Friday, 23 February 2018

Second Hand EBay Finds

There's that saying "one mans junk is another mans treasure". I think in this day and age we have become very much a throw away society. I can hold my hands up myself and say I pretty much donate to charity shops on regular basis. However I think I should perhaps try to sell my no longer loved items instead of popping them to the charity shop. Donating to charity; yes it is a GOOD thing, but some times it would be nice to get a little cash in MY pocket instead. No offence.

Lately I'm being quite careful where I spend my money, as I'm living off maternity pay and that pays peanuts. I cannot complain really, as at least we get paid money in the first place to stay home and look after our babies'. Since I had Grace I feel a little meh about my clothes. I'm living in-between sizes as I still have the mum-tum. I'm not bothered that I have a mum-tum, but it's annoying as I cannot find anything that works for me right now. I do aim to lose weight, but I'm in no big rush to get my Victoria Secrets model like body back. Not like I had this in the first place I might add.

Instead of nipping in to my trusty Primark or to charity shops I thought I would log in to EBay and look for some items that were no longer being loved and needed a new home. Here is what I got...

GAP Cream Mohair Jumper 
I really liked this jumper as soon as I saw it and it was for sale for a mere £3.97 plus postage of £3.50 - a bargain total of £7.47. I like the look of the vertical ribbing and the collar. We're still having some chilly days and I thought this looked nice and snug. When it arrived, unfortunately it was marked which I told the seller about and she was more than happy to refund me if the stains didn't come out once washed. What looks like happened was the bag she posted the jumper in had a blue lining that rubbed off. Luckily it came off no problem.

I've had two issues with the jumper... firstly it can be a little see through meaning no white or black bras underneath unless you have a vest on first, which is fair enough. The second issue is the jumper can shed a little. I try not to wear it around Grace as I know she'll get the jumper fibres stuck in-between her fingers. I don't want her eating fluff just yet.

The burning question you have is, would I buy this again?? The answer is ... probably. Like I said the shedding is annoying, especially since I have a baby where everything gets stuck in her hands and spaces between her fingers. Apart from that it is a nice buy, even if I get a year or 18 months of wear it is still worth it I think.

Peacocks Alexa Skinny Jeans 
I've bought the Alexa jeans from Peacocks before in store, but they never seem to have them in size 12 and this is why I took to EBay. The seller had these marketed as a buy now offer for £9.99 including postage. I made her an offer of £8.00 which she came back with a counter offer of £8.99. I though this seemed fair deal considering it included postage. I know what it's like to sell items and how much postage can sting you.

Once I got the jeans, they looked fine apart from that I'VE BEEN SAT AROUND FOR A BIT smell, however a good wash sorted that. I like the detail on the back pocket... I've not got this on my other Alexa jeans. What I like about this range of jeans is the stretch and give they have. I found 14s a little too stretchy and this is why I was looking for 12s. I popped these on and these just kept wanting to wriggle down but not because I think they are too big. I think they are on the small size which is a shame. I can wear them but I have to pull them up now and again. I might have to dig belt out!

Now would I buy them again? Yes certainly. I've got a pair of jeans for half price as Peacocks sell these for between £16 and £18 and there is nothing wrong with them. After I lose a couple of pounds I think they will be more of a better fit. Whoop whoop.

That's it for now for my EBay purchases. I'm also going to do a post soon on some charity shop finds. I will get to share with you all a coat that I found and I'm seriously proud of this beauty and how much I paid for it!!

Do you shop on EBay for second hand clothes?

Angela x


Sunday, 18 February 2018

Tips For A Cleaner House

Ha. Who would of thought I'd be writing tips on this subject. The older I've gotten I have kind of morphed into my Mum and become a bit of a clean freak. I'm a firm believer in the saying 'messy house, messy mind' and since I've been promoted into a stay at home mummy, I really feel the affects of clutter and mess in my house. It makes me go a bit nuts. I thought I'd share a few of my favourite tips that I like use daily in my home to try to keep on top of things.

One Touch Method
I've been nagging my hubby about this for years and it is slowly getting through LOL. One touch is exactly what it means - one touch and deal with it straight away. If you've finished drinking that coffee -instead of leaving the cup by the sink or dish washer, wash it up or pop it straight into the dish washer straight away. You've come in the door after work, put your jacket away on its coat hook. Don't throw it on the sofa first only to pick it up later on. You're helping yourself in the long run by tidying mess up before it's even there.

High Traffic Areas
These are areas of your home which are walked on frequently throughout the day. Vacuum these daily, ours are the hall way by the front door and the kitchen. They are magnets for bits of dirt - I don't know where it comes from! Just a quick blitz with my trusty Dyson and order is restored. Our stairs are high traffic too, but I leave these to the weekend as they are a bit more time consuming and who wants to vac their stairs everyday? No one!

Clean Up The Kitchen Before Bed
This might be a big task, but if you're keeping on top of things throughout the day then this should not be too hard. The last two things I like to do before I go upstairs to bed is to switch on the dishwasher and wash the kitchen floor. Your dishes will be ready and clean in the morning and the floor will be all clean and not walked on all night. No body wants to come down to a bomb site of a kitchen first thing in the morning. If you load the dish washer during the day, wipe your counters down, rinse out the sink then when the morning arrives all you will need to do is put the dishes away.

Wipe Down The Bathroom When You're On The Loo
Two birds one stone hey. When it's my time to go - I will spray the bath and tiles... I'll then do my business for a few minutes. Afterwards whilst washing my hands I'll wipe out the sink and then I rinse the bath and tiles with the shower. You don't have to do this every time you pee, but once a day really helps. A deep down clean will be done once a week, but keeping it clean during the week helps a lot. Another tip; I love is to put bleach down the toilet just before I got to bed every other night. I also wipe down the seat so that it is fresh for the morning #Winning!

Make Your Bed
This is such an obvious one. Your bed makes up for most of what you can see in your bedroom, if it is a mess and not made you sure are going to notice it. It takes seconds to make it and it will really make a big difference. Trust me.

I hope these tips inspire you. Even if you don't do all these tips I have given and just pick one then that is a good start. It is all about being kind and helping your future self.

Do you have any tips for a cleaner home?

Angela x


Monday, 12 February 2018

A Few 2018 Goals

Ooh, so yes January has already flown by and in theory I should of probably had this post done and dusted, but hey I'm going to use the excuse of 'I have a BABY, they don't look after themselves you know!' So here we are February, nice to see you. I have penned down a few goals I'm going to attempt to achieve this year. I could probably write a million things down but it's already a long one.... soooo grab a brew or a wine - which ever takes your fancy. First Up.

The House
I have itchy fingers when it comes to doing things around the house. I want to decorate parts of it, but money doesn't grow on trees. We've lived in our house for nine years this November and we still have the hand-me-down carpet from the previous owner. It's tired just like me and needs a refresh. I'm slowing doing a decluttering sweep again as I feel like we've accumulated quite a few bits and bobs. I'm not sure I'll ever be happy with everything but I'm trying my hardest. Since having a small human I feel like I've been working overtime attempting to get sh*t done. It's driven me to tears on occasion which sounds really stupid, but I just want it to be perfect. You know what I mean?

In 2017 I didn't do much in the garden due to my pregnancy. I want to make it a little more child friendly for when the little lady starts to move about. I also want some space for a little Graces Garden Area. That little girl is going to love the outdoors and plants and animals whether she likes it or not. I want her to know how to care for things, no matter how small.

My Body Image and Confidence
Well this subject I could write an entire post. I'm not really happy with myself right now body wise. When I was with child I felt wonderful and showed my bump off in tight clothes. I loved it. I did say to myself and my hubby that once baby arrived, I weren't going to become obsessed with my weight and how I looked especially in the first few weeks. There enough pressures for new mums let alone 'can I fit in to my skinny 12s again?' Let's be realistic people I'm no superstar with a private chef and a built-in gym at home. Well roll on nearly five months later and I'm feeling a bit meh about me. I've had a baby and I feel frumpy. I have about one stone to lose (and the rest...) and no clothes seem to bring me joy. Muffin tops and back fat can seriously do one please I beg you. The only problem is I'm a stay at home mum who has a serious issue with comfort eating. I used to be so strong when it came to what I ate. I was the person people spoke to when they needed help with weight lose and now I'm that person who needs help and no one is about. Ahhh help me. I need to really sort my life out especially if I want bubba number two at some stage. I refuse to be fat for that! Angela get off your arse! Nope still sitting down watching Homes Under The Hammer.... argh!

Better Online Life
I sometimes wonder if blogging is for me anymore, however as soon I as I think those thoughts I think KEEP GOING ANGELA! I've been blogging for years - since 2010 believe it or not, but I feel like I have never really gotten anywhere far with it. There are so many worthy people out there I just think I'm not meant to be one of those. Yes I've worked with some great brands and products, but I think where I'm not consistent with my approach due to time and my job etc, things usually fall flat. This year I have a few thoughts on my mind. Do I start to make YouTube videos again? Do I get my own domain? I currently don't have a income as I'm on maternity leave plus I don't have a job to return to. With this in mind I don't want to be dish my money out here there and everywhere if I won't get much in return. Does that make ANY sense? I've started to get into Instagram more (chattingwithangela is my name - check it out). I had to google how to make an Insta story - lame or what? Not really down with the kids am I? I really want to get my blogging head on and perhaps try to get an income from there. There is still time very to make a change!

To Be More Hands On
I want to get crafty and hands on this year, especially when it comes to Grace. I want to hand make sensory toys for her - I have some projects in mind and I will share them here for other mums and carers to see. I am in the middle of making my little love her own patch work play mat. I've not had much time on my hands in the evenings, because I'm normally knackered once she goes to bed. However when she's been napping I'm busy prepping scrap fabric squares. I might share the process on the blog so watch this space.

My Family and Marriage
When you have a baby your relationship takes a ride on the back burner for a while. Sleepless nights and a sea of nappies become your life. On occasions I basically have felt like I've not even seen my hubby. He goes to work, I look after the baby then he comes in the door and I pass out due to exhaustion. Welcome to parenthood. I'd like to have a date night now and again with him to remind us of the times before we became a threesome - child free time. This is good for family looking after the baby as they get time to bound and we have break and us time. Yes I totally love us being a family...the three of us but it never hurts to have wifey and hubby time - to reconnect.

When the UK decides to warm up in spring summer, I also want us to go and explore. Grace is developing constantly and is like a sponge and taking in everything. She's such nosey inquisitive little girl and I think a trip to the zoo or the seaside will do her wanders. Sand castles anyone?

and finally...

Have More ME Time.
My name used to be Angela, but now I'm Mummy. I don't really have time to myself anymore and I love alone time to reflect on life. Sometimes I have a moment or two, but usually it is swiftly followed by someone needing a bum change or the washing machine needs unloading. Since I've become a Mum I haven't even had a Lush bath. I have a big stash of bombs and not had a chance to use them. On occasion I even have to try and remember when I last had a shower. That is how bad it gets sometimes. You kind of stop looking after yourself, because you're no longer number one. It's been over six months since I even had a hair cut. I think the me time goes hand in hand to my image and how I feel about myself. I've kind of got lost somewhere in the back ground. Angela needs to step forward, back into the light. When she is ready obviously.

I think when we get to December I might review these points to see if I actually ticked off any off these. How well will I do I wonder?

Ciao for now!


Friday, 9 February 2018

Primark Private Collection

Ladies and gents! If you love Jo Malone, well then keep reading. Behold Primark, yes Primark have got some rather nice home and beauty items which have hit the shelves. If you like Jo Malone and just don't have the funds to splash out on some bits and bobs from there, then these offerings from Primark might tick all the boxes for you and your purse strings.

Primark have launched a whole range of goodies from hand lotions and creams, hand washes, reed diffusers, eau de perfume mini sets and individual larger bottles of perfume and room sprays. They haven't held back when it comes to scents too. Six fragrances are up for grabs, so there should be at least one that will take your fancy.

The scents are Rose Oud, Mandarin and Basil, Amber Nior, Vanilla Absolute, Jasmine and Honey and Pomegranate and Black Tea.

I purchased two reed diffusers at £6 each and miniature set of six eau de perfumes for £8. What I like about the miniatures is the scent really lingers on your skin. It doesn't just disappear as fast as you apply to the skin. You can smell it for a good while afterwards. My favourite is the Rose Oud and the Pomegranate and Black Tea. All the scents are strong and do not smell cheap. If you could do a blind sniff test between these and Jo Malone, I think you'd find it difficult to tell the difference. I do like the roller ball applicator as opposed to sprays as you can pin point exactly where you'd like the scent to go! No wastage.

Most items start from £3. Nothing in the collection is over £10. I bet you'll be popping multiple items into your basket like I did. You can also buy the fragrances individually in larger 100 ml bottles for only £8 in case you do not fancy the miniature set like I got above.

Nip down to your local Primark quick sharp, as I can see these being really popular. Is there anything you fancy from the collection??

Angela x

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

2018 Here We Are! A 2017 Round Up

I know this post is exceptionally late, but I'm like a bus -  they never run on time and usually two come at once! The year of 2017 is over and dusted. A year of joy and sadness. End of eras and a start of new chapters. I was kind of sad to say good bye to it, as it was a big year.  Lets round up 2017 with a few points.

If you didn't know, 2017 was the year I lost my job. February 9th - d-day! 11 years of hard work, tears, laughed and friendships... it all came to an end due to the fact my colleagues and I were too expensive. They wanted cheaper labour abroad. I could of kept my job if I was willing to relocate (to Spain) but due to the next reason and many of reasons I decided to shove their offer where the sun certainly did not shine. If you have ever been through redundancy, you will know it's not very nice and our redundancy process went on for nine months. Nine months of shit, nine months of training our replacements, nine months of fighting for what we were entitled to. Nine months of hell and stress to be honest which we could of done without!

July 28th 2017 I officially hung up my work hat and put my feet up for a month. August was blissful - I bonded with my Mum so much as we basically became joined at the hip. It was so nice to have real nice mother daughter time. We had little day trips, we were ladies who lunched, we went conker collecting and dog walking. I will cherish those memories and times with my Mum. She's one in a million.

Then on September 17th, I got a new job. I became a Mummy. After a some what speedy labour... which I'm yet to write about I gave birth to a daughter. My little precious. When earlier in the year I found out I was losing my job, I was a mere 10 weeks pregnant. I was an emotionally wreck and due to that I ended up telling a close colleague about my pregnancy before any of our families. We hadn't even had a scan to find out if our little was was doing OK. By the end of February we had it confirmed everything was fine.

Telling my family lifted a major weight off my shoulders. I was so drained physically and emotionally and to finally say "we're having a baby" let go of some pressure. The look on my Mum's face will forever be etched in my memory. Shock and surprise. She was surprised we'd managed to keep such a big secret for 13 whole weeks. One time when I was driving her to afternoon tea with friends I got completely lost (totally unlike me as I know my way around anywhere...) she jokingly said you're acting like you're pregnant. Lol! If only you'd know the truth... I was! It felt horrible to tell a white lie and say "nah it's STILL NOT HAPPENED" while in fact I was growing a little peanut in my belly.

Roll on September and out popped Grace. Ha popped! After then the rest of the year pretty much became a blur. The newborn phase takes it out of you. You're recovering mentally and physically from your body taking a battering, but I would never change it for the world and I'd do it over and over again and again if I could. There is nothing quite like watching your baby grow and develop. I'm so grateful to have a healthy baby girl to call my own. Every time I see that beautiful little bundle, I thanks the gods that I was finally blessed with a child I could call my own.

I'm currently just penning together a post for my goals for 2018 and any plans I have for the next 11 months. I say 11, as January is now a memory.

What was the best and worst things to happen to you in 2017? Also I forgot to say HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Angela x

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