My Handbag Collection

Sunday, 28 June 2015


Following on from my My Statement Necklace Collection post a few months back, this time I'm giving you a sneak peek at my handbag collection.  As you can see, I do love me a mini satchel.

I've also filmed a video to go alongside this if you prefer to see a moving version!

Friday Thumbs Up: New Tunes

Friday, 26 June 2015
If you follow me on Twitter you'll know that I've been getting back into the gym recently, and I'm actually starting to enjoy it! We've been going every few days, although I was on a break last week as I gave myself so many blisters on my recent trip to London that I couldn't walk without limping, never mind use a treadmill. 

I find that I need a decent playlist to really keep me going on a gym session though, if I forgot my iPhone and headphones one day I doubt I'd last 15 minutes. For ages I was just looping 1989 by Taylor Swift but I started to get a bit bored of it (sacrilege!) so decided to put together a playlist of new tunes to freshen things up a bit. 

I basically just went through a couple of the "top 100" lists on Spotify, listened to a few seconds of each song to see if it was crap or not and then stuck them in a "new stuff" playlist. Now that I've had a few weeks to properly take it in I've found that there's a couple of songs on there which I am absolutely loving, so I thought I'd share them with you.

Hair Newbies

Tuesday, 23 June 2015


I'm trying to be really nice to my hair at the moment as I want it to be in tip top condition come the wedding in September.  At my last hair appointment I went for a full head of highlights, and since then I've been trying to use products that will maintain my colour, improve the condition and prevent damage.

Here's some new products that I've been trying out recently:

Camera Roll

Friday, 19 June 2015
I used to be really good at using this blog to update you on what has been going on in my life.  Back in 2012 I had a 'Week in Instagram' feature (like this one) where I shared photos from the week and summarised what I'd been up to.  

That became a bit too hard to maintain though so in 2013 I moved to a monthly 'Life Update' (like this one) where as well as sharing photos from the month I also gave a run down of what I'd been watching, reading and listening to, as well as some fun blog stats.

In 2014 I got lazy and cut my monthly update post down to a series of photo highlights (like this one), and then this year I haven't even bothered to do that!

I've seen a couple of other bloggers do 'camera roll' style updates though and, being ever the original, I thought I'd do one too.  So here's some photos from my iPhone that paint a story of what I've been up to over the last few weeks.


Spring Cleaning

Friday, 12 June 2015


There's something about Spring that just makes me want to start emptying cupboards, chucking things in bin bags and have a good old clear out.  So that's precisely what we've been doing for the last few weeks, primarily tackling our spare room which has become a bit of a dumping ground.  The wardrobe was at the point where it physically wouldn't take any more STUFF, so it was well overdue a serious tidy.

We're big recyclers in our house and try to avoid sticking things into landfill if we can help it, so I've been doing a lot of research into where we can offload our unloved and unwanted items in the best possible way.  I feel like I've learnt A LOT about what you can pass on to be reused/recycled in the last few weeks so thought I'd share some of this knowledge with you all.  Hopefully you can find a new home for some of your clutter too - all the more space to buy new things ;)

Clothes, shoes & handbags

My first port of call for clothing items that are in decent condition is always eBay.  In the last few months I've sold about 25 items - from dresses, to handbags, to cardigans - some that were worn, and some that even still had tags on (naughty).  I've made close to £200 from my auctions which I'm pretty pleased with - and I'm even more impressed that I managed to put it straight into my savings account for the wedding rather than spending it on more stuff (which is what I normally do…).

For clothes that are still wearable but not necessarily good enough to sell you could take them to a Cash For Clothes shop where they'll give you around 50p per kg.  It's not a lot, but every penny counts and all that.

So that's two ways you can make money from your old clothes, but if you just want to pass them on without profit then you could take to a charity shop or put in a textile recycling point.  If you're putting shoes in here make sure they are tied in pairs.

Household textiles (curtains, towels, bedding etc)

Things like towels, bedlinen and curtains can also be put in textile recycling bins at your nearest recycling centre, alongside clothes.  However if you've got things like blankets that are still usable then I'd suggest taking them to somewhere like a homeless shelter or a dog & cat home.

Duvets and pillows can't be recycled, so don't try to squish them in recycling bins as it just clogs them up and they will end up chucked in landfill anyway.  As with blankets, it's best to try pass these on to a shelter / home - or if you're from Edinburgh then places like the Edinburgh Clothing Store and Fresh Start will accept these too.



Jewellery

As well as selling on via eBay or donating to a charity shop, you can also send off old or unwanted jewellery in the post to raise money for the Alzheimers Society.  They accept all types of jewellery, so it doesn't have to be gold/silver, - that means yes,  they will take those plastic bangles you thought were a good idea 2 years ago.   If you visit their website or email fundraising@alzheimers.org.uk you can request the freepost envelopes (I've sent off about 6 now!). 

Toiletries

As a blogger / obsessive product buyer I've accumulated a lot of beauty products that have gone unused and are taking up precious space in my drawers.  Things like shampoo / shower gels / body lotions / soap etc are ideal for passing on to a local shelter, or an organisation like the Rock Trust (unopened obviously - no one wants your half empty bottles of moisturiser folks).  

Again eBay is also worth trying if you've got almost full bottles of products that just didn't work for you (like that Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish which is languishing in my bathroom cabinet) - or similarly running a blog sale or posting on Instagram / Twitter.


DVDs, CDs, & Books

Your local charity shop or library would gladly accept good condition books - or you can use sites like Book Crossing or Read It Swap It to exchange books online.  DVDs and CDs can also be donated to charity shops, or if you can be bothered then you could try eBay or Music Magpie to make a few pounds.

If you've got old discs from laptops / cameras etc, or free DVDs/CDs from magazines - basically any kind of disc that can't really be reused - then you can send them off to Polymer Recycling.

Electricals

Small electrical items like kettles, toasters, laptops etc as well as cables and chargers can be taken to your local recycling centre.  If you have items that could be refurbished and sold on then try selling / giving away for free on Gumtree, or donate to a company like Computers 4 Africa,  Donate APC, or Pass IT On.

If you want more information of what can be recycled and where, then I'd recommend checking out the Changeworks website as they've got loads of great info (I'm not being sponsored by them - I've just found them a really great resource).


So now that our spare room has plenty of….emm…spare room, again - I've been using the empty wardrobe space to store our increasing collection of wedding DIY bits (30 painted jars and tins and counting…).  I swear it's taking all of my willpower to not start decorating my house with it all - everything looks so pretty it's a shame to keep it in a box!  

I did give in recently though and used one of the jars as a vase as I needed somewhere to put this beaut of a bouquet.  Nothing says Spring more than fresh flowers eh? The perfect accompaniment to a newly tidy and clutter free house!

I was kindly sent this beautiful peony bouquet from Blossoming Gifts who offer flower delivery online.    They do a wide range of flower gifts for all occasions, as well as hampers and wine too (my flowers came with a unexpected box of praline chocolates too!).   I find it amazing that you can get flowers delivered in a box, that come out looking as perfect as this - like, how do they not die in there?? 


If you'd like to treat yo self (or someone else) to a bouquet from Blossoming Gifts then you can get 33% off your order with the discount code BGIFTS33 (although this excludes the flowers by post range).

Enjoy!

Honeymoon Wishlist

Tuesday, 9 June 2015
With just 3 months to go to our wedding (say what?!), and therefore also just 3 months until our honeymoon, I thought it was about time I started holiday clothes shopping.  Part of me is tempted to hold off until the end of summer when all the stuff I want will hopefully be on sale - but I think I might buy a couple of things just now in case they completely sell out before September.

I don't know if I've mentioned on here what we're doing for our honeymoon yet?  We've booked a week in Rhodes at a hotel in a really quiet part of the island.  Our room has a private pool and sea view, and the hotel has a spa, tennis courts, private beach and a couple of restaurants/bars - oh and its adults only which means no fighting kids for space in the pool.  I can't bloody wait.  

We're planning on spending most of the week just completely chilling out - reading books by the pool, taking walks along the beach, drinking cocktails, getting couples' spa treatments etc.   Typical honeymoon activities really.  So for those days all I really need is swimwear, and some light clothes to stick on top of said swimwear. There are a couple of sights we really want to see on the island too though, like the Acropolis at Lindos, so we might have 1 or 2 days of exploring where I'll need a more substantial day outfit (I'm thinking maybe playsuits?).  Oh and I'll also need night-time outfits for dinner, drinks and sunset beach walks.

I've been bookmarking like crazy the last few days, checking out the holiday clothes sections of all my go-to online retailers, so I thought I'd share some of my favourite bits so far.



Links
blue tile playsuit - new look
navy aztec strappy dress - new look
chevron print bandeau swimsuit - new look
yellow daisy print dress - new look
tropical print playsuit - river island
black bandeau swimsuit - river island
palm print vest - george at asda
leaf print vest - george at asda

What I've Been Watching #1

Sunday, 7 June 2015

I know, I know….I do have a terrible habit of uploading posts that are "#1" of a series that never then actually gets off the ground, but I promise that won't happen this time.  I've been meaning to start a regular feature where I tell you about TV shows and films that I've been watching recently and after watching my friend Lynsey's May TV favourites video this afternoon it reminded me that this has been on my to-do list for a while.  I'm not sure if this will be a monthly thing (which is why I've not called it What I've Been Watching May / June), but whenever I've got a couple of new shows/films to update you on then I'll do another one.  And given how much TV I watch these days that might be quite soon.

Slimming World Food Diary #2

Tuesday, 2 June 2015
Following on from my first Slimming World food diary post a few weeks ago, here is how I got on in my second week.  I should stress it's not my second ever week on Slimming World, just the second week of writing a blog food diary series.  Anyway, on with the diary - scroll to the bottom to see how I got on at weigh in.  Also, if you'd rather watch this in video format then my weekly food diary vlog is here.

FYI for you non-Slimming World members:

FREE = foods that are "free" on the plan (i.e. you can have as much as you like)
SPEED = free foods that will help speed up your weight loss (i.e most fruit and veg)
PROTEIN = protein rich foods (duh)
SYNS = foods that aren't free, speed or protein. Between 5-15 syns a day is recommended on the plan.
HEX A = healthy extra "A" choice, i.e. measured calcium allowance of the day
HEX B = healthy extra "B" choice, i.e. measured fibre allowance of the day

DAY 1 - TUESDAY


Breakfast
peppermint tea (free)
hifi bar (1/2 hex b)

Lunch
bacon and pea quiche (3.5 syns per portion):

  • bacon (protein)
  • peas (free)
  • quark (free)
  • egg (free)
  • cheddar cheese (hex a)
  • 3 x filo pastry sheets (18 syns)

vanilla & cherry mullerlight (free)
grapes (free)
hifi bar (1/2 hex b)

Dinner
slimming world frozen meatballs (free)
chopped tomatoes (speed)
pasta (free)
salad (speed)
diet coke (free)
parmesan (remaining hex a)

Snacks
galaxy (11.5 syns)

TOTAL =  16 syns

DAY 2 - WEDNESDAY


Breakfast
hifi bar (1/2 hex b)

Lunch
bacon & pea quiche (3.5 syns)
salad (speed)
toffee mullerlight (free)
apple (speed)
hifi bar (1/2 hex b)
caffe nero small soy latte (hex a)

Dinner
chilli

  • lean beef mince (protein)
  • onion (speed)
  • peppers (speed)
  • kidney beans (protein)
  • chopped tomatoes (speed)

1/3 pack lidl mexican rice (1.5 syns)
salad (speed)

Snacks
sugar free strawberry jelly (0.5 syns)
grapes (free)
mini kitkat (3)
lidl choco & candy mini bar (3.5 syns)

TOTAL = 12 syns

DAY 3 - THURSDAY


Breakfast
2 x hifi bars (hex b)

Lunch
chicken caesar salad at Indigo Yard with no dressing (5 syns)
diet coke (free)

Dinner
chilli (protein & speed)
potato wedges (free)
cheddar cheese (hex a)
salad (speed)
diet pepsi (free)
3 x laughing cow cheese tasters (1.5 syns)

Snacks
sugar free strawberry jelly (0.5 syns)
grapes (free)
mullerlight greek mango yoghurt (0.5 syns)
lidl cocos & choc mini bar (6 syns)
3 x mikado sticks (1.5 syns)

TOTAL = 15 syns

DAY 4 - FRIDAY


Breakfast 
hifi bar (1/2 hex b)

Lunch
morrisons bbq chicken (protein)
salad (speed)
banana mullerlight (free)
hifi bar (1/2 hex b)

Dinner
texan bbq burger
fries
onion rings
oreo milkshake

Snacks
reeses pieces 3 cups 

Treat night so I didn't count syns in the evening (not recommended!)

DAY 5 - SATURDAY



Lunch
wholemeal roll (hex b)
4 x laughing cow taster cheeses (2 syns)
wafer thin chicken (protein)
salad (speed)
mango greek mullerlight (0.5 syns)
2 x mikado sticks (1 syn)
apple (speed) with cinnamon & sweetener (free)

Dinner
chunky bean burgers
  • cannellini beans (protein)
  • kidney beans (protein)
  • onion (speed)
  • garlic (speed)
  • smoked paprika (free)
  • peppers (speed)
  • egg (free)

potato wedges (free)
salad (speed)
bbq sauce (1 syn)

Snacks
40g galaxy counters (10 syns)

TOTAL = 14.5 syns
(I also went to the gym in the morning, to try make up for the previous nights' takeaway!)

The bean burgers were a total fail by the way - completely tasteless, I left about half of them on the plate.  Definitely won't be making that again!

DAY 6 - SUNDAY



Breakfast
cheese & ham toastie

  • wholemeal roll (hex b)
  • cheddar cheese (hex a)
  • ham (protein)

salad (speed)
apple (speed) with cinnamon & sweetener (free)
mullerlight toffee goodies (2.5 syns)

Dinner
chicken wrapped in bacon (protein)
roast potatoes (free)
carrots (speed)
puff pastry (4.5 syns)
gravy (1 syn)

Snacks
mini kitkat (3)
5 x mint thins (5)

TOTAL = 15 syn

DAY 7 - MONDAY


Breakfast
peppermint tea (free)
hifi bar (3 syns)

Lunch
wholemeal roll (hex b)
ham (protein)
2 x dairylea cheese triangles (hex a)
grapes
mango greek mullerlight (0.5 syns)

Dinner
lamb steak (protein)
spring onion mash (free & speed)
salad (speed)

Snacks
diet pepsi (free)
mullerlight toffee goodies (2.5 syns)
9 x mint thins (9 syns)

TOTAL = 15 syns


WEIGH IN


Results time….drum roll, not really required.  I lost half a pound this week which is better than nothing, but I wasn't particularly buoyed up by it.  I think my treat night was a bit *too* much of a treat though (I daren't even think how many syns that was - the oreo milkshake alone was probably 30).  

Onwards and upwards though!  Good luck to you fellow Slimming Worlders, I hope you had a better week than me :)