Wednesday 28 March 2012

spring clean series: money

I was inspired to do this post as I keep seeing adverts to use up your cash isa allowance before the end of the financial year.

a little info on ISAs:
  • Stands for individual savings account
  • If your aged over 16 you can open one
  • Basically it's a saving's account in which you earn interest without tax being deducted.
  • Your only allowed to open one ISA a year and each financial year you have an allowance
  • For this financial year you can add £5340 (next year this will rise to £5640).
  • If you don't use your allowance for the year you lose it
  • There are different types of ISAs, the main ones are instant access , so you can withdraw your money at any time, or fixed, this is for a specified amount of time, the interest is usually higher but if you withdraw money before this time you usually lose out on the interest bonus.
  • You don't have to add everything in one go and can add bit by bit. however if you withdraw money and you have already used up your allowance you can't add anymore. So for example say you have opened an ISA with the full amount £5340, and you then need some money so you withdraw £1000, seeing as you have already made the limit you can't deposit the £1000 back in.
  • You don't need to have to have the limit to open the account usually you can open with a minimum of £1, and you still earn the interest tax free.
I hope that information was somewhat useful. Most of us have that something that we want to save up for whether it's for a rainy day or it's for that handbag you've always wanted or whether it's for a car like myself.

So here are some of my tips for saving:

internet issues and century old computers

So I come back to my place on Sunday and my internet dongle has been playing up and not working properly, hence i've not been able to use the internet and make blog posts!

Today I thought I should stop being lazy and come to the library, seeing as it's only a 10 minute walk from me! However the computers are centuries old and it literally takes 10 years to do anything and the broswer doesn't let me access most websites properly as it's very outdated. 

This just got me thinking about a time when the internet was not so accessible! I remember getting our first home computer around 12 years ago now, and being so excited because back then it wasn't so mainstream to have a computer. I use to love playing pacman on it! Also I was so excited about using simple programs like word to type out reports and essays instead of actually handwriting everything. I also remember when we first got internet, it was dial up and it was such a new and interesting concept. I think i'm making myself sound old so I will stop talking! Now i'm so use to have internet access and googling something when I want to search for anything!

Sunday 25 March 2012

The clocks have gone an hour forward for those of us in the UK and it's officially British summer time! The weathers been absolutely fab this weekend and lets hope it stays that way! :) I've come back home this weekend and I can't believe how fast the time has gone! (when I say back home I mean my parent's house but i still consider it my home even thou I don't live here!) I've had a relaxing weekend with my family enjoying the good weather, just what i needed after a hectic and stressful week at work!  Hope your making the most of the weekend! enjoy the rest of the day :)

coral lovin'

coral lovin'coral lovin' by sitatwentyfive featuring coral tops

I'm really loving anything and everything in coral at the moment. I seem to just naturally gravitate towards it when I'm out shopping! Thought I would share some items I'm lusting after! I hope your enjoying your weekend :) 

Wednesday 21 March 2012

spring clean series

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, spring has officially begun, which means it's time for a spring clean! I don't just mean spring cleaning your house or your wardrobe, but also looking at all aspects of your life. Taking a holistic approach to identify what areas, whether within your professional or personal life you would like to make changes to and how to go about making these changes, to achieve your goals. 

I've decided to start this new series where I will be sharing my advice and experiences on topics within the general areas of career, health and life. I'm aiming to post twice a week on Wednesdays and Sundays for the rest of March and during April. (I'm not claiming to be an expert..I'm just sharing my 2 cents!). I hope that you will find these posts useful!

I think the barrier for most people in achieving their goals, including myself, is a lack of time. Everyone has things that they would like to do, or things that they would like to change, even ideas about where they would like to be. How many times have you said or thought I would be doing whatever it is you want to do but "I don't have the time"  It can be anything from eating breakfast everyday, to finding a new job, to reconnecting with old friends. 

Instead of thinking "i don't have the time" I like to put a positive spin on it "how can i make the time" It's important to create time and take responsibility to make changes to your life in order to achieve your goals, because no one will do it for you. 

I remember reading somewhere "a goal is just a dream until you put a date on it"  

Tuesday 20 March 2012

I have a new found addiction...

and it's chess!...I know it's the most random-est thing ever...but there is an explanation. I have gone through 25 years of life without knowing how to play chess. As a child I always thought of it as really difficult and complicated game and had never learnt to play. Growing up we didn't have a chess board and my parents didn't know how to play either in order to teach me. On Sunday whilst my friend was visiting, I was taught how to play and now I finally know the rules. And I'm completely obsessed! I keep playing against the computer...and even though I'm am playing at beginner level I keep I play another game, in an attempt to win. I'm sure I shall tire of playing in a few days..maybe when I finally win a game! Until then it's my new found addiction! What's the most random-est thing you've been addicted to?

Another thing I have gone through 25 years of life without knowing is 20th March is the first day of spring. Someone at work happened to mention it and I was like "I did not know that!" It was actually another nice sunny bright day today here in England :) (well where I live anyway). I don't know about you but I always find that I'm in a good mood when the sun's shining :)

Monday 19 March 2012

birmingham haul

Hope your having a lovely start to the week...this morning I woke up and the sky was blue and the sun was shining which put me in a good mood :) 
(it's just unfortunate that it wasn't sunny over the weekend...but hey ho!) 

These are the few bits I bought from my trip to Birmingham over the weekend. 

Dress from Primark: £13

I thought this dress was pretty for spring/summer. But I'm really unsure about it because I don't usually go for pale colours, I prefer brighter colours! Not sure if it will suit me so I'm going to mull it over, maybe try a few different looks with it...see if I like it. 

 Top from Primark: £6

I thought this top was quite cute, and I liked the collar in particularly. I love the colour and it'll add a pop of colour to an outfit. I think it will be nice to wear at work tucked under a skirt. 

Earrings from Primark: £2

I thought these earrings were really cute :) I wear studs on a daily basis to work and these were a bargain for 9 pairs for only two pounds! I think the mint green hearts and the yellow flowers will match nicely with the dress I bought and the pink flowers will match nicely with the top! 

Bargain of the day: Dress from Miss Selfridge : £7

I spotted this dress in the sale's section of miss selfridge, with no tags. But it was in my size so I asked the sales assistant to check the price and it was only seven pounds!!! I bought it right away! 

Sunday 18 March 2012

birmingham outfit of the day

What I'm wearing: 
Jacket: random boutique
Dress: Miss Selfridge 
Navy tights: Fenwick 

my birmingham trip

This weekend one of my friends came over to stay with, on Saturday we decided to go to the bullring shopping centre in Birmingham. Unfortunately the weather was miserable...raining for most of the day...however it was still a fun day! :) It wasn't the best of plans seeing as I'm trying to spend less and save up! However I think I was pretty good and only got a few bits. 

In the evening we went to star city and played some pool!  

Wednesday 14 March 2012

how time flies...

I can't believe it's been a year since my finals began. This time last year I had just sat my first paper and was trying to get to sleep and not think too much about how hard the paper went...hoping the next one tomorrow would go better! 

I'm so glad I passed and got through it, because it was definitely one of the toughest and most stressful time periods in my life.

I still find it hard to believe that I'm no longer a student and now a proper adult with a proper job and responsibilities! I remember my first day of university like it was just yesterday! I seriously can't believe how fast the time has gone by! 

I think most universities begin exams later...but just because of the way my course worked we began earlier. On the positive side I had a few months afterwards before I started my job to go travelling...and I had already booked my plane ticket...which was one thing that kept me motivated through all the revision!  

Good luck to anyone with any upcoming exams! Keep calm, stay focused, take one day at a time and I'm sure you can get through it...because i did! 

Tuesday 13 March 2012

my current read : notwithstanding

I mentioned in my post yesterday that I enjoyed reading on my train journeys. I like to read different genre's of books depending on what mood i'm in. To be fair I can read almost anything! Once I start reading a book, I tend to get completely absorbed into it and need to continue to read it until I get to the end. I have somewhat of an unnatural obsession to get know what happens and find out the ending!!! I'm a bit like that with films aswell, even if I find it boring I still need to sit through the whole thing and find out the ending, i can never just stop watching it! My friends can verify that sometimes I get so lost in a book that I become a bit of a social recluse until I have finished reading it. Depending on the size of the book I can get through it, in a few hours to a couple of days. Although I do tend to have periods where i'll read a few books and then periods of weeks where I haven't read anything.

I just started reading notwithstanding by Louis de Bernieres. This is my first book by this author, infact I had never even heard of the book or this author before. I tend to buy books in charity shops because I do read alot and it can get expensive buying them new, and I usually only ever read them once anyway. I was looking for something different to read and this book caught my eye because of the bright, bold colour and design. I know you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover but at 50p I thought why not!

So far i've read the first couple of chapters and i'm liking it but I shall give you a proper review once i've finished!

Monday 12 March 2012

train journeys, primark bag disaster and back to work!

Yesterday evening I took the train back to where I live from my hometown. I was casually strolling into the train station with my small suitcase, handbag and a big primark bag, filled with food that my mum had packed for me...the next thing is know...I hear a tearing sound and the bottom of my primark bag is ripped and everything is on the floor. Luckily I had double-bagged so it wasn't a complete disaster! If I hadn't noticed that my bag had  fallen apart a very nice man decides to come up to me and tell me that my bag's ripped and "no good" about pointing out the obvious! 

On a side note, train travel is personally my best mode of transport. I find it so much more relaxing then driving...I can sit and read my book as the English countryside flashes by :) 

Before I left I made some paneer for my family :) (for anyone unfamiliar with paneer, it's a cheese used in indian cooking) 

Today I was back at work. I always feel in such a daze and feel as thou I don't know what's happening on my first day back to work when i've had a few days off, but then at the same time, I also feel like i've never been away. I don't know if that's just me! 

I hope you've had a good start to the week :) 

Sunday 11 March 2012

gerbera daisies

Last week, a friend and I were randomly talking about flowers and I was trying to describe my favourite flower to him. The conversation went something like...they're hot pink and look really pretty (very descriptive...I know!) but I don't know what they are called! To my surprise for my birthday he had managed to find the right flower :) I then spent ages trying to google "pink flower" to find out the name..and after ages of searching I now finally know they are called gerbera daisies..success! :) 


Saturday 10 March 2012

i made roundish chappatis

I have to confess I don't particularly like cooking and most the time can't be bothered. However this does not stop my mother from trying to make me into the perfect indian housewife for my future husband, by making me cook every time I come home! My chappatis are getting more rounder with practice...but lets not admit that to my mother! 

my day in the country

I took a few days of work and came back home to my parent's house for a long weekend. Today I went to a country park not so far from my parent's house with a friend. It was really nice to get outdoors and breathe in the fresh country air! Although it was really windy it didn't rain and there were even a few moments of the sun shining through the clouds so yay! I'm really looking forward to the weather improving and  doing more outdoor activities! Below are a few pictures I thought I would share :) 


Thursday 8 March 2012

my bucket list

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a bucket list is a list of things you want to do before you die. I guess my list of things is more a "things I want to do before I'm thirty", but in a way it is part of my bucket list and it's a start and a list I shall be continuously adding to. 

On a side note, there is a film of the same name, with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freedom, personally I really liked it and think it's worth a watch if you haven't already seen it. You may even get ideas to add to your own list! 

My Top Ten:

1) Travel around south east asia
I love experiencing different environments and other cultures, last year I spent eight weeks travelling around New Zealand and a further 2 weeks in singapore and kuala lumpur and since then I've got the travel bug and want a sabbatical from work and just go exploring! 

2) Skydive
I like to think of myself as an adventurous person and whilst I was out in NZ I did quite a lot of activities including bungee jumping, canyon swing jump, white water rafting, kayaking etc. but one of the things regret is not doing a skidive! 

3) Scuba dive
I've always wanted to get my PADI certification. 

4) Visit Paris 
I live in England and have never been!! ideally it would be nice to have a romantic getaway!

5) Spend new years eve in New York
I have always wanted to go to new york and every time I see the new years celebrations I always think it be amazing to be counting down to the new year on times square. 

6) Get Married
I guess the first step for this one will be finding someone to marry.

7) Learn to ski
If not learn how to, at least attempt to, even if it involves a significant amount of time spent falling over and making a fool of myself! 

8) Buy a car 
Currently I live like 5 minutes from my work so I can get away with not owning a car, but from august my work shall be a half an hour drive away so I really need to start saving! 

9) Watch a musical
This is even worse than not having been to paris, because even thou it's only an hour on the train to london, I have never watched a musical in the west end! i know, it's appalling!  

10) Go on a hot air balloon ride 
I have a romantic notion of drifting peacefully through the english countryside on a summer's day (which is rare I know). 

I would love to read other people's ideas and things they would like to before reaching a certain age, so please feel free to share :) 

Wednesday 7 March 2012

my introduction

Tomorrow I turn twenty five, and what better way to mark the occasion then to start a blog, and because of the magnitude of creativity skills I possess i've entitled the blog twenty-five! 

What inspired me to start a blog you may ask, well I shall tell you (even thou you may not ask). Today I attended a careers skill workshop. To cut the story short, because I do have a tendency to ramble, one of the activities during the day involved pretending the date was March 7th 2017, and we had to describe where we were not only in our professional lives but also in our personal lives. Doing this activity made me think about what I wanted to achieve in the next five years before I turn thirty, and when the time comes would I have achieved or done any of the things I wanted to do. I love reading other blogs, and I have always thought about starting one myself, as I feel it is a great way to document everyday life and share my thoughts and ideas. Up until now it was just a thought but today I have been motivated to make the thought into a reality. Hopefully I can carry this on! It would be absolutely lovely to look back on 5 years worth of posts, pictures and memories and to see how I have grown and how my life has developed as it was approaching midnight on march 7th 2017, and I was about to turn thirty! And of course to look back and see if I have achieved my bucket list! (blog post coming soon!).