Finally it’s pay day!

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Taken from Pinterest

It has been a very (very) long wait for pay day but finally it has arrived! This week we would like to share with you our affordable treats for February…

K. I saw my first snowdrops of the year today driving home from work. The sight of those delicate little flowers braving the damp and cheerless day really lifted my spirits. But while they might signal the presence of spring, I still very much want to be snuggled up at home under a blanket with a good book! So my pay day bargains this month are all about making the most of winter by getting cosy and indulging in a little pampering.

Feed your skin I have wanted to try Marks & Spencer’s skincare range since I saw one of their night creams recommended by India Knight in the Sunday Times Style magazine a few weeks ago. The Formula range starts at £3.50 for a cleanser and, even better, the products are cruelty free so budget friendly and no guilt! Top of my list to try are the Urban Shield Overnight Recovery Cream and Restore Super Sleep Serum. MarksandSpencer

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M&S Formula Super Sleep Serum

Fragrance your home – I can’t get enough of the Anthropologie Capri Blue candle. The website describes the scent from these candles as reminiscent of flower-laden Hawaiian breezes. I’ve never been to Hawaii so I can’t vouch for that, but they do smell delicious and always put a smile on my face. Plus at £12 it won’t break the bank.

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Capri Blue Candle Tin from Anthropologie

 

Finally, Valentine’s Day is round the corner. Call me unromantic (and Mr Lace does) but I’m not a huge fan of the day. It all feels a bit commercial, it excludes those not in a relationship (even if they are very happily single!) and puts pressure on people to go to a lot of expense to ‘prove’ how much they love someone. But…..

……I suspect Lauren will disagree with me on this one because she is much less cynical than I am (!), so to get in the spirit, forget the expensive restaurants – I don’t think you can beat a home cooked meal to show someone how much you care. This goes for anyone, it doesn’t have to be a partner – it’s a lovely thing to do for anyone who needs a boost or reminding how much you care about them, from your Mum to your best friend.

Check out Jamie Oliver’s website for meal inspiration – Try putting tea lights in glass jars (wash up your old jam jars) and tie some pretty ribbon or lace round the top for purse friendly decorations. Dim the lights, light your scented candle and – voila! -Valentine’s day on a budget sorted! (Maybe don’t wear the slippers though….)

L:  Such a lovely idea, luckily Lewis has decided to take me out this year which I am really looking forwards to! Unlike Katy I really do like valentines and not just because I have someone to celebrate with but because as Katy mentioned it is a great way to remind the people you love that you care! And Valentines doesn’t have to brake the bank, you could take Katy’s advice and treat your loved ones to a home cooked meal or if like us you have Meerkat Movies you could afford-ably treat a friend or partner to a movie! I am planning a little girlie treat with my friends to see 50 Shades Darker but there are lots of other new releases to choose from!

Pay day treat: In our house, we are currently saving for new windows so unfortunately I cannot purchase the little luxuries I would like this month, however I have treated myself to 5 samples from Feel Unique for only £3.95! This great service is available for you to purchase a pick’n’mix of your 5 favourite samples each month and you only have to pay the delivery charge! Not only is this a lovely treat to receive through the post but it also allows you to try products you may not normally get to!

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Feel Unique Pick’n’Mix

 

Night out- If you fancy a night out this month but don’t want to spend a lot on a fancy restaurant visit West Quay’s new esplanade with new bars and eateries. If you visit between the 10th and 19th of February you can enjoy their festival of light for free, a beautiful light show displayed across Southampton’s historic walls from 5pm running throughout each evening. Plus they have special projection on the 14th… I will definitely be dragging Lewis along to this!!

Discount shopping- I am in desperate need of a wardrobe overall for spring but alas this has not been included in the budget this month! However if you are thinking of hitting the shops this month check out Groupon to see which stores are on discount. They have a dedicated tab with all the current discounts available on the high street. This very much came in handy when I had to make birthday present purchase, you can treat them to more than you would have and it costs you nothing to take a quick look at what’s on offer!

Happy February, we hope you are able to treat yourself this month! Let us know if you have any top tips for shopping or going out on a budget, we love to hear your thoughts!

Katy and Lauren xxx

ps. Happy Valentines

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Less is more…

K: I don’t know about you but I often feel overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by my never ending to-do list. Overwhelmed by emails, messages and status updates all demanding my immediate attention. Overwhelmed by news stories of the terrible things happening in the world and the feeling of helplessness they create.

Sometimes it can feel as though we live in a world where more is never enough. More information. More pressure. More stress. We hear a lot of talk about living simply, but what does this actually mean and how can we apply it to our busy modern lives?

Living simply fits well with the Lemonade Budget philosophy of getting the most out of life for less. Of course there are things we would love to own and can’t afford (Chanel handbag anyone?), but equally it is possible to balance those champagne aspirations with the realities of a lemonade budget and live a more balanced life.

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Sometimes we all want to escape to our own tropical island, but when time (and budget!) doesn’t allow for that, here are our top feel good tips…

Here we share our top tips for those occasions when less is definitely more:

Dress with less – Coco Chanel is rumoured to have said, ‘Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.’ Call it age or lack of money (!) but I have come to the conclusion that it is not the quantity of clothes/shoes/accessories you have in your wardrobe that counts, but the quality and how much you love the pieces you do have.

I am going to be trying the Project333 challenge from the fantastic Be More with Less blog by Courtney Carver.  The idea is simple – to dress for a season with just 33 items (including shoes and accessories…….I know!). I’ll keep you posted with my progress and I’d love to know how you get on if you feel inspired to try this too.

Be a minimalist – Confession time… I used to be a hoarder. I couldn’t bear to throw anything out, from my collection of Vogue magazines to old bills and paperwork. As part of the renovations we are doing to our house I have become much more ruthless and this year we are systematically going through each room and throwing away anything unnecessary, unused or unloved. (Mr Lace does not know this yet and I can already anticipate the heavy sighs and eye rolls).

To help with my new minimalist aesthetic, I started following the Minimalists. I first discovered them on a documentary on Netflix and I love their blog. It’s got lots of great ideas to simplify, declutter and de-stress your life (physically and emotionally). You can even try their 21 day challenge into minimalism!

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We all need to remember to stop and smell the roses sometimes.

L: I have been so busy with work this week, that being able to read the start of this post from Katy (thanks for the fab theme this week, Katy!) has really helped me to take a step back from what I am doing and realise that I need to do less, slow down my pace and just enjoy my journey!

I broke my one cardinal rule this week and took work home with me several nights in row. This is not something I want to get into the habit of as I am a firm believer of working to live and not living to work. Also, it made me less productive towards the end of the week as I was exhausted, and I had an overwhelming sinking feeling.

Taking away some of the complications that come with everyday life, like choosing what to wear from a wardrobe of clothes that I don’t actually need, could help me to live a more minimalist life. Although I am not sure I can quite commit to 33 items like Katy… I may need a few extra!!

We’re not the only ones talking about slowing down the pace. Anna Hunter has written a great article on Get the Gloss this month about low intensity living. Definitely worth having a look if you’re looking for some great tips on low-intensity gym classes, as well finding out more about mindful nutrition.

And obviously there is the current obsession with Hygge living. Simplistic living from our Danish neighbours – making everyday moments more meaningful and fully appreciating them … This is definitely something I am trying to follow because, actually, I have a pretty great life and sometimes I forget this in the chaos.

Hygge House is a great website inspiring you to enjoy the moment and to live every day as a new day – leaving yesterday as a distant, enjoyed memory. It is a great read for a Sunday afternoon pick-me-up when you have the back-to-school blues or should I say back-to-work!

Do you have any tips for a more simplistic life? We would love to hear your advice!

Happy weekend,

Katy and Lauren xxx

 

New Year, New You…

 

 

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L: We are sure you have heard friends say it and seen it all over your social feed – the ‘new year, new me’ mantra. It seems like a bit of a cliché. How can a diet change you so completely? But maybe I am looking at it from the wrong perspective.

I don’t believe that changing my diet and exercising more regularly will change my whole persona, but I do believe it will help me beat the bloat from over-indulging at Christmas. I will be able to regulate my diet (and weight!) back to how it would have been pre-Christmas and it will (hopefully!) stop me from sneaking quality street’s into my lunch bag!

If like us you live your life on a budget and can’t afford the latest craze, then we both have some top tips for getting fit and eating well for less!

Sweaty Betty- Join the 31 day challenge with Sweaty Betty. Download their free fitness calendar, check out their fitness blog full of top tips and watch and get involved with their free tutorials and exercise classes. Being able to keep track of what you are doing and achieving is a great way to motivate yourself. The classes are fun, you can do them in the comfort of your own home and you might end up trying something you might not always get to try at your local gym! 31 days to fit!

 

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Image from Sweaty Betty

 

Waitrose recipe cards – a firm favourite of mine. Visit your local Waitrose and pick-up free recipe cards. They’re inspiring, always delicious and great way to start cooking from scratch!

Water – Drinks lots of water. It’s free and will help you to feel less tired, more hydrated and your skin will thank you for it.

Homemade by you – Started life as a separate website and can now be found in the recipe section of Sainburys website. It has meal plans and delicious recipes that are simple to make. Create your own meal plans or just save your favourite recipes to the site – its an easy way to keep track of what your eating! Sainsburys

K – Sleep – Crucial for our mental and physical health, this is the foundation on which all those other resolutions are built. Not convinced? Check out Ariana Huffington’s TED talk on the importance of sleep for success – TED Talk.

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As someone who has suffered from insomnia on and off since I was a teenager, I know there is no magic remedy for a good night’s sleep. However, I (Katy) have some basic rules which I follow to give myself the best chance of a restful night:

Set the scene during the day by eating wholesome food, taking regular exercise (see Lauren’s great tips!), getting some fresh air (preferably in nature or a park) and cutting caffeine after 2pm. At night time, try to stick to a regular routine and allow at least 30 minutes to an hour to wind down before bed by switching off your TV/laptop/phone and doing something relaxing.

Time – Last year in our book club we talked about ‘Do Less, Get More’ by Sháá Wasmund. The idea is simple. You can’t possibly do everything (shocking, I know) so the secret is ruthless prioritisation of people, tasks and commitments.

Figure out what your main priorities are for the new year (getting fit / writing a novel / spending more time with your family) and then factor these into your schedule in a way that is realistic and achievable. This may mean (cue sharp intake of breath) that you have to drop something else, but trying to do everything and burning out is not the secret to succeeding at your resolutions.  Book Club August.

 

Our August Book Club Recommended Read.

Our August Book Club Recommended Read.

Meditation – I have dabbled with mindfulness and meditation in the past but not been very good at sticking to it. However, many experts and celebrities alike agree that it is an effective way to reduce stress and help you cope better with difficulties in your life. So, it is one of my personal resolutions to factor in at least 10 minutes of meditation per day. If like me you have a constant mental chatter that sounds like an overexcited (and oddly self-critical) five year old then this could be for you too!

Apps like Bhuddify and Headspace are a great introduction to meditation and help you factor it into your day even when you are out and about.

This is even something you can do with all the family. Check out Goldie Hawn on the Today show for some meditation inspiration – Goldie Hawn.

We’d love to hear about your resolutions for the new year too and how you plan to stick to them. Share them below or on our Facebook and Instagram for the extra motivation to stick to that goal and for moral support from our lovely community.

Love,

Lauren & Katy x

Winter Skin Saviours

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We love Autumn. The crisp frosty mornings, the smell of wood smoke hanging in the air, and the opportunity to bring all those lovely winter clothes out of storage.

Sadly Autumn does not love our skin. A lethal combination of the changing elements and central heating leaves our skin looking grey, pale and dull. We both have combination skin which means that we have oily t-zone’s and dry skin on  our cheeks which tends to get worse in the colder months.

We’re both on the look out for multi-tasking hero products that will gently soothe and brighten our skin, all on a lemonade budget of course!

So these are our personal skin saviours for the cooler months:

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Katy

Cleanse:

Like me, my skin is very sensitive so I don’t like to use anything that will be too harsh. I have used Liz Earle’s cleanser for years and am yet to find another one that does a better job of caring for my skin and taking off all my make up in one easy sweep, including stubborn mascara. I follow this with the Liz Earle toner to remove any last traces of cleanser.

Just a small word of warning, this cleanser leaves my skin lovely and soft. However, several friends who have oily skin have told me that this product doesn’t suit their skin type. So if this is you too, perhaps see if you can trial a free sample first to see how you get on with it.

Moisturise

During the warmer months, I have been using Liz Earle skin repair moisturiser for normal/combination skin which has a nice light texture. However, now winter is setting in and my skin is more dry, I will switch it up to a richer moisturiser. I like the Body Shop Vitamin E moisturiser which is more intensively moisturising and budget friendly.

I’m older than Lauren so I have to work a bit harder to keep those pesky wrinkles at bay! At night, I use Clarins Double Serum followed by their Multi-Active Night Cream. Both do a great job of hydrating and balancing my skin, leaving it soft and smelling lovely. The downside is that they aren’t cheap so I tend to stock up in duty free (or persuade friends and family to purchase for me when they’re travelling!).

Wherever possible, I like to use products that have as many natural ingredients as possible and aren’t tested on animals. I’m interested in a new organic range Lauren recommended called Pai so I plan to swap in some of their products for my night time routine.

Balm

My lips get more chapped than a marathon runner’s nipples in winter and the most effective lip balm I have found is Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm. It tingles nicely when you put it on and is very soothing for sore lips. It’s also a good base for lipstick or gloss.

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Lauren

Cleanse

Similarly to Katy, I think I have combination skin. I say ‘I think’ because during the Winter months my skin goes through several phases, from dry to oily to dehydrated back to combination in time for the summer! On top of this I also suffer from acne. So my skin routine is really important to me.

I always take the day off with a double cleanse. I start with a facial oil – currently I am using one I got in the reduced section of Waitrose called Argan+ Argan Oil Skin Awakening Cleansing Oil. I wash this off with a flannel. This is really great because oil cleansers last ages so are great if you are on a budget!

Then I use The Body Shop’s Aloe Cleansing Cream. It is gentle enough to not aggravate my skin.

Finally, I take my eye make-up off with Nivea Double Effect Eye Make-up remover it is perfect for taking even the most stubborn eyeliner off and it is only £1.94 in Boots!

In the morning, I simply wash my face with Aldi’s Gentle Face Wash Gel.

Moisturise

In the evening I use a facial oil from Botanics, it smells lovely, is super hydrating and is great if your on a budget like us. It is also great if like me you have minor acne scars. I have found mine have dulled significantly since using this.

I then moisturise with Botanics Hydrating Night Cream. It’s only £2.50 and works really well for me!

And when my skin is need of an extra special treat, I use Soap and Glory’s Beauty Sleep Accelerator   which is also good for when you are travelling – perfect for providing that extra moisture needed during the colder months!

In the morning, I use an Aldi Lacura Hydrating Serum and Simple Daily Moisturiser which is SPF 30 ideal for protecting the skin from the Winter sun!

I have to confess I don’t use a balm and is something I should look into so I will definitely be taking Katy’s advice on this!

Do you have any good advice for keeping your skin hydrated we would love to know your skin care faves!?

Book Club- Our Favourites…

For this month’s book club, we thought we’d do something a little different and share our favourite ever books with you in the hope of inspiring our lovely followers to try reading something new. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

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Katy:

My favourite book of all time has to be Jane Austen’s, Emma. Now I am just as much of a fan of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy as the next girl, but Emma is the book for me that really sparked my imagination as a writer. The plot actually inspired one of my favourite films too – Clueless with Alicia Silverstone!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the story, Emma is the spoilt only-daughter of a wealthy and extremely overprotective father. Used to getting her own way, she has written off most of the men in her social circle but this still doesn’t stop her trying to match make her friends. Now this is of course pre-Tinder, so there is a lot of coy eyelash fluttering across the room and blatantly staged encounters (think Made in Chelsea but with more tea and corsets).

What’s so great about the book is how obvious it is to the reader that Emma is terrible at matchmaking and doesn’t know half as much as she thinks she does. There are literally times when you want to reach into the book and shake her because it is so blatantly obvious that she’s got it wrong. But this is what I like about the story.

Emma is the book that taught me that the hero of a book doesn’t have to be perfect, or even that likeable, to still make us care about them and want to root for them. Emma is spoilt, arrogant and entitled, but she is also fiercely independent, caring and generous. In other words, she’s human! And in today’s world where there is so much pressure on us to be perfect all of the time (perfect looks, perfect job, perfect friend), it’s so refreshing to read a book that celebrates being perfectly imperfect and that’s a lesson we could all do with sometimes.

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Lauren:

When Katy asked me to write about my favourite book I really couldn’t choose and I have been dragging my heels, taking my time to write this. From Harry Potter to Sense and Sensibility, A Discovery of Witches or anything Nicholas Sparks, every book reminds me of moment in my life, the memory of when and where it was when I read it. So choosing for me wasn’t just about the book it was about the memories it evoked. Unfortunately my favourite book isn’t a British classic but it is a book and a film I could read/watch over and over again! Drum roll please… Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.. Your probably thinking that’s a teen novel, well you’d be right but it is easy to read and reminds my of a very lovely manager I once had. (And I should note I was only 15 when the first book came out!)

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Twilight is a romance set through the eyes of Isabella Swan a young human girl who falls in love with a dashingly handsome vampire (played in the film beautifully by Robert Pattinson) called Edward Cullen. As the story unfolds we see how difficult it is for their relationship to grow with outside influences having almost deadly consequences. Not too dissimilar to real life really, apart from the nearly dead part, no relationship is perfect, however there’s is heighten by his hunger for blood in particular hers. Now obviously a good teen novel always ends well and this does not disappoint! I love a happy ending and after 4 books they finally get theirs! I love this book and although you could say there are similarities to real life if you looked hard enough, DON’T! Enjoy it for what it is and allow it to transport you to a fantasy world!

This book reminds me of the long conversations and laughter shared on a late shift with a lovely lady named Jackie. We could talk about Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn for hours. One birthday she even bought me the Breaking Dawn Annual and I still have it now! Re-reading these books reminds me of the good times I had!

What is your favourite book, we loved to know and it would be great to have something new to read!?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shop for a champagne lifestyle on a lemonade budget…. with Guest Blogger What Natalie Did Next…

This week we have teamed up with Fashion Blogger Natalie from What Natalie Did Next… to bring you her top tips for shopping on a lemonade budget!

In this day and age there is nothing wrong with being a savvy shopper. I get mocked by my best friend for never shopping full price…..that’s just me, perhaps its the student still in me or the girl who used to work for a fashion retailer and get the joy of a 50% staff discount.

Nowadays it is all about knowing the little tricks of savvy shopping. I feel it’s only fair to share a few….

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I have been speaking with the lovely beauties who run the blog Champagne Lifestyle Lemonade Budget. These girls know all about being savvy when shopping, going on holiday and even buying a house. I am super excited to be their guest blogger with this post also featuring on my own blog: What Natalie Did Next…

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It’s over to my top tips to being a happy savvy shopper….

Vouchercodes.co.uk, one of many websites offering daily deals. I recommend registering to receive their updates so you never miss key offers.

Certain websites will offer you a discount if you leave items in your basket overnight (*cough Boo Hoo)

If you don’t require the item ASAP, hold off as many major stores and department stores regularly hold discount events. Simply create an account on their website, then you receive the email instantly when they have a discount on and you can save items you like into your favourites so they are there waiting to be purchased.

Shop with sites offering Collect+ for returns, then it is free and easy should you need to return anything.

ASOS are great for promotions, again add items to your favourites. They also stock high street brands like River Island and New Look too. They offer Collect+ too.

DO shop about for brands. For example, perfumes and beauty, there are so many other genuine websites selling the real deal and they often have savings on. Look Fantastic is great for beauty savings, I found them as they were an authorised GHD stockist when I was look for new straightners, they stock big brands like Benefit, Estee Lauder and Lancôme (just to name a few of my favourites.

I found Escentual great for an aftershave for Pete…..I was able to get the 100ml for the price of a 50ml thanks to a super 25% off event.

http://www.lookfantastic.com/home.dept

http://www.escentual.com/

Ebay, is not all about bidding and buying second hand. Stores like Boo Hoo and Joules have Outlets on there offering items at discounted prices.

On the subject of Ebay, don’t be afraid to shop second hand. People sell MANY items ‘Brand New With Tags’. So if you require a dress for a one off occasion and don’t want to spend much, take the time to have a look on ebay…..last year I bought a brand new Topshop Velvet Dress for Christmas for under £10 and a gorgeous ASOS Faux Fur Coat, this was 2nd hand but in excellent condition. Ebay is really easy now as well to sell any unwanted items. I did a huge sale on there recently and made a nice sum of money, yes you have ebay fees to consider but if your items are sold low price then your fees are next to nothing. As a member you get many offers for free listings and only pay when you sell options.

Register with brands you like, not just to be kept up to date, but for your birthday many will send you a voucher code. Thank you M&S and ASOS for birthday treats this year. Not to mention the free bottle of prosecco I could claim at Prezzo when I spend £20 on a meal too.

Also on the subject of registering, companies will offer discounts when you sign up to their newsletters. H&M offers 25% off one item on your first order, Boo Hoo offers discounts when you sign up as well as when you download their app and recently New Look offered 30% off when you signed up as a new customer!

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To finish…Loyalty and Rewards, don’t forget about these. We all know about the likes of the Boots Advantage Card (I have never had so many points since having Ava, baby stuff means points which means Hello Make Up for Mummy!!). Keep watch for other stores doing the same, Superdrug and M&S have loyalty cards and ASOS now offer a rewards scheme. Which, like loyalty cards, the more your shop the more treats you have to go towards future purchases which = happy loyal customers YAY!!

I know there are many other shopping secrets out there, these are just to name a few. Please do share with me another of your shopping secrets….stay savvy shopping lovers!

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We hope you liked Natalie’s top tips! If you have tips for shopping on a lemonade budget then we would love for you to share them with us!

Speak Soon,

Lauren, Katy and our fabulous guest blogger Natalie xxx

First Day At Work

Living on a lemonade budget…. And starting a new job.

It’s been a little while since we last posted. Life has got rather busy for both of us recently….

Lauren has been working hard with her Mr Clark to renovate their new home and they are due to move in any day now. Huge congratulations to both of them – their new home is stunning and I’m sure Lauren will be sharing an update on their progress from bombsite to beautiful in some not too distant posts!

Meanwhile, I have started a new job! For those of who have been following us for a while, you will remember that I quit my previous job back in May and I decided to take a couple of months off to relax and figure out my next step.

My new role is working part time for a small business specialising in high end antiques and interior design. The job ticks so many boxes. It’s local. It’s part time. It’s a relaxed and creative environment (I look out my office window onto fields and farmland – you can’t get much more chilled!). And most importantly the people are lovely.

I recognise that I am very fortunate to have found something that almost exactly matches what I set out to find. Of course that didn’t stop the self-doubt kicking in. Almost as soon as the ink was dry on the contract and I had downed my glass of celebratory prosecco, my mind went into a crisis of confidence meltdown. Had I made the right decision? Would I actually be able to do the job? What if nobody liked me? Could I justify working part time when I didn’t have a ‘good’ reason for doing so?

And so it went on. Part of this insecurity was that my self-confidence had been badly knocked in my last role and I had to accept that this was going to take some time to fix.

When you lack confidence in yourself, it is difficult to believe that you are capable of making a ‘good’ decision. If you are anything like me, then it will take you ages to make any decision at all because you have to analyse the situation from every possible angle first. The problem is that once you then do commit, you torture yourself wondering if you have made the right choice (I know, it’s exhausting).

Knowing me very well by now, the long suffering Mr Lace encouraged me to think about what the worst thing that could happen was. It sounds counter-intuitive, but it actually works in this case! So I’m absolutely rubbish at the job and everyone hates me – I just quit and I’m in no worse position than I was in before. Actually, put like that it’s not that bad! Once I had removed that worry from the list, it was easier to remind myself that they had given me the job because they liked me and they believed I would be good at it.

The next worries were whether I would be able to do the job properly or if people would like me. I felt sick with nerves on my first day – it was the same feeling I used to get on the first day at a new school! To make the whole experience less nerve wracking, I use a couple of basic tips which I had used before in stressful situations:

  • I often don’t sleep very well when I am under pressure. Rather than panicking about this, I accepted that it might happen and told myself that, although I might be a bit tired, it wasn’t the end of the world and I would cope.
  • It sounds superficial, but I chose a nice outfit and took time over my hair and make-up. It makes sense, if you feel like you look your best then you are more likely to feel confident.
  • I gave myself a pep talk in the morning to remind myself of all my achievements and I told myself that I just had to get through one day, broken down like that it didn’t feel so insurmountable.
  • As a perfectionist, I always want to be good at everything immediately, so it was important that I gave myself permission not to know everything straight away and to make mistakes without feeling like I was a failure.

Finally, I was worried about whether I could justify working part time without a ‘good’ reason. I think many of us feel the pressure to achieve in our careers, so taking a break or a sideways step rather than climbing the ladder as quickly as possible can feel like a failure on our part.

I read a really good article about this ‘career shame spiral’ in October’s Glamour magazine, and how this is made worse in our fast-paced world when we are constantly bombarded with the latest career success of celebrities younger than ourselves (hello Taylor Swift) or even our friend’s latest promotion news on Facebook.

I had to get to a point where I could accept that I had made the decision that was right for me and I didn’t need to justify it. What is a ‘good’ reason anyway? I had been under pressure in my last role, so it was healthy to want a work-life balance in my next job. Scott and I are dealing with some personal stuff outside of work which needs to be my focus for now and I am a firm believer you can’t do everything.

The point is that the most important thing is to be happy and sometimes you just have to be brave enough to go after it.

Have you started a new job recently or had a career change? We’d love to know your experience here or share your story on Facebook or Instagram. You might inspire someone else to make a change!

Love Katy x

Our August Book Club Recommended Read.

Lemonade Budget Book Club – August 2016

Our August Book Club Recommended Read.

Our August Book Club Recommended Read.

‘I’d love to but I’m just so busy right now.’ How many times have you heard that phrase recently or even used it yourself? Along with, ‘I’ve always wanted to <insert lifelong cherished dream here> but I never have the time’ or ‘I wish there were more hours in the day.’

Sound familiar? Well then I recommend our book club read for August, ‘Do Less, Get More’ by Sháá Wasmund. Following on from Lauren’s post last week about struggling to find enough hours in a day for work, home, family and friends, this book has some great tips for helping you out of the ‘busy trap’ as Sháá calls it.

The blurb on the back reads: ‘Is your life how you imagined it would be, or is the reality more stressful than you planned? Do you put yourself under too much pressure to succeed? Are you struggling to find time for the things and people you love?’

Personally, I answered a resounding yes to all those statements so I was very keen to read this book! The book is broken down into four clear sections to help you understand how life gets so complicated and simple practical steps to help you de-clutter, delegate and de-stress.

I particularly found the concepts of focusing on ‘the one thing’ rather than trying to do everything at once and ‘less perfection, more reality’ helpful. For a procrastinator and a perfectionist, those two steps alone are difficult! But I am trying to take on board some of Sháá’s tips and make positive changes to focus on the people and things in my life that matter the most.

Have you read this book? Let us know your thoughts! Or if you have advice to share for others trying to get out of the ‘busy trap’ and enjoy life more, then please do share them with us below or on our Facebook and Instagram!

A tale as old as … TIME (And what to do when you don’t have enough of it)

Time- we would all like more…alas there never seems enough of it- “Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat” or should I say Eat, Work, Sleep, Repeat. Well thats how my life feels right now, I constantly feel rushed for time, driving in the fast line with no break in sight.

Currently, Lewis and I are juggling working full time with decorating our house, seeing friends and family and making the odd visit to the gym (or maybe no visits to the gym!), as well trying to progress within our careers, so we can afford to furnish the house we have lovingly spent so much of our precious time on. But something has to give right, what I need to do is figure out what my priorities are but what I would really like is Hermione’s Time Turner necklace, so I can be in two places at once, but sadly magic doesn’t exist!

So, what do we do? I would love to drag my heels and throw a tantrum like a three year old but I can’t because I am now an adult! BUT I DON’T REMEMBER BEING TAUGHT ALL OF THIS… why don’t they teach us properly in school how to manage time, a specific course on how to do this effectively. I mean I loved art and textiles as much as the next person but have I painted a picture or made a green man since.. NO! And I am sure many of you will say this is built into our coursework and homework but as an adult this feels so much more stressful and of course this is likely because money is involved. And for the most part I can budget and I am sure Lewis would agree, much to his annoyance, I budget well but you cannot always be prepared for what will happen. I needed someone at a younger age to teach me how to manage paying bills, having a full time job, having a home to run and meet the expectations of the people I love.

Luckily, I do have the love and support of my friends and family who have been a massive help and have guided me to be able to manage my priorities. So rant aside, these are the top tips they have given me to ensure I achieve my goals:

  • Break it down into bite-size chunks that are easy to achieve.
  • Make a list of all things you want to accomplish in a week but don’t hold it gospel, if you don’t get all done don’t worry, use it as an aid to keep you on track. You can work on it over the following weeks.
  • Prioritise your tasks, figure out what is your most important goal, keep it to one or two so that it achievable for example, this weekend my goal was to finish the porch which we did and I feel so much better for doing so.
  • Have a break. Use your weekends for the more than just completing your to-do list make sure you take a break and take some time out for yourself, it is important to relax… something I need to remember.
  • Reward yourself, whether that is having a bath, buying yourself a sneaky treat or just having some down time with your friends, make sure you treat yourself to something fabulous once you have reached your goal!

Do you have any tips you could share with me on to manage my time effectively?

Lauren xxx

 

Living on a lemonade budget…. And surviving unemployment.

Flower arranging

One of my creative projects during funemployment! Flower arranging for a 90th birthday party with my lovely mother-in-law!

The first week after I quit my job, I felt elated and energised. No more alarm clock in the morning. No more trudging off every day with a feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach. No more spending half my life moaning or suppressing my feelings. I had taken back control and I felt good.

Then it hit me. I had quit my job. We had no money and no source of income. There was no guarantee when I would find a new job. I had a lot of free time to doubt myself and my decision. I got a nasty cold, my emotions were all over the place and I was feeling pretty sorry for myself.

If you’re anything like me then this is when the inner critic starts. I actually watched a segment about this on Loose Women recently. (I know what you’re all thinking but they do have some interesting discussion points, so sue me). The point was that we all have an inner voice who can be very critical and for some of us this is louder than others. So to help myself keep positive (and avoid watching too much day time TV), I came up with some coping techniques to survive unemployment. These worked for me and I hope they may help you if you are ever in this situation, but I’m no professional and everyone is different so do get help if you find yourself feeling really down.

  • Have a routine. Try to make yourself get up and dressed in good time every morning. Decide what your plan is for the day so you aren’t just sitting around feeling like you are wasting time.
  • Set aside time each day or a few times a week to check your emails, call back recruiters and apply for jobs. Make sure you take a break from this too so that it doesn’t take over your life.
  • Don’t rush. Quitting a job is a big decision and it is natural to feel a bit lost and uncertain about your next step – I do! Take time to think carefully about what will make you happy. Consider everything from the practical (working hours, how far you are willing to commute) to the type of role and company you want to work for.
  • Feel productive. I struggled with losing a sense of meaning and purpose in my day. To stave off negative thoughts and self-doubt, I decided to keep busy with a list of all the things that I never had time to do while I was working. This ranged from the small life admin tasks that had mounted up to bigger projects like painting the kitchen or finally getting round to starting the novel I always wanted to write. Your list will be personal to you but at least you will feel a sense of achievement at the end of the day.
  • Obviously the big question for a lemonade budget blog is money! Hopefully you already figured out what your necessary/unavoidable outgoings are and have put money aside to get by until you find a job. Either way, make a budget and stick to it. I found it helpful to take cash out at the beginning of each week so I wasn’t tempted to put things on my card and overspend. Meal plan so you know exactly what food you need and shop little and often so you cut down on waste.
  • I found it really important to get out of the house. Exercise helps and is a good way of getting fresh air and boosting mood. Running and walking are free and good for you. Spending time with people you love who you can trust to be supportive is also key. Good friends and your family should understand your temporarily reduced circumstances so find cheap ways to spend time with them, like going for a walk and a picnic or inviting friends over for dinner and suggesting guests bring a starter/dessert or bring the drinks.
  • Now you have all this free time, don’t spend ages on social media comparing your life to everyone else! Everyone has their own challenges or issues so don’t make the mistake of assuming that everyone else has a perfect life in comparison.We only tend to put the good stuff up so it’s easy to feel like you are missing out, but the reality is that your friends have their own problems and insecurities too.

Wishing you lots of luck!

Love, Katy x