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

What does positive body image actually mean?

Society nowadays encourages us to embrace our bodies and to commit to activities that boost our self-esteem and encourage self-care. Nevertheless, we all have those days where we experience a negative body image and feel down about ourselves. What does positive body image actually mean? Despite what you may think, it’s not actually the opposite of negative body image. Let me explain….

What does positive body image actually mean?

In psychology, we would define positive body image as:

  • Appreciation for your body and the functions that it performs
  • Accept and admire the majority of their body, including parts not in line with society’s ideals
  • Feel beautiful/handsome, comfortable, confident and happy with their body
  • They can be viewed as having an “outer glow”
  • Emphasise body assets rather than dwell on imperfections
  • They can interpret incoming information in a body-protective manner
    • Ie. they will internalise positive information and reframe or reject negative information received
  • Favourable opinions of the body
  • Respecting your body by attending to its needs and engaging in healthy behaviours
    • E.g. if you’re hungry you’ll eat and not threat over “I’ve eaten too much today I might gain weight”
  • This links to protecting  the body by rejecting unrealistic ideal body images portrayed in the media

If it’s still not very clear, here’s what positive body image isn’t:

  • Being highly satisfied with all aspects of appearance, people can still hate a certain part of their body they’ve just learnt not to emphasise that area and have learnt to counteract it with what they find positive about their bodies
  • It is most certainly not expressed as narcissism or vanity
  • Positive body image isn’t foolproof against all body image-related threats. People might still feel a bit down after seeing a very thin model in a magazine, however, they can overcome it and focus on the positives
  • It’s not linked to disengagement from self-care, sometimes, people may have a positive body image because they engage so much in self-care
    • E.g. regularly moisturising etc.
  • Another important thing to note is that positive image isn’t aided by frequent appearance-related compliments from others, confident and appreciation for one’s body has to come from oneself.

What does positive body image actually mean?

It could be said that positive body image is more body acceptance than anything. It’s really the start to loving yourself and who you are. There are other benefits though, which can only encourage us to seek positive body image even more:

  • Less depression
  • Higher self-esteem
  • Fewer unhealthy dieting behaviours
  • Lower drive for muscularity
  • Greater intentions to protect yourself from UV exposure and damage
    • This might seem like an odd one, but in many places, the ideal is also to look slightly more tanned than is our natural tone. Some people go as far as to say that people who are too pale naturally look ill, which definitely doesn’t help the situation!
    • As a result, those with a negative body image might spend time in sun beds, applying darker foundation or even spending unhealthy amounts of time in the sun, whereas those who have a positive body image won’t do such thing as they’ll want to protect their skin from damage over appealing to the ideal

It’s easier said than done to achieve a positive body image, so if you struggle severely with a negative body image, there’s help you can seek (links I’ll leave below), however, if it’s just a matter of feeling self-conscious and loving yourself a bit more, here are some tips you can try to help increase just that!

  • Engage a little more in a technique called “Protective filtering.” This is where the body is interpreted in a self-protective manner,  so you learn to filter out negative information that’s potentially harmful to your body image.
  • This mentality is slightly linked to the next technique which is called “Media Literacy,” where you critically evaluate the media’s depiction of appearance ideals and try not to internalise the ideal but instead to ignore or reject it. I’ve written out some actual examples that participants came up with in an experiment, just so you get the gist.

– “The advertisements have clearly been digitally altered.”

– “The women in the adverts had hair and make-up done by professionals.”

– “The women aren’t a true representation of women in society.”

– “The women look the way they do as it’s their job.”

– “The women might not necessarily be healthy or happy.”

  • Another thing you can do is to engage with people who have positive body image and who don’t engage in fat talk
    • By doing this, you can avoid making comparisons between peers and there’s no “reference point” established for your group-weight-norm.
  • Unconditional acceptance of any defects you might have or areas you don’t like

What does positive body image actually mean?

Remember, your size, shape, look, hairstyle… none of that defines you. Let your personality and behaviour be the things to stand out at people and let that be what you put the emphasis on when you go out. Avoid opening the makeup bag but instead, open the door to people discovering your true self.

The Frugal Frenchie x

 

Links for help (including interesting articles to read on different treatments):

 

References:

  • Tylka and Wood Barcalow, 2015 :

What is and what isn’t positive body image? Conceptual foundations and construct definition

  • Wood-Barcalow, Tylka and Augustus-Horvath, 2010 :

Positive body image characteristics and a holistic model for young-adult women

  • Gillen, 2015 :

Associations between positive body image and indicators of men’s and women’s mental and physical health

  • Andrew, Tiggemann, Clark, 2015:

The protective role of body appreciation against media-induced body dissatisfaction

  • Mirror exposure:

Delinksy et al. (2006) Mirror Exposure for Body Image                                                    Disturbance

  • Cognitive dissonance:

Stice et al. (2001) Randomised trial of cognitive                                                                    dissonance  programme

  • Acceptance and Commitment:

Pearson et al. (2012) ACT intervention for                                                                              body image and ED (eating behaviour)                                                                                      attitudes