Sunday, 24 July 2016

Things I've loved this week // 016

A little Sunday round-up, some of the little things that I've been loving this week!

We spent part of this week in my favourite place and the whole trip was just so lovely and just what I needed. We managed to squeeze in lots of touristy things as well as spending time on the many beaches and parks around the area. Of course, i'll be writing a proper blog post about our trip very soon! My heart aches so much every time we leave, I don't know what it is about this seaside town.... I just love it so much!

Sunny days
We've experienced a bit of a heatwave in northern England this week and so we've made the most of it by getting the paddling pool out, spending time in the garden and generally just taking it easy!

Pizza Hut
If you know me, you'll know I blummin' love Pizza Hut. Admittedly, we don't visit anywhere near as often as we used to but I think that makes our current meals there more of a treat (calorie wise, at least!). I was super pleased to see that they have recently started doing cocktails on the menu too so we made the most of their happy hour this week by sipping Pina Coladas which I must say, are pretty damn good!

Lord of the Lost
New song, new video..... of course i'm going to include this in my round-up! Counting down the days now until the new album is released.... not long now! My stars, hurry up 29th July!

Local days out
Honestly, I know I say this a lot but I feel so lucky to live in a city that's so green. We popped up to Graves Park at the start of the week and it was mighty hot but my little lady had such fun seeing all the baby animals, going on the bouncy castles and playing in the park. Sheffield is pretty ace.

What have you been loving this week? Let me know in a comment!

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

5 ways to make the most of online catalogues

Catalogues let you pay for your purchases in instalments and have items delivered to your home address. Before you open a new account with one of these retailers, there are a few things you need to know. Here's how to make the most of online catalogues.

1. Look for discounts Most online catalogues let you use a voucher code that can be redeemed against your purchase, saving you cash. You will usually be prompted to enter a code when paying for your items during the checkout stage. Look for voucher codes on a retailer's social media sites, like Twitter or Facebook, or sign up a company's email list to receive the latest discounts direct to your email inbox.

2. Look for introductory offers Catalogues also offer discounts for new customers. This could be anything from money-off your purchase to free delivery. Finding a catalogue with a good introductory offer could bag you a significant saving so it's worth looking online and comparing different catalogue brands before you open a credit account.

3. Compare interest rates Interest rates will probably be the biggest factor you need to consider when opening a new credit account with a catalogue retailer. These can vary depending on the company so use a comparison website to find the best deals. Some catalogues won't charge you any interest if you pay for your order in a certain time frame.

4. Check clearance items and special offers. Catalogues will often have special offers throughout the year, including during the Christmas and New Year sales. This can be a great way to save cash, and you could make a huge saving. Alternatively, check out the clearance section on a retailer's website, were you might find end-of-the-line stock and reduced-price products.

5. Make repayments online A great way to make repayments on your purchases is by logging into your personal account on a catalogue company's website. Not all brands offer this service but it can be a quick way to make repayments without having to speak to a customer service advisor over the phone.

Monday, 18 July 2016

My Lucky Sixpence

If you know me in real life, you’ll know that I am such a huge fan of jewellery. I never, ever leave the house without wearing at least a handful of my favourite pieces and I love accessorising my outfits, especially if we’re going out somewhere special.

Along with many other possessions of mine though, I have spent the past few years de-cluttering my oversized collections and whittling them down to things that I wear, things that I love, things that have strong sentimental value and things that I use. When I purchase things nowadays, I’d like to think that my purchases are more considered and less impulsive!

Take jewellery, for instance. I used to have boxes crammed full of cheap costume jewellery which in reality, I rarely wore more than a couple of times each. I’m now down to one small bag of key pieces that I wear frequently. I’m so much more appreciative of the jewellery I wear now and adding back into my collection is a factor that is done with some real thought.

Recently I added this sweet little double sixpence coin necklace to my collection and already I can tell that it will be a piece that I will wear tremendously often. It’s an any occasion, no-fuss, goes-with-everything kind of necklace. Definitely my type of thing!

The necklace was purchased from Natural Amber, a company who create all of their unique and super special jewellery in-house. I love the individual touch and I am forever a fan of quirky and unique jewellery.

I’ve seen jewellery made using coins before but they have either been heavy, dull or just lacking that ‘something special’. I’ve realised I’m quite fussy when it comes to adding back into my jewellery collection nowadays and anything I buy has to be just right!

Of course, one of the reasons I love this necklace so much is that it is made from genuine sixpence coins, and we all know that carrying these coins on you is supposedly very lucky! I love this little snippet of information from the Natural Amber website (I’m a sucker for little traditions and superstitions!)…..

“….the most famous reason why the sixpence is considered lucky is the wedding saying “something old something new something borrowed something blue and a sixpence in her shoe” and this is where the father of the bride would place a sixpence inside the bride’s shoe to bring the couple prosperity, health and happiness and to show he’s happy for the couple to marriage.

This is the reason why we like to refer to our two coin necklace as the lucky sixpence necklace as we believe it brings the wearer good luck, prosperity, health and happiness.”

Just think of how many transaction they have been through too and their vast history… and now they are here, perfectly fused together and lovingly created into a piece of jewellery.

The coins on my necklace are dated 1956 and 1965, the latter is the birth year of my mother so that was a lucky pick! I assume all of the necklaces are totally unique so I’m not sure if you could check if they have particular year dated coins if there was a specific one you were looking for?

Also, if you were going to buy this item as a special gift for somebody then you might want to bear in mind that there is no branding on the packaging. It comes in a lovely box tied with silver ribbon which is a really nice touch.

Overall though, I just love this necklace so much! Certainly not a cheap purchase but definitely affordable all the same. It’s lightweight and looks great with anything. The chain is also the perfect length too, sitting comfortably around the neck…. Honestly it’s so comfortable I can’t tell I’m wearing it.

It’s the perfect addition to my jewellery collection and certainly something that I’ll be reaching for most days when it comes to accessorising my outfits!

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Things I've loved this week // 015

A little Sunday round-up, some of the little things that I've been loving this week!

A new tattoo
On Friday I added another little babe to my tattoo collection. It's been a few months since I got my last one and this one has been well worth the wait! She's on the back of my leg and I keep finding myself sitting in the most awkward positions trying to get a better look at her. I'm in love!

Lord of the Lost
A frequent addition to my weekly roundups, of course! I have pre-ordered the new album and although it isn't actually released until the end of July, I have been loving the song previews that are appearing on Youtube almost daily. Only a few weeks to wait now until I get my hands on the actual album.

The Herd of Sheffield
I know I've already mentioned the Herd of Sheffield this week but we're having lots of fun spotting the elephants all over the city. We've spotted them in the city centre, Meadowhall and the Botanical Gardens so far. I really want to go and see 'Hendophant', the Henderson's Relish elephant who is up at the University of Sheffield.... definitely the next one on my list. Especially as i'm one of those who has Henderson's Relish in/on everything, haha!

Fat Face
.... who never disappoint me with their latest offerings! I am currently in love with so much of their stuff and i'm the kinda gal that will buy the same dress in different colours because well, why the hell not?! The 'Ava' dress is currently my favourite and i'm looking to stock up on a couple more of them as it is just the most perfect dress for summer. Comfortable, easy to wear and lightweight. Lovely!

.... as many of them as Little Miss Independent will allow! We've had another week crammed full of toddler attitude and my goodness, it's tiring! She's always good for a snuggle though and we've had a fair few lazy not-doing-much kinda days. As much as I love getting out and doing stuff, it's always nice to take a few days once in a while and just 'be' and not worry about getting everything done.

What have you been loving this week? Let me know in a comment!

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Sheffield Botanical Gardens & The Herd of Sheffield

One of the things I love most about living in Sheffield is the fact that it is so blummin' green everywhere. We're so lucky to live within walking distance of so many beautiful parks and open spaces, despite living so close to the city centre! 

I popped my camera in my bag this morning as we headed out to the Botanical Gardens to walk the dog (and run off some of that toddler energy too!). I'm so glad that I did too because the gardens are looking stunning at the moment. There's so much colour everywhere you look and countless cheeky squirrels around every corner excitedly waiting to say hello. 

On our walk we also spotted some more of the Herd of Sheffield elephants that are currently dotted all over the city. These uniquely decorated elephants have recently cropped up everywhere from Meadowhall shopping centre to parks and open spaces. 
This exciting initiative is courtesy of The Children's Hospital Charity and Wild in Art and every penny raised in support goes towards the Artfelt Programme which helps children recover in an environment tailored to them as well as hosting workshops for youngsters to provide distractions for anxious times such as before operations. You can find out lots more about The Herd of Sheffield over at the official website

If you live in Sheffield or have visited recently, how many of the elephants have you spotted so far? We're having a blast tracking them all down! 

Friday, 15 July 2016

Less But Better // July 2016 update

Since the arrival of our daughter almost 3 years ago, I've been on a mission to de-clutter our home and free ourselves once and for all from all the things that stress me out.... Clutter, mess, stress, endless 'to do' lists, etc. I'm a firm believer that your home should be a place to enjoy but when I began my maternity leave and started spending real, proper time at home.... I constantly felt anxious. There was always something to clean, sort out or tidy. Things had to change!

I'm just about 3 years into this journey now. I feel like it is such a slow journey, painfully slow even. But I wanted to ensure that I found homes for every single item without actually throwing anything away. The newfound thrill of clearing space and making money from our old items though (either for myself or charity) is just as good as the thrill of finding a bargain whilst out shopping, something I used to love doing so much! 

When I first started this journey, people were incredibly interested but always noted 'it won't last', 'you'll regret getting rid of certain things' and 'don't go too minimalist, you won't like it. It's just not you.'

But you know what? Recently I sold Emilia's ridiculously expensive pram. I sold my prized vintage bedding collection. I even sold my wedding dress. I've shredded piles and piles and boxes full of paperwork. I've downsized my music collection too. And each time I let go of something, it feels so good. I regret nothing so far. It's a kind of freedom that I can't yet quite put my finger on. To let go of things that no longer add value in my life. To make space for the things that matter. What's not to love?!

So, I just wanted to stick this little update in here to make a note that this journey continues! 

I currently have boxes piled up in the attic filled up and ready for our next car boot sale. I've also just finished a huge eBay selling spree selling off all kinds of items. It is insane what you can actually sell on there and my most recent lot has given me a real boost of motivation to keep going.

By the end of the year my goal is to clear out our attic room and be completely clutter free in there. It is currently my eBay/charity shop/car boot sale sorting room/office. I want it to be a proper third bedroom and playroom for kiddo. 

Ok, 2nd half of 2016.... let's do this!

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Things I've loved this week // 014

A little Sunday round-up, some of the little things that I've been loving this week!

Trips away
I'm feeling very much ready for a break. We've done lots of new and exciting things this year but if you know me, you'll know i'm a creature of habit and I can't stay away from my favourite destinations for long! So we've booked a few nights away at our favourite hotel in my favourite place. It'll be so good to have a few days together without the stresses of everyday life. Only a few weeks to wait now.... It certainly feels like it has been a while!

Our little lady has gone through some kind of growth spurt over the past few weeks. She's shot up in height, she's more conversational, she's eating everything in sight and she's also insistent on doing absolutely e v e r y t h i n g by herself. It's testing, it's tiring (exhausting) but completely rewarding seeing her grow and change, seemingly by the day. She's the absolute best, I've never known a love like it! 

Charity shops
I've found some really nice things whilst out browsing in our local charity shops this week. I always love to pop in and take a quick look and we never seem to leave empty handed, usually picking up a few books and toys for Emilia. And it's always good to find stuff for myself too! I stumbled across a Rachel Stamp CD the other day and pounced on it like a crazy lady.... they were one of my favourite bands many years ago so it's lovely to now have a few of their albums padding out our music collection again. 

This pug
.... She's ace, you know! Her facial expressions kill me, she looks so pissed off 98% of the time. But she's so squidgy and plays with us like she's still a puppy. I once read that pugs are the clowns of the dog world and it's so true! She's absolutely bonkers. 

Forever one of my favourite positive, uplifting instagram accounts (if you're not following then get on it, right now!). These words really got me this week....

Image from @keepitbright

What have you been loving this week? Let me know in a comment!