A full month of blogging – Day 31

Can we first take a moment to congratulate me for making it through this challenge. I can’t quite believe that I blogged every day in May – squeee! A round of applause for me i think! *blogger pats self on back and grins manically*.

Right, with that out of the way, let’s get back to the final challenge of the month – Day 31, Friday: A vivid memory

Didn’t we just have a memory post? I swear we did. If only my memory was better than it is then I’d probably be good at this prompt! My vivid memory is about the day I stood on a pea. Sounds wholly ordinary doesn’t it? In fact you are probably wondering why this is something that counts as a vivid memory. Well let me first explain that I have an entirely unreasonable phobia of peas. I hate the smell, taste, texture, and look of peas. In fact I loathe to even have them on my plate! Now back to the vivid memory. It was about 8pm  on a usual weekday evening when I was still living with my parents. We’d just finished dinner and I was helping clear the table like you do. And then suddenly I felt it, the squish of something under (my bare) foot. A quick glance down and I was hit my the sudden realisation that the green mush between my toes had, only a few seconds earlier been a small green pea. I’m not sure I can describe the sheer panic and disgust that engulfed me after that. Let’s just say there was a lot of squealing and hopping up and down on one foot until the offending mush had been removed and my feet were safely in protective slippers – chipmunk slippers if I remember correctly. Suffice is to say that my dad got a very severe talking to over the way he ate his peas next time.

Just wanted to say a final thanks for putting up with my daily ramblings during this challenge. I bet you’re fed up with me by now!

Lau xxx

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A few of my favourite things – YouTube clips

While I was finding songs for my Musicality post I was sucked into watching lots and lots of youtube clips. I watched soooo many of them that I may have definitely wasted my whole afternoon – fun times indeed! I’m sharing a few on here so that I can kid myself into thinking that it was at least a little bit productive!

It started with a Wicked search where I found this video of the rehearsals of the song For Good from the Broadway musical. If you’ve read my Musicality post then you will be fully aware of my obsession for this song!

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And from there I found a clip of Kristen Chenowith and Anna Kendrick singing the same song.

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Then I found this clip of Neil Patrick Harris and Hugh Jackman duet at 2011 Tony Awards which made me smile so much!

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And then this speech by Jim Parsons at the 2011 Golden Globes. I love Kaley Cuoco’s reaction.

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Please send me your favourite YouTube clips so that I can put another afternoon to good use!

Lau xx

Balloons – Day 30

Day 30, Thursday: React to this term: Letting Go

Mehh, that’s how I feel about this prompt. I feel like today i’m meant to be talking about moving on from something or overcoming issues. But I think we’ve kind of covered these over the last month in a number of different ways and I loathe to get into this all again. So I’m not going to, especially as the first thing that entered my mind was a picture of a balloon. Which of course sent my mind straight to the Disney film Up. So i’m going to leave you with this…

Lau xxx

Musicality – Day 29

Day 29, Wednesday: Five songs or pieces of music that speak to you or bring back memories.

Breaking the Law – Emeli Sande

Apparently Emeli wrote this song for her sister. I heard her singing it live at the Royal Albert Hall and straight away I realised I could relate to it with thoughts towards my sisters too.

Living on the Run – Scott Grimes

This song reminds me of a summer spent by the sea in Sandbanks, Dorset when I was 18. I love Scott Grimes and his song with John Stamos in the last episode of ER is brilliant, see it on You Tube here.

True Colours

Quite possibly my favourite song ever. I’ve loved it ever since it was used in this car advert.

Swan Lake Waltz – Tchaikovsky

This music relaxes me instantly. It’s the first thing I put on if I want to calm down and chill out.

For Good – Wicked Cast

This is my favourite song from this musical. It’s also on my list of funeral songs. Maybe that’s slightly morbid but there’s no harm in being prepared!

All clips are from youtube.

Lau xx

Making better shopping choices – budgeting bloggers

This past month I decided to set myself a challenge to only spend a set amount on clothes, shoes and accessories. One fashion blogger I follow is Franish who shares what she buys each month, along with a group of Budgeting Bloggers. They each stick to their own budgets and at the end of each month share all their purchases, take a look at this month’s post right here. I like the idea of this and from reading their posts over the past few months not only have I realised that this is a hard thing to do, but also it makes you think a lot more about what you are spending. In fact there have been quite a few times since I started reading their posts that I’ve mentally totted up what I spend a month and been slightly appalled at the high figure and the lack of complete outfits to show from it! Plus I want need new running trainers soon and I want to be able to buy them with real money rather than the plastic kind! So this month I’ve decided to give it a go and thus settled on £140 as my total. It might sound like a lot, but it’s an amount that I can afford and it’s less than I spend most months so It’s probably still going to be hard to do. Ideally I’d like to spend closer to £120 but I thought that to start with it would be better to give myself more for the first month in the hope that I can actually complete this challenge rather than cause an epic failure and then not attempt it again!

So here’s what I’ve purchased in May.

May Clothing

1. Black maxi skirt – £12.80 (original price £16.00), Dorothy Perkins in the Debenhams Blue Cross sale. I’ve been looking for a long black skirt for a good couple of months, it’s something that I can see myself wearing a lot over the summer; at work, on weekends and of course on holidays. But I haven’t been able to find one. I’ve been after the Primark version and they never have it in my size, so when I saw this one in the Debenhams blue cross I knew I had to grab it. It’s only a little bit more that the Primark one, but I know it’s by far a better quality version.

2. Cream cardigan – £5.00 (half price), H&M – a bit of a boring one, but again I’ve been after a neutral coloured basic cardigan for ages. This one was half price in the pre summer sales so I snapped it up asap, I’ve already worn it loads of times too.

3. Leopard print Converse – £44.99, Office – More converse have been in my mind since Christmas and even made it onto my birthday list, though they weren’t received. I’ve actually been eyeing these up since the beginning of the month, but finally gave in and bought them a few days ago. I’m still waiting for them to be delivered so I haven’t actually been able to wear them yet, but I can’t wait. With the UK weather still pretty miserable these are going to be perfect for those days when pumps won’t do. I wanted something a bit lighter than my normal converse and also a bit more exiting. Let’s be honest, these are certainly going to jazz up any outfit!

4. Red Herring aztec print t-shirt – £14.40 (original price £18.00), Debenhams Blue Cross sale – this is one of those purchases where I saw it and had to have it. I love the colour and the print of this, it’s just makes me smile looking at it. Also the number of compliments I’ve had wearing it means it was definitely worth it. I actually tried this on with the black skirt and it’s a ready made outfit so here’s hoping we’ll have some sunny weather soon so that it can have it’s first outing!

5. Blazer – £47.50 (using a 15% off voucher) Gap – yes, a blazer, I finally found a blazer. I am super excited about this. I’ve been needing a casual blazer for ages now as I have to keep borrowing one of my sister’s three (yes she has three and I have none), if I want to wear something other than my leather jacket or winter coat! This has a gorgeous striped lining as well as luminous orange piping which make it a bit more fun than just your normal bog standard grey blazer. I’m tempted to change the buttons to something a bit more exciting, but I’m not sure what yet. Watch this space.

I make that a grand total of £124.69

Surprisingly I am under budget this month, which I’m quite impressed with as at one point I certainly thought that I was going to go over, but I managed to reign myself in and honestly I definitely put more thought into what I was buying. I’m pleased I have been able to tick off two big purchases this month, items that I have been needing and searching for for a good few months- the blazer and the converse.

This month I did return a pair of shorts which helped as they were a bit too big. Plus I also returned a couple of things that i’d bought last month which gave me £45 back. It was tempting to add this onto May’s total to give myself more to spend, but then I realised that I should put it towards my running shoes instead. I’ve got my eye on quite a pricey pair of Nikes, so I’m going to need every little bit!

I think i’m definitely going to carry on with this monthly budget malarkey next month. Although for June I think i’ll cut the budget down to £120, It’s more what I want to spend and this month has shown that I can do it.

I did also order two pairs of jeans in the Gap sale. This pair and this pair. I’ve been admiring these for ages and now there in the sale I had to purchase them, plus i’ve been after some news skinny jeans for ages. I don’t plan on keeping both pairs but I just want to see which colour look best. These will be part of next month’s budget seeing as they haven’t yet arrived, but I wanted to share them with you all and let you know that Gap have some great items in their sale at the moment.

One more note that might amuse you is this… When I mentioned I was going to stick to a monthly clothes budget to my youngest sister she was shocked. And I don’t mean shocked by me sticking to a budget – although I’m sure that was probably part of it, but shocked by how much I was planning to spend on clothes a month. She didn’t understand how I could spend that much. Let me first explain that she’s a student so she does have limited amount of money to live off. Plus as a student she can wear the same pair of ripped jeans and hole ridden jumper three days in a row without anyone batting an eyelid. I on the other hand have a job to look presentable for. Thank god I don’t have to wear smart suits though – that would eat into my monthly budget even more! The other thing about Becca is that she’s very particular about buying clothes. Every item has to be exactly what she wants. If it’s got one too many buttons, is the wrong shade of blue or looks a little off then she won’t buy it – the perks of being a skinny Minnie – which is great, but sometimes her persnickety-ness works against her. For me I’m still getting out of the mindset that something fits therefore I have to buy it. I don’t have to do that anymore I can be pickier, I can be fussy. But honestly it’s hard to get there. I guess after 15 plus years of having to find things that fit, It’s a bit of a luxury to but things that I like. Come to think of it this is possibly why I’ve been overspending recently!

Does anyone else have a monthly budget? How do you do each month? Please let me know below/leave links I’d be intrigued to learn more.

Lau xxx

p.s. Fifibean did you spot your favourite word? I’m kind of imagining you laughing as you read it! :p