Heatwave-Proof Fashion

Now I’m not sure if you’ve noticed in the last few days, there’s been a gigantic yellow ball in the sky, I’ve heard old wives tales and folklore about it, but just in case you weren’t aware – it’s called the “sun”.

The “sun” conducts extreme heat, causing profuse sweating, numerous outfit dilemmas, dehydration, frizzy hair, melted-off make up, and men shedding their tops in public like snakes shed their skins.

Of course I jest, but we Brits are just not made for these seemingly sky-high temperatures of late. Do we don our bikinis and just go with it, because who knows when we’ll see the sun again, or do we surround ourselves with fans, munch on ice cubes and take to social media because “I’M MELTING I HAVEN’T SLEPT IN 5 DAYS”?

Alas, it being summer, my calendar is getting fuller and fuller by the day, with BBQs, weddings and day trips, so the latter, unfortunately, will need to be put on hold. So, how to combat the heat, what do I wear when it’s feels even too hot to breathe?

I have a wedding reception to go to in a few weeks, and the dreaded “I have NOTHING to wear” is plaguing me already. And while I know the bride is checking the Met Office for weather updates hourly for rain, I know on a day I want sleek hair and flawless, dewy skin – it’ll be hot, humid and I’ll be a sweaty heap in a shady corner dropping ice down my front surreptitiously in a bid to cool down while my hair gets bigger and bigger by the moment.

I’ve been on the hunt for a flowy maxi dress – not too formal, not too casual and something I feel comfortable and move in. After searching high and low, Esprit have come to the rescue, with a figurative palm leaf to fan my fevered, sweaty brow.

flowing maxi with tie belt

I think a cool, breezy fabric in this stormy blue shade will look great with a tan, and can easily be dressed up or down (as a mum, it’s a huge plus for clothes to be multi-purpose).

crinkle chiffon maxi

This floaty little number with the beaded neckline is pretty enough to go very minimal on the accessories, a big thumbs up in the heat, with less irritating trinkets and jewellery to bog you down.

flowing jersey maxi

Let’s get some colours happening here, shall we? No other colour says “summer” to me than this coral / watermelon shade. With some flat strappy sandals and simple gold accessories.

flowing maxi dress with frill

I know navy isn’t a typically sunny colour, but the flattering cut and fabric really speaks to me and with sunkissed skin and understated make-up, I think the dress really speaks for itself and will be perfect for a summer evening.

So now I have the dress narrowed down… I just need to sort the shoes now.

Oh. And what do I do with my hair?

 

In a Bedroom Far, Far Away

There was a time, BC (Before Child), when I assumed just one eternal conundrum existed. After being awoken from a Matrix-like slumber, I now realise there are eternal, eternal conundrums.

Today, we’ll be focusing on eternal conundrum number 327. Namely; the correct shade of darkness required for your offspring’s bedroom. Our son cannot, will not, and simply refuses to snooze without at least two night lights on. After years of searching, we appear to have arrived at the perfect combo of a red glowing lamp thing and a mushroom-shaped light that apparently never needs its bulb replacing. Hey, if it works…..

Conundrum time: paradoxically, his brain will not allow him to reach REM without total and utter darkness. You can see the problem. Currently, we read the tales of a young wizard until he’s asleep, quickly run to switch off both lights and then get the hell out of there like we stole something method. It proves effective for the most part. But a lack of a proper nights’ sleep heralds all sorts of nasties: poor concentration, irritability, hyperactivity, struggles at school, constant interrupting of mother and father’s weekly helping of zombies and dragons. The list is endless.

When I said total and utter darkness, I meant it. One burst of moonlight, one garden light-baiting cat and he will awaken, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. When the clocks change, he’ll be out of bed, dressed for school and searching for a rogue Pokemon before 4am. This is when a friend suggested blacking out the windows. For a low cost solution we used bin bags. Yes. Bin bags. And they kinda worked, so we knew the science was stellar. However, we had bin bags taped to our windows. That’s one the Jones’ didn’t bother keeping up with.

Even though we patted ourselves on the back, there could be no doubt that bin bags on windows began to cause residual effects. When the sun shone, it got so hot in the room we were finding half-naked men – modesty wrapped in towels – sitting on the bookcase concocting shady deals through wafts of steam. Every Tuesday, my son would be awoken by workers in florescent vests trying desperately to remove the bags and take them away. And, well – it just didn’t look very nice.

Then, thankfully, another friend recommended VELUX – one of Great Britain’s and Ireland’s largest window-innovations companies. With an extensively extensive range of competitively-priced blackout blinds, it took no time at all to find the right set for his room. 

In fact, we were so taken with VELUX blindswe returned and purchased a Star Wars-themed set when we redecorated his room into a galaxy scene.

So there you have it. One eternal conundrum solved. Tomorrow we’ll be tackling number 489: what came first – the child or the wine?

How to Help Your Daughter Choose the Perfect Prom Dress

Your daughter’s prom dress is up there with some of the most important dresses that she will wear during her lifetime. Because of this, helping your daughter choose the perfect prom dress for her is a hugely important task. On prom night, you’ll want her to feel gorgeous and elegant along with comfortable in her own skin and full of self-confidence. The right dress can ensure all this, whilst the wrong dress could leave her feeling self-conscious all night long. As a mum, you’ll want to know what you can do to ensure that your daughter chooses a dress that she loves. Here are our top tips.

Follow Her Heart

Encourage your daughter to follow her heart, rather than following fashion trends. For example, if the current fashion trend is strapless dresses but your daughter hates them, make sure that she doesn’t feel peer pressured into wearing a dress that she can’t stand the style of. Prom dresses which are a little alternative can often look perfect, and there are many different styles to choose from – click here for some examples. Remember that sometimes, it’s better to stand out from the crowd a bit than blend in so make sure that your daughter knows it’s perfectly OK if she doesn’t want to choose a similar dress to everybody else.

Knowing Her Body Type

For women, knowing your body type is hugely important when it comes to picking a dress such as a prom dress. Different body types look good in different items of clothing, but the good thing is that there is something available out there for everybody. Teaching your daughter about how to dress for her body type is a great way to bond with her and gives you an excuse to go on shopping trips together. Don’t take it too seriously, though – if your daughter falls in love with a dress that society says she ‘shouldn’t’ wear because of her shape, remind her that there’s no need to conform to societal norms if she doesn’t want to.

Getting the Price Right

Older teens often have a better idea of the value of money than younger children, especially if they’ve managed to get a weekend job and are just starting to learn to budget themselves. For this reason, it’s a good idea to talk to your daughter about the prices of prom dresses and make sure that she understands how much you’re willing to spend. This way, there is less chance of tears and upset if she falls head over heels for a dress that you simply can’t afford. There are plenty of different ways to get around prom dress prices and get a good deal. More and more mums and daughters are hitting the high street rather than searching

designer boutiques, and second-hand prom dresses are becoming increasingly more common. You may also want to consider the idea of renting a dress, rather than buying one.

Which prom dress do you think would be perfect for your daughter? Let us know in the comments.

Summer Style with JD Williams

Despite the seemingly ever changing weather, we’re on the cusp of summer and as always, it will creep up when you’re not looking and leave you in that awkward place where you have nothing suitable to wear.

Personally, in the summer I like to keep things as simple as possible. If it’s really hot, I want to be able to count on trusty pieces in cool fabrics to see me through the day without melting into an angry, uncomfortable puddle.

On a day to day basis, running around at home, taking care of the school run etc I’ll be wearing jeans or printed harems, a light cami top and flip flops, with my hair in some form of disarray and a pair of sunglasses perched on my head. But it’s summer! I want to do better than that!

This summer I have a hen do, a wedding and a few nights out to buy outfits for, which ya know, I’d like to make an effort for… But never fear! JD Williams have a whole host of affordable, fashionable dresses that will save those frustrating “I have nothing to wear,” moments . Whether it’s for a special occasion or every day wear, they’ve got it covered. Here are my picks…

Hen Night:

Don’t judge me, but I’ve never been on a hen night before so this is totally new territory for me – however I’ve fallen in love with this wrap front, printed jump suit – worn with some boots and a statement necklace, it’d look really edgy and cool – perfect for having lots of fun in.

wrap front print jumpsuit

 

Wedding:

Weddings are always very long affairs, you go from feeling very glam and formal early on and it gets more relaxed as the day and night wear on. I think this lace hem pleated maxi dress is a great compromise – formal enough with heels and some sparkly accessories, and maybe once the reception party kicks off – slip on some flats to dance the night away! For dress details – see here.

pleated maxi

 

Girl’s night out:

For a girl’s night out I don’t want to worry too much about what I’m wearing, I want to feel relaxed and confident. I’d opt for something like this plain linen mix dress, I’d wear it with a leather biker jacket, chunky boots and my hands covered in rings to make it edgier. For details click here.

dress

 

Casual 

For lazy days when I don’t want to feel “too much” I’d opt for something simple and black, which I can dress up or down depending on my mood. This black, cut-out midi dress would be perfect with some sandals and chunky jewelry. See here for dress details.
midi dress

 

So those are my summer picks, what are your summer essentials? I’d love to know!

 

Decorating with Your Children & Dulux

We all know the milestones that children hold as their most important defining moments. The loss of a first tooth, learning to ride their bike without stabilisers, even their first day at big school and countless others, but would you suppose that decorating their bedrooms would be top of that list?

Don’t worry, I didn’t either, but after doing some extensive research, Dulux has found that children rate the decoration of their bedrooms really highly indeed and are encouraging parents to work together with their kids to create something really special and unique.

I must admit I’m guilty in not involving my son is the decoration of his bedroom (along with three quarters of parents) – if I’m honest that was due to me being scared that he’d want his room neon green with an enormous mural of a dragon eating a unicorn on one wall or something equally bizarre that his six year old mind could conjure up. But after reading the research and commentary from developmental expert and child psychologist Sam Wass and Dulux creative director Marianne Shillingford – I’m beginning to see the beauty of involving our little ones to create rooms they love and want to spend time in, where their imaginations can grow and wander and they feel safe and happy.

circus

Dr Sam Wass first suggests to sit down with your child and create some pictures, drawings or even collages of what they’d like their rooms to look like, talking about it and giving them a role in the decision making process can give little ones a huge sense of pride. This can even encourage them to keep their newly decorated rooms tidier and want to show their friends something they have put their own stamp on.

Dulux have also created a whole host of looks to inspire children and adults on how to decorate their kid’s rooms (including videos of how to achieve certain looks, which paints and tools you need etc), that with a little imagination and some clever paint techniques – there really is no limit on what you can create together.  My personal favourites being Storybook and Circus, I know the inner child in me would love to disappear in my own little cloud covered bubble with a book in here!

storybook

Seeing these beautiful rooms and feeling the magic of childhood has really made me want to involve my son in the look and feel of his bedroom and give him creative control of his own space – because they’re only little for such a short space of time aren’t they and before we know it, the fairy tale murals and homemade wonderlands will be plastered over with band posters and selfies before we know it.

This is a collaborative post.

5 Signs Your Relationship is Marriage Material

Even if you have been dating someone for a long time and you really love them, you may be wondering if you’re the right fit for one another and whether you’d survive as a married couple. To help you figure out whether or not your relationship is really marriage material or not, continue reading for five signs to look for.

1. You’re Completely Comfortable Communicating Openly

Communication is the cornerstone of every great relationship. If you’re unable to communicate how you feel to one another, then problems will never be resolved. But if you’re able to express yourself openly with your partner, including discussing opinions, concerns, and fears, and if you aren’t afraid of being judged by your partner for expressing yourself, you have a shot at having a fantastic marriage.

2. You Already Make Big Decisions Together

As a married couple, you’ll need to be comfortable with one another, as well as confident enough in one another, to make big decisions together. So if you’re already accustomed to discussing your options together when it comes to big choices, such as moving to a new house or starting a new career, you are marriage material indeed.

3. You Love Spending Time Together

If you never tire of being around one another, you will definitely enjoy sharing a home together and being married. After all, when you marry someone, you will go to bed together at night and wake up together in the morning, and you will also share responsibilities around the house, finances, and more. If you can’t wait to see your partner and spend as much time together as possible doing anything and everything, whether it’s watching a favourite TV show, reading a book, going shopping, or travelling, your relationship is ready for an upgrade.

4. You Have the Same Dreams in Common

Couples that have the same dreams for their lives are more likely to get along together and face a brighter future together. So whether you both want to travel a lot, move to the suburbs and start a family, or focus on your careers, the key is to understand each other’s needs while having common aspirations so you can live a harmonious life together.

5. You Know How to Resolve Conflicts

Couples who bottle their feelings and avoid conflicts are just as bad as those who lash out at one another and never come to a resolution. In a marriage, both of these scenarios could spell trouble. But if you are a couple who really knows how to talk things out and resolve conflicts, even if things get tense for a while during a big fight, you are more likely to have a happy marriage.

Are you ready to take the next step in your relationship and get married? Then, after getting engaged, it’s time to start the wedding planning process. Start thinking about a UK Wedding and savings that will allow you to have the day of your dreams. And then live happily ever after!

The Dress Lyst

Uh-oh. It’s Spring. And y’know what that means? The Mum Coat will soon be prised from our grasping fingers and we’ll be found out.

We won’t be able to get away with wearing the same, possibly slightly stained sweatshirt under cover of the coat on the school run. Or sweatpants when we have absolutely zero intention of going to the gym. Or pyjamas. Maybe. Only that once when you were running really late though. Promise.

Anyway, I digress. The point is, soon, very soon, I may have to spend more than my usual 3.4 seconds to think about what I wear. And if you hadn’t already gathered – I need desperate help.

This is where Lyst comes in.  Lyst is your expert, fashion-forward, personalised shopper who knows exactly what you like. Lyst will tempt you in with a few perfectly cut, beautifully draped old favourite styles, and bravely smuggle in a few pieces you wouldn’t normal think to look at – but it’s OK, Lyst has got your back. Lyst knows.

You see, on signing up, you’re taken through various designers and their key trends and pieces and you tell Lyst whether you like them or not – and based on these, it’s able to generate a whole host of suggestions for you.

Dress Lyst

I created a Lyst of dresses, because heaven knows I need help with anything vaguely feminine or that takes some effort to wear. Another really good thing about Lyst is that there’s something for every budget. Don’t be alarmed by the hand-embroidered tulle or bead appliqued Valentino gowns (and oh my, they are magical) – Lyst also lists the likes of Zara, H&M, TOPSHOP, ASOS and Forever21 to name a few more affordable retailers for those of us with clumsy dispositions or sticky fingered children.

lyst it!

Creating Lysts is really the highlight here, think of it like Pinterest but with clothes. Every item on Lyst has a “Lyst it” button, where you can conveniently keep that cute ASOS denim pinafore dress safe to peruse later. You can also edit these Lysts – Window Shopping, What I’d Look Like If I Had 2 Hours To Get Ready In The Morning & An Unlimited Budget, Brother’s Wedding in June,  Girl’s Night Out – you get the idea.

And because of this, I think Lyst and I are going to be the very best of friends. I may even start a new funky mum coat Lyst for next A/W.

This is a collaborative post.

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