Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Gift Guide for Mother's Day

Like many of you, I am amazed by Mother's. How they manage to do what they do. Keeping all those balls in the air plus looking fabulous and smiling all the time. They are the glue that holds a family together, who else knows what cereal you love or what days you need your P.E kit. They stay strong for you when you're at your lowest and only sob in silence, keeping their 'Mum armour' on.
Personally, my Mum is the strongest woman I know. She won't know that because she's still keeping her Girl Guide Motto, 'To think of others before herself and does a good turn every day.' Not bad words to live by when you think about it.
I won't be able to spend the day with my Mum this year but I have sent her a card and dodgy present that I'm hoping will bring a smile to her face. FaceTime will have to do until she's home for a human hug.
I am all in favour of a hug but I reckon most Mum's will appreciate a little something else on Mother's day. I've pulled together a short list of gift ideas that won't break the bank, (let's face it, we love our Mum's but we all haven't got Donald Trumps bank balance!):

Black Lily Scented Boxed Glass Candle - £6 Matalan




Saturday, 18 March 2017

And Relax... Rapport Hair and Beauty - Leeds, Yorkshire

Me and mine, have been going to this family run salon for a couple of years now and every time we go, whether its to get the girls hair cut or a full day treat for yours truly, we are treated like royalty. Enough cannot be done to make sure you have the most relaxing and enjoyable time.

On my most recent visit, I had my hair, nails and HD brows done. A 9.15am arrival, after a usual traumatic double school run, (my oldest girls' school is over-subscribed, so my youngest goes to a different school), I was greeted with beaming smiles from Leah and Ashley, as they probably knew I would enter like a whirlwind and look like one too! Coat taken and hung, I was escorted to my new throne for the day. An instant wash of calm came over me and I don't just mean the gorgeous caffeine fix I received.
Discussions over my locks began, would I be pink? Would I be blue? Or do I go Lilac? Lilac it is. Now I'm not going to pretend I understand the in's and out's of toner's and dye's and bleach, oh my! But I trust them 100% with my tresses and so they begin their magic...


Whilst the mane is doing its bit, I head upstairs to work on the rest of my broken bits! Nails first! And boy are they broken!
Alex and Julie are the angels of beauty upstairs. Julie's massages have sent me to sleep on more than one occasion, to feel that relaxed is amazing. I've previously had facials, 3D lipo and waxing amongst other delightful treats that make me feel more like a woman and less like a crazy bag lady!
Alex starts on my nails whilst I witter on at her about how hectic my life is and try to come up with an explanation as to why my nails are in such a state. I fail. No judgemental face from Alex, just a smile and sympathetic ear. Even when I spend 15 minutes deciding on a nail colour, as the selection is unreal, she does not falter from doing a fantastic job with my chewed nails and anxious skin bitten hands.


Once my nails are completed, I head back to my first throne for a conditioning treatment to my locks. Already amazingly relaxed from the ambience upstairs, they begin to blow dry my hair. Anyone who doesn't enjoy their hair being blow dried by someone else, has issues (sorry, not sorry). Finished with a quick style and a final caffeine fix before heading back up to the angels for my HD brows.
Again, Alex is my beautician and she completes my final tweak in order to feel like a woman once again. I never realised the importance of good brows, until I had good brows and now... I have fabulous brows!


And here I am, ready to take on the world once more!

I cannot recommend Rapport enough, fabulous salon and even more fabulous people!

Treat your Mum to a treatment!
Don't forget, Mother's Day is Sunday 26th March.
The wonderful people at Rapport have so much to choose from, there is something for everyone and they have a range of prices to offer.

Contact details:
To make an appointment (Man, Woman or child) simply call: 0113 232 8983

Full treatment and pricelists available here: http://rapportsalon.co.uk/

You can find them at: 839 York Road, Leeds, LS14 6AA

Follow them on Facebook for deals and discounts: https://www.facebook.com/Rapporthairandbeautyspecialists










Friday, 10 February 2017

High Street Hero Handbag

The place that is personal to every woman in the world. The place no gentleman dares enter.  The sometimes bottomless pit that even we are shocked by its contents. There are many variations of the handbag. We call them many things, but essentially we have a day bag or in my case, 'a Mum bag', 'a going out bag' and probably 'a work bag'. The 'Mum bag' contains sticky things, wrappers, toys from £1 machines that come in a plastic ball and a packet of those wax crayons that contain a red, blue, yellow and green that you get in a pub with free colouring sheets. This is the least of the glamourous bags, I'm sure goes without saying. The 'work bag' is slightly more sophisticated. Small make up bag containing concealer, lippy and Vaseline for those dauntingly air conditioned offices. Probably a pen, possibly even a notepad, a small piece of fruit, bruised of course and a wandering hair bobble. The 'going out bag', the one I want to champion today is the most glittering of all, in the collection of bags. Its sometimes forgotten when buying an outfit, you always think you have one in your wardrobe that will suit, plus another £20-£30 on a bag would in fact get you more in a way of cocktails than in actual wardrobe snaps. I'm totally guilty of this. Surely you cant get to 30-something without having a medley of suitable going out bags. However, my recent wandering fashion eye has spotted that the high street is teasing me with a new type of going out bag that I really need to add to my collection. Call it what you will, Camera bag, Boxy bag, Shoulder bag, they are all of similar small size, but large enough for essentials, phone, purse, lippy, eye liner. The ones that have caught my eye are below, now its the choice of which one will I use the most!
At £20 and less, I'm sure I can stretch to that and once used more than once, the cost per wear makes it totally deductible! Treat yourself girls and spare the liver that extra Cosmo!









All these bags come in a variation of colours - check websites for options.

Remember, you're never fully dressed without a smile!





Friday, 3 February 2017

Balance?

When one part of your life is successful, does another suffer?
For example, if your job is going well and you're promoted, does that mean longer hours? More time away from home? Husband? Kids?
If your house is spotless, wash baskets empty and kids on time for school everyday, do you look like an 80's throwback with a cardigan, that now you think about it, would your mum even wear it?
Its not just women! Blokes, if you think you're going to work, coming home, play fighting with the kids, hitting the gym, getting to the rugby on a weekend, does your lass smile at you through gritted teeth?

If I sit and think about the daily things on my mind, my brain physically hurts. Even the things you do without thinking, that you do automatically.
How do we balance the immensely busy lifestyles that we have now become accustomed to?

From personal experience, I try get up, showered, dressed, bit of make up and then go do kids breakfast. Guarantee I'm screaming like an old fishwife 5 minutes after we should leave the house for school every morning. But is this just me needing to get up 10 minutes earlier or do I leave the shower and make up bit out?
Sometimes I think, Hey, I'm nailing this week! Done some washing, kids been on time for school every day, I've not looked too bad for the school run and then that sinking feeling pops into my head, when was the last time I washed the girls hair?
My most recent accomplishment is hitting the gym 3 times a week, making my Slimming World class (and staying for group - those that know, know!), planning my meals but then I realise I haven't researched any work for 2 whole weeks!

And yes I've wittered on for 3 paragraphs - but can you imagine this and working a 9-5 or worse, even longer?!

How is it flipping done? How do you get it right? How do you pick and choose what to focus on?

And you know what, you don't. Simple.

Screaming fishwife section aside, those things that I didn't do or was late for, didn't stop my world from turning round. I left a pile of washing on my living room floor (proof on Instagram 😶) for a whole 12 hours this week, but it meant that I played cafe's with my little girls and read them a story in bed. I even had the cheek to sit on the sofa with my husband and watch TV, while it sat there! And you know what, I don't care!

We need to stop being so hard on ourselves, no one else does it. We do it to ourselves.
When it comes down to it, all of the above means I've got a family, a home, food on the table and my health.

No one is Wonder Woman, even Linda Carter gave that up and as for Superman, how many has there been now?

Enjoy the every day, put the guilt away and focus on what you do, not what you don't.

Happy Friday!

Remember, you're never fully dressed without a smile!




Friday, 27 January 2017

Do what you love



I've worked in retail my whole career, whether it be in store as Deputy Manager at Warehouse or Store Designer at Mamas and Papas. I love it! I love the entire experience of shopping. It should make a person happy. The store, the staff, the merchandising, it should all make you want to spend your hard earned cash. Yes, I know we are in the age of online shopping and things are so much more accessible, however I refuse to believe that the good old fashioned shop, sales advisor and till will ever go away. High Street stores are too engaging to ever disappear.
Although I adore shopping, many people don't. Some don't have a clue what to buy, what suits them, what colours or shapes to go for. Many people hate the thought of trying clothes on in a tiny cubicle that usually smells of feet. Others purely don't have the time.
My goal is to change this for you!

When it comes to style, fashion and shopping, I can't get enough!
Here are the services offered by the Spot on Shopper, please get in touch by any of my social media channels or email spotonshopper@hotmail.com for enquiries.

Colour Analysis
This will tell you what colours accentuate your natural tones and which colours to avoid.

Wardrobe Edit
I will assess your existing wardrobe and tell you what items you may need to get rid of, need altering, repairing and items you are missing that would give your wardrobe more strength.

Personal Shop
This is as it sounds. Its personal to you. You can decide how, where and when this takes place. It can be for a full wardrobe, special event or even just additional items following a Wardrobe edit. We can discuss your specific needs. I can shop for you or with you. Its completely personal to you.

Gift Shopping
If you don't have the time or the knowledge of what to buy someone as a gift, I can do this for you.
I have a simple, short email that you would fill in to give me the info I need, in order to get the perfect gift for your loved one.


If you think you'd benefit from any of these, please get in touch with the Spot on Shopper at spotonshopper@hotmail.com or any of my social media channels.

Instagram - @spotonshopper
Facebook - Spot on Shopper

I would love to hear from you!

All prices are available on request.

Remember, you're never fully dressed without a smile!




Friday, 13 January 2017

Let's make every day sparkly!

The inspiration for this weeks blogpost comes from my youngest daughter. Her collection of sparkly tights, matches that of my shoe collection (oh its big!). Every day we 'discuss' options of tights to go with her school uniform. To this day I've never let her go in anything other than navy, black or grey. However, this got me thinking, my 4 year old who cackles like a witch and doesn't have a care in the world, wants to sparkle every day. She wants to skip out of the house in her glittery dresses and tights regardless of wherever she's going. Now, wouldn't that be nice. If you could get up on a morning and wear something shiny, even if you're only doing the school run. January is dreary enough without the thought of black and grey thermals!
So thanks to my little dude's philosophy, I've decided to add some sparkle to my school run! A daily dose of something glitzy that may just make me want to leave the warm cosy house and stand outside 2 different schools every morning! (Oh the joys of over subscribed primary schools!)
Yes I may look eccentric, but I'll be a happy eccentric! I think everyone should wear a little something on a daily basis that makes you sparkle!

These are some pieces from my wardrobe:

Pink Metallic Converse



White Tee with Foil Animal Print - French Connection



Metallic Midi Skirt - Warehouse



Pink Suede Diamante Pumps - Miss KG


The High Street are also trying to get us dressing a little more sparkly and glamourous, here are a few simple pieces that can add instant daytime sparkle to your wardrobe:

           Long Sleeve Silver Foil Sweater - £17.99 Zara



       Imitation Leather Trousers Grey- £24.99 H and M


        Metallic Pleat Back Top Dark Green - £25 Warehouse





                                Pom Pom Cross Body Bag Gold (Girls Acc's) - £12.99 Zara


Remember, you're never fully dressed without a smile!


Friday, 6 January 2017

How to... Get through the January blues...

And...it's over, normality resumed! Whether you've returned to work at the beginning of the week or the school run has just started to rear its ugly head, you can guarantee that the alarm won't go off or the kids stay in bed later than they have done in whole two weeks they've been off! Not only that, but the thought of that washing pile you've not touched (it was your Christmas too!), the general cleaning you've dodged (who knew Christmas decorations could gather so much dust!), and yet Monday, once again, is only 3 sleeps away! (Sorry!)

So now I've depressed you just that little bit more, here is my list of 7 things to help beat those January blues...

1. Reminisce your laughter...
At this point it's probably hard to remember how much you've laughed in your lifetime. Me, I've laughed a lot. A hell of a lot. Thinking about the memories that made you laugh the most, can bring you back to a happier time.
The time your friend walked into a bollard in Benidorm and you ran off laughing or when your friend came to your hen do with a spray tan that would put an Umpa-Lumpa to shame.
The fact that your friend snorts when she laughs and that makes you laugh even more!
Thinking of all these things can instantly and without cost, bring a smile back to your face.

2. Do something for someone else
Although above I have taken delight in the misfortunes of my friends, I do like to do things for others. Its not selfish to make yourself feel good by helping someone else (whatever Joey says to Phoebe!). Spread the love! Its much nicer to make more than one person feel good, including yourself. Go see that elderly relative that you haven't seen for months, take a shortbread to a neighbour and see if they want company for a coffee. Even bag up all that stuff you've been meaning to take to the Charity shop since June (you won't need summer clothes now, its freezing!).
Trust me, you will feel better. (and if you don't get the Joey and Phoebe comment, you need to watch more Friends - see my next idea!)

3. Comedy TV
The other night I watched Fawlty Towers with my husband. He literally cried with laughter at it. Personally, not so much. I'm more of an Only Fools or Ab Fab girl myself (and Friends of course). Give me Del falling through the bar or Patsy and Eddie air kissing any day.
What I'm saying is, watch something that makes you happy. Curl up with a blanket and a cuppa, kids, husband, dog, tortoise, whatever! and chill your little ass out watching something that makes you smile.

4. Wrap up and face the world
Now you've had your cosy day watching TV, its time to get your hat and coat on! If there's blue sky, get yourself outside. It might be freezing but you all own a coat and I'm sure you all got a knitted scarf from an Aunty that you never see, for Christmas. I love wrapping the kids up and walking with the low Winter sun beaming at us. If you're lucky enough to have a Temple Newsam or Roundhay Park near by, there's little or no excuse to get some fresh air. Failing that, walk to a friends house. The blue sky and fresh air will put you in the mood for coffee and a natter.

5. Speak to Friends
Remember when your house phone had a wire? My kids certainly don't. Brought up in the new age of social media its easy to forget that your friends are actually human and not an online robot.
Physically go see your friends. Go to their house, invite them to yours, meet for coffee. If you can't get there, dial their number (or look in Contacts!) and speak to them. Not WhatsApp, Facebook, Snapchat. Actually have a conversation with a human and not a keyboard! You'll be surprised at how much you enjoy it.

6. Small Pleasures
What's your favourite thing to do? One of mine, is to sit on my bed with a cup of tea and magazine, reading with no interruptions, it doesn't happen very often, but it's still one of my favourite things to do.
When was the last time you baked a cake? Coloured in a picture? Painted your nails? Those little things that you say, I wish I did that more often, do them! Whatever it may be. That small treat increases your happiness like you wouldn't believe.

7. Plan for adventure
Yes its January. Yes we're skint after Christmas but no that won't always be the case. That trip you want to take, research it. That place you always wanted to go with the kids, when does it reopen. That summer holiday, price it up. Having something to look forward to is always a happiness booster. When my kids can't sleep, this is what I tell them to dream about, what adventure will we take next...


Remember, you're never fully dressed without a smile!
xoxo