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Friday, 12 January 2018

My 2018 Competition Wishlist



Last year I started to dip my toes into the world of comping, spurred on by watching plenty of prize unboxing videos on youtube and being a member of the Lucky Learners group on Facebook. In 2017 I would say that I was entering competitions probably once a week and mainly either on twitter or through the prize finder website. This year I am stepping it up a notch and trying to maintain a certain quota each day. Although with the number of compers increasing day by day things are going to be harder to win! Anyway, Im putting a bit of faith into the universe and hope that by writing down these prizes they will come to me ...

Wireless Headphones

I really want a pair of wireless headphones! My commute to work is between 30 minutes and 50 minutes depending on which hospital I am working with and when I start my degree placements it could be even longer and so I find myself listening to podcasts and audiobooks a lot. I am forever getting into a tangle with my current headphones and I sometimes put my bag on the floor (with my iPad in) and forget I'm connected! So this would be a fabulous prize to win 

A kettle and toaster

We were kindly bought a matching kettle and toaster set when we got married but 5 years on the kettle tends to leak and the toaster has seen better days. Obviously if either stopped working I would have to replace but honestly thats money that could be being saved for the dream house and I would rather keep it for that! 

A holiday! Or even a spa weekend ...

I am certain that this is high on ever compers Wishlist but I would really love to win an all inclusive holiday somewhere hot! Ideally a Yoga retreat in Bali would be my number one prize, but actually knowing that money is going to be tight while I am a student I would settle for a mini break somewhere in the UK. Anywhere that lets me relax and provides me a good meal is great for me!

A years supply of something

Wouldn't it be great to know that for a year something was sorted? You know even if it was a years supply of toilet paper, just to know that you didn't have that annoying little expense for the year! 

So there you have it, universe please grace me with these prizes! What would you like to win this year?


Monday, 1 January 2018

Things I Won't Be Buying This Year ...



So I am a woman on a mission. I've said before, I'm not terrible with money, I love a bargain and I pay all my bills on time but at the same time I am not putting nearly enough into my savings as id like to. Back in October I had some pretty serious surgery and with only statutory sick pay coming in and multiple direct debits going out my savings took a battering and it was enough to scare me. While we still have enough money saved in our help to buy ISA there's not a lot instant access cash available to me in an emergency right now and I want to change that. 

I go back to university in March (I'm finally going to get my nursing degree and so my income will no doubt drop so in the next two months I could do with getting things in order, learning to live on less and build those savings back up! I can't really pick up many extra shifts at the moment as i am pretty anaemic from my surgery and as always health is my top priority! 

So, what won't I be buying this year? 

Magazines.

I wouldn't like to know how much I spend on magazines! With my Readly subscription at £7 a month and the top ups for the magazines not included on there it soon adds up! I was lucky enough to win a years subscription to Healthy magazine and also receive <insert magazine here> for Christmas and so I should have no reason for purchases! 

The only exception to this is that once I have started at university I am possibly going to see if there are any student offers on either a nursing journal or the nursing times.

Books.

This one is tough! I had pre ordered quite a few books on Amazon and I have painfully cancelled them all. I have so many books at home lovingly waiting to be read and also a fantastic local library so there really is no excuse to be spending money on books. There will however be a nice Amazon wish list forming which will be offered up for birthday and Christmas this year!

New Clothes. 

I was going to do a total ban on clothes but I see that as like the restricting and binging cycle I've been stuck in before. So while I'm not going to make any grand gestures in this department I'm also not going to be buying new clothes. Everything will come from a charity shop. I am sure this won't be a problem since watching The True Cost. I'll be showing everything on here but also on my insatgram www.instagram.com/shoestringchic_

Make-up, skin care & toiletries. 

I am on a mission to use up my stash! I am pretty disgusted with the stash I have amassed but I won't be buying anymore until I run out of what I already have. Theres a few things I am going to be trying this year (Such as the curly girl method) and I really want to eventually get to a place where I have a core group of products I love and use rather than having over 10 bottles of shampoo in my bathroom. Ill be doing a monthly empties post to show what I am getting through.

What will you be giving up this year?

Monday, 23 October 2017

Beauty Under A Fiver: Superdrug nourishing sock pack




I have long been passionate about budget beauty and skincare. For a long time I used to read blogs solely for the fact that they would tell you what products were worth spending your hard earned pennies on. Unfortunately I feel a lot of bloggers have been won over by brands and lost a little bit of touch with reality. I saw a post recently that said that they classed a budget cleanser as anything under £50. I understand that people have different budgets, but to me that is ridiculous! I work full time in the NHS and while I love my job, the pay is horrendous. I want my skincare to be cheap and effective. So every Monday I will be bringing you a budget beauty post. Luckily I have a huge stash to shop (I am a hoarder) and so I will be reviewing all of the products I already own, along with the off purchase along the way.

Firstly I want to bring to you the Superdrug foot nourishing sock pack. I was sent these a few weeks ago as part of my self care September but due to cutting my foot open on a broken plate (blame my cat) I was delayed in using them. Anyway, I finally decided to use them as part of a pamper evening and I was so glad that I did! They feel a bit weird when you put them on ... imagine one of those gloves you get at the petrol station in a sock shape and filled with moisturiser! However, I put both my feet in and secured them with the tab and put my feet up for 20 minutes while watching TV. I washed and dried my feet as per the instructions so they were ready for the mask

I used the peppermint ones and they felt lovely and cooling on my feet. I did need the toilet at around the ten minute mark and had to walk very carefully to the bathroom as they were rather slippy however I managed! When I took them off I massaged the excess moisturiser into my feet. They felt so soft and definitely a treat for my tired feet! I think I am going to use them weekly from now on! 

They are usually priced at £1.99 but at the time of writing these are currently on offer here for £1.49 AND you get a free tote bag when you purchase them! They will more than likely be featuring in my empties regularly at this rate! Although I am going to try out a cheaper brand to compare so watch this space ...

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

What I thought of the Curve Fashion Festival


Outfit Details:
Top New Look
Skirt Boohoo but bought second hand
Converse vintage Vintage Scene Leicester 

On Saturday I made my way up to the Curve Fashion Festival at the Liverpool exhibition centre. Ive wanted to write a post for ages about how fashion is so much more important to me since embracing my body, but thats for another day.

Walking into the hall with anxiety was a huge deal for me. I spent most of the morning on the toilet, hyperventaliting thinking about whether to just get back into bed, but I am so glad that I didn't. I put on my tulle skirt, my cats are forever tee and my favourite vintage converse , pulled up my big girl pants and off I went.

I arrived just in time for the how to be an influencer chat with Body Posi Panda and Grace Victory, and I will admit I was completely star struck. Megan was exactly as warm in real life as she appears on her instagram and blog. They talked about the blogging industry and actually spurred me on to keep going with both my blogs (I also run Discovering Charlotte which is focused on health, food and lifestyle) as I am not here to make money. I am here to spread my message and hopefully help other people.

I then followed them to the meet and greet and honestly thought I was going to be sick in the que! They say never meet your Idols but I had a really long chat with Megan about body positivity and thin privilige. I honestly thought I could have stood there and chatted all day!

I then made my way to the VIP lounge which was my biggest dissapointment of the day. Let me tell you know the vip ticket is not worth it in the slightest for three reasons.

1. The Goody Bag. I don't like to complain about goody bags when they are freebies but when they are a perk of the upsell on a ticket I feel it is fair game. A tote bag, some low priced make up and some yours pierced earrings I could have done without. In fact the goody bags that very were giving out to everyone were much better.

2. The VIP catwalk seating. There was plenty of seating at the catwalk and so having reserved seats was neither here nor there. Also they were in blocks at the side, when I have been to other similar events they have had the front row reserved for VIP which personally I prefer.

3. The VIP Lounge. Well this was totally pants. After being sold as being decorated by debenhams there was a lot of plastic seating and again not worth the money as there was plenty of seating around the venue.

After that it was on to the shopping! I am lucky as a size 16/18 that most high street stores still cater to me (and you all know I mostly charity shop anyway) but I was really excited by a few of the brands there! Firstly I bought a gym top from OBD Clothing which I am waiting to arrive (and will feature in a post when it arrives)

I also discovered two new to me brands Apples and Pears Clothing and Plus Equals. Apples and Pears were having a sale but I just felt too hot and sweaty to try anything on even though most brands had changing rooms. Plus Equals are the brand of my dreams which sequins, feathers and all the bright colours. However they are a little out of my price range so I will be keeping an eye on them for special occasions and when I want to spend a little more.

It was also really nice to see online retailers such as Lindy Bop, Very and Navabi as I could really feel the quality in their pieces. Again i didnt have the budget to purchase anything but I know now that in the future I would be happy to purchase from these brands online.

I didn't hang around after this, I was too hot and I just needed to get out. I am sad that I missed Megans book signing (I did buy her book though!) but I just couldnt stay any longer. All in all I am hoping to go again next year, but next time I will stick with a standard ticket, VIP was not worth it.

Did you go to the Curve Fashion Festival? I would love to know what you thought!

Charlotte Lucy