6/random posts
Changing my name, years 4 on: the truth, confusion and hello Olivia.

Changing my name, years 4 on: the truth, confusion and hello Olivia.


It's been four whole years since I took the *giant* step of changing my name by deed poll. Not my surname or middle name, I went all out and changed my first and middle name. It's always a great fact during those 'introduce yourself' exercises at new jobs. A lot of the time, people don't believe it is something that I've actually done and if they do, they want to know why. The honest truth? I changed my name because I wanted to. Some people outgrow their job, friends and even their relationship and I felt like that was the same for me with my name. Things happened during the time of me having my old name and to me, it felt like the best way to start over. Obviously, this didn't happen overnight as much as I'd of liked it too. If only there was a way to start over like The Sims, right? But it did feel like I had another chance to create who I was going to be. 


When it came making the decision regarding a name change for me, it was something that had been in my mind for years, but I never actually knew how simple it would be. I'd heard it was about going to the court and spending £1000s on this process when really it is as simple as finding a company who do this online. I searched reviews on the internet until I found a site I was happy with and then it came to choosing the name. I wrote a list of names I liked on a piece of paper, then separated them into two columns. Ones which would work as a first name and then also a middle name. I wanted to keep a middle name but at first considered double barreling it. I considered so many names and combinations and kept saying the names out loud and looking at myself in the mirror. As weird as that sounds, I feel like it helped me to decide which one I wanted for myself. There were so many names which I wanted but they weren't me. 

I liked Daisy, Poppy and Jade. I felt like I wasn't 'cool enough' to go with the names Daisy or Poppy, as they felt so different from my name. I loved Jade but not as a first name, for some reason I wanted it as my middle name. So I decided Jade was going to be my new middle name. But finding the first name to match proved even more difficult. The first name had to be something I could shorten or just a short name in general. I decided I liked Liv, however, I decided I needed to go down the lines of Olivia, as it went with my middle name better than Liv Jade, which doesn't go imo. 


Once my deeds came through, it was such a surreal feeling. I was waiting for around 9 days for them to arrive, every day even though I knew they wouldn't have arrived yet, I kept checking and hoping. I wanted to keep the name thing on the 'down low' until the deeds arrived, in case the site was dodgy or I changed my mind. When they came I knew I'd made the right choice. Being a millennial, I took to Facebook to share my news, so I didn't have to explain it over and over to people. I was greeted with questions of why, how and then why some more which is to be expected. I know that some people who commented were curious about the change and how it works, others were just shocked by it and didn't understand why I would do that when I already had a name which was 'fine'. Then there was the group of people who I appreciate the most who didn't question why they just accepted it and tried their hardest to remember my new name. 

It's taken almost four years, but I hardly ever get called the wrong name anymore by my family or friends. It's bizarre sitting here four years later and knowing that I made the right choice. It gave me a sense of power which I felt like I lacked previously. With my mental illnesses, I felt like I didn't have a lot of control over who I was as a person, but this change gave me some of that power back. I am yet to decide if it makes me brave to change the name you've always known or if it was just a weird thing I decided to one day. I feel like it has taken my family a while adjust as it feels like such a rebellious thing to do. Especially when talking to your friends, for my mum and grandma I guess they found it hard when their friends were talking about their children's achievements and my mum got to share what I'd done. It felt like when she was telling them about me dying my hair or that I had gotten a tattoo but this somehow seemed more permanent. 


Four years on, I don't regret my choice, in fact, I often forget I was even born with/ had a different name for 20 years. For those of you who are considering changing any part of your name, I'd recommend doing so, especially if is the process and the money behind it which is a huge part as to why it hasn't been done yet. I believe in total mine cost me £40 and if I'd of known this, I would of done it sooner. Since my first post, I've had more people than I could have imagined asking me about the process, and it's great to be able to tell my story about it with you guys and beyond. Thanks for listening to my ramble and if you'd like to read my first post about me changing my name, feel free to check it out here. *It's pretty cringe though* so prepare yourselves for that! 

I'd love for you guys to ask me any questions you want to know about changing your name in the comments and if any of you have changed your name tell me about it! 

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Olivia Jade
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Velvet Caviar: Pretty yet protective?

Velvet Caviar: Pretty yet protective?



Velvet Caviar phone case

*This post includes gifted items* 

Velvet Caviar are a brand up until recently I hadn't heard of. Based in the United States, they are a company all about banning the boring and giving your phone the ultimate makeover. As well as providing your phone with extra support, and the brand claims the case is like an extra skin. For anyone who knows me, will know that I am addicted to buying new phone cases, each phone I get, a rather large amount of rubber cases follow in tow. To me, the rubber cases come with a sense of security, they bounce and they are great for protecting your phone (well, as long as it lands on its back, anyway). So when I was asked to review Velvet Caviar and saw their cases, I knew they were a brand which is perfect for Dungarees & Donuts and something which is right up my street for my day to day life. Bright, edgy and a bit over the top in the best way possible. The main event over at Velvet Caviar is, of course, their cases. However, they do sell a variety of other products including stickers and hats too. Their cases which are standout from the rest (of the ones on the market) and are full of a variety of colours, designs and available for iPhones from the 6 upwards and the Samsung Galaxy range including the note and latest models.

I spent a good few hours scrolling through the site looking at the endless possibilities of cases, and I am already eyeing up my next few purchases. The cases I chose from the site are the Blue Roses Floral case and the Cotton Candy Marble case. To say that they were shipped from the US they arrived within 5-7 days and to my amazement, looked even brighter and more popping in real life, I was made up. For the US, I know they do free shipping with their cases, as well as they often run a free grip ring too. 

Velvet Caviar case
Velvet Caviar case

The first thing I noticed when putting the cases on my phone, is because they're so protective they are quite difficult to get them on and then the buttons are pretty much unusable. I would recommend bending the case as much as possible to be able to relax it, so the buttons are easier to use. According to the Velvet Caviar site, the cases don't fade, are shatterproof and crack proof. Which means, not only are they adorable, but they're durable, long lasting will outlast your phone guaranteed. Alongside the cases, I also was sent two of their phone rings, one to match my Blue Roses case and another which is totally adorable but at the same time *a little* bit offensive. I was instantly drawn into their phone rings, as they are similar to a pop socket but to me, it feels a lot more secure, plus it doubles up as a stand. They're great for holding on to your phone when walking around, or when you're in bed scrolling endlessly through Twitter and don't fancy a black eye from dropping your phone on your face (we've all been there). Each ring is only $10 which is a great deal and cost around the same amount as pop sockets.

Velvet Caviar case

When using the Blue Roses Floral case, I did find it easier to hold, it is a completely matte case and I popped one of the phone rings, which is simply peeling back the sticker and pressing it on to the case, and I kid you not, it hasn't budged and I am not sure it ever will. At first, I was a little wary of it coming flying off, but the more I got used to it, the more I trusted it. I will say as someone who hasn't used any type of grip support for my phone, it is a lot of getting used with the ring but once you've used them a little they are less tight and more comfortable on. I used the marble case after a few days with the other phone ring but did feel this case to be more slippy and I felt a little more worried about it dropping. So far so good though. The inside of the cases is lined with a velvet texture and printed with the brand logo. Just from tapping the case and how difficult it is to bend you can tell it is good quality and definitely worth $30. Plus it is one of those cases, you know are good and you trust your phone in, and they look amazing too. Who says style can't be practical. 

Velvet Caviar case

Keep your eyes peeled on my Twitter and Instagram as I am hosting a giveaway with Velvet Caviar very soon, for you to win your own goodies! As always, this review is completely my own thoughts and not influenced by the fact these are samples. I am super happy Velvet Caviar reached out as they're an amazing company and I love what they do. 


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Olivia Jade
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Budget Travel: 5 tips for your dream holiday on a budget!

Budget Travel: 5 tips for your dream holiday on a budget!


*This is a collaborative post* 

The start of the year in the UK has some pretty rubbish weather, if it's not raining it's so windy you feel like you may actually fly away and in some places, the snow fell heavily. It always makes me want to get away from the UK as soon as possible. As much as I enjoy city breaks within the UK, at this time year, I want to go somewhere hot. I decided to compile some tips for planning the ideal getaway for less so you can jet off as soon as possible. Let me know in the comments what your top tips for planning the perfect getaway for less are. 

Be open to go 'anywhere':
If you're looking for a bargain, it's worth being open to a few places which you'd be happy to go. Check out the reviews of the place online first, to check out what is around, what is good for tourists and dependant on who you are going with, will depend on what you are looking for. There is no point in paying for a cheap getaway if there is nothing to whilst you're there. Prioritise what is important to you to see and where you're going e.g. if you're looking to go to the beach make sure there is one within a short driving distance as you don't want to be racking up the costs when travelling. If the beach is within walking distance even better. When heading off it's worth looking into travel passes beforehand as some places have a great rail system which means you don't have to hire a car which racks up another huge expense. Seat 61 is a great blog with some amazing tips when it comes to travelling in Europe, check out this post for more information about train travel in Europe. 



Pick a less 'mainstream' place and get insurance:
A place which is a huge tourist hotspot will usually allow places to hike up their prices. With everything from the restaurants, hotels and local attractions being upped in price as so many people want to visit, they can do that. Before choosing a place which may be less touristy it's worth looking into the safety of the place. Although the chances of a disaster striking while you’re on holiday may be relatively low, it is difficult to ignore the ever-present risk of something unpredictable happening. As climate change is likely to be the cause of more frequent weather extremes. Finding a holiday destination immune to wildfires, flash flooding and severe storms, may not be quite as easy as you first thought.

However, when you find the destination of your dreams, most of us will take the risk as it's worth it for us. Sectors connected to the travel industry, such as insurance, recognise that there is a thirst for travel and are adapting their products to ensure that they offer a wide choice of covers to enable travellers to protect themselves against crisis’ and disasters. For example, Insure4Retirement, a specialist Over 50s Home and Travel insurance provider, in partnership with Just Travel Cover, offer a Crisis Response Service with their Ready2Go Gold travel policy. A key benefit of this cover is a dedicated phone number which gives travellers access to immediate assistance and an unrivalled set of skills if disaster strikes while they are abroad.

Investing insurance may seem an annoyance for most of us as luckily most of us do not end up needing to use it. However, if the worst did happen, it's a great reassurance to know that the support is there when it is needed. Plus, if anything medically was to happen and you aren't covered, those medical bills aren't cheap.


Don't go during peak times:
It seems obvious, but picking the date in which you jet off is super important. It's worth comparing dates before going. Choosing your days wisely as jetting off midweek can often be cheaper than the weekend of the start of the week. Plus look up school holidays, not only in the UK but the place you are going to visit as families are more likely to want to go during these times, which tends to hike up the price a lot. 

Consider an indirect flight:

On a budget, flights can be one of the more expensive parts of a holiday. However, they no longer need to be. Taking an indirect flight and stopping off there for a few hours can often work out cheaper than going direct. Although it can be annoying (and boring) being in an airport for extended periods of time when you could be already sunning it up. You can get massive savings on your flight, giving you more funds to spend on your holiday. Sites such as Skyscanner have your back for finding the cheapest flights. 

Do your research about the place your visiting: 

Planning what you want to do in advance can save you funds too. If you want to do set things it is worth booking them in advance as you are more likely to save than rocking up on the day. As well as fitting your plans around the place you are going, it is likely it is going to be more expensive to do outings on a weekend than mid-week. Usually going out of season can save you a ton of money, going after all of the schools are going back and when the weather is starting to change, can make trips cheaper too. 



I hope you've enjoyed my post on tips for travelling on the cheap side hopefully it helps you find some great deals, for you to enjoy whilst still pinching those pennies. 

I'd love to know your tips for planning your dream holiday for less in the comments.



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Olivia Jade
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Planning the perfect getaway.

Planning the perfect getaway.


*This is a collaborative post* 
We all have different ideas about what constitutes the perfect holiday. It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking to spend time away with family, a loved one, or enjoy time away on your own. There are, however, a number of common characteristics everyone should consider when looking for the perfect holiday destination.

Facilities:
Unless you’re looking for a getaway that takes you off to the middle of nowhere, you’re going to need certain facilities. Check whether there are any popular tourist attractions because you might not want to spend all day sat by the pool or on the beach. Other facilities you might want to look for include medical facilities, shopping, eating establishments, banks or money changing companies, cinemas, and opportunities for relaxing.
Entertainment:
How would you like to spend your time when you’re on holiday? Are you looking forward to 7 days relaxing next to the pool or are you looking to experience some of the local cultures? Eating at local restaurants, listening to live music, dancing the night away at a local club, or watching the sun go down over the ocean are all enjoyable things to do if you’re looking for entertainment.
Accommodation:
There are many different types of accommodation available, depending on where you want to stay. Bed and breakfast, all-inclusive hotel, boat, barge, beach hut or luxury villa are all possibilities. There are a variety of villas in Orlando, for example, each with their own pool, where you can enjoy the finer things in life. Spending a couple of weeks in such lavish surroundings is bound to lift the spirits.
Weather:
If you’re travelling abroad, from somewhere in the UK, you’re going to want weather that’s a little more special than the odd sunny day interspersed with rain. After all, you can get that if you stay at home. Whether you want snowy landscapes, blue sea, sand and blue skies, rolling green hills or snow-peaked mountains, there’s a destination to suit you. When you’re doing your research, check out the weather you can expect, depending on the time of year you decide to visit.

Safety:
Not every country in the world is safe to visit, and if you do the right research, you’ll easily find out those that are and those that aren’t. There’s nothing wrong with venturing off the beaten track, but it pays to find out as much as you can about the location. The internet is an amazing tool and there are also a wide variety of travel apps you can use to guide you.
Cuisine: 
Half the fun of going away on holiday is the opportunity to try different things, one of which is the local cuisine. Tasting the local food is all part of the adventure. Try a pasta dish in Italy, paella in Spain, a vegetarian curry in India, or sushi in Japan.
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Olivia Jade
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Not your typical Valentine's Day gift guide.

Not your typical Valentine's Day gift guide.


Valentines Day Gift - Where We First Met Personalised Jigsaw
Valentines Day Gift - Where We First Met Personalised Jigsaw
*Contains gifted items* 

Valentine's Day deemed as the most romantic day of the year which started back in the year 496, it was thought to have originated from a Roman festival. The Romans had a festival called Lupercalia in the middle of February, which is when their spring started. However, fast forward to 2019 and Valentine's Day is all about the romance if you're in a relationship or if you're not you can even have your own Galentines Day because all the power to you if you're single, why not celebrate it. As my not your typical health and beauty gift guide went down so well at Christmas I decided to do a similar idea for Valentine's Day. The idea is not to share with you the normal boxers, perfume and chocolate but to think outside of the box. Plus most of these gifts work as a birthday/anniversary present too. Do let me know in the comments what your plans are for Valentine's Day, as I currently have none apart from getting a blood test (exciting right?) and would love some inspiration of what Will and I could do this year. 

Where we first met jigsaw: 
This is by far one of my favourite gifts within the guide as it's such a unique, fun and interesting present to get someone. Plus, if you can't survive the many hours it takes to create a jigsaw together, then you're probably not meant to be. Only kidding. Sort of. The Jigsaw comes wrapped up a lovely bag in this adorable box, which on the back states when it was made and also how many pieces there are in the box (avoid that part, you probably don't want to know the answer). So the idea of the jigsaw is to get the address to where you first met, enter the details, choose the type of view you would like the jigsaw to be of. There is a choice of Ariel and OS Street view, OS Landranger and London Street View dependant on which you'd prefer. Then it is as simple as ordering it and in around 5 days you will have your puzzle ready to go. Will and I first met in the Starbucks in our town so I did the address of that. My favourite part of the puzzle is that some of it will make the words 'I love you' within the puzzle, which is completely adorable right? The jigsaw is £29.99 and you can get this from The Gift Experience.  


Knickerbocker Glorious Gift Set: 
Is it really a gift guide without something from Lush in it? Probably not! For Valentine's Day Lush have created some amazing products like the aubergine and peach emoji bath bombs, which I wanted so bad, but only having a shower *kind of* puts a damper on that (excuse the pun) however, the gift set which is featured is Knickerbocker Glorious, featuring American cream and American Pie. Two amazingly sweet, colourful and lush goodies, plus they're wrapped up in adorable packaging too. One is a body conditioner and the other is a shower gel, yum! This gift set is £12.95 and available from Lush, however, I am not too sure how much longer for, so if you want this you need to hurry! 

Avocado Wash: 
Part of the Bananarama gift set for £18.95 or on its own for £5.95, this shower gel is something to be raved about for sure. The sweet scent mixed with a variety of oils to give you the ultimate relaxed feeling, everyday of the week. 


Chocolate 'Sexy' Man:
Is it really a gift guide without a little jokey present, probably not. Flying Tiger has decided to stock this joyous gift of a chocolate sexy man which is a great present for just anybody, a friend, partner or even yourself. You can't argue with a good slab of chocolate, can you? 


Littlesmith personalised necklace:
This was a birthday present from my mum, however, it is so adorable and the company are amazing so I had to mention them within this guide. Littlesmith creates bespoke jewellery, great for all occasions. The concept behind this necklace is you can pick a bar or a variety of beads to make up your ideal necklace. The bars come in a variety of sizes and colours and can have printed on what you would like. For the bars, they'd be great to have a date feature on or your initials with the other person. I went for the beads which come in a variety of colours and shapes too for mine I decided to get my own name on it, I went for a variety of the colours and shaped beads but online they have a great form for you to fill in so every element is chosen by you. You can also get Littlesmith necklaces in some Selfridges stores if this is something you want to purchase for your Valentine this year. Prices vary dependant on what you choose to have on the necklace. Mine was £40 for reference and that includes all of the beads and the chain. 

Adopt a sloth:
For £19.99 you can choose to adopt a sloth which I thought was such a fun and quirky idea and donates money to a worthy cause, win. Will is obsessed with sloths and when I saw this I knew he'd love it. 

The Pack includes:
• Welcome letter 
• Your gift explained 
• Sloths Endangered 
• Sloths facts & figures 
• Sloth leaflet 
• Sloth poster 
• Sloth postcard 
• Registration sheet

Once you register your gift online you also get sent out a certificate to say you've adopted a sloth for 12 months, which I think is a great touch to the gift. To purchase yourself a pack to adopt your own sloth you can do so on The Gift Experience

Let me know which your favourite gift was in the comments!



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Olivia Jade
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5 reasons why you should visit Manchester.

5 reasons why you should visit Manchester.





*This is a collaborative post* 

Manchester is one of my favourite places to visit in the UK, I think it is an underdog when it comes to cities in the UK and people often overlook it when looking for places to visit. For the last two years, I've stayed in Manchester for my Birthday and I've always enjoyed it and would love to go back just to explore what else Manchester has to offer. I thought today I'd talk to you about some of the reasons I love Manchester and why I think it's worth a visit if you get the chance to do so. 

Shopping:
Manchester is the ultimate place to go shopping, with two shopping centres (one being the Trafford Centre!) and a bunch of department stores throughout the city you are spoilt for choice. If you want to stay central you can visit the Arndale, however, if you're willing to go further a-field I'd totally recommend the Trafford Centre. Plus Manchester has a huge Primark for any fans of the good old Primarni. 


Drinking:
If you're on the lookout for a place for the perfect pub crawl Manchester has you covered, whether you're on a day sesh or drinking throughout the evening, there are so many choices. Have some luggage with you which you don't fancy dragging around (I know them feels too well) Excess Baggage has you covered with an easy drop-off and pick up point to allow you to collect your luggage when convenient. I don't know if you're like me but I do not trust myself with anything valuable when I am out drinking so this is the perfect solution. In Manchester, you have to check out The Washhouse as well as Gorilla, Fab Cafe and the Apocothary. But there is pretty much a bar/pub to suit everyone, that's why it's known as having some of the best nightlife in the entire country. 


Food:
Of course, food had to make it on the list, as you probably know, I love my food. With hundreds of bars, restaurants and cafes to explore you're in for a treat! One of my favourite places to go for some grub in the northern quarter where you will find some amazing places, which are unique to the city or chain restaurants such as Chiqutos, Bella Italia and Wetherspoons, of course! I love that Manchester also has a Hard Rock Cafe, as it has its own amazing vibe. 110% would recommend. 

Alternative shopping: 
Manchester is full to the brim with vintage stores, and often you can get yourself some great goodies from kilo sales, or if you're feeling adventurous, I'd recommend checking out Afflecks which is known as a totem of Indie commerce. With floors and floors of quirky little shops, my favourite shops were Bad Mother Sugar, Thunder Egg and Sour Cherry. Dependant on what you're looking for they have some really great stuff. Also, the walls in the place are insane and great for taking fashion posts in the stairwells. 



Other cool places worth visiting: 
For this section, I thought I'd just share with a few of my personal recommendations in Manchester. Firstly is the Cat Cafe, which in case you didn't guess is a cafe where you can hang out with cats! On their website, it allows you to 'meet' the cats to see who you will be seeing on your visit. Next is the Junkyard Golf Club which is my latest recommendation, all I am going say is mini golf meets alcohol and a ton of amazing props. My final recommendation which isn't unique to Manchester but they have a Lego Store which allows you to do a Lego Pick n Mix, as well as making 'yourself' out of Lego which is a super fun experience if you haven't done it before. 


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Olivia Jade
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Tips for getting organised & a stationery wishlist.

Tips for getting organised & a stationery wishlist.



*This is a collaborative post* 

I am a huge stationery fanatic, always have been, probably always will be. Was there anything more exciting at the start of the school year your parents allowing you to buy some new fresh stuff, I mean who had pens left after 2 weeks into the school year anyway. There was always someone who had forgotten their pen, you never got it back and once word got out that you had a spare pen the whole year knew about it. I do like to buy stationery often, it's one of my favourite things and I can say buying new coloured pens, new writing pens and a lot of notebooks can help me be more productive with my work. 

Before I started my latest job I bought a ton of stationery which in theory I actually haven't used that much of, but it's great to have a notebook and pen(s) when you need them. With blogging it is a totally different ball game, I love to write down my ideas, pages and pages of them in a variety of colours. I always write down my earnings as well as a back up to my computer, couldn't be dealing with the stress of that. I find that presentation folders help with keeping all of my paperwork together and I know Showcase Creative have a variety of creatively designed folders perfect for this. I like to have a diary to write down when my deadlines for work is due, which usually involves prioritising. I do enjoy being able to keep track of these in a notebook alongside those ideas which come to me at a random point in the day when I'm out (I usually transfer them across from my phone). However, as January marked another new year, I decided new stationery was most definitely in order. 

I decided to share my stationery needs (most definitely more wanting than needing them) to give you inspiration for your next stationery haul. I mostly like to shop for stationery at Paperchase, Ohh Deer and often what I see in the supermarkets. Anything colourful, you've caught my attention, anything cute and colourful you've got yourself a guaranteed purchase. Let me know in the comments what your favourite item from my wishlist is. 






Where is your favourite place to buy stationery from? 


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Olivia Jade
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