10 years ago, social media was still new to the scene with many of us (me included) not having a Facebook or Twitter account, I use those two in reference as they seem to be the main ones the majority of us use on a daily basis, but now we have loads more including Google Plus - otherwise known as G+, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat and more.

Image Source.

Also fairly new to the internet scene 10 years ago was PlentyOfFish, an online dating platform, in most recent years a number of other online dating services have popped up, including the most popular one at the moment - Tinder. With an estimated 50 million people using Tinder in 2014, I wouldn't be surprised if that figure now sits at 75 million, gone are the days of blind dates and meeting people in person, in are the days of new era dating - speaking/texting before even knowing what your date really looks like.
If you're anything like me, you'll have a new years resolution list as long as your arm with no particular pattern. A few of mine are: to save/make money, to be more organised, to lose a LOT of weight, to save/make money, to get at least two rooms done in the house, to build the blog up, to quit a bad habit, to save/make more money by cutting back on spending, being more thrifty, earning more and to make more time for myself - give myself a proper working break in other words and have I mentioned to save/make more money?

Image Source.
There is so much that needs to be done, I am taking it all one step at a time, as I know doing/quitting two things at once is never a good idea! I also hope to be able to tie things in together, for example to take my mind off of me giving up my bad habit, I hope the DIY home makeover (or more the DIY make a home!) project will keep my mind occupied so I can battle the cravings, I'm not sure it'll work, but I'm thinking positive and that's a start right?

Giving The Gift Of Memories.

by Jada, December 22, 2016
Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year, it's a time where the family come together, where disagreements and falling outs be put behind us, the only time of year that I don't feel bad for indulging in a sea of chocolate, cheese and crackers, the one time where you will sing along to Mariah Carey's smash hit Christmas song 'All I want for Christmas is you' even though you can't hit the high note, and the one time of year where we have a three course meal at home for dinner!

Spud on the left with his five cousins.
Christmas is also a favourite time of year for me because it's that time where the camera comes out more than usual, your mouth could be filled with turkey, but you can be sure your dad's hanging around with that camera ready to snap photographs as memories with that Christmas hat on your head. You've got mint sauce around your chops (because if you're like me - mint sauce goes with every roast meat!), but you don't care, well at least I don't.

The new year will soon be here, but before that its Christmas day which many of us are looking forward to for various reasons. Gareth's looking forward to Christmas day because of a whole different reason, and it's nothing festive at all! 

Image Source.
The reason why he's looking forward to Christmas day so much is because on the 25th of December, it'll only be (so I keep hearing) eight months until Reading Festival begins. Reading Festival once known as Reading Rock Festival to us locals is the world's oldest popular music festival and it's having it's 61st annual festival in 2017, and Gareth is eager to go!
One of the challenges I found myself in when moving from a flat to a house was the difference in space. You may think that moving from a flat into a house gives you more room, but this entirely depends on what kind of flat you're leaving, and what kind of house you're moving into.

Image Source.
For me and Spud, our flat was home, it wasn't the home we wanted, but it was a home we soon come to love and it had plenty of space. We had a very large living room boasting three lots of windows alone - it was large enough for a table and six chairs, two very large sofa's and all the rest of our lounge furniture. Our bathroom was a moderate size, as was our kitchen but our bedrooms weren't very big, we did however have a walk in wardrobe, a playroom (a very large cupboard housing the electrics that got boxed in) and an attic that covered the whole of our flat.
Christmas is just around the corner, and many of us are looking forward to the festive build up, the tree and decorations have found room in our homes, the cupboards are full with condiments, stuffing mixtures and grandma's homemade Christmas pudding, the fridge freezer is resembling the supermarkets - full to the brim that you struggle to find what you're looking for, but some of us aren't in that situation, and for some having that situation is going to cost a small fortune.

Image Source
Sadly, it's a common occurrence at this time of year to see so many people struggling, I've been there myself so I'm not judging in anyway. Last November, I found myself in an unexpected financial position which left me in tears, and feeling like the world's worst mother, worrying about how I was going to put a single present under the tree, let alone loads of presents, then there was the Christmas food, the closest to turkey we was getting was turkey drummers. Fortunately my comping hobby paid off, and Christmas was saved thanks to a huge win, but it still scared me and made me do things different this year.

New House? What You'll Need First.

by Jada, December 19, 2016
If you've just moved into your extremely bare, new house, there are certain essentials that you will need to buy first. Here is a list of the most important things you will need for your home.

Image Source.
Gas and Electric
Your electric and natural gas utilities will heat your home and provide you with lights and power. The amount of your gas and electric bill will depend on usage, which is directly related to the size of your house and the amount of natural gas and electricity you need. You can make your house more energy efficient by updating weatherstripping and caulk, buying energy-efficient appliances and having your heating and cooling systems regularly inspected and updated.
Recently the Guardian newspaper reported on a house in West Kirby on the Wirral that somehow manages to keep its annual heating bill to less than £500 a year..... but how? 

Image Source.
The house is home to a family - the Ushers who are obsessed with energy efficiency. Despite outside temperatures falling as low as 5C, the family manages to maintain the internal temperature of their home at a balmy 21 degrees, as if they had somehow been transported from their location in the frozen north of England and plonked down in the Mediterranean.

How Not To Overspend At Christmas.

by Jada, December 15, 2016
If you’re reading this, you probably celebrate Christmas, and as you already know, it can be a pricey time of year. If you aren't the kind of person who plans a year in advance and stockpiles presents away then Christmas can be extra expensive. With that said, Pounds Till Payday have a few tips that will hopefully save you from spending an arm and a leg where it isn't necessary.

Image Credit.

If you're trying to spend as little as necessary this Christmas, it's a good idea to limit what you spend on the people you are buying for. Once all of your bills get paid, it’s time to sit down and work out your budget. Set a maximum for everyone so everyone gets a fair share and you won't be left skint after going crazy in John Lewis.
Oh, to live a life of luxury. Many of us dream about it, but few of us can afford it. After rent, bills and food, most of us parents just want to spend the rest of our money on our kids. There is, of course, nothing better than seeing the smile on their face when you tell them they're going for a day out, or simply that you've bought them a gift.

Image Source
In the madness of day to day life we can often end up forgetting about the need to care for ourselves too. Stress plays a major part in the lives of many modern women, and you may be personally feeling the strain also, but, there are little things you can add to your daily, weekly or monthly routine that can help you feel that little bit more grounded. Remember that self-care is just as important as caring for others - so invest a little more in yourself.
We're days away now (12 to be precise) until the official start of the UK's winter season (21st December), although with the weather the way it is now, it feels like winter already! I have topped up my gas twice this week already, and I'm 100% sure that it won't last me a full week! It's time to migrate to Australia where it's sunny and hot during this time of the year, but then they have huge, and I mean HUGE spiders, so that's a no go afterall!

Image Credit.
Talking about spiders, I have seen less in the garden during the last month, but more in the home. As much as I wish it was the other way round, it's given me the confidence to get green fingered as much as I can, of course there isn't much that can be done when it comes to plotting and planting, but the grass is in dire need of a winter cut and have I mentioned the 4000 leaves everywhere?
As winter starts to slowly creep upon us (21st December - so only a matter of days away!), it's time to start thinking about keeping yourself, your family and your home warm - if you've not already done so that is.  With studies finding the cold weather more deadly than heatwaves, now is the best time to get your home ready for the winter chill. 

Image Credit.
Many people believe that if they wrap up warm when they go outside, they're protected from the cold weather, but this isn't true. Of course making sure you have a decent winter coat which keeps you warm and the warmth in is essential, but you also need to consider what is under your coat, and even what footwear you have on. Wearing gloves, scarves and a hat are also essential winter accessories, but make sure they're for the season, a summer hat isn't going to do, nor is a thin fashionable scarf.
This year is quickly coming to an end. Every new year signifies something different for everyone, but in certain situations it literally can mean a fresh new start. If you’re moving home this New Years, then you probably want to make it as easy as possible. Renovations and home improvements can be difficult at the best of time, let alone when you decide to do it around a New Year.

Image Credit.

However, it doesn’t have to be disastrous. Make sure you get through your renovation this New Years with a simple, easy to follow and very handy checklist. Covering everything from any building processes you might have, to the design and decor, you can renovate a house and keep your sanity in 2017!
A lot of things annoy me when it comes to being plus size, if I was asked to pick my top 10 hates, I'd struggle because many of them annoy me as equally as the next, but one thing that frustrates more so then the others and would easily top number one on the list is the ugliest fashion. It's like when you have a few extra pounds, you need to dress way older than your age and even era - I HATE that and it's one of the reasons why I am aiming to lose a few stone next year, but it shouldn't be like that should it?

Whilst many companies do their best for the larger market, taking a walk down the high street leaves you with so little choices, and I know the plus size ladies of Reading are feeling me right now. Thankfully though, we have the internet and whilst some find it utter hassle, I personally find it the best way to shop around without being left red faced in the fitting room.

Creating The Perfect Nursery

in , , , by Jada, December 09, 2016
Whether you’ve just discovered that you’re pregnant, or you’re expecting that new arrival imminently, it’s probably safe to say that your mind has been somewhat occupied with thoughts of cots, clothing, and nursery furniture of late. Regardless of whether this is your first baby or not, preparing for a new arrival can feel a little like a military operation filled with decisions, and lists that must be followed to the letter.

Image Credit.
While many tasks, such as buying nappies, sourcing feeding equipment, and reading baby books may feel at times like necessary evils, others, including decorating the nursery, purchasing baby clothes, and sourcing sensory toys, will be a little more fun – and why shouldn’t they be? Being a parent is as much about rediscovering your own sense of childish glee as it is about setting rules and policing that tiny human for the next 18 years. It’s time to have a little fun.
For the last 18 months, many homes have lost all their colour, favouring the monochrome trend that has taken over the home interior scene, whilst my home hasn't got on trend with the grand scheme of things due to the whole house needing to be replaced, well interior wise that may as well be the case, I have found myself buying black and white monochrome items quite often.

HOWEVER, I love colour too much to block it out of my life, especially in my home. So I'm stuck with a dilemma, do I follow the trend which I like but don't love, or do I be the non sheep that I've always been and just start following to only stop halfway through the trial and take my own direction?
For almost five years, Syria has been a country of conflict and anguish. Millions of men, women and children have been forced to flee their homes in fear, with the hope of finding solace elsewhere.

However, thousands of others have not been so lucky. It’s an ongoing problem, and unless we act now, it’s only going to get worse.

You might not want for much in life, but it’s sometimes lovely to add in a few luxuries to your everyday life. They might not be anything special to some people, but to you, they could dramatically transform your living situation. 

Image Source.

If you’ve always wanted a beautiful home that you can cherish and enjoy, now’s your time to achieve it. Step by step you can build the home you want, by working on the little things. You don’t have to choose them all, but there are a few suggestions on how to create a few little luxuries to love around the home.
When you're a parent, and you have a family, your kitchen can become the hub of the home. It will always be the place you cook or bake, but it could also be a place where you congregate as a family. Perhaps your children will do their homework at the kitchen table, or you may eat with your loved ones at the end of the day. However, we all know that a kitchen has a hefty price tag when looking to replace it. So I thought I would share my top hacks for creating an expensive looking kitchen, without forking out the huge budget.

Image Source
Most people dream of having a Pinterest-worthy home - but know it would only happen in another universe. The reality of owning and running a home is far beyond what we all see on social media or in interior design magazines. If you are single, the dishes pile up, and if you have kids, you can't walk more than a few metres without stepping on a toy or a piece of Lego. That's without even mentioning all the wires and extension cables spilling out of devices just to keep your home lit up.

Image Source
Unfortunately, there are just some things we need to have in our homes that most interior designers conveniently move out of the way during a photoshoot. So what exactly can you do to carry on living your regular home life, but make it a bit more aesthetically pleasing?