Sunday, 31 December 2017



I'm sat listening to a 'New Year's Bangers' Playlist slightly drunk and just wanted to wish everyone reading a wonderful new years eve or day and beyond (if you are reading this post NYE). Here's hoping 2018 is slightly less filled with sad things and more of the kind of stuff we can be proud and happy about. 2017 was a real year of personal highs and worldwide lows which has been a real rollercoaster of emotions!

I don't think people will forget 2017 easily given the atrocities but with the sadness has come the realisation that we are stronger together and people have built eachother up in the most wonderful way despite the circumstances.

Being away on holiday when the Manchester bombing took place was difficult but I have never been more proud to call myself a 'manc'. We will never forget those who lost their lives and how our amazing city fought against those who were determined to bring us down.

On a personal level 2017 was when I bought my first property and I am pretty proud of myself. I plan to continue to challenge myself in 2018 and improve myself and my new home. There's much I want to achieve in my career and there's no reason why 2018 shouldn't be the year I make this happen. I also have blog goals to smash!

I am excited about the things to come and I hope you are too. The sky is the limit!

Friday, 15 December 2017


Finding the perfect Christmas Present can be tricky and sometimes the most difficult people to buy for can be those closest to you, especially if they are the type to buy themselves what they need! There is nothing more special than watching someone open something that is really personal and thoughtful, I get so much enjoyment watching my friends and family open gifts that I know they will love.

This October, my sister became a mother for the first time and we are all so excited for the first Christmas with a rather gorgeous little boy being present! I wanted to get some 'new mum' related gifts for my sis and notonthehighstreet was where I knew I'd find the perfect items!

The personalised versions are all wrapped and under the tree so as not to spoil the surprise too much(!) but I wanted to talk about what I picked and why! Rather than advent calendars we have had a festive photo of William every day and his festive wardrobe has been epic! These gorgeous Christmas Pudding Leggings will be one of the last few snaps we get and I couldn't resist them :)

The other two gifts are for my sister, a personalised 'The Day You Became My Mummy' Keyring with a little message from William (such a clever boy!) and a lovely Brushed Copper Frame with one of William's baby pictures in ready for her desk at home or at work! I thought this would be perfect as I think every new Mum gets real guilt pangs when they return to work and I know my sister will need something to remind her why she is back at work and who she is working hard for...

Keep your eyes on my social media and I'll be sure to post a pic of William in his new leggings :)


Monday, 4 December 2017


To kick start the festive season, Salon Success invited me to the Malmaison in Manchester for their blogger #JingleMingle and to talk about their new products they are bringing to your local salons!

It was such a lovely evening and great to hear the latest from Paul Mitchell, Gem Lites by Celeb Luxury and Kenra. I love hearing about new products so this was a rather lovely way of getting the info on the potential new holy grail products!

Paul Mitchell is very well known and their Christmas Gift Sets this year are amazing, I am currently trialling their volume collection and loving it so far! I am however, really interested in the Gem Lites which leaves a small amount of colour in your hair and is an at home shampoo which over time gradually colours/tones your hair. I will keep you posted on that one!

Thank you once again to Salon Success for a wonderful event :)


Tuesday, 28 November 2017


As a fairly new Altrincham resident I was very excited to be invited to attend the launch of Jake Shoes on George Street in Altrincham Centre! I am really impressed with the shops popping up in Altrincham and I think it is a testament to the re-generation of the area that retailers are taking spots on the main pedestrianised shopping street.

Jake Shoes is gorgeous inside, really quirky fit out and I was impressed with the sheer amount of shoes and boots on offer! From Hunter, to Dr Marten and Ugg there is something for everyone including men and the kids! If we have any aspiring trolley dolly's you can try your shoes on in the comfort of some airline seating towards the rear of the store.

I always appreciate stores and brands who take the time to welcome their customers and build a rapport with the locals and Jake Shoes have done so fantastically. Each time I walk past the store it is nicely busy and you can tell that the staff are really helpful and interested in creating a good customer experience. I'll definitely be back, thanks for having me!


Life as an employee in a firm can vary in quality. Often, depending on how well the working satisfaction is at your firm in question, you might have an easier or a more difficult time of it to those of your friends. This might fool you into thinking you deserve less or more from your employment, when in reality you may fall above or below the working standard. You must always remember that in your job, you are contractually obligated to fulfill the role you are being paid for. You can leave at any time, but during your time there, your side of the bargain must be filled to warrant your future at the company.

However, this doesn’t mean you need to keep quiet about things which are troubling you. This could be defined as any HR issue, an issue with pay, or concern about your working health. This last option is arguably the most important, even higher than pay. If you’re subjecting yourself to dangerous circumstances in pursuit of a paycheck, that paycheck will mean little when you’re struggling with your health or injuries.

For this reason, it’s important to defend your health at all times when working. How can you do this? We’d like to explore that in this following advice:

Learn To Say ‘No’

As people hoping to progress in our field, we can find yourself taking on too many responsibilities at once. Working long, hard overtime hours can crop up during a busy period, and from then even become an expected or normal thing to carry out. Some professions are notorious for this, such as the chef trade. It’s not uncommon to see chefs working 16+ hour days during their ascent to the level they wish to work from.

While in some professions this is expected, that doesn’t make it any less worrying. Overtime can slowly drain you, and working exhausted is as dangerous as working when highly stressed. Combine the two, and you have a recipe for disaster, whether that's through physical or mental breakdowns. It shouldn’t take one of these for you to rectify your course. The most important thing you can do to turn the scales of effort in your favor is to learn the word ‘no.’ We mean really learn it. Sometimes, especially in front of a boss, it can be hard to say.

Still, it can save your working life. Working long hours is not always working smart hours. If you find yourself doing it out of a sense of obligation, even though your general tasks are being completed promptly, you may have been taken advantage of. Strike a fine line between giving your all and giving too much. After all, if your employer really wishes to utilize you to your full potential and take up all of your time, you are warranted the pay and benefits that requires.

Understand Sickness Rights

It’s important to know exactly your rights for taking time off work. Maternal, paternal leave and sick pay all have time allowances. Companies follow strict legislation and should detail the terms of sick pay in your contract. For long absences, often verification through medical means is required. Your statutory sick pay guide can be found here, and it should help elucidate the more complex issues surrounding sick pay.

After all, when you truly need to heal, earning an income should be the last thing on your mind. It’s always best to heal when you know your financial blanket is there for you. However, you can only make use of this if you know your rights, know how to claim, and know which parameters you can fall into.

Health Insurance

Your health insurance is something you should know like the back of your hand. If your place of employment offers it as a benefit, you should know all intricacies of that plan, and what it provides. If you need to, top up that plan with your own funding, and discuss with payroll and your manager about this. Make sure that your plan covers you for all workplace eventualities. If you work a dangerous job, it’s important to triple check that all potential injuries or dangers are accounted for. Become familiar with your health and safety officer, and develop a keen understanding of your safety responsibilities.

Health insurance isn’t always in the form of a financial protective plan. Sometimes, it can be as simple as enrolling in optional courses your firm puts on to refresh your safety knowledge, or secure that extra qualification (such as first aid.) Doing so might not give you any financial benefit, but the knowledge gained could help you save yourself or another person in a difficult and dangerous situation. That, from the very start, is priceless.

Report Bad Behaviour

You never have to tolerate being put in danger from ineptitude. Sometimes, it can be as simple as making sure you report bad behaviour displayed by your colleagues. Negligence on their behalf, whether that’s chemical handling, fire safety or other careless actions can end up hurting you, so don’t feel like a ‘tattle tale’ for giving it the light of day. Whatever makes you feel comfortable and protected at work is worth mentioning. If your employment is worth its weight, it should take on your complaints through confidential and professional channels, observe and inspect the allegations, and resolve the issue thoroughly and quickly.

Foster Good Relationships

Of course, part of health is fostering a good support network. This can be in your work or outside of it. If people are there to help you when you need it, be that a covered shift, a car ride, or something more significant, good health can be as simple as having someone around you when you need it. Don’t downplay this in your own mind. We rely on the people around us to keep us progressive and moving forward. If something occurs that threatens your life, the people around you should be your first port of call in resolving the issue, be that a ride to the hospital, helping remind you of medication requirements, or defending you as a witness in a workplace claim.

With these tips, your health at work is sure to be protected, hopefully to the point where you can forget all about it.

Saturday, 18 November 2017


One of my surefire ways to feel pampered and relaxed is to go for a blow dry and you guys may have read my review of the Blow Ltd 'At Home' Services where you can book on-demand beauty treatments and have them in the comfort of your home. Blow Ltd has recently also opened a salon within Debenhams in Manchester and I was fortunate enough to be invited along to experience it!

In prime position on Market Street, Blow Ltd is geared up for all the quick turnaround beauty treatments you might need. I opted for a quick blow dry and was in an out with a lovely bouncy blow dry in record time. Blow Ltd use Kerastase Products which were a real treat for my hair and I was really impressed with the service overall and will definitely be making use of the salon over the festive season and beyond!

Also! Blow often do discount codes and promotions so be sure to check out their social media and/or website so that you can take advantage 😊

Blow Ltd: Twitter // Facebook // Web // Instagram


Tuesday, 14 November 2017


Once you turn thirty, you’ll find that you get a new lease of life. Your confidence will improve and you will certainly know yourself a lot better than what you did during your twenties. Now that you feel great, you will want to look great to match!

Unfortunately, once we’re in our thirties, there will be some signs of ageing that start to become quite noticeable. But that doesn’t mean you’re past it just yet! Follow these beauty tips, and you’ll look like you’re still a young twenty-something!

Start To Fight Wrinkles

Unfortunately, our thirties is when we start to notice wrinkles and age lines. Sadly, we can’t stop the ageing process completely, so this is something that you need to get used to. But there are ways you can slow down the development and appearance of wrinkles, you’ll be glad to hear! Anti-wrinkle creams can really be beneficial and you should also choose the eye cream for wrinkles that start to appear around your eyes. It’s important that you don’t just stick to budget creams and serums - these won’t do your skin any good. Ideally, see your skin care as a worthwhile investment.

Never Forget Sunscreen

Your skin will be extra delicate now that it is starting to age, especially when it gets too much sun. You might be surprised at how little sun it can handle, in fact. So, it’s necessary to wear sunscreen every day. Yep, you heard that right - every day. This daily application makes sure that you never suffer from any sunburn and that your skin remains full of moisture. There are some scientific studies that show daily wearing of sunscreen can help to keep wrinkles at bay for longer too!

Invest In A Good Hairdresser

Now that you’re a grown woman, there really is no excuse for bad hairstyles anymore. And you shouldn’t blame it on your poor hairdresser! If you don’t like how your current hairdresser styles your hair, then you need to start looking for another one. You might need to visit a few different ones until you finally find your perfect one, but trust me, all this effort is worth it. You’ll always be happy and confident when you step out of the hairdressers, and you won’t have to rush home in shame!

Wash Your Brushes

Did you know that your makeup brushes are breeding grounds for a whole lot of germs and bacteria? If you keep using them without washing them on a regular basis, then you’ll be wiping all of those germs and bacteria onto your face. Pretty disgusting, right?! That’s why you need to make sure you are washing all your makeup brushes every two weeks. You can do so with some warm water and Fairy Liquid. Simply wet the brushes and then lather in some of the Fairy before rinsing them thoroughly. You can then leave the brushes to air dry.

Once you follow all these beauty tips, you’ll start to notice that your beauty confidence really improves and that you’ll find your thirties a lot funner than your twenties!


Monday, 6 November 2017


With Christmas Party Season approaching, the hunt begins for the perfect outfit and I think we all know what a stress that can be! As someone with a bigger bust, I often write things off if I think sourcing underwear will be tricky, which can be a shame as I undoubtedly miss things which could look really nice!

Like building a house or doing your makeup, a great base or foundation is what will make the end product look much better. So this is where getting the correct lingerie and shapewear comes in! I've posted before about getting measured properly and the benefits of doing so, but if you are looking for a one stop shop for your lingerie needs then please do yourself a favour and check out UK Lingerie where you will find many brands, shapes and sizes.

Firstly, get your boobs where they should be sitting on your body and this comes with a good bra. Then you can smooth out any lumps and bumps with Spanx or other control wear pieces. I can see the widened eyes and raised eyebrows and thoughts of 'Bridget Jones' flicking through your mind.. but control pants don't need to be ugly if you are worried about it stopping you getting lucky! 😂

I absolutely hate the feeling of something bing too tight and that horrible breathless feeling you get if your control wear is sausageing you in. Yes that is a word I have just made up. What I love about Spanx is that they are tight but not uncomfortable, you can move around freely and they don't make you all hot and bothered. I can't promise that the process of getting in to them will be all that dignified but we can't have everything now can we!

The brands sold on UK Lingerie are premium and therefore at a higher price point but I do think they are a solid investment so definitely check them out.


Sunday, 5 November 2017


Bullet journals, scrap booking, crafts, even blogging, at home creativity is becoming increasingly accessible and I for one wholeheartedly support this!

I love personalisation and when I was contacted by Stampin' Up challenging me to make my very own greetings cards I couldn't say no..

Containing everything you need to make your own cards, the Stampin' Up Sets are the PERFECT christmas gift for the person who has everything (or won't tell you what they want) but who likes to be creative. I got to play with the 'Oh Happy Day' Card Making Kit and it was so fun to make my very own notecards to send to family and friends.

It's super easy to use and I would highly recommend the kit- I have been perusing the website and have quite the shopping list! My family should probably prepare for an influx of handmade cards!

Tuesday, 31 October 2017


Have you ever wondered why you let stress and anxiety about unimportant things ruin your week? Would you like to go back to a simpler time where you didn’t have to worry about issues that don’t matter? Then you might want to sit down and speak with one of your grandparents for a couple of hours. If they aren’t around anymore, just take a moment to read this post and see if you can learn a thing or two. The older generation went through World Wars and other tragedies, but they still have a smile on their faces. How is that possible? Let’s learn more together…

Family is the most important thing in life

Why do you think so many grandparents work hard to avoid care homes and stay with their families? Well, according to experts from Cayon Care Services and similar firms, that’s because people in their twilight years understand how crucial it is to be with their blood relatives. While friends might come and go during this life, your precious few family members will always remain at your side. Through thick and thin, those people will never judge you, and they will still provide support - even when you mess up. So, make sure you try your best to convert to that way of thinking if you want to be happy.

Worrying doesn’t change anything

The issue with worrying about things is that you use a lot of mental energy, and it makes no difference to the outcome according to specialists from Let’s presume you have an exam tomorrow. You’re stressing about it all day today, but that isn’t going to improve your performance. If you spent all day today joking around with your friends or going on an adventure, you’d still score the same number of correct answers as you will do after stressing for twenty-four hours. If you take no other advice from your grandparents, just make sure you learn that worrying gets you nowhere.

A hard day’s work will keep you grounded

As the old saying goes, “the devil makes work for idle hands to do.” That is a saying many grandparents use, and one that rings true in lots of situations. There is a lot to be said for a hard day’s work and how it helps to maintain your inner health. Even if you come home with aching muscles and stinking to high heaven, you’ll feel like you accomplished something impressive with your efforts. According to many grandparents, some of the happiest people in the world work manual jobs every single day. The turn their bathtubs black when they slide into the water, and yet those people never feel stressed or unhappy.

As you can see from the information in this post, grandparents and other older people can teach you a lot about finding happiness and living your life the right way. So, be sure to have a conversation with yours as soon as possible. If your grandparents have passed-on, you could always visit a local care home for the afternoon. The residents are glad to welcome guests in most instances, and they love having a chat.

Monday, 30 October 2017


Baby, Giving Birth, Newborn
Illness, Injury, Death

There comes a time in everyone’s life where they find themselves looking after a member of their family. Whether that be a child that they have brought into this world, or a sick member of the family, it’s important to be able to keep a level head so that you can take care of them the best you can, yet still live your life happily and healthily. Here are some of the most popular family worries and how you can deal with them.


Bringing a new life into this world is a wonderful thing for all of those close enough to experience it. However, because there’s a new life in this world, people tend to forget about the wellbeing of the woman that has given birth and how she is feeling. If someone close is about to give birth or has just given birth, make sure that you are there for Mum too, because she is going to need all of the support and sleep that she can get. Having support around reduces the chance of getting postnatal depression among many other illnesses.

Illness or Injury

It’s difficult when a member of the family falls sick or injured themselves, especially when it renders the person unable to do anything for themselves. It can be particularly difficult if it’s a member of the family that is older and it’s going to take longer (if at all) to recover from it. While you’re more than willing to help them as much as you can with day to day care, it can sometimes be embarrassing for that person especially if the care that needs to be given is intimate. Consider getting help from a care home so that you can continue your relationship with that person and rest assured that they are getting the care that they need in a warm and caring environment like offers to their residents.


Divorces are often unexpected and messy for both parties, especially if one of them is still very much in love with the other person. Your whole world crumbles and you have to begin picking up the pieces so that you can move on and continue with life. If you know someone that’s going through a divorce, offer them your time, advice and ultimately, a shoulder to cry on. Doing this will strengthen any relationship and help your loved one get through this hard time in their lives.


Death is the worst thing that anyone can experience, yet there’s nothing we can do to stop it. If a loved one is grieving, you need to let them show you what they need from you. Some people deal with it best alone, while others need the company. Whatever your loved one needs or asks for, make sure you’re there for them even if it’s just in their thoughts.

Families are wonderful because of the bond and love all around, so make sure that if your family needs you that you can be there in the best way possible.

Saturday, 28 October 2017




I have to start this with I can't quite believe I am posting a no make up selfie for all and sundry to see on the internet but given the topic of this post, I need to give you a look at my no make up face!

Now, I am sure I am not the only one who had visions of a Samantha from SATC experience when having a chemical peel, but I wanted to bust the myths and give you the low down on introducing peels into your skin regime.


The Consultation

When I was contacted by the lovely ladies at Skin Health Spa to come along and try out a chemical peel for myself, I was honestly quite apprehensive and I am sure they sensed my ignorance on the topic when I said quite firmly I didn't want ANY downtime nor did I want to feel like my face would burn off!

They reassured me that that would not be the case so I booked in for a peel and head over to the Clinic in Manchester, where I discussed my skin woes in order to find the correct acid for me. I wanted brightness and hydration so my therapist suggested a medium depth 'modified jessner' peel to achieve my requirements! Interestingly, this type of peel contains 3 types of acid to address different thing. Lactic for hydration, salicylic for cleansing / reducing oiliness and glycolic acid for brightness.

The Treatment Itself

I lay down and the therapist cleansed my face and put vaseline on any areas which needed protection from the acid, e.g. my under eyes, eyebrows and the creases beside my nose. She then applied the acid and we let it get to work. I genuinely believed it would sting a bit but that was not the case at all. I can only liken it to when you use nail polish remover and it makes your skin feel cold OR like when you use original mint source shower gel. The thing that bothered me more than anything was the fumes coming off the product irritated my nose a bit but nothing major.

The therapist then removed the acid and neutralised the skin. My skin immediately looked alot brighter and more plumped and it has got better and better with each day after the peel. I can't believe how wrong I was about what the experience would be like!

What Skin Health Spa says about Peels

'Our pharmaceutical grade skin peels promote fresh, healthy skin by gently resurfacing the outer layers of the skin, removing built-up congestion and imperfections. Whether its pigmentation, acne or breakouts, lines and wrinkles, dehydration, enlarged pores, or specific skin complaints like Melasma we have a chemical peel that can help with your concern.

There are various types of chemical peels available, each penetrate skin at different levels of the epidermis. Resurfacers or superficial peels work on the very top layers of the epidermis and use enzymes and acids to refine and exfoliate. Skin peels or medium peels are stronger and work deeper to combat more specific skin complaints.

Removing the outer layers of dead skin with a chemical preparation, allows new skin cells to come through revealing a dramatically smoother and brighter complexion with fewer imperfections. Naturally derived acids loosen the glue-like attachments or cellular cement that is characteristic of many skin conditions such as ageing, acne, skin discolouration and coarse texture.'

Everything Else

It's worth bearing in mind that this isn't a relaxing facial so if that is what you are after then definitely still give Skin Health Spa a call and discuss the kind of treatment you are after as they do a really wide variety of treatments and the Clinic is beautiful.

The after care was very simple and it was to just do very little to your face in the immediate 24 hours after the peel and if you have to wear makeup to try and wear mineral makeup which is what I did. I was advised that there *may* be peeling but that it was highly unlikely and I didn't get anything to that effect.

In Conclusion...

I will definitely be incorporating peels into my skin care. I really felt such a difference and I think my skin reacted well to it. As you have more you could go for a higher strength but if I am honest this mild one did enough to start off with!

Thank you very much to Skin Health Spa for such a treat 💖


Wednesday, 25 October 2017


Family planning is all about managing your reproductive system and sex life in relation to your desire to or not to conceive. You can practice family planning throughout your entire life, and it’s not just about the avoidance of pregnancy, although that does form a big part of it. It can be difficult to understand all the aspects of family planning, and that’s why I'm going to offer you this guide to explain some of the most important parts.

Why It’s Important

So, why is family planning so important? For a start, it’s about timing pregnancies and staying in control. These days, women have careers and other things to worry about, and pregnancy needs to be planned more carefully than ever before to avoid unhelpful conflicts. Most women know when they want to have children, and the point at which that’s happening is being delayed further and further on the whole. So, understanding family planning put you at an advantage.

Help and Support

There is so much help and support out there waiting to be taken advantage of, so don’t feel like you have to go through this alone. Head to if you want to find examples of how help with contraceptives and abortions can be found. There are plenty of organisations out there willing to help.

Different Options

There are so many different types of family planning out there, so let’s look at them all in a bit more detail right now. Barrier methods are used by people who want to prevent pregnancy, and the name is pretty self-explanatory. A physical barrier is used to prevent the sperm fertilising the egg. Condoms, diaphragms, caps and sponges are all forms of barrier methods.

Next, there are hormonal methods to consider. Patches, vaginal rings and injections can all be used to change your hormonal balance to prevent pregnancy. However, the oral bill is the most common form of hormonal birth control. Estrogen and progestin are the two hormones that are usually used in such treatments.

IUDs involve placing a device inside the uterus which can then release hormones to control fertility. These can last in place for around 5 years, and many women are turning to this option at the moment. It’s more invasive, but it can be forgotten about for many years, giving you less to worry about in the short-term. Learn more about IUDs at

There is a rhythm method that many people practice, which involves monitoring the menstrual cycle. It’s then possible to avoid sexual intercourse on days when conceiving would be most likely. Finally, there is the permanent sterilisation method. This is used when a woman is sure that she doesn’t want to have any more children in the future, and removes the need for other forms of birth control completely.

Family planning might seem like a big and scary subject area, but it’s actually not the difficult to get your head around. Make use of the guide above and keep learning more about your own body and family planning in general.


Friday, 20 October 2017


I am a firm believer in taking time out and giving yourself some TLC and the lovely folk over at Jet2Holidays do too.

With work seemingly creeping more into your personal time with the arrival of smartphones, laptops and generally working more hours, it's very important to set aside some time to chill out and avoid burnout. I thought I'd tell you all about my tips for de-stressing and making time for yourself!

Diarise your Me-Time

You manage your diary time at work, but do you block out any time for yourself? If you don't then do! I find that I tend to stick to my plans more when they are in my diary. This doesn't just have to be chill out time, it could be time to go to the gym, go for a walk or even blocking out an hour to read a book.

Colouring for Adults

Much like the above 'Cities in Colour' book from Jet2 I have to be honest, I was so sceptical about colouring in being relaxing but it really is! If my mind is properly over capacity from a meeting or information packed day at work, one of my favourite things to do is put on something a bit brainless, Real Housewives of Cheshire does the trick for me (insert sarky emoji) or some music and I colour in. It's like a stop gap to calm your brain down as it is still occupied but doesn't race away with all the work bits and bobs!


This is quite a personal one as some people just don't like to pamper too much and be fussed over whereas I am more along the lines of PAMPER ME ALL THE TIME 😍

I love to pop on a face mask, use essential oils and try and unwind, I think it is so important for your general productivity and mental health.

Sleep Wonderful Sleep

Something I feel I never get enough of, sleep is one of the most amazing ways to ensure overall good health and wellbeing. I also find I sleep SO much when on Holiday, must be the comfortable bed in the hotel and the change in air and scenery!

I Be Drinkin'

An obvious one but keep hydrated! I am now in the habit of drinking so much water and when I don't I really notice the difference - particularly in my skin but also on how I feel in myself. If I reach the heachache stage of de-hydration then it's game over *sad face*

Much as I love coffee I do try and reserve coffee drinking to the morning as I feel like having caffeine too late affects my sleep!

A Change of Scenery

Like I said, a change of scenery is great to give you something to look forward to, a bit of fresh air in the lungs and breaks up the daily grind. I try and incorporate a few holidays every couple of months just so that I get the necessary rest that I need. I am currently eyeing up City Breaks with Jet2Holidays so stay tuned if I end up booking something!

Saturday, 14 October 2017


Now. I consider myself an intelligent woman, I've done well for myself career wise and live an independent #girlboss lifestyle. However, I don't think I ever *quite* anticipated just how confusing buying your own property is. I am writing this blog post in the absence of good impartial advice, forgive me if I just didn't stumble across your blog post on the topic, the only things that came up on my google search gave me broad detail but with some form of sales pitch attached! There are no such sales pitches here, I just want to share my findings in the hope that it helps and you don't find yourself googling 'an idiot's guide to buying a house' desperately searching for information.

I also have to say that I couldn't have done this without the generosity of my parents helping me with my deposit. As a single person trying to get on the property ladder, it is difficult!

I will split this post into different sections so you can skip over if anything is obvious!

Getting Your Finances in Order

I knew I needed to do this and yet I think there was definitely way more I could have done. One of the best tips I could give you is to explore your credit rating as this is ultimately what will determine how attractive you will be as a potential customer to a lender. The main credit agencies are Experian and Equifax. There are options to really drill down into what is making up your score and I would urge you to look into these if you number is in the average or below territory.

One thing I will say though is do not worry if you don't have the best credit rating, there are lenders out there who will still consider you but it will be a more indepth process.

Make sure you are paying your bills on time, ensure that the agencies have an accurate picture of you so check you are on the electoral roll at your current address and that they have as much information as possible. You also have the opportunity to correct certain information too.

Also bear in mind that your mortgage provider may need to go over 3 months worth of bank statements so perhaps think about keeping the ASOS orders and just-eat deliveries to a minimum...

Once you are in a position to start thinking about buying a property and have an idea of how much deposit you have at your disposal, it is sometimes worth getting an agreement in principle with your bank or engaging the services of an Independent Mortgage Consultant who will be able to find the best deal for you. This means that you don't inadvertently go and view the house of your dreams to have the dream crushed as actually you wouldn't be able to afford it.

The Mortgage

This is where I felt the most clueless in the process. How on earth do they work, what do the options actually mean and what is the best option for me? I used a Mortgage Consultant to help me with all of these questions and he was an absolute god-send. I didn't have particularly good credit as I don't have alot of it so my options were slightly more restricted. This is where my Consultant was worth his weight in gold as he made me feel much less worried about everything and assured me that I would still be able to find a mortgage but that I might need to provide a little more information.

The interest rate was slightly higher than what I would have got from the high street lenders but we have fixed the cost for 2 years and will re-mortgage after that so that I can reduce costs. My mortgage payment is less than what I was paying in rent.

I was very fortunate that my parents helped with my deposit but bear in mind that this in itself can be a cost depending on how long you have the money before you buy as solicitor's will charge you to verify that the money has come from a legitimate source.

The Legal Side of Things

I'll be honest, I don't feel like I got the same level of service from my Legal Adviser as I did from my Mortgage Consultant. I was expecting alot more of an education throughout the process and explanation of what things meant rather than documents just being sent and a signature requested.

I was able to ask questions of my parents and other friends but I would urge you to ask that things are explained and set that expectation up front so that you are fully informed. It can be quite overwhelming when a big pile of documents arrive on your doorstep! Also, try not to exchange or complete on a Friday as you can be caught out by people leaving the office earlier than usual which can have a negative effect on your plans!

There are also alot of other costs that can be added on so be sure to fully understand what charges might apply to you so that your budget can absorb these costs.

The Step by Step Process

  1. Have an idea of budget for your property purchase and try and get a mortgage agreement in principle. This is not mandatory but can help when dealing with estate agents as they know you are serious and ready to go!
  2. Do your research, if you love a property and want to make an offer then know what the last purchase price was and what the market is like in the area.
  3. If the property is the ONE then go ahead and make an offer! This is made via the estate agent and when accepted they will give you a memorandum of sale. Note that the purchase is not legally binding at this stage and there are a fair few hoops to jump through after this point.
  4. Get your mortgage offer - this will be dependent on the mortgage company conducting their own valuation. This is so they can verify that should you fall into arrears and fail to pay that they could make their money back.
  5. Arrange a survey. If you are buying a house then you will need a full one, if you are buying a flat then you can generally get away with a basic one. Make sure you read through everything as it isn't always obvious where there are concerns. My survey didn't show that there was a problem on one aspect of the property, this came through much later on and was almost a deal breaker!
  6. Once you have signed away all the documents, have the mortgage offer and an acceptable survey then it's time to decide on when to exchange contracts and it is at this point (when the contracts have been exchanged) that the sale becomes legally binding. You will need to arrange for the release of your deposit at this stage.
  7. At completion, your mortgage provider will release the funds and you will get the call to come and collect the keys! Be aware that sometimes the current owners take longer than anticipated to vacate the property. I'd just ensure that everything is in writing and you make it crystal clear of what your intended movements are on completion date.

Other Things to Bear in Mind 

The fixtures and fittings inventory is something you must look at - if I hadn't have had my parents on my back saying 'what are they leaving' then I wouldn't have chased this as my Legal Adviser didn't catch on that I hadn't received it! The seller could say they are taking anything so it's just so you know exactly what is being left.

Fees mount up and I think this is where I was slightly unprepared! I knew I would have alot to cover before I even got into my property but you will need separate budget for this.

The first mortgage payment will be higher than what your normal monthly amount is. It's something to do with the interest but mine was approx £300 more than what my monthly amount will be and it's rubbish as that first month is probably the worst time it can be so be warned!!!

Don't be scared to negotiate - if something comes up then ask for money off. You need to prepare yourself for real highs and lows during the buying process but it's all so worth it once you get those keys!


Wednesday, 11 October 2017


The latest fashion look, or eyebrow technique is great to know about - but if you didn’t already know, the new best thing is positivity. Not only can you wear it, but you can also speak it, act it, and spread it.
Here's how you can get some.

Use positive words to describe your life.

The words that we use in our daily lives has a huge impact on how we see the world, and ourselves. If you are always one to say that your life is boring and dull - of course it will be, you're making it that way every time you confirm it. Instead, when you wake up and have a conversation with yourself in the shower (like all of us do!) say that today is going to be a good day. Even if the sky is dark and grey - the birds are still singing, the grass is green, you're breathing, and you're having a wonderfully hot shower that, of course, makes everything so much better. Your mind listens to the words, so choose them more wisely.

Keep your body moving.

Exercise isn't just to keep you in shape and allow you to wear that gorgeous blue dress for your birthday. It's also a way of keeping your mind healthy and fit too. Look at Zumba fitness dance in the gym for example; it's a group of like-minded people that join as one and have a boogie to some funky music while laughing away any troubles. This is also due to a little chemical called endorphins that are released and make you feel happy. So call up your girlfriends and make it a date. You won't be let down.

Just. Breathe.

The act of breathing is so underrated. We just do it because that's how our bodies work. But breathing is completely connected to our emotions. For example when we're angry or distraught, or breathing speeds up and our heart races - that's the way our body reacts to different emotions. So the next time you feel this way - breathe. Breathe through it all. You tend not to think about it when you're trapped in a moment, but by focusing your mind and taking deep breaths in and out, you will be able to take full control, and you will soon see how that affects the way you’re feeling. So fill your lungs with clean, crisp, positive air. You will feel so much better. And it will get better…

Replace the word have with get.

Think about it, when you formulate sentences, what do you say? I have to see my parents. I have to go to work. I have to pick up my children from school. I have to go to sleep. - Now change the word have, to get. I get to see my parents. I get to go to work. I get to pick up my children from school. I get to go to sleep. How are lucky are you? Do you see how just one measly word can change so much and put things into perspective? ... Nothing more needs to be said.

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