Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Home Accessories: Rugs

I don’t know about you, but I love rugs! I have laminate flooring in my flat and it’s my preference, but I also like the look of being cosy and comfortable – which is why I live rugs! I currently have a large rug in my living room and a different one in my bedroom but I think as winter approaches I’ll want more.

As I am sure you are all aware, we’re in the middle of a heatwave, so being cosy hasn’t been on my list of priorities, but as the cold weather comes back (booo) I know I’ll be wanting more rugs and blankets in my home. I’ve started looking at Land of Rugs for options and there are literally so many to choose from! 

Large rugs are perfect for the home as this handy infographic shows - click to make it larger!

Land of Rugs have tonnes of options and by using the code "blogger01" you'll even get 10% off

Let me know if any rugs take your fancy!

Debz xx

Monday, 23 July 2018

Old Home New: Renovating a Victorian Terrace For Modern Living

Victorian terraces are gorgeous, classic houses which as the name suggests were built during the Victorian era. Built from stone and local brick they’re sturdy and have stood the test of time with hundreds of thousands of them still standing in the UK. With their high ceilings and character features, they make wonderful family homes for those who love a property with a little character and interest. However, as you’d imagine, life has changed considerably since these houses were built. If you’ve purchased one which has the same original layout you might need to do some work to bring it in line with modern family living. Here are a few areas you might need to consider.

The Windows
Victorian terraces usually have stunning sash style windows. If you’d like to keep the original style while upgrading to high quality double or triple glazing, there are companies that offer this. As you can see from this Roseview Windows video, they offer a nice slim sash style that would complement this style of house beautifully.

The Kitchen and Bathroom
Victorian terraces were built before a time when flushing indoor toilets were commonplace. For this reason, the original houses aren't built with a bathroom upstairs. When it became the law for all homes to have a flushing toilet, the solution was to create a small bathroom extension off the small kitchen to the rear of the home. It generally makes sense to move the bathroom upstairs and extend the kitchen in these kinds of homes. If you have space outside you can extend outwards, otherwise you could turn the middle reception room into the kitchen. That way you can knock down the small kitchen structure to create a bigger garden or use it as a utility room. Either way, the layout doesn’t tend to make sense for modern living so families will usually upgrade and modernise.

Victorian terraces were of course built during a time when the average person or family didn't own a car. For this reason the houses tend to either sit right on the street or with a small front garden with no drive. In some areas the front garden will be a little larger and so you may be able to turn this into a driveway but it’s not always the case. If you have a rear entrance to your back garden, you could look into creating a parking space, garage or carport there. Make sure you check out the parking situation before you buy, and if there’s only on street parking available think long and hard if you’re ok about this.

These old houses can be renovated beautifully, and with money, planning and effort can be brought into the 21st century for modern living. But there are some things to bear in mind so go into it with your eyes open and aware of the possible issues.

Have you ever lived in a Victorian terrace or would you want to? What are your pros and cons?

Friday, 20 July 2018

Home is Where The Heart Is

I have been in my rented flat a few months now and I am definitely keen to start making it home. Although I can’t do as much as if I owned my own home, I am excited to get started. I do sometimes dream of what I would do if I was a homeowner, but I think my budget restraints would put a dampner on lots of what I would want to do – but what’s life without a little wishful thinking!?

Home Within These Walls

One of the things I would love is to be able to decorate exactly how I want. Although I can fill my rented flat with as many accessories as I like, it’s not quite the same as being able to go wild on the walls. I have to say I would love a living room decorated with a stunning floral wallpaper and that’s definitely something I would have if I had the choice – maybe I should speak to my landlord?

I actually quite like the idea of a mural on the wall – floral, or a nice quote and I think that would be my choice for a bedroom if I had my way. I love a bedroom being all cosy and welcoming and I think there are some great floral choices out there that watch this. Especially if you go for a neutral floral colour which means that any bedding choices go with this.

Carpets and Curtains

Me, personally, I prefer a laminate or wooden flooring over carpet – although then I like a nice fluffy rug. My home is all about cosy comfort and so I have lots of rugs, blankets and cushions everywhere. I am happiest when I am on my sofa, with my blankets watching something on the TV. For bedrooms I like bedrooms but for living rooms I like curtains – fussy aren’t I?

Your Home, Your Rules

Much like fashion and style I am a massive believer in your home being exactly how you want it. You’re the person who spends their time there, so it should absolutely be something that you love. Yes, there are trends and fashions and people might give you their advice, but why would you go for something someone else wants, when you’re the person who has to live there?

What are your home interior choices?

Debz x

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Thursday, 19 July 2018

An Overview of Online Dating

Dating is a funny old game isn’t it? I often wonder what dating was like before the days of social media, as a majority of my dating life started online! I imagine the days of dating before we could text someone as soon as a date has ended and view their Facebook to see if they’re active and spend time second guessing how they’re feeling and what their thoughts are!

Do You Like Dating?

I have a love/hate relationship with dating and definitely go through stages where I like it more than others. I think sometimes if you have been dating people for a while you sometimes need a break from it, especially if those dates tend not to materialise to anything. And having a break is okay, you have to do what is best to look after yourself and meet your own needs. When you’re ready you can jump back in, or dip a toe back in as much or as little as you like.
I tend to go all or nothing, especially when it comes to dating online. I just watch a website to match me happy, is that really too much to ask? However, mostly when I am in the right frame of mind I enjoy dating, meeting new people and going new places – after all, it passes the time. I try to do low key dates so there is not too much pressure and I don’t feel too left down if something doesn’t work out.

Taking the Plunge

If you haven’t online dated before then I understand it can be a scary concept, but mostly there is nothing to worry about. I would suggest starting with free dating websites as these mean you don’t have to part with any money – and there are plenty of sites to try! That said, I never pay for dating websites because I am tight, so you can definitely stick with the free ones if that is what you want to do.

One of the biggest decisions to what dating website to choose. There are so many niche ones out there, but if you’re taking the plunge for the first time I would suggest one of the more general ones. That way, you can get a feel for whether online dating is for you and how much you like it. Whether you want to use a website or an app is again a personal decision and one you may want to play around with a little before you decide. Remember, you can usually delete dating profiles so if you think a website isn’t for you, don’t be afraid to do this and try something new.

Meeting New People

Generally, most people would assume men are the first people to message and in my experience that is often the case. That said, you should absolutely message someone first if you like the look of them and their profile – what do you have to lose? The worst you get back is a “no thanks”, and you can simply move on.

When you have swapped a few messages with someone, I would suggest looking at getting out there and meeting someone. Online can be very different, so going for a drink soon is my recommendation. This doesn’t have to be a full on date or anything with lots of pressure but just the chance to spend some time together.

Overcoming Nerves

I will be honest and say there is literally no quick fix for this  - you’re meeting someone new, nerves are naturally! That said, remind yourself  - what’s the worst that can happen? You’re allowed to leave at anytime, so if a date really is that awful – leave. I know it can be an awkward thing to leave but I have done it and so can you! Other than that, it’s just a few slightly awkward hours and then you can go home!

Wear something you feel comfy in, set off in plenty of time so you aren’t rushing and panicking and tell them you have plans after so you can’t stay long are my 3 top tips. That way, you can leave when you need to but also extend it if you’re having a great time.

Most importantly remember dating is meant to be fun – so get out there, enjoy it and have a good time. If one date doesn’t work out there are whole dating websites full of people for you to meet, so why not get out there and try again?

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Wedding Planning Should Be A Breeze... But It Isn't

To some lucky people out there, planning a wedding is going to be like a walk in the park. All of the money will be sorted, the location will be ready for them, the dress will be found on the first shop. Some people just have it easy. But, these people are few and far between, and if you’re planning your wedding at the minute, or you’re close to planning it, we know you’re going feel that stress pile up as the days go on. The worst thing about it is, the whole process can take months, maybe even a year or more. It’s not a quick few bookings and your wedding is ready to go, there’s so many different factors that you’re going to have to try to consider. Some of these factors we want to try and discuss today, which should hopefully edge your wedding planning towards being a breeze. Because for the most part, you should be taking every moment in, and enjoying every experience you have. So, here’s how we think your wedding planning can easily become a breeze, have a read on to find out more.

Solving Your Money Issues

If your wedding planning isn’t a breeze at the minute, we could put money on the issue being… money. If you’re stressing over the finances of your wedding before you have even booked anything, then consider your options. If a wedding in the UK is too expensive, you could always consider having on abroad. You would literally save thousands by doing this. All you would need to do is figure out the people who you would most like to be there, and who would be most likely to come. Send out Pure Invitation wedding invites, and wait until you hear from your invited wedding guests. All you would then need to do is book a hotel, and make sure it’s one that has a wedding package. If you go to countries like Cyprus, pretty much all of the hotels on the beach cater for weddings, and actually put on a really good display and spread of food for you and your guests. You’ll probably spend a couple of thousand on this, rather than other £10,000 if you were to keep it in the UK. However, if you don’t have the option of going abroad, then you’re going to have to think of ways that you can cut cost in the UK. The location of the wedding reception and the spread of food that you put on plays a big part. There are some great locations that will have absolutely everything included in the cost, even the DJ. These are the savings that you need to try and watch out for.

Venue Nightmares

Venues really do cause problems, and if it isn’t the cost that’s causing you troubles, it’ll be the lack of choice that you feel you have. Some will either be too expensive, some will be fully booked, or some won’t be big enough for the wedding party that you’re hoping to bring. If you want our advice, it would be to explore a bit further afield, and sit and wait. Once you’re engaged, there’s no rush to actually get married, and we feel this is the part that people seem to forget about. A wedding should be relaxed, in the perfect venue, with the perfect people, and often time is the only thing that’s going to be able to grant you that.

The Time Of Year

The time of year does play a big part in the price of your wedding, and the type of wedding you’re going to have. If you had booked your wedding for next week, you would have the most glorious weather for your day considering this heat wave that we’ve been having. But, if you’re going to book it earlier or later than the summer months, you run the risk of having a rainy wedding. If you want things to go as smoothly as planned, we would recommend that you go for a summer wedding. However, if you want something slightly more magical, you could try your luck and go for a winter wedding to try and get some snow.

Honeymoon Happiness

If there’s one thing that we think is going to be a breeze, it’s the honeymoon planning. It’s the best bit because you know it means relaxation, and personal time as newlyweds. It’s a magical time, and there’s so many locations around the world that are geared up for honeymoons. Head to the Maldives, and we guarantee you’re going to have the most amazing time.

Creating The Perfect Home

When it comes to creating a home, I am a massive fan of making it your own. I’ll be honest and say I will never live in a show-home. My furniture is mismatched, my rugs don’t match the décor and I am in desperate need of a proper side board, but it is mine and I live in!

I have started to invest in canvases for the wall, which I love and a bring pink flamingo clock now also calls my flat home. I want my living room especially, to be an extension of my personality and my loves. I have started to display fat and body positive books and art on my coffee table and this is definitely something that I want to expand on. When I am at home I spend a majority of my time in my living room, so why wouldn’t I want it to be just how I like it? I understand my tastes aren’t for everyone, but not everyone has to spend their time in my living room so that’s just fine by me!

Shopping for Homeware

What I love when it comes to shopping for homeware is that there is literally something for everyone. Want a bright yellow bathroom? No problem! Fancy a living room complete with rose gold décor? Fine! Whether you want to create a minimalist space or want your rooms filled with treasure and trinkets, there is definitely something for you.

There are lots of places that I love to shop – Asda Homeware and Tiger are some of my favourites. I can’t be the only person that wishes Tiger did online shopping! I also get the odd bit from Amazon and actually New Look has had the odd piece too! I definitely don’t have the budget to buy it all at once, so I will be looking for ALL the homeware sales in the coming months and buying bits as and when they come up!

Creating The Perfect Home

I don’t know about you, but I love spending time browsing home options online. I have loads of ideas of what I would do if I won the lottery and could invest in my own, perfect home. Without a doubt, I want a home with a conservatory and an aluminium lantern roof. I adore the sunshine, so being able to sit in a room like this throughout the summer would be wonderful! 

These last few weeks of sunshine, this would have been perfect. I can just imagine being sat in my conservatory, all of the doors open to let in the fresh air and the sun beaming through the windows at the top of the room, absolute bliss!

What Would You Do?

I love knowing what other people would do with their home if money were no object. I am sure most of us have taken steps to create a home we really love, but what if you would really go all out and buy exactly what you wanted, without worrying about budget – what would you create?

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

How Do Bridal Traditions Differ Around the World?

Wherever you are in the world, getting married is a special occasion. However, different cultures have their own unique ways of preparing for and celebrating the happy couple’s nuptials. QUIZ, retailers of occasion dresses and plus size tops, tell us a few weird and wonderful wedding traditions from around the world.

Traditions in Germany

When it comes to wedding traditions, Germany have many. Some of them begin before the big day is underway. For example, before a future bride-to-be is even engaged, she saves away pennies, which will then be used to purchase her wedding shoes. This tradition is said to help the happy couple get off on the right foot.

It’s common for people to post their wedding invitations to their guests, but not in Germany. Here, they send out a Hochzeitslader, a gentleman dressed in formal, fancy wear complete with ribbons and flowers, to hand-deliver their invitations. Guests accept the invitations by pinning a ribbon from the Hochzeitslader’s outfit onto his hat, before inviting him into their home for a drink. Depending on the guest list, this can take quite some time!
It’s tradition for German couples to get married in a town registry office. Then, in the days following, a church ceremony can be held, although this isn’t required. Generally, few guests will attend the civil ceremony and the bride and groom will dress relatively simply.

If a couple decide to wed in a church however, it’s traditional for a Polterabend to take place a few days after the civil ceremony. Believing that negative spirits are attracted to brides, Polterabend takes place to scare them aware. On the night before the church ceremony, the bride and groom gather with their friends and family where they smash china and porcelain. The noise made is said to scare away the spirits, while illustrating that their marriage will never break. Glass is never broken, as this is believed to be bad luck.

After the service is over, some Germans get active by sawing logs. A log is set up on a sawhorses and the bride and groom must work together to saw through it, illustrating their teamwork. Instead of confetti, wedding guests throw grains of rice over the bride and groom, with legend being that each grain of rice that lands in the bride’s hair symbolises a future child!
When it comes to the reception, the bride’s veil is held up and the bride and groom dance underneath it. When the music stops, single women will tear pieces off the veil. The lady left with the biggest piece is said to be the next to marry. Alternatively, instead of ripping the veil, guests simply throw money into it while it is held up.

Traditions in Spain

There are some noticeable differences between wedding traditions in Spain and the UK. For example, they don’t include bridesmaids, groomsmen, a maid of honour or best man, and the mother of the groom walks her son down the aisle. Likewise, there are no speeches and wedding rings are worn on the ring finger of the right hand.
With true tradition, the wedding dress and veil was made from black lace! However, modern times have seen more brides wearing a white lace dress and mantilla, a type of lace headdress. 

The mantilla is traditionally given by the mother of the bride, who will have it embroidered especially. The mantilla is worn with a peineta — a high comb.
What about timings? Traditional Spanish weddings will begin in the early evening and continue into the early hours. Often, the groom will present his bride with 13 gold coins, each blessed by a priest. This act is said to bring the couple good fortune and symbolise the groom’s commitment to support his bride.

One thing that’s a big part of traditional weddings in Spain is flowers. Many choose the orange blossom to symbolise purity. The bride will give a small flower corsage to her girlfriends. If a lady is single, she must wear her corsage upside down and if she loses it during the night, it’s believed that she will be next to be married!

Traditions in China

Due to the size of the country, traditions can vary from region to region, yet each has their own special meaning.

One unusual tradition involved Tujia brides, they must cry for an hour a day every day for a month in the run-up to their wedding. After the first ten days, the bride’s mother joins her in crying daily before being joined by her grandmother. As the other women join in, it’s seen as an expression of their joy.

In the Yugar culture, brides are shot by their grooms with a bow and arrow (thankfully, the arrows are free from their arrowheads!). After shooting their bride three times, the arrows are broken, showing that the couple will always love each other.
Before the wedding, when the bride is getting ready, a ‘good luck woman’ will help the bride do her hair. This woman is considered lucky if she has living parents, a spouse and children, and it is hoped she will pass on some of this good fortune to the bride.

The husband-to-be will collect the bride from her home, where he is greeted by the bride’s friends, who block his entry into the home (it’s all in good spirits). The groom is required to prove his love for his future wife through answering a series of questions about her or even by offering money in red envelopes to buy his way into the house.

In northern China, brides will traditionally wear a red dress or Qi Pao, embroidered with gold and silver detailing. In southern China, brides wear a two-piece outfit — a Qun Gua, Kwa or Cheongsam — featuring a gold phoenix or dragon detailing.

On the evening of the wedding, the bride is given a half-cooked dumpling. This is a signifier of family prosperity, as the word raw is linked to child birth.

Traditions in India

Similar to in China, it depends on the region that the wedding is taking place as to the traditions that are followed. It’s not uncommon for Indian weddings to take place over several days — different to the couple’s one special day in other countries. 
Before the big day, the bride partakes in a Mehendi ceremony. This is where family and friends gather to apply the beautifully intricate henna. Tradition says that the deepness of the colour of the henna determines the bond between husband and wife and how well the bride will get along with her mother-in-law. Hidden within the henna are the names of the happy couple and it’s often painted on the palms, hands, forearms and legs.

What about the outfit? This also depends on where the bride was born. In some regions, the women will wear a saree (long drape) for her wedding and in others she wears a lehenga (a long skirt). It’s common for the bride to be dressed in red or another bright colour and her clothing is stitched with an outstanding design.

One big part of an Indian wedding is the walk around the fire. The marriage becomes official when the bride and groom walk around the fire four times as verses are chanted, and the couple is tied together. The husband and wife then race back to their seats, as the one who sits first is said to be the most dominant.

As we can see traditions vary significantly depending on where you live. But, they’re all a celebration of love and happiness and are special in their own ways. Will you take any inspiration from these traditions for your special day? 

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