Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Hello, Spring!

 Guys, this year I am really loving spring.

I think it comes from living in a new flat. I live in a new area where I haven't experienced all of the seasons, and there are so many flowers and trees and just plain old NATURE around that I'm really excited to see how it all ends up looking. I mean, I think it looks great right now when all the trees are dead and the flowers are only just starting to sprout up, so imagine how good it's going to look when spring is in full bloom!

 All the pictures in this post are taken on a walk I did around my new flat. I just went and followed the river for a few hours and found so much, and HEARD so much. So many birds, so much potential, I bet it's going to look awesome.

 I'm also really loving flowers and plants in general right now so I'm excited to see what's in store. And I mean that literally - as much as I'm loving seeing all the outdoor florals, I'm looking forward to seeing what I can fill my flat with. As I write this I'm surrounded by flowers and I'm really loving it. I can't wait until I can put bunches of daffodils everywhere, and some new flowers and arrangements that I don't even know about yet!

What are you looking forward to this spring?
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Monday, 28 March 2016

Flowers & Plants from M&S

 If you follow me on Instagram you'll already have seen the first and second photos posted here, but I really liked them so, uh, sorry, you'll have to see them again.

  Anyway, as my life has been all about home decoration lately, it's no surprise that I discovered I really liked having flowers and plants around the place. I also specifically chose a place with an enormous terrace and have been finding it really disappointing as I just haven't known what to put on it - or rather, I have known, but I haven't found anywhere that will actually sell me what I want for a price I can afford!

  I didn't actually think my local M&S did flowers aside from smaller bouquets as I went in there a few days ago looking for their selection of either real or artificial flowers. I found their artificial selection (and to be honest, considered them to be lovely but way too expensive) and I think I just came to the assumption that if they did have real ones, they'd surely be in the same place. So I was particularly surprised when I popped in the other day to buy an Easter egg for someone and was greeted by the above scene!
They had bloody loads, and not too expensive either which surprised me. I particularly loved these beautiful little bags of tulips above but I didn't end up buying any. I figure at the moment when I'm low on funds and am in need of a LOT of plants, I should be buying things that I know will live for a while. Or at least have the potential to, no matter how hard I try I am a plant murderer, however I'm hoping the fact that my new flat is full of natural light will maybe change that somewhat. I also spent quite a long amount of time looking at their orchids as they have some lovely ones and I thought they were a pretty good price, but I'm not sure how long they live for and google gave me some conflicting answers.

Okay, let's get on to what I DID buy!

 The first plant I bought was this cute little succulent. I really like it, and I wasn't expecting to. It's not the sort of plant I normally like the look of but I thought this one was just so pretty and I love how nice a pattern it has. I was also particularly surprised by how wonderfully this plant has worked in the one corner of my room that never looks complete. I originally tried it next to the window but it didn't look quite right there, so I placed it in the incomplete corner feeling not at all optimistic. Due to the fact that it's such a small plant I didn't think it would work particularly well in the empty space, and yet somehow it really has. I'm really happy with this little plant.

 The other things I bought were these kits - for want of a better word! - that let you grow a tomato plant and some forget me nots. I spent bloody ages looking through all the selection that they had for these kind of things. I was fairly sure on the Forget Me Nots pretty quickly as blue has become one of my favourite colours for flowers and these were the only ones they had in this set, and I was pretty sure I wanted the tomatoes as I knew I'd use them more than I would any other fruity/vegetabley plant. I was particularly torn by getting some of the bigger flowering plants but I knew I'd probably fail at upkeep, and I really really wanted a sunflower but I suspect that the flat owners would object being that my handbook specifically advises against flowers that are too big!



The contents are quite simple! You get your bucket, a little packet of seeds, and all the soil you need. In the case of the tomato plant you get two bags of the compost, one with the Forget Me Nots.

 Then it's a case of following the instructions, which really doesn't take more than a couple of minutes. Pouring it in, popping in the seeds, and watering. THEN PRAYING. Please grow, plants.

 What I'm not showing you is the fact that I couldn't find any decent drip trays that fit these plants, and therefore they are currently sitting on a pair of really cheap baking trays I got from Argos. Oh well.

 I'm really hoping these two grow and I'm really happy with the set so far. To be honest, there's one thing I probably won't do. The instructions for the tomato plant want you to eventually move them into something else - I'm unlikely to do that as realistically, the reason I got one of these kits was so I didn't have to think about it and the bucket they come in is pretty sizeable so I think it'll be fine. You could probably get these for cheaper - my local Poundland had a surprisingly massive collection of seeds, pots and soil etc but I liked the ease of these kits and to be honest I didn't want to be lugging around giant bags of compost. Though you can get them for cheaper I do think these are a good price for what you get and the soil etc does feel like good quality.

I'm hoping these start to grow nicely, and I'll do an update in a few months if they do and I'm able to start getting some goodies off of them. If they do, I also think it's extremely likely that I'll start buying some more! I really want to anyway but I just want to prove I can actually keep them alive. Frankly, the two terrace ones should be fine as they're actually outside and with a bit of a windbreaker so they should be quite happy, but hopefully my mini indoorsy one will do well too. I'm also going to keep an eye on the mini trees they're stocking at my local, and I'm intrigued about maybe getting hold of some roses too. But first let's make sure these ones stay alive...!

If you'd like to check out what your local has to offer, I'd recommend you pop in as if you're anything like me you'll be inexplicably drawn to a particular plant you may not have liked online...! But you can view the online selection for some inspiration here.
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Friday, 25 March 2016

Perfume Review: Ghost Girl

 First of all guys, remember in my last post how I said I hadn't yet worked out how lighting works in my new flat? Yeah, this is ever evident here. SORRY. I tried. I tried in so many places! I haven't mastered it yet. I think the terrace is going to be the place to take all the photos but at the time of taking these it was filled with drying clothes. They'll be better next time I swear.

Anyway.

  If you follow me on Twitter, you'll probably have seen me complaining about how much money moving house is. My rent has gone up. I have to transport everything. I have to buy all sorts of things I didn't know I needed, that I'd forgotten, and just new decorations and pieces in general alongside all the new plates, discovering you'd damaged the hoover on the way over and BLAH BLAH BLAH.

Therefore, probably the last thing I needed to buy was new perfume, but, well, I did it anyway.

 Enter Ghost Girl, because I happened to be going past The Perfume Store and saw it inside. I was curious about it as I'd seen a lot of references about it and thought I'd go and give it a smell.

And it's SO NICE.

It's a very fruity scent that reminds me a little of Britney Spears' perfumes (a very good thing, because they're some of my all time favourites) with scents of pear, pomegranite, and lots of raspberry. This is a very fruity and strong scent that just smells so tropical and lovely I knew straight away I had to have it. It's fun and I love the power behind it, but please do bear in mind that I am not exaggerating when I say it's a strong scent - if you prefer your perfumes to be more subtle, this is absolutely not the one for you!

I got mine in a gift set, because as usual, for some reason it was cheaper to get it this way! The perfume is £25 - or £19.99 for exactly the same size perfume plus a bonus body lotion. Madness, I don't know why companies do this as I now have quite a big collection of bonus products that I ended up with purely because the gift set happened to work out cheaper! If you'd like to pick up your own you can grab it from The Perfume Shop, here!
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Wednesday, 23 March 2016

New Flat Tour!

So as most of you will already have noticed, I moved house! And what an ordeal it has been! I love my new flat and my new location, and have got the basic touches down in terms of decorating now. Some areas are still lacking - in particular there's a corner of my room which try as I might I just can't quite get to look complete, and the entire terrace area is empty right now because I ran out of money but will eventually have an outdoor seating area and lots of plants and mini trees.

I've not moved too far and am now living in East London with a lovely view of Canary Wharf. I've not included any photos of the view because it just makes it way too obvious where I live I'm afraid! I'm dealing with new photo taking dilemmas that I did not expect, such as the fact that I thought floor to ceiling windows would be amazing for lighting but in fact just means that it causes all sorts of weird light issues. My flat isn't the easiest to take pictures of as though I love it and the layout, for some reason the layout itself makes it quite difficult to get good photos of - especially with the previously mentioned lighting problem which is fine in reality but awful for photos!
I've not included a complete photo of my room as it just doesn't look right yet, and the dining room is missing too because I can't get a picture of it without making it painfully obvious exactly where I live. But enjoy a brief look at some snippets of the new place, and hopefully I'll be able to post a completed one for you soon :-)

The first couple of pictures are all from my room. There you can see a bit of a view and my lovely new fake flowers - these are from Next.

 Next to the flowers live my new reed diffuser. This sits underneath my new unit which I'm very proud of! I spent ages building it and somehow it all fit perfectly in my room. These scents are from Next and in Apricot Blossom which is a lovely smell - I also really loved their citrusy one.


 View from my bedroom - I'm on the side overlooking the residents garden.



 This is just a minutes walk away and I already don't make as much use of it as I should!

 My friendly neighborhood geese.


 This is half of my terrace. I'm actually super lucky to have this terrace and I can't wait to do something decent with it. It's about double the size you see here but right now the other half is filled with boxes that don't as of yet have anywhere to go and stuff that hasn't been unpacked! The bottom half is glass and the top half is open so I think it'll be a great little seating area.

 The lounge, which is bigger than it looks but won't be photographed properly! To the side of this is the terrace and behind is the dining area and then the kitchen.

 More from my room! I love these flowers, they're from Next as well. I found that Next do fantastic artificial flowers. I had a look around all the big department stores and homeware stores and found that most of them were charging absolutely extortionate prices, Next was the only place I found that did them for a reasonable price - and they were pretty as well!

 Kitchen! The kitchen is a lot bigger than it looks but at an awkward angle to photograph. There's a lot of space and I love that the fridge is huge. It has an annoyingly high tec oven and hob that I don't really understand how to use and had a bit of a fight with but it makes up for it by having a pull out pantry which is my new favourite kitchen feature of all time and a DISHWASHER! I've never owned a dishwasher before. Life changer.

 Bathroom! The bathroom is another awkward thing to take a picture of but, well, you get the idea. The cupboards are nice and big and spacious which is good because I have way too big a backlog of bath products. I say as I sit here and wait for the Easter sales so I can buy all of Lush's range.

And finally, another view from inside the residents garden itself.

SO, that's a quick little look into my life at the moment! Hopefully I'll be able to update soon when all is completed.
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Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Thailand Part 2 - Lampang & Chiang Mai

First of all, sorry to everyone who's waiting for me to reply to their emails and DMs. In case you missed it, I MOVED HOUSE, and omg so much more stressful and time consuming than I thought it would be. So, sorry. Will be getting there!

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Monday, 14 March 2016

10 Ways Things Are Going to be Different in my New Flat



Whilst many people like to try new ways of living once NYE hits, I've always found that a pretty unrealistic way of doing things. My habits that I've been sticking to aren't suddenly going to change just because the date has. I'm still going to get the same cravings at the same times, I'm still going to know where the cheeky emergency snacks are hidden, I'm still not going to want to go to that gym class that I don't actually enjoy.

However, at the time this post has been uploaded, I will have moved house yesterday. And I've decided that actually, moving house is the perfect opportunity to make some life changes. I'm still living in London but in a different part in a completely different flat, and therefore what better time to start some positive habits and routines rather than having to fight off some negative ones? So these are what I've come up with...


  1. Eat fruit, every week. I'm good at eating veg, and despite loving fruit I just don't eat it. I think it's because it's not part of my routine, so I end up buying it with good intentions and then it just goes in my fridge and slowly rots because I don't even think about it. So I want to start making sure I'm eating at least a piece a week, or at the very least juicing it.
  2. Keep cooking once a week. I'll be living much closer to a big superstore, so no more relying on remembering to do an online order. Each week on my first rest day, I'm going to go do the shopping for the week and make sure I'm cooking something.
  3. Have friends over more - I've got a big, clean flat now! Make the most of it.
  4. On that note, when friends are over - do more! No more having people over just for takeaways and to watch movies. I'm not saying do dinner parties every week, but find more to do.
  5. Go outside at least once a day. On some rest days I manage to get away with really doing nothing at all. I'm so tired after a long week especially if it's been over six days that if I can get away with it, on my first rest day I will usually do literally nothing aside from the essentials like laundry. I can cheat a little here as I've got a fairly large terrace now which I'm fully intending on filling with plants and other greenery, so this means it counts even if I just go and sit on the terrace to read a book.
  6. Gym. Once a week. Do it. The gym and the pool are going to be about a five minute walk away. I haven't worked out whether or not to get a monthly membership or pay as you go yet, but I need to do this. There's free workouts in the park so I've decided it counts even if I just attend one of those or go jogging around it.
  7. Clean weekly. Something. It doesn't matter what. I think this will be easier as a flat is obviously less hassle than a house and I won't have my dog anymore so there won't be quite so much hair all the time all over the place.
  8. Online shopping? Stop it. In fact, Nicola, you're going back to the sale shopping. I've noticed that some stores don't take long for everything to go into the sale anyway, and now I'm going to be living next to a big shopping area it'll be much easier for me to just sort of window shop on my way home. I'd never try and stop myself from shopping, but a quick browse of the sales is going to be better for me I think.
  9. Budget! My rent is going up by quite a bit. I'm still going to have enough to live on and have fun with but I want to make sure I'm still saving something. Admittedly, I'm not going to be an adult about this. My saving priority is no longer going towards buying a house (more on that rant in a future post) but on making sure I can still have nice holidays each year, but I'm going to start using a spending app to track what I'm doing and to make sure I'm not going over a certain amount each week.
  10. See my normal houred friends too, at least once every two weeks. I've said every two weeks because there are occasional weeks where my hours are so appalling that I would never be able to see anyone. Right now my circle of friends typically includes other shift workers, because it's much easier to know that on a Thursday morning when I'm not at work til 3pm that there are certain other people who will also be off, and that there's a bit less competition for their time. I want to try to make sure I'm seeing the others a bit more too.
Right, that's my list! Let's hope I stick to some of this...!

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Friday, 11 March 2016

Follow Friday 007

First of all, guys, a disappointing announcement that probably no one cares about but me! Whilst in Thailand I bookmarked loads of posts I wanted to include in Follow Fridays and somehow all of them are vanished. So this post may be a little shorter than I was planning on it being, but hopefully you find some posts and blogs you enjoy reading in it all the same!


001. Cat wrote this brilliant post about truths we don't like to admit in our twenties. I love posts like this, that manage to be both entertaining and depressingly realistic, and I think it definitely contains plenty of points that we can all relate to. I also follow Cat's blog now, so expect to see some more posts from her included here!


002. Holly put up a really useful post all about how she curates and edits her instagram. Personally, the effort I put into mine doesn't go any further than taking a picture and using one of the two filters that I actually like, but I always appreciate seeing what other people do and her post does contain some really good information.


003. Jordan wrote a post all about the new Creme Egg cafe that's been lurking around. I am actually not a fan of creme eggs at all but I LOVED this post. It's hard to capture what I loved about it, so really you should probably just go and have a quick read of it! I even want to go there as a result of reading it!


004. Angie recently visited the Mandarin Oriental for afternoon tea and posted the most beautiful photos of the whole experience. I'm a big afternoon fan but typically stick to the cheaper places unless it's a particular brand that has won me over and I know I can trust them. Otherwise I think you're spending an extortionate amount on what is essentially sandwiches and some pastry and I struggle to see how you can justify the cost. HOWEVER, Angie's photos have made me so urgently want to visit the Mandarin Oriental for their tea! The presentation is amazing (Just look at that bird cage!) and I just want to try all of those little cakes so bad.


005. Josie is one of the few fashion bloggers I follow as I just love her photoshoots. They are so pretty - she wears beautiful outfits and even when the actual fashion isn't to my taste the actual photoset is always so lovely that I take a look at it anyway. Therefore I think it's brilliant that she's posted this guide on taking brilliant fashion shoots! If fashion blogging is something you're interested in, it's definitely worth checking out.


Want to be included?
In order to be in my Follow Friday posts, you just need to have written a blog post that I've come across and enjoyed reading. That's it! Of course the blog posts that I read tend to be from blogs I already follow or that I see mentioned through Bloglovin or Twitter, but I'm always looking around for new blogs and posts to have a look at so you've still got a good chance of being included even if I don't follow you anywhere. If you'd like me to have a look at your post, come follow me at @pinkconfettiuk on Twitter and go and leave me a tweet with the link and a quick description in response to this tweet! You can use more than one as I keep the same link up for a month or so!
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Wednesday, 9 March 2016

London Flathunting; The Flats I Looked At!


London flathunting sucks, guys. Especially if you're not planning on moving in with a partner or whatever which means you are subject to the harsh world of flatshare hunting. The world where not only do you have to find a flat that you like but you also have to combine it with people that you like, and where about 100 other people are also competing for the exact same locations.

That and the prices have also gone up by about £300 since you started renting at the current place you're at, but let's not dwell on that because it's very upsetting...

Friends told me how difficult it was. My lovely friend Alex who is a very likeable person told me how hard it had been for him to find a place, to the extent that he had started to bring chocolates and wine to his houseviewings so that he'd be more memorable and, let's face it, to bribe people. This really surprised me as Alex is a very likeable person and I thought he must have just had really bad luck but nope, this is the reality now. To the extent I genuinely thought I was about to become homeless and it's scary how easily it can happen - I mentioned this to a co-worker and he told me he had had the EXACT same problem. He'd had to move out of his flat, had 30 days, and was 2 days away from homelessness and would have been if a friend of his hadn't happened to have his flatmate move out on that day. Since then more friends who are now homeowners have remembered their time searching years ago and said it was the same for them. My experience five years ago was not bad at all. I looked at four places, liked three of them, and all said I could take it if you wanted. I was not prepared for the effort levels this time around.

So, here's the six flats I looked at this time around...

Flat #1: There's nothing really bad I can say about this one. I didn't like the location, and this wasn't helped by the fact that there were two men trying to make their dogs fight right outside the doors. However, the flat itself was lovely, and I can say no wrong about the people that owned the flat. They were all lovely, and I would have been so happy at this one. However they ended up taking a week to pick their new housemate which unfortunately went to a friend of one of them!

Flat #2: I actually liked this flat, however all the tenants paid their rent cash in hand and I thought this was a little odd. When he first mentioned it I pulled an expression that must have said it was a little bit surprising to me. This was followed by a "It's really normal to pay rent in cash." Uh, no it isn't. Plus at that sort of rent I don't think my bank even allows me to withdraw so much, and if it did I wouldn't want to carry it around. I actually did text this one afterwards and got a phone call to say it had been taken already. Right.

Flat #3: No. No no no. So, this three bedroom apartment was about the same size as a studio apartment. I know it's zone one, but come on. I don't think there was a single window in the whole place. Also, the guy that owned it just sucked. He was really good looking, I'll say that much, but conversation with him was not pleasant.

Flat #4: This one was fine. It was just fine. It was on an absolutely beautiful row of houses and yet was the only ex council estate on there and the lift smelled quite a bit like someone had peed in it. But the actual flat was fine. That was really my only impression of the whole place. It was fine. I didn't meet any of the people that actually lived there but by that point I was desperate so just said I'd take it, and the owner was happy for me too. However, that evening he called me to say that two of the people that were currently sharing a room had decided to take one each, so it was gone. Great.

Flat #5: This was a two bedroom flat in an area that I love. I honestly wasn't that sure on the person I'd be sharing it with. She was a little bland and friendly but not really all at the same time if that makes any sense at all. I didn't really want to live with her, but I did really want to live in the flat and that area so I made a real effort with this one. And then never heard back. Such is life.

Flat #6: I loved this flat. I loved the area. The room was the smallest of the lot but I didn't care because the flat was so nice and I liked the two people I'd be living with. The guy told me upfront that I was the first person who'd applied for it and in his head he'd already picked me for it but it was dependent on how well we got on in person, which obviously we did. I was so worried that it was going to fall through at any moment, but this is the one I'll be living in in a couple of days :-)

This is a topic I could talk about endlessly, and do. I'll be posting a series all about my new place (MOVING IN ON SUNDAY, GUYS. EEP) but would any of you be interested in tips and advice for those flathunting and flatsharing? If so I'll do another post on the topic soon :-)
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Monday, 7 March 2016

Thailand, Part 1 - Phuket, and Sukhothai

 As those of you who follow me on Instagram will know, I recently came back from Thailand and I thought it was about time I shared a couple of pictures and stories with you all about it. And before the question comes up because it does every single time - I went on my own! Not because I'm a loner, not because I didn't have any friends to go with (they are actually kinda mad at me for the fact that I didn't invite anyone, it turns out pretty much everyone I know apparently really wanted to come to Thailand) I just plain prefer going on my own. I've been a solo travel fan for a good 8 years now, and in fact I have a couple of posts coming up about it soon so hopefully y'all are interested in that sort of thing.

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