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

 

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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

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#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

New Year, New You – Try Something New in 2016

As part of my ‘New Year, New You’ series this month I’m asking bloggers to share their plans, tips and resolutions for 2016! 
My final post in January comes from Charlotte Corner, a lifestyle blogger at www.crunchcorner.co.uk who is sharing her ideas for trying something new in 2016. Let us know if you have tried something new in 2016 by sharing in the comments!

The start of any New Year is always far too chaotic: back to work, everyone’s feeling the need to set New Year resolutions (most of them often fade come March), and you have to pull yourself out of that cosy Christmas slumber where it was acceptable to have a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie every night.

One of my favourite things about the start of a new year is the fact you’re just motivated and willing to make an effort with everyone and everything. One promise I made to myself a few years back was to always try something new and be the happiest I can be. So if that’s something you’re wanting to promise yourself too, here’s my super easy five top tips anyone can stick to.

Venture out somewhere local – You might be surprised what lovely little spots you will find close to home. Here in Leeds, there are tonnes of things to do and places to see, but try and dig a little deeper and see what unusual activities may lurk below the surface. Some of my latest blog posts have featured nearby walks such as Ripley Castle Gardens which was absolutely stunning, with so much to take in; we also had the cutest of cats follow us around until the very end when tea and scones were calling my name!

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Surprise your friends – After all, they’re the ones that put up with you regardless how awful your mood may be, they will make you laugh when you’re feeling down, and listen to your rants about pretty pointless irritations and still take them seriously. Therefore my friends, just take them out, wine and dine them for no reason other than they’re bloody brilliant, and show your lovelies just how much they mean to you. Food is good for the soul and friendship; but what nourishes the soul more is knowing you’ve made someone else happy. Cheesy I know, but it’s so true!

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Redecorate a room – whether that’s a complete makeover, jazzing up your layout or treating yourself to some new accessories to glam up your décor; shifting a room around can be so refreshing. We’ve recently moved home and kitted our bedroom out in white, meaning our old pine pictures frames had to undergo a little makeover.

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Bring the outside in – Everyone needs a little nature in their home, whether it’s plants, pine cones, dried berries or herbs growing for your cooking. For me, this makes a house homely and checking in on the tiny seeds you planted which is now growing is so exciting. Lavender is also a scrumptious plant to pick, bundle together and place in a room- it smells divine.

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Practice yoga – As bizarre as it sounds, I have never attended a yoga class until last year. I was invited to a blogger session focused all around the Ashtanga and learnt fantastic positions to help find your inner peace, release tensions and just feel more relaxed as a whole. Whether you join a class, or check out some online tutorials, learn and practice yoga!

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UK Blog Awards – Voting is open!

I’ve entered into the UK Blog Awards under the Lifestyle and Events categories, so if you enjoy reading my little blog please take a second to vote for me! Whilst you’re on there make sure you take a look at all the other fabulous bloggers that have entered – there’s some truly wonderfully written blogs out there.

Vote for me now in the UK Blog Awards #UKBA16

Thank you!

Becky
Pretty & Petit

Pretty & Petit visits Bristol! – Feb 2015

Last weekend I paid a visit to the city of Bristol for the first time! My family is from Wales so it is somewhere that I have frequently passed the junction of on the M4 although had never visited before. The reason for our visit was a hen party for one of my close friends who is getting married in a few weeks which we had managed to keep a surprise until we reached Victoria coach station. Taking only 2hours 30min from London on the MegaBus the journey was quick and comfortable and we soon arrived at our fantastic accommodation in the city centre, a modern apartment overlooking the rooftops of the city.

11006372_10153132715312733_957850615081256913_n10994443_10153132715442733_7917541440624249413_nI wore this outfit for the Friday evening negotiating comfort with my new fabulous pink wedges from Primark that I had picked up earlier on in the day – how cute are they!

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On a completely unrelated side note, I absolutely loved this canvas – a banana in an executive chair! I have to get this for my house! Please let me know if you know where to get these from!!!10888723_10153132714927733_7988890505939391821_nAfter a relaxing Saturday morning we spent the afternoon at an amazing vintage tea rooms – Cox and Baloney. It was beautifully decorated in vintage decor and had the largest selection of teas I have ever seen! I’m not one for a cup of tea usually and as it was a special occasion I opted for something a bit stronger, a teapot cocktail known as Lady Amy of Braganza which was made up of Vodka, peach and white apricot tea with lemon juice topped up with ginger beer. Our teapot’s accompanied the most delicious stand of finger sandwiches, cakes and scones all beautifully presented on vintage china.

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1010149_10153132716392733_7061263644774771661_n11015101_10153132715797733_8571458527696961432_n10425066_10153132716077733_7900154810947824970_n18408_10153132716652733_6522794033536739054_n10363238_10153132715567733_2185592703623008289_nWe saw a couple of hen parties head down to a “party room” where they had opted to get their hair and make up done in a vintage theme which looked like a fun optional extra! After enjoying our delicious afternoon tea and glasses of prosecco we ventured into the boutique next door which sold loose tea and a range of fabulous vintage dresses and accessories.

10428066_10153013716740700_141304300778334986_nSaturday evening was spent in Slug and Lettuce in the city centre. We had arranged a cocktail making lesson followed by a wonderful buffet. We learned how to make mojitos and cosmopolitans and were able to consume anything that we created!! The staff and our host were absolutely fantastic and we couldn’t fault them at all! Highly recommended for a fun, girls night out!

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One thing I never realised about Bristol is the amazing street art which seems to be EVERYWHERE! So if you ever get the opportunity, make sure you have a walk around and see what you can spot! It is the home to Banksy, a now world famous artist who started on the streets of Bristol as just another kid with a spray can. If you’re interested in learning more why not take a look at a Banksy tour whilst you’re there? Click here to read more!

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So if you’re looking for somewhere a little bit different for a hen party why not think about Bristol? It has lots of cultural activities as well as some great venues for evenings out! I would highly recommend it!

Becky at Pretty & Petit

Pretty & Petit visits The London Bike Show – Feb 2015

On Saturday 14th February with love in the air (a belated Happy Valentine’s Day to all!) we travelled to ExCeL in London to visit the annual London Bike Show!

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This show, perfect for cycling enthusiasts, also including entrance into other shows including the Outdoor and Adventure Show, Triathlon Show and the Dive Show which meant there was something for all fitness fanatics!

We started off the day trialling a few different bikes. The Boxer bikes were fab and great for parents with children.

We then took a walk round the exhibition which was huge and including so many different bike brands. We even spotted Chris Hoy and the Pinarello that Bradley Wiggins rode to victory!

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I am currently researching Dutch bikes as it will be my major Summer 2015 purchase and was so pleased to see a Bobbins stand at the event. I absolutely love all the different pastel colours available and they are so affordable.

20150214_115844IMG_20150214_16013720150214_115829 20150214_115815Over the day I was also converted into wanting a road bike, especially when I found the Cannondale Synapse bikes (one of which had pink stripes and the other silver glitter!) Despite the colour, the technical aspects of Cannondales are fantastic and definitely something I’m looking to get once my confidence in cycling improves! We also spent a lot of time at the Canyon and Pinarello stands – both amazing bike brands!

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Of course, if you are thinking of buying a new bike, like me, you will need the accessories to go with it! For the girls I found two amazing stands – Velo Vixen, which I have come across before at previous events and Bike Belle, Boutique Cycling Accessories – both of which I am planning to feature soon so keep an eye out for more information about these cute brands.

20150214_12155620150214_121810 20150214_121815Overall, The London Bike Show was a fab day out and something that the whole family can enjoy. From trialling new bikes, to watching thrilling BMX demonstrations to visiting the many different stands available – a great day out!

Becky at Pretty & Petit