Affordable designer sunglasses – Smart Buy Glasses

It’s typical, isn’t it? During our last week at school, on the Thursday, temperatures hit 36°C. The UK was sweltering, it was our last day of school and nobody knew what to do with themselves. Unbearably hot. The tiniest movement I made caused yet another onslaught of abundant perspiration. On the other hand, it was the perfect weather for posing in new sunglasses but I couldn’t as I was at school.

Cue the summer holidays – yippee! Only it started to cool down and RAIN! Rain is no good for someone with flash new sunglasses.

For my perfect photo to showcase these wonderful specs, I had ideas of me being down in Thanet, blue skies, blue sea, colourful clothes and drop-dead gorgeous sunglasses with a sultry pose – gazing out to sea maybe, or just posing in front of a colourful background like I see so frequently on Instagram. That sounds perfect, right? Only, the twins are away at Girl Guide camp for the first week and I have spent my time knee-deep in paint and brushes as I tackle Bessie’s room and turn it into a tween den. So, once again, no sunglasses.

Smart Buy Glasses

Why all the fuss about sunglasses you may wonder? Well, Smart Buy Glasses got in contact and asked me to choose a pair of their summer shades to review. I clicked over to the website and proceeded to waste insane amounts of time trawling the pages and pages of designer sunglasses.

They are amazing.

I got a list going where I jotted down my favourites and then started to whittle them down to my very favourites. I think you should take a look yourself to see what I mean.

You’ll notice the sidebar has some handy filters, one being the shape of the glasses, Aviator, rectangle, oversized. If you know what suits you, this is an excellent way to start your search.

If designer labels are your thing you won’t be disappointed, Tom Ford, Prada, Chanel, Stella McCartney and many, many more.

Bvlgari Sunglasses

I made my final choice for these gorgeous ‘Made in Italy’ Bvlgari sunglasses. They are aviator shape and the lens are a really pretty shade. I put my order in and they took no time at all to arrive. I was very impressed with the speed and care of packaging to ensure no damage on route.

The unboxing was an experience in itself. When you choose designer sunglasses you would like to think they live up to the high level we associate them with. Bvlgari did not disappoint; a beautiful branded box containing the original circular design sunglasses holdall (which will look wonderful in my handbag). Inside that, a soft drawstring bag, the colour of the dawn of a beautiful day, containing my designer sunglasses.

The unwrapping of the product was as much to do with the pleasure of owning the glasses. An experience to be savoured. A well thought out process.

So, now I have my beautiful designer sunglasses all I need is the sun to shine and my family to take me to the beach where I can swan about like Lady Muck (as my mother would say).

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you – there are lots of discounts on the site so you too can find a fabulous pair of designer sunglasses that are affordable, go take a look.

Disclosure: I was sent the sunglasses for the purpose of this post, all opinions are my own.

New underwear gives me the feel-good factor

Underwear frequently becomes an afterthought in today’s busy world; so long as it is clean and not falling apart it goes on – day in, day out with very little thought going into what is our most intimate garment.

However, we all know the thrill of opening a bag containing new underwear. It is precious in our hands, made of delicate materials like lace, silk and cotton. It may be plain or patterned, white, black or brightly coloured but the new addition to our daily routine is one of the biggest feel-good factors around.

I have, in the past, made the mistake of keeping beautiful underwear for special occasions – have you ever done that? Years later, I have looked at the pretty pieces (that no longer fit properly) and regretted that decision. It would have been so much better to get full usage out of them!

These days, I am making more of a conscious effort to reduce the amount of clothing I buy and I aim to get maximum usage out of each piece before I decide it has had its day. Even at that point, I will consider if it can be upcycled before throwing it away.

That’s a lot of reasons to make sure when I purchase new underwear, it’s going to get at least the recommended 30 wears before being thrown away.

Playtex is one of the biggest brand names in the lingerie industry and one I remember before I even had my first bra. They are continually keeping up their high standards with beautiful, comfortable and long-lasting garments. Recently, they asked me to review a set for them. I was able to look at their new collection (out now in the shops) and choose something.

As I mentioned earlier, I love new underwear but I recognised I normally go for colours that work under all of my clothes – white, nude or black. I was determined to branch out and try something new so, I went for this beautiful intense blue Flower Elegance set.

They sent through this really useful fitting guide which was so helpful when ordering a set that you need to fit properly. I picked up a few tips which made ordering easier. there’s also this really useful video.

My Playtex set arrived and yes, I did get that happy ‘squeal’ feeling on opening it. I tried it on and it fit perfectly. I wore it to work where, as a Teaching Assistant, I’m on my feet all day; I didn’t know I was wearing it – that’s how comfortable it was!

I have since worn it on plenty of occasions – our Year 6 team end-of-year night out, to the school play to watch Alice and Bessie star in the school performance and even out shopping. I also know that once washed and dried, it appears on the top of my underwear and I shall use it again and again.

I love the black cotton thread running through the blue lace and I adore the lacy edge to the shoulder strap. Should it peep out of my clothing it is incredibly pretty and would only add to the overall look.

Thank you, Playtex not only for gifting me this beautiful set but for giving me the feel-good factor when I am wearing it.

The Flower Elegance bra in Intense Blue is available now at SimplyBe 

Disclosure: I was sent the Flower Elegance set in blue for the purpose of this post.

Apps that Will Help You to Manage Your Money Better

Most of us don’t go anywhere without our smartphones by our sides. Four out of five of Brits own one. We use them in all sorts of ways. But, surprisingly not many of us take full advantage of the apps that help us to manage our money. With that in mind, I have a look at what is available and come up with a list of money-related apps that could make your life easier.

Use an app to help you to invest

If you have your household bills covered and savings for a rainy day and important life events, it may be a good idea to invest some of your spare cash. This investment app will help you to understand the kinds of investments you could get involved with. Armed with that information you can do a bit more research and decide if investing some of your spare cash is a good idea.

Help to stay on budget

Budgeting is something a lot of us are not very good at. If you fall into that category, try the free Mint app. It enables to track and summarise your spending. All of your bank accounts and credit cards can be monitored using it.

There is a budgeting tool built in as well. So, you know whether you can afford to say yes to that night out, at the end of the month.

money cash

Debt payoff app

If you have debts you can still use Mint to help you to stay on track with your repayments and budget around them. But, you may also find it helpful to use a debt payoff app. 

The best ones will help you to work out which is the best way for you to pay off what you owe. Most of them have a countdown feature built-in. Knowing how close you are to being debt free and seeing the days tick down is very encouraging. A lot these debt apps are designed for American consumers, but, you soon get used to their little quirks. Debt Snowball is a particularly good one.

App to help you to save

Saving is a good idea for everyone. The problem is that when you are living on a tight budget, it is not an easy habit to get into. 

If you want to you can download an app that rounds up anything you spend to the nearest pound and sweeps the difference into an investment account. That cash is then used to make micro-investments into the stock market. There are a couple of apps that do this. The most popular of which, for UK residents, is Moneybox. It enables you to save and invest without really thinking about doing so. You need to bear in mind that your capital is at risk when you invest rather than save. But, you can get a good rate of return on the funds you do invest. So, it really is worth checking out this app.

The above are just a few suggestions. There are many more possibilities. So, why not take a look around, download a few and see if it makes a positive difference to your finances.

Disclosure: collaborative post

Mum, can you print off my homework?

When I was a kid, there was no home printer. In fact, printers were only found in offices and used sparingly but today, many homes have a printer and children are used to printing off downloads from the internet, pictures of their favourite stars and of course, homework research.

Having a printer has made life so much easier. We now print off our own boarding cards – though don’t print them on both sides of the paper like I did on our recent trip to Calpe in Spain! Many companies send through a PDF of their terms and conditions which, if you wish, you can print off.

The last things I have printed off have included, I’m a Girly body outlines for the girls to get creative on, the Year 7 curriculum for their new school in September and a Fast 800 recipe that I found online. There are no limits to how useful my printer is to us as a family – Dad likes to print off Google maps when we’re going abroad or if he’s organising a pub crawl in a new area for his Friday Club.

Obviously, there is a cost to having your own printer and I recently bumped into Printerinks for cheap ink cartridges online which impressed me with their range of products and their low prices. It’s good to have a trusted go-to website which you can bookmark for ease and swiftness.

Another great use of a home printer is for photographs. You can now easily print off good quality photos in the comfort of your own home. I find it really handy to print off a copy of an image taken at a family party for my grandmother or my mum to take home with them.

Now, with the girls moving on to secondary school. I can see our printer becoming ever more important in our lives. they’ll be starting to learn so many new subjects that will require homework and, I imagine, there will be projects coming along too. A whole host of new things to tackle and fit into our lives. I least I won’t have to worry about the ink running out!

Disclosure: collaborative post.

Image by: Joshua fuller – Unsplash

Top bathroom decor ideas from the professionals

Having your bathroom done is a big investment and one you want to make sure you get right because once it’s completed, there’s no turning back. Or you can turn back, but it will be expensive.

Many of us get lots of inspiration from websites like Pinterest, shop catalogues and even seeing ideas in films or on the television can add to the ‘mood board’ we hold in our heads. However, transferring a collection of ideas held in your brain into a real-life design can often prove to be downright tricky and you end up with a bathroom that doesn’t resemble those carefully laid out ideas.

That’s why companies, like Harrogate Bathroom Showroom, can prove to be an excellent investment. The company has a tight team of designers and consultants who spend their working days coming up with the most beautiful bathrooms in the country. They understand that remodelling a bathroom isn’t a walk in the park as there are so many factors to foresee and take into consideration before you start choosing tiles and accessories – the easy bit!

Plumbing and electrical system

The first thing to understand, Harrogate Bathrooms tell me, is the knowledge of the underlying plumbing and electrical system. If you are planning on moving the position of the toilet or the shower, these changes will dictate where you can move them.

If you do plan to move the toilet, sink, bath or shower then you’ll need professional services – ones you can rely on to do a good job.

When we first moved in, we decided to update the upstairs bathroom and we called on a friend of a friend to help out. I wish we hadn’t as the bath was never installed properly and had I had proper advice, I would have used the space more wisely. Hindsight!

Drawings and plans

Harrogate Bathrooms use award-winning 3D computer-aided design software for their design plans and are able to show you a life-like image of your finished bathroom before you go ahead with the work.

A touch of luxury

black and white bathroom

The bathroom showroom at Harrogate is a veritable Aladdin’s Cave of fixtures, faucets and solutions that cover all budgets. A chat with the design team will bring out your ideas and they can then advise the best solutions to give your bathroom a stylish glam touch that also suits your budget. Their finished bathrooms range from £3000 to £90,000.

Your perfect bathroom

Harrogate Bathrooms design studio brings together an enormous range of products from the world’s most renowned manufacturers – pick your tiles from the most exclusive ranges Verona has to offer, choose a beautifully designed basin or cabinet by Villeroy and Boch, and finish off with brassware from Hansgrohe.

Bespoke professional services

After reading this post, I am sure you can see that redesigning a bathroom can become quite a headache but it needn’t be. By choosing Harrogate Bathrooms, the stress is immediately taken away from you at the initial consultation. They will oversee the entire process for you and keep you up to date on the work at every single stage.

So, choose your style – traditional, modern, classic. Take a look at the amazing range of tiles they have and then give them a call so they can make your dream bathroom come true.

Disclosure: collaborative post