A mixed bag

Loving wearing my hair like this- a loose bun on top of my head- it's in all the magazines at the minutes as the new 'do'! Sometimes long hair is such a hassle and this is a nice little way of getting it all off my face. Also, wearing the thrifted striped blazer from a jumble sale for 50p. It reminds me of Beetlejuice and humbugs and Helena Bonham Carter.

I had a great Saturday- went shopping with Ed in Camden and hit the five charity shop's on Camden Road including the awesome Oxfam that I love so much! I found a few cute little things.

This brilliantly tacky handbag with a giant gold crocodile clasp! It reminds me of the Angel Jackson bags that cost hundreds, mine cost a mere tenner!

This crazy hand-printed fabric panel was hidden under a load of scarves and pillowcases in a 20p basket. I don't have a clue what I'm going to do with it yet, I think it would look great in a frame or maybe a cushion cover. The girl looks like Marilyn Monroe with only one tooth- subversive haha.

And everyone loves a good trinket-box right? This one is so cute, papered in vintage prints- perfect for little bits and bobs on my shelves.

So Saturday night we got all dressed up just to go to our local for a couple- anyone love getting overdressed to pop to the pub?! I look ridiculously pale here. I wear kohl eyeliner almost 24/7 and have been working up the courage to slim down my make up routine to foundation, blusher and lipstick.

Chanel Rouge Hydrabase- New York Red
Nars Cream Blush- Turkish Red

And my outfit for Saturday-

Primark frill-front dress
Primark lon sleeved basic tee
Thrifted bag

And we ended the night with a mammoth game of Monopoly! I can't remember who won, I think it fizzled out into fits of laughter and filming Ed dancing to Ice Ice Baby.

I have a consultation at the Toni & Guy Academy tomorrow on my lunch break to see if they can strip my hair and dye it red! So excited, I hope they can do it- I love having black hair but I fancy a change for summer.

I keep seeing lovelies with red hair everywhere, taunting me!

My favourite red-heads-

Christina Hendricks

Lizzie Siddal

Florence Welch

Karen Elson, obviously.

Edith Schiele

s/s 2010

All photos- Marie Claire

Loving the cute, fun Triceratops bags and the use of all the coral and muted metallics!

Love this Tarantula tee, but it would definitely bring my arachnophobia!

Ahh, Galliano I love you. Chantilly lace forever & ever please.

Wartime corpse-bride in ankle socks and trenches will be my spring/summer inspiration.

A pastel Scarlet O'Hara, a southern belle with big hair and bigger hats. And more lace of course.

Last, but not least in the slightest, the blunt fringes and candy floss shades at Chanel.

Buttermilk and streaks of silver in the hair and heels.

Did you have any favourites my lovelies?

Recipe for the young at heart

I hope you are all having a fabulous week so far, mine has been relaxed and I have officially not smoked a cigarette in over 10 days and am really feeling the benefits!

I had to share this recipe for one of my all-time favourite deserts, a classic school dinner-style treat perfect for warming you up in the evenings!

Cornflake Jammy Tart

250g plain flour
125g butter or margarine
Cold water

Jam- good quality, flavour of your choice!
Cornflake topping
125g caster sugar
125g butter
220g cornflakes
125g golden syrup

Pre-heat the oven to 200C or Gas 6

1. Place the flour and the butter into a large bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Using a round bladed knife stir in the cold water a little at a time until the mixture begins to come together. Use your hands to form a ball of pastry. Wrap the pastry in cling film and rest for half an hour or so in the fridge. (Or if you need to save time, just use shop bought pastry!)

2. Roll out the pastry, line a tin 14” by 8”. To make sure it doesn't rise or bubble, prick with a fork or fill with baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool.

3. Turn the oven down to 170C Gas 4

4. Once cool spread the pastry case with the jam of your choice. I used Bonne Maman because it delicious and I reuse the empty jars afterwards because they are so pretty!

5. Place the sugar, syrup and butter in a large pan and heat gently until the butter has melted. Give the mixture a good stir and add in the cornflakes a few handfuls at a time until either the cornflakes are all added or the toffee mixture is all used up. Mix well to make sure each cornflake is sticky and well covered and that there is no runny mixture left at the bottom of the pan.

6. Place the cornflake mix into the jammy tart case and press down well with the back of a spoon to compress and smooth the surface. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Take out and cool. When absolutely cold cut into slices of squares.

7. Serve with lashings of hot custard, enjoy and forget about your diet for one night!

Weekend Jumble!

Saturday was a good day. Feeling better at last and able to leave the house without the fear of being mistaken for the elephant woman, I checked the local paper- the Camden Journal- and was excited to see the first jumble sale of the year! And it was only a 10 minute walk from the flat!

My weekly jaunt to the local Post Office is a little ritual for me,I sell alot on ebay and Thriftstoreuk and my nearest is in Primrose Hill which is always a treat to wander through- I must take more photos of all the pretty shops next time.

One of my favourite views, and sort of a secret one unless you live in one of the high-rises. Only viewable through metal railings- The Primrose Hill Train Tunnel:

It can be seen much more clearly here, back in around 1837- complete with rolling fields and no buildings in sight.

So, the jumble sale was a total success. I did end up spending £25 but I bought so much! Including, but not limited to:
  • A brand new Lush giftset with 12 (!!) items in for £5 (seen on the left)
  • A load of DVDs for 50p each
  • A pair of vintage cowboy boots for the boy for £2
  • A load of fabric and tablecloths, all for DIY-ing into cushions!
  • Too many items of clothing to mention- including a cute playsuit and floral cardi!

Also found at the church jumble- one black leather bumbag! *Gasp* How could I? Why? For the love of god! Oh please, I know they aren't a particularly attractive item or have the most glamorous history but they are the most useful thing when at festivals, gigs and selling at car boots!

I don't think I'm brave enough to model the said item just yet! But lo and behold when I got home that lunchtime flicking through a copy of the Times, I noticed this article-

Ha! So not only useful, but bang on trend- excellent. Just need the confidence to pull it off now! Thoughts on bum-bags/fanny packs guys? Are they the Marmite of the fashion world? Love them/hate them or just indifferent?

Fifties fur coat- £20- ebay

After two years of economic hardship, Britain's public finances are in a sorrier state than ever before. Jobs continue to be lost, homes fought for and belts tightened and we all still have doubts about where we will stand financially and economically in 2010. But here we are, being steadfast and lovely and British and trying to live as happily and contented as we can afford.

For me, thrift has been a way of life since I started earning my own money; it wasn’t something I just took up to become a fully-fledged recession-ista. But, please don't think I'm some miserly skinflint, I like spending money on gifts and nice things, but I’d just prefer to get them a bit cheaper than everyone else! I’m a promotional-codes addict, a sales lover and a sample-sale aficionado. I like the chase, the thrill of not knowing, the rummage and the haggle. It's all part of the fun.

Why don’t you make 2010 your year of thrift and quieten that phobia of musty charity shops (not totally a myth, but luckily a rare occurrence) with my tips on where to go and what to look out for. Save money/have fun- make it your new hobby!

Charity shops.

Tulle petticoat- £3- Charity Shop

  • Most people’s first point of call when looking for a bargain. The golden age of the charity shop is over unfortunately- their prices have soared and the quality of donations in most city centre branches has been reduced to Primark disposables racked up for more than they were on sale for in the first place! There are still bargains to be had, so I would recommend out of town branches, independent charity shops and ones frequented by the upper end of the classes. In my local Marie Curie, I have found items by Joseph, Anna Sui, Alice Temperley, Ghost and more. Knitwear and dresses are the two items I frequently look out for, the selections tend to be better and the stock updated more regularly. Also, always check out the men’s sections, I recently found a great Liberty print shirt and a couple of American Apparel items shoved in with the men’s items! Also, it tends to be cheaper, because even less men shop in charity shops than women. So try and gulp down your misplaced pride next time you are on the local high-street and step into a Cancer Research or Marie Curie and see what you find!

The best army boots in the world- £5- Charity Shop


  • You all know Ebay and the bargains that can be had there so all I’ll say is look out for other peoples mistakes. Mis-spelling titles and product brands is still ridiculously common on ebay. When you’re looking for Chanel, try Chenel, Channel, or even just CC. Try this with other big brands too and jot down the ones that brings results so you can check back another time
Car boot sales/ Jumble sales/ Bring 'n' Buys
  • For me, these are the Holy Grail of hunting grounds. The main downside is that I haven’t been to one in months- they all but disappear in winter. When they return in the early months of spring and summer, remember to take small change, carrier bags and learn to haggle! To scout out some local events, look in the local papers, scan the windows of local shops/community boards and schools etc and ask friends and neighbours. Even better, why not host your own for charity? You could get first dibs on everything donated, whilst still helping a worthwhile cause!

Beaded Cardigan- £5 - Jumble Sale

The Interwebs

  • Freecycle & Gumtree: These are both great websites for picking up cheap or free furniture in your locality. You can sign up for email alerts on Freecycle so that you can see what is being offered up and with Gumtree you can do a keyword search to narrow down the items to that ever elusive dining table or sofabed.
A few other websites and online communities have a large enough fanbase to warrant some serious bargains-
  • Livejournal: Thriftstoreuk/Niceboots/loos_adverts.
  • Forums of various sites- Make Up Alley/ Hot UK Deals

The warmest Urban Outfitters snood- £6 via Thriftstoreuk

The art of observation

  • In London, this can work a treat, but I can imagine it would be perfectly transferable to smaller towns and villages. Skip-diving has been around as a phenomenon for a while and I can’t resist having a nosy when I walk past an open skip! It can be a bit conspicuous however and who wants to climb into what is essentially a great big bin outside someone’s house? Unless of course it was an amazing find- a vintage sideboard or an old Singer sewing machine perhaps. What I prefer to do is just keep my eyes open. The other day I came home from work and someone had a left a huge box of books outside their flat, I found a few great ones and other people followed my lead and started rummaging! I’ve seen various bits of furniture, lamps, chairs and other unwanted miscellany just waiting to be picked up by a new adoptive owner.