Monday, 2 April 2018

Visit LA on a budget

After what had been the majority of the hardest year of my life, I decided I needed to get away, and go on a big trip to make up for the fact that I hadn't been on holiday since before I had Fletch. I was browsing whilst at my day job, and decided I had always wanted to go to America seeing as whilst in my previous relationship it was never even an idea I could entertain.  I knew wanted to go to Los Angeles at least once in my life and tick it off my bucket list. So, as a single mum, this trip had to be on a budget for me.

1. Find Flights
I went on Sky Scanner and sort of searched around the times I was planning on heading. I knew with my day job the times of year when it is easier to get a weeks holiday. We browsed about and ended up finding return flights from heathrow to LAX for £300-£400. I also then researched the average temperature in los angeles around the week we had picked and it turned out to be something between 14c and 18c. when we were actually there it was in the 20s. Los Angeles is relatively warm year round, especially for us Brits. Now I know £300-£400 seems like alot of money, but once you have an idea, save for that, accommodation can come later. 

2. Find accommodation.
 Finding accommodation may have been the hardest thing we had. picking an area to stay in Los Angeles is ridiculously hard. We debating staying in Hollywood, mid-city, central LA , Santa Monica and Venice Beach. We ended up settling on Venice Beach, as there is so much to do in this area and you can easily bike down to Santa Monica. For finding accommodation, we turned to Air BnB. We scouted this pretty religiously in the months running up to our trip, and using airbnb actually saved us a bunch of dollar. We picked a cute air bnb and it cost us £250 each for a week, and got a small amount off thanks to a referral from a friend - Here's a link for £25 off your first Air BnB stay too -

3. Getting Around
most people know LA is massive, planning what you want to do before is a must, we had a brief outline of what we wanted to do and this is our biggest downfall of not having planned a better schedule for ourselves. LA has uber and Lyft and to be honest unless you are brave enough to rent a car, we found  these the best way to get around. We used Lyft most as the app allows to tip and American tipping culture was a bit overwhelming to be honest so having the power to do it after the trip and not handing dollars over face to face put me at ease anyway. 

4. Choosing Where To Visit Whilst You In LA
In all honesty we could have planned this way better. We had a few places we knew we wanted to see, hollywood walk of fame, Muscle beach, Santa Monica Pier etc. What we didn't have was a plan on what to see or where to go when. I do recommend making a plan, cause you can budget for your travel between places much better. I'm going to do a seperate post of my must visit places in LA, but i'll add here we had the BEST time at Universal studios there. Also most food portions in America are massive, my friend and I dont have the biggest appetites, so we literally had one Big meal out a day and then put in to our budget to have food in the Air Bnb.

5. Packing Appropriately And Saving Before You Go. 
I knew I wanted a decent amount of spending money for the american shops. So I decided that in the run up to going and the few pay days before i went I would limit myself on purchasing things I didn't definitely need, or that i could buy in America. I packed 1 pair of jeans, and then had a mix of skirts/trousers and dresses, all things that were light. this meant i would not risk having a mega heavy suitcase coming back and any additional fees. Packing appropriately and checking on sharing tolietries with my friend before we went also ensured we only took what we needed, and stopped unnecessary spending.

I had the best time in Los Angeles, and I can see why people live there. The sunshine is so infectious. I'm already thinking about the next trip I can take, and to be honest how I can get the best trip for not the most amount of money. Its all about the experiences and if your in good company you do not need that money to have fun. Does any one else have any good tips for finding bargains and the best places to visit? Or any good places I must visit?




Wednesday, 20 September 2017

A Evening in Debenhams

On Monday evening i was invited to a Bloggers event (the first one they have had) in Debenhams Norwich, having previously attended events in the store for Urban Decay (big up the UD ladies) This event included many more of the beauty and fragrance stands that are available in Debenhams

It was such a lovely evening filled with prosecco,chocolates and demonstrations. Unfortunately, my friends and I had to arrive a little after the starting time of the event, due to work commitments, so we did miss the beginning. My friend and I were particularly happy to have a couple of proseccos after our work day though, cheers to curing our monday blues Debenhams. *glasses clink*

My friend was my model for pretty much everything here! (thanks Em) The ladies and brands were so bloody generous, and we left the event with so many samples and full sized products to try. There was actually so much that I put some bits aside to give to friends so they can test stuff too. I really enjoyed the variety of brands involved in the event, from benefit to Chanel. There was such a good mix. I especially enjoyed being shown around the rooms and getting more information on the services benefit offer. (my brows are screaming for their attention) 

The main products, I am excited about trying are the Guerlain Terracotta bronzing powder and the Givenchy Noir Interdit Mascara. Also another little shout out to the Urban Decay Girls, for the full size de-slick makeup setting spray

As you can see from the pictures, there was so many brands to chat to about either, their new products or existing products. The whole event was really well run, and the ladies were so attentive to us. There will be a follow up post as a sort of review or more my favourite products from the event in a few weeks time. I am definitely excited for the Spring event. 

Thank you so much to Debenhams Norwich for such a lovely event. 

Love Always



Thursday, 1 June 2017

Dealing with becoming a single parent

Well I have been on one hell of a rollercoaster ride recently. Life's been crazy hard, but i'm trying to put a positive spin on everything. Whilst i'm currently writing this, I have the WORST toothache ever, and I have like 2 days until I have an appointment at the dentist, so i'm looking at it as at least i'm gunna lose a bit of weight (Also I know that this is not a healthy way to lose weight, but i'm trying to put a positive spin on this current pain i'm in).
When everyone else gets to nap but me..

Becoming a single parent is never going to be easy, first off it's the breakdown of a relationship, and depending which side thats initiated by there might be some hard feelings to deal with there too. At the same time as dealing with that, you need to make sure you set yourself up in a one parent home and have all your 'ducks in order' (that's the saying right?).

I had to get the tenancy agreement for my house changed to solely my name. A process I swear my ex wanted to make as difficult as possible. I feel that when you become a single parent there is a lot to organise, this is completely the most important. Even if you move, just make sure you have some funds for a deposit. I was very lucky that my property managers were SO caring about my situation, and i have always paid my rent half a month in advance.

Still on finances, I4 stupidly allowed all child benefit payments and tax credits to be paid into my ex's bank, so I had to get these changed, the more proactive you are and quicker you do it, the easier it is going to be in the long term.

With the financial stuff aside, I had to organise childcare to fit around pretty much just me and my job, and to not rely on anyone else. I've had to deal with a lot of lies in my life so I know that I can only really rely on myself and my close family. To be honest, I just don't feel like there are that many people I would trust enough to look after my son.

When you become a single parent the most difficult aspect is never having a break. My son spends time with his Dad every other weekend, but stays here every night. There is pretty much zero time off for me. Be prepared to do ALL  the hard  work, disciplining, dentist and doctors trips, (all the Ds there), the sick nights, the night wakes, the attempting to figure out when to potty train. All the decisions like that are now in my hands. There are so many aspects to everyday life that have sort of changed for me. In all this when you do get time off, make sure to remember who you were before you became a parent, to find love in the things you enjoyed doing before, with such a small amount of spare time you must fill it further enriching your life and doing the things you enjoy.

It's strange how much one person can change, when they are suddenly solely accountable for a small human being. It's not all difficult ,there's lows and hard times sure, but I also get to enjoy seeing my son grow and develop everyday. I get to see his personality and habits come through daily. The afternoon sleepy cuddles are the best, which make me the happiest person ever. When he comes and grabs my hands, and pulls me through to a different room to show me something he's excited about, I literally am so proud of the tiny boy I created and grew inside me, and there is no love that compares to how I feel. I kind of like that I solely get to experience the majority of these things along for the first time, maybe that's a little selfish but it is the way it is now.  Taking both parents roles is challenging but sometimes the only option. It's also the most rewarding thing I have ever done in my life.

(EDIT: Just to end, I finished this like 2 weeks after the toothache and I have been to the dentist, i'm fine now. Also I don't encourage people to choose to become single parents, but i'd like to think that with everyone that is a decision that takes a lot of thought.)

All The Love Friends!


Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Playlist : April 2017

Yay! It's here, and it has been an amazing month for new music.

This month it is primarily new music, and I am excited about that! I have chucked some oldies on to the playlist itself, but they won't be included in this post, so you'll just have to go check out the post to see what old songs I have gone back to!

SO let's start this.

1.Paramore - Hard Times
Anyone that knows me in real life knows how much of a Paramore fan I am. I've grown up with this band, been through some shit times, and well they have always been there. Well this new song was actually released today. I've had a couple of listens and well i'm already in love with it. I love it when a band progresses and doesn't always sound the same as previous albums. check it out.

2. Harry Styles - Sign of The Times
Well let's start with this beauty. I love it. I love everything about it. I mean if you haven't heard this one yet, then where have you been?? His performance on SNL was perfect. I would also like to state here, i know i sound like a massive Harry styles/ 1D fan which i wasn't, i just appreciate a wide variety of music (which is also something I have been criticised for in the past)

3. Alt - J - In Cold Blood
I'm a huge Alt- J fan. This song is a big spring/summer song for me, I'm gunna be blasting it for a while to come yet.

4.Sarah Close - Caught Up
This is a great song from the Youtuber. Her new EP is out now, named after this song too. This song i can see myself learning all the words to and singing at the top of my lungs, particularly whilst cooking

5. Royal Blood - Lights Out
The new song is here!! I really appreciate Royal Blood. The last album I bought just to put in my ex's car just so we could listen to that album from start to finish on road trips. It was amazing from that. This song does not disappoint. Listen to it HERE 

6.Lady Gaga - The Cure
OMG. I have never been that much into lady gaga. well this song has changed it for me. I mean don't get me wrong, i always appreciated her and her musical abilities. Maybe my own tastes have matured or even changed, but this song is gunna be a summer song for me too.
Listen to it HERE

So those are some of my favourites for this month. all newbies too. I'm so looking forward to the new songs that are going to come out this summer, I mean i love a good summer soundtrack.

For the full April Playlist follow it HERE

What songs have you been loving this month? let me know in the comments!




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