Having recently celebrated our first wedding anniversary I have been thinking about posting a ‘love’ themed post for a while. But love is something which is extremely personal and difficult to put into words, so until now I couldn’t put my finger on what I wanted to write about. A few weeks ago we had a magical and romantic ‘couple shoot’ in Hyde Park, shot by the amazingly talented Rebecca Carpenter, and the stunning photography that came out of it inspired me to create this post. The images she captured seem to encapsulate how happy we are and how, a year on, we are feeling stronger and more in love than ever. Being in love is the most wonderful thing, here is some of my best advice for maintaining a strong and healthy relationship.

Say I love you everyday. I know it sounds cliché, but even after four years we still make sure we say those three little words every single day. It becomes habit after a while, but a little text after you’ve left in the morning just to tell your partner how much you love them will really make them smile. Of course, it’s easy to say ‘I love you’. But the fact that you make a point of saying it every day means that you really feel it too, and they’ll know that.

Decide that you don’t argue, and then don’t. Let’s face it, most of us hate arguments right?! Especially with the one we love the most. It’s so upsetting and hurtful things can be said that are not easily forgotten. Paul and I don’t argue, and some of our friends can’t fathom this. When they ask me, ‘How can you possibly live together, be married and not have fights?’ I always answer the same. Because we have made a commitment not to. The very action of declaring that we don’t argue prevents us from doing so. Sure, there are occasions when we could easily have a flaming row; one of us is snappy or tired, disagreements over chores, all the usual, but whenever we find ourselves on the brink of an argument one of us says, ‘Hang on a minute, we don’t argue – let’s sort this out.’ The situation is diffused and the prospect of argument has disappeared. If you agree to commit to a no argument policy then you will sort issues quickly and have much more time in each others company for happiness and laughter!

Make real time for each other. Sometimes, with our busy lives and trying to squeeze social lives around work I think we can forget to pencil some time into the diary for our other halves. Occasionally I feel like I haven’t seen Paul for ages, sure – I see him every day, but I don’t really feel like a work night evening spent in front on Eastenders is really quality time together. By making sure we make time for proper date nights and time for each other in our weekends/days off we can keep our relationships strong and happy.

Be grateful. We can all get on each others nerves sometimes but, at the end of the day, if you’re lucky enough to have found your soulmate then you should be super grateful for every moment! It’s the little things that matter, and I cherish every day. Life always gets in the way sometimes, but just taking a step back and thinking ‘wow, I am so GRATEFUL to have this special person in my life’ can really help put things into perspective, and ultimately will increase happiness levels and sense of contentment.

 

Compromise. I know, this one is so annoying because sometimes we just don’t wanna compromise godammit! We want our own way! But learning to compromise is so key to a happy relationship. It’s easier to do when you imagine that your compromise is genuinely going to make the love in your life happy. If ordering a Chinese instead of the curry you want is going to fill them with joy then it’s worth it – right?!!

So there you go. I’m not by any means saying that my marriage is perfect, but it’s perfect for me.

Wishing you love and happiness in your current and future relationships.

 

Has it been a while since you tried something new at home or have your interiors looked the same since you moved in? Life can get hectic, and sometimes, it can be difficult to find the time and summon up the motivation to try and break out of a style rut. The good news is that the arrival of autumn is a great excuse to try out some new styles and inject some energy and life into your home. If you’re keen to make your home more Instagram-worthy or you’re desperate for a revamp, here are some simple tricks to try. Autumn is the season of gorgeous colours and textures after all!

Experiment with colour
Changing the colour scheme in your home is one of the easiest and most effective ways to breathe new life into your interiors. With a pot of paint, a brush and some carefully selected accessories, you can create a completely different aesthetic without spending a fortune or giving up every bit of spare time you have. This autumn, natural and neutral shades, monochrome and bold tones like emerald green and teal are leading the way in the style stakes. Monochrome is really versatile, and it works for almost every room while jewel shades are ideal for bedrooms, living rooms and bathrooms. Teal is a great colour for bedrooms and kitchens. If you have small rooms, use colour to accessorise and keep the walls light to open up the space. If (like me) you don't own your own place then don't despair! Why not ask your landlord if he minds you painting or using wallpaper, as long as your return it to it's original state when you eventually leave?! The answer might just surprise you!


Image source.

Take inspiration from others
If you’re not creative or you’re struggling to come up with ideas for your makeover, take inspiration from others. Browse sites like Instagram and Pinterest and take a look at designers like sashadebretton.com.au. It’s also really useful to flick through some interior magazines and also to watch interior design programmes. You may come across trends or themes you like, or you might find specific accessories, prints or colourways you’d like to use. It’s useful to screenshot images or save pictures you like. This will enable you to put together a rough template that will work in your home and get an idea of how the different accents and touches you like will look together.

Introduce new textures
Autumn is a perfect time of year to play around with materials and introduce new textures. With temperatures falling, it’s time to swap linen and cotton for faux fur, satin, velvet and wool. Don’t be afraid to mix and match different textures and use soft furnishings to channel a theme or colourway. Lay out a rug, and pile woollen cushions and fur throws on your bed to create a cosy log-cabin style boudoir or use velvet curtains and a satin bedspread to channel an opulent luxury hotel vibe. If you’re new to accessorising, you should find pages like this https://www.pinterest.co.uk/explore/soft-furnishings/?lp=true really helpful.


Image source.

Is your home stuck in a style rut? Are you keen to reinvigorate and revive your interiors? If so, it is possible to achieve amazing results without breaking the bank or dedicating hours to the cause. Experiment with colour and texture and look around for ideas and inspiration. Wishing you a cosy autumn in your gorgeous new living room!

Ta ta for now!

**Please note this post is a brand collaboration, but all opinions are my own**

If you’re enthusiastic about being kind to the environment, the thought of planning a big wedding that’s eco-friendly may seem like an impossible mission. After all, big events aren’t exactly known for their environmentally friendly trends. However, planning a wedding while keeping the planet in mind doesn’t have to be as hard as it initially may seem. Take a look at how you can get it done.

Let’s Talk Dresses
All that money, all that material, and it’s often just for one day…or is it? Sustainable wedding dresses have never been more popular, and top wedding dress designers are starting to recognize the increase in the amount of environmentally friendly weddings. So, although you could be paying the same price, it is possible to get your hands on a sustainable dress. If not, why not go for a second hand vintage gown and dye it after the wedding so you can wear it again?

An Outdoor Wedding
When you have a wedding indoors, your party is contributing to energy usage, like lights, heat and the usage of electric to prepare a meal. Having an outdoor wedding lowers the amount of energy used. Even if you want twinkle lights wrapped around trees, you can use solar powered lights instead of electricity. It’s a beautiful natural setting, but one of the down sides is the risk of potential bad weather. However, if you get wedding insurance from wedinsure you won’t have to worry about postponing the wedding and losing money if the worst should happen.

Invites
Who says an invitation has to be on paper? If you’re looking for an alternative way to invite all your family and friends, why not send an email or add them to a group on social media? You could even create your very own wedding website, that tells your guests details about your wedding day and funny anecdotes about you and your partner. It saves spending a huge amount on fancy paper invites!

Transport
When it comes to weddings, there’s nothing that harms the environment more than classic wedding cars emissions. Consider staying at your venue the night before the wedding instead of being driven there on the day. Have a venue that’s central to all your guests so they don’t have to travel too far, or arrange combined transport so there aren’t as many vehicles on the road.

Decorations
There are lots of ways you can decorate your wedding without harming the environment. At Tradesy, you can find an array of recycled wedding decorations in excellent condition. When it comes to flowers, go for seasonal picks that are easy to find in this country. Alternatively, why not pick your own wild flowers and create your own bouquets and decorations? It’s eco-friendly and great way to get the wedding party to bond.

The Meal
You may not be able to avoid using electricity for your meal, but veggie options often take less energy to cook. Using recyclable utensils, cutlery and cups will also help your goal of saving the planet.
A wedding is meant to be a once in a lifetime experience for the bride and groom, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on your beliefs to achieve it.

For any eco-warrior brides out there I hope you find these tips helpful! Your wedding day is a very important day but trying to reduce it's impact on the environment can make it even more special.

If you’ve decided that it’s time to tone up as you’ve never toned up before, the last thing you want is to waste your time on diet and exercise regimes that really don’t work. If you want to find out a few things that will work and have worked for me, read on…

Eating Enough

A lot of ladies think that, in order to tone up, they need to go on the latest fad diet or cut their consumption to a minimum, this simply isn’t true! It’s perfectly possible to eat little, be skinny and not toned, and actually eating less than your body needs to support itself will actually cause your metabolism to slow down. To burn fat and get into better shape, you need your metabolism firing on all cylinders, and that means eating regular healthy meals, not starving yourself. Fad diets just don't work!

Practice Yoga

A lot of people think that yoga is a very gentle form of exercise; a practice of stretching which might make you feel good, but doesn’t exactly do much to build muscle and tone the body. Have they ever seen a dedicated yogi? Sure, yoga is all about stretching the various muscles in the body, but you know what? It can be quite a workout, and when practised regularly it will almost certainly help you to tone up and build the kind of long, lean muscle that makes you look fabulous. So why not spice up your body with some yoga workout? You’ll be amazed by the results you can get in such a short time. I always find my body is aching in all the right places after a yoga class.

Lift Some Weights

Lifting weights scares many women. They think that, after a few weeks down the gym they’ll emerge looking like a female version on Arnold Schwarzenegger! This is really not the case. Lifting weights will help you tone up faster than almost anything else, and unless you’re doing something silly like taking steroids or other substances, there is literally no chance that you will ‘bulk up’ in the same way bodybuilding males do. What’s more, when you’re lifting regularly, your metabolism will be stoked, you’ll burn more calories, drop fat, and best of all you’ll be able to eat more (healthy) food. What’s not to like?

Kettlebell Training

Another thing that can very quickly help you to lose fat, build muscle and tone up is the humble kettlebell. This fabulous piece of equipment, which looks (and feels) a bit like a cannonball with a handle, can help you to burn well over 1,200 calories per hour, and give you a full body workout in just 15-20 minutes. If you want to be in peak condition, you need kettlebells in your life.

Cut Out Bloating Foods

One thing that can prevent you from achieving that lean, toned silhouette you’re after is bloating. As well as working to increase your fitness, you should try to eliminate as many of the causes of bloating from your diet as you can. Some things which commonly cause bloating include salt, beans, onions and fizzy drinks. If you can remove your triggers, you’ll instantly look a bit slimmer, and you’ll definitely feel a whole lot better too.

Other than trying some or all of the above, to be the most toned you’ve ever been, all you need is patience and determination.
It doesn't come easy, but making small changes and sticking to them can make big changes to your body!

What do you find work's best for you?


**This post is a brand collaboration**

There are few things more exciting than seeing your partner get down on one knee, declare their everlasting love for you, and then ask for your hand in marriage. It’ll be one of the most memorable days of your life, so soak it up and enjoy the moment. Once the occasion has passed, you’ll be able to relive the moment all over again when it comes to telling your friends and family the good news. But how does one exactly go about sharing the news? Below, we take a look at the people that need to know, and how to tell them.

Stay Cool

OK, first thing’s first: you need to stay calm. We know it’s hard, because, after all, one of the most momentous moments of your life has just occurred. However, if you’re overexcited, then you run the risk of spoiling your chance to control the narrative of your engagement. And if the news gets out to everyone straight away, you won’t just be compromising the experience for yourself – you also might hurt the people you care about most.

Family First

If you’re close to your family, then there’s no getting around it: you need to hold off breaking the news to other people until they’re informed. And don’t just send them a text, or even call them on the telephone. Go round in person, and break the news in a special way. We’re sure they’ll be thrilled for you, so it’ll be handy to bring around a bottle of champagne. Pop the top and raise a toast to your future with your loved ones!

Tell Your Close Friends

In the hierarchy of the most important people in your life, your friends will likely be a close second behind your family. You can break the news to them in a more casual way, such as by putting it into a group message for all to see. They’ll all come back with words (and emojis) of congratulation! Make plans to all get together in the coming weeks to celebrate the good news properly.

To the Web

Once you’ve let your inner circle know, you’ll be able to share your joy with the whole world! Sharing pictures of diamond engagement rings has become the norm on social media, so take a snap of yours (with your other half, of course), and upload it to your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. Once the word is out, you can just sit back and watch those likes and comments roll in!

Throwing a Party

The fun doesn’t have to stop just because everyone knows! You won’t have been able to give the news to everybody individually, so why not throw an engagement party and invite everyone around for a good old get together? Most people don’t need any encouragement to party, and especially when it’s a party that’s celebrating the love between two people.

Finally, remember not to gloat about your engagement. You want people to be happy for you, not bitter and envious! Follow our advice above, and the whole world will approve of the union. And now the next fun part: planning!