All Hallows Eve

Happy Halloween, all you ghouls and ghosts, zombies and vamps!

I've been on a little holiday from blogging over the last week or so, but I'm back in London with lots of ideas for posts and a few exciting developments up my sleeve!

I picked out a few of mine and the Mr's favourite spooky, magical books to get you in the mood for this evening. Give me a scary novel over a slasher film any day- reading a ghost story alone in the dark is a secret pleasure.

Upstyle it

Visited Upstyler yet? If not, hot foot it over there now and take a look at their fabulous website and shop.

The idea is pretty simple:

“The UK’s one stop shop for mixing unique charity shop finds and one off vintage picks with the best ‘made to last’ pieces from the High Street.”

They style all the pieces up and showcase them in the pages of their online magazine, which I was thrilled to realise last week when it popped through my letterbox, is also sent out to all of their mailing list subscribers.

The skirt and bag above are two of my favourite pieces available on the site right now and their prices are fair and affordable. The stock is ever changing and the turnover is fast, something I really appreciate with online shops stocking vintage.

In the words of their motto: Fast fashion is dead. Long live your style.

Buy My Wardrobe Giveaway!

On Saturday 30th October, some of fashion's finest wardrobes will open for business in Covent Garden at the next Buy My Wardrobe event

How it works is simple, the Buy My Wardrobe team choose a handful of 'Wardrobe Mistresses', who each bring between 50-100 pieces from their own collection, to sell in one of the boutique-style spaces at a posh venue somewhere in central London- this time it's at the Adam Street Members Club in Convent Garden. It is essentially an upmarket jumble sale!

Confirmed Wardrobe Mistresses include Francesca Salih-Stylist for Net-a-Porter; Lou Hay- Designer at Matthew Willamson; and Sammi Brown- Great Grand-Daughter to the Marks & Spencer Empire; all boasting collections that would turn the most seasoned fashion followers green with envy.

Now for the bit that got me very excited. For the first time Buy My Wardrobe will also be dedicating a room to all things eco, vintage and recycled. Already confirmed are Dandy Dolls vintage clothing and Dimasi vintage and used designer bags. Further collaborations will be announced.

For those looking for extra indulgence; stylists, manicurists and other related services will also be available.

Shoppers can expect to find treasures such as;
- Burberry Double Breasted Trench; originally £975 for £450 (as shown above)
- Diane Von Furstenberg Chocolate Brown Wool Wrap Dress; originally £325 for £150
- Louboutin pigalle shoes; originally £375 for £150
- Anya Hindmarch Elrod Handbag at £200
- Jimmy Choos for just £120
- & that fabulous pair of Gucci heels above, as yet unpriced!

Now, it may seem against my usual ethos of cheap & chic to recommend an event such as this as these prices are still high BUT these are hugely discounted, and if you love looking for a designer bargain this will definitely be right up your street! I am certain that there will be lots more affordable pieces in the Mistresses' collections!

The Giveaway!

The lovely team at Buy My Wardrobe have kindly offered a pair of VIP tickets to the event on the 30th October worth £20 each.

The tickets include a champagne preview hour from 12pm and a goody bag for both ticket holders sponsored by companies such as Homemade London!

For your chance to win, simply:

1) Make sure you’re a follower of Pretty Much Penniless
2) Leave a comment on this post with your contact details.

For an extra entry, you can tweet about the competition too!
The competition will close on Tuesday 26th October at Midnight and I'll announce the winner on Wednesday 27th!

Don’t be disheartened if you don’t win though lovelies! The event starts at 1pm at the Adam Street Members Club and standard entry costs only £5.

Home Sweet Home

Just a quick post to show you one of my favourite finds of recent times. At the Wills Moody jumble a couple of weekends ago I spied this beautifully intricate old picture in a somewhat forlorn frame.

The couple selling it were cooler than cool- she reminded me of Zooey and he one of an indie boy band. They wanted £15, I haggled to £12 and it was happily ever after.

Weekend Snaps

'Tis a glorious sunny Sunday and I'm off out to play badminton soon but wanted to show you all some photos of my very fun weekend. My friend Jess came down stay from Oxford for her 21st Birthday so I sorted out some cupcakes for her from The Primrose Bakery.

I bought an amazing deal from Keynoir a few weeks ago- 9 cupcakes for £8- but manipulated the deal with a £10 off voucher for first time customers, meaning I bought two deals for just £6! 18 bloody good cupcakes for the price of a couple of coffees. Bargain. I urge you to check out the Keynoir website (predominantly London-based offers)- I promise I wasn't paid to write this, I just love a money-saver. I get emails from them, Wahanda and Groupon everyday now and they do have some of the most fabulous deals. I might dedicate a post to them soon, just in case anyone was still wondering what they're all about.

Anyway, we also popped to Topshop on The Strand (Another tip: dread Oxford Street on a Saturday? Go to this branch of Topshop! It was much quieter. Smaller yes, but had a good selection. Terribly laid out though and the staff were useless.) I spent my £50 voucher that I won in the VoucherCodes competition and finally bought the cute cameo socks that I'd been wanting. Also bought the t-bar flats above and a slouchy tee that I wanted after seeing it on Gem.

And the ears... I'm sorry but I was wearing a leopard print dress, they matched, it's nearly Halloween and they were £4. Feel a bit of a douche wearing them but with a painted nose and whiskers, I finally have an excuse to wear full-on, head to toe leopard print. Excellent.
we ended our day with a massive spend in Lush. Well £22, but that's alot to spend on bubble bath.

I woke early this morning to go and buy the papers and sat outside a couple of doors down was this cabinet, with a 'Please take me' sign. At first I thought- 'no, too ugly'- but looking a little closer, it's an antique all right, just hidden beneath a very bad paint job. Remember Changing Rooms used to 'transform' (read: butcher) furniture and walls with those hideous paint effects? Crackle Glaze, remember that? The stuff that Barry M have now brought back for nails. Gross. Anyway, I got Ed to help me haul it up the stairs and I plan on giving it a sand down and a repaint with the duck-egg blue paint I have left over from our kitchen. I love free things.

Beaumont Organic Styling Challenge

Beaumont Organic Clothing recently challenged seven bloggers, including myself and Mademoiselle Robot, to a styling challenge. They kindly sent me a gorgeous, luxury collar from their collection and asked me to style it any way I wished, as long as it was 'me'.

I decided to go down the hyper-girly route and added it to a pale lavender-hued blouse from Tesco Clothing, a Primark ruffle skirt poofed out with my vintage tulle underskirt, my thrifted ballet girl suitcase bag and my a pair of black wedges.

The Beaumont Organic brand stands out to me- it was started in 2007 by a girl after my own heart named Hannah Nicole. She muses that after years of owning numerous cotton t-shirts, she eventually began to “explore the niche our market has for beautiful clothes that are also environmentally friendly."

After finishing university and settling in a comfortable job, she wanted a new challenge and so Beaumont Organic was born.
The initial range consisted of eight pieces all made from 100% organic cotton jersey, free from both pesticides and insecticides.

Alongside the clothing range, Hannah Nicole also set up the Beaumont Organic Foundation which ensures that a percentage of the annual profits is donated to the Niusawa School in Fiji after Hannah lived and taught there in 2002. Beaumont stocks beautiful clothing and is built around a brilliant ethos. Created by a successful, intelligent woman, it is definitely my kind of company.

So how do you think I did? Show me some love, the prize is two pieces from the new collection!

Gogo Philip Vintage Bijoux

Do you like my pretty new plaything?

Amy from Wolfwhistle and Material PR kindly sent me a piece from the new collection by bourgeois bijoux designer Gogo Philip and I must say, I'm a little bit in lust with my new stamp necklace!

The lookbook is full of hyper-sexy photos that remind me of the age of the supermodel- Elle, Christy, Naomi et al- fierce makeup and big hair and the jewellery is bold and unapologetic. No whimsical, cutesy stuff here thanks- we're talking chunky chains, cleopatra-style snakes and layers of gold.

The interesting thing for me is their price point- looking at the photos, the website, the exclusivity, you'd be forgiven for thinking this was a high end brand with a matching price-tag. In fact, prices range from €6-€40, a very pleasant surprise indeed!

Gogo Philip is available at Topshop's flagship on Oxford Street and a handful of other Topshop stores across the country.


Dress: H&M
Jacket: H&M
Shoes: Bertie
First attempt at a beehive: average

Just a quick outfit post tonight before I head out to celebrate Ed's birthday! It was on Thursday but he went home to see his parents for a few days. For his present, I bought him a falconry day and a book about science fiction which I think he loves more than his main present: he's obsessed with Lovecraft, Poe, Dunsany and Pratchett.

We're off down the road for an Italian with eight of our friends and will probably end up having one or two (or three or four) cocktails and a little dance!

Hope you've all got a fun night lined up, even if it's just staying in watching X Factor! (I'll be following Twitter to make sure I know what's happening!)

All that glitters is not gold...

Say hello to midweek and the little bag of jewels I bought from the Saturday jumble sale for a very un-glamorous £1.50.

Nearly all of them are broken, missing rhinestones, clasps, clips or fixings- overall a very sorry bunch. But would you have left these pretties sitting in their sad little plastic bag just waiting to be re-invented?

I have no idea what to do with them- some imperfect jewellery? I was thinking of sewing clusters of the littler pieces onto felt circles to make into brooches. What would you do with them? And don't say throw them in the bin! I would be a sad girl.

This week has been a stressful one but I have been endlessly cheered by each and every one of the comments on my last post. Thank you is all I can say. I have promised myself I will make it happen, even if it takes me years and I know that you will all continue to be supportive as always.