Style

28
Jun

Can you cut the mustard?

You may be forgiven for thinking that it was the sight of Amal Clooney in THAT mustard dress at the Royal Wedding that has catapulted this season’s hottest colour trend onto a high street near you, however thanks to designers showcasing this controversial shade on the SS18 catwalk, and the likes of Rihanna, Gigi Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski rocking it to award ceremonies, it has taken the world of fashion by storm this season, knocking millennial pink off its pedestal and leaving us to wonder just how is the best possible way to wear this sunny shade of gold?

Our advice? Tread carefully. The Marmite of the fashion world, mustard is a shade you either love or hate. Dressing head to toe in mustard coloured clothes may seem scary at first and for some fairer ladies it can be harder to pull off, but if you are of a darker complexion, then every shade of mustard, ochre, saffron and yellow will suit you.

If you’re of a certain age the thought of it may throw you back to corduroy jeans and striped knits of the Seventies, but the good news is that mustard is one of those trends that isn’t too difficult to weave into your wardrobe. Start with baby steps, find the confidence to wear it, and once you do, you’ll probably wonder why it took you so long to finally take the plunge. If you’re really dubious then remember, accessories are your entry level into every trend.

DIP IN

Fancy some mustard coloured arm candy? Take your pick. Every hot international designer and designer label has saffron versions, from bucket bags and bumbags, to totes, mini circular bags and more, and the glorious high street has followed. Shoes? From cowboy boots to slides, ankle-tie sandals and satin courts, any mustard shoe is super chic when worn with all black.

For just a flash of burnt sienna, a silk chemise, polo neck or cotton crew neck tee worn under a buttoned-up shirt and tucked into denim, feels very preppy. You could apply the same layering trick to any floral summer-dress combo or separate your co-ords for mix and match summer styling.

DEEP DIVE

If you are willing and have the complexion to move beyond just dipping in with accessories and go the full monty with head-to-toe mustard, then not only are you making a fierce style statement, you will be applauded as well as the envy of everyone around you.

The it-hue of the season, mustard yellow, is no mean feat. Whether you carry off a figure hugging dress, statement heels and a hat inspired by Mrs Clooney, a floaty maxi dress or a jumpsuit, it is sexy, it is sassy, and it is not for the faint-hearted.     SaveSave SaveSave SaveSave

 

Beauty insider at Chesterfield Pavements

mustard ruffle dress

Tesco

Mustard ruffle dress – £13.00

 

 

mustard top

Tesco

Mustard top – £8.00

 

 

 

13
Jun

Summer wardrobe revamps

This summer there are a lot of looks to add to your wardrobe to stay on trend. But the great news is, you can stick with the trends that suit you best and still look fabulous, as there are so many to choose from. The SS18 catwalks were oozing old-school charm, with inspiration taken from Jackie Kennedy, as well as 1980s style. Donatella Versace looked into the Versace archives, drawing inspiration from her brother Gianni Versace’s collections on the 20th anniversary of his death. Nostalgia and making a statement are the themes for the new season. Bright, bold colours, contrast with pretty pastels, as well as floral patterns, and sequin and embroidery details are in vogue for summer. And if you can pull it off, mustard and different hues of yellow will also make an appearance on the streets and in the stores.

It’s all in the detail

This season it’s all about the finer details of your look. Whether you’re into sparkling sequins or a simple embroidery embellishment, find the style that works for you. A simple accessory or great pair of shoes is also the perfect way to add some animal print to your wardrobe if you’re not brave enough to do head-to-toe prints.

Time to dress up

In summer, you can’t go wrong with a beautiful dress. It is possibly the simplest item in a woman’s wardrobe. Just slip on a dress and you’re good to go. There’s no need to fret over putting an outfit together, struggling to find different pieces that complement each other.

And to make sure you stay on trend, look for pretty florals and different shades of yellow, particularly mustard, to make sure you are hitting the right sartorial note this season. This season you can also play with pastels and bright colours, with both making an appearance on the catwalks for the SS18 shows.

The perfect pair of trainers

If you don’t already have a great pair of trainers, this is the season to find the perfect pair to go with all your casual looks, as well as to pair with dresses and smarter outfits too. Look for a versatile style that can be dressed up or down.

Beauty insider at Chesterfield Pavements

Shoe Zone

Stylish, fashion forward and comfy, Sketchers Grey Lace -up Memory Foam Trainers will see you through Summer. Find them in Shoe Zone for £49.99!

 

 

Warren James

Fancy making a fashion statement this season? Warren James’s Florentina Sterling Silver Twist Creoles will make any outfit a winner!

 

 

 

Sports Direct

Be comfy and fashion forward with Sergio Tacchini GT Ladies trainers from Sports Direct!

 

 

 

21
May

Summer’s new beauty trends

A new season is the perfect excuse to update your makeup look. And spring and summer are a great time to pare down your makeup to the essentials and embrace your natural beauty and glow. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with your look or try new products.

There are several beauty trends making the rounds this season, including bold eyeliner and blue eye shadow. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try something new. You might find your new favourite makeup look. The main theme of the season’s top beauty looks: Have fun!

Makeup Brusehes 

A NEW TAKE ON A MODERN CLASSIC

Cat-eye eyeliner. What can be said for this classic beauty look? From Twiggy in the swinging ‘60s to Kate Moss in the ‘90s, the cat-eye is a beauty trend last looks set to last, no matter how much fashion and other trends change.

But this season, there are some shake-ups to the simple and neat black cat-eye flick. Add a touch of glitter to your cat-eye to take your look to the next level or take your cue from the catwalk and don a double cat-eye flick.

For a big, bold black cat-eye that is easy to draw on and has clean lines, L’Oréal Paris Tattoo Signature Liquid Eyeliner is a great option for £6.99.

Eye Liner

Don’t be afraid to play with colour! Swap out your classic black for a flash of blue, lilac or pink, and take your summer beauty inspiration from the pages of Vogue.

Lip Gloss 

AN ‘80S REVIVAL

Some people believe the style of the ‘80s should remain in the past. But this season heralds a revival of blue eyeshadow. And if you want to be really bold and daring with your eyeshadow, why not opt for a splash of blue glitter?

Eye Shadow

If you’re not brave enough to attempt blue eyeshadow, some blue eyeliner on the bottom lash line is also a trend spotted on the SS18 catwalks.

Blue Eye Shadow

Barry M glitter and Fixer 4 Pack £14.99, L’Oreal Paris Infallible Eyeshadow Paint £5.99, No7 Stay Perfect Shade and Define £8.00, L’Oreal Paris Color Riche Eye Quad Turquoise Spell £7.99

THE LIGHT & NATURAL LOOK

If you’re not one for bright colours or bold cat-eyes, a trend you can embrace this season is the natural look. Learn to love your own skin this summer and pare back your makeup to the essentials. Embrace your freckles like Emma Watson and draw attention to your eyes with a simple swipe of mascara.

The key to this look is to make sure your eyebrows are neatly groomed, and a light application of blusher or highlighter will add a glow to your complexion without appearing too heavy. And when it comes to your lips, a clear gloss or natural lipstick is the perfect finishing touch to your natural look.

Natural Makeup

FIND YOUR FRAGRANCE

Add the final touch to your look this season with a great fragrance. Summer indicates floral accents and something light. But there are so many undertones and scents available, it can be daunting to decide which one works best for you.

When picking a new fragrance, keep in mind that the same perfume will react with everyone’s skin differently. So, a fragrance that smells great on your friend, might not smell the same when you wear it. There are hundreds of fragrances available, with a host of new scents released in time for the new season, so you’re bound to find the perfect scent for you. The experienced staff in your favourite perfume shop can lend a helping hand.

Fragrances

Hugo Boss Boss The Scent for Her £85.00, Ariana Grande Moonlight £30.50, Tom Ford Eau De Soleil Blanc £81.50, Salvatore Ferragamo Amo Ferragamo £29.50

Beauty insider at Chesterfield Pavements

Boots

Kiss Lash Couture 5th Avenue are handcrafted with the finest sourced silk for the most sumptuous looking lashes

Poundland

Get 2 for £1 on Make Up Gallery – Dare to Bare Lip Gloss!

The Fragrance Shop

Calvin Klein CKIn2U Eau De Toilette is an expression of freedom and dependence! Buy 100ml and get a branded Calvin Klein tote bag for free

Tesco

Stay bang on trend this Summer with Elegant Touch Core Nails!

3
Apr

Let’s celebrate Cats & Dogs

In the words of George Eliot  “Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no question; they pass no criticisms”.

National Pet Month is back this April, attracting thousands of animal lovers, charities, businesses, retailers and schools to celebrate the value of pet ownership, raise funds for pet causes and have fun! As Britain’s most popular pets are cats and dogs, we urge you to show your little friend some extra love with treats and toys they’ll enjoy or get ready for bringing a new cat or dog into your life.

MAN’S BEST FRIEND

Every animal has its own personality, but with a dog you get to know that personality so well that you can tell when your dog is unwell, unhappy or if something is wrong. Any dog lover will tell you that the best part about owning a dog as a pet is that they are always happy to see you. Whether you have been gone for a few minutes or a few days, you will be treated with bounds of enthusiasm when you walk through the door.

“The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs” Charles de Gaulle

With so much unconditional love bestowed upon you by your dog, isn’t it time to show your love and appreciation? Why not treat your dog to a new and improved bed or some new toys?

When choosing a new bed for your dog, follow these important rules.

  1. Weigh and measure your dog before you shop for a bed. Measure him from tail to nose with a tape measure.
  2. Have in mind the room that he will be sleeping in.
  3. Determine which features are important.
  4. Select a colour and style that complements your dog and your home.
  5. Always check the washing instructions before you buy.

When you go toy shopping for your pup or dog ensure you buy toys that are size-appropriate. Big dogs will rip apart and eat toys meant for little pups, which could cause choking and small dogs (or older ones) could injure their teeth on hard toys meant for large dogs. Most dog toys are size labelled but if in doubt ask an in-store expert for some help and advice.

TREAT YOUR CAT LIKE ROYALTY

Cats are in many ways more independent than a dog, and so they have very different needs. Did you know that cats spend around 60% of their lives asleep, splitting their sleeping time up into a series of longer naps throughout the day? Given that cats could almost class sleeping as a hobby, a warm and snuggly cat bed is an essential accessory if you want to make sure your cat stays happy and contented.

“In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this”. Terry Pratchett

If you have more than one cat in your household, it is advisable to provide each cat with a separate place to snooze, to avoid any conflict over territory. A wide variety of styles and designs of baskets and dens are available to cater for every cat’s taste. Cats can be very particular about their place of rest: some may prefer something fluffy and padded, whereas others will opt for something more minimalist.

Consider these factors when choosing a bed for your cat.

  • Choose the right size. Make sure your cat can stretch out comfortably, but don’t get one that is too big. Cats feel more secure and comfortable in smaller places.
  • Choose a bed that is easy for your cat to get in and out of. If you have a kitten or older cat, you’ll want to make extra sure that the walls of the bed are low enough so they get in and out easily
  • Natural fabrics for the lining and stuffing are best. This provides extra comfort for your cat and helps with some allergies. Natural fabrics include cottons, wool, feathers, and kapok. Synthetic fibres that are hypoallergenic are also good.
  • Choose one that is machine-washable. This will allow you to keep your cat’s sleeping area clean and free from potential fleas and also from allergens.

Cats and their owners love playing together with toys, it is human and feline nature and part of forming a close bond with your cat. Pet shops and discount shops are full of toys suitable for cats of all dispositions, from the nervous to the outgoing and boisterous. Look out for ball toys, play tunnels, scratching posts, stick teasers, treat balls, interactive toys, soft cat toys and cat nip toys.

Some cats prefer delicate fluffy toys, perhaps a cat stick teaser or a plush toy for you to dangle whilst they chase, while other felines prefer the rough and tumble of a rustling bed, cat activity centre or a place to play hide and seek.

HEALTH & SAFETY

There are a few extra items that you should consider when you have a pet. Pet insurance can save you hundreds or even thousands of pounds every year, helping to cover those unexpected and costly vet bills. The Post Office offers pet insurance, covering up to £7,000 in vet fees per policy year.

And don’t forget your pet’s ID tag. All dogs and cats should have an ID tag incase they get lost, to help them find their way home.

3
Apr

Be in the running for a new challenge

The London Marathon takes place this month, signifying one of the biggest challenges for recreational runners taking part. It’s a daunting and monumental experience for marathon newbies, and an inspirational time for anyone wondering “could I do that too?” With the right training and commitment to a healthy eating plan, you too could run 26 miles. This handy guide breaks down what you need to know to get yourself in the running for next year’s London Marathon, and for a fitter, healthier you in just 17 weeks.

BEGINNERS ESSENTIALS

Don’t even think about putting a step forward before investing in the best pair of trainers to suit your feet. You don’t need to go for the most expensive pair, as long as they support the shape of your foot.

Make sure you go to a specialist shoe or sports shop with experts that can appraise the way your feet move and have knowledge of specialist brands, such as Brooks, Asics, Reebok, Nike, New Balance and Adidas.

Shoes that don’t fit your feet properly can lead to muscular imbalances in the body and allow for foot, knee and hip injuries.

IMAGES: SPORTSDIRECT, JD SPORTS, SHOEZONE

Reebok YourFlex £39.99, Gola Active Ortholite £34.99, Nike Air VaporMax £150.00

IMAGES: SPORTSDIRECT, JD SPORTS, SHOEZONE

New Balance W 680v4 £54.99, Nike Air VaporMax FlyKnit £170.00, Gola Lightweight £34.99

SHAPE UP

As important as it is to practice running, it is just as important to get fit and strong. Whether you exercise alone in the gym or attend classes with friends, building strength and stamina is the key to success.  There are some great resources to help you get into shape, from specialist classes to training courses online and in apps.

The Virgin Money London Marathon website has a three-level 17-week training plan, one for beginners, an intermediate plan and an advanced plan. Pick the level you need and use this as a guide on your journey to the starting line.

Add several supplements to your healthy diet and fitness regime to help your body on its road to fitness. Talk to an expert at a health food shop where you’ll find a plethora of running and fitness supplements, as well as to your pharmacist about supplements and your doctor for your overall health.

  • BCAAs – Amino Acids that help to maximise muscle growth.
  • Creatine – Helps with muscles development and building strength.
  • Fish Oil – Omega 3 assists with cognitive function, fat burning and hormonal output.
  • Green powder – Can help make up for the shortfall of nutrients and minerals you don’t receive from eating enough leafy greens.
  • Vitamin D – In the UK many people can suffer from low vitamin D levels, which can affect bone density and energy production.
  • Whey Protein – Rich in BCAAs for repairing sore muscles and trigger growth.

IMAGES: BOOTS, SUPERDRUG, HOLLAND & BARRETT

Women’s Best BCAA Amino Ice Tea – Peach Flavour (200g) £18.00, Alexanders Omega 3 tablets £0.99 Precision Engineered Creatine 120 Capsules 700mg £14.99

IMAGES: BOOTS, SUPERDRUG, HOLLAND & BARRETT

Hion Green Powder Ultimate Blend 150g £20.99, PhD Natural Whey Protein Powder – Chocolate (500g) £19.99, Superdrug Vitamin D 12.5mcg Tablets £2.15

EAT WELL

What you eat is just as important as the exercise and training you undertake to train for a marathon. You should rely on supplements to give your body the nutrients that it needs. One of the most important aspects of any diet is to drink an adequate amount of water. While the amount you should drink differs for each individual, the general guideline is between 2-3 litres per day, and it is also important that you drink water during each training session to replenish the fluids you lose.

There are certain foods that can assist in different aspects of your training and nutritional needs. You can find a full break down of nutritional advice on the Virgin Money London Marathon website, but some of the tips include:

  • Marmite, apples and avocado to boost cardio.
  • Spinach, eggs and almonds to help maintain muscle.
  • Watermelon, coffee and bran flakes to help you run faster.
  • Blue berries, honey and smoked mackerel to help prevent injury.
  • Pine nuts, green tea and coconut oil to help you get lean.
  • Kale, walnuts and white button mushrooms to help you stay healthy.

5
Mar

Get down & dirty with some spring cleaning

The sun is rising earlier, setting later, and slowly the temperature is starting to climb. But that also means that it’s time to get down and dirty with some spring cleaning. For some this can be daunting, and for others a cathartic experience to remove the clutter from their lives. We have some great tips to help make your spring cleaning an easy and simple process.

Before you even start cleaning, there are some steps you can follow to help you through the process:

  1. Draw up a schedule and break up your cleaning into easy to manage portions – by breaking it up over several days you won’t tire yourself out and the process can become more enjoyable.
  2. Tackle your cleaning one room at a time – by tackling one room at a time you can give it all your attention, for example, in your bedroom you can take the time to organise your closet and get rid of things you don’t wear or need.
  3. Get everything you need before you start cleaning to avoid having to stop.
  4. Create multiple piles of items as you go through your house, one for storage, one for charity and a rubbish pile for the things you want to throw out.

BE MASTERFUL WITH YOUR MUCK

The kitchen and bathroom are probably the worst places to clean as the steam from cooking and hot showers can make the dirt and grime more difficult to remove. There are plenty of tricks and clever products that will make this arduous task a lot easier.

  • Lemon cleans stainless steel – Simply halve a lemon and use it to scrub away those annoying streaks and marks.
  • Steam clean your microwave – Mix two tablespoons of white vinegar and a few drops of a scented essential oil of your choice with water and place this in the microwave on a high temperature for five minutes. Not only will it remove those tough stains and food build up, it will smell great too.
  • Organise your refrigerator – Place a lazy Susan in your fridge for bottles, jars and containers, to make it easier to get to the items that you want, and keep your fridge organised. Plastic containers are also a great way to keep your food fresh, and make it easy to see what you have in stock.
Images: Asda, Argos, Wilko

HOME Clip Fresh Plastic Food Containers Pack of 10 £16.99 at Argos
Sistema Multi-Coloured Klip it Food Storer 5 Litres £7.00 at Asda
Wilko Food Container Square 2.3 Litre £2.50 at Wilko

BRIGHT AND BLISSFUL BATHROOMS

Steam marks and water stains can be laborious to clean, and with so many products required for daily grooming, your bathroom is bound to look untidy unless you create clever storage solutions. Look out for storage products to ensure everything is kept neat, while being easily accessible.

  • Get rid of water stains and product build up – Tumble Dryer sheets are great for removing product build up on glass shower doors.
  • Keep your bathroom smelling fresh – Add a few drops of your favourite essential oil inside your toilet paper roll for a constant, pleasant smell.
  • Deep clean your shower head – Regularly fill a sandwich bag with baking soda and vinegar and tie this around your shower head. Let this soak overnight to loosen dirt and grime and use an old toothbrush to scrub it clean.
Images: Sainsbury’s & Wilko

ODIN Bamboo and white lacquer 3 tier storage unit £80.00 and ODIN Bamboo and white 3 shelf corner unit £80.00 at Sainsbury’s
4 Tier Storage Unit White £18.00 and Pop up Laundry Bin £3.00 at Wilko

Images: Wilko, Sainsbury’s & Argos

COLLIER Copper metal over door hooks £12.00 at Sainsbury’s
Wilko Over Door Rack £10.00 at Wilko
Croydex Hookover Steel Shower Caddy £11.99 and HOME 2 Tier Hookover Shower Caddy £6.99 at Argos

SOLVE YOUR STORAGE WOES

For most people, storage is an issue. Either there is not enough storage space at home, or drawers and cupboards are untidy, and things are difficult to find. But there are a few simple steps you can follow to make sure that your bedroom cupboards, laundry cupboard and even your sitting room are neat, and that everything has a proper place.

The great thing about storage, is you can choose whether you want to make it a feature of the room, or if you want it hidden. And when it comes to your wardrobe, vacuum packing the clothes is a great way to clear up some space.

HOME Single 2 Rail Wardrobe Frame £39.99, HOME 2 Tier Shoe Rack £19.99, Protect & Store Mixed Vacuum Storage Bags 6 Piece Set £11.99, and HOME 10 Pocket Hanging Canvas Shoe Storage £5.49 all at Argos

Images: Ryman, Argos, The Works

HOME Large Fabric Ottoman £32.99 at Argos
Habitat Jacobs Upholstered Storage Bench £250.00 at Argos
Really Useful Storage Box 9 Litre Pack of 2 £10.00 at Ryman
Floral Storage Suitcases Set Of 3 £7.00 at The Works

5
Mar

Hop to the challenge of Easter

Don’t let the Easter Bunny get the better of you. Hop to the challenge of preparing the perfect Easter family gathering without falling victim to any unnecessary stress.

Easter is meant to be about new life and regeneration, so let this shine through in your décor and food choices. There are a few simple steps to follow to help you pull of the perfect Easter gathering with as little stress and fuss as possible.

  1. Choose a theme – Pick a colour palette, flower or ornament that you want to make the hero of your day.
  2. Decide on the menu – Planning your menu early can help reduce the stress of preparing all the food at the last minute. Select foods and dishes that won’t require you to spend the day in the kitchen.
  3. Organise your shopping list early and buy as much as possible in advance, making the most of seasonal offers in supermarkets and department stores.

FOOD FAYRE

For any gathering, the meal is usually the main focus, and all other aspects should complement this. As a fun way to play on the idea of new life and renewal that accompanies Easter, why not incorporate baby vegetables, like baby carrots and baby asparagus as your side dishes or look for seasonal produce new to the market? When it comes to the main dish, choose recipes that won’t have you slaving away in the kitchen for hours and missing out on the family fun. Dishes that can be prepared the day before are ideal for entertaining the masses and maxing out on family time.

EGG-CITING ALTERNATIVES

Even though Easter will have the kids hunting for chocolate Easter eggs, why not look at an alternative this year and let them hunt for something a bit more egg-citing that will last longer than a quick scoff?

The Hatchimals CollEGGtibles egg cartons are a fun way to keep the kids surprised and entertained. And they aren’t just for the kids. Buy a box and hide them for the adults too. They will make cute desk ornaments at the office.

Images: Argos

Hatchimals CollEGGtibles Egg Carton – 12 Pack £24.99 and 2 Pack Egg Carton £4.99 at Argos

You can also share the love this Easter with a fun card or other adorable Easter inspired keepsakes that will bring a smile to people’s faces. Find healthy Easter treat options available from health shops.

Images: Clintons & Card Factory

Easter Bunny Felt Keepsake Gift Bag £5.00 at Clintons
Easter inspired mugs £7.99 and Easter cards from 99 pence at Card Factory

 

Images: Holland & Barrett

Freedom Mallows Vegetarian Mini Pink & White Vanilla Marshmallows 75g £2.49, Vego Organic Hazelnut Chocolate Bar 65g £1.99, and Raw Health Organic Blissed Chocada Truffles 65g £2.49 all Holland & Barrett

PAINT YOURSELF PRETTY

As the hostess with the mostess you’ll need to look the part. Spring is a great time to have fun with your look and experiment with make-up in new colour palettes. Whether you paint your nails a delicious candyfloss pink, or you add ribbons and bows to your hair, paint yourself pretty in pastels.

Images: Boots & Superdrug

Barry M Scented Candy Culture Nail Paint £3.99 at Boots
Essie Matte Leather Effect Pastel Nail Polish Rebecca Minkoff Collection Trio Mini £12.99 at Boots
Maybelline Color Show Glitter Nail Polish 232 Rose Chic 7ml £3.99 and Maybelline Forever Strong Gel 130 Rose Poudre Nail Polish £4.49 at Superdrug

Mini silver glitter bow hair barrette £3.00, Jumbo coral chiffon bow hair clip £6.00 and Baby pink lace hair bow £4.50 all at Claire’s

5
Mar

Glorious gifts for Mother’s Day

Ahead of Mother’s Day on Sunday 11 March we look at some glorious gifts for even the most discerning of Mums. Besides the customary chocolates and flowers, it can sometimes be challenging to know what to choose to be your gift to her. She has done so much for you, the least you can do is show your appreciation and love with a well-thought-out gift she will love that she may not splurge on for herself.

MAKE MEMORIES

If your mother is notorious for her love of photos, then buying her a camera to capture special (and even mundane) family moments may be just the right gift for her. Why not help her access these memories in an instant with the HP Sprocket Printer or an instax camera? – and if she isn’t so hot to embrace new technology, then don’t worry! An alternative for your photo loving mum is to get a special family photograph framed for her, or get a photo printed onto a bag, cushion or mug, or something else she will use and cherish.

Images: Argos

HP Sprocket Photo Printer £119.99, HP Sprocket Zink Photo Paper 20 Sheets £9.99, and HP Sprocket Mobile Printer White Accessory Bundle £129.99 all at Argos & selected retailers

Images: Argos

instax Mini 9 Camera with 10 shots in Smoky White £74.99, and instax Mini 70 camera with 10 shots in White £99.99 both at Argos & selected retailers

Images: Max Spielmann

White Natasha 6×4 inch Photo Frame £7.00 (plus cost of printing the photo), ‘Love You Mum’ Make Up Bag Large from £30.00, and Square Plastic Photo Keyring from £4.45 all Max Spielmann

SHINE BRIGHT LIKE A DIAMOND

While diamonds may be beyond your Mother’s Day budget, jewellery is a great way to show her how much you love her, and it’s a gift that she will treasure for years to come. Keep your eyes peeled for bargains ahead of Mother’s Day, as many jewellers have special offers ahead of the day.

Images: Pandora, F. Hinds

Best Mother Charm £25.00 and Love for Mother Charm £35.00at Pandora
Three Silver Floating Hearts Necklace £19.95 at F. Hinds

A BAG FOR EVERY OCCASION

Whether your marvellous mum is a fashionista, or more of a practical lady, a handbag as a gift could be ideal. Whether you opt for a luxurious evening bag or a handy daytime tote, this is a gift she can use and enjoy. Visit her favourite fashion or department store to find the perfect arm candy in a hue she will adore.

Images: New Look, Dorothy Perkins, Peacocks

Black Metallic Trim Structured Tote Bag £27.99 at New Look
Women’s Grey Bar Bag £25.00 at Peacocks
Rose Pink Mini Bow Tote Bag £20.00 at Dorothy Perkins

PAMPER HER PRETTY

What woman doesn’t love to be pampered? There are some great at-home pamper products on the market at a range of prices. Look in department stores, specialist beauty & bath products stores, bargain shops, and of course high-street chemists for luscious bath bombs, delectable body lotions and potions, fabulous facial products and sensational fragrances. Giving her some “me-time” and the gift of indulgence and relaxation is priceless.

Images: Boots, The Body Shop

Clinique Smart Indulgence Gift Set £42.00 at Boots
Ted Baker Blush Bouquet Cosmetic Bag Gift £24.00 at Boots
Strawberry Heart Gift Set £10.00 at The Body Shop
British Rose Head-to-Toe Collection £25.00 at The Body Shop

Images: Boots, The Perfume Shop, The Fragrance Shop

Elizabeth Arden Red Door Eau De Toilette 50ml Spray £22.80 at Boots
Calvin Klein CK One Eau De Toilette 200ml Spray £32.00 at The Fragrance Shop
Lancôme Miracle Eau de Parfum for her £62.99 at The Perfume Shop

THE WRITTEN WORD

No gift can convey to your wonderful mum how you feel about her more than the written word. When it comes to choosing a card, choose wisely. Whether you choose one that comes with a message, or you get a blank card to write your own personal and special message, there are lovely Mother’s Day cards available to tell her just how much you love her.

Images: Clintons, Card Factory

Special Mum Bouquet Mother’s Day Card £3.50 at Clintons
Mother’s Day Card Mum Large Letters Floral £2.50 at Clintons
Mother’s Day Card – Butterflies £1.99 at Card Factory
Mother’s Day Card – Mummy No One Is Half As Funny £0.99 at Card Factory

30
Jan

Bring the love into your home

Valentine’s Day is the day that many couples look forward to, to show each other how much they love one another. While dining out can be a wonderful treat, it can also be expensive. So why not do something special at home instead? You will certainly have the place to yourselves, be able to indulge in your favourite foods, and take your time over your meal. Valentine’s Day at home doesn’t have to be boring or drab. With the right table décor and music, you can create a magical night.

SET THE SCENE

For any special meal at home your table décor is important, this includes any cutlery and crockery that you use. As it will most likely just be two of you on the night, you can always go out and buy special tableware, and keep it to use again next Valentine’s Day or for your anniversary meal. There are a number of retailers that sell loose plates, bowls and cutlery, or you can splurge on a dining set and ensure you have spares if something breaks.

Images: Tesco

Luminarc Trianon dinner plate (28cm), side plate (20cm), and bowl (12cm) £2.99 each at Tesco

Images: Argos, Asda

Home Hearts 12 piece porcelain dinner set £22.99 at Argos
12 piece Cross Stitch heart dinner set £15.00 at Asda
16 piece heart cutlery set £8.00 at Asda

FINISHING TOUCHES

Once you have all your crockery and cutlery sorted, it’s time to create the right atmosphere with candles, flowers, and any other special mementos that mean something to you and your Valentine. The soft glow of candle light will help enhance the romantic atmosphere that you are trying to create.

Images: Primark, Poundland, Argos, Asda, Tesco

Scented love heart candles £3.00 at Primark
Flickering tealight candles (4 pack) £1.00 at Poundland
Sainsbury’s Home large candle (Wild cotton & Ylang) £6.50 at Argos
George Home taper candles (10 pack) £2.00 at Asda
Tesco Basic tealights (100 pack) £2.00 at Tesco

The final touch to any table is napkins. No one wants to be left stranded when they accidentally mess something at the table. And with so many great designs available, you can find something to match your colour scheme for the evening.

Images: Tesco, Sainsbury’s

Tesco Red Napkins 33cm (50 Pack) £1.50 at Tesco
Bird Napkin 33cm (20 Pack) £1.50 at Tesco
Sainsbury’s Home Heart Repeat Lunch Napkin (20 Pack) £2.00 at Sainsbury’s

On the day, getting some fresh flowers to add to the table could be a nice touch. Roses can be pricey, so if your budget won’t stretch to roses, you can always get your Valentine’s favourite flowers. It will be more personal and mean so much more to them.

You can also have your favourite songs playing in the background, as well as having your favourite movie on stand-by if you want to cuddle up on the couch after your romantic meal.

A LOVE LETTER

With all the effort you’ve put into planning your Valentine’s Day meal, you might not need to get a gift for your Valentine, but a special card would not go amiss. Head into Card Factory to find a wonderful selection of cards, with messages targeted to husbands, wives, fiancées, boyfriends and girlfriends.

Images: Card Factory
30
Jan

Spoil him this Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is often focused on women, enlisting men with gift ideas of what he could buy for the special lady in his life, with flowers, jewellery and chocolates being popular choices. But for a woman, Valentine’s Day is also a time to show her love and appreciation for her special man. Hearts and flowers are not something that most men will appreciate, so to make your Valentine’s Day gift shopping easier, we have found some great gift ideas for men in some of your favourite stores.

THE TECHY ADDICT

If you’re willing to spend a lot of money on his Valentine’s Day gift, new tech is a great way to go. He might have dropped some hints about the gadgets he wants, but if he hasn’t, we have some tech options you could consider.

A great pair of headphones are ideal for the man who loves music, gaming, or watching movies and box sets on his laptop. A new gaming console might be outside of your budget, but if gaming is his thing and your budget can stretch to it, there are some brilliant games consoles to consider.

Images: Argos, Game

Bose Quiet Comfort 25 Headphones £253.99 at Argos
Xbox One X 1TB Console £449.99 at Argos
Nintendo Switch Console £279.99 at Argos
PlayStation 4 500GB FIFA 18 with Second DualShock 4 Controller £279.99 at Game

A more affordable gaming option is to buy him a new game for the console he already has. There are a number of highly anticipated games for 2018, unfortunately most of them won’t be released in time for Valentine’s Day. But there are still a few new releases and soon to be released games that you can consider as potential gifts.

Images: Argos, Game

Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom for PS4 available 19 January £42.99 at Argos and Game
Dragon Ball FighterZ for Xbox One and PS4 available 26 January £43.99 at Argos and Game
Monster Hunter World for Xbox One and PS4 available 26 January £41.99 at Argos
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT for PS4 available 30 January £41.99 at Argos
Shadow of the Colossus for PS4 available 6 February £29.99 at Argos and Game

A SCENT SENSATION

Fragrances aren’t just for women. A designer fragrance could be a great gift option, especially if this is something he likes but wouldn’t normally purchase for himself. You can pick up some great deals and gift sets in the lead up to Valentine’s Day that the special man in your life will adore.

Images: The Fragrance Shop

Gucci Guilty Pour Homme Eau De Toilette 50ml £48.50, Paco Rabanne Invictus Eau De Toilette 100ml £58.00, French Connection UK Friction Him Eau De Toilette 100ml Gift Set £20.00, David Beckham Intimately Eau De Toilette 75ml £12.00, and Versace Eros Eau De Toilette 100ml £69.50 all at The Fragrance Shop

Images: Boots

Boss In Motion Eau De Toilette 90ml £34.56, Diesel Only The Brave Tattoo Eau De Toilette 125ml £37.00, James Bond 007 Eau De Toilette 75ml £16.00, and Givenchy Gentlemen Only Absolute Eau De Toilette 50ml Gift Set £35.32 all at Boots

SUPER STYLE HIM

Clothing may be considered a more intimate gift item, as fashion is a personal choice, but if you feel confident enough to choose something for him to wear, then shirts and jackets make great gifts. However, when it comes to shirts, avoid anything too flamboyant and rather stick to muted colours and simple patterns like check and stripe designs, as this is more likely to be well received by your Valentine than a bright pink floral shirt, unless that is something that they would usually wear.

Images: New Look, Blue Inc. Officer’s Club

Black Check Pocket Front Shirt £19.99 at New Look
Industrialize White and Navy Check Shirt and Tee Set £16.99 at Officers Club
Twisted Soul Black Long Sleeve Nep Shirt £10.00 at Blue Inc.

Images: New Look, Blue Inc. Officer’s Club

Black Shearling Aviator Jacket £59.99 at New Look
TS Heritage Blue Denim Sherpa Jacket £20.00 at Blue Inc.
Soul Star Navy Blue Quilted Bomber Jacket £19.99 at Officers Club