Do the perfect pair of black leggings exist? I think so…

There’s something almost Holy Grail-esque about finding perfect wardrobe basics. Considering these garments are defined as ‘basic’, it is easy to assume that purchasing them will be well, basic. As every committed fashionista out there knows however, this is sadly … Continue reading

I’m back!

It feels like an absolute age since I last sat down and blogged – in reality it’s been 20 days since I posted my charity shop haul.  I’ve had a manic few weeks but as things have finally started to settle down, I wanted to catch-up and let you know what I’ve been up to…

Well, top on the list has been studying.  I finally finished my Byron essay, after spending most of Christmas and the New Year working on  it.  I could easily still be sat here now working on it as I’m never happy but I got it finished and sent off last week.  It’s all about waiting for the results now…fingers crossed!

studying MA

I’ve spent MANY hours sat at the computer typing away…

Seeing as I couldn’t commit to blogging during this time, I’ve mostly been adding little bits here and there on twitter and Instagram.  I really love the visual nature of Instagram and it appeals to the wannabe photographer in me!

I’ve made a number of new charity shop purchases and have set myself a little challenge for this year.  With the exception of items such as underwear and socks, I’m going to attempt to only buy clothes from charity shops and vintage markets this year.  So far so good, although I am hankering after a T-shirt in New Look that says ‘Skint’ on it as it pretty much describes me at the moment!

After finishing my essay, I went to my local library and got out a load of books.  I’ve read two and am currently working through a third one at the moment.  I’m also reading a biography of the poet John Clare as I want to write my MA dissertation on him.  If you haven’t heard of or read any Clare, he’s a Romantic period contemporary of Byron and Keats. He had little formal education, wrote mainly about country life and sadly, spent many years in asylums.  For me, his poetry is a sheer delight – lyrical, beautiful and poignant.

I’ve also joined a Pilates class and I am loving it!  I don’t go to the gym because I genuinely don’t enjoy the atmosphere; I much prefer exercising on my own or in small classes like this.  I also intend to start running again from next week but most likely on the treadmill as it’s currently very cold here!

I’ve taken part in two new year challenges.  Firstly, I took part in the 14 day #ProjectPositive Instagram challenge with Anastasia Amour.  for the first 14 days of January, I posted images that related to the different topics set.  It was great fun and I got to ‘meet’ some lovely new people and to think about myself in a different light.  Do go and check out Anastasia’s blog – she’s all about empowering women to be more body confident and positive – a lovely lady too!

Secondly, I’ve been decluttering…big time!  My lovely new friend at Pauper to Princess has been running a January declutter challenge whereby you get rid of one item on the 1st, two on the 2nd etc., all the way up to thirty-one items on the 31st.  To be honest, I cannot tell you have much I’ve got rid of but it’s standing at a few sacks so far!

onesies charity

These onesies have gone to charity

books charity

Books I’ve read have either gone to charity or to friends

de-clutter challenge

I’ve been passing on old magazines to friends

I think that just about covers my January so far.  I hope you are all well and have been making the most of this month!

Charity Shop Haul

Yesterday, I posted a picture of myself on Instagram wearing a jumper I bought from a charity shop.  The picture has proved very popular and I’ve been ‘chatting’ to lots of new people who are, like me, really into charity shop shopping.

I’ve been buying stuff from charity shops for years (long before it was a fashionable thing to do) and have therefore had varied reactions from people when I tell them about my passion for second-hand.  My favourite conversation was with one lady who, whilst regularly donating her unwanted (and freshly laundered) clothes, wouldn’t dream of buying anything from charity shops because ‘the clothes are dirty and smelly’…erm, what?!  I do think charity shops have a far better reputation these days and some are so well laid out and the windows are so well dressed, they have almost a ’boutiquey’ feel to them.  In the town where I live there are more charity shops than anything else, so there’s never a shortage of bargains to be had.

Having been thoroughly disappointed by the sales in the high street stores, I decided to have a ‘charity shop mooch’.  This differs from a ‘charity shop hunt’, as with a hunt you have specific items in mind, a mooch is more open to inspiration!  There are a few bits that if I’m lucky enough to spot, I will always buy and that’s vintage teacups and saucers and 1980s clothing.

As it was the Sunday between Christmas and New Year, there were only a couple of charity shops open but I did get some excellent bargains.

The first item I found was in the Air Ambulance shop and it was the jumper mentioned above, which cost £4.25.  I think it’s a late 1980s/early 1990’s jumper and it has European sizing – I did a bit of research and I think the brand is German. Size-wise it’s a 42, which I think equates to a UK 14.  I like oversized jumpers with skinny jeans so it’s perfect.  I’ll mention here that it is worth being open to trying different sizes on when charity shopping.  I’ve got sizes ranging from 10 to 18 as some things do lend themselves to being worn a bit baggier or more fitted.  If you like the item, try it on – you might be pleasantly surprised!

Vintage Jumper

Vintage Jumper

From this charity shop, I also picked up two bath towels at £1 each, which I use under fleece in the guinea pig cages.  For those of you who do use fleece/towels combinations in your piggy cages, charity shops often tuck these bits away at the back of the store.  I always wash anything I use for the guinea pigs in fragrance-free non-bio powder and never use fabric conditioner.  I didn’t take any pics of the towels I’m afraid but hey, you all know what one looks like! (The piggies usually get a present or treat of some kind when I go shopping – spoilt piggies!)

The second shop I went in was the British Heart Foundation where I found this gorgeous vintage cup and saucer for £3.25.  I have a similar patterned set in pink, although the cup is larger.  I love the pastoral scene and the combination of blue and white is both traditional and elegant.

IMG_3028 IMG_3029

Pretty Cup and Saucer

Pretty Cup and Saucer

The second item I bought from the BHF is this pair of almost-new Clarks pixie boots.  I LOVE Clarks’ shoes (I got a lovely new pair of black boots for Christmas) and as these were in my size (I have a 6.5 in Clarks) it was clearly fate!  I had a pair almost exactly the same back in the 80s when I was little, so these are a real piece of nostalgia.  I paid £8.99 for these but as they are leather and brand new would probably have cost around £60, I think they were a great find.

Clarks Grey Pixie Boots

Clarks Grey Pixie Boots

If you’re interested in seeing posts of my charity shop finds (amongst other things!), come and follow me on Instagram.  I love to see and hear about other people’s charity shopping too.