A gift with a twist- Personalized Flowers

Flowers always make for a lovely gift in my eyes, perfect for saying “well done”, “get well soon”, “thank you” or simply just because. I was recently contacted by Personalized Flowers about their twist on the traditional gift, they offer the option of sending a stunning rose to someone complete with a personal message printed directly on to the flower itself. Intrigued by how this could work I found myself taking up the offer of a rose*, choosing to have it printed with a simple thank you to my parents because lately, more than ever they have gone above and beyond with their love and support.
The rose arrived in sturdy cardboard packaging meaning it survived the postal journey- always a plus when sending a gift! It was housed in a self contained pod of water and made for an attractive offering. I wasn’t sure how printing on to a fresh flower would actually translate but the effect was nice and lasted for as long as the rose did (about a week for the record). Both myself and my parents were really taken with this, it could be seen as a bit of a gimmick by some but it was nice for them to be able to display this token of appreciation and for me to find something to give them that isn’t yet another bundle of chocolate.

The ordering process is simple, you can select from one of four colours for the rose (orange, white, yellow or pink) and then customise with either no message (£5.99), a pre-set message (£7.99), a custom message (£8.99) or for a gift that will truly last you can select a silk rose for (£9.99) with a message of your choice. You can add in a card at no extra cost and select a delivery date to suit you.

It’s not something I’ll be sending all of the time- it’s not the cheapest gift around but as a unique concept and the chance to send something a little bit different I think it’s a great idea and a well executed one.

Who would you most like to send a rose to right now?

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Father’s Day Inspiration with House of Fraser*

With Father’s Day looming (19th June FYI) I thought it only right and fair that I do my best to provide inspiration on how to spoil the main man in your life as I always seem to be coming up with female orientated gift guides. There’s a reason for this in that shopping for my Mum is just so easy. We have very similar tastes and it’s rare that I go on any shopping trip without coming back with a little something to stash away for her. My Dad on the other hand is a different story and over the years I’ve become known for my off the wall thinking when it comes to my gifts to him- the policeman mole figurine and 50th Birthday Ant Farm are two that spring to mind as successes in the past. Still, focusing on something a little more traditional I’ve popped together some top ideas from House of Fraser’s selection of men’s accessories which will hopefully help point you in the right direction.

Will I be going down the more traditional route this year? Not likely, but I do know that when my stash of quirky ideas runs out my Dad would be more than happy to receive any of these gifts instead.

On the surface these might all look like quite run of the mill ideas, but with a huge range of quality brands (my Dad for example would love the Paul Smith cufflinks or Ted Baker iPad case) and something to suit all budgets- from £4.00 socks to watches costing hundreds there is something for all tastes and all budgets.

Now I’ve just got to work out if my lovingly handmade gift is going to cut it or if I need to be heading to the shops instead!

Which parent do you find easiest to shop for? I know my best friend is in the opposite situation to me and has a nightmare of a time trying to pick out a present for her Mum!

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(Insta) life recap: 10

Happy Halloween folks! I think the scariest thing about today is that we’re at the end of yet another month and Christmas is oh so rapidly approaching. Anyway, as it’s the end of the month here’s my latest recap of my Instagram action this month…it’s been a busy and exciting one but over far, far too fast. Time flies when you’re having fun eh? (that and getting old…)
Most of these are from my holiday at the start of the month, I never did share any of my snaps so fill your boots and take me back to the beach! Other highlights of the month included my Dad’s retirement party, being treated to a Mulberry purse, a mini break away with Ben and Mae being such a ham. Hover over the images for the caption.

You can follow me on instagram for even more snap shots of my life- don’t forget to link me up to your posts and instagram accounts, I love a good nosey!

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Dressing up Mum with Bonmarche

When I started my blog all the way back in 2009 (oh how old that makes me feel!) it was a mainly solo affair- it was months before I let on to my family and friends what I was doing, and longer still before anyone else knew. These days I have a more “all hands on deck” approach and rope in helpers wherever possible. I have Ben doing the design and maintenance side of things (plus the odd photoshoot) and then I have Mum doing almost every set of photos and helping me sort out photographing and organising other posts too.

It’s nice to be able to reward these people who give up their time to help me, so when Bonmarche got in touch asking if I’d like to pick out a piece from their new Citrus Bloom by David Emanuel collection for my Mum I jumped at the chance (casually mentioning to her a day or so later that she’d need to be photographed and appear on the internet!)

Dress c/o Bonmarche | Tights: Marks and Spencer | Boots: Wallis

I’ll admit that I had Bonmarche down as an older person’s shop before I worked with them on the blog a year or so ago and took a fresh look. Granted some of the pieces are still aimed at a more mature audience but there are some items that are just perfect for people like my Mum- who want to dress nicely without looking either too young or too frumpy. This dress is really lovely, it’s a great quality fabric that clings in a really flattering way. The print is gorgeous and it’s quickly become a staple for a day at work. At £30 it’s a brilliant buy as it’s clearly going to last for quite some time, and I am sure there will be the odd occasion when this makes it’s way in to my wardrobe for a quick work-wear solution.
I know Mum was more than a bit reluctant to appear on the blog but I think she looks great- it was really comical watching her pose for the camera though, she’s obviously spent too long photographing me as at times it was like looking in a mirror!
Do you have anyone else get involved in your blog or is it still a bit of a secret? What do you think of how Mum styled the dress?

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park life

P2
Dress: Matalan (here) | Boots: Shoe Zone | Coat: Zara
The weather last Sunday was gorgeous, just gorgeous. Ben and I took the opportunity to take my camera for a walk around St George Park and practice my promise of getting more outdoors outfit shots. He’s pretty good behind the camera right? We need to have a proper play around with my camera and it’s focus settings- until I achieve my dream of being able to afford a decent DSLR we’re making do with my decent but not quite there bridge camera.
I really want to do this more often, it was nice not to be confined to where I can park my tripod or balance the camera and I actually felt pretty relaxed. We had a good walk too, I want more days like this so I can really stretch my legs. Walking is pretty much the only exercise I’ve been able to do since my back first went in October so I’m trying to get in as much as possible pre-op. Post op there will be no stopping me and I can’t wait to get on my bike again.
I really like these photos actually, which is quite rare for me to say about pictures of myself. For once I’m not sat analysing what my body looks like or how I could do with wearing more makeup or standing at a more flattering angle, I’m just enjoying the pictures as a whole and thinking back on the laugh we had taking them.
This dress is my favourite clothing purchase of the year so far. A mere £12 from Matalan and so swishy and fun. Obviously I’m attracted to any item of clothing with a Daisy on and once I’m off my shopping ban I expect a few more will join it. I’m also a swing dress convert, I thought they’d do nothing for me but actually I really enjoy the draped and twirly affect.
These boots are becoming worn out with the amount I have worn them recently. As much as I love them I can’t wait to be back in one of my many pairs of heeled ankle boots.
The coat was a Christmas present from my parents and is perhaps the warmest thing I own. Good old Zara.
I’m so ready for this weekend, the weeks in January always seem to drag on and on. It’s going to be a family orientated affair this weekend for the most part. It’s my beloved Grandad’s birthday today and I can’t wait to see his face when he sees the present Ben and I have got him when I meet him for coffee in my lunch break.
For those of you who don’t have a DSLR/SLR camera, how do you get the best from your outfit photos? Any hints and tips are welcome.