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LIFESTYLE: REASONS TO TEST DRIVE A NEW CAR



When you are looking to buy a new car this year, there are a lot of different factors which will come into play that you need to consider. There’s the price of the car and the insurance; how often you’ll be driving; and also the make and model you want to own.

During the search process for your car it is incredibly important that you take the time to view the car in person. Online adverts can sometimes be a little misleading and even if you are loving the car online it might be a different story when you see it in person.

Today we are going to take a look specifically at test driving your car, and the many reasons why you need to take your car for a spin before you hand over your money.


Is it comfortable?

It doesn’t matter whether you are planning to buy a small corsa to get you around the roads or you’ve been to a Mercedes C-Class & E-Class Cabriolet Event and fallen in love with the model; test driving is crucial. The first thing you will want to ensure when you are driving the vehicle is that you are comfortable and you are able to drive in the right position for you. If you are a small person and you try to buy a huge car, it might be difficult for you to reach the pedals and had full visibility comfortably. Make sure that you check that your head and neck and back are comfortable at all times in the car.

Get used to the Handling

As you may or may not already know, every different car you drive during your lifetime will feel different. There are a lot of different cars which you can drive which should have a different way of handling and it is important for you to try it out and see if you like it before you buy. Make sure that the way the car moves feels right to you because this will allow you to be a better driver behind the wheel when it does come to it.



Understanding the perks

As every car is unique and made by a different manufacturer and to a different standard, there are going to be unique perks for each. When you are looking for the ideal car it is important for you to think about the perks and gadgets inside, and trying them out in person is always the best way. There might be an onboard computer and Bluetooth speaker, a sun roof or a sat nav panel; and trying this out for yourself will allow you to see whether or not this is something you want.

Feel for space

When you look at a picture of a car online, photographers have the uncanny ability to make it seem larger and more spacious than it really is. It is important for you to give a few checks when you get to the vehicle to see if the car is as spacious as you want it to be.

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LIFESTYLE: TIPS THAT WILL HELP YOU SAVE MONEY ON YOUR CAR INSURANCE

Saving money on your car insurance doesn’t need to be difficult. In fact, it is now easier than ever before, and by following the below tips, you can be sure to make the best decision.

Shop Around

It’s so important that you get at least three quotes when shopping for your insurance. Some companies will sell through agents and others will sell through independent providers. Either way, it doesn’t matter who you go with, as long as you take your time and choose someone who is able to meet your requirements. Remember that cheaper isn’t always better when choosing your policy, and if you are not careful then you may end up with cover that doesn’t actually do anything for you in the event of a crash.


Understand your Policy

Taking out a policy is vital when you have your own car. If you don’t know anything about auto insurance, then you need to make sure that you understand exactly what you are paying for and you also need to know what you are covered for too. If you don’t then you may end up wasting your money.

Increase your Deductible

By choosing a higher deductible, you can then significantly lower your premium and you can also really save money too. Of course, if you do happen to get in an accident then you will have to pay way more to repair your car, so you have to make sure that you can actually afford this before you pay for your policy.


Bundle your Insurance

Insurers will often give you a discount if you take out more than one policy from them. This can
include homeowners insurance or even auto insurance. Some companies will also give you a price break if you are a long-term customer and this can really work in your favour. If your insurance company is not able to offer you this kind of discount then that doesn’t mean that they are not the right choice for you, as they may offer more bonuses to make up for it.

Get a New Car

Sometimes, there is no way for you to lower your policy because the car that you have is too high-risk or because it is too old. If you want to get around this then you need to invest in a new car. If you want to get some ideas then consider searching for “Vauxhall dealership near me”.

Credit History

Establishing a good credit history will certainly come with its benefits. You may even be able to take advantage of lower insurance costs too. A lot of credit issuers will check your report to try and get an idea of the policies they can offer so it certainly does pay for you to keep an eye on the amount of debt that you have and even the store credit that you take out. By doing this, you can then be sure to save a huge amount on your policy, pending the provider you go with.

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EVENT: STILA SUMMER LAUNCH EVENT



Today I went along to Harvey Nichols Birmingham for the Stila Summer Launch. Their new products include 12 brand new lipglosses and 2 brand new eyeshadow palettes! The event was great and the lovely Sascha went through the new products with us and did a whole make up look using the new products and some Stila must haves!

The new Stila Beauty Boss Lip Gloss comes in 12 amazing shades from those everyday nudes, red and pinks to a more bold bright pink, purple and darker shades like Bonus Baby and In The Black. 

'Stila's new lip gloss features the next generation of light-refracting, iridescent pearls to create intense shine, pure color and amplified dimension. The hyaluronic filling spheres and luminous oils add natural-looking volume and glow, without burning or stinging

The packaging is gorgeous, similar to the glitter and glow eyeshadow packaging but longer in length. The applicator is lovely and you get a really decent amount of product. The formula isn't really sticky, it's smooth on the lips and leaves them feeling hydrated.  They are £14 each which is such a good price as you get alot of product! 

Stila have released two very impressive eye shadow palettes, one of which is limited edition! They are £48 each which I think is a little pricey however you get 12 really decent sized shadows! They are amazing quality and you get a great selection of colours and textures so it's well worth the money. 

Happy Hour is a limited edition luxe palette of 12 shades!

All 12 shades are specially formulated with micronized, silicone-treated pigments for superior blending and ultra-rich, uniform color and dimension.'

They are full size shadows so you get a lot of product in the palette, there's a good mixture of matte, shimmer and glitter shadows so this palette can create so many looks! Happy Hour has a pastel colour pallete, theres a gorgeous rose matte and nude matte shade, a black and cream/white matte shade. Theres a gorgeous lilac glitter shade which looks fab! The deep gold shimmer on the top row is beautiful! This palette has such a fab range of colours to play with. 

The After Hours palette is a little more me! There's more shades that I would wear and I think most people would feel the same. I love the burnt orange and peachy shades!! These are beautiful. There's some nude and brown matte shades that you can use along side the gold and champagne glitter and shimmers! The colour pay off of each shade is gorgeous and the glitters and shimmers are so pigmented and creamy! They are seriously beautiful palettes. 

We also had a look at some 'must have' Stila products for the summer! Such as the Lingerie Souffle Skin Perfecting Primer and Skin perfecting colour. These create the perfect base for those warmer days! Heavens Hue Highlighter is such a gorgeous highlighter to add some glow to any look! 

It was such a lovely event, we have kindly been gifted a couple of the new lip glosses! Excited to try them as I'm not normally a fan of a lipgloss! 








AD REVIEW: THE LITTLE OWL SOLIHULL


[AD-Gifted]- Our meal was kindly gifted in return for a review. My review is honest and my own views and opinions.


This evening we headed to The Little Owl in Solihull, it's on Bickenhill Parkway, so super close to the airport, International rail station and the NEC, so a great location if your in Solihull or surrounding areas and looking for a little pub for food and a few drinks.

The Little Owl is our local Vintage Inn pub, they boast about their burning log fires and beautiful beer gardens. They serve hearty pub favourites as well as a seasonal menu so there is something for everyone. They also have a great selection of drinks, even their own Cask Ale. They also do Sunday Lunch so if your after a traditional roast then check out your local Vintage Inn. 

We pulled up and it's such a lovely looking pub, I can't wait to head back in the summer and have a few gins in their beer garden. It's a very pretty pub and inside didn't disappoint either. It is so cosy and rustic! The log fires and brickwork are lovely, even the chairs and artwork on the walls were just so charming. 

We ordered drinks first, I had a Pink Gin and Lemonade and Clint had a Pint of Doom Bar which is one of their Cask Ales. 

We then had a look at the Menu, as well as a main menu they have daily specials and also offer a Lunch and Dinner time set price menu so be sure to head on over to their website and check out their offers. They also have a Childrens menu and Vegan Menu. 

I ordered the Wagyu Burger and skin-on fries. The Wagyu Burger is made from Premium beef and served in a Brioche Bun with Salsa, mixed leaf and horseradish served with onion rings! It was an impressive burger. It was so tasty and the horseradish was lovely!! You can create the perfect burger for you as they have a good list of add on's for the burgers. 

Clint opted for the Lasagne, (surprise,surprise) he loves a good Lasagne! and this one ticked all of his boxes. He said it was delicious! He basically scraped the bowl clean! It comes with Triple cooked chips and is a really good portion size. It looked so good! He also said his Doom Bar Ale really complimented the food. 

We didn't have starters so that we would have room for deserts! There was a really good list of deserts full of your usual pub favourites. I had the chocolate brownie, and Clint had the Banoffee Pie! Both looked amazing and were really well presented and good sizes. It was lovely and rich but not too rich! The Banoffe Pie looked lovely and Clint really enjoyed it! If your not one for a big pudding, why not order a hot drink with a mini pudding?!

Overall we had such a lovely evening at The Little Owl, the atmosphere was really nice, it was chilled and their was a really nice vibe! The food was great and it is such a stunning pub. The staff were all really friendly and our server was so helpful and offered recommendations. I really want to go back for a Sunday Lunch as it looks fab!! I also think we may spend a few afternoons in the summer chilling in the beer garden! Would defo recommend! 




















LIFESTYLE: 6 Easy Ways to Bring A Touch of Class To The Boudoir

Your bedroom should be a veritable temple of rest and relaxation. It should be a sanctuary within a sanctuary; a place where you can go to relax and unwind and let ourselves be lulled into a deep and restful sleep. However, it’s also a place where we may want to bring a very special guest. If you’re a devoted singleton who wants to wow their new beau with their classy boudoir or simply want to inject a little more style and charm into your sleeping space, here are some great way to bring class, style and sophistication into the bedroom.




Keep it natural


We’ve already talked about the virtues of adding a touch of nature to your home’s aesthetic. Wherever possible you should avoid synthetic fibres and plastics in the bedroom. Avoid bedding that contains synthetic materials like nylon, terylene and polyester as these can make it harder for the skin to breathe and for you to get a good night’s sleep. What’s more, they can look visibly cheaper and detract from the air of class and sophistication you’re trying to project. Opt instead for bed linens that are 100% cotton or made from another naturally derived fabric (I’ve actually heard a lot of wonderful things about bamboo based bed linen). Not only do these make for a more restful night’s sleep, they also make your space look cleaner, tidier and classier. For a little flourish of colour add one of these hotel quality bed runners from Richard Haworth. What better way to sleep classy?


If you can… canopy!


A canopy bed makes a great statement and draws the eye while elevating everything around it. The great thing about canopy beds is that whatever your personal style may be there’s a good chance that there’s a canopy bed out there for you. Whether you’re going for a sense of classical opulence or something more contemporary and minimalist, a canopy bed is a wonderful feature that adds a wow factor to your boudoir. Needless to say, however, you have to know your space before introducing a canopy bed. If it looks like you’ve barely managed to squeeze it into your room it will cheapen the aesthetic and moreover make your bedroom look cramped.


Wall art


Wall art can make for a great statement piece that lends not just class and sophistication but a sense of personality and character to the bedroom. However, it’s important to choose a piece that is personal to you. Avoid the kinds of mass-manufactured prints you see in Ikea and its ilk. It adds little to know personality to your room when you add an over-familiar print of a New York City skyline or a quiet dock to your wall.


Be bold, be provocative, be whoever you want to be through your wall art. You don’t even have to spend a fortune. University campuses and of course good old Etsy are great sources of high quality art that won’t break the bank.


Remember, less is more


There’s no class in clutter! Not only can clutter detract from the creative flourishes and classy fixtures of your bedroom, it is also visually distracting and can add a sense of chaos to even the most carefully honed aesthetic. Moreover, it can be surprisingly damaging to your mental health and prevent you from getting the restful night’s sleep that we all need to maintain our physical and psychological well being.


Smell classy!


Of course, class is not a concept that’s confined to the strictly visual. It’s also something we experience through the nose. Why else do we spend a small fortune on designer perfumed before stepping out for a big night out. The great thing about scent is that it can be used to create virtually any kind of atmosphere without clashing with your decor. Your choice in scents can be fresh and clean, warm and cosy, spicy and sensuous, it all depends on your mood. However, I’d avoid harsh perfumes, sprays or plug-in deodorisers. These are the home equivalent of lynx body spray. Instead use diffusers filled with essential oils. Use mint or citrus oils for a fresh scent (these can also aid concentration if your bedroom doubles as an office), sandalwood and ylang ylang can add a comforting ambience while jasmine, cinnamon and marjoram can add a more exotic and sensual atmosphere.


Minimalise your nightstand


Finally, if your nightstand is cluttered with all manner of cosmetics, makeup, hair products and your other daily armaments to help you in your battle through life, you may find that not only is it tricky to relax in your bedroom, the space’s classy aesthetic is also compromised. Try to keep the items you keep on display to a bare minimum and keep the rest in a storage ottoman.

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LIFESTYLE: HOW TO KEEP YOUR HOME SAFE WHEN TRAVELLING

Is there anything more enjoyable than setting forth on an adventure, somewhere abroad, somewhere you’ve never been before? If we all had our way, we’d do a lot more than we currently do! And it’s not hard to see why -- life is rarely as enjoyable as when you’re with your loved ones, living a carefree existence. But of course, if you’re going to do that, you need to be carefree, and that can’t happen if you’re worrying about what’s going on back home, and specifically, what’s going on at your house. Below, we take a look at a few ways you can keep your property safe, which will give you one less thing to worry about when you’re travelling.

Source: Pexels.com

Stay Off Social Media

If you don’t post photos of your exotic getaway to Instagram or Facebook, did it even happen? It seems many a person decides to take a trip purely so they can show it off to other people! But if you’re going to share photos -- and why not? -- then it’s best to wait until you’re back home. While you might be hoping to make people back in the office jealous than you’re in the sunshine, you’ll also be advertising the fact that your home is sitting empty to the world. Criminals do take advantage of this fact!

Home Security

Of course, there are no guarantees that just because you haven’t hung a sign over your house saying “we’re away,” that your home will be left alone. You can never be sure when a criminal will attack your home, regardless of whether you’re in the country or not. While you can’t control that aspect, you can control how easy it is for them to succeed. An advanced home security will be an integral part of your defence against would-be criminals. If you’re looking at upgrading your system, take a look at https://budgetboost.co/best-home-security-systems/. They outline a few systems that come with a mobile app that’ll send you notifications when something untoward happens, allowing you to take action no matter how far away from home you are.

Hire a Homesitter

It’s not just criminals who can compromise your home when you’re away. This is a home, where any number of issues can happen! A good way to keep your home in tip-top condition is to have someone stay there while you’re away. There are plenty of housesitter websites that can connect you with reliable people. If you’re going on a more extended trip (say, a couple of months or more), you can also look at renting out your property. It’s an excellent way to keep it safe while also getting some rent money and topping up the travel fund.

Friends Dropping In

If all that sounds too complicated, or you’re only away for a week or so, have a friend or family member drop in every couple of days. They’ll be able to check that everything’s just as it should be, and also pick up the mail -- a pile-up of letters can be a sign that a family is away.

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LIFESTYLE: ADDING A TOUCH OF NATURE TO YOUR HOME

Who doesn’t love to take a trip into the great outdoors? There’s nothing better than being surrounded by trees, beautiful views, fresh air, and, essentially, life. Yet while most of us enjoy being in the great outdoors, we don’t always get as much of it as we’d like -- instead, we spend the bulk of our time away not only from nature, but the outdoors. From our works to our cars to our homes, we’re nearly always inside. However, just because we like or need to be inside, that doesn’t mean that we can’t get a dose of nature, especially in our homes. Below, we take a look at a few ways you can bring some of the outdoors into your property.




Source: Pexels.com


Let There Be Light


The reason we feel so disconnected from the natural world is because we’re always facing inward. In our home, we’re penned in four walls, and sit facing away from the windows, which, in any case, are often small. During certain months of the year, or if we live in a built-up area, the only light we receive is artificial. But it doesn’t it have to be this way. One of the best ways to make your home feel more natural is to open the space up, and let in as much light as possible.


Into the Outdoors


Another useful way to add a touch of nature to your home is to make less of a distinction between where home ends and nature begins. Incorporate French doors into your property, and you’ll have created a funnel that draws you into your back garden. It might seem like a small thing, but you’ll find that you’re more likely to spend time in your yard area if there’s only a pane of glass keeping it at bay.


Natural Features


Who says that natural features only belong in the great outdoors? You can bring them into your home, in various ways. For example, you can get a fire that burns real wood from https://ultimatefires.com.au; it’ll invoke those lovely evenings spent around the campfire when you take a trip into the great outdoors. Elsewhere, you can make the most of natural textures such as wood and stone. A distressed wood table, for instance, will give off that outdoor country vibe, while a stone kitchen countertop will give your home that elemental feel.


Plants and Veg


One of the best, most effective, most sweet smelling ways to bring nature into your home is to add things that grow freely in nature, such as flowers, plants, and vegetables, which you can keep on display in your kitchen. The flowers and plants are particularly recommended -- studies have shown that they’re able to boost our mood.


Decorations


Finally, take a look at incorporating nature into the decorations that you have around your home. Pinecones, jars of pebbles and sand, and other items you can find on your country walks will all work well, as will adding works of art that have a nature theme.

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