Blog Posts by Kim Hookem-Smith

  • WEDDING BLOG: Should I Get A Spray Tan, Part II

    After deciding not to get a fake tan before the wedding, bride-to-be Kim has done a total 180 - and is heading to the booth

    I'm not really a fake tans kinda gal. I was always put off by the TOWIE look and was never that interested in Tango-ing myself up.

    Until, that is, I tried a really good one. And now I can't really go on holiday without one. So when it came to thinking about my wedding skin colour I went from 'of course not' to 'well obvs' in the space of a few months.This time last year I was very pale (Yahoo)This time last year I was very pale (Yahoo)

    But even then it's not so cut and dry. There are lots of things to worry about when it comes to wedding tans, that don't come into play when you're planning a long weekend in Ibiza.

    Will it rub off on my wedding dress? Will I be too orange? Will my groom look too pale? Will it go patchy? Is it too fake for my wedding day?

    I've seen brides sweating orange onto their dresses, struggling with faint tan lines where their bra straps have pressed into the tan and rueing the day the decided to get one.

    But I've also seen pictures of me attending a wedding last April and looking INCREDIBLY pale. And not in an interesting way.

    So I decided to

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  • IBS Awareness Month: Food Intolerances Explained By An Expert

    Is gluten the real cause of your digestive discomfort, or could something else be to blame? Dr Hilary Jones sheds some light

    April is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) awareness month – and an estimated up to a quarter of the UK population suffers from the uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing condition at some time in their lives.

    It can be caused by a variety of issues, from stress to food intolerances - but if you're struggling with a dodgy tum, finding out the root is the first step to managing the symptoms.(REX)(REX)

    Food Intolerances

    One of the first things to check is if you are intolerant to anything you're eating. Though gluten and diary are popular culprits (and a bit of a fashionable diet trend right now), they're not the only foods people have issues digesting.

    So we spoke to Dr Hilary Jones to find out more about food intolerance, and what you can do.

    What Are The Main Symptoms Of Food Intolerance?

    DHJ: Food intolerance can cause a whole range of different symptoms. These include digestive issues such as bloating and other bowl problems, but also skin issues including eczema and acne, and migraines and

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  • Lady Illustrator Makes Hilarious Pictures That Poke Fun At Social Norms And We're A Bit In Love With Her

    Illustrator Gemma Correll has been taking on stereotypes and cliches with her innovative and unusual cartoons, and she's awesome

    Question: Why haven't we been raving about Gemma Correll before now?

    The awesome illustrator has popped up recently with some of her hilarious artwork - much of which pokes fun at tired magazine article cliches and overused tropes in the media.(Twitter/Gemma Correll)(Twitter/Gemma Correll)

    As well as tackling feminist issues, Gemma's style also lends itself to leftfield drawings of everything from Pugs (inspird her her two pets) to self portraits.(Twitter/Gemma Correll)(Twitter/Gemma Correll)

    Her comical take on things such as the tax on sanitary products, 'how to please a man in bed' articles and Disney Pricesses, is a very effective way of showing the absurdity of situations, with guaranteed lols along the way.(Twitter/Gemma Correll)(Twitter/Gemma Correll)

    Gemma studied Graphic Design, specialising in Illustration, at the Norwich School of Art and Design and is now a full-time illustrator with a range of products including a book and t-shirts with her designs.(Twitter/Gemma Correll)(Twitter/Gemma Correll)

     

    (Twitter/Gemma Correll)(Twitter/Gemma Correll)

    She's been lauded as a feminist artist, but her works don't stop at fighting sexist attitudes and cliches. She takes on a wide range of issues in her

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  • 50 Rules For A Happy Marriage

    Tips and advice from couples who're nailing it every day

    With the divorce rate mighty high and marriage the butt of every sitcom joke, it's hard to believe that there are couples out there who are happy, in love and totally enjoying the marriage thing.

    But as wedding season hots up, it's always nice to hear from couples navigating the tricky waters of matrimony and enjoying the trip.Ditch the technology for one evening a week (REX)Ditch the technology for one evening a week (REX)

    So researchers have asked 2,000 happily married Brits (yes it seems there are that many!) what makes their marriages happy - and they've revealed the 50 most important things for marital bliss.

    And as well as the Big Things such as trust, sense of humour and honesty, it seems like it really is the little things too - remembering to say 'I love you' regularly, always kissing goodnight and holding hands when you're out and about.

    And time apart also came through as a vital part of happy relationships. Having some different interests and hobbies and knowing when to give each other space were both in the top 25, and regularly having nights out WITHOUT each other

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  • WEDDING BLOG: How To Do Natural Make Up Yourself

    Like everything when it comes to weddings, the day's make-up takes on a whole new level of drama - but it doesn't have to be, bride-to-be Kim did some serious research so you don't have to

    There are the obvious two camps wedding make-up falls into. Do it yourself or get a make-up artist to do it for you.

    Choosing isn't all that simple. And if you decide to go it alone, it can be quite nerve-wracking. But don't let that put you off.Make-up fun (Yahoo)Make-up fun (Yahoo)

    I have never liked how I've looked after having my make-up done by someone else, I'm on a limited budget and I'm fairly level headed so not expecting to be having histrionics on the day - which add up to my choosing DIY. Plus I want to spend the money on nice make-up I get to keep, not a one-off.

    If you choose this too, follow me, you're in for a crazy beauty ride.

    The first thing you need is self belief. Do not listen to all the friends/magazines telling you that you can't 'risk it'. Even if you're no beauty junkie, never buy any new make-up and have never been interested, you can still do it. It's not a risk. You deal with your face everyday so that is a serious advantage.

    And don't be scared into spending a fortune on a so-called expert who

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  • Don't Ditch The Grains: A Bowl A Day Keeps Diabetes At Bay

    Low-carb dieters, quinoa dodgers and cave man fans be warned - grains have a vital place in our diets

    With all the anti-carb feeling in the health food camp right now, it's easy to forget how important grains and cereals are in our diets.

    And now experts have found that a bowl of grains a day can help prevent cancer, heart disease and diabetes, among other chronic health complaints.Oats make the perfect breakfast grain (REX)Oats make the perfect breakfast grain (REX)

    But hold your horses, that doesn't mean you can start snaffling down a bowl of Frosties for breakfast every day again under the guise of a healthy bowl of cereal. The 'right' grains are those much-touted wholegrains, such as oats, quinoa and brown wheat-based grains including (brown) bread.

    The new research has shown that good quality, wholegrains keep the body healthy by feeding it essential dietary fibre, minerals and antioxidants.

    Researchers looked at more than 367,000 people across America over a 14 year period, measuring their diet and their general health.

    They found that the risk of premature death decreased by 17 per cent for individuals who ate around 34 grams of whole grains per 1000 calories a

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  • Mad Men Final Series Screening: Christina Hendricks Goes Strawberry Blonde

    Mad Men's Flame-haired Joan goes for a subtler strawberry blonde look, as she joins the rest of the cast the celebrate the screening of the last episodes

    The ladies of Mad Men have come a long way from the early days of the show. And as it comes to its final stages, they've all gone for stunning new looks.

    But the most striking is Christina Hendricks - aka Joan Harris - who's ditched her famous femme fatale red locks for a ligher strawberry blonde look.Hendricks showed off lighter hair (REX)Hendricks showed off lighter hair (REX)

    The stunning actress joined the rest of the cast to watch a screening of the second half of season seven - its final season - which hits our screens in early April.It's quite a change for Mad Men's Christina Hendricks (REX)It's quite a change for Mad Men's Christina Hendricks (REX)

    Hendricks recently dyed her striking red locks to blonde for a Clairol advertising campaign - but it seems she prefers a touch of auburn, warming them up to strawberry blonde for this look.

    Going blonde for ClaiolGoing blonde for Claiol

    She looked every inch the femme fatale in a glittering red, sequinned gown, and paired her light locks with defined eyes and peach toned lip and blush pigments.Christina went for a stunning red sequinned gown (REX)Christina went for a stunning red sequinned gown (REX)

    Christina has been colouring her hair since she was just 10 years old. She revealed several years ago that she wasn't a natural redhead, but actually a blonde.

    "I’m naturally a

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  • Brooklyn Beckham Shows Off Grown Up New Modelling Pics

    David and Victoria's eldest son shares snaps from the latest Reserved campaign

    With two fashion-focused parents and (so far) one model brother it was only a matter of time before Brooklyn Beckham got in front of the camera again.

    The genetically-blessed teen has posed for several photoshoots in the past, but is now posing as the star of a fashion campaign. He shared snaps from his most recent shoot - for fashion brand Reserved - with his fans on Instagram.(Brooklyn Beckham/Instagram)(Brooklyn Beckham/Instagram)

    The Polish clothing brand chose the 16-year-old to be the face of its SS15 collection, Volcano Explosion, which has been inspired by extreme sports. To relay this, in the shots Brooklyn poses with a skateboard and BMX, though we don't see him trying out any tricks.(Brooklyn Beckham/Instagram)(Brooklyn Beckham/Instagram)

    Brooklyn was shot by Polish photographer Kacper Kasprzyk in London, and unspurprisingly seems to be totally comfortable with a flashbulb in his face.

    Flashing a shy smile for the camera, he's a chip off the old block, emulating his dad's camera-piercing stare.(REX)(REX)

    The prints, hoodies and laid-back feel of the clothes mirror Brooklyn's own sense of style,

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  • Tea Time! The Humble Cuppa And Its Health Benefits

    Tea has been drunk for taste, comfort and health for thousands of years - but do you know what each type of tea does for you, when to drink them and how to make the perfect cuppa? We asked the experts

    Tea has been used as a health elixir for centuries, from calming and energising to soothing digestive problems and even aiding weight loss.

    As Brits of course we love our tea, and many of us have branched out over the years - green, white, oolong - there's no stopping our habit. But do we really know what we're drinking? And is that cup we're supping before bed instead of a coffee actually keeping us up?We love a cuppa (REX)We love a cuppa (REX)

    With teas increasingly touted as health-givers, we spoke to nutritional therapist and yoga teacher Charlotte Watts, author of The De-Stress Effect, to find out which to drink for our health complaints, to give us energy or help us sleep, and when to drink them.

    What do we mean when we say tea?

    For starters, is tea just any hot drink that isn't coffee? Well not exactly. Tea is any infused beverage. As 'opposed to brewed or ground' explains Charlotte.

    And it's not just the rather misnamed 'builder's brew' that counts as a proper cuppa. You can have tumeric tea, ginger tea, liquorice tea

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  • WEDDING BLOG: Even The Best Grooms Do WAY Less Than The Bride. Truth

    More than half of grooms 'pay no part' in the organising of their wedding. And it's true, brides are the ultimate event planners

    There's three and a half weeks to go and the countdown is really on.

    There's an incredibly huge amount to do because I've been all 'laid back and relaxed and not freaking out' about it all when really I should have been 'totally on it and sorting s*** out' for months. I mean HOW long have I been engaged*? (*18 months).

    It turns out mirrorballs don't buy themselves. You can have that little nuggest of wedding advice for free.We have two glitter mirror disco balls. It's ON (REX)We have two glitter mirror disco balls. It's ON (REX)

    Apologies in advance for bemoaning being the bride in this situation and resorting to utter cliche, but when it comes to weddings, the blokes have it easy.

    And I'm one of the lucky ones. My groom is completely engaged (haha) in the wedding process and keen to help. And yet I'm still swamped with 90 per cent of the to-do list.

    So a survey that found more than half of grooms play no part in their wedding didn't exactly surprise me.

    In my case, it's partly because Adam can't go and get my hair cut for me, or make a decision on whether I should have a fake tan or not,

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