Wednesday, 5 August 2015

The Buyer's Archive - July

Last year I started keeping a note of the clothes I was buying.  My spending habits had decreased in recent times and I was craving more space and less stuff.  Being mindful about what my money went on with regards to non-necessities seemed like the logical place to start.  I had an idea to compare my purchases from this time last year to the ones I've made this year and see if there's any change, and if I wasted my money on stuff that didn't last, or that I changed my mind about.

Ah, July.  The summer sales ruined me last month.  Damn M&S and their amazing final clearance bargains.  First up though, what I bought last year.  

brogues loafers patent clarks

  • Clarks loafers (£24.99) - Clarks brogues (£27.99) - I remember impulse buying these shoes when I was waiting for Tam one night.  I hadn't really shopped in Clarks since I was a kid and my mum was buying me school shoes, but I like their styles and went in for a nosy.  The loafers were the kind of thing that felt fine in the store but in real life the soles were a bit too flat for me, plus they were a tiny bit too small.  They're now on the eBay pile.  The brogues... I've moaned about these shoes a LOT.  They fit perfectly fine, but they rub the backs and tops of my feet every time I wear them.  If I dare to walk more than a few minutes or have bare feet, I'll have bloody (literally) marks all over my feet.  Yet still I keep them.  Meh, they're the perfect colour and go with everything.  I'll just wear them on days I'm driving to work.  Yup, I hear how ludicrous that is.
red jeans stripe blazer lace vest top long tall sally charity shop

  • Long Tall Sally red jeans - £50 - I have these jeans in polka-dot and they've stretched pretty madly, but being me, I neglected to take note of that and bought them in red anyway.  Luckily, these ones have coped better with wearing and still fit fine, and I love wearing them rolled up in summer.
  • Black vest with lace detail, charity shop - £1.50 - Love this top.  I have a very similar one in white that I also found in a charity shop and they're my summer go-to tops when I want to smarten up my jeans.
  • M&S dress, charity shop - £4 - Embarrassingly, I have no recollection of this dress whatsoever, so I'm guessing it went on the alterations pile and I never got around to fixing it.  Oops...
Total spend for July last year was... £108.48. This was not great considering only half of that went on useful items.  Sure, I wear the brogues, but the space they take up on my shoe shelf would likely be better served by a less foot killing pair of shoes.

On to this July's purchases!

loafers tan leopard chelsea boots slippers M&S TK Maxx

  • Is To Me black chelsea boots, TK Maxx - £39.99 - Let's call July shoe month.  I like shoe month.  I got the most gorgeous brogues in TK Maxx a few weeks ago but after trying them on again at home they didn't feel quite right, so back they went.  Then I made the mistake of looking at the shoe section when I returned them and came out with these boots.  In my defence, I'm super fussy about boots and these have no zips, are a practical colour and are just super comfy, so I had to have them.
  • College Green tan loafers, TK Maxx - £34.99 - I don't normally have much luck finding nice shoes in my size in TK Maxx, but they threw up another pair last month, and they were exactly what I was looking for.  Tan loafers that stay on my narrow feet.  These ones are so soft, just the right colour, and only a little wide around the middle.  I worn them multiple times with bare feet and had no problems so far.
  • M&S Autograph leopard slipper loafers - £16.99 - First of all, that price for Autograph shoes?  Amazing.  Secondly, sale shoes left in M&S that (sort of) fit?  Unheard of.  I say 'sort of' since they're a half size big, but I took a chance and stuck some insoles in, and they're fine now.  Ok, they're still a tiny bit big/wide, but they're freaking leopard print and they're now glued to my feet forever.  Sorry, other shoes.

70s skirt M&S jersey

  • M&S Limited Collection denim button skirt - £12.99 - I tried this on when it first came into store months ago but couldn't decide if I liked it enough to purchase.  Fast forward to sale time and as soon as I tried it on, I realised how foolish I'd been.  This skirt is awesome.
  • M&S jersey skirts - navy £4.99 - grey £5.99 - I recently had to part with my favourite M&S skirt and was on the look out for a replacement.  Makes sense that I found it in the same place - but this time in multiple colours!  At that price, I added the grey and the navy to my bag for less than the cost of the old one.
  • M&S black bras x 2, white bras x 2, underwear x 5 - £18, £16, £5 - My underwear drawer needed restocking.  I had a £5 off voucher.  They're no leopard slippers picture.

flag tshirt jeggings leopard shoes shirt dress print M&S H&M

  • H&M tshirt, charity shop - £2.50 - My one clothing related charity shop buy this month.  What's wrong with the world?! (Actually, are tights clothing?  If so, ignore that.)  I like a giant men's t-shirt with my jeans and I like America.  And red, white and blue clothing.  Easy purchase decision.
  • M&S jeggings - £3.99 - I know right?  Four freaking pounds.  In my size.  Long length.  They're still not LONG long, so more of a summer wear, but still.  With this weather, my legs have been in hiding, so these might have been my most sensible purchase all month.
  • M&S flower print shirt dress - £9.99 - Another item I was eyeing up a while ago but didn't pull the trigger on and thus scored a bargain.  It might be four sizes bigger than my usual but adding a belt was no hardship. 
  • M&S black tights x 3, charity shop - £2.95 - Only 55p less than they would have been new, but I would have bought these anyway so it was nice to find a brand new pack of tights in the charity shop.

Ok, someone got carried away in M&S last month.  In my defense, I only went in when final clearance had started so really I saved myself far more than I spent...  Ahem.  Total spend for this July was... £169.37 (taking off the £5 lingerie voucher)  Considering I spent all July's savings on boring car stuff at the start of the month, that's sort of insane.  Hopefully I've got some good pieces that will work year round though.  It's handy that I can wear anything to work so everything gets good rotation in my wardrobe.  Especially leopard shoes.  Did I mention the shoes?

Janet joined in again this month - if anyone else has, leave me a note and I'll link you in!


Tuesday, 4 August 2015

A (birth) day in the life

birthday message phone text

In what has now become a birthday tradition, I documented my day on Friday.  It's almost photo-an-hour, except I give myself more wiggle room here since some pictures are just too fun not to include (*cough* minion wrapping paper *cough*).  This is the year I turned thirty, and I was equal parts dreading it and resigned to it.  I think I finally became a grown up this year but...we'll see.

My day started with a text from Mother, right when my alarm went off.  Her timing was pretty impeccable.

stripe shirt skinny jeans leopard loafers vintage bag

I had to shower in the morning instead of the night before because an inept maintenance guy re-sealed our bath instead of our neighbour's.  Still, I was surprisingly organised for that time of the day...  I'm wearing a charity shop shirt and bag, Long Tall Sally jeans and M&S leopard loafers (details of them coming in tomorrow's post!)

glasgow central station train platform

My colleague met me at the station and we got the train to work.  Usually we drive but today's plans called for public transport...  

birthday pink balloons banner 30

My office buddy decorated my desk!  We only celebrate 'big' birthdays here and another colleague turned 50 a couple of days before, so the staff room was decorated for her then switched out for me.  The best part was the abundance of cake, obviously.

malteser chocolate birthday cake 30

A made me a cake!  She's a fab baker and I put my request in months ago for her Malteser chocolate cake - we had double billed at the cinema the night before so I was worried I was depriving her of baking time, but she was super prepared and just hid it under her desk for a couple of days.

minion wrapping birthday paper

Minion birthday paper!  I got some fabby Game of Thrones/knitting themed gifts too, and a voucher for Cup, which means I'll be eating cake for months to come.  We all crowded into the staff room and had cake for breakfast and since I requested no singing, everyone whistled the Happy Birthday song.

phone samsung lets knit competition

Pre-cake, I sent a quick entry in for the Let's Knit Top 5 Reader Makes competition on Twitter - I do this every time and figured birthday luck might help me out this week, and it did.  My chevron baby blanket won!  I have no idea yet what I've won, but the victory is sweet :)

building site scaffolding

After lunch, we were off on a work outing.  Our building is moving soon and we went to see the new one.  It's still very much a work in progress, but it was fun to get a look at the scale of things after looking at plans for over a year.  If my contract gets extended, hopefully I'll be here this time next year!

tile floor boots workshop

We were all looking super hot in our steel toecap boots, vests and hard hats.  My boots were a size small since they'd run out of mine, so it was a slightly painful walk about.

cider brewdog glasgow

Post site visit, we headed to the pub for birthday drinks.  We hung out here for an hour or so before some of us went for dinner and the others went home.

wall menus chalk boards firebird glasgow

Pizza and polenta fries for dinner at Firebird in the west end.  It was delicious.  A few folk wanted ice cream afterwards so we walked further along the street in the rain and were rewarded with giant scoops of mint choc chip, coconut and chocolate, smothered in hot Nutella sauce.  Obviously I was too busy holding my cone in one hand and umbrella in the other to take a picture.

kelvingrove glasgow art gallery museum night

A and I planned to walk home with our ice cream, but we got dragged into the nearest hipster bar for another drink.  This was definitely a mistake and we left as soon as we could!  It was still pouring rain but I managed to capture Kelvingrove in the dusk light.

minion slippers pjs

Home, soaked, pjs on, having a sit down before going to bed.  The next day was more birthday themed, with Tam bringing pressies and going out for tapas with my favourite buddies, but this day was pretty darn good too.  And I managed to go out for dinner five nights in a row (only three were birthday themed mind you...) which makes for a pretty perfect week in my eyes.

Check out 2013 here and 2014 here.


Thursday, 30 July 2015

A trip to East Neuk of Fife

elie beach

Our plan for last weekend was to go camping at St Andrews and have a proper wander around there in the absence of golfers and students.  No prizes for guessing what the weather had in mind for us.  A forecast of rain, hail and general rotten-ness for Saturday evening meant we turned a weekend in Fife into a day trip to East Neuk.  It would still have been a day in St Andrews but we wanted to take Jake on a trip to the beach, so it turned into a family coastal outing.

Five humans and a doggy piled into Tam's mum's car and set off on an adventure.  The first stop was Leven, where I'd never been but was added on to the trip to incorporate a stop at the local yarn store.  I managed to get out with only two balls, both of which I have plans for, so yay me! 

lobster stall shop crail fife

jake rough collie dog

harbour brick wall seagull crail fife

boats harbour crail

doors east nek crail

umbrellas street rain

picture house old vintage crail

We made it up to Crail after a quick lunch stop and had a wander about the town - there was a market on that afternoon but we only managed to catch a few stalls at the end.  I got to go to the fab whole foods shop though, and picked up some marzipan amaretto chocolate (weird), raspberry liquorice sticks (good, but not my usual brand) and Montezuma's excellent dark chocolate buttons (these ones).  The harbour at Crail is one of my favourite places to walk to - it's just a small area, but the street is home to lots of quirky little buildings and picturesque signs.  Hence all the photos.  This is me restraining myself btw.

rocks beach elie fife

beach dog walk crab shell

cricket elie beach fife

Being in East Neuk meant there was only one acceptable option for dinner - a chippy in Anstruther!  This time around, we skipped the queue at the popular Anstruther Fish Bar and headed to the Waterfront, where we sat out in the sun, eating vinegar soaked chips and agreeing that this chippy trumped that one.  Jake got a bonus walk on the way home at Elie beach and I got to test out my new 50mm lens.  It definitely takes some getting used to after having a regular twisty one (totally a technical term) but the pictures came out better than I expected.  More experimenting is needed!

How did everyone's weekend go?

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