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.
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!
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.
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…
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!
In one way designing a bedroom is quite simple because it is the one room in your house that is completely your own. If you live with children for instance you will share every other space, but your bedroom can be an oasis to which you retreat when you need a rest after a long day. Otherwise if you are entertaining and you have your friends over you will probably invite them to feel at home in your dining room, living room, your garden and your bathroom of course. However, your bedroom remains just yours. However, it is also a difficult room to design for the exact same reason. Since it is so personal and intimate getting it right is so important. If you do not spend enough time thinking about how your bedroom looks you may find that you cannot relax there. There is so much psychology mixed up with interior design that it sometimes makes you wonder how many decisions are actually conscious rather than performed at the behest of a subconscious feeling or urge. Why, after all, do people like one color over another
? There must be a reason but many people would not be able to explain their preference one way or another and would be left saying that they just like a color because they like it.
If there is one thing that is crucial to a good bedroom it is a good bed. One myth that is easily dispelled is that a hard bed is absolutely good for you. Many people confuse a firm bed for a supportive one. However, it all depends on your back and your body’s needs. If you find that a goose down featherbed suits you more, go with that. However whatever bed you choose you should do a lot of research as choosing the wrong one can cause serious back pain and long term problems.
In any case picking a color for your bedroom is important because it can have such a massive impact on how well you sleep. Research from the National Sleep Foundation found that the best color for a bedroom is blue. The reason for this is that receptors in your eyes- called ganglion cells are most receptive to blue shades. These cells inform your brain of information which affects its day to day rhythm. Since the color blue is associated with calmness and peace seeing it as you try to drift off to sleep will help your brain realize that it needs to relax. In fact blue hues in bedrooms have been shown to reduce blood pressure and a person’s heart rate. However if blue is not your style you should go for soothing colors like grays, silvers and neutrals. One important feature of decorating your room is to not to use too many backlit objects like phones or TVs when you are trying to sleep. They inhibit the production of melatonin in your brain which helps you sleep. Switching them off and picking up a book is a better way to have a more restful night.
Countless people around the world know that they should be living a healthier lifestyle, however many feel that it’s such a daunting task that they put off that all-important first step for as long as possible. When you’re constantly seeing people on social media who seem to do nothing but work out and cook healthy meals it can make healthy living feel like a full-time job. However there are a number of simple steps you can take that will bring you that much closer to your lifestyle goals. Here are a few to think about…
(Image from Max Pixel)
Cut Out a Fifth
If you’ve been reading about nutrition and exercise for long enough you may have come across an article or video covering “blue zones” – areas of the world where people live longer and healthier lives than anywhere else. There are a number of factors that bind these countries together but one of the most prominent patterns is the fact that people from these areas generally eat less than the rest of us. In the majority of blue zones the average meal is smaller than those in the US and UK by at least a fifth. Try taking a leaf from their book and reducing the portions you have for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you tend to make meals in a big platter that the family can help themselves to then try getting into the habit of serving up portions in the kitchen and freezing the rest.
Get into a Reading/Watching Routine
When you make a point of surrounding yourself with reminders of the lifestyle you want to lead you’ll find it provides a lot of motivation for actually getting stuck into the routines of a healthier lifestyle. The more you can read, watch and generally learn about healthy eating and fitness the more naturally you’ll be able to fit those all-important lifestyle choices into your usual routine. Start by setting a short window aside every day just for sitting down with a (healthy!) snack and simply learning more about healthy living. Whether it’s watching healthy cooking videos on YouTube, trying a new exercise you can do at home or reading review sites like Bodygearguide, make sure you’re making a point to get your fill of fitness information on a regular basis. Get into a routine for this and you’ll be amazed at how much difference it makes to your mindset.
Try to Be More Of a Herbivore
Diets that are heavy on the plants are not only rich in antioxidants and essential nutrients but are also much better for your weight and cardiovascular health. Of course there’s a danger of not getting enough protein if you make your diet too heavy on plant matter, however considering how meat-dense a typical diet is these days you probably don’t have too much to worry about! Try to start thinking of meat as more of a complement to your meals rather than the main attraction. Try subbing your usual dose of meat out for beans, nuts and legumes.
Retrain your Taste Buds
Some of the foods that are regularly touted as miracle workers – elk, sea vegetables, tofu and berries you’ve never heard of – might seem completely alien to you and literally quite hard to swallow. It may not always seem like it but it’s certainly possible to retrain your taste buds. Most of us naturally love salt, fat, sugar and so on because they’re prevalent in the diets we’ve been raised on and these are the tastes that we’re used to. However, if you make a point to eat healthier foods regardless of how they taste to begin with over time you’ll learn to like them. The easiest way to start is checking more labels and gradually cutting down the level of sugar in your diet.
Even the most cool-headed person you know gets stressed from time to time. While healthy people get affected by it just as much as anyone they all have some go-to methods for relieving stress whenever it arises. There are many healthy methods for de-stressing and most people will only need one that they can fall back on again and again. Go for a scenic walk, meditate for a while, meet your best friend for a coffee… It’s okay to treat yourself now and then but make sure you’re not leaning on unhealthy methods of stress-relief too much. This will only make you more susceptible to stress from other aspects of your life and could lead to you getting stuck in a health rut.
One of my favourite shops in Bristol, back when The Galleries was the main shopping zone was a quirky little store called Evolution. It sold all manner of quirky gifts and everything was fair trade and really unique. I was devastated when the shop closed it’s doors- it was a main haunt of mine when it came to gift shopping and up until now there has been nothing to take it’s place in my life. That was until I was introduced to Paper High
- an online gift shop that sells handmade, one-of-a-kind gifts that are both fair trade and eco friendly. Everything is sourced from India, Nepal and Sri Lanka and by shopping with Paper High you are also giving a gift back by supporting these crafts-people.
On the website you’ll find a whole range of great gift ideas- from leather journals to light shades and the above is just a small selection of some of my very favourite pieces. I was also very kindly sent a beautiful leather journal*
myself which is really just stunning. I’m a real stationery and notebook fiend and have quite a vast collection but nothing within that stash compares to the detail and craftsmanship of this piece.
To ensure that each and every product sold on Paper High is indeed fair trade and ethical they only work with small, family run businesses, community incentives, accredited charities and fair trade organisations. I absolutely love shops like this, both for the chance to pick up a really quirky present and for the fact that whilst buying a gift you’re also giving a gift.
Have a look for yourself and let me know what’s caught your eye. Do you have any old favourite shops that have since disappeared?
I’m at that stage in my life where people are getting married and having babies. I seem to have passed through the weddings phase for now, but pregnancies are being announced seemingly every few days and with that comes the desire to buy the perfect gift.
Having spent quite chunk of time over the last few months searching for the perfect gifts for expectant friends I’ve decided to pop together a little gift guides of items I’ve either bought for babies, or will be buying in the future in the hopes that other people also benefit from the dose of inspiration.
Cot Decoration: The White Company | Swaddle Blanket: Jo Jo Maman Bébé | Elephant Toy: Jo Jo Maman Bébé | Foot Muff: Babythingz | Bath Robe: The White Company | Nursing Pillow: Babythingz
The initial instinct I get when it comes to buying for a new arrival is to head to the nearest shop and stock up on all the cute and tiny clothes! It’s so easy to get carried away but these days I’m trying to show some restraint and leave the clothes shopping to the parents to be- after all, they know their taste best and also how much of each size they have and therefore need. Instead I’ve tried to think outside the box and opt for useful items- although making sure that they remain aesthetically pleasing.
Some of the things I’ve bought with success in the past are swaddle blankets- you can apparently never have too many of these! Nursing pillows, cute cot decorations and fluffy bath robes. Asking friends what they need other things have popped up too that I wouldn’t necessarily have thought of such as cosytoes for the buggy or even the seemingly boring, but ever useful option; the humble gift card- perfect for picking up forgotten bits once baby has arrived.
Do let me know if this post has helped you out at all, or even what kind of gifts you’ve been buying for both parents to be and for the squishy little bundles of joy- it’d be great to build up a store of even more ideas, I get the feeling the baby boom in my life has only just started [great for an endless supply of cuddles whilst I still get to grips with being responsible for myself, let alone another human life!]