You can now find my blog at www.livinginagoldenafternoon.net
I mentioned in my previous post that I wanted to take up running and to give myself the motivation to do so I signed up for the Avengers half marathon at Disneyland in November. Yes I am really going all the way to California to do a run. I figured I’ll already be in the States at the time, so really its only a few hours away, one of my friends is already signed up so I have somebody to go with and I’ve never been to California before!
But now that I’ve actually signed up for this, I have to go run. I’ve never done any kind of running before so I’m literally starting from the bottom and working my way up to being able to do 13.1 miles by November. I may post regular updates on how training is going and how far I’m coming along.
I already have pretty much everything I need such as proper shoes and clothes to wear and of course my legs(I traded Ursula my voice for legs to run with.) But none the less I thought it would be fun to create a wish list of things that I’d like. I may even treat myself every once in a while to something on this list when I reach a new milestone with training.
I currently have a pair from Nike that I’m using so I thought I’d expand my horizons and have a look at other brands, I know New Balance is used by quite a few runners so I found a pair on the UK website(which unfortunately has less of a selection than US) that I like.
Minimus Zero v2 £80.00
2. Sports Bra
This is something which I actually need as my current one is rather tight on me since its a few years old. Both are from H&M, the first one is a high support one at £19.99 and the second is medium support at £9.99.
I’ve chose Nike for the bottoms as I feel these tend to last longer, I have had cheaper pairs from Primark and New Look as well as Nike ones and the Nike ones definitely lasted me longer, this particular pair cost £26.99 at Sports Direct.
I chose a few tops I liked from lookhuman.com however they don’t post to the UK so I won’t be getting these anytime soon, if they are still in stock I may order them for October when I’m going to be in the states. These are currently $29 but are buy one get one 50% off and the website always seem to have some sort of deal on.
5. Water bottle
I’ve gone for a Reusable BPA-Free Hydration Filter Water Bottle that I found on eBay for £2.99.
Lets hope I can actually stick to running now as I’d hate to see the sign up fee for the half marathon go to a compete waste.
I really can’t believe we are already half way through the year. Time just keeps passing on by and so I decided to take a moment during the week to evaluate my year so far and figure out what I want to do with the rest of it.
I’m one of those people who at the start of the year usually makes resolutions and by the time next year comes I’ve forgotten all about them. So this year I wrote them down and I’m happy to say I’ve actually completed some of them and made progress on others. Looking back it has gave me more motivation to complete everything on my list by the end of the year, and I have a whole 6 months left to do so.
So many things have happened this year already that were quite unexpected and challenging but I’m still here to tell the tale. Last year was a really difficult year for me but it still somehow turned out to be the best year of my life. I wanted to make this year even better and have somehow succeeded.
I was in my 3rd year of University and I dropped it all and left, if I had stayed I would have got my degree this year but I made the choice in February that my happiness was far more important than a certificate. It took a lot of courage but it was right for me. So many of my friends tried to convince me to stay because they thought I was making a bad move. But really I just decided that I was going to put myself first and to do that I couldn’t stay there, I lived for the weekends and I wanted to live for each day not just the days I didn’t have to be there. Overall its made me a happier person and allowed me to travel more as I didn’t have anything holding me back.
This year I have also met the most amazing people that will be in my life for a long time to come. Its unfortunate that most of them live across the Atlantic Ocean but each time I go back they welcome me with open arms and I get to spend time with them and that time has became so valuable and important to me. I’ve been over to the US 3 times this year already because my friends keep me coming back. It has opened my eyes to what true friendship is and I’ll always be grateful for that. So far I’ve had a great year and have more exciting things planned for the next 6 months to keep me occupied.
I want to now focus on my health and happiness for the remainder of this year. My health has been something I haven’t been paying much attention to lately and I know I need to sort it out before it ends up worse. Which means I’m going to have numerous doctors appointments and a hospital visit which I’ve been avoiding. I also want to drink more water and start running. I’ve tried a few times this year to start running and when I was I just felt so much better about myself but I fell out of the habit quickly so its something that I need to take back up again. Spending more time with friends is also pretty high up on my list of things to do.
As we are approaching Summer I can’t help but think of the Fall and Winter seasons up ahead as those are my favourite. Although I’m pretty darn excited about Summer which is unusual as I hate the heat and normally get terribly bored real quick. But spending so much time already in Florida this year I’ve had to just suck it up and get used to the warmth, and I actually started to enjoy it.
I hope all you wonderful people have had a good year so far and that it just gets better and brighter from this moment forward.
*I wanted to do a post on saving up money to travel with as right now more than ever I am constantly being asked “but how do you afford it?” The simple answer is that I save my money, set priorities and budget.*
So it’s no secret that this year I have travelled frequently, in fact I’ve been out of the country so much that I wouldn’t really call where I live “home” anymore. We are now at the half point mark of the year and so far I’ve been on sixteen flights, some for an hour others for eight. I had decided at the start of the year that I was bored with my life and needed some adventure, what better way to introduce that than travel to new places and do new things. I am incredibly lucky that I’ve been to so many amazing places this year including Paris, London and Florida but I’m getting real sick and tired of people questioning my decisions, it is MY life, MY money and MY decision not anybody else’s. I’m bored of having to say “yes, I have been to Florida three times this year, but what is your point?”
I started my current job last October, and at first I was only working around 10 hours per week as I was also at University. It was my first proper job and I decided that I wasn’t going to spend any of my wages but instead pop them into a different bank account, a bank account specifically for travel. My reasoning behind this was that I didn’t have this job before, it was money that I originally did not have and I was still getting monthly payments from my student loan, so I survived on that. I’m lucky enough to still live at home, I don’t have a car, a child or any real responsibilities(except my animals.) The only bill I pay is Netflix, if you can even count that. So instead of blowing my wages every week on clothes, shoes and make up I put it away. Which was incredibly hard as I have a major shopping addition, especially with shoes, they are my weakness. I managed to do this from October-January.
I went to Florida in January, then again in April and May. Those were the big trips that everybody decided was appropriate to question me about. I even had a “friend” who completely went crazy on me and told me I shouldn’t be spending my money going there when I had already been this year. But yes I went again after that and we are no longer friends anymore, which is silly really because it isn’t as if she had been paying for it.
So how do I afford to do it? I composed this list of things that have helped me and may help you too.
1. Set up a bank account specifically for saving.
I have a savings account within my actual bank account which allows me to easily transfer money back and forth really quickly.
2. Create a TopCashBack account.
This has saved/earned me a lot of money. You basically earn cash back while shopping online on certain websites, I usually book my hotels through one of the websites so that tends to add up quickly. You can also earn free cash back on certain promotions and offers, so basically you’re making money without actually spending any.
3. Get a physical bank you need to break to open.
At the moment I have three of these which I’m putting money into. I got them for around 50p at B&M. I like these because you can’t open them to count how much you have inside until you want to break it. I put nothing less than £1 into these as I don’t want them just to be full of spare change. At the end of each month I empty my purse and split the contents between the three I currently have.
4. Keep your spare change and pennies.
I have a little jar in my room where I keep spare change and also a wine holder bottle thing full of pennies. I know so many people who throw away their pennies but I keep mine and put them in here, I already have around £10, just made up of 1p and 2p(yes I sat and counted.) Although its only £10 it is still money I didn’t have before and every little helps.
5. Get rid of your unwanted items.
If you’re anything like me and you end up hoarding items you don’t even use/need for months or years then this can be difficult. But I actually find it easier now coming to terms with getting rid of things I don’t use especially if it can earn me money. This can be everything from clothes to CDs. Personally one of my favourite places to sell things is on Vinted(clothes) & Depop(pretty much everything.) These are both apps which I have on my phone and I love how easy it is. If someone wants to buy something or ask you a question you get the notification straight away. You don’t have to log onto another website to check.
6. Ask for it for your Birthday/Christmas.
A big part of the reason I could afford to go away at the start of the year was because I asked for it as part of my Christmas. My dad paid for my hotel in Paris and my mum paid for my flights. Voila, only thing I had to pay for was my park tickets to Disneyland. But seriously, when it comes to Christmas think about what you actually want. Do you really need that iPhone upgrade when the one you have works just fine? Or would you rather a weekend away somewhere.
At the start of every month I get out my notebook and I write how much is coming in and then based on that set myself a budget for the month. In this budget I also include money to transfer over into my savings account. Don’t get me wrong, I have went over budget at times but for the most part I stick to it well.
8. Live at home.
If you are young like me then you probably already live at home anyways. But this is by far the main reason I can afford to travel. I am in no rush to get my own place because I’m quite happy where I am and who needs a house anyways when you want to spend your whole life travelling.
9. Work hard and believe in yourself.
If you had told me at the start of the year that I would have travelled as much as what I have I would never have believed you. But I’ve been working hard knowing that at the end of each work day I have more money to go towards a future trip. But now I truly believe that I can get myself anywhere I want to go, with only a little bit of saving and perseverance.
Some of these things have majorly helped me out when trying to save my money. I get sidetracked quite often and usually want to splurge on things that I don’t really need so reminding myself often that it really is worth it is vital.
If you have any other tips on how to save up let me know.
*Thank you to those who have stuck around while I’ve been MIA.*
Since I have returned home from the States I have been exhausted, life just seems far more exhausting than usual. I remained jet lagged for at least a week, I still haven’t unpacked my suitcase and my room is a mess. Whenever my room is messy I feel like my whole life is, I don’t function properly until I have every inch of my room cleaned and everything has somewhere to go, but again I’ve been far to tired to clean.
Usually it only takes me a few days to get back into the swing of things but I’ve been walking around like a complete zombie wondering where the hell I am, what day it is and what time zone I’m in. Someone asked me what age I was yesterday and it took me a whole minute to work it out.
The sad fact is, I miss it terribly. My heart belongs to Florida and I don’t think it is quite willing to move on with the fact I’m now at the other end of the Atlantic Ocean. I had an amazing time though, I seen old friends, I met new friends, I tried new food, I visited new places and done new things, I spent my birthday there and it was all so wonderful, until I had to come home. Then the tears started and I felt like a 5 year old stood in the middle of the airport about to have a full on tantrum, of course I held it all together but inside I was breaking, I could feel it and it was soul destroying.
I’ve never felt more at home somewhere, and a big part of that is the people. I love the people over there, in fact I have more friends over there than here and leaving them and saying goodbye for another 6 months was daunting.
Anyways more about the exhaustion in my life. I take medication for tiredness due to the fact my bloods are “all wrong”, whatever that means, but of course I left them in my hotel room, so I haven’t been taking my medication which makes me less tired and I’ve been too tired to go to the doctor and get more. I’m also back at work. I work with children and it is very rewarding but it’s also very tiring. The specific children that I work with have special needs, they are the sweetest kids in the world, very affectionate and loving which can be great but they also have the worse meltdowns and don’t understand a lot of things. I love my job, these kids are part of my life and it wouldn’t be the same without them, I even went back to work a day early because I missed them but it is totally exhausting and drains me of all energy. I get home around 6pm and I’m ready to just call it a day and go to bed. I salute mothers everywhere, kudos to them.
I decided today is the day I’m going to finish cleaning my room, I’ve started it and I’ve done half but I just want it to be completely clean, I know that it will take a huge weight off my shoulder and make me feel so much better. I have plans later on this afternoon so I plan on drinking lots of coffee so that I can stay awake and be sociable. I wrote a list of things I have to do this month, its a long list and I’m so not prepared but I’m taking it one step at a time. I applied for a job that I really want, in fact if I get it I’m going to be in total shock, and I booked in for my first laser tattoo removal(that’s a whole other story.) I’m slowly but surely making my way through the list. My top priority next week is to get my medication sorted out and actually start taking it. Maybe next weekend I’ll even unpack, all my clothes are unpacked I just have a suitcase full of miscellaneous items I’ve acquired while on my travels. If you’ve read this far, thank you and I apologise for my ramblings.
I hope you all have a golden afternoon.
I’m currently in the US right now so I apologise for my lack of updates but I don’t have my laptop with me.
I’ve never seen the moon over here in America before, I’ve visited at all different times of the year and it’s just never in the sky. So I’ve always joked with all my friends who live here that they don’t have the moon and I don’t believe it’s over here, every time it is I get picture messages which I reply saying “stop photoshopping the moon into your pictures” so my real goal for this trip was to see the moon!
I’m currently staying at Walt Disney World aka home. I make wishes when I’m here and every wish I’ve ever made has came true, lucky or what? I wish on the stars, the fireworks, on it’s a small world, in the fountain, basically everywhere feasible so everyone told me to wish something real hard when I finally see the moon because it will be sure to come true.
We were watching Fantasmic last night and I turned around to talk to my friend when my face dropped and I freaked out because right behind her was the moon and it was beautiful. I think I screamed and everyone else just kind of stared at me but my friends got how excited I was because seriously I LOVE the moon! But it wasn’t just the moon I seen there was a bright thing next to it which I initially thought was a star and so I was like “wow look how bright that star is” and that’s when everyone turned around and told me that it wasn’t a star and it was in fact a planet. Venus to be exact. So not only did I see the moon but I saw Venus. So I closed my eyes and I wished real hard. It was a silly wish but none the less it was a wish. If this comes true then I know for a fact that it’s not just pot luck and that I have a fairygod mother somewhere listening and granting my wishes.
I love receiving things in the mail, especially boxes filled with goodies which is why I just love subscription boxes! I’ve been getting Birchbox since last year and lately I’ve been getting bored of it and realised I’m not using half the things I recieve. So I’m on the hunt for a new subscription box and I thought no better way to determine which I like best than ordering them all and comparing.
I actually did end up liking the products in this months box. I started using the Liz Earle Beauty Co Cleanse & Polish and my skin feels so much softer than usual. Not pictured is the Befine Warming Clay Mask as I opened the box and ended up taking it out and using it approximately 10 seconds later. It was AMAZING! Its a self-heating mask and my skin just felt so clean and fresh afterwards, I loved it so much! I haven’t used the other products yet but can’t wait to try them out.
£10 + £2.95 postage
I seen a few blog posts about this box and liked the concept of receiving things to cheer you up when its your time of month, as well as the essentials that you need. I was quite happy with this box, you choose before hand if you want tampons/towels and which type you would like. I need a new eyeliner so the Binky eye pencil will definitely get used. The duck print tissues have also gone straight into my bag for when I need them. The only thing in the box I wasn’t happy with was the chocolate as I don’t like dark chocolate, but everything else was nice. The first box only costs £5.95 which is another great thing.
£9.99 after 1st box
My Little Box
This Box was the most expensive out of the 3 that I got. I love how pretty it is and that every month has a different them, this months theme was Dream! It instantly captured my attention with the Walt Disney quote on a cloud, I love Disney so that was just perfect and I’ve already put it on my wall. I also got a little stamp set, 3 different products & a little necklace weaved on a cord. The products came in a cute little string bag which I’ll definitely use.
£11 + £3.95 postage
The whole point of ordering these different boxes was so that I could choose the one I liked the best. Problem is, I can’t choose. After liking this months Birchbox I’m going to continue my subscription until at least next month, If I don’t like any of the products then I’ll cancel that. But I loved receiving Pink Parcel & My Little Box! If I had to choose I’d probably take My Little Box and cancel the others but I don’t want to just yet so I’m going to continue with them all until next month and then go from there.
Do you get any subscription boxes and whats your favourite??
I hope you all have a golden afternoon.