Making sure he definitely knows you’re ready for engagement*

I’ll start this post with a heft disclaimer- in no way am I dropping hints that I am ready to be getting engaged. I am however at that age where a lot of people I know are in long term relationships and might be looking to drop a hint or six…if that’s you then I hope this helps!

Photo by Paul García Fotografía on Unsplash

After two or three years your guy can sometimes become complacent. By getting stuck in his ways sometimes he needs to know that your ready to take your relationship to the next level — so why not drop a few hints to your man so that he knows that you’re truly ready to become engaged?

Retailers of bespoke marquise engagement rings, Angelic Diamonds can help you make sure that your husband-to-be definitely knows that you’re ready to be asked the big question.

Your married friends should always be your best friends
To get your boyfriend in the mood for engagement why not get him to hang out with your married friends? This will make him realise that you’re comfortable with him being around others in more serious relationships.
Yes, although your boyfriend will be able to see that marriage has its ups and downs – he’ll also realise that he could have a more committed relationship with you- something he will not want to throw away! Although men who have parents that are divorced sometimes struggle to trust this commitment, replacing negative feelings with positive ones in this type of environment may help to bring him around to your way of thinking.

Always be the friend he can turn to
After a couple of years sometimes you fall into seperate roles – you do your thing, and he does his and somehow you meet somewhere in the middle. Make sure that you can be your partner’s go-to guy as well as a girlfriend. If you’re constantly being left behind for the guys then this is going to put a strain on his ability to propose and take you seriously.
If he has interests and hobbies make sure that you know about them and you stay interested. There’s nothing worse than someone who doesn’t pay attention. If you can be part of his whole life rather than just someone he spends time with then he’ll feel like you’re indispensable. Once you get to this point in your relationship then he’ll feel like proposing as he can’t spend his time without you!

Cruel to be kind is key
Sometimes you need to show a bit of tough love, and although this can be hard if you want to keep things interesting then this is what you need to do. If you don’t see your relationship heading in the right direction and things are flatlining try and find his pulse again by telling him you may move out.
Try a less dramatic tactic by making a career move without letting him know; or spending more time with the girls. This could lead him to question why he is not spending time with you. Although he knows that you’re always there for him this will make him feel that he isn’t being as included as he should be and he’ll start to wonder why. Keeping him on his toes in this way will make him realise that he needs to put the effort in (by proposing!) so that he can get your undivided effort and attention in the future.

Taking a simpler approach
If you feel like the above are too much like playing a game for you then why not just talk about how you feel? Sometimes the best remedy within any relationship is communication. If you want to get engaged then why not talk to him about why it’s important to you.
If you can tell him why you want to marry him then the likelihood is he’ll know how much he means to you. Sometimes people have the same fears and doubts within a relationship but they are just too afraid to address them with each other. By talking about your future together he’ll know that you want to be a part of it. By giving him that gentle nudge in the right direction you may just be engaged before you know it.

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Some Like it Hot

This outfit was my saviour during the heatwave that hit us just over a week ago- it was great at first, the weekend was amazing, but by the time I had to be back in work and even cold showers weren’t enough to stop the sweat the novelty soon wore off.

It always amuses me how much we wish for good weather and a bit of sun and then when it arrives we all have a complete meltdown. I spend much of my time reminiscing over holidays where it’s not uncommon to reach 40 degrees but happily forget that those are made tolerable by air conditioning and not having to deal with real life as well.

Thankfully I’d made a timely Monki sale purchase that somewhat helped me keep my cool. Somewhat.

Dress: Monki | Sandals: Primark | Necklace: New Look

This entire outfit cost under £20 which I was quite impressed with. The dress (and I love a striped sun dress) was reduced to £12, the sandals just £3 from Primark and the necklace is old but was reduced to about £4 in the New Look sale. Actually, these sandals are the best £3 I’ve spent this year, they’re so comfortable and totally saved my feet from melting last Sunday when I was traipsing around Bristol harbour.

Now that the super hot weather has gone I’m almost feeling nostalgic for it. If only real life didn’t get in the way and it was acceptable to sit in the shade with a glass of something icy cold it would be my perfect weather!

Gold star to me for completely avoiding sun burn though- not an easy achievement when you’re this pale.

How did you fare with the heatwave? Love it or loathe it?

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Everything you need to know about vehicle excise duty in 2017*

So much has changed since I first started learning to drive way back when I was 17 [which makes me feel horrendously old]. A lot of these changes pass me by until I get to the stage where I think I really ought to pick up my lessons again and this time around it seems there are more differences than ever. Not only is it more expensive than ever to run a car thanks to petrol prices- I remember the horror when it went past £1 per litre back in the day! There are also changes to the driving test itself and of course the upcoming changes to vehicle excise duty which I’ve been trying to get my head around and somewhat failing.

Guessing that I’m not alone in find it all very confusing I’m sharing this handy infographic from the brains at used car dealership Motorparks which helps explain things in pretty much the clearest way I’ve seen to date.

I hope that some of you, my lovely readers have found this helpful too. Hopefully this time around I will get myself driving by the end of the year, and at least when I finally do I’m armed with the most up to date knowledge I can find!

What’s changed since you first started driving- if anything? I suspect that most of you are too young for there to have been any changes!

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How to Achieve the Work-Life Balance Everyone’s Talking About*

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Work-life balance- it’s a term that’s often bandied about by everyone from politicians to busy mums but I’m willing to bet that there are very few of us who have actually obtained the holy grail of perfectly balancing our time at work with time spent at home relaxing, working on hobbies and spending time with our families.

If you’re content with seeing your office colleagues more than you see your partner/kids and working more than you do, well anything else, then that’s great. For the rest of you reading this, who would love to strike a better balance between your obligations and your desires, check out these tips to help you achieve the perfect work-life balance that everyone’s talking about:

Turn Off Work Notifications

To start with an easy way that you can get more of your personal life back and redress the balance between working and relaxing is by turning off your mobile phone once you leave work- or at the very least turning off work notifications. You might feel under pressure to check your emails every five minutes or check if your colleague has finished that report, but do you really need to do it now? Your free time should be just that and you shouldn’t be scared into giving it away by bosses and colleagues who can’t ever switch off themselves. In fact, you might want to point out that the more time spent working the less productive and more stressed out you’ll be, which is hardly going to do your work any favours!

Learn How to Say No

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Similar to the above, if you have a boss who’s very demanding and always wants more than it is reasonable for you to give do yourself a favour and learn how to say no. Just because you work for someone doesn’t give them the right to encroach into your private life and unless it’s written in your contract they have no right to ask you to stay behind to do an extra job, complete an extra project or answer emails at midnight. So, if you don’t want to do something say so. Be polite but be firm. The time spent with your family is more important than time spent trying to impress your boss, hands down. I mean, few people ever wished they had worked more on their death beds!

Say Goodbye to Perfection

If you’re a perfectionist you probably spend considerably longer on tasks than your peers who know that good enough really is good enough most of the time. Therefore if you can fight the urge to make everything you do absolutely perfect you can claw back some considerable free time to spend with family, friends, pets or even a good book.

Work from Home

More and more companies are allowing their staff to telecommute- working from their own homes. If you can swing this it’ll mean that you no longer have a daily commute to contend with and you’ll possibly be able to create your own schedule which in turn means more time spent doing the things you love.

Retrain or Start Your Own Business

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If none of the above help you to create a better work-life balance you could think about either retraining to go into a career than offers more flexibility, or even better starting your own business where you can call all the shots. Becoming a personal trainer with the help of Origym, setting up your own blog like I have and monetizing it or starting your own graphic design business are three very viable options for setting up on your own but there are literally thousands of ways you can change your career to give you more control over your time.

Work Smarter

Whether you’re working for an employee or running your own business it always makes sense to find ways that you can work smarter rather than harder. For example using software programs to automate your most monotonous tasks or creating new spreadsheets that can process data in a fraction of the usual time will mean that you can get things done much more quickly, giving you more free time to do what you truly love. Many employees don’t much care when you’re in the office as long as everything gets done so this is a really good option for any of you who don’t want to leave your jobs but do want to have more free time.

Do you have a great work –life balance? What steps have you taken to achieve a better life?

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Winds of Change

It feels like forever since I last shared an outfit on the blog- and it has been a long time for me. It’s a combination of things…being much busier these days means I have less time for taking photos and writing posts and I’ve also been feeling pretty uninspired by my wardrobe and it’s contents. Still, I recently received another item of clothing from Stylewise Direct- the fashion clothing wholesaler so set aside some time, wrestled with my tripod and got to it.

Dress c/o Stylewise Direct | Boots: River Island

I’ve written about Stylewise Direct a few times now so I’m not going to repeat myself, if you want to find out more about them and what they do then please check out my earlier posts here and here. Apologies for how creased the dress is in the photos, I failed to iron it before putting it on (standard Laura practice) and yeah…I have no excuse really.

It’s a great dress though, it ticks all of the things I want in my wardrobe at the moment- denim, embroidery and loose fitting.

I can’t say I’m happy with these photos, they are wonky, I hate how I look in them and I was battling against high winds. I didn’t have time to re-take them so I’m continuing my battle against my inner perfectionist and sharing them anyway. That kind of brings me in to doing a little update about life. On the whole life is great- work is going really well, I’m ridiculously happy in my relationship and it finally feels like everything is slotting in to place for me. Of course a large part of that (and it feels, quite literally large) is my ongoing recovery from anorexia. It’s picking up pace, which is great, really great. I’ve finally pulled my head out of the sand and am doing exactly what I’m meant to be doing. It’s taking it’s toll though on my self perception. My confidence in how I look is rock bottom, I can see and feel every minute change in my body, ones that nobody else is likely to pick up on. That is another reason for the recent lack of outfit posts and one I try to keep quiet about, but it’s also real life and part of who I am. I’m trying to accept I still have a few kilos to gain before I’m where I need to be, and that once I get there things will settle and I will start to appreciate and nurture the healthy body I have created. In the mean time my mantra has become “if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you” and just keep ploughing through.

Life on the whole is bloody brilliant. I can’t remember the last time I’ve ever been this happy. Eating disorder recovery remains ridiculously hard- no matter how much you want that healthy life and body and everything that goes with it, there’s still that little demon residing in your head screaming at you that you don’t need this weight, you don’t need this food and you don’t deserve this life.

But now I accept that’s part of it. And it’s probably harder now that it ever has been because there is no going back this time. This is final. This is it. At the grand old age of 30 I am finally re-claiming my life.

Apologies for the ramble, I feel like this has been brewing for a while. I’ve always been upfront about my battle on this blog and I suppose now, sharing the recovery process with these random updates a selfish process to remind myself of what I’m doing. In some ways this blog serves as a record of achievement for me, so do feel free to skip over such posts in the future, I won’t mind!
On a lighter note, what style of dresses are you loving right now?

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