ChrIstmas on a budget - How I have kept cost down

Losing my job this year and also having a Little one to buy for my purse strings were very tight. I know there will be a lot of people in the same boat as us, so thought I would share how I have managed this year.

This post is all about the ways I have kept prices down and some bargains I have found.

Boots 3 for 2 

Boots is popular this time of year for gift sets especially for the members of the family that are hard to buy for. Be careful though as some sets are cheaper to buy from elsewhere even with the 3 for 2 offer. Lynx sets for example. Boots are selling them at £6.50 making them £13 for 3 where Home Bargains have them on at £3.15 each making it only £9.45. You could buy 4 for cheaper than Boots.

I did do some bargain shopping in boots though. Last week they had their spend £50 get £10 free points. I also managed to get a bit of a glitch saving too. I bought my son a Push and learn Thomas at £20 and then I got 2 Soaper Spa Gift sets from Soap and Glory. These were in the 25 percent off sales and still in the 3 for 2 deal from £20 to £15. This is where the glitch came in it should have been £35 for the three items but when I looked at the receipt they had only charged me £30. They had put them all through at £20 each giving me the Thomas free and then discounting me £10 for the 25 percent off. So I got each set for £5!!

I also picked up a birthday gift for my mum at £21 so this made me hit the £50 total and I relieved £10 worth of free points. Amazing Day.

Boots Points 

I collect boots points throughout the year and save them for Christmas. I have £20 on there at the moment and I will use them for any last minute gifts I need to get. I have picked up a little stocking filler for my sister too, this was in the sale at £3 and I used my points so really I guess you could say it was free.

Poundland & Poundworld 

Pound world have a 4 for 3 offer on all christmas items at the moment. I always struggle with the boys in the family especially sisters other halves. This year I have decided on a Ted baker gift set ( 3 for 2) and also a gift box full of chocolate. They all have a sweet tooth. Pound World had lots of lovely gift boxes on the 4 for 3 offer so I picked out a good selection and both shops have a deal on multipack chocolates. I got a few packs of those too. I have made 4 boxes and on average they have cost me £3 each to make taking advantage of the 3 for 4 deal.

As you can see this is a popular gift my littles ones hands were straight in there. Also the Chocolate Honeycomb Block was a £1 too from Poundland.

The book selection is always good to look at in the pound shops too. I managed to find a few Disney book and CD sets. Perfect for the little girls in my family.

Charity Shops

I have been looking in all the charity shops lately as you can get some lovely items that people have never even used. The last few weeks has seen me pick up a lot of books. I picked up most books for 4 for 1. The 2 jigsaw books don't look used and will make perfect stocking fillers for little ones.

Online Christmas Deals and Discount Codes

Yesterday I ordered 3 photo diaries from Photobox from my little boy to the Grandmas. I love personal presents but they can be very expensive. I saw they had a deal on where the more you buy the less they cost I got 3 for £24 and then they wanted to charge £5.99 postage. A quick search online and I found a free delivery code.  2 weeks ago when I looked they were £14.00 each so I would have spent £42 plus delivery so sometimes it worth waiting to get a deal.

Its always worth googling the online shop you are buying from for discount codes, many times they are not shown on their site.

What bargains have you found this Christmas?

Carrieanne xx

Losing My Job and How I Have Made Money

So you may notice I haven't posted for a while that is because on the 1st of this month I got a call to say I had lost my job with immediate effect. I have a 18month old a mortgage and Christmas was round the corner and I would be losing about £1000 a month.

I could have easily sat and cried but for some reason I didn't. Not one tear. I set on a mission to make money from home. I knew I only had to make £800 from home as I could look after Grayson. If I worked from an office I would need at least £1400 a month to cover childcare.

So it is coming up to the end of the month and I thought I would tell you how much money I have managed to earn from home in the past 3 and half weeks.

Drum roll please .......... £711

So here is the breakdown and how I got onto doing it.

Matched Betting - £398
I had seen a bit about matched betting before and always thought it sounded too good to be true and too much work and never signed up. I decided to Youtube it and came across Cora Harrison's video on how see makes serious cash by doing matched betting. Here is her video explaining it! I believed her and decided to start and guess what she was right!

Ebay - 129.00
I then watched more of her videos and realised she and her partner Helen also resell on Ebay. This gave me the motivation to look through my wardrobe and guess what, I had lots of clothes and shoes I could sell. I am so happy with the money I have made and I still have lots of items listed and still to list.

Admin and Social Media work - £184.00
So this is a few things I have pushed together. I know and speak to a lot of bloggers that do social media work for companies. So I spoke to a family member who I knew who could benefit from this and did a few Saturday shifts organising their social media side and also wrote them a blog post.

Also a lot of fellow bloggers have helped me keep level headed during this time. Including Hayley, CorrineJenna, SharonKatie, Anoushka, Sarah and Amy. I have made so many good friends through this blog and I am not ready to give it up yet.

So next months mission is to make over £800 and I will update you and let you know how I have done.

So if you lose your job, please know its not the end of the world and if you put your mind to it you can earn the money from home to keep you afloat until you can find yourself another job. Also check out the Cora and Helens Youtube channel as they gave me the motivation to stick at it the last few weeks. Their smiles are infectious and they are so helpful. They are trying to get to 5k subscribers for Christmas too, so go on click the sub button and make their day.

Signing off a very happy, very motivated,  self employed

Carrieanne xx

Brantano Autumn Boots Wishlist

Ankle boots are always my go to footwear I wear them all year round. They go with everything This past 2 weeks have seen me ruin both pairs of my ankle boots the first to the rain. The sole has come away and they now talk to you (they also make a farting noise when walking in the wet which is very embarrassing). The second I dropped an open bottle of nail polish which smashed and splashed my beautiful suede boots and nothing will remove it.... Sob.

I have been looking on the Brantano website and they have a brilliant selection of ladies ankle boots so I have made myself a little wishlist.

The first boots that took my eye were the Clarks Orinoco Spice Ankle Boots. I've not had a pair of Clarks Boots since I were a child shopping for school shoes, but instantly fell in love with these. I think they will look perfect with thick black tights and dresses this Autumn.

I think a Chelsea boot is a staple for any wardrobe I love to wear them with skinny fit jeans and dresses. The Emilio Luca X  Ankle Boots would fit into my wardrobes perfectly. The size of the heel is ideal for everyday wear and I can imagine me getting a lot of wear out of these. 

These Lotus Madisyn Ankle Boots have to be my favourite I love the 2 types of material on the boots it just gives them that little bit extra. I heart this shade of brown and teamed up with a matching dark tan bag will pull an outfit together perfectly. I like to have 2 different colour boots in my wardrobe to chop and change my outfit look.

Brantano have a huge selection of womens shoes and boots what is your favourite choice of footwear?

Carrieanne xx

*this post is in collaboration with Brantano

Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X - 3 Month Update

lazer hair removal

Have you heard about the laser hair remover you can use at home? I hadn't, I thought this type of hair removal could only be done professionally. 

Well I got to give the Tria 4X a try myself and thought I would share with you my experience. First I would like to say do your research before you buy. The device can only be used on light and medium skintones and cannot be used on naturally blonde hair. 

How the device works

The Tria hair removal lasers feature the same core diode technology preferred by professional Dermatologists. This technology is proven to be more effective for permanent hair removal results compared to Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) technology. The lasers are suppose to disable the hair follicles by targeting the colour pigment at the root

For best results you are to use the Tria 4x once every 2 weeks for 3 months. Hair grows in cycles so results will not be seen immediately. This is why it is important to use over  a 3 month period. It is not a one time use product.

How to use 

Step 1
Cleanse, shave and towel-dry for the most effective treatment.

Step 2
Customise to your comfort with 5 energy levels. Start on a low setting and work your way up.

Step 3
You’re one pulse away from smooth skin. After each pulse, lift and place the tip in an overlapping pattern.

I was surprised at how easy it was to use. I read the instructions and a couple of minutes later I was doing the patch test. 

I love the fact the device is locked until it tests that your skin is a suitable shade preventing any damage being done to you skin. 

Once I held the bottom of the device over my skin the device unlocked and I was ready to use. I applied the Tria Calming Gel and set the intensity setting to 3 using the button on the top and off I went. 

I used on my legs and underarms as these are the bits I feel like constantly needs shaving. I couldn't feel any pain on my legs but the underarms I did feel some. It wasn't unbearable and over time this became less and less. 

Now I am a natural dark blonde hair girl and didn't realise until after I used the product that it may not be suitable. So some of my hairs where too light for this to work. My leg hairs are so much lighter than my underarms and I think this is why there was no pain. 

It took me about 35 mins to do both legs and my underarms so longer than shaving but if it going to stop having to shave in future months I was all for it.

The Results

So has I previously mentioned my hair is naturally a dark blonde so I wasn't expecting the best results. Having said that my legs are definitely less hairy than they were 3 months ago but I can't give up shaving just yet.

I have to say though I really impressed with the reduction of hair growth on my under arms I would say it has easily reduced by half and I think my aiming may have missed a few spots so i may be hair free in a few more months.

Because I didn't think this was a fair trial due to my hair being the wrong shade I also got my sister to try has she has naturally dark brown hair. She has only used the device 2 times on her lower legs and she too has already seen an improvement.

All in all I'm impressed with the Tria 4X and hopefully soon shaving my underarms will become a thing of the past! Damn you dark hair girls who can get totally hair free bodies without the need to shave or monthly waxing treatments as does anyone really enjoy doing this.

Ill update you in a few months time to let you know if I'm totally hair free and how my sister is reacting to it too

Carrieanne xx

*this post contains a sample sent for review all words, thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Cocktail Masterclass at Radisson Blu | The Light

radisson blu
Last Tuesday I was lucky to be invited along to a cocktail masterclass at the Radisson Blue Firelake Restaurant and Bar in Leeds.

The masterclass itself Lasts an hour to an hour an half and included in the package is a glass of prosecco, 2 cocktails and some amazing bar snacks. There is also a chance to go behind the bar and show off your own cocktail making skills. The food was absolutely delicious and at £29.95 per person for groups under 10 and an amazing £20 for groups of 10 or over, you should really check them out. 

radisson blu

radisson blu

radisson blu

What I love about the Firelake Bar is that the drinks can be tailored to you. Each classic cocktail can be transformed to something you like by adding passionfruit puree or strawberry syrup. I told him exactly what flavours I liked and the spirt and he made me an amazing drink. 

radisson blu

radisson blu

radisson blu

Would I pay to go again .... Yes I definitely would and will be suggesting this for future hen parties and birthdays as if you have 10 people I really think this is exceptional value for money. I don't think you could get the same standard of food and drink from anywhere cheaper. 

The staff were extremely helpful and friendly too. I was there a good half hour before anyone else and they put me at ease and made sure I had a drink. 

Have you been to a cocktail masterclass?? 

Carrieanne xx



I hold my hands up brows have never been my strong point. I forget how many times I’ve left the house full face of makeup without even attempting the brows I’ve tried everything in the past pencils, powders, wax you name it but I couldn’t master the strong brow look I craved for.


That was until I was invited to the Benefit Brow Event a few months ago and now I'm proud to say I love my Brows. We made friends after the longest of time. I love a few of the New Benefit Brow products but my favourite has to be their KA-BROW. 

KA-BROW is a cream gel which is said to 'easily fill, sculpt and define brows; and I have to totally agree. I like to use this to outline my brows and lightly fill in any little gaps I may have. I find it so easy to apply and can be built up if you want them really dramatic brows. 


I love the packaging on this product, the built in brush pulls out from the cap and can be turned round and placed into the lid for a bigger handle for a more precise application.


Also I have to credit this on wear time I have been able to wear this from 8am to 10pm without having to reapply which is amazing and even through it is waterproof I don't find it hard to remove with a normal cleanser.

Here are my Brows before and after.


Have you tried the new Benefit range? I know I will be testing out them all. 

Carrieanne xx

*PR sample all words and opinions are my own 

Exciting Childhood Moments

Finding A Blue packet in a pack of walkers crisps
These were the days when picking a packet of crisps was a skill. Trying to feel through the bags at the corner shop without the cashier seeing you. I was good at this I won countless packets of free crisps and even won a fiver in one.

The ‘Mr Postman’ song on SMTV Live
Yes I danced along with Cat Deeley, Ant and Dec every Saturday morning. I bloody loved that show and Still love me a bit of Dec to this day.

The Spice Girl Photo Album
I think this was the only collection I ever completed. I can remember going to school with a massive pile of the same picture of Victoria on the toilet and trying to swap with my friends. I was so happy to get the black and white picture of them all together. I must have bought 20 packs to get my final 1 but I did it and I was so smug when I did. Haven’t the foggiest what happened to them, all that money wasted.

Yes I was the girl who knew all the dance moves at the party. I would confidently dance through the entire song of Steps, Atomic Kitten even Hear’Say (What you forgot about Hear’Say). What… its not cool to sit at home taping every CD:UK and rewinding until I knew every dance move off by heart???

I don’t think it mattered what stickers or cards you were collecting the excitement when you opened the packed and you saw that holographic paper. I collected everything from football stickers to Disney ones.

Swimming  Pool Inflatable Parties
Before Health and Safety went silly birthday parties either consisted of a bouncy castle in your back garden or a swimming party and the best Pool parties were the ones with the big inflatables. These went the full length of the pool, with bits to climb on and slides.

What are things that made you happy as a child??

Carrieanne xx

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