shopping-addiction

Get a handle on your money

How I Handle My Money?…

…Well I kinda don’t which is my biggest problem. I’m not bad with money but I’m not good with it either.

I’ve never been in money trouble or owed the bank anything. I’ve been in debt to a clothing catalogue a long time ago lol but looking at my blog that can’t really come as a surprise.
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So… when I was approached to feature a loan company on my blog I  was in two minds but in an attempt to educate myself provide information on a company to anyone in my situation that reads this, I’m going to give it a whirl.

Cashlady is actually one of the best loan companies I could be writing about because they have a unique selling point that even I thought was pretty smart and its what stood out to me the most. It is a free service, they don’t charge their customers to make applications when using them.

They boast a simple and quick service, by applying through a broker such as cash lady you stand more chance of being accepted as your application will be seen by more lenders. You can apply online and get an instant decision . They have a comprehensive website and a team of staff available to call, which I would strongly suggest making full use of if you are as green as me when it comes to borrowing.

This has always been something I feel should be taught in schools. Growing up I had so many friends that knew almost nothing about managing money and it’s something  that is so so important to everyday life. Companies that provide payday loans really must be a life saver for people that get into the odd sticky situation when the next pay day just isn’t quite soon enough.

When dipping your foot into the world of borrowing it can be overwhelming at the best of times and I think people make rash decisions when the pressure is on and money is needed immediately. You need to choose the right service, borrow only what you need and make sure there are no hidden charges. Services that have a help team are the best especially for first time borrowers who need short term financial help.

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As you have probably gathered by now, I am no financial guru but all I will say is that you should find out as much as you can about who you are borrowing from and make sure you know everything about the loan you are getting so you don’t get any nasty surprises if you do decide to go ahead.

I hope this post is even a little bit informative.

All content and opinions in the post are my own despite the fact that the post is sponsored

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My own holiday must haves

These tips are all based on my personal experience travelling and are things I cannot holiday without. You can find a bog standard packing list anywhere on the net if that is what you are looking for but nothing beats the experiences of a fellow plus size holiday maker.

So for me the number one thing I cannot travel without is a plan. As a plus sized traveler I need to consider things that straight size people may not think about like seat dimensions. Being a UK size 32 I have concerns about plane seat sizes and bathrooms so I like to know who I’m travelling with (airline) and if I haven’t flown with them before I call ahead to ask any questions or air my concerns to get reassurance before I travel.

I like to make a very loose itinerary just so I know what I want to see, places I want to go and places I wanna shop while I’m away. It saves me having any wasted days sitting around on holiday not knowing what to do with my time. I by no means stick to the itinerary, it’s just nice to know what things are in the local area that have peaked my interest while research them. I like to have a stress-free experience when I’m travelling therefore planning is the first thing I do when I decide I want to go away it eases my mind and gives my trip more of a focus.

Once I have a plan I move on to the more exciting things…

When I’m on holiday one of the most important things for me is having good swimwear. Having a large bust means support in swimwear is crucial the last holiday I went on to Vegas, I took 11 pieces of swimwear with me and only two of those had the right amount of support and I found myself reaching for those the most.

I think investing in good swimwear is the way to go as they will last you many many years and they are something we are all like to feel comfortable in whether that be good boob support or firm tummy support or just a really well structured swimsuit/bikini. Paying that little bit extra for support or design really has is good investment as once you feel good in it you’ll definitely wear it year after year after year. Shopping for good swimwear online can be difficult especially if you don’t know your exact size. I always suggest buying swimwear and underwear in store where you can try them on and get the best fit, but if that is not an option there are many places online where you can get fantastic fitting, well made designer swimwear in plus sizes.

Finally, something I will always have with me well when I’m away on holiday now is good supportive footwear. I cannot stress enough how important footwear is, whenever I’m on holiday I always walk so much more than I do at home. There’s so much to see and do and you don’t want to waste any time so you’re constantly on your feet and the biggest mistake is not having the right shoes. When I’m on holiday I thought I having a pair of trainers it was good enough but having a right kind of trainers is so important I find that trainers that have good arch support and are made for walking or running are the best bet. Last time I was away I chose shows for fashion and not practicality and that was a mistake. Not taking the right shoes affected my entire holiday even once I bought the right type of shoes my feet still hurt and I was feeling the effects of the first few days wearing the wrong shoes. Even now back in the UK I still wear supportive trainers for when I’m going on long walks and I will never make that mistake again when I’m going on holiday.

So everyone has a few things that are personal must haves for their travels and these are mine, what are yours?

 

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Bedroom makeover on a budget

There are so many ways to makeover a bedroom without spending a ton of money. I’m going to give you a few ideas on how to give your bedroom a glamorous overhaul without breaking the bank. If you are in a rented home and I’m not allowed to paint or drill holes to add photos or artwork there are still many ways to change your space using stick on hooks and wall coverings.

Wall hangings and tapestries are great way to make big changes to a room, you can create a feature wall using large pieces or use smaller pieces to hang like art. Choosing the right colours and patterns are very important as large tapestries draw the eye immediately when entering the room, you can decorate the entire room based around the colours or patterns or theme of the fabric.

Fabric hangings and tapestries can give rooms are very bohemian look and feel and also makes a room feel less cold as fabrics are very warming and this goes for bedding, cushions and throws eccetera. If you’re going to go for a wall hanging tapestry I suggest this is one of the first things you purchase as it sets the tone for the whole room.

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Just like a wall hangings, bedding has a huge bearing on how your bedroom looks. The bed is often the largest item in the room so covering it with a fabric definitely draws the eye so choosing bedding is very important as again it helps to set the theme or colour scheme that runs through the bedroom. The bedding tying into the theme/colour scheme of the room will create cohesion. When making over a bedroom on a budget bedding is a great place to start as it is something that will always be in the room.

Once you have decided on a theme for your room you can buy different bedding that all fall into the same category for example for beddings with peach tones or monochrome bedding sets or elephants depending on what you want to create in your room you can even mix and match bedding pieces if you want to go for a more boho vibe. If you buy a number of different bedding sets you will be able to mix and match the pieces to create anything that suits you. Bedding allows you to be creative in a space where a lot of furniture items can’t be changed frequently, so for example you’ll have a desk and a wardrobe and a chest of drawers that stay the same three years and years but changing the bedding and smaller items can make over your room entirely.

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There were so many places that do great bedding for great prices so it allows you to have many bed sets to pick and choose from or mix and match for any bedrooms in the house. You can enjoy great savings on bedding at Groupon allowing you to get more for your money and therefore way more options to play with.

The most cost effective way to make changes to a room is to switch out smaller decorative accessories. Recently rose gold accessories have been huge in home decor and really add a touch of glam to a room. I personally like white accessories at the moment just because I like clean and simple looking pieces, also it’s very easy to add colour in different ways for example bedding and fabrics. White, gold and black accessories are nice and simple and will fit in any bedroom and if you every decide to change the colour scheme completely these items could still stay.
Accessories can range from plant pots to rugs, cushions, artwork, chair covers, lanterns, pen holders anything really and they make a room feel more you and will showcase your style and character. All of these things work together so you don’t have to replace any large furniture items to get a brand new room.

20180209_145424What tips do you have for making most effective changes to make over a room? I hope you found this post useful.

 

 

Menswear? No fashion rules

As you all know I’m a fashion girl and love a little look on clothing sites to see whats new and what I might have missed and I’ve even blogged outfits wearing boyfriend fit clothes . I like to look at plus size men’s clothing sites to see what I can get as at my size its impossible to find anything oversized fitting on plus size women’s sites because I wear the largest size.

I have been following more and more plus size male fashion bloggers on Instagram and have been loving the smart outfits, plus size men in traditional well fitting suits look amazing in my opinion.

There are a number of UK based brand that stock plus size menswear and if you are anything like me and you don’t adhere to what clothing labels tell you will fit, then there is an abundance of straight size menswear stores that will have items that you can make work. nr1

Whether you are looking for simple everyday pieces like shorts or a jumper all the way to looking for classic suit items to get a real androgynous look, menswear stores are a great place to shop as a women. Obviously these stores are great if you are looking to shop for someone else too. I find shopping for men can be quite difficult, especially if you don’t know the person very well. I also find that its much harder to guess when choosing clothes for a man. In my experience with friends, family and ex partners they seem to like what they like and be less willing to try styles outside of their comfort zones. Maybe its because I’m often surrounded by fashion bloggers and very confident plus size women I find that we are more will to take an item and experiment with it and make it our own.

For my plus size ladies who read this I honestly suggest having a quick look at plus size mens sites if you like big baggy pieces like an oversized hoody or boyfriend fit jeans or blazer etc. style is limitless so getting nice pieces to make a great outfit is the important bit to me not where they come from. Its so nice to be able to create an outfit that not every single other fat girl has and menswear increases choices vastly.

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Me, trying out a more androgynous look than I’m used to but absolutely loving it.
Whether you are wanting a boyfriend fit blazer, some boyfriend fit jeans or it you just want standard wardrobe staples that can be found in both the menswear and womenswear departments like Tshirts and trainers etc.. Mens clothing retailers are a great way to get new pieces into your wardrobe and also to oudh fashion boundaries and create new ensembles that you may not have discovered if you stuck to the regular stores you normally shop in.

The majority of sportswear is non gender specific so brands like Ellesse are great for adding stylish and practical items that you will get a lot of wear from.

Plus size mens fashion is a great way to get inspiration for cute outfits and I have been finding following plus size male bloggers has been great for inspiring androgynous looks which I absolutely love.

Do you have any plus size male blogger recommendations or plus size menswear brands that I should take a look at?

5 Ways to stay healthy while on vacation

Summer vacation time is approaching and if you want to continue with your fitness regime and/or healthy eating, being away doesn’t have to stop you! Of course, being on vacation typically results in the interruption of your fitness routine. However, that doesn’t have to be the case this year. There are plenty of ways to stay healthy and fit while still enjoying every moment of your leisure time. Here are some great tips to keep in mind, so that all of your hard work, isn’t ruined by a week away:

 

Grilled cuts: You will find fried food everywhere but this year, don’t give in! There will be plenty of places where you will be able to eat good quality grilled cuts or chicken and if you are not a vegetarian, there is no healthier way to eat meat than grilled. Likely your summer travels will take you to the beach and fresh seafood is another diet saver. Even if you go to the Caribbean and stay in an all-inclusive resort full of buffets, you always can find healthy options to eat.

 

 Salads everywhere: It doesn’t matter where you are, fresh vegetables will follow you wherever you go!  All cuisines have some type of vegetables on their menu.  There are always plenty of options wherever you go so you can choose a nice and tasty salad or the fried food that is always on offer, whatever you prefer to eat. Consider adding small portions of nuts, cheese and fruit onto your salad to make it feel like more of a treat.

 

Supplements are very important: If you travel to a place that will reduce your choices for healthy/balanced eating, make sure you bring good supplements with you. There are many options to choose from, like birth order plus, which will help you to keep yourself strong and healthy enough to enjoy your time off and all the activities that you have planned for your vacation.

 

 Find a gym: Even if you out of your habitual environment, you can always find a way to include one or two exercise hours in your plans. You just have to find a fitness center nearby the place where you will spend your vacation. Not breaking your workout routine will help you to also maintain your fitness regime. Stay focused because being on holiday doesn’t necessarily mean to change your habits.

 

 Use any resource: When you are on vacation, likely you will be exploring an area that is new to you. Use this as inspiration to go out and explore. Try to do this walking or jogging and explore as much as you can. If you don’t feel like going to the gym, at least you will be doing some sort of physical and cardiovascular activity. If you go to the beach, run or swim as a manner of exercise. The beach offers you a beautiful landscape for training.

Just because you are on vacation. With these tips and a little effort on your part, your upcoming summer vacation will be the best one, yet!

 

 

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10 Simple Garden Maintenance Tips for the Non-Gardener

10 Simple Garden Maintenance Tips for the Non-Gardener

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Gardening really isn’t for everyone. If you more of a sun bather than a delve right in with a spade in hand kind of person, then this guide is right up your street. Check out my top 10 gardening tips for the non-gardener:

Watering

  1. It doesn’t need to be a mammoth task! Flower beds need a top up 1-2 times a week maximum.
  2. Don’t drown your plants, an even covering of flower beds is suffice.
  3. Avoid plant heads to prevent damage.
  4. Forgotten to water? Add plant food to your next batch. This gives them a little spruce up for greener leaves and more vibrant colours.

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Lawn

  1. Don’t cut your grass too short – Leave it at least 5cm long.
  2. Don’t drown the grass. 10 – 15 litres of water per sq.m is enough.

Weeds

  1. Pull weeds from the root to prevent further growth or spreading.

 Automate the Process

  1. Don’t have time to water the plants or lawn? Get some automatic sprinklers to do it for you.
  2. Don’t enjoy mowing the lawn? If you’ve got the budget – Automatic lawn mowers take the chore out of cutting the grass but can come at a cost.

 

Not feeling gardening at all?

10. Go artificial – Eliminate the process all together and opt for fake grass – There’s a range to suit every budget!

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Self care: Take yourself away and make holiday memories

I want to write a quick post about self care… I know everybody says to do the little things for yourself to make sure you don’t forget and neglect yourself when you get busy with life, and they are absolutely correct! It is so important to take a step back and consider what you need . As well as the small things that help like taking a bubble bath, an afternoon away from the kids, a mental health day off work, an evening out with friends or a quiet night in bed with a glass of wine and a good book… whatever it is that you consider self care, do those things that make life a little better and easier so you are living your best life!

Not only do the small things matter, it is okay to do big things for yourself too, even the things that might make you feel a little guilty. Buy yourself that pair of shoes that you really want but don’t really need, take yourself out to the fancy restaurant you’ve been dying to try, treat yourself to a holiday/vacation that you could live without but really want to. I know that might seem a little extreme but some of my favourite memories have been while on holiday and if being away from everyday life and being happy isn’t self care then I don’t know what is. Having a break and creating some wonderful memories is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

You don’t have to go to the other side of the world like I did to have an amazing time and create some memories that will last you a life time. I have had amazing holiday moments in local places like Scotland, Italy and France. I am definitely due another holiday soon as I haven’t been away this year, right now I am looking at Holiday Gems for something for this year, Find their all inclusive holiday deals for 2018 here For me taking pictures when I’m away is very important because it gives me something I can share with friends and family and spark memories or being away that I will always have.

IMG-20180321-WA0036Santa Croce Lake

Beautiful photo taken in Italy that holds a lot of memories for my family. It’s not only beautiful scenery that you bring back from trips away…

A recent trip I took to Scotland will be something I will never forget , it was not my first time in Scotland but it will definitely be the most memorable as I went to see my father get married. one of the best memories I have had while on holiday. I haven’t been to wedding since I was around 10 years old so this was extra special and it made it even more special being someplace beautiful while it took place.

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I have Holiday memories from as far back as 12 years old when i went to France the second time. this time with school and friends instead of family and I’m still friends with some of those people now. I remember the girls I shared a room with , I remember getting Calamari rings at a restaurant because I thought they were onion rings and being thoroughly disgusted when I bit into one lol and that being the reason I didn’t try calamari until I was 31 years old. I remember the disco we had on the last night and I even remember what I wore (ever the fashionista).

I honestly can stress how helpful to my mental well-being I find taking the time ti go away for a while and just have fun with no worries. I always come back feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on my life.

*this post is in collaboration with holiday gems but all content and opinions are my own*

 

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Cutting it all off and starting over

Ever since I was a little girl, hair has always been an important part of my life. I remember my mum being very into hair and always doing my hair in different hairstyles and me always being complimented on it. In the black community, hair plays a major role in the way you present yourself, with natural hair considered scruffy looking and European influenced styles like straightened hair being the more professional and acceptable look. In the last few years the natural hair movement has become huge, with increasing numbers of women of colour giving up the chemicals to straighten their hair and embracing it in its natural state.

Over the years I have had many many different hair styles. From chemically straightening my hair, wearing braids, weaves, extentions, colouring my hair, having an undercut and side cut and cutting it into various styles. Anyone who knows me or has had a scroll through my Instagram will see that I change up my hair, sometimes as often as weekly.  It’s one of the ways I like to express myself, that as well as the clothes I wear and the makeup I choose on any particular day.

In August last year I decided that I wanted to stop damaging my hair with the chemicals that made it bone straight and I would “go natural” and embrace and leave about my hair in its natural state.

20180325_140008 My hair six months ago when I did the big chop.

I’ve been very lucky in that I have never experienced drastic hair loss from all the things I put my hair through, especially using hair relaxers to permanently straighten. I have seen so many horror stories about people who have used the at home system incorrectly or left the product on for too long and it had caused irreversible damage resulting in either their hair falling out or being forced to cut their hair off because there is just no saving it. When this happens people tend to turn to wigs or even look into hair transplantation in extreme cases when the hair may not grow back.

In August when I decided to go natural I did the big chop and cut off all of my straight hair, leaving just the curly roots that had been growing in since my last relaxer. In the months since then I have been taking good care of my hair, not putting any heat on it at all, keeping it moisturised and watching it flourish!

While my hair is at it’s short awkward length and I am struggling to find many cute styles, I have been turning to wigs to express myself and fulfills my need to change up my hair every so often, I’ve shown you one of my favourite wigs in a previous post but I have a nice handful of them now that I like to switch between when I’m not just wearing my real hair out.

IMG_20180325_134248The four wigs I currently have in rotation while I’m waiting for my hair to grow back.

Today is six months to the day since I cut all my hair off so it seemed fitting to post a hair post today. Cutting off all my hair and starting over is 100 percent the best thing I could have done for my hair and I plan to continue to keep it natural and let it be what it wants to be.

10 OF THE BEST SHOTS YOU HAVE TO GET ON YOUR WEDDING DAY

  1.  The bride in her dress

    This is a picture that is paramount to take on any wedding day, as it shows the bride looking the most beautiful; the way that she has envisioned herself to look since she was a young girl fantasizing about marriage.

 

  1.  The wedding party

Make sure to have photos taken of your wedding party; the group that is beside you when you are exchanging your vows. Photos of the wedding party should be taken as a group; with the bride, groom, bridesmaids and groomsmen, another one with the bridesmaids alone and the last one with the groomsmen alone.

 

  1.    The bride with her parents

 This is another important picture to take on your wedding day. This picture is especially important since it signifies you leaving your parents home to go start your own. Of course, not everyone has their parents at the time of their wedding, but those who do have parents or a guardian that is there for you, then this is usually a priceless photo.

 

  1.    The bride arriving at the ceremony

 This is usually a great picture since it culminates where it all begins. The picture is taken to show the bride walking down the aisle in readiness for a new chapter in her life.

 

  1.    The bride and the groom at the altar

 This is a wonderful picture as it signifies when the bride and the groom exchange their vows and vow to love each other for the rest of their lives.

 

  1.   The first kiss after marriage

 This is an important photograph to be taken, as it signifies the first time the bride and the groom kiss as a married couple, showing the world that they love each other and its exclusive.

 

  1.    Walking down the aisle as newlyweds

 With the vows and rings exchanged, as well as the marriage certificate signed in front of friends and family, it is time to leave the venue together for the first time as a married couple. This is a great picture as it captures the new couple smiling wide happy to be finally bound together.

  1.    The reception

 Another great picture to capture on your wedding day is your reception, the venue, the guests, the cake and everything else. It is important as it keeps the memory of your friends and family rejoicing together with you on your big day.

 

  1.   Fun moments

 These are photographs to keep the memories of the fun moments that happened during your wedding; maybe your dance at the reception, playful moments between husband and wife and such like moments. These are great since they will always put a smile on your face when you are going through your wedding album. For the best photographs of your wedding for residents of Devon, consult Dan Ward Photography, Wedding Photographer Devon.

 10.   The groom waiting for the bride at the altar

 This is a great photo that will bring back the husband’s memory of how he waited for his bride during their wedding day, was he nervous or as calm as could be.

Understanding the Popularity of Vaping

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For those uninitiated to vaping, as well as many of those who are new to vaping, the appeal can be rather confusing. What are those puffy clouds vapers are always exhaling? Moreover, why are there so many different types of e-liquid in the vape store down the street?

Explaining the popularity and benefits of vaping to friends and family who do not vape can be difficult without knowing the message you want to communicate.

Here are some ideas for conveying the benefits of vaping to non-vapers and helping them understand what makes people want to join the amazing vape community.

Vaping Reduces Exposure to Chemicals That Cause Cancer

Vaping has been widely recognized as an activity that reduces the risk of lung cancer and the lifetime risk of other cancers as compared to smoking cigarettes, pipe tobacco or cigars.

Tobacco smoke from these traditional methods of smoking exposes the user to more than four thousand different chemicals, many of which are carcinogenic. These chemicals can cause or contribute to the likelihood of getting different types of cancer.

Vaping, on the other hand, exposes the user to only a small amount of flavours — many of which are natural — as well as the amount of nicotine they choose and a small amount of either propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin, which are entirely safe.

The Fascinating Reason Vaping Is a Safer Activity Than Smoking

Lighting up a cigarette requires a spark, if not a flame. With this, there comes a risk of setting your clothing, your belongings or even your house on fire.

Smokers may scoff at this, but it is a very real risk. Vaping, on the other hand, does not require a flame and therefore has an extremely low — if not non-existent — risk of engulfing your home in flames.

Beyond this, any smoker knows the frustration of having their lighters stolen or borrowed by friends and colleagues. With vaping, you avoid this irritating inconvenience forever.

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Flavour Power: What Vaping Does That Smoking Can’t

An enormous part of the appeal of vaping is the astonishing variety of flavours of e-liquids.

Just because you have a favourite food doesn’t mean that you want to have it for every meal, right? The diverse flavour profiles of e-liquids on the market mean even the pickiest and most discerning of consumers can find something they will enjoy.

Similarly, some people find that vaping reduces cravings for unhealthy foods, like cakes or pastries, and it has helped them achieve diet goals.

Best of all, you can combine different tastes and flavours to develop a personalized e-liquid that suits your preferences. Why not blend coffee and cinnamon roll flavoured e-liquid to make a smooth, delicious breakfast-like blend? Alternatively, mash up the e-liquids flavoured like your two favourite fruits for something lighter and more enjoyable.

No matter what kind of person you are or what flavours you enjoy, there is a delicious e-liquid available to suit your taste buds.

Vaping as a Social Activity

An aspect of vaping that people tend to seriously underestimate is the social quality that comes with sharing.

Many people who smoke cigarettes report that beyond the cravings and symptoms of withdrawal they so often experience, the worst part of quitting smoking is the loss of socialization that comes with no longer huddling outside over a shared cigarette.

Many ex-smokers report they miss having to take regular breaks throughout the day to smoke, spend a few minutes chatting with mates and bond over a shared activity. Perhaps unsurprisingly, many people who relapse and resume smoking report they did so because they missed the social and community aspect of smoking together.

No more! With vaping, you can share with friends and others, preserving the aspect of sharing, community and relaxation in an outdoor setting, while avoiding the unwanted health effects of smoking cigarettes.

In fact, in recent years, vaping has become an event and a reason for social activity, as young people hold “vape parties” where they share and compare e-liquid flavours, vape hardware and more.

Vaping Complements Other Activities and Feelings

Many people who vape struggle to put their finger on exactly what it is about the activity that appeals to them. They say things like, “It just feels good,” or “I feel like it relaxes me for some reason.”

Indeed, several people who use vaping products report they use them specifically to complement certain moods, to elicit specific vibes or to enhance an experience they are already having.

For instance, minty-fresh Candy Cane e-liquid can perk up your mood, wake you up in the morning or provide a refreshing blast of energy midday.

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All the Smoke Without the Smell

With vaping, you’ll say goodbye to the stench of tobacco smoke lingering on everything around you. Anyone who has ever kissed a cigarette smoker can attest to how off-putting the taste can be.

With vaping, this simply does not happen. Rather than smelling or tasting like smoke, you’ll have an enjoyable flavour lingering in your mouth, so you’ll be ready for the next kiss!

Plus size fashion, home and lifestyle blog.