Today's post is going to take a look at how we can go about spotting quality clothing. I think its good to have a selection of quality pieces in your wardrobe and that it’s smart to spend a little bit extra and buy staple classic pieces that will last. If you go for materials that wash well and last longer otherwise you will just end up replacing these items every few months.

I've been taking a look in to what makes up a high quality garment and I believe these are the three most important things to look out for.


Fabric is without a doubt the most important part of any piece of clothing. Regardless of the quality of the construction etc. if the fabric used is a cheap polyester blend or something which really isn't suited to the item, the whole piece will be let down. When looking for quality fabrics, you need to check the hand feel and to see if any treatments have been added to help with things like durability. If you pay a little more and go for organic cotton, you're guaranteeing that the fabric hasn't been harmed by pesticides.


When it comes to construction, handmade is always a great start because it means that someone has actually stitched the item themselves and with that comes a degree of pride. The first thing to take a look at is the stitching to see if there are any signs of unravelling, missed stitches, loose stitches, snags, crooked lines or other imperfections. After, you should try and lightly pull the fabric on either side of a seam just to check that it doesn't pull apart. Don't pull too hard of course!


It's no good buying an item that's been constructed beautifully from high quality fabrics if the trim like zips and buttons are going to degrade and even worse, fall off. The quality of the trim is just as important as the quality of the fabric. Plastic zippers are harder to zip up also, so always look out for metal zips and if possible, branded ones. You'd be surprised how much development companies like YKK put in to making their zips durable enough to stand the test of time. If you look out for high quality zips, you'll avoid a world of headaches.

I spoke to Rob Williams, a Director at Hawthorn, a clothing manufacturer based in London about what he believes is the most important thing to look out for. He said “from experience, the composition of a fabric plays a huge part in determining the quality of a piece. Lower quality brands tend to only think about their profit margins and will use fabrics like polyester blends where there is no need. On the other hand, those brands who really care about quality will go the extra mile to make sure that their products will stand the test of time. 100% natural fabrics are superior to man made fabrics generally, however there are some exceptions when it comes to speciality clothing like active wear.”

*Collaborative Post 


In today's post I want to talk about staying positive and ways in which I think you can stay positive and increase your productivity in 2018. I'm going to include a few products to help you stay organised and things you can do to make 2018 the best year yet!

First up it's the 18th of January so you should all have a brand new diary and calendar, if not you need to go and get one. I think writing down things really helps me stay productive and I like to tick things off and this keeps me on track. I also keep a note of any appointments etc, coffee with friends so i'm super productive and know what i'm doing from one day to the next. If I have a free day then I can use this for blogging and i'll usually write a list of blog posts I want to write or write a list of products I need to review so i've always got something to write about. I also use the calendar and notes on my phone but I find actually writing things in my diary and on my calendar works better for me. There's lots of lovely planners around like The Happiness Planner and these ones from Dot Creates and so if you work from home or like having a big diary I think they are great and have lots of sections to keep you organised. 

Next up why not invest in a new wardrobe, get yourself some nice new clothes that you will be proud to be seen in. If you work in an office get yourself a nice new jacket or suit. This will make you feel really confident, and ready to get that promotion this year. If you are self-employed even though you don't wear a uniform appearing clean and professional is a good way to get new commissions, work etc, even if you just invest in a new dress, pair of jeans or a new coat. 

Having a positive mental attitude is going to boost positivity and productivity this year. Why not join the gym or start going for a run, I find exercise a really good way of thinking and i've come up with some really good ideas whilst i've been out for a jog. Exercise can also help you sleep better which is another benefit and another way to boost your positive attitude. 
Start doing yoga, have a massage, go for a walk around a park, just take some time out for you. Personal well-being is very important and looking after yourself should be a priority this year.  

Healthy eating is another good way of staying positive, I always have a 'lets do this' attitude when i'm eating well. I'm always very motivated to do well. Sugary and fatty foods can make you feel sluggish and can leave you feeling tired and irritated.  

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Incase you didn't know I recently had a baby, (HELLO AMELIA ) and I'm hoping to start featuring some kind of parenting / new baby type of blog posts. I want to write updates about Amelia and document this time as a new parent. I also want to write product reviews and share products that I would recommend buying and products that I think are a waste of money. I will still be featuring beauty, fashion and lifestyle on my blog and I will try and alternate my posts so it's not all baby posts or all beauty etc. Please give me some time to get back into blogging as I've been pretty absent since having Amelia as sitting down to blog is hard when you have a needy newborn who doesn't want to be put down

Today I want to review some of the Burts Bees baby range as this is pretty much what we've used on Amelia since she was born. I did try and refrain from using any products at all, just water for the first couple of weeks because her skin is quite sensitive. I found her hair was looking quite greasy and wanted to use a shampoo on her. We had quite a big selection of baby products to choose from ( she literally has more shampoo, bath products, cleansers, creams than me) I opted for Burts Bees because they are a natural brand and I was hoping she wouldn't have any kind of reaction to their products.
I tried the shampoo first and she seemed to be fine so I continued to use this. It cleans her hair well, it lathers up well and you only need a tiny bit so a little goes a long way. It smells nice, the fragrance is very subtle and gentle. I only need to wash her hair once, maybe twice a week ( shes quite a sicky baby and manages to get sick everywhere) This is also a wash you can use it all over which is very handy. It leaves Amelia's skin feeling soft and clean. We have a few other shampoo products to use up but I think I will repurchase the shampoo and wash as I know it works really well for Amelia. Burts Bees products are easy to get hold of as they are usually stocked in Boots and Holland and Barrett

Once we had used the shampoo and was happy that she didn't have any reactions etc we tried the bubble bath, I pretty much use this everytime she has a bath, again you only need a little bit as they don't have much water in the bath. It's a lovely fresh, gentle scent. It creates some lovely bubbles which makes bathtime a little more fun for your little one. You can use the suds to wash baby. Amelia loves bath time so it's nice to have lovely products like these to use one her.

Both of the products are mild and tear free so you don't have to worry too much about it going in their eyes. I have a few other products from the Burts Bees baby range to try and i'm looking forward to giving them ago.

* This post contains pr samples.


Buggy builders: fitness for new families  
During a pregnancy and birth, a female’s body can change a million times over – but it is truly worth it when you meet your new-born baby for the first time. For many women though, it gets to a point after birth that you want to get your pre-baby body back and losing your baby weight can prove difficult. For this reason, a growing number of women are joining post-natal classes and are trying to get back into shape after giving birth to their little ones. With a new-born baby in tow, it can be hard to go back to the gym though – but where there is a will, there is a way.  
But when is the right time to start exercise again? Following the NHS’s recommendation, six weeks is an appropriate time to wait until starting exercise. The reason for this is that your six-week post-natal check-up will determine how well you have recovered. However, women who exercised regularly before pregnancy, may feel fit and well to begin working out sooner than the six-week check – each new mum is different. You’ll know within yourself if you feel fit enough to get back into your regime, don’t push yourself too soon.  
However, that is not to say that you won’t come across fitness inspiration and motivational posts on social media in those six weeks. Social media has become the heart of fitness inspiration, and post-natal fitness is no exception. The internet has inspired a lot of us to reach our fitness goals, and post-natal goals are no different. In fact, post-natal posts are becoming increasingly popular across the web, with #postnatalfitness associated with 53,003 Instagram posts.  
Until a few years ago, there was a gap in the market for post-natal fitness classes – industry professionals recognised this and began to design classes which were specifically targeted and new mums. The post-natal classes aim to provide a solution for new mums who were struggling to get back into shape after having their new born. There are now specialised post-natal exercise classes that help women get back into shape with their baby’s – an opportunity for new mums to get their pre-baby body back. Classes usually allow mums to bring their little ones along to the class with them.  
Post-natal classes have shown to have more than just physical benefits. Many mums have also revealed that exercising after having their baby has helped prevent, or ease post-natal depression as exercise has made them ‘happier’. Research would suggest this to be true, as exercise is shown to release endorphins in the body – hormones which can have positive psychological effects, such as a ‘euphoric high’.  
The founder of RGL fitness is a mum who knows a thing or two about post-natal fitness – Randi Lynn Greene has over 39.9k Instagram followers thanks to her workout and yoga routine posts that can be done by new mums who have a baby in tow. She has proven that workouts can be done by mums at home with a little one crawling around. Of course, nutrition is just as important as your workout regime. Greene, who has also appeared on Lorraine on ITV to show mums that you can exercise at your own convenience.    
Getting rid of the ‘dad bod’ 
The dad bod is something that Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine have proven to be true as wellIn a study of 10,000 men over 10 years, the university studied men through different stages of their life – from adolescents and young adults, to new fathers. The study showed that those found that men who become fathers experience weight gain and an increase in body mass index, whilst those who didn't become dads generally lost weight over the same time period. 
The term dad bod is something that is circulating all over our social media feeds right now – whilst the term describes men with bodies that are neither toned or defined and normally those who don’t go to the gym and workout, it isn’t necessarily just fathers who have this body.  
But that bod can be avoided. A clean diet and effective workout regime are key. Your diet should consist of the three main macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein and essential fats. Avoid sugary and fatty treats – whilst they might give you an initial sugar rush, the energy boost won’t last long. You want to supply your body with foods that release energy slowly – being a dad can be tiring. For an extra boost before your workout, protein bars and shakes will help you push yourself harder to hit your performance goals. If you don’t have time to make it to the gym with all your new daddy duties, there are exercises you can do at home to keep yourself in shape:  
  • Plank – 45-60 seconds  
  • Jack-knifes – 25 reps  
  • Crunches – 25 reps  
  • Squats – 25 reps  
  • Jumping lunges – 25 reps each leg  
  • Sprint – 30 second, repeat 3 rounds  
  • Mountain climber – 25 each leg  
  • Press ups – 25 reps  


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