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3rd March, 2014

Love Is In The Hair

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle products

Life is all about finding your perfect match - The One that makes everything feel right. While that might be quite a tough call when it comes to romance, as far as your hair is concerned, things have just got easier.

Aussie has completed its 3 Minute Miracle line up with two new genius rinse-off, deep conditioning treatments - 3 Minute Miracle Light Aussome Volume and 3 Minute Miracle Light Mega.

These luscious, lightweight conditioning mousses are bursting with nourishing ingredients and Aussie's tantalising scent. Even better, they're an easy way to ramp up your everyday hair routine with a little touch of magic and a deep-conditioning boost.

All the other favourites are there too, helping to solve any problem. Choose from Luscious Long for helping reduce split ends to Frizz Miracle for taming curls to Take the Heat for those of us who've overdone the styling! Whatever you're looking for in The One, Aussie has the perfect match for you.

15th November, 2013

Win a pair of shoes or bag from Clarks

Visit and you'll have two chances every week to win! is the brilliant one-stop shopping haven for fashionistas everywhere. Spend time browsing in the interactive high street stores packed full of on-trend inspirational pieces and get some great insider beauty tips. We'll even style up two cool outfits for the party season in the Look Boutique.

You'll be able to shop the fabulous new range from Clarks and we'll even show you how to style your Clarks shoes for the festive season, with exciting behind-the-scenes footage from our shopping trips with Emma Gow, our fashion assistant.

Plus, twice a week, you'll have the opportunity to enter our fantastic competition. Simply answer the question posed on the site and enter your details - simple as that! Winners will be picked at random and you'll get to choose a pair of shoes or a bag from Clarks' women’s autumn/winter 2013 collection.

25th June, 2013

Top 10 ways to burn 200 calories... without even realising!

Are you trying to shift a few winter pounds in time for bikini season but don’t know where to start? Maybe your resolution to become inseparable from the gym hasn’t quite gone to plan? You might have tried weight gain management with Holland and Barrett and are looking for some easy tips on how to get trim? Here are 20 sneaky ways to burn off 200 calories that don’t require a treadmill or even working up a sweat: result!  

Dancefloor Diva

If you fancy yourself as a bit of a Beyonce on a night out then use this to your advantage ladies. Get low and throw those shapes for an hour to get rid of 200 beastly calories. Just don’t ruin all your hard work with sugary, alcoholic drinks full of unnecessary calories. 

Shop till you drop...a dress size

Who would’ve thought that shopping for a new season wardrobe would be so good for your health? Just an hour of shopping can burn up to 200 calories – so imagine what a whole afternoon would do for your figure!  

Leave the lift

Did you know that if you walked up and down the stairs for just a measly 20 minutes you would burn 200 calories? That means that for every minute you spend walking up the stairs, you’ll burn 10 calories. 

Changing rooms

Moving house? Maybe you fancy spring cleaning and rearranging your living room? Well. Did you know that 30 minutes of furniture rearranging will rid you of 200 calories – just don’t go lifting anything too heavy; you don’t want to cause an injury! 

Get green fingered

On a similar vein to the above, sorting your garden in time for spring is a great way to fight the flab. 40 minutes of rigorous de-weeding and seed planting equates to 200 pesky calories. 

Walk and Talk

Having a gossip over the phone with a friend? Instead of sitting and nattering, get up and go for a walk at the same time – if you’re on the phone for an hour you could burn 200 calories. Winning!  

Bedroom Fun

Getting down to it for just half an hour can burn at least 200 calories – so what are you waiting for, grab your partner and get down to some serious business! 

Trampoline Time

Got little kids? Invest in a trampoline for the garden – not only will they have the time of their lives, if you’re on it for an hour it’ll burn those calories no problem.  

Sing for the moment

Get the karaoke machine out and blast out your fave tunes – you might be surprised to know that singing for an hour and a half burns on average 200 calories, so get practising those scales and arpeggios! 


Soaping up your car will give you a 200 calorie workout in just 40 minutes. Plus, with all that stretching, bending and lifting, you’ll get an all round cardio workout.  

These sneaky tips will really help if you’re managing your weight – and you won’t even know it!  

25th June, 2013

Enjoy some celebrity glamour! Where will you holiday in 2013?

There’s no denying it, the chance to go abroad has an incomparable allure that always keeps us tourists wanting more. Unlike a craving for your favourite chocolate bar, the prospect of taking to the skies can cause any ordinary, unassuming adult to revert back to the mental age of a five year old. On Christmas Eve. In Disneyland. With Unicorns. Well, that might be a slight exaggeration, but being excited about travelling is part and parcel of the holiday experience.  

You’ve bought enough sun cream to last you a lifetime, made sure you check the currency exchange online, and have your passport ready and waiting by the door. However, the trickiest part is trying to decide which destination to actually choose. With a whole globe to consider, and even the moon these days (well not quite yet), decisions such as these are never simple.  So, as a way of gaining some inspiration, we’re turning to the modern day super heroes… our trusty celebs.  Using their powers of fame, style and wealth, they’re able to deduct the perfect locations in which to spend a holiday abroad. Here are our findings… 

Britney Spears

Taking a break from her X factor exploits, international superstar Britney Spears chose to spend her summer gracing the beaches of Hawaii. Swapping the mean streets of California for grass skirts and surf boards, Spears decided to treat her family to the delights that this state has to offer. Famous for its relaxed atmosphere, Hawaii is ideal for those searching for a bit of escapism. With sublime views and a natural beauty that never fails to impress, you’ll feel as if you’ve entered another world. And that’s not all! In addition to soaking up the stunning sights, Hawaii is also renowned for its incredible culture. From tasting delicious food to exploring historic towns, you’ll be spoilt for choice! 

Leonardo DiCaprio

In between shooting his upcoming film The Wolf of Wall Street, Leonardo DiCaprio was caught making the most of Manhattan, and we don’t blame him! A favourite amongst many visitors to New York, it’s without doubt that this borough is the icing on the cake of the ultimate city break. There’s just so much to take in! Whether it’s delving into the hustle and bustle of Times Square, cruising down the Hudson River, or reaching the dizzy heights of the Empire State building, you’ll soon realise that one trip here is never enough. However, in our opinion, a typical tourist activity which you can’t forget has to be witnessing the legendary Manhattan skyline at night; it’ll take your breath away! 


Holidaying in style, Rihanna decided to opt for a little indulgence last summer. Far from your average trip to Butlins, the singing sensation took ‘taking a well-deserved break’ to another level, embracing all the luxury and splendour that a pop star could wish for with a cruise along the Amalfi Coast. Mesmerised by the magic of Italy, it’s undeniable that this country has an irresistible charm, so why not experience it for yourself? You could take to the Path of the Gods, discover La Costiera or even try the Amalfi Musical Opera… the list is endless! We guarantee, you’ll fall in love with the place. 

18th June, 2013

Staple Summer Dress Style

Given that we’re seeing snow over Easter, most of us have probably put our summer style on hold for a bit. But not today ladies – oh no. Regardless of what the weatherman wants to throw our way it’s time to start thinking about your summer wardrobe; and even if it means holding off on wearing these looks for another few weeks, you’re guaranteed to be ahead of the trend this summer. So no matter if you’re looking for plus size UK fashion, tall or petite, below is a guide to the hottest summer dress style for SS13. 

The Maxi 

For the last few years it’s been a staple in our summer wardrobes and this season is no different for the maxi dress. Elegant, versatile and flattering on all shapes and sizes; it’s the perfect dress to see yourself into summer with. If you’re off to a summer wedding stick to one colour such as navy or plum for an understated yet glamorous appeal. Perhaps you’re looking for the ultimate holiday number? Lightweight, floaty material such as chiffon is a great fabric to go with and for the print think bright and bold – tropical neon pops or ethnic tribal prints will both work equally as well. Is there nothing this floor length go-to garment can’t do for us?!  

The Midi

Forget the saying; ‘less is more,’ this season’s dress style dictates that more length is a winning feature for SS13. All hail the midi dress! With the length falling just below the knee, the midi makes the perfect dress style for both in and out of the office. Smart colours like a bold red or fuchsia as well as black and white will all make great options for the midi, and don’t be afraid to dare to wear striking prints such as Aztec or geometric prints – they’ll look great on capped sleeved midi dresses and make a great statement for your weekend wardrobe.  

The Tunic

When (if!) it ever heats up, and you’re looking for a floaty, lightweight summer dress then a tunic style dress is a great option. Tunics are great because their baggy, oversized style not only means that you’ll be kept cool when the sun shines, it also means that any so-say ‘problem’ areas around your tummy are glossed over with beautiful, billowing fabric. The Denim Dress Denim has made an absolute comeback this year – sure, it’s always been viewed as a safe fashion staple but this season it’s all about denim as a hot fashion must have. It’s boho, western and so festival chic and is the perfectly practical option for our typical British summer weather. Try button down shirt dresses or dungarees for a stylish approach to denim this season.  

The floral print

Let’s move away from styles here and instead talk prints – floral is a sure fire way to create an instant summer feel; plus it’s really versatile too. Small, ditsy prints will work well with ‘cold’ floral colours like navy, white and daisy prints, where as big bold bouquet patterns are more suited to rosy reds, lush greens and fiery oranges.  

All we need now is to get the weatherman on our side! 

13th June, 2013

Getting Ready For Christmas – Finding Your Perfect Outfit

Calling all ladies! Iif you’re going to be attending a Christmas do this season then it’s fairly likely that you’ve started to comb the high-street for the perfect outfit to rock. But with so much choice and style on offer, how do you go about choosing the right outfit? You needn’t panic as Kaleidoscope are here to offer you their words of wisdom when it comes to picking your party piece, so read on to find out more. The dress

Why not be a bit daring this season and go for something a bit “unlike” you – this could be a style you’ve seen on a friend or in a magazine but wouldn’t usually go for, or choosing a dress in a bolder colour. We’re all guilty of having a go-to style of dress that serves its function time after time but if you’re really looking to wow then a whole new style can transform you.

Jewel colours are always a huge hit for the party season and this year is no exception – think jade, plum and sapphire all in silky satin which promise not to disappoint in the glam stakes. Rich reds and glitzy embellished gold designs are also key contenders for a hot party season look.

The accessories

Winter time is the best time for accessories, don’t you think? From shrugs to studs and all the clutch bags in between, the party season is synonymous with sparkly add-ons that will really complete your look. You’re going to need to keep warm on chilly evenings out, so cover up with a bolero or shrug. They’re the perfect outerwear that won’t detract from your outfit. Sure, a coat might seem like the most practical option but it’ll detract from your glamorous entrance; a bolero strikes the perfect balance! Choose a tailored bolero if you’re dressing for a formal occasion, or perhaps you’ve opted for a classic LBD? In that case, choose a bolero that’s embellished with pearls or studs to glam up your outfit.

You’ll also need to think about jewellery. Party season is all about the jewels and the glitz so swap wooden bracelets for gems and pearls. Try to avoid pastel shades for your nails and instead choose deep, rich colours like maroon and opal.

What about your bag? As with the jewellery trend, tan leather and cotton are harder to work with glitzier outfits so it’s probably best to keep these items at bay and invest in a sparkly number that will see you through the party season. Think satin, silver clasps and lots of beading.

The Shoes

The impeding party season also means one thing for your feet: heels. Exotic prints glitter and sleek patent heels are all trends that will work well whatever your dress choice. Many people think that dressier means higher heeled but that’s not the case – kitten heels are also set to be a huge hit this season.

The party season is a great time of year for fashion and gives all you gorgeous girls an excuse to get glammed up – what’s not to love about it?! 

13th June, 2013

Get The Look – For Your Living Room!

It can be so easy to spruce up your wardrobe with new pieces of jewellery, scarves and bags; by accessorising you know that you’ll take your outfit from old-school to outrageously on-trend in no time at all. But what about your home? We love accessorising with fashion and clothes but how about giving your home the facelift it deserves? It’s just as easy to buy homeware such as curtains and cushions as it is to nip to the high street and get your fast-fashion pick me up. Ladies, it’s time to discuss the quick fix ways to transform your home in a matter on minutes, at prices that won’t break the bank. Let’s get started:

Living room

We all know how expensive and time consuming redecorating can be – not to mention having to live higgledy-piggledy out of boxes waiting for new sofas to be delivered for weeks on end. But updating your living space doesn’t have to be nearly half as stressful; it’s all about accessorising!

If you’ve had your sofas for a few years now and feel the print is looking a little dated then you’re in need of one thing – throws. Throws are a fantastic way of covering up a somewhat dodgy pattern and can be used to mix, match and contrast the existing colours in your room. Perhaps you’ve got a statement vase that you want noticed? Match the colour to a sofa throw for a seamless interior theme.Similarly, statement cushions will instantly update and add a touch of glam to your living space. A large print centred on a feature wall will immediately revitalise your living space. If you’re stuck for space, try a large statement mirror – it will create the illusion of a much bigger room.


Cheap homeware isn’t just available for sprucing up your lounge; it’s just as easy to update your bedroom with a few simple tips and tricks. For a really cool, effortless look that will give your room a whole new spin, try stripping back the carpet and start waxing those floorboards! If your budget allows, invest in a plush rug – it’s a sure-fire way to glam up your bedroom.

Patterned duvet sets and bed linen with multiple textures such as satin or embellished florals will instantly refresh your room. It’s the perfect accessory that won’t clutter your room!


Covering up white goods and appliances in wood or the material of your choice is a great way to ‘touch-up’ your kitchen. Simple things, such as an oversized wall clock or a vintage dresser will give your kitchen the new lease of life it needs. Coloured utensils and kitsch-patterned cake tins, coffee pots and bread bins are a great value-for-money way to inject style into your kitchen.

Bringing your home up to speed with the latest looks and styles isn’t hard when you know how to accessorise successfully. Hopefully after reading this you’ll know that it’s all about working with the styles that you’ve already got and understanding that it’s actually relatively easy (and cheap!) to update your home without getting the decorators in. 

13th June, 2013

Going Green – Making Your Home More Energy Efficient

At the beginning of the year we all try to take stock of our financial situations. The heady days of spending over Christmas and New Year seem a long way off, and we’re all thinking about reigning in our expenses and becoming a little more frugal.

There are a number of ways you can cut down on your expenses such as comparing home and contents insurance online, as well as maybe looking to change energy suppliers and trying to stick to a monthly budget.

But what about going green too? There are a number of quick and easy ways you can save money in the home while doing your bit for the environment too. Here’s our guide brought to you by home and contents insurance provider Swinton Insurance.

Turning off appliances

On average, each year households up and down the UK spend £35 powering appliances that are left on standby mode. This could include your TV, computer and microwave being turned on at the mains, while not actually in use. By switching off your electricals each night, you’ll not only save money, can also cut down on your energy usage, which is great for the environment.

Install insulation

According to research, an average homeowner will lose around £390 worth of energy each year by not having their loft or cavity walls insulated .Yes, there may be initial outlays for this, but you’ll more than make up for that cost with the money you’ll save on your energy bills. Ensuring your home is fully insulated will help to keep the heat in, meaning your home will take much less time to warm up and will also retain the heat much better.

Change your boiler

When your annual energy bills are broken down, you can see that roughly 60% of what you spend in a year is accounted for by your boiler. Homeowners with older gas boilers are literally losing money for every day it’s in use. Replacing it with an A-rated high efficiency condensing boiler as well as improving your heating controls will result in a significant saving on your energy bills (potentially as much as £300 a year). In addition to this it will severely reduce your home’s carbon dioxide emissions.

Small touches that can make all the difference

Installing insulation and changing your boiler will require money up front, but the savings are clear. However, there are many other small touches you can make to improve your energy efficiency at home. Buying energy efficient light bulbs and appliances is a great place to start, as is ensuring any small drafts are blocked up (this can range from draft excluders to fitting new double glazed windows).

Big changes that can save real money

January may be about saving money, while February is all about going green with “Go Green Week”, so this year, why not make some big changes such as getting started with renewable energy?

Low carbon technologies such as solar panels, wind turbines and biomass boilers enable you to generate your own energy for your property. This will save you considerable amounts of money compared to what you would have spent on energy bills, and reduces your carbon footprint by using renewable energy. What’s more you can potentially export some of the energy to the national grid and be paid to do so by the government under the Feed in Tariff (FIT) Scheme. So if you’re making changes to your home, no matter how small, you too can help the environment – it’s time to go green! 

13th June, 2013

Style Guide: Wardrobes

Buying a new wardrobe shouldn’t be a regular occurrence, wardrobes, be they fitted or free standing are build to last. You need a wardrobe to be strong and sturdy but you don’t want to compromise on style as an ugly wardrobe will spoil the look of your bedroom.

When you buy a Barker and Stonehouse wardrobe, you know you are a getting a piece of furniture of the highest quality which will take you through a number of years and with a wide range of wardrobes to suit every taste you’re sure to find something you like.

Bedroom ranges, such as the stunning Giselle allow you to coordinate your bed, wardrobe and storage chests for a pulled-together look. Crafted from solid oak and featuring a subtle diamond joint detailing, the Giselle range includes the option of a three door full hanging wardrobe or a two door ‘gents’ wardrobe.

Value ranges at Barker and Stonehouse such as the pretty ivory painted Somerset collection include a bed, wardrobe and bedside table for a bargain bundle price.

But for the ultimate in contemporary wardrobe design, it’s got to be the Presotto - Technopolis Sliding Wardrobe with Dama TV.The ultra modern hi-gloss sliding door wardrobe is fashioned with a projection door, 100 mm thick, with an integrated television able to slide even when the screen is on. The wires go through the inside of the door to avoid any obstruction. With gloss grigio perla lacquered panels and panels with special reflecting glass for the TV this is a super slick wardrobe for someone living the high life. Now that you’ve got your wardrobe sorted, there are many ways to the make the most of the space you’ve got and increase your clothes storage.

Those lucky enough to have a walk-in closet should make the most of it, displaying their favourite clothes and dividing them into carefully collated sections – just walk in and choose from the lots separate pieces which you can put together to create different outfits.

Sadly for the majority of us, a single wardrobe and an over-abundance of clothes is closer to the reality.

Change the contents of your wardrobes with the seasons – in the summer pack away all your jumpers, thick trousers and winter woollies to make space for your summer clothes, then reverse the process during the autumn.

Under the bed is a great place to store vacuum packed bags of the clothes you’re not likely to be wearing for a couple of months and takes up the absolute  minimum of space.

Clothes rails can give a room a fun retro look while at the same time providing storage. Clothes that only come out on special occasions such as formal wear should be stored away and protected with plastic wrapping or a clothes bag.

Pegs can be secured to doors or walls to hold coats or dressing-gowns which are bulky and can take up a lot of room in your wardrobes and shoes can be displayed on the top of your wardrobes or given pride of place on shelves. 

13th June, 2013

Making A City Flat Feel Like Home

If you live in a city you’ll enjoy all the benefits of cosmopolitan living. That boutique cinema showing the newest foreign films, just around the corner. The trendiest bars and the best restaurants right on your doorstep.

Whether you live in London, Manchester, Liverpool or Edinburgh you’ll know that certain sacrifices have to be made for the enjoyment of city living. Most notably your living space. Yes we’d all like a New York style loft apartment but we know it’s not possible, with most of us settling for a flat or apartment in a new build complex.

Space may be minimal and the furnishings sometimes a little impersonal. But there are loads of little touches you can make to ensure your city flat feels like home.

Treat your windows

Even if it’s a rental property you can change things up a little, with one of the first places you start being how you treat the windows. Opt for bespoke blinds from a made to measure blinds company such as Hillarys and they will be designed to fit perfectly with the size and shape of your windows and you’ll also be able to make all the decisions when it comes to colour and style. Perfect to really make a flat feel like home.

Whatever city you live in you’ll find a range of blinds from Hillarys  due to their nationwide network of advisors. So, whether you want luxurious Roman blinds or rollers in this season’s hottest trends you can make all the decisions when it comes to style.

Pick your furniture wisely

Yes you may not have the biggest budget. After all city living can be expensive but it’s worthwhile picking your furniture very wisely. Too many people opt for the simple flat pack solution. Whilst it can look good it’s not always the most hardwearing. It also says nothing about your individuality. Try your luck in second hand shops or antique stores. There’s always the chance you’ll pick up a bargain on a unique piece. Giving this pride of place in your home says much more about you than the same coffee table all your neighbours have.

Whilst space saving furniture is great, it’s not always comfy. Remember, your aim is to make the place feel like home. By choosing comfort over space you’ll probably have to buy less to avoid feeling cramped. But you will be able to splash out a little more on what you do buy.

Get things on the wall, quick… but not too quick 

When you move in somewhere, you usually deal with the walls last, waiting until you’ve got all the furniture in place before you start hanging pictures. Yes you need to pick the perfect spot, but don’t wait too long. Make it one of your first tasks and it will feel homely very quickly. Choose carefully and put things up that say something about you.