Styling Your Jeans For Winter

6 January 2019

I love winter clothes and my staple item as to be a pair of well fitting jeans.  The beauty of jeans is that you can dress them up for a night out or wear them casually during the day. Teamed with a fabulous pair of heels you can create the perfect outfit for night time or they look equally as good with flats or boots for day time walks or shopping trips.

I recently found the most amazingly, comfortable and well fitting jeans I have ever purchased at JD Williams and a bargain at £29.40. The Shape and Sculpt high waisted skinny jeans are a perfect fit and made from stretchable denim, you do not feel restricted when moving around. I must admit I was a little dubious about purchasing jeans before trying them on but with JD Williams you can always exchange or return them.

Jumpers and long sleeved tops are perfect for the winter months and you can easily add accessories to give unique touches to your clothes, for example instead of wearing your top loosely over jeans try tucking it in and adding a belt to give a more defined shape, or add a scarf or costume jewellery to add colour. It is great fun experimenting with different accessories and really surprising how many different outfits you can create.  The great thing about Winter is that you can add layers using different textures and fabrics to highlight areas of interest to create the perfect silhouette.

Now I've found the best pair of jeans I just need to purchase a couple more staple items to compliment my wardrobe and to see it through to the Spring time when hopefully I can reduce the layering a little.

Whether you prefer bootcut, skinny or the more traditional fit there are so many ways to wear your jeans or to find the most appropriate pair for you.  My must do tip, is to try lots of pairs on until you the the fit most comfortable for you.

5 Ways To Improve Your Life After 50

27 December 2018

How did I arrive at my early 50's so quickly? I certainly don't feel any older in my mind, although my body may well have the telltale signs of ageing, which is inevitable. I do think we take life for granted at times, it is precious and can be taken away from you in seconds. After losing my brother in law who was in his early 30s to cancer, it was a serious wake up call. All those decisions we make in our younger years can impact our future and although we all make mistakes, I like to think that we learn from them. There is no point in dwelling on what could have been, we should focus on what lays ahead to make a brighter future for our family.

There are lots of simple ways to improve your well being and mental health as you hit the big ‘50’ enabling you to live life to the full.

1. Eat healthily – forget all those takeaways and opt for fresh foods that you can prepare yourself. With sensible planning and preparation, meal time routines can become a time to spend with loved ones. Sharing the cooking chores is a great way of spending more time together with your partner and family. Obviously the odd takeaway will not hurt you and can be a treat when you are pushed for time.

2. Travel – we love to explore new places and this will carry on in to our older years. Whether it is abroad or at home, there are lots of new destinations to discover that can help you enjoy unforgettable experiences. Travelling opens the mind, broadens your horizons and creates many happy memories.

3. Look after your health – regular health check ups with your GP can help to identify any potential health problems early on. It is never ok to ignore any niggling doubts you have in regards to your health.

4. Exercise – raises the levels of endorphins in our body which help to boost mood and decrease stress levels. Regular exercise will help you to maintain and improve your flexibility as you age. It also benefits the brain by improving blood flow and leaving you with a feel good factor.

5. Learn a new skill – we all have hobbies that we enjoy but there is bound to be something you have always wanted to do or achieve and now is the time to do it. Whether it is a qualification to enable you to advance at work or something you would like to do for pleasure, it is a fantastic way of keeping your brain active.

I never thought I would be moving in my 50’s but I am embracing the challenge this will bring. I have already been offered a new job, which I have accepted and can’t wait to start. So, with house renovations and a new job to focus on, I am ready to start this new chapter in my life. One area I definitely need to improve is my exercise levels and I will be making the most of a leisure centre that is nearby.

SunLife have produced some videos and posts interviewing individuals about their life after 50.

This is a collaborative post.

Christmas Dinner Preparation

18 December 2018

It is nearly time for my favourite meal of the year, Christmas dinner.  When the boys were little, I was a single mum and really struggled cooking and playing with their new toys.  I loved helping them to put things together and found it really difficult to divide my time, after all Christmas is about being with family.  I often felt bad, but over the years I have learnt to juggle tasks and prepare things on Christmas Eve allowing me the freedom to enjoy Christmas morning, spending more quality time with the children. 

Christmas Eve tasks
  1. Prepare all the vegetables. I par-boil the brussel sprouts, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, red cabbage and broccoli and put them in cold water, drain them and seal them in bags ready for the big day.
  2. Wrap the chipolata sausages in bacon.
  3. Make the bread sauce and gravy.
  4. Make the Yorkshire pudding batter.
  5. Hubbie would not be happy if I did not make mince pies for Christmas Day, so I usually make these after I have been out to pick up my Turkey.
I am up really early Christmas Eve and usually out of the door at 7.00am to pick up last minute supplies. I find it so much quieter at that time and it then allows me to complete all the tasks above before lunch time. Once everything is complete, I can then spend the rest of Christmas Eve with my daughter, visiting family and friends and watching movies. Of course there is always lots of nibbles and wine to enjoy when we finally close our door to the outside world.

Recently I have been trying out some new pans from the Kaufmann's Sienna range. Not only do they look good but I found the pans easy to clean and they heated up quickly too. I loved the glass lids so that I could keep an eye on the cooking while I rushed on with other jobs which is especially handy around Christmas. The price is really good and for anyone wanting to do more cooking these are a great find and as we all know it’s so easy to buy from Amazon. I also spotted on their website there’s some recipes with videos. I definitely want to test these out in the New Year when I have a little more time.  The pans come with a 10 year guarantee and 5 year non-stick warranty so if anything was to go wrong, you know that you are covered. You can buy the range of pans at Amazon in either a 3 piece saucepan set, a 2 piece frying pan set and a 5 piece saucepan and frying pan set.

Another tradition I partake in is preparing a Christmas Eve box for Gee, it usually contains hot chocolate, a new Christmas mug, a DVD, reindeer food (although this year this may not happen), some new pyjamas and slippers and a Christmassy bath bomb. We love to have a nice bath and put our new pyjamas on and wait for Santa. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?

Stocking Fillers for Everyone

18 December 2018

Photo by Luke Southern on Unsplash

One of our traditions is to hang stockings on our beds and fill them with lots of small treats.  I tend to buy little bits all throughout the year (especially sale items or clearance stock).  I find Gee would rather have lots of small gifts and gets so much enjoyment unwrapping her stocking on Christmas morning, joining us in our bed, it is the beginning of a perfect Christmas Day.  Below are a few items that you could include.

Goo Poop & Glow Goo Kits - Smiggle
My daughter is mad about slime and goo and these lovely sets from Smiggle are now on offer at £8.00 each. You get everything in the box to make your own slime and goo without having to hunt around the house for ingredients.  I know what present Gee will be playing with first on Christmas morning.

Not forgetting the animals a handmade Cat Blanket 
A while ago I came across a lovely lady called Jasmin who hand crochets beautiful blankets and other things especially for our pets.  Mr Fluff loves his autumn leaves blanket but trying to get a photo of him is quite a challenge.  You can find Jasmin's Handarbeiten on Facebook, she is so lovely and will cater for the needs of your pets and little ones.

Nanshy Masterful Collection Make-up Brushes - Perfect for Teens
Nanshy are a Cruelty-Free & Vegan makeup accessories brand.  The Masterful Collection Make-up Brushes are made from high quality synthetic hair, have labelled handles, perfect for that flawless finish.  There are twelve brushes in the collection, one for each, angled detailer, crease, blending, contouring, blush, powder, stippling, foundation, shader, pencil, liner and lip brush, I would be happy with these in my stocking as well as my daughter. The beautiful pearlescent handles are weighted to aid the application.  Priced at £49.95 for all 12 brushes they are a bargain.

Maped Helix Sets for kids who like to be creative
My daughter just loves any kind of stationary and the Rose Gold Metallic Oxford Maths set from Maped Helix would make a lovely gift and hopefully encourage her a little more with maths.  Priced at £9.99 it comes with its own storage tin.  Another lovely gift is the Premium Writing Gift Set which comes with a fountain, rollerball and ballpoint pens.  This item is £19.99.

PJMasks LED Lights for toddlers
For the little ones they are sure to love the PJMasks colour changing LED lights. These would make a lovely gift for children who don't like the dark as they provide a soft light and also stay cool to touch. Priced at £7.99 they are perfect for stockings at Christmas.  Available from all major UK retailers.

Well it really isn't long now until the big day and I still have lots to do and prepare.  Have a lovely Christmas everyone.

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