Is it still January?

January has been such a long month! Not that I’ve done a lot with the endless amounts of time that seem to be between us and the New Year now – it feels like this has just been a month of working, sleeping and waiting to get paid. An early pay day in December seems great at the time, but 6 weeks between pay days seems like a massive stretch now.

Despite the incredible amount of rain we’ve been getting recently, we have still managed to get out most weekends with Alf. I’ve even bought myself some upper sexy outdoorsy walking trousers. Ok so they’re not going to in any style awards, but they are comfortable, warm, water-resistant and mean I don’t have to risk damaging any of my smarter trousers on our outdoor adventures.

I’ve really enjoyed being able to get out-and-about up here, even when the weather isn’t perfect. The scenery is beautiful and most places we go are so quiet we barely see another person. Plus I can really do with the exercise – a desk job isn’t agreeing with my waistline.


When the weather hasn’t been so good I’ve been doing some reading – books and magazines – I seem to read an inordinate number of magazines these days, particularly compared to a few years ago. Current favourites include The Simple Things, Mollie Makes, Women’s Health, Delicious, Good Food and I recently picked up my first copy of Things & Ink. I don’t read all of these on a monthly basis, I only subscribe to The Simple Things and pick the others up as and when I remember and am particularly interested in the edition. I’ve also subscribed to Audible, so I can listen to audiobooks at work when thing are a bit quiet or in the evening if I’m too tired to read. The first audiobook I’ve downloaded is The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, which won The Man Booker Prize or 2013. I’m enjoying it a lot, there’s definitely a lot of mystery and intrigue.



I suppose the most noteworthy event of January is that I have got a new job! I interviewed yesterday afternoon and was offered the position by the evening 🙂 I’m very excited by the new opportunity. My current job has only been on a three month contract which expires at the end of February, plus it hasn’t been the most exciting job in the world – but they have paid me my first decent salary, so I’ve tried not to complain too much. The new job is about the same money but I’ll get a two year contract which gives us much more security and the possibility of being able to buy our own place soon(ish). I start in the beginning of March and I’m very excited. I think this will definitely call for a shopping spree for some new (work appropriate) clothes and shoes J  I’ve done  fair amount of browsing online lately and there’s quite a long list of things I’ like to add to my wardrobe. I’ll probably have to go through and whittle the list down though, we are trying to save for a house a well!

Roll on Friday evening,

Love


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Weekend Catch-up

I haven’t been feeling quite myself this past week. From time to time my stomach decides to throw a bit of a hissy fit and leaves me feeling bloated and nauseated – and this week has been one of those times 😦
So I’ve been feeling a bit sorry for myself and not been getting up to as much as I would have liked.

It’s been especially frustrating as I have (finally) got myself a job, which starts a week on Monday, so I had been hoping to make the most of my last weeks of freedom.
I’m going to be working for the local University, engaging with local companies who have been involved in a University project to find out the benefits they got out of working with the Uni. It’s actually only a three month contract to start with, with the possibility of extension, but it’s definitely the best (only) offer I’ve had all year!
It’s sounds like a really interesting role, but on of the best things (other than getting paid) is that it’s only a five minute walk away from the house 🙂
It’s also been an excuse to do some clothes shopping, which I haven’t really been able to do for a long time as I haven’t had an income. Even though it was only work clothes it was still nice to be able to treat myself. I mostly bought trousers as I have tops that are work appropriate but the only trousers I really have are jeans that I obviously can’t get away with in an office. I might get around to taking some photos for you to see when I’m feeling less bloated and obese.

It has got rather cold here as well this week – so as well as being ill I’ve been staying inside to avoid the cold. I’m hoping the office where I’ll be working has got good heating :/
The cold isn’t all bad though as it means we get to put the fire on and get snuggled up in a blanket. The animals (cat and dog) are definitely on board with that plan too- they’re either trying to psych each other off of my blanket or spreading themselves out in front of the fire. They aren’t the best of friend, but their mutual love of warmth had brought them closer together than ever these past few days.

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I’ve also been doing quite a lot of crochet again, it’s a good snuggly winter evening activity 🙂 I’ve been working on some animal xmas baubles that are quite easy but super cute. The pattern is an original design by All About Ami which you can find here, there are also loads of other great designs and helpful hints and tips all really well illustrated with photos.

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I’m on my own this evening as the parents are away in Vietnam and Pete is out seeing a friend who has come up to climb in Snowdonia. Evenings on your own only mean one thing – personal indulgence 🙂 Not wanting to tempt fate, but my stomach is feeling the best it has done in 2 days, so I might go and treat myself to a mug cake!

Hope you are all well,

Love,

Betty

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Bargain Hunting

Before you even think it, no, not the TV show. I’m sure I would be quite awful at that, the things I like other people tend not to like and I’m very bad a haggling.

Anyway, last weekend my friend Emma and I had a bit of a day out bargain hunting in Southampton.

We started off visiting the Guildhall for The Vintage Fair. I often find vintage fairs can be a bit hit and miss, there are usually some nice items at good prices as well as a lot of horrible stuff and a lot of over-priced stuff – although at least that way I suppose there is something for everyone!
In fear of a massive queue of bargain hunters I arrived early but only found a handful of other people waiting for the doors to open. It was quite nice to be able to wander round and check out all the stalls while it was still quite quiet. The main Guildhall area, which I’d pretty much only been in for gigs before, was filled with vendors selling a whole range of vintage and vintage style clothes, accessories and homewares as well as a little stand selling cupcakes and tea.
There was actually a lot of stuff that caught my eye, sadly not much of it within my extremely limited budget. I actually got so caught up in looking at things that I didn’t take very many photographs. The pictures below show a few of the things that caught my eye.

  • Fur coats – obviously. These places are usually full of fur coats, both fur and real. I’m a major sucker for fur, although don’t think I could ever buy real, even if it is vintage. If I had the money I expect I’d have a small collection of fur coats by now, but I couldn’t even afford one right now!
  • An awesome/weird ram head belt. I actually photographed this as an example of the weird shit you can see at a vintage fair, but it’s actually grown on me since.
  • Hats. I love hats! Sadly, every one I tried on was way too small for me 😦
  • So much jewellery, vintage, vintage reproduction and hand-made. Again, if I had a bigger budget I’d probably have bought tonnes.

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I actually only bought one thing from the fair, a dress to wear at the Old Spitalfields Market Pop-Up Vintage Fair event next week – which I will write more about soon. I’ll keep the dress in full under wraps until the event, but here’s a bit of a sneak peek.

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After we’d seen all the vintage fair had to offer us, we still had an itch for bargains so went on a bit of a charity shop spree. Emma found several lovely dresses, including one by Henry Holland for £10. I didn’t find any clothes but did get a lovely set of Chinese bowls and spoons for £2.99 – ok so there are four spoons but only three bowls, £2.99!!

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It’s been ages since I’ve done any proper charity shopping, it was a bit disappointing not to find any clothes – I really would love some new clothes but am working on a super limited budget in the run up to Christmas 😦 I’ve even struggled finding good stuff on eBay, my mind seems to only be drawn to expensive things lately :/

Has anyone else found any good vintage or charity shop bargains lately?

Love,

Betty

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Vintage Nation

Vintage Nation, from the people behind Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair, is being held at Brighton Racecourse on Saturday June 9th 2012 (10am til 11pm).

I really want to go, but at the moment, haven’t found anyone to come with me, so I thought I’d put some feelers out to see if any of you lovely people would be interested.
There will obviously be vintage shopping, but also vintage cars, live music, vintage hair styling and make-up, burlesque, a village green (brought to you by Crabbies), a man-made beach, G&T’s, champagne, DJs, dancing and the promise of fireworks!
Check out both the Facebook page and event.
Let me know if you’re interested, or already going! I think it looks like a fantastic day out 🙂
Love,

Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair in Southampton

On Sunday, Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair came to Southampton Uni and I went along to check it out. I’m not exactly financially well-off at the moment, so knew I wouldn’t be buying much, no matter how ‘affordable’ it was, but I’ve missed so many fairs and vintage events in recent months that I wasn’t going to let this one pass me by (even I can afford £1 entry, with student card). So I made some vintage outfit effort and headed out.

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There were so many stalls and people trawling through rails it was a bit overwhelming! If it wasn’t for all the beautiful jewellry on the first stall inside the door, I wouldn’t have known where to start!
All the accessories and jewellery stalls were gathered together just inside the door. They were definitely the busiest single part of the whole fair, I practically had to queue to look at some parts! It’s not surprising really, there was so much great jewellery to see and I probably spent the majority of my time combing over what was on offer. Alongside the handmade, vintage styled jewellery, there were boxes of buttons, old lace, random badges and charms, even a box of old American motel keys.

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The jewellery stalls were the only place I actually bought anything. I picked up a super cute birdcage necklace and a new watch necklace, both from Made At The Wishing Well. The stall had so many cute necklaces, I will definitely be checking out their Etsy page when I have more money!
If you’re looking for a watch necklace then vintage fairs seem to be the place to go. There were so many on offer in so many sizes and designs. If I hadn’t already bought the one from Made At The Wishing Well then there was a really cute leopard print one on another stall could have easily gone for.

Although I didn’t buy anything else, I still spent a lot of time looking at the other stalls. The majority of what was on offer were clothes, with some bags, shoes, hats and homewares. There were a lot of jumpers and coats, understandably so, including a lot of fur coats. I must have fawned over and stroked most of them. There was one particularly nice black faux fur coat that I tried on. It was so luxurious and glamourous, and at £25 I had a hard time talking myself out of buying it. It was just too big and I really don’t need another coat, even a cheap and glam faux fur one.

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Charming Magpies from Winchester also had a beautiful faux fur coat. It was purple and pink and so so soft. Unfortunately it was almost twice the price of the black one and I figured as I already have pink hair, a pink and purple fur coat might be a bit much.

There were far too many stalls for me to write about them all, but some of the stand-out ones for me were;

Princes Vintage, with a great selection of chunky knit jumpers on display. Their stall was full of people every time I walked past.

The Cherry Closet, with some lovelyhats. I really love hats, but as they don’t count as essential I had to drag myself away 😦

Thread and Butter with a really cute stall, complete with candles in teacups and a suitcase full of things for £1. I totally loved their business card too, with actual thread wrapped around it!

I had a really good time wandering around and rummaging through the rail. I wasn’t as impressed with what was on offer as I had hoped, but it was still good to look through clothes that aren’t mass produced and available on every high street up and down the country. I guess I had hoped to come across more in the way of absolute bargains. I know as soon as the word ‘vintage’ is applied to something then you’re paying a premium, but I guess as a student my idea of ‘affordable’ isn’t the same as other peoples. If I had have had more money to spend I could easily have come away with more though; it was very hard to walk away from the three piece dressing table set (£30!!).

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Hope you’re well,
Betty
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