5 New Years Resolutions You Can Keep

New year, new me, blah blah blah. We’re all guilty of saying it and perhaps not really doing it. But! We thought this year it was time for a change. Instead of setting silly goals that we know we won’t accomplish or that aren’t even that healthy or great for us, we wanted to set some New Years Resolutions that really matter.

Designate Electronic Free Time

It’s about time you weren’t obsessed with a smart device. Not only is constant screen-time bad for our bodies and minds it’s also bad for our general well-being, happiness and social life. Choosing a slot in your day – whether it be 10 minutes or an hour – to go digital free and spend some real time in the real world, is a great New Years Resolution that will make you feel so much better in every aspect of your life.

 Take ‘me-time’

With such a busy and hectic lifestyle, it’s hard to find the downtime where you simply rest and reset. Finding the time in a day or even a week to delegate time to yourself is vital if you want to keep your mind happy and healthy. Sometimes, the best time we have is alone time.

Help others

2019 is a great year to start helping others. Whether you choose to help a charity, a cause or a friend, you should actively look for things that you can do that will help better or improve someone else’s life. This will not only help you feel great but will help others to feel better – and there is no better feeling than improving someone’s day!

Read

Instead of watching six episodes of Friends or binging the entire series of Game of Thrones (which we do recommend doing at some stage in your life), opt for a book. We know it’s a pretty simple suggestion, but it is one that will change your life. Reading a chapter, page or whole book every week will keep your brain engaged, whilst helping you feel relaxed and rested. Plus, there are so many incredible books out there that are made for you – you just have to find the right one.

Educate yourself

Make time for education – whether this be via the News, a class or a new hobby. Make a conscious effort to read the news, dedicate your time to learning something new or choose an educational podcast. Our minds are incredible, and they thirst for new knowledge – feed your brain and you’ll soon reap the rewards. There is nothing bad about new knowledge – once you learn and listen, you can not only make informed decisions, but you can help others do the same.

Now all you have to do is action these words and you’ll be on the way to a better you and a better year.

Happy New Year from all of us here at Catalink!

November Favourites | Editors Pick

Another month and more favourites from our editors. We’re talking all thing homeware today – we know, we’re super excited too.

If red and greens are not your scene, what is your theme this Christmas? If you’re set on making your home beautiful all year round, not just for Christmas, you’re going fall (real hard) in love with this beautiful statement chair from Angel and Boho. We’re not saying this is just for the ladies because we think everyone should have a touch of pink in their lives. Plus, boys like pink too, are we right guys?! This Powder Pink Pleated Velvet Chair is the perfect addition to your home study. Finished off with delicate gold mid-century style legs, this is going straight in the basket.

 

Lighting is everything. The perfect selfie, the perfect cosy evening, the perfect atmospheric date night – lighting is what makes every moment and every room perfect. If you don’t have the right lighting, you’re probably not enjoying your moments as much as you could be. You’re right, that was quite dramatic, but we still think lighting is very important and hugely overlooked. That’s why when we saw this gem at Décor-us we knew it was a match made in heaven. The perfect kitchen island lighting has been found and it’s this gorgeous Antique Copper and Kitchen Lamp. At £75, we think it’s a steal – come on, it’s antique!


If Christmas time isn’t the best time of year to switch out that boring duvet set, we don’t know what is. Seriously, it’s time to treat yourself to a new duvet set – whether it’s Christmas themed or not, you need one. What’s more incredible than the feeling of FRESH SHEETS?! We have an answer – it’s this Alana Pale Grape VELVET Duvet Cover from Laura Ashley. We know, we outdid ourselves on this pick.

 

Our last, but most definitely not least favourite of November has to be this Fairmont Faux Fur Rug in Taupe. You don’t even need a sofa in your living room or a bed in your bedroom if you’ve got this bad boy. Yes, it’s that soft. It’s like a big cuddle from happy ol’ Nick! Fantastically fluffy and oh so soft, you’ll be obsessed with this rug just like we are!

That’s a wrap on our November favourites and although November flew by, we’re happy to be living the Christmas life right now. Stay tuned for our December favourites – that’s sure to be a good one.

If you’re looking for even more home inspiration, décor or just love to browse homewares (don’t worry, we all do), head on over to Catalink for a huge range of homeware companies – all in one place.

 

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.

 

 

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.

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 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!