Monday, 28 April 2014

Money Saving tips: Don't waste a single £.


I believe that the saying "Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves" is very true!

My sister & I were brought up by our fabulous mum in a single-parent family. Money was always tight, so we've been taught how to make sure we don't waste a penny!

Now that I have my own home we have bills left right and centre... it's not cheap.

I'm so glad my mum taught us so well with money!

Here are some of my tips for saving those pennies that won't take up too much energy but will work in the long run...


1. Don't let supermarkets rip you off.

I've noticed that it is important to double check the size and price of an item before you pick it up. It often seems to be the case that the cereal box straight in front of you is £2.00 for a medium size box... if you take the time to look down a shelf then the next size up (exactly the same product) is often only 20p more...or sometimes the same price, or even cheaper when on offer!  
This is the case with lots of products.
They say that better value items are likely to be placed on the top or bottom shelf...where we are less likely to find them!

2. Turn off the plugs.

A pet hate of mine is when my fiancé insists on charging his phone over night... It means we use electricity for approximately 10 hours when the phone is fully charged after one hour.
It might not cost much each time, but surely over time this would effect the electric bills. So I nag him not to do it and he makes the effort to put it on charge for an hour before bed instead :) 

3. The occasional bulk buy.

Ok so not to sound drastic... but I always buy the family size packets of 16 toilet rolls on offer - even though there's only two of us living here!
It usually works out so much cheaper than buying a four pack.
If it saves us approximately £2.50 every time I buy them then I've saved quite a lot since we moved in!

4. Visit Home Bargains.

Kitchen roll is so much cheaper at Home Bargains, and I find that some of them are just as good as the ones you pay more for at larger supermarkets (some not so much so choose carefully).
Also crisps! Lots of multi packs here are £1 for 6 bags. Much cheaper than bigger stores.
I also like to find toiletries here. The other day I picked up a St.Ives Apricot facial scrub for £1.50... it's £3.40 at Asda & Tesco, and even more at Boots.

5. A Take Away over a night out.

Ok so not every time... but we occasionally get a Nando's take away, rather than eating in the restaurant. We collect our favourite meals and sides and it comes to around £20 for both of us. It tastes just as amazing, and we save money on drinks by having them at home, instead of buying them at the restaurant.

6. Special Offers.

It's great to pick up items on offer - two for £2, buy one get one free etc. I always look out for the best deals and if it's cheaper to buy two lots of washing powder then that's what I do - even if I only need one right now. Storing extras in the cupboard is no problem if its saving you a couple of pounds each time!

7. Taking treats from home to work.

If you occasionally fancy a nice chocolate bar, then it's worth buying the multi packs when they are on offer. You can often find a pack of four bars for a pound, making them 25p each... if you buy one singly in the shop its around 60p each... well worth the mini bulk buy!
Same goes to cans of pop. Around 60p each in a vending machine but you can get 10 for £2.50, again 25p each, if you get the fridge pack on offer instead.

8. Cheaper stores for pretty home accessories.

Some really gorgeous, good quality home items can be found for a great price! To name some of my favourite stores, Asda have some lovely home accessories including photo frames, candles and cushions for a good price. I also find that Wilkinson's have some lovely items!

Ok so some of these things may sound a little fussy! Maybe you wouldn't bother doing any of these? But over the months, the money that you save will really add up, and then you can spend it on something nice :)

These are little changes that won't take up your time but will, over time, save you money so that you can spend it on more important things!

Clothes... make up... nail polish... shoes... beauty products... holiday funds... new dvds...

The nicer things in life :)


Friday, 25 April 2014

OOTD: Casual shopping trip


Just a casual outfit for a trip to the shops - add a quick messy bun and ready to go :)
You can read my sister's review of the Models Own scented polish here.
Personally, I found that Rimmel's scented Strawberry Fizz polish was better, as the scent was far more noticeable. You can read about that here.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Travel Bucket List #1

Travel... just hearing that word gets me excited! 
I've never taken a gap year to go properly "travelling". After uni I got a full time job as buying a house with my fiancé was high on my list of to do's. 
I've been lucky enough to visit lots of great places so far though, and I made sure I fitted in a trip to my most wanted destination, Australia, before committing to a mortgage. 
We have done a few nice trips to European holiday destinations as I love to get my share of sunshine each year. My favourite out of those include Southern Spain and Greece. New York in 2010 was also a great experience. 
Now that we have a house and wedding to pay for, my travel destination bucket list is a dream that may not be able to come true for a good few years! Some may be distant future trips. But it's great to dream - I'm big on looking at holiday websites and brochures for ideas of where to go next...
As my list is pretty long I have decided to split this post into two parts. Here's my first list of places I want to visit at some point in my lifetime... 
Perth, Western Australia
In 2013 we were lucky enough to fit in a trip to Australia. Time & money were both limited, so we decided to visit Sydney and Brisbane, so that we could see some of the Gold Coast too. In future I would love to return and visit Perth in Western Australia. It looks like such a beautiful city.
It is only recently that I have considered a visit to Thailand. It hadn't previously crossed my mind, however I think that since flying to Australia and realising how huge the world is, I have realised that I had previously not given my travel wishlist enough thought. How beautiful do these beaches look?
Las Vegas
There are a few places in the USA that I would love to visit, Vegas being one of them! It's just one of those places I feel I have to see. Whilst in New York I just loved being in America and I would love to visit Vegas to experience that area too. It sounds like such a fun place to be! If I could fit this one in next year then I would...I'd love to go here while I'm young.
Venice, Italy
I have always wanted to visit Venice. The photographs of Venice's streets fascinate me. There are other areas of Italy that I would like to see too, including Rome and the Amalfi Coast. I am also a huge fan of Italian food. I look forward to jetting off to Italy at some point! 
I know that California is a big place, but I would just love to get out there, hire a car and spend a few weeks exploring it on some kind of fabulous road trip! I would love to see the Hollywood sign, drive past the homes of the celebs, visit places like Orange County and see  for myself "how the other half live", (I would love to drive past Heather Debrow's house - Big Housewives of OC fan!) Disneyland California, San Francisco... the CA list goes on!
Dubai, UAE
Dubai seems like an amazing city. I'm not in a huge rush to go here, but it's somewhere I would love to see one day. With their amazing weather, deserts, beautiful beaches and buildings it's definitely on my list for the future.  
So that's the first part of my travel destination bucket list. I didn't want to bore you by putting all of my wishlist into one post... it might have gone on forever!
I guess I will need to prioritise these destinations as and when my fiancé & I can afford a trip abroad.
If you have been to/are going to any of these places and have any advice or tips on your favourite areas then please leave me a comment!
Also do you have an absolute favourite place that should be added to my list?
I'd love to hear about your travel experiences.
Part 2 coming soon :)
Rachel x

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

A Birthday Blog Post

Birthday Blog post! :)

So this week I was 24. Unfortunately I have had the worst bad back ever and have been hobbling around as though I was actually turning 94... But never mind about that :)

I love a nice birthday - My mum still always buys me a pretty balloon each year. I was lucky enough to receive lots of lovely clothes this birthday - but I will save those for a later outfit post!

Here are a couple of the lovely gifts I received...

Some lovely gift vouchers - time for summer holiday shopping!

What every girl (in my opinion) should have somewhere in her home! A Disney film to cuddle up and watch plus a Disney princess notebook.
These next gifts mean a lot to me! In August my fiancé and I are going abroad to get married. My mum bought me this 'Me to You' honeymoon photo album, and my sister got me a matching wedding guest book for us to use at the party when we get back.
The colour scheme for the party is pink and grey, so they thoughtfully remembered this when picking out these gifts.

My Auntie picked out these sandals for my gift this year. They will be perfect for summer and are from New Look. You can find them here.

The final gift that I wanted to share with you is this pretty bag, also from New Look. You can pick one up here.
I've heard great reviews about Disney's Frozen film... Have you seen it yet?
What did you think of it?

Friday, 11 April 2014

A Mini Shopping Trip! Recent Buys x

So on my latest trip to the shops I picked up this really cute floral bun hairband from New Look. At just £2.99, it was the hot pink flowers that caught my attention!

I plan to wear this around a messy bun on top of my head, and also think it would be nice around a lower side bun.

Next up I picked up this black maxi skirt, also from New Look. For me, maxi skirts are essential. I like to wear them in the evening on holiday, or if I'm going out for lunch on a nice summers day. I have a couple, but thought a black one would be useful to wear with a pretty pair of sandals and some good accessories.

Last up is just two of my make up bag essentials, which I picked up at Boots. Max Factor's Masterpiece Max Mascara is my favourite at the moment. I find it to be nice and thick and it doesn't take too much effort to get my eyelashes looking long. Rimmel's Exaggerate eyeliner in '261 Noir' is something that I use every day - I don't get along with liquid liner so this is perfect for me!
 You can find them here:

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Pet Post - My Kitten Milo.

Here is my lovely boy, Milo! He's a 10 month old kitten who we rescued from our local RSPCA centre.

We had recently bought our first house and I'd always had a cat when I lived with my mum, so I knew I wanted to adopt one myself.

Our local RSPCA centre have a "Pets for Adoption" blog page, where you can see photos and read about all of the animals who are looking for a new home.

Last September, not long after we had moved into our new house, I noticed this advert on the cats adoption page...

Poor Cinnamon - he looked so sad and lonely! I just had to make an appointment to go and see him as soon as possible.

When I got to the centre and saw him he was much smaller than I expected - he was around 4 months old. He was so scared and nervous that he jumped away as soon as the lady handed him to me, accidently scramming me on his way down.

He hid under a little blue plastic chair and shivered for the rest of the time we were there - he had obviously been treated badly by his previous owner. We were told that he was rescued with his brothers and sisters after they were abandoned and he was the last one of his litter to be left at the centre, waiting for a new home.

I had some reservations about his age - I've seen lots of crazy kittens climbing curtains and wrecking furniture! But he was just so sweet... So we took him home :)

We decided that Cinnamon was a bit of a long name, and named him Milo instead. (Although I now know that Raj's dog on The Big Bang Theory is called Cinnamon - so funny!) 

Milo loves to sit and watch football on TV!

He was extremely nervous of people at first but has improved amazingly! He is still nervous of visitors but will now sit on our lap and loves a good smooth - especially under his chin.

He gets up to all sorts of mischief!

People often comment on his slightly large ears!! But he's just the cutest :)

In my opinion, a pet provides great company - I often chat away to him as if he understands...

It is a responsibility though! My sister tried to persuade me to also adopt his friend at the centre who he shared a little house with, but I knew that buying two lots of cat food might be a little too expensive - it's not cheap after all.

It's been amazing to see how well he has come along in the last few months. He has grown a lot! I love being a cat owner - Milo does something that makes me laugh at least once every single day! x

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

My first month of Blogging: A Review


Tomorrow it's been four weeks since I joined the blogging world - and I'm so glad I did.

I followed a number of blogs on Bloglovin for a while before I considered starting my own. I originally joined to follow my sister's fabulous blog,
After months of reading that and other fashion, travel, beauty and lifestyle blogs I decided to have a go myself.

I've really enjoyed setting up my blog, plus a new twitter account to find other bloggers, and have chatted to lots of lovely people online. Everyone seems so friendly and I'm yet to come across any negativity in the blogging world.

In most cases it seems that everyone just wants to share views and opinions or offer advice to readers. There is a relaxed "atmosphere" in the online world of blogging, and it's great to have your own blog to be a part of it.

I love having a nose at other blogger's outfits of the day and travel photos. I also get inspiration from the recipes of others, as I'm not the best at cooking!

For me blogging acts as an escape from the stresses of everyday life - the very busy full time job and the worries of what bills need to be paid next. I can completely relax with a cup of sugary tea and browse whatever attracts my attention - I love it!

So far I am most proud of my "Doing what makes YOU happy" post that I wrote in March - it means a lot to me personally and has also had my highest number of views and comments so far.

I've just had almost a week without my laptop but my clever daddy has managed to wipe it clean and fix it for me... so now I can get on with planning my next few posts :)