Friday, 22 February 2013

What's In Your Pocket? Charity Shop Haul

You know what annoys me? The label 'vintage'. It's just a fancy word for 'second-hand' that hipsters use as an excuse to slap a massive price tag on their old clothing. I always wonder why people bother shopping in vintage shops when they could have a little dig around in a charity shop and pick up the same item for pittance. Take this for example. You can buy this simple, white 'vintage' blouse from ROKIT for £60.00 (£45.00 in the sale. Bargain. Not.) Or of course, you can walk into a charity shop, and find it on the £1 rail as I did last week.

In my mind there are two types of people: people who love charity shops and people who haven't given charity shops a chance. Personally, I can't think of a better shopping experience. The stock is different every time you go in, you can pick up unique pieces that you won't find on the high street and, most importantly, when you buy from a chairty shop you're helping out a good cause. So when Money Supermarket contacted me for their What's in your pocket? project and asked me to spend £20 on whatever makes me feel good, there was only one option for me: charity shop spree!

Nowadays £20 doesn't go far... it might buy you half a dress in Topshop if you're lucky. But going into a charity shop armed with a whole £20 was like being Charlie in the Chocolate Factory for me. I got so many great bargains and still have change to spare! Here's a closer look at what I bought:

This is probably my favourite item I picked up, therefore I shall put it first! It's a delicate lace, Victorian style blouse which was sold in NEXT last year for £45. I picked it up (in PERFECT condition) for just £3.
Total = £3

I am a sucker for blouses and these two set me back just £1 each. The cream one is SO similar to the ROKIT one linked to above but was just £1 instead of £60! Can't go wrong for that can you?
Total = £5

My Mum actually bought this New Look dress for herself initially but then thought it was "too young" for her. I was more than willing to take it off her hands as this was another pound rail bargain!
Total = £6

This Jumper is from the RSPCA and, again, cost me only £1. I loved it because it reminded me of Topshop's knitwear though their's would probably set me back at least £45!
Total =£7

I bought an OPI nail polish in the shade 'Need Sunglasses?' for 50p and a lovely little trinket box for £1. The flower garlands were 50p each and reminded me so much of Crown & Glory. I couldn't pass them up even if I do only end up using them as home decor!
Total = £9.50

I couldn't believe my luck when I picked up these MISSONI cropped trousers in MENCAP. They were brand new WITH tags and cost me just £2.50 although they would have cost hundreds in the shop!  They're beautiful quality and made from virgin wool (what exactly is that? ...the wool of a virgin sheep?)
Total = £12

Shrek 2 is one of my favourite films and The Woman in Black only came out last year and these cost me £1.50 each.

Final total = £15

So there we have it, not only have I got myself some brilliant bargains I've also helped out a handful of charities along the way. AND I've still got £5 left to spend on another charity shopping spree! Warm, fuzzy feelings all around.

Thanks again to the lovely people in Money Supermarket for inviting me to take part in this challenge. It was great fun and made me feel brilliant! Click here to find out more about the What's in your Pocket? blogger challenge.

Have you had any charity shop bargains recently?

Monday, 11 February 2013

Music Monday + New layout

LISTEN IF YOU LIKE: Mumford & Sons, Biffy Clyro

Music is such a massive part of my life and sharing my favourite music is something I love to do but I've always been worried about posting songs on here as I think some people might be put off by it. I've recently had a change of heart and now think this is MY blog and I'll post what I like... don't worry I won't start inundating you with rubbish saying LISTEN TO THIS but I thought one song a week (if that... I might only do one a month!) is hardly spam and you don't have to listen if you don't want to.

The first subject of my new feature 'Music Monday' is Bear's Den. My old housemate, Rob, introduced me to this song, 'Agape', this week and I instantly fell in love with it. I'm a massive Mumford and Sons fan and their sound is very similar, the lead singer also sounds a lot like Simon Neil from Biffy Clyro who I also love!

In other news, you may well have noticed I have a beautiful new layout courtesy of the hugely talented Abby at Un-observed. I found that no matter how hard I tried I just couldn't get my blog to look how I wanted it to look and Abby's done a wonderful job transforming my blog into something I love and finally feels representative of me. My blog design is so important to me because I think of it as an extension of my personality. Thanks again to Abby and if you're thinking about having your blog redesigned definitely give her portfolio a look, she's so professional and just lovely to work with.

What do you think of Bear's Den?

Monday, 4 February 2013

20 random facts about me

Everyone seems to be doing this 20 facts about me thing at the moment and I've absolutely loved reading other people's posts so I thought I'd do one too. I thought I'd really struggle to come up with 20 facts but I've surprised myself, clearly my life isn't as boring as it seems to me! So here goes:
  • I’ve never lived without a cat and couldn’t imagine being without one. Although I’ve managed to develop an allergy to cats in the last few years which is horrible but they're worth the pain.
  • My frame of mind is strongly influenced by the weather. I immediately feel uplifted by blue sky and HATE snow with a passion.
  • My current cat, Frank, we sort of stole from the woman who lived up the road from us and then took him with us when we moved house. She’s my current hairdresser. Bit awkward.
  • I seem to be quite good at winning things. I by no means spend all my days entering competitions but have had a fair bit of luck when I have entered! Over the past few years I’ve won an iPad, a holiday, a £700 Westfield Voucher, a £300 All Saints Voucher and two £50 vouchers amongst other little things!
  • I love TV. I am completely addicted to Game of Thrones, Grey’s Anatomy, Homeland and Dexter. Next on my ‘to watch’ list is Girls.
  • I’m an English Language and Comparative Literature graduate but I’m not half as well-read as I should be considering. Partly because I am the worlds SLOWEST reader and have the attention span of a potato… IE none.
  • I have a strange urge to overuse dashes and exclamation marks when I write blogs. I don’t know why. I don’t do it when I’m writing formally but I guess it’s something to do with wanting you to imagine the tone of voice that I’m saying things in?
  • My favourite clothing shop is Zara although I have some trouble with their sizing. Sometimes a medium will fit me perfectly other times an XL will feel miles too small.
  • I have never been to a gym in my life but will be going for the first time ever on Wednesday. I’ve also started Zumba which is so unlike me because I’m a complete exercise-phobe.
  • I work in a theatre but I’m also a musical addict. When I was at school I was absolutely OBSESSED with the musical ‘Wicked’ and saw it twenty times. Yep you read that right and no I’m not exaggerating. I’ve also seen ‘Les Mis’ four times.
  • I WILL get tickets to see Fleetwood Mac even if it kills me.
  • When I started working Laura Ashley a few months ago I knew nothing about anything. Like, seriously. A customer asked me whether we had any draught excluders or table runners and I didn’t have a clue what she was on about. Another asked for a pelmet and I just stared at her like she was an alien.
  • I’m an introvert. I don’t often feel the need to be around people but I HATE being on my own in the house. I like to know someone’s around even if I don’t see them all day.
  • Working as a programme seller at the Olympics was one of the greatest experiences of my life purely because of the atmosphere. I’ve never experienced anything like it and probably won’t again!
  • I don’t like ‘clubbing’ and hardly ever drink. It’s just not something that appeals to me. I’d far rather go to the cinema, theatre or a gig than go to a nightclub.
  • I love to travel. I’ve been to LA, New York, Florida, Singapore and all over Europe. My favourite place I’ve ever been is Cairns in Australia. Me and my friend stayed in a shack in the rainforest which took a lot of courage because I’m such a townie. I didn’t sleep all night because I was scared about spiders but it was an amazing experience that I’ll never forget.
  • I am RUBBISH at make-up. I’ve pretty much always had the same routine and don’t look after my skin like I know I should. I’d just rather spend money on clothes than beauty and that’s that!
  • My favourite smell is the smell of my garage. Sometimes I go in there just to smell it. So weird.
  • I really despise taking photos of myself which doesn't really lend itself to fashion blogging. I'll keep trying though.
  • I don’t want much in life. I’m not concerned about being wealthy or powerful. I just want to be happy and I don’t mind what form that comes in.
Has anyone else done one of these posts? Leave me your link if you have, I'd love to find out some random facts about you!