My Christmas Stocking Fillers

I’m writing this blog post on my birthday as it’s when this time passes that I officially start feeling the Christmas spirit! For this reason, I’ve decided to give you a sneak peek into some of my Christmas stockings fillers this year, so have a nosy and enjoy!

  • Lip balms

I find these are such an easy “go-to” for stocking fillers. They’re small, handy and can be used anywhere at any time, especially during the winter months. These are my personal favourites this year:

I love all Jelly Belly lip balms so it seemed a great idea to grab this pack of 8 for my sister! I think Cherry Blue and Tangerine are such original flavours that I might have to borrow them from time to time aha!

My Christmas Stockings Fillers You can find these in Claire’s for £12.

I also spotted these two hilarious lip balms in the cosmetic section in Primark. It’s a “Christmas Pudding” lip balm and a “Christmas Dinner” themed lip balm. I thought these would make such festive little gifts and are bound to put a smile on the face of the receiver!

My Christmas Stockings Fillers

My Christmas Stockings Fillers

You can find these in Primark for £1.50 each.

  • CDs and DVDs

When you know somebody well, I think CDs and DVDs are such a great gift! Shows that you’ve thought of something that they’d love and it’s something that can be enjoyed over and over.

“NOW that’s what I call….” CDs have always been prominent in our lives. I personally love their “NOW that’s what I call music” but until I started researching, I had no idea that they also did “Classic Soul” and “Driving Rock.” These are definitely gifts that will appeal to my in-laws!

My Christmas Stockings

My Christmas Stockings

Both Classic Soul and Driving Rock retail at £7.98

In terms of films and DVDs, well 2017 has really spoilt us this year. From Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” and Universal Picture’s “Despicable Me 3” to more mature and action filled films like “Spider-Man” and “Wonder Woman!” I’ve chosen Wonder Woman on blu-ray as a stocking filler as not only has my boyfriend not seen it but it’s the second best selling film of the year so has to be amazing, right?

My Christmas Stockings Fillers

Wonder Woman is available on bluray for £13.30.

  • Stationary

Ok, how could I not have put this here? Everybody loooves a good bit of stationary!

Stabilo are always rocking it with their stationary but when I saw these 6 highlighters I fell in love. They’re so dainty and have really cute quotes across them such as “tres chic” and “Be youtiful.” I just think they’re so adorable and people of all ages would appreciate this! Still debating who to give it to actually!

My Christmas Stocking Fillers

My Christmas Stocking Fillers

These pastel love highlighters are on Amazon for £8.71 

  • Books

I think you really can’t go wrong with books. I personally got a book today for my birthday and I’ve got two books for my mum’s present and my little brother’s.

Because my brother is quite a “deep” reader, I thought this would make for a light-hearted, cute little stocking filler for him to enjoy and look through in his own time. I love that books can be catered to different ages and personalities, there are so many talented authors out there!

My Christmas Stockings Fillers

Barry Loser’s Christmas Joke Book can be found on Amazon for £4.98

What are your go-to stocking fillers? Have you sorted all yours yet? Let me know in the comments below!

The Frugal Frenchie x

*Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post, however some products were offered in exchange for a review and this post may contain affiliates

How to avoid coffee and energy drinks forever

As somebody who drinks neither fizzy drinks, energy drinks, tea or coffee, I thought that it would be as good a time as ever to share my go-to energy source and teach you all how to avoid coffee and energy drinks forever and save money! It’s a win-win!

Being a student can often involve 9am lectures, people complaining of hangovers and seeing Red Bulls or Starbucks coffees everywhere. As we get older, we just seem to get worse; having a coffee to wake us up, keep our energy going and as a social activity.

What’s my secret?

I don’t know why, but with age, the smell of fresh coffee actually disgusts me more and more. As for fizzy drinks, I find them overpriced and I only like them when they’re flat anyway (is that weird?). Because of this, it’s easy to find myself at times feeling tired in the middle of the day or needing a burst of energy. How do I do this? With…..

How to avoid coffee and energy drinks forever

Fizz sticks!

What are they? How do you use them?

These are absolutely amazing! Rather than getting a load of caffeine, fat from milk and a large sugar intake, this allows you to get all your energy as well as contributing to your vitamin B and pantothenic acid intake and helping your metabolism. It does so through the antioxidants and natural ingredients. Using them is so simple: all you do is add 1 stick to 400 ml of water and stir. Yup, that’s it. 

How can they save me money?

As I’m not a coffee drinker myself, I didn’t want to assume that people spend more on coffee than they actually do, so I did as what would be expected from a 21st century gal and I tweeted it. Here are the results. Do they shock you?

*Bare in mind, that this doesn’t include the price of every coffee you make at home, this is only what people spend on the go. *

So, down to the gritty stuff.

According to the research from Buddy Loans in December 2015, we spend around £730 million a year on coffee alone! Think of all those instagram picture we see with Costa cups and so forth. The way to help the environment and save money is through fizz sticks.

For example….

  • You wake up and have a coffee at home. Total = £1.85 (according to LifeHacker).
  • The average Costa product is between £2-£3 (average £2.50). Total = £4.35
  • Let’s say you’re only a moderate coffee drinker and have a coffee at lunch and dinner only. Total = £8.05

Put this in a monthly and yearly context….

  • Monthly = £225.40
  • Yearly = £2704.80!!!!!!

This example can similarly be used with fizzy drinks. The average cost of a 500ml bottle is about £1.50, if you have about two bottles a day or combine it with coffee- you get the gist.

How to avoid coffee and energy drinks forever

In the case of fizz sticks….

  • Each individual fizz stick comes out as £1.02 (if at discount price). Take this in the morning.
  • If you’re feeling extra fatigued, you could have two max. Total = £2.04
  • Monthly = £28.56
  • Yearly = £342.72!!!!

That’s an incredible saving of £236.08!!

If you want to have a healthier substitute to these drinks, consume more water, help save the environment and save money, then give these a go! Comments are open to any questions and do get in contact for the discount.

The Frugal Frenchie x

*Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post, however this post does contain affiliate links

5 top tips for Black Friday

Black Friday! The day of sales! Or is it? Sometimes companies up their prices just before Black Friday so that they can put it down to the original price on the day and people think it’s a bargain! Don’t get caught out by it, if you know how, it can save you a lot of money, so here are 5 top tips for Black Friday.

The Frugal Frenchie x

Set a budget

  • By doing this, there’s no chance of you overspending or getting carried away by good deals. Buy what you need or what can be useful and think carefully before parting from your cash!

Wait until Black Friday for your “must-have” purchases

  • If you look through your inbox, you might see emails from companies about promotions or exclusive deals… what they’ll also do, is send you emails to remind you of items that are still in your checkout or shopping bag. If you keep items in there for a while, companies will often send you a discount code to encourage you to finish the purchase

Plan for the future

  • As is the case with Boxing Day Sales, January Sales or Cyber Monday, if you find something that you know others will like for future gifts, be it for a wedding, baptism, birthday etc. stock up while it’s at a discount!

5 top tips for Black Friday

Walk into stores and only spend cash

  • With the invention of online banking and online shopping, it’s sooo easy to spend more than you expect or plan to. If you’re rubbish at sticking to a budget, then why not physically visit stores and only bring cash with you? That way it’s impossible to go over as your purse will then be empty. I personally use this method and I find it super helpful

Compare, compare, compare

  • To avoid thinking you’re getting a bargain when in fact it’s just the retail price, compare the same or similar items on different websites. If you’re looking for a new phone for example, Carphone Warehouse, might offer a different price than EE, who has an equally good phone on offer. I’m sure you’ll be surprised at your findings!

So, everyone, that’s it! I hope you find some great bargains and if you do, let me know about them before! I’ll be posting some deals on my social media during the day too, so give me a follow there so you don’t miss out.

The ultimate girl boss playlist

It’s been a while that I’ve written a post, in fact, it almost feels like I’m starting out again after being off the scene for a while. Trust me, I’ve been here and on the game. In fact, I’ve recently started a business where social media plays a key part so because of this, and the buzz I’m still feeling about it, I thought I would share with you the ultimate girl boss playlist

Get ready to get your sass on girls!

The Frugal Frenchie x

  • “Man I feel like a woman” – Shania Twain

This was one of the first songs that I ever created a dance to at music camp and got me feeling all girly but damn proud of it!

  • “9 to 5” – Dolly Parton

Totally different but equally as motivating! Nobody likes a 9-5 so get motivated and put a stop to it! Work hard and you can achieve anything.

Remember: “Barely gettin’ by, it’s all takin’ and no givin'” so change it!

The ultimate girl boss playlist

  • “Respect” – Aretha Franklin

I’d like to think I could sing like her, but it’s never going to happen haha! So much sass and with truer lyrics never spoken, this is at the top of my list!

  • “I’m coming out” – Diana Ross

I just realised that not only is this an awesome playlist but it’s full of powerful, influential and successful women too! “Two birds with one stone,” for sure! I love this song by Diana Ross, show the world what you’re doing and what a success you’re making of yourself, you’ve earned it!

Do it: “I want the world to know, Got to let it show”

The ultimate girl boss playlist

  • “Run the world (girls)” – Beyonce

Ok, how could I not put this song in? This is my GO-TO for sooo many reasons. Women have always been underestimated in the work place and to this day still rarely get the big CEO positions. Becoming your own boss is so empowering and any women who work for themselves deserve to think they are amazing!

Go listen to these songs and feel the sass come out! What are your motivational songs? Let me know! xx


*Photo credit goes to Bets!

Talking about my job at Primark

After my previous post explaining how I got to my current job, I thought I would follow it up by talking about my new job at Primark, including my roles and what I like/dislike about it.

Talking about my job at Primark

My official contracted job role in Primark is that I am a customer service representative. I was surprised that they put me there to be honest as I have never had any retail experience beforehand but after trying many different roles in the store during overtime, I definitely know that that’s where “I belong.”

My roles in customer service are quite vast actually. We have lots of small tasks to do, but we always have to do them simultaneously so when there’s a queue forming and we’re busy, it can end up being quite challenging. Our tasks are as follows:

Returning items

Exchanges with receipt

Exchanges without receipt

Hanging or folding all clothing we receive

Putting all other items in 25 different categories

Answering the phone and receiving instore and out-of-store calls

Making all the tannoy announcements

Going to the stock room and doing price enquiries

Arriving an hour early on Sunday’s at clearing the rails on the shop floor

In charge of lost property

In charge of staff purchases

In charge of donating things to charity or deciding whether they need to be disposed of

*Just realised that looks like a Christmas tree shape*

Talking about my job at Primark

As you can see, we really are kept on our toes. It can be stressful but there’s always something to be done and there’s never a dull moment. I also like it for the fact that I can talk to customers or more colleague as we go. Often in department work, you’re given a whole section by yourself and you spend the whole shift sorting or folding clothes with little interaction whereas, in customer service, we can hang clothes up and sort items while having a good little gossip or chat!

Don’t get me wrong though, there are some definite disadvantages. We can often get displeased customers, impatient customers, or some customers that aren’t considerate of the queue forming behind us and kick up an unneeded fuss. Oh, and we the departments certainly don’t hesitate when phoning us to do tannoys!

With that being said, I have done a lot of overtime this month, in all different areas of the store, but I’m sure that customer service is the place for me. I love interacting with customers and the challenge of multitasking combined with a good bit of socialising!

Do you enjoy your job? What does yours entail?

The Frugal Frenchie x

Diary post: my first week of university

As it’s the first week of my university experience here in the UK, I thought I would make a little diary post about it. Hopefully, this will appeal not only to my old uni friends from abroad, who are wondering what it’s like but also for anyone who is just starting university this year.

Diary post: my first week of university

Monday 25th September

Today was my first day of uni. Surprisingly, my timetable seems quite empty with actually Mondays’ being one of the “longest” days of the week. Always bright and cheerful, I started the year with a statistics (or what they refer to as EMSA) workshop and a recap test.

Although I wasn’t happy with the surprise at the time, I’m kind of glad they did one as it made me realise just how much I’ve forgotten! It’s definitely time to get those stats notes out from last year! Compared to my last university, Maastricht, I found statistics much more understandable. Don’t get me wrong, they were fab over there and so intelligent, but here, they simplify everything, gave us a workbook with exercises and a step to step guide.

I really hope they don’t teach the whole degree like this as it may get slightly patronising, but for maths-related topics, which to say the least, were never my forte, this was definitely helpful!

In my introduction lecture, I met with another girl who had transferred from the University of Winchester, so it helped that we were in the same boat. During the summer, I manage to get in contact with a girl that’s already on the course so I hope to finally meet her at some point, despite not having the same schedules.

Tuesday 26th September

Not going to lie, although my lecture today was interesting, I think it’s very irritating being at uni for only an hour. An hour?! Plus, the lecturer ended 10 minutes early so it kind of feels a little pointless.

My motivation is definitely still high and it was about personality, a topic that greatly interests me, but I can imagine in 6 months time, coming in for just 50 minutes will seem a lot more of a chore.

Nevertheless, I finally put a name to my personal tutor too which was useful. I believe I have a meeting with him in a couple of days time so hopefully, he can answer my many questions about essays and the like.

Today he covered the humanistic approach to personality which talks a lot about free will, what our desires are (self-fulfilment, worth etc.) and different theories. Really very interesting! I found one theory in particular rather curious and this was the “hierarchy of needs” (Maslow, 1943), if you’d like more information or a post about it do let me know.

Oh also, I finally met that girl I’ve been chatting on facebook with! I met with her a little earlier before the lecture and she showed me around a little. From an outside glance, the library seems a little disappointing but the new building, called the fusion building, is absolutely gorgeous!

Diary post: my first week of university

Wednesday 27th September

Well, I’ll definitely remember Wednesday’s as “science day!” From 9am until 11am every week, I will be bombarded by two hours of neuroanatomy/biopsychology. This is essentially the scientific study of the biology of behaviour.

In this lecture, seeing as it was the first one of year 2, it covered mostly a recap of everything we should already know. From the basics of “there are 4 lobes,” to a slightly more in-depth look at the components of the hindbrain, midbrain and forebrain.

It was a nice, slow start and easy to follow and understand (a relief)! I always find it difficult to take notes in a more biological lecture as there are always diagrams attached to the slides which obviously can’t be drawn out but always seem relevant and important! Still, I think it went well for a first shot.

Thursday 28th September

I spent the majority of last night doing some extra reading for today’s seminar. This will be my first ever seminar (as the concept wasn’t really used in Maastricht) and I have no idea what to expect!

It ended up being quite a short but sweet summary of Wednesday’s lecture. It did feel a little like being in primary school again, what with working in pairs etc. but I’m hoping that once the difficulty increases, I’ll appreciate that a lot more.

This afternoon, I have a long break and then have a personality seminar. It’s with the same lecturer as Tuesday and afterwards, I’ll have a meeting with my personal tutor. It’s a good time to get some focused studying done and socialise with my new friend!

The personality seminar didn’t add anything new, it mentioned a few assessment techniques with role play, but apart from that nothing of value was added. The meeting ended up being a generic one about how to behave and what not but it ended up being over an hour because of a “plagiarism checker” sheet we had to complete and a worksheet on how to practice shortening sentences. I personally hate things like that so so close to dinner, I wasn’t in the best of temperaments!

Diary post: my first week of university

Friday 29th September

Today’s another long day. To avoid walking an hour, I have to get a lift almost an hour early at the same time as the sibling’s school run. This meant a 7:15 am wake up call for a 9 am lecture. It’s difficult haha.

I had a 9-10 lecture on personality again (we have 2 hours a week per topic) and then later a lecture on statistics, from 2-3pm.

The statistics lecture was one I was dreading in all honesty. Back in Maastricht, they would go step by step but only showing us the formulas as they went. Trust me, once you reach an equation that has 5 or more steps before even reaching the point you want, it gets so confusing!

The guy who ran this lecture spoke with no microphone. He was confident, passionate and it actually put a smile on his face. Through his waffling, I could really take in what he was saying, as well as keeping on track with the slides of the presentation.

I left that lecture hall and my first week on a high!

Do you remember your first week of uni? What was it like? If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below.

The Frugal Frenchie x