Saturday, 20 April 2013

Shopping! 12 Summer Wedding Guest Dresses Under £20

This is the first shopping post I have written in a long while, and I really enjoyed picking out dresses! I have been looking for an affordable dress to wear to my friend's wedding, after hearing that my sister had spent £125 on her dress for mine, I panicked and thought I couldn't afford anything new. But I was really surprised by the number of dresses suitable to wear to a wedding that you can find for £20!

I've been playing around on Stylefruits creating all sorts of collections and outfits! I think I am more addicted to this than my Pinterest account..... uh oh! See below the image for prices and stockists xx

Top row from L-R
Bandeau Dress: Fashion Union £16; Shift Dress: Glamorous £14; Flock Spot Dress: ILWF £15; Floral Print Dress: ILWF £18; Bird Print Dress: LOU LOU £10; Dotty Dress: Dorothy Perkins £15;

Bottom row from L-R
Wrap Dress: ILWF £18; Satin Dress: Dorothy Perkins £15; Lace Dress: FD Avenue; £12.99; Maxi Dress: ILWF £15; Cocktail dress: ILWF £15; Maxi Dress: FD Avenue £15.99


Monday, 15 April 2013

Sometimes I wish I could get a man in

Firstly let me explain the phrase "Get a Man In" - in case you are thinking the wrong thing you naughty people! I think I first heard the phrase from a client when I was a Property Manager. She was very wealthy and if anything needed fixing or sorting she would always say "let's just get a man in" and that was it. Now I knew what she really meant was find a reliable plumber, or a decent plasterer(male or female). But I can see how her phrase was relevant and since I became a property owner I find myself thinking that more and more often!

 Getting Things Done

There are some little niggly annoying jobs that I either just don't have time to do, can't physically do (despite often trying!) or simply don't know whether it would need a plumber, electrician or specialist. So really what I want is to get a man (person) in that knows how to do it. I have contemplated putting up a classified ad on Gumtree or somewhere like that but often when I have done this for other things I have spent more time batting off the loonies that it seems worth, also it's pretty anonymous so if you book a plumber you may even get a stripper turn up, who knows! Finally it seems like some clever person has come up with an answer to my regularly predicaments. There's an app for that now.

Handlerz is an app that is free to download on iPhone/iPads and Android phones. It works by showing people in your area the job you have put up, and they can send you a proposal with a cost for helping you out. And you literally can put anything down as a request.....from borrowing a laptop or phone charger to sewing up a hole in your trousers to taking your old fridge to the dump or helping you move house.

It seems quite safe as well because users are rated on feedback and how many jobs they have done and you can see their photo too. I wish I'd have known about it a little earlier - it's taken me 3 days to remove an old worktop from my office because it was jammed in with grouting and threaded screws, but I bet if someone had the right tools and knew what they were doing it would have only taken them a couple of hours! I should have got a man in...... 


Thursday, 11 April 2013

Using Beauty Products as Cleaning Products

*Disclaimer* Using beauty products as cleaning products is generally ok - but I would never ever ever recommend anyone uses cleaning products as beauty products!!

One of my first blog posts was about how my friends and I managed to clean up a nasty red wine stain with some baby wipes, and how baby wipes seem to be pretty good at removing most stains. That wasn't the first time I'd used beauty products as cleaning products though. Years ago my then partner invited his friend to stay with us. Said friend was allergic to pretty much everything, and I needed to clean the bath before he came. Instead of using cleaning products like bleach or Flash etc I thought it would be safer to use my Sanex bath cream and it kind of worked!

The Beauty of Beauty Products for Cleaning

So I'm not talking about using your £30 skin cream to polish the sink but from time to time beauty products can work well where traditional cleaning products don't. This time around, I have discovered that pumice stone is in fact very good for removing limescale from taps.

The water in Brighton is very hard water which means that after just a few drops touch anything metal, glass, plastic and other water exposed areas, limescale forms instantly. I have been trying desperately for 2 years to remove all of the caked on limescale from our bath taps and while I was in the bath I did a sneaky test with the wet pumice stone and would you know it the limescale came off so easily! Years of elbow grease, Cillit Bang and other nasty chemicals had been out done by the humble pumice that one would normally use to buff up the heel and ball of one's foot.

Now my second disclaimer here is that both the limescaled area and the pumice must be wet, and you must be very gentle and careful not to scratch the metal.

Enjoy your revived shiny new taps!


Tuesday, 9 April 2013

My new way to find Secret Bargains without Leaving the House

As regular readers will be aware, Wed-day is just around the corner (less than 90 days now, eek!) so any spare funds I have are being piled in to decor, tying up the final payments on things like cake and trying to beautify myself with things like tooth whitening, haircuts and the like!

So I am always pleased to find a bargain now as much as ever. I have blogged before about Daily deals sites and have even shared some really good deals with my readers. But my friend told me today about a new website that has launched where anyone can upload deals they have seen in shops or online. Now this site is actually loaded with so many deals all over the place that it's impossible to pick one to share with you. I say go and take a look for yourself at SmartPound and have a good look round. 

So far I've seen people that have uploaded deals in their local M&S - which is great because a lot of the time individual stores will have different stock to each other and some may be charging less for particular items because they have too much of that stock. For example, I saw someone had put that their local M&S had men's suit for £24.95 (gasp!) and I bet that's not advertised for all and sundry to see by M&S themselves!

Screenshot of juicy bargains from
Also I saw some eagle eyed sharing and caring shoppers had spotted some great bargains on eBay like Jack Jones t-shirts for £6.99 with free delivery. I've lost many an hour trawling through pages of irrelevant eBay search results trying to grab a bargain with no luck, so if other people are willing to share their bargain finds I'll be very grateful. With thanks to these unknown bargain sharers, I promise that if I find something truly worth shouting about I'll add it on the SmartPound site and share it on my blog for you all too. Brownie Guide's Promise.


Sunday, 24 March 2013

A pretty good Sunday Shopping Trip

AF and I had a very rare day off together today, and both being a little bit hungover decided we needed to do something fun instead of lazing around at home feeling sorry for ourselves. I already had in mind that I needed to seek out some brooches (see last post) so we went to the village flea markets. There happen to be 2 flea markets in a village that only has about 15 shops... Lucky us! We love a good rummage. In the first shop there was just too much to take in, and I fell completely in love with this 1960s telephone and as it was £18 which is probably what you'd pay for a reproduction one any way, I had to have it. Oops.

Next I picked up a good collection of brooches and rings for £13 that can go on the b-project, and will be added to a good stash of broken jewellery and crafty bits I collected from around the house this morning.

Then we found some perfect milk jugs for our centrepieces, only £3.50 each in the sale at BHS but sadly only 3 left but we snapped them all up.

Finally for £18 from BHS a sparkly lampshade for the office ( our office is not so glam, the boys I work with don't care but I am on a mission to make it more homely!) a benefit of running your own business is that you can covet some of the maintenance budget for sparkly things!

Friday, 22 March 2013

Building a Bespoke Bouquet

The BigDay is coming faster and faster! I have lost momentum on the planning a little due to two disappointing bridesmaid dress purchases, a troublesome foreign currency payment and a sudden realisation that my wedding wasn't going to look like a Martha Stuart Pinterest board unless I spend millions on it.

Good old Mum to the rescue though. A long time ago I decided that I wanted a brooch bouquet. My mum has now set herself the challenge of making it, and wow it's hard! We thought we'd easily find some broken brooches in the charity shops but these have all been very expensive.

We've Googled a lot and decided the best way to start is with silk flowers as a base decorated with fancy buttons, earrings and any other sparkly bits we can find. We've twisted a few on to wire and will inter-twine them somehow! I'm a bit worried about how heavy the whole thing will be she it's finished but hey maybe my arms will look toned as I heave it down the aisle! Still so much to do and only 14weeks to go. Eek. Anyone got any advice for building a brooch bouquet?!!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

6 Ways Running & Fitness Can Help Fight Stress

It's been a while since I've blogged. W-Day (My wedding day!) is coming so I have been particularly busy, a little bit stressed out and in a bit of a hurry to tone up. My friend Ryan from the Calm Clinic has sent me a guest post to cheer me up, and oh how relevant it is! Enjoy x

6 Ways Running & Fitness Can Help Fight Stress

Modern life has given us a lot of convenience. However, it also made our lives a bit complicated. The complexity of life gave rise to stress and anxiety as a daily staple that we all need to overcome. While it is impossible to completely eradicate it, there are ways to reduce our exposure to stress. If you want to cope with stress better then lace up your shoes and start running.

Running can clear your mind

Most people turn to running to clear their mind. Running gives people a reason to go outdoors and positively escape from stress and anxiety. There are people that turn to drugs and alcohol to escape from depression. Not only this is damaging but it will just create more problems than it solves. Running will refresh your body and gives you more energy that lowers the levels of stress hormones. It is through running that your mind will become more focused about getting fit and healthy, all the while warding off any other negative thoughts about stress and anxiety.

Running can lead to better mental health

Running can give you better mental health. Exercise releases a lot of feel-good chemicals in the brain. Endorphins in the brain will give you a better mood. This will boost your self-esteem, confidence and awareness. The extra amount of energy that you get from running will make you more equipped to tackle situations where stress may be present.

Running can help you breathe better

Breathing is the most natural thing you can do. Breathing is the first thing any creature did when they were born. You can live days without food and water but you cannot survive more than three minutes without air. Air is every important in our lives yet it is one of the most taken for granted. Shallow breathing can breed anxiety and can fuel further stress. Learn to breathe deeply to allow your body to relax. Running gives you the opportunity to take in more oxygen into your lungs and promote better functioning of your vital organs in the body.

Running can help you get motivated

Physical activity is never easy. Use running to teach your mind to get motivated to tackle life’s greatest challenges. For example, if you are running uphill try to motivate yourself that you can do it and easily overcome the challenge. This leads to better confidence and reduces anxiety both in performance and in real-life situations. As you increase the length of time that you spend for running you become more determined at keeping on no matter how hard the going may be.

Running can make you feel better about your body

Running often leads to weight loss. A lighter you means a happier you. Let’s face it. Obese people often get a harder time to socialize. Their obesity made them lose their confidence in facing other people because they will always have this thought that they do not look better than those people who are physically fit. Fitter people get more friends and have a better social life. However, the more you indulge in running as part of your exercise regimen you will be able to lose weight easily. Running will give you better self-c0nfidence knowing that you can have more friends if you stay fit. 

Running helps you achieve optimum health

Health is wealth. Getting sick is farthest in the minds of fit people. This is one stressor less to worry about. Running can lower your risk against hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and even the onset of type-2 diabetes. You will feel more energetic when you regularly run for fun.

Running is the most natural exercise you can do. You need very minimal equipment to do it. Try to start slow and gradually move up when you are able to do so. You will soon find out the myriad of benefits that running can do to make your life better and easier.

About the Author:
Ryan Rivera used to suffer from anxiety attacks for seven years.  He now dedicates his life in writing articles that will help people in coping with anxiety, stress, panic attacks and depression. You can read more of his writings at Calm Clinic.