Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Why pay full price? Be alittle thrifty.

There are so many people cash strapped each week more and more people  looking out for bargain in the shops. Have you noticed recently alot more sales and discounts in store.

Recently I took a trip shopping and discovered the beauty and joy of the sales.   I have never been one to find a bargain in the sale rack of any store, but since losing weight I have found that this task is much easier.   Sizes are more for me than ever before.    On my recent shopping trip I discovered clothes that were less than half price than their original price. These were classic items like those I previously described on fashion Friday.   So getting classics at a good price is always self satisfying.

But this makes think – if a store can reduce prices so drastically in a sale why do we need to pay full price for clothing?  Sale shopping can be madness and there are people who get up out of bed for a store to open at 0500am.  I am not one of those shoppers - never have been and that is not about to change any time soon.   But seriously, if you could get exactly what you wanted for next to nothing price wise would you do it? But when is the right time to get the items you want so that they are actually a bargain and a good deal.

Remember, something is only a bargain if you actually need it and will wear it, other than that you are wasting your money so please be careful.

Its all about planning.  Most stores once they get in new items will then have a sale on those items approximately 7 weeks after they have arrived.  So if you have the patience; hold out and see if the item you want really does go down in price.

If you are looking for winter items – you should buy them at the start of spring when the sales are on.  Remember if you are looking to buy classic you will always find something of a bargain and remember to buy something that will definitely bring you in to next year and not something that is good for now.  
Need summer items for next year – you should be looking now! Yes now.   Get out in to those stores now as there are many many sales which are currently on.

The above rules don’t only apply to clothing, but also to everyday items such as TV’s or washers.   These items normally go on sale around holiday weekends and especially the start of the New Year.   Of course, if your washer goes before then there is nothing you can do but shop around.

Under normal circumstances, shopping around is the best way to buy.  Remember to price stores in your local town along side stores on the internet.  For example,  if I buy my normal make up in my local two it will cost be 28€ plus 3€ to park.   Ok so now my make up is costing me 31€.  Compare that online, whereby I don’t have to leave the house it costs me 26€ and there is no other post and packing charges.   So, you see shopping around really will help you save money.

Why do we need to pay full price for any item when sales and research will help us get the items we want at a lower price.    This really is the way to go – take a few minutes before your next purchase and think – can I get this at a lower price?  Yes,  Do I want the item at full price? No – then I am going to chance it and wait it out.
Best of luck finding your shopping bargains and a great price.

Have you any other helpful hints and tips on getting a bargain in store or online.  Why not add them to the comments. 


Monday, 30 July 2012

Home Organisation – the rules

Last week I told you how I am finally going through the house and clearing and decluttering everywhere!  I have discovered some new rules which I am now following in order to continue maintaining an uncluttered home. 

  • If you wear something – remember to either put it in the wash basket or hang it up when finished with it.
  • If you drop it – pick it up.
  • If you eat – clean up directly afterwards, don’t procrastinate.

Spend five minutes each morning on the following tasks:

  • Cleaning up after breakfast,
  • Cleaning the bathroom
  • Making / tidying your bedroom.
Remember at the end of the day walking back in to a clean and peaceful home will extend to your mind also.  It will keep you calm and eliminate another order of stress from your day. 

These are all small things – but essential to keep and maintain an organised home.   What are your tips? Add them to the comment section below 


Sunday, 29 July 2012

Linky Love - Posts I have loved & adored this week

Take a look at some of the posts that I have really enjoyed this week.

Super Cool Ways to reuse shoe boxes - By All Women Stalk 

Why not ... Get and Stay out of debt - By The Simply Luxurious Life

Trendy Tuesday - 5 Summer Wardrobe Essentials - By Lifestyles of the Thrifty and Shameless

Blogger look of the week is by Fash Boulevard 

Celeb Look of the Week - Classic Royalty (Picture taken from google )

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Glossybox - OMG I need this.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Glossybox – this is wonderful!

Wouldn’t you love to be able to try out beauty products without actually having to fork out for a full size product?  Stay up to date with current brands and trend for a fraction of the cost.

This is the product for you.    You register and pay a monthly fee of £10 and each month fabulous products are delivered to your door.    You will receive 5 beauty miniatures so that you can try items out in the comfort of your own home.   The products will be matched to your skin type as you hve to complete a questionnaire on registration.  Isn’t this a wonderful idea  - check out what was in the July Glossyboxhere.
For any Americans out there reading you can check out Birchbox which is the equivalent. 

I love this idea so much I am off to register myself. 

What do you think of the glossybox idea – genius isn’t it.


Friday, 27 July 2012

- Fashion Win Versus Fashion Epic Fail

I have had some time this week and I have been looking through some of the celeb fashion.    Looking just at casual every day, out and about shopping looks there is a startling difference between what some people think works and what actual does.  Take a look below.
What do you think - add to the comments below. 

Fashion Epic Fail                                                                                   


 Fashion Win 

The classics and the basics every girl must have in their wardrobe

Every wardrobe needs some classic items in there that will take you season to season.  Let’s be honest, not everyone can afford to buy new clothes at every turn.     I also believe that your style doesn’t have change with every new fashion phase which seems to pop up on the runway or magazines.   Buying new fashion every few months ends up costly, when you buy an item think about cost per wear rather than is it on trend or not.    Having a wardrobe full of clothes does not necessarily mean that you have something to wear does it?  No, because a trend has passed and you will no longer wear an item of fear of making a fashion faux pas.  A fear my friend recently realised and ended up giving three bags of clothes to charity shops.
So lets me take you through some fashion classics and basics which also appear in my wardrobe.  In some cases I have paid a bit more for these items as only because I know that only do I get this season out of them I will also get next and hopefully the following.  Fashion doesn’t have to be on trend to fashionable – it needs to be timeless. 

Black dress
This is little number is a classic for a reason.  A black dress will take you through any event whether it is business or friends party.  The best thing about a black dress is that you can match in any accessories colour that you wish or that is currently in trend.
White t-shirt
Whether long sleeve or short sleeve this is a classic again for a reason.   Jeans and t-shirt can be stylish when worn with the right shoes, handbag and jewellery and it can also be a nice relax style as well. 
Black coat
A black coat is good for all occasions.  It is another wardrobe classic that will take you through any event and will look fabulous over so many items.    Again a black coat is something that you can match up the colours which are currently on trend and voila a classic is again in fashion.  The same can be done with a brown coat – placing orange and corals with this colour will add a pop of on-trend to your outfit.

Nice fitting classic word trousers.
Every wardrobe needs a good trouser.  A trouser which has a good fit and will take you through from day to night.  Whether it is black or brown – either classic colour will serve your wardrobe well. 
Fantastic Fit Denims.
Spend time and spend some money on a classic and comfortable pair of denims.   These are a classic item for any wardrobe and can take you from lunch with the girls to dinner with the man in your life. 
Shoes / Shoes / Shoes
We all need the comfortable work shoe but we also need a classic statement shoe.  That shoe that will pop any outfit that you have from your denims to your black dress.  Some examples below.


 Nude Classic shoe that will go with everything 

Classic Handbag
I love handbags – I have them in all shapes and sizes and colours.   But one thing I have realised is that a bigger handbag is more versatile for a reason.  It can take you from day to night and have every item you will need to get you through the day in there!  So for that reason I have two handbags shown below. 


For the night time and that special occasion it is safe to say that you will need a small classic clutch bag that will get you through.  But I would never spend too much money on those as you can easily stay on trend by getting the most up to date colours from places like Primark or A-wear at very reasonable prices.

Tank Tops
Get yourself two – one in black and one in white – perfect over a black / brown pants and over a denims as well.  Another classic look that will take you through work or lunch with the girls to an evening event. 

White Shirt
Another classic that goes from work to play.  Take time to pick the right one and you will see how fashionable these really can be.

I hope that you have some of these items already in your wardrobe and if not take some time the on your next shopping trip to pick up one or two items on my list.

What are you fashion classics and basics that you would never be without.  Share them in the comments section below.


Thursday, 26 July 2012

A moment of thoughtfulness

Learn how to relax and stress less 

Looking for a new job? Check out some helpful tips for creating your CV.

Wow isn’t creating a CV a horrible task.   There are so many questions to be answered. What format, font, type, and length of CV do I go for?   

This is a situation which I am currently facing and I have spent some time reviewing information on CV’s - the perfect one.    At this point I am not sure if it exists as many recruitment agencies and employers seem to prefer differing types of CVs, this is why I now have two CVs to choose from. 

In my previous job I have spent some time talking to people about their CV’s and what makes the perfect one so I have previously given advice on this subject.  This is the first time i am putting my own advice to the test.  

So here are my steps to creating your CV

Step One
Start with a blank page – yes it is that simple.  Whether it is a blank word document or a blank A4 page – whatever works best for you.   At this point don’t worry about format of your CV.  Just write down your work experience, write down anything that you have done in your personal, professional and educational life that you feel contributes to your employment within your chosen field.  It doesn’t matter whether it takes up 1 or 4 pages, what matters is the fact that you have it all down on paper.

Step two
Walk away from the document you created above.  If you have created the document on your computer print it out.  Bring the document with you in your purse, wallet, back pocket or just put it somewhere you can easily come back too.  But the most important thing is to walk away for a hour, four hours, a day.  Come back to the document when you think to yourself “hang on I should put down that I do voluntary work for X company”   or “I really don’t need to tell them I was girl guide of the year when I was 11”   Believe me giving yourself some time, you will know when it is right to go back to the CV as a whole.

Step Three
As I have said above you will recognise when it is right to go back and finish the CV and put a format on it.  Only do that when you know that you have right work experience information and educational experience down on paper.    This next step is to separate everything you have on paper in to categories.   Define is it work experience, is it voluntary work, is it a hobby, is it educational?

Step four
If you haven’t already started to put this in to a word document – then start now.

Step five
With all the information now down on paper you just need to top and tail the information.  i.e open and close it. 

So you need your personal information for the top, i.e your name, address and contact information.  You do not need to put your sex and marital status on a CV.  It is illegal for a company to rule against  against you for these reasons but my thoughts on this is why give them an opportunity to rule against you.  Within my previous employment there is one company within the industry well know for rule against women and married men for the obvious reason so I would hesitate to put it there – but it is your decision.
To tail your CV you need references, you have two choices here.  You can say references available upon request- which means you can chose your references to suit whatever job you are doing for.  Different skills may call for different people.   Or you can choose two people.  If this is your first real job you are applying for after work experience then I would suggest using a character reference along with someone you have previously completed work for.  Yes, even in a work experience capacity.   Make sure your references know that they are your references so as they are not caught off-guard.
This is your decision.  At the moment I am going for “references available upon request” mainly because my CV fits nicely in to one page that way.

Step Six
Print it out – how long is it?  My recommendation is not to go for any more than two pages – of course this does depend on your skills that you have already amassed.  However, if it does go more than two pages – just headline the older jobs that you have previously held.  Give a brief summary of your job description rather than every little thing that you did.     This also works for one page CV’s as well.  Just headline it! Remember the person who is going to interview you will ask you more information on specific tasks and this will allow you the time to give them more information on the other tasks that you completed.

Step Seven
Again, print out your CV and give it to someone to review.    Choose this person wisely, choose the person who you know has a great attention to detail, great spelling and grammar.  Get them to check the font size and type ensuring the consistency all the way through the document.  Your CV is like handing in an assignment to a Professor, it must be perfect to get that A+ so chose wisely.   Also, remember that any feedback that you are given, is meant out of kindness and not ill-will.   Take the feedback on board, and think to yourself “are they right?” “do I need to amend this section”

Step Eight 
Your Cover letter – this is as important as the CV and the first point that will help you get noticed.  Remember first impressions last.  You will need to use different letters for each job that you apply for so that you can tailor your application.
The letter must be substantial in its content.  Ensure your tone is pleasant and sincere in its tone.   Your cover letter should never be more than one page with three paragraphs.  Try and find out who is responsible for the recruitment within the company so that you can address them directly.   (Pick up the phone and ring if you don’t know)
1st Paragraph – Who you are and why you are writing – include any reference number for the specific job.
2nd Paragraph -  Tell the person you are writing to why you are good for the specific job you are applying for.  Relate to the job description that you have been provided with and demonstrate how you can achieve or have previously achieved these core tasks.
3rd Paragraph – Closing statement.  Thank the person you are writing too for considering your application.

Other ideas that maybe useful to you for your new CV and cover letter. 

  • Perhaps you would like to put a career or character statement on your CV.  This would be a statement regarding your previous work history along with how you will fit the role you are applying for.   Place this under your personal information and keep to no more than 4 lines on your CV.
  • When saving your CV on a computer to be emailed – save your CV as your name and the date of your CV.  This will help the recruiter you are applying to but also a good archiving and saving method for you.
  • If you already have a written reference from someone, why not add this in to your CV at the references section.   Just a few lines which may help the recruiter with the new position you are applying for.
  • Send your CV in a PDF format.   Try not use the free PDF software you get online which provides you with an advertising logo on the front.
  • If you don’t have a PDF printer to do this – then save the document in Word 97 – this will ensure that if someone is working from the older version of Word that the CV will open.
  • Place a photograph of yourself on your CV – not the one from the drunken Christmas party – but a profressional photograph  - this will help your CV stand out alittle from the standard word only documents.
  • Depending on the job which you are applying for it may be necessary to add your Degrees or licences, if so, scan all these documents in to one document and send on with your CV as a separate attachment.  Again ensure they are titled correctly – stating your name and date.
Common mistakes on CV’s
  1. Too long – one / two pages maximum.
  2. No organisation – information is scattered and the CV is hard to read.
  3. Poorly typed / bad paper/printer – this makes it hard for the recruiter to read so be careful.
  4. Too little / too much information – don’t go back too far in your career history.  Add in what is relevant to the job you are applying for.
  5. Misspellings, typing errors, poor grammar – remember get someone to check your CV for these errors.
I hope that you find this information useful to you in the creation of your CV.  Best of luck with this and if you have any other helpful tips you would like to share - just add them in the comments section.


Wednesday, 25 July 2012

My reasons for joining Weight Watchers.

Anyone that is even contemplating joining Weight Watchers has a defining moment when they say “enough is enough”.  For some it is standing in a changing room of a store and something doesn’t fit and you say “it’s ok – the fit on these clothes is really bad I just need a bigger size” and for others it is a photograph.

What was it for me? It was both. Let me examine and explain one at a time to you.  

“It’s ok – the fit on these clothes is really bad I just need a bigger size” (disclaimer – I am speaking about people here who are genuinely overweight to the point of obese)

I blame Stacey and Clinton on “what not to wear” for this in some way.  I include wonderful Gok Wan in this as well.   They all say it’s ok to get a bigger size so that a trousers or dress fits you.  Yes, I agree in some cases that is very true but when you know that you are overweight (and some people are on these shows) then you need to be told sternly with no punches “lose weight”.  
Sometimes TV show folk it is not ok to get a bigger size, you need to get off your ass and walk / run / swim to lose the weight for those trousers or dress to fit you better.  I know these TV shows help people on how to dress better but in some cases they would be better off telling people to lose weight as well. 

I kept saying to myself, it’s ok it is the clothes that are all sized wrong – but then when a size 16 starting being the norm and then that was not starting to fit – I said whhooooahhhhh ! Something isn’t right here – buts it’s ok I will wear black ... black is slimming right.... WRONG that’s where the next point of my epiphany comes in.

The photograph

It is such an innocent thing to do at the time – capture a wonderful moment in your life.  But then you get home on the high of your holiday and can’t wait to see your photos and then BOOM.  You see it! The photograph that you really can’t believe is you – it’s not is it?  Is that me? Ok so who else was there when those photographs were being taken – crap that is definitely me in that photograph.

That is exactly the conversation I had with myself almost three years ago on returning from a holiday with my best friends.  These girls always got dressed up so glam so before my holidays I knew I needed that something special.  So I bought a beautiful black dress.  Remember black is slimming isn’t it?  Emmm trust me when I say black may be slimming but it isn’t a miracle worker.

When I saw the photograph I thought OMG – and to this day I still call the day that I look inflated.  At the time the photograph was taken I thought I was fabulous and trust me the following photograph after that one of me on the dance floor after a few drinks – I really did think I was sexy and fabulous.  But looking back at the photograph I wasn’t it fabulous or sexy as I thought I was.  In fact I am/was embarrassed to look at the photograph.    But I still look at it – to remind me of that defining moment when I thought I was fabulous and sexy but really I wasn’t it.   When I look at I feel embarrassed and ashamed.

That photograph now stays with me at all times - but it has taken many forms and is in many places.  Firstly, the photo is on my dresser so that I see every single day the way I did look and how I looked during my weight loss and how I look at goal weight.  It is a great picture to look and remember what I have achieved also.

Secondly, the photo is on my phone – in the photos section not on the front screen.  So that when I get tempted or feel why the hell am I doing this – I look at it and I think yeah this is why.

Confidence – do you have it / do you actually need it?

You are sitting there saying to me that it is about confidence to get started to lose weight, and I agree confidence is required to walk in to a gym and start training, confidence is required to get your swimsuit on and get swimming – BUT ... and this is a big but (no pun intended) but you don’t need confidence to put on your tracksuit and walk.  Yes, walk – even if it is in the dark or early morning you just need to cop on to get off your ass.

That’s all it takes – cop on – just a little bit self acknowledgement and self awareness to know that now is the time to take action.

So whatever you reasons are for taking that brave step to walk through the door of weight watchers and admit you need help – just do it.    A wise women once said – “the only thing stopping me is me” and nothing truer has ever been said!

If you are brave enough – add you reasons in the comment section below on why you have joined or are joining weight watchers.

Just know one thing you are not alone – and you will realise that when you walk in that weigh in room – and do yourself one favour – stay for the meeting – you will meet some great people who are all there for the same reason as you !