#apovgiftswap – Part 2

First off, a belated Merry Christmas to you all! I have been enjoying the festive season to the max, spending time with friends and family, eating(!) as well as decorating my first real tree. It’s been nice to have a few days to catch up with myself and to reflect on the year too – something which I explored back in my Achievements and Resolutions post for 2016/17 which you can read here. Back to this one though and I recently wrote about the #APOV Gift Swap. We were each swapped with fabulous bloggers, we shared an idea for budget and a few things on our wish list before hitting the shops. I had a fantastic time choosing for my blogger, The Trendy Orange, and had a great time reading her fashion and lifestyle blog too. In turn she sent be a box of gorgeous goodies which I was so excited to open on Christmas morning!

So what was in my box of goodies? I opened it up to find the cutest little card from Ashley with a gorgeous glitter Merry Christmas. Underneath I spotted the Pusheen Cosmetic Bag straight away. I love anything Pusheen – the cutest cat – so I was so excited to see this. Pusheen has plenty of room for storing all my make up and is so furry. His little face is gorgeous and can brighten anyone’s day!

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Next up, I spotted bright pink flamingo paper clips. I love cute stationery especially when it involves animals or fun things. I’ve just created a new desk space to enable blog and writing for 2017 so these will definitely brighten up the space!

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The next gift I could smell as soon as I opened the box – a gorgeous Lush bath bomb in the shape of a parcel. I must admit I went in Lush just before Christmas just to smell all the beautiful bath bombs! I also jumped in on the online queue for the sales on Boxing Day and spent my day waiting from 75,000th in the queue! By the time I got onto the website there was nothing exciting left! Do let me know if you grabbed a bargain though!

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My final gift was the most gorgeous candle I’ve ever seen. It’s a little pine cone with snow decorating the base inside a pretty glass jar. The most perfect Christmas decoration which I am planning to save until next year as it is far too pretty to light!

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To complete the box Ashley included a number of yummy chocolates which I can’t wait to indulge in! You can never have too much chocolate at Christmas – Yum! Thank you Ashley so much for all of my fabulous gifts – even though we have never met the gifts you bought were so special and truly wonderful.

My advice to those who are thinking about a bloggers gift swap is totally do it! It’s such a lovely way to meet new blogging friends, learn about others’ interests and in turn it’s so fun to go out and choose unique gifts for someone.

Happy Christmas and wishing you all a wonderful New Year!

Becky at Pretty & Petit

Top Tips for Passing Your Driving Test

I recently passed my driving test and have bought my first car – hooray!!! It did take me a couple of attempts to pass but it was mainly down to anxiety and not knowing what to expect – so I have given you my top tips to make sure you are feeling well prepared and ready to get on the road!

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Make sure you are ready…

I’m 27 so I definitely left it a while to learn to drive but I certainly chose the right time for me. Everyone is different and you may not necessarily feel ready to get behind the wheel at 17 – that’s fine! Everyone learns in their own ways and at their own times so do not feel pressured into driving if you do not yet feel confident and comfortable to do so.

Learn Your Manouveres…

During your test you will be required to complete a couple of manouveres. These include reverse round a corner, turn in the road, parallel parking and bay parking. All of these need practice both with your instructor and privately but you’ll soon get them!

Revise Your Theory…

I passed my theory approximately a year before passing my practical but this meant that I could continue to use my theory more and more whilst I was out on the road. It’s great to keep up on everything that you have learnt in your theory, especially in regard to road markings, signs and the various hazards. Now that I’m driving everyday I’m certainly improving on my hazard perception and learning new things every time I am out on the road!

Keep Practicing…

I often had long gaps between my lessons but it is so much better to be driving on a regular basis when you are learning. This keeps things fresh in your mind in terms of what you are learning and ultimately aids you to becoming a better and safer driver. By building up confidence through regular lessons and practice in a parent/guardians car you are able to cover a full range of skills used in daily driving.

Revise the Show and Tell Questions…

These are so important and you will be asked two totally random questions. Make sure you know all the various buttons and where everything is located under the bonnet. Usually you will receive a book when you start learning to keep track of your lessons, and if you go with a company like the AA they will provide you with a book that contains these questions – make sure you take a read over them and jot down any notes to help you remember as these are great for revising on just before you take your test.

Keep Calm and Positive…

One of the main things that affected me in my driving test was panic and anxiety. This was particularly when I stalled and this was the reason I failed my first test. I made a common mistake of trying to set off in 3rd gear and thought it was in 1st! This panic and frustration is what caused me to fail. If you get in this situation, stop – making sure the car is secure, and think through your steps that you have been taught. Even now I still stall occasionally as I get used to driving regularly but it does start to get more natural! Remember – everyone was a learner once! If you’re like me and have learnt in London, you may well be used to those who are a little more impatient. The trick is not to panic and not to let them fluster you – in the end they are just making it more dangerous for themselves through rushing. Keep calm and have a positive mindset throughout!

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Didn’t pass this time – Don’t worry!

It took me a couple of attempts to pass but in turn this has made me a safer driver. I now feel much more confident when I’m out on the road and those extra few practices were worth everything to be able to drive now.

Your Driving Test is just the start!

It’s a daunting experience driving out and about on your own for the first time. I remember being so nervous and excited to get behind the wheel. You’re bound to face lots of challenges. With my new job I have to travel a lot and rely on maps and sat nav – I have lots of stories of ending up in residential car parks and down one way roads but all is excellent practice to make you a better driver.

Good Luck! – Send me a tweet to let me know how you get on @prettyandpetit

Becky at Pretty & Petit

 

A Christmas Celebration with The Polish Bakery

A bit of a belated post but I wanted to share the fantastic evening I had at The Polish Bakery Christmas Party!

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In early December on a chilly Tuesday evening I was invited to an evening filled with Christmas festivities as I attended The Polish Bakery Christmas Party at 55 Exhibition Road in South Kensington, London. The venue was stunning, with renowned Polish restaurant, Ognisko Polskie located on the ground floor. A sweeping staircase took us up to the first floor where the event was being held.

On entering the room (with prosecco in hand!) there was a beautiful grand piano and we were welcomed by a MD of The Polish Bakery. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly – the room was filled with happy faces! This was, in part, to do with the amounts of gorgeous, delicious food laid out for us to indulge. As soon as one plate was emptied it was refilled with different meats, cheeses, salads and of course, the main attraction of The Polish Bakery bread.

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There were so many breads to try from The Polish Bakery and it is the oldest Polish Bakery in the UK. They are truly traditional company using only natural ingrediants imported from Poland to create the authentic Polish flavours. Breads are hand-finished and are a sourdough which tastes absolutely delicious! They have a full range of breads available including poppy seed, rye, half-wheat, sesame seed and sunflower seed.  There are also gluten-free breads available which were wonderful to try!

Dessert was an array of beautiful looking slices of cakes alongside sumptuous doughnuts (if unlike me you weren’t already full from all of the delicious bread!) The cakes had lots of gorgeous layers filled with delicious, mouthwatering flavours. There were so many to taste!

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We ended the evening with some lovely speeches and cutting of the cake before being handed fabulous goody bags filled with breads and delicious Vienna Cheesecake that was shared amongst my colleagues the following day. A truly magical evening and a perfect way to kick off the festive season!

Becky at Pretty & Petit

Achievements and Resolutions 2016/17

So here it is, a brand new fresh year to start again. New ideas, new focus but also a good time to reflect on all the fantastic achievements from the last year. I always take a day between Christmas and New Year to do this. I usually head out of the house (most likely to my local Starbucks) grab myself a mocha and write two lists. I start by writing all of my achievements for the year, using social media and my blog I start at January and work my way through the year, noting key highlights and achievements along the way.

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This is such a feel good exercise and truly makes you focus on all the positive aspects from the year, opposed to the negative which is often what we tend to do without really meaning to.

The next list I create is my resolutions list. It’s worth noting that both of these lists that I write are kept in my notebook that I carry everywhere with me. It helps me keep track that I am actually on course to achieving my goals for the year. I look back at my resolutions twice in the year. The first is at 6 months – usually when I am on holiday in the Summer. I look at what I have achieved so far and make notes on how I can keep on track to achieve the others going forward. I then look at it again in December when it comes to making a new list to find those resolutions I can carry over into the new year and to produce new ideas for future resolutions.

My Highlights and Achievements of 2016

Passing my driving test – It took a couple of attempts but I’m finally out on the road! Hooray!

Getting a new car – My dream first car, a Ford Fiesta, 5 door in red.

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Moving into a new job – I now am in a brand new college, meeting new people and getting involved in new challenges (which involves learning about a whole new range of careers!)

Visiting beautiful Lake Garda in Italy – On my wish list for a few years now and I finally was able to go and visit this beautiful lake.

Started Hula Hooping – Through attending HulaFit classes.

My Resolutions for 2017

These are a few of my top resolutions for 2017! Hopefully they give you some ideas for your New Year’s resolutions too!

To find a new hobby – I am such a creative person and I think this is something that has truly been lacking in my life. I’m setting out to find a new creative hobby and hopefully I’ll post some of my makes up on this blog!

To go on more day trips – I have made a list of days out in the UK and plan to visit at least one per month.

To walk more – I have set myself the challenge of completing one long walk a month and entering myself into a walking challenge. I am due to have another foot operation so we’ll see how we get on with this one! In some ways in may aid my recovery!

To read more – I have set myself a target of 2 books a month minimum.\

To have a Sunday night movie – I find this is the best way to help me relax for the week ahead. I’m planning to make a record of all the movies I watch throughout the year.

To be more creative – I feel so much better when I have spent a few hours being creative. I would like to draw at least once image per month and also create one collage a month. I’ll be posting these on my Instagram too to prove it!

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What are your new year resolutions? I’d love to hear what you have planned for 2017!

Becky at Pretty & Petit

Guest Post – 6 Winter Essentials You Should Carry With You

Have your lips started to get flaky and dry? Does your nose look pinker than usual? Do you feel like drinking coffee at the middle of the night and cuddling? Well, if the answer is yes to all of these questions then you must know that winter is here and it is about time you should buy a few items that you cannot do without during this ultimate dry season of the year.

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Following is the list of the 6 essentials that you must keep in your bag wherever you go in winters:

  1. Travel Size Moisturizer:

With winter, come ugly patches of dryness on body which leaves you looking like a zombie. You would not want to travel looking like that, now would you? Therefore, keeping a travel size bottle of moisturizer would help in keeping your skin hydrated and alive because using it only once before you leave home would not suffice.

  1. Chocolate Bars And Nuts:

The cravings for sugar in winters get heightened and the cold weather makes you want to munch every now and then. To keep you warm and to satiate your cravings, chocolate bars and a few dry fruits in your bag serve the purpose perfectly. Chocolate also helps to fight off the symptoms of cold that is easy to catch in winters. Who doesn’t want excuses to eat a chocolate or two after all!

  1. Pocket Perfume:

All our senses get magnified in winters, especially the sense of smell. Therefore, keeping a pocket perfume in your bag can leave you with a fresh and beautiful fragrance even after hours of traveling without any worries and those around you also like it.

  1. Hand Mittens:

Hands and feet are the most exposed parts of our body to the outer atmosphere and therefore, they stay the coldest. Instead of rubbing your hands and trying to produce heat, it is safer to keep a pair of knitted gloves or mittens. It is one of the most important things for your winter haul, especially if you’re traveling to a place where there is severe cold or snowfall.

  1. A Compact First Aid Kit:

Accidents in winters are increased due to snowfall and slippery roads. It is therefore important to keep a compact first aid kit with a few essential items in it that you might need in case of emergency. This will make your journey safer and you will be able to travel free from stress.

  1. Lip Cream:

Keeping a good quality lip cream with you is of great importance in winter. Whether it is pure, colourless and unscented balm or something more fancy and coloured gloss, availability of something to keep your lips hydrated is of high significance. Lips are the most sensitive part of the face and leaving them dry and flaky as they become in winters can be really embarrassing and a cause of discomfort. Therefore, while packing your bag, do not forget your favorite lip balm.
Author Bio:

This post was written by Beth Martel. She is a mother of two, a medical professional and a humanitarian. She blogs at HealthyRecharge.com

beth-martel

 

 

Guest Post – Transform Your Fashion Style into Your Home Design

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For those of us who love fashion, picking a perfect outfit for the day is important. It has to reflect our mood, the place we are going and more importantly it has to be within the borders of our style. We all have our ways of wearing clothes and designs we absolutely adore. Moreover, as much as we love fashion, we love the design of our homes, as well. That is why the design of your home should reflect your own style and you can easily incorporate your accessories, favorite materials and patterns in it.

Play with Patterns

Patterns are the most interesting way to elevate any of your outfits. So why not incorporate them in your home? You probably have a dress or a shirt that has fun patterns on it, and you should consider putting them in your home. For example, if you enjoy wearing floral patterns, you can easily find cushions of the similar design and refurnish your chairs. Lovers of geometrical shapes can arrange throw pillows with circles, triangles or any other shapes they like. Also, any wearable pattern can be turned into wallpaper that can make a great accent wall in the living room.

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Your Favorite Colours

Colours define styles. Whether it is a vivid style with plenty of vibrant colors, or one with darker shades, there is no doubt it will be unique and personal. The same goes for home designs. If you just can’t resist wearing bright and warm colours, you can incorporate them by painting any room you like in light shades of yellow, beige or cream, and use brighter colours, such as light blue, green or orange to create a fun atmosphere. For those of you who like darker shades, stick to the elegant colours, such as Lost Lake blue, Mole’s Breath gray and Dark Teal green to create the foundation, while you can add colour pops of light pink, dark red and purple to make a more pleasant sight. Those small colour pops can easily be introduced through bigger pieces of furniture; but you can use smaller accessories, too.

Accessorize with Accessories

An outfit is not complete without accessories, and the same goes for your home. Plain walls, empty dressers and lonely coffee tables are monotonous. There is a simple solution – use your accessories as an inspiration for home accessories. Transform the design of your bronze or copper bracelets into simple accessories of the same materials. You can use it in the details of the lamps, find figurines that remind you of the bracelet or anything else that comes into your mind. Also, you can turn the style of your favorite elegant Mecque earrings into a gorgeous chandelier for the living room that will exude sophistication. If you like gold or silver jewelry, dress your home with gold and silver details or add a few lines in the same colors on the wall. Just look through your wardrobe and jewellery box, and you will surely find something that inspires you.

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Incorporate Fur

There is a great deal of people who go crazy over fur or faux-fur in their style; and this material can easily be fitted in your home. Fur rugs always look mesmerizing, warm and elegant in any room, so why not add such a fluffy detail. Also, you can cover your dining room chairs with pieces of fur and instantly elevate their look. Moreover, you can make your bedroom even more inviting by arranging a few fluffy throw pillows or a blanket for the ultimate softness. To make things even more interesting, using fur will warm up your home and prepare you for the cold winter days, just like your outfit.

Reflect on Your Favourite Clothing

You certainly have a favourite dress, shirt, skirt or any other piece of clothing. Use that opportunity to dress your home. Your summer dress with floral patterns and bright colors can easily be turned into a picture. Just reflect on the same colors and similar patterns and voila! The same goes for any other piece you love wearing; you can turn their design into wall art, covers for the couch, throw pillows and so on.

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Be creative and your style will find its way into your home. So, next time you are looking for new accessories for the home, think about what you would wear.

Written by Elise Morgan. Follow her on Twitter @elisemorgan1

 

#apovgiftswap

So here I am – back with a bang! (or for those who know me well, a crash, bang, wallop! Either way, I have left you all for so long and I am terribly sorry to have left you in a lurch wondering if I would ever return but more on my little life update soon enough!

Today I want to let you know about a fabulous initiative I’m getting involved in after stepping back into the beautiful world of blogging. This fun opportunity involves swapping Christmas gifts with fellow bloggers whilst being able to network with one another, sharing ideas, happy thoughts and general positive vibes!

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This was something that I got involved with last year and I found it so much fun! It also enabled me to find out more about different blogs and writing styles which was so inspiring.

You’ll be able to see what I received closer to Christmas and I can’t wait to share my favourite Christmas gift ideas!

This year the gift swap is being organised by A Piece of Viola who has a fabulous Travel, Lifestyle and Fashion blog! Take a read by clicking here and if you fancy reading and discovering the blogs of those involved make sure you follow #apovgiftswap on Twitter.

Becky at Pretty & Petit

The Importance of Friendship with Huggle

Friendship is one of the most important things in our lives and  Huggle  has asked me to make a list/write about what I think makes a good friend. Huggle is a social app which helps you to discover and connect with people who go to the places you go. It’s a wonderful app for making friends and meeting like-minded people. You can download it here.

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I have summed up what I think makes a good friend in a series of quotes below! See if you can spot the Winnie the Pooh inspired one! (Tip: You can find the answer on my Instagram @Prettyandpetit!)

Friends come and go like walks of the ocean but the true ones stick, like an octopus on your face.

Remember you don’t need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends you can be certain of.

It’s not what we have in life, but who we have in our life that matters.

Everyone needs a friend that will call and say, “Get dressed , we are going on an adventure!”

No one will ever be as entertained by us as us.

Distance means so little when someone means so much.

Someone to share the happiest of memories and the deepest of secrets.

How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.

In life have a friend that is like a mirror and shadow; A mirror doesn’t lie and a shadow never leaves.

Promise me, you won’t forget our laughs, our jokes, our smiles, our conversations, our plans, our tears, our memories, our experiences, our friendship.

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Becky at Pretty & Petit

Discovering Trilogy

Trilogy are the ‘ones who know denim’ and from a first glance at their homepage, it’s pretty clear that they are true to their word!

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Trilogy is London’s premium denim specialist with one simple aim – to find every woman the perfect pair of jeans. Excellent service, a carefully edited catalogue of brands and a raft of denim knowledge means we’ve been doing just that since 2006. – Trilogystores.co.uk

Voted one of Vogue’s ‘Best Boutiques in Britain’ four years running, Trilogy aims to not only make their customers look great but through creating stunning exclusive collections and excellent customer service, aims to make them feel great too!

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With this valuable, expert knowledge you have the option to book a ‘denim experience’ – a one to one individual style consultation to find your perfect jeans or to give your wardrobe a denim overhaul.

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I love that Trilogy not only includes every type of jeans imaginable – cropped to straight, flared to skinny, but they also include complementing tops that really show off the shape of the jeans. They all look so flattering and suitable for any body shape.

I have included a couple of my favourite styles below!

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Paige – Colette Flare in White – £245

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Paige – Verdugo in Noelly – £240

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Paige – Edgemont in Black – £260

They have an amazing sale on right now so make sure you go check it out by clicking here.

Becky at Pretty & Petit 

New Shoes for Summer from Jones Bootmaker

It’s always time for some new shoes and I have recently come across some fabulous shoes and Summer sandals at Jones Bootmaker.

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I always thought Jones only offer boots and so tended to avoid them throughout the Summer months. I was looking for a pair of comfortable shoes ready for these slightly warmer days and that would be perfect for my upcoming holiday.

One aspect Jones Bootmaker particularly prides itself on is its quality. They are renowned for its fantastic quality of shoes and although they are on the more slightly pricey side you are definitely gaining excellent value for money!

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Their stores are often beautifully designed and located in small towns and cities across the UK. They offer excellent customer service – with welcoming, kind smiles, a helpful approach but also leaving customers to browse which I think is the most perfect way to shoe shop.

As the weather has been so toasty lately I have particularly been looking at sandals for the Summer. I have been looking for something comfortable so I can walk long distances but also look fashionable, keeping my feet cool at the same time. I have listed my favourites below so make sure you check them out!

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After finding these fabulous sandals for the day time I also found these great sandals for the evening too! Here are my top 5!

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You can find the full range of Womens Sandals by clicking here.

They also have a fabulous sale on right now so make sure you check it out and pick up some bargains! Sale

Becky at Pretty & Petit