Finding The Perfect Shoes For Summer

I am a total creature of habit. Winter, I live in boots – perfect for keeping my feet warm and toasty and also keeping me safe in the cold and icy conditions. In summer, I live in ballet flats – but this can be so boring. I want to revitalise my shoe collection and actually try wearing some different types of shoes year round – but it is important that I find a good deal for me.

I recently bought a cheap pair of flats and they’re already on their way out so I am in need of some new shoes that are perfect for summer. Thanks to the fantastic savings on Schuh at Groupon, I believe I am going to be all kitted out in the shoe department for the foreseeable future at a very affordable price! I may even have to kit out the kids with brand new shoes too – we all know how expensive shoe shopping for the kids can get!

But what do I want? I’m not going to lie – I will always pick up a pair of flats as they are just so handy! But with plans ahead to get back into running, I’m going to need some trainers and I would love some sandals for the beach. As you can imagine, this would all add up if I was to purchase them all together. Discounts are a must when it comes to bulk buying, don’t you think?

Jason Briscoe

I very rarely buy new shoes – only when I absolutely have to – so I always find it difficult. I never know what I want – only the size. The colour, the design – I never know until I see it just what I am looking for and I want to ensure I have the perfect collection to choose from this summer, whatever the weather. Much as I would love to think every day this summer will be flat or sandal or flipflop weather, I think we can all but guarantee there will be some rainy days, perhaps a little cold – so I am probably going to need some new boots today!

I’ve got a few pairs already in my basket and am going to pick up some for the kids too – I think I have finally found the perfect shoes for all of us for summer without breaking the bank. We are sorted for every eventuality and aren’t being creatures of habit, sticking to the same type of shoes. What do you find are the perfect shoes for summer? Do you pick them up when you see a good deal such as the Groupon deal?

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Updating My Wardrobe To Fit My Figure

Over the past few years I’ve gone up and down in dress size. Before I had Jack, I was a size 10/12 then I went up to a size 16 before losing some weight back down to a size 12 again. I then got pregnant with Olivia and am now hovering between a size 16 and a size 18.

As you can imagine, this means the clothes in my wardrobe wildly vary in size. I have decluttered as much as possible of the items that no longer fit but sometimes it is so hard to get rid of some pieces – you want to keep the smaller pieces in case you slim down or the bigger pieces in case you don’t. This means my wardrobe has so many different clothes but barely anything of one particular size. I’ve got skirts in one size, trousers in another and I desperately need to update my clothing.

I’ve been looking at some plus size items like the ones you can see here. I will admit that I am not totally comfortable with my figure so I tend to dress quite drab – baggy clothes, often black in colour. But I don’t want this to always be the case – especially with summer fast approaching. I want to be wearing colour, be colourful no matter what size I am rather than dressed all boring in black.

It can be so hard to get out of a rut when it comes to the way you dress. Back about ten years ago, I did love black clothing but I would always love a pop of colour. An outfit wouldn’t be an outfit with some spark of colour to set the outfit off – where did I lose that love of dressing for my figure? It is something I desperately need to learn again, I want to love dressing for myself again – that’s not too much to ask is it?

I’m going to be adding bits and pieces to my wardrobe every couple of weeks until I finally have a clothing collection that both fits my figure and makes me happy. It may take a while to collate it all together but it will definitely be worth it in the end – and I can sell on the items that no longer fit or make me unhappy to recoup the cash I spend on new items.  

Do you update your wardrobe often? Do you have any tips for me on how I can really get the most out of my clothing collection?

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Empowered women and the rise of the self-love ring

There is a new trend emerging for women and it’s all about self-appreciation and self-loving. It is the rise of the self-love ring; some women are even taking it as far as marrying themselves and others are in a relationship referred to as ‘sologamy’. Together with Angelic Diamonds, retailers of engagement rings, we take a closer look at the trend and how women are showing off their independence.

Where did it originate from?

The popularity of a self-love ring began to soar in 2016, as many women turned to jewellery stores to make a commitment to themselves. It’s not known exactly what drove the trend, as women have been preaching self-appreciation for many years! But it could be down to a combination of these things:

  • The rise of social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram has encouraged women to love themselves. Although seeing filtered beach bodies on our news feed isn’t always great, there have been many women who have posted photos of their natural selves too and persuaded others to do the same. For example, there was a trend which involved ‘No Make-up Selfies’ — a photo of yourself without make-up. Many celebrities participated in this and told women to love their natural selves! The selfie culture in general pushes women to appreciate their bodies, as they post photos of themselves and receive ‘likes’ and comments from their friends and family.
  • The influence of celebrities has encouraged women to love themselves too. Many famous figures have talked about their tough times growing up and how they’ve learnt to appreciate themselves. Others have encouraged magazines and photographers to not edit their photos so that women can see that their bodies are not in fact flawless.
  • There has also been a rise in participants of meditation and mindfulness — taking time out of the day to be present within yourself. Research has shown that it can reduce stress, depression and anxiety and experts encourage people to take time out of their day to focus on Meditation interlinks with self-love as it focuses on taking time out of the day to concentrate on yourself.

The self-love rings

Some people are referring to them as anti-engagement rings, but that’s not what they’re all about. They are meant to represent one’s commitment to oneself and a dedication that you’ll put yourself first and look after your own well-being. They are meant to be worn on your little finger — to represent a ‘pinky promise’ to yourself. Some jewellers offered specific ‘pinky’ rings but they can be bought as a smaller regular engagement ring.

Those who practise self-love have said that when you love yourself, you change the way that you act and this can positively affect your relationship as you no longer rely on your partner to make you happy.

Some females purchase a self-love ring with their best friends to focus on the importance of friendship and make a pledge that you’ll both love yourselves.

Marrying yourself

Some women have taken the concept even further, organising a ceremony of self-marriage. The first sologamous wedding was thought to be in 1993, when an American woman called Linda Barker married herself in front of her close friends.

Marrying yourself is not a legal process (you can’t divorce yourself, claim legal fees and your marital status won’t change), instead it is simply a celebration, although vows can be made. It appears as though it is more women who are taking part in this than men, possibly as a protest against the pressures that they often feel to be in a relationship.

When asked why women married themselves some comments were:

  • The ceremony was a deep act of self-acceptance, saying your commitments out loud in front of friends and family solidified them.
  • It was a celebration of the commitment to the health, well-being, and happiness of oneself.

It’s not just for the single woman either. Some women who have gone through the ceremony have partners and husbands, but this day was all about them! A company has been created on the back of these ceremonies called I Married Me — it offers wedding supplies to one-person ceremonies.

Demonstrating to yourself that you’re confident and empowered doesn’t have to come in the form of a ring. There’s other ways to show your love for yourself — treat yourself to some clothing that you’ve been wanting for a while, have a spa day or just invest some time into you!

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Style And Beauty Secrets To Keep You Looking Fabulous In Your 50s

When you were younger, I’ll bet one of your biggest aims was to look a little older, but now, you’re probably hoping the opposite. Most women hate the thought of ageing and just wish that they could turn back the clock and be twenty-one again. Well, what if I said that you don’t have to? No, I can’t make you look how you looked then, but I can help you to feel beautiful and confident in regards to the way you look now. If you don’t like the grey hair, the wrinkles, or anything else, then you should do something about it. It’s your body, and you should feel happy in it. Here are eight things that you can do to look and feel fabulous in your 50s.

Sort Your Skin Care

As you get older, your skin stops producing collagen, which helps to keep your skin tight and smooth. Because of this, you probably have started to experience some sagging, especially around the neck and lower jaw, fine lines, wrinkles, and dryness. To combat these changes, you need to pay attention to your skin care and start using products that boost collagen and hydrate the skin. These include anti-ageing creams, which will help your skin to plump up and smooth out, and primer, which will reduce the appearance of the wrinkles and fine lines. A tinted primer would be perfect if you’re also worried about an uneven skin tone. You should also make sure to moisturise every day.

Wear What You Love

There is a lot of advice online about the sorts of clothes that women over fifty should or shouldn’t be wearing; For example, most people advise sleeves, to cover up the upper arm area. Personally, I think you should just wear whatever you feel confident and happy in. By the age of fifty, you will know what you are comfortable wearing and what you aren’t, and if you feel comfortable and confident, this will show to others.

Be Colourful

Being comfortable doesn’t mean that you can’t experiment and find other things that you’re also comfortable in. As you get older, your complexion changes and your skin and hair lose some of its colour, making this a perfect time to experiment with a brighter wardrobe. Brighter coloured clothing, whether it’s a pink dress or a maroon blazer, also suggests confidence, which is essential for a fabulous lady such as yourself. Black is timeless, of course, and is a favourite among fashion editors, but be careful with it, as it could wash you out and make your skin appear dull.

Have Fun With Your Hair

Colour doesn’t have to be limited to your clothes; You could also try out a different hair colour if you’re not ready to go grey just yet. If you’re fine with the colour of your hair, you could just stick with your natural one, and dye the grey every so often, until you’re ready to submit to it. Of course, this can take some work, but it’s worth it if you feel great. As it says in this article, you don’t have to change your hairstyle as you grow older to something more “mature looking”; If it worked for you before, I’m sure it can work for you now. However you did want to switch things up, you could consider bangs for a more youthful appearance.

Opt For Subtle Makeup

You may want to stand out, but you have to make sure that you’re standing out for the right reasons. Wearing too much makeup, for example, is not great. You may have experimented with some crazy makeup looks when you were younger (trust me, we all have), but now is the time to tone it back a bit. Avoid having too much going on eyeshadow-wise, as this could draw attention to wrinkles around the eyes. Apply one or two light, matte colours for the lid, a smidge of blusher, and a subtle lip colour for a fresh and polished appearance.

Take Care Of Your Brows

When you get older, your eyebrows can go one of two ways: They’ll either grow out of control or become thin and sparse. When it comes to the former, you should keep your eyebrows trimmed, and pluck out the grey hairs if they bother you. If your eyebrows are sparse, use eyeshadow to fill in the gaps; This is much more subtle than a pencil but will still create a full brow, which can take years off you. Just avoid filling your brows in black, as this will make you look older.

Buy Some Falsies

Mascara is a must for most women, but as you age, it might not work as well as you hope. This is because you can experience loss of eyelashes as you get older, so the mascara has nothing to cling to, leaving your eyelashes looking sparse. To remedy this, you could try eyelash extension or false eyelashes, both of which come in many different styles. Just make sure you take proper care of your extensions, so they last a long time, and that you apply falsies following the instructions.  

Watch What You Eat

As you should know by now, what you put into your body affects how you look and feel, so you should stick to a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables. These are packed with antioxidants which can help to improve the overall health of your skin, and combat signs of ageing. You should also remember that it’s much easier to put on weight when you’re older, so avoid having too many sugar and fat-filled treats, and exercise daily to burn off any additional calories. The odd chocolate bar or doughnut isn’t going to cause much damage, as long as you balance it out, so don’t worry too much if you have a sneaky treat every so often.

As women age, we tend to worry about losing our looks, but it really isn’t necessary. Hopefully, this advice helps you to feel fabulous well into your fifties and even older.

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Updating Jack’s Wardrobe

Jack is six now and has a far busier social life than I do. He has clubs and parties galore and some of these clubs require certain clothing.

I’ve mentioned before that he has started football on a Thursday – we recently had to grab all the clothing and shoes he would need for that – and then we got a notice saying he needed some extra items for his PE kit. He also goes to a club on Friday night – sometimes they do some messy activities, sometimes they have a film night – he likes to dress up nice for his club – I think to impress the girls, haha!

With us buying him some more clothing for all the things he has, we are also considering picking up a new coat for him – perhaps one of these boys coats and jackets from River Island. Normally I’d try to eke out his coat for another month or so until he can get away with using a lighter jacket – but with the weather being like it has recently, he is definitely in need of a new one – he’s currently ripped his one at the seam and it isn’t going to last much longer!

I’ve noticed recently that Jack definitely seems more fashion conscious. He likes to pick out his outfits – sometimes I do have to give him a little guidance as his outfits aren’t exactly weather appropriate but other than that, he usually has quite good fashion sense.

He’s starting going past clothes shops and wanting to head in and look at the clothes. Now I am not going to complain about that – I love shopping and I’m always looking for cute little outfits for Olivia so if Jack wants to seek out some cute outfits for himself, who am I to stop him?

The only problem now is having to declutter all his old stuff. Luckily we have a Bags 2 School scheme in the first few weeks of March so we will be bagging up the stuff that he has grown out of or no longer likes and donating them. We may even end up filling more than one bag – I didn’t know my child had so many clothes!

Have you been updating your child’s wardrobe lately?

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