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About Sam Charles

Sam started her UK lifestyle blog, Strawberry Squeeze in 2013. Often accompanied by her partner in crime, Petal (the mini lop), she is an digital influencer, blog coach and a GAIQ SEO consultant. Sam spends most her time booking spa getaways, sea kayaking or dining out with friends and family.

Christmas Shopping Ideas: 3 Personalised Gift Ideas For Your SO

We all know that a personal gift is the best kind of gift, but we’re not all blessed with the talents of knitting and embroidering our way through each gift. Now that Christmas is fast approaching **there I said it, the ‘C’ word!**, many of us are starting to wonder what on earth we’re supposed to give to our SO this year – and how can we make it as sweet and personal as possible without having to go through various DIY tutorials on YouTube?

Luckily, the online world is a beautiful place and you can easily find the perfect personalised gift for your special someone without even having to break your piggy bank. Here is a handful of the very best ones to get your imagination going so that you can get the gift shopping out of the way a bit earlier this year.

Christmas Shopping Ideas: 3 Personalised Gift Ideas For Your SO | UK Lifestyle Blog

1. Put your face on a sock

The older we get, the more we start to appreciate the soft presents. Socks are actually not that bad of a gift, come to think of it, as long as they’re soft, of a high quality, and preferably with your face on it.

It doesn’t even have to be your own face, though, if you’re not that keen on seeing your SO wear you on their feet – although it’s hard to say why you wouldn’t like that. Have a look at prezzybox.com, to begin with, or browse the web for some other options.

You will undoubtedly be able to find a lot of other shops that offer personalised clothing, whether you’d like to put your face or their Christmas jumper, their slippers, a pair of pyjama pants, or perhaps their underwear – the world is your oyster so give it some thought before you decide on anything final.

Another option is, of course, to put your pet’s face on it instead. You both love to look at your little fur child, in any way; if your SO has it on his socks, he’ll be able to show the world its cuteness.

2. A personalised mug or glass

While a regular mug or glass sounds a bit boring, it’s going to be a lot more fun when you can turn it into whatever you want. Place his or her name on it, for example, so that they never forget who they are while having a beer – or decorate it with one of your classic inside jokes.

Think about your SO’s favourite drink, whether it’s a cup of coffee, a high-quality beer, a fine wine, or perhaps a whiskey, and browse the web for a shop that offers personalised glasses.

If you’d like to be fancy, you can always pair the gift with their favourite drink as well, though, such as a solid coffee mug with their name on it as well as a coffee subscription or a bag of high-quality beans from Tanzania if you have a bean-to-cup coffee machine.

You can always give your special someone the most personal gift of them all, though, if you want to make sure that they look at it as much as possible; print some pictures of the two of you and find beautiful picture frames from frames.co.uk – that way, they will have to hang your gift on the wall, and you’ll surely notice it if they don’t.

3. Homemade candy and jar

Finally, a personalised candy jar filled to the brim with homemade sweets is just as romantic as it is impressive. While giving away homemade candy is sweet enough, it tends to disappear rather quickly – but with a glass jar to go with it, preferably with their name on it or something else that’s perfect for them, you simply can’t go wrong.

Making candy is actually quite easy as well, though, so have a look at this article for some delicious recipes. You can choose if you’d like to just buy a blank glass jar and decorate it yourself with some paint and beautiful penmanship – or you can order a personalised jar from an online shop.

There are, in fact, so many options when you’d like to give away something personal and romantic, and you don’t have to sit in a corner and knit for hours either.

Just think about what they prefer to do and give them something related to that that has their name on it, your face on it, or a funny quote he or she will appreciate.

2018-10-20T11:39:10+00:00 October 20, 2018|Uncategorized|

Why do you Need Credit?

There’s no doubt that we live in strange economic and financial times, with consumer debt now at a record high and households spending around £900 more on average than they receive in income.

It’s therefore interesting to note that as the household debt level has increased, so too has the number of self-employed people in the UK. Since 2001, this number has increased incrementally to account for 15% of the British workforce, but typically people who work for themselves find it hard to secure credit from lenders.

So, why have we seen the levels of borrowing increased in recent times, and why do we need to take out lines of credit at all? Let’s take a look:

Why do you Need Credit? | UK Lifestyle Blog

Why do we Need Credit?

While borrowing money is often discussed in negative terms, we must remember that lending plays a key role in any functional society.

This is particularly true in the case of secured lending, such as mortgages or financing agreements. This type of borrowing allows you to invest in important assets that you’d otherwise be unable to afford, such as property, cars and similar big ticket items. In this respect, secured lending helps generations to achieve traditional financial goals, without forcing them to spend outside their means.

Since the Great Recession, unsecured and personal lending has also become central to the fabric of society, by offering greater flexibility to customers and helping them to overcome relevant macroeconomic challenges such as rising inflation and stagnant wages.

To achieve this, lenders have created a more diverse range of financial products, including loans aimed at people with poor or limited credit histories.

How Borrowing has Risen as the Labour Market has Changed

As we can see, the lending market has adapted to the needs of customers, who may be finding it increasingly difficult to save and cope with the rising cost of living.

Lenders have also been forced to adapt to the changing circumstances of customers, with self-employment becoming an increasingly popular method of working. This is a very real trend, with around two million freelancers active in the UK and more than 50% of the U.S. workforce expected to be self-employed within a decade.

In order to meet the needs of self-employed people and maintain as large a customer base as possible, lenders have relaxed their criteria and made their products more accessible. Many no longer require applicants to produce three years’ worth of accounts, with building societies such as the Halifax asking for just 12 months’ proof of income.

This is not only good news for lenders, but it also means that people who choose to work for themselves are not restricted when it comes to borrowing secured or unsecured funds. After all, there’s nothing wrong with taking out positive credit, and you should be able to apply for this whether you’re self-employed or not.

2018-10-16T13:11:47+00:00 October 16, 2018|Post|

5 Ways to Make Your Home Look More Luxurious

To understand what gives any home a look of class, exclusiveness, and wealth, there is a need to embark on a short but important history lesson. Before the industrial revolution, there was only one way to stand out of the crowd – hire renowned artisans who plied their expertise. It was a long and expensive process.

Today, with automation and mass production, artisans are relegated to the bin of history, yet the lessons from these perennial masters still remain. Intricate designs, infusion of noble metals like gold and silver, all implemented so as to mimic the past era in order to invoke a sense of wealth in the mind of a guest.

The question is, can you invoke the same impression with a tight budget?

5 Ways to Make Your Home Look More Luxurious | UK Lifestyle Blog

Avoid Spatial Incoherence

Having mismatched colours all over the place is a sure way to demonstrate low class. Fortunately, this is also the easiest and cheapest issue to rectify. If you intend to retain all the furniture, try to at least change the holstering in order to match other elements in the room. Specifically; walls, chairs, couch, couch pillows, carpet, and curtains.

A golden rule of interior design is to not have more than 3 complementing colours; everything else is up to you, and you can easily find out which colours best complement each other with a cursory online perusing. Consider this step a necessary foundation for all other embellishments.

Furnish the Walls

This can be done in 3 ways; painted motif (which requires a skilled room painter), hanging pictures with consistent-styled frames, and applying mould patterns on the edges of wall surfaces. Regarding framed pictures, it is no longer necessary to be obscenely rich in order to have classy art adorning your walls.

5 Ways to Make Your Home Look More Luxurious | UK Lifestyle Blog

In fact, this may be the cheapest way to hide the barrenness of walls. Simply look for images on Etsy that you like and think would fit nicely within the space, buy the digital print and have them printed and framed by hiring a printing service. They are dime a dozen, offering any kind of frame you need (or even frameless) while the price of printing itself is negligible.

That being said, 2-3 pictures per wall should suffice. Don’t overdo it.

Learn by Doing

If you see some room arrangement online that immediately syncs with your sensibilities, don’t be afraid to replicate it in its entirety. The trick is, you won’t be able to replicate it to the last detail, while at the same time the process of trying to replicate it will teach you a lot. In the end, you will likely end up with a satisfying décor that has its own uniqueness even if you set out to replicate someone else’s theme.

5 Ways to Make Your Home Look More Luxurious | UK Lifestyle Blog

Avoid Plastics

Plastic may be sturdy and convenient to clean but it will plummet the looks of a space. Instead, try to have wooden or wood imitations with glossy metallic touches. Once you set yourself with these criteria, you will be surprised to find for how cheap you can get very classy looking furniture – from mirrors, to tables and chairs. After all, you have come a long way in alloys and metallurgy from the olden days of infusing something with raw gold and silver.

Lighting

Lighting may end up being the most important piece of the classy puzzle. When switched on, lighting becomes the focal point of a space, but even when inert, lighting fixtures on their own can have a great impact on the entire room. Notably, take a gander at the selection from Lampwise to see what your budgeting options are, and how much of a compromise you are willing to make. In particular, if you have a larger room, try chandeliers lights, or even better, patterned wall lights.

5 Ways to Make Your Home Look More Luxurious | UK Lifestyle Blog

Takeaway

What comes off as luxurious is something that is well organised, selected with care, and complements other elements of the space in both style and colour. Once you understand this, the implementation will come easy.

2018-10-10T13:00:55+00:00 October 10, 2018|Home Decor|
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