Friday, 29 December 2017

Happy Things #8 - Festive Edition 2017

Hello everyone! First of all, I hope you have all had an incredible Christmas filled with lots of laughter, love, and good food! I thought I'd do a special festive edition of my usual "Happy Things" series so I can share with you a few of the gifts I received and a few things that have made me happy this festive season.

Pandora. Is it even Christmas without a bit of sparkle??? I received 2 beautiful charms for Christmas this year to add onto my new Pandora bracelet. 

Fox & Ivy cutlery (link here). I have been obsessed with the new Fox & Ivy range at Tesco recently so I was super happy to unwrap this on Christmas Day. It has a slightly dented effect to it which I love, and the handles are rounded and heavy which I much prefer over the flat handles. I'm definitely going to get myself some of the crockery from the Fox & Ivy range once all the festive hustle and bustle calms down a bit.

Body mists. I've been loving body mists at the moment and they're great for a quick pick-me-up, especially at this time of year when it can be a little dark and miserable at times. I'll admit that a lot of body mists can initially smell good but they turn chemically really quickly so you really do have to pick carefully. My favourites are definitely the ones from The Body Shop as well as the Zoella Beauty range. So fresh and uplifting.

Food. Food makes me happy all year round but moreso at Christmas when most restaurants bring out their festive menus. When you've got time off work, it's also an excuse to explore new places and visit new restaurants that you haven't ventured in before. This was a delicious quinoa & sweet potato burger at Bar Estilo in Birmingham. I highly recommend this place as the food was delicious, the decor was stylish, the atmosphere was relaxed, and the staff were incredibly friendly and welcoming.

Dove Bliss Booster shower gels (link here). You can't have Christmas without something nice-smelling for the shower/bath! I am absolutely obsessed with the scent of these shower gels at the moment. They smell intoxicating and definitely one of the nicest ones I've come across in a while. I have sensitive skin so Dove is brilliant for me and I can't wait for my current shower gels to run out so I can replace them with these.

I have had such a lovely week. Let me know what has made you happy during this festive period!

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Guide To Smarter Spending

With Christmas approaching, it's all spend spend spend until the year is over so, today, I'm here to tell you have you can save, save, save by shopping a little smarter.

I'll admit that I used to be a bit of a shopaholic who probably bought things that I didn't even want and paid a premium for something that just wasn't worth it. Once I started working full-time, my attitude to spending started changing and I now have a much healthier and mature view on finance.

Don't get me wrong, I still splurge on the odd item here and there and I do still do the odd impulse buy but I am fully in control nowadays!

Create an expenses spreadsheet. You can do this in paper form although I much prefer doing this electronically on a spreadsheet as you can set all your formulas to tally everything up for you. List every payment you get from work as well as every time you spend either via cash, card or cheque. I have only recently started doing this and it's incredible how much more aware it makes me. Everytime I enter a new purchase on there and see my remaining balance for that month reduce, it makes me less likely to buy silly little things.

Bookmark items you like and look out for them in the sale. This is a good one for clothing. If I see something online that I like the look of but I'm not dying to have in my life, I bookmark it. I then check in every month or so, or when I know there is a big season sale coming up and I end up purchasing it for just a fraction of the price.

Buy second hand. I know, this isn't for everyone, but there are so many incredible second hand items that are available on the market these days. If you look hard enough, you can find nearly-new high quality items for the a fraction of the original price simply because the owner is moving house or that they've decided that it doesn't fit in with their latest colour scheme.

You can find second-hand products on various websites nowadays including eBay and Gumtree, but if you want everything in one place, head over to I suppose you could call them a second-hand broker! They have an extensive website filled with products from beds to kitchen appliances to clothing. If you're after an easy way to find a bargain, Secondwow is the place to be.

You can find a vast array of products from various websites on there and it will take you straight there to save you spending time browsing different websites. This is great for anyone who wants to update their home on a budget, a first time buyer, or someone who is after something a little bit unique that you may not be able to find in store anymore.

My favourite is the collectables section where you can find all sorts of hidden gems like classic artwork, fancy pottery pieces and signed memorabilia.

Magazines. These days, anything that you want from a magazine can usually be found somewhere online for free. However, if you still like to have something physical to hold and flick through, make the most of free magazines. For food inspiration, pick up a Tesco Food magazine. They are always jam-packed with recipes, not to mention sections on fitness and health as well. For home inspiration, pretty much every kitchen/bathroom/bedroom showroom has their own catalogue bursting full of ideas. If you're a Superdrug beauty card holder or a Boots beauty card holder (both are free to join), you can pick up their beauty magazines for free as well.

 What are your top tops for being thrifty?

*This is a sponsored post.
All opinions are my own.