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September Stories




1. Ever since having a labrador when I was little I've wanted to get one of my own. It's not been the right circumstances in our life for one at the moment so I've settled for walking my Auntie's dogs with my Mum. Abby is such a cutie!

2. A Chinese takeaway is my favourite so I wanted to try a healthier, homemade alternative and gave honey chicken a go. Tasty and probably half the calories!

3. Our lionhead rabbit Rory was getting his hair brushed and opted for a bit of a restyle. I think he needs a wee trim of that fringe.

4. More homemade card designs this month, this one was for my FiancĂ©'s Dad. 


5. I finished a day of shopping with a refreshing drink from Starbucks. The Mango Passion Fruit Blend is my favourite.

6. Our rabbit has been spending more and more time up on the sofa with us at nights. He even lay on my chest for a whole hour of cuddles!

7. I've been on the lookout for a wedding dance outfit for the end of October. I didn't find anything in the shops and ended up ordering from Missguided using student discount and saving 20%. Unfortunately the top I ordered was meant to be a size 12 and it was actually a size 8 - really disappointed!

8. I bought a white, midi skater skirt to wear with a black cami, statement necklace and nude heels for the wedding dance.



9. It was one of my best friend's (and bridesmaid) birthdays in the middle of the month and we had a good old girly night out to celebrate. We had some funny face straws, lots of wine and a drama free night out.



10. A couple of selfies helped out by the most amazing Snapchat filter. I wore a LBD from Missguided and a sleeveless jacket from Misspap for our girls night. I also went to one of my oldest friend's house warming part and went for an all black outfit with a top from New Look and my trusty River Island Jeans.



11. A quick couples selfie in our kitchen before heading to the housewarming party. 

12. Unfortunately I was designated driver for the night but I still took part in a little game of beer pong, without having to worry about downing beer! That game is so much easier once you're drunk. I didn't get one ball in!

13. I won a Stardust glitter bundle from Twitter the other day. Now I've got to find an excuse to have some bling on my face. Halloween perhaps?

14. There's a lot going on at work at the moment (hence the no drinking weekend) so my Sunday was spent doing lots of work accompanied by my Fire TV. Roll on the October holidays so that we can all destress and stop worrying.


Wedding Fayre Fun

We went to our first Wedding Fayre this month and I wanted to share my fun and freebies. There was actually 2 on the same day and we chose the one that was further away but the one that was much bigger and sponsored by lots of companies. With sponsors comes freebies! The first 50 brides got a free goodie bag. We were there 15 minutes before it opened and there was already a queue forming. The goodie bag was made up of wedding magazines including the Scottish Wedding Directory. There was also some Crabtree & Evelyn products and Lush Honey I Washed The Kids soap. Throughout the afternoon I also enjoyed a glass of prosecco, a few sweeties and lots of wedding cake samples. We played in the photo-booth and had a shot of the new selfie mirror photo booths. There was a wedding dress fashion show and the chance to get loads of prices and ideas!


My top tips for making the most out of wedding fayres:
  • Decide what your priorities are before you go and take the right people with you. If it's big decisions that need to be made right at the beginning take your FiancĂ©. If the dress is a big focus take your Mum or bridesmaids. 
  • Try and visit everyone - you might already have your venue booked but it can give you ideas and inspiration for decoration, menu and space for money negotiation.
  • Ask questions. If you need to find out more information the exhibitors are there to help, lets face it they want a sale too!
  • Take business cards. Once you've had a chance to compare and decide AFTER the event you've got a way of getting in contact. Remember to tell them you met them at the Wedding Fayre and you might just get a discount.
  • Take your time and enjoy the experience!

Have you got any wedding planning advice? Anything you regret not getting? Or anything that completely made your day?

Primark Haul - September 2016

I had 20 minutes to spare before we were going for lunch the other weekend so I had a quick run around Primark. Thankfully it was only a small store, there's no way I could have managed that in Edinburgh! I was on the lookout for the bee shirt, I wanted a new pair of boots for Autumn and I was open to a few other seasonal purchases. I'd say I was quite successful and didn't spend too much.

Ankle Boots £15
Black Pumps £4
Bee Shirt £7
Bird Shirt £10
French False Nails £1
Statement Necklace £5

Outfits of the Week: September #4




Monday
Blouse: Asda
Jeans: River Island
Necklace: Asda
Shoes: Primark 

Tuesday
Top: Forever 21
Cardigan: H&M
Jeans: Primark
Shoes: Primark

Wednesday
Dress: Forever 21
Necklace: Primark
Boots: Primark

Thursday
Shirt: Primark
Vest Top: Forever 21
Jeans: River Island
Necklace: Primark
Shoes: Skechers

Friday
Tshirt: Primark
Jacket: Primark
Jeans: River Island
Shoes: Primark
Necklace: Asda

Forever 21 Haul

It's amazing how accurate and effective advertising can be. I had been on the hunt for some new work tops in the shops and when I returned home an advert for the very thing I was after popped up at the side of my Facebook. Without a Forever 21 anywhere near me I had no option but to make an order and it would be mad not to reach the free delivery total, obviously!

£15
Since my parcel arrived this has been my most worn top. With a simple print it looks good with loads of cardigans, jumpers and blazers. I wish it was a bit thicker so I could skip the vest top layer but that's not too big a struggle.

£16
This shirt is perfect. The material isn't see through so I can wear it without a vest top underneath. The print is quite classic and the shape is flattering. I'm looking forward to wearing this underneath a pinafore.

£13
This is winter floral perfection. A nice little cotton blouse that I can wear with jeans and pumps in the Autumn and layer up in the winter.

I love this shirt. The print is gorgeous and in theory the cut out is on trend but unfortunately it's far too low cut so I just won't be able to wear it.

This looks quite shapeless on the hanger but it's really comfortable on and perfect with a little pair of heeled boots.The floral print isn't too big, bright or summery either.

What's your go-to outfit for work? Or do you have to wear a uniform?

Stop Living Paycheck-to-Paycheck

Living payday to payday can be a highly stressful and worrying way to live. You spend a lot of your time worrying about money, and you never know if you might be faced with an unexpected expense. If you're suddenly hit with a large bill, or you have an emergency, it could put you in deep financial trouble. Making an effort to get out of the situation is essential, but it certainly won't be easy. It can be a huge struggle to turn things around and make sure your bank account isn't running on empty at the end of each month. But if you don't try to do anything, things are unlikely to change on their own. If you want to stop living paycheck-to-paycheck, these are the things you could be doing.


Cut Your Spending
If you want your finances to be less tight, there are two ways to get there. The first is bringing in more money, and the second is spending less of it. It's not always easy to find ways you can save, and you might feel like you're already as frugal as possible. People who are using all their money each month are likely to have a budget drawn up already. You need to know exactly where everything is going to make sure you don't overspend. However, if you don't have a budget, making one is the first thing you need to do. You need to know what you're spending now and how you can change things.

Consider your major and unavoidable expenses first. You have to pay your rent or mortgage, energy and water bills, taxes, and more. Just because they're compulsory, it doesn't mean you can't reduce them. For example, take your energy bills. There are many things you can do to reduce them, starting with examining your supplier. Are you getting the best deal or should you switch to another provider? Of course, the way you use energy is important too. If you want to save money, you need to try your best to use less energy. That could mean doing anything from wearing extra layers before you put the heating on, to turning the lights off when you leave a room.

You can save on many of your day-to-day expenses. One of the expenses you should examine is your grocery bill. Many families, couples, and individuals think that they're spending sensibly when they buy food. They can't see how they can possibly save. But if you take a look at your spending habits, you might find you're spending much more than you need to. Is it really cheaper to buy a pasta sauce than to make one? Do you really need to buy the branded ketchup when the off-brand stuff tastes just fine? How much food sits in your cupboard for months or gets thrown away at the end of the week? If you want to save, planning out all your meals and snacks will help. Try using online shopping to tally your total food costs.

Approach Debt Sensibly
One of the things that can cause you to live paycheck-to-paycheck is getting rid of your debts. Your goal may be to be debt free, but perhaps your finances cause you to add more debt instead of being able to pay it off. Debt isn't always a bad thing to have, but it's much healthier if you're in a better place financially. When you're struggling, it can help you, but it will also hinder you a lot. If you want to improve your finances, you need to tackle any existing debt. You also need to consider how you'll approach it in the future. Part of good money management is being able to tell the difference between good debt and bad debt. Ideally, any debt you take on should help you pay for something you want, not a necessity. If you're using credit for everyday expenses, you need to rethink your finances. Any credit you take out is best used to help you spread the cost of a purchase, not get you out of a hole.


Find Ways to Increase Your Income Now
Apart from saving money, making more money is how you can help yourself get out of your financial cycle.  You might make a long-term plan for increasing your earnings. However, it's likely you also want a quicker way to start bringing in more money. Of course, any method you can use to increase your income straight away isn't going to make you millions. You need more time if you want to raise your finances significantly. But you might be able to give yourself at least a little bit more each month. You can put it away or spend it on improving your lifestyle.

First, you need to look at how much time you have. If you want to increase your income now, you will probably have to give up some of your spare time to do it. You could get a part-time job or start a business on the side. You don't necessarily have to do something that you need to work on all the time. For example, if you're an artist, you might start drawing commissions. You could do one a month just to add a little bit of extra money to your income.

Make a Plan for More Future Earnings
For a long-term plan, you need to think about your goals for the future. It might be next to impossible for you to increase your earnings right away. Maybe you're already working all the hours available to you. You've already cut your spending as much as possible. If you want to get out of that position, it's going to take a lot of hard work. Not everyone will be able to do it, but you can try to put your mind to it. What are your options for increasing your income? You could try to get promoted or get a raise at work. You could find a new job with either better pay or better opportunities for progression. You could go back to school, either in person or online, to increase your earning potential. Or you could try to build a business and perhaps look for funding for it.

Set yourself a long-term goal you can aim for, then break it down into smaller objectives. If you want to get promoted at work, what can you do to get there? If you want to find a better paying job, what's your plan or action so you can stay motivated on your search? What help is available for someone who wants to launch a business? A step-by-step plan will be easier to follow and can help to motivate you. But you also need to be flexible. If things don't go to plan, that shouldn't mean the end. Your next move is to go to plan B and try another route.

Start Paying for Things ASAP

When you're living paycheck-to-paycheck, you might put off paying bills for a few weeks. This can mean that you're paying more than you need to in late fees. As you start to move into a more financially comfortable position, start paying for things right away. You'll have your money more organized if you know when your bills and payments will be paid. You'll be able to budget more easily if payments are made on set dates and not just whenever you have the money for them.

If you're fed up of living paycheck-to-paycheck, try these methods to make a change. You'll need to be dedicated if you want to pull yourself out of that hole.


Outfits of the Week: September #3


Monday
Shirt: Forever 21
Jeans: River Island
Shoes: New Look
Necklace: Primark

Tuesday
Top: Primark
Jeans: New Look
Shoes: Primark
Bracelets: Joma, Annie Haak & Pandora

Wednesday
Top: Forever 21
Jacket: Primark
Jeans: River Island
Necklace: Primark
Shoes: Primark

Thursday
Shirt: Asda
Jeans: River Island
Shoes: Primark

Friday
Top: Primark
Cardigan: New Look
Skirts: Primark
Shoes: Primark
Necklace: ebay

Why Every Fashionista Needs To Visit New York

New York is one of my favourite places to visit as it’s full of amazing shops, sights, and food. And millions of people agree with me as they visit the city that never sleeps every year. In fact, many fashionistas go to New York just for an extended shopping weekend! After all, they often have the latest fashion trends before everywhere else. And New York fashion week is one of the biggest dates on fashionistas calendars! Here are some of the top reasons why every fashionista needs to visit New York.





You will spot many amazing style ideas from just walking around the city
As it’s one of the most popular cities in the world, there are millions of tourists swarming around every year. You will spot many models and fashionistas just wandering around the shops in New York. Therefore, you are bound to get some great style ideas from just walking around the city and people watching. You are bound to see a few celebrities while you are on your trip and will have clothes envy!


They have several large department stores including Macy’s and Saks
New York is home to several large department stores that you will want to visit while you are on your trip. In fact, it’s even home to the largest in the world which is Macy’s. You will find some of the top designers in Macys such as Adrianna Papell and Michael Kors. Other great department stores in New York include Saks Fifth Avenue. As it says in this feature, the shoe floor is a must-see as it is full of luxury shoes and a chocolate bar! If you can’t get to NY, the store does have a site which delivers to the UK. You can also find discounts such as Saks 5th Ave Coupon Codes so you get a good deal on the items online!

They have an amazing outlet centre called Woodbury Common
Every fashionista also needs to book a trip to Woodbury Common when they are visiting New York. It’s often named the world’s finest outlet centre with all the top brands and designers being situated here. I’ve talked previously about how great it is for getting a good deal on the top brands. Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry, and Chloe are just a few situated in the outlet centre offering amazing discounts!

You will get a better price for clothes than in the UK
One of the main reasons why people go to New York for shopping is that they get a great deal for their money on clothes. You can find the same clothing in the UK for a much cheaper rate in New York. Therefore, you won’t feel as bad buying that gorgeous Tiffany bracelet while you are in the amazing city!

As well as finding the popular high street and designer stores in New York, there are so many unique stores that are worth visiting. If you wander into Brooklyn, you will find some great shops such as Zoe which is worth taking a look in. You will find some great items that you will never see back in the UK. You can read more about the best places for fashionistas in this article.

Planning for a Big Trip Abroad

If your next trip abroad is going to be a big one, you need to plan it out carefully. You want it all to go to plan, but that can only happen if you’re willing to put in the preparation work beforehand. Here are the best ways to prepare for a big trip to another country.

Research the Costs
Every trip costs money. There are plenty of ways in which you can reduce the costs. But a big trip is still going to set you back a relatively large sum of money. That’s something that you’ll have to be prepared for. So that these costs don’t take you by surprise, you should research all the costs and add them up in advance. You can then create a budget and make sure that you will have enough money to do what you want to during your trip.


Plan Transportation
You will also need to make plans for how you will get around when you’re at your destination. This is something that will be different for everyone. Some people prefer to hire a car and do it that way. But some people like to be able to rely on public transport so that they don’t have to do any driving. If you’re going somewhere that has lots of remote locations that are spread out, hiring a car might be best. For example, if you’re heading to India, you’ll probably want to drive the manali leh highway.

Look for Last Minute Deals
You can save so much money on your trip by looking for deals that only become available at the last minute. Some of these deals can relate to hotels and others to flights. Of course, you don’t want to leave it so late that you miss out on a flight that is most suitable for you. But if you do take that risk, you will probably save some money. So, it’s up to you to decide when the best time to book is.

Automate
Before you go, it can be a good idea to automate some of the tasks that you won’t be able to take care of while you’re away. This is a good way to keep things ticking over while you forget about them and enjoy your trip. So, you can set automated email responses and an answering machine message on the phone. These will tell people where you are and when you’ll be back. You should also automate things like bill payments to ensure you don’t run into trouble.

Get Insurance
You should always make sure that you have travel insurance before you set off on your trip. This might sound like something that’s unnecessary. But even if you are not planning on doing vigorous tasks, you should still get insured. You don’t know when an accident or illness might strike you. And you don’t want to be left with huge medical bills. For people doing things like hiking in the Himalayas, proper insurance is even more important. Then you’ll be free to enjoy your trip with peace of mind.

Outfits of the Week: September #2


Monday
Blouse: Primark
Trousers: F&F @ Tesco
Sandals: Accessorize
Necklace: Primark

Tuesday
Top: F&F @ Tesco
Jeans: River Island
Sandals: Primark
Necklace: Primark

Wednesday
Top: George @ Asda
Blazer: Quiz
Jeans: River Island
Shoes: Primark
Bracelet: Tiffany's and Fitbit Charge HR

Thursday
Top: Primark
Blazer: Misspap
Skirt: ASOS
Shoes: Primark
Necklace: Primark

Friday
Top: Primark
Pinafore: Primark
Shoes: Primark
Bracelets: Annie Haak and Joma Jewellery

The Right Way to Have a Spontaneous Holiday

People often romanticize spontaneous holidays. After all, what sounds cooler than suddenly deciding to get on a plane and jet off to a new country in just a few days? The popular idea behind a spontaneous holiday is that you just buy tickets and go, with pretty much no planning whatsoever.

I get the attraction in that. But the problem with all of this is that going anywhere without doing at least some planning isn’t a smart move. The fact is that you can have a lot more fun if you take a little more time. Of course, you want to keep the spontaneity, so speed is still at a premium. Just because you have a careful approach to this sort of thing, it doesn’t mean the holiday isn’t spontaneous! Here are some tips that will help take the stress out of a spontaneous holiday without skipping on excitement!


Get your travel permissions ASAP
If you want to head off to a new country pretty soon, you need to get this process going immediately. Applying for the necessary permission to enter the country you want to visit isn’t always the quickest thing. As long as you get it done as early as possible, you should be okay. You should always look into all the options available to you when you do this. For example, you can get either a visa or Electronic Travel Authorization if you want to go to Canada. Read more at official-canada-eta.com.

Don’t buy the first tickets you see
Quite often, people decide to go on spontaneous holidays because they’ve just eyed an amazing travel deal. This is the ideal way to go about things, really. But not everyone comes to their decision in this fashion. They might be daydreaming one day and suddenly come upon the idea to go to, say, Tokyo. Trying to keep in the spirit of spontaneity, they search for travel packages and snap up the first one they see. This locks them into their decision and keeps things fast. But just because you’re trying to be spontaneous, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t spent a good amount of time hunting for the best deals. After all, what’s a few hours if it can save you hundreds of dollars? Read up on this at nbcnews.com.


Research the things you might want to do there
Many people would balk at the idea of doing any sort of planning - more specifically, any sort of itinerary. And it’s true that a spontaneous holiday shouldn’t be planned thoroughly to the last letter and minute. But if you don’t have at least a vague idea about what you want to do there, you might just find yourself wasting a trip! You’ll end up finding out about these things once you’re already home. So what you should do is make a list of the things you really want to do when you’re out there. But once you’ve done that, halve the list. That’s right: take away at least 50% of the things you’ve written down. Limit yourself now to free yourself up later. Read more at independenttraveler.com.