Sunday, 10 August 2014

The British Tag


I saw this tag by Sammi on her Youtube channel and, as a massive fan of all things British, I was excited to give it a go, so here it is!

How many cups of tea do you have a day?/How many sugars?I used to drink a ridiculous number of cups of tea in a day, especially when I was working in an office I'd easily drink 8 cups, oops! Now that I'm making an effort to be more healthy, I usually have one cup of tea with breakfast, one in the evening and green tea in between.
Oh and, no sugars! Sugar ruins a good brew!

Favourite part of your roast...
 I love roasts and, being a vegetarian, I really love the veggies. Honey roast parsnips are my all-time favourites, I'm also a massive fan of crispy roast potatoes, and Yorkshires, and broccoli and...

Favourite dunking biscuit...
Without a doubt Fruit Shortcake mmmm..!


Favourite quintessentially British pastime...
 I absolutely love afternoon tea or, failing that, a cream tea will make me extremely happy. There is nothing I love more than sitting outside on a sunny day eating scones and finger sandwiches and drinking loose leaf tea from a tea pot.
When the budget doesn't quite stretch to a lavish afternoon tea, a picnic will make me equally as happy, especially is there's some bubbly involved!


Favourite word...
Is it normal to have a favourite word? Nothing sprung to mind as quickly as I would have shouted my favourite colour if you had asked a 4 year old me. 
Actually 'quintessential', that's a good word!

Cockney Rhyming Slang...
A few years ago 'apples and pears' would have been my best shot but having a boyfriend from London means that I have picked up a whole vocabulary of rhyming slang (mostly from Russell's dad)...
Apples and Pears - Stairs
Trouble and Strife - Wife
Dog and Bone - Phone
Boat Race - Face
Plates of Meat - Feet
Half-inch - Pinch
and the list goes on...!

Favourite sweet...
I'm not a massive fan of sweets (I know, I know...). I do love Jelly Tots though, although I rarely buy them as I can't stop myself from eating the whole bag, yes the big sharing bag.

What would your pub be called?
I spent my summer holidays of college working in a pub called The Fox and Hounds and it still holds a special place in my heart, so I wouldn't be able to resist paying it a tribute with a similar name. Perhaps The Rose and Fox for a more feminine twist, or maybe that's just odd!

No.1 British Person...
Kate Middleton, I absolutely love her style and I am always so envious of her gorgeous hair, not to mention baby George.

Favourite shop / restaurant?
 Favourite shop/restaurant...It has to be John Lewis, they sell everything you could imagine and it's all so beautiful!
Favourite shop / restaurant?
Favourite shop / restaurant?

What British song pops into your head?
Spice Girls - Stop
When I was younger I spent so much time with the other children from my road making up dance routines. We'd practice for hours and then perform them on the green to our parents. Stop was one of our favourite performances and I can still remember the dance - cringe.

Marmite...
I love marmite and I think it's especially amazing on crumpets. Unfortunately, Russell is the opposite and hates Marmite so it's always a secret when I pop it in any recipes (like cottage pie, yum!).

I hope you enjoyed the tag and, as always, I tag everyone reading this.

Let me know in the comments if you do this tag or you've already done it.

Jade Rebecca x

Friday, 25 July 2014

I Graduated!


 Nine days ago I graduated and I don't know where the time has gone already! I graduated from UWE, Bristol with a First Class degree in Law and I have to say it was one of the best days of my life so far (cheesy I know!). The feeling of such an achievement after three years of hard work (and some play of course) was amazing.

Mine and Russell's parents paid for us to stay in a hotel the night before as a little graduation treat. We had a lovely time relaxing and it was nice to be back in Bristol for a bit without the pressure of exams.

We had a gorgeous meal at Aqua where we sat outside watching groups of rowers (of varying expertise) row up and down the river. I had a Goats Cheese Bruschetta starter followed by a Butternut Squash and Walnut Risotto. I also had chocolate ice-cream for dessert but forgot to photograph it before it ended up in my tummy!



We then spent a lazy evening in the hotel drinking Prosecco and sampling the hotel's shortbread! Wednesday morning started with a hearty Wetherspoons breakfast before we headed off to meet our families and get all dressed up ready to graduate.

It was very a very snap happy day and rightly so, I don't plan on putting myself through a degree again anytime too soon.



And of course there was a graduation #selfie.


 Russell was one of the first on the stage, I'm quite glad it wasn't me!


Afterwards we felt obliged to get the cliché 'mortarboard in the air' photo and I learned that throwing elegantly isn't my forté.




I was so glad we tracked down one of our favourite lecturers for a photo before we headed off for dinner. He's been so supportive over the last two years and spoke very highly of us to our gushing parents!


 We popped to Boston Tea Party for a refreshing smoothie (it was very hot under that gown!) before heading to Jamie's Italian for dinner. The food was gorgeous as usual, so good that I was so busy eating that I completely forgot to take any photos.

I did manage to get photos of this amazing cake that was presented to us during the meal thanks to Russell's mum and dad.


The day seemed to whizz by in such a blur for me so it's great to have so many photo memories.

If you graduated and blogged about it, share your links in the comments, I'd love to see your photos too.

Jade Rebecca
x

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Spring Empties


I would call this June Empties but that would be a massive lie. I don’t go through products very quickly at all so this is just a collection of everything that I’ve remembered to save over the last few months. I’m hoping that I will have a few more empties to share with you over the next few months though as my super money saving drive is encouraging me to use up more of what I have!

I was never really a fan of Herbal Essences back in the day of the old style bottles (that coincidentally made a comeback last year) and it took me a while to give their new range the opportunity to impress (seven years actually, a very long while!). Over the last year or so I’ve dabbled in the world of revamped Herbal Essences and been relatively impressed considering I think of them as a ‘nothing special’ sort of brand. The Intensive Mask was great, I have very frizzy long hair so I actually used it every time I washed my hair and it was great for keeping the ends moisturised  and less ‘frizz-tastic’.
Would I repurchase? I would definitely consider this mask in future but I want to try out some other brands first as this is the first hair mask I’ve used in quite a long time.

I purchased this primer last year just after it launched. I did really like the primer and the finish it left was great for applying makeup or wearing alone. I was quite disappointed with the packaging though, the primer seemed to splatter out of the tube and end up everywhere and there was still a lot left in the tube when it seemed like I couldn’t get any more out (as you can see I chopped the top off to get the rest out!). I have seen this compare to Benefit’s Porefessional a lot and I can see why, but for some reason my skin really doesn’t get on with Porefessional so this is a much better choice for me.
Would I repurchase? Maybe. I think this is good value for money so potentially, but I have plenty of others to get through and if I have the money I think it’s worth investing in a more expensive primer.

I bought this when I was at a stage where I just couldn’t find a moisturiser that was really ‘right’ for my skin. It absorbed well and did the job and is great value for money but there was nothing amazing about it. If anything this was just too rich for my combination skin, I’m also not a massive fan of having this style of packaging, I much prefer a tube.
Would I repurchase? No, I’ve since found moisturisers much better suited to my skin.

Having not tried Bioderma I purchased this hoping that it would do a similar job at a much lower price. I found this perfect for removing makeup (although I can’t speak for waterproof mascara) and it was really gentle and perfect to use on eye makeup too.
Would I repurchase? No, I also cleanse with Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish so I just like a micellar water to get with of the majority of makeup. I’ve found that the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water is just as good and even cheaper.

I purchased this once I realised that the Eucerin Dermo Purifier Concentrate wasn’t as good as I’d hoped and I was really, really impressed. I prefer the slightly thicker texture of this and it made a massive difference to my previously spotty forehead and chin. I used this twice a day at first, and then once a day once things had cleared up, but this tube still seemed to go on and on.
Would I repurchase? Definitely, now replaced by Effaclar Duo [+] I would turn to that if I ever have spotty skin problems again.

I purchased this last year when in this haul when I went into Boots to buy Effaclar Duo but was persuaded otherwise by the Eurcerin offer and the Eucerin representative in store.  This is a lot thinner than Effaclar Duo and it was really nice to use but I just didn’t find the effects as impressive as with Effaclar Duo. This would be a good cheaper alternative to the new £15.50Effaclar Duo [+].
Would I repurchase? No, I’d rather spend a bit more for Effaclar Duo [+].

I absolutely adore this shampoo. It works wonders for my oily hair, giving it a really deep clean and leaving it feeling light, soft and silky. I used to just use this once every few washes because of the price tag, but it really does go a long way and the results are just too amazing to not treat myself to every wash, so now it’s a regular thing!
Would I repurchase? Yes! My last few pots have been gifts but I will definitely be treating myself when my latest pot runs out.

This was a gift from Russell and it was a perfect choice. Although not specifically for oily/combination skin, it is so calming and exfoliates and removes excess oil anyway. I really enjoyed using this and found that my skin felt wonderful afterwards.
Would I repurchase? Yes, once I’ve finished my Cupcake face mask and tried Love Lettuce.

Jade Rebecca x

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Tag: The Secrets of Blogging

 

Megan of Megan Roisinn tagged me in this Secrets of Blogging tag and I thought the questions were actually quite interesting so here are my answers!

1. When did you start blogging and why?
 I started blogging in July 2013. I can't remember 'the' reason why I started my blog but I had been reading other blogs for a while and I have always enjoyed writing. Having just finished my second year of uni I was working evening shifts so blogging was something I used to fill my days. In hindsight it wasn't the best time to start a blog; I had loads of time over the summer which suddenly disappeared as soon as my final year of uni started. I'm so glad I started 'Jade Rebecca' though and I'm so happy to be back with the time to get started again!

2. How many people in "real life" know about your blog?
 I don't really promote my blog in 'real life' but I also don't pretend I don't have one if the topic comes up. It's not because my blog's secret or I'm embarrassed, I just feel that I want to get it to the point where I'm really really proud of it before I start promoting it to those closet to me. (Apart from my dad, he reads all my posts - hi dad!)

3. What are your favourite posts to read?
 I love loads of different posts and it really depends whose blog it is I'm reading. I love discovering new products so hauls and favourites posts are great for that but I also love recipes and tutorials. I'd say that anything that inspires me to do or try something is a great post to read!

4. List a blog you have discovered recently.
Since finishing uni and returning to the blogging world I've discovered many new blogs and I love how full and exciting my Bloglovin feed is now. I really love A Little Boat Sailing.



5. Which posts are you most proud of?
This is difficult...
I was really proud of 'My Top Lush Products' because it was one of the first times I had a real go at taking some okay photos (although I cringe every time I have to see that Mint Julips image I took from the Lush website, why I couldn't just have waited to take a photo I do not know!).


6. What advice would you give to future bloggers?

I would say enjoy it and have a plan!

I tag everyone who's reading this! :)

Jade Rebecca x

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Thrifty Thursday: Keeping Track




Having managed to save more than I thought would be possible during my final year of university, I feel spurred on to share some of my successful experiences with you.

I can’t imagine that I will ever lead a frivolous lifestyle (unless I win the lottery, I can think of plenty of ways to be frivolous if that was the case..!) but I understand that constantly being thrifty isn’t for everyone. It’s inevitable though (unless you have won the lottery) that at some point you will want to be a little more careful with money to save up for a new car, house or whatever else you’ve been dreaming of, so I hope these tips can help.

Keeping track of the money that you’re spending is one of the most important tasks when saving, however it can also be the most boring and tedious. For me I’ve found the perfect way of keeping track without having to spend hours at a time staring at spreadsheets and internet banking statements. 

There are two ways of spending – debit/credit cards and cash. There’s much debate about which is better than the other, some say with cash you can see what you’re spending but you’re less likely to spend, and others think that having to take a debit card out of your purse and pop in your pin is more of a deterrent to spending. 

I decided to compromise. I make any ‘big’ purchases (fuel, food, clothing etc.) on a card and ‘small’ purchases (magazines, coffee etc.) with cash. This means that when I open my bank statement I can clearly see what I have spent without having to trawl through pages and pages of transactions for things like 60p on some chewing gum and £2 on that magazine that had a free gift too good to resist. It also means that I can set myself a budget to spend on non-necessities and make sure it lasts me the week whilst I am free to buy things like food on my card and keep a track of them on my bank statement.

I find this method really useful and it encourages me to think before I start spending on the small things because I can see how much cash I have left for the rest of the week. I still check my online banking every few days just to keep an eye on what’s going on and to remind myself where the majority of my money goes. I also have a spreadsheet but I’m sure that’s for everyone and that could be a whole other post…!

How do you keep track of your money?

Jade Rebecca
x

Monday, 7 July 2014

Summer Haul


I didn’t really expect to be writing a haul post anytime soon; since we decided to go travelling Russell and I have been leading a very budget conscious lifestyle, but I decided that everyone needs a bit of a splurge every once in a while and here is mine!

The haul mentally started when I got home from work to find that Russell had ordered me this gorgeous dress from River Island.


As soon as I saw it, I started putting an outfit together and it seemed to conveniently consist of items I didn’t already own. I had also almost run out of moisturiser and I had had my eye on a few new skincare products for a while so what better excuse!

 
This is such a flattering bodycon dress and it has a gorgeous low back (that's not low enough to show your bra, yay!).

I usually really struggle to find jeans that fit perfectly but these are an amazing fit. They are from the '4 Way Stretch Fabric' range which I think makes such a difference to the fit and makes them so easy to move in despite being superskinny!

I wanted a biker jacket to go with the yellow floral dress and I love how this one has a slightly feminine twist with not having a collar. I also think it was an amazing price.

I do like the idea of jelly shoes but I don't feel quite ready to dive into the fully jelly shoe trend so I think these are a great compromise of the jelly shoe comfort and a more subtle style.


Invisibobble Traceless Hair Ring Brown £3.75
I have quite long and thick hair and having it up usually means that it needs to stay up until it's washed thanks to the massive kink that won't budge. I was a bit dubious about whether the Invisibobble would hold my hair but I’ve read some great reviews. I’m hoping I lose the kink as well as pony-tail induced headaches.

Soap & Glory PuffyEye Attack £12.50
I was attracted to the Soap and Glory Puffy Eye Attack thanks to its amazing claims (anti-dark circle and anti-puff), as I’m more concerned about puffy eyes than wrinkles. I also really like that this is a gel formula, I’m just hoping it lives up to the claims!

La Roche-Posay EffaclarMat £14
I loved Effaclar Duo so I’m looking forward to trying this moisturiser. I don’t have particularly sensitive skin but I do like the idea of using gentle products so I find myself drawn to La Roche-Posay, Vichy and the likes. I don’t have as oily skin as I used to but I still find that my nose gets shiny throughout the day so I hope that this will moisturise and mattify without being too harsh.
  
Nip + Fab GlycolicFix Serum £14.95
I’ve been eyeing this up for a while so when I saw Megan (at Megan Roisinn) mention this in a post when I was scrolling through her blog, it gave me the final push to give it a go. Effaclar Duo was a Godsend when I was going through a particularly spotty stage but the spots have now calmed and I am looking forward to trying something different. The range aims to fight fine wrinkles as well as enlarged pores which is perfect for me since I’ve suddenly started worrying about getting wrinkles!



I had five black pots to return to Lush so I picked this face mask to have free. I was also given a sample of the Love Lettuce fask mask as I couldn't decide which would be best for my oily skin.

This was another freebie thanks to the John Lewis 150th Anniversary voucher. I was surprised to get such a good size product to trial and I was really impressed at how helpful the lady at the Liz Earle counter was without trying to sell me anything. I am so excited to try this, as both my sister and step-mum are devout users.

What do you think of these products?

Jade Rebecca
x

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Thrifty Thursday: Gumtree

I've never been the biggest fan of selling on eBay, when I have things to sell it's usually because I want them out of the way as soon as possible and who wants to spend days waiting for their auction to end to then have to package the item and rush out to post it? Not me, that's for sure.

I'm regularly tempted to bundle everything I want to get rid of into a bag and take it to a charity shop, great if you're not saving yourself, but not so resourceful if you're saving or on a tight budget. 

After buying a couple of things on Gumtree (a kitchen stool and rabbit hutch, hardly glamorous), I dabbled in the unknown waters of selling on Gumtree and was pleasantly surprised. I've sold a fair few bits and pieces on Gumtree over the last few months so I hope that my tips can help you make the best out of selling unwanted things on Gumtree.


When you post your ad

Unlike eBay, Gumtree has a rather limited number of filters so unless someone has made a specific search for an item like yours, chances are they will be faced with hundreds of listings. Gumtree ads are listed with the most recent first (aside from paid for 'upgraded' ads) so take advantage of this and consider when potential buyers of your product are most likely to be online. As a general rule evenings and weekends are the best time to post ads.

Thinking ahead in this way will mean that the maximum numbers of people will see your ad whilst it's still near the top of listings.

If you've got the patience/space then it's worth waiting for a time when your item will be more popular, a coat will be much more likely to sell for more in October than in May.

Unfortunately there's no way of scheduling an ad to be posted so you'll have to have photos and a description prepared ready to post at your chosen time.

Pricing

Unless you're determined not to let your item go for less than a certain price, do some research and see what price similar items are being sold for.

It's best to be realistic with your pricing unless you're happy to wait for a while to sell the item.

I tend to initially put a more optimistic price (don't forget people regularly make offers) and lower it if I've not received any interest.

If your item doesn't sell you can always re-list it again for free.


Photos

As with buying anything online, photos are all potential buyers have to go by when browsing Gumtree. As tempting as it is to snap a quick photo on your phone and pop it onto the ad, you'll get a much better response if you take a little more time with the photos.

You can add up to 9 images to a Gumtree ad so take advantage and take a good range of photos, I find that images of the whole item from various angles along with some close ups of any pattern etc. work best.

Take a photo of your product doing what it's supposed to do. It's much easier for someone to want to buy into a product when they can imagine what it will look like when they use it. Selling a dress - put it on and get someone to take a photo of you wearing it and crop your face out before posting it. If you're photographing cushions, scatter them beautifully over a cosy-looking sofa. It's also worth considering whether the size of the item will be obvious, if not consider photographing it with something that will help give an idea of size.

You can even post a link to a youtube video in your ad so if you're feeling adventurous or selling something particularly valuable it could be a good idea to really sell the item.

Think carefully when choosing the thumbnail photo that will be displayed on the listings page. You need a photo that will encourage someone to click on your ad and read more. A clear image of the whole item is usually most appropriate for this.


Title and description

Alongside the thumbnail photo, a title and the start of the description is your only opportunity to encourage interest in your item from the listings page. I find it best to put a basic, clear title in uppercase. There's no point hiding key details from the title, just because someone who wears a size 12 has clicked on your ad to find out that the dress your selling is a size 6 doesn't mean that they'll decide to buy it anyway because it looked nice.

My titles tend to go a bit like this 'TOPSHOP SKATER SKIRT - SIZE 8 - WORN TWICE'. It's always worth pointing out if the item has only been used a few times as this is appealing to most buyers. A shorter title is better so there's no point stating the obvious like the colour when that's perfectly clear from the thumbnail.

The description is your opportunity to say all there is to know about your item, but don't go crazy and fill the space just because it's there. Someone after a plastic garden chair isn't going to want to read an essay on the life of the chair, they'll probably be more likely to give up reading and find another ad. On the other hand if you're selling a valuable antique then there probably is a story to be told and it would pay to write it.

Like with photos, I tend to give a little description about how the item could be used like 'perfect for a night out', it's worth bearing in mind what people might be looking for at the time of year too, near Christmas describing a dress as 'great for a Christmas party' could invite extra attention.

Always be honest in your description, it's no use make your item out to be better than it is as you'll just get buyers turn up to buy it and leave without it if it doesn't meet their expectations.

Don't forget that the first part of your description is shown on the listings page so be sure to include anything important at the beginning.


Be easy to contact

Gumtree gives you the option to provide email and telephone contact details. I always provide both and find I'm contacted most by text.

It's likely that you'd get less enquires if you only provided a home contact number, as many people prefer to text or email rather than speak to someone directly.


Know when to give up

I'm sure it would be easy to let selling on Gumtree become your life, but you need to consider whether the time and effort's really worth it. If my item hasn't sold for £3 then I usually put it aside to be taken to the charity shop.


Don't forget:
When selling on Gumtree, buyers will expect to pick the item up from your house so be prepared for this, I would not recommend posting anything to a buyer and I would never meet anyone anywhere, although this is just advice.
On one occasion I've had a rather strange buyer contact me and ask for photos so don't be afraid to ignore them or just say no.


Happy Gumtreeing!
x