Getting the garden summer ready.

There’s so much in the media these days about getting yourself ready for the summer, nobody needs to get their body ‘beach ready’ – if you have a body and you’re at a beach, you’re good to go! One thing that does need a bit of work to get ready for the summer though, is your garden. When the evenings are longer and lighter, the garden is the most popular place (after a beer garden!) to spend time in with friends and family.

During the summer evenings when I’m at home, we like to have a family barbecue, get the burgers and the Pimms out, get the music on our Sonos speakers in the garden and just relax. As well as the barbecue, we have a chiminea which we light when it starts to get dark and then we like to sit around it – the cat even finds it fascinating too, she loves watching the flames flickering!

When you’re having people round, you want to get your garden in tip-top condition so it’s a good idea to look into some lawn edging and some pretty plants – honeysuckle always makes the garden smell amazing. We recently got some new garden furniture from Amazon which we use under the gazebo – it’s also a great idea to get some solar powered lights, they can really give the garden a great atmosphere.

When it comes to barbecue food, I like to keep an eye on Pinterest – I have a whole board dedicated to barbecue recipes that I want to try out.

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Last week I was invited along to Tortilla which is situated in Grand Central, which is the newly opened shopping centre above Birmingham New Street station. As well as a new John Lewis, a Tiger and a MAC store amongst Grand Central’s shops, there’s also an impressive food court. I’ve only eaten at a couple of the places in Grand Central before and have always overlooked Tortilla in favour of restaurants that I already know and love, so it was exciting to try something new.

I took Tom along with me who is a big fan of burritos and we were greeted by the manager Mark who was really friendly and welcoming. Mark talked us through the different options on the menu and explained each ingredient thoroughly so we could decide what we wanted to have; he then made our burritos in front of us which was great – it’s always nice to see your food being prepared. We both went for large burritos with coriander rice, however I went for the barbacoa beef and Tom decided to have the carnitas pork. I then added some salsa verde and monterey jack cheese before Mark wrapped the burrito up in the foil.

I’ve never really had a burrito before and I didn’t know what to expect, I was very pleased with my meal (as you can see from the photo above where I’m gazing longingly into my burrito with half of my lipstick missing!) and will definitely be visiting again. The beef was cooked perfectly and I really enjoyed the coriander rice; I wish I’d had some sour cream and some jalapenos on my burrito now, but there’s always next time! Tom went all out with the black beans, onions and peppers and salsa so he ended up having to eat his with a knife and fork! I washed my burrito down with a frozen margarita which was delicious and refreshing, I highly recommend you try one!

 

 

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I’m still completely obsessed with the colour yellow and have been buying everything I can find in the colour. Yellow seems to be everywhere this season, there’s even yellow suits for men over at Noose and Monkey! This River Island bag came to me via Octer which is a really great new website to help you to browse hundreds of websites at once to find the one thing that you’re looking for.

As this bag is quite small, I like to stick to the bare minimum so that things aren’t hanging out over the top. I always carry my Fossil purse around with me, I’ve had this for over a year now and it’s still in great condition with just a bit of wear to the leather.

I probably don’t need that many lip products but I would usually have more, these are just a few that I picked out for the smaller bag. I have Nyx Lip Lingerie in Embellishment which is a gorgeous matte liquid lipstick in a muted grey/purple/mauve tone and then there’s a NYX Matte Lip Cream in San Paulo which is a bright pink although not too bright for everyday wear and finally, I have MAC’s matte lipstick in Stone which is a grey/brown and one of my favourites.

I always make sure I have a hand cream on me as even in the summer my hands get a bit dry. This Lanolips hand cream was in a recent Birchbox and although it’s not something that I would usually buy (I love the Body Shop’s Hemp range), it’s a great product!

I don’t go anywhere without my Kindle, I’m a massive bookworm and always have to have something to read. I’ve had my kindle for almost 5 years now and I couldn’t live without it although I would like to make the switch to a Kindle Paperwhite which would be more convenient when travelling overnight.

 

how to be prepared forOne thing that you have to think about when you move out on your own/move in with a partner is having an emergency fund, just in case anything goes wrong. Unfortunately, it’s not always that easy to have a lump sum sat away for an emergency.

I’ve tried to have an emergency fund, however it’s not worked out very well as I’ve been between jobs and haven’t been paid for a couple of months and I’m also paying off a holiday, so when a situation arose recently that I needed some money for, I was a bit stuck. I’ve recently moved in with my boyfriend and we had a bit of a problem with the vacuum breaking down on us. A vacuum is the sort of thing that you really can’t live without, especially when your home has a cream carpet! It’s really hard to keep the place clean and tidy if your vacuum isn’t working so we really needed to get it sorted as soon as possible. We ended up raiding our savings and buying a new one, however it would have been so much more convenient if we had known just how easy it is to get a payday loan.

There are plenty of places that offer payday loans, however Vivus offers loans from between £100 and £300 which is perfect for situations like this when you just need a little bit to cover an unexpected bill or the breakdown of a household appliance. It’s really important that when you’re getting a loan, you only borrow what you need and that you know you can pay it back.