Social icons

The Weekly: Hello

3 February 2019

Well hello there.

It's been quite the while since I last sat down and wrote a blog post. May, last year to be precise. But being totally honest, my 2018 was well, boring. There were many reasons as to why I abandoned my blog, mainly being that when saving for a house and penning a style blog, they really don't go hand in hand. I pretty much went full blown cold turkey on the fashion and beauty buying front (more on this to come) and for once, my priority wasn't writing blog posts (aka enabling myself).

This year however I feel like something has changed. I'm feeling more inspired to get my blog on. Even if I'm only wittering on to one's self. So without further ado, here are the five things that happened last year. Including the boring bits.

1. I saved a f-off chunk of money towards my house deposit. Which is technically still growing, because as luck would have it the month we reached our target Brexit took ahold and now folks aren't all that keen to sell up. So while my search continues, stay tuned for my house saving tips (spoiler alert: they might not get you anywhere, Brexit dependent).

2. I began learning to drive. Being 2000-and-officially-late to the party, it's taken me a good while to a) get the hang of it b) actually kind of maybe perhaps enjoy it. I put this entirely down to my ever-patient driving instructor who shares a passion for Love Island gossip and is willing to listen to all my life problems. Side note: again, learning to drive does not go hand in hand with saving for a house, error error.

3. Now for a incredibly vain but v important update: I  relented to the Pinterest dream and got my hair cut real short. Queue the massive regret it and spending the last seven months on a mission to regrow it. It's happening. Slowly. Never let me do it again.

4. Last year was a blimmin' corker on the travel front for me. I managed to explore more of the UK with flying visits to Bath (can I move there pls?), popped along to Oxford (potential spot to get married) followed by the Cotswolds (I spent most of this trip in a bath tub). Then I took a big fam trip (sans Matt) to Jamaica where I spent the majority of time reading thrillers on a white sandy beach drinking rum, then I spent a weekend (a WEEKEND) in Chicago (so casual) before a work trip to Dallas - then rounded off the year with a NYE trip to Amsterdam. Shout out to myself for pursuing a job at a travel brand.

5.  Then the actual bane of my life, I spent 99% of last year at the dentist. I am now sans four wisdom teeth but gained a genetic gum condition that will ruin me financially until the end of time. Again, something else that doesn't tie in well with saving for a house deposit. Or provide much blogging material.


The Lust List: Topshop Summer Edit

26 May 2018
In true throwback style, this weekend I'm gracing your presence with a Topshop lust list. Forever a fangirl, old readers will know that I'm dedicated TS girl at heart. 

Over the last couple of months or so, I have noticed - aside from the gazillion crop tops, urgh - that Toppers have gone old school this season. They are whipping up a storm of trend-ticking pieces that are easy to style and more importantly back to a more reasonable price point. Thank the lord. 

Wave farewell to (some) of the teenage tat, for here is my edit of the Topshop spring summer affordable pieces that I majorly coveting...

Mini Bardot Dress £29.00 ∙ Nancy Two Part Sandals £46.00 ∙ Button Cami £19.00 ∙ Scallop Shorts Lilac £29.00 ∙ Pom Pom Cross Body Bag £27.00 ∙ Casual Drape Top £29.00 ∙ Broderie Wrap Playsuit  £42.00 ∙ Annie Two Part Shoe £19.00 ∙ Belted Striped Trousers £36.00

Paper Bag Shorts £29.00 ∙ Blush Jumpsuit £59.00 ∙ Sprinkle Spot Blouse £34.00 ∙ Poppy Mini Dress £39.00 ∙ Heart Tea Dress  £46.00 ∙ Striped Paper Bag Shorts £29.00 ∙ Button Down Shirt £29.00 ∙ Utility Trousers £39.00 ∙ Midi Skirt £36.00 ∙ Straw Bag £28.00 

Baby Blue Wrap Dress £30.00 ∙ Blush Satin Trousers £35.00 ∙ Check Playsuit £36.00 ∙ Strappy Sandals £18.00 ∙ Sheer Sleeve Top £15.00 ∙ Gingham Jumpsuit  £39.00∙ Scallop Shorts Red £29.00 ∙ Taylor Slip Ons £24.00 ∙ Beaded Blouse £34.00 ∙ Linen Paper Bag Skirt £29.00 ∙ Button Cami £29.00

Leopard Print Sandals £18.00 ∙ Taupe Striped Shorts £32.00 ∙ Tapered Trousers £25.00 ∙ Ruffle Tie Mini Skirt £29.00 ∙ Button Playsuit £49.00 ∙ Striped Kimono Top £25.00 ∙ Scalloped Cami £16.00 ∙ Paper Bag Shorts Pink £29.00 ∙ Striped Jumpsuit £42.00 ∙ Ditzy Floral Skirt £29.00 ∙ Ditzy Midi Dress - £49.00

I'll take the lot pls.

Buying your first home: Getting started

13 May 2018

So you want to buy your first home. Get on the property ladder. Quit paying someone else's mortgage. But you haven't got a clue on how to get started? Join the club mate.

As some of you have read my on-going sagas (and general moaning, sorry about that), Matthew and I are finally (and hopefully) in the position to buy our first home this year.

It's not been an easy feat - that's putting it lightly - it's been a fucking nightmare at times, mainly because you're stumbling around in the dark, eating avo on toast, being the millennial you are and wondering how the fuck you'll do this.

I might be somewhat closer to being a home owner than I was when I started and I'm most certainly not an expert, but here's what I've learnt so far.

1) Know your shit 

When I first started saving I was putting money aside into an ISA and was pretty clueless at how this whole buying a home lark worked. However as that ISA got pretty chunky, it was time to get in the know.

I booked an appointment with my bank (Natwest - yes, I will name and shame) to suss out my options and basically live in the hope that they would tell me everything I needed to know about the world of mortgages. This was in-fact a complete waste of Saturday morning. They simply waffled on about how I should come back when I had it all figured out and had that big ol' chunk of cash saved (with them, of course). Right.

This led me onto becoming the ultimate Martin Lewis fan girl. Yes, that fella off morning tv who's otherwise known as the money saving expert. Well Martin and his expert ways were indeed super helpful with his first time buyers guide - a pdf bible that literally tells you everything, I mean everything you need to know.

Buying a home is *probably* one of the most expensive purchases you'll make in a lifetime - so put in the boring homework and (yes - grumble that they never teach you this shit in school) be glad you are now officially a master of mortgages.

2) You do you

I cannot stress this enough - look at your options. Do not get fazed by others (however tempting) and don't get a sulk that others have it easy, cos that's life - it ain't fair.

I totally sulked.

You might be stuck in the cycle of renting where you'll struggle to save the big bucks - but you're still game. That's cool. You got this.

You might live at home with your parents (like me), pay half the rent you would spend elsewhere and be in a better position to save a little bit more each month. That's great.

You might be super lucky to have a relative cough up your deposit for you - and guess what? That's super epic too. We've all still got the same end game.

What you need to do is get real. It might be a bit slower for you to save than others, it might be quicker. But you'll get there. Even if you are a basic millennial with no hope in the world. You will.

3) Suss out the options available 

There are many government schemes available to first time buyers - which is great news hurrah - but it's also a sodding nightmare to work out if a) it's applicable to you b) how you go about it.

For a starters there is the Help to Buy ISA where you get a decent rate of interest tax free and the government will award you with up to a £3k bonus. Perfect if you are looking to start saving now but aren't in any rush to buy. Just check the small print as for me the price of a property that I want to buy where I live is too expensive to take advantage.

Then there shared ownership mortgage - this is where you buy a percentage of the property, say 75%, and then pay rent on the remaining 25%. Then later on you can choose whether to purchase the remaining share. This is a great option if you are unable to save a hefty deposit. But when you come to sell, you won't of course have as much equity.

Finally there is the Help to Buy scheme for new builds, whereby you only have to put down a 5% deposit on a property and the government will loan you 20% additional deposit. Again, it's worth reading the small print as you will have to pay interest on this loan and when you do sell, you will have less equity (profit) as the idea is, you will pay the loan back when you sell.

It's worth reading up on the government website which actually does a superb job of spelling everything out.

Personally, we decided that the schemes above weren't applicable to us and we cracked on with trying to save the most amount of chunkier deposit we could, in the hope that we will be financially better off in the long run.

4) Get your finances in order

Before you begin stashing away all your precious pennies, you need to have a hard look at your finances. Open up a google sheet (the free online version of Excel) and list all your monthly outgoings. The necessary and the nice treats. Then be honest with yourself. How much can you put aside each month, being completely and utterly realistic.

I plan to dig into this in a future post, the nitty gritty of saving but you need to make sure that you 1) aren't living on the bread line because you're unrealistically saving too much money 2) or the opposite, where you're just being a bit half arsed.

5) Set a goal 

Life can throw up some serious plot twists and speaking from experience (hello redundancy), it can be really hard to predict what will happen in the future, to you and your finances.

But it helps to have a tracker / goal in mind. You should have a basic idea of how much deposit you should be aiming to save.

For example, the most affordable houses in my area that I wish to buy in are £300k minimum - this means I need at least £30k min deposit. Then you need to factor in fees. And then perhaps more as the bank might not loan you the rest - thus meaning you need an even bigger deposit.

How someone saves £30,000+ british pounds to purchase a house is again a mystery to me, but it is slowly happening because I have been saving for Y.E.A.R.S.

Again this is where you have a monthly tracker (on google sheets, trust me you will be a convert) and you will soon see how quickly your savings begin to add up and how motivating that is.

So motivating, it doesn't even hurt that bad when you click out of the ASOS binge that was so close to checking out.

There are my five wordy tips on how to get started. Have I made any mistakes, am I missing something obvious or got any tips? Tell me, I'm not an expert so would be great to hear your feedback. 

Beauty: The bits & bobs in my make up bag

2 April 2018

Question: exactly how many pieces of make-up do you have in your stash?

Have you a weakness for endless lipsticks? Perhaps swear by a handful of must-have faithfuls? Own an overflowing makeup bag that could do with a tidy? Or simply have a battered mascara that you apply haphazardly as you rush out the door?

Forever fascinated by other women's makeup collections, whether gazing in awe at the lady on my commute who expertly applies liquid liner with exquisite application to having a good old rummage through gal pal's makeup bags - it struck me at how much beauty bits and bobs I have, yet I only have one face.

Two cheeks, one set of lips, a pair of eyelashes and some seriously misbehaving brows.

With that in mind, I thought I would introduce a series that shares on a monthly (or so.. basis) what's in rotation in my stash. God knows there's plenty to share.

NEUTROGENA HEALTHY SKIN ENHANCER - You know that beauty fave where you're not quite ready for the world to know just how AMAZING it is. Sorry not sorry. This is my ultimate beauty secret: the best hands down tinted moisturiser. It's everything you've ever wanted, and more.

BECCA UNDER EYE BRIGHTENER - Why this hasn't become a cult product yet I don't know. It's underrated and seriously under hyped. It brightens your under eye area prepping it for concealer, and is quite frankly a saviour.

BOBBI BROWN CREAMY CONCEALER - Since a Bobbi Brown make-up artist applied this last year during an in-store wedding prep app for a friend, I haven't stopped marvelling at just how well (and different) an under eye specific concealer banish dark circles just like a pro. Blimey. Like the name suggests, it's super creamy but equally doesn't budge.

MAKE UP FOREVER FULL COVERAGE CAMOUFLAGE CONCEALER - Boy, does it do what it says on the tin. This super strength concealer will cover every flaw effortlessly, even those stubborn, pop up out the blue spots that take over your entire face / life / time, but is light weight without feeling mask like or cakey.

HOURGLASS AMBIENT LIGHTING POWDER - After an epic fail application that included emergency make up wipe purchase on the way to work I decided that this beauty glow powder is not a setting powder but more of a finishing touch. You need an incredibly light dusting but you will be left with the most beautiful glow that seriously rivals candle light.

MAKE UP FOREVER BRONZER - Exceptionally natural but incredibly buildable, I picked this bronzer on a Sephora binge last year (err or maybe two ago) but have only began to marvel just at how bloody brill this bronzer is. It's everything I wanted Nars Laguna to be, but ten times better. You also get a massive chunk of product which delivers a big bang for your buck.

TARTE BLUSH IN BLISS - This dinky Tarte blush has fast become my hue of choice. A dusky nude pink shade it flatters every look without overcomplicating a bright lip with, but also has the added bonus of cranking up some serious cheek bone action. Winning.

BOBBI BROWN BROW PENCIL & GEL - I have grey eyebrows. Yes. That is my shade. After the initial shock of being matched a cool shade of grey (um, what) and my face literally transformed with a stroke of Bobbi Brown's grey eyebrow pencil then a slick of dark brown brow gel for texture. Its a dream combo and I am officially a new women. Albeit a slightly broke one as this pencil needs to be sharpened every. damn. use.

CHARLOTTE TILBURY EYELASH CURLERS - How utterly fancy? These rose gold lash curlers not only look good arched in my brush pot (priorities), but I'm convince they do add a little flutter to my lashes. When I'm not a) in a rush b) convinced I'll poke myself blind c) I remember.

Stay tuned for my next rotation!

Things you need: jewellery travel case

29 March 2018

Travel case - Oliver Bonas 

The gift you never knew you needed, until you had it, which I dare say is the best gift you could receive.

This super swish Oliver Bonas jewellery travel case is a prime example of that. Incredibly nifty, it's neat enough to be stored away in your carry on and house all your precious jewels so that they are tucked away safely whilst travelling. No tangled necklaces here my friend or soon-to-be lost forever earrings.

Coming in an assortment of shapes, sizes and shades, whether you drop some serious hints or snap it up as treat for yourself, you won't regret it.

Powered by Blogger.

Follow Me