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Hello Autumn

I have waited for this for so long. Autumn is my favourite season. I love everything about it and thought I'd share just some of my many favourites with you.

1. The weather. It's not hot but it's not freezing cold. I love the cool crisp air in the mornings, the breezes, the smell of wet leaves, the dark nights when you're all cosy at home with a hot drink and your nearest and dearest around you. The sound of the rain hitting off the windows and the howl of the winds during the night, I'm not sure why but I find it so cosy and comforting.

2. The colours. I love the reds, browns, oranges and yellows. My makeup bag has a makeover, my wardrobe has a switch and my home becomes a little bit festive with lots of cute autumnal accessories. The throws are back on the couch, the fluffy dressing gown is hung on the back of the door and the central heating is on constantly. I love it and think everything is much prettier and cosier during Autumn.

3. You know Christmas is coming and that really excites me. Christmas time is one of the very few times I get to spend with all of my family and one of the very few times throughout the year that my partner gets off work as he's self employed so rarely takes annual leave or holidays. It's lovely to spend quality time together with the people we love most. It goes without saying.

The bikini's are packed away, the passport put in the draw and the bbq in the shed. It's time to make Christmas lists and start thinking of festivities. I love making plans for the Autumn and Winter months, there's always lots of fun local events going on and I get so excited about markets, they're one of my favourite places to go and there's always lots of them happening around this time of year.

4. Television. Now, I'm not a huge fan of tv, there are some shows I do love watching but I can take or leave tv but during Autumn I always find tv choice much better! I'm a big soap opera fan and find the story lines much more exciting, this is when they start building up to the big Christmas finale. The movie channels get more interesting too as producers know more people will be having nights in rather than nights out and some of my favourite shows start again such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Saturday Night Takeaway. I just love me some Ant and Dec, fellow geordies and all that.

5. Food - I'm so excited to use my slow cooker again. Eating beef stew mid July just doesn't feel right but during Autumn I've always got something delicious simmering away in our slow cooker. Anything from chunky veg soup to homemade rice pudding or a nice joint of roast beef ready for a delicious roast.

I love the smell that drifts through my home from the slow cooker, food always tastes so good from it too, especially meat. It's so juicy and just melts in your mouth. I couldn't be without mine during Autumn and Winter.


I'd love to know what you love about Autumn in the comments below.


Myths About Dating

Sticking with the dating theme I thought it was about time I done some myth busting. Some people have different opinions about dating and how it's done. Last time I talked about the unwritten rules but that doesn't mean to say there are actual rules for dating, it's more common sense and personal preference. What works for one won't always worth for another.

You might find the love of your life on somewhere like adult dating, where as others may use Southampton dating site if they're in or local to Southampton, someone might create a profile on over 50s dating and meet the person of their dreams, you can never judge what or when something will or won't happen.

I think people expect too much too soon, they create a profile on Oxford dating site or Suffolk dating site for example and think that the first person to take an interest will be the one. It's about keeping your options open in the beginning, just because one method doesn't work. You could throw the towel in with the first few sites and be on the verge of giving up, sometimes it's worth sticking it out and trying something else. It's like me never using Instagram again because I found my husband to be on Facebook, it doesn't make sense. Just because the love of your life wasn't in Oxford, doesn't mean they won't be in Staffordshire and have a profile on Staffordshire dating site, even better if you like road trips! Expect less and you'll be less disappointed.

 I'm more of a you've gotta kiss a few frogs kind of believer, that doesn't mean you can't have fun. Dating is exciting! It doesn't matter if it's a new date or the same date for 50 years, it should always be fun, keeping the spark is harder than lighting the spark. Don't force it, if it happens then great, if not then on to the next. A dating conveyor belt so to speak. Flattering eh?

5 Myths About The Dating Game - and it truly is a game, roulette maybe?

Myth 1 - Men and Women lose their sex drive after 50.
What a load of rubbish! Research shows certain medical conditions that are age related do make it more difficult for an older generation to have sex, it doesn't mean they don't want to or can't. Research shows that more than 50% of post menopausal women felt happier and more fulfilled between the ages of 50 and 65. Have you ever seen the show Grace and Frankie on Netflix? That explains it ALL!

Myth 2 - Older men and women want a partner of the same age.
Says who? Age is a number and there's absolutely nothing stopping an older person being compatible or attracted to a younger person and vice versa. Never assume.

Myth 3 - People who are divorced or have children have more baggage.
Hell no! I've never been married, divorced or given birth and I've got my fair share of baggage, believe me! Never judge a book by it's cover or stereotype people. There's nothing worse than being categorised for something that once made you happy. Life goes on.

Myth 4 - Men are more attracted to slimmer females with a small appetite.
Really? My man must be a different species then because he loves nothing more than us being together filling our faces with big juicy steaks or pizza's, he knows I'm not a rabbit who lives on lettuce and carrot, I'm a girl with curves with an appetite. Body image doesn't define you as a person.

Myth 5 - Men don't need compliments.
Why is that? Why doesn't a man want to feel good about himself? Why wouldn't be want to know what you like or love about him? Why wouldn't he want to feel good and have his ego stroked every now and again. Of course men should receive compliments! Us woman shout enough about equality, now let's practice it too.

That's my myth busting over with. I hope you've found this post a little helpful if you're in the dating game yourself, or maybe a close friend or family member is and you want to offer them some advice.

Good luck meeting the one! Cliché!

Pets At Home - Groom Room Review

My little puppy, Minnie, has been desperate for a groom! Sadly, we got let down 3 times by our usual groomer so after a few choice words I decided not to give them the opportunity to let us down again. It wasn't fair on my girl, she could barely see because her hair was so long and anyone with a Bichon Frise or a similar breed knows they need regular grooming appointments, they're pretty high maintenance but so so worth it!

I couldn't find anyone else local to me with availability, most had a 6-8 week waiting list! She couldn't wait that long, no way. So I trolled Google and found out Pets At Home pet store now do pet grooming in store.


Their website is so easy to navigate and has a ton of info for pet owners. I was so surprised at how much variety in services they actually offer. It's like a one stop shop for everything pet related. Amazing!

I called my local Groom Room and spoke to a lovely lady who managed to squeeze Minnie in. I wanted the full works for my girl, and oh boy did she need it!

We arrived at our appointment and were greeted by the lovely staff, Minnie got such a warm welcome and was so excited, her tail has never wagged so fast. Maybe she could sense bath time was coming, she loves the bath! It's just the dryer her that's an issue. Little madam.

I explained what I wanted done to the staff and they listened, agreeing and smiling away whilst Minnie wrapped herself around their ankles. They definitely made a new friend that day.

Minnie had the full groom package which includes:

Pre bath groom
Warm water bath
Dry
Styling
Ears cleaned
Nails Clipped
Prices in this vary depending on breed, size and condition of coat

I then added on some extras:

Tear stains removed
Teeth Cleaned
Blueberry facial

This cost £46 and was worth every penny.


The Groom Room offer lots of different packages starting from as little as £5 for 3 treatments. You can mix and match too so you can choose what you think your pet would prefer. I knew Minnie would love anything to do with blueberries since they're her favourite snack, especially frozen.

Minnie was so good for The Groom Room staff (I was quite surprised as she's usually a hyper ball of fluff) and made me so proud!

They finished and it was like I had been given a different dog. She was back to her beautiful, clean, white and gorgeous self again. She could see out of her beautiful dark eyes and her ears no longer looked raggy! Her coat was shining white and she smelt divine. We had to get her cut very short as a one off because her coat was in a bit of a mess, her adult curls were coming through and were starting to matt with her puppy fluff.

 


I was so pleased with the service we received at The Groom Room and would highly recommend anyone to check them out.



Of course for being such a good girl, on the way out Minnie got a new toy! So she was a very happy puppy that day, and very spoilt! I'm looking forward to her coat growing back and returning to the groom room to get her beautiful Bichon shape back.



Thank you so much to the Groom Room for making my girl all beautiful and happy again, we will be seeing you again very soon!


Love Chelsea and Minnie x

Popping The Question

You're engaged and excited. You want to dive straight into planning and ask your nearest and dearest to play special roles on your big day.

I scrolled the internet for months trying to think of ways to pop the question to family and friends!

My other half rushed straight in and asked his best friend to be his best man so unfortunately there was no grand gesture or personal touch to his actions! But he's was over the moon his best man said yes! All they've talked about his the stag do!


Parents Of The Bride
My mam - My mam was a single parent when I was growing up and although she's now married and I have a stepdad, I want my mam by my side on my wedding day, just like any other day in my life. She's really hard to buy for so I picked a few of her favourite things and done a little hamper for her. It included this candle which says ''will you walk me down the aisle?'' and I got her some of her favourite Lush products and some of her favourite chocolate and sweets. My step dad is also walking me down the aisle and I got him some beautiful silver cufflinks personalised with Father Of The Bride and wrote a personal letter asking if he'd do the me the honour as he's been a better dad than I could of ever imaged, even when he didn't need to be.



Bridesmaids and Maid Of Honour
I bought my bridesmaids and maid of honour a bottle of prosecco each and got some personalised tags saying ''name, will you be my bridesmaid/maid of honour'', a candle with the same text and some of their favourite chocolates. They all loved them and I thought it was a cute way of asking them.



Brother Of The Bride/Usher
Usher - I have one brother who I'm very close with. His wife is my maid of honour and his children are also part of the wedding party. I really wanted him to be involved in some way so we decided he would be an usher and help show guests to their seat, meet and greet on arrival and give out buttonholes etc. I got him a bottle of his favourite Jack Daniels and a personalised label to stick on the bottle which reads ''Chris, will you be our usher?''



Pageboys and Flower girl
I'm having my twin nephews as pageboys and my niece/goddaughter as flower girl however I really struggled finding something they'd like as a nice gift to ask them then I came across some cute boxes and thought the kids would love them! They open the box and pop a balloon, confetti goes everywhere and there's a little note inside asking them to do the job! They're so excited for the wedding and ''can't wait to dance''. I also got them some jar glasses with straws and they're personalised with their names and the role they're doing in the wedding party, they'll make cute little keep sakes.


If you have any quirky or sentimental ways of popping the question to the bridal party then I'd love to hear your ideas!

Top Tips For Online Dating

Online dating has become much more popular over recent years, not long ago it was a bit of a taboo subject and people were quite shy (some even embarrassed) to admit that they had an online dating profile or were going on a date with someone they'd met online. I never really understood why but I think people are slowly starting to keep up with the times and realise that in 2017, people don't have the time nor interest to go and meet people the ''traditional'' way.

Online dating is much more convenient and requires less effort I guess, you don't need to shave your legs and spend 3 days choosing an outfit to send a few messages. I also think it creates more excitement if the messages progress to a first date because it's like a big bowl of bubbling tension. You can get to know each other, talk on the phone, add each other on social media etc and get a feel for the other person, I think it makes first dates much more relaxed and you kind of already feel like you know the person, in a way I guess you do.

Now, most of you know I'm no longer in the dating scene and I'm actually planning a wedding, thanks to Facebook! I'm one of online datings success stories, my love story literally started with a friend request many moons ago.

Recent Studies show that 1 in 5 relationships now start online.
81% of people lie about their height, age and figure when creating an online dating profile.
71% of people believe in love at first sight - this is music to my ears!
Online dating profiles are made up of 47.6% women and 52.4 men.
A survey showed people are more attracted to profiles with blonde hair when searching online dating websites - I still think brunettes rule!

So, if you're online dating and feeling a bit fed up, feeling like you're not gaining anything from it or even if you're a complete novice and are contemplating creating your very own online dating profile, I thought it would be helpful to share a few of what I deem as the most important unwritten rules of online dating.

1. Make sure you have several photo's on your profile. A nice flattering shot of you alone should ideally be your profile photo, the first photo that others will see when browsing. Now, I definitely wouldn't upload a photo onto the internet unless I was comfortable and looked at least half presentable, it's so important to be honest with your pictures. Your vibe will attract your tribe, don't upload something that looks nothing like you, it just saves heartache and disappointment. In other words, step away from the filters!

2. Be honest on your profile. So many people write the same thing in their About Me description ''I don't know what to say, I've never done this before, I'm just looking to make friends''... it's old, it's modest and it's very boring! You want to be yourself, sell yourself in fact, what do you love about yourself? What do others compliment you on? Show off your sense of humour. Draw the line though, no one likes a bragger! And guys, if you're 5ft nothing, that's fine! Don't lie and say you're 6'3, you'll only regret it.

3. Following on from number 2, I truly believe honesty is the best policy, however, there's also a time and place. The first few messages is not the time nor the place to discuss your mid life crisis, crazy ex or any other issues you're facing. It can scare a lot of people away if you're too open too quick. It's all about finding the balance.

4. Don't expect too much. Many people sign themselves up thinking they will find Mr/Miss Right on their first browse but it doesn't work like that. If something is meant to be then it will happen, not always over night. Sometimes it takes weeks, months or even years. There's no need to rush. Expect nothing then anything else is a bonus. Also keep your options open, don't set your heart of a 6'1 hunk with a 6 pack and a 6 figure bank balance. Get to know someone and then decide if you'd like to progress, being closed minded will limited your chances. Again, it's about balance, keep your standards high but not too high! Be realistic.

There are so many more unwritten rules about online dating but these are my favourite and the ones I think will make a huge difference to peoples online experiences.

It doesn't matter if you're looking for love, friendship or even if you're looking for something more fun and.. erm... yeah, fun lol then there's adult dating.

The choice is unreal, there are so many apps and websites now, some have better reviews than others, some are free and some aren't, it really all depends where you are and what you're looking for. I've listed a few below that you may be interested in if you are ''getting back out there'' as they say.

Devon dating site
Gloucester dating site
over 50s dating
Kent dating site
Oxford dating site

I'd love to hear from you if you've got any stories about online dating or any hints and tips!

(This is a sponsored posts however all words and opinions are of my own)

Wedding Planning

August has been a pretty exciting month in the wedding planning department. We've now entered our 365 day count down and things are starting to feel more real and near! 18.08.2018 will be here before we know it!

So, I have most things under control, I've had a long time to plan and wanted to make sure that all of my first choice suppliers would be available!

My latest purchase was a caricaturist which I am so excited about! We booked Barrie James after seeing lots of his work at different events. I think it will be a great ice breaker for a our daytime reception and will help to fill in the gaps during the ''boring bits''. I also like that guests get to take their drawing home, it'll be a lovely way to remember our perfect day.

We're having a pretty laid back day with family and friends. We have 60 daytime guests and 150 evening guests.

I've pretty much planned it all. I just need to choose bridesmaids dresses, find suits for the groomsmen and decide on a videographer. I'm still in 2 minds about a photo booth, but everything is going swimmingly!

I'm starting to feel like I'm forgetting something but I think that's because I've been planning for 2 years and have everything done quite early, I feel like there's something I should be doing but my check list is full of ticks.

So that's my little wedding planning update! I'd love to hear in the comments below something you wish you had at your wedding, something you regret having at your wedding or something you think would be a hit at a wedding!

Wedding Flowers Budget

Wedding planning is in full swing! I was having a major bridezilla moment because the florist I always use was already booked on my wedding day and I couldn't find anyone else local to me that I trusted enough to arrange my flowers.

Luckily my florist has agreed to squeeze me in as we told her we don't need any venue arrangements, just bouquets and buttonholes etc so there's no time needed to set up, just a quick delivery to our venue on the morning then on to their next wedding!

So many people were telling me to get artificial flowers as you're able to keep them as memories, they look real and they're a fraction of the cost but I was so against this idea. I've always got fresh flowers in my home and I'd feel a little cheated if I walked down the aisle with a plastic bouquet. I've got nothing against artificial flowers at all, some of them are beautiful but I just prefer real.

Nice flowers aren't cheap but I done my research!

Your wedding flower quote could definitely be cheaper if you check out which flowers are in season when you get married, otherwise they have to be imported in and are usually more expensive when they're no in season.

I've picked a few of my favourite flowers and thought I'd share my finds with you!

Roses - They're available all year round and come in so many colours from different shades of pink, red, white, orange and yellow. You can even get multi-coloured ones! A rose
Meaning - Depending on colour - Love, beauty, grace, joy and unity.

Peony - Peonies are spring flowers and come in peach, white and pink
Meaning - Beauty, bashfulness and welcome.
 
Gerbera Daisy - They're available all year round and come in pink, orange, white and yellow
Meaning - Friendship.
 

Freesia - They're available all year round and come in most colours apart from blue.
Meaning - Innocence.
 

Dutch Tulip - They're available November-May and come in white, pink, red, yellow, purple and orange.
Meaning - Declaration of love, honesty and memories.
 
Daisy - They're available in Summer and early Autumn and come in classic white.
Meaning - Innocence and simplicity.

Cosmos - They're available in Summer and Autumn and come in white, pink and chocolate.
Meaning - Modesty.

Anemone - They're available November-May but primarily during Spring and come in white, purple, burgundy and magenta.
Meaning - Expectation.

Alstroemeria - They're available all year round and come in white, yellow, orange, pink, red, purple and lavender.

Camellia - They're available late Winter, Spring and early Autumn. They come in white, cream, pink and red.
Meaning - Beauty and contentment.

I've chosen roses, gypsophila, alstroemeria, astilbe, hypericum, waxflower, eucalyptus and foliage. I absolutely love fresh flowers and I've went quite a bulky, garden style hand tied bouquet. I'm sure I'll be bombarding social media with my beautiful flowers after the big day!

I'd love to hear about your favourite flowers and why!

My most favourite flowers are gerbera daisies, I think they're so bold and beautiful. I've always got some in my home, my mum loves them too and I think that's where I get it from.

I love flowers because I don't have to water them daily, I did buy myself a house plant but it sadly only lasted one week! Where as flowers just sit looking pretty in a vase!