*Some items in this post have been sent for review

What is the secret to choosing great summer clothes for men? Dressing for each season brings it’s own challenges.  In the autumn and winter thicker fabrics, dark colours and subtle patterns suit the colder weather. The summer bring hot weather and humidity. Light fabrics and bright colours will help you embrace long lazy sunny days.

Summer clothes for me

Choosing Great Summer Clothes for Men

Looking good during the heat of the summer requires a little planning. Looking good whilst staying smart can be a difficult task. Men who look stylish in the winter can take on an anything goes attitude in the summer. Think clashing prints, socks with sandals, three quarter length trousers and hankies with knots on the head. With a little forethought you can avoid the wild on holiday look and dress to look stylish despite the heat.

Tips for Summer Dressing

When dressing for the summer think about colour co-ordination, good fit and minimal style for a smart but casual look. You should have certain key pieces in your wardrobe and use them with accessories to create a different look.

Shorts

A decent pair of shorts can transform your summer wardrobe. When choosing shorts ensure they are not too short. Just above the knee is a good length to aim for. Choose shorts that are not too baggy without huge pockets to add bulk. They should add shape to your figure without being too tight. Ensure you have a couple of pairs to choose from, tailored shorts for a smart casual look or more colourful shorts for the beach.

Summer clothes for men shorts

Summer clohes for men shorts

Shirts

In the hot summer weather it is more than likely you are sweating more than normal. To help allow your skin to breath and prevent overheating choose shirts made of natural fabrics. Cotton and linen are natural fabrics that allow the skin to breath whilst absorbing moisture. Silk is also a good choice. Don’t be afraid to add a pop of colour to brighten up the outfit. Keep shirts loose to encourage air flow and keep you cool.

Trousers

Choose loose fit trousers in lightweight fabrics to help keep you cool this summer. Chinos are great for dressing up with a summer shirt. They look good for both formal and casual occasions. Choosing lighter colours will also help to reflect the sunlight and keep you cool.

Summer clothes for me

 

Footwear

Summer is time to bring out the loafers, sandals and canvas shoes. Invest in some no show socks to avoid blisters and to prevent the long socks with shoes or sandals look which does not look good. Leather loafers look great with tailored outfits whilst canvas works well with shorts. Bare feet are great for relaxing in the garden and letting your feet breath.

Colour

Experiment with colour. Don’t be afraid to try bright colours and bold prints. Just make sure you match them with a neutral colour so that you don’t clash. Be careful with yellow though. I have found that yellow attracts wildlife. At a beach both my husband and son had yellow t-shirts and the midges would not leave them alone. A yellow t-shirt was also a great attraction to a donkey!

Do you have any tips for choosing great summer clothes for men? Let me know below.

You may also be like to read my tips about getting men ready for a wedding.

 

 

 

 

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*Some items in this post have been sent for review

These six ways to add personality to your home will help you make a home that feels welcoming. This will make visitors feel comfortable and want to linger.

Have you ever walked into a home and felt like you are entering a show home? It really doesn’t feel welcoming. The pristine condition makes you feel uncomfortable and not wanting touch anything. A home should make you feel at home. By adding touches of your personality to your interior your home will reflect who you are and what you love.

Adding personality to your home can be simple and cheap. It can be as simple as using your favourite colour to paint the walls or adding a few family photos in a prominent location. These are six simple ways you can add some personality to your home.

Six Ways to Add Personality to your Home

Use your hobbies to make a statement

Using your hobbies in your home decor will add instantly add personality to your home and make a statement. Do you practice yoga? Why not create a zen corner and create an instantly relaxing space in your home? Maybe you run in races and have a collection of medals.  Create a space where you can showcase these achievements. If you are a keen photographer get some of your photos put on canvas and display them on your walls. Not only will these items look good they also create a talking point when you have guests.

Show off your books

Books are a great way to make your home feel more personal. The titles speak of your personality, interests and passions. In my home you will find lots of cookery books sharing shelves with thrillers, chick lit and historic novels. I would love a library like they have in some stately homes. Every wall containing shelves of books with ladders that you can move round to access them easily. Modern homes are space constrained so this is not practical. Instead get a few bookcases or floating shelves.

My son has piles of books spilling off the cupboards in his room. To organise these and also to add some decorative accents into his room I got some cat scratch bookends from Uncommon Goods. I think they add a quirky touch to his room. They are also keeping his books in one place so they are not longer all over the floor.

Cat bookends from Uncommon Goods

Cat bookends from uncommon goods

If you are looking for quirky items to add personality to your home Uncommon Goods have a great selection. The firm began in 1999 and has its headquarters in Brooklyn, New York. They feature unique jewellery, designer decor, hand crafted gifts and much more. Half of the products sold are made by hand and a third of the collection uses recycled or upcycled materials. I could spend hours on the site browsing. There are just so many unusual items that are great for home decor. 

Add ornaments and plants

Ornaments are a great way to show off your personality. If you have a collection of objects get a display cabinet and show them off. I have a corner of my living room where I display my collection of dragons. There are also a number of quirky ornaments and scented candles on my fireplace. In the corner of the fireplace you will find a stone gargoyle. The most recent addition to my ornaments is this Deep Sea Sand Art from Uncommon Goods.

Deep Sea Sand Art from Uncommon Goods

Deep Sea Sand Art from Uncommon Goods

I find this sand sculpture absolutely fascinating. Turn it round and the sand will move and fall into a new position. The mix of light and dark sand flows and falls creating a new landscape every time. There is something calming about watching it.

Plants are another way to add a sense of calm to your house. Add a plant into a corner for a splash of greenery. Just don’t forget to water them.

Show off your art

Pictures and paintings look fabulous on walls. You can pick up canvas prints quite cheaply in budget stores which look great. Why not frame some of your photos and hang these on the walls? It is a way to enjoy some of your family memories. If you have a favourite artist you could get a print of some of their paintings and frame these.

Add a splash of colour

Adding a splash of colour to your home is an easy way to show off your personality. Pick your favourite colours and show them off. This can be done by adding cushions, pillows or throws in these colours. Throws can help make a bedroom look cosy.  Colourful cushions look inviting and brighten up a sofa. Add a colourful rug to your floor. These splashes of colour bring a fresh lively look to your home. My favourite cushion is a personalised one that looks like my dog, Eddie. It makes me smile whenever I look at it.

Personalised cushion from Mr Nutcase

Make the most of your outside space

Do you have a garden or back yard? Make the most of your outside space by making it an area the whole family can enjoy. Invest in some garden furniture so you can eat al fresco in the summer. Add some garden ornaments into a corner to make a feature of it. Encourage nature into your garden by planting wild flowers to attract bees or adding a bird feeder for the birds. I have a bird table and I really enjoy watching the birds. They have their own personalities and traits which provide some entertaining moments. There is nothing nicer than sitting outside on a sunny day so make the most of your garden.

These are my six ways you can add personality to your home. Do you have any tips you can add? Let me know below.

 

 

 
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This is the time of year when many children are leaving secondary school.  Some will go on to further education, some will start work. It is a time of change which is both sad and exciting at the same time.

Last week my son left school. It seems like only yesterday it was his first day at school. He stood in the hall in his uniform ready to go, both excited and scared. It is hard to believe that he has come to the end of his time at his Secondary school.

The school gave the leavers a great send-off. They went out for lunch at a Chinese restaurant and afterwards they had the leaving assembly. We went along to this to see him get his Record of Achievement. The head teacher said a few words about each student before they sent up to receive their files.  It was both a proud and sad moment. Next year he is going to college and is looking forward to that challenge.

A gift for school leavers from GiftsOnline4U

My sons time at secondary school has been a mix of both proud moments and difficult things to deal with. This is probably the same for the parents of any teenager. Most recently he made us really proud when he won a gold medal in the East of Scotland disability games for judo. As a result of this he is taking part in the Sheffield Special Olympics in the summer.

GiftsOnline4U have a range of over  4,500 personalised gifts for all occasions. They are an online gift shop who create and manufacture 99% of their personalised gifts in-house in Lincolnshire.  They also have an exlusive collection of personalised alcohol gifts with pewter labels which provide a luxurious finish.

If you are looking for a gift for school leavers you will get plenty of ideas on their site. To mark the fact he is moving towards adult life we chose to get my son an engraved watch. This will be useful for him for years to come. We could also get a message engraved on the back of the watch for him.

Personalised watch from GiftsOnline4U

Choosing a personalised watch

GiftsOnline4U have a great range of watches to choose from. As well as wrist watches in a range of different styles they also do old fashioned pocket watches. These beautifully engraved pieces would make a great retirement gift. For my son we chose a wrist watch with a sporty design. It has a contemporary modern style which is perfect for a teenage boy.

Personalised watch from GiftsOnline4U

Ordering the watch was easy. You choose which colour you want, black or white. There is then the option to get a message on the back. You can have five lines of 18 characters and can choose between five styles of font. When you order you can also choose a gift bag and a card to really personalise the gift.

The watch came quickly and we were able to present it to my son after his school leaving assembly. He was really happy to receive it. The engraving on the back was a special touch which he loved.  It was a lovely way to mark a special moment in his life and to remove some of the sadness that leaving school brings. The watch is really well made and should last him for years to come.

Engraving on the back of the personalised watch

Now we just need to wait and see what the coming years bring. First we have a long summer to enjoy.

Are your children leaving school this year? Did your school do anything special to mark the event? Let me know below.

I was sent the watch in return for an honest review. I did not have to say anything nice and my opinions are my own.

 

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If you struggle getting out to the gym why not try exercise classes at home with Flex TV.

Everyone knows that they should be exercising regularly. Official NHS guidelines recommend that adults between 19 and 64 should do 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week. Alongside this strength exercises should be done at least twice a week. This sounds good but any working mum will know it can be hard to find time to exercise. Days are busy and finding the time to organise going to the gym is difficult. This is where Flex can help. It brings the exercise class into your home. You can join in whenever you have a little spare time.

What is Flex?

I know that I am active as I track my activity with a Fitbit Flex. I usually hit 10,000 steps a day. When it comes to exercise I usually go running. I find it easy to fit into my daily schedule as I can run when I take the dog out. Last year I went MoRunning and was happy to finish a 5K.  Whilst running is great exercise it is nice to mix it up a bit and try something different.  This is where Flex comes in. It is a home workout platform.   All you need is a laptop, smart tv or a tablet.   Log in and choose from a range of different exercise classes to do at a time that suits you.

There really are classes for everything. Yoga, HIIT, barre, Pliates, strength, dance and many more. You can choose a class by keywords.  These include class duration, class type and if you want to use equipment such as a step or dumbells. This makes it easy to pick something that fits your schedule. Each class is run by fitness trainers. It really is like having a gym in your own home.Flex TV exercise

The Exercise Classes

I chose to look at the Dance classes and found 15 different types. Some of these follow on from each other, like Exmo Fitness which comes in four parts. Others are standalone. There are different styles of dance like Vera Flow or show girl classes. The instructors make it easy to follow the moves. If you are not able to keep up no one will know because you are at home.

Flex TV exercise classes

The classes are great fun and give you a good workout.  With so many different types to choose from you will not get bored. You can easily choose a class to suit your fitness level. Flex learns from you as you take classes, tracking your progress and making sure you get into the habit of exercising. You can even join tribes of friends and chat during the class. This will help motivate you as you can compete to see who does the most classes.

Flex TV exercise class

1 on 1 Personal Fitness Coaching

If you need a little more motivation you can sign up to 1 on 1 personal fitness coaching. This comes free with your membership. With your fitness coach you set goals which take into account your ability. Once these are set then regular calls take place which track your progress. Goals can change when you reach different check points. It is a great way to ensure that you stick to an exercise plan.

How much does Flex cost?

You can try Flex to see if it suits you on a thirty day free trial. After this membership costs £9.99 a month and you get unlimited access to the classes.  This is cheaper than a lot of gym memberships. You also get the convenience of exercising at home at a time that suits you. If you are shy about going to a gym or just simply do not have the time then Flex is a great way to fit exercise into your life.

I was given a free trial of Flex to try it out and tell you about it. My opinions are honest and my own.

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If you are looking for unique make-up the Urban Decay Jean Michel Basquiat Collection is worth a look. The partnership between Urban Decay and American painter Jean Michel Basquiat has produced something unique.

Recently I went along to the launch of the Urban Decay Jean Michel Basquiat Collection in Debenhams, Newcastle. If you know me you will know I do not wear make up often. A little eye liner and mascara are usually enough for me. I was looking forward to finding out more about the collaboration between Urban Decay and Jean Michel Basquiat. Urban Decay always have bold and unusual colours in their collections. This is something that appeals to me as I love to experiment with colour.

Urban Decay and Jean Michel Basquiat

Urban Decay have been around since the 1990’s. At that time make up was dominated by reds, pinks and beige and it was hard to find colours like blues, greens and purples. Urban Decay brought a breath of fresh air to the make up landscape with a range of shades inspired by the seedier side of the urban landscape. Their motto, Beauty with an Edge.

The collaboration with Jean Michel Basquiet is apt. He is an American artist who became known as part of SAMO©. An informal graffiti duo who would leave enigmatic art around Lower East Side Manhattan in the late 1970’s. At that time the area was a cultural hotbed. Hip hop, post punk and street art movements were all existing together. Since then Jean Michel Basquiet has been exhibiting his neo-expressionist art internationally.

Urban Decay Jean Michel Basquiat Collection

The limited Edition Urban Decay Jean Michel Basquiat Collection consists of 3 lipsticks, 3 eyeliners, two shadow palettes and a blush palette. These all come with Jean Michel Basquiet’s signiture art as part of the design. The palettes come in a canvas casing and can be used as hangable wall art when you have used them.

Urban Decay Jean Michel Basquiet collection

Look 1: Using the Gold Griot eyeshadow palette (£35)

The Gold Girot eyeshadow palette features eight neutral shades in browns and golds. If you are a fan of the smoky eye look this palette is perfect for that. To recreate this look use the dark brown over the lid with some lighter brown in the crease. To highlight the brow bone use the white shade. If you want to add some sparkle in the corner of the eye then use one of the Heavy Metals glitter eye liners. Complete the look with mascara.
Urban Decay Gold Girot Pallete being used

Urban decay look with gold girot palette

Urban Decay Gold Girot Pallette

Look 2: Using the Tenant eyeshadow palette (£35)

If you prefer a more colourful look then the Tenant eyeshadow palette is perfect. It has a range of bring and bold colours. You can create a statement look or add a little splash of colour to a more neutral look. I love this range of colours, the greens and blues in particular are striking.

To create this colourful blue and green look use the light green on the lid. Add some of the darker blue and green in the crease and don’t be afraid to take the colour up and out. Finish with some mascara.

Urban Decay Tenant eyeshadow palette

Urban Decay Tenant Eyeshaow pallete

Urban Decay tenant eyeshadow pallette

Look 3: Using the Gallery Blush Palette

The Gallery Blush Palette holds two shades of blush, a bronzer and a highlighter. The colours will work with any skin tone and can help you create a contoured look. To recreate this look use the darker brown Jawbone shade to contour the cheeks and temples. This shade also works well as an eyeshadow. Use it in the crease of the eye to add definition. Use the lighter “Now’s the Time” shade to highlight the cheeks, the centre of the nose and the cupids bow on the lips. Finally use the pink “X-rated” to add a touch of colour to the cheeks. This is a nice neutral look that can be worn anywhere.

Urban Decay Gallery Blush Palette
 
Urban Decay Gallery Blush Pallette
 
Urban Decay Gallery Blush Palette
 
I am loving this new range from Urban Decay and am certainly tempted to splash out on some of the products. The Tenant eyeshadow palette is my favourite. Which of these looks do you like best? Let me know below.
 
Urban Decay Jean Michel Basquiat collection
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