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Biggest Interior Design Trends of 2018


With a new year fast approaching, everybody is excited to see what trends the upcoming seasons will bring and what styles will be the most popular. These trends are set by designers and the public alike, and this year is no different, with a mixture of exclusive and homemade, both making the cut into the biggest interior design trends in 2018.

So, what will our living rooms look like, how practical will our kitchens be and what color paints should you be buying for the bathroom walls?

Colours of the year

Leave bright colours in 2017 and make way for a new trend that will focus on elegance rather than fun. Dark, musky undertones and colors that will instantly make you feel glamorous are definitely a great way to elevate the look of your home. But be careful with how you incorporate them because if you go overboard, you risk making your room dark and gloomy. Combine it with some light accents and details to balance out the decor.

Another trend that has been gaining more and more in popularity is pure, Scandinavian white. This shade is usually used on walls with textured accents. It can also be introduced through modern furniture, even though painted pieces will have to take a step back this season. You can combine this two-color trend and paint two walls of your room in a muted color, like a forest dusky green, and the other two in white. This contrast will create an open space feel while at the same time keep the elegance of the muted colors. Combine it with the other big hit of the year:

Brass

A blast from the past, coming back into the spotlight – super shiny brass now can be combined with any interior element you can imagine. From the classic bedside lamps and overhead fixtures, all the way to entire pieces of furniture, brass is making a fantastic comeback. The color goes so well with so many different shades and styles that it can be added to any room, without being overwhelming like silver. And if you want to start brassing up your own home, the first place you should start looking for these items is your local thrift stores, since people massively purged their homes from brass items when they stopped being fashionable. Don’t be afraid to go big and get a full brass bedside table, implement it the room as a theme or just keep it simple with the details.

Recycled materials

The idea of eco-homes, self-sustaining housing options and other eco-friendly options has become quite important lately, but this year recycled materials have taken the spotlight as the main stylistic choices. Decorating a wall with panels of reclaimed wood, or creating furniture from scraps are just some of the ways you can include recycled materials into your home. Think about each thing you bought and then throw it away shortly after getting it. Is there a way to reuse it, could someone else make something new out of it? And if it is completely destroyed, what is the proper way to dispose of it. Thinking green will not only make your home more eco-friendly, but it will also make your furniture more stylish and natural.

Make it cozy

The words of the year are cozy and comfortable, with a lot of people going back to the comfortable days of fine, plush fabrics to cover all of their furniture and make their home warmer. Get on the bandwagon and stock up on decorative pillows, comfortable floor rugs and warm blankets. Small details like those will make you and your guests feel a lot more comfortable and welcome. Be careful: cozy and comfortable is not the same as overcrowded, and having too many comfy things might have an undesired effect.

Remember that trends and styles are not something that you should be strictly sticking to, and they are there to serve as inspiration for you to create something unique. Make your home a reflection of your personal style and let it send a message you want. Get creative and use what you have to remake your home into your favorite style, without having to start over from scratch!

Diana Smith

Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls interested in topics related to home decor and latest DIY Projects. In her free time she enjoys exercising and preparing healthy meals for her family.

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Beauty, Health, Lady, Lifestyle

7 Habits of Women with Great Skin


You have probably heard people say that someone “just has good skin”, but the truth is that behind that seemingly perfect, smooth skin is a stable, well-balanced skin routine and self-care, without which, no matter how good your genetics, you wouldn’t be able to have good skin. So, let’s see what are the seven most important steps to having a flawless skin routine.

1. Cleanse

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The most important part of any skin routine is to first get rid of any impurities that have collected in your pores and on the surface of your skin during the day or while you were sleeping. Use a gentle cleanser like the Clarins cleansing milk to remove impurities without being too hard on your gentle skin.

2. Choose your cosmetics carefully

We live in the day and age when most of the things we use every day are filled with all sorts of chemicals. But for certain things, like the food we eat or the products we apply to our skin, we want to make extra sure that they’re as natural as possible, to give us the best results. Organic, all natural brands like Tammy Fender are great options and they will give you the best results, while also not hurting our planet.

3. Get enough sleep

Many of us lead active, non-stop lifestyles, and are often left having to compensate for that fact, like taking supplements because we don’t have time to eat or putting concealer on the bags under our eyes because we didn’t get enough sleep. But the truth is, there is no product in the world that can do for us all the things that a full night’s sleep can do. It will not only replenish our energy, but give our skin time to recover and rest.

4. Apply sun protection

Everyone likes to put on a tan, but if you’re not careful, you can seriously damage your skin just by being in the sun. Let’s break it down: the vitamin that you get from the sun is great – not just for your skin, but for your whole body. However, the sun is not what it used to be, and the rays are now more harmful than ever. This is why it’s extremely important to use a product with the high SPF, every single day. Use a primer like Nars multi-protect, or apply sunscreen during your makeup routine.

5. Hydrate

For glowing skin, it is crucial to be well hydrated, inside and out. Hydrated skin has more elasticity, fewer wrinkles and its own special glow. There are two main things you should do: First, drink a lot of water. The 8 cups per day are just a minimum, so make sure you carry a water bottle around with you and drink whenever you feel thirsty. Secondly, you should always be using a good hydration cream. Products like The Body Shop’s Nourishing night cream are great to put on before you go to bed, while lighter options like Estee Lauder’s Daywear is the perfect thing to apply in the morning before putting on makeup.

6. Regular treatments

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Having a daily routine is important, but sometimes our skin requires extra care. Consider making it a part of your monthly or quarterly routine to go to a professional cosmetician for a treatment of your choice that will improve your skin and give it a boost. But for a more regular schedule, getting a good scrub like the Cosmedix Purity Detox scrub will allow you to exfoliate your skin more frequently. Make sure you don’t do it more than every third day, because you risk taking off too much of the top layer, and always follow the instructions on the product.

7. Healthy habits

It’s no secret that beauty comes from within, and the same goes for health. If you practice healthy habits, eat a balanced diet, drink lots of water and exercise regularly, your skin will show the glow and radiance of health. Avoid eating oily and greasy food, since it can clog your pores; and avoid dehydration to keep your skin glowing.

Of course, some skin types are prone to acne and other blemishes, but as long as you are doing everything in your power to have healthy, happy skin, you can show it off to the world and be proud of it.

Amy Mia Goldsmith

Lifestyle Blogger

Amy is a regular contributor to Highstylife.com and elegantluxelife.com

And has also contributed to a number of publications including Stuartsays.com, Sifascorner.com polishedpolyglot.com and glitzandglamourmakeup.co.uk

personal development, self help

How to build your network when you’re feeling alone


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Wanting some spiritual direction?

Lately I have become a penchant for solitude, quietude and practicing a lot of mindfulness. There are a lot of books out there on learning how to use your quiet time to reflect on what is more important in life. For example, taking the time out to read a novel or the bible when no one is around, and its just you in the room. I have really been into podcasts lately, and also will post a favourites post in the future of what I take my time to listen to!

“How to pursue your dreams when no-one is around you”

When you feel like you are alone and have no one to share your life-long goals and dreams with and feel like nobody cares, the first thing you actually need to do is to spend time with yourself before you can create a group of friends or network support.

So, how do we go about this?

Let me share with you my tips on when I have my own quiet time and take the time to renew, and rejuvenate my lifestyle.

Continue reading “How to build your network when you’re feeling alone”

writing

Creating Characters


Hello everyone.

Before we dive into the next topic in the Writing 101 series, there is a housekeeping issues I’d like to address. I have decided that I will publish writing posts not once but twice a week. You heard correct. That is twice not once a week. These days are Monday and Friday. I am going to try my best to get one done and published on Friday which will begin this new routine. Now for this evening’s topic.

Characters

Every book (whether good or bad) has characters. It is not a book or a story with a cast of main characters and secondary characters.

As the title suggests, main characters are the ones that drive the story.

For example, Frodo and Sam in Lord of the Rings drive the story. The same goes for Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice.

What should an author’s characters look like? Most characters are shaped from the author’s experiences. They are a form of who the author knows and of herself.

Developing characters that are based on yourself is totally okay too. Many authors before us have done this. I have two examples of this.

The first comes from one of my favorite childhood authors: Madeleine L’Engle. She wrote the famous Wrinkle in Time series and the Vicky Austen series.

When asked if she was like her heroines, she responded that she was both Meg Murray from A Wrinkle in Time and Vicky Austen.

My second example is J.K. Rowling. Rowling based the character of Hermonine a bookish young red head on herself.

Now, how does one go about forming a character? Well, it is safe to say that it is good to start perhaps with a name. Then from there start describe the person. Does she or he have blue eyes? Brown? Hazel? What hair color do they have? Where do they live?

But characters are more than just how they look. You need to make them three dimensional.

What does that mean? It means you must make your characters as real as possible. Readers must feel as if they characters they are reading about are real. Like someone they have known all their lives. Otherwise they won’t care about the story.

A while back I came across a wonderful worksheet for writing characters. A worksheet that goes beyond just giving your character a name, eye color, and hair color but it goes deeper to help you flesh them out.

Character Chart

I hope you find this chart helpful. Please let me know how forming your characters goes in the comments below. I’d love to hear how it goes! I am also filling out this chart for my characters in my new story.

Comment below and I will share how it is going for me as well. Stay tuned for the next installment which will be coming out on Friday. Until then, happy writing!

This is part of the Writing Series, Writing 101 with Gabrielle Emmons. The first post was “How to start a novel”.

Devotionals, Lady, personal development, self help

Open Hands, Humble Heart


Open Hands, Humble Heart

Written by Laura Story

When you worship what is your posture of choice? Hands raised, eyes closed, head bowed? As a worship leader, I have seen about every expression of worship you could imagine from worshipers kneeling in reverence to God in pristine chapels to teenagers at youth rallies, dancing with the joy and abandon of King David.

I believe God delights in the diversity of expression of praise, but the scriptures tell us there is something of greater concern to this Triune God we worship: the posture of our hearts. In Psalm 51, one of David’s most vulnerable and penitent prayers, he asserts that the Lord does not delight in sacrifice, and that he is not pleased with burnt offerings.

Continue reading “Open Hands, Humble Heart”

BOOKS, History, writing

“How to start writing your novel” – with writer, Gabrielle Emmons


Recently I have been talking and collaborating with my very good friend, (a novelist and history enthusiast), an intelligent, studious and amicable lady who strives for greatness in her writing, Gabrielle Emmons. We have been talking a lot about writing in general and I came up with the idea of her doing a guest post on how she begins to write a novel. This is fantastic for those who are budding authors, ready for a new breathe of fresh air or something to their writing life.
I am proud to introduce her to my blog and with the upmost sincere thanks and gratefulness to have her feature on here.
You will find the full article here on her blog, Gabrielle M Emmons and you will also find that she works and keeps up with her own numerous blogs showcasing her work and authorship.
My absolute favourite blog of hers is Tea, Books and Britain because well, you know me! I have become the bit of an Anglophile! And the title is just Oh so perfect! And sums up my life basically. A cup of tea while watching “Escape to the country” or “60 Minute Makeover” has truly been the highlight of my afternoons.
Before I post her article I totally recommend for you to check out her excellent Book Review on “The Mark of the King”. This description on the back cover definitely makes me want to delve into it.

After being imprisoned and branded for the death of her client, twenty-five-year-old midwife Julianne Chevalier trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling 1720s French colony of Louisiana, where she hopes to be reunited with her brother, serving there as a soldier. To make the journey, though, women must be married, and Julianne is forced to wed a fellow convict.

When they arrive in New Orleans, there is no news of Benjamin, Julianne’s brother, and searching for answers proves dangerous. What is behind the mystery, and does military officer Marc-Paul Girard know more than he is letting on?

With her dreams of a new life shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous, rugged land, despite never being able to escape the king’s mark on her shoulder that brands her a criminal beyond redemption.

So, even if you haven’t clicked on that review, bookmark it or save it on your internet and make sure you get that little glimpse of a story of great and hopeful history. It truly has made me want to read it very soon!
In her Writing 101 – a new series blog post she states how we specifically have been discussing the idea on HOW to BEGIN writing a novel. It has truly been amazing talking with her about ideas and brainstorming and starting that novel in particular.
Now, let’s get started with her article which was published on September 12th 2017 on her History with Flair website. Grab yourself a drink (tea or water) and a notebook & pen or laptop. There is an activity at the end!

Many people have asked me how do I start the process for writing a novel. They have also asked me how do I find inspiration/ideas. So I thought I would do a blog series featuring writing. This is the first in the series and you can find more about it here.
So pull up a chair, grab your favorite beverage (mine is tea), and let’s get started. (Just a heads up there will be an assignment at the end of this post. But it shouldn’t be too bad).
First off, there is no one way to start the process of writing a novel. Each author has their own way of how to start that is unique to them. The key is to find one that works for you.
For example, some have a vague idea right away. Others have pictured a character or characters. Again, others have a couple of scenes already figured out.
It is all up to you.
For me, it varies. For my WWII novel set in England (which I have put on hold for now), I already had a vague understanding the plot.
For my Autumn themed story that is currently in the very early stages, I knew I wanted to have setting of the novel be during the Autumn months in MA because I love the Fall. I also knew who my main characters were.
Okay, homework time.
I want you to grab your favorite notebook and writing utensil. You can use your laptop if you prefer to type. I usually for this stage write it in a notebook and then transfer it to the computer later on.
Now, I want you to write down five ideas that could be potential stories. Don’t feel bad if you can only come up with one and two. It is a start.
The most important thing to remember is to have fun. Writing a novel should be fun.

How did you go with the activity?
I thought I would share one idea I came up with. Here is what I wrote:
Idea 5. Professor Wickman travels to London to start a new job at the City University of London. Committing his time and energy to his work and study is his priority and is all work, but through a period of time he learns to apply his work to excellence and focus on a project with his enchanting partner Lady Grosvenor from the affluent suburb of Mayfair. They eventually fall in love whilst working together and get married at St George Hanover Square.
It is not a complete idea but that is an example of ideas. First off starting with the main character, then a setting, place or particular location, the body and then the minor character fixed in there somewhere.
I skipped a whole part of what “could be” (a long plot) There could be so much more I could add to it and I am excited at the thought of creating a story again!
but I liked the idea of this so much I am thinking I am giving away a good story already! Well, that can be my next project!
Emmalisa
Elegance, How to be a lady, Lady, personal development

#Girlcode – The Secret to Success in a digital world


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Social Media Etiquette 

 

Facebook Do’s and Don’ts

 

  • Ensure you set your privacy settings to maximum secuity
  • Do use Facebook to connect with friends and relatives at home and overseas
  • Do use Facebook as means to open communication with long lost friends and/or aquaintances
  • Share information that is humorous, informative, inspiring and inclusive
  • Never use Facebook as a means of cyber bullying
  • always keep private information off Facebook including sensitive news such as a death in the family or a break up. Tell those concerned personally
  • Do not accept friend requests from people you don’t know
  • Do not post controversial opinions
  • Do not comment rudely on others’ status updates
  • Do not post images or content that you wouldn’t be comfortable showing in a room full of strangers in real life
  • Avoid posting selfies in an attempt to gain the approval of others. Excessive posting of selfies is indicative of insecurity
  • Avoid posting incriminating images or content of any kind
  • Avoid using Facebook as a soapbox from which to vent religious or political views or to insight racism or conflict.

 

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Celebrities, History, Lady, royal life

A Tribute to Diana “Princess of Wales” 20 years on…


Buckingham Palace recently paid tribute to the modern day Princess of Wales, Diana Spencer at the time of the 20th anniversary of her death parallel to some exhibition of gifts to the Queen.

The Royal Collection Trust announced the exhibition which was held in the palace’s Music Room, which is usually the location of royal christenings, including Prince William’s christening as well.

You may have seen in photographs that the display is of her desk, which has a blue leather notebook where she wrote on imprinted writing paper with photos of her sons also surrounding the writing paper exhibited on the writing desk (as per below.)

Prince William and Harry also had some of her private heirlooms such as her boarding school wooden chest, with “D Spencer” written on it.

She would take it with her to the private West Heath girls’ school which was close by Kent. And would also take with her her first ever typewriter which she kept in the drawing room of her apartment.

So, this summer in England indicates the 20th anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales on 31 August 1997.  A date most people in the world will never forget……

The Princess managed many official duties and tasks in sustaining The Queen, when at home in the U.K. and overseas.

So, in tribute to Diana, her work is remembered by a remarkable display in the Music Room, which is one of the State Rooms open to the public as a portrayal of the Summer Opening of Buckingham Palace.

The main centrepiece of the display is the writing desk where she would work in her sitting room at Kensington Palace, writing letters, and reading official press conference letters and information.

Many of these objects on and around her desk have been specifically selected by Prince William and Harry to show their mother’s dedication to obligations and their recollection of her.

The items on display are as follows:

Blue leather blotter and brown leather letter rack

Diana always wrote to thank the people who had welcomed her on official visits.  The notebook and mahogany letter rack were a part of Diana’s desk accessories until her death.  The letter rack contains her embossed writing paper and envelopes.

Silver calendar

The Cartier calendar was a present to Diana from the President and First Lady Nancy Reagan on the occasion of the official visit to the USA with ‘The Prince and Princess of Wales’ in November 1985.

Leather photograph frame

This frame always sat on her desk which of course, contains photographs of friends and family.

Leather briefcase

The Asprey briefcase was a present from the “Worshipful Company of Glovers” to Diana on the event of her marriage in 1981.

Round enamel boxes

These small boxes were put in order as presents from “Halcyon Days of London” for Diana to give to her hosts on official trips overseas.

One displayed is one from the official visit to Brazil by The Prince and Princess of Wales – 1991 in April.

It is adorned with a picture of the sculpture of Christ the Redeemer.

Ballet shoes

Diana loved dancing but particularly loved ballet.  These shoes, which she used, hung on the door of her drawing room in Kensington Palace. Apparently she was Patron of the English National Ballet!

Wooden school tuck box and typewriter

As mentioned previously with the name “D Spencer” written on it, this box was used by her for sweets and taken to boarding school.  It was kept in The Princess’s sitting room at Kensington Palace. Her childhood typewriter was also kept in the sitting room.

Cassette tapes

Diana loved music and always listened to the radio and tapes when working at her desk.  The tapes are albums by (Sir) Elton John, George Michael, Diana Ross as well as classical pieces of opera and piano music.

There is also a special major exhibition mounted this year, entitled “Diana: Her Fashion Story”, tracing the Princess’s life through her evolving fashion style across two decades.

I was deeply touched and moved by the recent program “Diana: Our mother – her Life and Legacy“. You can click on the link or just watch here.

This display will be open to the public from the 22nd of July to October the 1st.

 

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BOOKS, Lady

The Royal Collection Treasures


Introduction – The Royal Collection

One of the worlds greatest picture collections is found in this book, “The Royal Collection Treasures” involving masterpieces, splendours of the decorative arts, for example, I will touch on different sections such as furniture, or sculptures. It is not just only a collection, but a collection on collections which contain works of art.

I love the categories that I am going to share with you. It involves drawings, paintings, books, gems, tapestries, silver, porcelain, etc.

Surprisingly, the book says it is wholly unlike a museum collection which I thought that I would! But the British National Collections selectively provide a wide-ranging depiction of the arts and sciences with a specific purpose of showing the public what there is in an educating way.
Continue reading “The Royal Collection Treasures”

Celebrities, History, royal life

Duke & Duchess of Cambridge at garden party in Berlin for Queen’s birthday 


 

 

Recent engagements of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been in Berlin, Germany. Kate, 35, wore a chiffon maxi dress by Alexander McQueen, down from £2,075 to £1,453. The Duchess of Cambridge beamed and glowed in a voluminous red gown and a pair of Prada shoes 👠 which she wore to the Natural History Museum in London last week at a party held in honour of the Queen’s birthday.

 

There is a replica on Net-a-Porter, the Alice and Olivia off the shoulder embroidered cotton maxi dress which is $580.

I think she looks absolutely radiant!

Especially here!

At the garden party, Kate and Prince William mingled with British expats living in Germany 🇩🇪

Kate had a change of outfit from her busy day of engagements in Berlin.

After their arrival in Germany, the Cambridges attended a garden party to celebrate The Queen’s birthday. The Duke of Cambridge spoke at the Occassion, and the Duchess in attendance raised a toast as Prince William spoke.

He began (and finished) his speech with a piece of German as a show of respect for Germany.

“Thank you, Ambassador, and good evening, ladies and gentlemen.

“It is a pleasure for Catherine and me to be with you on this occasion as we celebrate the birthday of my grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen.

“It is just under a year since I was last in Germany, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and Britain’s role in its creation. I am delighted to be able to return so soon – this time with Catherine, George and Charlotte.

“We have already had a fascinating first day here in Berlin. We have seen powerful symbols of the historical events which helped shape modern Germany and spoken with those who carry that legacy forward today. I thank President Steinmeier and Chancellor Merkel for welcoming us so warmly.

“We have also experienced the city beyond the monuments and corridors of power. This afternoon we visited the Strassenkinder project in east Berlin, which supports homeless children and young people. It reminds us of the difficulties faced by some of the most vulnerable people in society, even in prosperous countries such as Britain and Germany, and the value of both countries looking at examples of best practice in the other. We look forward to seeing more of this great city during our stay here.

“But we also want to get to know and understand Germany outside the capital. Tomorrow, we travel to Heidelberg, and on Friday to Hamburg.

“Our visit will reflect, and I hope reinforce, the strong and wide-ranging ties between Britain and Germany. These include political, cultural, historical, commercial, sporting, academic and scientific links.

“The United Kingdom and Germany proudly share the same values as open and democratic societies, and the same determination to champion those values and to defend them – not least through our very close defence and security partnerships. Today, we share a fundamental interest in the peace and prosperity of the continent of Europe to which we both belong.

This relationship between the United Kingdom and Germany really matters. It is the product of many years of working closely together. It will continue despite Britain’s recent decision to leave the European Union. I am confident we shall remain the firmest of friends.

“With this confidence in mind, I am particularly pleased that the British and German governments have agreed to double their funding of UK-German Connection, the bilateral initiative for school and youth links. UK-German Connection was established after the State Visit of The Queen to Germany in 2004, and it provides a wide range of UK-German activities, networks and funding for schools and youth groups. The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow, and we want to establish friendships between our young people that will last a lifetime.

“I should like to finish with a message that my grandmother The Queen has sent to you all for this evening, and which she asked me to read to you:

“Prince Philip and I send our warmest good wishes to all of you gathered for this special Garden Party, on the occasion of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s official visit to Germany.

“We have fond memories of our five State Visits to Germany, from our first in 1965 to our most recent in 2015. Over the course of those fifty years, British-German relations have thrived, allowing us to face the challenges and embrace the opportunities of the 21st century together.

“I am delighted that The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will experience the beauty of this country and the warmth of its people when they visit Berlin, Hamburg and Heidelberg.

“I hope you all have a most enjoyable evening.

Elizabeth R

Angela Merkel welcomed them when they first arrived at the Holocaust memorial to pay tribute to the millions of Jews which lost their lives.

Kate looked sophisticated in a blue Catherine Walker coat which she styled with Gianvito Rossi heels, a Jimmy Choo clutch bag and Kiki McDonough jewellery.

This is a five day tour of Poland and Germany also with their children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, which I am doing a post on Charlotte soon!