Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Create Your Own Signature Style With These Accessories

 This article is published in collaboration with Media Buzzer

We all know just how important accessories are when it comes to what we wear. Rather than following trends seen on social media, you can create your very own style, one that suits you down to the ground. Here is a list of must-have accessories if you want to forge your way into the fashion stakes.

Image Source: Pixabay

Range of Bangles
If you shop for silver jewellery online, you get top quality pieces at affordable prices; someone has to pay for the plush retail premises and shopping online is 15-20% cheaper. Bangles can be mixed and that could be one of your trademarks, with superb sterling silver hand-crafted bangles in a range of combinations.

Bags

Your choice of bag says a lot about you and whether a chic laptop case for business, or the backpack for hiking, choose your bags wisely. Have at least 1 designer bag for those formal events and then add to your collection whenever you are in need of a suitable bag. Search online for bag inspiration and you won't be disappointed.

Layered Necklaces

Why not be the girl that always wears an interesting selection on necklaces? Check out the many fashion websites online where you can see many stacked necklaces and chunky silver necklaces for women. There are no hard and fast rules regarding wearing multiple necklaces. It won't take you long to amass a collection of varying length necklaces if you shop for sterling silver jewellery online, and make sure the pieces are hand-crafted and carry the 92.5 stamp.

Image Source: Unsplash

Shoes
You could go sporty and wear some bright Nike or Adidas, wearing neon-coloured shoelaces of odd colours, which is guaranteed to get you noticed. Many women make a strong fashion statement with their footwear and the great thing about online shopping is the variety, which means you can easily find a pair of shoes that turn the eye.

Device Holder
Every woman of today should have their digital device at hand, with a leather smartphone and a sleek iPad case, for those occasions when you need to work. These valuable devices demand good protection. They are also great fashion accessories and with online solutions, you can order suitable device carriers.

Scarves

Image Source: Unsplash

These are ideal when the temperature is still on the low side, plus they can be worn in many ways. You could have a range of printed scarves in various colours and that would quickly become an item that people identified with you. Search online for an amazing selection of fashion scarves and shawls, which are great in the Spring and Autumn.

Once you have a firm idea of the look you are trying to create, spend some time thinking about all of the above. Slowly but surely, you can set your own signature style that will identify with you. Don't be afraid to experiment when doing this and with some feedback from a good friend, you can set your own trends.

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Monday, 5 April 2021

What I Read In March

 Anyone else think the months are flying by?! I can't quite believe we're already in April and it's time to talk about the books I read in March. It genuinely feels like a few days ago when I was talking about books from February. I can't say I'm sad that the days seem to be going by quite quickly at the moment though. I mentioned last month how much I struggled with the latest lockdown and now we're officially out of it (I think?) and better times are coming, it feels like a weight has been lifted. I'm definitely not reading at the speed I was last year just because I've been so busy with Bear's Brownies and More and generally life has been a little stressful so it just hasn't been on my radar but there's still loads of time to reach my goal for the year. In March I managed to read 5 books so here's what I thought of them!collage of book covers

My Sweet Revenge by Jane Fallon - ⭐⭐⭐
It had been quite a while since I'd last read a Jane Fallon book and after becoming really picky with thrillers which is one of my fave genres, I thought I'd go for something completely different and also from an author I always enjoy. My Sweet Revenge follows Paula who wants to make her husband fall back in love with her. She's discovered he's been having an affair so goes on a mission to revamp herself, so when she confronts him, he'll realise what he's lost. While this wasn't my fave book by Jane, it did give me the reading bug back a little. It was such an easy read and I loved how snappy the chapters were, nothing felt like it was dragging and there was a good twist towards the end which I didn't expect! I didn't initially like that she set out to lose weight and change herself for a man but I do think as the book goes on and she gains confidence that it does become more about her finding herself which I liked.

If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane - ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Ahh I really enjoyed this! I've read a few books by Mhairi McFarlane before, my favourite being You Had Me At Hello so I had just been waiting for this to be on offer on Kindle. If I Never Met You is about Laurie and Jamie, who to all of their work colleagues look madly in love. The reality is though that it's all staged. Laurie has just been dumped by Dan, her boyfriend of 18 years who she'll still have to work with & she wants revenge. Jamie is after a promotion and knows how much the bosses admire Laurie. Why not join forces? The rules are set via email, the photos are staged but over time do the feelings become real? I loved the tension between Laurie and Jamie almost instantly and whilst it might have been quite predictable how it would end, I still loved it. I felt Laurie's pain when Dan quickly moves on & she felt like a character I could really root for. I hope there's a short story follow up one day as I'd love to know what happens to Laurie and Jamie next.

The Perfect Nanny by Karen Clarke & Amanda Brittany* - ⭐⭐⭐
The first thriller of March and I really enjoyed it. The Perfect Nanny follows Sophy, a new mother whose struggling with looking after her nine month old, an overbearing mother in law and feeling like she's lost herself since becoming a mother. After bumping into Liv at a mother and baby group who offers her services as a nanny, Sophie is relieved. The thing is Liv has a secret. For years she has been convinced Sophy is responsible for her brother's death many years ago and now she's found her, she's going to make her pay. As Liv starts to work for Sophy though, has she actually got it all wrong? I have read books quite similar to this before so parts of it were quite predictable but overall it did keep me guessing throughout. I liked that we hear from both Sophy and Liv throughout and all of the characters were quite complex so I was never quite sure who to trust. I enjoyed the twists that are revealed towards the end too!

The Catch by T.M. Logan - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
This is the second book I've read by T.M. Logan. I read his previous book The Holiday a while ago and to be honest I wasn't that impressed so I wasn't sure if this would end up being similar. It was SO different though and for that reason so much better and it's become my second 5 star book of the year. I've been so picky with thrillers recently but this was genuinely tense, kept me guessing throughout and had some really interesting characters involved. The Catch is about Ed's quest to figure out who his daughter's fiance Ryan really is. From the moment he meets Ryan, he's suspicious and knows that something is not quite right. Everyone else thinks Ed is just being an overprotective dad so the more he digs into Ryan's past, the more he pushes everyone else away. Has Ed got it all wrong or is Ryan actually dangerous? and who will come out top in the end? This was just everything you want in a psychological thriller. As soon as you think you trust a character, the next minute something happens that completely changes your opinion. The setting of the Peak District was perfect too & I could picture everything so clearly and the writing itself just flowed perfectly. When I read The Holiday, I thought the writing was a bit clunky and I just couldn't comfortably sit and read a lot of it in one go but I could with this. A really brilliant book.

The Shape Of Us by Drew Davies - ⭐⭐
The Shape Of Us is about several different characters all going about their day in London whose lives end up colliding in ways they never expected. Daisy, rushing to work is almost knocked over by a cyclist who then asks for her number. Jojo, a woman in her sixties is desperately trying to win her husband back from his mistress. Adam lies to his housemate every day since losing his job. Dylan has an illness which means he can't leave his home, but it hasn't stopped him falling in love. These four strangers have one thing in common, they're looking for love and totally hopeless at it. But could that all change? This started off really well and I quite quickly became really invested in Daisy's story and her chapters were the ones I always ended up looking forward to. About a quarter of the way in though I felt like the pace really changed and I found it a bit of a slog to get through after that. There are so many characters throughout that it became a bit too complicated trying to keep track of who was who and how they were connected. I'm glad I finally read this as it's been on my list for a while but it didn't blow me away.

A bit of a disappointing end to the month but overall quite a good month for books! My first five star book in a while and a nice variety which kept things interesting. I'd love to know if you've read any of these books or if you have any recommendations?

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Tuesday, 23 March 2021

How To Display Antiques In A Modern Home

 This article is published in collaboration with Media Buzzer
Image Source: Unsplash

Many people assume that displaying antiques in a modern home requires a lot of space and money, but this couldn't be further from the truth. All you need is a little creativity to find ways to display your antiques tastefully, so they fit well in the modern environment within which you live. Below are some tips to help you get started, which can help turn your modern house into a home full of personality, and antiques.

Have A Plan
The first thing that you will need to do is create a plan for how you will display your antique collection. It is worth taking time to plan the display of your antiques, and the more planning you do and creative thinking, the better the result will look. You can get a lot of inspiration online and even by visiting various antique shops, giving you ideas of how you can replicate the look in your home.

Less Is More
Rather than displaying all your antiques in one room with no actual theme, you are better to show them off and create focal points in your room. You can put on display some of the best items in your home and have these on your fireplace, bookshelf or table. You will want to avoid having too much on display which can make your home seem like an antique store, and you will also want to have a theme for each room you are displaying your antiques.

Image Source: Pixabay

Give Each Room A Theme
If you have an eclectic collection of antiques, rather than displaying them all, you will want to give each room in your home a theme and try and stick with it. If you have an office or library, this can be an excellent place to display books and one of those vintage furniture for sale online. If you have kitchen-related antiques, you can consider displaying these in your kitchen. However, as there is a lot of heat and moisture in your kitchen, you will need to be careful about the antiques you have here, and it is the same with your bathroom.

Purchase An Antique Cabinet
You can also consider buying yourself an antique display cabinet which will be the perfect place to showcase your collection in your home. A search of the antique dealers in your local area will show plenty of choices when looking for a suitable cabinet. You will want to ensure that everything you display in your cabinet follows a theme to make it seem in place and at home displaying your antiques. You can select a cabinet that matches the decor of your home, and it can also be a beautiful antique in itself which makes for the ideal place to show off more antiques.

Image Source: Unsplash

With some creativity and careful planning, you can have the modern and the old embraced in your home and display your antique collection with pride. Take your time in planning your display, and do not be afraid to try new things, and with a bit of patience and luck, you can transform the way your home looks and feels. You can proudly display your antiques for everyone to enjoy who visits your house and make it feel like a loving home.

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Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Lockdown Favourites - The BEST waffles, Firefly Lane, Small Businesses & More

 It's been a few weeks but I'm back with another post and today it's all about my lockdown favourites! It's been such a long time since I last shared a favourites post and gone are the days where I would post them every month but there's quite a few things I've been absolutely loving over the last few weeks whilst we've been in lockdown that I wanted to talk to you about!

The BEST waffles
It's really been the little things that have got me through this latest lockdown. Saturday night date nights where we'll cook a really nice meal and watch a film (or The Masked Singer, I was obsessed). Winter walks with Bear. A special breakfast. There's been so little to look forward to that it really made me appreciate the things I probably wouldn't think much of otherwise. Last year we found this amazing cafe on one of our walks with Bear and ever since we have become regulars. I can't wait for the day we can sit inside rather than having to get takeaway but regardless the food is just incredible. Every so often we'll grab breakfast and a hot chocolate and my current fave of theirs is the waffles. Just look at them. I think about them most days.

Small Businesses
I've bought from so many small businesses since I opened Bear's Brownies and More so it felt right I share some of them with you! I think having my own small business means I've really noticed how much I was shopping with bigger companies and it's not that I've stopped completely but for Christmas and any events since, I've been shopping small and I can't see myself stopping. There are SO many amazing small businesses out there and I'd support them all if I could. I know just how much 1 sale can completely turn your day around. Some of my fave small businesses to support recently have been Molly Catherine Designs for the most beautiful bookmarks, cards, prints and notebooks. PercyandBream for homemade dog treats. We bought some for Bear's birthday recently as they can be personalised and he loved them! DragonflyByNicki for face masks, dog bandanas and more. Bear loves his Star Wars bandana that he proudly wore on his birthday walk. SunshineSurprisesUK for brilliant cards for all events. Both George and I have bought from them several times! Fab for fans of musicals, Gavin and Stacey, Schitt's Creek and Bridgerton just to name a few things. SiobhanPrints for musical prints, custom prints, stickers and more. Finally, KilnersKreations has become a go to of mine recently for Bear. They sell an amazing range of dog toys aswell as bows, treat bags and lots more.

Firefly Lane
This is a pretty new addition to Netflix and quite quickly it received so much praise online so of course I was drawn in and had to know what the hype was about. This is based on a book of the same name by Kristin Hannah and it stars Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke as Tully and Kate. Tully and Kate first meet when they're teenagers on Firefly Lane and quite quickly they become inseparable. This follows the ups and downs of their friendships and relationships over 30 years. I found this such an easy watch and I just hope they do another series. I loved the characters and I thought Katherine Heigl in particular was brilliant. It's easily a show you could sit and binge-watch all in one go!

Line of Duty
Another show that I've been absolutely loving is Line of Duty. We've watched it all before but in the run up to the new series which starts later this week we've re-watched from Series 2 onwards and it's been such a good distraction from everything that's been going on. I think it's one of the best dramas out there and even though I've seen all of the episodes before, it does feel like with each re-watch you discover things you didn't notice before. The cast are fab and Martin Compston, Vicky McClure and Adrian Dunbar are just amazing as Steve, Kate and Ted. I cannot wait for series 6.

Bear's Birthday
It was Bear's birthday in February and I can't quite believe he's 2 already. Of course he was completely spoilt and I went over the top in every way for him. We took him for a long walk, popped into Pets At Home where he picked a new toy and some treats and he also had presents to unwrap afterwards which he has shown very little interest in since, of course. He's definitely a spoilt pup but I don't care, he gets me through some really tough days and I genuinely don't know what we would do without him. It blows my mind how long ago it feels when we first met him at 3 weeks and now he's this 2 year old dog with the funniest/craziest personality. Just love him so much.

Mowgli Nights
As I mentioned at the start of this post, Saturday nights have become date nights at home and it's really given us something to look forward to each week. Each weekend we'll cook a really nice meal and make a bit more effort and more often than not it's ended up being something from the Mowgli Cookbook by Nisha Katona. I know I've said it so many times but we first visited Mowgli in Oxford last year and ever since I've just become obsessed with all of the food. George got me the recipe book for Christmas and we're working our way through them all. My fave so far is the Angry Chicken Rotis with spicy curry potatoes but the Butter Chicken recipe is out of this world too. I couldn't recommend the book enough if you want to try out some new meals this year. 

Taylor Swift
Finally, I have become a bit of a Taylor Swift fan girl this lockdown. I know I'm so late to the party but I've finally discovered the greatness that is Folklore and Evermore. I just didn't really give either of them a chance when they were first released, I've always loved the older stuff from Taylor but a few months ago I properly listened to all of the songs and wow. I'm pretty sure my Spotify wrapped this year will just be Taylor Swift. My favourites at the moment are the 1, Right Where You Left Me, Champagne Problems and August. I'm also obsessed with Love Story (Taylor's Version). I feel 14 again. What's your fave from Folklore or Evermore?

So that's some of the things that have got me through this latest (& hopefully last) lockdown! You might have noticed that blog posts are very few and far between at the moment and I am hoping to continue posting once a week but I do keep getting that niggling feeling that my time blogging is coming to an end. Opening Bear's Brownies & More has just given me something else to focus on and sometimes blogging can feel like a bit of a chore now which I don't want. I want to love it and only ever post when I want to. So, if there doesn't seem to be much of a schedule around here anymore, that's why! It's been a tough few months for all of us so maybe that's been contributing more than I realised. 

Have you found yourself struggling with blogging recently too? How have you found this lockdown?

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