Painless Wedding Planning: What To Tick Off That To-Do List First

Are you planning a wedding? If so, you’re probably surrounded by reams of paper. When you’re organising your dream day, there’s a lot to think about. They say wedding planning is stressful. But it can also be incredibly enjoyable. If you’re looking for painless ways to plan your big day, time management is key. Once you’ve leapt over the major hurdles, everything else will fall into place. Here are some tips to help you tick off those all-important wedding essentials first.

Finding a venue

Finding a wedding venue is one of the most important considerations for most couples. Without a venue, you haven’t got a wedding. If you’re getting married in the next 12 months, start looking now! Popular locations get booked up early, especially during high season. You may already know where you want to get married. Or you might be completely clueless. The good news is that the Internet makes it incredibly easy to find options in your search area. If you see places you like the look of, call and make some appointments. Don’t feel pressured into making a decision the first time you view a venue. You can go back as many times as you like. Before you fall heads over heels for a hotel or castle, check that it fits in with your plans. Ask about capacity and check availability. If you’re planning a wedding on a budget, consider going for a weekday or getting married out of season.

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Sending save the dates

Most people start making mental guest lists as soon as they get engaged. Once you have a date, and you know who you want to invite, send a save the date card or email. The more notice you give people, the more likely they’ll be able to come.

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Booking a photographer

Many of us dream of having beautiful shots of our wedding day. Finding the best wedding photographers is a priority for most couples. When you’re searching for photographers, read testimonials and look through portfolios. Think about the style of images you want. Do you want formal group shots and a more traditional feel? Or do you want natural photography or a vintage feel? Meet some photographers, look through their work, and ask them questions. Go with somebody who makes you feel comfortable.

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Finding the dress of your dreams

Many of us spend years thinking about what we’ll look like when we walk down the aisle. Looking for the perfect dress is the pinnacle of the wedding planning process for most brides. Look through directories and search online for boutiques and bridal stores. Call and make some appointments, and go with an open mind. Try on a range of styles, and make a day of it. Take your mum and your bridesmaids, and have fun. Don’t put pressure on yourself to find the ideal dress on the first day. It may take you a while, but it’s worth soldiering on if you don’t feel quite right. It’s essential that you get a dress that makes you look and feel a million dollars.

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Wedding planning doesn’t have to be stressful. If you follow these tips, you can get organised, and enjoy the process. Try not to get bogged down in lists. This is a hugely exciting time, and it flies by, so try and appreciate every minute. There will be ups and downs, but it’ll all be worth it!

Make Your Wedding More Personal With These Quick Tips

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These days, I find people are getting too carried away with weddings. They want to make it a spectacle, and it loses some of the personal touches. Marriage is between two people that love each other, a wedding should reflect their love. Today, I have four tips to make your wedding more personal.

Photo Collages

A friend of mine went to a wedding where the couple had photo collages hanging as decorations. When I heard this, I thought it was an incredible idea. What a brilliant way to make your wedding more personal! You can create so many photo collages of the two of you as a couple. It’s a way of documenting your time together over the years. Plus, guests can laugh at how different and cringe you both were in the early days! Hang them in your reception location, and people can have a wander around and look at them as they please. If you want to make this more special, don’t tell your other half before the day! Let it be a surprise for them, I’m sure they’ll love it to bits.

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Custom Invitations

I find that a lot of couples opt for very generic invitations for their wedding. They find a supplier and choose from the same set of designs that every other couple chooses from too. While these can still be amazing, they don’t add a personal touch. So, my advice is to create your own custom invitations for your guests. There are plenty of places that offer free wedding invitation templates that you can download. Then, it’s up to you to design the invitation to your liking. If you want, enlist the help of a graphic designer or friend. The end product will be a wedding invite that’s personal to you as a couple. A great and simple way to add your own touch to your special day.

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Prepare Your Own Vows

In a lot of weddings, the couple will recite traditional vows. This is typically because they want to try and keep their wedding quite traditional. But, I think a wedding day should be all about the two of you. How many other wedding days will you have as a couple?! You’ve got your whole life to be traditional, so, make things more personal. Prepare your own vows to express your love for one another. I find this is very sweet, and often leaves people with tears streaming down their face. A fantastic way to take a special moment, and make it even more personal to the two of you.

Personal Song

At every wedding, the couple has the first dance at the reception. This is usually done to a song that means a lot to both of you. Perhaps it was the first song you listened to and danced to as a couple? Either way, I have an idea to give this a more personal touch. Have someone write and compose a song that shows how much you love each other. It sounds cheesy, but it’s a beautiful idea.

Use these tips if you want a more personal wedding day. They’re quick and easy to apply, so, there are no excuses!

Top tips to avoid Cold & Flu season!

KEEP THE COLD OUT THIS WINTER WITH COLDZYME MOUTH SPRAY 

  • Revolutionary mouth spray targets the cause of the cold, not just the symptoms
  • Can help reduce the duration of a cold when used prophylactically

As cold and flu season approaches, protect yourself this winter with the ground-breaking ColdZyme® Mouth Spray. The product is unique in that it fights the cause of the common cold – the cold virus. ColdZyme® Mouth Spray is easy to use and begins working immediately by forming a protective barrier in the throat, where the cold virus takes hold and multiplies, protecting you from infection. ColdZyme® can help shorten the duration of illness if used prophylactically.

Whilst other over the counter remedies seek to alleviate the symptoms of the cold, ColdZyme® targets the virus itself to shorten the duration of the illness. ColdZyme® Mouth Spray is used in the oral cavity and throat, and begins working immediately by forming a protective barrier on the mucous membrane. The barrier acts osmotically on the cold viruses, trapping them and preventing them from binding with human cells, helping the body to remove them naturally.

The effect of ColdZyme® has been investigated in COLDPREV – a blinded, placebo-controlled study under advice from a UK expert in respiratory disease, Professor Sebastian Johnston from Imperial College, London. This study was conducted on 46 volunteers who were all infected with the most common virus that causes the common cold. Half of the volunteers received ColdZyme® the other half received a placebo product. The study showed that ColdZyme® reduced the virus load among infected by more than 99% compared with the placebo. Moreover, it was shown among those catching a cold, the duration of the symptoms was also reduced (from 6.5 days to 3 days).

Leading media medic, Dr Dawn Harper, in conjunction with ColdZyme which fights the cause of the common cold, have compiled a few tips that I thought might be of interest for you?

Dr Harper’s Top Tips are:

  • Wash your hands regularly – contrary to popular belief, most coughs and colds are spread by hand contact not by coughs and sneezes, so simply keeping your hands clean will go a long way to protecting yourself.
  • Wash down surfaces and door handles – the viruses that cause colds can survive for several hours outside the human body.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables to keep your immune system in good shape. Vitamin C and zinc are vital for a healthy immune system. Zinc is found in red meat, beans and fortified cereals, whilst foods rich in vitamin C include fruits such as oranges and strawberries and vegetables such as peppers, kale and broccoli.
  • Make sure you get into a good sleep routine. When we sleep our immune system repairs itself, so chronic sleep deprivation can make you prone to infections.
  • Manage your stress levels. Try to prioritise and delegate where possible as stress can play havoc with your immune system.
  • Consider using anti-viral tissues and keep them in your bag or on your desk if those around you have a cold to minimise the spread of the virus and make sure that tissues are put straight in the bin.
  • Use ColdZyme, a revolutionary mouth spray which targets the cause of the common cold and is clinically documented to help reduce the duration of a cold

 

 Look out for this products in store that maybe useful for you, but always be sure to read the leaflets before use.

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ColdZyme® is suitable for use by adults and children from the ages of four and upwards. ColdZyme® can help shorten the duration of a cold, when used prophylactically. If you do not have any symptoms of a cold but are likely to be exposed to the cold virus, for example when someone near you has a cold, spray 2 puffs (1 dose) ColdZyme®  into the throat every two hours up to 6 times a day while you are exposed to the cold virus.

ColdZyme® is available from Boots, Lloyd’s Pharmacy and independent pharmacies nationwide, with an RRP of £15.99 for a 20ml bottle (effective treatment for three colds, or fifty five doses), and £9.99 for a 7ml bottle, for protection on the go.

* I was sent this product free of charge for the purpose of the review, However all thoughts and opinions are my own.

WIN A PAIR OF TICKETS to the NEC Festive gift fair

Christmas is one of my favourite times of year – minus the cold weather.  I try to persuade my OH Tom to let me put the tree and decorations up as early as possible in the run up to the big day – I always win that one.

Last year I headed over to the festive gift fair at the NEC birmingham with my mum for a mother and daughter day after I won tickets, and to see what goodies I could get my hands on to decorate our house for our first proper christmas in our new home.  It looked great fun and would most certainly put you in the mood for christmas.

We arrived just after it opened and went straight in with no waiting around, at first glance it was packed, and it was beautifully decorated with lots of christmas decorations and toys, I felt like a little kid in a toy shop.

I found and brought some tree decorations and a extendable snowman, which I though were super cute.

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I can’t wait to go back again this year.

If you would like to be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets to the Birmingham NEC festive gift fair next month then enter below through rafflecopter and just follow the instructions. Be sure to read the T&C’s at the bottom of the page aswell.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you’re not one of my lucky winners this time, keep entering my giveaways – Got to be in it to win it, But you can purchase your tickets to the event here.

Terms & Conditions

  • The closing date is Monday 31st October at midnight.
  • There are two prizes of a pair of tickets. No cash alternative.
  • This competition is open to residents of the UK only
  • Entrants must log in via Rafflecopter and answer the question in the widget – this is the ONLY mandatory task. Comments must answer the question. Comments such as ‘great prize, fantastic giveaway’ etc will not be counted. You can gain extra entries in the draw by completing the other tasks in the widget. All entries will be verified.
  • Unless you are a blogger or website owner, please leave the URL box blank. Anything else in there (such as email addresses, none, Facebook, x, N/A will invalidate all of your entries).
  • A winner will be chosen at random using the widget
  • The winner will be notified via email within 5 days of the closing date, and must respond within 28 days to claim their prize.

T. H. Baker’s 1st birthday Event

Since the new Grand central has been re vamped and opened I have been in there once which was with a friend, so was super excited when I was invited along to T.H.Baker’s first birthday event at the grand central shop.

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The event took place on Thursday evening from 7pm – 10pm.  It was help at the perfect time so I could attend after work.  I left work at 6pm and wondered over to grand central for the event, When I arrived I had a wonder round to find where I had to go later on, I found it quite easily.

I arrived on time and waited outside to meet up with the lovely Emma from Fashion Mommy and her sister.

We were greeted with glasses of Champagne and cocktails, while we were left to browse round all their gorgeous shiny jewellery.

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The shop was done out to a very high standard and was filled with lot of gorgeous jewellery, I do love a bit of bling.

They also sell pre owned pieces of jewellery such as rings, I could have spent hours in their browsing through all of it and spending a fortune.

My eyes caught sight of the most gorgeous chandelier I have ever seen, if my house was big enough,  oh how I would love it hanging from my ceilings.

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I chatted to members of the staff and many other bloggers, it was nice to meet them in real life, instead of just reading their posts.

Time just flew past with all the excitement and chatting and it was time to leave and head home.

When I’m next looking for jewellery I would be sure to visit T H Bakers.

* I attended this event free of charge for the purpose of this review.  However all thoughts, opinions and pictures are my own.

The Essential Elements of a Marriage Proposal

Proposing to your partner, whether they’re a man or a woman, can be anything you want it to be. Some people plan elaborate occasions and even invite friends and family to watch. Others propose over a glass of wine on the sofa at home. Sometimes a proposal might be meticulously planned, while other times it’s spontaneous. However, much of the time there is some planning involved. There are some key elements to most proposals if you’re planning a romantic affair. Think carefully about the things below before you decide on the big moment.

The Answer

Proposals can be brilliant surprises, but there’s one thing you don’t want to be a surprise. Asking someone to marry you and having them say no is not going to be great for your relationship. Even if you’re pretty sure your partner will say yes, you need to be approaching 100% certain, if not actually there. The main thing to remember is that you should have discussed marriage before. If you’ve never mentioned it and talked about your feelings relating to it, it’s not a great time to propose. You should know about each other’s feelings on marriage in general and in relation to each other.

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The Location

If you’re certain the proposal is a good idea, you need to consider when and where to do it. The location is a lot more important than some people think. It doesn’t have to be on top of the Eiffel Tower or by the Grand Canyon. In fact, the main thing to think about is how public it is. There are many people who would hate a public proposal and feel like they’ve been put on the spot. Even if they definitely say yes, they may not want to have witnesses to their answer. Before you choose a public place or invite anyone else to watch, think about how your partner will feel.

The Ring

For some couples, an engagement ring (or rings) is no longer important. However, many still want to have a ring for one or both of them. When it comes to proposals, the ring can be a surprise or it can be something the couple chooses together. You can browse sites like Tacori or go shopping for rings in person. If you’re buying a surprise ring, you need to tread carefully. You might know your partner’s tastes very well. However, if you don’t, you could ask for hints, either from them or from their friends.

The Words

What you say when you propose could be the most important part. However, for some couples, it’s everything else that matters more. A simple “will you marry me?” is all you really need. But you might want to come up with some other words to say, to elaborate on your reasons for proposing. You don’t necessarily have to come up with a rehearsed speech, though. Just say what comes naturally and leave the rest for the wedding.

Your proposal doesn’t have to follow a set formula, but there are still some issues you can consider. You should create an experience you’re both happy with.

Why Exotic Pets Bring Challenges – And How To Live Up To Them!

It’s often said that we Brits are a nation of animal lovers. Which is probably true, but is also a little weird. There aren’t many nations across the world where people don’t keep pets. However, one thing that is true is that we spend a lot of money on our pets. Survey after survey shows that we spend, as a nation, billions of pounds a year looking after them. And we don’t resent a penny.

One thing that is even more interesting is the wide range of pets that are kept in homes. Walk into any vet surgery around the country, and there’ll be price lists on the wall for treatment of various pets. Dogs, of course. Cats, yes. Rabbits and guinea pigs, naturally. But read further down, and you’ll see more and more exotic ones. Including an increasingly wide range of exotic birds.

If we’re a nation of animal lovers, it’s a broad and all-encompassing love. We love our cats and dogs, and food is widely available for them in supermarkets and local stores. But walk into a supermarket and ask where they keep the parrot food – they’ll look at you as though your words had been spoken by the parrot itself. You need to go further and wider to find the right stuff.

Why It’s Harder To Look After Exotic Pets

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You’ll remember clearly the moment you saw a hand raised Eclectus for sale. The excitement of knowing that you could have one of nature’s most colourful, entertaining birds in your home. The determination to get it before anyone else swooped in. The dawning realisation that it wasn’t going to be child’s play to look after it. If you live near to a large pet store it’s a bit easier – but a lot of us spend hours comparison shopping to find the right items online. If it’s worth paying for a pet, it’s worth paying for the right items to look after it.

Why We Love Exotic Birds

Parrots are a favourite pet for many reasons, not least their colourful plumage. Shades of blue, red and orange that you’re just not going to get with a cat. Unless you dye it – and good luck with that, because they won’t be happy with you.

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Added to that, there’s the talking thing. It never stops being amusing when a parrot picks up on something you’ve said. And keeps repeating it – so just make sure you don’t gossip too much when the parrot is within earshot.

What Do They Eat?

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Although a lot of people will treat their birds like domestic garden birds and feed them seed, most parrots will not be keen on this. In the wild, they are arboreal creatures and prefer fruit and nuts. Pay heed – you may be tempted to buy rejected fruit from a local grocer. If you want your eclectus to thrive you should be feeding it fruit you’d be happy to eat yourself.

Exotic, exciting birds make excellent pets, as long as you are prepared to put the work in to look after them. They may not be as welcoming when you come home from work, but they’ll certainly know who you are. And if you care for them well, they’ll come to love you too.

Keep The Little Ones Happy: Easy Ways To Make Your Bathroom More Kid-Friendly

It’s always hard to make sure your bathroom is perfect for little kids. After all, there is so much they can harm themselves on in the room. And on top of this, you need the bathroom to be fun to get them to use it! And even if you haven’t got your own child, you want the room to be safe and fun for when you have nieces and nephews over to stay! Therefore, here are some easy ways you can make your bathroom more kid-friendly to keep little ones happy.

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Invest in some non-slip mats

It’s so easy for kids to have slips in the bathroom which cause a trip to A&E. Therefore, you need to prevent this by getting some non-slips mats for your bathroom. They should be placed right next to areas that get wet easily such as next to the bath and shower. As this feature says, a good non-slip mat should have suction cups to prevent the mat from sliding across the floor once the little one steps on it. That way, they won’t end up face planting the floor once leaving the shower. Just make sure you regularly give it a clean, so no mould ends up growing on there.

Choose a secure shower enclosure

It’s also so important that you choose a secure shower enclosure that kids can use in your home. After all, that stylish one with the complicated door movement might be good for you, but it certainly won’t be good for little ones. They could end up getting stuck in the shower or even end up hurting themselves on the door. Therefore, you need to choose a modern shower with smooth closing doors. That way, they can get in and out as necessary. You might even want to go for a walk-in shower. That way, it’s the same level as the bathroom floor, and they are less likely to slip and hurt themselves. You can find a good range of shower cubicles online such as dilusso enclosures.

Keep products away in cupboards

A lot of people have so many skin and hair products in their bathroom. But if it gets into a little one’s hand, it could lead to danger. After all, they might not understand it’s not edible and could end up swallowing some shower gel by mistake. Therefore, to make your bathroom more child-friendly, you should put all potential hazard items away in the cupboard. That way, they won’t be able to get their hands on the item and get sick because of you! Remember it’s not just lotions; razors and scissors need to be put away for safe keeping too in the bathroom!

Add some fun accessories

If you want to make your bathroom more kid-friendly, you need to add some fun accessories. And we’re not just talking about adding a rubber duck to your tub (although that is a must). You should add some brightly coloured towels and fun artwork to the room. You can even find some great tablet holders so that kids can watch their favourite cartoon while they are in the bath!

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And you can check out my previous blog on ways to make your bathroom perfect with little stress.

3 Amazing Destinations For The Perfect Family Holiday

Getting the family together for a trip abroad can be a lot of fun. In our busy day-to-day lives, we often don’t get to see even our immediate family all too often. Plus, when we do, we are often reeling from the stresses of work and childcare, which doesn’t make the time spent together what most would class as ‘quality time’. Going on holiday together gets rid of this problem completely. You’ve got all the time in the world to relax, and there’s plenty of fun and exciting things to do together. But when you’ve got a big family that includes lots of children, knowing where to go can be the first of your problems. There are plenty of resorts that cater for children but aren’t so great if you don’t like being woken up at 8 every day by an entertainer. On the flip side, booking a luxury spa will only mean that you have to deal with ‘x amount’ of very bored children. Choosing somewhere that appeals to everyone can mean you end up with a family holiday to remember.

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America

America is a perfect option if your children are quite young or if it is their first time abroad. There is the added benefit of having no language barrier, which should help them feel comfortable from the start. Of course, there is always the long-haul plane journey to deal with – which as any parent will tell you, isn’t that fun when you have kids! Plus, you will need to make sure you have all your documentation in order by visiting www.official-esta.com. Once you are there, both children and adults alike will love the hot climate and the huge amounts of entertainment. Visiting Disneyworld and Universal Studios are a must on a trip to the US with kids.

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Spain

Or, to be precise, the Spanish coastline. Both the Costa Blanca and the Costa Del Sol provide perfect spots for family holidays, although perhaps ones with slightly older children. There are plenty of cultural attractions to visit, and the beach in itself can provide hours of entertainment for children. Be sure to stock up on inflatable dinghies and floats to help your children stay safe in the sea. This also gives you the perfect chance to relax with the adults and enjoy some ‘me’ time. Another advantage of this area of Spain is that food and drink are both relatively cheap, meaning your summer holiday doesn’t have to break the bank.

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India

If you are looking for something a little more exotic, why not consider a family holiday to India? Sure, it may not be the top of everyone’s list when you think of kid-friendly holidays. But with vibrant cultural attractions, stunning scenery and great food, it will be an experience to remember. The kids will be amazed by mystical temples and the hustle and bustle of major cities like Delhi. India is a great way to introduce children to other cultures. Plus, many resorts are used to catering for British tourists, so you will still be able to have certain home comforts.

Get More Involved With The Food You Eat – Tasty Growing And Cooking Tips At Home

If you ever worry about the price of food or even where it comes from, now could be the time to be more proactive about it. The cost of food will continue to increase as Brexit takes hold. More of it will need to be sourced from the British Isles, but this could make some of our favourites harder to source off season. So what can you do about it? Why not have a go at growing your own?

When certain foods are out of season, powered greenhouses need to pick up the slack. This does increase the cost. The alternative is to import the produce. You could grow your own, which might prove a little costly on your time and energy. The alternative is to eat seasonally. If strawberries and oranges aren’t in season, pick apples that will be ready in late autumn and can be stored in the freezer. Frozen summer fruits could work quite well too. Buy them when they’re cheap, fill the freezer and enjoy all year round.

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Growing at home requires good soil and regular weeding or pest control. This can become a fun hobby, and eating from your garden is wonderful. You will need to hone in on some seasonal recipes to enjoy your crops. Why not sell your excess produce to create a little income stream? When you’re cooking from your garden, be sure to give everything a thorough wash. And if you’re growing organically, it could all be much healthier too.

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Some foods that are easier to grow at home can leave a bitter taste in your mouth. The British climate is great for root vegetables, but they can all become a bit samey. Some veggies that you can grow can be used to make fat-free sponge cakes. Courgettes and beets have become popular for that. You can sweeten with something like the miracle berry tablets to create healthy cakes that are low in fat and calories. And some of the ingredients could come straight from your garden!

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It’s not always easy to find the time to prepare your garden for growing. Why not build a simple raised bed? You can then add good soil ready for growing. Once you have planted your vegetables and fruits, you will need to keep the slugs and snails away. They are quite adept at climbing up the raised beds. However, you can make it less appealing by sprinkling something coarse like sand around the base. Cover with netting to keep the birds away too.

Don’t forget, you can grow your favourite herbs at home too. Some people like pots on the window sill. Others have a little-sheltered area outside the back door. Lettuces can be grown in a similar way. And why not grow your strawberries from hanging baskets next to the door? Pick and eat as you come home from work (after washing, of course). The best thing about all this is you can get the kids in your family involved too. It’s a great activity to do with the children, and it’s a fun way to spend time together. Bon Appetite.