When it comes to gorgeous home decor, there are so many different styles that you could think of working within your home. Sometimes, it’s easy to find the styles that you want to decorate with, based on your own personal taste. But when you’ve got a range of different tastes, you may find it hard to find the perfect balance. This can especially be the case when you love all things vintage, but you have a modern home. But, it’s completely possible to be able to create a stunning vintage look in a modern property and add a luxury touch if you’d like. Check out this collab post for tips as to getting that beautiful vintage look in your home.

Choose A Vintage Color Scheme

The first thing that you’ll find to help you here will be working with the right color scheme. Sometimes, it’s nice to choose something neutral and let your furniture and styling add the vintage touches, but when you want to create a vintage look from the start, working with classic and retro color palettes can definitely help you here. So take a look at the options that you have available to you, and see if there are any colour combinations that you like.

Work With Antiques

Next, you should definitely think about the way that you can work antiques and vintage pieces into your decor. For a lot of people, this is the best way that they’re able to balance the two looks that they want. So to do this, you’re going to want to start shopping for antiques. You may even find that you can get old and broken pieces to fix up. Upcycling is huge right now! Then with clock repairs by a qualified clockmaker or an antique refurbisher, the pieces will be as good as new. And you can slot them into your overall decor.

Restore Your Furniture

You could also think about the furniture you need to create the right look, and how this is going to play into the design too. If you already have some old pieces, you should definitely think about how you can spruce these up to fit with the new decor. And when you’re looking to create a vintage-modern look, restored furniture works perfectly.

Work With Prints & Artwork

Then there’s also artwork to think about. Because when you’re looking to create a vintage vibe in your home, you should definitely think about the way in which vintage prints and artwork can play into that. With old photographs or retro colored prints, you can often bring an entire look together by how you place them in each room.

Choose Your Decorative Pieces Carefully

And finally, you’re going to want to finish off the space with the right decorative touches. And when you’re looking to create a stunning vintage look in a modern space, you need to make every piece count. Whether you’re looking to create something with a French vintage vibe, or a retro deco look, you should be looking for the right pieces that are going to add to the look. And to do this, you have to be selective and not overcrowd your space, or crate a mixed look.

I absolutely adore vintage decor and I think some of these tips are fantastic for getting the look you want at an achievable price. Hope you find them helpful!

**This post is a brand collaboration**

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**

It was a good few months ago now that we went on our sneaky Easter minibreak escape to Montenegro and I’m ashamed that I haven’t had a chance to publish a travel post about it yet! So, before we go on our summer holiday (2 weeks and counting!) I thought it only fair to give our trip a little write up and share our photographs seeing as it was so stunning.

The first question most people asked us when we mentioned where we were going was.. well.. why Montenegro? It’s a fair question. Up to this point we are the only people we know out of all of our friends and extended family that have ever been! Scores of people seem to flood to Croatia these days, so I find the lack of the same enthusiasm for it’s neighbour odd, as Montenegro shares a similar vibe, climate and even looks similar! Plus, it’s still a pretty undiscovered gem, so perfect for a quiet, secret escape!

Our holiday

As it was a quick ‘let’s get out of here’ last minute holiday affair, we decided to go inexpensive and simple. Out of season (early April) the climate in Montenegro looked good and we found a great value all inclusive deal at a five star hotel in the holiday beach resort of Budva. All inclusive is not usually something we would go for our main holiday because we like to cook for ourselves and eat out in different places, but for the type of super relaxing short break we wanted we decided to go for it.

The hotel was called the Iberostar Bellevue and it was absolutely stunning. I was blown away when we first got there. Mainly because I’ve never seen a beachfront hotel over looking the sea which is also surrounded by spectacular mountains on the other side! The landscape was just something that you would never see in your normal Spain/ Portugal holidays and I couldn’t get over it! I was super happy to take loads of gorgeous photos with the stunning backdrop. Our room was fine, perfectly comfortable and functional with a lovely big balcony and a sea view which we weren’t expecting and was a lovely surprise. We could actually hear the sound of the waves at night which was amazing.

The Iberostar Belleview hotel

The weather we had was mixed. A bit of rain on the first two days so we took the opportunity to explore the local historic town of Budva and the montain city of Kotor to get some culture and sightseeing in. Due to it being out of season, Budva was a bit dead with a lot of shops and restaurants closed, but Kotor was much more lively and seemed to have a lot of tourists visiting despite the weather. Budva would definitely be worth a day trip particularly the old town to see the historic architecture, and the harbour which had some pretty pricey looking sun seekers! There were also some nice craft shops and cute restaurants.

Budva harbour

Budva old town

The city of Kotor was about an hour bus ride away and it was a whole other level of beautiful! If I had visualised a perfect, quaint Eastern European town then this was it. You can climb up some mountains at the back towards a church and get a load of this crazy stunning view.

The holiday was perfect for what we wanted, a ‘do-nothing’, relaxing break with a bit of sunshine.

 

I would thoroughly recommend considering Montenegro for your next holiday. It’s got great summer weather, beautiful safe beaches and stunning landscapes. Kotor is a stunning historic city and well worth a visit, as it’s a pretty small country most of it is accessible with a short car or bus journey. Although it was a bit quiet when we were there, you could tell that they were gearing up for a busy summer season so there would be no shortage of things to do there.

Have you been to Montenegro? Would you consider it?

 

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We all know that being a millennial in the current economic climate is tough. It’s all over the news, anyone in their late teens, twenties or thirties now will not have it like our parents had it. We spend all our income on rent, everything costs more, the salaries haven’t caught up and the chances of us actually being able to do something ‘adult-like’, buy a house for instance, are basically zero. If, like me, you live in London, you can times all these issues by a thousand and you’ve got an idea of where your salary disappears to 10 days after pay day.

But, here’s the thing. I like spending money.  I’m all about experiences and I like to live life to the full, packing my evenings and weekends with going out any doing stuff. It’s important to me. I’m sure I’m not alone here. I can’t stand it when my money just seems to disappear and I’ve got no idea of what I spent it on!  So, with that in mind I’ve come up with a few ways to save pennies on the ‘boring stuff’, which adds up to saving a wholeeee lot of money in the long run. Money to spend on having fun – yay!

So, for those likeminded people who find themselves straight up broke but still don’t want to sacrifice having a life then give these ideas a go and save the money for a rainy day.

Coffee.

I agree, there is nothing quite like the smell of a barista style coffee shop when you’re on the way to work at some ungodly hour. HOWEVER, did you know that if you buy one medium latte a day you are probably spending in excess of £50 per month on coffee? No, I didn’t either. Buying a flask and taking coffee from home will save a small fortune.

Greetings Cards.

Sorry mum, but I’m just not okay with spending £100+ a year on cards alone which are only heading to the recycling bin eventually. Birthday cards, Christmas cards, Valentine’s day cards – we have gone for a total, blanket ban. This will not only save us money but also it’s our way of doing our bit for the environment too. If you feel super bad for not sending cards try these Lost Ocean postcards which you can colour in beautifully yourself and send for a fraction of the cost.

Couponing.

It may sound lame, but who doesn’t get a kick out of using money off vouchers?! It’s free money! I used to chuck the vouchers they give you in Sainsbury’s, Boots and so on but actually if you get organised, keep them and use them you can save money on your day-to-day shopping.

Points cards.

Remembering to take your points/membership cards to the relevant shops can pay off big time further done the line! We do all our food shopping at Sainsbury’s so our Nectar points add up fast. I’ve also been really impressed with the new Co Op membership card which is free to join and not only gives you 5% back on all your purchases in store but also 1% of what you buy goes to worthwhile causes in your local community! I love that.

Don’t pay over the odds.

A prime example of this is going to the cinema, a regular pastime of ours. Aside from the extortionate ticket prices, a couple can easily blow £10-£15 on drinks, sweets and treats. We have recently started buying a bag of popcorn and bottles of cola on the way there from Co Op (whilst using our membership card to collect points boom) and I’m not exaggerating, we have saved a small fortune. This is the same for gigs, theatre shows, football matches, the lot. Be prepared!

Food prep.

I’m guilty of forgetting this one because it takes a fair bit of forward planning and organisation on my part but when I am on it with the food prep I have notice a huge difference in my weekly bank balance! We try to cook up a batch of meals on Sunday night to take to work for the rest of the week. With the average meal deal costing £3 that is £60 per month on lunches alone which is just too much in my opinion. When you add it up it’s easy to see where that pay check is escaping to each month! Being organised can save you a great deal.

I know how tricky it can be to budget, believe me, so I don’t do it. But by following these few easy tricks I have found my money seems to be going a little bit further, without really sacrificing too much! I hope that you might find these helpful.

What are your fail-safe ways to save cash? Are you a budgeter?

My beautiful wedding dress was off the rack and I am by no means ashamed to admit it. I bought my wedding dress on my first day of looking and it was about the 8th I tried on and second shop I has been to. I didn’t really plan to buy off the rack, the first shop I went to was a boutique for example, but the second was a sample store and that’s where I ended up finding the dress I loved.

I have had mixed reactions. Most people thought it was great or didn’t really have an opinion either day, but a few friends wrinkled their noses a bit. They seemed fixated on the fact that other women would have tried it on before me… What like every other piece of clothing you have bought from a shop you mean?! These pre conceptions are plain silly. So, for any off the rack brides like me, here are some benefits of buying a sample dress as well as some tips for getting it right.

Saving money is obviously a big one. My dress was an Alfred Angelo last season which was reduced to half its original price. The full price of most wedding dresses makes me wince (you’ll only wear it once) but I do understand the price tags with all the material and detailing. So, to buy a sample and save some pennies seems like a great idea to me.

It might be one of a kind! When I found my dress before buying it I went home to think about it and searched the web high and low for the same Alfred Angelo design elsewhere. I would not find it for sale for love nor money anywhere in the world, it must have been a discontinued line. This meant that next to no brides would be wearing it for the 2016 wedding season! For someone who likes to be unique like me this is a big plus and I was keen on being a DIY friendly bride so buying a sample kind of fitted into that theme.

Flexible fittings. When you order your dress in you have the big decision of choosing a size. Yes, you can have it altered but it’s more difficult to take things out than in. I have heard of brides ordering a dress in a smaller size and then panic dieting to try and get into it when they haven’t lost the weight they wanted to. My dress was a size 14 so that was what I got. When I bought it, I was a 12 and by the time I went for my first fitting I was a 10 so I could have it taken in a fair bit. But equally could have had it taken in only a little. Flexibility makes for a calmer bride!

Tips for buying off the rack:

  1. Check the dress thoroughly, a few gems missing here or there is no biggie (my seamstress fixed some of those for me) but stains, foundation marks or major damage could prove difficult and cause you unnecessary stress.
  2. Get a good seamstress who you trust and can fit it properly and repair any small problems. Mine was amazing and transformed the dress. It fitted like a glove.
  3. Do not be ashamed! It does not mean your dress is used, second hand or in any way less ‘yours’. On the other hand you don’t have to tell people if you don’t want to. They’ll never know! And it’s none of their business anyway.
  4. Pick a dress you love and don’t be put off it’s off the rack. If, like me, you didn’t necessarily plan on buying a sample dress but you fall for one then get it! It might be your only chance! And if it’s the one, it’s the one.

Off the rack is fabulous. It doesn’t mean the dress is any less beautiful, stylish or special. I’m so glad I found mine and  wouldn’t change it for the world.

Happy shopping!