Tuesday, 29 January 2013

OOTD - Little Black (Thrifted) Dress

 
 
 
I think I may have established one of my photographic issues is that when I have been processing my images through pic monkey, I seem to be loosing some of the image quality. I saved the above collage on the highest image quality and it has made some difference, although they still aren't fantastic - I really need to try some outside shots in daylight, but I'm a bit uninspired by my own garden and haven't got the guts to go elsewhere yet. Work in progress I think.
 
Anyway, the above OOTD is my £4 little black dress that I thrifted. I'm told every should own a little black dress. I don't didn't. I own a little black pencil skirt, which is incredibly high waisted and always receives lots of compliments from men and women alike. Anyway, I spotted this in my most successful charity shop, and even though it was only a size 10 decided to risk it. It's more stretchy than I expected, and it's really versatile. The above outfit was a work day outfit, but I have also worn it on a night out - minus the shirt and tights with some killer heels - the perfect day to night dress!
 
I realised that despite adding the large handbag and skinny belt something was still missing from this outfit. I have since established that it is a statement necklace over the top of the shirt, which I have now invested in.
 
What do you think of my "classy schoolgirl" inspired outfit?
 

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Ebay Sale

Hello Dollies!
I know some of you out there are complete Ebay aficionados, but it's not somewhere I generally go looking for stuff myself.
Recently I was going through my wardrobe (I actually do this on a very regular basis!) and realised some of the things I no longer wanted were a little bit too pricey just to send to my local 'all clothing £1' charity shop. I know that sounds rather harsh, but I have donated so many clothes over the years, and I spend plenty of money in them.
Anyway, I've decided to put some items on ebay (I still have a few items in my charity pile though) and in case you were interested, I thought I'd link the page up to my blog.
I'm not new to Ebay, but this is a totally new account (my old one was a business account which I can no longer use without informing the tax man!) hence why I have no feedback. I have other items to sell, once my account is verified, due to the brands of the items.

I am selling, a Dorothy Perkins dress, American Eagle jeans, a Pacha t-shirt, an Ed Hardy T-shirt and belt, a Vila wrap top, and two boyfriend jumpers. Here's the link to my items .




Thursday, 24 January 2013

Blogger Swap with FHCS

You probably thought you had long seen the last of Christmas posts. 'Fraid not. As I am apparently the worlds worst blogger, it's taken me ages to get around to photographing my Christmas blogger swap parcel I mentioned in my presents post. (There is a reason for this, I will explain shortly)
 
The swap is organised by Lakota of Faith Hope and Charity Shopping, and like last time, she paired me up with another fantastic blogger, whose blog I now follow like a crazed stalker. I was paired up with the lovely Alex of Odd Socks and Pretty Frocks, and she put my parcel to shame! I completely forgot to add a card, she even wrapped the box up it came in. I was so eager to unwrap it all, I forgot to take a photograph of them wrapped (see, worlds worst blogger syndrome strikes again!) but let's be honest, you want to see what's inside more anyway!
 
I'll get the Christmassy element out of the way fairly quickly - just squint your way through it will be fine!
 
Alex was super diligent in tagging her parcels up - although she made me guess what the carols were associated to the gifts - just in case I'm wrong, I'm going to let you think what they might be yourselves!


The Cinnamon sticks smell divine! I hope they keep their smell until next year! The little robin earrings are amazing (talented lady) and they went lovely with my outfit on the big day. I haven't eaten the hot chocolate stirrer yet, but with the weather being as it is currently, I think this is the perfect time to use it! It's given me ideas for next years gifts too.


This vintage woollen scarf was thrifted. Its very Potter-esque!


This little beauty was the absolutely icing on the cake! Isn't it completely darling!?! This is the reason for the delay in taking the photos, as I was going to show it by me wearing it, however, I've been having one of those "I feel fat and spotty" months, and felt I didn't do it justice! The dress is a Topshop one that Alex "swished". Clearly I need to get into this swishing lark! I've styled it up with the belt, and the black bows. They were in the same parcel, and I wasn't sure where on the dress they were supposed to go. I tweeted Alex who admitted that she realised she had too many packages so put the bows in with the dress - I think the one on the neckline really sets it off! I would wear this with some thick black tights for a night out. I would have gone beautifully with the clutch I sent Alex, but sadly I am far too nice a person and grudgingly packaged it up and sent it off (I was very sad to see it go!)

Go check out Alex's blog, and if you fancy getting involved in thrifty themed blogger swaps, follow Lakota's blog as I'm sure there are more to come!!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Mostly........

I’ve wanted to start doing a few more regular posts. They may not necessarily be every week, but will pop up on a fairly regular basis. I wanted to try this on out as one of them – it may not work out all the time, as some of the things may be the same for a few weeks.

So lately I’ve mostly been:-

Eating........
Malteaser bunnys. I know it’s nowhere near Easter yet,  but my local Tesco is already starting to stock some of its Easter goods and been as these beauties are only around for a short period of time, I’ve got to get as much of my fix as possible in the short period of time they are available (4 months!) right!?!
 
Watching.......
The Big Bang Theory. I’m still working my way through my boxset (I’m now up to season 5) and hoping E4 start re-showing Season 6 from the beginning as Season 6 doesn’t come out on DVD until September. I’ve also been watching the new season of NCIS which has just started, and a few old re-runs of Castle. I only got into Castle recently, and while I’m waiting for the new series I’m going through a few old ones that I’ve missed.
 
Wearing.......
Navy Jeans. I’ve invested in a few new pairs of jeans, as some of my others didn’t fit too well, so I’ve got rid of them and bought new ones. Since buying this pair of navy blue jeans from Dorothy Perkins, I’ve been obsessed with wearing them all the time.
 
Reading......
Twilight. Yes still. I began reading it just before Christmas and flew through most of it, but then I got really busy and haven’t gotten around to finishing it off. I’ve only got the last couple of chapters to read so I’m determined to finish it off this weekend.
 

Doing.......
Like most of the country, we’ve had a fair amount of snow here, so I’ve been getting bundled up to take my boy out for a fun walk, and throwing a few snowballs for him. (He can never understand why he can’t find them if he doesn’t catch them!)
 
Cooking......
Tacos. These have become our weekend treat, usually a Friday, as they are really quick to make and really tasty. We tend to put all the ingredients in separate bowls and just dig in. I know they aren’t very healthy though!
 
 
Drinking........
I normally try to avoid drinking alcohol in January, I’m not sure why it’s just something I do, but this last week I’ve been re-discovering my love of Strawberry Koppaberg. Whoops!
 
 
Playing......

I’ve become stupidly addicted to two ridiculous iphone games – Candy Crush and Bubble Witch. I’m not sure how it happened, it just did.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

It's not all doom and gloom

This morning I was listening to Radio 2 - I have now become old and have left my young Radio 1 days behind as I no longer like anything they play and instead a good sing-along and a pop master quiz on Radio 2. (I also feel its far more classy to have Radio 2 on casually in the background whilst cooking with a glass of wine, but thats just me) It never fails to cheer me up in a morning - it's hard to be sad singing along to "how do you like your eggs in the morning" Anyway, the presenter Chris Evans said something along the lines of "Count your blessings, but count your best blessings twice". I really loved the sentiment behind this idea. I think sometimes we spend so thinking about what we don't have, we forget what we do have. I couldn't find anything with that exact quote, but I felt the one above worked just the same.

So my "double blessings" are thus :- my supportive and loving future husband, my beautiful labrador Toby, and my affectionate cat, Star. I'm healthy (aside from a niggly sore throat and a snuffley nose), I've not got alot of money in the bank (in fact at the moment I'm in my overdraft! Whoops!) but I'm comfortable, my bills are paid, the heating is on, and there's food in the cupboards and I have god knows how many channels to find nothing to watch on. I've got a steady and secure job, good friends who will be there for me no matter what. My family are also in good health and generally we all have a pretty fair standard of living. I own my own car, I have numerous electrical gadgets, a wardrobe full of clothes and shoes (nothing to wear though, obviously) and drawers full of make up. Actually when you put it all down like that, it doesn't look so bad after all does it :)

 

What are some of your "double blessings"?

Ps I recognise this is a bit of a random post for me, but that quote was something I really wanted to share, and I thought it followed on frm my previous post nicely, just in a different way.

 

 

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Beating the January Blues



Doesn't January seem like such a long month? Christmas and New Year are well and truly over, the sales are reduced to the bits and bobs that have been picked up and left behind, and the bank balance is looking decidedly low, yet there's still much more month left after the money! January can be a sad and depressing time for many people, as the reality of the money and debt accumulated over Christmas finally comes home to roost, it's still dark in the mornings and evenings and by now all the good diet/healthy lifestyle intentions appear to have gone out of the window. So, I wanted to inspire you with some thrifty ideas to get you through to the end of the month. 


FASHION

We all like a good fashion pick me up, but shopping is probably the last thing we should all be doing right now. I don't know about you, but I have the worlds biggest washing and ironing pile that I only occasionally reach the bottom of, but when I do I always discover a little gem I've forgotten about. Try tipping your washing/ironing upside down, and starting from the bottom for a change, and re-discover something you may have forgotten about.
 
Your probably thinking what's fun about washing and ironing!?! Well aside from the above mentioned reasons, ironing is a good excuse to take over the TV for a few hours. All those recordings on your planner or DVD box sets you've got, work your way through those whilst working your way through your laundry! A few hours can fly by and you'll have an empty basket before you know it! (If you're dieting, this will also stop you mindlessly munching in front of the TV!)
 
Another cheap fashion idea is the good old charity shop trawl. Make an agreement with yourself/thrift buddy, that you can only buy second hand goods on your shopping trip. Put aside an agreed amount, say £20, and make a day of it by going somewhere different to usual. Never suggest sales shopping when your skint - high street stores are clever at putting their full priced items near their sale ones to tempt you to their more expensive wares! Sneaky!
 

BEAUTY

How many times have you quickly slicked on nail polish before going out only to find it chipping less than two hours later? As your now broke, your not likely to be going out for a couple of weeks, (and your probably detoxing/dieting/starving yourself) so why not spend Friday or Saturday night having a good old pamper, with a soak in the bath and a full home mani and pedi. And don't give me that rubbish you haven't got any nice bath bombs/bubble baths etc. Spend a Sunday afternoon having a good old clear out of your bathroom cabinet, and again, rediscover what you had forgotten you had! I did this the other weekend and found so many samples I had not realised I had got! There's also loads of places on the internet that will give you home-spa ideas that can be made from items you probably have in your kitchen cupboards.

BLOGGING

Obviously having a blog and being able to spend an afternoon writing and editing a post can while away many an hour, but often as a blogger you feel you need to always be buying something, or have the latest "it" item. Don't feel pressured into spending cash you haven't got why not blog about other things in your life, even if its only to talk about how under pressure you feel to spend money for example! If, like me, during your purge of the bathroom cabinet you discover a new wonder product, blog about that instead! Even if it's rubbish, blog about that! A new blog post, and all for nothing.
 
Many bloggers often complain about their lack of camera skills. Whether you got a fancy DSLR for Christmas or you're still using your old point & shoot, take the time to read the manual - I mean the full manual, not the scabby bit of paper that comes in the box. This may mean downloading it online, but it's usually free, and you may find a myriad of features you weren't aware of. Then take your camera for a walk (I don't mean literally put a lead on it or anything) but instead of just "going for a walk", take your camera with you, and learn how to use it. Taking pictures of scenery/animals/people/or whatever randomness floats your boat, will help you get a feel for what settings do and don't work. There are then a number of free picture editing sites on the Internet you can use to make them better - Pic Monkey is one for example.
 
Read blogs - sounds obvious huh? But how many blogs that you follow do you actually read? Have you started following some and only read their recent posts? I find it really inspiring to read some of my favourite blogs first few posts. It often helps me remember that we all started somewhere, and there is some great content hidden in the archive depths!
 
 
BOOKS

Re-discover your inner bookworm. I hear so many people saying that they just don't have time to read anymore, and I'm exactly the same. Without even realsing it, some days, I've spent an hour catching up on my bloglovin feed, an hour on pinterest, an hour watching TV, an hour cooking and eating my tea and before I know it, whoops its bedtime! I'm making a conscious effort to try to read for at least half an hour a day where possible. I used to be such a big reader, but my boyfriend bought me the most beautiful set of Twilight books for my birthday which I haven't even started! If you are a reader, I'm sure you've got lots of books that you just haven't got around to reading yet. If not, try it! My partner isn't a big reader, but he enjoys autobiographies of sports personalities he is fond of, or you could try a book based a film you enjoy. Most people have a local library within easy reach of them, and many are now open on Saturdays and allow you to renew online or return your books via a safe box when the library is closed (to avoid those costly fines!) Reading is the ultimate cheap/free activity. Its a great thing to get your kids into as it helps them in every area of their education, and many libraries are not the silent stuffy places they used to be, and have noisy children's sessions in them instead. If libraries really aren't your thing, books are very cheap in charity shops and often start at around 20p. Bargain!

FOOD
 
Most people start January on some sort of diet or another, but those good intentions often get forgotten when we are feeling a little bit sorry for ourselves because we are broke, and that bar of chocolate will make it all better. One thing you could try is meal planning, not only will this save you money, as you will only buy the food you need and be less likely to buy takeaways, but it will keep you on the straight and narrow diet-wise. Spend an evening surrounded by recipe books (see my tip about libraries if you don't own any) and similar magazines, and be inspired by all the new recipes you could try. Don't be daunted by something that may take a few hours, that's a good thing, as it's keeping you busy, stopping you spending, and making the hours to payday come ever closer.
 
If you really want to have the feel of a night out or a get together, why not arrange a small house party/Come Dine With Me party. You could arrange to provide the food - which can also be done very cheaply, if other people bring the alcohol. With the Come Dine With Me type scenario, agree a budget to be spent on food. You could take it in turns to do a full 3 couse dinner, or you could agree to do a course each to keep the costs down.

 
 
Hopefully this post has helped you realise that just because your bank balance is looking a bit bleak, not everything is, and you can still have fun for next to nothing!
What activities do you enjoy doing that don't cost alot?






Sunday, 6 January 2013

OOTD - Dress over jeans

I'm going a bit all 90s on you today. You may recall in my Charity Shop Haul post that I bought this dress and mentioned I was going to style up over a pair of skinny jeans. Anyway, it's taken a while for me to photograph this outfit, but I finally got around to it.
 
 
I don't think I have worn a dress over jeans since I was in college, but I wear them over leggings a lot, and I guess it's technically the same! I styled it up with my favourite Clarks Orinoco Jazz Riding Boots. I feel all I need to finish this outfit off is a 70s style big floppy brown hat!
 

Instead, I'll just settle for a bag!

Do you ever wear dresses over jeans?

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Christmas Presents

So this post is slightly late, but I'll be honest I just enjoyed relaxing and basically doing nothing over Christmas - this was the festive period of the pj's and the box set, washed down with an inordinate amount of alcohol. (I got myself into a routine of consuming some form of alcohol on a daily basis - I am not an alcoholic honest! I am not in denial either!!)
 
Over the festive period some of my favourite posts have been looking at what people have had for Christmas - I love a good haul post - but I've read on some posts that there's been talk of this being a big braggy. I can't say I have seen any of this, but if that's your opinion, that's OK, just come back over the weekend for an outfit post instead. OK, great - on with what I received for Christmas.
 
This is everything I got from everyone - my partner, friends, and both sets of parents - the only thing not shown here is what I received in my Christmas blogger swap - that will be in a separate post.
 
 
Calender/Organiser, A gorgeous scrapbooking set, including loads of embellishments (I have no idea where to start with this by the way, any ideas?) and Harry Potter Scene it?
 
 
Lots of books! I've read all the Percy Jackson's but on my Kindle, so I wanted them as physical books. I haven't read the Hunger Games, so I was pleased to receive this set. I had asked for the Jamie Oliver Cookbook - I've got my eye on 30 Minutes Meals and Ministry of Food next too.
The 'Sweet Tooth' book was a complete surprise, and was from my brother, who isn't known for his gift buying abilities, so this was really well chosen by him.
 
"The Big Bang Theory" DVD was a complete surprise. I haven't really seen it, but I have seen bits and found it funny, but I wanted to watch it all properly from the beginning. I'm currently watching it as I type!
 
 
Two sparkly Dorothy Perkins Jumpers, two pairs of slippers, socks, pants (obviously!), a River Island clutch, two sets of PJ's from Boux Avenue - one is checked and the other has a snowflake print - and sparkly ballet pumps.
 

I didn't get that many smellies this year - and surprisingly nothing from Lush, which means I can just go buy my own with my Christmas money! I love Lady Million, and the Sex and the City set is nice, I especially like the miniature perfume bottle to go in your bag. Its really long wearing too! The Pandora charm is an aeroplane, and the heart ornament says "To The Best Auntie Jen" on it.

 
Finally these have to be my favourite Christmas gifts. A full antique dressing table set, and various pots to go on there too - the glass is blue glass so it all goes beautifully in my bedroom. I thought you guys would really like to see this as this was thrifted by my Mum - she is the ultimate thrifter! I have used the pots to store bits and pieces of jewellery in.
 
I've also bought Downton Abbey to watch (I haven't seen any of that either!) I've never been into watching box sets, but I'm loving all this TV. I bought my other half Homeland Season 1 so that's also on the list.
 
Did you get any good box sets this Christmas?



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