1732 posts Posts by Jayne

How to Choose the Right Shoes for Every Occasion

When money is tight, a woman may find she cannot purchase multiple pairs of shoes at one time. She must choose only one or two styles and make do with them until the budget frees up. Fortunately, there are certain types of shoes that are very versatile and can be worn for different types of events. What types of shoes should a woman choose for every occasion? 

Flats

A good pair of flats is ideal for those days when a woman doesn’t have time to change between the office and her evening plans. By selecting a pair of flats, she can ensure her feet don’t hurt from the shoes and she can do more throughout the day. Some women choose to invest in pumps for this purpose, but others find they prefer a pair of oxfords. As there are so many styles to choose from, every woman should be able to find at least one pair of flats she loves at fillyflair.com

Casual Shoes

Every woman, even those who don’t regularly take part in sports, needs a good pair of casual shoes. While many of these shoes are designed for a specific sport, others are offered that can be used for multiple purposes. Pull these shoes out for a day at the mall when a great deal of walking will be done or for those times when the kids have an outdoor activity and mom wants to ensure she can keep up. This doesn’t mean a woman must go with a pair of athletic shoes, however. Select a pair of canvas tennis shoes or those that can be slipped on and off with ease. These are typically more than enough for outings such as these. 

Weather-Appropriate Footwear

Ladies often overlook weather-appropriate footwear when they go to purchase new shoes. Doing so is a mistake, as footwear manufacturers now understand a woman wants to be fashionable regardless of what the weather is like. Rain boots, snow boots, and more are now more stylish than ever before, and every female should have at least one pair of rain or snow boots in her closet. 

Sliders

For those times when convenience is the top priority, sliders are great to have. Simply slide the foot into the shoe and head out the door. Just because these shoes are comfortable and easy to wear doesn’t mean they can’t be stylish as well. Be sure to try on a number of pairs to find the shoe that is most comfortable and can be worn with a wide variety of outfits. Women who take the time to do so find they get more use out of the sliders and enjoy them more. 

Sandals With Heels

Every woman should own at least one pair of sandals with heels, preferably more. This type of shoe is perfect for formal occasions and can be worn to work with ease. A black pair is ideal for either situation, and a white pair can be obtained for weddings and other events during the summer months. The same is true of a nude pair of sandals with heels. The key is to choose a pair with a small heel, approximately one or two inches, as this makes the shoe more versatile. 

Invest in high-quality shoes and feel the difference. Women tend to spend a great deal of time on their feet and need to ensure the right shoes are selected for the occasion. Make use of the above suggestions and you’ll find you always have the right footwear regardless of what is on your schedule. 

9 Reasons to Visit the Algarve

You probably already know that the Algarve region of Portugal is a hugely popular holiday destination with travellers from all over the world flocking to this area yearly. What you may not be quite so clear on is why, exactly, is it such a favourite with so many different types of travellers? It probably has a lot to do with the fact that the area enjoys year-round sunshine and average temperatures between 20ºC and 30ºC. The natural white sand beaches lapped by warm, crystal blue waters are also a possible factor, or it could be something to do with the many vibrant towns and cities waiting to welcome you.

If you’re still not convinced that the Algarve is the destination for you, here are nine more which might just persuade you to find out for yourself what all the fuss is about.

  1. Parque Natural de Ria Formosa

The Parque Natural de Ria Formosa is in the south and sits between the towns of Vale do Lobo and Manta Rota. Since 1987, it has been a protected area of 18,000 hectares of untouched marshlands, lagoons and lakes which are bursting with unique wildlife and rare birds as well as plants, trees and flowers. It’s a wonderful attraction for tourists which you can explore via a guided walk, a boat trip, a bike ride or even in a kayak.

  1. Vilamoura

The town and resort of Vilamoura is often referred to as ‘the Monaco of Portugal’ thanks to its sophisticated and vibrant atmosphere which is perfect for luxury getaways. The town is buzzing with energy, providing visitors with world-class restaurants, stylish bars, four excellent golf courses, beautiful beaches, exciting watersports, casino and, of course, the incredible marina which is home to jaw-dropping yachts. It’s also not unheard of to be able to indulge in a bit of celebrity spotting in this part of the Algarve. If you’re looking for a place to experience the best of the best, James Villas offer a wide range of luxury villas in Vilamoura.

  1. Faro

Faro is one of the most popular destinations for sun-worshippers as it’s renowned for the high levels of sunshine it experiences all year round. It’s also a great place to see some Moorish and colonial architecture and fascinating museums and historical buildings such as the Nossa Senhora da Assuncão Convent.

  1. Tavira

The picturesque town of Tavira is about 30km east from Faro and one of only a handful of towns which retains much of its original architecture. The whitewashed buildings and authentic roofs and chimneys are a beautiful sight to behold, and it is home to 28 churches and chapels, more than any other town in the Algarve. It also includes a Roman bridge which provides breath-taking views across the Gilão river. Make sure you take the time to sample the marzipan pastries, fig pastries, almond paste and caramel pastries from Tavira.

  1. Castro Marim

The town of Castro Marim has three beaches, all of which feature soft golden sands and warm turquoise waters. You’ll also find the river Guardania which is lined with banks of vegetable gardens and orchards as well as rolling hills of countryside and wildflowers.

  1. Carvoeiro

In the centre of the Algarve in the Lagoa region, you can find the coastal fishing village of Carvoeiro. It’s a very popular and lively hub for tourists for several reasons, but the main attractions are the wide variety of quality bars and restaurants, free live entertainment and the sheltered beach which is ideal for snorkelling.

  1. Monchique

The mountain village of Monchique is near Faro and is renowned for its natural thermal spa which has been drawing in visitors since the age of the Romans. The hot sulphur springs and baths amongst the woods of the Serra de Monchique mountain range.

  1. Praia de Odeceixe

If you’re looking for a quiet beach which offers fantastic surfing at any time of year, Praia de Odeceixe is the place to be. It’s a crescent-shaped and sheltered beach in the south which is rarely busy even in high season.

  1. Albufeira

Albufeira is one of the leading resorts in the Algarve which offers tourists everything they could ask for from a holiday destination. Although a peaceful fishing village by day there are plenty of bars and restaurants which create a vibrant nightlife. It is particularly well known for the beaches which include Oura, Gale, Vigia, Baleeira, Maria Luísa, Falésia and Olhos de Água. Albufeira is also home to some of the area’s best golf courses including Balaia Golf Village, Pine Cliffs and Salgados.

What to Wear to a Summer Wedding in 2019

Traditionally speaking, there have always been ‘rules’ about what you can and can’t wear to a wedding. However, as things move on, people are becoming more and more relaxed about wedding guest attire and it sometimes feels as though the rules have changed completely. With that in mind, we thought we’d take a look at five rules which have changed over the years to help you plan your summer wedding outfit for 2019.

White is Okay…SOMETIMES!

In the last few years, I’ve noticed a massive change in attitude towards wedding guests wearing white. In the past, it would have been a MASSIVE no-no to turn up to a wedding dressed in white, but it’s becoming far more common. My one piece of advice if you’ve found a white dress you like is to run it past the bride first, to see if she minds and brace yourself for a no with a back-up plan outfit. Radley have handbags in a whole range of colours which would be an amazing accompaniment for any wedding outfit.

Men Don’t Always Need a Full Suit

If you’re going to only the evening portion of a summer wedding, it’s perfectly acceptable to wear a shirt and trousers but no jacket, and many male summer wedding guests will even forego the tie, in favour of an open neck. If you’re unsure, check the dress code with the bride and groom.

Think About Your Feet

If you’re a guest for the whole day, you’re going to be spending a LOT of time on your feet, so thinking about your shoes is essential. If you’re the sort of person who can wear skyscraper heels all day long, you’re good to go, however if you’re not massively comfortable in heels, look at different options such as wedges or kitten heels. Even flats are pretty acceptable these days!

Black is Back

As with white being a bit of a no-no, black was also considered taboo to wear to weddings, perhaps because of the funereal connection. However, these days, people wear black to weddings quite often. It’s still best not to wear ONLY black, but breaking it up with coloured pattern makes it perfectly suitable.

Not Too Much Flesh

One rule which hasn’t changed too much is that wedding outfits should be a little bit demure. Dresses which are very low cut or very short will probably make you stand out like a sore thumb – think about showing either legs OR cleavage, but definitely not both!

Have you got any great tips for choosing a wedding outfit? Please leave me a comment below.

Four Easy Ways To Cut Down Your Spending

Sometimes when you look at your bank account the only thing you can really feel is a sinking sense of despair. It’s hard to know where all your money somehow vanishes to over the course of the month – but it doesn’t have to be hard when you start trying to save a little more cash. Here are some tips on how you can make your bank account look a little more cheerful by cutting back on your spending.

Go Cash Only

If you have a habit of using your credit card a lot without thinking about it, go cash only. It’s easy to allow small card purchases to add up over time – a coffee here, a shirt there – and you may be spending a lot more than you realise you are. If you get out a certain amount of cash every day, you will be more aware of what you’re spending and it will be a lot easier to stick to your budget.

Source

Start Meal Planning

Everyone’s done it: there’s no food in the house so you go out to dinner or you order a takeaway. The only problem is that they are a lot more expensive than what you could make at home, and also often a lot less healthy. At the start of the week, make sure that you begin to plan out your meals so that you know what you’re eating on what day. This will help you when it comes to buying groceries, and you also won’t have to wrestle with trying to decide what to cook for dinner when you get home from work.


Source

Invest In A New Car

It’s a great idea to invest in a new car. If you have a large car that uses a lot of fuel, consider how much you really need that – not only is it hugely expensive to run, but it isn’t great for the environment. Although investing in a new car might seem like a big expense, in the long run it will definitely be worth it. You could also think about getting a used car instead of a new car from somewhere like https://www.hiltoncarsupermarket.co.uk/locations/london – not only do they offer warranties which individual private sellers won’t, but you’ll also notice that your insurance costs will be lower and as the car will be worth less, you may even be able to pay in cash.

Source

 

Start To Use Your Local Library

Finally, make sure that you start to use your local library. Not only is it free to borrow books so you don’t have to spend a lot of money buying them, but there will be a lot more services there than you realised. There may be storytime sessions for your toddlers, reading challenges for your older kids over the summer, computer sessions for older people that you could encourage your parents or grandparents to attend – and you will also be able to borrow CDs, audiobooks and e-books, as well as making use of newspaper and magazine subscriptions that your library has. 

 

It doesn’t have to be hard to save money – these tips will add to your life in more ways than your bank account!

The Advantages of Leasing a Family Car

The Advantages of Leasing a Family CarIf you’re in the market for a new vehicle, you may be thinking about buying one, either old or new. There are, however, a lot of reasons to consider leasing a car, instead of owning one outright. Here, we look at five reasons for leasing a car and why it could be the best decision for your family:

Spec Upgrade

Most people who lease a car find that they’re able to afford a much better model than they would if they were buying the car outright.  your monthly payments are typically lower compared with other forms of finance, so you can lease a better make, trim or option. Take a look at Blue Chilli Car Leasing Deals. 

Peace of Mind

With a lease car, you’re going to be driving a brand new car, rather than one which is older. This means that you’re less likely to have breakdowns or issues which cause the car to be unreliable, so you’ll have peace of mind that you’re driving your family around in something to rely on.

No MOT

Because lease cars are usually brand new, they also won’t need an MOT. In fact, new cars don’t need an MOT until they’re three years old, so if you choose continue to upgrade your vehicle after a year or two, you’ll never need to deal with nail-biting MOTs again!

Easy Monthly Budgeting

Apart from fuel and insurance, when you lease a car you know exactly what motoring is going to cost you because your expenses are rolled into one – monthly payments, Road Fund licence and breakdown cover. And if you include a maintenance package, your ability to budget becomes even stronger

Value

When you purchase a new car, the value depreciates the second you drive it off of the dealers forecourt, but when you lease a car this is no longer a worry. You don’t have to worry about fluctuations in the car’s trade-in value or go through the hassle of selling it when it’s time to move on.

Tech to Make Running a Small Business Easier

Whether you’re working from home as a one man band, setting up a side hustle in your spare time, or run a business which employs lots of people, there are certain bits of tech which can really make your life easier. We’ve put together a list of the top five tech items you can buy which will help to take your business to the next level:

A Good Camera

This won’t apply to all small business, but if you’re selling products or run a business which depends upon you have decent images to display then a good camera should be one of your main investments. If you don;t have thousands to spend but still want a high-end set up, look online for second hand stuff – lots of people plunge hundreds and even thousands of pounds on photography equipment, only to realise they never use it, and then sell it on for way under the new price.

Packing Machines

If your business requires you to package something, then investing in a packing machine from C Pack Ltd will save you time and money in the long run. They have machines which can package just about anything and they’re guaranteed to do it quicker and with less error than a human! They’ll even build a custom packing machine for your exact requirements.

Cloud Services

The old fashioned way of doing things still clings on in some respects, with many people struggling to trust Cloud services because they’re just not as tangible as paper files or a physical hard drive. However, Cloud services are actually the safer and more reliable way to store your data and you’re less likely to suffer a loss with one of these services.

Chatbots

You might see chatbots as something way out of your business’ league, or as something that’s just a bit too futuristic for your needs, but using chatbot software to deal with some of your communications can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

Security

Ransomware has become a billion-dollar business and that makes sense: it’s finally a way for clever hackers to actually make money with their malware. We read about the stories of hotels, transit systems and city governments brought to their knees by security breaches like this, but we don’t hear of the thousands of small businesses that are also affected. To protect yourself you need to use a good cloud backup service, keep your operating systems updated and use a good security application in your company.

How to Add a Touch of Luxury to Your Home

Photo by Sidekix Media on Unsplash

With house prices on the rise and wages seemingly stagnating, more people than ever are choosing to renovate and extend their current properties, rather than moving elsewhere. There’s scope to add value to your home when making big changes and a lot of this potential lies in the quality of the finish, so with that in mind, we thought we’d talk to you about 5 ways to add a luxury feel to your home:

Bathrooms

Anyone can go and buy a budget bathroom from a massive store and give their washroom a nicer feel, but the luxury possibilities of a bathroom are one of the biggest draws for a buyer. Lots of people will consider buying a house with terrible decor everywhere else, as long as the bathroom has amazing fittings. Insignia Steam Showers are one example of high-end fixtures that will really add value to your home.

Curtains

Cheap window coverings might do for a while, but thick, luxurious drapes will make your home feel a million bucks. Opt for soft colours like light grey or mink, which are neutral but elegant and this will give every room the feel of a high-class hotel room.

Ornaments NOT Clutter

While we aren’t suggesting minimalism for your home (it’s not hugely practical for families, is it?), decluttering your rooms and then dressing them with carefully chosen ornaments and other dressings will help to give your house a “put together” feel, rather than making people feel like they’ve walked into a jumble sale!

Kitchen

A kitchen is another huge expense, but you don’t have to rip it out and start again to give your kitchen an update. My gorgeous friend Jen from Love Chic Living, and person I turn to for all of my interiors inspiration, actually painted her kitchen units and replaced her tiles and you wouldn’t believe that it’s even the same kitchen. Read her post to see the completed makeover.

Plants

Plants…well cared for plants, make a room look great. However, if you’re the sort of person who could kill the hardiest cactus from 100 paces, why not opt for some fake foliage? There are some incredibly real-looking fake plants out there these days, and apart from a little flick over with a duster every now and then, you don’t need to do a thing to care for them.

How To Decide If You Can Afford a New Car

Source

Many experts believe that there is no worse investment than buying a new car. It can be seen as a huge waste of money and a piece of metal that will depreciate in value the second you drive it off the forecourt. But you may have decided that buying new instead of second hand is best for you and your family. So here are some things to consider when deciding if you can afford to buy a new car. 

Maybe you dread the thought of constant repairs or want a car that is in line with today’s emissions and safety technology. Or maybe you just love that new car smell. There really are many different possibilities. But the big question to ask yourself is- can you really afford it? 

Put Down a Downpayment 

If you don’t have the funds to buy your chosen car outright, you’ll need to put down a little bit of cash to secure the deal. Companies such as Really Easy Car Credit could help you get the amount that you need. The ideal amount to put down is approximately 20%. Sit down and do the figures and see if you can afford it. 

Take a four-year loan

The most common length of loan for a car or other auto vehicle is approximately six years. However this could prove a bit too long. Consider taking a loan of around four years. It a good way to minimise the interest and ensure you’re not paying more than you have to. It also a good way to determine what you can afford. If you can’t meet the requirements for a loan payments of four years, it’s more than likely that you can’t afford the car in the long term. 

Only use 10 percent of your income

One final point is to ensure that you’re only using 10 percent at most of your monthly income towards your car payments. Any more than that and you can see yourself drifting into the red financially. Account for everything, including fuel. Car insurance, MOT fees and even parking tickets in this amount.

Stay within these boundaries and you’re looking at being able to realistically afford the car that you want. 

 

Five Ways You Could Update the Employee-of-the-Month Awards

Photo by Ashton Mullins on Unsplash

Employee motivation is very important when it comes to managing and operating any sort of business. No firm or company has ever succeeded without having its employees coming together and working towards a single aim as a team. A lot of psychologists and scientists have conducted research and have tried to find out what exactly motivates employees at the workplace. There are different theories which can be applied to businesses today. Effectiveness and efficiency are only attained if the right staff with the right skill set is employed. One way to boost employee morale is to give employees rewards based on their performance and achievements. Employees can be rewarded with “Employee of the Month” awards. Recognition of staff has proven to increase their productivity by fifty percent and hence the overall performance of the business by twenty percent. Here are five ways you could update and freshen up the employee-of-the-month awards:

1) Customer Service Award

Firms can give their valuable employees awards for providing quality service to customers. There are different ways to measure which employee delivers what to his or her customers. Customers can give feedback and reviews and are often requested to state the name of the staff member that they dealt with. For example, in restaurants, customers are given feedback cards to leave comments on. The name of the waiter has to be mentioned so that the managers can keep a check on his or her performance. Companies often come up with a variety of names for such awards. Employees might be given beautiful crystal awards which have all the details mentioned on them, such as the name of the employee, the date the award was given on, and the reason it was given. Visit edco.com to have a look at the perfect crystal awards you could hand over to your valuable employees.

2) The Light of the Office Award

It is very common of companies to give awards to their employees on the basis of their achievements. All the awards are related to work. This can be a little stressful at times as employees may start to compete with each other in order to get the award. Managers can incorporate awards for achievements other than work. For example, “The Light of the Office Award” can be given to those who are always smiling even under stressful circumstances. Such awards can make the overall workplace environment happier.

3) Choose the Right Type of Award

Appreciating employees for their work and contributions to the overall performance of the business is very important. With this, the way you present the award also matters. Posting the employee of the year award to the employee’s home will not help the employee achieve any sense of achievement. The owners must hand the awards to employees personally on formal ceremonies. Choosing the appropriate award is very important. There are three main types which include glass awards, crystal awards, and large cup trophies. Read Benefits of High-End Corporate Awards to find out which one out of these is appropriate for when.

4) Recognition Plaques

Employees can also be awarded engraved plaques in order to honor them for reaching specific targets and for producing quality results. Recognition plaques can serve as instruments of positive reinforcement. Employees will gradually be conditioned to work at their full potential as they would start to expect different types of awards for their performance and achievements.

5) Instant Recognition and Lapel Pins

It is very important to understand who deserves what at work. Awards would mean nothing if they are not provided instantly. Measuring employee performance is very important and businesses often have teams who are constantly monitoring employee performance. Well, deserving employees can be awarded lapel pins. So the “Employee of the Month” award can be worn daily to work in the form of a badge. Lapel pins can help motivate employees a lot as they will enable workers to feel proud of themselves.

The workplace is changing and work for employees has started to mean much more than just a means of earning money. Employees want a healthy environment in their workplace. Demotivated employees harm an organization, therefore, it is very important to motivate them. Giving them awards is merely one way to do it.

How to Reduce the Stresses of Moving, by a Serial Mover

How to Reduce the Stresses of Moving, by a Serial MoverThe average person has moved house 5 times in their life, which means that Husband and I are WELL above average – I’m currently in house number 14 and I think Husband is around the same! If moving this many times has taught us anything, it’s that there are a few things that you can do to reduce the stress of moving house. Happy Beds recently conducted a survey of 2,000 people from across the country to find out how buying and selling has affected their kip and discover what moving issues are keeping them up at night.

Mick Fallon from Howells Solicitors has said that ‘the secret to minimising stress when moving home is to make the process as simple and straightforward as possible.”

The top reasons given for loss of sleep and moving stresses are damaged furniture, scratched walls and not being able to fit their furniture through doorways. Here are a few things that we do to reduce stress:

Keep a Box of Essentials

There’s nothing worse than getting everything moved in and realising you’ve got to dive through 20 boxes to find the kettle or your toothbrush! Think about the things you’ll DEFINITELY need once you’re in and keep them all to one side. Being able to enjoy a cuppa after a long and stressful day is worth it’s weight in gold.

Get Help

Husband and I have done so many moves and so many combinations of how we’ve moved, from packing everything ourselves and driving the van, to hiring a company to do all the driving for us, and there’s absolutely NO doubt that delegating as much as you can makes the process less stressful. If you’re lucky enough to have family and friends nearby who can help, try to draught as many as them in as possible to help, and if you can afford to hire a moving company to do it all for you, DO IT!

Pack Snacks!

Moving house is tiring work and by the end of the day, you’ll probably be starving, but not really in a position to start cooking. Pack a bag of snacks containing things like bottles of water, Pot Noodles, packs of dried fruit and other non-perishable stuff that doesn’t need to be refrigerated or require cooking. If you were feeling particularly hungry, you could also slip a couple of takeaway menus in the bag so that you can just order something for yourselves!

Declutter in Advance

Clearing your home of any old, unwanted or unnecessary items before your move can save you time and stress, but it can also save you money! By donating, recycling or throwing away things you don’t need, you’re cutting down on the amount of stuff you need to move. The less stuff you have, the fewer hours you need your removals team for.