Whilst I do love autumn (it’s my favourite season), each and every year …autumn makes me ill! There, I said it and I won’t take it back. The change of season triggers my asthma and makes me susceptible to infection. For the past 11 days, I’ve been battling a viral and bacterial infection (something I didn’t think was even possible!) Thanks to the doctor, I’m now fully medicated and ready to kick some blogging ass! Woopah!
Like I said, I love autumn. Fallen leaves, autumnal colours and the increasing nip in the air- lush! I know I’m not alone when I say that one of my favourite autumn colours is burnt orange. So this old blouse with its cute scallop neckline was such a welcome surprise find! Do you ever find things in your wardrobe that you forgot you owned? This is a blouse that I bought in New Look around five years ago, it makes its resplendent return each September and returns to the abyss by November.
Remember these foxy tights? They made their blog debut this time last year and right on cue, they’re out and on again almost a year to the day! And I was thinking about getting my hair cut. And I was talking about wearing autumn favourites. Some things never change!
What is new, is my pinafore! Sometimes, buying autumn/winter clothes in the middle of summer really does pay off. There’s no doubt that you’ve probably already seen this dress featured on another blog by now, it’s from Primark. I bought mine in August during an after work shopping spree when I worked for Lindy Bop in Manchester. It’s made from a lightweight corduroy material and matches so many of the tops already in my wardrobe.
Which brings me back to my original point. Shopping my wardrobe. Recently, I’ve been shopping on the high street and have upped my charity shop game. What have I bought? A handful of cardigans for work, a smock dress, a mustard blouse: nothing too exciting, but all bought from charity shops. If anything, it’s made me really look at what I already have and think of ways to rework pieces. Voila! New outfits!
// Cord Pinafore :: Primark //
// Blouse :: New Look //
// Fox tights :: ASOS //
// Clogs :: Lotta from Stockholm //
// Camera bag :: Accessorize //
Please tell me you’ve found some amazing finds this autumn? I’m not complaining, I’m enjoying the hunt- especially when I work in new towns with plenty of new charity shops to explore. Who knows, maybe my luck will turn?
What are you wearing this autumn?
Have you found new ways to wear old clothes?
Linking up with: Passion for Fashion, Mummysgotstyle, Favourite Fashion Friday, Friday Favorites
At the start of the year, you may remember that I banned myself from shopping on the high street and created a series called ‘The Accidental Thrift‘. Slowly, as the months have flown by, being thrifty has become a way of life, but not when it comes to interiors. I have Pinterest dreams of how I’d love my home to look filled with reclaimed furniture, however realising that dream is an expensive and difficult task! So, I’m happy to be writing a post about my latest thrifty purchase: this refurbished demi lune table.
I live in a semi-detached home which is defined by its art deco features: picture rails in the hall, panels of original stained glass windows and high ceilings edged in coving. As you can imagine, finding furniture isn’t as simple as taking a trip to Ikea. Modern furniture can look out of place, especially alongside the spindle staircase and stained glass in the hall.
Over the summer, I looked in charity shops and scoured car boot sales for a hall table but to no avail. It was then that I decided to look on eBay with the intention of buying a demi lune table- even if it meant travelling to pick it up. Now, it’s worth mentioning that I’ve looked for furniture on eBay before and had no luck. When I stumbled upon a seller in Warrington selling an already refurbished demi lune table, I couldn’t believe my luck! The auction had 18 minutes left, no clear description of the table’s size nor colour but it did have one key selling point: a low auction price.
Whilst it’s not exactly refurbished to how I would have chosen, it’s quirky details have grown on me. The shade of paint perfectly compliments the Swedish Blue colour of my hall walls and the heart shape handle and floral pattern has certainly added a splash of autumnal colour.
So, what did I bid for this table? I was prepared to pay £30, but my winning bid secured the table at £18. Can you believe that?
I love coming downstairs to the sight of my new table and the pretty blooms that occupy them! There’s something about flowers that make a place feel homely. This beautiful bunch were sent to me by the team at Blossoming Gifts as a birthday present. Taken from their range of autumnal flowers, this bunch are aptly named ‘Fall’. Arriving five days ago, they still look perfect and have really cheered me up since I’ve been stuck in the house with a dreadful throat infection.
If you’re looking to treat someone to a bouquet of flowers from Blossoming Gifts, you can receive £5 off with the discount code: BL5GS.
Where do you buy second hand furniture from? Have you ever found a bargain piece?
*Blossoming Gifts sent me a birthday bouquet free of charge. All opinions are my own.*
It’s no secret, I’m a huge fan of Joules and I’m lucky enough to already own a few of their pieces. That’s why when I heard about their latest charitable competition, I was happy to share it with you. Are you a budding designer or a doodler with ideas for your next project? Then how about designing your own Wellington boots for the change to win big?
If that’s you, then enter Joules’ competition by designing your very own wellies and you could see your design made into a reality and featured on Joules.com. Not only that, you could win a luxury Forest Holiday worth £5000. In addition, all profits from the sale of the boots will go to CHARITABLY JOULES and reach their charity partners.
10 runners up will receive £250 Joules Gift Card. Just imagine what you’d spend it on?
To enter, simply click this link or head over to this address: http://getcreative.joules.com/
Even though I no longer work full time hours in the classroom, I still find myself perceptible to the same illnesses and ailments as other teachers. It’s no surprise that being the week before half term, I’m ill. The timing couldn’t be better, I say sarcastically, typing these words clutching a packet of Kleenex and spluttering over the keys. It’s always at this time I start to reevaluate my lifestyle choices, make hollow promises and berate myself for how I could have looked after myself a little bit more. Eaten a little better, exercised a little more. So, now I need your help to stay healthy!
I’m not making excuses but I’ve always believed it harder to make healthy choices when you live alone. Hear me out. It begins when shopping. Most supermarket packaging caters for couples and families: food is packaged for two or more, take bread for example. I mean, have you ever eaten a full loaf of bread by yourself before it goes stale? Exactly. When I first started to live on my own, I’d dedicate time to shopping, then return to unpack and create manageable portions that I would either freeze or plan to eat on consecutive nights. It was hard work.
In a bid save time, I started to order my food shopping online and for a short while, it worked. Hurrah! That was until Tesco introduced a £4 charge for shopping under £45. I felt this was discriminatory and refused to bump up the value of my fortnightly shop or pay the £4 supplement. In turn, I started to eat convenience food and live on a very basic and limited diet simply because it didn’t go out of date quickly or I wasn’t willing to commit time to what I was putting in my body. It was very lazy.
Then something wonderful happened! Quite simply, I was sent a food delivery of fresh food from Simply Health. Big deal, you may be thinking, however, at the time, I had no money for food and was subsiding on a diet of toast until I was paid. Seriously, I was rationing the milk. Keeping an eye on the clock, I threw together a Caesar salad within minutes intending to eat a healthy lunch at work the next day… but it looked so good, I ate it for tea and then found I had plenty left to make another one!
I also tried avocado for the first time! Seriously. I’ve never lived, have I?
So, why am I telling you this? Because, as the colder nights draw in and winter approaches, I would love healthy recipes to keep me on track with eating fresh food that’s good for me. There are so many food recipes that I read, but feel I’ll never be able to recreate within a short amount time that I’ve lost hope!
Help! What healthy lunch would you take to the office in winter?
*Post written in collaboration with Simply Health to encourage healthy choices in the workplace.*
Remember when I promised a post about my wonderful, but terrifying, experiences at The Mall’s ‘Fall for ME!’ fashion and beauty events? Well, after those hectic two weeks, I simply took a little time out from writing. I spent the start of the autumnal evenings snuggled up with a book in my hand, not far from a cup of tea whilst hatching writing plans for new blog posts. I’m adjusting to, what feels like, my new life and figuring it out along the way. Among the changes that I made, I did not think that adding ‘fashion expert’* to my CV would be one of them.
In August, I received an email from a company called McKenna Towsend, the people who handle outreach for The Mall, Blackburn. It outlined their plans for their autumnal fashion events and asked if I would be interested in hosting a fashion workshop and co-presenting a catwalk event. At first, I politely declined thinking they had somehow contacted me by mistake: I was a blogger not a fashion expert. When I received a reply stating they were seeking a blogger for the role, along with the amount of pay, I decided that it was worth overcoming my fears so that I’d be able to make ends meet that month. It’s worth mentioning that I’ll mainly be speaking about the catwalk event because, fortunately, photographs from the event were shared with me.
For the ‘Fall for ME!’ fashion catwalk event, I worked alongside Laura, from Smile at Style, to select outfits based on current trends. Together, we selected over twenty outfits for our given models who were members of the community. Our aim? To prove that fashion is for everyone, regardless of age, size or budget. Here are our models:
Before the event, we were given a spreadsheet featuring model’s names, ages and sizes. Altogether, we had eleven ladies, five gents and five children. Only certain stores had chosen to participate in the event, so we had to select all of our outfits from Primark, River Island, Topshop, Debenhams and Blue Inc. As our models were members of the community, we both agreed that our outfit choices needed to be practical and easy to wear, whilst remaining on budget.
Before the event, we spent around ten hours selecting our outfits, speaking to each store’s manager, building each model’s outfit then labelling it to avoid any confusion, taping the soles of each shoe and of course, writing our scripts ready for the big moment when we’d step on stage and present each outfit. After arriving at 8am, we greeted our models, handed over each of their outfits until midday arrived when we stepped on stage and the show began!
Considering that one of the main requirements of my profession as a teacher is to present a message clearly, speaking to a live audience was the most challenging aspect for me. When I teach, I have a captive audience who are expected to listen carefully, but when presenting to a live audience, it’s their prerogative to tune in and out, occasionally chat and sometimes walk off! As each of the models arrived on the grass catwalk, I had to remember what I wanted to say, where each item of the outfit was from and the price point- not an easy task! Thankfully, the amazing Gemma Hepworth, host for each event (and presenter of That’s Manchester) was on hand to keep everything flowing.
Laura and I chose to feature the trends of geometric, seventies, where the wild things are, ladies that lunch and Victoriana. Here are some of the looks we created…
After the first catwalk event was over, we signed each model’s outfits back in, then one hour later signed them out again ready for the 2pm event. With our nerves almost quashed, the second time around went much better and before we knew it, we’d ran to forty minutes!
At the time, I swore that I’d never put myself forward to do anything so nerve-racking and stressful ever again, but thanks to wonderful upbeat attitude of our fantastic community models, the wise words from the amazing Carly at The Mall, the warm, welcoming personality of our host Gemma and of course, my side-kick, the lovely Laura, I’d definitely, 100% do it again. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and I believe this was meant to prove to the shy, coy person I once was that you really can do anything if you only try.
*You should know that the term fashion expert was assigned to me as part of the event, not through choice.