waitrose

Lazy Sunday | Things I’m Loving At the Moment

It’s Valentine’s Day weekend and as such I have decided to write a Things I’m Loving post. Here’s a list of the little things I am obsessing over at the moment….

ACCESSORIES | Olivia Burton Winter Garden Leather Watch

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I have been absolutely head over heels in love with Olivia Burton watches ever since I wrote my Top High Street Watches post, back in god knows when. Her designs are simple and delicate, and I always planned one day to invest in a really beautiful watch. I’ve had some really horrible news this week, which I’ve really been struggling with, and my mum and my boyfriend have been really amazing supports on the phone in reassuring me that things are actually ‘going to be ok’. Anyway, I came home on Friday to a parcel from John Lewis and my wonderful mum had sent me this lovely surprise with the note “Just a little something to cheer you up, Love Mum”. I nearly started crying right there, because it was so sweet and thoughtful and the watch itself is so chic and elegant. I am absolutely in love, I can’t stop looking at it. I would definitely recommend having a look at her collection on John Lewis or ASOS, as she does a really great range of watches, some at pretty reasonable prices.

EATS | Hot-Cross Buns

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It’s that time of year again where there are hot cross buns all over the supermarkets, and although I have never liked them before, I am becoming a bit obsessed. Get me a hot cross bun, a cup of tea and a book at the weekend and I will be happy. They’re so yummy and so cheap to buy! I’m very excited to do a little Waitrose shop soon and see if I can pick up a few different flavours – cinnamon and raisin here I come!

FACE:  No7 Makeup Goodies

IMG_0127I’ve had a pretty hectic couple of weeks, with lots of Uni work to do, and as a result my makeup situation has gotten pretty dire. I ran out of foundation completely on the day I planned to go into town to restock my makeup bag, and ended up covering my face in the last smidgen of concealer I could find – not a good look. It was rather embarrassing, when the lady at the makeup counter asked me what base I had used that morning: “Ermm…”.  On the search for both foundation and concealer, I was hoping there might be a good deal in Boots. It was the Buy One Get One Half Price deal at No7, which caught my attention, and of course the added luxury of finding a lady to help me find my perfect shade without too much effort, was too good to pass up.  I ended up walking away with the Beautifully Matte Foundation and the Instant Radiance Under Eye Concealer, both of which match together beautifully. And it only came to £20, a little bit more than I might usually spend, but so far I’m really happy with both products so that’s good news, and of course having proper makeup doing its actual job is always nice.

HAIR: Schwarzkopf Essence Ultime Crystal Shine Shampoo and Conditioner

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On this journey to get myself back to some kind of normality (just trying to make myself feel more like myself really) I have also had my hair done – as the roots of my blonde highlighted hair where almost covering the whole top of my head, making it look more like I’d just dip-dyed the ends blonde, as opposed not having enough time/money to sort my barnet out. I did, however, read a comforting snippet in Fabulous Magazine, which was talking about how roots are in, so that was nice for a week or so. But I am happily blonde again, the split ends have been trimmed away and my mother (again the wonder that she is) has found me the best shampoo and conditioner set. I’ve actually had this set since Christmas, but I sadly forgot to take it back with me to Uni and as a result we have only just been reunited. It’s the Schwarzkopf Essence Ultime Crystal Shine Shampoo and Conditioner developed with Claudia Schiffer and it is absolutely divine. The scent is a bit hard to put my finger on, it smells quite like coconut and vanilla, and completely like you’ve just had your hair professionally washed in the salon. And it feels like that too, really sleek and soft and light – I am completely in love. The shampoo and conditioner set themselves, do come in at about £10 together, fully priced (fingers crossed for some deals soon), which is expensive when I consider that I usually try and stick to more around the £3-£5 mark, but for a little treat or if you’re got a bit of cash to spare I was totally recommend these products – they literally make me feel like Claudia Schiffer after I’ve blow dried my hair, hair swishing adverts here I come!

WEAR: BDG Mom Jeans 

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I’ve been on the search for a pair of light denim Mom Jeans for a while now, so with Urban Outfitter’s tempting me with £10 off offer, I had to try a pair on. Then of course I had to buy them, just to see if they would potentially go with any of my tops at home – I can always take them back after all…. Although not quite as soft as my faithful black Topshop pair, these jeans are super comfy, and not too tough around the tummy area, which is nice. They’re a great colour for spring and are currently making me feel summery already, even if they do still have the labels in…

That’s my list of things I’m loving at the moment, what are you loving right now? 

Harriette

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How to Survive on a Student Budget: Know Your Perks

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As a first year I have been trying my hardest over the last two terms to adapt to budgeting things for myself – balancing buying food and tolietries with nights and meals out, or occaisional money for events such as Balls etc. It can be pretty tricky. Let alone when I want to go get my hair done, or get the train home for the weekend and that’s more ££s down the drain.

1. NUS Card/ RailCard 
– One of my best purchases this year has been by NUS Extra Card (it’s only about £12 and you make that back very quickly) you can buy these online, registered to your University and it entitles you student discount in a range of shops/ restaurants/ cinemas…. The most imporant thing if you are going to buy an NUS card, is to make sure you download the NUS Extra App on your phone, this will let you know what you’re entitled to. For example you can get 10% off everyday items at Coop and Superdrug (very handy for the average beauty blogger). And [one of the best deals by far] you are entitled to 40% off a Pizza Express meal on Mondays and Tuesdays and 20% off on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. This discount applies to your whole bill so you only need 1 card between a group of you to get the money off. So get you’re family to treat you when they visit, and in return save them 40% off the bill. WIN:WIN.

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– Another great deal, if you haven’t already got it this year is the free 16-25 RailCard that you can get by setting up your student account with a specific bank. This year it was Santander and I got a 4 year rail card (usually worth about £150), for the promise that I would keep some of my student money in their account. The downside is, this means you have to bank with Santander who’s online banking system is absolutely applaing, however it’s certainly worth it to get a 1/3 off your train journey everytime. Just make sure to take the card with you on every journey – and take a photo of it on your phone, incase you ever forget it.

If you’re interested in getting a Student RailCard this way, keep an eye out after results day [ you need to know for sure what Uni you’re going to to get the deal] on all the various bank websites to see which one is offering the deal. Alternatively, other banks do offer other deals – like a free NUS card, but as you can see a RailCard is much better value for money, especially if you’ll often be getting the train home from Uni.

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2. Tesco Vouchers
-Whilst on the topic of saving money on travel, one of the great discoveries I made this year is that you can double up Tesco Vouchers and use them to pay for your travel e.g. turn a £10 Tesco Voucher into £20 off your train journey. It’s rather complicated to set up, but after that it will work smoothly every time, so if you’re interested in knowing more visit MoneySavingExpert.Com.  You or your parent will need a Tesco Clubcard to do this, I currently use my Dad’s.

3. Sainsbury’s Meal Ticket
-Great idea if you’re parents are willing to help you out, but don’t want to give you wads of cash. Sainsbury’s have recently introduced this rather ugly twin set of cards that you can pick up free instore. One card is for your parent/ grandparent, which they can put money on when shopping in a Sainsbury’s store, the other is for you. The idea is that your card is linked to the one that your parent has back at home, so when they charge it up with money, you can then spend it in store on your groceries, or just alcohol if you want. I found splitting my shop in half and paying half on my Meal Ticket Card and half on my debit card helped spread the cost and made me feel like I was spending a bit less everytime.

4. John Lewis/ Waitrose Card
– If you haven’t heard about this already, the My Waitrose Card is a great little loyalty card to pick up, even if you don’t shop there often. For regular shoppers of course there is the benefit that you get regular, and exclusive discounts on a variety of products everytime you shop. But for everyone else, the two favourite perks are 1. the fact that if you spend over £5 you can get a free newpaper (Either The Daily Mail, The Guardian, The Telegraph or The Times) and 2. the free coffees. Everytime you go into Waitrose [on the understanding that this is not more than once a day] with your My Waitrose card you can pick up a free tea of coffee (including Lattes, Cappicinos, Mochas and Expressos as well as regular coffee) to have in the Cafe or to takeaway with you. So fancy a coffee morning with your friends, but don’t want to fork out £3+ for a Costa/ Sturbucks? Take everyone to Waitrose for free coffees and spend the money on cake instead.

– A secondary point to add to this is that John Lewis have now issued their own card, My John Lewis, which offers cardholders a free tea or coffee and their choice of a slice of cake, once a month at their Cafe. Free coffee and cake once a month? Yes please. All you have to do is register yourself for a card online and you’ll recieve tea and cake vouchers to use in the shop.

5. Be a Model
This is a great tip for all the student beauty bloggers out there.Fancy getting your hair done, but can’t afford the price? I always have this problem because my hair is highlighted and that’s expensive. Solution: sign up to be a hair model. This is a bit more of a take the chance when you see it type of thing, but a large number of hairdressers employ Students who are doing some kind of course at College but have to do a certain number of cuts/colours/blowdrys before they can pass and become an offical hairdresser. As a result of this salons often advertise in their window, or post on their social networking sites that they are looking for cutting models or colour models and in return they will offer you the cut/ colour at a reduced price (I once had a full head of highlights for £15 at Tony and Guy). In my experience, student hairdressers have never been less capable than normal hairdressers and in some salons they have senior hairdressers watching over them anyway. So if you see a sign in a window looking for models, go in or give them a ring and suggest that you would like to be a model and what you would like to have done. It’s certainly worth it for the slash in the price.

I hope this ‘perks’ have been helpful. If you have any questions about any of these, please feel free to email me – email can be found on my contact page. On the other hand, if you have any other student tips or perks please post them in the comments. 

Harriette