materials used, make it hard to force an entry. The two panes of glass are harder to break than normal glass, making your home more secure. This is especially comforting if you live in a ground-level house or apartment.  It's very difficult to smash a window with double glazing. It's worth mentioning you have double glazing when you get a quote for home insurance.

Increased property value

When people look to buy a home, many look for double glazing, knowing about its benefits to lower energy costs and also less upkeep than older sash style windows. Having a home with double glazing installed can be an added benefit and can add to the value of your home when you go to sell it.

Noise reduction 

Double glazing reduces noise, due to the two pains of glass involved and the vacuum in between. This is particularly good if you live in a noisy area, such as on the main road for example. If you are looking to buy a home in a bustling area or near an airport, double glazing is a must-have for sure. 

Simple maintenance

Double glazing does not take any heavy maintenance. A simple wipe of the windows and window frame on a regular basis will remove condensation and any dead insects and keep the windows as good as new. A little WD-40 applied to the hinges and locks will also keep them in good working order.

So as you can see there are many benefits of double glazing. If you have money to invest in your property double glazing is well worth considering.

*Collaborative post

Arranging A Prom On A Budget

If you have teenage kids you may know all about the pressure of prom night. In my day we just had a disco and that was that. There wasn't the pressure that we have today with social media, and many teens wanting the perfect outfit for Instagram.

Often there is the added pressure of trying to outdo each other as well. We can see that in the US especially. If you have a girlfriend there is the 'promposal' according to the New York Post. where the proposer has to have a level of creativity and thoughtfulness!

So if you are a parent of teens what can you do to take the pressure out of the prom? Here are some ideas you can try.

1. Have a heart to heart

This is especially important if you are on a limited budget. Talk to your child about prom night. Explore the fact that you have a limited budget to prepare for the prom or why not encourage them to contribute themselves financially if they work. Realistic expectations are important. Ask them what their plans are and get creative to limit the cost. Getting in the right mindset is important, it can be a perfect prom without everything costing a fortune.

2. Getting to the prom

If they are looking for a limo to get to the prom, can they get together with friends to split the cost? You can get them to ask around parents to see if anyone has a classic or sports car to use to get to the prom, and would be willing to use it for petrol money. If you don't live far away you can always walk to the prom and show off your outfit on the way.

3. Prom dress

If they, you, or a friend are a whizz on the sewing machine you could make them a dress. Another option would be to get a prom dress second hand from an auction site, charity or vintage store. Alternatively, choose your prom dress or suit from a budget online or high street store. You don't have to spend hundreds to get that perfect dress. When in doubt go for something that looks classic, don't forget you will look back on the photos in years to come. Then use accessories to make them look unique.

4. Accessories

Accessories like a bag and shoes can be picked up relatively cheaply if you know where to look. Browse charity or vintage shops for that bag or jewellery no one else will have. Look for shoes in the sales or go for a classic pair of courts you can wear again. Accessories can really make a look but don't spend a fortune on them, it's not worth it. No one will remember what bag you had in 20 years time.

5. Hair and makeup

Having your hair and makeup done obviously costs money, so maybe you can help to style their hair and do their makeup for them or get them to practice beforehand and do it themselves. There are a lot of YouTube hairstyling videos out there as well as makeup videos. Alternatively maybe one of their friends is great with hair or makeup.

6. Photos

Don't forget to take photos of the prom girl or boy and their partner if they have one. Some natural photos of them getting ready as well as more posed photos will be great for them to look back on. Do you have a garden to take some photos, as the lighting may be better? If you are not great with a camera maybe a friend or family member is better and will come to take some photos for your child.

7. Build their confidence

Don't forget to tell them how amazing they look. It can be a nerve-wracking time for your child. Sometimes confidence comes in numbers so ask if they want to invite their friends or prom date over to all go from one place.  As you wave your child goodbye tell them to take a deep breath and enjoy!


How To Avoid Spending Temptation

Let’s be honest, we’ve all experienced it. That sudden, irresistible temptation to purchase a new pair of jeans, splurge on an expensive dinner or buy beautiful homeware. Frivolous spending is the cause of many dwindling bank balances, and it can be hard to kick the habit. But it’s important to stop yourself from spending beyond your means, as this can lead to increasing debts that are hard to pay off. If this sounds familiar, have no fear, here are some top tips that will help you to avoid overspending so that your finances can flourish.

Budget, budget and budget some more 

One of the best ways to stop yourself splurging on things you don’t really need is to set yourself a strict (but realistic) budget. The easiest way to do this is to work out your disposable income — simply start with your monthly salary and take off any definite outgoings, such as mortgage/rent, food shopping, electric and gas bills, etc. This will leave you with the amount you have left to spare. To start saving those all-important pounds and pennies, give yourself a certain proportion of this to spend each month, and a certain proportion to save.

If you’re not sure how much to save and spend, a good rule to go by is the 50/20/30 rule. 50% should be spent on essentials (such as rent and household bills), 20% towards savings, and 30% on anything else.

Hit that unsubscribe button 

If you enjoy the occasional (or regular as the case may be) online shopping binge, then getting constantly bombarded with marketing emails from your favourite shops won’t be helping the cause. While it might be nice to have a scroll through the latest must-have’s, it can lead you down a dangerous path to overspending.

To stop yourself impulse buying items you really don’t need, hit that unsubscribe button on the marketing emails in your inbox. While it may be difficult to wave goodbye to your daily update from that clothing store, it will make all the difference to your savings. Bye frivolous spending, hello booming bank balance!

Shopping trip? No thanks! 

It may sound obvious, but if you want to reduce your spending, simply don’t put yourself in situations that involve splashing the cash. If you don’t have enough money in your budget to go on a shopping trip, then don’t go. If an expensive meal out will leave you out of pocket this month, then eat at home. It might be difficult if your friends or family are inviting you out, so try and suggest cheaper alternatives, such as a fun dinner party at home or an afternoon walk.

The same goes for your weekly food shop. If you regularly spend way beyond your means in the supermarket, it might be worth trying online shopping instead. The great thing about this is that you get a running total so you can closely monitor the cost of your shop. Plus, you avoid the temptation within the aisles to grab a packet of chocolate biscuits or crisps that you could live without!

Once you’ve got your spending in control thanks to a few habit and lifestyle changes, you can start to enjoy well-managed finances that will lead you on a path to a stable and secure future.

*Collaborative post

Celebrity Style Steals: The Rise Of Wedding Dupes

Shopping for your wedding items can be incredibly stressful, particularly if you’re hoping to emulate some of your favourite celebrity ceremonies. We don’t all have a celebrity budget to help us achieve our dreams, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t create something similar that’s just as special! In recent years wedding ‘dupes’ have grown in popularity, with retailers competing to reproduce some of the most memorable pieces at a fraction of the original price. Here are some of the best celebrity wedding dupes on the market right now. 

Cartier earrings: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Many of us are fascinated by royal weddings, from the glamourous gowns to the star-studded guestlists. When the royal couple tied the knot back in 2018, The Duchess of Sussex wore the stunning yet simplistic Cartier 18 carat white gold and diamond galanterie stud earrings, and they complemented the timeless elegance of her fitted gown. The earrings were a perfect statement in line with her overall wedding day look, understated and simply ethereal. If you’re still in awe of these beauties, then head to the online retailer Etsy where you’ll find an extraordinarily similar pair for around £17 — a notable saving when compared to the Cartier price tag of $16,500 (£13,500).

Chandelier tiers: Kaley Cuoco and Ryan Sweeting

Kayley Cuoco’s wedding cake was one of the most unique creations we’ve ever seen. The tiers were assembled upside down, finished with an extravagant chandelier suspended on top. While most bakers might not want to brave such a daring design, The Butter End Cakery took Kayley’s cake dreams and made them into a reality. Want to give your own wedding cake an a-list makeover? Ask your baker to let their creativity run wild with suspended tiers which can wrap around your wedding cake, adding a unique touch.

Engagement ring: Beyonce Knowles and Shawn Carter (Jay-Z) 

Not every man would feel comfortable heading into the jewellers and finding the perfect engagement ring for their partner, but Jay-Z picked a stunning Lorraine Schwartz 18 carat platinum ring with a price tag of $5 million. If you’re looking to convey the same luxury look for a split shank band, and in terms of style emerald cut, or bespoke diamond rings are the best bet.

Flower wall: Kim Kardashian-West and Kanye West 

Looking for the most Instagram-worthy wedding décor? A statement backdrop could be the way to go, taking some inspiration from the music mogul Kanye West and businesswoman Kim Kardashian West. The couple marked their first moments of married life by posing in front of a decadent wall of flowers, and the delicate toned blooms added to the ethereal ambience of their special day. While not all of us can stretch our budgets enough to accommodate such aggrandized features, there are a few alternative ways to recreate this, and it will look just as gorgeous in your pictures. Consider adding some flower-lined arches, or look at lining the walls of your venue with some paper flower creations, for a quirkier, less pricy option.

Evening dress: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Although Meghan’s original wedding dress was a classically beautiful design, it was her second dress that really stole the show. Meghan changed into an uber-chic halter neck dress designed by Stella McCartney, a fitted floor-length piece fit for the radiant princess. Shortly afterwards, the eCommerce fashion retailer ASOS unveiled a dress which captures the same understated elegance, with a more payday friendly price tag of £120. Surprisingly, the actual dress is available to buy online, a rarity when it comes to garments designed for an event with the gravity of a royal wedding; but if the £3,500 checkout total is over budget, then rest assured that you’ll find some dupes which are outstandingly close to the real deal.

If you’ve been looking for wedding inspiration in bridal magazines or on your favourite celebrities social media pages, it’s worth having a shop around because chances are you’ll be able to find the perfect dupe at an affordable price! 

*Collaborative post

Veggie Shepherds Pie Recipe With Hello Fresh

Recently I was contacted by Hello Fresh, the recipe box company, to work on a collaboration. Hello Fresh, provide ingredient boxes, with fresh ingredients delivered to your doorstep, as well as step-by-step instructions. I've tried Hello Fresh in the past and was impressed with the ease of use. Everything is measured out for you, there is no waste and the recipes I tried were tasty and delicious.  It's been a while since I tried the recipes but I was looking forward to recreating one for my readers. 

We are meat eaters in our household but my husband doesn't eat much red meat, so we try and eat vegetarian food at least twice a week. I decided to try out the Veggie Shepherds Pie recipe. This is my take on the recipe with slight adjustments. For example, the recipe calls for coriander but we are not fans of the dried variety so we left it out. That's the genius of Hello Fresh. You have all the ingredients provided for you, but you can still adapt the recipe as you see fit.

Veggie Shepherds Pie

Serves 2
Preparation Time 40 minutes


1 large potato, 
1 onion
1 small punnet of chestnut mushrooms
1 clove of garlic
2 sprigs of rosemary
1 small bunch of flat leaf parsley
1 tin of lentils
1 pack of tomato passata
1/2 vegetable stockpot
30 gms salted butter 
110 mls water
1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Topping (leave this out if vegan)

60 gms of cheddar cheese, grated 
1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce


1. Peel and then chop the potato into large chunks. Add to a pan of water, and boil for 15 mins until soft. 

2. Peel, halve and chop the onion into small pieces. If you have someone who doesn't like mushrooms in your family, I suggest you chop the mushrooms very finely as the flavour of tomatoes is strong in this dish and it will disguise the mushrooms. 

3. Peel and grate or finely chop the garlic. Pick the rosemary leaves from the stalks, and discard the stalks. Chop the rosemary leaves finely.

4. Heat a little oil in a pan, then add the onion and mushrooms, and salt and pepper. Cook with lid on until the vegetables are soft. Chop the parsley and add 

5. Drain the lentils in a sieve, and rinse under cold water.

6. Stir the garlic, rosemary, and 1/2 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce into the vegetables. You can leave the Worcestershire sauce out if vegan as it contains anchovies. Then pour in the passata, the stockpot and 110 MLS of water. Simmer slowly for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

7. When the potato is cooked, remove from the heat, and drain. Add the butter or vegan alternative and seasoning and then mash with a potato masher until smooth.

8. Preheat your grill to the highest setting. Dish up the lentil mixture, into individual dishes and let the mixture cool slightly.

9. Top with the mashed potato, and smooth carefully with a knife or back of a spoon until all the lentil mixture is covered. Top with grated cheese and sprinkle the remaining Worcestershire sauce on top. If you are vegan leave this topping out.

10. Put the dishes under the grill until the Shepherd's Pie is bubbling and golden on top. 

11. Serve with carrots and broccoli for a hearty dinner, full of flavour.

Check out Hello Fresh for scrumptious recipe boxes delivered to your door. Use my link here for a discount if you sign up. Let me know, have you tried Hello Fresh? Do you try vegetarians recipes?