INFAMOUS DINER, MANCHESTER :: LAUNCH PARTY

INFAMOUS DINER, MANCHESTER :: LAUNCH PARTY

INFAMOUS DINER, MANCHESTER :: LAUNCH PARTY

Last Thursday, the movers and shakers of Manchester’s press gathered for the launch party of InFamous Diner; the new all-American diner in the Northern Quarter.


With cheerleaders welcoming guests, an Elvis impersonator to make the girls scream (a huh-huh!) and a performance from girl band, The Northernettes, guests were also treated to an evening of free cocktails and an array of devilishly tasty American canapés.


Earlier in the day, a 300 burger giveaway began their rise to their namesake’s notoriety, as eager customers queued around the block for a free lunch. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to experience both the burger giveaway and the launch party.


 

Arriving just after 6pm, a vintage Chevrolet and New York style taxi sat parked outside awaiting a whole host of guests whilst a backdrop of cheerleaders made the experience truly authentic. Entering through their pink door, classic hits from the 50s boomed out of their traditional jukebox to transport us back to another time; a time we wished we were alive to experience.


 

InFamous Diner claim to offer service with a smile and they certainly didn’t disappoint as a selection of canapés from their menu were offered to us. As I had to be up at 3am to catch my flight to Ireland, I kept things strictly non-alcoholic and was rewarded for my sensible behaviour. Considering I don’t like milk, nor cream, I was smitten with the ‘Million Dollar Milkshake’ which came with lashings of Nutella and chunks of shortbread. Delicious!


 

Of course, no guest that evening could ignore the amazing 50s dresses that flooded the diner. Keeping it local, the diner’s waitresses and head office staff wore Lindy Bop dresses complete with petticoats. Naturally, we also wore Lindy Bop and the diner was awash with 50s dresses.


 

Giddy with our sugar-induced high, we enjoyed a performance by The Northernettes before Elvis entered the building to girls screaming with excitement, mostly from our table if I’m honest. Taking us through Elvis’ back catalogue and throwing in some classic moves for our delight, we enjoyed soaking up the atmosphere before the Coronation Street stars arrived.


 
Full up on shakes and giddiness from a night spent giggling, it was time to catch the last train home before journeying to Ireland the next day.

 

Want to visit InFamous Diner? You’ll find it located at 3-5 Basil Chambers, Nicholas Croft, Manchester. I’d love to know your thoughts! 

FIVE WAYS FOR BUSY MINDS TO SWITCH OFF

FIVE WAYS FOR BUSY MINDS TO SWITCH OFF

Trying to meet the expectations of others is a rather tiresome business, isn’t it? 

Maybe I should explain. When I made the decision to leave teaching, I could never have foreseen the true impact my choices would have on my life and, more importantly, the lives of others. Of course, I knew the financial implications and the knock on effects of living on a limited budget but I was blind to how my relationship with some of the people I’m closest to would change. Some for the better, some for worse. 

Since leaving teaching, there were people in my life who I thought were true friends but haven’t been in touch at all since. People who always have their phones in their hand, you know the type? Then, there are the people who I know I can depend on, the close friends who have rallied round to make sure I’m okay with the change. After that, there’s the constant anxiety that I’m disappointing my parents by leaving a respectable profession. 

When I look back, it was such a bold move to leave a stable income to complete a social media role on minimum wage (if you missed it, click here to read about why I left the teaching profession)So many of you got in touch after I posted my reasons to leave, that any doubts I had simply dissipated. Two months on, I’m so grateful for your words of encouragement and shared experiences- please keep them coming! 

What I’ve lost in money, I’ve certainly gained in happiness and most importantly, experience. I’m genuinely enthralled by social media and love it when I can see the result of my work in the growth of each social account or when I discover a truly geeky fact. For example, did you know including an image in a tweet can increase engagement by 55%? As you know, social media is a fast-paced, constantly changing environment, which suits me- life is never boring! 

However, with so much to do each day, thoughts and anxieties can sometimes gnaw at me; if I let them. It’s been said, most of the things we worry about never actually happen. Despite knowing this, I can still worry about irrelevant things. Did I send that important email? The list goes on. Having time to devote to myself has been the key to worrying less and living a stress-free lifestyle. Here’s my five favourite things to do:

 

Take time away as regularly as you can

Hang on, a thrifty blogger encouraging regular trips abroad? Yes, if you can afford it. Travelling abroad for a short break may be more affordable than you think. Seeking out cheap flights using sites like Skyscanner means you can easily see when cheap flights become available or select the best times for travel. Finding flights for under £50 in affordable countries means you can bag yourself a three-night stay somewhere for under £200 per person.



If a trip abroad is out of your price range, even a short trip out of suburbia can have a positive effect on your mental well-being. Take a short drive, or even train journey, to see somewhere new. Get out, see new things, do new things: make memories. 

 

And, if you can’t get away…

 

Make time for yourself

Devote your bed as a technology for communication free zone: no Twitter, Instagram, Facebook- nadda! How many times do we aim for an early night only to lie back and spend hours scrolling through our social media feeds? What do we gain from it? Your bed should be the one place where you’re guaranteed rest and relaxation, I’m still hunting down a new bed and eternally seem to be making do! Buying affordable furnishings can make it the best seat in the house! I’m so excited to see the new Primark blogger collaboration but I know I’m always tempted by cute furnishings in Tesco. Crawl into bed and simply switch off. Have you ever left your phone somewhere and after the initial shock and panic, enjoyed the time away from social? Exactly. If, like me, you worry about leaving your followers with a blanket silence, schedule your tweets and reply in the morning! 

 

Declutter

My best friend’s dad is a retired psychologist, called Lawrence. He’s very flamboyant and an all-round good guy! During our teens, especially during exams, Katie would say how her anxious behaviours would be explained to her by her dad. During my teenage years, I would procrastinate by tidying things away, sorting out drawers and having a clear out. Apparently, you’re helping your brain to put things in their rightful place by acting out this ritual. 



Sharing is caring

Twitter chats like #lbloggers that make me realise just how much I missed regular blogging and being involved with the community. Some chats I dip in and out of, but discovering new blogs that I genuinely want to shout about makes me giddy! When I find these blogs, I can lose myself for hours just reading. Sometimes, I stumble across personal posts and it definitely helps to put things into perspective. Reading about Julia and Roger’s battle against cancer these past few weeks have made me realise just how lucky we are. Even though I’ve never met Julia, I shed tears on Saturday when I learnt about Roger’s passing. 

 

Tackle what’s worrying you the most

So, even after all my calming tips, if you’re still stressing you need to figure out what’s bugging you, make a list and tackle it head on. I’m guilty of pushing things under the rug, a giant rug, and will only tackle what’s worrying me when I absolutely have to. I can leave what seem like the smallest things to the very last minute, like sending an email or making a phone call, if I don’t want to do it. I’m learning that going through a moment of awkwardness can instantly relieve my worries. 

There you have it, five ways I manage to make myself feel better when my mind’s working overtime. I would absolutely love to know…

How do you switch off? 
 
*Please note, this post may contain a sponsored link. All content my own*
DAISY, DAISY – PEOPLE TREE SUPER SUMMER SALE

DAISY, DAISY – PEOPLE TREE SUPER SUMMER SALE

Who could have imagined that a 9-5 office job would kick start my creative enthusiasm for blogging? I absolutely adore having my life back in the evenings, especially with the light nights, who wouldn’t? With these 9-5 hours comes time to do what I enjoy: blog, meet friends for tea, read, paint my nails, join in with Twitter chats- you name it! If anything, it’s my life that keeps me from blogging as much as I’d like these days! 


Today, I’m sharing an outfit post featuring a brand I adore (I never use that word lightly, it’s far too twee- even for me), but it’s true. It takes a lot for a brand to capture, firstly, my interest and lastly, my high expectations for quality. For me, clothes have to offer real value for money- please don’t read cheap here. Price tags are irrelevant, I’m not interested if something costs £200 or £2. I’ve had expensive clothes shrink with the first wash and inexpensive clothes that have lasted for years. I define quality by price per wear.  With that said, I’m happy to share with you one of my favourite brands for value, People Tree!
I’m a long time fan, it’s been well over a year since I bought my first People Tree dress and I’ve acquired many pieces since. They are my go-to dress, they wash so well and are perfect for so many occasions. So, when I heard about People Tree’s Super Summer Sale, naturally I wanted to share it with you. People Tree hold a sale twice a year to generate funds for new orders for new seasons and there’s some real gems to find! (Trust me, I’ve scoured the sale!)

When People Tree got in touch, I didn’t want paying (this isn’t a sponsored post) nor did I want commission, so I requested a piece from their sale. Orla Kiely, in sale? Oh, hello! You saw my wallflower dress here, now my collection is complete with this Orla Kiely Birdwatch dress! If you’ve been eyeing up a sale item, you can take an extra 10% off with the code DOTSALE10. 
Last weekend, John and I fancied a drive out in the sun. Originally, we planned to go to Southport but after sitting in the Ormskirk traffic (for what felt like an hour), we decided to park up and explore my old university stomping ground. Ormskirk has changed so much since I was a student at Edge Hill, one of the better improvements is the abundance of charity shops. We spent a few hours simply mooching, it was my idea of heaven. Although I didn’t buy anything (buy less, spend less, remember), I can’t wait to return in August for a sassy thrifty blogger meet up with Charlotte, Rachelle and Jenni. 



 

// Orla Kiely Birdwatch Dress :: c/o People Tree //
// Peter Pan collared blouse :: H&M (old) //
// Necklace :: H&M (old) //
// Sunglasses :: Orla Kiely for Boots Optician //
// Satchel :: Brit Stitch //
 
On the way home, we put the roof down on the car and took the scenic route. We were rewarded with fields of giant daisies (I’m sure there’s an official name for these, but for now, we’ll call them daisies). Throwing abandon to hayfever, we pulled over and walked among the daisies before trying to capture some outfit shots!
 
Are you a fan of People Tree? 
Will you be shopping in the sale?
(Remember, Polkadot Pink readers can bag an extra 10% discount with code DOTSALE10)
As always, much love,
Donna x
 
*As mentioned, People Tree sent me an item of my choice in return for a blog post to advertise their Super Summer Sale. When I received the email, I’d already downloaded the app and scoured the sale so naturally, I was happy to share!*
 
Linking up with: Passion for Fashion, 
THE BUYER’S ARCHIVE :: JUNE

THE BUYER’S ARCHIVE :: JUNE

Each month, I’ve enjoyed discovering what Janet and Elise have bought in their monthly series, The Buyer’s Archive. In a bid to buy only what they need and spend wisely, they each chronicle every item bought. I’m curious to compare that with what I buy and of course, our total spends. Whilst I’m in no doubt that I can buy excessively, I like to think that I buy what I need, what will last and invest in quality pieces (even if I have started my winter shopping!) As June marked my last month of living on a teacher’s wage, I’ve decided to join in and begin my own Buyer’s Archive. Partly out of morbid curiosity, but mainly to prove the conviction that style can be affordable.

June
I thought I’d spent wisely in June. I bought clothes that I love, fit well and to prove their value, I’ve worn them lots already. However, I wasn’t prepared for just how much I bought; every time I went into my dressing room, I found more. On a brighter note, during June, I sold a lot of unwanted clothes on my Instagram selling page. I was sensible with the majority of profit, choosing to save it towards July’s household bills.

Louche Sailor Dress


Ever since I watched ‘God Help the Girl’, I’ve been obsessed with reviving my nautical love affair (documented, here). Thanks to EBay, my love of nautical is now alive and well. I stumbled across this Louche dress quite by accident. I watched stalked it for days, until I was the winner! Including P&P, I took a punt at £10.


Lotta from Stockholm Black Highwood Clogs


With a small amount of the money I made, I chose to buy invest in a pair of black leather, dark soled clogs from a seller I found on eBay, Jules. Mistakenly sending me the wrong pair, Jules compensated me for the effort taken to return the incorrect pair. Including post and packaging, these leather shoes cost £32.

Nautical Watch
I already own a beautiful watch. It’s by Olivia Burton, made of leather and I’m too scared to wear it every day incase I ruin it. So, I decided to try and find a cheap watch and here’s what I found. This nautical watch cost £1.19 and arrived quicker than I expected considering it came from China. Two weeks in, it’s still ticking!
 
Coco Fennell ‘Love Me’ Dress, as worn by Paloma Faith

Before you think it, I’ll start by saying I found this highly coveted dress in a Manchester charity shop one Friday after work. I couldn’t believe my luck when I spotted the trademark heart embroidered collar nor the label depicting, ‘Coco Fennell’. Weeks previous, I’d been practically drooling looking at the website. At £6.99, it’s probably one of the most expensive charity shop dresses I’ve ever bought, but probably my biggest bargain yet*.

 
Modcloth ‘Louche’ Cat Eyeglasses Jumper


On the same day, in the same shop, I found this geeky cat jumper. I recognized it immediately as that Modcloth jumper I loved, but refused to pay customs on moons ago. Although it’s not something I’ll wear in summer, it’s something I can see myself wearing in December (I’m envisioning a polka dot skirt, Peter Pan skirt and cute pumps!) Needless to say, it came home with me for £4.99. 
Tommy Hilfiger Chambray Midi Skirt & Tesco Polka Dot Midi Skirt

I spent an entire Sunday trawling The Arndale centre looking for a chambray knee length skirt. I grew frustrated after hours of searching and gave up when the closest I could find was £40 and still not right for me. The following week, I stumbled across this skirt in a St Helens charity shop for £3.99. It was only when I got it home I realised it was Tommy Hilfiger. 

Who doesn’t love polka dots? With this warmer weather, I’ve been living in midi skirts as they’re just so comfortable. This F&F midi skirt has been perfect for wearing with a t-shirt for those hotter days. It was reduced. £16 to £4.

Atmosphere Breton fine knit jumper


Come on, who doesn’t love Breton? I can’t resisit it. My wardrobe is overflowing with striped jerseys, but a thin knit jumper I don’t have! I found this on a car boot, brand new with tags for £1. Sure, it’s probably from a few years ago, but the blue is just so cheery! Ideal for September. 

Total spend: £64.16

How did I compare?
Janet spent £39.98 and Elise spent £10.60. Whilst I’m in no doubt that I found bargains for my £64.16, I’m also left with no doubt that I bought things that will last and that I love.

What do you think?
Donna xx
 
 
*My biggest bargain yet is a bold claim I make on a monthly basis.