Category Archives: The Year Of…Charity Shops

Home Life

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Taken by Andy Shaw @Pandsy

The end of term looms into sight and I have been feeling, yet again, a little stressed. But nothing a visit home and a shopping trip couldn’t fix. On the Friday I got to catch up with the girls and saw Grace for the first time since her trip to New Zealand! Saturday my mum and I spent the morning at Grand Designs Live enjoying designing our future houses/renovations whilst walking round the stools and discussing where we could put our pool and how we could convert the back garden into a small living space… We didn’t agree on everything. The rest of the weekend was spent at the pub, chilling around a fire with friends and at the pub again. The most relaxed I have felt in a while.

Harriet took me shopping on the Monday and I managed to get 5 things for £27! Here’s what I got…

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H&m dress; Oxfam £3.99. Fred Perry Cardigan; Oxfam £5.99. Primark dress; British Heart Foundation £3.99.

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Purse and Lands End Jacket; British Heart Foundation £2, £10.99

Lost In Translation

I got back from New Zealand a couple of weeks ago, and to be honest, I was pretty gutted that this trip landed in The Year Of… Charity Shops. I just wanted buy clothes from shops you couldn’t get in the UK, but the only option I had was to look in NZ charity shops instead. Lame.

But when in Wellington, we found this shop, which in my defence looked very much like a charity shop. It was called ‘Recycled Boutique’, which to me just sounds like a fancy name for a charity shop. Don’t you think? Now I’ve never really understood how to distinguish between a ‘good’ and ‘bad’ charity shop, because surely it all depends what clothes are given, but this was definitely a ‘good’ one! Everything was in size order, colour co-ordination, types of garments where together, and all hung on matching hangers! Surprised I immediately asked my friend Emily, if this was in fact a charity shop? To which she responded:

“Grace, all charity shops smell the same, this is definitely a charity shop!!”

DRESS; £7 (Originally from ‘Wearhouse’), JEANS; £15 (Originally from ‘Cheap Monday’), SCARF; £4 (Don’t know where it originally came from!), TOP; £6 (Originally from ‘Just Jeans’)

Now it wasn’t till I had handed over my money, that I then asked what charity I was supporting with my new purchases. That’s when my doubts where confirmed. In fact, ‘Recycled Boutique’ was not the NZ translation for ‘Charity Shop’. Instead ‘Recycled Boutique’ is actually kind of like ebay, people give their clothes, then once they are sold, they get some money for them. Nothing goes to charity. Whoops.

Turns out charity shops are pretty big in NZ though, or ‘opportunity shops’ aka ‘op shops’ as they like to call them. Even the camp we went to had one in a tent! I met a group of girls there that had just bought heaps of clothes from this tent ‘op shop’, whose whole outfits were from charity shops too! Amazing! Obviously I had to get a picture taken with them…

Grace x

P.S. I know I said in my last post that I will have more creations this time… but don’t worry, they are still to come… next time.

Wait…what are the rules again?!

GRACE: “Your nails look nice! is that OPI?”

ME: “yeah i bought three today”

GRACE: “WHAT! HARRIET that is totally against the rules!”

WOOPS.

After re reading the rules I have decided that “no nail varnish” is a stupid rule anyway, you can’t even get OPI in charity shops so what were the other girls expecting me to do- not buy nail varnish for an entire year- I think not! In my last post I wrote about giving up painting my nails for lent and my love for OPI.  So I think that Jesus would agree when I say I deserve some new nail varnish right? Plus everyone borrows my nail varnishes so I’m just being charitable by giving the OPI deprived people more choice….

It’s funny actually because Grace keeps having little moans at me about not being able to buy anything nice and I’ve been totally unsimpathetic, luckily for me my weakness falls into a grey area (well in my mind anyway). Sorry girls but let’s just put this down to a Towel with arms situaltion because nail varnish is non-returnable and even if it wasn’t I wouldn’t return them!

Harriet  xo

P.S. I bought Fench Quartar for your Thoughts, Whats with the Cattitude and Japanese rose garden. And yes, you can both borrow them.

http://www.opi.com/

OPI draw...i love them.

Pink

Harriet looking beaut. Dress £5.

I have been craving buying new clothes recently. As I have been spending all my time doing uni work (getting a little stressed), I felt like buying a new day dress or a top would just make me feel that much better. But obviously, I can only get it if it’s from a charity shop! So I was very excited when my lovely brother’s girlfriend mentioned that she was going to a charity event! Lucky for me, she came back with two dresses. One is a sweet pink casual dress and the other is a smarter pinky-purple one. Harriet is pleased because she is always telling me I should wear more pink. I’m a happy bunny.

Rosie

Dress £5.

Let’s Get Creative!

Seeing as I can’t buy the clothes I want, I’ve had to learn to be creative with what I already have… So here goes…

First Creation: Coloured Jeans
Coloured jeans seem to be all the rage at the moment, and I was feeling pretty left out, as mine are all boring old blue. I wanted maroon ones, so I thought I would try and dye a pair of blue jeans which I hardly wore. This seemed like a great idea, so I bought the fabric dye ‘Dylon – Burlesque Red’ – just the colour of jeans I was picturing myself looking great in! Then I dyed my navy jeans. Unfortunately my lack of common sense meant that my jeans did not turn into the exact colour of dye I bought, but actually Blue + Red = Purple. So I now have purple jeans. Well at least I can now join in with the fashion!

Second Creation: Denim Skirt
I wore my old denim skirt the other day, and it was very tight and very short! I needed a new one. So, seeing as I had no other choice, I looked in some charity shops. No luck. All I could find were long mum-style ones. But then I had the genius idea to buy a long one and cut it! I found a long one from The British Heart Foundation that fitted perfectly and was only £3.99. I’m quite impressed with my cutting skills, if I do say so myself. Much better than my dying skills.

Third Creation: Leg Warmers
I LOVE the whole boots + leg warmers/high socks look, but I only have a couple of pairs of grey high socks that I can wear with these boots, and my legs get very cold when these socks are in the wash! So, that was it, I needed some more leg warmers. I couldn’t find any in charity shops (okay, I didn’t even look) but saw loads of woolly leg warmers in River Island. I wanted some SO BAD. So I decided to cut up my only-worn-once-because-they-are-well-itchy leggings to make some leg warmers. I even got a pair of rather fetching shorts as a result.

Grace x

P.S. I have some more creative ideas that I’m going to do for my next blog… Let me know if you have any ideas too!

Lent

I’ve given up painting my nails for lent, if you know me then you know how hard that is for me. I’m obsessed with OPI (a nail varnish brand that is AMAZING!) and although I have given in and told myself it’s okay to paint my toes I’m still feeling deprived. The reason I’m telling you this, is because I think it is the reason I’m wanting to treat myself  lately and as a result am finding the charity shopping easy and fun.

I have bought myself a pair of shoes, which is a first for me as I’m always complaining about how it’s impossible to find nice shoes in charity shops! AND I bought a new top, which I love, that I know grace will be jealous of because she is obbsessed with union jacks (although I have now promised her that she can borrrow it whenever she wants). I’m quite proud of myself really because I’m getting used to buying clothes in charity shops and that’s what my aim for this year is. Although I do keep having to tell myself “Dont speak too soon it’s not even summer yet” so we will have to see if I’m eating my words two months from now!

Harriet xo

shoes-£5-british heart foundation

top-£3.30-can't remember where it's from

new clothes = new confidence

THIS IS HARD! All i want to do is go into Zara and buy a load of new clothes that i don’t need! I’m longing for that feeling of buying new clothes, which for some reason clothes from Charity Shops just aren’t giving me. I want that boost of confidence that you get when you put on that new outfit that you just bought. Then you wear that same outfit for the next few days until you start seeing the same people again. I miss that. Although annoying when you wear your new outfit but see no one you know all day! #waste

I still haven’t quite got the hang of only buying clothes if i need them this year either. I seem to be buying items from Charity Shops that i wouldn’t usually even look at in ‘normal’ shops, just because they are cheap. Therefore i am still accumulating lots of unworn clothes. Plus i’m not loving having to wash my new clothes before i wear them for the first time!

Pinterest isn’t helping either.

Rant over.

Grace x

P.S. On a happier note: I am loving the sunshine! Hello roof down!

Only in the English countryside…

This weekend has been filled with lovely things and lovely people. It’s been the kind of weekend which makes me appreciate living in a town so close to both the countryside and the city.

Firstly I bought home a little suprise for my family on friday… At work my boss asked me if I wanted four little chicks that they where giving away at the kids school, how could I refuse?! (especialy after she informed me that otherwise they get sent “elsewhere”). So they came home with me that evening all cuddled up in a cardboard box. (Slowly my dreams of being a farmers wife are all coming together).

Then on Saturday I went shopping, in charity shops of course, with a friend from school who was back from uni for the weekend and bought 3 new tops. Which was all very well and good until I got home and realised I had no space for them in my chest of draws or wardrobe. With the sun shining outside I decided I was in great need of some spring cleaning anyway, my floor is now piled with unwanted clothes but at least the inside of my draws look nice!

Then today I drove through the country lanes with another great friend, who I’m always in need of a catch up with, while it started to snow. We pulled up outside a little hidden cafe thinking of the amazingly sunny weather just a day ago, all we could say was “only in the English countryside”.

Harriet xo

P.S am loving my free Freya nighty! x

little hidden cafe in the little bit of snow we had today

Top Oxfam £0.46 (Originally from Papaya)

Rumble In The Jumble

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So last night Harriet and I made our way to the Charity event ‘Rumble in the Jumble’ hosted by Dawn Porter and Gemma Cairney to raise money for Oxfam’s International Woman’s Day. When we arrived a little bit late (true Rosie and Hattie fashion) at 7, there was a queue reaching to the gates and after waiting for a short while we were in! It was packed full of loads of bargains and crowds of people searching the stalls.

There was a whole rack dedicated to Caroline Flack’s lovely dresses, a load of Jimmy Carr’s suits, along with shoes, bags, accessories and many more clothes from a whole load of people. I would have bought much more if my student loan had allowed but I did get a top, and on meeting the gorgeous Dawn Porter we even bagged some cute Freya pyjamas to help us on our year of Charity shops!

I could tell that Harriet’s mind was constantly distracted by her shoe obsession after seeing the rack of amazing heels at the far end… Unfortunately we both seem to have tiny feet and none fit us!

We had loads of fun and this event has definitely been an encouragement for us on our year of only Charity shop shopping. You can find brilliant things that are second hand or from charity shops, you just have to go to the right places and have a little rummage! It also feels great when you find a bargain that you love!

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H&m t-shirt and Freya pyjamas from the Jumble sale!

Rosie 

Temptation

Internet shopping has always been my downfall. I’m not very patient so i’ve never been one of those girls who can spend hours looking round shops and trying things on. The internet allows me to buy things from the comfort of my own home. I don’t have to drive anywhere, look through racks of jumbled up clothes or que for ages! It’s a dream!

But since the 1st January i havent been able to visit any of these beautiful websites (because i’m only buying clothes from charity shops this year – bummer!) So i’ve had to alter my internet habits. Alongside my daily (or more) Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest checks, i used to also check what was ‘New In’ on Topshop, Zara, River Island and of course ASOS. I’ve now had to delete them as bookmarks in order to try and break that habit. The internet isn’t quite as fun anymore. Plus my constant flow of emails from these sites is NOT helping!!!! Ahhhh.

To help fill the gap i have found Oxfam and other charity shops do in fact have online stores too. I am yet to find anything on them as Charity Shop shopping is the one kind of shopping i do like to do in person. But check them out anyway! Here are some links:
http://www.oxfam.org.uk/shop/
http://supportus.cancerresearchuk.org/shop/
http://giftshop.bhf.org.uk/our-picks/great-gifts/jewellery.html
http://www.sueryder.org/pages/shop_online.html

Hope they also help you beat the temptation of internet shopping!!!

Grace x

P.S Here are some of my latest charity shop purchases:

SKIRT; £5 Oxfam (originally from French Connection), Cardigan; Zara, String Top; H&M, Socks; River Island, Boots; River Island

JUMPER; £3.50 The Salvation Army (Originally from Dorothy Perkins), Jeggins; Topshop, Socks; TKMaxx, Boots; UGG Australia