Travel Tips & What To Do – Amsterdam

Hey hey

Well .. thanks for coming back. If you’re reading this it’s probably because a) You are considering going to the beaut place that is Amsterdam, b) You have just come back and are having serious Dam withdrawal symptoms (ahem.. moi) or c) You love my blog and want to read every post I put up (LOL, I’m kidding.. but if so I love you lots & you da best). Recently, Amsterdam has become THE place to visit for a short city break, and it is definitely not hard to see why. There is SO much to do (seriously), it can be hard to cram everything in if you are only visiting for a few days. Now… I did plenty of research before I went and picked out the places I really wanted to see. Of course … I had a list as long as my arm of the things I wanted to do.. but because I was only there for 3 days, had to cut down. BUT… I thought it would be a fab (and very helpful) idea if I shared some of these things too. Also – to give a few general tips that could help some of you who are going there. So .. grab yourself a cuppa and let’s talk all about Amsterdam !

 
Things to do

Museums

There are SO many museums to visit in Amsterdam, if you wanted you could spend your entire trip wandering through all the museums. There is one for everyone .. if you fancy a giggle, try the Sex Museum (I never went in there myself but every single person who has been in recommends it highly!). It only costs around 5 euros to get in and is a good way to pass some time! It’s right next to the train station too so very easy to reach. Whilst I was there, I went to the Body Works Museum.. which is definitely not for the faint hearted. It has actual bodies that people have donated to that museum for their exhibitions and is FASCINATING to see .. especially if you love creepy things (me hahaha). It cost us 16 euros each to get in but it’s a pretty decent size and has so much to see! Next .. if you really want to get a feel of Amsterdam, you have to visit the Amsterdam Museum .. it has all the history of the city and so many things to see. If you want to learn all about the two things that Amsterdam is notoriously known for (ahem.. weed & prostituion), there are specific museums for that too, both of which cost a couple of euros to get in. There are also museums for the art/culture lovers, such as the Van Gogh Museum & the Rijksmuseum (find proper spelling), which are both a tram ride away from the city centre. All in all.. there is a museum for every single person in Amsterdam, so you’re sure to find something you’re interested in.

Anne Frank House

I thought I would talk about this separately as unlike the regular museums, you will most likely have to queue for a few hours if you want to visit on the day without booking, and even then you can only go in after 3pm. SO – best thing to do if you want to go? Book in advance. Literally like 2 months in advance – as tickets go live online for 2 months ahead and they DO fill up. It costs exactly the same to book online (9 euros), and you have to select a time slot of when you are visiting. When I visit Amsterdam again, I will definitely book the trip & the Anne Frank House at the same time. I suggest you do the same, as even though I booked my trip a month before, there were still some slots available (which I stupidly didn’t book at the time, gahhh).

 

Food

I could honestly babble on about the food for SO LONG because honestly whatever type of food you want, there is something for you. They have restaurants, takeaways, street food, breakfast places, a whole China Town, and SO many dessert places too. It really depends on what you want, but I am going to tell you about my favourite places we visited.

Pancakes!

Amsterdam is so well known for its pancakes, and if you love them you have visit Pancakes. Prepare to queue, but you shouldn’t be waiting that long! It is definitely worth the wait – I had probably the best pancakes EVER from here. They have every option too, crepe, Dutch, American.. and all the toppings you could want. Also – try their homemade lemonade, it’s DELICIOUS. The staff were amazing, the food was fab and I highly reccomend planning a visit there. It is pretty reasonably priced too, which is always a plus. You get a little clog keyring when you pay which made me happy – it’s the little things ey.

 
Omelegg

If you are a lover of omelettes (let’s be real, who isn’t), then a trip to Omelegg is definitely on the cards. Again, probably the best omelettes I had and there is literally every single type of omelette you could ever want. It’s reasonably priced too, and again the staff are just amazing.

 

Amsterdam Fries

You HAVE to try fries from Amsterdam, and trust me you will see these little street food shops everywhere in central, and there WILL be queues, but it’s fast food so you won’t be waiting long. Basically you get some fries in paper with literally any sauce imaginable, and they will be the nicest fries you will have EVER. I’m thinking about them now wishing I could have them *cries*.

 
For dinner, we had no issues finding halal/vegatarian friendly food too which was a massive plus. It really depends of what type of thing you want for dinner, as I mentioned you can find ANY type of food there, so it’s always good to have a wander during the day to see where you want to dine in the evening!

Sights to see

Vondelpark

I had to include this as it really is one of the most beautiful parks ever. Think of it has a Hyde Park or Central Park of Amsterdam. It’s absolutely HUGE, was FULL of cherry blossom when I went (blogger goals), and if you want, you can rent a bike and just spend a whole afternoon cycling around. Also – it is pretty close to LOTS of restaurants/pancake places so you can make a day trip out of it!

Begijnhof

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This is basically a courtyard in the middle of Amsterdam where you can visit if you want some peace for an hour or so. It is about 15 minutes on tram from central and is definitely worth seeing. You honestly feel like you have stepped into a whole new city when you go inside. It is also pretty close to the Amsterdam museum so you could fit in both of these in one afternoon.

Red Light District


Honestly? It’s not as notorious as you might think – it’s a pretty interesting sight to see. We went there during the day and night, and it’s amazing to see the difference! During the day, it’s just like any other of the canals, but by night it literally comes alive. If you really want, you can book a tour where you can have entry to one of the museums I mentioned earlier, or you can just take a stroll at your own pace. Also – do NOT take pictures of the ladies – there was a specific place at the top of the discrict near a bridge where people seemed to gather to take some pictures …. but you should avoid taking them anywhere else.

Keukenhof

If you visit Amsterdam during the months of late March – May, you should definitely plan a visit to Keukenhof. This is where the famous tulip gardens are and its around 45 minutes outside of Amsterdam. You can easily get a train out or there are tours that you can book. If I had an extra day, I would have definitely gone because it really is a breath taking, beautiful site to see!

Canal cruises

If you want a pretty chilled tour of Amsterdam, canal cruises are the way to go. We didn’t get a chance to go on one as the weather wasn’t the nicest, and we just had so many other things planned! You can get tours where you have dinner, romantic tours during the sunset, or just standard tours … whatever you are after you’ll find something. They do get quite busy though, but as there are so many to choose from you shouldn’t be waiting too long.

 
Right – I think that will be all for the ‘things to do’ bit – I could honestly go on for ages but I think I’ll save that for another time right?

So – now some general tips for Amsterdam .. things that I found helpful and that could help you too!

Get a Travel Ticket

 
These are so handy and something that you can pick up from the airport. It basically allows you to get on any train, tram, bus & ferry in central Amsterdam (including ferries to North Amsterdam which we used it for) and it cost us 26 euros for 3 days. You can also get one for 1 or 2 days (obviously cheaper depending on the days you need). It is so much easier and cheaper having one ticket for your whole trip rather than purchasing a new one each day.

Beware of cyclists

As Amsterdam use the opposite side of the road to the UK, looking to one side of the road can usually mean you miss a cyclist on the opposite side (or is that just me LOL). Basically look left, right then left again. Amsterdam locals are so so lovely, but they can get pretty annoyed if you rush into a bike lane (anybody would to be honest), so just watch where you walk. Also – only rent out a bike in the city if you are a confident cyclist. I personally would not because I wouldn’t be quick enough to cycle on roads – save the bike hire for Vondelpark.

 
Make sure to try takeaway stroopwafels/crepes/churros

Trust me… you will not forgive yourself if you leave Amsterdam without trying one of the above. They just taste SO GOOD.. and I had so many whilst I was out there. Calories don’t count on holidays guys.

Visit the SIX FLOOR PRIMARK

Yes you read right – 6 floor Primark. It’s amazing and I wish wish we had a Primark that big. Every single thing you’ve seen in a Primark is there… and if I had some extra space in my luggage I would have stocked up on some goodies!

Be prepared for the smell of weed everywhere

Although smoking weed is preferred in coffee shops, it’s not illegal to smoke it in public places, so you will continuously smell it whilst wandering round Amsterdam. Just be prepared. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Try the cheese

There are SO many cheese shops in central and more or less all of them offer testers of their cheese. It is SO worth trying because it was probably some of the best cheese I’d tried. If you have some space in your suitcase, bring some back. You won’t regret it.

You don’t have to stay in Central

I know so many people say you should find a hotel in Central as you are closer to all the attractions .. but this doesn’t have to be the case. We stayed at the Mercure Sloterdijk Station Hotel, and it was SO handy as the train station was a 2 minute walk away. Trains from there to Central were every 5 minutes. I would highly recommend the hotel too as it was really quiet, affordable and had great connections to the city.

 
Phew … I think that’s everything on my list!? I loved Amsterdam so so much and definitely HIGHLY RECOMMEND going as I know you will love it too! It’s a pretty affordable place to visit and you will find so much to do!

If you have ANY questions, just let me know and I will be happy to help!

Hope you found this post helpful! Have a fab week guys – I love you lots!

Saira

Xx

Travel Diary – Amsterdam

Hi GUYS

How ya’ll doing? Hope you have had the best week EVER. Been up to much ? If you follow me on practically any social media – you will know that I recently went to the ever so popular, BEAUT city of Amsterdam. Oh yes. One of the most popular places to visit ATM – especially amongst my fellow blogging gals. In fact – booking a city break and travelling to Amsterdam was actually on my Spring bucket list (ahem – post here if you fancy a gander) – and I was SO chuffed to tick it off!

So – as I was saying, unless you’ve been avoiding me on Twitter (hope not) you will know that I went to Amsterdam over the May Day bank holiday – and as the typical blogger would do – am writing up my travel diary for you (WOOP). Now – I have decided to incorporate a travel series on my blog – so will be doing a few posts on my trip, so keep your eyes peeled for those.

For now though – a quick run through of what I got up to, with plenty of shots of one of the most picturesque places I’ve EVER visited.

Day 1

Armed with our bags, we scuttled off to Leeds Bradford Airport and boarded our flight to Amsterdam, which only took 50 minutes (I couldn’t even fit an episode of 13 Reasons Why on it). We arrived at Schipol Airport around 4pm & got the train to Sloterdijk Station. We stayed at the Mercure Hotel just opposite there, so getting the train to central was an absolute doddle (literally took around 8 minutes).

After settling in to our hotel, we freshened up and headed out to central Amsterdam to explore. It honestly is one of the most beautiful places. It sounds odd but I found it one of the most lively, yet calm places ever. There was so much going on, but I never once felt stressed walking around. We were absolutely starving so found a cute Turkish restaurant to have dinner (you will be spoilt for choice -there is SO much to eat!), and then explored the centre a little bit more. We also found ourselves walking down the Red Light District too (don’t judge – hear me out guys), and I found it so fascinating to walk around. It didn’t have that ‘seedy’ feel to it that I thought it would, and honestly it was more of a tourist attraction than anything else. Prepare for a lot of ‘live show’ adverts & naughty shops though. Lol. After that – we scoped out where we’d be having breakfast the next morning, then headed back to our hotel.

Also – when booking the hotel I only selected a ‘room’ option – as there were SO many breakfast places that I wanted to try rather than just having what the hotel would serve (quick tip there for you).

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Day 2

We had a little bit of a lie in then headed out on the train to central again for breakfast. I’d planned on having breakfast at the famous Pancakes – which there was actually a queue OUTSIDE for. But luckily we only waited around 15 minutes until we were seated. The pancakes were INSANE though and pretty reasonably priced too which was fab! After – we hopped on a ferry to North Amsterdam (which we could get with the travel ticket – more on that in my tips post!) and found a cute little cafe where we hung out for a while & for some lunch. Then, we got the ferry back to central & went to the Body Worlds museum – which was FANTASTIC. It is literally a museum with real human bodies that people have ‘donated’ and they have been preserved so you can see every single bit! It sounds creepy but it’s amazing and such an interesting place to see. We then got some fries (which Amsterdam is popular for and DAMN were they good) and then went back to the hotel for a quick rest, before heading back out to central for some dinner and another wander round! And yes as you can probably tell, we ate A LOT. I actually went past the Anne Frank museum – which unfortunately I couldn’t get into as it was SO busy, but it was just nice to see it in person. I love Anne Frank and her story and am definitely looking at going again so I can actually visit the museum next time.

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Day 3

Our last day (boo!). We visited a place called Omelegg for breakfast which is again a very popular place – and I can honestly say it was one of the nicest breakfasts I’ve ever had! As you can probably tell by the name, they serve up omelettes (literally any one that you can imagine), and it was SO GOOD. The interior was also so adorable, but again this was quite busy too. We did have to queue to get a seat but we were seated pretty quickly, and it was worth the wait! After – we headed to a place called Beginhof, which is a courtyard in the middle of central Amsterdam where nun’s actually live, but it is open to the public to visit. This was a highly recommended place as it is so peaceful & beautiful, despite being in the centre of the city. I would highly suggest checking it out if you want to get away from the hustle & bustle for a while. We then walked around the gardens of Amsterdam museum for a while, before getting on a tram to Vondelpark. Ahh guys … the park. I feel as though this is Amsterdam’s version of Central Park in NYC (despite me never visiting New York LOL), it is definitely a beautiful place and if we’d had enough time, we would have rented some bikes out to ride around (as it was a BEAUT day). Unfortunately, time was ticking so we headed back to central, where we got some souvenirs and churros (which were SO good), and then made our way to the airport.

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So – that was my short but very eventful trip to Amsterdam. I regretted not going for a canal boat ride, but we just did not have the time *cries*. Amsterdam is definitely a city where you are never short of things to do – and I am hoping to take another trip soon to visit other places such as the Anne Frank House & the outer regions (where the popular windmills & cheese farms are!) OH- we also managed to taste a lot of cheese whilst we were there in one of the many cheese shops (yum).

Right guys – I hope you enjoyed this travel diary of my trip! As I’ve said I will do another post with tips where I’ll go into detail about getting around Amsterdam, things you have to do and just some general helpful things! If you are thinking of visiting, I would 100% reccomend as there is SO much to see and do, whether you fancy a chilled out break or one spending your time in the coffee shops (hehe), or exploring all the history & museums!

Let me know if you liked this post – and also if you’ve been to Amsterdam! I’d love to know and see your posts if you have done any!

I’ll see you all in my next one – have an amazing weekend!

Lots of LOVE

Saira xxxxx

Teeth Whitening 101

Hey there

I think I need a slap on the wrist for how long I have been away from my little blog. I know.. it’s been a while. You know the usual drill .. things just got busy in life. Oh.. and my obsession with the Twilight movies started again.. meaning I spent most of my evenings after work rewatching the movies.

Hehehe. No regrets.

Right.. lets talk about teeth shall we? This post has definitely been on the cards for a while … I just really wanted to test any products before talking about them.. as you do. Now… for me… oral hygiene is a biggie, and someone’s teeth is probably the first thing I notice about them (not sure if this is weird or not .. let me know if you do the same thing!). So of course, with this is mind, having good teeth & healthy gums is VERY important to me.

Now.. I am no dentist guys.. but I do think I have picked up a few tips & good habits, and thought it would be helpful to talk about MY routine, and also the steps I take to ensure my teeth are white & healthy. Lets get on shall we ey?

Invest in a good brush

If you are yet to buy an electric toothbrush, you are seriously missing out. Trust me… I wouldn’t say this if it wasn’t true, but buying a good quality  brush is such an investment, and a good starter point too. I definitely recommend the Oral B ones, and what I like is that they start at around £25, yet they still do an amazing job at cleaning your teeth. At the moment, I use an Oral B Vitality brush (which I got from work, but I think it is usually £25-£30), and it does an amazing job at cleaning my teeth really well. You can definitely tell the difference in how clean your teeth/mouth feels, as well as helping to remove stains. I love that it also has a timer so you can brush for the right amount of time. Win.

Floss

Ah.. the dreaded job of flossing. I know it can seem like an absolute chore, but if you really want to clean your teeth properly AND have healthy gums.. you gotta floss girl. I tend to floss on a night, as I personally don’t think it is necessary to floss twice a day, and I have more time in the evening to floss well. Also.. if you are lazy, pick up some flossing brushes, as they are so much quicker. For me, flossing helps with removing stains between teeth (if this makes sense), as sometimes brushing can’t even reach those bits. My favourite floss to use recently has been the Nano floss, as I really find it helps clean between my teeth well and has a slight minty flavour which is always nice! If you have pretty bad staining between your teeth, try inter-dental brushes – these are really good at cleaning vigorously between your teeth.

Avoid long term DIY whitening treatments

Now guys, I know these are so so popular guys .. I used to use DIY whitening treatments, and they can seem to make your teeth whiter .. but the damage they cause your teeth is not good at all *sad face*. I’m talking about the lemon & baking soda trick .. I was pretty guilty of doing this quite regularly .. but stopped because I noticed my teeth becoming VERY sensitive and becoming more stained rather than white (confusing right?!). Basically what this trick does is wear away the enamel of your teeth, which is the strong, white layer your teeth have.. and in turn removes the “stains” but also damages enamel. Also – lemon juice can start to eat away at the calcium in your teeth too (eeek!). So.. your teeth may look shinier & glossier, but really your enamel is being damaged & your teeth are left more prone to decay. Now guys .. don’t get me wrong .. once in a while is not going to do a great deal of damage, but if you are doing this every few days.. it will harm your teeth. But don’t worry.. I’m here to help you find healthy ways of whitening your teeth 🙂

It’s all in the routine

Trust me guys .. have a routine and you will notice the difference. I am talking brushing twice a day (standard) flossing (maybe not so standard) & mouthwash. Do this morning & night and I can guarantee you will notice a difference in how clean your mouth feels and how healthy/white your teeth look!

Using the correct products

I have definitely used my fair share of whitening toothpastes guys… so I think I’m in a pretty good place to share some of my faves with you. All these have been put to the test and I can definitely  say they work amazingly in whitening your teeth, as well as cleaning them really well.

WhiteWash Nano Range

Ahhh this range. Where do I even start… not only is it probably the most instagrammable paste/wash/floss set ever … it works pretty damn well too. I tend to use this routine on a night, as I find it has a much more subtle minty flavour, which I prefer on an evening. I definitely have noticed a difference in how white my teeth are since using this, and I love that is is so gentle on my teeth too. It also helps build enamel which was a massive plus for me because I have really sensitive teeth (thanks to all the harsh whitening treatments), as well as being paraben & alcohol free. I also adore the mouthwash as it leaves your mouth feeling so clean, but doesn’t sting at all. Now .. the flavour of this range is pretty different compared to other pastes, it has more of a ‘soft mint’ taste, yet my teeth literally feel like they have been cleaned at the dentist. I highly recommend checking this brand out – I’ve even lent the paste to my sister to use because I know she’ll love it – meaning I’ll need to stock up on some more!

Beverly Hills Perfect White Range

I got testers for this range from work and can honestly say it’s the best toothpaste I’ve ever used ! I’ve tried both the Charcoal black paste/wash and the Gold paste and they are amazing ! They have whitened my teeth better than anything and have a really strong minty taste to them, so I tend to use these in the morning! It is a little strange using a black toothpaste at first but it works so well so I just look past that. Charcoal toothpaste is the latest hype and I can definitely see why! Using this and the wash together work an absolute treat to help keep my teeth white ! Woop wooop! You can pick up this range in Boots, Superdrug & Morrisons.

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Listerine Mouthwash

I know this stuff stings your mouth like an absolute b**** .. but it does an amazing job. You can pick up the whitening washes too which help maintain your white teeth as well as keeping your mouth clean! FYI… how adorable is this packaging ?!

 

Build up that enamel

So.. I mentioned enamel briefly before and this is basically the stuff that keeps your teeth white and strong! Using harsh pastes can damage this, and make your teeth look slightly ‘see through’ .. which is not good at all! I like to use Sensodyne Pronamel every few days to strengthen my enamel and keep my teeth from ever getting sensitive. This is pricey stuff but it work SO well.. and I’m sure you’ve seen the dentists raving about this little gem too!

Some general tips to keep teeth white!

Avoid dark coloured drinks as much as possible i.e. coffee, tea… as these can stain your teeth pretty bad

Use a straw when having fizzy drinks to avoid as much exposure to your teeth

Don’t rinse your mouth fully after brushing. Let the toothpaste stay on your teeth so it can carry on working its magic even after brushing

Use mouthwash about half an hour after you’re brushed your teeth. I know right ? I couldn’t believe this .. I’d been using it straight after brushing.. but it’s actually better for you to wait before rinsing.

Don’t smoke. Pretty self explanatory. Smoking makes you smell, is so bad for you and makes your teeth pretty yellow. Bleugh.

So guys .. that is my teeth whitening routine & some tips on how you can have whiter teeth! Let me know some of your favourite products too .. I’d love to try some new things!

Hope this post helped some of you – I have some exciting posts coming up too which I cannot wait to share with you ! Make sure to leave me links of your blogs below because I am due a SERIOUS catch up!

Lots of Love,

Saira

 

My Plans for 2017

Hiya guys…

Here I am.. being basic AF and writing up my 2017 goals.. but you know what? I actually love posts like this.. both reading and writing them. There is just something so satisfying about writing out a list and planning things you want to achieve in the new year.

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Now, I know that so many people have the mindset that if you really wanted to make changes to your life then you would do them whenever and not wait for the new year… but I personally think there is nothing wrong with setting some goals/making changes if you want to… it is always nice to have things you want to achieve. Some of my goals might be small, others bigger.. I might achieve them, I might not.. but I am going to try my best. That’s what is important… I think it is all about the effort that is put in, and I am a firm believer that if someone tries their hardest and puts in the effort you really can achieve.

Lets see what I have on my 2017 goals/to do list ey?

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Make more of an effort with my YouTube channel

I love making videos… and in 2016 I started my YT channel, and before the end of the year I literally was *touching* 700 subscribers.. which to me is a phenomenal amount, considering the fact that I went almost a whole 3 months without uploading! In 2017, I definitely want to make more of an effort to upload regularly and creating exciting content! I think there is such an amazing YT community with so many supportive/inspiring people, so I definitely want to carry on uploading as many videos as possible!

Stop giving a s*** about followers on Instagram

I think I speak for the majority of people when I say Instagram has been an absolute b**** in 2016.. with the introduction of the algorithm, followers/interaction on Instagram has dropped dramatically. This can be so disheartening especially when you put so much effort into your Instagram feed. Recently though, I have been trying my hardest to stop focusing on followers, and just on creating my feed and making it something that I love. I also have become part of some blogger commenting groups on Instagram, which means I get to see all my fave blogger’s feeds and we have the opportunity to increase each other’s interactions. Also.. the amount of follows/unfollows that happen can get pretty ridiculous, but again I am focusing on my feed and not numbers!

Get fit & eat healthy

Ohhhh this always seems to be on the majority of people’s goals for new year and I feel like it is a given when it comes to them, hehe. But you know what? I am going to give it my best shot and really try. I am not going to try anything drastic at all, because let’s face it, I love chocolate and sugary cups of tea way too much. A few things I am going to do though? Start drinking green tea again, have healthy dinners (I am planning on making full use of the slow cooker I got) and cut down on the amount of takeaways I consume on a weekend. As for exercise, I am aiming for once a week, and gradually increasing to either 2 or 3 (I definitely need to be realistic!).. exercising puts you in such a good mood too so I am going to try my hardest to fit it in!

Go to NYC

This has been an absolute dream of mine for a while now.. and I really want to make it happen this year.. I know it can be a pricey trip, especially when I am trying to save for a house too… but I would LOVE to see if I can find a good deal! I have never been to NYC, and all I seem to do is watch vlogs of people’s trips there.. I don’t think my obsession with Friends has helped this either!

Come out of “bad” fashion habits

I wasn’t really sure what to call this besides a “bad” fashion habit… but I am in such a rut when it comes to clothes. All I ever seem to wear is black leggings or jeans (my Joni jeans are my most worn item), and I really want to start wearing other things. In fact.. I have already got myself on the bandwagon by purchasing a pair of “Mom” jeans (and yes I feel weird calling them mom, not mum). I think it has been years since I purchased a pair of bottoms that weren’t skinny… in fact these are BLUE and EMBROIDERED. I am so excited to style them more, and purchase more pairs!

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Make the most of my evenings (and plenty of pamper time)

You know why? Because pamper days/nights make you feel so good. In 2016, I spent so many of my evenings falling asleep on the sofa, only to go straight upstairs to bad (I blame the unhealthy dinners, very early mornings, and not enough “proper” sleep).  My aim is to spend my evenings after finishing work either pampering myself (involving lush baths, face masks and plenty of blogging), spending proper time with my family, and being productive rather than just lazy!

Show more love to all you babes

I want to spend more time showing you guys more love, through commenting on your blogs/youtube videos – I absolutely love when someone leaves a really meaningful comment on my blog (I mean those REALLY sweet, heartfelt, makes me want to shed a tear comment) … so want to spend more time showing you guys love!

And I am going to stop there because let’s face it, I think that is a decent (and realistic) amount to have.

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I love you all lots. Thanks so much for all your support in 2016 – here’s to an amazing 2017 🙂

Love,

Saira xo

 

How I Style: Blanket Scarves

Hey hey!

How is it so close to Christmas ?! I can’t even believe how quick December is passing by … this year is almost over! I’ve already had my Christmas do at work, and have a few days at work before some time off! Honestly .. I’ve been enjoying my new job so much but my goodness do I need a break!

Anyway.. Winter is my favourite season (after Autumn that is)… I just love everything about it! I did a whole post if you want to know WHY I love it so much .. which you can check out here ! Anyway .. the fashion is one of the main reasons I love it!

Now … there are so many different fashion items this winter that I’ve been obsessed with (I’m planning a whole post on it actually!)… BUT there is one specific thing that I’ve not been able to be without, and honestly if you do not have one of these, you are missing out! They have been everywhere this season, and you can pick up so many different colours & styles.. and they are definitely an essential item. It is of course … blanket scarves!

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I have been so so obsessed with blanket scarves this year.. they are so easy to style up and instantly make you feel so cosy! There are so many ways to style it.. but I’ve been sticking to a regular way which has become my go to outfit on cold, winter-y days!

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This little beauty is from Primark .. WHO FYI have some gorgeous scarves.. and they are less then a tenner (!). My fave way to style then has just been draped over this beautiful ‘coatigan’ from Zara (which is a mix between a coat & a cardigan… it’s a word guys!). I feel SO cosy and warm.. and of course greys & blacks just go with everything!

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The boots are little stunners from Primark.. and honestly guys I fell in love with these as soon as I saw them! The quality is insane and they are SUCH a staple! I’ve noticed myself wearing them so much too… definitely pick them up if you spot them! I adore the detail of the zip on the side and the slight hint of snakeskin… they are definitely perfect for everyday :).

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So many of you will know that winter is my all time favourite season for fashion … just because I find it so effortless .. it’s all about layering and feeling comfy! This is why I think blanket scarves are perfect … all I do before heading out the door is drape one of them over my shoulders, or wrap around my neck and I am GOOD TO GO!

Coat: Zara
Scarf: Primark
Bag: LYDC
Boots: Primark

The whole point of this post (besides experimenting with my new camera & outfit pics!)… you NEED a blanket scarf this Winter. Get one 🙂

Have an amazing weekend guys.. I am going to be spending mine making a gingerbread house, doing some shopping and getting inspiration for re-decorating my room! Sending you lots of love!

Love,

Saira

X

Spectrum Brushes – Worth the hype?

First things first guys… HEYA! I am literally having the perfect evening right now.. my PJ’s are on, fairy lights are lit, I have a Brown Sugar Allspice candle burning (HELLO… autumn in a candle guys)… I literally am ALL SET TO BLOG!

I honestly feel like I have my mojo back… I felt like I lost it for a while but I think there is something about the cozy evenings that just makes me want to curl up in a blanket and WRITE! I think most of you will agree with this ey?

So… having a quick peek of the title again.. it is probably something that most of you are familiar with. You have seen them popping up ALL over social media and they have become quite popular with beauty bloggers recently! Now… I am talking about the beauties that are SPECTRUM BRUSHES*. I will be honest with you all.. I actually sent a cheeky email to their PR inbox.. NOT expecting a response at all.. but they literally got back to me within a few hours saying they loved my blog and would love to send me some of their products to try! Safe to say I was GOBSMACKED… yet so excited at the same time!

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Now… you have seen all the beautiful pictures of them.. BUT… are they really worth the hype? Well ladies & gents.. I tested them out for a few weeks to ensure I could give you all an in depth review…SO let’s see how I got on!

Firstly… some details!

  • Spectrum are vegan and cruelty free.. this ALWAYS makes me love a product/range more
  • You can either buy individual brushes or sets
  • They are only available online (I am 99% sure of this!.. Let me know if you know otherwise!)

What I Got:

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So…I received the 10 piece essential set (retailing at £39.99) which contains face and eye brushes. You are literally covered for tools for your base, blush/bronzer, eyeshadow, brows and eyeliner. They also come in a cute little pink, see-through case (ahem.. which I didn’t actually take a photo of).

First Impressions

Now… let’s admit it guys.. these brushes are FRICKIN’ beautiful. Whether you love them or not,  you have to be insane to not think they are beautiful. They are literally the most stunning brushes I have owned… I almost cried a little when I used them for the first time.

Guess what? They feel damn good quality too.. they feel quite heavy compared to other brushes I have tried, and they also are so much more sturdier and good quality. I know you are probably sick to DEATH of bloggers describing brushes like this.. but they are honestly SO soft. I literally could not wait to use them on my face, ha.

They also make amazing blog props too (when they are freshly washed may I add)… I SO badly want to get my hands on the Marble range JUST so that I can take those stunning Instagram shots with them!

Face Brushes

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Powder Brush: I LOVE this for applying  bronzer all over… it is literally the perfect size and.. as already mentioned (hehe).. it is SO SOFT.

Angled Brush: This little baby is perfect for applying blush… I did try for highlighter but I think it is a little too big (It left me looking like an OVER THE TOP glazed doughnut). It applies JUST the right amount of blush on the apples of your cheeks.. and it is also so easy to blend in product with this!

Flat Top: I decided to use this for my foundation instead of my RT miracle sponge (gasp!)… yes if you all know me, you will know how obsessed I am with my sponge.. so the fact that I have been using this buffing brush for the past month says A LOT about it. Guys.. my foundation has never applied so quickly and seamlessly. I did not have high expectations because I have never been a massive fan of brushes for my foundation.. but this brush has become my new fave for application! It also feels so soft on my skin and doesn’t drag or leave any sort of streaks, which is a massive WIN for me.

Small Flat Top: Now…  I never thought I would find a brush that would apply concealer as perfectly as my makeup sponge..  but I started to use this little baby.. and I have become OBSESSED with it. For those of you who use the Collection Lasting Perfection concealer (let’s face it.. this is more or less everyone) , you will know it can be a LITTLE tough to blend. BUT.. this brush has made the blending process so much easier… and works so well for blending in awkward places (under eyes, around your nose etc!).

Eye Brushes

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I never have been much of an eyeshadow girl.. but I am always up for trying new looks out.. so my beautiful Spectrum brushes were the perfect thing to experiment with!

I love the fact that every type of brush needed was included, a dome brush to apply eyeshadow, a fluffy brush to blend, a tiny brush for inner corner highlight, an angled brush for sharper lines, and an eyeliner brush (which FYI.. is FAB with gel liner!). Each brush is so gentle on your eyes and blends eyeshadow perfectly and SO quickly too.

My Final Thoughts

Honestly… are Spectrum brushes worth the hype? DEFINITELY YES.. I never thought I could love a makeup brush range as much as I love this one. I feel as though they really have made these brushes with beauty bloggers in mind (they know how much we love unicorns and instagrammable things). Not only do they look gorgeous, they also are amazingly quality. I had no issues with the brushes shedding, and even washed the face brushes and had no problems with the brushes losing shape or hair. Seriously guys if you are considering them.. just take the plunge and buy them.. I am so sure you will love them just as much as me. Makeup brushes can make such a difference to how good your skin looks overall, and using the right tools can really shorten the amount of time it takes to do your makeup!

ALSO… who wouldn’t want brushes that are unicorn themed?

Right guys.. I am going to love you and leave you.. REALLY hoped you enjoyed this review of the ever so STUNNING Spectrum brushes.. make sure to check them out if you are after a new set… I am so sure you will love them!

See you all in my next one!

Lots of Love,

Saira

xo

Twitter // Instagram // Blog Lovin //YouTube ♥♥

*Products have been sent for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own

Matte Lips 101: My Faves & Some Tips

Hey strangers.

You good? I AM! I have a big life update that I am SO excited to announce hopefully in the next few days (nope.. I am not pregnant ha)… I also think this particular thing will be a good thing to blog about too… so keep your eyes peeled for that guys!

ANYWAY… how are you all? I feel like it has been so long since I had a normal chat with you all… are you all excited for the next few months? Some of you might have started Uni/gone back to school… let me know! I’d love to know if you have had any big life changes too.

So.. I feel like I am a LITTLE late to jump on the bandwagon but I don’t really care HA.. I wanted to blog about it so HERE I AM. I am the biggest lover of writing about things that I have become obsessed with.. especially when they are beauty related. SO… I thought it would be fab to talk about MATTE LIPS.

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There are SO many matte lipsticks to pick from .. it can be a LITTLE bit tough to know which ones do work and suit you.. and I have found my firm faves (and erm.. some not so good ones). Lets see what made it to my list ey?

Sleek Matte Me Lip Creams

WHAT A SHOCKER that these are featured ey? These little babies are so popular in the blogging world.. so it is no surprise that they were the first ones I tried when it came to be picking one up. So.. let’s have a run through the shades I have in my tiny collection…

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Birthday Suit

This was actually the first one I picked up.. and to be honest.. it is my only negative one (boo!). I tried my hardest to like this but it just was not working. I think the shade of it just did not go with my skin tone. It made me look way too washed out and like I had concealer on my lips. The formulation itself is fab but the shade is a big NO for me.

Velvet Slipper

Now.. this shade is more like it. It is a stunning, dark pink, mauve colour and I am obsessed with it. It reminds me a little of my Revlon Matte Balm that you will know I am obsessed with… although it is slightly on the darker side. I think it is the perfect shade for moving into Autumn  and it is so worth picking up.

Vino Tinto

This has to be my favourite shade out of the 3 I have. It is a dark purple/berry colour… which is absolutely PERFECT if you are after that stunning, vampy look. I LOVE wearing this when I have a TON of highlight and a cat eye. I know this will definitely be my fave look in the colder months!

(Top – Birthday Suit, Bottom Left – Vino Tinto, Bottom Right – Velvet Slipper)

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WHY I love these:

  • The staying power of these is SO GOOD. Once on your lips… it is there to stay HA. I do find that with Vino Tinto, the colour fades on the inside of your lips after a few hours… but this can be normal with darker lipsticks (unfortunately)
  • They dry VERY quickly.. I find that within 5 minutes… it is literally dry to the touch and does not transfer onto anything
  • There is a fab variation colours if you like your darker, autumnal shades (which.. ahem I DO)
  • THEY ARE A FLIPPING FIVER

NOT so good points:

  • I find that if I reapply during the day .. they get very crumbly (ew), it is best to just completely remove and reapply if I need to (which is an absolute b**** because it is SO hard to take off). This is why I am chuffed that they last quite a while!
  • Personally.. the shade “Birthday suit” is WAY TOO light for me… it is loved by so many other bloggers but it just does not work for me *cries*
  • You NEED a matching lip liner. Trust me on this. The first time I applied this I did it without one and I looked like a mess, HAHA.
  • They are slighty  on the dry side.. and you can definitely feel them on your lips. This does not really bother me… but if you are not a fan.. I’d say avoid them

Bourjois Velvet Rouge Edition

I have seen these floating around the blogging world… so when my mum decided to pick a few up.. I wanted to give them a go to see if they were worth the hype they had. They are slightly more on the pricier side compared to Sleek, costing around £8 each.

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Shade: Don’t Pink Of It

I am normally not a wearer of baby pink shades.. I much prefer brown-y nudes or mauve-y pinks (or all out gothic lipstick)… so I was not sure if I was going to like this. BUT… it is a really pretty, muted pink colour. It is amazing for everyday when you want something quick and effortless.

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WHY I love these:

  • They are so easy to use and I find I do not need a lip liner for these (woop!)
  • They last for a VERY long time.. and if I need to reapply, it is easy enough and there is NO crumbliness
  • It feels so comfortable on the lips and there is no dry feeling at all
  • The consistency of these is AMAZING.. it is very creamy and almost like a mousse!

NOT so good points:

  • They are not as pigmented as the Sleek Matte Me’s, and I also have not been able to find a perfect dark shade in Boots!
  • There is some transfer when you do the “test” ..(OK that sounds weird.. I mean the test of kissing the back of your hand and seeing if there is any transfer, hehe)

Mac Matte Lipstick in Whirl & Primark Velvet Matte Lip Crayon in Dark Purple

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Now.. if you have read my previous post you will know how obsessed I have been with this little gem. I have only ever owned one Mac lipstick before (I know… slap on the wrist for being a bad beauty blogger).. but I finally caved in and purchased Whirl. This was again influenced by all you girls out there (seriously .. you damage my bank account).

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WHY I love this:

  • Let’s face it.. brown lipsticks have been HUGE this year… and this is the absolute PERFECT shade for my skin tone
  • It is so creamy and easy to apply, and the pigmentation on this is INSANE

NOT so good points

  • The only negative I have.. the fact that they cost £15 a pop (eeeek!).. but as mentioned.. the are 100% worth the splurge and I will be picking up some more!

Primark

Now.. if you have watched my last video you would have seen me using this little guy… Primark have a fab range of lip crayons… including nudes, reds and dark shades (wooo for Primark!).

WHY I love this:

  • The colour of this is absolutely BEAUTIFUL… if you love your dark purples… you will love this… it is just the PERFECT Autumn shade
  • It is so easy to use… I feel like I literally colouring in my lips with a pencil (ha).. it is effortless!

NOT so good points

  • Unfortunately.. these are not the longest lasting things (well.. I wasn’t expecting much as they only cost 2 quid)..  It’s a good thing they apply really easily ey.

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So they are my fave matte lip products that I have found and become so obsessed with (erm.. besides Birthday Suit). I’d love to know if you have tried any of these and what your thoughts were!

NOW… lets go through a few tips that I have picked up when it comes to matte lips… because COME ON GUYS.. we all know that matte lips are not the easiest to work with right?

  • Exfoliate your lips well beforehand… whether it is using a good old toothbrush, or  Lush lib scrub.. it is so essential that you remove all that dead skin on your lips to ensure you have a smooth base to work on
  • After exfoliating… use your favourite lip balm to moisturize your lips so you have the perfect base
  • I find using a lip liner is so essential when it comes to matte lips as it ensures you have an outline to work with. It also makes any matte lip last so much longer and intensifies the colour so much

Right guys.. I hope this was helpful for you all if you are on the hunt for some matte lipsticks! I have never been much of a glossy/sheen lip girlie… so it is matte lips ALL THE WAY for me. I am always on the hunt for more matte products.. so do let me know your faves girlies. I will appreciate it.. although my bank balance will probably kill me for it.

Have an absolutely AMAZING day… I am off to film a video and create my marble background for my blog photos (I FINALLY brought some marble sticky back plastic… woo!).

Lots of Love,

Saira

xo

Twitter // Instagram // Blog Lovin //YouTube ♥♥

 

My Beauty/Lifestyle hacks you HAVE to try!

Hiya girlies

It’s been a while. Sorry. You know when life just gets in the way? Yep that happened. Work has just been busy, I have been SO tired everyday.. and to be honest it was nice to have a few days away from everything blogging-wise. Sometimes it is just needed, right?

ANYWAY.. I am back and all set to blog properly again (I am aware I have said this for the past few weeks… this time I mean it, hehe). I think now that Autumn is peeking it’s little head through.. I am more motivated to post. If you didn’t already know (lets be real.. you all probably do because I haven’t stopped talking about it since the beginning of August, HAHA!), I bloody LOVE Autumn. I even posted about the reasons why I cannot wait for it (shameless plug right here guys).

Now.. onto this post. I am such a huge fan of beauty/lifestyle “hacks”.. tricks that people use to make their lives easier. There are SO many out there.. it can be easy to drown in them and not be sure which ones to use. SO… I thought it would be fun to talk you through MY “hacks” that I use. I have SO many.. but to be honest, I’d be here ALL DAY if I spoke about them all!

My GO-TO Beauty & Lifestyle Hacks!

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Coconut oil really CAN be used for everything.

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You know when people used to say you can do anything with coconut oil.. I was like .. meh sure. BUT .. I thought I would actually try and see how many things I could use it for. And you know what? You are right.. it can literally be used for EVERYTHING… and I thought I would make a good ol’ list of my fave ways to use it, so you can also incorporate coconut oil into your life. Thank me later guys.

Teeth Whitening

You know that age old trick of oil pulling? Yep it works. I know the idea of swishing oil around in your mouth for 15 minutes would be enough to make some of you vom, but it really is worth trying. I’ll be honest, the first time you try it.. it is weird. A trick to make it easier? Instead of putting a spoon of solid coconut oil in your mouth, try melting it first… it will still feel strange, but not THAT strange :). It is something that takes some time to show results, but it is easy enough to add into your routine (just don’t let anyone make you laugh whilst you are swishing away).

Removing Make-up

I discovered how good coconut oil was at removing makeup once when I was lazing around downstairs and noticed a jar of coconut oil on the fireplace (I don’t know what it was doing there either). I literally just scooped some out on my hand and massaged it over my face. I pretty soon had panda eyes and melted foundation on my skin (exactly what happens when I use my cleansing balms). It did an AMAZING job of removing every ounce of makeup.. although it did leave my face feeling a little on the greasier side. I washed my face as normal.. and noticed the difference in how soft my skin felt.

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Overnight Foot Treatment

I have never been one to invest a lot of money into overnight foot treatments… mainly because people rave about the old trick of vaseline and fuzzy socks.WELL… I am not the biggest fan of vaseline (the smell, feel, taste… OK I am joking about the taste, HA).. so I thought I would give coconut oil a go. Guys… it does an AMAZING job at making your feet feel so soft and hydrated. All I do is put LOADS of this stuff over my feet, put socks on over the top and sleep with them. Seriously, try it.

I wanted to list SO many more uses of coconut oil… but I would be here for days. These are just my favourite things to do.. beauty wise. Let me know if you want another post/video specifically on this!

Showering after work/school/uni

I was always one to either shower in the morning (and end up rushing, getting stressed/sweaty, and thinking WHAT WAS THE POINT), or leave showering right before bed (and then usually end up being too tired, thinking LEAVE it, and showering in the morning.. read above). I am sure so many of you can relate.. especially those who work full time. So.. how have I got myself out of this circle? Shower as soon as I get in from work. This might be what a lot of you already do.. but I always wanted to catch up on social media after work, then have my dinner, then catch up on soaps.. and the time would just keep ticking. Now.. I force myself to shower as soon as I get home.. and it helps SO much. I feel so much more awake after work so feel like I can be more productive.. AND I can get my makeup off straight away (and usually do some sort of face mask too).

My go to makeup for getting up late?

We all know the feeling… seeing that you have slept in and literally have 15 minutes to get ready. S***. Showering the evening before comes in handy now doesn’t it? Now.. unfortunately I am not lucky enough to be able to leave the house without looking poorly.. so I have mastered doing my makeup in 5 minutes with my essential items!

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  • Foundation – I have the most pale, dull skin .. so foundation is a MUST
  • Concealer – Dark circles.. biggest problem ever. Concealer = My bestie
  • Mascara – I look dead without mascara
  • Cream Blush – I find it so much quicker and easier.. and it looks so much more natural
  • Highlighter – Makes such a difference to how awake you look – an ESSENTIAL
  • Brows – I didn’t realize how much of a difference these made – now no matter how much I am rushing.. I ALWAYS do my brows.
  • Dark/Bright Lips – unless it is a work day.. then I will stick to lip balm.

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It might sound crazy.. but I suggest testing yourself to see if you can do your makeup in a rush… it can be fun and will prepare you for those rushed mornings 🙂

Concealer application – the RIGHT way

For SO long.. I would apply concealer by just following the shape of my eye.. BUT .. there is a better way to apply it. It is called the triangle trick.. and yep you guessed it.. just apply your concealer in the shape of a triangle under your eyes (the point facing your cheek), and blend as normal. Why is this better? It helps brighten your face, as well as still concealing your dark circles.

The BEST thing for spots/breakouts

I have mentioned this before but I cannot emphasize ENOUGH how good this trick actually works. Savlon or Germolene (an antiseptic cream usually used for cuts/grazes or bites) is what I have been using on my spots for YEARS.. and it has been a lifesaver. As soon as I see a spot coming along.. I apply a thin layer of this, and it reduces any redness/swelling SO quickly. I swear by it.. and even keep some in my handbag for any  emergencies!

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The yummiest face mask EVER

If you know me, you will know how much I LOVE  a good face mask! I also dabble in some DIY projects here and there, so it is no surprise that I am a huge lover of DIY face masks! I have a go-to face mask that is literally good enough to eat (ahem.. I know from personal experience). It is a worth a try guys.. I am so sure you will love it!

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1/2 cup cocoa powder (dark is BEST .. as it has lots of anti-oxidants!)

1/4 cup honey

4 tbsp cream (both double and single are fine)

3 tbsp oats

Mix it all together.. apply onto clean skin, leave on for around 20 minutes and wash off!

SO.. they are my top beauty/lifestyle hacks.. I hope this can help some of you! I LOVED this post so so much.. let me know if you want me to do a fashion one too?

Thank you SO MUCH for reading loves… let me know your thoughts!

LOTS OF LOVE,

Saira

xo

Twitter // Instagram // Blog Lovin //YouTube ♥♥

 

7 reasons I can’t wait for Autumn

Hiya!

Now.. I don’t know about you.. but I am the biggest fan of “list type” blog posts.. and there has been one particular thing that I have been listing in my head. Something that I am literally SO EXCITED for… and I know SO many of you are too!

*cough cough.. Autumn*

I get that some of you may be thinking WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU PLAYING AT.. it is still too early to be thinking about the change of seasons. But guys.. I am just SO ready for Autumn… I honestly could not resist sitting down and chatting about it. You know when you are just so excited about something? Yep… that is me right now. You want to know something else? I am sat wrapped up in a blanket, with a cuppa, burning a candle & listening to Fairytale of New York (fyi.. THE BEST Christmas song). I DON’T EVEN CARE, MUAHA!

OK… maybe I am getting a little bit ahead of myself…

Seriously though… Autumn.. here are 7 reasons why I cannot WAIT for it

*BTW.. like my little friend? He is PERFECT for Halloween*

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You are allowed to drink hot chocolate every single evening. Yes you  read that .. EVERY EVENING. And I am not talking cocoa powder and milk stirred up and shoved in the microwave.. NO NO! I am talking Nutella melted with milk in a saucepan, topped with whipped cream, sprinkles, chocolate wafers… the list goes on. The more sugar/chocolate, (basically unhealthy shit crap), the better.

Dark lips become the norm again. Time to start rocking those gorgeous, berry lips again girls (and not have people give you funny looks/thinking you are a goth).

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Over-sized cardigans. That feeling of being able to chuck on a cardigan that is 3 sizes too big and rock that look like you are the sassiest chic around. You know what? I don’t think I have ever bought a cardigan that is my size. And I love it.. I always feel like I am carrying a blanket around my shoulders during the colder months, HA! Also.. I am not the biggest fan of summer clothes.. there is just something about being able to snuggle up in your clothes and layering up with scarves/gloves (eeeeeek I am SO excited!)

HALLOWEEN. I LOVE Halloween SO SO SO much… if you know me… you will know how much I LOVE scary movies.. and just creepy things in general. So.. it is pretty obvious that I am a huge fan of Halloween. Another thing that I can’t wait for? Carving pumpkins, decorating my desk at work & room (if the hubs doesn’t mind ha!), and posting Halloween themed blogposts/videos (hopefully!!).

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Darker evenings. Cozy evenings in are my favourite! Now.. I know that the clocks don’t actually go back until the end of October (when we get that EXTRA HOUR IN BED), but the evenings do start to get darker when September hits. Don’t get me wrong.. Summer evenings are AMAZING (for the few we have in UK)… but I much prefer cuddling up on the sofa with a hot drink and surrounded by candles, hehe. That’s got to beat all those sweaty, humid nights right?

Autumn walks and CONKER HUNTING. There is just something so nostalgic about searching for conkers… It is such a nice way to spend an afternoon! Also.. going for a walk when all the leaves have started to change colour .. CAN YOU IMAGINE THE OUTFIT PHOTOS!

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I can wear fuzzy socks and PJ’s without getting sweaty legs/feet. I am sure if you have read my blog/followed my social media for a while.. you will know the massive obsession I have with PJ bottoms. I always stock up on a few (erm.. OK.. LOTS) of pairs when Autumn hits. And of course.. I get the warmest, fuzziest, most random printed ones.. as you do.

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SO… If you weren’t already.. I hope my post has you very excited for Autumn (like me!).

Are you excited for Autumn? If so.. let me know what you favourite thing about it is!

Thank you SO much for reading – and make sure to leave me a comment to let me know what you thought! See you all in my next one.

Lots of Love,

Saira

xo

Twitter // Instagram // Blog Lovin //YouTube ♥♥

Money Money: Budgeting & Saving

Hey hey!

WELCOME BACK GUYS! I hope you have all had an amazing weekend… and are feeling ready to take on this week! I had a lovely weekend doing some shopping, having a BBQ (we had GORGEOUS weather on Saturday) and sorting some blog stuff out!

Now… lets get on a more serious note guys. You are probably thinking WHAT? Saira, being all serious on her blog, really? Well.. yep.. my blog has always been a fun, chilled out place where I babble on about my favourite fashion items and what Lush things I love.. BUT I have never discussed a topic which can sometimes be seen as controversial… and that is.. money money money.

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OK… so money is a very private topic.. it is not something that we like to discuss openly with anyone… because we feel like someone will instantly judge you if they know how much money you have (it’s normal guys.. it happens). It is important to know that everybody’s money situation is different and personal to them, and nobody should be judged based on how they spend their money.

So… me, and probably every single 20-something year old has something they are saving towards.. whether that is a house, car, holiday.. even a handbag they are waiting to splurge on. At the moment.. me and Saj are putting the majority of our money towards a deposit for our first house together… so that, and a few other things really inspired me to write up this post. So… if you want to have read about how I budget and save my money.. grab a cuppa and keep reading!

ALSO… quick disclaimer.. I am NO expert in managing money.. I have just picked up things along the way and I know what works for me. I wanted to share my tips with you all so it could maybe help some of you that need it!

FIRST THINGS FIRST GUYS…..

Have a Budget – And STICK TO IT

Seriously.. I cannot even TELL you how much a budget helps. I know the feeling.. come payday, you have a HUGE wishlist on ASOS of things you have been LUSTING over the past month. The feeling you get when the postman brings your package… it is the best feeling in the world! But.. that’s all your money gone.. and you end up skint for the rest of the month feeling poopy. Now.. I am not saying put all your money away… just set some aside for treating yourself ..  you deserve it. Whether that is £50, £100.. whatever you are able to afford… put that in your spending account and put the rest into savings. Trust me guys.. it is not as hard as you might think to have a monthly budget. All you need is the right mindset.. think of the bigger picture. That money spent on clothes could be put aside to help buy you your new car or put towards money for your new home.

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Know your Outgoings

We all have it.. money that HAS to go out every month.. you have no other choice. Becoming an adult means you have rent/car insurance/council tax/mobile phone bills to pay.. so make sure you always separate this money aside from your spending money. Work out how much each will cost each month.. and see this money as  “untouchable”.

Stop Unnecessary Spending

We all do it.. you didn’t make your lunch so you fork out a fiver for it everyday.. those morning coffee runs… takeaways because you forgot to prep dinner. GUYS… this can all be sorted by a little bit of organisation! Prepare your lunch the night before, make your own coffee at home and buy a thermos so you can have it on the go (Primark have the most adorable ones). Dinner can be also be prepped the night before, all ready for when you come home from work. Seriously guys… tally up how much these “unnecessary” things cost.. and you will notice that you save yourself £100’s, heck even £1000’s every year. It all adds up in the long run.

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Have A Separate Account for Savings

It might seem a little bit of a headache to have 3-4 different accounts.. but it can really help you keep control of your spendings and savings. I personally have one for my regular spendings (the account that I transfer my monthly budget into), one for savings (this does NOT get touched… only in emergencies), and also a Help To Buy ISA (more on this next). Having separate accounts means you can keep track of how much money you have to spend, and also helps to see how much you have saved.

Consider a Help To Buy ISA

Now.. if you are in the process of saving some money for a deposit on your first house, having a HTB IA can really help you. Basically.. it is an account that you can put a certain amount of money in, you are unable to withdraw this money as you can choose to not get a card, and once you have enough and are ready for a mortgage, the government will give you some money back (the more you have in, the more they give you), and this can help towards purchasing your new home. If you are married/have a partner you can both have one, and the government will give you money back on BOTH ISA’s.. meaning you get twice the money back. It really is worth checking out.. I am with Santander, but I know a lot of other banks offer this service too.

Have a Goal in Mind

Having a goal can really help motivate you to save as much money as possible. You know your income loves, so you can set realistic goals that you can work with. Like I mentioned.. we are saving for a house and this is always in my head when I am feeling a bit crappy that I cannot spend my money on makeup/clothes…because I know how satisfying it will be to reach that goal sooner rather than later.

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So guys… they are my tips that I go by for budgeting and saving money. It can seem quite scary and daunting at first..but all it takes is a little bit of planning and patience. Everybody is capable of saving at some point..but remember if you find yourself in some trouble, there are always professional people that can help you.. it is always best to talk to someone and not suffer in silence.

I hope this was helpful to some of you.. it is a little bit more serious than my usual posts but it is such an important topic to discuss.. and I know a lot of my fellow bloggers are in similar situations!

I will see you all in my next post guys.. sending you lots of love!!

Saira

xo

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