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The weekend is finally on the horizon and it’s been a pretty busy and very tough week. You might have been chasing after the kids, working hard at your 9-5 or maybe somehow juggling both! Well, now a well-deserved break is on the way, you’re going to need to fill your weekend with plenty of fun but will also leave you feeling rested, rejuvenated and ready for the week ahead.

Sure a mini break to watch the opera in Florence over the weekend sounds like the perfect way to get some much needed R&R but it might not be logistically or financially possible. So instead I’ve rounded up 5 lovely things to do this weekend when a mini-break it out of reach.

Head out for a family walk

There’s nothing better than feeling the fresh air in your lungs. And although the kids might kick and scream at the idea of it, a family walk is actually lots of fun. Choose a nice walk through woodland, along the beach, around an area of natural beauty or even a ramblers favourite.

It gives everyone an opportunity to move their bodies, reduce stress, lower blood pressure and spend some quality time together. It’s also a great opportunity for the kids to burn off some energy and you not have to worry about them getting into too much trouble!

Have a date night

Many couples worry that they don’t get to spend as much time together as they would like, So, put the kids to bed early and rustle up a romantic meal together. Or order it from your favourite place and enjoy each other’s company.

Catch up on a good book

If the weather isn’t great then don’t worry! If you’re on your own and find yourself at a loose end then pick up that novel you’ve been meaning to finish. Get cosy on the sofa, pull up a blanket and get plenty of snacks. If you have little ones to entertain then let them choose a short story and cuddle up together. Nothing beats family time.

Give yourself a little TLC

When was the last time you had a nice relaxing bath? Well, wait until the kids have gone to bed if you need to, and run yourself a nice hot bath. Drop in a bath bomb or some Epsom salts to help with those aching muscles and make it feel fancy with a candle or two. Pour yourself a glass of something cold and bring a book if you want or put on a relaxing playlist. Shave, exfoliate and buff your skin, then when you’re dry apply lots of moisturisers and a bit of fake tan if you want. Spoil yourself!

Pack a picnic

Wondering what to do for lunch? Why not pack up a bag of all your favourite treats and goodies and head out on a picnic? The kids will love doing something ordinary – a little differently! Don’t worry if it’s raining (it’s forecasted to be rainy in Cornwall), sometimes a picnic in the car is just as fun!

The post Self-Care Weekends: 5 Lovely Things to Do This Weekend appeared first on Strawberry Squeeze.

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It’s always tough to choose a gift for the couple that seems to have it all. Maybe they’ve lived together for years and have built up a collection of all of the homeware they could ever need. Or perhaps they’re minimalists and are comfortable living with very few possessions.

But don’t worry! Here’s a list of unique wedding gift ideas for inspiration, from DIY to affordable to splurge-worthy splendour. Rather than getting them an item that they may already have, or something they won’t often use, treat them to a thoughtful present that’s truly out of the gift box.

The Tastiest Gift Ever

Buy them a culinary experience they’ll never forget; your favourite couple can never have enough delicious food. Treating them to a unique dining experience will serve as a gift and a post-honeymoon date all wrapped up into one. This is your opportunity to brainstorm what would mean the most them; do they love fine dining?

If so, splash the cash on a luxury culinary experience at Michelin-starred restaurant. If they’re homebodies and enjoy a movie night on the couch, get their favourite takeaway food delivered right to their door after a long workday.  Bonus points if you throw in a great bottle of wine!

Make Them a Succulent Arrangement

Add some green, leafy vibrancy to their new lives as husband and wife. This is an easy, fun gift for the couple that wants Instagram-worthy home decor, but doesn’t want another chore to add to their list. It’s great for younger couples, older couples, and everyone in between.

Succulents only require watering about 3 times a month, which means it’s easy to keep this gift for ages. Plants are a long-term gift compared to a bouquet of flowers or a box of fancy chocolates. Visit your local garden centre and arrange one yourself, or order an arrangement from your local florist.

Host a Party For Them

Celebrating never gets old! Host a barbeque or a late-night wine session on the patio. We love this for summer weddings and warm-weather neighbourhoods. If the weather doesn’t permit outdoor celebrations, embrace the cosiness and host an intimate party on your friends’ behalf. Winter parties pair well with string lights, hot chocolate, and yummy comfort food. Spice up any party with unique decorations, photos of the couple, and a party activity like a photo booth.

Organise a Trip for Them

From a lovely road trip to a grand world tour, celebrate their love by creating their latest travel itinerary. Adventurous couples will appreciate a tour of a national park, and culture vultures will love museum tickets. Think long and hard about this one- is there a place your friend has always wanted to visit? A gallery they’ve been waiting to see? Buy them a pair of train or plane tickets and send them on their way. If you’re feeling extra generous, treat them to premium seats!

Buy Them a Piece of Art

The beautiful couple needs beautiful artwork to match! Visit a local art print shop or gallery and pick something that strikes your fancy, keeping their taste and home style in mind. Frame the piece, and make sure to include all of the materials necessary for hanging it in their home.

Matchy-matchy: Robes, Slippers and PJs!

It’s cheesy. But it’s so damn cute. “His and hers” outfits and accessories are always a great way to celebrate married life. Personalized items like robes or slippers will fit anyone that loves to be cosy and cute.

Stock Their Bar Cart

For the duo that likes to entertain; supply them with all of the trendiest bar cart essentials! Put together a gift basket with liquors, mixers, and garnishes. Add classic mixology tools like a shaker, strainer, and bottle opener to the basket. Keep a consistent colour theme throughout the bottles, packaging, and tools so that your gift basket looks twice as nice. If you just want to give your newlywed friends some classic bar cart tools, throw in a bottle of champagne to keep the celebratory vibes going.

Buy Them a Museum Tour

If they’re itching to learn something new, set them up with an exciting museum tour.  This gift is perfect for teachers, historians, or any twosome that loves to learn. Don’t forget to add that extra cherry-on-top: book transportation to and from the museum to charm them from beginning to end. You could even treat them to a souvenir from the museum so they have a way to remember their fun, experiential gift!

Get Them Ready for Adventure with Luggage

A high quality, modern luggage set is an unusual but useful gift. The newlyweds can use it on their honeymoon, on business trips, or anywhere else they decide to venture. After all, the couple that packs together, stays together.

Gussy Up Their Powder Room

Make a gift basket with all things spa-like: candles, luxurious towels, and bubble bath. Soothing scents like lavender and jasmine pair well with post-wedding joy! Allowing the newlyweds to unwind in their home makes for a great gift. The candles, bubble bath, and cosy necessities will make their bathroom feel like a real, luxurious spa.

Book or Buy Them a Date Night

New couples are much more likely to embrace date night. After the wedding, your friends are going to want another way to enjoy their time together, instead of planning or going on their usual dates. This gift could even be as simple as calling an incredible restaurant on their behalf. Buy them a fun date night and keep it lighthearted- they’re going to love any excuse to go out and have fun!

Gift giving for newlyweds can be loads of fun. Some may seem to have everything, but when it comes to marriage, all that matters is finding a way to celebrate the love that they have for each other. Whether it’s a gift basket or a dinner reservation, personalize it depending on your friends’ tastes, hobbies, and passions. Even the picky pair that seems to have everything will appreciate these unique presents and experiences.

The post Unique Wedding Gifts for Couples Who Have Everything appeared first on Strawberry Squeeze.

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Having kids is the most wonderful thing in the world – but let’s be honest it can be a costly affair! This can no doubt put some people in financial difficulty at times which can be hard to get out of – so we have listed some money raising ideas if you are struggling to find cash to pay the bills.

Hold a Car Boot Sale

If you have a look around your house – there will no doubt be things that you no longer want but could be of value to someone else. Why not get them all together and put on a car boot sale or a garage sale? It could be a great way to make some extra cash. It’s also a great way to socialise and get to know other people in your neighbourhood. 

Sell Items on eBay

If you are quite computer savvy – then creating an eBay account could be the way forward.  The great thing about selling items on eBay is that you can fit it around your everyday life and what you are doing with the kids. 

It’s quick for you to simply take photos and upload them to your account, and as people can place bids for the items – the likelihood is that you might get more money for them.

Pay Day Loans

If you have a short-term cashflow problem – then a payday loan could be a good way to get you out of trouble. There are companies like Cash Lady that will help you process your loan application in just 2 minutes and allow it to be seen by more lenders. 

This means there is a higher chance of success. You can pay it over a certain number of months at a reasonable repayment plan – which you can work out with Cash Lady if you decide to move forward with this option.  Although not a long-term solution, it’s something that could get you out of a tight spot.

Do Some Freelance Work

There are lots of jobs that you can do that will allow you to work around family life and any other work commitments you may have. People make lots of money by writing content, photography, videography etc – and it can end up being a passive income for you. Once you start to build yourself a portfolio – the work will come in all by itself on recommendations if you use freelance sites where clients can leave their reviews.

Ask a Family Member

Although it may not be your first choice, family members are always there to lend a helping hand should you need it. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for some help if you are struggling. They won’t think any less of you and you can pay them back when you can. It might be a difficult or uncomfortable conversation at first, but one that could help you out a lot.

If you are looking for some ways to generate some cash – then hopefully these handy tips will help!

The post 5 Money Raising Ideas for Mum’s in Need of a Boost appeared first on Strawberry Squeeze.

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When you get engaged, and you start the process of wedding planning, it’s very easy to get carried away with dress shopping and looking around for the perfect venue. With endless lists of things to do and people to please, it can be a struggle to find the time and the energy to get the finer details right.

The trouble is that those little finishing touches can often make the day, enabling you to design a unique celebration that is personal to you and different from any other wedding your guests have attended. If you’re in the throes of wedding planning, here are some details you won’t want to miss off your list.

Invitations

Whether you have a party of 30 or 300, you can use your wedding invitations to set the tone, provide clues to a theme and encourage your guests to get involved in the day. Choose images or themes that reflect your relationship and the kind of event you’re planning, don’t be afraid to inject some personality, and add personal touches.

Include your guests’ names, match the design to the type of celebration, and offer useful information. Take a look at sites like Countryside Art for inspiration, and think about doing something a little different to set your wedding apart from others. This could be anything from using tickets or passports for a destination or a festival-themed wedding to using a hand-drawn image of the venue or including a personalised message for your guests inside.

Favours

If you dream of a setup that makes your guests’ jaws drop as they view the venue for the first time, it’s crucial to pay attention to the details, as well as the main features of the room or space.

You can make a splash with floral centrepieces or towering ice sculptures, but you can also make your friends and family feel special and provide them with a memento to treasure by decorating the tables with fabulous, bespoke favours. Think about the theme of the event, the kind of venue you’ve chosen, and your interests and passions.

If you’re a couple that loves food and drink, for example, you could opt for artisan truffles or homemade gin.

Transport

You’ve found the dream venue, your outfits have been ordered, and the photographer is booked. Now, it’s time to take care of the logistics and work out how your guests and the bridal party are going to travel to and from the ceremony and the reception venue.

There’s an array of options available to you, from classic cars and sporty convertibles to tractors and trailers, vintage buses and campervans. Consider your party size and your budget, and then explore options that fit with the vibe of the day. If you’re planning a traditional wedding, vintage cars and old-fashioned buses are an ideal fit.

If you’re going for a beach wedding, boats or campers are a great idea. Group transport makes planning logistics easy, and it’s a fantastic way of enabling guests to get to know each other.

Wedding planning is often dominated by touring venues and bridal boutiques. While finding a perfect dress and booking a venue is essential, it’s wise not to lose sight of the impact of the finer details.

The post The Finer Details To Focus On When Planning A Perfect Wedding appeared first on Strawberry Squeeze.

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Many of us look forward to crashing onto a comfy bed at the end of a long, busy day. Your bedroom should be a sanctuary to which you can retreat to wind down and put your feet up. The last thing you want when you’re ready to hit the hay is to be confronted with a floor filled with shoes or chairs draped in clothes. If storage is an issue, clutter is taking over, or you’re trying to make the most of a compact space, here are some tips to create a more spacious, serene bedroom.

Opt for neutral walls

If you haven’t got a large bedroom, paying attention to colour is key. If you have a small space, opting for dark shades and prints can make the room look smaller. To create the illusion of a more spacious boudoir, stick to neutral tones, and use accessories or accents to add colour.

Dove grey, beige, and white work really well. If you do want to add interest, you can use cushions, lamps, vases and plant pots, candle holders, bed linen, curtains, rugs and frames to carry a theme and introduce new tones.

Invest in clever storage solutions

If you’ve become accustomed to a ‘floordrobe,’ now is the time to make some changes. Clutter can contribute to stress, and it detracts from the harmony and peace of the room, as well as affecting the aesthetic.

If you don’t have space for chests and wardrobes, don’t worry. Make use of wall space, and look into clever storage solutions, such as an Ottoman divan bed from The Sleep Station. With this kind of bed, you can store clothes, bedding, and towels underneath the mattress.

It’s also a good idea to have a clear out periodically, and to store clothes you’re not going to use in the months ahead in a loft or basement. If your drawers are full of jumpers and coats, and summer is approaching, for example, you can free up room by boxing them up until cooler climes arrive once more.

Maximise natural light

Light always makes rooms look more spacious, so make the most of every drop of natural light. Open the curtains wide, use mirrors to bounce light around the room, and opt for light walls and floors.

Embrace the minimalist vibe

Nothing eats up space like clutter. If you have a bijou bedroom, consider embracing the popular minimalist vibe, and keeping things simple. Don’t cover every inch of the walls in prints or frames or hide every metre of floor space under rugs.

Choose a basic colour palette and don’t go too crazy with accessories. Opt for understated patterns and prints like spots or graphic lines if you’re adding a couple of cushions to the bed, and use simple touches like plants and mirrors to add a homely feel.

If you long for more space in the bedroom, but you don’t have the option of extending or converting an attic, hopefully, these simple solutions will make all the difference. Freshen up the room with light tones, innovative storage options and effortless, chic decorative touches.

The post Tiny Home Hacks: How to Create a Spacious Bedroom appeared first on Strawberry Squeeze.

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Is there anything more relaxing and indulgent than a hot bubble bath at the end of a hectic day? If you’re in the midst of renovating your house, or your bathroom is crying out for some TLC, revamping this space could play an instrumental role in promoting self-care and creating a serene, tranquil home. If you dream of a luxurious bathroom to kick back and chill out, here are some tips to take on board.

Give your bathroom some TLC

Do you long to create your own version of a boutique hotel bathroom at home, or are you looking to upgrade your current suite to add a touch of decadence? If so, you don’t have to spend a fortune or overhaul the entire room to achieve spectacular results. Adding carefully-selected bathroom luxuries could make all the difference.

If your room is lacking a focal point, or you’re keen to go all-out and make a statement, a beautiful freestanding bath can create a centrepiece for a room with serious style. Opt for a simple, chic modern tub or channel a romantic, vintage vibe with a roll top bath with clawed feet. Once you’ve chosen a bath, you can run with the hotel theme and add double sinks and an oversized, rain shower head.

Create a tranquil vibe

Many of us are used to living our lives at a hundred miles per hour, and we crave a moment of downtime to pause, reflect, and relax. Your bathroom should be a tranquil space that allows you to unwind and enjoy a well-earned time out. If you’re stressed out, you’re tired, or you feel like you’ve been swimming against the tide or spinning plates all week, retreating to the bathroom for a hot shower or a leisurely soak in the bath could be just the tonic.

To create a peaceful, calming vibe, opt for low-level lighting, choose neutral tones for the walls and add candles and plants. Use wall-mounted shelves or cupboards with drawers to prevent clutter, and add soothing aromas using diffusers or scented candles. You could also place a freestanding speaker inside your bathroom and create a bespoke bath time playlist.

Finishing touches

Once you’ve chosen colours for the walls, and you’ve selected a bath, a shower unit and sinks, it’s time to elevate the design of your bathroom to the next level with accessories and finishing touches. You can add colour or use details and accents to carry a theme.

If you’re a fan of the understated, Scandinavian vibe, for example, stick to a palette of white, grey, and black, and add plant pots, a stylish, printed bath mat and matching granite toothbrush and toilet brush holders. If you’re on a mission to create a romantic Parisian bathroom, complement a roll top bath with a vintage mirror, vases of fresh flowers, and an ornate, decorative vanity unit.

If your bathroom isn’t quite cutting the mustard, and you’re looking to design a luxurious space that promotes self-care and relaxation, you don’t have to blow the budget or have years of experience in interior design to achieve a stunning transformation. Create a focal point, think about the styles and themes you like, and use finishing touches and finer details to produce a personalised space that is both stylish and serene.

The post How to: Create a Relaxing Bathroom for Self-Care Weekends appeared first on Strawberry Squeeze.

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Horse riding is easily one of the most enjoyable outdoor activities that anyone could ever experience, which is why learning to ride a horse is undoubtedly a great skill for any animal lover to gain.

Nonetheless, it can feel like quite a daunting prospect, which is why it’s crucial that you equip yourself with a winning plan of action. Follow the five simple tips below, and you won’t go far wrong.

Bond With Your Horse

Before worrying about riding your horse, you should learn to form a bond with your horse. When you know how to tie, groom, and lead the horse in a winning fashion, you’ll have a far stronger foundation for riding success. Moreover, feeding with premium grade food ensures that the horse grows to be strong and healthy, which can only aid your situation as a rider too. A loving relationship truly is the first step to becoming a more competent rider.

Find A Trainer

While it certainly is possible to learn to ride a horse by yourself, there are several reasons not to. Firstly, you’ll be putting yourself and the horse at risk as a beginner’s mistake could lead to major problems. Meanwhile, it’s almost inevitable that a self-taught rider will pick up some very bad habits without even realising it. As such, hiring a competent horse riding instructor should be one of the top items on your list. If nothing else, it should provide peace of mind.

Wear The Right Equipment

You already know how important it is for your horse to wear the right horseshoes, but you must also think about the equipment being used for riding. The right choice of saddle and bridle is essential while you must also discover how to fit them in a way that is comfortable for the horse and safe for you. As a new rider, you may wish to wear a helmet while all children should wear them along with protective boots, clothing, and pads. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Take It Slow

It’s tempting to unleash your inner John Wayne right away, but it’s important to remember that slow and steady wins the race. You’ll have a whole lifetime to build up speed and become more confident in the saddle. Start with learning to walk and halt before moving on how to turn using the direct rein and the neck reins. Trotting, cantering, and loping can all come at a later date. Once again, there is no rush to get faster and you should simply look to get better as you grow in confidence.

Learn To Fall

When you do get confident, you’ll soon realise that jumps and obstacles are a great way to stimulate your horse while also boosting your personal enjoyment. However, this will almost certainly lead to a few falls along the way. Learning to fall in a safe manner and perform an emergency discharge without serious injury will go a long way to boosting your confidence and also allows you to keep your horse away from major danger in those situations.

While there is still a long journey ahead, these five steps will make you a far more competent rider. Above all else, remember to enjoy it!

The post 5 Tips for Learning to Ride a Horse When You’re a Complete Novice! appeared first on Strawberry Squeeze.

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