There’s something very magical about receiving an invitation to a wedding. Someone you know is celebrating their love for another person and wants you to be a part of their special day. Now comes another exciting part as you start planning for the big day. You begin to root through your wardrobe in search for the perfect dress, to eventually give up and put it all back because you’ll decide closer to the time. For women, wedding fashionplanning can be one of the most stressful things to do, whether you’re the bride or not! Here are some tips on how to make your next wedding preparation less stressful!


One of the first things that you should decide for definite is what dress you’re going to wear. This will allow you to plan the rest of your outfit around it, and give you time to buy accordingly, and maybe even lose or gain a few pounds so that your outfit looks as good as it does on the model! You need to consider what time of year the wedding is going to be, so that you can pick an outfit that will not only be appropriate for the season, but match it too. Knowing exactly where the wedding is going to take place might also affect your decision on what to wear too. For example, if you’re going to be attending a wedding on a beach, brighter colours are going to be much more in your favour than darker ones because of what beaches represent. Take everything into consideration so that you can pick out the perfect outfit, and then dress yourself with accessories around it too.

The next thing that needs to be thought about is how you’re going to have your hair. This can be one of the most stressful decisions for the day because you want to make sure that you have your hair just right for the wedding photos! Why not take a look at some cute updos and practise them so that on the day your hair will look bang on point? Plus, you may even find that as you’re practising new hair styles that you find your own spin to put onto it to make it unique. Don’t forget to pre-plan any colouring to be done just before the wedding alongside any treatments that you use on your hair.

Finding the right style of make up to rock on the big day can cause a great deal of anxiety too. There will always be trends in make up that come and go, and you don’t want to look back at the wedding photos and wonder why the hell you had cat flicks bigger than Tutankhamun. Sticking to natural make up looks will always go down well because you won’t look like you’ve plastered make up on your face, and can simply accentuate your natural beauty with make up!

Don’t forget that there are other ways to make yourself really stand out on the big day too that don’t include a great hair do and a killer dress. Making sure that you get enough sleep will ensure that your face appears brighter, more youthful, and of course is part of remaining a healthy person. Other important factors include:

  • Drinking enough water. Not nearly enough people drink enough water each day, yet it’s the cheapest and most effective drink that we can consume. It flushes out toxins from our bodies, helps with concentration, and will make your skin glow radiantly. So make sure that you’re drinking enough water so that you look your best on the big day.
  • Eating the right foods. Even if you’re not looking to gain or lose any weight, certain foods can cause us to break out in spots, give off a certain odour, and even become bloated. Avoid having any last minute embarrassments by making sure that you’re eating nutritious foods that won’t leave your skin greasy and spotty, and don’t run the risk of leaving you bloated and uncomfortable!

Planning a wedding can be stressful, even if you’re not the person getting married! Many people don’t realise what lengths some people go to just to look and feel their best on a special occasion like a wedding. Take these tips on board and use them to help you not only rock up to the wedding in style, but do it stress free as well! Most of all, enjoy yourself because love is the best and most important thing in the world, and it needs to be celebrated!

Bride Or Not How To Make Wedding Preparation Less Stressful

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The Pramshed

Is the life after abuse? Abuse affects so many people and is all too often suffered in silence and carries a stigma which should not be the victim’s to bear. I am grateful to Laura who shares her story of leaving abuse behind and going on to help others move forwards positively through her writing.

Life After Abuse

Please tell us a little about your childhood and teenage years

I grew up in Memphis, TN. I had a great childhood, thanks to an amazing mother. I was an only child so that made getting what I wanted pretty easy. My mother would make miracles happen. My teen years were as normal as anyone else. I was in the band. I had great friends that I still have to this day. When I turned 17-years old, my mother gave birth to a very hyper little boy. He’s 22 now and still hyper!

What was your first job?

My first job was working for an amusement park here in Memphis called Libertyland. You would think working for an amusement park would be fun but I hated it! You’re a teenager at an amusement park. You don’t want to work because you want to have fun. But I learned a lot working that job. It taught me exactly how much to take from an employer.

When did you experience domestic violence and how did it make you feel?

Domestic violence entered my life at the age of 24. I met him in front of my house. That was the day I met the devil. I lost a huge part of me. I lost my fearlessness, my self-esteem, my sanity. I’m 39-years-old now and I’m still working on getting it all back. There are still things I can’t quite deal with. I don’t like people in my personal space. I don’t let anyone touch my neck. Ever! As I said before, I’m still working through some things.

Who supported you?

The most support I received was from my mother. That is after she found out. I’d pretty much left friends alone, but one friend stuck it out with me no matter what. She’d saved me a million and one times.

What happened next?

Our final fight almost ended my life. When he was arrested, I vowed to never go back to him. He was in jail no more than a week before he was released. He stalked me until he went back to jail for an unrelated crime. Over the course of the past 10 years, he has been in and out of jail for multiple crimes. Unfortunately, I still hear from him.

Tell us about your writing

I started writing in my journals during the relationship. I needed some type of outlet. I turned my journals into my first book in 2011. I wanted my story to help or save anyone who has dealt with abuse. My ideal reader is someone who’s been abused or knows someone who is. I want that reader to come away with more knowledge of domestic violence, PTSD, and depression. I also want them to see what a true abusive relationship is like. The good and bad times. Because not every moment is awful. Some are wonderful. And that’s why we stay because we think the bad times are over, when he/she is in a good mood.

If you could recommend a book to a woman, what would it be?

I highly recommend books by the author Deidra D.S. Green. She is a great story teller. Her series Woman at the Top of the Stairs tells the story of domestic violence.

Do you have any words of wisdom for a person experiencing abuse?

I understand to tell someone to get out is easier said than done. But think of it this way, if you were in a robbery and the thief held a gun to your head would you beg for your life? In my opinion that’s what abuse is like. Every day you’re begging them to spare your life. No one should live like that. I have a mantra that I use in every aspect of my life. It’s to remind me that I made the right choice. “There is life after abuse.”

My final words are to love yourself. Self-love is the most important thing. As my mother says, “You don’t hurt what you love.”

I think the more we talk about the fact that abuse exists the more people will find the strength to seek help and to escape. I am thankful to Laura for sharing so openly and encouraging us to believe that there is life after abuse.


Sharing so openly takes a huge amount of courage so please do consider sharing this post by clicking one or more of the buttons below.

Life After Abuse

If you would like to share your story on this blog please get in touch.

School Runs and Shopping Trolleys


Walking past a corner shop or magazine stand, you’ll see famous faces splashed across the covers, many holding a small pen-like or boxy device. What is that thing? A pen? A pencil?! It’s a vape.

Vaping is quickly becoming a global phenomenon, and when you look at the health benefits compared to smoking tobacco products, you will soon see why. Vapes are small, discreet, contain no tar or tobacco, and produce no second-hand smoke. The vapes themselves are entirely customizable, down to the size, colour, and even the flavour and blend of the e-liquid.

Doctor Lion Sahab led a study on e-cigarettes in collaboration with UCL and stated that “part of the reason people use e-cigarettes is to stop smoking, and we have shown that they provide effective delivery of nicotine.” ITV news further supported Sahab’s findings saying, “Vaping has been endorsed by health experts after the first long-term study of its effects in ex-smokers.”

With the health benefits of switching to vapes from traditional cigarettes, we see more people make the transition. Here are some celebrities who love to vape.

Kate Moss

When discussing British fashion or runways, it is almost a requirement to acknowledge the great Kate Moss. As a reigning icon and one of the most famous models in the world, she is a trendsetter.

Ms. Moss is also known as a lady who likes to smoke, so the world is taking notice now that snapshots are popping up of her puffing on a vape. Since switching to vaping, Moss says she is much more energized and feels healthier overall.

Robert Pattinson

Robert Pattinson is known mainly for his roles as Edward Cullen in the Twilight franchise, and Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, though if asked he will do his level best to pretend Twilight never happened. He is a low-key guy and tends to keep to himself, but in years past, he was seen smoking cigarettes. Recently though, he has been spotted vaping.

Simon Cowell

The man given nicknames like Judge Dread and Mr. Nasty is finally deciding to kick his nasty habit. Simon Cowell is firmly supporting the use of e-cigarettes. Mr. Cowell clarifies the main reason he took up vaping is due to fatherhood. Like many dads, Simon’s son’s welfare is his highest priority, and smoking tobacco creates a health risk. Vapes, on the other hand, provide a small dose of nicotine without harmful tobacco or the risk of second-hand smoke, which perfectly suits his needs.

Cowell further explains, “I have tried everything” and vaping “is a step in the right direction.” He also mentions that one of his favourite things about the vape is that you can select your flavour, and it seems he prefers things “nice and sweet.”

Tom Hardy

Tom is all about, action, adventure, and showing off his vape. Whether he’s in a £10,000 suit, or jeans and a t-shirt, he is always surrounded by a cloud of scintillating scents. Mr. Hardy is proud to whip out his vape and take a puff anywhere, anytime, including in period clothing on a film set.

Nick Clegg

Politics are something that will stress anyone out, so it’s no surprise that former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg was a smoker. Now Mr. Clegg has hopped onto the electronic bandwagon and is often seen sampling his vape. What flavour does he prefer? Well, if you ask him about it, he will most likely say blueberry.

After years of having the desire to quit smoking, and a failed attempt or two under his belt, Clegg decided to give e-cigs a go and hasn’t looked back. According to Clegg, he has “taken a significant step in the right direction” and is very happy to be “off the fags and on the vapes.”

Richard Hammond

Turns out Mr. Hammond likes fast cars, fun adventures and e-cigs. Our favourite former Top Gear co-host is often photographed out and about with a vape. Unlike Mr. Hardy or Mr. Turner, Richard prefers to be a bit more discreet with his vaping. While not often seen actively taking a puff, he is almost always seen with his vape tucked safely in his pocket.

Cara Delevigne

This multi-talented model-turned-actress is making headlines worldwide. She not only has one of the top social media followings, but she is also a chameleon. She can be seen strutting down a catwalk, smiling on magazine covers or even acting as an amazing ancient villain on the silver screen. In years past, Cara has been photographed smoking, but more recently she has transitioned to vapes and isn’t looking back.

She is a fully supportive vape-convert. Often seen vaping with friends, like American actress Michelle Rodriguez, she loves to have fun. It should come to no surprise that the illustrious Ms. Delevigne is a master at smoke rings and cloud chasing.

Aiden Turner

Mr. Turner is often seen with a vape in his hand as he saunters down the street. His trusty vape even makes consistent appearances during every break in filming Poldark.

In fact, Aiden loves vaping so much you are hard-pressed to find recent photos of him without his faithful friend in either his hand or pocket. This isn’t an issue for the filming crew; they wholeheartedly approve of Aiden’s switch to the healthier alternative.

Final Thoughts:

Many famous celebs are helping to show the world the benefits of vaping. They are using them as an aid to shift away from tobacco and help lead a healthier life. There is an excellent community of electronic converts in Britain who love to use vaping to make great new friends and bond as well.

It should also be noted, e-cigs are not included in the tobacco ban, so many restaurants and pubs allow you to puff up without a problem. This is entirely up to the owner of the establishment though, so it’s always good to ask permission first.



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This year I have decided to lose the leggings and baggy T-shirt look and to experiment with fashion again. I think so many mums can lose their way when it comes to expressing themselves through their outfits. Practical clothing is OK but can make us look like clones when we already feel we are losing a sense of self when we are constantly referred to as “Alex’s mum” rather than by our own name. After years in the style wasteland, looking at timeless trends can spark a new enthusiasm for rocking our own look.

There are classic looks that come back time and time again. How many of us wish we had kept a favourite jacket that went out of fashion but is now back on the catwalk?

My favourite trend of all is from the 50s because I think this would have suited my figure best accentuating the waist and then flaring out so cover any little tummy bump I might be sporting. The skirts were calf-length so you did not risk revealing too much and colours were bright and sassy. Perfect!

I love the flapper girl look on other people celebrating the best of the 20s but it is not for me. I much prefer to have sleeves in dresses and I am not sure I am fit enough to pull of the Charleston.

The 60s were OK and saw mini skirts which are definitely not my choice and also the introduction of the little black dress. Whist I accept a little black dress can be useful on so many occasions,  I always think it is best jazzed up a bit with accessories to add a little colour or bling.

I was a child in the 70s and I don’t think we ever really appreciate the fashion trends from when we are children as we probably associate them with our mothers. So you can keep your flared jeans thank you.

In the 80s I was a teenager and we honestly thought at that point that as women we would be able to have it all. Deluded or what? Power-dressing was in with big shoulder pads. I liked them if they were sewn in properly. I also remember loving Laura Ashley and Monsoon in this period.

By the 90s I was working so my emphasis was on keeping smart and professional looking. Double denim passed me by and I lost interest in pop music as this point too.

I became a mum in 2000 and so boho chic passed me by entirely as I mopped up baby sick and kept house.

Have you seen the fun infographic from Chums recently? What timeless trends mean the most to you?


Cuddle Fairy

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The Pramshed

My favourite holiday moments are important to me as they always took place with family. My Dad was of the view holidays mattered massively and that other things could wait but the making of memories could not. I think he was very wise in knowing that travel helps us to relax and broadens the mind too.

I quite fancy repeating some of my favourite holiday moments with my children and have found a cheaper deal here for Malta and as I always watch the pennies that is great to know.

I still remember Dad taking us off to Malta when I was little. I remember great architecture, friendly people and so much laughter with my brothers and uncle as well as my parents. One particular moment was throwing a bucket of cold water over my brother on the beach. Let’s just say he was not impressed as he was in his early twenties and trying to look cool. Dad shared great stories from his days in the Navy during the war when he was stationed there so could spend time sunbathing after his duties were completed for the day.

When I was around 10 years of age, we started sharing holidays with my cousin Sean and Auntie Margaret and Uncle Cyril. They were real fans of Spain so we went to various resorts. I remember a waiter singing one night and my Auntie saying he was singing to her whilst my Mum rolled her eyes at her deluded sister. Dad would take us out to events such a medieval banquets and Mum so enjoyed our visit to Granada with her passionate love of history.

We once spent a Christmas in Germany on the Rhine. Mum and Dad were sad they could not share some favourite places with me due to severe flooding. Of course, I enjoyed the whole drama of the flooding and it was different to have Christmas lunch in Germany. Mum was ill one day and so Dad took us on a brilliant wine-tasting day with Santa on the train on the way there and back.

I have a passionate love for France due to really special holidays with my parents travelling down to the Vendee and then staying in a villa there for the week and then travelling back to explore different regions of France. I remember friendly people and fine food and drink with huge langoustines on the Loire and my Mum’s favourite Cointreau on the rocks.

Later, when I was panicking at the idea of going to Cambridge University, my brother took me to different areas of France including the Camargue to see the ponies and the lovely Ceret near the Pyrenees. I thought this was like paradise with cherry crepes and cider in the little square whilst youths buzzed around on mopeds turning the head of my 17 year old self. The place we stayed had a lovely balcony where you could watch the most amazing sunsets. Very happy times!

So there you have a selection of my favourite holiday moments and I would love to hear about yours.



Cuddle Fairy

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