Mother’s day Gift Guide 2024

This post contains gifted items:

If you have been a reader for a while you will know that I love putting together gift guides.

With Mother’s Day approaching, it can be difficult to decide what to buy, especially if you have multiple people to buy for.

For me, I usually have to decide on presents for my mum, my step mum, my mother in law and my grandma. It can get difficult trying to pick what to buy everyone.

All of the ideas I have mentioned can be purchased online and if you don’t live with the recipient you can simply get it sent direct to their house.

SKINCARE

Ren Moroccan Rose Uplifting Body Duo

£45

I love the Ren Moroccan rose range and always have done. This body wash smells amazing, as does everything else in the range! It helps to clean your skin whilst leaving it soft and smelling amazing. A little goes a long way and it lathers up well.

The signature scent will linger on your skin after using this in the bath or shower and even more so if you are finishing off with the non greasy body lotion.

It would make the ideal gift for someone that loves a good pamper or deserves one!

Kora Organics Noni Glow Body Oil

£54

This award wining body oil feels so luxurious as you apply it to your skin. A little goes a long way and you can see why so many people love it!

It’s smells really good and really helps to hydrate your skin. I like to mix it up between lotions and oils to keep my skin hydrated and soft.

It looks really posh in the glass bottle and I love how easy it is to use with the pump.

This would be a great gift idea for anyone that loves to take care of their skin or any body oil fan.

FOOD & DRINK

Whitakers Dark Chocolate Assorted Fruit Fondant Creams

£6.29

Whitakers are one of my favourite brands for chocolate. They are luxurious yet affordable and always have a good selection to pick from.

These fondant creams are all individually wrapped and are a good selection of flavours:

Black Cherry

Strawberry

Lemon/Lime

Raspberry

They are really tasty and a pleasant change from mint flavour fondant creams. They are also suitable for vegans.

Whitakers Happy Mother’s day Milk Chocolate Bar

£2.49

This bar is made from their signature milk chocolate wrapped with a thoughtful message.

The bar is a good size and really delicious. It’s a lovely idea for any chocolate lover and they also have bars for lots of different holidays and occasions.

Russell & Atwell Limited Edition Monty

£23

Russell & Atwell have a great range of chocolate boxes to pick from. This one contains:

Passion Fruit

Dirty Blond

Marc De Champagne

The passion fruit fresh chocolates are a limited edition to the Russell & Atwell range and are made with real passion fruit and the other two are some of their most popular choices.

They all taste like they have just been made and served to you straight from the chocolatiers kitchen. They are kept in the fridge and just taste so fresh if you eat them cold!

They are the perfect gift to give any chocolate lover and there are so many different flavour combinations to pick from.

Levoco Mother’s Day Bon Bon Selection

£18

This box of chocolates from Leveco look too good to eat! They are so beautifully made and have a really nice selection of flavours:

Millionaire Shortbread

Key Lime

Blueberry

Lemon Thyme

Salted Caramel

Marshmallow Fluff

The salted caramel is my favourite as it just tastes so rich and moreish. I love the design on these as you can tell a lot of time and care has gone into these handmade bon bons.

These are a must have for any chocolate lover!

NAILS

Earthy Nail Polish – In Bloom Collection

£24.95

These nail polishes are vegan and cruelty free and the brand have replaced the single use plastic cap with highly sustainable bamboo and all seals within the cap are made from 100% post-consumer plastic. They come in a good variety of shades and are highly pigmented so you can get away with just one coat.

This set is perfect for Mother’s Day as it contains a nice range of spring colours. The shade included are:

Distressed Damson

Maya’s Rose

Pearls Of Wisdom

Peaches & Cream

HOMEWARE

Asda Photo 15oz Personalised Mega Mug

£10

I have used Asda before for personalised products and have always been impressed with the price and quality. They have a really good range of products from cushions to calendars, canvases and mugs.

The mugs are a lovely personal and unique gift for. They comes in different sizes and you can add photos or text and really make it your own.

I hope I have given you some good ideas 🙂

Sarah x

Home Maintenance 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Essential Equipment

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Image Credit: Monica Silvestre / Pexels

Owning a house in this generation is a feat comparable to winning the lottery. With the taxes and maintenance, it’s very costly to own a house these days. However, human as we are, we do love to do renovations to tailor our personal haven into a place we don’t want to leave. 

And home maintenance is just a part of the entire process of taking care of your house. This though requires a lot of dedication and the right equipment. 

In this blog post, you’ll be walked through the must-have tools for you to do home maintenance with confidence. 

Basic Hand Tools: The Foundation of Home Maintenance

Toolbox. This is a must in every house. Ever noticed your father’s toolbox in the garage which he uses in almost everything? That toolbox must have had screwdrivers, hammers, pliers or wrenches. Basically just every hand tool your father could get his hands on.

You must have it too because hand tools are very essential if you want to do home renovations. Whether DIY or not, you’re gonna need hand tools at home. It can be for tightening loose screws or assembling your newly-bought couch. You’ll never know when the toolbox will come in handy. 

Power Tools: Amp Up Your Maintenance Game

Of course, home renovations don’t stop at hammering nails or tightening loose screws. For example, if you’re renovating your porch, you’re going to need bigger and more powerful tools such as chainsaw, cordless drills or orbital sander. Powerful tools like these will help you tackle your projects with so much ease, thereby saving you time and effort.

Measuring and Levelling Tools: Precision is Key

Accuracy is very important when doing house maintenance. You don’t want your floating shelves to be crooked. And even if the design itself is for the shelves to be crooked, you’ll still need measuring and leveling tools for the angle of the tilt to be precise. Tape measure and spirit level are indispensable tools if you want to be accurate with your task and achieve that Pinterest-perfect floating shelves. 

Safety Equipment: Protect Yourself While You Work

No matter how advanced or expensive your equipment is, if you’re not conscious of safety you’ll likely fail any home projects you have. This is why it’s important that you have safety equipment like goggles, dust masks and work gloves. These pieces of safety equipment will protect your eyes, lungs and hands from potential hazards. So it’s better to invest in high-quality equipment to protect yourself better.

Storage and Organisation: Keep Your Tools Tidy

A good builder is an organized builder. Organization is an important trait that everyone must have. When doing home maintenance projects, it’ll help you save time and effort if you’ve organized your tools in categories. Perhaps you can try grouping them by their purpose. This means keeping all the safety equipment in one place and all the tools for woodwork in another. This way you’ll know where to find what tool.

Conclusion

It’s important to have the right equipment when doing home maintenance. Invest in basic but high-quality tools that’ll help you tackle maintenance tasks with confidence. But just think about the happiness you’ll feel once you’ve turned your simple abode into a haven of your own. Indeed, a well-maintained home is a happy home. 

Sarah x

The 2024 Ultimate Packing Guide For Your Summer Getaway

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As the year progresses and your summer vacation approaches, the excitement of planning your trip is only surpassed by the delight of determining what to bring. Whether you’re jet-setting to a tropical island, embarking on a European journey, or relaxing by the Mediterranean, your suitcase must be as ready as you are for the sun, sea, and sand.

But, before you start worrying about what to pack in your travel wardrobe, let’s go over a packing list that will ensure you’re elegantly prepared for any summer adventure. What about the cherry on top? We have the best ideas for where to get those must-have things, from trendy swimwear at to versatile women’s shoes.

1. Swimwear that creates waves

First, let’s talk about swimwear. A good swimmer is like a best friend: dependable, makes you feel terrific, and is with you on all of your travels. That’s where UNE PIECE thrives, with a collection of swimwear that’s not only stylish but also makes you feel great. Imagine diving into the azure seas of the Greek islands or relaxing on a yacht off the Amalfi Coast in a swimmers that flatters and suits every contour. UNE PIECE’s line, noted for its sun-safe fabrics and attractive designs, will make you stand out wherever you go. Don’t forget to bring a few alternatives, because one is never enough when you’re living in and out of the water.

2. Shoes for Every Occasion

A woman’s shoes help her get through the day, and this is especially true on vacation. Your feet deserve the best, whether you’re exploring ancient ruins or dancing under the stars. Shoe HQ offers an exceptional selection of women’s shoes to suit every aspect of your trip plan. Imagine walking through Santorini’s cobblestone alleys in a pair of comfortable yet fashionable sandals, or attending a sophisticated dinner in their sleek heels. What about relaxing day trips? A pair of their fashionable loafers is your go-to. Shoe HQ’s footwear is versatile and comfortable, so you’ll be prepared to go wherever your feet (and heart) demand.

3. Skincare Essentials for Glowing Skin

Your skin’s requirements don’t stop, so why should your skincare routine? Along with your preferred sunscreen, bring a set of moisturising skincare items to keep your skin bright and healthy. From nourishing moisturisers to renewing face mists, these skincare heroes will keep you looking bright while combating the drying effects of sun exposure.

4. Accessories that accentuate

No look is complete without the appropriate accessories. Consider lightweight scarves for a touch of elegance on a windy evening, a wide-brimmed hat to shade you from the noon sun, and sunglasses to protect your eyes while adding a touch of glam. Remember that the proper accessories not only enhance your appearance, but also serve as useful complements to your travel wardrobe.

5. A Good Read

A good book is essential when travelling, whether you’re lounging on the beach or relaxing in a café. Choose anything that fits the mood of your vacation, whether it’s a thrilling mystery, a romantic novel, or a trip memoir. It’s the ideal approach to relax and immerse oneself in the slow pace of holiday time.

Packing for your 2024 summer vacation does not have to be a daunting chore. With these basics, you’re ready for your most beautiful and unforgettable vacation yet.

Sarah x

The Keys to Great Networking (if You’re a Shrinking Violet)

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Networking is something that, for so many people, can bring out a cold sweat. Lots of us can struggle with this all-important aspect of promoting ourselves. Many people in job interviews struggle to sell themselves because of a lack of confidence in their abilities, and, if anything, we all need to learn how to show ourselves off in this incredibly competitive world, which is why networking becomes an invaluable skill that we should all understand; here are the key facets of great networking:

Having a Plan

If there’s one misconception about networking, it’s that everyone in those settings has a natural ability to get on with others or to show themselves off. This is a very unhelpful mindset, especially amongst people who are envious of those individuals who effortlessly build bonds and relationships. 

Yes, there are some who have the ability to build excellent relationships, especially in professional settings, but it’s all predicated on a plan. When we attend places where we have to network or engage in conversation, it’s always beneficial to have a plan. In terms of professional networking, there are things that we can do to help build a far more positive impression of ourselves. It could be as simple as having a business card. Having small pieces of cards with quality printing that contain your information can be a simple way to stand out from the crowd. 

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being unique, and this is an excellent way to stick in the minds of people, but it’s about being unique for the right reasons. This is why you need to have a plan and ensure that you stick to it, especially if you feel that there are inherent weaknesses in how you present yourself. This brings us nicely to the next point…

Seek Real Feedback

When we ask others about how we come across, we tend to ask the people who are closest to us, and this can be the wrong approach. What we have to remember when we go to a networking event or any type of environment where we need to engage in conversation is that those people haven’t met us before, so we’ve got the perfect opportunity to reinvent our personalities. 

Seeking real feedback from different types of people can help us get a better picture of who we are and, more importantly, what our strengths are. You may be someone who is good at small talk but terrible at moving the conversation on. When people give you feedback about how you engage, it’s important to be aware of the environment in which you are seeking this feedback. This is why it might not be beneficial to ask people close to you about what your strengths are in a conversation. They’re only seeing you at your most relaxed, rather than your most professional. 

It’s also important to seek constructive criticism rather than feedback that breaks you down. It’s a very tough thing to seek out, and it may be even tougher to hear that there are aspects of your personality that are perceived as below average, but rather than using this as a reinforcement that you shouldn’t be doing these things, this becomes the perfect opportunity to build yourself back up. As a society, we, for some reason, try to avoid the negatives, and we think that it’s far better to cover our tracks. When it comes to building relationships, we have to be ourselves, but this doesn’t mean that we are fixed in any way. We can seek out feedback and understand what we should gradually fine-tune.

Incorporating the Right Tools

Once you understand where you need to bolster your capabilities, now is the time to slowly capitalise on your strengths and build up your weaknesses. Networking is, at the end of the day, about building a relationship with a person. Some of the most important facets of building strong relationships include:

Emotional Intelligence

This is essential for building good relationships and encompasses being aware of and managing your emotions as well as understanding and influencing the emotions of others. Emotional intelligence is something that we will naturally acquire through lived experiences, but we can recognise our emotions and name them, use emotions to make constructive decisions, work on empathy, develop social skills, practise active listening, and so much more.

Showing Respect and Appreciation

Appreciating others and respecting their time and contributions is absolutely pivotal to building relationships. The best leaders are widely known for making one person feel like the most important person in the room. If you are someone who is highly stressed and you have to deal with a number of different things at the same time, it can be overwhelming to dedicate such focus on one person when there’s so many other things percolating in your mind, and this is why learning to be in the present moment is so important because it helps you focus on them. 

Learning how to increase your concentration can help here if you struggle in environments with lots of people, but ultimately, if you appreciate others and respect their contributions, this will make a powerful impression on them. In networking, many people make the mistake of thinking they should impress people of seniority, and no doubt you’ve encountered people who are looking over your shoulder, consciously or not. Respect and appreciation are vital.

Effective Communication

Ultimately, good relationships rely on open, honest, and professional communication. Learning tools like active listening but focusing on what people say are the bare basics. The keys to great communication are many, including planning your message and rehearsing how you will deliver it to create clarity. You should also remember that you choose your words carefully to improve the quality of your communication while also understanding non-verbal cues like tone of voice and body language. 

When you strive to deepen connections with others, always think about greeting, asking, complementing, and disclosing. These four things allow you to create human contact, discover the unknown, affect other people’s sense of self in a positive way, and create far better relationships in the long run.

Setting and Respecting Boundaries

If you want to maintain healthy relationships, you need to let others know what is appreciated and respect each other’s needs and limits. When engaging with people that you do not know, it’s far better to slowly gauge a situation by recognising their personal and professional boundaries.

Improving Your Confidence

If we look to network or to have conversations with others, we instantly send a signal to others as to whether we are worthy or not of their time. Improving our confidence is something that will gradually develop over months and years, but we need to be very aware of our mindset when we go into these types of situations. Learning to deliver the complete package is overwhelming, and this is why we need to use little tricks to ensure that we get into the right frame of mind:

  • Avoid using negative phrases because they can program your mind in a negative way. Instead, find reasons to smile and laugh. 
  • Get into your body and out of your head. Doing this will ensure that you stop thinking about how you genuinely look in these environments.
  • Present yourself because ultimately if you want to look professional, it’s about ensuring you dress in the right ways.
  • Focus on posture as well because this will help make you feel better in your own body (check out this TED talk by Amy Cuddy for more insight).
  • Try positive self-talk as this will also reprogram your mind.

It is a tough mountain to climb when we don’t perceive ourselves as having the skills to build relationships with others, but we are all capable of doing it. Sometimes it’s just a case of getting out of our own way!

Sarah x