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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream Review

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I get commission for purchases or clicks made through links in this post.

Not Sponsored: I reviewed Bobbi Brown's Hydrating Water Fresh Cream Moisturizer Tuesday and in that review I teased another product you should pair the moisturizer with that I felt was SUPERSWEET. That product would be Bobbi Brown's Hydrating Eye Cream (Macys, Bloomingdales, Harrods, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Sephora, QVC). I've been using both products together and loving them. I've reviewed a number of eye creams, but this one takes the cake. The texture is cool, smooth, white and creamy. It's lightweight. It's not heavy, oily or greasy. You just take a dab with your finger and apply it to your under-eye area. It feels SO GOOD! A long time ago, I use to think moisturizer was enough for both your face and eye area. Maybe when you're young you can get away with that, but as you get older underneath your eyes needs more attention. I just turned 49 the other day, and over the past couple of years the area underneath my eyes have been a little drier and a little darker (maybe too much twitter LOL). They need extra attention. This eye cream has felt so nourishing to that area. I've seen improvements. Increase hydration. Plumpness. My makeup is laying better in that area. I love it. Bobbi Brown's website states this eye cream is, "Formulated with our signature Enriched Mineral Water Blend to hydrate, balance and revive skin. Aloe Vera and Witch Hazel extract, Jojoba Seed, Avocado Oil, and Squalane help skin feel comforted and conditioned." I love that it is lightweight, but SO MOISTURIZING. I LOVE THIS STUFF! I use it both day & night. Its really good. The only other eye cream that I gave a Supersweet rating was Kiehls Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado (Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, ULTA, Nordstrom, Sephora, Harrods, Macys, Kiehls, Bergdorf Goodman). Its great as well, but a little heavier than this eye cream. I would use the Kiehl's in the Fall/Winter and this in the Spring/Summer.

supersweet(run & buy it) sweet(really good,buy it) bittersweet(ok, issues)not sweet(not good,don't buy this stuff) 
   Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream is Supersweet

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Introduction To Super Ideal Princess Cut Diamonds

Image Source: Unsplash

Diamonds all vary tremendously from stone to stone, and as a result, the two American diamond grading authorities, GIA and AGS, allow a fair range between the bottom of one grade and the top. This can mean that two diamonds rated 'Excellent' (GIA's top rating) or 'Ideal' (AGS's equivalent rating) can be visibly different for one another. While GIA is satisfied with this state of affairs for all cuts other than the round brilliant cut, for which it offers an overall rating that takes these differences into account (so one of the diamonds in the example above would rate lower than the other, despite, on paper, being 'the same'), AGS is not so sanguine. They have introduced the 'super ideal' rating which can be applied to diamonds of all cuts, including the increasingly popular princess cut, which can be found listed in the inventory of Whiteflash diamonds.

What is an Ideal Diamond?

In order to qualify as an ideal or excellent diamond, the diamond must be of very good color and clarity, with a cut that has made the very best of an already good stone. Carat-weight for the purposes of rating can be ignored, as at this stage it is merely a marker of size. Later it will dramatically impact on the price! Color usually must be F or at a pinch G, clarity should not be lower that very slightly included, and the cut should be symmetrical and even all the way through.

So… What is Super Ideal, Then?

Super ideal diamonds take the above criteria and apply them even more rigorously. Tiny variations in symmetry are no-nos, G color stones are rejected (if such a word can be applied to what is still a very good diamond!) and inclusions must not impact on the brilliance, fire or scintillation which, in a super ideal stone is perfectly balanced and symmetrical, all light being directed out through the table (the top surface) due to the minutely mathematically precise cut which channels and directs the light reflection and refractions.

More Details about Super Ideal Diamonds

A super ideal diamond, when being examined under intense scrutiny, will have no flaw, no break in light and scintillation patterns and will be cut to such a precise mathematical model that the light is directed entirely where the cutter intends it to escape (usually out through the top of the diamond, which is called the table) and nowhere else. Ideal diamonds will often have minor flaws or errors in the cutting that impact upon the light performance, even if to so small a degree that most people will not notice them – these issues are entirely lacking in super ideal diamonds.

How Do They Make a Super Ideal Cut Diamond?

Often, super ideal cuts happen through serendipity. Invariably, the cutter would have started the process with a very good quality stone, which would allow him or her to use the maximum 'meat' of the stone, without needing to excise flaws, exclusions, fractures or inclusions. And the cutter will then have make a perfect cut, getting every one of the 58 or so facets exactly right to enhance light performance.

Should I Look for Hearts and Arrows on Super Ideal Princess Cut?

Hearts and arrows are a light reflection pattern found only on round brilliant cut diamonds, and princess cut diamonds, even if cut exquisitely, will never show that particular design. Instead, look directly down at the table of the stone, and see if you can spot a series of chevrons which form an X shape – sort of a four-pointed star. If the X is crisp and clearly visible from the outer corners to the center of the diamond, you probably have a super ideal princess cut stone. If the X is fractured, feathered, or blurred, that is a sign of a poorer cut. The bigger the princess cut stone, the more chevrons will appear, giving you a loose rule of the thumb when it comes to the carat weight of your super ideal princess cut stone!


Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Bobbi Brown Hydrating Water Fresh Cream Review

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I get commission for purchases or clicks made through links in this post.

Not Sponsored: My longtime readers know I've been a SUPER-FAN of Bobbi Brown's Vitamin Enriched Face Base for years (Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Harrods, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman)(reviewed here). You slather it on your dry skin & lips and they will sing for joy! Did you know there's a jumbo (deluxe) size jar of it now? Yes! (Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Macys, Neiman Marcus, QVC). Every time Nordstrom has their Anniversary Sale, I buy it. It's a primer, but I've been using it as a moisturizer since 2016. My super dry skin loves it. I tried Bobbi Brown's Hydrating Face Cream and did NOT like it. I said to myself, maybe the Vitamin Enriched Face Base is it ... the best Bobbi has. Well, there's another SUPERSTAR in the family you guys! It's Bobbi Brown's Hydrating Water Fresh Cream (Nordstrom, Macys, QVC, Saks Fifth Avenue, Sephora, Selfridges, Harrods, Bergdorf Goodman). I LOVE IT! EQUALLY with the Vitamin Enriched Face Base. So what's the difference in my own words. Vitamin Enriched Face Base (even though it is considered a primer, also works exceptionally well as a moisturizer) is slightly heavier than Fresh Cream. If you have dry skin, you will love Face Base. You will also love Face Base in the Fall & Winter. I used Face Base in the Summer, but I didn't use as much. So I was always looking for a slightly lighter moisturizer to use in the Spring & Summer months. That's where Hydrating Water Fresh Cream comes in. HALLELUJAH!!! The cream you guys is lightweight. Think, a fluffy cloud or marshmallow WITHOUT the stick. Apply it to your skin and like water your skin will drink it up. But this is the thing! It's MOISTURIZING! But there's no oiliness, heaviness or stickiness. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this moisturizer! It worked well with my makeup. I use it both day and night. Bobbi Brown's website touts it is "100 hours of non-stop hydration". I AMEN THAT! It reduces redness. It creates a smooth canvas for makeup. It minimizes pores. It has probiotic technology to protect the skin's barrier against irritants. Its ideal for dehydrated skin (That's ME!). I see all skin types loving this moisturizer (not sure about oily skin types ... maybe use less). But it makes your skin feel REALLY GOOD! So SOFT! So SUPPLE! Your skin will feel NOURISHED! Give it a twirl! In my next post, I'm going to tell you what you should pair with this moisturizer. So stay tuned, because I gave it a SUPERSWEET rating as well. You can read all of my Bobbi Brown reviews, by clicking here.

supersweet(run & buy it) sweet(really good,buy it) bittersweet(ok, issues)not sweet(not good,don't buy this stuff) 
   Bobbi Brown Hydrating Water Fresh Cream is Supersweet

Bobbi Brown Makeup Melter & Cleanser Review

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I get commission for purchases or clicks made through links in this post.

Not Sponsored: It's really important to remove makeup from your face and cleanse your face (this process is known as double-cleansing). Usually this is done with TWO separate products. So when I saw Bobbi Brown's Makeup Melter & Cleanser (Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Macys, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Sephora, QVC), the product immediately caught my eye. Remove makeup and cleanse effectively at the same time? Hmmm. Let me try it! This product is in liquid form. Great for at home, but not so great if you travel. Putting that aside, the packaging for this product is great. I love the black & frosted design of the bottle. You can easily see the product. It comes with a sturdy pump and the product dispenses easily. So how does the product work? You shake the bottle to evenly distribute the product. It dispenses as a foam and then you apply it to your face. The foam felt rich & creamy. I did detect some fragrance, which I don't particularly care for in skincare products. It contains cranberry, blueberry and goji berry extract. This makeup melter did a great job removing my foundation, blush and lipstick. However, it struggled to remove mascara, eyeliner and some eye shadow. It also didn't help that some got in my eyes (and it stung). How are you suppose to remove your eye makeup effectively (that's why I prefer cleansing balms), if this causes your eyes to sting? If you wear "light" makeup, this product should work for you. If not, you will most likely have to use something else or something in addition to this (which defeats the entire purpose). As a cleanser, this did not work for me. I had to stop using it after a week, because I was getting some redness underneath my eyes (flush). So I didn't pursue using it anymore. So if you have dry, sensitive and/or reactive skin like me I would find something else to use. I've tried many makeup removers and my favorites are still Clinique's Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm (Saks, ULTA, QVC, HSN, Bloomingdales, Sephora, Nordstrom, Selfridges, Harrods)(reviewed here); Drunk Elephant's Slaai Makeup Melting Butter Cleanser (Sephora, Space NK)(reviewed here); and IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Makeup 3-in-1 Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm (Selfridges, HSN, QVC)(reviewed here). The reviews aren't that great for this product on her website. I always read them after I've tested the product myself to see how others felt. For the hefty price tag, you can buy so much better. Bobbi Brown has some really awesome skincare products, but this one is not. To read all of my Bobbi Brown reviews, click here.

supersweet(run & buy it) sweet(really good,buy it) bittersweet(ok, issues)not sweet(not good,don't buy this stuff) 
   Bobbi Brown Makeup Melter & Cleanser is Bittersweet


5 Tips for Better Hearing Health

There are many important steps you can take if you want to do more to protect your hearing health. It’s an area of our health that’s so easy to overlook until something goes wrong but that’s not the approach you want to take. Here are some of the ways in which you can start doing more to protect your hearing and improve your general hearing health in the process.

1. Change Your Approach to Cleaning

First of all, you should think about how you’re cleaning your ears if you want to protect the long-term health of your hearing. Swabs and cotton buds are not great for your ears and you can do more harm than good to them if you’re not careful. Changing your approach to cleaning your ears is something that can be done with the help of a professional. It’s usually best for someone else to take care of it for you.

2. Become More Aware of the Noise You’re Exposed To

We’re all exposed to a range of noises in our environment and these can usually be dealt with and no damage is done. But if you do a job that’s exposing you to loud noise on a regular basis, it could be causing damage to your hearing and that’s obviously not something you want to happen. Hearing protection is necessary in those situations to avoid long-term damage.

3. Take Action When You Notice a Change in Your Hearing

Taking action when you notice that something relating to your hearing has been changed is really key. If you don’t take action and you end up with hearing issues that go untreated, the problem will only get worse in the future. And untreated hearing loss, especially in older patients, can lead to problems such as cognitive decline. Taking action is always necessary.

Image Source: Pixabay CC0 License

4. Get More Important Vitamins Into Your Diet

The way in which you structure your diet can have a pretty big impact on the health of your hearing. Getting more of the right vitamins into your diet can help your ears stay healthy and that’s something you definitely want. The vitamins you should focus on include vitamins A, C, E, magnesium and zinc.

5. Get Your Hearing Tested and Your Ears Checked Out Regularly

If you want to stay on top of your hearing health and make sure it’s as strong as it can be, you need to get your hearing tested regularly and to have your ears checked out for signs of potential problems as soon as possible. Hearing tests can pick up on problems early on and you can get the treatment you need.

If you know that you’ve been putting off taking the necessary steps to properly protect your hearing health in recent times, you should go ahead and make the most of the tips that have been discussed above. There’s always more that can be done to improve your hearing if you’re concerned about it, and the help is out there.


Monday, February 22, 2021

Birthday Blessings

Not Sponsored: Hey Everybody! I was so sad, leading up to my birthday. It was a sequence of events. I was going through my mail, when I came across my high school newsletter. I always enjoy reading it and keeping up with what everyone is doing. It's a joy to read about weddings, births and accomplishments. But, there's also a section for death. Up until this time, people have lost their grandparents and occasionally a sibling or parent. But this time was different. I lost a classmate. Her name was Angele Marie Veillon Chaplain. Angele's name was befitting, because she truly was an angel. She was always the same. She was kind. She was sincere. She was encouraging. She was many things. She was motherly. She spoke to me all the time. She provided me with a lot of positivity and encouragement during my high school years. Angele was active in a lot of things at Ursuline, including cheerleading. She wasn't stuck up, snotty or anything. She was easy to talk to and cared about everyone. When I first joined Facebook, she immediately contacted me. We caught up with everything going on in our lives. She was a mom and wife. She loved her family. I confided in her about my professional accomplishments, but failed relationships and that I didn't have any children. She told me, Kim you're going to meet someone. She said, you will. She said, its going to be later in life ... but someone will come into your life. I never forgot her words. They stood out. She said it with such confidence. She had more confidence in me than I did. Several years passed and I got off of Facebook. I felt I wasn't learning anything and just needed to explore new things. That's when I started a blog. I had a Facebook page for my blog, but didn't use my personal page. I would add my current blog post to my page and then log off. Well unbeknownst to me, Angele had cancer. She went through chemo. She seemed to have gotten better. But something must have reoccurred in 2020 and she passed. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I pulled out my yearbooks, maybe thinking there was an error. But it was the Angele, I knew and loved. I kept asking WHY? WHY HER? She had children. She had a husband. She loved her family. She was nice, kind etc. WHY? My heart still hurts. She really touched my life. So this is my tribute to her. I think with Angele's death, coupled with other things my faith was shaken. I ended up removing my birthday date from Facebook, Twitter etc. I didn't want any birthday messages or wishes. At this point, I just wanted a quiet birthday. But the funniest thing happened! People remembered my birthday! Emmy, Desle, Sonia, Jo and others remembered my birthday. Despite removing the date, they remembered. Upon seeing the messages, I just smiled. Heartfelt messages. My heart skipped a beat. Good people. There are good people out there. My mom cooked me an amazing meal. I had a 6" almond and buttercream icing layer cake. My birthday turned out wonderful. I had a really awesome day. I talk about my birthday every year. Its fun looking back at each. Each is different. With covid and such going on, birthdays have a different meaning. Enjoy them. Enjoy each day. Stay connected with those you love. Reconnect with those you're thinking about. Because each year, will be a different year. Nothing is promised.



Interesting Ways To Let Go During the Weekend


Image Source: Pexels CC0 License

If you’re the kind of person who’s swamp from Monday to Friday, your weekends are likely precious. As such, you should always make the most out of them. Yet, when the weekend comes knocking, it tends to fizzle out, and it hardly lives up to your expectations.

Weekends are an opportune moment to help your brains relax. If you can’t give your brains some time off, your quality of life pays the price. With an overworked brain, you risk going back to work feeling sluggish and frazzled.

Since you live in an ever-changing environment, it’s necessary to find ways of letting go. In doing so, you’ll make way for the new as you leave behind the old. There are so many things that will help you decompress or get energized as you look forward to the week ahead.

Even as you try to figure out how you’ll make the most out of your weekends, always keep in mind that there are no rules to life. However, if you have the habit of letting your work-related stresses spill into Saturday and Sunday, there are exciting things that might help you to let go and relax.

Read on and learn!

End Friday on a High Note

You can hardly relax on Saturday if you have some unfinished business dating back to Friday. Weekends are not the time to think about work-related things. Therefore, ensure you clear the backlog by the end of Friday.

In a perfect world, you’ll want to focus on what’s in front of you, especially on the weekend. But since you’re human, your thoughts will still recall things you have to do. Before the weekend kicks in, plan to avoid potential stresses.


There is no better way to let go on weekends than engaging in some bit of work out. In any case, everyone needs to exercise. If your schedule doesn’t allow you to keep yourself fit during the workweek, weekends might come in handy.

Exercising on weekends will allow you to clear your mind and at the same time, you’ll come up with fresh ideas.

Give Chase to Your Passion

Part of letting go is pursuing something you love to do. If you love poetry, perhaps you can take some time off to write on weekends.

Going after what you love to do in your free time is often a recipe for success. Always make time to do what you consider to be necessary or fun. Such activities will add value to your life.


During the weekend, you should find pockets of time to take a walk without your phone. Such moments can feel liberating. Taking a ‘tech break’ can work out wonders because it can help you reorganize your thoughts.

Catch a Game of Football

Assuming that you’re a diehard fan of Tennessee Titans, weekends can be the best time to watch your team do what they do best. Watching sporting events can help to enrich your spirit, especially if you’re often cooped up in the office all week.


One of the hallmarks of successful people is networking. Weekends will always provide you with the perfect opportunity to network. If you make networking part and parcel of your life, it will be more of a lifestyle than an event.

There is no better way to let go during weekends than connecting with new people. 


Since you live in a competitive world, you should always find ways of managing downtime. One of the ways of doing so is setting time aside during weekends to recharge your batteries. Always find it worthy to rest for some time as this will allow you to get so much done when a new week rolls over.

Thinking Positive

It’s possible to spend your weekends while thinking about the beautiful things happening. At any moment in time, there are lots of things taking place. Taking some bit of your time to think about what is happening around you will allow you to let go enough to move on.

In any event, the world is home to seven billion people, and countless people are fighting similar battles alongside you.

Note Down Your Problems and Torch Them

Jot all your problems onto a sheet of paper and toss them into a bonfire. While this is more like a cliché movie-type of scene, it’s an excellent way to let go during weekends, and it gives you a fantastic sense of closure.

The key is to write all your troubles on that sheet of paper and watch it burn.

There you are. Your weekend doesn’t have to be boring as there are plenty of leisurely things you can do to let go. Do not let your weekend dissipate while doing nothing or clearing up your week’s work. Find something insightful to do as you bid to keep yourself active.


Friday, February 19, 2021

Start As You Mean To Go On By Getting Into That Vacation Headspace The Second You Clock Off

The days leading up to a big trip are always the best part. After all, who doesn’t love that last day at work when you can finally shut the computer and bid your colleagues fond farewell?. But, did you know that taking steps to relax directly after those farewells can have a huge impact on how easily you make the most of your trip once you touchdown?

Fail to do this, and you may waste your first luscious vacation day just trying to get into the right headspace. That’s a crying shame, and it’s something you can avoid by using the following tips to help you get vacation-ready as soon as you clock off.

Image Source: Pexels CC0 License

# 1 - Pack in advance

It’s tempting to leave packing until you’ve said goodbye to work and are ready to dedicate yourself to the cause, but let’s face it; packing can be stressful. Worse, it can take a whole lot longer than you expect, meaning that the entire evening before your trip could be dedicated to the cause. That’s never going to help you relax, but it’s something you can avoid altogether by packing in advance. Whether you do this on the weekend before or just pack a few bits after work in your pre-vacation week, having your bag ready to go means you can settle down with some sweet treats or a nice glass of wine that ensures you start as you mean to go on.

# 2 - Arrive at the airport in style

Many of us see our trip to the airport as a means to an end, meaning that we either cram into a mates car or, God forbid, book up on public transport and spend the whole time cramped in with our cases. The trouble here is that you’re guaranteed to be stressed by the time you arrive, and that’s really no way to approach your vacay. Instead, consider more chilled arrival methods. Why not splash some of your travel cash on an airport limo service, or simply pay the parking fees to enjoy the comfort of your own vehicle? In both instances, you’re guaranteed to arrive feeling fresh, calm, and ready to relax.

# 3 - Eat before you fly

Image Source: Pexels CC0 License

Okay, airport food might be extortionate, but settling down for a meal before your flight is an amazing way to get into that vacation high-life. After all, eating out somewhere new each night is part of the fun of going away, trying new cuisines, spending quality time with whoever you’re traveling with (or yourself, if you’re doing it solo.) And, anyway, airport waits can be long and tedious. Booking in at one of the restaurants on offer means enjoying yourself and passing the time so that you don’t feel restless or in any way short of patience when you finally fly.

Get this right, and you’ll be practically zen by the time you arrive at your hotel, ready to make full use of every blissful vacation moment on offer.


4 Things That Can Slow Down Production in Manufacturing

There’s a lot of potential for making plenty of profit when you’re in the manufacturing industry, but of course, this is a type of business that is majorly capital-intensive. As such, it’s important that you’re taking steps to ensure that your processes are as smooth and straightforward as possible. While a slowdown in productivity can be damaging no matter what type of business it is, it’s especially problematic in manufacturing since you’ll be spending a lot of money regardless of whether you’re producing or not.

In this blog, we’re going to take a look at a handful of things that can slow down production. Make sure that your business isn’t guilty of them!

 Image Source: Pexels CC0 License

Supplier Issues

You can’t produce anything if you don’t have the materials that you need. For this reason, it’s really important that you’re vetting all of your suppliers to ensure that they won’t just provide you with high-quality materials (since you can only produce excellent goods if you have excellent materials), but that they’ll also deliver the materials on time. They might be times throughout the year when your supply chain is compromised for reasons beyond anyone’s control, but by and large, things should be consistent.

Long Clean Up Times

The process of producing your goods may be smooth, but what about the times in between production when you need to clean up the space before you can start again? You’ll need to ensure that any waste and other items have been cleared away before getting going. And if this process takes longer than it should, then you might have too much downtime. Having a robust and efficient cleaning up process and using things like mold release agents will help to speed things up. The faster everything is cleaned, the faster you can restart production.

Untrained Employees

Your employees are going to be key when it comes to working efficiently. But of course, there are different levels of employees. You can’t just bring anyone on board and hope they’ll do a great job; you’ll need to hire correctly. And once they’re on board, you’ll need to ensure that they’re well-trained. You can have the best team of staff in the world, but if they’re not trained to work specifically within your manufacturing plant, then there’ll only be so much they can do for your business. Train them well when they join the team, and then provide ongoing training.

Chaotic Spaces

Finally, remember that the surroundings can have a big impact on how well your employees can work. If everything’s chaotic, then things will slow down -- it’s hard to get from A to B if there’s more stuff in the way than there should be. To ensure that your staff can just focus on the work that needs to be done, look at hiring an outside team to clear things away. As well as helping everyone to work more smoothly, this will also have the added benefit of improving the safety of your facility, which is something all responsible business owners should think about.


Thursday, February 18, 2021

The Ultimate Formal Dresses Buying Guide

Formal dress codes can be tough to adhere to, and if you have budget restrictions at play, even more so. But finding cheap formal dresses is not impossible, especially if you know how to look and what you are looking for. In fact, the value of a formal dress is not in the price – it’s in the fit!

Image Source: Pixabay

In store or online?

If price is a big consideration, you might want to see what you can find online, before trying actual retail stores. Online stores often manage to beat the prices of retail stores, based on the fact they do not have to pay rental for floor space, and that much less staff is generally required to make an online store run. The running costs are, as such, much lower, allowing online stores to charge a lower price for their goods. Although this is not always the case, it often is. When you decide to buy online, make sure that you read the reviews of any given product, and let other people’s experiences guide your buying decision.

Another excellent benefit of shopping online, is that you can look for the perfect dress without ever having to leave home. Online stores come with delivery services, which is, for many people, a great deciding factor when they choose to shop online. Look out for spot sales and instant discounts and remember that online stores often offer a discount off your first purchase when you sign up to their newsletter. There are many ways to get a good deal online – all you have to do is find them!

What style works for everyone?

In a hurry to get your hands on a dress? A great hack to formal dresses is to try and find a simple but elegant slip dress. The cut is universally flattering, no matter what your body shape, and the look can be dressed up or down, depending on the context of the event. Paired with statement jewellery and a great pair of heels, you will be ready for any formal event in no time. Keep the look fresh with light make-up and messy hair or even a low bun, and you’ll be amazed at how easily you put together a low fuss (and maybe even low-cost!) look with a very basic formal dress. 

Do you!

Your formal dress should fit comfortably, and while remaining aligned with the purpose of the formal event, it should also feel like it reflects your personality. Feeling authentic and happy in what you’re wearing is the quickest way to take your dress from blah to yeah!

Love glitter and sparkle? Go for it. A formal dress code is an excellent opportunity to bling it up and sparkle, if that’s what you like. Make sure to balance it out though – the golden rule is that, if your dress is busy, to tone down the accessories. The plainer the dress, the bigger you can go with accessories. Watch out that you don’t fall into the trap of ending up looking like a Christmas tree – when it comes to making an impact, less is more, particularly when it comes to chunky jewellery.


Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Are These The Barriers Blocking Your Business Growth?

Are you working to grow your business? You might have found that there are some serious roadblocks in your way. Here are some of the issues that you could encounter and the best options for blasting right through.

Image Source: Pexels CC0 License

Border Barriers

First, one of the best ways to expand your business is by seeking out international demand. However, this is going to mean that you need to break through border barriers. That can be more difficult than most people realize and it could lead to the costs ballooning in your model. You might want to consider how you can simplify your cross-border business with a broker. They’ll cut through all the yellow tape that is stopping this type of growth from occurring.

Financial Issues

It may be the case that the finances are the major block preventing you from moving your business forward and this is quite a common issue. After all, you can’t expand a business with no money in the bank. You need to make sure that you do have different paths forward when it comes to your finances, whether that means using credit streams or support from investors. If you are looking for investor support, it’s important to know how to attract their attention. You might want to research the way to put your best foot forward with a tradeshow appearance.

Lack of assistive tools and software

When it comes to running a business in the digital world, there are plenty of tools and software worth taking advantage of. By not using these, you could be setting your business back.

These tools save time and help with productivity within the workplace. For example, if you’re developing and designing products, then some of the best product lifecycle management software is beneficial to implement.

Bad Reviews

You might also find that the issue which is stopping your business growth is the bad reviews that are haunting your company. It’s worth noting that more than 80% of online users claim that they won’t commit to buying a product without checking the reviews for it first. That’s important because customers are far more likely to leave a negative review rather than a positive review. Customers know the power a review can have and they are always keen to use this to their advantage. You need to make sure that you are checking for reviews like this and consider responding to them where necessary. You should also think about whether the issues they are complaining about are something that you need to address.

The Wrong Employees

Finally, it’s fair to say that if you have the wrong employees then you are always going to achieve growth with your business, at least on a grand scale. The wrong employees can definitely drag your business back and leave you feeling like you're stuck at square one. You need employees who can provide innovation and new ideas while continuing to provide the best work they can each day of the week. It can be difficult to find the right team members and that’s why you might want to think about using a recruitment agency. They can ensure that the top CVs always land on your desk.

We hope this helps you understand some of the key ways that you can achieve growth in your business and keep pushing your company forward. If you correct these issues, there will be no limits to what you can do with your business on the market.


Tuesday, February 16, 2021

End Of Tenancy Cleaning: Save Money & DIY!

There is nothing more than an end of tenancy cleaning to bite you in the wallet when you're moving from one place to another. An end of tenancy cleaning is named as such because cleaners come into the property you've been living in and clean it from ceilings to floors in every nook and cranny. This cleaning is going to help you to get your deposit back and it's a necessary one to do before you move to another house. You may think that you have to pay for the best of the best to come in and make a difference, but it's something that you can do yourself, and we're going to talk you through just how to do it.

Below, we've put together a simple guide to getting that end of tenancy cleaning done so you can get your home deposit back in full. All you need are the right cleaning and clearing supplies. Sure, you can invest in used buffers to get the floors back to their original shine, but the most important thing is that the house is as clean as possible. So, let's dive in and take a look at what you need to know for the best end of tenancy clean possible!

Image Source: Pexels CC0 License

The first thing that you're going to ask yourself is whether you SHOULD do it yourself, and the answer really depends on you! If you're juggling children and work, doing it yourself as well as trying to move house may not be the best use of your time. There are plenty of cleaning services out there who offer specific end of tenancy cleanings, but that doesn't mean that you necessarily have the money for it. The most cost-effective option is to do it yourself and if you are staying close by, cleaning will be much easier.

The whole property needs to sparkle and the best thing to measure this with is how clean you would like your home to be. Whatever that level of cleanliness is, do that! However, even the most conscientious among us need a little guidance, so we have a few hints of where to get started when cleaning the property yourself.

  • Start with your equipment. We talked about floor buffers, and these are a nice extra touch if you want to get the floor shining before you polish and clean it all. You also need upholstery shampoo, cleaning cloths, rag, scourers and more. Consider spray bottles and other cleaning aids to ensure that you can get into the tiny corners of each room.
  • Ceilings need to be cleaned as much as the rest of the house, so you need to consider getting a long-handled mop or brush to get into the corners and clear the cobwebs out. Dusters will also do the same job, as these can clear the corners of the room and get rid of old spiders.
  • Check all of the walls for scuff marks and fingerprints. These can either be wiped down or repainted, and you should ensure that all of the walls are clean before you say you are happy with the space.
  • All of the doors, handles and locks should be cleaned and it should function well. Otherwise you should replace it like for like - it's cheaper for you to do this from the hardware store than wait for your landlord to do it with the expense of a handyman!
  • Call in a window cleaner for this one - you can't very well do the outer windows of the house if you have a few storeys to consider. Otherwise, use vinegar and kitchen paper to do this: no streaks!

Mardi Gras 2021

Not Sponsored: Each year, I write about Mardi Gras. It gives me such joy, to talk about the festivities that happen in New Orleans. Mardi Gras was cancelled this year due to the ongoing covid-19 pandemic, but that didn't stop the people of New Orleans from celebrating. Something beautiful and exciting happened. #House Floats and #YardiGras. Parades were cancelled, so home owners decorated their homes like floats. They are so beautiful! Log onto Twitter and use the hashtags above to see them all. Over 3,000 people participated. Some people crafted their own decorations. Others employed local artists to decorate their homes. Its all so beautiful to see. Krewe of House Floats is the brainchild of Megan Bourdreaux (read her story here). From their website, "The Krewe of House Floats (KoHF) is a socially-distant Mardi Gras krewe founded under the belief that if we cannot safely gather together on the parade route in 2021, then we can bring the spirit of the parades home to celebrate the Carnival season in a pandemic-safe manner that supports our friends, neighbors, local culture-bearers and locally owned businesses." I believe this is a new tradition that is here to stay. Below is a video showcasing some of the House Floats. My favorites are the circus, dinosaur and beauty & the beast themed mansions on St. Charles Avenue. Another home's theme was Prince. There was also a home featuring the late Leah Chase of Dooky Chase Restaurant. It showcased a smoking gumbo pot. If you would like to help New Orleans musicians, artists and service industry workers, please click on the following link for a comprehensive list. I also love the new Crystal Hot Sauce commercial.


How to Create an Exotic Garden

If your garden is in need of a boost or new feature, or you want a new project to work on, an exotic garden could be the perfect option for you. Here are just a few tips on how to create a great exotic garden, what you could include, how to help it thrive, and what the benefits could be.

Image Source: Pixabay

What is an exotic garden?

At its most basic, an exotic garden is a garden, or area in a garden, that features tropical plants and flowers. You don’t have to rip out your whole yard to create one, as you could start in a corner or small section first, to see how you get on. As your skills and plants grow, so can your garden. The RHS’s Garden Wisley has a great exotic garden that you can look at to gain some inspiration for your own! Adding a water feature in your exotic garden is another way to add an extra layer of interest, as there are plenty of different options, from ponds to fountains that you can explore at, to find what would work best for you.

Think about the location

Within your garden, you should consider the location in which you want to start your exotic garden. Tropical plants are typically thought to be very difficult to maintain, especially in colder climates, but there are certain types that are hardier than others. You can experiment in your garden to find the areas that allow more sensitive plants flourish best, as this may be a good place to start your garden. You could also use conservatories or greenhouses to add an extra layer of protection against the elements.

Add colors

Many exotic plants are known for their vibrant colors, which can make your garden eye-catching and beautiful. Consider different colors and textures to make it a real feast for the eyes. Dahlias and cannas are popular options due to their colors and shapes, as well as shrubbery such as ferns and bamboo. Combining texture, color, and shape can help you to create a truly unique and exciting exotic garden.

Consider the temperature

It is important to consider the climate in which you live, as many tropical plants thrive in warmer temperatures. However, if you do your research and care for your garden properly, you can have a healthy exotic garden that can withstand different temperatures. Hardy exotic plants include bamboo, hibiscus, and yucca. Choosing plants that suit your climate can mean that you may not be able to have the exact types you want, but with so many to choose from, you will be able to find a happy medium.

Use layers

Densely planting your flowers and plants can help to achieve a more exotic, jungle look. Using items such as raised beds and hanging baskets can add some great levels to your exotic garden. Dense foliage can also provide great habitats for wildlife to live in by providing shade and covers for insects and animals. Adding a bird bath fountain to your garden can also encourage birds to visit!


How To Keep Your Home Cozy All Year Round

Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels

While spring is slowly on the way, it is never too late to make sure your home feels as cozy and welcoming as possible. After all, why should coziness only be reserved for the cooler months? The past year has been a long one and we have spent more time in our homes than ever, so we want to ensure they are looking and feeling their best. If you are looking to make your home feel a bit more cozy, then we have put together some top tips to help you do so. Here is how to keep your home welcoming all year round.

1. Add in personal accessories

One of the first things you want to do when making your home more cozy is to add in some personal accessories. Put photos up on the wall either of you and your family or friends, or ones that you love. Add in little ornaments or items that remind you of places you have been, things you have done, or just items that you like. These will all instantly make your home a lot more “yours” and add a really welcoming vibe.

2. Make sure your radiators work

Nobody likes a cold home and it is enough to instantly make your house feel uninviting. It is important to regularly check your radiators and that they work with no leaks. It might be that you need a new pneumatic air pressure regulator, but it is a good idea to speak with a professional who can help you with fitting this!

3. Think carefully about your color scheme

When it comes to the color scheme of your home, there are a few things you can do. It is a good idea to opt for neutral colors that will stand the test of time and always feel warm and welcoming. You can then add in pops of other colors with your accessories, such as your pictures on the wall, your cushions on the sofa, and chunky knit throws. Some of the coziest colors are saturated tones and neutral options, such as caramel, orange, and pinks.

4. Consider your lighting choices

Lighting can play a big part in the feel of a room and it is important to factor this in around your home. While spotlights might be great for in a kitchen, they aren’t the most welcoming in the evening. If you do have spotlights, it’s a good idea to get dimmer switches so you can adjust the brightness. Invest in lamps that are different heights so you can add plenty of warmth and depth to your space too.

These are just a few ways that you can make your home as cozy and welcoming as it can possibly be. By adding these small nuances in, you will find it makes a huge difference. What are some top ways that you like to bring that personal touch to your home? Let me know in the comments below, I would love to hear from you!


Friday, February 12, 2021

Green Skincare: Get With The Program

Image Source: Freepik


If you want a green skincare product that's natural and super effective at the same time then consider then consider Barecat Serum. This awesome product is based on CBD oil and smells of lovely hemp. It might not be your average skincare small, but you'll love it all the same.

If you're wondering why CBD oil is good for the skin, know that it contains omega-3 and omega-6. These are fatty acids found in the body naturally that help to maintain the skin's youthfulness and keep it hydrated. If you want to protect your skin with an all natural face serum, choose Barecat Serum.


Exfoliating is an essential part of any skincare routine, but you have to get the nuance right if you want it to work properly. It's mostly trial and error but in general you don't want to exfoliate too much in winter when the air and skin are dry.

The Boost Hydrating Detox mask is what you need to get the balance just right. Use this mask after a hot bath or shower when the skin is hydrated and the dead cells are malleable. Leave it on for ten minutes and it will remove your skin's impurities effectively.


Not all face masks are made from creams and serums, some of them use light waves. If this sounds too far fetched you should know that professional dermatologists globally endorse the new skincare innovation. Light masks are an excellent green alternative to many products.

But how do they work? The Omnilux Contour uses light wavelengths to enter the skin and encourage the growth of new collagen from within. No need for external collagen made from animal bone and the like. The green face mask is proved to eliminate fine lines and wrinkles. It can also be used in conjunction with conventional face masks.


Did you know that quinoa is not only delicious to eat it is also excellent for the skin. This superfood is packed full of amino acids and antioxidants that are known to encourage new collagen growth and eliminate fine lines and wrinkles.

Zue Botanicals are one of only a few brands now using quinoa in a range of skincare products. The quinoa they use is produced ethically on Colombian farms and some of their profits go to supporting the local communities. For a skincare range that goes the extra mile, check our Zue.


In a similar vein to Zue, Fleur&Bee are an ethical skincare brand committed to producing excellent quality products that don't use animal products and support charities. They are also completely vegan. This is something you want from a modern skincare brand.

Since it is possible to produce skincare products that provide users with excellent results without the animal testing or ingredients, why support ones that still use them? It makes sense to get with the program and start buying the ethically produced products that deliver results.


Thursday, February 11, 2021

Types Of Handmade Jewellery & The Techniques Used

Despite the amazing technology we currently possess, people will always prefer to wear jewellery that is made by human hand, as this skill results in a piece of jewellery that is truly unique.

Image Source: Freepik

Prior to the start of the Industrial Revolution, we had no machines and therefore, all jewellery was made by hand and there have been some highly skilled jewellery makers during all periods of history.

Here are a few of the ways that jewellery can be made by hand.

  • Fabricated Jewellery - The custom jeweller designs the item and once the client approves the design, the expert would commence work and while he or she might use small machines to shape, cut and clean, the fabrication process is done by hand.
  • Wire Wrapped Jewellery - The metal of choice would typically be sterling silver shaped into thin wire that can be worked by the artist. This is the style of jewellery that you might find being sold on a beach, as many young travellers supplement their travels by making jewellery that they sell to tourists.
  • Beaded Jewellery - Liquid silver jewellery is a classic example of beaded jewellery, which uses thin tubes of silver that are strung onto a nylon line. This creates the illusion that the silver is in fact, a liquid and there are online suppliers of bead jewellery, with colourful creations using a wide range of semi-precious stones. This first became popular in the swinging sixties and continued to be in trend until the start of the 1980s. The full cycle has returned this stunning style of jewellery back to fashion, with Art Deco being very popular, some in the form of chunky silver cuff bracelets.
  • Stamped/ Engraved Jewellery - Many jewellers in past times would use small stamps to imprint an image onto metal, which might be gold or silver and if you would like to see some great examples, search online for an antique dealer that specialises in jewellery.
  • Enamelled Jewellery - This is another technique that produces stunning jewellery, with torch-firing being the technique used to create such jewellery. Victorian and Edwardian jewellery items were often made in this way, using a wide range of materials. If you would like to learn how to make jewellery, there are many free online resources to help you get started. Make sure you have the right tools and materials and you can experiment until you become competent and try a few different styles.

Image Source: Freepik

 Handmade jewellery will always be in demand and if you would like to view stunning examples or are looking for suitable 18th birthday jewellery, search for an online jeweller that only offers handmade pieces. The list of styles is very long and some Internet browsing will help you locate handmade jewellery that you like and when you find the perfect piece, a secure online payment is all it takes to have the item sent by courier to your home address. The quality is impressive, no matter what style you prefer and there’s something about handmade jewellery that simply cannot be equalled.

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