It is time to mix up the sneakers I wear


I guess you could say I am a bit of a sneaker collector/hoarder as the downstairs of our house is filled with a huge amount of sneakers that I own and very little that Liam owns. I even have pairs sat on the shelf that are more or less falling apart, I just can't bare to get rid and now class them as my gardening shoes, but I don't even garden. I tend to wear the same pairs over and over again until they are literally falling apart and it really makes outfits look scruffy where as I have plenty of options sat unworn in boxes that I just don't wear and that would look great with some of the outfits I piece together. 

My current go to pair are the classic all white Nike Air Force 1's as they literally go with everything in my wardrobe so to be honest I wear them for the convenience as I don't have to worry about spending 20 minutes matching the perfect shoes with my outfit which I guess just makes me very lazy and I really need to get out of doing this and actually mix up what footwear I wear each day.As I said earlier it isn't like I don't have options available to me, in fact sometimes I think I have too many options and the thought of picking the perfect pair each day fills me with a bit of dread as how do I pick out just the perfect pair in a small amount of time. Since earning my own money my sneaker collection has considerably grown but I have also put a considerable amount into specific pairs which have been left unworn for numerous years as why would I spend nearly £200 on a pair of sneakers for me to wear them and scuff or crease them? I am always on edge wearing the big purchases as I want them to last I don't want them to be ruined, in fact I want to own them forever or at least that is what I thought. As I am growing up more though and reflecting on both money and style I am realising that I really need to get out of this mindset and enjoy my purchases. Pair them with the perfect outfit and actually style them up rather than have them sat in a box on a shelf gathering dust like they currently are, they certainly shouldn't be hidden away and I am learning that I need to get my wear out of them or that money could have very easily gone on something that is more beneficial, like a job in the house that needs doing as we are way behind on those. 

The plan going ahead is definitely going to be a case of not buying sneakers until I have worn plenty of other ones and I really need an upgrade. Even then it will be a case of only buying a new pair if I throw a couple out that are no good, there is no need to keep hold of them for the sake of it like I do now especially if they are damaged plus I only need 1 or maybe two pairs of shoes for the garden, not the 10 I currently have. Granted for this Spring & Summer I may allow myself to have a white pair of Converse or some new all white sneakers to go with the seasons outfits but that is the cut off and all I am able to treat myself to as there are plenty of other sneaker options already in my wardrobe. In my collection there is definitely a style of sneaker for every occasion so I need to just mix it up every now and add different elements to my outfits through my footwear which can definitely be done with ease. Granted some of those limited edition pairs I have will be staying in the box as those are far too good to ruin however, the other pairs are coming out of those boxes and being added to the rotation, if they get scuffed or dirty I can try fix them back up but that fear needs to disappear.

It is time to start earning those new purchases and get the wear out of what I own at long last and ditch the daily wear of the Air Force's.

So why am I starting saving for Christmas already?


I know we have more or less just celebrated Christmas 2022, or at least it feels that way anywhere but here I am at the start of April already planning ahead for Christmas 2023, as I am trying to be much more organised this year and make sure that I am ahead of myself ready for when the festive period roles around as it certainly creeps up on you. Last Christmas I ended up leaving a lot of things until last minute as I was unwell for the majority of December and everything became a mad rush and there were a lot of mad dashes to the shops for last minute items I had forgot. Christmas 2023 is going to be a whole lot different though as by getting ahead of myself I am hoping to have a full month of relaxing and enjoying the festive period, no rushing around with everyone else and who knows all my presents might be wrapped by then too, if everything goes to plan. 

The plan is to have all the money ready for buying gifts and everything planned out so with just a few shopping trips everything can be purchased and ready to be wrapped. That why from April pay day I am putting a chunk of money to one side so I can purchase gifts, decorations and anything else for the festivities, basically it will be a Christmas money pot so if I see something for someone even in August I can take the money out of there rather than my own treat fund and get a head start.

My family is quite a big family so I have quite a few people I need to buy for each year so by starting the savings in April I should be able to have the correct amount saved up for each person I have budgeted a set amount for, which various depending on which family member I am buying for. Usually the nephew and Liam have the biggest budgets then the rest of the money is filtered through other family members. I am hoping that having the set budget for each person means that I will be able to have all the money saved up by September or October's pay day just so that the rest of the money for the year is for me to treat myself or for me to put into savings. It is no secret there are a lot of jobs I wanted get done in the house this year plus other jobs to do next year so any extra money is super beneficial towards getting everything done so we can free up more money in the future to treat ourselves to things other than jobs.

I will be making sure to track the savings and purchases for the festive period on a trusty old spreadsheet as I can monitor closely what I need to purchase and what I don't need plus I can keep track of how much money I have left and if it is looking likely that extra money will be needed which I am really hoping isn't going to be the case, I want the budget to be final not adding to it every time I see something. Once that budget is gone that person is done shopping for and everything can be wrapped ready to go.

After being so ill for the festive period in 2022 I am determined to get as much out of the way as possible nice and early so I can really soak up the festive period and enjoy myself rather than dashing around last minute, those days are long gone.

Do you plan ahead for Christmas or do you leave it until last minute?

Time to get some of these jobs completed...


Here we are in April and so far every goal I set for myself isn't going to plan even the jobs I wanted to get done house wise. I was really hoping at least one job might be well underway however, I have been delaying those jobs far too much and it is now time to get cracking on that is why in the next week or so well will be making a start on now 1 but 2 jobs and both these are going to be outdoor ones as they are a bit of a priority to us at the moment. I really wanted to have already have made a start on these jobs by now however, the weather hasn't been on our side so now there seems to be a bit of a break in the weather it is time to get cracking and get these jobs done or at least well underway. The plan is to get the outdoors done so that as the weather gets nicer we can spend plenty of time outside enjoying the space, something we have yet to do despite being in our home 5 years now. The plan is to get the back garden completed at long last and to get the home gym built and ready to use which is going to be a big cost overall but is definitely going to be worth it in the long run.

Luckily the garden should be relatively low cost and we can do all the jobs required in this area ourselves which is going to be super helpful for what we are wanting to do elsewhere. This area is a case of tidying up the artificial grass, just giving it a good sweep and clean down after a long winter period simply by doing this the grass area should look as good as new once more. The border around the edge of the grass will also require a bit of a wash down and the lights putting back into place as I have noticed a few of those have fallen over. That is more or less the easy bit and shouldn't take too long, then it is a case of jet washing the decking and fence just to clean it up a bit as it has definitely caught the worst of it during the winter period and could use a bit of a refresh. Once that is all washed and dried though we will actually be painting the decking and the fence, at long last we have made the decision to go ahead with doing this and hopefully it will really transform this space, I can't wait to see it all come together. Before putting all the furniture back in place everything will be getting a really good clean & tidy up just to get ready for this nicer weather we are long overdue. We are finally filling up the planters on the front of the decking too, again this has been a very long time coming but I can't wait to add a bit of colour to the garden with some nice flowers in this area. Finally it will be a case of adding any extra decorations just to add a bit extra to the area like more lights, ornaments and things such as candles. I am sure I will be doing a garden purchase haul once I get to this stage too either on here or on Instagram as I have my eye on quite a few nice pieces for this area.

I am really hoping that if all goes to plan the back garden will all be completed within one weekend and if this is the case then even better as we can progress onto other jobs much sooner, plus it is a budget friendly activity which is going to keep us busy at home without spending extra money on unnecessary shopping trips. It is the gym build that is going to be much more hard work and we are 100% going to need to have help for this one too as there no way we can build a safe gym. The plan for this is a lot more drawn out too. 

The first job is going to be a case of dismantling the old garage structure and disposing of it, once this is done and out of the way we have our blank slate ready to get on with the new build. The first thing is going to be a case of creating the new foundations for the building and filling in the big hole in the floor. Once that is done we can get the new structure built and set in place, I am just hoping we do this right and it is super strong as where the gym is going is battered by constant winds. I also need to source a budget friendly door for here, one that is nice a secure. When the structure is in place and the door is in we can then get the new structure clad and looking fantastic from the outside. We will then add any drainage needed to the building and in front of it to stop the structure getting damp or having any leaks.

Once the cladding is done it is time to move inside where we are going to need to create a concrete floor and get that all level before starting on any other area, this floor needs to be strong enough to withstand weights and heavy equipment. We are going have to run electrics in here too for lighting and plugs so the sooner we do that the better as this will be best done on a dry day. Once the electrics are in place we can plasterboard or MDF the walls (not decided yet but it will be the cheapest option) and cut out for the electric fixtures to be placed. Once everything is fixed and the walls are in place it will be time to paint the gym, I think we might go for a black or dark grey space as I prefer the moody tones for workouts and it should look great once it is all done, I might even paint a quote onto the wall or add some decorations just to add a bit of something to the walls.

 That should be all the messy work done so after quick sweep of the floor we can get some proper gym flooring down to keep ab exercises comfortable and keep it safe for working out in whilst also protecting the equipment. As soon as the flooring is down we will be moving in the current equipment which is 2 bikes, a rower, weights and a fit cube. Once we have everything in place we can move it all into its own space whilst planning where we can fit a treadmill in the near future, I am just hope we have plenty of space for this but only time will tell. I want a cardio area in one half and a weights and floor work area in the other so once everything is in place and I know where the weights area is going to be I can add in some mirrors and get planning for if I can fit a rack or wall mounted rack in this section and any extra weights. I can also sort out the best storage for weights and other small equipment as I will know just how much space I am going to have left over as I don't want to gym to be too cluttered. At least once the gym is up I can get saving for the other equipment that is going to be added.

This gym build is certainly going to be a long process however, I would really love for it to be done by the summer as it will also mean that I get the house back as currently it is over run with gym equipment from lockdown and purchase in anticipation of the build. Just having the permanent gym space is going to be fantastic as workouts will be much easier due to everything having its own space rather than having to drag everything out for an hour for it to be put straight back away.

Once these two jobs are done it will mean we can enjoy the two spaces as much as possible whilst getting back to saving for those jobs indoors and it will also mean we can make a start on those low cost jobs such as the front garden and the side garden whilst the weather is still good.

Now let's get cracking on as I can't wait for this gym at long last.

March 2023 fitness update


Well once again I am reporting on a month where barely anything went to plan. Granted a lot of the month was spent trying to settle the dog so not much else got done but I also spent a lot of time making excuses for not getting on with things and I really need to get out of that mindset. So here is how the terrible month went in terms of my goals...

Lose 6lbs 

Well as you will see later on in this post this goal really didn't go to plan. The scales really haven't been my friendly lately and I need to change that if I want to be anywhere near the goals I have set myself to the next few months. It is time to get my head back in it now and really make a difference.

Hit all my strength sessions

This was really hard to do as juggling the dog and trying to have a spare hour to work out was an issue. He is only allowed downstairs at the moment so working out with him in the way was a real struggle and I just gave up to be honest. I am determined to get on track with these asap though.

Meal prep every week 

Again this is another goal I was just too lazy with. I could have definitely done this if I got my act together but nope I went for the convenience of meal deals for the month which cost me a fortune and didn't keep me feeling full or hit my goals at all.

8K steps daily 

This one was really hit and miss throughout the month as one minute I was walking for ages whilst other days I just struggled to fit everything in. I am definitely improving on my steps though and I am in a better place than I was this time last year however, I know this is going to get even better once the dog can get out on walks. I should very easily be smashing this on a day to day basis once this happens.

Reduce amount of takeaways during month

Oh look another goal that I failed miserably at and to be honest I am mad at myself for that as it has ended up costing me a fortune and that isn't helping my financial goals at all and it certainly isn't helping my weight loss goals either. I really need to start reducing the amount we are having now as it is getting absolutely ridiculous it isn't like it is such a chore to cook and if I did cook fresh healthy meals I would see a huge difference.

Boxing session every week possible

This one was hit and miss to be honest as thanks to a variety of reasons I had to miss a session however, for those that I did get the chance to go to I felt great after so fingers crossed April will see me hit so many more of these sessions which will certainly help me on my journey.

Declutter workout clothes

Time wasn't on my side once again for this one and to be honest it has frustrated me as I definitely need to get this done as my workout clothes are everywhere at the moment as storage space is lacking and quite a few pieces don't even fit me anymore so it is about time I got rid.

Complete monthly challenge 

I think I am giving up on these as this year so far they just aren't going to plan due to a lack of time to get these done in. This might be something I revisit in 2024 but for now I am shelving the challenges and just focusing on my journey.

So here is how the scales looked in March...

Beginning of March weight: 15 stone 0 lb 

End of March weight : 15 stone 1 lb

Total loss for the month : - + 1lb

So here are the goals I am making for myself to hopefully smash in April...

- Lose 4lbs

- Hit all strength sessions

- Meal prep weekly 

- 8K steps daily

- Get into a better/ healthier routine

-Get started on the 5k prep

- Boxing every week possible

- Declutter the workout clothes

- Football training every week possible

I am determined that April is going to be the month where I really hit the ground running and see a difference. Luckily as the month progresses the dog can go out for a walk so fingers crossed that will help me with the routine and getting my steps in but all I know for sure is that it is time to get my act together and see some big progress throughout the month. I know I can do it I just need to stop being so lazy and get cracking on.

Total loss for 2023 : + 3lb

Total loss since start of journey : - 1 stone 1 lb

The 5K training starts now...


We are 4 months into 2023 and let's just say my fitness goals are really not going to plan but it is now time to get my act together and really put my all into my journey as I am starting a new training block to get me ready for the inflatable 5K that I am taking part in at the start of June. I have booked onto this with various members of my football team and now it is getting closer I am starting to see how much of a challenge I have set myself up for. 

With just a few months to go until the inflatable 5K I have realised just how far I have to go so my training begins now. My fitness and stamina is absolutely useless as has been proved every weekend when I have played football so I need to really improve on this with adding some running into my training. The 5K is going to involve plenty of inflatable obstacles too so it is going to require some different training than if I was just doing a standard 5K, I am going to be on and off obstacles rather than continuously running so I need to train for short bursts of running followed by strength on the obstacle which is mainly going to be for my legs and core for balance etc. At the moment I have a long way to go with leg strength and core strength so this training block is going to be crucial for me.

My online coach Emma has come up with a new training block for me in the lead up to the run and it is going to be a nice new challenge from the sessions I have been doing so far on my journey. I haven't run outside of football since back in my college days so it will be interesting how my body adapts to adding those into sessions too and how it will cope with a few extra sessions thrown in the mix every week up to the run date. I have gone from having one session a day max to some days being a run and a strength session, to some that might sound like a lot but honestly I am 100% ready for this I definitely need this mental challenge to get me back on track and hopefully get me seeing some progress all round once more as I seem to have hit a bit of a plateau lately and really need to pick up pace if I want to smash the goals I have set myself this year and do the best I can for this inflatable 5K. 

I know that between now and the date of the run I am going to need to be hitting every single one of my sessions to make the most impact and I am really determined to hit everything and finally get on top of my nutrition as I know if I do that I might drop some of the weight towards my target too so fingers crossed that goes to plan. I am going to hopefully manage my time a lot better too to make sure I don't miss a session and the laziness I have had lately is going to disappear as I want to become the best version of me rather than making up excuses like I have been doing a lot so far this year. It is time to own up to my actions and hold some accountability to myself to make the best progress possible. I am hoping this plan is going to help me when it comes to playing football too as the stronger legs will certainly be beneficial as will the increased fitness levels I am hopefully going to have gained during this new training block, the best part is that this will fill up pre-season training too, a time where fitness was always going to be a huge focus, this is just a good starting point for that break and a starting block for me to build upon.

The training is mainly for the inflatable 5K so I am 100% ready and not likely to pick up an injury however, I really do think this could be a starting point for me and I could see myself really start to enjoy running off the back of it and if that is the case I will be going ahead and trying to complete a standard 5K before possibly progressing to longer distances if it comes to it in the future so fingers crossed I do enjoy this original training period and run.

Overall I think that this new training block is really going to change things up for me and should help me get some motivation back and keep me really pushing for those goals for the year, I just need to sort the nutrition side out alongside this and I really should see the weight start to drop, my fitness increase and my strength finally increase too, all of which will be massively beneficial as I push on with some pretty big targets in sight. 

I am excited to see what sort of shape I am in by the 10th of June, the countdown really is on and I am ready to see that progress now lets get things moving in the right direction.

I need to make an effort getting ready once again


I used to be so good at piecing together outfits and actually spending time getting ready however, recently that has all been scrapped and I have reverted back to old ways of being lazy and having chaotic mornings as I race against time to get out of the house on schedule. I used to be so good at planning outfits ahead of time and having them all out and ready but now I have reverted to throwing on any old outfit on in a morning with no consideration to what the day has in store for me or where I will be spending the majority of time. Everything is just so rushed on a morning and you can tell as nothing fits right, colours don't go together and items such as jewellery just gets forgotten about and I am sick of it I want that to change and I want to actually have time to plan ahead once more. I know that when I piece my outfits together I feel great where as when I do what I am currently doing I feel down about what I am wearing and most importantly I feel really uncomfortable everyday, as I feel like people are looking at me for all the wrong reasons and I know if I just took time and put more effort into getting ready this would change and I would feel so much better. 

I also want time to get a real skincare routine going, something which I am always in and out of but know I could perfect a routine my skin would thank me so much as it would be in much better condition. There is also the matter of my hair, it is getting quite long now and it is no longer a two second job as it takes time to style is and just get it under control, I am sick of making minimal effort and just running a brush through it as it never looks how I want it and if I just made a bit more effort it would look so much better and that effort would really show. 

The determination is there now to really start making more effort on a morning and nail the basics of a good skincare routine, hair styling and of course putting on a brilliant outfit that makes me feel great. So here is the plan for achieving those things daily...

Get outfit ready the night before 

This is the big one and I know that if I can get this done every single night then my mornings will be so much easier as when it comes to getting dressed I know exactly what I am going to wear rather than having to search through my wardrobe quickly on a morning throwing on any old piece of clothing. This gives me extra time on a morning to focus on other steps in the plan too so let's hope this is a habit I can stick to easily and carry out daily as it will make life so much easier.

Get up earlier

I am a nightmare for hitting snooze or cancelling an alarm all together and setting a totally different one but that is something I am going to stop doing now as I know by getting up earlier I will have the time to carry out everything I want to without rushing around, if I stick to what I want to I will even have time in a morning to get my workout done and out of the way before making a real start to my day which in turn frees up some time for me in an evening which is a win, win situation really.

Get showered etc 

Once I am up nice and early & worked out it will be time to have a nice relaxing shower to kick start my day, rather than having the worlds quickest shower or wash as I am running low on time which happens basically daily now. Just having longer in the shower means I can get ready without having to worry about time going away from myself, these days if I get in it is a case of I know I can't listen to a full song or I am going to be late. It will also give me the chance to get ready and even have my few minutes of cold water therapy without worrying about the time and how I am going to get everything done without being late.

Do my skincare routine

Once the shower is done it will be time to actually stand and do a full skincare routine without having to worry about skipping steps due to time restraints. I want to make sure that within making an effort I am taking every necessary step to ensure my skin condition massively improves and that I have a routine that I can really keep up with for the foreseeable future. My skin used to be great as I have previously had a skincare routine I stuck to for a while so now it is a case of getting that consistency back to bring my skin back to life once more.

Apply any other products and my fragrance

This is a bit of a new one for me as I am very tempted to add a bit of makeup into my routine something which I haven't done in a very long time. I think I just want that little bit of extra coverage and having this new plan in place will allow me some time to experiment if this works for me or not so I guess only time will tell if this is something I stick to or not. This step will also include picking out the perfect to go with the style I am opting for that day, I want it to compliment it rather than being totally out of season or not as nice as it should be. 

Get dressed 

This step should be super easy as the clothes will already be laid out from the night before so it is a case of just going into the spare room and putting on those pieces of clothing and getting ready to head out for the day. No last minute decisions and dressed in something that is going to be 100% suitable for whatever the day holds so I won't be caught out like on previous occasions... a trampoline park in jeans and nice top is not the vibe.

Sort hair out

Once all the above steps are done it is time to actually spend some time sorting my hair out as what is point in doing all the above if my hair just ruins the rest of the look. When it was short I barely had to do anything with it however, now I am having to actually spend a fair bit of time on it by using the hairdryer and straighteners and a little bit of product. I actually don't mind doing my hair so I am looking forward to adding this into my routine to make  sure I have plenty of time to really make an effort with my hair each day. 

Not only do I think these steps will help me make more effort on a day to day basis but I also think they will give me a much more relaxed start to the day as I won't be rushing around late or looking for what to wear. Let's see how this works out shall we.

So I tried to budget for the first time last month, here is how it went...


Well that is my first month of budgeting done and I can hand on heart say it could have gone so much better, in fact I could have actually got started with it as from the pay period between February and March nothing really seemed to go to plan. I had such high hopes of getting off to a great start with this however the budget more or less went straight out of the window and I have been left with even less money than usual in fact I have been left with much less than I ever have been in a very long time. One of the main reasons for this is due to us purchasing a puppy and between us it has hit our bank accounts a bit harder than we imagined with us paying for the dog itself and all the items he needed to have him settled and for the future. Then we had both the nephews birthday and mothers day gifts to pay for which again add up and took a nice chunk of money out of my budget as I always tend to go overboard. I even managed to make a few unintended purchase for my Spring wardrobe, I didn't need to rush and get them like I did but I couldn't resist and to be honest no doubt if I waited to make the purchase I would never find the items again. As usual though the big chunk of money that was spent outside my budget was on food, I really do need to stop being so lazy and ordering in all the time as it isn't good for my health or my bank account and by cutting back I could really see plenty of savings start to take place which is exactly what I need. Luckily for me though there are no big purchases during this next pay period or at least none have been planned so fingers crossed I can actually start to rebuild my savings and get to the point where I can get jobs done and get those items I really want purchased to help me with the projects I am working on as they have been on the back burner lately and I really want to get things up and running. 

I am determined though that this next pay period between March 23rd and April 22nd I really want to stick to this budget the best I can rather than spending far too much and not being able to increase my savings. The big aim is to not go overboard with my spending and only buy things I 100% need rather than spending money for the sake of it which is still a big problem for me and I really need to change this. I also have two more birthdays to celebrate within this period so I have set a limit for the gifts and this time I will be sticking to it, the two people have told me they don't want anything so I am struggling for ideas but hopefully this means I can really limit my spending whilst still treating them. I will be sticking to only using cash as much as possible too, granted I can't do this at the football as that is now cashless however, for anything else I pay for I will be making sure I use the money in my cash stuffed envelopes in the hopes of really making me think about a purchase as I can see the money physically leaving. It should really help me make better choices and also show me just how much I can make my money last if I do this rather than taking advantage of contactless payments where I really do go over board. I am really hoping that I can also cut right back on takeaways & the daily Tesco meal deals as they are really starting to add up now and there is no need for it, I can just add a few more bits to our weekly shop and make some nice healthy lunches for the week and I could simply cook more to stop me going onto JustEat at any given opportunity. If I do cut back on the takeaways & meal deals I will definitely see a big difference in my bank account.

By the end of the month I want to be able to add £50 into my projects savings account as I really want to start purchasing the equipment I need for the ideas I have had since the start of last year lately but keep putting off due to the cost of equipment, if I could add more than the £50 that would be great however, £50 is certainly a good start. I also want to add a minimum of £150 into my home & car savings too just to get that building up nicely ready for the gym work to start and so we can also get saving up for other jobs we want to get done around the house this year. Who knows if all goes to plan I might be able to add more than the £150 but that is definitely the minimum amount I would be happy with.  

Now it is time to really get cracking on with those savings and see those savings accounts grow as I set out to do at the start of the year. There is so much we want to get done and 3 months have flown by, we need to get those jobs started soon or the house is going to take even longer than we wanted.