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Guide On What To Buy For Your Friend’s Newborn

Baby gift

It’s always an exciting time when your friend has a baby. It’s the start of a new journey for them, not to mention you get unfettered access to baby cuddles every time you visit. And when the day comes that their newborn arrives, you’ll likely want to get them a gift to welcome them to the world. But buying for a baby can be tricky, especially as mum and dad will have probably bought them a huge amount of stuff already.

So if you’re currently racking your brain trying to think of the perfect gift for your friend and their newborn, we’re here to help. The guide below will look at how to think practically and personally to help you choose something your friend will really appreciate, followed by a list of great gift ideas to help inspire you, no matter what your budget!

Think practically

The reality of having a baby is that priorities change, and your daily living costs go up. As such, it can be helpful to choose practical gifts for your friend’s newborn. Though these might not be all that exciting, let’s face it, the baby isn’t aware of this and you could be doing your friends a huge favour. For example, babies use a lot of nappies every day, so buying your friend a couple of big packs of Pampers can be extremely helpful. The same applies to other necessities like baby wipes, bottles and dummies. You might even want to combine a few of these to create a lovely hamper for your friend and their newborn.

Other practical gifts can be things like soft play mats, muslins or blankets. If you’re really unsure what to get, you could always ask your friend if there’s anything they’re short of that they could use. This way you can ensure you buy something that is going to make a genuine difference to your friend and their new addition.

Think personally

If you want to get something lasting or more personal, there are a number of very sweet and personalised gifts you can choose for a newborn. The internet has opened us up to a world of custom designed baby grows, personalised teddy bears and hand embroidered blankets, meaning there are plenty of gorgeous gifts out there that your friend will love. Take some time to think about what you’d like to get the baby, you might also want to get them something they can treasure forever, for example a ‘my first years’ book, christening bangle or personalised keepsake box.

Think about the parents

This suggestion is slightly left field and arguably not a present for the newborn as such, but don’t forget about the parents when choosing a gift. Especially mum, who has been through a lot throughout the pregnancy and birth of the baby. As well as choosing a gift for their newborn, you might also want to get a little something that the parents can enjoy. This could be some essential oils or creams to help mum on her way to recovery, it could be some of their favourite treats or it could be a baby sling to make their life easier when out and about.

Think outside the box

You can also get creative with your gift ideas, things that the new parents might not have ever known they needed, but actually can make a big difference. An example of this could be a Netflix subscription. If your friends are going to be spending a lot more time at home, help keep them entertained with a great boxset! Technology can be extremely helpful for new parents, consider a NutriBullet Baby Food Processor or a pressure cooker so they can still have delicious home cooked meals without having to spend any real time in the kitchen.

There are also a number of companies out there that create monthly subscription boxes full of goodies for newborns. These types of presents are gifts that keep on giving. Each month they’ll receive a package with new products in, and this can be a great way to help them out on a regular basis. If you want to buy a gift that’s a bit different, think outside the box!

8 gift ideas for your friend’s newborn

Hopefully by now you’re beginning to put together a few ideas for what you can get your friend and their newborn, based on the guide above. In this next section we’ve complied a list of eight great gift ideas to help you choose the perfect present that your friend is going to truly appreciate.

1. Baby Shusher

Perfect for fussy babies, you can buy the official Baby Susher on Amazon. There are also a number of other cute, portable noise machines to help get baby back to sleep.

2. Headrest mirror

The perfect gift for helping parents keep an eye on their little one whilst they’re in their car seat.

3. Baby changing travel bag

When a baby needs to be changed you don’t want to spend ages searching for a changing facility. This fold out travel bag helps you to change you newborn when you’re out and about, as well as being a handy bag for carrying nappies, wipes and other necessities.

4. Baby welcome hamper

There are a number of companies out there that put together beautiful hampers for newborns, usually featuring baby grows, nappies, essential toiletries and soft toys.

5. Hand and footprint kit

There are different varieties you can choose from, but these hand and footprint kits make great keepsakes for parents.

6. Personalised cashmere blanket

Soft, cashmere blankets are perfect for newborns, and you can add a personal touch by having their initials embroidered in the corner. You can find a number of companies online that offer this service.

7. Personalised “my first curl” box

Ramp up the cuteness factor and savour those precious moments with a my first curl box customised by us to include names, birthdays… anything you like!

8. Soft play mat/activity gym

Create a soft and safe area for the baby to lay, whilst keeping them entertained with some of the great activity gyms available for newborns.

7 Budget Fashion Tricks To Always Look Luxury

Luxury Dress

Whether it’s your workwear or evening attire, we all want to look great no matter what our personal style. The problem is fashion trends are always chaining and keeping on top of the latest looks can be pricey. For this reason we often settle for cheaper alternatives to what we would have actually liked to have worn.

But the good news is shopping and dressing on a budget doesn’t mean having to compromise on your style. There are a number of ways you can keep the cost of your wardrobe down whilst still looking great. In this guide we’ll share our top seven fashion tricks for always looking luxurious even when you’re on a budget. Read on to find out more!

1. Buy tailored clothes

If you want to look luxury there is one sure fire way to do it. When it comes to style, you rarely see celebrities or famous fashionistas photographed wearing ill-fitting clothes that are too big or small for them. That’s because the best way to flatter your figure and look great is with tailored garments. These could be a great pair of ankle grazing trousers or a fitted blazer. You just need to make sure that they are a good fit for you and that they pinch or gather in all the right places.

2. Keep it simple

You know what they say, less is more! So while pink floral might be in this month, fast fashion means trends are changing all the time and if you try to keep up with them all you could end up spending a fortune on clothes. Not to mention that this isn’t good for the environment or your wardrobe space. So instead it’s best to invest in some great basics that you can easily dress up or down accordingly.

This means choosing a good coat, trousers, jeans, shirt etc. until you’ve covered all the basic bases. For example, if you wear a pencil skirt and blouse to work everyday, choose a few staple items like these and keep them in neutral colours like black, white, navy or grey. By keeping your colour scheme neutral these are easier to mix and match to create a number of luxurious looks.

3. Know how to accessorise

Accessories can make all the difference, especially when you’re working with a basic wardrobe. Adding statement pieces of jewellery can add a real touch of class and luxury to your look, without breaking the bank. Just be sure you don’t choose jewellery that’s too cheap – after all, green bands round your fingers or wrists certainly doesn’t say luxury!

What’s more, you should also choose a statement handbag. Make sure this is elegant and versatile so you can pair it with most outfits. Then, to take your look to the next level try to also match your shoes with your handbag. This can really add a touch of elegance to your look and shows that you’ve put real thought into your outfit.

4. Choose the right fabrics

Another trick to always looking fabulous even in budget clothes is choosing the right materials. Cheaper clothing is going to be made from cheaper fabric and not as well made as more expensive brands, so you need to be careful when choosing your clothes. If you buy something that is made with a really tacky looking material it’s going to look awful. Instead, try to get the most bang for your buck and look for well-made but affordable garments where the material looks more expensive than it really is.

You also need to be aware that if you buy budget clothes they sometimes start to fall apart, so you need to fix this quickly. For example, if you notice a loose thread – cut it off right away! And if a button falls of your bargain coat, sew it back on. You could even replace the cheap looking buttons on your coat with some more luxury looking ones that you’ve bought separately from a craft store. These small details can make a real difference to how luxury you really look.

5. Iron your clothes

This might seem like a strange (and pretty simple) thing to say, but ironing your clothes is such a cheap way to improve your look. Let’s be honest, creases don’t look good. But sometimes when we’re in a hurry we decide to ignore the odd wrinkle here and there. If you really want to look luxury even in budget clothes, invest in a great iron and be sure to take your time in getting all the creases out.

6. Go thrift shopping

If you’re looking for some big name brands but you’re put off by the price tags, why not go thrift shopping! Checking out charity shops, pre-loved sites online or outlet stores can make a real difference when it comes to finding a bargain. Thrift shopping doesn’t mean buying battered or tatty old clothing. In reality you’d be surprised what people throw away or donate. You can often find some great quality items from big labels and you could even find some beautifully unique and vintage items that no one else will have.

7. Shop out of season

This is a budget fashion trick that you could really benefit from, and once again shows why it’s better to have a basic wardrobe that you can mix and match. If you shop out of season you can often find things for half the price (and sometimes even less!). So while it may be summer time, if you see the perfect trench coat for a reduced price, it’s worth buying and putting it at the back of your wardrobe until the winter.

But as previously stated, fashion trends move on so don’t buy anything that will quickly go out of style. Otherwise by the time winter rolls around you might not like the coat anymore and it was a waste of money. So keep it neutral and timeless. That way anything you purchase out of season you know you’re still guaranteed to like when the time comes to actually wearing it.

A Guide To Preparing For Your Baby’s Christening

Christening

Although our society is becoming a lot less religious than previous generations, many parents still choose to have their child christened as a rite of passage to prepare them for their future and celebrate their arrival into the family.

As with any celebration, there’s plenty of planning involved, especially for such a big commitment. If you’re organising your child’s christening right now, there are several aspects you need to take into consideration to ensure everything goes smoothly. To help you out, we’ve put together this step by step guide which covers all the important areas you need to focus on in order to host the perfect day for your little one.

Booking the church

The first and most obvious step is booking the church and organising the blessing with the vicar. While some clergy are pretty relaxed about attendance, others will want the parents of the child to have attended church at least a few times before the day. As such, if you don’t go to church very regularly, it’s a good idea to attend a few services before you approach the vicar to ask about the christening.

Once the vicar has agreed to host the christening, there’s one important detail you’ll need to clarify. Some churches give the option to host a private ceremony, but others will expect the christening to go ahead as part of the regular Sunday service. Therefore, you need to find out if this will be the case as you may have your own preferences with regards to the exclusivity of your child’s christening.

Securing the date

Before you settle on a date, you need to make sure that all the most important guests are able to attend. This could mean your parents (the child’s grandparents), close friends and the soon-to-be godparents. Once you’ve made them aware of the date you’re planning to hold the christening, if everyone is available you can go ahead and OK this with the vicar. After all, there’s no point booking in a date and then finding out that only half your guests will be available.

Choosing the godparents

A big part of a christening is choosing the godparents. Their role will be to watch over your child and to help guide them through their faith. Traditionally, your child has three god parents, for girls they have two godmothers and a godfather, and for boys it’s the other way around. But ultimately that is up to your digression and personal preference. You can have more or less if that suits.

Many couples choose their close friends or relatives to be godparents as they’ll be playing such an important role in your child’s life. You may already have a good idea of who you’d like to take on this role, but if not then it’s vital that you put careful thought and consideration into your decision.

The final step to choosing your child’s godparents is checking that the people in question are actually happy to take on the role. It’s no use planning the christening with godparents in mind, only to find out that they’re not willing to take on that responsibility. Therefore it’s best to officially ask your chosen friends or family first. Most people will be delighted and excited to become godparents, they might even want to be involved in the planning of the big day.

Planning your child’s outfit

It’s customary that your child wears a christening gown for the service, so you’ll need to choose one you like. That said, don’t buy this month’s in advance as young children grow very fast! Instead, leave it until just a few weeks before the christening to buy the gown. You may even have a gown that has been passed down through your family. If this is the case, make sure your child is not going to be too big or small for the gown a few weeks in advance. This gives you time to have the gown tailored or to go out and buy a new one if you need to.

Organising the service

The service is perhaps the easiest part of your planning. You might want to run through everything with the vicar, but as a general rule these always follow the same format and the vicar will be in charge of most of this. Just be sure that you tell your guests to arrive with plenty of time so as not to hold up the service. There could be other christening or events after yours.

Throwing an after party

It’s customary to throw a reception after the christening, especially if some of your guests have travelled quite far to attend. This doesn’t have to be any sort of religious ceremony, it’s just a nice chance to continue the celebrations and catch up. But this will also take a bit of planning.

First you’ll need to choose a venue. This can either be held at your house, a family home or you could choose to hire a venue like the church hall. Once you’ve got your venue settled, you’ll need to arrange food. You might want to hire a catering service or provide the food yourself depending on the size of the guest list.

On the morning of the christening you might want to decorate the venue with balloons, streamers or banners. Especially if this is being held in an otherwise empty hall. If you’ve got lots of other children coming it’s a good idea to make sure there is plenty to keep them entertained. This could be a garden, toys, bouncy castle or you could even hire a children’s entertainer depending on your budget.

Giving and accepting gifts

As with most events, guests will probably assume that they need to bring a gift. If you’re happy with this arrangement then it’s best not to say anything and if you’re one of the guests or want to make a list then we’ve got you covered.

Finally, you may also wish to provide some gifts of your own, particularly to those how have been a big part of the day. For example, you might choose thank you gifts for the godparents. You might also want to buy some commemorative party favours for all the guests to keep as a momento of their day.

Style Guide: How To Dress Like A Royal

In recent years there has been a new wave of royal fever with Kate Middleton (Duchess of Cambridge) and Meghan Markle (Duchess of Sussex) joining the royal family. Not only have these young royals captured the hearts of the nation, but they’ve become style icons for women across the world.

Though both Kate and Meghan are bound by the rules of royal dress code, they have certainly put their own mark on it and created their own signature style. This fresh fashion has photographers everywhere poised and waiting to snap photos of what they’re wearing every time they step foot outside the door.

Both Kate and Meghan choose practical, elegant styles, and retailers across the nation have tried to replicate this through their clothing lines. This means it’s possible to dress like a royal without the expensive price tag! So whether you want to channel your inner Kate Middleton, or embrace the bardot necklines of Meghan Markle, our guide below will reveal how you can dress like a royal too.

Finding the perfect skirts and dresses

Hemlines are every important when it comes to royal style as the rules state that skirts and dresses can’t be too short. For the most part this means skirts or dresses should finish below the knee. Not only does this follow the guidelines but it also adds elegance to your outfit, lengthening the legs and slimming out your figure.

What’s more, when it comes to finding the perfect dress or skirt there are plenty of options thanks to the young royals. Kate Middleton is partial to a double layered dress as this give the illusion of two matching separates, while Meghan Markle loves the bardot neckline dresses we know so well from the style of her wedding dress. Of course you could also opt for a classic wrap dress or asymmetrical skirt, just make sure these are an appropriate length for a royal.

When it comes to choosing patterns, style and colour, Kate has been known to rock the polka dots. Alternatively, you can’t go wrong with floral prints or stripes in the summer. During the colder months darker plaids add a youthful but classy touch to your outfit. But whatever you do, just don’t choose anything too bold or bright (that’s the Queen’s forte after all).

Practical royal fashion

While we can only assume that the Queen doesn’t even own a pair of trousers, the young royals aren’t afraid of practical fashion. The Duchess of Cambridge favours more relaxed trousers when she’s out and about running errands, and if she needs to dress it up she’ll add a blazer to add formality to her style.

What’s more, the Duchess of Sussex was sporting the roll sleeve blouses even before she was a royal! These can be paired with trousers for a smart but more relaxed look, and completed with a blazer or collarless jacket. Alternatively, Meghan has often been photographed going about her business in a pant suit, so this could be the perfect choice for more formal occasions or perhaps even business affairs.

And don’t be afraid to rock these styles on more than one occasion! Kate has been known to break the rules of celebrity style by wearing the same outfit more than once (we know, she’s crazy right?) and this is just another reason the nation love her so much.

What to wear on your feet

Now you’ve got your outfit planned out, you need to find the perfect royal approved footwear to match. Another rule in the royal guidelines is that heels cannot be too high, therefore pumps tend to be a favourite of the Queen. But while the young royals have publicly worn larger heels in the past, it’s best to stick to a smaller heel or sandals for a more refined look. And wedges are a no-no. Not because they are too high but because they can be deemed too casual for a royal affair, so keep this in mind when choosing the shoes to match your outfit.

When out on more casual affairs, Kate Middleton is also a big fan of cowboy boots, so it could be worth investing in some neat ankle boots, usually in brown though black may be more your style. These are perfect for a more relaxed look whilst keeping it smart and elegant. They can also be worn year round, paired with a flowing tea dress in the summer or trousers and a jacket in the winter.

How to accessorise like a royal

Finally, you need to know how to accessorise like a royal. You’ll certainly never see the royals walking around with huge handbags – why would they, they have people to carry their things for them and they certainly aren’t walking around with a purse, pack of tissues, used water bottle and umbrella in there. Instead they’ll simply carry a small bag for they essentials, mainly their phone. For this reason it’s best to stick to an elegant clutch bag or a small top handled bag.

That said, Meghan Markle has been shaking things up since she came on the scene with clutches that double as cross body bags. If you opt for something that you can wear over your shoulder like this, just be sure to stick to the rules of small and stylish. This will keep you feeling like a royal without having to hold your bag all day long.

Another accessory that has become a firm favourite with Meghan Markle is the Panama hat – despite this originally being designed for men. This can complete your outfit at more casual events, for example Meghan was seen wearing one of these at a polo match. So if you plan on spending a whole day in the summer sun, a hat can be a good idea. Why not consider following in her footsteps and finding yourself the perfect hat to match. This doesn’t have to be a Panama hat, though this certainly will keep you feeling on royal trend, as long as it’s classy and not too bold (and certainly not a sports cap).

10 Unique Ways To Do Wedding Favours

Wedding Favours

Back in the day you got a box of sugared almonds at your place setting as a little gift for joining the bride and groom on their special day. And while some may still choose to adopt this time honoured tradition, nowadays couples are putting more imagination into their wedding favours. After all, this is a great way to inject some personality into your day and offer something unique to your guests that they may not have seen before.

So if you’re planning a wedding and have decided to side step tradition and present your guests with something a little more quirky, there are so many fun ideas you could try out for your favours. Below we’ve put together a list of 10 ideas for favours with a difference, ranging from the more extravagant and expensive, to fabulous budget favours that will add the finishing touch to your big day.

1. Say it with seeds

There are so many ways you can present seeds as a wedding favour, from small tie bags to personalised paper packets or even small jars! This versatile favour allows your guests to plant the beautiful seeds of your choosing, so when their flowers bloom they’ll be reminded of your special day each time they look at them.

2. Puzzle it together

There are a number of companies out there that offer personalised wooden favours specially made for your big day. One of the popular options is custom made puzzle pieces, with your names and wedding date carved into them, thanking your guests for celebrating with you. These cute gifts are a very sweet reminder of your day.

3. Make a toast

As the gin revolution has taken the world by storm in recent years, there are so many delicious craft alcohols on offer and these can make really great favours. From bottles of ale, to miniature gins or whiskeys, choose your favourite tipple to share with your guests. You could personalise this further by adding name tags, serving in small jars or even having custom labels stuck on the front.

4. Share your good fortune

Share a message of love and good fortune with your guests on an affordable budget. There are a number of retailers out there offering personalised fortune cookies and these can be packaged in small packets or individual boxes depending on what you choose.

5. Celebrate with a great cuppa

Is there anything more British than a good brew? As the tea revolution continues, why not choose unique or interesting flavoured tea bags to present to your guests. You can add some context with sweet slogans such as ‘Love is brewing’ or simply add your names and wedding date to the packets.

6. Let the sun shine

If you’re planning a summer wedding, why not add some fun to your favours with personalised sunglasses. You can choose your own message and select colours to match your wedding theme. These are fun and practical gifts, and just think of the great wedding photos you can get as all your guests don their personalised sunnies on your big day.

7. Choose something sweet

There are a number of sweet treats with a twist that you can choose for your guests, from chocolates with your initials on, to personalised Love Heart sweets and even individually boxed Krispy Kreme donuts! The choices are endless and perfect if you’ve got a real sweet tooth.

8. Let’s raise a (shot) glass

Are you known to like a drink? Perhaps personalised shot glasses could be the perfect favour to get the party started. Your guests (all those over 18 of course!) can raise a shot glass to the happy couple and you could ask your caterers to go round and fill these with your favourite spirit or cocktail, and perhaps a mocktail for those who aren’t quite old enough yet.

9. Give the gift of charity

If there’s a particular charity that’s close to your heart, why not donate the money you would have spent on favours to them. You can then give your guests a little gift that explains what you’ve done. For example, charity pins, wristbands or cards.

10. Hangover kits

It’s not a wedding without a few glasses of champagne, so prepare your guests for the morning after. You can order custom made hangover kits online, or perhaps even get creative and make your own. Find small bags or boxes and these can include things like mints, face wipes, paracetamol and Lucozade.

There you have it, 10 great ideas for unique wedding favours and if you want to add a personal touch check out our own range of gifts.

Father’s Day Gift Ideas With A Difference

Fathers Day Gift Ideas

Repairing your toys, driving you to your friend’s house, giving you advice, teaching you to drive – it’s a busy job being a dad! So, with Father’s Day just around the corner, you’re probably on the hunt for the perfect gift to say ‘thank you’.

Choosing gifts can be tricky and dads are notoriously difficult to buy for. But if you want to show him how much you appreciate everything he’s done for you over the years, perhaps it’s time to bypass the novelty socks and choose him a present that he’ll truly love.  To help you out, we’ve put together a list of 10 great Father’s Day gift ideas with a difference.

1. Experience days

Buying vouchers for a day out can be a really great gift. Whether this is for an escape room, paint balling or a sky diving experience, you can choose the activity that you know your dad is going to love. Giving them an experience instead of a physical gift makes a nice change and means they can create memories to cherish forever. Better yet if you book an experience day for two, that way they can choose someone to join in the fun with them (and you never know, they might choose you!).

2. Personalised jewellery

With more men embracing jewellery trends, there are now more options available to them than ever before. So why not gift your dad with something truly meaningful. You could choose a bracelet, ring, watch or necklace depending on his style, and have this personalised with either his name or initials in his or your own actual handwriting. This is something he can treasure for years to come.

3. Something for the kitchen (or garden)

Does your dad love to cook? Or perhaps he’s the opposite – is he a hopeless cook who could use a hand? There are some great gifts out there that can really make his life easier. Lazy pans allow dads to make a quick and easy fry up (with less to clean up afterwards!) or alternatively you could choose him some great tools for cooking outside on the BBQ. If he’s already got all the gear, why not add some spice to his life with meat rubs, spices or chilli sauces – there are some great gift sets out there that you can choose from.

4. Engraved gifts

Add a personal touch by having your gift engraved. There are a number of great gifts that you can have personalised in this way depending on your dad’s interests. For example, hip flasks, whiskey glasses or tumblers, watches, golfing equipment, key rings, or cufflinks. Choose the perfect gift for your dad and have it engraved with a special message from you.

5. His favourite tipple

What does your dad love to drink – beer, whiskey, gin? Whatever his favourite tipple may be, you can make it extra special this Father’s Day. There are a number of upcoming retailers and unique new stores producing interesting and delicious drinks. Whether that’s a local ale, flavoured gin, smokey whiskey or funky bottle of tequila. Help your dad kick back and relax on Father’s Day with his favourite drink.

6. Something retro

If your dad is a bit of a collector, or perhaps he has one thing in particular that he loves, why not find him something retro to add to his collection. If he supports a football team, look for old memorabilia, or perhaps he loves a particular sports star, writer or artist? Track down something they’ve signed or produced years ago. When it comes to finding something like this it can get a little bit pricey, but there are a number of vintage stores both online and on some high streets that hold a huge range of retro pieces, it’s just about tracking down the perfect one.

7. Gaming gifts

Your dad might be a gamer and with new technologies emerging all the time there’s always a new release or new attachment to try out. Think VR (virtual reality) headsets, Playstations and top of the range gaming chairs. There are so many gift ideas for the gamers in your life, but if you’re unsure what to buy, you can always gift him with physical vouchers or online credits that allow him to choose what he wants himself.

And it doesn’t just have to be a techie gift. If you know your dad loves an evening in playing board games, or can’t resist an opportunity to get down the local for the weekly pub quiz, why not get him his very own quiz game for at home. Pick from a huge range of fun and hilarious board games so that dad can delight in a family or friends games night in.

8. Useful gadgets

Dads love a gadget! Whether that’s a bottle opener, multi-tool, miniature game, keyring, soap dispenser or radio – if it’s a weird and wonderful gadget, dads are sure to love it! There are a number of novelty gifts out there for you to choose from, so you just need to decide whether you’re going to pick something to make him laugh, or whether you want to opt for something that will come in very handy (bonus if it does both!).

9. Interesting foods

Is your dad a bit of a foodie? Treat him to some of the more creative foods that have been popping up in recent years. You’ll have your choice from chocolates to condiments, you’re bound to find a unique taste your dad will love. Choose from whiskey chocolates, spreadable rum chutneys or chilli gummy sweets, there are so many retailers offering weird and wonderful creations.

10. Travel accessories

If your dad is always jet setting here and there, help him on his way with some unique travel accessories. Perhaps a suitcase printed with his own face, a personalised passport cover, travel books to give him inspiration or a scratch wall map that allows him to showcase everywhere he’s been so far. Give him a gift that is sure to remind him of you every time he travels.

A Guide To Perfecting Your Maternity Style

Pregnancy style

You’re pregnant – congratulations! This is such an exciting time in your life, whether it’s your first or third child. But as you probably know, your body is going to go through a lot of changes in the next nine months and if this is your first time, some of these might seem a bit crazy!

But being pregnant doesn’t have to mean questionable maternity leggings, baggy jumpers and hair scrunchies (unless you love a scrunch of course!). This is a guide for all the mums-to-be out there that are looking to rock their pregnancy style over the coming months, no matter how much your belly might grow. Here are seven tips for the ultimate maternity style.

Think about long-term investments

You’ll be amazed how quickly your body changes during different stages of your pregnancy, therefore you need to think long-term whenever you buy something new for your wardrobe. It’s always a good idea to shop for clothes that can grow with you or that will create flattering silhouettes. Otherwise you might find you’ve grown out of it in a matter of weeks.

Dresses are always a win because they leave room to grow, they’re loose and comfortable – especially in the warmer months! Shift dresses hug an expanding bump and look good at all stages of pregnancy, alternatively, opt for wrap dresses that will cup your bump.

For the colder weather, long cardigans, blazers and trench coats are perfect for creating a flattering silhouette whilst keeping you warm. In general, it’s always best to avoid buying any statement pieces that are going to go out of fashion within the month. You want timeless pieces that can be worn again and again throughout your pregnancy. Plus, these are always good to have if you plan on having more children in the future!

Don’t neglect your existing wardrobe

It can be surprising what maternity-friendly items you already have hanging in your wardrobe. You might already have a weakness for maxi dresses, ponchos or over-sized knits and these can all become part of your maternity style. So before you go out shopping, take a look through what you already have and assess what garments are going to be the most comfortable and pregnancy friendly. This will give you a better idea of the sorts of things you might want to go out and buy later.

Accessories can make all the difference

As said above, you don’t want to buy anything that’s going to be a passing trend, so it’s best to keep most of your maternity clothes timeless and classic. You can then add accessories to jazz up your outfit and add an extra wow factor to your maternity style. If you want to add a touch of personality to an outfit with personalised jewellery, just be sure you don’t choose anything that is going to become too tight or restricting. Other than that, you can’t go wrong with throwing on some statement jewellery to complete your look.

Don’t be afraid to try new things

It can be tricky pushing yourself out of your comfort zones when it comes to your style. After all, you don’t want to walk around all day feeling uncomfortable or self conscious. But when you become pregnant this can sometimes force you to try new things, because the old things simply won’t work anymore. For example, you might have always been a fan of those tight skinny jeans, but at eight months pregnant shoehorning yourself and your bump into them is just no longer practical or comfy.

This means you’ll need to push the boat out a little and try something different. Remember, you don’t have to make drastic changes like starting to wear bright florals, or only dress in black despite having never done this before. You simply need to find stylish but classic items that you feel confident in. Even if these seem a little plain, remember you can accessorise to add to your look – so don’t be afraid to try new things and change it up a bit. After all, confidence and comfort are always the key to looking and feeling great.

Embrace the athleisure movement

Right now is the perfect time to be a pregnant women, because believe it or not, trackies and leisure wear are dominating the mainstream right now. This means you’ll be able to find affordable, comfortable and stylish clothes in many of your favourite high street stores. So even if you’ve not been one for the athleisure look before, now could be the perfect time to embrace your inner Sporty Spice!

Don’t forget to treat yourself

Remember style isn’t just about the clothes you buy, it’s about feeling confident and beautiful, inside and out. So don’t feel guilty about treating yourself every once in a while. You may not be able to go for conventional spa treatments, spray tans and so on, but there are so many other ways you can pamper yourself. Splurge on your favourite make-up or buy some great new skin care products that are going to leave you glowing (even more than you already are). This will all add to your look and help you to feel confident and like your true self.

Embrace the bump

Pregnancy is no longer something to hide in the shadows, nor does it mean you instantly need to turn into a mum wearing only practical clothes, because they’ll eventually be covered in spit up and milk, right? Wrong! Pregnancy is beautiful and it’s your time to shine. Nowadays you can even find pregnant women on catwalks around the world. So embrace your impending motherhood and dress it up to suit your style.

Pregnancy and motherhood has become so celebrated in recent years. Some very famous and stylish women are often photographed out and about with their (equally as stylish) kids in tow, as they attend fashion shows or go about running their own businesses. So choose clothes, accessories and beauty products that show you’re proud of your bump and that you can still be a stylish and confident woman even at nine months pregnant!

Which Love Island Personality Are You?

Love Island Contestants

Love Island 2018 was fueled with drama, budding friendships, a lot of re-coupling and loyalty…? Hmmm, well either way it consumed our every thought, Whatsapp message, conversation and meme we tagged our mates in. Oh yes, it was a big one. In fact, you probably found yourself gossiping about Dani, Megan, Wes and Laura like they were your next door neighbours. And the best news is, Love Island 2019 is almost here!

But as you sat each day and watched religiously between the hours of 9pm to 10pm, did you ever wonder which Love Island cast member was most like you? Perhaps you found a connection with an islander that every other member of the nation seemed to disagree with, because you are secretly two peas in a pod. Don’t pretend you didn’t, because we all did!

If you’re still not sure where you would fit in the villa, we’re here to tell you which Love Islander best matches your personality and who might be your ‘type on paper’.

The Player

Happy to move from partner to partner, settling down is not the player’s style. Why stick with just one person when there are so many out there, right? In the age of Tinder and Bumble what does monogamy even mean anyway. This indecisive character is content playing the field and sliding into everyone’s DMs.

Are you a player?

Does the thought of settling down bore you? If you always find yourself sneaking out in the morning or texting multiple people at once, you certainly fit the bill. Players like you always have one eye on the door to see if someone better will walk through it – and you’ve no hesitations moving on if they do.

Your love Islander match: Megan Barton Hanson and Adam Collard

You know what they say, don’t hate the player, hate the game, right? Your perfect match is commitment-phob Megan Barton Hanson who had her fair share of the Love Island lads, and Adam Collard who wasn’t afraid to make his move when someone better came along.

The Peacock

Always in the middle of every argument, drama or DMC going, the peacock loves being centre of attention. If a relationship isn’t loud and public, fuelled by jealous rage, huge rows and an over the top apology, then they don’t want to know. The peacock is at their best when all eyes are on them, which of course they usually are because they’re making a scene.

Are you a peacock?

Do you love being the centre of attention? If you can always be found strutting about, getting involved in drama whether it’s yours or not, you my friend are like the peacock, putting on a big display to attract attention and make sure everyone is looking at you (though sometimes for the wrong reasons).

Your love Islander match: Georgia Steel

Dead set on everyone knowing how ‘loyal’ she was, Georgia wasn’t afraid to get involved in the drama and bitching of the house, and if you dare question her motives – well, she was just being loyal, OK!

The Joker

The joker can remove any negative vibes from the room and cheer you up instantly. A hilarious prankster they love nothing more than making their friends and family smile. A little bit less confident in themselves, they use humour to make you fall in love with them, which you will because they are hilarious. The most important thing to the joker is finding someone they can have a laugh with, whether that’s a friend or partner.

Are you a joker?

If you’re always cracking jokes, playing pranks and constantly being told how funny you are then you’re the joker of the group. If people can’t help but smile when you’re around it’s because your funny personality and positive vibes are infectious.

Your love Islander match: Jack Finch

Less confident than the rest of the lads, Jack seemed a little coy at first. But his funny nature, banter and jokes were enough to secure him the lovely Dani for the entire season.

The Genuine One

The genuine one will drop anything to help their friends or family, but will also call them out if necessary. A genuinely caring soul they just want happiness and to spread positivity to those around them. Plus they try to avoid drama where possible and don’t like to make a big scene. They’re just happy being them and they accept everyone else for who they are.

Are you genuine?

If you’re not one for getting bogged down in gossip or drama and you’re much happier when everyone is just relaxed and having a good time, then your personality match could be a genuine one. You prefer people to be themselves and you’re always there to lend a hand when someone needs you.

Your love Islander match: Dani Dyer

Coupled with Jack from the start, the pair made a genuine connection. Dani was not interested in the bitching, backstabbing and re-coupling, but she was there to comfort her house mates when they needed a shoulder to cry on.

The Hippy

Into all things peace, love and harmony, the hippy just wants everyone to get along and find world peace. Not afraid to whip out a guitar and start a sing along, or share their views on the planet and human rights, they can sometimes be referred to as the ‘hippy dippy kind’. They mean well of course, even if you don’t always agree with what they’re saying.

Are you a hippy?

Are you the first to share your opinion, especially when it comes to being vegan, animal rights or plastic waste? Then you might be considered the hippy of the group. But don’t take this as a bad thing, there’s nothing wrong with being passionate about the world around you.

Your love Islander match: Eyal Booker

Despite not wanting to come across as a preacher (or even be seen to use the word preacher too often), Eyal wasn’t afraid to share his opinion, especially when he felt passionately about something.

So which Love Islander are you and your friends?

What To Wear On Your First Day At A New Job

A Guide For Every Dress Code

Your first day at a new job can be nerve wracking enough without throwing in the extra pressure of choosing the perfect outfit. Of course you want to make an impression, but you need it to be the right one. Plus, you really need to focus all your energy on taking notes, remembering where the staff room is, getting to grips with the new software and remembering everyone’s names – not stressing over your outfit or re-adjusting it every five minutes.

That’s why we’ve put together this complete guide on choosing the perfect first day outfit that will impress everyone on the team, without spending hours agonising over your wardrobe beforehand. We’ll also offer some do’s and don’ts of choosing your outfit based on how formal the office dress code is.

Do your research and understand the dress code

Nowadays many businesses are choosing to offer casual dress as a workplace perk, while some still choose to stick with traditional professional dress. That said, in some businesses it can even vary across departments, so you need to make sure you have a clear understanding of the dress code and what will be expected of you.

The interview is your first chance to establish the dress code for the business. If the meeting is held in their offices you’ll be able to get a good look at what everyone is wearing when you arrive. You might also find that the interviewer will outline the dress code to you, alternatively, you could always ask this question at the end of the interview.

However, don’t take for granted that what you see is what you get. Some companies who favour smart dress will also choose to run dress down days or casual Friday’s as a perk to staff, so it’s always a good idea to check with your potential employer. If you don’t get the answers you need during the interview stages, it’s best to get in touch with your future employer before you join and ask them to tell you the dress code. This will help you to avoid any potentially embarrassing faux pas on your first day.

What to wear for smart/professional dress codes

Professional dress was once the norm for any worker and though it’s becoming less common, there are still many workplaces that insist on smart dress. This is particularly true if you’re in customer or client facing roles, where appearance and professionalism are important. But smart dress codes don’t have to be stuffy or uncomfortable. If you’re expected to look the part on your first day, this is what we suggest.

For men, a strong suit is always a classic. You might not always want opt for the full suit, perhaps some days you can forgo the blazer or leave your tie at home, but on your first day it’s a good idea to dress to impress. Remember to iron your shirt and avoid choosing garish or novelty ties, and don’t neglect the footwear! Leather shoes in black or brown are always a win – just make sure they aren’t scuffed or worn out.

For the ladies about to begin their new job smart dress can feel like a bit of a minefield. It’s vital that you keep hemlines in mind and don’t wear anything low cut or revealing. Think stylish and iconic like Audrey Hepburn with a fitted black dress and blazer, or alternatively you could wear a pencil skirt and nice blouse. If dresses and skirts aren’t for you then don’t panic, tailored ankle trousers, a crisp white shirt and a blazer will do the job too.

Pair your outfit with kitten heels (not stilettos or wedges that are going to destroy your ankles after one day) or flat pumps. Again, choose a classic and understated colour like nude or black. You can inject some personality into your outfit with complimenting jewellery.

What to wear for smart/casual dress codes

Smart casual – what does that even mean? Now this one can be tricky as you need to draw the perfect line between being smart and professional, but not looking over dressed – not something you want to be stressing about on your first day at a new job. But fear not, we have the answers!

As a woman you could still choose some fitted ankle trousers, but ditch the blazer and choose a light blouse and cardigan. This adds just the right amount of sophistication to your first day outfit, but won’t leave people questioning whether you’re uptight or just looking to get promoted right away! Alternatively, a smart dress with some tights and pumps would also work, and as the dress code is more casual you can be a bit more playful with your accessories.

For the men about to embark on their first day at a new job, keep it classic but cool with a crisp shirt. You can pair this with some tailored trousers or chinos. As the dress code states smart casual, don’t get bogged down with ties and blazers, instead arrive looking sharp and professional, whilst also coming across as relaxed and ready to learn.

What to wear for a casual dress code

Just because the office dress code is casual, this does not mean you can arrive looking like a slob, or indeed turn up in your pyjamas (unfortunately). Even if the company is pretty relaxed, it’s still a good idea to make sure you look presentable, after all, this is your first day! It’s also vital that you avoid wearing anything that is creased or crinkled from the wash basket, or that is still sporting last weekend’s pizza stains.

If you’re a man, on your first day you should opt for something that says you’re serious and professional, but doesn’t risk you looking too over-dressed. This could mean smart jeans or chinos, paired with a nice polo top, crew neck, shirt or jumper depending on the weather. It’s also important that you choose clean shoes, even if these are trainers. Old, worn and tatty shoes of any kind can give the wrong impression.

As a woman, casual dress codes could mean a cute (but in no way revealing) summer dress, or in the colder months perhaps some floral trousers, pumps and a nice jumper. If dresses aren’t your thing, perhaps some smart jeans (not distressed or ripped), a knitted jumper and some jewellery to complete the look. Again, nothing that is going to be too over the top, but it’s best to avoid slouchy clothes like leggings and oversized hoodies.

16 Great Gift Ideas For Toddlers

Toddler Gift Ideas

Whether it’s for your son, daughter, niece, nephew, godchild or grandchild – finding the perfect gift for a toddler can be a minefield! After all, there are so many toys and gadgets out there to choose from, you could spend hours wandering around the toy shop with no idea what to buy.

If you’re on the hunt for the perfect gift right now, remember that toddlers are curious and they’re learning all the time, so toys or gifts that stimulate them and encourage them to learn are always good! Alternatively, you can never go wrong with something practical but cute – and these often help mum and dad too!

If you’re in need of some inspiration for the little ones in your life, here’s 16 gift ideas they’re sure to love!

1. Personalised books

Perfect for making bed time easier, why not consider a personalised book. These gifts are not only very sweet, but they can help to develop a child’s reading skills as they grow older. There are a number of companies out there that make personalised stories for children, with titles such as ‘The little girl who lost her name’ – all you need to do is let them know who the story is for.

2. Building blocks

Building blocks are always a win when it comes to keeping a toddler entertained, plus they’re a great tool for learning. Duplo are particularly great as they stimulates their senses and help them to think more logically while still having fun. Plus they come in a huge range, from simple numbered blocks to train sets or zoo creatures.

3. Bath toys

Make bath time fun with flannel finger puppets, rubber ducks or bath time games. These can be a really useful tool for the development of toddlers, but they also make having a bath less of a chore for young children. Something their parents will certainly appreciate.

4. Welly boots

It’s not just Peppa Pig that enjoys splashing around in muddy puddles you know! A cute pair of welly boots is always an adorable addition to any toddler’s wardrobe. Plus they offer hours of entertainment splashing around in the garden or going out on muddy walks.

5. Colourful flashcards

Help them to learn and have fun at the same time. Educational flash cards can be a great way to teach them new words and keep them engaged, making learning into a game.

6. A scooter

Scooters are all the rage these days and there are a number of options available to those who are slightly younger. A three wheeled scooter makes balancing easier for the little ones, or if they’ve got great balance already you could always challenge them with two wheels. Either way, they’re going to love playing outside with their new scooter.

7. Cuddly toys

A companion to take to bed each night and play with all day, every child loves a cuddly toy! Have a personalised bear made for them or choose one of their TV favourites, but a soft toy is always a warm and welcome gift for a toddler.

8. Musical instruments

Whether you choose a xylophone, a light up drum set or a miniature piano, musical instruments make a great gift (though their parents might not always thank you for it!). You can stimulate their senses and encourage their musical genius as they play, who knows, they might even become a famous rockstar one day.

9. Play kitchen

Why not encourage your little one to become a Michelin star chef? Play kitchens can either be kept inside, or plastic varieties can even be great for the garden. But either way, let their imagination run wild as they prepare meals and share these with you and the rest of the family.

10. Children’s backpacks

Let them feel grown up as they carry around their own bag just like you do! There are a range of cute backpacks available for young kids, perfect for storing their toys, spare clothes or that ever handy pack of baby wipes. You can even choose a backpack with a reign so that they can’t wander off when you’re out in a busy area.

11. Themed playmats

These mats have become almost iconic, you probably remember the old town/village scene printed on a nylon playmate. This itself was great for pushing toy cars or playing with dolls as the towns people. But nowadays you have even more choice available to you, you can choose from a farm scene, race track or even a funfair. And best of all they last for years, so you can prolong the fun!

12. Shopping trolleys and tills

Arguably the staple of any childhood, let their imagination soar as they pretend to be wandering the supermarket isles just like grown ups do. They’ll have hours of fun pushing around their trolley of food and better yet, you can even add a till to the mix. Complete with money and a card machine, watch them play pretend as the shopkeeper too.

13. Pop up tents

Children’s pop up tents are so versatile with so many themes available. You can choose from a classic tent, a princess castle, a fortress, a teepee or even a rocket. Perfect for inside and outside play and easy to set up, these are great for getting their imaginations flowing.

14. Ride on cars

Again, these can be used for playing inside and out and you can choose from something timeless (you’ve guessed it, the Little Tikes red and yellow coupe car) or something personalised. You can have wooden ride on cars personalised with the toddlers name, or keep it classic with something they won’t mind riding through the mud.

15. Tools/doctor sets

Perhaps you have a future doctor in your midst? Or a mechanic? There are a range of role play sets out there that toddlers will love. As children love mimicking adults and fixing things up or being helpful around the house, these role play sets can be the perfect way to boost their problems solving and creativity skills.

16. Personalised Money Boxes

This list wouldn’t be complete without one of our very own offerings, personalised kid’s money boxes which are ideal gifts for occassions such as christenings, their first communion and birthdays. We have a wide variety of money boxes to choose from which can all be personalised to include names and dates, there’s even a unicorn one!

Customer Reviews

What a fantastic company! I ordered a handwritten keychain of my late grandmother’s handwriting as a wedding gift for my mum last August and it blew me away! The accuracy and care put into creating it was superb! My mum instantly knew who’s writing it was without question as it was so spot on! Beautiful work!

Abigail H

Would just like to say a huge thank you for the keyring I ordered for my other half with his late Dads handwriting on . Great service absolutely perfect will be ordering again x

Lindsey W

“Incredible service, very well priced & super quick dispatch and delivery. The item itself is superb quality, and very well made. I don’t know how they create these pieces of jewellery but to have something as personal as the handwriting of a loved one so perfectly placed onto a necklace is just incredible. I’m so pleased with my item, I would have paid double the price. Thanks so much x”

Sarah L

An amazing company. I saw an advert on Facebook and was sceptical but after seeing the reviews and pictures I had to put it in order. I ordered a bracalet with my mum’s handwriting who passed when I was 11. The company are incredibly friendly and always reply to emails and messages. My bracalet came the following day to them receiving my photo after a slight issue uploading the photo, and I was in tears at how amazing it looked and how accurate it was. Would order again for a present or even to treat myself again. Thank you for making something so special to me even better as I can wear it everyday!

Louise W

“Amazing high quality products with a fast delivery – I ordered a heart necklace engraved with my Grandma’s handwriting from a birthday card she’d sent to me and it is perfect I wear it everyday. Would recommend 100%, thank you :)”

Vickie T

Amazing product, can’t believe how similar the handwriting on my jewellery is to the original. Really easy process as well, all I had to do was send a photo of the handwriting and it was with me within the week. Also really reasonably priced! Would recommend 100%.

Hannah S

“Got teary-eyed when I claimed my bracelet and pendant for my mom with my brother’s handwriting in the postal office. We both loved it so much. I waited for 20 days because I live in the Philippines. And it was all worth it. No words can describe how happy I am with it. I will definitely recommend it. Thank you, Inscripture for your wonderful work.”

Grace R

I cannot recommend Inscripture highly enough.
Having lost both parents, the bracelet with their writing on it beautifully made by Inscripture has given me more comfort than anything in the last 26 years. To say I love it is an understatement. Amazing products, fantastic service…a truly fantastic, personal company providing beautiful, unique products.

Diane S

Thank you so much Inscripture. All questions answered before placing the order, arrived very quick and I could not be happier with my purchase. So meaningful and beautiful so thank you again

Naomi T

This company have created something beautiful. To be able to have a piece of my Grandy’s writing on a piece of jewellery for my sister is just amazing. Someone so special for us who we lost too soon just to have something you can wear everyday with the words love Grandy on it is just beyond special. Not only that the jewellery is stunning and the delivery was so fast! You won’t regret ordering from them. Xxx

Kevin J

“I can’t thankyou enough for the gorgeous personal piece you recently created for me, it was a gift for mums birthday & all I can say is wow.
We were overwhelmed with emotion at this amazing Sentimental piece. Looking forward to ordering more. I can’t recommend you enough. Delivery was super fast and efficient. Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou”

Samantha H

Beautiful piece of jewellery from Inscripture, totally in love with it, definitely recommend this site and product to anyone looking for something special, fast delivery and notification of where your order is up to, most probably will shop here again xx Emily

Jason P

Just received my order, I am absolutely blown away it’s beautiful, the quality and presentation are just outstanding , it made my Mums first Mother’s Day without her beautiful daughter a bit brighter, so special, brilliant professional service from start to finish

Gill F

“My wife bought me a bracelet with my Mum’s writing on from a card she had given me before she passed. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect gift, something I will cherish forever. It was so overwhelming and emotional to receive something so amazing. The work you do is incredible and I cannot thank you enough! I would 100% recommend you to anyone looking for a personalised gift. Fantastic jewellery at a great price!”

Stacey A

“Really easy to order and the engraved details are spot on. Such a beautiful piece of work and my bracelet is gorgeous, I love it. Prices are very reasonable too. Really quick service too considering it was a customised item. Thank you”

Deborah S

“Very pleased with my keyring, all my questions were answered very quickly it arrived really quickly too. The keyring is wonderful, it is so nice to have my sons handwritten message to look at and keep close. Thank you”

Lorraine D

We ordered five items, three and then another two. First three have been delivered and they are without a doubt, fantastic. There was a small error with the first order which I emailed them about and a replacement was sent quicker than the speed of light. Fantastic customer service! The replacement brought tears to my eyes, it was like having a gift from my mum again…. it was there, her writing, to me, just like old times. I never expected to feel that joy again. I have one keyring for myself and another four as Christmas presents and I cant wait to see everyones reactions. Thankyou Inscripture for giving me a precious keepsake to treasure for always

Mike J

“I received my bracelet today and it’s just perfect. I am delighted with it. I ordered it on Friday night and it arrived Tuesday. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this company”

Amanda B

Found the company on Facebook and decided to give them a try. Sent off a photo of my mum’s handwriting and within a few days I received a heart with her exact writing on it. A lovely memento of my mum. The customer service is excellent and the experience was very positive. They really do go that extra bit to ensure that you are getting a first class service.

Marcia D

Amazing, fast turn around!!! I received today my beautiful charm with both my late Grandmothers signatures on. I hunted out my 21st birthday cards from 26 years ago!! Took some photographs sent them to Inscripture. The end result I have just posted in photographs on here. I would highly recommend this company.

Trish G

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