Monday, 29 April 2019

MAY TO DO LIST

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger, travel blogger
Can we all agree that April has been the quickest month of the year so far? One minute it was April Fools and the next, we're 6 hours and one month away from being 6 months into 2019. May is the start of a busy few months and I’m so ready for festival, wedding and holiday season to be upon us!

01. ORDER OUTFITS FOR PARKLIFE 
My first festival of 2019 is in June and instead of leaving outfit shopping until last minute and then being flustered and teary when I can't find anything that fits well or is "festivally" enough, I'm going to get both outfits for both days sorted before the end of May. 

02.  BOOK A SPA DAY 
It's long overdue and needed. If you have any recommendations for affordable spas in and around London, do let me know! 

03. BOOK MY FIRST WAX 
I'm tired of razor bumps, cuts and ingrown hairs from shaving. I've watched so many Youtube videos of the waxing process and it doesn't look that bad but then a woman on Twitter said it was worse than childbirth? Do I trim beforehand or? If any of you have had a Brazilian or Hollywood wax, please share your experience!

04. BOOK AN EYE TEST 
I got a letter through the post back in January saying I was due an eye test and I threw it in a pile of letters that I'll "properly read another day". Nearly 3 months later and the letter is still sitting in the pile and an appointment hasn't been booked. 

05. GET ALL MY SPONSORED AND GIFTED CONTENT OUT 
I've been very lucky this month and landed some great opportunities. Now, before I can accept any more sponsored or gifted content, I need to get what I've currently received out and by writing this publically, I'm more likely to knuckle down and get it done.

What's on your to do list for the month of May?

Fran
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Monday, 22 April 2019

HOW I MANAGE MY MONEY

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger, travel blogger
I've been meaning to write this blog post for the longest time but just never got round to it, one of those posts sitting in your drafts waiting to be finished and today I'm finishing and publishing it.

Money can be a very taboo subject, I'm not entirely sure why but I guess people aren't comfortable with being open about their finances and in my opinion, it shouldn't be that way. We can learn a lot from each other if we're open and honest about our income, ways to increase income, getting out of debt or building your credit score. I'm going to share with you how I manage my money and how I've built a perfect credit score.

So, I have 4 bank cards. One Barclays debit card which I use for all direct debits and bills and holds my everyday saving account and help to buy ISA. A Santander student account which my student loan goes into and with this I get a free railcard and £1500 overdraft. A Monzo card which I transfer disposable money into and I also have a savings pot within this account and lastly, a Barclays initial credit card which I use to pay for anything that requires insurance e.g. holidays. I would advise having multiple cards and savings accounts to get a better hand on your finances rather than keeping all of your money in the one account.

As soon as I get paid, I put the exact amount needed to cover my direct debits and bills into my Barclays debit card, any money left over I put into my Monzo card. Monzo is a digital mobile-only bank, you can use it how you would any other debit card in that you put money into it and can take money out of it. The great thing about Monzo is that you can track your day to day spending and set caps on your spending, restrict certain payments e.g. gambling and if you open a savings pot, you can round up transactions and the pennies can be put start into your pot. Get yourself a Monzo card here and we'll both get £5!

Moving onto having a credit card and how I turned my credit score around. A year ago, my credit score was poor, not because I was 18 and a reckless spender but because I couldn't work for 2-3 months for a personal reason and so I had to rely on it to get me through that time. It has taken me a year to learn how to manage my money better and improve my credit score and as of 06/04/18, I now have a credit score of 999. 

Ways to improve your credit score:
1. Don't make too many credit applications in a short period of time
2. Make sure you're paying off your direct debits in full each month (phone bill, gym memberships, broadband etc.) and on time
3. When using your credit card for big purchases, make sure you're able to pay the minimum payment each month or more
4. Spend within your limits and only use your credit card up to 50% or less of your monthly wage
5. Register to vote. I'm not entirely sure why but being on the electoral helps
6. Make sure you have a good overall view on your finances 
7. Use your credit card little and often to maintain your credit score 

How do you manage your money?

Fran
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Monday, 15 April 2019

BECOMING A VEGETARIAN

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger, travel blogger
Now all of my Dublin posts are out the way, I want to refocus and start producing more lifestyle posts. Starting with how I became a vegetarian.

I could easily lie and say that I became a vegetarian because I'm against animal cruelty (which I am) and want to save the animals. This was not the case. Growing up, I didn't have the best relationship with food, I always found eating very difficult. I can remember only eating cucumber sandwiches and crisps as a child, not forcibly but these were the two things that I enjoyed and would eat. I didn't like fish, I wasn't huge on pork, chicken and beef were alright. During my early teenage years and I gained more control of my diet. As I began cooking for myself, I found that I was restricting calories, cutting various food groups to lose weight, maintain a slim figure and in my last few months of being a teenager, I decided that I needed to change my diet and start taking care of my body from the inside and so, I cut meat out of my diet and went vegetarian. 

Side note: My older sister has been vegetarian for 4-5 years and I have watched her make many vegetarian meals so, I didn't go on this journey completely blind. 

Things I've learnt on my journey so far:
1. You will get meat cravings. Before becoming vegetarian, I would go days or months without eating any meat at all and since becoming vegetarian, I get meat cravings almost daily. It doesn't help that I work in a bar which serves food with the majority of dishes containing meat. 

2. Quorn nuggets are better than chicken nuggets. Don't believe me? Try them 
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger, travel blogger
3. The Quorn website is a saviour if you're stuck for meal ideas. My favourite is the Quorn cottage pie recipe

4. Cooking requires more planning but is less time-consuming. Most meals take 15-20 to make from start to finish which is perfect if you're someone with a busy schedule, like me.  
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger, travel blogger

5. Eating out is incredibly hard and your only options are either a mushroom burger (so not a burger at all) or a Margherita pizza.

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger, travel blogger
Giving up meat is a lot easier than I thought. There are so many good substitutes for meat like Quorn though, it's not the cheapest. I eat so much better as a vegetarian than I ever did as a meat-eater, it has forced me to experiment more with flavours and try new recipes.

Fran
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Monday, 8 April 2019

DUBLIN DAY 2 | PADDYWAGON TOURS

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger, travel blogger
For our penultimate day in Ireland, we decided to book a Paddywagon coach tour (roughly £55 each) from Dublin city centre to Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland.

First stop, the Dark Hedges. If you're a huge game of thrones fan like myself then you may recognise this road, its the King's Road in Season 2. The hedges are two centuries old and were planted by the Stuart family in the 18th century to impress visitors approaching the entrance of their home. I was certainly impressed, that's for sure! 
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger, travel blogger
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger, travel blogger
Next stop, Carrick-a-rede. A famous rope bridge near Ballintoy in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The bridge links the mainland to the tiny island of Carrickarede. The was a long walk from the car park to the actual bridge and due to bad weather conditions, we weren't actually able to go across the bridge but we stood by the edge, close enough. 
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger, travel blogger
Giant's Causeway, possibly my favourite stop of the whole tour. I have a list of Geographical landforms that I would like to see during my lifetime and Giant's Causeway was one of them. The Giant's Causeway is an area of roughly 40,000 interlocking basalt columns as a result of a volcanic fissure eruption. The views here are amazing and if like me, you love physical geography then you'll love this landform. 
francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger, travel blogger
Last but certainly not least, Belfast. Our stop in Belfast was very brief and there wasn't enough time to properly wander around the city. Across the road from where we were parked, there was a Greggs so I took the opportunity to lose my Vegan sausage roll virginity and I was not disappointed.

There is a variety of tours on the Paddywagon site and if you ever find yourself in Ireland looking for something to fill your day, I'd recommend the Giant's Causeway tour!

Fran
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Monday, 1 April 2019

LIFE UPDATE | STARTING A PODCAST, MOVING TO YORK AND ATTEMPTING TO DATE

francisca rockey, lifestyle blogger, fitness blogger, beauty blogger, fashion blogger, small blogger, travel blogger
My Last Two Weeks: The last two weeks have been very busy. I’ve been on a city break to Dublin for St Patrick’s day and jumped out of a plane for charity.

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram then you’ve already seen my announcement but I started a podcast. #HonestyHour is a 30-minute topic talk discussing a range of controversial topics available on Anchor, Spotify and Google podcasts. There are now three episodes up for you to listen to and new episodes will be up every Monday at 6pm GMT.

This is probably my biggest news to date, I’m moving to York. I firmed my place at York St John University to study Geography last week and I can’t wait. During the course of my gap year, I was umming and arring about changing courses, potentially studying Law or Sociology but stuck with Geography as I’ve realised that's where my passions lie.

I’ve found myself at a point in life where I’m ready to date. My “men are trash” days are over and I’m now open and ready to get into a relationship. I was close to ditching the dating apps but Emilia told me to be patient and keep at it. Some dates have been unsuccessful and others… well, that’s a story for another day.


Hope you all have a good week!

Fran
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