Gingham and Brights

Oh, how I am living for the bank holiday weekend right now. It’s been such a long week already, and it’s only Tuesday! Bring back sunshine filled weekends, or please speed the next one closer. On Sunday, the boy and I headed home to my parents’ house for family lunch. I always love going home, my folks live in a rural area, just out of town. The drive home is so wonderful right now. It’s as though Spring has suddenly landed, it never fails to put me in a good mood. 

With the sun making an appearance, I decided to wear my new Duck and Duffel gingham dress. Handmade by Debbie, this is the gingham dress of my imagined dreams! When I saw she was selling it, we made a deal, a swap and I’m now the proud owner of a perfectly fitting dream dress. Even the  boy kept commenting on how it, ‘fit like a glove‘. Imagine it in his Lancashire tones and you’ll understand why I’m smiling. Speaking of the boy, I’m sure you’ll agree, he’s really done me proud with these photos. 
When I lived at home, I took a lot of things for granted. The peace and quiet, beatific views and of course, the company and support of living with my parents. One thing I don’t miss is their wifi dongle, no that’s not a euphemism. They can’t get broadband where they live, loading up a webpage can take minutes. So, it’s good to go back, even for an afternoon to stroll around the countryside and enjoy the peace.
// Gingham Dress :: Duck and Duffel // Satchel :: Cambridge Satchel Company // Flats :: Topshop // 
It’s fair to say I’ve fallen for this dress. I’ve already mentally packed it for the boy and I’s European travels in summer. Last year saw me shivering in a cotton sun dress on the steps of a rainy Slovakian castle. Never again. Hopefully, this dress will be the perfect balance. I’m gravitating towards monochromes with splashes of brights at the moment. I’ve just bought a new jacket in, you guessed it, monochrome. I’m blaming the spending ban, I’m so fearful of buying expensive clothes and not wearing them. Monochrome matches everything.
You’ll be seeing more of Duck and Duffel on the blog in May. However, if you can’t wait until then, or you want to invest in your own creation visit Debbie’s blog by clicking here.
What are you most looking forward to over the bank holiday weekend?
As always, much love,


Did you see there’s a new playlist up? I’m a few days early with my tunes for May, give them a whirl!


Isn’t it amazing how much more you can squeeze into your day when you wake just that little bit earlier? Yesterday was one of those days. Satisfyingly long. It’s not that I did anything wonderful, I spent the majority of the day marking extended writing, planning and doing laundry but being up a couple of hours earlier meant I could squeeze in a trip to my favourite charity shop. Albeit, on the pretense that I was only there to donate some dresses. Hmmm.

Fooling no one, I donated my goods and decided to have a quick glance on the clothes rail. At first, I thought my luck was out. I’d seen so many brand new and tagged clothes, but none in my size. I stumbled upon a black cut work detailed H&M fine knit top that I’d spied last week but had decided against buying. With one top in hand, I’d decided the thrifting Gods weren’t on my side. 
Until, I spied this Zenit EM camera. Russian made, these cameras are true vintage beauties. At £5, it would either be a bargain vintage camera or an expensive ornament. Before I could tear myself from the books, a gentleman inquired about the price. Explaining he wanted it to take pictures of birds, he made his excuse of researching and said he would be back. Researching birds on eBay, I’ll bet. No one bought his story. When I went over to take a look, the elderly lady behind the till told me it was mine if I wanted it. That I did, thank you very much. 

One of the many reasons that I return to this charity shop is because of their pricing. It’s fair and reasonable, each item of clothing is £2. I’m happy to take a risk on certain things for this reason. I just hope they can make enough to support their cause. That said, I’ve never been in there when it’s quiet. There always seems to be shoppers there.

Their books are even more reasonable, hardbacks 30p and paperbacks 10p. How many charity shops are overflowing with overpriced, tatty books? I managed to pick up this hardback vintage book about garden wildflowers. It’s bursting with colourful illustrations. Originally, I thought it would make a good resource to laminate for my science topic of plants at school. However, the flowers are just too pretty to ignore. I’m now planning to hang them in my kitchen. For the grand sum of 10p, I also managed to pick up Mark Radcliffe’s book, Reelin’ in the Years.

Not bad for less than an hour’s work! 
Total spend? £7.20
What have you been thrifting recently?


It’s not often that I discover a brand that, quite simply, knocks me for six. Lately, I’ve been searching for a stylish, yet practical and durable, small handbag. With the answer to my quest, enter LACAMBRA.

Handmade in Spain, LACAMBRA offers a range of leather bags and accessories. Creating timeless pieces made to last is at the heart of LACAMBRA’s values. With quality also a key value, you can see why this Spanish company have captured my attention. If you follow me on Twitter (if not, why not? Let’s talk!) you may have noticed my fruitless efforts to find an affordable bright handbag. 

Until now. It’s the mini chic range that I’m crushing on, especially in aqua. Competitively priced at just over £75, including shipping in Europe, they’re a reasonable price for a made to order leather handbag. As you know, I’ve always been an advocate of The Cambridge Satchel Company, but they say a change is as good as a rest. 



A bag made from Spanish leather is an alluring concept. As a child, we often went on family holidays to Spain. As we walked the city streets, my mother would always be drawn to the windows of shoe and handbag shops. She taught me that you can’t buy better than Spanish leather. Now that I’m older, you can understand why LACAMBRA has captured my heart. 

Has LACAMBRA caught your eye?
What colour would you choose?


Images used with kind permission from LACAMBRA
Frock Swap UK :: Rachel’s Aztec Dress mixed with a Statement Necklace

Frock Swap UK :: Rachel’s Aztec Dress mixed with a Statement Necklace

If there’s one thing Frock Swap has taught me, it’s that I’m bloody small. Some may politely refer to it as being petite. In all  honesty, my legs are short, as are my arms and, you guessed it, so is my body. But, at least I’m in proportion. It can make certain clothes difficult to wear with dresses gaping over my shoulders, or reaching a frumpy length. But not this dress. Hurrah, a dress that fits and pretty well, I might add. Sure, it’s a longer length but I prefer that to flashing my rugby thighs*. Thanks to Frock Swap UK, many items have come my way that have started to make me rethink the way I dress. This being one of them. 

This Florence & Fred aztec tailored shift dress was Rachel‘s choice for Frock Swap UK and I have to be honest, it’s not something I would have picked. Being a teacher, I wear tailored dresses for work and so this element would have made me pigeon hole it under ‘work wear’ and dismiss this beauty of a dress. Thank God that Frock Swap UK has opened my mind a little more and enlightened me. 

// Dress :: c/o F&F (on sale) // Shirt :: Charles Tyrwhitt (via eBay) // Necklace :: Primark // Clutch :: New Look // Boots :: Primark // Faux Leather :: G21 at Asda* //

You know how much I love to layer a shift dress. I chose to play on the tailored element and team it with a Charles Tyrwhitt tailored shirt. I’m can’t get enough of statement necklaces, so I added a girly touch with this necklace from Primark. It’s been sat with tags on for over a year (yes, I hope you’re tutting with disdain!). We photographed this dress over the Easter holidays whilst I was up in Lancashire with the boy. I chose comfortable footwear over court shoes. However, with a leather, I think this relaxes the tailoring. When I read Rachel’s post last Friday, I found it interesting to see that we’d both wore this dress for date night!

Here’s how Rachel wore it:

I’m not going to ask who styled it best, because I’m totally smitten with Rachel’s edgy choice of bare legs and boots. Not to mention the colour of that bag! So, onward the dress travels to Debbie. As always, I’m intrigued to see how Debbie mixes it up with her love of colour and mod tendency!

The only question left to ask is, will you be buying this £12 dress?
As always, much love,
Come say hello! Let’s have a cuppa and a natter!
// Bloglovin’ // Twitter // Instagram //

*Rugby thighs gifted to me by my family genes. Sure we have great rugby players in our family, sadly it’s not a career role I can fill but no one told my thighs!

Linking up with:

FashionFriday2014Lena B, ActuallyStyle Elixir


Are you new to eBay or interested in a refresher? Do you have clothes to sell but aren’t sure where to start? Are you in need of a spring clear out? This is the second installment in my ‘How to eBay’ series. If you’re new here, have a read of Let’s Get Ready to Sell, the first installment which will help you decide what to get rid of and how to prepare your items for sale. Before we begin, I’ll make it clear that I don’t claim to be an eBay expert, I have a little experience after 10 years of successfully using the site which I’d like to pass on to beginners. There’s nothing more discouraging then selling beloved items for a steal. Trust me, I’ve been there. Sigh. (If you want to know more about why I decided to write an eBay series, click here.)

Okay, now that you’re up to speed, it’s likely that your room now looks like the result of a burglary, or an unfortunate clothes explosion. You wonder how on earth you’ll ever be rid of it all.  But don’t worry, fear not, you’ve done the hard part… for now. 
How long have you got?

The first thing to consider is time. Realistically, how much time do you have to devote to listing and selling your clothes? A few hours? An entire day? EBay is time consuming!

If you have a few hours…

If your time is limited, I suggest choosing around 6-10 items to list. This should take you approximately one to two hours depending on how familiar you are with eBay. Out of your pile, choose one that you know will sell well. For example, current season clothing from high street stores, or quality basics that are expensive to buy. This could be a pair of Topshop high-waisted jeans or an expensive brand of high heels. Now you have your magpie item (the item that will draw people to you sales) you need to choose other items that are fitting with the magpie. Consider who your target audience is, are they similar to you? Be selective here. Choose items that are similar sizes and similar styles. That way, when you encourage them to check out your other items they will like what they see. Therefore, increasing watchers and hopefully bidders. 

Ideally your items should vary in quality and brands. Why? Well, some items of clothing are not branded, but are still coveted. For example, peter pan collared unbranded dresses. If you think an item is of a similar style to a branded item, list them close to one another. You cannot spam a title with misleading brands, however you can list these items in the same lot. That way, increasing your viewers and watchers, and also the chance that your buyers will see the item. Getting a good price for unbranded, or lesser known brands, is about mixing up the brands that you list. 

An entire day?
Enlist a friend and arrange an eBay day. EBaying can be tedious and monotonous, share the load with a pal who’s also wishing to clear some room. The aim of the game here is to work quickly. Arrive early with fizzy pop, bagels and sweets to keep you going in the later hours. Share the work load of photographing and help each other to list items. List as many items as you can. The more you list, the more people you will attract to your eBay shop. Therefore increasing your views, watchers and, you guessed it, bidders. 
When will you list? 

I have always found listing on a Sunday evening to be the most fruitful. When you consider it, Sunday is the day of rest and for spending a couple of hours online catching up. I always aim to list items to end between 7-9pm on a Sunday evening. You can pay 6pm to choose the exact end time of the listing. However, if you’re savvy you can choose to list at that time on a Sunday evening, or run a five day listing and list on a Tuesday evening. Sometimes, I will just bite the bullet and pay 6p per listing to choose the end time. In my opinion, in the long run, it’s worth it. 

Here’s a tip I’ve picked up along the way, time your listings to end near the end of the month. Why? Well, to be brutal, most people are paid around this time. I questioned everyone in my family as to when they were paid, most game me dates in the 20s. Listing your items the week before pay day doesn’t mean they won’t sell, I believe it’s likely they’ll go for less. Be smart, be savvy, be a business woman (man?). Honestly, I’m taking it too far, but eBay can make you feel like you have your own little empire. Just me?

How long will you list it for?

I’ve tried all types of listing duration. Ten days, 7 days, 5 days and 3 days. Never a one day listing. Usually, I find at least 7 days is a good amount of time to build up viewers, watchers and bidders. If you list for a shorter amount of time, you reduce the amount of people able to view your item. You offer a time constraint. Listing for 7 days will allow you to hit all peak times on eBay and should hopefully increase visitors to your listing. Now you can see why I’ve never listed for a day!