Monday, 22 April 2013

The joy of geometrics

My love affair with grey and yellow is still ongoing but I have a new crush - geometrics! I'm not sure where this trend originated from - I think it's a follow on from the chevron trend?

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, let me show you visually:

1) Fruit bowl £12    2) Ombre duvet cover £15 in double size
3) Bath mat £10   4) Towels from £4  All from Matalan

It basically involves geometric shapes (triangles, pentagons etc) usually in pastel colours being displayed on home accessories and wallpapers. And it looks gorgeous.

Obviously, you don't want pattern on every surface so pick a few key items - like a geometric rug and cushions - to stand out and keep everything else subtle but colour coordinated.

triangles, interiors, retro, pattern
Keep it simple for maximum impact

I scoured the high street for you (what a tough task!) to find the best places for geometrics:

1) Matalan are calling it "Pastel Pop." This is geometric on a budget. You could redecorate a whole room for £50 with their collections!

2) John Lewis are calling it "Pioneer." This is the designer option..... There are some cheaper options (like this geometric picnic mug for just £2.50) but the majority of items are a bit more costly. Cushions are around £35 and the matching furniture will set you back by a few hundred pounds.

3) For wallpapers check out Graham and Brown for quality patterns, or if you're on a budget try B and Q for a range of retro styles.

4) Have you seen the Mini Moderns Buddha of Suburbia range? Lush. I'd like it all please.

The backgammon range from Mini Moderns

This is one trend I need in my life!  I'll be incorporating a few bits and pieces
 into my spare bedroom - will you?

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Kindle surprise!

After much thought and deliberation (I'm not one to buy on a whim!) I decided to get myself a Kindle from Ebay. I managed to get the keyboard model for £50 with over 900 books on it!

I love to read and I had been using the Kindle app on my phone but I did find it annoying to have the glare of the sun on the screen in the summer.....Today, the sun came out for the first time in a decade and I took my new Kindle outside and felt very happy.

Kindle Keyboard with free case!
A retro armchair in the sun? Yes yes yes!
It's amazing how much better a little sunshine can make me feel. My retro upcycled armchair followed me into the garden and even my zombie skin got a little colour! That's how I spent my afternoon....

I kept my outfit casual and cool. First time this year for a white top! 

In other news, I've been getting out my biggest crochet hook (having been inspired by Pinterest) to make a blanket for my preggers friend. She's a vegan so I made a special effort to find yarn without wool in it. Easier said than done....

Crochet hook size 10mm
This blanket should be quite quick to make as it uses only the single stitch and 3 pieces of yarn as one thread - so it grows really quickly! I've been happily crocheting away whilst watching tv in the evenings.

Single stitch crochet
It's currently a bit bigger than this but I think I've got a while to go yet! Luckily, I've got the next 2 days off - if I don't get distracted by sun worshipping that is....

P.S I know that I've only been posting once a week recently....if the sun continues to shine then I'll have more to post. Pinky promise!

Monday, 8 April 2013

Top tips for saving money, budgeting and finding a bargain!

They say that you should write about what you know, well I know A LOT about saving money!

Everytime I watch Superscrimpers (a UK tv programme) I end up shouting at the screen! The tips are really obvious to me. The people on the programme are idiots. It's really not hard to live within your means and there is no excuse for over spending on your income. Here are my top tips for staying in the black:

1) Buy your clothes out of season
Some of my best bargains (limited edition Hunter festival wellies for £15!) have been bought at the "wrong" time of the year. I buy wool coats in summer and tea dresses in winter. Shops need to get rid of these items to sell the more seasonal options, so they are going to reduce them heavily to entice you in.

Is your piggy bank feeling the strain?

2) Shop around and put some effort in
I don't find all these bargains without a little elbow grease! It really helped when I worked in a shopping centre because I could visit some of my favourite shops daily to check prices. Now, I have a little charity shop next to my work place and I can look out for items they have discarded around the back of the premises. I love to upcycle!
 You do have to put in the hours in order to find bargains. Sign up to your favourite shops' email newsletters and chances are that they'll frequently let you know about sales and discount codes. Which brings me on to:

3) Discount code websites
We use these a lot. Especially if we go out for a meal. You can find discounted prices, get a free starter etc or find free delivery for your clothing orders. My favourites are Vouchercodes and Fashionbeans

Dollar signs might not be helpful
if you live in the UK!

4) Look for the signs
That's a bit cryptic isn't it?! What I mean by this - look out for clothing that has been grouped together on rails or merchandised sideways - chances are that the shop is ready to go into sale mode. Topshop and other Arcadia Group stores will write the sale price in pencil on their labels the day beofre the sale starts. If the item is going to be £15, they will write 0015 on the label.

5) Pick a day. any day
Certain restaurants will do special deals depending on what day it is. For example, Slug and Lettuce do half price food on a Monday and Wetherspoons have a discounted curry night on a Wednesday.
Also, bank holidays and Easter are a great time to go shopping. Most shops will do an extra discount on their stock to entice you out of the house!

6) Designer outlets
Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth is quite near to my house and also has some lovey restaurants so we can make a day of it. Sometimes, the stock is not great but every so often you can get a great deal. Paperchase is particularly good for discounted greetings cards and photo albums.

Is that enough for now? I have soooo many more tips to share with you but I don't want to overwhelm you! Bonus points if you've read even half of what's above and haven't just skim read the titles!
Let me know if there is a specific area you want help with.....


Friday, 5 April 2013

Life got in the way!

Wanna know what I've been up to recently? Alongside ordering our wedding invites and picking a wedding photographer ( the lovely Kimberley Garrod ) these are the things I have been doing:

charity shop mirror
Vintage mirror - charity shop
I bought this beautiful, vintage mirror from my local charity shop for just £10! It has a little chain to hang it up with but at the moment I don't have a drill :(  so it's just resting on my table.

We finally got a new toaster after my cat peed in the first one and the second one blew up! It was only £8.99 down from £30 in Sainsbury's. Bargain queen.

Lemon drizzle cake - nom nom.
I made a lemon drizzle cake using a Nigella recipe and took it to work. It didn't last more than a few hours and was easy and delicious! Definitely a keeper.

Lindt chocolate bunny

My mum asked me which Easter egg I would like this year - I decided on a Lindt bunny. The chocolate is really thick and creamy and super yummy. Poor little bunny didn't last long....

Lulah - my tortoiseshell cat
Lulah came to stay with us whilst my ex went home for a few days. Thomas went to stay with my future in laws so it was just Lulah and Lily in our house. Lulah has lovely, soft fur and is very cuddly so we enjoyed her little visit :)

Apart from that, I have been baffled by yesterdays' snow flurries (I mistakenly thought we were in spring) and continuing the arduous task of wedding planning. I realise that I haven't yet shown you my new living room decoration so I'll do that as soon as the sun comes back. So, never then!