How to throw the Ultimate Christmas Party

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and we’re so excited to bring you our Christmas Party guide. We’re including all our must haves for the ultimate Christmas party – whether it’s on Christmas Day or a friendly gathering.

Decorations

If you’re the host this year, you’re going to want to impress – right? It’s easy to set the scene for a Christmas Party. You’re going to need to put up a tree, choose a colour theme and put up some garland and lights around your house. If you’re looking for some festive but completely unique ornaments, Angel and Boho have exactly that. Check out their gold string leaf lights or pick up their precious pine cone baubles. If you love their stuff, be sure to sign up for their incredible updates and offers, here.

Drink

After you’ve decorated the tree, hung the wreaths and strung the lights, it’s time to think about the drink. What’s a Christmas party without an array of festive alcohol?! We’re going to go with the most obvious and say a pot of mulled wine is a great statement drink for a Christmas party. We’re going to give you a little how-to, don’t worry.

Pick a red wine that delights, whether mulled or not. If you’re struggling, Rude Wines has the most incredible selection of fine wines. Plus, they have incredible deals at this time of the year.

  1. Add the mulled wine to saucepan with half an orange (sliced), 60g of brown sugar, a bay leaf, one cinnamon stick and a teaspoon of grated nutmeg.
  2. Heat gently until all of the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Et Voila – you’re finished.

This simple yet show-stopping mulled wine will really set your party apart from the rest. Sign up to the Rude Wines newsletter to get incredible wine deals, direct to your inbox.

Food

What’s a party without delicious food? If you’re looking for ease, party food is the way to go, but if you want something a little more warming and personal, it’s not much harder to make a huge batch of chilli. Throw some potato wedges into the over and leave your chilli simmering on the stove-top. It’s sure to be a crowd pleaser!

If you’re looking for a special addition to your delicious chilli, head over to Spicers to choose yourself an affordable but super luxury Christmas hamper. Because who doesn’t like delving into a salted caramel hamper?

Entertainment

This is a great one because, in all honesty, you don’t need to do much to entertain people. Once they’re surrounded by friends and family, enjoying their food and have the drinks flowing, people tend to keep themselves entertained.

Make sure you throw some classic Christmas music on maybe leave out some instruments (if you have any), so people who can play, will play. Everyone loves a good sing-along! If you’re wanting some backup entertainment, get the Mr and Mrs game out, play some heads up (Christmas themed) and let the arguments begin!

So that’s it, that’s your Christmas party plan done. You can layback, grab yourself a drink and delegate now.

 

 

October Favourites | Editors Pick

As October has come to an end – and yes, we know, it’s flown by – we’re here with our must-haves of October. This month is a fashion edit and so we’re bringing you all our favourite items of October – the things we loved best and couldn’t live without through the month of October.

We obsessed (and still are obsessing) over this Teddy Bear Coat from Yumi. With Teddy Coats popping up all over the place right now, it’s super hard to find a one that will last through the Winter without falling apart or going bobbly. A lot of the ones we’ve tried out are also super scratchy and not quite as soft as they look. Either that or they’re priced way out of our comfort zones. This coat from Yumi is unreal. Head on over to Yumi for a sneak peek, we won’t tell anyone.

Continue reading “October Favourites | Editors Pick”

Winter Work Wear Essentials

The weather has spoken and as Jon Snow would say, winter is coming (it’s basically here, we know). At this time of year, we know how important it is to feel cosy – even when you’re at work! We’re here to lend a helping hand and help you look great but feel cosy during these Winter months.

Turtlenecks & Roll-Necks

Roll or Turtle neck jumper under a suit / tweed jacket

Let’s be honest, wearing a turtleneck is like receiving a big hug every second of the day. They’re not only cosy, but they look good. Pair a long-sleeved roll neck thin knit with a pair of paper bag trousers if you’re woman or some slim-fit suit trousers if you’re a man, slide on some black boots and throw on some cute gold accessories or a statement watch and you’re in for one cosy (but stylish) day in the office.

Take a look at Moss Bros Wine Merino Wool Roll-Neck Jumper for men here and sign up for their newsletter for even more stylish Winter pick, right here.

Dress up this Cotton Stripe Roll Neck from Lands’ End with a cute wool blazer and keep yourself warm and looking good through this season. If you love their stuff, order their catalogue here for deals and updates on their clothing.

Winter boots

Annabelle Fleur of the Viva Luxury Blog in the TIELAND in Black Suede.

We love UGGs as much as the next person, but, for some reason, they aren’t work-attire – I know, crazy! So, we’re talking about investing in a good quality pair of cosy smart boots – perfect for office wear, meetings and a nice dinner with the partner.

Walktall has men with big feet sorted and we’re in love with these Chatham Aplin Boots – don’t they just look cosy as heck?! Sign up to their newsletter for incredibly BIG deals on their selection of large shoes.

These Ring Pull Cleated Ankle Boots from Select Fashion are to die for. We’re seriously loving these and know they’ll keep your feet super warm – looks like there is definitely room for a fluffy sock. They have great savings in their newsletter if you’re looking for a bargain!

Cable Knits

Burberry London Cable Knit Sweater

You’re probably wondering how a cable knit can possibly pass as work wear right? We’re here to tell you that it’s possible and it’s actually quite easy. Pair a beautifully chunky pink cable knit (we like this one from Yumi) with a pleather black skirt, some wool tights and your new boots and you’ve got a cosy, but sophisticated work look. Their newsletter is filled with great winter fashion inspo!

If you’re a guy who isn’t quite feeling the pleather skirt, we have you covered too. Choose a light-coloured chunky knit, like this one from Culture Vulture and pair it with a slim-fit shirt (collar out), some tailored chinos and some brogues and you’ve got yourself a smart but warm work look. If you like Culture Vulture as much as we do, order their catalogue – they have loads more great winter fashion picks just waiting for you.

Hopefully, these ideas have given you enough inspiration to create the most stylish but, most importantly, cosy outfits for work this Winter. Be sure to send us pictures of your outfits – we’d love to see them.

5 Things to do with your kids this Halloween

With Halloween right around the corner, it’s a good time to start planning this year’s Halloween event for the kids! If you, like us, are Halloween crazy, then you’ll probably want to make it super special for your little ones. We’re here to give you some super simple ideas for the kids this Halloween.

Halloween Sleepover

This works no matter the age – it’s a tried and tested way to get the kids into the ghostly spirit. Arrange an old-fashioned sleepover with some of their friends, decorate the living room and leave a selection of spooky movies for them to watch. There are so many age-appropriate films for Halloween, so no matter their age, there’s a definite scary movie out there for them. We’re all about going all out so be sure to request a theme and get the kids to come in spooky, Halloween inspired PJ’s like the ones over at Lands’ End Kids – it’s sure to be a winner.

Have a pumpkin picking party

 

This will be a pre-Halloween party, but what’s not to love! Get a group of their friends together and take the kids to a local (there are plenty across the whole of the UK) pumpkin picking farm and watch them go wild. Nothing is more fun (apart from trick-or-treating of course) on Halloween than picking out your own pumpkin. Most counties have plenty of farms that cater to pumpkin picking – The Lake District has a beautiful selection!

Have a pumpkin carving party

Whether you’ve picked your own pumpkins or popped over to the nearest supermarket, pumpkin carving is a massive part of Halloween. Print out a bunch of stencils for the kids (and yourself of course), cover the table and decorate the kitchen with spooky lights and bats and watch your little ones release their creativity. Truth is, you’ll probably have to finish theirs off for them or worst of all, scrape the seeds out because it’s far too “yucky” for them to do, but they’ll still have a blast.

Make your decorations

Creativity is what kids’ do, it’s what they love and what they remind us about every day. So why not make your household Halloween decorations this year? Head over to Bureau Direct Stationery to stock up on the essentials for your DIY party. Go wild with bats, ghouls, ghosts and witches – the more the scarier – and don’t forget orange and black is a must and glitter just makes it more fun.

Bake spooktacular treats

No season is complete without some fun home baked goods. We’re talking spooky cupcakes, toffee covered apples, ghostly cookies, toasted marshmallows and tons of orange frosting! Stock up that baking cupboard, get yourself some spooky cookie cutters and spend a few hours in the kitchen with the kids. You could even make it a Halloween baking party and invite their friends. Choose simple cookies and perhaps even pre-make or buy the cupcakes and let the kids decorate them – that’s the fun part after all!

Don’t forget that kids love a good old fashioned trick-or-treat session – how else will they ever get so many sweets in one go? Whatever you’re planning to do this year for Halloween, these ideas are a great accompaniment. Let us know in the comments what your traditions are for Halloween or what your children love to do this time of the year.

Top 4 Winter Staycations

Winter can be bleak. The days are short, the evenings are dark and it’s often raining quite a bit. Now, here at Catalink, we’re hoping for a bright, crisp winter – yes, the whole winter through. But just in case we’re being too optimistic, we’ve got the best answer to avoiding those winter blues.

There is no better way to get through those boring winter parts (obviously not Christmas), than with a cost weekend away in the countryside. Whether it’s a boutique hotel not too far from the hustle and bustle of London or a cosy cottage break in the peaks – it’s always a win-win.

If you’re a fan of a staycation or want to give it a go, have a look at what we’ve put together for you!

Nottinghamshire

imageedit_1_7804633401We’ll start with the obvious – a beautiful woodland break in the stunning peaks. If you love the idea of a cosy fire burning in the corner of the room, beautiful scenery surrounding you for miles, nature on your doorstep and endless incredible restaurants just waiting for you to indulge, Nottingham has you covered.

Whether you choose a break in the countryside of Nottingham or pick something a little more lively near the city centre, you’re sure to have the cosiest winter break in the beautiful county of Nottinghamshire.

Worcestershire

Fancy something utterly beautiful? Somewhere you can enjoy and discover heritage sites surrounded by stunning greenery and stunning waterways. Yeah, we’re totally game for that. Worcestershire offers one of the most beautiful staycations in the UK – full of gorgeous gardens, cute little B&B’s, spectacular castles and adorable cosy cottages, it’s sure to tick all those winter essentials.

Cornwall

Combine beautiful beaches (who doesn’t enjoy a winter beach walk), colourful fishing villages and quaint cobbled streets and you have yourself a getaway in the beautiful county of Cornwall. Choose a sea view from your breathtakingly beautiful seaside apartment, stroll through the sand with a coffee in hand or eat your weight in delicious foods from any of the surrounding restaurants. HF Holidays offer a selection of incredible staycations in the beautiful Cornwall – don’t be a stranger, go check them out!

The Lake District

Cosy cottages, beautiful views and picturesque walks – why would you not want a winter break in the beautiful Lake District? Put some logs on that fire, get out your cosy winter slippers and warm yourself up with a delicious hot chocolate. Heart of the Lakes offers unique and cosy winter stays in the beautiful Lake District – you’ll never want to go home!

All there is to do now is choose a location (we won’t judge if you choose all of them), pick a companion and head out for an incredibly wintery stay in the beautiful countryside!

5 Autumn Essentials

It has arrived. The leaves are turning yellow and drifting to the floor, the evenings are drawing in, the mornings are cooler, and the coats are being dusted off. Yep, that’s right, Autumn is here. Here at Catalink, we’ve got the jumpers at the ready, blown the dust off our favourite pumpkin candles and pulled the tights out from the bottom drawer. We’re ready. That’s why we thought we’d help those of you that aren’t so ready, get ready.

Here are our 5 must have Autumn essentials:

CANDLES

We’re talking pumpkin spice, crushed leaves, woodland and fresh breeze type candles. No Autumn is complete without a new, delicious smelling candle – preferably in a beautiful jar, with those burnt woodland colours laced throughout. If you’re not a candle person, well, what is wrong with you. How can you not be a candle person?! Check out Garden Trading’s Orange & Cinnamon Candle for a little bit of something delicious.

SCARVES

Shall we call them scarves or little miniature blankets that wrap you in a feeling of warmth, comfort and happiness. You may think we’re being overdramatic, but we’re not. Come on in and join the world of pure happiness when you envelope yourself in an incredible scarf from Johnstons of Elgin. Their cashmere scarves are not only cosy and super soft, but they’re also elegant and incredibly beautiful – they are the perfect addition to a cosy Autumn outfit.

COSY THROWS

Picture this: you’ve arrived home from work, you’re tired and looking forward to a wind-down evening in front of the TV. You eat a deliciously warming bowl of chilli, get into your comfies and take off your makeup. You’ve already selected the viewing material for the night and the kettle has just been whacked on – the choccy digestives are at the ready. Everything is perfect, but you feel a slight chill! You’re not cold enough to grab the duvet from upstairs but you’re cold enough to need a little something over those legs. Yep! You guessed it; it’s throw time. Imagine a cosy, autumnal throw placed oh so beautifully over your lap whilst you sit and enjoy your relaxing, evening in front of the TV.

Have we sold it to you yet? If so, check out the beautiful range of throws AHF Furniture has to offer!

WARM DRINKS

If you’re a real Brit, we’re talking about a perfectly brewed cup of tea! If your perfect Autumnal evening in doesn’t include a cup of tea, coffee or a hot chocolate (what a naughty little treat) then are you even having a cosy night in? Whether you’re at work, back home for the evening or have just woken up with a sleepy head; Autumn is the perfect time to re-introduce your favourite winter drinks into your diet. Head over to Nothing But Tea to have a browse of a huge range of delicious teas!

THE COAT

Well, well, well, it’s that time of the year again. If you’re like us, we like to invest in a new coat every single year. We’re not saying it’s a necessity… oh okay, we are. It’s a necessity. There is nothing that can transition you more perfectly into Autumn than a shopping session for a new coat. Select Fashion have an incredible – and we mean it when we say incredible – range of coats for the AW18 season. Not only that, but their prices are super affordable!

So, there you have it – are you more excited for those leaves to fall than you were before you began reading this? If so, our job here is done. If not, well, we’re not sure anyone can help you, but the rest of our website may. Head over to Catalink.com to explore a whole bunch of free catalogues, brochure and newsletters – we’re sure you’ll find something to make you happy!

 

How to Give Your Man a Makeover

Do you often look at your man and think that a makeover would be revolutionary? It’s not that you think they’re unattractive – duh! It’s simply the thought that a few simple nips and tucks would really transform him.

If you ever find yourself thinking this, but just don’t know where to start, we’re here to give you a little helping hand. These top tips are the best way to get that makeover ball rolling.

The face

Whether your man sports a thick and straggly beard, a little dash of stubble or thinks he is clean shaved, he probably can improve what he thinks is already pretty good. You know that saying: you don’t want it until you’ve had, well this is exactly that.

Take him to the barbers – choose one that is actually decent and has friendly, helpful staff. Get him in for a beard trim (we’ll talk hair later) and let the barber work his magic. With the help of some trained professionals, his beard will transform into a neat, sexy and tidy masterpiece.

If he’s ‘clean shaven’, get the barber to really clean shave him – they’ll be a difference.

It’s all about creating a canvas so that he can follow on and continue to make masterpieces. Once you’ve made that canvas, it’s time to get him the tools to turn it into a masterpiece everyday.

The Executive Shaving Company offers a range of high-quality male grooming products that will be truly revolutionary for your man. Once he has the tools, they’ll be no stopping him!

The hair

Hair products are not just for women. It’s important that every guy has their own, personal hair products that they can use every day – designed for their hair type and their needs. This is a must for any man’s bathroom essentials.

Get your man the products that he needs to tame his mane! Head over to The Beauty Store and order those important products today. If he has dry hair – find something made for that, if he has dandruff – find him something that will solve this.

All you have to do is give him the tools to work his mane and get it in shape.

The clothes

Oh, the clothes. If you love shopping (for yourself), you’ll probably love shopping for your guy just as much – okay, probably not as much, but you’ll still enjoy it.

Start simple – choose plain T’s, paired with rolled up shorts, slim fitted jeans and a classic pair of everyday shoes. Vans are a safe option – they’ll look good with everything and are super comfy and stylish. Walktall have a range of Vans, Nikes, Adidas and Converse shoes. Head on over to explore their range that will for sure fit your man’s large feet.

A refresh of their wardrobe can be simple, super easy and doable – if he’s resistant to change, starting with simple changes is perfect. However, if you’re all about going in all or nothing, head over to Moss Bros for an affordable range of shirts, suits and occasion wear – they do have casual wear, but we’ll keep quiet about that.

Now you have the tools, there’s nothing to stop you – enjoy every minute of it and share your transformations with us on our socials. Use the hashtag #catalinkstyle so we can find your images!

 

5 Ways to make your office space happier

So, you’re working hard, in the office and when you’ve finally taken a break, you realise that your desk (or office, if you’re that lucky) is super boring. Whether you work from home, have a small desk in the corner or have your own entire office (again, you’re lucky), it’s so important to make sure your working space makes you feel good.

Here are a few tips and tricks on how to spruce up your office space!

Get a plant

Now, we’re not talking about the biggest plant of all time – don’t go bringing a massive palm tree into the office, unless of course you’re up for explaining it to your boss. Find yourself a pretty little succulent and place it on your desk for a perfect bit of happiness. Trust us, you’re going to look at that plant and smile every time!

If you’re not sure a live plant is the best option, you can always get yourself a perfectly beautiful fake one – some of those really do look real. Décor-Us has an incredible selection of office plants that have us feeling all kinds of happiness.

Motivational Posters

Everyone loves a motivational quote – “work hard, dream big….” – yeah, we know, cheesy. But guess what? They really do make you feel better. Plus, most of them are colourful, artsy and actually help to motivate you.

We say, save yourself some cash and print off your favourite from Pinterest, blu-tack it to the wall and you’re done.

Artwork

Art is so broad, it’s easy to find a little something that suits your needs and taste. Figure out what kind of things you really like and what kind of art you’d love to look at every day and hang it up. If you can’t hang it in your office, just lean it against your cubby-wall. Whether it’s a poster, a framed painting or a little postcard with a pretty scene on it – it’s bound to cheer you up. Check out Bureau Direct for a range of office art.

Calendars

Um blog sobre coisas lindas e bem mulherzinha.It’s needed on a day to day basis, so why not get yourself a fancy one? Now, we know that most of your work life consists of a computer and everything can be found online – including a calendar, but if there is still space on your wall or desk, why not get yourself a pretty little calendar. You can find all kinds these days!

Knick Knacks


We are not condoning desk clutter, but we do think there is a little something special about having cute ornaments or trinkets on your desk. Culture Vulture has some unique desk trinkets, lighting and all kids of fun things to spice up your office space with. If you’re into lions, why not get a little mini lion, find yourself a trinket box that can hold your rings when you fancy freeing up your fingers or get yourself a Buddha, so you can have a little chuckle at his chubby, happy face, every morning.

You spend so much time at work, at your desk or in your office, so why wouldn’t you want to make it your own space?! Don’t wait any longer, get searching for your new office accessories today!

5 Places to travel before you turn 30

Turning 30 is always a big deal – to most at least. Whether it’s your mates winding you up about being old or yourself panicking about not having achieved much; there’s always some sort of impending doom vibe that goes along with the big three zero. Here at Catalink, we wanted to add a little brightness to the dreaded 30th birthday. Why not make something good about turning 30; whether it’s a couple of years away or a couple of months.

So, we’ve put together a list of places you must travel before you turn 30. Now, we’re not saying you have to manage them all (especially if you turn 30 in the next couple of months) but try to tick off at least one – you won’t regret it.

Travel through Europe

Europe is far beyond what you expect – there is so much more than meets the eye and I’m sure you haven’t even scratched the surface of it yet. With such a diverse and broad offering, what better way to get through it quickly and affordably then Interrailing? If you’re more into flying, you can still manage to explore incredible sights on a budget. Check out our range of travel holiday brochures here or have a look at Shore2Shore Europe Holidays for a great range of holidays throughout Europe!

Scale a Height

Whether you’re into your fitness or not, scaling one of the worlds most famous heights is something that we all should tick off our bucket list. Plan the most perfect travel holiday with an end result of hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. With sights that will take your breath away, culture like no other and stories that will keep your imagination running wild, Machu Pichu is a must for everyone. If you’re more into mountains, head over to our site to see what Scottish Mountain Holidays can do for you.

Travel through South East Asia

Back packing through South East Asia either alone or with friends is the first trip for many travellers for many reasons – it’s not only easy to travel around, but incredibly beautiful. Head to Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos and make the most incredible memories. If you’re looking for some inspiration, Wendy Wu has the brochure just for you.

Road trip the Americas

If you’ve been to America before, you’ll know that it’s full of great food, interesting landscapes and endless fun – and that’s only in Disney World. Seriously though, pick your most desired region, hire a car and get road-tripping. We have endless brochures like America as You Like it, that can help you figure out exactly where you want to go.

Live in a Campervan

Whether you’re in Australia, New Zealand or Asia, the idea of living in a campervan and traveling to the most beautiful and remote parts of a country is appealing to many – including us here at Catalink. Before you hit 30 and realise that you enjoy duck down pillows, travelling through a country in a campervan is a must. Anzcro Australia has a variety of cool alternative holidays that you’re sure to love!

So, there we have it, 5 great ways to spend the last few years of your 20s. If you’re more into relaxing holiday with beds, you can still do all of the above – simply, in style. Head over to our website and have a look at the huge variety of free holiday brochures we offer and start planning before the impending 30s hit hard.

 

 

5 Things to do when it’s sunny!

We’re going to continue the theme of sunshine, because, well, this is an event us Brits never thought we’d see – more than three days of summer. As it’s due to get very hot and sunny again, we thought we’d give you some great tips on things to do whilst the sun is around.

Head to the beach

There aren’t many occasions in England where we can lay on a British beach in our swimwear and not shiver and hide under a damp towel. So as this heatwave continues, we think this is the best opportunity to head the beach – windbreaks, picnic basket and kids in tow. Plus, there are always loads of things to do at the seaside; place such as Great Yarmouth have a little something for the whole family.

Make a night of it!

We tend to forget that throughout the UK, we have some incredible places to visit, so why not make the most of the sunshine and plan a staycation! Obviously, here at Catalink, we love a staycation, and that’s why we have so many options on offer for you to explore. Why not take a drive over to Nottingham and explore Sherwood forest – did you know, it’s the home of Robin Hood?  There are some great spots for summer walks. Or pop over to Southport and explore their beautiful coastline – fish and chips for sure!

BBQ

Come one! It’s a tried and tested classic! If you’re yet to have a BBQ this year, then firstly, what are you doing and secondly, it’s time. Dust off the grills or peel the plastic off that disposable BBQ and cook (possibly burn) some sausages. BBQs are the best opportunity to invite some friends and family over, chill out over a burger and drink copious amount of beer and Pimm’s. Nothing says British summer like a chargrilled sausage with lashings of tomato sauce and mustard.

Dining al fresco

Find a park, or if you’re lucky enough to have a beautifully size back garden, choose that. Grab yourself a picnic blanket, rustle up some scrummy picnic food – we’re talking, triangle sandwiches, sausage rolls and pork pies – grab some bevvies and enjoy the most chilled, simple picnic around. It’s a must. Check out Garden Trading’s incredible garden décor if you’re planning a garden dinner.

Head to the pool

If you’re lucky enough like us here in Cambridge, slide into your fave bikini or swimsuit (we love Fantasie’s swimwear collection), find an outdoor pool, throw your towel down and soak up the rays – after all, we don’t know how much time we have with the sunshine. If you get too hot, it’s no worry, just take a dip in the pool. We know, It’s such a brill idea!