Date Night in Winter Wonderland

Who else loves date night? I think it's exciting to dress up, put on some makeup and spend the day/evening with someone special. When me and Luke have got something planned, i like putting in the effort and coming up with ideas to show how much i care about him, and so does he.

Usually we go out to dinner, a favourite of ours is this amazing Mexican place in Tonbridge, the food is insane, but the cocktails are even better! 

The first couple of dates we had, we went out for drinks, and over the Summer we visited quite a few local farms, it's nice to change things up and keep it interesting! I also love the cinema, and then finishing the evening with a meal or a dessert at Frankie and Bennies. 

But this weekend we spent all of Saturday in London at Winter Wonderland, neither of us had ever been before and we had such a great day. Christmas is my favourite time of year and the festive and magical atmosphere made me extremely happy, and the fact i was there with my boyfriend made me even happier. It's so much bigger than i thought it would be, and i was so grateful to Luke who was willing to push me around in my wheelchair all day, as my body definitely would not of coped with all that walking!! As we entered, there was loads of wooden stalls at the entrance, selling jewellery, gifts and lots of food. We stopped at the first food stall we came across and bought some cinnamon sugar donuts with chocolate sauce drizzled over the top, they were the best donuts I've ever tasted, and i'm pretty sure everyone passing by could tell i was enjoying them from the chocolate sauce all over my face.

As we walked around/rolled around, there was so many rides to go on, foods to try and games to play, but we decided to go for more food.

There was so many places selling german sausages, and i'll be honest, I'm not quite sure which sausage i ended up eating, i let Luke choose. But it was absolutely incredible, it had cheese leaking out as i bit into it, incredibly delicious.

I was determined to win a huge teddy on one of the games, we both tried our hardest and didn't manage a big teddy, however we did win 3 little teddies, and i was much better at shooting that i thought i'd be!

I'd also never tried mulled wine before, but i was pleasantly surprised, it was much stronger than i thought it would be but the spices and heat of the wine really warmed me up, i'm thinking i might try make some myself over Christmas!!

The whole day was amazing, and i was so glad Luke enjoyed it all too. I slept most of the journey home, train journeys are exhausting at the best of times but after a day of excitement i was absolutely knackered. 

The next time we plan a date, we are thinking of using a car renting company, to travel to and from London or wherever we plan to go, to make it that little bit more exciting. Luke is obsessed with cars, and getting to choose from a range of classic and rare cars to drive will make the whole date even more interesting!! Who else has used Turo before? From what i've read it's a complete game changer when it comes to car rentals.

What do you do for date night? I'd love to hear some creative interesting ideas!! 

What's on My Bookshelf?

I think any season is a great time for reading, but i feel Autumn and Winter are ESPECIALLY great for reading. I love curling up in bed or on the sofa, wrapped in a blanket with a mug of hot chocolate, with my nose buried in a book. So i thought i'd share with you what's currently on my bookshelf. I have many books, but i only keep a few on the shelf next to my bed, mainly so i can grab one easily without moving!
Alexa Chung's book 'it' is filled with gorgeous photos and doodles. Anyone who is immersed in a fashion related or picture book, i recommend. I hadn't enjoyed a book with this many pictures since i was around 8 years old!

Zoe Heller's 'Notes on a Scandal' is the book i've most recently bought, I studied a paragraph during a creative writing course i did online, and really enjoyed it, but i'm still yet to read the whole thing! Anyone who has read this book, what were your thoughts? I'd love to hear them!

Let it Snow is also a book i've been meaning to read, but i'm waiting for the right moment, preferably when it's snowing outside, i could be waiting a while. One of the writers of this book is John Green, i'm pretty sure most people know who he is by now, 'The Fault in our Stars and Paper Towns?' Yeah, him! Seeing his name on the cover was the main reason i purchased this book.

Anyone heard of PG Wodehouse? Famously known as the writer of 'Blandings' and 'Jeeves and Wooster'. His books are hilariously simple. They're the books i pick up on a down day and the lighthearted stories instantly lift my mood!

Last but not least on my bedtime bookshelf, is The Perks of Being a Wallflower. My all time favourite, and i'm pretty sure i've written a review of the book somewhere on my blog! I could read it over and over and never get bored, I feel it's one of those stories most people can relate to on a personal level, especially during their teenage years. Such a moving story and one that will probably permenantly stay on my bookshelf.

What are your favourite books to read? Or what are you currently reading?

Managing Money and Credit

How many of you struggle managing your money? As a fashion and beauty junkie, i'll admit i find myself buying products that most of the time, i really don't need.

I was challenged by Credit Card Insider, to come up with a post on how to stay financially fit. Credit Card Insider are a company designed to help you understand how credit works, they also provide advice and give you the option to safely research, compare and apply for a credit card. Since coming into contact with this company, i've done a little research and thanks to the website, i'm learning more about credit, as they break the overwhelming info down to basics.

At 22, i still don't own a credit card, I don't think i'm in a great position to if I'm completely honest. I need to learn to manage my bank account and savings account before I think about owning a credit card. I don't feel the need to own one currently. But i'm happy to be learning lots more for when the time does come.

 In todays post i want to share some tips that i think will help me (and hopefully you) stay financially fit this summer. It's not going to be easy, with the sun shining, i'm going to want to splurge on summer dresses and pretty pink lipsticks, but i really need to learn to control my urges and start managing my money properly.

1. Making goals, long term:
I think this is an important one for me, it really puts my mind into perspective. I have plans for my future, and most of them involve money. I'd love to own a house one day, and maybe even travel to a few places i've always dreamed of visiting. Thinking about these goals makes me want to spend less and save more.

2. Savings Goal:
I also think making a goal in terms of how much you'd like to save by a certain time will help. You will have something to work for. It doesn't have to be a huge amount, it's got to be realistic and achievable.

3. Transfer money to your savings, each month/week:
This is something i've always done. Wether it's £10 a week to £100 a month. It changes each time but whenever i have money to spare, i always put it in my savings.

4. Don't dip into your savings, unless you REALLY have to:
I'm guilty of dipping into my savings, this is my biggest problem, but i've learnt that i'm putting TOO much into my savings and not leaving myself enough to live on, so i really need to get the right balance.

5. Stop eating so many takeaways:
This tip is for me, I think eating out is what i spend the majority of my money on, it's something i really enjoy, i LOVE food. But i'm also lazy and love the fact that companies will deliver to my door, or if i show up at a restaurant they will cook and serve my food for me. Eating out less will save me a lot of money, and learning to cook and experiment in the kitchen is a new skill that is essential to learn for my future.

6. Use cash when you can:
Whenever i go shopping, i always take a certain amount of cash out to make sure i only spend what i intend to spend. Whenever i pay by debit card in shops, I can get carried away and i lose track on what i've spent.

7. Go to a boot fair and sell stuff you don't need:

If you're after a bit of extra cash, why not head to a boot fair and sell things you don't need out of the back of your car? You'll earn a bit of extra money, and also get rid of the junk that clutters up your house!

8. Think about expenses you could cut back on:

Is there anything you spend a lot of money on, but you think you could do without? Like me and my takeaways, its not necessary and theres cheaper ways of enjoying food without me paying other people to cook it for me!

Credit Card Insider have an excellent section on their website, called 'College and Your Credit'. It's a guide for high school/secondary students, and college\university students to help build credit, and avoid debt. I know many of my readers are currently studying, and in university, so i think the guide will be extremely helpful!

I hope these tips help you out, I'm going to try really hard to start getting financially fit and sticking to my new habits. It will benefit us so much more in the future.

Thanks so much for reading, I hope you all enjoy the rest of your week and weekend, and don't forget to check out the links i've recommended in this post!

POTS Gave Me A Best Friend

Throughout my journey with POTS, this includes before my diagnosis too, i'll admit it's been a lonely journey. Don't get me wrong, i have an incredible family, and amazing friends, but no matter how hard they try to understand what i'm going through, they can't.

My attitude towards my heath is still to look on the positive side, it has to be! There's no point moping around all day every day, feeling sorry for myself, wishing i could have my old life back, because i really don't know if that'll ever be possible. There are many people out there, who have it much worse than i do, and i really am grateful, but it still doesn't mean i can't have my bad days. It's been difficult, my life used to be filled with socialising, parties, adventures and day trips out, aswell as working full time and figuring my life out. Now, although things are much better in comparison to the past few years, i still spend a lot of time in bed, it gets quite lonely, and seeing as my week and weekends aren't as as busy as the people around me, i find myself struggling with things to talk about, theres only so much conversation that can come from netflix and napping.

But recently things have been even brighter, my bad days aren't as frequent, i'm on a new medication that stables my blood pressure, and i've been able to go out a few times a week WITHOUT my wheelchair, yippee! I've also been doing a few short courses online, and i'm hoping to study at the open university in September. I finally feel like i'm getting on top of things, and not letting POTS hold me back. I'm still visiting the hospital every now and then, and they also think theres a possibility i have EDS aswell as POTS. But my specialists and doctors have been great, and i'm very lucky! As many other people with POTS aren't that fortunate.

So now i've got that update out of the way, I want to share a really great story with you. When i first got my POTS diagnosis, i was feeling quite isolated and lonely, it changed my life completely, and then put me in a wheelchair. In all honesty, i felt pathetic, this is the thing when it comes to an invisable illness, everyone that knows you, but doesn't live with you, doesn't see how much pain you have to go through, i figured people thought i was just lazy. Explaining to people that you feel tired all the time and faint and collapse, sounds a little silly, but theres so much more involved, and it is debilitating and life changing. I used to search through POTS forums and hashtags on twitter, to find other people in the same position, and i've met so many wonderful people. Blogging also helped me find other people in the same or a similar position. (shoutout to my fellow spoonie bloggers!!) But i was incredibly lucky to come across Vicky on twitter, for the past few years, we've been speaking on and off about the problems we're both facing, and i finally felt like i had someone that really does understand, as time as passed, we've realised our friendship is based on so much more than our health, we have the same interests, and the same way of thinking, i actually think i've found my long lost twin at times. After speaking every day, speaking on the phone most nights, sometimes for over 7 hours! We finally met up, a few weeks ago. So, i just wanted to write a little post, (its longer than i planned it to be) to say that, sometimes things will change your life, and it may not feel like its for the better, but i'm a big believer in things happening for a reason, i've been so lucky to find a positive in my situation, and it's meeting Vicky. So my first blog post, after a very long break, is dedicated to you. :)