Bank Holiday Ideas For Families

The first Bank Holiday of 2016 is almost upon us. Yes, Easter arrives this week, and families everywhere are looking for ideas and activities that will keep their little ones occupied, whatever the weather. As a mother of a very active, 7 year old boy, I know how tiring it can be keeping children who are used to being busy at school, occupied once they come home. But there are things you can do, and it doesn’t have to break the bank.

  1. Indoor picnic and movie day.

Yes the weather isn’t great, so grab a duvet, pick your favourite dvds – Disney, Pixar or Dreamworks are always great, and then all you need is the movie snacks to have the perfect afternoon. Tesco Direct have a range of offers just in time for the Bank Holiday so you should be able to make some savings on all your family favourites. You could also do an adult version of this which you can read about here.

2. Make use of your local park.

Whether you take a football, a bat and a ball or the dog, local parks are a great way to pass the time away. They cost nothing to use, you can take your own picnic and they can be used in a myriad of ways, from playing on the swings and slides, to taking part in a nature trail. If you have just the one child, parks are a lovely way of letting your child meet and play with new friends.

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3. Visit a castle.

All children love the romance and beauty of castles, they fuel the imagination in so many ways, transporting kids to a land of Kings and Queens, Knights and battles. Warwick Castle is an amazing example of a working, intact castle, but castle ruins can be just as much fun. We visited Criccieth Castle in Wales last year and had great fun running around the ramparts with a wooden sword. Entrance was less than £5 and the views were spectacular.

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4. Soccer Camps

If your child has a love of football, it may be a good idea to check out one of the many soccer camps that Professional football clubs run. My boy is a West Bromwich Albion fan, and spends at least part of his school holidays playing football in soccer courses that are organised and run by The Albion Foundation coaches. These are brilliant for keeping children active and engaged, and the presentation ceremony at the end of the week sees all children leaving with a well earned trophy.

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5. Swimming

It may not be beach weather, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make use of your local pool in order to enjoy some water based fun. Some pools will have additional activities and inflatables during the school holidays that make sessions twice the fun. (We enjoyed a total wipeout style assault course at our local pool which was hilariously funny – even if you were just spectating.)

What will you be doing this Bank Holiday?

 

The 7 Types of Boots Every Woman Should Have In Their Wardrobe

Boots are a wardrobe staple that just about everyone has in their closet. A great pair, when made correctly, can last you years and years, which is part of the reason why they are so popular. However, when it comes to the type of boots that are most popular, that is where you will start to see people differing.

Most of us can agree that you can’t have just one pair of boots – you need different pairs for different outfits and occasions. With these 7 types of boots, you will never have to make an “emergency” shopping trip for the right pair:

The Fashion Must- Have Knee-High Boots

Boots that go just to the knee are a sleek look for just about every personal style. They come in a plethora of colors and materials that can be simple or extravagant. If you are going for more of the riding boot style, you should definitely aim to get something brown over something black – but the black quilted versions are absolutely stunning.

If you can only invest in one kind of boot, these are the ones to go for.

Statement Cowboy Boots

This one might seem like more of a niche group instead of a boot that EVERY woman should own, but that just isn’t true. Cowboy boots for women are way more versatile than they’re given credit for, while typically worn for more casual events (unless you’re living in the southwest, or are attending a western wedding) they can be paired with most things you already own, skinny jeans, boot cuts (obviously), skirts and dresses of all varieties, leggings and more.  While usually beautifully stitched, patterned and adorned, they’re a great statement boot that’ll help your otherwise boring outfit pop while you’re out and about doing your daily business. They come in so many different kinds of varieties, it’s hard to choose, but once you find the pair you love, they’re worth the investment because they’ll last for years.

The Practical Winterized Boots

Winterized boots, like the recently popular Duck Boot, aren’t necessarily the cutest thing that you will ever see – but they are a practical piece of fashion for the winter months. Boots with thick tread on the bottom will help you from sliding around during frigid times, and the thick soft material on the inside will keep your socks from getting wet.

To look best, keep them away from boot cut jeans or flares and go for something slim – it is also totally acceptable to just wear these to the office and change into something different.

Super warm and fur lined.

Super warm and fur lined.

Always Chic Heeled Boots

Whether you get them to the ankle or to the thigh, boots with a heel are always going to be in style. Lower booties are perfect to pair with skirts or dresses because the heel is a lot sturdier than the heels on stilettos. For higher boots, nothing is more classic than the pointed black boots with a thin heel.

Be careful about materials and the construction of shoes that have a heel – you don’t want to go after shoes that look cheap or tacky, as they can ruin an entire outfit.

Heeled boots with pointed toe

Heeled boots with pointed toe

Funky Ankle High Booties

Whether you go for the flat variety for comfort, the shorter, chunkier heeled option for stability, or retro-fab skinny heals, ankle boots are the perfect way to show off your legs. You can pair them with a skirt or skinny jeans, and they will almost always be more comfortable and fashionable than sneakers or sandals.

Be careful about where these come up to, especially if you are on the short side, as they can make your legs look even shorter. Be sure to pick the ankle high booties that best accentuate your leg length.

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Chic Rain Boots

Sometimes it rains, it’s a part of life, while some dread the rain and others love to dance in it, either way there’s no point in ruining any of these other boots because of this weather pattern. That’s why every woman needs to own a good pair of rain boots. In the past rain boots were more of a utility boot, however they’re done a bit of growing up in recent years, and are almost as chic as the other boots on the list. No longer having to look drab, while it’s drab out. Match your umbrella or your raincoat if you live in an area that gets a lot of rain, or buy a simple pair in black to match your wardrobe. If you want to go that extra mile and really don’t want the rain to get you down, there are even ankle-length rain boots out there that you can hunt down.

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Boots with Edge – Combat/Moto Boots

Now, this boot might shock some people on the list. If you want add a bit of edge to your otherwise dull wardrobe, combat boots or motorcycle boots have been trending away from hardened biker or emo girls and trending towards being a fun and edgy way to spice up your outfit. They go with just about anything and add a touch of attitude and a hint of grunge to every style. They’ll add a nice contrast to a loose and flowy summer dress or skirt, or fit right in with your boot cut jeans. You can also find combat boots that have lace or glitter if you want to soften them up a bit. Combat boots have been classed up a lot in the last few years. Sure, they are still edgy, but they are also far more accepted than they used to be.

No matter what, boots are integral to everyone’s wardrobe – it doesn’t matter if you like to be fashion forward or you just want to be comfortable.

A guide for what to look for in a suit.

For most men, one of the most important things you will ever buy is a smart, formal suit. You may choose to buy one for any number of reasons. You may be attending a wedding, Christening or funeral. You may be going for an important job interview. Or it might be your first day in that dream job and you want to look your absolute best. Whatever the reason for buying that suit, such an expensive purchase needs to be absolutely perfect as you will probably be calling on it for years.

But suits can also be a bit of a minefield. The fit is super important. To be smart it needs to be fitted. By this I mean not too tight unless you are aiming for a ‘mod’ look, but also not baggy either. This will just look slovenly and untidy. The fit should be comfortable – can you move those elbows and knees, and it must allow you to sit down without the threat of tearing when you take a seat (we’ve all seen funny comedies when this happens, and lets not forget Pep Guardiola here). 

There are lots of tips for what to look for when choosing a suit and the right accessories in the infographic I have featured below. It is published by dobell, the UK’s No. 1 Suiting Store (formally called MyTuxedo) and is full of really good advice linked to sizing and cut, the right ties to match your look and even a guide to lapel length.

For me, the most useful part concerns the right shoe colours for the suit depending on the colour of the suit. How often has a beautiful suit been spoiled by the wearing of totally wrong shoes? I’m talking that black suit/brown shoes combination that always brings a sharp intake of breath. This guide shows you the colours that work well together.

So whether you are a man buying a new suit, a teenager picking your first suit, or a lady buying a suit for that special man in your life, this guide is really useful to bookmark, or print out and take with you.


The Men's Guide to Wearing a Suit

Provided by Dobell