Sunday, 29 January 2017

Away for the weekend


If Lidl has these flowers (Alstromerias) in, I always buy them. This double bunch was bought on 22nd December and lasted for four weeks!

Monday's OOTD
This is what I wore at the Red Cross where I volunteer.

All jewellery charity shopped except watch.


Everything charity shopped except boots - bought on line.


Red jeans; Laura Ashley, cardigan by Faithful and True (!); spotted top by Anthology, bought for 49p in Barnardos last week.

The contrast in the amount of goods donated to the Red Cross and Save the Children (my previous charity shop) is huge! At Save the Children we often had to keep old stock out as there wasn't much to replace it with. At the Red Cross, when I got in on Monday, there were at least 8 black bin bags of donation to be sorted and tagged; by the time I left three and a half hours later there were a further six bags donated!

Did I buy anything? Of course! I bought a coral coloured cardigan from Monsoon (it's a colour I don't have) for £1.99;  a tunic for £1.99; a scarf with pearls on it for £1.50 - how could I resist a scarf that has pearls sewn into it? Two fine multi chain necklaces for 50p each and a brooch for 99p. With staff discount it came to just under six pounds!

Tuesday's OOTD

I do like this dress. It's colourful and warm, but it's an example of something not suiting me.The shape of the dress is not right for me. It just hangs from my boobs and is sack like; I look like a box on legs! This dress will be consigned to the charity shop bag. It was £1.99 from the Red Cross bought in winter 2015. Goodbye dress...


Everything is charity shopped except the boots from Sainsbury's and the leggings, also Sainsbury's. The jacket is a 1980s Geiger jacket.


All jewellery charity shopped except watch.

This is a really good example of learning what suits (or in this case) - what doesn't; by seeing a photo of me wearing the garment.

Tuesday was my first proper volunteering day at the Guildhouse. We spent the time sorting out stuff for a forthcoming sale and I even did some ironing! I hate ironing but they don't have a steamer; only a rather spiffy steam iron...


This was Wednesday's outfit. I didn't really go anywhere except to run some errands in town. I didn't even go for a walk; I can't even remember why!

I really like this jacket and keep on wearing it. Everything is charity shopped even the boots.


On Thursday I set off to drive to Devon to visit my friend of fifty odd years. She retired in December and we had a lovely time catching up,  walking, going out for meals and meeting up with her daughter and grandchildren. We also had a marathon charity shopping spree! We visited the charity shops in Tiverton on Friday and on Saturday visited the charity shops in Exmouth. We visited 20 in total!


This was taken outside the almshouses in Tiverton.
The coat was bought in the La Redoute sale a few weeks back. Scarf, jewellery and jeans charity shopped. Boots, Christmas 2016 present from daughter.


The almshouses date from the 14th century. They were built by John Greenway 1460 - 1529.


This chap was over the door of the almshouses.

This charity shop marathon is my last until I get to Ireland in April.
What did I buy? Another coat; vintage I think but no labels at all, £3.00. An animal print shirt M & S; £2.00 (I've been wanting one of these for ages). A blue pinafore type dress £2.25; a red summer skirt £1.00; another scarf, red this time; £1.00. A set of stacking mugs in a container from M&S; £2.50 and lots of jewellery - two pairs of earrings; 4 bangles, two of which are purple and what I've been after for a while; a brooch, a yellow ring and pretty yellow necklace. And finally more padded hangers x 3 and two books!

This was my outfit on Sunday. I got back from Devon on Sunday afternoon and it rained all the way...


Everything charity shopped; except the boots Christmas present 2015.


Wrap green cord trouser; Red Cross £1.00. John Rocha top and M & S shirt. Necklace £1.00;.
 Salvation Army.

That was my week - how was yours?

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Not a New Year's Resolution


I have been getting on really well with my crochet blanket in browns, creams and beiges. I can get on with it if I'm watching TV and it will encourage me to watch more DVDs as I can crochet and watch a screen at the same time, but I can't crochet and read at the same time! I have DVDs I got for Christmas presents years ago that are still in their wrappers so I'm definitely going to make sure they get watched in 2017. It's not a New Year resolution though....


It was cold on Saturday but at least it was bright and sunny. I walked to Aldi and back again and into to town to pick up a parcel and walked 6.5 miles in total. If I manage to walk again on Sunday I'll have completed my thrice weekly walking plan for the first time this year. I want to try and do this this every week. It's not a New Year's resolution though just a plan I want to carry out...

On my walk I visited the Beds Garden Carers charity shop where they have a small clothing area upstairs. I bought 3 tops for 50p each; one is a white fitted shirt, another a brown and cream top - I lack brown tops  -and the last item was by Yasmin Le Bon and is a beautiful, white, embroidered sleeveless tunic. It's for my cousin Doirin in Ireland as I think she'll like it.


I bought this top the first time I ever visited the Bedford Guildhouse charity shop which was last year sometime; but I'd never got round to wearing it. It's by John Rocha and I liked the turquoise and yellow floral print. Jeans also charity shopped, as are the necklace and bangles. The earrings I bought in Topshop in 2002 and the watch was a 2012 Christmas present from daughter.


Boots from Lidl


Yellow cardigan online retail; 2015 Christmas present from OH.


Because this is a blog about (my) real life here's how I looked on Sunday. Same jeans as Saturday; no make up. T shirt charity shopped in Donegal 50 cents; cardigan M&S charity shopped; all jewellery charity shopped.

I suppose the New Year is a time for reflection on the old year gone out and I thought I'd share some of my thoughts with you about what I've learned since I started blogging. Please feel free to skip this part if you want...

Thoughts on Blogging in no particular order....

The blogging world of style/fashion/older style and fashion seems to be filled with incredibly kind, supportive and lovely bloggers most of whom have a terrific sense of humour.

I had no idea how time consuming blogging would be. Not only do you write and edit the blog, but there's the taking of photographs;  then the uploading of same. Then there's all those wonderful blogs to read and comment on. I doubt I could do this if I worked, so thank goodness I'm retired!

People like it when you respond to their comments on your blog.

Taking photographs wearing different outfits has taught me so much about what suits me; what works and what doesn't; what flatters and what doesn't. Sometimes I have a mental image of what an outfit will look like on - and it may look ok in the mirror - but a more objective perspective can be gained by looking at a photograph of me wearing it.

I've learned that my style and taste in clothes has changed as I've get older.  For example, I've learned to love orange and yellow; avoid mid calf length skirts/dresses and the importance of accessories.

 I've improved my layering skills and learned to try new things; OTK boots for example.

I spend too much money in the charity shops on clothes.

It's better to concentrate on quality rather quantity when charity shopping.

Invest in padded hangers. I buy them whenever I see them in charity shops at reasonable prices.

As I have  too many  a lot of clothes I've had to organise them so I can see what I have and therefore wear. I organise my clothes by type; blouses/shirts/tops together for example, then by colour. Occasionally, I find something I have no memory of buying and it's been in the wardrobe for ages hidden between things.

I button at least one button on shirts/blouses when I hang them up to prevent its fellow getting tangled up inside. This is particularly relevant as I have too much a lot  on my rails.

It doesn't matter how much storage space I have I will find clothes to fill it.

I usually plan next day's outfit just before I go to bed; although occasionally inspiration strikes sooner - see below. I hang everything up ready for the morning and sometimes I even get the ironing of the outfit done the same evening!

Sometimes an idea for an outfit pops into my mind, and as I can't rely on my memory I have now started to write them down. So far, I've managed to write down 9 outfit ideas since Saturday 14th January 2017; when I first thought to do this. This will be so useful on those occasions when I think "what the heck can I wear today"?


This is what I wore to the Red Cross shop on Monday. Everything is charity shopped except the boots which were bought with Christmas vouchers from Debenhams about three Christmases  ago.


Skirt; £1.00 rail Barnardo's Great Denham; scarf and lace top charity shopped; green cardigan by Benetton; charity shopped years ago.


Beads, bangles and watch; charity shopped. Earrings, Bedford market.

You may remember that I was trying to keep track of my spending in the charity shops and did it for the month of November. What I learned from this was that I spend far too much and I really want to cut down.

 I'm going to spend a weekend in Devon with my friend Hilary at the end of January and at Easter I'll be going to Ireland, so I have an incentive to save as much as I can for these two trips. My plan, therefore, is to a) spend only in the Red Cross charity shop or only on the £1.00 rails in any other charity shop; b) don't visit any charity shops on my free afternoons or for a day out - at least not till I get to Devon!

So today I put my plan into action (note it's not a New Year resolution). I bought a pair of green cords at the Red Cross shop for £1.00. I have a green pair already, but they're a little too short in the leg and have a miniscule hem so I can't let them down. It will be one pair of trousers in and one pair out. At the 3:16 shop which I pass on my way home I bought; a blue and white striped M &S shirt and an Old Navy blue and white pleated skirt for the summer. Both were a £1.00 each.


On Tuesday I was at the foodbank and went to town in the afternoon. On Wednesday, I walked with the group and we walked 6.5 miles from the village of Clophill to Haynes and back. After the walk we went for a meal to celebrate 20 years of Wednesday walking with the Ivel Valley Walkers. I've been walking for almost three years with this group.

This is what I changed into in the car after the walk. The top from New Look was one of the 50p tops I bought on Saturday in the Bedford Garden Carer's charity shop.


Long sleeved brown top F & F, charity shopped. Leggings; M & S, retail; boots Sainsbury's, retail.


All jewellery charity shopped.

On my way back from the meal I drove through Ampthill so I stopped off and had a look in Barnardo's. I was so proud of myself; I only spent £1.49 and bought a red pair of capri pants for the summer and a blue spotted top.

Photos by middle grandson
On Thursday I went out for lunch with my friend, Ann. We had a good catch up. It will be a year this Thursday since her husband had a stroke and she has been caring for him ever since. It was good for her to have a break from the house and usual routine.


Everything I'm wearing is charity shopped. Boots, leggings, tunic (M&S) and short sleeved cardigan.

All jewellery charity shopped except earrings; Sainsburys and watch bought with Christmas money from New Look.

Friday was busy. I took the children to school and the youngest grandson had an assembly which I stayed for. When that was over I went for a 6.5 mile walk. The weather was great; cold 2.5 degrees but very sunny and bright. When I came back I changed then went and did the food shopping (booooring). Picked up children from school then took youngest grandson and his dad home after 5. Then there was dinner to make and finally - chill time!


A selfie taken after the assembly - specially requested by grandson!


This is Friday's outfit. Everything charity shopped except boots from Lidl.


Knitted dress; Dorothy Perkins; probably the Red Cross; shirt unknown but charity shopped in the Red Cross. Wine coloured tights charity shopped somewhere...


All jewellery charity shopped except watch which was bought in New Look with Christmas money.

I went to see my son on Saturday and on Sunday I'm  hoping to go for a walk and recce my walk for the Ramblers.


Everything charity shopped except the OTK boots - on line retail and the watch, New Look and the necklace which was a Christmas present from one of my brothers about five years ago.


Skirt, M&S; top by Cavita bought in the Mercy in Action Charity shop in Olney last week. Jacket by Country Casuals and bought in the Red Cross for £1.99. Scarf; charity shopped.


Earrings and bangle charity shopped.

Friday, 13 January 2017

A week of spots, stripes and checks...


This could probably be called Day 6 of the pattern challenge! I wore this on Saturday.


Everything is charity shopped except the floral boots which were bought on line and the earrings; bought by OH in an Oxford street market.
The cardigan is by Next; the jeans by Laura Ashley and the top is by a Spanish company; I can't remember where I bought any of them but all have been bought since I started blogging in  November, 2015.

I do love these boots but the heel is a little higher than usual so I can't wear them for too long. I went out on Saturday afternoon to look for a chest of drawers for my spare bedroom and after a couple of hours my feet were killing me!

Necklace charity shopped in Donegal, I think.

I had a look around a couple of charity shops whilst looking for a chest of drawers and I bought a sleeveless green knitted top by Great Plains for £3.00 in Keech as it was green and will be useful to wear over shirts/blouses.  A checked man's shirt for £1.00. I also bought some more padded hangers for £1.00; a leather brooch for 25p; a chinese looking purse type thing which I've used to put all my crochet hooks in for 49p; and a couple of brandy glasses. Total spend £5.94.

I had both grandchildren on Saturday evening and on Sunday we went to visit my son.

Day 1 - Spots, stripes and checks challenge

 I wanted to try yellow with red - yes, I like it!
Everything is charity shopped except the boots - Christmas 2016 gift from OH.

Plaid skirt, Topshop; bought from Save the Children; jumper by Mc and Co and camisole; charity shopped but can't remember where. Tights: on line. All jewellery except watch charity shopped.

Day 2 - Spots, stripes and checks challenge

Youngest grandson took the photos so they're not as good as OHs. Spotted shirt; Phase Eight. Skirt M&S; jumper, unknown - all charity shopped.


Boots; Sainsburys. Christmas 2016 present from OH. All jewellery charity shopped, including the spotted bangle.


Watch, New Look bought with Christmas money.
I started at the Red Cross shop on Monday. It's very busy and there are more staff and volunteers. I think I'm going to really enjoy myself.  I bought a pair of claret coloured cord trousers as I gave my claret coloured leather and ponte knit leggings away. I got staff discount (20%) and they cost me 80p!

On Tuesday, I thought I'd be starting at the Guildhouse. I arrived at 1pm as agreed but only had an hour's induction as they have yet to send off for references. All being well I'll be starting on the 24th...

Day 3 - Spots, Checks and Stripes Challenge
It may not be immediately apparent but this green top is very finely striped. It's by Tu at Sainsbury's and bought in the 3:16 Charity shop for £1.00. Necklace bought in the Salvation Army for 99p last week while doing the Lidl shopping.

The cardigan is from Barnardo's in Ampthill and was 99p. Total cost of outfit £2.99!



Green cords £1.00 Red Cross shop. All jewellery charity shopped except watch. Boots - DDB.

Day 4 - Spots, Checks and Stripes Challenge
On Wednesday I went walking with the group. We walked in Biggleswade and did 6.5 miles. The wind was very cold and stung my cheeks; I wore a hat which kept me nice and warm. I put on a striped shirt with a black V neck jumper and black pleated skirt when I got home - and  forgot to get photos done - dohh! I'm blaming the crocheting; once I start I'm like a woman possessed and forget everything else!

So, as I missed yesterday's outfit post I've done two for the price of one - stripes and checks!
All jewellery charity shopped.
Linen striped shirt, crumpled as linen does, M & S, charity shopped, check cardigan (F & F at Tesco); charity shopped. Black jeans; Lidl.
Black boots; Christmas 2014 present from my daughter.

Day 5 - Spots, Stripes and Checks Challenge

I bought these earrings on Thursday on a rummage in the village of Olney. They're real silver and were £3.00 in Age Concern. The necklace was charity shopped as were the bangles. I also bought a rather nice ginger coloured top with lace insets at Mercy in Action in Olney. It was £4.50 which is a bit pricey for me but I liked it so much. I hope it looks good on.

I stopped at Barnardo's, Great Denham on the way home from Olney; I sort of wish I hadn't because I spent £6.99 on a beautiful grey linen coat. It will be lovely for the summer...


These cords were £1.00 from Red Cross shop on Monday. I bought them because I thought I had given away my similar coloured leather and ponte knit leggings - I hadn't - I found them in my cupboard where I'd recently decanted all my trousers...


It was really cold on Friday; hence the fur gilet from M & S; charity shopped in Donegal in the summer. We had snowfall but it was washed away by the rain. It felt too cold to go out for a walk so I'm hoping to go walking at the weekend instead. No grandchildren until Sunday night!

The checked shirt was bought last Saturday in Keech, Kempston for £1.00. It's by Red Herring. The boots were a Christmas 2016 present from my daughter. They have a gold trim at the toe and heel and were from New Look.

Not sure what the weekend has in store weather wise only that it's going to be cold. I've got my crocheting to get on with; I've started a new Persephone book 'The Godwits Fly' by Robin Hyde and the heating will be on so I don't care!

Wrap up warm wherever you are!