Sunday, 29 January 2012


Today I thought I’d share with you all some of the things that are currently inspiring me, things that I learn from, things that I aspire to, and things that I simply adore. As some of you may know I am about to embark on another period of studying (what can I say, I just can’t get enough of being a student) and am in a particularly creative frame of mind. A lot to do with writing and blogging but also a lot to do with the wonderful people that are in my life today. Enjoy!

Blog Crush

Kelly Jones is not only my current style crush (due to her excellent use of charity shop finds, oversized jewellery and fur collars) but alongside her fab outfits, her blog is pretty fantastic as well. Whenever I’m feeling unsure of what to put on in the mornings I turn to Kelly’s blog for inspiration. A great mixer of patterns and textures, and avid user of nail art to complete her look, Kelly’s ensembles are always flawless in my eyes. Plus, she has absolutely awesome big hair, and you all know how I feel about that.

Image by Kelly at A Twenty-Something

Fab food

January is always pretty tough for me following all of the Christmas overindulgence, so I’m endeavoring to be healthy with the 16lbs in 16 weeks challenge, and am finding daily inspiration for food in the form of Rotten Otter Eats, a great blog by Katy from Rotten Otter. Feeling a similar way to me after all the Christmas treats Katy set up the blog as a way for her to document what she eats through photographs, sometimes accompanied by recipes. Katy’s breakfasts inspire me the most. I’m always too lazy/never seem to have enough time in the mornings to make smoothies but Katy’s look so good that I think I may have to start finding time. Through Rotten Otter Eats I’ve also started reading Simply Breakfast for its beautiful photography and delicious looking food.

Image by Katy at Rotten Otter Eats

Spring fashion: work

The new collection at Next always has me hooked at the start of any season and SS12 is no different. Their tribal/safari style collection is right up my street and has me hoping that warmer weather is just around the corner. Currently I seem to be swimming in a pool of, although very chic, very black clothes and am in need of a bit of a wardrobe refresh (or even just a reminder that I do own some wonderful, colourful garments). That’s where Kelly comes in.

What’s new pussycat?

One of the highlights at work this week was the discovery that the one and only Taylor Swift had been spotted out and about in London town wearing NW3’s very own Annabel dress. This dress is absolutely gorge and is one of the many items I’m coveting from the SS collection.

Something strange seems to happening with cats this season, with them definitely being the print du jour on the catwalks. Victoria Beckham’s designs, inspired by the cartoon character Emily Strange, are my favourite pieces she’s designed so far, although alas they are far out of my price range. I have some cat inspired pieces in my wardrobe and hope to debut some of them very soon so watch this space.

Drink, Shop, Do

My new favourite place to hang out in London for either after work drinks, a cup of tea on a Sunday morning, or just to get your creative juices going, has got to be Drink, Shop & Do near Kings Cross.

This quirky little establishment is so “me” and is the kind of place I could imagine going to on my own to sit and write and watch the world go by. I went last Sunday with the wonderful Zsa Zsa for some gossiping (and a slice of amazing date and walnut cake) and I can definitely see myself going back again and again. Everything is for sale (aside from the playlist, alas this comes courtesy of Spotify) and I found it increasingly difficult to stick to the No Shopping Pledge as I was drawn to many a vintage knick-knack or homemade goody in both the shop and the café.

Friday, 27 January 2012

The No Shopping Pledge: an update

So far, the no shopping pledge has been going pretty well. Not only have I not set foot on the high street but I have got pretty creative with the clothes I already own. I’ve still made some purchases but these have been much more considered and all from charity shops (look at me, fuelling my shopping habits whilst giving something back, I feel almost angelic). I hit the jackpot last weekend at the Traid charity shop in Hammersmith, who were having one of their infamous £2 sales (where everything in the shop is £2) and then I went back on another day and everything was £1! Literally: winning. Admittedly most of the things I bought were to sell on eBay but still, the shopping gave me a bit of a buzz. Some of the standout pieces I bought were a dress from Topshop (for me), numerous peter-pan collared tops from Topshop (to sell as alas they are too small), some great tweed blazers (keep/sell, I’m really not sure at the moment) and some fab knitwear pieces all for me. I did have to drag my purchases home in a black bin liner as no bags Traid had were big enough but the embarrassment was so worth it. Although I am kind of craving a trip to Primark, H&M and River Island to check out the new season stock, overall I’m not really thinking about shopping much. I may make some more purchases tomorrow however, when I hit the Hobbs Sample Sale at the Truman Brewery (which Rachel has already said is not to be missed).

After watching the collection launch DVD today I’m already craving basically all of the SS12 stock, so my bank balance is pretty much screwed for the next few months. It seems to be that because of my own indecisive nature my mind seems to work on a constant cycle of disappointment: when it's summer I long for winter, and when it's winter I long for summer. Therefore currently I'm wishing for lazy summer days drinking a glass of Pimms, wearing a maxi dress and flat sandals, when in reality I'm being blown to work through the drizzle and then boiling on the tube in a thick winter coat. Those of you who work in the world of fashion will well know that even though winter seems to have barely even kicked in spring/summer stock is already out in stores and my thoughts are turning to summer. The Hobbs press day way back in November gave a glimpse of what loveliness is to come, with each brand playing its own starring role in picking out the best of the new season trends. NW3 (my own personal fave) is sure to see my staff discount and wallet take a battering.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Dish of the day: Weight Watchers zero-point curry

The 16lbs in 16 weeks challenge has kicked up a gear this week with the start (or should that be return?) of Weight Watchers. My initial non-ww weight loss has been a perfectly acceptable 4lbs but after a weekend of what can only be referred to as overindulgence (involving fried chicken and half a jar of nutella-not together, obvs) I've decided to embark on a Weight Watchers meal plan for the next few weeks.
WW has always served me well. Back in January 2010 I had a kind of ephipheny (you know the kind: I'm fat and ugly and I'm never going to amount to anything, yeah that kind of thing) which lead to me starting to live a far healthier lifestyle, and I lost three stone over the following twelve months in the process. I now feel more confident than ever but there's still room for improvement (isn't
there always?) so it's back on Weight Watchers I go.

A classic recipe that I always return to again and again because it's healthy, tasty and really easy to make is Weight Watchers zero-point curry, which is also a great recipe for using up any leftover veg.

Cauliflower or broccoli
Curry powder
Vegetable stock
Tin of chopped tomatoes

Chop the onion and crush the garlic and place in a large pan.

Add the chopped leek and chopped courgette to the pan.

Add the broccoli or cauliflower florets and the chopped aubergine.

Cut up the carrot and add to the saucepan.

Add some curry powder to the pan, as strong or mild as you like, and stir through until the vegetables are well coated.

Add a tin of chopped tomatoes and approximately 400ml of vegetable stock, season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil.

Once the curry is boiling turn down the heat and allow the curry to simmer for 40minutes. Serve immediately or allow to cool and then freeze in meal-size portions. As you can see from these photographs I don't tend to measure or weigh the ingredients and just make one big batch that will do for more than one meal. Depending on how spicy you make the curry it can taste nice when used as a pasta sauce or as a ratatouille-style accompaniment to meat dishes.

Weight Watchers zero-point curry: DONE

Sunday, 22 January 2012

A week in my wardrobe/the one-week challenge

The one-week challenge was a roaring success, with many a forgotten item finally seeing the light of day and me putting a lot more thought into my ensemble in the mornings. Personally, although I loved all of the outfits, the final one was my favourite. I’ve been waiting for the right occasion to wear my orange pleated skirt from River Island, which I got in the sale just after Christmas and, due to the challenge, I decided Friday was just that occasion. Sure, I had nothing special planned but life’s too short to save things for best. My least favourite outfit was Mondays. It seemed like such a good idea in my head but something just wasn’t quite right and, although I love my hair in this pic, the overall look was a little lacklustre.

Saturday: The Boy and I went for a wander on Saturday around Fulham and over the bridge to Putney to go to the library (one of my favourite things to do). This called for comfort so I paired my knee high black boots with denim shorts and a t-shirt from Obey that I got in a sample sale. The top has a really nice nautical anchor print and I’m looking forward to wearing it on it’s own in the summer.

Sunday: On Sunday The Boy got it into his head that it would be a good idea to walk all the way from West Kensington to Camden Town, and due to the 16lbs in 16 weeks challenge, I went along for the ride. The weather was sunny but cold so I used this as a chance to wear my new red and white oversized knitted jumper from Next. I also wore my fedora, which probably wasn’t the best choice of headwear as I found out when we were in Hyde Park when I realised just how windy it was.

Monday: Mondays at work mean an early start to prepare for trade, so for me, leaving the house before 7am, Mondays ensemble has to be about comfort. I paired some wide leg jeans with a favourite spotty top from Autograph at Marks and Spencer, finishing the outfit off with a pure wool navy cardigan that I got at the Sue Ryder sale for 50p and had never worn before. This outfit was pretty disastrous due to the cardigan making the top go really static and me feeling fat in the photograph, but still I love all the items individually and will definitely wear the cardi again.

Tuesday: My outfit on Tuesday was more of a success. I debuted a purple and black leopard print knitted skirt (another Sue Ryder 50p purchase) that my mum has taken in for me at the sides to make it more fitted. I wore this with a black jumper, leather jacket and my new favourite lace-up boots from Next (another Boxing day sale purchase). I also wore my massive knitted snood that I made myself and is fast becoming a wardrobe staple for me (as you can see from these photographs!).

Wednesday: A red Primark dress that I’ve had for years made an appearance on Wednesday underneath a black round neck jumper. This dress looks great on and I’m really not sure why I haven’t worn it before, it’s really comfortable and I’m looking forward to wearing it on it’s own in the summer.

Thursday: Thursdays unworn item was another sample sale purchase in the form of this aubergine coloured long belted cardigan from Hobbs. I teamed this with leggings, knee high boots and my favourite leopard print scarf. This outfit was really comfy and although I don’t normally go for the whole long top-leggings combo I think this outfit was one of the best of the week.

Friday: The final day of the working week saw me wear my new pleated skirt with a black top and cardigan. I loved this outfit; it was comfortable and was still smart enough for work (even if Friday morning was spent working in a branch of John Lewis. Don’t ask). I like teaming a long skirt with a short jacket (I do this a lot in summer with maxi’s and my denim jacket) and I definitely want to experiment with this look more for the winter weather.

So, what have I learnt. For one, I think it’s pretty interesting that all of the new things I wore were either coloured or patterned. I seem to always gravitate towards black or denim (either because it’s easier or because I’m lazy, maybe a bit of both) yet I still buy colourful pieces. I certainly need to reconsider colour in my everyday outfits (as I obviously have enough of it in my wardrobe). I hope to carry on the challenge in some way or another and make my outfits a bit less predictable in the coming weeks, I also have a colour challenge planned so watch this space.

The one week challenge: something new everyday = DONE

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Dream home

One of my favourite things to do on my lunch break (aside from gossiping in the kitchen with the Merchandising girls) is property hunt on the internet. The Boy and I have a nice little nest egg coming along and I hope within the next two years we’ll be able to buy a place of our own, somewhere homely and with a cottage-feel if I get my way, somewhere that we can really make our own. Sure the search will often begin with me and Kirsty looking at dream houses, way out of our price range, for that “If I won the lottery scenario” but this has helped us narrow down our likes and dislikes.

Me: I like anywhere small and cute, with period features, in the countryside or by the sea. An old property that needs work, or one that has retained its original charm. Generally, I don’t like new builds.

Kirsty: Pretty much any property will do as long as it’s in the country (and has a kitchen island).

When The Boy and I were looking for our current flat I kept seeing cute little one-bed cottages up for rent in West London that tugged at my heart strings but as The Boy rightly pointed out if we are going to go down this route I need to make some decisions. I’m going to have to either make some major cut-backs in the wardrobe department, or, the option I prefer, wait until we can afford somewhere a bit bigger, with enough space to accommodate all my paraphernalia. For now we’re happy where we are, in our gorgeous one-bed in a pretty red brick mansion, with a private gated garden and tennis courts in Fulham (lets face it, we’re hardly slumming it). When the time does come to move I’m unsure where out hearts will carry us. As much as I love London there are days when I long for the seaside and family, and I know The Boy feels the same, so maybe we’ll end up moving away, who knows, only time will tell. I can only imagine how we will decorate and add our own personal touches (lots of updated second-hand pieces and homemade details for sure). For now, I am living vicariously through Sandra Foster who has not only got a great sense of interior style but has the ability to think outside the box for what can actually be achieved by one person alone.

Sandra splits her time between a Catskills hunting cabin and a Winnebago, which she lives in with her husband Todd. Sandra has painstakingly turned the cabin from a relatively simple wooden hut into the romantic Victorian cottage she had always wanted, using vintage inspiration and thrift store finds, and doing all the carpentry herself. I cannot tell you how beautiful and amazing I find this place, simply that I find it, and Sandra, inspiring. Sure it’s small, but that’s the beauty of it, and Sandra’s style is 100% to my taste. Not sure how The Boy will feel about this much white paint but he knows my style, and is already comfortable living somewhere that looks like Granny’s house (and with a girl that likes to knit, sew and cook and shops mostly at carboot sales)-what’s not to love?

All images of Sandra's cabin courtesy of the New York Times - find more information on Sandra’s cabin at

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Looks I'm loving

It’s half-way through the one week challenge (expect more info in a post next week) and not only am I putting more thought into my everyday ensembles but I’m really enjoying coming up with new ideas for what to wear, rather than simply wearing the same old stuff. Plus, some of the lovely clothes that have been languishing in the back of my wardrobe or in boxes since the move can finally see the light of day. Inspiration is coming from my style scrapbooks and lookbook, both constant sources of ideas for how I want to look or aspire to dress, with this weeks style crush being Alexandra Per, a 23-year-old blogger. She rocks many a look, whether it’s summer or winter but the key to her outfits always seems to be layering, something which I have begun to embrace. My main downfall is how hot I seem to get on the journey to work. Not only is the London tube ridiculously warm all year round but as I walk 20 minutes from the tube to work I can sometimes get to work feeling like I need to stand under the air conditioner. This is where layering is key for me. Alexandra’s style is chic and cool, classic and edgy, so many contradictions (that’s why I love it).

Find Alexandra at

Monday, 16 January 2012

What makes love true?

I am a hopeless romantic and like to live my life as if I’m in a love story. Luckily, my amazing Boy knows this and is often surprising me with romantic things, like filling the flat with balloons and flowers for my birthday. This could be one of the reasons why I love the new Tiffany & Co website so much or it could simply be the fact that it’s beautiful, either way it’s definitely worth a visit. Devoted to all things romantical and set up as the go-to resource for all things love, the website is the destination for photographic and lyrical inspiration. With images by stylish real-life loved up couple Scott Schuman, aka The Sartorialist, and Garance Doré, see below, the website is a winner for me on so many levels. But perhaps the most brilliant thing of all, the site is also something of a travel guide to the ultimate city for falling in love, and my favourite holiday destination: New York. What’s not to love?


Saturday, 14 January 2012

The No Shopping Pledge: week one

Week one of the No Shopping Pledge has gone by pretty much without a hitch, sure there’s been days when I’ve wanted to hit the high street for a spot of retail therapy but so far I’ve managed to keep myself in check. The release of the new-look Company magazine on Thursday (kindly bought for me by Zsa Zsa of The Life Wardrobe, no breaking the pledge for me) didn’t help matters though, as I now feel that I NEED a denim shirt in my life. I think in essence this could be part of the problem. I have a wardrobe full of perfectly nice (in fact more than nice, I would even go so far as to say lush – that’s right I’m part Welsh) clothes yet if I see something in a magazine/shop/window/walking past me on the back of some far more fashionable girl, I get this feeling that if I had the said item, my wardrobe would be complete and I would suddenly have so many more outfit choices. In fact I often find it’s the opposite that’s true; the fewer options I have the greater chance of me coming up with an ensemble that I’m happy with. Luckily the stores I pass on my way to work are still promoting sale, and as much as I love a bargain a massive sale banner is far less likely to entice me to spend when compared to a well thought out new season window display. Staying in the office on my lunch hour also seems to be working, a bit of banter with the girls over food in the kitchen at least gives me a screen break and there’s far less likelihood of me spending (although I do pass the tuck box on the way back to my desk and always get food envy of my friends lunches, making me wish I still got 20% discount at M&S). Not having the option of making a purchase makes you think more about the clothes you do have and how you can best use them to create an on trend look without heading to the shops. Currently I’m thinking about wearing some of the amazing sale purchases I bought just after Christmas (the whole reason I’m so poor in the first place) but haven’t really had the right occasion to wear. This is another of my problems: buying clothes for a life I simply don’t lead, and buying clothes and saving them for “something special”. I need to start thinking that every day is special and saving things for “best” will simply mean they don’t get worn and remain languishing in the wardrobe or shoved in a box under the bed for all eternity. When I was three stone heavier I went through a phase of always wearing the same black jumper (which Jade and Amy, the girls from Cellardoor magazine LOVED to pick me up on). I’d vary the scarf or jacket but essentially the ensemble would always be the same: black jumper and jeans or black jumper and denim skirt. Hmmmmm, inspiring, not. I’m a lot better these days but I do always tend to lean towards comfort and familiarity when picking out something to wear. With this in mind, next week I shall endeavor to wear something new every day, picked from the clothes I already own: I have far too many nice things to always wear the same.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Packed lunches of the future

I’m a packed lunch devotee, not only because it saves me hundreds of pounds a year but also because making my lunch myself means I know exactly what I’m eating, no hidden surprises. That being said, making your lunch every day can get a little tedious and it’s easy to always go for the same thing (usually a salad wrap, packet of snack-a-jacks and a piece of fruit for me). Japanese mothers have come up with a creative and competitive way to get their children to eat their lunches, by making the food look like cartoon characters, with amazing results. I’m always on the look out for unusual options for my lunch, generally ones that will increase my fruit and veg intake, but I’m not really sure I have time to be this creative in the mornings, think I’ll just stick to the salad wraps for now.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Looks I'm loving

The look I’m loving this week belongs to 24 year old Flavia D from Brazil. Her mix of prints and textures and use of accessories all get a big thumbs up from me, especially her use of hats to complete her look. Inspired by Flavia, I’m currently considering completing a one week challenge featuring hats, as I have so many and pretty much never wear one. In the summer, sure I love to wear a straw hat and in the winter I often wear an oversized knitted one but often my fedora and more structured hats get overlooked and remain at the back of the wardrobe. Maybe because I feel too smart wearing them? Who knows, but the one week challenge should help me break this cycle and be a bit more adventurous. Work colleagues and people of London you have been warned, if you see a somewhat fashionable girl wearing a ridiculous hat careering down Oxford Street, it’s likely to be me on my lunch break (on my way to check out more highly inappropriate headwear no doubt).

Find Flavia on Lookbook and on her blog fashioncoolture

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

The neverending bad hair day

Those of you who know me will be familiar with what seems to be my never-ending quest to grow my hair long and the many lengths I am willing to go to to try and achieve this. After a particularly horrendous trip to a new hairdressers in 2010 to have my hair coloured, I was beginning to look more Worzel Gummidge than Alexa Chung and I’ve been struggling to get my hair into an acceptable condition ever since. The trouble began when I went for a full head of highlights at a salon that admittedly I’d never been to before but had been recommended to me by a friend. I don’t know about you but I feel worse about a trip to the hairdressers than about a dentist appointment, particularly when it’s with someone new, my hair is my crowning glory, it needs to be treated with care. To cut a long story short the somewhat inexperienced (or so it seemed) stylist left the foils in for far too long resulting in my hair becoming a fried straw-like mess for many months afterwards, messing with my confidence and meaning that regardless of my fruitless growing attempts, large chunky layers had to be cut in to combat the frizz. To put it bluntly, I was devastated. I feel like such a girl admitting this but having a bad hair day has a drastic impact on whether or not my day is good or bad, and following the hair colour from hell I was left with a bad hair day, every day of my life. 2011 saw me try many tactics to coax my hair to grow past the dreaded shoulder length stage, with little success. Ironically it’s now probably the healthiest it’s been in a long time but still, no growth, or not much anyway (bear with me, I’m being dramatic). Therefore I’ve decided that 2012 WILL be the year that my hair finally grows: I will have long flowing locks like the likes of Delightfully Tacky by the end of the year, I am certain.

*Delightfully Tacky, aka the hair of my dreams

Two weeks in and change is already afoot. After a documented trip to Boots where I spent far too much on haircare products, the barnet is already in much better condition, volumised and somehow looking longer after only a few days (miracles do happen). Having really thick hair that seems to cling onto even a hint of product or residue, it’s taken me a while to find what I consider to be the holy grail of hair growth/strengthening/conditioning-without-weighing-down products that are going to enable me to finally get my hair to grow. Here are my pick of the bunch:

*Alpecin, that's right, we've reached desperate times

Herbal Essence Clarifying shampoo and conditioner: I need to use a clarifying shampoo to stop my hair feeling weighed down but at least with Herbal Essence I get a great smelling product too. Using most other shampoos lead to me having to wash it pretty much every day which, due to the heated appliances needed to give my hair some sort of style, defeats the object of trying to improve the condition and get it to grow. I hate you bitches who can just wash and go.

TOP TIP: If you find your hair clings on to conditioner residue, weighing it down and making it seem greasy no matter how long you rinse for, try conditioning first, THEN washing. Seriously, changed my life.

VO5 Plump it up, amplifying blow dry lotion: This product is a miracle worker. It protects my hair from heat, gives it volume, banishes frizz and doesn’t weigh it down. Exactly what I’m looking for.

Boots own brand serum: Cheap and cheerful, does what it says on the tin and you only need to use a tiny amount to smooth split and dry ends. There are so many serums on the market but I always find myself coming back to this, it works just as well as the big brand products and won’t break the bank, great for a girl on a budget.

(And finally…….if you’re looking to achieve volume (like me) I cannot sing the praises of a barrel brush enough. Pay attention at the hairdressers and try and blow-dry your hair in a similar way, massive hair in no time. Can’t manage that? Spray dry shampoo on the roots and rough up, added volume in no time.)

Monday, 9 January 2012

Dish of the day: Gnocchi with peas and pancetta

My signature dish (which The Boy was lucky enough to have for dinner on Saturday night) is Gnocchi with peas and pancetta. Doesn't sound that exciting I know and yes, currently the gnocchi I use comes from a packet (hey, life's too short) but it tastes like a little piece of heaven, especially when accompanied by a glass of white wine and the knowledge that tomorrow is Sunday and you don't have to get up for work in the morning. I usually top with fresh basil leaves as it adds a certain "something" but I'm pretty sure any herb will do.

70g cubed pancetta or two rashers of bacon
A handful of frozen peas
300g of gnocchi
2-3tbsp of cream
2tbsp of grated Parmesan
1tbsp of olive oil

Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil. Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a frying pan and add 70g of cubed pancetta or two rashers of bacon (chopped).
Cook for about 3 minutes, add a handful of frozen peas (I use quite a lot, it doesn't detract from the taste) and continue to cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes, or until the peas start to soften.

Add about 300g of gnocchi to the boiling water and cook following the packet instructions (generally cook until the gnocchi floats to the surface).

Drain well and add to the frying pan along with 2-3tbsp of cream (I use elmlea single cream) and 2tbsp of grated Parmesan.

Stir lightly and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve with extra grated Parmesan and basil leaves if desired.

Gnocchi with peas and pancetta: DONE

Saturday, 7 January 2012

The No Shopping Pledge: the rules

So, after a particularly horrifying evening of checking my bank balance and updating my budget 2012 spreadsheet it has become abundantly clear how hideously poor I actually am and what a terrifying amount I spend on what is essentially meaningless crap. This week for example, one lunchtime I returned from Boots having spent more than £25 when all I went in for was shampoo; something has to change. This has led me to come to a somewhat momentous decision: I shall not make ANY unnecessary purchases between now and Easter. There, I've said it, and I suppose because I've said it on here there's no going back. There will of course be some rules (I can't go cold turkey, no shopping at all would probably kill me):

Rule 1. I am not to make any unnecessary purchases, i.e.; popping to the shops for some retail therapy on my lunch break and coming back with a skirt, a top and a coat when all I went out for was a secret Santa gift. Basically, the high street is off limits.

Rule 2. Necessary purchases are allowed, i.e.; if I run out of shampoo I am allowed to buy more, but I am not to come back with shampoo, a new hairbrush, foundation and various colours of nail varnish. I am not to get sucked in by any deals or offers, foolishly thinking that by spending money I am actually saving money.

Rule 3. If I am at a carboot sale, sample sale or in a charity shop and see something I can justify buying then I am allowed to make a purchase, as long as the price is reasonable. The Boy will have final say on if I'm allowed said item, but basically this is my get out clause. This will hopefully stop me from feeling like I'm missing out and should encourage me to be a bit more creative with my look.

The reasons for doing this are numerous but one being that The Boy and I would like to buy our own place (preferably before we're sixty) and want to add as many additional funds to the house deposit pot this year as possible. In addition we're going to New York in the autumn and, let's face it, why would I buy clothes here when I could buy clothes there?

Expect updates on how I'm getting on with the No Shopping pledge in the weeks to come (lord help me).

Thursday, 5 January 2012

New Years resolutions (simplified)

In a recent post I went over some of my greater ambitions not only for 2012 but for life in general, this post will be a little different.

A few years ago I had a feeling that my life was headed in the same mundane destination, day in, day out, always the same, which led me to make a drastic decision. For the following year I would live my life in a more adventurous way, namely if I didn't want to do anything or if something scared me I should, in the words of Nike, just do it. This decision changed my life. Not only was 2010 the year I met The Boy, with our first date being on a canoe (believe me, the Shallow Hal connotations alone were almost enough to make me scrap my new way of living and run for the hills) but it was also the year that was to be the hardest period of studying of my life. Within two weeks of new years day I would leave my job and embark on what would become my life's work, my Masters. To cut a long story short, living with a greater abandon than ever before allowed me to make choices I'd never even considered, which turned out to be some of the greatest decisions of my life.

I plan to live by a similar mantra for 2012, whilst hopefully crossing a few things off my to-do list:

1. Learn to bake bread, successfully and without the use of a bread maker.
2. Use my Holga camera (which I've had since 2009 and it still hasn't been out of the box).
3. Finish my Christmas cross stitch sampler before it's Christmas again.
4. Cook my first ever roast dinner (this fills me with fear just typing the words).
5. Go swimming at the Serpentine Lido.

6. Visit the Isle of Wight again.

7. Change internet providers at the earliest opportunity (Virgin just can’t cut it).

8. Shop less, save more.

9. Buy and use a shredder to deal with paperwork (boring I know).

10. Make a £1,000 on ebay.

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