Sunday 12 June 2016

5 Lessons I've Learnt From Buying My First House

Hey there long time no speak!

I've been on hiatus recently as we moved into our first home and I got myself a new job! Feels strange to have left Boots after nearly 3 years and I'm sad to leave behind some good friends and more importantly, the staff discount.

I digress...

It's been 4 weeks since we moved so I thought it would be nice to look back on the experience and pick out the lessons I learnt during the process.

For those of you who are thinking about or have already begun the process of looking to buy your first home take a read of the below because if I could go back in time, this is what I would tell myself...

1. Buying a house is stressful.
There's no ifs or buts about it, buying a house was the most stressful thing I've ever done... aside from my GCSEs! The process is full of highs and lows and a lot of the time it felt like we were taking one step forward and two steps back. As cliché as it sounds though, it was all worth it in the end and I hear it's like the pain of child birth - you say you're never going to do it again but you soon forget about the pain and want to do it again and again.

2. Don't take on too much.
At the same time as we were going through the house buying process, I was also in the process of looking for a new job which added to my already high stress levels. Balancing interviews, solicitors, estate agents and my existing job was probably a bit too much to take on all at once. So don't try and be the hero and conquer everything at once. Trust me.

3. It's bloody expensive.
Aside from the actual costs involved in buying a house like the mortgage, the house insurance and the life insurance (don't even get me started on solicitor fees), decorating and furnishing a house to make it feel like your own is a pricey business. We went from a two bed apartment to a three bedroom house so not only did we have an extra room to fill, we also had to replace some of our existing furniture as it didn't fit in the new layout. My piece of advice here: Ikea is your friend.

4. Take the help that's offered to you.
Whether this is financial help, physical help with moving or decorating or just general bits of advice, there's no shame in accepting help from people around you. I know for a fact that we wouldn't be where we are today without the help of our families and friends. From using our relatives' homes for storage to getting half of my family round on the day we moved in to paint, we definitely got our money's worth out of them!

5. You don't need to do everything straight away.
I'm hugely impatient so this was my biggest downfall. I wanted to move in and do everything immediately. I wanted to paint every room, buy all the furniture, do all the DIY, sort the garden and pretty much have everything the way I had envisaged it by the end of the first week. Not only was this highly impractical, it would have also cost us a fortune. My advice would be to make a list of everything you want to do in priority order and then get cracking on the bits that you can't live with for the time being. I'm definitely still learning to take a piece of my own advice...

Until next time,

Jade x


Sunday 8 May 2016

Successories - Hipster Sunnies and Stone + Armour

Hello... it's me... (Sorry I went for the Adele pun)

It's been a few weeks since my last post but I've been busy getting on with my house move - we've moved out of our apartment, put all our stuff into storage and have been living with my parents for two weeks but we hopefully get the keys to our house on Friday!! Yes, I'm aware that it will be Friday 13th which probably isn't the best day to try to move house but I'm just too excited to care!

Anyway back to the post...

Last weekend I got together with a bunch of awesome ladies to do a little photo shoot for some brands that we've been lucky to work with - including Elsie's Attic and WhatSarahdid - which was all shot by the very talented and very lovely Nicola White. I'll be doing a separate fashion blog post on that soon so keep an eye out!

As well as the beaut clothes we got to play around in all day, we were also lucky to have been given some super cool accessories - hence the 'successories' title - from the guys at Hipster Sunnies and our pal Laura from Stone + Armour.

Starting with Hipster Sunnies, this range of sunglasses for men and women is exactly what it says on the tin, a unique range of alternative fashion eye-wear. UK based since 2014, these guys specialise in festival, retro and slightly left-field styles but also stock classics such as aviators and wayfarers, all at decent prices. 

On the day, my favourite style was the 'Robin Hood Gold' sunglasses (shown in the last few images above). At first I'll admit I wasn't sold, but after putting them on I actually loved how quirky they are! You'll definitely stand out in the crowd in a pair of these bad boys. 

On to these gorgeous pieces from the jewellery line Stone + Armour by my lovely friend Laura. Each piece is made from the finest materials from Sterling Silver to semi-precious stones and everything is handcrafted in Nottingham. 

The hammered disk necklaces (shown above) can be personalised and stamped with your initial so they would make really thoughtful and unique gifts - I've already ordered a 'J' for me!

The best part about both of these brands, other than the fact that they're pretty cool in their own right, is that they're independent, UK based brands that allow you to pick up items that you wouldn't find anywhere else.

Please check out these brands by clicking on the links above or head over to their Instagram pages and let me know if you purchase anything!

Until next time,

Jade x


Saturday 16 April 2016

What I Got For My Birthday

Hello again!

So this time I'm coming to you a year older and pretty much none the wiser! Last weekend was my 25th birthday and I was very spoilt with a spa day at Champneys Springs and two lovely meals out with my family and boyfriend... what more could a girl want!

Khaki Bomber - River Island, Culottes - New Look, Orange Courts - Primark

I'd like to start by making the point that this post isn't meant to be a brag or me 'showing off' what I got for my birthday, all I know is that I'm incredibly nosy and I love to see what other people get for their birthday or Christmas so it gives me ideas of what I can get others or ask for myself in the future.

Also, I don't know about you but, all year I have a list as long as my arm of things I'm lusting after but the minute someone asks me what I'd like for Christmas or my birthday I can't think of a thing! So hopefully if you're like me and you need a bit of inspiration or are just plain nosy, you'll find this post reasonably interesting or inspiring. If I know where items are from I've written this underneath :)

Adidas Superstars - Office

Yes, I'm another person on the Adidas bandwagon... The story behind these beauties is that I bought a knock off pair from a market in Bangkok for about £5 and it turns out, you do get what you pay for. These are hands down the comfiest shoes I own and so far I've managed to keep them white!

Black leather journal and pens - Paperchase.

Who doesn't love new stationary?! I have to admit I do feel pretty sophisticated with a leather journal...

Right, is it just me, or are Haribo Giant Strawberries the best thing ever?? It was always a family tradition at Christmas that my Dad would get me a big box of these but as we were in Thailand last Christmas, the tradition was sadly broken. Luckily my gem of a boyfriend not only bought a huge stash of strawbs, he also bought a cute glass jar to put them in.

As you may know, myself and Dave are currently in the process of buying our first house and you may also know that I'm slightly obsessed with all things copper. So imagine my delight when I unwrapped these little dishes/tealight holders (I'm not actually sure what they are!) from my Mum. The copper obsession grows.

Holdall - River Island

You know those girls you see on the train or the bus struggling to carry multiple bulging overnight bags because they cannot pack light... well that's me. Even if I'm only going somewhere for one night, I have to bring my entire wardrobe, make-up and toiletry collection "just in case". So my mother got me this perfectly sized holdall from River Island that can hold pretty much everything for my overnight stays. It feels really well-made, comes with a long strap to chuck over your shoulder and also has a pretty fabulous design.  

Rose Golden Brush Set Vol 3 - Zoeva Cosmetics

Just look at these brushes. Even if you're not really into make-up, just look at them. How gorgeous are they! I've been lusting after some Zoeva brushes for a while now and I must have dropped enough virtual hints (I'm talking Instagram posts) and I finally got the most beautiful rose gold set! They are really great quality and come with a leather clutch bag to keep them in. They're almost too good to use.

Rose Gold Half Star Ring - Lucy Williams North Star Collection for Missoma

So if i had to choose, this would probably be my favourite present... I definitely let out a squeal when I unwrapped this Missoma box! If you haven't heard of them, Missoma is a small London based jewellery company that creates the most beautiful delicate pieces, in particular, their collaborations with blogger Lucy Williams are just stunning! I don't wear many rings as they tend to irritate me but this one isn't going to leave my finger. 

I hope you enjoyed this post, I definitely enjoyed reliving my birthday weekend! Let me know what's going to be on your birthday wish lists!

Until next time,

Jade x

Sunday 27 March 2016

Beauty Review: NYX Lip Lingerie

Hey guys

So for today's post, I'm going to be reviewing a new purchase of mine, the NYX Lip Lingerie liquid lipsticks.

Thanks to Kylie Jenner liquid lipsticks are everywhere, with more and more brands releasing their versions of this latest lip trend. As much as I would love to try out one of the Kylie Lip Kits to see if she really does know what she's talking about when it comes to lip enhancing products, it seems they're like gold dust to try and get hold of.

So instead I picked up two shades of the new NYX Lip Lingerie liquid lipsticks from Boots for £6.50 each, which I think is a huge bargain. The Lip Lingeries come in 12 nude shades, ranging from pale pinks to deep browns - there's definitely a shade to fit everyone's 'perfect nude'. However, I would say that I think the majority of the shades are probably more suited to those with lighter skin and there aren't as many shades that would suit darker skin tones.

Image from

I decided on the shades 'Bedtime Flirt' and 'Embellishment' - 'Bedtime Flirt' is more of a traditional deep nude with a pink/red undertone (think Mac 'Whirl') and 'Embellishment' is a muted, dusty purple.

Left: 'Embellishment'. Right: 'Bedtime Flirt'.

They have a really creamy consistency and dry with velvety matte finish - the classic Kylie Jenner look if that's what you're after! I find them to be quick drying and really long lasting without making my lips feel dried out and flaky. My lips don't feel tacky after I've applied it and the staying power is pretty impressive, even with eating and drinking I rarely need to re-apply. The formula is like a thin mousse so you will need to apply more than one coat to get a perfect colour finish.

Compared to other liquid lipsticks I've tried in the past these definitely come out on top and have added to my increasing love for the NYX brand and their products - I haven't tried a product from them so far that I didn't like!

Do you have any other liquid lipstick recommendations? Have you tried out any other products from NYX?

Until next time.

Jade x

Friday 18 March 2016

Home Decor Inspiration

Hey welcome back!

Today's post is about my new obsession... home decor. 

Myself and Dave are currently in the process of buying our first house which means that over the last few months my Instagram and Pinterest feeds have started to become filled with home decor ideas where they were once filled with fashion and beauty images. Street style posts have been replaced by wallpaper and paint colours, and handbags and shoes have been replaced by cushions and rugs... this is what my life has become and I like it! 

Creating boards on Pinterest is possibly my new favourite pastime; I have one for every room in my new house! It's a great way to pull all sorts of different ideas from different sources together to get a unique collection of inspiration.... I know I don't need to explain how Pinterest works and why it's so bloody addictive so I thought I'd get straight in and share a couple of mood boards of ideas that I'm loving at the minute for my potential new home.

The Kitchen 
Like most people, I'm on the copper hype... Can't get enough of the stuff. If it was up to me I'd have it in every room in the house but I don't think I'll get away with that. I've chosen to pair it with rich blue tones as I think that the clashing colours actually compliment each other strangely enough. I think it will work pretty well in the kitchen as it's quite a light, neutral backdrop to really let the copper and blue accessories pop. 

The Lounge
We already have brown leather sofas in our lounge and I've traditionally stuck to neutral colours to compliment them which I'll continue with in the new house but I want to add in a few touches of colour and some patterns to add some interest. The new lounge has wooden flooring so I'm defintiely keen to add a shaggy rug and some nice throws/cushions to make it feel more cozy. 

As I sad, we're still in the process of buying the house so we've still got a few weeks to go before it's (hopefully) ours so I've still got plenty of time to complete boards for the rest of the rooms in the house!

As always, comments and questions are welcome! 

Until next time,

Jade x


Monday 7 March 2016

Intro & Random Facts About Me

Hi and welcome to my first blog post - eek!  

I struggled to decide what should be my first post on here and decided that I should probably let you get to know me a bit better (I've written a brief introduction to me and my blog on the 'About Me' page so check that out) and as I'm about to turn 25 in April, I thought I'd give you 25 random facts about me. 

I won't bore you with a long intro, so let's get straight into the juicy stuff...
*disclaimer* it's not actually juicy at all but here goes... 

1. My full name is Jade Danielle Banks - if you hadn't already gathered from the title...
2. I'm originally from Derby but I currently live in a little town in Leicestershire. 
3. I have a half-brother, half-sister and two step brothers.
4. I'm naturally dark blonde but I have been various different hair colours over the years including: red, ombre and platinum blonde but I'm currently on the silver/grey hair bandwagon.
5. I love travelling... I've been lucky to have been on some pretty cool trips in my life incuding my recent trip to Thailand over Christmas.
6. I went to Nottingham Trent University where I studied Media & Creative Industries and I got a first... I'm a bit of a secret geek.
7. I met my boyfriend Dave at university and we are now in the process of buying our first house together.
8. I have two tattoos.
9. I am petrified of spiders... as in 'if it comes anywhere near me I'm going to need to breath into a paper bag' petrified of spiders.
10. I'm generally talentless - I can't play any musical instruments, play any sports, draw, sing...
11. This isn't my first blog; I used to write one whilst at university
12. I get anxiety about being late, disorganisation and unexpected changes
13. I don't really have a favourite colour but if I could only wear one colour for the rest of my life it would probably be black - original, I know.
14. I'm a big cat lover and I've been promised a new kitten when we move house... be prepared for many future crazy cat lady posts.
15. My most prized fashion piece would be my Mulberry handbag which I saved up for and bought myself when I was 19.
16. My favourite flowers are peonies which came from my obsession with Gossip Girl - if you watched it you'll know what I mean!
17. I can't ride a bike - yes I know that's weird.
18. I spent over 3 months in Australia after I graduated university
19. Which is where I did a skydive
20. And a bungee jump
21. And snorkelled on the Great Barrier Reef (yes, that was probably cheating with those last few but I was starting to struggle!)
22. I had an adult brace last year (cringe!) but it was worth it to get my teeth straightened.
23. My favourite blogger is Samantha Maria ( - she has amazing style and her posts/videos are funny and relatable. I've also got to shout out one of my best pals Jenn from Cordelia Hearts ( who is a fab blogger from Nottingham and is basically my twin - we have the same taste and can pretty much read each other minds.
24. Top of my wish list would be a pair of designer heels... some classic Louboutins or the Valentino Rockstuds would be a DREAM.
25. I'm planning on enrolling on a make-up artistry course at the end of the year so watch this space! 

Well I hope that was somewhat interesting to read and you've gotten to know me a bit better. Please ask me questions, comment or let me know something about you.

Until next time,

Jade x

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