One unexpected delight of narcissistically posting photos of myself on an inordinately regular basis is the connection it has opened with amazing charities, charity retailers and impassioned thrifters all turfing throwaway fast fashion in favour of seriously cool sustainable style. I still can't believe that when I find a fabulous frock for a bargain price it pays twice: once in draping my ample body in rainbows and awesomeness, and again in funding some pretty incredible work in the community. I'm an avid reader of The Thrift, the blog of UK's leading children's charity, Barnardo's, so when they invited me for a natter to grace their hallowed pages (err... screens?) I was pretty bloody chuffed. You can see the original article here.
What a big bloody #BegBorrowBargain Brissy whirlwind! Ladies, if there's ever something I can wholeheartedly recommend it is to travel light... like REALLY light. I'm talking Leave-All-Your-Clothes-At-Home, light! Convinced I'd be walking around Brisbane on a rolling outfit rotation of my crumpled Aussie flag and a meat-pie stained pillowcase, I was genuinely and overwhelmingly shocked at the incredible bargain style I was able to snaffle and all in support of amazing Aussie charities like The Salvation Army, Lifeline, Endeavour Foundation and St Vincent de Paul Society. A total of 21 days of dresses, shoes, bags, brooches, bracelets, earrings, scarves, shoes, tops and skirts - two overflowing suitcases of style gold now bursting from every drawer and cupboard in my tiny Glasgow flat. All the finds from weeks 2 and 3 below and all for just $180.50 / £90.25. Not bad, huh?
Arriving on holiday with nothing but an Aussie flag (beer stains included), my camera and a week's worth of knickers was always a risky move. But, in the name of bargain style, I willingly took this potentially draughty gamble! Throwing myself at the mercy of The Salvos, Lifeline and Vinnies, even I've been shocked at the goodies I've managed to get my mits on. Strap yourself in Poodles... #begborrowbargain just got serious!!
Basking in the glow of being home here in Brissy for four fabulous weeks, I can’t seem to shake the feeling that I’ve forgotten something…
Part 2 of a 3-Part Style Overhaul Series, including:
Every bargain hunter knows the very best finds need a bit of spit and polish. Whether it's seeing the potential in that overlooked, run-down little property, envisioning new upholstery on that tired chair, seeing through the dusty muck coating a glorious vintage tea set or eyeing up an ornate frame that's desperate for a stunning new artwork. And yes, the same is true for clothes. Revitalising your own wardrobe (FREE SHOPPING on a rack of stuff you actually like!) or scoring a soon-to-be new favourite that unfortunately (for now) is a bit too big, too long, too tight in places, too 80s, too frou frou, not frou frou enough, too high cut, too low cut... you most definitely get the idea... needs only a wee bit of elbow grease. So, fear not my fellow bargain-loving style pioneers - let us break uncharted ground with scissors in one hand and dressmakers pins in the other. We're kicking this off with... darts!
The last time I thought... "no, don't bother applying... you'll NEVER get it", a few weeks later I found myself with a $10,000 university scholarship and a job at a brewery bearing bottomless beer for me and all my friends. This taught me three things:
1. Only in Australia can your degree be funded by a brewery
2. 2003 was a bloody good year
3. Just imagine how many other people also think they won't win?!
Needless to say, when That Little Voice reappeared to dissuade me from applying to Intu Braehead's callout for blogging types to #dothelot with a fab shopping/galavanting/skiing/golfing/eating/drinking day in the centre... my response was to (a) ply it with booze and (b) convince it to go ahead with an audition anyway (see, and they said I learned nothing at uni).
Part 1 of a 3-Part Style Overhaul Series, including:
Now, be honest. When was the last time you overhauled your wardrobe / cupboards / the crumpled heap shoved behind your bedroom door? 6 month? A year? 5 Years? 25 years (if this is you, then we need to talk measurements and your willingness for me to riffle through your things). I recent stumbled on an invite for a Shake Up Your Style workshop hosted by Lifestyle Lab and - while I'm not one for white denim jackets or shorts of any and all descriptions - I did find myself reluctantly inspired to finally attack The Overstuffed Hell Hole aka my wardrobe (theoretically "shared" with Lisa: she's been generously allotted 7 hangers and one entire shelf). With a spring in my step and an irritating-pop-song-on-endless-loop in my heart, I decided to delve into its murky depths...
On balance, my bum has been pretty good to me. Sure, we've had our moments... like, anytime I have attempted to:
Food Review: Once Upon A Tart, 45 King St, Glasgow G1 5RA
From one old tart to another, this is - without doubt - my food-of-any-and-all-types eating fantasy. Since first I cast my eyes over those four magical words: Once. Upon. A. Tart. (well, technically three words and a letter, but now you're just being pedantic) I knew deep within the core of my vintage-kitsch loving soul that this cafe and I were destined for a long and cake-filled life together. Let's not dwell on the fact that it took me 5 months to actually walk through the door...
Just when you thought there was nothing more that I could say about vintage kilo sales, you were probably right. Regardless, when the team at The Vintage Kilo Sale asked to pick my kilo-loving brain over a cuppa this week, I used the opportunity to shamelessly re-say a lot of things I have previously said. And here they are! You can see the original article here. As an aside, Oxfam posted a significantly more helpful guide back in 2013, so not only am I wildly repeating myself - I am doing so with old news. Enjoy poppets!
Those of you who know me, have ever read this blog or who have been driven to near-insanity by my relentless twice-daily Instagram posting this week will know: I bloody love vintage kilo sales. The cryptically named Vintage Kilo Sale is an event where vintage goodies are piled up high and sold… ahem… by the kilo (thank God for the sanity of the metric system: a Vintage Pound Sale would be excruciatingly confusing “A POUND OR A POUND?!” – a neo Four Candles skit in the making).
Figuring out what you want to be when you grow up is hard. Like childbirth hard. At age 5 you can answer the question effortlessly (a cleaner (true story)), at age 10 you’ve matured in your tastes (Screen Goddess), by 16 you’re confident (after all, you picked your university degree... Business Woman Extraordinaire), at 19 you’re questioning your degree entirely and by 21 you just want to get the bloody thing finished - zero shits given to the topic. By 25 you’re genuinely shocked you’re not yet CEO of a global conglomerate and at 27 you’re aware of being groomed for the hazy, soulless abyss of meaningless middle management. At 29 you realise everyone around you hates their job as much as you do and at 31 you’re so disenfranchised you quit the whole bloody mess to start an Etsy shop hand sewing wedding ring pillows.
People who write blogs seem to be in the lofty position of giving advice: "9 tips for..." "7 ways to..." "28.63 things you must..." When it comes to dog rearing, my position is the antithesis of 'lofty'. I'm not even on ground level. 'Mordor' feels like a conservative estimation. It goes without saying - I bloody love my dog. I actually can't (and don't want to) imagine my life without her. But sitting here, drinking the world's largest vat of tea - purely for medicinal reasons - after being unable to remove Hettie from the plastic Tesco ham container she proceeded to lick clean before tearing into tiny strips, ingesting each and every one (did I mention that I was calling her name, offering her treats and pathetically attempting to catch her in full view of all Kelvingrove Park patrons while she destructed the container over a 15 minute period?), I thought I would take a moment to share - not tips - but truths of dog parenting as I know them.
The jury's in, you crazy kids LOVE a Vintage Style Challenge as much as I do. This isn't just another one of those run-of-the-mill 'match made in heaven' scenarios. Nuh-ah. This is the kind of match that's been dipped in awesome, covered in chocolate buttons and vomited on by unicorns wearing replicas of Audrey Hepburn's 1954 Oscars gown. While I hadn't expected to take on another style challenge so soon, when my plan for a ladies morning tea at my all time favourite vintage store (located a mere 300 miles from home) in Nottingham exploded with the news of a Judy's Vintage Fair (nay, that's Judy's AFFORDABLE Vintage Fair, to be precise) on the very same day... it would have been rude not to take up Challenge #2. Team, you know the rules: 3 hours. £30. Wildly unnecessary pauses for carb-loaded snacks. Gratuitous photographs of my watch. GO!
Skill level: Beginner
A big dollop of love from my finger tips to your screen (I promise that's not as creepy as it sounds). xx