Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Tips for house hunting and shortlisting (student)

Once again its getting to the stage where university/college students will be looking for their potential property for their academic year. You might consider dorms, in which case you do not have little if any choice, shared accommodation or a flat (either on your own or with a partner or friend). If you are looking for a place to live there is a guide list I made myself to make sure I don't overlook something due to excitement or simply forget.
 First of all you need to find a website of properties which has properties for rent which you can adjust depending on price, area and what type of property you are looking for. Personally I called the estate agents about 4 months in advance and said that I am looking for a property to rent from (date) at roughly this price and if they could call me if anything comes up.

From there shortlist the properties you like and As well as that
1. if you are not getting any help from your parents BUDGET your deposit and first months rent in case your student loan is late
2. make sure you have a guarantor if you are looking to rent a flat on your own for example your parents and have all the paper work photocopied and ready.
3. Start collecting boxes and packing things you don't use often eg. Books. So 

I used this guide as my bible for house search and while viewing the property, however last minute a new property of an excellent standard has showed up and we booked it the day we viewed it as it was perfect!

It is important that you stick to your guide as it might be a decision maker and let me tell you, check for double glazed windows and good doors make a difference! Also note any painting and other alterations that need to be done by the landlord before you move in.
Hopefully this simple guide will let you make a good choice or at least give a direction which you need to focus on.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Its the little things that make us happy

As I was walking home from uni yesterday all stressed out as I just finished my group presentation I heard someone shout at me "where did you loose your smile?". Somehow its the thing everyone keeps asking me so I wasnt surprised but am I looking like a grump at all times? I turned around and it was a chubby and friendly looking african guy I have ever. I decided to call him the nicest man ever. So as I turned around to face the nicest man ever I simply explained about my stressful presentation. He then asked me if I go to university pointing straight at it and I nodded abd started explaining that I am a first year doing business with HRM. He then asked where I am from, "poland" I answered to which his face just shone with a smile. The nicest man ever explained that he is a navy officer and he was in poland two days ago. After which I asked which city and if he enjoyed the cheap prices. It turned out that he loved it because beer was cheap but after poland he was in norway where beer cost him a whooping £10! After this short motivating and friendly conversation we said our goodbyes and went the opposite directions. I hope I see the nicest man ever once again to cheer me up.

Furthermore that day I had the greatest power nap imaginable and Patrick (my boyfriend) did not wake me and instead made dinner- he is a keeper.

Its the little things that make us happy...

Ewii xx

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Spring Time cleaning/ update

Since it’s nearly spring time I always get excited about the weather and just general burst of energy a bit of sunshine, especially in UK, gives you. I like to change things a little, maybe some of my clothing, yet not too much because under these weather conditions it is like a constant autumn with sporadic sunshine. I heard that a lot of people use this time to give away their old clothes and purchase couple of new items, which I done recently and now I am spoilt for choice. Don’t forget to check best before dates and update some of your make up, skin care and medication.

One thing that I definitely do is a deep scrub of all surfaces in my home even that awkward drawer you never look into! It just gives you a general feeling of freshness and making sure all spider webs and other funky things you find are out of the way. This year I decided to redecorate my living room, because of the depressing teal colour carpet and throw on the sofa. I hate teal I have no idea what came into my mind to buy this carpet, apart from my mum’s pressure on a quick purchase, but since she was paying I adjusted. Therefore I ended up with an ugly carpet which I hated and had to match a throw, yuck. During the weekend I bought this lovely purple and green wool rug which looks super exotic and cosy. I bought a light grey throw for my sofa and some Primark cushions in a greeny colour. Overall cost of the redecoration was £57 (£40 for the rug; £10 throw; £7 cushions) and I am very happy with the results.

My living room updated ;-)

Another thing I plan on doing is washing ALL of my bedding and letting it dry outside including all the ones I haven’t used for ages, just to refresh them and make them smell awesome!
With all this spring excitement comes one disappointment and that is putting the clocks back and me lacking this one (IMPORTANT) hour of sleep. But I will be able to live through it somehow, after all it includes everyone not just myself.


I definitely encourage you to do some spring time cleaning/ updating and hope that this spring will give us more sunshine then rain!
Ewii x

Friday, 7 March 2014

Tesco Orchard Project: Tesco Finest Potato Range

Venezia and Blue Belle Potatoes in their packaging

Being a student is hard especially that money is limited and everyone wants a bit of luxury every once in a while. However I started to use coupons and loyalty schemes to get the best value for money. I have to admit that Tesco's is my favourite for that because you get coupons often for various items you purchase and your own points to spend in store. Recently I heard of tesco orchard which is a scheme giving coupons to people to review finest range (more about that in my previous post) so I signed up and received my first item to review which is a tescos finest potato range including blue belle, exquisa, venezia and elfe type. 
The first problem I had was getting the product! I searched in 6 tesco stores and to my disappointment could not find it so easily. Finally once I found the potatoes I have purchased two bags; blue belle and venezia each at £1 a bag. I have to say by looking at the picture from the letter I thought the packaging was a mixture of paper bag and plastic making it look eco friendly but it was just a plastic bag. I would recommend tescos to consider changing the packaging however that’s a minor advice. 
The venezia potato is a small, round and yellow potato with a very clean and smooth skin. I’ve decided to power boil them and then roast in goose fat with a sprinkle of salt, pepper, parsley and garlic.

Roasted Venezia Potato

The outcome: Mellow, sweet and buttery potatoes that melt in your mouth. I loved the skin especially that the taste reminded me of popcorn (?). These are definitely my new favourite;-) 

Blue Belle potatoe

Blue belle however are a huge chunky potatoes with a brilliant bright purple streaks coming through it. I decided to mash these with loads of butter and some milk.
 The outcome: Brilliantly buttery and smooth potatoes which are perfect for mashing with no shadow of a doubt. I found them absolutely amazing, so definitely get a bag for yourself!
The finished product

Personally my perception was that potato is a potato but I couldn’t be more wrong! I enjoyed these with my boyfriends family and his mother who never eats potatoes thought that venezia ones were lovely, which was a real shock! About two or three days after I tried these I caught myself thinking of when I will re-purchase because even though potatoes don’t seem to be a fascinating food this range brings another perception and dimension to potatoes. I will definitely repurchase and I highly recommend these to all of you!!

Monday, 3 March 2014

11 ways to save money as a student (UK)

It is no news to all students out there that money is very limited! I wanted to share some things I do that could help out students reduce their shopping costs and therefore save some extra money on clothes and general items we can consider luxury (my luxury item includes paper kitchen towel). 

1.Do not be scared to purchase in bulk and leave it for later deals on departments are usually seasonal
2.Make sure to plan your meals – based on that make a shopping list and do not leave the house without it!!!
3.Engage in loyalty schemes organised by shops- get tesco clubcard, nectar card, boots advantage card, IKEA family card, Matalan etc. APPLY FOR ALL CARDS OF SHOPS YOU USE
4. Pick up free magazines eg. Tesco, Boots
5. Collect coupons from companies websites and facebook pages and sign up for their newsletter!- so make sure you follow them
6.Email the companies- Have a look around your house to see what products you use and write to them telling them if you like or dislike their product.
7. Sign up for cashback websites which are easy to use and you get even better deals!
8.Check out freebies websites and get applying!
9.Sign up for review websites such as BzzAgent, Tesco Home Panellist or Tesco Orchard- they invite you to certain programmes to review products, which are usually free.
10.Make sure to like extreme couponing UK facebook page- where you can chat to lovely couponers who give each other tips and say when they have found deals or coupons!
11.Fill out questionnaires for money eg. Valued Opinions- It does take a long time to get a voucher but hey it is free money!

Two Best Loyalty Schemes in my opinion ;-)

I think that Tesco’s loyalty scheme is absolutely amazing so definitely sign up for club card! Allowing you to save up points from your shopping each £1= 1 point= 1 pence. They send you coupons in post often with your money off collected during this period, or alternatively you can pick online to only receive coupons during Christmas. Furthermore all money off coupons can be doubled if you want to spend it in a certain department eg. Electronics or Home. Tesco’s also prints a FREE magazine which includes coupons and loads of interesting articles and delicious recipes! To top it off they have two review websites Home Panellist (mainly for families with kids) and Orchard (which asks you to review Tesco Finest products).

I have to say that Boots have great deals as they give you points for money spent which you can use as money off later on. They also have a kiosk stands where you can check out exclusive offers to receive money off, extra points or free products. I particularly like Boots because as a girl I like magazines and every two months Boots releases a magazine which is FREE to all advantage card users, it is very interesting and includes further coupons inside!

So since there is a lot of money saving opportunities commit to an hour a week or so to apply for freebies and write emails to companies to receive coupons.

Hope I didn’t forget any important tips but if you know any more please comment ;)
Ewii x