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Non-Traditional Engagement Rings Can Be Equally Stunning

Hey Cats,


silver-and-gold-colored rings near pink flowerImage Source: Unsplash

Traditional Engagement Rings

The history of the engagement ring can be definitively traced back to Roman times, though it has been suggested that the ancient Egyptians invented the practice, with the Ancient Greeks having then adopted the tradition. Placed on the ring finger of one’s left hand, it was once believed this finger held the vena amoris, a vein that directly leads to the heart. The use of an engagement ring shifted in level of importance over the next couple of thousand years, until the diamond company De Beers around the 1940’s, began a campaign to persuade us that the ring was indispensable and that only a diamond would do. Interestingly, this happened shortly after the great depression of the 1930’s at a time when the price of diamonds had plummeted, but which thereafter rebounded dramatically.

The Cost of a Ring

Much debate has taken place regarding what is an appropriate amount for a man to spend on an engagement ring for the love of his life. Much of the input on this discussion unsurprisingly also came from de Beers, who initially stated that at least one month’s salary was required, a figure that by the 1980’s they had elevated to two months’ salary. Very expensive rings do not always seem to do the trick, as some research has suggested that debt related stress from purchasing something too expensive is actually responsible for a significant number of subsequent divorces. The trick it seems is to purchase something beautiful, but eminently affordable.

Gemstones on The Ring

person wearing silver-colored ring with black gemstone
Image Source: Unsplash
While diamonds no longer seem to have exclusivity for the engagement ring, it seems that the use of some form of gemstone is still considered of vital importance. Some consider the wedding ring and the engagement ring to be two parts of the whole, whereby the second ring at the wedding, is designed to perfectly match, complement and complete the look. The wedding ring on its own looks incomplete. With people today looking to show more individuality, colourful engagement rings, reflecting personal styles are growing in popularity, as is seen with the use of emerald, opal, sapphires and other gemstones. Given that it is something that the wearer is going to have on, hopefully for a very long time, the rings colour and design that the person is going to be happiest with, certainly makes a great deal of sense.

Diamonds are Forever

While a phrase introduced to us by good old De Beers, it is a fact that regardless of ring design, the diamond is still likely to be the stone of choice for many, for a long time to come. There is no denying that the sparkle from a diamond is unique, and after choosing the design of the ring, checking out the wholesale diamonds Sydney investors get from Australian Diamond Importers, finding the right diamonds at the right price will become easier.

Making the Choice

The decision of whether to opt for a diamond or a different stone is naturally one which requires careful consideration, and truly knowing who your fiancé to be really is. Talking to her mother and close friends about what she likes in terms of jewellery can help, though if she really is the perfect girl for you, you should probably have sufficient insight to get it right.

macro shot of yellow train hanging handles
Image Source: Unsplash

Traditional or non-traditional doesn’t matter anywhere near as much as it looks stunning, and for her to absolutely love it.

The Best Ways To Add Value To Your Home

Hey Cats,

If you are a homeowner then there can come a point in your life when you have to decide what to do next; will you put the house up for sale? But even before that, you need to think about if the house is in a good position to be sold, and if you would get the money that you want (and need) for it. Plus, if you want to work your way up on the property ladder to eventually get to your dream home, then you need to know how to really maximise the value of where you live now, planning to sell or not. So with that in mind, here are some of the best ways that you can add value to your property; are there any here that you had thought of before? It would be great to hear what you think.


Convert a Cellar

If you have a home with a cellar that is pretty much a wasted space, and perhaps only used for storage at the moment, then it can be a good idea transform the space as it can really add a lot of value to your home (in the region of around 30% no less). So that can really be a large sum on money when you think about it, as people really do put value on the number of useable rooms in a home, rather than things like the size of a garden, for example. Converting your cellar into a room can also be one of the least complex home renovations to do as well, because it qualifies as a ‘change of use.’ So in terms of planning permission, it means that which means you don’t actually need any, which can be a cheaper way to do things, and a less timely way to do it too.

Split a Large Home into Apartments

If you are lucky enough to have a home that is large enough to be converted into one or two apartments or flats, then financially, that can be something that is really worth doing. Especially if you would live in one and rent out the other, it can make a lot of financial sense. The value of converting a home can add around 30% as well, so it could be worth looking into. You will need to be in the right location for this kind of thing, though, as that will play a big part in if it will work or not; is there demand for smaller properties where you are?

Convert a Garage

If you have a garage space, which again, is pretty much like the cellar and just used for storage, then it can be a good idea to convert it into a more useable space, especially if you have somewhere to park that isn’t the garage. It can add around 15% of value to the property, so that is worth calculating before you start looking at what you need to do and how much it is all going to cost you. In fact, would you ever consider using a guarantor if you have bad credit for money that you need to borrow? That could be a way to do things. There will be certain building regulations that you will need to adhere to, so it is important to look into those things as well. But pad it out with insulation, heating, and flooring, and it could be a great office space, playroom, TV room, or even bedroom.


Loft Conversion

One of the most popular renovations in the home is a loft conversion, as it uses and creates a lot of space, and can add a lot of value to the home (15%), as well as appeal should you come to sell it; it can be a real talking point. It can be worth getting someone in to see if your loft space can be converted, as it will depend on the shape and size of it all.

Once you start the planning of it all, if it is all good to go, then you’ll need to get to grips with the types of conversions that are available. There are many options that range from a roof light conversion, which is the one that needs the least amount of structural work, as well as it being pretty cost-effective. Or there are options like the more expensive mansard conversion. They all have different things to offer and it will depend on the type of property that you have, from flat roofs and so on. Just things to consider.

Add Living Space with a Conservatory

If you want to feel closer to nature and let a lot more light in, as well as create plenty more space, then a fully glazed conservatory can be a good way to invite the outdoors in. To get started, it can be a good idea to think how you want to use the space and whether going for a modern or traditional style will be best for the look and layout of your home, as well as your lifestyle and what the space will be used for. The biggest part of your conservatory will be the glass, so that is important to explore your options fully. There are so many options out there, from double to triple glazed, to self-cleaning glass and so on.

A conservatory is a good way to add value as well as floor space, and if that is what you need in the home, then it can be worth doing. It will add around 20% value to your home, so that should be taken into consideration when pricing up how much everything is going to cost.

The bottom line when it comes to renovations is to check what value it will add, and if you will get your money back by doing it. For example, a new driveway can be pretty pricey, and they don’t add much value, rather jus curb appeal. So if you were doing it to purely sell the house, then you may not get as much for your money. So weigh up all your options to find the best one for you.

How To Match Your Jewellery To The Occasion


Jewellery may only be a small accessory, but it can have a big effect on your outfit and a big impression on the people around you. If you’re dressing for an event or an occasion and you’re not sure what type of bling to wear, this guide could help you to get the tone right.

A job interview

Wearing jewellery to a job interview can help to add a sense of sophistication to your outfit, but you should keep it simple in all cases. Anything too showy is likely to be distracting and inappropriate (unless you’re getting interviewed for a job in the fashion industry). Similarly, try to keep it formal. Silver stud earrings and simple necklaces and bracelets are usually a good call.

A first date

When making the right impression on a first date, you may want to still keep things subtle but add one statement piece that shows off your personality. This could be an eye-catching necklace or standout earrings. Think about the parts of your body that you want to accentuate - for example, bright cobalt blue gemstone earrings could help to bring out brown eyes by providing a contrast. Be careful of body parts that you don’t want to accentuate – a low hanging necklace will draw attention to your chest (which you may or may not want).


A wedding

A wedding is your chance to go blingy – especially if you’re the bride. White metals, pearls and diamonds are best suited if you’re going down the traditional western route of having a white dress. For wedding dresses with hues of pink, rose gold may be a better suited metal. Most brides wear their hair up, in which case drop earrings often work well. The key is to make it flashy, but to keep it all to one theme.
A funeral

A funeral isn’t an occasion for drawing attention to oneself, so you’re best keeping your jewellery subtle. Pearls can sometimes work well with black and you may want to wear religious pendants such as crosses.


A festival

Festivals tend to be events for dressing as wild and as showy as possible. When it comes to jewellery, you probably don’t want to wear anything to valuable or formal, however you don’t have to worry about sticking to one statement piece – the boho chic look is popular at festivals and involves layering bracelets and necklaces of multiple styles. A festival could also be a chance to experiment with body piercings – you may be able to find a standout piece of jewellery for a septum piercing online. Obviously, it depends on the type of festival as to what jewellery is suitable.

A party

Parties can vary widely in formality, but generally these are chances to dress naturally and wear the jewellery that matches your personality. If it’s people you mostly know, you may feel you can dress a little wilder. If it’s people you don’t know very well, you may want to stay reserved. It depends on whether you want to make an impression on the people there – if you want people to talk to you, wear less subtle items that provide a conversation starter.

Looking for something new to try this spring?

Hey Cats

Many of you may have given up on your new year’s resolution by now, however January isn’t the only time of year when you can commit to trying something new! Now that spring is upon us, take this as a chance to try something a little different – here are a few ideas for you to consider!
Mix up your hair and beauty regime
Many of us get stuck in the same old hair beauty regime, and don’t always tend to try new and different things because we like what we know and know what we like! Take your eyebrows for example; many of us tend to opt for either plucking or threading, however have you considered trying microblading? This is one of the most modern eyebrow treatments – click here to find out what you need to know about microblading.

Alternatively, why not try a new hairstyle? A lot of us will tend to play it safe and stick with what we know – why not book a full consultation with a local hair salon and ask them for some new ideas? A different hairstyle can make you feel brand new!
You could even try something as simple as experimenting with new makeup techniques.
Aim to be a healthier version of you
Getting in shape is a classic new year’s resolutions, but how many of us actually stick to them throughout the year? Summer is just around the corner, so now is a good a time as any to book an introductory session with a personal trainer, change your eating habits or generally just try and be a little more active.
Try not to rely on the scales when it comes to measuring your success, the best thing is to take pictures of yourself to document your progress. If you’ve got a holiday booked, try on your swimwear or holiday clothes and use those as both your motivation and your measure of success.
You can help your progress by getting your partner, a friend or a family member on the same “get healthy” journey, as you can lean on each other for support and motivation.
Learn a new language
On the topic of holidays, we’re all guilty of going abroad and expecting the locals to understand our limited phrases (“dos vino blancos por favor!”) or slowed down version of English. Why not go the extra mile this year and actually try and learn the language of your chosen destination?


You don’t need to make massive changes to your routine to do this - simple changes to your day-to-day schedule can make a big difference. If you drive or commute to work, trade your Spotify playlist in for an audio language course or spend your lunch break poring over common phrases and practising them aloud. If you have a little more time on your hands, why not enrol onto a local or online language course?

Once you’ve got a better knowledge of the language, you’ll be amazed how much waiters, shop assistants and locals appreciate the effort when you are on holiday – and how much better you feel for making the effort too!

What will you be trying?


How To Choose The Perfect Nail Polish To Match Your Dress

How To Choose The Perfect Nail Polish To Match Your Dress


selective focus photography of bride and groom
Image Source: Unsplash


While polish colour may be the least of your concerns when planning your prom look, choosing the
perfect nail polish to match your ensemble will do you lots of good. In the same manner, a sloppy
manicure can create an unpleasant appeal and can lessen the attractiveness of a gorgeous prom
gown.


I. GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS


Here are some general tips to follow when choosing nail polish colours:


1. Get to know the colour wheel.


You don’t always have to go matchy-matchy when it comes to choosing the colours of your dress
and your nail polish. Sometimes, contrasting colours work well too. You just have to make sure that
the chosen colours do not clash, and to know so, you have to familiarise yourself with the colour
wheel. Shades on opposite sides of the colour wheel can be paired. For example, you can wear a
violet dress with yellow nail polish, or a red-hued dress with a green-toned nail polish.


2. Limit the prints to either clothing or nails.


If your prom gown is solid coloured, then you can wear nail polish with the adventurous textures,
vibrant designs, and multiple colours. But, if you’re already wearing printed clothes, go for solid
coloured nails. For example, there are 2019 black prom dresses that will look good with
vivacious-coloured nails.


II. PROM DRESS COLOURS


Here are more specific recommendations, check out the nail polish colours perfect for your chosen
prom dresses:


1. Red Prom Gown


https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1542295474-5e78124e5d59?ixlib=rb-1.2.1&ixid=eyJhcHBfaWQiOjEyMDd9&auto=format&fit=crop&w=1000&q=80
Image Source: Unsplash


What nail polish colour is best worn with a red dress? Many will want to wear red to prom
considering that this is one of the most popular dress colours in the world. This shouldn’t be a
problem as there are many shades that can complement the warm tone of a red dress. Aside from
the neutral colours of black and white, metallic nail polish colours like silver and gold will also work
well with a red dress. Dainty neutrals like beige, blush, and nude are great for those who want to
keep their nails more subtle. For those who want to go for colour blocking, nails painted in royal
blue will have an elegant effect.


2. Black Prom Gown


No one can go wrong with black and that’s why a little black dress is a closet staple. So, when
deciding on the nail polish colour that will go with your black dress, you can choose just about any
colour you please. Common choices include red, white, and metallic polishes like gold and silver. If
you want to keep it subtle, you can go for a black-on-black ensemble and still end up looking
adorable. But if you want to add vibrancy to your outfit, opt for the brighter colours such as yellow
and electric blue. Top it off with glittered nail polish for a more sparkly appeal.


3. White Prom Gown


Just like for the black dress, nail polish colour pairs for a white dress are limitless. A white dress can
be worn with just about every colour available. From primary colours, to the metallic colours, and
the neutrals and the nudes, and even the pastels, a pristine white dress will be impeccable with a
fresh mani and pedi.


III. OTHER CONSIDERATIONS


The colour of the skin tone is the next most important consideration to remember when you’re
deciding what to wear and what nail polish colour to choose for your prom ensemble. For fair skin
tones, darker shades are perfect options. Those with medium skin tones will benefit from dark red
nail polish colours. For those with a darker skin tone, any colour of nail polish will look good on you.


Spilled White Nail Polish on Pink Surface
Image Source: Pexels

Knowing how to pick the perfect nail polish colour matters. The right colour add more appeal to
your prom look.

Adding Some Personal Touches to Your Wedding

Hey Cats

When you are in a specific age group, it can seem as though you spend your entire summers at engagement parties, hen or stag events, and weddings. All of your friends are getting married, and there’s a few every summer. Wedding seasons are busy times. Nowadays, we have so many options. We can get married in a huge variety of places and have our receptions near enough anywhere. There are big weddings and small. Rustic and trendy. Traditional and modern. But most of them are a little bit the same. Even with so much money spent, a lot of weddings follow a similar pattern and feel quite generic. Make sure you can save money for an exotic honeymoon!

This probably isn’t what you want for your own big day. Fortunately, whatever your budget there are some fantastic ways to add some personal touches to your big day. Just remember, it’s the little details that often make the difference.




Music


Music is very personal and yet there are certain songs that we hear at most weddings. Popular first dance songs that every couple deems romantic and meaningful enough to dance to as a newly married couple.


Put some thought into your music choices. Find a band at https://www.alivenetwork.com/hirelivemusic/wedding_bands_in.asp?area=Gloucestershire and spend some time with your partner choosing music, both for the ceremony and the reception that means something to you and brings back happy memories.


Get Your Friends Involved


When you hire people to take control of every element of your wedding, it automatically starts to become less personal. Your vision can get lost in communication, and while your stress is lowered, it doesn’t always work out. Instead, involve your friends and family. Get people that you know to help you with things like decorations and even photography and music. They’ll bring knowledge of your relationship, and make everything more special.


DIY


With the help of your friends and family, have some fun creating things yourselves. Design your own stationery, make decorations and even your bouquet. Make as much as you can, and it will be unique and meaningful, instead of something that is the same as everyone else has got and you’ve seen at four other weddings.


Keep Things Small


Believe it or not, it’s much easier to make your day personal if it’s small. You’ll have more control, and possibly more money to play with. Small immediately means intimate and romantic. It’s easier to do things your way, without worrying about what people will think.


Meaningful Favours


Step away from the sugared almonds, and instead think of something that matters. If your reception is outdoors, wellies or flip-flops, depending on the weather can be a fun touch. Otherwise, think of things that you and your partner, or your families enjoy doing together instead of buying something tacky in bulk.


Photos

Decorate your reception venue with photographs from your relationship. Use photos of guests instead of nameplates on the tables. Decorate the tables with collages of you all together, instead of centrepieces, and give your guests a way to stick photos in your guest book. Look at other guest book ideas at https://www.onefabday.com/uk/wedding-guest-book-ideas/.




How to Start a New Hobby

Hey Cats,

If you are feeling as if you are lacking fulfilment in your life, you’re not alone. Many of us just go through the daily grind of going to work and coming home to household chores. To keep life interesting, we all need hobbies. A hobby is something that gives you enjoyment, and something that can help you relax. If you are looking for a new hobby, but are not sure how to start, follow this guide for some tips.

Decide on Your Hobby


To decide on what might be a good hobby for you, take some time to think about what aspects of your life you’d like to improve. For example, if you lead a sedentary lifestyle, a hobby that will improve your fitness is something that will benefit your life. Remember though, a hobby should give you enjoyment, so taking up daily jogging might not be a good hobby for you if you are not used to exercise. However, exercise such as salsa dancing, ice skating or team sports could be a more enjoyable hobby that also improves your fitness.



If you have a difficult job, or face a grueling daily commute, then a hobby that helps you to alleviate stress and unwind is in order. Creative types might find a hobby such as making handmade cards relaxing, or prefer to use their culinary skills to bake delicious cakes.

If you are a smoker who is trying to quit, or an ex-smoker who misses the habit, then a hobby such as vaping can provide a cleaner way to get nicotine, or can be a nicotine-free way to enjoy a variety of flavored e-cigarette liquids. Websites like ultimatejuice.co.uk have all the equipment you need to get started with vaping.

Those who lead an active lifestyle and are looking for hobbies that encourage relaxation and rest might try watching movies once a week, or try reading a new genre of fiction.

Tips for Finding a Hobby You’ll Stick With


One problem with hobbies is that if you don’t enjoy what you are doing, it is unlikely you’ll stick with it. One way to make sure you do enjoy a hobby is to take up something you enjoyed as a child, or find a past-time that you forgot about such as writing stories, knitting or even spending some time with an adult coloring in book.



Finding a new hobby doesn’t have to be tough. If you are still struggling with ideas, think about the last time you felt totally absorbed in something, so much so that you forgot all about the time. Whatever it was you were doing might be a clue to finding the right hobby for you.

Having a hobby brings many benefits to your life, and gives you other interests and challenges outside of work. You might also find that you make a friend or two while exploring a hobby, helping your social life to flourish. A hobby will bring you happiness, so if you don’t already have one then you could try out a few different ones to find what you like.