Saturday, 17 March 2018

Money Saving Tips




This is quite a long post so grab a cuppa and get comfy!

Now I’m no ‘expert’ but in the last 5 years we have done some serious saving! We’ve saved for a house deposit and also a wedding…so I thought I’d share some of the tips that seem to have helped us as I know in this day and age it seems impossible to save for house deposits especially but don’t give up!
Also these are just a few tips and ideas, there are so many so maybe I'll follow up with more in the near future.

Set a (realistic) amountWhether you’re saving for a big event such as a house deposit or a wedding or you are just saving to pay any credit card bills, maybe that nice holiday you keep pricing up? It’s always best to set a realistic amount you can save weekly/monthly.
To get an idea of how much you think you could save, take into account all of the things you have come out of your account i.e. phone bills, gym membership, Netflix, Spotify etc etc.
Then look at the figure you are left with, also remember you still want to ‘live’ a little so you don’t want to put the whole lot into savings and end up with nothing.
So maybe start by putting half into a savings account and see how you get on.
Now talking about savings accounts, there are so many! If I’m completely honest I just opened an online savers on the Lloyds mobile banking app as it’s so easy to transfer money to and from, now I know this isn’t beneficial in the way that I’m not making a lot if anything on interest but for me I just wanted somewhere I can separate my savings.
If this is something you are wanting to look into I’d recommend looking on Money Supermarket as this is the money man Martin Lewis’ website and he’s brilliant at things like this!

Memberships/Subscriptions – do you need them?Everyone has at least one direct debit, whether it be for the mortgage, car finance, phone contract etc however most of us are guilty of having those direct debits to things that we really don’t need!
If you have these whether it be gym membership or Netflix, think to yourself, do you need them? Now I can hear people gasping at the suggestion to get rid of their Netflix subscription but if it’s something you only watch every now and then is it really worth paying for? When was the last time you went to the gym? Or used that music app?
If you have a service you are paying for but you really don’t use, it might be time to cancel! If you have doubts and think ‘Yes but I think I’ll use it in 5 months time’ well that’s fine there’s nothing to stop you from signing back up but just think of the money you could save over the month and year – it all helps!

Change (the money kind!)
By this I don’t mean you need to change personally! What I am referring to are those pennies which sit in your purse/wallet until the end of time.
Start collecting those in a tin or money pot. We have a Celebrations tin (no chocolates in there obvs!) and we collect 1p’s, 2p’s and 5p’s. Anytime we have change we just throw it in the tin and at the end of the month we s
This is quite a long post so grab a cuppa and get comfy!

Now I’m no ‘expert’ but in the last 5 years we have done some serious saving! We’ve saved for a house deposit and also a wedding…so I thought I’d share some of the tips that seem to have helped us as I know in this day and age it seems impossible to save for house deposits especially but don’t give up!
Also these are just a few tips and ideas, there are so many so maybe I'll follow up with more in the near future.

Set a (realistic) amountWhether you’re saving for a big event such as a house deposit or a wedding or you are just saving to pay any credit card bills, maybe that nice holiday you keep pricing up? It’s always best to set a realistic amount you can save weekly/monthly.
To get an idea of how much you think you could save, take into account all of the things you have come out of your account i.e. phone bills, gym membership, Netflix, Spotify etc etc.
Then look at the figure you are left with, also remember you still want to ‘live’ a little so you don’t want to put the whole lot into savings and end up with nothing.
So maybe start by putting half into a savings account and see how you get on.
Now talking about savings accounts, there are so many! If I’m completely honest I just opened an online savers on the Lloyds mobile banking app as it’s so easy to transfer money to and from, now I know this isn’t beneficial in the way that I’m not making a lot if anything on interest but for me I just wanted somewhere I can separate my savings.
If this is something you are wanting to look into I’d recommend looking on Money Supermarket as this is the money man Martin Lewis’ website and he’s brilliant at things like this!

Memberships/Subscriptions – do you need them?Everyone has at least one direct debit, whether it be for the mortgage, car finance, phone contract etc however most of us are guilty of having those direct debits to things that we really don’t need!
If you have these whether it be gym membership or Netflix, think to yourself, do you need them? Now I can hear people gasping at the suggestion to get rid of their Netflix subscription but if it’s something you only watch every now and then is it really worth paying for? When was the last time you went to the gym? Or used that music app?
If you have a service you are paying for but you really don’t use, it might be time to cancel! If you have doubts and think ‘Yes but I think I’ll use it in 5 months time’ well that’s fine there’s nothing to stop you from signing back up but just think of the money you could save over the month and year – it all helps!

Change (the money kind!)
By this I don’t mean you need to change personally! What I am referring to are those pennies which sit in your purse/wallet until the end of time.
Start collecting those in a tin or money pot. We have a Celebrations tin (no chocolates in there obvs!) and we collect 1p’s, 2p’s and 5p’s. Anytime we have change we just throw it in the tin and at the end of the month we sort it into those plastic money bags (you can get these from the bank)
You’ll be surprised how much you’ll end up with over a few months. Also if you let people know you are saving those you tend to find people are happy to get rid of loose change and will throw it your way! Start this and see how much you have after 6 months, then go and take to the bank and bank the cash! It’s such an easy way to save just that little extra.

Anything and Everything elseDo you go out a lot? And by out I don’t necessarily mean ‘out out’ but just an odd Costa trip here and a cheeky Nando’s there…? (I’ve never been to Nando’s so not sure I’m qualified to use that phrase!) It might be worth planning to only have say 2 days a month where you do these sort of things, you’d be amazed how much you save! This does come back to the part above where I mentioned you obviously don’t want to give up absolutely everything and be miserable but just cutting out a couple of lunch dates will help.
The same for Takeaways, these all add up so maybe start having them as a once a month treat? You could always make it fun and make your own takeaways, there are loads of recipes on the internet for home-made Kebabs, Chinese, Pizza’s.

Whether you are saving for a house deposit or that dream holiday I hope these tips have been of help! If you have any more tips to save money share them in the comments below to help others even more.
Let me know if you are using any of these saving tips and if it’s helping.

Maxine x

Monday, 12 March 2018

Plans and Goals for 2018






A VERY Belated Happy New Year Everyone!
I am so excited for this year! I just feel like it’s going to be a good one.
The main reason obviously being because I get married in 2 months – AHHHH! But also I just have a good feeling about it!
I feel like there’s so much going on and when speaking to a few other people it’s the same for them too.

So apart from the big day and then 2 weeks in Disney World for our Honeymoon which I am just as excited about (obvs!)

I’m also going to the Tale as Old as Time afternoon tea in June at the Kensington Hotel, I have had this booked for way over a year so looking forward to this of course!

Something I am definitely going to do this year is go to more shows, both musicals and concerts.
Nottingham has a beautiful theatre and amazing shows so I want to take advantage of this and go as many times as I can. I'd also like to visit other cities theatres and halls to see shows.

We are decorating our living room – complete change!
It hasn’t been done since we moved in what with said wedding getting booked so I can’t wait to get it done – Pinterest addict here!!
We then plan to do the rest of the house through the year, I’m looking forward to seeing how it all looks after the revamp. I'll be posting progress photos over on Instagram so make sure you're following to see the before and afters. (Instagram - maxinefrancis89)

I also have a few goals this year, one being to read 50 books (EEEK!) and the other is to watch all of the TV series I have on my list which I want to see….there is a lot!! Wish me luck!

Blog goals are something I've set this year too, I'll list these below for you to see and if you can help me reach these that'd be so amazing!
These are goals I hope to achieve by the end of the year and yes I know numbers aren't everything but let's face it, to have people follow you knowing they've chosen to look at your content is a good feeling!

Twitter followers – 5,000
Instagram followers – 2,000
Total blog views – 50,000
I'd also love to meet bloggers this year and attend more meet ups and events.

So it’s safe to say I have a pretty big year ahead and I’m so excited!

Do you have any big plans this year? Maybe you’re getting married too?!

Maxine x

A VERY Belated Happy New Year Everyone!
I am so excited for this year! I just feel like it’s going to be a good one.
The main reason obviously being because I get married in 2 months – AHHHH! But also I just have a good feeling about it!
I feel like there’s so much going on and when speaking to a few other people it’s the same for them too.

So apart from the big day and then 2 weeks in Disney World for our Honeymoon which I am just as excited about (obvs!)

I’m also going to the Tale as Old as Time afternoon tea in June at the Kensington Hotel, I have had this booked for way over a year so looking forward to this of course!
Something I am definitely going to do this year is go to more shows, both musicals and concerts.
Nottingham has a beautiful theatre and amazing shows so I want to take advantage of this and go as many times as I can. I'd also like to visit other cities theatres and halls to see shows.

We are decorating our living room – complete change!
It hasn’t been done since we moved in what with said wedding getting booked so I can’t wait to get it done – Pinterest addict here!!
We then plan to do the rest of the house through the year, I’m looking forward to seeing how it all looks after the revamp. I'll be posting progress photos over on Instagram so make sure you're following to see the before and afters. (Instagram - maxinefrancis89)

I also have a few goals this year, one being to read 50 books (EEEK!) and the other is to watch all of the TV series I have on my list which I want to see….there is a lot!! Wish me luck!

Blog goals are something I've set this year too, I'll list these below for you to see and if you can help me reach these that'd be so amazing!
These are goals I hope to achieve by the end of the year and yes I know numbers aren't everything but let's face it, to have people follow you knowing they've chosen to look at your content is a good feeling!

Twitter followers – 5,000
Instagram followers – 2,000
Total blog views – 50,000
I'd also love to meet bloggers this year and attend more meet ups and events.

So it’s safe to say I have a pretty big year ahead and I’m so excited!

Do you have any big plans this year? Maybe you’re getting married too?!

Maxine x


(The amazing diary in my photo is from B&M!)  

Friday, 9 February 2018

Revolucion De Cuba Nottingham - Bottomless Brunch Review


I was recently invited to try out the new Bottomless Brunch at Revolucion De Cuba in Nottingham. I have loved Rev De Cuba since it opened a couple of years ago and literally from when it opened as I happened to be out on a Christmas meal when we came across opening night!
It’s always a great atmosphere, whether you’re going during the day for food and a few cocktails or if you are there during the evening on a night out (out).



The Bottomless Brunch, which I have to say is the best idea ever, is Saturday's and Sunday's until 2pm and is £25 per person and for this you choose one of the meals off of the Brunch menu and you then have unlimited prosecco, Mahou beer is also an option (If you're not a fan of prosecco or cocktails) and various selected cocktails for the two hour slot of the brunch.

I have been to Rev De Cuba Nottingham a few times both during the day and at night, the service is always brilliant. We arrived for our booking and as soon as we were seated the prosecco was being poured…my kind of service!
It was also really nice to meet Ashley the Sales Manager who came over to discuss the brunch and also introduce himself.

After looking at the menu and changing my mind numerous times because everything sounded so good, I finally decided on the Cubano Benedict. Richard (the Fiancé) went for the Full Grilled Breakfast.



The Cubano Benedict was amazing and something I would definitely have again. It was sourdough toast topped with roast pork, a poached egg and hollandaise sauce with crispy patatas on the side - YUM!
The Full Grilled Breakfast, which I had slight food envy when it arrived, consisted of streaky bacon, smoked sausage, tomato, mushroom, fried egg and toast.
All of the choices sounded amazing so we'll definitely be going back.   

As well as the prosecco I also decided to have one of the selected cocktails…why not?!
Mojito’s are included in the brunch and they also have different flavours, Raspberry, Strawberry and Passionfruit.
Now, being a huge fan of Pornstar Martini’s I had to go with the Passionfruit.
I can confirm this was a good choice! It was really refreshing and full of flavour.
So if you are planning a catch up or just somewhere for nice food and drinks with friends or family I would highly recommend the Bottomless Brunch at Revolucion De Cuba Nottingham.
I am not sure if this is something available at all Revolucion De Cuba's so it's definitely worth checking with your closest restaurant.
I'd also like to give a mention to our waitress Betty who was lovely and really looked after us....she also kept the prosecco topped up!
Maxine x 

Monday, 23 October 2017

Leatherface - Film Review







I love horror films, especially the classics such as Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Friday the 13th etc. So when I saw they were releasing another Texas Chainsaw Massacre I couldn’t wait!
Although Leatherface isn’t a sequel or a remake, it’s actually a prequel based on him growing up and how he became the serial killer we know him as.

I’m just going to start by saying I thought it was brilliant! I read a few reviews which didn’t rate it as highly but I thought there was just the right amount of gore and suspense required to make a good horror film. The whole cast, which includes Stephen Dorf and Lili Taylor, were great, each character was played really well and kept the suspense going right until the very end.
If you're a fan of the classics I'd definitely recommend.

So a brief description of the film….Four teens escape a mental asylum taking a nurse who they have kidnapped with them. They embark on a murderous road trip with the Sherriff of the town pursuing them along the way. One of the teens in particular is a disturbed youngster and the events that take place during the rampage mould him into the infamous serial killer we know him to be today, Leatherface.

Let me know if you have seen this film and your thoughts.
Also with Halloween just around the corner, which films do you like to watch around this spooky holiday?

Maxine x

(I do not own the image used in this blog post, no copyright intended)