Maybe it's Maybelline

31 March 2016

After my most recent post I thought I would post a more cheery post. And defaulted to wanting to share my recent drug store buys.
I visited Superdrug on Easter Monday to look for a new tweezer (wow how exciting-not!). Anway my eyebrows are a thing of wonder. I.e, I wonder why she has such god awful things above her eyes!
And for that I have no answer other than I'm too much of a wuss to get them done professionally. So I will pluck them to the best of my ability (which isn't much!) and then I normally end up growing them out and then pluck them again.
And to do this, you at least need the right tools. And after discovering the £1 Primark tweezers I brought a couple of months back aren't really up to the job, I wanted to invest in a good pair of tweezers.

Feeling a loan

29 March 2016


Photo credit Sean MacEntee
Being nearly the grand old age of 32 years old (yes I know I look about 12!) I've come to learn some important life lessons. Perhaps not as many as some, but one I have learned is about debt and how it is easy to get into it and not so easy to get yourself out of.
It is great to have hind sight as I can see exactly where I went wrong with previous spending habits, but at the time I couldn't see how far in debt I was getting. Ignorance is bliss as they say.

I started my first job in May 2002 working as a Sales Assistant for Warehouse (the fashion store, not some random warehouse!).
This was at the age of 18 and prior to this I had little money. I would occasionally get some pocket money (even at that age!) or may be some birthday or Christmas money, so shopping for clothes (which has been a passion from a young age) was an infrequent event. 
So here I was at the age of 18, not paying rent or bills and with all this disposable income (I was on approx £4.25 when I started btw!) and suddenly the ability to shop was something I could do whenever I liked!
With not much experience with money growing up, other than how sparse it was, I could now spend till my bank account would say no.
I was and still am more of a spender where I spend small amounts, which much to my ignorance do add up. I have and as far as I can see will always be useless at saving. I'm too impatient and want everything now. I have a very limited ability to save for something of more value. I just spend and think about the consequences later.

That is why I ended up in debt. Now most people have debt of some sort, be it a mortgage, car or credit card. So I know I wasn't the only one to be in that situation. But that doesn't excuse it though.
I can't recall how the debt started, but I do believe when my bank account was groaning from the clothes and make up I had indulged it in, I fell hook, line and sinker to getting credit.
When working in Warehouse, and in the days of it being part of Arcadia, if you we're over the age of 18, were given a discount card. This basically worked like a store or credit card, where every transaction gave you 25% off in the Arcadia brands but you had to pay it off every month and if you didn't you gained interest on the remaining balance.
So what did I do? Spend on the card and then ignore the letters for the bill to be paid. I think I did start paying it off, but missing one month, lead to another missed month and soon I was owing not just the balance but default charges and interest.

Along with this, I then opened a store card in Warehouse. The temptation to spend was too much. I'm weak willed when it comes to clothes and now these days home furnishings.
Over the following years I opened I think two other credit cards and a store card for Oasis (though how I got accepted is beyond me!) and at this point was being rather flaky in paying off the balances.
Eventually I realised I need to sort this out, so I went to my bank for some advice. I came out with a loan to pay off the debt which I paid some off, but still I now had a bank loan. Eek!

In 2005 Dan had an accident on his push bike on the way to work and was knocked over by a car. And thankfully, despite attaining several breaks in his right arm, he has made an almost full recovery (he can't extend his arm fully but it could have been much worse).
This was an upsetting time, as Dan had to stay in hospital for 8 days and had about a year before his arm was almost back to normal (if you count an nerveless elbow!).
He was encouraged to pursue an compensation claim and after a year of going backwards and forwards through his (not so competent) solicitor, he had a settlement claim outside of court.
Dan ever so kindly helped me clear the majority of my debts with some of his claim (which wasn't a vast amount). Whilst I wish he had never had the accident, if it's not too morbid to say there was some silver lining.
I still wanted to pay some off myself to prove to myself I'm not totally incompetent and paid my bank loan off with monthly instalments.
Back on a more financial even keel, I then stopped opening credit and store cards (well I relapsed with one credit card in 2012). And stuck to only spending with my debit card. I would still occasionally go over drawn and get a charge (as I'm no way perfect with my money-that I have proven) but was not financially struggling as previously.
I now only have a debit card, not debt or credit cards. So I'm finally in the black. But it's taken me years and lot's of anguish and worry to get myself here. And I just want to add that there was quite a lot of stress involved. Knowing you're getting further and further into debt and thinking you'd never see a way out of it is not something I would ever like to repeat. Ignorance only's works for so long.

My conclusion would be I wish I knew more about debt and credit when I was younger. I do take responsibility for my actions and admit some ignorance, but I think a lack of education does have a part to play.

I know this isn't a light and fluffy post as normal, but if I could inspire one young person to think twice about debt then my experiences wouldn't be in complete vain.

Until next time,

Love


Getting organised :)

27 March 2016

Hello, I hope you're well!

Since I started blogging a mere 6 months ago I have been using a corner of my bedroom with a really cheap (I think the cheapest there is in fact!) desk from Argos. Perfectly fine to be honest, it's reasonably sturdy and looks ok in my opinion.
But being that I love my home furnishings, I have since amassed a number of items and pictures I would like to have on my desk, but quite quickly I'm running out of space.

So on a recent trip to IKEA with my sister (Hi Sis, I know you're reading this!) I brought a lovely new and bigger desk, complete with draws. The desk I chose was called Limmnon/Alex. Which actually consists of a table and the draws sit independently underneath.

After about an hour and a half and help from the husband (Hi Dan, I hope you're reading this too!) the desk was complete. This time I placed it in the opposite corner of the bedroom as there is more space (plus it's in between the bed and en suite-perfect!).
I then finished it with the frames and decorative accessories I have been itching to put on it.





The result, more space, and a writing area that I hope is more conducive to writing.

I also wanted to include in this blog my dining table as I have Easter-ified it. I think I should of been Visual Merchandiser as I love creating displays. It may be slightly indulgent, but I try to make my table seasonal. I,e. Festive, Autumnal and right now spring themed.
A few months ago I had the idea of wanting a white wire tree that I could hang ornaments off. A bit like an all year round Christmas tree, but not a Christmas tree if that makes any sense!
I eventually found one in work of all places and since brought hanging ornaments for it. To make it more seasonal I added some glass egg baubles from Tiger.
I also took inspiration from Zoella and purchased a faux grass table runner from Tiger for all of £3! I think this looks really pretty with the tree placed on top. I'm thinking how I can utilize this for summer. Perhaps a pretty bouquet of summer flowers? Will get my thinking cap on!






I also recently purchased a plastic draw set to use next to my dressing table (I say dressing table in the loosest term. It's my previous desk!). I've been wanting to get this from over year now and I'm glad I finally did. Means I can stash all my make up in the drawers. I also love the rainbow colour of the draws.






















And finally I purchased a lovely cushion from Homesense. It caught my eye as I walked past and I went it to look at it closed up. It is by Emma Bridgewater which does pretty home ware pieces. I thought it would be about £15, so was pleasantly surprised when the price tag said £6.99.
To go with this I brought a pink and white checked cushion from my trip to IKEA. The cushions complement themselves really well and I think look very pretty on my pink floral pattern IKEA duvet cover.



I now feel my bedroom (which I do share with Dan but you'd never guess!) is my little haven, I can roll from bed, to desk, to bathroom and to dressing table in only a matter of steps!



I hope you like what I have done and gives you some inspiration for spring!

Until next time,

Love,


#BtonBlogMeet

22 March 2016

Amazing goody bag!
Since I started my blog 6 months ago I've been squirrelled away in my flat writing blog posts. Which for the main part is great fun, I mean hobbies are meant to be enjoyable. But there is an air of solitude to it. As far as I'm aware I don't personally know anyone else who blogs. I know a couple of people who create Youtube channels, but I'm a solo blogger.

Now this doesn't constitute as a problem but it would be nice to share experiences and advice with other blog minded people, as I'm still learning about blogging. So when I saw Laura aka Lolabehold promoting a blogger meet up in Brighton, which is only a 50 minute train journey away I thought this would be a great opportunity.

So one Saturday recently I got a train to Brighton for my first blog meet up. I wasn't sure what to expect, I mean I still consider myself a newbie in the blogging world. But every year I like to achieve things I didn't the year before.
I have a weird mind set that I must out do what I achieved the year before. Like I'm in competition with myself. Obv the year I got married is unable to be competed, but I like to look back on each year and feel content I did new things.
So this event is one of them. It may not seem much to other bloggers who frequent such events on a regular basis but you've got to start somewhere.

The event was held in a pub called The Globe which was just off the seafront in the centre of town. From the outside not a pub I would normally choose to visit, but hey I'm trying new things here!
I deliberated outside briefly as I wan't certain I had the right location, but after seeing some other girls enter who looked like they could be bloggers enter the pub, I thought what the heck and went inside.

There was a group of girls by the bar and I asked if they were here for a blog event, which thankfully they said they were! Holly aka ClosingWinter and Sam aka StoriesofSam introduced themselves and I began to feel relieved I had found some people to talk to!

After getting a drink at the bar, we headed down stairs. Below was a group of what I presumed were other bloggers (I mean this is a blog meet up!) and I spotted Laura, who organised the event. I said hello and she gave us each a slip of paper.
Written on the paper was a list of types of bloggers, ie lifestyle, travel, beauty etc and we had to go around as an ice breaker and find out what type of category each blogger was. I decided to speak to a few people to find out and soon had a few listed on my piece of paper.

There were some tables set up with products from local companies. These consisted of a natural skin products company called Pure Potions, a home wares store called Homage and a healthy fruit snack brand called Snact. We had the opportunity to speak to reps from these brands and find out more about their products. Bonus was that we got some goodies to take away from them!



I then had the pleasure to talking to some other fellow bloggers including Aisybee, Jess Snook and Katie Kirk and AlittlebitofLu. I will admit that I'm not the best conversationalist in groups of people, whether I know them or not. I wouldn't say I'm shy as I can approach people but I would say I lack self confidence to contribute to conversations. I often feel there are more dominate talkers in group chats, where ever this may be and I struggle to have the confidence to chip in. I do find it easier to talk to people in a two or a three. So I did stand there feeling a bit of an eejit not saying much, but when I did strike up conversation I asked about how long they had been blogging and their experiences. I enjoyed being about to speak to like minded people and laugh about when non blogging friends wonder what you're doing when you take pictures of everything!

Eventually the event came to a close as we were each given a pretty heavy and full goody bag to take on departing.









I had a brief chat with some of the girls outside before heading off towards the train station. At this point I was starving and eager to get home to have a cup of tea (so rock'n'roll!).

I managed to acquire one of my favourite snacks, a margaritas pizza baguette from Upper Crust (which I struggle to find available at most stations) at the station before getting on the train home.

I had a fab day, I would recommend going to a blog meet up if you are new to blogging as it's a great way to feel part of a community and be able to know who you are talking to on twitter better and to make some friends!
Laura did a fantastic job organising the event and if you want to find out when there is another blog meet up you can tweet Laura at Lolabehold on twitter.

Hope you enjoyed this blog post! Hopefully I will have more blog meet up's to blog about in the future!

Take care,

Love


#GlamourBeautyFest

19 March 2016


I had the best Sunday in ages last weekend. I decided to take a trip to London and attend Glamour magazine's beauty festival.
Whilst flicking through Glamour magazine last month (which I buy religiously every month) I noticed they were promoting their #GlamourBeautyFest and it intrigued me. I read the full article on what was happening at the event and by the end I was looking where I could book tickets!

I've never been to an event of this nature before, but with a talk from Jim Chapman, Estee Lalonde, Fleur Da Force and Alex Steinherr, and a whole host of brands from the beauty world attending I didn't want it to be a case of FOMO!
The event it's self was held in the Saatchi gallery in Chelsea. Which I had been to previously to help behind the scenes for a fashion show for Look magazine, so I was ok with were to go (I like to think I have a good sense of direction, but sometime's I still get lost!).

Glamour Beauty Fest | Goody Bag

17 March 2016

Hello and how are you? I hope you're well and enjoying your week. I'm rather tired tbh, as Rihanna says; 'work, work, work' and that's mostly what I've been doing. I've been itching to update you on my visit to the Glamour Beauty Fest in London the weekend just been and finally found some time to share with you what it was like.

I'll do a full blog post on the event it's self in due course, perhaps over the weekend but for now I thought I would show you what I got in the amazing goody bag I got at the event.

The goody bag is part of the ticket price, but is actually worth over £150! Not bad for a £50 ticket!

The goody bag comes in a lovely turquoise tote bag, with the festival branding on the front. I purposely didn't look inside properly until I got home later that day so I still had something to look forward to :)
I was super eager by the time I got home to have a good look at the treats I had been given. And I wasn't disappointed!


So many great brands, so many great products! :)

 L-R- Illamasqua Nail Polish | OGX Shampoo and Conditioner | Nars Lipgloss | OPI Nail Polish

 L-R Redken hairspray | Benefit Roller Lash Mascara | Elizabeth Eight Hour Cream | Laura Mercier Lipgloss

L-R GHD Root Lift Spray | Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish

There was also a Balance Me sample and a Garnier face cream, Rimmel nail polish and Lancome face cleanser included but I did't photo them individually as I forgot! I mean there is soo many products! (Yes, I'll never win The Best Blog in the World award!).

Some brands like Liz Earle, OPI and Benefit I have used before, so it's great to have more of what I already love, but brands such as NARS and Laura Mercier I've not yet had the pleasure to use but now I'm looking forward to giving them a try.

I think I'm going to give the Illamasqua nail polish a go first. It's a light grey shade with a hint of sparkle. I've not used Illamasqua before either so I'll report back on what it's like. 
The added bonus is Dan got a goody bag too and I'm going to share with my mum and sister too as I couldn't keep them all for my self. But after I've picked out my fav's first!

I also got an additional goody bag too. For this one I had to purchase it, but it worked out cost effective buying it as one whole goody bag. I'll share that in another blog post too. 

I hope you like what I got. I wonder what you're fav item is from the lot? I don't think I can pick one till I've tried them all!

Keep your eyes peeled for my blog on the event it's self coming soon!

Until then,

Keep doing what makes you happy,

Love






Take a trip down Coconut Lane

10 March 2016

I recently discovered the wonder that is Coconut Lane. Describing it's self as the sassiest site around, directing fun into the world of home and fashion accessories. And being that I love home and fashion accessories, what't not to love!

Coconut Lane is a new site, so their shop doesn't have a vast collection as yet, but what they do have is fab. I had a good browse and I decided to treat myself to some bits from their site and opted for a mobile phone cover, a framed quote and a ring.

After placing the order, a few days later I received a parcel :) I excitedly opened it and here is what I got!


I love this! I want to put this on my desk, but I only have a tiny one from Argos and am quickly running out of space for any pretty desk accessories. I think I might invest in a bigger desk next month. Though saying that I do have my old desk at my mums which would be more ideal, as this has draws and is bigger. But it's buried under a massive pile of mine and my sisters old clothes. My old bedroom is now a dumping ground for our unwanted belongings!
If I do get another desk, I'll do a little tour to show you what this looks like in situ.


I chose this phone cover as it's so cute. I love the animals and the colours on it. I aquired my sisters old iphone 5s late last year (I'm not techy enough to warrant an iphone 6, this does me just fine). But what I am enjoying is getting different covers for it.
I have been using a Cath Kidston of recent, and I'm looking forward to changing it up with this one.
Variety is the spice of life as they say!


This ring is very much my style! I have a Pandora tiara ring, so this goes perfectly with it. It is actually more of a rose gold colour, so apologies it looks more gold in the photo!
It's a simple design, which I like. I'm not a fan of busy jewellery designs, the simpler the better!


I love these so much. So girly and right up my street. I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for more items on the site so I don't miss out! #FOMO And if that wasn't enough, you my lovely reader can also make the most of Coconut Lane by saving 20% on any order by using this code abbiesmusings20
If you do get anything from them, please do keep me posted in a comment below. I'd love to know what you got!

Love as always,




Hello Saturday!

6 March 2016

Before I post about what I got up to yesterday, please accept my sincere apologies for being a rubbish blogger! I believe any good blogger will post at least once a week to their blog, and my dear chums, has not been me.
It's not for not wanting to, far from it. It's more from trying to find the time! Working full time means I only have the evenings (which after work on some days means I can't bear to face a computer screen again-I spend most days at work behind one) and the weekends.

But as I do want to keep my blog ticking over, I need to keep it fresh and current. So I'm taking the opportunity on this bright and sunny Sunday morning to let you know what I got up to yesterday.

Btw, it's nothing exciting, but I like my blog posts to reflect my life, interesting or not!

So after a few financial hiccups of recent, I decided rather than venturing out to a nearby town, which involves a train fare, lunch and normally me over spending, I took a short trip to the nearest neighbouring town, Bognor Regis. As you would of read on my previous post, I spent a number of years residing in this very British, if dated, sea side town.
But since moving to Chichester, I have not visited it as much but I decided that I would. The main reason was I received a Matalan voucher through the post and wanted to see if there was anything worthy of using it on, and Bognor has the nearest store to me.
Also a couple of new stores have opened in the vicinity that I had yet to visit; Next and Marks and Spencer Food Hall.

So after a short trip on a bus (glamorous I know!), with Dan in tow, we headed up to Next. I'm a big fan of Next home ware, they do some really pretty pieces. Their fashion I'm not such a fan of. But still, a clothes shop is a clothes shop, so of course I wanted a snoop!
The range in side was pretty average, very much an indentikit Next store. So after a quick browse around the womens wear, we headed upstairs to the home ware section. Not a huge selection but still what they had was pretty and decorative, but I had some self restraint and stopped myself from making any impulsive purchases (that and Dan was with me!).

Inspiration quote in Next
Blooming marvellous in M&S
Following this, we went next door to Marks and Spencer food hall. The first thing I saw was like a florist had taken up in their store, as there was so many beautiful flowers for Mothers Day!
Despite it being a Saturday it wasn't too busy which was nice.
Eggs-cellent!

I couldn't miss the Easter Eggs (though I'm not eating chocolate at the mo-used to eat too much, so I'm cutting it out of my diet, that's will power for you!). but I do love the designs of the Easter Eggs, so bright and fun!

Time for tea at Sainsburys
That little tour didn't take too long and Dan and myself crossed over the road to the new Sainsburys. This was quite a lot busier but I didn't plan on doing much shopping. After picking up a couple of items, we headed to their Cafe. What is nice about their cafe as there is lot's of windows, so you get a great view, of the, er car park!
I queued up and brought two cups of tea, a Big Breakfast for Dan (which turned out not to be that big!) and a toasted sandwich for me.

After having this pit stop, we left Sainsburys and headed further up the road. We were heading for B&M stores, which is a large out of town discount store. You name it, they have it!
By this point it was getting rather chilly and rain had started to have it presence known. So I was grateful to get into the the store.
There are aisles and aisles of food (no fresh, only boxed and canned goods), toiletries, home ware, flat pack furniture and garden products.
We brought a solar panelled light ornament for my mum for Mothers Day, along with some toiletries, kitchen accessories and a few other random bits. In total it came to just over £25, a bargain in my books!
Lucky I found these lucky charms!

American candy is dandy!
Once outside, it was still pretty cold, but not so rainy so we continued to make it over to the stores over the way. Over the way is a Home Bargains store (just like the B&M store) and Matalan.
We decided that Dan would take refuge in the nearby KFC whilst I visited the shops, wise idea!

I first stopped off to look in the Home Bargains store. Not as big as B&M (not sure what that stands for btw!) but still a vast selection of very reasonably priced goods.
I found a Mothers Day section, which was very convenient, and picked up something for my mum. What I also found was a pale pink patent purse for £2.99 and a plastic pink floral shopper for £3.99.
In the bag | Home Bargains
They instantly reminded me of Ted Baker, but for tenth of the price! I do like my labels, but this was a great dupe for Ted Baker, so I thought, for the price, why not! (This is where my over spending happens- I rationalise if it's inexpensive then why not, but that soon adds up!).
I also brought a little present for my older sister (my only sibling) as I was feeling generous!
This didn't take too long and I soon headed into Matalan.

I was looking for some wellie socks for my mum, but after some searching my search was in vain. Still I picked up a black dress with white polka dots and a really cosy blue and white cardi (it's like wearing a blanket-I swear I'm 31 going on 61!).
I also tried on a black dress I thought would be good for work, but no, it didn't look good on!
I also had a browse of the homeware's section, but again, I showed self control and didn't buy anything from that section.

I then headed back to KFC to meet up with Dan and head back towards the bus stop. As we got nearer the bus stop, thankfully the sky had cleared and it was brightening up.
After a brief wait for the bus, we got on and shortly go off at a stop opposite our flat. Lucky as I appeared to be laden with shopping bags!

A cup of tea was much needed as I got in and I had a nice chill on the sofa. After some more showers passed, Dan and myself headed back out into our local town centre to get some more milk (I really am letting you know the fun parts of my day! lol) and I continued my search for wellie socks for my mum.
After more scouring I could only find one style, with lime green or bright pink. Neither I thought my mum would want. But I popped into a gift boutique before leaving town and picked up a couple of gifts in there.

Once home, Dan and myself decided to watch a DVD. We have a few new films we've not yet watched, but the one we opted for was Spy with Miranda Hart. It was a great film, with much humour and action, and was one of those films where you try to work out the plot before it's revealed.

After that I was super tired, so headed to bed for a good nights sleep.

So not an overly exciting day in the grand scheme of things, but sharing is caring, or so they say!

I hope you've had a great weekend :)

Love


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