Time To Shape-Up Your Relationship?

GUEST BLOGGER, Sue Saker, The Couples Coach, gives us some top tips to help you put a bit of sparkle back into your relationship:

Holiday time is approaching which often means spending more time than usual with our loved ones.  In theory that’s great but it can also highlight tensions or show that all you ever talk about is the kids, logistics and work - not the most stimulating topics! Here are 3 quick tips from Life Coach Sue Saker help get the love party going again.

  1. Sort out your ratios.  Healthy, supportive relationships have far more positive interactions (‘I like that tie on you’) than negative ones (‘Yuck, that’s a really big boil’) and 5:1 is a good ratio to aim for.  Look for ways to appreciate your partner - thanking them for doing everyday things, complimenting them and acknowledging where they’ve tried.  It might feel one sided but gradually you should see an improvement in how you are relating to one another.
  2. Think positive thoughts each day about your partner.  Set a daily reminder and think of as many great things as possible - do they shop / cook for lovely meals?  Do they make you laugh?  Do they book great holidays?  Are they kind? Are they an enthusiastic parent?  Keep choosing to focus on the good stuff and you’ll find yourself loving them more.
  3. Book up date nights.  It sounds simple but spending time together is so important. If you can’t afford a babysitter then offer to swap with a friend. Or declare one night a week as an indoor date night.  Switch off the gadgets (yep that does include the ipad!) and have fun talking, playing, connecting.

Enjoy yourselves!

Sue Saker
The Couples Coach

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

Avoid Gaining Excess Baggage This Holiday

If you’ve spent the last few months working hard to get your beach body ready for action, the last thing you want to do is see the pounds pile back on whilst you’re on holiday. Here are a few tips to avoid turning from beach babe to beached whale:

Count Your Cocktail Calories

Depending on how it’s made, a large Pina Colada can contain more calories than a Big Mac (490 calories), so make shrewd choices when you’re checking-out the cocktail list.  Better still, rather than a cocktail, opt for spirits such as vodka, whiskey or gin and have them on the rocks, or with a low calorie mixer, sipped not gulped!

Drink plenty of water to keep you both hydrated and feeling full. Add lemon or lime and ice-cubes to make it more appealing. Never use alcohol to try and quench your thirst, an ice cold beer may taste refreshing, but it won’t do your hydration levels or waistline any good!

Select, Seduce And Stay Slim

Holidays aren’t the time for strict diets, so do allow yourself some treats. Calorific indulgences should, however, be something that you’re really going to enjoy, rather than just a stale bit of sweet bread, so spend time selecting the best treat you can possibly find.

Don’t rush, holidays are all about slowing down and taking it easy. Allow yourself to be seduced by your food, enjoy everything about it including the presentation, aroma, texture and taste. By literally savouring every mouthful, you’ll end up eating far less and enjoy your food a lot more.

Restaurant Rules

In the restaurant, avoid munching on the mountains of free bread that you’re given. Save yourself for your meal, it’ll taste much nicer if you haven't already binged on tastless snacks first. If you’re waiting for a course to come, use the time to re-fresh your palette with some sin-free water.

Try not to have a starter, a pudding and a high calorie alcoholic drink all in one sitting. Opt for one out of the three or just go for the main meal. Remember that a couple of cocktails and a dessert everyday could add half a stone to your waistline by the end of a week!

If you’re on an all-inclusive holiday, keep reminding yourself that just because it’s all paid for, it doesn’t mean you have to eat it all. And don’t take the “all-you-can-eat buffet” idea too literally!

It’s All About Balance

Finally, try to make some healthy choices everyday, but make sure it doesn’t become a chore that ruins your holiday. Make a concerted effort to balance out any extra calories that you take on, by being as active as possible. Plan to swim and walk everyday, and take advantage of any fitness classes that might be going on, or a gym that you could use.  

Enjoy your holiday, have fun and don’t forget to pack your trainers!


PS. You’ll find some more holiday tips in my 2008 article: Forget Credit, You’re The One Who Should Be Crunching This Summer

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

Do's And Don’ts Of Holiday Dressing

GUEST BLOGGER, Anita Feron Clark, An Award Winning Personal Stylist, Talks About How To Look Good On Holiday.

Brits Voted 'Worst Dressed On Holiday'

According to a survey by,  "the British have been voted the worst-dressed on holiday". To be fair to our nation, we're not accustomed to long hot summers so our wardrobes aren't geared up for warm weather. We know we need to be cool and comfortable and that often takes priority, but with a little thought and effort we can learn to be more stylish in the sun.

Think Comfort And Style

The body swells in the heat so do choose lightweight, natural fabrics but don't sacrifice style completely for comfort.

Do think about what clothes make you feel good; holidays are for relaxing but also for pampering and feeling good about yourself. Don't get lazy and fall into the 'baggier is better' trap.

Lighter shades and white can look great in sunnier climates, but pastels and beige all over doesn't work for everyone and can wash you out completely. Don't forget to take your good colours with you.

You do need shoes that are appropriate for the heat. If you don't like sand in your toes, wearing socks with your sandals is not the answer! It's either good flip flops or sandals with no socks, but if you really don't like them then get some lightweight plimsoles and wear tennis socks that don't go up the ankle.

What To Look For

Don't assume that everything in your favourite retailer's holiday range will suit you and that you will find your entire holiday wardrobe in one shop.

Do try to plan your outfits and think about items that can be worn from the beach to the bar. For ladies, a stylish below the knee kaftan in a good colour can easily be dressed up with a change of shoes and some accessories.

Don't forget that you need to look good on the beach too, just like all the locals do. Do treat yourself to a couple of good bikinis/costumes/swimming trunks and a few good cover-up pieces such as a sarong, shorts, beach dress etc.

Do take some smarter clothes for the town or going out at night. Ladies, don't forget a bit of a heel, a couple of dresses and some tasteful accessories. Gents, some modern short sleeved shirts and a lightweight jacket will spruce up your look.

Do follow the European style example and choose fewer, better quality items that you know you look good in rather than taking masses of clothes and shoes you're not sure really suit you and are unlikely to wear.

Key Holiday Pieces

The Kaftan
Still a holiday winner. Good for most body shapes as the fabric is usually fine and glides nicely down both curvy and straight figures. Choose one in a colour that really flatters you. Take care with size and pattern.

The Maxi Dress
Even more popular this year. It can be tricky on petites (too much volume or length) or big busts with small hips (sizes that fit the bust will be bigger elsewhere so can add unnecessary bulk) but shop around, there are plenty to choose from. The skirt should be just skimming the floor, not halfway up your ankle or tripping you up.

White Trousers
White is big for summer and is a fabulous holiday look. You can go head-to-toe white if it works for you, or team it with your favourite seasonal shades. Choose lightweight cotton or linen and wide leg, palazzo or peg cuts to keep you cool. Take care with the transparency factor and the VPL.

Utility, Tapered Or Harem Trousers
Don't panic! You don't have to don the full army/masculine/desert look, there are simpler variations on these styles. They are airy, comfortable and can be rather elegant. If you are wider on the hips or short in stature then minimise details such as zips, pockets, draping and volume, and always wear with a heel. They look great in khaki, stone, grey or white, all of which are easy to pair up with colours or metallics.

Do You Always Struggle With Your Holiday Style?

If you find planning your clothes for holidays hugely stressful, you would benefit from some expert advice on managing your wardrobe. Just a couple of hours with Anita Feron Clark will help you understand what works for you and how to shop smart. You will also learn how to balance keeping cool and comfortable with looking stylish on your holiday. Visit to find out more.


Posted by Heather Waghorn.