DLM – Instagram stores for your last-minute holiday buys*

You can’t beat online shopping for last-minute holiday purchases with offers, next-day deliveries and easy free returns it’s the most varied way to get our wardrobes ready without spending hours upon hour trawling the shops.
With the rise of social media we now have more options than ever. Have you ever considered making your purchases through Instagram? It opens up a whole new avenue of browsing and buying- here are our top five Instagram stores to get you started.
Pool Party UK

For Pool Party UK it’s all about swimwear (clue is in the name!) There are super-cute slogan swimsuits to suit any mood and any holiday destination. Our faves? ‘I’d rather be a mermaid’, ‘Heart breaker’ and of course ‘Cocktails’. If you can’t find the slogan you want then there is also the option to custom design one for you and your squad.

On Instagram

KJ Style Boutique

Up the holiday glam stakes with KJ Style boutique. Their clothes are all about flaunting your curves…with body-cons, cut-out maxis and co-ords galore, their collection will help you to show off the summer bod you worked so hard for in the glammest possible way!

On Instagram

Motel Swim

A sub-brand of cult label Motel Rocks, Motel Swim has some of the best bikinis on the market and there’s something to suit every girl’s shape and style. From daring cut-outs to retro style one pieces (and just about everything in between) you’ll be spoilt for choice on your holiday swimwear.

On Instagram

Sonya Bee Boutique

Sonya Bee’s Boutique will help you keep your holiday look stylish and on-trend whilst staying on budget. You’ll find tailored pants, draped maxis and cropped sweatshirts (for cool summer nights). They only have a few key pieces on sale but trust us, you will want them all…

On Instagram

Lemon Lunar

Lemon Lunar is the right place for your holiday party wardrobe. They specialise in glam body-con dresses of all types including slinky camis, cut-out bandeaus and amazing draped maxis. You can choose dusky shades of gold and burgundy
or go bright with juicy orange and yellow bandage dresses. Whatever your party style you’ll find the perfect outfit here!

On Instagram

Research provided by DLM, letterbox distribution company. All images taken from the brand Instagram accounts.

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A miniature London city guide*

Don’t get me wrong, I love living near Bristol but sometimes the bright lights of a bigger city come calling. London is one of those places that always makes an impression no matter how many times I visit – it really does live up to the hype. Whether you’re planning your own trip to the capital this summer or just want to know what the city has to offer I’ve put together a miniature travel guide to get you started!
Where to stay

London is crammed with amazing hotels and staying in them doesn’t need to cost a fortune. Z Hotels are awesome for those wanting to stay close to the city centre on a budget with branches in Soho, Piccadilly and Shoreditch to name just a few. They may not be the most luxurious accommodation but they’ll definitely do for anyone looking to spend a few nights here.
If you don’t fancy staying in a hotel there’s always the option of an Airbnb. There are some amazing looking rooms and apartments close to the city centre with additional perks such as being able to cook your own food and save money on eating out all the time.

Places to eat

Although pricey dining out has to be one of the biggest perks of London. There’s a little bit of everything here- from traditional British dishes to something more exotic like Lebanese or Mongolian cuisine.

I love to eat healthily as much as possible but visiting the capital is as good an excuse as any to treat yourself. The Breakfast Club is a must-visit, and once again you can find branches all over London, including Canary Wharf and London Bridge. The breakfasts here are legendary with a menu that includes all American pancake options for both veggies and meat-eaters, yum!

In the evening I’d recommend Ping Pong Dim Sum. This is a favourite amongst bloggers for good reason as they serve some of the best Asian dishes that you’ll find in London – with amazing cocktails to boot! Try the Hong Kong Colada served in a bamboo cup for a touch of something special.

Things to do

With so much to do there’s very little opportunity to get bored in London. Whether you’re planning on heading off the beaten track or seeing all the usual sights the entire city is your oyster.

The National Gallery is one of the most spectacular buildings in London and is home to some truly amazing collections. Even if you’re not an art lover it’s great to experience a little of London’s cultural side and free entry is an added bonus too.

For Harry Potter fans like me the Warner Bros Studio Tour is a must-visit. Located just outside of Watford it’s well worth venturing to especially now that the Forbidden Forest has been officially unveiled.

Lastly no London city guide would be complete without mentioning the amazing Madame Tussauds. Fancy rubbing shoulders with Kim Kardashian, David Beckham or Lady Gaga? Madame Tussauds is your chance to do it! There’s even a new Fashion Week experience to explore where you can hang out with the likes of Cara Delevigne and Kendall Jenner behind the runway.

Where are your favourite spots in London? I’d love to hear your recommendations!

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Holiday Hazards (and how to avoid them)*

Over the years I’ve managed to get myself a bit of a reputation for being accident prone, even from a young age I was always the one to come home from a school trip battered and bruised (or once, covered in cow pat) and I’m yet to be forgiven for breaking my foot on my long weekend to visit family in Holland. I’m the kind of person who managed to slip two discs in my back just getting out of a chair and the look on people’s faces when I mentioned wanting to go trampolining was priceless. It kind of made sense to team up with Jefferies Solicitors to write a post about common holiday hazards and how to avoid them if for no other reason than to prove to my nearest and dearest that I don’t actively seek out these situations- and to be honest I’d do anything to avoid another trip to an A&E department abroad!

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Obviously nobody sets out on holiday aiming to become ill or injured but please don’t get complacent about arranging travel insurance. I stupidly didn’t have any when I had my accident in Holland and was lucky that I only got billed for my X-Ray. A more serious injury or an illness that required medical attention could see you with hefty bills to pay and no provision to get you home safe and sound.

Another hazard that you might not think about is the risk of sunburn. We’re all guilty of not slapping on the suncream as often as we should and I doubt there is anyone who hasn’t felt that all too familiar sting but it really does pay to keep on top of your SPF protection- sunburn can be so much worse than pink shoulders and a peeling nose. When severe it can cause blisters that run the risk of infection, sun stroke or even just discomfort that no amount of aftersun is going to soothe. I’m well aware of how pale my skin is and how quickly I burn so I never leave the country without factor 50 (and never go below factor 30 in the UK) and try to make a point of regular application- I’ve found setting reminders on my phone can be a real saviour!

Before you travel it’s wise to check up on the laws in the country you’re visiting. Landing a stint behind bars is more common than you’d think and often it’s down to simple ignorance and poor judgement. A few minutes research can save you a LOT of bother (thankfully arrest is one thing I have managed to avoid!)

If you’re tempted by water sports or other extreme activity do spend some time reading reviews of the companies you’re booking with and make sure they are a) qualified and reputable and b) insured. Paragliding was one of the greatest things I’ve done on holiday BUT I wouldn’t have felt at ease getting on to a boat, let alone up in the air with a company I hadn’t researched first.

If you’ve gone away with a group of friends, especially on a alcohol driven break PLEASE be sensible and don’t let anyone in your party wander off alone and be sensible when finding your way back to base. It’s all too easy to get carried away under the influence but it also makes you a very easy and vulnerable target.

One last common cause of illness and upset is food poisoning- the effects of which can last long after your plane has touched down on home turf. It’s so easy to get carried away, especially when food is cheap and the booze is flowing. Some simple things to keep in mind is to avoid buffets as a rule of thumb (especially in hot countries), stick to bottled water and order freshly prepared foods from menus where possible.

This post really is only the tip of the holiday hazard iceberg and I probably have missed many more obvious ones out as I’m mostly going from personal experience…feel free to add to the list in the comments, or regale me with tales of your holiday mishaps…

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Wanderlust Wardrobe- Inspired by Thailand*

As holiday season kicks off I once again find myself in a serious state of travel envy. As it stands I don’t have any holiday plans myself yet but given that it turns out I HAVEN’T managed to shred my passport it’s not outside the realm of possibility that I might manage to get some Summer sun. It won’t be anything massively exciting, probably a long weekend in Spain but what I’d really like is to jump on a bandwagon and head off for a few weeks of sun, sea and exploration in somewhere more exotic like Thailand.

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With some un-expected time on my hands at the moment I’ve spent a bit of time window shopping online (as you do) and have put together a little wish list of what I would be backing if I were heading off on the adventure of a life time.

Dress | Shoes | Playsuit | Holdall | Dress | Bikini | Shorts

Where are you heading off to on holiday this year, and where would your dream destination be?

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Beating the post-holiday blues

Who doesn’t love going on holiday? I’m so excited for mine which is now only 8 days away (and counting!) and I just can’t wait to be on a beach, or by the sea doing nothing for 7 glorious days- and that includes blogging! The downside to going away is coming home again, especially later in the year when you’re pretty much guaranteed grey skies and a distinct chill in the air. It’s not much fun at all. Clearly the people at Jet2holidays were reading my mind as they sent over a parcel designed to help beat those pesky post-holiday blues.
This was such a thoughtful package containing moisturiser to soothe sun-frazzled skin and fake tan to keep the glow going. Sweets are always welcome in my life and these will be perfect to munch on as I upload photographs and catch up on my no doubt heaving inbox. I’ll also be treating myself to dinner at Pizza Express with the help of this voucher, ideal for catching up with my best friend over pizza and wine…

There are other ways to beat the post-holiday blues too though, things I’ve tried and succeeded with in the past include:

1. Bring back souvenirs- the tackier the better! I get so much enjoyment from the random things I’ve bought back from my travels and I make it my mission to find the cheesiest thing I can whenever I go away!

2. Create a memory jar- ages ago I picked up a huge glass jar in the sale somewhere. Anytime I go somewhere that I want to remember I pop in little items to trigger my happy memories- a train ticket, a napkin from an amazing restaurant or a business card from a hotel. I once even bought back a napkin dispenser from a cafe in Spain, that doesn’t fit in the jar but it does bring back some very happy memories!

3. Make a photo collage- as well as uploading photos to social media and my blog I tend to pick out some favourites and get them printed (you can find plenty of free print offers if you search online) and either scrapbook them mixed in with things like tickets and random finds or decorate a wall in my room with them.

4. Bring back tasty treats! I love discovering new foods/snacks when I’m away and I’m guaranteed to bring back quite a selection on my return. I keep these for day where I’m feeling a little blue before digging in and enjoying whilst browsing my photos or planning my next trip.

5. Get some sleep- I always come back from a holiday exhausted. This time I’m straight back to work pretty much the day after we land but I’ll be making sure I get in some early nights to keep myself in mentally tip-top condition. There’s nothing like exhaustion to make me grumpy.

What are some of your post-holiday blues recovery tips? I’d love to know them.

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