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Hosting A Girly Dinner Party: Tricks To Make It Perfect*

Hosting a dinner party might sound like a lot of stress, but it is a fabulous way to spend some time with your girl mates. Don't worry if you don't have Jamie Oliver's skills in the kitchen. That doesn't matter when it comes to planning your girly party. So long as you keep everybody happy, you shouldn't stress all that much about what food you serve. If you want to plan an evening with your friends, use these tricks to make it perfect.

1. Make appetizers for your guests
When people come for a dinner party, they tend to starve themselves all day beforehand. That means that when they arrive at your house, they will be starving. I guess you won't serve dinner when people walk through the door. You will probably want some time with your guests so that you can all chat. You should make some little appetizers so that people have something to snack on while you all catch-up.

2. Set the table with cute name cards
You want the table to look fancy when people come for a party. You don't have to spend ages worrying about how to set it. All you need is some simple catering tablecloths, a couple of candles and some name cards. You can make the place settings yourself if you have a little spare time. Lighting some scented candles will mean that the atmosphere is ideal when people sit down at the table.

3. Have some conversation starters ready
The worst thing that can happen at any party is that the conversation runs dry. When there is an awkward silence in the room, it is your job to start the conversation back up again. You should plan things to say when there is a break. For example, you might want to ask one of your friends about a guy she is seeing or her new job. Asking people questions is an excellent way to get people talking. It takes the pressure off you to keep the conversation going because someone else will answer you.

4. Prepare most of your meal before people arrive
If, when your friends arrive, you spend all the time in the kitchen, you will have no fun at all. You are arranging this dinner so that you can hang out with your friends - not so that you can spend all evening slaving over a hot stove. You should make sure that you prepare something easy, like a stew or a hot pot so that it cooks itself. That way, all you need to do is get a pot out of the oven.

5. Get a range of drinks for people
You don't know what people will want to drink with their meals, and so you need to make sure that you offer people a range of choices. Head down to the supermarket and pick up juices, fizzy drinks, and a bottle or two of wine. That way, you can ask people what they want. Giving people just one option is not fair on them, so just try to think about what they usually drink and buy that.

6. Finish with a chocoholic dessert
What girl doesn't love a chocolate pudding? As the perfect end to a perfect night, you have to serve a delicious chocoholic dessert. Look up a recipe online and make something that you know your friends will adore. If you are not a dab hand in the kitchen, just cheat! You could buy a tub of Ben and Jerry's ice cream and serve that. Either way, you know that your friends will love it. I hope these tricks help you to host a fab dinner party! Remember, as long as people enjoy the company, everything else will go to plan.

Wish, Want, Need: House of CB Workout Wear

I'm forever checking their twitter, and staring at the emails from House of CB (Previously Celeb Boutique), admiring their gorgeous range of dresses. It wasn't until recently that I realised they have a workout wear section with gorgeous girly exercise clothing. It's motivating to have some new gear that makes you feel confident and gives you a push to workout on the days you don't feel like it. It's quite easy to see why, into my 4th month of my health kick, that a bit of a House of CB wishlist developed.
My choices of clothes might not look colourful and fun but having some classic black clothes can feel slimming and rewarding. You can always inject a bit of colour in your workout set with a gorgeous animal print bag. The coral panel adds a bit of girliness and the mesh sections are totally different from any workout pants I own. 

Have you bought anything from House of CB, workout or going out?
What's your go-to exercise colour?

Alternatives To Cosmetic Procedures

Cosmetic procedures can be a good thing. They can help burns victims gain some semblance of normality, for example, and give body-conscious people a boost to their self-confidence. But some people get a surgeon involved when they really don’t have to. There are so many scare stories about operations that go wrong, and the costs involved are so high. It all just makes it very risky. So, with this in mind, here are my alternatives to popular cosmetic improvements*.

Getting Fit
If you are feeling down about how you look, getting fit can help. Regular workouts are part of a healthy lifestyle and can give your mental wellbeing a boost. Whatever it is about your body that you don’t like, exercise will make you feel better about it, and give you a more confident outlook. It’s a far cheaper alternative to getting liposuction or having your stomach stapled, so give it a go!
Try your local gym. Lots of them run regular taster sessions for free to see if you like it. However, gyms can be quite intimidating, so you may feel like running, or swimming would be a better option. You can also work out at home. Have a look for some good exercise DVDs or investigate fitness apps. I wrote a blog post about how the exercise apps I use on my iPad, which you might find helpful.

Using Makeup
Instead of paying through the nose to cover up and hide those blemishes, why not learn to use makeup better? Books like Bobbi Brown’s are bibles for many women and will help you get the right look every time. And all for the fraction of the price of botox injections.

Teeth Whitening
Laser teeth whitening is an expensive dental treatment, and it isn’t something you would want to get done on the cheap. But if you have stained or darkened teeth that you don’t like, there are alternatives. A teeth whitening kit for home use isn’t expensive and as long as you follow the instructions properly, they should give you good results. I've got a review of a good one coming up soon!

If you are worried about getting bags under your eyes, just get more sleep. It is completely free, it refreshes you, and it rejuvenates you. Getting a good sleep routine will make you feel much better in the long run - and think more sensibly about getting a facelift.

Liking Yourself More
The key to steering clear of the cosmetic surgeon’s knife is to be happy about yourself. Sometimes, what we think about ourselves is directed towards one particular aspect of ourselves.

Even when somebody does have a cosmetic procedure, it might not make a difference to their overall happiness. They could soon direct those thoughts onto something else, and that is the start of a very negative cycle. There are a lot of high-profile cases of this happening - all you have to do is pick up a paper or magazine, or turn on the TV to find them.

Never forget that life is much more about feeling good than looking good. Because if you feel better, you will look better.

8 Essentials for a Spa Day

A day at the spa is the ultimate in girly pamper days but sometimes it's hard to know what to take with you. After an amazing day with my best friends I quickly realised the essentials to pack for a spa day, unfortunately I'd forgotten a couple and learnt through mistake.

1. Waterbottle
Whether you're getting a massage and need to flush out toxins or spending time in the hot tub or sauna you'll definitely need plenty of water to help keep you hydrated. Depending on your spa package you'll probably be given water but it's always good to have a spare on hand, especially to keep track of your intake. 

2. Invisibobble
Depending on how you're spending the evening you might want to keep your hair looking good and an invisibobble is excellent for this. I had my hair tided up in a bun whilst chilling in the hot tub and during my facial. The invisibobble meant I was able to take my hair down without any worries of kinks and messy hair.

3. Lipbalm
10minutes spent in the sauna and my lips were crying out for a lip balm. I'd recommend having one like an EOS lip balm on hand, not just tucked away in your locker for the end of the day.

4. Moisturiser
With chlorine in the swimming pool and the heat from the hot tub I was left with tight, dehydrated skin that was crying out for moisturiser. It's an easy one to forget, especially if you're booked in for a facial anyway.

5. Haribo
Depending on if lunch is included in your spa package or when your treatments are you might need something to keep you going. A couple of sweeties can keep the rumbling tummies at bay before a peaceful, relaxing massage. You can't go wrong with haribo!

6. Day Dress
After a treatment, or when you get out the pool, the last thing you'll want to put on is anything tight and heavy like a pair of jeans. A day dress that is light and floaty is a must for a spa day.                  

7. Flip Flops
When I was getting ready after my spa day I didn't want to put on my tights, I was still feeling hot and wanted to be able to cool down comfortably and a little pair of flip flops were perfect for popping on my feet when my spa slippers were handed over. They fit nicely in a handbag when you're not using them too.

8. Jumper
The heat of the spa can leave you feeling a bit chilly when you head outside and I recommend having a cosy jumper or cardigan packed for popping on just before you leave.

What's your favourite thing about a spa day, the treatments, the chill out time or gossiping?

Outfits of the Week: March #4

Dress: Primark
Boots: New Look
Watch: Michael Kors
Bracelets: Jomi Jewellery and Pandora

Cardigan: H and M
Vest Top: Aeropostale
Trousers: H and M
Shoes: Primark
Scarf: Primark

Top: Internacionale
Jeans: Primark
Shoes: Primark 

Elsa Frozen Dress: Ebay
Shoes: Primark

Dress: Primark
Shoes: New Look
Belt: Primark

Recent Competition Wins

Cosmopolitan Goody Bag
Regis Salons Twitter

Hello Gorgeous Mug Twitter 

Dermalogica Body Therapy Set
Charli's Blog

Girls on Film Co-ord Set
Girls on Film Twitter

Fancy Yourself As A Fashionista? If So, Here's Why (And How) To Set Up A Blog!*

It’s safe to say that there is a few fashion websites out there. But, have you ever noticed that most of them seem to cater for the industry, in general? Sure, you’ll learn about new trends and clothing lines from popular designers. The only trouble is; you don’t usually get a chance to find out the latest news on particular niches!

That is where the wonderful world of blogging comes in. Some folks have set up fashion blogs dedicated to particular niche areas of the fashion world. If you’re a fashionista, and you love to stay on trend, you might want to share your knowledge with the world too.
Source: Pixabay

In today’s article, I will talk you through the process of setting up a fashion blog. Soon, you too will be a fashion blogging superstar! Here is what you need to know:

Think of a name
The first thing to do, and perhaps the hardest aspect of setting up a fashion blog, is to think of a name! You might name the blog after yourself (i.e. Jane’s Fashion Blog). Or you might want to come up with a catchy name for it.
Some folks don’t give much thought to what they name their fashion blogs. But I’d like to share with you one piece of information that proves why it is important to think of a good name.
When people want to learn of fashion info, they’ll type into Google something like “summer fashion trends.” If your niche blog is about summer fashion, you might wish to include those keywords within your blog name.

Source: Pixabay

Buy a domain name

Once you’ve thought of a name, the next step is to buy a domain name. In a nutshell, this is what people type into their web browser when they want to access your blog.

Ideally, you should include your niche keywords in the domain name. Just don’t make it too long, like “”!
Get hosting
To start a fashion blog, you will also need to host it somewhere. In case you wondered, a “host” is the physical server where your blog will reside. There are thousands of web hosts available so you’ll be spoilt for choice.

I recommend choosing a host located in the same country as you or your target audience. So, if you want to run a UK-based fashion blog, choose a host in Britain.

Choose a blogging platform
Next, you will need to consider what blog software you wish to use. WordPress is by far the most popular blogging platform in the world. It is estimated that more than 73 million websites use the software.

Many hosts offer a free automated installation service for WordPress blogs. All you need to do is answer a few simple setup questions, and your host takes care of everything else!

Stylize your blog
Before you can start blogging, you need to choose a “theme” for it. Next, you must customize its layout. For example, uploading a logo and selecting a page structure you are happy with.

Once you’ve done all that, your fashion blog is ready to go live!

What would you recommend including in a 'Start a Blog List'?

Fitness Friday: Post Workout Essentials

Whether you're a regular or occasional gym-goer, sport and exercise can have a negative effect on your skin - think sweat patches, burning muscles and flushed faces. I've found 3 beauty products that have become my essentials for a post-workout routine. 

When I finish up a workout, either at home or at the gym, I can't always get straight to the shower and the So...? Rock Me Body Fragrance is perfect for a freshen up. This reminds me of something I'd use after PE at school but you can't go wrong with a So...? body spray. A mix of floral and fruity scents, it's not too strong and overpowering but it makes me feel a bit more confident carrying on with my day.

Working out regularly can take a toll on your skin and I've found in the past that my pores on my chest and back started to get clogged from dirt and perspiration. Activbod is a brand designed to help the body deal with the images of sport using natural ingredients and therapeutic fragrances. I've loved adding Pick Me Up Scrub to my post-workout shower to keep pores clean, stimulate my circulation and leave me feeling fresh. The fresh citrus scent is amazing too.

Heat and sweat can make skin sore and dry, add in a hot shower post-workout and I'm left with a flushed and dehydrated face. The Avene hydrating serum is perfect for both dry and oily skin to soothe any sensitivity and add moisture. It's great before reapplying makeup, or settling down to do my night time skin routine. Relieving irritation without blocking pores makes this the perfect post-workout beauty product.

NOTD: Sweet and Sassy

Another week and another Spring look on my nails. I've gone for a nail look that combines the sweetness of a baby pink polish and the sassiness of a pink glitter. Models Own polishes can have so much personality! After last week's sorbet manicure I've gone for the alternative tip look again and topped it all off with the Eye Candy Gel Wrap System to keep it in place for the week.

What's your favourite Models Own polish?

10 Ways to Spend a Girly Day

There’s nothing better than having a girly day out with your friends, and there are a ton of things you can do. Here are 10 of my favourite ways to spend a girly day* - enjoy!

Drinking Cocktails
If you have the day off work the next day, why not spend the day trying out a few new bars and yummy cocktails? If you’re not big on alcohol, you can try a mocktail instead. You might find your new favourite drink!

Shopping is like a sport for women; we love it like men love football. Heading somewhere for a good shop is always exciting, and you’ll even burn calories while you’re trying clothes on...bonus!

Afternoon Tea
Afternoon tea is a luxurious way to spend a girly day. You’ll be able to spend time in a gorgeous setting, and be plied with all kinds of sandwiches, tea, and cake. Make sure you go there hungry so you can sample everything on offer! The perfect way to spend the day if you’re a foodie.

Getting a Massage
If you feel like you want to spend your girly day relaxing and being pampered, then you couldn’t get any better than a massage. With experts like Bodyworks around, your muscles will be in good hands!

Have a Movie Marathon
Instead of going out, invite your friends to your house and start a movie marathon. Will you watch Harry Potter? The Twilight Saga? Star Wars (probably not)? Eat some yummy snacks, have a gossip and watch your favourite films. You could even watch a show like Desperate Housewives or Gossip Girl!

Swimming and Spa
Swimming is a brilliant low impact exercise, and you can usually find pools that have a spa area too. When you’ve finished your lengths, hop in the sauna and relax!

Get a Makeover
There are plenty of makeup counters that offer makeovers for a great price, and you might even feel tempted to treat yourself to some new makeup afterwards. You might come back looking like a whole new you!

Do a Fun Class
Maybe you could try a fun class, like cooking or pole dancing? This could be at your gym, or something you’ve booked and paid for specially. What could be better than learning a new skill on a girly day?!

Have a Manicure/Pedicure
Ladies love it when their nails look nice, but we don’t all have the time to do it ourselves. Treat yourself to a manicure/pedicure and you’ll feel good about yourself for the rest of the day!

Go on a Road Trip
Finally, why not fill up your car and go on a road trip? It can be as long or as short as you like. You might even want to stop to see things along the way. Create a playlist to make it even more fun!

Which one of these ideas will you use to have a fun girly day? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll see you next time!

Home Happenings: Matalan Haul

My mission to stock up for my house continues. I visited Matalan last month and managed to leave empty handed, but secretly loved loads from their kitchen and living room range. It wasn't long before I was back on their website and buying lots. As we've still not actually bought a house I've stuck to neutral colours with 2 fun looking items from their Dine With Friends Range. Looks like I'm sorted for parties. When will the homeware buying stop!?


What do you think is the best things to stock up on before moving?

The Ultimate Girly Gift Guide: Present Choosing Tips

Whether it is a birthday or any other special occasion, buying the perfect girly present can be a difficult feat. The gift that you choose for someone says a whole lot about your relationship with them and how you value them as a friend. If you buy a present that doesn't mean anything to them, it will show that you have put no thought into it. When your friend has a special occasion, they deserve you to treat them to something fantastic. Read the ultimate girly gift guide for some inspiration now*.

Read gift guides
As you know, I often write quick gift guides for you guys. As a self-confessed shopaholic, I adore getting new things and sharing my finds with my readers. If you ever need ideas when it comes to buying presents, you should start reading these guides. There are also many sites online where you can find out about the latest trends and styles. Before you start to think of ideas for the present, take a look at a few posts and see whether they help you.

Stick to a budget
Sometimes, every girl has to deal with tight finances. If it has already been an expensive month, you might not have a lot of cash until payday. If you have a low budget, you don't need to worry. Often, finding the perfect gift is not about blowing your entire month's earnings. It is all about choosing a present that will make your friend smile and show her that you know her well. Before you start shopping, you should figure out how much you can realistically afford to spend.

Decide on a gift genre
You will get nowhere fast if you browse the web looking for nothing, in particular. You should decide on what type of gift your friend will like. For example, if she is a girly girl, could you get her a fashion related gift? If she enjoys baking, you might want to get her a cookery set. Looking at random gifts will only mean that the search takes hours on end. That is precious time that you can't afford to waste. Decide what genre of gift you want to buy so that you can look for particular items.

Look at specialist stores
If you don't want to spend an entire day traipsing around shops, you should get online and start looking for your ideal gift. If you take a look at you will see that they specialise in gifts and presents. Look for online stores like this one so that you can narrow down your search in an instant. You should also check delivery times to ensure that your present comes before the occasion. I've found that there is a much broader range of items online than you can usually find on the high street. That means that you can get something truly unique for your friend.

Personalise the present
When you have selected your ideal gift, you get the chance to make it a little personal. Some sites will allow you to customise the gift so that it is special for your friend. You might want to get a necklace engraved or have a special message written on some chocolate. When you personalise a gift, it shows that you have gone the extra mile in finding the right present.

It is worth looking for a present a good couple of weeks before the event. There is nothing worse than having to rush to find the ideal present at the last minute, and so you need to organise your time. Looking for the ideal present should be a pleasurable thing to do, not something that stresses you out!