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The ultimate quirky gift guide 2019

*This post is in collaboration with The Gift Co and contains some affiliate links also 

1. The Personalised Smash Sweets Cup is made entirely from chocolate and filled up with gorgeous treats, similar to an Easter Egg once you crack it open the goodies inside spill out. The best part about this lovely gift from The Gift Co is that you get it personalised and you can also get it in a variety of colours too. It's a great gift for those sweet lovers in your life and the fact it is personalised shows you've gone the extra mile. 
2. Pixie Tears Gin for most adults alcohol can be a great present to receive, whether that's an expensive bottle of champagne, some pints at the pub or even a bottle of their favourite spirit. Thanks to Firebox you can get a variety of spirits with an additional twist. From Pixie Tears to Chocolate Orange and beyond. 

3. A gift which is pretty much certain to be unique is the David Attenborough Activity Book filled to the brim with amazing puzzles which are a tribute to the British Icon David. If an animal Wordsearch isn't your thing, don't worry, there are plenty of other surprises to come including David Hattenborough. It's only £8 so the perfect gift for those who are fans of Sir Attenborough. 
4. The Andy Warhol Soup Can Jigsaw is a fantastic gift for those puzzle enthusiasts out there or just for someone who enjoys something a bit more quirky as a present. This 100 piece jigsaw is an out of the box gift designed by Andy Warhol who is of course known for his pop art style. 

5. Grow Your Own Sunflower is a treat for anyone who doesn't have a garden or who fancies a little project over the year. With these grow your own kits popping up all over the internet, with everything from chillies to your own Christmas tree, there is one out there for everyone. Sunflowers are great as they're associated with happiness.
6. Top Trumps was my favourite game as a child and more recently Top Hunks has been in my top picks, however, make way for the Friends Edition of the game. Perfect for any friends enthusiast. As it is based on the friends top moments, we have to wonder what is on the cards. It better have Rachael getting off that plane (one of the tensest moments in TV history!) 

I hope you've enjoyed this post and I have a variety of other quirky gift guides if you fancy checking them out, including gifts that every student wants* and not your typical health and beauty guide.

Introducing LoyalFree AD.

We reward our new customers for joining us, but a lot of companies forget to reward their loyal customers for coming back time and time again. This applies to car insurance, banks and online shopping. As regular users of a service, it would surely make sense to reward those customers for their loyalty? Well, that's what the companies on LoyalFree decided to do. If you're in one of their current areas you're in for a treat, with tons of discounts and freebies in the local area. The app costs nothing to download and you just need to go to those places you'd usually go but with the added extra of discount in your pocket (or should I say app?). It's been a long time in the making that students get discount on so many things but those who are no longer students or who have never been, do not get any of the generous discounts or fun experiences that comes along with being a student. Until now, since Loyal Free has popped up it gives us all a chance to enjoy what the app has to offer and the great discounts and hidden gems around our local town. 

So I hear you ask, what does the LoyalFree app offer? 
Well, the app offers a huge variety of different things, with things such as buy four coffees and your 5th is free, discounts on days out or things to enjoy such as beauty treatments, classes and gifts and a ton more to pick from. As well as offering you tons of free things, you can find out about experiences and events in your area which you may not of known without the app, cool right?

As someone who regularly looks for a discount code of some sort, for pretty much everything this app is super handy. With an easy to understand app which is quick and reliable 'everyone' can join in the fun. Speaking of fun, within the app you can go on trails based around themes and it will tell you a variety of places to visit on your trail to make the most out of the local area and also what you enjoy, there are trails based around dogs, vegan eats and even some cocktail ones. Sounds like a win to me. I am someone who has so many apps for different discounts but I feel like the loyal app covers it all under one roof with money off, collectable stamps and finding out about great offers around your town/city you're in for a real treat.

Well what are you waiting for? Go download the app now and get saving some money. 

*This post is sponsored by LoyalFree, however, all thoughts within my post are all mine and I genuinely back this app and wouldn't promote it if I didn't* 

Why are Graduates Staying in Liverpool?

Liverpool is renowned as one of the UK’s best student cities, but it is also gaining a reputation for the number of students who stay afterwards and settle in the booming Northern city. Liverpool has a student population of over 70,000 and the number of graduates who stay in the city after they finish their degree is constantly rising. So why are so many of Liverpool’s graduates staying?

 *This is a collaborative post* 

Luxurious Living
Liverpool has been the recipient of an incredible amount of investment, and the city’s skyline is a testament to this. Many new builds in the city are offering luxurious city living which is perfect for recent graduates. Property investment companies like RW Invest have been involved with a number of projects in Liverpool which offer a high-end living experience in beautiful modern apartments. Compared to other cities in the UK, the level of premium accommodation available in Liverpool is impressive, and for graduates, finding a new apartment is simple. From dockside apartments in chic warehouse conversions to brand new studios in the city centre with on-site gyms, games rooms and cafes, there are a wide range of options available for graduates.

Job Opportunities
Decades ago, Liverpool wasn’t exactly famous for its job opportunities. However, due to huge changes in the city, there are far more career prospects available than ever before. Liverpool’s thriving economy is set to continue growing, and the council’s Liverpool Local Plan sets out a strategy which includes the creation of 38,000 new jobs. From the new Knowledge Quarter which will offer specialist scientific and research roles, to the tech and digital hub at the Baltic Triangle, to the thriving Albert Dock with its variety of shops and restaurants, Liverpool is offering a range of different job opportunities that graduates simply don’t want to move away from.

Thriving Culture
Liverpool is world famous for its musical legacy and unique culture. This former trading city has been a melting pot of different cultures, creating a distinctive city that welcomes everyone. Liverpool’s nightlife is famous, with a range of unique bars, pubs and clubs that appeal to everyone, and this is another reason why so many young people decide to live in the city after they graduate. Liverpool is also home to a number of special events and celebrations, like the Liverpool Giants, the Liverpool Biennial and Liverpool International Music Festival. With more museums and art galleries than any city outside of London, Liverpool has plenty to do.

Cost of Living
Liverpool is also an incredibly affordable city, which makes it far more attractive to recent graduates in their first job, with limited disposable income. Compared to cities in the south of the UK, Liverpool is an incredibly cost-effective choice. When comparing Liverpool to London, you will find that food is 24% cheaper, housing is 47% cheaper, and transportation is 44% cheaper. These lower costs of living that students have grown accustomed to while they have been studying in the city, mean that moving to somewhere that is so much more expensive isn’t a popular option.

If you went to university, where did you go?

The truth about my ex relationships.

I read an article which states people usually fall in love 3 times in their lifetime, which got me to thinking about how many people I've been 'in love' with. I've had relationships which have lasted a few months to a few years, and now I think my search for the 'one' is finally over. Sadly, people change, people do things to hurt other people and dating can lead to heartbreak. But it can also lead to knowledge and you know what they say about knowledge, it's power. I always find it great to be able to reflect on past relationships and think about what went wrong, and if there were any common factors. Most of us have a type, and I feel like it takes most of us years to stop searching for 'our type' and start searching for the right kind of person. The reason I am writing this post primarily is to let you guys know, there isn't a set number of relationships you should have, nor a set length these should be, despite what society likes to make us believe. 

It can take 100 people (or even more) to find the right one, and that is completely ok. Just because it has only taken your friend only two relationships to find the right person doesn't mean this is the correct number. Once you stop caring about what others think about you dating and date for yourself you're more likely to find happiness and locate the right person for you. I hope you enjoy this post and if you like my dating/relationship posts, do let me know in the comments as this is something I'd love to feature more in the future. 

My first 'serious' boyfriend:
I met my first 'serious' boyfriend through my best friend at the time, she knew him from a Christian retreat and I remember her showing me the pictures of him and I was amazed by him and she put us in touch and we began to talk, I can't remember what actually happened from then on, but I remember we got together pretty quickly and we fell in love (or so I thought we were back then) it was a great feeling. I was 15 at the time and I thought we all had it figured out. The few times I met his mum she decided she didn't like me, and from then on, it really didn't work. I was naive to think it would be ok, that we'd fight against his mum and make it work, the whole Romeo and Juliet sitch without the ending. Then one day, we broke up. There was no going back, I thought I was never going to get over it, honestly, my first heartbreak was awful and I didn't think I'd get through it. You'll be shocked to know, I did, in fact, get over it.

The one who wanted us both. 
It was around 8 months later that I met my next boyfriend, through another friend. He was so different from the last, a lot more my type at the time. We both dressed in alternative clothes had similar music taste and he was in a band. Our relationship somewhat was kept a secret and on the down low from his friends and I never knew why. Like it wasn't a secret but he didn't show me off with pride like I had once hoped. It turned out he was in an off relationship with somebody, although they had ended this time for 'good' He'd told me they were over and I believed him, but when things went bad with us, he'd go back to her and visa versa. Eventually, I took myself out of the situation, I wanted someone who actually wanted me and not someone who used me and another girl. Weirdly though, that girl became one of my close friends for many years. Although we don't really speak anymore, I am glad I gained a friend from such a rubbish situation.

The one who couldn't decide: 
I met my next boyfriend in college, which in hindsight wasn't a great idea as we had to spend 4 days a week together and every fight would involve my friends and his and would cause a divide. The whole situation was a mess, we were both going through huge problems with our mental health and we didn't help each other at all. He'd break up with me and then get back together with me a lot, one time he broke up with me 7 times in the space of two days and it confused me. He, in the end, decided to drop out of college, I'm not sure if it was totally linked, however, I wonder what would have happened if we didn't date. We've not spoken at all since we broke up, and for a while, that was hard as we were sort of friends before it happened.

The one I fell out of love with:
Although this post does seem to include me being broken up with a lot, I did end up breaking up with someone who to this day is still my longest relationship. We met through friends at a party, you were so laid back you were basically horizontal. A few years went by and we were happy, but things started to come between us. We didn't share the same hobbies, they'd end up changing our plans a lot to suit other people and the one tragic event changed you as a person and it felt like you just pushed me away completely. Day by day it felt harder to cope with, so I had to walk away. We've since met up and do make better friends and he's now been travelling the world which I am super jealous of, but I know it wouldn't have happened if we were still together. Oh and I still love your mum and stepdad for taking me under their wing and making me feel like part of your family. 

The one who wasn't a perfect match: 
This relationship was one of the weirdest ones I've actually been in, as everyone from the outside could see what we were failing to see from the start. We really didn't go together at all, the majority of our relationship was doing things we both hated. He hated what I wanted to do and I hated it what he wanted to do. We moved into a student house together which for a while was all fun and games, then he became somebody totally different and didn't like the student life anymore. We'd argue more and more until I called time on the relationship. We had moved in together separately so the break up was so awkward as we spent 6 months in a house we both lived in as we had no money to go our separate ways. 

The one who wouldn't commit: 
My last ex isn't one I shouldn't really class as an ex, as he would never admit I was his girlfriend unless he was drunk. He wanted the whole girlfriend thing 70% of the time and the other 30% he wanted to act single. This situation went on for about two months and then it finally came to an end, with him cutting off all communication with me. Which at the time, felt like the worst thing to happen ever, however, now I am so glad he did. Oh hindsight you are a truly beautiful thing, aren't ya? 

The one who is my forever? 
2017 was when I met Will, we hit it off straight away. We went to the same college and university, we didn't know each other as he was the year younger, but we knew loads of people the same. We went our first date to Starbucks and the rest is history. In November of 2018, we got engaged and I couldn't be happier. 

"We can't change the past but we can start a new chapter with a happy ending"

Why I regret going to university.

It's approaching two years since I left university, and apart from my student overdraft and a ton of debt, I don't really feel like I gained a lot from going to uni. First things first, I didn't even want to go to university, at the time of applying to go to university at college, I didn't want to do it. I've never been particularly academic, my anxiety has often ruined my chances of doing well in most things. Exams are my worst nightmare, group work is like hell on earth and don't even get me started on presentations. In college, I did a course in Media which I did love, the analysing of the films, adverts and writing about them in great depth but the creation side of film didn't appeal to me. I don't have confidence in myself to be able to create any content alone, and as stated above, group work isn't something I enjoy. So when it came to the creation side, I was scared to share my ideas, therefore, was just pushed to the side. I managed to come out of college with distinction, distinction and merit. Which I was beyond made up with, but when it came to deciding what to do after college my head started to pound. The idea of getting myself a full-time job straight out of college scared me, but as did university. Being stuck into film creation for a further 3 years wasn't something I wanted to do. But everyone else was going to university and I was confused. 

The truth was, I loved writing and wanted to progress further with that, but I didn't know where to start. I decided to approach my tutors for some advice. Who advised me to go on to do a foundation degree which was held at the college before progressing on to the university campus. This was like taking a breath of fresh air, I got to stay at the college, with the lecturers I had gotten to know and my tutor even told me I could come away from the production side of things. A few weeks into the course, I realised I had made a mistake. My heart wasn't in the course and wanted to leave. I told my tutor I had made this decision, and he said he knows I'll be great on the course if I just carry on, I was still hesitant. He pointed out to me, that all of the universities are in full swing now and I would need to wait until the following year to apply, which again scared the life out of me. I decided to push through and keep going with the course. As I had done my first year, it was time for the second year. I had no idea that you could change course after your first year as you get 4 years of finance through SFE. But once, I'd spoken to someone who advised me of this, it was 3 weeks into the course, which counted as using the finance and qualify for the rest, I'd have to fund my own first year. Unfortunately, my Sainsburys wage wouldn't cut the thousands needed upfront. As I didn't want to waste any more money, I decided to see it out. 

As I had done a foundation year, I still had to do the additional year at university, to make this a full degree, which I decided to go for. Sadly, it made me resent my college even more and wishing if I was going to do the degree that I had just done it all from the university to start with. As the facilities were better and I feel like I would have been able to grow my confidence more. Almost 2 years later, the only reason I like my degree is that it looks good on my CV and I gained a little bit of further knowledge into cameras and how to write a script which we learnt early on in the course. 

I wish I could say throughout it all, at least I made some good friends but I can't even really say that. With moving around so much, I missed out on making friends as people had already made friends in their freshers year. However, I do live to tell the tale, and want to let all of you guys know who are applying for uni, or are considering university you don't have to apply. You can take a year out, or wait for years to come or not even go to university at all. Plus if your course doesn't seem compatible with you, it's ok to drop out and not have a plan B. Sometimes life throws us curveballs and we just have to ride them and hope for the best. I would love to know in the comments if you regret going to university and whether you have a job based around what your degree. 

The ultimate pizza toast!

Pizza Toast
Pizza Toast

*This is a collaborative post with Roberts*

Pizza is one of those foods, which I could eat forever and not hate it. 
Pizza is so great, I had it tattooed on my leg. 
Pizza puns are for life. I mean, in pizza we crust. 

I honestly could go on all day about why pizza is amazing, but you might get bored and click off the post and I don't want that. So the reason I am talking about pizza today is that I was challenged by Roberts to create a tasty meal/snack using one of their fibre filled wholemeal products and my brain went straight to my favourite food, of course. I went to Asda the next day and picked up one of their heroic wholemeal loaves and my other ingredients and set to work. I decided to go with pizza toast as it's a great (and easy) option for a speedy lunch.  

I thought I would provide the recipe in case you want to make your own pizza toasties, they're surprisingly filling, full of fibre and somewhat resemble a pizza, so what's not to love? Oh, and they're cheap to make too, as all of the ingredients can be used a further meal or two. I know as a student this would have been my dream meal if I'd of thought of making it. Who knew bread was so versitle hey?  

Let me know in the comments what your favourite easy meal is. 

Gifts every student wants*

*Disclaimer so maybe not every student will want these but, a lot of students will enjoy these gifts. Unfortunately, I can't even share any stats as I don't actually have them, because they don't exist. So you'll have to take my word for it. P.s. This post includes swearing and other rude things, so if this isn't for you feel free to click off as I'd hate to offend anyone! xo

Present buying can be such a difficult task, so I decided to compile a list of gifts which I would have loved to have got as a student. I feel like when you're a student you spend most of your money on food, booze and bills so it's great to get a gift you wouldn't usually buy for yourself. As well as new socks, because although 10 year old me hated getting them, 23 year old me is game. So this guide includes some items which are a *little bit* of the box, and not for the fainthearted. All of the items on the list are under £20 and most of them are under £10. So it's a great guide (if I may say so myself) for students to buy students or family members to buy for students. Or, if you just like cats, games and random selection of books this guide may also do well for you. 

Power up washi tape
Personalised Nutella

Power up Washi tapes from Mustard £7 
These tapes are a great present for any stationery geeks in your life, to be honest, I've never needed a washi tape, however, they make studying more fun as you can cover most notebooks and pages in them. Plus forget ever licking an envelope again, you can just seal it up with washi tape, win. 

Personalised Nutella £4
This year Nutella has become of my favourite things to eat, and it pretty much goes with everything sweet, some of my personal faves are waffles, croissants and in a sundae. You can now get your own personalised jar from a number of places, I purchased mine from Debenhams but I know Selfridges also offer this service.  

Cat Chaos
Truth bombs

Cat Choas £8 / Truth Bombs £15/ Shit Happens £13
Games are coming back with full force, and not the console type. Good old-fashioned games but they're more out there than ever and appeal to the masses. Most games students do incorporate drinking into them, and as much as a deck of cards can be great fun it is awesome to have some alternatives. 

Cat Choas is an easy game to set up and requires quick thinking like snap, you need to attempt to swap the cards in the middle with your cards to make up a full collection. There are 4 cards of each cat celebrity and the winner is who completes their suits the quickest. It's an addictive game and will keep you entertained for hours, plus you can use the cards to make your own games out of too. 

Truth Bombs is a great game but can get pretty brutal, in a nutshell, a number of cards get drawn, enough for each player who is taking part and the questions can be anything from what would their online name be to who would they push off a cliff, and then at random every player writes down an answer to one of the questions for each person, the pad will get passed around and the person has to guess who wrote what, as these are done at random it's harder to guess. I wouldn't recommend playing this game if you're easily offended, but playing it whilst drinking seems even more fun, as long as you can still write. 

Shit Happens is a pretty simple concept. You get dealt a hand of cards and each card has a number between 1-100 on them, on a scale of shit to the shittest (which is buried alive) and you pick a card from the deck and then read it for the person next to you and then they have to decide where within the shit index the card would it go. I wouldn't necessarily agree with the lineup of all of these cards and it depends what you would find the 'shittest' but it's a great game and gets you thinking. 

Dungarees & Donuts gift guide.

Gourmet Popcorn from the Popcorn Shed £3.50
Who doesn't like popcorn? I mean I know I love it and it's a pretty easy crowd pleaser, for £3.50 you can get a shed load (excuse the pun) of popcorn in a range of flavours with everything from Salted Caramel to Cheese. They're a great stocking filler or lush to include in a hamper as they're so brightly coloured. Oh, and they taste pretty good too. Not too sure on the cheese one though, the jury is still out. 

The Very Hungover Caterpillar £4
A twist on the book the hungry caterpillar, a childhood favourite of mine. The twist is all about what the very hungover caterpillar gets up to. It's a short but humorous book, perfect for that bit of toilet reading or just something to cheer you up on a bad day. 

Images You Should NOT Masturbate To £7.99
I was drawn to this book as I knew it would be comical, and basically, the book is full of images you shouldn't/wouldn't want to Masturbate to. Perfect for that mate that never leaves their room or as a house secret Santa gift. 

Optional Fucks Calender
This calendar is a great desk buddy for when you're studying, especially when you have annoying housemates, it's a great way to warn them at their own risk to enter. Plus its great fun to spin the wheel and keep yano, dates in...

I hope you enjoyed this post and some of the items in this guide were gifted, however, they were all chosen by me and are only featured if I genuinely would recommend them to you. Let me know in the comments if you would buy any of these gifts!

Tips and tricks for a bedroom makeover with (next to) no effort.

If you follow my Twitter, some of you may know I've recently moved house (last week), and getting everything in order can be a pain, however, new house usually means new homewares. As I know I have quite a big student following, I decided it would be cool to share with you some new bits I picked up which I am in love with, as well as some of my own hacks to transform your university accommodation with next to no effort.  

Shelves and drawers: 
Not all accommodation will allow shelves which is annoying as they're a great way to store things and they usually look great too. I spend the majority of my life using plastic drawers for just about anything for the ease of them. They're usually quite compact so fit anywhere and can be purchased for around £10. When I do have shelves, I love to put cute items on them such as ornaments or books. Currently, I am using a bookcase to store all of my books, as well as my perfumes and trinkets which I think looks cute. 

Dependant on whether you are going to be in halls or a student house, the variations of the room can make a huge difference. But I have previously lived in a student house and it was pretty easy to make it homely. I am in love with fairy lights and put them all over the room as they're cheap, easy to put up and usually battery powered and last for ages. 

If you follow my Instagram you'll know I am obsessed with duvet covers and buy them all of the time. I think they might a huge difference to a room and love to change them up with the season. I think the brighter duvets are great for bringing some extra colour into your room as most student accommodation has magnolia walls and they can be a *little* boring. The bedding pictured above is from Dunelm and is awesome as it is reversible so you can mix and match what side you have it on. Asda also always have fabulous duvet covers in their stores and these are also reversible.     

The walls:
Now, this can be the tricky one dependant on the rules of where you live, I know my landlord was always chill with what we put up. I think for those who aren't allowed to hang up frames or mirrors, I'd recommend going down the poster route. You can get great posters and they always fill up some of the boring wall space. For those who have fewer limitations, I'd recommend a mirror on the wall, to me having a mirror on the wall makes the room feel bigger and it's always great to do your makeup in. I also found this adorable clock notice board from Dunelm which I think works well in your room or if you're living in a shared house it would make an amazing addition to your front room as you can write down notes about meals or chores etc, and it also has a clock on it which of course is always handy and 4 clips which could allow you to hang up pics of who is in the house. 

I hope you enjoyed this post and let me know in the comments where your favourite place to get homeware from is! 

Love, money and a load of bunnies!

Money is such a taboo subject, it always has been and probably always will be. To some extent, I understand not going around and telling everyone your bank balance but at the same time, it feels like something we should keep to ourselves. My work friends and I are forever sharing about how poor we are, especially just after payday, when the 'treat yourself' mantra goes a little far. But what about talking about the finances with us closest to us? Only 26% of women are comfortable with sharing details of their finances within the first 3 months of a relationship, versus a whopping 45% of men. As a 23-year-old with an *almost* full-time job, and doing a lot of freelance work on the side it is often hard for me to actually determine a monthly income as this varies so much. But with my freelance work, I am happy to share figures of posts and how much I actually earn from blogging with those who want to know. 

When Will and I met, he was a student and I was just leaving my part-time job to start a fulltime one. Will was pretty open about his lack of funds as most students are, forever waiting for that loan to come in. It was always a huge amount of treats when loan day came around and then the treats came from me when he was running low on money and it worked for us. Learning about the career that someone does early on can be helpful to gauge a money figure if this is something you feel is important within a relationship, especially in the future, e.g. if you are wanting to buy a house, this information may come in handy.  

I know a lot of people do tell the occasional lie of a purchase that they've made due to the guilt they feel after a purchase away from their partner. Will and I have our own money and this makes it easier for me to work out what is mine and what I am ok to spend on the things I want. A joint account is something we have discussed getting at some point in the near future for bills and other shared finances to come out of and then for us to keep our own accounts for normal day to day stuff. I found out that 40% of women would not have a joint savings account with their partner because they do not trust them enough, compared to 11% of men. 

Which shocked me a little as I assumed it was a *fairly normal* thing to do when you live together. Will and I have four bunnies which eat up a lot of our funds as we can't help but treat them to stuff, and they also eat through a lot of hay and food, as well as the veterinary bills, plus they have an adorable cage each. Having a joint account would make things like this easier as we can both add money in for the vet's bills and we wouldn't have to transfer money back and forth to each other. Ferratum created an awesome infographic about the true extent of love and money which I found a great read and have popped part of it below, to view the whole thing you can visit their site here.

I think the amount of money you earn and the difference between you and your partner can cause friction as from past experience you feel guilty when they have to pay for everything for you as it leaves you feeling like you owe them something. Money is a subject I am happy to talk openly about, and I'd love to know your thoughts on this situation in the comments and whether money has ever had a negative impact on your relationship. 

*Collaborative post 

Finding myself as a blogger.

Back in 2013, I was a college student and loving life. I had made new friends in college and was happy to explore their hobbies more. Apart from taking up becoming an amateur filmmaker, I also discovered the world of blogging. My best friend at the time Char was talking about how she had these online friends, Charlotte and Hayley and I knew from reading their blogs it was something I wanted to be a part of. I set up my own blog in a matter of days and took to Twitter to talk share the news of my freshly born blog, Dungarees & Donuts and began writing my first post, all about creating Barbie cupcakes from a packet mix, I took 3 really bad quality photos, threw some words together and put it up and I was as happy as Larry. 

Back then it was all about the tags, the Christmas crafts and gift guides and the 'awards' and of course, Sunday night was the night you needed to be around for the best chats, #lbloggers followed by #bbloggers. You'd get to know other bloggers, you'd read their blogs and leave comments, it was cute! Photos were small compared to the writing aspect and a lot of us were at that beginner's level which included taking photos on our phones, never did I dream that blogging would become what it is today and especially not for me. Everything seemed to be fresh back then, and ideas were easy to come by, and now we are in 2018 it seems like most things have been done, your photography skills need to immense to even get a look in and for the most part it feels like it's about who you know, rather than what you know. 

During the last two years, I have found myself in an on-off relationship with blogging to the point where I've considered packing it in all together, and it can be hard to get out of that mind frame, you see your friends getting all of these AMAZING opportunities, their posts keep getting better and their social followings are hardcore. I was obsessed with comparing myself to other bloggers and what they were doing, rather than what I was doing. In hindsight, I've done pretty well for myself and keep doing well, I've worked with brands I used to love when I was younger and could never have imagined one day I'd be working with them as an influencer. Through blogging, I have met some of my best friends, including Liz who actually lives near me(!!) and back in 2015 I created a blogger chat on WhatsApp which has gained and lost many members over the years but it's still going strong and I couldn't imagine not having my girls on hand (Sarah, Kim, Elena, Aoife, Jess and Fii) to name a few, along with my more recent blogger pals! 

It's taken me 5 years to finally be happy with the content I am creating, including the photos and taking the pressure off has really helped me along the way. It used to be all about the scheduled posts (making sure I had at least 20 posts ready to go) to work to my own schedule whether that is one post a week or one hundred (slight overreaction), I am creating better content that I am happier to share with people and couldn't imagine being without my blog! My goals for the next 5 years are to keep creating awesome and relatable content, build up my Instagram even more and keep loving what I create!

P.s. The 5-year anniversary post and giveaway will follow!

Tips for moving into your first home. AD

Moving into your own home is one of the most stressful but rewarding things you can do, whether you're renting or buying your own home it's about making sure you are prepared for what is ahead. Moving out as a student is completely different to your own home, as most things are provided by your landlord and rent is usually covered by your student loan and for the shortfall, usually, there is someone in your family who can help out with that. But you have your own house and job it can a lot harder to deal with all of the bills, maintaining of your house and even things like decorating, can be a hefty task and it all adds up. Today I have compiled a list of my top tips for living in your own home, and hopefully, these help you whether you are renting or have just bought your own house. 

Upcycle furniture:
I am currently obsessed with the idea of upcycling, and sometimes it really is as simple as some new paint and sanding. You can use your old furniture and give it a whole new lease of life. Purchase some items from a charity shop, or look on sites such as Freecycle or local Facebook groups where you can usually get items local and cheap too. This board on Pinterest is full of ideas and always gives me a huge surge of inspiration!

Save emergency funds: 
I am the worst for this and when something bad does happen I am completely unprepared and it usually does come at the worst time. If you can afford to pay it back, it's worth getting a payday loan (most of us have been there) with even with a less than perfect credit rating you can apply. With payday loans, it is important to remember only borrow what you can afford to pay back and if you really need it. Interest rates on short-term loans are typically much higher than mainstream finance options (such as bank loans or credit cards). It's worth trying to put aside a bit each month in a savings account, but if you're anything like me, it's not always possible.

Have contacts:
It's the worst when an emergency happens and you have no idea where to turn. It's worth getting contacts for out of hours emergency services such as a locksmith (we've all somehow locked ourselves out at some point right?) also gas and electric. It's always handy to know who to call when we end up in a situation where you feel stranded. Luckily for me the times in the past when I have been locked out I've had my landlord on hand to rescue me. 

Stay on good terms with your neighbours:
I have watched too many episodes of the nightmare neighbour next door to want to be in that situation with anyone, let alone the person you live next door to. I've had a conflict with my neighbours before with them putting their rubbish in our bins, which was a nightmare but luckily it didn't escalate to that level. It's always good to say hi to them when you see them and make small talk as you never know when you might them and visa versa. 

What are your top tips for moving into your first house? 

*This post is in collaboration with

Live Like A Pro with Pro Plus. AD

I don't know about you but I struggle to do anything in the morning without my good friend caffeine, usually in the format of a coffee or a red bull. On work days it just has to be done, else it is pretty much impossible for me to motivate myself to move from my bed, let alone stay awake at my desk. When my friend left our company he left his trusty supply of Pro Plus for me as we'd spend our days moaning about how tired we both are and it often in resulted in taking a pro plus tablet (well two to be precise), and it gives you the kick that you really need to get your work done. Pro Plus gives you a caffeine equivalent to a strong cup of coffee and can be purchased for £2.63 from Boots.

Strangely in the same week, I was contacted to by Pro Plus to take part in their 'Live Like A Pro' campaign, where I was given a budget of £28.84 to spend on having the best dinner and drinks (mocktails for me) their aim of the campaign is to show you how you can live life like a pro and being a millennial, managing money takes some pro skills in my opinion. Until I did this experiment I didn't actually think about how much exactly I was spending on going out for dinner and when it came out of my bank and appeared on my statement it was something I wasn't exactly keen to take a look at. 

From being a student and learning about being savvy I hate to spend full price on anything these deals, especially with food as there is usually a discount code somewhere around or even a set meal and with there finally being more than three restaurants in our town we can actually be choosy with where we go, this can often mean going to the place with the best offers on. Also with being a student, you can get amazing offers with sites such as Unidays and Student Beans, which if you're looking for a new outfit to go out in this can be an amazing place to start. Hopefully, you enjoy my top tips for 'Living Like A Pro' and let me know in the comments what your top tips are. 

Pro Tip #1
When finding a deal online such as a set meal, mention it to your waiter as sometimes they will keep this menu aside and only give it when it is asked for. When in Pizza Express we were not automatically given this menu, but when we asked for it they were more than happy to give it to us, even on a weekend. The portion sizes are no different at Pizza Express compared to their normal menu. Frankies and Bennies are one of the only places I've been where they provide you and inform you of the different offers from the start. At the start, for me, it was always worrying they'd be annoyed, but you have seen this offer and if that's what you are here for, you should be able to get it.

We ended up getting 2 courses for £10.95 which is a pretty good deal for an evening meal, although this a set meal, there is usually a few options to choose from in regards to starters and you can pretty much get anything off the main menu, I always get pizza and dough balls so it was a win for me, we decided against dessert as there wasn't anything that took our fancy and decided to get mocktails and dessert after. However, for an extra £3, you could have gotten all three courses. With the drink on top, the total for Pizza Express came to £13.90, which I found pretty impressive for the quality of the food and the service provided. 

Pro Tip #2 
Drinking tap water at the restaurant is a great way to watch your spending, I usually purchase one drink upon arrival and then any I need/want after this is tap water, usually, drinks are more expensive in restaurants especially alcohol. It's worth saving that until you're in Spoons or the equivalent as you get so much more for your money. As I am not a drinker, I do usually go for the soft drinks like Pepsi, and sometimes Mocktails however in some restaurants you are almost paying as much as cocktails for a mocktail if not the same, it's always worth checking out this before purchasing. 

I am not a huge drinker and luckily for me, not all of my friends are either, we are massive foodies and always love getting dessert, there are dessert shops popping up all over the place at the moment and we decided to go to our favourite which is the little dessert shop, it's a little on the pricer side for dessert and mocktails but it's usually a good atmosphere and who can say no to waffles right? For my snow white crepe and a mocktail, the price came to £8.90 which is a pretty good price for both a large drink and a huge dessert. I definitely prefer these kinds of places for catching up as opposed to a pub. However as the night was still young we decided to head to Spoons for a quick drink before heading home, I decided to get myself a Kopparberg Strawberry & Lime cider for £2.99, there are a huge range of deals on in Spoons with 2 for £5 and 3 for £5 which are great for keeping the funds low and still having a good time and with that, I was left with money to spare, which was a pretty big shock to me! £3.05 to be exact, which is pretty impressive that I managed to have so much fun on only £25.79.

What I've Learned: 
From this experience, I've learned that having cash works a lot better for watching what you spend, it's easy to tap your card and not actually think about the money you're spending, I've also discovered it is easy to have a great night out under £30 which when I was set the challenge I was pretty unsure I wasn't going to be able to stick to this, so I took my card along just in case, but I didn't even need to touch it, win. 

What are your top tips for pinching the pennies? 

 *This is a collaboration with Pro Plus, but I really did have a great night out under £30.

7 Apps you NEED to get through university!

The world of technology keeps advancing in ways we never expected, gone are the days you would give your friends cash, call up the takeaway to order food and write your budgets by hand in a notebook *shudder*. There are so many apps for university students with everything from various discount websites to apps to record lectures via your phone. I previously wrote about my 5 favourite student apps in 2015, so I decided to bring you a vamped up version for 2018, and share 10 amazing apps, you need in your life as decided by yours truly. 

1. Student Beans
One of the best apps for finding discounts as a student, let's be honest are you even a student if you do not spend at least 15 minutes searching for a code to get 20% off your pizza? They offer a tasty discount on Dominos amongst the others and you can also find discounts for restaurants like Zizzi and Mcdonalds. OH, they also offer discounts on clothes and other things like railcards, but I clearly have food on the brain. 

2. The Trainline
A lot of students now commute from home to university to save money, and it's always such a faff at the station to buy tickets, look for the time of the train and the platform, whereas the Trainline has you covered, allowing you to buy tickets on the go, find out the status of the train and find out the times of a return journey too. 

3. TopCashback
If you're a huge fan of spending online like me, especially on student loan day, I mean a new wardrobe of clothes is an essential right? The way in which TopCashback works is, by clicking through a link on their app/site instead of going direct, then this should track the cashback to your account and within a few weeks/months, you the cashback should be in your account. It's a great reward for spending money, which you would probably do anyway.

4. The Wetherspoons App
In 2017, Wetherspoons made our lives like 100x easier (and possibly more expensive) by offering table service, via an app! Long goes the days where you would have to queue at the bar for 30 mins with Lucy who was plastered, you can stay right where you are, and the drinks will come to you. You can also pay via the app, therefore, no need to carry cash. Although be aware to order the right Spoons, else you'll lose your order (and money), I've been there too. 

5. Spotify 
One of the best apps just about anyone can have, and even better for students as they offer a great discount on the app, only £4.99 for their premium version of the site. Great for parties as you are able to make collaborative playlists to allow everyone to add their own tunes. Also fabulous for studying, sleeping and even eating, there is no limit on where you listen to music anymore, and it's great to have it just about anywhere you go. 

One of my all-time favourite apps as a student and I was so gutted when I was no longer a student as who doesn't want huge discounts on their clothes shopping. I feel like UNiDAYS was like that friend who always wants you to go out and party even when you have no money because if you see that good of a discount you have to do it, it's like the rules. Featuring primarily clothes UNiDAYS have just about every store for clothes you can imagine, but they do also offer discounts on technology, food and stationery.

7. Student Chef
I only discovered this app after leaving university, however, it is still pretty damn useful. Simple and cheap recipes which can you usually be made with things in your house. Split into categories to allow you to pick what you fancy, it tells you at the top of the recipes, the time it will take to cook, how hard it is and also the cost in £. You also get the recipe and an ingredient list too. 

Phew, that felt like a long list and that was my shortened down list also. I would love to know in the comments what apps you used as a student.