Living life on a budget

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Covent Garden













Last weekend James and I decided to take a trip to Covent Garden to see these balloons everyone has been raving about and have a general look around. On arrival we realised that we were too late, the balloons had already been taken down (enter extreme Katie sad face). 

Once I had got over the fact I had missed a great Instagram picture opportunity (which took quite a while), we decided to have a wander around and found the mini Harrods, which was FULL of everything Christmassy. This 100% made up for the lack of balloons. 

We wandered around the different markets and looked out for any possible Christmas present ideas (organised? I know). We didn't have any success, but some of the market stalls sell such nice and unique things and it was still nice to have a browse. 

We then went to Patisserie Valerie and had some amazing cakes and hot chocolate. I don't think I've ever had anything other than the custard slice there, but it's absolutely delicious so I don't care if that's a bit boring. 

I would 100% recommend a few hours spent looking around Covent Garden. There's a large range of shops, from designers, to independent shops, to CHRISTMAS HARRODS. It has such a nice atmosphere, especially around Christmas time. It is definitely one of my favourite places to spend time in London. 

Have you been to London? What's your favourite place?


The benefits of exercise



As I wrote in a recent post on "Maintaining Positivity", I have recently started to exercise more and have already started to notice differences in how I feel and look. 

I have become a member of a gym, which includes the gym (if you hadn't already guessed), swimming and classes. This variety is good for me because I often become bored of doing the same thing over and over again. Also, if I book a gym class I am much more likely to go because I kind of feel like I have to.

I'll tell you now, I'm not writing this post as someone who gets up early every morning to do exercise, doesn't go a day without exercising and doesn't find it difficult to get up and actually go to the gym, because I do. I try to go to the gym 3 times a week, and then either swimming or gym classes a couple of times in between. Some weeks I am more motivated to get up and do exercise than other weeks. 

It has only been a month since I joined the gym and I have already noticed both physical and psychological changes. I'm not and never have been a "big" person, I'm very lucky as I'm able to eat pretty much anything and not put on much, if any weight. But this doesn't mean I'm happy with my body. I have joined the gym to increase my fitness, get healthier and to tone up. Not only is that happening, I have also noticed big changes in my general mood. After exercising I always feel more motivated and just happier in general. It's a win-win situation and I definitely recommend it!

So I'm going to try my best to carry on dragging myself out of bed, turning off netflix and stop making excuses to not exercise. It's 100% worth it. 


Do you often exercise? What changes have you noticed?


OOTD | Jumper weather









Jeans- Asos
Jumper- Boohoo
Trainers- Reebok 
Coat- Asos
Bag- Asos

It's not even November yet and it's already jumper (and coat) weather. I feel like summer ended so abruptly, one day it was fairly warm and then next I was digging out jumpers from the backs of my drawers, putting on coats and even considering wearing a scarf! You know it's nearly winter when even on days when there's not a cloud in the sky, it is still bitterly cold- I can no longer rely on looking out the window to see how warm it's going to be. 

So the coats and jumpers are now out! Even though I do love summer, it's always nice to  start wearing layers of cosy, warm clothes again. 

I bought this black roll neck from boohoo and have been loving it ever since. It's pretty thick, which makes it really warm and cosy. Paired with these Asos jeans (which I have been loving for a while now) and my trusty Reeboks, it makes the perfect outfit for chilly days. 

Now let's talk about my b-e-a-utiful bomber jacket. It had been sitting in my Asos saved items section for weeks until it was finally reduced and I could finally afford it. It's so so warm and goes with practically everything. Definitely going to be used a lot over winter.

Have you started wearing coats and jumpers yet? Do you have any new favourites?

My interrailing experience


As you may have read in previous posts, James and I spent 3 weeks of our summer interrailing around Europe. I can honestly say it was the most amazing experience and will be 3 weeks of my life I will never forget. We did, saw and ate so much (and took far too many pictures!) which meant the time went way too fast!

On average we spent 3 days in each of the seven cities (Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest and Zagreb) which, I would say was the perfect amount of time. There was more to do/see in some places compared to others, but we never ran out of time. On arrival to each city we took time to look at the map and circle all the places we wanted to visit, which we later crossed out once we'd been there and seen them. We tried to see all the main attractions, eat the traditional food and have a general wander around each of the cities. 

To save money we decided to stay in hostels all the way around until we reached croatia, where we stayed in an amazing hotel. I don't know whether it's just me, but when I thought of a hostel I would think of a rough and pretty dirty place where you were likely to have bed bugs and regret not bringing your own bedsheets, but I couldn't have been more wrong. Every single one of the hostels we stayed in were lovely and they were all so clean. It was also nice to meet and socialise with other people travelling around Europe and it definitely added to our experience. (Although by the end we were definitely ready to spend time in a fancy hotel!) 

I would definitely recommend interrailing to anyone who wants to spend time (and a fair bit of money) travelling around Europe and seeing more of the world. This is just a quick post, but I will be posting more about my interrailing experience, so keep your eyes out! 

Did you go travelling this summer?

Maintaining Positivity



We all have days where we feel negative and down, and everything just seems rubbish. I sometimes find it really difficult to stay positive when I'm struggling with uni work or missing my boyfriend, and can often feel quite down about things. Here are just a few methods that I find help me to see things in a different light and feel happier and more positive.


Do some exercise

Up until recently I didn't realise the huge affect exercise has on your mind and general feelings. Whether it's going to the gym for a full on workout, or just going for a walk, I guarantee it'll make you feel better, even if it's the tiniest bit. I can honestly say that since I started to do more exercise and go to the gym, I have become much more motivated and honestly feel so much happier in general. 

Say goodbye to negative thoughts 

I know this can be extremely difficult to do, but when you do start to feel negative about things, try your best to look at the other, more positive side. Don't just focus on all the negatives because it'll most likely end up spin out of proportion and you'll end up feeling  100 times worse. "Every cloud has a silver lining" and it's true, even when it doesn't feel like it, there will always be some positives hiding behind all those negatives.

Don't let yourself overthink 

This relates to both of the above. When you begin to feel down and start thinking negatively, don't let yourself dwell on it. Instead, get out and do something, even if it's just a short walk to the shop and back, it'll make a small difference. Also don't allow yourself to repeatedly think about something that's getting you down in a negative way, try to turn it around to a positive. 

Do things that make you happy 

One of the best solutions to negative thinking is to do something that you enjoy and makes you happy. Whether that's painting a picture, baking a cake or going climbing, it'll help you forget about things and cheer you up, even if it's just temporary.

Be selfish

Sometimes you have to just stop and think about yourself and what's best for you. It's easy to think about everyone else all the time, but you need to make sure you focus on yourself aswell. When feeling negative about things, it is really important to focus on yourself and make yourself feel better about things. 

Everyday Jewellery


Necklaces- Accessorize Z Collection 
Turquoise ring- Italy  
Infinity ring- Tiffany&co.
Small silver rings- Accessorize Z Collection
Plain silver thumb ring- Spangle (Ipswich)

I absolutely love buying and wearing jewellery and don't feel like any outfit is complete without adding a few pieces of jewellery. I like to keep my everyday jewellery pretty plain and simple, and I always get sterling silver, but for nights out/special occasions etc I sass it up a bit with bigger and bolder jewellery. 

For the past few years now I have constantly worn jewellery on a day-to-day basis, my collection has gradually changed and different items have been replaced as I have discovered new shiny bits of silver.

My 1000% favourite ring is my beautiful Tiffany&co infinity ring that James gave me after a year of us being together. I also love my turquoise heart ring that my parents bought me on a trip to Italy a few years ago. It's so nice to wear jewellery that actually means something and is special to me.

I am also loving these necklaces and rings from the Z Collection in Accessorize- I dread to think how much time I spend gazing at the amazing Z collection and sterling silver range in Accessorize. 

Carrot cake making





Like several people, I have the GBBO bug and watch it every week without fail (who's going to win tonight?! It's either Nadia or Tamal for me!) Anyway, at the weekend I felt inspired to attempt to bake something and after flicking through my Mary Berry cookbook, I decided for that 'something' to be a carrot cake, as this is one of my favourites. 

Baking cakes is definitely not one of my strong points and I often end up forgetting an ingredient (recently that ingredient was butter, so my lovely chocolate chip cupcakes didn't turn out so well. At least I now understand why butter is an essential part of that cupcake recipe!) 

I started to question my decision to bake a cake whilst seriously struggling back from the local Sainsbury's with the ingredients. But after reading the recipe and realising how easy it was, that I just literally had to chuck everything in a bowl and stir, I felt much more enthusiastic. 

It took a while to cook, cool and ice but it was 100% worth it as it tasted amazing. I will definitely be cooking it again soon. 

Cake Ingredients:

  • 150ml sunflower oil
  • 250g wholemeal self-raising flour 
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 150g light muscovado sugar 
  • 60g chopped walnuts
  • 125g grated carrots
  • 2 mashed bananas 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 tbsp milk

Method: 

  • Grease cake tin
  • Chuck all the ingredients into a bowl and stir well until it's all evenly mixed
  • Cook for around 50 mins 
  • Leave to cool

Icing ingredients: 

  • 250g low-fat soft cheese
  • 2 tsp clear honey 
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Method: 

  • Again, stick everything into a bowl, mix and then smooth over top of cake 
  • (I added some ground cinnamon for decoration but Mary Berry says about adding chopped walnuts- which I had unfortunately run out of)
Has the GGBO inspired you to do any baking?

Personalising uni accommodation

I've been planning on doing this post for a very long time and I finally got round to taking the pictures (and tidying my room) for it the other day. Uni rooms are all the same kind of plain, boring and empty. I wanted to make sure my uni room didn't look exactly the same as all the others and like it was just a room full of my stuff, with no personal touches. 

When I moved into my new room for my second year at uni, I was determined to make it feel more homely. I wanted a room I enjoyed living in. Adding photos, taking down orange curtains and covering up the orange and yellow pin board was just the start. 






Last year I literally covered my pin board with pictures, but not only did that darken the room, the pictures became out of date and started to fade, I couldn't wait to take them down in the end! Instead, this year I opted to cover the pin board up entirely with this b-e-a-utiful throw I found whilst interrailing. This automatically brightens the room and makes it more personal to me (plus I couldn't bare being faced with a block of orange and yellow on my wall 24/7).  

Having special photos in picture frames creates a more homely feel and adds a personal touch (plus I am constantly taking photos and I love looking back at past memories). Putting a few cushions on the bed also makes it feel more homely and less of a plain and simple uni room. I have a bit of a weakness for buying cushions (much to James' annoyance-what's not to love about buying more fluffy, colour coordinated cushions ey?) Also, adding a few candles don't just look good, they make your room smell really nice aswell.

I pinned some postcards, including pictures and quotes, to a small cork pin board I found in Ikea instead of using the (as already mentioned) horrible coloured pin board. These also add some personality to the room, and I love the motivational/cute quotes. 

Have you recently moved into uni accommodation? Do you have any tips on personalising/decorating it?

© KATIE PRIMROSE.

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