No Spend September

Sooooo, I’m skint *sigh*

This month has been super expensive, to say the least. I’ve had Drews birthday, two friends birthdays, two leaving drinks and a new mattress to buy. Plus we are going on holiday on Thursday, so there’s the expense there.

The mattress was a huge inconvenience. Whilst pet sitting, my mums cat wee’d all over the bed. After trying to clean the smell and stain out, trying all manner of internet cleaning hacks and a few of my own, we decided it had had it’s day. We did a little bit of bargain hunting after trapsing round the department stores on Oxford Street. Instead of buying the mattress straight from the stores we looked online at discount mattresses and decided on a rejuvenated Eve Mattress – The mattresses returned within 100 days are ‘rejuvenated’ with new covers,  and we saved an absolute bomb. Plus it was the only mattress under £1000 me and Drew agreed on (he likes firm, I like soft. The impossible task!)

I got a bit carried away there, where was I? Oh yes, no spend September!

So we have decided to do no spend September – this of course does not include groceries, because we need to eat. Wish me luck! I’m going to have to control myself around restaurants, the huge array of coffee shops on my road, and home sense. Instead of spending money on all those things I will be spending more time painting, sanding down my kitchen table, and going on nice long walks.

I’ll keep you updated, whether I make it or not!

Al

xx

Cruelty Free Skincare/Beauty

I’ve found it hard to work out exactly what brands are entirely beauty free. Often the ones you think are green and cruelty free aren’t actually being transparent on their products ingredients and sourcing. The leaping bunny symbol is my go to and almost all of these products are tagged with the little bun. As always not all beauty products work for everyone, I have dry sensitive skin and have found even the most raved about products for my skin type were totally wrong. If you can I’d try and get samples before investing in skin care to avoid unnecessary waste. You don’t get if you don’t ask 🙂

At the beginning of my cruelty free journey I received a large selection of Lush products as a Christmas present – although I like some Lush products I was quite disappointed by their Jackie Oats foundation. So this list includes no Lush products, as although I like some of them I find these are better at the job. So here goes!

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Pixi h20 foundation – This foundation is super lightweight, probably best for no-makeup makeup fans, or for those like myself who don’t wear very much makeup. I like this a lot because it has a somewhat dewy finish to it and feels soft on the skin. I often find foundations are too cakey for me, or feel a bit too heavy, But not this one!

Burts Bees Facial Cleanser (for sensitive skin) – this is a beautiful product. For one you get a huge tube for a very reasonable price *bonus* but best of all this makes my skin feel so clean and soft. I’d definitely give this a try if you have dry or sensitive skin. There’s not much I can say other than give this a try if you don’t want to spend a fortune on cruelty free beauty products.

B. (By superdrug) Copper Eyeshadow – Not all superdrug stores sell the makeup but I know you can purchase it online. I really like copper tone eyeshadow and this can either look subtle or highly pigmented depending on how you apply it. It’s super pretty and I like the fact superdrug are now catering to a wider audience. This product obviously depends on how you feel buying products from a company which isn’t completely cruelty free. A good option for people on a tighter budget. One thing I would say about buying products from a large company which doesn’t cater exclusively to cruelty free/vegan shoppers is it’s a good way for large corporations to see how popular the cruelty free culture is, and if you are on a tight budget it doesn’t always feel like you have many options. Just a thought, but I’m sure not everyone will agree!

– I also have a B. Nail polish in a really lush terracotta colour. Check it out!

– Waitrose Bath Foam/Shower Gel: So I checked out the ingredients on these products and I’m almost entirely sure they are exactly the same product, you just get more bath foam for your money. So i have started to buy the bath foam rather than the shower gel. This shower gel smells absolutely amazing, it smells a bit like a muji store or an expensive organic hand cream I always try but never buy. I was pleasantly surprised to see the bouncing bunny on the back of the bottle so this will be repurchased unless I find something even better (unlikely!)

– *Weleda Skin food: if you have super dry skin BUY THIS! I get extremely dry patches on my legs and arms and this makes them so much better! Weleda are natural/organic products and have had some criticism for a vague statement on their animal testing policy (as they sell in china) however after some research I feel confident that they do not test their products on animals but totally use your own judgement and do a little research to see where you sit with this one.

– B. Pure facial wipes. I bought these out of convenience because I wanted to try out some mattresses in a department store but me and my other half had face paint on after a fun day. So I popped into superdrug and picked these up because I knew they were cruelty free. I don’t normally use face wipes because I find them quite harsh on the skin, just me? But these are so lush! They are soft and leave your skin feeling so fresh! I’d definitely try these out if you need something for convenience or if you are travelling.

So to round up I’d definitely do a little research into this topic, But if you can’t be bothered just use the leaping bunny as your go to. We all have different opinions on this and I try my best to do what I think is right and this will depend on the individual. I was recently quite surprised to see Barry M is a cruelty free brand, I don’t actually own any Barry M makeup, But if you are a bit younger or don’t have the money to spend on more pricey products there is something out there for you – but one thing is for sure, it’s much harder to find this stuff out than it should be!

Cruelty Free Skincare/Beauty

I’ve found it hard to work out exactly what brands are entirely beauty free. Often the ones you think are green and cruelty free aren’t actually being transparent on their products ingredients and sourcing. The bouncing lbunny symbol is my go to and these products are all tagged with that little bouncing bunny. 

At the beginning of my cruelty free journey I received a large selection of Lush products as a Christmas present – although I like some Lush products I was quite disappointed by their Jackie Oats foundation. So this list includes no Lush products, as although I like some of them I find these are better at the job. So here goes!

Pixi h20 foundation – This foundation is super lightweight, probably best for no-makeup makeup fans, or for those like myself who don’t wear very much makeup. I like this a lot because it has a somewhat dewy finish to it and feels soft on the skin. I often find foundations are too cakey for me, or feel a bit too heavy, But not this one! 

Butts Bees Facial Cleanser (for sensitive skin) – this is a beautiful product. For one you get a huge tube for a very reasonable price *bonus* but best of all this makes my skin feel so clean and soft. I’d definitely give this a try if you have dry or sensitive skin. There’s not much I can say other than give this a try if you don’t want to spend a fortune on cruelty free beauty products.

B. (By superdrug) Copper Eyeshadow – Not all superdrug stores sell the makeup but I know you can purchase it online. I really like copper tone eyeshadow and this can either look subtle or highly pigmented depending on how you apply it. It’s super pretty and I like the fact superdrug are now catering to a wider audience. This product obviously depends on how you feel buying products from a company which isn’t completely cruelty free. A good option for people on a tighter budget. 

– I also have a B. Nail polish in a really lush terracotta colour. Check it out!

– Waitrose Bath Foam/Shower Gel: So I checked out the ingredients on these products and I’m almost entirely sure they are exactly the same product, you just get more bath foam for your money. So i have started to buy the bath foam rather than the shower gel. This shower gel smells absolutely amazing, it smells a bit like a muji store or an expensive organic hand cream I always try but never buy. I was pleasantly surprised to see the bouncing bunny on the back of the bottle so this will be repurchased unless I find something even better (unlikely!) 

– Weleda Skin food: if you have super dry skin BUY THIS! I get extremely dry patches on my legs and arms. 

Home

A sneak peak into our smallish home. These are some of my favourite parts of our home, and something we have been working on since we moved in almost 2 months ago. I am obsessed with my plants, nurturing them and tending to them brings me so much happiness. I hope you like our space as much as I do 🙂

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Look who came to see me today! ❤20170807_160257

 

A Simple Wardrobe – My Favourite Outfit

My favourite outfit is never going to be fancy, I like to be comfortable and classic, or some call it boring! Since paring down my wardrobe I have come to appreciate the power of an accessory. This is my favourite scarf – since buying it I haven’t taken it off, it lightens up my mostly black/grey wardrobe, looks summery but is suitable for the British Summer.

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The smallest thing can make a big impact in a basic wardrobe. Thank you scarf!

Al

xx

Being Content With What You Have

A nice concept right? But something I think we seem to be lacking in modern society, and I think this is the main issue with hoarding, buying, and possessing so much stuff. Stuff is an interesting word actually – it seems so indifferent, so unspecific, so meh.

I’m like anyone else, I have thoughts that I need more, but three times this year I have been presented with other people telling me I need more, that I need something specific and this made me take a step back and actually take a look at this behaviour. And this has stuck with me because it represents societies view that we shouldn’t be content with what we have.

  1. At my previous job a colleague was looking at clothes online and saw a dress she said would look cute on me, I told her I have 3 dresses but actually I don’t tend to wear dresses very much, they are mostly for holidays and special occasions, I’m happy in my jeans. She responded with this – “You only have three dresses! That’s not enough!” – Now her comments were meant with good intentions, like all of these conversations, but I found it interesting that she thought 3 dresses wasn’t enough for someone that lives in jeans and a t-shirt, that I shouldn’t be content with my 3 dresses.
  2. I was shopping with my best friend and we both gravitated towards a plain navy blue jumper, it was very nice, boxy but not too baggy, a nice thick fluffy yarn. She said to me “You should get it, you hardly ever treat yourself to new clothes!”. I looked at the label and saw it wasn’t a decent fabric, it was an acrylic poly blend – definitely not worth £45, and not worth the space in my wardrobe. But this was an interesting concept, I should buy something simply because I don’t often treat myself to expensive new clothing (and yes, £45 is expensive when you buy almost everything second hand)
  3. My boyfriend bought new trainers this week, he described their comfort as life changing and told me I should just try some on. I recently threw away my converse because they fell apart and invested in some Adidas trainers in the sale. They are comfortable and suitable for both work and leisure – I pointed out I had just bought these, but would try the Nike’s when they  no longer work – he told me just to try them on. Why? Like the previous examples he had good intentions, you should treat yourself, these are super comfy. But my current trainers are fine? I wear them everyday. I am content.

So please think to yourself: Am I conent? And will this item I’m currently coveting make me content? Did any of the previous items make me content? Do I really need more?

 

P.S Yesterday I was browing homewares online, I filled a basket with cushions and throws. But I couldn’t go through with purchasing it – we are never going to be perfect, and we shouldn’t beat ourselves up about it. Instead I picked up my paintbrush and painted the flowerpots my plants are in to make them look prettier. Shopping shouldn’t be a hobbie, but I think we are made to think it is, find a hobbie to reduce your browsing time 🙂

 

Raspberry Crumble Cake

I made a bloomin cake!

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There are a tonne of coffee shops where we have just moved and the temptation for me to buy overpriced coffee and cake is really quite overwhelming. I buy myself a take-away coffee about three times a week now (Could do better, but I have cut down! Plus I get a free coffee soon 🙂 So I thought, why not try making one of the cakes I covet everytime I walk past that particular cafe? So here it is, and it is delicious! And cost about the same price as one slice! Go me!

Weekly Goals

  • To use the food we have before we buy more – I want to experiment with cooking a little more, so using the tins in the cupboard with the fresh veg in our fridge is this weeks goal. We bought the veggies last weekend and they are still fresh and good, so hopefully we won’t spend much money on food this week. I hate waste.
  • Catch up on sleep –  Last week was a really rubbish week for me, nothing major happened it just felt like lots of little things went wrong, so I feel quite drained. I need this

What are you goals this week?

Ally xx

Making a Budget on Payday

How I manage my money

I think it’s safe to say most of us have spent money on things we don’t need at some time or another, or we haven’t lived within our means, or have quite simply been irresponsible with our money – we are humans after all. So I wanted to write this post on how I manage my money living in the 3rd most expensive city in the world.

I don’t earn that much, I am in a graduate position and on a decent wage, but it would be extremely easy for me to spend beyond my means. I work full time for a charitable organisation and although I earn enough to live, London is expensive, so it’s imperative I manage my money responsibly so I don’t have to live paycheque to paycheque, especially if i’m aiming to save 10,000 in two years (eek) So this is how I mange my money, it seems really simple, but why should it be complicated?

1. When I get paid I assign rent and bills money to my main current account. This includes council tax, phone bills, internet, basically everything I have to pay each month (no netflix, not you)
2. Once I’ve worked out how much that is, I look at what i’m left with.
3. Decide on a budget. For me the first thing that needs to be thought about is food and travel. Me and Drew have decided to limit our food shop to £15 a week each, so £30 on our food shop altogether. Then I need to think about travel, and just general stuff. Once i’ve chosen a budget for the month I can transfer this money into my second account, or as I like to call it my ‘Pocket Money Account’, this account also has a debit card, which allows me to spend my money without having to worry that i’m going to dip into my rent money #priorities
4. Transfer everything else into your savings account*. Generally I will put enough money in my pocket money account to give myself a little bit of room to move. I’m not trying to make life miserable for myself, it includes money to socialise and treat myself. But I always transfer money into my savings account at the beginning of the month, otherwise it is just too easy to spend.

*For this period in my life my savings account can be accessed at any time, and thus has a bit of a rubbish interest rate. If your savings account is a little more guarded it may be a good idea to not transfer absolutely everything that’s left, but transfer half your allocated amount at the beginning of the month, then the other half at the end of the month ( I hope that makes sense )