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Staying Toasty Over the Winter

Photo by Sergei Solo on Unsplash

Yes, it’s on the way, alright! The mornings have a definite chill to them and the leaves are turning a lovely shade of russet. Aesthetics aside, the thermometer will start to head downwards and you’ll be eyeing up thick jumpers in shop windows. So, when the cold season comes around for real, should you pick up that thick jumper or turn the thermostat up?

That full tank, courtesy of Supersaveroil.ie, came pretty cheap over the summer, but you shouldn’t be so smug about it – you have to make it last until March! Here’s some good ideas to help you to do just that.

Add some new insulation

You could lose up to 60% of your hard-earned heat via the roof and walls of your home, so they both need to be insulated. You’ll need to use at least 10” of insulation material in the loft and you should examine your windows to look for – and fill in – any cracks.

Lower the heating by at least a degree

Just a degree lower can reduce your fuel oil usage by 10% and you shouldn’t even notice this, especially if you’ve used some insulation and less heat is escaping.

You can also start turning off your radiators 15 minutes or so before you go to bed. They’ll still be warm for a while and by the time they’ve cooled off you’ll be fast asleep with your hot water bottle!

Bleed all the radiators

You should do this at least once a year. Radiators develop air pockets and this prevents them from working properly – you’ll have to turn up the heating to get the benefit. Try to bleed them two or three times a year and especially before winter sets in.

Go retro

A great way to get the most out of your heat is to place old-fashioned insulation panels behind all your radiators. These panels look like stiff metallic bubblewrap and what they do is reflect heat back into your rooms, as otherwise it’d seep into the walls and simply get lost.

Try to service your boiler twice a year

Boilers are very complicated machines – they can develop airlocks, let in water, accumulate soot and sometimes, manage a combination of all three! Any one of these problems can reduce your boiler’s efficiency by up to 8%, so effectively, you’re wasting 8% of your fuel.

You should have a service at the end of spring and at the beginning of winter, ideally. However, if you can only manage one service, the autumn one is the one to book so you can identify and sort out problems before you’re left with no heating on the coldest day of the year.

Keep your supply safe

Fuel poverty is a problem in Ireland, with around 400,000 households spending more than 10% of their annual incomes on heating their homes. This has the knock-on effect of making fuel theft more common, so you’ll need locks on your tank at the very least. You should also keep your tank as hidden from view as possible and use motion-sensitive lights and alarms. You can also install tank sensors that alert you on your phone if oil levels suddenly drop.

Fashion and Style

Cosy Autumn Fashion & Celebs Who Are Rocking It

Although Summer is by far my favourite season, one thing I love about Autumn and Winter is the fashion. Cosy knitted jumpers, jeans and boots are basically my winter uniform, and I’m also a huge fan of oversized knitted dresses which I can team with tights and boots too. I spend a lot of time in and out of the car on a normal day, doing school and nursery runs, gym drop-offs, shopping and all the other errands I run during the day so I tend to wear a padded gilet rather than a full coat as it’s more comfy to drive in and layering high-quality knitwear underneath is a must for keeping my arms warm!

I was thinking about all the celebrity looks that I love for the AW17 season (as well as the state of fashion executive recruitment in 2018) and I thought I’d share a few of them with you for your own inspiration:

Emma StoneEmma Stone Looking Cosy

I’m a huge fan of Emma Stone’s style – she keeps things chic and simple, choosing a jumper with a bold asymmetric print and teams with classic blue jeans and black ankle boots. The camel coat looks amazing on her, especially with her colouring, and the whole outfit looks casual and cosy without sacrificing style.

Katy HolmesKaty Holmes Looking Cosy

Katy Holmes has always had what I would describe as a proper ‘grown up’ sense of style. Her clothes look practical and cosy (apart from the shoes – the tops of my feet feel cold just looking at her!) and on anyone else they might look pretty basic but somehow she makes them pop. I love the combination of knitwear with a leather jacket for the combinations of fabrics and textures.

Lily CollinsLily Collins Looking Cosy

Lily Collins is basically wearing what I spend most of winter and autumn in, here! Large chunky jumpers, skinny jeans and slouchy boots – it’s a personal fave which can be switched up by choosing different colours or difference types of knitwear. Lily has kept it simple, but I also find adding a necklace or bracelets takes the look to the next level.

Olivia PalermoOlivia Palermo Looking Cosy

Given the fact that I was a HUGE fan of The Hills and was OBVIOUSLY #TeamLauren, I find it hard giving props to Olivia Palermo as we ALLLL know what a cow she was to our beloved Lauren, but there’s no denying that she has an incredible sense of style. She always looks sleek and ‘put together’, even when rocking a winter outfit and I absolutely love the button detailing on her military-style trousers, adding a bit of bling to an otherwise low-key look.The addition of the faux fur proves you don’t have to sacrifice style to be cosy.

Rosie Huntington-WhiteleyRosie Huntington-Whiteley Looking Cosy

I’m a HUUUGE fan of greys and monochrome looks at the moment, grey is basically MY colour (is it even a colour, though?) so this outfit is really appealing to me. I love the fact that Rosie’s sleeves are long and oversized, letting them peek out of the bottom of her coats sleeves and ripped black jeans are LIFE.

Which celebrity’s style are you loving at the moment? Leave me a comment below!

 

Fashion and Style

Hot Items to Wear this Fall

The leaves are turning, the weather’s cooler, and it’s time to break out the sweaters. This season, don’t wear the same stuffy pullovers that have collected moth holes over the last year. It’s time to update your wardrobe with this season’s latest trends. Designers combined comfort and cool this year with a diverse array of textures, silhouettes, and colors. Whether you want overhaul your whole look or you want to add a few statement pieces, these are the latest trends in fall fashion.

Fall Florals

Florals aren’t just for spring this year. From scarlet roses to purple chrysanthemums, this season’s florals come in dark, broody, and romantic colors. Rich hues and jewel tones blossomed over the runways and onto dresses, skirts, blouses, coats, and shoes. They’re budding on every piece of clothing as designers turn to nature for inspiration. Give your usual look a twist with a floral-embroidered leather jacket.

Boots of All Shapes

Boots are a staple for any fall and winter wardrobe. This season’s boots come in all shapes, styles, and colors. From slim over-the-knee boots to discrete ankle boots, you can find a pair for any look. Leather isn’t the only kind of boot to wear this year. Try suede, silk, velvet, embroidered, and knit fabrics this season.

Old West

This rustic style is more than just cowboy boots and daisy dukes. This style harkens to the 1970’s with tweed coats, turquoise jewelry, and big-buckled belts. Ditch the boho-chic look in favor this type of earthy style. The casual-cool look of corduroy, cowhide, and patchwork fabrics make this look as retro as it is whimsical. Whether you’re a southern belle or an urban cowgirl, a few rustic pieces will give your style a sentimental touch. You can shop in-store or find real classics online on Ebay and Etsy.

A Coat of Many Colors

Forgo the traditional pea coat for bold faux furs and shoulder pads. Statement coats are a must-have this season, and there’s one to suit every style. Pop a velvet blazer over a simple tee, or throw on an embroidered jean jacket over a silk dress. Be bold with vibrant faux furs or go classic with textured tweed. Pick out just one statement coat you can wear with almost anything, any time.

Embroidery

Embroidery was a huge trend in the spring, and it’s found its way into the fall. Embroidery is the delicate, feminine contrast to the structured, ultra-modern looks that also are also in style this season. Find embroidery on everything, including coats, jeans, blouses, skirts, and shoes. Find blooms, birds, butterflies, and more stitched into this season’s clothes.

Velvet

Velvet is a popular fabric this season. It has a beautiful texture that you can find in hats, scarves, coats, dresses, and more. Keep a velvet dress from Lulu’s in your closet that you can wear on a night out, whether it’s for date night or cocktails with the girls.

The Tuxedo

Add a masculine touch to your look with a simple tuxedo jacket. The tuxedo jacket is the perfect addition to your wardrobe that you can wear for any casual to semi-formal event. Dress it down with a pair of denim jeans or dress it up with wide-legged trousers.

Pajamas

Yes, it’s now socially acceptable to wear your pajamas outdoors. Leave the Juicy Couture sweats at home and opt for silky, luxurious pajamas. Silk button-down pajama shirts and matching trousers keep you comfy, and you can dress it up with a pair of heels or dress it down with velvet loafers. You can also mix and match your favorite pajama shirt with a pair of jeans for a cool-girl look.

Statement Jewelry

Upgrade your jeans and t-shirt with bold accessories. Earrings dangle at shoulder-length, hats come in all shapes, and rectangle sunglasses have made a comeback. Find your perfect statement watch in a variety of styles, from rose gold chains to classic leather and chronograph watches. Get creative with your accessories, and turn your outfit from drab to fab.

Whether you want to add a few modern pieces to your wardrobe or you want stand out in a crowd, you’ll turn heads with this season’s fashions.

Fashion and Style

Fat Face Women’s Gilet Review

I love being a blogger, especially when great opportunities come my way, or a company asks me if I’d like to try their product. What is sometimes even nicer is when something turns up in the post from a company which is a complete surprise, which is exactly what happened to me last week. I got a knock on the door and a very nice courier handed me a parcel from Fat Face, the company who provided me with an outfit for BritMums Live. I tore into it and found this inside:

 

Fat Face Amy Gilet

 

(click on the image to be taken to the website)

This is the Amy Gilet, a hooded, sleeveless body warmer (£65.00) which is perfect for the Autumn months.

I’ve worn the gilet for the school run pretty much every day for the last week and a bit and I love how warm and cosy it is, whilst letting me have a decent range of movement with my arms. The fur trim around the hood is a lovely detail and the sheepskin lining inside the body of the gilet is so soft and snug. I’m a real lover of snuggly winter-wear and this really fits the bill.

I’ve mostly been wearing it with jeans or combats, with a hoody, concealed carry vest, or long sleeved t-shirt – it’s great to be able to layer up or down, depending on the weather. The outer is shower-resistant and the gilet is filled with duck down and feather. I think it’s one of the most luxurious items I’ve ever owned, but it’s really wearable and practical at the same time.

Thanks so much to Fat Face for sending me the gilet; I feel like I’ve already had tons of wear out of it and I’m looking forward to getting even more use over the coming months. It’s available in different colours, just click on the picture to head over to the website and take a look.

Review

UGG Slippers – Like a (H)Ugg for Your Feet

Did you see what I did there?! FNAR FNAR! 

Husband and I have a long running disagreement. He’s always telling me that I should buy clothes which are slightly more expensive and better quality and would therefore last longer. I tell him that I like the tremendous sense of value I get when I go into a cheap shop and buy 5 t-shirts, two pairs of trousers, a cardigan and a pair of pyjamas, all for the price of one pair of Levis. And besides, with the amount of ketchup I spill down my front, my clothes end up stained before they wear out properly anyway, so it matters not whether they’re cheap or not, the fact is; I’m a sloppy moo.

By this token, if you’d asked me if I’d ever spend £100 on a pair of slippers, I’d probably tell you to jog on…until today. For today is the day that these arrived:

My beautiful new UGG slippers. Apologies for the slightly awkwardly shot photo, but I had trouble taking it on account of the fact that I’m NEVER TAKING THESE OFF. When the box arrived, I opened it up and was astounded by the plushness (yes, that IS a word…honest) of the inners, it didn’t look like my feet would even fit inside, but I removed the cardboard and slipped them on. OH MAMA. I can honestly say that these are the most comfortable thing I’ve ever put my feet inside.

They couldn’t have turned up at a better time either, we’ve had the heating off for a few days as Sausage’s temperature has been so high and I’m a cold-body at the best of times, so my feet were starting to feel like little icebergs. Not any more. Such cosiness they’ve never known! They look absolutely gorgeous too, the ones I’m wearing in the picture above are also available in a purpley colour, which are totally lush.

 I know a lot of people will reel at the idea of spending £100 on a pair of slippers but I commented to someone on Twitter that I can imagine these slippers lasting about 10 years, so when you think of them as an investment like that, £100 isn’t really that much. Sure, I got these for free to review, but now I know the quality of them I can honestly say that even I would save up the money and buy myself a pair of these anyway.

If you have a woman in your life who you love, or even mildly like, and want an idea of what to get her for Chrimbo, get her a pair of these. Trust me, she’ll thank you for it!

(I also love the fact that they’re currently selling pink, limited edition moccasins to raise money for Breast Cancer charity The Haven with £10 from every pair sold being donated.)