Loves, laughs and obsession #4 – tape, wise words & holiday planning

It’s that time again when I get to share all the things that have caught my eye or made me laugh and smile this past week.

First, I am absolutely loving washi tape at the moment, with so many great uses and ideas all over Pinterest you could say that it’s become quite an obsession of mine. I bought this striped gold tape before Christmas but didn’t end up using it for my Christmas wrapping, instead it’s ready and waiting for the next lot of presents. The plan is to use it with either brown or white paper to create a simple and gorgeous wrapped present.

Washi tape from Papermash

Then there’s this brilliant quote from Eleanor Roosevelt (found via Pinterest of course). What a wise woman she was. I feel like I’m always questioning what others will think of the decisions I make, so now I’m not going to. Instead i’ll be living by these words.

Wise Words

I’m also loving this song by Ron Pope. My youngest sister introduced this to me a few years ago and after reorganising my music it’s made an appearance back on to my phone playlist. I can’t help but smile each and every time I hear this song. BIG TIME LOVE.

The final thing that’s making me smile this week is organising holidays. I sat down last night and worked out when and how I am going to be using my 30 days of holidays this year. Normally I don’t do this and instead end up with a really mismatched holiday year. Like last year, I took 1 day in January, then 15 in april, then 5 in August which then left me with days for Christmas and odd days to take off. This mean that the first few months of the year and the last were really hard to deal with. So to stop this happening again I’ve got a bit organised – go me, right?! I’m also in the process of planning a weekend with friends to Oxford and also Dublin. Looking at cottages and flights is really helping me get through a miserable snow filled January. You should try it too.

Lau xxx

My reading life update – books 3 & 4 of 2013

You may have been under the impression that I haven’t been near a book at all over the last couple of weeks. But you’d be wrong (luckily for my reading challenge), don’t worry I’ll forgiven you for thinking badly of me as I have been incredibly slack in my updates – *blushing and frantic apologising*. In actual fact since my last update I’ve read two books – yay for me!

Absolute Power – David Baldacci

This was the second David Baldacci book I have read and, I have to say, my favourite so far. It’s got everything that I want from this kind of crime book; great twists and turns, cliff hangers, evil characters and clever detectives. It’s also not too predictable, which I loved, because as someone who has read a lot of crime thrillers I tend to guess how things are going to end up.

Merry Christmas, Alex Cross – James Patterson

Unfortunately the above can’t be said for this book. I’ve actually loved James Patterson books for years, but right now I’m finding his books to be very repetitive. Especially the Alex Cross series, part of me would like this character to be killed off because really how often can someone avoid death? We’re onto book 19 now (I think) and the main character manages to survive being shot or blown up at least twice in each book. Honestly I just didn’t seem to care with this book in the end. Although who am I kidding? I’ll still read the next one just in case it improves!

Next up is The Great Gatsby…

Lau xxx

 

Week in Pictures # 11

So I’ve been a bit (completely) useless at taking pictures this week. Which is silly as I’ve actually been up to quite a bit. Anyways my week has gone a little bit like this:

Monday – Quick trip to Nandos before watching Wicked on the West End as a birthday treat for friends. Yes it may have been my third viewing, but it’s still in my top 3 musicals of all time.

Tuesday & Wednesday – Lazy evenings on the sofa with plenty of snacks and a woolly blanket.

Thursday – Thought I should do something active but didn’t want to be out in the cold, so instead I did a exercise DVD in my living room. I’ve been aching ever since, which totally sucks!

Friday – End of the working week! Celebrated with a wander around the National Gallery before munching on chinese delicacies in Chinatown with friends.

Saturday – 4 mile run, rumage through the material shop, then lunch in Hyde Park’s Serpentine Bar and Kitchen (the cheeseburger is delicious fyi) and a long walk around London with my sister and Mum before a film night – A Walk to Remember followed by Casablanca.

Sunday – Early start (8am) to watch Murray lose, ran 4.2 miles (yes the .2 needs to be there, it makes a big difference!), cleaned and organised my lovely flat, eBay listings during free weekend, afternoon of blogging stuff.

image

playing in the snow/loving the anchor print on this M&S jumper/Embankment gardens covered in snow on Monday morning

snack time/cozy in my ‘teddy bear’ blanket (named as it’s so fluffy)/London material

More material (loving the red dragonfly one)/the interval at Wicked/Buckingham Palace at night

Have agood week everyone.

Lau xx

Wearing my budget hat

You don’t need me to tell you that when it gets to January suddenly everywhere you look there are adverts for new savings accounts, endless voucher offers and people discussing their dwindling bank accounts. But after opening a super high credit card bill – fyi not too super high, just double the usual bill – I have decided that I need to sort things out – to spend less money and think more about each and every purchase. I should tell you that mortgage payments, food and bills all go out of the ‘house’ account so my credit card is only used to buy the less essential things- clothes, books, trips away, presents, beauty products and weekday lunches. So you see there really is no need for me to be spending so much money. In fact at the moment, half my money goes to the ‘house’ account and most of the rest goes to my credit card company, with a small amount going into savings – not good at all. Clearly this has to stop, so here’s my plan…

Credit Card is only for ‘special’ purchases – 

From now on – or at least until I get my spending under control – my credit card is only for special one-off purchases. I’m talking to book holidays and weekend away or train tickets. I’m also allowing myself to top up my oyster card as this is essential for getting to work. Although hopefully I can get back to walking soon and therefore won’t need to be topping up my oyster as frequently as I am now.

Cash Purchases –  

From now on it’s all about making cash purchases. I’ve set myself a limit of what cash I can spend from now until I next get paid – 15th of February, which is about three weeks away now. I’m not going to tell you what it is as I don’t want to tempt fate but I’ve factored in the various things I’ve got planned and worked out how much I can spend each time.

Track everything – 

The next part of my plan is to track everything that I spend. I’ve downloaded an app on my phone and I’m going to input everything into that so that I can keep track efficiently.

So there we go, that’s my plan to sort out my finances. I’m seriously hoping that some accountability will help me curb my spending, because right now it’s pretty much a case of buy what I like. And although I do pay my credit card off each month, I don’t ever end up saving much after that. So hopefully things are about to change. To be honest I’m actually quite excited. The last time I tracked my spending like this was when I was travelling – $10 a day for my last month in the US of A. Not sure if I’m going to see much Mac and Cheese in my future this time though!

If anyone’s got any hints or tips then do let me know, I have a feeling I might need all the help I can get!

Lau xx

Love, laughs and obsessions #3

A few more things that I’m loving right now…

My Screensaver

My work computer screensaver is really inspiring me at the moment. It’s a collection of quotes, inspirations and sayings from my The Written Word Pinterest board. It’s just what I need to get me through this slow month.

Desktop background

Desktop background

This video

Something else I discovered on Pinterest via a friend is this YouTube video -The War by agentofCHAOS13x. It’s a brilliant mash up of clips from all the Harry Potter films together with music from This is War by 30 Seconds to Mars. I’ve watched this way too many times already and it gives me shivers every single time. The cutting of the video with the music is unbelievable. As someone else points out it’s like the song was written for the films. I dare any Potterhead to watch it and not cry and smile and cry and smile (and then experience every other emotion in between).

My new Pass case

I am so totally in love with my new pass case. I decided to treat myself to this dotty number from Paperchase as my old one was getting a bit worn out and it’s also a tad childish – bright blue with different patterned dogs on. This one is much more grown up in comparison. And it has dots and if there’s one thing I love it’s polka dots.

My new pass case

My new pass case

And there’s a matching laptop case…watch this space!

Lau xxx