Thursday, 31 May 2018

How Dancing Is Good For Your Mind, Body & Spirit

WhatLauraLoves In The Style Curve Outfit

When I was a little girl, I briefly attended dance classes.  While I can't remember them, I know that I did tap as my mam has a photograph of me in a little blue frilly leotard with tap shoes on.  Very cute, even with my hair cut that looked as though she'd plonked a mixing bowl on my head and cut around it.

Dancing is something that I've loved to do throughout my life although admittedly, its been more free-styling in my bedroom or doing the Ferry Two Step in a bar since I quit those classes.  I wish I'd kept those traditional classes up because its a great hobby to have but I do still believe that the benefits of dancing can be felt regardless of whether you're dancing in a studio wearing the coolest Move U sportswear, in your bedroom or at a fitness class in the gym.

Dancing can positively impact your mind, body and spirit and its definitely a tool that I instinctively use to perk up my mood if I'm ever feeling a little low.  Its also the go to reaction when I'm excited or happy about something.  When something good happens, I always dance about; I can't help it.

My dad often jokes how my mam and I are exactly the same when we get a new outfit as we try it on and dance about in front of the mirror!

WhatLauraLoves In The Style Curve Outfit

Dancing for me is not only a great way to exercise but its an amazing form of escapism too.  With working in social media, my phone is constantly going off with notifications left, right and centre.  I struggle to switch off and be completely present in the moment but that's exactly what attending a Zumba class gives me; an hour without my phone, moving to the beat, keeping fit while clearing my mind.  Its as good for the spirit as it is for the body and mind.

A lot of people are worried that they'll not be coordinated enough for dancing but I've actually found that the more I've gone to dance fitness classes, the more my coordination, balance and agility has improved which benefits me in everyday life too as I feel more spritely day to day.  Dancing helped with my memory too as although a lot of the steps in fitness classes are repetitive, there are several different moves that go together to create the overall dance.  I've even tried Aqua Zumba which is not only so much fun but a great way to keep fit without having pressure on your joints as the water takes your weight.

These fitness classes at the gym are awesome for meeting new people too.  When I first moved to the town I live in now, I didn't know many people so going to a group was a good way to make friends with others that I shared a common interest with.

WhatLauraLoves In The Style Curve Outfit

Whatever your age, anyone can get involved in dance.  You don't even need to spend money on a gym membership.  There are so many awesome youtube channels like The Fitness Marshall and Dance Fit With Jessica that are great for following along to in your living room.  I roll back the rug and play a couple of videos through a couple of times on days where I want to be active but don't have much time.

Aside from tutorials online and classes, I love to just dance about the house in my day to day life.  Its great for lifting my mood and makes completing chores more fun!  Its one of my favourite ways to enjoy dancing along with going out with my girls of course.  While our nights out aren't as wild as they used to be, we do still love to dance!

I'd love to know how you incorporate dance into your life!

Love my outfit? You'll find all the details in this post.
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Friday, 25 May 2018

Opening Up To Someone, Helplines & Mental Health Support Charities

Opening Up To Someone, Helplines & Mental Health Support Charities

When was the last time you opened up to someone about how you’re feeling?

I know it can be scary at first but confiding in someone you trust can enable you to let go of some of the hurt, anxiety, anger or worry that you might be holding on to as you’ll not be carrying it all around on your shoulders.

Perhaps you're struggling with your mental health, your well being is suffering or you may have had a falling out with someone, lost a family member, work may not been particularly successful or you might have broken up with someone. Talking to someone can help no matter how big or small the problem can seem.

That age old saying of 'a problem shared is a problem halved' is so true.  Often saying how you feel and tell someone whats going on out loud can help to organise things in your own mind and it can feel like a huge weight has been lifted just by opening up.  When I've spoken out to another person, they've often helped me to see that what I'm upset or worrying about isn't as huge as I've built it up to be by not telling anyone or they've helped me to be able to see that all is not lost and that a resolution can be sought.

Opening Up To Someone, Helplines & Mental Health Support Charities

Rather than bottling everything up, talk things through over a cuppa, on the phone or by going for a walk.  It could be with a family member or friend you trust or with a completely impartial third party.

You’ll feel so much better and things don’t look as difficult when there’s someone else to lighten the load.

Opening Up To Someone, Helplines & Mental Health Support Charities

This post was inspired by a journey I took recently, driving through town completely on autopilot when I saw the police with a man standing on the bridge over the River Wear.  It broke my heart to see someone facing such desperation and I really hope that he receives the help that he needs.

If things ever get so bad, please remember that you're not alone.  There are even helplines and charities out there that you can talk to; you never have to go through anything in your life on your own.

Here are some I found online:


Samaritans, designed for everyone, call 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org
Breathing Space, for those in Scotland, 0800 83 85 87
Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) which is aimed for men, call on 0800  58 58 58 or access their webchat
Childline, for those under 19, call 0800 1111
MIND for mental health support, call 0300 123 3393 or text 86463
Papyrus which is aimed at the under 35s, call on 0800 068 41 41, text 07786 209697 or email pat@papyrus-uk.org
The Silverline, for the older generation, call 0800 4 70 80 90

How do you find opening up to someone impacts how you feel?  What advice would you give to someone who is struggling?
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Wednesday, 23 May 2018

My Top 10 Wedding Planning Tips

My Top 10 Wedding Planning Tips featuring a wedding guest outfit from Yours Clothing on Plus Size Blogger WhatLauraLoves

With royal wedding fever still captivating the UK, it got me thinking about the weddings that I've been to recently and what made them so great.  In today's post I'm going to share with you my top tips for creating your dream wedding, in collaboration with top wedding shop and planning website Confetti.

1. THE VENUE
Choosing a wedding venue is critical to the success of your big day (not to be confused with the success of your marriage because lets face it, if you're marrying the right person, you can get hitched anywhere on any budget).

Research lots of different wedding venues in your area then go visit your favourites and make a list of pros and cons of each.  If its somewhere that you're going to be staying over afterwards or eating at then I'd suggest booking a table for a meal and a room for the night to check the quality and level of service before investing in that place as your wedding venue.

Look out for the decor of the place as theres only so far that you can go to change or alter it and check to see how many weddings they can accommodate on one day.  It mightn't matter to some but other brides might not want to get married somewhere that there's another bride and groom getting married on the same day.

2. INVEST IN LONGTERM
Put your money into the aspects of your wedding that are going to last way beyond the day itself.  In my opinion, its better to spend £800 on a wedding ring than £800 on a cake as you'll be wearing it everyday for the rest of your life and lets face it, 10 years from now, are you really going to be bothered about the cake?!

Other aspects to invest in are your wedding photography and videography, the latter of which especially because it captures your loved ones living and breathing on camera along with all of the moments that you might miss when your wedding day goes by in a whirlwind.

3. BUDGET
Set a realistic budget, include a contingency, work hard to raise the funds and STICK TO IT.  Girls, remember this is ONE DAY.  Don't leave yourselves skint for years just to have a huge wedding; this is a celebration of your love not The Oscars.

4. WEDDING INSURANCE
You never know what might happen in the run up to your big day or on the day itself so invest in wedding insurance to cover you for costly eventualities.

5. THE DRESS
You'll need to be shopping for your wedding dress WAY in advance of your actual wedding.  A lot of bridal shops that you go into quote 16 to 26 weeks for your dress to be made so ideally, start looking for your dream dress a year before your actual wedding day.  My advice would be to try on as many different styles as possible, even ones that you don't think would suit you because wearing a wedding dress is so different to anything else that you'll have in your wardrobe and you may surprise yourself with how it looks on.

6. COMFORT FIRST
On your wedding day, you're going to be standing up for A LONG time and often when you're getting the most awesome photographs, you'll be required to walk quite far and sometimes through woods, along the beach, etc depending on where you're getting married.

The happiest brides that I've seen are the ones that have opted for comfort with their footwear rather than tottering around in sky scraper heels because they can navigate any terrain, don't have to worry about tripping up mid way down the aisle and they can dance all night without taking their shoes off!  My friend at the wedding I went to while wearing this dress, wore Converse and she was sooo comfortable!

Just remember to take your shoes with you when you have your dress fitting so that the dress is cut to the height you are when wearing your wedding shoes!

My Top 10 Wedding Planning Tips featuring a wedding guest outfit from Yours Clothing on Plus Size Blogger WhatLauraLoves

7. INVITATIONS
Don't leave sending your invitations out until the last minute.  These things take time to make if you're going for a personalised design so make sure you get them made and sent out well in advance of your big day so that you can ensure that your loved ones can get the time off work, save to be able to afford the travel, accommodation etc.

Also if theres a colour scheme or dress code to your wedding that you'd like your guests to follow then let them know inside the invite.  The dress that I wore to a wedding most recently at Le Petit Chateau was from Yours Clothing and it suited the cold spring day perfectly!

8. FOOD
The best weddings that I've been to have catered well for their guests, taking account of dietary requirements.  I can't eat dairy and when I've been to places that haven't got a clue what is in the food that they're giving you, or if they give you a meal that has dairy in it when they've been pre warned you need a dairy free meal, its worrying.  You don't want your guests to go hungry or to be poorly so making sure that the catering facilities are great is important.

Weddings are usually very long days and no one wants hangry guests so canapés, a sit down meal with drinks and buffet on the evening are perfect for keeping your guests energy levels up and hunger pangs at bay!  Just make sure theres plenty of variety and something everyone can enjoy.

9. FAVOURS
Choose favours that your guests will actually use and enjoy.  Its disheartening when you spend a fortune on favours and then they go to waste being left on the table.  I find that beauty, drink or food favours go down well and also scratch cards... imaging winning 500k at your mates wedding!

My Top 10 Wedding Planning Tips featuring a wedding guest outfit from Yours Clothing on Plus Size Blogger WhatLauraLoves

10. SOCIAL MEDIA
The best weddings that I've been to have been the ones that have kindly requested their guests to live in the moment and enjoy the wedding through their eyes, not a screen.  The flash from camera phones, etc can often throw off the natural light that a photographer will use and when you're paying a lot of money for your wedding photos, you want those to be the greatest shots.

My advice would be to advice guests that during the most important ceremonial moments, they refrain from taking their own photographs and if you want to keep your wedding private then pop a note in with your invites and ask the registrar to announce at the beginning of the ceremony, before the bridal procession, that you'd like guests to not upload images onto social media.  Its your big day and I'm sure they'll not mind staying off their phones for one day!

What are your top tips for planning a wedding?
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Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Coach Floral EDP Fragrance Review

Coach Floral Fragrance Review by UK Perfume Beauty Blogger WhatLauraLoves

New in fragrance for 2018, is Coach Floral EDP; a bright and breezy fruity floral that’s perfect for the girlie girls out there.

Created by perfumers Shyamala Maisondieu, Nadège Le Garlantezee and Nathalie Gracia-Cetto with direction from Stuart Vevers, the Creative Director of Coach, this scent is one that is as beautiful on the eyes as it is on the nose.


Coach Floral Fragrance Review by UK Perfume Beauty Blogger WhatLauraLoves

Inspired by the signature leather tea rose that’s synonymous with the Coach brand, Coach Floral opens with sparkling top notes of radiant pineapple sorbet, citrus Coeur and effervescent pink peppercorn, the former of which I found to be very apparent from first smelling this scent.

I was so surprised to see pineapple within the fragrance notes and was unsure as to how it would impact the perfume but its beautiful, such a positive, uplifting fruity note and definitely one that makes Coach Floral stand out from the crowd.


It is in the heart of the perfume that the floral bouquet emerges with notes of rose tea, jasmine sambac and gardenia that soften the scent before it dries down into an elegant base of crystal musks, creamy woods and patchouli which become more apparent with wear.  The result is a very girlie, feminine fragrance and definitely one for the younger crowd.

It is actually lovely to find a sweeter floral fragrance at this time of the year that isn’t sickly sweet or overpowering and this one will definitely be suited going into the summer months too.  Coach Floral reminds me a little of the Marc Jacobs Daisy fragrances but a little sweeter so if you liked those then I’d definitely suggest giving this one a go.

Coach Floral Fragrance Review by UK Perfume Beauty Blogger WhatLauraLoves

Very much a daytime fragrance, this perfume is great to spritz on a spring morning and then pop it in your handbag to top up every three to four hours throughout the day.

When I noted that this scent is as aesthetically pleasing as it is beautiful to smell, I wasn’t kidding.  The pretty bottle is soft pink in appearance with a rose gold turn lock and metal tag, as well as a soft pink floral tag, inspired by the Coach tea rose flower appliqués, which are all reminiscent of Coach handbags and accessories.

Coach Floral Fragrance Review by UK Perfume Beauty Blogger WhatLauraLoves

I’ve written about another fruity floral fragrance on my blog recently, Jimmy Choo Blossom Special Edition (review here) and if I had to pick a recommendation for you between the two, I’d say that the Coach one is better for if you are buying for a youthful, free spirited girlie girl whereas the Jimmy Choo scent is for the woman who wants to update her perfume collection with a sophisticated fruity floral while still meaning business!

The NEW Coach Floral Eau De Parfum is available nationwide now in 30ml, 50ml and 90ml sized bottles from the Coach websiteDebenhams, Feel Unique and John Lewis.

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What perfume are you wearing right now?  How does Coach Floral sound to you?
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Sunday, 13 May 2018

Jimmy Choo Blossom Special Edition EDP For Her Fragrance Review

Jimmy Choo Blossom Special Edition EDP For Her Fragrance Review WhatLauraLoves

Following the longest winter that I can remember, I have been switching up my wardrobe, beauty products and home as I transition into the warmer months so it’s only right that I should switch up my fragrance too, right?

With the release of the NEW Jimmy Choo Blossom Special Edition fragrance for 2018 that has had floral fragrance lovers springing into action on their way to the perfume counter, I feel suitably floral and ready for some spring!


Jimmy Choo Blossom Special Edition EDP For Her Fragrance Review WhatLauraLoves

If you recognise the sparkling diamond-like bottle then you’ll not be mistaken as this scent is an update of the original Blossom perfume released in 2015, which came in more of a hot pink bottle whereas this time, they’ve opted for a coral orange, which is perfect for this time of the year.  You may also recognise the packaging as being the same as the Flash fragrance that was released in 2013 but in a purple tone.


A sophisticated, fruity floral, Jimmy Choo Blossom Special Edition opens with an accord of exotic fruits, has a sparkling heart of frangipani flower and a mellow base of sensual sandalwood and white musk which are reminiscent of the original Blossom fragrance and my favourite perfume base notes.  It feels vivacious yet delicate and is without a doubt, my most loved Jimmy Choo fragrance to date.


Jimmy Choo Blossom Special Edition EDP For Her Fragrance Review WhatLauraLoves

However if you already have the original Blossom, do you need the Special Edition?  Of course you do!  While they do share similarities with the base notes, the scent is quite different to the original, which had plenty of red berry top notes and a heart of cyclamen.  Its one of those scents that I think so many women will love.

The EDP for her is a breath of fresh air for this time of the year as it draws inspiration from the bright colours and delicious scents that start to emerge after the cold, winter months and I for one am loving it!  It gives me a young, bright, sexy feeling without being sickly sweet or overpoweringly floral and the scent lasts for hours on the skin before I need to reapply.


Jimmy Choo Blossom Special Edition EDP For Her Fragrance Review WhatLauraLoves


Jimmy Choo Blossom Special Edition is available in 40ml and 60ml bottles nationwide now in stores and online at places such as Debenhams, John LewisFeel UniqueHouse of Fraser, Harrods, Superdrug and Escentual.

If you love the sound of this perfume then you'll need to get your order in quickly as it is LIMITED EDITION!

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Whats your favourite Jimmy Choo perfume?  What fragrance notes do you love the most?

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Friday, 4 May 2018

Treating My Locks With SHOW Beauty

SHOW Beauty Product Review by UK Beauty Blogger WhatLauraLoves

Extravagant packaging, luxurious ingredients and founded by glamorous Creative Director, Tamara Ecclestone, thats SHOW Beauty.

For those of you who don’t know, SHOW Beauty is an opulent hair styling and finishing collection that focuses on bringing back decadent glamour. The indulgent and luxurious range embodies timeless elegance and sophistication. These products can be found online or in their state-of-the-art SHOW Dry salons and concessions in department stores- where they also offer a range of blow dry services- across the UK.



There's a SHOW Dry salon in House of Fraser in the Metrocentre and if you're in the area, I'd highly recommend popping by.  I had a hair styling session there last year and LOVED the result.  You can check it out in this instagram photo and as you can see, its where I first fell in love with the top knot, braid and curls hair style.

Its also the place I discovered my first taste of their styling products in action, namely with the Show Beauty Dry Shampoo.


SHOW Beauty Product Review by UK Beauty Blogger WhatLauraLoves

I'm sure you'll agree that dry shampoo is a staple in every girl’s hair care collection.  However with so many on the market at such affordable price points, what sets the Show Beauty Dry Shampoo apart from the rest?

Well, in a nut shell, this product is far more than a dry shampoo.  This beauty promises to absorb impurities and oils while adding texture and shine to the locks without leaving residue between styling.  It has colourless, natural patented polymers within the formula which include tapioca powder and rice starch that remove impurities and absorb oil at the root, while its unique blend of botanical extracts, including aloe vera, mango, kiwi and ginger lily condition and protect the hair against moisture loss, lifting your style between washes and giving it that freshly washed feeling.

As with most dry shampoos, this product is really easy to use: simply shake the bottle well and then spray evenly across the roots of the hair, sectioning it off and spraying more precisely if your hair is particularly oily like mine is.  Rub the product at the roots with your fingers fairly vigorously and then brush it through to ensure the product is completely absorbed.

If your hair is anything like mine, you'll find it feeling refreshed, looking volumised and free from greasy roots.  It is as much a styling product as it is a dry shampoo as it gives my hair the added texture and oomph that my fine locks so desperately need! I even like to use it on my hair when its clean to give it that bit of grit and no slip texture which is especially important when I'm putting my hair into an up do or braiding it.

SHOW Beauty Product Review by UK Beauty Blogger WhatLauraLoves

For the girls who are of the big hair, don’t care persuasion like I am, then you simply must try out the SHOW Beauty Divine Thickening Mist!   It is ideal for those with fine hair (me) or for those  who love voluminous locks (also me!).

The mist has a weightless body-building nature that plumps up the hair while protecting it from free radicals, for a glamorous look that looks naturally full of life and volume.  The mist has a rich, mineral-infused polymer formula thats based on synergistic action which allows the diameter of each hair strand to expand, while the wheat protein and amino acids within the mist also react by expanding with heat.

The Divine Thickening Mist also contains conditioning agents that give the hair a smooth feel and high shine. You'll find Vitamin E and lychee extract infused into the formula too.  This ingredient is a scavenger for free radicals and helps to slow colour fading so if you're someone who has colour treated hair that also lacks volume then this product is a must try for you!

Using it is really easy, simply spritz generously through damp hair, making sure to concentrate on the mid-length and ends of your hair.  I was really surprised at first as I thought that this would be applied to the root but no, its all about the mid lengths and ends for that added hair bounce! The product is activated by heat, so you’ll see the best results after you’ve styled your hair with a hair dryer and sort of scrunched it a little.  The thickening effect is really manageable too and my hair is easily brushed through afterwards.

SHOW Beauty Product Review by UK Beauty Blogger WhatLauraLoves

Now if you've been reading my blog for a while then you'll know that once a week, I like to take the time to give my skin and hair some much needed pampering, usually on a Sunday... its a bit of a self love ritual for me!

In addition to a deep cleanse and mask for my skin, I like to apply a nourishing hair mask to my locks and then I leave the whole lot to cook while I use a body scrub and shave.  You can check out my hair removal routine in this post for more info on what I do and what works for me, if that's at all interesting!

Using a hair mask once a week helps to keep my hair looking and feeling healthy and maintain its colour.  I select different masks depending on the effect that I want them to have on my hair.  One of the ones that I choose for moisture, repair and nourishment is the SHOW Beauty Sublime Repair Treatment Mask which I leave on for a minimum of 10 minutes... but usually I push it to 15 or 20 if I'm having a real evening of pampering!

This decadent treat deeply nourishes my hair and leaves it looking healthy with the most beautiful glossy sheen to it, whether I'm applying it to my natural hair alone or to my hair with my Gold Fever Hair Extensions in.

SHOW Beauty Product Review by UK Beauty Blogger WhatLauraLoves

The mask is made up of a multi-faceted protein based complex that aims to strengthen the hair from within which is certainly what I need after all of the highlights, lowlights and colouring I've done to my hair over the last year!  Theres also Hydrolysed Pea Protein and Quinoa Protein within the formula that help to hydrate the hair and improve elasticity as well as Pro Vitamin B5 which nourishes and conditions the hair.  This helps to improve the manageability and body of the hair which I definitely notice the benefit of when I've used it as my hair brushes through so easily and when it is dry, it has an added weightlessness and bounce to it.

However what makes this mask one of the most indulgent and extravagant that I've tried is the addition of Caviar and White Truffle extracts within the formula.  They enrich the hair with amino acids and minerals which moisturise the hair and add tensile strength which basically means that it helps to make the hair stronger.

I'd particularly recommend this mask to those who have hair that's prone to breakage or is colour treated however I think that everyone can benefit from its nourishing qualities.  I have very oily hair but super dry ends and it does a great job at hydrating my hair from root to tip without weighing it down or making it become greasy quickly.  My hair looks visibly improved after I've used it and is so easy to manage, its a dream!

SHOW Beauty Product Review by UK Beauty Blogger WhatLauraLoves

If you love the sound of these products then you should also check out my review of the SHOW Beauty Lux Volume Shampoo and Conditioner!  I'd really recommend this hair care line if you're really into indulging with your hair care and seeing the benefits.

Not only do they make your hair look a million dollars but they products themselves will look so decadent on your dressing table and bathroom.  I am yet to find a hair care range that looks more extra and incredibly beautiful than SHOW Beauty!

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What are your favourite haircare products?  Have you tried anything from SHOW Beauty before? I'd love to hear your recommendations!
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