Time to refocus and aim... Dream Home coming right up!

I'm trying REALLY hard to save and keep to a seriously tight budget, with the aim of getting a deposit for my own home together. But sometimes it feels like an impossible task and I just want to give up and go for a nice dinner or buy some new clothes!

I had a bad month last month. I'd saved hard in September and then October payday came and I got excited at the idea of having money again and blew a big chunk of my disposable income over a weekend.

The big mistake I made was to stop writing down everything I spent (a new trick I learnt from Allen Car's book: Get Out of Debt Now: The Easy Way). When I stopped writing down my spending it enabled me almost forget I was spending real money - bad move! I avoided thinking about how much everything was going to add up to and just went ahead and splurged.

But then afterwards, I kicked myself when I worked out what I'd spent over a weekend. I'd being doing so well and one moment of weakness had cost me. It also meant I really had to pull my belt in the rest of the month, which meant no money for socialising what-so-ever. DULL.

Anyway I'm back on the wagon now and thankfully payday is just round the corner again. In preparation for the big drop (in my bank) I'm taking some time to refocus on why I'm saving and remind myself:

What I want in the short-term isn't worth what I can have in the long term!

I'm planning to buy a studio or 1 bedroom flat with the government's 'help to buy scheme', and I've started looking at decor ideas to help keep me motivated! I really enjoyed doing this today and when I reach my goal it'll all be SO worth it because I'll be able to put my own creative stamp on the place. Because my place is likely to be itsy-bitsy it's going to require some very clever storage solutions! Luckily I've found loads of great ideas through Pinterest, take a look:

10 great space-saving ideas:

  1. Fold-out kitchen table
  2. Muslin curtain veils to separate bedroom from living space
  3. Raised platform for a bed (and underneath storage drawers)
  4. Lift-able kitchen work-tops (beneath which a sink and hob are neatly hidden)
  5. Spiral staircase up to a mezzanine sleeping area
  6. Sliding cavity door to a bathroom
  7. Decorative/glass wall partition (to create the allusion of space and allow more light)
  8. Double up a bookcase as a wall divider (nice cheap alternative to glass wall partitions)
  9. Hang clothing on a rail, instead of buying a closet (this will work best if clothes are pretty and colourful!
  10. Breakfast bar that doubles as a work-top in a kitchen


Motivational Mondays: The Magic Of Beginnings

And suddenly you know it's time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings
Image Credit: Freepeople.com

Over the weekend I came across a quote on the the free people blog that really resonated with me:

"And suddenly you know it's time to start something new and trust the magic
of beginnings..."

I'm going to be moving home again soon (this will be my 7th move in 2 years) and although it's another upheaval I'd rather avoid, I know it needs to happen. In the long run the change will be the right thing. I feel unsettled and anxious about what the future holds but I also know that I have to trust that this (and all the other challenges that have been thrown at me in the last couple of years) are pushing me towards something that's right for me.

I've always looked at the tough times in my life as being a pain and something that gets in the way of my happiness, however I'm starting to see things differently. Tough times are a part of life and we can't avoid them. Although difficult at the time, they also bring about changes that we would of never ordinarily made.

So Happy Monday positive people - embrace and trust in life!


A message for David Cameron & his marketing team

Today I noticed that the Conservative marketing team was audience targeting me on Facebook with its xenophobic propaganda (disguised as a market research survey).  Probably because I keep posting negative comments about the Torys...

I wasn't impressed. See what I mean:

Since Mr Cameron is so interested in hearing my opinion, I'll tell him some things I strongly disagree with:

1- MPs getting a 9% pay increase (because they can no longer fiddle their expenses).

Our MPs should be leading by example and showing solidarity with the rest of us, many of whom have seen a drop in our living standards.

Read more about this here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-29098334

2- Tax avoidance
The wealthy avoiding paying tax and moving their profits off-shore – and the government smoke-screening these wrongdoings (because they have vested interest in some of these businesses) by focusing on the ‘massive benefit fraud’. For those of you that don't know 'for every £1 swallowed up by benefit fraud, £4 disappears because of people like Gary Barlow'.

Read more about this here: http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/its-time-to-bust-some-myths-about-benefit-fraud-and-tax-evasion-9520562.html

3- Zero-hour contracts
At least 250,000 people in Britain (and possibly over 1 million!) are being exploited on zero-hour contracts (forcing us to top-up wages with low income support, so that people have a liveable wage). Question? *Destiny's Child style* Why are we supporting these businesses making billions of £££s profit that they then take out of the country & keep it at the top of the organisation?).

Supporting research here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23570345

4- Privatisation of public services
Fat-cat directors, with no idea what's needed to run an organisation effectively cutting budgets, so that hardworking nurses, midwifes and probation officers are expected to do the job of three people without well needed breaks.

Want to know why privatisation is bad, read more about it here: http://weownit.org.uk/privatisation

I could go on... but then I'd be ranting.

Get The Look: Jourdan Dunn // TTYA x Long Tall Sally

TTYA x Long Tall Sally

TTYA x Long Tall Sally

TTYA x Long Tall Sally

TTYA x Long Tall Sally

TTYA x Long Tall Sally

TTYA x Long Tall Sally

Black Trilby Hat / £20 / River Island
Black & Stripe Wrap Shirt / £50 / TTYA x Long Tall Sally
Black Leather Look Trousers / £55 / TTYA x Long Tall Sally
Black Leather Jacket / £100 / River Island
Black Suede Court Shoes / £45 / M&S

The lovely people at Long Tall Sally sent me a very exciting package last week! Two samples from their newly launched collection: LTS x Long Tall Sally. As I mentioned in my previous post, LTS x Long Tall Sally is a new fashion-forward range, specifically for ladies that are 5ft8 and over  - so perfect for me at 5ft11!

Alice at Long Tall Sally sent me a striking black and white striped shirt (that last week the supermodel Jourdan Dunn wore to London Fashion Week!), and a cool pair of black leather look trousers. Both of these items I TOTALLY LOVE.

I'm normally fairly conservative with the style of clothes I buy and don't go for crazy patterns, but seeing the shirt on Jourdan Dunn I was totally sold! This is the perfect desk to disco outfit... smart enough to wear to the office and when a trilby is donned, it becomes a sassy enough for a night on the tiles!

In terms of the fit, the shirt is perfect, sleeves actually come right down to wrists and there's a conveniently placed popper on the bust, preventing any unexpected flashes!

The trousers have quite a high-waistline, which again is good and prevents the dreaded mushroom tops.... I normally wear a size 10 trouser and this size fits me comfortably, but it you're after the super skin-tight look I'd recommend going down a size in these trousers. They are super skinny round the ankles but there are invisible zips on the inside leg to help you slip in easily! (TTYA x LTS you think of everything!)

If like me you're all over this, head over to: Longtallsally.com to browse the rest of the collection (before the limited stock goes!)


TTYA x LTS "The Coolest Fashion Range Ever For Tall Girls!"

There's big news for tall girls everywhere today...

TTYA x Long Tally Sally has launched!

What? I hear you say...

TTYA x LTS is a seriously EXCITING collaboration between Long Tally Sally, the leading global fashion brand for tall women, and Taller Than Your Average (TTYA), a specialist British apparel brand from London-based fashion stylist, Irene Agbontaen.

The limited-edition, 18-piece, capsule collection has been designed specifically for women that are 5'8" and taller and is the first collaboration for Long Tall Sally.

Trend-inspired and fashion-forward, the new range is aimed at a young and fashion conscience audience - and it delivers!

Supermodel Jourdan Dunn was pictured at London Fashion Week last week wearing a bold striped blouse from the collection, and Glamour Magazine is calling it “the coolest fashion range EVER for tall girls”.

I'll be receiving some samples in the post any day now myself and will share how I've styled them shortly. Until then, here are some photos of the collection which is modelled by Irene's close friend, Jamie Gunns. God isn't she stunning!

So what are you waiting for... it's available to buy online now: www.longtallsally.com/ttya-x-longtallsallyJust be quick... as it's sure to go fast!

*Disclosure this post is in collaboration with Long Tall Sally, however all opinions are my own.