So when exactly do Brits need a coat?

It is 2018 and with the new year, shops around the UK are thinking ahead to spring. It is the most popular time of year to book a holiday for sun worshiping Brits and it seems we can almost taste the ice cream!

However, a quick Google of the monthly average UK temperatures shows there are still another three months of what could be classed as ‘coat weather’ left:

  • In January, the average UK temperature is a chilly 5°C… Definite coat weather.
  • February’s average temperature is in line with January’s, at 5°C… A coat is a must.
  • Then in March, the average UK temperature is a cool 6°C… Yes, still coat weather.
  • Come April, this rises a few degrees to 9°C… Don’t get caught without a coat in those April showers!
  • By the time May arrives, the average UK temperature reaches double figures for the first time in the year, at 12°C. Even so, a lighter jacket is recommended for cooler parts of the day.

Average monthly temperatures in the United Kingdom (UK)

Month Average Temperature °C (Rounded to the nearest Degree) Coat Needed?
January 5 Yes
February 5 Yes
March 6 Yes
April 9 Yes
May 12 Yes – Lighter outerwear
June 15 No
July 17 No
August 16 No
September 14 Yes – Lighter outerwear
October 12 Yes – Lighter outerwear
November 8 Yes
December 7 Yes

: GOV.UK, from 2013 to 2016.

Types of coats

In the colder winter months, from November to March, a thicker and more padded coat is recommended. Insulated jackets are ideal for those who really feel the cold during autumn and winter.

In fact, some coats have the ability to keep you warm in temperatures as low as -25°C. Canada Goose coats for example are used to battle some of the harshest conditions on earth, making them the ideal choice for these colder months.

In mid to late Spring, around April/May time, a slightly thinner and lighter coat is recommended. Despite lighter coats and jackets being less insulated, they add layers to your outfit to keep you warm at cooler parts of the day. Some lightweight coats, such as many by Barbour, offer waterproof protection ideal for the unpredictable British weather.

Although the peak summer months of late June to August might largely be coatless, waterproof lightweight jackets are often a wardrobe staple, especially given the rainy summers of recent.

The lighter coats of Spring also come in use in early Autumn, around September and October, when the warmth of summer quickly becomes a distant memory and Brits face the reality that there’s a long wait ahead for the t shirt weather to come back around!

I really must get round to deciding where to go for our summer holiday soon!

Natalie x

Millennial’s monthly update – November 2017

November has been a busy one. It kicked off with a 50th birthday party close to home for a family friend. The night had all the usual things you would expect, from cheesy music to drunken dancing and a standard party buffet.

50th Birthday Party

The next evening was bonfire night where we gathered at some friends for fireworks and drinks. Despite the pretty miserable weather we had a fun night, followed suitably by a sore head the next day. I’ve never been a big fan of fireworks, think I’m a bit of a wuss when it comes to the risk of an AWOL home firework. However, when it comes to displays like those at Disney Parks I’m like a child at Christmas!

My uncle and his dog came over from Lytham St Anne’s on the Sunday for a roast and to watch the football. It’s always good to see them! They also returned on the last weekend of the month for another visit 🙂

On Tuesday 11th I went to see Sean Paul in concert with a few friends at Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse. It was a Jamaican themed evening, with supporting artists such as Chi-Ching Ching. Although the venue was extremely busy and rather hot we were still able to throw some shapes to his classics, including Temperature, We Be Burnin’ and Get Busy.

On Armistice day we watched a war film called Hacksaw Ridge about an American conscientious objector in World War 2 who served his country as a frontline medic during their fight against Japan. A true story, it was emotional to watch ahead of Remembrance Sunday.

Hacksaw Ridge

On Remembrance Sunday we watched the ceremony at the cenotaph in London on TV, as we do every year. We then went to meet Ady’s family for a Sunday carvery at The Rose n’ Bowl in Bacup for his sister’s birthday. Honestly, I have never seen so much meat on one plate! An ex serviceman, his grandad had spent 2 weeks prior collecting for the Poppy Appeal. He got to lay a wreath at his local memorial in Ramsbottom before we went out – a proud moment.

The following week I accepted a job offer with a large sports company to work for the digital department at their head office near to home. This lead to a very sad departure at my current place of work, where I have been supporting them part time since starting my Masters dissertation earlier this year. It seems I will largely be remembered for my karaoke efforts going off the messages in the card I was given!

Before starting my new job I thought it would be a good opportunity to go and visit my good friend in London. I’d been saying I’ll go for months and hadn’t yet gotten around to it. I decided to save money and take the Megabus. Besides I could get round to things I’ve been putting off on the almost 6 hour journey – haha. The main things we got up to were drinks at Pergola and a trip to the Christmas markets around London that were open at the time. I don’t get chance to visit the capital often so it was great to go down and enjoy the festivities nice and early.

I returned home late on the Thursday evening feeling ready for rest, especially since the bus broke down and we were delayed. The next morning I got up and ready to go to Knowsley Safari Park with another close friend as his birthday treat. I was determined to make the most of the days I had left before starting full time on the Monday. We had such a fun day! The animals were largely still active despite the cold and we were able to keep warm in the comfort of the car.

We finished a pleasant day with a visit to TGI Friday’s in Prestwich. My friend and I had been joking for years about whether or not I could finish a full rack of ribs and sides. And here’s the result…

…My meal totalled a staggering 3,800 calories! And that was with diet coke.

Then later we went for a few drinks close to home. I refrained from eating more.

After a weekend of life admin like sorting house insurance and filling out tax returns the big day arrived and it was time to make that great first impression. It’s always nerve racking starting a new job. Meeting new people in new surroundings with a new work culture to get to grips with.

I can confirm that my first day was great and I am settling in well! The team are very welcoming and the role is interesting. It’s nice to be able to work in a role that puts the skills I developed in my Masters into use – makes it all seem worth while.

This month we also got to hang out with friends and order takeaway, and we met gorgeous baby Rupert Samuel, born to good friends of ours. How cute!

After a busy month I’m looking forward to a career and family focussed December. I need to get saving as there’s lots of family birthdays over the festive period too! The next time I’ll be updating you on my goings on will be in the New Year. 2018 – Yikes! Until then….

Natalie x

A new job: finding the role for you and getting started

Although I’m only in my mid 20’s I’ve had a number of jobs and experienced working with different types and sizes of companies. I’ve been in a position where I’ve been able to pick between more than one offer and also where I’ve been stuck wondering what the heck my next move should be.

I think in the UK we are too bothered about having the perfect CV with no blemishes. It’s like we should look like we’ve never made a decision that wasn’t right for us. It’s not practical and it just does not reflect real life!

Finding the role for you

It’s a good idea to start off by thinking of the factors that are most important to you in a job. This could include, for example, working hours, salary bracket, location, and the industry etc. These are all things that can be filtered within popular job websites when performing a search.

Careers advisors

One of the best pieces of advice I could give anyone thinking of a career move is to speak to a careers advisor. They can help you understand which career path could be the best for you based on your skills, qualifications and what it is you think you would enjoy from a role. They can also help you to improve your CV in order to create a great first impression with employers. You could start by checking out the National Careers Service, a UK Gov website that provides information, advice and guidance to help you make decisions on learning, training and work.

Recruitment agencies

In terms of the search itself I have found speaking to a few different recruitment agencies is extremely helpful. They get to know you and your CV and work with hundreds of employers to find the best employees for jobs they are advertising. It also takes away the hard work of applying direct and filling out endless forms. They basically work on commission for finding candidates for employers, so it’s in their interest to secure you a job and one that you are likely to stay in too. There can however be conflicts of interest whereby some recruiters are more interested in keeping the paying employers happy than the candidates, who can be deemed as replaceable. A simple Google search for local recruitment agencies could be a good place to start.

Speculative applications

There’s also no harm in speculative applications. This is how I secured my role with a digital marketing agency. Is there a company you really want to work for? Why not think about articulating why you want to work for them and conduct some research about the company to tailor an application. I read somewhere that most jobs are not advertised, so although it may seem like a waste of time there’s a chance that the company would admire your ambition and appreciate the effort you made to get in contact. Plus there’s going to be less people going for a job that does not exist on paper yet… so less competition! In fact, this is how I secured my previous job with a digital marketing agency.

Getting started in a new job

I recently started a new job and it got me thinking about how daunting this can be for people, especially if they are new to the world of work or perhaps haven’t worked for a while. Although it’s exciting, It’s also a time of uncertainty. Will I be welcomed and get along with the people? Will I be able to do the tasks that I am set and pick things up as quickly as expected? These are just some of the things that can cross the mind of a new starter.

I have compiled a quick list of things I think can help you settle straight into a new role:

*Make an effort to introduce yourself to people you will not only work closely with but others around the place too. This will immediately make it look as though you care about the people you will be working with and that you want to get to know them. They will straight away be more inclined to help you settle in and become part of the team.

*Why not take in some treats and send an email round saying you got treats for your first day? Leave them on your desk to encourage people to come and talk to you. After all people love free food.

*Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It shows you are keen to understand more and helps you to learn things in your own way. Maybe just avoid asking the same question if possible.

*If you feel like you’re not picking up something quickly enough speak out to your manager. They will be able to reassure you and hopefully provide you with additional support where it is needed. They took you on and they don’t want to see you struggle or fail.

*Where possible try and put more time in than the 9-5. If you are able to dedicate a bit more time than your set working hours to a new job when you first start you are showing dedication and hard work straight away. You can use this extra time to learn anything you think may help in your role, such as brushing up on your Microsoft Excel skills if that is something you will be using in your job.

Most importantly, don’t worry if a job is not right for you. The worse thing you could do if you were unhappy for a while in a job is to ignore the feeling and keep doing something that is not fulfilling. I’m not saying throw caution to the wind and quit because obviously we can’t all just do that. But there’s no reason you can’t start the search for your potential next move. It can give you something to focus on and to feel hope for a more career fulfilled future.

We spend most of our lives working so we should be doing something that interests us and makes us happy!

Natalie x

Millennial’s Monthly Update – October 2017

October has been a solid mix of ups and downs for me.

I’ve had lots going on at the weekends but have unfortunately been ill for the entire month with a chest infection.

The main highlight of my month was the Sam’s Gift Great Gatsby Ball, which saw hundreds of the charity’s supporters gather together for an evening of fundraising, fine dining and dancing at The Midland Hotel in Manchester.

Im glad to say as the charity’s biggest annual event it was a fantastic evening and I’m looking forward to the announcement of the total amount raised, as well as the release of the official event photos, of course!

Meanwhile I managed to get some quick snaps…

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The day after Ady and I went to his Auntie and Uncle’s in Rainford for a recovery family roast. Thoroughly enjoyed by all!…

Family Sunday Roast Photo

In other news I spent time with my cousin and her new born.

She practiced this look on me ahead of Halloween!

Millennial Natalie Halloween Make-up

I also got chance to catch up with good friends over drinks.

Group Outing in Prestwich

A busy November lies ahead, with a new job to start, bonfire night, Sean Paul concert and more!

Look forward to sharing this with you next time.

Natalie x




Deciding where to go for your next holiday

For anyone who is on a budget and limited to the number of holidays they can take, it can be tricky to decide where to go next.

Personally, I try to visit places I have never been before even though I do enjoy re-visiting places where I’ve made special memories. I hope one day to go back to Rhodes where my partner and I first went on holiday together back in 2010. Yet, we have decided that we want to see as much of the world as we can. This is part of the reason we went on our first skiing holiday this year. It was great to try something new and helped inspire us to try new things and visit new places.

Millennial Natalie and Ady Skiing in La Plagne

Millennial Natalie and Ady Skiing 1

In fact, there is a story to tell about how we ended up going to Rhodes. We were joking around with a brochure and said whichever place we land on that’s where we’ll go on our first holiday together. So, Rhodes it was!

It’s good to be spontaneous sometimes but it’s probably not a destination choosing exercise we would use in the future. Although it paid off that time, I’m thinking it was a lucky stab in the dark.

Millennial Natalie and Ady in Rhodes

Millennial Natalie and Ady in Rhodes

So for our next holiday I’m planning on using some of the following techniques to find the perfect destination:

  • Check out where the best festivals or parties will be around the globe at the time you’re planning on going away. It’s a great way to absorb the local culture. Although, make sure you book in advance for this!
  • Speak to a few experienced travel reps. There’s nothing like receiving word of mouth recommendations from someone who has been there and done it. We did this when we went to Kusadasi in Turkey. The travel rep gave us lots of amazing tips about where to go in a place that isn’t rife with tourists.
  • There are plenty of quizzes out there you can take which consider your personal budget, style of holiday preferred, and the weather conditions you would like. For example, there is a quiz by My Voucher Codes to find the perfect holiday. Zig Zag on Earth has written a review of some of these tools if you wanted to check it out.
  • Take a look at travel social media pages. There are literally thousands of keen travellers online who enjoy sharing their travel experiences and giving tips about where to go.
  • Listen to what family and friends have to say. They know you and have a good idea about what you would like from a holiday, so why not seek their input? My partner’s auntie and uncle used to be travel reps and they are amazing at giving advice about where to go.

Let me know how you choose your holiday destinations!

Natalie x

World Map

Quick tips to avoid catching a cold

It’s that time of year where everyone seems to catch a cold.

It’s so frustrating! When you’re just trying to get on with your day but you constantly have to blow your nose, you have no energy and you can’t breathe properly when trying to sleep.

I rarely get ill, so when I do it really bothers me. I try to take steps to avoid picking up the latest bugs going around and as they’re usually successful, I thought I would share them:

  • I start the day off with a drink of Effervescent Vitamin C that I buy from Tesco. It’s actually quite tasty and helps to boost your immune system. Make sure you get the one that includes Zinc for the best support.
  • Then I make sure I drink plenty of water to help flush the kidneys of toxins.
  • I also like to carry a bottle of hand sanitiser. It’s a good idea to sanitise your hands after handling communal things like train handles and things in the kitchen of the workplace. You can also use it after shaking someone’s hand. I use the Carex Moisture Plus Hand Gel, it’s portable and stops your hands from getting dry in winter months.
  • If you feel a cold coming on, sleeping with the window ajar helps keep fresh air circulating in the room.
  • Each night I try and make sure I get at least 8 hours of sleep, as if you are tired your body can’t fight as hard.

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I also pay to get the flu jab. I’ve heard that if you get the flu jab every year you pick up colds less and less over time.

Other than that eating your 5 a day fruit and vege and exercising regularly helps to keep your body fighting fit.

Do you have any tips for avoiding catching a cold?

Natalie x

Why everyone should try skiing

How I learnt to ski

In March 2017 I bought a monthly pass to the Chill Factore in Manchester, ahead of my first skiing holiday. I had taken a beginner’s day lesson a year earlier than this, so was able to ski to a very basic level.

I highly recommend beginners to top up any lessons by going and practicing on their own. You kind of teach yourself and get better naturally. It also gives you that independence and confidence to know you can ski by yourself before heading out on those big mountains.

Our skiing holiday to La Plagne in France

So, once I had mastered coming down from the top of the Chill Factore slope I was pretty much ready to jet off to France. My partner and I went with a large group of skiing ‘experts’, who go skiing every year. His auntie and uncle used to be ski holiday reps, so we had lots to live up to.

Some of the Ski Group - La Plagne 2017

Some of the Ski Group – La Plagne 2017

I am happy to say we did not disappoint! Despite it being our first holiday and the snow conditions being the worst they could remember for a lack of snow, we were able to make it up to the glacier and ski all the way back to the resort before the end of our week’s holiday.

Millennial Natalie at the Top of the Glacier

Millennial Natalie at the Top of the Glacier

The whole group were impressed and we were suitably chuffed with our achievements. It made the hard work worth it and I would definitely recommend anyone considering learning to ski to do so.

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Some of the key benefits of learning to ski:

  • Skiing is a great life skill to have. Learning to ski is on many people’s bucket list and it’s great to be able to say you know how to ski.
  • It improves your fitness and you can have fun whilst you exercise.
  • Skiing makes for an active holiday combined with lots of fun and apres-ski! Definition of aprèsski: social activity after a day’s skiing.

Our next holiday

As we sacrificed our summer break to go skiing, we decided that our 2018 holiday will be in the summer. This unfortunately means we will likely not be going on a skiing holiday next year.

Although we’re not going on a holiday, we’ll be sure to make a couple of visits to the Chill Factore so we don’t become rusty for when we next decide to go on a skiing holiday. I would love to try skiing somewhere like Austria, Switzerland or even Canada in the future.

So why not give it a shot?

In the meantime, here’s a quick guide for learning to ski.

Natalie x

Getting your Makeup done by a MUA

When it comes to makeup, if I’m being honest I don’t make much of an effort. I just use moisturiser, foundation, concealer and mascara for my daily routine.

Although, if I’m feeling extra glam I will put some eyebrow gel, eye shadow, contour kit and maybe some lipstick on. This is strictly reserved for nights out otherwise I just don’t have the time. Who has an hour a day to put their makeup on anyway?!

In recent years there has been a significant rise in popularity of makeup artists, following increased use of social platforms like Instagram where images of flawless celebs dominate. Young girls and women aspire to achieve that professional makeup look.

My cousin, Kayleigh Grace, is an amazing MUA. She somehow manages to make my face look flawless – not a blemish in sight.KG Makeup LogoIn fact she is the only person I trust to do my makeup…

Millennial Natalie Kayleigh Grace MUA Before and After

Millennial Natalie – Kayleigh Grace MUA Before and After

As you can see from this before and after she really does a great job.

Having my makeup done always gives me a confidence boost and makes me feel better. I definitely recommend it when you want to treat yourself for special occasions. Plus it gives you one less thing to have to do when getting ready.

Kayleigh is based near Manchester and also does mobile appointments. Check out the Kayleigh Grace Facebook page. She has over 3,600 likes! There’s plenty of pictures to see examples of her work.

Here’s another picture of me from last year with the glam Glitter Lips look…

Millennial Natalie with makeup done for charity ball

Millennial Natalie with makeup done for charity ball

With a rise in the number of beauty salons offering makeup services, be sure to check out their work online and see what other people have to say before booking an appointment.

Take care,

Natalie x

For the love of crisps (or chips if you’re American)

Okay, so I really do have a thing for crisps. I try and limit myself to a pack a day, to keep my consumption under control (whoops!).

In general I prefer savoury snacks to sweet one’s and will opt for a starter above a dessert in a restaurant.

I genuinely could not tell you what my favourite kind of crisps are. If I were to name some that spring to mind, however, I am a big fan of:

  • Doritos;
  • Monster Munch;
  • Chipsticks;
  • Frazzles;
  • Sensations;
  • McCoys;
  • French Fries;
  • Hula Hoops;
  • …And a good old pack of traditional Walkers.

As a crisp lover, it does annoy me when I’m looking forward to tucking into a pack only to see most of it is empty. I swear it didn’t use to be like this?

I was surprised to read recently that crisp packets contain up to 72% air. I feel cheated. Is it a cost saving exercise? Is it something to do with freshness? Are they trying to make you think there are more to justify the cost? Maybe it’s to do with tougher regulations placed upon unhealthy food manufacturer’s?

Apparently, one of my guesses is correct. Appliance manufacturers CDA commissioned research which found that Nitrogen is added to crisp packets in order to keep them fresh. So the more space in the packet for Nitrogen, the longer the best before date of the crisps. Interesting!

They suggest a compromise is needed to avoid misleading consumers. So, this means there’s still some empty space to preserve freshness but not too much to cause disappointment.


A humorous article by The Telegraph reveals the outrage sparked by Oxford student Adam Higgins’s ‘definitive’ crisp ranking.

The five-tier ranking placed original Hula Hoops, Pom Bears and Lightly Salted Kettle Chips as the best flavours. The ‘S*** tier’ included popular classics like Walkers Salt & Vinegar, Skips, and Twiglets.

Crisp Ranking


Thousands of people took to Twitter to debate the topic. It demonstrates just how passionate we can be as a nation about the potato based snack.

Now I must go, I have a sudden crisp craving.

Natalie x

PS. What’s your favourite packet of crisps?