Today marks the one-year anniversary of Jordan and I picking up the keys to our own little home. ONE WHOLE YEAR! I can’t quite believe how fast the year has gone and all the memories we’ve made in the past 12 months.

Buying a house was by no means a stress-free experience. There were tears, arguments and endless email chains where you feel as though you are going in circles, but the reality is, all those things are completely normal.

Although there are still bits and pieces I’d like to do with our little home, and furniture still to buy, I’ve absolutely loved every minute of the last year and the little pangs of excitement I get when I sit on the sofa thinking, this house is all ours.

Today I thought I would share all of the little tips I’ve found during the process of buying our house and afterwards to help any of you that might be going through the process yourselves.

1. Try not to worry if things take a little bit longer than expected. It’s easier said than done, and I always thought the worst when we were waiting to hear from solicitors, mortgage advisors and estate agents, but the reality is, buying a house does take time and there are lots of steps involved, some that you might not even know about, but try to relax as much as possible, because it’s completely normal.

2. Take all the advice you can get. Buying a house is a complete minefield, so much so that we used a mortgage advisor to buy ours and he helped us SO MUCH. I would highly recommend going to see one because they can give you a much better view of the different options out there and all the fees that come with getting a mortgage.

3. Take advantage of furniture sales, January sales and mid-season sales where you can as you can get yourself some much cheaper items. Also, sign up for newsletters galore as you might hear of the best deals first by doing so, no matter how annoying they might be. And don’t be afraid to pick bits up here and there along the way even before it’s gone through.

4. You’ll see kitchens, bathrooms and lounge inspiration all over Pinterest and think you could never do that – WRONG, you totally can have the house of your dreams, but it might just take a little bit longer than expected. Write yourself a realistic timeline of when you would want things done by and dedicate a few weekends here and there to do the jobs. And if it’s going to cost you a bit to get started then having a few months grace will let you save up the pennies.

5. Don’t be afraid to get your hands messy. One of the first things I did when we picked up the keys was paint the lounge myself (one of my biggest achievements…) and take down a couple of curtain rails. We also put up all the IKEA furniture ourselves, and although there were cuts and bruises, it felt much better knowing that we hadn’t had to pay for anyone else to do it.

And there you have my five quick tips for buying your first home. It’s an incredible experience and one that I’m sure you’ll never forget!

What are your tips for buying a house? 

xx

When I was younger I tried most of the diets going – from the 5:2 to eating only chicken and rice to replacing meals with shakes and smoothies, much to the disappointment of my body who really only wanted feeding a decent meal. My weight yoyoed whilst I was at school from being slightly larger than the rest of my classmates to unrecognisable the year after. It was unhealthy, but at the time I was so heavily influenced by what everyone else was doing and how they looked alongside the media, that I was crippled with the need to compare myself to others.

It’s only since I’ve become slightly older that I’ve realised that I deserve to feel confident in myself too, and that starts from within. When I used to look at myself in the mirror I would be horrified with what I saw – the remnants of stretch marks, a flabby tummy, legs that were ‘too big’ – but now when I look at my body I see something that has overcome all of these trial and tribulations, kept me alive through the years and has come out the other end even stronger. I have grown to love the way I look and I have become confident in my own skin which is a place I didn’t think I would ever get to.

Body positivity has been around for years, but it has only really been apparent to my life in the past 12 months, mainly through meeting people in the blogging world, either fitness bloggers or those advocating an overall healthy lifestyle.

It’s true what they say, that we’re all our own worst critics, and I have constantly been the one to put myself down over the years, but since being in my mid-twenties, I have found a whole new lease of life when it comes to body positivity, and it has been so refreshing.

When we’re younger, we are programmed to believe that if we think of ourselves in a positive manner or believe that we are beautiful or sexy, it is self-obsessed or big-headed, which is the completely wrong message we should be teaching our younger generations. Every girl (and boy for that matter) is completely unique and they should all be encouraged to feel positive about their appearance and never feel ashamed for believing they are gorgeous, inside and out.

It’s no secret that I enjoy food – eating out is one of my favourite things to do, and I’m even spending more time in the kitchen, and since I have been able to love my body, I have enjoyed food in a new and exciting way because I don’t restrict myself. Yes there are times where all I want to do is sit on the sofa with a packet of biscuits and surround myself with chocolate, and let’s face it, from time to time, we all deserve a bit of a break – but now I know that there’s nothing wrong with having days like that as long as you’re living a balanced and healthy lifestyle the majority of the time.

Once you feel confident on the inside, it starts to show on the outside. I see this when I chose clothes I usually never would have, from the fear that they wouldn’t look right, but now I believe that as long as I am comfortable in what I’m wearing then the positivity shines through. This is also true for choosing underwear that maybe you would usually shy away from, but it is something that can give you so much confidence without even being seen.

I am a complete advocate of body positivity, and although there are still things that I would like to change about my appearance, I no longer let them get me down in the way they would have 5 years ago. There may be little things that I’d like to tweak, but as long as I am leading a happy and healthy lifestyle, then everything else will fall into place.

What is your stance on body positivity? 

xx