Sunday, April 30, 2017

April in Review

Hi, I started this month so well with posts and then life got in the way and it's been a bit quiet on the blog since. April has flown by and I don't feel like I've really achieved anything astounding this month but these posts are such a motivation boost.

Goals for April 7/10
  • Buy some flowers/Plants
  • Start decorating our living room
  • Finish Pokémon Sun
  • Have a day trip
  • Go to the cinemas
  • Start selling unwanted clothes
  • Try a new hair style
  • Finish three books to stay on target
  • Drive somewhere new
  • Try a new recipe

My love of playing PokemonGo (yes I'm still playing) inspired me to take my car on a little road trip to go stock up on Onix candies at a local nest point (I use The Silph Road to locate nests). It was the first time I've used a SatNav in my 7 years of driving and it was equal parts helpful and annoying, but an experience. Talking of Pokemon I finally sat down and finished the elite four on Pokemon Sun, now I'm back to working on my Pokedex.

I didn't do any decorating of the inside of the house but we did have a weekend of gardening which included cutting the grass and trimming the hedges (which we plan to remove asap). We also purchased some slate to cover some unsightly flower beds we don't want to maintain. I've bought some big planters and planted some low maintenance plants which I love.

For my day trip I jumped on a train and went to Manchester to see my friend from London. We had a fun day of shopping and cocktails which went by way too quickly. I used this day as a reason to try and do something new with my hair and decided to go for a half up half down look which I think looked really pretty.

I'm yet to start selling my clothing because I can't seem to find the time to take photos (must get this done!). I went to the cinemas and watched Beauty and the Beast for the second time and it was just as good as the first. I've not quite finished my third book of the month but I'm too close to not include it.

 How was your month, did you do anything new?
Sam

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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Lush Review | Ups-A-Daisy Bath Bomb

Hi, Today I've got a review of the Ups-A-Daisy bath bomb which was part of the Mother's day collection. It's still available online (at the time of me writing this post) so I'm sure it's still in store to pick up. This is a really pretty bath bomb and the shape makes a nice change from the more traditional style.


Ups-A-Daisy Bath Bomb




The bath bomb contains a mixture of Rosewood oil, Orange oil and Rose absolute, it has a lovely citrus and floral scent. As you can see from the photos Ups-A-Daisy has different colours on either side, these mix together to create the deepest orange. Due to it's shape and the fact that it was a very slow fizzer the bath bomb bubbled away and created a sun burst in the bath water. I instantly noticed how soft the water felt using this bath bomb and my skin was really moisturised after my bath.


Another thing I found interesting about this bath bomb was the amount of bubbles it created, I find bath bombs leave the water a little flat but this one created lots of bubbles. Ups-A-Daisy also contains the tiniest amount of glitter luster which gave the water a little sparkle but not enough to transfer to skin once you get out of the tub. In contrast the scent stuck around which was a lovely little extra as it smelt so good. If I was gifted this bath bomb I'd be over the moon so Lush have done good with this one.

 Have you tried the Lush Ups-A-Daisy bath bomb?
Sam

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Sunday, April 9, 2017

10 Fun Things To Do Offline

Hi, This post is going to be the biggest contradiction because I’m technically suggesting you stop reading blog posts to go do something that doesn’t require the internet. I’ve got a selection of ideas for fun things that you could do that require neither the internet or a screen.


10 Fun Things To Do Offline


Go For A Walk
Get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air and scenery. Use it as a reason to try that new coffee place or find a hidden wonderland in the great outdoors.

Do Some Baking
Get creative in the kitchen and you'll have something yummy to enjoy. Maybe pick a themed bake or test a new recipe.

Look Back At Photographs
It's always fun to have a look back down memory lane. Looking at your younger self is always a blast from the past.

Make A Scrap Book
Any excuse to buy all the pretty paper and decorative things to create something to show off. Use photos you've found while looking through the family albums.

Call Someone
Make some time to talk with someone and catch up on each others lives. Why not meet up face to face and turn your phone to airplane mode. 

Have A Bath
Preferably with lots of bubbles and brightly coloured water. Light some candles and create a relaxing space.

Read A Book
Multitask and read a book while in the bath or chill in your favourite reading place. Travel to a new world or get caught up in a mystery.

Colouring
There are so many colouring books that you're bound to find one you love. Reverting back to simple pleasures is one of the funnest things to do. 

Learn A New Skill
Learn an instrument or start a new hobby. Crafts are a great way to spend time offline and you can even end up with gifts or home ware when your projects are complete. 

Play A Board Game
Everyone has a favourite board game, dust it off and spend an afternoon pretending you're having a power cut.

What's your favourite thing to do offline?
Sam

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Friday, April 7, 2017

A Little Lush Haul

Hi, I popped to Lush recently and even though I have an insane stash of Lush products already I gave in and picked up a few bits. I think I did well only picking up three products as there was so many new things to try with the Mother's day and Easter collections to tempt me.



I can't help but pick out products that are somewhat colour coordinating. I'm yet to try any of the dipped bath bombs so I'm looking forward to trying Over and Over. I picked up big blue which is an all time favourite and one I don't think I've ever reviewed on the blog. Ups-A-Daisy was too pretty to not pick up.



Ups-A-Daisy Bath Bomb
Part of the mothers day collection with spring vibes is this pretty flower shaped bath bomb. It's a mixture of herbal and citrus scents, I can't wait to see how pretty this one is in the bath.

Big Blue Bath Bomb
This is one of the most softening bath bombs I've every used. It contains a mixture of sea salt and seaweed, it's not for everyone but I personally love it. 

Over and Over Bath Bomb 
What makes this bath bomb so different is the dipped coating of Fair Trade Organic Cocoa Butter on top. This bath bomb smells amazing with a very strong sweet citrus scent which is a favourite of mine. I can't wait to see what's hiding inside.

What have you been trying from Lush's recent collections?
Sam

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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

10 Saving Tips From A Lifetime Saver

Hi, I’ve always saved my money. I don’t know why but from a young age when I started getting money for my birthday I might have bought something small but the rest would go into my saving account. I should really thank my parents for setting me up a saving account in the first place. I have a thing for watching the numbers grow higher and higher, I get way more pleasure from that than spending it. I spend money, I'm just picky about what I spend my money on and I'm always looking for a bargain.


10 Tips For Saving Money


Get A Savings Account
Online banking makes saving so easy. Open up an account and simply move any money left over at the end of the month, this is a great way to build savings.

Budget
With bills and rent it can be quite easy to find your money disappearing. In order to save you need to budget your money to allow for there to be something left at the end of the month to put away.

Set Saving Goals
Motivation is the key to saving, having a goal amount and setting a time limit will help you reach your saving goals. You could use a visual saving chart to watch your money grow.

Have a Loose Change Tin
Having a special place to store cash is great as you'll appreciate and associate the physical act of saving as a positive action. The tin should preferably be one that you can't dip into easily.

Pay With Cash In Store
This is a great tip to stick to a budget while out shopping, by withdrawing your spending budget for the trip and having to physically hand over money you'll make better choices about your spending.

Always Look For Discounts
If you are making a purchase no matter how big or small always do a voucher check. I always check for in store vouchers if I know I'm heading on a shopping trip. Alternatively a quick look online normally reveals a code for shopping online even if it's only a free postage code it's still money saved.

Do You Need It?
One of my key saving tips is to think about a purchase and decide if you really need that item. Chances are you've got something very similar at home already. If you decide you must have it that's fine but make sure you are getting the best price possible.

Pay Outright
Anything that incurs a fee for paying in monthly installments I have always payed in full so I don't have to pay the added interest. When you look at something like car insurance this makes quite a big difference.

Bulk Buy On Offers
Buying expensive items like shampoo while they're on great deals saves lots of money in the long run. If something is half price I buy double the amount of product so it will last me twice as long. 

Use Store Loyalty Cards
Delay shopping for some items until you can get money back via bonus on loyalty cards. Around Christmas is a good time because you'll likely need to spend the money anyway but you can build rewards and get money back to spend at a later date.

I hope these tips are helpful and have inspired you to maybe set a saving goal. Small changes to your spending will all add up before you know it.

Do you enjoy saving? Do you have any tips you would add?
Sam

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Monday, April 3, 2017

Reading Roundup | March

Hi, I've got my book reviews for the last month to share today. I feel like my reading has slowed down a lot but I'm still keeping on target with my reading challenge so it's not all bad. I've got some bulky books lined up I want to read so I'll have to try and make more time to keep on track.
 

Reading Challenge 9/35


Beautiful Broken Things

Author - Sara Barnard
Page Count - 322
First Published - 2016
 
This book marks the end of me reading YA for a little while. I don't remember why I choose to read this book as the blurb doesn't really say much but I think sometimes it's best to go into a book blind. The book features depression which seems to be a very common theme within YA at the moment. I don't think this is a bad thing as it's a subject that need to be talked about.

Beautiful broken things is the story of friendship between teenage girls. In this case what happens when two life long friends gain a third friend and the pressure it can put on the original friendship. The story is set from the perspective of Caddy, showing her changing feelings towards her life long friendship with Rosie and her uncertainty of the new arrival Suzanne.

I'm on the fence with this book, I neither loved or hated it. It's so hard to explain why without giving away the story but as with most books that are set in the mundane something crazy happens that just makes the story unrealistic, either that or I was a really boring teenager.

The Girl On The Train

Author - Paula Hawkins
Page Count - 316
First Published - 2015

I'm not a big fan of psychological thrillers and that is probably the reason why books such as this one I still haven't been tempted to pick up. I was gifted this book for my Birthday and so I had no reason not to finally read it.

Rachel catches the same train every day, it stops at the same signal where she can look in on a family. She fantasizes about their perfect life and wishes that she could be that happy. Until one day when she sees something that changes everything. She is then given the opportunity to emerge herself in their reality.

This is a story about depression, loss, jealousy and ownership. The book is written from the perspectives of three different woman Rachel the alcoholic, Anna the liar and Megan the cheat. Chapters change from perspective and time throughout the story. I'm happy to say that while the ending was a little predictable I hadn't guessed it so that was refreshing.

The Silver Linings Playbook

Author -
Page Count - 289
First Published - 2012

This is one of those I want to watch the film but want to read the book first situations. I'm a big fan of Jennifer Lawrence as an actress so I was instantly drawn to the story. It's another book that features mental health.

Pat Peoples has just returned home from a stay in a psychiatric hospital. How long and why he went there in the first place are things Pat has forgotten. Pat believes in silver linings and that one day soon apart time with his wife Nikki will end. He meets Tiffany a women with her own problems who befriends Pat.

The book is set from Pat's perspective and written in an almost diary entry way. The book overall is a bit repetitive in theme with a few moments where there are advancements in Pats memory triggered by finding items or through conversations with his family and friends. I'm really looking forward to watching the film adaptation as I feel that the chemistry between the characters will be better portrayed from a different perspective.
 
What have you been reading?
Sam

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Saturday, April 1, 2017

Monthly Mini Goals | April

Hi, We’re already into the fourth month of the year scary. I’m not complaining though because the weather seems to finally be getting a little warmer and it’s filling me with motivation to get some home renovations underway. I don’t have anything planned for the month ahead but I’m sure life will end up being busy.


Goals for April
  • Buy some flowers/Plants
  • Start decorating our living room
  • Finish Pokémon Sun
  • Have a day trip
  • Go to the cinemas
  • Start selling unwanted clothes
  • Try a new hair style
  • Finish three books to stay on target
  • Drive somewhere new
  • Try a new recipe

I think April needs to be the month we finally get our home renovation underway as we’ve now been home owners since September and not much has changed. By accident the outside of the house has taken priority but the changes we’ve made have made the house so much more usable.

I hate driving, I don’t mind doing the everyday commute to work because it’s a route I know well but the second I have to deviate I get so much anxiety. I want to push myself to get over this by going a different route every now and again and to try and drive to more new places. I want April to be a month of trying new things so I’d like to find a seasonal recipe and try some styles my hair because I’m so lazy with it.

I love having something to look forward to and at the moment I don’t have anything planned so I need to fix this. I’m going to start by organising a day out somewhere local and then looking into a little holiday for later in the year.

Have a great month, have you got anything planned?
Sam

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