Tuesday 19 December 2023

Four Ways To Relax

These days we are encouraged more and more to be mindful and to take better care of ourselves, and so relaxing has become more of an essential to our routines than ever before. Work stress, relationships, family life, they can all take their toll physically and mentally, and therefore we can need some time to relax and unwind. But how best is it to do that? With that in mind, here are some of the ways that you could relax and feel better. 

Image c/o Pixabay

Visit a spa

Sometimes we can feel stressed and ache in our bodies, and this can cause us to feel a little down and out. So it may be time to think about how you can relax your whole body, as well as your mind, and one of the ways to do it would be to visit a spa. You could go for a massage, relax in the pools, or try a unique spa experience that infuses hot and cold at places like Banya No.1 - Chiswick. It could certainly be a great way to relax and unwind. A spa experience forces you to relax and enter that mindset, so this is a great way to help you feel more yourself again. 

Get an early night

Everyone needs sleep, there is no hiding from that fact. But at the same time, you also need to understand that you need to get a decent night's sleep. An early night is often the best way to relax after a particularly tough and tiring day. Enabling you to get the rest you need, relax in bed and generally rest your mind and your body. If sleep is something you struggle with, try and start a bedtime touring where you encourage your body to relax as the night goes on, enabling you to fall naturally to sleep quickly. 

Make small steps to take better care of your body and mind

It is also important that you take better care of yourself when it comes to your body and mind, and one of the ways to do that would be to make relaxation a priority. We can all feel stressed and anxious for various reasons in our lives, and so making sure you take the time to unwind from that is important. It doesn't need to be about massive change. Simple things like making sure you are eating the right things, being active during the day, getting enough sleep and also taking some time to enjoy a little bit of self care, are all small steps you can take to improve your relaxation. Which brings us to our last suggestion...

Indulging in a bit of self care 

Self care can be a great way to relax, but it is also essential to help us stay positive and to keep a healthy mindset. Self care will always be different for everyone, so it is all about finding what works for you. This could be a simple thing such as a warm bath before bed. It might be that you like to switch off and relax with your favorite TV programme or a good book. Self care might involve taking extra care with your skincare routine, your exercise, or what you eat. Find what works for you and then don’t be afraid to do it as often as necessary to help you relax. 

Let’s hope these tips help you to relax and feel better. 


Friday 15 December 2023

Why Is Budgeting Important For Businesses?

While a business owner needs to know how to do a whole host of important things, and while it would be all but impossible to say which of those things has to take priority, it’s crucial to remember that budgeting needs to be on your to-do list and that it certainly has to be in the top few things you need to do for your business if you want it to grow and succeed. 

Image c/o Pexels

Why? Surely your budget is something that can pretty much take care of itself while you do other important things. After all, you only have a certain number of hours in the day, and you can’t do everything - couldn’t your budget be left until another time? 

The answer is no, and there are many reasons why not. Read on to find out what some of them are and why budgeting is so important. 

Ensures You Have Enough 

Perhaps the most obvious and the most simple reason for having a business budget is that it ensures you have enough money to actually run the business and keep it working. Without a budget in place, you could easily get carried away and spend too much without really knowing how much you have to spare, and that could leave you without enough to pay the bills. 

Once that happens, it’s going to be hard to build things back up again, especially if you find that your suppliers no longer want to work with you, and you have to pay not only the current bill but the previous one as well. It doesn’t look good if you want to borrow money further down the line either, and it could be why a lender says no to you. All in all, budgeting means you won’t get into this position and can run your business much more smoothly

You’ll Be Ready To Innovate

Something that all business owners need to be ready to do is innovate when need be. It might not happen today or tomorrow, but at some point, it will happen - something will come along that is exactly what your business needs and you need to be able to invest in it. 

It could be anything, from fantastic new data platforms to a new employee who’s an expert in a sector you want to expand into (and much more besides), but unless you’ve budgeted in advance, you might have to miss out. By having a sensible budget and being able to put money aside, you don’t have to just keep up with changes in your industry; you can benefit from them and put them into practice sooner rather than later. 

You’ll Have Choices

A business with a good budget where cash flow is good and, if there are times when it’s not, the budget will ensure everything is still covered is a profitable and coveted one, and that means you’ll have choices about what you want to do in the future. You might want to franchise the business or sell it and live off the proceeds, for example, and if you’ve been budgeting well from the start, all those paths will be open to you. 

Failing to budget well means a lot of opportunities will be closed to you, and you might not actually have any choice at all - you’ll just have to keep working, and that work-life balance you wanted to achieve could be a long time coming. 


Monday 11 December 2023

Time To Deal With Pain And Change Your Lifestyle

Many people will struggle with some sort of ongoing pain from time to time. It might be caused by an injury, it could be caused by an accident, or you may find that your surroundings are having an adverse effect and you don’t even realise it. So what can you do? Sometimes the best advice is to take some action and ensure that you do what you can to feel better. Here are some of the ways that you can deal with pain and help you transform your habits and lifestyle.   

Image c/o Pixabay

Seek some advice from a specialist 

One of the first things to consider would be to seek out some advice from a specialist. This might be a doctor or a specialist in a specific area could be the resolution you need. Whether you want to try dry needling on lower limbs or seek out the help of a chiropractor for back pain, finding the right person is key. The more specialised they are in the specific area that is causing you pain, the more they will be able to help. They will be able to provide treatment for it or even prescribe something to help handle the pain. The more action you take, the better you will feel about it. 

Are your surroundings helping?

Dealing with a specialist and tackling the area of the pain is only halfway to trying to resolve this for you on a long-term basis. You also need to look at your surroundings and see if there is anything that could be changed to better improve the situation. This might be looking at your sleeping arrangements, for example. Your mattress may not have been changed in a while and therefore could be causing you pain. It might be your pillow or even the environment such as stuffiness in the room. Also think about chairs you sit on regularly and other aspects of your home such as getting in and out of the shower, or climbing the stairs, for example. 

Are you helping yourself?

The big question to ask yourself is whether or not you are helping yourself. Going to work and working through the pain is one thing, but could your working environment be improved to help? A new more supportive chair, for example. Or even a desk that can be raised or lowered so that you can stand if that is more suitable for you. Also, think about the driving position and extra support you can put in place in your car. The more you actively do, the better you will feel and aid the recovery process. 

Painkillers and stretches can help

Last of all, think about painkillers to help take the edge off the pain and any stretches you can do. Sometimes pain isn’t just about one area but a build-up of pressure surrounding the problem area. The more you can do in the mornings when you wake up or throughout the day can help you to alleviate strain on muscles and allow you to feel better as you start to move and go about your business. 

Let’s hope these tips help you to get a grip on any pain you might be suffering with. 


Thursday 7 December 2023

Why You Should Start Making Your Home’s Exterior More Unique

When a house looks unique, it immediately captures attention. When was the last time you saw a house that was pink? Blue? What about red? Chances are, you can remember because it’s so unique. But what about the last time you saw a white house or a brick house? Well, nothing specific will most likely stick out since they’re so common. But with that said, have you ever considered making your house more unique? 

Image credit

Not the inside, since passersby usually can’t see that, but specifically the outside for anyone and everyone to see. Well, when it comes to your house, even the outside, you should never feel like there needs to be a limit. It's your home, and you should make it look however you want. So, with that said, here’s exactly why you should make your home's exterior more unique! 

It Gives You the Chance to Express Your Individuality 

When it comes to curb appeal, you really don’t need to make your house look exactly the same as all the other houses next door. In fact, why would you want it to look cookie cutter? As you already know, your home's exterior is the first impression visitors and passersby have of your residence. Do you really want to give off the idea you’re boring? 

In general, creating a unique exterior allows you to express your individuality and stand out in the neighbourhood. Whether through distinctive architectural elements, vibrant colors, or creative landscaping, your home becomes a statement piece that reflects your personality and taste- seriously show off who you are! You shouldn’t have to let your personality flourish behind closed doors!

Sense of Belonging

You want to feel at home at your house, and reflecting on who you are is truly the best way to do that. Whenever you’re personalising the exterior to align with your preferences, it becomes a place that truly feels like yours. 

Potential Boost in Curb Appeal

Alright, so this one kind of depends. To a degree, there can be some potential that you can boost the curb appeal by showing off your personality. It’s really going to depend on the coordination itself, the neighbourhood, and what exactly you plan on doing. For example, if you live in a cookie-cutter neighbourhood and you want to switch out your garage doors, than that can be a good thing. 

But if all of the houses are white on the street and you paint your house a neon green, than that’s going to destoy the potential for curb appeal. So, there needs to be some balance, and you don’t want your house to stick out like a sore thumb, either. 

It Inspires Creativity

Generally speaking, thinking outside the box when it comes to your home's exterior usually encourages creativity and innovation. It opens the door to unconventional design choices, unique landscaping ideas, and the integration of sustainable and eco-friendly elements. Honestly, embracing uniqueness fosters a spirit of creativity that can extend to other aspects of your life, which is beautiful! 


Friday 17 November 2023

Smart Strategies: How to Save Money When Shopping Online

In the era of digital convenience, online shopping has become a go-to for many consumers. However, finding ways to save money while indulging in retail therapy is always a welcome bonus. From utilising discount codes to leveraging browser extensions like Honey, here are some savvy tips to help you cut costs and maximise your savings when shopping online.

1. Hunt for Discount Codes:

One of the simplest and most effective ways to save money while shopping online is by using discount codes. These codes can offer significant price reductions or additional perks like free shipping. Here's how you can find them:

Search Engines: Before completing your purchase, conduct a quick search for discount codes related to the specific store or product. Simply type the store name or product along with "discount code" or "promo code" into your preferred search engine.

Coupon Websites: Dedicated coupon websites compile a variety of discount codes for different online retailers. Popular options include RetailMeNot, Coupons.com, and Groupon. Browse these platforms to discover exclusive deals and promotions.

2. Leverage the Honey Chrome Extension:

The Honey browser extension is a game-changer for online shoppers. Here's how it works:

Automatic Savings: Honey automatically scans the internet for the best available discount codes and applies them during the checkout process. This means you don't have to spend time searching for codes manually.

Price Tracking: Honey can also track price changes for specific items over time. If an item you've been eyeing drops in price, Honey will notify you, ensuring you never miss a great deal.

Honey Gold Rewards: The Honey extension offers a rewards program called Honey Gold, allowing you to earn points for purchases made through participating retailers. These points can later be redeemed for gift cards.

3. Sign Up for Newsletters for Introductory Discounts:

Many online retailers offer exclusive discounts to customers who sign up for their newsletters. While it may mean receiving promotional emails, the potential savings make it worthwhile. Here's how to make the most of this strategy:

First-time Purchase Discounts: Retailers often provide a one-time discount for new customers. By subscribing to the newsletter, you may receive a code for a percentage off your first purchase or free shipping.

Exclusive Offers: Subscribers frequently receive exclusive promotions, early access to sales, and notifications about upcoming deals. Keep an eye on your inbox for these opportunities to save.

Customised Deals: Some newsletters tailor promotions based on your preferences and shopping history, providing a personalised shopping experience.

4. Use Auction Sites

Utilising auction sites, such as John Pye Auctions, can be a savvy approach to saving money online. These platforms offer a diverse range of products, from electronics to luxury goods, at potentially discounted prices through the auction format. 

Participating in online auctions allows consumers to set their maximum bid, ensuring that they stay within their budget. Reputable sites like John Pye Auctions provide a transparent bidding process, allowing users to track their bids and compete for items of interest. This dynamic online marketplace can be a treasure trove for those seeking cost-effective deals on a variety of items, presenting an exciting and engaging way to shop while keeping a keen eye on one's budget.

Shopping online doesn't have to break the bank. By implementing these smart strategies, you can save money, uncover hidden discounts and make your online shopping experience more enjoyable. Whether it's through discount codes, browser extensions, or newsletter subscriptions, the internet offers a plethora of opportunities to cut costs without sacrificing the joy of finding the perfect item. Happy shopping and saving!


Wednesday 15 November 2023

Factors To Consider When Selecting An Engagement Ring

Are you getting married? Congratulations to you both! When you are in a whirlwind of wedding planning, whether you are going big or keeping it low-key, you still have a number of things to do. One of which, and arguably one of the most exciting tasks at hand, is selecting the perfect engagement ring for you. If you are uncertain of how to go about it, keep reading for helpful advice.

Image c/o Pexels

How to choose the right diamond

When buying a diamond, there are several important factors to consider, often referred to as the "Four Cs": cut, colour, clarity, and carat weight. These factors help determine the overall quality and value of a diamond. Additionally, you may also want to consider the diamond's certification, shape, and fluorescence. Here's a breakdown of each factor:

Cut: The cut of a diamond refers to how well it has been shaped and faceted. It's crucial because a well-cut diamond will reflect light beautifully, creating sparkle and brilliance. The cut is graded on a scale from Excellent to Poor.

Colour: Diamonds are graded on a colour scale from D (colourless) to Z (light yellow or brown). The less colour a diamond has, the more valuable it is. However, some people prefer warmer tones, so this can be a matter of personal preference.

Clarity: Clarity measures the presence of any internal flaws (inclusions) or external blemishes (blemishes). Clarity grades range from Flawless (no imperfections visible under 10x magnification) to Included (imperfections visible to the naked eye). Higher clarity grades generally mean a more valuable diamond.

Carat Weight: Carat is a measure of a diamond's weight. Larger diamonds are rarer and usually more valuable, but the overall value also depends on the other three Cs.

Certification: It's essential to buy a certified diamond. Certifications confirm the diamond's quality and characteristics.

Shape: Diamonds come in various shapes, such as round, princess, emerald, and more. The shape is a matter of personal preference, and different shapes can affect how light reflects within the stone.

Fluorescence: Some diamonds exhibit fluorescence, a glowing effect when exposed to ultraviolet light. While faint fluorescence usually doesn't affect a diamond's appearance, strong fluorescence can make a diamond look milky or hazy. It's a good idea to view the diamond in various lighting conditions to assess its appearance.

Remember that personal preferences play a significant role in choosing a diamond. It's crucial to find a balance among the Four Cs based on your priorities and budget.

What size gemstone would you like?

You probably already have an idea of the gemstone size you would prefer. If you have friends or family with large diamonds, you may admire their three-carat diamond ring designs and may be considering selecting one for yourself. It is easy to see the allure of the way light catches on the diamond and reflects its beauty back at you.

When choosing your gemstone size, it is important to consider how you will wear it on a daily basis. If you feel comfortable with a larger gemstone and that is what your heart desires, you should go for it! The great thing about choosing a three-carat diamond or other stone is that you are getting exactly what you want instead of waiting 20 years for an upgrade. Why not start your marriage with the ring of your dreams?

What colour metal do you prefer?

After you have decided on the gem size, it is time to move on to the precious metal for the engagement ring band. The first step in this phase of selection is to take a look at what types of jewellery metal you already wear. Do you like to keep your metals in one family, such as gold or platinum? Or is mixing and matching more your style?

There are several popular precious metals used for engagement rings, each with its own unique characteristics. Here are some of the most common ones, along with their pros and cons:



  • Durability: Platinum is a dense and durable metal, making it an excellent choice for everyday wear.
  • Purity: Platinum is naturally white and does not tarnish, maintaining its colour over time.
  • Hypoallergenic: It is a hypoallergenic metal, making it suitable for individuals with sensitive skin.


  • Cost: Platinum is generally more expensive than other precious metals.
  • Weight: The density of platinum makes it heavier than other metals, which some people may find less comfortable.

White Gold:


  • Affordability: White gold is often more affordable than platinum.
  • Versatility: White gold pairs well with various gemstone colours and styles.


  • Rhodium Plating: Most white gold is plated with rhodium to enhance its whiteness, but this plating can wear off over time, requiring re-plating.
  • Allergies: Some individuals may be allergic to the nickel alloy used in white gold. Look for white gold with palladium or other hypoallergenic alloys if allergies are a concern.

Yellow Gold:


  • Timeless Appeal: Yellow gold has a classic and timeless look.
  • Warmth: The warm colour of yellow gold complements many skin tones.


  • Prone to Scratching: Yellow gold can show scratches more easily than harder metals like platinum.
  • Not as Popular in Modern Styles: Some individuals may prefer more contemporary metals.

Rose Gold:


  • Unique Aesthetic: Rose gold has a distinctive and romantic appearance.
  • Versatility: It complements a variety of gemstone colours.


  • Copper Allergies: Rose gold contains copper, which may cause allergies in some individuals.
  • Limited Availability: While becoming more popular, it may not be as readily available as other gold colours.



  • Lightweight: Palladium is lighter than platinum, providing a comfortable wear.
  • Hypoallergenic: Like platinum, palladium is hypoallergenic.


  • Less Durable than Platinum: While durable, palladium is not as hard as platinum, so it may show wear over time.
  • Limited Design Choices: Palladium is less commonly used than other metals, limiting the variety of available designs.

When choosing a precious metal for an engagement ring, consider factors such as budget, personal style, durability, and any metal allergies. Additionally, be aware that some metals may require maintenance over time to preserve their appearance.

If you are uncertain of what to do, bring in some of your favourite jewellery when you visit the jeweller. Try them on with a few different engagement ring metals that already include a gemstone of your liking and a setting similar to what you have selected. This will help you get a clear visual of what the jewellery will look like when you wear it together. Alternatively, you can play with new metals that will complement your engagement ring when you select a wedding band to go with it.

Some parting advice.

After you have put in your time, money, and effort into making the emotional decision for your engagement ring, you want to keep your beautiful investment in the best condition possible. In order to do that, you need to keep it clean. Your first step should be to ask your jeweller for pro tips on how to care for the ring. Next, watch this helpful video for at-home tips on the best ways to take care of and clean your jewellery. 

By making educated decisions regarding your engagement ring, you will ultimately choose the best one for you. Find the perfect carat size, gemstone, and precious metal to suit the unique person you are. Get ready to stare at your ring finger all day long.


Wednesday 8 November 2023

Hiring & Onboarding Your First Employee

When you have a small business, it can often be quite a while until you actually have a need to bring in anyone to help you. But once that does become necessary, you will then really need to make sure that you do it right. After all, hiring employees and going through the whole process of onboarding them can be really important to get right, and there are a few things that you will need to make sure you are focused on here. Let’s take a look at what those might be and how to keep on top of them.

Image c/o Pexels

Know What You Want

In terms of the actual hiring process, you do need to make sure that you first know what you actually want from an employee, otherwise you might struggle to hire the right person. This is something that is going to be really important to consider, because you will really need to make sure that you have the right person working by your side. So make sure you know what you want and that you are actively looking for it when you are trying to hire your first employee. It really will make a huge difference overall.

Take The Recruitment Slow

You should also make sure that you are taking it quite slow and easy in general when you do the recruitment process. That’s vital because you need to make sure that you are not rushing anything and ending up with the wrong person, which can very often happen here. You need to take it easy, give yourself plenty of time and you will hopefully therefore end up with someone that you can be really happy with on the whole. That is something that is going to make a huge difference to your business in general.

Set Up Payroll

One area that you will always need to get right in order to keep your employee happy and on board is the pay. And once you have even one employee, you need to set up a payroll process that you can rely on, and that is something that can take time to achieve. Nonetheless, as long as you work at it, you should find you can do it. To make it easier, find a payslip template and use a software that seems easy to use. This is going to help you a lot with all of your payroll needs.


There might be areas that your new employee needs training in. Some of these will probably be legal things, such as health and safety, and some will be more to do with certain tools that you like to use in your company. In any case, there should be a period of training before you get them working for real, and this needs to be done in such a way that they are going to be ready to work for you confidently. Make sure you don’t overlook this vital part of the whole process, as it is really important.


Tuesday 31 October 2023

Transforming Smiles: The Allure of Porcelain Veneers and Dental Implants

Your smile is your signature, a reflection of your personality and confidence. However, dental imperfections can diminish the allure of your grin. Fortunately, modern dentistry offers transformative solutions like porcelain veneers and dental implants, which have become increasingly popular for enhancing smiles and restoring dental function. In this blog, I'll explore the allure of porcelain veneers and dental implants and why people opt for these procedures.

Image c/o Unsplash

Porcelain Veneers: The Art of Aesthetic Enhancement

Porcelain veneers are ultra-thin shells custom-crafted from high-quality dental porcelain. They are meticulously designed to mimic the colour, texture, and translucency of natural teeth. This dental marvel is applied to the front surface of the teeth to conceal imperfections and create a flawless smile. 

Here's why people opt for porcelain veneers:

1. Aesthetic Enhancement: Porcelain veneers are like magic wands for dental imperfections. They can correct discoloured, stained, or yellowed teeth, mask gaps, fix misalignments, and restore chipped or worn teeth. The result is a dazzling, picture-perfect smile.

2. Minimal Tooth Reduction: Compared to other procedures, veneers require minimal enamel reduction, preserving the integrity of your natural teeth.

3. Durability: Veneers are long-lasting, with the potential to maintain their appearance for many years with proper care. This means that you can enjoy your enhanced smile for an extended period.

4. Immediate Transformation: The process is remarkably fast. You can go from dental imperfections to a radiant smile in just a couple of dental visits.

5. Confidence Booster: A beautiful smile can significantly boost your self-esteem, making you more comfortable and confident in social and professional situations.

Dental Implants: The Science of Tooth Restoration

Dental implants are a groundbreaking solution for individuals dealing with tooth loss. They offer a durable and natural-looking way to replace missing teeth. Dental implants consist of three components: the implant itself (a small, screw-like post), an abutment, and a crown. Here's why people choose dental implants:

1. Permanent Solution: Dental implants are a long-term and often permanent solution for tooth loss. They integrate with your jawbone, becoming a part of your anatomy.

2. A Natural Feel and Look: Dental implants mimic the appearance and function of natural teeth. They blend seamlessly with your existing teeth, allowing you to speak, eat, and smile with confidence.

3. Improved Oral Health: Unlike some tooth replacement options, dental implants do not rely on neighbouring teeth for support. This means your adjacent teeth remain unaffected and untouched.

4. Enhanced Chewing Function: With dental implants, you can enjoy your favourite foods without restrictions. The chewing power of implants is comparable to that of natural teeth.

5. Jawbone Preservation: Dental implants stimulate the jawbone, preventing bone loss and preserving facial contours.

Why People Choose Porcelain Veneers and Dental Implants

Cosmetic Transformation: People often opt for porcelain veneers to achieve a flawless, celebrity-style smile. The ability to mask dental imperfections, such as stains, gaps, and chips, is a compelling reason for this choice.

Restoration of Function: Dental implants are chosen by those who have experienced tooth loss due to injury, decay, or disease. Implants restore not only the appearance but also the functionality of their teeth.

Boosted Self-Confidence: The confidence that comes with a beautiful smile is a driving force for choosing both porcelain veneers and dental implants. A radiant smile can transform how you feel about yourself and how others perceive you.

Long-Lasting Solutions: Both porcelain veneers and dental implants offer enduring results. People appreciate that these procedures provide a long-term return on their investment.

Wednesday 25 October 2023

The skyrocketing price of beauty advent: Has Christmas capitalism reached its peak?

As the festive season approaches (I saw Christmas decorations in my local supermarket at the beginning of October and nearly blinded myself), we find ourselves inundated with the shiny allure of beauty advent calendars. 

These enticing packages of storebought joy, often laden with luxurious skincare and makeup treasures, have become an annual tradition for many. But what began as a less-calorific take on the daily chocolate treat has become something verging on the absurd. These extravagant advent calendars, with their skyrocketing pricetags, have morphed into a laughable annual reminder of the capitalist and consumerist culture that leaves the average person with FOMO at best, and festive depression at worst, unable to afford the lavish indulgences showcased online and in stores.

Image c/o Unsplash

The cost of advent beauty treats

The escalating cost of beauty advent calendars is nothing short of farcical. Take, for example, Cult Beauty, whose first advent calendar in 2019 was priced at £195. This year, they've raised the stakes to a staggering £225. Yes, they claim you're receiving more than four times the value in products, but the question remains: are the prices of these products overinflated from the get-go?

Let's consider brands like Beauty Pie, who source high-end cosmetic formulas and sell them at a fraction of the cost of those sold by named brands. This practice sheds light on the reality that many products on the shelves - and indeed in advent calendars - are marked up, even if they offer value in quantity. Are these calendars really the great deal they seem to be?

Personally, I thought the issue had come to a head with the Chanel advent calendars, which in 2021, were priced at a jaw-dropping £610. Perhaps not a surprising RRP for Chanel, but inside was a smorgasbord of disappointment - miniature perfumes, cheap-looking bracelets and fragrance cards, amongst two lipsticks, a nail polish and hand cream. While Chanel is known for luxury, it would be a fool's errand to justify such an extravagant price for items that might be considered mere "knick-knacks."

@eliseharmon I’ll lay everything out and show you all of the contents and you can tell me if you think it’s worth it #chaneladventcalendar ♬ Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree (Rerecorded Version) - Brenda Lee

The FOMO is real - but is it more than that?

There's an issue surrounding these calendars that often goes unnoticed - the impact on mental health. The fear of missing out (FOMO) is a real emotion, strongly correlated with social media usage, and it seems rife in relation to the beauty advent calendar. 

We scroll through our feeds, witnessing celebrities and influencers flaunting their calendars (many of which have been gifted) as if there's no "cost of living" crisis sweeping the UK, and this has a tangible mental impact. Feelings of disappointment morph into inadequacy and exclusion. The pressure to "keep up" during the holiday season is already immense, and the incessant marketing of these calendars only exacerbates the issue. The result is a sense of longing and anxiety, which is the last thing anyone needs during a time meant for joy and togetherness.

Moral responsibilities of beauty brands

It's easy to say, "just resist FOMO" or "detox from social media during the festive period." But it's not that simple. We're all consumers in one form or another, and escaping the clutches of capitalism, especially during the Christmas season, is incredibly challenging. The festive season is the highlight of the capitalist calendar, and the pressure to participate is heavy.

Rather than placing blame on consumers, is it finally time to hold beauty brands accountable? While some will undoubtedly argue that business is business, in today's social climate these brands should at least be aware of their moral responsibility to consider the impact of their marketing and pricing strategies on the mental health of their customers. 

However, I'm aware that little action is likely to be taken by a business without a threat to their bottom line. Therefore, if a boycott is the only solution, let the boycott begin...

I'll end this article on this note: the high price of beauty advent calendars is more than just an issue of affordability. It's a reflection of a culture that prioritises profit over wellbeing. This Christmas, let's not forget to unwrap the gift of critical thinking and question the role of these calendars in our lives. It's a small but necessary step in moving towards a more mindful and responsible form of capitalism (I know, I know, is that even possible? Let's imagine that it is).


Sunday 15 October 2023

How To Always Deliver Client Expectations

If you are passionate about something and wish to turn your obsession into a business, go for it. The most successful businesses are those that are powered by passionate individuals. 

As a business owner, it is a must to provide your clients with their wants and needs, as it will encourage them to come back for more and give your business a great reputation.

Here is how to ensure you always give your clients what they want to help you achieve the most success.

Image c/o fauxels

Always have plenty of supplies

As a business, it is essential that you always have plenty of supplies. If you do not have supplies, then how are you supposed to create your products or offer your services?

For instance, if you run a lash business and provide extensions and more to clients, you can easily obtain new supplies online from a local and professional eyelash extensions business. Hence, you do not need to waste your time shopping externally. You can do it from the comfort of your workplace and get new supplies delivered on time, so you are always stocked up to provide many clients with your services.

Promise less

Promising less is an effective way of managing your client’s expectations. Although you might wish to make promises and stick to them, this isn't always easy.

Therefore, avoid making promises; otherwise, you might disappoint your clients and lose them for future profit. Instead, be transparent and honest and let them know your truthful expectations so that they are always satisfied.

Ask what they want

As a business owner, it is a wise idea to ask your clients exactly what they want. When you ask your clients what they want, it will prove to them that you care about them and want to ensure that you give them the best product or service available.

Asking what they want will ensure that you understand client expectations, which can help you adjust your business and guarantee to deliver exactly what they expect from you. This will lead to enhanced client satisfaction and the greatest success for the future of your business.

Offer regular discounts and/or freebies

Offering your clients regular discounts or freebies will enhance their satisfaction and ensure that you go above and beyond their expectations.

Not only will discount sales and freebies deliver on your client's expectations, but they will exceed them. It will allow them to get more for their money and ensure that they feel respected and appreciated. A discount or freebie will not hinder your business profit, as it will likely encourage these clients to invest more money in you, which will enhance your profits in the future.

Research the market

Lastly, it is a wise idea to research the market, as you will soon understand what your target audience wishes and wants from a business.

Although you can get these answers by asking clients directly, you will also get to know more about your client's expectations by doing your own market research.


Tuesday 10 October 2023

Tips For Taking Care Of Ageing Parents, Even If Your Own Life Is Hectic

When our parents get old, it can mark a real change in our lives. More than ending a relationship, and more than moving long distance and standing on your own two feet. When your parents get elderly and need a little assistance to live their usual lives, it feels like the end of an era. 

Not only that, but the heap of responsibility might start getting to you as well. So, for those with an already hectic life, wanting to provide better care for an ageing parent who you love a lot requires some tips.

Image c/o Pexels

Have a Weekly Lunch Date

Being in your parents’ lives is rarely a bad thing. That’s why you should schedule a weekly lunch date between you. Take it in turns to take each other somewhere nice; you need to eat anyway, so why not combine the two activities?! And when you see them once a week, there’s not as much pressure compared to trying to visit them two to three times, or even calling them every day. 

Don’t Force a Conversation, Be Creative!

It can sometimes be hard to talk to elderly relatives, no matter how close you are, thanks to just how different the two of you can be. And when you’re super busy, you’re going to be focused on a lot of other things, rather than how many times a week you give your parents a call! 

That doesn’t mean you should put off the conversation though. Don’t force one, as that’s boring and makes you feel awkward. Try to be creative with what you say - use interesting icebreakers to get the two of you thinking, or throw out a bit of gossip you’ve heard that week and see what your parent has to say. The more fun it is to talk to each other, the more you’re going to do it and do it well. 

Extend Your Home

If you want your parents to live nearer, or to even live with you, you can extend your home by building a granny flat. This is a self-contained, self catering, semi-studio apartment that’s great for ageing people who still want to retain their independence. 

You’re still close by, but you’re separated, and for the most part can lead your own lives. Your mum or dad can pop round for dinner a few times a week, or have a drink ready when you get home from work, but you have your own spaces and can use them how you like. 

Get Your Own Support

Even if it makes you feel bad that you can’t, it’s impossible to do everything. You’ve got your own life to lead! But you can still be there for your parents. You can ask a neighbour to check in, or hire someone to go round in the morning and help clean the house. You’re still doing your bit, just from further away. 

Remember, for ageing parents, it’s possible to take care of each other without stressing out. 


Friday 6 October 2023

How To Look After Both Your Physical And Mental Health This Year

It’s important that you’re looking after yourself both physically and mentally in life. It’s not just one that takes priority over the other. They go hand in hand and when one isn’t addressed, the other is likely to suffer.

Image via Unsplash

There’s no better time to take priority over your health both physically and mentally this year. With that being said, here are some tips to help.

See your medical professionals

If you do anything different this year, make sure you’re booking in with your medical professionals for those all-important checkups. Whether it’s visiting your local dentists for a check of your teeth and gums, to an audiologist to get your hearing checked out.

Attending medical appointments as and when prompted is important. It’s also something that should always take priority over anything else in life. After all, you want to live a long and healthy life, right?

Don’t neglect your medical and healthcare professionals who work hard to ensure you stay healthy.

Spend time on yourself with self-care

Self-care is an absolute must when it comes to both your physical and mental health but unsurprisingly, many feel guilty for even considering it.

It’s not something that’s selfish to prioritize though and it’s beneficial to your mental well-being to give yourself that much-needed pamper. Whether it’s a trip to your favorite stores for shopping or spending an evening with a book in the bath, everyone should have their own time with some self-care habits.

Do exercise that brings you joy

Exercise should be fun and it’s a great way of looking after both your physical and mental health. Doing exercise that brings you joy is important, which is why you should be doing exercise that you love, rather than doing anything exercise-related that feels like a chore.

Try out different exercises, different workouts and sports to figure out what works best for you, rather than what’s recommended or what friends might be doing.

Connect with others regularly

Connecting with others is important, especially in this day and age where the digital age rules. With that being said, try to spend more time with your friends, family members and anyone who you count as being important to you in life.

Spending time with others is good for the soul, so don’t neglect your social life! Try to plan things in your calendar so that you’ve got plans and something to look forward to. Don’t try to spend too much time on your phone - socialize in person instead!

Learn something new

Finally, if you’re looking to bring some more joy into your life and to challenge yourself currently, then try learning something new. There’s always something to be learnt in life whether that’s a piece of knowledge or a physical skill. Look at what you could challenge yourself to this year and make a list of things that you’ve always wanted to tick off or achieve.

Looking after yourself both physically and mentally is important so be sure to use these tips to focus on that this year.


Thursday 5 October 2023

Styling Tips: What to Keep, Toss, and Acquire

The world of fashion is constantly changing, which can be overwhelming for people when faced with choices. With a growing collection of clothes and accessories it's important to assess your wardrobe. This article aims to offer guidance for those looking to optimise their clothing choices.

Image c/o Unsplash

Understanding Your Personal Style

Before diving into the process of optimising your wardrobe, take some time to reflect on and understand your style preferences. Often, we make purchases based on trends than our own personal taste. While appreciating and incorporating fashion trends is great, it's crucial that these purchases align with your style.

Embracing Current Fashion Trends

As the fashion landscape continues to evolve, it's important for individuals who pay attention to things to stay updated on the trends. For example button-up polo shirts have made a comeback and are now popular in both formal settings. Paired with fitted trousers this combination offers a yet relaxed look.

By staying informed about these trends, you can effortlessly blend timeless classics with favourites. Create a well-balanced and dynamic wardrobe.

Exploring Noteworthy Jewellery Collections

Jewellery and accessories undoubtedly play a role in enhancing your appearance. While the clothes we wear play a role in our appearance it's the details of carefully chosen jewellery that truly bring an outfit, to life.

For those seeking timeless pieces it would be wise to explore diamonds by the yard. This exceptional collection perfectly embodies elegance and versatility making it a fantastic choice for individuals who appreciate sophistication in their accessories. Investing in pieces not enhances ones personal collection but also serves as a tangible representation of refined fashion sensibilities.

Preserving Valuable Items

Every wardrobe inevitably contains elements that withstand the test of time. These can include garments like the black dress or versatile accessories that effortlessly enhance any ensemble. It is crucial to recognise and hold onto these items as they serve as the foundation, for a rounded collection.

Additionally, sentimental items or those that represent investments should be preserved if they align with ones evolving fashion tastes.

Letting Go of Unnecessary Clutter

During our fashion journey we often accumulate items that later seem out of place or impulsive purchases. Whether its clothing that no longer fits accessories, left untouched for a period, or pieces that no longer match our preferences, they contribute to unnecessary clutter. It's important to handle items whether, by donating, selling or recycling them.

Strategic Choices for Enhancing Your Fashion Collection

The idea of adding pieces to your wardrobe is always exciting. However it's important to be selective of following every trend that comes along its advised to choose items that complement what you already have. This could mean adding jewellery that pairs well with your outfits or getting essentials that improve both functionality and style.

Remember the focus should always be on the quality of what you acquire than accumulating a large quantity.


To optimise your wardrobe is not about decluttering; it's a journey of self discovery and fashion growth. By understanding your style valuing timeless pieces responsibly parting with items and making strategic additions to your collection, you can achieve a cohesive and purposeful wardrobe. It's time to embrace this path towards a fashion upgrade.


Monday 25 September 2023

How to Stretch Your Summer Wardrobe to Fall

When summer comes to and end, and the weather starts to get chilly and grey, many of us will pack all of our warm-weather clothing away and bring out our fall wardrobe. Well, this might not be as totally necessary as we have come to think! With a few ingenious hacks, it is totally possible to stretch much of your summer wardrobe to fall, so you can get more wear out of those clothes you love so much. Read on to find out more…

Image c/o Pexels

1. Master the Art of Layering

One of the simplest ways to carry your summer wardrobe into fall is by mastering the art of layering. Simply throw a cosy cardigan or a tailored blazer over a summery dress to add warmth and style and will effortlessly become an autumnal outfit. Or, why not wear your breezy summer tops over long-sleeved shirts for a chic and comfortable look? This not only maximises your wardrobe but also creates a multitude of new outfit options.

2. Tights and Leggings Are Your Best Friend

If you really want to be able to wear those delicate summer outfits in the fall season, then there are a couple of things you need in your wardrobe namely tights and leggings. The beauty of tights and leggings is that they come in just about every colour imaginable, so you can easily find a pair that will match with your ditsy print maxi dress or your favorite summer denim shorts, and of course, they will add tons of warmth toy oru leg area so you can keep wearing them long after the sunshine has disappeared.

3. Add Some Autumnal Accessories

Accessories are a cost-effective way to adapt your summer wardrobe to the new season, so as long as you invest in a few key pieces, you should be able to keep rocking those summer fits right up until Thanksgiving. For example, swap out light, summery scarves for thicker, knitted options, or replace beachy straw bags with leather or suede totes. Introducing fall colours, like deep reds, oranges, and browns, through your accessories can also give a warm autumn feel to your outfit that will ensure it works.

4. Repurpose Your Sandals

Now, you might be thinking that your summer sandals are the one thing that you cannot keep wearing once winter comes around, but you would be dead wrong, it is totally possible to wear this delicate footwear right up until winter as long as you do it right. That means pairing your women’s sandals with stylish socks or tights to keep your toes warm, which you might think is a pretty bold and risky move, but that is exactly why it can work! Choose colours that complement your outfit or add an interesting pattern, and wear them with bold confidence and you’ll be as cool and quirky as you like.

5. Incorporate Heavy Fabrics

Mix and match summer clothes with heavier fall fabrics. Combine a silky summer dress with a chunky knit sweater or a light blouse with heavy pants. This contrast not only is visually interesting but also provides the necessary warmth as temperatures drop.

Have a fashionable fall!


Wednesday 20 September 2023

How to change your desktop background on Mac and PC

Your desktop wallpaper, also known as your desktop background, is like the canvas of your digital workspace. It's the first thing you see when you start your computer, so why not make it a reflection of your personality, style, or mood? In this blog post, we'll guide you through the simple steps to change your desktop background on both Mac and PC. But first, let's explore why customising your desktop is worth your while.

Background from The Cosy Store Studio

Why Customise Your Desktop Wallpaper?

  • Express Your Style: Your desktop wallpaper can be a statement piece that reflects your unique taste, whether it's a stunning landscape, a piece of art, or a favorite family photo.
  • Boost Productivity: A visually appealing desktop can motivate you to be more productive. Choose an inspiring image or a clutter-free design to create a soothing work environment.
  • Celebrate Seasons and Holidays: Change your wallpaper to match the season or celebrate upcoming holidays. It's a fun way to add a touch of festivity to your digital world.
  • Embrace Creativity: Many artists and photographers share their work as downloadable wallpapers. Using their creations can be a way to support and appreciate their talent.
  • Stay Organised: Organise your desktop icons better by selecting wallpapers with clear, unobstructed areas for shortcuts. This can help you locate files and apps more easily.

Now, let's dive into the step-by-step instructions for changing your desktop background on both Mac and PC.

Lofi Match Desktop Wallpapers on Etsy

Changing Your Desktop Background on Mac

  1. Click on the Apple Menu: Located in the top-left corner of your screen.
  2. Select "System Preferences": A new window will open.
  3. Click "Desktop & Screen Saver": This will take you to the customisation options.
  4. Choose a Wallpaper: Browse through the pre-installed wallpapers or click the "+" button to add your image.
  5. Adjust Wallpaper Settings: You can adjust settings such as picture position, colour, and more to your liking.
  6. Close the Window: Your new desktop wallpaper is now set.

Cosy Lofi City Sunset Wallpapers on Etsy

Changing Your Desktop Background on PC (Windows 10)

  1. Right-Click on Your Desktop: This will open a context menu.
  2. Select "Personalise": It will open the settings window.
  3. Choose "Background": Here, you can select a picture from the pre-installed options or click "Browse" to use your image.
  4. Select Your Image: If you choose to browse, find and select the image you want to set as your wallpaper.
  5. Choose Picture Position: You can select how the picture fits on your desktop—options include Fill, Fit, Stretch, Tile, and Center.
  6. Save Changes: Click the "Save changes" button to set your new desktop wallpaper.

Cosy Autumn Study Wallpapers on Etsy

Create a workspace that works for you

Customising your desktop wallpaper is a simple way to inject your personality into your digital world and make your workspace more enjoyable. So go ahead, explore various wallpapers, and change them as often as you like. Whether it's a serene landscape, a favorite quote, or a family photo, your desktop can be your canvas for creativity and self-expression. Happy customising! 

Browse desktop backgrounds at The Cosy Store Studio on Etsy.


Monday 11 September 2023

10 things to get excited about for autumn

Hello, autumn enthusiasts! The season of cosy sweaters, pumpkin spice lattes, and falling leaves is just around the corner, and there's no better time to start embracing the magic of this enchanting season. Autumn brings with it a sense of renewal, as the world transforms into a symphony of warm hues and crisp breezes. So, grab your favorite blanket, brew a cup of tea, and let's dive into the ten things to get excited about for autumn.

1. A Colourful Canvas: As summer fades away, the world outside transforms into a breathtaking palette of reds, oranges and yellows. Take a leisurely walk in the park or your neighborhood and soak in the vibrant colours. The beauty of autumn is a feast for the eyes!

2. Comfort Food Galore: Autumn is the season for hearty soups, apple pies, and all things pumpkin. The culinary delights of this season will warm your heart and nourish your soul. Don't forget to savor every bite!

3. Cosy Sweaters and Scarves: Dig out your favorite sweaters, scarves, and boots from the back of your closet. Autumn fashion is all about layering and feeling snug, and who doesn't love the feel of soft, warm fabrics against their skin?

4. The Sound of Crunching Leaves: There's something truly magical about the sound of leaves crunching beneath your feet. So, go for a long walk or hike and immerse yourself in the rustling symphony of autumn.

5. Pumpkin Spice Everything: Whether you're a fan of pumpkin spice lattes, muffins, or candles, autumn is the season where this deliciously comforting flavour reigns supreme. Indulge in a little pumpkin spice bliss!

6. Inviting Spaces: As the days grow shorter and the weather cools down, create inviting spaces in your home. Arrange cosy nooks with blankets, pillows and warm lighting. It's the perfect environment for relaxation and introspection.

Daily Self Care Journal, £15, Etsy

7. Journaling for Mental Health: Autumn's arrival can often feel like a fresh start. Harness this energy by journaling your thoughts and feelings. Reflect on your goals, dreams, and what you're grateful for. Journaling can be a powerful tool for maintaining mental well-being, providing clarity, and reducing stress.

8. Pumpkin Patch Adventures: Make a day of visiting a pumpkin patch with friends or family. Choose the perfect pumpkins for carving or decorating. It's a fun tradition that can ignite your creative spirit.

9. Spooky Stories and Films: As Halloween approaches, indulge in some spooky stories or classic horror films. Gather with loved ones, pop some popcorn, and enjoy a thrilling night of entertainment.

10. Campfires and S'mores: Cool evenings are perfect for gathering around a campfire, roasting marshmallows, and making s'mores. The crackling fire and gooey treats make for unforgettable memories with friends and family.

Autumn is a magical season filled with cosiness, nostalgia and the promise of new beginnings. As the leaves fall, let go of what no longer serves you and embrace the comforts of the season. Don't forget to make journaling a part of your autumn routine; it's your personal tool for self-discovery and mental wellness. So, sip your cider and bask in the beauty of autumn, for it's a season of transformation, both in nature and within yourself. Happy autumn, everyone! 


Wednesday 6 September 2023

6 tips for keeping a travel journal

Traveling is a magical experience that opens our eyes to new cultures, landscapes, and adventures. As we explore the world, it's easy to get lost in the moment and forget the intricate details that make each journey unique. That's where keeping a travel journal comes in. It's a timeless practice that allows you to capture the essence of your travels and create lasting memories. In this blog post, we'll explore tips for keeping a travel journal, accompanied by insights from three famous travel writers.

1. Choose the Right Journal

The first step in creating a memorable travel journal is selecting the right one. Your journal should be portable, durable, and filled with pages that can withstand various weather conditions. Renowned travel writer Paul Theroux once said, "Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends." A sturdy journal becomes your constant companion, preserving your thoughts and memories through the trials and tribulations of the road.

Travel journal
A5 Travel Journal, The Cosy Store Studio on Etsy, £15

2. Be Consistent

Consistency is key to maintaining a meaningful travel journal. Make it a habit to jot down your experiences each day, even if it's just a few lines. Pico Iyer, another famous travel writer, remarked, "Travel far enough, you meet yourself." By recording daily reflections, you'll capture not only the places you visit but also the evolution of your thoughts and feelings throughout your journey.

3. Include Descriptive Details

The beauty of travel lies in the details. When you write in your travel journal, don't just document where you went; describe the sights, sounds, and smells that surrounded you. As Bill Bryson wisely put it, "To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time." These sensory details transport you back to the moment, allowing you to relive your adventures.

4. Embrace Your Voice

Your travel journal is a personal reflection of your experiences, so don't be afraid to embrace your unique voice. Share your thoughts, emotions, and reactions honestly. As Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of "Eat, Pray, Love," advised, "Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions." Your journal is a safe space to express yourself freely, capturing the essence of your journey as only you can.

5. Use Visual Aids

Incorporating sketches, photographs, and mementos into your travel journal adds depth and visual appeal. Eudora Welty once said, "A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away." These visual aids complement your written words, allowing you to share the visual splendors of your travels with others and providing a richer context for your memories.

6. Reflect and Revise

After your journey is complete, take the time to revisit your travel journal. Reflect on your experiences, and consider how your perceptions have evolved since you first wrote them down. T.S. Eliot wisely noted, "We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." Your travel journal becomes a portal to revisit your adventures and gain new insights.

Start Travel Journaling Now

Keeping a travel journal is a rewarding practice that allows you to preserve the essence of your journeys, both for yourself and for future generations. As you embark on your travels, remember the wisdom of famous travel writers like Paul Theroux, Pico Iyer, Bill Bryson, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Eudora Welty. Let their words inspire you to document your adventures with passion, detail, and authenticity. With your travel journal as your trusted companion, you'll embark on a lifelong journey of words and memories that will enrich your life and those of others. 

Shop my travel journal on Etsy.

© Jen Lou Meredith | All rights reserved.
Blog Design Handcrafted by pipdig