AD|Money saving tips and ideas for Summer

Did you know that we are now spending on average up to five times more on fashion? It’s so hard not to respond to emails with discount codes and free shipping beckoning you to take a peek. When it comes to eating out, the choice we are now faced with is mind blowing, and the fact that we can get pretty much anything delivered straight to our front doors is not helping to curb our spending habits. Here’s why I’m writing about money saving tips and ideas for summer to make sure you are 100% sorted with some cash in your pocket. First up is finding wardrobe alternatives.

Photo by Artem Beliaikin @belart84 from Pexels

The first thing that comes to my mind when I need a new outfit but am tight on budget is a charity shop. My hometown in Ipswich has a trendy place called Zest, part of the St Elizabeth Hospice charity. Walking in you would not think that anything is second hand in there at all. The vibes are fresh, stylish and so easy to navigate, and these sorts of places are perfect to score a killer look for a fraction of the price.

Photo by from Pexels

One idea I had that you may not have thought about is asking a friend to help you out. Sharing wardrobes is such a smart way to shop without having to spend a penny. Just think of that one friend who has been dying to give you a makeover for years- I’m sure they will jump at the chance to get you ready for any event you have planned.

Another way to save money on your wardrobe is something I actually stumbled across while watching BBC Breakfast. I learnt about a company called Hire Street who bring you amazing outfits with prices starting at just £8! Instead of forking out over £50 for an outfit you probably only want to wear once, this option is by far the most affordable.


Moving onto food, I have a few tips for your weekly shop and for eating out as well. Have you ever wondered how to get great cashback deals online but aren’t quite sure how to go about finding them? Mamas and Dadas, look no further than Your Baby Club. This website has so many wonderful tricks that will help you start saving in no time. For example, I placed my weekly Asda grocery order, spent over £40 which I would do anyway, and within 14 days I had £15 in my online account. No fuss, no clauses, just £15 that I transferred into my bank account, making my £40 shop actually £25. You can find amazing deals just like this through other websites like Top Cashback but I can only vouch for Your Baby Club as a tried and tested source.

Photo by bruce mars from Pexels

When it comes to eating out, it’s all about choosing the right time and planning ahead. Book your culinary destination based on what deals are on offer, and in most cases you can save up to 40% off your food bill if you dine out during Mondays to Thursdays. Another handy tip is try looking for newly opened restaurants or bars and go on opening night. They will no doubt have free drinks and lots of great deals for you during their first week of business.

Photo by Stokpic from Pexels

If your ideas for summer have blown out the window due to unforseen circumstances, then finding a short-term loan might be something you are thinking of looking into. Cash Lady are a well-established and reputable short-term loan lender who care about their customers.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

There is no charge for making an application, and your application is sent to around 15 lenders to help increase your chances of being accepted. Make sure you know all the information about committing to a short-term loan, and the best place to start your easy journey is with Cash Lady.

Thanks for reading my money saving tips and ideas for Summer. Do you have any handy hints you’d like to add to the conversation? Let me know how you are getting on in the comments below!

Saharasplash x

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post

Not suffering in silence with fertility issues

I have been mulling this post over in my head for a while now, as it’s quite a personal subject. As a blogger, I naturally want to share all my experiences good and bad, but there is a fine line between sharing and oversharing. I have been struggling with the notion of having another child since Christmas, my head is ready but my body is most definitely not in agreement.

I fell pregnant with Alice just 5 weeks after we got married, so there wasn’t really much time to think about what if it didn’t happen first time round. It was a very straight forward pregnancy and labour, no complications during birth, but I did have to have an iron drip a week after Alice was born because I lost too much blood for my body to recover naturally.

Moving onto breastfeeding, I fed Alice until she was 12 months old (October 2018) and then stopped because I had always planned to stop at this age. I thought it would be another simple step in the whole process, but boy was I mistaken.

It’s now 6 months on and my hormones are a wreck, I’m pretty much bleeding every day (give or take a few day’s break here and there) so I made myself an appointment with the GP. Fast forward to this week, and I discover that I have a cyst on my left ovary which is 3.7cm. Leaving the doctors surgery I was in shock with the news. I found out it’s quite common to have an ovarian cyst, but I never expected to be told I had one, and this may be the cause of my hormonal imbalance.

It’s now May, a new month, and I have a follow up appointment booked to find out where to go from here. I have had a lot of advice from friends and family who are telling me not to worry, as stress can play a big part on what’s going on inside ourselves. It’s something which I am working on accepting little by little, and that the answers are coming soon.

I really wanted to post this around Infertility Awareness Week (21-27th April). I have been kindly sent some products from SpermCheckUK to help do some further research in the mean time. SpermCheckFertility is a test to check whether your partner’s sperm count is high or low in the comfort of your own home.

I also have FertileCheck fertility gel to try out which is a gel that naturally supports conception and doesn’t create a barrier for sperm unlike some lubricants.

Although infertility is a really hard topic to discuss for many of us who have been through difficulties or know those who have, I want to help keep the conversation going by not suffering in silence. I feel like this will help me see this period in my life through, no matter the outcome, and possibly will reach someone who is in the same boat as me. Don’t be afraid to talk and let someone know.

SpermCheck and FertilityCheck are now on offer in Boots until 22nd May.

Saharasplash x

The specialbuy from Aldi is back!

You heard it, the Aldi specialbuy event is back on in store and online right now. I always love covering this event and firmly believe that Aldi is the top store when it comes to essential and affordable baby and toddler products. I have discovered so many gems from the seasonal specialbuys, so here’s what I’ve got and recommend this time…

The Lacura range is always a part of our bathtime routine. Although the strawberry is my favourite scent to wash my daughter’s hair with, we are going to be trying out the lemon and tea tree oil for a zesty change.

Lacura 3 in 1 conditioning shampoo: 79p

Aldi kindly gifted us these products to try out, and we also received a towel bundle, some lovely bibs, books and the most adorable set of trainers below!

Hooded towel/wash mitt set: £3.99
Pack of 3 bibs: £2.99

These shoes are in the specialbuy event for just £5.99 and come in pink or blue. Alice just couldn’t wait to get these easy slip-ons on her little feet.

Sound books: £1.79
Trainers: £5.99

Alice is wearing size 18-24 months and we are going to be wearing these all summer long I can tell.

One thing I spotted online that I definitely need to pick up is this gorgeous Koala SureGrip Mat by Nuby. It’s just £6.99 and just love how you can store different things in the face and ears!

What will you be getting in your local Aldi this week? If you don’t have one nearby, then head over to their website to see it all.

Saharasplash x

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Activated Charcoal – Up your Smile Style

We can talk trends, speak style and give tips about fashion, but no matter the season nothing makes an outfit sing like a winning smile. The traditional methods of dental equipment and dental care like pastes, brushes, mouthwash and floss are so varied it’s hard to choose something that works for you. Some newer innovations are also coming into play, with brands like Quip trying to entirely revolutionise the idea of a “toothbrush” and turning it into more of a “jawscrub”, a term I had never heard of before researching into this article. I just love the chemistry behind beauty, and think that we all need to know a bit more about what we are using and where it comes from. I want you to consider this post as a sort of dental de-mysticism, but also as a guide and review to help out those who struggle with their smile. Everyone’s been talking about this, and now so am I: it’s activated charcoal.

What is activated Charcoal?

Activated charcoal is something that has been around for the better part of several decades, but you may have only just heard about it more recently, or maybe not at all. Before it became better known as a health supplement, it may have come to your attention thanks to those bizarre pictures of black ice cream cones that were making their way around the internet last summer. You might know charcoal better as the solid grey block you come across in art classes. This is actually the same material but with an extra set of special chemical treatments that give it some odd but rather useful properties. Following chemical treatments (usually done with bases, or extra oxygen) activated charcoal develops thousands of tiny, very shallow pores. This means that a single gram of activated charcoal can have between 500 to 1,500 metres of surface area!

Why is all this useful? Well because all these tiny pores creating all this surface area means that activated charcoal is very good at a chemical process called ‘adsorption’. Yes, I spelt that right; where absorption is about one chemical placing another inside itself, ‘adsorption’ is when a chemical sticks to the surface of another chemical. This is where activated charcoal’s main use comes in. Water treatment plant filters use activated charcoal to filter impurities as they bind to the activated charcoal molecules, pulling them out of what then gets pumped into our taps. Still with me? Then let’s move on…

Why is activated charcoal a superfood?

The idea that activated charcoal can work as a superfood to ‘adsorb’ toxins has lead some scientists into thinking perhaps it can adsorb many other harmful and less desirable things from our bodies too. Everything from the stains on our teeth to just plain, everyday toxins. That’s why people have been putting it in their ice creams and burger buns – that and it just makes the ice cream look much more Instagram worthy.

Does activated charcoal honestly work?

There’s definitely lots of science to say that adsorption is a useful process when it comes to water processing and toxin treatment. Those sorts of industries aren’t usually as influenced by the industry I come from- media. Evidence from magazines and online reviews is usually more anecdotal rather than data-based. The idea that activated charcoal could adsorb the stains on your teeth does seem plausible based upon my investigation, but unlike other toothpastes you might want to wash your mouth out thoroughly after brushing! In regular toothpaste, the active ingredients do their best work if they are left on your mouth. With active charcoal, it’s more of a ‘one-and-done’ solution.

When it comes to dental equipment, there may be more mileage. Toothbrushes with activated charcoal in their bristles may be especially useful since you blend direct contact with the teeth plus the vigorous kinetics of a good old-fashioned scrubbing. The bristles can also adsorb mouth odours and other kinds of unpleasantness you might find lurking between your lips and behind your gums. While the science is currently still out on the subject of activated charcoal toothpaste and toothbrushes, the principle behind the idea is at least somewhat sound. Whether activated charcoal will remove the toxins you build up every day during a good cleanse is another question. Activated Charcoal certainly won’t harm anyone, and given all the before and after pics flying around, I might just give it a try- how about you?

Saharasplash x

This is a sponsored post, all thoughts and views my own

A few of my favourite things

As I’m writing this post I can’t help but hear Julie Andrews singing in my ear, but there definitely could be worse songs to have in your head all day! I thought it was about time I did a roundup post of everything I am loving right now, from my favourite pyjamas to what I’m reading. Sound fun? Here are a few of my favourite things…

I’ve recently redecorated the master bedroom and I just love it. The chunky knit throw is from The Range and the blush tone suede pillows are from George, Asda. I’ve taken to making my bed each morning which I have never done before in my life- maybe there is an age you reach and suddenly realise the importance and satisfaction of this task??

TU Alice in Wonderland pyjama set: £16

Every time I see Alice in Wonderland products, it’s in my shopping bag faster than the white rabbit. This gorgeous pale blue pyjama set is from TU by Sainsburys and is £16. Super soft and definitely needed after an evening’s work on the sofa with cake and tea.

Hunkemoller push up bra: £30

My favourite bra right now is this stunner from Hunkemoller: it’s the Samara underwired push up bra, which does up at the front, super handy! This just moulds to my shape and I often forget I’m wearing a bra when I wear it- such a pretty design too.

The life-changing magic of tidying by Marie Kondo: £12.99

It’s no secret that my organisation skills have been somewhat hectic my entire life, then I watch a show on Netflix based on this book. My wardrobes, drawers and the way I see my possessions has entirely changed, and I can honestly say that Marie Kondo is to thank for this. If you haven’t jumped on the ‘KonMari’ bandwagon, I highly recommend you see what it’s all about, especially if you are crap at keeping your house and home tidy!

Pandora Sentimental Snapshots Charm: £40

This Mother’s Day I was truly spoiled, and I now have another charm to add to my collection. This is my most favourite yet, as it looks just like an Olympus Pen camera!

Bioglan Beauty Collagen gummies: £18.99

My health has taken a big hit since having Alice in many ways. I try to stay on top of eating a balanced diet and taking care of my skin, so these beauty collagen gummies from Bioglan are the first thing I reach for in the mornings (they’re on my night stand). No effort except a strawberry treat that will help top up collagen levels and to support healthy hair, skin and nails.

Image Skincare recovery mask: £40 (5 pack)
Image Skincare Rose Quartz face roller: £25

The last stop on my list of favourite things is by far the most relaxing. I am loving Image Skincare’s range of products, here I am using their Rose Quartz face roller and recovery face mask. The mask is wonderful on my sensitive skin, and after the magic has absorbed into my skin, I am left feeling rejuvenated and glowing.

If there is anything you see in this post that I haven’t mentioned where it’s from, leave a comment below and I’ll share all my secrets!

Saharasplash x

Style Feature: four bold looks this spring

If there’s one thing you want to do to stand out this season, it’s definitely stay away from florals. Florals in Spring, although are quite lovely, don’t make as big of an impact as you might want for a special event or wedding invitation. So here’s why I’ve written a handy style feature: four bold looks this Spring. I’ve chosen four outfits and matched them to a pair of shoes and bag so you are all set to go. Take a look at the quartet below and I’ll go through what I’ve picked out to help create a fierce, confident outfit…

Outfit 1: In the Navy

I just love matching a cobalt blue with neon yellow or lime. You will be seeing a lot of neons this year all the way through to the end of summer, so get ahead of the trend and start wearing it in Spring. There’s just something about the right sort of party shoes when pairing with a cropped jumpsuit. And if you get a bag to match too, the whole thing just sings.

Playsuit: I Saw It First
Shoes: Quiz Clothing
Bag: Boohoo

Outfit 2: Spilled Vino

If there’s one pattern that goes well with a dark red it’s leoprd print. Having said that, you want to make sure it’s a subtle leopard print or it might be too over the top. I’ve found these heels from Quiz Clothing that gives a flair of your inner spirit animal each time you step, plus I’ve chosen an on trend box bag to go with it.

Pantsuit: I Saw It First
Shoes: Quiz Clothing
Bag: Shein

Outfit 3: Dotty Girl

I’m starting to think I have a thing about polka dots. I wore a polka dot dress to my graduation ceremony, for my baby shower and also a lot while I was pregnant. Dots are classic and will never disappear from the high street, so why not be bold with a dotty print? I’ve matched this outfit with a textured, pearlised heel and bag for a stand out effect you can count on.

Pantsuit: I Saw It First
Shoes: Quiz Clothing
Bag: Femme Luxe Finery

Outfit 4: Sasspot

I often call my daughter Alice a sasspot these days, and although she hasn’t quite hit 18 months, I can definitely imagine her rocking this look when she’s 18 years! I found this dress in H&M just after Christmas and I’m just waiting for the right event to make its debut. I had some help picking out these accessories from my sister, who is obsessed with transparent attire at the moment. Are you brave enough to expose the contents of your bag? If yes, this outfit is for you.

Dress: H&M
Shoes: Quiz Clothing
Bag: Missguided

So there you have my style feature: four bold looks this Spring. Which one caught your eye the most? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll share your answers on my social media.

Saharasplash x

Thanks for stopping by- make sure to find my blog post featuring entertainment from the U.K. Pleasure Boys before you go!

This is a sponsored post, all thoughts and views my own.