Antique And Vintage Jewellery From Kit Clayton Jewellery

I do have a love of antique jewellery, and as I get older I appreciate it more and more. There are so many reasons to buy antique and vintage jewellery. The history and heritage of a beautiful antique jewellery piece are incredibly interesting and the workmanship is often outstanding. So when Kit Clayton Jewellery approached me to review their website I was excited to see what delights I would come across. This post is in conjunction with Kit Clayton Jewellery, but as ever my thoughts and opinions are my own.

Kit Clayton Jewellery is run by Abigail Haslett and named after her grandmother Kit.

Kit Clayton jewellery

Abigail found that when she started working in the jewellery industry in 2014 that she had a real passion for gemstones, vintage and antique jewellery and thus Kit Clayton Jewellery was born. Since starting the company, which is now a family affair, Abigail has increased her knowledge of gems studying for various jewellery qualifications. She sources her jewellery far and wide and runs the jewellery company between Hatton Garden in London and Cheltenham in Gloucestershire.

box

She also strongly feels that buying pre-owned antique and vintage jewellery is an ethical choice and the packing is also sourced from recycled materials wherever possible. 

So now we know about the company, let's have a look at some of the beautiful jewellery they sell.

platinum and sapphire ring

 Platinum, Sapphire and Diamond Lozenge Ring, £1,325.00

My first choice from the Kit Clayton website is this stunning and unusual platinum, sapphire and diamond ring. Although not antique, the ring is made in the Art Deco style and is very striking with an emerald cut sapphire approx 1 carat in weight as the centre stone. 

Set in a platinum shank and surrounded with small round brilliant cut diamonds approx 0.2 ct in weight, this ring really is a show stopper.

art deco ring

Art Deco 14ct Gold & Old Cut Diamond Shield Ring £575.00

My second choice is this Art Deco 14 ct diamond and gold ring, most likely dating from the 1920s or 1930s.  What is special about this ring is the unique design, set in white gold with a detailed precious mill grain finish. It also has an old European cut diamond at the centre of the ring with an approx weight of 0.15 ct and two small rose-cut diamonds at opposite corners.

This ring is different from everything you will see on the high street and you know that you will probably never see a design like this again. A statement ring you can cherish forever.

violin necklace

Art Deco Platinum Diamond & Pearl Pendant Necklace £1,285.00

My third choice is this platinum, 18ct gold, diamond and pearl necklace in the design of a violin. Estimated to be made around the 1920s or 1930s the delicate necklace has mill grain platinum work around the edge, making i
t stand out as something special as well as being embellished with white pearls of a gorgeous lustre.

On a 17.5 inch platinum chain, with a box clasp and catch, this exquisite design is perfect as a gift for someone musical and again is a precious and unusual design you won't find elsewhere that's for sure! The workmanship is something else too, they really don't make jewellery like this any more.

vintage bangle

Vintage 9ct Gold Sapphire & Diamond Bangle £1,495.00

This incredible vintage 9ct gold, sapphire and diamond bangle is my last choice from the Kit Clayton Jewellery website. Made in the late 1980s, the sapphires and diamonds in this bangle really sparkle in the light. Between each sapphire sit two small round brilliant cut diamonds adding brightness and shine to the piece.

Fully hallmarked and with a solid clasp in excellent working order, this bangle would make a special gift for the loved one in your life or to celebrate a 45th wedding anniversary where sapphires are traditionally the gift.

engagement rings

As you can see, Kit Clayton Jewellery have some very special antique and vintage jewellery items. With free UK delivery via Royal Mail special delivery, you know that your item is insured in the post and will get to you quickly too, and they also have free returns as well.

Check out the antique diamond engagement rings at Kit Clayton Jewellery for more treasure for your very eyes, and read more about my reasons to buy antique and vintage jewellery here. 

Let me know, what do you think of the exquisite jewellery? Do you have a favourite precious item from Kit Clayton Jewellery?

*AD

Top 13 Inspiring Creative Fashion Ideas for Autumn

The autumn season is upon us and we are enjoying nature’s riot of colours. Now is the time to look for stylish outfits that match the mood of the season. However, the dilemma is - what to wear when the weather is cold in the morning and evening while super-hot in the afternoons? The trick behind pulling together creative fashion ideas for autumn is to start with the basics. Use chic statement pieces to get your style right for the purpose.

Stylish and fashionable ideas to inspire this autumn season

sweaters

The basics of an autumn fashion wardrobe

The key behind getting the best fashion ideas for the season is to start with the basics. Thus, if you have a solid wardrobe of the last year's essentials, be ready for mixing and matching the same with the newer outfits and accessories. Here are some other essential aspects that you need to add to your closets this season. 

Accessories that speak to you

Use bright autumn colours to bring a freshness to your outfit.  Natural gemstone silver jewellery in topaz in untreated shades of yellow and brown or fire opals in red, orange and yellow can be used to accessorise your outfit. Statement chandelier earrings are also back and are strikingly beautiful. 

The elevated t-shirt 

For a piece that captures effortless style and is a great wardrobe essential, t-shirts in cashmere can elevate your wardrobe, keeping you warm when needed. For winter layer a cashmere t-shirt with a cashmere cardigan for some much needed warmth.

A lightweight jacket or shrug

A lightweight jacket or shrug is a useful item for the chilly morning and can be an excellent addition to your autumn wardrobe. For extremely chilly evenings, consider a bomber jacket, a denim jacket or a lined trenchcoat to keep the cold out.

The easy and simple shift dress

A shift dress is a great addition to your autumn wardrobe. Accessorise with some new jewellery, look for fashionable silver earrings online to make your outfit this seasons, with a classic handbag from your wardrobe. A shift dress is easy to wear, just throw it in the morning and you are sorted for the day.

The cropped pants

Cropped pants were once office staples but today work well for an evening or Sunday brunch with friends. For a fashionable look,  go for a pair that sits perfectly on the mid-waist and is cropped above the ankle area. For the ultimate look, pair your autumn season outfit with high heels to up the glamour. 

The white trainers

If you are planning to rock the weekend, then forget the gym shoes or boots. It is time to get white trainers for a more casual look.  Opt for canvas material but protect them with a waterproof spray for the autumn weather.

Classic Chelsea boots

Classic Chelsea boots never go out of fashion. Wear them with jeans, trousers, even dresses. Vogue magazine thinks Chelsea boots never really go out of fashion and I agree with them!

A denim jacket

Say hello to denim and suede, these are wardrobe classics that are perfect for the autumn season and help to add an edge to any outfit. Bring in a crisp white shirt that works best with jeans and cropped pants. 

Sweaters and midi skirts

Another fashionable wardrobe staple this autumn season is knitwear. 
 Pop on a cotton sweater or a light wool sweater for the cool evenings. Pair with midi skirts or statement trousers to keep your warm. Use preppy style clothing and accessories for an American college look.

Denim meets denim

The combination in the past was off-limits but if you have the right vintage denim jacket then double denim can certainly be worn. Look for silver earrings online to accessorise this outfit. 

Off-shoulder top

Similarly, use an off-shoulder top alongside jeans to dress up for a girl's night out. The look is feminine, sharp and sophisticated and a classic black off-shoulder top is always a great look.

A top handle bag

Always a classic, a top handle bag is a great wardrobe essential. A top handle bag is great for work or shopping, buy the best you can afford to take you through the years. 

So here are 13 fashion ideas for autumn. Wha is your favourite? 

*Collaborative post

Skiing or Snowboarding? Check out Protest Clothing

If you are a skier or snowboarded or even if you love chilly winter destinations with a light dusting of snow or perhaps you a good Christmas market, you know the importance of having warm, cosy clothing to keep the cold out.  So let you tell you about a quality brand that recently contacted me - Protest. This is an advertorial for Protest.

Protest hoody

Protest is a design-led sportswear company based in Holland, founded by a group of snowboarders, and yes you heard that right, snowboard enthusiasts from Holland! The clothes are made of the best functional materials that keep you warm and dry, both on the slopes and off.  


It's all in the detail with Protest clothing. They really care about the detail like the materials, the zippers, the stitchings, the fabrics, the finishes, and the washes. 


Materials like softshell fabric, that's windproof, waterproof and warm. as well as flexible for the slopes or walking around picture-postcard snow-dusted towns. 


Zippers on trousers that make it easier to get them into your boot, whether you are snowboarding or walking to the cute apres-ski bar.  


The breathability of jackets that keep you warm on the slopes or doing that Christmas shopping, as well as allowing moisture to escape keeping you fresh. These are the details that matter. So let's have a look at some of the ski and snowboarding favourites from Protest this autumn/winter season.

Fleeces


The fleeces that Protest sell are top quality. The mens fleeces and womens fleeces are stretchy, in a breathable fabric and super insulating. The fall/winter collection 20/21 focuses on sustainability, colours and prints that you would see on the high street.  

Whether you want to go snowboarding or skiing and using a fleece as a layer to keep the warmth in, or popping to the shops or a cafe for some delicious refreshments, then a fleece is a great autumn/winter stand by. 

Ski Jackets


The ski jackets that Protest sell are in a range of colours, from simple neutral tones to fashion-led designs. The mens ski jackets and womens ski jackets are made of multi-functioning materials as well, making them waterproof and warm too with ventilation zips.

Of course, a ski or snowboarding jacket can also be used as a great winter jacket, as they are made to withstand almost all weather conditions. A high K-Factor which is noted on their ski jackets shows how breathable and waterproof the jacket is. So go for the highest rating for a jacket that will keep the rain out.

Thermals

Thermal tops and thermal trousers are a winter must-have. No one likes to be cold and whether you are actively snowboarding, skiing or hiking, or visiting family or friends and the Christmas markets, you still want to be cosy. 

The selection of thermals from Protest are great, with patterns and prints that are fashion-led as well as basic block colours with turtle necks or a hood to keep your ears warm.


As you can see Protest have lots of great items that combine fashion with functionality for winter and whether you are on the slopes or not, it's worth checking out their website for your winter clothing choices. 

Green credentials

Protest are also focusing on sustainability this year, so are using recycled materials such as recycled PET, recycled nylon and recycled rubber in their jackets. They are also working to eliminate PFC from their supply chain (the material that makes jackets waterproof) so have to be applauded for that.

To get 10% off your order use the code diary10 at checkout. This coupon is valid until February 28, 2021. 

Let me know, what do you think of the Protest skiing and snowboarding collection from AW 20/21? Do you have any favourites from the designs featured?

*AD

Keeping Your Sparkler Safe: What You Should Know About Insuring Your Jewellery

#AD. In the interest of disclosure and transparency, the syndication of this article has been provided and paid for by FBD Insurance

You’ve popped the champagne, toasted with family and friends and you can’t stop staring at your left hand. You’re engaged! The next step – before you even say yes to the dress – is to make sure you protect that glittering diamond and keep it safe for many happy years to come.

For most people, an engagement ring is the single most valuable piece of jewellery they own. So, like your home and car, it’s vital to make sure it’s insured and stored safely. Not sure where to start? We’ve outlined a couple of simple steps to help you on your way.

Call your insurer

engagement ring

Many couples insure an engagement ring under their household insurance, such as the Home, Apartment or Renters' policies with FBD. Most contents cover will include jewellery, but depending on its value, the ring might need to be added as a specified item. It’s important to take the time to go through the details and arrange the right cover for you and your lifestyle. It might also be a good time to evaluate your overall home insurance, especially if you’ve recently renovated, built an extension or purchased new additions for the home. If you’re lucky enough to receive high-value gifts for your engagement or wedding, you’ll want to make sure that these are protected as well, especially if you’re planning on heading off for an exotic honeymoon overseas.

Valuation

GIA diamonds

In the event of a claim, insurance companies will usually ask for supporting documentation, such as the receipt or an original valuation. The jeweller you or your beloved purchased the ring from will often provide a valuation without charge. If not, the price depends on the value of the ring, and can usually be negotiated. You should choose a reputable jeweller with proper accreditations for this task, as you want to ensure you get an accurate valuation you can rely on. It’s important also to keep the original document safe, sending it to the insurance company by registered post and asking for it to be returned when they’re finished their inspection. Some insurers require you to get the ring valued every couple of years, as the value of jewellery, especially diamonds, can fluctuate. You don’t want to be under or over-insured.

Check the fine print

reading

When it comes to special high-value items such as engagement rings, most insurance policies have certain requirements regarding valuation, maintenance and storage. It’s always a good idea to read through the paperwork and ensure you’re covered for all eventualities including loss, destruction or theft. For most people, it makes sense to get cover for outside the home, as well as inside. Rings can sometimes go missing on holidays - they can easily slip off fingers slick with suncream - so you should probably check that it’s insured overseas before you fly. Depending on the value of your ring, you may be required to keep it in a locked safe when not wearing it. Be careful to take note of these little details so that you’re fully covered should the worst happen.

Keeping it safe

ring

We’ve all seen those social media posts about rings lost in swimming pools, shopping centres and even down a lift shaft. You don’t want that to be you, so have a think about how you can keep your beautiful new ring safe as you go about your daily life. There are small changes you can make that’ll help protect your ring, such as using hotel safes on holidays and secure lockers in the gym. Make sure you don’t leave it out on display at home, and it might be a good idea to leave it on while washing your hands - you certainly don’t want to leave it behind, or worse, watch it disappear down the sink! It can be tricky too to make sure it fits properly, depending on how warm or cool your hands are - if it’s a little loose, you should get it resized or even get a ring-guard fitted. Weddingbee has a handy guide to making sure it sits just right on your finger.

Maintenance

exam ring

Depending on your contents cover or your specified item policy, you might find that you need to get a professional jeweller to check the ring’s settings every two years or so: nobody wants that precious diamond to come loose. That’s often a good time to get it cleaned, too, as hand sanitiser, creams and washing-up liquid can build up on jewellery, dulling the sparkling effect of a precious jewel. It’s important you bring your ring to a professional, well-recognised and fully insured jeweller to be cleaned or checked, though, so that it’s in safe hands.

Making sure your engagement ring is protected and insured will help give you the peace of mind you need to enjoy this special time of your life - all you have to do now is send out the invitations, organise the party, and show up on the big day!

*AD

Blinds, Curtains, Shutters - Which Are Best?

Have you been considering whether to have blinds, curtains or shutters on your windows? It can be tough to decide exactly which one is best for your needs. This is as Ad.

I’ve put together a guide to help you choose which is best. There are various reasons why you should choose any of the three options depending on your window style, so hopefully, this guide will help you make up your mind.

Blinds

blinds

You can get all different types of blinds including roller blinds, wooden venetian blinds and Roman blinds. It is important you know which one you want and which will suit your house best.

You can even get wooden venetian blinds made to measure. So why should you consider blinds? They have many advantages, one being that they allow you to control the exact amount of light entering that particular too.

They are also a great option when it comes to privacy - passers-by are unable to see into your home. You can even get blinds to match your decor - perfect if you like things to match.

Blinds tend to give a home a cleaner and cooler feel whereas other options tend to give a cosier feel. They also tend to be one of the cheaper solutions, depending on the type of blind you choose.

If you know what fitting you want and what type, then you will soon be good to go.

Curtains

curtains

Curtains are great as they are so simple. You can open and tie them back and can choose from a variety of colours to best suit your home’s decor. These are definitely the cosiest of the three options and can easily be picked up from a variety of places, both online and offline, in the length you need. You can also choose for them to be custom made but this will be more expensive.

Curtains are a fantastic choice for dressing a child’s bedroom especially as you can get different cartoon characters on them. These can be as costly or as affordable as you let them be - you can buy them from a variety of different places, even on the high street.

Shutters

shutters

With shutters offering different degrees of privacy and light control, shutters are a stylish way of dressing your windows. They can really create a wow factor in a room. They are versatile and can be custom-built. They’re probably the most expensive option due to usually being custom built but they are a great choice.

Shutters also allow you to ventilate your room when it's hot and dark outside and help prevent insects from entering your home. They have wonderful sound insulation too.

venetian blinds

So now you know the differences between the three and which one is best suited to your needs. Which one is the perfect choice for your home?


*AD

When Is The Best Time for Liposuction?

On my blog and in life I try to be non-judgemental. Liposuction isn't something I would have personally but I know some of my readers may consider it. So let's have a look at what you should consider if you are thinking of having this procedure. This post is not to offer medical advice, just some general guidelines for you. This is an ad.

doctor

Whenever you have a procedure done, make sure it is scheduled at a reasonable time. The time that liposuction should be performed depends on a few variables and considering them will help you make the right decision.

One of the largest factors to consider is recovery time. Talking to your doctor about the precise amount of recovery time you can assign is pivotal. Bear in mind that it is generally an estimated recovery time and cannot be specified down to exactly the number of days or weeks. It will take longer than 6 weeks to recover.

While you’re recovering, you are likely to need some assistance and care, especially in the first few days. You do not need supervision around the clock, but at certain points of the day, you will certainly need assistance and you also need lots of rest. If your partner is your primary caregiver, you do not want to plan the procedure for when he or she is at work during the busy season.

When you are recovering from the liposuction, you might feel some discomfort. You may need to wear a compression garment for example and these will help with the swelling. Clothes should be lose and unrestrictive.  If you are suffering from allergies, the worst time of the year is probably not the best time to have the surgery for you; if you are already very uncomfortable in the sun, you might want to avoid liposuction in the summer.

You might have a wedding coming up soon, or maybe you're planning a big holiday. Allow plenty of time to recover before a big event like this or you might have some regrets in the long term. Instead, pick a time when your calendar isn't as busy.

A decision you should make with advice from your doctor is to determine when to get liposuction. Also always pick a doctor who is certified to carry this procedure out.

*Collaborative post

Hoisin Chicken Stir Fry With Hello Fresh

Hello Fresh is a popular recipe box scheme. You've probably heard of it. So when I was contacted by Hello Fresh recently to work on a collaboration I said yes. Why? I can wholeheartedly say I've tried them in the past paying for the boxes myself and really enjoyed them. So let us find out more about Hello Fresh. This is an ad.

Hello Fresh, provide recipe boxes with fresh ingredients delivered to your doorstep. Everything is measured out for you, so there is no waste and they come with step by step instructions to make a tasty meal. Hello Fresh always have a variety of discounts as well if you are trying the service for the first time so it's worth looking out for that.

It's been a while since I tried the recipes but I was looking forward to recreating one for my readers.

hoisin chicken

This is my take on the recipe Hoisin Chicken Stir Fry from the Hello Fresh website. I have made some slight adjustments to the recipe, for example, the recipe calls for one onion but I have used half as I am not a big fan of onion. 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. So let's get to the recipe which is one of the popular recipes from their website. 

Hoisin Chicken Stir Fry 

Serves 2

Preparation and cooking time 30 minutes

Ingredients



280 grams of diced chicken breast
1 red pepper
1/2 onion
1/2 bunch spring onions
A good handful of coriander
1/2 pack green beans
1 tspn Chinese 5 spice powder
1 inch of ginger
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp dark soy sauce (low sodium version if you can get it)
2 tbsp hoisin sauce 
2 egg noodle nests
Seseame oil or vegetable oil for cooking 
Salt and pepper for seasoning


1. Add the 5 spice powder to the chicken, season with salt and pepper, and give it a stir.

2. Prep the veg. Peel and thinly slice the onion. Top and tail the green beans then cut them into thirds. Remove the core from the pepper and cut into thin strips. Top and tail the spring onions and chop finely. Peel the onion and chop into thin strips.
Chop the coriander finely. Peel and finely chop the garlic and peel and finely chop or grate the ginger.

vegetables

3. Add oil to the pan, heat for a few seconds and then add the chicken. It's worth getting sesame oil for that authentic Chinese taste but almost any vegetable oil will do but avoid olive oil which can burn and has a distinctive tase.  Saute the chicken for 10 mins or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside.

chicken

4. Put some more oil in the pan, add the green beans and pepper and cook until slightly soft for 3-4 min. 

beans and peppers

5. Add the sliced onion and spring onion and cook another couple of mins.

6. Add the finely chopped garlic and finely chopped ginger, cook for another couple of mins.

chicken-veg

7. Boil a kettle and once boiled, add the water to a saucepan and bring back to the boil. Place the noodles in the boiling water and cook for 4 mins or as stated on the packet. Top tip - Stir the noodles to separate when cooking as this will make it easier to combine with the other ingredients when cooked.

noodles

8. Add the chicken back to the vegetable mixture, add the soy sauce and hoisin sauce and warm through for a couple of minutes ensuring everything is combined and hot.

stir fry

9. Serve up and get stuck in!

Conclusion

This recipe was delicious! It's perfect for a quick evening meal and you can rustle it up in about 30 minutes. It's healthy as well, just be careful how much oil you use. The genius of Hello Fresh is providing the small ingredients like the 5 Spice powder and the fresh ginger. Ingredients you may buy once and leave in the back of your cupboard otherwise. This is what makes this dish - the Asian ingredients you won't get everywhere. 

Marcus eating stir fry

Mr W really enjoyed his Hoisin Chicken Stir Fry as I did too. It's also family-friendly, as there isn't anything in it that most kids would object to, other than onions.  It's much better for you than a ready meal which is highly processed and can also be on the table in less than 30 minutes, perfect if you want a quick meal after work. If you are watching your sodium levels, I would avoid putting salt on the chicken and look out for low sodium soy sauce.

This Hoisin Chicken Stir fry is a healthy but filling meal and is around 516 calories per portion as stated on the Hello Fresh website. If you like this recipe, check out my veggie shepherds pie recipe with Hello Fresh on my previous collaboration with them.

Let me know, have you tried Hello Fresh? What do you think of this recipe?

*AD

Office Romance 101: The Rules of Dating a Work Colleague

Office romance has been a staple of British society for a long time, but how many people actually date a work colleague and what are the rules?

Most of you will have either dated a work colleague or know someone who has. Some of these office romances turn into lifelong relationships, and others end in misery and resignation. With this in mind and the power relations that can sometimes come into play, it can be a tricky tightrope to navigate.

Due to the boundaries that must be put in place with these sorts of situations, speaking to an employment solicitor is probably a good place to begin. They can help you to resolve any queries you may have, and any issues you may face with your employer.

Starting with rules we’ve laid out here, however, might be a quicker port of call. Today, I'm going to share some office romance statistics, and give you our rules around dating a work colleague. Then, I’ll offer some brief insights on whether office romances will die off in the COVID-19 era.

How Many People Get into Office Romances with a Work Colleague?

Work place people

Office romances are much more prolific than you might think and, up until recently, they were one of the main ways people got into relationships.

In a survey by the job search engine Adzuna.co.uk, it was discovered that 66 percent of workers in the UK had been in a romantic relationship with a work colleague. What’s more, 28 per cent of them found their current partner at work.

Where the boundaries are a little stiffer is getting involved with someone above or below you in the rankings, but this hasn’t stopped some. In fact, 22 percent of these romantic relationships in the workplace were between a subordinate and their boss. This is a difficult position to be in if you don’t want to risk losing your job.

The other side of that coin are employees who choose to date their boss on purpose because they believe it will progress them in their career. In the survey, 48 percent of Londoners who dated their boss admitted the romance helped their career.

Unsurprisingly, for all the office romances that work out, there are a huge number that force employees to resign:

  • 59 percent of people who date a work colleague resign from their jobs.
  • 33 percent of these employees resigned to avoid a partner post-break-up.
  • 26 percent of them resigned to give their relationship the best chance to succeed.

Given these statistics, it’s unsurprising that 18 percent of employers have completely banned dating in the workplace, and an untold number of others have strict rules around office romances.

What Are the Rules on Dating a Work Colleague?

work colleagues

To make sure you don’t end up resigning from your job, or violate any rules your employer has on office romances, we’re going to share our personal list of rules on dating a work colleague.

1. Check the Company Rules

The first port of call if you’re thinking of getting into a relationship with a work colleague is to check what the company rules are. According to the same survey we mentioned in the last section, 17 percent of employees don’t actually know what their company’s dating policy is.

You could check the company handbook or your contract, if you have access to it, to see if there are any clear rules on office romance. If there isn’t anything there, it might be worth speaking to a fellow work colleague or your manager to see if they know what the rules are.

Once you know what they are, or you find out that there aren’t any, you can move onto the next step.

2. Don’t Break the Law

This might sound like a dodgy title, but if you’re going to approach a work colleague to go on a date you have to make sure you don’t end up with sexual harassment charges against you.

Most of us have common sense and know the difference between harassment and asking someone out on a date. However, the rules around sexual harassment in the workplace tend to be stricter than dating policies.

This is especially true if you’re a manager and the person you’re asking out is your subordinate. If you don’t make it absolutely clear that if they turn you down it won’t have any repercussions for them at work, it could be interpreted that way and you might face harassment charges.

If you want to be extremely safe when you ask out a work colleague, you could use the Google rule. Google and Facebook recently introduced rules around office romance, which included the fact that employees are only allowed to ask a co-worker out once.

If the co-worker says no, then you don’t get to ask again, and if they are ambiguous about it, for example: ‘I’m not available that night’ it still counts as a no.

3. Don’t Date Your Boss

It’s a little too risky to be dating your boss, and vice versa for a boss to be dating their colleague, as we alluded to above. You don’t want to be in an office romance with someone who has power over you and your career, and you also don’t want to be in one with someone whose career path is dependent on you.

It creates an uneven power dynamic that will likely bleed into your personal relationship, and it more often than not ends badly.

Also, work colleagues are likely to talk about you behind your back, claiming it’s all for personal gain. They might assume that the whole relationship is because one of you wants a promotion and one of you is using your power to get what they want. Best to avoid this tarnishing all together.

4. Don’t Let the Relationship Get in the Way of Your Job

people at work

Once you get into an office romance with a work colleague, it’s important to make sure you don’t let it interfere with your job. Your behaviour might go one of two ways:

You try to be overly-cordial with your partner, so it doesn’t look like your relationship is getting in the way of your work. If you were friendly with the person before, and that behaviour contributed to how well you worked together, then losing this might obstruct your work. 

You try and keep the romance going in the office and end up grossing out all of your work colleagues. If you’re busy working on your relationship you won’t get a lot of your actual work done.

If you’ve opted for a manager/subordinate relationship, the relationship could have an even more detrimental effect on your work.

For example, it might be difficult for your partner to critique your work because they want the relationship to go well. Or, you might find it hard to take criticism from the person you’re dating. Ultimately, having to answer to a partner who is higher up in the organization's chain of command may become a problem.

This can also make other work colleagues sour, as they feel you are being given special treatment over them because of your relationship.

5. Make Sure You’re Both on the Same Page

Not all office romances are between people looking to make a lifelong commitment. So, it’s a good idea to make sure that you’re both on the same page.

You might even want to make a love contract, which sounds silly and made up but is an actual legitimate contract some employers require employees to sign. Even if your employer doesn’t require it, a love contract is worth making so you can talk about how you want to conduct your relationship both in and out of the office. Think about:

How open you want to be with your work colleagues or your boss;
How you’re going to interact with each other at work, for example whether you’ll have lunch together or talk about non-work things at work;
What you’ll do if one of you gets promoted and you get stuck in an awkward employer-employee scenario.

Will The Office Romance Die Off in the COVID-19 Era? 

Home working

Now that we’ve gone over our general rules for office romance, we’re going to take a quick look at whether they will survive the coronavirus pandemic. As we mentioned earlier in this post, office romance is one of the main ways people get into relationships. With COVID-19 forcing office workers to do their jobs from their homes, it might spell the end of these relationships.

In fact, 49 percent of working adults in the UK are currently working from home, meaning that half the workforce are unable to speak to each other face-to-face.

In an interview with Business News Wales, a spokesperson for Protecting.co.uk said: “COVID-19 has really thrown a spanner in the works when it comes to dating at work. Budding romances have come to an abrupt end, and no one wants to flirt with a co-worker over a company zoom meeting. Working from home means there is no office banter, which means gone are the days of easily flirting with your co-workers and asking them out.”

Dating experts at eHarmony believe that at least 50 percent of couples will meet online by 2031, and almost completely replace dating in the workplace.

The Future of Office Romance

In this post, we’ve managed to cover the statistics on people who have dated a work colleague and shared our rules on office romance. We’ve then given a brief insight into how workplace dating might be replaced by online dating post-COVID.

It’s not set in stone how the future of the world will look, never mind the dating scene. If we make it through this pandemic and decide to return to things as they were, workplace romance will have its second term. That said, if we settle into a ‘new normal’ where most people work from home, it’s likely that relationships will start online instead of in the workplace.

What do you think? Are office romances dead? Let me know, in the comments down below!

*Collaborative post

A Tome For Your Home - Creating A Reading Room

Something that isn't spoken of enough these days is the benefit of reading. Arguably, most of us don't have time to read or we don't have the space. Many people might think they need to create a space in their home to read, and others may be lucky enough to have a spare room but don't know what to do with it. 

bookcase and lamp

Creating a reading room or reading space is something that can benefit so many of us. It's not just about the act of reading itself but it's a space for us to switch off, away from our phones or tablets, and get back to something simple. But how can you create a reading area or room in your home?

The Right Furnishings

Firstly, we need to make sure our area is decorated appropriately. It depends on if you plan to read on a quiet Sunday afternoon or early in the morning before everyone else gets up. This means that you need a few components to incorporate the right atmosphere. A small table is ideal so you can put your cup of coffee on there, but you also might want to think about something that brings you into a more relaxing state of mind. There is something quite satisfying about a ticking clock that can bring you back to a time before mobile phones or tablets. You may want to think about getting a Grandfather or Grandmother clock. It's a statement piece if you have the room, but of course, many people feel that Grandfather clocks are too big. But the differences between Grandfather and Grandmother Clocks are worth considering at this point especially as Grandmother clocks are smaller in stature.

Sectioning off a Space

Whether you are extending your home or making do as it is, there are certain things you can do to tell yourself this is a different part of the home. We assume you don't have a private library, but you can still separate the reading space from the rest of your home. You can very easily incorporate an accent wall or a rug. And while the right flooring can make it appear different in your mind, you'll also need to think about the right lighting. It will help you to get into the right frame of mind to read, but you also need to make sure that it's not too dark. Find some ambient lighting for the space, but also use a single task light to ensure you can focus on the page.

A Reading Chair

The most important thing of all. A reading chair will communicate so much to you. It needs to be relaxing, but not overly so. And it also needs to be something that's unique but not too different from the rest of your furnishings. Choosing something like a vintage armchair can be very effective and it can be a focal point to certain aspects of a room. But you also need to make sure that this chair is away from high traffic areas of the home so you can actually get down to the fine art of reading.

Reading is a wonderful thing and we can achieve so much with the right knowledge. But if you are someone that doesn't have the opportunity to read much, you need to make time, but you also need to make the space.


*Collaborative post

Top Benefits Of Travel For A Childs Development

Travel can mean different things for different people. New parents may wince at the idea of bringing the little ones away for the first time as there is so much to plan and so much to prepare, but, this is actually not the case at all. Not only is travel a good time for the family to bond, but it can also monumentally benefit the child!

Change of scenery, change of mind



It’s no secret that you experience new things when you travel, so to learn and see new cultures first hand while you are young will stand the child in good stead for the future. Children are taught about the wonders and workings of the world at school, but this will always be within four walls. Why not bring their learning to life? Travel is the ultimate hands-on and immersive classroom, just being in a new place with new customs will help the children experience diversity. and different cultures.

This exposure to new and different things will broaden their minds. Kids are often more tolerant and curious post-travel. This will benefit them as they can develop a ‘hunger’ for knowledge, so when they do end up back in the classroom they can apply their new findings straight to the textbook. Kids love doing and playing – so using all five senses to experience the world is a more enjoyable experience and beneficial for education for sen children. Often, they naturally adapt and use their newfound knowledge and link it straight to the reception class curriculum. This directly affects understanding, as it is harder to grasp concepts from just reading.

Boost their confidence whilst on the road

We all want our children to have the happiest lives possible, especially when it comes to social lives and friends. Playdates are so important, however, how do you get them to be confident enough to reach out to others? What happens when they’re in a situation where they have to step up and do things alone? They may be too young now, but skills like these are important to learn from early on. The introverts amongst us know how it feels when you’re in a situation when you don’t know anyone else – it’s not great. It’s often suggested that when on the road, children become better at meeting new people just from the experience of trying new things. The ‘unknown’ becomes less of a thing to fear, and more to be excited about. This is a valuable life skill that can be transferred onto any situation later in life, whether it is the classroom or even a job interview!

Patience, Patience

Another life skill learned while travelling is patience. Sadly, no matter how much we try, things can go wrong. Maybe there are delays, maybe you lose the suitcase – who knows? We wouldn’t wish for these situations, but when going on vacation they’re often unavoidable. If children are around to see these mishaps, they can learn one of life’s best lessons: be patient.

Learning to adapt to unforeseen circumstances and being able to ‘go with the flow’ are key to living a happier life. For kids to pick this up at a young age is very important. Returning to the classroom and being able to navigate education with patience will optimize their learning and improve grades. This teaches them that if things go wrong, it is okay – nothing is the end of the world. Adopting this mentality from travel to learning will make them more receptive to teachers and the process of studying. No one gets A’s first time.



Culture Vultures

Kids love anything new, so if you do make the decision to travel, mix up the destinations. From nature to a city break, the different experiences are so valuable. Visit landmarks, theme parks, even to new AI based vacations. The impact of AI on holidays will blow their minds – and possibly yours too! Technology knows no bounds, these up and coming holidays are not something to be dismissed. Learning together is great, we love our kids, but why don’t we nourish our own minds too.

Letting kids have an opinion on what they want to visit is also important. You may have a great idea for a vacation, but maybe they do too. Culture and self-expression go hand in hand, and seeing the world is an exciting experience. Try methods like having an open conversation about what you’ve experienced together. Did you like it? Why was that? Would you like to see it again? Their little brains will be whirring with amazement, building healthy pathways about the world and it’s beauty. 

Time to bond

I could reel on for hours about how much travelling benefits children’s learning, but another important and sometimes overlooked aspect is how much it benefits the family as a unit. Imagine going on a camping trip with your kids, seems like a lot of planning I know, but once you’re there and out with nature you can just… relax. Being in nature and present in the moment will have nothing but positive effects on your family relationships. As a society we are so busy these days, from meeting to meeting we go, often without even glancing around and taking a break. Having even just a weekend unplugged from work life builds stronger family foundations and promotes a positive environment to raise the young ones in.

Think of all the memories you can build together, one day you’ll all be looking back and smiling about the time you were away. No one knows how fast time goes more than parents, they really do grow up so fast – so take that time you’ve been thinking about taking and go for it! It will benefit everyone involved. 

Looking to the future

Building a family and raising children is never an easy task, especially when we care so much about them. Take that vacation you’ve been daydreaming about in the office and go see the world together. Try all these new and exciting experiences while they’re still young. Know that going away will only benefit them and their development. The vacation may last a week, but the memories will last a lifetime.


*Collaborative post

Which Type Of Flooring Is Best For You Home?

There are many choices of floor covering you can have in your home. If you are looking for the advantages and disadvantages of each type of floor covering from wood flooring, to vinyl to carpet and more then you've come to the right place. 

Firstly choosing a floor covering isn't simple. There are a number of things you need to consider when choosing the floor covering for your home, including the look, the ease of cleaning, the cost, and more. Let's have a look at which type of floor covering is best for each room in your home.

Carpet

carpet bedroom

A plush carpet is soft and cosy. There is nothing like feeling carpet underfoot and therefore it is a good choice for a lounge or bedroom. Carpet can also muffle noise so is perfect if you live in a flat. That's another reason to choose carpet for the stairs as the noise will be limited. I would avoid using carpet in a bathroom or kitchen where it could get damp and would be harder to clean. Carpet is available in a variety of prices depending on the quality and materials used. Carpet does gather dust and dirt, so think twice if you have pets, young children or allergies.

Wood flooring

wood flooring
Wood flooring has a luxurious look that is hard to beat and is often used for hallways and lounges. Solid wood flooring especially is hard-wearing. It can fit into a traditionally styled home or a modern minimalist look with ease, depending on the wood chosen and the finish. Wood flooring is generally a mid to high price point but the original outlay can be balanced with the longevity. Wood flooring lasts longer than carpet if looked after well and is easy to clean with a brush or dry mop. It can be a little noisy if you have a wood floor in a flat or an upstairs room.

Vinyl 

vinyl flooring

Vinyl is a good choice for a cost-effective flooring when you are on a tight budget. It can resemble other types of flooring including wood, tiles and slate, so it's very versatile. Modern vinyl flooring does last a while however it can get damaged easily, so may need to be replaced every ten years or so. It is easy to keep clean, easier than carpet and is good if you have children around and pets, a light mop is all it needs. This means it is good if you have allergies. 

Natural stone flooring

stone floor

Natural stone flooring is hard-wearing and tough as well as upmarket and luxurious and is a popular choice for kitchens. It can also be used for bathrooms as it's moisture resistant but can be cold underfoot. Natural stone flooring comes in a variety of materials from marble to slate, limestone to granite and has longevity although the initial cost can be high. Some stones need to be sealed but then they are impervious to moisture and are easy to keep clean. 

Laminate flooring

laminate flooring

Laminate flooring is a multi-layer type of flooring fused together often with a wood finish. It replicates the look of real wood as a much cheaper cost. Laminate flooring is not the best flooring for areas which can get wet or moist like kitchens, laundry rooms and bathrooms. It's easy to install and relatively durable.  

So here is a description of flooring that is suitable for your home. What flooring do you have in your home?

*AD 

Fresh Smoked Salmon Online From Scotland

Smoked salmon is a luxury that has become surprisingly affordable in recent years. With a rich deep flavour, it has become a popular ingredient in a variety of appetisers as well as a food eaten in its own right. With a variety of health benefits too, smoked salmon is one luxury that could be even good for you! So let's have a look at the reasons why you should eat smoked salmon and also the benefits of buying it online.

What is smoked salmon?



Smoked salmon is made by taking fresh salmon through the smoking process which helps keep the fresh fish longer. It is done through a cold or hot smoke which affects the taste and texture of the salmon making it a distinctive food product and coveted for its taste and richness as well as preserving it.

Health benefits of smoked salmon

sushi with salmon

Smoked salmon is rich in omega 3 oils. Omega 3 oils have a variety of benefits to health, including helping to prevent heart disease. Oily fish like salmon is also rich in Vitamin D which helps make healthy bones and teeth. The evidence for the health benefits of oily fish is so strong that the NHS recommends the majority of people to have a healthy balanced diet to incorporate two portions of fish a week and one of those oily fish. Check the recommendations if you are pregnant or breastfeeding as they may be different.

How to use smoked salmon



Smoked salmon is often eaten simply in the UK, with some brown bread and butter, and a squeeze of lemon juice, but there are a variety of ways it is eaten around the world. It is eaten with scrambled eggs as a popular brunch dish around Western Europe. Another way to eat it, popular in Jewish cuisine, is on a bagel with cream cheese. Smoked salmon can also be used as an ingredient in quiches, salads, and pasta sauces as well as used in sushi too.

Buying smoked salmon online

bagel and smoked salmon

Buying smoked salmon online is a convenient way of getting the best salmon to your doorstep from Scotland. Why Scotland? Scotland has a reputation for some of the best smoked salmon in the world with the freshest salmon coming from the award-winning producers around Scotland, and with many artisan smokers with years of experience in smoking this fine fish. Ordering Scottish smoked salmon online from a RSPCA accredited farm is a quick and convenient of getting the best to you without having to hunt it down in your local area.

Let me know, do you enjoy smoked salmon? What's your favourite smoked salmon dish?

*AD