Looking For A Little Luxury In Your Garden?

With summer on the approach, we all start to think about our gardens a little more. If you’re part way through a redesign, or you’ve been trying to think of new additions that can improve the look, you might want to consider the luxury touches that can jazz everything up. Because adding a little luxury to your home isn’t the only option you have to spruce up your home. You can also add an incredible look to your garden by concentration on a few key additions. 

Rose Garden
First of all, you might want to think about adding in a classic rose garden. Not only do they look incredible, but they add an air of classic luxury to any garden. With lots of beautiful types of roses available, you could even choose a few different kinds and colors to create an eclectic look. Plus, with a rose garden, you can cut fresh flowers to bring indoors and brighten up any room from your bedroom to the dining room.

Hot Tub
If you love to relax, or even enjoy evenings out in the garden, you could benefit from adding a hot tub to your garden. With a range of different looks and sizes, it’s easy to find the right one to fit in your garden. Whether you want to have spa-like evenings or parties with friends, a hot tub can be an incredible way to add a little luxury to your garden. It might seem like it, but you don’t even have to spend a fortune with the option of choosing interest free hot tubs.

Bar Area
One of the most luxurious ways to add a bit of excitement to your garden can be to create a bar area. Whether you find a gorgeous bar and stock it with your favorite drinks, or buy a vintage bar cart and keep it a little more discreet, putting a bar in your garden can give it a little edge. You might even want to add this into your dining area to make it look at little fancier.

Summer House
Regardless of how big or small, your garden is, a summer house can add an edge of luxury to your outside space. With a range of different purposes, from a reading room to an extra living area, you might find that it’s the one addition that can completely transform your space. Whether you create a house out of brick or wood, give it a modern design or something vintage, you might find that an outdoor living area completely jazzes up your garden.

And then, if you really want to wow and create a garden to-die-for, a pool could really make it sing. Whether you’ve got a large budget to add in a celeb-worthy pool, or something smaller and a modest family pool will work wonders, you’ll find that a new swimming addition could be exactly what you’re looking for. And, when the sun starts to shine a bit more, you’ll be glad you chose it

What luxurious garden plans do you have for this Summer?

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Apothederm Stretch Mark Cream || Recap - Was It Worth The Money?

Apothederm is a luxury skincare brand that relies more on the synthetic than the natural but when it comes to problematic skin and body issues most consumers are willing to try anything to avoid surgery. After having three babies and having pre-eclampsia (which Kim Kardashian did in her first pregnancy, do you remember how big she got? well the same happened to me) this made my body double in size from 7.5 stone to 15 stone. It's fair to say I have some hefty stretch marks. 

My stretch marks range from very fine and silvery lines behind my knees, on one arm and are on my stomach - the marks lower down my stomach actually look like burn scars and are so thin and scar-like that they use to upset me. I've always been someone who's had stretch marks even from being a teenager so I knew I would be rocking some major tiger stripes after having my bambinos I just didn't realise how bad they could become. Looking back to when I was pregnant and seeing what body changes I have now after having my three sons I honestly wouldn't change a thing. 

About a year and a bit ago I decided to try and do something about them because I wasn't always so comfortable in my own skin, it's definitely a recent change but it lead me to purchase Apothederm Stretch Mark Cream which had amazing reviews but cost £63.99 - a lot of money but given the reviews I was willing to give it a go. In my original review, over on the old blog, I had discussed the cream but never did a recap at twelve weeks so figured I'd recap you on this blog. 

The cream is 160g and boasts that 90% of users see visible results within twelve weeks, the cream contains Shea butter, cocoa butter and olive oil which work at moisturising the skin and are ingredients found in many skin care products. The scientific big hitters in the blend are heptapeptide-7 and resveratrol. 

Heptapeptide-7 | This ingredient helps to defend against deterioration of cells that cause aging and works to boost the keratinocytes which promote tight, radiant and youthful skin.

Resveratrol | This ingredient has been majorly hyped by brands and bloggers across the board but what many don't realise is that it's become a fad ingredient. Hype doesn't necessarily equal effective and resveratrol unfortunately isn't effective - *pop* bubble burst. 

It's mostly found in the skins of red grapes and it works as an antioxidant benefitting many diseases including skin disease. It prevents against oxidative stress and cutaneous damage which increases the signs of ageing which in an ideal world makes it a great contender for the anti-ageing market - the only problem with resveratrol is while it's fantastic these awesome benefits don't translate to the human body due to a lack of bioavailability. 

When we consume anything or put things onto the body they're metabolised meaning they're used by the body either for better or worse. The issue with resveratrol is that they can't get it to metabolise slow enough for it to actually benefit our body (although they've tried and continue to try) and they've found it's usually fully metabolised within thirty minutes after taking a supplement, as you can imagine that means that direct application fairs even worse. Most brands fail to inform their consumers that while it's an utterly amazing ingredient it doesn't actually transfer it's greatness to our body so you're really having a placebo effect. 

So was the cream any good? 

I found that the cream did an excellent job at moisturising, it absorbs really well and didn't feel greasy. Would I have paid over £60 for a cream that just hydrated? absolutely not but then I've definitely learnt a lesson. I applied this twice a day, every single day until the bottle was done and saw no difference in my stretch marks - they didn't fade, they didn't improve and none became less visible. At the time of purchase I wasn't aware of how effective the ingredients would be as I had only begun my postgraduate degree (I'm aiming to become a doctor) and I suppose I was drawn in by the 'hype' and the amazing reviews. I do feel a little bit silly at spending so much on a placebo effect standard moisturiser but I can assure you any more purchases will be fully reviewed ahead of clicking 'buy' and of course I'll update you with anything that genuinely helps the skin. 

Do you have any recommendations for skin care? 

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Oral Care To Care About

I love smiling, and I love seeing other people smile. If you love being happy and smiling when you’re happy, then chances are you’ve got good teeth that you don’t mind showing off! It doesn’t matter what kind of teeth you have. If you practice good oral care, you can have a beautiful set of gnashers that others will envy. Of course, teeth are very practical too. Eating wouldn’t be quite as enjoyable if you didn’t have the pleasure of chewing. But did you know that your mouth is the gateway to the rest of your body? If you don’t take care of your oral health, you might end up with serious problems.

Nobody really likes visiting the dentist. This isn’t always to do with the perceived oral discomfort. Most people dislike the array of noises, bright lights, and awkward seating position. It’s so important that you find a way to overcome any fears or worries you might have though. A good dentist should be able to help you feel more at ease. And a good dentist will be thorough in checking your mouth for problems.

Aside from the oral hygiene concerns, you might also worry your teeth don’t quite match the insanely white perfect smiles you see on the toothpaste carton. Cosmetic dentistry isn’t new, but there are always new procedures that might be worth researching. Treatments like Invisalign offer adults teeth straightening in a fraction of the time you might have had to wear braces. There are more effective teeth whitening treatments that are safer than ever for your enamel too.

It’s always worth speaking to your dentist about deep cleaning too. At home, you might use a manual or an electric toothbrush to wipe away debris from the tooth surface. Flossing or interdental brushing should also be used to remove the debris between the teeth at the gum line. These are the areas that are most commonly neglected. If any food becomes trapped there, it will decay, smell bad, and erode your enamel. Before you know it, you’ll have gum disease, cavities, and an unpleasant odour!

If you are meticulous with your cleaning, but still suffering oral odours or discomfort, this could be a sign of another health issue. Diabetes and digestive disorders can sometimes mean your breath has an unusual odour. It’s always worth asking the dentist to check just incase there is something of concern going on. Untreated oral problems can also lead to more serious health conditions. Get it checked!

If you have children, you might already have been told about the dangers of fizzy drinks and sweets on their juvenile teeth. Adult teeth can be just as vulnerable. Do you visit the dentist at the same time as your kids? It can be a good idea to book everyone in at the same time as you’re more likely to remember the appointment. Why not book separate ones though, and have your kids tag along each time? They’ll become more used to the environment and what to expect. Love your teeth.

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Hemp Brain - Soft Body

Hemp is so often confused with cannabis and that scares some people. I've long loved hemp in beauty products as my mum used various hemp creams and lotions during my childhood which really helped her with her dry skin without causing a stinging pain. Over the years I've come to realise just how amazing hemp actually is which is partly why I buy so much of it each year.

Hemp's overlooked by so many skin care lovers as there are a lot of fads items that are hyped up and make there way onto the market. For example, there was super food creams, snake venom creams, resins and herbal creams, wax creams and lately there's been a huge hype over coconut oil as an the new all round do-gooder ingredient.

Don't get me wrong I adore coconut oil on my hair, as a mouth treatment (oh yes I still oil pull believe it or not) but NEVER on the skin because it's comedogenic, it clogs the delicate pores leading to buildup and spots. Hemp however helps to reduce the size of blackheads, acne and pores as well as detox the skin from free radicals that make us age prematurely. As far as skin and body care goes it's pretty amazing.

Considering other ingredients and how they can sting, cause redness or leave the skin feeling sensitive and sore, hemp is suitable for even the most sensitive of skins including those with psoriasis and eczema - due to it's anti-inflammatory benefits it's ability to actually soften, heal and reduce redness if used regularly.

If you're a feminine fragrance lover then chances are this isn't going to cut it for you. Let's also keep in mind that those fragrances (chemically created and not essential oil based) can dry out your skin leaving you in a vicious circle - hemp oil smells natural, earthy and real. Once applied it absorbs quickly and the scent naturally dissipates so you don't need to worry about it clashing with your actual perfume or body scents.

The Body Shop sell a range of products in their hemp collection including body butter, foot protector, face protector, a hemp soap bag (you pop in a soap, close and use it to scrub yourself), intensive hand butters, oils and my more.

Products range from £4 for the lip balm up to £13 for the large Body Butter. I actually still purchase the Hemp Hand Cream for my mums end of year stocking and personally I can't get enough of the foot protector! It's absolutely incredible on your tootsies as well as the rest of your skin if you suffer from dryness.

So all-in-all hemp's pretty incredible isn't it. So what do you say? Are you going to grab some hemp or some coconut oil next time you're shopping for skin care?

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Bring A Touch Of Classic Luxury To Your Living Spaces

When everything your heart could desire is available on the market, sometimes it’s nice to go back to basics. The problem is with some of the more modern furniture is that it can go out of style quite quickly, and it just doesn’t necessarily seem made to last anymore. The classics, in so many cases, are best. From beautifully crafted Eastern rugs to traditional orangeries, luxury hasn’t really changed over the centuries. Here’s how to make your home look expensive, ensure it’s made to last, and bring some classic luxury into your life, without spending your life savings.

Choose rich colours

Deep, rich hues can bring a really elegant and beautiful dimension to a home, and when used carefully can add depth and definition to a room, without making it seem dark or oppressive. A good rule of thumb is using white or bright neutral shades on walls which don’t benefit from natural light, and deeper purples, reds, and teals on walls which sunlight hits. This use of both brighter and deeper colours allows your room to be opened up, but it also looks very luxurious. Consider accessorising with dark wooden hat stands, artwork in dark frames, and even taxidermy (fake or real) if you’re feeling adventurous.

Bring in a traditional rug

Traditional Persian rugs can be bought relatively inexpensively online, although it’s the sort of home addition you can essentially spend what you like on. What it does, however, is really help to create zones in a larger room, but also bring comfort and luxury to a hardwood or flagstone floor. This type of rug looks expensive, however much you spend. It can bring colour and sumptuousness to a plainly decorated room, and just looks very classical.

Build an extra room

If you lament the lack of space in your home and would like to spend more time in your garden, without having to bear the harsh weather, then why not buy an orangery? There’s something really lovely about heading out into an orangery on a warm day, and it really does add an element of flexibility to your room space. You could bring out your dining table and sofas to make it into a major part of your home, or you could simply put chairs and a few plants in there and treat it like a refuge from the craziness of the rest of the home.

Go romantic with your artwork

What you decide to put on your walls really reflects how you see your home. Modern, minimalist styles make a home seem just that - modern. If you want a home with a little more classic luxury, try more ornate, historical styles. You don’t have to fork out millions of pounds for originals (the example above might be considered overkill) - prints in elaborate frames do the job just as well, and add serious interest and focal points to the wall.

Don’t be afraid to experiment

Finally, don’t ever be afraid to experiment with colours and styles you enjoy - the beauty of a more classic style is that less isn’t necessarily more, so there is plenty of room for colours and patterns, as well as all sorts of interesting trinket and accessories.

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Turn Your Wedding Woes Into Wedding Wows

When you dream about your future wedding, what do you see? You probably have a very beautiful, specific scene in mind and you don’t want anything to throw off what you’ve probably been planning in your head since you were nine years old. Unfortunately, though, things do go wrong on the big day. People don’t show up, there are issues with the venues and then there are the outfits that everyone will be wearing.

Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to make sure that the worst wedding disasters can be completely avoided for your big day.

When It Rains, It Pours

You’re not alone if your dream wedding involves some beautiful outdoor activities. Perhaps, you fell in love with the venue you choose due to the beautiful stretch of vibrant green grass outside the front doors that you knew would be perfect for wedding pictures.

As it turns out though, on the actual day, it’s pouring with rain, and that beautiful stretch is now a soggy, muddy, disaster zone. This highlights the importance of having contingency plans in case of bad weather or other problems that are completely beyond your control.

You might even want to have backup people ready to step in at a moment's notice. If you are having your wedding church ordained, you have to take into account that the priest or minister could fall ill on your special day. To plan for this, you can get one of your friend ordained online to step in if the minister is a no show.

Don’t Trust The Groom

Here’s a little tip for all the soon to be brides out there. Most guys don’t like weddings, and they definitely don’t like the planning leading up to the big day. That’s why they’ll leave most of the decisions up to you. You should be careful about how much freedom you give them and responsibilities they have over the areas of the wedding that affect them.

You probably won’t be in charge of choosing their suit but you might want to nudge them in the right direction. Otherwise, you could end up with a groom who shows up in a suit that isn’t properly fitted and that can look terrible next to your beautiful designer dress. Instead, you should make sure they look at bespoke suits from a tailor and let them choose one from a list that has been selected by you.

You might think this is the definition of a bridezilla, but it really isn’t. It’s just the only way to make sure you don’t end up standing next to someone who looks like they just picked up a suit from a bargain bin.

Give Yourself A Year At Least

When he asks the question, and you say yes, a million times yes, a small part of your mind will be wondering how fast you can get this show on the road. Weddings are fun and arguably one of the best days of your life, so it makes sense you won’t want to wait. But you should fight this urge because a truly spectacular wedding requires at least a year of planning. Rushing it will lead to all sorts of disasters, and ultimately it could bring your dream of the perfect wedding crashing down. Take your time, find the perfect venue and plan everything to a tee.

If you do this, you will be rewarding your past self, making sure all her romantic ideas come true.

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Savvy Ways To Save On Your Wedding Day

According to research, the average wedding costs somewhere in the region of £25,000 - an astonishing amount of money in anyone’s book. And of course, there will be plenty of people who feel it is worth every penny. After all, you shouldn’t be scrimping and saving on the most important and special day in your life, right?

The trouble is, a lot of those costs are completely unnecessary - and could end up putting you in debt for many years to come. And, given that your big day is a celebration of two people’s future, it doesn’t make much sense for that future to start off in a financially precarious way.

With all this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the ways you can save on the costs of your wedding - read on to find out more!

Save on the engagement

According to tradition, your engagement ring should cost anything between one and three month’s wages, but let’s be honest - is it really worth it? Yes, diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but did you know that the whole diamond engagement ring thing is an entirely commercial construct? And given that some engagement rings could cost you a five-figure sum, why not put the vast majority of that cash towards your wedding day? You can always buy a temporary, cheaper ring which can be replaced a later date - your tenth anniversary, for example, when you can better afford it.

The weekday wedding

Get married on a Saturday, and you will pay a premium for everything, from room hire to paying for the marriage directors. In many cases, you can shave off a couple of thousand just by getting married midweek - and in some cases, up to 50 percent. It really does make that much of a difference. Yes, you will be asking your guests to make a commitment to take some time off work, but ultimately, it’s just a couple of days, and most people will be happy for the break!

Don’t mention the wedding!

OK, so it’s going to be hard to book a venue and arrange catering without mentioning the W word. But the simple truth is that everything, from your hair appointment to your cake, will cost you a lot more if the vendor knows you are getting married. If you are prepared to tell some little white lies, you can avoid this ‘wedding tax’ altogether.

Go social

Instead of requesting gifts or money from your guests, why not ask them to help you out? Lots of people love getting involved in the weddings of their friends, and if you know a great cake baker, a DJ or band, or someone who owns a flower shop, why not call in some favours?

Take your time

The shorter the time between your engagement, the more your wedding will cost - it’s that simple. Giving yourself a long time to plan means you can take advantage of more sales, plan your finances properly, and avoid getting into high credit card debts. Ultimately, whole a fast, whirlwind marriage hits all the right romantic notes, your financial future is something you also have to consider.  

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Making Your Wedding Killer Without Being Bride-zilla

Every woman dreams of the perfect wedding. No matter who you’re marrying or how you’re planning to get married, there’s no denying that you’ve dreamed about this special day for a very long time. The problem with high expectations is that, when the time comes for that dream to turn into a reality, it’s a very nerve-wracking and exhausting experience.

Suddenly, you’re putting pressure on yourself to ensure that your actual wedding lives up to those expectations you’ve had ever since you were a little girl. It’s not long before you find yourself turning into bridezilla, but you don’t need to let that happen. Here are some tips to help ensure that your wedding is perfect without you ripping everybody’s head off for not nailing every last detail. If you have a vision then it’d be best for you to carry it out.

Get the venue sorted first

A plan should be your first point of call, but it seems wise to sort out the venue before anything else. All of the most beautiful and desirable places, such as castles, halls and stately homes, will be booked up for potential months and months to come. Sometimes the next available slot might be one or two years down the line, and this is why it’s so important to dive straight in with regards to booking the venue in order to ensure that you don’t have an even longer wait to get married.

Once it’s all booked, you’ll have a solid date in your mind, and making the overall wedding plan will be far easier because you’ll have an idea of how long you’ve got to do everything. You can start sending out invitations and ‘save the date’ notes, and it all becomes far more real then. You can also breathe a sigh of relief because you’ll know that there’s a solid and fixed date for the wedding itself. It’s really happening!

Sort out transport well in advance

The worst thing that could happen on the big day is some sort of transportation mishap. If the bride or groom aren’t there on time then it could mess up the celebration for the entirety of the day and evening, as most venues can only squeeze weddings into their specific time slots. You need to ensure that sufficient transport for all the key people, such as bridesmaids, parents and the two people getting married, of course, is sorted well beforehand. You could look into wedding car hire, as that’s not only a good way to guarantee that everything will happen on time but it’s also much nicer than using personal cars to arrive for the ceremony. You only get married once, so you might as well do it to the fullest of your ability.

Don’t cut corners

Weddings are expensive, but they’re also an important event which will stick in the memories of all those who attend for the rest of your lives. It’s important not to cut corners just to save a tiny bit of money here and there if it’ll affect the entire atmosphere of the wedding. If you’re going to spend this much money then you might as well spend on it on an event which is perfect down to the last detail. Ensure that you hire professionals because you might regret letting your aunt bake the wedding cake.

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