The Best Bits Of Planning A Wedding

All wedding planning is fun, right? Well, no, not really. Boring things like paying invoices, finding insurance and even making the table plan are enough to make you fall asleep. It’s true – some bits of wedding planning are more fun than others. When it comes to planning a wedding, there’ll be the things you want to do, and the things you have to do, but that’s ok, as the fun bits will outweigh the dull bits. To get you excited and into the wedding planning spirit, here are some of the best bits to look forward to of planning a wedding.

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Picking a dress

Picking a dress is, without a doubt, the most princess-style moment of wedding planning. When else will you get to try on beautiful dresses worth hundreds that you get to twirl around in to a room of admiring people? Unless you’re a Hollywood actress, this is a once in a lifetime thing. Trying out different styles with your nearest and dearest will make you feel amazing, and the moment you find the one will give you a special memory you’ll cherish forever (even if it’s not the teary-eyed moment you see too often on TV) – so soak up every minute.

Choosing the food

If you’re a food lover, then, of course, you’re going to love this part. Getting to sample lots of different foods to choose your dream wedding menu is fun for you and your partner, and a good excuse for a date too. You’ll get to sample lots of different things that you might never have tried before, and most venues will include the tasting as part of the wedding package. Oh and don’t forget the wedding cake, who knew there could be so many different flavors? You may need to book several tastings for that one!

The entertainment

The entertainment you choose for your wedding will be a fun thing for you and your partner to pick together. Whether you have a favorite band, a hobby you both love or just love to be entertained, you’ll have a great time choosing something special for you and your guests. If you have no idea what entertainment you want, directories and websites like sourceme are ideal for finding a variety of companies who offer services like photo booths as well as music, leaving you with plenty of inspiration for your big day.

Hair and makeup

Many of us fail to treat ourselves, but choosing hair and makeup looks for your wedding is a great way to pamper yourself in the lead-up. You could spend hours browsing wedding magazines and websites trying to find the right look for you, trying out various styles to see what works and makes you look like the bride you pictured in your head. It’s also a good excuse to treat yourself to some new, high-quality makeup which you can continue to use after your wedding to make you feel special.

 

Planning a wedding can be fun, but there are some things you’ll want to hand over to the professionals. Read about the things to look out for when hiring professionals for your wedding and leave them to sort the basics, while you get to enjoy the fun bits.

 

Quick Study: Speedy Ways to Learn New Skills

Person Making Clay Pot in Front of Girl during Daytime

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Pretty much everyone has one or two skills that they wish they could master. But one of the main factors that seems to get in the way is time. Learning any new skills takes a great deal of commitment, but people struggle to put in the hours that it takes. When you do find time to practice learning your skill, you want to make sure that you are using it wisely. So, if you want to look for some quick ways that you can pick up new skills then these tips are here to give you a helping hand.

 

Set Realistic Goals

 

The best way to learn anything is to set yourself goals and make sure you stick to them. But you also want to make sure that the targets you are setting for yourself are actually realistic and achievable. So, your long-term goal may be to learn the guitar, but you may break this down by learning a new chord every few days and eventually build this up to learning an entire song. Learning the guitar seems too vague, whereas learning the chords is one that is actually measurable and achievable.

 

Think of the Obstacles that May Stand in Your Way
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When you are trying to learn a new skill, there will be all manner of obstacles that stand in your way. In the first days and weeks, this is when it can be difficult and frustrating, so this is your first barrier. Identify what else is blocking your learning and try to find ways to overcome these problems. If you find that you are easily distracted, put yourself in an environment where you can limit these distractions. If you find that time is an issue, move something out of your day like that extra half hour of TV. You will be in a much stronger position to deal with obstacles if you identify them early.

 

Focus on the Essentials

 

Once again, this is where it comes back to focusing on the sub-skills that you can teach yourself. When you are learning new skills, there are some essentials that will lead you quicker to your desired outcomes. So, if you are trying to learn a new language, it is likely that you will want to focus on the essential conversational skills rather than the complex areas of grammar. If you are learning to cook, you will want to focus on the skills that can be transferred across various different meals so try these delicious recipes. Focusing on the key areas will get you to your goal quicker.

 

Master One Area Before Moving On

 

The best way to achieve a goal is to put all your attention into that particular area. So, make sure you are entirely comfortable that you have got each subskill to the level you want before moving onto the next one. Otherwise, your attention will become too divided and you will find yourself pulled off in too many different directions at once.  

How to Add a Burst of Summer to Your Home

Now that summer is well and truly here, you will want your home to reflect the new season. During the wintertime, it is all about home comforts and making sure things are cosy and inviting. The summer months are a time when you can make things feel lighter and brighter, blurring the line between the indoors and the outdoors. Adding a burst of summer to your home doesn’t have to be too difficult, but it is always a pleasure to come back to a home that reflects the current season. So, here are a few things you can do to give your house more of a summertime vibe.

 

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Remove the Traces of Winter

 

If there are any traces of winter still lingering around in your home, now is the time to store them away somewhere so you can replace them with accessories that give off more of a summery vibe. Some examples of things that definitely give off a sense of winter include thick rugs, big blankets, candles and heaters. Once you remove these last traces of winter from your home, you will really be able to enjoy the summer a lot more!

 

Bring Some Life Indoors

 

There is nothing like some fresh flowers for making your home appear like it is bursting with life, so why not choose some roses, lilies, magnolias or any other favourites you have? Another option is to select some new houseplants. Having some flowers and plants in your home has been proven to boost your mood so you should certainly consider getting some to brighten up the summer months.

 

Freshen Up Your Airflow

 

Of course, opening up doors and windows is the best way to get some fresh air flowing into your home, but you can also try a few things with the artificial airflow that you have going on. If you have a ceiling fan, turn it to go counter-clockwise which will push the air downwards and create a stronger draught. If you have an air conditioner, you may want to replace the filter so that you can avoid any malfunctions. And if you use artificial air fresheners, try choosing one that gives off a fresh and fragrant summer scent.

 

Invite More Natural Light Indoors

 

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First of all, to bring in more natural light you can make sure that your windows are sparkling clean both inside and out so that you can get an unobstructed view to the outdoors. If you are struggling to tackle some of the outdoor windows, you could use an equal parts water-vinegar solution and a squeegee. You could also replace your heavy winter drapes with some lighter window treatments. Choose some thin blinds instead in some lighter colours that welcome in the summer sun.

 

Give Your Front Door a Lick of Paint

 

You may not feel like tackling any major DIY jobs when the weather is warmer, but a simple job that you can do to make the world of difference is to give your front door a lick of paint. This way, you have a nice welcome to set the mood every time you get back home. Start by sanding it down so you have a smooth surface to start from and then a couple of coats should do the trick. Complete the job with a shiny new house number and doormat.

 

Stock Up On Summer Essentials

 

There is nothing like stocking up on a few summer essentials to give you that warm feeling. Ironically, one of the first things that you should get is some ice cold popsicles! This way, you will always have a refreshing treat lined up when the temperatures start soaring. While you are looking in your freezer, it is a great time to give it a defrost and clear out anything that is leftover in there that you don’t want anymore. Other common items that you will need for summer include sunblock and insect repellant.

 

Sort Out Your Garden Area

 

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If you are lucky enough to have a garden area, you should make sure that everything looks as good as it possibly can. If you have a patio or decking area, you can take it on with some warm, soapy water, a scrubbing brush and a hose. Once you have a nice clean area to base yourself, you can arrange your furniture in a social way that encourages conversation. Some potted plants, candles, pillows, and outdoor lighting can really set the mood when the sun goes down. You can also invest in some sort of outdoor heaters in case things start to get a little chilly.

 

Restyle Your Kitchen Shelves

 

One of the best ways that you can get your home summer-ready is by getting rid of that sense of clutter. There are all kinds of creative storage options out there, but one of the best ones is giving your kitchen shelves a restyle. Work out which are the kitchen items you never use (there are bound to be a few) and get them stored away in a different location. When you give yourself that extra breathing space, it gives you the feeling of being in a vacation home.

 

Display Some Fresh Fruit in a Bowl

 

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Fresh fruit is a wonderful summery snack, and it also looks very appealing when you display it in a bowl. Choose a few different kinds that give your table a multicoloured feel, but don’t forget to actually eat it rather than just looking at it! If you get yourself some fresh oranges, a glass pitcher and a juicer, you can start off the day right with a nice refreshing glass of juice.

 

Change Your Furniture Accessories

 

Even if you don’t want to change your furniture altogether, you can still bring in some different items like rugs, cushions and blankets. Try to choose some light and airy colours rather than the deeper ones that are popular during the winter. Just this simple change can really make a big difference in giving off more of a summery vibe in your home.       

The Enchanted Envelope 


If there’s one thing I greatly enjoy, it is beautiful stationery.  I loved connecting with one of the owners of The Enchanted Envelope and seeing all the beautiful pieces they could create.

This is a creative, Father/Daughter ran business. Mandy’s father, Sam learned all he could the various printing methods, as well as all the differences between paper.

He got the business started, and when his daughter, Mandy, and her husband had their own daughter, she helped him bring the business to Etsy!

They work wonderfully together as a team, and love that The Enchanted Envelope is a family focused business. 

They love working to create fun pieces for their customers, and specialize in personalized pieces. The quality of their products are very high, you can see and feel their hard work in each piece.

I am in love with the sets they created for me, and can’t decide which printed card is my favorite, the Leopard Print Shoe or the Floral Print Flat Card

I really like the formal look of the Gold Foil personalized card, as well as the Embossed Panel card. Both of these pieces would work perfectly for any type of client driven business. What a professional look to send a thank you, or just a “keeping in touch” note on. 

The Enchanted Envelope also specializes in a variety of other gorgeous home and office products! This would be the perfect Etsy shop to get wedding invitations, baby announcements, thank you cards, and really anything you can think of.
Their Instagram account showcases the variety of products with stunning, clear pictures, and they are quick to respond with any questions. I hope that you will check them out for your next home/office needs!

Make Their next Birthday Their Best Yet

If a special somebody in your life has got a birthday coming up, why not do all you can to make it their best yet? Why not show just how much you love them by giving them a birthday they will always remember? If these sound like things you’d like to do, then make sure to read for tips on how to do so.


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First of all, you need to provide your loved one with a constant string of surprises throughout their whole birthday experience. To do this, you you need to ensure that the birthday surprises just keep on coming. These surprises could entail anything, from gifts from the heart to a unplanned little getaway for the two of you. When you surprise them with gifts that actually mean something (and aren’t just a pair of socks or new slippers) you will be going a long way in seeing this birthday live long in the memory.

 

 

And to further the memorability of this birthday you shouldn’t shirk on the party touches either. You should hire a location that is, one, going to be able to cater to all of your size needs, and two, means something to the birthday boy or girl. This could be their favourite pub or restaurant. It could be a tearoom. Or it could even be a social club. But it’s not all about the location, It’s about the refreshments too. Furthermore, you should ensure that everything they love is on the menu. And it could even mean that you put your own, definitive touches on the menu too. For instance, why not create your own cocktail menu? The more tailored the party appears to be, the more special the birthday celebrator will be made to feel.

 

 

But no birthday would be complete without presents, would it? And the presents that you buy and the way you present them can be a huge contributor when it comes to the making of the perfect birthday. First of all, you should aim to buy the perfect present for them. This means you shouldn’t necessarily look for boring things that they may need, but instead go for things that they actually want. Better still, you could provide them with something that is personalised — a personalised t-shirt, perhaps? But, as mentioned, it’s not just about the present — it’s about the way you present it as well. And when it comes to presenting a present in the right way, look no further than wrapping it in wholesale gift wrap. By doing so you prove yourself to your loved one that you are most certainly going the extra mile to ensure this birthday is as special as can be.

 

 

The number one rule when it comes to making somebody else’s birthday as special as can be is to bare what they like, and do not like, in mind at all times. You should never make choices based off your own preferences. It’s their birthday, and to make it as special as can be you have to cater to their desires at all times.

 

Go-To Gifts For The Foodie In Your Life


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It’s hard enough to buy a great gift for any loved one, but when they’re a foodie it’s even harder. When a friend or relative is always picking apart and analyzing every food or drink that’s put in front of them, there’s a natural worry that you’re going to buy something that’s a little sub-par. To make the whole task easier for you, here’s a few go-to gift ideas for the foodie in your life.

Chili Selection

If the foodie you’re buying for has a taste for blisteringly hot stuff, then why not put their palate to the test? There’s a huge range of chili peppers on the market, ranging from the mildest twinge of sweet seasoning to ones that will blow the average person’s head off! Most of us sane people stick to the lower end of the Scoville scale, but the foodie in your life might be a different story! You can buy a wide range of chili powders, blends and whole peppers on sites like Spices Inc. Get a selection for your foodie, and they’ll have months of fun seeing how hot they can go!

Tagine Cooking Pot

You may have never heard of Tagine cooking pots, but there’s a fair chance the foodie you’ve got in mind has. With their delightful decoration and distinctive shape, cooking tagines will let the foodie in your life prepare Moroccan cuisine the authentic way. Before you buy one of these pots, you need to check a couple of things. Obviously, you’ll need to have a snoop around their kitchen to make sure they don’t have one. Furthermore, because these pots were made for rustic cooking, your foodie will probably need a heat diffuser in order to use a Tagine on the hob.

An Exotic Pairing

Ask any foodie, and they’ll tell you a great dish just isn’t complete without a good pairing. If you’re stuck for any outside-the-box ideas, then there’s countless wines and spirits from around the world which your foodie might adore. Forget about the different names of countries hanging over aisles at your local liquor store. Go online, and find a truly exotic pairing which your foodie can use to complement their meals. You don’t really need to splash out in order to get a pairing your foodie will appreciate. This Kikori whiskey price, for example, is very reasonable. You know what your foodie likes to drink better than us though, so shop around!

Bacon Smoking Kit

For many foodies, there’s nothing better than the satisfaction of making their food completely from scratch. If this sounds like the one you’re buying for, then this bacon kit could be the perfect gift for them. Aside from the curing and seasoning materials included in the kit, all your foodie will need is a pork belly, and somewhere to cook. Following an easy process, (or easy for them, anyway) they’ll have 5lbs of delicious bacon ready for use in other dishes. The fact that they’ve made it themselves will make the pork taste even better!

 

What Do You Buy The Stylish Man In Your Life?


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When there is an occasion, or any excuse, to buy a gift, it can often be something of a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it is great fun to buy gifts for someone close to you, especially if you are someone who prides themselves on being able to find amazing gifts without any trouble. But at the same time, present buying is something of an art which can take a long time to perfect. Depending on how well you know the person in question, it can be surprisingly difficult to find the ideal present for the occasion. When it comes to that stylish man in your life, you can at least make some pretty confident guesses about what he would appreciate. Let’s look at some pretty safe options.

 

Aftershave

 

It’s a classic for a reason: there is something about the wholly ubiquitous aftershave that makes it the ideal gift for that particular kind of man. Most men would admit to wanting to have aftershave in their cupboard, and the rest already have it, and either way they can usually benefit from another option. If you do decide on this route, make sure you spend your time finding the absolute best you can, as this is one of those purchases where the price tag does actually tend to make a noticeable difference in the quality of the product. Moreover, let’s not forget that encouraging your man to smell amazing is something that will benefit you as much as it will delight him!

 

Whiskey

 

What man of old-world style doesn’t enjoy the occasional tipple? Knowing that your man likes a drink from time to time is one thing, but getting that drink spot on is quite another, and the kind of gesture that is bound to be appreciated pretty well. If there is anything drinkable that is always going to go down well for the gentleman of a certain caliber, it has to be whiskey. As with the aftershave, you want to make sure you go for a trusted name like kikori world whiskey, as this will help to ensure that you end up buying the best possible bottle. You’ll know it’s the good stuff if he can’t even bring himself to quaff it, but instead savors it little by little, only to finish the bottle a good six months down the line.

 

Watch

 

It is quite incredible how speedily the wristwatch is losing its vogue. However, the less popular they become, the more credence they have in terms of achieving style points. For this reason, now might be as good a time as any to treat your gentleman to a stylish wristwatch. This is the kind of gift that makes an ideal birthday present, especially if it is one of the more memorable ones. You’ve got a lot to choose: from material of the strap to the size of the face, so make sure you find one that you think will really work for him personally. He is bound to appreciate it all the more, and you’ll know it’s landed if suddenly he’s looking at his smartphone a lot less in favor of his new toy.

4 Gifts To Give The Man In Your Life That Feeling Of 50’s Class And Dignity


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Both genders fantasise about a place in time they would have loved to have occupied, and often without thinking about the downsides of those times. For men, it’s usually 1950’s America. The feeling of post-war heroism and masculinity resonates with many men who feel like the modern service industry has led to less need for them to provide through intrinsically ‘masculine’ means, however that was defined back then.

 

However, that feeling of 50’s class and dignity has never left. The social progress of that time left a lot to be desired, but overall great economic growth and brilliant marketing allow that time to still carry a feeling of romanticism and ooze style.

 

If you have an important anniversary or birthday coming up for the man in your life, and you’re not sure what to get him, helping him feel like a bonafide 50’s figure will help him channel the inner mojo of Don Draper or Marlon Brando alike.

 

Leather Bound Journal

 

Every man could benefit from getting in touch with their creative side. As a general, loosely applied rule, women express themselves more than men and are much more likely to be creative literally and better and getting their thoughts down on paper. Encouraging your man to do so might help him work through the problems he might be facing at work, or simply help him reduce stress at the weekend by journaling for 30 minutes.

 

The benefits have been scientifically proven, so are valid. A nice leather bound covering will help the book like official, important, like the ideas written inside have weight to them. It will emulate the fact that from a product perspective, items were built to last in the 50’s.

 

A Nice Suit

 

If your man doesn’t have a nice three piece suit, now is the time. Heading to the tailors and helping them ascribe the fitting for a suit you’ve picked up from elsewhere can do wonders in giving your man that Humphrey Bogart look. Opt for browns or navy’s if you’d like to emulate that post-war time.

 

Whiskey

 

Most men enjoy a nice stiff glass of whiskey, either on the rocks or not. Doing so is an exercise in taste refinement and patrician deducing of what makes said whiskey work. You’re likely to see in Film Noir the elusive detective or private eye, sitting back in their office chair and sipping on a sharpener to get the facts of the case correct in their mind. Help your man emulate this sense of class, wonder and dignity by checking out this whiskey review website, and purchasing according to how you feel their preferences would be best applied.

 

Leather Boots

 

Every man needs a strong pair of boots that he can shine, repair and wear for years. Spend a little more money, and you’re sure to find a robust range of incredibly well-made boots, that can traverse most outdoor climates as well as look stylish in the inner city. Clothes don’t make the man (or woman,) but shoes can certainly help.

 

These gifting ideas will serve as a quirky yet dignified reminder of the love you have for the man in your life, be that a father, a husband or boyfriend or brother. Choose tastefully, and the gift will indeed be received well.

 

Photography: Do I Really Need A DSLR?


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It’s only recently that we all started carrying cameras around in our pockets. Much to the frustration of some purist photographers, smartphone cameras have been developing rapidly over recent years. If you’re getting into photography, you might think that the capability of your smartphone camera completely eliminates the need for a DSLR. While this isn’t going to be entirely true, here’s a closer look at the photographic capabilities of modern smartphones.

More Portable, More Sharable, and Less Noticeable

If you’re passionate about photography, then you’ll already know that the best shots can spring up when you least expect them. When you’re going out on a date or meeting some friends for drinks, it’s certainly better to have a smartphone in your pocket, rather than a big, bulky DSLR. As much as you might love photography, lenses, batteries, speedlights, and other gear can make it tough to get around, and make you look very awkward in a lot of situations! Furthermore, a big, expensive DSLR around your neck can label you as a tourist, and make you a target for pickpockets and muggers. Smartphones are also much more convenient for sharing. While there are some models, like the Nikon D3400, that have Bluetooth for instant copying to a smartphone, the camera on your phone is perfect for photojournalism or regularly updating your social media presence.

Less Functional and Versatile

One of the major things that separates DSLRs from smartphones is that the former has interchangeable lenses, allowing the photographer to change the way their device functions according to the photographic situation they’ve been dealt. Smartphones, barring a few tacky gimmick products, can’t accommodate for lenses. This means that with a Sony a6000 Silver, you can switch to a 50mm macro lens for taking portraits, allowing you to capture highly detailed images of people. On the other hand, the iPhone 7 only has a seven-megapixel front camera. Shooting in a dark environment or relying on a smartphone’s flash can also create problems, leading to red eye effect and dimly lit night-time shots. On the other hand, DSLRs have external flash, with a number of settings you can use to manipulate the feature. Finally, we have zooming. As you know all too well, when you try to zoom in on some distant detail with a smartphone camera, it quickly becomes blurry. A telephoto lens can actually magnify the camera’s view, rather than simply enlarging part of the image.

Limited Battery Life

Okay, battery life has always been a pet peeve for smartphone users, and these days portable chargers are a very common accessory. Even if you have a phone that’s great for battery life, this can make them impractical for a full day of shooting. You don’t want to get a handful of snaps in, then get the “low battery” message, and have to go a few hours with a bulky power pack hanging off your phone! Most modern DSLRs allow you to go for days on end with almost constant use, without ever having to charge or change the batteries.

 

Gifts For Special Occasions – What To Get For What!

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The entire process of giving gifts can be a special one. Not only is it super fun to pick out the perfect present for your friend, family member, or the someone special in your life, it’s always so fulfilling to see them smile with gratitude when they receive it. But, you don’t always know what kind of gift to get for all of the different occasions there are in life. Regardless of the recipient’s interests, whether they’re a huge fashion lover or a music fan, you can find the perfect kind of gift for them based on the occasion in question.

 

Baby Shower

 

When you have a baby shower to buy for, you can often find yourself going through a whole load of baby necessities in your mind. Firstly, not only do you need to know what the sex of the baby is (where possible) but if the Mom-to-be has a registry (who knew that was a thing?)! Then, you can decide. However, as a general rule, you’re not only going to want to make sure you stick to new-Mom essentials, but also the things that the Mom-to-be wouldn’t think to buy for themselves.

 

Wedding

 

When you’re going to a wedding with a registry, you can often feel as if your life is made so much easier. But, you also have to choose what gift you’re going to go with. You still want it to be good. So, do what you can to get in early and not miss out on getting the good stuff. If the bride and groom aren’t registered, why not focus on something memorable? It can often be that special something that they don’t already own.

 

Birthday

 

Birthdays tend to be that bit more flexible – which can often be a good thing. You can usually buy a gift based on the Birthday boy or girl’s tastes and preferences in life. However, you can often find yourself stuck when you’re faced with finding the perfect gift for a recipient who has everything. Then what do you do? Sometimes, the best answer is a gift card option from somewhere like Cards2Cash.com. Then, not only with the Birthday boy or girl be able to pick out something they don’t already own, they’ll feel like they get to go shopping on you!

 

Retirement

 

Then there are those occasions where you need to be getting a retirement gift for a friend, family member, or even a college. It can often be hard to know what to get – especially if you don’t know the person all that well. If the recipient has already got everything they want (much like the Birthday recipient), then a retirement gift like these on Pinterest.com might go down really well. They’re definitely more thoughtful and experiential than materialistic.

 

The Holidays

 

And finally, there’s always the Holidays to think about. Even when it’s a while off, you may find that you’re better off sorting the majority of your gifts by looking out for the perfect presents throughout the year, rather than leaving it to the last minute. That way, when you see something that your loved one with adore, you can snap it up and save it for the Holiday season.