27 March 2011

The best jumper dress EVER! And some naughty spending.

I started this year yapping about how I needed to cut back on spending. I am not doing a very good job of it. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I'm a slave to store or credit cards (I'm no-one's fool and I won't be paying interest to some giant corporation when I could be spending that money on more shoes. That's just bad maths!), it's just that, sometimes if I see something nice, I can't resist! Sometimes I am sensible. Case in point, this dress:

Dress: H&M £29.99
It's a wee H&M number and pictures can't do justice to how pretty it looks on. It's boned in the top and whittles my waist to a tiny nothing then kicks over my hips and thighs. It's like the ultimate disguise - who needs fugly shapewear, right? Amazing flattery in an item is one of my sure fire deal makers when it comes to buying things I shouldn't. Plus, the sweetheart neckline is so very 50's lady on holiday at some chic seaside resort - I can't help wanting to wear very bright lipstick, big shades and, perhaps, a glamorous head scarf or neckerchief when I put it on. 

Anyway, to the spending. I tried the dress on and it fit beautifully etc but I decided that I couldn't afford it and put it back, intending to come back for her on payday. Now, truth be told, I didn't quite make it to payday. The reason I jumped in early and drained the bottom of my bank account was because I got a cheeky wee email with a 25% off code, so it seemed rude not to go for it. Shopping sucker or chiconomics?

Today I found myself in H&M (yet again - I'm such an H&M freak. It's kind of embarrassing.). In my defence, it was on a shopping trip initiated by Mr Scribbler. So, technically, I was just along for the ride. And, yet I got sucked into sly shopping again. Using bills money if you're paying it back next week's OK, right? This time, it was two over sized and slightly garish shirts. One in a black and white leopard print (we know how I feel about leopard print) and one in a pastel-y floral. I'm thinking Miami Vice meets Morrissey, meets girl with these babies. I'm also still deciding whether they're keepers or whether I should head back to the shop, tail  (I actually have a tail - like the dude in Shallow Hal. I don't really.) between legs to return them. Miami Vice meets Morrissey, meets girl is just so darn appealing though...

Shirts £7.99 H&M
So that's money in account wrung as tightly as it'll go because of a discount code and bills money pilfered to work a bad 80's/pop fopp look. My next fly shopping fuelling device is........Paypal. I sell a bit of this and that on eBay and then, because Paypal money isn't in my bank account, it doesn't feel like real money and, boom, before you know it, I'm getting spend happy! Again. This time Paypal came in handy for stocking up on Lush essentials online (normally I'd pop to their shops bit I needed some stuff from their retro section which is online only):

They even popped in a free pot of creamed almond and coconut smoothie. How nice!

So far, so 'stocking up on essentials' via Paypal. The, 'all thoughts of reason flying out the window' moment came when I saw this. The 'BEST JUMPER DRESS EVER' of 'title of this blog post' fame:

Dress: Tarquin and Petunia vintage, boots: Schuh, belt: French Connection.
If this was the 80s, I'd be the coolest kid at school, at the roller disco or down at the ice cream parlour, with my shiny, bejewelled, metallic, leopard adorned confection. No joke. This purchase was one of those "shit, if I don't buy this now, some other punk's gonna snap it up and I shall spend the next 3 week ruing what could have been". I came across it when awesome Grace of Britain's-Next-Top-Model-judging fame tweeted to say her new favourite online vintage shop was a joint called Tarquin and Petunia. Finding Grace to be awesome (though, frankly you should have got that from 'Awesome Grace'), I decided it was worth sticking my nose in, figuring it would probably be loaded with well expensive designer vintage and, thus thinking I DIDN'T EVEN STAND A CHANCE OF BEING ABLE TO SHOP. I am aware of my means and while I may idly browse gorgeous designer stuff from time to time, I know that my budget doesn't stretch there. However, this shop was not rammed with designer items or waaaaay over inflated 'vintage' tat you swear you saw recently in Primark. No, their prices were (whisper it) affordable. And their selection tiny but well formed and containing the above piece of leopard embellished joy. So, thank the baby J for Paypal money! And slap my wrist.

Going forward, I do intend to try to be more frugal and less consumerist. I really do. I may fail, but I really will try.

It's amazing!
I'm off to eat a crumpet and think frugal thoughts. Payday is Thursday. Wish me luck.

24 March 2011

And so you're back!

From outer space! No not the start of a Gloria Gaynor fest (though, let's be honest, everyone loves crucifying a bit of the Gaynor on a karaoke. Who am I kidding, I'll happily murder anything on a karaoke, as evidenced by my recent Singstar episode. My friend cracked out Singstar Disney, I humphed about how it would be crap and I wouldn't know any of it. Five minutes later I'm wrestling the mic off anyone in my way and merrily wailing along to Walt's finest.), more a celebration of my return to blogging/blog reading after a hiatus. Of just over a week. It feels like ages though! Work is CRAZY right now (the company I work for turns 30 this year and we're organising lots of stuff to celebrate and it is keeping me SUPER busy. Sometimes my head's so far up my behind I'm afraid it might somehow come back out my mouth again.) and the last thing I want to do when I get home is switch on the computer. Plus, I've been totally being good at gym classing/swimming which has been eating my evenings.

Anyhoo, I am back and presenting, for your delection/indifference shoes #55 in my shoe wearing challenge, my shiny new Converse trainers.

They were a total BARGAIN off Branch309 (I've told you about them before - totes check 'em out!) and cost a mere £12! My old Cons - the classic white Ox - gave up their final ghost quite some time ago but I've been sort of living in denial and still have them (they're famous too so I'm loathe to get shot. These are my actual shoes in these articles!). The fabric is thread bear, the inside is held together with plasters and there are holes in the soles. Who woulda thunk it from one whose shoes are usually so lovely!? I'm actually thinking of doing a post on shoe death as I've had a few this year. It's traumatic, alright?

The red lining will stain white socks a bugger!
Anyway, I begrudge buying a new pair of white Oxes, partly because I love the old ones and I hate the breaking in process - both because they usually take a bit of breaking both comfort and looks wise - and partly because, working in shoes, I know that they're one of the bestselling shoes out there and, well, it's just a bit dull, isn't it. I guess dems the breaks with a classic, innit? Anyhoo, I figured 12 quid for this little starry pair in nice plain nautical primary colours wasn't a bad job and bingo, bango, they joined the shoe closet.

trainers: Converse @ Branch309 £12, dress: Matalan £14, cardi: Sainsbury's from local charity shop £3, necklace: Lady Luck Rules OK (bought ages ago)
Does anyone else think I look the tiniest bit like Jack Nicholson here? Heeeeeeeere's Llara! I thought I'd embrace the Americana of the trainers and wear them with frilly socks and a little dress. Why not, eh? I picked up the dress at the weekend on my first trip to Matalan in ages! It's cute (pretty flowers and a Peter Pan collar) and was fairly bargainous. Winner!

Lookee! Isn't the necklace adorable. I think I picked it up in a LLROK web clearance where you got £100 worth of stuff for £25. I was an actual fool for those things and ended up with all kinds of tat and duplicates as a result!

Anyway, here lie-eth my resolution to be well more regular on this baby so, with any luck, I'll see you soon!

I'm off to watch Coco before Chanel. Ooh, la la!

16 March 2011

It shoe-dn't happen to one so pretty

Nope, not a typo, just some bad shoe wordplay. You see, there was a shoe death in my closet today. Well, the suspected death was actually spotted on the path outside work and was established sat at my desk two minutes later. Let's kick off with a positive though, shall we? Here's what I wore today (AKA a little frivolity to lighten the mood):

Dress: H&M, Cardi: Primark, shoes: Red or Dead at Schuh.
And because I, like, y'know, listen to y'all and read all your comments, here's a close up shot of the dress fabric for the lovely Gem who asked what it actually was. I kind of think, if you squint and look at the picture above, it could be parrots, which would be awesome (more positivity pre shoe death delving). However, it's actually little ditsy flowers - aww! Aren't they pretty?

At this point, I don't think the shoe death discussion can be delayed any longer. The shoes in question are these dreamy (in my star crossed eyes) Red or Dead shoes from Schuh which were a sale purchase, albeit not a totally bargainous one. I love them for many reasons - I'm a fan of a metallic and this pale, verging on silvery gold is gorgeous and basically is a neutral, thus it goes with EVERYTHING (although with my penchant for pattern and clashing, everything goes with everything). Plus they have a perfect round toe, a big chunky heel (good for height and balance) and a belting platform. And (yes there's more. I'm in mourning, alright?) the lining is beautiful bright pink. So beautiful I haven't taken any pictures of it in case it makes you cry. They tread the perfect balance between understated and show-stopping and should have been a work and party partner for some time to come. Alas, no.

No. As I walked along the path to work this morning, Mr Scribbler (yes, we work AT THE SAME PLACE. Not just at the same place but physically in the same office. And I'm kind of noisy. Poor man) noted that my platform was coming away as I walked. Concerned by his potential man inability to correctly identify areas of a shoe, I asked if he meant the heel (they do feel a wee bit funny to walk in) but, no, he was certain the platform was the problem. And sure enough, he was right. I sat down, slipped off my shoe and this is what I uncovered:

On both feet!! Chronic bonding failure. The platform is just popping away with every step I take! And, even worse, they shoes aren't available any more. Now, I could take the superglue to them or get them re-bonded at a cobbler, but years of experience tells me that, if these babies weren't properly and sufficiently attached at the time of manufacture, there's no saving them. Any adhesive now would just be a band aid, and the platform would probably drop off at a most inopportune moment. So, tomorrow I shall return them. For now, here's some final shoe pornery...

10 March 2011

You heard it here first. I freaking hate this picture. Hence it being a small one. Seriously, I am considering never wearing this dress or those tights again. And I look like death, only ever so slightly warmed up. Don't go thinking I'm being a fishing-for-compliments dickhead - I truly hate it! It's OK though because it make me chuckle a bit. The face I'm pulling almost says "lordy this picture's gonna be shit isn't it?". Anyway, in the interest of honesty and proof of shoe wearing for my shoe wearing challenge, here it is!!

Now there have been times in the past where I've worn a pair of shoes then decided my outfit was shit and not photographed them until the next time they were worn. However, I just plain can't make my mind up about these shoes so they had to be photographed with this ensemble. They're by a fella called Enzo Angiolini (well, I choose to think he's a dude anyway) and I bought them from Solestruck, an American website. They're pair # 54 in my shoe wearing challenge. And I am not ashamed to say I only bought them to get free shipping on my Senso boots! Uh-huh! They had a 'spend $xx and get free shipping' dealio. I had another $40 to spend to get free shipping or else it was going to cost $30. They way I see that is that I only had to spend another $10 on shoes. When it comes to shoe maths, the more pairs the better for me, so I was sucked right in and picked up these for about $30 and a pair of flip flops (who doesn't need flip flops - I freaking love them come summer. Mind you, my feet leave little to be desired right now) for about $10 - BINGO!  Free Shipping. Sort of.

So let's talk, in brief, about what I dis/like about them. I like:

The cheerful colour
The patent finish
The peep toe
The slight platform

I dislike:

The faux wood slightly two tone heel
I'm not convinced by the buckle.

I think they need another chance bare foot, come summer, with some nice bright nail polish. Time for a pedicure...

7 March 2011

A vintage fair and some free stuff!

Today (it's Saturday right now though I probably won't post this til Monday or summat. Spreading them out, innit?) was the day Judy's affordable vintage fair came to town.

 Yay! The Affordable Vintage fair is a travelling, er, vintage fair that tours the land bringing affordable vintage (really, am I just stating the ever so obvious a lot here? Don't think I think you're stupid, please. I don't.) to towns and cities near YOU. (I don't know where you live). As a result, it'll probably appear on blogs-a-plenty over the next few weeks and, on account of forgetting my camera again AND on account of the fact that folk with far better cameras than mine will no doubt be bringing you it in glorious technicolour, I figured I'd just tell you a wee bit about it and show you my goodies. That is my wont.
The first dress I looked at was a beautiful full prom dress. Black with gold, almost paint, effect and little pink and blue flowers. However, a flip of the price tag revealed it to be £250. £250! Maybe if you're Posh Spice that counts as affordable but, in my little real world, that's 'buy nothing else ALL month and let the bills go unpaid' territory. Sheesh! Needless to say, I stepped the heck away from it.

And that's kind of how the fair goes - there's plenty that is affordable (sub £35ish - even then, a piece or two is my absolute max) and there are some out and out bargains, but there's also a reasonable amount that doesn't fall under affordable at all. The good thing is that there's SO much stuff and whatever your budget, you should be able to pick up some goodies. I was particularly pleased to see local vintage store (that I don't visit often enough!) Godiva in attendance (though I don't think the lovely girl was glad to see me as I bought a dress she had her eye on from the next stall!) and really happy to see From Vintage to Vogue there too. I picked up some lovely dresses from them last time (Lynda sells vintage as well as making vintage reproductions) but then couldn't remember the company name and couldn't find anything on Google either so I'm glad to be able credit her properly this time. Lynda told me she still doesn't have an online store but she does have a website and comments on her dresses have got her thinking about selling them online or to boutiques so keep your eyes peeled. Anyway, this time I picked up a wee 60's dress from her for a very reasonable £15.

It's hard to tell from the picture but it does have a very gently full skirt and nice waist. The square-ish neckline that I was dubious about is actually really flattering too!

And, if you look closely at this one, you can see the massive bow that's on the back! I LOVE the bold colorful floral print of this dress. I believe it shall be coming to my cousin's wedding with me at the end of the month.

My next find was this adorable little picture for £2. Bargain!

And look: there's a message on the back! The stall holder told me that Joanne is her friend. Sad that she got rid of the picture but I'm very happy to have it!

And this lot quite clearly isn't vintage! No, no! Lucky me got a package from the postie containing all this free goodness from Lush! Not one, not two, but NINE (I could've kept counting but we'd have been here a while and, what with my tendency to ramble, you'd have been asleep on your keyboard. If you aren't already. Hello!) perfumes! NINE! I'm sniffing Tuca Tuca (very violet-y) on my wrist just now. There was also some of the new Dirty range, including a shower gel, hair gel (used it this morning!), shaving cream and tooth tabs (??? I think they're basically mints but am a bit afraid to taste them!), PLUS a solid hand cream and a colour supplement for pale people. That'll be me then. I'm one of those nearly blue Scottish people.

If it's nice tomorrow (that being Sunday as I type), I think I'm going to get my bike out in preparation for my sponsored bike ride in September.

How was your weekend? Do tell!

5 March 2011


Yay! Because I am excited. You may have seen me, in past posts, wearing jewelery from Lady Luck Rules OK. Or my post on the talks that Leona Baker, its founder, held across the land on the essentials of running a craft based business. The talks were great because they were interesting for both fans of the brand and would be craft entrepreneurs but also because they were so darn inspiring. I really came away feeling like I could achieve anything I set my mind to. Hmm, now what is it I want to do?

Sadly, Lady Luck Rules OK is no more. But, as the ol' saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining and the silver (probably mirrored perspex) lining on this one is that Leona has moved onto a new venture: Thrift-ola! Cute name, non? Thrift-ola is, in Leona's words "like your favourite flea market except you don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn and spend hours seeking out the ace stuff – I’ve done that for you". Yup, it's an online treasure trove. Here are some of the goodies she's got ready to go!

SO embracing summer's colour blocking trend...
I don't even know where to begin!
Hands OFF the Babycham fawn girls - he's mine!
It looks like the summary of a "super fun second hand store bursting full o’ kooky kitchenalia, ace accessories, fun homewares, vintage books and oodles of insane bric-a-brac." is bang on. I don't know about you, but I am firmly in favour of insane bric-a-brac and will definitely be logging on to check out the Thrift-owares. Plus, Leona promises that "You won't have to bid on anything! You won’t fall victim to an over inflated 'vintage' price tag!".
Did anyone bring these funny little creatures back from holidays in their yoof?
Look at the rabbit cake on the book! I didn't spy it at first and nearly did a kitsch wee when I did!
There's also going to be a blog on site full of Leona's crafting hints and tips, which I am sure will be bursting with useful info on making, doing, mending and salvaging. If you want to check out any Thrift-ola shizz before the site goes live, you can check 'em out on Facebook and Twitter!

I feel a bookmark coming on.

3 March 2011

In these shoes? I doubt you'd survive...

Let's make love on a mountain top! No, I'm not propositioning you - it's also a line from the song (In these shoes by the late Kirsty MacColl) . That song makes me chuckle. And it's SO appropriate because there's bugger all I can do in these shoes. They're SO high, I can barely walk in them and they're pretty much guaranteed to turn my feet completely numb. Add to that the fact that they're nigh on impossible to get on, even with a shoe horn. They're the perfect little madam. But they're soooooooooooooo pretty!

Right? Look at that platform, the beautiful almond shaped toe, The vibrant colour, the sturdy yet gorgeous heel and the glorious hairy upper! *she weeps a little*

No joke though, they were an utter beatch to get into. I'm talking 5 solid minutes (they're supposed to be a slip on), one shoe horn, two pairs of socks and a sweaty wrestling match. I started with pink socks (you couldn't see them most of the time) but I could not get the left foot on. I switched to trying the right foot which I eventually beat - one shoe on - yesss! Buoyed by that success, I set about the left foot again, brandishing my shoe horn like the vicious weapon I thought it was. Uh-uh - the boot merely laughed at me. All I could do was switch the sock for a thin slidy pop sock and, after much ramming, wriggling, jabbing and stomping, the boot finally went on. Phew! If you look closely here, you can definitely see the odd socks.

Dress and leggings: Uniqlo, Cardi: Topshop, Boots: Senso at Solestruck

I figured the boots were so show stopping in there own right that they needed to go with a simple outfit. Comments the day I wore them included, "fuck me" (er, no thanks pal), "wow, they're visible" and general "wow, they're amazing"'s and "you're tall"'s. Well, put a slightly above average height girl in a pair of giant heels and whaddya expect?

See me rock ma fearsome jewels. Well as fearsome as a cameo and some roses can be. Er...

Cameo ring: Primark, middle ring: gift from Mr S, Flower ring: Accessorize
Necklace: Primark
Are you wondering how I've managed to get this far without mentioning the sheer leopard print-y-ness of the boots. I am.

They're pair #53 in my shoe wearing challenge and they're from US website Solestruck, by a brand called Senso.

2 March 2011

Dress me up!

I have to tell you, normally, I'm not a huge fan of 'things I saw on websites and liked' blog posts - often they're just lazy attempts to get a plug from a brand (calm down, I said OFTEN. Sometimes they're the bees knees! Although if your instinct was to overreact to that comment, may I suggest you go search your soul for what you know is good and true). As a result, I don't do many of them. However, on the basis that, allegedly, everything's good in moderation, I can live with the odd one here and there. Plus, the high street has finally started bursting and blooming with the beautiful 50s style fashion the autumn/winter 10 catwalks promised but that, at the time, the high street didn't really deliver, in my humble opinion. And that was all the better for my wallet, truth be told. Because I FRIGGIN' LOVE A FULL SKIRTED DRESS. They nip your waist, they skim your hips, they give the illusion of hour glassed fabulousness, they are the pear shaped human's best friend. I ask thee, what's not to love? So, in the hope that this acts as some kind of dressxorcism and prevents me having to swallow my bank card to keep from buying dresses, I can't afford, here are some pretty pictures of some dreamy dresses!

Topshop £29

Topshop £29


Topshop (don't worry - I do change retailer soon) £36

Annie Greenabelle @ Topshop £60. How gorgeous is this?!

Same in cream but it's so freaking tasty I had to pop it in.

Dotty P £40 (I think). V simple but nonetheless delicious! One could accessorise the shit out of this in a million different ways. Don't even try telling me otherwise.

Peacocks £22 - what a cutie!
Images are from relevant retailers sites. Don't be pissed - it's free advertising for you and I'm totally funny.