My Advice On How To Make Your Garden More Interesting


We’re still in the middle of winter right now, but soon it will be spring. That means it’ll be time to get back out in the garden, tidying it up and making it look stunning. But I’ve always had difficulty getting excited about gardening. It’s just not something that has ever particularly taken my fancy. However, this year I’m determined to give it a proper go. So, what are the options? Well, I suppose you could just hire a landscaper. Let them take care of your garden and then you can enjoy the finished result. But, that seems like a bit of a cheat, and it will be far more gratifying if you improved your garden with your own two hands. With that in mind here are some of the ways you can make your garden more exciting and interesting. 

Attract The Wildlife

I would love to see wildlife in my garden. I’m not talking about ants and ladybirds. Rather, I’d like to see a hedgehog meandering across the yard in the early hours. Or some birds chirping in the Apple tree. I’d even like to see some bees flitting between flower beds. To get this, I’m told all you have to do is let your garden grow out a little. This is enough to get wildlife interested in venturing inside. But you can also plant some more shrubbery and flowers. You may also want to think about leaving some food around. This brings me to my next idea. 

Grow Fruit And Veg 

There are two ways to go about this. Either, you can plant fruit and vegetables specifically with the intention of attracting life to your garden. Or, you can start living off the land, and that in itself is quite a fun idea. I love the idea of being able to make a hot pot from the vegetables I’ve grown at the bottom of my yard. But you can also think about more exotic choices and flavours. Have a look at http://www.pomonafruits.co.uk/. There, you’ll be able to buy fruit plants for your garden so that you can grow strawberries and other delicious fruits. Just remember, if you’re growing this food for you, you will need to implement some sort of measure to keep pests away. 

Set Up A Water Feature

I know most people think that water features are just an added expense on the home. After all they do require a lot of maintenance. But they don’t have to. In fact you can dig your own pond in your backyard, filling it with water and fish. All you need to do then is set up a filter system and the pond maintains itself. However, I would also suggest you get netting to keep hungry birds away. 

A Home, Stone BBQ

Is it too early to be thinking about BBQs? I don’t think so and there’s no better way to get ready for summer in Spring then to build your own BBQ. They can be built to match the aesthetic of the garden so that they don’t look like a modern eyesore. Check out this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7MBYMBxlcE for some cool tips. 

When you’re finished I’m sure you’ll start to enjoy your garden and gardening a lot more. Have fun!


 photo NEW.png
Follow

5 Steps To A Guaranteed Dream Wedding

So, the love of your life finally popped the question and you’re arranged to get married. Congratulations! It’s set to be one of the most magical days of your life. This is something that you will have no doubt been dreaming about since childhood. Now that the big day is approaching, a few anxieties are bound to enter your mind. But if you get planning now, there’s nothing to stop this being the dream wedding that you deserve. Here’s everything you need to know.

Budget

The wedding signals a huge occasion in your life and your relationship. However, it’s only one day and you cannot afford to put strain on your future because of it. Of course, it is a day to go a little overboard. Nevertheless, making a budget and sticking to it is essential. There are various simple hacks that will lower the costs of your wedding. Creating DIY invites will instantly save money while you can also ask a family member to bake the cake. Similarly, getting bridesmaids to buy their dresses instead of a present can work wonders for not overspending.

Look The Part

This is your big day, and all eyes will be on you. Therefore, it’s only natural that you want to look your very best. The wedding dress is arguably the most important outfit you’ll ever wear, so be sure to get this aspect right. However, you might need an extra boost. Visit belcarahealth.com to find out about various cosmetic procedures and what they can do for you ahead of the big day. After all, when you look great, you feel great too.

Organising Guests

If there’s one thing that’s going to worry you more than anything else, it’s the prospect of guests fighting amongst one another. After all, there’s a good chance that at least one of you comes from a broken family. Keeping the peace has to be a major priority. The biggest danger is when drink is involved. Therefore, planning the seating for the evening meal is a crucial step. Meanwhile, the groom should ask the best man to keep a watchful eye over proceedings too.

Arranging Transport

You’ve already found the perfect venue, but one item that many couples overlook is the importance of transport. This is especially true when dealing with a remote or rural wedding location, but is crucial in other areas too. Besides, arriving in style is a huge element of the perfect wedding. Find out about luxury wedding cars at http://usa.hireluxurycar.com. Just be sure to book early, the last thing you want to do is miss out.

Booking A Photographer

Preparing for the perfect wedding can takes months or even years. But when the big day arrives, it’s a case of blink and you’ll miss it. Therefore, you need to find a photographer that can capture those moments forever.

Many couples also find that filming the big day is a hugely beneficial option to take. Meanwhile, you can give your guests disposable cameras to get an authentic reflection of the magical day.

 photo NEW.png
Follow

When Does a Drinking Habit Become an Addiction?



Most of us like to have a drink. And most of us can keep it moderated. But if you’re worried about your drinking habit turning into a full addiction, here are some signs you should be looking out for.

Planning Your Life Around Drinking

When you are in the grips of addiction, you start to worry about where your next drink will come from. This behaviour shows that you can’t cope without alcohol. So, you need to find ways to plan your life around your need to drink. This, of course, is not a sustainable way to live. But it is a very common approach to life that is adopted by many people who eventually succumb to alcohol addiction. And it’s also the kind of behaviour that will start to attract attention to your drinking. People will ask why you’ve been taking time away from the office. And your friends and family members will wonder why you no longer socialise as much as you used to.

Drinking in the Morning

If you’re drinking in the morning, it suggests that your body needs something that it hasn’t been getting while you were asleep. And that something is alcohol. This is one of the most obvious signs that your body has become physically addicted to the alcohol that you have been consuming. The warning signs are even more clear if you’re not someone who has ever done this kind of thing in the past. Once you start to notice that urge to pick up the bottle not long after waking up, it shows that you can’t cope without the alcohol. And that’s known as an addiction.

Suffering Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Often, they can be quite subtle changes in your mood, so you might not even recognise them as withdrawal symptoms. It could be as simple as getting more easily irritated when you haven’t had a drink. Or you get more anxious and nervous. This is not a normal thing to happen simply because you haven’t had any alcohol in a while. Some people have nightmares, experience mood swings or lose their appetite. If you start to notice any of these things getting worse, you should get professional help at one of the top alcohol treatment centers.

Drinking Secretly

The fact that you start to drink in secret away is not a good sign. It shows that you are ashamed of what you’re doing and how much you are drinking. This is something that tends to happen away from anyone else. It could mean having a secret place where they can go to when they need a drink. And because this is something that nobody else is able to be aware of, there’s no one else who can help other than yourself. So, if you are aware that you are now instinctively drinking in secret, it might be time to rethink your relationship with alcohol. It’s a sign that you can no longer ignore your behaviour.

 photo NEW.png
Picture Source
Follow

Essential Ski Slope Fashion Tips From The Pros


Heading off to the ski slopes sometime soon? Are you wondering how to be a chic and stylish skier? The truth is, ski slope fashion is tough to get right. There I’ve said it. The ski suits are puffy, the boots clumpy and as for how the cold affects your skin and hair - eugh. Ask any celebrity who hits the mountains each year for a skiing trip, and the chances are they’ll tell you they don’t actually ski. Instead, they practice meditation, go for toboggan rides and spend their time in the famous apres bars.

That being said if you do decide to brave the cold weather and unfortunate outfits there are a few things that you can do to ensure you look good. Well, as good as possible considering you’re flying down a snowy hill at goodness knows how many miles per hour. Here are a few style secrets for ski slope fashion from the pros, take them on board and you can ensure that on and off the slopes you look great.

Opt for a simple colour scheme

To look chic, stick to a simple colour scheme. Ideally, a monochrome scheme is best, as it’s easy to pair accessories with and tends to be flattering on all body types. If you fancy adding a bit of colour to your look, opt for a black top and bright, bold bottoms. For a range of beautifully bright and bold ski pants, check out the S'No Queen website and have a browse. Avoid wearing a onesie ski suit at all costs, as these went out in the eighties. Unless, of course, you can find a suit that’s stylish and not too puffy.

Sport knitwear

What’s cosier than a woollen jumper? Nothing, that’s what, which is what makes knitwear perfect for skiing trips. Okay, you might not be able to wear it on the slopes, but knitwear is still essential. Just make sure not to opt for knitwear that’s too thick, else you’ll struggle to fit it under your jacket.

Faux fur is a must

Be it a jacket, hat or scarf, faux fur is the ultimate cold weather accessory. It looks stylish and is incredibly warm and cosy, so is perfect for sporting on the mountains. While you might not feel like you can pull off a fur jacket at home, in the snow fur is the ultimate style statement. So if you don’t already have a few faux fur pieces, I suggest you go out and get some for your trip. The good news is that most high street stores have a range of faux fur pieces available, so you should be able to find something perfect.

Don’t forget accessories

What’s ski slope fashion without the sunglasses? Whatever you do, when you’re packing for your skiing trip, don’t forget your accessories. No matter what clothing you’ve packed, without your accessories, your outfits will lack style. So make sure that you have a couple of pairs of sunglasses, a bobble hat and a couple of scarfs to switch between. On the slopes or off the slopes, if you want to look stylish, accessories are essential.

So there you have it, all the best tips for skiing in style.


 photo NEW.png
Follow

How To Actually Enjoy Staying Healthy


Exercise and staying fit isn’t always a walk in the park. It requires a good bit of dedication and willpower. Not to mention more than a few days of lying around and groaning because you hurt just about everywhere. But that doesn’t mean it all has to be a huge slog. There are plenty of ways to make the healthy lifestyle a bit more fun. If you want to know how to enjoy staying healthy, read on. 

Stay Motivated 

Motivation is one of the big keys to climbing up the hill that is the road to fitness. When the aches and pains and initial tiredness sets in, it can be easy to want to just call it a day. If you’re having trouble staying motivated or making the time, try out this guide. If you set yourself the goals you need and keep your head in the right space, time will make your progress all the easier. 

Dance To Music 

The effects that music has on a workout are well-documented by now but there are still plenty of people who aren’t using those benefits. Occupying your senses distracts you from the other parts of your body that are hurting. This is only helped by the increased endorphin release music provides. It also unconsciously motivates your body to match its tempo, so upbeat music with a good tempo is particularly recommended 

No Guilt 

We all need to dip into the reserves of delicious treats from time to time. Being too hard on yourself can only increase the pressure you’re feeling, which might very well lead to a full-on crash. Treat yourself now and then and feel okay with it. You can also try replacing those guilt-inducing treats with delicious healthy alternatives. You might find yourself with an entirely new addictive treat, of course, but it’ll be a better one. 

Change of Venue 

The venue can have a lot to do with how we experience our exercise. If it’s a lovely, sunny day, take a trip down to the beach. Being surrounded by the lapping waves, cool breeze and all that sand is well known to be an invigorating exercise experience. That’s why there are so many exercises developed specifically for the beach. Allow yourself to have some less strenuous fun now and then, too. Find yourself some ski tubes for sale and take to the waves. 

Change Things Up 

Take a day out of the weekend for yourself, but let the other day be something both active and fun. There are loads of great ways to stay fit and switch up your schedule. From hiring out a tennis court to hiking, this page has a few great hobby ideas. 

The more you keep motivated and make the initial process easier on you, the closer you get to the point that exercise becomes second nature. Remember that it’s only difficult at first and that before long you’ll be looking forward to that next rush.

 photo NEW.png
* Photo Source *
Follow

How To Get Started || Making Your Own Jewellery at Home


If you like to get creative, then making things at home will likely appeal to you. You can make anything, from vases to flower arrangements. However, one thing you might find appealing is jewellery making. There are a ton of techniques and methods you can use to make unique things for yourself or loved ones to wear. You could even make a business out of it. Here are some tips to help you:


Resources 

Buy books that you can study to help you come up with some ideas, inspiration and techniques. There are lots out there depending on what sort of jewellery you want to make. There are even books that can give you an idea of lots of different types if you’re unsure. Buying books can be a great place to start, so read reviews and find some good ones. I'd also recommend creating an inspiration mood board, Pinterest is great for this but be sure not to directly copy other peoples work, inspiration is great because it makes you aware of what you like and dislike, giving you direction so you know what to start making. 

Do a Workshop or Course

There’s nothing quite like getting some one to one tuition and instruction with a workshop or course. You can usually find some great deals online, so make sure you check them out and see if anything is on near you. You’ll get to keep whatever it is you make in the class, and it’s a good way to find out whether it’s worth buying more supplies or not. Many metal smith will show you how to work with precious metals and create beautiful jewellery, so they are a good place to begin. 

Watch YouTube Videos

Sometimes, you might learn what you want to know by simply checking YouTube. Type in what you’d like to see demonstrated and you’ll more than likely be able to find it. 

Sourcing & Buying Supplies

When you know what you want to make, it’s time to buy your supplies. You might need precious stones, wire, pliers, beads, and other things to make your jewellery. Wholesale suppliers will allow you to buy your items in bulk, which is a great idea if you want to make lots of things or start your own business. I'd recommend joining some Facebook pages to speak to other business users who use wholesale. You want to ensure you're using a wholesaler who's reputable. Failing that Ebay and Etsy are great sites for low cost findings and beads. 

Practice Makes Perfect 

Keep on practicing. Take photo's of your work so you can see how you're developing because it's hard to see progression when you're being hard on yourself. The physical photographic proof will help you see it more clearly. It’s better if you practice with cheaper stones, beads and findings first also until you’re confident with your technique. Then you won’t waste any special stones or time making something that just doesn’t look good or wear very well. 

Taking The Next Step 

When you’ve kept your hobby up for a while, it might be a good idea to turn it into a business. If your creations are good enough, you should be able to make a good income, even if it just supplements your current income. You don't have to turn it into a business, but it can be a good way to make some more money and share your talent with others. 

 photo NEW.png
Follow

What To Look For In A Great Wedding Photographer


The wedding photographer is one of the most important parts of your dream wedding. One day, you’ll want to look back on your big day, and remember every aspect. Good photos will bring the romance, happiness, and warmth of the wedding flooding back. That’s why it’s crucial to get the photography just right. With a sharp eye behind the camera, you’ll have something to remind you of the special day. But, how do you go about choosing the right person for your wedding? Especially if you don’t know anything about photography.

Look at their portfolio

The truth is, you don’t need to be a photography expert to spot a great photo. Great photos speak for themselves. The composition, lighting, and style is easy to spot. Make a shortlist of photographers in your area, and take a long look through their portfolios. Remember, you’re not just looking for someone who takes a good photo. You’re looking for the person whose style you love. Do they capture an atmosphere and a spark in their pictures?

Their manner

The manner and personality is also quite a big factor when making your decision. This person will become a big part of your wedding day. So, you’re looking for someone who will slot in nicely, and get the photos you want. You’re looking for someone who is commanding and confident (to make sure they get the photos you want). But, you want someone who does this with personality and charm. It’s a rare thing in photographers, so make sure you meet up, and get a feel for their general manner.

Do they listen to what you want

When you sit down with your photographer, make sure they’re listening to you. Not the other way around. It’s your wedding after all! Do you want someone who blends into the background, getting all the natural shots? Or do you want a strict set of formal family portraits? If they’re taking notes, and contributing ideas back, then you’ve found a good photographer. You’re looking for someone to work around what you want.

What’s their style?

Every photographer has their unique style and ideas. Take a look at Weddings by JP, and you’ll see one particular style, for example. Does their idea of a good photo align with yours? Some might use vintage cameras for a more rustic look. Others are crystal clear, bright images. The photography should reflect the atmosphere of your big day, so chose a style that suits. 

Their cost

Last of all, you’ll want to take your budget into account. We often say that it’s worth paying for the best possible photographer. After all, these photos will last you a lifetime, and you want the very best. But, we understand that paying for a wedding is tough! Try to find a balance, but we don’t recommend skimping on your photos. You’ll feel disappointed forever if you do.

Choosing your wedding photographer is a big decision. Follow these rules, and go with your gut instinct!
 photo NEW.png
Follow

Media Kits || Why You Need To Create One For Your Blog


Why should you create a media kit for your blog when you can just include your URL in any emails or communications? Surely PR’s and business owners can just visit your website or social media sites and gauge an idea of how well you’re doing and if their brands will fit?

If this is how you're thinking what I will ask is why don’t you want to create a media pack? Is it due to a lack of knowledge on how to create one? Do you just not have time to design and make one or do you simply not think it’s important enough to be sending to prospective PR’s and brands? Tough questions for sure but those are the types of questions that can be flipped on their head and viewed from a brand or PR’s perspective also.

Why should you create a media kit? 

Would you expect to get paid employment without sending an application or a CV? No, why? It's pretty much the same thing in the blogging world except the media kit is your CV. 

Imagine how many emails each brand or PR company received in a day. If they are being sent hundreds (if not more) emails with blogger requests then it takes far too much time for them to click links, read emails and assess your social sites – no-one has time for that! 

A media kit is an all in one sales pitch and business card. It can include your sales pitch or a little bit about yourself and why brands would benefit from collaborating, you should also include your statistics (average stats are fine), any boasting points, previous brand collaborations, media miles and the design is equally important as it gives a sense of your creativity, style and personality. Check your spelling and punctuation and please don't use slang words *shudders

If you have space, you could choose to include a range of services, prices and how this service has benefited other companies or will benefit their company directly. By creating a media kit you're saving yourself a step in the sales process as prospective brands and PR's will reply and ask for one - or - they won't bother replying at all and you'll have lost yourself a paying gig. 

So when should you send someone a media kit?

Be selective about who you send your kit too, if you have a genuine PR contact you asking about your rates or specifically for your media kit I'd suggest emailing it over as a good media kit can be the deciding factor in securing a job and your set collaborative rates.

If you have a wishlist of brands you'd love to work with it would also do no harm creating a proposal detailing why you think they should work with you and include your kit. It’s always wise to forward a media kit when you yourself are putting out a proposal to brands and PR’s as it's far more professional that typing a few lines begging for work - it's also polite. 

Not all brands and PR’s enjoy receiving media kits so you could always include a polite ‘here’s my media kit Dropbox link if you're ever interested’ that way they don't feel as though they’re having your attachment rammed down their throats.

What I will say is you should be wary about who you send it too, there’s a lot of cattiness within the blogging industry and you will get requests from other bloggers who are pretending to be PR’s so they can splash your prices and stats across the blogging hate groups (it’s never happened to me, but I do know other others who were burned by it). When you're receiving a request do some Google research to check the validity of the person and the email contact after all this is your personal information and no-one wants that to get into the wrong hands.

If you don’t know how to create a media kit you could try checking out these links:


If you don't know what should be included yet why not consider adding: 

Introduction - Include your name and a few small details about yourself.  
Branding - include an image of yourself or your blog logo
Contact details - include phone and email as well as social media links and usernames. 
Statistics - These are partly your selling point so you must include these. Adding your blog and social media stats is best.
Services - What can you offer these companies? Include a list of possible services you can offer and an average price.
Previous work - Which brands have you worked with, include published links if you want to wow any future brands or a link to an online portfolio or page that lists your testimonials. 
Selling points - What makes you different, what’s your blogs genre or what are your secret passionate about?
Terms - do you offer a set term for sidebar ads? do you only include no-follow links or do you not allow graphic banners? If there are set no-no's you should include them. 

Finally, you've created a media kit, now what? 

Most brands and PR’s will judge your media kit based on first impressions so make those few seconds count by having a clear design that flows well. Spell check your final draft and when you're happy export it to PDF format. Attach it to the emails your sending and include a short but sweet email detailing which services you feel would be advantageous to the brand. 

Good Luck! 

 photo NEW.png
* nothing to declare *
Follow

Tips || Make Traveling with the Family Easier


Are you thinking of traveling abroad with your family for the very first time? It’s a big step, and it can be daunting at first. But it can also be great fun, so here’s how to make it easier for you.

Be Flexible

If you want to save cash and avoid the busy periods, you should think flexibly about when to travel. Being flexible allows you to get cheap flights and beat the crowds. If your kids are young enough not to be in school yet, you definitely should avoid traveling during the school holiday periods. This when the beaches and hotels are most full. 

Prepare for the Worst

It’s always best to prepare for the worst case scenario when you are traveling with your family. This should first apply to your packing. It’s a good idea to pack for different weather conditions so that you will be prepared for anything the elements can throw at you and your children. You should also get insurance that covers you and your family. That way any medical bills will be taken care of for you if something bad does happen. Visit https://www.europeanhealthcard.org.uk/ to find out more about this.

Pick Suitable Locations

Picking the locations where you’re heading is even more important when you’re traveling as a family. You don’t want to be caught out by misunderstanding the nature of a destination. There are plenty of horror stories on the internet of families who thought they were heading to a quiet place, only to find an 18-30 resort. So, make sure that you find out as much as you possibly can about the location that you’re heading to before you actually get there. If it doesn’t seem suitable for your kids, keep looking! Visit http://www.sovereign.com/families for more information on where is suitable for kids.

Fix a Budget

A lot of people think that traveling with children has to be incredibly expensive. And it’s certainly true that it can be that way if you’re not careful as parents. But there is no reason why it has to be that way. If you’re willing to set a budget and make sure that you stick to it for the length of your travels, you should be fine. What you need to do is plan out exactly how much money you’re willing to spend and make sure you don’t break the commitment. Of course, you should take some extra cash or have it available in the event of an emergency.

Create and Capture Memories

The best thing about traveling with your family is that you get the chance to create new memories. These are the times that you and your children will remember in the future when they’re all grown up. So, you need to make sure that you can capture all those important memories as you create them. Luckily for you, this is easier than it’s ever been. All you need is a camera (or even a phone) and a memory card. But make sure that your memory card is large enough to store all the photos you’re going to take

 photo NEW.png
* Photo Source *
Follow