Saturday, 28 October 2017

Brussels, Books and Being Busy

You know, I had the best intentions to get a bucketload of blogging typed up, pictures taken etc during half term. I'll have so much time to schedule posts, I thought. I mean, clearly I forgot that although I'd be off work for the week, so too the kiddos would be off school and I'd still have councillor and political party member duties. I've even struggled to spend quality time with Joe and he's had most days off as well! So naturally, my best intentions sort of slipped away and now you're getting this ramble! 

Still, as a busy gal, I've got plenty of news to share with you! Last week, I attended a very interesting talk with my local Member of European Parliament, ahead of a trip I'm going on next month as part of a Women In Leadership campaign. I've mentioned it a few times over on Instagram - so go and follow me, I'm hilarious - that I'm going to Brussels to visit European Parliament with a small group of awesome ladies in a bid to discuss why politics still carries a massive barrier to women. I think it's fair to say that a lot of the issues we cover will also mimic the barriers women face in everyday life - so I'm very excited to see if we can go ahead and fix a faltering system! Plus, I've never been to Brussels before so yeah. Excited! 
In other somewhat political news - I have decided to tackle mental health issues in my local area, as well as getting a fair wage for young workers. Can't say I don't keep myself busy, now! I'm the youngest councillor by at least 15 years, so I feel like it's my duty to be a voice for people like myself who might have felt unrepresented in the past. If you know of any excellent charities I could try to work with - I've already got Young Women's Trust in mind, as well as some of the bigger mental health charities - then please share them. Also, any schemes which you think have worked well in your local area that I could possibly try to replicate. 
I've managed to get a bit of my reading mojo back, and recently finished reading Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard. I'm still woefully behind in my reading challenge, but I've just started Sara Pascoe's Animal as an audiobook, so I'm hoping that the new format might help mix things up! Also, I received a few nonfiction books for my birthday - thank god for the birthday wishlist, amiright? - so they should make a nice change from reading fiction too. I'm pretty positive that I can keep it up and I could possibly reach my target by the end of December. Maybe I should start including some of the ace kids book I read to the boys? Ha! 
I had a really lovely birthday and managed to spread the celebrations out for an entire week, which I think in itself is pretty impressive. We had a meal with family, a meal out with friends as well as bunches of flowers and some pretty fantastic gifts - again, thank you wish list! - but that didn't stop me from purchasing the most ridiculous jacket from Monsoon earlier this week. I keep banging on about my capsule wardrobe, but I couldn't help myself. It's so pretty! I manage to wiggle 20% off with my NUS card, so although not strictly a bargain, I'm trying to justify it that way. I think it's pretty much sold out online but I asked the lady in store and managed to pull one out of their stock for me. I'm thinking it will look great with a plain dress and then therefore won't damage my restricted capsule wardrobe too much. 
What's new with you? Let's catch up in the comments!

Friday, 13 October 2017

I've Made over £10,000 from Matched Betting - and You Can Too!

When I went on maternity leave, I was faced with a huge cut in my income, as the maternity pay I received was less than half of my monthly wage. I had considered looking at different ways to make money online - be it article writing, rating websites or other such schemes - but nothing really seemed to fit around my life with a newborn baby. That's until I found out about matched betting. 
Matched betting is a tax-free way to make money by utilising the incentive offers that bookings bring out on a regular basis. These offers are the turned into a guaranteed profit by matched betting - as opposed to regular betting which is simply gambling. Matched betting isn't a new thing at all, and some people have even managed to quit their day jobs to become full-time matched bettors.  Depending on how big your starting 'bank' is and how much time you can spare, the amount of money you can make varies. However, I was able to repeatedly make £1,000 a month while I was on maternity leave, and now continue to make around £500+ each month while I'm back at work full-time. 

Where to start with Matched Betting?

I use a site called Profit Accumulator which I initially used to teach me the basics of matched betting, but can also be used for finding the latest offers as well updating you on the best odds to use. As someone who isn't really in to sport, I found this quite helpful - you definitely don't need to be a footy fan to be a successful matched bettor! When you sign up the the free trial with Profit Accumulator, they give you two offers try out - allowing you to instantly make £45 risk free! This allows you to test the waters a bit, to see if you understand what to do before decided to purchase a membership. At this point, I went ahead and bought one as the free offers covered a couple of months payment. 
I find it's best to keep a pot of money aside so you can access all the best odds when they're available, as they certainly move about closer to kick off. If you can, a pot of around £200 is a great start - but I've heard some people leaving £1,000 aside for their pot. A good way to build up your pot is to simply keep your winnings in your bank account until you've reached your ideal 'bank' threshold

How can I make £1,000 a month?

Honestly, the best way I've found is to set myself a daily target. Whether it's £10 or even £50, by holding yourself accountable, it does help to spur you on. I used a super unattractive spreadsheet to log all of my winnings, which I found on the Profit Accumulator member's forum and adapted it to my needs. Another thing I do to make sure I can make a decent amount is schedule matched betting into my day. Saturday is easily the busiest day for matched betting, with so many different sports going on at multiple times during the day, so I try to get some time in on Saturday morning. I also found that trying to catch whatever horse races were on during Robin's nap time helpful as well, as they could easily boost up your profits by a few quid a time! 
Once you've signed up to a few bookies, you'll start getting new offers as an existing member - this is how so many people can do matched betting for a longer period of time, the offers just don't stop! I find these ones can be quite lucrative as they almost always offer a deposit bonus, meaning you technically have free money straight away. Just be careful to read the T&C on any offer you are emailed, and of course don't click on any links from a bookie you haven't signed up with. I actually created a separate email just for matched betting as you can get quite a few on a daily basis! 
I've been really surprised at how well I've taken to matched betting, so if you have any questions then I will try my best to help! 
*Please note affiliate links have been used. They are at no cost to you, but help keep Love In Modern Life ticking over with exciting content! Content written by myself.*

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Creating a Workwear Capsule Wardrobe

Despite the fact that I've worked in an office for a few years now, since returning to work after having Robin, I seem to have zero clothes suitable for work. I've mentioned previously that I'm attempting to create my very own minimalist capsule wardrobe, and although that has had various success - mostly that I never put aside time to actually get rid of my clothes! - I think a work capsule wardrobe might be a good starting point. I've had a bit of time now to think about what colour scheme my working wardrobe could have, and the sort of fabrics that are office-friendly - read: layers to deal with air-con! So now, it's just starting to curate the items I need to have a little work capsule for the ultimate ease when it comes to getting ready. 

Images sourced via

When I was considering creating a capsule wardrobe, I had constantly thought to myself, 'man, I wish I just had a uniform,' as those days really were stress-free. That's why I think a pinafore is an excellent piece for any workwear capsule wardrobe. I've decided to use navy as my base colour, instead of black, as I think black can be too harsh sometimes. Plus, navy lends itself to matching well with mustard and blush pink, which are my two accent colours. Of course, you could pick any colour for your pinafore - in an ideal world I'd have a denim one too, but that's not work friendly for me, sad times! You can wear a pinafore with a silky blouse, an everyday turtleneck or just a stripy breton top if that's your bag - and that's why I need one in my life. Plus, come wintertime and you can just pop a jumper over the top and that's it - sorted! 
The great thing with buying a few tops to match your pinafore, is that they work with a skirt too! As I'm planning quite a minimalist look, I've went for a suede skirt here so that the texture adds a bit of interest to my capsule. Another way to add a bit of interest is with a wraparound skirt, or something with an asymmetrical hemline. Either way, it's a bit more than your standard skirt and helps to keep your outfits looking fresh. My biggest issue with my capsule wardrobe is footwear, to be honest. I can't really wear heels - in general and at work - so that limits me to flats, which are fine. I currently have some Melissa pumps with a tortoiseshell bow, but I'm really worried about them breaking at work or something disastrous like that. With the colder weather coming, some ankle boots are definitely needed, and I think a tan shade instead of black would work well with my little colour palette. 
So there we have it, a few items to kickstart my work wardrobe! Have you tried a capsule wardrobe before? Any tips?
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