Finders Keepers

Last weekend we went to Whitby for a little last minute break (I will be boring you all with cheesy snaps in a follow-up post soon).Why is it that things are so much more exciting when they’re a bit spur of the moment? Anyway, this was definitely impromptu as the mister booked it on Thursday and we set off for the coast on Saturday morning, bound for our little caravan with a sea view. And why is it that purchases made on holiday are even more special? And justified for that matter – “I’m on holiday, it is my duty to buy stuff!
So it is a truth universally acknowledged that charity shop finds on holiday are even more exciting than most!
As a few other wiley thrifters have previously commented, it pays to extend one’s hunting ground and Whitby certainly does a lovely line in charity shops. In fact, I think I found my favourite ever charity shop. The Save the Children branch in Whitby is amazing, not least because it has received the Mary Portas treatment. Fans of the one woman show will remember the series where she tackled charity shops and the new and funked up store design she developed for her chosen charity Save the Children. The London store was so successful that the scheme was to be rolled out gradually nationwide. But I’ve never seen hide nor hair of it until now.
Well the Whitby shop was rocking that new look with magazines and books laid out on tables Borders-style, shoes interspersed artfully with cool crockery and fab wall mounted bric-a-brac. Sadly I wasn’t able to take any photos but if you get the chance you should check it out. I even managed to pick up a great Duffer of St. George jumper for the mister.
In all the excitement of posing with the new glasses in my last post, I forgot to mention that I was wearing my new charity shop find (en vacation). It’s from Gap and was clearly unworn and a bit of a snip at £3.50. I teamed it with my little denim shorts (I’m going through a bit of a shorts phase), which also happen to be a charity shop purchase from last summer (George at Asda, 50p).
Oh and I know it’s not second-hand or from a charity shop but I also found this cute little coaster in a gift shop, which ‘spoke’ to me. It now resides comfortably on my desk, usually under a mug of tea.


What Kat Wore: Gok Wan glasses

A couple of weeks ago I became one of the lucky winners of a competition run by Specsavers on twitter. I’m not what you’d call a serious ‘comper’ but I do enter the odd giveaway if I think it’s something I’d really like or enjoy. So why Specsavers? Well, for some time now, I have been putting off the inevitability that I need to wear glasses. A lot more! I already wear them for driving and TV but through vanity I have done without the rest of the time. Now, at the tender age of 35, I can’t avoid it any more. Being able to recognise your own child across the playground or the park is quite important after all (just kidding, but it’s getting that way). Oh, and thanks to said child poking me in the eye and permanently damaging my cornea some time ago, I can never wear contact lenses now either.

Like a large proportion of the female population, I have a bit of a soft spot for Gok Wan. Soooo, I was well aware that he had recently collaborated with Specsavers to design a new range and that’s when I pounced on the twitter competition. Ahhh, I couldn’t believe I’d won! It was like manna from heaven. One of the reasons I haven’t got round to getting my eyes sorted (apart from vanity and time) is the expense. There always seemed to be something better to spend money on (awful, I know).

Anywho, I did win and it was just what I needed. A voucher for £125 to spend on an eye test and a pair of Gok Wan frames was winging its way to me but I had to wait until after the weekend. Cue me spending half a day playing around on the Specsavers website with their clever try it on gadget, while I tried to decide which styles I liked best.

Nothing beats good old fashioned customer service though! I was slightly unsure about choosing some new frames from Gok’s range because, let me tell you, these are not glasses for shy, retiring wall flowers. That said, there is a real variety so most people would be able to find something to suit them. The lovely, and very honest, sales assistant who helped me, told me that she’d just sold a pair to an eighty year old woman who looked amazing in them, so I thought if she can do it, so can I (hopefully).

In the end, I decided to go for the Gok Wan 03 style because the shape wasn’t too wide for my narrow face and the soft grey colour was quite flattering with my colouring. So, what do you think?






Something for the Weekend

 If I were to draw a Venn diagram, with one circle containing lots of fabulous and funky fashion things and the other circle containing lots of cute and quirky handmade things, then the space in the middle where the two overlap is usually where all the things I completely adore may be found.
And that’s quite enough of maths stuff, it never really was my strong point.

The point I am making (yes, it’s coming) is that Sarah Fordham’s cross-stitch jewellery and accessories (aka Magasin) would be smack bang in the middle of my Venn diagram. It is the ultimate in granny chic. Sarah studied Fine Art at university and taught herself embroidery, mainly tapestry, in her final year. Then she took up cross-stitch and her wonderful collection of kitsch designs began to grace badges, cuff links, ear rings, finger rings and hair slides. I’ve just bagged a pair of her oh-so-cute dolly face ear rings and the Mister might just find himself the proud owner of a pair of mustachioed cuff-links if I have my way!

 Find more of the range on Etsy and Not On The High Street


In praise of dry shampoo

I thought there were some things in life that were considered common knowledge these days; certain things that we all know and recognise. For example, there’s only really one brand of cornflakes and there’s only really one kind of dark, sticky, salty gloop that some of us would consider spreading on our toast.

Similarly, I don’t use hair straighteners or self-tan but if I did there would be two brand names that would come tripping off my tongue without a moment’s hesitation, so entrenched have they now become in our society. Well I thought the same was true for dry shampoo, or Batiste as it should only really be known because, for me, there is only one dry shampoo and this has always been it. But the other day I found myself recommending it to a female with a certain hair dilemma who hadn’t come across it before. Yes, I was surprised too. So, just in case there are others of you out there, here is my ode to Batiste.

There are many mornings when I feel like I should be sponsored by Batiste (just for the record I’m not and this post is written completely of my own volition, such is my devotion to this product). As a busy mum of two, who has been blighted from birth with oily hair, Batiste is very often my saviour on the school run. I don’t have the time or the inclination to wash and blowdry my hair every day – who does? Instead I wash my hair every other day, but despite the best efforts of regular highlighting and styling products, my hair often looks limp (and a little greasy) by day two.

That’s when I deploy the Batiste; friend to all non-early risers, festival-goers or slummy mummies like me. And it’s pretty useful for the mornings after the night before, whatever form they may have taken. Basically it stops me looking really Waynetta Slob at the school gates or if my hair is starting to look lifeless mid-afternoon, it gives it a bit of a boost. You might even use it to freshen up your locks before going to the hair salon (you know when there’s no point washing it but you don’t want the hairdresser to think you’re a complete skank, which is a bit like tidying up for the cleaner but I understand why people do it).

There are other reasons why I love Batiste. It’s one of those perennial products that’s been around for decades and is so sure of itself that it hasn’t really bothered to change its image much. In fact, it now looks rather retro which is quite clever since it is effectively as generic as a Hoover (well sort of).

Batiste probably still divides opinion and it is something of a lifestyle choice. Some people wouldn’t dream of using what is essentially Febreeze for hair and some people simply have better things to do than wash and style their hair all day. I think it’s safe to say that Kate Moss is probably a Batiste kinda girl; Jennifer Aniston isn’t.

What do you think?