Shopping in August – Budgeting bloggers link up

How is it the end of August and monthly budget time already? This has been a great month for me shopping wise (although if I’m being honest when isn’t it?) as I’ve managed to tick off both trousers and a blazer off my list as well as managing to stick to my budget too – what a great way to end the month! So what did I buy? Take a little peak below..

1. Aubergine dress with leather sleeves, Primark – £13.00 – I love this dress, it’s so me with the skater style and that gorgeous colour, plus I think the sleeves give it that little something extra.

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2. Yellow leather flip flops, Gap – £6.99 (originally £16.95) – Yep, I finally bought these flip flops from Gap after mentioning them way back when in this Summer Wishlist. I waited for the sale and it was totally worth it, as they’re less than 50% now. Just in time for my Portugal trip too!

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3. Pink skinny jeans, Zara – £9.99 (originally £19.99) – Isn’t the colour of these jeans just lovely? I’ve never bought jeans from Zara before, honestly it’s one of those shops that has always been slightly intimidating I think it’s the sleek shop and shiny floors that just isn’t really that welcoming. Plus back in my ‘fat’ days nothing in this shop would have fitted and I sort of still expect this to happen when I go in there. Anyway these are supersoft and super stretchy skinny jeans and I’ve worn them so many times since I bought them. They actually go with anything as I have so many plain tops and jumpers. I’d actually buy these at the full price of £20 – bargainaeous in my humble opinion. I’m already on the look out for a black pair for the winter.

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4. Blue blazer, Primark – £7.00 (originally £14.00) Honestly how could I not get this when it is only £7 in the sale? Yes I got two blazers this month – it’s that age old thing of can’t find something for ages and then you find two at the same time. Well I grabbed this and the black one below as soon as I saw them in Primark. As let’s be honest if you don’t buy it when you see it then you will never see it again! The cut of this jacket is perfect and the electric blue colour is a great staple while being a bit different.

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5. Black cross body bag, Primark – £8.00 – Another thing I’ve been searching for is a slightly bigger cross body bag in black. My smaller brown, green and navy bags can’t quite fit everything I need for everyday life. Both my sister and my friend have this one in teal and aubergine and have both been raving about the size and the number of pockets. So when I saw the black version I ran for the till!

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6. Skinny Grey Cords – Red Herring @ Debenhams – £28.00 – I love my dark green cords and have been bleeting on about getting another pair soon in a more neutral colour. After trying them on and finding that they fitted perfectly I then proceeded to debate over which colour; grey or black. I went with the grey in the end but I have a feeling that the black pair may appear in my wardrobe soon.

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7. Wine Lace Top – Dorothy Perkins – £16.00 – I think may be obsessed with this colour! It’s such a pretty top and bridges the gap between comfortable and smart so well.

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8. Black blazer, Primark – £14.00 – Yep, here’s the second blazer, now check out the lining on the sleeves. They’re polka dots guys! I love polka dots!

Also last month I happened to be visiting my friend in Leeds while she was midway through a huge wardrobe clear-out and she spent most of the weekend trying to offload clothes onto me. Being the lucky lady that I am I managed to come away with a couple of pairs of shorts – perfect for my trip to Portugal next month.

So the total this month is a brilliant £102.98 so i’m £17.02 under budget. Woop woop for me!

As usual I’m linking up with Fran and the other budgeting bloggers so hop on over and see how everyone else did.

Lau xxx

A Trip to Five Guys – my review

Last Thursday I headed with a couple of work buddies to Five Guys in Covent Garden for some post drinking grub. Yes, chatter about Five Guys opening in London is all over the Interweb, normally with comparison talk about the Shake Shack – FYI, I’ve been there too – it’s good! So anyway I thought I’d discuss it on here to let you all know what I thought. You know me; I absolutely love food and I also love talking about food!

First things first, this is located very close to where I work – dangerous times ahead! We arrived at about 8pm on a Thursday night and joined the back of the line outside the shop – basically there’s a polite English queue to get into the shop – I guess it’s so it doesn’t get too crowded and manic in there. I’m hoping that post Summer Hols this disappears  both the queue outside and the crowd of people. There are lovely queue minder people who come along to chat to you about the menu, how it works and of course tell you how long the queue is. For us it was a lovely lady (didn’t get a name, sorry) who explained that it would probably be about a 15 minute wait – that’s fine we said as we weren’t in a hurry. We actually struck up quite a good conversation with the queue lady and thank god we did as she gave us invaluable information, that I’m going to share with you now…portion sizes. Yes portion sizes. So apparently the normal burger, cheese burger or bacon cheeseburger has two patties in it. Yes two patties, thank god we found this out. After hearing this we decided to go for the ‘little’ portion of burgers and fries. I had originally thought that these were the kids meals – but apparently not.

Anyway after hearing that little nugget of information we soon found ourselves at the front of the queue and headed into the restaurant. While you’re queuing at the counter you are standing next to a huge box of monkey nuts which are there for you to help yourself to. I know it’s only a small gesture but it really makes a difference. I stepped up to the counter and ordered my food, then headed to the pick up counter where you can watch your food being cooked.

For £12 I got:

a little bacon cheeseburger – even though it was a small burger it was still plenty big enough. The cool think about Five Guys is you can top your burger with as many toppings as you want, from mushrooms to salad, ketchup and barbecue sauce. Even though we had this option I stuck to just a simple bacon cheeseburger as it’s such a classic and is just my favourite burger combo.

little fries – these were skin on fries and were completely delicious. My only negative comment (if you could call it that) is that the portion was still absolutely huge. When I go back I think i’ll share this size with someone.

a refillable soft drink – the drinks machine is another quirky thing about this burger place. Basically there’s two machines for drinks that give over 200 different flavours. No lie, you pick your main drink, Coke, Fanta still, lemonade etc and then you get all the other options. For example after picking Diet Coke I could have gone for the vanilla, cherry or lime (among other flavours that I can’t remember now). The cups are refillable so you can go up and try again and again. I was boring and went for a Diet Coke – creature of habit, sorry!

There are booths and tables in the restaurant and there’s a downstairs section or you can takeaway. There was some great music playing quite loudly which really helped set the tone to the place and we had no issue getting a table which always helps. Overall it was the perfect place to go after a few drinks, it was quick, tasty and a bit fun too. I’d definitely suggest it if you’re nearby sometime. You can check out the website and full menu right here and plan your trip!

Happy burger eating!

Lau xxx

Favourite Things #31

Hello, hello, me again. It’s time for another round of Laura’s favourite things seen, heard and eaten this week!

Firstly let’s discuss Story of my Life’s Blogtember challenge. Do you remember way back in May when I took on Jenni’s Blog Every Day Challenge? Wasn’t it great? What’s that you missed it? For a recap take a look here, or see my favourite posts from particular days 18141827 and 28. Anyway, back to Jenni you see she’s only gone and decided to set another challenge – this time to blog 20 days out of the 30 from the month – and I am so so tempted. What do you think should I give it a go? The only downside is that I’m away for a week in September, so i’ll need to be super organised beforehand to get things scheduled in. Is anyone else thinking of giving this a go? I can highly recommend it.

The lovely ladies at Domestic Sluttery pointed out Abigail Ahern’s home collection for Debenhams. Check it out here. I’d like the Penguin lamp and the candlesticks please. Is it too early to add them to my Christmas list?

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Penguin / Candlestick

I’m also intrigued by Laura Wilson’s list of the Top 10 Crime Novels to read before you die via @welovebooks. Being a crime novel lover I definitely want to dive into some of these soon.

This week I’ve also discovered Pret coffee. The Vanilla Latte is delicious and has a real coffee kick – just what I need post bank holiday weekend. It’s also convenient that there’s a Pret right next to my office.

Talking of bank holidays I absolutely love this four day week that we’ve been having. Although It’s got me super confused about what day it actually is. Today feels like a Tuesday, it’s a Thursday. Can’t really complain though as that means the week is going a lot faster than expected!

Have a good rest of the week everyone

Lau xxxx

Lovely new polaroid instagram prints…

Earlier this month I decided to bite the bullet and get some of my instagram pictures printed. I’ve been talking about doing it for ages but somehow it never gets done! My original plan was to print them via photobox or one of the many other photo printing websites, but luckily for me I saw a blog post where the author talked about the app Pologram – I can’t seem to find the original post anywhere so I can’t tell you who suggested it – sorry. I thought I’d take a peak at the app and see what the fuss was about.

It turns out it’s a great app where you can order you’re photos on your phone and they get sent straight to you. I ordered 21 polaroid style prints for 10 euros (£8.50) on Sunday night and they were delivered to me by Friday morning in a plain brown envelope. Inside the plain envelope was the cutest pink envelopes I have ever seen, and these are what had my prints in.

As you can see below I ordered a selection of prints from recent trips away, last Christmas, my trip to Oz last year and a few of my favourite people. I’ve stuck a few up at work to brighten up my desk area, while the rest will be making themselves at home in my bedroom. Once I decide how to display them that is!

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I’m so pleased I finally got these printed. I really do think that instagram prints fit so perfectly with polaroids particularly because they are square photos. I soon discovered that the best instagram pics are the ones with borders as this really makes the photo stand out more. That’s my opinion anyway.

What do you guys think, are you tempted to try it out?

Lau xxx

The Newsroom, running and eating! – weekly update

I am currently super relaxed thanks to the wonderfulness that is a British Bank Holiday. I’m going to ignore the fact that this is the last weekend of August and instead focus on the three day I have off instead! This is actually the first weekend for months where I have had no plans, yes I’m actually serious and can I just say it have been absolutely blissful. I wish it would last forever. So here’s what I’ve been up to…
Using my new mouse pad from the Paperchase sale. It certainly brightens up my desk at work
wpid-20130820_155056.jpgCatching up on The Newsroom in anticipation for the new series.
Catching up with my oldest friends with a long lazy evening snacking, chatting and drinking green tea
wpid-IMG_20130820_070104.jpgBaking and icing whoopie pies, check out the recipe here


Running and then collapsing on the sofa to watch The Great British Bake Off
wpid-IMG_20130820_183125.jpgWalking to and from work on the same day – 2 hours of walking – I must be mad!
Drinks and dinner with lovely work people – there were less of us than anticipated but that didn’t dampen the fun at all. First there was cocktails during happy hour before soaking up some alcohol with a trip to Five Guys – a review will follow soon. I love working around Covent Garden!

Avoiding the rain by running on the treadmill at the gym.
wpid-IMG_20130824_112425.jpgConvincing Fi that she should try a Ramen dish at Wagamamas

Watching Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince with oreos and a quilt while feeling sorry for my ill self on the sofa.
wpid-1377373455003.jpgMeeting my Dad for brunch/lunch in Clapham before a Starbucks and some shopping to add to my monthly budget post.
And now i’m watching Lord of Rings while blogging and procrastinating over whether to run or not.
Hope you are all having a lovely long weekend too.
Lau xxx