Tag Archives: Shopping

Reuse, recycle. Making a conscious effort to strip back on the new and explore vintage.

It’s hard to break a habit that has existed for a lifetime. I’m trying to become more conscious of my spending and to strip back on buying new. Is another faux fur necessary? I’m looking to re explore my wardrobe and learn to love vintage again. To be at peace with what I have, work with what I have got and stop buying unnecessary purchases that I may or may not wear.

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To keep up with fashion is impossible, each week there is a new high street trend, catwalk favourite and so on. With a low budget and lack of time to explore fashion much any more, I’ve decided to strip back completely and to wear my old pieces that I have loved before. Albeit some. Items are still attached to there original tags, three years down the line.

It’s crazy to think how much we waste shopping and trying to keep up with latest trends and street wear. Each year the trends remain the same, I’m tired of the mundane and predictable online shopping. I want to update my wardrobe with one off pieces, urban renewal clothing and art deco style jewellery. I love the 70s and draw much inspiration from that era, the whole disco look just sucks me in. I need to hunt down pieces that I really love and feel that for one off pieces and pulling looks together, vintage has everything to offer and more.

The high street is forever adapting to update store fronts and bring in new stock to meet the changing trends and keep up with the cat walk designers it becomes an endless cycle and as soon as you get into one new seasonal trend, gingham for Summer, faux for Autumn and leathers for Winter, the cycle starts all over. It has become a bit boring, there are only so many times the cycle can repeat itself and I’m seeing the same items crop up over and over. Snore.

With this in mind, bored by the mainstream high street, I’m going to try something new, to have fun with my current wardrobe, to mix it up with not new, but vintage pieces found at local markets charity stores and online retailers such as Etsy, which I already love.

I’m looking to explore and update my style through the hidden gems I have had stashed away for months, to get the use out of previous worn once only items and to really fall in love with finding my own style and doing fashion my way. Not by the way of the magazines for a change.

My budget as a working Mum on a part time wage can’t keep up with past shopping habits and my iterest to keep up has long dimished. I don’t want to have the newest dress on the block, to continue to fall into the shopping trap, it’s a consumer market out there for sure and I’m done with it and the waste.

My love of clothing and personal style is as strong as ever, with a penchant for pretty dresses, glitter and chandelier earrings but my eyes have been opened to the online world of vintage, and I know fashion doesn’t have to be new to be cool, to be loved and that style varies for everyone, it is what makes us unique. I’m excited to dive further into my ever changing personal style with the help of vintage and preloved clothing and garments by my side. My style has changed so much over the years and I’m excited to find out what comes next. I like to mix grunge and bohemian. To mix party girl dressing with street wear. I don’t do too good at casual wear but it’s growing on me.

I’m going to look to update my wardrobe with classic and timeless pieces that I can wear over and over again, not just on a one off. I’m going to invest in key pieces and hunt down bits and bobs from vintage stores and marketplaces to update what I already own. I’m going to create my own style and I’m going to have fun exploring and playing around.

I could shop until I drop but frankly, my budget won’t allow much shopping at this stage, my priority is saving to move to a family home, saving for Eleanor’s future. I’ve set myself a challenge to buy vintage and old items only for the next three months to see how I do. No Topshop, no Urban Outfitters, and no Doc Martens (miss you already). Here goes, a challenge that I hope can shape the way that I shop for the future and can teach myself how to fall in love with style and get out from the consumer trap. With this challenge not only can I look to prepare for more important things but I can also save the planet a little and stop with the waste.

I’ve worked through my wardrobe over the past few months and done a real good cleanse, rid of anything I haven’t or don’t wear. I’m moving on with my life and in this case it’s out with the new and in with the old. Wish me luck. If you have any favourite vintage clothing and jewellery stores or wee treasure chests hidden away, please, share with me. I’d love to know and dive right in to a world of vintage and pre loved. Reuse, recycle after all.

 

Keren x

Dad’s day off. Trip to Camperdown wildlife park.

Hey guys! A busy spell over here with us so I thought I’d share a little of what we have been up to. On Thursday, Euan had a day off so we were up and out at 7am ,ready to adventure on a day trip down to Dundee and hit the animal park at Camper down.

DCIM100GOPROG0040237.JPGI’d not been for years and we have rare opportunities to do such activities during the week with Euan working, it’s just too busy. Sure to make the most of a sunny day, we set about with a plan and followed through.

We arrived in Dundee early, before 9am, and took advantage of a wee browse around the local shopping centre. Or at least I did, I left with a second set of ear lobe piercings.. talk about inpromptu. I blame a mum life crisis if that’s such a thing? Anyway, we grabbed picnic style snacks, some food for Eleanor and headed off to the park around 11AM.

The sun was out, the park was busy and the animals were out to play for the best part. We had the gopro set and ready to go, to capture any moments from the day. Waltzing around the park with Eleanor in her dad’s arms, watching all of the animals in their daily life was quite nice. A chilled out day going at a pace of our own and making me ever grateful for the little family that I call my own and everyday life.

GOPR0243_1532027445953_high.JPGEleanor wasn’t fully aware of all that was going on but she did enjoy watching some of the wild birds and the bears having a bath in the sun. I was quite impressed with the park, small and nothing crazy going on but enough to make the most of your time there. With it being a nice day, we took a slow jaunt around and stopped to look for the wild animals.

Come 2pm we decided to head back home and walk our dog Fern into the centre to grab an ice cream. It is of course so crucial to make the most of the nice weather back here when we have it and ice cream is never a bad idea.

A scoop of blueberry panna cotta for Euan and cookies n cream for Eleanor and I to share. My baby loves ice cream, in fact, her favourite word right now seems to be “Mmm”  a foodie in the making with a definite love for anything sweet. Definitely takes after myself with the food department for now, so long as she picks up a love for pizza and Hallomi we are onto a winner.

Back home, we sat down to a glass of wine and some chill time before preparing for the working day ahead. It’s nice to take a day off together and utilise as a family day now and again as time flies so fast, these moments are precious and not to be wasted. Family is the best part of my life and to take time out together makes my heart so fuzzy and full, I just love it.

G0030235_1532027445953_high.JPGBesides, what is better than watching your Husband (to be) play and interact with your baby? It’s just too bloody special.

I hope that you guys are all good. Does anyone have any ideas of family activities with a small child? Particularly outdoors, as we just love to get up and get out.

 

Keren x

 

Life in the fast lane.

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Right, hello you bunch. I’m going to get real in this blog post and share what’s been going on with family life the past few weeks, there’s a lot to get through and I must admit, I’ve been having quite the time of it all lately, a time that has been overwhelming and most definitely stressful. My patience tested and my sanity questioned. Wait, what sanity?

Why is it that everything comes at once? It seems the past two years have been non stop, from passing my driving test, to a pregnancy, becoming a Mother, an engagement and now a move? I laugh that we have done this all in the wrong order, we are all muddled up with our relationship path and direction. Finally, it’s all coming together but the thing is, how much longer can before I burn out?

Trying to find the balance between being a working mother and spending enough time with not just Eleanor but with my partner too all while trying to keep up appearances with my family and friends can really be a great challenge. With Eleanor being so young and demanding such full on attention, I hardly have time with my partner, never mind any self time to just sit back and relax for a minute. If im not chasing after her every move, I’m trying to settle the constant wails of the dreaded teething. It’s tough, nothing really prepares you for welcoming a child Into the world and the challenges you face can get to be too much from time to time.

I amaze myself with how many times I have to repeat in a day “mummy just needs a minute” as I try to unload the dishwasher or give myself heartburn from having to shovel lunch into my mouth so fast. Yes, life with a baby really is life changing, believe it or not, it is true what they say. Even now, ten months on, I find a new struggle with every waking day. There is no day off, but would I have it any other way? Of course not. This is life now, and no matter how tired, how stressed and how unglamorous, I am living my best life with the people that I love.

Long gone are the weekends spent at the pub with friends or the endless shopping trips with my Mum or even just taking some time to enjoy a hot bath and a wine. Life has turned upside down and unfortunately time doesn’t wait for nobody. There is no catching up, all stations are go and on a 24/7 basis.

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Onwards and upwards though, and I’d not have it any other way. I mean, as much as I’d like to belive that I miss the partying, the friends that would come and go and the tireless walking around the shops I don’t miss it. Not for a minute would I change my situation, I can’t imagine ever not having my Eleanor, life before her was non exist ant. Sure, there are parts I’d do differently but that’s all part of learning and the journey into Womanhood, into Motherhood and my past mistakes make me grow to be stronger than ever and rise above issues (or crumble to the ground in a pile of tears – depending on the hormones).

With some further exciting news, the past week in our household has been filled with excitement, nerves and anxiety. We have recently received word of our application to rent a new property going through and depending on the status we take after a viewing we can move immediately. The property has two bedrooms, a balcony, and en suite. It provides us with the extra space that we need for our family right now all while being secure tenancy which means we can move without the worry of being left on the street at any time. The properties are not far from where we call home and ideal for a utilising as a family home for the future. Though not a forever home, it provides us with the steps we must take to get to that stage all while it buys us time to save and time to grow.

With the idea of a move to a family home, a fresh start all very exciting and new, it does bring a great deal of sadness and anxiety. I mean it’s great, yes and it is what we were working towards, only we thought we would have more time on our side. Walker Road has provided us with so many good times, it will be very hard to part ways but with everything in life, you have to move on and grow. It’s time for our family to grow into a new home, start over with a new chapter and really embrace those precious family moments.

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The surrounding buildings are full of families which will be great for bonding and making friends, Eleanor can grow up with children her own age around and can have the space she needs to express herself and play. There is a play park and a spacious area of grass where Fern can run around and play too. The homes look direct onto the river, a phenomenal view on a blue skied day. Everything we could want, need and more is in the palm of our hands, when we can let go of now and move on to a better future, I think our quality of life will greatly improve. After all, they say that change is good.

It is a busy time, but we can get through it together. A move, our babies first birthday, our wedding and honeymoon all coming in before the Autumn months arrive, time will fly. I have returned to work part time to get a break and to enjoy some adult company, to be my own person a few hours in a week, only it seems I’ve ended up with less time than I’ve ever had before and a lot less unsure of the person that I am. Go figure?

With all the nerves and the excitement, the fear of change and the huge lifestyle choices we have had to make, it really can become overwhelming and I’m looking for ways to still grab some time out for myself while I can, before I do lose my mind.

A coffee trip to mull over my thoughts alone, light breathing work to try to stay calm and practicing some basic yoga moves to stay focused and remember to remain positive in every situation, no matter how exhausting or stressful. To have a calm and a clear mind will always be better than having a mind filled with a tangled mess or worries, fears and stresses.

I do struggle to remember to breathe with all the crazy sometimes but I’m trying to remember to focus and keep a clear mind as with this busy period in mind, a clear head to think and a positive outlook is all very important. I like to reflect good vibes for myself which keeps my spirits up and can be especially good for Eleanor to pick up on.

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A busy time for sure but with the move becoming finalised, the wedding done and dusted, I’d like to believe we can move on as a family and work toward a better future for ourselves with time. Together we are able to do whatever we put our minds too and there is no right or wrong direction. We are going to go with the flow that life drives us in and to see the future with an open mind.

aaaand, breathe.

Tell me, how do you relax when times become all too much?

Keren x

Learning to be thankful and lead a minimal lifestyle.

I will be the first to admit that I’m very used to getting my own way and getting the things I want. A lifestyle that tough to maintain and keep track of online orders. Lately, with a whole new family life, a rather large wage cut and a whole lot to pay out for, (ahem, adult life) it has made me start to change my ways, my habits and begin to live as quite the minimalist. A change of tune you could say.

I was never privelaged by no means. However, growing up, I was always provided for and gifted treats and shopping days. Nothing lavish, but enough to keep a gal satisfied. I had a whole lot more than some but always wanted more. When I turned 16 and began to work, I made my own money and got used to having little ties, a monthly income and weekly treats.

My shopping habits increased from odd treats here and there to weekly packages from Topshop. I didn’t care, I had no concept of adult life, bills, the cost of living etc. I took much for granted and lived reckless. Nights out, consuming too much alcohol, shopping sprees, cigarettes. You name it.

I dread to think of what i could have saved had I been more aware of the daily cost to survive in this climate and been less greedy. It was all too easy and made for temporary bouts of happiness. There is nothing that a new pair of shoes can’t fix, right?

Wrong. Since moving from home and beginning my own chapter in life, I have come to realise that the shoes in my closet don’t Infact bring any element of happiness. If anything, they are a danger hazard as they collapse from the wardrobe on a daily basis.

I suppose what I am getting at, is that I now realise how foolish I was to have such ludicrous spending sprees. No material will find you happiness, something I have soon discovered. Happiness comes from the heart, feeling good and a sense of well being. I’m trying to be more grateful of what I have, than cry over what i don’t have. I still have the ability to buy treats but I don’t necessarily have a need for treats any more. A blue sky and a dose of fresh air can provide so much more thought provoking feelings than any material item may bring.

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Treats are my family: My baby girl, my fiance. The life we build together surrounds me with hope and joy. Five years from now, I don’t know where we will be, I know we will have to work damned hard to get there and to live cautiously for some time in the process and I am OK with that…That is of course that I don’t fall victim to a shoe collapse and rot under a pile of black boots and Nike.

In all honesty, learning to be more frugal is a bit of a struggle. I am very used to having my own funds to spend freely. I have gone from daily shopping and trips to the store for some goodies to returning items to the shelf, making cuts where I can in weekly shops and letting online shopping baskets remain filled with items now “out of stock”

I miss the freedom of having no ties with money and having a lifestyle where I could get away with being a little lavish, treating others. Now, as a parent and a wife to be, there are more important parts of my life than shopping. Cutting past habits is tough and feeling the strain and the stress of money is tough.

Im working to find a better health and well being, a better balance and a stronger version of myself. So long as my baby is always provided for, my partner is happy, I shall be happy.

It is funny. Life really does change you when you become a parent. Everything is seem so differently. Worries grow, your mind works around the clock, you get by on a lack of sleep but most of all, your heart grows and you grow with it. My daughter has brought so much happiness and given so much purpose. I suddenly feel everything and every emotion.

I am most absolute in love, not just with Eleanor, but with Euan, with life. I am in love with our future plans,the idea of more babies, the thought of a new home, a new City. Life, there is so much on offer.

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As a child, I would always wonder why my Mother would always treat my siblings and I but never dare splash out on herself, now that I am a Mother, my perspectives have changed and my motives of happiness differ, I can understand why my Mother never put herself first. She was a Mother and a child’s happiness is what brings  happiness all around.

Today, I feel thankful.

Mum guilt; The real deal.

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It’s a funny old thing, you become a parent and all of a sudden you are no longer your own person, you are a Mother, a Father. You lose a sense of identity but gain a whole new realm of responsibility and love that you didn’t even know was capable.

The love for your baby, your child, is like no other. I have not experienced so much love nor emotions prior to the birth of my wee Eleanor. The best and the worst of myself has been put to light and I see the world from a whole new perspective.

I am not as easy going and care free as I once was and the world is now a scary place through the eyes of this over protective parent. I would like to focus this post on something that I have recently began to notice creep up on shopping trips or days out. A feeling that has rised from within and hits like a tonne of bricks ,a feeling that all you Mothers are well aware of.

Mum guilt. No matter what you do, it simply does not feel good enough. It is a losing battle where we are the sole contender.

Guilt, we all feel it, with the exclusion of active sociopaths, add a baby or child to the mix and guilt is suddenly intensified. What exactly is Mum guilt and where does it come from? It has seemed to appear out of the blue for myself and has prevented me from doing the things that I love and taking some time out for myself. Wether that be a half hour shut away to read, getting out for a lone walk or even (god forbid) having a day of pampering.

No matter what my intention lately, I always have a terrible feeling of guilt hang over my head, ready to exploit my mind with shameful thoughts whenever I dare put myself first. I feel that I have lost a sense of freedom and self worth since becoming a Mum, something which is quite hard to adapt to and take control of.

I no longer deem it acceptable to treat myself, not without fear that I should have treated my baby over myself. Do I need this? I ask myself this often. A shopping trip is short lived, and rather than taking items I pick out to the till, I return them to the rack or shelf which I plucked them from. I feel guilty for wasting money on myself no matter the sum. I could have utilised any spenditure on Eleanor rather than myself.

I find myself anxious of time and feeling bad for dragging my baby out just so I can pick up a carton of milk for myself or browse the stores when I could be at home, holding her, giving my undivided attention. I tend to get out but feel panic and pushed for time, I can’t relax for fear that she will want a feed or begin to get uncomfortable and cry.

Crying is perfectly normal for a baby to get attention and I know I have the security that she is always changed and fed before I take her out, I can’t help but feel unsettled at the thought of her crying in public. I always feel that it’s my fault for dragging her out and that I have led her to be unhappy for my own pleasure. Mum guilt.

I no longer indulge in any alcohol or nights out as I feel that my baby could need me at any time when I am apart from her. I just can’t leave her behind knowing that she is my responsibility and could need me at any time. I have reluctantly left her for no more than four hours with my Mother so that Euan and I can catch a screening at the cinema. This has only ever been around four separate occasions, a month apart at least.

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I can’t bring myself to leave her no matter who with or how capable they are. Knowing that Eleanor is so tiny and may need me at any time. I know that my baby is loved and nurtured and with that understanding , I must implicate healthy changes for the benefit of my own health.

I am not just a Mother, I am my own person with interests and needs that I need to fulfill every once in a while. It is important to take time for myself and my own sanity, i owe it to myself to give myself a break without feeling the need to explain and justify my actions.

With that in mind, I am off to the hairdresser next Saturday on a solo outing for a bit of me time and pampering. I am after a fresh dye job and cut, both much needed and long overdue. Oops, blame Motherhood on that one. Free time does not come freely.  A trip to the salon may not seem a big deal to many of you, I’d previously not have thought anything of it either but these days a little time out to spoil myself is a rare occasion.

Following this, we are going to see Stereophonics at the end of the month for a parents night out. How dare we? I’m absolutely looking forward to this and an evening out with my love, I fully plan to make the most of being child free, let my hair down and have fun. I have plans to go all out with a glass of wine in a plastic cup and greasy gig chips.

The last time we went to a gig together was back in July and I was heavily pregnant and spent most of the gig nursing a sore back. This time, I can make a better go at it and not retire early. I got this.

I’m sure that my Mum guilt will be in full swing but im going to really try to get myself into a good mindset and forget Mum duties for the night. It will be time for my partner and I to enjoy. Eleanor will be in capable, loving hands, I just need to let go, chill and live a little. If I can push the Mum guilt aside for even just one night, it will be a milestone itself.

I feel that as Mothers and Fathers, we put so much pressure on ourselves to be the best parents we can be, we get ourselves down when something doesnt go to plan or work out as we had hoped and we hold ourselves responsible for any setbacks, the guilt can be too much to take some days.It’s time to start pushing that unnecessary guilt trips that we love to drive down aside and putting ourselves first once in a while.

Book a pamper day, take yourself out for a coffee, set a date for a night out (and follow plans through) and for God sakes, buy the dress. Life is too short to spend it consumed with guilt, we all deserve a break once in a while.

Parenthood is hard, it is testing, it is wonderful. Let’s not be so hard on ourselves, our babies will still love us after a few hours without our company.

Keren x

The hunt for the perfect dress. Diary of an unconventional Bride to be.

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I’m a self confessed shop addict with a love for the High Street. I favour the likes of Topshop, Urban Outfitters, ASOS, Mango and Free People to name a few.

My wardrobe and clothes drawers are bursting at the seams and refuse to close, this is no exaggeration and I boast a collection of probably around sixty dresses in a variety of shapes, styles, prints and colour. All hanging on top of one another in a big mess of clutter.

The thing is though, I’m all for casual wear and dresses you can team with boots, or trainers taking you from day to night. I don’t actually have a clue about wedding dresses or dressing for a wedding. Heels are also a no go, I own countless pairs as I can’t refrain from buying them, aren’t they gorgeous? but,  I can’t walk in heels to save my life. It’s shameful really.

A wedding dress, It’s never something I had plans for or thought about. I’ve never had the illusion of my dream dress float above my head. I didn’t expect I’d ever marry so I didn’t have to worry about the planning aspect that comes with a wedding or decision of choosing a dress to wear. Formal wear let alone Bridal wear is an unknown territory to me and where I know what styles look good on me causally, I don’t know what to picture myself in as a Bride.

I thought that I had the perfect dress tucked away but one look from my Mother’s face and I was instantly uninspired with it. With that notion and a look I will never forget, the hunt for a dress began. A new dress that I will be keeping all to myself until the day comes to get up and put it on. If I were to go by different reactions to different dresses and styles, I’d never settle on one that I like. It’s too off putting having the input of others.

Now, this is something not to be taken lightly. Where I want a small and intimate wedding event with a mere few family and friends, I still wish to wear a dress that flatters me and my personality but without the expense of a bridal dress. I want to look pretty and wear a dress that I can feel good in, a timeless item that I can return to and wear again and again. Much alike Keira Knightley and her wedding gown, only I won’t be rocking Chanel couture (and I don’t look like Keira either, sigh).

A wedding dress is certainly a dress that you want to remember for the rest of your life, hold so many memories of the special day each time you look at it. Now, that leaves big shoes to fill for any dress you buy that follows. Wether full on gown or simple pencil dress, it has to be perfect for me and our special day. I don’t want to look back in dismay for the dress I wore.

I’m a fashionista, I love clothes and putting outfits together, it comes easily to me and I find it fun but with the whole aspect of wedding dress hunting, I am struggling. I can’t find a dress that suits my shape or style.

A long gown is too long for my petite frame not too mention a little too formal for an otherwise informal ceremony. I think long gowns or long tuelle skirts just make me look frumpy and awkward. A short gown on a bad leg day could be a disaster and leave me looking more like a sausage roll than a glowing Bride. Not ideal.

Tuelle can be difficult to style and if you buy cheap, it looks cheap. A dress too white could look well, too white yet a dress with colour poses an issue with what flowers or shoes to match with, patterns can be too busy and aging. I don’t mind mis match, in fact, I quite like putting fabrics and patterns together that clash but for this day in particular I just want something that is one all over style and is easy to dress.

Two pieces, I like but it’s finding the perfect two piece. A satin skirt with a sequin crop? Too glamorous. A paper waist midi ball gown skirt and a cropped cardigan? Too 1950. I have seen real nice two pieces online from searching but the price can be crazy high, I’m excited to find the right style for me but I am not easy to please on this one. I don’t want to pay more for a dress than my whole wedding day, that would be silly, I’ll take the expensive shoes instead!

A drop waist I do like but the wrong style of drop waist could leave me looking shapeless. You have to be careful with length with a drop waist. So here is my issue,you see? What does the modern day Bride wear to her informal wedding day?

I don’t hold a budget specifically, but I don’t want to be paying crazy money for a dress that I may never wear again. A dress can be just as special without the price tag. As soon as you search tag with the word ‘Bridal’ you see prices increase.

I want something different yet acceptable to wear as a Bride, I don’t want too much glam as I’d feel really silly, it’s just not me. I need to wear something that feels like ‘me’ only a slightly more formal vision. I’ve scrolled Debenhams, Ghost, Zealand, ASOS bridal, Etsy and more.

So the hunt continues to finding the perfect dress. So far, I’ve returned two that I have been unhappy with, and I have two on order, waiting to test out. With that said, onto the next one, and the next one…

and the next one. Wish me luck, let’s see what I can come up with in the coming months. Here’s hoping I can find my dream dress and don’t end up looking like a glammed up sausage roll. Here’s to hours of hunting.

Keren x