Live In Luxury For A Whole Lot Less

Image Courtesy of: Unsplash
When we were kids, the idea of living in a luxury home with all the trimmings was a given. We were going to live in a palace where we had everything we could ever want or need with absolutely zero reasons to leave. It was going to be our little slice of heaven - a thought every single person shared at some point in our bright-eyed youth.
But then adulthood slaps you with a little sense of reality and you realize a one-bedroom apartment in the third-nicest part of Chicago is going to be as good as it gets until those winning numbers turn up on your lotto ticket. But whether you live in a cute little one bed or you have a place fit for a princess, there are some simple ways to turn your home into a paradise you'll never want to leave. Like the lyric goes: “home is where I want to be, pick me up and turn me around”.

1. Bathroom To Relax In
Yes, a floor standing tub with gold claw feet and a TV on the wall in front was once the dream, but a relaxing bathroom can be done for a whole lot less. All you need is a few tall houseplants dotted around the place, some flickering candles and a bathtub caddy that can hold a glass of Provence rose and a Netflix-loaded tablet. Now that’s living. 
2. Feel The Rainbow
There is something magical about stepping into an old building with stained glass and watching as a thousand shards of color dance around the room. It’s almost breathtaking. Thankfully, you can bring this look and feel home with you for barely anything. Simply buy some magical rainbow window film and pop it all the windows you want a little more privacy from without sacrificing any of the natural light.
3. It Just Makes Scents
Nothing gives a home a more luxury, wonderful, familiar and homely vibe than a certain scent. It’s about getting home from the hardships of everyday life and being soothed by a distinct smell the moment you open your front door. In our heads, that would be the smell of home-baked cookies, but that’s not always possible, which is why you should visit and check out their range of aroma oils. You could have a bathroom that smells of pineapple, a living room basking in coconut and a bedroom that dances with vanilla. Mmmm. 

4. Shower Singing Is A Must
If there is one thing that will make a home a happy place it’s being able to make your every shower that extra dollop more glorious by blasting out your favorite shower songs from a waterproof speaker and singing them at the top of your lungs, like a dawn chorus that makes you smile for the rest of the day. 
5. Massaged While Reading
Since the Cronut was first introduced in New York City, everyone thinks the greatest pairing of all time is the croissant and the donut. But we disagree. It’s actually being able to sit in bed and getting massaged in the arms of a massage rest while reading your favorite book and slurping on a cup of coffee, which is why you need to get one of these luxury-life devices.

Tidlrs - For The Luxury Lifestyle Lover

This January I started off the year promising myself to travel more; and find and search some of the more luxurious and elegant brands to adequately spend all my money and different places to spend my time, either in the UK or abroad. When you're away from home, your locations should be as good if not better than what you're used to. We all scour the internet, scrolling endlessly at lustworthy photos of exotic locations, in-style fashion pieces and spending far too much money on creating the elegant lifestyle we all crave. There is however, an online place where you can find all this and more, at Tidlrs, an innovative marketplace for luxury brands.

Tidlrs have completely had me lusting over all the hot places and brands at the moment on their Instagram, and I highly suggest have a click on over there for five star photos of the current luxury market. Any blogger would be in luxury heaven! Their newly launched blog and journal offers all the up-to-date

What They Do

Tidlrs is a new online marketplace housing different categories, which you can find on their website, for luxury brands. If you want to know what is luxury and upto date, then Tidlrs is the place to browse, to find the top destinations of the moment and reach for your notebook and pen and start planning those luxury holiday stays, because with professional journalists, their articles keep you posted with recent events, jewellery trends, interiors, exhibitions, all sat neatly in the heart of the luxury market. They pride themselves in being able to give visitors a 360 luxury experience, and with their new blog launching, "The Edit", the new topics of every aspect and category will be easily accessible and their website is aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate.

Brands Joining

Any luxury brand or company can join Tidlrs, with incredible exposure to a plethora of people worldwide. They're based in Dubai but their market stretches worldwide, and any company who joins with them, will receive a complimentary package, with a free 6 month subscription, allowing them for half a year to be open to a huge market and be part of the Tidlrs world. Essentially, it allows companies from the luxury market an advertising space on their platform. They create a Brand page and Category pages which allows people searching for specifics to find you right away. In essence, Tidlrs makes it easy for people to find you and spread the word on what you're doing.

Keep an eye out for their newly launched blog, it has oodles of luxury news about where to stay, where to eat and what brands are hot and if you're someone who loves to lust over luxury items, then Tidlrs is going to be the place to put on your subscription list. Afterall, we all want to be upto speed on new gossip, to share with friends and family. What are your favourite luxury brands and top destination picks of the summer?

Depression & Overcoming It

Depression is probably one of the most complex of issues that the humn body can be struck with. There are many forms, it manifests differently in different people and there are variations of mild to severe, but no matter what kind you have, it does not lessen its terrifying symptoms or make you any less worthy of getting help for it. It is NOT taboo and never ever be ashamed to admit you feel bad. Ever. I have always believed, in a sense, that if we do not feel down, even depressed from time to time, then how are we human? We feel. We are human and this is sadly one aspect of our humanity that likes to attack, but it should not make you feel like you are a lesser being. Definitely not.

I have suffered with small bouts of depression from a young age. I believe my depression was born out of anxiety, health anxiety specifically which started in my mid-teens. Having feared every single symptom would kill me (maybe one day it might!), I had set off on a crazy journey with anxiety, becoming cocooned in my own world, missing out on social events, because I liked the quiet simple, safe night at home, and I had also realised that depression was sneeking in to this terrible world too. With the complex nature of depression, it's hard for me to talk so in depth about my own issues, but I can safely say hand on heart, that the way of the world today, can easily contribute to those triggers for depression. My spells of depression can last a few days, wear off and then repeat in weeks, or even months. They often encapsulate my feelings of total utter worthlessness and entrapment. The feeling that nobody cares, everyone hates me and that feeling of, I'm trapped, I'm tied to this life and for whatever reason I'm unable to change it because it's too hard, it's not practical. It goes on and on in this cycle and living in a very small family, I do often feel quite alone, fearing that if the people I am close to were no longer here, I would have absolutely nobody. Although, as we have all come to realise, we are never alone. Someone would be there for you, near or far, someone would be there. So it all comes down to the main question, how do we really battle depression? When we will so low, so defeated by life, so panicked about the future and even the now, so completely worthless and pointless, how do we overcome it in the moment? Truthfully, it is a work in progress, no quick fix and sadly your vulnerability and your weakness to depression, may mean it will keep recurring and rearing its ugly head. In essence, it's like a demon in your head trying desperately to consume you and your thoughts. Panic often sets in for me too and uncontrollable tears; the feel of absolute doom. So here are some of my symptoms that I have from time to time when my mind isn't quite in the best place:
  • Overwhelming feelings of worthlessness and emptiness, as if there is no point to anything I'm doing.
  • Feelings of panic - there isn't a way out, I'm doomed, life will fall apart and when it does I won't be able to cope 
  • Feelings of total sadness - crying uncontrollably, feeling lost, without direction, overwhelmed with life and people 
  • Everything loses it's appeal and taste, I just have no desire or motivation to do anything, but cry and feel sorry for myself and wallow in self pity 
The ways in which I deal with these vary. I have a mother who is completely understanding of these feelings having dealt with it herself; but like for any mother or relative, they don't always know how to react because they don't want to see you this way; but it's a part of life, and you should never bottle it up, if you need to cry, then cry, even if it is front of your family or friends, if you're feeling it, you need to feel it. The next question that I always ask myself is, what triggers this feeling? Is it sudden, is it an experience or an event that's made your mind slip back into that way of thinking. For me, it's a mix. Sometimes, it's almost the final straw that can set off an episode, if someone has said something to me that's hurt me, or I've not had job satisfaction that particular week, or if things consistently go wrong in the day/week, it can trigger off an episode. I shut myself off from the outside world, wondering if anyone will care that I'm not online or that I have gone quiet, but this is no way to measure your life and measure the way people see you. Social media has so much to answer for, we judge our lives on glossy photos and whilst the grass can be greener on the other side, sometimes it isn't and there is always someone less fortunate than you in the world. How do I deal with my depression, what helps me through?
  • Getting to bed as early as I can, even if I cannot sleep, but it's futile staying up when your mind is in such a bad place.
  • Take deep breaths - this is something that I've been working on and it really does seem to reset your body. When you're crying hysterically or feeling overwhelmed or angry with life so intensely, ten slow deep breaths really does help put things into perspective a little.
  • Simplifying life -I've been trying to step away from my phone as often, putting it in another room or turning it off, it stops you from frantically searching other people's seemingly amazing lives online and gives you a reality check.
  • Realising that not everybody can or will like you and that's OK, leave them be; focus on yourself or find people who appreciate you for who you are.
  • Allowing it to pass - know that depression is a cycle, from trigger, to the intense feelings, then to the final bit of the cycle, where the wave dies down. You can't quick fix it, it will take its course.
  • Hormonal treatments - I am starting to incorporate evening primrose oil into my life in supplement form. Sometimes for women, their bouts of depression can be triggered by hormones, either around the time of their period or any time but it can be linked to hormones, so keep track if you can of when you're feeling down. Taking supplements for me is one big key thing that I definitely don't do enough of.
I have come to realise that depression can be tamed, it can be controlled, even without anti-depressants. I have never wanted to take these, just because I'm fearful of other things it may trigger but everyone is different; speak to your GP about it if you want medication. I think finding a good GP to talk to is important also, I know that I have a new GP, a female who is very understanding of all my medical issues each time I go (which is frequently with my health anxiety!!) and sometimes knowing someone professional is there is good. There are plenty of groups out there for people who suffer depression. If it's something in the moment, that you're struggling with or have any kind of suicidal thoughts then you can call The Samaritans on 116 123. It's free to call them.

There is always someone on the otehr end of a phone but most importantly, the thing with depression is, that tomorrow is a new day and the chemicals in your brain do shift with sleep and time, so this is why it's so important to remember that the universe as a whole is constantly changing balance and you as a living being is changing too. The days do get easier. I never tell anyone I suffer with depression from time to time, until now. I have told people about my anxiety, because in some ways this is easier for most people to deal with. I hold myself together in public places with people I'm around, because sometimes that's just human nature, but I have broken down in tears on a night out before; it happens. It's OK.

Just know that if you ever need anyone to chat to, I am here. Tweet me or DM me privately on Twitter or even on my contact form (right). It's time we stand upto depression because life is for living. Life is a gift.

Another thing that does uplift my spirit is creative writing, not just my Blog but my latest book "The Last Verse", a short story available on Amazon (all proceeds donated to the victims of Attica fires) - click HERE to buy/read.

What MyHeritage DNA Results Have Taught Me!

When I was kindly contacted by the team at MyHeritage to do a MyHeritage DNA test, I jumped at the chance! I had a very vague idea of my heritage, I thought it was mostly going to be Irish, English and Scottish; I had wondered if there was a tiny bit of southern European in me, as many people often ask me if I had any Spanish or Italian origins. I received my kit through MyHeritage, which involved a very simple task of swirling the swab around your cheek (one swab per cheek), snapping off the end into the little pot of liquid and sending it abroad.

It states that it takes upto 4 weeks to get your results, because of travelling time but mine came through quicker. I had been incredibly excited because it really does give you a true sense of belonging, as well as excitement into where your ancestors came from and some of your traits, characteristics that may come from other parts of the world. Once you have sent your kit off, it's vital to activate it online, that way you can make your own family tree if you wish and you can have email reminders sent when your DNA is in the lab and when you get your results! It is super easy and really fun to set up all your details and await the results!

The Results! 

I received an email over the weekend from MyHeritage to let me know that my DNA results had come back. I anxiously clicked onto the results to see what my heritage would be and it's safe to say I had some serious surprises...and surprises that truly made me see the world and the way we look at our culture much differently. As you can see from my results below, it came back as 0% English. Being born and raised in England, and nearly all my family members being born and raised here in England, it came as a huge shock to see that there was no English ancestry. 51.6% of my DNA was as expected, Irish, Scottish and Welsh. Coming from a predominantly Irish background from my maternal side, I had a feeling this would probably be a higher percentage, but just a little over half of me is from the British isles.

However, I was also nearly just as shocked to find out that just about a whole other half of me is Western European. Although the results are rather broad, it takes into consideration a lot of the western countries, I did believe that it could be mostly French ancestry with my surname being of French origin, but I did not realise it would be such a high percentage!

Thirdly, the tiny little bit of DNA left in me, is from the Middle East! That I did NOT expect but that is the one that excited me the most. I have been racking my brains wondering how and where this may have come from, such a teeny percentage of me, but still, a part of me. Perhaps this is where my love for hot weather has come from! Or my love of more exotic foods! The possibilities are endless, and truthfully, it has made me want to visit the Middle East even more now. The other thing that MyHeritage DNA test has given me, is an even bigger insight into the world. It certainly should make everyone a little more sensitive to immigration and other races. You never know what DNA is within you, or even who you may be a distant relative of. The possibilities are endless and it's been a fantastic learning curve!

If you wish to grab a DNA kit today, then click here and start uncovering your past today! £75 for the kit...but well worth it if you would like to find distant relatives! I did uncover quite a few fourth and fifth cousins in the USA which is very exciting and have already got into contact with them to see how we may be related and who we may be related to! The opportunities are endless!  

Don't forget for FREE SHIPPING use my coupon THEELEGANTLIFE at checkout! 

Let’s Talk Breasts! Brassybra Review

Finding the ultimate adhesive bra for those fashion statements is not an easy task. Only recently have I been on the sesarch for a good adhesive bra that stays on and is comfortable, without compromising on style or support. That is why I have teamed up with the incredible team over at Brassybra, who aren't just a bra company, but promote and work alongside some incredible people and charities. Their adhesive bras have been dubbed 'the invisible bra that actually works'. That is something I can vouch for. Having tried many in the past few months, I have realised that most do not support in the way I'd want and aren't easy to travel with. Brassybra ticks all the boxes!
  • Comfortable 
  • Easy to travel with
  • Come with additional sticky pads for extra support
  • Are for all women of all sizes
  • Bras can be shaped to your body and cut easily to be hidden if needed 
  • Safe and certified adhesive - although you shouldn't wear your bra overnight! 
  • Waterproof - so it gives you that support you need when you're at the pool! 
  • Can move easily without worry of it working off - brilliant for dancing! 

How does it work? 

Brassybra comes in a multitude of colours and sizes, for everyone. It is especially brilliant for the bigger chested ladies, who need a little more support. You can find the right colour for you, these are, vanilla, caramel, chocolate, cocoa and licorice which will go with any outfit. The 'little extra' strips are available in these colours for additional support that you can stick around the edges of your Brassyabra. Although the diagram of how to fit and remove your Brassybra is seen on the packaging, I am going to take you through it too, to show you just how easy it is and how simple they are to fit, giving such a lovely uplift and good support. Take out your Brassybra, let's take a black Brassybra. My Brassybra is a C-D cup. Use your little flower pads to cover your nipple area. This will protect them, and of course they look super cute!  Reveal the sticky side of the bra, lift up your breast, attach the bra to the bottom of the breast and pull it upwards, until it feels comfortable and looks right to you. *TIP* Don't take the paper sheild off first, as it takes time to get the hang of how to use your bra, keep the paper on and lift upwards, that is what works best for me and I can get a brilliant shape and lift.

Once it's in the right position, get dressed! If your bra overlaps and can be seen through your clothing, you can easily cut it to change the shape. Then, you're ready to go and you will see how perfectly it supports your bosom area. It's comfortable and very supportive; the material is light and uninvasive, truly is a really easy and practical bra to use for those tops and fashion items that are just that extra bit difficult to style! 

How Do I Remove It?

The Brassybra do come with little wipes that you can use to gently remove your bra. However, it is vital that you remove it gently, coconut oil or any kind of body oil can be a brilliant way to slowly and safely remove your bra without aggravating the skin in any way! Remember, your Brassybra will stay on during swimming, it will give that extra support to you in your swimming outfit, which is such a brilliant perk!

To shop this amazing bra, you can click here and order your first one today, to make wearing halter tops, sleeveless tops and crop tops much easier to wear! The team over on their Instagram @brassybra are helpful and ready to answer any questions you should have! Start enjoying fashion again...I know I have!