Thrifty Finds No. 7: Charity Shops

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For most of this week I’ve had a well earned break from work, and on Wednesday afternoon my mum and I went thrift shopping for the first time in months.  We decided to head to two local towns to browse the charity shops, and it was well worth the trip, as I managed to find some fantastic bargains!

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Be Beau Studded Cardigan – £1.00

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Jaeger Striped Shirt – £1.00

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Omen Skeleton T Shirt – £1.00

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Lipsy Lace Bolero – £3.00

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Living Dead Souls Leopard Print Cardigan – £3.50

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Zara Shirt – £3.75

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Farhi Maxi Skirt – 99p

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Books – 75p and 50p

Total Spend: £15.49

I’m really pleased with this haul as I managed to get pieces for work and leisure, from some great brands.  My two favourites are the Zara shirt, which looks great with black skinnies and heels, and the Lipsy lace bolero.  The bolero still had its tags attached so is brand new, and was actually £15.00 in the Lipsy sale, so at £3.00 was an absolute steal!

Naomi x

Alexander McQueen Autumn Winter Wishlist

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McQueen AW WishlistFolded Drape Mini Skirt / Ladder High Neck Dress / Rouched Knit Crew Neck Jumper / Long Handkerchief Skirt / Silk Chiffon Creased Roses Scarf / Studded Heeled Bootie / Legend Bag / Draped Sleeve Flare Dress / Petal Sleeve Double Breasted Coat / Studded Continental Wallet / Folded Drape Mini Dress / Studded Heroine Bag

I’ve always been more of an Autumn/Winter fan than a Spring/Summer one (which is probably just as well considering I live in chilly little England!), so although I’m enjoying the longer days, blue skies and lush landscapes of the current months, I can’t help but get a little bit excited about the up and coming Autumn/Winter collections from my favourite shops and designers.  Walking around the Highcross last week, I’ve already started to notice a slow trickle of thicker fabrics and darker colours coming in and, much to my delight, Alexander McQueen have also just launched their Pre Autumn Winter 2015, and Autumn Winter 2015 collections.  There are some absolutely stunning pieces in both collections, but unfortunately I’m far too poor to afford any of it!  So I thought I’d share with you my McQueen Autumn/Winter wishlist, so that you can see how beautiful it all is, but also so I can come back to it during the end of year sale to remind myself of what I want, in the hope that I will then be able to afford it!

Which is your favourite piece?

Naomi x

Rustics Love It Box

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Rustics is a small subscription box company with a difference, as most of the items in the box are lovingly handcrafted using eco-friendly materials, by the very talented Nic. She also tries to source products locally where possible, and all boxes are packaged from her home studio.

RusticsEvery box contains around seven to ten items, such as stationery, craft kits and gift items, with an approximate value of £30. The items inside the box are kept as a surprise, but Nic releases sneak peeks of the contents on her website and social media (you can find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).

A limited number of boxes are launched at 8pm on the 1st of each month. The first box – a heart themed Love It Box – was launched in June, and I was lucky enough to receive one through my letter box (the boxes are the perfect size to fit through, so you don’t have to worry about missing a delivery!)

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The first thing that struck me when I opened the box was how nicely it was packaged. The box was sealed with monochrome heart washi tape, and the contents inside were carefully wrapped with tissue paper. The monochrome heart theme continued with the items inside, and there was far more crammed into that little box than I was expecting!

So what did I get? Well, inside was two handmade heart greetings cards, a hand printed cotton tote bag, a decopatch wooden heart craft kit, two mini wooden heart tags, a heart pencil, a handmade jasmine tea bag, a ‘You Are Something Special’ print, and some heart-shaped confetti.

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Everything in the box is fantastic quality, and the theme is impressively consistent and carried off well. There’s nothing in the box that I don’t like, and it’s hard to pick a favourite item, but I must say I’m really looking forward to having a go at the decopatch kit when I have a free weekend!

There are three payment options for the boxes – a buy now single payment is £17, a monthly subscription is £15 a month, or a three-month single payment is £40 – and all come with free delivery. But however you choose to pay for your subscription, Nic will donate £1 from each box to a different charity each month.

I’m so impressed with Nic’s boxes as they’re so different from any I’ve seen before, and it’s obvious how much love and thought goes into every single item. If you want to bag one for yourself, check out the Rustics website.

Naomi x

 

London Pride 2015

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On Saturday, Charles and I headed down to London to watch the annual Pride parade.  We managed to get a front row spot on Oxford Street so we had a great view of the day’s events, and to top it off the weather was beautiful and sunny.  This year Pride came one day after same-sex marriage was made legal in all 50 US states, which made the day feel extra special.  The atmosphere was so positive and happy, and everyone looked like they were having a fantastic time celebrating.  By the end of the afternoon I was covered in confetti and stickers, and had a huge smile on my face.

One of the highlights of the day for me was seeing LGSM (Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners) leading one of the parade sections.  The film Pride, which tells the story of how and why LGSM was formed, is one of my favourite films, so it was fantastic to see the group out in force, over thirty years later, especially considering the similarity between our current political climate, and that of the 1980’s.

Unfortunately I didn’t get many photos, and they’re not the best quality as I was using my phone, but here are a few of my favourites from the day.

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We also went to see the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition at the V&A, which was an amazing and overwhelming experience.  I’m hoping to go again during July, and I also plan on reviewing the exhibition, so check back soon for that.

Did you go to Pride this year?

Naomi x

Waffle Sundae

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It might still be a bit chilly out some days, but it’s slowly but surely becoming more like summer, and what better way to enjoy the sun than with an ice cream sundae?

I’m not one for eating ice cream plain, I love it piled high with sweet, sticky toppings, and sundaes are a fun way to customise your pudding just the way you want it. I recently got hold of these cute little sundae glasses which are made to look like waffle cones, so to stick to the theme I wanted to share with you my easy but delicious waffle sundae!

Ingredients (Serves 2):

2 Belgian Chocolate Waffles

Carte Dor Vanilla Ice Cream

Askeys Toffee Sauce

This isn’t a recipe as such as it’s so simple to make. You just chop the waffle into bite size pieces (you can warm it through first for extra melty luxury), and then layer as much ice cream, waffle and toffee sauce as you like! Minimum effort, maximum deliciousness.

The sundae glasses are from Drinkstuff, and cost £9.99 for a set of four. They’re made of thick acrylic, which is supposed to keep the ice cream cooler for longer, and I can definitely vouch for the fact that my incredibly soft scoop Carte Dor didn’t melt before I finished my sundae. I quite like the fact that they’re made of plastic as they’re almost impossible to break, which is perfect for clumsy souls like myself, especially when eating outside on the patio! They’re the ideal size for a generous single serving, and you’ll be pleased to hear that you can even get your sundae spoon right to the bottom to dig out the last morsels of yum!

What are your perfect sundae toppings?

Naomi x

50 Things That Make Me Happy

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I’ve been experiencing a lot of stress and anxiety lately for various reasons, so to remind myself of the good things I have going on, I’ve decided to take part in a tag that I’ve seen doing the rounds lately – 50 Things That Make Me Happy.  Making this list has actually helped me feel a bit better and shift my focus away from the negative, so I tag anyone who’s been feeling a bit down in the dumps lately!

So in no particular order, here are my 50 things…

1. My fiancé, Charles.

2. My pet rats, past and present.

3. Cooking, and trying out and inventing new recipes.

4. Spending time with my family.

5. Seeing my friends.

6. Going to gigs.  I love that feeling of being in the same air space as my musical heroes, and hearing them sing my favourite songs live.

7. Taking photographs.  Whether it’s a snapshot for Instagram, or a shoot with my DSLR, photography is a definite passion of mine.

8. Being outdoors.  I try to get out as much as possible as it makes me far happier than being cooped up inside all day.

9. Theme Parks.  There’s nothing quite like the adrenaline rush you get from a massive rollercoaster!

10. Eating out at my favourite restaurants.

11. Being appreciated at work.  It’s always nice to hear some good feedback, either from a manager, a colleague, or a student.

12. Running for charity.  I try to complete an event every year.  This year I’m doing the Race for Life.

13. That feeling of buying and wearing new shoes and clothes.

14. Glastonbury.  The town, not the festival.  It’s a beautiful place.

15. Dublin.  Another of my favourite places.

16. Watching wildlife.  Squirrels, foxes, hedgehogs, rabbits, everything.  I especially have a thing for birds.  My mum likens me to Bill Oddie…

17. Volunteering.  I recently did some volunteering at the local wildlife hospital and I loved it.

18. Chocolate, cake, puddings, pastries, ice cream.  All the sweet food.

19. Chilling with my favourite TV shows.

20. Mine and Charles’ takeaway and movie nights.

21. Getting home from work.

22. A good cup of tea.

23. Coca Cola from a cold glass bottle, especially on a hot day.

24. Finding a bargain.  It makes getting something new feel that little bit sweeter!

25. Going to carboot sales.  See above.

26. Books.  The way they look, the way they feel, the way the smell, the stories within them.

27. Watching Grav3yardgirl videos.

28. Listening to my favourite music.  In particular, Kate Bush, Nine Inch Nails, Placebo and Mike Oldfield take me to my happy place these days.

29. Fireworks.  And bonfires.  And Bonfire Night in general.

30. Halloween.  It’s one of the best days of the year.

31. Going to the cinema.

32. Writing.  Blogging, scribbling in my journal before bed, jotting down stories.  Love it all.

33. Saving money for a house.  I smile every time I see my savings account balance go up.

34. Weekend breakfasts.  They usually consist of pain au chocolat, croissants, fruit toast, or something like that. Yum.

35. Storms.  Thunder and lightning reminds me that I’m part of something big and powerful, and it’s amazing.

36. Walking and hiking.

37. Geocaching.  It’s been a while since I last did any but it’s a lot of fun.

38. My mum’s cats.

39. Boxing Day.  I like it more than Christmas Day and Boxing Day lunch is one of the best meals of the year.

40. My birthday.

41. Family and friends’ birthdays.

42. Hugs.

43. Foot and back rubs.

44. New Walk Museum in Leicester.  It’s been one of my favourite places to go since I was a kid.

45. Camden.

46. People showing that they care, with a gesture, a question, a smile etc.

47. Getting a good night’s sleep.  They’re rare, but damn do I appreciate it when I get one.

48. Winning things.  Competitions, games of Monopoly.  S’all good.

49. Swimming in the sea.

50. Camping.  Feeling the grass on my feet, the fresh smell of dew in the morning, watching the sun set, cooking breakfast on a camping stove.  God I love it.

What are 50 things that make you happy?

Naomi x

Race for Life 2015

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I try to do at least one charity run every year, and this year I’ll be doing the Race for Life again.  The Race for Life is a huge nationwide event which runs every year, where women and children of all ages come together to run, jog, walk, or even dance a 5k or 10k route, to raise money for Cancer Research UK.  I’ve signed up to do the local 5k race on 5th July, which gives me just under two months to do some fundraising!

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My fundraising target for this year is £50, but I hope to raise as much money as possible.  So, if you can spare a few pounds, please sponsor me via my JustGiving page.  Also, if you’re a UK taxpayer, please tick the Gift Aid box, as this will increase your donation by 25%, at no extra cost to you.

Thank you everyone!  And please check back in July for my Race for Life photos!

Naomi x

 

What I Wore: Burgundy

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Connection Burgundy Dress / George Black Shrug / Primark Tights / Blonde + Blonde Lace Up Block Heel Boots / Juno Black Patent Grab Bag / Le Chat Marcasite Watch

On Sunday I went out for a lovely meal with my in-laws, to celebrate Charles’ Grandma’s 90th birthday.  We went to The Grey Lady in Newtown Linford, and had a private room for twelve to enjoy our delicious three course lunch.

I decided to wear something colourful for a change, so I went for this gorgeous burgundy dress that I bought from Everything5Pounds a little while ago.  Considering it was so cheap the quality is fantastic, and I adore the subtly patterned floral fabric.

Of course, I had to get some black in there somewhere, so I teamed it with black tights and a black shrug from George (it was a bit chilly out!), my Blonde + Blonde boots, which are becoming a wardrobe staple of mine, and one of my favourite bags.

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You might have also spotted our neighbour’s little kitty, who likes to photobomb when I take outfit photos!  She’s the cutest.

Naomi x

What I Wore: Witchcraft

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Handmade Flocked Skater Dress / MortiisM Vegan Skull Necklace / Blonde + Blonde Lace Up Block Heel Boots / Primark Tights

Today’s outfit post is also a Thrifty Finds post, as my beautiful flocked skater dress was handmade by my very talented mum, using fabric that we got from a carboot sale.  And the best part is the fabric only cost £1!  My mum drafted the pattern for this herself, using the bodice from one of my dresses, and the skirt from another, so it turned out the exact fit, shape and length I was hoping for.  I’m so impressed by mum’s work, especially as this was the first adult dress she ever made.  The stitching is so neat, it’s comfortable, and it fits me really well – quite an achievement considering I tried the bodice on once whilst she was making it, and that’s it!  Needless to say I’ll be asking her to make me another dress very soon, as I’m so pleased with this one.

My necklace is also a craft piece, by the lovely MortiisM, who makes vegan skull and metal jewellery, antlers, and homewares.  I won this piece in a giveaway on Instagram, and I adore it.  I love the length, and the quality of the piece is really high.  It looks so real, and the Swarovski adornment is like the icing on the cake.  Stunning!

Naomi x

P.S. Check out how else I styled these boots!

What I Wore: Mandala

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Per Una Crochet Long Top (Thrifted) / Primark Basic Vest / Primark Black Skinny Trousers / Blonde + Blonde Lace Up Block Heel Boots / Four Beautiful Keys Moon Necklace

The last few days have been warm enough to go out without a coat or jacket, so today when Charles and I headed out for lunch, I decided to wear something with a bit of detail that wouldn’t be covered.  I’m still not quite over my winter passion for layering, so this long crochet top by Per Una seemed like the perfect transition item.  I picked this up for £1 from a carboot sale a few weeks ago, as you probably saw in my latest thrifty finds post, and it’s so comfortable and light.  I adore the long bell sleeves with their mandala-type crochet patterning, and the length of the top is really flattering.

I needed some new black skinnies for Spring, but wanted something lighter than denim, and these Primark trousers are ideal.  I found them in the jeans section, but they’re actually made of a soft stretchy fabric.  They fit really well too, which is a big thing for me as I have long legs so usually struggle to find trousers that are long enough for me, but these are fine!

The lace up boots are also new, and were an amazing find.  I was strolling through the local shopping centre a few weeks ago, with no intention of buying anything, but happened to spot them in the window of BANK.  The shop was having a closing down sale, and these babies were discounted from £38 to just £7.60!  Lucky for me, despite the shop being almost empty, there was one pair left in my size, so it was meant to be, especially as I’ve been after some laced block heel boots for MONTHS.  Winner!

Naomi x

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