Blossoming Gifts – Autumn Flowers Review 

Autumn is a time for change, a time for hot chocolate, cosy nights in, winter boots and scarves. While it is always the right time for a girl to receive flowers, autumn is the perfect opportunity to deviate away from the classic red roses, or white lilies and learn to admire something just as beautiful.

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So when Blossoming Gifts contacted me to review one of their stunning Autumn flower bouquets, I was certainly delighted.

Upon browsing their website I was instantly drawn to the marvellous arrangement of colours which make up the ‘Autumn Haze’ bouquet…

Lilies are one of my favourite flowers and I had never actually received a bouquet featuring the gorgeous oriental red variety before.

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As they have blossomed one by one, they stayed true to their renowned quality and smell divine, filling my bedroom with a heavenly scent.

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I adore the deep purple eustoma as they add depth to the appearance of the flowers, I only wish there were more of them!

Roses are a complete classic and a girl can never be given too many, so these memory lane roses add the finishing floral touches the Autumn Haze bouquet.

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Plus the generous Blossoming Gifts team included one of their FREE boxes of chocolates and boy did they do good! I absolutely love pralines so it’s safe to say that these went down a hit too!

While you might have guessed from the name, Blossoming Gifts don’t just specialise in flowers, they create other gorgeous presents too, including personalised jewellery, children’s books and photo frames to name just a few.

Plus if you order by 9pm you can snap up a slot for next day delivery!

But possibly best of all, the lovely team have allowed me to give you lovely, readers a dandy 33% off* when you make a purchase on Blossoming Gifts.

Discount Code: BGIFTS33

*(not including the ‘Flowers By Post’ range).

Rose Flowers

What’s more, if you would like to treat a friend or family member to a gorgeous floral bouquet but have a restricted budget, Blossoming Gifts have thought of everything. Their flowers under £20 range, which can be admired here, features some simply wonderful blends of colours.

What do you think of these gorgeous flowers? Which is your favourite? Let me know in the comment box or tweet me.

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FujiFilm Instax Mini 8 Review – The PERFECT Present

Hello everyone! As you’ve probably guessed this post is about my beautiful new Fujifilm instax mini 8.

It was a present from my boyfriend for my birthday and oh boy did he get a million boyfriend points for a gift which I have never even mentioned, but something that I really, really wanted, (basically he knows me better than I know myself)!

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It’s no secret that I love photographs and am a very sentimental person. I keep everything, gig tickets, receipts for things, seating name tags etc and this is just the icing on the cake for keep sakes.

So let’s get down to the beauty itself. First of all, it’s PINK! And a gorgeous pink at that.
It comes with a strap to wrap around your hand when you’re taking photos, because although it looks robust I am sure if you dropped it, you’d break it.

Not only is this an every blogger must have item, because let’s face it, it’s VERY high up on the list, but I think it’s an every person must have item!

IMG_3408Polaroid photos are no new invention but I am completely in awe of how Fujifilm have brought back the concept over the past few years in such a stylish manner so we can enjoy them again once more.

Plus this little baby is SO easy to use! It comes with a number of settings to help you adjust the brightness of your photo, so once you’ve chosen the right exposure you can confidently snap away and watch the magic!

IMG_3412Naturally, part of the beauty of this camera is the anticipation of waiting for your photo to develop but also the excitement of knowing that you can hold it in your hand almost instantly.

It’s SO rare these days that we print photos out to put in an album. While my mum has lots of embarrassing baby photos of me filling hundreds of albums, nobody really treasures photographs in the same way any more. This, therefore, is one of the many reasons why I am completely in love with my instax mini 8. It’s placed the power of appreciating tangible photographs back in our hands in such a simple, yet stylish way.

What’s more, the images are untouched, unfiltered and instead a pure raw snapshot of that very special moment (something so rare thanks to the digital era)!

IMG_3415The only downside to this gorgeous gadget is that the films are so expensive, for example you can purchase 2 packs of 10 sheets for £17.99 so doing the maths, each picture works out at about 89p. It’s at this point I should mention my boyfriend bought the camera from Amazon, and it is currently retailing at £64.95 here.

While this is not exactly cheap, this slight negative can easily be flipped round into a positive, because it means that I am so careful with taking beautiful photos, and select special moments to document.

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 Once the Polaroids have captured the moment and printed beautifully, the question is what to do with them?

Personally, I have decided that this is an amazing opportunity to start making a scrapbook!
I will be able to create a memory book full of these perfect moments, my gig tickets and anything else which I want to keep but don’t really have a place for.

I can’t wait to channel my creative flair, and will most definitely be updating you on my arts and crafts in the near future!

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Do you have a Fujifilm instax mini 8? What do you think of these cameras? How would you treasure your perfect Polaroids? Let me know in the comments or tweet me.

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How Important Are Blogger Chats? 

We were all there once upon a time. New to the big wide blogging community, and feeling like a kid at Christmas. With so many opportunities, it is difficult to decide what to do first.

From your own blog theme, to design and tone, your corner of the Internet can be exactly what you want it to be, which is probably one of the most liberating things about blogging.

Once you have established your voice, it’s time to make some friends, and what better way to do this than via social media, most namely the blogger chats.

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With topics covering absolutely everything from food, travel, parenting, beauty, gaming and lifestyle, to name just a few, you are so spoilt for choice.

Plus there is only one mistake you can make when it comes to the chats, not getting involved.

I’ve met most of my blogging friends through this way, some of which I speak to every single day and here’s why… Have you ever tried to explain all the ins and outs of blogging to a parent, boyfriend or friend who is just so far removed from the blogging world that although they try their best to understand, they just really don’t get it? Yes? Then that’s why you need to make some blogging friends both in the real world and online.

They totally understand the struggles of capturing good lighting in photos, the horror of writer’s block, the stresses and strains of (attempting to stick to) a blogging schedule and most importantly, the blood sweat and tears that go into each post behind the scenes.

What’s more, I am lucky to be a part of blogging friendships that have gone deeper than our musings online, but so far as we now comfort and give each other life advice too! (I love you girls, you know who you are ;)).

So if you’re new or haven’t really got involved with a chat before, WHAT are you waiting for?! Strike up a conversation using the hashtags: #lbloggers (lifestyle) #bbloggers (beauty) #fbloggers (fashion) #fdbloggers (food) #tbloggers (travel) just to get you started.

Or join a scheduled chat, there’s plenty to choose from!

One of my favourites is Lunchtime Bloggers, which you can find under the hashtag #ltbloggers or on Twitter here.

Why?

For a start this is the most frequent chat, so you don’t have to wait long until you can participate in the next one. It runs twice a day 1pm & 5pm BST Mon-Fri.

Due to the frequency of the chats, you always get to know a different bloggers and it is not always the same person hosting it (although you can obviously volunteer for as many as you like).

As this chat is only dictated by the time of day, you are free to host and chat about whatever you like as opposed to being restricted to beauty for example. Some of the upcoming topics include: pets, birthdays, blogging and the bigger picture, guilty pleasures and Halloween.

One of the sweetest bloggers around manages the chat, Sarah from Things Sarah Loves. So if you are nervous about hosting a chat for the first time (I know I was!) Sarah will make you feel at ease and give you guidance along the way.

Finally, a lot of hard work goes into hosting a blogger’s chat, but it is honestly a truly rewarding blogging experience which each and every one of you should get under your belt.

To find the schedule and to book a spot to host, click here.

Good luck! Let me know if you take part and I will try to join in too whether that’s on my lunch break at work or when I’ve finished!

Do you have any top tips for hosting blogger chats? Let me know in the comments, or tweet me, I will be putting together a guide and will credit you 🙂

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10 Tips To Make Your Gym Life Easier

Actually signing up to the gym and going regularly is a sport in itself. There are so many factors standing in the way of getting super fit and budging those few pounds/stones which seem to haunt you every single day.

I recently signed up for a brilliant membership which I can use at four centres and have access to their gyms, classes and pools for just £28 a month. fitness

At first I expected miracles overnight but quickly learnt that I was extremely naive. However, instead of being hung up on the scales I found some simple ways to make the gym life easier, and if like me, motivation isn’t your strongest point, you might find these helpful…

Invest in some beautiful gym gear | As the saying goes, look good, feel good! With high street stores such as New Look and H&M launching sport ranges, the pressure to look fashionable in the gym is mounting. However, I don’t necessarily think fashion brands are the right way to go when it comes to sport. I bought some cheap but ultra cool bright orange shorts from New Look and no word of a lie, every time I stepped foot in the gym they would ride up and display half my bum cheek to all the other gym goers (not the look I was going for).

Luckily though, my mum who pretty much knows me better than I know myself, bought me some gorgeous Nike gym wear for my birthday, the material is specialised to allow my skin to breathe, the fits are perfect and I feel seriously gym ready in them, with no fear of going all out and accidentally exposing myself! So basically the moral of the story here is not to be swayed by the cheap fashion but to invest in some good quality pieces that will help your physical and mental state as well as saving your reputation when getting sweaty.

*Plus make sure you get yourself down to a professional running shop who will help you find the perfect trainers. By asking you to run on a treadmill they can observe the shape and positioning of your feet and make sure that you have a pair that fit like a glove (or should I say slipper sock? ;))*

Set achievable goals | There is no point in going to the gym and forcing yourself to try and run a marathon when you can barely manage a kilometre because you will feel extremely defeated, demotivated and generally unproductive which will just put you off going. I find the best thing to do is go as far as you can without fainting and requiring the first aiders, but just each time going a little bit more. For example I normally try to swim 40 lengths at the moment as a bare minimum but if I’m feeling super energetic then I’ll push myself to 50. If I don’t manage it, it’s no big deal as I still feel as though I’ve accomplished something. In time, I’ll raise the minimum and as I’ve already experienced on a few occasions, not even bat an eye lid when I’ve hit 40, so I can physically feel that I’m getting fitter.

You don’t have to do everything at once | My boyfriend is amazing in the gym, he really supports and motivates me, but ultimately I am the one who is in control of my body and if he has asked for 2k on the treadmill and I know that it’s not an option (because I hate running) then I’ll try and do 1.5k, and have a 2 min break and then run another 500m. Sometimes it’s a good idea to take a break rather than try and tackle it head on, there’s no need to rush or race, the beauty of the gym is that you can go at your own pace.

Be prepared | Going to the gym is always so much more enjoyable if you remember everything you need. For example I don’t know about you, but I cannot live without my makeup remover when it comes to the steam room and sauna. These were invented to help open your pores up after all! Plus it’s never fun looking like a panda after you’ve swam a good few lengths in the pool. On a side note, don’t even get me started on forgetting a Tangle Teaser/hair brush.

Find your jam | Running on the treadmill can be terribly monotonous and the only thing which you find yourself concentrating on is your breathing. Listening to music will definitely take your mind to another, more relaxed place and before you know it, the distance will be increasing further than you thought was possible!

Find a gym buddy | Hitting the gym with another person can crank up your motivational points by a considerable amount. Agreeing to meet up regularly will not only burn calories but also make sure that you’re out and about and socialising, a win-win situation! Plus, if you are having a lazy day and would much rather crawl under your duvet with Netflix and comfort food, think again, the guilt of letting down your partner will surely be enough to spur you on!

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Vary your activities | If like me, you don’t always like pushing yourself through classes, (I personally like going at my own pace) vary your activities. For example on one day go swimming, another book a badminton court with your friends, on a rest day (okay, I admit I may or may not have multiple, consecutive days like this), I took my little sister to Wet & Wacky at the swimming baths, so I still burnt up a cake or two. Just remember, that getting fit doesn’t have to be a military regime, it can and should be an enjoyable journey too!

Download apps | There are so many apps which can help you stay on track. I have only used a few but My Fitness Pal is definitely my favourite. You can count your calories, work out the best foods to eat and input your fitness activities. This app hits the top spot for me, because you can incorporate it into your lifestyle, better still if you forget to type in what you had for dinner, you will receive oh so helpful notifications reminding you of this fact!

Don’t be too hard on yourself | If you genuinely don’t feel like going – do something else that’s active. Your journey to fitness is not going to be smooth if you keep forcing yourself into doing something you don’t want to do. Everyone is allowed an off day, so why not do another activity instead. One evening in the summer, it was just too hot to go to the gym so we did gardening (how grown up do we sound?! haha), another time we went for a long walk on the beach. As long as you are doing something, you can be forgiven for slacking a little.

Final tip | This one is for you bloggers! You can use exercise as multi tasking time and perhaps plan your next posts in your head, after all I thought of this blog post while I was swimming lengths!

Ultimately, I have a long way to go until I am happy with myself but I am confident in knowing that there is a light at the end of this fitness tunnel! Plus, we are about to book onto Tough Mudder for next May, so I don’t really have a choice in this fitness malarkey! 😉

Do you have any tips and tricks to make the gym life easier? I’d absolutely love to hear them! Leave me a comment or tweet me

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