Category Archives: Grace’s Posts

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.

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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!

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!

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

Charity Shopping Spree

From Left: Harriet, Rosie & Grace

Last weekend I had Rosie, Harriet, Suzie & Amberley all come and spend the weekend at my house in Nottingham. We spent the time catching up, drinking wine, or in my case port (new favourite drink! #oldman), watching terrible Australian movies, eating a ridiculous amount of chocolate and of course going charity shop shopping! I live in a small town called Beeston in Nottingham, where half it’s town centre consists of charity shops including Oxfam, Oxfam Books, Sue Ryder, The Salvation Army, P D S A, Cancer Research & more. So we woke up early on Saturday morning eager to hunt down some bargains. Beeston did not fail us and we all ended up getting some awesome stuff, including lots of books, jumpers, tops and even some vintage purses! (I’m sure pictures of our purchases will come up in our next blog posts!). One of the charity shops called Sue Ryder even has a Vintage section at the back, which is a little bit more expensive, but if you are into high-waisted skirts or tweed jackets it’s definitely worth a look!

We managed to get back to my house before the snow came down and then spent the evening watching ‘Muriel’s Wedding’ (definitely not worth a watch), eating more food and of course making a snowman!

From Left: Amberley, Grace, Bertie, Harriet & Suzie

It was a precious weekend and sadly the girls did not get snowed in at mine but managed to drive home through the snow on Sunday. Sad times!

Grace x

A Towel With Arms

TOWEL Dressing Gown: TKmaxx (£16.99)

So I bought a dressing gown the other day… From TKMaxx.
I know what you’re thinking… it’s not even been a month yet and Grace has already failed at The Year Of Charity Shops. But actually you are wrong. Yep, very wrong – here is why…

For a good few years now I have been looking for a TOWEL dressing gown. I currently have a fluffy fleece type one, which is great for keeping me warm but when it comes to absorbing water it decides not to work. Although for some odd reason shops only seem to sell these un-useful dressing gowns at the moment. I was willing to buy any TOWEL dressing gown as soon as I saw one, no matter the colour or size.

So when I walked into TKMaxx and saw this pink TOWEL dressing gown (in my size), it was a no brainer. Or was it?

First, I looked at the exceptions on the rules.
‘You don’t have to buy underwear, tights or plain leggings from charity shops; this is because they don’t sell them and it’s a bit gross!’ – It’s also a bit gross to buy someone’s old dressing gown they used to dry themselves with.  Don’t you think?

‘You can receive presents from retail shops’ – My lovely mother said she would pay me back for a towel dressing gown for me when I finally found one.  Perfect!

Next, I called Rosie. Her response was:

“I bought a bath mat the other day, its pretty much the same thing, you just wrap it round you. It’s basically just a towel with arms!”

Amazing!

Then, I bought it.

The main idea for this year is for clothes purchases and I don’t know about you but I don’t plan on wearing this dressing gown as an item of clothing! #inappropriate

So there we go, I have not failed… yet!  Plus, I wrote the rules anyway! =)

Grace x

P.S On another note, i actually bought this bolero shrug from a charity shop today!

Bolero: Sue Ryder (99p), Originally from ASOS

Old Clothes

As I mentioned in my last post, I am known to buy far too many clothes and never wear them. Which, for my friends seems to be quite a blessing because about once a year I sort out all my clothes and end up giving a lot away! That time of year came this Christmas and once again, I was shocked at the amount I was getting rid of, many items I had hardly ever worn! Apparently a recent study showed British women have spent more than 1.6 billion on clothes they never wear! How ridiculously crazy is that?! (Not sure how true that is though, as they never asked me!) After my friends looked through my old clothes and took whatever fitted (especially Harriet & Rosie in prep for this year!) I gave the rest to the local charity shop. I then thought that seeing as I am giving decent clothes to charity shops then surely other people are too! This got me excited to find these bargains this year!!!

Grace x

The Rules

After a frantic week of LOTS of shopping in the sales, buying clothes for all seasons to last us the year, we now feel a lot more (well.. kind of) prepared for The Year Of… Charity Shops.

Although we are sure many of you have already made new years resolutions, just in case you hadn’t yet or wanted to take on another challenge, why not join us this year with only buying clothes from charity shops? Us girls would find this year so much harder if we weren’t doing it together…. Feel free to email us at theyearofblog@gmail.com and let us know, it would be great to hear how you are doing and maybe have some guest blogs on here from others who are taking part!

Happy New Year!

Grace, Harriet & Rosie X

Merry Christmas!!!!

Thanks be to God for sending His son, our Saviour, Jesus!

Love from Harriet, Grace & Rosie xxx

What a mug!

Witterings

LEFT - same shorts (Topshop), same cardigan (Zara), same sunglasses (Dior). RIGHT - same top (Primark)

For the past couple of summers, myself (Grace), Harriet, Rosie and a few other girls have gone on a camping trip to the Witterings Beach. So when July came around last summer I hunted out my favorite clothes to pack for our holiday. Even though I had bought A LOT of clothes since the previous trip to the Witterings, I found myself choosing to pack the same selection of clothes I bought with me the year before. This made me realise that my staple wardrobe pieces were older clothes and I hardly wore many of the new clothes I had bought throughout that year. What a waste!

Soon after our recent trip to the Witterings, I was going to be moving to Nottingham (originally from London area) to spend the year volunteering for a church there. Which meant that the affluent lifestyle that I was living was going to have to stop! In other words, I needed to stop spending money on unnecessary clothes! EEK.

Like most beach towns, the Witterings also has a.m.a.z.i.n.g charity shops. So that’s where we came up with this genius idea: To only buy clothes from charity shops for a WHOLE YEAR!

Whaaat?! I’m pretty sure this is going to be easier said than done. Not only will this plan help me save money but also I’m hoping it will make me realise that I DON’T NEED TO BUY SO MANY FLIPPING CLOTHES!!

I guess sometimes we’ve just got to learn the hard way!

Grace x

P.S. Check out my festive nails!

Bottom Layer - OPI 'Don't Toy with Me!' Top Layer - OPI 'Spark de Triomphe'