Make your home more guest-friendly with these design tips

If you’re someone that regularly invites guests over, then you’ve probably already made some adjustments to your home that focus on making it feel more welcome. Perhaps it’s extra storage space and coat hangers for visitors, maybe you’ve spiced up the guest bathroom to make it more inviting or maybe you’ve gone as far as to include some hotel-like extras in your guest room. Either way, making your home more inviting can easily be done with the right help.

Fix up any cracks and chips in your home

Whether it’s repainting the living room walls or stitching up a hole in the upholstery of your sofa, make sure you repair all the little bits in your home that need a bit of updating. It’s important to try and keep the quality of your home consistent all throughout, and starting with simple repairs and fixes is a good way to put the focus on detail.

Change your sofas

You don’t have to throw out your existing sofa, but if you want to make your home more inviting to guests then you’re going to need a larger area for your them to lounge in. You can get more armchairs, you can get a larger sofa that comes with an additional ottoman or you could open up the living room area to make it feel more spacious. One of the important design tips here is to try and keep a consistent colour scheme and theme across all of your seating arrangements. This is because you don’t want armchairs or sofas to look different or stand out, you want everything to have a similar colour palette so your guests don’t feel like an armchair or section of your seating arrangement is reserved or personalised.

Make better use of an open-plan kitchen

If your kitchen and living room are in the same room, then make use of it as a social area. Get some leather bar stools to encourage your guests to sit at your breakfast table and interact with you while you fix up some drinks or cook food for them. You don’t want them to stand around and get in your way while you cook and you don’t want to force them to stand up either.

Get rid of clutter in your home

Guests want to feel like they’re not intruding too much, so if you place lots of personalised items on the tables or fill the sofas with little decorations and extras, then it’ll be hard for them to find a place to sit down or put their things. Open up your home a little more by decluttering it as much as you can. You’ll find that the clearer your home is, the more inviting your home will be to your guests. No one wants to walk into a messy room either, which is something that could put off guests from visiting again in the near future. Clean your home bit by bit and you’ll find it’s fairly easy to keep it clear of clutter.

 

Son of Steak – Join the Steak revolution

“Steak doesn’t have to be snazzy and expensive. It should be simple. It should be beautiful. And it should taste great, no matter what”

This is what new newly opened steak house in Nottingham believes. I was recently invited to an event at Son of Steak, a relaxed and casual dining style restaurant in the city centre. With an industrial feel, their relaxed style is perfect for my Hubby who loves a great steak but also likes not to feel the need to get overly dressed up to go out. Unfortunately he was unable to join me for the evening, so it was the perfect chance to take my bestie along with me.

Son of Steak

The Drinks

We arrived to be greeted with a Mojito, and a great Mojito it was too. Made with Bacardi and on tap. Son of Steak are proud to be the first place in the UK that sells a ‘Taptail’ so all they have to do is add ice, lime and mint. No waiting around for these tasty cocktails to be made. There is also a full menu of different drinks, wines, beers and spirits, something for everyone.

Son of Steak

For the non alcoholic drinker they have a daily hand-mixed soft drink as part of their unlimited drinks offer. We had a pink lemonade with basil. It was really refreshing and not too sweet. Of course there is a selection of other soft drinks, which are on the refill drinks offer. The lovely FireFly drinks are sold here, plus various hot drinks.

The Food

During the event we were treated to samples of the menu. Starting with with salads, a lovely raw salad with a ginger and pineapple dressing and a delicious avocado and caesar salad.

Son of Steak

Out came a large selection of side dishes. Flat mushrooms, crispy onion loaf, house ‘slaw all from the standard menu. At £2.25 each or on a 3 for 2 offer. On the Gourmet menu there was crushed sweet potato, creamy béchamel spinach, grilled halloumi, mac ‘n’ cheese and roasted veg sprinkled with zatar all £2.80 each.

The mac ‘n’ cheese was a massive hit, with everyone going back for more. I loved the sweet potato and the creamy béchamel spinach. They are something a bit different to the normal side dishes you can get in most restaurants.

My favourite items came out next the BAO Buns, which is fairness I had never seen or heard of before. However, they looked delicious and tasted even better. If you, like me have no idea what a BAO Bun is, well it is a Taiwanese street food. They come filled with crispy vegetables, cucumber, and a choice of chilli, soy and yakiniku sauces all sprinkled with sesame seeds. Not forgetting your choice of filling. We had steak in ours, because it was so thinly cut it was well cooked. I like my steak well done and this perfect for me. I can’t wait to go back with my hubby and enjoy a BAO bun all to myself, I think I would opt for the pulled chicken.

The Steaks

“Forget the the fuss… focus on the flavour”

Son of Steak

The Son of Steak’s iron steaks and chips, started off the selection of steaks we were treated to. The steak was all served medium rare. As I mentioned earlier I don’t eat steak unless it is well done. I know, I know, no chef wants someone like me ordering a great cut of steak and wanting it well done. Anyway, I was told that it was soft juicy and tasted amazing.

Followed by more steak. This time Lomito and Picanta steaks, both 8oz, both cooked in a charcoal oven served with a pinch of salt. Lomito is a cut from the tender part of the rump, while the Picanta comes from the top part of the rump. Again these were served to us medium rare and rare, so I didn’t try any. However the men around the table happily munched their way through a fair amount, so my guess it is it tasted great.

Son of Steak

There was also a selection of burgers and charcoal cooked chicken for us to try as well. The burgers arrived served on sesame buns with a burger sauce, lettuce and tomatoes. Really just a standard burger, they were the least enjoyable item of the night. When you have so many other fabulous things to try, they just didn’t meet the standard of the rest of the food. However, the chicken was succulent, tasty and I would quite happily have eaten more of it.

Son of Steak

The Puddings

Son of Steak have a limited dessert menu. A bottomless fat free frozen vanilla yogurt with various sauces. A chocolate chip cookie and a chocolate chip cookie with freshly pipped chocolate mouse, which we sampled. I have to say it seemed a little odd to me, quite a childish style dessert, however it tasted amazing. A light fluffy, chocolatey mouse, yum! That is all they have, 3 different dessert options. Maybe they could offer some other bits. I mean who doesn’t want a big slice of chocolate fudge cake?

Son of SteakI really enjoyed going to Son of Steak and trying samples of almost everything on the menu. It was a great setting with lovely relaxed feel to the venue. Next time I head into the city, I shall be taking my Hubby for a steak, cooked rare for him and a BOA Bun with pulled chicken for me, along we a couple of tasty mojitos.

*Thank you Son of Steak for inviting me to your event. All thoughts and options are my own*

Wedition – Your Personalised Wedding Magazine

Are you looking for something a little bit different to showcase your wedding day in words? Are you a book or magazine obsessed couple, wanting to give your guests their very own magazine of your special day? If so then Wedition would be perfect for you.

Wedition is a fabulous new company ran by Liz Gatherer. Liz’s idea is a modern take on Wedding stationery. Your order of service, hymns, readings and menu all in your own personalised magazine. Not forgetting lots of fun facts and photos of the happy couple, their friends and family.

Liz kindly sent me a copy to look at and to see what I thought. The lovely showcase copy had been styled with fabulous ideas, so I could see just what Wedition is all about.

Wedition

Order of Service

Wedition

You can fill this space with all the details of your wedding ceremony. Whether you are having a church or a civil service your guests still like to be able to follow along. If you are having hymns you can make sure everyone can easily sing along. You can add in any readings for your guests to follow, or for those Grandparents who are slightly hard of hearing.

The Bridal Party

wedition

This section gives you the chance to show off your bridal party. Giving information and photographs about all the important people at your wedding. The Bride and Groom’s parents with their names, photographs and a little bit of a biography about them. The Maid of Honour, Best Man, Bridesmaids, Groomsman not forgetting the Flower Girls and Page Boys. Don’t forget that not everyone at the wedding will know all the people in the Bridal Party. So these pages allow you to show off the party with fun images and facts about them all.

I am off to a wedding in June, to which my Hubby is Best Man but I only know the Bride and Groom, and the Grooms parents, so a Wedition would be perfect for this. If you are not having a large bridal party, thats ok, it can be changed to meet your requirements.

Mr & Mrs – About us

Now it’s time to really have a bit of fun. Why not create a mini question and answer section for each other. Just make sure you are happy to share the answers with everyone! Or you could get some of the questions and answers from your stag and hen parties with your slightly drunken answers. It could be funny to read…

The Ring Ceremony has been included within the ‘About Us’ pages. Added for those brides and grooms who are choosing to include this ceremony within their wedding. A lovely concept to get everyone involved and share their love with the newly weds. However, I have not seen been to a wedding that included this. So you would need to change this page, thats ok. Maybe you are having a festival wedding and want to add details of all the festivals you have visited. Or something completely different like a personalised crossword that has clues to things that are special to you both. Wedition’s designer will be with you every step of the way to help create a magazine that perfect for you.

Also included within the ‘About Us’ pages is ‘Our story in numbers’. This fun section is a great way to give little facts about each other. Like, 20 pairs of new shoes that Sarah has but will never wear. Or how many years you have been together. Anything goes in this section.

The Venue

Let your guests know why you choose your venue. Was it because it’s your favourite place to eat, or the grounds are stunning, did you choose it because you had your first date there? What ever the reason you can tell your guests all about it. Why not ask your venue to write a section about why they are the perfect choice for a wedding. You could ask if they would offer you a discount, or upgrade your package for the advertising within Wedition. You never know what a venue would be prepared to offer, it’s always worth asking!

It’s all in the details

wedition

It’s your chance to point out to you guests all the little things they might have missed. It could be you telling them about the hand made table favours, or the different flower verities in the bouquets. The reason you choose the colour scheme or the date. The first dance song, It could be anything you want.

The Honeymoon

Wedition

Fancy showing off your honeymoon destination? Why not share details of your plans for a honeymoon. Let your guests know of the places you plan to visit, even if your planning on having it at a later date. Share your dreams.

So, what’s included?

Wedition

Prices start from £325. It does seem like a lot of money at £6.50 per magazine. Yet when you think about the items many couples like to have at their wedding: the Order of service, menus, readings, hymns and table plans (that are most likely to be thrown away by everyone, expect your Mum) it becomes much more cost effective. You could also use it as your wedding favours, which alone can add up to serious amounts of money.

Included within the price, are 50 copies of your Wedition, your own dedicated graphic designer and creative writer. Who are on hand to produce a magazine that compliments your wedding style. In addition you get up to three sample copies for you to proof read, so you are able to make any changes. A member of the Wedition team, where possible, will meet with you face to face to discuss your wedding and get to know your personality. However, if face to face isn’t an option then Skype or FaceTime is always possible.

The team at Wedition like to research your venue to help have idea of your personal wedding style. Your Wedition is all about your special day, it will be completely styled and altered to compliment your wedding. If you wanted it to be rustic and floral that’s exactly what you would get.

Have you thought about using Wediton as your invitation as well? You could send it out to your guests with lot of details about places to stay, things to do in the area, gift list details. Your Wedition can be whatever you want it to be.

The Wedition team will contact your wedding suppliers, to see about arranging possible discounts for you. There is also an ever increasing list of suppliers who offer discounts to Wedition customers. You never know your every own Wedition might end up costing you very little.

My thoughts on Wedition

I really love the idea of having of Wedition, a truly personalised way to give your guests something lovely to take home. Just think about how many menus or orders of service sheets that you would be having made and yet thrown away. A copy of Wedition will be taken home by your guests as a keepsake.

Most of all I really like is that you can take pages out of the sample and add anything you would like. I love the idea of having an ‘In Memory Of’ page. A place you for you to add the loved ones that are unable to be there.

Wedition are currently offering an introductory price of £250 for the package, making your Wedition’s as little as £5 each.

I think you would love this concept, it’s something new and different. Why not show your wedding guests something they haven’t seen before?

The Ultimate Accessory Rule Book

There is no doubt that choosing the right accessories can really enhance any outfit on any occasion. But there is also a balance that you can strike between making sure your accessories are noticeable and not overdoing it. Though the individual pieces you select are really down to your own personal style and taste, there are a few simple rules that you can follow that can really give you a helping hand. So, without further ado, here are some of the top rules of accessorising.

Don’t overuse large items

Statement jewellery pieces often look great, particularly when paired with simple outfits which provide a good base. But you should be careful not to overdo it, particularly with larger pieces. A good rule to follow is not to wear or carry more than three big accessories. So, this could include a bold necklace, sizeable watch and large handbag. And you should also aim to match these items with regards to the colour, style and material where possible.

Only match smaller jewellery

Though wearing earring, bracelets, rings etc from the same collection may seem like a simple choice, you could also argue that you are not using all that much imagination. And you also may start to feel like a brand ambassador for that particular company! On the other hand, matching one or two items can provide a nice touch, as long as the items are small in size.

You don’t always have to match handbag and shoes

One rule that you may have heard in the past is the one that states that you have to match your handbag and your shoes at all times. Though this often looks good with more neutral colours, you don’t always have to do it if you are wearing bright shoes. In fact, in this case, it often looks better to carry a handbag in a contrasting light tone.

Decide what you want to be the focus of your outfit

Choosing what the focus of your outfit is often one of two things; either you go for bright clothes or eye-catching accessories. When you are putting together an outfit, try to have in mind exactly what sort of look you are trying to achieve. You may be wearing a simple jeans and t-shirt combo or a little black dress, in which case, the accessories can take the majority of the attention. On the other side of the coin, you may be wearing a colourful summer skirt, so your accessories can be a little more understated so you are not diverting attention away from it.

Think about whether your hand suits large rings

Big, thick rings don’t tend to look good on shorter fingers as they end up taking up far too much space. On the other hand (so to speak), thinner rings can help to visually increase their length so this is worth bearing in mind before buying them. If you are looking for some elegant thin rings then click here. And there is nothing wrong with wearing a few on different fingers.

Stay away from combining dark footwear and pastel tones

If you are wearing an outfit that includes all pastel tones, there is something that doesn’t look quite right about having darker shoes on your feet. Instead, you are better off going with some footwear of a lighter shade that doesn’t contrast with your outfit too much.

Large collar or bulky scarf

The choice should always be between a large collar and a bulky scarf – try to avoid both at the same time. If your coat has a big collar, you could go for a lightweight scarf over your neck that goes underneath your outer layer.

Make sure you have plenty to choose from

The beauty of accessories is that you don’t have to spend vast sums of money building up your collection. And you also don’t need to worry (too much) about all your accessories taking up vast amounts of wardrobe space. It is amazing just how much you can transform an outfit simply by slightly altering the accessories that you add to it.

Keep your accessories in zones

When you are planning out what accessories to wear, try dividing up your body into zones. For example, around the facial area is one zone while the hands and wrists are another separate zone. So, with regards to the face zone, you may just decide to go for a single pair of statement earrings. Looking at the hand and wrist zone, you can just wear some bangles. Ultimately, it is all about not overdoing any of the zones and knowing when one is complete. Embellished clothing such as a shirt with a sequined neckline can cover off this particular zone so you don’t need to add a necklace to it as well.

Divide your jewellery into categories

Some jewellery is fine to wear all the time regardless of what occasion it is. A wristwatch is a good example of one such item. However, if you are going to work in an office, you don’t want to go with anything that is too distracting or noisy. If your workplace is more conservative, go for simple items like stud earrings and slim bracelets. On the other hand, if you are going to a formal event, this is the time where you can show off your elegance with your more expensive pieces, though you should still stick to one statement piece while downplaying the rest. For a less formal party, pretty much anything goes so this is when you can get really creative. Less is more is a rule that you don’t really have to follow so much with this type of event.

Use the above rules as guidelines that you can follow when you are accessorising any outfit. Of course, they are not set in stone so you can still be free to bend them a little bit if you think something is really working for you.