Showing posts with label Photography. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Photography. Show all posts

Monday, 29 October 2012

Happy first birthday little blog!

I'm doing the wedding photography so have been practicing  my portraits!
My tiny little corner of the internet has been up and somewhat loosely running for just over a year now. And on its one year anniversary we went to see the mortgage adviser  Though he kind of told me what I already knew (he said I'd clearly done my homework!) I don't think the BF actually believed me, but now it seems he is on a roll in terms of looking for properties to view.

After the appointment we had two viewings, one was almost like having our own house. It was a maisonette in a quiet area with communal gardens and a garage. However it was priced a little higher than I want to go as I want the monthly payments to be manageable and with the ground rent etc it would leave us with not a lot of spare money to live on. The next flat was in a small block, good location, garage and space but wires were sticking out everywhere and the plumbing was a bit weird in the bathroom.

However, I feel like we are finally getting somewhere and cannot wait to find 'the one'. We've started looking early, though I think we are probably looking at getting something going through after Christmas.

I haven't been blogging much lately as the BF is around in the evenings and weekends and I tend to do it when I've got an evening to myself. I've also had a hen night, a uni reunion and a cousins 21st birthday party so the weekends have been spent out and about. I did manage to stash away an extra £80 last month on top of my usual savings so despite the busy-ness I've come in under budget. However this month may be a different story with my Aunts wedding, my birthday and our five year anniversary to contend with :S



Monday, 20 August 2012

Where has August gone?


I'm not sure where to even begin...the last time I blogged was exactly a month ago. The break wasn't intentional but I just felt I couldn't continue documenting every tiny thing as I was getting frustrated with things not happening quicker, so I'll try to start at the beginning where I left off what's been happening. 

My new toy :)
First of all I handed my notice in at my last job, and despite the team dropping down from three to one they were prepared to let both myself and my manager walk away. Fine. The worst bit, they hardly even bothered to speak to us before our last days, which coincidentally were just one day apart. Then a few days before he was about to leave they said he could come back. 

Needless to say I wasn't very happy about the situation with the management, but the rest of the teams I had worked with over the last eleven months were lovely.  The people I worked with have a collection whenever someone leaves, and they bought me this Kindle case as well as a £10 amazon voucher so I could get downloading and reading straight away which I thought was pretty nice.

So, prior to handing my notice in myself and some of the other 'grads' spent about six weeks orgainising an office Olympics, which unveiled the bossiness in some. Anyways, at the final event we were all given £75 worth of vouchers to spend as a thank you which I thought was pretty nice. I was going to spend it on new work clothes as mine were looking worse for wear and wanted to look presentable when I started my new job. Then I thought, why not spend it on something I wouldn't buy myself... like a Kindle? 

I voiced my thoughts to the BF, to his horror as he was planning to buy me one as a present with the extra money from his new paycheck. I was never keen on the idea of the Kindle, thinking what's wrong with a good old book. But I didn't expect to love it as much as I do, haha. I find I can hold it one handed so read much quicker and I think its actually more enjoyable to read on. So much so I whizzed through the Hunger Games trilogy in just a few weeks. I read the majority during my week and a half off, and whilst we went to Bournemouth for a long weekend. (I'm now saving the vouchers to use as presents instead). 

Beautiful Bournemouth
The weekend away was part of my birthday present to my BF, along with some Lyle and Scott t-shirts and socks- they had a 50% off sale on their existing sale if that makes sense so I bagged some pretty good bargains there. Secondly, the weekend away was purchased through one of those gift websites, but luckily I have a friend that works there who was willing to give me his 30% discount code. 

One day at work the deal popped into my inbox, £100 for two nights stay in a three star spa hotel with breakfast too, which after the discount came to £70. I also made use of the free tickets for SW trains that they gave me when I bought my season ticket so our travel there and back cost absolutely nothing. It was so nice to get away, have some time together, the rain held off all weekend and we even managed a swim in the heated outdoor pool! 


BT Live- London 2012 

We spent the rest of our week off together cycling about, pottering around and generally enjoying each others company. One day though I did venture into central London to meet an old uni friend. We went to BT Live to watch the Olympics on the big screens. She had just got back from holiday and constantly is at her overdraft limit so we thought it would be a nice, cheap day out. 

I packed a picnic but when we got there we were told that we weren't allowed to bring food or drink in. We sat outside along with all the other people cramming ourselves with food to avoid wasting it before heading through security to watch the games and to see some cheesy boy band and Alexander Burke. Once again, despite threatening to rain the sun came out- yay! 
Practicing my portraits 
Hmm, what else.. ok. So the BF got his first paycheck, and enjoyed his first month as the breadwinner, a feeling I think we both enjoyed. He then got £300 a few days ago for the scrap copper they pulled out the air con units, so this month has doubled his old salary. 

He's so excited, has opened his ISA, put £1000 away so far and has paid me back a chunk of the money he owed me for paying his credit card off earlier in the year. He's going to give me the last £135 on Friday when he gets paid and he'll be debt free :) I had to 'borrow' the money from him this month because I had to pay back my season ticket loan, meaning I had to pay for six months worth of travel all in one paycheck. Needless to say, I havn't been able to put any money into my ISA this month, but will be putting my 'travel' money in whenever I get paid to make it up. 

Sunday afternoon photo session x

I think now he's earning more (for now anyways due to getting paid more to work nights) meaning he can contribute towards our deposit a bit he's getting used to the idea of buying a property and that it might actually happen, and he was even looking online the other day too at a property website whereas before it was always me getting excited and planning. 

Finally it was time to go back to work- I've been at my new place for nine days now and I didn't realise it would be so surreal and hard trying to learn all the new processes, finding out where all our log ins etc are kept on the shared computer drive, even the new journey has thrown me. 

I can't get the tube anymore so have been getting the bus, which has been kind of annoying. The queues are rediculously long in the morning, and there is so much traffic. However, today I managed to walk without getting lost which took me half an hour and is quite a good work out too. I tried walking home, but bumped into someone I used to work with and got all confused and lost my bearings :S. 

Coupled with the fact its been horrendously busy due to about ten different university clearing campaigns going live on the same day I've been pretty tired when I get home, especically as I hardly ever leave on time anymore. But the time flies by, unlike my last job which is always a good thing right?

Ok so I hope I havn't bored you too much, I think I'll be posting more regularly again now I'm hoping to get back into my old routine.  

Saturday, 9 June 2012

I haven't posted in a little while, it seems my creative efforts are being poured into my photography at the moment; as I seem determined to overcome my fear of using the manual settings on my SLR camera. I mean I was given my camera after bugging my Mum & Dad for a proper camera just over a year and a half ago which they bought me as a combined birthday/Christmas present. Its time to move on from the auto function.


I've been researching settings on the net and trying new things; I've posted some of my personal favourites for you to see. Anyways, I've also been getting these horrible migraine type headaches, I'm not sure whether its the weather or related to the contraceptive pill I'm on but whatever it is I've not been feeling myself for the last few weeks.


On the finance front I picked up about ten extra hours of bar work over the jubilee weekend, which always comes in handy and will cover expenses such as Father's day presents etc and my sister's birthday present. I also did a mystery shop in the week, and my Quidco has updated to confirmed, now I just need the payment run to run smoothly and for the money to actually materialise into my bank account.


I also went to another media music quiz, this time we came second taking home with us a bottle of champagne each which will be saved for possibly my Mum & Dad's wedding anniversary. My name was also pulled out of the hat to win a spot prize- I won a three month subscription to premium Spotify (an online music streaming service) worth £30.



Not much else to say; there's another two weekends left before payday; one will be spent bridesmaid shopping with the family and at my sister's birthday BBQ and one will be spent with an old friend in Kingston. I think I should make it through as I have about £140.00 left.





Sunday, 27 May 2012

My 100th blog post




This week has been a pretty hectic week compared to my normal week; firstly on Tuesday, the first of the beautiful weather I was lucky enough to have been given free cinema tickets to see the 'What to expect when you're expecting' film which started at six. I worked from home in the afternoon which was lovley, before cycling to the cinema.

Instead of buying expensive drinks and snacks in the cinema, bumping up the price of our trip, we dipped into Sainsbury's en route to pick up some food. I kept my eyes peeled for deals which included a huge bag of sweet Butterkist popcorn for £1, a huge bag of kettle chips £1 and a meal deal which we split for £3. The film was lighthearted, funny and definitely my cup of tea so I would recommend to anyone who is a fan of the rom-com genre- however it wasn't overly girly and the BF enjoyed it just as much. Once we were home we worked together to re-work the BF's CV ready for his job interview/meeting on Thursday.



Wednesday was another scorcher of a day- and consequently the tubes and trains were all messed up. I finally made it to Putney to meet a friend for dinner at Pizza Express which was nice as we sat outside. She had 2-4-1 Orange deal, but her phone battery died so we had to resort to 25% off using a downloadable voucher on my phone. Even so it came in at just under a tenner which I thought was pretty good- we went for one drink afterwards which was nice. I had budgeted for the evening,which took me up to just under my monthly budget.

Thursday was D-day. The BF was extremely nervous about meeting with his friends boss, and whilst he was in the interview I literally felt sick. The good news is that he got the job!! I was soo happy as it will completely -change our lifestyle and mean we can live like a normal couple pretty much- if there is such a thing as normal? What I mean is that we'll have evenings, weekends, bank holidays, Christmas's, New Years and so on together, which we haven't had in the last four and a half years. It means we won't have to plan literally everything around his work rota, which often gets changed at the last minute without much notice. Finally, besides the extra money it means that when we (hopefully) move into our own home I won't be left on my own.

To celebrate he came to meet me from work, as I was meeting my mum in town too. We all went for lunch then walked over to the South Bank for a drink, then when BF went home me and my mum went over to Green Park to meet my sister as later in the evening we were going to see 'The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe' in Kensington Gardens.  I picked up three tickets for £40 from Last Minute.com which is pretty much the normal price of one theatre ticket.

Dancing with the birthday girl

Friday was payday at last; I hit my monthly budget target and now my personal savings total has hit £10,638, while we have £500 in our joint savings. The BF has almost £900 but he needs to use some of this to learn to drive as he'll be driving a company van in the future due to his new job. So all in all things are heading in the right direction. I spent most of the day at a Google event (hello free breakfast, snacks and lunch) and got to spend time in their gorgeous offices.

Then finally, yesterday I spent the morning doing the weekly housework and in the afternoon me and the BF set off with a little picnic to the local park, armed with my SLR camera. And one of my favourite shots is the one at the top of the page. In  the evening we went to a friends 21st birthday party-m I didn't feel too good because of the sunshine so stuck to the diet coke.

Today I think I'll spend the day relaxing before the working week begins again. Hopefully this one will be a little calmer.



Sunday, 22 April 2012

The beauty of the humble voucher

These were taken Sunday morning waiting for the parentals to arrive x

So the music quiz came and went, I enjoyed a good night with good food, drink and company and as a bonus our team won so we took home a bottle of champagne to share, a vintage radio and £25.00's worth of 'Love to shop' vouchers each. Not bad for an evenings work, and Radio Works (the media hosting) are thinking of holding a quiz ever month too. I'm thinking of using £20 of vouchers to pay for a present for my Dad's birthday which is at the beginning of May, and save £5 to put towards something for my sister's birthday present which is in June.

Thursday I was off work so enjoyed a bit of a lazy day as it was raining for most of the day. In the evening I went to see a free screening of the teen thriller 'Elfie Hopkins' which was pretty scary, and some parts I was hiding behind my coat. The film was ok watching, but I wouldn't have bothered paying the £10.00 for a ticket to watch it.
Literally, sunshine through the window...

Then afterwards myself and my housemate did a food shop at Asda; I allowed myself one basket only and managed to squeeze a weekly shop in, which came to £30- it's definatley the way forward. I've had a quick meal pre-plan and I reckon it will be enough food to see us through until next Thursday evening.

Then Friday evening, I was meant to be going out for dinner with a friend but she ended up in A&E so after a fleeting visit to make sure she was ok while she was waiting I went to the pub for something to eat and a few drinks. I had set aside £20.00 for the eve, but only spent £16.00 including my food so had £4.00 left over.

Then saturday I went to have my hair cut, I had allowed myself £35.00 from  the money I picked up the week before working at the pub and it came in at £32.00, so I have a whole £7.00 to last until payday in two days time, then I'll have hit my £10k mini target.

Today my family came up as my sister had one of those photo shoot make over things in Richmond so I went with her while my Mum and Dad visited Ham House. The shoot was pretty cringy and I was glad it wasn't me the photographer was prodding about and telling me to look sexy. I was also dreading the viewing, which the M&D came in for as I have experienced the aggressive selling techniques these places employ before as they to try and get you to buy their photos.

Needless to say it came, the photographer was really trying to sell his images, saying how lovley the shots were etc, then the prices came and my Dad nearly fainted- £85.00 for one A4 image or £400+ for about five- what a rip off!

They declined the images you had to pay for, selected their one favourite which was free and we were hurried out the studio as the photographer slammed the keyboard on the 'don't save' icon after they wouldn't part with their cash, and I for one don't blame them! Above is a few pics I took of the shoot behind the scenes.

Has anyone else had one of these shoots and been completely taken aback by the ridiculous prices??!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

DIY photoshoot





Some family said they wanted some up to date photos of us, so we made a DIY soft light box using an Ikea lamp in our bedroom, some tissue and a hairband. I was pretty pleased with these. We printed the middle one onto canvas using a kit I was given for Christmas. 

On the spending front the rainy weather ruined our plans of making use of the free fun fair tickets we had so we headed to the shops. The BF bought me some new clothes as his money burns a bit of a hole in his pocket, so I thought it was best he spend a bit on me so I can carry on with the hardcore saving. I managed to get through the weekend on what I had budgeted, and was even given a fiver by my Nan for Easter. So for the next few weeks I'll be plodding on with the daily savings, so if anyone fancies helping me out please have a wee click on some of my ads.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Spring has arrived in London!


I love it when the sun shines and all the cherry blossoms bloom! I took these pics before meeting a friend in Putney yesterday. We had a few drinks whilst enjoying the sun walking next to the river which was lovely. I love these colours and think it would possibly make quite a nice bedroom colour scheme one day....





I love it when the sun shines and all the cherry blossoms bloom! I took these pics before meeting a friend in Putney yesterday. We had a few drinks whilst enjoying the sun walking next to the river which was lovely. I love these colours and think it would possibly make quite a nice bedroom colour scheme one day....

Anyways, payday came around on Friday and with that the ticker gets updated. So if my calculations are correct this is how much I've saved so far (including the BF's credit card repayments which will end next January)




Things on the money front are coming along fairly well I think, besides having to throw some food out earlier on in the week; a new tub of Heinz 'fridge' beans that I forgot were ours which were growing mould, some out of date eggs which were put on someone elses shelf and forgotten about after doing a big shop, a carton of gone off pomegranete juice, blood orange juice and chocolate milkshake.

Things I'll take from this is to keep control of the shopping by not buying such big shops as we don't get round to eating it, not buying items to try which may end up being wasted and keeping all our items on the bottom shelves so I can actually see what we have.


Friday was our two housemates birthday drinks, I managed to dodge the offers of shots with the urges to 'live a little'...hmmphh! and only had two bottle of cider (I don't know how it lasted for the few hours we were there-I guess you get quite a lot in each bottle). I had budgeted £30 for the night, but only spent a fiver- result!

Today I have put this dress on Gumtree to try and sell for £50, like the other dress it came from New York's Greenwich Village and unlike eBay Gumtree doesn't charge you to advertise. I also took advantage of this websites offer of 50 free prints when you sign up, I've signed up with a new email address about four times now.http://www3.snapfish.co.uk/snapfishuk/storepage/storePageId=Special%20Offers

 I plan on making a border of photos around our room seeing as we're going to be here for another year. Other than that I've sorted out our room for the week, done two loads of washing and may head to the park to start reading 'The time travellers wife' in the sun before cycling up to meet the BF from work. Hope you're all enjoying the sunny weather, Happy Sunday! x

Wednesday, 14 March 2012



This morning I took advantage of Starbucks latest promotion. The American coffee house giant has introduced a new policy in that they no longer call out your coffee by its name, instead they will be calling out your name. This marketing stunt is designed to make Starbucks appear more personal, setting it apart from the Costas, Coffee Republics and Cafe Neros. Today they were giving away lattes free of charge as long as you tell the barrista your name. The giveaway has gained loads of coverage on the net and is one of the top topics on social networking site Twitter, to find out more here's the BBC's take on things: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17356957. Having weaned myself off of coffee shop take aways it was a nice mid-morning treat to enjoy one knowing it hadn't cost me anything.


In other news, there's nothing more to really report; enjoyed a fairly frugal weekend of Saturday night drinks (I drove so ended up only spending about a tenner) though I did buy a £10 H&M voucher off my friend as she was given it for Christmas and nothing in the shop fits her. I might save it for my sister's birthday in June to go along with the Marmite set I picked up for her in the Boots sale.

On Sunday we made the most of the sunny spring-like weather and cycled over to Richmond Park and enjoyed a picnic as the sun set. We then cycled over to our friends new flat who have just bought their first home, then back to ours to whip up some carrot soup for the week. I bought a huge bag of carrots for 50p from Asda, chopped them up, threw in half an onion lingering in the fridge along with some vegetable stock boiled it up and blended. It made six portions of soup which should be my lunches for the week. Its been surprisingly filling and at less than 10p a portion great value for money.

Finally, yesterday I really needed to pick up a few bits from Sainsburys so dipped into my Nectar poitns- what would have been a £5.30 spend ended up costing me just 30p. Oh and the water bill has come in for the next year at £80 each, which works out at £6.60 per month, which is liveable. We're paying in two installments the first due at the beginning of April. then the second at the beginning of October. I've picked up another extra bar shift on Saturday which should hopefully cover this half. And lastly its official, our rent isn't going up because 'we've been such good tennants' in the words of our landlord... the same day the oven broke sods law ay? 

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Sunny Sundays

I woke up this morning after a lovely lay in around 10am. The sun was shining through the window and from inside it looked like perfect picnic weather, except my BF had been at work since 7am and still isn't home :( I really hate the lack of weekend time we have together. Yesterday he had the whole day off, so in the week we started to plan our first Saturday together in ages....then I remembered I said I would work behind the bar at the rugby match.

Any hows, the sunlight looked perfect for a spot of early spring photography except I felt like I couldn't really move from my cosy bedroom. So I thought I would try to get some of my iPhone photos printed here http://www3.snapfish.co.uk/snapfishuk/welcome there's a deal where you can get 50 free prints when you sign up...I've signed up about three times now lol with different email addresses.

Not being very technically minded I struggled to import my pics from the phone to the comp so uploaded them to the blogger phone app and saved them to the desktop. I thought I'd get the pics printed off and stick them on the top sticky out bit of the wall of our room now as we are almost certain we'll be staying here for the next year. So that's the reason for the last post consisting of my images.

As the clock neared almost three thirty I thought to myself I have to get motivated and sort stuff out for the upcoming week. Usually I get all that stuff out the way in the morning leaving the rest of the day to relax, so I started by putting a loaf on to bake, changing the bed sheets, sticking a washing load on, folding the dry washing, wiping the dust off the surfaces and finally hoovering the hall and the bedroom.

I also made use of some bread crumbs I made the other week out of a stale garlic and coriander naan bread left in the cupboard. I defrosted some white fish, pressed it in flower, dipped into beaten egg and then into the bread crumbs. I then made sweet potato wedges and put both in the oven, which was accompanied with beans.

Though productive I wanted to go swimming to make the most of my gym membership, or cycle up to meet BF from work and make the most of the daylight. Both haven't happened, but I think sometimes I put a little too much pressure on myself to achieve everything on my lists, so enjoying the rest of my day off with the BF before stepping back on the hamster wheel again is my priority.

In other news, last week I walked past an electronic store on Tottenham Court Road that buys old and broken laptops. I'm going to wipe everything off mine (with help from BF) and take it in tomorrow to try and pick up some extra pennies for it as its just sitting under the bed collecting dust at the moment.