Car boot sale

This is my second attempt at writing this post. The first was hijacked by a sleepy puppy who was insisting on cuddles on Sunday morning by laying across me and my laptop. She’s attempting to do the same again today as I write this, but we’re making it work. Puppy cuddles are something you just can’t say no to.

I wrote a post last year on my review of 2015, and as I think it’s nice to reflect on the positives for me to look back on, I thought I would do it again. So, here’s what I did last year in a nutshell:

  • The biggest one of 2016 – we finally purchased a house – after what felt like years (in reality it was only months) of searching we finally found our first home together
  • Saw Adele at the o2 in London
  • Saw Coldplay at Wembely
  • Attended a Biscuiteers lesson
  • Went on holiday to Portugal
  • Went to the Cambridge Food Night Market and ate far too much (I had ice cream to start!)
  • Set up shop at a car boot and made over £100
  • Took a trip to Singapore and Bali
  • Went on a surfing lesson in Bali
  • Visited Gili Trawangen – there are no cars on the island and it was bliss. We’ll definitely be back!
  • Got a puppy – alongside the house, this is possibly my favourite moment of 2016 / my life. She was born on the day we moved into our house which meant we just had to get her. So far she’s got more followers than me on Instagram (@cockercalledrosie)
  • Spent Christmas in our first house together




What was the first thing you did before you got ready today? Be honest here. You probably checked all of your social media accounts right? Because what could have happened in the 8 hours since you went to bed last night that’s so impossibly important that it needs to be the first task of the day?

As soon as that alarm goes off, most of us instinctively open up Instagram, check Twitter and browse Facebook.  Before we’ve even got out of bed to start the day we’ve filled up our first waking moments with social media.

The power of social media can’t be argued. It’s infiltrated our lives and changed behaviours more than any of us thought possible. Yet, we’ve become so reliant on using social media to boost our self-worth that we’ve become our own worst critic when it comes to our online personas.

What did we do before social media became such an important part of our day to day lives? Sure we didn’t know so and so from school is pregnant/engaged/married (delete as appropriate), but why do we even need to know this information? It just ends up with us comparing our lives to the next person and forgetting to celebrate our own personal victories.

I always remember a lecture I had during university from a guest tutor and he spoke about being careful with what you like on social media. He said that we’ve become a nation of ‘likers’. We like because other people have, because it’s the popular thing to do. We’ve become so immune and normalised to liking everything in our feeds; do we even know what we like anymore? It’s become something we expect. We expect to be liked and be popular online.

How did we become so obsessed with being liked on social media that we’ve started to do things just because it might look good on our social media profiles? I myself am guilty of that crime.

For me it’s Instagram where I commit most of my social media sins. Because why wouldn’t someone what to see what I’m having for dinner #foodporn, my new shoes or where I am in the world. It’s the bragging tool that’s started to rule our lives.

Deleted a post because it didn’t get many likes? Guilty. Panicked and Instagrammed an old holiday shot because I’ve not posted anything in at least 3 days? Guilty. Planned a photo opportunity because it’s the must have Instagram shot from my holiday destination of choice? Guilty.

The list goes on too. I’ve rearranged tables to get the perfect flat lay of a meal, taken bulk images to make sure I don’t run out of Instagram worthy snaps and gotten cross with my boyfriend when my outfit doesn’t fit in the grid. And do you know what all those things have in common? They weren’t fun.

Social media is forced fun. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to capture and document a moment but when it stops you from actually living in the moment that’s when the moment stops and the battle to be liked on social media begins. It’s a toxic head space to be in.

I end up not posting the ‘real life’ stuff that actually happens in my everyday life because, hey don’t want to mess up my Instagram theme now do I? It must be full of #ootd shots, delicious cocktails at fancy places and the odd holiday shot thrown in.

And let’s not get started on comparing ourselves to social media superstars. Because do you know what secretly, deep down I bet they hate how obsessed they are too.

But what if we all posted our real lives on social media? Shared what actually happens in our lives rather than those contrived shots. I bet we’d all start to do a happy dance inside rather than seeing our feeds filled with images that look like they stepped straight from the pages of a magazine. Of course there’s nothing wrong with sharing beautifully created images but when it becomes detrimental to our wellbeing and stops us having fun in real life that’s the moment it should probably stop.

Social media isn’t real life. It’s our dream life we create on a little grid or in 140 characters. We’ve seen the good social media can do. It’s an online diary. It unites us in a time of crisis. It allows us to share our thoughts and our adventures. It helps us stay connected to friends and family across the world and even make new friends. It’s an incredible tool when used positively.

But there’s a time when we all need to break free from those shackles we put on ourselves and post what the heck we want. It’s a platform to share the good, the bad and the ugly, we just need to be confident enough to do so.


Raw Chocolate BitesRaw Chocolate BitesRaw Chocolate Bites

Usually when I’m whipping something up in the kitchen my bakes often involve a whole lot of sugar and chocolate, but when I decided that I wanted to get creative the other weekend I had a healthier idea in mind. I don’t have a massive sweet tooth in that I need to eat something sweet every day, but if I do decide to indulge it usually gets out of hands and results in a big old portion.

After being inspired by a whole lot of Pinterest searches for healthy snacks I settled on making some healthy chocolate bites loosely based on both a Terry’s Chocolate Orange and Snickers/Bounty flavours.

To make both recipes you’ll need:

  • Oats
  • Medjool Dates
  • Coconut Oil
  • Orange Zest
  • Natural Peanut Butter
  • Cacao Nibs
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Desiccated Coconut

For the chocolate orange balls I used this recipe but also added a few teaspoons of honey in too to help bind the mixture together.

I then went off on a bit of a tangent and came up with my own recipe. I was originally intending to go for a more of a coconuty flavour but instead the peanut butter seems to have taken over.

So if you like nutty chocolate, a bit like a Ferrero Rocher, then this will be perfect for those cravings.

I used the following to make around 12 balls in total:

  • 170g Oats
  • 80g Chopped Medjool Dates
  • 4 Teaspoons Natural Peanut Butter
  • 3 Teaspoons Cacao Nibs
  • 1 Teaspoon Honey
  • Handful of Desiccated Coconut
  • Drizzle of Melted Dark Chocolate
  1. First up blitz the oats in a blender so they go down to a fine powder substance.
  2. Then add in the dates, peanut butter, cacao nibs and honey and whizz until blended.
  3. If the mixture isn’t quite sticking together then add in a splash of water and mix again.
  4. Melt the chocolate either on the hob or in the microwave and sprinkle some desiccated coconut onto a chipping board.
  5. Tale the mixture and roll into a ball, take a spoon a drizzle a teaspoon of dark chocolate and then dip in the coconut.
  6. Pop in the fridge and leave to set for around an hour.

It’s so nice to have some healthier treats in the fridge that won’t leave me feeling full of guild post-snack. Plus, they honestly taste delicious so I’ll definitely be making some more chocolate bits in the future.




Car boot sale

I’d been saying that I wanted to do a car boot sale for a while before I actually bit the bullet and went for it. I’d had a couple of bags packed and ready to go for almost a year, but out of sheer laziness I’d never got round to doing one. Finally, last month I went for it and whilst I was fairly apprehensive about doing it beforehand it eventually turned out to be quite a fun and productive day.

I had a fairly big mixture of stuff; clothes, bags, shoes, belts, jewellery, old uni stuff, books, DVDs and homeware. Although the majority of my stuff was made up of clothing. I was slightly worried that my clothing wouldn’t appeal to the car boot market but it did surprisingly well. The majority of my clothing was from high street stores (mostly Primark and New Look bits) and there wasn’t anything particularly fancy or new. In fact most of the things I had were from my university days.

In the end we made about £120 profit in around 4 hours so we were fairly pleased. I managed to sell around half of my stuff, so I’m planning on doing another one to hopefully shift the rest and a few more bits that I’ve since realised I want to sell on.

I’ve decided to put together a few bits of advice and some of the things I wish I’d known before we pitched up ready to sell.

Do your Research

One of my friends had attended the car boot I went to beforehand so I go her opinion to make sure it was the best option in the area. This one allowed to you set up at 9.30 and gates opened just before 10.30 so there was no horrendous early start.

I’d also double check how many people are allowed in the car too, as only 2 people were allowed in the car when I went.

Take Change

An obvious one but make sure you have plenty of change and keep it in a cross body bag or bum bag if you have one.

The large majority of people who go to car boots do come equipped with plenty of change but we did get the odd £10 or £20 note we had to change which can be a pain if you don’t have enough coins.

Bring Carrier Bags

Now the 5p carrier bag charge has come into effect we didn’t have many spare plastic bags lying around the house but I did manage to gather a few up to take along.

Most car boot goers will probably take a long a bag for life or something similar, but many still ended up asking for a bag so having a stack ready can come in handy. Especially if people are looking to buy a few things.

Don’t Get Attached

It’s easy to become attached to items and see the sentimental value in something but if you don’t use it or need it then it’s time to let go.

Try not to become to caught up in how much you paid for something in the first place and focus on selling it on.

Sell For Whatever

I had no idea what to sell things for and most of the time I just made it up as I went along. In the end I sold most of my things for around £1-£2 and I went with the mentality that I’d just sell for whatever price purely so I didn’t have to take it home again.

I didn’t have set prices for everything but I did make up a bag of 50p items so that people could just rummage through and I didn’t have to keep telling them the price. Whilst at the time it feels like you aren’t selling things for much money it does all add up in the end once you count out your takings at the end.

Pack Beforehand

Go through your things a few weeks beforehand so that you know what you want to sell. I had my stuff ready for a while but I went through it all the day before and put things into categories and then bagged them. This meant that when it came to unpacking things I had dresses in one bag, top in another and so on.

I’d also recommend packing the car the night before. Especially if you have one of those super early 6.30am starts. It just makes it so much easier to get up and go rather than faffing around looking for everything.

Essential Kit

In terms of what I’d deem essential when you go then make sure you take a paste table, large mat or sheet, clothes rail, boxes for books/DVDs, pen and paper in case you want to price things or some sticky labels.

It’s also worth taking a few snacks and some water or flask of tea, especially if there are no food or drink facilities where you are going.

I’m definitely planning on doing another one as it really wasn’t much effort and with a little preparation beforehand I was left with a nice little sum of money on my upcoming holiday.