Breakfast at Frankie & Benny’s …

Hi guys,

Now that I no longer work on a Saturday, Chris and I love to go out for a Saturday morning breakfast (or brunch). We love the “treat” of it. While Frankie & Benny’s isn’t top of my list for eating out for dinner, their breakfast menu is delicious.

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Recently, our F&B in town did a special offer where you could get UNLIMITED breakfast – you literally just order a plate at a time and they bring it for you at their usual prices. Not sure if still running this offer but it is so worth a try all the same. Do google voucher codes before you go in case of extra discounts.

I love the American style breakfast with pancakes, bacon and eggs where Chris usually does the same but on waffles and adds fried chicken. Super comfort food but nice and filling for a Saturday morning.

If you haven’t tried Frankie & Benny’s for breakfast, then I would give it a go.

 

Rachael xox

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Minimalism & your purse …

Hi guys,

So as part of our minimalism series, it is now time to tackle your purse!! We keep so much in our purses that this can quite often get in the way of money management and often, things can get a little out of hand!

So … what should we have in our purses?

THE ESSENTIALS ONLY!!

I am talking ..

  • Debit Card
  • ID (driving licence etc)
  • Credit card (just one!)
  • Loyalty cards you ACTUALLY USE
  • Vouchers for something that you are actually going to buy

So your debit card is a must, saving accounts cards are not necessary unless you’re actually going to the bank that day! Online banking now means if you want to transfer money then you can do so remotely.

ID is a must! Most people have a driving licence but it is a necessity for your purse (or to keep in a mobile phone cover).

A credit card is okay, they come in handy for emergencies and holiday but try to limit it to one in the purse at all times so you aren’t tempted to go crazy and spend too much. Store cards should be limited too, it’s okay to have these cards but you minimising the amount in your purse means you are minimising the damage and habits of spending too much with them.

Loyalty cards seem to accumulate out of nowhere! I sign upto loyalty cards but then I never ever use them! I have cards for Boux Avenue, Holland and Barrett and The Works and I go in these places only once or twice a year. The Body Shop I do use but only for specific shopping. So these cards I store in a small tub at home and only take them out when I need to for a big shopping trip. Also, if I don’t have them and make an impulse purchase (less likely with a simple purse), then I can just get a points receipt and add it later! My main loyalty cards are Costa (obv), Nectar for fuel as well as Boots, Matalan, Tesco, Morrisons, Sparks (M&S) and Superdrug. I also have the coffee cards for McDonalds and a sandwich loyalty card for Cooplands.

Receipts are a major issue for me! I do have to keep them for work purposes so I use my phone wallet for these, pop them in my car and then just remove them at the end of each day and store them in wallets in my home office. For personal receipts I have a file for important ones – I use a plastic studded wallet for xmas and birthday gifts and then another for items under warranty. Other receipts I just bin if I no longer need them – for grocery shopping etc.

Coins are a bug bear for me. I usually pay via company credit card for parking but usually need a bit of change so do keep a change purse in my bag or car and use this but any copper I take out and pop in a money box and then just transfer it into bigger amounts when my money box is full – it does add up actually!

Foreign notes are something I seem to collect. When you like to holiday you do end up with a collection and they are nice to keep but not in your everyday purse. A cluttered purse is a nightmare. Therefore, use them in a scrapbook or a photo album if you want to keep them as a souvenir OR if you will be using them again if you are a frequent traveller, I use my home safe or my travel file.

Coupons and vouchers are a great way to save money on your every day items and fashion purchases. However, you can’t have loads of these cluttering up your purse, especially if it is unlikely you are going to be using them. E.g. if I was going to be buying some new season fashion from Matalan and had a 20% off voucher, then I would be using it to buy that exact thing. However, if I had a coupon for £3 off a bottle of flash from Tesco and all I shopped at was Aldi – is it likely that I am going to be using this?! Think twice before keeping hold of them.

That is it! – any extras can be added when you are going on a big shopping trip or off out to buy something specific. Get rid of those loyalty cards you only used once and won’t use again, old bus or train tickets, old receipts!

Why do this? A simple easy declutter will make it much easier for money management. Clutter makes it more difficult to be able to see through and can mess up your head too. Minimalising your purse and in turn your finances are easier to manage, you feel lighter and using your purse is much easier.

Rachael xox

Minimalism & your tech …

Hi guys,

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So today’s post is all about keeping your tech minimalistic and decluttering when possible. Practicing minimalism is difficult and takes lots of practice as well as a lot of time. It isn’t just about getting rid of “stuff” it’s about changing habits of hoarding and collecting stuff in order to live a less stressful and more organised life.

So how do we declutter our tech?

Social Media

Wow social media gets really cluttered. I often have clear outs on all forms of social media that I use as I feel it’s so important to be able to pinpoint exactly what you want to look at and have a “tidy feed”.

Pinterest – a nice and easy one as you keep everything you like on your own boards anyway. You just need to follow those pinners, the ones you are actually going to get something from. Keep your boards relevant to you – I currently have A LOT relating to the reno that we are planning on the house but I won’t ALWAYS want these things so I will delete once I am done.

Facebook – delete those people who you don’t speak to or don’t bring you value in your life, delete old messages on messenger, delete photos – those you have been tagged in or stuff you have shared that you don’t want to keep any longer. Tidying up your account makes it easier to manage.

Twitter – as above, unfollow those who hold little interest to you so your feed is full of people you actually want to talk to. Check your DMs and delete those you no longer need or junk items.

Instagram – I follow so many people on Instagram that it’s quite difficult sometimes to keep up with your favourite accounts.

Phone

Clearing out your phone is probably one of the most important bits and pieces on your tech clear out list as you use it in your every day life and especially if you are running a business or a blog, the less clutter on there, the easier it is to have your phone streamlined. If you want to see a bigger guide to decluttering on our phone, click here. The other part of a phone to declutter is your Apps. Apps have a funny way of piling up and if you have a couple that are used for the same thing, make sure you clear them out quite often. You are freeing up a lot of valuable memory by doing so.

Ipod

If you have an ipod or any mp3 player, then I bet it is full of songs that you absolutely love, right? If not, then have a cull. Get through the songs and have a total clear out. Music tastes change and space is always limited on these things. I work on the principle that if I pop some new songs on, I get rid of some of the old ones.

Laptop

My laptop is a clutter free zone! I delete old files, delete old documents that I have randomly saved as well as declutter the images too. Any files you want to keep but don’t need daily or weekly access to could be stored on an external hard drive. You also need to check out your “download” section as this is the area that often causes the most of your memory. Files that were quickly used but then forgotten about! Look at your programmes too – are you actually using all of the programmes on there or can you create some space and get rid of some?

Kindle

If, like me, you are a book hoarder, you definitely need to take action on your kindle! I buy so many series that I just never EVER get through them. What I have been actively trying to do is to get through the full series I have before tackling any of the individual books from other series. I always make sure to send my “read” books to the archive and also permanently delete those that I will never read again.

For more info on decluttering then you can check out my ultimate guide to minimalism.

See you soon, Rachael xox

Night time routine for a stress free morning …

Hi guys,

This post is aimed at those people who work full time and have limited time on a morning. This may work for you for a family routine or something else but I am aiming this post at like minded people to me.

My night time routine has evolved over time and especially now working for this job, it has made me hone my organisation on a morning so I can get up on a morning, streamline getting ready and then make my way out of the door. Some days I have to get up that bit earlier as it can take me upto three hours to reach some of my stores – longer if accidents, the weather is bad or in the Summer hols or Christmas time too.

For me on a morning, getting ready and becoming the finished product (hair, clothing and makeup) is important to me for confidence and also important for when I am facing my staff too so this is something I am not willing to give up to get out the door quicker.

  1. Get your clothes ready the night before. Spring and Autumn can be a little trickier due to the weather going from one extreme to the other but you just have to factor in a few layers! I always lay out my clothes from underwear to jewellery to shoes. This means in the morning I don’t have to even think about the clothing that I am wearing or whether anything is ironed or ready for me to wear – it all is!

2. Washing my hair the night before. Has anyone else got hair that takes sometimes an hour to dry? No? Lucky you! I just don’t have the kind of time to be able to wash my hair on a morning unless I am going to one of my very local stores that are within 10-15 minutes drive (not many of those!) So instead I have a bath or shower the night before and get my hair dried so it is just ready for styling the next morning. I just get up, have a quick wash and get ready to go.

3. I always prep my lunch the night before. If, like me, you like to take lunch to work rather than spend ridiculous amounts of money on it, then you need to get it ready the night before. I either bring leftovers from dinner or a pasta salad or sandwich pack up. Either way, I don’t need to get it ready in the morning then which cuts my time down a lot. I also fill up my water bottles and have them chilled in the fridge ready for the next morning.

4. I get my bag ready too. I will have already emptied my bag of anything I don’t need the following day and so I pop the bits in that I do need the following day. Having a bag ready for the next day means I can just pick it up and make my way out the door without rushing around looking for glasses or my phone.

5. I always jot out a quick task list the night before of little bits and pieces to do the following day and double check my diary in case I have anything jotted down that I don’t know about and to make sure I set my alarm for the correct time.

 

Have you got any tips for me on saving time on a morning??

Rachael xox

Basic Beauty Favourites …

Hi guys,

This post is about the very basic beauty items and my go to favourites from them! Let’s call it the “essentials” that every body should have in their arsenal.

 

 

Deodorant

The only deodorant I reach for is a Sure aerosol. I have tried just about every other form of deodorant – the natural kinds, crystal, roll ons etc. However, for me Sure is the best. A simple and effective anti perspirant. By far, the Crystal Clear version is the best. It leaves no marks on your clothing and is effective against those balmy Summer evenings too. You can often get it from places like Home Bargains and B&M too to be more cost effective.

Shampoo & Conditioner

For shampoo and conditioners, I tend to mix them up each time I wash my hair and that works for my hair. I like to think my hair doesn’t get too “used to” the products I used.

I love most of the Loreal range for shampoo and conditioner. The Loreal Fibrology Air Shampoo & Loreal Fibrology Air Conditioner is amazing and is such a light weight shampoo and conditioner but is perfect for flat hair and increases root volume. It leaves hair super shiny and frizz free.

Loreal Elvive Clay Oily Roots Shampoo & Loreal Elvive Clay Conditioner

The clay shampoo and conditioner is amazing. It is so cleansing to the root so if you have had a few days of dry shampoo or have had some serious product use, this is perfect. It does dry out the ends a little but with some after care serum it works just fine. My hair tends to go a little longer between washes after using this.

Moisturiser

Soap and Glory Sugar Crush Body Butter

I love the smell of this body butter. It smells so fresh and revitalising and soaks right into your skin leaving it super soft. I also love the fact that I can still smell it hours later.

Nivea Soft Moisturising Cream

Nivea moisturiser is amazing. Such good value and works extra hard at getting those dryer patches such as elbows, knees and your feet. I tend to pop a bit of this on before bed at night to soften overnight.

Shower Gel

These two shower gels fight for top spot in my fave shower gels. The Soap & Glory shower gels are super foamy and leave you feeling cleansed. The citrus scent of the Champneys shower gel is great for leaving you wide awake.

Champneys Citrus Blush Shower Gel

Soap & Glory Rich & Foamus Bath & Body Gel

 

Bubble Bath

Bubble baths are one of the places I like to spend a little extra. My fave go to at the moment is Ted Baker. It comes in a gorgeous glass bottle perfect for displaying as well as smelling great and giving off long lasting bubbles. The boots therapy is perfect for a last thing at night bath just for chilling out and you are so ready for bad after this. The Sanctuary bath float smells amazing and creates lots of bubbles – just not as long lasting as the Ted Baker.

Ted Baker Pearl Bubble Bath

Boots Therapy Relax & Unwind

Sanctuary Bath Float

Have you got any beauty basics that you have as “go to” items?

Rachael xox

 

PS The links in this post are affiliate. Should you click on the links, I get a few pence for recommending the to you!

 

Body Shop Pinita Colada .

Hi guys,

A little beauty post to highlight this gorgeous product. I have used this for quite a few years now and I think it’s time I shared it with everyone. This is The Body Shop Pinita Colada moisturiser.

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This moisturiser is a fresh body sorbet and sinks into your skin so beautifully leaving you so soft and fresh. It soaks in leaving you feeling amazing! I use this mainly on holiday after tanning as it counteracts the dry skin after sitting in the sun but the smell is absolutely stunning. I do like to use it a little when I get back from hols to keep the holiday going with the scent. It is such the perfect Summery product.

Have you tried this product?

Rachael xox

A few top tips to pinch the pennies…

Hi guys,

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Are you saving for something special? Wedding, house, holidays … all take a lot of money and a lot of planning so here are my few tips on how to pinch the pennies and save up a reasonable amount of money.

  1. Budget! I know it seems like an easy method but work out your monthly incoming amount (your wage) and take off your monthly outgoings. Your outgoings need to include car payments, rent or mortgage, any direct debits, bills. Next you need to work out how much disposable income you have left –  but you also need to take off your necessary spending to be able to do this. So if it costs you for car parking, bus fayres, train rides, gym membership, hobbies or classes then you need to subtract this too. What you are left with is what you can spend during the month. You may need some of this for incidentals but the majority of this you should be able to put away and save!
  2. Cut down the spends – do you need a gym membership and pay for classes? Can you get off the bus a couple of stops earlier and save a bit of money, can you get a rail card – work out if this will cost you less in the long run!
  3. Cut out the daily coffee and take pack lunches. Coffee can cost around £3-£4 a day and lunches even more than this – take a thermos for your commute and preplan your lunches and take it with you to save even more money. All of that money can go into your pot.
  4. Use your loyalty cards. Loyalty cards are so good for saving money. Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsburys, Costa and Boots all have really good loyalty schemes. They work on a points saving scheme that turn into cash off a transaction in store or you get vouchers through the post. Try and use these to save that bit of extra money when money is tight. Money off coupons can be saved and places like Mcdonalds give you a free coffee if you buy six previously. All good ideas to save money when you need to!
  5. Make some switches. Try switching a £15-£20 takeaway to a supermarket frozen version. If you eat out a lot, try and use some budget friendly restaurants rather than those with a huge foodbill. Can you go booze free for a month? This will also cut down those hidden pennies spent on a night out – as well as cut down on taxi fayres should you drive instead. Spending a night in with friends with a movie or music and drinks will always be cheaper than a night out – look at your bank statements. Which spends can you switch to save more money?

Rachael xox

TV Programmes I binge watch over and over ..

And I am not sorry for it.

Today’s post is all about the TV programmes I can watch over and over and still not get enough of them – there are more than just this list here but these are the ones I am MOST addicted to!

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Vampire Diaries

Love Vampire Diaries. I read all of the books years ago, although the programmes go in quite a different direction. I think after eight seasons of it, it is quite nice to be able to go back through the tv programmes. Especially now that it is completely finished, it is good to be able to watch it all the way through to the end.

Originals

The Originals is a spin off to The Vampire Diaries, featuring the “original” family, The Mikaelsons. It follows them over to New Orleans which is giving me twitchy travel feet and it is a fab programme but another one that so much happens in that you just can’t help but watch it again and again, it is seriously addictive!

Gilmore Girls

I remember watching Gilmore Girls all the way through at uni as it was such an easy watch when doing assignments and working on my dissertation and I easily got addicted. I can just pop it on and watch ANY episode. I watched the series over again when the Year in the Life series came out on Netflix. It basically follows the story of a woman and her daughter and their bond. Lorelai was 16 when she had Rory and it is amazing the life she has built and the relationship they have together. A year in the life finished on a massive cliffhanger and I think just about everyone in the world wants it to come back and fill in the blanks.

Veronica Mars

Veronica Mars is one of those programmes that I would definitely love to see more from. I watched the series repetitively years ago and loved it. It is the story of Veronica, whose dad is a PI and she works with him or goes a bit rogue and works on her own to solve minor issues on a school campus an major crimes in the local area. The series stopped very abruptly years ago but then they brought a movie out which was great. I wouldn’t mind seeing a bit more from it though. Kristen Bell is absolutely amazing it in!

Charmed

Charmed is one of the first supernatural based TV shows that I ever watched. Supernatural and Sci Fi are my favourite genres and I can clearly remember watching this with my family. Especially when the new episodes were coming out with the final seasons – we would all sit and watch them together and it so was so good. Charmed followed three sisters in their early twenties who found they had magical powers and follows them til their thirties when they get married, have a family and come to terms with having their powers. This is one of my favourite programmes of all time and my hubby and I still sit and watch occasionally. I have watched this several times through. They are doing a remake of Charmed and I really can’t wait for that!

Once Upon A Time

Once Upon A Time is something that was so amazing when it started that I really don’t know how they pulled so many seasons off and made each one better than the last. Emma Swan gets a knock at her door and it is a small boy, claiming to be her son. He says he is trapped in a town where everyone doesn’t know that they are real life fairytale characters. She ends up taking him back there and helping to break the curse. I am definitely going to rewatch this again as it is now sadly ended – but there was a happy ever after!

Have you got any of these you literally cannot get enough of?!

Rachael xox

Minimalism: Decluttering the Clutter Hotspots!

Hi guys,

So as part of my minimalism series, if you have been following along and taking part – then you should have now made some headway in the house and be on our path to be clutter free and trying out minimalism in your home!

Here is the list of the worst cluttered areas – if we can clear these “hotspots” for clutter, we are well on our way to a clutter free zone!

  • wardrobe – terrible for clothes that don’t fit, have holes, stained, brand new with tags on but never worn, shoes that need heeling, jewellery missing a chain, a pendant or a pair, handbags that have seen better days and an underwear drawer with old holey knickers or socks in need of darning – GET RID
  • Stationary – one of my worst possible areas. Get rid of dried out erasers, pens, felt tips, highlighters, half used notebooks. Give away or donate things you have too many duplicates of.
  • Xmas decs – how much of our loft space is taken over by xmas decs that actually we don’t use anymore or we have left in the loft each year when we get them out to put up at Christmas time.
  • Living room drawers – batteries, excessive pens, scraps of paper, remotes, chargers, spare keys, post both junk or otherwise.
  • Beauty – dried up mascaras, dried up foundations, broken up powder compacts, empty bottles, nail varnishes that have lost their pigmentation, broken up eyeshadows, pencils that have no room to be sharpened, moisturisers that have run out of date – GET RID
  • Perfumes – do you use them all? do you like them all? If no, re gift or donate!
  • Hallway & landing area – absolutely the worst hotspot for clutter as well as any table surfaces. Make sure shoes, coats and bags are put away and not left out to clutter up the hallway. Ensure landings are free of laundry, rubbish bags or charity bags to donate
  • Bathroom – Beauty products really build up in the bathroom area, clear out the body lotions, body butters, foot creams, hand creams as well as anything you don’t like the smell of, that you won’t ever use!
  • Home office – Stationary builds up but so do documents that you will never use! You need to shred anything with personal data on but get rid of manuals, old warranties and receipts that these things that you have never checked and you need to get rid of. Old house bills, bank statements and mortgage statements that you no longer need – shred and bin!
  • Magazines/newspapers – we all have the ability to let these stack up. Read them and recycle or give to a friend. Get rid of the clippings too – make sure you don’t have any of these adding up. If you see something to look up later, take a photo with your phone and refer to later.
  • Jewellery – Clear it ougt! Get rid of anything without a pair, back, stone missing, pendant missing, clasp broke, tied up in a knot and can’t get it loose – throw it out or try and sell!

Happy decluttering, Rachael xox

 

 

House tour: The Bathrooms

Hi guys,

Continuing my home series with my bathrooms – how bloody boring but hey ho!

So, we have four toilets in this house – quite a tad excessive but we have a downstairs WC which is the grey tiled and silver decorated loo. This is situated in our hallway area and is a god send – especially when we have friends round.

We then have the en suite just pictured below This is yellow tiled which is awful and is getting a mega face lift next year – it is firmly on the list. We already have the design picked and are slightly changing the layout of it – but it will do for now and it does have a lot of storage space which is fab!

This is the main bathroom below which was already decorated when we moved in in the beige colour which is lovely – still needs a few bits and pieces – a towel rail, a mirror, going to update the taps on both the sink and bath or maybe put a fitted toilet and sink cupboard in. We are also going to look at popping in a fixed tablet on the wall so we (I) can watch Netflix in the bath!

Last but not least we have the Jack and Jill bathroom which sits between bedrooms 2 and 3. This bathroom is quite white and neutral but we are going to give this a little paint, maybe some new accessories and definitely change out the floors! Huge jobs list always ongoing!
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So that is it – my bathroom tour which is almost as many rooms as the whole house! Rachael xox