Five ways to make time for each other when you live together

It's funny isn't it that when you move in with a partner you never really see them despite living with them? Although I see Connor every day, I don't really spend much time with him. We both work long hours, come in from work and have dinner, chat for about an hour then go about our business that we need to do in order to get ready for the next day and off to bed we go, ready to do it all again the next day. It's very rare that we spend quality time together, we're usually rushing around. My cousin's girlfriend once said to me that you need to schedule in time with each other when you live together. At the time I thought it was the most absurd thing but it is so true. You need to otherwise you're very much in danger in becoming ships that pass in the night. Here are five ways to make time for each other when you live together.

Sunday night film club
This was actually Connor's idea but we haven't quite it into practise yet as we've been out every Sunday since he suggested it. But it is a brilliant idea! Each week have an early dinner, choose a film from Amazon or Netflix and settle down to watch it. I know you don't talk during films but it encourages you to leave your phone upstairs and spend some time together on the sofa.

Go for a walk after dinner
We're lucky enough to live right on the common and it's a great place to have a stroll. There's even a cracking pub about a ten minute walk away which is a great incentive! We really do need to make more of an effort to visit it. Make the most of the warmer evenings and lighter nights by taking a little walk after you've eaten.

Have a gin tasting evening indoors
Or vodka. Or whiskey. Or whatever spirit tickles your fancy. I'm lucky enough to be part of the Sipsmith Sipping Society* which means I get sent two special edition bottles of gin every other month. They come with cocktail recipes and recommendations of what to pair them with.

Eat dinner at the table
This might sound like a silly one but I mean really eat at the table. We eat every night at the table but as soon as we scoff our food, we pop the plates in the dishwasher and go turn separate ways in the house. On a weekend make it into more of a big deal. Use your nicest crockery, pop a bunch of flowers or candles on the table, open a bottle of wine and really sit there and talk. Treat it as if you're in a restaurant if you will. Pout your phones away and really sit and chat away until your hearts content.

Go for a drive
Sometimes you just need to get out of the four walls. We used to do the a lot and it seems to have fallen by the wayside at the minute but I'm keen to get it back started again. If we had a spare afternoon at the weekend, we'd jump in the car and go for a drive around our county of Essex. It could be somewhere we've been before or somewhere we've heard someone mention. It usually consists of a nice pub trip for lunch and a wander around the town or village. You can make it as cheap or as expensive as you like.

Taking inspiration from Cher Horowitz

Thanks to being on a strict budget as I save for Malaysia, I've taken a step back from my shopping habit. For someone who likes to see her wardrobe constantly updated it's been hard. But I am discovering things I completely forgot I had so this cloud has a silver lining. Despite my lack of funds it hasn't stopped me browsing the internet like a mad woman, frantically saving things in my wish lists just in case I win the lottery. A lottery which I never do. I should probably start doing it each week if I want to be in with a chance...

Now one thing I have noticed on my website travels is how checked patterns seem to be taking over the high street! They remind me of Cher Horowitz, Clueless never gets old for style inspiration does it? Now I'm sorry to bring this up but before we know it we'll be heading straight into September and it's that 'back to school' feeling. So can dressing like Cher be anymore apt?!

Here are a few things that have been catching my eye. Pinafores, skirts, co-ords and shirts, there's something to tickle everyone's fancy! If you're on a budget like myself, it's worth keeping an eye out for any online discount codes to help save a few pennies. There's lots of different websites out there, you just need to know where to look. One such site is Groupon who offer discounts for Clarks, JD Sports, Guess, Nike and M&S. The more savings you make, the more you can spend. Isn't that how it works?!

Are you going to be taking inspiration from Cher when the autumn hits?
Without meaning to jinx things, is anyone else looking forward to starting to shop for autumn? No? Just me then - this sunshine is great but it's kinda lasting a bit too long now.... 

ASOS red checked shoes £28, ASOS check mini skirt £30, ASOS pink checked blazer £52, Topshop orange check mini skirt £32, River Island blue checked heels £42, River Island boucle mini skirt £15, New Look mustard cardigan £27.99, New Look red and black check backpack £17.99, New Look black and red jumper £24.99

Buying a house 101: Things to look out for during a house viewing

I thought I'd introduce a little house buying series on the blog for those who are looking to buy. I seem to have reached that age where my friends are starting to look after finally managing to save a hefty deposit. We were amongst the first and now I look back there's so much I would do differently but you only learn don't you?

First up is house viewings. You're finally in the position to buy and start organising some house viewings. But it is so overwhelming! I felt like I wasn't quite old enough to go and felt completely out of my depth. But here are some questions you should ask and things you need to look out for.

1. The chances are you'll go to your first house viewing during the day. The area will be the least busy it ever will be in the middle of the day thanks to children being at school and adults are work. To really get a feel for an area you have to see it at night too. I'd recommend driving round in the dark if you can.

2. Always check the shower pressure. You do not want to find out it's a bit pants after you move in.

3. Some areas sometimes have rubbish 4g so make sure you check your phone to see how the signal is.

4. Open windows. We didn't open any windows and one of ours was broken when we moved in. Lesson learned!

5. Parking can be an absolute nightmare where I live so we made sure to drive by at different times of day to see how the parking was. You don't always want to have to park round the corner and have to get a bus to your front door!

6. Make sure you open the cupboard doors in the kitchen. We moved in thinking we could wait a few years before we replaced the kitchen. But, on moving day we realised the kitchen was in a terrible state with mould inside. We could have found this out on the viewing day if we thought to check!

7.  Be sure to give the bathroom a quick once over to ensure you can't see any obvious mould.

8. If you know someone in the construction industry then we sure to bring them with you on the second viewing. They will help to make sure it looks structurally ok. My dad spotted things on the roof that I never even thought to look at!

9. Drive around the back if you can. We saw a beautiful house and my dad suggested we take a drive around the back to look at the garden and it was then we realised the next door neighbour had no fence, broken glass, terrible overgrown grass and didn't not look like a neighbour we would want to live next too!

10. Ask questions about the boiler. These are very expensive to replace and if you buy the house you'll have to factor in the cost if it's old. Our boiler was 20 years old and we're currently saving up for one!

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