Top Picks #58

It’s been awhile since I did one of these so it was a great excuse to go look at pretty things!

Earrings, $16 – Urban Outfitters US

So these are only available on the US site but I had to share. How cute are these? I’ve been dithering about getting into dangly earrings again and these are perfect. Now to hunt down a UK version!

Towels, £3.99 – H&M

Yes I’ve become the person who gets excited about towels. Sue me. 

Jumper, £39 – Oasis

This jumper needs to get in my life right now. It’s Luna! I already own this top which I got purely because it looks like Pickles so it would be favouritism if I didn’t get this too, right?

A3 Print, £19.95 – Colours Prints @ Etsy

Wise words indeed.

Bag, £23 – The Disney Store

This Toy Story bag is all kinds of ridiculous and I love it. Oooooh!

Jumper, £38 – Oasis

This jumper is really cute and even though I tend to shy away pastels, I would totally wear this.

Pinafore, £16 – New Look

I’ve been after a replacement pinafore for a little while now and I like the shape of this one. My current one is a bit too boxy for my liking. The only downside to this one is that it might be too short. The hunt continues.

Cushion, £30 – Typo

How comfy does this cushion look? Topher tells me off for getting too many cushions but this is just too awesome. Perfect for working on my laptop in bed!

Earrings, £12 – I like CATS shop @ Etsy

How fun are these earrings? Just the kind of bright addition to my accessory collection I was after.

Denim Jacket, £30 – New Look

Another thing I’ve been on a hunt for is a denim jacket. Topher and I have been buying patches and want to build up patch jackets for our future trips to Disney. So far I have a few patches, but no denim jacket so this might be a good one to go into store and try on. Fingers crossed.

What’s on your wish list at the moment?

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Sure Fire Ways To Find Your Perfect Home

*This is a collaborative post

If you are in the throes of house hunting, the chances are that you are becoming a little disillusioned with the whole process. Sometimes houses are described euphemistically meaning bijou is poky. Often, we head to a home thinking that this might be the one only to discover that the photos in the listing are three years old. And occasionally we might find the perfect house, but the location isn’t right. Trying to stumble across your perfect pad is difficult. However, by following these simple steps, you can hone your requirements and locate your dream home.

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Don’t Expect Perfection… Straight Away

Your perfect home might not be perfect immediately. And it shouldn’t be. You need to consider your wants and needs, and think about how you can outperform the market and make money on your home. The easiest way to do this is to do some renovations and put your own stamp on a pad. With your interior design flair and skills with a paintbrush, you can change a property so that it morphs into your home.

Try to visualise the homes you are viewing with a more objective attitude. You may have passed on many properties because of the tiniest of flaws. Having a non-negotiables list is fine, but be realistic. Nobody purchases their perfect home to do absolutely nothing to it. A house is what you make it so see it through a designer’s eyes.

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Budget

If you have a strict budget make sure that you stick to it. There’s nothing worse than going to view a pad knowing that it is over your budget, only to fall in love with it and be tempted to stretch yourself financially. Don’t put yourself in this position in the first place. Instead, check out a guide on conveyancing fees at The Advisory, look into solicitors fees and mortgage requirements, and then set yourself a ceiling purchase price never to go over it. This way, you will be viewing dwellings that are well within your reach.

If you aren’t sure where to look, place your emphasis on the location first. Forget the gorgeous looking house you spotted going for a bargain in a crime ridden area. This house won’t increase in value, and your experience living in that location will not be pleasant or safe. Instead, opt for the more well established areas that are always sought after. Property forecasts should be positive and the location should have sound transport links, good schools, and a variety of amenities.

Location is by far the most important aspect of a house purchase. Buying the worst house on the best street can often pay off as you are sure to outperform the market with your renovations and you will end up living in a salubrious area to boot. Keep an eye on future proofing your property market outlook and concentrate on creating an asset full of equity for your future.

Being a property hunter isn’t the easiest position to be in even in a buyers market. Follow this guide and use these ideas to inspire your hunt for your ideal home.

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A February Catch-up

A February Catch-up

It’s been awhile since I did a chatty catch-up post, hasn’t it? Here’s what I’ve been up to in 2019 so far. 

#19for2019

So far I’ve managed to tick off finishing my Florida 2015 scrapbook, archive and organise my paperwork as well as getting a vlogging camera ready for our Japan trip (and hopefully future trips!) and solving my blog photo problem. Turned out it was easier to just cough up a bit of cash and stay with Flickr. The ridiculous amount of photos I have on there helped with my decision!

I think that’s a pretty good start to my list. One check and two half checks. Bring on the rest of the year. 

Weight Loss

Or lack of it I should say. Since the beginning of 2019 I haven’t really gone anywhere when I look at the scales now. I’ve just yo-yoed the whole month. So things need to get serious. 

I want to get at least a stone off before we go to Japan so I’m back on it with Slimming World. There’s going to be a lot of walking happening during the 2 weeks we’re over there and I want to be as comfortable as possible. That and a scary nurse at my doctors is threatening to switch my medication out if I don’t lose weight. So that’s definitely motivation. 

Health

I’ve been sick. The flu caught me these last couple of weeks in two stages which left me two weeks ago having to be sent home one afternoon and take the next day off, followed by having to call in sick for two days straight last week. So three days off work. Who am I? Before this I could count the number of sick days I’ve had in my working life on one hand. 

At first I felt guilty for taking the days off but in the end I had no choice. I looked like death and don’t get me started on how I felt. I was super stubborn at first and didn’t want to go home but I think that’s just engrained in me from working jobs that didn’t give sick pay. This one does and I don’t have to worry anymore. 

And speaking of the flu…sorry Topher. I passed it onto him as well. He actually took a day off sick today. His first one in the whole 10 years I’ve known him. Apart from his hernia surgery a few years back where he had sick leave. See, even more stubborn than me! 

We both realise now that it’s ok to take a day and heal rather than exhaust yourself trying to get through the day. I feel so much better now and am so thankful I had that time off. It was definitely needed and one of the days was when no one could get in because of the snow anyway so not too bad going. 

General wanderings

I haven’t been out too much in the last month but I did go to my first We Blog North event in a long time. It was a goal setting workshop and just what I needed. Now that I’m all better as well I can fill out the workbook that we got with the session!

Topher and I had brunch at Evelyn’s in the Northern Quarter which was awesome. I’ve heard good things about them so they’ve been on my to try list for a while. Topher had the steak and egg which was delicious and I had the pancakes with honeycomb butter and blueberries which was just heaven. As much as I like pancakes, I always find myself getting too full too quickly with them. Not these ones. Nom.

And speaking of food, this weekend my parents are coming to stay. Whenever they come to visit we always go out for a meal. This time they requested a Korean restaurant since they’re going to Seoul at the end of the month. Of course I turned to my Korea expert Claire and she’s recommended us a place. The table is booked so I’ll let you know how it goes!

And that’s about it really. In other news I’m still slowly decluttering but that’s a long term ongoing process so you’ll definitely know when I’ve finished!

How has 2019 been treating you so far?

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The ABC Of Home Security

*This is a collaborative post

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It seems safe to say that the vast majority of people reading this post will know that they need to ensure that their home is secure. While general ‘good practice’ – such as always locking the doors and windows before leaving your property – definitely have a role to play in achieving the desired security level, for most people, the need for dedicated security measures is well-understood.

Unfortunately, when it comes to choosing “dedicated security measures”, there are seemingly countless options to choose from – which can be more than a little confusing. Below, we’ve sought to go back to basics by highlighting the fundamental, must-have requirements of home security – and you should have no issue recalling these measures in future, given that they are as simple as ABC…

A is for… Alarm

Investing in a reliable alarm system – and ensuring you activate it every time you leave the house – is one of the best home security measures you can take for your home. If you already have an alarm, then it’s worth having it professionally serviced to ensure it’s working as it should – expert advice suggests that annual servicing is usually sufficient. Alternatively, if there is no alarm system currently installed on your property, opting for a new installation is a huge home security boost, so it’s worth considering such a step in future.

B is for… Barriers

In the digital age, many homeowners focus primarily on technological home security measures – and these, as demonstrated by our “A” and “C” choices, are undoubtedly worthwhile. However, there is definitely something to be said for pairing technological security measures with good, old-fashioned barriers; bushes and plants close to entry points and beneath windows, perimeter fences, locked gates, thick trees, and – of course – standard concrete walls all have a role to play in ensuring your home is secure. Essentially, the goal is to ensure that your home looks unfriendly; as if it would be far too much hassle for a prospective burglar to even think about trying to gain access. By combining this “old school” measure with more modern innovations, you can enjoy the peace of mind of a complete, well-rounded home security setup.

C is for… CCTV

Closed-circuit television (or simply “CCTV” as it is more commonly known) is often associated primarily with commercial and industrial buildings, but CCTV can also be enjoyed in domestic properties in order to provide a comprehensive home security solution. By opting for a CCTV installation at your home, you can look forward to enjoying a dedicated security measure that both allows you to monitor your property as and when you please and acts as a reliable deterrent – a home security win/win.

In conclusion

The world of home security can be more than a little tough to decipher, with a vast number of products and innovations available on the market. Above, we’ve sought to focus on the core basics; the essential elements that – combined with sensible, conventional measures such as setting internal lights on a timer and always using door and window locks – can help to ensure your home is as robustly secure as possible.

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Creating my Dream Gallery Wall with Wilko – AD

Creating my Dream Gallery Wall with Wilko – AD

*This post contains items purchased with a gift card that was gifted from Wilko.

Years before I owned my own house, I dreamed of the day I could have a gallery wall. Yes, my dreams are that sad but it makes me happy. And for the last three years that we’ve lived here, I’ve been collecting art, cards and prints ready for this day. We had a few frames and canvas’s up in the living room but there were a lot of gaps.

gallery wall - living room

So last month when Wilko offered to help me finish my gallery wall, I couldn’t say no. It’s impressive to think that with a £30 gift card I managed to get 9 of the 18 items on the wall from Wilko. Part of the reason why I’ve delayed finishing my gallery wall is trouble finding frames that are nice but not going to break the bank. Why didn’t I think of Wilko?

gallery wall - pickles not amused

There are even different ranges so you could have everything matching to one colour. But of course I didn’t go for that (sorry mum) and decided to have a mix of three. To be fair I did choose black, white and oak which is quite minimal. I wanted the art inside the frames to take centre stage.

gallery wall - closeup right

I love how inexpensive Wilko’s photo range is and yet it doesn’t look that way at all. The range I picked from was their middle one I would say. There was an even cheaper range which would be perfect for students and also a more expensive range that would be great for ladies and gents into their bling.

gallery wall - bottom close up

A lot of the frames I picked up were box frames which means you could actually fit some smaller 3D items inside. I took advantage of this for one of the frames in particular and displayed one of the badges Topher and I got on our honeymoon in Disneyland.

gallery wall - length

I love my gallery wall so much. I just can’t stop looking at it. I’ll tell you a secret – the night I finished it and went to bed, I actually got out of bed one more time and snuck downstairs just to look at it one last time.

gallery wall - landscape

Considering the last time I showed you my living room it looked like this, I might be pretty close to showing you the rest of the room! Watch this space. And a big thank you to Wilko for giving me the nudge I needed to get this room looking awesome.

Do you have a gallery wall?

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