Top Tips on Dressing For An Interview

Interviews can be stressful ordeals, even for those of us who’ve attended dozens of them. You’re under pressure to present yourself in the best possible light, to remember all of the clever answers to likely questions, and to ultimately secure the job. But there’s one aspect of the interview process that can undermine a candidate’s case before they’ve uttered a single word: the clothes that they wear. Inappropriate dress is among the most notorious red-flags among interviewers. It presents a poor first impression that’s near-impossible to shake, however well the rest of the interview might go.

So, what’s the right way to dress for an interview? Let’s find out.

Research the company's style



What works for one interview might not work for another. Many modern businesses take a casual approach to the office, even if what they’re doing is relatively serious. Take a look at the company’s website, and see if there are any pictures of workers lounging around on sofas during meetings. If there aren’t (or you can’t find any pictures), then you should default to more formal dress. Of course, you can always ask what’s appropriate over the phone – some employers might view this as an encouraging sign that you’re willing to take the initiative. When in doubt though go for a smart appearance. You can always dress down when you have the job.

Avoid revealing clothing

Avoid anything that’s overly revealing. It's important to dress appropriately so avoid skirts that are ultra-short, and tops that show too much cleavage. You want the interviewer to focus on your skills and qualifications.

Avoid excessive accessorising

A little bit of glitz will not harm your chances – provided that it’s only a little bit of glitz. Quality over quantity is important when it comes to jewellery. It shouldn't be the first thing the interviewer notices about you is the quantity of jewellery you’re wearing. A decent tote bag and some classic jewellery like small stud earrings or a simple necklace are perfect, or cufflinks and a bracelet for a man.

Clean your shoes


One of the most often-neglected items in an interviewee’s wardrobe is a pair of quality shoes that have been maintained well. Gleaming black leather will give the impression that you pay attention to every detail; dull and dirty leather will make it seem like you’re lazy or oblivious. If you’re attending several interviews over the space of a few days, then just give them a quick once-over in the evenings.

Don’t underestimate comfort

If you’re wearing something overly restrictive, then it might actually be a distraction that undermines your performance. So make sure that you field-test every item you’re going to be wearing so that you can be fairly sure it won’t make you feel uncomfortable.

Lay out everything in advance

You don’t want to be thinking about your clothes the moment before you leave. Doing so might cause unnecessary stress and delay. Instead, make sure that everything you’re going to wear is prepared, ironed, and ready to go. Now all you need to worry about is answering the questions!

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Ways To Borrow Money When You Need To

Sometimes we may need to borrow money. There may be a million reasons why. Jobs are no longer secure, with the worry over Brexit, zero-hour contracts and casual work all too common it's a worrying time for many money wise. If you are self-employed then an episode of illness could affect your bank balance and unexpected bills like the boiler or car breaking down, your windows need replacing, or a large dental bill can leave a big dent in your finances. Ideally, you would have a pot of money saved for emergencies like these but sometimes you just need to borrow money. 


This post is in collaboration with Polar Credit, a finance company that offers a credit line form of credit. This is an ongoing form of credit which you can use to borrow money when you need to. For more information on the application process, using the credit line and the repayment process read about Polar Credit here.

This post does not offer financial advice but explains simply the different types of way to borrow. So let's have a look at the different ways in which you can borrow money. 

Overdraft

An overdraft is part of a bank account that allows you to take out more money than you have available. There are two types, arranged overdrafts and unarranged. It's good to have a small overdraft facility to use in an emergency. The interest rate will usually be high on an unarranged overdraft, whilst an arranged overdraft interest rate will usually be much lower.

Guarantor loan

A guarantor loan is a type of unsecured loan that requires a guarantor to co-sign the credit agreement. This means that they guarantee payments if the person defaults on the loan. You both need to go through the application process and that can take time. They are useful for large loans and long term loans but both parties will need a credit check. 

Credit card

A credit card is a card that allows you to buy something and pay for it in the future. You can get interest-free credit on a credit card if you pay the credit back on time, so they are useful for short-term credit however long term credit can soon be costly. You may be able to get a good deal on a new credit card such as 0% interest for a set amount of time but there may be an arrangement fee. There can be a lengthy application process.

Credit union

A credit union is a financial co-operative which provides savings, loans and a range of services to its members. It is owned and controlled by the members. 
A credit union are not for profit so will generally have decent interest rates but a credit union may require you to have a savings account first and live in a certain catchment area to access their loans or savings accounts.

Family and friends

Borrowing from family and friends can be a great way to borrow if you have people you know that will lend you money, as often it is interest-free, however, tread carefully as there will be expectations on both sides. What happens if you can't pay it back on time? Will they expect payment once a month? Borrowing like this can strain relationships for sure but could be interest-free so you need to balance this up.

Credit line 



A credit line is an ongoing form of credit which you can use when you need to.  You pay interest on only the amount borrowed not the credit limit agreed. It is usually faster to open a credit line account than a credit card and it has a much lower rate than a payday loan but more expensive than an arranged overdraft. A credit line is useful in the short term and can be convenient to borrow if needed as you can access the credit limit almost immediately.

Payday loan

A payday loan is a short term unsecured loan often used in an emergency. They can be convenient but usually, they have very high rates of interest. If you do not pay the payday loan off as expected the companies charge a late payment fee and interest skyrockets.

With all types of borrowing ensure you can see the annual percentage rate to compare products (APR), check if there are any arrangement fees and the total cost of credit and ensure you have everything in writing. When you apply for credit it will be recorded on your credit report.  If you default on any repayments this will be recorded and may affect your credit score and your ability to access credit in future. 

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5 Tips On How To Care For Your Hair Extensions

Do you already have hair extensions or are you planning to buy them? Well, it is important to know how to take care of your hair extensions to prolong their life, after all, they can be expensive to buy and have fitted.

Taking care of hair extensions is just like taking care of your natural hair! You need to frequently shampoo, condition and apply serums in your hair. You should treat your hair extensions with utmost care just like you do for your natural hair. If you take care of your hair extensions, you extend their shelf life and maintain their look. 


Here are 5 tips on how to care for your hair extensions:

Brush gently

If you’ve hair extensions made up of natural Remy hair or human hair, it is essential to brush your hair extensions regularly. However, you should brush your hair extension with a professional brush to avoid breakage and tangles in your hair. You should brush your hair gently so that it doesn’t stress the hair bonds leading to hair breakage and tangles. Never pull your hair while untangling them as it results in breakage and degraded quality.

Treat your hair extensions like you treat your natural hair to extend their life. Remy couture hair extensions are some of the best quality to apply in your hair.

Shampoo your hair on a regular basis 

Your natural hair needs shampooing frequently and your hair extensions once a week. Choose a shampoo which is gentle and is not at all harsh. A gentle shampoo does not strip the hair of natural oils and maintains your hair's texture. Shampooing your hair extensions is a normal hair care routine which you ought to follow to keep your hair extensions healthy. You should wash your hair gently as it does not spoil the hair extensions’ natural texture.

You should use a shampoo which does not contain mineral oil, sulphates, parabens, alcohol or other harmful chemicals.

Condition your hair often

A nourishing leave-in conditioner makes your hair extensions remain soft, silky and smooth. The conditioner helps maintain the texture of your hair. Instead of applying an ordinary conditioner, you can choose a nutritive conditioner which is made specially to condition your hair extensions. Apply the conditioner in a downwards direction to make your hair look amazing. You can also use a detangler to make your hair tangle-free.

A leave-in conditioner makes your hair extensions remain healthy. Regular application replenishes essential nutrients which makes your hair appear nourished and rejuvenated.

Allow your hair extensions to dry naturally 


It is a proven saying by hair experts that you should not use blow-driers or heat styling methods to dry your hair extensions. The artificial hair drying methods weakens the bond between your strands and makes it prone to breakage and fall. Excessive curling or blow drying will eventually degrade the quality of your hair extensions. It is of utmost importance that your hair extensions should dry naturally and not with any artificial means.

Avoid the use of blow-driers, straighteners, curlers frequently on your hair extensions as these methods lays stress and strain on the bonds of hair extensions strands.

Avoid products that contain alcohol or sulphates

Products that contains alcohol and sulphates are extremely harmful and it is often advised to not to use them on your natural hair. On the other hand, hair extensions require extra care because they do not get nutrients from your scalp. Products containing alcohol or sulphates makes your hair extensions dry and coarse. These ingredients also weaken the bond between your hair strands and depletes the quality of your hair extensions.

These were 5 essential tips on how to take care of hair extensions. If you follow these tips you will make the hair extensions last longer and ensure their health. After all, hair extensions are an excellent way to really transform your look, making you feel confident and beautiful, whatever the occasion.

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Putting The Finishing Touches To Your Wedding

After you’ve booked the venue, sorted out the dress, and arranged the food, you may think there is nothing else to worry about when it comes to your wedding, but the thing is there’s so much more to do. There’s the wedding favours, the flowers, the invites and the envelopes you send them in- I suggest some stunning envelopes from bestbuyenvelopes - and so much more. So how can you put the finishing touches to your wedding? It’s all about the little things, let's discuss.

Sort The Seating Plan



The seating plan at a wedding can be one of the most stressful things to ever work out. Trying to make sure people who don’t get on aren’t seated near each other but also giving people the opportunity to meet new people, it can take some time to get it perfect. Perhaps consider putting together a wedding planning party to help you get it just right.

Choose Your Favours

You know your guests better than anyone else so you will know what makes the best items to use as favours for the big day. Some give a little memento, or a camera to record those special moments, and others a gift of some sweets, chocolates or cookies.  It is important to think about what would suit your guests best and work from there.

Pretty Stationery Is A Must

When it comes to a wedding invite, you want it to make an impression. This is why both the invite and the envelope you send it in have to catch the eye. It can take a while to find the perfect wedding stationery to suit you and your partner’s tastes but once you’ve chosen it, you can get round to undertaking the hard task of working out who to invite - and who to leave off the guest list.

Have You Thought About The Flowers?



You might have thought about the flowers the bride will be carrying but what about the blooms the flower girl will be carrying, as well as corsages for the groom, the groomsmen, and some for the mother of the bride? Also, you need to think about decoration of the church if you are going to get married there and the reception venue. It can be easy to overlook these when arranging the bridal bouquet so don’t forget to start thinking about what flowers you’d like for these.

Don’t Forget The Little Extras

You’ve probably already chosen your wedding cake but what about some little mini cupcakes for guests? Sometimes these little extras, although unexpected, make all the difference. It is all about making your wedding that little bit unique and make it a memorable day, not just for you but for your guests too.

Wedding finishing touches are so important and not to be forgotten. Are you fully prepared for your big day?

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Win A Carry On Suitcase Ends 17/11/19

It's no secret that I love going on holiday. With flights being cheaper than ever, and with the best priced flights with carry on luggage then a good carry on suitcase is important for a traveller.



My carry on suitcase is this one from YNot?, which I was given to review last year. It's a robust suitcase and very useful for short trips away. 



The design makes it easy to identify if I ever have to check it in too, I mean, how can you not spot this Paris design anywhere? So this brings me to the question, what do you look for when you buy a carry on suitcase? 


I look for a sturdy design, one that is lightweight though and easy to wheel. It also helps if it has useful compartments to store things inside as well. I prefer if it's not just a simple shell. 


The Ynot? suitcase has a built-in TSA approved lock so that's super useful too. I think the price has to be a consideration when you are buying a carry on suitcase, but just buy the best you can afford. If it is a small carry on case it won't have to take a huge battering in the hold.

Today on the blog, I am running a competition, in conjunction with the dedicated travel blog I run with my husband Fly Drive Explore, where you could win your own choice of carry on suitcase up to £30 in value from Amazon. If you do not need a carry on suitcase at the moment, you can have an e-gift voucher for £30 to spend on anything you like from Amazon, such as other travel accessories like a good backpack or even put it aside for gifts for Christmas, it's totally up to you. So, enter this competition now, and I wish you all the best on your travels!

Win a suitcase


Terms and conditions

You must be 18 + to enter 
Open to entrants in the UK only
One entry per household 
The 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
The prize is a carry on suitcase up to £30 from Amazon or a £30 Amazon voucher, photo for illustrative purposes only
Please allow 28 days for delivery 
Closing date 2019-11-17 11:59:59 PM
This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram or Facebook.

How Wedding Expectations Have Changed Over Time

recent survey discovered that the duties involved in weddings leave one-third of bridesmaids in debt, so can you imagine the state of the brides and groom's bank balance?

Widely thought of as the best day of your life, over the course of the last few years the pressure to put on a wedding that is extravagant and over the top has increased. People almost expect it. However, I have some good news for you, as wedding trends in 2019 are much more budget-friendly than in the past. From simpler gowns bought from a department store or made yourself on a budget to gorgeous women’s court shoes without all the fuss that take brides from the day ceremony to the evening party. With ever-changing fashions, the expectation of showmanship and expenditure surrounding a wedding has altered over time. Let’s take a look at wedding expectations over the years compared to those of 2019.

Weddings through the 20th century


From 1910 to the 1920s
With the turn of the century came the advent of the wedding gown as we recognise it today. During the 1910s, wedding dresses were more flowing than their structured predecessors. This was also the decade in which dancing became a wedding tradition and the 1920s brought the jazz age and slinky dresses, think The Great Gatsby.  Bouquets got bigger and dresses became more glitzy and glamourous. Weddings in this era started demanding a much bigger budget.

The 1930s and 1940s
During the 1930s and 1940s crisis hit the country and, in turn, wedding arrangements due to the great depression. This meant that brides looked for affordable material and rayon became popular as it was a cheaper alternative to silk. Your wedding date was more likely to depend on your groom’s army schedule than your own desires. Wedding rings became popular for men as a visual way to show your connection to the bride.

The 1950s and 1960s
After the war ended and the economy picked up, wedding expectations began to rise. The chosen styles were still casual with short dresses or tea-length gowns. Grace Kelly’s iconic 1956 wedding set a high standard for this era. Following her lead, gowns started to get more flouncy and elaborate as the decade went on.

The 1970s and 1980s
The 1970s brought a wider variety of wedding styles. Brides of this decade threw expectations out the window and embraced every wedding look from floaty hippie gowns to pantsuits. When the ‘80s came around, Princess Diana’s wedding to Prince Charles in 1981 set the bar. Her famously massive fairytale dress was the envy of brides-to-be across the country. This maximalist style would influence weddings for the rest of the decade.

The 1990s and 2000s
Thanks to the growing number of weddings in pop culture, weddings became bigger and bigger events. Films such as Father of the Bride, Four Weddings and a Funeral and My Best Friend's Wedding all from the 90s cultivated growing expectations around the big day. Typical wedding locations began to change over these decades, with an increasing amount of couples opting for an exotic place to tie the knot. Furthermore, the rise of stately homes and country clubs as a wedding setting added a lot of money to the price tag.

With the rise of social media, weddings began to take on a competitive aspect — the bigger (and the more ‘likes’) the better!


The expectations and trends of 2019


After that whirlwind of wedding day expectations over the last 100 years, the trend for 2019 is a sway towards more low key events.

After the towering expectations of ‘perfect’ days and luxurious events, brides have recently been opting for a more down to earth wedding vibe. Outdoor locations have risen in popularity. Think of boho barn weddings and relaxed park venues. Even beach weddings abroad, where honeymoons are combined with the cost of the wedding don't have to be expensive if you invite a handful of people and have a wedding meal in a local bistro or taverna.

Wedding attire is less formal and more natural, with wavy beach vibe hair, minimal makeup and an unstructured dress. With this more relaxed look generally comes reduced expenditure too. Even engagement rings have become more affordable, with many preferring alternative gemstones to the traditional diamond. Sapphire engagement rings have soared in popularity for example and white sapphires, Moissanite and even cubic zirconia are viable alternatives instead of the traditional diamond ring.

If you are looking into tying the knot but are getting anxious about the cost, fear not! In 2019 you can be perfectly on-trend on your wedding day without breaking the bank. A simple scheme can be beautiful and elegant if done right — you really don’t need all that extravagance, just a beautiful setting and a wonderful atmosphere.

Let me know, if you are married what type of wedding did you have? 

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Slay Your Way: 5 Fashion Accessories That Would Fit Your Outfit

Matching accessories to an outfit is a great way to update your look, and give life to a boring outfit. Pairing accessories to an outfit is one of the best ways to look chic and glamorous too. You just need to know how to mix and match for you to be able to achieve this.

Wearing accessories such as watches, necklaces, and belts can help make your outfit look classy, modern and fashionable. If you want to keep up with the latest fashion trends check this list of 5 fashion accessories that would fit your outfit.

Leather boots for cold weather 



Leather boots are one of the most sought after fashion accessories anyone can wear.
 Leather boots add some class to a look and are long-lasting, that’s why a lot of people search for a good looking pair to match their outfit when autumn comes. Casual outfits will instantly look chic once you pair it with these type of boots. 

Mostly worn during the autumn and winter season as a protection for the coldness, leather boots are great paired with jeans, skirts and casual dresses.

Belts can help

Adding a belt to your outfit can make or break a look. As well as being a useful accesso
ry by tightening loose clothing, a stylish belt can also really add to your look, adding a pop of colour and emphasising your waist.

Choosing the right type of belt to be paired with an outfit is not that hard, you just need to make sure that it will blend well with the rest of the clothes you’re wearing or contrast effectively.

A watch can add class


If you want to keep track of time and look luxurious at the same time, then you should consider buying a nice looking timepiece. Adding a watch to an outfit, especially a well designed stylish watch, can give a luxurious and classy look.

There are a lot of watches that will blend well with any outfit. Omega Speedmaster, for example, is one such watch that can be worn during formal events such as birthdays, meetings, and dates. 

Mini bags are chic

Bags are an essential accessory and most women use them on a daily basis, storing important items like phones, makeup, and your purse. However, using a bulky bag can ruin a woman's look. For a chic stylish appearance consider using one of the mini bags on the market now. 

Whether made of a colourful material or natural soft leather, mini bags are a great accessory, you only need to check out Instagram for photos of bags like this. 

Shawls and scarfs for warmth 


If you’re planning on going out on a chilly night, you better make sure that you have your scarf/shawl with you. This kind of accessory in particular not only helps you keep warm but it can also add beauty to the outfit you’re wearing. Wearing accessories such as this can also make a plain and boring dress look elegant.

Shawls are also known to be one of the trendy accessories perfect for autumn/winter. You can start collecting different designs so that you’ll have plenty of options when you’re planning on going to a certain event.

Takeaway 


Wearing accessories can complete a look and adds personality to an outfit. If you want more tips on how to match a certain accessory to an outfit, you can consider having a style makeover in your local department store.

Let me know, what your favourite accessories are.

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5 Beauty Trends for Flawless Complexion, Hair, and Nails


Looking for a new beauty routine for daily use or just for certain occasions? Check out these ideas below, whether it’s for smooth skin, or beautiful hair and nails.



LED face masks

Light-emitting diode face masks are the new essentials in the facial department, as an at-home repeatable process. According to reports, exposing skin to various types of low-level LED light offers anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial advantages. While blue light is supposed to help combat acne, red waves are expected to penetrate the skin even more and ease inflammation.

Previously only available in professional beauty salons and organisations, this activity has only recently become available as a home treatment. According to Hooman Khorasani, chief of the Dermatologic and Cosmetic Surgery at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, a therapy that involves a mix of red and blue light could potentially help “reduce the size of the sebaceous glands, so you don’t produce as much oil”.

Khorasani shared that by alternating days where this face mask is used, it will prevent overexposure from the red and blue waves so there is less photosensitivity. Just check that the one you get has been approved by a regulatory body before using.

Q10 ubiquinol supplements

Clear skin and general wellbeing are very much linked to drinking enough water. But according to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), 89% of Brits are not drinking enough. Considering that dehydration can cause the skin to become more susceptible to disorders and premature wrinkling, it’s still vital that you consume the recommended 2.5 litres and 2 litres of water a day for men and women respectively.

Other than drinking water, is there anything else we can do? The supplement, coenzyme Q10, could be the answer. Coenzyme Q10 is a powerful antioxidant that neutralises harmful free radicals (that we're exposed to from pollution and UV rays) and helps produce collagen and elastin to fight the signs of skin ageing. Reportedly, demand for coenzyme Q10 is growing in the cosmetics sector, helping Q10 achieve a predicted market growth of 9.1% CAGR until 2028 — so expect Q10 Cream to rise in popularity in the months and years to come.

Hair perfume

This product has really kicked off during 2019 making it to many of our collections of lotions and potions. Many of us are guilty of spraying our regular perfume onto our hair to make sure we get full coverage of our favourite scent — but did you know that the alcohol in our fragrances actually dries out our hair?

This is the reason for many of us choosing to use hair perfume in order to keep our hair smelling amazing. According to Vogue, hair perfume was a top trend for summer 2018 but since the product has taken to new heights and the product has been so well received that there are now multiple varieties offering everything from de-frizzing properties to UV-protecting elements.

SNS nails

Signature nail system (SNS) is the way forward in the nail department, there is no need for gels and shellac. SNS is a nail-dipping process that utilises a brush-on gel as its base. After, the nail is then submerged in a strengthening powder — in your choice of shade.

SNS differs from all other processes of nail ‘painting’ as there is no longer any need for waiting for your nails to dry as there isn’t actually any paint involved — the powder is what brings the colour. Not only does this make the process quicker and simpler, but SNS nails also have a slightly thinner appearance, making them look more natural, and are strong, yet lightweight.

SNS should be completed by a professional both in application and removal in order to reduce the chance of damage either temporary or permanent to your nail.

Transforming skincare

Many of us choose the use of gels over creams just because of the oily texture creams give. Now, you don’t have to worry about the texture of your skincare products. 2018 and beyond is all about the craze from eastern Asia: melting formulas.

Upon application is when the magic happens. The products change state when in use, solid to liquid and to other textures too! This is not just to make the item ‘quirky’ so that people will buy it, the aim of melting formulas is to be more easily absorbed by the skin and offer a gentler solution to reducing spots and fine lines.

There are generally three types of melting formulae: cleansers, masks, and moisturisers. Using melting cleansers lets the solution adjust to your body temperature quickly, which helps it penetrate your skin and get rid of impurities more effectively while melting masks tend to offer an efficient balance of semi-solid exfoliating and moisturising properties that dissolve on application to clean pores. Unlike cleansers and masks, the melting moisturiser usually has a gel-like consistency that turns watery as it hydrates your skin — eliminating greasy residue and leaving a clean feeling in the process.

Do these take your fancy? You can expect more availability and choice in melting formulas as the trend picks up pace.

What do you think of these beauty trends?

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5 Must See Places In Canada

Canada is a beautiful vibrant country and offers much for the traveller. As the second-largest country in the world, you will be spoilt for choice when visiting with the awe-inspiring landscapes, historic sites and bustling cities. Here are some of the must-see places in Canada.

Banff National Park

Banff National Park in Alberta Canada is located in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. With hundreds of kilometres of hiking trails and scenic mountain cladded landscapes, crystal clear waterfalls, canyons and waterfalls, it's a stunning National Park and well worth visiting.  For a fantastic road trip, hire a car and take the 232 km long Icefields Parkway drive, which allows you to view some of the Rockies tallest mountains, and see if you can spot a grizzly bear, bighorn sheep or reindeer along the way.

Whistler


Whistler is located two hours from Vancouver and is known as one of the top ski resorts in the world, but there is more to do than just skiing. The village of Whistler is a buzzing base with plenty of shopping, restaurants, accommodation and a craft brewery or two. Whilst you are here try one of the championship golf courses, or what about some snowboarding or hiking? If you prefer apres ski then enjoy the relaxing spa facilities before a night out with a few cocktails and relaxed but refined dining. 

Niagara Falls



Known around the world as Canada's most famous natural attraction, Niagara Falls is located between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie and shared with Canada and the United States. The Canadian part on the Niagara River's western shore overlooks the Horseshoe Falls, the cascades' most expansive section, and largest of the three waterfalls that Niagara Falls is made up of.  Take an iconic boat cruise to get up close and personal for a memorable (and wet) experience, but don't worry waterproofs are provided, or get a great few from the Skylon Tower or visit the Imax theatre for a virtual ride over the falls. With plenty of restaurants, bars and entertainment there is a lot to do for people of all ages at Niagara Falls.

Old Quebec


This UNESCO world heritage site, of Old Quebec, part of the city of Quebec, may not be well known outside of Canada, but it should be. Packed full of architecturally significant buildings, antique shops, museums, independent stores and chic little restaurants, it's a lovely place to stroll around. Whilst you are here check out Fairmont Le Ch√Ęteau Frontenac, a stunning historic hotel built-in 1893. Reminiscent of traditional French and European villages the fortified town area of Old Quebec with its cobbled streets has an old-world charm you won't forget and makes a great place to visit.

Toronto


Toronto is Canada's biggest city and has much to do and see. The CN Tower rises 553 meters above the city and is worth a visit to see for the city skyline. Take a trip to the historic Distillery District and sample a beer or two and then go to St Lawrence Market for some great local food. For the kids, a visit to the Ontario Science Centre is a must and Ripley's Aquarium is also worth a visit, and there is many kid-friendly museums and galleries all around the city. 

I hope this post has been useful when planning your Canadian Holidays. Let me know if you have been to Canada and what you would recommend seeing.

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Beginner Tips For Successful Gardening

Gardening is an interesting pastime for many people, and it can also be a very relaxing activity, but what if you're a complete beginner to gardening, where do you start? Whether you've just bought your first home, or have decided you'd like to become more green-fingered there is a wealth of knowledge out there.  


Of course, having a budget helps to convert your unloved garden into a beautiful area you can be proud of and having a basic tool kit is essential. To find these items check out your local garden centre or online gardening store,  but then how does a complete novice use these tools to create a garden to be proud of? If you are looking for advice for a beginner gardener then read on.

Tools




Having the right tools for any job in life is a game-changer. This is especially true for gardening as if you don't have the right tools, then every task you undertake will be more awkward, delay your productivity and affect the overall outcome. 


Tools for a beginner include a spade, rake, fork, trowel, garden brush, small petrol fuelled lawnmower, and any pots that you may need to plant your flowers in. Obviously, it does depend on what you are doing. If you have a garden with trees you would need pruning shears, if you are looking to plant vegetables a hoe would be useful.  Of course, you don't need to be buying power tools, to keep your garden looking tidy as there are plenty of hand tools to get the work done and make life easier. Check out the best garden tools to make like easier here.

Advice




You may already know of many gardeners who enjoy this pastime, so ask family, friends, and even the neighbours how they are managing to keep on top of their own gardening. People always like others asking them for advice. There are also vlogs, articles, and blog posts outlining precisely what you need to do, and more importantly when! 
Gardening advice doesn't really change year to year either so a well-written gardening book like those by the Royal Horticultural Society is also a lifesaver and a great reference tool for advice.

Some tips - you can only plant certain seeds at different times of the year, so it's always a good idea to keep track of exactly what you are putting in the ground and the date. Also, don't forget to cover seeds from the birds as otherwise they will be eaten pretty quickly. 

Preparation is key



When you think about renovating or making over your garden, there are many variables at play,  and one of the best things you can do for yourself and your garden is to prepare everything you can in advance.  If you are doing it yourself, get design inspiration from gardening magazines, garden websites and Pinterest, and get sketching and measuring. 

Take into account the sunlight that your garden gets into what areas you are planning, as certain plants need at least 6 hours of sunlight a day. At the end of every season, you need to be taking up weeds, tidying and prepping for the next season.

Ornaments




You can match your personal style to your garden, so let your creativity loose, and see what you can produce.  
Why not shape your bushes and hedges into unusual shapes if you are creative? There is also no shame in paying a professional to help with this, or to help you in areas you haven't got the time or skills.

Regarding statues and ornaments, garden centres sell some interesting ones that you can use in your garden. Popular garden ornaments include animals, angels, cherubs, fairies, and of course, gnomes which are THE traditional garden ornament.  Check out the complete range of garden ornaments at your local garden centre.  

Don't overdo it


If you are new to gardening it's easy to get the bug and fall in love with it, but don't overdo it. Why? Well digging the ground, hoeing, pruning and generally looking after a garden is great exercise but can be hard work. It's probably worth doing some stretching exercises before you start to warm up and to start slowly before you do any big renovations. That way you won't pull your back or strain a muscle and won't get put off your new hobby.


Gardening can be a lot of work but think about how you will feel when you're sat in your garden, in the sun next summer, with your garden in full bloom.  You might not be entering the Chelsea Garden Show competitions just yet, but once you get started, many people find it therapeutic and relaxing. Gardening like anything else in life is a simple case of the effort you put in equals the results you get out. Enjoy!


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Finding Good Childcare Near Me With Childcare.co.uk

Finding good reliable and well-qualified childcare is never easy. This is especially so if you don't have family support around you. I know when my son was little I relied on my mum and dad to look after him when I went to university. I was lucky though, many parents don't have family and friends that can help with childcare. This is where www.childcare.co.uk comes in.


This post is in conjunction with childcare.co.uk but as ever all words and opinions are my own.

Childcare.co.uk is a website and app that makes it easy to find local quality childcare. This comprehensive website with over two million members is a portal that connects childcare providers such as babysitters, nannies, childminders, nursery nurses, private tutors, and out of school clubs to parents and guardians.




On the simplest level, it allows you to use their search bar and search for a childcare provider within a certain distance of your postcode. Within 10 miles of my postcode, there are 60 childminders so I was impressed!

Of course, it doesn't personally vet the person but it allows you to see what they have written about their qualifications, experience, skills, and fees. I would call it an online advert. It does, however, allow the provider of care to upload documents to verify their qualifications and certificates such as nursery nurse and childcare qualifications and that they have an enhanced DBS check (formerly CRB).  An enhanced DBS check is essential for a childminder as it's a police check that shows any criminal history and checks they are safe to work with children.


Registering is free and simple and straightforward to do. 





By registering you can create a free profile to advertise for carers, read reviews and use their messaging service to talk to carers that have a gold membership. If you are looking for work you can register for a free profile too.



For more benefits, you can also pay for gold membership which is currently £24.99 a month. This means you can message anyone on their database, both free and gold members, and also have access to more information about them such as phone numbers. Other benefits include up to 30 minutes free legal advice on childcare and family matters, free accountancy advice and free online access to Creative Steps magazine. A big plus point is also access to over 200 free online training courses relevant to the childcare scene, how brilliant is that! You also get a free Tastecard with discounts on meals, attractions and cinema tickets. If you are a childminder or nanny you can opt-in for free insurances too so that's also a big perk of Gold membership. All these benefits are worth over £5500 is it's worth considering signing up.



Childcare.co.uk were also announced as the winner of a Department For Education competition in 2015 to find innovative ways to help parents choose the right childcare, so they now have Government funding to help parents find provision before and after school hours.

In conclusion, I would say if you are looking for childcare or looking to advertise the childcare service that you offer, it's definitely worth taking a look at the Childcare.co.uk portal and seeing what they can offer you. I would personally recommend signing up for the free membership and exploring more what the website and app can offer. 

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Antique And Vintage Jewellery From Carus Jewellery

When you buy an item of antique or vintage jewellery you want to buy from a jeweller you trust, a jeweller that is family-run and has it's customers best interests at heart, a jeweller like Carus Jewellery. Let's find out more about the antique and vintage jewellery they sell. 



This post is in conjunction with Carus Jewellery, but as ever though, all opinions are my own.

Carus Jewellery is an independent jeweller based in London, run by John and Elaine Hoyne. Established since 2012, Carus Jewellery has been built on the knowledge and expertise of this married couple, both of which have had years of experience in the jewellery and antique market. 




Every item of jewellery from Carus Jewellery is handpicked and checked for quality and workmanship and John and Elaine are proud to sell antique jewellery that has been cherished and treasured over time. Antique and vintage jewellery that is loved again makes a lower sustainable footprint than jewellery newly manufactured so is an ideal choice for those wanting a unique item, and are also interested in sustainability too.


Why the name 'Carus Jewellery' you may ask? Carus is the Latin for 'precious' and John and Elaine thought it was a fitting name for a business selling the precious and unique antique jewellery they sell. The distinctive nature of the jewellery sold at Carus Jewellery is outstanding too, let me show you some of my favourite pieces from their collection.

This stunning aquamarine and sapphire ring in an art deco style is absolutely breathtaking.  With a centre stone of a 1.5 carat princess cut aquamarine, surrounded by 9 princess cut sapphires, this pretty ring is sure to catch everyone's eye.  However, that is not all as the 18 ct white gold ring has shoulders set with blue sapphires too and small sparkling diamonds adding that extra glamorous touch. An amazing and unique ring, that can be sized to order free of charge.



Edwardian aquamarine and diamond drop earrings £1750

For a dramatic entrance to that glamorous event, why not buy these faceted pear drop earrings? Set in 18 ct yellow gold, these shimmering light blue aquamarine earrings have a combined weight of 1.78 carats, and are topped off with four brilliant-cut diamonds - two on each earring. What I especially like about these earrings is the milgrain yellow gold detailing around the edge, adding that extra exquisite finish.  








This ornate garnet and pearl pendant from the Edwardian era, is another beautiful item of jewellery from Carus Jewellery. Designed as a star, the centrepiece is a classical cut 70 point garnet. Inlaid in the star design is a number of natural seed pearls of different sizes with their own special lustre. A real showstopper of an antique pendant.


Edwardian 9ct gold bangle £850



If you are a lover of yellow gold than this vintage Edwardian 9ct gold bangle is a beautiful piece of jewellery that you will never want to leave off your wrist. Featuring a stylish entwined flower design, this hinged bangle also has a safety chain for security. A stunning and timeless piece of jewellery.

So as you can see Carus Jewellery has a number of unique antique and vintage jewellery items. If you want something special for a gift or for yourself, I am sure you will find it here.

Let me know, what do you think of the jewellery that they sell? 

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Keeping Eyebrows Looking Good


Are you a perennial tweezer who can’t go to the bathroom without stopping by the mirror for a few plucks? Or are you someone who is always keeping tabs for any slight sign of a hair starting to grow around your arch?

If you’re someone who has to take care of their eyebrows and fears misshapen brows (or the dreaded monobrow), you’ll know all about the various eyebrow treatments out there that offer solutions to keep your brows in check. And if you’re someone who doesn’t know that much but thinks it’s about time to start taking better care of your eyebrows, here are some of the ways you can keep eyebrows looking good with minimal effort.

Eyebrow Threading


It can be daunting the first time you’re in the chair for eyebrow threading and have a stranger lean right above your eye with a big piece of thread all taut. Threading is excellent as it is swift and gets to work on big areas of hair with ease. If you’re someone who is quite bushy above the brow, threading is great at clearing it all up.

One big thing to know about though if you’ve never had threading done before; your eyes will water uncontrollably. It won’t be from any pain but simply from having to pull your eyelids in different directions.

Also, your brow area will be very red afterwards, so just know that you’ll look flushed even after the cooling gel (usually Aloe Vera) is rubbed in.

Semi-Permanent Makeup

The idea of getting permanent eyebrow makeup is quite daunting due to how long it lasts. Tell me you can get semi-permanent eyebrow makeup that leaves brows looking fantastic for a year, and it might just take my fancy.

I always thought the treatment was straight-up tattoos on the face, but it doesn’t seem to be the case at all. This type of eyebrow care, according to UK clinic Snowberry Lane, “distributes pigment just beneath the surface of the skin…not as deeply as traditional tattooing”.

I could see it being beneficial for anyone who has always had thin eyebrows (or a high arch) and is looking to achieve a fuller brow which is more in style right now. It’s also very hassle free considering you only need one treatment and it usually lasts a year.

Eyebrow Extensions

Having a fuller brow is on-trend right now, but many people are just too impatient to let their brows grow out. You can cheat a little by getting eyebrow extensions which work in the same way as eyelash extensions.

The treatment will usually involve a therapist outlining what your brow would look like before filling in gaps and glueing hairs in place. The only downside to the treatment is that the effects wear off after about a fortnight, so you’d need to get regular top-ups.

Teach the gents!

We all know a man with a bushy brow or a monobrow that is just dying to be plucked at. Eyebrow care is something of a taboo for men who may not even own tweezers or know where to start, but all it takes is a few minutes to help any man gain control and know what to do.

If you’re a gent reading this and wondering what you need to do so that your eyebrows look amazing, follow these tips:

  • Use your nose as a guide for where your eyebrows should start/finish. Point straight up from the bridge on either side (using a comb) to see where they should start, and then from your bridge diagonally to see where they should end
  • Always pull the skin when plucking hairs – it’ll hurt less
  • Brush up! – If you have a beard comb or fine comb, brush your eyebrow hair straight up. Any that are too long will shoot right up. You can grab some scissors and trim them without the need to pluck

If you think your man has brows that need attention, buy them their own eyebrow kit with brush, tweezers and scissors. When they have their own stuff (instead of rummaging in your drawers) they’ll be more likely to have a go.

Want to read more beauty centric posts?

Check out all the beauty posts from the blog here.


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