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Friday, 21 September 2018

4 Tips For First Time Landlords*

One thing I would absolutely love to achieve in the future is not only owning my own home but also owning multiple properties and becoming a landlord. That might seem a little random and far fetched but property is such a brilliant way of investing your money and I've been interested in it for a long time now, saving as much as possible for the future and putting it towards something like this. As I've been renting for a good few years now, I already have some ideas of things I'd need to do if I ever get the chance to rent out property so here are some of the basic tips I'll be taking on board, and some of my experiences as a tenant too.
Bedroom, bed, lamp, pink and white

Read up on the law

It's vital you know all the rules and regulations around when it comes to renting out a property. Have a thorough read over all the legislation so you know exactly what you're doing and know it's the right thing for you and your family. Make sure you look in safety regulations too as you must ensure any tenants in the property are safe. Several check should be done before renting - smoke alarms fitted, gas safety certificate, a working water supply, checks of electrical systems and appliances etc.

Insurance

There are lots of challenges that you'll have to deal with when you become a landlord, from unexpected loss of rental income if a tenant leaves to damage on your building or possessions. Getting the right insurance is vital to ensure you're protected in case anything does go wrong during your time renting out a property. One company to consider is homelet.co.uk who are there for you every step of the way, offering help and advice, aswell as specially tailored products to make your job as a landlord easier. They can give you the peace of mind that if something happens, you won't be the one left footing the bill. Their insurance policies, designed just for landlords has affordable and comprehensive protection with the ability to add optional extras so you can arrange cover which suits you perfectly.

Decorating 

When you first buy the home you're intending to rent out, getting the decor and furnishing right can really help you secure a tenant. A few things to consider, neutral is usually the best way to go as it appeals to more people and goes with most furniture meaning tenants can add their own touch too. Cheap, light carpets might seem more appealing but aren't as likely to last and require more cleaning in between tenants, go for a more mid tone carpet which shouldn't show as many marks, great for bedrooms. It's entirely your choice if you choose to rent your property furnished or unfurnished but if choosing to include furniture in the rent cost, aim to cover the main rooms and don't go for things too out there! We're quite lucky that over time we've been able to replace most of the furniture that was in our flat originally for things more to our taste but at first having those few bits were a massive help, and I'm sure would be for anyone trying to move on a budget! On the other hand, I think it's important to be flexible when it comes to the tenant re-decorating themselves. Whilst yes you own the place and have the ultimate say, unless you're wanting to change tenants regularly, letting them make their own changes to make the place feel a bit more like theirs and somewhere they're comfortable and happy living in, can only benefit everyone.

Establish a good relationship with your tenants

I think it's so important to establish a good relationship with your tenants. They're living in your property so you want to know they're going to look after it and they want to feel secure and like they can come to you with any property problems. As a landlord you can listen to any of your tenants concerns, ensure any issues are sorted in a timely manner but on the other hand, also don't feel you need to be constantly checking up on them. We're lucky that our landlord leaves us to it and in our nearly 4 years of living in this flat, I've personally seen him a handful of times. Whilst we know it isn't technically our home, he's never made us feel that we can't be comfortable here or that we have to worry. If you can build a good relationship with your tenants, you'll feel far more comfortable putting your trust in them to look after the property.

Do you have any tips for first time landlords? or any experience? I'd love to hear!

#MyFirstRentalHome

*This post is in collaboration with Homelet

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Food I Have Been Loving This Week #30

Now it's not as warm and we're actually really getting into Autumn, I've been really enjoying getting back into the kitchen, cooking up some of my favourites and indulging in some of my favourite warm desserts too. When it's hot, I lose all inspiration when it comes to meal planning, so I am in my element at the moment now it's colder and we're into the best few months of the year.
Millies Cookies, Nandos Chicken, Apple Crumble, Bacon flatbreads, Spaghetti Carbonara, Lolas Cupcakes, Chicken Lasagne
Slow cooker Nandos chicken - This has been such a favourite of mine ever since we got a slow cooker. It's one of the most simple meals, literally put in 2 chicken breasts and a pouch of Nandos sauce (usually £1 in supermarkets), a little bit of water and leave on high for 4 hours. The chicken just breaks apart beautifully after a few hours and it really requires no effort. I've been loving it recently with a jacket potato, halloumi, coleslaw and some Nandos perinaise.

Homebaked Millies Cookies - I'm pretty sure I mentioned actual Millies Cookies in the last post like this, but as I've now discovered you can bake them yourselves at home, I had to include them in this post too. I'd seen them in Iceland originally, the white chocolate and the milk chocolate but for about £3 each which I'm just not going to pay so when I spotted them for only £1 a box in Heron Foods, I stocked up. These have been so great to pop in the oven when we've been in need of a sweet treat but not had much in.

Bacon and halloumi flatbreads - Halloumi is just the best cheese isn't it? I'd not been able to get it in our online shop for months, it was absolutely ridiculous but a few weeks ago, it finally came back to me. A favourite of ours at the weekend is bacon and halloumi flatbreads, I could eat another right now. I'm pretty much finding any excuse to put halloumi with a meal now it's finally back in stock at Asda!

Chicken Lasagne - Ahh I absolutely love this meal! I posted a recipe for it a long time ago but until recently it's not been something we have often. I love a classic lasagne or if we're going to have a pasta dish, it tends to be something like spaghetti but a few weeks ago I really fancied this and we've ended up having it quite a few times since. It's so tasty, the creamy white sauce is my favourite and you can't beat loads of cheese on top.

Lola's Cupcakes - Whenever George goes to London for work, he always tries to bring something back and recently after a day there, he picked up some Lola's cupcakes and they were absolutely delicious! I had the black bottom cheesecake cupcake, I've wanted to try it for ages but I've not seen it anywhere before, and it totally exceeded my expectations. The chocolate cake was so soft and the cheesecake, so creamy. Amazing!

Apple Crumble - Now it's got a bit cooler, I am all about the warming meals and hot desserts. I had like an intense need for apple crumble recently so we picked one up from M&S and I think it may be the best apple crumble I've ever eaten. It's just heaven with custard on top!

Spaghetti Carbonara - Another meal I can't get enough of recently. Anything with pasta is a winner for me and this is so quick and easy which is even better. It's so good with crispy bacon on top and garlic bread on the side.

Do you have any favourite meals to make in Autumn?

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Thursday, 20 September 2018

Simple x Little Mix Rich Moisture Sheet Mask Review

Okay so I went a little bit face mask mad when I was in Manchester but sometimes you need to just have a day where you treat yourself. August was such a brilliant month for me since going self-employed so when I was in the Arndale Centre I took full advantage of the plethora of shops available. Though I got quite a few different face masks, one that stood out to me straight away was the new sheet mask from Simple.
Simple x Little Mix Rich Moisture Sheet Mask - flatlay, flowers
This is a rich moisture sheet mask, which after trying the Garnier Moisture Bomb Mask a while ago, I've become a real fan of, and it's part of their new range with Little Mix. The range also contains a facial wash, micellar water, micellar wipes and an eye make up remover but the thing that interested me was the face mask. I love having things like this to hand for a pamper evening and it's something I personally don't think you can ever have enough of.

The first thing I want to mention about this is the packaging - it's gorgeous! I find a lot of the time I don't tend to reach for Simple skincare because it's quite basic and to be honest just doesn't stand out to me compared to other brands but they've got it so right with the packaging and design of this range. It's fresh and exciting and is really noticeable in the store.

This Simple Rich Moisture Mask is supposed to be perfect for dry and dehydrated skin as it infuses active nutrients in your skin and is enriched with a blend of botanical extracts and moisturising ingredients. In terms of applying the mask, for a sheet mask, it was incredibly easy. I've tried a few recently and a lot of the time I find they're massive and I struggle to get them to stay on my face properly but this was pretty much perfect. It contours the face really well and soon becomes like a second skin as it's so soft, leaving it on for the recommended 15 minutes was no problem at all. It had a very fresh scent, nothing too overpowering and it left my skin feeling incredibly soft and cleansed after removing. With any excess product from the mask, you can either wipe away with a cotton pad or massage into your skin, I did the latter and whilst I did notice it was a little sticky at first, this soon went away and as I said, I was left with the softest skin soon afterwards and I felt really refreshed. As I have quite sensitive skin I always worry with face masks how I'll react to them but this was absolutely fine, my skin didn't feel irritated in any way and I could just really feel the benefits. 

I'm so impressed with this mask and I'll definitely be picking more up in future. It's currently on offer too at Superdrug for just £1.45 so it's well worth trying whilst it's available! It's a perfect addition if you're in need of a pamper night!

Have you tried anything from the Simple x Little Mix range?

*Affiliate links used in this post

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Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Behind The Scenes Of A Blogger Tag

It's been a while since I last got tagged in a post like this so I was really happy to see one of my blogging faves Louisa had nominated me to take part in the #BehindTheScenesOfABloggerTag. It was one I'd never heard of before so feel free to take part if you want to answers the questions too.
Flatlay, face mask, biscuits, magazines, flowers
Who inspired you to create a blog and publish blog posts?
There wasn't anyone in particular really. I'd read a few beauty blogs in the past but never thought it was something I would do. Then I left uni and had pretty much nothing to do! I'd just started experiencing anxiety, couldn't find a job and just needed something to fill my time, and this was the thing I decided to go for.

How long have you been blogging for now?
It's been over 4 years now! I never expected when I published my first shocking post that it would be something I'd carry on with for more than a few months let alone years later.

Have you had any other blogging websites?
Not that I can remember.

Where do you see yourself and your blog in 5 years time?
I honestly have no idea. Whenever I try to come up with some sort of rough plan, it just doesn't work out. I'd like to think we'll have moved house and have a much longed for dog, it would be nice to finally have overcome my anxiety too, but I'm sure I'll still be blogging through it all. I never expected to one day be able to go self-employed with my blog and whilst it's not 'full time' I'd love for it to be one day so who knows really.

What message are you trying to get across with your blog?
I don't think I have a message really with my blog. It's just always been a place for me to talk about whatever I want and get my feelings out. If people take something from my blog or leave feeling happy then that's lovely but I definitely don't actively aim to spread any sort of message with it, it's just for me really.

Do people from school, college, uni or work find your blog?
As far as I'm aware most family know about it, friends and people I went to school with tend to see tweets or Insta stories I post so they'll know of it but to be honest I don't think most people care! I still think blogging is something people don't understand so I don't really receive much support or acknowledgement from a lot that do know. It used to bother me the thought of people I knew, from wherever, finding my blog but it's only improved over the years and I'm proud of it, so I'm really not fussed anymore.

What does your username mean?
It all comes from the film 'Love and Other Drugs'. I had no idea what to name my blog and George and I both came up with a few ideas and then as we were watching that film at the time, he came up with Food and Other Loves. At the time I was just starting a blog to post recipes so I thought it was brilliant, I still do. I couldn't imagine it as anything else now!

Who are your favourite bloggers?
I have so many, I feel like I'm going to miss so many out. Chloe from I'm Just A Girl for all the travel inspo and advice, Hannah from Luxury Blush for fab beauty reviews, Jenny from Jenny In Neverland for an abundance of book reviews and Jordanne from The Life of A Glasgow Girl for a collection of amazing posts. Honestly there are loads though, I couldn't possibly list them all!

My nominations:
All the 4 bloggers I've just mentioned! Feel free to copy the questions if you want to have a go too though.

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