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Kodak Catch-Up #7

What a hectic, crazy week! From spending a few days in London to handing in my dissertation and celebrating my four years of uni.

Amazing selection of chocolates from @Dream_Beds, Becoming an underground pro, a standard blogger purchase in London, yummy chocolates, paying a visit to the Matthew David salon team in Mayfair, Undertaker at WWE Raw. 
Raiding Forever 21, Starbucks lunch, fairwell sunny London, my super social train buddy, gorgeous New Look shoes, the cutest tub of marshmallows 
 Obligatory dissertation photo, group shot, celebratory lunch in The Outsider Edinburgh, Prosecco lunch, Uni girls night out.
Club shot, Hangover Cure, My very own domain.



Kodak Catch-up #6




New Scarf, Breakfast in a smelly boy flat - no clean dishes so had to use a mixing bowl and spoon!, Side bun.
 Skin test fo hair appointment, sneaky hairdresser shot, toned hair looking slightly grey.
A third of the way through the 30 day squat challenge, IT'S FINISHED, packing for a weekend in London.


Style Crush: Mollie King













Are you a Mollie King fan?
Whose wardrobe have you been lusting after recently?


Money Saving Tips: 30 Ways To Save Some Pennies


As a student with no job because of placement demands and a tiny little student loan I'm totally up for saving money wherever I can. This is difficult because I'm a slight shopaholic and still want to have a good time. So when I stumbled upon Moneysupermarket.com's 30 ways to save £1 I was totally up for the challenge. I've divided mine into Beauty, Fashion, Food and Other categories and hopefully at least one of these tips will help you save £1 (or more!)

Beauty

1.     Samples – If you’re a makeup fan and especially if you’re a blogger it’s likely you’ll hear about all the amazing high-end brands’ products. It’s always tempting to try out a new foundation, especially when it  promises to make your skin flawless but everyone has different skin. Why splash out on a product that doesn’t work for you? It’s worth asking for a sample when you visit a counter. Most are quite happy to let you try it out before parting with your money and that way you can be sure it’s worth the cash. If you find out that your skin is too dry for it, at least you’ve managed to save yourself around £30.

2.     Use Beauty Cards – Boots and Superdrug both have them and they’re a great way of getting some free products every once in a while. Every time you spend you get points and eventually you'll be able to spend them on your essentials, or a sneaky treat. I'm aiming for the Chanel Bronze Universal.

3.     Use the advantage card machines in Boots – If you pop your card into these machines you can often get yourself extra points, money off and even the odd free product!



4.     Discount Websites – fragrancedirect.co.uk , hairtrade.com and cheapsmells.com are great for saving some money on makeup, hair products and perfume. It's worth checking these websites when you're in need of updating your nail varnish collection (Hello £1.99 Essie polish) or investing in a hair treatment (My favourite is the Macadamia Oil)

5.     Take advantage of offers – 3 for 2 pops up every now and then in Boots and Superdrug and is always a winner when it come to makeup. It gives you the chance to stock up on your favourite items so that when you run out of foundation, shampoo or mascara you don’t need to pay the full price as you’ve got a cheaper back up ready to go.

6.     Spending Ban – I’ve spoken about it a lot on my blog but I’ve not long completed a 100-day spending ban. I can’t say exactly how much I saved (definitely more than £1) but about 75% of the things I was lusting after I didn’t want to buy by the end of the 100days. It’s also changed my way of shopping – I’m a lot less impulsive and it meant I used up a lot of products that lay untouched for months and months.

Fashion

7.     Sell on eBay – With a wardrobe full of clothes that you no longer wear, whether they don’t fit or you just don’t like them anymore, why not have a spring clean and make some money. For the clothes that were from Primark, for example, pop them on at 99p and you’re likely to still get a buyer. For clothes that were more expensive, from River Island, Top Shop or Lipsy for example, put them on during a free listing weekend. That way you can put the starting price a bit higher and not pay for the privilege. Just make sure your postage prices are suitable – you don’t want to be out of pocket!

8.     Cash back websites – If you’re shopping online anyway you might as well get some money back for doing it. There are loads of cash back websites but my favourite are Top Cash Back and Quidco. They’re both free to join and can earn you money on all sorts of purchases.

9.     Discounts – If you’re about to place an order online don’t head through the checkout until you’ve found a discount code. Most websites have them and they can save you around 10–20% off your order.

10. Shop around – If you fall in love with a top in Top Shop there’s a high chance that Primark, H &M or New Look have done a cheaper alternative. There’s loads of affordable fashion websites too like fdavenue.com and omgfashion.co.uk who have clothes inspired by the pricier High Street Shops.

11. Outlets – If you’re a fan of a particular designer or makeup brand you can save yourself a bit of money by shopping in the outlet stores. I recently bought a Ted Baker bag and saved myself around £15 by buying it in the outlet rather than on ASOS or from the Ted Baker store.

Food

12. Offers –  Supermarkets are full of money off, BOGOF and 3 for 2 offers. Most of these can save you a few pounds each shop (but it’s only worthwhile if you need it. No point buying 3 fresh items if your not able to eat it all before it goes bad.) 

13. Use advantage cards – Sainsburys, Tesco and Co-op all have them. If you’re doing your shopping remember to take your card along and the points soon add up. They often send a selection of offers, including money off or extra points, which are great when it’s stuff you were going to buy anyway.


14. Tesco Rewards – Once you’ve racked up the Clubcard points you can exchange them for restaurant, hotel and day out vouchers, among other things. These often double or triple the value of your points saving you loads of money on things you fancy treating yourself to. I can't even count on two hands the number of times I've visited Bella Italia, Prezzo and Pizza Express and only had to pay for drinks.

15. Reduced items – If you time your visit to the supermarket right you might bag yourself some discounted food, that's near it's sell-by date. It's super handy if you need to get something for tea or even better if you can find some discounted meat as it's freezable. Tonight's tea was actually discounted turkey burgers we bought a week ago on Sunday and froze.

16. Packed lunches – I know a meal deal in Tesco is only £3 but across the week that’s £15. Across a month that's £180. You can get lunch supplies for the whole week for less than a fiver!


17. Make a shopping list – this is something I started doing in January when I was at home and my Mum noticed the difference. Since coming back to uni we’ve done it too and it’s great. Not only do you know exactly what’s for dinner every day of the week but you only have to visit the supermarket once a week too. This stops you popping in to pick up chicken that you need to make fajitas, and being tempted by the 3 for 2 pringles offer or the latest magazine that you don’t have time to read.

18. Cut out the takeaways – Most people enjoy having a Chinese, Indian or Pizza especially at the weekend but they’re not cheap. Why not try making your own. I didn’t think any pizza could beat a Dominoes – I didn’t even like pizza ‘til I tried someones Dominoes in 2nd year of uni – but since buying the 74p pack of pizza base mix I’ve become a pro pizza baker. Even better you can add as little or as much sauce, cheese and toppings as you want.

Other

19. Haggle! – It's not a very typical British thing to do but it's a good way to save money. I saved almost £1000 on my car and managed to get it delivered to me when it was originally advertised as collection only. You’ve just got to have the guts to ask.

20. Change mobile phone provider – If your contract is coming to an end check out the latest deals across the providers to find out which one suits you best and what the best price is. If you’ve been with your provider for a while they should want to keep your business and should do all they can to match or better the deals than others.

21. Buy train tickets in advance – If you know you’re going to be travelling in the next couple of months it’s worth checking out the prices early. I’ve been able to save myself about £50 by buying my ticket from home to Edinburgh in advance.



22. Travel Cards – a single on the bus is £1.50 and I use the bus at least twice a day so a £40 bus card for 4 weeks can save me over £40!

23. Charity shops – I don’t read many ‘real’ books anymore since getting my kindle but my brother is still a book reader and when he came home to visit he was having a moan that he had no books to read. My mum and I headed to the charity shop and picked up 10 books for him and set us back only £2! While I was there I seen a whole selection of Sophie Kinsella and Cecelia Ahern books, most only costing 50p at the most. This can save you up to £6 rather than buying from a bookshop.

24. Ditch the gym membership – If forking out £40 a month isn’t making you motivated to go to the gym why bother? The nights are getting lighter and the weathers improving why not go out a walk or run in the fresh air. If the weather is typical for Britain then pop on a few workout videos on YouTube and get fit in your living room – for free!

25. Turn off the lights –This was a big bug bare of mine when living at uni with other people. It’s surprising how many people will leave lights on in rooms that no one is in. Your bathroom doesn’t need to be lit up if no one is in it so TURN IT OFF.


 
26. Groupon, KGB Deals, Wowcher etc – Again another selection of websites that can save you a ton of money. With a whole selection of things from haircuts to weekend breaks. The daily emails might be a pain but it’s worth it when something you want pops up and saves you a large per cent.

27. Use eBay and Amazon – The other day my phone charger broke and I wasn’t up for paying £15 to get another one from Samsung. Instead I headed to eBay and got a brand new charger delivered for £3.99 and it came in only 2 days.

28. Turn the heating down – down by just 1 degree can save you 10% a year! It can give you a chance to wear more of your winter jumpers through the summer too.

29. Package deals – If you've got to fork out for phone, internet and TV it's often worth checking to see if the same provider does a package for cheap. Another opportunity to haggle! The company are much more likely to want you paying for all three from them than none at all.

30. Pre-drink - When you're trying to save money it's difficult to still go for big nights out every weekend. The main way I save money is pre-drink. By not going to pubs, bars and clubs until quite late and staying in drinking with the girls I save myself loads of money. A bottle of wine is a lot cheaper from the supermarket than from a bar.






SexyHairOrganics Shampoo and Conditioner Review



I've always been into looking after my hair and trying new products to keep it in good condition but I always fell victim to the supermarket offers when it came to shampoo and conditioner. This isn't necessarily a bad thing but I'm on a mission now to try and use shampoo that doesn't have parabens and sulphates and all that bad stuff. So I was quite excited to try out the Sexy Hair Organics shampoo and conditioner from Hairtrade.com
I've always thought the Sexy Hair products were expensive but Hairtrade has a whole range of luxury hair and beauty products for quite a bit cheaper than the RRP.


With such organic ingredients and barely any chemicals I was a bit sceptical over how good the shampoo and conditioner were going to be. I expected no lather from the shampoo, which sometimes feels drying. I thought the conditioner would feel smooth on my hair in the shower, but not show much results once the conditioner was washed off.
I’m so glad to say this wasn’t the case. The shampoo seems to wash well and provides just enough bubbles to feel like my long thick hair is getting clean. The conditioner is quite thick and creamy and leaves my hair feeling soft and hydrated. The best part – which proves to me that it works- my hair isn’t a knotty mess when I take it out the towel. I’ve used conditioners that make my hair such a mess that even my Tangle Teezer struggles to work, but SexyHairOrganics is nourishing enough to not make brushing a problem.
Another key factor to mention – the scent. Without all the added ingredients you wouldn’t be surprised to find the product smelling off nothing or even smelling bad. Thankfully these both smell really nice which adds to the enjoyment of using them.
The one thing that bugs me about these products is the packaging. Not only is they brown a bit 'bleugh' (but we'll let them off because it's along the whole organic theme) the shampoo and conditioner look exactly the same. If you're not quite awake you risk covering your hair in conditioner by accident. I prefer when the shampoo and conditioner have slightly different packaging.

Kodak Catch-Up #5

Delicious! Time for redrafting, Working too hard, Study hair, Miserable day, Caesar salad

Homemade pizza, simple side bun, favourite photo from photoshoot, feast, lunch break, shopping spree!


Chi Chi Clothing: Graduation Wishlist



The end of my 4 years at uni is fast approaching and my attention is turning to the very special dresses I need to purchase - a black one for graduation and a dress for graduation ball. As I'm still writing my dissertation I've spent many an hour procrastinating by searching online for dresses and Chi Chi Clothing has proved to have an amazing selection. I've put together this Graduation themed wishlist as part of the etailpr exclusive blogger competition (link here) showing my favourite Graduation options.

I think finding the perfect black dress for graduation is quite difficult. The robe will cover most of it up during the day, but because I'm heading out for dinner with my family afterwards I don't want a plain, boring black dress. Chi Chi has some gorgeous dresses that add something a bit special.

The Alona Dress (1) is a classic style dress perfect for graduation in Scotland. With long sleeves there's no worries about getting cold and the stretch material is form fitting and a flattering choice for a big day.

The Rocio Bandage Dress (2) is more than just a bandage style dress. The low V neckline is handy for a sneaky safety pin for holding the robe and the gold buckle detail on the sides add a slight bit of bling.

The Andrea Bandage Dress (3) is a trendy option with a combination of lace and peplum waist. 

As for the graduation ball, I want a dress that will be perfect for wearing all night through dinner and all the dancing (and the drinks!) When I think of Ball gowns I automatically think full length dresses with a bit of sparkle and Chi Chi had just that.

The Nieve One Shoulder Dress (4) is a gorgeous bright colour, perfect for graduation ball, and an absolute bargain! I love the one shoulder style strap, stops you having to pull the dress up in between every dance.

The Blue Alanza Dress (5) is my absolute favourite. The colour is beautiful and goes with blonde hair really well. The fitted top and flowing skirt looks like it'd be a really flattering style.

The Ventura Dress (6) is a really girly option if you don't fancy a long ball-gown style dress. The colour is lovely and there's just enough sparkle.


Have any of these dresses caught your eye? Have you bought any Chi Chi dresses before?
If you've entered the etailpr wish list competition I'd love to see your post, so leave a link!


Mission Accomplished - 100 Day Spending Ban

100 days have passed and I have done no clothes and beauty product shopping. It's proved to me that I don't have to have all the latest makeup products just because they're all over blogs. I don't need to buy a magazine for the freebie, when I've got a huge pile of uni reading to do instead. I don't need to buy another dress just for the sake of shopping.



I have to say though, that living in Edinburgh definitely made the spending ban a lot harder. I was at home, where there are officially no shops, for about 80 days and they were much much easier than the last few week in Edinburgh.
Over the 100 days I did 4 wishlist posts (and loads of empties posts which I'm super proud of) and now it's time to look back and see what things I was lusting after and what things I actually still want to buy.

Week 1:
Wedges - It's spring/summer now and these black wedges seem more suited to my winter wardrobe.
Blue Sequin Dress - Same applies to this dress. This is too festive for summer.
Ipad 3 - Still want it, still not got the money to buy it.
Cheryl Cole: My Story - This might be bought later in the year, when I need a book on my kindle for by the pool
Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronze Universel - I think I might get this once I've got a few more Boots points.

Week 2: 

Wake-up Alarm Clock - Now that the sun shines through my curtains quite early in the morning I don't think I'll be needing this soon.
Rimmel Apocolips - I think I've managed to resist. If not I promise I'll only buy one!
Nails Inc Marylebone 3D Glitter - I'm quite enjoying having shellac on my nails (done by me) so don't really need this
Lion King The Musical Tickets - I still really want to see this but we're thinking of going on holiday in October so might miss out on this one.

Week 3:

Crest 3D White Strips - I still want to try these out
Leopard Print Dress & Peach dress - I still like these dresses but might just end up buying a different colour or pattern in the same style depending on what I see in the shops
Scarf - Same with this scarf, it's lovely and I want a spring-like scarf but it might not be this one
Kiko Makeup Fixer Spray - I got back into using MAC Fix+ so won't be purchasing this
Nude Heels - Still needed but not sure when I'll be buying them

Week 4:
1. Bioderma - This is on my shopping list for London and I definitely still want it
2. I've tried on a similar dress in New Look which I think I'll be back to buy
 34. - I'll still be buying a new bikini for my hols so this might appear in a haul soon
 5. The hype is still there but I think I can resist for longer
 6. Another lovely dress which may or may not be bought

Did you do a spending ban? How did you get on? 
Are you still lusting after things that were in your wishlists?