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Thursday, 28 April 2016

Life in Instagram ♥

Here's my little Instagram run down for the month, but I'm now also on Snapchat! So add me on both :)

Instagram: victoriajane6

Snapchat: victoriajane6x

Next time you pop into Boots check out the clearance shelves and the Soap and Glory section! I found a few S&G bits reduced to clear and they also had Burts Bees reduced too. The mini body wash was reduced to £1 and the big fragrance mist was only £3.50! 

I won this pretty white dress on Facebook from Little Mistress and I love it! I think it's going to be perfect to wear in summer and out for evenings on holiday. It's so lightweight and floaty; it makes me feel like a fairy!

 I've been doing quite a bit of thrift shopping lately and have found some great buys in my local charity shops. This brand new big satchel bag was only £6.50 and is ideal to use as a little overnight bag. 

I've also been adding so much to my vintage china collection (it's getting a bit out of hand now...) but I just cannot resist pretty crockery! These two floral tea cup trio sets were in my local charity shop for only £2.50 for both sets.

I also found these two pretty tea cups for £1 each in a charity shop and I decided to use them to grow some little daffodils whilst it was still spring. They looked super cute on the window sill but then the daffs grew so bit! 

I was also lucky enough to find two exact matching saucers for 50p each in another charity shop, so now the tea cups have saucers! And then I found a pretty matching sandwich plate for £2.50 too! Yippee! 

 I also found lots of pretty vintage bits in a charity shop in Ely.  I picked up the little china cat for 20p, a white saucer plate for 25p, a Royal Albert egg cup for £1, a dressing table mirror for £2, a floral tea cup trip for £3 and a little glass pink trinket tray. I love hunting for old crap. 

I went into the Cath Kidston outlet shop in St Neots recently too and although there wasn't much for me, I did pick up a wall calendar for £3, a new bird print iPad case for £15 and a little Blackberry case for 50p! I plan to use this to store business cards etc to keep in my handbag.

 I'm still doing weekly pole fitness class and I really enjoy it! If you're looking to start a new hobby and keep fit whilst having fun then you should really try it out! This is me attempting the 'starfish' trick which is actually pretty tricky! 

Check out this adorable 'I'm a mermaid' PJ set that I picked up in Primark at the weekend! It was only £5 and I love it!

I decided to treat myself to some new Cath Kidston goodies and so I ordered some pieces from the Highgate Rose collection. I bought a whole set including the mug, a glass tumbler, a cereal bowl, a side pate, and the dinner plate! So pretty!

 Sass & Belle have a gorgeous new range of pretty homeware goodies as part of their summer collection. How cute are these tropical themed glasses?! I love the flamingo print one, which one is your favourite? And I also really like this heart shaped LED light wall decoration. I've wanted one of these for a while and it looks super pretty as a little night light.

Primar has some great stuff in at the moment but you have to be quick because some things sell out so quickly! This suede blush pink pinafore dress was only £10 and I love wearing it with a cream ribbed long sleeved top for work. 

How cute is my little blue eyed angel? He's turning 4 years old in a couple of weeks awww!

And finally, I've picked up some great beauty bargain buys recently. These make up brushes from Wilko are my favourite and they're only 99p each. I've been buying these for a while as they often introduce new patterns and I can really recommend them.

I also picked up a few bits from Poundland recently including some more L'oreal nail polishes in some great summery colours, a Max Factor creamy blush, L'oreal make up pigment drops, and a Clearasil rapid spot cream (this is so good!).

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Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Cath Kidston Summer Wishlist ♥

I always used to love Cath Kidston but then a couple of years ago I went off it slightly as I wasn't keen on the prints that were in their range.  But their new spring summer collection includes lots of stunning bits and pieces and some gorgeous new prints! So I'm now a massive fan again and I want everything!  I recently bought the new Highgate Rose dining set but there's so much more that caught my eye...

This pretty collared floral dress is adorable and I think it would be great to wear when the weather finally cheers up a bit (snow in April?!). I also love the little floral espadrilles which I think I need in my life, along with the hair scrunchie. And I'm not sure why an egg cup would need to be covered up but I couldn't resist including the little domed egg cup in my wishlist! It's just so cute! 

If you'd like 15% off your next Cath Kidston order over £30, click here for a discount code. 

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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Little Competition Wins ♥

Sorry I've been a bad blogger lately; I've been such a busy bee!  I thought I would do a quick run down of some of my most recent competition wins. I've not won much since Christmas unfortunately but to be honest I haven't been entering as many comps as I used to. But I've won a few lovely little things which is always nice! :)

I won this little skincare set on Twitter from Africology which includes mini moisturiser, exfoliator, skin masque, body lotion and more.

 I won these two bottles of booze on Twitter just after Christmas which was a lovely surprise!  

 I won this mini set of beauty goodies recently on Twitter including a Vichy skin sleep lotion, Carmex balm, a mini Opi nail polish, Jelly Pong Pong blush and a set of Ardell lashes. 

 I also won this hair set on Twitter which came with two Air Motion hairbrushes as well as four different colourdd Tie Me hair tie bracelets. 

I'm looking forward to trying out this Blanx White Shock whitening toothpaste which I won on Twitter recently.

 I won this China Glaze Ever Glaze nail set which came with the prep base layer, extended wear neutral colour and the active top coat. 

 I won this £25 Wilko gift card on Twitter and I've spent it already on some pretty homewares and beauty basics! 

 I won this set of party sashes on Facebook which will be perfect for my friends hen do!

And finally I won this 'smart watch' on Twitter recently which isn't as clever as it might have you think. It's just a cheap one but it runs out of battery before the day is up and it doesn't quite match up to the Apple Watch!

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Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Authentic Pub Grub from Ember Inns ♥

One of the local pubs in Milton Keynes has recently undergone a fresh new refurbishment and I was kindly invited to try them out.  I frequently pass the Ship Ashore pub in Willen as it is just over the road from my office, but I'd never actually tried it out before. We popped in one weekday evening to enjoy a new dining experience at the pub which is ran by Ember Inns. 

The new refurb has left the pub feeling very cosy and homely inside, with mismatched furniture and rustic touches. I really liked the atmosphere inside and although it is a traditional pub, the restaurant is seperate to the main bar.

 I was interested to try out their set menu which appeared to be excellent value offering three courses for only £10.99! We started with the crunchy home-fried nachos which included tortilla chips topped with melted cheese, guacamole, sour cream, salsa and jalapeños. We also shared a stonebaked flatbread topped with tomato, mozzarella and basil.

For my main I decided to go for the 8oz rump steak which I had with mashed potato, a grilled mushroom, garden peas,a handful of onion rings and half a grilled tomato. The meat was perfectly cooked medium-rare as I requested so it was nice and pink on the inside and it was topped with the most delicious stilton and mushroom creamy sauce. This has to be one of the best steaks I've had in a long time and for the price you really cannot complain! It was a very decent sized portion too and I really enjoyed the creamy mash with the sauce. 

The steak and doom bar pie was also included on the set menu, which was steak in ale gravy served with creamy mash, seasonal greens and a boat of thick gravy. When the pie came out we were really impressed by the size of it! It's the biggest pie I've ever seen. The ale gravy was really tasty and there was plenty of beef steak in the pie within the crispy pastry.

Finally, despite being stuffed from the main course, we decided to pick our deserts from the set menu. You have the option of chocolate brown, treacle sponge, vanilla ice cream or a mini crème brulee. Of course I decided to go for the Belgian chocolate brownie which was served warm with chocolate sauce and Madagascan vanilla ice cream and it was really nicely presented. I also tried a bit of the treacle pudding, which I'm not usually a great fan of, but it was so sweet and light! You could chose to have the dessert topped with whipped cream, ice cream or custard and the hot custard with the treacle was just perfect! 

Overall we were really impressed with the quality of the food as well as the service at the Ship Ashore and we will definitely be back again. I'm also keen to try out some of the other Ember Inn chains in the area. You can find your local Ember Inn pub here

Thank you to the Ship Ashore for having us! 

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Friday, 1 April 2016

Thift Shopping ♥

I was recently asked by Safestore if I would be interested in taking part in a little blogger project they are running in collaboration with their charity partner Scope. Scope are a fantastic charity who work with disabled individuals and their families, providing support, advice, short breaks and much more.

I was invited to blog about my recent charity shop treasures so of course I was interested in taking part as I love a bit of charity shop hunting! I thought I'd also share a few of my charity shop hunting tips too, because I know a lot of people tend to shy away from buying second hand clothes, but there's no need to! 
I love rummaging through charity shop rails because you just never know what you might come across. Sometimes you will just be unlucky and just find five year old overpriced Primark tat, but sometimes you can find some real treasures and it's definitely worth the hunt! It can take a little bit of patience sometimes, and often you can spend all day bargain hunting and find nothing. But other days you can come out with armfuls of stuff for less than you'd usually spend on one item from a high street shop! And the best part is.. any money you spend will go straight to the charity running the store.  

My top tips for buying second hand clothes:

Head for the posh part of town - I always find that I can pick up better branded buys from the 'posher' towns. I once found a Calvin Klein skirt for £3 in one shop! Generally I find that the charity shops in cheaper parts of town tend to stock clothing that was cheap in the first place and now is just pretty much worthless.

Close inspection - make sure you look over the garment first before making up your mind. If it's damaged or marked; will you be able to repair it? Will the mark wash out or is it stained? I can tell you, it's pretty disappointing when you buy something you love and then when you get home you realise it's got a jammed zip or holes in! Generally most things are in very good condition as the volunteers work hard to make sure the items are wearable, but it's worth double checking. 

Does it fit? - I used to get too over excited whenever I saw something I liked in a charity shop and hardly paid any attention to the sizing. But this ended up in me spending my money on things that I would never be able to wear because it was too small or too big and I'd never get around to altering it so it would just end up being sent back to the charity shop in my next clear out!

Vintage sizing - If you come across some genuine vintage treasures, be aware of the sizes. Over the years the 'standard' sizing of the general population has increased and therefore you might find that a vintage dress labelled a size 12 is actually more of a size 8-10 in today's terms.

 Upcycling and accessorizing - You might find some garments that come in a beautiful fabric but they style just isn't for you. If it's a good price, why not buy it and then upcycle it into something more modern? In the past I have shortened dresses, created a cinched waist or turned a dress into a skirt. And don't forget you can use accessories; for example you can always add a skinny belt to a large dress for an oversized look.

And if all else fails... if you end up with something you won't actually wear it's not the end of the world. You have only spent a few quid on it and it all goes to charity anyway! :) 

So here's a few of my most recent charity shop purchases...

This cute red daisy print smock dress was originally £38 in Topshop but I found it for only £4! It had bobbled slightly, but I've found the quickest way to remove pilling is by going over the fabric with a disposable razor. Now it's good as new! 
The navy blue striped nautical dress was £49 from Monsoon but I found it in a Scope store in Aylesbury for only £1! It's a little bit too big for me but I plan to wear it with a skinny tan belt. I think it will be great to wear to work in the summer and I love the soft jersey fabric!

The black spotty wrap dress is originally from Zara but I bought it for £6 from a charity shop. I love the long floaty sleeves and the plunging neckline. 
The red bird print dress is from Oasis for £32 originally and I picked it up for only £3.50. I absolutely love the bright colours and the shape of this one!

The cherry print skirt must be quite a few years old as it has an old style New Look label in it. But it was so cute I couldn't resist it for £3! I plan on changing the waistline on this one so it sits more high waisted as in the photo as otherwise it sits very low on the hips. 
The black floral dress is one of my new favourites to wear to work. It's originally from Next but I bought it from a charity shop for only £3! I love the length of this and the sleeves; and it also has practical hidden pockets!

I wanted this sporty looking skater dress when I had originally seen it in H&M for £15 but I never went ahead and bought it (because I'm tight like that). So I was very happy when I found it brand new with tags in a charity shop in Knutsford for only £5 a few weeks later! 
I think this cute red ditsy print dress is going to be my new favourite for summer. It's a size too big for me, but I just tie the waist belt to the front instead of the back so it just looks a bit oversized. I love the shape and colours and everything about this one!

I was really chuffed to have found this Fred Perry polo shirt dress in a charity shop for £7! I've always wanted a dress like this but never wanted to buy one at full price so I'm really happy with this. It looks brand new and unworn too. Who would just give this away?! They're about £80 new!
This black floral print dress is originally from Red Herring at Debenhams and I bought it from a charity shop in Ampthill for £3. I love the cute print, the shape of the neckline, and the little buttons up the front.

This floral print skirt from Oasis was £5 from a charity shop and the original price was £40. I really like the structured shape of it, although I'm not sure it's very flattering on me! I like the bright pink and blue colours too. 
And finally, I found this cat cardigan in a charity shop in Bletchley for only £3. It's a little bit hideous but also a bit cute so I bought it. I Googled the brand Antoni and Alison when I got home, and their knitwear sells for hundreds! What a find!

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