How to Add a Pop of Colour to your Summer Wardrobe

When the sun is shining I feel the sudden urge to get out my bright clothes and I’m not the only one. Knowing how and where to add colour can be hard though as you don’t want to overdo it. I feel at ease with red lips and fun prints but what other ways are there of adding a pop of colour to your summer outfit if you’re not quite so brave?

Colour block skirt
I own more A-line skirts than I’d care to mention and have them in pretty much every length, colour and print. It makes sense then that for summer I like to colour block with a bright skirt and a complimentary colour top. For those with a curvier frame wearing bright colours from the waist down works really well and an A-line shape skims the hips. If you want a more toned down look just pair with a neutral top instead.

Bold Summer dresses
For the ultimate boost of colour and energy to your wardrobe it has to be a patterned summer dress. There are so many patterns that are trending right now- from pastel gingham to bright stripes and vintage florals to fun food prints – pineapple anyone? Aztec prints also never go out of style so I’m keeping an eye out for this trapeze dress from Sainsbury’s holiday shop when doing the weekly shop.

Add colour in your accessories
In winter it’s easier to accessorise with colour simply because you wear more accessories and can layer up with hats, gloves and scarves. It’s still possible to do it in summer though – albeit in a slightly more subtle way. I like to add colour with a big bright bag to carry all of my everyday essentials (i.e. my entire life) or in or a pair of platform heels.

Off the top of your head
You can use your head, quite literally, to top off your colour offering. My cat beret gets a little rest over summer but out comes the sun hat instead. Even if yours is plain it’s always possible to wrap around a colour-coordinating scarf to match your outfit. For another instant colour update using a pretty silk scarf tie it round some classic vintage rolls- with the added bonus of keeping your neck nice and cool!
Finishing touches
Last but not least don’t neglect your face and fingers. If you’ve gone for accessories to add tones to your outfit pick the same shades out in your eyeshadow, lipstick or nails for added zing. While I stick to reds and darker shades of make-up in winter, spring is the time to experiment and I’m not afraid of orange lipstick, purple eyeshadow or pastel green nails – as long as it matches something I’m wearing! If you’re not feeling too brave start with a bold nail colour and go from there. This guide to nail shades covers orange, green, bronze, hot pink and everything in between.
How will you be adding colour to your Spring/Summer looks? I’d love to know.

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Safe and sound: Don’t become a victim of vehicle theft*

Although I’m not yet a driver I am very forgetful when it comes to what should be the most basic things. With another (yep, another) driving test on the horizon and the purchase of my very first car looming I thought this guest post made an interesting read and something we can all learn from.
Top tips for vehicle owners to prevent theft

Vehicles are valuable items, not only the physical vehicle, but the contents that sit inside too. Each year, around 47,000 commercial vehicles are stolen in the UK. That is a total cost of around £152million. When you rely on your car or van to be able to do your job, this poses a huge risk. The cost of downtime spent off the road added to potentially having to pay to replace the missing contents can really hit hard.
So, how do you ensure that your vehicle is protected and doesn’t become one of the 185,000 vehicles broken into each year? Can we really rely on simple security measures to deter thieves, or are there more effective steps you can take to protect your livelihood?
I recently discussed this topic with one of my sub-contractors, ProtectAVan Solutions LTD, and together we’ve compiled a list of steps vehicle users can take to increase their vehicle security and reduce the risk of theft.

 Is it locked?

Think twice about locking your vehicle – did you definitely remember to lock it? It may sound pretty fundamental, but it’s essentially the difference between whether or not you receive an insurance pay-out should your vehicle be stolen. The implications of this can be anything from footing the bill yourself to replace a van if you’re a business owner, or potentially losing your job if you’re a driver for another company. A big risk for the sake of a click of a button! Do you often arrive somewhere and leave your car/van visibly open and unattended whilst unloading or collecting someone? You could be inviting waiting thieves to help themselves to anything left in the vehicle. Similarly with leaving your vehicle running while you make a quick delivery, or leaving the keys in at a petrol station. Breaking habits like these can greatly reduce your exposure to thieves.

Double secure

If you have a vehicle that is fitted with a double lock or deadlocking system, you have the ability to disable the internal handles by pressing the lock button on the remote twice. By doing this you will prevent thieves breaking in through a window and opening the door from the inside. Why not also take double measures inside the vehicle, such as using secure storage boxes or glovebox? If a thief does manage to get past your double secure locking system, they will then need to break into the secure box to retrieve anything of value, hopefully by which time someone will have been alerted.

Upgrade your locks (for van owners)

Even if you’re not based in what’s typically considered to be a high crime area it is always worth considering fitting extra security locks such as deadlocks, which offer an extra locking point to a door, or slam locks, which lock as soon as a door is shut. Both are independent to the standard manufacturer’s locking system. Many people do not realise that most vehicles’ standard locking systems can be overcome with just a flat bladed screwdriver, but the good news is that they can be easily enhanced by fitting one of these extra security products.
Another issue that many people are not aware of, is that the latches on the top middle and bottom of the back door are all connected by one wire – so if a thief drills a hole into your vehicle and manipulates/pulls the internal release wire – the doors will open, leaving the contents of the van ready for the taking. To tackle this, there are various anti-drill guards and door handle protectors available to reinforce the metal around this vulnerable point on your vehicle, making it harder for thieves to access the internal release wire and ultimately keep your van and its contents safe.

Expensive? Take it with you…

Working in the vehicle industry you quickly learn that some insurance companies have limits on the maximum amount they will pay out per item in the event of a theft. The advice I always offer to customers is that if it’s expensive, make sure you take it home with you at the end of the day. It may seem easier to leave your belongings there for the next day but do not take the risk of leaving them in the vehicle overnight. Forgetting to hide or remove any valuable gadgets is easily done when you’re in a rush, but taking an extra 30 seconds to check there’s nothing in sight that might tempt thieves, such as sat-nav wires or holders will save you a lot of money and hassle in the long run. Thieves have been known to use radio frequency jamming equipment to prevent vehicles from locking in busy areas such as hardware store car parks and motorway service stations then steal the vehicle’s contents once the driver is out of sight. So the fewer valuables you leave in the vehicle, the less vulnerable you are to this type of tactic.

Final extra measures you can take

Many vehicles have manufacturer specific security weaknesses; for example some can be broken into and driven away by swapping the electronic control unit (ECU). Using a guard like an ECU Shield and OBD Port Protector will prevent this from happening by acting as a high security secondary measure to protect the port from being overridden. In a worst case scenario added technology such as a GPS tracker will offer a helping hand in giving you the best chance of finding your vehicle if stolen. It’s worth speaking to your vehicle supplier to find out if they can provide a telematics solution to further protect you.
If all else fails and you are unlucky enough to have your vehicle stolen, it’s important to work with your vehicle provider to make sure that you are able to get on with business as usual. Can your vehicle provider supply immediate replacement vehicles? Seeking out a package that facilitates this can remove any risk of needing to take time out. By working with your vehicle supplier take the time to help them fully understand your business or personal needs and work collaboratively to ensure these are met through your vehicle security.

Security should never be an afterthought, never leave to chance. The time, inconvenience and cost implications that are associated with a stolen vehicle are enormous. How much will lost time impact on your life? Equally, what will it cost for a temporary vehicle solution? It’s crucial to measure that against how much it will cost to enhance your vehicle security. It will be clear that being prepared for the worst will be more efficient and cost effective in the long run.

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How to Easily Improve your Summer Dress Look*

A simple white summer dress is as classical as a little black dress. It suits almost every occasion and is one of the most versatile items in your wardrobe too. If you want to improve your look and make that dress even more fashion-forward and appropriate for different occasions, use various accessories and create new looks every single day! So for as much as there is on this year’s summer, look your very best with a few simple tricks of mine!
Use Bright Jewelry
Because the white dress is so versatile and in a neutral color, some big and bright color jewelry pieces will pop out great and will look stylish too. On white all colors look great and bright so don’t be afraid to put some hot red necklaces, sky blue earrings, and other summer-like color jewelry. But be sure to not over-accessorize it. If you choose a big necklace, better not wear any big and bright earrings. Also, if you put one huge ring, then better wear accessories in an upper part of your body. Just play with it and find out the perfect balance for you.
Use Beige Accessories
On the other hand, more neutral color pieces work well with a white dress as well. Beige color bags, shoes or jewelry will create a summer-like and fresh look which will remind of a beach. Don’t be afraid to look blank with it, because these beige accessories will look great at day for sure. With it your look’s main feature will be the dress itself, so choose a more interesting cut of it to create more dimensions.
Put On Bright Makeup
Since you are all white and neutral, you can definitely dare to put some darker or brighter makeup with it. For a day, simple collar red lips with a white dress will create a nice professional look. For a night, smoky eyes with it will do a sexy but kind of innocent look as well. Play with your makeup bravely, because a white dress is so great, it will look amazing with everything you want to put on.
Wear Statement Piece Jackets or Blazers
For colder days, don’t be afraid to pull some colorful and print full jackets. It will create younger and brighter look and will bring out your jacket to the center of attention easily. Also, if you don’t have a blazer, use cardigans to create a more romantic look. On the other hand, with a cool leather jacket you will make you look more though and really fashionable as well. So whatever your imagination lets you – wear it any jackets or blazers, and create different looks every single day.
Now, need to find that amazing one white dress which will go with everything? Then visit Neiman Marcus and look for it right now! At this store, you can shop for real designer made apparel items and purchase it right away. Moreover, along with various Neiman Marcus coupons from Chameleon John you can afford every dress there and shop for accessories, jackets and so on to make your whole look completed. Enjoy the rest of the summer while looking amazing and stylish and use that one little white dress as much as you can!

Guest Post: My favourite Cakes

Hey everyone! My name is Georgina and I am guest posting here on Lauras blog today! I blog over at www.georginadoes.co.uk if you fancy checking it out!

When I was thinking what to guest post about, it was about 3pm during an afternoon lull and all I could think about was cake. So I decided to write this post on my favourite cakes. I got really into it and the whole afternoon flew by. I love cake.

When I was younger, it was chocolate, chocolate and chocolate. I wouldn’t even bother trying any other flavoured cake because I knew I wouldn’t like it but as I’ve gotten older I am much more adventurous and am the first to try an interesting new flavour – and usually am trying to convince Andrew to taste it too. He’s still majorly into his chocolate fudge cakes, but for me, a heavy chocolate cake now just gives me indigestion and acid reflux. Not what I want with my afternoon treat.
Victoria Sponge

When it comes to classic cakes – I love a Victoria sponge. I love the fluffy homemade version with thick cream and jam and I love to eat that sort of cake outside in a garden or a tea room – It’s light, fruity, and quintessentially British. The other way I really enjoy a Victoria sponge is when it comes in the form of a kid’s birthday cake. I love the thick plastic white icing and the dense cream and jam in these!

French Fancies

Just before I got to work on coming up with the title for the post. I came across Mr Kipling on twitter when my love for French fancies all came rushing back to me! As I said before, as a kid, I just assumed I would only like the chocolate one so that’s all I ate but since the lemon one is usually the only one left on the plate and I had to eat it because it was the only one left, I have realised that I spend my whole childhood missing out on the best flavour. I’m growing up!

Cupcakes

I never went through that weird cupcake phase that a lot of bloggers did – of course I love a cupcake now and then but only from the Hummingbird Bakery (or Lolas if there isn’t a HB nearby.) My fave is the red velvet from Hummingbird and I also quite like it as a slice of red velvet from their amazing range of cakes! As I’m sure with most people the first time I visited the store, I went straight in for a slice of their super amazing looking rainbow cake but for some reason the white unassuming icing is actually bubble gum flavoured which I wasn’t a fan of.

When it comes to my other favourites, I love an Angel cake, Tottenham cakes mmmm and Jaffa cakes of course! Do they count? I certainly eat enough of them.

What Is Your Favourite Cake?

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The Latest Watch Trends*

For several years, the number of watches sold fell as people switched from looking at their wrist to find out the time to checking their mobile instead. However, in 2015, the watch is definitely back. People are once again accessorising with watches.

The industry has come up with some incredible watches, and clever marketing is boosting sales.
The use of new materials

Watchmakers are taking new materials and using them to create some great looking watches. They are borrowing from industry and turning alloys like titanium into fantastic looking and durable timepieces. Ceramic watches are also proving popular and are now available at a price point that most people can afford.

The last time watch manufacturers tried out new materials to this extent was the 80s when Swatch started the trend for plastic watches. People still want something new and different, so watches made from these new materials are selling well.

New Tech

Smart watches have been available for several years, but, so far, sales have been slow. In 2015, the Apple Watch was launched and that seems to have ignited the market.

Lower priced smart watches are selling especially well. The Asus Zen Watch is relatively inexpensive and the fact that it looks more like a traditional watch has helped too.

Fashion and Luxury Watches

Luxury watches are also proving popular. The fact that people have a little more money in their pockets is definitely helping the sales of both luxury and fashion watches.

Both men and women are taking the plunge and investing in a timeless high price piece. They are opting mostly for watches with classic looks to ensure that they do not end up looking dated.
Bold jewellery is back, which is why sales of fashion watches have been strong for 2015. Black and gold are proving particularly popular, but there is also a thirst for bling, so stone encrusted watch faces and straps are sought after too.

Back in time

In 2015, some of the bigger watchmakers have gone back to their roots. Retro is definitely back.
Watch manufacturers from across the world have decided to rework and re-launch some of their classic designs. A great example is the Cartier Tank watch. This classic oblong shaped watch was first launched in the early 20s, and the new digital version is proving popular with modern consumers.

The Glashütte Original Sixties is another example of a watch that is selling well in 2015. The legendary Spezimatic watch was a best seller in the 60s and is appealing to modern consumers too.

Used Watches

The trend for retro style watches also has more people digging out family heirlooms and getting them restored. Jewellers and watchmakers are finding that there is a lot of demand for their watch cleaning and repair services. Others are having new straps fitted and batteries replaced to give older watches a new lease of life.

Whether people are looking for watch servicing in Bishops Stortford, London or New York they are searching out good jewellers with experience of looking after watches. Once again people are willing to invest money in good watches and this is reflected in the types of watches they are buying and how they are taking care of them.

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