Tag Archives: surprise

Are You Currently Engaged In Buying Your Engagement Ring?

Online shopping has been a game changer for the fashion industry. While many of us started skeptical, sizing charts and easy returns have converted even the doubters. And, there’s no denying it; getting clothes right to your door is bloody marvelous. As if that weren’t enough, we’re also now able to find any outfit our heart desires. Forget limited stock and terrible style; buying online means we can wear what we want when we want.

Despite these benefits, though, there are items many won’t make allowances for. Shoes are a big one. Many a customer wouldn’t dream of buying these without trying. Rings are also a point of contention. So much so that the idea of buying something as important as an engagement ring online could make you weak at the knees. Sorry to say, that’s precisely what we’re be looking at here.

engagement-ring-wedding-steffisays

Of course, we don’t all get to choose our engagement rings. Sometimes, our partners buy them as a surprise. But, more couples are now going down the practical route of acquiring a ring after the event. All the better for things like sizing and personal taste. And, you guessed it; it’s now possible to do even this online.

But, we know what you’re thinking. Surely this is a terrible idea? Not necessarily. There is undeniable room for error here. But, this could be the way to the right ring for you. And, all you need to do to avoid disaster is follow these three-pointers.

Know your ring size

As mentioned above, ring size is the reason many couples hold fire on buying. And, when you’re buying online, the risks only increase because you can’t try things on. You’ll also have to deal with longer readjustment wait times thanks to all that posting. In truth, though, this isn’t difficult to get right. All you need to do is head to sites like www.realsimple.com and size your ring before clicking buy. Take time here, and you’re in for better success rates than you may have in a physical store.

Choose the right retailer

The online retailer you choose also determines success. A site with few guidelines or customization options is sure to spell trouble. As can be seen from reviews like this one at https://diamondexpert.com/james-allen-review/, companies like James Allen are your best option thanks to their flexible selections. For the most part, you want to take time finding a company which takes your needs into account. That way, there’s little chance of the ring not being the way you want it.

Order in plenty of time

gift-engagement-present-surprise-steffisays

Even with the right retailer and sizing, there’s a slim chance you’ll need to send your ring back. And, by the time you’ve received, resent, and then received it again, time could be getting on. If you have an engagement party or some other deadline, then make sure to order well in advance. This ensures that any returns don’t spell trouble. It’ll also save you freaking out when the post-person arrives empty-handed again!

 

Advertisements

Belated 30th Birthday Post

Exactly five months ago, on the 16th of October, it was my birthday. My 30th.

We woke up in Scotland, because we discovered that we like traveling for our birthdays. It was a windy day! So much so, Hurricane Ophelia was visiting! This did not stop us from having a lovely day out in the countryside, visiting several castles and eating at Jamie’s Italian in Glasgow. For the first time in my life, I had a clear picture of where my life is going. I did not care where I am, I was just happy spending my day with the person who means the most to me.

In the past years, I always reflected on what I have achieved, but this time round, I reflected on my future; our future. It is true, that in the year 2017, so much has happened. For starters I went on so many holidays: Hungary, Bath UK, Wales, Romania, Denmark, Cornwall, Austria, Scotland and Germany! But the most important of all, I met Daniel who has turned my life upside down. My traveling partner, the love of my life! I finally found him, and I ain’t letting him go. 🙂

But most of all, this birthday was so significant to me because as my birthday gift, Daniel bought me a promise ring. As much as I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this man, I was still caught off guard. From then on, our path has become a little clearer. In fact, as of November, it’s been full-on planning for our big day coming up in 2019!

And folks, that is a happy ending right there!

Full-Blown Wedding Preparations

Last November, my partner and I decided on taking the next step in our relationship. Both being on the same page with regards to what we want in life, we started discussing on the biggest level of commitment two adults can show towards each other: marriage.

I would not get into the topic of a relationship vs marriage, as this is a topic for another blog post.

When we went to the wedding fair, which was coincidentally the next weekend after our “big talk”, we wwedding dayere so unprepared! We had no idea on a date, venue, or setup. We walked aimlessly in the fair, stocking up on leaflets until we saw the stall of what would be our venue of choice. We knew right there and then, this was it. We did not have to discuss it, we did not have to argue. It felt right, the one.  Upon deciding, we made a list of its availability in June and July 2019. It was then that we were told that couples have already started booking for 2020. That’s 3 years before the wedding. Wow!

The next day, early Saturday morning we made our way to our ideal chapel, which is in close vicinity to the venue. Luckily, the chapel was available on the same day of our preferred wedding day, the 19th of July 2019. Feeling like this was meant to be, we quickly made our chapel reservation and phoned the venue to confirm.

We did keep our wedding date a secret for a whole month, before we got our parents together to tell them the news! It was one of the hardest things we had to do… Keeping the most exciting and most important day of our lives to ourselves. But it was all worth it when we saw our parents cheering and hugging us. They kind of knew something was up, but they never thought this was the news we wanted to share.

wedding

 

Favourite things

We all have our passions and our favourite things in life.

I think I have always made it clear with all those who know me, that nature and medieval / gothic buildings are close to my heart; my inspiration. It kind of ties in with why I enjoy traveling so much, and why it is one of the few things in life which relaxes me and make feel at ease.

Fact: at least two thirds of my photos on social media cover these topics,  so don’t act surprise on what you are about to read!

When I bought my 300 year old house,one of the things I fell in love with is the courtyard. Although not huge in size, it is very homey and it had one gorgeous tree which flowers so many times a year. It felt like it was my own private garden. I was so happy to have found such a serene and beautiful place.

In the past 3 years, I have kept the yard as green as I could, considering that I work full-time and my gardening knowledge is not the best around. I have maintained and kept alive all the plants which came with the house and added a few new ones too!

Too many times, I have had tea outside, admiring the calm and peace of my safe place. At times, even birds came by.  My little peace of heaven!

bougainvilleaBut this week, the unthinkable has happened. My beautiful bougainvillea tree was snapped from the bottom of its trunk due to the winter winds. And now, I feel like I have lost a part of me. I must say, it has been a shitty start to the new year. The courtyard feels so empty now, and what’s worse is that I have spent three days chopping down this gorgeous healthy, full grown tree. It’s painful that I have to do this; putting it into boxes for the bin-man to take away in the morning.

And for those who think I am being dramatic, imagine that your favourite thing in the world is broken and is irreplaceable. (you will not find the exact replica) How would you feel then?

8 things to strengthen one’s relationship

Given the last 13 years of somewhat unsuccessful relationship “experience”, I have tried to gather and combine a list of things or tips, which I think would make or help in having a satisfying and working long term relationship.

  1. Honesty; Possibly the most important thing of all. Always be honest and truthful to each other, on all things in your life, be it as a couple or individual. Honesty helps you feel more comfortable and assured on where you stand in your love affair.
  2. Be respectful – Mutual respect is important in maintaining a healthy relationship. The wishes and feelings of each other are valuable even when you disagree. Be genuine and show interest in your partner’s life and hobbies – such things can only bring you closer as a couple.
  3. Trust – This is the foundation of a happy and fulfilling relationship. It take time to build trust and can be lost in a split of a second if one feels betrayed. Examples of being trustworthy are: being reliable and following up on your promises, share what you feel and always say the truth, be a safe place for your partner, be consistent (not only when it is convenient or things are going well).
  4. Be considerate – Keep each other in the loop, ask for holdinghandssunseteach other’s advise in decision making, especially when this will affect your life together as a couple.
  5. Affection – don’t just say that you love your partner; demonstrate it. Kiss each other good morning, be passionate, hold hands in public, take pictures together – make memories… surprise each other with a romantic date or a gift.
  6. Know your Priorities – Although we all lead busy lives, we should always find time for our partners. If you don’t see this as important, perhaps you should spend some time to think about this and why you are hanging onto a relationship which you don’t feel devoted to. If we all invest as much time on our relationship as we do texting, playing games, on social media and watching TV  or films, we might actually have a meaningful relationship.
  7. Security – Show that your partner can count on you to be there in times of need; be it emotionally or physically.
  8. Be a team  – You are stronger together, as a team. Make plans, ensure you have shared goals and same purposes and views long term. Work together.

yourman

What Does The Science Say About Staying Happy At Work?

A lack of happiness in the workplace is a big issue. So it won’t come as any surprise that scientists are trying to figure out what makes workers see the brighter side of life. Unhappy employees lead to high rates of absenteeism and high turnover and it all damages business’s bottom lines.

So how does one create a happy workplace? It all comes down to positive psychology and positive emotions. It’s the reverse to how we usually think about our mental wellbeing. We see mental health as all the things that can go wrong with our minds. But positive psychology is different, It asks what we can do to actively make ourselves happy.

wFlickr

The findings from this field are relevant and can be applied to the workplace. Let’s take a look at some of the field’s most pertinent conclusions.

Positive Emotions Are Contagious

In one study researchers wanted to find out if positive emotions were contagious. They set up a group situation and planted an actor in its midst. The actor was trained by the researchers to exude positivity in the group setting. The researchers found that the person acting positively transmitted their positivity to others. The group experienced less conflict, more cooperation and better performance in doing tasks.

It showed that being around positive people really does have an impact on workplace productivity and wellbeing. Being around happy people rubs off on the rest of us misery guts.

Small Actions Have A Big Impact On Personal Happiness

You might think that in order to achieve happiness, something incredible has to happen – like winning the lottery. But the evidence suggests that people react far more positively to the smaller things. This is great news for employers, as it means that they don’t have to spend vast sums of money trying to make their workers happier.

w2Flickr

Take bereavement for example. As the bereavement leave guide by Peninsula Group explains, employers don’t have a duty to provide workers with time off right now. But employers who allow compassionate leave can help to improve the wellbeing of their employees enormously. Small gestures like this are surprisingly effective. So too as things like making lists of all the good things a worker did or writing a letter saying how much a worker helped you.

The Unexpected Makes Us Happy

w3Flickr

When good things happen to us that we didn’t predict, it makes us a lot happier. The researchers found that people’s happiness centres lit up more on MRI scans when positive stimuli were unexpected.

At work, managers often create very predictable happiness programmes for their employees. They organise summer and Christmas parties. They give out bonuses. And they organise team events. But when it comes to happiness, this might not be the best strategy. It might be better, in fact, to make your happiness activities more random and to surprise your employees.

Random acts of kindness around the workplace seems to be the way to go. You could surprise a high-performing employee with a reward. Or you could give workers a surprise trip out of the office to a local theme park. The possibilities are endless.

So Many People Make These Mistakes With Their Trip To Canada: Don’t Be One Of Them!

Canada is one of the most popular countries in the world to visit. After all, it’s one of the most picturesque places you can go with dozens of lakes and mountains. And the cities are fantastic to take a look at with so much to see and do. However, so many people make mistakes with their vacation to Canada. Here are some things you should avoid doing when you make a trip to the country!

They don’t travel around by bike

You will be surprised how many people have to pay out to rent a car while on their holiday. But it’s often an essential while in Canada as you want to get out exploring while you are on your vacation. However, you should consider hiring a bike instead. While you are biking, you get to view amazing sights around you. Biking instead of going in a car means you can get to more secluded areas where you can see beautiful surroundings. Also, having a bike is so much easier to get around the cities such as Vancouver. Therefore, don’t make the mistake of hiring a car when you can get around much easier with a bike!

1forestbikeImage Credit

They think it’s the same as America

A lot of people group America and Canada together as the same place! But it’s not the same, and the rules differ. For example, you won’t be able to use your dollars in the country; they have their own unique currency (Canadian dollars). They also have different rules to the USA when it comes to drinking. A lot of places you can actually drink at 18, unlike our rule of 21. Also, not everyone speaks English in Canada. A proportion of the people in America speak French, so it’s best to learn some basic words for your trip. Also, just because you are American, it doesn’t mean you can legally get into the country with just your passport. You might need to apply for an Official Canada eTA so that you can make a trip to the country. You can look online to see if you are required to get one when traveling from your state. You don’t want to end up stuck at the airport as you don’t have the right documents!

They think everywhere is within close distance

Did you know that Canada is actually much bigger than America? It has fewer people living there, but there is a lot more land! In fact, it’s one of the largest countries in the world. However, a lot of people don’t realize that, so they head to Canada thinking that everything is within close distance. But you need to check exactly where you are staying and how far away things are located before you book. For example, Vancouver and Toronto are actually a five-hour flight away from each other! Therefore, choose wisely where you want to stay. If you want to enjoy Niagara Falls while on your trip, you should choose Toronto. That way, you can enjoy famous landmarks like the CN Tower, while only being an hour and a half away from the magnificent waterfall.

2river Image Source

And don’t just stay in the cities while you are in Canada. There is so much more on offer in the beautiful countryside.

Hunters; The Alien Invasion

When it comes to aliens, what could be scarier than aliens who look like humans? Aliens that are able to integrate well into the society – be it work, relationships, marriage, children… You wouldn’t be able to tell human from alien, and you can go on for years and decades not knowing that your partner is abnormal. Until suddenly, they receive a message, go mad and kill everyone in sight.

Sure a strange looking alien adds up to the scare/horror factor, but psychologically the thrill works out much better when you do not know if the person in-front of you is human or not.

Hunters-Syfy-TV-series-artwork

This is just a glimpse of the Sci-Fi TV Series I am watching, which goes by the name Hunters. The title is not a reference to the humans who are hunting the aliens; but rather Hunters are the new species in the world.

The TV Series is a good adrenaline rush, even if it was not made with the highest of budgets. The plot is great, especially when you get to episode 5 and I cannot wait to see what happens next. There are some twists which are a bit predictable, but most are not.

The TV Series is based on the book Alien Hunter written by Whitley Strieber.

The biggest shame is that this series was cancelled last month – I never understand why series are not given a chance to evolve before they are terminated. This definitely did have a future if promoted well and to the right audience.

Why you should watch Stranger Things

It has  been quite some time since I have made a TV Series recommendation but  in the past days I have come across two which are worth your time and consideration. Today, I shall talk about the much hyped new Netflix series “Stranger Things.

stranger-things.jpg

It has been in my to-do or, to-watch list since it was released, but I knew, that since it was just an 8-episode run, I had to watch them in one sitting. This means, it was ideal for an afternoon during the weekend, which is what I did on Saturday afternoon.

With the fact that Netflix have already announced a season 2, this sounded promising; now more than ever.

Before I give you a brief about this astounding, fast paced AND exiting series, here goes the official trailer:

 

Back to the point now, here’s some fun facts to help you get started on this series:

  • Winona Ryder is the main actress in this TV Series
  • The story-line is based in the 80s, so expect that some great music throughout – I was singing along!
  • The story is about a young boy’s disappearance in a very small town
  • The series is spooky, adventurous and very pop-culture in its own way
  • Supernatural vibe,which is THANKFULLY not over done
  • Have I mentioned creepy monsters yet?
  • Don’t worry about the fact that the cast is mostly children and teenagers – they have been very well selected.
  • The season finale gives us some answers yet leaves us in awe of what is coming

Questions:

  • Eleven. What happened to the ten before?
  • Will, will he be okay?
  • Is Chief Hopper legit?

May I just say that the hype on this series was for once very well deserved?

 

That day when my name made it on a billboard in London!

I never thought I’d see the day that my name would be on a billboard in London… I know it is not going to make a difference in my life or yours, but it is still a rather cool moment to treasure.

A few weeks back (or was it months? Gosh, time flies…), Lauren Aquilina who is an England based singer (with Maltese descendants) made a competition and I was actually one of the 2,000 fans which made it on the billboard.

Thankfully the designer was wise enough and wrote the names in alphabetical order, and so it didn’t take me long until I found my name on there.

Here is me making history, right next to Shepard’s Bush underground station, London.. hahaha…

Lauren Aquilina BillBoard Sheperd Bush London

And here is one of Lauren’s songs, because she deserves the promotion: