Thursday, 21 April 2011

Coupons are not a con.

I am all for coupons/vouchers/freebies whatever you crazy kids want to call them.
If you could eat full price or eat with a voucher, why choose full price?
If you could go to the cinema and pay full price or pay with a voucher, why choose full price?
If you can buy clothes full price or pay with your 10% student card, why choose full price?
It amazes me that some people will not hand over a scrappy folded-up voucher to just save their pride.
In this day and age (oh, how granny-ish I sound!) we need vouchers! Hooray for vouchers!

My newest find: Groupon.
I used to believe Groupon was a con.
Until a kind friend showed me the light. Now I get excited that every day I get an email telling me how I can save mega bucks on the coolest things. For instance, I now have a voucher that allows 2 people to go to Lazer Quazer for £5. Yes FIVE POUNDS. What is not to love?

So, my thrifty tip this thursday is to embrace vouchers. Embrace them with open arms. They will save you lots of money, provide lots of ideas for cheap dates, encourage you to embrace England more and allow you to feel majorly posh for measly pennies!

This is a picture of someone embracing life, like how you should now embrace coupons. Yeah? Yeah. (source)

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Crumpled pages.

I love to read, absolutely love reading.
My dream is that one day I will have a room in my future house, and it doesn't have to be a big, grand room, that is lined with wooden bookshelves filled with books. I remember trying to express this love I had for books to a fellow English student, but she didn't understand. She asked me why I wanted a book-filled room. I wondered why she was studying English when she didn't long to read, I always presumed that reading and English went hand in hand but maybe I was wrong.

I suggest that the only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little farther down our particular path than we have yet got ourselves.  ~E.M. Forster, Two Cheers for Democracy, 1951

This room of books I will have will be filled with books dirty from use and full of memories. It won't be full straight away but it will definitely keep growing and growing, with more memories added to the collection. They will all be different colours and sizes and each one containing an adventure of its own. The only other piece of furniture apart from bookshelves which will be in this room is a big podgy armchair which I can nestle into to sit and read for hours. The room will smell of the paper of books and every time you walk into it you will feel the sort of reverence you feel as you walk into a grand cathedral or an old ruined castle. 

No man can be called friendless who has God and the companionship of good books.  ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I think books were my first love.

This is a list of some of my favourite books that I've read. If you have a favourite, let me know! Maybe it will be added to my library one day!

The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd
North and South - Elizabeth Gaskell
Journey to the River Sea - Eva Ibbotson
Emma - Jane Austen
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë
Tess of the d'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.  ~Paul Sweeney

Monday, 18 April 2011

Modest is most definitely hottest.

"I choose to dress modestly because the way I dress is a reflection of who I am, and I am a daughter of God."

I love this video about a girl who decided to have a 'prom dress shop' in her house so that girls could find modest dresses for their prom.

Click to watch!!

This summer is definitely wedding season for me and it can be really frustrating to try and find something that is elegant and dainty without being immodest. As a Latter-Day Saint I choose to follow dress standards that shows respect to my body and to God. I think in England, however, it can be really hard to find clothes that are modest. Normal shopping conversations tend to go like this:

"I wish this had sleeves"
"It's just too short"
"It looked modest until I tried it on"

However, just because it is difficult to find modest clothing does not mean that we should just dress immodestly and blame the current fashion trends for the reason we find it difficult to buy modest clothes. At the moment, the fashion trend in England is very much in our favour as maxi dresses and midi-length skirts are the height of spring fashion and can be easily bought from nearly all high street stores, so why not stock up now on longer-length skirts and dresses? In that way, even if the dresses don't have sleeves, we can easily improvise by putting a bolero on top or a top underneath. 

Also, leggings are not modest. They are skin-tight and more often than not are totally see-through. I have had the misfortune of seeing many people walking around with their underwear glaring at me from underneath their leggings. Personally, I don't understand why they are such a big craze.  

A poster at BYU
As this poster says, leggings do not make short skirts or short shorts modest. I know it can be really difficult to find clothes that meet the dress standards we should have as Latter-Day Saints, but that doesn't mean we have to lower them at all. Even though it requires more time and more adjustments, the end result is definitely more worthwhile and like the girl Charity in the video mentioned - when we dress modestly we are more aware of who we really are.

After watching that video I have come away with a more renewed determination to live the standards in the Strength of Youth and to also be more conscious about choosing to dress modestly so that I can be an example to those around me. 

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Down the drain.

On Monday I read this BBC article. It summarises that "Three-quarters of mobile phone subscribers are wasting an average of nearly £200 a year because they are on the wrong contract"

Now, I am a Uni student so I'm not exactly the most financially-secure, money-making person and I know that, but there are LOADS of students who spend £30/£40 a month on their mobile phone contract. They all have the newest Blackberry/iPhone/HTC and with no part-time job/ only their overdraft to support them, I wonder "why?".

One of the life lessons you learn at University is how to properly budget money and to cut out unneeded expenditure. Well surely paying that much for a mobile phone is a tad ridiculous? Maybe it is like what the BBC article suggests which is that "the fear of "bill shock" was so great that customers typically bought four times more talk time than they used." I could see why this would be the reason people spent so much on their mobile phones, as they don't want to wake up to the shock that they accidentally left their internet turned on or forgot to hangup a call to a friend. However, I think that one of the best ones to save would be by switching phone contracts.

You may laugh, but I'm on the Tesco mobile network. Check this out: Tesco mobile. This is a list of sim-only tariffs. Yes, you don't have unlimited everything forever, but then why do you need that? You could pay £10 a month and get 500 mins and 5000 texts. Also, the Tesco network is a 50/50 joint venture with O2 so you will get decent phone coverage too.

So my thrifty tip is to make sure you are not paying an excessive amount for your phone contract when you could only be using a measly portion of it; and if you realise that you aren't as big a phone user as you thought you were...then want to join me on Tesco Mobile?

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Use somebody.

Everybody stop what you are doing right now and listen to this: the most amazing cover of my favourite song EVERRRR! I have just found it, and now I am in love.

I absolutely love Use Somebody - Kings of Leon.
If I need a pick-me-up = this song.
If I'm in the mood to sing my heart out = this song.
I love it. Love. It.

And what more do I love than covers of this amazing song! It means it gives the song more variation and depending on your mood you can choose to listen to whichever one you want!

So, incase you haven't even properly listened to the original song, here is the link: Use Somebody - Kings of Leon.

Then listen to these covers:
Use Somebody (cover) - Pixie Lott
Use Somebody (cover) - Lynzie Kent and Rich G

And let me know if you find any other good covers on the yoobytooby (youtube) or elsewhere! But be warned, I am picky with what I like! (example: I love Paramore so you would think Paramore + favourite song = brilliance wouldn't you? But no, sadly I don't like that cover at all!)  My dream cover of this song would be by Robert Pattinson...