Top tips for getting holiday ready

For the majority of us, a summer holiday is something we look forward to all year long.

Yet year after year we seem to forget how fast they come around. According to a survey by the Post Office, 37 per cent of holidaymakers admit to being disorganised packers, so we’re giving a helping hand and sharing our top tips…

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Before you go:

  • First things first, make sure you have your passport and check it’s in date
  • Holiday insurance – you can pre book your insurance in advance. Just select the dates you need it to be valid to and from. Here are some of our favourite sites to give you a head start http://goo.gl/yFNNVa, http://goo.gl/YkrAc, http://goo.gl/19SgP
  • Boarding passes – be sure to check in online and print off your boarding passes to save yourself some queuing time at the airport
  • Baggage – make sure you’ve added the amount of bags you intend to take with you to your booking. Double check the weight limits so you’re not surprised with any charges when you get to the airport

Packing:

  • Getting started is always the hardest part – putting heavy items such as shoes on top of the wheels helps to balance the case out and stops any clothes getting squashed by them
  • Whether you choose to fold, roll or bundle your clothes into the suitcase, the key is not to over-pack! Squashed clothes become creased clothes
  • Don’t put anything valuable or irreplaceable in your suitcase; if it is eligible to go into your hand luggage keep it in there
  • If two or more people are travelling, split belongings between checked luggage so if one case goes missing, each of you will still have a change of clothes
  • Once you’ve put all your clothes in, make sure your beach towel is the last thing to go in and lay it across the top so everything is held in place
  • Add something memorable onto your suitcase handle – chances are most people will have a case similar to yours so it’s a good idea to have something to tell them apart

 

Once this is all done, it’s time to simply sit back, relax and enjoy your holiday!

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Djokovic was crowned Wimbledon champion, but who won the style stakes?

As well as being captivated by the fast action tennis at Wimbledon over the past two weeks, we have also been keeping a close eye on the royal box to catch a glimpse of the summer fashions on show.

As the centre court draws to a close for another year, here are just a few stylish highlights we’ve taken from this year’s celebrity packed tournament.

Florals are a huge hit

Flowery patterned textiles were a favourite with Kim Sears, Pippa Middleton and Vogue editor, Anna Wintour, who brought a burst of colour to centre court with some eye-catching and timeless prints.
Floral dresses are flattering, comfortable and can be accessorised to suit a wide range of social occasions.

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The Royals tick all of the boxes

The Duchess and Duke of Cambridge continued to turn heads as the fashion forward pair upped the stakes while showing their support for Andy Murray.

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Kate wowed the crowds in a striking red midi dress, while Prince William proved that classic navy blazers are a safe but stylish option.

Game, set and match for the Beckhams

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The adorable father and son, David and Brooklyn Beckham also opted for classic navy suit jackets for their bonding session at the tennis.

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Roger Federer might not have won the men’s final this year, but with his crisp Swiss style we think he always takes the lead for having a classic sense of fashion. If Wimbledon has inspired you to dust off your racket, get the look with our own range of stylish shorts and polo shirts.

 

Style Icons Over 50

Ever heard the saying, age is just a number?

At Chums, our focus is to offer comfortable, stylish clothing designed to make our customers look and feel great. So it’s only right that we have our own style icons to admire.

At 78, Morgan Freeman is a prime example of how to keep cool and current. We’ve known him as Hoke Colburn, ‘Red’ and even God over the years, but one thing that hasn’t changed is his suave sense of style.

Morgan is seen here spicing up a classic look with an eye-catching yellow tie. Sometimes, less is simply more.

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The former 007 didn’t let hitting his sixties stop him from dressing to impress, Pierce Brosnan is pictured here looking super smart in his summer attire. He’s got the look down to a T with this beige linen suit.

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With summer upon us, we wouldn’t blame you for wanting to get a taste of Pierce’s linen look. We’ve even got our own version here.

The list can seem endless when it comes to the likes of George Clooney, Richard Gere and Denzel Washington. As Coco Chanel famously said, “Fashion passes, style remains”.

This definitely applies to these three glamorous ladies.

Mary Berry looks radiant in this full length navy number, a timeless classic.  She might be 80 years of age but the Great British Bake Off star never fails to impress when it comes to stepping onto the red carpet.

Mary’s elegant style is common knowledge after her famous, floral Zara bomber jacket appearance on GBBO. This caused the jacket to sell out worldwide, just 48 hours after the show aired. Talk about being a style icon!

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Dame Judi Dench, most famously known as M, has a habit of stealing the show at Bond premieres. At 70 years old, she knows how to put on a show, both on and off screen.

Her tasteful pixie hair cut is always perfectly styled, and an elegant necklace in place completes her look.

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The award winning actress, Helen Mirren shows us how to dress like a Queen in this ruby red fishtail dress.

The jewel embellishment wasn’t the only thing drawing people’s attention that night, as Helen came away with 4 wins at the Golden Globe awards. She simply has it all!

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We hope our stylish celebrities stand out to you as much as they do us, after all everyone needs to get inspiration from somewhere.

And like fine wines, the best only improve with age.

 

Happy Birthday Winnie Blagden

When we heard that Sheffield resident, Winnie Blagden was approaching her 100th birthday with no surviving relatives, Chums wanted to ensure she had a birthday to remember. We gift wrapped a Chums Crew Neck cardigan in pastel blue and sent it to Winnie to celebrate her big day, along with a few other treats.

After BBC Radio Sheffield put an appeal on Facebook for gifts the response was overwhelming. More than 16,000 people globally sent a birthday card to Winnie, so after the unbelievable generosity from the general public, we were very pleased to see that Winnie chose to wear her Chums cardigan to mark her special day!

Winnie

(It looks a shade darker but it’s definitely one of ours)

Here is some further information for the Telegraph on Winnie’s special day. http://goo.gl/RxOxOJ

So once again a big happy birthday Winnie, we hope you enjoyed your celebrations.

www.chums.co.uk

Time to get blooming marvellous at Chelsea

Is the talent at Chelsea Flower Show inspiring you to give gardening a go?

Well we’ve got all the tools to get the job done, so we’ve put some top tips together to get you started.

  1. Organic fertilisers, compost and mulching materials all enhance the nutrient level and encourage life
  2. Bright light washes out cooler colours, so blues, greens and purples are better suited to shaded areas
  3. To achieve the best and most natural effect, never plant bulbs in a row. Plant them in clumps of at least five, seven or nine.
  4. Experiment by positioning plants in their pots before putting them in the ground. That way you can move them around and adjust them to arrive at the best look
  5. Autumn is the perfect time to collect seeds of hardy annuals, sweet peas and other favourites
  6. Seeds need to be kept cool, dark and dry over the winter. Store envelopes containing seeds in an old ice-cream carton or biscuit tin and put it in the fridge
  7. Roses are the highlight of the summer garden, but if you have only a small plot, look for roses that flower all summer long
  8. And finally… the joy of gardening is that nobody ever gets it right first time. Or even second time, it’s important to enjoy yourself

If you’re in need of a visual goal, look at our favourite displays from 2012. Impressive?

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What are you waiting for? Get growing.

By Hollie Stirrup, content writer at Chums

 

It’s never too late

If you could live your life again, what would you like to do, that you missed the first time round? Travel to new places, learn another language, master a musical instrument or further your education? We’ve been inspired by a recent story about Marie Hunt, who has just been awarded her high school diploma at the grand old age of 103.

Mrs Hunt, from Wisconsin, felt unable to complete her eighth grade diploma in 1928, due to pressures of the commute to school and the need to help raise her siblings. Now living in an assisted home, a hospice nurse overheard her talking about how not completing high school was her biggest regret in life. The nurse spoke to officials from River Valley High School, and the Spring Green School District gave her the diploma at a ceremony at her living facility last week.

Some people are ‘late bloomers’, unable to find their raison d’etre until much later in life.

Hugely successful British actor Alan Rickman was a graphic designer before pursuing an acting career at the age of 28, only getting his first real break into theatre when he was in his 40s. Much loved BAFTA winning British actress Liz Smith became a professional actress at the age of 50 and has since starred in a variety of roles on British television and in Hollywood movies.

Many popular writers didn’t publish their first major work until later in life. Mary Wesley wrote two children’s books in her late fifties, but didn’t write her first novel until she became a widow at the age of 70. During her lifetime, she sold three million books including 10 bestsellers in the last 20 years of her life. Her bestselling Camomile Lawn was made into a popular television series.

In the fashion world, Ralph Lauren, at 75, is still in charge of his $5 billion empire. Dress maker and personification of muted elegance, Jean Muir worked right up until her death at the age of 67, as did Coco Chanel, who was sticking to her usual routine of preparing that year’s spring catalogue when she died aged 87.

So perhaps you don’t have to think about what you’d do if you could live your life over again, after all. If these tales of people achieving great things later in life has inspired you, then don’t let age stop you from achieving your secret ambition. After all, it’s never too late.

 

Just a number

You’re only as old as you feel. Well this is certainly true of the folk in our brand new feature below. We take a look at some truly amazing people doing incredible things and not letting anything get in their way.  Why don’t you read on and see if you’re inspired?

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They say age is just a number, and South African great-grandmother, Georgina Harwood, is most definitely the living embodiment of this. Last month she chose to celebrate her 100th birthday in a rather unusual way – by jumping out of a plane!
Being strapped to a young man while hurtling thousands of feet towards the ground, might not be everyone’s idea of fun, but Georgina certainly looked as though she enjoyed herself! Her family was there to cheer her on and to hand her a flute of pink champagne when she landed.

And Georgina’s not the only one living life to the full!

What about 92 year-old Arthur Gilbert, the world’s oldest triathlete?  He took part in his first race at the age of 64, and completed a recent triathlon in Somerset (diving into a 500m swim, before taking on a 20km cycle ride and a 5km run) in just two hours, 47 minutes and 22 seconds.

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Mr Gilbert, a veteran of the Second World War who worked at the Westland helicopter plant, loves staying fit and active. He goes to the gym twice a week, cycles 25 miles every Sunday and swims 50 lengths of his local pool every morning.
And look at Dr Charles Eugster! A Londoner who now lives in Zurich, he recently broke the record for indoor running (in the over 95 category) at the British Masters Championships in March, after only taking up sprinting a year ago.

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Running isn’t the only activity Dr Eugster loves to take part in. He’s also a fan of rowing, winning some 40 gold medals in competitions. He also took up body building at the tender age of 87.
These stories might leave you feeling a little out of breath, but they all show the importance of staying active throughout your life.

There is strong evidence suggesting that just 30 minutes of moderate activity every day can have significant health benefits, keeping you fit and well whatever comes your way.  The NHS Choices website has a number of suggestions about how to incorporate activity into your daily life as well as some pointers to get you started. Don’t worry, they don’t mention sky diving, or even a little half marathon.
If you’d like us to feature someone you know or an inspirational story you’ve come across, why not get in touch via Facebook or Twitter? We’d love to hear from you, and if we feature your story, you could win a £25 Chums voucher.

 

 

 

 

Behind the scenes with Chums

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Summer may be just on the horizon, but we believe it is never too early to start thinking about your winter wardrobe.

We recently gained a behind the scenes sneak preview of the brand new Autumn/Winter 2015 collection from Chums during a recent photoshoot. Here’s a little insight into the fantastic new lines and what to wear this winter.

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Chums is known for its comfortable, practical and stylish men’s and women’s wear and its new ranges are no exception; this winter sees the brand tapping into bold and bright colour blocking and classic checks.


Gentlemen, it’s time to connect with your inner lumberjack as this winter, checked shirts are a must-have. This wardrobe essential is perfect teamed with denim for a casual look or dressed up with chinos/trousers for something slightly smarter.

Ladies, brighten up the grey days with a pop of colour. We loved the bold red coat, perfect for winter walks or meeting a friend in town for lunch.

 

DSC_0040For both menswear and womenswear, navy has been strongly tipped as this season’s go-to colour. Keep an eye out for the men’s navy jackets to make sure you look stylish in comfort for any occasion.

 

Old dog, new tricks…

We all get twinges from time to time – painful and stiff joints that can make some everyday tasks a bit of a chore. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a cure-all to make all these aches disappear?
Sadly, we haven’t found one yet, but we have discovered plenty of handy gadgets to make daily life that little bit easier.

Here are some of our favourites:
Sock Aid Is your back playing up again? Having trouble reaching down to put your socks on? Then take a look at the Ezy-On Sock Aid. This clever gizmo helps you open your socks wide enough to get your foot in. Once the sock is on, simply pull away from the frame – it should slide off perfectly.

Soxon Sock

If bending down is a bit of an issue, you might find it easier to use The Soxon Sock and Stocking Aid. The large looped handles make it easy for those with a weak grasp or recovering from hip or knee surgery to slide their stockings on to their feet.

Jar Opener

For those of you who have trouble opening those pesky jam jars, why don’t you take a look at this top gadget? The Pifco Battery Operated Jar Opener will make sure that removing tops from jars will no longer be a problem. Simply place over the jar, press the button and off they come.

Trolley

If you’ve got a lot on your plate, then this Height Adjustable Trolley will come in really handy. It’s easy to assemble and the base tray is set slightly forward to give you plenty of legroom when pushing it through the house. Four large castors and angled easy grip handles means it can turn on a penny – handy for manoeuvring round furniture!

Car Cushion

And what about those of us who have trouble getting out of the car gracefully? Well, fortunately we have the Revolving Car Cushion to help us. This comfortable, padded miracle revolves 360 degrees to make going for a drive a breeze.

Do you have any handy ‘new tricks’? Why don’t you let us know about them on our Facebook or Twitter page?