How To Choose A Perfume That's Right For You

We feel good when we smell good but choosing a perfume can be challenging. There are many things to take into consideration. If you don't normally wear perfume you may not know where to start. This is where this guide can help you. Let me guide you through ... how to choose a perfume that is right for you. 

A Subjective Experience 

different perfumes

Firstly choosing a perfume is a very subjective and personal experience, so it can be hard to recommend perfume to others, however, there are some points to help guide you through the process.

Think About The Aromas And Scents You Enjoy

The best thing you can really do here is to browse the perfumes in stores. Pick a time of day when it's quieter, the morning is often good, and have a good sniff of different types of fragrances. 

Perfumes are often classified into families of scents, such as woody, citrus, floral, oriental and fresh and if you know you like a specific type of scent then look for those with these notes. For example, floral perfumes such as those from Parfumdreams, at Parfumdreams are often worn in the day whilst heavier scents with notes of musk and woody fragrances are worn in the evening.

Where And When Will You Be Wearing It?

woman sniffing fragrances

Are you looking for a day fragrance or an evening fragrance? Lighter fragrances with fresh notes are often better for daytime whilst heavier fragrances can often be more appropriate for the evening.  Do you want to wear it out with your partner,  to work or for cocktails in the night? 

If you are looking for a fragrance for a certain occasion then you need to think about this too. A fragrance for your wedding day may have more floral and lighter notes than a fragrance for an evening celebration. Think about where and when you want to wear the fragrance and choose accordingly. 

The Season 

Think about the season when buying your fragrance. Lighter fresher perfumes can work better in the Spring, tropical fragrances in the Summer and fragrances with woody, spicy or sensual undertones can work better in the Autumn and Winter. 

Consider Your Personal Style


Your personal style and preferences can also influence your choice of fragrance. If you prefer minimalist and simple styles, you might want to choose a fragrance with fewer notes, while if you prefer bold and dramatic styles, you might choose a fragrance with more complex and intense notes.

Test The Perfume 

Before you buy perfume, try it on a test card first. If you think you may like it then spray it on your skin and see how it smells on you. Apply a small amount to your wrist or inner elbow and let it dry for a few minutes. It's important to test the fragrance on your own skin as each person's body chemistry can react differently to scents.  

Perfumes have different notes and these may develop over time so allow time for the fragrance to develop. You should wait a few hours before deciding whether you like the scent or not.

Sometimes You Have To Go With What Feels Right

Ultimately, choosing the right perfume is a personal decision, and you should choose a fragrance that you enjoy and feel confident wearing. Only you know what you truly like, so enjoy choosing a perfume that reflects your personality and style.


The Benefits Of Private Group Dining In The UK

Private group dining refers to a dining experience where a group of people, typically friends, family members, or colleagues, reserve a private space within a restaurant, hotel, event space, or private club to enjoy a meal together. There are many venues in the UK so you will be spoilt for choice when looking for a private group dining venue. 

Private group dining in the UK can offer a variety of benefits, including exclusivity and luxury, privacy, and customisation of venue and meals. This makes it perfect for special occasions.

Exclusivity and luxury

Private group dining often takes place in exclusive venues or rooms, not open to the public, which can offer a more luxurious and upscale dining experience. These can be unusual venues too like castles, museums and boats. This can be perfect for special occasions or when you want to impress your guests. It is a great option when you want an intimate gathering of family or friends. It is also perfect for a group of work colleagues on a team-building exercise or just out celebrating the end of the work year.


Private group dining allows you to enjoy the company of your guests without the distractions and noise of a busy restaurant. It also provides a more intimate atmosphere, which is great for conversations and bonding. This makes it a great option for a company night out, as mentioned above, birthdays, and weddings.

Customisation Of Venue And Meals

When you opt for private group dining in the UK, you can often customise the venue and menu to your liking. 
This can be particularly good for small weddings when you want the room to be decorated in a certain way and want a specific menu.

This allows you to create a unique and personalised dining experience that caters to your guests' preferences. This can be great for those following a certain lifestyle or diet, like vegetarian or gluten-free.

Another option could be to eat from a set menu which they have created for group bookings. This can often be a cost-effective option.

You may be able to decorate the venue yourself, for this you would need to ask in advance, or they may decorate it for a charge (or even free).

Special Occasions

Private group dining is a popular option for a range of occasions as mentioned above including weddings, birthday parties, corporate events, family gatherings, special anniversaries, hen parties and baby showers. If you have a wedding planner they may organise the venue for you.

Many restaurants, hotels and venues in the UK offer private group dining options, ranging from small, intimate spaces for a few people to larger rooms or event spaces that can accommodate dozens of guests.


It's important to note that private group dining typically requires advanced booking and may come with additional costs or a minimum spend. However, the benefits of a private dining experience in the UK can be well worth the investment for those looking to celebrate a special occasion or enjoy a unique dining experience with friends and family.

As you can see there are many benefits of private group dining. It's definitely worth considering private group dining in the UK for your next occasion. If you are looking where to find private group dining places in the UK, then one place to look for venues is Square Meal UK.

Let me know if you have been part of a private group dining experience.

*Collaborative post

Gut Health Vs Stomach Health: What Is The Difference?

Improving gut health and stomach health is important as you age. A healthy gut and a healthy stomach are important to the overall health of an individual, but why is that and what can you do to improve your gut and stomach health? Read on to find out more.

Gut Health

Gut health refers to the health of the gastrointestinal tract, which includes the stomach, intestines, and colon. The health of the gut is important to your overall well-being as the gut plays a crucial role in digestion, nutrient absorption, and immune system function.

To sustain a healthy gut, various elements come into play. These include consuming a balanced diet that encompasses fibre, an intake of fermented foods, and consuming prebiotics, and probiotics. Maintaining a regular exercise routine, managing stress levels, and getting adequate sleep are also important. Additionally, it's crucial to refrain from smoking and excessive alcohol intake, which can have detrimental effects on gut health.

Research has shown that an unhealthy gut can lead to various health issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, allergies, and even mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. Therefore, it is essential to prioritise gut health by making lifestyle changes and seeking medical advice if needed.

Supplements For Gut Health


Several supplements can be helpful for gut health. These supplements can improve digestion, reduce inflammation and support the growth of healthy gut bacteria. Supplements, however, are not a replacement for a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Supplements that can help support gut health include probiotics and prebiotics, digestive enzymes, Omega 3 fatty acids and glutamine.

Probiotics supplements contain live bacteria that can help to support a healthy gut. They can be especially helpful for individuals with digestive issues or those who have taken antibiotics, which can disrupt the balance of bacteria in the gut. Prebiotic supplements contain fibre and other nutrients that support the growth of healthy gut bacteria. It can be found naturally in foods like bananas, asparagus, onions, and garlic.

Digestive enzymes can help to break down food and improve digestion. They are especially helpful for individuals who have difficulty digesting certain foods or who have conditions like pancreatitis or celiac disease.

Omega-3 fatty acid supplements can help to reduce inflammation in the gut and improve overall gut health. They can be found naturally in foods like fatty fish, flaxseeds, and chia seeds,

Glutamine supplements can help to improve the integrity of the gut lining and reduce inflammation. It is especially beneficial for individuals with conditions like leaky gut syndrome.

Stomach Health

Stomach health refers to the state of the stomach, which is an important part of the digestive system responsible for breaking down food and extracting nutrients from it. A healthy stomach is essential for maintaining overall health and well-being.

Some factors that can affect stomach health include diet, stress levels, and certain medical conditions. Consuming a healthy diet with a balance of nutrients, fibre, and fluids is important for maintaining good stomach health. Processed and high-fat foods, caffeine, and alcohol can irritate the stomach lining and contribute to problems like acid reflux, heartburn, and indigestion.

Stress can also affect stomach health by increasing inflammation in the stomach lining, disrupting the balance of gut bacteria, and causing changes in digestion. Practising stress management techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing can help to alleviate stress and improve stomach health.

Medical conditions like gastritis, ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can also impact stomach health. Seeking medical advice and following a treatment plan prescribed by a healthcare professional is important for managing these conditions and maintaining stomach health.

In summary, maintaining good stomach health involves eating a healthy diet, managing stress levels, and seeking medical attention when necessary.

Supplements For Stomach Health


Several supplements can be beneficial for stomach health. These supplements can help to support digestive health and reduce inflammation in the stomach. However, it is important to note that supplements should not be used as a replacement for a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Supplements that can help stomach health include probiotics and digestive enzymes as well as ginger, liquorice root, and zinc. 

Probiotics supplements, as mentioned above contain live bacteria that can help to support a healthy gut microbiome. They can be especially helpful for individuals with digestive issues or those who have taken antibiotics, which can disrupt the balance of bacteria in the gut.

Digestive enzyme supplements can help to break down food and improve digestion. They are especially helpful for individuals who have difficulty digesting certain foods or who have conditions like pancreatitis or celiac disease.

Ginger and Liquorice are natural supplements that help and soothe digestion. Ginger and liquorice can be taken as a supplement or consumed and added to food. Liquorice root is especially helpful for individuals with conditions like gastritis or ulcers.

The mineral zinc can help to protect the stomach lining and reduce inflammation. It is beneficial for individuals with conditions like acid reflux or GERD.


There are things you can do to improve your gut and stomach health including maintaining a healthy diet, taking appropriate supplements, managing stress and exercising. Just remember, it is important to talk to a healthcare professional before starting any new supplements, as they can interact with other medications or medical conditions. This article is for information purposes only and does not offer medical advice.

Do you take any supplements for gut or stomach health?


Wychwood Art - Buy Affordable Art Online

I've always been interested in art and culture and when I travel I enjoy visiting art galleries and museums. Some of my favourite art galleries are the Tate Modern in London and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and some of my favourite artists are Klimt and Van Gough.

Why You Should Appreciate Art

woodland painting

Rustic Woodland By Jan Rogers £285

I am by no means an art expert, I never studied art in school even but I think appreciating art is important for many reasons. Art can cause a real emotional reaction, from inspiration to love to sadness and happiness. It often has cultural and historical significance as we can learn about the world around us through art. Art can also be thought-provoking and make us reevaluate what we originally thought.

Appreciating art in galleries is a fabulous activity however it is always nice to own some art yourself. Art however can be very expensive to buy. If you are an unknown artist art is priced on the size of the artwork, materials used, and how long it takes to produce, however, if you are a well-known artist then sales history, exhibition history and demand is taken into consideration. 

You can buy art at auction and you can buy original art online from a site such as Wychwood Art. 

About Wychwood Art 

hound painting
Foxhound - Oil Painting By Kate Knott £470

Wychwood Art sells limited edition prints and original paintings online and from their gallery in the Cotswolds. Wychwood Art also exhibits at the Affordable Art Exhibition in Battersea each year. They sell the art of over 350 contemporary artists, from the quirky art of Kate Boxer to the landscape art of Andrea Allen.

Deborah Allan the director of Wychwood Art, hand curates the artwork and she has a great eye and expert knowledge from working at Christie's and Bonham's auction house in the modern art area. She knows what appeals to people about art and why people buy art in modern times. This makes the art available at Wychwood Art unique and special as well as affordable. 

My Favourite Pieces From Wychwood Art

Tenby harbour painting

The Tenby Experience 4 - Limited Edition Print By Anya Simmonds £25

This print by Anya Simmonds takes me back to my many visits to Tenby in West Wales. It's so delightful, and Anya has captured the coloured buildings perfectly! I have been visiting Tenby every year since I was a child.  When I was young my parents used to go camping in Penally close by and I can remember my dad cooking bacon on the little camping stove. I still visit now and love my stays here and that is why this print is so close to my heart. It's a bargain price too.

Spring meadow painting

Glorious Rainbow Meadow - Acrylic On Canvas By Lucy Moore £330

There is something I love about this work of art by Lucy Moore. It reminds me of a beautiful spring day in the countryside. The colours are bright but the painting has a calming effect, and I can also almost smell the grass and the flowers that took me back to my childhood days. I think this artwork would light up any room.

sea painting

Spilling Waves - Oil On Canvas By Helen Howells £995

This painting by Helen Howells in oils is different to the other paintings above. It has a motion and freeness about it and I love the way the artist has applied the oils to get this effect, you can almost hear the water rolling in. It has a moodiness about it too.  I live near the sea in South Wales and Helen does too so it's nice to champion a local artist. 


As you can see they have art to suit all budgets at Wychwood Art. Appreciating art can enrich our lives in many ways, and I recommend you check out the Wychwood Art website for affordable art that won't break the bank. Let me know, do you have a favourite artist? What do you think of my choices above? 


5 Of The Best Affordable Jewellery Brands

Jewellery is often seen as an expensive luxury that only the wealthy can afford. Yet, contrary to popular belief, there are many affordable jewellery brands out there! From timeless classics to pieces with a modern edge, you'll be able to find something special without breaking the bank. Whether you're looking for earrings, necklaces, or rings, I've compiled a list of 5 of the best and most affordable jewellery brands that won't break your budget and will help you look stylish and fashionable. So if you're on the hunt for some beautiful yet reasonably-priced gems, read on!

5 Of The Best Affordable Jewellery Brands


1) Mejuri

Mejuri is an international jewellery brand that is becoming increasingly popular daily. This Canadian-based company prides itself on creating unique, quality products at an affordable price that appeals to all budgets. From their signature lines of classic gold and silver earrings to statement necklaces and cocktail rings, Mejuri's beautiful selection of timeless pieces adds the perfect touch of elegance to any wardrobe. With simple yet beautiful designs crafted from found materials, each piece is expertly created to spark joy for the wearer. Authenticity is key for Mejuri, which can be seen in the small features like engravings and stone settings. Whether looking for a special gift or a personal treat, customers always find something special with Mejuri. Be sure to check out Mejuri coupon codes and deals here!

2) Missoma

Missoma is taking the jewellery industry by storm. This British label stands out for its edgy, luxe designs, thick, sleek gold motifs, and geometric shapes made with semi-precious stones like labradorite and jasper. With an emphasis on timeless pieces designed to become everyday staples, Missoma is the go-to for modern, statement jewellery that can be worn from the office to a night out. Their elegant collections nod to both traditional craftsmanship and ideas of modernity, creating a unique combination of classic design with contemporary flourishes. Whatever your look or occasion, there's something special in every Missoma piece that's sure to make you feel beautiful every day.

3) Tilly Sveaas

Tilly Sveaas creates classic and chic jewellery, a slight edge of rock-chic, for women and men that transcends seasons. Her iconic T-bar chains, bracelets, and earrings have garnered a cult following amongst customers and influencers. All pieces are made with the highest quality processes and meet sustainability standards. Their sterling silver 925 stamps, along with gold plating done by UK-certified Responsible Jewellery Council members, give each piece an anti-tarnish seal from an Italian REACH* certified manufacturer proving the commitment to sustainability. To assure transparency between consumer and producer, Tilly Sveaas is part of the Project Earth initiative in Selfridges and minimalistic sustainable packaging.

4) Astrid and Miyu

Astrid and Miyu is renowned for its intricate earring stacks and piercing services. But the brand has recently started expanding its range, now offering customers necklaces, rings, and bracelets. Each piece captures an aesthetic that looks expensive but is surprisingly affordable. What's more, their delicate bracelets are gaining traction on social media as they're permanently "welded" onto your wrist in-store! Additionally, Astrid and Miyu run a sterling silver recycling scheme - accepting pieces from other brands, too - where you'll receive 1000 loyalty points (worth £10) when you donate. The initiative supports The Felix Project, which helps distribute surplus food to needy charities.

5) Yala

To show the world the beauty and creativity of African design, Bristol-based Audrey Migot-Adholla founded Yala – a jewellery brand made in small batches by more than 150 artisans based in Kenya. Named after the Kenyan town, which held fond memories of Migot-Adholla's late grandmother, these pieces are created with minimal environmental impact, focusing on an ethical approach to maximize their positive impact. Stylish and modern, Yala's jewellery allows women to express themselves while mirroring the brand's mission: to challenge misconceptions about Africa and its people through creative talent and entrepreneurship. If big, bold, and beautiful statement pieces are your thing, Yala is the way to go. Check out their Instagram for inspiration!

What You Should Consider Before Buying Jewellery

1. Consider the Quality

When buying jewellery, it's important to investigate the quality of the pieces you're purchasing. Check for things like hallmarks, which are a stamp that indicates the metal content of your jewellery piece (for example, 925 stamped on sterling silver).

2. Look for Conflict-Free Stones and Materials

Some of the diamonds and coloured gemstones available today have been mined with unethical labour practices or sourced from conflict regions. Look for suppliers who guarantee their stones are conflict-free and ethically sourced.

3. Buy From Reputable Stores

Make sure you purchase your jewellery from reputable stores that only offer high-quality pieces and provide excellent customer service. Avoid any stores that don't have a good reputation or guarantee the quality of their jewellery.

4. Read Return Policies

Before committing to a purchase, ensure you understand the store's return policy if something goes wrong with your jewellery piece. Many stores will offer free repairs and replacements for items purchased from them. It is also important to find out how long returns are accepted, so you know when you need to make your purchase.

5. Keep Your Jewellery Clean and Protected

Once you have bought your jewellery, ensure it is kept clean and well-maintained by storing it in an appropriate box or pouch away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. Also, check for any signs of wear and tear, and seek professional advice if necessary. This will help to keep your beautiful pieces in new condition for longer. Taking the time to make an informed decision when buying jewellery is essential to ensure you get the best quality piece of jewellery that will last a lifetime. With these tips, you can be confident that you've made the right choice!


If you are looking for great affordable jewellery brands, check out the five I've listed in this blog post. These brands offer quality products at a fraction of the cost of other designer labels. So, next time you search for that perfect piece of jewellery, keep one of these companies in mind, and you're sure to find what you're looking for without breaking the bank.

*Collaborative post

4 Tips To Help You Invest In Rental Properties

Whether you’re looking to purchase a rental property to diversify your portfolio or start your investing journey, it can be very tricky for a first-timer.

Investing in real estate can be very exciting because you own a significant physical asset. While many people invest in rental properties for long-term rents, you can also look into renting short-term or buying a worn-out property and selling it for a big profit after renting it out for a while to establish value.

keys to a house

Regardless of your plans with the rental property, here are some tips to help you invest in rental real estate.

How “Hands-On” Are You Going To Be?

The most important thing with investing in rentals is finding a good property and managing it properly. If you have a good property but don’t know how to manage it, your venture might fail. The same goes if the situation was the opposite.

Since you don’t have experience in managing a rental property, you should consider hiring a service to handle this first property for you. If it makes sense in the long run, you could continue with it or learn how to manage the property yourself.

Keep in mind, there are many benefits of hiring a service. Not only will they handle all the hard work for you, but they can also offer other services like a rent guarantee scheme where you don’t have to worry about late payments or vacant property.

Location, Location, Location

After figuring out the management part, you need to find the best rental property to start.

Unlike buying a house or apartment for yourself, investing in rentals opens up many more possibilities because you don’t have to restrict yourself to the areas around your workplace or near your kids’ schools. You can buy it anywhere.

However, you also have to figure out how much rent you can make in a particular neighbourhood and compare it to your target rental income.

When you’re buying, first think about the types of people you want as tenants. That should narrow the locations. Then, you should consider property taxes in an area, the average crime rates, and the future of the neighbourhood. These things can help you buy a good property for the long term.

Finally, you should look into nearby schools, gyms, parks, shopping centres, public transportation, and entertainment.

When you narrow down your list to a few areas, you can check the number of vacancies in the area. If there are many listings, then you should consider steering clear.

Understand the Financing Options

When you know the area you’re going to buy in, you may have an estimate of the average price of a property in that neighbourhood. Now, you can look into financing options for your investment.

Unless you’re planning to buy yourself, you will need to find a good lender. Keep in mind, there is an incredible range of options from conventional mortgages to government loans and religious-specific home financing.

Depending on the type of property you want to purchase, you may have to look at different kinds of loans. For instance, there may be a mortgage specific to duplexes and you can’t buy a single-family home under that option.

Calculate an Estimate Cash Flow

After going through the above, you should have a very good idea of what it will take to buy a rental property in an area. Now, you need to find out if the investment is lucrative for you.

You should still have money coming in after deducting all the expenses. If that’s not the case, then you should re-evaluate your options and figure out where you can cut costs or find a different property.

If you’re seeing very less cash inflow, then you should consider getting guaranteed rent services to make sure you’re covered even when the property is vacant.

How To Make Yourself Look And Feel Good In Time For Summer

The winter months can often cause some of us to hibernate, shutting ourselves off from the world and giving in to the allure of our joggers, jumpers and duvets. As we emerge from hibernation, we might feel a little daunted at all the action and excitement that spring and summer entails.

woman sitting in field in summer

But it doesn’t have to be so difficult. By easing yourself back into an active lifestyle and investing in your appearance, not only will you look good, but you’ll feel good too.

Wake Up Earlier

Longer nights and dark mornings mean that waking up early is akin to drawing blood out of a stone; it’s basically impossible! But, as the days get longer and the sun rises earlier, you’ll find it easier to get up earlier. By getting up earlier, you’ll find that you have more time in the morning to get things done, leaving the afternoons to be enjoyed at your leisure.

By the time the afternoon rolls around, you’ll feel like you’ve accomplished so much, thereby reducing stress and making you feel calmer and more relaxed.

Get A Sweat On

Warmer weather also invites you to get out there and get your sweat on. After months of willing ourselves to brace the cold for a workout, or forcing ourselves off the sofa to do an exercise routine in the living room, we’re now much more motivated to get outside and get our blood pumping.

Whilst this is great for your overall health, you’ll also feel the benefits of a positive mindset. With exercise comes an increase in endorphins, the feel-good hormone. With more of this in your veins, you’ll feel better about life and ready to tackle whatever is ahead.

Treat Yourself

Not everything about looking and feeling good requires work from you. Sometimes it’s all about treating yourself to lunch out, a shopping spree or a pampering session at your local spa.

If, like many others, you’re hoping to revamp your spring and summer wardrobe, take yourself to the high street. With more parties and special occasions coming up in the warmer months, why not treat yourself to a stylish black occasion wear dress for a wedding or even a hot date?

Create A Routine

Whether it’s an exercise routine, an eating plan or even a basic structure for your day, routines ensure that we get certain things done, no matter what the day throws at us.

This can be as simple as getting up earlier to enjoy your breakfast for longer or putting your exercise gear on as soon as you get home so you don’t talk yourself out of doing a workout when you get home. Simple tricks like these yield countless benefits.

*Collaborative post

Are You Getting The Health Support You Need?

While our general awareness of mental health issues is improving, various factors are pointing towards an impending mental health crisis.

The ill health, disruption and worry caused by the pandemic are still lingering, having already driven a record high in referrals to mental health services. This has since been compounded by a major cost-of-living crisis with inflation recently hitting a 41-year high. All things considered, it’s increasingly vital to care for your mental health in any way possible.

That’s often easier said than done, of course. Reaching out takes courage, while mental health services can be difficult to access. But talking to your GP may still help you get the support you need - and knowing what to expect might ease your worries.

When To See A GP About Your Mental Health

woman crying

In short, it is worth speaking to your local GP if you’ve noticed any worrying changes in the way you think and feel.

There might be an obvious reason for such a change, for example losing a loved one or struggling at work. Sometimes the cause is less obvious or a combination of things. Whatever the case, it’s perfectly reasonable and sensible to seek help.

What Might Happen At A GP Appointment

Nervous about speaking to someone? Understanding what your appointment could involve may help you feel less anxious.

Your GP will likely form an initial assessment based on questions about your thoughts and behaviours, lifestyle, recent events, medical history and so on. They may also briefly check your physical health in case a physical illness could be an underlying cause.

It’s important to remember that your GP will likely be very used to hearing about mental health issues, so you shouldn’t be judged or ignored. They’ll also keep everything confidential unless they think you’re at risk of seriously harming yourself or others.

What Could Happen Next?

The outcome of your appointment will depend on what you mention in the step above. But possible options include:

Asking you to come back for further appointments
Giving you a diagnosis
Suggesting small lifestyle changes like exercise or diet
Referring you to another service such as talking therapies
Giving you details to make a self-referral
Prescribing you medication

Options If You’re Unhappy With Your Appointment

In the majority of cases, medical professionals deal with mental health issues appropriately. Sometimes things go wrong, however. If they do, your options range from asking for a second opinion from a different GP to making a medical negligence claim, depending on what happened and how you’re affected.

Things You Can Do While Waiting For An Appointment

Sometimes your GP appointment may be further in the future than you’d like. But you’ve still got options in the meantime:

Try a mental well-being app like SAM or Headspace
Speak to trusted family, friends or colleagues
Keep a list of emergency numbers

Is it time you reached out to someone about your mental health?

*Collaborative post

9 Reasons to Go On A Cruise In 2023

Cruising is becoming more popular than ever. Although traditionally thought of as a holiday for retired people, cruise lines have recently adapted and become more exciting than ever, now appealing to a broader range of people, including younger couples and families. There are so many reasons to go on a cruise. 

cruise ships

So you are browsing
cruise holidays 2023, and can't make up your mind if a cruise is right for you, let us look at 9 reasons to go on a cruise in 2023. 

1. An opportunity to visit many destinations 

If you have a real wanderlust then cruising is perfect for you as you can visit multiple destinations on one trip. As you travel all your luggage is transported with you and you don't have to pack and unpack each time you get to your next destination, saving you time and stress. Visiting many destinations gives you the chance to experience different cultures and see many ports of call. If you don't like flying a cruise is a great way to see the world too. 

2. An all-inclusive experience

Cruises generally include your food, and your entertainment as well as your accommodation. Some even include your alcoholic beverages and excursions (although these can be purchased separately). This makes it easy to budget, just bring some spending money for your trips out. It can be great value for money if you think of what you get.

3. A wealth of activities onboard

Although there are two main types of cruises, ocean cruises and river cruises, there are a wealth of activities on each type. On the larger ships, there are swimming pools, casinos, theatres and more, whilst, on river cruises, activities are more low-key but can still include smaller swimming pools, hot tubs and cultural activities such as cookery classes. 

4. An opportunity to relax

You can do as much or as little as you want on a cruise ship and cruises give you plenty of opportunities to relax if you want to. You don't have to drive anywhere, you have all your food cooked for you, and you can partake of the pools and spas on board or just sit and relax sipping cocktails and watching the world go by. If you want you can even disconnect from modern technology for the ultimate relaxation experience. 

5. Something to do for all ages

Cruising has evolved over the last few years and now there are cruises to suit all ages. Some cruises are aimed more at families with everything from go-karting to arcades to karaoke whilst others are adult-only with high-end dining, cultural excursions and cocktail master classes. Of course, some cruises combine the best of both, so think about what you want before booking the cruise ship and itinerary to ensure it meets your needs. 

6. Great for foodies

A cruise can be a great experience for foodies. On large cruise ships, there is a wealth of variety from casual dining opportunities to buffets to speciality restaurants and fine dining. If you have dietary requirements you are usually catered for very well. On the smaller cruise ships, the food is usually to a high standard. There may also be opportunities to meet celebrity chefs and to partake in cookery classes. Check the details of the cruise before you book.

7. A chance to meet new people

A cruise gives you a chance to meet new people. You may be sharing a table with others or you may go on an excursion with a group of people or you may take part in a group activity onboard where you get the chance to talk to others. You have plenty of opportunities to meet new people from all over the world on a cruise if you want to. 

8. Enjoy a wide variety of fitness facilities.

Cruise ships can offer everything from exercise classes such as Zumba and yoga to full gyms, swimming pools, running tracks, tennis courts and dance classes. On excursions, you could have the opportunity to go hiking or cycling and maybe partake in watersports. Of course, it depends on the cruise ship you choose and what is on offer but there is a surprising variety of fitness facilities available.

9. Create those special memories

A cruise is a place to create special memories with your loved ones. With work, school and family ties, you may not be able to sit down and really chat with your loved ones, but a cruise gives you that perfect opportunity. 

So with all these reasons to go on a cruise, what's stopping you from going on a cruise today? Check out my post if you are new to cruising on 100 tips for a first time cruiser

*In Collaboration With Ambassador Cruise Line 

Working From Home With Kids: Survival Tips

We all know these photos: a smiling parent is working on the computer, holding their equally happy child on the lap. In reality, however, working from home with a child always looks different from this. If possible, you should try to organise your time and your child's time so that you can work without taking care of your child at the same time. Here are several tips that might help you.

Organise a Home "Office"

Experienced mums suggest that it is easiest to work where you can keep an eye on everything and where the child can see you. The little one will likely immediately leave the toys as soon as you are out of sight.

Make a Work Schedule

Make a plan for when you can work and try to stick to it, but also be flexible and don't get upset if something goes wrong. The best dentist in Saratoga Springs NY also suggests that you plot any medical checkups in advance and never miss them. Remember that you need a healthy body to accomplish all the things that you need to do for your family and yourself.

It's easiest to work when your little one is asleep, and there are no distractions. So make sure that the child has a constant daily schedule: gets up, goes for a walk, plays. takes a nap, and goes to sleep at more or less the same time every day. Do not forget about the baby feeding schedule, as well.


When you work, don't be distracted by household chores. Probably every woman who works from home feels the temptation to break away from the desk, put on laundry, or prepare dinner. If you have the comfort that your child sleeps for quite a long during the day, do not do anything other than work during this time. You will have time to set up dinner or laundry when the baby wakes up. When the baby is sleeping (or is being taken care of by someone else), first, do those activities that require concentration.

Use Any Help

Does grandma or your mother-in-law declare they will be happy to sit with the baby? Great, you'll get a few hours of work in silence.

Shared care is also an increasingly popular solution among young mothers. If one of your friends or neighbours is in a similar situation as you, you can take turns looking after your children: when one mother is with two of them on a walk, the other works.

Besides, in many places, coworking offices are being created for working mothers with children, where children, for a small fee, play under the watchful eye of a babysitter, and the mother can work at that time.

How to Organise Time For a Preschool Child?

Of course, the easiest way is to sit your child in front of the TV, and no one has the right to judge you if you use this opportunity from time to time. It is clear, however, that a child cannot spend time immobile in front of the TV for long hours.

A lot depends on the child, but in general, many children enjoy playing with blocks, puzzle-solving, playing with interactive toys, or doing various creative activities, such as drawing or modelling with plasticine.

Keep activities to twenty or thirty minutes, This is another thing to keep in mind when organising remote work with a preschooler at home. It doesn't seem like much, but even adults focus best in short time periods, after which they should take a break.

How to Organise Time at Home For a School-Aged Child?

A school-aged child has a lot of ideas on how to spend their free time and can focus on one activity for longer. Many children like interactive globes, microscopes, children's laboratories, or solar system models. Others like to paint, make jewellery from colourful beads, or play traditional card and board games. Therefore, make sure that your home does not run out of interesting educational and creative toys and games.

How About a Newborn?

As you have noticed, I am not discussing working from home with a baby here. This is because caring for a baby, especially the first child, is hard work and can be challenging in itself.  You really need a support network if you are trying to work from home with a baby. However, if you have no choice then it can be done, but don't forget to look after yourself too. 

Certainly, it is important to plan your time when working from home, whatever the age of the children Don't overfill your to-do list, but write down what you want to do each day. Even if not everything can be crossed off the list in the evening, at least, you will not waste time and nerves during the day reminding you what you still need to do. Move unfinished tasks to the next day without regret or remorse.

*Collaborative post

How To Ace The Bridesmaid Look: Hairstyles Edition

As a bridesmaid, you want to look your best on the big day. One of the most important aspects of your appearance is your hairstyle. The right hairstyle can enhance your overall look and complement your bridesmaid dress.


There are several types of hairstyles that you can consider for your bridesmaid dress.

Dig The Classics- Updos

Updos are a classic and elegant hairstyle option that complements the maid of honour dresses. This style involves pulling the hair up and away from the face and neck. There are several variations of updos, including the bun, French twist, and chignon. Updos are perfect for bridesmaids who want to keep their hair off their faces and show off their necklines and jewellery.

Half-Up, Half-Down

This is a versatile hairstyle that allows you to show off your hair while still keeping it off your face. This style involves pulling the top half of your hair back and securing it with pins, clips, or a hair tie. The rest of your hair can be left down and styled in soft waves or curled for a more formal look.

Brace the Braids

Braids are a popular hairstyle option for bridesmaids. Braids add a touch of bohemian flair to your bridesmaid dress and can be styled in a variety of ways. You can choose a simple braid, a French braid, a fishtail braid, or a Dutch braid. Braids can be worn loose or tucked into a bun or twist as they go well with bridesmaid gowns.

Careless Curls

Curls are a timeless and classic hairstyle option for bridesmaids. Curls can be achieved through a variety of methods, including hot rollers, curling irons, and perm rods. Curls can be left loose and cascading down your back or pinned up in an updo.

Leave them Straight

Straight hair is a simple and sophisticated hairstyle option for bridesmaids. Straight hair can be worn loose or pulled back into a sleek ponytail or bun. If you have naturally straight hair, you can simply blow dry and flat iron your hair for a smooth and polished look.

Carrying the Waves

Waves are a soft and romantic hairstyle option for bridesmaids. Waves can be achieved through a variety of methods, including hot rollers, curling irons, and braiding. Waves can be left loose and cascading down your back or pinned up in an updo.

Keep it Simple with Ponytails

Ponytails are a simple and stylish option for bridesmaids. This hairstyle can be dressed up or down, depending on the formality of the wedding. For a more formal look, consider a sleek and smooth ponytail, while a loose and tousled ponytail is perfect for a casual or bohemian-inspired wedding. Ponytails also enhance the bridesmaid gown designs that have a low back and end with a long trail. 

And We Twist

Twists are a sophisticated and elegant option for bridesmaids. This hairstyle involves twisting sections of hair together to create a chic and polished look. Twists can be left loose or tucked into a bun for a more formal look.

Boho Braid Crowns

A boho braid crown is a bohemian-inspired hairstyle that involves braiding sections of hair into a crown-like shape around the head. This hairstyle is perfect for bridesmaids who want to add a touch of bohemian flair to their look.

To Keep In Mind

When choosing your bridesmaid hairstyle, it's important to consider the overall style and theme of the wedding. You should also consider the neckline of your bridesmaid dress and the length and texture of your hair. Accessories can add a touch of glamour and sparkle to your hairstyle. Some popular accessories for bridesmaids include hair pins, barrettes, and headbands. You can choose accessories that match your bridesmaid dress or add a pop of colour with a bold hair accessory.

End Note

There are many options for bridesmaid hairstyles that go well with designer bridesmaid dresses and hairstyles like classic updos to bohemian braid crowns, you can choose a hairstyle that fits your personal style and enhances your overall look on the big day. Don't be afraid to try something new or incorporate accessories into your hairstyle. With the right hairstyle, you'll be sure to turn heads and feel confident and beautiful on the big day.

*Collaborative post

A Useful Guide To Child Friendly Window Coverings

When you have a child your whole world changes. You want to keep your precious child safe and secure and would do anything for them. When it comes to keeping them safe there are a few things you need to do, like buying a baby seat if you drive, using baby sunblock and keeping them out of the sun and childproofing your home.

father and baby hands

When it comes to childproofing your home there are certain points to take into consideration. There are a number of dangers in your home you may not even think about and one of them is your window blinds and curtains. Tragically children have been harmed and even died over the years being caught in blind and curtain cords and there is also the danger of glass becoming shattered and broken. So let's look at some of the child-friendly window coverings out there and what you can do to make any window coverings you have safe for kids.

What Type Of Window Coverings Are There?

There are several types of window coverings including blinds, shades, curtains and drapes, shutters and window film. Each has its benefits and disadvantages as a window covering and also can pose different risks to children.

Which Type Of Window Coverings Are Child Friendly?

child by window

There are several types of window coverings that are considered child-friendly. The main thing is to be careful of any with cords and strings. I will look at ways to make these safer at the end of the post. Let's first look at the different types that are child friendly.

Cordless blinds and shades are types of window coverings that have no cords or strings that can pose a choking or strangling hazard for children. This is an easy way of ensuring your window covering is safe.

Another alternative is roller shades or blinds. These shades can be operated with a simple pull, making them easy for kids to use. These are operated by using a wheel, a motor operated by a remote control or sweat. They do not use cords or chains so there is a hugely reduced chance of strangulation

Cellular Shades or blinds are made of a soft, honeycomb-shaped fabric that doesn't have any cords or strings. A great child-friendly choice.

Window shutters again do not have cords or strings and are an aesthetically pleasing window covering, fitted to the window frame. DIY Shutters are an affordable option too that you can install yourself.

If you are thinking of curtains and drapes, make sure they are fitted properly so they don't pose a strangulation hazard. Loose curtain cords need to be fitted out of the way of young children. A tidy tensioner should be fitted firmly and permanently held tight.

What Else Do I Need To Know?

baby looking out of window

It can be a good idea to apply window film too. This is an easy-to-install item that will help prevent shattered glass from hurting a child if they throw anything at the window. It is a great idea for peace of mind.

It's always recommended to take proper safety precautions when selecting window coverings for homes with young children. When buying a window covering ask the seller for any advice on fitting safely or ask them for a demo. Always read the instructions for safe fitting. A useful article is this piece of advice on how to check your blinds and cords are safe in your home.


Best Built Playgrounds

Nurseries are a fantastic setting for young children to learn and flourish in their social skills. A place many parents rely on, not only for work but to help their children experience things they maybe can't at home.


Most nurseries have a playground or outdoor setting, somewhere safe for children to play and explore. This is something most children love, a break from the indoor structure setting and a chance to get some air and run with friends.

What makes a playground?

Depending on what kind of nursery setting you have or have chosen for your child, most would agree a fun outdoor space for your child to run off energy is a must.

Whether it is a big open space with lots of outdoor toys or a jungle gym to climb and explore. There are so many different options.

Children learn by repetition when they are young; nurseries and kinder gardens are designed to suit their needs. Learning to run, jump and climb are skills that young children can use in later life. Playgrounds give this freedom in a safe environment where they have the space to learn.

How do we build a playground?

Playgrounds can be personalised to your own needs and ideas; finding the right surfaces and equipment for you could not be easier when you find a company that prides itself on making the best equipment for you.

Whether you choose wooden frames, metal frames, or a mix of the two, simple slides and frames or something a little more adventurous, climbing walls and built-in trampolines.

Children need space to grow and learn. Young children learn by playing. Building a play area where they can learn and build so many new skills would be a fantastic addition to any nursery or care setting.

How do we find someone for the job?

When looking for playground installers, the best thing you can do is look into a company's online portfolio and see if what they have done in the past fits your aesthetic. Even if they do not, you can always contact them to see if what you picture can be made a reality.

Recommendations will always be a fantastic place to start. If someone recommends a company that they loved, you know you will be getting the best work possible.

How much does it cost?

Will playground installers cost more than if I just bought some swings and games? They will, but you will also know that the work you have carried out is safe, to standard, and fit for use. The cheapest option is rarely the best choice.

Most companies, during an initial consultation, will discuss your budget and show you what they can do within your budget. A good company will help you make your budget work for you rather than give you a price and leave you to figure out the rest.

If you are starting from nothing and want the best playground for your nursery's children, it will always be a good idea to speak to a company that can do it all.

*Collaborative post

Finding The Right Packaging For Your Product

If you are a small business starting up and have a product to sell you may find that choosing the right type of packaging for your product is difficult. After all, there is so much choice out there these days.  In this article, I will look at the benefits of packaging, the right type of packaging and how cost-effective packaging is to help you make an educated choice. 

What are the benefits of the right type of packaging?


Packaging has several benefits, including brand recognition, communication convenience and more. Let's take a further look into the benefits of the right type of packaging. 

Brand recognition: Packaging can be used to promote brand recognition and differentiate products from competitors. You want your product brand design to be unique to you.

Protection: Packaging protects products from damage during transportation and storage. No one wants a product that is damaged.

Preservation: Packaging helps to extend the shelf life of products by protecting them from environmental factors such as light, moisture, and temperature. This is especially important with food products and cosmetic packaging supplies.

Convenience: Packaging makes it easier to store, transport, and use products, and can include features such as handles, dispensers, and resealable closures.

Communication: Packaging is an important means of communication, providing information about the product such as its ingredients, usage instructions, and warnings. This information is so important to use the product properly.

Marketing: Packaging can be used to influence consumer purchasing decisions and drive sales, through the use of eye-catching designs and attractive labelling.

Sustainability: Some types of packaging, such as sustainable packaging made from biodegradable materials, can help to reduce waste and minimise the environmental impact of packaging. This is so important in this day and age. 

So now you know the benefits of packaging what are the right types for your products?

face cream

There are several types of packaging, including rigid packaging, flexible packaging and more. Let's read on.

Flexible packaging: made of soft, pliable materials such as films, foils, and laminated structures, is used for products such as snack foods, baked goods, and confectioneries. 

Rigid packaging: made of hard materials such as glass, metal, and plastic, and is used for products such as beverages, personal care items, and household goods. This type of packaging can be very protective, although glass and plastic can break if not treated correctly.

Corrugated packaging: made of a combination of paper and cardboard, and is used for heavy, bulky items such as appliances and furniture. This is often made with recycled materials. 

Paper-based packaging: made of paper, paperboard, and cardboard, and is used for products such as books, paper goods, and gift boxes. Again this can be made with recycled materials to help the environment. 

Protective packaging: used to protect products during transportation and storage, and can include materials such as bubble wrap, foam, and packaging peanuts.

Sustainable packaging: made from materials that are biodegradable, compostable, or made from recycled materials, and is designed to minimise waste and reduce environmental impact.

These are some of the most common types of packaging, and there are many other specialized types as well, such as medical packaging, industrial packaging, and retail packaging.

How cost-effective are the different types of packaging?


The cost-effectiveness of different types of packaging depends on various factors such as the material used, production method, size, design, and the required functionalities.

Glass packaging can be cost-effective in the long term as it is reusable, but the initial production cost can be high.

Plastic packaging is usually more cost-effective in the short term due to its lower production cost and lighter weight, but it can have a negative impact on the environment and is not biodegradable. However, some plastic packaging can be recycled like a certain type of airless pump bottle.

Metal packaging, such as aluminium cans, has a high production cost but can be recycled and have a long shelf life.

Cardboard and paper packaging are biodegradable and relatively low-cost but may not provide the same level of protection as other materials.

In conclusion, the most cost-effective type of packaging depends on the specific needs and goals of the product and brand.

Overall, packaging plays a crucial role in the distribution, marketing, and protection of products, and helps to ensure that they reach consumers in good condition and with the information they need to use them safely and effectively. Companies like All In Packaging can be a one-stop shop for all your packaging needs

*Collaborative post

Tips On Picking The Perfect Engagement Ring

Getting engaged is one of the most magical things you can do. It is a marker of personal success, that you have found someone with which you are excited and enthralled to spend the rest of your natural life. It is a celebration like no other, and a commitment like no other – so, naturally, it requires a ring like no other.

engagement couple kissing

Choosing an engagement ring can be an extremely stressful task, whoever you are. There are many variables at play, not in the least of which being the ever-present question “will they like it?” With the average engagement ring costing up to £2100, it is a decision not to be made lightly. So, what should you consider before diving in with a purchase?

Start With The Shape

Naturally, the first point of order in relation to engagement ring chatter is the stone. The stone is the focal point, around which everything else is designed – whether the band or the ornamentations that hold said stone in place. Whatever the stone, start by thinking about the shape. Are you aiming for a round, pearl shape? A tear-drop shape? Or even a classic princess cut, arguably the most popular shape and the one that defines most diamond rings.

Shape is also somewhat dictated by the essential qualities of each mineral – namely, the ‘cleavage’. This describes the way in which minerals shear, which can conversely cause issues when it comes to shaping and polishing.

Carats, Shine And Budget

Your next concern will relate to the qualities your gemstone should possess. How many carats should it be, and how much ‘sparkle’ can you possibly fit into one ring? Carat is essentially a measurement of weight, equivalent to 0.2g. The more carats a gem has, the heavier it is. There are separate measurement methodologies for brilliance, but really – the shinier the better, right?

Here, though, budget becomes a key sticking point. Your perfect engagement ring might be a 24-carat diamond with gold band, and might cost more than your car but you may have to compromise. Engagement rings are not hard to come by, though, and with a basic idea of your ideal shape and size, you can find a gem that suits your loved one down to the ground.

Something for Someone You Love

In amongst all the jewellery jargon, and with the pressure of a thousand romance comedies bearing down on you, it can be easy to forget exactly why you’re picking out an engagement ring. You’re doing so in hopes of spending the rest of your life with someone you love; someone with whom you might share anything and everything, from taste in music to future ambitions.

All of this to say, your choice of ring needn’t necessarily boast the perfect weight and sparkle, nor need it cost the earth. Indeed, your intuition might be your best friend, think about what she likes and her style and you might just find the perfect ring that speaks to the both of you.

*Collaborative post