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Hire or buy your wedding suit?

Your beautiful wife to be has found the dress, the shoes and even the jewellery to match, but you still haven’t even Googled wedding suits.

So where do you start?
It’s your day too so you want to look and feel as dapper as possible yet you are still unsure whether to hire or buy your wedding suit.

First things first,ask yourself these 3 questions below, and you’ll be on the path towards making a decision.
1. What’s my Budget? If you are on a limited budget then you’ll most likely need to opt for hiring a suit.
2. How much time do I have? Tailoring a made-to-measure suit takes time so make sure you ask all the necessary questions before deciding.
3. Do I want to keep the suit? Keeping your suit is not like keeping a wedding gown. You will no doubt find many instances in which you will be able to wear it again. If this appeals to you then having a suit made to measure may be an option.

By now you may have an idea but just encase, I’ve put together a handy list of the pros and cons of hiring or buying your wedding suit.

Hiring your wedding suit.
Pros:

  •  If you’re on a tight budget it’s a great way to get a smart suit that won’t burn a hole in your pocket. Hiring your wedding suit is a popular option because you can wear designer brands without paying the hefty price tag.
  • If you’re getting married abroad and will have no use for a white linen suit when you get home it may be the sensible option.
  • If you are opting for a morning suit, it is unlikely you’ll have the chance to wear it again, so save your pennies and put it towards your honeymoon fund.
  • If you want to match your ushers, hiring all of your suits together can usually be done at a reduced cost.
  • If you lose or gain weight before the big day and your suit isn’t sitting right you can return it and get one that fits better with little to no fuss.
  • Dry cleaning fees are part of your hiring cost so you don’t have to spend extra money after the wedding getting it cleaned before you return it.

    Cons:

  • Your wife will keep her dress, but if you hire your suit, you will have no keepsake to look back on in 20 years.
  • If you are the sentimental type, you cannot pass down your suit to future generations.
  • You cannot guarantee that your grooms party will fit the select sizes in hiring suit shops.
  • Someone has to be in charge of returning all the suits after the big day, usually this is just a day or 2 after the wedding itself, you don’t want to be thinking of returning everything when you’re a hungover mess.
  • If the suit is damaged you will have to pay for it unless you have paid a damage waiver.

Buying a wedding suit
Pros:

  • You’ll get to own a fab smart suit you can wear time and again, at weddings, christenings and even funerals. Totally worth the money compared to your wife’s ornament. 😉
  • Having a suit made specially to fit is a total luxury, and if you can’t afford to splash out on your big day, when can you?
  • A tailored suit can be made to hide any areas you are self-conscious of such as wide shoulders or a large belly and can even make you look taller and slimmer.
  • You can try your suit on 10-15 years down the line and laugh at how married life has made you blissfully unaware of your expanding waistline! 😉
  • High street brands and online stores know that weddings are very expensive so they are now creating wedding wear that is both stylish and affordable.

Cons:

  •  It’s not a cheap option. A bespoke suit – made for you totally from scratch – can set you back at least £1000. A suit that has been tailored to fit can cost anything from £500 upwards.
  • 
It costs you time as well as money, there will be several fittings needed over the course of your suit being made.
  • Unless you buy the same suits for your best man and the ushers you may have to put up with not matching.
  • Accidents can happen and if your suit gets damaged in any way before the big day, you will need to fork out for it to be fixed and in extreme cases to be measured for a new suit.

Gary has decided that he wants a made to measure suit for our wedding. It’s an investment piece as well as a keep sake if nostalgia hits.

We were very lucky to be gifted this gorgeous suit from Dobell, Doesn’t it look sleek and sexy?

Front shot of Gary in the suit from shoulders down

Gary’s thoughts:

The suit fit comfortably the jacket wasn’t tight across the chest or back I felt I could move freely without it feeling too baggy. The style of the suit was excellent it could be used on multiple occasions, not just for a wedding. Possibly for a casual work suit or just a night out. The quality of the fabric and design of the suit makes this possible. The thing I like about suit trousers compared to a normal smart trouser is that they feel lighter and thinner making it easier for my legs to “breathe” and avoid getting too hot, these trousers were perfect for me as they felt super light on my legs and kept me from overheating. For me this was an excellent suit all round it was well made and fit me very well.
As Sassy stated before: I am looking to get a tailored made suit for the wedding but that’s only because I’ve never had one before and want to look my best on our big day and then I get to keep a nice well fitting suit. Depending on the style of suit you are having for an event will determine if you want to buy or rent, I would personally only buy a suit if I could use it more than once as they can be a lot of money.

Forward shot of Gary's suit jacket Full length side view of Gary in his suit

 

I hope this post has given you some useful information about hiring or buying your wedding suit.
Always remember to do your homework and shop around.There may be discounts or sales on, both online and in store, don’t just go for the first place you look at.
Happy hunting! 🙂

*This is a collaborative post with Dobell but all thoughts and opinions are our own.

Disability Q&A #20 Angela Mills

Welcome back ladies and gents to another #DisabilityQ&A. Today’s interview is brought to you by Angela. I have known her since the beginning of my blogging journey, and I learnt a lot from her about adrenal insufficiency, back when her blog was called Days In Bed.

 

I’m really happy she wanted to take part in my series, now she can educate you lovely lot on her condition, far better than I ever could.

Tell me about yourself

Hi ,My name is Angela Milnes. I’m 33 years old. I live in Lancashire, United Kingdom, I’m a full time mum and professional blogger.I love researching my family tree and finding bargains.

Now we know the basics, can we learn a bit more about you?

Yes sure.

What is the medical reason you have a disability?

I have a diagnosis of Adrenal Insufficiency, Human Growth hormone deficiency and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Have you had your disability from birth?

No I became unwell in 2013, a week after my wedding.

Do you refer to yourself as a person with a disability? If not, why not?

Yes. I am unable to do the same as a normal healthy person.

Do you tell others about your disability? Or do you prefer to keep that to yourself until you are comfortable with the person knowing?

Yes I tell people about my disability and health issues. I often share on social media and on my blog theinspirationedit.com I also have been published 5 times on The Mighty.

Do you use any mobility AIDS such as a wheelchair or walking stick?

My illness fluctuates and I have a wheelchair and a walking stick and my needs and abilities change from day to day.




If you could extinguish your disability, would you? – If not, please explain why.

Of course. It is not fun being unwell and feeling so sick and I would not wish it upon anyone.

For those who do not know much about your disability how does it affect your mobility?

Adrenal Insufficiency can make me feel sick and dizzy. I get weak muscles and sometimes I cannot stand or walk.

How has your disability effected you?

*Socially

I can be isolated a lot when stuck in the home or bed bound and so I try to socialise via internet. This is my main source of socialising.

*physically

I can no longer exercise or do things like healthy people. I don’t walk my child to school as it drains too much energy and I have to limit and pace everything I do to manage myself the best I can.

*Mentally

Being unwell can make me feel anxious and upset, especially when I get really weak. I can get brain fog and feel confused and upset and that can lead to feeling stressed out.

Do you think your disability has made you who you are today?

Well it’s helped me to speak out and talk about my difficulties and become an advocate for health and disability. I think being unwell has also given me empathy for others and understanding. I have more sensitivity to others who have conditions as I know what it is like.

*Please give a positive example of how this has done so…

Well, I have a friend who’s daughter has Chronic Fatigue and I Understand what it is like and can relate to how hard it is for my friend as a carer for her child.

Is there a particular question you get asked often because of your disability? If so, please explain below.

Some people ask me when I will get better. I have a chronic condition and although there will be improvements in my health I will always have to manage and live with the health issues I have.

What are the positives of having a disability?

Well the one positive that came from my disabilities and health issues is my blog. I speak out about the condition and have built a small online space which I love to use. I don’t think I would have done this without having illness.

What are the negatives of having a disability?

There are many, the inability to do things I used to do and the way it impacts on my abilities as a mother.

What would you say is a difficulty for you being disabled?

Being able to go places on my own. I often need my husband with me incase I have an adrenal crisis.

As a person with a disability, what are the things you face on a daily that frustrate you?

*In your home

I get frustrated when I feel sick and too tired to do anything. I often want to be productive and have to take time out to rest.

*outside your home

Well I really don’t get out and about too much. When I do, I often get tired afterwards and suffer for it but some outings are worth it.

Are there any tips or tricks you use in daily life you’d like to pass on to another disabled person?

Just learning to pace and stop and rest when you need to. I think pacing and getting a good amount of sleep is really important.

What piece of advice would you give to someone newly diagnosed? Or going through a deterioration in vision / or mobility?

To learn what you can and instead of fighting the disability learn to adapt and live with it.

Any advice you’d like to give to a person with sight / no disabilities?

maybe just to be more understanding of chronic conditions. So many people say to me “it’s great to see you better” but the reality is i’m never really better, i’m just getting by.

Also I get nasty looks a lot when I park in a disabled park. Just because my condition is invisible does not mean I am not disabled.

Did you seek out any specialist services / charities to help you and your family deal with your situation?

Not really. There are not many groups for my condition in the UK but I found support and people with my illness on Facebook and that has really helped me to learn.

Where can people find you out in the world?
*Blog https://www.theinspirationedit.com/
*YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2pXbt6jyS8iM4plsTFtNyA
*FaceBookhttps://www.facebook.com/theinspirationedit/
*Twitter https://twitter.com/Inspire_Edit
*Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/102124377100011897038
*Instagram https://www.instagram.com/theinspirationedit/
*Pintrest https://www.pinterest.co.uk/inspirationedit/
*Email angela@daysinbed.com

❤❤ Thank you so much for taking the time to be interviewed Angela! ❤ ❤

I hope that my readers got as much value as I did from your Q&A

If you, or anyone you know, would like to take part in my Campaign, do not hesitate to contact me on the following:
Email:SassysWorld6@gmail.com
Twitter
Facebook

http://www.thinkingoutloud-sassystyle.com/category/disability-qa-campaign/




4 Ways to Improve your Mental Health Today

A woman with long Blonde Hair sitting on a beach looking out at sea

Image: here

Mental health is becoming less of a taboo subject, and in the past few years alone there has been a marked increase in those diagnosed with conditions such as anxiety and depression.
It could be partly blamed on the stressful, corporate world we live in, but also the fact that many of these people were scared to admit they had a problem, for fear of being judged.

However as the online world is exploding to the forefront of everyone’s eyes, more and more people are stepping out of that shell and seeking help.

Today is the day to look at yourself and see something positive, to fight through those feelings and truly live in the moment. Here are four ways to improve your mental health today. Also feel free to check out my other post on this subject: Improve Your Mental Health by Avoiding these 3 Things.

Break up your day

Monotony can be one of the worst triggers for anxious and depressive thoughts because the mind allows itself to wander to a different place and let bad experiences take over. If you are doing the same job every single day, you may start to feel down, unworthy and sad. If there are a few different task you must complete each day, break them up throughout the day to wake up the brain. If you have to write 100 emails and create a spreadsheet- write 50 emails, then complete the worksheet- and go back to the emails later. Keeping the brain awake and alert is an effective way to improve mental health.

A bath bomb sitting next to a candle
Image: here

Reset the mind

Learning to step back from stressful situations is a valuable skill in protecting the mind. If you’ve experienced a particularly stressful week, take a step back and switch off. Have a bath, pour some wine, relax. Learn to pamper yourself and have that all so valuable alone time once in awhile.

Ask for Help

Asking someone for help is one of the most difficult things to do when suffering from mental illness, but it is something that is so valuable and will lift a weight off your shoulders instantly. If you don’t feel like you can talk to a friend or family member, talk to a stranger. If the day is overwhelming, or you feel like you are going to hurt yourself for whatever reason. Talk to someone, visit an urgent care clinic, or simply write it down. It will lift a weight and help you to recover from whatever feelings are taking over.

A person striking a yoga pose as the sun is setting behind them
Image: here

Take Care of Your Body

It’s just as important when it comes to taking care of the mind, to also take care of your body. It has been proven in studies that eating healthy and exercising increases the presence of neurotransmitters such as serotonin- the happy hormone. If you feel too anxious to visit a gym, there’s no need to force yourself out of your comfort zone. There are plenty of videos online which will teach you easy at home workouts with no need to fancy equipment.

The mind is a fragile thing which you should take care of with care. Following these simple tips, you will be able to improve your mental health, today, tomorrow, and in the future.



20 Ways To Save Money on Your Wedding

With the average cost of a British wedding measuring a whopping £25,000 it’s no wonder people are searching for cheaper alternatives or budget tips.

For those savvy savers, or just looking for ideas to help cut costs i’ve compiled a list of tips to help you stretch your money a little further.

Get married on a different time of the week/ year.

If you get married on a weekday, or in Winter you can save anything from 1/3 to 1/2 off your bill.

Create a wedding website.

There are so many great wedding websites out there, which you can completely customise to suit your theme and personality.
This can save you a ton of money as well as being good for the environment.

Don’t get married in the traditional places.

Unless your heart is set on a church or hotel wedding, opt for local places you can hire and make your own.
Hire a farmers field and have an outdoor wedding.

Hold the ceremony and reception in the same place.

This can save you money on transport as well as stress.
Hosting the big day at a hotel or country house means you don’t have to organise transport and sleeping arrangements could also be included in the price.

Ask a friend/ family to be master of ceremonies.

If you want to make your ceremony more unique, ask a person you care for who is not shy with public speaking to say a few words.
This would not make the marriage legal, so you would have to get legally married either before or after your big day, this again could save you money because your are not paying extra for registry / minister fees.



 

Don’t mention the W word.

Whether you are doing your research online, on the phone or in person, do not mention to vendors that it is for a wedding when you are seeking a cost analysis.
Tell them it’s for a celebration or party, and once a price has been given, explain that it is for a wedding,

Only invite immediate family and friends.

This is definitely a tough one, especially if you both have large families,but weddings are expensive and the food per head is usually a large chunk of your budget.
Don’t invite colleagues, neighbours and distant relatives, this can definitely help trim the guest list down.

Ask wedding guests for their time/ talents as wedding gifts.

Does your nan fancy herself as a florist? Ask her to do your centrepieces.
Is your best friend a keen baker? Ask her to make your wedding cake.
A cousin who can keep a crowd laughing? Ask him to do a 15 minute set to entertain your guests?
There are so many possibilities if you tap into a persons’ creative side, plus, more often than not, people love to be involved and help in any way they can.

Use a credit card for payments.

There are plenty of credit cards out there that can give you up to 5% cash back on purchases You need to pay it off in full every month or you’ll get charged massive interest.
Credit cards are also great because under section 75 of the consumers act, if you pay for an item on your credit card and the item is damaged or faulty, the credit card company is jointly liable and protects you as a consumer.

Buy from the high street or rent.

These days there are some beautiful wedding dresses, morning suits and accessories for a fraction a the price.
High streets realised there is a market for good quality but affordable wedding wear, such as  Debenhams and Asos so you will be sure to find something for a fraction of the wedding industry price.

You can choose to hire suits and this can definitely slash the cost instead of buying outright.

There are also great second hand alternatives such as, Preloved and Sell my Dress and in a lot of cases the dress was purchased but never worn.

Alternatively ask for your party to buy/ wear their own.This may make you feel uncomfortable but if you are trying to save money that can be a great option.
Giving your wedding party an outline of what colour scheme you are going for and giving them free reign to choose their own outfit can make the wedding more personal and relaxed.



Use a courier service to transport your goods.

Whether it’s UK based or even further afield, you may not have the time or budget to collect a bespoke ornament or wooden decorations.This is where Shipley comes in handy, they safely deliver your purchase, using already loaded but not full cargo. They use all available space and resources instead of sending drivers to do one drop off.
This saves the environment and can save you a lot of money too!

Buy your own alcohol.

Depending on where you choose to get married, there may be a corkage fee on your venue.
However if you are staying away from traditional norms and holding your wedding in a village hall, alcohol will be up to you to provide.
A booze run to France can certainly save you some pennies.

Make DIY bunting/ confetti/favours.

If you and your significant other are crafty and also wanting to cut costs, creating your own bunting, confetti and favours can save you a lot of money.
Places such as hobby craft are great for inspiration as well as getting all the materials you could need to create your own special touch to the day.

Don’t hire a photographer/ videographer.

If you have a budding photographer in the family, ask them to take snapshots of your special day.
Likewise ask friends and family who are attending the wedding to take photos and upload them to your wedding website after the big day.
Not only will you have a keepsake but you’ll probably have some candid shots that a professional may not catch.

Don’t hire a DJ or a band.

The price of music/ entertainment for a wedding can be enormous, remember the W word?
If you have musically talented friends or family, ask them to perform, it will make the day more intimate and save your bank balance.

Create your own playlists.

If you want to go super savvy, but not lose out on keeping the party going. Creating a playlist on Spotify can get you and your significant other to put together a list of your favourite songs, again making the day become personal and intimate.
Likewise, if you don’t want to do the legwork, or you and your S.O, have different tastes in music ask your guest to pick a song they like, that everyone can dance to.
This will make your guest feel more involved and take some of the strain off of the two of you.

Don’t hire transport.

If you are holding your ceremony and reception in the same place, that alone can save you money, because you don’t have to pay for transport for you and your guests.
If your ceremony and reception are within walking distance, why not take that stroll with your guests to the venue, it’ll give them a chance to mingle and get to know one another, and give you and your other half time to soak up the atmosphere.
Another option is car sharing, if the reception is close by, you could have a bunch of designated drivers to take your wedding party, just make sure to stick some pretty ribbon to the cars so your guests know it’s the right car.

Buy flowers at local markets.

If you want to save money on a florist, and don’t have any green fingered relatives or friends, going to your local flower market a day or 2 before your big day can be a way to give something back to your local community, as well as getting some gorgeous flowers at a very reasonable price.
The only drawbacks would be, needing to arrange the flowers for your party and reception yourself. as well as getting flowers that are in season and at the market at the time.

Serve wedding cake as pudding.

This is a brilliant idea. By the time you have eaten your share of food, guests are generally too full to eat any cake.
Even if you wrap it up, guests can still leave it behind in their tired or drunken state.
Serving it to your guests as pudding ensures it gets eaten and the bakers hard work has not gone to waste.

Create a honeymoon fund and ask guests to donate instead of giving presents.

As we are in the 21st century and most couples live together before they get married, the traditional registry list can be null in void.
Guests want to gift you with something, and if you have everything you need, asking for donations to your honeymoon fund, will mean less for you to save, and your guests feeling happy that they have contributed to something you truly want!



***
Remember your day is about you and your partner joining together in front of your nearest and dearest. Ultimately the decisions are up to you as a couple. Don’t let others influence you or make you feel bad for including, or not including specific things to your day.

Make sure to ask vendors upfront that if the price they are giving you includes VAT, otherwise this can come as a nasty shock looking at your bill.

Always get EVERYTHING in writing. This means you and your vendors have physical evidence of communication and can stop any disputes in their track.

And most importantly remember, have fun! It’s one day, and it’ll only be you that notices the little things.

*This is a sponsored post, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

How to Rock Your Disability

When you’re dealing with a disability, many people will say ‘don’t let your disability define you’. Well, that’s easier said than done, because your disability does somewhat define you. But, it doesn’t have to destroy you. There may be certain things that you’re unable to by yourself or unable to do period. However, that doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying life. In fact, many people have achieved amazing things because of their disability. Take Jim Abbott for instance – a major league baseball player with a deformed right arm. If you’re ready to take the world by storm, here’s how to do it.

Quote in the coulds I have within me all the dreams in the world
Flickr

Don’t Be Afraid to Dream
Your disability may hinder you in some ways, but dreaming of the future is still important. It’s also important to recognise that dreams can evolve. So, if you dreamt of doing something or being someone when you were younger but your disability means you can’t reach that goal, keep dreaming. For example, if you dreamed of becoming a ballerina but you haven’t got full use of your legs, you can still join wheelchair dance classes, and perhaps dream about opening a dance school for disabled children in the future. Try creating a dream board for inspiration. Your possibilities are never completely burnt out.

You Are Not Your Weakness
In fact, a disability isn’t a weakness at all. If you’re willing to look at it from a different perspective, your disability could be your biggest strength. Thankfully, there are many new and innovative disability aids that will allow you to have as much independence in life as possible. One of the biggest challenges for people with disabilities is dealing with the views of others. You may be as positive as you can be about your disability, only to run into someone who treats you like a child or see’s you as nothing more than a disability. In these circumstances, you have to be the most confident person in the room and assert your independence. Show people how smart and beautiful you are. Every time you do, you become an advocate for every other person suffering with a disability.

A lady looking at the camera Eating an Apple
Flickr

Live a Healthy Lifestyle
When you have to live with a disability, there will undoubtedly be times where you feel like giving up. You may suffer with bouts of depression and anxiety and you may not want to make the effort to look after yourself. You may even turn to drugs and alcohol to numb the way you feel about your body and your life. If you need help recovering from drug and alcohol abuse, visit www.orlandorecovery.com/ and get some support. It’s also important to have a healthy diet and get as much exercise and fresh air as possible. All three of those things contribute to good mental health and encourage a good mood. If you’re living with a disability, taking good care of yourself is vital.

Know Your Limits
Pushing yourself to reach your goals and striving for independence is wonderful. But, there will be times when you need help. No man is an island. It’s okay to ask for help when you know you need it. If you push yourself too hard, you could damage your health and risk the plans you have in store for your future. When it comes to stress, you’re just like everyone else. Make sure you take well-earned breaks on a regular basis. It’s also beneficial to develop a good support network of family, friends and medical professionals. That way, when you’re really in need of some help, you have plenty of people to rely upon.

Picture of a glass with the quote because the glass really is half full

Flickr

Think Positively

Stephen Hawking once said, ‘Don’t be disabled in spirit, as well as physically’. Sometimes, the first thing you need to do in order to live positively is to accept your disability. Unfortunately, you’re stuck with it and that’s that. But, that doesn’t mean the world has to be full of doom and gloom. It would be easy for you to become negative because of what you have to live with, but that’s not what you want, is it? Here are some tips on positive thinking – http://www.success.com/article/7-practical-tips-to-achieve-a-positive-mindset. Do your best to stay positive, even in the midst of hopelessness. Let your personality shine brighter than your disability and forgive anyone that offends you.

As a disabled person, you’re faced with something that can seem almost impossible. But, don’t let your disability turn into a mountain you can’t climb. You have what it takes to reach your goals, no matter what your disability is. Find ways to jump over your obstacles and always look for the positive in every situation.

Bar Smith’s Farringdon: A Tiki Review

Bar Smith’s Farringdon: A Tiki review.

What is the Tiki culture?
The Tiki culture can be traced back to a man named DonThe Beach Comber. He was Texan born but knew that there was a world outside of the states so he went to explore.
His travels took him to the rum centred Caribbean and South Pacific. He loved the laid back lifestyle and on his return home opened a bar to recreate his adventures, the bar was like stepping onto a Caribbean island and he made the cocktails to match.

I was invited to attend Bar Smith’s in Farringdon to try the Tiki menu, to say I was excited would be an understatement. If you know me, you know I’m a lover of cocktails, so I was very much looking forward to having a taste.

Arriving at Farringdon, which is wheelchair accessible, we headed to St John’s Street, just a 2 minute walk from the station.

Upon entry to Bar Smith’s there was 3 steps leading into the bar, with no accessible ramp, but once inside it definitely felt like we were transported to a beach holiday.
The bar was a large open area with tall tables and high chairs, alongside lower table and chairs dotted around the space.
It was very rustic and dark which complimented the Caribbean relaxed vibe.

We were approached by a member of staff who asked if we wanted a table for two.We agreed. At this point he said that he would go and check with his manager to see if my dog was allowed inside
I politely explained that she was a working dog and she is allowed in, but he went off to ask anyway.
On his return he had 2 members of staff with him, one being the manager.
They said that the dog wasn’t allowed in. but we could stay. Again, I explained that Ida is a Guide Dog and legally she is allowed in.
I was told that the dog could stay if I ate outside.
Needless to say I was not a happy bunny, and I explained this, alongside stating that I was here for review purposes.
Their tune quickly changed.

We were then sat at a lower table, given menu’s and left to it for a few minutes, Ellie couldn’t see a Tiki menu so we asked for one.

cocktail menu at the tiki bar

Ellie and I both ordered pizza: I ordered the beef rib and Ellie ordered the Hawaiian .
As we were here to review the Tiki, we couldn’t not order a cocktail! Ellie opted for the Navy Grog which alongside the was out of ingredients, so we both went for the XOXO, very tasty indeed!

Our food arrived promptly and was plentiful. As Ellie and I are such little things we took our time eating the pizza’s, I managed to finish mine because i’m a fat pig, Ellie on the other hand did not…
It was a good 10 minutes after we had finished that Ellie caught the waiters eye and asked for some more drinks, the bar was very quiet, but staff didn’t seem to be around.

Beef Rib and tomato pizza

Ham and pineapple pizza

We ordered one more cocktail each, Ellie had a Pina Colada and I opted for the Tiki classic of A Zombie, they went down rather quickly…

Two Easter head style cups with ice and a straw poking out the top

We headed to the bathroom and I was disappointed to see that there was no disabled toilet.The toilet cubicles were small and the taps were quite high, this would not be accessible for a wheelchair user.

As we were in no rush to leave Ellie and I stayed for another 15 minutes or so, chilling and chatting.
The atmosphere was somewhat spoiled by a man climbing a ladder and fixing lights off to our right.
We left with our empty plates still on the table.

Although the food was very tasty and the cocktails were delightful, I don’t think i’ll be returning to Bar Smith’s Farringdon in the future.

Accessibility: 1/5
The tube station was the only accessible part of our experience.

Quality of service: 2/5
There were only 4 things on the Tiki menu, 3 of which being pizza, I originally asked for the salad but they had run out of ingredients.
Although the food was tasty and came quickly, the waiter failed to ask if we wanted more drinks, and did not take away our plates.

Hospitality: 1/5
I was made to feel very unwelcome because of Ida, even after I explained that she was a Guide Dog.
There was also a lot of confusion with regards to the bill, I explained that I was attending for review purposes…. I’m not too sure this information was passed onto the floor staff.

*I was invited by Bar Smith’s for review purposes but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Sensse hot and cool toner and massage bar

If you are a beauty lover, are into your skincare and enjoy learning about new gadgets or techniques that can improve your routine, then I think you’ll like this product! Welcome to the sensse hot and cool facial bar! 🙂

It is a light weight, handheld facial massager and toner. It is white, thin and sleek, it actually reminds me of a microphone! It has three settings; hot, cold and vibration mode. You can use the vibration mode for both hot and cold settings.

What Amazon says:

Hot Mode – Relax and Soften Your Skin

The 42°C temperature in hot mode is optimal for increasing blood circulation and relaxing facial muscles. The increase in blood circulation and muscle relaxation from hot mode smoothes out wrinkles, softens your skin and activates cell re-growth.

Hot Mode with Ultrasonic Massage – Increase Moisturizer Absorption

The gentle ultrasonic vibrations combined with the 42°C hot mode massage your favorite moisturizer into your skin. The hot temperature and ultrasonic vibrations increase absorption to help you get the most from your products.

Cool Mode – Soothes Sore Facial Muscles and Reduce Redness

Uses optimal 6°C temperature to soothe sore facial muscles and relieve skin fatigue. The cool temperature reduces redness and stiffness making your skin look bright and beautiful. Also closes your pores to enhance moisturizer absorption and prevent dirt and grime buildup.

Cool Mode with Ultrasonic Massage – The Relaxing Wrinkle Reducer

Optimal 6°C temperature combined with ultrasonic vibrations tones and firms your skin to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

What does the sensse hot and cold bar do?

* Stimulates Blood Circulation
* Aids in Lymphatic Drainage
* Increases Cell Metabolism
* Cleanses Away Toxins
* Enhances Skin Care Product Performance
* Tightens and Tones Neck and Facial Skin
* Diminishes Wrinkles and Fine Lines
* Reduces The Appearance of Congested, Puffy Eyes
* Refines Large Pores
* Improves Skin Texture and Tone
* Clarifies Acne and Blemishes
* Lightens Dark Under Eye
* Fades Scars, Freckles, Age Spots and Redness

sensse hot and cold facial bar in its white box

How do I use the sensse hot and cold facial bar?

After Reading the instructions I put the bar on charge for the recommended six hours. There is a light to indicate the bar is charging. Once it is fully charged both the stand and and bar will go the same colour.
Scrape hair back and wash face and hands with hot soapy water.
Towel dry your face and apply moisturiser.
Put a P sized amount of your moisturiser onto the round metal slate at the top of the bar.
There is only one button on the device, press and hold force three seconds, this will activate the hot mode.
Press the bar with the moisturiser on the metal plate to your face.
Gently run it around your entire face, and under your chin. Be careful and sensitive when applying it to your eyesockets, if you have sensitive eyes do not use.
You should only use for two minutes at a time.

Press the button once and this will activate the vibration mode. This opens up your paws and helps your moisturiser sink deep into your skin.
Press the button again to activate the cold mode. This will change very quickly.
Continue the motions all over your face, the cold will close your pours.
Press the button once more, this activates the vibration mode. This cools and tightens the facial muscles, and brings blood to the surface to reduce Red/puffy skin.
Hold the button for three seconds, this will turn off the device. If you forget, it will automatically turn off after two minutes.
Clean the metal plate with a damp clean cloth.

Pros:

I love the whole design and packaging of it, it’s very sleek and stylish which makes it look expensive! I am a massive fan of the white and rose gold combo and it looks great on display!
I’m really impressed with just how quickly it can heat up and cool down. Within a few seconds it’s ready and it’s also a really good temperature on both ends.
the hot is very relaxing and definitely helps release any tension in my face.
The cold Setting is really refreshing and helps close up your pores.
I like how there’s a vibration mode for each to really get deeper into your skin.

sensse in a white box next to a mac book

The charging stand is also really handy, it’s very easy to just pop the device on top and it begins charging away.
Being rechargeable is great as it means theres no added expense of batteries to buy.
Instead you simply plug the base unit in with the usb charging cable attached
It goes from hot to cold in 6 seconds.

It automatically shuts off after 2 minutes to save battery life.
You have a 60 day money back guarantee if you’re not happy with your purchase.

Cons:

the only thing i would say is that the pad where the gadget stands in is not very deep at all so it balances on it. This means it can get knocked off very easily, and it has to be on a flat stable service when charging.
This is the era of technology with most gadgets having a USB port/charger… However it would have been good if the company included a plug for the USB.

I really enjoy using my facial bar, it’s great for a good morning and night routine. A fab way to look after your skin and give yourself a little pampering too!
If you enjoy a good skin routine, this is a perfect added bonus. I would highly recommend. 🙂

Do you have a sense hot and cool facial bar? Would you consider buying one after this review? I would love to know in the comments 🙂

Access ability: 5/5
It’s lightweight and fits perfectly within the groove of your hand, no long set up process to endure, once it is fully charged you are good to go!
If you are visually in paired, with each mode change the button lights up on the bar.
I’ve used it for a few weeks now, and the charge still hasn’t died!

Quality of service: 5/5
It arrived quicker than the time I was initially given, it was packaged safely, and beautifully presented.

 

*I was gifted this product for review purposes, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Blind Girl Hacks: organising your Bedroom

Blind Girl Hacks: Bedroom Tips and Tricks.

I believe the bedroom should be a sanctuary, somewhere you can relax, wind down and move around with ease.
A messy bedroom = a messy mind.. If you can’t find where anything is within your room you are not setting yourself up for a smooth/positive day.

Gary and I share a double wardrobe and chest of drawers, so it is vital I can find my things amongst the chaos 😉 You will soon come to realise I have OCD, because everything has a place. Here are my tips and tricks about how I keep my bedroom organised.

 

Clothes

Everything is in seasonal order. I keep my jumpers and pyjamas together on a shelf in my wardrobe.

My clothing rail from left to right;
Gary’s shirts/suits, jumper dresses, cardigans, Summer shirts/ going out tops,, Summer dresses, going out dresses,
smart skirts and trousers.

I also try and keep these clothes in colour coordination from white to black, but living with a boy who doesn’t pay attention to such things, doesn’t always happen! 😉
Ideas.
There are things such as RNIB’s Talking Colour Detector that can help visually impaired people distinguish colours from one another.
It looks slightly like a torch and works by turning it on and holding the item against the end of the Colour Detector, it will then read out basic colours such as; light blue, dark red and white.

There are much cheaper and less bulky alternatives for example apps that you can get on your mobile phone. Again this works in the same way as the RNIB’s colour detector.

Chest of Drawers

We have a separate drawer for underwear, tops and trousers/ shorts. I keep my belongings on the lefthand side of the drawers, Gary’s belongings stay on the right .
Ideas.

You can get drawer dividers to make sure your things stay separate. You can buy these from places such as IKEA, or a cheaper alternative would be to use a cereal box(only one side) to partition your belongings, great if you are thrifty and enjoy DIY projects. 🙂

Labelling.

If you want something more concrete/ sturdy when determining your clothes a labelling system may be of good use to you.

You can buy things such as Tactile markers from the internet,. These are tactile shapes that you can glue to your clothes. for example use squares for any of your jumpers that have to be on a woollen/ 30 degree wash.

buttons can be sewn onto your white clothes for example. A good place to sew these buttons would be on the washing instruction label that you get on the inside of your clothes.

Iron patches are another labelling system you can use. As it suggests you use the iron to transfer the label. They are usually robust and do not come off in the washing machine.

 




Jewellery

I have lots of jewellery, ranging from bulky necklaces to delicate earrings and bracelets.

My delicate jewellery that also came as part of a set stay in their specific boxes in a drawer in my bedroom the others are kept in several different sized jewellery boxes.

I have a necklace stand where all different types of necklaces hang from, I tend to use one side for bulky necklaces and the other side for thinner ones. for I also keep my thinner necklaces on the cardboard hook that it came on. That way it keeps the thinner necklaces from tangling and makes it easy for me to differentiate which one is which.

I have a box full of bulky bracelets and earrings, the earrings also stay on the cardboard sleeve they came with. Again it makes it easier for me to know which pair of earrings i’m looking for, but it also helps to keep the box tidy.

I have another box full of smaller earrings, and I also keep them paired, that way i will never have odd earrings.

Ideas:

Buy a jewellery box that has lots of compartments/ partitions, that way you can keep necklaces separate from rings etc.
Another idea could be to have a deep box, it could be a jewellery one or just a pretty box you’ve DIY made. Setting up a layering system in the form of cardboard/tissue paper to keep each individual item or each collection of items separate from one another.
depending on how you layer the box you could attach braille/ tactile labels to each section so you can make finding your things a much smoother experience.
If you have the space have a separate jewellery box for each of your collections. That way you shouldn’t mix up your jewellery. 🙂

Accessories.

I have a specific storage box that i keep belts, scarfs and hats in. I fold each item and pile them on top of one another, I keep one side for scarves and the other for belts. I then place the hats on top.
I keep all my handbags together in one big bag (a very old school bag, i’m not fancy!).It sits on the shelf of my wardrobe on the left hand side.
Having all my bags together in a big bag is not only convenient for storage space but it is something completely separate from the rest of my accessories so if i’m directing someone else, they can find the bag straight away rather than guessing which one of my many boxes it could potentially be in. 🙂
Because all of my accessories are different in style, texture and shape I can differentiate easily between all my clothes and accessories.

 




Ideas:

If you don’t have the storage space for boxes, but would like to keep your accessories organised? Using plastic shower curtain ring hangers are a good idea, and a way of containing space. This can also be used for keeping jewellery from tangling, if you so wish.
Hanging baskets, or, plastic baskets under your bed is another great way to keep your specific accessories in one place, but allowing them to stay segregated from the others.

As you can tell i’m an organised person, I always have been, even before I had any sight issues, but being that way definitely made my life smoother after going blind. I had a system in place that was fool proof for me, and because of that it makes finding things easy.
Everything I own has a home.
Personally I do have a labelling system, when I first went blind my Mum sewed buttons onto my whites (as I didn’t have that many white items apart from underwear) and she sewed tiny ribbons onto my coloured clothes/ underwear. For the most part I don’t tactilely use the system because I know what all my clothes are, but it is a great way of allowing myself piece of mind that I won’t mix colours when doing my washing.

I suggest that if you are visually impaired and do not have a system in place, it could be a good idea to start 🙂 Find a system that works for you; labelling, separating smart/casual clothes, use compartment segregators, or even just making sure everything has a home.

I hope this post was useful for you, if you have questions for me or suggestions for posts please leave a comment below, or contact me via social media! 🙂

Much love,
Sassy x

 

 




Honest Grapes Wine Festival In SOHO

Wine tasting at the Honest Grapes wine festival.

Last week Gary and I were invited to attend the Honest Grapes wine festival in SOHO.Gary and I are only really just getting into wine tasting and discovering different brands that we like.
My Dad is a wine buff and has taught me lots over the years, often asking me to “try this and see what you think” most of the time I wasn’t interested, but as I got older my taste buds began to change, with Champagne becoming a firm family favourite; especially around Christmas and New Year!

Needless to say I was rather excited to attend the wine festival .Gary enjoys being my guide for certain blogging events, especially if it includes food and alcohol!
I knew I wouldn’t be able to attend this event without sighted assistance, so it was good to get Gary on board and make it into a fun date day:)

After getting delayed with thanks to broken signals on the railway, having to walk half way around St Pancras just to get to the underground, and then having to ask for assistance and walking the 100+ steps up the escalator we finally arrived in SOHO.
Thankfully it was only a 5 minute walk from the tube station, and handy Google Maps got us there with no issues.

As we entered the building we were greeted by a lovely Chinese lady who informed us that the lift would only be able to take us up, so we would have to walk back down the stairs upon exiting.
Ida and I are becoming well versed in stairs, so I wasn’t particularly bothered about this.

Arriving upstairs we walked into a large, open, bright and white room.
The kind gentleman checked us in and even got a tray for Ida to have a drink from.
We asked if it was OK to bench Ida while we went around, just so she didn’t get under anyones’ feet, and he was more than accommodating, even offering to look after her on his table.

And then the fun began…

The first table we visited was Exton Park, an English Brewery. situated in Hampshire where the grapes are Grown in a very chalky environment which adds a distinct flavour to the wines.

We tried the Exton Park Brute first, this was a white sparkling wine.

We both thought it tasted very nice but as with most brutes’ it was Dry

You can purchase a bottle for £27.90

The next wine we tried was the Exton Park Pino MeunierRose. This was a sparkling Rose Wine with a fruity burst of flavour.. Out of the 2 this was our favourite.

You can purchase a bottle for £39.00

The second table we visited was the Chene Bleu- Vineyards, this is situated in the la verriere region of France.

The first wine we tasted was the Chene Bleu Rosé 2016. – This was a Rose wine with a silky smooth finish.

You can purchase a bottle for £20.90

The second wine we tried was the Chene Blue w 2010. This was a Red Wine,, I found it too full bodied for my personal taste. I’m not a fan of red wine as a rule and the taste made it a bit sour and sharp for me.

The third table we visited was the Clemens Busch- German Wine maker

We tried the Clemens Busch Vom Grauen 2015. This was a dry sharp red wine.

You can purchase a case of 6 for £122

The second wine we tried was the Clemens Busch vom roten Scgiefer This was a fantastic red wine, which I felt was not too full bodied for my taste. I felt that the wine completed itself nicely, by this I mean the flavour didn’t linger on the tongue or leave it dry. You can purchase a case of 6 for £122.40

Clemens Busch Marienburg GG The third wine we tried on this table was the Falkenlay 2012. This was a smooth sharp white wine that didn’t stick to the pallet..

The fourth wine we tried was the Greatest hits.

Grace Bridge Pino Noir 2013. This was a light fruity red wine, and affordable at £18.40 a bottle.

Luke Lambert Australian wine maker standing in front of a big barrel of Wine

The next table we visited was the Team Picks table.

Brownstone Winery.

We first tried the Chardonnay 2015. – This was a light yet Crisp white wine.

You can purchase a bottle for £13.80

The second wine we tried was the Chateau Trebiac Rouge 2012-. This was an earthy flavour but was a light red colour.

You can purchase a bottle for £13.40

The next table we visited was the Spanish Tapas table.

We tried a selection of cheeses including; goats cheese, very creamy but not over powering.

A semi mature cheddar which was crumbley.

A mature cheddar which was strong and smokey, with a bit of crumble.

A blue cheese which was potent and creamy, not to my taste but Gary thoroughly enjoyed it.

We also tried some cooked ham cut straight from the hoof, this was sort of slimy in texture but tasted nice.

I also managed to taste the ham wrapped in breadstick, this was very tasty, it gave the ham a good crunch.

Our final tasting was the semi mature cheese with a sweet jelly, this was completely ccomplimentary to the cheese, and apparently very popular in Spain.

The next table we visited was Fine Wine.

The first wine Gary tasted was the Mastrojanni Brunello Montalcino 2012 This was a Medium bodied red which stayed on your tongue for a while, not to Gary’s taste.

You can purchase a bottle for £53.59

The last wine that Gary tasted was the mirafiore barolo lazzarito 2008 This was the last red wine Gary tasted, he thought it was very full bodied and clung to the pallet;not to his tastes

You can purchase a bottle for £66.50

The first wine I tasted was the Cal del Bosco Annamaria Clementi 2007 This was a white sparkling wine that was slightly dry, but refreshing.

You can purchase a bottle for £89.70

The second wine I tasted was the Frerejean Freres Blanc de Blancs This was a crisp white wine, it was tasty but not my favourite.

You can purchase a bottle for £61.40

The final table we visited was the Australia and New Zealand Wines

We met the co- founder of Honest Grapes,; Nathan, who had just come back from a 5 month trip to Australia and New Zealand meeting young people growing their own wines. He was very friendly and clearly very passionate about his job and the company.

Taras Ochota a wine maker Nathan met on his travels to Australia and New Zealand

The first wine we tried was the Jamsheed Ma Petite Francine Cabernet Franc 2016. – This was a very light and fruity Red Wine, both Gary and I enjoyed it.

Nathan explained that most people who declare they don’t like red wines, do in fact like these, because of their fruity flavours, he was definitely right.

You can purchase a bottle for £19.80

The final wine we tasted was the mirafiore barolo lazzarito Another very light and fruity red wine, it was not full bodied at all, and we both found it very easy and tasty to drink.
You can purchase a bottle for £66.50

Timo Mayer another wine maker Nathan met while on his trip to Australia and New Zealand

Gary and I had a lovely day learning, tasting and meeting so many passionate people who knew so much about their craft. It was so interesting meeting the people that grew the wine, finding out their back stories as well as gaining more knowledge about how the wines were produced.

The only down side to the day was the public not understanding that Ida was a working dog and needed to be left alone. Too many people went over to her and gave her fuss that she became very excited and wouldn’t settle, so we ended up taking her around the last few tables with us.
She settled down instantly, but I do wish people would not interfere with her.

Before we headed out we headed back to the exton park table and tried the rose and brute one more time. The rose was definitely a hit for both of us, and it is wine we will be purchasing in the future.

Thanks to honest Grapes for inviting us, we had a fab day! 🙂

Accessibility 3/5

Getting to SOHO as a disabled person was a challenge, many of the train stations lacked lifts and had too many stairs or just escalators. The venue the event was hosted at unfortunately had a broken lift which only went up, meaning you would have to come down many stairs on your return.
As a wheelchair user this event would not have been accessible to me.
All of these things are totally out of Honest Grapes control.

Hospitality 5/5
The people that worked there on the day were absolutely fantastic, showed real passion and enthusiasm for the job, and were also extremely accommodating with my blindness.

Are you a wine lover? Would you attend a festival like this?

*We were given tickets for review purposes but all thoughts and opinions are our own.

Celebrating National Parks Week With NRS Healthcare

Celebrating National Parks week with NRS Healthcare.

Summer is here and one of my favourite ways to spend it is putting on my walking boots and to go exploring around various nature trails with Gary.
This summer we are making a concerted effort to travel the UK to walk, picnic and even hike through some of the National Parks ,breathing in the fresh air and enjoying nature at it’s finest.

Having Arthritis as well as a visual impairment can make walking, and especially hiking pretty difficult and Gary and I have been looking at accessible trails online
Picture my happiness when I was contacted by the lovely folks at NRS Healthcare who informed me of their free and accessible guide to venturing the National Parks with a disability!

I got so excited reading through the guide, this was exactly what I had been looking for, a place where all the information is presented in one place.

The guide talks about empowering those with disabilities to go outdoors no matter what reservations you may have about restrictions to access.
Wheelchair user that fancies electric boating?on the Lake District?
Visually impaired and fancy hiking in Snowdonia?
It’s all possible if you know where to look, and now we do!

A visually impaired person being guided along a dirt path in the national park with a tree and moss covered boulder on the left.

It’s National Parks Week here in the UK, 24th-30thJuly and to celebrate the beauty and accessibility of our 15 National Parks, NRS Healthcare have written a free accessibility guide for people like you and me who love to be outdoors, but find it a chore researching where is and isn’t accessible!

An extra added bonus is the equipment and products listed in the guide you may consider taking when you are on your adventure, to make your experience more relaxing and enjoyable.

A wide richer with a stone arc bridge in the background. The river is flanked by green and browning trees

The best thing about the guide is that the activities listed are not just Summer activities, most of the excursions and trails are available year round, so if you fancy skiing in winter or surfing in Spring, it is all doable. 🙂

Are you an outdoorsy type?
Would you consider trekking the national parks with a disability?

*Information from a press release by NRS Healthcare, But all thoughts and opinions are my own