SS: Sunday Saves (#80)

sunday-saves

Good morning everyone and Happy Sunday! I hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend so far. Today I’m back on the blog with the eightieth edition of my Sunday Saves; if you’re new to the blog and you don’t know what my Sunday Saves are; it’s when I talk about three blog posts I’ve read during the week that I either relate to or I find interesting. I believe bloggers should support their fellow bloggers and this is just my little piece of that puzzle each week. In today’s post, I’ll be talking about winter changes, a different view on the phrase “everything happens for a reason” and asking ourselves if we are relatable enough.

1) Sophie’s Makeup (The Changes I’ve Made In Prep For A Cosier, Happier Winter)

Sophie’s post is something we all strive for in the winter months. Hot water bottles, cosy blankets, fresh sheets, Christmas markets and gentle yoga are a number of suggestions that Sophie talks about in her post. We all like a little change when it comes to this year so if you’re looking for inspiration, you know where to go.

2) Anticallacy (Everything Doesn’t Happen For A Reason)

“Everything happens for a reason” or does it? Well that’s what Piper is discussing in her post and I have to agree with her. I try every day to think positively, and while it’s hard, when something bad happens, I try and tell myself “everything happens for a reason”. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I love Piper’s commentary on this subject because it really feels that there are so many layers but there’s not, and it’s about opening your mind to simplify it down. Bad things simply happen for no reason, and it’s something that I’m trying to believe rather than have my mind go in overdrive trying to explain something happening.

3) London Damsel (Are You Unrelatable?)

A constant battle with bloggers; Are we relatable? Do we want to be? Do you want your Instagram feed to be filled with people who have the exact same interests as you? For me, I follow different blogs because they gauge my interest in various aspects. I might read someone’s blog who really inspires me to be more adventurous with Autumnal styles. I might read someone’s blog who gives me the low down on the latest budget friendly skin care. At the same time, my fashion sense isn’t one of my strong points and I don’t know very much about skin care in general but those blogs draw me in because I’m taking away something from their blog posts. Maya talks about being yourself and producing content that you are passionate about, rather than what you think others will enjoy.

Thank you so much for reading today’s post; remember to take a look at today’s choices and send them some love on social media. If there are any posts you want to send me, please do over on my Instagram or Twitter socials! 

Advertisements

A Simple Step-by-Step Guide on How To Start Saving.

In my recently monthly intentions (which is linked here) I talked about wanting to create a savings plan for the New Year because while I’m not saving for anything in particular, I do want to have some money behind me in case an emergency pops up. So today’s post is about how I plan to start thinking about my savings plan.

Before we start, it’s important to know that everyone’s situation will be different; the questions that I ask appeal to everyone though so you can still use these questions to give your own answers and see how I’m planning on working everything out.

Decide what you want to save for.

Your obvious starting point right here. If you’re reading this saying to yourself, “I should really save” but you have absolutely no idea why you need to or if you only think it would be a good idea but don’t actually want to, simply don’t. If you don’t want to, just don’t. For those of that do want to save, this is your why. Why do you want to have that spare cash? Is it for a holiday? Is it for a particular purchase? A special occasion perhaps? Mine is an emergency basis. I don’t want to be caught out with just my income in my bank account, so it’s smart to have some money behind you at least, in case anything were to happen.

(My spider diagram isn’t completely organised but it’s a great way to get your ideas out quickly if you prefer something that isn’t in list form.)
Know what your direct debit (or essential) bills are.

For many people, they will know what their direct debit or essential bills are. They’re the ones that come out every month around the same time and you know they’re going to be the same price every month. Mine are my rent, my pet insurance, my TV, my internet, my electric and my phone bill. In terms of heating for example, I have oil so I can’t top up my gas every month on a card, I have to buy it in one big batch which can a big price every few months. It’s the same with food shopping; it really varies so that’s why tip number four will be very important here.

20171205_200141.jpg

If you want to save a particular amount.

Once you know what needs to go out each month roughly, have an estimate of how much you would like to save. This really depends on so many factors but because we haven’t looked at ALL purchases, this is just an estimate so I wouldn’t put too much thought into this yet. You also have to think, are you looking at the saving in a monthly term or a yearly? You’ll see it come together faster in a monthly term but with a yearly, if you can’t save one month, you can always move something about and save double the next month.

Keep a closer look at your purchases for the next month.

For those of you that don’t keep an eye on your spending, this will be a real eye opener. I’m not really strict but I wouldn’t just shop and not think about how much something is, and I feel like a lot of people are in that same category. In order to keep track of what you’re spending, you need to write everything down. Yes, even that coffee you bought at lunchtime and even that box of tampons. Absolutely everything and it’s important to do that because you can see what you are buying first hand. It doesn’t take long to do; you can either use your notes app on your phone or you can quickly write it down in a notebook. I tend to write the price too because it makes it much easier to add up at the end of the month. I’m personally not doing this particular process until January because November and December are such expensive months that it doesn’t reflect my true spending habits.

See if there is anything you can eliminate.

Maybe you’ve noticed you buy more coffees than you first thought? Maybe you didn’t realise how many times you were buying lunch during the week rather than meal prepping at home? There could be so many little habits that you pick up on that you didn’t realise that you done. I find it easier to write those habits down again in one list on their own, you can see them a lot clearer that way.

20171205_091210-01.jpeg

We’ll take this as an example; I’ve listed my other debit debit bills which include my gym membership, Spotify, Netflix and my Book and a Brew subscription. Out of four of those, only three were important to me so a few months ago, I stopped my subscription for the book service. This meant I was saving myself £13 a month and while this isn’t what I’ve described above, it’s a good starting point before you go through every single purchase for the month. You can really pin-point first hand what you can potentially eliminate.

Plan out treats for yourself.

Treat Yo’ Self. (If you watch Parks and Recreation, you’ll know how boss Retta and Tom are). You have to treat yourself once and a while, and not all treats are free and that’s perfectly fine. You can still go for your monthly eyebrow appointment, you can still go for that monthly lunch date with your best friend. You have to work out what is important to you to take care of yourself so whether that’s your monthly subscription to Netflix or your Saturday morning cup of tea with your current book in your favourite coffee shop.

Take into consideration any special occasions.

Birthdays and anniversaries are occasions that you can’t avoid and you will have to take into consideration. They will come quite frequently throughout the year so it might be better to budget for these each month too.

Re-examine how much you would like to save.

Go back to your estimate and after taking into consideration what you can cut, what you would like to keep, those special occasions and the bills that you have to keep, how does your estimate look? Can you increase it or do you have to decrease it slightly?

How are you going to put it into place?

I wouldn’t suggest an old fashioned money box for this particular task; I personally would feel a lot safer putting it into a savings account and with online banking, this couldn’t be simplier. With some banks, you can even set it up to take a particular amount out of your account on a certain date so if you think you won’t even up transferring it, this might be the perfect option for you.

Decide when you’re going to start.

Normally I’m all for starting right away but when we’re talking about money, it’s always easier to start when you’ve just been paid because you have clear mind to go into saving mode with. Of course, you can start right away or even start the process at the beginning of the month, but I know I just feel more comfortable when I get paid.

These are quite simple steps so it won’t be for everyone but for some people (including myself) it can be hard to save money. Whether that’s not having a large expendable income or maybe not realising how much they’re truly spending. If this helps just one person, then I’ll be a happy woman. I hope you enjoyed this post, and if you think it could help others, please feel free to share it too ❤

SS: Sunday Saves (#79)

sunday-saves

Good morning and happy Sunday! Can you believe we’re already in December? I’m so stressed trying to get everything sorted but my week off from the blog last week was much needed. So I’m back, fresh as daisy, to deliver you weekly Sunday Saves. I didn’t want to do a theme of Christmas every week for the next few weeks so it was purely coincidental that two of today’s posts are Christmas themed.

1) Hey There Robyn (Why I Won’t Be Doing Blogmas)

Robyn posts speaks to me, and quite frankly, it feels like I’ve written it. I took part in Blogmas last year but I only posted every other day. Even that was a lot of work and I went on a short holiday during the month so I had to make sure I was organised ahead of time. Posting every day or every other day is a lot of time, work and effort anytime of the year never mind Christmas so I praise those that can do it year after year. Like Robyn, I don’t have time this year; I feel like I have too much on my plate to commit to it. She also talks about blogging guilt and pushing herself too far, two things I do myself so I can completely relate.

2) Sian Blogs (Right Now | Finding Yourself Series)

This series of Sian’s that she has started up is something I know I’m going to be keeping up with. Many of the techniques used in this particular post are something which I used in a number of CBT sessions so it’s nice to see the technique being used more openly and explained on a blog post. Her series is called ‘Finding Yourself’ so I’ll let you click onto her post to let her explain in detail about it, but it’s an interesting one for those of you who feel like they need to explore themselves further.

3) The Ethical Evolution (Have A Very Vegan Christmas)

Is this year your first vegan Christmas? It’s my first so I’m excited to see what I’ll be having. If I’m able to make some Yorkshire puddings, I’ll be such a happy woman. Lizz has some top tips and advice for foods you can get from the supermarket in order to make your Christmas dinner not so complicated.

That’s all from me this morning. Make sure to take a look at all the posts and give their blogs a longer read if you like the look of their content. Have a great week!

 

How and Why I Turned Vegan.

For today’s post, I wanted to talk about how and why I turned vegan. I say vegan, I prefer to say plant-based but I am slowly getting there with changing my beauty products and household products for example so now I feel more at ease with calling myself a vegan. I have a whole post on how I became a vegetarian so if you haven’t read that, this might make more sense afterwards.

💚 💚 💚

If you’ve missed any of my posts related around food, they’ll be linked here:
Becoming A Vegetarian
What I Eat In A Day: Veganuary Style
So what happened after Veganuary?

When did I first think about veganism or a plant-based diet?

If you’ve read my vegetarian story, you’ll know when I started experimenting with vegetarianism but the vegan lifestyle never once entered my head at that point. I had heard of it, but I didn’t know a lot about it and because I was changing my diet for only a month, I didn’t do any further research on it.

The first time that I truly thought about not only the diet but this way of living was towards the beginning of last year (2016) My ex-boyfriend went vegan while we were still together at Easter in the same year but he had been talking about it for a few months. So when he did change to a vegan diet, it was really the first time I seen how it wasn’t as inconvenient as I first thought. Bearing in mind that he wasn’t gluten free and didn’t have intolerances, he seemed to cope very well with the diet changes. When we cooked together, we stuck to a vegan diet and mainly used recipes from my Deliciously Ella books because they were easy and weren’t filled with a million ingredients.

(Still to this day, one of my favourite meals to make. Sweet potato, quinoa and turmeric curry. It’s so delicious!)

When we went out I still had my regular cheese on my pizza while he either had a vegan cheese or if that wasn’t an option, he done without. His family raised chickens so I would always take some eggs home with me but the latter months of our relationship, I stopped eating so many eggs. Not for any particular reasons but the thought of eating eggs just made me feel a little more sick. I ate them from time to time but not as much as I used to. I was still having cow’s milk in my tea but I was drinking green tea more often than a regular breakfast tea.

20171121_211847.jpg(Forever drinking some sort of green tea now!)

Once that relationship ended and I moved back home, it took some time adjusting to being on my own again and cooking for one, but one of my most comforting past times was to cook despite feeling sad that I wasn’t sharing that experience with someone else. I experimented with new recipes; I tried nut milks in my breakfast tea and while nothing quite tasted the same as cow’s milk, I was slowly veering away from regular tea and drinking more green tea. At this stage, I definitely thought about the possibility of changing to a plant based diet but I didn’t have the complete urge to in that moment.

When did I start to make a change?

Towards the middle of December once I came back from Rome, I started thinking about what I wanted from the New Year and what I wanted from my life. I wasn’t in a great place mentally and hadn’t been for months; I felt so stuck in one place and had no idea who I was or where I belonged (sounds like a midlife crisis doesn’t it?). I got approved for a house shortly before I left for Rome (This was included in my life update which you can read here) so I used that as my motivation to have another change in my life (as if moving out straight after Christmas wasn’t a big enough change for me, right?). That’s when I decided to take part in Veganuary.

20171121_213028.jpg(One of my favourite meals from Raw Food Rebellion; the chickpea curry was amazing. Still devastated that they have closed down now.)

If you don’t know what Veganuary is, it’s a challenge to be completely vegan for one month. I thought it would be a good way to test the waters to see if I could do it and to see how I felt about it afterwards. After the month was over, I wrote a blog post about my experience and why I done it (That’s linked up above too.) I had it all planned out; for New Year’s Eve, I had got myself one of my favourite lemon cupcakes and made sure I ate it that night. Once midnight hit, I was vegan and I didn’t turn back. If you haven’t read my blog post about the month itself, I would recommend you do. I talk about accidental slip ups and my overall experience of eating plant based for a month.

20171121_213206.jpg(If you follow me on Instagram, you know how much I drool over these on a regular basis.)

Apart from Veganuary, what was my motivation?

My health was my motivation for this change. I know a lot of people do it for the animals and that’s fantastic for them, and it did enter my mind when I first became vegetarian but it wasn’t a main focus for me.

I consider myself a healthy person; I was avidly going to the gym, I was eating a relatively healthy diet but I wasn’t satisfied. I was going through a very transitional and strange time in my life including depressive episodes and anxiety so this all was a component of my dissatisfaction. So it wasn’t just a physical health reason, it was also to try and balance out my mental health too. However, no matter where you are in life, food will always play a huge role so knowing I wanted to add in extra vegetables and fruits into my diet, that helped the transition further.

It wasn’t long after when animal welfare came into my mind. It’s hard going through life as a vegan and not think about how animals are being treated; I don’t know how I went through life regardless of what food I was eating and not think about it. I haven’t watched that many documentaries about animal welfare and Veganism so I definitely want to educate myself more over the next year about these topics whether that’s through books or documentaries (If you have any good recommendations, please send them through!).

❤ ❤ ❤

In January, I’ll be one year as a Vegan so I’ll have a post about what I’ve learned along the way so stay tuned for that and of course, I’ll have it linked here when it’s up. Thank you so much for reading today and if you have any blog posts about how you turned vegan, please send them my way, I love reading other people’s journeys.

SS: Sunday Saves (#78)

sunday-saves

Good morning everyone and Happy Sunday! I hope you’re all having a lovely day so far. Today I’m back with another Sunday Saves and I’ll be talking about running a marathon, letting people help you and being in a blogging slump.

1) Claire Bella Loves (This Mum Can | I Ran A Marathon)

Claire ran a marathon! How amazing is it? It’s definitely a dream of mine but she done it, how incredible! In her post, she talks about when she started running and how it’s progressed from there; even when she couldn’t run for thirty seconds to joining a running club then to train for a marathon. Well done Claire!

2) Nothing Good Rhymes With Charlotte (Strength Is: Letting People Be There For You)

Before we get into Charlotte’s blog post, can we just appreciate the greatness of her blog name? Brilliant. So just by the title of Charlotte’s blog post, I knew I was going to relate to this because this is something I have struggled with. It’s hard to open up to people, it’s hard to tell someone you’re struggling and it’s even harder to be okay with the fact that you feel extremely vulnerable in that moment. She talks about anxiety and panic attacks; two things I’ve been unlucky to suffer from too so if you struggle to let people in when you’re at your most vulnerable, I think Charlotte’s post will help you.

3) Essential Twenty (I’m In A Blogging Slump)

I’ve featured Sophie quite a few times on my Sunday Saves but from her writing, we do seem quite similar so it’s not surprising she’s always featured. Blogging slumps; we all get them and right now, I would say I’m currently in a slump at the minute but not in a “I don’t have any ideas” way. I have quite a lot of ideas but for me, it’s finding the time. This week I didn’t have a free night after work and this week coming, I only have Tuesday night free. I know it’s all about balance but finding that balance is tough. If you’re in the same boat as us, go and give Sophie’s post a read.

That’s all for today’s post! I hope you’ve enjoyed all three posts and remember to head over to the blog posts themselves and take a read. Thank you for reading!

SS: Sunday Saves (#77)

sunday-saves

Good morning everyone and happy Sunday! After a three day weekend including two very productive days, I’m in a quite a good mood bringing you my Sunday Saves today. We weren’t meant to have a theme today but all the posts I have chosen all have the Autumn theme with two being quite focused on photography, quite appropriate right? I’ll be talking about photography (of course), interiors and musings. 

1) Dolly Dowsie (A Perfect Goodbye to Autumn)

If you’re looking for the perfect photography that combines the atmosphere of Autumn with the cuteness of a young family playing in the leaves of the season, Fiona’s post is what you’re looking for. It’s very cute and a lovely Sunday read.

2) Dayna Marie (Autumnal Home Additions)

Dayna’s post also includes some photography but more so of her interiors as she decorates for the Autumn months. I do love the chalkboard for meal planning and one of the reasons I want a ‘proper’ clock like Dayna is because it looks very elegant, I love it! If you’re looking for Autumnal inspiration for the home, check her post out.

3) An Enthusiasm For… (Autumn Wanderings & A Little Catch Up)

Again, as I said at the beginning of this post, all three of the posts has some element of photography and Kayleigh’s post is no different. As well as her photographs, she talks about how she has generally felt over the Spring and Summer months, and it’s something I can certainly relate to; comparison, self-doubt and anxiety (especially over the past month or two). You might be thinking why I chose a post that talked about general monthly musings? Well, I genuinely find bloggers who just write about little musings every so often, really interesting. It’s nice to find out how they feel in little snippets of their blog and especially if you don’t know them or have never read their blog before, it’s a nice way to find out more about them.

That’s all from me this morning, I hope you all have a lovely week ahead. If you have any posts you want to send my way, please send them to me over on @RetroSnowflake on Twitter!

 

SS: Sunday Saves (#76)

sunday-saves

Good morning on another edition of my Sunday Saves! If you don’t know what my Sunday Saves are, each week I choose three blog posts that I’ve read throughout the week that I think those reading the blog should read too. Today I’ll be discussing regrettable spending habits, ethical fashion and growing your own confidence.

1) The Financial Diet (7 Regrettable Habits From My 20s That Stopped Me Saving Money)

I came across the Financial Diet on YouTube quite recently and I have been loving their videos, but I only started reading their blog over the last week or so. The post I’ll be talking about is habits that the author Samantha took part in during her 20’s that prevented her from saving money, and with my last monthly intentions post talking about a savings plan (That post is linked here!) I was interested to see if I am taking part in the same habits. The biggest one I can relate to on Samantha’s list (to a certain extent) would be not looking at my spending habits. I do try to at the start of the month but I seem to fall behind. Another thing I liked about Samantha’s post was that it wasn’t the same thing we’ve heard one hundred times. We know we shouldn’t buy a coffee (or a tea in my case) every day, we know we need to not buy lunch out all the time; I’m glad she came at it from a completely different angle. It was very refreshing.

2) Tolly Dolly Posh (The Answers To Your Many Questions | Survey Response)

I have been thinking a lot about ethical fashion lately and it’s something I want to dive into and discover for myself. In saying that, I’ve been one of H&M’s best customers lately because of my wardrobe overhaul I’m hoping to have soon (I also mentioned it in my new monthly intentions, linked above!) so while I’ve been thinking about it, I haven’t been putting it into practice, I’ll hold my hands up to that. If you’ve ever had questions about ethical fashion, Tolmeia’s post is the one to read. She’s squeezed in some key questions and answers about it while explaining it in a way that everyone can understand.

3) Mode Lily (Project Me Time: How To Grow Your Confidence)

Something I should bring up about Lily’s post, just like Samantha’s, is that Lily isn’t telling us what we’ve heard before. Her post is about growing your confidence; she’s not telling us “just to be yourself”; to a certain extent she is but she is helping enhance with her six tips. Her point about writing a list about what you love about yourself sounds like quite the challenge for me because I tend to dislike more than liking things about myself. That’s a comfort zone pusher right here! She also talks about giving yourself that extra push and incorporating everything with gratitude (something which I am passionate about too). It’s a really nice post and I recommend it very highly.

That’s all for this week’s choices; remember to click on their links and give their posts a little read too. Thank you so much for taking time out of your week to read this and have a great rest of your day!