10 Reasons To Hire A Personal Trainer

So, after being stuck at home for four months, many of us have put on some unnecessary pounds, with the lack of exercise and the banana bread mountain you may have been baking. You look at yourself in the mirror and look nine months pregnant, and think what now? Well, what about hiring a personal trainer to get you into shape?  Let's have a look at the reasons to hire a personal trainer and the benefits to you. 

They can help you start a regime 

personal trainer

If you are not sure where to start with exercise, maybe you haven't taken any exercise for a long time or want to get started again, a personal trainer can help assess your needs and goals and look at creating an exercise regime in collaboration with you. 

They can show you how to do the exercises correctly

A personal trainer can be a wealth of knowledge about health and fitness. They can advise you on how to warm up and cool down properly. If you are using them in a gym they can show you how to use the weights and other equipment effectively and safely. All personal trainers should have undergone training and be certified to show they are experts in training. 

They can help you lose weight

Of course, hiring a personal trainer isn't a magic wand to weight loss but they can certainly help you lose weight in conjunction with a dietary plan. They may be able to advise you on diet as well as exercise and the best food for a healthy sustainable weight loss.

They can hold you accountable

Knowing that you have to check in with your personal trainer every time you meet, means that you are accountable for what you do knowing someone is checking up on you. A personal trainer can also hold you accountable for your goals and whether you are meeting them or not. They can also help you analyse any problems.

They can motivate you 

When you are feeling tired a personal trainer can motivate you and make you go that extra mile. They can remind you why you want to reach your goals which can be an extra incentive when your motivation is poor.

They can suggest ways to change your routine 
A personal trainer can help
If you are bored with the same exercise routine or not seeing the results you want, a personal trainer can look at what you are doing with their knowledge and expertise and suggest ways in which you can change your routine.

They can help you challenge yourself

A personal trainer can be good at pushing you and challenging you. If you think you can't do an extra 5 minutes on the bike, they will help motivate you so you can. If you think you can't run any more miles, they will help push you that extra mile. They can help you set challenges for yourself and help you smash them.

They can track your progress 

A personal trainer will help you track your progress, whether that is in reps on weight, distance run, the speed you cycled, BMI and more.  They can track every step of the way of your fitness journey. 

They can be a workout partner 

A personal trainer can be a workout partner, guiding you through the workouts and leading by example. Have a workout partner like this can help with motivation too. 

They can offer training specific to a sport

If you are training to compete in a sport, such a half or full marathon, a swim event or a tennis match or competing national or internationally, a personal trainer can help you train and make you focus on your goal and getting there. 


fitness instructor

If you think a personal trainer is a good idea, then do your research to find the right personal trainer for you, like the ones on www.bark.com, as every trainer is different, has different skills and abilities. Check they are certified from a professional body and that they know what they are doing.

Let me know, would you hire a personal trainer? 

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5 Health Checks You Should Have Done Regularly

When it comes to our health, plenty of us take proper care of it whilst others can be a little more reckless. However, there are a few different health checks you should have done regularly to ensure you are in the best shape.

Blood Pressure



You should be having a blood pressure check fairly regularly and the test will find out whether you have normal blood pressure or if it is too high or too low. High blood pressure can put a strain on your arteries and organs, making strokes or heart attacks more likely.

Low blood pressure isn’t generally as serious but can have some horrible side effects such as fainting or dizzy spells. If yours is too high or low, your doctor will give you some advice on how to help this - it may mean a change in diet, stopping smoking or drinking or perhaps even taking some medication to control it.

Diabetes



You may not necessarily get checked for this that regularly if you aren’t showing any symptoms but if you are showing any, it is important to get checked out as diabetes left untreated can very serious. Symptoms include feeling very thirsty, feeling extremely tired, urinating more often and more. Check out the NHS site for symptoms you should look out for. Your doctor will test your blood or your urine and if you have it, start you on the best course of action. 


There are two different types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2 as well as gestational diabetes that you can get during pregnancy, and there are different ways of controlling these, with diet, tablets and insulin.

Cholesterol



If you suffer from high cholesterol, you may not have any symptoms which is why it is so important to get this checked regularly. You will only find out if you have it by having a blood test and there are many exacerbating factors why a GP may make you have a test. However, if you are of a certain age or obese you might be more likely to have it. 

You can check your cholesterol at home with a finger prick test kit. To help prevent high cholesterol, a diet low in saturated fat and salt and high in fruit and vegetables is recommended by the British Heart Foundation and Heart UK.

Ears, Nose and Throat



Something that often gets forgotten about is the ENT section of your body - ears, nose and throat. This is quite baffling really when you consider just how many different things you can have wrong with them. There is never any harm in getting these areas checked out due to the amount that can go wrong and a London ENT Clinic will be able to find out what the problem is, being the specialists that they are.

Cancer Screenings



Finally, and one of the most important, cancer screenings. We should all be checking our breasts or our testicles regularly and seeing the doctor if we find anything unusual but there are certain areas of our bodies that we cannot check which need a doctor. We should all be having regular check-ups at the doctors for these - every three years for smears, for example. When you are over the age of 40 health checks need to be more regular too. However, it is important to get checked even more regularly if you spot something unusual.

Can you think of any other health checks you should have done regularly?

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Sophia Alexander Jewellery - Personalised Jewellery Made With Love

I like supporting small businesses and today I have a fantastic British business to bring you - Sophia Alexander Jewellery. Lucille is the main designer and business owner so let's hear from her about what makes her jewellery company unique and special. 

Could you explain how you started your business?



I originally set up my business 14 years ago in 2006 after my first child was born. At the time, I was working in an administrative role at a well-known University and loved what I was doing, but despite being offered part-time hours when my maternity leave ended, I was hesitant to return.

I’d had a difficult pregnancy; I’d had a serious road traffic accident at 8 months pregnant and I was struggling with a chronic health condition. In addition to this, when I did return to work, I found that my job description had changed significantly. Something needed to change.


So I decided to put some previous sculpture training and experience to use, and I set up an independent company casting baby hands and feet in polished bronze. The baby casting work was really rewarding. I loved working with so many babies and families, but it was totally dependent on either me travelling to client’s homes or them coming to me.

I live in the middle of the Suffolk countryside. It’s beautiful, but it is the middle of nowhere and it became increasingly obvious that it was the wrong location. Then I discovered fingerprint jewellery. I already knew how to work with wax and metal and I found that working in gold and silver was very similar.

It was a turning point. Something I could do using my existing skillset, that could be done remotely, meaning I could take better care of my health.

Tell us more about what you sell


Today, Sophia Alexander is a luxury British jewellery brand. We specialise in making personalised jewellery and modern family heirlooms that feature customers own unique fingerprint impressions, handprint, footprint and pet print impressions. We work with prints from anyone – birth to one hundred years old and more. We also work with cats, dogs, horses – even the odd tortoise!

Every personalised necklace, ring and charm is made using 9ct gold, 18ct gold, fairtrade gold and silver. We also make wedding rings in both platinum and titanium.

We personalise pieces further by adding gemstones, diamonds, hand-engraved names and personal messages, and we send our jewellery to clients around the world.

What makes your jewellery so special?



After 14 years, I think I’ve perfected my process. I handcraft every piece of jewellery myself using the finest materials I can source and treat every commission as if it was my own.

Every piece is made to feel like it’s really been touched by someone special. You can run your finger over the impressions and feel every line and detail.

I work with a team of expert craftspeople from around the UK. Together, we ensure that every diamond set and every letter engraved is perfect. 


I am very aware that I’m making memories for people. I’m capturing the prints of special people. Capturing life stories and unforgettable moments. I’ve made wedding rings for couples, who’ve then come back to me when each of their children were born, and I’ve made pendants for those same people when they’ve lost a loved one.

We really are with our customers for the journey. I want them to love their jewellery and treasure it forever.

Can you explain the process of taking the fingerprints, handprints and footprints?



The impressions for each type of jewellery we make are taken quickly and easily at home. Once an order has been placed, we phone each new client to ensure the personal details given online are correct. A complimentary gift-wrapped impression kit is then posted out via Royal Mail Recorded Delivery or Special Delivery (if a specific delivery date is required).

We supply different impression kits for fingerprint jewellery, handprint jewellery, paw print and hoof print jewellery. 
A detailed instruction book is included with each kit, but we’re always here in the studio for clients who need assistance. We can answer questions or even set up a Zoom call if preferred. 

Three-dimensional fingerprint impressions are taken using a skin-safe moulding material that is suitable for taking the fingerprints of even young infants.
Handprint, footprint and pawprint impressions are taken using a special inkless paper and wipe system. It’s a safe and mess-free way of taking incredibly detailed prints that is used in U.S hospitals to identify newborn babies and their mothers. 


Ink fingerprint impressions required for wedding rings are taken using a non-permanent ink pad. The loops, whorls and arches of the fingerprint are clearly defined, and the ink is easily removed by rubbing the fingers together.
Hoofprints are taken using a large box of soft pink impression foam, capable of taking deep three-dimensional impressions from ponies and large horses. The foam is pressed onto the hoof and the box removed, leaving the hoof dry and clean.

Once our clients are happy with their prints, they simply return them using the pre-paid packaging provided, although we are perfectly happy to work from scanned or photographed copies of inkless handprint impressions and inked fingerprint impressions.

What’s your most popular item?


That’s a really difficult question because every commission is so totally unique and it also changes depending on the time of the year. I find star-shaped necklaces are very popular at Christmas. Demand for heart-shaped necklaces and charm-beads always goes through the roof coming up to Mother’s Day. April, May and June are affectionately known as ‘silly season’ for wedding rings and leading up to Father’s Day, I make almost nothing but handprint cufflinks.

I find that people definitely lean towards simple shapes, so oval and disk-shaped necklaces never seem to fall out of fashion, but if I had to say what was my overall bestseller, I’d have to say my petite heart-shaped fingerprint necklaces in both 9ct and 18ct gold. These have been consistently popular for well over a decade.

Who or what inspires you?



As a small business owner, I find Holly Tucker (MBE) who co-founded Not On The Highstreet very inspirational. To have a great idea and then build a brand of that magnitude from the ground up, is beyond impressive. Connecting independent artisan businesses and craftspeople with audiences who would never stumble across them otherwise. Once you’ve run a small business for any length of time, you appreciate how much goes into something like that. That’s an astonishing amount of work right there.

In addition to this, she has also set up the charity organisation The Happy Bricks Foundation and she now runs a new business called Holly & Co, under the umbrella of which she helps support and guide female founders and small independent, creative entrepreneurs.

What advice would you give to someone looking to start their own business?


It’s taken me a very long time to build my business into the brand you see today and it’s taken me even longer to be able to take a step back and appreciate how far I’ve come without constantly berating myself for not working faster or achieve more.

The thing is, every time I look at it, I see something else I could design or improve because that’s the thing with owning your own business. You’re never done. It’s a constantly evolving being and there’s always more to do. So here is some advice from someone who’s been there:

  1. As an independent brand, your reputation is everything! Focus on doing one thing at a time and focus on doing that really, really well. Try to make a bit of progress every day. Even if it’s just reeling off some emails, writing a few paragraphs or making some calls. Then, even if the whole day (week, month) goes awry, you will have still moved forward.
  2. Stop comparing yourself to every other company out there. Yes, social media is full of entrepreneurs who are crushing it with their six-figure businesses. You can’t scroll for more than 3 minutes without seeing ads for at least 10 of them and it can make your dreams feel impossibly out of reach. Especially when you don’t have the money, or the time, or the childcare – yet. Just remember that a lot of the time, those ads are smoke and mirrors. Focus on what you need to do.

Sometimes, every now and then, life happens and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it but learn to adapt – quickly. Learning to deal with overwhelm is such an important part of running your own business. If you can easily deal with day-to-day overwhelm, you’ll find it much easier to cope when life throws you a curveball.

If you want to check out the gorgeous personalised and unique jewellery, be sure to visit the Sophia Alexander Jewellery website and you will be smitten. 

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Ruby And Oscar - Exquisite Jewellery That's Fashion Led

I love a bit of colour in my life. That is why I am drawn to coloured gemstones. Of course,, diamonds are stunningly beautiful but coloured gemstones are where my heart lies. So when Ruby and Oscar, the jewellery website that features coloured gemstones got in touch recently, I was excited to see the jewellery that they offer. This ad contains affiliate links.

Who are Ruby and Oscar?


Ruby and Oscar are a passionate British jewellery company based in Newcastle upon Tyne. Employing the best jewellery designers available they encourage creative flair so that every piece is stylish and crafted with the utmost care. 

They follow jewellery trends closely so that their website reflects the fashion of the moment, and thus bringing a dynamic collection of wearable jewellery to their customers. 

There are many pieces that I love from the Ruby and Oscar website and I was surprised at how affordable they are.  Here are some of my favourites below and some of their bestsellers too.

Opal
Opal necklace

I love this opal pendant in sterling silver. The classic teardrop shape is elegant and the opal looks amazing in the sterling silver setting. You can also have a choice of chain length from 16 inches to 22 inches at no extra cost, which I think is a great idea. Opals like this take on the colour of what the person is wearing so will look slightly different every day.

About Opals

Opals are hardened silica and have an iridescence that sparkles in the light. This makes every opal unique and different. Opals are thought to reflect the mood and emotions of the wearer. Opals are softer than some gemstones and are best kept for necklaces, bracelets and earrings. 

Tanzanite


I have yet to meet a woman that doesn't love the gemstone tanzanite, so when I saw these earrings I thought my readers would adore them. These tanzanite and cubic zirconia drop earrings are extremely glamorous. Set in sterling silver, the pear cut tanzanite sits in the centre of these beautiful vintage-inspired drop earrings and the cubic zirconia glitters in the light.

About Tanzanite

Tanzanite is the blue and violet variety of the mineral zoisite. Genuine tanzanite is only found in Tanzania in a very small mining area and this makes it much sought after. Tanzanite is not a hard stone so it's best used as a necklace or earrings as opposed to a ring. It is thought to be good for emotional healing.

Amethyst
amethyst necklace

Of all the jewellery on the Ruby and Oscar website, this amethyst heart necklace is their top seller and it's easy to see why. A simple asymmetrical heart, in inset with an amethyst stone. This modern silver heart necklace is set on a silver chain which is available in lengths from 16 inches to 22 inches available. This necklace would make a gorgeous gift for someone that is cherished and loved. 

About Amethyst

Amethyst is a violet variety of the mineral quartz. Thought to be a powerful and protective stone, the ancient Egyptians valued it greatly and carved amulets out of amethyst. Amethyst is the birthstone of February. 

Sapphire
sapphire bracelet

This sapphire bracelet above is my next choice. The sterling silver three stone tennis bracelet is exquisite, the sapphires are a deep blue and the small charms either side of the sapphires are diamond-cut giving a subtle sparkle. The lobster claw clasp adds some security to the bracelet too so it won't fall off your arm.

About Sapphires

Sapphires are a very precious stone, part of the corundum family and much sought after. Whilst available in a variety of colours, the most popular colour is navy blue. Sapphires are a hard gemstone, and suitable for use in all jewellery including rings. Sapphire is the birthstone of September and is a stone used to celebrate the 45th wedding anniversary.

Ruby
ruby ring

My choice for a ring from the Ruby and Oscar website is this heart-shaped ruby ring with shoulder set diamonds set in 9 carat white gold. A symbol of everlasting love, the heart shape is a classic romantic token. The small round brilliant cut diamonds set into the shoulders add that lovely sparkle to this exceptional ring. Considering the ring is made of white gold, the price is excellent too. 

About Rubies

Rubies are a precious stone also from the corundum family. Rubies are generally pink to blood-red in colour and are prized for their colour. One of the most popular gemstones, rubies are the birthstone of July and a ruby gift is traditional for a 40th wedding anniversary.

Ordering and delivery


Every item of jewellery on the Ruby and Oscar website is hallmarked and produced to British and European standards, ensuring the quality is high. Ruby and Oscar even provide a lifetime warranty, which means in case of any problems they will offer a free repair or replacement.

All items from their website are sent to the UK with free insured and tracked delivery so you always know where your gift is in the delivery chain. Jewellery on the Ruby and Oscar website is conflict-free and they can trace their gemstones back to the source. They strongly oppose destructive mining practices and support fair pay in the mining communities. 

Read more about Ruby and Oscar jewellery ethos here.

As you can see, the jewellery on the Ruby and Oscar website is beautiful and affordable and their ethos of ethically sourced jewellery is fantastic too.  I definitely recommend a browse of the Ruby and Oscar website especially if you have a birthday coming up, or why not treat yourself? Check out the summer sale on for up to 50% off jewellery. 

Let me know, which items of jewellery have caught your eye from Ruby and Oscar?

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Three Tips To Improve Your Hearing

As we get older, our hearing can progressively get worse. You may have noticed that you aren’t hearing as well as you are used to - having to ask people to repeat things or perhaps even missing entire conversations. You might not know why it is happening and it may be a little confusing at times.

Hearing loss can be stressful and upsetting and sometimes can be permanent but sometimes there are other reasons why your hearing isn’t as good as it once was and the situation can be easily rectified.

Here are three tips to improve your hearing.

Consider Taking Some Exercise


You may be wondering how exercise can help but taking a walk somewhere that you can take in different sounds is a great way to get your hearing in tip-top shape again. Exercise is great for your health. Physical exercise and mental exercises help to strengthen your brain's hearing comprehension skills. Go for a walk somewhere that has little man-made noise and see what you can hear. For a mental activity, get someone to read to you and repeat what they say. Gradually introduce noise into the activity to see how far you can go with hearing what they are saying and repeating it.

There are plenty of apps and games out there too that offer mental exercises to help you improve your hearing. These aim to keep your mind focused on trying to find specific sounds and you slowly start to find the sounds you are seeking, gradually improving as time goes on.

Get Your Earwax Removed


Earwax is a brown/yellowish substance produced in the ear canal and is completely normal, playing an important role in keeping our ears healthy. It cleans, lubricates and guards against bacteria. However, an excess of earwax can lead to a build-up which could cause muffled hearing and itchiness. If you are suffering from these, it may be worth considering Earwax Removal Using Microsuction but make sure you use a reputable company and don’t try to do this at home! You don’t want to cause any damage to your very delicate ears, leave it to the professionals.

Supplement Your Diet



As you may expect, vitamins and supplements help give us what we might be missing out on and offer plenty of benefits. There are plenty of vitamins and supplements that can help prevent or delay hearing loss.

Fish oils, magnesium and folic acid have all been shown to have massive benefits when it comes to your hearing health. Remember to speak to your GP before taking any new vitamins or supplements though.

These are just a few ways you can attempt to improve your hearing. Exercises, both physical and mental, seem a great way to really work on your hearing and also relax yourself enough to actually listen out for things you may be missing during the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Do you have any top tips for improving hearing when suffering from hearing loss? Have you tried anything I haven’t mentioned here?

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The Way Forward for UK Schools As We Face The Coronavirus Pandemic

Life has completely changed for a lot of people this year, and this is mainly because of the coronavirus outbreak that started late last year. As a result of the rapid spread of the virus, many people have lost loved ones. The UK and many other nations have been negatively affected by COVID-19. Several sectors have been on the receiving end and even the economy has been affected. The education sector has had its fair share of impact as a result of the pandemic. The government was forced to close all learning institutions some time ago. The decision to close down schools was put in place to safeguard the lives of the youngsters. No parent wishes to put his or her child in danger, and this explains why many have concerns about the reopening of schools.

Recently, the UK government has decided to reopen schools, and the plans are on the way. Schools are essential and reopening them was only a matter of time. The government has put in place several guidelines to ensure that pupils are safe as schools reopen. Here is how the reopening of schools is going to work.

Additional Space


Social distancing has been crucial in the fight against the pandemic that we are currently facing. Through social distancing, the spread of the virus has been minimized. For school-going children not to be affected by the virus, a form of distancing needs to be maintained. Though it is considered challenging for your pupils to maintain social distancing while at school, they will not mingle like before.

Extra space will be needed because the number of pupils in a class will have to be reduced. Reducing the number of pupils per class means that other buildings like libraries will have to be used. It will be wise for learning institutions to utilize temporary structures. Schools that are having a tough time getting the much-needed space should consider getting structures from Smart-Space. It is based in the UK and has been at the forefront in helping many institutions that require space because of the virus including schools and hospitals. You should visit the website to learn more about their building solutions and why the education sector should utilize them.

Cleaning


Research has shown that the virus is most likely to spread through contaminated surfaces. Schools have been instructed to ensure that there is regular cleaning of these settings. Every teacher and pupil will also be required to clean their hands frequently and maintain good hygiene.


Many people have come forward and raised genuine concerns about what will happen if one is found with the virus at school. It is crucial to note that the UK government has stated that testing will be conducted at schools to establish those that might be infected. If a student or teacher is found with the virus, he or she must self-isolate at home. Those that show symptoms of the virus will have to stay home and self-isolate for 14 days.

Conclusion

As schools reopen, minimizing the contact between pupils will be essential to limit the further spread of the virus. It is essential to follow the government and doctors’ guidelines during this period.

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Ideas To Make Your Perfect Garden

With the lovely weather we have been having recently and the restrictions placed on us with trips out limited, many of us have been spending longer than ever in the garden. If you have a beautiful garden then spending time there can be therapeutic but if your garden is not looking its best then it can really get us down. So why not do something about it? Creating your perfect garden can be easy if you know how. Let's have a look at some tips on how to make your perfect garden. 

Make a plan


Firstly make a plan. This can be as simple as sketching out a design on a piece of paper. Measure the garden's length and width and make a note of it for later, then brainstorm what you would like in your garden and where you would like to put it. 

Pinterest can be great to get some inspiration, alternatively, check out from magazines like House and Garden. Consider if you want a formal or informal garden.  Formal gardens are very tidy whilst informal gardens are wilder. Check when the light hits different areas of the garden and make a note of that too. This can affect where you want to sit and what plants go where. Then consider if you want flowers, bushes, pot plants, a water feature, a seating area, a swing chair and so on, then cost it up to ensure you have the budget. Here you can get excited - your perfect garden is in reach!

Install a seating area

A seating area is very important to most of us,  so you can relax at leisure in your garden. Think about whether you want a chair, bench or a patio set. It's a great idea to have an area that's flat for the seating. You can pay for someone to lay a patio,  do it yourself or have family or friends lay it for you. This is a useful guide on how to lay a patio to help save you money. 

Encourage wildlife


Bees and butterflies are great for the environment, being natures pollinators they help plants grow and breed by spreading pollen between flowering plants. The vast majority of plants we need for food rely on pollination especially by bees and butterflies, so encourage them in your garden by making a bee house and planting lots of lovely flowers. Also, why not buy or make a bird feeder? As well as providing essential food for birds in the winter, birds are also pollinators and you can spend many hours watching birds and their behaviour in your garden.

Think of a water feature 


A water feature can be an interesting addition to your garden. This can be a pond, a classically tiered water fountain, or something more modern.   The advantage of a water feature is that the sound and sight of water can be soothing and relaxing. It also has the benefit of providing water for wildlife like birds and bees and pondlife like frogs and fish. 

Make it greener and prettier


As well as being great for the environment, it's lovely to have a colourful and green garden. Bees love colourful plants so plant a variety of bluebells, crocuses, forget-me-nots, and comfreys. They also smell lovely too. You could consider planting a lawn to make it greener or if you have a large patio, plant some flowers in big plan pots. Native plants are a low maintenance option so if you need some advice ask at your local garden centre to which plants are native to where you live.

Make a veg plot


You can add a veg plot to almost any garden. There is nothing like the satisfaction you can get from growing your own veg. Easy to grow veg include salad leaves, potatoes, peas, runner beans and onions. Some of these you can grow in pots as well, even if you have a paved garden. In fact, one of the best ways to grow potatoes is in some earth in a bucket!

These are some ideas to make your perfect garden. Let me know - how do you use your garden? Do you have the perfect garden?


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Building a Capsule Wardrobe For Work

So you've got a new job and you are looking to revamp your work wardrobe. Or you realise you have lots of clothes but nothing you want to wear more than once for work. If you are looking to build a capsule wardrobe for work there are some things you need to take into consideration. A mix and match wardrobe can be a great idea. Let's have a look at how to build a capsule wardrobe of clothes for work if you work in an office environment. 

A classic coat



Every wardrobe and especially every work wardrobe should have a classic coat. If you can afford to, choose a wool coat or a cashmere mix which will be soft and keep you warm on a cold day. Cashmere can be expensive but it is worth paying for as it is super soft and warm. This dark grey coat above is simple, stylish and elegant and will go with most things. The tie will also define your waist. A perfect coat for your capsule wardrobe.

A little black dress
If you don't have a little black dress or LBD in your wardrobe you should get one now. A little black dress is one of the most versatile items you can own. You can pair it with sensible shoes for work, team it with jewellery and heels or boots for night outs and I have even seen people wear a little black dress with trainers.  Of course, a LBD, is great for your capsule wardrobe. I would buy the best quality you can afford as you will get a lot of wear out of it. This double crepe dress above is simplicity in itself. 

A summer shift dress
As well as having a LBD, it's good to have something lighter in colour, especially for the summer months. A classic shift dress is a light blue, would be perfect for this. This is the sort of dress that can take you to a summer occasion too like a wedding or day at the races. The quality of this dress is outstanding with perfect finishing of the seams, and the darts nip in your waist.

A smart winter suit




A smart suit in a neutral colour is a business wardrobe essential. Traditionally a black or navy suit is a great idea. If you want to be slightly different a grey suit like the one above is stylish and smart too. I like the black detailing on this wool mix suit. It's cut very well and would look super flattering on. 



These black and white trousers with a wide leg are a great fit with the jacket above. Sitting flat on the stomach and with a wide leg, they would look good with ankle or long boots, or court shoes too.
This matching pencil skirt can be worn with the jacket above or on its own with a top like the cream one below. 

A light summer suit

So you have a classic warm woollen suit in your wardrobe, pair it with a different suit for summer in a lighter colour. This beige suit is great for summer when you don't want to wear a dark colour. Again it is super smart and has a button to accentuate your waist. This is the sort of suit you can also wear to a special occasion like a garden party at the palace, or your niece's wedding as well as business lunches with you top clients. 
These beige trousers match the summer jacket perfectly and the slightly wide leg make them a flattering fit. Match with boots or court shoes for some height, and you have a summer suit with pieces that can be worn on separately too.


Every capsule wardrobe needs a few long sleeve tops. Again neutral colours are perfect to mix and match. This scoop-neck long sleeve top in a cream jersey material has lycra added for stretch and fit and this will help it wash over and over again and still keep its shape. You can't really go wrong with a scoop neck top.

Pearl earrings



Some pearl earrings are a great choice for your work wardrobe. They are always in style and although they can be thought of as a conservative choice, you can pretty them up with a little sparkle or wear them as a drop earring. Accessories like this can really finish your look.

A tote bag



Now, I don't know about you but I seem to have everything in my handbag, including the kitchen sink! For work, this roomy tote bag is just perfect. Big enough to carry around your purse, makeup, laptop and even your kid's toys, it's size is great and this leather bag in a croc print adds a touch of detail to your wardrobe. I personally feel it's worth investing in a quality leather bag like this as it can last you a lifetime, and because of that has a low carbon footprint. You definitely pay for quality.

So these are some of the items I would use to build a capsule wardrobe for work. Check out Lalage Beaumont, for more capsule wardrobe inspiration. 

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Happy Birthday Mum With Moonpigmoments

I wanted to make my mum's birthday extra special this year and when Moonpig stepped in to help I was very grateful. Thanks to Moonpig for gifting me these items. 


My mum is a diamond and she's had a bit of a tough year. Why is she so special? She's always been very laid back and non-judgmental, she never makes you feel guilty about anything and always offers unconditional love. She's never had a lot of money but has saved hard all her life. When my son was in university, she helped out by paying for his accommodation. She didn't have to do that but we were extremely grateful. That's the sort of person my mum is.

Just before Christmas last year my father died. He had multiple conditions including heart problems, breathing difficulties and more. In the end, he passed away in hospital. It was a tough time especially so being so close to Christmas. Then Covid19 happened and my mum due to her age and health decided to stay at home and not go out unless essential. When you are grieving and then have to isolate it can be hard. So my mum definitely needs a treat.


Moonpig, the gift company, for their campaign Moonpig Moments, gifted me a selection of goodies for my mum. Firstly I decided to make her a personalised card for her birthday this July. The personalised cards available on Moonpig are fun. You can upload photos and add your own message. I was really pleased with the personalised card above when it arrived. I ordered a large card (205cm by 290cm) which was about A4 size and priced at £5.99 I thought it was a good quality card and nice to be able to personalise it. It came quickly too and you have the option to either send it directly to the person or back to you with an envelope.

I was also sent a Yankee Candle in the fragrance Sea Air. I live by the sea in a little seaside town in South Wales and my mum loves it there. She visits when she can, so I thought she would love this candle... and I wasn't wrong. Yankee Candles are a very well known brand of candles and this one had a light fresh fragrance that reminds you of the seaside. The burn time is 65 to 75 hours. 




Now my mum isn't a big drinker but once every couple of weeks she will have a little tipple and vodka and cranberry juice is her favourite. So she really appreciated the gift of the Russian vodka and a special glass embossed in gold lettering with the message 'Mum, you're so lovely'.   That's one thing I like about Moonpig, the variety of gifts available, so you can combine more than one to make an extra special gift.



To complete her birthday I chose a beautiful bunch of birthday flowers for her called The Happy Birthday. A bright and cheery mix of cerise germini, pink roses, white lisianthus and scented oriental lilies, the mix of pink and white looked amazing in the vase and my mum was delighted! I particularly loved the colour of the roses. When you order flowers with Moonpig you get full tracking and a two-hour delivery window which is brilliant, so you can plan your day. They also have a five-day freshness guarantee which is good to know. 



They are also special as they come with a box of handmade chocolates too which came in a lovely decorated box. 

You can check out the birthday gifts for mum here if you want some further inspiration. If you order anything by 4pm Monday to Friday, it will be dispatched the next day, making it a useful site if you want a gift, flowers or card at short notice.



If you are looking to order from Moonpig, cards and gifts from can be ordered online via the web or via the Moonpig app. If you download the app then click on the following link and use APPFREEWGIFT you will get one free card when you buy a gift. This promotion runs until the 17th of August 2020.

My mum really liked her gifts, and I was especially delighted with the card. Thanks to Moonpig for sending me the items in exchange for an honest post. 

Let me know, have you used Moonpig? Do you like any of the gifts?