2018 Financial Goals

Firstly, Happy New Year! I hope 2018 is full of happiness and achievement for all of you.

I wanted to outline my financial goals for this year because I think it could be of interest to some of you and I want to be kept accountable. This is the first year that I will be in full time employment and so can rely on a steady monthly income to do something with. I am still figuring out what to do with it and how best to manage my money.

Fair warning; there will be a frank discussion about money below!

Goal 1 – learn more about managing money

I love The Financial Diet on YouTube, their videos are so informative; even if some of the advice is specific to Americans. I want to learn more about how to best manage my money so that I can make the most of it and also budget well.

I have also been using Money Saving Expert to find good bank accounts and have already opened a new current account that will pay interest on a positive balance, which leads nicely onto Goal 2.

Goal 2 – Get Organised

For too long I have left my Student; now graduate account open and have only used it for the overdraft. This has lead to an awful habit of trying to get the balance to 0 so I can close the account, but really using it for any ‘guilty’ purchases that I don’t want to see on my normal bank statement.

After being paid for December I paid off all of the overdraft I accumulated over Christmas. As soon as I could, as in the 2nd January, I went into the bank and closed my account. It was so simple, I am kicking myself that I didn’t do it sooner. This should stop me making so many impulse purchases and give me more control over my money.

Another step I have taken to getting more organised with my money is I downloaded Yolt. It is a money tracking app that connects directly to your bank account, so there’s no need to remember to input every purchase. The app also has the same security as a banking app as it is made by ING. The app is beautiful to look at and will come up with helpful insights about your money.

So far I have done a pretty good job of getting organised. I just need to make sure that when I switch to my new account I manage my old account and remember to close that one too.

Goal 3 – Save

One of the best things about earning money is that I have space in my budget to save. I already have an emergency fund that I can use to bail myself out. Now it is time to focus on saving properly, for a house or a better car perhaps. I want to save £500 as soon as I get paid and then any spare money in my current account before my next paycheck. This means that in a year I can save £6,000 even without the end of month extras.


So there you have it! I hope to stick to these goals and really set myself up this year. Let me know your financial goals for this year, or even longer term!


My Bedtime Routine

So everyone knows that a good night’s sleep is important. It helps your body recover and your mind to store everything away nicely. Struggling to sleep is one of the most frustrating feelings. I usually sleep quite well, but when I am stressed that all goes out the window. The best way I’ve found to get my sleep back on track is to commit to a bedtime routine. If you are having serious sleep issues then please go and see your doctor, these tips can only go so far.


Alarms aren’t just for the morning. I use an alarm in the evening to let me know it is time to put away the screens and start my bedtime routine. The first thing I do when the alarm goes off is to check my morning alarm is set for the next day and turn off all other electronic devices, like my laptop and ipad. I will switch my iphone onto the night shift mode and turn the brightness down too, because I might want to listen to a podcast later if I am struggling to sleep and I don’t want to blind myself with a bright, white light.

Setting the Scene

When my alarm goes off it is time to finish any small bits of housework left for the day and start the move into my bedroom. If I have any candles burning elsewhere in the house I will take these into my room. Also, I will crack the window open to cool down my room. I find it easier to fall asleep if I can really snuggle into the covers, opening the window at the start of my routine allows me to close it again before I go to sleep if I decide that it is a bit too cold.

I can leave my room to cool down while I finish the housework and complete my skincare routine.

I will make sure my room is tidy and take any extra pillows off the bed. I like to turn my side lights on, these along with candles make a very soft and relaxing light. I will also grab a glass of water to have on my bedside table for if I get thirsty in the night or for the morning.

Skincare Routine and Teeth

Now I will complete my skincare routine and brush my teeth. I don’t like to shower in the evenings because my hair dries funny! My skincare routine isn’t that interesting, I will usually just wash my face and if it is feeling dry moisturise. I am currently using my Yes To Tomatoes Moisturiser and switching it up between cleansers that I got in my most recent haul.

I have also been trying out Lush Sleepy body lotion before bed. I find it relaxing and I don’t want to believe that it is the body lotion, but I think I sleep a lot more solidly when I use it. To me it smells like Lotus Biscoff biscuits, and not heavily of lavender at all. I really like the scent and I have been enjoying it so far. I will write a proper review of Sleepy soon.

Lights Out

I try and complete my routine at a leisurely pace, there is no rush, but usually I can get everything done and be in bed within half an hour. When I am in bed if I feel like I will fall asleep instantly then I will blow out the candles and turn off the lights. If I am a little bit more restless then I will choose a podcast to listen too and set it so that when that episode is finished my phone will be quiet, or usually after half an hour it will stop playing the episode.

This routine has really helped me to get control back over my sleep and makes me look forward to bedtime! Is there anything in your bedtime routine that I’m missing? Let me know in the comments. Sweet dreams!

Vegan Pesto Pasta

I posted a picture of this meal on twitter a while ago and it got loads of attention. I only use a quarter of a jar of the pesto at a time and thought that I would write out the recipe to share with you guys. This recipe will serve one.

You will need:

  • 70g Pasta.
  • 1 large courgette, or 2-3 small courgettes.
  • Half a head of broccoli.
  • Italian seasoning.
  • Olive Oil
  • Vegan Pesto, I use the Sacla free from one pictured above in my tweet.
  • OPTIONAL 20g violife pizza cheese, grated.

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The Sunshine Blogger Award

Firstly a big thank you to Sophie from SopsBlog for tagging me. I really enjoyed reading her answers and I think she came up with some really fun questions that I have had a great time answering! Go and check out her answers linked above, they’re well worth a read.

Like for the Liebster Award I answer Sophie’s questions, write my own questions and tag other bloggers to answer my questions and so it continues!

I recently read a post about blogging awards on Paul McGinley’s Blog about Blogging awards. I think that they are more a fun tag sort of a thing than being an actual award and of course all exposure is great for anyone’s blog. I think awards like these help you to become part of the blogging community and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. His post was an interesting read and you can find it here.

Sophie’s Questions

1.What is your favourite treat?

I love fresh fruit, I can’t decide is strawberries or raspberries are my favourites. It’s mad because I can justify spending £3 on chocolate easily, but somehow it seems like a lot more money to be spending on fruit. Recently I’ve had to really work on not feeling bad for spending my money on fruit! But honestly I love it so much more than ‘naughtier’ treats, I love the taste and textures a lot more and not feeling unwell after, as I have quite a sensitive stomach and rich foods can really upset that.

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Tattoos and Body Image

img_0725Let me first preface this by saying that I am in no way an expert on tattoos. I only have one tattoo, however I don’t think you need to be totally covered in them to have an opinion on tattoos. This is a post documenting how my tattoo has changed my body image.

I was not expecting my tattoo to have any impact on how I see my body, but over the past few months since I have been tattooed I have noticed a difference in how I see myself and my body. This difference was more noticeable at first when I was caring for the tattoo through the healing process, but even as I have got used to having it I still feel like it has shifted my point of view somewhat.

The image of my tattoo in this post is from when it was still healing, so it looks a little bit dry and flakey. I am including images because I love my tattoo, and I am trusting you all to not steal the design. Although I realise that this is quite an unusual tattoo and purely to my taste anyway.

So my tattoo is of a bee and it sits above my belly button on my stomach, not quite a sternum piece, but nearly. Since having the bee there I have had a constant thing to compare my size too which has resulted in a more constant body image, by that I mean that my feelings towards my body have been a lot more consistent. Also, while the tattoo was healing it needed constant care to make sure it healed well. This forced self care for an area of my body that I am not completely happy with started to shift how I saw my stomach.

Actually getting tattooed and having your skin out for hours while someone works on a piece of art is an amazing experience and quite empowering too. There is nowhere to hide, but my tattoo artist was so lovely and professional I completely forgot that I was lying down with my tummy out and was totally at ease. These positive experiences have also helped with my body image.

As quite an active person I am often getting changed in public changing rooms. I feel like a lot of the time when I think people are looking at me now they are in fact looking at my tattoo, and in some ways it is like a shield. I also get some amusement from when people are trying really hard to not look at my tattoo!

I would consider getting more tattoos in the future when I know what I want, for me choosing a tattoo is a long process. I am not getting tattoos to ‘fix’ the way I see my body, but because I think that they are beautiful pieces of art, and if they help my body image then surely that is a benefit worth talking about. I said to begin with that I didn’t expect my tattoo to change how I saw my body, now I am tattooed I realise how integral body image is to the whole process, as you are literally changing what your skin looks like permanently and so it would be strange to see yourself in exactly the same way after being tattooed.

I’d love to know your opinions on this and if you aren’t tattooed would you consider getting tattooed and where? Your kindness is appreciated.

Accidental Haul

I went shopping yesterday for a new Suit. Although I failed to find a suit, I did pick up a reasonable amount of toiletries, and a few other bits too. I went into Birmingham today to see my friend Sophie and I managed to find a suit there, thank goodness.

Now for the haul, I have separated this into the shops where I got things from.

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Butternut Squash and Red Lentil Madras

This recipe uses Aldi’s Specially Selected Madras Curry Sauce. I cooked this for one person, however the recipe given has been doubled and will serve two larger serving and even stretch to three or four servings if being served with rice and breads as well.

Feel free to use your favourite curry sauce with this recipe. I like the Aldi Madras one because it is reasonably hot and comes with the spices on the top of the jar that make cooking a flavourful dish easy! It is also vegan!

You Will Need:
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