How To Choose The Perfect Engagement Ring

Whatever time of year you decide to pop the question, you are sure to make it the best time of year when you get down on one knee and present your other half with a diamond ring that shows just how much they mean to you. Some of the cutest proposals have involved  a puppy or a kitten underneath a Christmas tree with a diamond ring attached to their collars and notes such as “Will you marry my new daddy?” Puppies and diamonds? Who could say no to that? Others have seen children or potential stepchildren help their parents propose, other times people revisit the setting of their first date.

Choosing the right time of year to propose is the easy part, you will always choose a time that is right for you – but when it comes to choosing the perfect engagement ring, some men find this part a little tricky. How do you find a single piece of jewellery that represents your love for that one person that you want to spend the rest of your life with (and you hope they feel the same way)? Luckily, AC Silver are experts when it comes to diamond rings and antique engagement rings and have some great advice for you.

Gemstone ring or plain diamond ring?

Most ladies will have tried to drop subtle hints to their partner when they know what they want – it’s just up to you to take them on board. If you are in a committed long term relationship, believe me – she has dropped hints. Trust us, it will certainly make engagement ring shopping a lot easier. So, if your potential future fiancée keeps on talking about sapphire rings, you must go for a sapphire cluster ring, for instance. Do not be afraid of it not being “traditional” enough — if that’s what she wants, then that’s what she should get – after all, she will be the one wearing it day in, day out. Nowadays, traditions have changed and you are more than free to do whatever you want without judgement. The only thing to bear in mind is that some stones are softer than others so will need some extra care and attention. Diamond are the most hardwearing gemstones with a hardness of 10 on the Mohs scale and for this reason they symbolise an ever-lasting love and are the preferred choice for many people.

“Diamonds are forever”

A safe bet would be a timeless classic such as a diamond solitaire ring – these are generally guaranteed to impress your other half and you can personally choose the style yourself. An engagement ring is going to be worn daily and a diamond solitaire ring is the perfect accessory to complement any outfit – and it will never go out of trend.

How do you choose the perfect diamond?

A basic understanding of the diamond’s four Cs will help: the four ‘C’s’ being: Cut, Colour, Clarity and Carat-Weight.

Colour:

Diamonds come in plenty of different colours, but the most popular ones are white diamonds with a colourless stone being the highest grade. Diamonds are graded from a D colour which would be colourless, to a Z which would be light yellow. Generally, anything higher than an I colour can be considered as very high colour graded and will have a nice white colour if that is what you are looking for.

Clarity:

The clarity of a diamond is determined by the size, number and location of natural inclusions within the stone when viewed under 10x magnification. The range varies from an IF, internally flawless indicating no inclusions at all, to an I3, which will be an included stone. Any stone higher than an SI1 or SI2, slightly included, stone will show a good brilliance and the inclusions will not be seen with a naked eye. Be sure to bear this in mind. 

Carat:

The ‘weight’ of a diamond is measured in carats. As the ‘weight’ of a diamond increases, so does its rarity and this will be reflected in the price – the bigger the diamond, the more expensive it will be.

Cut:

Modern Brilliant round cut:

The modern brilliant round cut diamond is by far the most popular choice of diamond shape these days. A solitaire ring does not necessarily have to be a single stone, it can be embellished on the shoulders or can be arranged around the main gemstone in a halo-like design. 

Old European round cut:

This is the antique version of the modern brilliant round cut with the difference being that it is older (pre-Circa 1920s), and hand cut as opposed to machine cut. An old European round cut diamond will not be as “neat” as a modern cut one but will have a distinctive classic antique look and a more unique design. Such stones are also great value for money.

Transitional modern brilliant round cut:

Sitting in between the Old European round cut and the modern brilliant round one, transitional modern brilliant round cut diamonds were typically diamonds cut around the 1930s-60s. These diamonds are often very similar to modern brilliant round cut ones.

Princess cut:

The princess cut is the most popular non-round diamond cut. It is either square or rectangular cut with pointed corners. You may have seen many ladies sporting these.

Emerald cut:

Emerald cut diamonds can be square or rectangular but these differ from the Princess cut as the corners are tapered and the pavillion (underside) has a faceted cut. 

Asscher cut:

The Asscher cut diamond is nearly identical to the Emerald cut except that it is square with a total depth which is typically greater.

Obviously, there are also less well-known options. These include: marquise cuts, cushion cuts, old Dutch cuts, fancy cuts (heart shaped ones for instance), pear cuts and old mine cuts.

White gold, yellow gold or platinum?

This decision is generally down to personal taste – it is worth considering what your loved one would prefer as well as what will match her other jewellery – some prefer white gold, others silver, others something else. White gold and platinum seem to be the most popular options with platinum having the added advantage of being more hardwearing. Have a look at your partner’s jewellery and see what she wears most often.

Inside information…

If you really are in doubt but want to keep it a surprise for your intended, it is sometimes useful to bring someone with you. The question is who would know her taste best? Maybe her mother, sister or best friend could be a good call? Someone who can keep a secret for sure!

The perfect choice – is yours

Follow your instinct – after all, you are the person she is about to choose to spend the rest of her life with. So, give yourself more credit, as you probably know her taste well enough to make the perfect choice!

Collaboration

Mickey Roadster Racers Pit Crew Tool Box | Review

Mickey Roadster Racers

We were sent the Mickey Roadster Racers Pit Crew Tool Box for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

Jack has always been a big fan of Disney, in particular Mickey Mouse. He adores the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse show and has even got Olivia into Mickey too. He has been loving watching the new Mickey Mouse Roadster Racers show too so when offered the chance to review a Mickey Roadster Racers Pit Crew Tool Box, he was so excited!

Mickey Roadster Racers Mickey Roadster RacersThe Mickey Roadster Racers set comes with 23 tools including a mallet, flat head screwdriver, 2 wrenches, play metal plates, screws, nuts, and nails. The tool box itself has a movable handle and the box comes with a working peg board so children can put their tools into action.

Jack has always loved trying to ‘fix’ things so this was a lot of fun for him. For ages 3+, he had to keep it mostly away from his little sister due to the little nuts and bolts however she did enjoy also playing with the hammer and bopping her brother on the head with it!

Jack knew what each tool was called and what it could do so soon got to work hammering nails in or tightening screws and nuts with his wrench. He had great fun setting up make believe situations and it was quite amusing listening to him talking to himself, pretending to be Mickey and the various other characters/

Mickey Roadster RacersMickey Roadster RacersThe toolbox is great for helping hand/eye coordination. Hammering away or tightening – this needs a lot of coordination. The plastic of the toys makes them quite durable and not prone to breakage which is great. I hate it when you get toys for your child and they break within days as they are just so flimsy. This is a durable set and withstands some quite brutal force from an over excited five year old and an excitable 10 month old too!

The toolbox is, of course, great for keeping all the toys together and this makes it not only easy to store but easy to transport too – so if Jack wishes to take it to Nanny and Grandad’s house, he can with ease.

Mickey Roadster RacersMickey Roadster RacersThe set itself is part of a much bigger range and Jack has already noted down other items he would like from the range for his birthday and Christmas presents. With a usual RRP of £14.99, the Mickey Roadster Racers Pit Crew Tool Box is available at Smyths – and is currently on offer for just £10.99!

Will you be picking this up for your child this festive season?

Win A Mr Men/Little Miss Haliborange Prize Bundle

Haliborange

Haliborange are made by the UK’s leading supplements manufacturer, Seven Seas, and they are the UK’s number one children’s supplement brand. Haliborange are so proud of their products that they are sure your children will love the taste. If they don’t, Haliborange will give you your money back.

Their children’s supplement range features a whole host of different combinations of essential vitamins and minerals to help support a child’s natural growth and development at every stage, from one month to their teenage years. Haliborange is specifically tailored to support a healthy diet and lifestyle according to your child’s individual needs. There are a range of great tasting flavours including orange, blackcurrant, strawberry or citrus which children are sure to love. All products now come with a Money Back Taste Guarantee.

We’ve recently been trialling some of the Haliborange Mr Men/Little Miss range and we have a review coming soon.However we have something special for you today. Haliborange are kindly letting us give away one of their fabulous Mr Men/Little Miss prize bundles. What could you win?

  • Mr Men/Little Miss pencil case
  • Mr Men/Little Miss lunch box
  • Mr Men/Little Miss water bottle
  • Mr Men/Little Miss bookmark
  • Mr Men/Little Miss erasers
  • Mr Men/Little Miss pens
  • 3 month supply of Haliborange vitamins

For your chance of winning such a fabulous prize, just fill in the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway is also running on Instagram – one winner will be picked from ALL of the overall entries across all the platforms. Good luck!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Terms and conditions

Prize giveaway open to UK residents aged 18 and over only. The competition ends on 25th November at 23.59pm, and the winner will be contacted by email after this date. The prize is non-transferable and no alternative will be offered.

Disclosure

This is a commissioned post in collaboration with Haliborange.  Vitamin A: helps support normal vision, Vitamin C: helps support the immune system, Vitamin D: essential for the normal growth and development of bones in children, Vitamin B12: contributes to normal energy release.

Food supplements do not replace a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.

Want to find out more about the brand? Then visit the Haliborange website here.

Christmas Gift Guide | For Men

This post contains affiliate links. All such links will be marked as (*) next to them.

It’s getting to that time of year again – the Christmas fever has hit and we are all picking up gifts for our loved ones. Here are a few gift ideas for the man in your life:

Anki OVERDRIVE – £149.99 (Buy from the Anki website here or it is available on promotion from Amazon(*)

I reviewed the Anki OVERDRIVE here and mentioned how it wasn’t just for kids and how much Steve enjoyed playing with it. Whilst the kids in the house will love it, this is the perfect gift for your partner, brother or father if they love some tech and car racing. It will keep them busy for hours!

Winchester Teak Double Oval Bench – currently £199 – available here

If your partner is a hard one to buy for but likes to sit out in the garden of an evening with an ice cold beer, just chilling out then perhaps this bench will be a great present. It may be on the more expensive side for a gift but it could just make their day. I reviewed the same bench here.

Encona Carolina Reaper Hot Chilli Sauce – £1.50 roughly in supermarkets, more expensive here on Amazon as limited edition (*)

Now some people would think of this as a horrendous gift as they just can’t handle heat but for Steve, his brother and his Dad? This is the perfect gift! They all love hot sauces and with the Carolina Reaper being so incredibly hot, they would be eager to try this hot sauce so it would make a great stocking filler for them. If you have any hot sauce lovers in your life, get them this while you still can!

Sugru Mouldable Glue – £12.99 – available from the Sugru store on Amazon (*)

I include Sugru in almost every gift guide and that is because it is just such a handy stocking filler gift for those DIY loving Dad’s and husbands in our households. It is a handy addition to any toolbox or shed for when required and the man in your life will always be happy to receive one of these as an extra little stocking filler.

The Art of Football football t-shirts – from £25

These Art of Football t-shirts make a great gift for any football lover. My father in law is a big Spurs fan and we received this fab Spurs shirt for him for Christmas. It makes a change from other football shirts out there, it is a much more unique and meaningful football related gift.

Still struggling? Why not pick up him up some of the fantastic River Island menswear if he likes his clothes? If he’s into golf, what about some novelty golf balls (*) or some chocolate golf balls (*)? If he’s a bookworm, why not get him one of the newer Lee Child novels (*)? No matter what the man in your life is into, there is bound to be the perfect gift out there for him!

What do you plan on getting him this year?

Organix Carrot Sticks & Apple Rice Cakes Multipacks | Olivia’s Eats In A Day & Our Thoughts

Olivia eating an Organix snack

We were sent some of the new Organix multipacks for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

I’ve mentioned before that Olivia will pretty much eat anything and we are mixing it up between purees and finger foods for her. She is keen to try whatever we are eating whenever we are eating it and hasn’t really come across much she doesn’t like. We’ve recently been giving her what we have been having but we still sometimes pick up some pots for convenience and when we do, we usually like to grab a few baby snacks as well.

Organix Multipacks Finger Foods Carrot Sticks and Apple Rice Cakes

The snacks we usually pick up are the singular packets of Organix snacks so when Organix got in contact and asked if we would like to test out their multipacks, we had to say yes. Owing the popularity of their single packs, Organix have popped their apple rice cakes and their carrot sticks into convenient, great value multipacks.

Olivia eating an Organix snack

Our daily eating routine goes as follows:

  • Breakfast – This is either toast, porridge or a fruit pouch. This is usually followed by a milk feed before a nap.
  • Snack – Olivia will have some Organix rice cakes or sticks or perhaps some baby biscuits
  • Lunch – This may be toast if she didn’t have it for breakfast, a sandwich, some fruit, maybe a pouch or pot if out and about
  • Snack – Again Olivia will have some Organix snacks or some baby biscuits and usually a milk feed before another nap
  • Dinner – This is where she usually has what we are having – if it’s too spicy for her or has nuts in, we will give her a pot as we always keep some aside for convenience

Olivia eating an Organix snack

So how did we get on??

Each multipack contains 4 packs and are suitable for 7 months onwards. I knew that Olivia definitely had a preference of the two products – and you can probably guess which one from the pictures as I didn’t manage to get any pictures of her eating them even though the clean up was very orange and very messy! If I didn’t keep an eye on things, Olivia would certainly just keep eating the carrot sticks until they were all gone, regardless of if she was full or not!

The rice cakes also went down a treat – a handful at a time seem to do the trick and keeping her tummy full until her next meal. She loves snacks probably more than her meals so its handy to have the snacks she loves available in handy multipacks – it means I always have a pack to hand that she can snack on at home or we can take out with us to keep her happy.

Price varies from supermarket to supermarket but the multipacks generally cost from £2 to £2.50 – a great price for such convenience.

Does your child ever eat Organix snacks? Visit the website to find out more about the brand.