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Tips on How to Dress for a Summer Wedding*

Hi lovelies,

This is a collaborative post (not written by me).


Summer has arrived which means that there are sure to be a few weddings on your calendar to look forward to. There is nothing quite like a wedding and they are always great fun, but it can be hard to know what to wear particularly if you have a few weddings to attend. With this in mind, here are a few tips to help you navigate the summer wedding season.

Check the Invite
Before you start searching for an outfit you should check the invite as this is likely to say what the dress code is and if there is any particular theme to be aware of. Always follow any instructions on the invite - you don’t want to stand out and upset the happy couple! If you are not sure on what to wear or what the etiquette is then ask other people for guidance and what they are wearing.

Material & Colour
You will, of course, want to look your best on the big day but you must also consider comfort particularly if you are going to be there all day. Weddings can be tiring and hot in the summer months so think about a material or colour which will be comfortable yet flattering. Breezy, lightweight materials and light colours/patterns are ideal - just remember to not wear white!

Choose Accessories Carefully
The accessories that you wear provide you with the chance to make a summer outfit a little bit classier and more sophisticated but make sure that they are not too elaborate. Something like diamond earrings from a place like F Hinds is an excellent choice and will certainly make any outfit pop.

Plan for the Evening
Keep in mind that even in the middle of summer the evenings can get chilly. This means that you should have some kind of jacket or blazer to put on once the sun goes down so that you can stay warm while still looking smart and stylish.

Consider Footwear & Where the Wedding Is
It is a good idea to find out where the wedding and reception are being held so that you can pick out an appropriate pair of shoes. If the reception is being held on grass, for example, then you will want to switch out the heels for something flat yet still elegant.

Summer wedding season is always great fun, but it can be hard to plan your outfit especially if you have multiple weddings to attend. Hopefully this information will help you to plan the perfect outfit which will help you to look and feel your best while still adhering to the dress code. It is essential that you follow whatever dress code the couple have stated and to always check with other guests what they are wearing just to make sure that what you have planned is appropriate.

Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo

Mac Or PC: Which Is Best For A Fashion Blogger?*

Hello lovelies,

This is a collaborative post (not written by me).

The age old question of whether a Mac or PC is better has been around since the dawn of computers. It’s the same as asking which is better: tea or coffee, ready salted or cheese and onion, DC or Marvel, coast or country, Nikon or Canon. While this question will continue to be debated long after you have finished reading this article, there are some pointers to look for when it comes to making the decision about which to plump for when purchasing your next bit of hardware. You could place your emphasis on colour, shape, or whether the speakers are loud and of good audio quality. However, there may be more important aspects of your purchase that you should consider.

Computers were once hefty desktop things, but they have now morphed into the more convenient and smaller laptop varieties. Both Mac and PC have ventured into this realm to create exceptional machines. No one is arguing that one is a poor imitation of the other. You simply need to consider whether Mac or PC best suits your needs. While they have many similarities, it is their differences that will help you decide which computer you prefer. If you are a fashion blogger, which laptop should you go for?



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Hardware

While boring and super technical, it is imperative that you check out the hardware of your device. You need to consider the RAM, the memory, the speed and the display of your machine to ensure that it is a user friendly experience for you. You may assume that the sleekness and postmodern adored-by-millennial Apple may win this hands down. After all, they produced the MacBook Air that looks as light as a feather, is ridiculously thin and lightweight, and yet still squeezes in all the performance of a monster machine.

However, the PC has many more laptop varieties, from the Dells of the world to the more aesthetically pleasing Sonys. The colours are almost endless, so you can choose the ultra formal black or a quirkier rose gold. There are an array of different screen sizes and resolutions to play with, and there is a wealth of processors to pick to suit your budget. You could even have a PC with a touchscreen capability, making your blogging a breeze compared to having to tap away on a keyboard for hours on end.

Software And Apps

With Microsoft being the stalwart of the PC, they seemed to have a monopoly on the word processing and spreadsheet-esque software packages. However, Apple has its own version which gives Microsoft a run for its money. Of course, you may choose to forget the free trial before having to purchase your Microsoft Office 365, and instead go for some open source software. With your Mac, the Office Suite equivalent is free - great for those heavy blogging days.

In terms of apps, the Mac doesn’t come loaded with rubbish and filler that you’ll end up uninstalling to free up some much needed space. You will have an exceptional photo app, a decent movie maker, word processing tools and the opportunity to download extras from the Apple Store. This is your laptop created for your preferences with the capability to be highly personalised. For the avid fashion blogger, the Flume app makes using Instagram on your laptop a much more pleasurable experience. You can forget about having to rely on your smartphone, to scroll through your feed on the big screen instead.

Your PC will come with more free trials that you didn’t even want to sign up for, and way more pop ups. This is ok for the individuals who want all of this extra software kit, but it’s not great for the streamline fashion blogger.



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Security

While you might not be blogging about the most confidential or secret of subjects, you still don’t want any old hacker compromising your posts, infiltrating your blog and stealing your content. Apple is more secure simply because there are fewer laptops with the Mac interface. Hackers tend to prefer going after Windows powered machines. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t invest in some decent free anti-virus software for your Windows PC to ensure that you don’t fall victim to a cyber criminal. Whatever laptop you choose should have more than a mere firewall to protect it.

Money

If you don’t have very deep pockets, then a PC is the way to go. They range in price from under £200 for an entry level basic model to over a couple of grand. However, if you want a Mac, you won’t get much for under £600, and this is only for the bog standard generic bit of kit. MacBook Airs are way more expensive. Value for money rests with the PC. There are many more retailers of PC laptops, and there is a greater variety of choice. There are deals to be had with software bundles, which could be useful for your blogging credentials.



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Intuitiveness

The amount of times Windows has rehashed its interface is shocking, especially when some of these updates are anything but user friendly. Does anyone remember Windows 8? The most recent update - Windows 10 - is more exciting with Cortana coming on board to rival Siri. The interface is user friendly and easy to navigate.

The great thing about Apple’s interface, OS X, is that it rarely deviates much from its tried and tested aesthetically pleasing menus and design. It has steered clear of the whole touch screen capability believing it to be little more than a gimmick whereas Windows have fully embraced the concept. It’s up to you how much emphasis you place on this quality.

Choosing a laptop is difficult, especially with the vast array on offer. Consider what it is you want from a machine, think about how you will use it for your blogging, and go with function over form. Laptops are built to last if you choose a good brand, so spend as much as your budget will allow.

Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo

The Top Three Essential Oils*

This is a collaborative post (not written by me).


Ah, essential oils. They don’t just smell divine; they can benefit our health in a number of ways. Whether you’re physically soar or seeking calm, there’s likely one to suit your needs.
Unsurprisingly, each tends to have a specific effect – so, it’s important that you know what to look for.
To find the best one for you, read our essential guide.
  1. Lavender
Want to unwind? Lavender may hold the solution. People have used the plant to relieve stress for centuries – and to great effect.
Various studies have heavily suggested that it’s useful for aiding relaxation, both within the body and the mind. As an essential oil, it’s particularly effective, especially in the bath.
So long as it’s paired with carrier oil (as water and oil don’t mix), you stand to release mental tension. Place four to five drops in your tub, and you’ll feel tranquil for hours afterwards.
For a good night’s sleep, a few sprinkles on your pillow may help you to easily drift off.  Lavender can be the ultimate essential oil for tranquillity.
  1. Chamomile
If you really want to feel calm, how about chamomile? It won’t just soothe your mind – it could heal irritated or sore skin.
It’s used by many people as an anti-inflammatory, as it typically has a gentle feel. If you plan to use it directly on your skin, remember to be careful, particularly if you have sensitive skin.
Always dilute it with carrier oil. To stay completely safe, why not ask your pharmacist or doctor about how best to apply it?  
Once you’ve found a suitable solution for you, rub it onto clean, warm skin. For maximum effect, it’s usually best to oil-up just after a bath.
Use it wisely, and you could improve the look and feel of your skin.
  1. Jasmine Absolute
Jasmine emits a glorious scent. Floral, uplifting and clean, it’s a favourite among many aromatherapists – and it’s easy to see why.
Very often, it can really boost our mood. Breathe it in, and you may very well notice a difference in how you feel.
Of course, when made into an essential oil, its aromatic benefits intensify. Just imagine how uplifting bathing in it could be!
Unlike with gentle chamomile, however, try to refrain from using the oil – or any dilutions of it – on your skin, as it could cause irritation. Instead, limit it to baths. If your skin is highly sensitive, opt for a diluted version of it.
You’re bound to feel refreshed by its scent.
Now that you know what to look for, you stand to make the most of essential oils. What’s to stop you from finding the ideal one for you?  
Thanks for reading. 
Leah xoxo

Pink Clove floral wrap hi low dress

Hello lovelies,

How are you?

I'm back with a fashion post. My aunt bought this dress to cheer me up when I was down a while ago, and Mookie took photos for me. I have such good people in my life, I'm so thankful.

Now on the Pink Clove website this dress is listed as black but it's more like a dark brown, as you can see better in the close up further down the post. 

Pink-Clove-black-floral-short-sleeved-hi-lo-hem-dress 1

Pink-Clove-black-floral-short-sleeved-hi-lo-hem-dress 2
It comes with a fabric belt in the same material but it's so well fitted for me I'm only wearing it for decoration.
Pink-Clove-black-floral-short-sleeved-hi-lo-hem-dress 3

Pink-Clove-black-floral-short-sleeved-hi-lo-hem-dress 4

Pink-Clove-black-floral-short-sleeved-hi-lo-hem-dress 5

I'm wearing a size 28 and it fits well everywhere except the bust, so I'm wearing a camisole underneath to prevent flashing my boobs. You could always use a safety pin to save wearing an extra layer. I've worn the dress a few times so far and it washes well.

Floral hi low hem wrap dress £28 

I use affiliate links on some items, which means if you click and buy from them I will earn a small commission. See my disclosure for more details. 

Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo

How To Be The Healthiest Version Of You*

Hi lovelies,

This is a collaborative post (not written by me).

With the stress of family, work and life as a whole, any concern for your general health tends to take a back seat. Without a noticeable large problem, many people continue on their paths of ignorant self destruction and unhealthy habits whilst unbeknownst to them, their insides are beginning to face challenges that could have been prevented. Staying healthy is easier than you may think, and with a few simple changes and a bit of hard work, you can make sure that you’re ready to face each new day with vigour, and no doubts that both your mind and body are strong enough to handle whatever life throws at you.



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Change Your Diet

A healthy diet containing all of the required vitamins and minerals will allow your body and mind to function to their maximum potential day after day. Focus on the nutrition side of things rather than the calories, as it should be a lifestyle change that you stick to long term so it must be a positive and sustainable journey that is not focused on deprivation. Replace some usual unhealthy snack choices like chocolate and sweets for fresh fruit and yoghurt, and switch up your regular crisps and crackers for nuts and seeds. You will be able to feel the positive effects that happen almost immediately as you transform the way you eat, and you should aim to continue making changes in order to ensure you follow the best diet you can. This should consist of protein from lean meats like chicken or pulses like chickpeas and lentils, at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables each day, complex carbohydrates like brown rice and wholemeal bread and healthy fats such as small amounts of olive oil and eggs. Your diet can have a huge effect on your mental health, as blood sugar levels are all over the place when eating bad foods, meaning that your mood becomes unstable as a result.

Regular Exercise

Exercising can help you in many different ways. By doing at least 30 minutes 5 times a week, you can build your strength and stamina both for sport and life in general. Exercise does wonders for cardiovascular health, and can help to prevent a wide range of related illnesses. Each time you work up a sweat you will be releasing endorphins that can elevate and lift your mood and provide you with a feeling of even more energy than you had before you started. Even just by taking a walk before or after dinner each day, you will be able to burn off some calories and aid digestion, helping yourself little by little to get closer to becoming the healthiest version of you. Start of slowly and don’t punish yourself for not being an athlete within the first couple of months; enjoy the journey and the changes that are happening to your mind and body.

Overcoming Bad Habits

Many people have dependencies they’d rather not discuss, but these can stop you from being the healthiest person you have the potential of becoming. Developing an unhealthy coping mechanism or allowing a bad habit to take control is a very upsetting experience, but addiction help is available for everyone no matter what position you are in. Battling bad habits can be a very hard and stressful task, but you will be giving yourself the opportunity to live a full and happy life. Establish some kind of support network, contact the appropriate medical services and begin your journey to a happier you. Trust in the process and don’t be too self depreciative when you encounter a block in the road, as self belief is one of the most important aspects of recovery. Reward yourself in other ways for your hard work, such as a long and peaceful hot bath or a healthy home cooked comfort meal.

Meditate

Practicing mindfulness and meditation can provide you with a wealth of benefits for both your mind and body. Take the opportunity each day to reflect on the experiences and feelings you’ve had, and spend some time in the company if yourself without any distractions to gain some clarity and adopt a more level headed viewpoint. It would appear that regular practice can help to combat anxiety and depression, and just generally help to improve your mood overall. The British Medical Journal also found that mindfulness meditation can help to lower blood pressure, so there are many positive effects. It takes time to master the skill but it’s definitely worth your effort. Be patient with yourself, as you will likely need to practice quite a few times before you start to feel as if you have accomplished the state you were craving.

Review Your Circle

Your close circle of friends may actually be detrimental to your health. They are a huge influence on the decisions you make, and can encourage you to pursue bad choices that can damage your health, whether this be through their own ignorance or on purpose. If you only meet a person to go drinking or do some other kind of somewhat harmful activity, reevaluate the purpose of your friendship. If someone does not help and encourage you to grow and thrive, they do not deserve a place in your life. By seeking others who have the same positive goals and mindset, you are opening yourself up to an amazing opportunity to take your happiness to the next level, and create a support network of individuals you trust and provide you with something rather than just taking.

Putting in some hard work in order to make positive, healthy life changes is an important step to becoming the best version of yourself. Wholesome food, regular sport and healthy coping mechanisms will get you set in the right direction towards living the healthiest life possible. It’s as important to keep your mind healthy as it is your body, so be sure to nurture your soul as well as your stomach and you will feel the benefits of both almost immediately.

Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo

Simply Be square neck jumpsuit

Hi lovelies,

Long time no blog.

How are you?! If you follow me on social media you'll know I have a new man, Enyo, who's beyond lovely and treats me so well. I've been spending a lot of time staying with him on the SE coast, where he lives. He took these photos.


The jumpsuit is made from a thick crepe material which has some slight stretch. There are no zips to help you get into it so I sized up to a size 32, which was good as it's undersized anyway. It's shown on the model on Simply Be to be just below knee length, but I'm a shortie!


This jumpsuit is in the sale for just £13.13 so it's out of stock in many sizes, so I've linked to similar jumpsuits.

Jumpsuit, Simply Be
Similar  (bandeau top and wide leg)
Similar (pinafore top and slim leg) 

The top and shoes are old.

I use affiliate links on some items, which means if you click and buy from them I will earn a small commission. See my disclosure for more details.

Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo

How To Prepare For Your Summer Holiday*

Hi loves,

This is a collaborative post (not written by me).

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

It’s that time of year again, the sun is out, and everyone’s talking about where they’re going this year! It’s so exciting, but as usual, there’s lots of planning to be done. If you’ve not already decided where you’re going and when then now’s the time do it and then the countdown is on, and it’s time to prepare, so what do you need to do?

Check Your Travel Documents

Check that your passport is up to date and especially for the country you are going to as some require it to be valid for another six months and you also need two blank pages in your passport too. Make sure you’ve got your health or travel insurance too and all the papers you need. If you’re going to be doing any sports on holiday, then make sure you have those covered.

Healthcare

Do you need any vaccines or medication for where you are going? If so it’s likely you need them done in advance so check now. Also, if you take any medication, make sure that you have enough for a while you are away and that you’re able to take them to the country you’re going to.

Go Shopping

Yes, treat yourself to your new summer wardrobe and a few swimsuits but also remember to stock up on sunscreen and anything else that’s likely to be expensive or difficult to get wherever you are going. If you’re taking hand luggage, then remember that any liquids or toiletries need to be travel-sized so either buy small ones or get some containers and transfer your favorites into them.

Technology

It’s always worth having a universal adapter, and a Kindle or iPad or any tablet actually is far easier to travel with than a few heavy books. Just don’t forget your chargers. Also, check your data roaming package before you go and if you need to get an add-on to make it cheaper for you, then do this in advance.

Money

It is a lot cheaper to get your foreign currency in advance rather than buying it at the airport or when you get to your destination. Have a look for the best rates online, and you may even be able to buy it online and get it delivered to you. If you do plan on using your bank card or credit card while you’re away then let your bank know that you will be going so that they don’t think your cards have been stolen.

Final Thoughts

Check the weather forecast before you go, if you’re in for a week of rain then it’s better to know about it and to be prepared. If you’re waiting for any important post, such as exam results or some important news, then check out physicaladdress.com so you can get your post online while you’re away. Finally, book your transport to the airport if you need to, do this as soon as possible so it’s one thing off the list and you know it’s done before the taxi firms get booked up.


Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo

The Spoonie Exercise Guide*

Hi lovelies!

This is a collaborative post (not written by me).

If you are someone living with chronic illness, whether that be fibromyalgia or chronic depression, looking after yourself can be one of the last things on your mind. On days where you are really struggling, it can be hard to just get on with the essentials of the day, let alone doing anything to look after yourself. But for things like exercise, as hard as they may be to get up and get going, can actually really benefit those of us living with chronic illness.

Reasons to Exercise

The reasons to exercise can seem pretty self-explanatory. We all know about the standard things like calorie burning and helping you to sleep better; exercise is good for your body as well as your mind. This is something that we all know. However, the reasons to exercise are the same for people with chronic illness or something like fibromyalgia as well. In fact, if you are someone with Fibro, The NFCPA (or National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association), have explained how not moving your muscles can cause them to decrease in size, or cause them to atrophy. And when this happens, it can cause even more pain, and so the cycle goes on and on. Not to mention the benefits for your mental health, as exercise can give you a distraction, a release of happy hormones to lift your mood, and help to eliminate stress as well.



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Benefits of Exercise

Again, like the reasons to exercise, the benefits of exercise are not something new and that we don’t already know. But because they are so obvious and we all know what they mean, there are still many of us that don’t exercise, even if we know it is going to help alleviate some pain or suffering of chronic illness. The benefits of exercise really are great for Fibromyalgia patients. Some of which are:

  • Getting better sleep, which is a must if you are lacking energy
  • Better range of motion can come as a result of exercise, making everyday activities much easier
  • An improved mood is also a great benefit, which can be much needed for spoonies and mental health sufferers
  • You do burn calories when you exercise and that can help you to maintain or control your weight
  • Having an increased energy can be a result of exercising which can be needed when everyday life can be painful or a struggle

Relieving pain is one of the number one reasons why those with long-term pain should exercise

It is important to note that these things are not cures to your chronic illness, but can go a long way to helping you feel better, if only for a while. There won’t be many of us that are perfect in our exercise routine, it is an area that we need to work on. But finding something that you enjoy really is the number one thing that will help you to stick at it and hopefully, make you actually want to exercise. Here are a few of the things that you could try, that will all help with those benefits listed above:

Pilates or Yoga

For those of us with chronic illness that haven’t been taking care of ourselves, a high-impact aerobics or spin class isn’t something that springs to mind immediately. Instead, yoga or pilates can be a great option as it can be gentle and really helps you to use your body weight to strengthen yourself, rather than using weights. You never know, you might find yourself wondering why become a pilates instructor, because you enjoy it so much. But it can be a great way to feel better, and help others to feel better too.

Swimming

If you are someone that is overweight as a result of chronic illness, then you might find that something like running is really difficult. Instead, swimming is a great alternative as there is much less pressure on your body and on your joints, but you still get in a great workout. There are so many things you can do in a pool from swimming lengths to talking part in an aqua-aerobics class.

Walking

Simply moving more by walking more is a simple way to lift your mood and hopefully, help to alleviate your pain a little. You can do it around where you live, where you work, or anything in between. It is great as it is practical too; need to go to the shops? Then you can walk there instead of driving, to get two things done at the same time.

Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo