Little Gold Diary

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Why I Hate to Love MISSGUIDED?

I remember when I first started shopping at Missguided many moons ago and the clothes were super cheap (think Primark prices pre 2009), the sizing was off, and the material felt kind of cheap. Since then the quality as well as prices have gone up. To be fair it is still super cheap, especially compared to other shops and I love their clothes! Missguided has a great range and it gives you something a little different especially if I want something to wear for a night out!

So what exactly is my problem?

Their delivery is frankly crap. Basically if you spend over a certain amount (£60) and before a certain time (9pm) you get free next day delivery...FREE and NEXT DAY!

This sounds great right...wrong! I have rarely received a next day delivery on time. I could order at 9am the day before or 6pm - this doesn't seem to make any difference?

Even when I've paid the £5.00 for next day delivery service, the service hasn't been any better!

Solution- Dear Missguided, don't offer free next day delivery if you can't guarantee it. We'll love you a lot more for it and imagine the joy if we do get it the next day!

So I am reluctantly coming to terms with the fact that Missguided next day delivery actually means 2-3 working days. I have never paid for their standard delivery but I dread to think when the items would come, if at all.

So why am I still a loyal customer?

After the long wait....it's here. I'm excited! I open my parcel, try on all my fresh clothes, and oooh a pretty pink voucher offering me 10% off my next order! Alas, weeks later all is forgiven and forgotten and I find my self surfing the new in section and oh there it is, free next day delivery if I spent £60, maybe I'll add a few more bits to my basket!

And this is why I hate to love Missguided!


Clearly happy in my latest Missguided LBD


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Tuesday, 5 January 2016

52 Week Money Challenge


First post of the year is about the Benjamins or the pound coins in this case!

So last year my husband and I really got into Dave Ramsey. He is a shouty American who lectures about being Debt Free and saving for retirement and I love it! He uses 7 specific baby steps and there are so many success stories of individuals and families who are now debt free. It's all very interesting and motivating especially if you are interested in saving money or paying off debt. I recommend giving him a Google! (I sound like they paid me to say this - sadly they did not) Also, that's not really what this post is about.

Through watching YouTube videos about Dave Ramsey, Debt and saving I heard about the 52 week money challenge.

It sounded doable and I was excited by the payoff at the end of the year ( £1378 to be exact). I am starting my challenge in January but to be honest you can start at any point.

So how does it work? I have included a table below which is pretty self explanatory. Most of the tables I found online were for dollars so I just replaced the $ with a £ - genius...not.

Once a week you put money in a jar. In week 1 you start with £1, week 2 in goes £2, week 3 you put in £3 and so on until week 52 when you put in the final £52!

The 52 Week Money Challenge
WeekDepositTotal SavedWeekDepositTotal Saved
1£1.00£1.0027£27.00£378.00
2£2.00£3.0028£28.00£406.00
3£3.00£6.0029£29.00£435.00
4£4.00£10.0030£30.00£465.00
5£5.00£15.0031£31.00£496.00
6£6.00£21.0032£32.00£528.00
7£7.00£28.0033£33.00£561.00
8£8.00£36.0034£34.00£595.00
9£9.00£45.0035£35.00£630.00
10£10.00£55.0036£36.00£666.00
11£11.00£66.0037£37.00£703.00
12£12.00£78.0038£38.00£741.00
13£13.00£91.0039£39.00£780.00
14£14.00£105.0040£40.00£820.00
15£15.00£120.0041£41.00£861.00
16£16.00£136.0042£42.00£903.00
17£17.00£153.0043£43.00£946.00
18£18.00£171.0044£44.00£990.00
19£19.00£190.0045£45.00£1,035.00
20£20.00£210.0046£46.00£1,081.00
21£21.00£231.0047£47.00£1,128.00
22£22.00£253.0048£48.00£1,176.00
23£23.00£276.0049£49.00£1,225.00
24£24.00£300.0050£50.00£1,275.00
25£25.00£325.0051£51.00£1,326.00
26£26.00£351.0052£52.00£1,378.00

I can already tell I'm really going to struggle in week 10 (March for me) when I hit double figures but the pay off for me is worth it, if I can do it.

I have also seen people do it the other way around, starting week 1 at £52 and working their way down but that's a little too rich for my blood right now so I am stating small and working my way up. 

If you are looking for a savings challenge feel free to get involved! 
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Monday, 9 November 2015

Arbonne Review

One of my best friends, Ann Marie, had recently starting selling Arbonne products and she invited a bunch of us to a party to try out the products and tell us more. I am not an expert on anything beauty and I am always happy to receive recommendations and try new products because I haven’t found products that work perfectly for my skin, which tends to be on the oily side.

I hadn’t ever heard of Arbonne so I had no pre-conceptions. Ann-Marie explained that the products were made from 100% natural ingredients, with no nasty chemicals or artificial ingredients. This sounded good to me as I have recently started using natural products on my fro (coconut oil, Jamaican castor oil…etc) and I am starting to feel the benefits.

Anyway, we started off by going to the bathroom to use the Gentle Daily Cleanser to remove our makeup. We then got to try out a series of creams, lotions and potions as well as makeup bits. Gentle Daily Cleanser (£18) was one of my favs as I only needed to use a little, which then lathered up and my makeup came clean off without leaving my face feeling dry. As I have just bought the Clinique cleansing balm which will last me more than a few months this purchase will have to wait.

Overall I wasn’t convinced by the makeup, although the prices weren’t too far away from the prices I would pay at somewhere like MAC and it is all natural, I felt the shades of some of the products weren’t particularly suitable for my skin tone. However I absolutely loved the Makeup brush set (£30). The brush set contained 6 brushes (Liquid Foundation, Powder, All Over Eye, Shading, Slant and Cheek) and the brushes felt full, soft and luxurious. I usually buy my brushes from E.L.F cosmetics (which sadly seems to have taken a hiatus from selling in the UK) and Real Techniques and I find it quite hard to find brushes that are as affordable, lasting and as good as these ranges so definitely going to try these out despite the higher price point.

I had a great night drinking rose and trying out everything. I haven’t purchased anything yet but lucky for me Ann-Marie gave me a package of Arbonne products for my birthday! Yay!! She gave me some soothing eye gel, invigorating body cleanser and Ultra hydrating hand crème. I believe all 3 products are part of the FC5 range.












I have waited a few months so I can give my honest thoughts on all 3 products after using them. Please note, the sizes I received were gifts, so they are smaller than the sizes on the website. All the products had a similar scent. They smelt how I would expect natural products to smell; light, fresh, fruity and earthy. I usually like strong scented vanilla, coconut or tea tree type scents so it wasn’t typically what I go for, but this scent is very light so I can't see anyone not liking this.

I will be honest I don’t usually use eye gel and I didn’t use this one lots. It is described on the packaging as cooling and it did feel cold when I put it under my eyes but I didn’t see any benefits, but this might be because I don’t particularly suffer from puffy eyes or dark circles so it’s not something I would use anyway. I do wash regularly however, despite the recent stories in the media that say we should only wash 2-3 times a week (insane!!). Anyway, the Invigorating body cleanser left my skin feeling smooth, probably smoother than my usual body wash. It lathers well so you only need a small amount, my small tube has really lasted me and I would consider buying the full size amount which is about £22. However, as mentioned before I love strong scents and as this was a little on the light side for me, I will probably stick to my shower gel which costs less than a fiver and smells coconuty and yummy.

Out of the Arbonne products I tried a definite purchase would be the Ultra hydrating hand crème. I am constantly using anti-bac and hand cream and not only was it the perfect size, but it moisturised my hands without being oily or sticky. My only complaint would be, I would want to repurchase the one that I got as a present (60ml) but having looked on the website there doesn’t seem to one of a similar bag friendly size.

To conclude, I would definitely purchase from the Arbonne range, and recommend some of the products that I have tried to my friends. I am lucky as I don’t suffer too much with any skin ailments or allergies so I can use and try cheaper products, which are probably full of all sorts of suspicious chemicals (but smell so good). I can imagine for anyone with sensitive skin or anyone conscious about what ingredients are used in their cosmetics this would be a god send. You can also get a 20% discount off all orders, if you sign up as a preferred client (£18 per year), which works out cheaper in the long run.

If you are interested here is Ann-Marie's website ( http://Ann-MarieSmith.arbonne.com ) and I hope she doesn't mind but here is a picture of her (nice to put a face to a name)!



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Sunday, 21 June 2015

Gymkhana - Michelin Star Indian Food

So my love of food is ridiculous and once a year or so, my husband and I splash out and go to a fancy restaurant. This year we decided to go for my birthday and we were torn between award winning Japanese restaurant ROKA or Michelin Star Indian Restaurant Gymkhana. Having heard lots about ROKA this was the safer bet, so naturally we decided to take a risk and go to Gymkhana.

Until about the age of 18 I was the fussiest eater and my heart bleeds at all the delicious meals I missed out on by not trying new foods. After meeting my husband my culinary palate has expanded from Nandos Lemon and Herb to Nandos extra hot. Coming from Uganda, our traditional meals aren't particularly spicy so I just wasn't used to HOT food. It made my lips and mouth burn, so I always played it safe. My parents always added hot sauce to their meals (big up Encona West Indian hot sauce) but I was a spice wimp. But I tried my mother-in-laws spicy Jollof rice (a nigerian dish) - it would be rude not too- and the flavors were so delicious I pushed through the burn and I haven't looked back!

So back to Gymkhana...the week before my birthday we tried to book a table but obviously they were fully booked so we were added to a waiting list and booked ROKA instead. I am so indecisive that things are often lastminute.com as I always worry that I will make the wrong choice. ROKA has 5 branches in London so it was a little easier booking a table. 2 days before a table had opened up so we were now going to Gymkhana.

When trying somewhere new, if money permits I think it is a great idea to do the tasting menu if the choices work for you, as you get to try a range of things. I eat more or less everything so it usually works for me. We opted for the tasting menu at Gymkhana which was 7 courses for £65 or £120 with wine per person. We chose the wine pairings. On entering there were 4 staff at the reception giving a somewhat frosty reception. Yes we have a reservation, yes we have enough money to pay for the meal, please seat me and feed me. We were led downstairs to our table.  I love the decor of this place. It's dark wood, leather seats, indian rug and a deer head (not real I hope) on the wall. It is what I imagine, an expensive members only club would look like with old men swirling whiskey and wiping crumbs off their beards with £50 notes (because that is clearly what happens in places liked that). The dim lighting wasn't picture friendly (their normal cliental probably doesn't take food pics or selfies) but alas I tried so please excuse the bad quality.

The food was flavoursome, moreish and each wine tasted better than the last (naturally). My favourite dishes were the Potato Chat Chickpeas and the Achari stone bass tikka and my least favourite was the quail kebab, it just has a very strange texture. Apart from that I couldn't fault any of the courses.

Sometimes, with tasting menus, you get a smearing of food on each plate, but there was so much food, that we could barely eat the final course before desert. We were tipsy and extremely full by the time we left. I have never tried Indian food like this before and if anyone knows a cheaper alternative let me know as although as my stomach craves another trip my wallet says 'Nah Fam'.

















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Birthday Outfit - Gemini Baby

Sleek Lipstick in DARE
Lasercut black dress by RARE FASHION 
Pyramid Pearl Earrings by ASOS
Snake Skin Clutch Bag by ASOS
Kalia Heels by PUBLIC DESIRE
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