Get back to basics in your love life: Coleen Nolan’s relationship advice
It can be easy to let things slide by when you’re unhappy in your love life. But grab the bull by the horns and get things back to how they were when you were at your happiest. It’s never too late (most of the time).
1 Make time for each other
Put aside at least one day a week for both of you.
If you have children, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the kids’ lives, your job, your family, your friends and forget about your partner.
If you can’t spare a day, just spend an hour together in the park or the pub to remind each other why you’re together.
2 Lay the ground rules
If your home life is getting out of control, this is a good starting point and can be especially effective if you have children, either toddlers or teenagers.
So many things can stress you out at home and this way you can learn to stick together. Also, share the jobs around the house by devising a rota. Make each other’s life easier, and if you or your partner hates unloading the dishwasher, take it in turns.
3 Be sweet
Do something little to show how much your partner means to you.
I love going to card shops and sometimes I’ll see a card which says exactly what I want to say, so I buy it.
Try leaving a Post-it note on the fridge with a little message. It doesn’t have to be anything sloppy. It could just be ‘See you later’. At least it shows you are thinking of them.
Understand your partner and if he or she is quite emotional, respond to that need. For me, I love to hear the words: ‘I love you’.
4 Have a chat
It’s easy to slump in front of the television after a day at work or looking after the children but try not to do it every evening.
You must not forget how to communicate because once you stop discussing the little things, it’s a slippery slope. It doesn’t have to be a big talk about life, just about your day at work or holiday plans.
And it may sound old-fashioned but I do believe in not going to bed on an argument. Try to sort out any disagreements before hitting the hay.
5 If it’s not working, be realistic
If you’re sitting opposite someone at the table and you’re really not happy, never think you can’t move on.
Don’t stay with someone to please everyone else because life is too short. It’s brave to admit when a relationship is over, but if it’s not working, walk away.
What better way to embrace the joys of spring than with your other half? Throw caution to the wind and keep sparks flying through until summer.
Think slim and beat the bloat: Caroline Jones’ dieting advice
Slimming down doesn’t have to mean cutting out all your favourite foods. Clear out the cupboard, ditch those bad habits and incorporate some fresh seasonal food into your diet to see the slimmer you appear naturally in no time at all.
6 Sample spring superfoods
Feeling flabby after those long, lazy winter months? Adding some low-fat seasonal fruit and veg will have you looking leaner and feeling great.
If you eat with the seasons you’re buying food at its freshest so it contains the maximum amount of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It costs less than imported food, too.
Super spring foods to tuck into include asparagus, watercress and spinach – great with garlic and soy sauce in a stir-fry.
If you fancy something sweet, make a healthy fruit compote by lightly stewing spring rhubarb with blueberries and serve with fat-free Greek yoghurt.
7 Ditch winter comfort food
Bangers and mash and stodgy stews warm the tum on chilly days throughout the winter months, but try putting some leaner meals back on the menu for a while to help you shed those extra winter fat layers.
Soups, warm salads and pasta dishes crammed with delicious seasonal vegetables will all do the trick.
Fill your plate half with vegetables and devote a quarter each to carbs and lean protein like chicken or fish.
8 Energy-pack your snacks
To put a spring in your step, ditch the chocolate and biscuits and indulge in healthy options like these instead…
Raisins These are great energisers that provide intense sweetness without the blood sugar highs and lows you get from sweets and biscuits.
Kiwi fruit Rich in vitamin C, which becomes depleted when you’re feeling run-down.
Bananas Another great “power” snack. Packed with natural sugars and higher in starch than most other fruits, they provide a mixture of instant and slow-release energy.
9 Go nuts
In the mood for a savoury snack? Plumping for a handful of unsalted nuts could be the best diet move you ever make.
Although they do contain some fat, it’s the heart-healthy monounsaturated kind. Research shows that people who eat nuts several times a week tend to be slimmer than those who don’t, probably because they help keep us fuller for longer.
All nuts are nutritious, but a recent study found walnuts packed a particularly powerful nutritional punch, containing the most disease-fighting antioxidants.
Just seven nuts a day is enough to deliver the benefits, so try adding them chopped to your cereal in the morning or salads with your evening meal.
10 Turn off the TV dinners
Munching while watching the telly can result in a 40% boost in your calorie intake than usual, according to research.
That’s almost doubling your regular amount for every TV meal!
And it’s not just eating while watching the box. Texting, driving, or any other distracting activity can also result in you consuming more than you need. Get out of the habit by making every meal of the day something you actually have to put on a plate and sit down to eat.
11 Stop viewing foods as “bad”
Don’t ban any foods from your diet. Good nutrition is about making decisions that balance pleasure and moderation – not crash diets or total denial. The odd mini chocolate bar now and then doesn’t mean you have to abandon your diet. Hurray!
12 Add more colour to your plate
At this time of year we tend to put away those dark winter woollies in favour of a more colourful wardrobe. It pays to do a similar spring spruce up with your food, too.
The brighter and more varied the colours of the fruit and veg on your plate – think bright yellows, greens, purples and reds – the more loaded they are with wrinkle-busting antioxidants.
Need more incentive? A study this month by the University of St Andrews found that women who ate lots of yellow and orange veg had a healthier skin tone and were rated more attractive!
13 Eat protein at every meal
They’ve come in for some criticism, but it seems that high-protein Atkins and Dukan diets are on to something after all.
Protein is more filling than carbs or fats, and studies show it’s one of the best secret weapons for weight control.
14 Milk it
Instead of whole milk, switch to the 1% variety. If you currently consume just one 8oz glass of whole milk a day, over the course of a full year of drinking 1%, you’d lose an impressive 5lb!
15 Stop eating when you feel 80% full
This is a trick of the Okinawans, who inhabit remote islands off the Japanese coast.
Not only is obesity unheard of there, they also have the world’s highest number of people living beyond 100.
The 80% rule stops overeating as it takes about 20 minutes for the body to tell the brain you’ve had enough.
Spice up your sex life: Dr Miriam Stoppard’s love-making advice
16 An orgasm is an orgasm is an orgasm
Some couples feel only a simultaneous orgasm is perfect. But for most, this happens only now and then and sex is no less enjoyable. If you’re always needing to know where your partner is up to, you may not be able to climax at all.
17 Talk, talk, talk…
No one can know instinctively what his or her partner enjoys. We should let our partners know which caresses are most pleasurable by making encouraging noises, or moving a hand to the most sensitive spots.
18 Perfecting your technique
Men: be sensual as well as sexual and think of the pleasure you’re giving. Most women love foreplay and see hugs and kisses as the true signs of affection. Try to discover your partner’s most sensitive areas.
19 Playing up the foreplay
Satisfying lovemaking takes time. On rare occasions, you may be so aroused that you go straight to penetration, but usually a couple enjoys the gradual intimacies that kissing, undressing, petting, and oral sex provide.
20 Make sex equal
Women didn’t used to complain if their sex lives were unsatisfactory. Today, however, we are better informed with higher expectations. No one should underestimate the importance of a satisfactory sex life.
21 Be kind
Criticism of someone’s sexual performance can be very hurtful, and men are perhaps more vulnerable to such criticism than women. Be tactful and understanding.
22 STDs need not be a scourge
Go to the local clinic. Many have a counsellor who can advise you about treatment, a lifestyle change, and coming to terms with having a sexually transmitted disease.
Contact all previous sexual partners, too, as they may also be affected.
23 Sex can make any illness better
I don’t believe illness should rule out sex. First, take your doctor’s advice, and if there’s none against having sex then explore the possibilities together.
24 Sex with a stranger
Like most things, sex invariably improves with practise and familiarity of partner.
Most men can orgasm on the first occasion, but women rarely achieve climax with someone new. During the first time with a new partner, men should wear a condom.
Put a spring in your step: Fitness advice
25 Hit the nature trail
Enjoying the great outdoors can reduce depression and help boost self-esteem. Even walking for just 20 minutes can burn up to 100 calories and done regularly will improve fitness and body shape.
26 Get on your bike
Cycling is a great way to shape up and it’s easy to see why: it’s cheap, gentle on your joints, combats flab and is a great way to explore open spaces. Visit www.sustrans.org.uk to find your nearest cycle route.
27 Run for fun
Start running now and you could be in the shape of your life by summer. Sounds daunting? Don’t be put off by the idea that running is only for serious athletes – anyone can run if you start small.
28 Have a spring-clean
Been putting off that major clear-out? Classify it as exercise and get it done. Why not take out the contents of your cupboards? All that lifting and reaching will give you a great upper body workout.
29 Forget about sit-ups
Celebs swear they do 100 a day, but all that effort could be in vain. Experts think the only thing you need to perfect is the Plank. Lie face down then lift yourself up on your toes and forearms, with your elbows bent at 90 degrees. Hold for 10 seconds and build up to 40 seconds. Repeat three times a day.
30 Find a fitness buddy
Whether you’re trying to shed a few pounds or simply want to maintain a healthy lifestyle, all the evidence shows that exercising with a friend or loved one increases your chances of success.
31Catch the Zumba bug
These Latino dance/fitness classes have become hugely popular in the last two years, and can now be found at most gyms across the UK. Fans say they’re more like going to a party than working out, which has got to be a good thing!
32 Exercise in the morning
Make good use of the extra light now the clocks go forward by getting up just 30 minutes earlier each morning. This will make it much easier for you to fit exercise into a busy schedule.
33 Move to the music
A Canadian study found that women who listened to music while they exercised lost far more weight than women who didn’t.
34 Green and lean
Is the garden in need of a tidy up? Get the family to help you out. Gardening not only strengthens your limbs, helps your cardiovascular system and develops flexibility, it’s great for weight loss.
Spring has sprung and it’s time to treat your hair to a little pampering and to prepare for the lovely sunny days ahead. Rest assured, the care you take with your hair to banish the effects of winter will lead to easier-to-manage, more stylish, shiny happy hair all season long.
Winter affects the hair by drying it out due to the effects of central heating, a lack of vitamin D from sunlight and, for many, doing less exercise and having a poor diet compared to the summer.
Mind and body boosters: Dr Miriam Stoppard’s health advice
35 Learn how to live longer
It’s within your power to raise the odds on extending your life. It’s very simple: eat less. We’ve known for some time that restricting calories extends life span. On a lower calorie diet, the body temperature and insulin levels drop and levels of the sex hormone DHEA stop declining.
36 Boost your brain
Exercise releases a growth hormone that causes new cells to grow in the brain. This is quite a revolutionary idea, but exercise promotes neurogenesis, the growth of new brain cells.
This goes some way to explaining the phenomenon that I noticed a year or so after starting a regular exercise regime. Not only could I remember everything better, but also I could bring memories to the surface much more easily than I had been able to in the last 10 or 15 years. As well as the obvious physical benefits, exercise lifts your mood, cures depression and reduces tension and stress.
37 Stick to good carbs
Not all carbohydrates are created equal – some carbohydrates increase blood sugar more than others and are said to have a high glycaemic index.
Good carbs are fruit, vegetables, whole grains, wholemeal products and whole cereals, particularly oats. So good carbs combine the lowest calories with the highest nutrition.
Bad carbs are any food containing sugar and highly refined foods, cakes, biscuits, ice cream and chocolate as well as alcohol.
38 Boost your sex hormones
Some exercise growth factors are much more familiar: the sex hormones – oestrogen in women and testosterone in men.
Exercise transforms DHEA in the adrenal glands to oestrogen, meaning that a woman of any age can boost her own production of oestrogen by a spell on an exercise bike. Oestrogen promotes bone health by triggering bone-building cells.
Lack of oestrogen allows bones to deteriorate and become brittle and prone to fractures. Exercise provides the logical antidote here.
39 Keep your body young
Consistent exercise results in regular flow of thousands of hormones that have both an immediate and a long-term effect on cell repair.
Endorphins – our natural painkillers – are an example of hormones with an immediate effect. They don’t just give us an immediate post-exercise high, but one that may last for eight hours.
40 Cut back on calories
Drop calories slowly rather than quickly, so avoid extreme crash diets. The sooner you start calorie-restricted eating (once you’re an adult), the better.
Make every calorie count, so eat foods that are high in nutrients but low in calories. The ideal foods are fruit and vegetables, which have the highest concentration of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
The other useful habit to get into is to stop eating when you feel the first sensation of fullness.
This will reduce your calorie intake by 20-30%.
41 Keep your bones strong
There’s excellent evidence that these will help protect you. Take plenty of physical activity, especially weight-bearing, eat foods containing calcium and vitamin D, don’t get too thin and don’t smoke.
These tips could help protect you – eating green leafy vegetables and soya and keep alcohol, salt and red meat consumption low.
42 Help your heart out
DO: eat white meat, fish, cottage cheese, low-fat yoghurt, skimmed or semi-skimmed milk.
Aim for seven items of fresh fruit and vegetables a day for potassium to keep your blood pressure low. When vegetables are expensive eat frozen ones.
Losing 10kg (22lbs) can reduce the bottom figure of your blood pressure by 20 points.
DON’T: eat butter, cheese and full-fat milk, fried foods and snacks, cakes, biscuits, chocolate, fatty meat and fizzy drinks.
Limit alcohol to no more than 21 units a week if you’re a man, 14 units if you’re a woman. Ditch the salt, exercise and stop smoking!
43 Learn to unwind
Lie on your back and close your eyes.
Consciously try to halve your breathing rate.
Tense your right hand (or left, if left-handed) then let it go loose.
Imagine your hand feels heavy and warm. Repeat with your right arm and shoulder, then move on to your right foot and leg. Do exactly the same thing with your left side.
Relax the muscles around your hips and waist, the abdomen and the chest by imagining the surface under you is pushing up into your back.
Relax your shoulders, jaw and facial muscles.
Relax your eyes and forehead.
Practise this routine, ideally twice a day for 15-20 minutes.
44 Staying mentally fit
The following qualities result from emotional openness, flexibility and self-reliance:
Independence and recognition of others’ independence, privacy and peace.
Lack of self-pity and looking objectively at a problem.
Taking responsibility for your own mistakes.
Having a few close relationships rather than many superficial ones.
Being realistic about your goals.
Makeover your mates: Flic Everett’s friendship advice
45 Audit your address book
Getting older means accumulating friends through work, mutual pals, hobbies and kids’ activities. By our 30s and 40s, we can amass a huge list of people we ‘must see’ – and a shedload of guilt, because we’ve got no time. So be honest.
Do you really have anything in common with that old schoolmate? Is the new mum you met at baby group such a vital friend? Accept that some friends are temporary and let them drift away, freeing up time for the people you really care about.
46 Clear the air
Are you avoiding a friend without really knowing why?
It’s probably because she’s annoyed or hurt you, but you don’t feel your reaction is justified. “It was nothing,” you tell yourself about her hurtful remark.
“I’ll let it go.” But you can’t, so if you still value the friendship, it’s time to clear the air. Don’t rage, or demand an apology, just calmly tell her why you felt upset, and listen to her explanation. Then move on.
47 Do something different
It’s so easy to slip into predictable patterns with different friends: coffee friend, couple friends, gym buddy. But if you only ever do the same things together, you’re limiting your relationship and its potential rewards.
So try something different. Arrange an evening get-together with your gym pal and your school-gate friend, or invite the workmate you only ever have coffee with round for a weekend lunch or snack.
Shake up your social routines and you could discover a whole new side to your friendships.
48 Set yourself a moan allowance
When you’ve known someone for years, it’s tempting to offload all your problems when you meet. But if all you and your best friend do these days is swap gripes, it’s time to set a limit.
Constant mutual complaining will drain your energy and affect how much you enjoy your time together, so set a light-hearted ‘moan allowance’. You can each spend 15 minutes getting your grumbles out, then the rest of the time, focus on having fun.
49 Keep trying
When you constantly put off calling a friend, it’s not long before the friendship slides altogether. If you know it’s always her who gets in touch, make a conscious effort to arrange a meeting.
If your house is a tip, ask her for a walk and if you can’t get a baby-sitter at night, meet for a quick lunch. Friends are easy to ignore when you’re busy until you need them. Don’t take them for granted.
FLIC EVERETT’S NOVEL, THE ONLY FRIENDS YOU NEED, IS AVAILABLE ON AMAZON KINDLE, £2.05, WWW.AMAZON.CO.UK
Ground rules for a happy home: Judy Yorke’s parenting advice
With longer evenings and school holidays on the horizon, kids are starting to smell summer in the air. But before everything gets totally out of control, make some ground rules and get your family running like clockwork.
50 Make some lists
You’ll need two things, a family calendar and a weekly timetable. Buy or make a calendar with a column for each person. Whenever the kids get a party invitation or you receive a letter about parents’ evening, IMMEDIATELY write it down in the relevant column.
Older children can fill in their own and insist that if it’s not on the calendar, it’s not happening. Every night, check the week ahead. This will stop those heart-stopping moments when you realise it’s dress as aVictorian day tomorrow.
Design your own weekly timetable with regular activities like swimming lessons and who needs packed lunches on which day, and stick it on the fridge.
51 Baby plans
Going out with a baby requires organisation so make life as easy as you can. Rather than carting round a huge changing bag, invest in a travel changing mat with pockets that hold nappies and a small pack of wipes.
If you’re eating out and the baby has just started on solids, mashed bananas or avocados mixed with a little milk if you prefer, make an instant ready meal or mash up the inside of a jacket potato.
52 Cut down on family rows
Are you shouting “you’ve been playing that computer game for two hours go and do your homework!” on a regular basis?
Kids would spend all day watching TV or on their consoles if you let them, so sit down and agree some rules. Get them to plan a TV schedule so they only watch things they really want to.
And give them a 15 minute warning before time’s up as being told to “turn it off now” just as they’re about to go up to a new level on a game can cause arguments.
53 Get your rest
You’ll be a better parent if you’re not exhausted through lack of sleep but young children have no sense of time, which is a pain at 5am when they want to get up and play.
You can buy special clocks that feature animals whose eyes open when it’s time to wake up, but they’re pricey and children will quickly outgrow them.
A cheaper solution is a basic digital clock. If they don’t know their numbers, help them learn to recognise ‘7’ and then tell them they have to stay in bed until that’s the first number on the clock.
54 Be clear about cash
Being pestered to buy things is one of the most draining parts of being a parent, so be tough.
Explain that first of all you need money for the house, food and bills. Make clear that once pocket money has gone, that’s it.
If you agree with paying kids to do chores, they can earn some more that way. Kids love making money and even young children can sell off toys they no longer play with in a (supervised) table top sale, or help you sell their toys on eBay.
Encourage them to trade in old computer games if they want new ones – Amazon has a trade-in section – and buy second-hand ones.
Breathe life into your locks: Andrew Barton’s hair advice
Hair benefits from a diet rich in protein so spring is the time to up the ante in the diet stakes and inject some more protein into your day.
Fish oils, nuts and seeds are all superfoods for hair growth and strength, and after a winter of comfort eating, munching on these will make your hair shiner and healthier to the touch.
The body absorbs protein especially well during the morning so add salmon, avocado, nuts or low-fat cottage cheese to your breakfast and see the strength of your hair improve and the shine return.
56 Get the chop
After a season of hats, scarves and high collars, it’s a great time to chop your hair into a spring fresh cut. Ask your stylist what face shape you have and what will suit you.
By all means follow the trends but don’t be a fashion victim. At the end of the day the look has to suit you and your lifestyle. Shop around a few salons for a free consultation and see which stylist understands your needs and gives the best advice.
As necklines plunge, cuts that clear the shoulders can look great with spring fashion. The eternal classic bob is in this season, but this time wear it tousled and a little bit messy rather than smooth.
57 Target your individual needs
Investing in a mini collection of hair care products, a three-step regime of shampoo, conditioner and a deep conditioning treatment mask from the same collection will boost the health, appearance and condition of your hair after the long winter season.
Use a collection of solutions that are specific to your problem. If your hair is damaged and weak try the Andrew Barton S.O.S collection packed with shea butter protein. It leaves the hair moisturised and enriched with protein. It’s this balance of moisture and protein that is essential to the quality of the hair – your locks particularly lack this after winter.
58 Brighten up
If you’re not brave enough to chop your locks this season don’t despair. Even a good trim will rid your hair of split and weak ends.
Ask your stylist to trim the very ends after blow-drying to make sure even the smallest split ends are gone. If split ends are left, they will continue to split all the way up the hair shaft and make it weaker and harder to manage.
And colour is a great way of giving yourself a fresh new summer look, whether it’s a couple of shades lighter, darker or more vibrant.
Look for the latest colour technologies that are ammonia free. They’re kinder to the hair and leave it softer and shinier. Try Redken Chromatics.
New season style secrets: Amber Morales’ fashion advice
Get your closet in order and happiness will follow. OK, it’s not that simple but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.
59 Get sorted
Now’s a good time to sort through your clothes and pack away the things you won’t wear again until autumn.
Coats should be hung up (if you have the space) or folded away as flat as possible. Jumpers can be folded small but make sure they are clean and wrapped in plastic – no one wants moths tucking into your favourite outfits!
The most effective deterrent is to put your knitwear in carefully sealed anti-moth sweater bags (just £7 for a pack of six from www.johnlewis.com).
60 Think it through
Now is also the time to dig out all your summer clothes and see:
a. What you still like (if you didn’t wear something last summer it’s very unlikely you’ll wear it now.
b. If it still fits you
c. If it works for this season. Floral dresses are perfect for now because you can wear them with opaque tights and with a blazer or cardigan over the top. Bold brights, metallics, coloured denim and candy colours are all big trends, too.
61 Fill the gaps
Once you’ve sorted through your clothes you can see if you have any gaps in your wardrobe. A white shirt, pair of tailored trousers, cardigan and a tailored jacket are essentials that will pull your wardrobe together and help you make the transition into summer.
62 Step out in style
Footwear is the best way to instantly update your look so dig out last season’s flat sandals, wedges and platforms, which will all work now. Loafers are a big footwear trend this season and will go brilliantly with jeans and casual trousers. And the good news is the mid-heel has a made a comeback. Comfortable and elegant, this is one trend we are all going to love.
63 Go for colour
Don’t be afraid of this season’s bold brights and candy colours. We’ve all been programmed to think black is slimming and the thought of wearing eye-catching colours is frightening for many. But colour can be just as slimming as black as you can use it to detract from the body parts you don’t like and draw attention to the areas you do. When wearing bold brights think about the shape and the silhouette it will give you.
64 Sheer tights
If you’re itching to wear all your summer dresses but don’t think its warm enough, think again. You can either opt for opaque tights or invest in some sheer tights. Sales of these have gone through the roof thanks to the Duchess of Cambridge who wears them all the time. Thankfully natural tights have come a long way and its never been easier to match them to your skin tone.
65 Accessorise in style
A statement accessory is your secret weapon where updating your wardrobe is concerned and this season it couldn’t be easier. If you invest in a removable collar you can add it to jumpers and round neck tops, and a statement necklace will transform any dress.
66 Belt up
If there was one trend that cropped up on nearly every catwalk for summer it was a skinny belt. Wear this over a dress, a jumper or cardigan to make your outfit look instantly up to date. This is a great trick to show off a good waist and Kate Middleton and Michelle Obama are both champions of this.
67 Treat yourself
The new season is the perfect excuse to treat yourself and a bag is a good investment. One of the key styles that designers have gone for this season is the shopper and thankfully Marks & Spencer have done their own affordable version. Practical and stylish, this is a timeless classic.
68 Shape up
Designers played on silhouettes with distinctive shapes for the new season. Structured dresses and peplums were the two key looks and have already hit the high street. Both of these styles are clever ways to manipulate your shape and Zara’s tulip dress is a great way to disguise wide hips.
Peplums are a good way to cheat your way to a tiny waist as they create the illusion that it’s slimmer than it is. Both of these are great ways to create fantastic hourglass curves.
Be a spring sensation: Danielle Lineker’s beauty advice
69 Spring-clean your make-up bag
You wouldn’t dream of eating something past its sell by date, but amazingly, few of us spare a thought for what we put on our faces.
All beauty products have a shelf life and as a general rule I have a good clean-up and clear-out in spring.
70 Pick the perfect foundation
Your foundation is the base for your make-up so it’s important to get it right. A good foundation can even out your skin tone and take years off you.
Nivea Visage do a great Tinted Moisturising Cream (£3.65, www.superdrug.com) and I swear by Lancome’s Hydra Zen NeuroCalm (£25.50, www.boots.com) that comes in four shades.
71 Avoid any hairy moments
I don’t know about you but I’m not as rigid with my waxing during the winter.
Spring, however, is definitely the time to get organised.
You can epilate, wax, shave, use a removal cream or look into a long term permanent hair loss solution. Expensive laser hair removal has become more accessible lately.
72 Update the colours you wear
As soon as the sun comes out I instantly want to wear new colours.
This season it’s all about bright sherbet shades, which will look great on toes in summer sandals.
These new vibrant spring shades also look great on lips.
73 Fake a golden glow
Even when I hit the beach on holiday I never let the sun tan my face.
It’s factor 40 all the way for me and the smartest way to get a golden glow is to fake it. I swear by St Tropez Everyday Gradual Tan Face, (£14.39, www.boots.com).
74 Perfect your pout
Swap your lipstick for a lip gloss for a fresher, younger look. Lipsticks that look great in the winter don’t always look right in the warmer months.
I’ve discovered Beauty UK’s Lip Lust No.6 ‘Oh Baby’ (£2.99, www.superdrug.com), which is the perfect pale pink for a summery pout.
75 Freshen up
In the summer I change my perfume in favour of a lighter, fresher scent. Nothing lifts your mood quite like a floral, feminine fragrance and I have fallen in love with Stella McCartney’s new L.I.L.Y (£44, 30ml eau de parfum, www.debenhams.com), which reminds me of lazy summer days.
76 Prepare to bare
With the summer approaching, now is the time to get your skin in tip-top condition.
The most important thing to do is to exfoliate to boost your skin. I make sure I have a pumice (£3) and loofah (£5, both www.thebodyshop.co.uk) in the shower at all times to slough away any dry, flaky skin.
77 Put your best foot forward
It doesn’t matter how pretty your sandals are, they won’t look good if your feet are in bad shape. Start by buffing your feet when dry. Use a foot file and remove any dead skin from your heels, the balls of your feet and the edge of your toes. Massage in a rich foot lotion and cut your nails straight across.
78 Invest in an SPF
I know we don’t live in the tropics but everyone should wear protection when the sun comes out. An SPF cream is the best anti-ageing tool you can buy as UVA is responsible for most of the ageing process of the skin.
79 Put in some leg work
It’s a nice spring day and you want to wear your new flowery dress, but your legs are so white you’re in danger of blinding somebody. I love Guerlain’s Terracotta Jambes in Gazelles Bronzing Mist (£32.40, www.debenhams.com), which is a temporary tint spray.
We’ve just had another shocking Budget, but if you’re clever, you can still keep some cash in your pocket.
80 Make a list
Make a list before you head out for the weekly shop and stick to it. It’s easy to chop a tenner off your bill by staying away from impulse buys. And don’t go shopping without checking for discounts and vouchers first.
81 Compare quotes
Insurance policies are not contracts and loyalty to one doesn’t pay. When renewals drop through the door, compare quotes to see if you can find a better deal. USwitch.com reckons you can save up to £200 on car insurance by going online and doing research.
82 Save energy
Since energy bills have gone through the roof, it’s worth comparing prices to make sure you‘re on the best tariff for your consumption. Try the Mirror’s Energy Switching Service at www.mirror.co.uk/energy or call 0800 008 7794 – readers have cut their bills by up to £389 using this.
83 Check up onyour savings
Don’t leave savings languishing in old accounts, paying pathetic interest rates – millions of people get an insulting 0.1% on cash they have stashed in the bank. Make sure you keep an eye on the return you get. If it’s poor, move your money around to get the best deal.
84 Be card savvy
If you’ve got a balance on a credit card, look around to see if you can switch with a 0% balance transfer offer. A card with an average rate of 18.4% on just £1,000 will cost you around £806 in interest and take a scary 13 years to pay off.
With all this talk of spring-cleaning, it’s easy to forget where it should all start – at home! Have a clear-out, a declutter and you’ll feel ready to take on the world.
85 Do a daily detox
Get into good habits and clear your clutter as you go. If you do a daily detox, you will find it easier to keep your home clean and tidy all week long.
Just think, no more spring cleans and no more chores at the weekend. This white stair basket, right will prove invaluable when whizzing around tidying.
Start in the bedrooms and work your way downstairs.
Pop everything in it that belongs downstairs so you need only make one trip and vice versa. £22, Next.
86 Order, order!
A tidy home is a beautiful thing to see and also a beautiful thing to have. With everything in its place, you can relax and spend more time enjoying yourself. Make your bed every day and get the kids to do the same. Make sure the bathroom is left tidy with towels hung up to air or in the laundry.
To save time, I now only buy white towels and bedding – it always looks fresh and can be washed together. How lovely is it to slip between freshly laundered sheets? Sheer bliss. Sparkle bed linen, from £25, Christy Home.
87 Create a simple cleaning kit
Unless you live in a castle, it really shouldn’t take an age to clean your home. Stick on some great music and make it fun.
I start by cleaning the bathroom, then soak the tea towels before shoving in a white washing load. Next, I whizz round with my microfibre cloth to dust down all the surfaces before running around with the Dyson.
I try to steer clear of toxic chemicals and use only Ecover for washing clothes and textiles, but I love the new Karcher battery-powered window cleaner and LimeLite really is brilliant at cleaning chrome taps and glass shower doors.
Always keep a Dr Beckmann Stain Devil cleaning kit to hand – they shift all sorts from red wine to curry, motorbike oil and blood.
88 Only keep useful things
Set aside a challenge a day and get de-cluttering those long-suffering cupboards of stuff you no longer use. Look through your linen cupboard and chuck any old linens that are discoloured or worn.
Pop it all in a charity bag – even worn textiles raise considerable monies for ragging. We only need two sets for each bed, one in use and one in the wash.
Iron your clean laundry immediately after it has dried and put it all away in your tidy cupboard. Next, tackle the cupboard under the sink.
Try some new storage from Sainsbury’s vintage range of laundry kit from £2.
89 If all else fails… hoarders tip!
If you own jeans and black trousers in double figures, you’re a hoarder. But if you do get round to wearing almost all of them, then you’ll love my top tip.
Ironed clothes and textiles put away neatly take up much less space. So if you want to fox your partner into thinking you’ve stashed less, keep it ironed and neat and you can keep hold of your fat jeans and skinny ones!
Ikea have a generous range of wardrobe tidies, below, starting from just £5 to keep it all neat.
Where to buy: www.christy-home.com www.ikea.co.UK www.next.co.uk www.sainsburys.co.uk
Skills for success: Trisha Phillips’ jobs advice
90 Volunteer yourself
Volunteering is a brilliant way to help boost your CV and make you stand out to potential bosses.
It shows you have initiative and have done something useful, rather than just waiting around for a job. It could also lead to a permanent role with the organisation you have volunteered with and help you pick up useful new skills.
91 Do work experience
One way to get your foot in the door at potential future workplaces is to offer yourself up for work experience. Once there, make it your mission to impress and show what a brilliant addition you could be to the firm.
92 Train to gain
Use any time between jobs to find out about training opportunities available to you. Make sure you have up-to-date skills and refresh any qualifications that are out of date. Keep an eye on new regulations and changes in your chosen industry.
93 Keep an open mind
Don’t get stuck in a rut looking for the same type of work. Keep an open mind and don’t be scared to try something new. Keep an eye on the sectors with the biggest number of job vacancies so you know where to head for the best chance of finding work.
94 Widen your search
Use every avenue available, such as the Government’s Work Programme, which provides tailored support such as help with interview techniques, CVs, work experience and specialist job training for those who have been on Jobseeker’s Allowance for nine months.
Find out more from your Jobcentre Plus adviser. Also ask about organisations such as Working Links (www.workinglinks.co.uk), which help long-term unemployed and the new Youth Contract, which aims to find at least 410,000 new work places for 18 to 24-year-olds.
95 Grow your own
Plan your first veg garden and experience the joy of growing your own food. Create raised beds for ease of maintenance. My top five veg to grow? Sweetcorn, potatoes, tomatoes, salad and red onions… think of the delicious home-grown salads you will be enjoying this summer!
Now is the right time to get in early potatoes – they are fantastic and so easy. The soil has heated up wonderfully in this mild winter. Make a few rows for chitted potatoes, those that have started to sprout – pop in the ground and cover with earth.
96 Dig it
If you really want to understand your soil, spend some time in the garden. You don’t need one of those work-out DVDs – just dig!
Clear out a bed of any perennial weeds by getting a fork, plunging it in, loosening up the soil and examining it. A good layer of well-rotted farmyard manure or some home-made compost improves the quality of your life and the soil at the same time.
It’s a great way of spending time outdoors and getting fresh air.
97 Head to London
It’s London’s year what with Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics, so plan a visit to the capital. There is no city that looks nicer in the world than London in the springtime.
It’s packed with incredible parks and gardens – a walk along cherry tree-lined streets full of blooming bridal petals is a must.
Next year is the centenary of the Chelsea Flower Show, so start planning for this. If you have always promised yourself a visit to Chelsea, do it this year – it’s on in eight weeks’ time, May 22-26.
I’ll be there, so come and say hello!
98 Start a Grow It Yourself group
This is an organisation that originated in Ireland just two years ago, consisting of neighbours and friends coming together to help each other in the garden.
You learn how to dig, how to plant, how to maintain and how to share in reaping the rewards. Swap seeds and tips, and make friends with people who share your interests – www.giyireland.com.
99 Bring scent into your life
Aromatherapists know the value of smells that lift the spirits. Plant lavender, rosemary, roses, lilac, lilies, phlox, freesias and night scented stock.
Plant sweet pea seedlings and support with bamboo or sticks to ensure a supply of fragrant flowers for cutting in the summer.
Plant chamomile and creeping thyme under foot and pack pots and window boxes with herbs.