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Latest Purchases #55 – A Summer Haul

As you know, I have spent this week redecorating my bedroom with my Mum. We have stripped wallpaper, glossed, sanded, painted, moved furniture and cleaned up the mess I seem to leave in my wake whenever I use a paintbrush! The bedroom is pretty much finished and now comes the fun part of shopping for bedding, art and accessories to perfect the look. After living in a room with three different colours on the walls for almost two years, it is so refreshing and calming to wake up in an all-white room but I am looking forward to adding pops of colour over the next few weeks before I share some pics with you.

My Mum and I worked really hard throughout the day this week and we rewarded ourselves in the afternoon/ evenings with a little trip either to the shops or to the pub for a well-deserved drink. Ian and I are toying with the idea of booking a super last-minute holiday next week so I had a few pieces I wanted to pick up to wear on holiday or during the rest of the summer.

First up was a kimono. I saw these in various shops this summer and love how cool they look thrown over a little dress or with skinny jeans. However, lots of them seem to come with long tassels or really garish designs and I wanted something a little more practical and subtle. I love this pastel blue one from Matalan. The print reminds me of blue and white china and the shape is so flattering and it’s flowing yet still quite structured.

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Whilst in Matalan, I also picked up this white laser-cut handbag. I know white handbags aren’t the most practical item but if we do go away next week, it would be a perfect holiday bag and I will just have to try my best not to spill anything on it!

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I had some vouchers to spend in Paperchase (one of my favourite shops!) so picked up a new phone case and a weekly planner. I love the nautical design on the phone case and it is made of a really soft rubbery plastic that makes it really easy to grip.

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Continuing with the nautical theme, this weekly desk planner will live on my desk at home and hopefully help me plan some blog posts out as I have been rather slack lately. I never want to put pressure on myself to post daily or have set content on specific days but sometimes I look through my photos and find a great recipe that I completely forgot to share s hopefully this planner will get me slightly more organised.

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When Mum and I were in Bath this week, we popped along to check out the new Primark that has recently opened. It is a really nice store actually and I didn’t see the usual disorganised piles of tops that can drive you crazy when you are trying to find the right size! I did want a lovely Fleetwood Mac t-shirt that a few girls on Instagram have been wearing recently but the girl I asked had never even heard of the band, let alone seen the t-shirt I had in mind!

Nonetheless, I did find a rather awesome replacement in this Jurassic Park top! I’m not really one for slogan or logo t-shirts but I love this film franchise so made an exception.

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I also picked up this lovely white lace t-shirt which will go with so many of the jeans and patterned trousers I own.

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With a holiday in mind, I wanted a new sun hat and saw this black one. It is 100% wool and I think it has a boho vibe to it. I think I quite suit hats but always find I’m a bit self-conscious wearing them for the first time. I wore this for dinner in Bath and didn’t feel too out of place!

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I love browsing the jewellery section in Primark and I bought two necklaces, both completely different. The first is a pretty horse shoe necklace made from little pale purple beads and I also got a statement ‘bib’ necklace in navy and gold – two colours I wear a lot. I love the bigger necklace as I have been after one for a while and this quite a statement piece without being too OTT.

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Despite it still being August, my mind is wandering to September and my ‘Back to School’ wardrobe so I picked up a few Autumnal items. Firstly, this navy striped dress. It’s flattering and has Breton stripes…need I say more?!

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I also found these gorgeous cut out tan ankle boots. I have a similar black pair and wore them to death last season so I know I will get a lot of wear out of these too.

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I recently threw out an old pair of black skinny jeans so decided to give Primark’s ‘Super Skinny’ jeans a try after a recommendation from my friend who lived in them! They fit really nicely and are a true black – such a bargain for £11 too!

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Finally – and I apologise for the overshare – I could not resist these pants after our camping trip last weekend!

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Mum and I also found time to pop over to IKEA for dinner and some shopping last night and I think I was quite constrained considering how much lovely stuff I saw as we walked around.

I came away with some lanterns, a vase, lampshade, candles (of course!), a frame for Ian’s new print, some succulents and Orla Kiely-style vases and a very Pinterest-worthy faux fur throw!

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Phew…a few rewards for a week of decorating which still works out cheaper than hiring somebody to do it professionally!

After watching the return of the Bake Off this week I have been bitten by the baking bug so am going to spend this evening perusing my recipe books to find something tasty to make tomorrow whilst looking for a last minute holiday bargain…have a great Saturday night! x

Latest Purchases #26 Matalan Shoe Event

So, I was just turning my laptop off last night after writing a post and an update from one of my favourite bloggers caught my eye. Matalan had just announced they were having a £5 shoe sale and seeing as it is on my drive home from work, I thought that it couldn’t hurt to pop in and have a quick look around!

I have mentioned before how comfortable I find their ballet pumps and for less than a tenner I usually pick up a couple of pairs throughout the year, mainly to wear for work. Today, I managed to limit myself to 3 pairs of ballet pumps but of course picked up a few more bits too!

First of all the shoes…

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Black Suede Loafers:

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Tan Leather Loafers:

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And my favourites, these nude peep toe pumps with gold detailing and a lovely big bow on the front.shoe18 shoe19 shoe20

All three pairs were about £15 full price but I got them all for £5 each. The loafers are so comfortable and look great with tights or bare feet.

I also picked up a few pieces of jewellery. My bargain of the day was this gold ‘lips’ ring reduced to just 50p! I know it’s a kind of love/ hate piece but I think it looks rather rock ‘n’ roll!

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Next, is this double chain with two little sovereigns hanging down. It is a mixture of gold and silver which I wasn’t too sure of but layered over a maxi dress in the summer I think it is perfect for a boho hippy look.

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This three-layered gold chain is decorated in delicate little gold crosses and is a cool take on the goth trend that has been everywhere recently.

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Finally, my favourite purchase of the day and my new favourite necklace…

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This is a real statement piece and I just love the mink grey ribbon that forms the chain. Although it is quite a dramatic piece of jewellery, the gems on it are neutral enough to go with most colours so I hope to get some good wear out of it!

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So that rounds up my little mid-week treat…you can never have too many shoes nor too much jewellery!

Latest Purchases #23 – Feather Shoes

You may be forgiven for thinking that I have a bit of a footwear fetish given how many pairs I feature on this blog and think you may be correct! Before we moved house, I had a good clear out of my wardrobe and counted over 80 pairs of shoes and boots! Although I sent a fair few to the charity shop, I still can’t resist them when I go shopping.

I think it may be because I am between seasonal wardrobes at the moment. It looks as though warmer days are on their way but I am still not ready to pack up my thermals yet, so some new footwear is the perfect way to update a look!

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These feathered beauties are from Matalan and I got them recently reduced to just £6!

I love these suede maroon slip-ons and they are really comfortable too.

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At first, I thought they would be a bit much to wear everyday but the feathers and jewels just make my feet feel a bit more special!

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I am wearing them with black tights at the moment but I can see them looking great with bare legs too…as soon as it is warm enough for me to brave getting them out for the first time this year!

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Latest Purchases #14 – The Sales

As I may have mentioned previously, I love a bargain so I am in heaven when the sales start.

However, over the years I have honed my definition of a bargain and will not buy something simply because it has a large ‘reduced’ label stuck on it!

My golden rules for sales shopping are:

  • Make sure you aren’t buying something that is a fad and will be out of style in a few months. I try to use the sales to buy classic, staple items that won’t date such as a good quality coat, smart black trousers, leather boots etc…
  • Shop smart! I have my eye on various items in the run up to Christmas that I check as soon as the online sales start, like the stripy jacket below. I was going to buy it anyway but decided to wait and see if I could get it for a lower price, and I did!
  • Make sure you buy the right size! It is very tempting to buy smaller sizes during the sales with the intention of going on a diet in the New Year to fit into them. I have done this in the past and it rarely works!
  • Ask yourself if you would buy it if the item was full price. If the answer is ‘no’ then the chances are you are simply buying something for the sake of it, therefore it is not a bargain!

With these rules in mind, I popped into a few shops after Christmas and here is what I came away with:

Black ballet pumps reduced to £5 in Matalan: I actually find Matalan’s ballet pumps very comfortable and black ones go with everything. I thought the delicate bows on the front of these made them look very pretty too and I would wear these out to dinner as well as to work.

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Heart necklace reduced to £1.20 in Accessorize: I love charm necklaces and this red rose one is gorgeous. I have a thing for red accessories anyway so can see myself wearing this a lot.

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Blue and white peacock scarf reduced to £3 in Matalan: This scarf looks a lot more expensive than the £3 price tag and I really like peacock prints. You can never have enough scarves either and this one is lightweight enough to wear through to spring.

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Purple top reduced to £4.99 in Marks and Spencer: This top was reduced from £25 so was a real bargain. It is a very flattering cut so hides those extra festive pounds well! As it is one colour, it will be easy to dress this top up with some accessories.

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Black and white stripy blazer reduced to £9 in Matalan: I have had my eye on this jacket for a few weeks so I was very pleased when I found it for half price in the sales. This is obviously quite a statement print to wear so I will keep the rest of my outfit simple when I wear it – probably black skinny jeans and a plain top.

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Maroon Slippers reduced to £2 in Matalan: I love walking through the door and changing into a pair of slippers and I have them dotted all over the house. These maroon ones will be a lovely addition to my collection and are very comfortable.

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Long stripy t-shirt reduced to £9 in Marks and Spencer: I got some lovely black knitted leggings in my stocking this year and was looking for some long tops to wear with them. This stripy one looks great with them and is just a bit different from the usual black and white stripy tops I always wear.

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Black satchel reduced to £4 in Matalan: I favour satchel bags for work and was very annoyed when I noticed a tear in my current one. This replacement bag is a little on the small side but still looks smart and ‘geek-chic’.

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FCUK lip-glosses reduced to £6 in Boots: I haven’t used any beauty products or make up by FCUK before but these lip-glosses looked so lovely that I couldn’t resist trying them out…I will let you know if they are any good!

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Next Year’s Christmas Stuff: These items come under my ‘Shop Smart’ rule. I always buy my Christmas cards, crackers, stickers and wrapping paper in the January sales. It is so helpful the following Christmas to get all of it out of the loft knowing it is one thing ticked off the to-do list. It does mean you need the room to store it for the year, but if you have the space then I highly recommend it!

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I have also ordered a few bits and bobs online so will probably write about these when they arrive.

Have you managed to bag any bargains in the sales?! x

Latest Purchases #9 and My First Ever Blog Giveaway!

Today’s post is an accessories one, which is something I love! A statement necklace or pair of earrings can change a mediocre outfit into something special so I love my jewellery collection, although Ian thinks it is slowly taking over our bedroom!

The earrings I am featuring today were an absolute steal…you may have guessed by now that I LOVE a bargain! I get my weekly Grazia magazine delivered and do follow the trends to an extent. I like to keep up-to-date on what colours and styles are in vogue but I also know what suits my shape (hourglass) and what style I like (vintage-inspired). So when I find something I like I usually get it, whether it is something quite pricey that I have to save for or something on the sale rail – although deep down I kind of prefer getting a real bargain!

Anyway, I digress…

When I bought my purple boots from Matalan a few weeks ago, I also had a quick look through the jewellery and saw these bargains that I just couldn’t leave on the shelf.

Both pairs were reduced to just 50p each.

The first pair are lovely, sparkly, pale green globes with an embossed pattern on them although I’m not sure if my camera has picked up on the slight sparkle they have.

These are very simple studs that I can see myself wearing on a daily basis.

The second pair look much more expensive than their 50p price tag.

The triangular shape makes them look a bit different to a normal stud and they hang just below the ear. The slightly darker gold gives them quite a vintage look too.

This second pair are my favourites so I decided to get a second pair and do my first ever blog giveaway as a thank you to all my lovely readers and subscribers.

To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment telling me your Winter fashion must-have, whether it is an item of clothing, jewellery, a beauty product or some make-up. I will choose a winner by using an online random number generatorand then pop the earrings in the post to you.

The giveaway is open until Sunday 2nd December and I will contact you to let you know you have won and to get your address…Good Luck! x

My Autumn Boots

I went to Bristol last night to see one of my favourite shows with my Mum:

I first saw The Lion King in London and was blown away by the costumes, songs and dances and last night in Bristol only confirmed why I loved it so much…let’s face it, Disney do it best!

Right, back to today’s post which is a fashion-based one:

No matter what the catwalks are doing, there are always certain colours and fabrics that come back into fashion at certain times of the year; florals in spring, white in summer and lovely rich plums and emerald greens in Autumn.

Although it is slightly depressing, I have found myself packing away my ballet pumps and vest tops and digging out my chunky knits and tights as it has got colder over these last few weeks.

I embrace this change in the weather and fashions though and I am actually getting quite excited at the thought of being able to accessorise with lovely scarves and hats again soon!

Because I tend to live in dresses, I change my footwear from sandals and ballet pumps to boots as it gets colder so I can carry on wearing dresses and skirts with leggings or tights.

I own a couple of pairs of knee-high leather boots but I love ankle boots too and when I saw these purple velvet beauties I had to have them.

One style that keeps popping up on the fashion pages is the Chelsea/ Beatle-inspired ankle boot and they look great tucked into skinny jeans or with dresses.

They are feminine but don’t have a high heel which is a must when you spend most of the day on your feet running around after children!

I already have pairs of tan and black ankle boots so these purple ones are a great addition to my collection.

Not the most practical fabric given the rainy weather we seem to be enjoying, but when it is crisp and dry these velvet boots will be perfect and I can see myself wearing these over the festive period too.

These boots are currently on sale in Matalan for £8…a lovely autumnal bargain!

In more exciting news, I have now finished for half-term! We usually work on 6-week terms but for some reason this was an 8-week one so I feel more than ready for some time off!

This time last year, Ian and I headed to Prague for a few days and, while we won’t need our passports this time, we are getting away for a few days in the gorgeous Stratford-Upon-Avon which I am very much looking forward to.