We all know that being a millennial in the current economic climate is tough. It’s all over the news, anyone in their late teens, twenties or thirties now will not have it like our parents had it. We spend all our income on rent, everything costs more, the salaries haven’t caught up and the chances of us actually being able to do something ‘adult-like’, buy a house for instance, are basically zero. If, like me, you live in London, you can times all these issues by a thousand and you’ve got an idea of where your salary disappears to 10 days after pay day.

But, here’s the thing. I like spending money.  I’m all about experiences and I like to live life to the full, packing my evenings and weekends with going out any doing stuff. It’s important to me. I’m sure I’m not alone here. I can’t stand it when my money just seems to disappear and I’ve got no idea of what I spent it on!  So, with that in mind I’ve come up with a few ways to save pennies on the ‘boring stuff’, which adds up to saving a wholeeee lot of money in the long run. Money to spend on having fun – yay!

So, for those likeminded people who find themselves straight up broke but still don’t want to sacrifice having a life then give these ideas a go and save the money for a rainy day.

Coffee.

I agree, there is nothing quite like the smell of a barista style coffee shop when you’re on the way to work at some ungodly hour. HOWEVER, did you know that if you buy one medium latte a day you are probably spending in excess of £50 per month on coffee? No, I didn’t either. Buying a flask and taking coffee from home will save a small fortune.

Greetings Cards.

Sorry mum, but I’m just not okay with spending £100+ a year on cards alone which are only heading to the recycling bin eventually. Birthday cards, Christmas cards, Valentine’s day cards – we have gone for a total, blanket ban. This will not only save us money but also it’s our way of doing our bit for the environment too. If you feel super bad for not sending cards try these Lost Ocean postcards which you can colour in beautifully yourself and send for a fraction of the cost.

Couponing.

It may sound lame, but who doesn’t get a kick out of using money off vouchers?! It’s free money! I used to chuck the vouchers they give you in Sainsbury’s, Boots and so on but actually if you get organised, keep them and use them you can save money on your day-to-day shopping.

Points cards.

Remembering to take your points/membership cards to the relevant shops can pay off big time further done the line! We do all our food shopping at Sainsbury’s so our Nectar points add up fast. I’ve also been really impressed with the new Co Op membership card which is free to join and not only gives you 5% back on all your purchases in store but also 1% of what you buy goes to worthwhile causes in your local community! I love that.

Don’t pay over the odds.

A prime example of this is going to the cinema, a regular pastime of ours. Aside from the extortionate ticket prices, a couple can easily blow £10-£15 on drinks, sweets and treats. We have recently started buying a bag of popcorn and bottles of cola on the way there from Co Op (whilst using our membership card to collect points boom) and I’m not exaggerating, we have saved a small fortune. This is the same for gigs, theatre shows, football matches, the lot. Be prepared!

Food prep.

I’m guilty of forgetting this one because it takes a fair bit of forward planning and organisation on my part but when I am on it with the food prep I have notice a huge difference in my weekly bank balance! We try to cook up a batch of meals on Sunday night to take to work for the rest of the week. With the average meal deal costing £3 that is £60 per month on lunches alone which is just too much in my opinion. When you add it up it’s easy to see where that pay check is escaping to each month! Being organised can save you a great deal.

I know how tricky it can be to budget, believe me, so I don’t do it. But by following these few easy tricks I have found my money seems to be going a little bit further, without really sacrificing too much! I hope that you might find these helpful.

What are your fail-safe ways to save cash? Are you a budgeter?

I have suffered from sleep problems on and off throughout my adult life, but the worst episode I had started 3 years ago and went on until last year. It is so debilitating and exhausting when you can’t sleep and trying to explain that weird ‘trapped’ feeling when your staring at the ceiling at 4am waiting for the sun to come up is impossible. 

Personally, I have decided to stay away from medication and try self care remedies.  I have managed to overcome my sleeping issues myself and although I know these steps won’t work for everyone they really helped me and now I can get off to sleep quickly almost every night. Here are a few simple tips and lifestyle changes that I have made which have really worked for me.

Go to bed earlier.

This may sound strange but this is the thing which has helped me the most I think. My acupuncturist told me that at 11pm we (humans) get a burst of energy and endorphins (this is where the phrase ‘burning the midnight oil’ comes from and why many artists and writers insist they do their best work in the middle of the night!).  We can avoid getting this burst if we are already asleep by 11pm! It might sound like the opposite of what you want to do if you have trouble dropping off but simply changing my regular bedtime to 10.30pm has made a really big difference to my routine.

Sorry, no lie ins!

Everyone’s insomnia is different and I know a lot of people can’t sleep in at all, but with me if I had a day off or late shift the next day I would often lie in until 10 or even 11am trying to ‘catch up’ on sleep. By forcing myself to get up at 6am every weekday for a workout and 8am on the weekends I have established a kick ass routine and by the time the evening comes around I’m shattered from getting up so early so fall asleep easier! You know when parents pack their kids’ weekends full of activities to ‘wear them out’ – well it works for us adults too!

A little bit of exercise every day.

I know it’s so easy to say but doing some exercise everyday has helped me to become a fitter, more active person and has definitely improved my sleeping, and my well being in general.

Stop trying too hard.

On the occasions I do go to bed and I can’t drop off I don’t stress about it like I used to. I leave the room (nothing worse than a deep-sleeping partner’s heavy breathing when you can’t drop off!) and usually have a bath or read a book. It doesn’t take long to start getting heavy eyelids.

ASMR.

This is a new one for me, but in someways has made the biggest difference. Sometimes there are some nights when I just can’t shut my brain off and when I close my eyes my head is buzzing with thoughts and stresses. This is when I get out my Ipad (on low brightness), plug in and listen to some ASMR videos on Youtube. I won’t go into too much detail as I’m no expert but ASMR ‘artists’ create videos using special microphones and sounds to create a sense of deep relaxation, and it really works! It’s sooooo relaxing. These videos have really helped me when all else fails and they have me drifting off in no time.

You can read more about ASMR here.

I do understand that these won’t work for everyone but I really hope that this might help someone – because I know how frustrating it can be! In our busy lives sleep is often the first thing to go and more and more doctors and researchers are proving just how important it is to our physical and mental health. If you are really struggling make sure you ease the burden by chatting it through with someone you are close to or your doctor.

Have you guys found any self-help methods for sleeping that really help you?

What a beautiful start to Spring we’ve been having in London! Sure, it’s been a bit chilly but we’ve had some days of glorious bright sunshine and big blue skies. Just how I like them.

I took the opportunity to head out and get some photographs of a few of my new Spring wardrobe pieces from Missguided. I’ve been ordering some new items and going for a kind of muted pastel colour theme. I’ve always loved dusty pink but I’m really feeling the camel and cream tones at the moment. On Saturday I chose to wear these nude skinny jeans with this chiffon camel jacket and I’m so happy with how the look turned out. I’m lucky to have the stunning backdrop of the Royal Naval College, Greenwich just around the corner.

I love this outfit because it’s the perfect mix of casual with a slightly dressed up feel. I chose to pair it with some New Look brown ankle boots but it was also look nice with sandals, pumps or wedges when it gets a bit warmer. I adore the feeling of the camel jacket and the fact that it’s floaty chiffon makes it really flattering. The jeans are stretchy and super comfortable for high waisted. The colour is ‘nude’ which is lovely because it’s not stark white, more of a champagney tone.

 

What I’m Wearing:

Nude jeans // Missguided

Chiffon camel jacket // Missguided

Floral top // Primark

Boots // New Look (previous season)

Scarf // gift

Which styles are you loving for Spring?

Photography credit // Paul Erler

Like this? Check out my Instagram!

You can view my full Missguided Spring Haul video here!

 

I think most of us will agree that lazy Sunday mornings are literally the best thing ever. Now, I love a brunch date and although sometimes it is nice to pop to a café and have someone else make it for me, sometimes I really don’t want to get out of my pyjamas and leave the house! So lately we’ve been whipping up some delicious home-cooked brunches in our own kitchen.

Instagram friendly poached eggs on smoked salmon and smashed avocado

This is super easy and quick and is equally as scrumptious to eat as it is to look at on your insta feed. Simply spread some ripe avocado on some wholemeal toast and pop some smoked salmon on top. Next, poach a perfect runny egg (this part takes some practice and I usually get Paul to do it for me!) either in hot water or using a poacher. Top with black pepper and a sprinkling of chilli flakes to give it an extra kick. A super impressive brunch which takes less than 10 minutes to prepare.

Guilt free oat and cinnamon pancakes

And they seriously are guilt free! These pancakes contain no sugar, no butter and no milk.  Throw 25 grams of porridge oats in a blender (or Nutri Bullet) with an egg, a banana and a tea spoon of cinnamon. Then accessorise as you please! Blueberries, strawberries, yogurt, banana and honey are all delicious toppings – but we were really naughty once and put apple, bacon and maple syrup on them!

Spicy vegetarian omelette

This delicious and healthy omelette is perfect for even the most discerning of healthy eaters! It’s meat free, dairy free, gluten free – not quite vegan though, sorry! Roughly chop peppers, radishes, spring onions, chills or any of your chosen veg you’ve got at the back of the fridge along with some tofu. Whisk three eggs in a bowl and season with salt, pepper and smoked paprika for a kick. Lightly fry your filling until the tofu is turning brown, add the eggs and cook, flip, fold and make your omelette! Serve with mashed avocado on the side.

 

Greek inspired bruschetta 

These are a tasty savoury brunch idea which were inspired by our time in Greece last year and we absolutely love them. They are so easy to prepare too! Serve roughly chopped ripe plum tomatoes with basil leaves and feta cheese pieces on slices of toasted ciabatta bread. Also, while the ciabatta is still warm rub a cut garlic clove over it for that extra yummy kick. Drizzle olive oil over the whole lot before serving.


The Full Monty

You cannot beat a full English fry up and sometimes – it’s just what you need on a Sunday. Particularly if you’ve had a few wines the night before I find! Anyway, I love cooking up the full monty for us occasionally but we all know it’s not that great for you. There are a few small changes I make to keep it as healthy as humanly possible (but still not healthy!). Firstly, I always use a very, very small amount of coconut oil to cook the eggs and mushrooms, and I tend to scramble or poach the eggs rather than fry them. I also cook the sausages and bacon in the oven rather than in the pan. This reduces the oil and grease content slightly. The key to a good full English is timing and preparation! The final ‘flourish’ of cooking everything only takes about 5 minutes so you have to make sure everything is out, ready and raring to go before it all goes cold! I’ve got it down now even if I do say so myself!

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Wow, my mouth is seriously watering now! I think I better go and get me some brunch! I hope this might give you some ideas for some super easy but seriously delicious brunch ideas to cook in the comfort of your own kitchen. For more recipes and food ideas visit my Instagram page.

Have a wonderful Sunday.

With wedding season nearly upon us no doubt many of us will be racking our brains for present ideas. True, most people make a gift registry these days so things are a bit more simple. But if they don’t (or you just don’t fancy buying another cutlery set for the sixth time) then you may need to come up with your own idea!

I love gift giving for any occasion and I think it’s so important, especially for a wedding, to choose something meaningful that the receiver will actually like. If you don’t know the couple super well, this can be tricky,. However, as a newlywed myself I have the inside knowledge on a gift a newly married couple will love and might actually need.

All of these gifts were sourced from my favourite gift-giving website: notonthehighstreet.com

Personalised Wedding Keepsake Box // £39.95

Most couples will have already purchased a beautiful personalised wedding album, but the keepsake box is often overlooked. After my wedding I found I had lots of ‘bits’ that I wanted to keep – an invitation, dried rose from my bouquet, spare favour, card from Paul from the morning-of and so on. A cute little box is the perfect box they never knew they needed.

Personalised Special Occasion Photo Frame // £25

If you know the happy couple have a lot of space on their wall to fill I think this ‘Insta-shaped’ photo frame is a really cute idea. Most newlyweds will choose their favourite professional photographs and have them displayed proudly – probably blown up on canvas. If I was buying this gift I would find all the best and most hilarious ‘candid shots’ on Instagram and fill the frame with these. That way every time they look at it they will be taken back to how happy they felt on the day with their loved ones.

Heart Personalised Candle // £29

Because who doesn’t love a scented candle right?! I spend a fortune on them, so I’m always delighted when I get one as a gift. And with the couples initials on it this candle makes for a really cute wedding gift that they will 100% get great use out of. More than a silver cheese knife let me tell you.

Personalised Wooden Luggage Tags // £34

This gift is super useful and it’s highly unlikely to be thought of by anyone else. These luggage tags are really stylish and your newlyweds will LOVE them for their honeymoon. The plus-side of getting tags with their full names on rather than just the traditional ‘Mr’ and ‘Mrs’ which honeymoon luggage tags normally have, is that they can continue to use these for holidays after their honeymoon!

Tree of Love // £35

I love this idea. Plant the tree and watch it grow as the couples lives together and their family grows. So cute, I would have loved to receive one of these. Only slight hitch is – we don’t have a garden! So before purchasing this wonderful gift it probably is worth checking a few things. A) the couple have a garden big enough for a tree and B) they are in a home that they so far intend to stay in for a while. If they are currently renting an ‘in between’ house then it would be unfortunate to plant the Tree of Love only to have to dig it up a few months later!

Framed Personalised Song Lyrics Print // £34

If you are close to the bride or groom and know their first dance song in advance then this is a seriously amazing gift for a seriously stylish couple. I adore this print and am actually considering buying this for my own home! Not only is it a gorgeous and poignant reminder of your first dance song lyrics, it’s also printed in beautiful gold AND these lyrics pictured just so happy to be from my own first dance song; ‘Thinking Out Loud’.

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I hope these have given you some ideas if you’re a bit stuck as to what to get a hubby and wife to be! Weddings are special so chose something thoughtful, meaningful and that is as special as they are!