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Love & Lifestyle

26 May



As a single student, working full time and living with roommates I will admit that when it comes to money the only time I really stress is when my savings are looking low and my car decides stop working. Having said this my third roommate has decided to move interstate with her boyfriend. Now not only are my other roommate and I going to miss her like crazy we are left with the decision as to whether or not to find someone to take her spot or tighten our belts. As all our friends are either not in a financial position to move out of home or are already in a place they love, we are looking at the possibility of a stranger moving in with us. Having had some really bad experiences living with people we didn’t know we are strongly leaning towards turning the third bedroom into a home gym and  splitting the rent 50/50. This will require some planning and cut backs on our part. Yep that means some dreaded budgeting. Wanting to take things seriously I started evaluating my spending and I was very surprised. After double checking the figures I was shocked to learn that my everyday activities were costing me a whole lot of cash. In fact I was spending over 11 THOUSAND dollars a year without even realising. I never really thought I lived extravagantly until I really looked into my spending. It was a real eye opener. If you have never evaluated your spending I really suggest you do so. You may be left suprised like I was. So how was I burning 11 thousand dollars of my cash each year you may ask? Well, here’s the breakdown:


Cafe Coffee: Getting up at 5am everyday and not being in bed until after 11pm most days, often leaves me tired and heading to my local coffee shop for a pick me up. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with this until I worked out how much my coffee addiction was actually costing me. On average I  buy 1.5 cups of coffee a day. Each cup costs me $5, taking into account that my 10th is free (I’m a really loyal customer, as you can tell haha) I am spending an average of $48 a week just on coffee. That’s almost two and a half grand a year. Which is insane and could pay for an annual trip to Thailand!

My solution: Take a flask of  home-brewed coffee with me each day and learn to love the free instant at work.

Eggs Benny

Brunch dates and bought work lunches: It’s tempting to meet the girls for brunch and indulge in a $20 (vegetarian) eggs benny or hit the sushi bar for lunch every second day but when you work it these “little” indulgences are super expensive and end up costing me around $80 a week or $4,160 a year!

My Solution: Opt for the raisin bread ($4.00) at brunch and start taking lunch to work. Easy.


Friday Night Cocktails: Since I started my job Friday Night Cocktails have always been a weekly occurrence. As I usually spend the weekend working (I work one weekend on, one off) or catching up on study I only have one cocktail, two at the most which doesn’t seem like a huge expense.  However, with each cocktail at $15 a pop and a taxi ride home (I never drink and drive, even if I think I’m under) Friday night drinks were costing me around $50 a week or $2,600 a year.

My Solution: I really didn’t want to give up my Friday nights, so instead I talked to a workmate (also a friend) about my new budget and we decided to alternate weeks as designated driver. This will ultimately save us both on taxi fare as well as drink costs every second week. Win-Win.

online shopping

Online Shopping: I am an online shopping addict and my purchases are so regular that both my courier and mailman know my name by heart and often joke “Oh looks like ASOS had a sale again!” while delivering my latest silver plastic clad package. Upon looking through my debit card history I worked out through the past 6 months my online spending averaged $60.00 a week, which works out to be around $3,120 a year! If I am completely honest with myself about 50% of my purchases I either end up hating, don’t fit right or I forget about them and end up finding them months later at the back of my cupboard with tagged still attached.

My Solution: Follow my own advice and cut costs where I can when it comes to online shopping. But more importantly stop any impulse buys and limit myself to just $100 a month on online purchases. My wardrobe is seriously bursting as is and I don’t need anything else.

So there you have it “little” ways I was blowing over 11 grand a year with frivolous spending and you could be too! Do you have any tips and tricks for budgeting or saving cash? Becky xo

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Fashion Inspiration

14 May



Just to set things straight I am not getting married! But my best friend of 18 years is! I remember as 6 year olds cutting out pics from mum’s Vogue of our ideal wedding dresses and grooms! Well my Bestie’s big day is fast approaching and as a student saving for her (and her future husband’s) first home money is tight. Like most brides B wants things things to be perfect and her wedding dress is no exception BUT $4,000 for a dream dress sadly isn’t feasible. After a chat with our recently newlywed friend we decided to search for cheap wedding dresses online. Ebay was the first place we searched, but I guess a lot of other soon to be brides had the same idea as bidding got pretty intense and she keep getting out bid. That’s when we decided to search online and discovered that some online stores have gorgeous wedding dresses for under $200 and with a bit of altering the these dresses are a budget friendly way of finding the perfect dress. Here are the two she is tossing up between, both astonishingly under $150!

Wedding Dresses

Dress 1. Dress 2

Do you have any budget friendly Wedding tips? I’d love to hear them! Becky xo

A guide to saving money shopping online

6 May


Online Bargain Hutning

Most people will agree, shopping is fun. It’s always great to find something that love, but better yet when it’s 80% off. I love Bargain hunting. I find it an exhilarating challenge of sort. Most people are unaware that bargain hunting and finding a great deal needn’t be restricted to instore shopping. There are a heap of ways to find and snap up a great bargain online. Today I am going to share with you some of my tips and tricks that will help save you a pretty penny or two when it comes to shopping online.

Subscribe to Newsletters
If you love a store subscribe to their Newsletter. Subscribing to a store’s newsletter will give you a heads up in regards to upcoming sales and often contain special discount codes. If like myself you love a heap of stores you may find your inbox flooded with emails and your usual content buried. This is where a throwaway email address comes in handy. You can easily sign up for a free email at yahoo or hotmail. Be aware that checking such email address usual results in hours of procrastination browsing stores and sales racks. Also be sure to include your date of birth when signing up. A lot of companies will send you a little gift or discount code to help you celebrate.

Coupon Code Websites
There are many websites which feature coupons codes from across the web. I like to check these prior to making a purchase. I find that more then half the time the coupon codes are expired prior to me finding them but on the off chance you will find an active one and score yourself 25% or free shipping. I don’t have any specific websites to share but usually a quick google search for coupon/discount codes for your chosen store bring up a heap of results.


If you are a University student’s it’s worth while signing up to UNIdays. Signing up will give you regular discounts to major online shopping retailers as well the occasional special offer or coupon code.

Combine orders with friends to save on shipping
If the store you love ships from a country other than the one you live in chances are postage costs are going to be elevated. This is when shopping with a friend/s comes in handy. Most online stores have a set shipping fee, so no matter how many items you purchase or their weight you purchase will ship for the one price. When making an internationally purchase (sometimes even local) I like to give my friends/family a quick text and see if they want anything from such store. A $45 shipping fee is far less expensive when divided amongst a friend or two.

Online Outlet Stores
Online Outlet stores are a great way to find items drastically reduced. My favourite is Ultimate Outlet. Ultimate Outlet  stock designer pieces, some up to 90% off. Plus they have a Today’s Sales section which features items starting at just $5 each! Online outlets are a great way to pick up quality pieces that may be the last of their kind or from a previous season’s line at drastically low prices.

Comparison Websites
If you are after something particular it’s always a good idea to shop around and compare prices. Having said this manually checking out each online retailer can be time consuming and fustrating. This is when comparison websites like and come in handy. You simply type in the details of the item you are after and a up pops a list of suppliers and their retail price. Be sure to take into account shipping costs to your country in the total item price.

So there you have it a few simple ways to save money shopping online. If you have any of your own feel free to comment with them below. Becky xo

Love and Life

25 Apr



If you’ve worked up the courage to give online dating a go, it goes without saying you might feel a little nervous. And much of that nervousness comes from wanting to make a good first impression. In the world of online dating, our profile is the same as that all-important first sighting, the moment when a couple’s eyes first met across a room. It’s also your chance to show the world what sort of person you really are. If it sounds like a lot of pressure, then don’t panic. Creating your page can be both a simple and fun, provided you follow some simple guidelines. With this in mind here is a look at the most important dos and don’ts for creating an online profile to impress.

DO be honest
There are plenty of white lies that can seem appealing when you’re promoting yourself. But whether you’re tempted to knock a few years off your age or pounds off your waistline, it’s important to think about who you’re really tricking in the long run. When you eventually organise a date in person, you want to be able to walk in feeling confident and proud that you truly live up to your online persona.

DON’T be negative
Nearly all of us have experienced the heartache of a breakup at some stage or another. But it’s important to not reflect your hurt or angry feelings in your profile. Finding new love is a positive, forward-thinking process, and your dating profile should be filled with optimism. Not to mention if you’re feeling jaded or angry about dating, chances are you’re not quite emotionally ready yet.


DO showcase your best traits and values
Online dating sites such as eHarmony AU have excellent success rates when it comes to matching likeminded people. But to experience this success it’s important to list all of your core values, beliefs and attitudes. This combination of personal qualities is what allows the best dating sites to pair matches based on their ingrained compatibility, the backbone to a long and successful relationship.

DON’T post a deceptive picture
We all have a favourite photo or two in our old albums, perhaps one that shows off our best side or a particularly good haircut. But posting an old photo is at the end of the day quite a deceptive thing to do. Making a good first impression is important, but so is showing how honest you are in the long run. So do yourself a favour and be proud of how you look today. Also be sure to avoid prop-heavy photographs, like a concealing hat or chunky sunglasses.

DO list your favourite activities and pass times
They say opposites attract, but when it comes to striking up a conversation online, finding common ground is always a confidence booster. When you take the time to list all your favourite activities – whether it’s baking, sailing or anything in between – you’ve got a much better chance of finding a kindred spirit who shares your passions.

If you’re keen to learn more about creating the perfect online relationship profile, plus plenty more tips and advice for the world of online dating, then simply click here.

*This is a sponsored post on the behalf of eHarmony.

Blogger Tips

19 Apr


Food Blogger Edition

You have spent hours in the kitchen creating something fabulous. Another half an hour or so serving it up and making the plate look like something out of a magazine. Now you meticulously photograph your creation, edit such photos and upload them along with your delicious recipe to your blog. You’re proud. Damn proud. You wait for the traffic to come pouring in. After all who wouldn’t want to be left drooling at their computer screen at what you have made? You get a few comments from your regular readers but no drastic spike in traffic, comments or “likes”. What’s a Blogger to do to get noticed? Well I have the answer for you and it is self promotion! I am not saying go spam every piece of social media you have access to but be smart and utilise such devices. Here a few of my go-to methods of drawing attention to my recipe posts;

1. Pinterest: Okay so this one isn’t actually something new or unique but if you’re a food blogger or a blogger that posts about food you should be on Pinterest and pinning your photographs. To be honest unless you have a heap of established followers pinning to your own boards isn’t going to draw in a lot of traffic. Yes you may get lucky and have some Pinterest Bigwig repin one of your recipe for her/his thousands of followers to see but with Pinterest housing millions of pins your chances are slim. My solution; Community Boards. Community boards often have a huge following, some in the hundreds of thousands. Joining is pretty easy and often just requires a quick email to the creator or commenting on a pin with your request. Finding such boards is the main issue with this however, once you find a few and join the invites will come rolling in from other board creators and users (or so I have found). To get you started you can view a few here on my profile  (marked with a little 3 crowd icon) or request to join my own community board “I actually Made this!“. A side note: Some board creators are super strict and will delete you from pinning to their board/s if they believe you are spamming. To ensure this doesn’t happen don’t overdo the pinning and be sure to follow any board rules or guidelines.

Vanilla Glazed Doughnut

2. Online Food/Recipe Galleries:  These websites are somewhat similar to Pinterest except you need to manually submit your recipes and images to be reviewed for submittal. If your recipe and image makes the cut your photograph will be added to the websites recipe database where readers can search for it via category or keyword. I find that with majority of these websites in order for your submission to be accepted you need an exceptionally good photograph. I personally have about a 50-50 success rate when it comes to these websites and often have to crop or re-edit some submissions for them to be accepted. Although this seems like a lot of effort once accepted you will receive significant traffic to your blog that keeps on coming month’s after your submission has been published. Below are a few Recipe Galleries that I submit to (In order of what I find drives the most traffic)

FoodGawker, TasteSpotting, Tasteologie, Foodvee and Serious Eats. I am yet to try these fully but here are some similar websites which may be worth a shot: Food and Fizz, Food Epix, Dessert Stalking and Bakeolicious.

3. Food Blogger Communities: Food Blogger Communities are a great way to connect with fellow bloggers, share links, ideas and tweets. My faves are Food Bloggers Australia and Serious Eats, but I am sure there are hundreds or more specific to your location and recipes. If you become an active member you may have your recipe featured on the websites homepage, ultimately drawing in a lot of new traffic and hopefully regular readers.

raspberry cookies

4. Facebook Related Groups: Joining Facebook recipe, food or food blogging groups is a great way of gaining exposure for your blog and make new friends. Friend’s who are often nice enough to exchange Tweets, Facebook shares and Blog Buttons, which are all great ways to expand your audience and increase page views. Most communities allow you to post links to your most recent posts, which is always helpful in increasing traffic.

5. Let your readers spread the word:  My final tip is to utilise social media sharing buttons. So be sure to include them within each of your posts. This will encourage your readers to share your recipes with their friends and followers. Most blog platforms have these already built in so you may not have to worry about manually adding them, if not not it’s well worth the extra time it takes to include them.

I hope you have found these useful. If you have any of your own tips feel free to share them below. Becky xo


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